An introduction to My mystic insight into a new understanding of the nature of the divine and us.
By Gary M. Jaron / Gershom ben Zalmen
May 9 2020
I shall begin with a story. The story with my encounter with the Infinite Divine. In the summer of my ninth year, one bright sunny day I was in my backyard and pondering. Then, unexpectedly I was taken out of time and space and in that instance the Infinite revealed itself to me. I was given a core insight. I was given a mission. I was given a guide—the voice of the Divine to be with me always.
That is how it started. Here is where I ended up. What I am laying out before you came from and was inspired by my encounter and revelation from the Infinite Divine.
I was guided to teachers.
But they were not living personalities. So, I never had to worry about being overcome by someone else’s sense of self importance. I didn’t have to deal with a guru or a master. Gurus and masters believe completely in the rightness of their vision and their teachings. They have unwavering certainty in themselves. But, I have only read about such people in books. They do not impress me. My own mystical experience inoculated me from being overly impressed by any other person claiming to speak for the Infinite, for the Divine, for God. I’ve been there and done that. So I need not concern myself with being impressed by their sense of mastery and importance. I only am impressed with what they can teach me. I listen but I am the finally arbiter of what is of value and significance, not them.
Being guided to teachers in the form of books gave me a special relationship to their wisdom and knowledge. I could take the information in and at my own pace. I need not worry about being overwhelmed and lost in their visions. I would only take in what was meaningful and useful to me at the time that I was reading their books. I could build slowly upon what I read, and I could come back to that teacher, that book, and re-read it for new insights and understandings that I was now at that time capable of taking in.
The key term of my revelation was summed up in a word—self-doubt.
The key phrase of my revelation was summed up in a phrase—we shape, and are shaped by, ideas.
Since I’m about to explain my kabbalah mythos, I should first introduce you to my teachers that inspired my ideas. I do not read and speak any language other than English and thus of the ancient source texts I have only encountered them in secondary English translations. They are listed in approximately the order I encountered them. (First date listed is the original publication date, the second date is the edition I own and read from.)
Viktor E. Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning (1946/1975)
Erich Fromm’s The Revolution of Hope: Towards a Humanized Technology (1968/ 1974)
Gershom Scholem’s Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism (1941/1973), On the Kabbalah and Its Symbolism, Kabbalah (1960/1970), and Kabbalah (1974/1978)
William James’s The Varieties of Religious Experience (1902/1978)
Evelyn Underhill’s Mysticism: A Study of the Nature and Development of Man’s Spiritual Consciousness (1910/1974)
Peter L. Berger’s The Sacred Canopy: Elements of a Sociological Theory of Religion (1967/1969)
Arthur Koestler’s The Ghost in the Machine (1967), and The Act of Creation (1964/1970)
Robert E. Ornstein’s The Psychology of Consciousness (1972/1975)
Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Value (1974/1975)
Lao Tzu’s The Tao Te Ching, Wing Tsit Chan’s Translation (1963)
Holmes Welch’s Taoism: The Parting of the Way (1966)
Alfred Korzybski’s Science and Sanity: An Introduction to Non-Aristotelian Systems and General Semantics (1933/1973)
Thomas S. Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962/1970)
Aryeh Kaplan’s Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation—In Theory and Practice (1990/1997)
Isaiah Tishby’s The Wisdom of The Zohar: An Anthology of Texts (1982/1983)
George Lakoff and Mark Johnson’s Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and Its Challenge to Western Thought (1999)
Sanford L. Drob’s Symbols of the Kabbalah: Philosophical and Psychological Perspectives (2000) and Kabbalistic Metaphors: Jewish Mystical Themes in Ancient and Modern Thought (2000)
Steven T. Katz’s Mysticism and Philosophical Analysis: A collection of essays (1978)
Robert K. C. Forman’s The Problem of Pure Consciousness: Mysticism and Philosophy (1990/ 1997)
Ellen M. Chen’s The Tao Te Ching: A New Translation with Commentary (1989) and In Praise of Nothing: An Exploration of Daoist Fundamental Ontology (2012)
Leonard R. Glotzer’s The Fundamentals of Jewish Mysticism: The Book of Creation and Its Commentaries (1992)
William James’s The Will to Believe and Other Essays in Popular Philosophy (1897/1956), Pragmatism: A New name of Some Old Ways of Thinking (1907/1978), The Meaning of Truth: A Sequel to Pragmatism (1909/1978) and Essays in Radical Empiricism (1912/1996), A Pluralistic Universe (1909/1996) and Some Problems of Philosophy: A Beginning of an Introduction to Philosophy (1911/1996)
So, that might give you clues to the how’s and why’s concerning what I am about to present.
