Msg#:20932 alt/magick 12-04-93 07:16:22 To: ALL Subj: SEPHIR MOLUS (LONG) Subject: Sephir

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Msg#:20932 *alt/magick* 12-04-93 07:16:22 From: NEWS To: ALL Subj: SEPHIR MOLUS (LONG) From: markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM (Mark Kampe) Newsgroups: alt.magick Subject: Sephir Molus (LONG) Date: 3 Dec 1993 02:32:30 GMT Organization: SunSoft South Reply-To: markk@cypress.West.Sun.COM Sepher Molus - a Kabalistic View of Software Development by Fr. cos Ingeniorum (0=0) "credo quia absurdum" I can offer no explainations for where this idea came from. I was examining with a neo-platonic metaphor for software, when a Kabalistic approach crashed (uninvited) into my awareness. I toyed with it for less than a minute and concluded that it might work ... by which time I was hooked. Rather than try to pull the hook out, I decided it was probably easier to push the hook through. I must offer my appologies to any readers who like Kabala and software development. I must offer a very special appology to people who are familiar with one, but not the other ... because this will surely give you a warped view of what the other discipline is all about. I'm not really sure what my goal was, but if you can't tell when I'm talking about programming, and when I am talking about Kaballa, I have probably achieved it. Ain-Soph-Aur - limitless light This is the ultimate source of the energy the permeates the tree. Fifty years ago a massive orgasm of information began on our planet, now fed by an industry that, EACH SECOND, produces enough storage to house all of human history, and more computational power than all of the scribes and mathematicians who have ever lived. In the Ain-Soph-Aur information has no meaning and serves no purpose, it merely exists ... in inconceivable volumes, in perfect repose, in dizzying motion, and in a continual dance of quantum transformation ... existing simultaneously in all states. This is a place that has been entirely created by human minds and hands ... but in its existance is incomprehensible to human imagination. An understanding of the pieces conveys not even the slighest inkling of scope, awe and wonder of the whole. Atziluth - the realm of emanation where the concepts that underly the software come into being (the recognition of the need and the visualization of a solution that is 'at one' with the need and the available technology) Kether this is the point at which the limitless light of the Ain-Soph-Aur enters the tree, and acquires meaning ... but it is still undifferentiated. It is within Kether that all meanings and all possible meanings are come about, in which all needs and all solutions simultaneously exist in an informational protoplasm. this is not a place where linear thought is possible, or where we can operate ... but we can visit this place, and gain valuable insights while we are there. Chochmah the inspiration for a solution, not yet reduced to any form, a realization of an information flow and transformation that fulfills the need. This is the place where a potential solution first becomes recognizable as such and the spring from which they well. Binah the constraints of the hardware, the language, the run-time environment, the problem to be solved ... these are the forms into which a solution must fit. visions arrising in Chochma that are not also in accordance with Binah are doomed to failure, and unlikely even to make it across the abyss of Daath. an accomplished master will find that all of the visions that arrise in Chochma are automatically in accordance with Binah, because Binah has been fully integrated into the creative consciousness. Daath - the abyss of knowledge this is the abyss that separates divine inspiration from worldly knowledge. It is possible to operate very effectively in the world, without ever having glimpsed Atziluth. Similarly, many ideas only exist in Atziluth and never find their way below Daath, and so will never know manifestation. relatively few people are comfortable operating both above and below Daath ... but for those who can do so, their mastery is readily evident in both their understanding and their achievements. It is not sufficient to be merely able to operate above and below the abyss. One must be able to, on demand, operate at the appropriate level, but never fixate on that level to the exclusion of others. with increasing mastery comes the ability to draw on more of Kether, to take fuller, richer and more complex draughts from Chochma, and a more complete, persistant and automatic recognition of/submission to Binah ... and bring these things across the abyss so that they can become manifest. actually, it is not all that difficult to cross the abyss into Atziluth and marvel at its wonders ... the trick is bringing back anything of consequence from Atziluth when we return to Briah. it is held by many that in order to freely traverse the abyss, one must have mastered (and must manifest) the sephera of Chessed and Geburah ... for only concepts so purified can exist in both Atziluth and Briah. A model must be fleshed out by Chessed and purified by Geburah if it is to survive manifestation. Unless you have already mastered Chessed and Geburah, it is unlikely that the inspirations you encounter in Atziluth will survive below Daath. it should be recognized that experience also travels back up the Tree. Practical experience gained below Daath, when properly abstracted (through the archetypal forces of Chessed and Geburah) becomes fit for Atziluth, and contributes to the raw material of Chochma, Binah and Kether. Briah - the realm of creation where the dynamics of the system become clarified, expanded, refined and understood. This is the difference between an inspiration and a real design. Chessed this is the place of abundant options, and alternatives, from whence spring all possibilities (whether viable or not). the difference between Chessed and Chochma is the abstraction, scope, and provinance of the inspirations. The abundance of Chessed manifests itself in specific problem situations, in response to specific needs, and from related experience. The energy of Chockmah is far more general, comes unbidden and exists independently from any specific manifestation. The abilities to work well in Chessed and Chochma are not the same, although they are surely related - and each contributes to the other. Geburah this is the crucible wherein the optimistic options of chessed are tested against external reality (problem, technology, requirements) and internal consistancy. to some extent Geburah is merely a more concrete manifestation of Binah ... but the limitations of Binah are general and fundamental, whereas the challenges of Geburah are specific to the particular situation. Binah defines the forms in which software can be expressed and in which it must function. These forms exist independently of our problem and solution. Geburah, on the other hand, shows us the consequences (within those forms) of the decisions we have made. Just as it is possible to integrate an understanding of Binah so well