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What is Kabbala?

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Smile Perception


Isn't everybody's rendition of what the Kabbalah is simply a projection of their own perception? Or anyone's rendition of anything for that matter. I like Dion, GD or not, because she was such a practical soul, she tested through her own experience, she didn't always agree with her peers, and I like the Mystical Quabalah because it has a beautiful mix of grounded practicality and mysticism. At bottom, this is a mystical/religious system that cannot be understood using the left brain alone.
Top   #11
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I find myself in fundamental disagreement with the statement implicit in the question made above by Floss:
"Isn't everybody's rendition of what the Kabbalah is simply a projection of their own perception? Or anyone's rendition of anything for that matter."
Certainly anyone's rendition takes shape out of their peculiar views, insights and judgements, but that does not make such Kabbalah - even if they decide to appropriate the term. Any more than someone designing a deck of 35 images and deciding to call it 'tarot' make it so - or someone concocting a transparent liquid poison and calling it 'water' make it so (to use a more extreme example to make the point).

R. Laibl Wolf's Practical Kabbalah certainly has a practical as well as a theoretical foundation - and here 'theoretical' should perhaps best be understood in its etymologically connected sense from 'theoria'.

This does not take away from the many merits of Dion Fortune's book. The main point is that such a book will ground one in the GD perspective, rather than in Kabbalah.
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Jmd: "I find myself in fundamental disagreement with the statement implicit in the question made above by Floss:
"Isn't everybody's rendition of what the Kabbalah is simply a projection of their own perception? Or anyone's rendition of anything for that matter."
Certainly anyone's rendition takes shape out of their peculiar views, insights and judgements, but that does not make such Kabbalah - even if they decide to appropriate the term."

My point is, what does make 'such' Kabbalah? Or not? Kabbalah of the Madonna (singer) variety is certainly not Kabbalah in my book, but I bet she thinks it is! Can you see what I'm getting at here? If you haven't already read Immanuel Kant, have a look at his theories of perception.

As thinking human beings, we strive constantly to understand and make sense of things we don't understand. What we see, is not necessarily what is.

At the end of the day, our opinions will differ because of our perceptions of a thing. That's it. Depending on which books one reads about Kabbalah, the seeker will absorb the perceptions and opinions of the writer. Whether or not that has anything to do with the reality of the subject explored is debatable. Your take on the Kabbalah is different to mine because of our differing perceptions, and anyone who studies any system is going to come across this, and have to read widely, talk to a lot of people, and finally make up their own minds about what feels true for them. "whew" you're making my brain work overtime!! hahahaha
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Precisely Floss, as you write: "Depending on which books one reads about Kabbalah, the seeker will absorb the perceptions and opinions of the writer" - hence the importance (I nearly said 'imperative' given the bringing to mind Kant) of choosing carefully so as to avoid, to use the example you give, of grabbing a 'Madonna-like' text and presuming it is more.
Top   #14
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Does Madonna read?? I thought she just sang and writhed around!! hahahaha - (sorry - warped sense of humour!)

Anyway - all you poor folks reading our arguing ... we're totally off topic here - I guess the consensus is keep exploring, reading, and making up your own mind - it's the only way we're going to learn!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmd
R. Laibl Wolf's Practical Kabbalah certainly has a practical as well as a theoretical foundation - and here 'theoretical' should perhaps best be understood in its etymologically connected sense from 'theoria'.
I think Wolf's book is great, i'd highly reccomend it to those of us who pursue studies of Kabbalah, with due respect to other schools.
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I am going to pick up the Wolf book on Monday then.
Top   #17
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Kabblah is the mystical path to Wisdom for those who seek to encounter God through an understanding of the secrets that are to be found with the Hebrew Bible.

The purpose in the study of Kabbalah is the perfection of the self and atuning the Soul to the Divine.

The kabbalist sees that the forms we encounter in everyday world merely constitute a surface beneath which subtle principles operate. By seeing these concealed levels we become aware of the real presence lying behind the screen... the Divine.

After decades of study... my humble opinions.. (offering one path of entry into Kabbalah)

0. I see Kabbalah as a devotional practice.. spiritual process, awakening the mystical insight. To study the Actual texts (Zohar for this example) is to enter into a path of harmonization of the self with the Divine.

