Thursday, July 21, 2005

Genuine Kabbalah vis-a-vis Lurianic Pseudo-Kabbalah

Query: I'm confused regarding your views.

My response: Oh, good! That makes it unanimous then!

Query: Could you clarify please?

Doreen shimmies out of her goofball get-up and gets serious:

I will attempt to do so in brief. The subject rightly deserves a book-length treatise, not a post.

Let it be said at the outset that often counterfeits are quite valuable in their own right. They are forgeries nonetheless, but are often the products of considerable knowledge and know-how. This is the case with Lurianic Kabbalah vis-a-vis authentic Kabbalah.

Interlocutor: I thought you considered the traditional kabbalah to be non-sense and superstition.

Much the same technique that was employed in making up Christianity was employed by the Lurianic Kabbalists. A heady potion was made of a few drops of truth mixed into a rather copious amount of a viscous medium of half-truth, lies and damn lies. To this, a goodly splash of superstitions that the Jews from the Maghreb had picked up from the indigenous peoples was added. The few grains of truth confer some measure of authority to Lurianic Kabbalah and seem to lend credibility to the dross.

I would not care of Madonna busied herself with such innocuous concerns as the meanings of color according to Lurianic Kabbalah, asdescribed on this URL:
http://www.therapeuticsource.com/color.html,or attempting to determine a person's psychological make-up by examining the letters that constitute their name (can't find a URL for that just now) and the like. Those are the pastimes of those who will never enter the inner truth of the authentic Kabbalah and which constitute the bulk (and bane?) of Lurianic Kabblah. (That was a joke, it is not my intention to aliken Lurianic Kabbalah to String theory). In fact, they are the flashy and attractive distractions put up in order to keep those who should never enter the Garden out, by keeping them busy with the baubles and beads that delight their minds and emotions. If she would just relegate herself to those concerns, it would keep her off the streets and out of trouble.

What I detest is Madonna, a woman who painstakingly cultivated a vulgar image and made a fortune in so doing, cavorting in revealing costumes on stage with the Tetragrammaton in large neon lights behind her. I read somewhere that she has "Kabbalistic" tattoos as well. I cannot in the space of one post explain all of the reasons why something like this must not be done and how horrendous it is that her "teachers" don't censure her for doing so. It's certainly not the first time that someone with rudimentary knowledge of moral/spiritual matters sold out. I consider those who "taught" her far more reprehensible than she is.

Query: Which, if any, kabbalah is a genuine valuable esoteric tradition?

Surprisingly, it is the "heretical" Karaites, particularly the dynasty of ben Asher, who were the Masters of Hebrew and whose version of the Bible, HaMasorah, was (reluctantly) accepted by Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon (the Ramba"m) due to its incontrovertible accuracy. Their understanding of Torah was much in keeping with that which would later be discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

The works of Abraham ben Shmu'el Abulafia, ca. 1240-1292, a student and proponent of the rational, as opposed to the far more irrational stream of Kabbalah, i.e., Lurianic, were hidden away and dispersed in almost every main library and archive in Europe. Some have been released for publication in the last seven years or so. More manuscripts still are in the Vatican. In their largesse, the Vatican now allows some selected researchers to view the writings of Rabbi Abulafia that they still hold, but not reprint them. I believe that both the Rabbinical establishment and the Catholic Church colluded in hiding the works of Rabbi Abualfia from the public.

HaRav Abulafia's writings, great as they were for his time and generation, were of reduced understanding of Torah. So much had been lost by his time and the Rabbis had supplanted that which was lost with a good deal of improvisation. There were two reasons for this: the Temple ritual no longer existed and they knew something had to fill the void and they wished to fill that void by bolstering their power and position. Rabbi Abulafia was firmly under the influence of the Pharisaic-Rabbinic stream of Judaism. There was no other option during his time.

It was very convenient that the saintly and ascetic Rabbi Moshe Cordevero (the Rama"k), who knew of no "spirituality" without morality and who was in possession of the Kabbalistic tradition from Spain, died at the age of forty-eight, just one year after the Ari (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria), who he took on as a student, arrived inTzfat.

It is the Dead Sea Scrolls *in the original Hebrew, which cannot betranslated*, that reveal the most authentic form of ritual Judaism and, though I hate to use these terms when referring to interpretation of Torah, the correct methods of exegesis andhermeneutics.

