"The Breath becomes a stone; the stone, a plant; the plant, an animal; the animal, a man; the man, a spirit; and the spirit, a god."
~ Kabbalah wisdom~
One of the first things people may notice when researching Kabbalah is that no source can agree upon what Kabbalah is, the practices, if it actually is a religion or even the spelling in many cases. The one thing that's clear is that it is a belief system that has been passed down from ancient times and still exists today. One of the reasons Kabbalah is often misunderstood is due to the fact that it's secrets were kept from outsiders for various reasons over a long period of time. Many sources claim Kabbalah is a practice of the mind and has nothing to do with various forms of mysticism that people often associate it with. Others claim Kabbalah is a form of ancient Jewish mysticism based completely around magic, clairvoyance and other paranormal aspects.
There are a lot of religious beliefs in today's society. People have often dubbed these as occult practices that go against the orthodox religions. But Kabbalah is one of those beliefs that are often misunderstood by many due to the existence of the unorthodox. Discussed in this article are the basic principles of Kabbalah according to the author's research and experiences and how this ancient religion has survived through the ages of eclectic beliefs.
The History Of Kabbalah
Kabbalah is the mystical form of Judaism. It offers an esoteric teaching that defines both the Hebrew bible and the traditional practices of early Jewish religions. According to the high-ranking leaders of the religion, Kabbalah is a necessary factor in the study of Torah or the Law of God. It provides the facts on the daily practices of Jewish beliefs.
However, many have debated the actual root of the Kabbalistic belief. Its most sensitive teachings have been passed down orally by the prophets, patriarchs, and hierarchs of the religion; and written texts religion have been corrupted mostly by those who study it yet don't understand the innermost thoughts the served as the foundation of Kabbalah.
The truth of Kabbalah revolves upon the creation of the world by the One True God -- which is neither spirit nor part of the spiritual realm. God is God, the one that created and governs everything under heaven and earth.
The ten emanations of God that brought this world into being are called Sefirot or Sephirot. The Kabbalistic Tree defines the hierarchy and relation of each and labeled according to the virtues of man and the divine.
The ten Sephirots are Keter (will), Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (understanding), Chesed (love and kindness), Din (judgment or justice), Tiferet (harmony or balance), Netzach (victory), Hod (glory), Yesod (foundation), and Malchut (sovereignty). These ten principles of Kabbalah are supposed to be strictly followed by believers to attain spiritual, physical, and mental enlightenment.
Kabbalah And Man
Rather than a separate being, Kabbalah itself is defined as the human soul. Man has the capability of reaching the peak of their greatness and can easily maintain their standing in the physical and spiritual realm by adhering to the teachings of Kabbalah and integrating the ethics of Sephirots in their daily lives.
It is quite easy to say that Kabbalah is not a religious belief that will take years and years of study in order to attain enlightenment. The practice itself can be taken in stages to fully integrate each principle in one's life to achieve greatness.
Kabbalah - Why the different spellings for Kabbalah?
Kabbalah is found spelled in many different ways -- Qabbala, Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Qabala, Qabalah, and Kaballah. The reason for this is because some letters in the Hebrew alphabet have more than one usage in the English alphabet. The Hebrew letter can be written as a K, Q, or C, but the "Kabbalah" spelling is the most common.
Kabbalah - What is it?
Kabbalah is derived from the Hebrew root for "reception and acceptance." It is an esoteric (occult secret) system of interpretation of the Scriptures based upon oral accounts handed down from Abraham. It is also considered as secret oral teachings with a mixture of Jewish teachings, occultism, Gnosticism, and Neoplatonism. Jewish Kabbalah uses numerology to interpret the Bible’s message.
Kabbalah concentrates the attention of Jewish mysticism towards the nature of divinity, the creation, the soul’s beginnings and fate, and man’s place in this world. It is considered an esoteric off-branch of Judaism because it teaches meditation, loyalties, and mystical enhancements to a select few. It originated for Jews only, but many non-Jews have studied Kabbalah for the last 500 years.
The non-Jewish version of Kabbalah is called Hermetic Kabbalah. Some Jews have opted for the preferences of Hermetic Kabbalah. For centuries, Hermetic Kabbalah has grown in many directions with influences from Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, and its continued input from Jewish Kabbalah. The strongest philosophies of Kabbalah are ideals of religious humanism.
Kabbalah vs. Christianity vs. Judaism
Christianity uses the Bible. Judaism uses the Torah. Kabbalah texts are much like taking notes in a classroom setting, but utilize commentaries from Herchalat, Yetzirah, Sefer Chasidim, Malakh, Bahir, Zahar, Pardes Rimonim, Ets Khayim, and Sulam.
Explanation of the existence of evil:
Christianity determines evil as a disobedient rebellion against God. Satan, as an angel, of light first exercised it, when the devil tried to be like God. Then, the perpetrator enticed man to exercise the same rebellious disobedience. Judaism understands evil as the same act of rebellion. Kabbalah’s philosophy of evil stems from the belief that both good and evil come from God.
