KABBALAH - THE TIMELESS PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE
















Voyen Koreis





INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER










INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER











INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER








INTRODUCTION


1. WHAT IS KABBALAH?

2. OTHER PATHS TO KNOWLEDGE

3. PYTHAGORAS

4. THE TAROT

5. ADAM KADMON

6. ACT OF CREATION

7. THE TREE OF LIFE

8. THE FOUR WORLDS

9. HOD & NETZAH

 10. LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

11. LIFE AND DEATH

12. REINCARNATION

13. PSYCHOLOGY

14. THE VITAL PRINCIPLE

15. SYNCHRONICITY

16. TZIM-TZUM

17. BODIES OF MAN

18. HUMAN MIND

19. LILITH

20. KNOWLEDGE

21. OF ANGELS AND MEN

22. CREATION IN  GENESIS 2

23. THE LETTER YOD

24. TWENTY-TWO LETTERS

25. THE NAME OF GOD

26. THE ZOHAR

27. ABRAHAM AND SARAH

28. THE HEBREW LANGUAGE

29. THE PATRIARCHS

30. MALKHUT - THE LAST SEPHIRA

31 THE MYSTICAL KABBALAH

32. BETH – THE FIRST LETTER

Meetings With Remarkable People   Mephisto & Pheles    Intrusion   The Kabbalah  
 The Čapek Brothers    Struggle of the Magicians    
The Fools' Pilgrimage  Contact 

THE KABBALAH

INTRODUCTION

I have seen the word Kabbalah spelled in many different ways, for instance: Cabala, Cabalah, Cabbala, Cabbalah, Kabala, Kabalah, Qabala, Qabalah, Qabbala, Quabbalah, and, of course, Kabbalah. Altogether there appear to be more than twenty variant spellings of this word. The reason for such confusion is that there are several systems of transliterating the Hebrew words into the Roman letters that the English, and most other European languages, use. Compounding the difficulties is the fact that the Hebrew alphabet does not indicate short vowels or the doubling of consonants. A similar problem arises with transliterating the Arabic texts, or to a lesser degree with the texts written in the languages that use the Cyrillic alphabet, such as Russian, Serbian or Bulgarian. Not even mentioning the Chinese and Japanese characters. With all this perplexity, it occurred to me that I could use at least some of these variations in the spelling as part of the title for this book, to make life slightly easier to those who might be searching for books on this subject. It did not look good on the cover design, so I abandoned the idea.

At the present times most of those involved would appear to incline towards the version I will be using in this book – the Kabbalah. The experts, who come up with the variant ways of spelling Kabbalah, do so because they are trying to get as close as possible to the original phonetic sound of the word. However, it doesn’t really matter much how one writes this word, because important is the sound of it, which was here before it was written.

Another reason for different ways of spelling the word might be that the writer wants to either identify with or distance himself/herself from a certain school or interpretation of Kabbalism. For instance, the versions Qaballa, Qaballah or Quabbalah, were used mainly by various Hermetic orders connected in some way with the Rosicrucianism, from about the 17th century onward, with the former being adopted by perhaps the best-known esoteric order of all, the Golden Dawn, which flourished around 1900. The so-called Christian Kabbalists on the other hand tended to use the versions beginning with a “C”, such as Cabala or Cabbalah. And so on.

Kabbalah has always been strongly associated with the Jewish religion. Nevertheless, Christian priests and scholars, many of them having had learnt Hebrew so that they could read the Old Testament in the original, have always been in possession of the same keys as were the Jewish rabbis, namely the Bible and the language. Kabbalah goes beyond any existing religion. When in its most metaphysical, it holds a great appeal to contemporary scientists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, but also to psychologists, particularly those of the Jungian school. Above all, it has appealed to philosophers in all ages. Therefore, to a non-Jewish person unattached to any particular religion or even nationality, like me, it must have always appeared timeless.

I suspect that the Kabbalah must really be older than the Jewish religion, older than any religion, in fact. This is why so many people with all sorts of backgrounds have found their way to it.  My own way certainly had not lead through any religion; I had no religious upbringing whatsoever. When I went to school for the first time the year was 1949. We lived in Prague, and it was shortly after the Communist takeover of the country. Prague once had a very large Jewish community, but shortly after the war it was much depleted. Many of its members fled before the Nazis took over the country and ended up on the other side of the Atlantic; for many of those who stayed their lives had ended in the concentration camps. Only the legend of Golem, the artificial man, was still alive, though it was considered to be just that: a legend, fairy tale.

