By Elliot R. Wolfson
This hugely unique, provocative, and poetic paintings explores the nexus of time, fact, and dying within the symbolic international of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the ancient and theoretical courting among kabbalah and western philosophy is way extra intimate and wide than any prior student has ever steered, Elliot R. Wolfson attracts a unprecedented diversity of thinkers akin 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 concept 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, center, 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 means of heeding the letters of emet we parent the reality of time glaringly hid for the duration of fact, the start that can't commence 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 dying that allows 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 never-ending starting of a beginningless finish, the reality of demise encountered frequently in retracing steps of time but to be taken--between, earlier than, past.
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Extra info for Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death (Taubman Lectures in Jewish Studies)
82 Unlike Aristotle, however, Plotinus locates the primary site of extension in the psychic rather than somatic domain. 84 Centuries later, Hobbes reiterated the Aristotelian conception: “As a body leaves a phantasm of its magnitude in the mind, so also a moved body leaves a phantasm of its motion, namely, an idea of that body passing out of one space into another by continual succession. ”85 Nevertheless, it is important to recall that Aristotle understood time more precisely as the measure of the movement of bodies, not souls, in space.
158 In the structure of ego the three converge, as imagination cannot function without retention or retention without expectation. 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.
The stream of time interminably streams forth in consciousness, or more precisely, the stream of time that interminably streams forth is consciousness. 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.