The word “Kabbalah” comes from an Aramaic word meaning “to receive.” There are two ways of receiving: (1) receiving for the self alone, which is what the ego wants. This way will always create suffering and cut us off from the light. (2) receiving for the sake of giving. This is the key to attuning to the light and reaching total fulfillment. God is about giving, and if we are to become like God, then we need to overcoming the selfishness of the ego and share what we receive from the universe, be it time, energy, intelligence, money or anything else. Through sharing we dissolve the boundaries of the ego, heal conflict, and affirm the fact that we truly are all one and are all manifestations of God.
The thing I find so interesting about Kabbalah is that it is at root so simple. All you need is love! Now it is true that Kabbalah can be very complicated, and for those of you who delight in learning and studying all the details of our miraculous reality, Kabbalah can take you into a very intricate world to show you all the subtle workings of energies.
The fact that Kabbalah is at once totally simple and yet very complicated is mirrored in our own bodies. On a chemical level we are elaborate beings consisting of a myriad of organic compounds all working together in a vast symphony. But on another level you don’t need to understand chemistry, physiology and psychology to smile at someone. Really the simplest definition I can give for Kabbalah is that it’s the art of continually being kinder and kinder to other people! That’s the universal medicine!
Inner Light and Surrounding Light
Kabbalah tells us there are essentially two kinds of personal light: the light we have already assimilated within ourselves — our inner light, and the light we are yet to take in — the surrounding light, which we have not yet grown into.
Each of use burns with an inner light, but unless we have reached enlightenment there is still a part of our light which we have not integrated into our consciousness. Our task here on earth is to complete that process of taking in an becoming that light so that we are a complete manifestation of it. This is what evolution is all about.
How do we do this? By finding our limits and pushing against them. For instance, if you have a hard time being generous, then generosity is more a part of your surrounding light, and is something you are working toward becoming. If you are a naturally generous person, then generosity is part of your inner light. By knowing our inadequacies and current limits we become aware of that surrounding light which we are working on becoming.
The 72 Names of God
“The 72 Names of God” is a book by Yehuda Berg. These names of God each have three letters and are derived from three consecutive verses found in Exodus.
The names can be used for healing and blessing and are very powerful. Rather than being spoken, the names are to be visualized. When I visualize one of them I like to see it emanating light in all directions. Of course the more feeling and intensity you put in to the visualization the more effective it will be.
There is one of these names that most strongly corresponds to your own energy. To find out which one it is call 1-800-kabbalah and they’ll be happy to tell you once they have your birthday. To learn more about the 72 names, go to 72.com. At this website, if you click on “free tools” you will be shown a Name of God and a meditation pertaining to it.
Resistance: A Key to Spiritual Growth
Resistance correctly applied is a key to spiritul growth. There is a lot of students I have taught Kabbalah who have had problems understanding this idea of resistance. For one thing, we tend to put a negative connotation on this word. The type of resistance of which Kabbalah speaks, though, is purely positive, in fact wonderful!
Resistance is all about going against any force which holds us down or back. Resistance is what balances the yin and the yang. for instance, water is yin and fire is yang. Put them together and either the water evaporates, if the fire is stronger at the time, or the fire is put out, if the water is stronger at the time. But lets put some resistance into the equation, lets put a steel cooking pan between them, something to resist the fire totally evaporating the water, and to resist the water spilling onto the fire and putting it out. Now we’re cooking!
Resistance is not saying something negative when its come to mind and you have the impulse to do so. Resistance is not eating that piece of chocolate cake just because it’s there. Standing up is an act of resisting gravity. Maybe you know you need to meditate, but it’s easier to just turn on the T.V. Can you resist the impulse to do so, and go ahead and meditate? Resistance engaged in at the right place and time is what makes your spiritual light burn brighter.
One of the most important forms of resistance is that which occurs inwardly — resisting the impulse to place your consciousness in the past or future. The only way to do this is to be in the NOW, to place your awareness in the moment. This act of resistance, repeated over and over can eventually clear all karmas and lead us into higher and higher states of consciousness.
The Ultimate Sin
Great Rabbi said that the Ultimate Sin is not having fun. God wants us to enjoy life. Maybe the reason that Eve ate that apple in the first place is that she got bored and wasn’t having any fun any more.Have you had fun today? Fun is often trivialized, but in spiritual terms it’s serious business. People of the current world spend a lot of time, energy and money trying to have fun, but I think they often don’t achieve their goal. It’s hard to have fun when you’re carrying around bundles of worries. The solution? Stop worrying! I know it’s easier said than done, but the attempt to cease worrying is one of the noblest pursuits there is. Remember: the soul doesn’t worry. Only the ego can worry. You may think you can have fun yesterday or tomorrow, but the truth is, you can only have fun now. The ego delights in the past and future. In fact, the Ego is afraid of now! The ego loves to live in nostalgia (past), guilt and remorse (past), fears (which are fantasies about the future), and idealized visions of what could be (future). Drop it all and drop in to the present. Try some cheap, spontaneous fun!