• AP Magazine

    An alternative way to explore and explain the mysteries of our world. "Published since 1985, online since 2001."

  • 1
Alternate Perceptions Magazine, August 2022

The Insatiability of Divine Utterance.
Genders of Consciousness.

by: James Edward Carlos

We often disappear into our abstractions and call out that we are it in how we manifest our being as if played in a childhood game. In Sefer ha-Zohar (The Book of Radiance), i.e., The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, Volumes 1 and 2, repetition of a specific word is consistent in its symbolism (although operative at multiple levels), in this illustration the word being Shekinah. Shekinah is inferred and as symbolically interpreted and footnoted, over and over, thus the writing being a constant reference to (her) being, to its spirit, to what is irresolvable--the feminine component, congenital (the shift in form in my use of the word is to remind us of that spirit within the flesh hiding while remaining invisible) connivance of male being with the genders enfolded, an implication post-Eden, the inner issuance coming from one’s source. Yet, added to the noble phallus (Yesod) and vaginal nature of being throughout (Malkuth) both male and female components are displaced in an equally dizzying array of naming, e.g., naming the tribal patriarchs and their spouses; naming other steps (levels) of the Sefiroth as the spouse of Shekinah: Geburah, Tifereth, Hokmah, Yesod becomes engendered and entangled. Thus, when I (a reader) “speak” (of) (I hear myself inflecting the thought) or mentally relate to the use of it while reading or thinking in silence, I refer to and infer her as myself, as the spouse of the other, an indwelling presence, and the implications of gender residing in the essence evoked, in the wholeness of the possible thought. I am thereby both male and female in spiritual lexicon as I sense we all are, that we are a coming together, an instance between sun and moon. Component separate parts reflect the whole, metaphorically and symbolically. The metaphoric range is multiple in terms of possible interpretations and meanings, e.g., ... The image of feasting the eyes on the Shekinah suggests what that transgression might be. The Hebrew word for feasting znw (from the stem zwn) can be construed as a pun on the word for “lusting after” or “whoring” (from the stem znh), which is used in biblical Hebrew to describe Israel’s lusting after other gods.

(p. 190. The Insatiable Gaze as in “Women Rabbis and the Orchard of Heavenly Delights,” God’s Phallus. Howard Eilberg-Schwartz).

An Ultimate Fiction – The Thingness of It.

Stating it, and sticking to his objectivity, Foucault is sucked into the black hole of objective externality of thought: (For a congruence of the essence of Foucault’s writing, I emphasize the implicit “it-ness” “within” the quote by italicizing once again the pronoun it).

The event that gave rise to what we call ‘literature’ in the strict sense is only superficially an interiorization; it is far more a question of a passage to the ‘outside’: language escapes the mode of being of discourse—in other words the dynasty of representation – and literary speech develops from itself, forming a network in which each point is distinct, distant from even its closest neighbors, and has a position in relation to every other point in a space that simultaneously holds and separates them all. Literature is not language approaching itself until it reaches the point of its fiery manifestation; it is rather language getting as far away from itself as possible. And if, in this setting ‘outside of itself,’ it unveils its own being, the sudden clarity reveals not a folding back but a gap, not a turning back of signs upon themselves but a dispersion. The ‘subject‘ of literature (what speaks in it and what it speaks about) is less language in its positivity than the void language takes as its space when it articulates itself in the nakedness of ‘I speak.’

(p. 12. Foucault/Blanchot. Foucault).

Literature loses its objective restraint as grammar and as primal sound with the body’s ejaculate into the world as word. To commit with an other may be a catalyst for loss of subject but in perfecting a fiery manifestation of sound as word in a relationship with other words becomes the true essence. Literature, then, is whole in that vacuum of the work where the sound interrupts sufficiently to become art; the dispersion means content or naming. I infer the totality of the fine arts. To name is meaning in content’s essential domain. One might be induced to speak of love, even, when sounds becomes meaningful. A merging of subject and object as meaning is revelatory of essence.

In the miracle worked in the drama/film, The Miracle Worker, the implication is that love is not enough; two must communicate mutual love or love-for learning in that words are symbols for objects in this instance of information finding Itself in a formation, and help initiate and project the object-persona into subject). Arrives a memory of one’s own learning that becomes a self-revelatory achievement, and in the inspiration one knows the answer to the question: is the soul of less import than the body? The body is the soul in awareness being achieved. Soul is process, dynamic, exploring, and in a strange subliminal manner thereof, quiet and effacing.

Teaching (and parenting, and preaching) is assisting in moving toward creative fulfillment and deliverance past the obstacle of the body’s relation to the soul to discover mystery and what the abbreviated it is in thinking. Ironically, through such abstracting comes a re-creating through the disporting of a thought as a related other thought. I.e., with the sliding scale of generalizing we set up for ourselves not to learn, designing to remain in a state of stasis of ignorance perhaps because we fear the unknown or risking the adventure or fearing reprisals about the usage of terms et al.

