Kabbalah, Tibet, and Imagination
by Jon Rappoport
April 25, 2011
I wrote these three articles over the weekend and thought I’d hook them together and send them out all at once.
You’ll find some connections among them.
For those of you emailing me about my recent activities…
In the last three months, I’ve been dong a lot of painting. The canvases are all about…well, I don’t have an overall title for them, but it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of “new languages,” “invented languages,” and “imagined languages.”
Hoping to get back in the studio soon to record new piano music. I’d like to put out a new CD or two this year.
My weekly online radio show continues. Don’t know for how long. Visit my site to click in and pick up older shows in the archive.
I’m working out some thorny technical issues to bring back an e-book version, with revisions and updates, of AIDS INC., my first book, published in 1988.
I’m still offering my course for home schoolers and adults, LOGIC AND ANALYSIS. See my site for details. I recently sold a copy to a private-school teacher in the San Diego area. He’ll be giving it as a course to his class in the fall. That’ll be interesting.
I have a concept for a new course, for alternative health practitioners. I’m trying to connect with someone who does lots of natural-health seminars for professionals. He would do his presentation, and then I would offer an extensive seminar called A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE THEORY AND PRACTICE OF MODERN MEDICINE. Lots of explosive information there.
Okay. Here are the three articles for today.
TIBETAN WISDOM THEN AND NOW
There’s a local church in my neighborhood that brings in Tibetan monks once a year to do a sand painting.
For a few days, the Monks use colored sands to create a complex mandala on a table.
You can Google that kind of painting and see some images.
At this service on Easter, the monks destroyed the mandala. They always do that. That’s their gig. They make it and then they whisk it away into dust.
I wasn’t at the service (I break out in hives at churches and I also make nasty comments in the middle of proceedings. I think my remarks are penetrating, but no one else does.). But from second and third-hand comments, I gather that an array of reasons was given to the congregation, to explain why the monks get rid of the sand painting after they’ve completed it.
One, they were “transmuting” the painting. Two, they were now using the sand to create “healing.” Three, they were giving people small envelopes of sand to “spread the healing/creation.” Four, they were illustrating the ineffable or transient nature of all things.
I claim these are all phony reasons. Superficial food for audience. Jive for the rubes.
In the ancient Tibetan tradition, the creation of art (I’m giving this in shorthand) had a purpose: to reveal that the universe is a product of mind. Period. The universe, then, isn’t some intrinsically sacred entity, it’s a work of art…and if it can be vividly and deeply perceived as such, the adept (artist) can then spontaneously delete pieces of physical reality (chair, table, tree) and/or insert pieces of his own invented reality into universe. E.g., horse galloping across a tomato.
Further, to really qualify as an adept, you also have to able to destroy (as in DESTROY) what you create. Not disperse it or turn it into some healing force or blow magic dust on a crowd with it. No.
You might find useful information about this whole process if you Google “deity visualization” along with an author named John Blofeld.
As I say, I’m shorthanding it.
Anyway, starting from a long time ago, the Tibetans clogged up their own technique of creative work with immense amounts of ceremonial baggage and ritual and “preparation.” For reasons their teachers spelled out to students, you couldn’t go straight into creating their kind of art. You had to approach it from a long way off, and you had to endure all sorts of introductory strain before you walked through the door.
Then on top of that, coming into modern times, further New Age fluff was added to the mix, resulting in a ludicrous mess.
“Hey, man, give me some of that magic dust!”
(Yeah, I would have uttered that if I had been at the service. And gentle blue hairs would have shot me withering stares.)
Anyway, you see, DESTROYING isn’t a word you want to use nakedly, in polite company, to describe what’s happening to those sand paintings. It’s too stark for people. It’s too real. It’s too profound.
Destroying what you create means a few things: you know you can always create more; you have that bedrock confidence; you aren’t afraid that if you destroy what you created, you’ll suddenly find yourself in a great big vacuum; you’re perfectly willing to stop creating; you aren’t residing in some whimpering spaghetti of ideas and feelings about creation and destruction; you aren’t conning yourself with all that garbage; you aren’t totally relying on what you’ve created to feed back messages to you about what you should do in your life; you aren’t working from Doily Power.
And destroying what you created also means you can enter into what the Tibetans call the Void, which, when you strip it of all superfluous nonsense, really is the place where you’re not creating anything. What’s that all about?
At the deepest level, it means, since universe is a product of mind, you’ve stopped creating universe. Boom. You’re in a void. Universe isn’t there.
You can learn to stay there for as long as you want to.
And then you can start creating again, anything you want to. You don’t have to put back universe. But you can if you want to.
Yes, the ancient Tibetans—before they obscured their own cosmic kick-ass philosophy—the most profound of Earth-bred cosmologies—were on to something. They weren’t messing around.
