To be a Taoist means many things to many people. To be a practitioner of Contemporary Taoism simply means to have realised that we are all minute parts of an indescribably large Whole (the Tao), and to choose therefore to 'Flow Like Water' and live in a spontaneous, natural manner. This blog is about: Personal Growth / Spiritual Development as guided by the principles of Eastern Philosophy, particularly modern philosophical Taoism; Developing constructive habits and achieving success with minimal effort; Meditation - Taoist, Zen or otherwise. See 'What In Lao Tzu's Name is a Contemporary Taoist?'

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Tao of Qabbalistic Cosmogony Vs The Brevity Thing

Manly P Hall's "The Secret Teachings of All Ages is one of my fave books (I have a print copy but here is a free online version).

I just found this passage which I think draws attention to a parrallel between Taoist and Qabbalisitic ideas (also note the use of the circle in a similar way to Zen):

"THE Qabbalists conceive of the Supreme Deity as an Incomprehensible Principle to be discovered only through the process of eliminating, in order, all its cognizable attributes. That which remains--when every knowable thing has been removed--is AIN SOPH, the eternal state of Being. Although indefinable, the Absolute permeates all space. Abstract to the degree of inconceivability, AIN SOPH is the unconditioned state of all things. Substances, essences, and intelligences are manifested out of the inscrutability of AIN SOPH, but the Absolute itself is without substance, essence, or intelligence. AIN SOPH may be likened to a great field of rich earth out of which rises a myriad of plants, each different in color, formation, and fragrance, yet each with its roots in the same dark loam--which, however, is unlike any of the forms nurtured by it. The 'plants' are universes, gods, and man, all nourished by AIN SOPH and all with their source in one definitionless essence; all with their spirits, souls, and bodies fashioned from this essence, and doomed, like the plant, to return to the black ground--AIN SOPH, the only Immortal--whence they came.

AIN SOPH was referred to by the Qabbalists as The Most Ancient of all the Ancients. It was always considered as sexless. Its symbol was a closed eye. While it may be truly said of AIN SOPH that to define It is to defile It, the Rabbis postulated certain theories regarding the manner in which AIN SOPH projected creations out of Itself, and they also assigned to this Absolute Not-Being certain symbols as being descriptive, in part at least, of Its powers. The nature of AIN SOPH they symbolize by a circle, itself emblematic of eternity. This hypothetical circle encloses a dimensionless area of incomprehensible life, and the circular boundary of this life is abstract and measureless infinity."

Interesting, although wordsome, as is the entire book - and in fact, all similar esoteric writing I suppose. Personally, to quote Jeff Bridges's "The Dude" out of context, I am "into the whole brevity thing".

3 Comments:

Anonymous donna said...

Mmmm, yes, I love the brevity of the Tao Te Ching. So simple, yet so complete.

Every time I look at these other traditions with their "secrets", they just come back to the simple principles of Tao anyway.

4:15 am

 
Blogger Seamus "Moose" Anthony said...

Indeed.

6:08 pm

 
Blogger Zen Unbound said...

Manual Trackback. This post is cited in Blogmandu, Roundup for Apr 23 - 29, 2006.

Moose, The Contemporary Taoist, tells us about AIN SOPH – a principle of Qabbalistic Cosmogony – that is the unconditioned state of all things, that is indefinable and permeates all space. ...

5:36 am

 

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