Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and by Elliot R. Wolfson

By Elliot R. Wolfson

This hugely unique, provocative, and poetic paintings explores the nexus of time, fact, and dying within the symbolic global of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the old and theoretical courting among kabbalah and western philosophy is way extra intimate and broad than any prior student has ever instructed, Elliot R. Wolfson attracts a unprecedented variety of thinkers comparable to Frederic Jameson, Martin Heidegger, Franz Rosenzweig, William Blake, Julia Kristeva, Friedrich Schelling, and a number of kabbalistic figures into deep dialog with each other. Alef, Mem, Tau additionally discusses Islamic mysticism and Buddhist idea on the subject of the Jewish esoteric culture because it opens the potential for a temporal triumph of temporality and the conquering of time via time. The framework for Wolfson's exam is the rabbinic educating that the observe emet, "truth," includes the 1st, heart, and final letters of the Hebrew alphabet, alef, mem, and tau, which serve, in flip, as semiotic signposts for the 3 tenses of time--past, current, and destiny. through heeding the letters of emet we figure the reality of time glaringly hid for the duration of fact, the start that can't start whether it is to be the start, the center that re/marks where of foundation and future, and the tip that's the figuration of the most unlikely disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of loss of life that enables the opportunity of rebirth. The time of dying doesn't mark the loss of life of time, yet time immortal, the instant of fact that bestows at the fact of the instant an unending starting of a beginningless finish, the reality of demise encountered frequently in retracing steps of time but to be taken--between, ahead of, past.

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Extra resources for Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death

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Analogously, when we speak of consciousness, it is always consciousness of the present, but a present informed by the confluence of three temporalities; indeed, what presents itself as the flowing now-point is illumined from the shadow of what has been and springs forth from the ground of what shall be. “In each primal phase that originally constitutes the immanent content we have retentions of the preceding phases and protentions of the coming phases of precisely this content. . These ‘determinate’ retentions and protentions have an obscure horizon; in flowing away, they turn into indeterminate retentions and protentions related to the past and future course of the stream.

193 The hyphenated demarcation of the external horizon as “spatiotemporal” underscores Husserl’s discernment that the two cannot be separated in lived experience. ”194 The essential inseparability of the spatial and temporal notwithstanding, Husserl seems to privilege the latter in its tripartite intentionality as the phenomenological ground of the intentional structure of human consciousness: “In this unique world, everything sensuous that I now originally perceive, everything that I have perceived and which I can now remember or about which others can now remember or about which others can report to me as what they have perceived or remembered, has its place.

Yet this boundary-character requires no specific magnitude of extension; it does not even require the existence of any specific second point in time, however close this might be for the first. ” The coherence—what Husserl refers to as temporal determination, the duration of a thing as temporally extended157 —embraces a threefold noetic structure that can be accounted for psychologically and ontically. 158 In the structure of ego the three converge, as imagination cannot function without retention or retention without expectation.

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