Part 11, "Man's Auseinandersetzung With God"

        "Now the Divine mind wants dialogue and man emerges to answer that need. The deity is straining for Self-knowledge and the noblest representatives of mankind have the burden of that divine urgency imposed on them." -- Edward F. Edinger, The Creation of Consciousness: Jung's Myth for Modern Man, p. 56.

So God created man to know Himself, to be a mirror in which He could behold his own Divine image. For that reason He says, "Let us make man in our own image in the likeness of ourselves." (Gen. 1:26). Parenthetically, it is no accident that this declaration is made in verse 26 of Genesis 1 -- and that 26 is the Gematria of "Yahweh" as follows:

Yahweh = Y (10) + H (5) + V (6) + H (5) = 26.

It is also for this reason that God gradually evolves from the undifferentiated Elohim (i.e., "God-ishness") prior to the creation of man, to El Shadai (the slightly more differentiated "All-Powerful") following His encounter with Abraham, to the fully differentiated, totally self-aware Eheyeh ("I AM") attendant upon his auseinandernsetzung, as Jung would call it, his "tete-a-tete" with Moses. In this regard, Jung writes: "Whoever knows God has an effect on him." (Answer To Job, par. 217.) According to Kluger, Jung once put it this way:

"In his great final speech God reveals himself to Job in all his frightfulness. It is as if he said to Job: 'Look. that's what I am like. That is why I treated you like this.' Through the suffering which he inflicted upon Job out of his own nature, God has come to his self-knowledge and admits, as it were, this knowledge of his frightfulness to Job." (Rivkah Kluger, Satan in the Old Testament, p. 129)

The loneliness of God results in the creation of Man, by whose efforts His "repair" is to be accomplished through the practice of Tikkun. As Jung wrote:

"Only a few weeks ago, I came across this impressive doctrine [of Lurianic Tikkun] which gives meaning to man's status exalted by the incarnation." (C. G. Jung, Collected Letters: Vol. 2, p. 157)

It is, Jung tells us, through what he calls the auseinandernsetzung -- the "tete-a-tete" with God -- that each of us can rise to the task of liberating Him from the darkness of the Kelipot in which He is trapped into the light of the Pure Consciousness.

The Auseinandersetzung

        "Manoah said to his wife, 'We are certain to die, because we have seen God." (Judges 13:22)

Despite the popular and Rabbinic teaching in Judaism that to see the Face of God results in certain death, we find the following passages in Scripture:

  • Yahweh is righteous, he loves virtue, upright men will contemplate his face. (Ps. 11:7)
  • How much longer [Yahweh] will you hide your face from me? (ibid, 13:1)
  • For me the reward of virtue is to see your face and, on waking, to gaze my fill on your likeness. (17:15)
  • I long to gaze on you in the Sanctuary. (63:2)
  • In your great tenderness [Yahweh] turn to me; do not hide your face from your servant. (69:16-17)
  • Yahweh, hear my prayer, let my cry for help reach you; do not hide your face from me. (102:1-2)
  • Seek Yahweh and his strength, seek his face untiringly. (105:4)

Thus, Scripture not only tells us that we will not die if we behold the Face of God, but we are actually to "seek it untiringly."

Jung and Kabbalah on Seeing the Face of God

A key to resolving this seeming contradiction can be found in the Biblical Job's last speech to God:

"I have been holding forth on matters I cannot understand, on marvels beyond me and my knowledge . . . [At that time] knew you [Yahweh]. . . only by hearsay; but now, having seen you with my own eyes, I retract all I have said, and in dust and ashes I repent." (Job 42: 5-6)

Significantly, because Job "repented" at beholding the Face of God through direct encounter, Yahweh not only permitted him to live, but "restored [his] fortunes." (ibid, 42:10) But of what, exactly, does Job's "repentance" consist? Jung describes it in this way:

"This is perhaps the greatest thing about Job, that, faced with this difficulty [of encountering the unreasonable punishments of Yahweh] he 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. In a human being who renders us evil we cannot expect at the same time a helper. But 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." (Answer to Job, par. 567)

So Job's "repentance" -- the "righteousness" that made him "a sound and honest man who feared God and shunned evil" (Job 1:1) -- was his understanding that (1) God is to be known and "held forth" upon not on the basis of "hearsay," but only after direct encounter, after "seeing Him with one's own eyes", and (2) in Yahweh there is both great good and great evil, or, as Jung put it:

