KNOWLEDGEK


Voyen Koreis





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



Meetings With Remarkable People   Mephisto & Pheles   Intrusion   The Kabbalah  
 The Čapek Brothers    Struggle of the Magicians    
The Fools' Pilgrimage  Contact 



19. LILITH 

 

Lilith by John Collier (1892, right) 

Since we have been dealing with some of the negative forces in this part of the book, perhaps something should be said here about Lilith. Her name is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible, yet there are many legends about this female demon of the night who searches for newborn children either to kidnap or strangle them. Also, as the so-called succubus, she sleeps with men and seduces them into propagating demon sons.

In some rabbinical myths, especially in the Talmud, but also in Zohar, Lilith was Adam’s first wife, but that marriage, like many especially in our modern times, went hopelessly wrong. In some legends, Lilith has been associated with various legendary and mythological females with the reputation of being seductive, such as Helen of Troy or the Queen of Sheba. Later, particularly during the notorious witch-hunts that went on in the medieval Europe, she was said to be the wife, concubine or even the grandmother of the Devil himself.

The very name Lilith, so close to lily or lilu, which in Hindu means lotus, gives us the clue that what we have here is yoni or the Tantric symbol of the sexual feminine organ, the Great Mother. The Lilith-like demon appears in many different cultures, going back to deep antiquity, such as the Babylonian, Mexican, Greek, Arab, Native American Indian cultures, as well as those more modern - English, German, Slavic, etc. She is also known as the Demonic Woman, the Dark Goddess, Queen of the Night, some of her other names are: Abro, Abyzu, Ailo, Alu, Amiz, Amizu, Ardad Lili, Bituah, Ita, Izorpo, Kakash, Kalee, Kali, Kea, Kema, Lamassu, Lilith, Partasah, Patrota, Podo, Raphi, Satrina, Thiltho, Zefonith,  Zahriel, etc. Owl is the bird often associated with Lilith.

The following excerpt is from The Hebrew Myths by Robert Graves and Raphael Patai (New York:  Doubleday, 1964). Graves (1895-1985, left) was a poet, writer of historical novels, and a great collector of mythological materials. He also wrote The White Goddess, a highly inspirational work on the role of femininity in mythology, which he himself described as “a historical grammar of the language of poetic myth.”

       

Having decided to give Adam a helpmeet lest he should be alone of his kind, God put him into a deep sleep, removed one of his ribs, formed it into a woman, and closed up the wound, Adam awoke and said: ‘This being shall be named “Woman”, because she has been taken out o f man. A man and a woman shall be one flesh.’ The title he gave her was Eve, ‘the Mother of All Living’’. Some say that God created man and woman in His own image on the Sixth Day, giving them charge over the world; but that Eve did not yet exist. Now, God had set Adam to name every beast, bird and other living thing. When they passed before him in pairs, male and female, Adam, being already like a twenty-year-old man, felt jealous of their loves, and though he tried coupling with each female in turn, found no satisfaction in the act. He therefore cried: ‘Every creature but I has a proper mate’, and prayed God would remedy this injustice. God then formed Lilith, the first woman, just as He had formed Adam, except that He used filth and sediment instead of pure dust.

From Adam’s union with this demoness, and with another like her named Naamah, Tubal Cain’s sister, sprang Asmodeus and innumerable demons that still plague mankind. Many generations later, Lilith and Naamah came to Solomon’s judgment seat, disguised as harlots of Jerusalem’. Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when he wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture he demanded. ‘Why must I lie beneath you?’ she asked. ‘I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal.’ Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the magic name of God, rose into the air and left him. Adam complained to God: ‘I have been deserted by my helpmeet’ God at once sent the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof to fetch Lilith back. They found her beside the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore lilim at the rate of more than one hundred a day. ‘Return to Adam without delay,’ the angels said, ‘or we will drown you!’

Lilith asked: ‘How can I return to Adam and live like an honest housewife, after my stay beside the Red Sea?? ‘It will be death to refuse!’ they answered. ‘How can I die,’ Lilith asked again, ‘when God has ordered me to take charge of all newborn children: boys up to the eighth day of life, that of circumcision; girls up to the twentieth day. None the less, if ever I see your three names or likenesses displayed in an amulet above a newborn child, I promise to spare it.’

