[NB] Kabbalah and Spiritualism: Light and Attention

I quite like this description of righting the world from Hermetic Lessons:

In Kabbalah we speak of Tikkun ha Olam – the rectification of the worlds – the idea being that in the Shevirat Ha Kelim, the Shattering of the Vessels, the world became broken and overwhelmed by evil. The Ari used the partzufim (personifications, countenanves) in order to complete this reparation – for while the kelim could not contain the light and so shattered, the partzufim, by being able to enter dialogue with each other, could both give and recieve the light**.   We could speak of our task on Earth being Tikkun ha Partzuf, the repair of the face.

The language is virtually identical to that of the espiritistas: identify your spirits [i.e., partzufim] and give them light. It’s worth pointing out what those asterisks in the quote specify, too: that ‘light’ is here synonymous with attention. In other words, to give and receive light is to give and receive attention, and it is through attention that the rifts in creation are bridged.

The similarity between the two is, of course, not accidental. Spiritism emerges from a soil that has been throroughly saturated with Kabbalism, sometimes so much so that it has become all-but invisible.

7 thoughts on “[NB] Kabbalah and Spiritualism: Light and Attention

  1. Two points.

    First point: The devil is, as ever, in the details. The individuals of the world around us are the shattered fragments of the original vessel that need rebuilding into Partzufim. This rectification occurs along genetic lines in that it is being true to oneself, in the continuum of society, that is the restored state, Because of the ”fall” individuals are often distorted away from their natural character by spoiling, abuse or neglect. However each individual’s remedy is radically different and there are some physiognomical characters which require attention we would possibly consider negative in order to restore – these are individuals that *need* criticism, abuse, boot-camp, etc to restore, however bitter a pill that might be for some of us to swallow. In Jung’s Psychology of Transference we also have this danger (transference) to contend with in our attempts at healing an individual and assisting them in the journey of self-discovery and complete individuation. Crowley has a cryptic footnote in MITP about an individuals ”natural grade” and this underlies the basis of system of the Metabolism of Time. In completing the rites of initiation, by exploring all characters and their roots, in the end we are returned to our true and genetic identity, this is individuation, rectification and we become partzuf. All individuals based on a deep appreciation of their own nature take a role in the metabolism of society, society does not metabolise very well at the moment because individuals are generally very rudderless.

    Take the Geburah root character and mask (I know you have focussed on Gevurah in the past so I chose this example carefully). Their root character is a personfication of the immune system in an aggressive recognition of foriegn bodies. As an individual they are quick to blame, find fault, seek enemies, anxious and paranoid. They will typically be skinny/thin framed with an often runny nose (or sore nose around the nostrils), and manifest some kind of nervous behaviour – smoking excessively, nailbiting are very common. Their natural mask is the Demon – which *attention seeks* by creating drama/conflict, sometimes insidiously, but once substantial drama has been created (a shard in the language of the Metabolism of Time) they can feed on this drama for a considerable length of time – if they cannot find drama or conflict they will create it (equivalent of an autoimmune reaction). In understanding the cells of the immune system one has to understand the considerable differentiation here – there are special forces, secret police (B cells), state troopers (T cells) and B52 bombers (eosinophils)

    – this will help you type individual Gevurah individuals.

    The above is the natural state for those individuals and in this very dangerous lifestyle they can best find self-expression. We need those people, otherwise we would be killed by ”microorganisms”. Under the influence of spoiling, abuse or neglect these individuals deviate from their original for and start playing roles that they are not equipped for. For example under spoiling they may end up with artistic pretensions or ”go places they shouldn’t go”, under too much negativity they will become indolent dreamers (fat lazy uninspired cops).


    Understanding the role of paths in this system increases the complexity still further but we need to understand the details and nuances if we are to make any progress as healers.

    Second point: the physical light we see around us is actually mental light because it is in consciousness. Look into a light bulb and there is a flickering multicoloured blob in your retina. This is not there. All apparent images are made of mental light (a light one most directly experiences on the astral) and mental light is the only thing we as conscious beings directly experience although we assume physical light is stimulating the occurrence of the mental light, this is not always the case. In order to observe anything we have to shine a mental light on it, this mental light is our attention.

    Bit of a long comment, and I don’t know how useful it is to you, but there you have it!

    1. Io

      That is useful and I think on many points we are broadly sympathetic, especially as regards the first point.

      It sets in motion a chaing of thoughts about spiritual development and learning which I will probably try to spin out into a proper post. The question of character, of natural grades, is such a vital one, but precisely because it is personal and specific, it is difficult to talk about generally!

      This, especially, though, yes:

      “…in the end we are returned to our true and genetic identity, this is individuation, rectification and we become partzuf. All individuals based on a deep appreciation of their own nature take a role in the metabolism of society, society does not metabolise very well at the moment because individuals are generally very rudderless.”

  2. I read the post, and thought, “I have something to add to this!” And then I read the comments, and thought, “No, actually… no I don’t really.” There’s this sense, sometimes, that the experts have already said what needs to be said, and the layperson needn’t stick his foot in his mouth. 🙂

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