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I tend toward the pantheistic viewpoint held by Spinoza, without going so far as to name the immanent god-force "God." The Tree of Life puts some structure and order to that rather amorphous concept.
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Sometimes it seems to me like Hermetic Kabbalah is one endless list of correspondences and then more correspondences with no real purpose. In a sense that's true if you don't have a method of practical application. The Kabbalah of the GD is closely tied in with progression in the Grades on the Tree of Life. There's Kabbalsitic theory but it's given out in stages along the path. I'm not an expert on the GD rituals but I do believe it would be a mistake to say there's no spiritual goal or point to it; actually that is the whole point. The GD rituals are very easy to acquire online or in print. They are where the rubber meets the road. But the GD's not for everyone; if you're not motivated by it then it's probably best to leave it alone.
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Originally Posted by Barleywine View Post
I tend toward the pantheistic viewpoint held by Spinoza, without going so far as to name the immanent god-force "God." The Tree of Life puts some structure and order to that rather amorphous concept.
Looking at the whole tree and the universe as God is a type of pantheism, though as you say using the concept term God might not be suitable depending on your outlook. I think, if I recall correctly that the name of God is not to be spoken or written down because of it's unknowable nature ( and holiness).
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Monotheism, polytheism, pantheism. What's the difference? They are all lines drawn in the sand of intellect, trying to conceptualise something that is far greater and stranger than the intellect can grasp.

The One is the Many, the Many is the One. And the One is ultimately None.
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As it hasn't been mentioned in this thread so far:

There were different renditions of the Tree of Life over time. The one adopted by the Golden Dawn is basically the one first published by Athanasius Kircher, a Jesuit priest and universal renaissance mind, in his Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1653). However, Kircher's placement of the planets differs from the GD's.
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I have just been skimming Bonner's Qabalah, A magical primer. (Aeon's recommendation)

something similar - God the Creator "one omnipotent and omnipresent being, who creates from his own substance as an act of divine will"
Things get a little mind bending when you realise this "substance" is the AIN, the No-Thing.

Bonner mentions an alternative theory in the chapter on AIN. Isaac Luria came up with the idea of Tsimtsum (Withdrawl) in which God is said to make a hollow space within himself. Inside this void creation takes place. Apparently this pleased some Kabbalists as the usual emanation model of the sephiroth is obviously Pantheistic. This is a bit of a problem if you're a Monotheistic Rabbinical Kabbalist. Luria's "Tzimtzum" solves this by positing a transcendent creator who creates everything, but is not part of the creation.

Personally I prefer 0=2. "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union."
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Originally Posted by Aeon418 View Post
Things get a little mind bending when you realise this "substance" is the AIN, the No-Thing.

Bonner mentions an alternative theory in the chapter on AIN. Isaac Luria came up with the idea of Tsimtsum (Withdrawl) in which God is said to make a hollow space within himself. Inside this void creation takes place. Apparently this pleased some Kabbalists as the usual emanation model of the sephiroth is obviously Pantheistic. This is a bit of a problem if you're a Monotheistic Rabbinical Kabbalist. Luria's "Tzimtzum" solves this by positing a transcendent creator who creates everything, but is not part of the creation.

Personally I prefer 0=2. "For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union."
Ahhh.... I wondered why the kircher tree which is an older version is less common than the Luria one. Having a withdrawal separation theme of God isn't as elegant for me as a theme of All.

Depending on which theme is preferred the concepts of Eden and Da'ath would vary. I was just reading the kabbalistic view that Da'ath is knowledge, being the Union of Binah and Chockmah, wisdom and understanding. Union to create this third (here Da'ath or other manifestation) could occur because there is separation/division initially to be able to come together and do this. However, if the initial division is not within the divine as suggested by the Luria withdrawal view, then there would be no coming together of opposing divine forces as they don't reside there, being in the space or absence of God.

Presumably, angelic or other concepts would also be separate from creation...ughh I see gods and goddesses, Angels etc as being crystallised points of access (form depending on cultural preferences) still within the all.

(Eta...the differing forms of Gods/Godesses as recurring representations of the Archetypes).
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I see the tree of life as representing emanations of God becoming more fixed as you reach the the tenth Sephira Malkuth - Earth the ultimate manifestation. Everything is made up from and therefore part of God. I'm not so religious to identify God further, so that works for me.

I have just been skimming Bonner's Qabalah, A magical primer. (Aeon's recommendation)

something similar - God the Creator "one omnipotent and omnipresent being, who creates from his own substance as an act of divine will"

Hope you are keeping well x
One does not have to be religious, but still can believe in divine being and creation of the universe. ToL seems good path for the search or connection.

That book seems excellent for the topic, although I don't have it.

I am doing fine thanks. Hope you are well too x
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abrac View Post
Sometimes it seems to me like Hermetic Kabbalah is one endless list of correspondences and then more correspondences with no real purpose. In a sense that's true if you don't have a method of practical application. The Kabbalah of the GD is closely tied in with progression in the Grades on the Tree of Life. There's Kabbalsitic theory but it's given out in stages along the path. I'm not an expert on the GD rituals but I do believe it would be a mistake to say there's no spiritual goal or point to it; actually that is the whole point. The GD rituals are very easy to acquire online or in print. They are where the rubber meets the road. But the GD's not for everyone; if you're not motivated by it then it's probably best to leave it alone.
The GD book by Regardie used to be always a bit mysterious to me because he seems talking about many rituals, but does not mention what those rituals are to or for. Or maybe he does say or suggest they are to / for the divine being or God, but I am not sure which God or divine being he is talking about.

In the GD book, the only part I refer is usually the Tarot chapter right enough.
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Originally Posted by foolMoon View Post
One does not have to be religious, but still can believe in divine being and creation of the universe. ToL seems good path for the search or connection.

That book seems excellent for the topic, although I don't have it.

I am doing fine thanks. Hope you are well too x
Yes, I think it is not necessary to be religious as such, though that does depend on what is meant by religious. I tend to think of it as being a more formal concrete framework that can get hardened into fixed ways of acting and belief, often used historically for power grabbing agendas. On the other hand (not throwing the baby completely out of the bathwater) having somekind of outer framework connects people together with a common shared ethical base.
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