A great deal of obfuscation is inevitable when we are dealing withthe moral/spiritual dimension of being. The super-rational, thelevel upon which moral and spiritual truths reside, is a level above grammar and syntax and so it sounds very much like the irrationalwhen we try to convey it. The laws of mathematics and linguistics that we use to create the worlds we inhabit, each of us according to our ability to do so, descend from and are derivatives of these spiritual/moral laws. The pure laws of spiritual morality truly are caught, not taught. This leaves the moral/spiritual open to the abuses of those who, knowing that the super-rational and the irrational sound about the same to the uninitiated, trap the gullible with spiritual-sounding mumbo-jumbo.

I am most wary of anyone who would offer himself or herself as a teacher the Kabbalah. If they do so for a price, I would run for dear life from that person. There simply is no being taught the Kabbalah. TheKabbalah means 'receiving', i.e., receiving directly from God, gratis, or not at all.

Interlocutor: Thank you !

My response: Pleasure. No charge.

Doreen (getting her goofball suit back on)

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Monday, July 18, 2005

Only two weeks 'til the Feast of Lughnasadh!

In honor of the sacred Festival, and in order to impress the coven, we have redecorated. The dungeon has been done in Wicca furniture. Crystal chandeliers have been added in the Sanctuary to lend ambiance and to swing from when the holy rites swing into high gear.

Be there or be square.

High Priestess Doryn
Comic Book Character Tintin Feted in Bruxelles

http://tinyurl.com/dhwty


Why can't I be like that?! Why, I ask you? WHY?

Why can't I get all excited about going to lavish galas celebrating 'toons? Are they not national treasures? Are they not the woof that warps the very fabric, nay tapestry, of society?

Why must I spend a miserable existence ridden with angst and tormented by anomie? I could be sipping sweet martinis at a 'toon fete in Bruxelles, and getting an apathy is beatific buzz on.

This too too heavy genetic lode is too too heavy a load to bear.

I want to be an airhead too!

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Sunday, July 10, 2005

CHOMSKY VS. MOZESON

Someone wrote: "Transformational grammar is hard-wired."

I responded: I'm glad you wrote this.

Disagreeing with deconstructionist and postmodern criticisms of science, Chomsky writes:

"I have spent a lot of my life working on questions such as these, using the only methods I know of; those condemned here as "science," "rationality," "logic," and so on. I therefore read the papers with some hope that they would help me "transcend" these limitations, or perhaps suggest an entirely different course. I'm afraid I was disappointed. Admittedly, that may be my own limitation. Quite regularly, "my eyes glaze over" when I read polysyllabic discourse on the themes of poststructuralism and postmodernism; what I understand is largely truism or error, but that is only a fraction of the total word count. True, there are lots of other things I don't understand: the articles in the current issues of math and physics journals, for example. But there is a difference. In the latter case, I know how to get to understand them, and have done so, in cases of particular interest to me; and I also know that people in these fields can explain the contents to me at my level, so that I can gain what (partial) understanding I may want. In contrast, no one seems to be able to explain to me why the latest post-this-and-that is (for the most part) other than truism, error, or gibberish, and I do not know how to proceed."

I interpret this to mean that Chomsky is admitting that he did not succeed in applying scientific method to linguistics and that he is not particularly apt in math or physics. It was his intention to apply scientific method to linguistics, but he failed. I assume he wished to do so in order to lend a greater air of respectability to his theories.

Rather than torture physics, math and linguistics to say what they do not (by appropriating and misapplying a term such as 'transformational' for instance) he should have developed a method of the study of language that is appropriate to language. Language does not admit of analysis by scientific method.

By his own account, though he applied himself assiduously to thestudy of Hebrew, he never plumbed the depths of Hebrew either (see:
http://tinyurl.com/7m3tf)

Add to this the fact that Chomsky has revised his theory of language radically a number of times. By the mid-1990s the "deep structure" and "surface structure" elements of his theory of language that made him famous in the 1960s have been supplanted by his "minimalism". If I'm going to be perfectly frank, and I am, "my eyes glaze over" when I read Chomsky's pseudo-scientific "gibberish", "and I do not know how to proceed".

It's OK that Chomsky failed in applying scientific method to the study of language, because that was an exercise in futility. It is not OK that he refuses to recognize the validity of the work of someone who has succeeded in applying the correct method. The correctness of Isaac Mozeson's conclusions and method are, in sharp contradistinction to Chomsky's put-on, eminently clear.

