The Mystical Kabbalah

Variations in spelling: Kabala, Cabala, Cabbalah, Qabala, etc.

See also Gnosticism and How mysticism & the occult are changing the Church

"Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8-9

Quotes

 

See also Rosicrucianism

 

Emphasis added


Kabbalah -- which can be spelled with a K, C or Q -- is an ancient form of Jewish mysticism, which was formalized at the end of the 12th Century. Having turned Biblical truth and history into occult myths and suggestions, it has evolved through the centuries -- blending with gnosticism, theosophy and other occult mysteries -- usually behind closed doors and in secret societies.

      But these hidden mysteries are now communicated openly through the Internet, popular books and celebrities such as Madonna. Highlighted at Gorbachev's 1997 State of the World Forum, it has drawn followers among the world's elite as well as the stars of Hollywood.

      We offer you this information, not to build interest in occult arts, but to alert Christians to a deception likely to be promoted in today's thrill-seeking, open-minded, pluralistic atmosphere.

 

Two examples:

1. Kabbalah: "Kabbalah" is a doctrine of esoteric knowledge concerning God and the universe, asserted to have come down as a revelation to the Sages from a remote past, and preserved only by a privileged few. Kabbalah is considered part of the Jewish Oral Law. It is the traditional mystical understanding of the Torah. Kabbalah stresses the reasons and understanding of the commandments, and the cause of events described in the Torah....

      "Early forms of Jewish mysticism at first consisted only of empirical lore....In the medieval era it greatly developed with the appearance of the mystical text.... It became the object of the systematic study of the elect....
     "Most forms of Kabbalah teach that every letter, word, number, and accent of scripture contains a hidden sense.... Since the late 19th century, with the emergence of the 'Jewish Studies' approach, the Kabbalah has also been studied as a highly rational system of understanding the world, rather than a mystical one."

 

2. The New Kabbalah: "The New Kabbalah is a philosophy and Jewish theology grounded in the union between traditional Jewish mysticism and modern rational thought.  ...the New Kabbalah seeks to uncover and further develop the philosophical and psychological significance of Kabbalistic symbols and ideas. In addition, the New Kabbalah is enriched by comparative studies and dialog between Jewish mysticism and other religious and philosophical traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Platonism, and Gnosticism.

     "The New Kabbalah is born out of the conviction that the theosophical system of Luria and his followers promotes an open economy of thought, dialog and criticism while at the same time providing a coherent and comprehensive account of the world and humanity's role within it that is intellectually, morally and spiritually vital for us today."

 


Excerpts from "KABBALAH: GETTING BACK TO THE GARDEN" by Marcia Montenegro. Footnotes are included in the original articles at http://cana.userworld.com/cana_Kabbalah1.html

 

KABBALAH - Page 1: "Kabbalah is a body of mystical and esoteric beliefs based on commentaries on the Torah, the first five books of Hebrew Scripture. The term Kabbalah comes from a Hebrew root word... 'to receive.' According to Jewish Talmudic teachings, the secrets of the Kabbalah are to be 'carefully controlled.'  Rabbi Cooper says that Jewish mysticism satisfies a need for a 'connection with the great unknown; we want to experience the secrets of other realities and the meaning of life.'

      "The Kabbalah 'discusses angels and demons, souls’ journeys after death, reincarnation, resurrection, and the goal of achieving messianic consciousness.' .... It is not about 'rote obedience of laws and commands, 'but is rather a spiritual tool to enable us to regain unity with God, 'to re-enter the Eden from which we were exiled.'

      "'Linear, mechanistic' ways of 'rational thought' need to be set aside in order to fully grasp Kabbalah teachings. Yehuda Berg states that Kabbalah is the 'hidden wisdom' that has been kept secret for centuries but now this teaching is coming into the open for a society fraught with social and spiritual problems."

 

Kabbalah - Page 2: "In Kabbalah, the Creator is Ein Sof, which literally means 'endless.' ... Ein Sof pervades all creation, so that even a stone has divinity; In Kabbalah, The Shekinah is sometimes called Eden, and the Torah is the Garden where God hid the light. By becoming vessels of light, we can regain Eden.

     "In contrast, the Bible teaches that it is God who will redeem all creation. ...

     "Various accounts of creation are given One is that Ein Sof emanated a spark, 'from which emerged and radiated all light' and this constituted the upper world. A lower world was created from a light 'without brightness,' which represents a lower consciousness."

Kabbalah - Page 3: "Kabbalah teaches that God’s blessings flow to the world through the Tree of Life [See picture below] when there is ethical behavior among humans; evil actions disrupt the union of the sefirot [see also sephria] and empower demonic activity. God and humankind are interdependent.... Thus, we are 'co-creators with God Itself.'  

