Download Shamanic trance in modern Kabbalah by Jonathan Garb PDF

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By Jonathan Garb

Bringing to mild a hidden bankruptcy within the background of recent Judaism, Shamanic Trance in smooth Kabbalah explores the shamanic dimensions of Jewish mysticism. Jonathan clothing integrates tools and versions from the social sciences, comparative faith, and Jewish experiences to supply a clean view of the early glossy kabbalists and their social and mental contexts.

Through shut readings of various texts—some translated right here for the 1st time—Garb attracts a extra entire photo of the kabbalists than earlier depictions, revealing them to be as focused on deeper states of recognition as they have been with research and formality. apparel discovers that they built actual and psychological how you can result in trance states, visions of heavenly mountains, and modifications into animals or our bodies of sunshine. to realize a deeper knowing of the kabbalists’ shamanic practices, clothing compares their reports with these of mystics from different traditions in addition to with these recorded by way of psychologists reminiscent of Milton Erickson and Carl Jung. ultimately, clothing examines the kabbalists’ family members with the broader Jewish neighborhood, uncovering the function of kabbalistic shamanism within the renewal of Jewish culture because it contended with modernity.

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Example text

We find that this mouth is the root of all created things, and this itself sustains them. And the vapor (hevel) that comes out of this mouth, the influence that extends to all things from the source . . and the wisdom is already given from God in the hearts of all men, but in order to become powerful the mouth sustaining it needs to blow with force, and then it also becomes like the fire, which takes fire when blown on; thus when this influence descends from the mouth like the breath of blowing, the wisdom takes fire and the knowledge and insight that are already contained in it will be seen .

And this is what Elihu said: “indeed it is a spirit in man, and the soul of the Lord of Hosts will give them understanding” (Job 32:8). The term “soul” is . . 123 I have discussed this text, its origins, and implications, at great length in a study cited above. However, I have quoted it here at length not merely because it supports Abram’s basic intuition as to the dependence of the text on the breath of the reader, and the intrinsic connection between this dependency and the vast plurality of meanings of the Torah.

Elsewhere the Zohar elaborates: “Then a person should regard himself, after he completes the Shemoneh ʿEsreh [standing prayer] as if he has departed this world, and has separated himself from the Tree of Life, and departed [literally: drawn up his feet] near the Tree of Death . . now he must be gathered near the Tree of Death and fall saying: ‘Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul’ (Ps. 25, 1) . . ”80 One may read this text as reminiscent of numerous shamanic motifs: the Zohar describes a journey in an imaginal geography—between two trees.

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