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The lost word in the Jewish and Masonic traditions

In October 2022 I read a book with texts of Leo Schaya (1916-1986), a Traditionalist who wrote from a Jewish perspective. He had a few recurring points that got me thinking. One was about the lost word, a familiar element of both Jewish and Masonic lore.

Let us start with the most common Jewish prayer, the “Shema”.

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD

(Deuteronomy 6:4)

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“The stanzas of dzyan” and “the sifra di-tseniutha”

“There can be little doubt in my opinion that the famous stanzas of the mysterious Book Dzyan on which Mme. H.P. Blavatsky’s magnum opus, The Secret Doctrine, is based owe something, both in title and content, to the pompous pages of the Zoharic writing called Sifra Di-Tseniutha. The first to advance this theory, without further proof, was L.A. Bosman, a Jewish Theosophist, in his booklet The Mysteries of the Qabalah (1916) p. 31. This seems to me, indeed, the true ‘etymology’ of the hitherto unexplained title. Mme Blavatsky has drawn heavily upon Knorr von Rosenroth’s Kabbala Denudata (1677-1684), which contains (vol. II, pp. 347-385) a Latin translation of the Sifra Di-Tseniutha. The solemn and magniloquent style of these pages may well have impressed her susceptible mind. As a matter of fact, H.P.B. herself alludes to such a connection between the two ‘books’ in the very first lines of Isis Unveiled… Read More »“The stanzas of dzyan” and “the sifra di-tseniutha”

The esoteric traditions of the West: part V: Kabbalah

In the article about Alchemy I wrote that the upcoming religion of the Islam brought a saveguard for many western occultist that had to flee the rage of Christianity. After the destruction of Alexandria and in particular it’s libraries, many alchemists, hermeticists, gnostics, Jews, etc. fled to the regions where soon the prophet Mohammed would start his quest. The ‘pre-Muslims’ and later the Muslims treated the immigrants with respect and both parties learned a lot from eachother. When the Muslims reigned southern Europe a fruitfull environment for mysticism and occultism existed in Spain. Muslims brought alchemical and hermetic texts that had come to them by the fleeing occultists of 1000 years earlier and translated them (back) in western languages. There were also many Jews in Spain and the Jewish alchemist Moses ben Maimon (1135-1204 better known as Maimonides) compiled the text that we now know as the Mishnàh. This word… Read More »The esoteric traditions of the West: part V: Kabbalah

Etz chayyim

Some searchengines give up highly of Sententia (note 17/5/07, “Sententia” was the name of my website ‘two names back’) when you search for “Kabbalah”, but so far there isn’t more about the subject than one book review. I have read various books about the subject in my time, but I definately don’t regard myself an expert. As a matter of fact, there is more that I don’t understand than what I do. Somehow Kabbalism keeps tickling my imagination, so I am again reading a book about it, called The Secret Doctrine Of The Kabbalah by Leonora Leet. In this article I want to tell a few things about the Etz Chayyim or Tree Of Life. “Etz Chayyim” is actually the title of the 1959 book by Vital Chayyim (“vital life”?) and is quoted often in Leet’s book. I will start with a version of the tree of life with which… Read More »Etz chayyim

Christian Cabala

a word of advice: you may want to read my articles about “the philosophical renaissance in italy” and “the occult renaissance” first to put things in a wider perspective and for background information. also i have more articles about the jewish kabbalah which you may want to read first. Never had I consulted so much literature for one article. First I thought that there was hardly any information about the Christian Cabala, but digging deeper I found out that there is quite some literature about the subject. Often as a (small) part of another investigation (such as Renaissance magic or Jewish Kabbala) but also as a separate subject. Unfortunately these books are not always too good and mostly virtually unavailable. Most literature I had to get from different libraries throughout the country and of course the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica in Amsterdam. At the bottom of this article you will find… Read More »Christian Cabala