Hebrew  | Russian  |  German  |  French  |  Italian  |  Spanish  |  Portuguese  |  Dutch  |  Polish  |  Hungarian | Norwegian

SwedishFinnish  |  Turkish  |  Bulgarian  |  Romanian  |  Greek |  Arabic  |  Amharic  |  Yidish  |  Latvian  

 Farsi   |  Georgian  |  Estonian  |  Filipino  |  Lithuanian  |  Ukrainian    |  Croatian  |  Japanese 

kabbalah.infokabbalah.info homepage kabbalah.info
Education Center | Kabbalah TV | Kabbalah Blog | Kabbalah Music | Online Store | Press | Archive | Contact | About

The Alternative of Our Life

Foreword

Kabbalah is known to be a secret wisdom. It is precisely this secrecy surrounding Kabbalah that gave rise to numerous legends, falsifications, gossip, ignorant arguments and wrong conclusions. Only at the end of the 20th century was the wisdom of Kabbalah allowed to be revealed to all and even circulated around the world. Therefore, addressing the reader at the beginning of this book, I feel obliged to tear age-old layers off this ancient wisdom that is common to all mankind.

The wisdom of Kabbalah has nothing to do with religion, meaning it is no more related to it than physics, chemistry or mathematics. Kabbalah is not a religion and this becomes obvious from the fact that religious people know nothing about it and do not understand a word in it.

The most profound knowledge about the laws of the Universe, the method of apprehending the world, the achievement of the Purpose of Creation was kept away from the religious masses in the first place. Kabbalah was waiting for the time, when mankind matures sufficiently to accept this wisdom and use it correctly.

It allows man to control his destiny; it is the knowledge that was passed to all peoples of the world. Kabbalah deals with the realm hidden from our five senses. It operates only with spiritual notions, meaning with things that happen above the material level, beyond our perception, in the upper world.

Kabbalah describes the upper world by using the language of metaphor or the scientific language.

The metaphorical description: Kabbalah borrows the names of spiritual objects, forces and actions from the language of our world. This is necessary, because we have no words at our disposal that can describe unearthly phenomena. But since a certain force descends from each object in the upper world to form a corresponding object in ours, a Kabbalist living in both worlds sees this connection and describes the spiritual reality by using the names of our world. However, Kabbalists' descriptions seem like accounts of earthly actions to those who have not yet attained the spiritual realm. Kabbalah speaks exclusively of what happens in the upper world. The use of familiar words and definitions leads to false conceptions and erroneous conclusions. Hence, Kabbalah forbids imagining a connection between the names of our world and their spiritual roots. This is considered the grossest error in Kabbalah. That is why it was forbidden for so many years up to this time: man's development was insufficient to stop imagining all sorts of witches, ghosts, angels and similar devilry, where something totally different is meant.

The scientific description: starting from the 90-s of the 20th century one is allowed to study Kabbalah and is recommended to disseminate this wisdom. Why is that so? It is because people stopped thinking about natural forces as manlike creatures, mermaids, centaurs etc. They are ready to imagine the upper world as a domain of forces, force fields, the world above matter. Starting from the 16th century, from the period of the Lurian Kabbalah this wisdom began to describe the upper world by using strictly scientific definitions and methods.

 

 

What am I living for?

What is the subject of Kabbalah?

Kabbalah deals with the question about the purpose of life. From a very young age man starts asking this question, but then forgets about it in the course of his life. Man cannot traumatize himself indefinitely with this unanswered question. The answer can be found only in one source - the wisdom of Kabbalah, which was available only to a chosen few throughout the centuries. Generations came and went, but only representatives of the last generations can receive the irrefragable answer to the most important question.

But even today, when Kabbalah from a secret doctrine became accessible practically to all our contemporaries, it is intended directly for those who, having matured and even grown old, do not cease to ask themselves this childish question - what is the point of my life and the life of all mankind?

People, who very sharply feel this question, come to Kabbalah. They do not feel satisfied, filled in their daily life. They suffer neither manias, nor depressions - they simply cannot reach peace of mind in this life. Why? Kabbalah gives the answer to this question.

 

Stages of development of desires

The development of mankind during thousands of years of its existence is a development and realization of different levels of desire. Desires and a search for ways of their satisfaction determine this or that level of civilization's evolution and everything we define as technological and scientific progress.

Owing to the fact that desires constantly improve, i.e. vary from smaller to bigger, mankind advances.

Kabbalah divides the entire complex of human desires into five stages:

Primary desires for sex, food (it is said: "Love and famine rule the world");

The second stage of development of desire - striving after riches;

The third stage of development of desire - craving for power and fame;

The fourth stage of development of desire - thirst for knowledge;

The fifth stage of development of desire - aspiration to spirituality, to the Creator.

