1316 Connecting with Our Inner Guide

1316 MK

Our inner guide that lives within each of us is that voice--some call intuition--which is continually whispering advice in subtle ways that can influence our simplest daily decisions. Some people are very aware of this voice, while others do not realize its presence. This voice usually does not speak in ordinary language, but is more poetic, more metaphorical, more inclined to use “signs” than articulating specific instructions. The difficulty with this idea is that it closely borders on superstition and can easily be misinterpreted. Still, we don’t really know how some premonitions and other psychic phenomena seem to work, so it may be worthwhile to explore the guidance that often seems to come from within.

1315 Personality and the Tree of Life

1315 MK

As the Tree of Life is made of up the basic elements of this creation, it can be understood on many levels. One of these would be how each individual is a composition of the ten primordial sefirot in her or his unique way, with a predominance of some of the qualities (sefirot) and a disproportionate under representation of others. Understanding this matrix of the characteristics represented by each sefira can offer us insight into our individual personalities in the same way as science attempts to describe various strengths and weaknesses on the basis of our dna.

1314 The Secret Mysteries of Creation

1314 MK


Ma-Asey Bereshit, the “work” of Creation, refers to the hidden teachings of the Kabbalah that describe how Creation manifested. These teachings are not “hidden” in the usual sense of the work, as if buried under tons of rock in an inaccessible cave, rather this kind of hiddeness is actually out in the open for all to see, but it requires an ability to decode the transmissions that appear as mundane ideas but are actually, when decoded, profound revelations. The ability to understand the process of this decoding itself can arise in a flash of Awareness, or it can take many years of study, immersion, and careful observance of a wide array of wisdom teachings.

1313 Tikkun: Fixing One's Soul/World

1313 MK

The idea of Tikkun (fixing) is central to Jewish mysticism with regard to the meaning and purpose of life. This fixing is necessary for the individual, and it is also necessary in our service to the world. We can view it from the perspective of raising holy sparks, doing whatever is necessary to raise ourselves and the world up to the integrated Oneness that will fulfill the destiny of creation—to bring about a new level of consciousness that will open the gateways to the full realization of our potential.

1312 Returning Holy Sparks into Oneness

1312 MK

In the cosmology of Isaac Luria, the Ari, initially in the Creation there were vessels (kaylim) that were filled with light to a point where they could not contain this primordial light, and they burst. This process is called Shevirat haKaylim, the bursting of the vessels, which spread sparks of this infinite light across the universe.

In Luria's cosmology, the brilliant light that initially was uncontainable, ultimately became less concentrated and thus less forceful. In essence, the original became "sparks." These sparks are diminishments of the original light, and the whole purpose of creation in this cosmology is to raise these sparks up to the oneness of their original form. This is accomplished through good deeds, among other things.

1311 The Faces of God-ing

1311 MK

The mystical approach specifies that there are no characteristics that can be attributed to the idea of God, for it transcends all attempts to define. Any definition is, by definition, far too limited to grasp infinity, or the absurd notion of “beyond” infinity.

Still, there are many ways to partially suggest a wide variety of characteristics that are associated with God, with the appreciation the we are not suggesting that all these characteristics combined come even close to grasping that which is ungraspable. This variety of characteristics can be appreciated by the large number of names, each represented by a “face-name,” which in Kabbalah is called a Partzuf. Adonoy, Elohim, El, Shaddai, yod-hay-vav-hay, Yah, Tzevaot, Shalom, Ohr, Makom, are but a handful of God-names, each having a defining characteristic. 

1310 Kabbalistic Teachings of Tzimtzum

1310 MK

One of the major difficulties in philosophical and theological inquiry is how evil appeared in the world. If the Source of Life is all powerful, all loving, all knowing and all good, there is no possibility for evil to occur. One of the major kabbalists, Isaac Luria, the Ari, proposed an interesting idea in which he says that the Source of Life somehow contained and contracted a part of itself from which everything was excluded, including the power of love and goodness that was predominant in everything but this contraction.

The word for contraction is tzimtzim, and this doctrine of tzimtzum has been a predominant theme in mystical Judaism. Today, however, a different approach is becoming more prevalent that says good and evil are relative ideas and are dependant upon perspective and acculturation. This remains yet another difficult paradox for our exploration.

1309 Kabbalah on the Meaning of Life

1309 MK

The big questions of the meaning of life have been with us for thousands of years. Any library or good bookstore holds, on some level, the majority of the wisdom teachings of the world. But we still have not found the answers in books.

