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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, November 2022

ITSELF: The Hidden Unknown - Space In Expansion:
Language And Mystical Consciousness. Part 8 of IT

by: James Edward Carlos

“This is taken from the verse, ‘And the Chayot, running and returning, like the appearance of lightning (bazak)” (Ezekiel 1: 14). The word Bazak, which is found only in this one place in the Bible, is usually translated as “lightning” or a “a spark.” According to other interpretations, Bazak denotes a flashing meteor or a bursting bubble. According to all these opinions, the Seferah Yetzirah is stated that the Seifro can only be visualized for an instant, and they then vanish.’ (p. 52. Sefer Yetzirah—The Book of Creation. In Theory and Practice. Aryeh Kaplan).

“The word Galgal therefore denotes the mystical array of the 22 letters. In this respect, the Teli denotes the almost invisible lines upon which the letters are written. The Galgal is the circle in which they are drawn. The Sefer Yetzirah also associated the mystical experience with the whirlwind known as a Sufah (1:6). It is significant that the prophet Isaiah associates such a whirlwind with the Galgal, in the sphere (galgal)” (Psalms 77:19). Most significantly, the Galgal is also seen as being below the feet of the Cherubim. God thus told an angel, “Come to the innards of the Galgal, beneath the Cherub” (Ezekiel 10:2). This Cherub is explicitly identified with the Chayot seen in Ezekiel’s initial vision, as he says, “And the Cherubim went up, this is the Chayah that I saw on the river Chebar” (Ezekiel 10: 4). Earlier (: 3), we have also discussed how the Cherubim serve as the focus of the mystical experience. The Galgal is therefore a cycle that lifts one up to the level of the Chayot, which are in the Universe of Yetzirah.

(p. 240. Sefer Yetzirah—The Book of Creation. In Theory and Practice. Aryeh Kaplan). (Note: herein the angels are inferred to be the Chayot (holy, living beings; I infer that these beings are capable of appearing visibly as well as being invisible, and represent a force, a living spark, that appears and disappears, comes, and goes of an accord not of human dictate or control, or even of human realization sometimes, at least at the conscious level. Their presence is infused into this plane of visage as imagery in mystical experiencing—the close encounter and the creative surging afterward).


“The values that experience symbolizes lie behind the outward flowing stream of consciousness and thus are, in reality, closer to the wanderer than the objects that lie before her. These specific values are never the content of any presentment, nor of any idea. They are thus symbolized by the void of unfilled space, which seems to the objectively streaming consciousness to be nothing at all. So, experience gives just that which Reality is not; it is the thin and unsubstantial surface that bounds and hides the Real. The framework of empiric consciousness is such that it always pervasively veils the durable and substantial.”

(p. 191. “Reality and Appearance,” Transformations in Consciousness –

The Metaphysics and Epistemology. Franklin Merrell-Wolff). (I add a note here that Iona Isle, Inner Hebrides often referred to as the thin place between earth and heave, akin to a veil. Iona is the site of several close encounters for me, affirmations of spiritual transcendence and mystical affirmation).

Expansiveness is conferred by the ten various ladder steps (or expanses) of the sefirotic grid for the “beingness” of supernal consciousness in mystic theology. We are speaking throughout of mystical consciousness, which appropriates a symbolic and visionary forbearance. The emblem of the course seemingly throughout history, at least for the Great Year most recent is the close encounter. As to the grid or code for this persistence is in Judaic terms the serfirotic system. Between the upper three expanses with their implicit triadic or Trinitarian structure: Keter (Crown; Crown of Light; Pinnacle), the ninth emanation or expanse--Hokhmah (Wisdom), Binah (Understanding; Womb; the eighth such expanse as expressed in cosmic terms in the introductory quote in this manuscript), and the lower seven archangelic and angelic expanses is the non-sefirot of Da’at (i.e., non-being; void, chaos, knowledge as an unknown perhaps precursor of knowing as information with regard to humans) is a multileveled concept that is explored in this essay. In Kabbalah: The Tradition of Hidden Knowledge, however, is an exposition of other named significant spiritual levels or spiritual worlds, based on Ezekiel’s vision, ... “who saw the Four Worlds as the likeness of a man (Azilut) seated on a heavenly throne (Beriah) which was set on a chariot (Yezirah) which in turn moved above merged again at the end of Time. Conceived in human shape, Adam Kadmon contains everything that is needed to complete the task of Divine reflection. He is capacity for action. Most of all, Adam Kadmon is conscious of the Divine, although at the moment of his calling forth his state is an innocent awareness of it, as a fish is oblivious of the seas in which it exists. … the composition of Adam Kadmon is based on the Sefirot. … Adam Kadmon stands on his feet. Above his head is Keter, the Crown, while the two sided Sefiirot of Wisdom and Understanding, Hokhmah and Binah, relate to the hemispheres of his brain. The non-Sefirah of Knowledge, Daat sits over his face and throat, for here he sees, hears, smells and speaks. The Sefirot of the heart, Gevurah and Hesed, the just and the merciful, are placed to left and right of his chest; while the central Sefirah, Tiferet or the self, is located over his solar plexis. the two lower and outer functional Sefirot, Hod and Netzah are associated with the legs, and Yesod, the generative Foundation, with the genitals; Malkhut the Kingdom is at his feet. (pp. 12 –13. Kabbalah: Tradition of hidden knowledge. Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi. (NY: Thames and Hudson. 1979).

