Is anyone here knowledgeable of Kabbalah?

Dikaios

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I recently became interested in Kabbalah. Is anyone here into it?
 

Dikaios

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I especially want to know about how the concept of cycles of the soul is different, if at all, from the Buddhist concept of reincarnation.
 

Nick the Pilot

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There are a number of people at the Theosophical Forum who are quite knowledgeable about the Kabbalah. I suggest you pose your question there.

Theosophy Nexus

All Kabbalistic concepts are core Theosophical concepts.

Did you know that the medical symbol for doctors, the caduceus, is a partial picture of the Kabbalah?

8562-003-76001DC4.jpg


(*ttp://media-3.web.britannica.com/eb-media/62/8562-003-76001DC4.jpg)

As seen from the Theosophical perspective, the Kabbalistic and Buddhist concepts of reincarnation are identical.

Are you aware that most Buddhists avoid the word 'reincarnation'?
 

Dikaios

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Thank you for your reply and information.:) I'll check out the site.
Do you know the difference between Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Kabbalah ?
 

Dikaios

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--- Are you aware that most Buddhists avoid the word 'reincarnation'?

I didn't know that. What do they call it then ?
 

Nick the Pilot

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Buddhists use the word 'rebirth'. Buddhists do not believe humans have souls, so they use the word rebirth to distinguish the concept of 'being reborn, but it is not a soul that is reborn.'
 

Nick the Pilot

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No, I do not know the difference between Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Kabbalah. This is a good example of a question that should be asked at the Theosophy Forum. Several people there are quite knowledgeable about the Kabbalah.

I would say that, from a Theosophical perspective, there is probably no difference between Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Kabbalah (but there may be Christian Kabbalists and Jewish Kabbalists who disagree). This brings up the question of the differences between Christianity and Judaism, which is an entirely different topic.
 

Dikaios

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Thank you Nick. I tried to sign up, but I don't know the answer to this.

Quiz: What is the last name of the author of The Key to Theosophy (1889)?




 

Aerist

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No, I do not know the difference between Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Kabbalah.

There are many different approaches to spirituality which one might classify as Kabbalistic. Even within Judaism there are several different strands, which are quite different. Even the ways of mapping the tree of life across the four worlds can be done many different ways.

As with all spiritual pathways, the important thing is to commit to one system at a time - preferably one which is widely used and is accessible. You will soon find out if it suits you.

They all work. They are just road maps.
 

Aerist

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Thank you Nick. I tried to sign up, but I don't know the answer to this.

Quiz: What is the last name of the author of The Key to Theosophy (1889)?





Dikaios, seriously, if you cannot look this up really you have much of life to conquer before tackling the, ah, opaque writings of HPB or the symbolic language of much of the Kabbalah.
 

Nick the Pilot

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D, you said,

"I tried to sign up, but I don't know the answer to this."

--> I had no idea they were asking obscure questions as a way to keep out non-Theosophists. I'm sorry to hear that.

"but it is not a soul that is reborn. Then what is ?"

--> I'm afraid you'll have to ask a Buddhist for an answer to this one.
 

Dikaios

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Aerist, you're right. I can google to easily find it out. sorry.
But I'm more interested in the authentic form of Kabbalah, not so much in the New Age type of adaptations. Not that anything wrong with the New Age, it's just so far not my thing is all. But I may get interested in it later.

"Kabbalah originally developed entirely within the realm of Jewish thought, and kabbalists often use classical Jewish sources to explain and demonstrate its esoteric teachings. These teachings are held by followers in Judaism to define the inner meaning of both the Hebrew Bible and traditional Rabbinic literature and their formerly concealed transmitted dimension, as well as to explain the significance of Jewish religious observances."

I'm wanting to learn this type of Kabbalah first.
 

Dikaios

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--> I had no idea they were asking obscure questions as a way to keep out non-Theosophists. I'm sorry to hear that.

No Nick that's OK. Thank you for giving me the site all the same. I may get interested in the modern version later, then I know where to look.

I found several threads on Kabbalah. I'll look into them.
 

Nick the Pilot

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D,

Just to let you know, according to Theosophy, the Kabbalah is much older than Jewish culture, and it was handed down to Jewish people from earlier cultures. Theosophy sees Kabbalistic concepts as being quite ancient indeed, and Kabbalistic concepts have been known to all cultures that have existed on the earth. (According to Theosophy, many earlier and advanced civilizations have completely disappeared from the earth, and the Kabbalah was know to these prehistoric advanced cultures.) As an example, ancient Egypt civilization, a very advanced civilization, was itself the remnants of an earlier advanced civilization that has since completely disappeared.
 

Thomas

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Hi Dikaios —
--- but it is not a soul that is reborn.
Then what is ?
That's the question that I continue to ask, but those here who assert reincarnation seem unable to answer.

