Sunday, January 22, 2017

Dustin Pickering writes

Murderous Tale

“Man is a beauty born of woman.”

When cascading waters left whispers of loneliness:
swelling, stolen life!
A transformation takes place near the strangled body.
Carry homes on your backs
like snails…
I am incomplete, yet sovereign amongst these lies.
The poem presents the queerest process
before the Shekinah:
unknown light, unknown feminine lamp of time.

His body waits at the threshold assuming the glory of personal peace.
When the Shekinah finds him, he is dead.
The body of God: lips the soul can kiss with fervor.
I wince at this face
and the glorious stupidity of Man, that human king.
Male God! Keep your hazy life within its own sphere.
Your body rots on the horizon—
there is no ‘living” God, no man to live to tell my murderous tale.

 Image result for shekinah

 Shekinah -- Pat Fulmer

[Inspired by the murderer of God in Thus Spake Zarathustra. The murderer in this case leaves God's body to be discovered by his feminine aspect, the Shekinah. It's based on the Kabbalic tradition of mysticism. I often reverse roles of male and female and the way literature utilizes them while staying within the traditional conceptions.]


  1. Shekinah is a Hebrew word meaning "dwelling" or "settling," denoting the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. The root word is often used to refer to birds' nesting and nests and can also mean "neighbor." In classic Jewish thought it refers to a dwelling or settling of divine presence. Mishkan ("Tabernacle") is derived from the same root, and the Shekinah is referred to as being manifest in the Tabernacle and the Temple in Jerusalem as well as being present in the acts of public prayer. It also connotes righteous judgment and personal need. Since Shekinah is a feminine word, it represents the feminine attributes of the presence of God and is associated with the transformational spirit of God as the source of prophecy, particularly in the context of the Tabernacle or Temple, with figures such as thrones or robes (traditionally attributed to the presence of the Shekinah) filling the sanctuary. In some Aramaic gnostic writings, such as the Manichaean and the Mandaean texts, Shekinah (usually plural) was the hidden aspects of God.

  2. It is the feminine Jewish divine presence, the Shekhinah, that distinguishes 12th-century Kabbalistic literature from earlier Jewish literature, and the introduction of this idea was one its most important and lasting innovations. Ein Sof (The Infinite) reveals himself and continuously creates the physical realm and the chain of higher metaphysical realms via 10 sephirot (emanations, attributes), which also describe the spiritual life of man and constitute the conceptual paradigm for understanding everything. The sephirot and the indwelling Shekhinah presence are related to male-female Divine principles; the separation and interruption of Shekhinah, the flow of Divine vitality, into this realm was caused by man's sins, so humanity's task is Yichud, the union of male and female principles of Divinity via mankind's benevolence; later, in Lurianic Kabbalah, the first emanation in Creation led to the spiritual shattering of Divinity in a definitive "shattering" caused by the sublime intensity of the light, and to the exile of its "sparks" into the descending created realms, so man's purpose is to redeem the sparks of holiness of the Shekhinah from the impure kelipot ("Peels," "Shells," "Husks") that conceal it. Repentance out of love retrospectively turns sin into virtue (darkness into light), so when all the sparks are freed from the kelipot, depriving them of their vitality, the Messianic era will begin.

  3. Although "Sefirot" means counting or enumeration, early Kabbalists presented a number of other eymological possibilities from the same Hebrew root (including "text," "recounting a story," "sapphire," "brilliance," "luminary," "boundary," and "scribe") thus indicating the connotative complexity of the concept. The Hebrew etymology of their names referred to the nuanced aspects of meaning of each one. This direct connection between spiritual and physical creations and their Hebrew names reflects the Kabbalistic notion that Creation is formed from the metaphorical speech of God. The sephirot are 1) Keter ("Crown"), the unconscous Divine Will to create / the name of God (Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh [I Am that I Am] / Ohr Ein Sof (Infinite light, Divine Essence); different levels within Keter reflect God's inner Will and outer Will. The innermost, hidden, levels ("The head/beginning that is not known") are united with the Ein Sof: It is not God who changes but the ability to perceive God that changes. In some Kabbalistic formulations, Keter was considered too lofty to be included; 2) Chokhmah ("Wisdom"), conscious Divine Intellect, the first unbounded flash of an idea before it takes on limitations / male light / Divine Reality / first revelation / creation from nothingness; 3) Binah ("Understanding"), the infinite flash of Chokhmah mixed with understanding to give it breadth and depth / the feminine vessel that gives birth to the emotions / reason / understanding; 4) Daat ("Knowledge"), the central state of unity of the 10 Sephirot / the conscious manifestation of the unconscious Keter (Daat was only used in the formulations that omitted Keter).

  4. These were followed by three "conscious emotions," Chesed ("Kindness," the loving grace of free giving / love of God / inspiring vision), Gevurah ("Severity," strength / judgment / intention / awe of God), and Tiferet ("Beauty," symmetry / balance between Chesed and Gevurah in compassion) and three "unconscious emotions," Netzach ("Eternity"), Hod ("Splendor, Glory," withdrawal / surrender / sincerity), and Yesod ("Foundation" to accomplish /wholly remembered, coherent knowledge), and a final vessel to bring about action, Malkuth ("Kingship," the "daughter of God;" the most overtly female vessel for the pregnant nurturing of the male lights of the emotional sephirot into action, it becomes the Keter source for any subsequent lower level in Creation / accomplishment / realization of the Divine Plan.) The scheme was further developed to enable the sephirot to unite in cooperation by the interinclusion within each of them of a further subset of all 10; so, for example, Chesed contains Chesed within Chesed, Gevurah within Chesed (typified by a restriction performed out of love, like a father punishing a child), etc. Binah and Malkuth are feminine, since the female principle in Kabbalah describes a vessel that receives the outward male light, then inwardly nurtures and gives birth to the lower sephirot, corresponding to the Shekhinah. The harmonious relationship between the Shekhinah and the six emotions causes the world itself to be sustained by the flow of divine energy. "She is like the moon reflecting the divine light into the world," in one Kabbalistic formulation. The 10 levels are associated with four "Worlds" or planes of existence, a descending "chain of progression" that links the Infinite Divine with the finite, physical realm. In Atzilut, the World of Emanation, the light of Ein Sof radiates and is united with its source; in Beri'ah, the World of Creation, the souls and angels have self-awareness but no form; in Yetzirah, the World of Formation, creation is related to form; in Assiah, the World of Action, creation is relegated to its physical aspect. In all Worlds, the 10 sephirot radiate as the Divine channels through which every level is continuously created from nothing. Since they are the attributes through which the unknowable, infinite Divine essence becomes revealed to the creations, all 10 emanate in each World. Since the four Worlds link the Infinite with the physical realm, they also enable the soul to ascend in devotion or mystical states towards the Divine. Each World can be understood as descriptive of dimensional levels of intentionality related to man's natural "desire to receive" and a method for the soul's progress upward toward unity with or return to the Creator. (In the 16th century Isaac Luria reinterpreted and recast the whole scheme of Kabbalah; his system counted five Worlds, with a higher plane, Adam Kadmon [manifest Godhead] that mediates between Ein Sof and the four lower Worlds, which are collectively the World of Tikkun ("Fixing"). In Tikkun, the sephirot evolve into new arrangements, where they can unite together.)


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