Da’at in this archetypal signification inveighs sensory modes of knowledge, but knowledge as innate participation and as grasped (sensed) being intuitive to the human being. The human understands little about the rising sensibility from the corporal system, a part of the human being’s physicality and the why and how these remain not understood as to inception or as manifesting in the human spirit. Inclusive of the imagery involved with the above quote and integral to this essay, the degrees of aspiration below the non-sefirot, Da’at, are (to repeat once again:) Gevurah (Strength, Judgment), Hesed (Mercy, Love), Tif’eret (Beauty), Netsah (Endurance), Hod (Splendor), Yesod (Foundation), and Malkhut (Kingdom) - all animated by Shekhinah—as seven sefirot (steps or stages or powers or forces - i.e., expanses et al) connecting earth and heaven, the below and the above.

Da’at is essentially, basically, ignored (in the pictorial diagram in the frontispiece of each of the twelve volumes of the Pritzker Edition of The Zohar, for instance, and not mentioned by name until Footnote 1237, page 267, Volume One, and then only in that one instance, and not at all in the next three succeeding volumes (Volumes Two through Four) although in the translation itself many possible references (e.g., the void, chaos, darkness, black holes, etc.) are otherwise indicated that might speculatively infer Da’at in the abstract and symbolic manner of the exposition. Considerations that might register such concurrence to be, at least speculatively, about non-sefirotic Da-at, are indicated in two sections beginning on page 170 and on page 286 of Volume One.

Without the vast unconsciousness or void that Da’at might represent, especially in regard to sensory data born of the earthly plane of existence; i.e., the nothingness (no-thing-ness), nonetheless, seems to imply a dynamic that is non-objective in essence of activity and processing. Da’at is a dark radiance of this primordial qualification of nothingness (a memory of the primordial point and yet expansive beyond that primordial point referenced to be Hokhmah); thus when Da’at is excluded, an essentiality is indeed missing - the non-being, non-objective state out of which physical being arises. Consciousness is always inferred in my estimation, as consummate, as the universality intrinsic of divine cosmic being. Although referring to chaos, the void, death, and similar imagery, if Da’at is missing or avoided in the translation and research, or without the realization of the sefirotic/non-sefirotic Creation-based power of this expanse (both a contraction and an expansion). Then the rest (the speculation of the sefirot as grid for Consciousness, and The Zohar itself exemplifying consciousness in an existential reading) rests almost exclusively on scholarly premise.

The principle, thus, one of pretension coupled with the avoidance does not stem from the very real metaphoric, expressive, mystical experience that all else offers to the mystic or adept. The confusion inherent in the mystical experience gives cause for examining the concept of Da’at once discovered through study, and confusion about meaning seemingly engenders the various rabbis in The Zohar, referred to as The Companions, to their separate interpretations that are shared among them.

In the Hebraic history of mysticism, such symbolism as the grid-ladder as complex structure equally implies the Merkavah tradition (for this student) also an ongoing development in Kabbalah literature. An implication is that that which reaches to the mind as positive, as being manifest (i.e., the grid of the sefirot, consciousness given form) is, experientially, manifesting from within the vast negative or void (i.e., non-sefirot, the implication of Da’at) which is the no-thingness, nothingness understood so well by Buddhists. Mindful, perhaps, we might consider the black holes as inherent to the great cosmic scape. Such is explicated in eastern philosophy as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, an exposition similar to other such early treatises (The Mayan Popul Vuh, the Egyptian Coming Forth Into Day, and the Hindu Vedanta).

My concern is that the illusive Subjective as revelation in mystical consciousness is undermined by the implications of subjectivity related to any regular objectification, i.e., knowledge as performed. I infer a distinction between performance (i.e., mere performance) and the internal dynamics of psychological action. Example, thereof, in drama a distinction can be made as between acting and performing. Thereof, I infer, as well, knowledge arises from within the body mechanism - a sensory modality relating to brain and nervous system coordinates and not just as a methodology learned and then illustrated. Such comparisons are exemplified in the various approaches to acting in theatrical drama where distinctions of acting (becoming real with the characterization of the role) and performance (a technical devise that undermines the potential of being that character). Thus, the theatrical drama as a whole that involves both actors and audience members as cathartic experience is always, thus, tentative.

The very foundation of the sefirot becomes tentative by the ignoring or denial of Da’at, although the implications may reside, hidden - more hidden, in the symbolic context. Although referenced through metaphors offered in The Zohar, Volume One, the non-sefirot, Da’at, seems to be ironically avoided as if the concept has never been historically thought. With the heart of the exposition in translation being the potential multiple interpretations of The Torah, performed by the interpreting rabbis, is a consideration connecting Da’at and non-being. The issuance of being in the entire grid I think of the image of the tripartite ladder (with three vertical poles) and the “empty” spaces between each rung, the very top of the ladder into which a mystical spacelessness or spaciousness of cosmic quality and the ladder base sitting on an objective grounding (thereby implied).