With this, sexuality is often the oblique and insistent abstraction as answer to love-making’s vagaries, to the maddening it and its disport. The sliding metaphors, yet, although potentially expansive (sex to love, e.g., or love to sex in the exchanges) are frequently an avoidance of meaning. Thesis and anti-thesis slip into each other to broaden the essence, to move more internally within the whole, now, too, expanded but ironically expanding beyond the is that was. Yet, heroically, we are attracted to the mystery, to what something might mean in the eventuality of becoming, and as if it means a thing. We confirm our being through our apprehensions about non-being, about the great silence of the void that perpetually haunts our nature. The silence, the mystery, is deafening, and yet we sometimes hear something buzzing in existence. We wait for the sting. In The Miracle Worker that deafening silence becomes the sting of awakening, herein of meaning to meaning discovered through symbol as in language. In this case through the word water, a true baptism is suggested where soul and body emerge as intent thereafter.

Imagery in words or in visual form resounds as the effects of metaphor reenacted in the parabolic experiences of our lives. Images are means to congealing the essence of non-being while effacing it and substituting the mirage of objectivity. Imagery is the vital residue of mystical encountering and essential to that experience. Yet, the encounter is a mere articulation of a larger range of mystical discourse and the pre-initiate “mayest” (* tinshel in Hebrew) in “thou mayest” (p. 349. East of Eden (Middlesex: Penguin Books 1952). John Steinbeck) that implies a freedom of choice, while thereby instructing caution as to succumbing and remaining with the anecdotal or low levels of the dialogue surrounding such a close encounter. Rather, we might grasp that the primal point of the desire for intimacy is yet ever demanding, and ideationally leveling off is not a way station, but a pause in the continuance of evolving. A consciousness, free and unqualified by an insistent stereotypical compromising, allows the silence of the encounter with any other to nullify and negate language; language as experience employs paradox.

Moral codification manifests as explicit clarity and engenders stereotyping that nullifies transcendence. Innocence must be initiated despite the persistence of the paradoxical and inherent sense of confusion. The premise of multiplicity in the very word is in the initiation into mystical experience that confers grace on being, confirms the various states of consciousness, and offers the sense of ritual, in rites in general as auguring the prospect of redemption. The mystery of the mystical experience persists, even with this orientation. The secret of the ritualistic mystical encounter remains hidden, like content (prophecy) in a dream or vision. “Do not tell,” the secret in the mass of the faithful, is the catch phrase and nullification of experience and of the existence of the other, of a supernal Other as a primal point of constant discovery, a qualifying injunctive of mystical encounters because any telling negates and nullifies the reality of an ultimate implied in the experience. Significantly, however, Foucault suggests that in refinement of language through historical sages of its developing by the time of the Marquis de Sade, and although often numb, we are driven:

The scope of the confession - the confession of the flesh-continually increased to tell everything, (that) the directives would say time and again: ‘not only consummated acts, but sensual touching, all impure gazes, all obscene remarks ... all consenting thoughts. ... Sade takes up the injunction in words that seem to have been transcribed from the treatises of spiritual direction: ‘Your narrations must be decorated with the most numerous and

searching details; the precise way and extent to which we may judge how the passion you describe relates to human manner and man’s character is determined by your willingness to disguise no circumstance.

(p. 21. “The Repressive Hypothesis,” Volume 1-History of Sexuality.

Michel Foucault).

We are reminded of the void in the heart of matter.

In Spanish Renaissance ’mystical’ music, e.g., dissonance is the purveyor of the element articulating the shift in harmonic forces. Dissonance is an element of confusion (read dissociation as in splitting regarding avoidance of truth, a reconciling of trust as a question). Exploring the void suggested by close encounters, my writing took me in various directions of exploration.

(An anecdotal reference that seems appropriate to add here: With my eventual dissertation thesis topic I felt the need to examine the structuring and exploring in Jean Genet’s drama, The Blacks. In one scene in the drama I recognized liturgical elements through the scene of the stage-characters blowing smoke on the catafalque while moving in a circle around the altar, central stage. The characters hummed Mary Had A Little Lamb. I immediately felt this scene derived from the religious liturgy’s inner section - the Kyrie Eleison. With my discovery of the format of the Roman Catholic liturgy in The Blacks, this led to various ways for my exploration the processes utilized in the close encounters. In parat because in feeling in between the two realms of my local day-to-day world and the supernal world of the hayyots, I was in some real sense within a void. I might belong to both realms or to neither, to either or both, but my inner depth conveyed the void circumstantially.

