zohar


If this metaphysical space is to be known,

such knowledge can be attained only by faith and grace,

not by ‘entering’ but by ‘being entered’

-this is so because the greater must reveal itself to the lesser.

Put differently, that which is immanently ‘Spirit’ can only be known receptively,

through its own intellective vision, and not any derivative faculty such as reason,

feeling or sensation. Reason can only discern conceptually,

at best reducing reality to a dualism of subject and object

(as in the case of Descartes) or catagorical postulate

(as in the case of Kant) or dialectic process

(as in the case of Hegel) – its ‘telos’ will tend to be utopian(as in the case of Marx),

fundamentalist( as in the cases of religious, political or secular dogmatism)

or anthropocentrically consencual (as in the case of Rousseau’s social contract);

while sensation or feeling even where elevated to

the level of empirical ‘science,’ can only discern reality as matter or as psyche,

quantitatively, thereby cutting it off from its transcendent

and qualitative roots, leading to an emphasis on hypertrophic subjectivism

(as in the case of Nietzsche), Psychologism(as in the case of Freud),

or reductive positivism(as in the cases of philosophical positivism and of scientism).

That which transcends us cannot be known reductively

but only by that transcendent faculty which is immanent in us-which in

Tradition is termed the ‘Intellect’

or the Self-knowing Spirit. To know is to discern BEING.

We must empty ourselves or our ‘self’ in order to know who we ARE.

We must return to the sacred emptiness of the space that is our

ontological core in order to know that which truly IS.

–M Ali Lakhani (the Distance between us, found in Sacred Web issue 31)

 

 

 

Soaring upwards
Can be like reaching down

Pushing forward

Can be like pushing back

Going right

Can be like Going left

Within is within

All things begin

And end at the cross roads

–GraalBaum 2013

 

 

This world-mountain was Nizir to the Chaldeans, Olympus to the Greeks, Hara Berezaiti to the Persians of the Avesta, the later Alborz and Elburz; a transfer, as says Mme. Ragozin, of ‘mythical heavenly geography to the earth.’ This mountain—the solar hill of the Egyptians—we shall again refer to in the next two or three chapters. At its apex springs, the heaven tree on which the solar bird is perched. From its roots spring the waters of life—the celestial sea, which, rushing adown the firmament, supplies the ocean which circumscribes the earth or falls directly in rain. At their fountain these springs are guarded by a goddess. In Egypt Nut, the goddess of the oversea, leans from the branches of the heavenly persea and pours forth the celestial water. In the Vedas, Yama, lord of the waters, sits in the highest heaven in the midst of the heavenly ocean under the tree of life, which drops the nectar Soma, and here, on the ‘navel of the waters,’ matter first took form. In the Norse, the central tree Yggdrasil has at its roots the spring of knowledge guarded by the Norns, the northern Fates; two swans the parents of all those of earth, float there. In Chaldea the mighty tree of Eridu, centre of the world, springs by the waters. The Avesta gives a very complete picture—Iran is at the centre of the seven countries of the world; it was the first created, and so beautiful, that were it not that God has implanted in all men a love for their own land, all nations would crowd into this the loveliest land. To the east somewhere, but still at the centre of the world, rises the ‘Lofty Mountain,’ from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, ‘High Haraiti;’ at its

summit is the gathering place of waters, out of which spring the two trees, the heavenly Haoma (Soma), and another tree which bears all the seeds that germinate on earth. This heavenly mountain is called ‘Navel of Waters,’ for the fountain of all waters springs there, guarded by a majestic and beneficent goddess. In Buddhist accounts, the waters issue in four streams like the

Eden from this reservoir, and flow to the cardinal points, each making one complete circuit in its descent. In the Persian Bundahish there are two of these heavenly rivers flowing east and west. To the Hindus the Ganges is such a heavenly stream. ‘The stream of heaven was called by the Greeks Achelous.’ The Nile in Egypt, the Hoang-Ho in China, and the Jordan to the Jews, seem to have been celestial rivers. This mountain of heaven is often figured in Christian art with the four rivers issuing from under the Throne of God.

Sir John Maundeville gives an account of the earthly Paradise quite perfect in its detailed scheme. It is the highest place on earth, nearly reaching to the circle of the moon (as in Dante), and the flood did not reach it. ‘And in the highest place, exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four streams’—Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates. ‘And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the world above and beneath take their beginning from the well of Paradise, and out of that well all water come and go.