The Golem was said to have been created by the scholarly rabbi Levi (also Lw, Lev), who used his considerable knowledge of Kabbalah. According to the legend, the rabbi used a certain formula to make come alive the figurine he moulded from clay. Later in this book we will try to trace the origins of this legend a little farther. Here it would suffice to say that the fearful looking Golem, whose main task was to protect the vulnerable Jewish community, rebelled against the rabbi’s authority when the latter forgot to take the so called “shem” or the magic formula off the Golem’s forehead, to give him the rest on the Sabbath day. The creature went berserk breaking things and killing domestic animals, until the rabbi managed to sneak behind him and remove the formula. The Golem was afterwards never revived and was left to fall into dust in the attic of the main Prague synagogue.

I loved legends like this one, or the one about the first ruling dynasty of kings of Bohemia, the Premyslids. The skulls of its last three members I could see displayed in the Catholic Church at Zbraslav, where my grandfather used to be the organist and choirmaster. Whenever we visited our remaining relatives in the town I insisted that we go and see those skulls, nothing else mattered to me much. Grandfather, who died long before I was born, naturally had brought his twelve children up in his own faith, but my father had left the Church by the time he was in his twenties. At that point in his life he would have probably described himself as an agnostic. As such he had a foot in either camp, and after I was born in the wartime London, he had me baptised, perhaps just to be on the safe side in case the soul-snatching devil did exist, but he would not have it done by a Catholic priest. Instead a Serbian orthodox priest was invited to perform the ritual. Apparently a priest of any church would have done, but this one just happened to live in the same street in Kensington. Because of the war, a general feeling of ambiguity towards religion, and subsequent movements between several countries that our family had to make (my father was a diplomat), there was little or no follow-up. Though technically I belong to the Serbian Orthodox Church, as far as I can tell I was only once inside the walls of an orthodox church, when my mother took me to the only one that existed in Prague, for the conformation when I was about seven or eight years old. By then my father was already dead. Soon after my conformation we moved out of Prague, but I doubt that my mother would have made me continue with the religious education, even if circumstances would have allowed it.

She had one more stab at it, though not a very successful one. During the term one of my first year at school in the once fashionable but by then largely ran-down suburb of Prague, a Catholic priest was still coming to the school to take care of our tiny souls. Most children in my class were Catholics, and their parents were still not quite sure of what to make of the new political order that had come after the 1948 Communist takeover, so many of them still allowed their offspring to have the luxury of some religious education. When I went to school for the first time my mother signed me up for the religion classes, but after a few weeks the attending priest found out that I was not a proper Catholic, and he had told her not to send me there any more. Thus together with several other children, whose parents had either guessed rightly what the new regime was going to be like, or knew all along and had their eyes firmly set upon a career, I would be allowed to go home when the religious lessons were about to begin (always at the end of the school day). Naturally I considered myself lucky and indeed privileged, but I had soon lost that prerogative when by the next term the religious classes were abandoned altogether, for lack of interest. Though officially all people in the country were guaranteed freedom of religious expression, in practice it was most unwise to be seen going to church or even anywhere near it, if one wanted to keep a decent job. And parents of young children certainly needed to keep theirs.

So this is how it came about that I had not had any religious education. I don’t think that it hindered me in any way; on the contrary it probably helped me, because I had to make up my own mind about everything instead of having it fed by a spoon. Since about the late forties, in the then Czechoslovakia at least two generations have grown up, of whom a large majority had never set a foot in church. At the same time many, including myself, had been looking at the stuff that was given them by politically correct Marxist ideologists, and which was supposed to substitute for the stolen faith in God, with a great deal of cynicism. In this situation perhaps ninety five percent of people would prove conformists, while the remainder would turn into what Colin Wilson so aptly called “the outsiders”. The outsider from behind the iron curtain however did not have the advantages of Wilson’s Outsider. The latter had access to practically any kind of literature he or she wished to read, while the former had only the publications deemed politically unobjectionable and ideologically sound by the regime. In practice this meant that the only literature available was that not in direct conflict with the officially endorsed Marxism based ideology. Under such circumstances there was little room for any spiritual development.

In 1962 I turned nineteen, and consequently I was called up for the compulsory two-year Army service. While a small percentage of the newly recruited soldiers would take to the army environment like the proverbial fish to water, to the large majority of conscripts it was a depressing experience, much like it is in any army anywhere in the world the customary harassment, the physical and psychological anguish, in our case exacerbated by the ubiquitous communist propaganda. After all, it was the time of the ripening Cuban crisis, when the armies of the Warsaw Pact were being prepared for an armed conflict, which from their point of view seemed almost inevitable.

