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Tag: Constructing Tradition: Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism

The Breastplate of Judgement, Breastplate of Aaron, choshen ha-moshpat

“In his lectures, Johann Schwarz also repeatedly mentioned a miraculous light or “energy” which transforms an initiate into a “vessel” for the reception of sacred wisdom.

“This light shone in the precious stones of the breastplate [of judgement] of Aaron. This light teaches us every holy thing, such as knowing the future, the will of god and the Messiah. It is by means of this light that we can comprehend the writings of Solomon. This light is a supernatural heaven, paradise, a divine emanation. The influx of this light governs the pious people who live a spiritual life. This light is an influx and an action of the Holy Spirit, its ray. Whomever has this light [inside him], he is in God and God is within him. He feels His presence. He is possessed of the supernatural light. He talks to God as to his friend. He is a true theologian.”

The Breastplate of Judgment, the Breastplate of Aaron, the choshen ha-moshpat (Exodus 28:15-30), contained precious stones and functioned as a special device for receiving divine revelations.”

–From Konstantin Burmistrov, “The Kabbalah as Primordial Tradition in Russian Secret Societies,” in Andreas Kilcher, Constructing Tradition, Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism, 2010, pg. 332-3.

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 Konstantin Burmistrov, “The Kabbalah as Primordial Tradition in Russian Secret Societies,” in Andreas Kilcher, Constructing Tradition, Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism, 2010, pg. 339.

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 philosophical ways of thought.”

–Moshe Idel, “Revelation and the ‘Crisis of Tradition’ in Kabbalah,” in Andreas B. Kilcher, Constructing Tradition: Means and Myths of Transmission in Western Esotericism. Pg. 259.

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