Kheper Home | Kabbalah | Topics Index | New | Search

The Treatise on Dragons

Evgueni Tortchinov

Now let me to continue the discussion of some religious sequences from the principal points of Nathan Gazzati's new Sabbatian Kabbalah.  As I hope you remember, Nathan wrote about two sides of the Absolute (En-Sof): thought-some lights (the lights which had intention / thought to create) and thought-less lights (which had no this intention). During the process of the world evolution the thought-less lights manifest themselves as "the serpents" closed in the lower part of the tehiru (primordial space of creation appearing after the contraction of the thought-some lights as the place for the created worlds) being cut from their source in En-Sof.  The only intention of the "serpents" (opposed to the very idea of creation) is to come back to the abyss of Deus Absconditus (the God Hidden) to obtain tranquility and peace. The conflict between two volitions of the Absolute can be solved through the integration of two aspects of the Divine lights in Sefirah Tif'ereth. The united lights produce in this Sefirah the "Prescious Tree" (Ilan Yaqir) which emanates the streams of beneficial light into the created worlds (Mana Yaqira) as well as restore the connection between the "serpents" of the thought-less lights and the Absolute.

I suggested that we can find the examples of the manifestation of two contradicting volitions of the Absolute within the history of religions.  e.g., those traditions which underline the return to the Primordial One and complete absorption in its depth or which contain purely negativistic evaluation of the creation as an error or pure illusion (Gnosticism, Manicheism, Advaita Vedanta, Hinayanistic Buddhism, etc.) represent the "Faith of Serpents".   Ontologically optimistic traditions represent the "Holy Faith" (expression of Nathan Gazzati who considered Sabbatai Zevi to be a representative of the way of Serpents and himself to be an exponent of this Holy Faith). The contradiction between these traditions can be solved through synthesis, or integration of both attitudes.

Where in the history of religions we can find examples of this integration?  In my previous message I have told you about the Mahayana Buddhism idea of the union between Prajna (Wisdom) and Upaya (skillfull means) as an example of such synthesis, or integration. Here I am going to continue my comparativistic analysis.

One of the most serious attempts to solve the contradiction between the counteracting volitions of thought-less and thought-some lights is the system of the Chinese Buddhist school Hua-yan (Jap. Kegon). It declares two fundamental principles:

1. Li-shi wu ai (pronounced: lee-shee oo ai), and
2. Shi-shi wu ai.

The first one means "Principle (i.e. Absolute, Buddha's Dharmakaya) and all phenomena interact without hindrances": Absolute and its phenomena have one and the same nature (like water and waves, or like gold and golden statue); the phenomena are devoid of their own nature and their nature is the nature of the Absolute, and from the other side, the nature of the Absolute completely manifests itsewlf in phenomena.

The second one means that all the phenomena are not rigid isolated entities (units), they not only interact but are completely included in each other.  The atom contains all the universe and each atom contains all other atoms as well, not only whole contains parts but every part contains whole as well (holographic principle).  All the universe is like the mysterious net of Indra made of precious stones, and each stone reflects each other stone being reflected by it as well.

The following example of the harmony between the opposite tendencies of lights (in soteriological contents) is the Sufi doctrine of fana' and baka'.

Fana' (from faniya -- to disappear, to vanish, to stop, to exhaust) is something like complete Nirvana of the Hinayanistic Arahants, it is complete depersonalization and desappearance of the adept in the depths of the Absolute, Divine Nothingness of  the God (Kabbalistic Ayin). Baka' (the dwelling in the Godhead) is the second step when the adept transfigurated and enlighted after his fana' comes back to the world.

Fana' is negative, baka' is positive. The highest ideal is their equilibrium.

fana' -- "There is no independent self, I am You!";
baka'  --  "my self has become deificated, You are but me!".

In fana' there is not the feeling of fana' itself, in baka' the God beholds Himself by the
adept's eyes. There can not be baka' without fana' but fana' without baka' is incomplete.

Later I hope to continue this discussion and kindly ask everybody to participate in it.

from a  post to the DONMEH mail list
Saturday, 19 Dec 1998
Evgueni Tortchinov home page



Nathan of Gaza
Sabbatai Zevi
Jacob Frank
The Sabbatean Movement


page history

page uploaded 8 February 1999