Mysticism and Rationalism

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2 Responses

  1. RAM says:

    Where do you put Ramchal in the mystical-rational spectrum? He seems to show aspects of both mindsets. putting mystical concepts in a rationally ordered framework.

    • micha says:

      Well, I agree that he seems to show both mindsets, but not in the way you describe.

      Being a systemic thinker doesn’t make you a rationalist. The Ari’s addition to Qabbalah was nothing if not a framework to give a more consistent system to understanding tzimtzum with the whole sheviras hakeilim model, and how the sefiros interact by systemitizing the concept of partzufim.

      So here’s my problem labeling him.

      If we look at biographical data, such as R Yaakov Feldman’s notes here https://torah.org/learning/ramchal-classes-special1/ , the Ramchal was clearly trying to experience the Ineffable Divine.

      But if we look at his Qabbalaistic writings, eg Qela”ch Pischei Chokhmah, he really focuses on unpacking metaphors into a system that makes sense from first principles. That is where I see his Rationalism; he is trying to show the brilliance of the system and how much it makes sense.

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