You are here: Kabbalah Library Home / Michael Laitman / Books / Basic Concepts in Kabbalah / Chapter 14. Frequently Asked Questions
Michael Laitman, PhD

Chapter 14. Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the subject of Kabbalah?

From the beginning of time, humankind has been searching for answers to the principal questions of existence: Who am I? What is the purpose of my life? Why does the world exist, and do we continue to exist after death?

Every person tries to find his or her own answers to these questions from the sources of information at one’s disposal. All of us develop our own outlook on the world, guided by the approach that seems most reliable.

The question about the meaning of life adds a more global discontentment to the daily suffering: What am I suffering for? This question does not let us feel content, even when one of our day-to-day desires is temporarily satisfied.

Even when we attain our goal, soon we begin to feel dissatisfaction. Looking back, we see how much time we had spent on achieving the desired object, but received very little pleasure in return.

Since there are no answers to the above questions, people’s aspirations turn to ancient faiths. Meditations and physical and psychological practices help us feel more comfortable. But this is just an attempt to forget ourselves, since our desires remain unsatisfied and the meaning of life is still abstruse. All those methods soothe us, not because they provide an answer to the question about the purpose of life and the meaning of suffering, but because it helps us decrease our demands.

However, soon we discover that the truth cannot be ignored. Humanity is constantly seeking a logical reason for its existence; humankind has studied the laws of nature for thousands of years.

Modern scientists realize that the farther they advance in their research, the foggier and more tangled the picture of the world becomes. Modern scientific books resemble works on mysticism and science fiction, yet fail to provide an answer to the question about the meaning of life.

The science of Kabbalah offers its own method of researching the world. It helps us develop the ability to feel the concealed part of the universe. Kabbalists tell us about a technique based on their personal experience. In their books, they teach the method of researching the universe, and show how to receive the answer to the question about the meaning of life.

Question: Why is Kabbalah called a “secret science?”

Kabbalah is the closest science to man because it speaks of the purpose of life, of why we are born and live in this world. Kabbalah explains the meaning of life, where we came from, and where we go once we complete our earthly term.

Kabbalists receive answers to these questions while still living here in this world. The study of Kabbalah provides knowledge about the spiritual worlds and at the same time develops an additional, sixth sense organ, which perceives the surrounding reality. It is in this sense that a person feels the concealed part of the universe.

The attainable, usually concealed, part of the universe gives us all the answers to all the questions we ask about ourselves. Nothing is closer and more important to us than this knowledge, because it teaches us about ourselves, the world we live in, and about our own destiny.

Everything we learn about ourselves and the world, we reveal by ourselves and within ourselves. All this happens while our feelings and accumulating knowledge are concealed from others, which is why Kabbalah is called “the science of the hidden.”

Question: Who is a Kabbalist?

A Kabbalist is a person who, on the outside, is like any other person. A Kabbalist does not have to be clever or learned. There is nothing unusual in the outward appearance. They are ordinary people who, through studying Kabbalah, acquired an additional “sixth sense,” a sensation of the concealed part of the world. It is concealed from ordinary people, who refer to it as “the spiritual world.” A Kabbalist can perceive the entire universe with this newly acquired sense, perceiving both our world and the spiritual world as tangible reality, just as we perceive our everyday reality.

Kabbalists feel the Upper World and directly attain it. It is called “the Upper World” because it exists beyond our ordinary perception. Kabbalists see that everything descends from the Upper World and appears in ours. They see all the causes and effects because they simultaneously exist in both the Upper World and in our world.

An ordinary person perceives only a fraction of the surrounding universe and calls this fraction “our world.” A Kabbalist perceives the entire scope of the universe.

Kabbalists pass their knowledge along in books written in a special language. Therefore, one can only study these books under the guidance of a Kabbalist, and by following a special method. In such a case, these books become a means for the attainment of the true reality.

Question: Why is it important to study Kabbalah?

Every person has an opportunity to develop the sixth sense. Kabbalists write their books while perceiving and being under the direct influence of the spiritual worlds. By reading these books, the reader attracts the “Surrounding Light” to him or her self, even without understanding all that is written in them.

While studying, we draw this Light on ourselves, and the Light gradually reveals the complete picture of reality to us. This sixth, spiritual sense, which can perceive the entire universe, is dormant within everyone. It is called “a point in the heart.” Only the Surrounding Light is destined to fill it. The Light is called “Surrounding” because it surrounds the sixth sense while still unable to fill it.

This point, the embryo of the sixth sense “expands” and acquires sufficient “volume” to allow the Surrounding Light inside it. The entry of Light into the point in the heart creates in the student the first sensation of the Spiritual, the Divine, the Beyond. As the Light enters the point, we perceive a wider and clearer picture of the Upper World and see our past and future.

In the Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot, item 155, it is written:

"Why do Kabbalists obligate each person to study Kabbalah? This is because even when people who study Kabbalah do not understand what they are learning, through their desire to understand they awaken upon themselves the Light that surrounds their souls. This means that every person is guaranteed to attain all that the Creator has prepared in the Thought of Creation. One who has not achieved it in this life will be granted it in one of the next lives. Until one becomes capable of receiving this Light within, it continues to shine outside and wait for that person to create a sense of its perception."

When we are studying Kabbalah, the Surrounding Light instantly shines on us without being dressed within our souls, as the sixth sense has not yet been developed. Nevertheless, the Light that we receive every time during our studies purifies and makes us fit to receive the Light within. The reception of the Light grants absolute knowledge, calm, and the sensation of immortality.

Question: How is the Kabbalistic information conveyed?

Kabbalists have passed on their knowledge about the Upper World both orally and in writing. Initially, it appeared in Mesopotamia in the 18th century BCE. The accumulated knowledge was expounded upon in The Book of Creation (Sefer Yetzira), ascribed to Abraham. This book is still available in bookstores.

In every generation, Kabbalists wrote their books for the souls of that particular generation. Several languages have been used in Kabbalah over the centuries. This is because the development of the human soul occurs gradually. From generation to generation, the increasingly coarser souls return to this world with the experience of past lives. They bring the burden of additional suffering, but also contribute their spiritual “luggage.” Although this information is concealed from the individual, it exists in the point of one’s heart.

Therefore, to understand Kabbalah, every generation needs its own language, suitable for the descending souls. The development of humanity is a descent of souls to this world. As they descend to our world and manifest in new bodies in every generation, the same souls develop, realize the need for the spiritual advancement, and attain the supernal knowledge, eternity, and perfection.

Question: How long does it take to start feeling the spiritual world?

In the Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot it is written that a person who studies by the genuine sources can enter the spiritual world within three to five years. This means that if one studies with the right intention, such a student crosses the barrier between this world and the spiritual world and attains the Upper Light.

Back to top
Site location tree