Expression and transformation

Expression relates to assertion as creation to description.

The God who manifests Himself is the God who expresses himself. The God who has ‘called’ His powers to reveal themselves named them, and, it could be said, called Himself also by appropriate names. The process by which the power of emanation manifests itself from concealment into revelation is paralleled by the manifestation of divine speech from its inner essence in thought, through sound that as yet cannot be heard, into the articulation of speech.

— Gershom Scholem (1974, 99)

Christopher Bamford, in his introduction to Corbin (1998, xxxviii), quotes Hamann:

We are all capable of being prophets. All the phenomena of nature are dreams, riddles, visions, which have their significance, their secret meaning. The book of nature and the book of history are nothing but ciphers, hidden signs, which need the same key as unlocks Holy Scripture, and this is the point of its inspiration. …

To speak is to translate … from angelic tongue into human tongue, that is to say, thoughts into words, things into names, images into signs …

Then he quotes Corbin’s comment on this:

We must understand this act of translation as the absolutely primal act, not as the decipherment of an already given and imposed text, but as the very apparition of things, their revelation by their being named … Here hermeneutical technique is sketched out, the communion of the literal sense and the internal sense in a single meaning: the prophetic sense.

This ‘primal act’ also appears to be the ‘turning inside-out’ of the world (liii). ‘The world is not simply given, but given to be transformed, to be led back and interiorized’ (Bamford, liv). This transformation is accomplished through intimacy with an ‘invisible Guide’ (lviii). Corbin discovered all this by ‘rememorating texts long forgotten as if they had been written for him alone’ (Bamford, lv) – turning words into scripture.

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