     I had avoided much of the unpleasant aspects of army life, except for the propaganda. I was in fact forced to become a part of it. On the one hand I was lucky enough to have been chosen for an entirely different kind of duties, when I became a singer with the Army Entertainment Corps. This ensemble toured the country for the sole purpose of raising the morale of the troops. On the other hand this meant that during the Cuban crisis, which came within a couple of months after I was recruited, it was my lot nightly to sing mighty songs like this one that for your amusement I have translated into English:

I sing my song of Havana
With Soviets
the Cubans are one
Together they laugh
while watching Kennedy's troops On the run!

With hammer and sickle Now forming their sign
Seeing the cosmonauts fly 
Into yonder
The Cubans are saying 
there's no end to wonder
Over Havana
the red Star will shine!

All this meant long bus journeys between venues, overflowing with bore, which we often tried to repel by playing cards. On one such transit, somewhere halfway between our Prague base and the distant eastern border of Slovakia, where it meets with the westernmost part of the Soviet Union, tired of the game we had already been playing for many hours, I bailed out and chose instead to be a mere spectator with another circle of players. They were all musicians, violinists from Moravia, which meant that they grew up in a slightly different cultural environment to the rest of us, who came mostly from Prague or its surrounds. The game they played was also somewhat different to what we were customarily playing and, above all, they played it with a deck of cards such as I had never seen before. They called them “taroky”, which is the Czech for the Tarot cards. The rules of the game resembled those I was used to playing with the regular cards, therefore it did not take me long to get to understand them. What I found intriguing however, were the cards they had been using. The deck was obviously quite old and very much worn on edges, most likely of pre-war vintage. On top of the traditional four suits there were twenty-two trump cards, with the Roman numerals and adorned with some strange looking pictures. When my colleagues took a breather from their game, I borrowed the cards from them for a proper examination. The card that almost immediately caught my attention was the trump number XII. It bore the picture of a man hanging on the gallows; nevertheless, the man on the card was hanging with his head down and with the rope tied to one of his feet. There were other unusual images in the deck, which at the time did not stay long in my memory, but it was the picture of the Hanged Man that had made the lasting impression on me, and in my mind it became the symbol of the Tarot cards. I had no idea at all of their strange and obscure history, which is still being disputed by scholars, as well as by various occult groups, neither did I know that the Tarots are in fact the progenitors of all modern playing cards. I also had no way of knowing that one day they would become a rather significant influence on my life.

The Cuban Crisis had resolved itself, and the dreaded armies of the NATO never showed up. Instead, a handful of years later it was the Soviet army itself, together with its Warsaw Pact allies, which had rolled their tanks into Prague. I had left the stricken country and went to England, eventually ending up in Australia. Thus I became a British born Australian of Czech origin, effectively a citizen of the world. As soon as I had learned enough English I became interested in the esoteric subjects, which ultimately led to another encounter with the Tarots. This has developed into a lasting, albeit sometimes turbulent, relationship. At this point I want to stress that I had never used the Tarot for divination purposes or fortune telling. That side of them I always believed to be out of bounds as far as I was concerned, though I was aware that this was what has almost certainly saved them from extermination. History is littered with acts of fervent believers in various orthodoxies, who saw no other way of protecting their interests but destroying anything that looked remotely threatening. Thus from the dawn of time, millions of scrolls, parchments, hand-written or printed books, have ended their existence in flames. The Tarots without a doubt would have met with a similar fate, had their unknown but immensely wise creators decided to put their wisdom in written form into a book. Their acumen instead led them to designing a pictorial book, in accordance with the Chinese proverb: “One picture is worth a thousand words”. Pictures in hands of the nomadic Gypsies or the gambling patrons of medieval taverns, were always going to be overlooked in such purges, and the cards were thus saved for the generations to come of those “ who have the eyes to see and the ears to hear”.

I became a member of a society, which for more than twenty years had been holding regular weekly meetings, aimed at the studies of esoteric subjects, especially the Kabbalah. Much of what could be found in this book has come from these meetings. My interest in the Kabbalah and related subjects had deepened every day. By then I had found my answer to the question that any 20th century enquirer has to ask himself: Evolution or Creation? I must admit that early on, while living behind still functional Iron Curtain, the arguments that the materialists would use to ridicule the idea of Creation made quite a strong impression on me. Even though I could never be a Marxist, as I always felt that we are individuals, each of us with a unique destiny, which is something that a true Marxist would always deny, with my upbringing I was naturally used to thinking in terms of materialistic science, because that was the only thing I knew. Guiles like this naturally worked on my young mind: 

Evolutionist: Is God almighty?
      Creationist: Yes, of course.
      Evolutionist: Can he really do anything he wants?
      Creationist: Naturally.

