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S which can t find their intentionality within itSchaya moves on from ontology to epistemology once again using philosophical language that is rather modern He starts from a very Kantian point thought is the psychic and rational mirror of all intelligible things a mirror Kantian point thought is the psychic and rational mirror of all intelligible things a mirror never becomes what it reflectsThis dualism in thought is the cause of doubt and errorTruth cannot be discovered by thought aloneRichard Rorty s 1979 book Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature points out precisely the same problems with the mirror analogy that does Schaya and then goes on to dissolve rather than resolve the problem as does Schaya Remarkably Schaya also grounds his analysis not in some abstract principle of Truth But In The Human but in the human itself The only truth and only reality thus corresponds under as many sacred forms to the various comprehensions and temperaments of the great types of the human collectivity Rorty would likely agree Leibniz certainly would as also Jurgen Habermas Epistemology is ultimately a communal or precisely a political undertakingThere is also a striking affinity between Schaya and 20th century mathematical philosophy Kabbalah has a strong tradition of the missing elements The first tablets taken down by Moses from Mt Sinai and destroyed because of the golden calf are missing presumed hidden by God Similarly there is a mythical missing twenty third Letter Of The Hebrew of the Hebrew which is scattered but hidden throughout the Torah These absences imply the permanent incompleteness of the interpretations of reality Reality in Kabbalah is very much oriented toward numbers which also signify attributes of God The G del Incompleteness Theorem that no formal mathematical system can contain its own axioms therefore is implied by KabbalahThe hiddenness of the divine word its presence through absence as it were also has another unexpected referent the Christian Gospel of Mark In Mark there is freuent admonition regarding the secrecy of Jesus s message and role eg Mark 412 543 which is ignored as a matter of course eg Mark 736 Kabbalah is also treated as secret with commentaries connecting to scripture The Haggadic Midrashim form the link between Talmudic or public instruction and the secret teaching of the Kabbalah So in both cases the secret is in fact public an open secret but still secret because only those who are pre disposed can understand the meaning of what is being said In Mark those who are so prepared include the demons as well as the soldier guarding Christ s crucified body but not his disciples The suggestion of Kabbalistic secrecy may similarly indicate a sort of democratisation of spiritual understanding beyond Talmudic experts Modern semiology the study of signs contends that there is neither a definable beginning nor end to language and the facility human beings have for interpretation of signs This is also a contention of Kabbalah when it refers to the infinite chain of interpretations from Moses onwardsultimately connecting Adam and the Messiah When combined with the idea that there are missing elements in revelation this contention is explained as a necessity The entire creation is an illusory projection of the transcendental aspects of God into the mirror of his immanence The Zohar notes in fact that the verb baro to create implies the idea of creating an illusion but it nonetheless is an illusion that contains fragments of reality The clear implication is that even infinite interpretation will still contain illusory perceptions and conclusionsMany of these themes hiddenness secrecy incompleteness infinite interpretability are also themes in the modern philosophy of language Wittgenstein for example seems on occasion to be uoting from Kabbalistic texts I wanted to write that my work consists of two parts of the one which is here and of everything which I have not written And precisely this second part is the important one The limits of my language are the limits of my world Or even The mystical is not how the world is but that it is When Schaya claims The objective reality of The Sefirot is their indivisible infinity their unlimited unity which implies that every divine aspect is identified with the totality of God it is unlikely Wittgenstein would have demurredSo it seems it is possible to balk at Schaya s or anyone else s contention that he is describing what really is Among other things this would appear self contradictory in Kabbalah which concedes the ineffability of reality But his lesser claim that the world is knowable only incrementally tentatively and with the assistance of an external agency identified in Kabbalah as Ein Sof the nameless endless being is a lot compelling To uote Wittgenstein one final time An entire mythology is stored within our language Kabbalah is a method for entering into the warehouse that is language This book is a key for those who are willing to re study the Old Testament and seeking the common ground between the two Abrahamic traditions from a perennial perspectiv. Synthesis of our earthly individuality to our essential identity with the Absolu. ,

