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QBL and Hermetic Sources

To: alt.magick,alt.magick.tyagi,alt.divination,alt.occult
From: (hara)
Subject: Q(uib)BL(ing) and Hermetic Sources (was something else long)
Date: 15 Dec 1998 13:20:08 -0600

49981215 IIIom Hail Shaitan!

"occult" :
# 1)  Your transliteration is wrong; it's not "QBL", it's "QBLH".  
# There are four Hebrew letters:  qoph, beth, lamed, and he.  

did I say it was a transliteration?  no I did not, nor did I
intend it to be.  the Hebrew asciifications came the closest.

# As someone who propounds to understand Qabalah

the subject line used to read "Gematria and Other Systems of
Numerology".  it didn't pertain specifically to QBL, though
there was an important touch-point on this subject (the
history of gematria appears to intersect kabbalah and 
continues to be contained in many QBL systems) which we seem
to have left behind for a greater depth of QuibBLing.

# you of all people should be aware of the importance of individual 
# letters.  "QBL" is transliterated from a root word meaning "to
# receive" and is grammatically incorrect when used as a noun.

I use it because when pronounced fonetikally it sounds like QUIBBLE,
and I think kabbalists/qabalists/cabalists are very fond of doing
this -- exemplified by your response to me.

# 2) Qabalah does not simply "appear" to be Jewish, it is unequivocally
# Jewish.  

actually not all of it is, as I have already said.  you have not
sourced gematria, for example, and I am aware of assertions that
the popular Tree of Life schematic isn't unique to the Jews.  if
we eliminate numerology, numerolinguistics and mysticism that
relates to letters (cf. old Indian ideas about Sanskrit), then
we are left with the particular social tradition and its specific
texts that it generated.  I already categorized this as an old
and venerable social tradition (usually oral it seems -- I must
say 'it seems' and 'it appears' because I am not a part of it
and am merely reflecting what I consider to be fairly reliable
sources without attribution).

# 3) You're making up your own definitions.  

I choose those I prefer, that is correct.  cf. Lewis Carroll and
the argument made by Humpty Dumpty within Alices adventures.  
imagine a QBList who is subject to the terrors of linguistic 

# 4) You're undermining how important a proper understanding of Jewish
# culture, philosophy, and theology is to a comprehension of the spirit 
# and nuances of Qabalah.  

no, I stated clearly that Scholem has a good line on the Jewish QBL
(kabbalah), but that Hermetic qabalists may be sourced elsewhere.
you as much say so yourself when quoting Scholem.  I'm merely
saying that kabbalah isn't the only strain.  I don't have to know
model Ts inside and out in order to appreciate and drive a modern

# This is an anti-intellectual approach.

hardly.  it is merely honest.  if you want to know about Hermetic
qabalah (notice that I use my words carefully while you want to
encapsulate everything under 'qabalah', which I am not doing),
then seek Hermetic sources, that's all I'm saying.

# 5) You mentioned Scholem as a source.  I trust you are 
# referring to Gershom Scholem....

that is correct.  good author on Jewish QBL and its history.
I imagine even he has his limitations, but I am not sufficiently
familiar with the subject to know.  perhaps you could elaborate
on that for us.

you quote Scholem:
# "...the activities of French and English occultists _contributed
# nothing_ and only served to create considerable confusion between 
# the teachings of the Kabbalah and their own _totally unrelated 
# inventions_...To this category of _supreme charlatanism_ belong 
# the many and widely read books of Eliphas Levi...Papus...and 
# ... Aleister Crowley...all of whom had an _infinitesimal knowledge 
# of Kabbalah_ that did not prevent them from drawing freely on 
# their imaginations instead." (emphasis mine)

lovely!  this matches with what I'd presumed about these people,
yes, and the text you quote is an example of why I did not
recommend Scholem as a source on Hermetic qabalah, which would
better be approached by someone with less vitriol and bias.

the Hermetics are not so much anti-intellectual as anti-authority
and charlatan-ridden.  this doesn't mean they have no quality, as
you yourself have admitted.  the point isn't that one should not
consult them on the subject of kabbalah (which is true), but that
if one wishes to learn about what Hermetic qabalah it is likely
best to see it for oneself from the sources (namely authors like
Levi, Crowley and Gray).

