Will there be a day when someone discovers the secrets of these supernatural events, that reflection of the shadow of the soul that manifests itself between awakening and sleep, in a state of purgatory and unconsciousness?
Sadegh Hedayat, trans Naveed Noori, The Blind Owl [Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
ritual ordeals which test the faith of someone being initiated into an ascetic spiritual discipline.
Georges Bataille, Story of the Eye [Amazon, Amazon, Bookshop, Publisher, Local Library]
Chesed corresponds to the creative aspects of leadership, and early texts are one-sided in characterising this by love, mercy and majesty. Gevurah corresponds to the conservative aspects of leadership, to the power to preserve the status-quo, and the power to destroy anything opposed to it. These two aspects go hand-in-hand – try to change anything of consequence in society, and someone will invariably oppose that change. To bring about change it is often necessary to have the power to over-rule opposition. Consensus is an impossibility in society – there will always be someone whose opinions are at best ignored and at worst suppressed – and Chesed and Gevurah represent respectively the kingly obligation to seek what is good for the many (enlightened leadership of course!), and the power to judge and punish those opposed to the will of the king.
Colin Low, Introduction to the Kabbalah, “Gevurah and Chesed”