Abraham Abulafia, The Book of Eternal Life, MS Oxford 1582, fols. 51b-53aBe prepared for your God, oh Israelite! Make yourself ready to direct your heart to God alone. Cleanse the body and choose a lonely house where none shall hear your voice. Sit there in your closet and do not reveal your secret to any man. If you can, do it by day in the house, but it is best if you complete it during the night. In the hour when you prepare yourself to speak with the Creator and you wish Him to reveal His might to you, then be careful to abstract all your thought from the vanities of this world. Cover yourself with your prayer shawl and put Tefillin on your head and hands that you may be filled with awe of the Shekhinah which is near you. Cleanse your clothes, and, if possible, let all your garments be white, for all this is helpful in leading the heart towards the fear of God and the love of God. If it be night, kindle many lights, until all be bright. Then take ink, pen and a table to your hand and remember that you art about to serve God in joy of the gladness of heart. Now begin to combine a few or many letters, to permute and to combine them until your heart be warm. Then be mindful of their movements and of what you can bring forth by moving them. And when you feel that your heart is already warm and when you see that by combinations of letters you can grasp new things which by human tradition or by yourself you would not be able to know and when you art thus prepared to receive the influx of divine power which flows into you, then turn all your true thought to imagine the Name and His exalted angels in your heart as if they were human beings sitting or standing around you. And feel yourself like an envoy whom the king and his ministers are to send on a mission, and he is waiting to hear something about his mission from their lips, be it from the king himself, be it from his servants. Having imagined this very vividly, turn your whole mind to understand with your thoughts the many things which will come into your heart through the letters imagined. Ponder them as a whole and in all their detail, like one to whom a parable or a dream is being related, or who meditates on a deep problem in a scientific book, and try thus to interpret what you shall hear that it may as far as possible accord with your reason... And all this will happen to you after having flung away tablet and quill or after they will have dropped from you because of the intensity of your thought. And know, the stronger the intellectual influx within you, the weaker will become your outer and your inner parts. Your whole body will be seized by an extremely strong trembling, so that you wilt think that surely you are about to die, because your soul, overjoyed with its knowledge, will leave your body. And be you ready at this moment consciously to choose death, and then you shall know that you have come far enough to receive the influx. And then wishing to honor the glorious Name by serving it with the life of body and soul, veil your face and be afraid to look at God. Then return to the matters of the body, rise and eat and drink a little, or refresh yourself with a pleasant odor, and restore your spirit to its sheath until another time, and rejoice at your lot and know that God loves you.