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Ezalor
09-08-2012, 09:34 AM
If we look at any western traditions after the expansion pf Christianity, it is almost impossible to find anything that is not heavily mixed with/influenced by Christianity, or more dominantly Qabala.

I'm not fond of Qabala at all, since it not being a "clean" system in the sense of being heavily mixed with religion and culture, as opposed to systems that are independent of dogmatics, religious ideas or culture-specific elements. On top of that comes my personal disagreement and dislike of monotheistic religions in general.

However, I believe that as all traditions of ancient origin, Qabala was originally based on the "original knowledge", the fundamentals behind every and all religious, philosophical and magickal tradition and approach.

So I wonder, if with a study and comparison of Qabala it is possible to distill from it its spirit, which should be a part of the original knowledge. (I also wonder tho, how much would we have left of it after a proper distillation.)

I want not to work with Qabala, but I want to be able to work with systems and traditions that are influenced by Qabala, by interpreting and transmuting them into a form where they comply with my personal approach. But such is only possible if I am able to directly connect elements of Qabala with their distilled meanings independent and free of religious and cultural elements.

By this, many western texts and traditions that are useless for those not working in or not in acceptance of Judeo-Christian systems, could be rendered useful for these people.


So I wonder what you think about this, and if you may be able to add anything useful.

So far I found Dubuis' "Fundamentals of Esoteric Knowledge" pretty useful in this way. For example, the way he describes the structure of the Universe corresponds to Qabala and the Sephiroth, yet in itself it can be interpreted without them, or as well connected with other concepts, even oriental philosophies and religions.


Namaste,
Ezalor

zoas23
09-09-2012, 03:13 AM
I really really love this article...
It was written by the Neoist Alliance, which was mostly Stewart Home pretending (with a tongue in cheek humor) that there was actually a large group of people working in some sort of very strange Revolutionary Occult Organization.

The article has several "offensive" parts... then again, that's intentional. The text is also a mix of "serius" ideas, with some parts which are simply blatan humor.
The texts of the "Neoist Alliance" always had a style that wanted to be offensive... but they were also very clever, at least in my opinion.

Source: http://www.stewarthomesociety.org/reaction/re02.htm


RE:ACTION #2 SUMMER 1995
Neither Kierkegaard nor Kant!

THE GRAIL UNVEILED

"Our nature consists in motion, complete rest is death." Pascal.

"The essence of life is never fruition, but continuous becoming..." Herder.

"Man wills concord; but nature knows better what is good for the species: she wills discord." Kant.

Much of the 'critical' writing on the subject of the Grail contains banalities about asking the 'right' question. In various Grail legends the widow's son brings disaster upon his people by failing to pose a specific query and as a direct consequence, vegetation withers and castles crumble to dust. Reactionary commentators such as Anna Morduch in The Sovereign Adventure: The Grail Of Mankind (James Clarke, Cambridge and London 1970) suggest that two types of question are asked about the Grail. The first is: 'Who serves the Grail? What is its nature? How can I serve it?' According to Morduch, the other type of questioner asks for the 'gifts and rewards' of the Grail. Naturally, these two formulations elicit different replies. In fact, those who wish to serve the Grail restrict themselves to asking absurd rhetorical questions about this world. These creeps are incapable of breaking the bonds that enchain them because they earnestly desire to serve the powers that be. The second type of questioner makes the same assumptions as the most 'noble' Knight of the Grail, but asks for grace and favour instead of offering service, and in doing so breaks the code of chivalry. In the past such wretched creatures knew only banishment and exile, whereas today they're thrown a few crumbs of charity.

In the opening pages of The Ego And Its Own, written 150 years ago, Max Stirner banished the spooks Morduch attempts to conjure up: "What is supposed to be my concern! First and foremost, the Good Cause, then God's cause, the cause of mankind, of truth, of freedom, of humanity, of justice; further, the cause of my people, my prince, my fatherland; finally even the cause of Mind, and a thousand other causes. Only my cause is never to be my concern. 'Shame on the egoist who thinks only of himself!' You have much profound information to give about God, and have for thousands of years 'searched the depths of Godhead,' and looked into its heart, so that you can doubtless tell us how God himself attends to 'God's cause,' which we are called to serve..."

Those of us who wish to see the castles of our oppressors crumble to dust, who are happy to watch feudal vegetation wither and die, and who would gleefully plough salt into these barren fields if that was what it took to set this process in motion, do not restrict ourselves to the dualistic system of 'thought' served up by Morduch. We are free to ask a question that has been posed many times before, a query which has a very simple answer. International best-sellers such as The Holy Blood And The Holy Grail by Baigent, Leigh and Lincoln (Corgi, London 1983), demonstrate that many people are still curious to know what the Grail is, or at least was or might have been. Baigent et al suggest that the Grail is the blood of Christ which has been passed down among a direct line of his descendants. More traditional answers to the question of what the Grail is have included the cup that caught the blood from Christ's wounds as he bled on the cross, and a stone that fell from Satan's crown.

It is claimed that the Grail romances are a Christianised version of earlier Celtic legends, and that variants of these fables exist in all cultures. In The White Goddess, Robert Graves claimed that there is a true theme addressed by all poets, and that this can be found in its purest form among the works of the Celtic Bards. Graves doesn't understand poetry, it means 'genesis' or 'making.' As with poetry, so with the Grail. Nothing of consequence is learnt by asking what the Grail was or might have been. What the Grail symbolised in past times is of no consequence to those who have broken with 'Tradition.' In any case, tradition is itself discontinuous; individuals who wish to 'return' to tradition simultaneously break with the traditions they've inherited. This fact accounts both for the richness of Protestantism during its historical phase, when the influence of Islamic culture provided the driving force behind the Reformation, and the utter poverty of nationalist ideology in our century.

Cultural cross-fertilisation is enriching and the Grail represents an historical accumulation of myths that cannot be collapsed into each other or 'restored' to the 'purity' of a 'Celtic' vegetation cult without being reduced to a one-dimensional banality. The power of the Grail legends lies in the fact that they are simultaneously Christian and Pagan, although this fact appears to have escaped the notice of the 'Traditionalists' Rene Guenon and Julius Evola. The 'ideas' of the Catholic reactionary and former National Front activist Derek Holland are even more absurd. Influenced by Evola, Holland raves about the 'New Man' in his "Political Soldier" pamphlets. It isn't clear whether or not Holland knows that the notion of the 'New Man' is derived from the novel What Is To Be Done by the Russian 'nihilist' Nikolay Chernyshevsky. This book was in its turn heavily influenced by the Utilitarianism of J. S. Mill, who Chernyshevsky translated and whose thought was basically a secularised version of Islamic-cum-Protestant theology. Thus, in attempting to retrench Catholic traditionalism, Holland embraces not only the Paganism of Evola, but also an extremely virulent strain of the Protestant 'heresy.'