       "According to Kabbalah, a person must metaphorically and spiritually ascend the 10 points of the Tree of Life to reunite with the Divine. As one increases his or her spiritual capabilities, one increases the capacity to contain more of the Light pouring down through these 10 emanations, and so draws nearer to the Creator....  Thus, the Tree of Life both symbolizes the Divine Being, and offers the way back for humans to be reunited with the source from whence he came. ]

       "Kabbalah... is not about worship or belief, but rather 'becomes a direct path of communion between the individual and the Divine.' The Tree of Life and the sefirot have been used in New Age and occult teachings, and aligned with occult tools such as the Tarot. Indeed, the Kabbalah has been a basis for Western occult teaching for several centuries, though it should be noted that many Kabbalists and traditional Kabbalist rabbis do not sanction such activity.

 

KABBALAH - Page 4: "In Kabbalah, Adam and Eve are viewed as symbols of male and female energy [as in Tibetan or Tantric Buddhism], and as metaphor for the 'primordial Vessel whose existence' came before creation, thus encompassing all the souls of humanity to come. The presence of the Serpent, considered a fragmenting force, was necessary for creation; otherwise, all would unite with God. This gave man the opportunity of earning the Light on his own.

       "One of the hidden meanings of the story is that there are two Gardens of Eden, one above, and one below, and reuniting these two Gardens is the goal of humankind.

       "Yehuda Berg believes that the forbidden fruit was a sexual act between Eve and the Serpent. Another writer interprets the sin as Adam driving out the Shekhinah by eating only from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and not from the Tree of Life, thus separating Shekhinah from her 'husband,' Tiferet, and separating consciousness from unconsciousness. This act caused Adam and Eve to lose their garments of light and fall into a lower physical form, becoming clothed with garments of animal skin.... Adam and Eve chose with good intentions to have more Light, since this is what the Serpent offered. This choice was wrong, but because the Serpent’s temptation enhanced the difficulty of their choice, it was also worthy.

        "...everything, including evil, has divine nature. Adam and Eve took a second bite of the fruit, done out of self-serving motives, thus short-circuiting their ability to receive the fullness of the Creator’s Light and moving them back to the material level with a knowledge of death and evil. God’s command that Adam must now work the land was not literal; rather, it meant that he must 'rebuild the Vessel of yourself through your own work in the world.'...

       "As in the Eastern religions, Kabbalah teaches reincarnation, the belief that we die and are reborn, living many lives, ever seeking to advance spiritually. We are in a process of repairing our broken vessels, which may take many lifetimes. ...

       "When a critical mass of humanity spiritually advances, it tips the scale in favor of all humanity, and will bring us back to a connection with the immortality we had before the fall. We all have sparks of the Divine and are shards, albeit broken ones, of the original Vessel in the Garden. We can fix ourselves, regain what was lost....

       "Our days spent doing good deeds are 'woven into a garment of splendor that will clothe the soul as she enters God’s presence in the world to come.'....

       "...there are three ways to ascend to higher consciousness: study and scrutiny of behavior;[today's psychology & personality assessments?] seclusion, contemplation, and soul-searching; and having a constant awareness of the implications of everything one does....

       "Yehuda Berg also teaches the Certainty Principle. [i.e. positive thinking, not certainty concering fact or truth] Using the story of the exodus as an example, he explains that God did not part the Red Sea; instead, Moses and the people proceeded with certainty and this gave them the power to part the waters. ....We 'print our own ticket' to Paradise through our individual work. Michael Berg advises one to rediscover who we truly are, to realize we must share in order to take on the Creator’s essence. By doing this, we will bring about the world’s transformation, and can even bring about the end of pain, suffering, and death itself...."

 

KABBALAH - Page 5: "...the Kabbalah Centre is not the first to offer Kabbalah outside its usual tradition. Teachings on the Kabbalah prior to the Kabbalah Centre’s popularity have been available to the general public since the latter half of the twentieth century....

      "Ein Sof [the God of Kabbalah] is considered remote and unknowable, and the Tree of Life is believed to be a revelation of Ein Sof’s attributes. The biblical God, however, is not remote; He is intimately involved with His creatures....

      "Ein Sof’s attributes are said to be dualistic (male and female) and opposites are balanced within Ein Sof. The biblical God does not unite opposites. He is one (Deut. 6.4); He is a perfect unity of righteousness, justice, truth, mercy, and love, but these do no coexist in balance with their opposites within God. First John 1:5 clearly states that “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all” and that the God of truth “cannot lie” (Titus 1.2). ...

      "Ein Sof is incomplete, since he needs man in order to complete his plan. But an incomplete God is an imperfect God, and cannot be God at all. If God is the standard for righteousness, He must be perfect and complete....

