A question I received: If Kabbalah is a science, why is it written that the Surrounding Light influences only those who believe?
My Answer: In Kabbalah, “faith” means the force of bestowal. Kabbalah doesn’t tell you to believe in something that someone says. In this science, faith is the force of bestowal – Bina, rather than words that someone says and someone else accepts as a fact.
When you study a science, you don’t believe in anything. Likewise, the science of Kabbalah does not use the notion of faith. This is not religion!
When I study Kabbalah, I trust the Kabbalists’ advice in order to draw the Surrounding Light upon me. The Kabbalists tell me what I should do, and explain why. With their help, I study the spiritual system, trusting them like a child who trusts his teacher in school or his parents. A small child has to trust an adult in order to ascend to a higher level. He has to rely on the instructions that come to him from the upper level – but not more than this.
This differs from the religion of our world, where faith isn’t when you trust someone in order to then ascend and verify things for yourself; but fanatic loyalty with your eyes closed. In Kabbalah, however, you don’t accept the Kabbalists’ words for a fact. Rather, you implement and verify them for yourself. Then, once you acquire a set of knowledge and proofs, you can continue the research on your own.