The Grail can only be understood when it is viewed historically, that is to say as an unstable signifier of continuous becoming. On 20 February 1909 the Futurist F. T. Marinetti announced to a startled world that 'time and space died yesterday.' It was these words that ushered in the current epoch of avant-bardism. Likewise, it is said that the founder of the Ecole Druidique was Max Jacob; cubist, poet, critic, occultist, hoaxer and notorious blagueur. Druidry was (re)invented in the aftermath of the Renaissance as 'educated' opinion became divided over the relative merits of the Ancients and the Moderns. With the emergence of a dynamic conception of history, feudal dualisms were displaced by secular ideological wars such as that waged between 'progress' and 'tradition.' The modern 'revival' of Druidry is usually traced back to the election of John Toland as Chosen Chief in 1717, the very year in which the United Grand Lodge of Freemasonry was established in London!

The classical avant-garde in the form of Futurism, Dadaism and Surrealism emerged at the precise moment Aleister Crowley was reworking the Golden Dawn's remarkable synthesis of occult traditions, to create 'High Magick' as we know it today. Just as the avant-garde fakes its modernity, so Druidry fakes its antiquity. There is no evidence to suggest that contemporary pagan and esoteric 'traditions' pre-date the Renaissance. The avant-garde and the occult are two sides of the same coin. This state of affairs is left irreconciled, but at a higher level of disunity, in avant-bardism. In the ancient Celtic fables 'geis' was the prohibited thing; with the Christianisation of the Grail legends it is necessary to add a 't,' the letter that represents the cross, to 'geis.' It is by this means that we arrive at 'Geist,' a concept that is absolutely crucial to the Hegelian system of philosophy. 'Geist' is German for both mind and spirit.

It should go without saying that the average 'occultist' is a jerk who 'studies' the 'metaphysics' of magick precisely because s/he finds the works of Kant, Hegel and Marx too difficult to master. Readers who have not been initiated into the ranks of the Neoist Alliance, or its higher orders, may feel that they are being treated like fools, but then this is a thoroughly natural state of affairs given that the widow's son in the Grail romances is merely one among many representatives of this archetypal figure. The fool achieves wisdom through the ongoing process of becoming, that is to say in 'his' quest for the Grail. As the people of the Grail, the Celts are not a 'race' but proof, as if it were needed, that miscegenation is the creative principle at work in evolution. Noble Drew Ali allowed Celts to join his Black Muslim religion in the twenties because he considered them to be Africans. As recently as 1992 this idea formed the thesis of the book The Black Celts: An Ancient African Civilization In Ireland And Britain by Ahmed Ali and Ibrahim Ali, who state quite explicitly that this culture became completely mixed with that of a later wave of Indo-European settlers. The discovery of Europe by the North American Iroquois Indians, whose landings in Iceland and Eire prompted various Viking chiefs to sail West, led to the highly developed tri-racial culture of the ancient Celts.

Just as urbanisation destroyed the sacred groves of the 'original' Druids, so the avant-bard will destroy any remaining 'aura' emanating from the fields of art and religion. Likewise, since within 'traditional' Celtic culture the letters of the alphabet correspond to different types of tree, so supporters of avant-bardism campaign for a new orthography in which any remaining traces of this convention are chiselled out of the English and Gaelic languages. Avant-bardists declare the letter 'e' to be particularly contemptible. The peoples of 'the West' are all Celts now, and those who accept this fact constitute an avant-bard of presence. Since the Grail is an unstable signifier of continuous becoming it necessarily functions as a symbol of cultural cross-fertilisation. Therefore, certain of our bearings, let us set out once again on an unending 'Quest.' Our first task is a complete merger with the rising culture of the Pacific Rim under the aegis of an International Disorder Of Druid Councils. This is the 'reality' of L'Anti-Academie Anglais; since the English do not exist we won't bother to re-invent them. FORWARD TO A WORLD WITHOUT FRONTIERS!

Anyway.... why am I bringing this article and how is it related to anything that you have mentioned?

You bring the idea of a "pure" or "clean" Qabalah that is not mixed with, what actually is, the history of Qabalah. What I like about Qabalah is that it's "tainted", that it's not "clean"... but the result of a Pagan-Jewish-Christian culture.

Was Qabalah ever "pure" or "clean"? Where does it come from anyway?

This is my point of view:

Qabalah is something that was created to bring Pagan Neo-Platonic ideas to the Jewish religion, it was also very influenced by Christian Gnosticism.

Thales was a great mathematician... Pythagoras was probably his disciple, and Thales sent him to study in Egypt... when Pythagoras returned from Egypt, the Greek + Egyptian mix created one of the very first versions of what we call Philosophy.
The school of Pythagoras was both exoteric and esoteric. It had "listeners" who studied there in an exoteric fashion... and "mathematicians", who studied the esoteric ideas.

Some time later, Plato opened his own School at the Academy mount. he also had an exoteric philosophy (which is the one that can be found iin his dialogues) and an esoteric one (which is what he used to teach to his students). Plato was, for sure, heavily influenced by Pythagoras.
Was Plato teaching a new religion? Actually, in some way or other, it is not really inaccurate to say that he was doing such thing.

Several centuries later, mostly around the times of Jesus (if he existed), Philo of Alexandria started to mix neo-pythagoric and platonic ideas with the Jewish religion.ç

Some time later, a lot of different movements started to mix neo-platonic ideas with different religious ideas. That's how Hermeticism was born... that's how Gnosticism was gorn... that's how the neo-platonism of Plotinus and Porphyry was born... and that's how Qabalah was born.

And Qabalah was born into a culture that was "mixing" everything... thus it was never "pure", but started as a cocktail.

Why is Qabalah interesting, then?

Because the esoteric doctrines of Philosophy (Pythagoras, Plato... and really many other philosophers) was preserved there. The Maths, the sacred geometry... the mystery of the numbers... the Greek search for the Arché, etc.

The interesting thing about Qabalah is that it kept on evolving... and that when we want to return to its "pure" origin, we find out that it wasn't "pure" at all, but a cocktail.

paraphrasing the article I brought: "Cultural cross-fertilisation is enriching and Qabalahl represents an historical accumulation of myths that cannot be collapsed into each other or 'restored' to the 'purity' of an 'Original Knowledge' without being reduced to a one-dimensional banality."

My poor English is going to make this sentence sound kinda rude, but it's because of the lack of better words: What if it's better to "calcinate" some prejudices instead of "distillating" Qabalah?

You don't need to get circumsiced and celebrate a bar-mitzvah to study Qabalah...
Nor anyone is going to force you to get baptized...

... and yet you can probably learn by far more by simply accepting that it's a mix of ideas that won't "infect" you or destroy your own visions and ideas.