The Mass format varied over the centuries, but in the medieval period the liturgy was presented backwards, section by section. Genet to me, daring as the outrageous black mass was and as daring as Genet was, he ironically, I believe, stayed with the mass in the regular order of his own time (which in part has been part of my lifetime). With my motive herein I also include that I felt the need to twice direct the drama at two different institutions in order to view the madness referentially as written by Peter Weiss in “Marat/Sade” or The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum at Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade. I wished to look at a concept of madness as de Sade and later Jean-Paul Marat might have perceived by being in the same asylum at different times. Thereof, too, I felt the need to examine what I could of various abstractions involving the content of the mystical experiencing from other creative perspectives, to immerse myself through the idiom of a drama about the levels of consciousness the close encounters was I felt a means to enriching my awareness. I wanted to grasp the nature of the internal mind of madness itself as I felt de Sade grasped by his own asylum. I had by that time already worked in an “insane asylum” through my psychological study. I had questioned my earlier understanding of mental deviancy so sought parallel situations. Each resonated a dissonance to the others The author Weiss paralleled as dramatist and director de Sade’s presentation while in the asylum as a director, thus several levels were simultaneously presented to me to explore. I sought the same kind of richness and depth as presented by creative means other than merely historical exploration or by various psychoanalysis theorists. In concurrence with my need, I wrote a two act drama about Foucault’s dying, utilizing only his words, but with structural alterations.

Yet, too, I was exploring simultaneously the earlier discourse on fictionalizing, a separate compulsion of Foucault in a fictionalized dramatization as he himself explored the cavorting first hand in the need to explore and lose himself in those bathhouses. My history of close encounters demonstrated to me the value of narratives from other points of view, and provoke me to immersing myself in various structures influential to me in my regular human history. The method is an inducement for internalizing a subject in depth. Also, I noted a theatrical resonance in the hayyot’s exposing me to the methods they seemed to utilize being at that young adult age of their encountering me).

I distinguish dissonance from dissociation that is a prescription for nullifying and discrediting mystical and visionary encounters (i.e., intimacy, closeness) as an inability to associate behavioral consequences, a pejorative term that has made headway recently into legalistic jargon. The presumption in part derives from the close encounter stemming from an altered state of consciousness. In some respects Foucault’s casting of utterance as fiction is related by confirming speaking and lying as inherent in relationship, as if one is the other. Similarly I find an encounter’s variances, my early referral to reverberation in a larger sense, above the indication of my oscillation between two beings (one soul) from my reincarnation experiences, I see the encountering relevancy of these two terms – reverberation and oscillation. By contrast, mystical dissonance is consciousness simultaneously articulating multiple levels of consciousness—an expansive spread that at the levels of apprehension is confusion, but at a higher level, still, is wholeness beyond the norms and nature of lower levels of awareness. And, distilling an expansion into such cognition involving levels of earlier recognition, of lives lived in previous incarnations, and reconciling those inroads into the past, then; therefore, at the levels involved with the mystical apprehension, awareness of a congregant emotive sensation intersects and binds one to another comprehension. The amazing overlapping of such sequences is confusing because confusion is a harbinger of expansion, a precognitive sensing and an inroad to transcendence to yet be embraced. Conscience. Beauty Rising In The Interiorization Of Form.

Thus, a cosmic consciousness (universal consciousness; God-Consciousness) that is expansive, like the universe as process, speaks of a higher level of conscience, hidden all too often and as often waiting for the discovery. The human consciousness is a consciousness within (i.e., an interiorization), a play within a play that philosophizes in the instance of drama about the conditions that bring forth the form, illustrating it while enacting and being it.

Thought about thought, an entire tradition wider than philosophy, has taught us that thought leads us to the deepest interiority. Speech about speech leads us, by way of literature as well as perhaps by other paths, to the outside in which the speaking subject disappears. (p. 13. Foucault/Blanchot. Foucault).

Regarding images from within the void--the interiorization of components (speech about speech) are displaced in this sense; Foucault steps out of the drama, momentarily, as if an aside to confer status on the concept of the form within the form in the basis of language. As to the intimacy regarding content over the impulse to objectify the physical process, perhaps such was too intimate for his mental needs for ejaculate. By way of an aside, a character in a drama (as a form of the play within the play removes himself, by speaking to an audience as if from an aside in these formats by directness. (Iago, e.g., in Othello). From the drama at hand, scripted for dynamic and dramatic nuance, Iago’s need is to share his own imagined interiority with an audience. The comment is divined thereof as pertinent to “outside” commerce.

The play within the play as enacted dramatically in various Shakespearean events gives occasion for considering the depth of various formats that shape and reshape the drama without resorting to a repetitious stereotyping of structure: Midsummer Night’s Dream demonstrating in two scenes both rehearsal and presentation, Hamlet where “The Mouse Trap” is interrupted and this interior form spills out into the entire state of Denmark, Othello whose insidious asides bring the audience into the mind and psychological mood of the criminal and psychically deranged Iago (an example of pronoun usage regarding it via the objectified Othello in his deranged confusion about Iago’s ironic and insidious declarations: Note...”to confess, and be hanged for his labour! First, to be hanged, and then to confess: I tremble at it. Nature would not invest herself in such shadowing passion without some instruction. It is not words that shakes me thus. Pish! Noses, ears and lips. Is’t possible? Confess? handkerchief! O devil! (IV.1.35–41), and The Tempest where the entire island offers a creator (i.e., an artist, the playwright and director) and a shape for where the integration of the inside of the matter melds with the outside of the entire drama. The situation is both an interiorization of the drama at one level and implies an externalization as in the entire drama at hand. Levels are arbitrated thus as to the mind of the drama. In such examples are resolutions regarding issues of consciousness.