The mystical approach to understanding the important teachings is different from the normal way of intellectually searching for answers. Rather, the mystical approach is to focus our attention on developing a state of continuous Awareness in which the truth reveals itself.

The word "Kabbalah" means to receive from the constant “transmitter” of the universe, the ultimate source that is always providing the answer in each and every moment. All that needs to be done is to attune ourselves to the ongoing Awareness that implicitly reveals itself through deep contemplative meditation.

1308 Humans and God-ing Co-create

1308 MK

What does it mean that humans and the God-ing process co-create the universe? The concept of the co-creation of the universe builds upon the kabbalistic idea that creation is the result of an infinite Bestower that is constantly giving. This bestowing property is the core urge behind all that moves; it is the source of all that “is.” It’s nature is to give.

The nature of creation is to receive. The "will" to receive is the result of this infinite bestowing nature of the universe. In the statement that humans are creatures created in the likeness of the Bestower, it suggests that humans have the potential to give as well as receive. This capability of giving is at its source the bestowing nature of "creation." Thus the universal urge to give finds its fullest capability in human consciousness, which simultaneously receives and gives as vehicle of great potential. (see 1323)

1307 What does it Mean that God is a Process I Call God-ing (mp3) (free)

It is well known in mystical theology that God is not an entity, a thing that can be measured; an old man in the sky. But there remains confusion regarding the idea of God when we bring time into the picture. Clearly, time is only relevant in our reality with regard the universe, but there is no coherent time before the beginning, so to speak, of this creation. So God transcends time, is timeless, eternal, beyond time. It has no “existence” as such, no “thingness.” Yet, it is ever-present, which means that it is always “here.” Indeed, there is only here and now, only this unfolding moment, and this is the closest we can come to Knowing the Presence.

1306 What we Learn from the Tree of Life

1306 MK

What do we learn from the branches of the Tree of Life? The so-called branches, the ten eminations that represent the Tree of Life are the mystical elements out of which all of creation is formed. The design of this mystical foundation is that it reaches infinitely in the six directions: up, down, right, left, forward and backward. In addition it extends to other dimensions: inner, outer, above, below, future, past, and forth. So, while it can be represented two dimensionally on a page, it is more than four dimensional; each emanation (sefira) is represented in every dimension and in every other sefira infinitely and infinitesimally.

1304 Entering the Mountain of Wisdom

1304 MK

What does it mean to enter the mountain of wisdom rather than "climb" or "ascend"? The Torah describes Moses going up Mt. Sinai to get the tablets of teachings. However a literal reading of the actual Hebrew suggests that Moses went “into” the mountain. The Kabbalist reads this as that Moses needed to enter a higher state of consciousness in order to fulfill his destiny, and this translates into our “inner Moses,” the part of us that yearns to merge with the Divine, is receiving obvious instruction here and throughout the Torah on how to go about opening one’s Awareness to the true nature of things.

1303 The Kabbalistic View of God (Ein Sof)

1303 MK

What does the Kabbalistic view of God as Ein Sof (Boundlessness) mean?When we come to the teaching that the God-ing Process is an unending flow of life, we have an opportunity to see things through a new lens. The unfolding moment-to-moment experience of NOW is a direct link to God Consciousness, which is available to every conscious being. 

1302 What Does it Mean to Live a Kabbalistic Life? (mp3) (free)

Kabbalah is often approached as an abstract system, but my own preference is to consider it as a way of life, for this opens one up to the practical application of kabbalistic insights. One’s way of life allows us to explore the deeper meanings of experiences and events, and through this method we gravitate to increasingly higher states of consciousness.

1301 The Meaning of the Tree of Life

1301 MK

What does the Tree of Life represent in Kabbalah and what does it mean? The Tree of Life is an archetype of creation similar to other systems that attempt to represent the basic structure of the universe, the common denominators that cannot be reduced. Scientists do this kind of reduction in describing the basic elements upon which all matter is built, and the dna is built upon amino acids. So too, the Tree is built upon ten (some say eleven) principals that are the basic aspects of life.

1226 Hasidic Story: The Snuff Box

1226 EG

The snuff box is a chasidic tale that teaches how one's fate can rest on small acts. It following a chasidic theme that we are responsible for all of our thoughts and actions, no matter how trivial they might seem. Moreover, the more careful a person is, the more fate will challenge that person.

(read the print version of this story 2252)

1224 Hasidic Story: Yosele the Holy Miser

1224 MK

Yosele was the richest man in town; but also had the reputation of being the meanest. The local beggars knew not to knock on his door for alms. But Yosele had a secret, and by this he became known as "the Holy Miser." This is the story of how that came about.