||[Jan. 8th, 2005|05:28 pm]
Gates of Light
As an addendum to the last post I wanted to talk a but more about exploration of the qlippoth.|
The turning away from God, traveling in the direction evil, we may find ourselves going deeper and deeper into the self. Exploring our own inner and hidden worlds, discovering what we want, who we are, where we want to go. Sometimes traveling along that path is frightening. We experience the dark night of the soul. We descend into the underworld.
But even as we climb deeper down into the broken tree, seemingly further and further away from God, we travel towards the abyss itself and God is there, too, in the abyss. We have only to call him out. Because really, there is no traveling away from God. Just like Israel sinned and turned away from God and the Shechina went into exile with them as they sinned, so does something of God descend with us as we make our way into the qlippoth. But if we reach out to God we can conjure him out of the abyss like in Psalm 130:
”Out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord.
Lord, hear my voice.
O let thing ears consider well the voice of my complaint!”
Scholem writes that according to the Zohar this does not mean, “I have called unto Thee from the depths [where I am]” but “from the depths [in which Thou art] I call Thee up.” (Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, 33) No matter how far into the darkness of the shells we climb we will never reach the deepest darkness, for even in the abyss God is there waiting for us to come to him. The Psalm continues,
“O Israel, trust in the Lord!
For with the Lord, there is mercy.
And with him is plenteous redemption
And he shall redeem Israel from all his sins.”
And once we make that choice, entering into that partnership with God, we begin again to travel in the direction towards good. And our journey begins, of course, in Malkuth.
I still love the idea of the qlippoth as the structure for creation, that which had to exist before anything else could come to be. I like the idea of the descent being an integral part of the journey towards Wisdom; indeed an integral part of the body of God itself. For me it means that self discovery is every bit as important as the outer work. Blind faith alone won’t work. God wants our willing and informed cooperation for the unfolding of the work.