Beauty as a resolution and integration of form with content becomes the center of the eventual merging and gives birth to conscience. Conscience rises out of the exteriorization. The dramatization of what intrinsically provokes and stimulates ultimately reveals a cosmic quality in the affairs of human beings in their relationships with each other and with the wider realm, earth as an island in the universe. Such is the discovery of relationships between justice, wisdom, mercy, love, judgment, awareness of splendor and the eternal - all as a foundation with congruent grace. Regarding images that blossom from within the void (the interiorization that is the exteriority to which both Michel Foucault and William Shakespeare refer utilizing the pronoun it, e.g., “within,” and thereof hidden as with many words). A premise arises, too, that the void is an invisible presence felt that is to become a presence out of knowledge yet unknown as an intuitive presence to be felt and to emerge. This emergence is akin to the premise of a cave where a mystic is embraced by an angel. (p. 10. “Maurice Blanchot: The Thought From Outside,” Foucault/Blanchot. Michel Foucault). One realizes that one is in the cavity of being, a self-negating that is paradoxically self-affirming and that contradiction is redemptive. By presence of being present, actuating presence, a mystical resonance becomes an articulated state beyond the space willed into representation by either aspect of the designation. The image alone, however enacted, mediates by proposition as a memorial to experience, re-enacts the mystical act—a sacred enactment and becomes the subjective is of the objective it, the source echoing the external and eternal It. Image, i.e., the utterance of the word (consider Epimenides speaking and Foucault pondering the efficacy of his own and Epimenides’ speech) is articulation of that which is not, a subtraction from the emptiness void represents, that gasp as the flowing forth initiates. As the image annihilates, the annihilation implies, and that resonant pulsation is the mystical foliage impelling being to be shadow, i.e., image, the fiction of Foucault, and metaphorically, The Living Tree in mystical evolution budding, coming forth.

That gasping is an address, one that is metaphoric in nature as wrought in various religious denominations historically. Plus in its branches other names emerge: The Lightning Strike astounding and causing us to be instantly inspired, even if momentary as in flash-by encounters. Also, Adam Kadmon comes forth as an anthropomorphic archetypal image for man as god and god as man, inferred by the constellation Osiris (later shifted to the pronoun - Orion); (Jacob’s Ladder, and The Sefiroth are similar articulations, a means to integrate the supernal nominatives). Divinization instigates acknowledging of and accounting for recognition of various spiritual qualities and inclinations, thus attributions abound in the surrounding literary pulsations that offer credence and realization. We are each a negate in the hollow of the void, notes Ovid to some degree suggested by Pei-jing Li, (*See on line: Ovid and the Void - Ovid’s Feminine Exiles in Amores, Heroides) and thereby preempting modern fiction and poetry, negating self by displacement to the image (even the imagery mirroring ourselves), while sacrificing self to the imposition of negation. The image both represents and does not represent. Paradox is within the nature of a mystical encounter; i.e., the paradox of being is brought forth with “Come and see!” - a recurring phrase used by the wandering, speculating, interpreting rabbinic scholars in The Zohar).

The duality of being and non-being is a symbol of multiplicity, not merely of polar opposites, hence ultimately a means to an instilling of awe. The void is a space articulated by Image. The void is full of itself as the resonance of being void—hence the image arises, a sound, an utterance, a visual impact…a contraction of its own expansion and an interiorization of its own space that Foucault and others, a few such noted herein, find as a prescient externalization continuing. What the image is and is not is simultaneously the purveyor/creator of the image as the mystic edge of this manifesting and the implicit meaning of itself in its own exteriorization (as form or image). As with all mystical experience the image is an indefatigable whole, subject and object resonating fictions within the whole.

“The name stands for the thing. Oh, it’s so simple,” says the miracle worker at the center of the William Gibson drama. The word (object) is made flesh (implying subject); religion with significant mystical expression emphasized by the capitalization in the first letter of significant nouns, “And the Word was made Flesh,” confirms the reversal and offers a completion of such complex propositions.


From Ohe Beginning - Memory of Eros:
Language Qnd Mystical Consciousness.

The example of the contemplative is not that of Moses but of Aaron, who ‘had it in his power … for to see It (i.e., the Ark, symbol of the Presence of God) in the temple within the veil as often as he liked to enter’.

(p. 43. The Cloud of Forgetting.” The Cloud of Unknowing and Other Works. Anonymous. Translated with an Introduction by Clifton Wolters).).

By ‘darkness’ I mean a lack of knowing’—just as anything you do not know or may have forgotten may be said to be ‘dark’ to you, for you cannot see it with your inward eye. For this reason it is called ‘ a cloud’, not of the sky, of course, but ‘of unknowing’, a cloud of unknowing between you and your God. (p. 66. Ibid. Wolters).