      "Kabbalah teaches that the Torah is encoded with hidden meanings. In contrast, historic Christian interpretation assumes that God communicated the Torah to Moses in a normal fashion, and that the text says what it appears to say; there is no concealed meaning. ... Seeking hidden meanings is a hallmark of gnosticism and occultism. Such a method can lead to imposing any foreign meaning on a text that one wishes....

     "The Kabbalah is essentially gnostic; that is, one must learn the spiritual secrets of the Torah through the cryptic and intricate Zohar, and then advance through knowledge and actions. This is in strong contrast to Biblical, orthodox Christianity, which is essentially relational and is based on a clear, direct revelation from a personal God and on the historical death and resurrection of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. We do not need to delve into esoteric realms to find the truth; truth is readily found in God’s word, and was declared by the Messiah, Jesus Christ (John 14.6).

     "Nor do we earn redemption by works, but rather redemption is offered through the atonement of Christ..... Phillip Berg writes that we must have the desire to 'receive in order to share' so that the Vessel will be able to receive the Creator’s Light 'in full force.'... Our actions in the physical world create 'channels that connect us to the Divine.'... There seem to be some parallels between this teaching and the emphasis in Gnosticism on the remote, unknowable divine being and on the Light."

Please visit Marcia Montenegro's website at www://cana.userworld.com/cana_Kabbalah1.html


Book Cover of "Art and Symbols of the Occult" [1] by James Wasserman

 According to "The KABBALAH and the Tree of Life," a chapter in the book pictured here, the "Kabbalah may be defined as esoteric Jewish doctrine. The word Kabbalah comes from the Hebrew root QBL, meaning 'to receive,' and refers to the passing down of secret knowledge through an oral transmission."

The Encyclopedia Britannica  (Vol. 4, 1968, pages 536-537) tells us that "Cabala is essentially an oral tradition in the sense that initiation into its doctrines and practices requires a personal guide, if only to avoid the dangers inherent in the mystical experience....

"Cabala comprises two aspects, theoretical Cabala and practical Cabala. The latter amounts, to all intents and purposes to white magic, operating with the holy names of God in contrast to black magic, which uses demonic powers (witchcraft)....

"The original Gnosticism is still discernible in the figure of Metatron, which plays a considerable part in the Hebrew Book of Enoch and subsequent Cabala. As the highest angel he occupied a seat next to the throne of God. The Babylonian Talmud contains three references to Metatron."

 


"TREE OF THE COSMOS... This book cover symbolizes the beliefs of Jacob Boehme [sometimes spelled Böhme or Behmen]. The upper portion depicts the Kabalistic unity of deity. The hexagram in the top circle [often called the Star of David] is actually two intertwined triangles. Shown separately side-by-side below the hexagram, those two opposite triangles are labeled 'Nature' and the 'Eternal.'"[2]

       "The larger sphere at the bottom is called the "Solar World." Surrounding the sun in the center are the signs of the zodiac. As in alchemy and other occult systems through the ages, the Kabbalah includes astrology.  

 

 


The Cabala: The secret of the Cabala is that of Gnosticism [4]

"The Cabala, essentially of Jewish origin but sometimes assimilated into Christianity, is first and foremost a 'quest for the secrets of the faith,’ according to the Zohar, its most famous book. It relates to every domain of creation: from the secrets of the faith to the secret of the universe... [T]here is a hidden meaning in the sacred texts, and we must discover it in order to approach the mysteries of the Creation....

"The novelty of the Cabala lies in the ‘secrets of divine truth’. The divinity described by Cabalists, though, is quite different from the other forms found in Judaism. The Cabala is a heresy at the heart of Judaism.... In the beginning, according to the Cabala, ‘God wished to see God’. By a free act of creation, he drew back the absolute All and contracted it to allow a hole to appear in it where the mirror of existence was to emerge. [See Lilith]  This act is called Zimzum (‘contraction’). ...

"The sefirot have been presented as the receptacles, or the tools, of God; or as his ten faces or hands, or his clothes. ... [T]hey represent overlapping divine attributes. Relations between the sefirot are governed by three principles, the hidden Splendours (Zazahot). These are: Will, which keeps balance; Mercy, which spreads the flux of the emanation; and Severity, which contains it. In this way, the Splendours organize the sefirot, according to a model known as the Tree of Life or Cabalistic tree....

