Shemhamphorash
In the Talmud, the external term representing the hidden
word of power, by whose virtues a new world might be. This
word is lost to the human race, although even sounds approximating
it have a magic power and can give to whomever pronounces
them dominion in the spirit world.
Some of the old rabbis believed that the word of power contains
12 letters, others, 42, and yet others 72, but these are the
letters of the divine alphabet, which God created from certain
luminous points made by the concentration of the primal universal
light. Shemhamphorash is, in fact, the name of this word.
In the Kabala, the Shemhamphorash, or 72 syllabled name of
God, is related to three verses of the Hebrew Bible, Exodus 14,
119–21. Each of these verses, in Hebrew, contains 72 letters. If
one writes the 72 letters or verse 19 in correct order, and under
them write the letters of verse 20 in a similar manner in reverse
order, and then the letters in verse 21 in correct order below
the first two, one creates 72 three-letter names. By adding either
AL or IH to these names the names of the 72 angels of
Jacob’s ladder were created.
This ancient Jewish mystical concept is somewhat paralleled
by the ancient Hindu teachings of the creation of the world
through the mystical trisyllable ‘‘AUM,’’ said to contain the origin
of the alphabet and all sounds. related to such concepts are
the use of certain letters and sounds known as mantras for
magical purposes. (See also Nada; Yoga)
Sources
Poncé, Charles. Kabblah An Introduction and Illumination for
the World Today. San Francisco Straight Arrow Books, 1973.