The rabbis, both philosophic and mystical, were unduly influenced by Aristotle and Neo-Platonic thinking. From those Greek teachers and writers they wove the rabbinic understanding both philosophical and mystical insights into the nature of the Infinite Divine called Ayn Sof. This idea of Ayn Sof which became the teachings of the Zohar and rabbi Isaac Luria was that Ayn Sof was the ‘Unmoved Mover’. The infinite, unchanging, hidden, separate, untouchable, unknowable, and emmanator/creator of a flawed creation in need of repair, restoration and healing. This idea of Ayn Sof/God was generally tainted by a Patriarchal/sexist/male-dominate orientation.
My own idea of the Infinite Divine is that it is the emmanator/creator of a flawed creation in need of repair, restoration and healing. Ayn Sof/Tao emanated outward in the act of creation in a series of flowing steps. There is no separation in this process. It is an ongoing and continues event from the moment it started till forever. Out of Ayn Sof/Tao comes Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang are a complementary pair just as Ayn Sof/Tao and Yin/Yang are a complementary pair. From Yin/Yang comes the Myriad Ten Thousand Things aka the Cosmos/creation. These two are also a complementary pair. Which ultimately makes Ayn Sof/Tao as the One a complementary pair to the Many. The Infinite is a complementary pair to the infinity of time-space-matter.
The process of this emanation and revelation is from Ayn Sof comes Keter. From Keter comes Hochmah and Binah. Out of Binah comes Da’at. Then the moment of the breaking and shattering of the Spheres. Then the hasty outpouring to attempt to finish the act of creation. The result of which is a newly built Sefirot from Keter all the way down to Malkuth. Da’at is merely hinted at in the nexus of the interconnecting paths of the Sefirot.
The intention of Ayn Sof was to create a structure of creation that matches the image of the Tree as presented by Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, known as the Vilna Gaon or known by the initials as The GRA. This structure had Da’at as one of the ten sefrahs. Malkuth was merely a totally passive receptacle for the upper ten aspects of the Divine.
However in the failed act of emanation and creation Da’at was the center of the shattering and the result of Malkuth became an intimate part of the outcome. In actuality in my mythos all Divine power left the upper nine sefrahs and Ayn Sof. All Divine power had almost completely flowed into Malkuth. Within Malkuth lies the Divine power of transformation and creation, as well as the Divine will. Whereas in the GRA’s system Malkuth was utterly powerless and utterly insignificant. Now in the resulting flawed creation, Ayn Sof was utterly powerless and utterly insignificant. All the power and significance to restore and repair the flawed creations lies in Malkuth.
Ayn Sof is the Tao. The Tao is Ayn Sof.
Ayn Sof is without attribution, it is ‘The Tao that can not be spoken about’.
Ayn Sof’s counterpart is Keter, the way to understand the mystery of Ayn Sof. Keter is ‘The Tao that can be spoken about’.
Where Keter and Hockmah are colored by Yang influence. Malkuth and Ayn Sof are colored by Yin influence.
Garshom Yaron aka Gary Jaron has been exploring the Occult Qabalah and the Rabbinic Kabbalah since he was a teen.