May 232011
 

A mystical act and a gnostic act ‘precede’ in eternity the act of creation as a magical act; this is followed by the activity of formation by the demiurge, or the demiurge hierarchies, who undertake the work of craftsmanship – work which is essentially that of executive or Hermetic-philosophical intelligence.

The classical Cabala furnishes us with a marvellous example of the peace possible between apparently rival doctrines. In its doctrine of ten Sephiroth, it teaches first the mystery of eternal mysticism – AIN-SOPH, the Unlimited. Then it expounds the gnostic doctrine of eternal emanations from the womb of the Divine, which precede – in ordine cognoscendi – the act of creation. They are the ideas of God within God, which precede the creation – the latter being a conscious act and impulsive or instinctive.

Then it speaks of pure creation or creation ex nihilo – the act of the magical projection of the ideas of the plan of creation, ie, the Sephiroth. This creative, magical act is followed – in ordine cognoscendi, always – by the activity of formation in which the beings of the spiritual hierarchies participate, including man. It is in this way that, according to the Cabbala, the world comes into being, that the world of facts or deeds known to us through experience becomes what it is.

Now, ‘olam ha’assiah, the world of facts, is preceded by ‘olam ha yetzirah‘, the world of formation or the demiurgic world; this is the product of ‘olam ha beriah‘, the world of creation or the magical world which is, in turn, the realisation of ‘olam ha atziluth‘, the world of emanations or the gnostic world, inseparate and inseparable from God, who in his true essence is the mystery of supreme mysticism – AIN-SOPH, the Unlimited.

It is therefore possible – and for us there is no doubt about it – to reconcile the diverse doctrines concerning the creation; it is only necessary to put each of them in its proper place, or to apply each to the plane which is proper to it. The Cabbala, through its doctrine of the Sephiroth, provides a wonderful proof that this is so.

Pantheism is true for the ‘world of emanations’, (olam ha atziluth), where there are only ideas – within God and inseparable from him; but theism is true when one leaves the domain of uncreated eternity to pass on to the creation, meaning the creation of the ancestors of archetypes of phenomena that we know through our experience. And demiurgism is true when we contemplate the world or plane of formation, or the evolution of beings with the aim of coming into conformity with their created prototypes.

But leaving aside the worlds or planes of formation, creation, emanation and divine-mystical essence, one can confine oneself solely to the plane of facts. Then naturalism becomes true – within the limits of this plane, taken in isolation.

Meditations on the Tarot, Unknown Author, Letter II, The High Priestess

Jan 032011
 

It is recorded that, at the hour of his death, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain” (Mark 15.38); this indicated that a new karmic balance had been established between good and evil when the curtain was lifted from Hell. Then, too, the curtain (or “veil”) was lifted from the “Holy of Holies”.

Now, however, the consequence of this new karmic relationship is this: when the mystery of good and the secret of evil have both become available to human experiential knowledge, goodness gains by being known, while evil loses by being recognised as such. This is the essential difference between good and evil: good gains by being recognised; evil loses when it is recognised.

The most sublime act of cognitive courage occurred when Jesus Christ renounced the “veil of Hell” and (instead of witnessing the life tableau) descended with his whole being into the darkness of the subterranean spheres. That “descent into Hell” was an event that no human speech can describe. There is nothing more unsettling than the disappearance of Jesus Christ into the darkness of the lower spheres, out of sight of he beings watching from the spiritual world.

A breathless expectation was maintained in expectation of either the most triumphant victory or the most disastrous catastrophe. During those days, only one thought and one question filled the whole world of the hierarchies: Will he return? Will he emerge from the abyss? Again, all human speech is powerless to give even the faintest reflection of the cosmic exultation that ensued when the risen Christ reappeared from the darkness of that abyss in the realm of twilight. Cosmic Easter was celebrated in the realms of heaven, a cosmic festival that continues for all time as the archetype of all human festivals on Earth.

Valentin Tomberg, Christ and Sophia (The Mystery of Golgotha)

Nov 192010
 

Don Juan is not purely and simply a blasphemous dissolute, he is rather a hierophant of this small god of great power known in antiquity under the name of Eros or Amor (Love). It is the magic of Eros that he represents, and it is the mysteries of Eros over which he presides in the capacity of a priest.

Don Juan was neither a blasphemous dissolute nor a false-hearted seducer, nor even a brutal adventurer, but rather an obedient and courageous servant of this childlike divinity who loves and commands elan, enthusiasm and ardour, and who detests and forbids the weighing, measuring and calculating of reason with its laws of utility and advantage, circumspection and respect for convention and, lastly, its priority of a cold head over a warm heart.

However, love has not only itsĀ  right to exist, but also its transcendental metaphysics, philosophy and mysticism. Don Juan was more than a victim or dupe of love – this apparently capricious goddess. He embraced her philosophy and mysticism and was therefore her conscious collaborator, her hierophant initiated into her mysteries. And it is thus that he has become an archetype – the archetype of love for its own sake, the lover par excellence.

Don Juan lives through the energy of amorous influence for the energy of amorous influence – by nourishing it and maintaining it like a fire which should never be extinguished. This is because he is conscious of the value of this fire and of the mission that htis fire has in the world. In the eternal conflict that there is between law – of right, of reason, and of the divine – and love, he takes the side of love, for which courage is necessary.

And it is thus that Don Juan represents an idea, an archetype, an arcanum. He representsĀ the young man on teh Card of the sixth Arcanum of the Tarot “The Lover”, who has chosen the fire of love as such and multiplicity instead of the unicity of the love of his eternal sister soul – since Babylon, the woman appointed to the mysteries of erotic magic, has convinced him.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XXI, The Fool