1) Make the best of every conscious moment, our time is limited, so make the best of whatever your circumstances at the moment and make little steps towards a better future. The Past is what you stand on, the Future is in flux, but the Present Moment is ours.
2) Don’t be a Dick. Even when someone deserves it, or it advances a cause, or it’s quite clever, don’t do unto others that which you would not appreciate if done to you.
3) Perhaps covers by Rule # 2, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, or don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. Don’t let your expectations of the perfect get in the way of the Good. Most things improve over time, and little steps lead to greater Destiny. Flexible Persistence always WORKs.
4) In the fortress of your Mind, only you decide how to interpret your experience of the World. Use Will and Imagination to your benefit, or it will WORK against you.
5) Notice something of Beauty everyday, and take at least a moment to “step outside” your daily life and contemplate yourself and your situation
6) To have Friends, be a Friend ( Ralph Waldo Emerson) . Measure your success by the positive effect you have on the people and world around you, Live Respected and Die Regretted.
Embracing a 4,000 year old tradition is difficult enough, but the fluid transformation of NAMEs in the Jewish tradition makes it much more difficult to keep track of the currents of thought developed by the various teachers and schools of Qabalist, rationalist Rabbis, the various Pagan, Christian and Muslim scholars of Neoplatonism which contribute to the Theory of Unity (ARARITA) or the Esoteric tradition that Spirit is manifested in the Material World around us, nicknamed the Gnostic Qabalah.
With hopes it may prove useful to you as well, this essay consolidates an excel spreadsheet of links to the WIKI of Esoteric Thought both to help identify the person and the theory as it develops over time. While most are Jews, there are some Pagan Greeks and Muslim Philosophers included to flesh out the Gnostic and Neoplatonism history, particularly as we bring the Wisdom of the Pagan and Ancients through Spain and Italy into Europe to end the Dark Ages.
Hebrew NAMEs are simply formatted as So & so, son of So & so, but as many of the available names are the same, sometimes they are augmented with a persons profession, hometown or unusual trait. So we might have Eleazar Ben Judah, or Eleazar son of Judah, also known as “Eleazar the Perfumer” and Eleazar Ben Judah Ben Kalonymus of Worms (Worms, Germany, not the creature). Isaac the Blind is an example of the last format. Most of the scholars in this index were, at one time or another, forced to flee one country for another, and many are referred to in different languages or dialects, which can make identification complicated. First there is the Hebrew name and it’s English equivalent, like Isaac the Blind AKA Rabbi Yitzhak Saggi Nehor, Isaac = Yitzhak. Then there is the two main Hebrew dialects, Ashkenazi in Northern Europe, Sephardic in Spain, the Middle East and Italy. This introduces the substitution of the V sound for the B sound, such as Avraham for Abraham. Then we have the influence of Arabic on many names, where “Ben” becomes “ibn”, while still meaning “son of”, as in Isaac Ibn Sahula aka Isaac Ben Solomon Abi Sahula. Finally, the cherry of confusion on top of our Qabalaistic Sunday, is the mangling of their names into Latin translations, like Solomon ibn Gabirol AKA Avicebron, a corruption of Ibn Gibran.
Too often I would be researching a new link in the chain, only to discover very similar arguments or even imagery, and then look back through my Opus and discover it was the same Scholar under a different name. That was one of the main impetus for creating the OPUS WIKI, the SEARCH function allows one to quickly connect the dots in mystic philosophy even when the dot may be misnamed.
Ancient and Medieval Times:
IN THE BEGINNING, there was Unity. That Unity condensed to create empty space and then filled that space with Creation, made from it’s own Self. That material Creation is unstable, and changes, and then melts back into the Unity eventually. The only way back is through.
Drawing on the Bible and it’s commentary, on the tales of Abraham, Moses, King Solomon and the influences of their conquerors, the Assyrian, Zoroasterian , Babylonian, Chaldean and Egyptians, the Judeans developed the Qabalistic view of Creation. It different from that of Zoroaster and Mani in that it regarded the material world as a beautiful but broken vessel to be repaired, not a prison to be escaped. The conquest by Alexander the Great introduced the Wisdom of the Greeks, the Ancients like Pythagoras, Socrates, Euclid, Plato and Aristotle. Jewish, Christian, and Muslim scholars, on discovering this coherent and in some cases self evident logic and concepts, would struggle to reconcile these Greek ideas to their reveled religions.
