On Discerning the Realm of God in the Thought of Kabbalah and Tantra

This paper explores the way in which God as the infinite ground of existence is discerned by the imagination and understanding. The representation of the apophatic divine is facilitated by the working of the human mind, which means that the manifold nature of thinking establishes the presence of God. In the metaphysical speculations of kabbalah and tantra the singular light of Ein Sof and Paramashiva intersects with the human imagination, and is refracted into a multiple display of understanding. So the mind acts as a prism through which God is conceptualized and delineated. It constitutes a mediated envisaging of the Absolute, and the corollary of this perception is the engendering of the divine presence, notably as the feminine Shekhinah and Shakti. In short, in these two apparently different traditions—of kabbalistic and tantric thought—there is a detectably common theme of the notions of activity and force in creation as betokening a feminine representation of God’s being.
Keywords Kabbalah  Kant and Mysticism  Mysticism  Shakti  Shekhinah  Tantra  Tantrism  Gender and God
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