Even in a ladder of three poles (pillars), the central pole or pillar implies a more direct route for ascent and descent via mystical consciousness. Erecting upward from Malkhut through Yesod, one ascends directly into and through the discovery of beauty - Tif’eret, and the tremulous space of no-thingness, a non-being state or Da’at, which had to this point culminated in this instigative transcendent beauty. Tif’eret as beauty personified is between a foundation for conscience, the edge of climax, and the supernal emanation in Keter at the apex beyond the non-manifesting non-objectness represented by Da’at. A component in the realization of all that is encountered above and below Da’at, faith, is a leap of faith because of the reach, is ultimately the bridge into, over, and through the abyss and the external expanse. Da’at thus is, by implication, a bridge and a preparation to the higher supernal trinity but is not identified as such an object nor given any objective stance at all. In mystical apprehension, the imminent presence of this beyond (Da’at into Keter) is an evocative necessity that portends far-reaching consequences. If considering all three pillars which sustain the zigzagging spontaneous “lightning strike” of divine consciousness and maneuver our conception toward a literal intimation for the ladder as an image, we may grasp that the ladder is supported equally by the bar-steps and the spaces between each bar or rung. The emptiness between each, the vast spaciousness and seeming emptiness surrounding the entire configuration of the ladder is that which is not thought, a knowing as in unaware on which awareness rests: Da’at. My sensibility differs from but appreciates (enormously, actually) the intellectual demands and confines of translating, i.e., where emphasis is on the difficulty of interpreting whether in translation or not and thus the quality of sincerity in accuracy is on the scholarly research (at the initial writing of these essays within this manuscript, I had only read the first three volumes of the Zohar-Pritzker Edition, as was then printed and pubished). The difficulty becomes apparent when comparatively reading various such expositions in poetry, exemplifies by the various translators of the nationally recognized Hungarian and Jewish poet, Miklos Radnotti, murdered by Nazis during the horrible years of the Holocaust. Widely varying and differing poetic dis-positioning occurs between the several translations. But, the demands of mystical insight throws emphasis on the metaphorical reaches of the subject explored and in the erotic “transmergence,” the coming together of spirit and vision, becoming the between of night and day, of light and darkness. Intellectuality as of itself is not mystical in the experiential manner grasped by Merkavah mysticism, although often mystifying in what is accepted and rejected for the adept given a personal concordance and concerning who is taken forth. The mystical spreading out in time stems from eternity felt immediately as to each encountering.

Mystical encounters are simply not attained by effort, desire, or work on the part of any person (e.g., as with shamanic effort, or with meditation and contemplative practices where one can arrive at a learned and repeated ecstatic response including visual flow, or religious ritual seemingly designed to bring forth an emotional reconciliation with God as perhaps wanted). The mystical experience is, rather, a given, neither sought, because one realizes the seeking is actually nonsensical, nor easily comprehended if occurring. Such encounters offer the person given the experience a sense of the between, of being in the inbetween which Da’at represents and which is fraught with such seeming emotional contradictions when the sensibility felt is terrifying, ecstatic nonetheless, awesome, and terribly confusing as in experiencing the terribla – face to face with an unfathomable unknown.

During the experiencing of the terribla, the body is garnished with quivering sensations; your sight is desperate from intense light, your entire body trembling forcefully, while equally, you feel a similar kind of intensity and quickening by darkness. An intermittent lightning flashing from within is a vibrating dizzying sensation of brightness and darkness. One does not have insight into the great immediacy of this experience or knowledge nor of the manner by which memory signifies something. Nor does the mind rationalize in that period of time after the encounter, (time itself is vastly confusing in those moments). The mind is, then, of this void in the inner chambers of the encounter, although some residual effect of this particular aspect is present and remains present after the visitation, but mostly lies subconsciously. Later the imagery and intentions to be reconciled will slip into consciousness over several instances. All tends to be absorbed into the space lessness and timelessness of the arc of this covenant, until some momentary flash of yet another resonance brings some degree of revelation, a dim (usually, initially) but intense recognition. Miss a rung on a ladder, however, your foot falls into the space between or outside of the rung-steps and you grapple with holding on as the body experiences an abrupt series of immediate transformations (mentally holding on); this thought of mine about the inbetween space illustrates the potential hazard of relating solely to symbol as object and posit, and suggests one study, closely, the process within which one is involved. You ask then, what is the place of the conscious self in such exposition as is given in the mystical encounter/s.

(Note: In John Mack’s Abductions – Human Encounters with Aliens, a compilation of close encounter experiences exposed through memory via interviews and hypnosis of thirteen individuals, is the following account:

“Carlos found it difficult to describe the quality of this experience of metamorphoses and Tran substantial bodily-material changes in form and energy, an experience he has had during other encounters. He felt that he literally “dissolves’ or ‘cellular disassembles’ through a painful process of breaking from material form into the light energy”; i.e., he becomes the sky or the light itself which ‘permeates everything.’ The creature accompanied his return to ‘the energy light place. It took me back to where I had come from - before I came into my body, before I became a body - which was light, an energy light place.’ The creature itself,’ he said, ‘is only a form of light, emerging from out of that light.’ Although geographic in one sense, the experience of the light was also out of space. It was not space-time.’ I asked him where his consciousness was located in the experience. ’I was consciousness; the experience was consciousness, a pure soul experience. Soul is the endlessness of it, he said. ‘The essence of the experience is of an energy which is pre-form.’ (p. 338. “Being of Light.” Abductions. John Mack).

