Chapter

Kafka’s Meditation and 
Visualization

June O. Leavitt

in The Mystical Life of Franz Kafka

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199827831
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919444 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827831.003.0012
Kafka’s Meditation and 
Visualization

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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

Chapter.  6444 words. 

Subjects: Religious Studies

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