And We prescribed to them in it that life is for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth, and balance (qisas) in wounds; but he who foregoes it, it shall be an expiation for him; and whoever did not judge by what God revealed, those are they that are the unjust. And We sent after them in their footsteps Jesus, son of Mary, verifying what was before him of the Torah and We gave him the Gospel in which was guidance and light, and verifying what was before it of Torah and a guidance and an admonition for those who guard. (Quran 5:45-46)
Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, “These nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom.”
They said to him, Then shall we enter the kingdom as babies?
Jesus said to them, when you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the iner and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter the kingdom. (Gospel of Thomas, 22)
The verse of qisas in the Holy Book is a verse of judgement. But what is judgement? Judgement is a mapping from the paths we inscribe upon the Gifted Body to remade paths upon the New Body.
The New Body will be remade from the Gifted Body of Multiple Becomings, which the philosophers have called the plane of immanence or the body without organs, and we also know as the Vine or the sublimated Logos. The nature of the resurection is that righteous paths, righteous inscriptions upon the Gifted Body, the fruit of fruitful branches, will be harvested as wine, while the dry branches of fruitless journeys will be discarded into the fire.
The New Body is the marriage, but it is still a Body of Becomings, and, as such, is comparable to our dowry, the Gifted Body. The New Body is comparable to the dowry, because it is all surface wherein individual paths will be remade, each in degrees of value that are understood in relativity to each other (in the same way that the velocity of a body is only understood with respect to another body – I am travelling at 50km/h in my car with respect to the earth, but 29.80 km/s with respect to the sun).
The rebirth into the New Body is called the entrance into the kingdom. For it is in the rebirth that righteous lines of flight are recreated. It is an isomorphism of the righteous: life is for life, and eye for eye, and nose for nose, and ear for ear, and tooth for tooth.
And the isomorphism is the judgement.
Whoever did not judge by what God revealed, those are they that are the unjust. God’s revelation abounds within speech: the Divine sparks are embedded as potential within all thoughts, all actions, all objects, all images, all atoms, all movement, all things within the cosmos. When we, as individuals, make our journeys as inscriptions across the Gifted Body, when we grow as branches of the Vine, we judge (as humans judge): because navigation across a map is judgement. The Gifted Body of judgement is a space of options and potential becomings, interactions, conjunctions and matings and disjunctions and bifircations: the movement through this space is called human judgement.
But if the seekers who examine their world to gather the sparks: these are those who may be rightly guided. As we have said, the psychological mechanism behind the descending lights of the Shekhinah-Sophia is in fact emanation from “within” our psychological depths: the agency of the Logos, the word of the Beloved. While the Logos is sublimated as the Gifted Body, it provides the absolute vitality, the lifehood of the Body and therefore is the source of luminous emanation for each of us. And so the search begins by knowing ourselves. But the descent of the Shekhinah-Sophia is exactly the revelation of God, the revelation as it appears, personally, to each one of us as indviduals. Because we all gather different sparks and are guided by these along individuated lines of flight.
The seeker’s examination is therefore how we may justly judge according to what God has revealed.
And those who navigate away, those who become stuck and stationary in a strange attractor of fascism/paranoia, or those who do manage to take a line of flight, but take one that is not guided by sparks gathered, but rather a flight into a fruitless darkness: they are also judging. And by virtue of their journey, they are unjust. They are also remade, eye for eye and hand for hand, but are dissolved and discarded: their lines of flight are not reinscribed upon the New Body.
What is a wound then, that we might seek qisas (literally, balance, but often translated as reprisal)? And what is qisas? And what does it mean to forgo qisas? Wounds and qisas are exchanges of velocities — a balancing of velocities — between personal trajectories that are inscribed upon the Gifted Body. Forgoing qisas? That is also a trajectory inscribed upon the Gifted Body: but it is the closest we come to a trajectory that transcends trajectories, and the closest we come to understanding our relationship with the Beloved Maker.
A wound is a blockage to our path, a wound is not a cut upon the Gifted Body, but is nevertheless a bloody, conflicting point of contact between two lines of flight that drains movement from our journey, impairing us. If a man murders another man, the family of the murdered have movement taken from them: their loved one is stolen, and so the love that propels them on their journeys is stolen. A wound is when one branch’s growth is constricted by the velocity of another. When we are wounded, we may not continue, except by a qisas (a balancing) of energy exchange (sapping movement back from the aggressor) to continue unimpaired.