"The practical Cabala... lies in the domain of mythology, alchemy and magic."[4-page 20]

"...the dibbuk is a spirit which takes possession of a living person. A famous legend tells how a young cabalist was in love with a certain girl. He died and subsequently took possession of her body."[4-20]

"According to the Pythagoreans and the Hebrew cabalists,. in numbers there are hidden mysteries which few understand. The Most High created all things by number dimension and weight; by these numbers it is possible to work out the essence of letters and names."[4-21]

"The Cabala is a type of Gnosticism, as man seeks to find divinity within himself. First of all, he discovers nothingness... this is when the mystic empties himself to become a receptacle for transcendence....

"Under the influence of the Splendours, the shining light spreads to create the second sefira [Wisdom].... It contains the general plan of the construction of the world, which is manifested concretely in the third sefira [Intelligence].... The theoretical problem of the Cabala is how to preserve the unity of the Creator... .

"A world of symbols: The sefirot have often been likened to symbols — they look like ‘a priori categories’ of mystical experience. The Cabalists pursue their quest for symbols by deciphering the Torah, in which the divine light is clothed in consonants and words. There is a way of reading the Bible... which ‘reveals a fabric of sacred names which shine through countless combinations[the Bible Code?].... However, the superstitious numerology of the Cabala is not limited to the Torah....

[Experiencing God:] "Man contains all that is in heaven above and on earth below.... Every experience of the ‘other’ — and God is the absolute ‘other’ — is but an experience of the same....

In the Christian world [during the Renaissance]... many people began to take an interest in the Cabala, including... Jacob Bohme....

The Cabala is... Gnostic, a search for the secret of Creation. Like all Gnosticism, it proposes a cosmogony in which man is an actor with a major role to play, even that of a collaborator with God. In this way, the Cabala attempts to answer the problem of evil. The creation of the world does indeed cause a break in divinity....

Two theories: [1] "God based the creation of the world on the letters of the Hebrew alphabet [2] a numerical value was assigned to each Hebrew letter so that the words with the same 'value' were equivalents....

[Like Mormonism:] The soul which comes down to animate a body [like Mormonism] refuses to leave its original place, but in the end it must always obey God’s will. It must win its complement of perfection from the material world and... is charged with the task of impregnating matter with a share of spirituality in order to purify it and draw it upwards....

'...the soul rejoins its source; all is perfect above and below and the ascension of the soul is accomplished by the wakening of the passion of the feminine for the masculine.... The identification of passion’ and desire is accomplished. The soul of the just man transforms the dry place; love and passion are awakened above, and all is Unity.'

"The Cabalist has to fight against the darkness of the world and his quest is to try to illuminate it. The intense passion which guides him shows that love and knowledge are often synonyms."[4]

"In two respects, Jewish mysticism always differed, at least in expression, from other systems: there could not be complete union with God, who remained always the Other.... Committed to strict monotheism, Jewish Kabbalists speculated as to what went on within the godhead.... They could, rather daringly, think of two aspects of God, a light and a dark, a loving and merciful in contrast with a sternly judgmental. These ideas were developed at length in a thirteenth-century text called the Zohar (Sefer Ha-Zohar , Book of Splendor), the centerpiece of the most influential of several Kabbalist systems... in the thirteenth century....

"...at the end of the fifteenth century... the center of Kabbalism shifted to Palestine. A mythology and theosophy developed, as complex as those of early Christian Gnostics, which they closely resemble. The sefirot became rearranged in new configurations, male and female...."[5]


From various websites:

 

Symbols of the Kabbalah: "Dr. Sanford Drob articulates the philosophical and psychological ideas that are implicit in such kabbalistic symbols as Ein-sof (the Infinite), Tzimtzum (Divine Contraction), Sefirot (Divine Archetypes), Shevirat ha-Kelim (Breaking of the Vessels), and Tikkun ha-Olam (the Restoration of the World). Dr. Drob shows how contemporary philosophy and psychology enable us to gain insight into the theosophical Kabbalah, and to understand the Kabbalah in a manner that is vitally relevant to contemporary life and thought. It is the author's conviction that the theosophical Kabbalah provides a symbolic matrix through which the 'ultimate questions' regarding God and the world, and the meaning of human existence, can be provided with satisfactory solutions. Rather than being an antiquated mystical and theosophical system, the Kabbalah provides us with a dynamic conception of God, world, and humanity that encompasses all happening and all things, and which enables us to understand even the daily activities of men and women as vital to the redemption of the world."

 

Kabbalistic Metaphors: Jewish Mystical Themes in Ancient and Modern Thought: (scroll down to title) "Kabbalistic Metaphors... places the major symbols of the theosophical Kabbalah into a dialogue with several systems of ancient and modern thought, including Indian philos

ophy, Platonism, Gnosticism, and the works of Hegel, Freud, and Jung. ... Recognition of the parallels between the Kabbalah and modern philosophy and psychology provides us with valuable insight into both the Kabbalah and modern thought, and helps pave the way for a 'new Kabbalh,' one that is spiritually and intellectually relevant to contemporary life.