Over and above the implications of oneself (myself; yourself) in these discoveries and revelations, the word, “itself,” in mystical understanding involves a mystic’s response to the positivity of form and the process of forming as relating to this vast expansion. Itself, the capitalization of the word, thus offering some form of personification and abstract hierarchy inculcates that word (without the capitalizing of the first letter) which is mirrored. One is drawn into the metaphoric language that enacts you in the happening, and you are drawn to the spiritual celebration such revelation is. Through language, though, a relationship is so born between Word (“word,” implicit, then) and Flesh (again, “flesh,” each degree implicit in my understanding). The rationalization of it is a grasping of the determined intention of that which is given or evoked. The application is extended to that which “is written,” and written in the religious sense as explicated by the above reference from The Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. The word with its subsequent derivatives alludes to the sense of the primal in the corporal inclination and the spiritual essence in the expressing or manifesting of the encounter message in one’s own physical demeanor. Although “it” may carry an impersonal and secular aspect in human usage the ultimate supposition is of relationship to memory of whatever precedes an abstraction, and a movement to and from what the ladder implicitly indicates and explicitly manifests as image with spiritual regard.

The emotional and intellectual affect for the mystic is to somehow grasp the significances that remain concealed, then. My addition of the word, “then,” implies activity at that moment where concealment and revelation interact in the mystical occurrence, as well as becoming an enactment over time, that a continuation of the meaning exists. The mystic grasps that within the presence felt is the mystic’s own state of being, the presence manifesting and expansive (noting the use of the word, “expanse,” as reference to archangelic or angelic forces, a spiritual encounter with the mystic thereby implied). Thus, the mystic is, somehow as an intention of the Mystical Consciousness (being oneself, then, a direct central pillar of the ladder) to become the message within the process of manifesting however It comes to be enacted or given as understood. Visions qualify the semblances, the personal history of imagery within which one is suspended, a purpose brought forth as a sense of pattern is allayed. In the wider turning from within this expansive other to the turning inward of “it,” variable impressions arise such as from “itself” to “Itself,” and, then, from “Itself” to “ITSELF,” (all such being part of the privilege or grace bestowed by the encounter and the gulf between, in and of all else in one’s past of the present life). One senses within oneself the inherent, inclusive, and almost immediate reversal in the acceptance of the other. As you gaze into spiritual being, you are the percept of that gaze upon you. You are perceived and you perceive—an exchange of a depth you cannot understand but which is felt as if stricken with seizure, as when the gaze is between two who might love in this manner on earth if they dare. Inferred is the declamation of the unsaying on the saying as explicated by Michael A. Sells: in contrasting the kata phatic and the apophatic senses of transcendence stemming from early Greek philosophical speculation, and as with its shifting phases of image-based metaphor, spreading the sensibility and justifying the so-called symbolic.” These comparisons hereof are on descriptions of “God” through positive terms (as to the perfect goodness of God) or as in negative-theology (expressing an approach to God only through expressions of what God is not. (Recommended:: The Mystical Unsaying. Michael A. Sells).

For the mystic, and I stress this point, the experience itself is metaphoric, not grammatically inferential as such so much as poetically, truly physically and psychically experiential in it’s appearance to the mystic and in the manner of how the mystic confers with the encounter. And thus metaphor is seen as the living language of the mystic’s spiritual foundation. As reflected in The New Testament, Jesus’ use of parables are metaphoric, narrative-inclined, expressions for purposeful, spiritual teaching, poetically significant words compounding human involvement at some level. The parables are formative. Through an involved and involving image (Hayoh hayah), (Happening it happened) (p. 330. The Zohar-Pritzker edition, Volume Two), one is drawn toward and into the verse, becoming a participant, even if peripheral or marginal in one’s comprehending. The language of metaphor is lyrically and visually imagic (imaginal - i.e., magical thereof its poetic disposition; a dis-positioning occurs. (I stretch this term, image, into a sense of both being and yet displacing simultaneously, while still adhering to the original shifting). Such is the play of wording in the endeavor following the moment of dislocation (when the body shifts into other shapes and forms of the soul), and the effort made for balancing.

Yet memory of previous lives is a teaching aspect of mystical experiences in the aftermath, especially those of considerable tragic and of magnificent ecstatic conjoining. “Dispositioning,” in this sense, augurs the shifting of the metaphors although inclusive as well as indirect all of which confers metaphors having a trans-referential quality between tones expressed as symbolic nuances. The experiencing of incarnations as memories acts upon the agent, the mystic, as if realizing a past life is living inside a current life, through a variety of means for remembrance and actuation thereof.

Inherent, then, is a realization that nothing said is substantial (and, conversely, anything is unsubstantial) since details remembered of the encounter can be misleading or too confirmative, resounding as too stereotypical, hence the mystic will attempt to balance the implication by a kind of undoing, by leaning into the wind, or accepting the flight and breaking free of the confines to take whatever risks result from the offering in the encounter.

