The word Kabbalah means “to receive” and flows out of the Jewish mystical tradition. The Kabbalah systematically breaks reality down into a clear understanding and a potential path to wholeness. Most religions have a mystical tradition, but they don’t necessarily break it down into bite size concepts. By “mystical” we don’t mean some weird magical or supernatural “ooga booga,” but rather attaining an experience of union with God, Spirit or Universe.
It is the pursuit of achieving communion with the divine, spiritual truth, or God through direct, personal experience rather than rational thought. It is an experience of the existence of realties beyond perceptual or intellectual comprehension. The Kabbalists would call it “G-d-cleaving.”
In the Kabbalah, we learn about the creation story. In the creation story, we come into manifestation from what the Kabbalah calls the great Ayn-Sof (Ein Sof or Ain Sof), which literally means without end or boundlessness. This is the unknowable nothingness aspect of God. In this understanding, we then differentiate from the oneness of the Ayn-Sof into duality. This is the creation of opposites. That is how we have night and day … happy and sad.
Most of the focus of religions is the belief in a Supreme Being. Belief itself means you believe in something and that automatically separates you from the something in which you believe. Much of the content of most religions has the emphasis on a God that is still separate and distant or looks at ideas about God.
The Kabbalah is the mystical interpretation or the hidden meaning of the Torah. The word Torah means “teaching”, and is a key document of Judaism. For the Christians, it is the first five books of the New Testament. The Muslims’ believe that the Torah is one of the fundamental tenets of Islam.
In contrast, any mystical path connects us with our direct experience. This is usually out of one’s ordinary experience and in the most profound sense is a direct embodied experience of unified consciousness or oneness. Other traditions might call this enlightenment. This experience of wholeness, which Kabbalistic studies and other mystical traditions can provide, is not just to be intellectually understood. These teachings are considered to be transmissions of the embodied experience of the teacher. This is why the Kabbalah was originally an oral tradition and not written down.
The Kabbalah is a spiritual framework that can aid you through to your spiritual growth and contentment.
About the Author:
Jennifer Howard, Ph.D. is an internationally known licensed psychotherapist, Integrated Kabbalistic Healer®, Integrated Energy Healer, life coach, author and professional speaker. She is a co-founder of the Healing Path Center and maintains a private practice with offices in New York City and Huntington, L.I., New York, as well as an extensive phone practice. As a psychotherapist, Dr. Howard brings together her more than 20 years of experience, extensive training and expertise in mind-body psychology, meditation, and a variety of the healing arts. She has been a faculty member of the graduate studies program of A Society of Souls and is currently a supervisor.
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