 

 

 

The need for sex and food are animal desires, because animals have them as well. Even being in full isolation man feels hunger and the urge to reproduce, i.e. to have sexual relations.

Desires for wealth, power, fame and knowledge are already human desires, since to satisfy them man must be surrounded by other people.

Man is born, his animal and human desires develop, and then he finds out that their realization does not satisfy him, since his secret but true aspiration which he cannot yet realize and formulate, falls outside the limits of this world.

Man receives this desire from above. It is neither given by nature as animal desire, nor does it develop under the influence of a society as human desires.

Kabbalah calls this level of desire - the desire of spiritual light or man's soul.

Kabbalah studies the spiritual construction named the general soul or Adam. This construction consists of 600.000 parts, each of them in turn splitting into a multitude of fragments which is located inside earthly desires.

According to Kabbalah, the Creator is a universal force governing the entire creation, which includes all the individual forces of the universe.

 

Emergence of a new kind of desires

A set of earthly desires is called man's heart. And the fragment (desire), placed in it from above, is referred to as a point in heart.

During his biological life in this world man should completely fill his spiritual desire. He will repeatedly come back to our world, until this goal is reached. Thus, each generation in our world constitutes the same 600.000 souls, vested in bodies of our world.

Each generation are the 600.000 souls in a rank which are moving ahead in order to be filled by spiritual light: the body dies, and the soul moves and dresses in a new body, works in it again for the sake of being filled and so on until at a certain stage of development it will not be filled with the Supreme Light.

Most people feel the needs limited by the framework of our world. They include man's creative, intellectual, cultural aspirations and the need to research and understand the world structure. It testifies that souls, dressed in the bodies of these people have not yet reached a desire for spirituality - the fifth stage of our desires development. Souls of such a type do not cause aspirations to develop outside our worldly bodies, in which they are installed.  

But there is a small (so far!) number of souls of a different type. Being installed in an albuminous body, such a soul forces man to long for something unearthly and eternal. Like all others, he tries to be satisfied with what this world can provide, but to no avail. He sees how other people crave for riches and success, and realizes it is no more than just a game. He participates in these "games", often not without success, but it brings him no satisfaction. Gradually, trying himself in this world, disappointed and disenchanted, man begins to feel that his soul demands a different kind of filling. Having at last received a desire for the spiritual, man feels that he can no longer fill himself with earthly pleasures and feels his life is empty. Then he begins to look for the way to fill a new, spiritual desire.

Search and disappointment are the highlights of this new kind of desire, so characteristic of our time. Starting from the middle of the 20th century and later on more and more people awaken to this spiritual desire sent from above. Being combined with all other desires, it creates a conflict in man's heart. The fifth desire causes inner discomfort and ultimately leads a person to Kabbalah. Such people come to us and we begin to explain how they can fill this desire.

But since spiritual desire descends from above, it cannot be filled with objects of our world. Kabbalah can show man how this most exalted desire can be filled.

 

  

 

Kabbalists, who fill this spiritual desire ('Kabbalah' means 'reception' in Hebrew) call this filling the Light or, rather, the Supreme Light.

This Supreme Light is called the Creator, because He both creates this desire and fills it. However, if this desire does not manifest in man he goes on living like all others.

 

Searching for satisfaction and the process of filling

Human life is a process of endless search. Man incessantly looks for something that can satisfy his new desires: he keeps seeking after food, wealth, sex, power and knowledge. All these desires constantly pop up and alternate in him. Man devotes his entire life to satisfying them.

Many people in the history of mankind managed to fill their spiritual desire. In their books they tell us about the search for satisfaction and the process of filling. Their explanations and the description of this process have developed into a science called Kabbalah. Such people call themselves Kabbalists. 

Kabbalists explain that while being in our world man should fill his soul with the light so that it would rise to the same spiritual level which it was prior to descending and dressing in man's heart, i.e. his earthly desires. Our task, regardless of all other desires called 'heart' or 'body', is to fill that point in heart with the Supreme light.

Kabbalists say that filling the soul with the light gives man a sensation of the upper world. This means that he can simultaneously live (feel) both in the upper world, and in ours. He unites these two worlds in him. The state, when man in our world completely corrects and fills his soul at the highest spiritual level, is referred to as the End of correction of a soul or simply the End of correction.

Kabbalah enables the person - from the moment he has felt aspiration to spirituality and owing to this has received the first information on Kabbalah - to master a method of filling his soul, to attain a state of infinite delight, sensation of eternity, absolute knowledge and perfection. Moreover, he receives an opportunity to realize it now, in this world, in this life, instead of coming back again and again to this "not the best" of the worlds, searching and suffering from birth to death.

