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Klippoth Nogah

From: (Xiwangmu)
Subject: Re: Klippoth Nogah
Date: Thu, 21 Sep 1995 21:24:56 -0400


|From: Jeffrey Smith 
|Date: Thu, 14 Sep 1995 17:20:25 -0400
|Quoting: >mu

|..."They will never agree; they are arguing from different premises."   
|I think our premises are radically different....

That's why I won't categorically state that you are 'wrong', though I
will contrast my own preferences and ask for your feedback.  ;>  To me
this is less an 'argument' and more a comparison of metaphors using
similar language.  Mine is admittedly more cavelier and unpopular.

|Luria provided the most systematic account, and his theosophy is the most
|influential in Judaism.  There are  earlier versions;  the core idea derives
|from the Talmud.  

Can you recommend references which have been recently published and are good
translations from the Hebrew (if that is the original language)?

|...Perhaps the best way of understanding them is to think of the upper 
|pole as the Infinite, the Divine,  the Absolute,  with the continuum 
|descending into the Finite, the Manifested, the Multiple, or whatever 
|you wish to call the Non-Divine.  

Ok, so here's your paradigm: the 'shells' or 'kleppot' 'fell' into the
'nondivine', which is the manifested cosmos.  You appear to presume that 
'nondivine' equals 'here', that the 'natural world' is devoid of value 
wrt divinity, the shells further removed from the divine than we.

This is one reason that I accept that notion but presume that 'here',
the 'manifested cosmos' *are* the divine, and that the paradigm of the
shells 'falling into the lower levels' arises from a fractionated and
anti-material theoretic.  God is dead.  We can rebuild Hir.  
Corrections welcomed.

|...the Klippoth are further away from the Divine than Malkuth (i.e., us,  
|humans capable of making moral choices).   

Hmmm, well I suppose if one locates the divine as some space-god in a
big throne in a galaxy far far away then this makes sense to me.  I'd
really like to try to understand the value of presuming that we live
in 'Malkuth' and that 'God' is on some other plane.  I've always seen
this as the mutterings of a protection racket (rabbinical?) who wish
to convince the morons that if they do the 'right things' (usually
supporting the religious institution) then they get to 'go to God'.

|....if the cosmos can be spoken of as having a gravitational center,  
|then I think we should say it has two, which ought to be, but in 
|practice often are not, in harmony: God and Man.

I tend to identify 'God' and 'Man', but I'm weird that way.

|Well,  Malkuth came out better than the Sefirot that were totally shattered.

Which spheres/numbers/letters were those?

|>...the 'catastrophe', as you put it, introduced change, time, animation 
|>(the source-point of life), and chaos into the Creation (should you desire 
|>a linear model of temporality) which had previously been a featureless and
|>impotent monad.  I think it an improvement, on the whole, and am not really
|>desirous of putting the genie back into the bottle (though if you want to
|>try to bribe me, I may hear your offers).

|...Mu's comments present the classic view of the Kabbalah on this matter.

Really?  I'm somewhat surprised.  I've never studied the texts which make
up the tradition, though I've seen similar teachings in most mystical
systems and have a preference for what seems to be core-teachings that
don't disempower aspirants.

|>So focussing upon the Totally Good (d00d) helps bring about the restoration?
|>Are you sure that the restoration should proceed along those lines, toward
|>Luria's structure?  Where did it come from and why is it to be preferred 
|>over alternatives?  

|There are alternate versions of the Klippoth,  but Luria developed them and
|incorporated all their essentials in his system.  Would it help if I note that
|a consequence of the restoration is the recognition by man of the true nature
|of the universe--its essential Unity and Goodness?

Not really.  I don't tend to think that the universe is essentially united
or good.  I think that those are fractions, more shells, deceiving the
simple into feeling ok about themselves.  I'd love to hear about the
alternatives if you'd like to dive into them, such as their general
points of difference, how Luria incorporated them into the layout you've
been describing, etc.

|From the classical Kabbalists, I might also refer to Cordevero's metaphor
|for the Klippoth--the excrement which we must inevitably get rid of after 
|eating even the best, purest, most nutritious food.

