Samizdat

Publishing the Forbidden. All Rights Reserved. © Samizdat 2014-21.

Search Results

Smoke Signals: Borges, Tzahi Weiss, Kabbalah

I am obsessed by the idea that we project reality through a mass delusion, shared consciousness, a form of hypnosis and active dreaming that generates everything in our multiverse.

Finally, Here is the True Kabbalah

“The transition from the usual meaning of the word Kabbalah to the esoteric nuance was easily made. We find the first sign of it in Yehudah ben Barzilai. Speaking of the creation of the Holy Spirit, which is the Shekhinah, he says: “The sages did not deal with it at length, in order that men […]

The Original Content of the Kabbalah

” … Traditions differ in matters of detail. According to some, it was Rabbi David, the father of Rabbi Abraham ben David (known in Hebrew literature by the acronym Rabad) and not Abraham ben Isaac, his father- in-law, who was the first to receive this Kabbalah. Albeck assumed Isaac the Blind was the son and […]

Edenic Origins of the Kabbalah

“The Qabalah is traditionally traced back to Adam and Eve.” [ … ] “The disciplines of the Mystical Qabalah are distinct from those practiced by magicians, wizards, and sorcerers who seek to acquire creative and/or destructive power, depending on what paths they traverse on the Tree of Life. The occult disciplines of wizards and magicians […]

Seeking the Original Kabbalah

“By the Mystical Qabalah, we are referring to an ancient mystical transmission that preceded and supersedes any of the religious vessels through which it has been subsequently filtered and adapted. These vessels include the Israelite Hebrew, Rabbinical Judaic, Mystical Christian, Sufi Islamic, and possibly even the North Indian Tantric. Each of these vessels has framed […]

Kabbalah as Metasystem

“The prime source for the precursors of the occult revival were without question Athanasius Kircher (1602-80), a German Jesuit whose Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652) detailed Kabbalah amongst its study of Egyptian mysteries and hieroglyphics, and Cornelius Agrippa’s De Occulta Philosophia (1533). Other works, such as those from alchemists including Khunrath, Fludd and Vaughan indicated that the […]

Reincarnation in Jewish Kabbalah

“The concept of reincarnation (gilgul) became central in the psychological doctrines of the Lurianic school, perhaps for the first time in the history of the kabbalah. There are five strata in the soul, reflecting the structure of the sefirot; each of these components has its own history, and each wanders from body to body, from […]

Marsilio Ficino and Christian Kabbalah

“Christian kabbalah can be traced to the “school of Marsilio Ficino in Florence, in the second half of the fifteenth century.” “Ficino is best known for his translations of Plato’s writings from Greek to Latin, but of much importance was his translation to Latin of the corpus of esoteric, mysterious old treatises known as the […]

Swiss Army Kabbalah

Joseph Dan claims that kabbalah transformed from a uniquely Jewish religious tradition into a European concept, “integrated with Christian theology, philosophy, science and magic, at the end of the fifteenth century.” He stresses that there is no unanimity about the definition of the term “kabbalah,” that it is used differently, to refer to different things, […]

You Say Kabbalah, I Say Cabala

Christian kabbalah can be traced to the “school of Marsilio Ficino in Florence, in the second half of the fifteenth century.” “Ficino is best known for his translations of Plato’s writings from Greek to Latin, but of much importance was his translation to Latin of the corpus of esoteric, mysterious old treatises known as the […]

Kabbalah as Revealed Wisdom vs. Gnostic or Neoplatonic Invention

“They rated the Kabbalah highly, not (or not only) as an original Jewish doctrine but as a supposed basis of every religious or esoteric tradition.” […] Thus the Kabbalah was considered by Masonic authors to be ancient wisdom, received by the Jews directly from God and retained in some ancient esoteric schools but primarily in […]

What Kabbalah Is

“The Kabbalah was understood both as the knowledge granted through a revelation in the very beginning and as the means of its transmission. Furthermore, exactly this knowledge gives the initiate an opportunity to reach a state of spiritual perfection and to establish a connection with the divine world, that is, to attain personal revelation.” –From […]

Moshe Idel on Kabbalah.

