the Sefer Yetzirah

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the Sefer Yetzirah

Postby daredevil92103 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 2:54 am

i have just started reading the Sefer Yetzirah, and i was wondering how important this text is to the understanding of the hermetic Qabalah.
aside from 777, can anyone tell me what they consider The Book to read to gain a good grasp of the Qabalah?
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Postby Frater SOL » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:41 am

Crowley himself even questioned the validity of Sepher Yetzirah...if you are looking for a decent introduction to Hermetic Qabalah, I'd recommend Israel Regardie's Garden of Pomegranites or Dion Fortune's Mystical Qabalah.

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Postby sethur » Mon Aug 18, 2008 4:57 am

According to Gershon Scholem, Sefer Yetsirah is not a Cabalistic work at all, but an early (2nd century e.v.) Jewish Gnostic text with later additions, such as the astrological attributions. There are no paths between the spheres (originally) and above all no movement. Study of the SY some 1,000 years later did lead to Cabala, but only by radical re-interpretation of what the sephiroth actually are.

I would not recommend DF's Mystical Cabala, reducing a complex concept of continual creation into a static filing cabinet does great disservice to the tradition IMHO.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 5:43 am

Sepher Yetzirah is one of the most important Qabalistic texts extant - important enough that I retranslated it from the original many years ago and recently revisited and updated the translation (or, actually, mostly updated my commentary on it).

It's a really big deal, and the foundation of most of what we profess to know about the Paths of the Tree of Life. BTW, in praising it so extensively, I refer to the S.Y. itself, not to anyone's commentary on it (including my own) - these latter will be of lesser and greater value according to the author. But the S.Y. itself is core. Arguably, everything we regard as Qabalistic is traceable to it.

In terms of general texts on the Sephiroth, I've still found nothing better than Dion Fortune's The Mystical Qabalah - It introduced me to the Sephiroth and I occassionally revisit some of her chapters and continue to be blown away with what's there.
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Postby daredevil92103 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:04 pm

thank you all for answering me and helping. i do have D.F.'s book, and i think it isnt bad, but i have to agree with jim that the S.Y. seems like a very important book. i just joined this forum yesterday and you guys have really helped with every question i have had. as far as i have read, the S.Y. is the olsdest commentary on the Qabalah. i may be wrong about that tho.
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Postby daredevil92103 » Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:30 pm

the book i picked up is
Sefer Yetzirah, The Book of Creation in theory and practice. by ARYEH KAPLAN.
Jim if u dont mind me asking, what is the name of your book?
I feel like the qabalah, aside from The Book of The Law, is the foundation of all of the things i assume i will be studying.
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Mon Aug 18, 2008 9:21 pm

daredevil92103 wrote:Jim if u dont mind me asking, what is the name of your book?

Sefer Yetziyrah, The Book of Formation. It's available at public events sponsored / hosted by local Temple of Thelema groups.
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Postby daredevil92103 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 1:00 am

thank you Jim, i'll try to obtain a copy. i dont know if there are any Temple of Thelema groups in WV though. until my jeep gets back on the road, i'm pretty much stuck. :)
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Postby Jim Eshelman » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:28 am

I'm told it's not that bad of a drive up to NY for a weekend :)
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Postby daredevil92103 » Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:38 am

true jim. :D
as soon as i get my jeep working, i'm gonna have to make plans to do that.
i also gotta meet my neophyte in CO asap.
i passed my student exam back in feb. i think, and my first Neophyte left the order. i just got assigned a new one and i am anxious to take the oath and get to work on my year as a probationer.
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Postby daredevil92103 » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:28 pm

i just wanted to add that the further i get in this book the more i would say it is ESSENTIAL for serious study of the Qabalah, and all rituals are based off of the Qabalah.
just my opinion, but a very strong opinion.
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