Philo of Alexandria might well be considered the first to incorporate Neoplatonism, but a shadowy Mage about whom little is known, Hermes Trismegistus, will have more influence with his maxim “As Above, so Below”. The Sage Hillel‘s philosophy shows little of this influence, but has as much to do in shaping the ideas of Jesus the Christ as the Essene Gnostic Judeans and Zoroaster. As the Roman occupation leads to a series of rebellions, Josephus tells us of Rabbi Akiva , reputed author of the Sepher Yetzirah, or the Book of Formation, and martyr to the Son of the Star rebellion of Simon bar Kokhba. His student, the Yoshi or Shimon bar Yochai survives, and this Wisdom is conveyed to RAV AKA Abba Arika in Babylon. Anan Ben David will argue this mystical approach against the more traditional Rabbis in Khazastan as founder of the Karaites.
This coincides with the rise of Islam, and the Houses of Knowledge established in Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus and el Andalus or proto-Spain. Gerber , Avicenna aka Ibn Sina , Averroes, and Alhazen on the Muslim side, and Sa’adya Gaon, Menahem Ibn Saruq, the Negdilath aka Samuel Hanagid , and Solomon ibn Gabirol all struggle with Aristotle‘s logic and Plato‘s Ideal World of Forms.
When the Berber Muslims invade the last bastion of the Umayyads in Spain, the diaspora increased, spreading the seeds of these ideas on the winds of chaos. The fall of Constantinople drove Greek speaking Christians and Jews out of Turkey and into Europe, and with it the resources for the Florentine Platonic Academy. The Renaissance had come to Italy. This was followed in Spain by the Christian invasion and expulsion of the Jews in 1492, followed by a similar expulsion of Muslims a generation later. Students and scholars fleeing war brought new ideas to formerly Dark Ages. The first European style Universities will study the manuscripts of these scholars, as Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Peter Abelard and Duns Scotus create a Christian slant on the Ancient Wisdom.
All True Religions see the same Light, but from different perspectives. Many attempts to reconcile the mystical philosophies of Greek, Judaism / Hebrew, Egyptian Zoroastrian and Christian thought have traced out a subset of mysticism that avoids the dualism of Zoroaster and it’s condemnation of the Material World to exalt it as both the finest WORK of the Creator and made up of the Creator’s essence. It finds in the Zohar the theory of the Tsimtsum, God withdrawing Himself into Himself to make a Space without the Godhead, then exhaling a word (YHVH) to Create the material world out of HIS own Being.
The underlying esoteric theme of the initial Unity of everything as part of God’s substance, brought to potential and material existence, and returned to it’s source is in direct contrast to the Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam exoteric message of Creation. Aristotle postulates a world that has always existed, and in the Middle Ages of Europe, in the Golden Age of Islam, and in the chaos of proto – Spain Andalusia and Cordoba, the wisdom of the Ancients was being saved. In Persia and Cairo, and later Spain, Christians read Greek to Jews who read Hebrew and Aramaic / Syriac with Muslims who wrote Syriac and Arabic, to create a House of Wisdom. A similar process after the fall of Constantinople drove Greek speaking Christians to Italy, where Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and John Argyropoulos resurrected the Florence Platonic Academy and kick-started the Renaissance.
Tracking the concept from Rabbi Philo of Alexandria through the Gnostics, Neoplatonism, Hermes Trismegistus, Avicenna, Avicebron (aka Solomon ibn Gabirol ), & Averroes to St. Thomas Aquinas and the Thomists, Peter Abelard in France and Duns Scotus.
The Godhead was United,
in this World, incomplete.
The beginning lies within,
only be realized without.
The Spark separated yearns,
The Fire burns when two unite
and there is LIGHT.
