Lao Tzu, Jewish Cabalah, Adam and Eve - DFWstangs Forums
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post #1 of 1 (permalink) Old 11-26-2008, 08:00 AM Thread Starter
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Lao Tzu, Jewish Cabalah, Adam and Eve

For you Hebrew experts, what is the mechanism that brings one from the main body of Hebrew texts to the Hebrew Cabalah? The site below sheds a different color light on Hebrew interpretation of Adam and Eve.

You may find this site page interesting: (below also)

'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''' '''''''''''''''''''

the concept of Wu Chi as 'The Infinite' appeared for the first time in chapter 28 of Lao Tzu's "Tao Te Ching"(circa 500BC):
"Know the male
But keep to the role of the female
And be a ravine to the empire.
If you are a ravine to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will not desert you
And you will again return to being a babe.
Know the white
But keep to the role of the black*
And be a model of the empire.
If you are a model of the empire,
Then the constant virtue will not be wanting
And you will return to the Infinite.
Know honour
But keep to the role of the disgraced
And be a valley to the empire.
If you are a valley to the empire,
Then the constant virtue will be sufficient
And you will return to being the uncarved block.
When the uncarved block shatters it becomes vessels
The sage makes use of these and becomes the lord over
the officials
Hence the greatest cutting does not sever."(**)

(pp85-86 Lao Tsu "Tao Te Ching" Penguin books. (trans. D.C.Lau))

*[ Lau points out that some translate black as "Sullied", as in "to sully someone's name" - to blacken their name.]

(**) There are three themes here that can be associated:

"..And you will return to being a babe" (line 6)
"..And you will return to the Infinite" (line 12)
"..And you will return to being the uncarved block" (line 18)

Furthermore the break down of T'ai Chi into yin/yang is symbolised by line 19:

"When the uncarved block shatters it becomes vessels" [specialized containers].
Whatsmore the purity of yin and yang is symbolized by line 21:

"..Hence the greatest cutting does not sever"

In this text the concepts of 'The uncarved block', 'The infinite', and 'being a babe' seem to be associated with Wu Chi ('The infinite'). Later developments introduced T'ai Chi, deriving it from Wu Chi such that 'The uncarved block' can be interpreted as T'ai Chi, although this later derivation (see below) of T'ai Chi from Wu Chi could be a reflection of the yin/yang derivation.

The Jewish Qabalah starts with 'Ain', meaning nothing. From this develops 'Ain Soph' meaning infinity and from this develops 'Ain Soph Aour' meaning absolute limitless light. This then leads into the manifestation of wholeness, 'Kether', the crown, the first 'node' on what is called The Tree of Life. The extension of Wu Chi by deriving T'ai I and T'ai Chi seems to follow a similar path and occurred at about the same time as the explicit introduction of the Qabalah into Western Europe by the Jews expelled from Moorish Spain (11th Century AD). The derivation may also suggest an earlier form of mysticism where the active male (T'ai Chi) was derived from the female (Wu Chi). In the Qabalah we find that the female aspect is derived from the male (Eve from Adam), but the diagram that the words relate to, has a direct path to 'Kether' via the female. this is manifest in the emerging of yin and yang, with equal value, from T'ai Chi, suggesting the source of the diagram being different to the source of the words (The words help to 'adapt' the diagram to a, possibly 'local', way of thinking).

In the Qabalah, the interest is in refinement through 'path work'. In Taoism the interest is in 'Tao' or 'The Way' ( or 'Path'). Could this suggest a common source? Since these metaphors are based on dichotomous roots, the chances of a degree of resonance is high without the possibility of a single cultural source. (see the dichotomy material on this site).

The explicit concept of Wu Chi (other than it's appearance in the Tao Te Ching) appeared on a Taoist diagram ("Diagram of the Ultimateness - Wu Chi T'u") in the early 10th century A.D., which is credited to the Taoist priest Ch'en T'uan. The concept of T'ai Chi did not originate until the 11th century, where the neo-Confucist Chou Tun-yi (1017-1073) created a diagram that changed the name of Wu Chi to T'ai Chi as well as changing the interpretation ("Diagram of the Supreme Ultimate - The T'ai Chi T'u"). (see:

Wei,H.,(1982)"The Guiding Light of Lao Tsu" Wheaton: Theosophical Publishing House.
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