They were way ahead of the baloney modern so-called gurus have been cutting and turning out.
The monk sand painters at the local church on Sunday? I have no idea whether they know and remember all this. But they represent that wildness and actual wisdom.
Whether anyone knows or cares, that’s what the sand painting and destruction are about.
It doesn’t need an audience at all. The audience is supposed to be doing the painting and the destroying, too.
ARTICLE TWO: THE SECRET OF THE KABBALAH
APEIL 25, 2011. Man’s relationship with God. Of course, this isn’t what the Kabbalah is REALLY about. Not in a million years, unless my grandma plays right tackle for the NY Jets.
Man’s relationship with God is the overall theme of the Kabbalah. The organizing principle. The excuse, if you will, for writing it. Because it helps to have an excuse, when you’re going to embark on such an ambitious project.
And before you get carried away, I’m not going to expose some hidden code, either. No. I’m not going to tear apart chunks of text and show you what’s behind the veil. That’s another misdirection. That’s, well, another excuse to add to the Kabbalah. And that’s fine. It’s quite all right. You can find codes in War and Peace if you want to, or in labels that list all the ingredients in the weird junk kids buy at AM-PM little stores on gas-station property.
So code is out. And no sense in commenting on what scholars have argued about re Kabbalah for hundreds of years. Why add more commentary?
Here it is.
The Kabbalah is about…
That’s the secret. That’s the real impetus behind it. That’s the driving force. That’s the headwind and the tailwind and the engine and the fuel.
That’s what it was always about.
Of course, most contributors to it never realized that. They were caught in the net of the themes, the threads, the topics, the arguments, the logic, the exegesis.
Think about it. If you’re going to write thousands of pages of something, and many people are going to author it together, for centuries, you need a broad compelling subject to bring them into the act. You want that net.
The Kabbalah is about the Kabbalah, though, because the top men who started it had a closeted idea. It was what you’d call a meta-idea. They didn’t want to bring that idea out into the light, because if they had, everyone would have frowned and gone home before the text ever got off the ground. Everyone would have said, “Aw, that’s ridiculous! How can we take off on that? It’s too stark. It’s too simple. It’s too wide. It’s too permissive.”
And they would have been right.
So the stated theme, the net that dragged in authors, was HOW DOES MAN APPROACH GOD. That was floated, and then authors were happy and they could write reams on that subject, and they did. They were motivated. They could bring a lot to the table.
At this point, I should say I’m not interested in that theme. Not at all. The reasons are many. But if we leave God out of the equation, we could have something very interesting.
If you like the inclusion of God, fine. If you don’t you could substitute any of your favorite Ultimates.
Thus the theme becomes, in general, HOW DOES MAN APPROACH ULTIMATE?
Of course, we would have to decide whether ultimate means or implies a STOPPING PLACE, a final haven, or whether it means an infinite road which keeps getting better as you go.
I opt for the latter. That’s my preference.
But these top few men who started the Kabbalah, as I said, had a secret meta-idea. Not the stated theme. Their secret idea was: YOU APPROACH GOD (or Ultimate), YOU GET CLOSER THROUGH…PROLIFERATION.
Proliferation of what?
Creation, in particular, of more language, more poetry, more philosophy, more knowledge, more science, more learning…but most of all, through more language, new invented poetic metaphorical suggestive language.
If they could get many authors to jump in and write about the stated (not the real) theme, they would, in fact, over time, get more proliferation of language, more poetry. Yes. You see?
And that’s what happened.
It was a rather sensational strategy:
State a theme that will bring in many authors, who will then write for centuries, developing extensions of language as they do so…these authors will focus on how to approach The Ultimate—that will be their stated subject—but ACTUALLY, they will be carrying out (unconsciously) the real mission by proliferating language and poetry…because you can’t get close to Ultimate without making language stretch into metaphor…you can’t use mechanical language to move beyond a certain point down the road…
There is another reason why this is an interesting strategy. To move humanity (if it will ever be moved) into a truly new and much wider state of consciousness, you need art. But not just a piece here or a piece there, A FLOOD.
You need a flood (a vast proliferation) of art in all directions, so that the reality we accept as solid and restrictive and final (Smart and Final) becomes the loosely woven fabric it actually IS. With gaping holes. So what then comes to the fore is the creation of many many artists acting on their own. Millions and millions and millions of artists inventing new and powerful realities.
You NEVER need reduction and narrowing and bowing and scraping before the pillars of consensus reality. That’s a hoax. You NEVER need that. You need endless proliferation.
But you see, in modern times, there is a great emphasis on precision and tight asses. That’s the case. So there is a tendency to reduce and reduce and distill and forget that the royal highway is proliferative.
