1. Hmmm . . .
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    20 Dec '09 06:412 edits
    “Rabbi Shm’on went out to the villages. He encountered Rabbi Abba, Rabbi Hiyya, and Rabbi Yose. Upon seeing them, he declared, ‘Innovations of Torah are required here!’” (The Zohar, 1:155b; in Daniel Matt, The Zohar, Pritzker Edition, volume II, p. 368.)

    ==========================================

    The following is “midrashic” speculation on the midrash about “black fire on white fire”, and relating it to reading the Torah…

    “Wrapped in a Holy Flame”*

    “And God’s writing was on the Tables,
    black fire on white fire.”

    —A midrash (Tanhuma, Genesis 1)

    "Thus we have learnt that the Torah was written with black fire on white fire."

    —The Zohar,III:154b
    ____________________________________________

    The letters in black fire, the surrounding space: white fire. The black fire is yesh: is-ness, existence. The white fire is ayin: nothing, not, naught, nothingness.

    Everything is an oscillation between ayin and yesh. “This movement is called Ratzo v’ Shov, ‘run and return’; it teaches that there is an inherent dynamism in the world of God.” (Shimon Shokek, Kabbalah and the Art of Being: The Smithsonian Lectures.) “God is not static being, but dynamic becoming.” (Daniel Matt, The Essential Kabbalah.)

    This oscillation is the “fire” that runs (ratzo) through the sephirot from keter/ayin to malchut, and the four worlds (olamim): emanating, creating, forming and actualizing—and the return (shov). Expanding and contracting; the oscillation is a pressure, a reverberation. From the perspective of emanation, moving down and up the ladder; from the perspective of return (teshuvah), moving up and down the ladder (Genesis 28:12).

    And always, yesh is wrapped in the holy flame of ayin; and the flame of ayin kindles the fire of yesh. In reality, there are not two; they are mutual flames of the same fire, shimmering together. Ein Sof is the implicate ground of being, but there is no “leftover”—

    “The central point is that you should never make a division within God… If you say to yourself, ‘The Ein Sof expands to a certain point, and from there on is outside of It’, God forbid, you are making a division [you have dualized].” (Moshe Cordovero, Pardes Rimonim, quoted in Jay Michaelson, Everything is God: The Radical Path of Nondual Judaism; “you have dualized”: from Daniel Matt’s translation in The Essential Kabbalah.)

    Likewise if you say that in Ein Sof there are leftovers, some “part” that is not involved in the oscillation of ratzo v’shov. Just as one cannot separate the gulfstream from the ocean, one cannot separate even malchut ha’assiyah from Ein Sof, even the smallest aspect of it from Ein Sof; or Ein Sof from the smallest “particle” of the world of actualization. One cannot say that there is a “part” of Ein Sof that is uninvolved in the oscillation, just as one cannot say that there is some “part” of the ocean that is uninvolved in its streams and flows and tides. One cannot say that here are the sefirot over here, and there is Ein Sof over there: “It is they, and they are it.” Or: “The God with form is just as true as the God without form.” (Ramakrishna)


    “Ben Azzai glimpsed and died”: lost in the expanse of Ein Sof (or perhaps keter), he could not return (shov).

    “Ben Zoma glimpsed and went mad”: he could not hold his mind in the fiery oscillation.

    “Aher (Elish ben Abuyah) tore up the shoots”: he dualized.


    Likewise if you say that the (written) Torah is just the letters, and the rest is meaningless space. The white fire of Torah is fertile and informing ground; it is where the fire of Oral Torah flares up. It is the ground both of contemplation and interpretation. It is where the torah-fire of your mind meets the fire of (received) Torah. Real Torah comes out of the white fire as well as the black fire that has been written. Reading Torah is also an oscillation from yesh to ayin, from ayin to yesh. Through the four worlds of Pardes.


