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The Kabbala
A Bulletin Board Discussion

This discussion comes from many sources through a wonderful interchange of ideas in the Spiritual Anatomy folder on an American Online Bulletin board. At the time PagansPath was a simple AOL site with a few AOL visitors. I would like to thank all of the individuals who shared their time and information in this exchange and acknowledge their gifts of giving.

A Brief Introduction
Kabbalah: {Hebrew for "doctrines received from tradition") Basically the Kabbalah is a Jewish doctrine or system of theology. It describes or re-tells the importance of humanity's role in God's universe and how an individual is the unfolding of God unto fullness. The human is depicted by an inverted tree, designed to relate concepts of how the world came into being.
The theory goes something like this; the soul existed in a state of complete knowledge before reluctantly accepting a body; symbolism is used throughout the teachings.
There are variations in the spelling of the Kabbala and to some degree each one was "created" from the original. Basically the same thing happened to the Kabbala as the Christian bible, it was updated and modified as time progressed.
The Cabala - came about in the 12th century in Spain and France, but is now used universally to inform humanity about the angels and demons in the etheric world. As well as describes their communications with mankind.
The Qabalah - is a book that carries the esoteric tradition of Israel that gives the European spiritual culture it's roots. This book traces back to the Chaldeans, and was put together in the Middle Ages. It is considered to hold information about the wisdom of a sacred and hidden science practice during the Middle Ages.
There are also additional variations: Quaballah, Quabbalah, Kabalah, and Cabbala.
Quabbalistic means pertaining to the Holy Quabbalah text.
Continuing The Initial Research:
The Kabbala, is a form of Jewish "mysticism" that originated in the 12th century. It describes methods for connecting to God directly, through secret knowledge of divine revelation. The `Book of Brightness' was set down in the early 12th Century and contained ideas about transmigration of souls and other notions alien to orthodox Judaism. It also included information concerning magic, messianism and cosmology.
The Kaballah also speaks of about the "Book of Enoch" which describes seventy-two angels, their sins and the consequences of those sins after they took human wives and taught them psychic arts.
I also found this blurb in an on-line encyclopedia:
[Heb., = traditional lore], mystical Jewish system of interpretation of the Scriptures. Cabala is based on the belief that every word, letter, number, and even accent of the Scriptures contains mysteries. Cabalistic signs and writings are used as amulets and in magical practices. Cabala has two principal written sources. The first, Sefer Yezira, probably written in the 3d cent., is a series of monologues supposedly delivered by the patriarch Abraham. The second, Zohar, is a mystical commentary on the Pentateuch written by Moses de Leon (13th cent.) but attributed to Simon ben Yohai, a great scholar of the 2d cent. The movement appears to have arisen in 11th-cent. France and spread, most notably to Spain. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492, cabala became messianic in emphasis, especially as developed by Isaac LURIA. This form of cabala had many adherents, including the pseudo-Messiah SABBATAI ZEVI. It was also a major influence in the development of 18th-cent. HASIDISM.
Now from what I can tell so far..the Kaballaha was more than mystical Jewish lore. In it's original form it was a text that outlined much of what people are searching for here in the NewAge. But I found several references to the modifications and "re-interpretations" of these descriptions. One article I found equated the "updating" of the Kaballaha to the 'translations performed on the Christian Bible'. 'The information is still there', the article explained, 'but some how it's just a little twisted to give it a different, and less mystical meaning'. Presumably this was done by the Hebrew leaders of the time to reduce the influence of this information upon the people of the time.
Kind of does sound like the Council of Niecea in Rome when they took out several books of the bible to solidify the churches control of the masses.
Additional Research
The Kabbalah, the mystical aspect of Judaism, forms the foundation of the Western esoteric tradition. Its central symbol is the Tree of Life (the Otz Chiim), which has been assimilated and adapted by the tree religions of revelation (and later by occultists) as a practical system for perceiving the attributes of God, mankind and the Universe.
The structure of the Tree of Life theoretically mirrors that on both the Universe (macrocosm) and man (microcosm). Master of it enables the initiate to enter the upper and interior worlds, to realize oneself as Adam Kadmon (the Divine Man) and ultimately achieve Divine Union.
Initially the Kabbalah was a metaphysical teaching, a discussion of the essential truths behind the sacred texts of the Torah. (Book of Instruction) imparted orally from rabbi to pupil. A living tradition, it has been reinterpreted for successive generations, the Tree being a diagram that can be applied to explain the attributes of every aspect of Creation.
For the kabbalist, God is not the severe law-giver of the Old Testament but the Absolute who drew back, so that the four worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation and Action could come into existence, so that he might perceive Himself. OK says.... According to kabbalistic teaching, in withdrawing to create a void the Absolute caused light to stream forth at 10 different levels known as sefirot. These emanations represent the 10 attributes of the Divine and are governed by the three pillars which maintain balance between them. (kind of confusing to imagine)... They are the guiding principle for those who wish to realize their true self and manifest the Divine on Earth.
The Key to the Kabbalah is "balance" of what are in essence complimentary Attributes. Imbalance in the individual can express itself in abnormal behavioral traits or in physical illness: On a wider scale, it can manifest in social disorder and even conflicts between nations. Recognizing the causes of imbalance in oneself is one aspect of the work of the Kabbalist.
The Sefer ha Zohar (The Book of Splendour) and the Sefer ha Yetzirah (The Book of All Creation) are the cornerstones of kabbalistic literature. Together with the Sefer ha Torah - The core text of the Old Testament - they can be studied not only as books of wisdom but also as books of instruction, promising the adept direct experience of the higher worlds.
Occultists would add the Tarot cards to the list of Kabbalistic texts, for they consider the 22 cards of the Greater Arcana to be pictorial representations of the 22 paths connecting the sefirot on the Tree of Life.
A little on The Book Of Creation ~
The discovery of the Serer ha Yetzirah between the 2nd and 4th centuries CE marked the break between the ancient mystical tradition known as the Work of the Chariot (Merkava) and the birth of the scholarly approach which characterizes the classical Kabbalah. The principles represented by the sefirotic system were first set down in this anonymous work, which described the 10 spheres as being linked by 22 paths, each one corresponding to a letter in the Hebrew alphabet. From this point on, the mystical significance of numbers and letters was held to be the key to the Mysteries. the 13th century Kabbalist Abraham Abulafia (1240-92) held that any man who could decipher the key would no longer need to believe in a Messiah because he could become his own Savior.
Additional Reading:
This is just a brief overview and introduction into the mysteries of the Kaballah. It's provided here on PagansPath to give a general idea of what the Kaballah is. This is by no means meant to be an indepth synopsis or review of the Kaballah, it's contributions or critique. If you're interested in learning more there are many many resources to choose from. Try a search on the web, or at for books and references. You may also enjoy the University of Virginia's New Religious Movement bio on the Kabbalah.

Sources: 1


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