Due to various work and home crises swamping me, I haven't had time this week for much mystical shit, but feel obligated to say something nonetheless. And this Sephira seems particularly obscure to me. In this fairly slapdash study I've tried to stick mostly to Jewish sources and not get sucked into the vast web of new age, occult, and other material that has grown out around the Kabbalah. But in trying to get some handle on Hod, I stumbled on this page, which despite its flaky-looking web desigm actually had a pretty coherent and understandable constructionist model of the Kabbalah. And I happened to note that the author had an email address at HP Labs! Turns out it's this guy, a researcher/occultist with impressive and very un-Jewish hair.
Anyway, according to him, Hod is identified with "consciousness of form". The whole left side of the tree of life is the "pillar of form", with "force" forming its dual on the other side. OK. As it happens, this weekend was the annual Bay Area Maker Faire, a scene which I have a great admiration for even if I'm pretty much a passive participant. What's a "maker"? Someone who can make ideas into physical form -- artists, engineers, hackers, hobbyist builders. I can't even begin to articulate how much I admire people who can do this. I am somewhat a maker myself, kind of -- writing software, or prose, is also a kind of making, and like the physical kind involves a certain degree of struggle between ideas and the constraints of the medium in which they have to be realized. But I rarely make physical objects, I just don't have the patience (hm, that was last week's topic), and am somewhat in awe of those who do.
What does this have to do with awe? The Maker Faire has art in a completely non-pretentious context, a festival rather than the hushed somber, and pseudo-sacred space of a museum. If there's a sense of religious awe, it's a noisy pagan sort of feeling as opposed to more churchy forms. Some works were certainly awe-inspiring, like the 70-foot hight Colossus interactive sculpture (above), or ArcAttack, the Tesla coil band:
Presumably Energy needs to adapt a Form before it can inspire Awe. Makers are those who can manage to do the necessary wrangling. They are the ones who are not overawed by awe, they can live with it, channel it, spread it around, in some cases even make a living from it.
Om another note, today happens to be Bob Dylan's 70th birthday, certainly one of the more important music makers of my generation, so here he is in an awe-full mood:
And here's the only song of his I can think of that celebrates a feat of engineering (actually a Woody Guthrie cover -- not very surprising, things like dams and skyscrapers were only objects of popular admiration up until the cold war/sixties reaction to modernism, but that's a whole other post):