It is no wonder that Mozeson poses the threat to Chomsky that he does.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Pseudo-Anarchists Making Dorks of Themselves

I am abashed by the imbecilic antics of soi-disant "anarchist" groups like the WOMBLES (White Overalls Movement Building Libertarian Effective Struggles) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WOMBLES and the People’s Golfing Association - http://www.tao.ca/~wrench/dist/g8/pga.html. Not only will their presence at the G-8 summit conference not bring the meetings into disrepute, they will, by looking and acting even more stupid than do the leaders of the G-8, lend an air of dignity to the G-8. One must conclude that they are being paid well to do exactly that.

True anarchism is so very threatening to the established order that they infiltrated the anarchist movement and planted professional "dumb downers" to take the movement in directions it was never intended to go in by its intellectual "hyper-moral" founders. Having turned "anarchy" a fun day free for all, the establishment made it attractive to assorted and sundry dorks, who are now a sizable part of the movement. They are also the part of the movement that makes the most noise and attracts media attention, quite naturally.

Additionally, the term "Libertarian" has been arrogated and applied to as many movements and fringe groups at cross purposes as need be to create optimum confusion. (Much the same has been done with the term 'Conservative', but I digress.)

I feel compelled to speak up in the name of true anarchy to those intellectually and morally gifted enough to be able to understand our true purpose and spirit.

These, in contradistinction to the jerks in the White overalls and black face masks, were the true anarchists and leftist-Libertarians:

http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/libertarians.html

Their brilliant and incisive thought and sublime intentions are the heart and soul of true anarchy. They set the tone of the movement.

It behooves us to add Albert Einstein to the list of pro-Socialist thinkers. He too was one of us, as he amply demonstrated in this article, first published in May 1949:
http://www.monthlyreview.org/598einst.htm.

The following excerpt, to my mind, represents the aim, spirit and method of authentic anarchism:

THE BENEFITS OF NON-CLASS STRUGGLE ANARCHISM TO THE MOVEMENT AS A WHOLE

Revolution is a process ever going. Like a river it flows; changing shape, altering its course, sometimes slowing down, sometimes becoming a rapid. At times we lose sight of it behind the dogma of some ideology or another. But it can never be stopped. Since the first slave said 'no', since the first people rose up against the tyrants, since the concept of Freedom was formed, the Revolution has always been there. As a comrade wrote to me, "Revolution is a process, not an historical event". The nature of the Revolution stems from the forces it encounters, the aspirations of those within it, and the strength of the reaction. If it can progress unrestrained, then it is likely to be peaceful. The ends will never justify the means, they are inextricably bound together and what better way is there of taking someone's freedom than by killing them. Violence is the basis upon which government stands, and as such it is the counter Revolution. From the writings of Kropotkin up to Colin Ward there have been attempts to hi-light points in existing society where the river may flow - worker co-ops, food co-ops, alternative welfare and education, and countless examples of how order is spontaneous, and springs up from the very act, and point of association itself: "What kept us together was our work, our mutual interdependencies in this work, our factual interests in one gigantic problem with its many specialist ramifications. I had not solicited co-workers. They had come of themselves. They remained, or they left when the work no longer held them. We had not formed a political group, or worked out a programme of action...Each one had made his contribution according to his interests in the work...There are, then objective biological work functions capable of regulating human co-operation. Exemplary work organises its forms of functioning organically and spontaneously, even though only gradually, gropingly and often making mistakes. In contra-distinction, the political organisations, with their 'campaigns' and 'platforms' proceed without any connection with the tasks and problems of daily life".

Like the fishermen in Brixham, or the miners in Durham or Brora, Scotland, workers co-operatives provide small, rare examples of how a task provides its own point of association, and provides the associates with a focus, that transcends any necessity for coercive pressure. In short, the act of society provides its own order internally, whereas all ' governments attempt to impose it externally, stifling and smothering the social instinct. These examples exist in modern society. They are not memories of an age before the nation-state, but are modern facts. Paul Goodman once described anarchism as both conservative and radical, for we must attempt to conserve those places where liberty may be developed in full, as well as create new ones. Gustav Landaur also wrote along the same lines "The state is not something which can be destroyed by a revolution, it is a condition of human behaviour; we destroy it by contracting other relationships, by behaving differently". Even, according to the film 'Michael Collins', the Irish Republican leader Eamon de Valera spoke along the same lines by claiming roughly that "We defeat the British Government by ignoring it".

