332. Come and behold, there are two firmaments, the beginning and the end, created in the same pattern. The beginning is the eighth firmament, where all the stars, great and small, are set. This is the upper, undisclosed firmament, which creates and sustains everything. It is the eighth one, counting from below, the beginning from which everything emerges.
333. The eighth firmament from above follows the same pattern. In it, all the beginnings, all the lights and candles are set. It receives all, because it represents the end. The UPPER eighth firmament is the starting point of everything, that on which all the lights depend. It receives everything FROM ABOVE, and everything emerges from it. Similarly, the LOWER eighth firmament receives the lights from its superiors and it releases the lights into all the worlds.
334. The beginning and the end, THE TWO FIRMAMENTS, are alike, and therefore THE LOWER FIRMAMENT is the river from which water comes out and never stops flowing. The purpose is to pattern the end after the beginning. Therefore, "Elohim set them in the firmament of heaven" (Beresheet 1:17), THE LOWER FIRMAMENT. They are there to shine on the earth, WHICH IS THE NUKVA AND BRIYAH, YETZIRAH AND ASIYAH.
335. Although THE UPPER AND LOWER FIRMAMENTS clearly resemble each other, THERE MUST BE a difference between them. IT BEHOOVES US TO ASK what it is. HE ANSWERS, THE UPPER FIRMAMENT nourishes and sustains the supernal aspects, and THE LOWER FIRMAMENT nourishes and sustains the lower world, THE NUKVA and all the lower aspects OF BRIYAH, YETZIRAH, AND ASIYAH.
336. It may be asked, What is the upper world? For the eighth upper, undisclosed firmament is itself the upper world, and is so called, for there are only two worlds, as we have already learned. HOW CAN IT BE SAID, THEN, THAT IT NOURISHES THE UPPER WORLD, WHICH MEANS THAT IT IS BUT ONE ASPECT OF THE UPPER WORLD? HE ANSWERS, THE UPPER FIRMAMENT itself is the upper world, and all the grades issued from it are named after it, NAMELY, THE UPPER WORLD. The one and the other, THE UPPER AND LOWER FIRMAMENTS, are all one. Blessed be He, forever and ever.