    “No other Moses will come and bring another Torah, for there is no Torah left in heaven.” (Debarim Rabbah, 8:6)

    “Heaven and earth have measures, but the Torah has none.” (Beresheet Rabbah, 10:1)

    “The words of Torah are fruitful and multiply!” (BT, Tractate Hagigah, 3b)

    “He who toils in Torah and discovers new meanings in it that are true contributes new Torah which is treasured by the congregation of Israel.” (Zohar, I:243a)

    “A place has been left for me to labor in it [the Torah].” (BT, Tractate Hullin, 7)

    [The above quotations from Louis I. Newman and Samuel Spitz, The Talmudic Anthology: Tales and Teachings of the Rabbis.]


    “Wrapped on a holy flame.” Flame wrapped in flame, fire in fire, ayin/yesh in yesh/ayin. Form in emptiness, and emptiness in form. Nothing holy, everything holy.

    Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh! YHVH tzevaot,
    melo kol ah’aretz kevodo.


    “the fullness (melo, a noun: not “is filled” but “fullness” ) of all the earth (kol ha’aretz) is your [palpable or radiant] presence (kavod).

    ========================================

    * From the book Wrapped in a Holy Flame: Teachings and Tales of the Hasidic Masters by Zalman Shachter-Shalomi.
  2. Joined
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    20 Dec '09 15:13
    Originally posted by vistesd
    “Rabbi Shm’on went out to the villages. He encountered Rabbi Abba, Rabbi Hiyya, and Rabbi Yose. Upon seeing them, he declared, [b]‘Innovations of Torah are required here!’” (The Zohar, 1:155b; in Daniel Matt, The Zohar, Pritzker Edition, volume II, p. 368.)

    ==========================================

    The following is “midrashic” sp ...[text shortened]... d in a Holy Flame: Teachings and Tales of the Hasidic Masters[/i] by Zalman Shachter-Shalomi.[/b]
    Off the top of my head, what does all that have to do with Jesus? 😉
  3. Standard memberblack beetle
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    21 Dec '09 06:17
    Originally posted by vistesd
    “Rabbi Shm’on went out to the villages. He encountered Rabbi Abba, Rabbi Hiyya, and Rabbi Yose. Upon seeing them, he declared, [b]‘Innovations of Torah are required here!’” (The Zohar, 1:155b; in Daniel Matt, The Zohar, Pritzker Edition, volume II, p. 368.)

    ==========================================

    The following is “midrashic” sp ...[text shortened]... d in a Holy Flame: Teachings and Tales of the Hasidic Masters[/i] by Zalman Shachter-Shalomi.[/b]
    I merely see a description of the elevation from the level of the Kriya to the level of the Charya Tantra -but you are looking for a qblh approach I reckon;

    The Tenth is the Gate of Life and at the same time the Gate of Hell, and it is ruled by A-i M-k the One manifested in Nature. The "white" fire points to metatron and the “black” (yellow in Atziluth, black amongst else in Malkhouthic Briah/ Yetzirah/ Assiah) to sandalphon -positive and negative Karma. Sandalphon is the reason why the Tenth is known as the Gate of Justice, and there one can be in touch with her/ his higher self, and when this mingling takes place undistorted we are monitoring a teacher;

    Each sephirah has balanced negative and positive forces. This means that the one who is energetic could well end up with her/ his mind trapped in the area of hatred and tyranny, whilst the one who is cool and mild could well end up with her/ his mind trapped in the area of moral anarchy and sickened immobilization. The negative sephiroth are not alien to the cosmic plan for they are the unbalanced Rupa fields under the influence of each known sephira. Since there are no two Otz Chiim but one the Kliffoths are a reflection at the basis of the Tree, so anyway these forces will be sooner or later in front of the meditator. So when you are in Atziluth, against Metatron stands nobody; against Ratzhiel stands nobody; against Jafkhiel stands Greed; against Jhadkhiel stands Hypocricy; against Khamaehl stands Doom, and the longest your way the most afar you will go once mercilessly you fight in favor of the weak and the humble because Gevourah showed you that resistance is not futile, and so you overtake the darkness; against Raphael stands Arrogance; against Haniel stands Lust; against Michael stands Dishonesty; against Gabriel stands Laziness; against Sandalphon stands mammon.

