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 Perception of the World

Why are we unable to perceive the spiritual world the same way we perceive our world?

Through self examination, we discover that we are enclosed within ourselves: our five senses enable us to perceive “something” that surrounds us - exists outside of ourselves. If our visual sense was different, for example, in the frequency spectrum of x-rays or ultraviolet or infrared frequencies, we would perceive a completely different world image. If our hearing would be in a different frequency range, we would hear different sounds. If we would possess different senses of smell or touch, we would sense differently.

Evidently, what we sense is some fragment of something which exists around us. This fragment, which we are able to attain, we call “our world”.

Contemporary science accepts as self-evident the fact that a person is constrained in his investigation of the world by the limitations of his senses. Therefore, all our perceptions and investigations are purely subjective. Science has established that the results of observations depend on the observer, in other words, their nature is absolutely subjective.

Let us say, for example, that other creatures exist on other planets, who possess senses different to ours. Naturally, they will construct their perceptions of the surrounding world according to the senses they possess. It is entirely possible - and even to be expected - that their perceptions will be entirely different to ours.


Does contemporary science agree with your viewpoint?

The Science of Relativity of our perception, in particular the Theory of Relativity, proclaims that everything perceived by our senses is correct only in relation to us. Our perceptions are relative because there are no absolute concepts of time, space and motion. These concepts are relative. They exist in relation to us. If we wouldn’t possess an internal notion of time, space and motion, then we would perceive them differently. We conclude that a person is kind of a “black box” - a completely enclosed system. What gets into this box is what a person knows, feels and senses. The sum total of these sensations is what we call “our world”, “this world” or simply “the world”. Everything else that possibly exists outside of this box, but does not get into it, is unknown to the person. The person cannot even guess that there may be something else outside of his realm of perception.


Is the future science able to resolve this problem?

A person is completely limited in his perception by his five senses. He is limited to the extent that he can not even imagine that some additional sense is possible. He will never be able to create or describe such a sense, because a person never has a specific desire for something which was never a part of him/her. This is similar to us never feeling that we miss an additional, a sixth digit on our hand.

This is why all instruments mankind creates - and all its methods of research - merely expand the range of our existing senses, and never create new ones. Our senses satisfy us completely, because this is how we have been created. Because different senses mean a different creature, we will be forever unable to imagine what these could be, since we exist inside the creation and never outside of it. We are forever unable to imagine that we lack something which would enable us to perceive our environment differently to how we currently perceive it in our present five senses.

As much as mankind develops in terms of its technological progress, it will never be able to free itself of the limitations of its created five senses. These senses create an absolute boundary to our attainment.

Because our creativity is nothing else but the fruit of our imagination, which is based on the same five senses, we can never imagine ourselves as something which is completely dissimilar to us and to the surrounding world. For example, a person is unable to depict something absolutely dissimilar to anything in our world. Try as he might, he will still draw elements of various objects in our world.

Perhaps, within the same space (although “our” space is only a certain substance perceived and sensed by us in a certain way) that we perceive, there exist different other worlds and creatures. But they are “transparent” in relation to us. We don’t sense them, although we may occupy the same space. I am using the concept of space here, in our limited understanding, in order to provide an example of the degree by which we don’t perceive anything which is not felt in our senses. In reality, however, the concept of space is meaningless. In different senses, it is perceived differently. As an illustration, try to imagine how a person would view our universe if he had   x-ray vision. . Consider how much our perception of our world would change, with the mere alteration in the range of even one of our senses.


How can we then perceive the real, true picture of our surroundings?

It is entirely possible that together with us, in the same volume of space, there also exist different worlds. However we don’t encounter them. They exist in a different dimension; but we will never be able to attain them, if we stay within the limitations of our nature.

Evidently, in this other complete and true world, there are causes for everything which happens with us. The reasons for our birth and death and, possibly, the consequences of our actions.

There are people amongst us who acquired additional senses. These senses enable them to feel the other reality - the wider reality - while they still exist in the same world of ours. They managed to extend the boundaries of their senses and perceive all the stages preceding the birth of the person into our world and following his death. By transcending the limitations of our senses, these people perceive a different picture of the entire creation – its causes and effects. We, however, are only able to perceive a small fragment of this creation, and don’t perceive the causes of what is happening with us or the consequences of our actions.

These people, who look like us, but who have acquired the additional senses are called Kabbalists. This is because they attained an ability to “lekabel” (“to receive” in Hebrew) the higher knowledge, enjoinment and power. The methods which enables one to transcend the boundaries of our nature is called "Kabbalah" (“reception” in Hebrew), because it enables us to receive and know everything which is beyond our nature, to know the true, “external” universe.