     "...the Kabbalah is unique in its position in the history of Western thought, acting as a 'switching station' in which the biblical tradition, Near Eastern mysticism, and Western philosophy converge. In the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria these traditions combine with Luria's profound spiritual insight and intense mythical imagination to produce a comprehensive philosophical and psychological vision of the nature of God and humanity..."

 

KABBALAH. Introduction: "With regard to the author and origin of the Qabalah, I cannot do better than give the following extract from Dr. Ginsburg's 'Essay on the Kabbalah,' first premising that this word has been spelt in a great variety of ways--Cabala, Kabalah, Kabbala, &c. I have adopted the form Qabalah, as being more consonant with the Hebrew writing of the word:

     "A system of religious philosophy, or, more properly, of theosophy, which has not only exercised for hundreds of years an extraordinary influence on the mental development of so shrewd a people as the Jews, but has captivated the minds of some of the greatest thinkers of Christendom in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, claims the greatest attention of both the philosopher and the theologian....

     [One of its many esoteric myths:] "The Kabbalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After the Fall the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts with the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity. From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this waythat the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems. ....

     "The Qabalah is usually classed under four heads: (α) The practical Qabalah. (β) The literal Qabalah. (γ) The unwritten Qabalah. (δ) The dogmatic Qabalah. The practical Qabalah deals with talismanic and ceremonial magic, and does not come within the scope of this work."

 

New Kabbalah -- Lurianic Kabbalah Tikkun ha-Olam: The Restoration of the World: "Tikkun is a symbol with both metaphysical and theological implications. Luria and his disciples understood every event in the created universe.... For them it is only as a result of the world's restoration that both cosmos and God can be said to be complete. ...

     "The Unification of God and His Shekhina: The Zohar holds that God's feminine aspect is exiled on earth as the 'Shekhinah' and that she must be reunited with "The Holy One....' The unity between the masculine and feminine aspects of the godhead was broken by the sins of mankind, and the exile of the Jewish people, and is maintained by the 'Other Side'. Through the observance of the mitzvot and divine worship, humankind is able to reestablish the union between God and His Shekhina, symbolized as the union between the Sefirot Tiferet and Malchuth.

     "The unification of divine masculine and feminine aspects of the godhead can be understood as symbolic of the blending of the opposites, which, according to the Kabbalists, is part of the perfection and harmony of the universe. In psychological terms it can be understood as the reunification of the feminine and masculine aspects of a divided self. ...

     "The Raising of the Sparks: The symbol of a divine spark encased in earthly matter is an ancient Gnostic symbol, which takes on new life in the Kabbalah of seventeenth century Safed. In the Gnostic version, a spark of divinity is entrapped in an alien and evil world, and imprisoned in the soul of man. According to the Gnostics, the individual's knowledge (Gnosis) of the spark within himself results in its being liberated from this world, and the Gnostic adherent abandons both body and self to join the infinite pleroma. ...In contradistinction to the Gnostics, Luria held that when the spark of divine light is freed, the world is reintegrated and restored, rather than escaped and discarded. According to the Hasidim it is the individual's divinely appointed task to not only liberate those sparks that are entrapped in Kelippot within his own body and soul, but also those sparks in the world that he or she encounters along life's way."

 

Kabbalah and Theosophy: For many centuries the Kabbalah was a Jewish tradition not available to ordinary people and in particular not to women. ...of the few people in the 19th century who understood the Kabbalah and its worth was not only a Gentile but a woman to boot: Helena Blavatsky. Nobody reading her Secret Doctrine and noting the many references to the Kabbalah could doubt her intimate knowledge of these writings. In her Theosophical Glossary she explains that... kabbalists are students of 'secret science' who interpret the hidden meaning of the Jewish scriptures with the help of the symbolical Kabbalah: The hidden wisdom of the Hebrew Rabbis of the middle ages derived from the older secret doctrines... which were combined into a theology after the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. ...the world over, the search for god-wisdom follows the same ideas. ...

     "...it says in the Zohar: "The Indivisible Point, which has no limit and cannot be comprehended because of its purity and brightness, expanded from without, forming a brightness that served the indivisible Point as a veil'...

     "We also find in the Kabbalah the idea that there is no such thing as an isolated existence: Everything is linked with everything else down to the lowest ring on the chain, and the true essence of God is above as well as below, in the heavens and on the earth, and nothing exists outside Him....

     "The Western world rejected the idea of reincarnation until acquaintance with Eastern philosophy during the 19th century reawakened thoughts about transmigration of the soul life after life. Many are the references to this, particularly in the older Kabbalah, for the majority of the older Kabbalists believed in gilgul, the Hebrew term for transmigration.... Using the Tree of Life, the Kabbalah built up a system of symbolic correspondences between the manifestations of divine powers, letters, numbers, and the different parts of the human body."

