Lisa Necks (M.A. in Media Studies, working toward. a Ph.D. in Modern Intellectual History and Literature) wrote an interesting article which covers transhumanism, in a manner of speaking, based on a consideration of the infamous golem (“The Golem: between the technological and the divine,” Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems, Volume 21, Issue 3, 1998, Pages 281-303).
No, in this case Golem does not refer to the human character in Lord of the Rings named Smeagol who became the creature Gollum.
Rather, the term golem comes from the Bible and the popular concept of the Golem came from Jewish mysticism: Kabbalah.
The one and only place where the term appears in the Bible is in Psalms 139:15-16 where we read:
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.
The phrase “unformed substance” is in Hebrew as “golem golem” (Strong's H1564) a word that is generally defined as embryo or fetus. Gesenius's Lexicon notes that it is “something rolled together.”
So, Biblically a golem is not some sort of mythical, mystical, mud-man creature. This is why the term and the concept are different (there are actually two concepts; the Biblical and the Kabbalistic).
Lisa Necks summarizes the point of the transhuman connection thusly:
…if biotechnology, genetic engineering, robotics, and artificial intelligence theory are any measure, our interest in moving beyond the limitations of Homo sapiens has grown steadily from tales founded in the archaic imagination toward twenty-first century technologies.
This interest, she notes, is “connected to our species’ struggle for survival through a kind of artificial selection.” Thus, she further notes that “the Golem’s duality represents humanity’s anxiety over its transition from what Paul Levinson has called ‘products of evolution to producers of evolution or change.’”
Kabbalah aka Qabalah aka Cabala, etc. (which in a good mood one may call Jewish mysticism and in a more sober mood call Jewish witchcraft):
is thought to have been founded by Isaac the Blind around 1200 c.e. in Gerona, Spain, and systematized by two of his disciples, Asher ben David, and Azriel ben Menahem.
Of course, this disregards the influences from which Isaac the Blind or any other expositor of Kabbalah. These influences came, mostly, from Babylonian mystery religions. It was whilst in exile in Babylon and Rabbinic Judaism came into being and this form of administration via the Rabbinate is clearly distinct from the Judaism of the Tanak aka Old Testament.
Rabbinic Judaism ultimately produced the Talmud(s) which combined oral traditions (Mishnah) and interpretation of the oral tradition (Gemara)—the Talmud(s) also include folklore, etc.
The less voluminous and less authoritative is the Jerusalem Talmud aka the Talmud Yerushalmi and the more voluminous and more authoritative one is the Babylonian Talmud aka the Talmud Balvi:
The largest body of Talmudic literature, began as oral discourses and homilies, took form c. 450-10 b.c.e. and gained impetus during the Tannaitic era, c. 10 b.c.e.-220 c.e. Not written down until c. early third century, c.e., the end of the Tannaitic era, Midrashic exegesis reached their climax during the Amoraic period, 220-500 c.e.
Note that in the quote above “b.c.e.” is an anti-Christian manner whereby to say “B.C.” and “c.e.” is “A.D.” These are merely politically correct terms that have become popular in academe (see BC and AD vs. BCE and CE in chronological terminology for an elucidation of this practice—and its folly).
According to de Hass, the fundamental idea of the Cabal was that through practice of its mysteries, one attained union with God:
. . .only through the contemplation of the mystic and secret tradition which goes back to the very origins of mankind, and by the aid of the holy names of God and intense concentration on, and study of, various religious principles (de Haas, 1934, p. 89).
She notes “two types of Cabala-theoretical and practical” which is reminiscent of the two types of Freemasonry: speculative (theoretical or philosophical) and operative (practical; actually building structures). And, of course, this should come as no surprise since at the very heart of just about any and every secret society, mystery religion, occult group (by any other name) of which you could think you will find the Kabbalah. And yes, of course, this includes Freemasonry:
Masonry is based on Judaism. Eliminate the teachings of Judaism from the Masonic Ritual and what is left?
