Gnostic Doctrine

Saturday, 17 October 2020

What is Kabbalah?

What is Kabbalah?


What is Kabbalah?

In the 12th and 13th centuries C.E., a mystical form of Judaism, called Cabala, started gaining popularity.

According to Cabalistic teachers, the simple meaning of the Bible text is not its true meaning. They believe that God used the individual letters of the Hebrew Bible text as symbols, which when properly understood reveal a greater truth. In their view, each Hebrew letter and its position in the Bible text was set by God with a specific purpose in mind.

The Jewish kabbalists had a system called athbash (Hebrew: אתבש‎; also transliterated Atbaš), whereby the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet is read as the last one, the second letter as the second to last letter.

The earliest documented Kabbalistic writing is called the Sepher Yetzirah, or the book of formation. 

One tradition says that the Rabbi Akiva wrote it. He is supposed to be one of the greatest Kabbalists of all time.

Moses De Leon, a 14th century Spanish Kabbalist presented the Zohar, an extremely influential book in Kabbalistic philosophy.  De Leon originally claimed that he found the scrolls that have been written much earlier, more than a thousand years earlier.  Recent scholarship supports the idea that he is the one who wrote the Zohar.
What does Kabbalah mean? 

What does Kabbalah mean? 

There are slightly different definitions of the word "Kabbalah". One source says it comes from the three Hebrew kbl which means "reception". Another source says "Kabbalah is a word meaning "tradition."

Kabbalah is also know as cabala, cabalah, kabala, caballah, qabala, qabalah, etc. You do not have to be Jewish to study Kabbalah and its proponents state that it can adapt itself to any religious system.

Furthermore, the Kabbalist is supposed to gain understanding about God and himself by learning to understand these 10 aspects, their relationship to each other, and then apply the principles thus learned in his own life to help him return back to God -- Kabbalah teaches the soul's pre-existence. 

Kaballah is the way of viewing reality based upon subjective, experiential interpretations of the world, life, death, creation, meaning, purpose, etc.  It is an inner-contemplative movement and is considered to be a way of life.  


Christian Gnostic traditions pre-date the classical Kabbalah of the Zohar

Christ also has his name from chrism, for the father anointed the son, the son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. (gospel of philip)

Clement of Alexandria records that Valentinus was instructed by Theudas, and that Theudas in turn was taught by Paul (Clement of Alexandria Stromata 7:17)

The Sepher Yetzirah
  
     The  is also known as the "Book of Formation" and the "Book of Creation." It is the oldest known Kabbalistic writing from which the Zohar is derived. It "describes a total of 32 intelligences or emanations that make up the body and mind of God."  Kabbalistic traditions says that the origins of the Book of Formation go back to Abraham. Others say it goes back to Rabbi Akiva of the first century. However, modern scholarship dates the book as originating in the fifth century A.D. 
     The Sepher Yetzirah is not a creation narrative.  It is a writing on one aspect of the formation of the universe and mankind and is considered to be a compilation of Hebrew Kabbalistic rabbis.  It expounds on the basic structure of Kabbalah, describes creation, through the 32 paths, the ten sephiroth (from the ), and the twenty two letters of the Hebrew Alphabet.
The Zohar
     The Zohar is one of the most important texts, if not the most important in Kabbalah. The Zohar is not a single book. Instead it is allegedly a 2nd century A.D. collection of Aramaic writings from various Kabbalists that is a commentary on the Torah: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy with some commentary on the song of songs, also known as the song of Solomon.  Its interpretations of the Torah are highly mystical and subjective and often in contradiction to what the Torah reveals. it seeks to explain as well as the video the relationship between God and man.  But, the book is generally believed to have been authored by a 13th Century Jewish mystic named Moses De Leon (1250-1305) partly because it was never mentioned in the Talmud (a collection of commentaries used to explain the the oral law concerning the first five books of the Old Testament).  Additions were added to the Zohar in the 14th century.


