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

Oct 022010
 

Using only logic we lose contact with mystery,with the desire for the imaginary. That’s why I love the Oriental philosophy of paradox, which is not that of the straight line, but of the circle, where something can be and not be at the same time, because life is not robotic with prefabricated answers. It’s unpredictable and can change at any second.

I am very fond of the tradition of the dove and the snake. Sometimes we need physical symbols to understand ourselves better. The classic image, which I like so much, is that of the Immaculate Virgin with a snake at her feet. The tradition of the Spirit, which departs from the principle that, what is important is not accumulation but knowing how to read the language of the collective unconscious, what we call the anima mundi. That would be the language of the dove.

And then, on the other hand, the classical tradition of the snake, of the accumulation of wisdom. We cannot remain with one or the other exclusively, but must harmonise the two – logic and intuition….Jesus says he has come not to destroy law but to fulfill it in spirit. Because a time comes when respect and obedience to law keeps you from living, but you can’t just live with anarchy either.

Another example from the Gospels that I like very much is when Jesus tells his disciples that when they go among men they should be ‘wise as serpents and harmless as doves’. That’s why we have to be alert and keep our feet on the ground, being concrete and objective, but at the same time knowing how to watch the run of things, enjoy contemplating them, trying to discover that secret language that speaks more to our feminine side, than to our reason.

Paul Coelho, Confessions of a Pilgrim, Juan Arias

Aug 092010
 

First of all it is necessary for me to say a word about the term gothic as applied to French art, which imposed its rules on all the productions of the Middle Ages and whose influence extends from the twelfth to the fifteenth century.

Some have claimed—wrongly—that it came from the Goths, the ancient Germanic people. Others alleged that the word, suggesting something barbarous, was bestowed in derision on a form of art, whose originality and extreme peculiarity were shocking to the people of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Such is the opinion of the classical school, imbued with the decadent principles of the Renaissance.

But truth, preserved in the speech of the common people, has ensured the continued use of the expression gothic art, in spite of the efforts of the Academy to substitute the term ogival art. There was an obscure reason for this, which should have made our linguists ponder, since they are always on the look-out for the derivation of words.

How does it come about that so few compilers of dictionaries have lighted upon the right one? The simple fact is that the explanation must be sought in the cabalistic origin of the word and not in its literal root. Some discerning and less superficial authors, struck by the similarity between gothic (gothique) and goetic (goetique) have thought that there must be a close connection between gothic art and goetic art, i.e. magic.

For me, gothic art {art gothique) is simply a corruption of the word argotique (cant), which sounds exactly the same. This is in conformity with the phonetic law, which governs the traditional cabala in every language and does not pay any attention to spelling. The cathedral is a work of art goth (gothic art) or of argot, i.e, cant or slang.

Moreover, dictionaries define argot as ‘a language peculiar to all individuals who wish to communicate their thoughts without being understood by outsiders’. Thus it certainly is a spoken cabala. The argotiers, those who use this language, are the hermetic descendants of the argonauts, who manned the ship Argo. They spoke the langue argotique-—our langue verte (‘green language’ or slang)—while they were sailing towards the felicitious shores of Colchos to win the famous Golden Fleece.

People still say about a very intelligent, but rather sly, man: ‘he knows everything, he understands cant.’ All the Initiates expressed themselves in cant; the vagrants of the Court of Miracles—headed by the poet Villon—! as well as the Freemasons of the Middle Ages, ‘members of the lodge of God’, who built the argotique masterpieces, which we still admire today. Those constructional sailors (nautes) also knew the route to the Garden of the Hesperides….

Le Mystere des Cathedrales, Fulcanelli