by V.H. Frater P.C.A.
The study of the Qabala
has its roots deep in Jewish Mysticism. The term Qabala or Kabbala as a
word did not really come into use until the 12th century. This does not
mean that the Qabala was not being proven by Mystics who were hungry for
We must be careful not to confuse Mysticism with Religion. In this case, the Jewish Mysticism is different from the Jewish Religion. The Qabala attempts to go by the dogmatic tradition of the religion.
Here are some basic differences between Jewish Mystical thought as it relates to the Qabala and standard rabbinical Judaism.
- The Creator God of the Bible is of "Positive Existence" whereas there is the source of this Creator God which is God of "Negative Existence." Qabalists call this Ain-Soph, the limitless or boundless. This does not mean that there is more than one "Prime Mover," as Aristotle would call it, but rather the God we know is only the manifested aspect of the Greater unmanifest.
- The Universe is a result of emanations from the Divine, not just a simple God-creation story.
- The Sephiroth or emanations are a bridge that helps us connect the finite universe with the Unknowable One, the Infinite.
There are many schools
of Qabala. The Golden Dawn system teaches a version based on the
Sepher Yetzirah, or
the "Book of Formation," along with numerous Hermetic writings
and traditions. The Golden Dawn System is not limited to just Jewish lore,
but can explore Egyptian archetypes as they relate to the Qabalah, Christians,
Greek, Gnostic and others. This allows a very powerful integration of
valued systems that have proven themselves in antiquity to be utilized
in relation to Qabalistic thinking and philosophy.
In addition, the Golden
Dawn System teaches a practical aspect to the Qabala. This means we can
take the information that we have and apply it to ways of improving our
world and our life. This is called the "Magic of Light."
One of the more common
mistakes people make is thinking that the traditional Golden Dawn was
a magical Order, when in fact it was a fraternity and school that
prepared people for performing magic. This magical work came only
after the student was prepared and had gone through the five outer Order
grades. Then the student was ready to build a solid foundation in practical
Qabalistic workings and methods.