In scripture, as explicated in The Zohar: Pritzker Edition we note in the parables at play, that repetitions are frequent although they differ, as if content is building with each semblance, hence what seems the same in a second occurring is, meaningful, different; each memory of the experience even while happening is building onto the initial experiencing to confirm and add the necessary empowerments, each rounding more fully an expanse of the implications. The repetition becomes a participatory mode of expression.

“Come and see what is written: He dreamed; Here, a ladder set up on earth, its head reaching to heaven (Genesis 28:12)’178 ‘He opened, saying (Hayoh hayah), Happening it happened,’79 that the word of YHVH came to Ezekiel the priest, son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Kevar. There the hand of YHVH came upon him (Ezekiel 1:3). Hayoh hayah, Happening it happened—prophecy happened at that particular moment, being essential for exile,80 since Skekhinah descended among Israel in exile. Ezekiel saw what he saw at that very moment, even though that site was unsuitable.82 So, Hayoh, hayah, Happening it happened. What is the meaning of Hayoh hayah? Hayoh, above; hayah, below. As is written: a ladder set up on earth, its head reaching to heaven—moving above, moving below. Hayoh hayah, one above, one below.” (pp. 330-331 The Zohar-Pretziker Edition. Vol.2). As experience, metaphor incurs a participatory injunction, compounding physicality and spirituality in the conferring activity, as in the head of the ladder, i.e., the mind in the anthropomorphic resemblance in the Sefirot schemata, Adam Kadmon. Imagery in the metaphoric experiencing assumes any and every process of image expression or creative and other manifestation: dreams (as with Jacob), visions (as with Ezekiel), numerology (as a form of exposition later with Abraham Abulafia), plus meditation, the fine arts, shamanic ritual, intense athleticism, certain rituals (e.g., the mass, and, the Dionysian ecstasy), corporeality (at all levels the insistence is spiritual), and imagery in altered states of consciousness.

Symbols, too, similarly conferring a spread or expansiveness, as inferred in religious idiom, represent a direction within the experience usually pointing to something within the religion. “Itself,” despite religious equivocations in language and used in religious treatises such as The Zohar: Pritzker Edition when so inferred, is to be understood as less a religious orientation than a kind of secular or non-denominational openness to spiritual life (at least for this essayist). As Word, we begin with Body, the visible composure created by Consciousness. “Itself” as the ultimate Godhead infers an abstract cosmic God, a widening beyond any particularization of a specific deification or beyond any related inference about a god provoked by sciences, the rise of new technologies in the cycles of ages, or attempt at personal or cultic, ritualistic, or other processes of methodology.

The implication of the shifting shapes of thoughts is they are not “to land” anywhere too long, i.e., even within a so-called religious authority who would, as history seems to inform us, attempt to bind, hold, and ultimately stereotype the schematic invented (witness the Taliban and their destruction of the massive cliff-carved images of Buddha in Afghanistan (etc.), for one disastrous example in our somewhat recent history), the metaphor is to be seen as living and breathing and thus, changing within the instance of its temporary demarcation. Such an abstraction as Itself, as essence foments a confusion that ultimately manifests for the adept or initiate by a spiritual creativity that is a necessary component in the entity’s experience and subsequent creative drive, part of the psychological and spiritual make-up of expression; i.e., a necessity felt by the mystic receiving the formation. The difficulties that arise in expression of any sort are in the incompleteness of all such, hence the need for the continuous efforts at balance, of doing and then undermining the doing by expansive follow-ups.

We have learned that a word was revealed to Ezekiel, which they heard from him and accepted—namely, that the blessed Holy One would not stand by them, so that they would not be rewarded. Then they reversed themselves and said, But if not, let it be known to you, O king.” (p., 289. The Zohar-Pritzker Edition, Volume Two).

The mystical treatise of metaphoric expression is thus exemplified; this is a negating of the positivity, a reversal and mirroring thus returning all realized and unrealized (the unrealized always understood as present behind the facade of realization) to the natural flow, how it must be.

To glance momentarily, at The Zohar: Pritzker Edition: Volume II, (p. 332. “Va-Yetse,” The Zohar, Volume 2) where “it” infers this larger mystical apprehension, a reader notes in this particular rendition that a continual symbolical rationalization occurs in both footnoting and in the discussion of the various rabbis so interpreting biblical passages, informed by their grasp of the nature of the sefirotic scheme beneath the hierarchical symbolic triad, completing the ten origins, matter as being. Of this bearing, we as readers are constantly reminded that the pronoun usages are that significant, and relevant to the Hebraic issuance of the prophets as progenitors of Israel in its formation. Hence, mysticism takes on a rabbinic particularization in the sefirotic schemata, entering into tribal law and rite. The schemata of ten steps or expanses act together as an image of consciousness is within the ladder format (because of Jacob, one of the prophet-fathers) (and expressing but one level of interpretation). The grid-symbolization offers an almost sly awareness fomenting in midnight study incursions into the deeper sensuality of eroticizing an abstract God who is both male (in one interpretation of the tradition) on many steps of the ladder and female throughout in the symbolization of Shekhinah connoting Binah (Understanding) at the upper archangelic level and Malkhut (World, Earth) at the lower physical level. Shekhinah, divine spouse of God, The Father, and bride of the various male levels in turn (with continuing references, especially, to Yesod-Divine Phallus; Tif’eret-Beauty (husband to Shekhinah; central expanse of the sefirotic grid) is a special component of God as matrix for the Divine Couple and for divine coupling.