One sustains and nourishes the higher world, including itself… Binah nourishes the higher world, including Herself, along with the sefirot from Hesed to Yesod. “The phrase ‘including itself’ renders (de-ihu beih), literally, ‘in which it is’ or ‘which is in it.’ The second alternative would refer to the configuration of Hesed through Yesod, originating within Binah. (p. 407. Footnote 717. The Zohar. Pritzker Edition. Volume Two.

Daniel C. Matt, translator).

Mystery of faith… The secret realm of divine life culminating in Shekhinah. When Abraham comprehended this mystery, he understood that “he {or it in my thought depending on interpretation} was the root,” i.e., that his sefirah, Hesed, was the foundation of existence. Hesed (Love) is the first of the seven lower sefirot issuing from Binah, the Divine Mother, and is identified with the first day of Creation.” ( (p. 392. The Zohar. Volume Three. Daniel C. Matt, translator). (Note: As with other preceding sections, in this exposition, all it references in quotes are italicized by myself, i.e., this essayist - becoming it, a transference of eternity as to any telling; other “it” references in the body of this essay, itself-ITSELF, are set within quotation marks and parentheses, where essential to the general thesis).

The reference follows, from which the above footnoting rests, on the use of “itself,” which I have italicized and capitalized above to emphasize the content that ensues in this essay. The Zohar quotes employed herein mention Binah, one of the three supernal or upper levels, of ten levels of the sefirotic ladder that is itself a metaphor and a complex symbol. Symbolically, the ladder of Jacob’s dream represents Divine Consciousness as expressed in Kabbalah mystical literature especially referenced in The Zohar. Binah is an upper level sefiroth symbolizing Woman (i.e., the feminine aspects of the Godhead), Understanding, Palace, and God’s Womb. The ladder, composed of ten sefirot (i.e., in accordance with the metaphor, is referred to with a multiplicity of terms, alternatively according to the attribute being indicated as either ten rungs, emanations, steps, expanses, forces, stages, levels, worlds, and spheres, among others). Da’at, however, is referred to as a non-step (et al) in the wider reference. In this section, a review but not a summation or conclusion, I repeat these various words as to their supernal value and to indicate subtle shifts in the repletion as to the general body in the surround. These divisions are sustained in another such set, the four primordial, more deeply hidden, Spiritual Worlds of Atziluth (Emanation), Beriah (Creation), Yetsirah (Formation), and Assiah (Action). Based on Jacob’s dream of the archangels and angels, of their ascent and descent, the ladder thus symbolizes, the multi-leveled structural basis of the configuration or grid of the sefirot, and Binah is one important significance of several representations. Hence, I review the composite structure.

The Sefirot, besides being referred to above as Jacob’s Ladder, is also named, e.g., The Lightning Strike, Adam Kadmon, and The Living Tree. Each term defines an interpretation of a specific approach to God’s Divine Consciousness, but each affirms multi-levels or degrees of awareness including various attributes that ultimately confirm mystical consciousness, and intentionally implies a relationship between humans and others, other species, in the supernal realm.

Adam Kadmon confers an anthropomorphic image on the system, referential to the acknowledgement in Genesis of the human being made in the image of God. Perhaps, too, the image refers to early historical tendencies to see an archetypal configuration in the constellation Orion, like Osiris was so confirmed as image in the early Egyptian period and at the time of Moses. Hunting is not killing, the word is and means hunting proverbially, then by implication, a necessity, finding as in discovering.

The Lightning Strike conveys inspiration and related movements of emanation, the imagery additionally confirms three pillars or poles of the ladder as supporting structure, with the direct and middle ladder pole rising from the physical through angelic and archangelic issuances to the supernal spiritual levels all of which ultimately through encounters that reference mystical consciousness, the ultimate concern of this essay. The simultaneous conferring of the triad and dual polarities celebrates joint inner relationships throughout this basic ladder grid – one to another and one within another. The Living Tree as an image is presented upside down with the roots of all successive fruits being in heaven; the hierarchy affirms both an equalizing spiritual ascendance and descent in movement of the soul. As the ladder grid--sefirot, however, and as the Kabbalah mystical core as presented in The Zohar, the allegorical, mythical, and tribal history (especially implications of the patriarchs) are abstractly conferred as essential to the basic tenets. These tenets are modifying suppositions along with various legalities and issues, politics and comparisons of cultures, rites and laws mentioned. These references and inferences involve a complex associative juxtaposition of these diverse and complex aspects of Judaism and is textually presented as a story told by the group of wandering, traveling, rabbis who discuss various implications in the writing style and the imagery of the Old Testament, and thus these “Companions” offer a wealth of diverse interpretations infused with their understanding of religious edicts and the potentialities therein. I place the above word, companions, in quotes because I accept that a wider venue exists, and the naming, thus, is symbolic of the metaphoric occurrences inherent to mystical experience-consciousness and to the hayyot as denizens of encounters. By their expansive nature, the supernal aspects remain hidden as heavenly secrets despite interpretive telling by those encountering, hence therefore repeated aspects of this sefirotic mysteries of heaven remain hidden