“The main issue to be learnt from the Kabbalah according to this Kabbalist (Abulafia) is the essence of reality, not the secrets of the Torah. Preeminently a philosophical concern, inspired by Maimonides’ thought, this knowledge is nevertheless achieved by combining letters, an approach to language that differs from the more conventional understanding of it in […]

Joseph Dan, Kabbalah: A Very Short Introduction

 Joseph Dan says that Kabbalah can be considered: a. The essence of Assyrian religion (!?).  b. The essence of Christianity.  c. Mysticism. A form of mysticism.  d. A secret magical tradition.  “Mysticism” is completely absent from both Jewish and Islamic cultures until the 19th century. The concept of mysticism derives from Christianity, referring to the […]

Revelation: A Screed on Dreams and Worlds Without End

It occurs to me that I forgot to announce publication of my third book, Revelation, on Samizdat. So those of you who follow me here but not on my other site, Magic Kingdom Dispatch, may not know that I published this work. Revelation is a metaphysik, a revelation on metaphysics, cosmogony, quantum physics, Hinduism, Buddhism, […]

Revelation Revisited

A review of Matt Cardin, “In Search of Higher Intelligence: The Daemonic Muses(s) of Crowley, Leary & RAW.”

On the Ineffable

This is my review of Nick Stockton’s “Time Might Only Exist in Your Head. And Everyone Else’s.” From Wired, 26 September, 2016. Published at 0600 hrs. I later modified this piece on 17 October, 2016. It keeps bothering me like a splinter in my mind. In its current revision, it comprises 2,537 words. “Some physicists blame gravity […]

Eco: Dee’s Magic Language

“In his Apologia compendiaria (1615) Fludd noted that the Rosicrucian brothers practiced that type of kabbalistic magic that enabled them to summon angels. This is reminiscent of the steganography of Trithemius. Yet it is no less reminiscent of the necromancy of John Dee, a man whom many authors considered the true inspirer of Rosicrucian spirituality. In […]

Eco: Magic Names and Kabbalistic Hebrew

“The date 1492 is an important one for Europe: it marks not only the discovery of America, but also the fall of Granada, through which Spain (and thus all Europe) severed its last link with Islamic culture. As a consequence of Granada, moreover, their Christian majesties expelled the Jews from Spain, setting them off on […]

Eco: A Dream that Refused to Die

  “Even faced with the results of the research of comparative linguistics, however, monogenetic theories refuse to give up the ghost. The bibliography of belated monogeneticism is immense. In it, there is to be found the lunatic, the crank, the misfit, the bizarre mystic, as well as a number of students of unimpeachable rigor. In […]

Eco: Postel’s Universalistic Utopia, 2

“After various peregrinations, Postel found himself in Venice, where, in 1547, he was appointed chaplain of the Hospital of Sts. John and Paul (called the Ospedaletto), and censor of books published in the Hebrew language in that city. While in the Ospedaletto, he was appointed confessor to its founder, the fifty year old Johanna, or […]

Eco: Cosmic Permutability and the Kabbala of Names

“The kabbalist could rely on the unlimited resources of temurah because anagrams were more than just a tool of interpretation: they were the very method whereby God created the world. This doctrine had already been made explicit in the Sefer Yezirah, or Book of Creation, a little tract written some time between the second and […]

Eco: The Kabbalistic Pansemioticism

  “Our story opened with a reference to an eastern text, the Bible. By the time of the last church Fathers, however, knowledge of the language in which this text was composed had been lost. Thus we were able to begin our story by reading the Bible directly in the Latin of the Vulgate. The Christian […]

Umberto Eco: Search for the Perfect Language

This book by Umberto Eco is available in one eBook format via The Open Library.

Lending of that book is controlled using Adobe Digital Editions.