Complicit to the sexual, i.e., secretive, expansion inferred is that the human male’s ultimate lover is, in part, the male God (a mutual love), and the human male has Shekhinah (female divinity) deep in his body-soul as well as this component being the other-half of the Godhead. Karl Jung contained this concept within his own defining of the psychologically animating systems within each of us, the anima and animus. This complicates a symbolism conferring a kind of interaction of double male and double female as ambiguous and androgynous gender-based components exemplified in

D. H. Lawrence’s novel, Women in Love. The novel demonstrates the incongruities of love and sexuality, and the changing relationships between men and women, men and men, and women and women. In The Zohar, too, is such an idea:

(“two faces (Du partsufin). … When the blessed Holy One created Adam, He created him androgynous, as is said: Male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)” (p. 11, The Zohar, Volume One). ....

.....as well as suggesting a multiple sexual interfacing. Somehow the secretive becomes, in rite, a secret centering eventually exemplified in the middle of the Roman Catholic Mass. Observe that such an implication transcribes such connotation from an interaction of pronouns such as “him” and “it,” and “he” and “it,” with the double meaning implicit in the root word, vav, albeit with other prepositional implications for “on,” “in,” “with,” and “through.” (Footnote 108. (bo), because of him usually translated: on it. The Hebrew: preposition (be) means “on, in,” but also “with, through, on account of, because,” as in Genesis 18:28. Deuteronomy 13:`6. The pronominal suffix (vav) can mean either “it” or “him.” (pp. 333-334. The Zohar-Pritzker Edition, Volume 2). Note the following:

Alternatively, and here, angels of God ascending and descending, (bo), because of him. Deuteronomy 24:16. X (bo), because of him Usually translated: on it. The Hebrew preposition (be) means “on, in,” but also “with, through, on account of, because,” as in Genesis 18:28; the pronominal suffix X (vav) can mean either “it” or “him.” (Ft. note. 108, The Zohar, Volume 2).

Even the very essence of our humanity is inscribed via the multiple implications in the relationship of the revealed (flesh) to the concealed (spiritual) with the interaction of Hu and He, (p. 362, ibid. volume two); and again regarding Jacob’s yearning and cleavage to God (p. 371); “Hu, He” and “ …Hu-supernal world, constantly concealed.” (ibid.)

A reference in terms of Be-reshit (in the beginning) early in The Zohar, where much is given toward the various naming of titles and references, especially to the names for God:

“…so the name (Elohim) is constantly polysemous.54 Through this mystery, the universe exists.’ “Then Elijah flew off; I did not see him. From him I discovered the word, whose mysterious secret I have demonstrated.” (Footnote: 54). “constantly polysemous The name Elohim refers not only to Binah, but also to Gevurah and Shekhinah, as well as to angels and human judges.” (p. 8, The Zohar, Vol. 1).

Exemplifying this is the reference to the concealed ancient one, and Who referenced by it in terms of the concealing and unrevealing.

An Anecdote about a personal encounter seems appropriate to add here. The encounter took me to an interior room in a pyramid where a coffin was present, the lid off. My impulse at that moment was to climb inside the sarcophagus and recline there until suddenly movement occurred. Looking over my forehead I noted I was moving slowly toward a green neon-styled triangular light. I worried that we were being drawn into that triangle, which was too small for the coffin and me, but suddenly I was through that light and standing on top of a mesa. My countenance had changed to being a young teenager, shoulder length black hair, wearing only a loin cloth. I knew where I was and moved confidently to the edge of the mountain where a path led down to a cliff ledge some twenty feet above the desert sand. Once on the ledge edge I noted a small male elfin-like figure seated in a lotus position on the sand awaiting me. I referred to him, mentally, telepathically, as the Ancient One, who then began to “speak” by emitting many swirls of colored waves from his mouth. The gist of this link was he was preparing me for the next stage of my existence, informing me that he was to die and I was to carry on the mantle of his former presence. I was amazed by the waves of color forming all kinds of eccentric forms and shapes before him, and then his body seemed, suddenly, as if a clay sculpture cracking apart and dissolving into the sand. A fierce wind blew then, and the sand he became intermixed with the sand of the desert. I was to leave the desert and the mesas throughout to seek the world beyond and study what was present, i.e., a lesson. Next, I found myself in a thick forest, crouching outside a rhododendron bush, pulling the limbs apart enough to be able to observe a mother deer birthing two twin fauns. I was captivated. The quotation below seems to express what I was feeling, observing and asking of my situation.

