Sunday, February 3, 2013

Did Jesus teach Kabbalah, Jewish Mysticism to his 12 disciples ?

(Woodcut reproduced in François Secret: Les Kabbalistes Chrétiens de la Renaissance. The wooduct bears two inscriptions:

1. In principio erat verbum [In the beginning was the Word]
2. Qui expansis in cruce manibus, traxisti omnia ad te saecula. [Lord, you who have stretched out your hands on the cross, and have drawn the whole world to you]. The reference is to John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all [men] unto me.” For other information on Christian Kabbalah see Joseph Leon Blau: The Christian Interpretation of the Cabala in the Renaissance; Chaim Wirszubski: Pico della Mirandola’s Encounter with Jewish mysticism.

Kabbalah emphasizes the importance of collecting the divine sparks in the world. It also has the idea of Tikkun, the restoration of the world. For Jung and the alchemists, the world the ego are necessary and beneficial. Both God and humankind must pass through the world and redeem it in order to realize their full essence. Drob refers to Segal: far from being the superfluous, harmful and lamentable conditions envisioned by the Gnostics, are actually necessary, beneficial and laudable.

Lurianic Kabbalah emphasizes the same idea in how it views God. According to Scholem, Luria adopted the earlier Kabbalistic term Ein-sof to designate the primal, all-encompassing "Infinite God". This God, according to the Kabbalists, was both the totality of being and the abyss of complete “nothingness.” This totality is also the union of opposites. Even the idea that God encompasses both good and evil is not specifically Gnostic, but can be found in Kabbalah’s idea of the left and right side of God. Quispel says that the idea that the godhead encompasses both good and evil is not Gnostic at all.

In short, by providing a "this-worldly" interpretation of Gnosticism, and a spiritual-psychological interpretation of alchemy, Jung arrived at a view which was in many ways Kabbalistic in spirit. Indeed, Jung, in his interpretation of alchemy, succeeded remarkably in extracting the Kabbalistic gold which lay buried in the alchemists’ texts and methods (to use an alchemical metaphor). His work can then be profitably understood as falling in the tradition of those thinkers such as Pico della Mirandola, Johannnes Reuchlin (1983), and Knorr von Rosenroth who created a distinctively Christian Kabbalah (Scholem, 1974, [pp. 196-201])

Carl Jung refers to how Lurianic Kabbalah seeks to restore the world:
"The Jew has the advantage of having long since anticipated the development of consciousness in his own spiritual history. By this I mean the Lurianic stage of the Kabbalah, the breaking of the vessels and man's help in restoring them. Here the thought emerges for the first time that man must help God to repair the damage wrought by creation. For the first time man's cosmic responsibility is acknowledged."

Jung had a vision that he described as the most tremendous and "individuating" experience of his life. He found himself in the “garden of pomegranates.” This is an allusion to a Kabbalistic work of that name by Moses Cordovero. In the vision, Jung identified himself with the union of Tifereth and Malchuth as it is described in the Kabbalah. Jung describes these visions as occurring in a state of wakeful ecstasy, "as though I were floating in space, as though I were safe in the womb of the universe." He further describes his experience as one of indescribable "eternal bliss." He reports:

"Everything around me seemed enchanted. At this hour of the night the nurse brought me some food she had warmed... For a time it seemed to me that she was an old Jewish woman, much older than she actually was, and that she was preparing ritual kosher dishes for me. When I looked at her, she seemed to have a blue halo around her head. I myself was, so it seemed, in the Pardes Rimmonim, the garden of pomegranates, and the wedding of Tifereth with Malchuth was taking place. Or else I was Rabbi Simon ben Jochai, whose wedding in the afterlife was being celebrated. It was the mystic marriage as it appears in the Cabbalistic tradition. I cannot tell you how wonderful it was. I could only think continually, "Now this is the garden of pomegranates! Now this is the marriage of Malchuth with Tifereth!" I do not know exactly what part I played in it. At bottom it was I myself: I was the marriage. And my beatitude was that of a blissful wedding." (Memories, Dreams, Reflections, 294)- From : Theosophy and Gnosticism: Jung and Franz von Baader by Dr. J. Glenn Friesen

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