—Jewish Tribune of New York, October 28, 1927 AD
Albert Pike, author of Freemasonry’s Morals and Dogma and Sovereign Grand Commander of the Scottish Rite, noted that the Kabbalistic “Theology of the Sephiroth” is the very premise upon which speculative Freemasonry is based.
So now, let us get to the actual Golem itself. The basic concept, with various variations, is for the Kabbalist to create a “living” being out of earth/soil/dirt. This “makes sense,” in a witchcraft sort of way, as YHVH created Adam from the stuff of the Earth and, in fact, Adam :
The key to producing the Golem was believed to have come from the Sefer Yezirah, parts of which are attributed to Abraham the Patriarch…There is no place in these volumes which gives direction in Golem making. The idea was extrapolated from its rather complicated explanation of the layout of the universe and the method by which it was created.
The aforementioned “Theology of the Sephiroth” is in reference to what Lisa Necks describes as follows:
According to the Sefer Yeziruk God created the world through an emanation, or Safaria sphere of spiritual substance. From the first sphere emanated a second, and so on until there were ten spheres, or Sefirot. It is through these ten Sefirot and the twenty-two consonants of the Hebrew alphabet, especially those of the letters of the name of God (the tetragrammaton)—YHVH (sometimes written as YHWH)—that everything was created, and by which God communes with humanity and the rest of creation. The letters were understood to be alive, or comprised of the ten Sefirot. The twenty-two letters and the ten Sefirot make up the thirty-two paths of life.
Considering Kabbalah’s occult roots, it is no surprise that the concept of one emanation producing ten, in turn, which then combine with the twenty-two Hebrew consonants whereby everything is created and which make up the thirty-two paths of life sounds very much like Taoism.
Taoism is a Chinese theology/philosophy/mysticism which holds that from a creative nothingness brings forth an energy which splits in two (yin and yang) which then further break down and combine into various combinations known as trigrams (illustrated as a series of three solid or broken lines).
The pattern of everything in the universe is thus based on a numerical formula surrounding the combination of these letters. Each of the twenty-two letters is combined with each of the others, so that in the end a circle of 462 letter pairs or “gates” results. Of these 462, half are redundant, so the first 231 are considered the “front gates” (going forward) and the other 231 are the “back gates” (going backward). These gates make up everything in the universe, which is “sealed on all six sides with the six permutations of the name YHVH.”
Glotzer points out that there was an important reason for the letters to read both forward and back, based on the Jewish philosophical theory of birth and decay (“Havayah VeHefseid”)-“they must accomplish not just creation but destruction”…Thus the two sets of gates were understood to be constantly moving forward and backward. The importance of the destructive side of the creative process becomes evident in the Cabalist’s: practice of Golem making, where performing the ritual in reverse returns the man to dust.
This is interesting with regards to satanism’s law of reversal which is that satan does that which YHVH does but does it backwards, upside down and inside out—or, rather, backwards.
With all of this background we can now understand how and why it was concluded that:
the Golem could be brought to life by the utterance of the correct combinations of the holy letters (different combinations for male or female) while walking around the form; the Golem could be returned to its element by walking in reverse direction around it and uttering the combinations in reverse.
In keeping with the satanic law of reversals, note that Albert Pike also wrote:
The true name of Satan, the Kabalists say, is that of Yahveh reversed; for Satan is not a black god, but the negation of God. The Devil is the personification of Atheism or Idolatry. For the Initiates, this is not a Person, but a Force, created for good, but which may serve for evil.
It is the instrument of Liberty or Free Will. They represent this Force, which presides over the physical generation, under the mythologic and horned form of the God Pan; thence came the he-goat of the Sabbat, brother of the Ancient Serpent, and the Light-bearer or Phosphor, of which the poets have made the false Lucifer of the Legend.
