Dec 022014
 

Portae_LucisLet us turn now to the idea of tsimtsum – the ‘withdrawal of God’ in the Lurianic school of the Cabbala. The doctrine of tsimtsum reveals one of the ‘three mysteries’ in the Cabbala: sod hajichud, the mystery of union; sod hatsimtsum, the mystery of concentration or divine withdrawal; sod hagilgul, the mystery of reincarnation or the ‘revolution of souls’. The two other ‘mysteries’ – the mystery of union and that of the revolution of souls – will be treated later, in other letters. Concerning the ‘mystery of the divine withdrawal (or concentration)’ which interests us here, it is a question of the thesis that the existence of the universe is rendered possible by the act of contraction of God within himself. God made a ‘place’ for the world in abandoning a region interior to himself.

The first act of En-Soph, the Infinite Being, is therefore not a step outside but a step inside, a movemetn of recoil, of falling back upon oneself, of withdrawing into oneself. Instead of emanation we have the opposite, contraction…The first act of all is not an act of revelation but an act of limitation. Only in the second act does God send out a ray of His light and begin His revelation, or rather His unfolding as God the Creator, in the primordial space of His own creation. More than that, every new act of emanation and manifestation is preceded by one of concentration and retraction. (Gershom G. Scholem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism).

In other words, in order to create the world ex nihilo, God had first to bring the void itself into existence. He had to withdraw within in order to create a mystical space, a space without his presence – the void. And it is in thinking this thought that we assist at the birth of freedom.

Freedom is not determined by God; it is part of the nothing out of which God created the world….The void – the mystical space from which God withdrew himself through his act of tsimtsum – is the place of origin of freedom, ie, the place of origin of an ‘existence’ which is absolute potentiality, not in any way determined. And all of the beings of the ten created hierarchies are the children of God and freedom born of divine plenitude and the void. They carry within themselves a ‘drop’ of the void and a ‘spark’ of God. Their existence, their freedom, is the void within them. Their essence, their spark of love, is the divine ‘blood’ within them. They are immortal, because the void is indestructible. Further, these two indestructible elements – the meonic element (ov – void) and the pleromic element (plenitude) – are indissolubly bound to one another. (Nichoas Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man).

Meditations on the Tarot, Letter IV, The Emperor

Jan 042012
 

I call upon Thee, o living God, radiant with illuminating fire.

O unseen parent of the sun! Pour forth thy light giving power and energise thy divine spark.

Enter into this flame and let it be agitated by the breath of Thy Holy Spirit.

Manifest Thy power and open for me the temple of almighty God which is within this fire!

Manifest thy light for my regeneration, and let the breadth, height, fullness and crown of the solar radiance appear, and may the God shine forth.

Paracelcus

 

Jul 022011
 

And in the first states of trust, four miracles befall you. These are the signs and evidence of your attainment of the first degree of trust.

These signs are crossing the earth, walking on water, traversing the air, and being fed by the universe. And that is the reality within the door.

After that, stations and states and miracles and revelations come to you continuously until death.

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And if you do not stop with this, He reveals to you the surface signs, you will be admonished with terrors and many sorts of states will befall you. You will see clearly the apparatus of transformations; how the dense becomes subtle and the subtle dense.

And if you do not stop with this the light of the scattering of sparks will become visible to you, and there will be a need to veil yourself from it. Do not be afraid, and persevere in the remembrance of God, for if you persevere in the remembrance of God, disaster will not overcome.

Ibn ‘Arabi, The Journey to the Lord of Power

Apr 232011
 

‘In the sun occurs a fission,
As Apollo’s heart is splintered,
So his endless shards of vision
Fall on Earth with light’s precision.

Raise the sparks, the golden letters
Formed into a code. The hidden
Aleph first, then Bet unfettered,
Shin, the flame and silent Ayin.

Yod He Vau He – now is coming –
Tet, Resh, Gimel, mem, Nun, Tsadeh,
Lamed, Samech, Khaf, Chet, Zayin
Feh, Peh, Dalet, Tav of Heaven.

Three within – the crown, creator –
Twelve then fixed upon the Seven.
Twenty-two from mother, nature;
Ten in mind divines eleven.

May 092010
 

Thus, the voices reached a clamour –
Each had made his case with vigour –
Each revealed his spirit’s armour,
Each declared his god(s) the bigger.

So the Shaman stepped amongst them:
“Let us settle this forever,
Lest in man is made a schism,
Then in woman, child and creature.”

On his drum he rolled a rhythm,
Challenged all to meet his maker,
Clear of conscience visit heaven
Then return, not less, nor greater.

As the beat rolled on, relentless,
Nine – the listeners – reach inside them,
Sought to find their soul-connection,
Straight unto the gate’s of Heaven.

First to fly, the Sufi mystic –
With his coat of many colours –
Made a spiral of his spirit,
Through his dance amazed the others.

Where he went was then a secret.
“Who’ll rise next?” the Shaman wondered.
So the Rabbi brought his deepest
Spark to life and upward wandered.