Binah is the eighth expanse or emanation in the heavenly ascent from the physical Malkuth. Binah is also referred to as Shekhinah, a pervasive mothering spirit or female aspect of God (as in Herself, relevant to a trinity including Itself, and Himself so designated in The Zohar). Shekhinah couples with the various male expanses so designated and stated herein the grid; Shekhinah also is identified with the physical or lowest level of the Sefiroth called Malkuth. Binah, as the eighth expanse, implies that each step or rung on the ladder is such an expanse and that the measurement in this instance is from the bottom of the ladder upward to the supernal levels that are reached at the eighth step (and include the ninth expanse-Hokhmah (Wisdom) and tenth expanse-Keter (Crown, Light)). An opposite direction is also noted as parenthetical consideration for movement through the sefirot (the inclusive and referential parentheses conferring both beginning and completion, and which imply both up and down movement: ascent and descent) with the initializing step being Binah and descending to the second expanse from the bottom -Yesod (Foundation, Righteous One, Covenant, Joseph, God’s Phallus). Binah as God’s Womb (akin to Malkuth and Shekhinah) and Yesod as God’s Phallus each contribute to and connote an anthropomorphic sense to the symbolic system, as well as an erotic orientation for the ongoing intercourse of Creation within Itself. Shekhinah, however, is frequently associated with Tifereth (Beauty) as divine couple, Tifereth being husband to the bride in a symbolic interpretation of intercourse. The injunction regarding conjunction of female and male qualities implies procreative activities and creativity. Through symbolization via language in discerning these connections, the sexual implications of creation enforce Creation as the God Impersonal, forming as to the informed, the neighboring information.

Rising As To The Ascent. Tumesence – The Shadow Of Passage.

Among various sefirotic nomenclatures used is Adam Kadmon, Rising as to the Ascent as an archetypal male figure and precursor to Adam of Eden, mirroring the human male body in the sky via the Osiris-Orion constellation viewed as standing upright or ascendant, and marking an equivalent form for a divine or heavenly father-configuration. In Egyptian recognition of the Second Kingdom, Sothis (Isis, consort, sister, goddess of Osiris) is the mother site for their ancestors, and a relationship is established for other connections to the stars/heavens in Egyptian history as in all such history glowing from the fiery ascent. The oppositional movement that increases the archetypal implications of Adam to Eve, a couple is established in Eden, thus connecting Eve as a co-genesis figuration, ultimately aligned with Binah. We note that with tumescence the male is conceptualized through the female adjunct embodiment in all who receive the ejaculate - a confirmation in being.

Throughout this admixture of names and concepts is the diversity of sexual and gender modifications as inferences; in that the feminine is inter-inscribed with the masculine, and that, thus, together in union offer the creation matrix of mother and father. The feminine principle of Shekhinah as the active dynamic of the sefirot infuses all levels, male and female. Shekhinah as empowerment of Binah and other feminine aspects of the system represents a balancing power to the male anthropomorphism, conjunctive at each level, albeit that an equal mythic stimulus of a visible, image-based, celestial constellation is sometimes less visible in the night sky in part due to orbiting. Referenced, as well, in the quote, are the metaphors of water (river) and light (stars, lamps), recurring symbols used frequently in the meta-imagic expressions of the sefirot throughout the The Zohar-Pritzker Edition. Also, in addition, we note the concept of concealment as suppositional balancing to what is revealed via mystical expression. I suggest that one concept, e.g., revelation, is within the other, within what is concealed, and that although aspects of the supernal mysteries are revealed, language itself continues concealment, reflecting the nature of relationship between the spiritual kingdom above and the earthly manner below. I suggest, too, that the expansive nature of human sexuality as in today’s milieu of sexual orientations verifying that humans are erotic beings who celebrate the carnal opportunities available. We return to the supernal expanses, herein below of Binah – understanding.

“Come and see: There are two expanses--beginning and completion—corresponding to one another. Eighth expanse, in which all stars are embedded, small and large--supernal, concealed expanse sustaining all, from which all issues. This is eighth from below to above, beginning, generating all.

“Similarly, eighth expanse from above to below, in which all lights and lamps are embedded, absorbing all, consummation of all. Just as within the eighth expanse that is beginning of all, all lights are suspended, radiating from there, so this too is eighth expanse, all lights suspended within, absorbed, radiating from there to all worlds. Beginning and completion abide in a single pattern, forming a flowing river whose waters never cease—all so that completion resembles beginning. Therefore, God placed them in the expanse of heaven. Why? To shine upon earth. Although already explained, all shares a single pattern. This is lucidity of the word.

’What differentiates one from the other? One sustains and nourishes the higher world, including itself, along with all those supernal aspects, which the other sustains and nourishes the lower world along with all those lower aspects.”

(p. 407. The Zohar-Pritzker Edition, Volume Two, 2005: Daniel C. Matt, Translator). (Note: for further erudition via footnotes as to the quoted material herein, see the translation which offers additional information as to other interpretations of said passages).

