Giqatila, Sufi Encounters, Tibetan Wisdom, Metaphysics of Beauty

• From Rabbi Shlomo Blickstein, a dissertation on the Philosophical-Qabbalistic Writings of Joseph Giqatila, a key figure in the development of the Kabbalah in the Middle Ages, author of the seminal Ginnat Egoz (The Garden of the Nut).

Any person who is considered Perfect Man conjoins with the name of YHWH; there is no intermediary between them. And this is the esoteric meaning (sod) of “Let us make man in Our image.” He is called adam amiti because he is near the First Cause.

• In a now classic article, “The Marriage of Wisdom and Method”, Marco Pallis gives an intimate view of Tibetan Buddhism and its particular approach to the relation between doctrine and the spiritual way.

Orthodoxy (not pharisaism) can speak to orthodoxy; neither heterodoxy nor a diluted faith is able to speak effectively to anyone. Contemplative intelligence, the “eye of the heart”, can render all forms transparent, including one’s own form; it does not do away with those forms—indeed far from it—nor does it encourage, in the name of so-called charity, an attitude of intellectual flabbiness as deadly to mutual understanding as it is to faith.

• After our recent Cambridge event, Michael Sugich has kindly contributed some excerpts of his vivid Signs on the Horizons, a memoir full of insights into the recent decades and the contemporary living tradition of Sufism across the Muslim world.

• Finally, in a rich talk on the metaphysics of aesthetics in the Islamic tradition, Reza Shah-Kazemi interprets and develops the Prophetic saying “God is beautiful and He loves beauty.” This audio recording, made possible by the Prince’s School for Traditional Arts, includes a particularly illuminating question and answer session at the end.

God is not only beautiful by nature; He is continuously overflowing with beauty, just as the sun ceaselessly radiates and illuminates by its very nature. This Beauty is cast into the mirrors of creation, which thereby display the innumerable, kaleidoscopic expressions of this One and Only Beauty.