Question: Does studying Kabbalah seriously interfere with a person’s religious beliefs?
Answer: If a person is religious, Kabbalah does not prevent him from keeping his habits, traditional customs and the culture of his people. But he can no longer blindly believe in the other world that contains the reward of heaven and the punishment of hell, since Kabbalah will show him how to reveal the Creator in this life. One contradicts the other.
He gradually stops waiting for the reward that awaits him somewhere after death in another world. With difficulty, this image disappears and all his expectations shift to the present and revelation in the here and now! The entire focus shifts from the other world to this world and to this life.
In this way, his attitude gradually changes towards the “future world” and the Creator as the reality that he approaches and plans on revealing in this life. This is his goal, his purpose in life, and why he lives and carries out the advice of the Kabbalists.
For this reason, it becomes difficult for a person to remain in his previous religious environment, because he feels that he no longer relates to it in spirit. Those people still believe in reward after death and all their actions are determined by this. They even view reward in this life differently, which is why he feels different from them, and differences create distance.
But this does not lead to some kind of depreciation of religion, because this form eventually must bring the whole of mankind to Kabbalah and the actual attainment of the Creator and the Light. Kabbalists respect every faith. Religion was founded by Abraham, and will exist for as long as people need it and until they become ready to attain the Creator.
As they ripen, they will go from religion towards actual revelation, gradually changing their goal. We are forbidden to rush this process of development and can only show the possibilities that mankind has before it.
And of course, the first people to come to Kabbalah will be the nonreligious people, because they feel a greater lack of satisfaction than the religious people. A secular person thinks that he controls his life, and suddenly it is revealed that he does not have any freedom. This humiliates him and forces him to either forget or turn to Kabbalah.
Meanwhile, a religious person still thinks that he has a Creator who will take care of him, and for this reason, he will close his eyes to everything he can, and become an even bigger fanatic in order to protect himself from doubts and emptiness.
He will hate Kabbalah even more for opening his eyes to the fact that there is only one goal – the revelation of the Creator. But he is still better protected from shocks until this lack of satisfaction comes to him from nature, the Creator, and will speak within him. Then he will submit to Kabbalah.
Excerpt from the lesson “Body and Soul,” 11/30/2010