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Moses de Leon
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Qabbalah (Hebrew) Qabbālāh [from qābal to receive, hand down] Also Cabala, Kabala, Kabbalah, etc. Tradition, that which is handed down; the theosophy of the Jews. Originally these truths were passed on orally by one initiate to chosen disciples, hence were referred to as the Tradition. The first one historically alleged to have reduced a large part of the secret Qabbalah of the Chaldees into systematic, and perhaps written, form was the Rabbi Shim‘on ben Yohai, in the Zohar; but the work of this name that has come down to the present day — through the medieval Qabbalists — is but a compilation of the 13th century, presumably by Moses de Leon.
seferzohar ::: Sefer Zohar The Sefer Zohar consists of mystical commentaries and homilies on the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). It was written by Moses de Leon (13th century AD) but attributed by him to Simon ben Yohai, the great scholar of the 2nd century AD. See also Torah and Kabbalah.
The Zohar contains the universal wisdom or theosophy of the ages. Nevertheless it “teaches practical occultism more than any other work on that subject; not as it is translated though, and commented upon by its various critics, but with the secret signs on its margins. These signs contain the hidden instructions, apart form the metaphysical interpretations and apparent absurdities . . .” (IU 2:350). The present “approximation of the Zohar was written by Moses de Leon in the 13th century. “Mistaken is he who accepts the Kabalistic works of to-day, and the interpretations of the Zohar by the Rabbis, for the genuine Kabalistic lore of old! For no more to-day than in the day of Frederick von Schelling does the Kabala accessible to Europe and America, contain much more than ‘ruins and fragments, much distorted remnants still of that primitive system which is the key to all religious systems’ . . . The oldest system and the Chaldean Kabala were identical. The latest renderings of the Zohar are those of the Synagogue in the early centuries — i.e., the Thorah, dogmatic and uncompromising” (SD 2:461-2).
The Zohar has been widely studied by European mystical and other scholars for centuries past, and many speculations have been made by these scholars as to its age, some affirming with perfect truth that the roots or origins of the Qabbalah go back into the very night of time and are probably to be traced to now unknown originals in ancient Chaldea, while others points out that in several places the Zohar mentions facts of history that have taken place in Europe after the beginning of the Christian era, such as the Crusades, and the mentioning of the Massoretic vowel points which came into use at the time of the Rabbi Mocha, 570 AD, the mention of a comet which can be proved by the context to have appeared in 1264, etc. Moses de Leon was probably the first to edit or give to the world the volume of the Zohar as we now have it considered as a whole. We thus have a work of progressive compilation, the form in which it has reached our hands showing the labor of several, if not many, minds since the beginning of the Christian era, but which nevertheless in its typically Chaldean thought and manner of envisioning religious and philosophical principles prove it to have come down from an unknown time in Chaldean history.
Zohar ::: “Book of Splendor”; the chief literary work of the kabalists. The author of the main part of the Zohar was Moses de Leon (12th century) in Spain, but it is pseudepigraphically ascribed to the Palestinian tanna Simeon bar Yohai (2nd century CE), sometimes called RaShBaY (Rabbi Shimeon bar Yohai).
Zohar ::: The masterpiece of the Kabbalah, the Zohar takes the form of a mystical commentary on the Torah. According to tradition, it was composed in the second century by Simeon bar Yohai. However, the work as we have it was first published in the 13th century by Moses de Leon in Spain and contains language that is certainly medieval in origin.
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3 Moses de Leon
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1:Jacob left Be'er Sheva and set out for Haran. (Genesis 28:10) Inside the hidden nexus, from within the sealed secret, a zohar flashed, shining as a mirror, embracing two colors blended together. Once these two absorbed each other, all colors appeared: purple, the whole spectrum of colors, flashing, disappearing. Those rays of color do not wait to be seen; they merge into the fusion of zohar. In this zohar dwells the one who dwells. It provides a name for the one who is concealed and totally unknown. It is called the Voice of Jacob. Complete faith in the one who is concealed and totally unknown belongs here. Here dwells YHVH, perfection of all sides, above and below. Here Jacob is found, perfection of the Patriarchs, linked to all sides. This zohar is called by the singled-out name: "Jacob, whom I have chosen (Isaiah 41:8) Two names he is called: Jacob and Israel. At first, Jacob; later, Israel. The secret of this secret: First he attained the End of Thought, the Elucidation of the Written Torah. She is the Oral Torah, called Be'er; as it is said: "Moses began be'er, to explain, the Torah" (Deuteronomy 1:5) She is a be'er, a well and an explanation of the one who is called Sheva, Seven, as it is written: "It took him sheva, seven, years to build it" (1 Kings 6:38) Sheva is the Mighty Voice, while the End of Thought is Be'er Sheva. [bk1sm.gif] -- from Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment: (Classics of Western Spirituality), Translated by Daniel Chanan Matt
~ Moses de Leon, Inside the hidden nexus (from Jacobs Journey)