“Rabbi El’azar opened, ‘lift your eyes on high and see: Who created these? (Isaiah 40:26). Lift your eyes on high. To which site? The site toward which all eyes gaze. Which is that? Opening of the eyes. There you will discover that the concealed ancient one, susceptible to questioning, created these. Who is that? Who. The one called End of Heaven above, whose domain extends over everything. Since it can be questioned, yet remains concealed and revealed, it is called Who. Beyond, there is no question.29 : ... “’When concealed of all concealed verged on being revealed, it is partaking produced at first a single point, which ascended to become thought. Within, it drew all drawings, graved all engravings, carving within the concealed holy lamp a thought, called (Mi), Who, origin of structure. Existent and non-existent, deep and hidden, called by no name but Who. ‘Seeking to be revealed, to be named, it garbed itself in a splendid, radiant garment and created (Elleh), these. (Elleh) attained the name: these letters joined with those, culminating in the name (Hebrew)) (Elohim).51 Until it created (Elleh), it did not attain the name (Elohim). Based on this mystery, those who sinned with the Golden Calf said ‘(Elleh), These, are your gods, O Israel!”’ (Exodus 32:8) Just as (mi) is combined with (Elleh), so the name (Elohim) is constantly polysemous. Through this mystery, the universe exists. ’Then Elijah flew off; I did not see him. From him I discovered the word, whose mysterious secret I have demonstrated.’ (p. 8, ibid.).

(continuing, then:):
“45. Concealed of all Concealed Ein sof or Keter, the most hidden recesses of divinity.
46. single point the primordial point of Hokhmah (‘Wisdom’), the first emanation.
47. it drew all drawings…. The sefirot were prefigured within divine thought before they emerged in the process of emanation. …
49. graving of one hidden design… Binah, the origin of the structure of the seven lower sefirot. …
52. Until it created… Binah was not called (Elohim) until She emanated the seven lower sefirot.” (p. 8), Volume 1).

The transcriptions involving nouns as symbols for the intercourse between thoughts are connections symbolic of sexual interaction and yet elevating such intercourse, at once, through the poetic to a spiritual and higher celestial implication. Such poetic disclosures are akin to how Erich Maria Rilke in Sonnets to Orpheus utilizes the flower as mystical symbol. The flower as in Sonnet 5, Second Part is often the rose in other sonnets, emblematic of both phallus and vagina and implicitly each as internal image instilled in another, of movement from bud to full bloom, thereby holding a significance of sacred marriage, and, perhaps simply, as the sacredness of sexuality wholly flowering:

Flower-muscle, that opens the anemone’s
meadow-morning bit by bit,
until into her lap the polyphonic
light of the loud skies pours down,

muscle of infinite reception
tensed in the still star of the blossom,
sometimes so overmanned with abundance
that the sunset’s beckoning to rest

is scarcely able to give back to you
the wide-sprung petal-edges:
you, resolve and strength of how many worlds!

We, with our violence, are long-lasting.
But when, in which open of all lives,
are we at last open and receivers?
(p. 79). Sonnets to Orpheus, Erich Maria Rilke, translation by M.D. Merter Norton. 1942. (NY: W.W..Norton and Company, Inc.).

Although such poetic significances are legion in The Zohar thereof exemplified by the symbol of the well like the poem by Rilke illustrates the rosebud as head of the penis in the heart of the flowering vaginal petals of the outer edges of the full bloom of the rose. The well, too, has a bisexual component representing both vagina with rising, overflowing waters, and a lengthy erect phallus emanating with waters which likewise rise and overflow emitting seeds thus to fertilize substance even in the far heavens, the upper reaches being like the lower manifest. (p. 351-353. ibid.).

“Both female and male generate sperm as indicated by Greek second century physician, Galem, (same pp. ibid.), and the notion of water is manifestly expressed in The Zohar additionally, in refrains dealing with King David’s paramour, Bathsheba, AKA Beer-sheba which implies seven stages of the sephiroth, meaning “Well of Seven.” (p. 353 and/or thereabouts, Volume Two).

The objects take on personifications, as do the words with multiple implications and meanings, giving subjective connotations of such. Thus, the pronoun “it” inveighs the abstract state of being, i.e., a reference to the Godhead (Itself as apex in the hierarchical scale), and perhaps therein, the extraordinary spiritual power hidden in what might ordinarily be considered insignificant while being implicit in sexuality, the name - God, symbolically the well, and the water, each being procreative in the process of Creation ongoing.

Plotinus reminds us that such nouns and pronouns confer on gender differentiations, such as in the symbolic manifestations our interpretations send forward regarding multiple qualities infirming this unity-in-coupling. Union and all component parts as compounded, one treatise upon another, and, ultimately, are confounding. Plotinous acknowledges the physicality present in our uses of language, that the mind with its varying thoughts remembers the body (as if they are separated), and that projective that instills our myths. The continual emboldening and unfolding of “it” acts as a reminder of effect. We are once again therein aware of our continuing efforts to personalize the cosmic-secular-cultural realms sequentially adhering to the expanse of being. We are reminded that when in the abstract verve in thinking about existence and of what exists, and of what lies hidden and of the hidden subsequence of pronouns that all such imply memory as an ultimate forbearing).

