A Depth of Beginning: Notes on Kabbalah by Colin Low

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By Colin Low

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While on the subject of changing perception to assemble new realities, the following quote by “Don Juan” [5] has a definite Kabbalistic flavour: “The majority of people continue to misunderstand and think that it is just a logo, rather than understanding that a corporate identity programme is actually concerned with the very commercial objective of having a strong personality and single-minded, focused direction for the whole organisation, “ said Fiona Gilmore, managing director of the design company Lewis Moberly.

There is the possibility that the Kabbalists of Provence (who wrote or edited the Bahir) were influenced by the Cathars, a late form of Manicheanism. Whether the source was Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, Manicheanism or some combination of all three, Kabbalah has imported a view of matter and form which distorts the view of things portrayed by the Tree of Life, and so in some interpretations Malkhut ends up as a kind of cosmic outer darkness, a bin for all the dirt, detritus, broken sephira and dirty handkerchiefs of the creation.

This king is the child of Chokhmah (Abba, the father) and Binah (Aima, the Mother) and hence a son of God who wears the crown of Keter. The kingdom is the sephira Malkhut, at the same time queen (Malkah) and bride (Kallah). In his right hand the king wields the sword of justice (corresponding to Gevurah), and in his left the sceptre of authority (corresponding to Chesed), and he rules over the armies or hosts (Tzabaot), which are Hod and Netzach. The use of kingship as a metaphor to convey what the sephiroth mean obscures as much as it reveals, but it is an unavoidable piece of Kabbalistic symbolism, and the attribution of Hod and Netzach to the “armies” does capture something useful about the nature of consciousness at this level: consciousness is fragmented into innumerable warring factions, and when there is no rightful king ruling over the kingdom of the soul (a common state of affairs), then the Hod & Netzach “Objects contain the possibility of all situations.

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