Three, Take Two

The little back and forth I had with Blogos on the last post helped bring home how subtly the rule of three operates across the tree of life. I suspect there is more than I’m seeing even with that awareness, but I want to keep chewing away on it. So, to take a quick tally:

  1.   three horizontal lines that define the channels of the elements,
  2. three pillars that broadly divide the sefirot, and the three planetary channels joining Keter and Malkuth.
  3. three mother letters

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Aeon

i have talked about this indirectly by way of things like the Yeatisan Vision materials, but it seems like the sort of thing that is worth saying straightforwardly. It feels like we are between eras, in some transitional period where the spiritual powers that regulate this world are changing, that there is a changing of the guard in the celestial court.

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7 Books, or a Benjamin-ian romp through the library

Walter Benjamin’s “Theses on the Philosophy of History” remain one of the lynchpins of my understanding of the relationship between the world of spirit and the world of historical reality. Benjamin disassembled a strictly linear notion of history, one thing after another, to emphasize the potencies inherent in the present moment, what he called the now-time (Jetztzeit), the moment of crisis that lays hands on whatever it can to proceed forward.

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[NB] Systematic Occultism

This may be something akin to neoplatonic heresy, but I am starting to wonder if the systematic properties that we often ascribe to the eternal realm only manifest in its interaction with the temporal realm. There are a few things motivating this:

(1) The way the Yeatses’ spirits described the lunar progression of an idea from a potent idea to a well-articulated conceptual actuality.

(2) Pantheons, with their organic levels of organization and hierarchy, tend to be latecomers to more disparate spiritual encounters.

(3) Some geomantic work lately in which it has become clear that the chart is ideally suited for mapping spirits of a certain size, and that spirits may be either too small or too large to be comfortably detailed by a chart. This puts me in mind of the Enochian work for a number of reasons, but approached geomantically this smaller and larger distinction lacks the well-defined structure of Enochian.

(4) Frisvold’s account of Obeah and the way it makes me rethink Zora Neale Hurston’s accounts of hoodoo initiations.

Which is a way of saying that material and temporal existence provides spiritual and eternal existence with an opportunity to develop.

That opens the door for a reconsideration of what occurs at the eternal level, perhaps not a higher kind of order but a greater degree of intensity. The order we imagine the eternal to have may be just that, imaginary, the result of our experience in the temporal world with the operations of the eternal. There may be a deeper sympathy between higher unity and lower disorder than we might imagine.

There is a question, too, as to how much systematic order is too much, whether there might be a tipping point at which the effort to describe an order becomes a vehicle for excluding the eternal. System as the limit at which point the eternal is excluded from the temporal order in favor of the temporal structures that the encounter with the eternal inspired or motivated.

System as the mark of the world.

Hmm.

Gnostic Discontent

Discussions about gnosticism often spring too quickly into theology for my tastes. Those theological discussions are valuable and necessary for spiritual work, but when we begin with theology we lose touch with our reason for engaging with theology. Those reasons have their basis in more immediate experiences that give our words a meaningful referent and provide a foundation for spiritual work in and on our life.

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Orientation

Daily, I will call to the six directions. It is a simple, brief, and unadorned part of my morning prayers. There is nothing terribly symbolic about it. I haven’t any esoteric associations with the directions that I visualize or invoke. On a particularly thoughtful day, I might remind myself of what lies in those directions (work, my partner’s destination that day, my birthplace, family, etc.). It is a matter of orientation more than anything else.

The directions operate as complementary opposites, and I thought it might be amusing to do the same thing as an exercise of orientation in regards to time. I’m going to call the directions by citation, with quotes regarding time, in part because the act of citation captures something of time’s nature, too. Whimsically, I have given each a directional association from the spatial directions.

I’ll admit, some of this is an excuse to flip through some beloved and not recently read texts. Benjamin makes me nostalgic.

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Through Home’s Window

Die Vergangenheit führt einen heimlichen Index mit, durch den sie auf die Erlösung verwiesen wird. (The past carries with it a homing index by which it is referred to redemption.)(Walter Benjamin, Über den Begriff der Geschichte/Theses on the Philosophy of History)

It’s hard to live in the market, it’s hard to live in this world. Sometimes, thoughts of home are all that get us through it. I haven’t talked a lot about home, though. There are reasons for this, first among them that we don’t all share the same home. The elsewhere, the heaven, to which one of us returns may not be identical to the heaven to which another returns. I share the market with you, I might not share home.
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