Since souls continuously change, develop and improve, the task of Kabbalah is to create a method of reception of the spiritual filling suitable for each generation. This science is called "Kabbalah" - reception, because it offers a method of filling the soul with the light. Kabbalah teaches man to receive the Supreme Light and fill the soul with it, i.e. both desires of the heart and spiritual desires. It is possible, since all our desires are created by this very light. Hence, only direct filling with it can satisfy us.

 

Spiritual desire - what is it?

The first four categories of desires being clearly understood and felt, we have no idea of a spiritual desire.

Man won't discover what "the spiritual" means as long he keeps satisfying his desires by means of objects of this world. He sees these objects and knows exactly what he is after. But when a spiritual desire awakens in him, he sees no source that can possibly fill it. Man feels helpless and lost: life loses meaning and taste; there is nothing to fill it with. He simply feels bad. Something uncertain "pulls" him. But where? Man doesn't know where to turn, because the source of pleasure is concealed from him. Normally he chooses to forget all about it.

As kids we ask ourselves: "What are we living for?", but later on hormones ignited by adolescence suppress this question and the will to discover the meaning and the source of life. Our sexual and intellectual aspirations lead us away from the solution to this problem. Then it arises again to disturb us. Those, who can't fill the emptiness and demand an urgent answer to that question, find Kabbalah or, rather, are led to it from above: the time of filling the human soul comes. 

 

Spiritual space

When the human body dies, the soul passes to a new-born one. From one life to the next the soul gradually accumulates readiness to manifest in man. He lives many lives without feeling his soul - an aspiration to the upper world. Don't confuse it with the earthly "aspiration to loftiness", which normally stands for creativity, poetry, music and art.  

Man feels the manifestation of the soul as a new desire, longing, as emptiness he has no idea how to fill. From this moment the search begins; ultimately it will lead man to Kabbalah. Thus all people in the world are led to Kabbalah, because it is the only method of filling the soul.

As soon as man discovers Kabbalah, i.e. finds a Teacher, books and a group, a so-called "preparatory period" (for discovering the upper world) starts. This period can last for a few years (minimum 3 years).

The spiritual space opens up before him. Man finds himself on the periphery of that space with the Creator being in the very center. The spiritual space is a realm of properties similar to a physical field with a maximum manifestation of power in the center and the gradual weakening of it towards the perimeter until this property completely disappears on the border beyond which our world begins.  

By changing his properties with regard to the Creator, man can move in the spiritual space: the difference of man's properties from those of the Creator makes them remote from each other, while the similarity of their properties leads to their closeness. A complete equivalence causes them to merge.

We, in our initial state, are opposite to the Creator's properties; hence we are totally outside of this field and cannot feel the Creator. Having completed the preparation period, man reaches the first, minimal degree of similarity with the Creator and crosses the barrier (Machsom) between our world and the upper one.

Then he begins his spiritual advancement; distinctly feeling the Creator, he consciously corrects his properties and gets closer to Him.

This way of gradual rapprochement with the Creator through the similarity of properties consists in consecutive correction, i.e. the substitution of all 620 egoistic properties for altruistic properties. Kabbalah describes the process as an ascent through 620 steps. It speaks about the methods of correcting desires on each of these steps. As a result, man every time attains the Creator on a new, higher level. Man must step by step correct all his 620 desires, i.e. climb all 620 levels, while being in his physical body, living in this world.

Upon completing his spiritual ascent, he fully associates himself with the soul and doesn't have to return to the material world and incarnate.

 

Man's death what dies, the body or the soul?

Man does not die, his biological body does. Originally, all of us only feel our body the earthly desires. Then a desire for spirituality awakens in us.

This desire is not of this world, it belongs to the Creator. If man develops it, he starts feeling not only the properties of his body, but the soul a part of the Creator's properties in himself.

If man corrects himself so that the spiritual desires suppress the desires of the body and the body completely associates itself with the soul, he perceives the death of his body as shedding a cover from the soul. The body dies, but man feels detached from the body while still living in it.  

The body dies, but man feels detached from the body while still living in it. If we live inside the desires of our world (sex, food, wealth, power and knowledge), we receive filling through our body, i.e. through its five senses. We may irritate our brain with electric impulses by sending signals through electrodes attached to it and feel pleasures ostensibly received through the five senses. In this case we directly influence pleasure centers by sending the same signal they receive from the sensory receptors.

This is an example of directly affecting the pleasure centers, which receive all signals.