Theosophy - An introductory study course: "Theosophy is old because it embodies principles that have been known and taught by the sages of the past all over the world. It has been called by many names. In India it is called Brahmavidya 'The Wisdom of Ultimate Reality' or Sanātana Dharma 'The Eternal Teaching.' In Judaism it is called Kabbalah  - 'That Which Has Been Received.' In China it is called Tao Hsueh 'The Teaching of the Way.' In Islam it is called Sufism 'The Way of Those Who Wear Wool” (the 'pure' or the 'wise').... It has also been called the Wisdom Tradition, the Perennial Philosophy."

Kabbalistic Metaphors: Jewish Mystical Themes in Ancient and Modern Thought: (scroll down to title) "Kabbalistic Metaphors... places the major symbols of the theosophical Kabbalah into a dialogue with several systems of ancient and modern thought, including Indian philosophy, Platonism, Gnosticism, and the works of Hegel, Freud, and Jung. ... Recognition of the parallels between the Kabbalah and modern philosophy and psychology provides us with valuable insight into both the Kabbalah and modern thought, and helps pave the way for a 'new Kabbalh,' one that is spiritually and intellectually relevant to contemporary life.

     "...the Kabbalah is unique in its position in the history of Western thought, acting as a 'switching station' in which the biblical tradition, Near Eastern mysticism, and Western philosophy converge. In the Kabbalah of Isaac Luria these traditions combine with Luria's profound spiritual insight and intense mythical imagination to produce a comprehensive philosophical and psychological vision of the nature of God and humanity..."


Medieval Pure Ones The Gnostic Apostle Thomas: Chapter 12: (Gnostic Jews): "...a mystical movement highly colored by gnostic ideas was taking place within Judaism across the Pyrenees in Spain. Kabbalah ("Tradition" or "Doctrine") developed from currents that were bubbling within Judaism in the time of Christ and perhaps even earlier. Jewish orthodoxy always discouraged speculation on ultimate questions not dealt with in approved scripture: What is the nature of God? What are the origins of evil? ... The development of Kabbalah probably has... much to do with Christian Gnosticism, and deserves to be briefly noted. Some scholars think that the Christian variety grew out of the Jewish; in any event there are striking parallels....

     "For much of its history this mystical current in Judaism took a definitely gnostic form. Its principal chronicler, the late Gershom Scholem, regarded the mystical Kabbalah an essential and persistent, and for a long period predominant, element in the Jewish experience. Kabbalists accepted the authority of the Torah, but speculated on its hidden meanings in ways alarming to orthodoxy, producing a mixture of subtle metaphysics and elaborate mythology. ...

      "In two respects, Jewish mysticism always differed, at least in expression, from other systems: there could not be complete union with God who remained always the Other, the creator of the human creature; and no Jew who wanted to remain within the community could suggest that Yahweh was not the sole and good God. Committed to strict monotheism, Jewish Kabbalists speculated as to what went on within the godhead. They could speak of emanations 'on the other side.'They could, rather daringly, think of two aspects of God, a light and a dark, a loving and merciful in contrast with a sternly judgmental. These ideas were developed at length in a thirteenth-century text called the Zohar (Sefer Ha-Zohar , Book of Splendor), the centerpiece of the most influential of several Kabbalist systems to be found in Spain in the thirteenth century. ...

     "When Jews were expelled from Spain at the end of the fifteenth century, the profound shock to Jewry sent its stream of mystical speculations into new channels and the center of Kabbalism shifted to Palestine. A mythology and theosophy developed, as complex as those of early Christian Gnostics, which they closely resemble. The sefirot became rearranged in new configurations, male and female.... But only human beings can complete the restoration. By their actions, spirit can be fully liberated.... ...

      "Antinomianism, an end to the Law, was a central feature of Shabbatai's teaching. He was given to "strange actions": he called on his followers to eat ritually forbidden fat of kidney; he publicly pronounced the Ineffable Name of God; he was accused of sexual debauchery; he used a blasphemous benediction, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who permittest that which is forbidden." Scenting political trouble ahead, the Turkish authorities gave Shabbatai an ultimatum: he would either embrace Islam or be put to death. Shabbatai chose to live. For the Messiah to renounce his religion at the climax of his world-redeeming mission was, of course, a staggering blow to his followers. ...   

