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13532Re: [Gnosticism2] Gnosticism versus Neoplatonism/Kabbalah

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  • Br Benjamin Assisi
    Apr 16, 2009
      some say:

      kabbalah comes from the essenes

      or enochian Gnostics...as some refer to them

      who mixed with Buddhism eventually...

      I suggest checking out hechalot (spelling nazi, the palaces) and merkavah (chariot) literature...

      paradise now edited by Deconick would be a good start, plenty of others... most are expensive and rare though

      Kabbalah has very Gnostic elements... it also has Buddhist elements too...

      consider this extract:

      ”Innerspace” by Aryeh Kaplan


       ”One of the basic axioms of the Kabbalah is that nothing can be said about God Himself. It is for this reason that God is called Ain Sof, which means literally, the One without end or limit. God is infinite and therefore undefineable and uncharacterizable. He is limitless Being and Existence before the act of creation as well as subsequent to it. Even conceptually, there is no category in existence which can define God. This is what the Tikuney Zohar means when it says ‘Not thought can grasp Him.’

              On the level of Ain Sof, therefore, nothing else exists. Every concept and category associated with existence must be created from nothing…..

              Since no quality can be ascribed to Ain Sof, it follows that if God has or uses ‘Will,’ He must have created it. The Zohar explicitly states that God does not have ‘will’ in any anthropomorphic sense. Rather, to the extent that we can express it, in order to create the world, God had to will the concept of creation into existence. In order to do this, He had to create the concept of ‘will.’ This, of course, leads to an ultimate paradox, for if God is going to create ‘will,’ this in itself presupposes an act of will. This means that going back to Ain Sof, to God Himself, involves an infinite regression…..

              Ain-Nothingness…..This is not a nothingness which implies lack of existence. There is no deficiency in the Ain, only fullness beyond the capacity of any created being  to experience directly. Rather, it is nothingness because of the lack of a category in the mind in which to place it.  Ain is therefore only ‘nothingness’ relative to us. It is the nothingness of ineffability and hiddenness. It is no-thing because it is so much more rarified than the some-thing of creation. In this sense, like God Himself, it is ultimately unfathomable and beyond our ability to comprehend.

              On the other hand, God’s Will permeated the entire system of creation. The continued existence of creation, in fact, depends entirely on God’s willing it. Since only God exists in an absolute sense, everything else exists because God wills its existence continually. A human architect can design and construct a building and then forget about it. But God’s creation is more than that. Nothing can exist without God constantly willing it to exist. Without this, it would utterly cease to exist.”

      then theres the thing about emanationism...

      but there...

      ask off or on list if you want more, preferably off, I dont pay a great deal to this list

      On Tue, Apr 14, 2009 at 8:51 AM, gvasquezneo <gvasquezneo@...> wrote:
      It has always been a challenge for me to weigh on the one hand the writings of the Neoplatonists, such as Plotinus, with the Kabbalists; and the Gnostic writings  on the other hand.

      One Kabbalistic group (http://www.arionline.info/
      ) attributes its teachings to the great Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag. They teach that God's purpose was to create a creature(the manifest world, especially us) and fill it with delight. This to my ears sounds crazy, but if you read a lot of their other writings much of it makes sense.

      Also Plotinus, the Neoplatonist considered the gnostics misguided. They saw creation as perfect. I can't see it that way either.

      The one I feel most accurately  portrays reality is Buddha, who I consider an eastern gnostic, but even there, the eight-fold path seems to be petitioning the maker with good acts, which again seems too rational. Even if these "rules" are being used to tear down duality, I feel grace has always the determining ingredient in enlightenment.

      I guess what I'm getting at is that making God evil sounds too dualistic, too human in reasoning. Making him good does the same. I'm more in agreement with Valentinus who considered the the "fall" an "error plane".But all these teachings have an excessive anthropomorphic bent. I feel truth comes from a non-dual reality that is beyond words or people. something indescribable.

      Has anyone else been struggling with this. Can anyone help me with this or refer me to some literature. Thank you.

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