This turning of satan into a good guy (by any other name) is, by the way, the satanic theology behind the secret societies, mystery religions, occult groups, etc. For example, in Gnosticism the evil God (YHVH) created the evil material world and the good god (lucifer) came to enlighten humanity. In Greek mythology the Titan (titan/satan) Prometheus steals fire from the gods and gives it to humanity so that this is indicative of enlightenment.
Some credit Friedrich Nietzsche for coining the term “God is dead” however, the article points out that in a version of the Golem story from the Languedoc area in southern France of the early thirteenth century:
a Golem made by the prophet Jeremiah has the letters “YHWH Elohim Emeth” (“God is Truth”) on his forehead. He also has a knife in his hand, which he uses to erase the aleph, leaving “meth,” meaning “God is Dead.”
In another story, which from our perspective hits the black magick aspect of this whole Golem issue on the head; a Golem requests to be unmade and explains:
So God has made you in his image and in His shape and form. But now that you have created a man like him, people will say: there is no God in the world beside these two!
The two referred to are the two Rabbis who had brought him into being. Indeed, the practice of making inanimate matter come to life is viewed within Kabbalah as the ultimate demonstration of having mastered the art. However, it is, in reality, the acceptance of the original deception in Genesis 3 wherein the serpent satan states, “you will be like God.”
In fact, in the context of the ubiquity of the original deception note:
The Book of Life, also from around 1200, refers to legends that the ancient Egyptian magicians used earth in the order of the Merkabah, by which they made creatures…This suggests that the Jews believed that the idea of creating life from the elements was not unique to them, but universal.
In fact, she further notes that the 1797 AD story The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Johann Wolfgang von Goethe plays off of the Golem idea. And, of course, Goethe’s Golem retelling was incorporated into the Disney film Fantasia wherein Mickey Mouse plays the part of the sorcerer’s apprentice. He brings an inanimate broom to life in order to perform certain services for him but chaos ensues until he attempts to kill it by chopping it into pieces with an axe. Yet, ultimately, the spell is only reversed (there is that reversal again) when the master magickian returns and does away with the cursed thing.
What a nice children’s story: black magick and violence—thanks Disney!
Recall that Lisa Necks noted “our interest in moving beyond the limitations of Homo sapiens” and note that she further notes that Paul Levinson (Professor and Chair of Communication & Media Studies at Fordham University in New York City and the editor of the Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems):
writes that the agent of this change is technology, through which we “embody and extend our ideas, inject our minds into the world and disperse our theories to the far corners of the universe, and therein begin to mold the universe to human designs.”
—“Mind at Large: Knowing in the Technological Age,” Research in Philosophy and Technology, JAI, 1988 AD, p. 12
For much more on the concept of humanity’s designing the universe see: Extra-terrestrial aliens and time travel
Let us conclude with some statements regarding Kabbalah:
The Jewish Encyclopedia notes:
The Pythagorean idea of the creative powers of numbers and letters, upon which the "Sefer Yeẓirah" is founded, and which was known in tannaitic times [circa 10 BC-220 AD]…[is] an old cabalistic conception. In fact, the belief in the magic power of the letters of the Tetragrammaton and other names of the Deity…seems to have originated in Chaldea…
Whatever, then, the theurgic [a magickal system practiced by Egyptian Platonists, et al.] Cabala was, which, under the name of "Sefer (or "Hilkot" Yeẓirah," induced Babylonian rabbis of the fourth century to "create a calf by magic" [a citation is provided to the Babylonian Talmud at Sanhedrin 65b, 67b]…an ancient tradition seems to have coupled the name of this theurgic "Sefer Yeẓirah" with the name of Abraham as one accredited with the possession of esoteric wisdom and theurgic powers…
The whole dualistic system of good and of evil powers, which goes back to Zoroastrianism and ultimately to old Chaldea, can be traced through Gnosticism; having influenced the cosmology of the ancient Cabala before it reached the medieval one. So is the conception underlying the cabalistic tree, of the right side being the source of light and purity, and the left the source of darkness and impurity ("siṭra yemina we siṭra aḥara), found among the Gnostics…The fact also that the "Ḳelippot" (the scalings of impurity), which are so prominent in the medieval Cabala, are found in the old Babylonian incantations…is evidence in favor of the antiquity of most of the cabalistic material…
The specific term for the esoteric or mystic doctrine concerning God and the universe…[was] preserved only by a privileged few…under the influence of Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean philosophy…In the geonic period [600-1040 AD] it is connected with a Mishnah-like text-book, the "Sefer Yeẓirah," and forms the object of the systematic study of the elect…[the] possessors of, or adepts in, the Cabala…These receive afterward the name of "maskilim" (the wise), after Dan. xii. 10; and because the Cabala is called…"ḥokmah nistarah" = the hidden wisdom...
