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10 Sep 2012

What is Kabbalah?

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And What Does Kabbalah Have to Do with Your Life

On my Facebook page, I invited friends to submit their questions to (yours truly) the Kabbalah Coach.  A bunch came in.  After hanging out exclusively in Mamaland and getting the twins back to school, my daughter to Milan (MISS you Chan!) and son Levik…well, he only needed me to write and sign a letter…Where was I?  Yes, after hanging out in Mamaland, I finally got to the list of questions and began writing a response to the one that to my mind came conceptually first.  As I wrote, I realized it merited a blog post.  So here you have it, my first post to one of the questions asked:  What is Kabbalah Coaching?

The reason I couldn’t bite into the question itself right away is because that question begs a different one namely, “What is Kabbalah?”

The “Eternity in a grain of sand” answer is that Kabbalah is a blueprint of reality.  It addresses the Identity of The First Cause.  Kabbalah explores the Who and What of G-d.  It fleshes open the mystery of G-d’s Oneness yet immanence within all the infinite details of Creation.  It articulates how this Divine entity interacts with Existence.

And Kabbalah explains the purpose of it all.  Yes, even the purpose of slipping on ice, falling in love, losing your job, having a baby, dying slowly and painfully in a smelly hospital, the reason your venture took off, the reason your venture failed, why you invested in the right stock and why you invested with Madoff!  I could go on.

Kabbalah is a Received Oral Tradition

One of the root words from Kabbalah is derived from is lekabel, which means “to receive.”  Another is lehakbil, which means “to align.”  I will explain.

Kabbalah is a received tradition.  It can be traced back to the Revelation at Sinai and then some, all the way to the Garden of Eden itself.    To become a vessel for this wisdom we must a) become willing to receive its truths and b) to seek and find our teachers.  Kabbalah cannot (only) be learned from books.  It is an Oral Tradition.  And those who teach should be those who live it.  Eat (receive) only from masters who embody the teachings.

All easier said than done!  We may say we are willing to receive the truths but…well…we just are not.  I shared an insight with someone who professes to love the teachings of Kabbalah and the KC method.  Truth is she likes to listen to me talk to others!  It all sounds good and easy, all fits together so well when the focus is on someone else.  But when the principals were applied to her, my primitive mind coulda sworn she turned into a cat with claws.  Don’t worry.  I’m not talking about you.  I’m talking about her.  And me.  To become willing is a great blessing.  I think it takes Grace to be able to GET HONEST and GET OPEN.

The second aspect of receiving involves imbibing from Holy sources.  Meriting this also takes Divine Grace.  I’m not going to get myself into a law suit thank you very much.  Suffice it to say there’s a robust troupe of imitators on the loose.  When you touch and taste the truth from the source, you get it!  Rare.  Delicious.  Divine.  And truthfully, once in a lifetime is enough.  It helps weed out the charletans.  Keep looking; keep asking until you find the authentic thing.

So much for the “receiving” of Kabbalah.

Kabbalah Helps us Align Ourselves with Reality

The second meaning has to do with the root work lehakbil, to “align” and make one thing parallel to another.  My all-time favorite school teacher taught me about Correspondances by Baudelaire.  It prepped me for this understanding.  In their source, all things are aligned with each other.  But in the Garden we slipped a spiritual disc.  We got out of alignment.

Kabbalah is a chiropractic adjustment for the soul.  Our purpose is to recover the balance and alignment we once had, even if only for a few brief hours.  In so doing we don’t only find our way up the river to the Garden, we generate something radically new.  So Kabbalah is the body of teaching which helps us re-access and even surpass our original state.  It aligns us with The Way Things Are.  We uncover the delusions, we recover the Truth.

I want to say one last thing about it before I fall asleep.  And that is that Kabbalah loosens the delusion of independent existence.  G-d creates ex-nihilo.  Our creative contribution happens in the reverse.  We must reveal the Nothing within the Apparent Somethingness of Existence.  It’s an inverse creative process.  Practically this means we surrender our ego.  THAT feels like death.  And THAT’S what the sages mean when they say, “There is no such thing as a free person other than one who toils in the study of Torah.”  Dying is the most life-affirming thing we can do.  It means we become G-d centered.  We surrender the ego.  In surrendering our sense of self, we discover who we are.  Holding on to the Tree of Life, we gain the courage to let the Ego die.

Having said this, it becomes obvious that Kabbalah is largely about the letting go of our sense of self and discovering who we actually are. But I’ll go in to this more at another time. The clock just turned 2:46am. Cinderella is long gone, her carriage turned into a pumpkin. My mind feels like a pumpkin too. Goodnight. I will look for the rest of this answer among the seeds and pips of my mind by the light of morning.

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