Sitting With Saadia

The intellectual work of the last few posts has value in itself, but I undertook as a run-up toward contemplating the tree, i.e., sitting down in the dark and slowly unfurling it. As a rule, sitting with the tree prior to thinking through the Saadia model has turned into a modestly useful intellectual exercise.

This wasn’t that. I only worked with the spare structural dimensions of the tree and it was qualitatively different than the usual intellectual exercise.

In part, that was because I could feel myself actively working to map the tree to my physis. It had presence and plasticity. I had an idea of how to project the tree onto my body, for example, but the act of doing so wasn’t mechanical like previous efforts have been. The centers and channels could find anchorage along different points of the body, though they definitely felt more comfortable in certain relationships. For the lack of a better phrase, it had an objective presence and responsiveness.

It continued past that. This morning I didn’t actively set out to do any work with the form, just went through my usual morning prayers. The sefirot and the channels kept flashing up with the prayers. By the time I got to the ancestral shrine, it was coming on strong and the ancestral presence just embraced it, talked with it like a visionary tongue.

This is a model of how we came to awareness.

“I am the East.”

The horizon spills golden light just before the sun breaks across it. What was in darkness and obscure comes into sharp relief. The warmth spreads through my limbs. Even with eyes closed, I can feel the golden movement as it warms my back, then my crown, then my face.

I can feel my feet on the ground, stretch my arms up, to the sides, reaching to the north and south between which the sun itself will drift across the year. Sometimes it will warm my left side more, other times my right.

Breathing in and out with the sun’s course, it is bright against my face just before it disappears into the west, red cape trailing twilight. It becomes cool and then there is the parade of the lunar phases, then the stars all around, in every direction. I have the dim sense of how the shadows trace the land, of how they might become words and letters.

There is a tug that pulls me down and though I do not move I can feel the coursing of life, can feel my life stretching backward toward my birth, toward a moment when I was then wasn’t, the weight of the blood that joins me to that moment. There is a net being woven and that moment is a knot in it around which what will be me catches.

It takes only a handful of minutes, then I am opening my eyes, then I am proceeding with rest of my prayers. The viscerality of that lingers, an awareness that blossomed and blossoms within the rough immediacy of life on this planet, of its relationship to the sun, of the cycles of the moon, of the lay of the land.

There is a subset of ritual techniques that have as their aim nothing more than the return to that point, to the being within this world from which our life unfurls. As long as we live, this is the axis from which our life begins, from which it refreshes itself and begins again.

The cosmic shadows the personal; play the scales, the tree of heaven refreshes itself, too.


3 thoughts on “Sitting With Saadia

  1. Excellent. I also had similar experiences last night, tracking and exploring the Middle Pillar.

    ”Ten Sefirot of Nothingness
    in the number of ten fingers
    five opposite five
    with a singular covenant
    precisely in the middle
    in the circumcision of the tongue
    and in the circumcision of the membrum”.

    The word for ”circumcision” is the same as the word for ”word”. This passage could then read that the covenant is the word of the tongue, this is where the ”Sefirot” interact i.e. through the letters. The word of the membrum is the genetic code which is the line that takes us back through our ancestors.

    I was thinking about your Adam West vision, if we are tracking back through time in the path of the Moon between the Depth of the West and the Depth of the Past, the Adam indicated in the vision is the primordial Adam, Adam Kadmon to whom these secrets were first taught. A few musings on that anyway, I think Adam Kadmon is rightly associated with the ”world to come” or the tip of the Yod, the absolute future, perhaps the transcendent future?

    Another thing that occured in meditation last night was the association of Will (ratzon)with Kether/Future. The Will is literally the future, I will, it will, etc lending more support to the temporal axis as the middle pillar.

    And finally, 10 sefirot of nothingness can actually be read to be ten sefirot beyond understanding, it shows how we can trail these dimensions but never reach the end of them.

    1. Io

      Curious–what’s the word for nothingness here? Does it show up in Genesis?

      The language reminds me very much of what Ibn Arabi calls the waystations between the manifest and unmanifest.

      Kaplan’s SY arrived yesterday. I am having a very similar experience reading around it as I did with Lapinkivi—that this is all so familiar, like someone turning the lights on after I have been making my way in the dark.

      I wonder if I needed to be in the dark for a while so I could appreciate the lighted world better.

      Still, there is much to absorb and I will probably be talking through the relationship between what I’m seeing here and what I’ve experienced in my work for a while. There are distinctions to be made both internally and between both that are going to take some care.

      Don’t want to let my heart run away with me.

  2. Pingback: [NB] From a Vision to a Seal | Disrupt & Repair

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