An existing need for a Savior (Messiah):
Christianity teaches that the Messiah came as the Son of God (Jesus Christ) to redeem man from evil. Judaism teaches that the Messiah has yet to come and redeem Israel. Kabbalah’s philosophy does not include the sinful nature of man, and therefore, there is no need of the redeeming qualities of a Messiah.
One God or Ten:
Christianity is built on one God, but expressed in the Trinity of God the Father, God the Son (Jesus Christ), and God the Holy Spirit. Judaism believes in One God -- Jehovah, no Trinity. Kabbalah’s ideals believe that there are ten parts to God, which they call emanations.
Kabbalah – Practices
Some Kabbalahists utilize divination and clairvoyance to foretell events or to know occult events, and some deal with potions and curses. Practical Kabbalah is termed for use in referring to secret sciences (ESP, psychic readings, Ouija boards, tarot cards, reading tea leaves, reading bones, numerology, mediums, spirit guides, channeling, mysticism, etc.), mystic art, or sorcery.
Principals of Kabbalah are intertwined with: Greek and Egyptian deities, the Enochian tradition of angelic mysteries (taken from the "Book of Enus" found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, not written by the prophet Enoch of the Bible), Hindu and Buddhist Eastern ideals instituted within the Masonic-Rosicrucian-Style secret orders, and the occult. The teachings of both Christianity and Judaism prohibit magical means in foretelling the future.
Kabbalah and the Templars
At the end of the nineteenth century, Charles Wilson of the Royal Engineers, began conducting archeological research in Jerusalem. He arrived at the opinion that the Templars had gone to Jerusalem to study the ruins of the temple. Wilson found traces of digging and excavation under the foundations of the temple, and concluded that these were done by tools that belonged to the Templars. These items are still in the collection of Robert Brydon, who possesses an extensive archive of information concerning the Templars.
The writers of the Hiram Key ( Christopher Knight and Robert Lomas ) argue that these excavations of the Templars were not without result; that the order discovered in Jerusalem certain relics that changed the way they saw the world. In addition, many researchers are of the same opinion. There must have been something that led the Templars, despite the fact that they had previously been Christian and came from a Christian part of the world, to adopt a system of beliefs and a philosophy so completely different from that of Christianity, celebrate heretical masses, and perform rituals of black magic. According to the common views of many researchers, this "something" was the Kabbalah.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries define the Kabbalah as an esoteric, mystical branch of Jewish religion. According to this definition, the Kabbalah investigates the hidden meaning of the Torah and other Jewish religious writings. But, when we examine the matter more closely, we discover that the facts are quite something else. These facts lead us to the conclusion that teachings rooted in pagan idolatry, that existed before the Torah, and became widespread within Judaism after the Torah was revealed, were included in the Kabbalah.
Murat Ozgen, a Turkish Freemason, maintains the following in his book, Masonluk Nedir ve Nasildir? (What is Freemasonry and What is it Like?):
We don't know clearly where the Kabbalah came from or how it developed. It is the general name for a unique, metaphysically constituted, esoteric and mystical philosophy particularly connected with Jewish religion. It is accepted as Jewish mysticism, but some of the elements it contains show that it was composed much earlier than the Torah.
The Jewish historian, Theodore Reinach, says that the Kabbalah is "a subtle poison which enters into the veins of Judaism and wholly infests it." Salomon Reinach defines the Kabbalah as "one of the worst aberrations of the human mind."
The reason for Reinach's contention that the Kabbalah is "one of the worst aberrations of the human mind" is that some of its doctrine is used by some people connected with magic. For thousands of years, the Kabbalah has been one of the foundation-stones of every kind of magic ritual. It is believed that some rabbis who study the Kabbalah possess great magical power. Also, many non-Jews have been influenced by the Kabbalah, and have tried to practice magic by employing its doctrines. The esoteric tendencies that took hold in Europe during the late Middle Ages, especially as practiced by alchemists, have their roots, to a great extent, in the Kabbalah.
The strange thing is that Judaism is a monotheistic religion, incepted with the revelation of the Torah to Moses (peace be upon him). But some have attempted to include in this religion a system that adopts the basic practices of magic which are in fact opposed to religious morality. This substantiates what we have presented above, and demonstrates that some statements in the Kabbalah are actually elements that have entered Judaism from the outside. But, what is the source of this element?
The Jewish historian Fabre d'Olivet says that it came from Ancient Egypt. According to this writer, the roots of some statements in the Kabbalah stretch back to Ancient Egypt. Some part of the Kabbalah’s teaching is a tradition learned by some of the leaders of the Israelites in Ancient Egypt, and passed down as a tradition by word of mouth from generation to generation.
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