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.
I’ve had them on my mind most of the week, since completing the geomancy page on the relationship to the tree of life diagrams, because I had to gesture to them there. I knew there was more to discuss, but I didn’t quite have the conceptual apparatus hooked up to the experiential apparatus, so I put it on the back burner. I can’t recommend that enough, really. Once you have taken some time to elaborate an important bit of work, step back and let the release of it open up the next step in the work to be discussed.
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.
From time to time, I will toss out the phrase ‘Black Iron Prison.’ I picked it up from Philip K. Dick’s take on gnosticism and my use of it is sympathetic with his. It might be useful to unpack that a bit here because I’m also dialoging with his usage, remaking his meaning for my own.
After the last post, I dusted off a short book I put together a couple of years ago. The book was the root of this blog. After finishing it, it became clear to me that the understanding animating was still inadequate and working through those inadequacies motivated me to start the blog.
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.
I did mention that I wanted to try and add a few more visual elements to these discussions, right? I wanted to try and sketch out the way emanation could be modeled using the SY’s description of the sefirot as a starting point.
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.
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.