Evolutionist: Then let him create a mountain so heavy that he couldn’t shift it across!

Ever since the time of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and his theory of natural evolution there has been a search going on for the ‘missing link’, imagined to be the earliest form of a human being that would no longer be an animal. Thus far it has been unsuccessful, and when periodically someone declares that ‘this has to be it’, doubts always remain. It has only been about a century and a half, during which the theory of evolution became known and was largely accepted, especially amongst the better-educated classes.

The Kabbalists naturally are Creationists, but they still would agree with some of what the Evolutionists have to say. For instance, they have always maintained that there is variation within species, just as Charles Darwin (on a contemporary caricature right) had said. Unfortunately, the evolutional theory has turned into a kind of religion, just as has done its close relative Marxism. Therefore it cannot be surprising that the Evolutionists together with the Marxists have dug themselves deep into their entrenchments, where they face their opponents the Creationists, who have made their own foxholes. This is so because there could ever only be two possibilities, out of which one has to make one’s selection:

 

1. Everything alive, including all its parts, came into being as a result of blind chance (suits the Evolutionists).

2. Behind all that exists in this world stands some kind of intelligence.

               Let’s look at the first possibility. It presupposes that that in some primary ocean that existed on Earth many years ago, the solar rays assisted by electrical discharges that accompanied the constant fierce storms, the first organic compounds have somehow come into existence. The scientists may not be able to tell us exactly (or even approximately) how it happened, however many will insist that it could have happened. They would back such theories up by the facts that several kinds of amino acid substances have been created under the laboratory conditions. That being so, it is still long way to having such substances “come alive”. The scientists theorise that some kind of “bouillon” that would have been able to perk them up must have existed. In this primary broth, they further speculate, the coded molecules of DNA or deoxyribonucleic acid somehow came into being. No other life model thus far has been discovered that would be able to carry the genetic material from one generation onto another.

               Again, there are two possibilities, the evolution, or the creation. The first, on which the dialectical materialist would insist, is that it happened by a pure chance. He would insist that a movement towards improvement and refinement of matter is a natural one. However, if we have all the necessary conditions present, i.e. some sort of basic substance (the above said bouillon) that would be capable of storing the amino acids, it would take a chance of monumental proportions to have a life that would be able to go on living, spring up. It would not only have to be able to maintain meaningful information, built into the chain of DNA, but it would also be able to pass it onto the generations to come. Even if we take the simplest forms of life known to us, such as the most primitive kind of bacteria, it still contains in a single cell at least two thousand genes (cistrons). Each of these controls and regulates the activity of one of the enzymes. So far as the scientists know at present, this is the bottom line; a smaller number of elements controlling the enzyme activities within a cell of anything alive would not be compatible with life.

               It gets a lot more complicated from here on. Every single one of the genes is coded with about one thousand “words”, i.e. amino acids, while every single amino acid contains four bases. Thus in case of the simplest form of cellular bacterial life there have to be at least six million articles of amino acids, the four bases of which give us four to the power of six multiplied by ten to the power of five possibilities. The likelihood of such combination occurring spontaneously, which would have to be perfect and without any flaws if it were to contain meaningful information and thus carry within the possibility of life, could therefore be expressed by the rate of 1:4 — followed by a million of zeros. If the current estimates of the Earth’s age are correct, the number of seconds that have passed since its creation, would only have thirteen zeros!

Of course, yet another possibility, which some would no doubt wish me to have included, is that life was somehow seeded on our planet by some extraterrestrial intelligent beings. Though this cannot be entirely ruled out, it still doesn’t answer the fundamental questions, which are:

 

Where did such seed come from?

Who arranged for it to reach the Earth?

 Who conceived the idea of such a seed? 

Who has designed it?

Whoever it was, have they evolved or were they created?

And, of course, we must not forget the fundamental question:

Who has created the Earth and Heaven?

 

TO: WHAT IS KABBALAH? 

Meetings With Remarkable People   Mephisto & Pheles    Intrusion   The Kabbalah  
 The Čapek Brothers    Struggle of the Magicians    
The Fools' Pilgrimage  Contact 


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