    So one has to know and to decipher the Negative Evil and the Positive Evil at the kliffothic area of the sephira in which s/he works, otherwise the meditation will end up in false understanding and the ergon will be perished. Positive Evil is the force against exelixis, Negative Evil is every force that leads towards the establishment of the balance between opposite forces within a sephira/ aspect. We cannot claim that the one of those two opposite forces is “Good” and the other “Evil” because this way we bow to the heresy of the dualism. So the meditator has to know when s/he is acting within the resistance of the sephira and when s/he is acting within its dangerous kliffothic area because our spirit is still bounded with our body. This is also the reason why the ones, say, who meditate deeply in Tiphareth they may end up away from Raphael -and actually we are seeing fanatics preaching that the Human will either end up in the eternal hell under the forces of Satan or in eternal paradise under the forces of a mean and revengeful god: this is a result of dualism.

    So you have to know why the sephiroth have kliffothic areas within them. And you have to check the relation Bhinah-Malkhout and see on your own that Malkhout is simply Bhina at a lower lever. You are in Malkhout because you have to get to
    know yourself;

    Nothing Holy
    😵
  4. Territories Unknown
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    21 Dec '09 16:40
    L. Ron Hubbard, wherefore art thou?

    Gene Roddenberry, what hath thou created?

    J.R.R. Tolkien, thou failed to dream of worlds such as these!
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    21 Dec '09 17:48
    Originally posted by black beetle
    I merely see a description of the elevation from the level of the Kriya to the level of the Charya Tantra -but you are looking for a qblh approach I reckon;

    The Tenth is the Gate of Life and at the same time the Gate of Hell, and it is ruled by A-i M-k the One manifested in Nature. The "white" fire points to metatron and the “black” (yellow in Atzilu ...[text shortened]... ower lever. You are in Malkhout because you have to get to
    know yourself;

    Nothing Holy
    😵
    You’re right: I just wanted to bandy QBLH back and forth a bit. Unfortunately, we’re getting company for the holidays, so I might have to leave you hanging for awhile… Sorry about that.


    Good expansion! I thought that the k’lippot needed to be addressed, but I ran out of gas, and I think that you’ve brought them in better than I would have. (The k'lippot are there because of the shevirah, the breaking of the vessels.) I’m going to have to do my research on the angelic archetypes—especially metatron. I was just reading about the Binah-Malkhut connection in the Zohar. Synchronicity! I printed your post out so that I can reflect on it as I go.


    I bow.


    Be well.
  6. Standard memberblack beetle
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    21 Dec '09 19:16
    Originally posted by vistesd
    You’re right: I just wanted to bandy QBLH back and forth a bit. Unfortunately, we’re getting company for the holidays, so I might have to leave you hanging for awhile… Sorry about that.


    Good expansion! I thought that the k’lippot needed to be addressed, but I ran out of gas, and I think that you’ve brought them in better than I would have. (The k'l ...[text shortened]... nicity! I printed your post out so that I can reflect on it as I go.


    I bow.


    Be well.
    Company for the holidays sounds perfect -enjoy it to the hilt🙂

    I wish you and yours happy holidays and a fine 2010;



    Namaste
    😵
  7. Hmmm . . .
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    27 Dec '09 04:39
    I am still working on the archangel archetypes, since that is not an area that I’ve ever gotten into and I want to do justice to what you presented. But I’ll make a couple of quick responses to the other considerations—


    First: I think the k’lippot are husks of illusion. (I haven’t worked this into an overall view of the tzimtzum and the shevirah, but I think I can.) But, in each illusion is a spark of truth (otherwise the illusion would collapse of itself). The process of tikkun is one of releasing the “holy sparks” by dispelling the illusion. Now, I generally think that the illusions come from the left side (the sitra achra); and that the shevirah occurred because (or: occurs when*) the Or Ein Sof pours into the vessels that are restrictive, and can only receive and hold the light/energy. This is an unbalance when the left side is not balanced by the right side.