Bel Matina
09-09-2012, 05:30 AM
No tradition is "clean" in that sense. Words are limited, and documents are transmitted in terms of the ideas that obtain in the people to whom those documents are directed. I think what you're looking for is an understanding of the relationships between the tradition, so that you can separate the wheat from the chaff. Really, this will only come after long study, but for now consider the intertwined traditions that emerged from Alexandria in Egypt in the third century, namely Alchemy/Hermeticism, Astrology, Gnosticism, Qabballah, etc. Consider the traditions that went into that melting pot: Astral Magic; the hieratic mysteries of all the nearby nations; Neo-Platonism; and so forth. With Qabballah specifically, the book "Meditation and Kabbalah" by Aryeh Kaplan will be quite helpful in paring apart the different (variously incompatible) streams within the tradition.

This will help you find our first matter, but remember also as you do your threshing that our gold is found in the dregs.

Consider also Laozi: "A word; you can call it that. It's not that it's the normal word."

Happy digging :)

Ghislain
09-09-2012, 06:06 AM
zoas23

To look at this another way, could it be that the changing dogmas are already a distillation of ancient cocktails?

At what point could anyone claim the information to be pure and not containing anothers opinion?

To use an old english proverb, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating" or "Suck it and see"

Ghislain

Ezalor
09-09-2012, 07:46 AM
Thank you for your answers!


You bring the idea of a "pure" or "clean" Qabalah that is not mixed with, what actually is, the history of Qabalah.
You got me wrong. I don't want a "Qabala free of Qabala". :P I want to remove all the religion and culture specific things, and see how much I will have left. Actually my aim with this all is nothing more than being able to use a bit more resources, because right now if I come across a primarily Qabalistic text, or a text greatly mixed with it (or in general full of Christian mysticism) I usually have to discard the whole, because the commentaries about the Christian God, lists of Hebrew God-names and prayers to Yahve are useless to me. But I believe in many cases, those texts contain some general information that is not truly dependent on Qabala, purely realized through it, and which could be dissolved out of it.

Let's take some direct examples: Gematria is really interesting, but I'm pretty sure I don't have to use the Hebrew alphabet necessarily for it to work. Or, I have found some interesting meditations which aim to learn more about your higher self, but the bummer for me in it is that it uses the chanting of Hebrew god and angel names as its symbols, which aren't acceptable for me, but I'm pretty sure the meditation itself doesn't require Jewish religious elements to work.

And in such a cases, if I want to make something out of it that is useful for me, to replace the Jewish/Hebrew/Christian elements, I first have to know what they truly stand for, what is their origin, so then I can find suitable replacement. Well if course I could just improvise, but in that way probably I would mess it up without even realizing.


Because the esoteric doctrines of Philosophy (Pythagoras, Plato... and really many other philosophers) was preserved there.
That's exactly my point: What I want to find out, is WHAT actually is preserved in it. But not in general, but in a practical way that makes analytical approach possible.


Cultural cross-fertilisation is enriching and Qabalahl represents an historical accumulation of myths that cannot be collapsed into each other or 'restored' to the 'purity' of an 'Original Knowledge' without being reduced to a one-dimensional banality.
Right, I agree with that. I don't want to fully reduce it, I just want to remove religious elements. (And in case of Jewish culture, the whole culture is mostly religious so I have to remove most of the cultural elements as well.)

[have to run NOW, will continue my answer later...]

Bel Matina
09-09-2012, 08:21 AM
That's exactly my point: What I want to find out, is WHAT actually is preserved in it. But not in general, but in a practical way that makes analytical approach possible.


I applaud what you're trying to do, and I've worked hard to achieve the same, but for precisely that reason I can say you have a long road before you can pluck that gleaming fruit. It seems to me what you're interested in is the Alexandrian tradition, but keep in mind that Alexandria hosted the largest Jewish population outside Palestine in the relevant time frame, and Jewish Astral Magic (Kaplan describes it as the earliest layer of Kabbalah) was an important formative element in the traditions that emerged from Alexandria, particularly Gnosticism. Jewish Astral Magic doesn't seem to have differed substantially from that practiced by their polytheistic counterparts, other than some cosmetic changes to accommodate the metaphysical sensibilities of the practitioners (for example, substituting angels for gods) and, as witnessed by the Sefer Yetsirah, the earliest phase of post-Alexandrian Jewish mysticism likewise differs from contemporary Alchemy only in the substitution of letters for numbers (creation as speech) by a segment of the Jewish sub-stream. By the time the Sefer Yetsirah was compiled, the letters and numbers had been incorporated into a single system of Neo-Platonic emergence.

If you don't want to learn Hebrew, don't bother, and even if you do, if you don't study the traditions of biblical exegesis (by that point already centuries old) and the Dead Sea Scrolls, there's a lot that will go over your head.

On the other hand, if you do want to put in that effort, I can't overstate the degree to which it will enrich your understanding of related traditions.

If I can be of more help I will make myself available.

Ezalor
09-09-2012, 01:51 PM
Thank you Bel Matina for your answer too!

So first of all, let me point out directly what I only pointed out indirectly before: I'm NOT interested in Qabala itself. So my aim is not to render Qabala usable for me. I merely want to be able understand and use generic systems and approaches that aren't actually Qabala, but are mixed with, or influenced by it. For example, if there is an alchemical treatise that contains Qabala mixed into it, I want to be able to substitute the Qabalistic elements by proper replacements that fit into my approach, so I can use that alchemical treatise.

What I want is like porting a computer game written for one operating system, to another operating system. The game remains the same, just runs in a different environment. And this is my sole interest in Qabala from practical point of view.

I'm still interested in it from a non-practical view though, as an important element of magickal history and culture, but right now practice is way more important for me than historical background, so as of yet, I won't spare much energy on learning things that are irrelevant for my practical work. Of course, you can't really study Qabala without studying it as a whole, but at the present point I merely try to develop some basics, so that the Qabalistic element I so far came across in my practical research won't propose an obstruction on the way.


Jewish Astral Magic doesn't seem to have differed substantially from that practiced by their polytheistic counterparts, other than some cosmetic changes to accommodate the metaphysical sensibilities of the practitioners (for example, substituting angels for gods)And that's exactly my point: to be able to substitute those angels, god-names, whatever with elements that do work for me. Yet again, my main interest is not Qabala itself, so I will only have to deal with Qabala in such depth as the generic texts and systems I study do incorporate it - which is often not very deep, making it possible to work these cases out without having to acquire a thorough knowledge of Qabala. With a simple example: It isn't hard to omit angels representing planets, in favor of just the planetary geniuses. Or, in the case of Gematria, it is pretty easy to substitute the Hebrew alphabet with for example Latin characters - however, if instead of a Hebrew word I use another language, the numerical values can already be totally different - but, knowing the numerical value of the Hebrew name/word also means I might be able to find a substitute name/word with the same numerical value. Et cetera.


