Sefer Yetzirah in History, Practice, and Experience

[Another page fed back into the blog. Like the previous page to post, this one also has relevance to the upcoming series.]

I haven’t spent much time talking about what I imagine the lifeworld of these ritual practices to have been, what sort of events and intentions animated their organization as well as their dispersal and divergence. I want to correct that a little, starting with the Sefer Yetzirah (SY). This is speculative, driven by imagination and informed by historical and spiritual study. The image of the past derived from it serves a spiritual purpose, though, as something with which I can dialogue as I develop a framework of meaning that supports my work.

I want to start with some broad historical context and then proceed to the speculation.

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Book Shrine II

My writing head is mostly at noodle lately. I have been thinking about some bigger things, some of which I have already talked about here, others which are big and sweeping and a little scary. I don’t like to let the practice of writing here languish, so, yep, noodling it is. Let’s talk a little more about that book shrine.

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[NB] A Northerly Movement: Hittites

I really love diasporas. It was probably the African diasporas in the Americas that first drew my attention to the importance of the phenomenon, but once you adjust to seeing the world in movement, they show up everywhere. Stable borders dissolve in the churning of peoples.

I don’t often pay much attention to the influence of diasporic movements on Europe much beyond the vital Jewish and Islamic ones, but they are there, of course. I’ve been thinking about that more lately as I look at the diasporas centered in the Near East. Especially if I keep running with Gobekli Tepe as a key node in a very ancient diaspora, it makes sense to look not just at the diaspora southward, but also northward.

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[NB] Mesoamerica and Multiplicity

So far, the new year shift seems to be toward less frequent posting. Partly, that is because I am thinking about some different sorts of things and thinking a little differently all around. That shift hasn’t quite congealed into a pattern that I can sit down and just write about. But I write to think, too, so I want to keep up the habit of posting.

This weekend I’ve been reading Alfredo López Austin’s Tamoanchan, Tlalocan: Places of Mist in a way that I haven’t read anything in a while. He’s an exceptionally good comparative thinker, triangulating from several contemporary Mesoamerican religious practices to better pin down a model of pre-Columbian Nahua thought. It’s funny, every time I find myself working through an account of Mesoamerican or Caribbean or Amazonian philosophy, I can just feel all the little gray cells standing up in recognition of their insight.

Continue reading “[NB] Mesoamerica and Multiplicity”