    On the left side are Binah (separating, dividing, reductive understanding); Gevurah/Din (restraining power and strict judgment); and Hod (foreclosed “prophecy”, forgone conclusions, determined outcomes).


    Second: I cannot see that direct Binah/Shekhinah connection (even though it is in the Zohar). It seems to me that such a connection aligns Shekhinah too much to the left side. Shekhinah is the immanent/indwelling presence of Ein Sof (or YHVH) in malchut. As such, Shekhinah either connects down the middle path, or embodies all the sefirot. But, I don’t like that either… In any event, I think that Shekhinah has at least as much connection with Hochmah (which is borne out in QBLH-istic readings of the Tanach).


    I would rather think of Shekhinah as being Ein Sof (or YHVH) refracted through the sefirot of emanation. Shekhinah is the divine presence refracted into immanence, as it were. Shekhinah is the “Sabbath bride”. Releasing the sparks, one finds Shekinah; that is the beginning of the journey (which most refer to as “ascent”, but which I think of as “descent”: Ein Sof is makom, but also tehom (the deep)).


    None of this stuff is “set in stone” in the kabbalah. Just a few thoughts, as I continue to ponder the depth of your post…


    ____________________________________________________



    * I was recently reading something by Zalman Shachter-Shalomi (in the book cited in the OP) that the whole process of tztimtzum and emanation is a continuing process, not just once.
  8. Joined
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    27 Dec '09 07:14
    Originally posted by FreakyKBH
    L. Ron Hubbard, wherefore art thou?

    Dead!

    Gene Roddenberry, what hath thou created?

    Star Trek? Then he died

    J.R.R. Tolkien, thou failed to dream of worlds such as these!

    He would have but he died like those other guys.
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    27 Dec '09 10:39
    Rom 10:9
  10. Standard memberblack beetle
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    28 Dec '09 12:14
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I am still working on the archangel archetypes, since that is not an area that I’ve ever gotten into and I want to do justice to what you presented. But I’ll make a couple of quick responses to the other considerations—


    First: I think the k’lippot are husks of illusion. (I haven’t worked this into an overall view of the tzimtzum and the shevirah, but ...[text shortened]... he OP) that the whole process of tztimtzum and emanation is a continuing process, not just once.
    Edit: “I am still working on the archangel archetypes, since that is not an area that I’ve ever gotten into and I want to do justice to what you presented.”

    Then this is a point of attention of serious implications, for without this tool the Aziluthic meditation will lack of specific skeptomorphs in accordance with their specific reality; the archangelic nature seems to the meditator artificial, but since their energy is cosmic they are beyond the artificial skeptomorph elements like the ideas, say, based on which you are calculating a secondary variation and you analyse this branch after the seventh move of the main variation. I offered as an example the Immortal Game because Chess is meditation over objects and thus meditation/ falsification over Ideas, whilst meditation over the archangelic archetypes is meditation over elements of energy at a specific mind-only level and thus meditation/ falsification over Ideas -and both of them are mind-only.
    The archangels/ angels are understood as cosmic forces with a phenomenal carrier of their manifestation within our mind, and this is the reason why their morph is built out of elements of our fantasy; once this icon is carefully constructed it becomes the centre of one’s meditation and eases the meditator to proceed to the higher inner mind-only fields. I understand the archangelic archetypes as Yidam, and I recognise levels of existence: Aziluth is non dualism to me; Briah is the archangelic level -the level of the higher mind, void and bliss at the lower Shambogakaya level; Yetzirah is Rupa; Assiah is action, therefore it is the field of the manifestation of Karma in the physical world (and it includes the non manifested potentialities of this action).
    So methinks the archangelic archetypes are necessary for the meditator because they are the key of Yoga Tantra.



