Circles 3 (from Life of the Future World)

by Rabbi Abraham Abulafia

English version by Jerome Rothenberg and Harris Lenowitz
Original Language Hebrew

(circle 10)
so are the letters in their true essentials & when joined to people & to books that carry them are made intelligible as wholes to world & public: forms that the lowly asses carry though their existence is eternal: so then manchild you be careful that you not forget that you are working transformation of the Torah

(circle 11)
making it exist inside your soul in its particulars: so turn through it o turn through it & what of it is fit for your fulfillment let your hand fulfill: do what I tell you here it is your life your length of days from which you come to know what isn't fitting that a wise man be without & then your ways will be successful

(circle 12)
& then you will be wise: the way that you must cleave to & be strong in all your days will be the way of turning letters & combining them: & understanding what is understood rejoicing in your understandings & eternally rejoicing this rejoicing further wakening your heart to keep on turning them & understanding: joy & pleasures as you rush to turn

(circle 13)
like one who turns the sword the flame that turns itself toward every side & wages war against the enemies around you: for the empty images & forms of thought born of the evil impulse are the first emerging into thought surrounding it like murderers to foul the gnosis of the lowly tortured man

-- from A Big Jewish Book: Poems and Other Visions of the Jews from Tribal Times to the Present, Edited by Jerome Rothenberg

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Circles 3 (from