-----------
So, to sum it up, we already have quite a few pointers here: Platonism, Alexandria, the aforementioned book of Kaplan... So far this is already a good start. And it seems, even if I don't want to get much deeply into Qabala itself, at least I should have a look into the Sefer Yetsirah as many people regard that as the most important work on the topic. Dubuis also said that the Yetsirah was the first book that really helped him.

We will see. There is no rush. :)

Awani
09-09-2012, 03:32 PM
I want to remove all the religion and culture specific things, and see how much I will have left.

This is a very good technique... I am interested in the results!

Could be called Dogma Washing.

:cool:

Andro
09-09-2012, 03:38 PM
Could be called Dogma Washing.

Burn your books and whiten you Laton ! ! !

Oh, if only I had an acre of land for every time the above phrase has been typed on this forum alone :p

Bel Matina
09-09-2012, 04:19 PM
I think you'll find it hard to find someone who celebrates the value of disambiguating the threads more than I do. But let me repeat my caution that our gold is found in the dregs.

I have found invariably that what was objectionable in a given dogma is the result of holding on to a set of words when the context has been lost. If you dig deep enough, the context can be reclaimed and what was most reviled becomes what is most valued.

To reclaim this context it is necessary to distinguish as closely as possible what was handed down to the generation of the author (and thus what is at risk of having "lost the watchword") from what is novel to the text. The further back you go the harder it is to distinguish these with certainty, and the more one must cultivate a sense of conditionality (this one may be novel to the text; this one I've seen in a document from centuries earlier; this one is certainly an innovation, as I can find nothing similar in any text older or more recent; this one appears in many texts from the period and must date prior) The things that become fossilized and lose their meaning in fact tend to be the more reliable, as the fact that they have become rote at all is a testament to their enduring relevance over many generations, while the more transient expressions of any tradition may never be meaningful to anyone beyond their author, even if they reflect a useful insight.

Ezalor
09-09-2012, 04:43 PM
what was objectionable in a given dogma is the result of holding on to a set of words when the context has been lost.
Let's just say I'm not on good terms with Yahve and his friends in the spirit world, and leave it at that.

zoas23
09-09-2012, 06:10 PM
This is a very good technique... I am interested in the results!

Could be called Dogma Washing.


I am a bit more skeptic and less enthusiast.
Back in 1996 I was a teen and I got in touch with the so-called "chaos magic" community.
And they were mostly doing exactly what this thread proposes.
The point was to take all the possible hermetic systems and remove the symbolsm to keep the "techniques" and the "ideas", without the symbols they had attached, because they were coonsidered... hmmm.... "dogmatic", hence not "chaotic".

Peter Carroll, the "father" of Chaos Magic, had published his own version of the "non dogmatic" Qabalah:
http://img826.imageshack.us/img826/9564/imagen1mr.png

So, here you have it.... it's the "distilled Qabalah".
Now let me ask you what are you going to do with it?

Take it for granted that the "chaos magicians" met back then were very proud of this non-dogmatic Qabalah... then again, it was a very nice piece of decoration, because it didn't have any kind of use.

Anywat... they had done the same with a lot of rituals.... "Let's keep the technique and the main ideas, but let's get rid of the dogmatic symbolism" was the hype.
There was a ritual in which people was meant to draw 4 pentagrams in the air, holding a dagger in the right hand and turning 90º anti-clockwise for each pentagram... and there were no "dogmatic" God names involved, just tthe vowels A, E, I, O, U....

O.K... I did that, then I asked: Why 4 pentagrams and not 3 or 5? It is funny, nobody could answer that question.
So I asked: Why th dagger in the right hand and not the left hand? They told me that it had to be the right hand... because... well, because the magicians always had the dagger in the right hand, so there had to be a reason, but they didn't know it.
So, I thought, some other questions must have an answer. Why anti-clockwise and not clockwise? Nobody could answer such thing either.

So... there I was... surrounded by "non dogmatic" folks who had fallen into the worst dogma possible, which is the dogma of ignorance. They had invented a new "chaotic religion" that was incredibly dogmatic, because they were unable to explain to themselves or to others what they were doing.

It took me some 6 months to get out of that absurd nonsense that was called "chaos magic", but whose real name is "the most dogmatic religion ever" (the dogma of ignorance that considered that every symbolism was dogmatic and thus it was better not to know it). They were promising absolute freedom, but they had embraced absolute dogmatism.

I know you never mentioned "chaos magic"", but you are using exactly the same logic: "the symbolism, I don't need it... I'll ust keep the ideas and the techniques".

Sooner or later, you'll end up realizing that cost of doing such thing is becoming even more dogmatic than what you were trying to transcend (which probably wasn't dogmatic to start with). And that the point of KNOWING is to transcend the knowledge... the problem is that you can't really do that by not-knowing.

Einstein had to study a lot of physics before he said: "O.K., there is a problem here, I'll fix it".

The point of Qabalah, as it is, is to place yourself ABOVE the knowledge, to become the MASTER of the knowledge... to be able to PLAY with it... and to make everything RELATIVE... and then be able to think by yourself. That's why I think you are taking the wrong turn.

(Androgynus gets mad at me each time I said something is "wrong" :P )

Andro
09-09-2012, 06:17 PM
Androgynus gets mad at me each time I said something is "wrong".

It's your right to be wrong :)

Joking aside, I believe (and this is only my personal interpretation) that the intention is to distill the pure principles rather than the particular techniques/methods/recipes...

Ezalor
09-09-2012, 07:31 PM
The point was to take all the possible hermetic systems and remove the symbolsm to keep the "techniques" and the "ideas", without the symbols
That is different from my approach. I don't want to get rid of the symbols completely, I want to get rid of the RELIGIOUS symbols, and replace them with an EQUIVALENT symbol from either my own personal symbolism, or from a system that is acceptable for me. It's like, as I said, porting a computer game from one Operating System to another - the game should stay the same, just it will work on a different system.

And that can only be done, I can only find the EQUIVALENT replacement, if I understand it, otherwise I would just mess it up.

And why I want to replace anything at all is because when I study a whole system that contains partly Qabala, if I only remove those parts, and don't put anything in their place, then that system will end up like emmental cheese: full of holes. In other words, if I hate plumbic batteries, and remove the battery from my car, that car won't go anywhere until I insert another battery, that fits perfectly provides the same voltage.

Ezalor
09-09-2012, 07:35 PM
"the symbolism, I don't need it... I'll ust keep the ideas and the techniques"
Wow! I mean, I have never had frickin idea about that I said such. Where did you find it? LOL...

No offense, but you seem to have grabbed a few words of my posts very superficially and then make up your own story about what he rest was about.

Did you actually ready it?

