Magazine article Tikkun

Creative Kabbalah: Kabbalah of Creation; Isaac Luria's Earlier Mysticism

Magazine article Tikkun

Creative Kabbalah: Kabbalah of Creation; Isaac Luria's Earlier Mysticism

Article excerpt

Jason Shulman is a spiritual teacher and the founder of A Society of Souls, a three-year training program in kabbalistic healing. Contact: www.kabbalah.org.

Every act of true inquiry into the metaphysical world is a kind of leave-taking from the house of our fathers and mothers, a radical departure from the world of life knowledge received from others to the world of knowledge received directly from the Source of our being.

The study of Kabbalah is concerned with the elimination of secondhand knowledge of the Divine in favor of first-hand knowledge and personal experience. Because of this, the true mystical seeker is always confronted with two seemingly antithetical needs: The desire to belong to a group that has a common origin, vision, and purpose, and the need to take a journey that brings them to the edge of the common tongue, beyond form, where the language of God is found. A Jewish koan might be: When we finally meet God, is God Jewish?

Nowhere is this journey more true than in the work of the kabbalistic genius Rabbi Isaac Luria, because if one actually lives Luria's work he or she is brought to a living truth beyond rote religion.

Reb Luria (also known as the Ari, the Lion) was born in Jerusalem in 1534. After living in Egypt, he taught in Safed, and died in 1572 at the age of thirty-eight. In that short span, Luria re-envisioned the course of Jewish mystical thought. Through his concepts of tzimtzum, and his understanding of the movement of Divine Light through the Tree of Life, he showed us a way to actually apply metaphysical thought to our daily life, and through psychological implications, renew ourselves in the Presence of God in the here and now. …

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