Nietzsche and the Kabbalah
Dialogue on the New Kabbalah
Email inquiries with my response are subject to editing. I will not post your comments if you do not want me to, so if you are not willing to have your inquiry or comments posted please let me know
On Nietzsche and the Kabbalah
I appreciate your efforts very much, and I agree with the value of the questions you raise. Have you read Nietzsche? If so, how do you view his philosophy through the kabbalistic lens? Following is a quote from Nietzsche's Zarathustra which may especially deserve commentary: "Unconcerned, mocking, violent: Thus wisdom wants us. She is a woman and always loves only a warrior."
Thanks for writing. I think there is much in Nietzsche that can help us in the formulationof a New Kabbalah. First off, Nietzsche is really the founder of the anti-foundationalist, deconstructive point of view, a point of view that traditional religion must first pass through prior to becoming relevant to contemporary thought. Nietzsche in effect plays the role in western philosophy that the "Breaking of the Vessels" plays in kabbalistic theosophy; he is a total tearing asunder of all that seemed certain and an opportunity to start anew. On the other hand, Nietzsche, like the Kabbalists, understood the complete interrelationship between all ideas and all things: "In the actual world, in which everything is bound to and conditioned by everything else, to condemn and to think away anything means to condemn and think away everything." (The Will to Power. p.316). So Nietzsche provides us with an opportunity to be both non-dogmatic, non-foundational, multi-perspectival and at the same time comprehensive and, in a way, systematic. His comment here is actually very good description of Ein-sof.
After Nietzsche we can hardly view theosophy as anything other than a poetic vision of the universe, i.e. a product of the imagination--yet it is just such productive imagination that on my view provides us with the Kabbalistic key to mystical truth. For Nietzsche, myth as much as science, is an avenue to truth. Also, Nietzsche is the hermeneutic philosopher par excellence: for him all philosophy is a commentary on an unknown text, and this fits in very well with the Kabbalistic conception of truth being a commentary on a hidden, ideal Torah.
Finally, Nietzsche respected the infinite play of possibility, and indeed regarded this play as the one conception of God that might make some sense, an idea that I believe is very close to the multi-perspectivism and infinite play that I take to be present in Jewish mysticism.
As for your quote, I need to give it some more thought, but it certainly tells us that "wisdom" is not merely a cognitive enterprise but requires an engagement with one's entire soul.
Please feel free to dialogue on this and other topics further.
Further Thoughts on Nietzsche and the Kabbalah
people have inquired about Nietzsche and the Kabbalah, enough to make me
consider the topic more seriously than I had done in the past. As you might
gather I have a very strong interest in Jung, and I hope to tackle Jung's
seminar on Zarathustra in the coming year. This may be another clue to my
grasping the subject of Nietzsche and the Kabbalah. As for Heidegger, I have
always thought that his notion of Dasein is a key to a contemporary
understanding of Primordial Man (Adam
Kadmon), as each overcomes the distinctions between man, the world and
being as such. What are your thoughts on this, and have you read anything
else that moves between Kabbalah and contemporary philosophy?
If you entered this site via a search engine, and there are no "flash contents" on the left hand side of your screen, the site will function better if you click here and go directly to www.newkabbalah.com and follow the instructions at the bottom of your screen to either enter the site or load Flash 4, if you do not already have it.
All material on New Kabbalah website (c)