2:In the Beginning When the King conceived ordaining He engraved engravings in the luster on high. A blinding spark flashed within the Concealed of the Concealed from the mystery of the Infinite, a cluster of vapor in formlessness, set in a ring, not white, not black, not red, not green, no color at all. When a band spanned, it yielded radiant colors. Deep within the spark gushed a flow imbuing colors below, concealed within the concealed of the mystery of the Infinite. The flow broke through and did not break through its aura. It was not known at all until, under the impact of breaking through, one high and hidden point shone. Beyond that point, nothing is known. So it is called Beginning, the first command of all. "The enlightened will shine like the zohar of the sky, and those who make the masses righteous will shine like the stars forever and ever" (Daniel 12:3) Zohar, Concealed of the Concealed, struck its aura. The aura touched and did not touch this point. Then this Beginning emanated and made itself a palace for its glory and its praise. There it sowed the seed of holiness to give birth for the benefit of the universe. The secret is: "Her stock is a holy seed" (Isaiah 6:13) Zohar, sowing a seed for its glory like the seed of fine purple silk. The silkworm wraps itself within and makes itself a palace. This palace is its praise and a benefit to all. With the Beginning the Concealed One who is not known created the palace. This palace is called Elohim. The secret is: "With Beginning, ____________ created Elohim" (Genesis 1:1). [bk1sm.gif] -- from Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment: (Classics of Western Spirituality), Translated by Daniel Chanan Matt
~ Moses de Leon, The Creation of Elohim
3:He [Abraham] was sitting in the opening of the tent.... Sarah heard from the opening of the tent. (Genesis 18:1, 10) Rabbi Judah opened "'Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land' (Proverbs 31:23). Come and see: The Blessed Holy One has ascended in glory. He is hidden, concealed, far beyond. There is no one in the world, nor has there ever been, who can understand His wisdom or withstand Him. He is hidden, concealed, transcendent, beyond, beyond. The beings up above and the creatures down below-- none of them can comprehend. All they can say is: "Blessed be the Presence of YHVH in His place' (Ezekiel 3:12) The ones below proclaim that He is above: 'His Presence is above the heavens' (Psalms 113:4) the ones above proclaim that He is below: 'Your Presence is over all the earth' (Psalms 57:12). Finally all of them, above and below, declare: 'Blessed be the Presence of YHVH wherever He is!' For He is unknowable. No one has ever been able to identify Him. How, then, can you say: 'Her husband is known in the gates'? Her husband is the Blessed Holy One! Indeed, He is known in the gates. He is known and grasped to the degree that one opens the gates of imagination! The capacity to connect with the spirit of wisdom, to imagine in one's heart-mind-- this is how God becomes known. Therefore 'Her husband is known in the gates,' through the gates of imagination. But that He be known as He really is? No one has ever been able to attain such knowledge of Him." Rabbi Shim'on said "'Her husband is known in the gates.' Who are these gates? The ones addressed in the Psalm: 'O gates, lift up your heads! Be lifted up, openings of eternity, so the King of Glory may come!' (Psalms 24:7) Through these gates, these spheres on high, the Blessed Holy One becomes known. Were it not so, no one could commune with Him. Come and see: Neshamah of a human being is unknowable except through limbs of the body, subordinates of neshamah who carry out what she designs. Thus she is known and unknown. The Blessed Holy One too is known and unknown. For He is Neshamah of neshamah, Pneuma of pneuma, completely hidden away; but through these gates, openings for neshumah, the Blessed Holy One becomes known. Come and see: There is opening within opening, level beyond level. Through these the Glory of God becomes known. 'The opening of the tent' is the opening of Righteousness, as the Psalmist says: 'Open for me the gates of righteousness...' (Psalms 118:19). This is the first opening to enter. Through this opening, all other high openings come into view. One who attains the clarity of this opening discovers all the other openings, for all of them abide here. [bk1sm.gif] -- from Zohar: The Book of Enlightenment: (Classics of Western Spirituality), Translated by Daniel Chanan Matt
~ Moses de Leon, The Gates (from Openings)
2 The Secret Doctrine
1.01 - Historical Survey, #A Garden of Pomegranates - An Outline of the Qabalah, #Israel Regardie, #Occultism
Leon in the thirteenth century. Madame Blavatsky ven- tures the hypothesis that the Zohar, as now possessed by us, was arranged and re-edited by Moses de Leon after having been tampered with to a considerable extent by Jewish
Rabbis and Christian ecclesiastics prior to the thirteenth century. Ginsburg in his Kabbalah gives several reasons why the Zohar must have been written in the thirteenth century. His arguments, though interesting in numerous ways, do not take into consideration the fact that there has always been an oral tradition. Isaac Myer, in his large and in a number of ways authoritative tome entitled The
Simeon ben Yochai or another of his close associates or students in the second century but not committed to writing by Moses de Leon until the thirteenth century.
A very similar presentation of the above hypothesis is found in Prof. Abelson's excellent work entitled Jewish
BOOK II. -- PART II. THE ARCHAIC SYMBOLISM OF THE WORLD-RELIGIONS, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
Zohar. Thus he shows that Moses de Leon could not be the author or the forger of the Zoharic works in
the XIIIth century, as he is accused of being, since Ibn Gebirol gave out the same philosophical
teaching 225 years before the day of Moses de Leon. No true Kabalist or scholar will ever deny the
fact. It is certain that Ibn Gebirol based his doctrines upon the oldest Kabalistic sources, namely, the
those used by Moses de Leon. But it is just the difference between the two ways of treating the same
esoteric subjects, which, while proving the enormous antiquity of the esoteric system, points to a
(vide I. Myer's Qabbalah, p. 7). Moses de Leon has made of the Zohar that which it has remained to
this day, "a running commentary on the . . . Books of the Pentateuch" (ibid.), with a few later additions
Chaldean), the friends and co-workers of Moses de Leon who, as shown by Munk, accepted their
BOOK I. -- PART I. COSMIC EVOLUTION, #The Secret Doctrine, #H P Blavatsky, #Theosophy
In the Zohar -- which, as now arranged and re-edited by Moses de Leon, with the help of Syrian and
Chaldean Christian Gnostics in the XIIth century, and corrected and revised still later by many
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