Stacs o cit p 114

insiBts on the greatest gulf between creature and Creator, yetdoea not rule out relationship between the individual and God, The Kaisidic mystics are closest in phenomenological description to an experience of internal unity, but Stace doe3 not consider them the major trend in Judaism.74

Kith the example of Martin Buber, the Jewish philosopher, we come back to the basic experience, free from interpretation.

Now from my own unforgettable experience I know well that there is a state in which the bonds of the personal nature of life seem to have fallen away and we experience an undivided unity." (underlining mine)75

stace points out how Euber at first interpreted this experience S3 "union v,-ith the primal being or the God-head," but that later he repudiated this interpretation and chose to understand his experience as "the basic unity of my own soul . . . certainly beyond the reach of all the multiplicity it has hitherto received from life . . . though not in the least beyond individuation . . . and not 'the soul of the

All.'" Such a position shows similarities with Kinayana Buddhism in the basic phenomenology of the experience and

7Stfartin Buber, ftctwpen Kin end Mart (LondonĀ« Rout ledge & Kegan Paul, 1947), pp. 24-25, cited by Stace, p. 155.

the refusal to interpret the experience beyond the self. Buber1s Jewish background may well be the reason for his repudiation of his initial interpretation, as Stace suggests, but his basic experience of undivided unity still remains.

Various metaphorical expressions occur in descriptions of this state of internal unity and can be classified according to which side of the vacuum-plenum paradox they belong. The vacuum or negative side includes such nouns as emptiness, darkness, nothingness, void, abyss, silence, stillness, nakedness, nudity, or desert? and such adjectives as contentless, imageless, numbarless, formless, wayless, fathomless, soundless, spaceless, or timeless. The plenum or positive side includes such nouns as fullness, completeness, brightness, light, oneness, perfection, or pureness; and such adjectives as harmonious, infinite, limitless, or boundless. Both sides are needed to give a complete picture of the basic experience and sometimes they are paradoxically joined in the came metaphor.77

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