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INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER










INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER

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15. SYNCHRONICITY


PHYSICS, PSYCHOLOGY AND ALCHEMY

This certainly is not the place to concern ourselves with the heavy theories of the quantum physics, but suffice to say that Pauli’s exclusion principle harks back to alchemy, because it offers the basis for a structure of the periodic table of chemical elements, and therefore suggests the possibility of the alchemists’ goal, the transmutation of metals, being achievable. By the time he met with Pauli, Jung was already engaged in the studies of old alchemical texts for some time.  His interest in alchemy was revived when, in 1928, the German Sinologist Richard Wilhelm, after returning from China where he had spent many years, sent him a manuscript of his translation of a Taoist alchemical treatise, together with a request to provide it with a psychological commentary.  As soon as Jung began to work on the introduction to what is now known as The Secret of the Golden Flower, he realised that the Chinese alchemy, like its Western counterpart, is also concerned primarily with the symbolism of transformation of the human soul. The quest for immortality of the Chinese Taoists is much the same as the aims of the Western Alchemists who were trying to make the Philosophers’ Stone.

Jung worked on the idea of alchemy being in many ways a precursor to the modern psychology for many years; until in 1935 he was finally ready to present it to the world in the lecture titled Dream Symbols and the Individuation Process. Nine years later he published Psychology and Alchemy, followed by Mysterium Coniunctionis, both now regarded as his major works.

Psychology in the Freud’s rendition, which is still perceived by the majority of general public and practitioners as being the psychology, really belongs to the 19th century and its mechanistic ways of thinking. In the garden of Jung’s house in Bollingen stands a large stone in the shape of a cube, which Jung himself had inscribed with alchemical and magical symbols — undoubtedly the future of psychology lays there.

Modern physics shows a similar tendency towards duality. Research in this scientific discipline has quite visibly been divided to two different streams – between the theorists and the experimentalists. Very recently, in 2008, a rather controversial giant atomic particle accelerator has begun to work in Switzerland, near Geneva. The major part of it is a tunnel 27 kilometres long. Some people who were associated with the research team became worried that the experiments, which at some stage were to involve black holes and perhaps the resulting antimatter, might get out of hand. After a day or two, the experimental scientists working on the accelerator had experienced a sudden unexpected breakage. This again brings to mind Wolfgang Pauli and the reputation he had gained during his life for somehow being responsible for breaking experimental equipment. Being a theorist, Pauli had not found himself very often in vicinity of such equipment, but when he did, things usually would have gone wrong. It went so far that Pauli was virtually banned by the experimentalists, such as the physicist Otto Stern, from attending any important experiments in their laboratories. Once, a certain expansive device at the university laboratory in Göttingen, where Pauli also used to work, but had left for a new post at Zurich, broke down for no apparent reason.  It was generally felt that being several countries away, at least this time Pauli was innocent. However, it turned out later that at the critical time Pauli, on his way from Denmark to Switzerland, had made a short stop at the Göttingen railway station, where he had to make a connection.

Pauli himself believed that the “Pauli Effect,” as it became known in the scientific community, was real enough. We cannot be sure how Jung felt about it, if at all he knew, but given the nature of their research it would be fairly safe to assume that reality of such psychokinetic phenomena would not be a point of disagreement between the two great men.

 

THE ZÜRICH SYNCHRONICITY 

Jung defines synchronicity as a connecting acausal principle, but in his theories it is mainly associated with an individual person or the so-called process of individuation. Naturally, there can be and usually is a connection with other person or persons, but essentially the focus is on an individual. I looked at my own synchronistic events from my point of view, and we also talked about the meeting of Jung with Pauli, and what came out of it. However, the question that remains in one’s head is what could happen if more people are brought together, seemingly by chance or synchronicity, and if those people happen to be influential in their respective fields of activity?

This must have also preoccupied the mind of the British author Tom Stoppard, who in 1974 wrote the play Travesties. The main characters in the play are all based on real people, who were important 20th century personalities, and who lived in Zürich in Switzerland around the years 1916-1917. The three were the modernist author James Joyce, the communist revolutionary Lenin, who soon after this had lead the Russian revolution, and the founder of the Dadaist movement the poet Tristan Tzara. The Joyce character was put into the play by the author more or less for literary purposes, but presence of the other two forms one of the most bizarre cases of synchronicity.

