A question I received: Does Kabbalah contain any secret wisdom that is forbidden from being revealed?
My Answer: In the wisdom of Kabbalah the word “forbidden” essentially means “impossible.”
A Kabbalist cannot present himself to the public and begin to reveal the secrets of this wisdom, pulling them out of his hat like a magician does a rabbit or a dove.
He cannot reveal anything to the people, other than the method of developing their perception. Subsequently, as a person develops his perception of the spiritual, in it he will reveal what is presently a secret to him.
A “secret” is what you do not know, see or otherwise sense at the present moment. While in the next phase it will become clear, simple and revealed.
In the science of Kabbalah every concept is studied according to the four phases of revelation, which are the four phases of development of spiritual perception (Aviut, the coarseness of the desire).
This is called entering into Pardes (the garden of knowledge): Pshat – knowledge, Remez – hint, Derush – discernment, Sod – secret. However, the process of entering occurs in the reverse order.
By correcting one’s perception of reality, one gradually ascends from secret (Sod) to discernment (Derush) to hint (Remez) to knowledge (Pshat). And there is nothing forbidden in any of it.
“Forbidden” means that the Kabbalists don’t want to confuse the person with excessive knowledge that he is not yet ready to comprehend. It is just as we raise a child by gradually expanding his diet, the games he plays, etc.
A teacher is supposed to prepare the “spiritual nourishment” in accordance with the student’s level. Therefore, the Kabbalists don’t fear revealing the forbidden; instead they fear “overdosing” the rest of us, just as an unripe fruit is harmful to one’s health.
In the wisdom of Kabbalah, it harms by “expelling” the person out of this wisdom altogether. There’s even the possibility of the person being unable to discard whatever misconceptions he has acquired for the rest of his life, essentially wasting his current incarnation.
That is why we progress from the simple to the complex. Such is the path of correction.
This is why the Kabbalists’ only fear is giving the student an “unripe fruit,” for the only way for him to grow correctly and fully attain the science of Kabbalah is by proceeding along the phases suitable to his development.