“In beings of soul and body, the affection occurs in the body, modified according to the qualities and powers residing at the act of change: in all such dissolution of constituent parts, in the new combinations, in all variation from the original structure, the affection is bodily, the Soul of Mind having more than an accompanying knowledge of the more drastic changes, or perhaps not even that, {Essayist’s Note: Body is modified: Mind knows, in this supposition} but the Matter concerned remains unaffected… because neither Principle is associated with it as friend or enemy. So the appellation, “Recipient and Nurse” is the better description: Matter is the mother only in the sense indicated; it has no beginning power. But probably the term Mother is used by those who think of a Mother as Matter to the offspring, as a container only, giving nothing to them, the entire bodily frame of the child being formed out of food. But if this Mother does give anything to the offspring it does so not in its quality as Matter but as being an Ideal-Form; for only the idea is generative; the contrary Kind is sterile.

This, I think, is why the doctors of old, teaching through symbols and mystic representations, exhibit the ancient Hermes with the generative organ always in active posture; this is to convey that the generator of things of sense is the Intellectual Reason Principle: the sterility of Matter, eternally unmoved, it is indicated by the eunuchs surrounding it in its representation as the All-Mother. This too exalting title is conferred up on it in order to indicate that it is the source of things in the sense of being their underlie: it is an approximate name chosen for a general conception; there is no intention of suggesting a complete parallel with motherhood to those not satisfied with a surface impression but needing a precisely true presentment; by a remote symbolism, the nearest they could find. They indicate that Matter is sterile, not real to full effect, female in receptivity only, not in pregnancy; this they accomplish by exhibiting Matter as approached by what is neither female nor effectively male but castrated of that impregnating power which belongs only to the unchangeably masculine.” (pp. 118-119. Plotinus. Third Ennead, VII.2 Sixth Tractate: “The Impassivity of the Unembodied”).

In The Zohar as mystical treatise of what lies concealed in the Old Testament, we find rabbis and their sons continuing their dialogue about meaning. Plotinous would seem to confirm the search for such meaning. What seems manifest is embodied, and history, in reflection, becomes so embodied, defining the personages and patriarchs of the history remembered as to venture into the symbolism that has ventured into and away from generalities, as in the often-suppositional pronoun it: ... “Rabbi Yehudah continued, ‘They all encountered this well. Why not David? Because at the time it was hostile toward David so he didn’t encounter it. Jacob and Moses were welcomed joyously by this well, who was eager to approach them; as soon as it saw them, water rose toward them, like a woman delighting with her husband.” Following this is another use of the pronoun: ...

“214. Because at that time it was hostile toward David … David’s sin with Bathsheba, who symbolizes Shekhinah had alienated him from the divine feminine, so She along with Her symbol (the well) were hostile toward him.” (See both above quotes immediately above in The Zohar 1:193b-941).

Such flowing of water is identifiable with flowering, with the garden in full array and in full bloom. The metaphors are intensified by the vaginal well-tunnel and mysterious cavern deep in the earth; yet, as water and vessel simultaneously rushing full length into other symbols – such as that of a phallus ejaculating sperm and extended into the cosmic turf of night as another form of the intensified cave.

By way of comparison, in ancient Egyptian religious mysteries during the time of the pharaohs, artistic depiction shows male earth in human embodiment reclining (on his back on the face of the earth) with erect phallus projecting into the dark underground of the night sky, into the goddess Nut, also shown in human countenance depicted in art of the period. From within this symbolism and artistry is the mystical encounter reality -- the implied tunnel, too, is sometimes presented as the means by which a mystic flies, as deeply, into the psychic cosmic depth in the movement within such an encounter. The universe is equally implied. The mystic in this ascendancy and transformation rises by way of a transparent plasma dome or plasma tunnel, from one stage to another, each with a different image forming, like stations of momentary pausing. Besides the momentary pain felt in the changes to one’s form as sometimes changed when in the tunnel, the sensation in each such “place” is one of wonder, awe, and ecstasy. After each such phase, the body is suffused with dizziness, tremors and vibrations, violently shaking into the psychic sense of confusion at the changes. These oscillations, however different, are not equivalent to each other.

The visual imports contain the shimmering of the night and the quivering vibrancy of stars in a range of distances as inherent to the scale as well as the breadth of orbitings amongst the galaxy fluctuations and how we are a manifest within the cosmic utterance. The movement is through the length of the interior space to each station for the regenerative act, whereupon one senses the quiet enclosure that surrounds you before you step out into the new territory, and when returned as if in an abrupt descent you realize that what you had known before is seen as a new verse.

Now, thereafter until the next ascendant phase of the close encounters that are continually fomenting in the subconscious, the origins of a different landscape is before you as a regenerated new level of being. Inculcated then is the opportunity for a creative surge as additional inspirations manifest in your consciousness. The tunnel (plasma constructed), for instance, through space, you realize, is also a means to previous “places” in the evolutions of incarnation, initial phases oriented, often, to memories of those past lives especially having to do with tragic events and loss of life. But this is intensively a new beginning, as it was, is now again, as always.

Finis James Edward Carlos

SEGMENT #8 – NOVEMBER 2022 completed herein.

Segment #9 will follow in December issue of Alternate Perceptions Magazine.

“ITSELF. Part Nine of IT: Merkavah, The Visionary Idiom In a Personal History: Language and Mystical Consciousness.

Tuesday, July 16, 2024