What is (and is not) Kabbalah?
Kabbalah has been clouded in confusion, legend, myth, and misrepresentation because authentic Kabbalah has been hidden for thousands of years … until today!
There are three reasons why Kabbalah is called “the hidden wisdom”:
1. Purposeful Concealment: In the past, Kabbalists taught only a few worthy, highly developed people in each generation who possessed qualities that were not yet developed in the rest of humanity, until recently. These qualities allowed them to understand and use the wisdom of Kabbalah correctly. This is why Kabbalists hid their wisdom from the public eye.
2. The Language of Branches: All Kabbalistic books use words that seem to refer to objects and people. But in fact, not a single word in any Kabbalistic book refers to the physical world. Hence, if you are not taught how to read these books by an authentic Kabbalist, you will not be able understand them. No matter how bright you are, you’ll end up with a product of your imagination and nothing else.
3. Comprehension depends on one’s readiness: Kabbalah reveals the purpose and nature of the system we call “life.” Thus, unless a person has a powerful need to ask about the purpose of life, he or she will not be able to hear the answer. Today, however, many people all over the world are seeking Kabbalah.
So let’s clear up the misunderstandings. First, let’s look at what Kabbalah is not.
magic, mysticism, witchcraft, divination, cults, healing, philosophy, theory, parapsychology, ESP, telepathy, clairvoyance, new age, psycho-kinesis, superstition, dream interpretation, phrenology, tarot cards, mantra’s, yoga, blessings, religion, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sufism, red strings, holy water, numerology, meditation, self-help, past life regressions, holistic medicine, faith healing, aromatherapy, secret societies, reiki, hypnosis, channeling, transmutation, phrenology, astrology, astral travel or projection, lucid dreaming, spiritualism, communicating with the dead, out of body experiences, magnetism, voodoo, freemasonry, theosophy, reflexology, UFOs, creationism, fanaticism, or any other belief…
So what is Kabbalah? Kabbalist Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag defines Kabbalah this way: “This wisdom is no more and no less than a sequence of roots, which hang down by way of cause and effect, in fixed, determined rules, interweaving to a single, exalted goal described as ‘the revelation of His Godliness to His creatures in this world.’”
This means there is a Higher Force, and there are governing forces that descend from this Higher Force to bring about our existence in this world. We’re familiar with physical forces such as gravity, electromagnetism, and the power of thought. But there are forces of a higher order that act while remaining hidden from us, just as we know the effects of electricity, but can’t see it or know exactly what it is.
The ultimate comprehensive force—the Creator—is the sum of all of the world’s forces and is the highest level in the line of higher governing forces. This Higher Force gave birth to five worlds and a barrier separating them from our world.
The science of Kabbalah doesn’t study our world and the people in it the way traditional science does. It investigates everything that exists beyond that barrier.
There is nothing other than the Force descending from Above in accordance with the “determined rules.” These rules, as Ashlag writes, are fixed; they are absolute and they are everywhere. And ultimately, they are all directed so that we can reveal the Governing Force of Nature while we exist in this world.