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Duct Tape and WD-40 of Enlightenment - All You'll Ever Need

People ask whether or not God exists because they think of God in the third person, singular or plural depending upon their religion, only.

When we understand God in the first, second and third persons singular and plural concomitantly the question of whether or not God exists becomes far clearer.

Extant beings are God in Its imminence. There are levels of existence: potential existence, quasi-existence, semi-existence and then there's really and sincerely existent. The last of these is full existence. The key word is not 'really', but rather 'sincerely', because we are only real insofar as we are sincere. It is when we lie to ourselves and others and are not other-directed that we become uncertain of our own existence and, in fact, fall to a lower level of existence.

On the level of imminence God is struggling to become.

God in Its transcendence has no qualities whatsoever and there is nothing that can be attributed to God.

On the level of transcendence God is playing being imminent. This is a game of peek-a-boo with Itself. It is not an entirely lighthearted game. God creates forgetfulness of Self within Itself and creates the illusion of being extant beings within Itself because endless Aloneness is intolerable.

The kindness that we do to God is to be kind to "others", to go along with the game of believing there are others and to express love to them. In doing this we are allowing God the illusion of believing that there is really another to love. This is a paradox. We become really and sincerely real when we go along with the illusion God creates for Itself that there are others "out there" to love.

The fun begins when we can go back and forth between the two phases, i.e., transcendence and imminence, at will. Then we can wink in and out of existence and basically write our own ticket as to who and what we want to embody ourselves as. Paradoxically too, it is at this point that we come to accept being ourselves and do so of pure free choice.

God cannot be said to exist on the level of Its transcendence. Even existence cannot be ascribed to God in and of Itself. It wills and enables Itself to exist on the level of Its imminence. That's us. This more often than not involves a forgetting of What we really are – that for the sake of the illusion of other which exists in order to be able to love.

The substratum of all reality is mathematical/linguistic/moral phonemes. We create our realities in accordance with our awareness of these phonemes and our mastery of them.

The mathematical component of the phonemes allows for infinite substitution values. Therefore, there are infinite equivalent, but not identical, versions of anything that may be created by the mind. We eventually arrive at a level whereupon we can choose how and what to perceive, as well as to be, but when we arrive at that level we find that we delight in allowing others to create us in their consciousness as they will.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel
Lexicon of Internet English in the Post-Traumatic Orthographic Era


I've always been a firm believer in the maxim I made up a couple of hours ago: If you can't beat 'em, legitimize 'em.

With the undertaking of this Lexicon I hereby officially attest and confirm that I have given up all hope of ever expecting to find standardized English on the internet. I've undertaken to compile this Lexicon to the purpose of conferring a measure of acceptability and respectability to the patois that we encounter on the internet simply because there are more of them than us.

Kindly allow me to proffer the following gems for starters:

Carnelian - Posted on a message board by a fundamentalist neo-con when describing the drives that motivate homosexuals and other "pervs" (see below). A compound word that has been contracted and simplified into a single word. My guess is that it is carnal + anal + alien. (See my post "Spacegirls").

Could/ Should/ Would of – An ubiquitous error made by the linguistic have-nots.

Discusting and its variant form Descusting - These revolting misspellings of the inflected verb 'disgusting', as it used to be spelled in the English we once knew and loved, are often encountered on the internet. Since no amount of spelling bee tutorials seem to have helped the people who insist upon regurgitating these misspellings on message boards; a nice hot cup of ginger tea might soothe those of us who see what's wrong with this picture.

Fluxuate – This is either a misspelling of 'fluctuate' or relates to noxious effluents.

Hostel-Hostile used interchangeably - Perhaps the people who do not know the difference between 'hostel' and 'hostile' are being held hostage at the Hotel California.

Insightful-Inciteful used interchangeably – Taking the metaphor of a smoldering gaze way too far.

Insinewate – Being bound by that which one implies.

Mellowdramatic – Should be the synonym, but becomes the antonym of 'histrionic' when spelled this new and innovative way.

