Thursday, March 08, 2007
THE JEWISH CABALA
Natural philosophy in combination with the Christian Cabala is found in the works of the German Theophrastus Paracelsus (1493-1541), of the Italian Hieronymus Cardanus (1501-76), of the Hollander Johann Baptist von Helmont (1577-1644), and of the Englishman Robert Fludd (1574-1637).
Paracelsus and Fludd would both be essential entries on any who's who list of occultists. Re Fludd, the encyclopedia says:
the Englishman Fludd is especially noteworthy on account of his knowledge of the Cabala. Almost all of his metaphysical ideas are found in the Lurianic Cabala, which may be explained by the fact that he formed connections with Jewish cabalists during his many travels in Germany, France, and Italy.
T. Apiryon, of the Ordo Templi Orientis, has this to say of Fludd:
Robert Fludd was a Kentish Anglican alchemist, Paracelsist physician, mathematician, astronomer, cosmologist, Qabalist, Rosicrucian apologist, and alleged 16th Grand Master of the Prieuré de Sion. Fludd was considered by Crowley to be an Adeptus Exemptus. Fludd was a prolific writer, and many of his works on alchemy, Rosicrucianism, occult medicine, the "magnetic" philosophy and various scientific theories survive....Fludd was allegedly a member of the committee which drafted the "King James" translation of the bible in 1611.
Jacob Bohme, too, gets a mention in the Jewish Encyclopedia:
Cabalistic ideas continued to exert their influence even after a large section of Christianity broke with the traditions of the Church. Many conceptions derived from the Cabala may be found in the dogmatics of Protestantism as taught by its first representatives, Luther and Melanchthon. This is still more the case with the German mystics Valentin Weigel (1533-88) and Jacob Bohme (1575-1624)....In addition to these Christian thinkers, who took up the doctrines of the Cabala and essayed to work them over in their own way, Joseph de Voisin (1610-85), Athanasius Kircher (1602-84), and Knorr Baron vonRosenroth endeavored to spread the Cabala among the Christians by translating cabalistic works, which they regarded as most ancient wisdom. Most of them also held the absurd idea that the Cabala contained proofs of the truth of Christianity."Absurd idea that the Cabala contained proofs of the truth of Christianity." That is the same absurd idea that is contained in the book MEDITATIONS ON THE TAROT. A book which Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar promoted through use of material contained in the visionary experiences of medium Adrienne von Speyr, who von Balthasar claimed was essential to his theology. Pope Benedict is a follower of the theology of Balthasar.
In connection with this idea of God there arises the difficult question of the creation, the principal problem of the Cabala and a much-discussed point in Jewish religious philosophy. If God be the En-Sof--that is, if nothing exists outside of God--then the question arises, How may the universe be explained? (bolding mine)
"Nothing exists outside of God." That is the claim of the pantheists, of the promoters of the worship of Gaia, of the occultists. It is the heart and soul of the heresy of monism. It is alien to Catholic cosmology.
The First Three Sefirot
Thus the identity of thinking and being, or of the real and ideal, is taught in the Cabala in the same way as in Hegel.
...the body is only the garment, the covering in which the true inner man appears.
This is central to Reincarnation which says that we incarnate in many different bodies. Consistent with this is the following entry:
In order that the soul may return to its source, it must previously have reached full development of all its perfections in terrestrial life. If it has not fulfilled this condition in the course of one life, it must begin all over again in another body, continuing until it has completed its task. The Lurianic Cabala added to metempsychosis proper the theory of the impregnation of souls; that is, if two souls do not feel equal to their tasks God unites both in one body, so that they may support and complete each other, as, for instance, a lame man and a blind one may conjointly do...If one of the two souls needs aid, the other becomes, as it were, its mother, bearing it in its lap and nourishing it with its own substance.
That is not even remotely compatible with Catholic theology.
Love, the Highest Relation to God
Here there is material that comes close to Benedict's "Deus Caritas Est".
...we may fear God and also love Him. Fear is justified as it leads to love. "In love is found the secret of divine unity; it is love that unites the higher and lower stages, and that lifts everything to that stage where all must be one. (Zohar, wa-Yakhel, ii. 216a).
"All must be one" is the monism of Theosophy, not Christian cosmology which posits that God is always "other".
The soul...comes into the world through the union of the king with the matrona--'king' meaning the Sefirah Tiferet and 'matrona' the Malkut--and the return of the soul to God is symbolized by the union of the matrona with the king.
The alchemical wedding?