[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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[NB] Enneagram of the Head

I am working on a very long post about the Boston Public Library, but that work is throwing off some sparks that merit some short posts. One of those has to do with the Enneagram. I’ve mentioned before that Gurdjieff and the Fourth Way formed some of the backdrop to my youthful forays into matters mystical and magical, so I came in contact with the Enneagram a while ago. As I ws thinking about the image of the severed head, a new story on the Enneagram popped up alongside another in my news feed.

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[NB] Solar System as Stage

The connection between time and motion is an old one. While popular imagination tends to romanticize the sharp break around our understanding of time before and after Einstein, Einstein’s notion of relativity reformulates this deep intuition more than it overturns it (which isn’t to downplay the significance and insight of that reformulation). I wonder a bit if what Einstein can be properly said to have overturned was a specific form of Enlightenment rationalism’s peculiar abstraction of space and time.

I’m rambling a little, but I’m rambling as a way of taking the measure, so bear with me. I have been thinking about the planets and the esoteric potencies they mediate. The relationship between the system of 7 and the system of 9 is definitely part of this, but in talking about the invisible planets Uranus and Neptune, my attention is drawn to the missing stars of Kabbalism who initiate the cycle of time, after whom the Bear begins to walk and turn the cycle of time. In other words, there seems to be a cycle of 7 and 9 in the solar system seems to play out something of the changes in the stars that initiate time, time being related to the motion that the planets manifest.

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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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Setting the Pace

As I grow a little older, I am increasingly convinced that one of the more difficult challenges of magical work (of any work, really) is pacing. Once we know (or think we know) where we want to go, it’s easy to treat everything between here and there as nothing more than incidental moments, moments that can be elided into a plan of action. Plans of action are all well and good, but realizing them well often demands great patience and attention to the time that falls between steps in the plan.

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