As I am talking about the sefirah, the Sefer Yetzirah, the book of Revelation, and Pharaoh’s spiritual function, I am also becoming increasingly aware of a difference in scale between this work and the work with which I began this blog. I named it Disrupt and Repair to reflect the texture of spiritual processes with which I was engaged. Following them out to my current work, I can see a family of practices centered upon formation and demolition.
I should highlight the chiasmus of that. On the one side, on the side of life, you have the potencies of disruption and repair in just that sequence and, on the side of death, you have formation and demolition in just that sequence. On the side of life, destructive forces are unleashed first and construction follows. Disruption breaks up rigid structures, releasing the substance of them into forms which can more readily be taken up as building blocks or discarded.
On the side of death, which is also the side of salvation and redemption, formation precedes destruction. What is formed serves to structure an invisible potency or essence which is subsequently transmitted into an invisible superstructure through the demolition of the containing form. If the potency released isn’t suitable for the invisible world, it fails to become joined properly to it and often falls back into formative entanglements. Disentanglement may be achieved by careful reparation and disruption (heal and cut loose), or it may demand the process of disruption, reparation, formation, and demolition be re-initiated.
There are also just those things which dwell close to the boundary between the world of formation and the world into which the formed are released. Some, like the saints, are bound there through a mixture of personal commitment and communal demand. Others just dwell there by their nature, the fixed angels of the mutable world of formation. That which dwells close also joins that which remains within the world of formation and that which has passed beyond it.
When we talk about those which dwell beyond the world of formation interacting with it, that manifests in the world of formation. Whether it is a thought in our mind or the curling of a leaf, they articulate themselves with the stuff of formation. The way in which they do that is something akin to speech and the residue of that speech is something akin to writing, i.e., a signature.
When we look to Revelation, we see a specific and intricate signature. That signature invites us to participate in the formation of churches and to undertake the work of demolition through them in order that we may achieve a sense of our salvation in this life, in order that we may prepare ourselves better to be demolished. This allows us to achieve a firm connection to that which is beyond formation in life and so be capable of serving in death to secure that for others who would otherwise remain entangled in the world of formation.
The dangers of entanglement at the formation and demolition stages are ameliorated by the work of disruption and repair. That structural relationship forms the basis for Walter Benjamin’s observation that the dead are not safe in a fully oppressed world (“Theses on the Philosophy of History”), as well as for his political conviction that working with an eye toward the happiness of people in the world of formation calls out to the arrival of messianic force from the world beyond it (“Theological-Political Fragment”). And, too, how the suffering of people in the world of formation calls out to those beyond it who seek to bring release.