 

http://www.sacred-texts.com/earth/amm/amm07.htm

 

http://chasinghermes.com/2009/04/24/08-axis-mundi.aspx

 

It is precisely the challenge involved

in using inadequate words

that drives the mind

beyond all words…

At the borders of speech

we open ourselves

to the positive value of silence….

Literary reading,

through its complexity, its music,

its suggestiveness, points to a fuller realm of being.

–Edward k Kaplan (citing Abraham Joshua Heschel)

> I think that the True Man can be more accurately described as the

> Jesus-Man through which the Christ can become manifest.

>

> As for the mirror/reflection analogy … I think of the Biblical

> phrase that we were created in the “image” of God. The word “mirror”

> can be found in the definition of “image” … not that we are/were

> “The” God, but were created in the likeness of God … a reflection of

> the divine.

>

> Regards,

>

>

 

these are important questions

 

“I think that the True Man can be more accurately described as the

> Jesus-Man through which the Christ can become manifest.”

 

The power of God is with you at all times; through the activities of mind,

 

 

senses, breathing, and emotions; and is constantly doing all the work

 

using you as a mere instrument.”

 

 –The Gita

 

 

So is Jesus the vessel and christ wine that is poured into the vessel?

 

Or is Jesus the vessel and the wine as is the Christ?

 

One day as Manjusri stood outside the gate,

 

the Buddha called to him,

 

“Manjusri, Manjusri, why do you not enter?”

 

Manjusri replied,

 

“I do not see myself as outside. Why enter?”

 

 

 

> As for the mirror/reflection analogy … I think of the Biblical

> phrase that we were created in the “image” of God. The word “mirror”

> can be found in the definition of “image” … not that we are/were

> “The” God, but were created in the likeness of God … a reflection of

> the divine.

 

Where does God end and man begin?

 

 

“When my Beloved appears,With what eye do I see Him?

 

With His eye, not with mine,

 

For none sees Him except Himself.”

 

–Ibn Arabi

 

 

 

Two points as opposites when stretched for infinity will bend in upon themselves and meet. Thus mnaking the end in the begining, or perhaps that there is no end or beginning; see college level math and chapter one of the Sefer yetzirah in theory and practice, A. Kaplan translation.

 

if we are alike God, but not God… is this not duality?

 

If I am not God, does this mean that there exists God and not God?

.

 

 

“He who sees himself only on the outside,

 

not within, becomes small himself and makes others small.”

 

–Mani (turfan fragment M 801)

 

…..

 

Ain Sof in the Kabbalah of Azriel of Gerona

 

 (from “Origins of the Kabbalah” by Gershom Scholem)

 

 

 

 ”If…..there was at first a great deal of uncertainty about the use of the term ‘en-sof, no such ambiguity exists any longer in the mystical vocabulary of the school of Gerona [13th century]. ‘En-sof there is a technical, indeed artificial, term detached from all adverbial associations and serving as a noun designating God in all his inconceivability. Here it is well to remember that the determination of God as the Infinite served for for the thinkers of antiquity and the Neoplatonists…..precisely as a symbol of his inconceivability, and not as an attribute that can be grasped by reason (such as it became with the Scholastics). Among the kabbalists, God is regarded as Infinitude no less than as the Infinite One. The inconceivability of the hidden God and the impossibility of determining him, which, occasionally seem to point to a neutral stratum of the divine nature, are nevertheless those of the infinite person on the whole, the latter being the theistic reinterpretation of the Neoplatonic ‘One.’ Azriel himself introduces him as such at the beginning of his questions and answers on the sefiroth, for he identifies ‘en-sof—a word he employs often and without hesitation—with the leader of the world and the master of creation…..

 

        Azriel’s…..spoke of ‘en-sof as the God whom the philosophers had in mind, and whose sefiroth were but aspects of his revelation and of his activity, the ‘categories of the order of all reality.’ Precisely the most hidden element in God, that which the mystics had in mind when they spoke of ‘en-sof, he transformed into the most public. In doing so he already prepared the personalization of the term ‘en-sof, wich from the designation of an abstract concept begins to appear here as a proper name. Whereas in general, and even in Azriel’s own writings, ‘en-sof still has much of the deus absconditus, which attains anapprehensible existence in the theosophic notion of God and in the doctrine of the sefiroth only, the commentary on the ten sefiroth already presents the ‘en-sof as the ruler of the world, which certainly suggests an image of the government of the world that is very different from that of the theosophy of the Infinite and its sefiroth. For Azriel the highest sefirah is evidently the unfathomable or unknowable and especially the divine will, which in this circle is elevated above the primordial idea. In the abstract the latter could be distinguished from ‘en-sof, but in the concrete it constitutes a real unity with it. The hidden God acts by means of this will, clothes himself in it, as it were, and is one with it. In order to express this, the kabbalists of Gerona readily speak of the ‘will up to the Infinite,’ the ‘height up to the Infinite,’ the ‘unknowable up to the Infinite,’ by which they evidently mean the unity in which the supreme sefirah, represented in each case by the corresponding symbol, extends up to the ‘en-sof and forms with it a unity of action…..

