January 17th, 2005

Asmodeus

God's Fiat

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things (KJV).

Isaiah 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I, the LORD, do all these things (NIV).

Exerpts on "evil" and "free will" from Path of the Kabbalah, by David Sheinkin, M.D., (one of my all time Kabbalah favorites—great introduction to the subject).

The Kabbalah teaches that the creation of evil was perhaps the greatest gift that God gave man. Adepts have long taught that the myriad realms that exist all do so to serve man; therefore, evil must exist for this same purpose. How does evil help us? The answer lies in the concept of human free will. For God wanted man not to be a robot-like being—a programmed machine—but something far, far greater and more godlike. He had to make man totally free—free to defy God, to not listen to Him. If man had been created only able to obey God, he would have lacked freedom and been much less godlike. Of course, the ability to defy God immediately implies the possibility of evil because evil, by definition, represents a going away from God.

Satan: God's Loyal Servant. According to Judaism, Satan is a very faithful servant of God—one of His most faithful servants. Since God has created evil, the realm of evil belongs to Satan. But this realm is really a gift to man—insuring his capacity of free will—and so Satan has a very important task to perform. It is his mission to do precisely what God wants him to do, for the Kabbalah teaches that nothing is more powerful than Ain Sof.

In Judaism, then, the devil is not regarded as a malevolent or evil entity challenging God's rule. Indeed, the Talmud says quite clearly, "Do as the devil does but not as the devil says". This is because the devil does only what God asks.

Why did God let the vessels shatter? We have already mentioned the concept of free will. In the basic plan of the universe the breaking of the vessels and their reconstituting allows free will to come into existence. This is becuase free will depends upon the existence of evil. If God had wanted a system of free will -- which was by definition dependent on evil -- He could have created an entity such as evil. But apparently this is specifically what God did not wish to do -- to create a primary force known as evil. Thus, He started with the Ten Sefiroth -- all of which were "very good". When the Sefiroth shattered, most of their fragments became reconstituted as five Partzufim. But not all of them. Some of the broken pieces fell away from the Partzufim and became the essence of evil. Therefore, the Kabbalah teaches that it is from the broken pieces that evil springs. This is now the beginning of the second half of the explanation of evil: that is, from God's perspective there was good first and it was from the breaking of the good that evil came.

Evil, then, was created from fallen good. The primary reason for this was so that it could be elevated back again to the good. If evil had existed as an entity unto itself, there may have been no way to make evil other than what it was. But if evil was really broken shards of good, then it would certainly be possible to take them and bring them back to their original source. At that point, they would become good again. This is indeed what Jewish mystics see as the task of humanity as a whole and of every individual. Man's role on earth is to take these broken pieces and, through our actions and way of life, to elevate them back to the source of good.When this cosmic process is completed, all evil as we understand it today will cease to exist. From God's point of view, therefore, first there was good and then there was evil. But on our level, evil came before good: that is why we have darkness preceeding light.

This brings us to a very intriguing issue in the Kabbalah. When we state that God wanted to give man free will, what are we really saying? How free are we and what is the domain of free will? What can we actually do?

Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan provided another analogy about the Kabbalistic concept of free will. His analogy is that of a divine chess game. He suggested: imagine that you are playing chess with a grandmaster. The grandmaster can let you make any move you wish and still he will win the game. As a matter of fact, if the grandmaster did not want to end the game in just a handful of moves, he could let you play the game for a very long time. He would certainly manipulate the game in such a way so as to keep you moving and moving. You could not possibly overcome the grandmaster, but he could permit you many, many moves.

Indeed, if the grandmaster decided that your chess bishop should go to a particular square, it would probably not be difficult for him to move his pieces to make your bishop end up on that square. Using this analogy, Rabbi Kaplan compared our daily life to playing a divine chess game. We make a move, God makes a move; we possess total freedom in the moves we make, but God—through the way He makes His moves or countermoves—has tremendous influence on where we will end up despite our seeming freedom to move wherever we want. If we keep this chess game analogy in mind, it can help clarify the concept of free will.

forgot where i read this: god and the devil are not equal.

Asmodeus

Five Years of Qadosh

via AQ 440 = CHRISTOPHER S. HYATT, PH.D. = THINKING THE UNTHINKABLE

AQ 199 = KCQUABBALLAH = DUST-FLUX = SMALL-WARS = GREAT WORK = MICROSOFT = RUB AL-KHALIE(see also)

AQ 218 = LA VOIE LACTÉE (THE MILKY WAY) = HOMOPHONES = LIBER QWYZ = UEBER-TROLL

"Nahel, NHAL, is equal to (if we take Hebrew letter values, in this armchair undertaking) the important number 86."

AQ 86 = OMEGA

"When I was beginning on this Path I’ve been on, I was looking for a magical name that had a relation to my personal name, at least numerically. I had yet to realize that my “flat name” is actually a Magical name “par-excellence”. So, somehow, (the data on this does not survive, unfortunately), I hit upon the phrase “One is the Spirit of the Living Gods” – Achatha Ruach Alohim Chayyim, or ARACh. This word is equal to 210. In those days I still did not realize the importance of THAT number, which, for one thing, equals Nephilim, and other important words/concepts pertaining to The Story."

