By Elliot R. Wolfson
This hugely unique, provocative, and poetic paintings explores the nexus of time, fact, and demise within the symbolic global of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the historic and theoretical courting among kabbalah and western philosophy is much extra intimate and large than any earlier pupil has ever advised, Elliot R. Wolfson attracts a rare variety of thinkers reminiscent of 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 concept relating to the Jewish esoteric culture because it opens the opportunity of a temporal triumph of temporality and the conquering of time via time. The framework for Wolfson's exam is the rabbinic instructing that the be aware 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. by way of heeding the letters of emet we parent the reality of time glaringly hid throughout 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 very unlikely disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of demise that enables the opportunity of rebirth. The time of loss of life 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 never-ending starting of a beginningless finish, the reality of loss of life encountered steadily in retracing steps of time but to be taken--between, earlier than, past.
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Additional resources for Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death
Dodds has cogently outlined the Aristotelian principles underlying the Proclean theorem: “The physical universe is ﬁnite save in the sense that ﬁnite bodies are potentially divisible ad inﬁnitum. . And movement in a ﬁnite space can continue through an inﬁnite time only by returning periodically to its starting-point. ”106 For Proclus, the way of the soul mirrors the way of the heavenly bodies, and thus, as he further adduces, “every psychic period is measured by time”; the soul is characterized by circular motion, continuous and perpetual, and it is in this sense that time is the image of eternity.
178 Inner-time is thus privileged phenomenologically, for through it the worldstructure in both its spatial and temporal dimensions is constituted. Consider, for example, the distinction between “immanent time” and “objective time” offered by Husserl in his account of the temporalization of the psychic: Pure consciousness is a genuine temporal ﬁeld, a ﬁeld of “phenomenological” time. This must not be confused with “Objective” time, which is constituted, along with nature, by consciousness. It is through the psychic apprehension that the conscious lived experiences obtain the sense of psychophysical states and consequently their insertion into Objective time, the form of Objective nature; to localization corresponds temporalization.
The fundamental form of this universal synthesis, the form that makes all other syntheses of consciousness possible, is the allembracing consciousness of internal time. The correlate of this consciousness is immanent temporality itself, in conformity with which all the life-processes belonging to the ego that can ever be found reﬂectively must present themselves as temporally ordered, temporally beginning and ending, simultaneous or successive, within the constant inﬁnite horizon: immanent time.