Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Postcard Kabbala

Two of my friends are great fans of Kabbala classes and websites. They eagerly tell me about the great heavenly knowledge they are receiving.
It doesn't move me to join them, for several down-to-earth reasons.
1: I don't trust the sincerity of a community movement in which huge amounts of money are being made. To put it bluntly, "Truth for Profit" just doesn't sound like God's way.

2: I am not impressed with the "revelations" posted by Kabbalistic rabbis, given as answers to people with real-life issues. The vague "pearls" seem to be truisms chosen at random from Kabbalistic writings, whereas a specific question deserves a specific answer.

3: I doubt that the comprehension of Lifechanging Spiritual Truth can be mass-marketed. Huge halls containing hundreds of expectant people may be a venue for getting across a few Common Beginning Truths. On the other hand, this has also been the setting throughout history for Group Indoctrination and Brainwashing.
The discovery of Real Truth is a journey best taken alone. Or with one or two friends whose love of the Truth is a proven fact.
Is Kabbala part of that Truth? Well, I'm pretty sure I won't find the answer in those huge halls or vague "pearls". It would be like trying to study the work of an artist from the cheap postcard reproductions you find in souvenir shops. If you've stood before an original Van Gogh, you can be reminded of that experience by looking at the copy. If you haven't, all you can hope to get is a sense of structure and style.
Great Spiritual Teaching that may be contained in Kabbala cannot be discovered by studying its cheap postcards. The most profound Truth revealed by this method is the predictability of the Great Human Ego, forever seeking short-cuts to Heaven.

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