To remind one’s self of the real and greater energy, you might return to Walt Whitman and Shakespeare and Melville and Dostoevsky and Henry Miller and Goya and early Stravinsky and Lenny Bruce and so on…
Really, the force behind Kabbalah wasn’t about walking up to the door and knocking on it and shaking hands with MR. ULTIMATE, it was about the thunderous expansion of metaphor, which is poetry, which is what meaning is when meaning shrugs off its shell of sheer literal mimicry of the physical world.
Wings over the world.
Congratulations, Kabbalah boys, you did it.
We can take it from here.
IF WE WILL.
ARTICLE THREE: RISE OF THE EMPIRE OF IMAGINATION
April 25, 2011. As an illustration of what might happen in a future whose spearhead is imagination, I return to the subject of language.
Perhaps it’s best if you start out assuming what I’m going to write here is completely off the charts, meaningless, and crazy. Assume that. It might help work your way back to making sense of it.
Consider the possibility that, on top of the languages we already have, there arises a different kind of structure, which is actually a non-structure.
Think of words or written characters or pictographs whose function is not defined—but whose impact is undeniable…
Like, oh, modern paintings.
Standing in front of a De Kooning or a Kandinsky or a Pollock, you might experience and imagine powerful impressions. But you don’t have a manual that translates these impressions into something literal.
And were you to return to those paintings again, on a different day, guess what? You would discover/imagine different impressions and feelings.
The “language” is that flexible.
Or if that analogy doesn’t work for you, listen to Beethoven or Stravinsky or Bartok; explore those worlds—which don’t remain the same every time you listen. No they don’t. And the bulk of the impressions you get/invent from the music can’t be translated into English…but still you listen, and still you are moved.
Obviously, in the presence of the paintings or the music, nothing happens unless you use your imagination.
Suppose, in similar fashion—and now I’ll go completely off the deep end—you write a letter to a friend across the world, and the letter consists of invented characters, pictographs that have noconventional meanings. Your friend, going along with it and employing his imagination, reads the letter and finds all sorts of untranslatable impressions in them—then he answers the letter with one of his own…just as untranslatable.
And you go back and forth, exchanging letters for five or years.
Imagination working back and forth.
And suppose, God forbid, after a year or two, you feel you’re getting the hang of things in this new language that has no rules and no boundaries.
What do you have then?
You have the back-and-forth invention of worlds.
And since there is no defined one-to-one correspondence between this language and English, you aren’t corralled into experiencing the ordinary range of sensations you would if conversing in English, or any other known language. You would take off, as it were, you would be experiencing and imagining sensations and feelings that were on a new level. Your feelings and sensations would expand through novel perspectives and dimensions.
And then you’d become aware that you were capable of “entering into” realms that had previously been hidden to you. The shapes of your experience would widen and deepen.
Isn’t this, in fact, what people hope to gain from the study of arcane metaphysics and cosmology and “ancient mysteries?”
Except in this case, there is no external guide that directs your consciousness down specified roads and paths defined by “the wise ones.” All that baggage is gone. Gone, too, are the pretended principles of WHAT ULTIMATELY EXISTS.
The arrival of sweeping “earth changes,” the landing of visitors from space or other dimensions, gods, secret texts like the Kabbalah, holy scriptures, channeled information, sacred geometry, cosmologies erected by priests and secret societies…all the objects and entities which people tend to treat as authorities and “permission-givers” and game-changers and wisdom sources…all those IMAGINED things no longer carry their former weight and gravitas…
Instead of sensing that some revelation is at hand, you’re inventing your own “revelations,” by the truckload.
You’re not crouched inside some space hoping for the arrow of truth to arrive, you’re outside that space inventing new universes.
You’re not waiting for The Big Green Light in the Sky to confirm what you’ve been led to believe is ultimate truth…you’re free.
In other words, you’re an artist.
And if you think this notion of a new type of untranslatable language is too weird to be possible, consider the love you have for some other person. Do you believe this “sensation” has a direct translation into English? Or do you admit it is beyond translation—and none the less real for it?
It turns out we all experience many things for which there is no direct one-to-one correspondence in English—and yet we accept these experiences as very real.
So why not invent open languages that start off by being untranslatable? Why not, through imagination, open the door to thousands of impressions we, at best, only glimpsed before?
Is that unthinkable?
In some actors’ schools, there is an exercise where two students, on stage, begin speaking gibberish to each other. The point is to impart certain tones of voice and gestures and energies that manage to communicate feeling—back and forth. It works. But if you continue that exercise long enough, an interesting thing happens. The usual cues and movements and sounds…the ones we are all used to in ordinary life…recede into the background, and what takes over, instead, are sounds and movements for which we have very little precedent. And the actors literally move into other realms. New realms. They invent spaces and sounds and motions that make up, moment by moment, improvised languages. Languages that never existed before.
And they understand each other.
The author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com