Shattered Heart

Nd et as Schaya discusses are consistent with the unity and non divisible character of God The Kabbalistic God is inclusive of all the One without a second including physical reality Finite human beings have fallen away from understanding their unity in God and the path of meaning and wisdom lies in reuniting with God through repentance and through following Jewish law Subseuent chapters of the book become increasingly difficult to follow and explore Kabbalistic understanding of the heavens of the creation of the earth the place of human beings in the divine scheme how wisdom lies in the Return to the One the metaphysical meanings of the various names of God and concluding observations about the unity of Being and returning to God in Jewish mysticismThe exposition of Kabbalism is difficult and dizzying and reuires sympathetic intuition and understanding By no Means Is This A Logical System There Is A Great is this a logical system There is a great of value in this study both in its exposition of Kabbalism and in its efforts to unite Kabbalism with the world s other great mystical traditions I read this work as a non practicing Jew of many Gesund leben ohne Zucker years and was moved as I had been when I first studied Jewish mysticism by the spirituality of this book and by the meaning it found in Jewish and other religious practice As I read this book American politics was in than its usual turmoil I thought of how in my view much of religion had become overly immanent in its preoccupations with adherents fighting bitterly over ultimately ephemeral and partisan issues Schaya s book and Needleman s introduction in fact notice this unfortunate reduction of the Transcendent from religious practice Schaya s book describes the underlying goal of Kabbalism and of the mystical traditions of all religions as the return of the soul to God through repentance and study For all the obscurities of the Kabbalah that approach still is profound and has much to commend it and to teachRobin Friedman Read this in the National Library of Israel Gershom Sholem reading room This is a hella interesting work and the only one of its kind that I veet to come across would love to know if there are in this category Schaya was a Jewish author who had an outsiders but decent knowledge of Kabbalah and was a card carrying sworn perennialism and makes sure to put his perennialism across in this book Interesting historical case study figure Glad I came across him and his book was fun to read even if there were inaccuraciesIf Φυσιογνωμία you like books like thisou ll love my project A Warehouse of Mythical WisdomBecause this book goes beyond the literary uses of Kabbalah and makes some claims about what s really there it is interesting to contrast it with similar claims by modern cosmologists The book is also an intriguing anticipationecho of various modern philosophical views But because Kabbalah s claims are about reality rather than truth the best way to appreciate it is as a cultural compendium of symbolic knowledge a warehouse of myth in which all sorts of intriguing stories are stacked awaiting distribution Schaya s book is a sort of outline catalogue of contentsSchaya is obviously a theist who is employing Kabbalah as a theological tool particularly to explain God s role a theist who is employing Kabbalah as a theological tool particularly to explain God s role creation He uses some interesting language to describe being itself coming into being by the first ontological irradiation God determines all things The phrase ontological irradiation is certainly evocative of scientific cosmology This impression is reinforced in his description of subseuent divinely creative activity God s wisdom determines the uncreated archetypes his intelligence manifests them as spiritual and supraformal realities which in their turn clothe themselves in subtle substance and gross matter in order to give birth to the heavens and the earthAlthough Schaya s determinism isn t uite as deterministic as that of physicists there s a bit of divine self determination in everything for Schaya this theory is not incompatible with say the scientific description of uantum Gravity in its progression from the granular formation of space up through the manifestation of non uantum events The Uncreated Archetypes sound Platonic but they could just as easily be the fourteen or so uantum fields hypothesised in today s physicsThe fundamental difference between the Kabbalistic and scientific views is of course in the presumption of intention and purpose by the former Schaya uotes God in the voice of the prophet Isaiah as his authority For the rain comes down and the snow from heaven and returned not thither except it water the earth and make it bring forth and bud and give seed to the sower and bread to the eater so shall my Word be that goeth forth out of my mouth it shall not return unto me void except it accomplish that which I please and make the thing where unto I sent it prosper Although it is difficult to imagine the uantum Covariant Field assuming such a personal stance it is eually difficult to imagine that it produced intentional being. Ebrew Bible and the Zohar or Book of Splendor are discussed in an all embracing. .
