I came across this article thanks to Warren Ellis; I see Ellis’s point clearly enough and it’s one that I have been more than a little concerned about myself, especially in the greater occulture. Kingsnorth, the Dark Mountain, and the broader halo of thinking that surrounds and informs them has significant influence on the scene. It’s a trend that extends well-beyond the greens, too. A lot of folks who are committed to ‘preserving a culture’ are edging along similar terrain, looking to join national autonomy to cultural safety.
Continuing the longer responses to some of the questions Iago posed, I want to talk a little more about Yesod as it came up in the discussion. One of the things I feel that I need to do before I start into some of the specific elements under discussion, though, is clarify a little about how my Kabbalism differs from Crowley’s. Don’t take these as gospel; they are just my efforts to make sense of my work.
I’ve talked a bit about my peculiar reworking of the geomantic planetary affinities based around my study of Sefer Yetzirah and the alignment of some of my personal gnosis with the Lurianic currents of Kabbalism (main post here, a correction here). While there are logical reasons for these sorts of changes, they also just better articulate the spiritual structures within which my spiritual work unfolds. When I revisited old charts taken to study spirits, they became much more intelligible once I read them in light of these assignments.
Following a little from a discussion I had in the comments of the last post, I want to talk a little about how it is possible to use the Kabbalistic tree of life to differentiate and unite two dimensions of creation according to their relationship to the future (i.e., to Keter). In thinking about how Keter serves as the point from which these two dimensions are projected also enriches our understanding of futurity itself.
A little humorous synchrony for me—I had been talking a little about the fire as the lightning in tree of life and when I went over to Hermetic Lessons, what do I find? A similar, better thought out, comparison of fire and lightning. Ha.
I wanted to return to that, though, because it is another point at which the metaphoric apparatus of the Neoplatonism-lite and Neoplatonism-heavy approaches to the sefirotic diagram overlap on the surface but diverge in substance.
I find that after i write a post like the last one, I return to the Kabbalistic material with more clarity. Writing out my current sense of the material also liberates me from that understanding and when I return to the texts, I come to them refreshed. This post pulls together threads spun in this post (on the misunderstandings that result from reading Kabbalistic material with a heavy Neoplatonic bias) and the last post (contemplating the relationship of the sefirot). It should be fairly short.
“Experience, which destroys innocence, also leads one back to it.”—James Baldwin, No Name in the Street
Placing the distortions I have traced out within the broader Gnostic framework of the Fall, of the separation of self-knowledge from divine knowledge, allows for a better account of what their correction entails. The model of distortion is also a model for how to move toward clarification. Clarification requires appreciating that correction is a moving target, that the world of time does not cease within our lifetime.
Understanding this becomes part of the process of clarification. If you want to reach your goal and the goal is moving, you need to know it is moving.
I keep turning over the relationship between force and culture over in my head. It’s an old concern for me, and Gordon’s recent post about the potential failures of multiculturalism as a conceptual apparatus for dealing with the lived reality of cultural diversity has helped catalyze a few insights out of the churn.