# So your own sources are contradicting you.

really?  check my text again.  I stand by what I wrote:
#> ...the history of kabbalah (cf. Scholem for a decent overview) is
#> such that it does appear (esp. by this name) to have been a Jewish
#> mystical construct....

if you can't understand my taxonomical language, then I don't under-
stand your desire to appear to be a lover of words and their
complexity/value/depth.  see what I'm saying, rather than what you
would like to interpret.

# I understand what you are saying.  One does not have to become a 
# Jew in order to study Qabalah.  It is more important spiritually 
# to have a connection to the divine than it is to have book 
# knowledge.  

actually I didn't say those things, I merely reported that some
believe them.  please read more carefully and stop attributing
things to me which I did not say.  have a gander:
#> ...some will contend that going to other HUMANS is just 
#> taking a detour.  the source, these will contend, is the 
#> DIVINE, and so unless one can see their way to identifying 
#> the divine with these humans (a common practice among the 
#> pyramid-schemers ;>), if one has a satisfactory route
#> to the divine, THIS ought be the preferred source on QBL.

note that I am careful to separate my own opinions from this
and that I am merely reporting on what I have seen.  I am not
talking about Judaism here so much as methods of obtaining
the experiences or knowledge attributed to those who may be
part of Jewish (and other) mystical systems.

I'm reporting on something much more radical than that for
which you give me credit.  after all, what I'm saying is
that the variety of systems and edifices of QBL are,
according to some, COMPLETELY DISPENSABLE as regards an
apprehension of the mysteries and profundities with which
they are associated -- that the Jewish (or Hermetic or
Sumerian or whatever) QBL systems are merely instances of
human expression surrounding the divine and Hir relation
to numerolinguistics, cosmogenesis, eschatology, and the
development of the individual, and that their longevity
of tradition means NOTHING as regards their ability to
communicate anything true or important to the modern mage.

so when you say 'go to the source', one might argue that
those who go to something ancient are doing something akin
to seeking out old, rancid butter in order to get the
fresh butter flavor (rather than going to the cow (god) or
or to the local dairy farmer (Hermetic).  it is an error.  
according to this argument the fresher, more worldly and 
lively is likely to be the more reliable.  the old 
traditions become hide-bound, stagnant, and callous over 
with too many gates and obscurations to be easily 
accessible to the aspirant.

to apply this to the study of QBL (note that I say QBL here
rather than kabbalah -- Jewish QBL), the idea is that going
to the older traditions (why not go to Sumerians or 
Babylonians? presumably because they have a less intact
social structure after all these years ;>) is a wild goose
chase unless one is already steeped in it.  instead, it
would be preferrable to look *right around oneself* (some
would no doubt suggest we begin by looking *at* ourselves,
and with good reason; cf. mysticism the world over),
creating one's *own* QBL.  this is what Crowley and other
Hermetics have recommended, and I think there is a validity
to these assertions which you have not addressed here.

# I personally enjoy the writings of Crowley and Eliphas Levi.  
# But they reflect Qabalah about as well as Shylock from 
# Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" reflects Jewish culture.

this statement exemplifies the very problem I have had with
'serious kabbalists' whose blinders about what QBL could include
lead them to think that every expression that I make about
the subject relates to Judaism and its culture.  I have made
no claims about my knowledge of Judaism and I welcome what
you'd like to share of it that pertains to your kabbalah.

my comment is not that one ought to go to Crowley and Levi to
obtain information about Jews.  on the contrary, I think this
would be a terrible mistake, and I agree with your assertion.
instead I was saying that if you want to learn about Hermetic
QBL, then it would be better obtained by going to Hermetics than
to listen to people who are antagonistic or misunderstanding
of their ideas, those who think that QBL is the sole property
of Jewish mystics, or those who think that no QBL can be
created (however rudimentary) outside established lineages.

I will prove this wrong through the course of my life. ;>

-- (emailed replies may be posted); cc me replies;;

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