[NB] Blocks of Time

One of the tings that I wanted to gently touch on again has to do with something that I said in my last post, about the nature of the work being caught up in hunches, synchronicities, and dreams, one of the reasons that I am quite fond of the tree of life model which treats the sefirot as forms of time. Which is, namely, that it makes clear what so much ritual work is about—a way of developing relationships to time.

That may sound odd when you look at how some of the sefirot are explicitly spatial and ethical rather than temporal, but if you take a moment ot consider what space and ethics entail, you can pretty quickly see how they are defined by a relationship to time. Space is defined by the movements possible through it, and movement is intimately connected to time. Ethics is defined by its relationship to our actions, which are intimately connected to time. Both physical movement and ethical action acquire their existence in time, as modulations of time.

Place, community, and such forming as special classes of time, too.

Which is probably why I still consider Thousand Plateaus to have been a proper introduction to magical work, because at its heart is a concern for the fabric of time, the texture of time, the capacity of time to be modulated through our self-experimentation with our own temporality, which is always entangled with other forms of temporality.

So, when I think about the deep ontological relationship of ritual and time, I tend to think of ritual as a specific way of engaging with time itself, and of the elements that compose and motivate a ritual as themselves being composed of time. There is a way of thinking about the importance of certain animals and plants as formations within time, and of their incorporation of them into a ritual as the injection of their time into our time, as catalyzing them.

The trick is that we have to start thinking of time more richly than we often do. Rather than as a linear series, it forms a mesh that stretches back and forth between disparate points, and I still suspect that there are changes transpiring on another plane of time altogether outside the one in which we live that develop according this crisscrossing connections. In other words, there may or may not be reverse causality, but there are effects that develop sub specie aeternitas between the mobile assemblage of connections of moments past, present, and future.

That means that specific thing brought into ritual work matters, because it is specific and actual things that are composed in the sefirot of time. But maybe we need to pay more attention to the specific and actual and less to the idea of ingredients, except insofar as those ingredients qua ingredients may themselves form part of a block of time with which we might be entangled.


6 thoughts on “[NB] Blocks of Time

  1. I actually agree with the idea of the sefirot as forms of time. Ve experienced this personally — though I wasn’t as brilliant as you to formulate it as you have, here, and say it. That’s brilliant.

    One of the ways I use the tree of life is as a methodology for creating both artwork and lessons. Accordingly there is a Tiphareth time in the creation of something, followed by a gradual shift to netzach, followed by a moment of definite netzach work, followed by a gradual awareness that a shift to Hod- or Yesod-like process is needed, followed by the actual shift to that state of mind, that time. Brilliant.

  2. Yes. I have this long running argument with my partner as she sees it as time-space derive from consciousness and I think consciousness-space derives from time. What we are talking about is spooky communication through time, or temporal entanglement as a potential explanation for a great deal of spirit activity. Animal and ancestor spirits being entanglement with the past, angelic and other higher dimensional entities being entanglement with the future. In spooky communication effectively a wormhole exists between particles. So we are positing timeholes if I understand.

    Its more than a bit Zurvanistic. An undifferentiated time God, Zurvan is the Depth of the Future and from him are born Ahura Mazda , the Depth of the Good and Ahriman, the Depth of Evil. Obviously material from Persia and Babylon are as much of an influence on Kabbalah than Greek, if not more – especially when you consider their influence on the Greek mind! I have a bit more to say on the Depth of Good and the Depth of Evil as they relate to the lived self (serotonin) and the slept self (melatonin). It might be better to think of them as a Depth of Light and a Depth of Darkness in that we may avoid unnecessary connotations. I am not sure about that yet.

    If I remember rightly there are six spirits within Ahura Mazda…

  3. I think its worth considering that many spirits are actually dead people – Osiris, ”Oberon”, etc. An influential person over a nation, or simply a place, would inevitably be entangled in its destiny, become its spirit. When you propitiate spirits it could be that you are feeding attention through a timehole to the person in the past. By remembering you are connecting with a person who is visualising in the past – you’re building a mutually beneficial time loop. Banishing, etc is a way of patching timeholes that you may not want to be entangled with.

    Another way to look at it would be to see time in reverse and think of egregores as existing before (in the sense of being closer to the future) the people who created them. Macrobes therefore microbes. I like the way the first explanation might render the existence of egregores unnecessary however. An egregore is simply a time hole entangling you with the future of your aspiration and therefore directly connected to the people who got caught up in its currents and are therefore ”communicating” with you in the future. In that sense we are all spirits.

    Another kind of mad thing I am dwelling on is the possibility that the biblical timescale might be real. I am not questioning the fossil record etc but that could be built into the structure of the dimension without (ever have) constituting any ”playable-space”, if you get me? Anyway I am more confident of the first hypothesis.

    1. Io

      I always go back and forth on the dead, but conceptualized this way, as relationships through the atemporal to their temporal selves, that does make some sense to me. I

      I think I get what you mean by playable space, in the sense that certain parts of ‘deep past’ may be projections from within ‘real time’ without having precisely existed in the same way as events in that string of real time. I’ve wondered if some forms of prophecy may be related to something functionally similar, not necessarily of actual future events but as projections from within real time.

  4. Pingback: [NB] Crossroads | Disrupt & Repair

  5. Pingback: Rethinking Astrological Priority in the Sefer Yetzirah – Disrupt & Repair

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