AQ 210 = COUNTDOWN = COSMODROME = EXPLOSION = EXQUISITE = HAPPY QABBALA = INITIATION = VYSPAROV = HASSAN-I-SABAH

AQ 308 = JONATHAN SELLERS = EXTREME TRACKING = FORESIGHTEDNESS = NEW IMAGINATIONS = TEN COMMANDMENTS = THE KEY TO THELEMA

AQ 276 = ANTIQILLUM.COM = COUNTER-COINAGE = TRUE DEVOTION

Asmodeus

The Niggerati Network

THE NIGGERATI NETWORK, via KOUFAX AWARDS, via wampum(=paradigm), via cabal(=eden)

AQ 252 = KOUFAX AWARDS = FOUR-FIVE-NINE = NEW DIMENSION = SEVENTY-SIX = GLOBAL SUMMIT
D26 FC = KOUFAX AWARDS = COMPLEXITY = LIGHTNING-FLASH = NINETY-THREE
GON1 24 = KOUFAX AWARDS = TRANSINFINITE = LOVECRAFT = QIYAMAH = STRANGE ATTRACTOR
GON2 24 = KOUFAX AWARDS = SOMEONE NEEDS TO POST SOMETHING NEW

On the name of the site

"If you go back to what I was saying earlier about her being a feminist during the Harlem Renaissance, and look at some of the documents that were internally circulated in the twenties among black artists and intellectuals, there was a very specific call on the part of the black press for people to avoid discussions of black sexuality -- particularly black female sexuality. That attitude was seen as necessary to counter white racist stereotypes of black female licentiousness that had been going on since slavery -- stereotypes that had become a justification for attacks on black women. Most of her peers are saying that what she openly discusses are taboo subject matters that can't be treated safely in a white racist society. In fact, there are some literal, printed guidelines for black contributors meant for internal circulation, one of which by George Schuyler, who says to stay away from the erotic and from black female sexuality. So, it is an era of those kinds of warnings, and here is Zora Neale Hurston writing a book like Their Eyes Were Watching God, which turns completely on a sixteen year-old black woman's visualization through the metaphor of a pear tree, of orgasm. Clearly, she is doing some pretty wild stuff, particularly in her milieu and in her context. She wrote about rural southern blacks at a time when it was thought best to counter black stereotypes by demonstrating how similar black society is to white society, that there is nothing to fear between the races. She does just the opposite, showing white America how different black America is. Given the fact that this was during the height of the Klan, it was a very high risk, aesthetic move. In its context, it enraged many people and was politically very risky." [yes, more please...]

Asmodeus

Iconostasis

The Focus of Life The Muttering of Aaos: written and illustrated by Austin Osman Spare. Edited by Frederick Carter with an Introduction by Francis Marsden.

Printed and Published by The Morland Press Ltd 190 Ebury Street London SW1 Mcmxxi

Iconostasis

In the world of men are many orders: The most, those in whom multitudinous desire goad onward to some unimagined end—an end, vague, intangible, unreal—an end which, formulated and analysed, or accomplished, reveals itself as a down-sitting in the satiety of grotesque comfort to impose a vacuous will upon youth—and of these of the deathly hand, no more. But of the explorers of the infinite and marvellous things of the inmost mind—that which is before thought was—few though they may be, more of consequence is to be known; they are the makers of images and seekers of God.

These of the living and, the makers of epics, the tellers of tales, fantastic, compelling, beyond belief, of that which is and never was, worshippers of a fair impossible she, tramplers of the slime of the pit, clamberers of the rock of the holy mountains, dreamers of the rose and the dew, of milken hill and vine of immortality, these are they that tell of the gay wisdom, of the true end of pleasure beyond becoming—who seek what is to be: they who sound the deep of the sacred name, the fourfold I AM, past, present, future, and in eternity.

In the historical period which is still in some, if slight, degree within our knowledge, there remains to us for our true information little but the records left by these greater ones. That which they wrote, or carved, or which they handed down, nameless, for preservation in myth and fable, looms large in our lives or in our dreams, stirring to a passion of delight our child imaginations or moving profoundly our greybeard's philosophical speculations. The work of these greater ones, dead and yet speaking, calls to some kindred condition in our own souls that cries out in recognition; a passionate rhythm of more intense life moves within us—and dies. As Plato wrote: "Writings are as memoranda, and as signposts for those that follow the same road." The path is that way which one in ten thousand announces, and he is cried out upon as a madman or a knave by a world desiring to rest content with evanescent toys, slippery gains, light loves, and the ribald chaffering of the market places, or at moments of its most serious regard finding satisfaction in foolish phantasms of heavens painfully to be distinguished from the crass Utopias of sentimentality, and vended for self-interest by journals flush with reports of scandal and crime.