 

        Azriel is fond of referring Job 11:7 : ‘Can you find out the depth of God?’ to this primordial depth of God, which can signify both the fathomable as well as precisely that in the will that is unfathomable and beyond the grasp of all thought. From this primordial depth flwow all the paths of wisdom and it is this primordial depth that in the ‘Chapter on the kawwanah‘ is literally called ‘the perfection of the depth that is one with ‘en-sof,’ a phrase that can also be translated equally literally as ‘that unites itself with ‘en-sof,’ that is, that extends up to its infinity. Thus the terminology of cheqer, the primordial depth, at which all contemplation of the divine is aimed, changes at the same time into that of the ‘undepth’ (Hebrew: ‘en-cheqer), this primordial depth proving to be precisely the unfathomable, and thereby a perfect analogy, in its linguistic form as well, to the Infinite, ‘en-sof.

 

        The will as primordial depth thus becomes the source of all being, and the deity, insofar as it can be envisioned from the point of view of the creature, is conceived entirely as creative will…..The fact that this creative will is then understood by Azriel, in the context of the ideas analyzed in the foregoing, as the Nought, is by no means an isolated instance in the history of mistical terminology. Jacob Böhme, whose Ungrund is reminiscent of Azriel’s formulations, considers the will that eternally emerges from this Ungrund as the Nought. It is therefore no wonder that in these writings the will never appears as something emanated, but rather as that which emanates…..

 

        A state in which ‘en-sof would be without the will accompanying it is thus inconceivable. This again raises the problem of the necessity of the emanation versus the freedom of ‘en-sof in the primordial act of the creation…..

 

        It can be said of ‘en-sof as well as of the Will that nothing exists outside it.

 

 

 

‘All beings come from the incomprehensible primordial ether, and their existence [yeshuth] comes from the pure Nought. However, this primordial ether is not divisible in any direction, and it is One in a simplicity that does not admit of any composition. All acts of the will were in its unity, and it is the will that preceded everything…..And that is the meaning of (Job 23:13): “He is One”—He is the unity of the will, outside of which nothing exists’ [Perush Aggadot, 107)…..

 

 

 

Neither is ‘en-sof nor in the will is there any differentiation; both are designated as the indistinct root of the opposites. For this indistinctness…..the ‘Iyyun circle and Azriel use the Hebrew hashwa’ah; unseparated and indifferent is there called shaweh, literally ‘equal,’ a word that is never used in this snese elsewhere in the Hebrew literature. ‘En-sof as well as the will are ‘indifferent with regard to the opposites.’ They do not conjoin the opposites…..but no distinctions are admitted at all; since the opposites in these supreme principles are ‘equal,’ that is, indistinct, they coincide in them. It is in this sense that mention is often made of the ‘indistinct unity’ or of the ‘indifference of unity’ in which apparent opposites coincide…..The oppoistes are abolished in the infinite…..

 

 

 

‘En-sof is the absolute indistinctness in the perfect unity, in which there is no change. And since it is without limits, nothing exists outisde of it; since it is above everything it is the principle in which everything hidden and visible meet; and since it is hidden, it is the [common] root of faith and unbelief, and the investigating sages [the philosophers] agree with those who say that our comprehension of it can take place only through the path of negation’ [Sha’ar ha-Sho’el].”

 

 

All things in existence have such a relationship with God:

What, do they desire another debt than God’s

And to Him has made peace whoso is in the heavens

And the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him

They shall be returned?

The Qu’ran

Once there lived a housewife named Vedehika who had a reputation for gentleness, modesty, and courtesy. She had a housemaid named Kali who was efficient and industrious and who managed her work well. Then it occured to Kali the housemaid, “My mistress has a very good reputation; I wonder whether she is good by nature, or is good because my work, being well-managed, makes her surroundings pleasant. What if I were to test my mistress?”

