Fire Walk with Me?

Rewatching the original run of Twin Peaks is an illuminating experience, especially alongside the third season. The show establishes joins the surreal and magical to an increasingly traumatic series of scenes in a way that suggests the traumatic material forms the axis of the series. More than that, it suggests that there is a kernel of suffering and cruelty at the center of the ‘mysteries’ that distract us from it.

Every time I think I have a handle on what that trauma is, it deepens and broadens itself, encompassing a wider gyre. There is a question that opens here about the nature of time that necessarily entails asking after the particular shape time takes in relationship to human consciousness. Part of the temporal patterns of repetition have their roots in an inability to confront our culpability in suffering, that we repeat certain patterns precisely because we use them as a form of distraction, a dream from which we dread waking. There is a hint of Freud in this, but in many ways Freud performs this distraction more than he is able to grasp it.

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Mohaveh’s Cosmology

I’m weird about cosmologies. I constantly make use of them in the middle of things, as a way toward structuring a specific spiritual working, but I am suspicious of them and, to be honest, generally think of them as a bit twee and precious. When it comes down to it, though, in the grand scheme that is the shape of human endeavor. Our ideas make so much possible, but it is their fate to be dissolved in the labors of daily life, to be undone and remade.

And, if I am going to talk about Mohaveh, I have to accept that it comes wrapped in its own cosmology, even if it is the cosmology of a sea anemone, all ragged and hungry. So, let me get to that. The aim here is to provide a cosmology that is both complex and clear, instructive and useful.

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Mohaveh and the Fall

Mohaveh owes a lot to both Kabbalism and to Justin’s Book of Baruch. Justin’s work describes the twenty-four angels of Elohim and Eden as trees in the garden, the tree of life (Baruch) being one such tree. Each tree is paired with another (Baruch is paired with Naas, tree of the knowledge of good and evil) and each pair is divided by its primary affinity for either Eden or Elohim. Each angel is a self-contained enunciation and, as I read their being called ‘trees in the garden,’ all of those enunciations are kin to the model detailed in the Sefer Yetzirah.

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[NB] Orders Profane and Holy: 7

Only the Messiah himself consummates all history, in the sense that he alone redeems, completes, creates its relation to the Messianic. For this reason nothing historical can relate itself on its own account to anything Messianic. Therefore the Kingdom of God is not the telos of the historical dynamic: it cannot be set as a goal. From the standpoint of history it is not the goal but the end. Therefore the order of the profane cannot be built up on the idea of the Divine Kingdom, and therefore theocracy has no political, but only a religious meaning….

If one arrow points to the goal toward which the profane dynamic acts, and another marks the direction of Messianic intensity, then certainly the quest to free humanity for happiness runs counter to the Messianic direction; but just as a force can, through acting, increase another that is acting in the opposite direction, so the order of the profane assists, through being profane, the coming of the Messianic Kingdom. The profane, therefore, although not itself a category of this Kingdom, is a decisive category of its quietest approach. For in happiness all that is earthly seeks its downfall, and only in good fortune is its downfall destined to find it.—Walter Benjamin, “Theological-Political Fragment” in Reflections (312; emphasis mine)

Let’s look at the book of Revelation in light of this structure. I don’t think it will be a perfect match, but the notion that there is a profane world which, developed, calls forth its own Messianic conclusion allows us to better appreciate the operations of the Apocalypse. That messianic movement takes place along the axis of the sevens, what in Kabbalistic terms refers us to the double letters in their generative aspect in the Sefer Yetzirah. This moves us closer to the substance of the transition from the seven churches to the renewed twelve tribes.

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Growing the Tree of Life: Uranus and Neptune

My reading has been all over the place of late, but the last few days I have found some of that coming together around some peculiar, zigzagging relationships between myth and astronomy. I had been reading about the Basque victory over Roland from the Song of Roland because I was thinking about a sculpture from one of my alma maters. Thanks to Stranger Things, I spent a little time over on Wikipedia reading about the birth and development of Demogorgon from a scribal error to a significant player in European demonology* to a monster in Dungeons & Dragons. Thanks to the Oatmeal, I have been trying to give myself another refresher in the astronomy of our solar system.

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[NB] Planets, Doubles, and the Doctrine of Signatures

I have discovered there is a rhythm that works fairly well for me as I work my way deeper into the Sefer Yetzirah. I take a set of lines and begin working through them as a structure, contemplating them as they are represented on the diagram with which I focus my work alongside their witnesses. After a lot of that, I find myself drawn toward the letters proper, which is usually when things get more intense. After I have spent some time with the letters, the next structural unit starts to come to the fore, although with each step the previous letters remain present and active.

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[PSA] Edited Page, Pictures

Working through the Elemental lines of the Sefer Yetzirah made clear that I needed to update one of the geomancy pages a bit. I haven’t quite gotten a full revision done, but I’ve done some work toward that end. It’s a bit messy, really, updating as I learn, but I like having stable pages where that gets reflected, so for now I’m sticking to the plan of having stable pages that get edited to reflect improvements in my understanding.

This revision also saw the addition of diagrams. They are just photos of hand drawn material, but they are definitely an improvement over the wall of text. One of the three images is included below. It represents my current take of how to map a number of kabbalistic concepts onto the Gra diagram. Inset to the right are diagrams of each of the three kinds of lines (Elemental, Double, Mother) on their own, with the sefirot and klippot dotted in for reference.

A drawing of the tree of life as described in this essay. Sefirot are represented as blue squares, elemental lines are in red, double lines are in black, and mother lines are in gree.