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The Mystical Life of Franz KafkaTheosophy, Cabala, and the Modern Spiritual Revival$
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June O. Leavitt

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199827831

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827831.001.0001

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Kafka’s Meditation and 
Visualization

Kafka’s Meditation and 
Visualization

Chapter:
3 Kafka’s Meditation and 
Visualization
Source:
The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka
Author(s):

June O. Leavitt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827831.003.0012

A close reading of Kafka’s post-1911 prose reveals that he continued to be infected by the widespread fascination with invisible forces. However, this fascination was not merely theoretical, but pragmatic. Kafka’s diary entry of June 25, 1914 is a case in point. This diary passage provides evidence that the “I” voice was employing some method to bring on a vision the purpose of which was ontological in nature. The visualization exercises the narrator used, which seem to have been revivals of Renaissance and ancient cabalistic practices, not only correspond to those espoused by Steiner. The visualization exercises the narrator used evoke certain practices associated with occult societies which were flourishing in Prague. However, the meticulous details of the vision of an angel described by the first person narrator, also suggests that Kafka genuinely experienced such a vision, if not on June 25, 1914, at some time prior to that.

Keywords:   Kafka, diaries, occult movement, meditation, séances, esoteric training, creative imagination, mystical imagination, practical Cabala, practical Kabbalah

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