The following morning Kali got up late. Then Vedehika shouted at her maid, “Hey, Kali!” “Yes, madam?” “Hey, what makes you get up late?” “Nothing in particular, madam.” “Nothing in particular, eh, naughty maid, and you get up late?” And being angry and offended, she frowned.

Then it occured to Kali, “Apparently, my mistress does have a temper inwardly, though she does not show it because my work is well-managed. What if I were to test her further?” Then she got up later. Thereupon Vedehika shouted at her maid, “Hey, Kali, why do you get up late?” “No particular reason, madam.” “No particular reason, eh, and you are up late?” she angrily hurled at her words of indignation.

Then it occured to Kali, “Apparently, my mistress does have a temper inwardly, though she does not show it because my work is well-managed. What if I were to test her still further?” She got up still later. Thereupon Vedehika shouted at her, “Hey, Kali, why do you get up late?” and she angrily took up the bolt of the door-bar and hit her on the head, cutting it. Thereupon Kali, with cut head and blood trickling down, denounced her mistress before the neighbors, saying, “Madam, look at the work of the gentle lady, madam, look at the action of the modest lady, madam, look at the action of the quiet lady. Why must she get angry and offended because I got up late and hit me, her only maid, cutting me on the head?” Thus the housewife lost her good reputation.

Analogously, brethren, a person here happens to be very gentle, very humble, and very quiet as long as unpleasant things do not touch him. It is only when unpleasant things happen to a person that it is known whether he is truly gentle, humble, and quiet.

Kakucapama Sutta

“It is very quiet now in the vault where I pause in my work on the City of God.  I am supposed to be doing a preface for Random House.  The work feeds me, strengthens me, knits my powers together in peace and tranquility.  The light of God shines to me more serenely through the wide open windows of Augustine than through any other theologian. Augustine is the calmest and clearest light.”

Thomas Merton

The biblical tales are only the Torah’s outer garments, and woe to him who regards these as being the Torah itself!

Zohar

The Grail: a brief introduction.

What is the Grail?
How long is a piece of string?

Well due to Dan Brown, many may think the Grail is one of three things…
the cup from the last supper
the Magdalena
the bloodline

what is the Grail? All of the above and far more. What we find with the Grail is a unifying theme.
The Grail is generally feminine
The Grail is a sacred vessel; a container
the Grail is a thing of transformation

the Grail is feminine, well yes. The vagina/womb is feminine…the Magdalena/bloodline. So the alchemical symbol of the downward pointed triangle, which means water, is feminine and found in the star of David
we can see this in tarot, epitomized by the Moon card, and the suit of cups…In Celtic times, sacred springs, such as Chalice Well in Glastonbury (England), were guarded by maidens, there is at least one story of this I have read…

The vessel or container…well a cup is a vessel or container. So again are a womb and a vagina. Of course if we look at Paganism, we find another expression of the vessel, the cauldron. To the ancient Britons the Cauldron of the Goddess was 3 fold…one gave wisdom, initiation, see the story of Taliesin. The cauldron of plenty that fed many and was never empty.  And the last most sinister, was the cauldron of the dead…that brought back the dead, however those brought back were generally not fully alive and traumatized from being in the land of the dead. These three cauldrons are of course found all over European folk stories.

The Grail is a vessel of transformation. Well Arthur’s knights sought to find the Grail, to transform the wasteland…The cauldrons also show us how he Grail is a vessel of transformation. We can also look to Islam, who had their Grail churches…once upon a time. The familiar story of Aladdin is the story of the Grail. Aladdin’s lamp, thus becomes the Grail…and a vessel of transformation

So what is the Grail? A feminine sacred vessel of transformation.
If we look to Kabbalah, we see Kingdom or Malkut is also referred to as the fallen Shekinah (Sophia Ecamoth, Gnosticism). The Shekinah is the “presence” of God, the divine feminine. Sometimes referred to as God’s consort and God’s mother. Malkut represents everything physical, everything manifest…the entire physical universe. So what are we saying? Yes…the Grail is the entire universe….a grain of sand, a tree, a mountain, is all the Grail. For are not things contained within a transforming feminine manifest universe?

But what else? The temple of Solomon in Judaism is seen as something sacred, a place to be built and to be copied. For the spiritual seeker the holiness of a spiritual temple or place of worship cannot be downplayed.