Lenin’s real name was Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov (1870-1924). He was exiled by the Tsarist regime for his revolutionary activities and had to live for some years in Siberia near the river Lena, hence the assumed name Lenin. After the failed first Russian revolution of 1905, in which he was also involved, Lenin was again exiled, this time in Western Europe, and in 1915 he came to live in Zürich. From there in 1917, together with other exiled Russians, he made the decisive push to Petersburg (later named after him as Leningrad; the name it retained until the 1990s), where they were able to topple the Tsarist regime, which eventually was to lead to the formation of the Soviet Union.

        Born Samuel Rosenstock into a Romanian Jewish family, Tristan Tzara (1896-1963) came to Switzerland when he was about twenty years old. In Zürich he linked with a group of artistically talented young people with nihilistic tendencies, who came from several countries, and who were essentially draft dodgers. Their anti-war stance was reflected in the performances they gave at the Cabaret Voltaire, during the nights of experimental poetry. Out of this the movement called Dada sprung up, which as such was alive only for several years, but which became the important precursor to several art movements.

Cabaret Voltaire was situated at Spiegelgasse 1, Zürich, and the other founding members were Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck, and Jean Arp. Dadaism involved theatre, literature, poetry, art theory, visual arts and graphic design, and its anti-war stance was particularly expressed through ostentatious rejection of the accepted standards in art and through displaying and performing anti-art works. There were also public gatherings and demonstrations, similar to the “happenings” organised by the 1960’s intellectuals; even some publications were produced. Well known avant-garde visual artists associated with the movement at some stage were for instance the painters Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Max Ernst, Giorgio de Chirico, and Theo van Doesburg, the sculptor Constantin Brancusi, the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and others. The list reads like “who is who” in the modern art. The art movements that have directly developed from, or were strongly influenced, by Dadaism, are for instance Surrealism, Nouveau Réalisme, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Fluxus or Punk Art, all together making up a rainbow that spans practically all of the 20th century.

        Only several doors away from the noise of the rowdy Cabaret Voltaire, in house number 17, lived Lenin with his wife and revolutionary colleague Nadezda Krutskaya. Within a few months he would be the head of the most populous European Nation. Meetings that took place in Lenin’s flat would have been of a completely different character. We could imagine the comrades with stern faces sombrely discussing politics of the international workers’ movement, and planning the Communist revolution that was imminent in Russia. Which, as in retrospective we know, has succeeded, helped to create a regime full of absurdities, which hasd eventually imploded and destroyed itself. 

From the Kabbalistic point of view, the Dadaists were totally ruled by Netzah, while the Communists were fully entrenched in Hod. When we look in the next chapter at Jackson Pollock and his work, we will see that while he used his dripping paint technique he was tapping on the hidden powers of his unconscious mind. The Dadaists and after them the Surrealists did the same thing, even nearly half a century before Pollock, with the Dadaists for instance picking at random pieces of poems, other literary works, and sometimes even on newspaper articles, putting them together and again at random rearranging the order to find a meaning, sometimes quite profound, but more often very bizarre or downright incomprehensible.

Lenin’s Communists on the other hand used the theories of a pair of “saloon socialists” Marx and Engels that were artificially created, and were not even meant for the Russian, but rather for the German society, which Karl Marx (1818-1883, right) perceived as being the nation best suited for the upcoming revolution. Lenin in his own writings more than half a century after the Communist Manifesto was issued in 1848, twisted them to suit his purposes. The results are well known and they speak for themselves, so we don’t need to further analyse them here.

The really odd thing is that while all this was going on, Carl Jung, the man who was to come up with the notion of synchronicity, was based at the same time in the same town of Zürich. He is the one, I feel, Tom Stoppard should have put into his play rather than James Joyce, though I understand that from the playwright’s point of view James Joyce definitely makes for a more colourful character, which must have worked in his favour. Incidentally, Jung had made acquaintance with Joyce, whose daughter he treated for schizophrenia.  It is doubtful though that he would have known much about the Cabaret Voltaire in its hay-day, and even more doubtful that he would have met or known much about Lenin before the Russian revolution had come, which had turned out to be probably the single most bizarre event of the 20th century.

Above: A Dadaist poem in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, by Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918)

 

One of the reasons for having made this somewhat lengthy forage into psychology, the arts, politics, and some related fields, was to gain more insight into the Kabbalah and its ways. It is a system that while maintaining the traditional approach and symbolism remains always open to new knowledge, and is willing and able, even eager, to accommodate the modern views. We need to understand that Creation was not a one-off event, but that it is an ongoing process, that it does not begin and end with the Big Bang, which is nothing but a fashionable term, designed to fill in the vacuum that materialistic science has had to encounter once it has rejected the basic concept of Creation.


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