and the Way
The Sufis call the stages of the Way “Maqamat” . There are many classical descriptions but the most known is the one that gives three great divisions of the Way:
Sharia, the Law, which observance is formally prescribed.
Tariqa, the Way and Haqiqa, the Supreme Truth.
They are considered respectively the root, the branch and the fruit of the Way and are represented in correspondence with the four worlds or spheres of existence :
Nasut – Is the common human condition of the one who submits to the Sharia .
Malakut- Is the nature of the Angels, that we strive to achieve through the way of purification, Tariqa.
Jabarut – Is the nature of power, that we strive to achieve through the way of enlightenment, Marifat.
Lahut – The annihilation in God, that unites us with the Supreme Truth.
Keter and Malkhut are the first and the last, in a descending perspective, of the attributes of God.
According to the Kabbalistic cosmology, God (Ain Soph) manifests himself in ten descending attributes from the subtlest to the grossest, distributed in four worlds like in Sufism. They are:
World of Azilut
1 Kether – The crown
2 Chokmah- Wisdom
3 Binah –Understanding
World of Briah
4 Hesed –Mercy
Wold of Yetzirah
World of Assiah
10 Malkhut –Kingdom
So, Keter and Malkhut are the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega.
There is a Kabbalistic saying that affirms: “Keter is Malkhut, Malkhut is Keter .”
This corresponds to Point 9 in the Enneagram.