Bring me my Bow of burning gold; (the straightening phallus as desire grows, hot with desire)
Bring me my Arrows of desire: (sperm impregnated with seeds of WILL or Spiritual Life)
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold! (the phallus erect, the Sky Goddess opens to accept it)
Bring me my Chariot of fire! (the Visions of the Merkhabah Chariot of God, transports us to the Spiritual realm)
In studying the path from Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer AKA The Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto AKA The RaMCHaL, Rabbi Jacob Frank Sabbatai Zevi , and somewhat independently, Jakob Bohme , Emanuel Swedenborg, Count Nicholaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf of the Moravian Brotherhood, Mother Eve aka Eva Margaretha von Buttlar, and William Blake , experienced their identification between the Hebrew Shekenah, the Gnostic Sophia and a feminized Holy Spirit, as well as Eve before the Fall. This sometimes manifests as the Tantra technique of breaking social taboos, Antinomianism, as the Whore of Babalon motif favored by Aleister Crowley, or exultation as with Mother Eve which breaks social taboos, but can also fit well within the mystical systems that follow rules, breaking OTHER preconceptions to create the Aha! experience. They are all a “Drawing Down” of the Goddess in HER many forms, written by Men, incomplete creatures yearning for the Feminine which will complete them, and heal the Original Separation of the sexes.
Judy was a force of Nature; a whirlwind of writing, a bonfire of creativity, a cool river of compassion, and a beehive of activity. Many people are creative, some people are practical, Judy had a foot in both the worlds of Spirit and Matter. Her ideas were well researched and considered, but she was also able to organize and plan the practical details to “Earth” them. Like a Pharaoh, she wore the double – crown, her’s of competency as well as creativity. Her passion was for Equality, an ideal she pursued in all walks of her life. In a world where each individual is born unique, with certain skills and in different social circumstances, she fought for equal access and treatment of all. Even when it was impractical, she would fight the good fight, compromising only with regret. For half a century our overall Community and Paganism in America benefited from her organizational skills. The skilled Practioners who mastered her unique brand of Gardnarian Wicca have become Leaders in their own Rite, and have continued the tradition of handing down “the blessing, the bloodline, the barakas” to new Generations of Witches. Her classes on Leadership provided all day, intensive training to the Leaders of Tomorrow. Her impact on the Future is assured in her writings, her theories, and those who carry a little piece of Judy’s LIGHT into their Spiritual practice. Her Spirit suffuses the Air we breathe now, her Teachings illuminate our Creative Fire, the structure of the Proteus lineage stands strong, and if we cry, we cry for our loss, and Judy lives in those tears.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to harvest; A time to hurt, and a time to heal; a time to break, and a time to build; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; These are the times of our Lives, a celebration of all Judy accomplished before she had to say Goodbye. She is with The Mother now, one with the Ancient Ones. May the Peace of the Goddess go in our hearts. May She lift up Her face to smile upon us, and grant us Peace. May She look down upon all the good we do, bless our tears as well as our laughter. And may Judy’s life inspire us to challenge ourselves to become the best we can be. Amen, and Blessed Be.
By Chuck 2.0 Furnace at her Celebration of Life, Columbia Faculty Houss, NYC 6/28/2014
Very honored to be asked to speak at the Greater Feast celebrating Judy Harrow‘s life and passing this weekend, and to speak last representing Spirit.
submerge to the neck in warm water and relax, with dim lights, breath slowly and deeply, listen to your heartbeat slow
The four fold breath is inhale thru the nose, push air thru the toes, exhale from the feet thru the body and out the mouth
(audible sounds are fine, your style, your choice)
use whatever technique brings you to Sacred Space (Rose Cross or Middle Pillar WORK well) and EMPTY YOURSELF.
As your ego produces things to fill the vacuum, gently brush them aside with your exhalations, REMAIN EMPTY.
Remember, you are a Sacred Vessel in a Sacred Space, opening yourself with no Lust of Result or expectation.
Eventually “cracks” or “holes” begin to appear, now this is crucial, Do Not Alter your Emptiness and try to reach out to, or thru the cracks, REMAIN EMPTY. Maintain your breathing, and just remember as clearly as possible by being as receptive as possible WITHOUT RETELLING YOURSELF WHAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING.
This break in the chatter of the Monkey-Mind allows the LIGHT to flow down to and thru you, and the LIGHT is energizing and Creative.