When the group of Kabbalists that became a nation spread all over the world after the spiritual descent, it was separated. The Jews were cut off from each other in different parts of the world and the wisdom of Kabbalah was hidden until the time came. Under these conditions, although it is a result of free will, certain people who didn’t really attain spirituality created different alternative methods, perceptions, and beliefs. This is the origin of the different religions, which are actually corrupt “adaptations” of the wisdom of Kabbalah.
It began in the days of Abraham: He brought the people of his time the necessary means for their development: methods that led them to the truth in some way, that elevated them above the “beastly” level and enabled them to at least touch the more advanced perception of the upper force, of life and death.
Today, however, it is very hard to speak about the true wisdom of Kabbalah because everyone has his own opinion about it. People have heard a lot about mysticism, about red strings, miracles, lucky charms, special prayers, rituals, etc., not to mention those who simply make a profit from that. Even the honest openhearted approach doesn’t guarantee a successful spiritual search, although even such ideas were attributed to the wisdom of Kabbalah.
As a result of all this, there is great confusion these days. We are speaking about a wisdom that is revealed especially in our days since we are approaching a fatal stage in history. After all, an incorrect interpretation of this wisdom can bring about much bloodshed, if it does not allow us to follow the right and simple way.
In the article “The General Attribute of the Hidden Wisdom,” Baal HaSulam quotes from the book of Proverbs: “The Lord’s Glory is concealed.” This rule is the strict rule that applies to the concealment of the wisdom of Kabbalah, as he says: Many have fallen victim to revelations of this kind. It is from this that all the magicians and mystics originate when students who lacked principles went in the wrong direction and began to teach all the materials they had without checking whether the person was suitable for this purpose. Thus they began to use the wisdom in order to attain human goals, out of lust and ambition, selling things attributable to Holiness and calling it “practical Kabbalah.”
In the article “Disclosing a Portion, Covering Two,” Baal HaSulam adds: “From the midst of those stem all the charmers, whisperers, and ‘practical’ Kabbalists, who hunt souls with their cunningness, and the mystics, who use withered wisdom that came from under the hands of unworthy students, to draw bodily benefit for themselves or for others. The world has suffered much from it, and is suffering still.”
For us practical Kabbalah means that we actually correct ourselves when we unite in the group according to the principle of mutual guarantee. But for others it is about certain actions that help them remove the evil eye, to change their fate, etc.
On the whole there are two separate approaches:
- I acknowledge the fact that everything is in the hands of the Creator and only with His help when I transcend myself is it possible to change anything. Everything in our world is meant for us to change ourselves and not to try to change our fate. Eventually I look at myself and at the world through a prism of the opportunity to bring contentment to the Creator, when I resemble Him, adhere to His attributes, and thus enable Him to be revealed in the created being. Looking at reality this way is the wisdom of Kabbalah—the revelation of the attribute of bestowal in the created being that completely fills him.
- As to the correction of everything else: A person’s health, family issues, the state, the world, it all has nothing to do with the wisdom of Kabbalah, but with psychology, rituals, etc.
It is one of the two: Either my only goal is to perceive the world according to principle of the unity of the Creator, to actually discover Him by correcting myself, or I use different means in order to correct my external state.
From the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 5/18/12, The Essence of the Wisdom of Kabbalah