that our Chochma inspirations are automatically in accordance with Binah ... so it is possible to understand the action of Geburah so well that we come to see options and consequences as inseparable aspects of a single whole, coming into existance and being recognized simulataneously. This is the mastery/integration of Chessed and Geburah that makes it possible to recognize, assemble, and retrieve significant and useful insights from Atziluth. Without this mastery we cannot distinguish epiphany from delusion, and are unlikely to be able to breathe life into the concepts we encounter. Tiphereth Tiphereth is the heart of the tree, the place where Hod and Netzach, Chessed and Geburah are all blended together and flows are adjusted so that the entire tree might function as a harmonious whole. Tiphereth is the place of the teacher and the student, of the helper and the helped. It is the place where one who understands gives to one who needs ... despite that the recipient often does not (at the time) know what is actually needed or understand what is actually given. Tiphereth is the place of the wounded healer, where negative experiences are turned positive when the lessons learned are shared with others, and where the helper often gets as much benefit as the helped. Tiphereth is the place that makes the hard decisions and does what is necessary. Paroketh - the veil that separates worldy from archetypal The veil of Paroketh divides the tree through Tiphereth. Below Paroketh are common human experiences, readily accessible to all. Above/behind the veil are archetypal experiences, generally only accessable to initiates who have been trained to recognized and manifest them. Yetzirah - the realm of formation where the evolved design is translated into an implementation. Most non-initiates believe that Yetzirah (or even Hod) is all there is to programming. Netzach Netzach is the place of passion. It is here that the programmer finds expression. Netzach is a place of ego and pride, and it is perhaps here that the love of programming arrises and manifests itself. It is Netzach that will not be defeated, and that persists in the face of frustrations. It is Netzach that cannot decline a challenge. It is Netzach that awards and celebrates the victor's laurel crown. It is Netzach that will not accept an inelegant or incomplete solution. It is Netzach Hod Hod is the place of intellect and skill. It is the place that collects experience and learns lessons. It is the place of logic, is one of the easiest places where the program and programmer can be 'at one'. Hod knows languages and conventions. Hod has memorized protocols and algorithms. Hod recognizes symptoms and knows techniques for approaching problems. Hod amasses information, shares it, and seeks more information. Yesod Yesod is the place of the unconscious, and perhaps a much better repository for experience than Hod. Yesod experiences Malkuth directly, and as filtered by Hod and Netzach ... and ultimlately gives rise to Hod, Netzach and Tipheret. Yesod is the place of intuition and gut feelings. It is the place of fears and doubts, and of knowledge that is too foolish to voice ... but true none the less. Yesod is the foundation, and it is in Yesod that our values (both aesthetic and ethical) are take shape, and then give shape to our work and our lives. Yesod is not seen directly in our code, for it only manifests itself through Hod, Netzach and Tiphereth, yet it acts inexorably though those agencies and in fact cannot be hidden. If we are cautious or bold, it will be seen in the risks we take. If we are outgoing or reclusive, it will be seen in the extent to which our creations reaches out to other people. If we are provincial or worldly, it will be seen in the ideoms we employ. If we are meticulous or casual, it will be seen in our attention to detail. Vanity, confidence, wit, obsession ... all of these will inevitably find expression in our creations. Assiah - the realm of action where the software actually executes Malkuth The upper nine sephera of the tree are as the first nine months of gestation. No matter what happens durring the first nine months, a being who does not emerge into the tenth month is still-born, and not a part of the Olam of action. The other sephera, important as they are only filter and direct the flow of energy into Malkuth. It is in Malkuth that software executes, that the potential to transform information is realised, and the only place where information truly has meaning. In the previous nine sephera, the program was inceived and formed ... but in the tenth sepheroth the software will control processors and manipulate data. Malkuth is the kingdom, and is the place where a program ascends its throne. Whether the program was well or poorly prepared for its reign, whether it was sublimely or crudly conceived, whether it was masterfully or poorly constructed ... it will now execute and manipulate data. Malkuth does not distinguish between good programs and bad ones ... for those are judgements, and Assiah is the place of action. It is in Malkuth that software finds manifestation ... and contributs to the orgy of information that is the Ain-Soph-Aur. General notes and expanded excuses As with the Kaballa in all other areas, the key to the tree is not found in any one sepheroth, but in ballance and flow. Programming is not a single activity and does not take place within a single sepheroth ... or even in a linear sequence of sephera. Programming is a ballanced interaction of activities, all taking place more or less at the same time. If programming is not working, it is probably because the flow is not active and ballanced. The metaphor of the tree is useful in understanding the flow and ballance. The test of any insight is its ability to yield useful results. The test of this model is the power it (may) give the initiate to understand and address problems in the software development process. If the model is a good one, working with it should yield many useful insights. As I have observed on other occasions, I am a very left pillar kind of guy, and as such my description of the tree (and my inuendos about its paths) are heavily laden with Hermetic discipline. I actually do know a few Orphic (right pillar) programmers but (in my arrogance) I distrust their path, and so have not given it the attention it probably warrants. There may be a middle path, but if so I have not seen or recognized it. Part of working with the Kaballa is applying it to all aspects of life, and using it to gain value and understanding. This operates at many (and in fact all) levels. Thus, while I have endeavored to write this at one particular level, I have acted on many other levels (both higher and lower). I will understand, however, if real Kabalists (who read this work on higher levels) conclude that I have a Chessidic imballance that requires Geburahic compensation and act to restore the ballance by sending me death threats. I am sufficiently comfortable with Geburah that I see the inevitability and righness of such responses :-)

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