Excerpts published on Samizdat fall under Fair Use provisions.

About Samizdat

Samizdat explained!

A Missing or Defective Letter, a 23 Character Alphabet, and Seven Books of the Torah

“Hence the author of the Book Temunah transfers his interest from the redemption at the end of the current shemittah (about which he has little to say anyway) to the vision of the following one. The vision of the end of the present shemittah, of the gradual extinction of humanity, and of the slowing down […]

The Name of God is Woven Throughout the Torah

“This also explains the particular character of the Torah, which is designed to show the way to the worship of God under the specific conditions of this aeon. The present aeon is ruled by the evil inclination that stems from the power of Stern Judgment and that seduces man to idolatry, which had no place […]

Shemittah Without Limit

“In this state, the Torah is not “legible” for human beings. At the Sinaitic revelation, God taught Moses how to read the Torah by a division into letters and words, in such manner that it yielded a meaning in the Hebrew language. These considerations also opened the door to the possibility of alternative mystical readings, […]

Opening and Closing of the Cosmic Book

“The historical origins of this doctrine remain to be examined. It is entirely conceivable that it came from the Orient to Provence, where it became associated at a later date with the doctrine of the sefiroth. The penchant for great numbers in the cosmic cycles, which quickly led beyond the 50,000 years of a cosmic […]

The Cosmic Jubilee of 50,000 Years

“Seven of these shemittoth exhaust the productive power hidden in the seven “sefiroth of construction.” After 49,000 years, in the “great jubilee year,” the entire creation returns to its origin in the womb of binah, the “mother of the world,” just as according to the biblical ordinance concerning the jubilee year, after fifty years “liberty […]

A Perpetual Process of the Re-Creation of the World

“As a matter of fact, doctrines relating to cosmic cycles in the evolution of the world were also known in Jewish medieval literature outside the Kabbalah. Through the intermediary of Indian and Arabic sources, rather than under the influence of Platonic thoughts, ideas of this type slipped into astrological writings in particular. Abraham bar Hiyya in […]

Bodhisattvas

“Occasionally even the mystical illumination produced by the effluence of the divine power from one sefirah to another is designated as sod ha-‘ibbur. In general, the kabbalists of Gerona restricted the transmigration of souls, on the basis of Job 33:29, to three rebirths following the first entry of the soul into the human body, though […]

Not All Human Souls Are Blessed

“The human soul is essentially different from the animal soul; Nahmanides adopts, along with other kabbalists of the earliest period, the Platonic view of the soul, according to which there exist different souls in man and not only different faculties of a unitary soul. According to Nahmanides, man’s anima rationalis unites the rational and the mystical-intuitive, […]

Miracles

“We shall forgo a closer analysis of the views of this circle on the constitution of creation but shall nevertheless mention the important contribution made by Nahmanides, in marked opposition to Maimonides, with his doctrine of “hidden miracles.” This doctrine, repeatedly expounded by him as the foundation of the whole Torah, sees the natural law […]

There are 18,000 Worlds

“The creative power of God, however, not only in the one world that we know, but all nine sefiroth—with the exception of the first, in which no contraries exist since it is the Nought—unfold in their double action toward the sides of Stern Judgment and of Mercy, and each produces a thousand worlds in each […]

The Torah is the Name

“In a more mystical sense, it is true, the ‘asiluth represents the name or the names of God, as has been shown in the preceding chapter. This theosophic conception was preserved in Gerona. Creation can subsist only to the extent that the name of God is engraved in it. The revelation of the name is […]

The Pure Spirituality of the Future World

“But there are various attitudes with regard to prayer itself corresponding to the three principles of all reality, which Azriel borrowed from the metaphysics of Aristotle while giving them a mystical twist. These three principles are matter, form, and sieresis; this last notion is, however, influenced by the Hebrew translation and replaced by the principle […]