Daniel 12:10 references the insightful by the term sakal. Thus, apparently, maskilim has sakal as its root. Think of it this way: maskil is mi-sakal with the “im” at the end merely denoting feminism plural.
The entry continues:
A Palestinian Midrash of the fourth century…asserts that three of the elements—namely, water, air, and fire—existed before the creation of the world; that water then produced the darkness, fire produced light, and air produced wisdom…
So “airhead” is actually a compliment! The statement continues thusly:
…and the whole world thereupon was made by the combination of these six elements…The gradual condensation of a primal substance into visible matter, a fundamental doctrine of the Cabala…It was an attempt to Judaize the un-Jewish conception of primal substances by representing them also as having been created. Compare the teaching: "God created worlds after worlds, and destroyed them, until He finally made one of which He could say, 'This one pleases Me, but the others did not please Me'"…
Closely connected herewith is the doctrine that the pious are enabled to ascend toward God even in this life…Thus were the first mystics enabled to disclose the mysteries of the world beyond…the central doctrine of Gnosticism—a movement closely connected with Jewish mysticism—was nothing else than the attempt to liberate the soul and unite it with God….Through the employment of mysteries, incantations, names of angels, etc., the mystic assures for himself the passage to God, and learns the holy words and formulas with which he overpowers the evil spirits that try to thwart and destroy him. Gaining thereby the mastery over them, he naturally wishes to exercise it even while still on earth, and tries to make the spirits serviceable to him.
So, too, were the Essenes familiar with the idea of the journey to heaven…and they were also masters of angelology. The practise of magic and incantation, the angelology and demonology, were borrowed from Babylonia, Persia, and Egypt; but these foreign elements were Judaized in the process, and took the form of the mystical adoration of the name of God and of speculations regarding the mysterious power of the Hebrew alphabet…to become, finally, foundations of the philosophy of the "Sefer Yeẓirah."
Helena Blavatsky, founder of Theosophy, noted:
Kabalah (Heb.) The hidden wisdom of the Hebrew Rabbis of the middle ages derived from the older secret doctrines concerning divine things and cosmogony, which were combined into a theology after the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. All the works that fall under the esoteric category are termed Kabalistic.
She also noted:
The kabalist is a student of "secret science"…This secret doctrine is identical with that of the Chaldeans, and includes at the same time much of the Persian wisdom, or "magic"…[none] agreed upon the origin of the Kabala, the Zohar, Sepher Yetzirah, etc. Some show it as coming from…Egypt, others again from Chaldea. The system is certainly very old; but like all the rest of systems, whether religious or philosophical, the Kabala is derived directly from the primeval Secret Doctrine of the East; through the Vedas, the Upanishads, Orpheus and Thales, Pythagoras and the Egyptians. Whatever its source, its substratum is at any rate identical with that of all the other systems from the Book of the Dead down to the later Gnostics.
— H. P. Blavatsky, Theosophical Glossary, 1892 AD and also in Isis Unveiled, 1877 AD
Feel free to take advantage of the free subscription to this page so that you will get an email notification when something is posted herein—see subscribe link above, next to my name…or just CTRL+F and search for “subscribe.”
Find us on: