As I am talking about the sefirah, the Sefer Yetzirah, the book of Revelation, and Pharaoh’s spiritual function, I am also becoming increasingly aware of a difference in scale between this work and the work with which I began this blog. I named it Disrupt and Repair to reflect the texture of spiritual processes with which I was engaged. Following them out to my current work, I can see a family of practices centered upon formation and demolition.
When the Sefer Yetzirah summarizes the essence of the sefirot, it does so by describing them as “of nothingness.” More so than any of the channels, they are united in a common being, which is no being, or a being so full that it exceeds being as a specific beings like planets and stars and animals. This nothingness divides itself and in dividing itself sets the tree in motion.
When Orlov discusses the Slavonic Jewish Apocalptic materials, he makes much of how they relate directly to the Yom Kippur rite of antiquity, to the ritual of atonement. While he doesn’t establish a priority between them, he traces out their parallelism. The same structure appears in Revelations. The rivalry of the Lamb and the Beast, for example, plays an essential role in the book’s development and it, too, derives from the rite of atonement’s logic.
However, what I want to think through here is the nature of that derivation. It seems to be a derivation by way of reply rather than of repetition. The apocalyptic material both comments upon the rite of atonement and elaborates it. Whether we want to call that a development is up in the air, but it is definitely a thorough permutation.
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.
We are heavy, dense, stupid. We are coils of neurons, patterns of habit, symbols distilled from our animal life. We come to spiritual work with base understanding and strain to see the highest and most subtle through it. When we pray and invoke the subtle powers, we bring them to ourselves and our weighty lives. When we do this for a long time, deeply and passionately, the mystery of that only intensifies. While we sense more clearly the vastness, the subtlety more subtle than the subtlests part of our awareness, we also discover the heaviest parts of ourselves growing bright. If we hold to the mystery, it grows more profound.
Let’s talk about trash, shall we? Life in the what we once called the First World has been steeped in wealth, in technical and material improvements to the quality of life. It formed a coccoon, insulating us from some harsh aspects of life. It also insulated us from Reality, from the disruptive spiritual pulse that makes possible spiritual transformation. It wasn’t perfect insulation, by any stretch, and it wasn’t exactly malicious; aspects of it were well-intentioned and warm, protective to a fault. That insulation took a lot of energy to maintain, though, and produced a lot of waste, both psychic and material. That waste didn’t vanish but circulated along the margins and became the vehicle through which more than a little light made its way into the world.