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Michael Laitman, PhD

Kabbalah as a Modern Teaching

Perception of Surrounding Reality

Many people are not quite sure whether Kabbalah can be considered a science. Even if it is considered a science, is it a natural one like physics, chemistry and others, or is it similar to semi-sciences like philosophy and psychology? Or perhaps it is a special science that requires from the researcher not only knowledge, but a special property not given at birth.

We regard a science as a research of the surrounding reality, which can be registered, repeated, reproduced. As we research the world in our five senses and with the help of the devices that broaden the range of their sensitivity, so by acquiring the sixth additional sense (screen, soul), we similarly analyze the perceived disturbances, register and summarize them into a single whole. These observations have been conducted through many centuries and have been confirmed by thousands of researchers-Kabbalists. The difference between the Kabbalist and non-Kabbalist researchers lies in the fact that the Kabbalists research the reality in the additional sense, which can be acquired by anyone who desires it.

On the other hand, the scientists have lately discovered that the picture of the world is completely subjective, is fully determined by the observer. If this is so, all the natural sciences can be defined as the knowledge that the person attains in his innate senses, while Kabbalah happens to be a supernatural science, because it can only be apprehended after the person acquires an additional sense.

It is somewhat unusual to suddenly find out about a potential opportunity to acquire an additional sense and to receive in it some complementary information about the world, which one is normally used to feel in his five senses. Yet, as soon as the person is ready to accept this supposition, all the rest looks quite natural and the research of the world in the additional sense will certainly be called a science.

The Kabbalist’s attainments are real, repeatable and reproducible both by him and by others. In actual fact, all the kabbalistic books represent the means of tuning the sense of perception and describe the perceived information. This is similar to the account given by a physicist or a chemist. Anyone can repeat the same experiment and receive similar results.

From this we may conclude that Kabbalah is a much more real science than the others, because it initially takes into consideration the fact that the person’s attainment totally depends on his senses.

Mastering a sense that perceives the surrounding reality in accordance with its own properties is absolutely new for the person. This elevates him to a higher level of attainment, turns him into a researcher, because by changing his properties he perceives absolutely new pictures. All of them are quite real, and only the gradual adjustment of this sense reveals the differences between them.

Due to misunderstanding of what the Kabbalists feel and attain, people erroneously attribute to them:

From the aforesaid we clearly see the mistake of associating Kabbalah (the science of the surrounding reality) with religion, mysticism or any other sphere of human activity.

Historical Aspect of the Wisdom of Kabbalah

Kabbalah dates from the ancient Chaldean (Mesopotamian) city of Ur. The chronicles of that time recount the story of a Mesopotamian resident by the name of Abraham, who was the first to research the relation between the perception of the surrounding reality and the volitional development of a new, sixth sense.

The method of such a development received the name “Kabbalah” and began to spread among Abraham’s descendants and disciples. With time the group grew to become a nation of around 3 million people. Since only the adherents of this method belonged to the group, it can hardly be called a “nation”. This was simply a group of Kabbalists, who researched what they attained in the sixth sense. The group called itself the “people of Israel” after all of its members acquired an adequate sensation of the world in the sixth sense. What is said here so commonly represents a new approach to the history of humankind, and only a psychological inertia prevents us from adopting this perception of ourselves and of the world. The members of this Kabbalistic group developed an additional perception of the upper reality in their children, who took it quite naturally.

This continued until the entire group instantly lost the ability to perceive the upper world. Until that time the Jews had constituted a group living in the sensations of the spiritual realm. Afterwards, they turned into a regular nation. But since the group’s existence is only justified by the degree of the spiritual perception, it ceased to be a special phenomenon in the world. On the contrary, it immediately adopted an image of a nation scattered among all the other peoples of the world. Without the sensation of the upper world this group has no right to be called the “people of Israel” (living by the laws of the sixth sense), where Israel means “ Isra – El” (aspiring to the spiritual). Having lost the sensation of the upper world, instead of the spiritual actions the group began to practice their physical interpretation.

Obligation to Pass the Method of Perception

In accordance with the general law of nature, every person in the world will ultimately have to reveal his sixth sense and attain the entire universe in it. Based on this purpose of creation the Kabbalists are obliged to:

Failure to fulfill this mission is the genuine reason for anti-semitism, the grievance the peoples of the world have against the Jews for their misconduct, concealment of truth and goodness. As a matter of fact, the Jews themselves subconsciously feel this deep-rooted guilt.

On the other hand, we may say that after the Jews had stopped consciously attaining the upper world through Kabbalah, Judaism (mass performance of rituals) sprang to life and was later followed by Christianity and Islam.

Just because the Jewish people retained some memory of their ancestors’ attainment, they replaced it with superficial rites and traditions. The very idea about a different level of perception of the world has completely disappeared. The Jews no longer understood that their ancestors had lived on a totally different spiritual level.

The great Kabbalist Baal Sulam describes this in a parable about a person, who lives far away from his long-forgotten home, until he happens to find a book about a wonderful distant country. While reading, he begins to remember that the beautiful place described in the book is his homeland.

Similarly, all of us will have to rediscover the sensation of the upper world.

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