Question: Baal HaSulam writes in the book A Sage’s Fruit that at one time philosophy took the place of Kabbalah. However, only Kabbalah can talk about the issues that philosophy took as its basis. What is the reason for this statement?
Answer: If we take the basis of philosophy—and now I am not speaking from the point of view of a Kabbalist, but from the point of view of a philosopher—then the medieval German Kabbalists, in particular, the philosopher and humanist Johann Reuichlin writes in his work De Arte Cabbalistica that Pythagoras, the founder of philosophy, translated the word ”kabbalah” into Greek with the term “philosophy,” and took all the basics of philosophy from Kabbalah.
Indeed, even in the time of the prophets, in the eighth and ninth century BC, the ancient Greeks studied with Kabbalists. Kabbalists taught everyone who wanted to study, because Kabbalah is intended for everyone without exception.
If a person had a desire to engage in their own improvement and attain spiritual likeness with the upper force, he could come and study this method. There were no restrictions on this.
Subsequently the ancient Greeks, who studied with the prophets, organized their own school. They disconnected matter from its form and began to deal with the abstract form. And philosophy appeared from this.
From KabTV’s “Close-Up. Seekers” 9/16/09