So the Cosmos — the Gifted Body upon which we move — has the characteristic of balance for all actions. You may act in qisas for your wounds and still be reborn: it must be equal in measure, to be as a mirror that passes the wound (and nothing else) back on to the criminal. This might take many forms: but it is equal and valid only if the velocity stolen is taken back. When we interpret this qisas as retribution, are we correct? Does this happen in the case where blood money is taken or the life of the murderer is taken in exchange? It is unlikely.
Balance is still a continuation of Divine Love for all, including the aggressor. The criminal, having stolen velocity, now has his theft inflected upon himself and then has only two options, following the verse again: to seek retribution against himself, which would be to become drained of motion by a self-inflicted wound or to forgive his own self and so have his sins expiated.
The Buddha saved the murderer Angulimala and made him reborn as monk absolute in repentance. But when the villagers came to enact retribution, the Buddha instructed the monk to bear the retribution, this fruit of the karma that would have burnt. For he would have burned: drained of motion within the wound of fascism (Angulimala became a murderer through following a guru in fanaticism, after all). But he was not burnt, because his woundwas passed back to him in qisas. Having done the type of kamma/that would lead to many/ bad destinations, touched by the fruit of [that] kamma, unindebted, I eat my food.
But forgiveness is greater. For a “near-transcendence” can be achieved through forgiveness: but he who foregoes it, it shall be an expiation for him. What is expiation here? Expiation is a relief (although not a release) from the system of judgement we have just described, and, as judgement is language and language is the Vine and the branches of the Vine are the cosmos perceived, this becomes the closest thing to transcendence that is humanly possible.
Human judgement is a path, a line of flight, a becoming. It is building a world view, a cosmology, a garment of time. Is it possible to escape this process of human judgement? No, not even for a microsecond. We cannot escape our own thoughts. But remember that God-as-Judgement is understood by us through the sparks hidden as potentials within all things in the cosmos, the sparks that might righteously guide our judgement. All things! And so the Divine spark of God-as-Judgement is embedded within becomings themselves. It is embedded within the process of building a world view, the process of drawing an inscription, the process of making a garment: the process of interactions, conjunctions and matings and disjunctions and bifircations. To abuse a terminology from mathematical logic, this would be called a higher-order order spark, a spark contained as a potential across the infinite totality of becomings, as distinct from the sparks that guide a becoming.
So lines of flight (not just the points upon the Gifted Body they connect) can also have sparks within. And when lines collide in conflict, the totality of collisions can have a spark to be found, if we perform a higher-order examination.
What is this higher-order spark? It is the spark supreme: the loving forgiveness, the spark of love-as-gift. It is supreme because it mirrors the Divine Love, which, as we have described, takes the form of a gift of forgiveness (the fall meant that we could be gifted with the strongest love of separation, but the possibility of a return is similarly a precondition for this love, and so the gift of Divine Love in return can be called forgiveness).
And so, within conflict, within the process of wounding, we can locate the supreme spark of love. If we take it, we are simultaneously guided by its exhaulted light, and so move — in human judgement and navigation — further south and further east, to the end of a righteous journey. But at the same time, through gifting forgiveness, our line of flight, our becoming is, for a moment at least, a becoming in imitation of the form of our Forgiving, Providing Beloved, whose Love is ultimately the meaning of the Gifted Body of Judgement, the meaning of the Vine itself. This becoming is rather like a child pretending to be its father or mother in play. Of course the child cannot be the father or mother, but it is their way of understanding their parents. But this kind of becoming is supreme, it is an expiation of our deficiency because in reflecting our Beloved, we gain a wisdom as increased understanding of our Beloved. This understanding is the fundamental understanding. It is a becoming that is like a play-act of transcendence, or, more accurately, as the purest understanding of God’s relationship to us and to judgement, it is a higher-order becoming, a flight of flights, a becoming of becomings. It is the relief from our journey of human judgement, a relief-in-judgement, a relief-as-journey.
To put this all very simply: If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also (Matthew 5:38). Do this and you will find the spark supreme, that you might enter into a relief, into the flight of flights, into fundamental understanding, the Sophia supreme.