"He is everything in its totality; therefore, among other things, he is total justice, and also its total opposite." (Answer to Job, par. 574)

Kabbalistically speaking, we see this enantiodromia in God's personality as the bipolar opposites of Sefirah Chesed ("Mercy") and Sefirah Gevurah ("Harsh Judgment") -- both of which become reconciled in Sefirah Tiferet ("Beauty"), or the "inner Self." But, again Kabbalistically speaking, one also runs the same risk of psychic "death" that Job (and Jung) experienced as a result of directly encountering God, of "seeing His Face." Hence, the frequent injunctions against "going into the Pardes Rimmonim, lest one not "return" from it.

The Auseinandersetzung and the Continuing Incarnation of God

According to Jung, the driving force behind the original (and continuing) incarnation of "Christ" is God's collision with Job. As he puts it:

"Yahweh's intention to become man, which resulted from his collision with Job, is fulfilled in Christ's life and suffering . . . God wanted to become man and still wants to." (Answer to Job, par. 648, 739)

It is this "still-wanting-to" in Jung's equation that recommends it to our attention. As he says,

"The future indwelling of the Holy [Spirit] in man amounts to a continuing incarnation of God . . . The indwelling of the Holy Ghost, the third Divine Person, in man, brings about a Christification of many." (ibid, par. 693, "Psychology and Religion", CW 11, par. 758)

It is through the Auseinandersetzung -- the living "tete-a-tete" with God -- which Jung identifies, but which each of us must re-discover for himself -- that what is unconscious can be made conscious, what is imprisoned can be liberated, what is broken can be made whole -- not so much for our repair as that of God, not so much for our eternal salvation, but for His. In the words of the Baal Shem Tov:

"For whatever you lack, is also lacked by God. For man is a part of God, and the whole suffers the want of the part. Therefore, let your prayers be directed to the want of the Whole . . . Pray continually for God's Glory that it may be redeemed from its exile." ("Instructions in Intercourse with God", translated by Martin Buber in Hasidism and Modern Man, pp. 198-199)

PART: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

| Sabbatai Zevi | Jacob Frank | Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain |
| A Critical Re-Assessment of Sabbatai Zevi |
| Reb Yakov Leib HaKohain's Professions of a Holy Sinner |
| The Zohar |
| Knowing the Unknowable |
| A Brief Note on Enlightenment |
| A Neo-Sabbatian Discourse on the Son of God |
| A Primer of "Yalhakian" Neo-Sabbatian Kabbalah |
| Participating in the Continuing Incarnation of God |
| Sabbatai Zevi's 'God of the Faith' | Evolution of the Ego |
| Two Torahs of Kabbalah: Torah D'Atziluth & Torah D'Beriah |
| On the Limits of Antinomianism | The Transformation of God |
| Commentary on the 13th Century "Treatise on the Left Emanation" |
| A Selection of Neo-Sabbatian Quotations Culled from Various Sources |
| Commentaries on Rabbi Azriel of Gerona's 12th Century Text, "Explanation of the Ten Sefirot" |
| Kabbalistic Genetics of the Holy Seed & Reclaiming the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel |
| A Commentary on the Book of Job | Kabbalah and the Interpretation of Dreams |
| To Die for the People: A Kabbalistic Reinterpretation of the Crucifixion of Jesus |
| The Shemot Shel Katzar Tikkunim: Revealing the Concealed Names of God |
| The Christian Myth of Melchizedek vs. Hereditary Jewish Priesthood |
| The Apocrypha of Jacob Frank | The Tikkun of Raising Animals |
| Appointment in Smyrna: A Neo-Sabbatian Odyssey |
| Sabbatai Zevi and the Mystery of the Red Heifer |
| The Kabbalah of the Hindu Mantra "OM" |
| The Mystery of the Middle Column |
| The Hidden Structures of Water |
| Exegesis on the Rod of Aaron |
| Book of Silence |
| Ten Sefirot of Jewish Kabbalah | Sufi Lion of Bektashi Islam |
| Mandala of Tibetian Buddhism | Seven Chakras of Tantric Hinduism |
| Ox-Herding Pictures of Zen Buddhism | Rosarium Pictures of Christian Alchemy |
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