The Ten Utterances are also designated "utterances" only in relation to the creatures. For just as the emotion attributes of the human soul, when they come to be revealed in action, come clothed in the letters of thought, [so do the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He]. For example, the attribute of kindness and mercy of the soul cannot become revealed in deed unless one thinks about and contemplates doing an act of charity and kindness in actuality, for one cannot act without thought. And if one commands others to perform [an act of kindness], as the king, then the attribute of kindness and also the letters of thought clothe themselves in the letters of speech. [And likewise is it when one speaks words of kindness and compassion to his friend.]

So, figuratively speaking, when the attributes of the Holy One, blessed be He, reach the level of the revelation of their action in the lower [worlds]; this revelation and the flow of this action is called "utterance" and combination of letters, for there can be no action proceeding from His attributes without [the intermediacy of] combinations which are called "letters." For instance, for the creation of light from the attribute of Kindness, there issued from it a flow of action and a power with which to produce and create the light. And the flow of this power and this life-force is designated "utterance" and [combination of] the letters "Let there be Light." Although they are not like our letters of thought, G‑d forbid, nevertheless, they are a phenomenon which indicates the bringing into existence of the light from nothing. Hence, the light was created from this flow of action, and not other things which were also created from the attribute of Kindness, such as water and the like, because there were clothed in them powers in other combinations which indicate the bringing into existence of water and the like. Thus it follows that all life-forces and powers which issue from His holy attributes to the lower worlds, to create them ex nihilo and to give them life and to sustain them, are given the appellation "Holy Letters," which are the flow of the life-force from His Will and His Wisdom and His attributes, to bring worlds into being and give them life.

And these worlds are of two kinds: "Hidden worlds unrevealed," which come into existence and live and are sustained from concealed powers and life-forces, as, for example, the letters of thought in the human soul; and "Worlds revealed," which were created and live from the revelation of the hidden powers and life-forces called "Letters of thought," which, when they are in the state of revelation in order to give life to the revealed worlds, are called "utterances" and "The word of G‑d" and the "Breath of His mouth," as, for example, the letters of speech in man which reveal to his listeners what was concealed and hidden in his heart.

In truth, however, the Supernal Letters of Speech are exceedingly higher than the level and essence of the wisdom and intellect of the created beings. For from the utterance and letters "Let us make man in our image,..." was created Man, possessor of wisdom and intellect; or even by the Divine breath alone [was he created], as it is written, "And He breathed into his nostrils a soul of life." Hence, the Divine Speech and Breath is the source of wisdom and intellect in the soul of Adam, which contains all the souls of the Tzaddikim, who are superior to the ministering angels. The reason for [the transcendence of the Supernal Letters over the soul] is that the letters of His speech, may He be blessed, are effluences of powers and life-forces from His attributes, may He be blessed, which are united with His Essence and Being in a perfect unity that is infinitely higher than the level of wisdom in created beings. And they are called by the name "letters" not in relation to the created beings, but only relative to His attributes themselves.

Now, there are twenty-two kinds of effluences of life-forces and powers, differing one from the other, by which all the higher and lower worlds and all the creatures in them were created. For so it arose in His Will and Wisdom, may He be blessed, to create the world with exactly twenty-two kinds of different effluences, neither less nor more, and these are the twenty-two letters which are fixed in the mouth and tongue, as we have learned in the Sefer Yetzirah. [And their written shape indicates the form of the flow, as will be explained later.] For the letters of speech and thought in the human soul are also outflows from the essence and being of the intellect and emotion attributes, as is explained elsewhere.