Truly the deepest secret is always hidden even though it be laid in the public ways or cried from housetops. The search is to be known only to the seeker, it is not to be taught but only to be learned, and then hardly. All those who follow the strange gleam of that inmost light seem as those passers-by in the Thousand and One Nights who, garbed as beggars and stained with travel, telling their marvellous histories proclaim themselves, "We are Kalendars, sons of Kings". The stories of their strange experiences of wonder and despair suffice the nights of horror, and lift at last the shadow of the sword of the betrayed king as the voice recounts through the dark hours until the light. So in the great quest of the Grail through the ruined kingdoms of the Dark Ages by the knights, who also were the sons of kings, they of the Round Table; the knightly seeker who slept when he should have waked nor asked the needful question, was akin to the dire company who will not when they may; and like those who to-day handle the secret things of the soul with strained alien comparisons demanding the forlornest savages or of wretched neurotics the ultimate keys of the mysteries of the heart of man.

The way proclaimed even by all the sages as by Plato and by Socrates, was that in which the bold knight Gawain failed, that which he had been warned to ask, he asked not. To that essential question "To who is this cup served?" which he should have asked, the histories give no answer. Though the response implicit in the matter "He that wills, to him that asks" would have opened for him eyes which, without question and answer, drowsed through the holy vision.

In the ancient churches, built for an agelong faith according to order, rule, and canon—proportion, ornament, all design and form was ordered according to tradition, a tradition alive and understood, capable of infinite variety, and yet in its essence simple based upon a philosophy which maintained a coherent relation between imagination, art, and material life. This philosophic vision so often obscured is yet to be found again and yet again, for it expresses itself through the systematic order of proportions which regulate the expression of things immaterial in material, between life subjective and life objective. Thus were the measures of the Temple of the Most High, the pattern of the Soul.

This tradition was handed down from previous generations,—at times of other manifestations of religious faith, yet on whom the light of joy and beauty had shone,—was passed from pagan to Christian, Chaldean and Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, Indian and Mussulman, each and all took and gave and as always in human knowledge none knew all but each sacrificed the whole to the part. Their symbols differed as their outer garments but the inner desire, the purpose at root was ever the same, for however the races of man may differ in goods and observances, their moods and their mental and bodily functions are ever the same. Their symbols are diagrammic images fixing the principles of the forms of protean shape changing thought, and giving guides and signs of power to the entity for the conquest of the inner world of darking mood and passion, so in consequence each may be equated with its analogous symbol, and Eve as easily give a pomegranate as an apple—yet still be Eve.

Within, the house of worship was divided by sacerdotal wisdom into two parts, an outer and an inner, and separated by a great screen for isolation of the hierarch from the simple devout. Images of the great forms of the god inspired founders, bearing symbols of their part in the mysterious origins of the faith, were arrayed upon it in a guardian company against the outer body of the church as if to protect the sacred place. A gate was set amidst them and beyond was the holy altar of the divine sacrifice. So the Gothic artists set all about their churches images of majesty or of grotesque to hold the gaze or menace the vulgar regard of inattention, and all was ordered and patterned according to their vision of the mind.

Ever between the one who desires knowledge, and that which, secret in itself, is to be known is arrayed the band of traditional powers past whom, by force of will, the source of their wisdom is to be gained. Beyond the Gate which they guard is the sacred feast of joy, there is the bread of strength and the draught of ecstasy: but these symbols are delivered into the hands of none but that one who has striven. None may offer sacrifice but one who has sacrificed greatly: to him that hath shall be given. As the sacred feast is the symbol of the great deliverance by death, therein is the culmination of the pattern of the life of man.

The entry of the church by the narrow door, the traversing of the body of the church, the strait gate, the feast of the imagination beyond, is as the work of the artist whether manifested within or without, its climax is the venture of the soul in the search through a divine intoxication for the knowledge of things beyond the common sense. The true Temple, as we are taught, is the body of man: and the entrance to the innermost mystery of the ritual of thought and imagination is past the hierarchy of ancient powers that are at once of terror and of beauty. The way in, is that old obscure experiment of the philosophers, of which Thomas Vaughan writes "That death which the Kabalist calls +Mors Osculi+ or the Death of the Kiss, of which I must not speak one syllable". This mystical death is as the open entrance to the palace of Dreams where the Lady Despoina reigns, the sleep of vision which is as of the kiss of the dark King's bride that unloosens the soul gently.

The end of these gnomic divagations and appeals to philosopher and myth is this only, that they were all great according as they were great as imaginative artists, and as artists they were concerned with the world of images—of imagination—the vast abyss where by the divine faculty of dream, they become fishers and each in their degree drew out wonderful draughts, as strange even as those of the Arabian tales. This book is as a net containing a vessel of strange form, the contents are to be judged without undue prepossession, remembering that among strange symbols and images is the gate through which Truth is found. To your discriminating regard and full cogitation I deliver them, O reader.

Francis Marsden.