    Edit: “I think the k’lippot are husks of illusion. (I haven’t worked this into an overall view of the tzimtzum and the shevirah, but I think I can.)”

    I see your point, but I wonder what the prophets would say if they were monitoring an A-bomb… The detonation of an A-bomb leads to almost permanent devastation, and the disastrous, unbalanced elements of this process seem to me as Kliffothic elements; and, to the prophets, the scientists that they constructed the A-bomb they would be equal to the disciples of Lucifer.
    Life is sweet, and at the same time it is suffering. Methinks I have to train all the time my body along with my spirit -and my mind will never do anything to harm me if I know what doesn't work. Then, if I ask my mind to protect me, it will. During meditation you open yourself up and the parts of you that have been separated are able to work together. You can achieve whatever you want, but whatever you want is not necessarily what you need and therefore your archetypes won't be right if you don't open up your mind enough in order to provide detail. The demons of yours are horrible imaginary things associated with specific negativities, but the energy that broke the shevirahs is not an illusion -and you need awareness for awareness is your sole protection and way out. A singe fraction of time without awareness leads to big problems that they are caused from working with some part of yourself that doesn't stand very well. This vast negativity inside you is the stuff from which the real demons are made of -they are parts of you, parts of the culture, parts of Kosmos that they don't get along very well. They all represent sickness, mental disorder, pain, suffering, fear, delusion, lack of awareness, grasping in mundane things -and they are solely You at a specific level although they are not at all You here in Malkhut. In Malkhut these negativities are very close to the Kliffothic spheres and they emerge easily into Rupa, so methinks it ‘s good to have clear icons that they ease you to overcome these negativities during meditation.

    Oh well, the qblh system is full of words and it exhausts me. I could merely think "The heart-mind of all the Buddhas is your own mind; all attachments, all habitual patterns, all conditioning are liberated and released in this realization" and keep up walking😵
  11. Hmmm . . .
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    28 Dec '09 20:02
    Originally posted by black beetle
    Edit: “I am still working on the archangel archetypes, since that is not an area that I’ve ever gotten into and I want to do justice to what you presented.”

    Then this is a point of attention of serious implications, for without this tool the Aziluthic meditation will lack of specific skeptomorphs in accordance with their specific reality; the archang ...[text shortened]... s, all conditioning are liberated and released in this realization" and keep up walking😵
    Oh well, the qblh system is full of words and it exhausts me.


    Agreed. But, not only is it not to be swallowed all at once, it is not, I think, to be swallowed whole ever. As one commentator I have says, QBLH is not a system at all: it is a field that includes an expansive array of symbolisms, philosophies, meditational approaches, etc. Like Oral Torah, it is a never-ending venture, perhaps best treated as a spiritual game, and perhaps more like go that like chess—except that it is, from my view, more imaginally open. More perhaps like free-form jazz jamming. Unlike chess or go, the point is not to get to the end of the game…


    “Western philosophy works by thesis, antithesis, synthesis; whereas Judaism goes thesis, antithesis, antithesis, antithesis….” (The rabbi in Joann Sfar’s The Rabbi’s Cat.) So, I don’t intend to ever come to some final synthesis of QBLH-istic thought. (And that is why I think it is also difficult to separate QBLH from the rabbinical heremeneutic attitudes.)


    For example, one could explore the archetypal energy flows via the letters of the aleph-bet as well as the angelic archetypes. In all cases one must “bring one’s own torah to the Torah”. One does not have to accept the Ari’s version of ha etz chaim; though one may gain insight from it.


    There is a whole range of meditation techniques: from mantra, to contemplation of letters and words, to contemplation of the sephirot, to it’s own kind of “lectio divina”, to koan-like aphorisms (such as are found in Rebbe Nachman) to wordless song (niggun) and dance. There is not only the meaning of the words, but what the Rastas call “word sound power”—and the rhythms, as well (I usually cannot read in the Talmud for very long without the rhythm “boot-strapping” me into the contemplative mind-space; the same for the Zohar).