This method called Kabbalah is intended for the whole of mankind, and enables it to acquire those naturally absent desires and wishes into which a person can receive the true perception of the universe. This way, any person who is studying Kabbalah is able to go beyond the limits of our world and attain the “world beyond”. This is the real world which surrounds us and in which we truly exist. This methodology is deep and complex; however any person who walks this Earth can attain it.

Moreover, Kabbalists insist that this is a must and unavoidable. Until a person attains true perception and real existence; until he transcends the boundaries of his world, while still living on this Earth, he will be forced to reincarnate again and again in this world; until he attains existence within the full volume of the universe. Kabbalists, who perceive and live simultaneously within the full and true dimension, pass on their understanding to us. They say that in addition to our world, there exists a multiplicity of worlds. All of these worlds - like concentric spheres - are one inside the other. Our world, which is the lowest one, is found in the most central - in the smallest sphere. We call this world our universe. (See Ari’s poem).

Every such sphere is called a world. Altogether there are five spheres, five worlds. Those who exist in a specific sphere can only perceive their own and the lower - more internal - spheres, but not the higher ones. Because of this we, who exist in our world - in the smallest sphere - can only sense our world. However, if a person - together with his senses - elevates to a higher sphere, he will also perceive the lower ones. This is why Kabbalists live through their senses in a number of worlds simultaneously and, because of this, know all the causes and effects of everything around them.

With the help of Kabbalah, as a person gradually acquires additional senses, he perceives in all his senses a wider and expending picture of his environment. His world turns from a small fragment of the reality into a full picture of the universe. As a result, all which transpires around him - all thoughts and actions - becomes clear. This is because the person attained their source. Every time, on each level, this increasingly exposed picture is called “this world”, because it now becomes the person’s new world. The part that a person hasn’t attained yet, this additional fragment, which he will attain on the next level, is called “the world to come”. This is to indicate that in his future state, perhaps in the next instant, he will attain it.

The methodology of entering through his senses into the complete world - the absolutely real and true attainment of this complete world - is based on a single fundamental spiritual quality. Because there are no material bodies or boundaries in the spiritual, the spiritual objects are differentiated only through similarity or difference of their qualities.

Because the spiritual world is a world of qualities and desires, if two spiritual objects are equal in all their qualities, they become one. If, on the other hand, two spiritual objects/desires differ from each other, then depending on how much their desires are different, they are regarded as further removed from one another; and to the degree of similarity of their desires, as closer to one another.

Spiritual space is not physical space. In the field of desires, the highest point is assigned to the quality of the Creator and the lowest to its opposite. Between these extreme desires there exist five major levels - five intermediate states/desires - which are called worlds.

A person can move through his desires/qualities inside these worlds/levels depending on the changes in his desires. As soon as the desires of a person become similar to desires of a certain level, the person immediately combines with it through his internal perception. This is because he coincides with its qualities.

A person is born at the lowest level of entirely egoistic desire, called “this world”. However, a person’s goal is - while still in his physical body - to pass the levels of all worlds and unite by his qualities with the Creator, with the highest level. To become like the Creator is the goal of the Creation.

In our world, we also receive sensations from the external, according to the same principle of similarity of qualities. To sense something which is external, the internal sense must have the same qualities as the object which is being sensed. This is similar to a radio receiver, in which the receiving circuit must itself create radio waves with the same frequency as the received wave, otherwise it will not sense it. From the multiplicity of different radio waves, it will sense the specific one which has similarity to its own qualities. So do we only sense from the external that to which we have similarity within. Moreover, we not only don’t perceive that which is external, even when we do sense something, we only sense our own reaction to the stimuli externally. For example, we don’t perceive the sound from the external, but the oscillations of our ear drum, caused by the pressure on it of the air waves, which originated at the source of the sound. Therefore, we don’t perceive the sound wave directly, but rather our reactions to the pressure it exerts. All our senses are designed so that we react, “resonate” to some external stimulus. However, we sense within ourselves not the stimulus the way it is, and not what comes from it directly, but the reactions within ourselves to something fleeting. In other words, in the final account, we only perceive ourselves.

However, if a person attains spiritual qualities then, like a radio receiver, he becomes sensitive to similar qualities and forces which are external to himself. Only through attainment of such new qualities, a person can start perceiving a new surrounding world.



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

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