Yes, this is one of the interpretations which inspires me to see the
kleppah as demons, but you might not like that approach. ;>

|The Talmud.... our universe is but the most recent, and most successful 
|in a series.  The earlier ones were destroyed because they suffered from 
|either too much of Strict Justice or too much of Strict Mercy;  only in 
|our cosmos did God hit on the right balance between the two.   The 
|fragments of these destroyed worlds are the Klippoth.

Can we still interact with those worlds?  What do they look like?

|>|The Klippoth... are divided into four classes, of which the Nogah 
|>|is the highest.  

|>... 'Nogah: 14th Path, whose qlipha is Dagdagiel (55)'.  

|...I don't recall the text you are quoting.  

Well, you wouldn't.  I don't know where I got this information any more,
though some of it is from Kenneth Grant.  I think that the rest may be
from GD sources.  Wasn't quoting a text so much as a correspondence field.

|Are you referring to the 32 Paths of Wisdom?  

Um, I think so.  The 22 paths of the Tree of Life.  Nogah is the 14th, no?
Empress, between Binah and Chokmah.

|"Sekhel Meir" and not "Sekhel Nogah"--although the two Hebrew words have
|similar meanings.  

Hmmm, you're losing me.  Where do you get 'Sekhel Meir' and what does that
phrase mean?  I've heard the paths more often called 'Shevelim'.

|...Refer to Kaplan for a fuller, and clearer, explanation if you want on 
|follow up on this.


|In general, I would discourage any tabulation on the lines of "this Klippah
|goes with this Sefirah or Path".  

Well, I think this comes out of the 'Dark Tree' cosmologies, in which each
sphere/path has a 'degenerate', the polar opposite of the 'Dayside' ToL.
Probably more Qabalah (Hermetic) than Kabbalah (Hebrew), but I could be

|One of the hallmarks of the Klippoth is their disorganization and 
|fragmented state.  They are the eggshells which are left over when 
|God cooked up the omelet we call the Universe.  

Well, that is one way to see them, yes.  For those who do not posit
either a 'God' or some Great Cosmic Cookoff, these ideas don't really
suit.  I prefer to agree with you re: disorganization (kaos) and
fragmentation (damage/pain/horror), though for me the shells are
entitites with which I may interact, much to the chagrin of 'traditional

|So it is slightly contradictory to say that such and such a shell came 
|from such and such a place on the Tree of Life,  

Well, it is not so much that it 'came from' such and such a place, but
that it is the shell of that place.  As I explained earlier, there
appear to be several models being discussed here.

|what about Dagdagiel (54) and Dagdagiel(56)?  

Got me.  I don't typically care much about the gematria.

|...the knowledge of what spark of Light came from what Sefirah does play 
|an important role in the detailed praxis of the Lurianic system--the 
|Sparks being entangled with the Shells.

Yes, I gathered that the Sphere-Shell correlation is more popular/used.

|>Wonderful, what happens if one descends into impurity?  

|On the literal, level,  one descends into impurity by acts of ritual impurity
|(applicable, on the Lurianic model, only to Jews) and immorality.  Incest,
|murder, are good ways of doing it.  

I figure 'Jew' is a metaphorical description of 'person' or 'child' of
the divine.  Likely it refers to those who are sufficiently conscious
to be responsible for their actions.  Those who accept that it refers
to a particular culture or people are merely elitist xenophobes.

'Ritual impurity'.  Ok.  I can see that.  The way I tend to look at
things this means compositions of multitudinous fragments.  I don't
see 'purity' except in terms of simplicity of composition.  My world
is not composed of 'spirit' and 'matter', for example.

|>How long does it take and what is at the end of the path?  Is there 
|>a precise method described to achieve such a descent?  I enjoy 
|>undertaking the exact failure of a proscriptive metaphysic, at times.

|"The end of the path" is fully on display in Bosnia,  Gaza,  Somalia, 
|and less dramatically,  all around us, whereever hate and greed come 
|into action.  