    If I start to feel overwhelmed by the whole body of it (which I am particularly susceptible to right now, since I am re-starting after a year or so of pursuing other things), I just take a small bite, relax, and chew on it for awhile. The point—for me—is not to “learn Kabbalah”, but to use its aesthetic resonances. And, for myself—since I do not view it systemically—it does not represent an alternative “system” to, say, Rinzai Zen, but an alternative aesthetic approach.


    Anyway, that is my personal approach…

    _________________________________________________


    Your point about the klippot is well-taken. I will explore further.


    Be well and blessed!
  12. Hmmm . . .
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    29 Dec '09 00:00
    Addendum:

    The goal is not to escape from yesh to ayin. Some people and cultures (and religious cultures) become “overloaded” with yesh, with particularistic dualism, with the black-fire letters. Some, on the other hand, become “overloaded” with ayin, with an entropic monism, with the white-fire “emptiness”. The first overloading seems more “western”, the second more “eastern”. There is dualistic/particularistic escapist “salvationism” and there is monistic escapist “salvationism” (escape from maya to brahman); both can result in systems of submission (to a particular form of yesh, or to ayin).


    The point is to explore, not to escape. Maya is brahman, and brahman is maya: advaita, not two. The point is to dance the dance of yesh/ayin—of black fire and white fire: engagement with Torah is a hermeneutical dance. The implicate expressive ground (ein sof) expresses itself in the dance of the sephirot and the 22 pathways through the four worlds. When the movements of the dance (the oscillations) are balanced by the “fulcrum energies” of da’at and tiferet through yesod, then the dance pours from yesod into malchut—and continues, creatively.


    Ratzo v’shov, tzimtzum and emanation, ascent and descent, rest and renewal—these are just movements in the dance.


    There are many kinds of dance. There are many musics for the movements. If I could, I would sing you a niggun in rhythm to my own pulse-beat, and you would do the same; and, like two Zorbas, we would dance for one another.
  13. Standard memberblack beetle
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    29 Dec '09 10:33
    Originally posted by vistesd
    [b]Oh well, the qblh system is full of words and it exhausts me.


    Agreed. But, not only is it not to be swallowed all at once, it is not, I think, to be swallowed whole ever. As one commentator I have says, QBLH is not a system at all: it is a field that includes an expansive array of symbolisms, philosophies, meditational approaches, etc. Like O ...[text shortened]...
    Your point about the klippot is well-taken. I will explore further.


    Be well and blessed![/b]
    Yes, yes! "System" stands for a specific approach regarding a specific theory of reality, and methinks qblh is a theory of reality.

    Namaste😵
  14. Standard memberblack beetle
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    29 Dec '09 10:39
    Originally posted by vistesd
    Addendum:

    The goal is not to escape from yesh to ayin. Some people and cultures (and religious cultures) become “overloaded” with yesh, with particularistic dualism, with the black-fire letters. Some, on the other hand, become “overloaded” with ayin, with an entropic monism, with the white-fire “emptiness”. The first overloading seems more “western”, t ...[text shortened]... wn pulse-beat, and you would do the same; and, like two Zorbas, we would dance for one another.
    I bow; let's dance🙂


    What do you and your rabbi think regarding Keter-Tiphereth-Yesod? Is this triangle relevant to the Trikaya and to the Christian Trinity?
    😵
  15. Hmmm . . .
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    29 Dec '09 23:02
    Originally posted by black beetle
    Yes, yes! "System" stands for a specific approach regarding a specific theory of reality, and methinks qblh is a theory of reality.

    Namaste😵
    You’re right, but—


    If it’s to follow the rabbinical mode, it must be an open “system”: open to interpretation and reinterpretation, not just retelling but creative and innovative retelling: new telling.


    I am following Ouaknin, whose approach is existential and anti-dogmatic (in the technical, not just the pejorative, sense of “dogma” ).
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