00. This leads to a transcendence of everyday mind/thinking... it leads to direct experience of the Divine.. how ? the mind leaps from symbol to metaphor to higher, inner meanings within/upon meanings.. making a huge leap ..and the state of mind becomes AWE, Wonder .. of the Divine, which is Being in the Moment with complete Presence...
(Zohar means.. Book of Splendor (Radiance) <-- this is an important clue) .. awakening to the Splendor of All.. Love , Respect, Understanding) the framework become a tool for perceiving higher Reality


1. Most books are about Kabbalah, but not Kabbalah. They offer outlines, summarizations, history, development etc. about what is in the Kabbalistic texts..

2. While it is good to get an introduction, ONLY by sitting and reading at least through a volume of the Zohar will one Enter the Kabbalah.. (The Zohar is 23 volumes long)

3. Then your view of Kabbalah will expand, and you realize Its essence, is behind every mystical insight, regardless of the heritage... Though I recommend a study of traditional texts first..

4. ULTIMATELY, This is a path of Experiencing and Expanding into Higher levels of Awareness..


I can not recommend highly enough..

The Essence of Kabbalah, by Brian L. Lancaster.
I have 20-30 books on Kabbalah, this is easily the best introduction. It, more than any other introductory texts, gives a real insight into what Kabbalah is, how it "works" as a path, and provides an entry into the real study of Kabbalah. If you don't intend to actually study the texts, this is the closest you can get to the Spirit of Kabbalah.

I've read through the Zohar 3 times, there are many other source texts, most I found of infinite worth. I carefully outlined it, as I read it.. and I had a very Wise tutor/translator

I can not recommend highly enough..

The Zohar: Pritzker Edition, by Daniel Matt
A wonderful translation, deeply annotated. The best English version (still in progress, so far the first four volumes have been printed)

The Zohar (and Kabbalah in general) is very difficult to read on your own, theses annotations help. It's like having a mentor guide you... (pick up a volume in the bookstore and read the first page's footnotes...)

Sefer Yetzirah: The Book of Creation: In Theory and Practice by Aryeh Kaplan
All books by Aryeh Kaplan are exception. This is essential reading. The first source text to read, this will get you in touch with the Kabbalah system.

Bahir: Illumination by Aryeh Kaplan
Another great translation of an essential Kabbalistic text by Kaplan.

Most of the Zohar consists of a running commentary on the Torah (The 5 Books of Moses), so then you might be interested in The Jewish Study Bible: featuring The Jewish Publication Society TANAKH , Translation .. To be able to read the scriptures that are being referenced.

For the study of the Hebrew alphabet.. The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet..

maybe Kabbalah is just a trap.. to capture the mind, heart and soul for the Divine... to slowly release us from the other traps we'd fallen into.. to restore our soul, at the same time to restore God to Its position... and our relationship

... this is just a glimpse
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I too have tried to distill what is Kabbala down to a sentence.
Here is mine.
Kabbala is an oral tradition, presenting a symbolic explanation of the origin of the Universe and the relationship of humans to the Godhead, and humans towards each other, using the explanation of manifestation of infinite light on a blueprint called the Tree of Life; it has been called the Pathless Path and the Cosmic Onion.

For me- I have just peeled the skin of the Onion in respect to revealing aspects of the Divine Nature of Creation (God), and unraveling the mysteries of the Spiritual world is a life long process. I trust in this statement by Ira Steingroot...
Once Kabbalistic concepts permeate our understanding, they can become our most essential and accurate descriptions of the World and our life in it.


The best books have been listed, but one that initially helped me most was a small book called 'Simple Kabbalah' by Kim Zetter

I have yet to be convinced that the Kabbalah is inherent in Tarot- but I am getting closer to that answer.
~Rosanne
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosanne
For me- I have just peeled the skin of the Onion in respect to revealing aspects of the Divine Nature of Creation (God), and unraveling the mysteries of the Spiritual world is a life long process. I trust in this statement by Ira Steingroot...
Once Kabbalistic concepts permeate our understanding, they can become our most essential and accurate descriptions of the World and our life in it.
I couldn't agree with you more.
Top   #20




 


 


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