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Kabbalah and Consciousness

Allen Afterman

Kabbalah and Consciousness
Categories: Jewish
Imprint: Sheep Meadow Press
Publisher: Carcanet Press
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  • The Kabbalah is the major work of Jewish mystical learning; it maps the mystical universe of Judaism. Afterman, a distinguished poet and Harvard-trained lawyer, explains the Kabbalah with clairty and a keen sense of advocacy. The book enables the general reader to gain insight into the inner life of the Jewish mystical tradition. The emphasis throughout is upon experience and the impact of ideas and processes of Kabbalah upon modern consciousness.

    The book concerns itself with the movement from ordinary consciousness toward knowledge of the infinite, the process of rectification by which the eternal is revealed in every day reality, and exploration of male and female modes of being.
    Poetry and mysticism are magnificently reconciled in Allen Afterman’s book on Kabbalah’s secret imagery and silent invocations - Elie Wiesel

    Afterman's book represents illuminating reverberations of Kabbalistic concepts in a poetic consciousness. I consider it a fascinating effort to catch Kabbalah by a sensitive and keen mind - Professor Moshe Idel, Hebrew University



    Preface ix  
    Acknowledgements xi
    Introduction 5
    I. The Unity of Consciousness 9
    1. Man as a Microcosm of Reality 9
    2. The Fall of Consciousness 11

    II. Perception 16
    1. Seeing Through the Sefirot 16
    2. Objective and Subjective Perception 17
    3. Male and Female Perception 19
    4. Seeing with the Eyes of God 21

    III Truth
    1. Dying for truth 27
    2. The Man of Actions 28
    3. True Actions: Mitzvot (Commandments) 30
    4. Truth and Love 32

    IV. Returning Home 35
    1. Time
    Birth and Death
    2. Returning Home: The Circles and Rhythms of Tshuvah 37
    The end enwedged into the beginning 37
    Hiding and seeking 38
    3. The Destined woman 40

    V. Passage Through Generations 45
    1. Memory 45
    2. Reincarnation (Gilgulim) 48
    The Universal Soul of Adam 48
    Passage Through the Generations 49

    VI. The Tzaddik's Mind (Rectified Consciousness) 56
    1. The Mind's Transparence 56
    2. The Other Side: Imagination and the Unconscious61
    3. The Infinite Present 63
    4. Fifth Dimensional and Messianic Consciousness 63

    VII. Union
    1. Meditation 72
    2. Song Meditation 74
    3. Mystical Union 75

    VIII. Pleasing the Land of Israel 84
    1. A microcosm of Reality 84
    2. Seeding 86

    An Overview of the kabbalistic reality
    1. The creation and the tzimtzum (withdrawal; contraction)
    2. The Five Worlds 94
    3. The Tree of Life, the Ten Sefirot 96
    4. The Breaking of the Vessels 100
    5. Evil and Free Choice 102
    6. The Rectification of Reality (Tikkun) 103

    Desire for white 111
    Biographical Note 129

    Allen Afterman was born in Los Angeles in 1941. He studied at UCLA and Harvard Law School, and taught law in New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore. In 1972 he retired from teaching and devoted himself to poetry, publishing The Maze Rose (1974) and Purple Adam (1980). In 1980, he immigrated to ... read more
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