Baal HaSulam, “The Wisdom of Kabbalah and Philosophy”: If there is any definition that can tell spiritual from corporeal, it belongs only to those who have attained a spiritual thing and felt it. These are the genuine Kabbalists; thus, it is the wisdom of Kabbalah that we need.
This material world is completely detached from spirituality. Kabbalists explain to us that our material world is simply an outcome of our imagination. After we wake up, we’ll see that we “were as dreamers.” This dream and our existence in it seems real; however, at its core it is imaginary and illusive.
But we are unable to make the distinction. There is a reality and there are five sensors through which we can investigate the reality. Our exploration of this realm is called “science,” a complex of dependable knowledge that we use as guidance. With the help of science, people produce medications, build houses, etc., thus make our lives better. The set of knowledge that we call “science” is very reliable, trustworthy, and tested. This explains why science makes us more confident and satisfies us.
However, we keep thinking about “life after death.” We don’t know what it is. Physically, one dies together with one’s body, and yet it’s not a secret that on top of it there is a certain part in us, a spiritual component. There are no solid proofs of this fact; moreover, the wisdom of Kabbalah states that there is no spiritual constituent in us whatsoever. The one who hasn’t attained spirituality stays at an “animate,” physical level for one’s entire life. It’s not an accident that Baal HaSulam once said that he didn’t care where his “sack of bones” would be buried. However, we do have a chance to alter our nature in a way that in addition to our “animal” existence we also disclose life in another dimension, a spiritual reality.
It is very straightforward: whatever one manages to attain is all one actually has. Fantasizing won’t help; nothing from this world can be related to spirituality. Spirituality exists independently and if we are not yet there, we just cannot deliberate on it. Therefore, scientists do not explore this topic since they don’t have relevant “tools” for it.
And yet, there is a special approach to life that is called “philosophy.” It speculates on topics that are impossible to explore using traditional scientific methods. As a result, philosophers come up with various opinions about the spiritual world as if they sense, understand, or have access to it. No doubt that it’s clearly a wrong, unscientific approach that has nothing to do with science or common sense. It’s all about fantasizing; so, it’s not an accident that nowadays the word “philosophy” became derogatory. Those who are detached from reality are called “philosophers.” And rightly so.
That’s why Baal HaSulam was strongly against the philosophical approach. Previously, when it was impossible to reveal the wisdom of Kabbalah to the masses, philosophers could talk profusely about their views. Today, the wisdom of Kabbalah spreads out into the world, whereas philosophers continue to discuss things that they do not have any contact with, thus confusing people even more.
Baal HaSulam explains that philosophical constructions have no basis and that you can’t listen to philosophers since they mystify and puzzle themselves and others, thus depriving humanity of a chance to speed up their progress in attaining the goal of creation. After all, doesn’t the goal of creation come before and stay above all other things? If we don’t hurry up, if we let philosophers confuse us even more, we’ll be triggering additional afflictions. This is what concerned Baal HaSulam.
By the way, a curious question arises: How can sober, thinking people fantasize about something they haven’t yet attained, have no proofs of, and is something they have never tested or analyzed? This mystery of philosophy still has no answer.
From the 4th part of the Daily Kabbalah Lesson 7/2/13, Writings of Baal HaSulam