Bel Matina
09-09-2012, 08:36 PM
The problem with trying to find a version of any tradition with all elements objectionable to you replaced by your own equivalent is that you are the only one who can accomplish such a project. Words and symbols derive their meaning more from their context than their content; in fact, if you chase the notion of that "symbolic content" down through the field of semantics it washes out, all that content turns out to be context you didn't recognize. That all symbols are empty and defined entirely by other (also empty) symbols is a notion you may wish to defer exploring at risk of a broken brain, but the implications remain: if you remove the context that you find objectionable, you have damaged the content of a document. Better, then, to step back from it and think, "what significance does this have to the author" rather than feeling like someone is trying to make you join their church. These people are dead. They are not trying to convince you of their basic assumptions about the world. Rather they are presenting an account of their experiences of the same world you are experiencing, and you have to choose between understanding that account in terms of their assumptions or putting yourself at grave risk of failure to properly map their account to your own experiences. Whatever extent to which you are unable to consider those assumptions without a feeling of rejection is a matter for digestion.

I feel I've taken on a bit of an acrid tone. If I have, it's only because, like the others who have taken on a contrary tone here, I'm concerned that you not suffer the fate of Prometheus, chained forever to a rock with birds eating your liver. Remember that many, many distillations are required, and that haste is the enemy of the work.

Again, I hope this is helpful.

zoas23
09-09-2012, 09:20 PM
That is different from my approach. I don't want to get rid of the symbols completely, I want to get rid of the RELIGIOUS symbols, and replace them with an EQUIVALENT symbol from either my own personal symbolism, or from a system that is acceptable for me. It's like, as I said, porting a computer game from one Operating System to another - the game should stay the same, just it will work on a different system.

And that can only be done, I can only find the EQUIVALENT replacement, if I understand it, otherwise I would just mess it up.

And why I want to replace anything at all is because when I study a whole system that contains partly Qabala, if I only remove those parts, and don't put anything in their place, then that system will end up like emmental cheese: full of holes. In other words, if I hate plumbic batteries, and remove the battery from my car, that car won't go anywhere until I insert another battery, that fits perfectly provides the same voltage.

I am reading your posts... I don't know what makes you think that I'm not doing it.
Then again, it still makes me remember a lot of the ideas that the "chaos magicians" were developing... and I know it's a dead end street.

On the other hand, the history of Qabalah, which is quite fascinating, has arrived to the place you are trying to arrive, but taking an absolutely different way.

The very first record there is of Qabalah being used in a Christian context was in Pico della Mirandola's 900 Theses (1486). The book didn't really go incredibly far, but it was an amazing first step.

In his book, Pico clearly stated that he was Christian... but he described 900 different ideas about God coming from several sources... some of them Pagan, some of the Jewish, some of them Christian... and, of course, some of them taken from the Qabalah Tradition.

His way of thinking was: Wow! We are all saying exactly the same things in different ways... all these systems are equivalent, thus we are going to be better Christians if we embrace them all and try to find why mankind has been saying the same things under different systems of symbolism.

Pico's ideology wasn't an ideology of substraction, but an idea of addition.
He was mostly amazed by the fact that there wasn't a contrradiction between Christianism, Hermeticism, Qabalah, the Chaldean Oracles, Plato, etc...

Pico was quite awesome, because in his Oration on the Dignity of Man, which was a defense of his 900 Theses, defended the idea that his Christian philosophy had no reason to exclude Muslim, Jewish and Pagan ideas and sources... and that the Christian symbolism wasn't better or worst than any of those other systems, which were saying the same things using different expressions.

Some time ago my GF asked me what would I do if I had a time machine... my first answer was: I would travel back in time to meet Pico, I would shake hands with him and tell him "thanks a lot, you rock".

Pico found a strong opposition to his ideas, of course, the dogmatic Church of Rome said that his 900 Theses were heresy... that it was heresy to taint the Christian Religion, which was pure, with sources that were not Christian.

Pico thought exactly in the opposite way, he wanted to get very "tainted"... and thought that he wasn't going to be "less Christian" by embracing a lot of systems that were not using the symbolism of Christ.

In my opinion, Pico's 900 Thesis and his Oration on the Dignity of Man would be two excellent ideological sources to start with your project. As I've said, he doesn't really go very deep into Qabalah in those books... but he created a system of thought that is very beautiful to embrace (the system is mostly based on the very simple idea that we can identify ourselves with a specific religious system, Pagan in you case, but that by embracing other systems we aren't betraying what we believe, but making it more open-minded).

That's why I said that calcinating prejudices is better than "distillating Qabalah".


On the other hand, if I didn't love my GF so much, I would conider a same-sex marriage with Androgynus (so don't get TOO mad at me, my friend).

Ghislain
09-10-2012, 01:02 AM
I recently watched a documentary called “Islam: The Untold Story”

The program review described it as follows:

Many historians are challenging the long-held opinions of the origin of Islam. Tom Holland
examines whether the religion was born fully formed, or if it evolved over many years.

1400 years ago Arabs swarmed out of the desert and conquered half the world. The question is,
were these Arabs Muslim?

Holland starts his exploration in seventh century Istanbul. In 632AD for three hundred years this was
the Capital city of the Roman Empire; Constantinople. He describes it as,
“A Christian city at the heart of a Christian World, a Universal Religion for a Universal Empire”,

and goes on to say,

“That was the Roman recipe for power, an idea fully appreciated by the Muslims when almost a
thousand years later they conquered the city and turned the largest cathedral in Christendom into a
mosque.”

He continues,

“We know how and when the Romans became Christian because contemporaries tell us all about it,
but what we don’t know is how the Arabs became Muslim. Take a journey into the past and you
can’t be certain where it is going to end. History is like a labyrinth, once you’re inside who knows
where it is going to lead.”

In Jerusalem under the Jews a gigantic temple was built which dominated the city, then when the
Romans became Christian they constructed a new holy of holies the Holy Sepulchre raised over the
accepted site of Jesus’ crucifixion.

In 636AD the Arabs were closing in, they beat the Roman army at Yarmouk and took Jerusalem by
peaceful negotiation. The point now was that there is no mention of a new religion, everyone
returned to practicing their old respective religions. At first the Arabs started praying at the old
Jewish sites, later building a great prayer hall on one of the Jews most holy of places, but still nobody
was aware of what the Arabs were doing or if what they were doing was in the name of a new
religion and still there was no mention of Islam.

Thirty years after the death of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) a warlord called Muawiyah took
over, but there is no mention, on any of his documentation or coinage of the time, of the Prophet.

What the program fails to mention was that Muawiyah was hated by the Shia Muslims for many
reasons. For an explanation of this look at the Wiki Entry for Muawiyah (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muawiyah_I)

It could be because of the type of person Muawiyah was that there is no mention of the Prophet or
Islam.