 

Soul, screen and delight

We receive spiritual desires directly from above. To fill them we need a special sense called a screen (Masach). As soon as man acquires this sense, he starts feeling pleasure through it. The pleasure is called the Supreme Light. It enters our desire to enjoy it through the screen. This desire to enjoy the Supreme Light is called soul.   The light as a source of pleasure is not felt unless man acquires an additional sense capable of picking it up.

All components: the light (pleasure), the screen (means of reception) and the soul (receiver) are in no way connected to our physical body. Hence, it doesn't matter whether man has a body or not. As soon as man establishes contact with the Supreme Light, he begins to correct himself so as to be filled with it. Gradual likening of one's properties to the light and consecutive filling with it is called the spiritual ascent.

The body is only a means for the spiritual advancement in this exciting process. Otherwise it is of no other interest. A small pleasure cannot be felt at all in comparison with a great delight: the bigger delight suppresses it. Therefore, although a Kabbalist lives in the same world as we do, he is actually already in the upper world.

However, since we cannot feel his world, all his sensations are beyond our perception, on the other side of Machsom.

When man associates himself with his soul and not with his physical body, he takes the death of this body as a change of clothes. The sensations he acquired in this world do not disappear, and the world he lives in stays with him after his body dies. Everyone, who lives on earth can and must complete his way in accordance with the Creator's plan.   

 

What data is Kabbalah based on?

Kabbalah uses only precise, experience-tested data. No theories or assumptions are taken into consideration. Everything Kabbalah is based on was received from people who personally attained the spiritual sensations through the point in heart, through the soul. They tested, measured and described their sensations. The combined results of their research form the science of Kabbalah.  

As any other science, Kabbalah operates with precise mathematical, physical and graphical (diagrams and tables) data. Instead of dealing with feelings, Kabbalists use vectors, forces of gravitation and suppression of desires: their correlations are numerically measured; desires and their filling are accurately defined. Thus Kabbalists describe their sensations of the Supernal Providence.

In our world we can measure neither man's inner efforts, nor his subjective sensations, to all the more accurately compare perceptions and impressions of two different people. One can only sympathize with psychologists and psychiatrists, who are totally unable to operate with the parameters of man's soul.

 

The history and the language of Kabbalah

Everything we know about the upper world even before we discover it by ourselves was written by people who personally attained it. They described their way, their sensations, conclusions and offered recommendations so that we could follow in their path. Kabbalistic books are the accounts of their journeys in the upper world.

Everyone begins to attain the Supreme governing Force by asking the question about the point of his life, sufferings, the purpose in the universe, destiny and chance. A deep analysis of these questions leads man to the necessity of revelation of the Supreme Force. The first known Kabbalist described his impressions of the divine revelation in the book entitled "Sefer Yetzira" around 3700 years ago. He used the language of Kabbalah in his book, which is studied by Kabbalists even today.

The languages of narrative and prophecy are also used for the description of the spiritual domain. It makes no difference for a Kabbalist in what language a book about the Creator is written. In any case, like a musician, who hears music while looking at the notes, a Kabbalist feels what the author described in a Kabbalistic text.

 

Material and spiritual senses

We are born with five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, through which we receive some information from outside. Our brain processes this information and produces a combined picture of the surrounding world. These sensations are called "this world" or "my world". Precisely speaking, we don't know what exists around us. We just determine our reaction to some outside influence.

Our ear is designed so that a membrane separates between our inner part and the outer reality. This membrane may be more or less sensitive, healthy or damaged. Accordingly, we define a sound as strong, weak, high-pitched, low-pitched or even imperceptible. The quality of the sound I hear depends not on what it is like on the outside; it is determined by the parameters of my sense, i.e. by my inner qualities. What I feel is not the outer fluctuations, but my sensor's reaction to them. In fact, I perceive something inside and call it an outside sound.

The same refers to the rest of our senses.

It turns out that we are an absolutely closed system: each of us feels his inner reactions to an outside unknown influence. We can never perceive objectively something that happens outside. Whatever we feel in our senses is processed by our brain and the information is presented in a certain way. Outside of our senses we have no idea what this information is like. We are locked inside ourselves.

What can the additional consciously acquired sense provide me with? It allows receiving information not via my natural five senses into my egoistic desires (interpreting everything in terms of personal profit, i.e. being biased), but directly and impartially. This way I can achieve a genuine attainment of the absolute and objective universe.

This is what Kabbalah can allow us to do. Like any other science, Kabbalah is characterized by repeatability of experience, registered data etc. Kabbalah is a science and has nothing to do with religion. Religions do not teach Kabbalah, because it reveals to man the true universe, where the Supreme governing Force desires only one thing - to make man equal to itself.