       "Shabbatai's principal apostle, Nathan of Gaza, expounded a new Law. It was higher than the old Torah, which had come to an end. Old values were no longer valid, old rules no longer binding. All of God's work was good, and if it had become so tainted by evil that its true goodness was no longer apparent, then it was necessary to seek out the hidden good in the most unlikely and apparently basest places. It was only a short step to a theory and practice of 'holy sin.' What was previously unlawful becomes a holy act for the new man, if performed with a purified mind and purpose. In the time of redemption the sin of Adam is wiped out. The wicked material world is seen to be an illusion, and those filled with awareness of spiritual reality need not worry about laws laid down for conduct in this sham world." See Lilith

 

The esoteric Quest for the Golden Age of andalusia : Tarot and the Kabbalah Ellen Goldberg, M.A. We will look at the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and the 10 numbers of the Sefirot of the Tree of Life, and see how they breathe life and meaning into the Tarot. We will also consider some of the themes held in highest regard by both the kabbalah and the tarot, such as the healing of the world through the restoration of balance between the masculine and feminine, and the recovering of cosmic consciousness without renouncing the world. See ARTICLE

 

http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/Kabbalah/id/1895688 : Kabbalah - Kabbalah personalities Baruch Ashlag Yehuda Ashlag Miguel de Cervantes Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford Moses ben Jacob Cordovero Isaac Luria Madonna Elijah ben Solomon Chaim Vital Sabbetai Zvi Aleister Crowley See ARTICLE

 


 

Popular Occultism. Red Kabbalah Strings -- Hermetic Kabbalah: "The Western Esoteric (or Hermetic) Tradition, a precursor to both the neo-Pagan and New Age movements, is intertwined with aspects of Kabbalah. Within the Hermetic tradition, much of Kabbalah has been changed from its Jewish roots through syncretism, but core Kabbalistic beliefs are still recognizably present.

     "'Hermetic'Kabbalah, as it is sometimes called, probably reached its peak in the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, a 19th-century organization that was arguably the pinnacle of ceremonial magic (or, depending upon one's position, its ultimate descent into decadence). Within the Golden Dawn, Kabbalistic principles such as the ten Sephiroth were fused with Greek and Egyptian deities, the Enochian system of angelic magic of John Dee, and certain Eastern (particularly Hindu and Buddhist) concepts within the structure of a Masonic- or Rosicrucian-style esoteric order.

      "Many of the Golden Dawn's rituals were exposed by the legendary occultist Aleister Crowley....

      "The attitude of syncretism displayed by Hermetic Kabbalists is plainly evident here, as one may simply check the table to see that Chesed (חסד "Mercy") corresponds to Jupiter, Isis, the color blue.... Poseidon, Brahma, and amethysts -- none of which, certainly, the original Jewish Kabbalists had in mind!.... However popular within certain sects, especially the Thelemic Orders such as the O.T.O. ...Crowley is not without critics. Dion Fortune, a fellow initiate of the Golden Dawn, disagreed with Crowley, and her work The Mystical Qabalah implicitly states this. Elphas Levi's works such as Transcendental Magic, heavily steeped in esoteric Kabbalah ... agrees....

      "The anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion utilised the Kabbalah imagery heavily.... During an apocalyptic sequence, referred to as the 'Third Impact', in the film End of Evangelion, heavy use of the Tree of Life is undertaken....

      "The comic series Promethea by Alan Moore draws heavily on Kabbalah, and is in large part a framework for an overview and explanation of many Kabbalistic concepts." See Role-Playing Games & Popular Occultism

 

Kabbalah in non-Jewish society : Kabbalah eventually gained an audience outside of the Jewish community. Nominal-Christian versions of Kabbalah began to develop; by the early 18th century some kabbalah came to be used by some hermetic philosophers, neo-pagans and other new religious groups. Kabbalah - Hermetic Kabbalah. The Western Esoteric (or Hermetic) Tradition, a precursor to both the neo-Pagan and New Age movements, is intertwined with aspects of Kabbalah. Within the Hermetic tradition, much of Kabbalah has been changed from its Jewish roots through syncretism, b ... See ARTICLE

 


Endnotes:

1. James Wasserman, Art and Symbols of the Occult (Rochester, Vermont: Destiny Books, 1993)

2. Since the second triangle was nearly invisible when first posted, I superimposed the light blue lines over the black lines to make it more visible.

3. Peter Hirschberg, "Invoking the Spirits," The Jerusalem Report, November 16, 1995.

4. Andre Nataf, The Wordsworth Dictionary of the Occult" (UK: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1988), pages 20-24.

5. The Gnostic Apostle Thomas: Chapter 12 at http://www.gnosis.org/thomasbook/ch12.html


From: An Encyclopedia of Religions (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1945), pages 412-413. Fergilius Ferm (editor).

ka: In early Egypt, the spirit guardian and companion which attends the human soul both while
the soul is in the living flesh, and also in the after-life....

