Kabbalah for the uninitiated

Kabbalah is supposed to help transmogrify people to become spiritual beings and reach the 99% reality of this world. I'd like that. But not soon, though.

By Anthony O. Alcantara

With a few lines and a few circles on the presentation easel, she was finished.

Ta-da! It was the “tree of life.”

I couldn’t believe it was that simple. It didn’t even look like a tree. I felt like genuflecting but my left leg was numb after 10 minutes with crossed legs.

I was at the Kabbalah lecture titled “Redefining Impossible” held recently at the Mandarin Oriental in Makati. Curious about many things, I decided to see what it was all about.

Kabbalah, according to the brochure given to us, is “an ancient wisdom that reveals how the universe and life work. On a literal level, the word Kabbalah means ‘receiving.’ It’s the study of how to receive fulfillment in our lives.”

It’s vague, I know. Perhaps I can direct you to www.kabbalah.com. In any case, it’s not a religion. You can still be a devout Catholic, a Protestant, a Muslim, or even a Jedi Knight, which, incidentally, is based on the philosophy of Star Wars. Some fans of the movie series actually managed to influence some people to include this quasi-religion in surveys in the United Kingdom, Australia, and some other countries. Don’t ask.

Sarah Lopez, a Kabbalah teacher based in London where some Jedi Knights exist, showed us where most people are on the tree of life–right down there at the bottom circle of the tree of life.

They call it the 1% world, which is the physical world that we live in. The 99% world, represented by nine other circles above the lone circle at the bottom, is the realm of the spirit.

Sarah made references about the atom. Most of the atom, she said, is really energy. It’s not physical. She equates energy with spiritual energy. The universe, as we were taught, was created with a sudden burst of light that led to the “accident”, which means you and me, the awe-inspiring landscapes and animals in the zoo and, unfortunately, some irritating politicians we have.

The goal, Sarah said, is to “bring our consciousness out of the 1%.”

“The spiritual came first before the physical,” she said.

And spiritual is infinite, too, just as the universe is infinite and boundless.

She added that everything in this world is part of that primordial light that started everything. And since we all came from that light, we are all destined to get that light.

This leads to an interesting dichotomy between the spiritual and physical:

  • endless – limited
  • immortality – death
  • infinite – finite
  • cure – disease
  • courage – fear
  • certainty – doubt
  • love – hate
  • solution – problem
  • possibility – impossibility

The lecture was full of anecdotes and parables–the men in the mental hospital, the raven and the dove, the pessimistic kid and the optimistic kid, the Kabbalah teacher in a coma, the drowning man. And there was a lot of reference to the “Light”–seeking the “Light”, receiving the “Light”, sharing our light, the curtain covering the “Light.”

Now how the heck do they teach Kabbalah to the blind? Perhaps Kabbalah for the blind would be an interesting topic.

But perhaps Sarah and the other Kabbalah experts have the answer to this already. After all, they’re already in a higher plane of existence, while I’m here sitting on my chair massaging my numb leg.



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