By Elliot R. Wolfson

ISBN-10: 0520246195

ISBN-13: 9780520246195

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 dating among kabbalah and western philosophy is way extra intimate and large than any earlier student has ever advised, Elliot R. Wolfson attracts a unprecedented variety of thinkers resembling 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 inspiration in terms of the Jewish esoteric culture because it opens the opportunity of 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 way of heeding the letters of emet we figure the reality of time obviously hid throughout fact, the start that can't start whether it is to be the start, the center that re/marks where of beginning and future, and the tip that's the figuration of the most unlikely disclosing the impossibility of figuration, the finitude of dying that allows the opportunity of 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 loss of life encountered steadily in retracing steps of time but to be taken--between, prior to, past.

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Extra resources for Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death

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The “concrete being of the I . . is living temporalization with the I-pole . . ” The “protolivingness” is thus a “continual temporalization . . by which all and everything that is this-moment present [das aktuelle Gegenwärtige] for me, is; but that must be correctly understood and delimited. ”187 The primary task of the phenomenological method is to elucidate the manner in which objects of experience are continually constituted by characters of apprehension, ideal essences that inhere in the conscious I-pole.

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.

But nevertheless it is not something existing in isolation in and of itself. It is rather continuing, or ending or beginning. It cannot exist without a relation of continuity [Kontinualrelation] to what is earlier or later and it is thereby connected with things which are separated from it, some by a greater and some by a lesser interval. . Having a finite far-ranging connection of this sort with other things is part of the concept of the present. ” Brentano draws the logical conclusion: “So also perceiving cannot possibly exist for itself in a single isolated point in time so as to be reduced to a temporally punctual perceiving.

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Alef, Mem, Tau: Kabbalistic Musings on Time, Truth, and Death by Elliot R. Wolfson


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