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Michael Laitman, PhD

The Trinity of Kabbalah

Correction does not happen without study. For this reason, the Creator sent us the Trinity of Kabbalah: books, teachers, and groups of study companions. The rest of this chapter describes each of those tools of Kabbalah study—books, teachers, and groups—and you should work with them.

Books: Our Spiritual Tour Guides

Spirituality can be attained by studying the right books, meaning books written by a true Kabbalist. Reading the right books is like being led by a tour guide in a foreign country. With the aid of the guidebook, the traveler becomes oriented and better understands his new whereabouts.

We need books that are suited to our souls, books by the Kabbalists closest to our generation. This is because different souls descend in each generation, and each generation requires different teaching methods.

There is a special force in books of Kabbalah: any person who studies those books under the right guidance can attain the spiritual degree of the author. Students who follow the ways expounded by the writers of authentic books of wisdom can bond with the spiritual. By delving into a text of wisdom, they gradually rise to the spiritual level of the author.

Whenever you read the works of the righteous, you bond directly with them through the Surrounding Light (see Appendix). You are then enlightened, and your vessels of reception are purified and imbued with the spirit of the Creator.

Living in our world, we absorb various pictures and impressions. Because of that, we can all describe what we feel. But Kabbalah books describe experiences of a person who feels the spiritual world. They describe the writer’s feelings of a world that most of us do not sense.

That is why Kabbalah books and Kabbalist writers are unique. A Kabbalist teacher is not only a person who feels the Upper World, but also a person who can describe emotions in a clear language so that others can feel and understand them. By studying books of Kabbalists, we nurture the missing senses within us, the ones that must be developed in order to feel the Upper World.

Texts in the Language of the Branches

There are many books of Kabbalah, written in various styles and forms, and written by Kabbalists in various degrees of attainment. This is why it is crucial that we know which books to study.

When a Kabbalist grasps spirituality, he feels it experientially, just as we experience the occurrences and incidences of this physical world with our physical senses and feelings. Because the objects in the spiritual realm are totally dissimilar from the objects of our physical world, it is difficult for Kabbalists to find the right words.

It happens in our world, too. We are not always able to explain our feelings, and at times we end up using vague words and gestures.

This is why Kabbalah books are difficult to understand. Until we have a connection to spirituality, what we read is just words, without any understanding of the meaning behind them.


On Course

Don’t become frustrated if what seemed clear yesterday becomes abstruse the next day. Depending on your mood and spiritual state when you are reading, the text can appear full of deep meaning or be entirely meaningless. Don’t give up if the text appears to be vague, strange, or illogical. Kabbalah is studied to help you to see and to perceive, not for the sake of gaining technical knowledge.


Remember, too, that Kabbalah uses the language of the branches, described in Chapter 9. The spiritual world and our own world are parallel. There is not an object, phenomenon, or force in this world that is not a consequence of the Upper World. Therefore, Kabbalists use names taken from our world in order to describe spiritual objects, for these objects are the roots of our world.

An ordinary person, as yet without a “spiritual screen,” relates to books of Kabbalah as a kind of fairytale stories that happen in our world. But one who is already a Kabbalist is not confused by the words because he knows precisely which “branch” they stem from and which consequence in our world correlates to the “root” in the spiritual world.


Off Course

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is ascribing spiritual forces to branches, instead of focusing on the roots. For example, because we have a spiritual state called “water” (Hassadim, mercy), we also have water in our world. But that doesn’t mean that if you drink water you become merciful.


Books that Help You Reach Your Goal

Not all books, even authentic ones, have the same ability to promote you toward the spiritual world. Also, because Kabbalah has picked up many associations in its development (most of which are inaccurate, as described in Chapter 1), it is important to review the books you read with a thoughtful approach. Today, the same rule of caution applies to Internet sites.

To make this easy, most dedicated Kabbalists recommend abandoning all books on the subject of Kabbalah other than The Zohar, the writings of the Ari, and the writings of Baal HaSulam. That may be the best approach for the serious, lifelong Kabbalah student. For most anyone else, however, look for introductory books based on those writings, such as those listed in the Appendix. This book provides an introduction to the root sources so that readers can make enlightened choices for further study.

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