A question I received: You say that Kabbalah has nothing in common with religion. Then why don’t Christians, Muslims, and followers of other belief systems have books on Kabbalah? Didn’t they all come from the Jewish religion?
My Answer: Baal HaSulam writes that all people may keep their respective religions even after reaching the final spiritual correction – adhesion with the Creator. This is a sign that the external actions bear absolutely no relation to spirituality, even though many people want to attribute this to them.
Kabbalah was developed by Abraham in Babylon 4000 years ago. The Jewish religion as we know it today appeared after the downfall of the Jewish people from the spiritual level 2000 years ago. Kabbalah then became concealed (when The Book of Zohar was written), and all that remained is a corporeal, egoistic “imprint” of the previous, spiritual way of life. This is how Judaism was formed in the way it exists today. Later Christianity and Islam also originated from it.
The Jewish religion divides into the Orthodox, Conservative and Reform branches. However, they differ only by having greater or smaller limits of observing the physical commandments. Hence they understand each other, are on the same side of egoism, and work to preserve it. In other words, the aim of one’s actions is inside a person, in the intention “for oneself.”
Kabbalah, on the other hand, summons people to observe the intention “for bestowal” (for one’s neighbor or for the Creator – that is, “outside oneself”), rather than to observe physical actions. It deals with the internality rather than the externality (see item 61 of the “Introduction to The Book of Zohar”). Hence Kabbalah is opposite to all religions.
This is why all the religions understand each other, but they consider Kabbalah absolutely unacceptable. Humanity will receive many more blows of fate before it will uncover the Creator’s Plan – to come close to Him through one’s intention.
Today Kabbalah is coming back into use, in order to correct man. We have to add it to our lives by beginning to correct ourselves. There is also a place for religion: to remain as a form of culture. This is because Kabbalah reveals the Creator and the Upper World to a person, leaving no room for suppositions about them. In this case, all that remains of religion are customs or traditions.
The reason why the religions are hostile toward Kabbalah is that Kabbalah gives every person an explanation of how to reveal the Creator, and in doing so it negates the need for religion. By giving people a personal connection with the Creator, Kabbalah strips the religious leaders of their power over the people.
Nevertheless, Kabbalists are in favor of preserving religion as a tradition or culture, as a nation’s framework and way of life. At the same time Kabbalah says that we should complement this way of life with the attainment of the Creator – which is the purpose of man’s creation and his perfect state.
“Kabbalah Revealed” Episode 12: The Difference Between Kabbalah and Religion [24:58m]: Play Now | Download
Laitman.com Post: Religion Is a Cultural Tradition, Kabbalah Is the Method of Correction
Laitman.com Post: The Writings of the Last Generation
Kabbalahblog.info Post: 2 Ways to Achieve Perfection
Baal HaSulam Article: “The Essence of Religion and Its Purpose”
Revelation vs. Belief [03:26m]: Play Now | Download