Is Atheism Compatible With Kabbalah?

Is Atheism Compatible With Kabbalah?A question I received: I have been very curious about this for a long time. We say that Kabbalah is not religion, or does not require a particular belief system, yet atheism is now considered a religion among many and it is one of the fastest growing, though that may be a contradiction in terms, as many consider religion a system of belief in God. In any case, we have said Kabbalah study is secular, so my question is – can an atheist be a Kabbalist, or does Kabbalah require a belief in God? After all, in Kabbalah the idea is to become like the Creator.

My Answer: Kabbalah differs from “everything else” (religion or not) in that it facilitates a clear attainment of the Creator, so that you will feel Him like you feel a friend of yours, and even more. Hence there is no room in Kabbalah for belief in something others have told to you. Rather, you have to attain yourself, the entire world, and all the souls, and inside them – the Creator in His entirety.

Atheism is a belief that the Creator does not exist, whereas religion is a belief that the Creator does exist. In contrast, Kabbalah is the revelation of the Creator, through researching Nature inside yourself or inside your perceptions.

In this regard, Kabbalah is similar to other sciences. However, the other sciences reveal the world within the senses that we already have, whereas Kabbalah does it in an additional sense – the soul, which you first have to develop inside you. In any case, just like any other science Kabbalah speaks only about the things that are present in one’s senses! It is not interested in anything that’s imperceptible and that cannot be researched, repeated, and tested, and considers these things unreal. This approach makes it a science by definition. See the definition of Kabbalah in Baal HaSulam’s article “The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah” – “Kabbalah is the method of revealing the Creator to man in our world” – to every person and to everyone together.

Like all sciences, Kabbalah uses the scientific method or instrument (even though scientists find it difficult to agree with this because they are used to researching the world only through the animate body). The scientific method assumes that:

  • Every scientific statement must be proven by experiment.
  • Every scientific statement can be proven wrong.
  • It is pointless to discuss an idea that cannot be verified in practice. For example, here is a scientific opinion about G-d’s existence: Immanuel Kant showed that it cannot be proven that G-d exists as well as that He does not. The very notion of an unattainable and almighty G-d is not subject to experiment, because if G-d is almighty, then he’s able to control the outcome of the experiment. People don’t accept G-d through evidence, but through faith. Hence, the idea of G-d is beyond science. Any question that asks “Why is so and so this way?” can be answered, “Because it’s G-d’s will.” (This is how religion compelled people to answer all questions, and therefore it slowed down scientific progress.) Kabbalah allows one to reveal the Creator and His actions in practice. However, it is just as indifferent to the things that cannot be verified in practice as the earthly sciences.
  • Every scientific statement must be logical and not contradict the laws that are already known. Usually, the old laws become particular cases of the new laws.
  • Every scientific statement must indicate its “weak spots”; it should mention which of it constituents are subject to doubt and objection.

Related Material: Post: Kabbalah Leaves No Room for Faith Post: Some Quotes by Albert Einstein
UPI Article: “Everybody’s God”
Kabbalah Today Article: “Contradictory Phenomena”
What the Bleep!? – Quantum Physics Meets Kabbalah

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  1. I have found that few atheists are open to Kabbalah because of the fervent nature of their disbelief. They do not approach Kabbalah or any other philosophy for that matter, with an open mind. They begin at the assumption that there is no creator and that assumption is more often than not, not reached naturally. More often than not their atheism is reached through the same physiological factors that move people towards any kind of religion and often very fundamentalist in that respect. In the academic world I have seen atheism as a manifestation of personal ego rather than spirit. This makes it inherently controlling and self destructive rather than a true enlightenment reached through reason.

  2. “Atheism is a belief that the Creator does not exist.”
    I am sorry but this statement is false. Atheism is not a belief but a lack thereof. If you don’t believe in unicorns or aliens, you don’t state it’s a belief.
    ” In any case, just like any other science Kabbalah speaks only about the things that are present in one’s senses! It is not interested in anything that’s imperceptible and that cannot be researched, repeated, and tested, and considers these things unreal.”
    Science is principles and procedures for the systematic pursuit of knowledge involving the recognition and formulation of a problem, the collection of data through observation and experiment, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. To state Kabbalah cannot be researched, repeated and tested shows its not Science!
    “People don’t accept G-d through evidence, but through faith. ”
    There is no evidence whatsoever for GOD. Faith means “belief without proof.”
    “things that cannot be verified in practice as the earthly sciences,”
    Science is the best way we have to understanding the world. To dismiss the best method we have to understand the world for a system of belief, makes me question your motive. Seems very delusional.

  3. I am an atheist who believes energy is the all encompassing force responsible for all things. No gods/goddesses just magnificent and all powerful energy. Can I practice Kabbalahnism?

  4. This is some years down the line, but two observations on Chris’s comment above.

    Firstly, Atheism is a belief that there is no Creator, not just a lack of belief. Agnosticism is a system that neither claims belief in a Creator or that there is not one. However, its belief that the existence of a Creator is unknowable is also a belief.

    All logical argumentation (as proven by Kurt Godel– Incompleteness Theorem, and more directly by Gregory Chaitin–Algorithmic Information Theory), is merely a rehashing of axiom. Axioms are either axioms of faith or of sensory observation. As such only sensory realization can prove the matter–not arguments of benevolence or cruelty, etc. One has to “see” a vacuum into absolute infinity, or sense a Creator in a tangible sense–as one senses the sun.

    By analogy, never seeing the sun increases the chance that it doesn’t exist, but the lack of knowledge of when to expect sunrise never allows one to quantify the matter or draw a conclusion. One sunrise, however, does.

    However, as one can justifiably claim the nonexistence of the sun as a working model until seeing it–but not as a fact.

    This brings me to my second point about Chris’s argument. The point is that Kabbalah does claim itself to be a science. But the point is that it claims, like religion, that there is a spiritual predecessor to the corporeal–and that this is what it is a sensory science of. Science openly admits blindness to such a higher reality, but in this, claims that it is merely a blindness to the nonexistent which is no blindness at all.

    However, if radios are repeatable, and others willing to work in the discipline of electrical engineering build correlating devices, then a claim of being deaf to music waves not of sound because they don’t exist, is rendered false.

    In this regard, Kabbalah’s claim to a sensory method is completely different than religion or Atheism — or certainly, Agnosticism, as it claims–as did the prophets and most remarkably the Israelite nation at Mount Sinai–that such sensory validation is possible if the right spiritual sensations are developed.

    Ah, and what makes this a science of observable fact, not imagination? The same thing that makes us believe the impossible instantaneous entanglement of quantum mechanics–repeatability once the needed “apparatus” is developed, and the correlation of other scientists who put in the effort to construct the same apparatus.

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