Holland continues his journey following the Qur’an. From a passage that said ‘God told
Mohammad to follow the path trod by Abraham’ leads Holland to Hebron the burial place of
Abraham and the fact that there is both a Jewish side to the tomb and a Muslim side. Here he states
that the Muslims see Abraham as the father of Islam who, commanded by god, travelled to Mecca to
build the Kaaba on a foundation laid by the first man; Adam. This is supposed to be older and holier
than anywhere else in the world and the birthplace of Mohammad.

Holland points out that except for one mention in the Qur’an there is not a single mention of Mecca
in any dateable text for the next 100 years.

In the Qur’an the faithful are instructed to pray in the direction of a holy sanctuary, but what it
doesn’t say is that this holy sanctuary stood at Mecca. There are a few holy mosques that suggest
something different.

Archaeologist Dr Tali Erickson-Gini Takes Holland to look at the remains of one of the earliest dated
mosques known, which dates somewhere about one hundred years after Mohammed’s death. The
apse of the mosque points to the east where the sun rises. Mecca is in the south implying that
the direction of prayer had not been established yet.

There are Christian reports that the Arab conquerors bowed their heads, not towards Mecca, but in
a different direction, somewhere further North.

In the Muslim tradition the people of Mecca were pagans and worshippers of idols, but the people
the Qur’an describes have a deep and sophisticated knowledge of the biblical tradition. It talks of
them being farmers and agriculturalist, but there was no agriculture in Mecca, which at the time
would have been barren and infertile.

If you follow the clues of the Qur’an itself then you are looking for a landscape that is inhabited by
olive growing Arabs who have a deep knowledge of the biblical tradition.

Holland now takes us to a city called Avdat in the Negev desert. The city in the seventh century was
predominantly Christian, but showed some signs of Paganism which is the crime that Mohammed
was accusing his opponents of. Avdat would have the religious knowledge as well as the agriculture
talked of in the Qur’an.

There is also mention of Sodam and Lot in the Qur’an which is about a thousand miles from Mecca
but only about one hundred miles from Avdat.

Holland now asks a question, what if it wasn’t Islam that gave birth to the Arab Empire, but the Arab
Empire that gave birth to Islam.

In 680AD fifty years on from the death of Mohammed rebellion and civil war was threatening the
Arab Empire; then came a new leader who was going to change things, Abd Allah ibn al-Zubayr. He
casts the first coin with the mention of Mohammed the Prophet on it.

ibn al-Zubayr was aware of what the Roman Emperor Constantine did in adopting the Christian faith
to unite the Roman Empire and he would do the same but using Mohammed and Islam. He was
however beaten in the civil war by the next great leader of Arab Empire; Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan,
but this new leader saw the importance of not letting the religious advantage fall into another’s
hand and adopted Islam and minted the first Arab Empire currency portraying Mohammed and used
Mohammed to buttress earthly power. He built a holy city in Jerusalem with the Dome of the Rock
fashioned on Roman design and as the Romans did he plugged his dominion into the power of God.

Still no mention of Mecca except that there is a sanctuary somewhere in the desert, but how if this
was Mecca full of pagans does the Qur’an contain so many names and stories from the Bible.

Holland proffers that perhaps Mecca is used so that it cannot be laid claim to by non Arabic peoples.
The Qur’an is an Arab story they don’t want Christians or Jews. Mecca gives the Arabs what they
wanted...a blank sheet where Muslims could put their Prophet; beyond the reach of history.

Or Not :)

The point here being that there are many hidden agendas that make up what we see as history. As
with the Puffers of Alchemy, the making of false skeletal remains by the old Archaeologists etc...

People lie and make up stories for one reason or another. How can one distil out the religion when it
is not only the religion that is contaminating the truth?

It is my belief that the only place one can find the truth is within one’s self. Who else can you trust?

Zoas in one of your posts you wrote, “the point of KNOWING is to transcend the knowledge”, and
went on to write, “the problem is that you can't really do that by not-knowing”.

I totally agree with the first bit and equally disagree with the second.

I would feel more comfortable with the first part of the quote above if it read “the point of Knowing
is to transcend thinking”

Think about it :)

Ghislain

P.S. Who is going to tell them...

http://muslimvoices.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/11/0kaaba_transposition_2119107921.jpg

zoas23
09-10-2012, 07:04 PM
I recently watched a documentary called “Islam: The Untold Story”
Zoas in one of your posts you wrote,"the point of KNOWING is to transcend the knowledge";, and
went on to write, "the problem is that you can't really do that by not-knowing".

I totally agree with the first bit and equally disagree with the second.

I would feel more comfortable with the first part of the quote above if it read “the point of Knowing
is to transcend thinking”


I mostly meant that the point of a system of knowledge is to transcend it...
I like Wittgenstein a lot... in his Tractatus he wrote something I am always quoting.

"6.54: My propositions are elucidatory in this way: he who understands me finally recognizes them as senseless, when he has climbed out through them, on them, over them. (He must so to speak throw away the ladder, after he has climbed up on it.)
He must surmount these propositions; then he sees the world rightly."

The ladder! A symbol that has been used in many mystical traditions! And, in all of them, the point is to throw away the ladder, Wittgenstein got it right...
But such thing has to be done "after we have climbed up on it"...

Ezalor
09-10-2012, 08:44 PM
if you remove the context that you find objectionable, you have damaged the content of a documentYou got it wrong. What I want is not removing the context, but understanding what a given symbol stats for, so then I can replace it with an equivalent symbol without damaging the actual content.


Better, then, to step back from it and think, "what significance does this have to the author" rather than feeling like someone is trying to make you join their church. It's not about that.... it is simply, that I want to make things usable for me.

Let's take a simple example. Let's say there is a meditation I like in general, but at point the instruction is to recite the name "ADONAI". Now, I won't do that. I don't want, and even if I wanted I couldn't do that without becoming a traitor to my own beliefs, and my oaths. It's like expecting a Christian to pray to a pagan god - it simply isn't possible.

So in that above example, what I want to know is what can I replace the reciting of "ADONAI" with, that works for me, in a way that the meditation still works the way it is intended. But I can ONLY do that if I understand what the original ritual wants to achieve with using that name.


Another example: I can't do anything with a text that describes "Ain Soph" since that is outside of my scope. There is not, and there will not be "Ain Soph" for me (within my personal system). However, if I understand which part of the Unvierse is that they refer to with the term "Ain Soph", I can identify its equivalent within my own system, and suddenly the text becomes intelligible for me.

It's a bit like if I was a Roman, trying to interpret a Greek theological text - I would have to be able to know which Roman guds are teh equivalents of the Greek gods, and so on.


Is my way of thinking clear now?


Let me show you in practice:

A; The sephirot
http://www.thelemapedia.org/images/9/97/Treeoflife0.gif
Notice the lines "Veil if Abyss" and "Veil of Pakoreth". Notices the notes "Formative world" and "Material world". Notice the astrological symbols associated to each Sephirah. Notice their numerical order.