Morphon – This is an insult. This appears to be another case of a compound word that has been contracted and simplified into one word. I think it is a contraction of moron + morphologically deformed. The irony of the fact that this word was coined and is much bandied about by a semi-literate does not escape the Editor of this Lexicon.

Bozon – The appellation applied by the Editor of this Lexicon to the person who calls people 'morphons'. The term means that he is a little clown in a spin who doesn't matter much.

Oh, contrare! – I love it when you speak French, Morticia!

Perv or its variant spelling pev - An abbreviation of the English noun 'pervert'. Only the good Lord knows why the noun is alternatively abbreviated without the letter 'r'.

It is my hope that the compilation of this Lexicon will be an ongoing project. Please feel free to add any and all misspellings, misstatements and/or malapropisms that you have encountered on the internet which so irk you that you have to spit them out and get them out of your system.


New Additions:

Broach-Brook used interchangeably – This mistake was recently made by the Editor of this Lexicon. For whatever the reason may be, I'm having a good deal of trouble coming up with a funny quip about the provenance of this particular error.

Candidness – This is actually the correct form of the noun. The candor is a large Andean vulture that is in danger of extinction. It is already as dead as the dodo in cities like New York and London, where the candor was overtaken entirely by far more sophisticated, and deadly, predatory foul.

Digustment – This is the form of 'disgust' employed by those who wish to state categorically that that the noun is intended, not the transitive or intransitive forms of the verb. See also: Discusting and Descusting above.

Earily – Hearing odd things.

Except-Accept used interchangeably – The acceptionally linguistically challenged experience a great deal of trouble utilizing the terms 'except' and 'accept' appropriately. These people seem to be legion on the internet. It is a very common error and one we are simply going to have to learn to except.

Explane – A plane that came under the influence of a gravitational field. Also the description of a being that makes no contact with any ground whatsoever.

Hocked up-Hopped up (on drugs) used interchangeably –This is someone so strung-out on drugs that they are under the influence most of the time and have pawned all of their belongings in order to pay for drugs.

Independance – The White man's response to the Ghost Dance.

Moot-Mute used interchangeably – This is a point that it would have been far better had the person who made it shut up rather than stating it.

Parsing an acronym – The Editor of this Lexicon was amused no end to read a Braggadocio of Mensa who claimed that there is nary an acronym that she cannot parse.

Them selves – This should, of course, be those selves.

Vicous - Not sure if this is vicious or viscous. It may be either, or both, as the social circumstances dictate.


Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel


Monday, July 04, 2005

QUEEN DOREEN OF IRELAND

Just a couple of days ago a friend from the States wrote to me that he has, after decades of profound political consideration, come to the conclusion that what is best for America is a monarchy. He, quite naturally, sees himself as the monarch best suited to the US's current needs.

Serendipitously another friend from Scotland was also lamenting the fact that there is no Queen of Scots presently and stated categorically that she intends to apply for the job.

That got me to thinking. I wannabe a queen too. Ireland immediately sprung to mind. It's certainly a modest enough fiefdom, being the dinky island that it is, wherein alcoholism and zaniness are rife among the sparse population. I don't ask for much. A humble and magnanimous autocrat I would be!

Queen Doreen. Yes! It even rhymes. Queen Doreen of Ireland. The vision began to take shape. It seemed so right. After all, my father, who hails from Ireland, emigrated to the County of Queens. He lived most of his life there until he met my mother. Then they both moved to the County of Kings, where I was born in Kings County Hospital. My claim to the throne of Ireland is solid, irrefutable. Being Queen Doreen of Ireland is my manifest destiny!

Elatedly enthusiastic I told my friend: "This is gonna be really kewl. Ye shall be the Queen of Scots and I shall be Queen Doreen of Ireland."

She looked at me levelly and pronounced: "You can't be the Queen of Ireland, Doreen. You're not vapid enough."

Not vapid enough! Disqualified because I am not vapid enough! It cannot be true! Her words echoed in my mind, a bleak sentence. I was stricken. I was crestfallen. I was, like, really bummed out.

I realized she was right though. I wonder if there's a finishing school where prospective monarchs can acquire and cultivate the requisite level of vapidity to be a queen, the Queen of Ireland in particular. I do so wannabe.

I think I'm going to consult with that nationalistic Irish group who claim that the Celts are the aboriginals of North America and were the citizens of Atlantis. They certainly seem to have the goods.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat, Israel

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