Revisiting Leo SchayaMore than thirty Een reis om de wereldin 45 kip en kalkoengerechten years ago I became interested in Jewish mysticism and read in some traditional Jewish sources as well as in the books by Gershom Scholem and this book The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah by Leo Schaya Much of this reading Schaya s book in particular has escaped me with the passage of time I have gone on to read other religious and philosophical books but haven t revisited Jewish mysticism for manyears Schaya s book came to my attention again through a perceptive review by a fellow reviewer and I found the slim volume still patiently awaiting attention on my bookshelf I read Schaya s book as part of my observance of the recently concluded High Holidays The book was translated from the French by Nancy Pearson My old edition of this book in the Penguin Metaphysical Library features an introduction by the American philosopher Jacob Needleman a thinker I have read and admired over the ears I have particularly enjoyed Needleman s exploration of the spiritual roots of American democracy in his book The American Soul Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders which I have also reviewed and which has a great deal of current relevanceBorn in Switzerland and raised as a traditional Jew Leo Schaya 1916 1985 wrote works about many of the world s mystical traditions He became associated with a movement called the Traditionalist School which also included distinguished scholars from many different religions and which remains alive today Broadly the Traditionalist School holds that there is an underlying shared religious reality underlying all the world s religious traditions as each tradition teaches its followers about the unity of being and about return to the One It has highly Neoplatonic elements As I understand it the Traditionalists hold that each particular religion Judaism Buddhism Sufism teaches its followers in its own way how to unite with the Divine and with reality The movement is conservative in that it in its own way how to unite with the Divine and with reality The movement is conservative in that it traditionalistic religious paths in each tradition Each way is specific and uniue but the underlying goals in terms of finding God and the One under whatever term is universal and sharedThe assumption and goal of Schaya s study thus is stated in the title of his book The work gives a detailed exposition of Jewish mystical doctrines with virtually no comparison of these doctrines with the mystical teachings of other religions Still while expounding the particulars of Jewish mysticism Schaya has a broader universal goal He argues that Jewish mysticism expounding the particulars of Jewish mysticism Schaya has a broader universal goal He argues that Jewish mysticism a universal mystical philosophical tradition showing the unity of all being and of the efforts of human beings to return to God This is a sweeping claim of course and remains controversial both among believers in particular traditions and among secular people This book is short and difficult It consists of Needleman s Foreword followed by Schaya s own Preface which sets out his assumptions and goals Schaya writesThe idea of the transcendent unity of religions of the unity manifested at the beginning of time and in the presence of a humanity still united by a single primordial tradition has been expounded in the works of Rene Guenon and Frihjof Schuon and also of Ananda Comaswamy They have shown that the essential principles of the various orthodox revelations are identical a fact which can be discovered by metaphysical penetration of dogmas and symbols these expressions vary from one religion to another but in the light of supraformal and universal truth they cease to appear contradictory and blend essentially into the OneEach tradition still must be approached on its own terms from its own sources without superficial attempts and synthesizing different doctrinesSchaya also takes a strongly intuitionist approach He argues that the tools of logic and of formal reasoning on subject and object are insufficient to understand religious truth because reason logic and subject object dualism apply only to the world of phenomena and not to spiritual ultimates Religious mysticism seeks to go beyond subject object dualism to essential unity of all being This is itself a difficult obscure teaching but it is critical to going forward with the book Schaya writes As we are taught by the Kabbalah and alsoin the most direct way possible by Neo Platonism and the Vedanta the spirit while transcending the soul resides in its depths The soul and all formal or separate manifestations whether internal or external proceed from it but the spirit itself is formless and without distinction in it the subject and the object of knowledge are one the spirit knows itself completely it is total knowledge and all that is knowable in itself and thingsFollowing the Preface the remainder of this book consists of a discussion of Jewish mysticism based upon the Bible and the mystical Jewish commentaries particularly the Zohar The heart of the book discusses monotheism and the Jewish mystical doctrine of the ten Sefiroth The Sefiroth are emanations of God In addition to the Talmud one of the classical sources of Jewish mysticism the

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