B; The cosmic egg by J. Dubuis
http://www.triad-publishing.com/eso2fig1.gif
Notice the lines "Veil if Abyss" and "Veil of Second Death". Notices the notes Lunar and Solar "Astral worlds" and "Terrerstrial world". Notice the astrological symbols associated to each Level. Notice their numerical order.


OUPS?!

As above as below... Above the Qabalistic tree of life, below an almost completely religion- and culture-independent representation of the Universe. The second still works. It is still complete. It still makes sense. It still holds the same knowledge.

The second is the distillation of the first. The tree of life is pretty useless and mostly unintelligible for me. However, the second almost perfectly corresponds to my understanding and knowledge.

They are Analogous.

Now, THIS is what I am talking about.

Ghislain
09-11-2012, 12:08 AM
Ezalor

You could replace the name "ADONAI" with “HaShem”, which means “the Name” and for you this
could mean any name; but if you were not being literal then I guess this doesn’t help.

You say “The tree of life is pretty useless and mostly unintelligible for me. However, the second
almost perfectly corresponds to my understanding and knowledge.”

Before this you say “The second still works. It is still complete. It still makes sense. It still holds the
same knowledge.”

Isn’t there a contradiction there, as to know it still holds the same knowledge and you find one
unintelligible how do you know the second holds the same knowledge?

I don’t profess to understand the tree of life myself, but I do know the connections to the Sephiroth
are important.

For example within the tree you have connections 5. Geburah through 6. Tiphareth to 8. Hod or
directly from 5 to 8, but there is no such connection in the Egg without passing through 7. Netzach
so it would appear there is a loss of information.

Would it not be better to get an understanding of the Tree of Life to see what may be missing?

Is it not the traveling of the paths that prepare one for the next Sephiroth?

Check out Ain, Ain Soph, Ain Soph Aur (http://www.webofqabalah.com/id28.html)

Hope I didn't completely misunderstand you.

Ghislain

Bel Matina
09-11-2012, 01:21 AM
Elazor

What you want is a translation of the mysteries of the Qabballah into a symbol set that you understand. At the beginning and end this is a translation, an in a translation, whether it be Dostoyevsky or Trismegistus you are forced to rely on the translator as a medium, and the translator must be a native speaker of either your language or the source language. Obviously there is risk of mistranslation, and more acutely loss of nuance - there will inevitably be loss of nuance no matter how skilled the translator or how competent in both languages. I myself prefer to read documents in the original wherever possible, but languages are a bit of a fetish for me so that won't be reliable for everyone.

There have certainly been a lot of attempts to translate Qabballah into Hermetic terms in the last few centuries (I know of a few going on on this message board) but with a tradition so broad and discontinuous as Qabballah it's unreasonable to find that everything has been compactly translated in one place; rather there are smatterings of translation here and there, with extreme variability in their quality; in fact I've never seen one I particularly liked.

As for ritual purposes I would strongly recommend making your own translation. God in most Qabballistic contexts is the Platonic First Principle, or even prior. Gold frequently makes a good substitute, but pay attention since in other contexts silver or mercury work better.

God creates all things by speaking. God divides the water and exposes the land to the air.

Good luck.

Ezalor
09-11-2012, 02:37 PM
Isn’t there a contradiction there, as to know it still holds the same knowledge and you find one unintelligible how do you know the second holds the same knowledge?
In that case, I had to base that on the assumption that Dubuis distilled it correctly (And I so far have no reason to think he didn't. Moreover, I know that teh Sephirot is correct within its own system, so I did expect exactly that there can be something within, or corresponding to my system, that is about the same.). But it was really only an EXAMPLE, since many didn't seem to understand what I am trying to tell, so I wanted to show a practical example of what I mean by "distillation of Qabala". Really, the Sephirot, the name "ADONAI", and the term "Ain Soph" were really nothing more than random examples.


What you want is a translation of the mysteries of the Qabballah into a symbol set that you understand.
Yes and no. When I want to understand a text or system, it is enough to translate into something I understand. I can understand religious elements without having to agree with them, or accepting them into my view. But if I want to practically use something, then I also need to replace elements not acceptable into my view with acceptable ones.

Once again, I don't want to practice Qabala itself, since it is a system that is not for me, so simple as that. All I want is that if I come across Qabalistic elements in a primarily non-Qabalistic work, I can still understand and use that work itself. So I don't want to distill the whole Qabala, I only need to do that with the elements I will come across. But I guess, to avoid chaos, I will have to distill at least the very basics of Qabala itself so I have a basis to build on.


Obviously there is risk of mistranslation, and more acutely loss of nuance
Yes. But once I can have it translated into my system - which I am "native speaker of" - I will see the mistakes according to my system, given that the translation has only slight mistakes, and not big ones. Big mistakes can lead me to false interpretation, but small mistakes are such that form their surroundings, it can be seen how to correct them so they are in accordance with the rest - like, if you have a wall clock, with a single gear fallen out of place, it isn't hard to find out how and where you have to put it back. But if all gears are fallen out, it can be really hard to properly assemble it.


I myself prefer to read documents in the original wherever possible, but languages are a bit of a fetish for me
I absolutely agree, and I'm like that as well (I have a list of like 15 languages I would like to learn at some point) though I admit I kind of neglected languages in the past years. I should travel much more, because I learn languages much easier when in use.

And for the rest you (Bel Matina) wrote, so far you gave the most useful insights, thank you! I think you understand my point.

Really why I started this thread is that lately I've been looking into many texts and books while trying to set up a reading list, and found it annoying that they were all full of Qabalistic elements and interpretations, even if the topic was such that it was totally unnecessary. When I want to read about Alchemy for example, it is pretty frustrating to find Qabala instead. I guess the reason behind this is the widespread Christian influence - in one hand, because most of the authors were Christians themselves, living in a Christian world, and thus for them it must have looked logical or even natural to include and use Qabala. And in the other hand because using Qabala to hide from the profane some information might have helped the survivability of these texts, as the Church, inquisition etc. most likely found Qabala way less threatening to Christian ideals than for example pure Hermetism or Gnostcism. But this latter is entirely only a speculation from me.