Mysticism of Prophecy

“In this manner the ancients used to spend some time in meditation, before prayer, and to divert all other thoughts and to determine the paths of their kawwanah [during the subsequent prayer] and the power that was to be applied to its direction. And similarly [also] some time during prayer, in order to realize the […]

Magical Conformity of the Will in the Kawwanah

“This brief text gives a very precise and valuable description of what takes place in the kawwanah. The completeness and precision of expression are unrivaled in the literature of the Kabbalah; we doubtless owe these qualities to the fact that the author wished to describe the magic of the kawwanah—but at the same time also […]

Mysteries Not to be Discussed

He made no secret of the fact that the Kabbalah was the positive ground on which he stood in his struggle against rationalist enlightenment. He derided the Maimonideans in witty verses in which he sought to expose the weaknesses of their position. But the kabbalistic doctrines themselves, which he manifestly opposes to them, are only […]

The Mystery of ben Belimah

“In the history of Jewish literature, Nahmanides is often considered to exemplify the “most Jewish” spirit; he was the one among Spanish Jews who expressed the deepest convictions regarding the Judaism of his time and embodied what was best and highest in it. From the point of view of a “refined” Judaism or the pure […]

The Angel Sandalfon

“The theory of the intelligible points is connected with the reinterpretation discussed previously (p. 259) of the ideas as spiritual atoms and their application to the sefiroth. From these and similar Provençal sources, this theory then made its way to the kabbalists in Castile, above all to Isaac Cohen and Todros Abulafia, and from there […]

Jesus and the Disciples Were Great Magicians and Kabbalists

“That the kabbalists were not unaware of a possible connection between these ideas and the Christian Trinity is proved by the testimony of the Spanish scholar Profiat Duran. In his anti-Christian work “Ignominy of the Christians,” composed in 1397, he relates having heard in his youth many adepts of the Kabbalah voicing the opinion that […]

The Angel Anafiel

“In older parts of the genuine Hekhaloth literature the rank reserved for this angel is even higher than that of Metatron. His position is now combined with speculations concerning the first sefirah, not in the strict kabbalistic conception but in the spirit of the Book Yesirah’s definition of the first sefirah as the pneuma of […]

The Source of Wisdom

“The Book ‘Iyyun itself makes no mention at all of primordial ether, unless the latter is concealed in the concept of the primordial darkness. It does, however, play an important role in the “Source of Wisdom.” This small book was always regarded by the kabbalists as one of the most enigmatic works of their literature. […]

The Luminous Mirrors of the Deity

“Thus the sefiroth are here conceived as worlds but also as seals, as minting stamps of all reality—just as the Platonists speak of the ideas as seals—but they are also the ”luminous mirrors” of the deity through which its light is reflected in all reality. Some texts specify, much as does the “Book of the […]

Mystical Spelling of the Divine Name

“In the writings of the ‘Iyyun circle, the sefiroth undergo a transformation: each one, indeed even each of the thirty-two paths of the Sophia, becomes an autonomous world in which the theosophist immerses himself. In fact, even the mystical spelling of the divine name with twenty-four points, which Pseudo-Hai transmits here and which no doubt […]

The Four Principle Sefiroth

“We thus encounter pell-mell the names of sefiroth, a new light-mysticism, notions of the Merkabah, and cosmological powers. Moses of Burgos had before him a later redaction of this list, which exhibited significant variants and which apparently strove to identify the first ten potencies with the ten sefiroth of the tradition that had meanwhile become […]

The Supreme Mystery

“Whereas one of these names thus illustrates the way from magic to Neoplatonic mysticism, the other marks the way from the theory of language of the grammarians to the magic of names, that is, in the opposite direction. Both currents meet in an impressive manner in the Book ‘Iyyun and related writings. The sequel no […]

The Magical Name Araritha

“But here the magical name by means of which heaven is sealed is Araritha, and the corresponding name for the earth is ‘EHWY. The latter name, which in the writings of this group frequently serves as an object of mystical speculation, is obviously not a secret name belonging to the theurgic tradition but an artificial […]