Kabbalah: (Heb. Kahn—to receive, hence tradition) The esoteric mystic lore of Judaism based upon an occult interpretation of the Bible and handed down as secret doctrine to the initiated.

"The origin is obscure. Evidences of Kabbalistic themes both as speculative theosophy and practical thaumaturgy are found in Apocryphal and Apocalyptic literature and abundantly in Talmudic and Midrashic literature. In the course of its
long development, many streams from alien sources flowed into it—Gnosticism, Neo-Platonism, Neo-Pythagoreanism, possibly also Zoroastrianism and Suffism**.

"Its birthplace was Palestine, but it was in Babylonia, during the Geonic period (550-1000 A.D.) that it experienced its first substantial systematic developments At least two important Kabbalistic works were composed or edited here, the “Sejer Yetairah” (The Book of Formation), on the creative powers of letters and numbers, a most widely studied and commented
work, and the “Shiur Komak” (The Measure of the Height) an anthropomorphic work on the dimensions of the Deity.

"From Babylonia [actually Baghdad] the center of Kabbalah moved, in the ninth and tenth centuries, to Italy, Spain, the Provence and Germany. Among the forerunners of Kabbalah in Europe were Aaron ben Samuel, who brought it from Babylonia to Italy, Isaac the Blind and Azriel in the Provence, the Kalonymus family, who transplanted it from Italy
to Germany, Judah the Pious and Eleazar of Worms, and, in Spain, Moses ben Nachman.

"To this period belong the Kabbalistic classics “Masechet Atzilut” (A Treatise on Emanation) by Jacob Nazir (12 c); the “Sefer Ha-Bahir”, (The Luminous Book) and the “Sefer HaTemunah”, (The Book of the Image)....

"The most significant book of this period, however, and the one which came to be regarded as the holiest of all Kabbalistic writing,, and the very epitome of Jewish mysticism, was the Zohar, made known to the public by Moses de Leon in
1300.

"The next great period of Kabbalah was in the 16th century. Its principal center was in Palestine, more especially in the city of Safed. Next in importance was the center in Poland. The foremost Kabbalists of this period were Moses Cordovero (1522-1570), Isaac Luria (1533-1572), the father of modern “practical” Kabbalah, and his disciple, Chayim Vital (1543-
1620) who committed the teachings of Luria to writing.

Luria was the founder of a school of Kabbalistic speculation in which redemption and messianism figured prominently which greatly influenced the subsequent development of Kabbalab.

The Lurianic Kabbalah was one of the spiritual sources of the popular mystic movement of Eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries known as Chasidism [Hasidism]. With the advent of the Zohar, the study of Kabbalah spread among the masses of the people.

"It ceased to be the secret doctrine of the few. Everybody studied it, even the young. Especially was this true of the Jews in Poland. Frequently leading Rabbinic authorities inveighed against this popular absorption in Kabbalistic studies
which fed many superstitions and aberrations.

"Kabbalism attracted the interest of Christian scholars in the Middle Ages. Prominent among them were Raymond Lully, Pico della Mirandola and John Reuchlin -- first as a reaction to medieval scholastic theology and then in the hope
of finding substantiation for Christian doctrine -- in the mystic writings of the Jews.

The central themes of Kabbalah are the nature of the Deity—the “En Sof”—(The Limitless One) and the ways by which He has made Himself manifest—the “Ten Sefirot” (Emanations), the four Universes of Atzjlah (Emanation), Beriah (Creation), Yetzirah (Formation), and Asia (Action) the Soul of man, its nature and consummation, the mysteries of the Divine Name, good and evil, man’s place in the universe, heaven and hell, the order of the angels and demons, Israel, the Exile, redemption and the Messiah.

"Kabbalah employed a characteristic exegetical technique which gave it great freedom and scope. It regarded not only every word of the Bible—written in Hebrew, the very language of God—but every letter, every vowel and all their possible permutations and combinations as holding profound mysteries. Thus the Bible was interpreted not only literally, allegorically, homiletically and anagogically, but also through the devices of Gematria (the interpretation of a word according to the numerical value of its letters), Notarikon (taking each letter of a word as the initial of some other word), Temurah (substituting one letter for another) and Tziruf or Chiluf (transposing the letters—anagram). Thus Kabbalah never felt the constraint of the “letter which killeth” and never came into conflict with the written Scriptures as Christian mystic, frequently did. See Judaism (Introductory)."

 Footnote: Adolf Franck, The Kabbalab (1926) Christian Ginsburg, The Kabbalah (1920) ; A. E. Waite, The Holy Kabbalah (1929) Jew. Encycl. (1901-05) s.v. Cabala . A.H.S