  

Gematria of the soul

If two Kabbalists read one and the same description of the upper world, they will perceive a certain picture. But how will they be able to compare their sensations? Everyone feels them according to the inner properties of his soul.

If one Kabbalist has a bigger screen than another and his spiritual level is higher, the pictures he can see will definitely be different. If you are in the 5th grade and I am in the 10th, you naturally understand more than I do.

The quality of the soul is a combination of all of its properties. Man in our world has an entire set of properties: greed, jealousy, mercy etc., but everyone has them in a different proportion. By studying Kabbalah one can find out the desires of the soul, describe and formulate its structure.

The Creator created a single desire - the soul called "Adam". 600.000 fixed structures, separate souls can be singled out in it. Each soul (both common and individual) includes 620 inner parts, desires. Their combination determines the soul structure.

Each of these soul structures receives its name according to the principal, distinctive quality. It has a numerical value called Gematria. Gematria of combined properties is expressed by letters, i.e. the Hebrew letters are used instead of numbers. In order to define the souls numerically, they are given names, since originally there were no numbers in Hebrew (they are designated by letters).

 

Then absolute attainment is achieved

As a result of their correction, all souls merge into one common soul and start interrelating within a unified system. This common soul construction binds all individual souls together, so that ultimately each of them feels what all the others feel. Then absolute attainment is achieved. Such a state is called the Final Correction. Afterwards the soul, which receives the light from above ascends to the Source - the Creator, becomes equal to Him.

All the souls are obliged to achieve this state not later than 6000 thousand years from the point of "the world creation" - when the aspiration to the upper world awakened in man for the first time. The year of 2004 coincides with 5764 from "the creation of the world". We have a little more than two hundred years left, but our efforts may considerably shorten that period.

  

 

Why is Kabbalah a science about reception of pleasure?

In Kabbalah we understand pleasure as filling in all its manifestations: material, moral, intellectual or physical. Furthermore, here we speak of delight (filling), which is absolute, eternal, perfect and infinite.

Delight is felt only when a very strong desire is present - provided there is a crystal-clear desire for something, which is unavailable. The received pleasure instantly extinguishes desire, which in turn reduces pleasure. The greatest delight is felt only during the first contact of the desire with the desired, the way the first bit of food feels in a hungry man's mouth. Then hunger subsides, the desire disappears and satiation sets in. The food stops bringing the delight that was felt at the beginning of the meal. Gourmets leave the most delicious dishes for the end of a feast, because greater delight compensates for the lack of desire.

If we start researching various kinds of pleasure we receive from knowledge, power, riches, sex and food, we'll notice that all of them diminish upon reception of the desired. Oftentimes man works for years to get what he wants, but having received the object, stops enjoying it.

Just disappearance of the sensation of pleasure forces us to look for new delights. Advertising, fashion etc. supply us with new desires, and we get carried away by the constant chase after anticipated pleasures. Once the desired is received, we feel compelled to seek new enjoyment. This process is endless. Hence, man can never really be delighted. He is constantly moving.

Kabbalah teaches man how to receive non-vanishing pleasures: eternal, absolute and perfect, revealed as permanent peace and delight. Hence, this method is called "Hochmat HaKabbalah" (the science of reception). It was given to us by the Creator, so that our enormous desires would be immediately satisfied, and then new desires would emerge, be fulfilled and so on. The absence of a gap between a desire and its filling would allow us to enjoy never-ending peace and delight.

How can such desire be created? It does not exist in our world. Hence, the soul is opposite to our entire world. It differs from this world by its property of altruism called "a screen" in Kabbalah. The process of acquiring a screen is a subject of Kabbalah studies.

We speak about a strictly practical approach, about mastering a special method. It can be accomplished in the process of studying certain Kabbalistic books. For example, the principal kabbalistic six-volume composition "The Study of Ten Sefirot" is compiled as a regular academic textbook: in each of its 16 parts, on more than 2000 pages the structure of the upper world is expounded in a modern language. Then the part entitled "The Inner Reflection" gives a more detailed explanation of its functioning. The part called "The Meanings of Words" provides the questions referring to the meaning of the used words. Finally the part "Questions and Answers" deals with descriptions and explanations of the spiritual phenomena. 

We are waiting for all those, who find no peace searching for the answer to the questions about the structure and functioning of the universe, about the purpose of life. These are the people, who discover the spiritual point in their hearts. For them we created our Internet site in 22 languages - http://www.kabbalah.info.   

 

The website kabbalah.info is maintained by
the
"Bnei Baruch" group of kabbalists

Copyright 1996-2010. Bnei Baruch. All rights reserved.