Bel Matina
09-11-2012, 04:16 PM
The first important thing to understand is that, until a certain point (one could argue about exactly when, but the expulsion from Spain in the fifteenth century and the rise of the Chasids in the seventeenth are both good possibilities) is wouldn't really be fair to describe Qabballah as anything other than Alchemy practiced by Jews. There were three major episodes of borrowing into the Hermetic tradition from Qabballah (the Florentine renaissance, in Holland and elsewhere after the expulsion from Spain, and the Golden Dawn) that I know of, all of them made in full consciousness of this. There was a form of mysticism practiced by Jews prior two Alexandria, but this was a form of the same astral magic that others brought to the table there, and the mysticism practiced by Jews in the third century (as witnessed by the Sefer Yetsirah) is very nearly identical to contemporary Hermetic writing, even apart from Gnosticism (which ironically owes more to that Jewish astral magic I mentioned) with the exception that it supplements the Pythagorean/Platonic numeric genesis with the letters of the Canaanite alphabet (a simple enough accommodation to understand given their point of faith that the creation somehow involved speech). Things like gematria are hard to understand without a solid grounding in both the structure of the Hebrew language and writing system and the literature written in it, but suffice it to say that it is a rhetorical device along the lines of false etymologies in the Hermetic tradition (I haven't researched it sufficiently, but that tradition of false etymology may have in fact been borrowed directly from the Jewish tradition) which is frequently used in meditation and to the extent that it has magical use derives it from there. Related to this it is also important to understand the implications of the notion that the world was created through speech in the context of Pythagorean numeric evolution: the letters are considered an extension of the numbers, and thus the letters themselves rank among the elements that constitute the universe. By this logically if you manipulate the letters, what you are in fact doing is editing the source code of the universe, and this is the rational basis of most (if not all) Qabballistic magic. There is a tradition within Judaism that when copying the Torah you have to be extremely careful not to make any errors, because even one letter out of place could have disastrous results. Anyone who's done any computer programming will have a sense of what they meant. Indeed, manuscripts of the Torah have been remarkably stable for the past two millenia, almost eerily so, and this agrees well with the timing of the introduction of Pythagorian numerogenesis into Jewish cosmological thought.

solomon levi
09-11-2012, 05:13 PM
I don't know if what you're asking can be done. Although I understand what you
want, I don't see the point. Qabala isn't just words or symbols that can be replaced
by others - it wouldn't be Qabala then. Qabala is names and numbers and sounds and
geometry; I don't think of it as religion or anti- some other religion or offensive. I think
it would be easier to change your opinion of Qabala then to re-write the system with
words that you relate to.

Basically, if you want it to still be a true template of what actually exists, and you want
to understand its archetypes, you have to be a magician; you have to be a magician who
can "travel" there if you want to re-write it. And if you travel there, what point in writing?
Magic is more than words and descriptions. It is not enough to merely translate ADONAI
as LORD and have a sufficient system.

Basically, no description will be sufficient if you haven't been there, and if you've been there,
all the describing doesn't matter. No description of eating an orange will give the experience.
Anyway, I'll participate if it gets started for the hell of it, but what do you think it will accomplish?
So what if we call AIN SVP the Void instead? or heaven? What does it change? Besides losing the
gematria. If you haven't been in heaven or the void, what will it mean?

Magic is action, not knowledge/rational understanding.
But I used to like to integrate systems and "distill knowledge".

Bel Matina
09-11-2012, 06:20 PM
Solomon, I think if you give up hope of rendering in language what you've seen, then you've given up an important piece of the art. The adeptus stands with one foot on the land and with the other walks on the sea.

More specifically to the matter at hand, the initiate must toil hard in the mines until he finds the stone. There is definitely value in the parable of the fisher king, but the same words that will drive you on at one moment will bar your path at another. I didn't meet him, but I was told of one querent who for decades was quite open in his pursuit of the art, only late in his life to retire from it and return to his home church, saying there was nothing to be found in it that couldn't be found in the gospels. True enough, and I suppose it's possible he no longer found it necessary to work in such an open laboratory, but it's as possible that he took his insights out of turn and simply returned to old bones. If that was the case, I can't help thinking something was lost there.

solomon levi
09-11-2012, 10:05 PM
Solomon, I think if you give up hope of rendering in language what you've seen, then you've given up an important piece of the art. The adeptus stands with one foot on the land and with the other walks on the sea.


Well, it could be an intention to write without hope; controlled folly.
It seems only other alchemists can read alchemical writing.
"It takes gold to make gold."

My experience lately has been to identify more with the border between land and
water. But also to be aware of land and water - the whole, all three/trinity. But I find
I am closest to the whole identified with the border more than if I were identified
with land or water, though the border is not the whole. This is mercury, sulphur and salt;
the three gunas; AIN, SVP, AVR.
Does this qualify as distilling knowledge?
Does it mean anything to the author of this thread?

Bel Matina
09-11-2012, 10:47 PM
With persistence it will become natural to look in three directions at once. Follow the path of nature - one, two, three. It's a path you will tread many times, as I gather you have before. Repeated distillations make the stone.

The virtue of the philosophers is their patience with dosages. Text can be reread; what matters is not what is meant, but what is heard.

The language of birds is learned like any other - exposure, use, and context. You find out what a dog is when someone talks to you about the dog.

Ezalor
09-15-2012, 08:11 PM
For ages many people followed this or that tradition, and most often committed the mistake of either thinking that one tradition is right while another is false, or thinking that in the other, he can find the first, instead of realizing that there is something else that can be found in both, while neither is that absolute truth itself. This is why white man thinks the "Indian" had a "Great Spirit". But they never had and never will. They had Wakan Tanka, an order of spiritual beings who are responsible for governing different aspects of nature - and then came the Christian missionaries, and instead of looking for the common truth that can connect their ways with that of the natives, they firced Christianity into the native beliefes, and willfully mistranslated Wakan Tanka, meaning "Great Mystery", and as said standing for an order of beings, into "Great Spirit" so they can say: Hah, they are Chrstians, just they don't know it yet! Their Great Spirit is our Lord! And this is how the World knows the famous chief Tashunke Witko under the name "Crazy Horse", while horse is Shunkawakan, and Tashunke stands for "His horse" - thus, the TRUE meaning of the name is "His horse is crazy".

And that's how many thing is falsified, misunderstood and so on.

I could simply say: Qabala is not may way, I touch it not. I judge it not, but know where I do not belong. Alright. I don't need it. I can find everything I need without it. All roads lead to the same goal, so it wouldn't matter. But why should I completely discard something just because it has some degree of Qabalistic influence?

I saw many things that are NOT Qabala, yet, they contain a bit of it. It wouldn't be wise to discard the 90% of something just because it has 10% of undesired substance - which on its own might be valuable, but in this case qualifies as contaminant, just like dandelion is a medicinal herb, and makes an excellent salad, but if it grows in the middle of your carrot crop, it counts as weed - so I rather say, let's remove that undesired component by distillation, and then I save the rest.



My experience lately has been to identify more with the border between land and
water. But also to be aware of land and water - the whole, all three/trinity. But I find
I am closest to the whole identified with the border more than if I were identified
with land or water, though the border is not the whole.
3 = 2 + 1 = 1 + 1 = 1 = ∞

At least that's how I see. ;)

Bel Matina
09-15-2012, 11:52 PM
In a thousand years the sweetest wine will be dust that cakes the bottom of the amphora. What is the difference between sweet and bitter wine then? With careful study you might discover how that sweet wine was made, but first capture the dew and make your own sweet wine before you worry about which dust is more agreeable, and whether they've mixed.