Of course what is a temple?..a container of the divine, a place of transformation. So what is the temple? You are the temple; you are the “temple not built with hands.” This is one reason the Torah states only God can rebuild the temple, any built by man will be destroyed. The temple not built with hands, you are the temple, the holy house of transformation, that, if you are willing, will contain the divine, contain the PRESENCE.

So we see, the Grail is unification of the mundane and the divine, in order to be the temple we must unite with the divine. Lover and loved must become one, as the Sufi tell us…a thousand times.

To conclude, the Grail is not something you obtain, find, learn the location with a map


The Grail is who you are, and who you become…

here endeth a brief introduction.
….

Hail Sophia, Lady of Light,
Mystical Lover of my spirit.
Blessed are you, Woman of Wisdom,
and blessed are the gifts you bestow on us your children.

Holy Sophia, goddess who leads to the One God,
fill me with your emptiness,
and darken my spirit with your light,
Amen.

……….

It is I who am you: and it is you who are me,
And wherever you are,
I am there. And I am sown in all;
and you collect me from wherever you wish.
And when you collect me, it is your own self that you collect

–Gospel of eve

Further:

the mabinogion

The Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl

The Gospel of Philip

The Gospel of Mary

Grimm fairy tales

The Chemical wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz

etc etc etc etc

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakes.

 

–CG Jung

 

 

“‘The process of creation takes place on two levels,’ says the Zohar, ‘one above and one below, and thus the Torah begins with the letter Bet, with a numerical value of two.’ The lower creation corresponds to the higher: one produced the world of the Sefirot, and the other produced the material world. But all creations, teaches the Zohar, occur simultaneously. To the Kabbalists, then, creation has a twofold character: it presents the cosmogony which is the internal creation that takes place in God, i.e. inside the realm of the Sefirot, and the cosmology which is the external creation that takes place in the material world, i.e. outside the realm of the Sefirot. But it also signifies a crisis in the hidden life of Ein-Sof, since the introspective God, who until now was hidden in the world of ‘nothingness,’ begins to externalize and ‘dress-up’ into the world of ‘everythingness.’ This is the most crucial shift in the hidden life of Ein-Sof: it involves the gradual unfolding of the hidden Ein-Sof into the world of the Sefirot through the act of emanation. At this point Ein-Sof shifts from being undifferentiated into being differentiated. Here He breaks from the One to the two and the many, and thus plurality emerges from singularity.

       

The transformation of God in the creation is an illustration of a chain whose links are revealed as unfolding levels of many different worlds. It is an illustration where ‘everything is linked with everything else down to the lowest ring on the chain, and the true essence of God is bove as well as below…..and nothing exists outside Him,’ as formulated in Sefer Ha-Rimmon by the great Kabbalist Moses de-Leon. This transformation is a godly act of expansion; it is God’s exit from His own infinity and His entrance into space and time. And at the same time it is a theory that establishes the Kabbalistic foundation of pantheism, for the expansion of God causes Him to be everywhere, pan-theos, i.e. to reside in all spiritual and material things, above and below.

       

The transformation of God in the creation, however, is first and foremost a godly mental conversion. It is the transposition of God’s Self from unconsciousness to consciousness, since during the process of the creation He undergoes a change of mind. The Kabbalists teach that the Hebrew word for ‘nothingness,’ Ayin (written in Hebrew aleph yud nun, AIN), has the same consonants as I (written in Hebrew aleph nun yud, ANI). God departs from His hidden ‘nothingness,’ AIN, and acquires His revealed I, ANI; although this is revealed only to Himself…..In the classic teachings of the Kabbalists of Spain, in the Kabbalah of the Zohar and in the Hebrew works of the master Kabbalist, Moses de-Leon, the transformation of God from the Ayin to the I is described by means of the symbol of the primordial point, nequdah. Nequdah is the pristine seed of emanation; it expands and grows by its motion, and it eventually creates the line and the surface until it is manifested into the ten Sefirot. Thus, the expansion of the Sefirot manifests the expansion of God’s mind; that is, through the godly act of expansion He becomes aware and conscious.”

 

– Shimon Shokek (Kabbalah and the Art of Being)

 

The infinite Logos of the eternal God is the most powerful and stable support of the totality of the world. It is This, which stretched from the center to the boundaries and extremities, assures everywhere the course of nature, rendering it invincible and uniting all parts in strict unity. For the Father who engendered this Logos made it the link (desmos) of the Universe, a link which nothing can break

 

–Philo

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