Baal HaSulam, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot“: The third question, which is the fear that one will turn sour, well, there is no fear at all here. This is because the deviation from the path of God that occurred before was for two reasons: Either they broke the words of our sages with things that they were forbidden to disclose, or because they perceived the words of the Kabbalah in their superficial meaning, as corporeal instructions, breaching “Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image.”
Hence, until this day there has indeed been a fortified wall around this wisdom. Many have tried to begin to study, but could not continue for lack of understanding and because of the corporeal appellations.
First, it all belongs to the past, when people were not developed enough. Therefore, as it says, “they ate unripe fruit,” which is very dangerous. An undeveloped person mustn’t be given information that is not suitable for his level.
We see that the wisdom of Kabbalah is revealed in our times, that it is seemingly widespread and many people are attracted to it, each according to his preferences. There are those who try to use it to heal different illnesses, there are those who turn it into a religion, others turn it to mysticism, new age, etc. Everyone builds his wisdom from it, unless he is a part of a Kabbalistic group under the influence of a real teacher who knows what he is talking about, and follows the method relying only on the sources that he has received from his teacher.
Unfortunately, there are many groups that study the wisdom of Kabbalah in the wrong way, or learn TES by heart as if studying Babylonian Talmud in a Yeshiva, or trying to extract some mystical powers from it. It is the natural inclination of a person who wants immediate results—to take the wisdom of Kabbalah and interpret it according to familiar terms, as any other science.
A person doesn’t understand that he has to wait until the wisdom of Kabbalah begins to change him. Then after these changes take place, he will be able to begin the course of study. It is impossible to do it any other way, except for working in a group and revealing the upper force, that “there is none else besides Him,” and that He is “good and benevolent.”
So there were, are, and will be many more mistakes with regard to studying the wisdom of Kabbalah. But they are also included in the plan of creation. If a person doesn’t correct himself, but is still attracted to correction, but simply doesn’t fulfill it correctly, then he directs all the forces that were meant to help him in the process of correction in the opposite direction. In addition, others follow him into this empty study. Then later, after a long time goes by, they are finally disillusioned and accept this wisdom, not trying to profit from it, but loyally and rigorously carrying out what the books say or what they hear from the teacher.
It is impossible to remain “free” studying this wisdom, since freedom at the moment means acting according to our ego. The wisdom of Kabbalah, however, is the concealed wisdom, it is concealed from a person and every new level revealed suddenly brings such internal changes to a person, which he cannot even imagine in advance. Therefore, one must work blindly here, and carry out all the conditions the teacher and the books speak about.
From the 1st part the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 11/28/12, “Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot”