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  • X-Oriente (Ex Oriente) means "From the East." X-Oriente is a half-hour Podcast (MP3) dedicated to those Freemasons who are young (and young at heart). X-Oriente seeks to inform, inspire, entertain and challenge you. Each issue will be packed with news, discussion, ideas, tools and interviews with Freemasons who are making a difference. We welcome your comments, ideas and submissions at xoriente@gmail.com

« Oh, SNAP! | Main | 041: Kabbalah and Masonry Part III »

September 02, 2010


Gerhard Pretorius

It's a brave man who takes on the complicated task of explaining the basics of Kabbalah (even when they try to exhonerate themselves by saying they are not an expert)! Well done!

I wonder whether you could sometimes briefly mention the sources for the ideas you mention. You did mention the broad approach to Kabbalah you were taking (i.e focussing less on Kaballah Ma'asit), but the narrative of creation you are sketching comes from many places, and the poeple who contributed bits and pieces of the narrative you sketch would not always agree with your narrative as a whole.

Poeple might think that Kaballah is somehow a wonderfully neat and coherent system, when in reality it is not that. The broad goal of Kaballah might be shared by many kabbalists, but its theory and methods are not always agreed. For instance, the tree of life diagram, the order of the sephirot, their organisation and their nature are not always agreed on, and to pretend Kaballah is a unified system is to make of it something it is not.

Since you clearly share or hold to certain narratives of how the sephirot came about and how they fit together, I would be greatful if you could say where you got them from, since many kaballistic teachers of the past held the ideas you share, but often not all together.

Nonetheless, very enjoyable!

I also wondered why you chose to focus on Hebrew Kaballah, when Masonry existed and developed in a context where Christian Kabbalah and Neo Platonism were significant influences in the cultural environment?

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