Ok, so you see hatred and greed as indicators of Kliphotic influence.
I tend to also, though I see these as extremes of a range.  Fear, anger
and hatred are part of a range of demonic impositions.  Envy, greed and
oppression are another set.  These represent extremes of deprivation,
low self-esteem and unconsciousness, callousness.  Diving into these
experiences (which I think most people have to a certain degree) would,
I think, equate to 'encountering the shells' in life, not truly neces-
sitating travelling into full-blown war-zones.

|>Great.  Are there prescribed methods to strengthen the Klippoth?  How can
|>we best go about that, if that is our desire?  Are there chaotic forces
|>which can be unleashed into the world, possibly harnessed by master mages?

|As to strengthening the Klippoth on the principle that do so is good,  
|that would require a special outlook on life, of which the SS and Manson 
|in their separate ways are the most notorious examples in our century.  
|And if you can adopt that outlook, you don't need my instruction,  
|o Babe of the Abyss!

I see nothing as 'good' except that I like it.  So you see sociopathology
and fascism to be the strengthening of the shells, hmm?  Interesting that
you mention the SS, given the obvious relationship it has to Judaism in
its opposition.  That serves the polar model all the more.  Jews are the
Light-worshippers, dwelling within the sanctity of the Sefirah.  Nazis
are the Dark-worshippers, dwelling in the deprivation of the Kleppah.
Rather simplistic.  

I prefer to think of the shells as the experiences of fear and loathing
which the SS and Manson may *inspire*.  Walled off into their little
compartments, we become enslaved to them as much through opposition to
these bogeys (SS/Manson) as through support of them.

What does the Babe of the Abyss have to do with any of this?  I'm afraid
I didn't follow your line of thought there.

|...I would question why one would want to strengthen the Klippoth.

Because I feel that they are misunderstood.  I compare them to wolves and
other natural predators who have been slandered, misunderstood and quite
often wiped out in the mistaken impression that such massacre is a 'service'
of some kind.  Actually it is the most heinous travesty.

|I suppose that here is where my premises and yours, O Mu, differ most.  Even
|where,  as in LeftHanded Tantra, one engages in ritual sins and impurities,
|the underlying rationale will in the end destroy them.  

My tantra does not have an 'underlying rationale'.  I agree that they will
be destroyed within the practice of those who accept them, but not due to
the triumph of ritual goods and purities; instead the practitioner will
be guided to see past these illusory salvations.  One comes to realize the 
perfection and excellence of that which conventional religious institutions
teach is 'evil' or 'bad'.

|...enter into a Klippah with the objective of getting to the Spark of 
|Light at its core; but if successful this would end in the liberation of 
|the Spark and the withering away of the Klippah.  

I didn't know that the center of the shell is supposed to contain a 'Spark
of Light'.  Personally I don't place much value in this 'Light' which so
many have used as propulsion to constrain and oppress.  Had enough 'Light'
for a while and prefer the deep 'Darkness' of the demons of the night.

|...enter into a Klippah with the objective of remaining in it permanently.
|But that to me betokens a triviality, frivolity, and shallowness of thought
|which I do not find in Mu, at least. 

I think if I were to seriously undertake this project in a visualizing sense 
(rather than seeing these descriptions as metaphors for what goes on in 
my life), I would neither wish to enter into the hollow of the shell and
encounter its Spark or try to dispell it, or remain there permanently.
No, I see the shells as daemons, dakini, with whom I can mature and come
to know the Obscure Mysteries.  I would dance, play, make love with and
battle the daemons.

|>Hsi Wang Mu lives in the Kunlun Mountains of China:
|>Just cross that Moat of Sinking (even feathers sink out of sight instantly),
|>and pass through the Ring of Fire surrounding the Mountain Fortress.
|And I thought Mu lived on Greensickness Peak of the Incredible Crags of
|the Great Fable Mountains.

I've *never* heard that before.  ;>


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