Are mysticism and morality compatible or at odds with one another? If mystical experience embraces a form of non-dual consciousness, then in such a state of mind, the regulative dichotomy so basic to ethical discretion would seemingly be transcended and the very foundation for ethical decisions undermined. Venturing Beyond - Law and Morality in Kabbalistic Mysticism is an investigation of the relationship of the mystical and moral as it is expressed in the particular tradition of Jewish mysticism known as the (...) Kabbalah. The particular themes discussed include the denigration of the non-Jew as the ontic other in kabbalistic anthropology and the eschatological crossing of that boundary anticipated in the instituition of religious conversion; the overcoming of the distinction between good and evil in the mystical experience of the underlying unity of all things; divine suffering and the ideal of spiritual poverty as the foundation for transmoral ethics and hypernomian lawfulness. (shrink)
The year 1492 is only the last in a series of “ends” that inform the representation of medieval Spain in modern Jewish historical and literary discourses. These ends simultaneously mirror the traumas of history and shed light on the discursive process by which hermetic boundaries are set between periods, communities, and texts. This book addresses the representation of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as the end of al-Andalus (Islamic Spain). Here, the end works to locate and separate Muslim from Christian (...) Spain, Jews from Arabs, philosophy from Kabbalah, Kabbalah from literature, and texts from contexts. The book offers a reading of texts that emerge from its Andalusi, Jewish, and Arabic cultural sphere: Maimonides’ Guide of the Perplexed; the major text of Kabbalah, the Zohar; and the Arabic rhymed prose narrative of Ibn al-Astarkuwi. The author argues that these texts are written in a language that disrupts the possibility of locating it in a pre-existing cultural situation, a recognizable literary tradition, or a particular genre. At stake are issues – texts and contexts – that have gained particular urgency in the writings of such recent thinkers as Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Jean-Luc Nancy, and Avital Ronell. The book reads the place and taking place of language, interrogating the notion of disappearing contexts and the view that language is derivative of its true place, the context that, having ended, is mourned as silent and lost. (shrink)
Chap. 1. Creativity in the first kabbalistic writings -- Chap. 2. The philosophic ethos -- Chap. 3. Investigating God in rabbinic and later Jewish literature -- Chap. 4. The philosophic ethos in the writings of the first kabbalists -- Chap. 5. Investigating God in Sefer ha-Bahir -- Chap. 6. The philosophic ethos in the writings of Nahmanides.
From the end of the 19th century until his death, one of history's most brilliant mathematicians languished in an asylum. The Mystery of the Aleph tells the story of Georg Cantor (1845-1918), a Russian-born German who created set theory, the concept of infinite numbers, and the "continuum hypothesis," which challenged the very foundations of mathematics. His ideas brought expected denunciation from established corners - he was called a "corruptor of youth" not only for his work in mathematics, but for his (...) larger attempts to meld spirituality and science. (shrink)
Bafomé, a mais duradoura criação do escritor Éliphas Lévi, é um ícone do universo esotérico: é a imagem “satânica” mais conhecida da história. Na tentativa de desvendar a sua rica composição simbólica, uma exegese iconográfica será conduzida por intermédio da psicologia analítica, fundada pelo psiquiatra suíço Carl Gustav Jung. As origens de Bafomé na alquimia, na cabala e no gnosticismo serão perscrutadas e os conceitos Junguianos do inconsciente coletivo e dos arquétipos irão, em grande parte, balizar a interpretação proposta (...) neste trabalho. Tal análise será dividida em oito subáreas, entre elas: o significado do seu aspecto animalesco na escatologia cristã, o hermafroditismo na psicologia e nas ciências arcanas, as qualidades mágicas do pentagrama e a importância hermética do caduceu. Por fim, conclui-se que o Bafomé é um símbolo de self, o arquétipo da totalidade psíquica. Bafomé tem por finalidade ser uma alternativa à imagem primordial cristã de autorrealização, mais integradora e menos repressora que esta. Palavras-chave: Alquimia. Cristianismo. Magia. Psicologia junguiana. Religião e psicologia.Baphomet, the lasting creation of the French writer Éliphas Lévi, is an icon of the esoteric universe: it is the history’s best-known “satanic” image. In an attempt to unravel its rich symbolic composite, an iconographic exegesis will be conducted through the use of analytical psychology, founded by the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung. The origins of Baphomet in alchemy, Kabbalah and Gnosticism will investigated mostly through the application of Jungian concepts such as the collective unconscious and the archetypes. Such analysis will be divided into eight sub-areas, including: the significance of his animal appearance in Christian eschatology, hermaphroditism in psychology and the arcane sciences, the magical qualities of the pentagram and the importance of the caduceus in hermetism. Finally, we conclude that Baphomet is a symbol of the self, the archetype of psychic wholeness. Baphomet aims to be an alternative to the Christian primordial image of self-realization, more inclusive and less repressive than the latter. Keywords: Alchemy. Christianity. Jungian psychology. Magic. Religion and psychology. (shrink)
For the one who studies the socio-anthropology of religions, the book itself is the main character of the fascinating journey that Moshe Idel proposes in Perfections that absorb. Cabala and interpretation Starting from the imaginary of the book in the Judaic mystical literature, as presented by Moshe Idel, we have found four main hypostases of the book: the book as a pre-existent paradigm, the book as creation, the book as a paradox, and the book as a knowledge tool. We (...) have noticed that these hypostases are to be found also in the folk products from the traditional Romanian settings this showing the presence of similar aspects regarding the representations of the book on a social imaginary level in various cultural areas. Thus, we have tried to present the hermeneutics of the negative and its applicability for the socio-anthropological study of some divinatory phenomena that make reference to the book or whose central point is the book. Moreover, the conclusions of this analysis have demonstrated the large applicability of the hermeneutics of the negative so well described by professor Moshe Idel. This can also be extended to other socio-humanistic sciences. (shrink)