Kheper Home | Kabbalah | Topics Index | New | Search

The Treatise on Dragons

Evgueni Tortchinov

I think Nathan of Gaza's division of supernal Lights into thought-less and thought-some is of the great methodological importance. It marks two contradictory tendencies within the Absolute Itself:

  1. Its will to reveal Its essence through creation (will to appear) and
  2. Its will to conceal Its essence in the eternal blissful rest.

The first one was designated by Nathan as the "faith of the Serpents" and the second one -- as "the Holy faith". And until the Redemption these two ways both are the ways of righteousness. The controversy between these two modes of the Absolute Will reflects not only in the Messiah (AMIRAH, i.e. Sabbatai Zevi)'s mind but in the creation as such as well in differents kinds of relidious attitudes (which themselves are the manifestations of the intentions of the Absolute).  For example, in the history of religions / philosophies we can find two types of pantheism.  Both proclaim that the God is the only reality but the first one tells that all phenomena / creations are just pure illusion and only God (impersonal apophatic Absolute) exists (e.g. Advaita Vedanta). It is the reflection of the thougt-less Lights' will and "the faith of Serpents".

The second one proclaims that all the creations are the steps of the Divine manifestations (like Divine modes or attributes) and that the Universe is included in the Divine pleroma, the fullness of the God (e.g. Ibn Al-Arabi's Sufism or Jordano Bruno and Baruch Spinoza's philosophical systems). It is "the Holy faith".

But the contradicton within the Absolute Will has to be solved through the highest synthesis of thought-less and thought-some Lights.  In Nathan's Kabbalah the solution takes place within the Heart of Ze'ir Anpin, the sefirah Tif'ereth which produces the Precious Tree (Ilan Yakir), composed of both Lights. This mystical Tree emanates the streams of Lights (Mana Yakira) updown filling the creation with bliss and connecting 1. the "Serpents" / "Thought-less Lights" within their source in the Absolute (En-Sof) and 2. completing the perfection of the creation by the supernal emanations.

This process finds its expression and symbolical presentation in the integration of previously split Messiah's mind. Due to this completion of the process the Messiah becomes the representation / incarnation of the God of Tif'ereth (YHWH, God of Israel) which is "the God of His Faith" and His Son.  In other religious traditions we also can find this idea of integration.

For example, Mahayana Buddhism proclaims the principle of the unity of Prajna (Wisdom, intuition of the emptiness of existence, sarva sunyata) which is the Female passive principle, and Upaya, Skillfull Means of Compassion -- Karuna (Male active principle). Without Upaya, Prajna is passive and its aim is the pure emptiness of the Hinayanistic Nirvana as pure out-of-phenomena-being. Without Prajna the Upaya is blind and fruitless. The synthesis of Prajna and Upaya bears the Bodhi, Enlightment, or more adequately, Awakening which is the state of the Buddha outside of the limits of samsara-nirvana's contradiction. Buddha is neither in samsara nor in nirvana and He is in both in samsara and in nirvana at once.  I would be very happy to know your opinions regarding these issues.

from a post to the DONMEH mail list
Saturday, 19 Dec 1998

Evgueni Tortchinov home page


The Treatise on Dragons - Prof. Avraham Elqayam's commentsmore...

Nathan of Gaza
Sabbatai Zevi
Jacob Frank
The Sabbatean Movement


page history

page uploaded 8 February 1999