Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Zohar, Basic Readings from the Kabbalah

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Rooster which is in the early evening.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Right now, I’m reading Zohar: The Book of Splendor: Basic Readings from the Kabbalah edited by Gershom Scholem.

It’s a relatively short book, actually, but fairly challenging. It looks at the Kabbalah in brief and tantalizing detail. As a non-Jew, it’s an interesting look at the more hidden meanings behind Jewish scripture. Though, to be honest, I think there are many Jews who don’t know much about the Kabbalah, much the same way many Christians don’t know much about the Book of Revelations.
The allegorical meanings of seemingly simple verses open whole new worlds of thought for me. The explanation of the creation story in mythic terms reveals whole new vistas of meaning and nuance. And, of equal importance, new ideas for fiction have been stirred!
Creation stories are very important to the invented mythology of a created culture, so new ideas, for me, about Creation spur new ideas for fictional worlds. Imagine, for instance, a fire-based religion who believes that the universe was born out of a great, mystical fire who is the Creator. A cosmic “Big Bang”, as it were. It would make a neat explanation and could generate an interesting culture and religion.

In any case, it’s slow going due to the weight of the content, but it’s all worth it.

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