By Elliot R. Wolfson
This hugely unique, provocative, and poetic paintings explores the nexus of time, fact, and dying within the symbolic global of medieval kabbalah. Demonstrating that the old and theoretical courting among kabbalah and western philosophy is way extra intimate and large than any earlier pupil has ever advised, Elliot R. Wolfson attracts a rare diversity of thinkers similar 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 of a temporal triumph of temporality and the conquering of time via time. The framework for Wolfson's exam is the rabbinic instructing that the note emet, "truth," contains the 1st, heart, 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. through heeding the letters of emet we figure the reality of time glaringly hid for the period of fact, the start that can't start whether it is to be the start, the center that re/marks where of starting place and future, and the top that's the figuration of the most unlikely disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of demise that allows the potential for rebirth. The time of loss of life doesn't mark the dying of time, yet time immortal, the instant of fact that bestows at the fact of the instant an unending starting of a beginningless finish, the reality of demise encountered continuously in retracing steps of time but to be taken--between, earlier than, past.
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Additional info for Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death
137 Within the brackets of the suspension, therefore, the world is transformed into a “transcendental phenomenon,” which “is from the start taken only as a correlate of the subjective appearances, views, subjective acts and capacities through which it constantly has, and ever attains anew, its changeable [but] unitary sense. . ”139 Simply put, how can the self be the agent of the construction of the world when it is a component of the world so constructed? 140 “The epoché creates a unique sort of philosophical solitude which is the fundamental methodical requirement for a truly radical philosophy.
170 The ﬁeld of time is uniﬁed in the protentional relation between past and future, the meeting of our expectations in the fulﬁllment of what has already been what is yet to come. In Husserl’s words, “Every retentional momentary continuity contains a protention directed to the following [retained stretch] and, in continuous mediation, is directed to those [retained stretches] that follow. ”171 As Pierre Keller correctly observed, “Husserl’s theory of time-consciousness not only attempts to mediate between the alternatives of thinking of temporal experience as consisting of intervals or of moments.
The coherence—what Husserl refers to as temporal determination, the duration of a thing as temporally extended157 —embraces a threefold noetic structure that can be accounted for psychologically and ontically. 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.