What are the main teaching of Kabbalah? 
What are the main teaching of Kabbalah? 

1. God has 10 aspects through which creation was realized. 
1. God has 10 aspects through which creation was realized. 
2. The the truths of Kabbalah were given to the angels first, then to Adam, then Abraham, and finally to Moses. 
3. The human soul preexisted before coming to earth. cooper, 107. 
4. Reincarnation of the soul. 
5. Higher realms of consciousness 
6. Multiple universes 
7. The interconnectedness of all levels of consciousness, angels, demons, thoughts, incarnations, etc. 
8. "There are four primary archangels:  Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael.  (Cooper, David A., God is a Verb. New York, New York: Riverhead Brooks, 1997, p. 135.) 
1. "Liliel is the Angel of the Night...Lilith is considered to be the arch she-devil."  Sandalphon is the angel of prayer as is Michael, (Cooper, p. 135) 
9. There are two Messiahs, one from the lineage of Joseph and the other from David, (cooper, p. 181. 
10. The fall of Adam and Eve was because they failed to make a rectification that would bring "the universe to a new level of consciousness."  cooper, 107 
11. It is possible to have a direct experience with God without the need of a mediator such as Jesus. 


The Sephirot (also spelled "sefirot"; singular sefirah) are the ten emanations and attributes of the Deity through which The Infinite One reveals Himself and continuously creates both the physical realm and the chain of higher spiritual realms.

The Infinite One emanated himself in stages to create the universe. There are ten Sefirot, which are vessels or containers called the Sephirot (the word Sephirot means emanations).

These emanations or attribute that are manifested are powers and virtues, wisdom, knowledge, justice, mercy, and so on these are still referenced in attributions to the seven lights of the Jewish synagogue, which you will find on the altar in a synagogue with seven lights this seven lights will reference 10 Sefirot.

The seven lamps allude to the branches of human knowledge, represented by the six lamps inclined inwards towards, and symbolically guided by, the light of God represented by the central lamp.

There are 22 paths that connect these ten Sephirot and that makes 32 names of God. The root attributes of the powers and virtues of God were understood as a kind of tree like the tree of life. It was the image of God in mankind as the blind men said I see men as trees walking we find a lot of this tree language in this tree of life are ten Sefirot ten vessels

The tree of sefirot also has a numerological significance. Between the 10 sefirot run 22 channels or paths, which connect them, a number which can be associated with the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Together the spiritual forces of the 10 sefirot and the 22 connecting channels are called the "32 Paths of Wisdom".

According to Christian Gnostic tradition there are 30 aeons which are the emanations of the Deity they are called the Triacontad

The Aeons in the Valentinian system are given biblical names
First generation
Bythos (the Depth) and Sige (Silence, Charis or Grace, Ennoea, etc.)
Second generation
Nous (Nus, Mind) and Aletheia (Veritas, Truth)
Third generation, emanated from Nous and Aletheia
Sermo (the Word) and Vita (the Life)
Fourth generation, emanated from Sermo and Vita
Anthropos (Homo, Man) and Ecclesia (Church


This, then, is the Tetrad begotten according to the likeness of the Uncreated (Tetrad). And the Tetrad is begotten [... ] the Decad from Word and Life, and the Dodecad from Man, and Church became a Triacontad.

One analogy might be that the Valentinians were to proto-orthodox Christianity what Kabbalah is to Judaism.

Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system The Kabbalists originated in 13th-century Provence, which was at that time also the center of the Gnostic Cathars.

Sethian Gnosticism was always anti-Jewish, even when it arose among Jews or Jewish Christians, for its radical dualism of an alien God set against an evil universe is a total contradiction of the central Jewish tradition, in which a transcendent God allows Himself to be known by His people as an immediate presence, when He chooses, and in which His creation is good except as it has been marred or altered by man's disobedience or wickedness.


No comments:

Post a comment