A distance may be implied from the earlier writing of Michel Foucault (Foucault/ Blanchot) (providing my own impetus for a preceding and related essay in sections entitled IT) to the language contained in the latest English translation of the initial four volumes of The Zohar. From my reading of Foucault while developing ideas in a previous essay, herein, hereof, the employment of language in expressing mystical awareness. I find contained in this translation of the Judaic mystical treatise, Kaballah, and the Merkabah mystical tradition founded in the encounters of Ezekiel, as indeed in the Old Testament, countless references to the body as erotic speculum akin to some of Foucault’s issues.

Also, the poetic nature of the metaphors and writing in general (in both, actually) lend understanding that mystical language echoing language in general acts as a progenitor of words that have multiple implications that may assume the stylistic refuge of symbolization. As shifting metaphors symbolism is embraced and act as image assertions often and act as expansion of the native entrance to the thought. In the manner of imagery-based metaphor and narrative parable, mystical language sustains and nourishes general language, including religious writing.

The content of the above quote and related footnoting suggests a dualistic circumstance, conveyed by the relationship between beginning and completion and equally conveyed by another similar structurally parenthetical quality in directional movement. The narrative of moving up or down the ladder from a designated starting point contains a dualism and an inclusive oppositional, polarizing, format that I connote to be a symbol for the multiple aspects of mystical consciousness. The content confirms, too, an overarching concern in The Zohar (The Book of Radiance or The Book of Splendor), and strengthened by the footnoting, for implications of the ladder-sefirotic schemata, and, thus, with the implications of mystical consciousness. In this exposition the sense of the divisions into triadic and polar compliments and/or oppositions as demarcations upper world, heaven, and the perceived lower world, earth in this case, mirror each other through a continuous dynamic affect and interaction.

Michel Foucault’s concerns often include the erotic flesh and various physical and sexual inhabitations. Foucault states a quest for objectivity in language akin to a process of sexuality free of commitment and relationship, and his language is, on frequent occasion, reflective of those concerns. Foucault resorts frequently, as given in the translation of Foucault/Blanchot by Brian Massumi, to the qualifying pronoun, translated more or less as “it,” an abstract complement to the inferred noun’s gender. The pronoun, “it,” assumes a poetically inclusive and generalized abstraction used intermittently to reference that flesh. Foucault’s stated wish in his introductory thesis is for language-objectivity, free of subjective connotations, and companion to his admiration of the language used in science and mathematics where the penchant is objective. As interesting as the concept is, Foucault does not achieve such results even in the most avidly terse descriptions of his ideas.

Conversely, words in the mystical sense of things, by nature of the experience, are living biological entities. Words are at one with all else in the living process including pronouns relevant to nouns and including subjects engendered by imagery, the essence of content being imagery with its subjective meaning, and, herein, especially, in the sense of meaning experienced by the mystic during visionary or mystical encounters. The central pillar is the ladder of expedient mystical ascendancy. Imagery in mystical encounters although objectified as particular images, nonetheless, are indeed person-particularized according to the resonant thought processes and cultural history of the individual and thus are often uniquely specified and are based on the subject who experiences these supernal encounters.

The image is a subjective annotation of the personal, cultural, historical picture of the subject’s lifetime/s. In this essay I attempt some illumination of such mystifying encounters and illustrate a manner by which such experiences although difficult to describe because of the great variances in expression and process of personification, may be somewhat studied as to process and content. I approach these experiences more philosophically and less anecdotally. The abiding interest of my past and current creative working (in the fine arts: poetry and other literary writing, theater, painting, drawing and allied imprints) is to evaluate the process, the form, and the imagery of mystical consciousness to gain some comprehension about mystical encounters, the visions and imagery therewith, the expansive nature of consciousness, and to sense any implicit intent promulgating such experiences. Such concerns occur as after-effects of mystical experiences when the adept searches personal memories (all being momentarily in the past) and as to the hayyot’s approach to our soul’s needs, we look for meaning in the imagery and for patterns that augment and alter specific visionary instances and the metaphoric language issuing these visions in the mystical close encounter. On the basis of this imagery, I relate mostly through a kinship to the personal visitations inclusive of our many past lives indicated by Merkavah mystical experiences with their consideration of chariots, thrones, flight, incarnations, and the celestial beings, living beings or hayyots, in accordance. We re intended to live to discover – truth. Thus we are free. I suggest a premise for why one is so selected for the mystical dynamic in the merkavah sense of the chariot rising in ascendancy. Innocence is perceived in some respect thus initiating the encounters, and further encounters are defined by the nature of this quality as continuously significant to the individual. Without ongoing occasional reentrance into and subsequent movement from within the soul’s true habituation in each instance of soaring, the spiritual significance specific to mystical encounters may not be grasped or remembered.

