10. Kabbalah, Forms of Consciousness and the Structure of Language 230
Chapter Ten Kabbalah, Forms of Consciousness and the Structure of Language aving explored the relationship between the Kabbalah and postmodern thought; having, as it were, passed Jewish mysticism through the sieve of Derrida and deconstruction, and, having “deconstructed” aspects of deconstruction itself, we must now inquire about the nature of the Kabbalah that emerges from this undertaking. Others who have brought contemporary thought into dialogue with Jewish mysticism have understood the Kabbalah as a welcome intrusion of the emotional and non-rational into an overly intellectual and constricted religious outlook (Scholem), as representing archetypal ideas and tendencies of the collective unconscious (Jung), and as a system of hermeneutical reading strategies that resist closure, specifiable meaning and totalization (Bloom, Karasick). While each of these perspectives is of considerable interest and value, the approach that I will take here is to understand the Kabbalist’s symbols as pointing and giving rise to forms of consciousness or modes of understanding that are latent in the psyche, and which are, in effect “born” out of these symbols as a result of a dialectic with contemporary thought. In this chapter I take up the task of comprehending the Kabbalah as a form of “rational mysticism,” and the Kabbalistic symbols as vehicles for altering not only our ideas about ourselves, the world, and the divine, but for transforming our very modes of consciousness, thought and reflection. This chapter looks both backward and forward; backward inasmuch as it takes a few steps towards revealing aspects of the “Torah of...
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