To this they agreed; but God punished Lilith by making one hundred of her demon children perish daily; and if she could not destroy a human infant, because of the angelic amulet, she would spitefully turn against her own. Some say that Lilith ruled as queen in Zmargad, and again in Sheba; and was the demoness who destroyed job’s sons. Yet she escaped the curse of death, which overtook Adam, since they had parted long before the Fall. Lilith and Naamah not only strangle infants but also seduce dreaming men, any one of whom, sleeping alone, may become their victim.

Undismayed by His failure to give Adam a suitable helpmeet, God tried again, and let him watch while he built up a woman’s anatomy: using bones, tissues, muscles, blood and glandular secretions, then covering the whole with skin and adding tufts of hair in places. The sight caused Adam such disgust that even when this woman, the First Eve, stood there in her full beauty, he felt an invincible repugnance.

God knew that He had failed once more, and took the First Eve away. Where she went, nobody knows for certain. God tried a third time, and acted more circumspectly. Having taken a rib from Adam’s side in his sleep, He formed it into a woman; then plaited her hair and adorned her, like a bride, with twenty-four pieces of jewelry, before waking him. Adam was entranced…

 

Right: The Burney Relief, Babylonia, c.1950 BC, might be the oldest known depiction of Lilith (?)

 

We have seen already that not everything connected with the act of Creation went smoothly and without a hitch. We will return to the first vessels and their destruction later. The suggestion that the Kabbalists take as a hint that something was not quite right with the creation of man either is to be found in Genesis 1:27, where it is said that:

“God created them; male and female he created them”.

Why then, in Genesis 2:7, we read something different, that man was created alone, out of the dust of the earth, and later still, in Genesis 2:20-23, we have the story we all know, that Adam’s wife Eve was created from Adam’s rib? In view of what was supposed to have happened to the first sephiroth, isn’t it plausible that the creation of Adam’s wife was not so simple either? Particularly when we know that from the very beginning God had bestowed the gift of free will on man. Was God a chauvinist in giving free will only to Adam?

In some of the religious paintings of the Renaissance, Lilith is depicted as half woman-half snake, implying that she took her revenge on Adam for having been evicted from the Paradise by assuming a guise of a snake, while Satan provided the voice, to seduce in a combined effort Eve into eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.

Lilith is often shown as a sultry and beautiful woman from the waist up, but a hairy animal from the waist down, sometimes even with a tail, (right), while at other times the lower part being male. This is to emphasise that things appearing beautiful and desirable in life might turn out to be ugly and sinful.

Then there is Lilith as a succubus - the female demon that supposedly visits men during the night and makes them copulate with her, to make them ejaculate, to then steal and use their seed for her nefarious purposes of creating demons.

We must take in the account the fact that the Judaic laws were always strict, and that sexual release was a taboo, as it was in the Christian medieval Europe. Consequently, erotic dreams would have occurred frequently – hence the emphasis on the need for chastity and ascetic behaviour on part of the priests. Whenever the chastity was broken, even in a dream, inevitably there came a feeling of guilt. The best way of overcoming this would have been blaming it on the demons and, of course, on Lilith.            

Our times are far more permissible. At the beginning of the 21st century Lilith, and her flight away from Adam, is perhaps seen in a different light than the rabbinical stories, probably aimed mainly at maintaining the status quo in the man-woman relationship, had meant to present it to us.

Eve throughout the centuries has also been pictured as the great seductress and by no means an ideal human being. But the neo-pagan movement above all, and with it some individual rock and pop music stars, have embraced Lilith (and rather paradoxically in some cases even the Kabbalah itself), mainly because of her rebelliousness and her refusal to remain a mere chattel of her husband. Lilith therefore has many modern devotees amongst the contemporary feminists, pro-abortionists, etc. People of late have been generally more sympathetic toward Lilith, whom they see as a victim rather than a demonic seductress. Why, being able to point at the first feminist to appear in the world, and that even before the mother of all humanity came on the scene, isn’t that quite a scoop?!



Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Henry Trefry Dunn

TO: 20. KNOWLEDGE