Often amnesia is inherent as a form of persuasion withheld until an appropriate time relevant to when we next encounter as perceived by the hayyot as being ready for the next order of advancement. A pattern, successive eexpansion, is to be established and recognized, even if dimly. A succession of such visions enables one to consider what one might achieve, if accepting of the situation. An entrancing (sensory) and exiting (telling) parenthetically defines the encounter. This particular form of spiritual encounter is never self-willed or so conditioned, but always happens as an intent (or intervention) coming forth from other, occurring as a visitation and receptivity at the will of the other, all an external to the individual involved. Invariably the human is haloed by a kind of perpetual innocence akin to the creative spirit in humanity and given to the ongoing nature of being inspired by what is encountered in the lifetime. Thus, receptivity on the human’s part is initial to the comprehensions offered via the close encounter, and one given thereby to eventually grasping the significance of associative factors. Continual study is an associative path for our seeking information, for the constant immanence of discovery. Especially significant is the abundance (a multiplicative nature) that is the life sustenance and, thereof, the relational imagery manifestation. The creation-process involves multiple integrative levels of subsistence, emigration and receptivity, the order of which may vary. The power and magic of words (which are all images essentially, inviting reception) and other sources of imagery including the visual enables others, so receptive, to share the mystic’s understanding of whatever spiritual significances are on the basis of lessons or messages engendered during mystical encounter-flights. Because of the continuing juxtaposition of various meanings, the confusion rendered awaiting refinement and definition per issue, innocence regardless is maintained throughout the history because of the perpetual, eternal, unknowing.

With inherent multiple meanings, words are implicitly at one with each implication of meaning and in the context of usage, thus, a shifting from one such metaphor to another traditionally affirms a shamanic inclination if not otherwise referential confirmation of mysticism being at the root of the word, the word signifying the flesh. The word is, thus, implicitly biological and inherently molecular therefore atomic by degree. Implicit are understandings via the quantum range of theoretical physics such as the role of various particles (as to light and electromagnetic radiation in the photon particle and the promise of quantum entangled biological macromolecules). This implication is a continual discovery as of Science’s proclivities. For mysticism the effect is spiritual in manifestation and resonance. For shamanism the effect is medicinal--a healing of the body dis-ease and its relevancy to the entity’s immediate tribal culture, confirmed by the shaman through artistic means. Although I do not intend this essay to be a comparative study of such, of shamanism and mysticism, l let my reference suffice for the purposes of this essay to cite a common ground in process, besides the inimical significance of sense perception—that each mystical experience occurs within an altered state of consciousness in at least one level of occurrence. The experience moves us through several layers of consciousness, hence the altered state is shared with other visionary-type experiences within the encountering mechanism, but I separate these in general terms from the exposition in mystical encounters.

Not all altered states are mystical, although often mystifying and perhaps fascinating in their own disposition. The point of this distinguishing is based, on one hand, on those meditation-styled experiences that may be garnered and reinforced consciously, i.e., studied and repeated as in developing a technique or methodology, but, on the other hand, differing in the advent from the source, mystical encounters are given and experienced as an altogether external force, and engendering cosmic force inimical, at least, to the planet of habitation (earth in regards to human beings), the mystical experience coming as a power that sweeps over and consumes one as in close encounters. Breathing is intensified, becomes cosmic, acts as creation through sexual intercourse with the broader, most likely amoral, cosmos. The primal arena, however, that creates the mystical experience, may for the mystic (i.e., an adept or initiate), later be compromised in attempts to recreate such an experience on one’s own and lead to the contemplative or to the shamanic dynamics. The mystic feels a similar compulsion found in the shaman and the contemplative, perhaps, but has no such organized control of the exposures and the determination of a directed intent therein confirmed. The mystic is, by nature of differences, given to the experience assumed by (i.e., an interpretation that will alter the assumptions) and moved into the experiencing as taken over by the encounter with the surreal depths thereof and, at least initially, seeming inconsistencies and caprices. A metaphorical language, a visionary language of experiential processes, is that process by which expositions occur both within the time of the encounters and in the ensuing paths of purpose discovered thereafter. This has been rather consistently the hayyots’ purposeful process as to us humans. Ongoing confutation engenders a need, as just stated, for clarification through some kind of personal development and reconciliation with that which is supremely other, a need such as attempted by Abraham Abulafia in creating a numerology system for contemplation. Because the encounter mechanisms overwhelm, especially for the adept or initiate, the function of the body and mind as an organism become integral to how the purpose is processed, as an in-forming, and as an in-coming that is intentional and leads to the mystic’s teleological intent in the ongoing formative process, significant to the relationships internal to consciousness manifesting therein the mystical encounter.

A realization is that the body composition and biological composure is an investment for the Word, as indicated in the phrase, And the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt among us. The purpose of communion, through ingestion, is consummation, not just consuming the symbols of transubstantiation but being consumed by such, inherent to the secrets of the mysteries and what it feels like to know you are being part of the mass/es. When very young as an altar boy I feared the Mass ritual. I felt unworthy of those mysteries. I did not trust clergy or understand the Order; later, however, I realized and understood somehow I felt I was simply not ready to tell of the encounters but that hesitation disappeared, and I return now to telling of the Word.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024