Rabbi Azriel of Gerona's Text

QUESTION: If the questioner continues: What is the nature of the sefirot?

ANSWER: The nature of sefirah is the synthesis of every thing and its opposite. For if they did not possess the power of [this] synthesis, there would be no energy in anything. For that which is light is not-darkness and that which is darkness is not-light.

Reb Yakov Leib's Commentary

One need not go far to see the striking correspondences between this description of the nature of the Sefirot and that of the Tao. One need only look at the great symbol of Taoism itself to see how they correspond:

It is almost as if Rabbi Azriel of Gerona had been looking at this icon of Taoism (which, of course, he had not) when he wrote, "For that which is light is not-darkness and that which is darkness is not-light." Jung, like R. Azriel, also points out that this shattering but necessary enantiodromia between good and evil in the personality of God is essential for creating His "energy" or, as Jung calls it, His "dynamism."

"Faced with this difficulty, [Job] does not doubt the unity of God. He clearly sees that God is at odds with himself -- so totally at odds that he, Job, is quite certain of finding in God a helper and an 'advocate' against God. As certain as he is of the evil in Yahweh, he is equally certain of the good.....Yahweh is not a human being: he is both a persecutor and a helper in one, and the one aspect is as real as the other. Yahweh is not split, but is an antimony -- a totality of inner opposites and this is the indispensable condition for his tremendous dynamism." (C. G. Jung, Answer to Job, par. 567)

Thus, contrary to our cherished beliefs to the contrary, God is both good and evil; loving and hostile; our advocate and our adversary. To think of him in any other way deprives him of his omnipotence -- that which R. Azriel calls His "energy" and Jung His "dynamism" -- and leaves us with a deity who is no better than His creation (which He often seems not to be) and, if so, throws us back upon ourselves for our salvation and His. In Jung's words:

"You trust the [Self] as if it were a loving father. But it is....inhuman and needs the human mind to function usefully for man's purposes....The [Self] is useless without the human mind. It always seeks its collective purposes and never your individual destiny. Your destiny is the result of the collaboration between the conscious and the unconscious [i.e., between you and the Self]." (C. G. Jung, Collected Letters, Vol. 1, p. 283)

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