Jul 172011

You must take things by storm: you must thrust intelligence outside itself by an act of will (Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution)

This is the essence of ‘Bergsonian yoga”, ie, the practical method of making intelligence unite itself with instinct on the principle of sympathy, so that the latter can extend its subject matter and reflect upon itself – or, in other words, so as to develop intuition.

Now, the endeavour that Bergson had in mind is what the Cabbala calls KAVANA, and the result of this endeavour – that Bergson calls “intuition” – is called DAATH. KAVANA is profound meditation, ie, the endeavour of intelligence which aims at plunging into the depths of darkness surrounding it.

KAVANA differs essentially from Cartesian meditation, where it is a matter notably of the concentration of the clarity of intelligence itself within itself, and also from Kantian meditation, where intelligence strives to rise above itself by making itself the object of observation, analysis and criticism.

Profound meditation or KAVANA is neither only concentration of the light of intelligence with a view to intensification of its clarity, nor is it only the endeavour of intelligence to arrive at knowledge of itself. Profound meditation is the endeavour of intelligence to probe the dark depths which surround it and to which it finds access by means of sympathy, instead of through the exercise of its own logical, analytical and critical faculties.

Speaking in terms of the Cabbala, it is therefore a matter of the marriage of the principle of intelligence – the Sephirah BINAH – and the principle of wisdom – the Sephirah CHOKMAH – in the ‘middle pillar’ of the Sephiroth Tree. DAATH is therefore the state of consciousness that the church calls ‘intellect illumined by grace’ (intellectus gratia illuminatus) – grace being the principle actualising within us latent knowledge of the ‘image and likeness of God’, and intellect being ‘Bergsonian’ intelligence which unites with and understands things that it would never have understood from within itself.

It is therefore ‘illumined’.

Unknown Author, Meditations on the Tarot, Letter XVIII, The Moon