My old Mentor used to teach classes on the Kabbalah. His interpretation of it was a little different than some of the other sources I have since been exposed to, even though he did give me some insight into some things that were already covered by Israel Regardie or Aleister Crowley or the like. I’m not sure how much of that difference was because of what he had studied, personal revelations he had had, or if he was completely bullshitting me.
I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter much.
One of the things he spoke about was Daath, the non-existent Sephira that that represented the abyss itself. This was a place of things that had not happened but that could have been, or still might be. He referred to it as the Land of Birth-Starved Babes, the place where the things that could have been but weren’t end up and are forgotten. This is the home of the lives of children that were never born, the happiness in relationships that never were, and the satisfaction of careers that were never launched.
I’m not sure about you but for me that means this is a place of regret.
I’ve been dealing with some things stemming from a recent romantic involvement. It wasn’t a proper “relationship” and she probably would not want me to describe it as such, since there are certain implications in that title that she did not want. Without going into all of the details of that situation, the relevant part is this: I had hopes that the relationship would develop into something more serious and she did not.. Therefore our involvement ended and all of the potentials in the future that I saw are not to be.
This relationship has been cast to Daath.
Because I’m that sort of guy, I am also navigating another relationship situation, but this one from the past. In this case, I recently became reacquainted with a young lady that I had a thing for quite many years ago. The situation was unnecessarily complicated, and I never ended up asking her out. Instead, I was set up with another woman (on a blind date), whom I ended up marrying. Obviously that had a major impact on my life and the direction things went. Because I’m the kind of person who likes to explore situations in my mind, I have also gone back and thought of how things would be different had I made the different choice (especially after my divorce).
While speaking with this person she and I spoke openly of the fact that I used to have feelings for her long ago. In a rather bittersweet moment she admitted that she had found me rather dashing back in the day as well, and that had I asked her out she would have said yes. The current situation does not allow for us to go back and explore whether or not any of those feelings are still there (mostly because her husband probably would not appreciate such a thing). But she is happy, and I respect her, her family, and her happiness, and therefore it is not something for me to pursue.
That relationship has also been cast to Daath.
What this again brings up is the notion of regret. I can look back and I can see how my life changed at the point where I made that choice, and it does not take much effort to see how things might have been had I made the different choice and been with her. There is an entire relationship that (in theory) does exist somewhere. On the astral, or in the Akashic Records, or whatever the fuck you wish to call it, there exists my marriage to this woman, the children that we had, all of the happiness and pain that would have gone along with being together for that many years. Along side of that happiness also exists our divorce and bitter feuding.
All that might have been, and all that might someday be, floats in the Abyss, taunting us. Hope and Regret are two sides to the same coin.
This brings me back to an earlier idea I had explored, regarding the fact that magic users, witches, magicians, other wielders of the weird exist in an in-between place. We exist in the place that is at the edge of reality, that is in between reality and whatever strangeness exist beyond. And this to me represents one of the central ideas of Daath: is the fact that we are able to explore those potential possibilities and pull things out to make them manifest.
What it also occurs to me is that this realm of Daath literally an in between place. On the tree of life this sphere rests in the center of the abyss along the middle of the path that is used to cross the abyss. Daath, and all of the possibilities and missed possibilities that it contains, is the very bridge from the world of the living to the other side and what lies beyond.
What it also means is that I have access to a place where things that might have been, are, and as a magician, as a wizard, I have the ability to select some of those and manifest them. Obviously such actions would not be without severe consequences. Anything that I took out and made manifest would need to be replaced by something that was manifest that would need to be destroyed. (I might be able to manipulate things so that I could get this woman, but that would mean destroying a happy family that she has worked hard to build.)
I need to learn what to accept as done and what can still be manifested.
This is important to me, because as I prepare for my Samhain ritual tonight (in which I will actually facilitate a vision quest station in which people cross to the to the area in which they will contact the departed loved ones) I will be inhabiting this very space and guiding others through it. And much of what I have been dealing with over the past month or so has dealt with coming to terms with those decisions I made, and seeing what could have been and accepting that it is not. This process has been important to me so that I can resolve regrets and conflicts from the past, and also not hold onto too strongly to potential futures and hopes that may not be likely.
I’m not very big on the concept of enlightenment. A lot of it sounds very hokey to me, and really fairly useless in everyday life. Breaking free of the cycle of Samsara, or attaining some special state of being that enables me to have bragging rights over other spiritual gurus are not things that I hold I high priority for. But what I am interested in is the notion of enlightenment itself as living in the moment without attachment to the past or the potential future. That like the movie Pet Cemetery, things buried should stay buried. The relationships that I could have had but did not are inaccessible. They exist in a realm that is removed from where I live, and they cloud the actions that I take now. Lusting after them takes energy away from where I am and what I am doing and what I am focusing on. This is important enough for an average person to understand in order to function, and it is even worse for a magician.
Perhaps this is why Enlightenment is a noble pursuit after all. Perhaps this is why Israel Regardie recommended psychotherapy for anyone who practiced ceremonial magic. But most importantly perhaps this is a situation where I need to recognize that nostalgia for things that never happened and can no longer happen is a complete waste of my energy. That fantasizing over what might have been distracts me from what I am doing now and from putting my energy into attainable goals with real and actual results. I may not be able to go back and change the fact that I asked out one woman over another, and I may not be able to go back and have that relationship that might have been, but what I can do is what I have done and that is to establish a very strong and valuable friendship with a person that isn’t a very good and happy place and is able to use that happiness to help support me in times of difficulty.
This is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to learn. Playing the What If Game has always been a favorite pastime of mine, and learning to let go and move on has always been difficult for me. (Imagine that, an Empath having problems because of lingering emotional connections!) But this is something that I must work at if I am to take full advantage of the opportunities that exist before me. For as I said, while Daath contains the past and alternate presents that could have been but weren’t it, also contains the possible futures and things that might be. And this is a kind of situation where I still have the option to choose which of those futures I want to manifest and which I do not. And therein lies the true power of the magician, of the wizard, that power and ability to open up the future towards the possibilities that I wish to explore.
Exploring alternate paths does little to open opportunities in the future.