Only A Sage Can Recognize A Sage

Dr. Michael LaitmanIn the article "The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy," Baal HaSulam mentions a tale of the wise King Solomon who was deceived, exiled from Jerusalem, and left without money and personal belongings; he went from door to door in his kingdom, but wherever he went, no one believed he was a king.

The question is: Why didn’t anyone notice that he was a sage, and why didn’t he demonstrate his wisdom to them? The answer is that there are “three obstacles” in detecting the wisdom (of Kabbalah):

  1. Because Kabbalah contains the truth, it is impossible to comprehend it without having gathered all of its parts and studying it in full. Without having achieved this, one can’t discover its universal and integral nature. But in order to achieve this, the knowledge about its authentic truth must be spread throughout the masses.
  2. The demon Asmodeus (the egoistic, reverse image of truth and bestowal) dressed in King Solomon’s garments and took over his throne. Similarly, philosophy has placed itself in Kabbalah’s throne. Hence, the difficulty of revealing the truth to the masses grows. After all, the wisdom of Kabbalah is deep and requires exerting effort, whereas philosophy is false, easy to absorb, and accepts anybody’s notions. Therefore, egoism, the heart, gravitates to the opinion that there is no need to study Kabbalah and it is quite enough to be satisfied with philosophy.
  3. Asmodeus claimed that King Solomon was insane, just like philosophy ridicules and attempts to challenge the wisdom of Kabbalah.

In other words, to acknowledge the truth of the wisdom of Kabbalah is challenging. When we wish to present it to the masses, they say that they don’t need it since they have everything they need. People think that they are wise enough, and whatever Kabbalah says about the upper world is a fantasy, not an authentic truth, for man doesn’t see it.

So, it looks like it is impossible to reach the masses with Kabbalah in order for them to understand that it is right and that it contains the truth and a solution. After all, they are in a state where they are unable to see and acknowledge that it is the only means of salvation.

And so, until King Solomon reached the supreme assembly of sages (the Sanhedrin), who were Kabbalists themselves, and while he walked among his people, as the tale narrates, nobody managed to recognize the king in him, the greatest and the wisest of all. After all, in order to understand it, you yourself have to have the same wisdom and attainment as he does. And if you don’t possess it, you will understand nothing.

The sages of Kabbalah of the Sanhedrin were the only ones who were able to detect deception. But where will you find them today?
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 1/11/2011, "The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy"

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  1. This is very interesting.

    I assume by philosophy you mean abstractions not based on truth but personal opinion. The reason I keep inquiring about this, is I have met some philosophers who tried to base it in truth and came to similar truths that Kabbalists do. Others are simply self indulgent. Thank you for defining philosophy in an earlier post, it is good to see people can grow out of such things. I admit I had my interest in it for a time, but eventually I saw in myself and others how personal and self created it was and how it was akin to simple head butting to see who wins. At best a projection of our ego and issues. If it is based on truth though, by our terms it is not philosophy at all.

  2. This just helped to explain my past couple days lull

  3. wow, now i understand why when you talk to people about the real meaning of life they look at you as if you are crazy. I feel so much sadness… but not anymore after reading this article! Lets just spread the word there is still a lot of fish in the ocean :D…

  4. Is this the REASON that CHAIM VITAL in SHAR HAGILGULIM said that his NEFESH CAME be IBUR on the head of MAGID MISHNA, because he believed in PHILOSOPHY and NOT KABBALLAH, and the KELIPOT wanted him to get lost. THRU TRICKERY his NEFESH LEFT the KELIPOT.


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