From my viewpoint, I think the doctrine, in the west, is improperly presented, and poorly understood. The idea that the 'i' comes back, that this person is reincarnated as another person, is riddled with contradictions, and increasingly so as we understand person in a more holistic and less dualistic sense.

As I see it, the root of the error lies in confusing the universal and the particular. I think 'reincarnation' means 'life goes on' — that is, life itself manifests from generation to generation, not that particular lives repeat themselves.

Reincarnation assumes many guises in the popular mindset because it's an answer to the question of justice. Many seek it in the hope that the guilty will get their just deserts somewhere down the line; many others seek it in the hope that somehow it 'gets them off the hook' for their own injustices; many seek it because the ego cannot abide the idea of itself not being around ...

... one has to separate the (metaphysical) science from setimentalism.

On the matter of Kabbalah, might I recommend "The Universal Meaning of the Kabbalah" by Leo Schaya. The link will also link to a couple of essays online, so you can get a taste of his writings.
 

Thomas

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Do you know the difference between Jewish Kabbalah and Christian Kabbalah?
Ah ... we have to tread carefully here.

The first point, as Aerist noted, is that Kabbalah is a way of 'mapping' a certain order of experience, shaped within a given religious tradition.

Man's speculation on 'the supernatural' is as old as humanity, but we must be careful when we say that a given form goes back into antiquity ... rather I would say that 'spiritual speculation' has emerged and evolved over time, and taken on distinctive forms according to determinations of the times and places in which those forms have emerged.

Historically, Kabbalah emerged in 12th-13th-century Southern France and Spain, although its traces, obviously, go back to the dawn of creation, as told within the Hebrew Tradition.

So whilst the essence of the Kabbalah is universal (as is the essence of any esoteric system) the language and form is particular, in this instance to the Hebrew Tradition. You cannot really grasp that Kabbalah without first being grounded in Hebrew thinking. A lot of modern syncretic interpretation falters on this point, as it assumes a rather superficial viewpoint.

So when we say 'kabbalah' we're talking primarily of a Jewish system; when we say 'sufi' we're talking Moslem; when we say 'shingon' we're talking Buddhism; but the point is, man is the same everywhere, and there will be correspondences and cross-overs between systems, but to assume the terms are transposable, without qualification, invariably leads to error.

When we look at Christianity, really you're looking at the Hebrew Tradition viewed from an Hellenic perspective. With a few notable exceptions, the Fathers of the Church were Platonists. Offhand, I know Origen taught himself Hebrew, so he could read the Hebrew Scriptures in the original, but he was an exception.

So while Judaism has its kabbalah, an esoteric commentary informed by the Hebrew Scripture tradition, Christianity's 'kabbalah' is in fact Christian Neoplatonism, an esoteric commentary informed by the Christian Scriptures. The same goes for 'Christian Hermeticism': Take a look at "Meditations on the Tarot".

The kaballah is founded on four fundamental methods of exegesis:
Peshat: the 'simple' or 'literal' interpretation of Scripture;
Remez: the 'allegorical' or 'esoteric' interpretation of Scripture;
Derash: the 'homiletic' or 'moral' exegesis;
Sod: the 'mystical' exegesis.

In the Christian Tradition we have 'the Four Senses of Scripture':
The literal;
The moral;
The allegorical;
The anagogical (mystical).

These four correspond to the Hebrew above, but their origins are Greek.

So I would say there's a lot of crossover, but if someone were to start talking about 'a Christian Kabbalah', then I'd say I prefer to study the original and therefore authentic (Platonic) forms, rather than a syncretic 'fixing' that's probably not too well founded in either the Hebrew or the Hellenic.
 

Willys

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I recently became interested in Kabbalah. Is anyone here into it?
I first read this thread yesterday and remembered that I have a book titled 'Kabbalah'. It's been sitting on a shelf since I bought it, April 30, 1995. I've always known I'd evolve into an interest in things 'Kabbalist', and here we are.

I don't think the content of the book is what I was looking for but I did search Amazon books for content and found 'Universal Kabbalah: Understanding the Kabbalah and its Universal Application', which I was a able to 'borrow' and download to my rarely used Kindle.

It's not a long read - about 3 to 4 hours for me but covers origins of Kabbalah, back to Chaldeans and the ensuing history including other religions. It certainly will not make anyone an expert on Kabbalah, but will give them a sense of orientation with some explanation of the Tree of Life.

A good place to start...

I will probably follow the link from Thomas above as well.
 

Dikaios

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Nick, Thomas, Willys, all good useful information. A lot of food for thought. I'll factor it into my contemplation. Thank you guys very much. :)
 
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