Mythology, mysticism and other complex historical intricacies are found all over the world. From ancient Greek beliefs, Gods, Goddesses and beings to powerful figures and mystical texts and guides, history has much to offer. Forms of mysticism can be seen in some religions, including Judaism. Jewish mysticism is also known as Kabbalah.
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A brief introduction to Kabbalah
So what exactly is Kabbalah? It is a discipline, thought, a study or simply mindset followed in Jewish mysticism. The essence of God is a Jewish tradition that deals with the nature of God. Kabbalists believe that God moves in strange ways, whether it’s through a sacred text, an experience, or the way things work.
Kabbalah is based on the Zohar, which is a collection of mystically authored Torah interpretations that are regarded to be the foundation of the religion. The Zohar is a spiritual guide for Kabbalists written in ancient Aramaic and medieval Hebrew, and it is designed to assist them in achieving the higher degrees of spiritual connection with God that they want.
The Sefirot and What it Means
A channel of divine creative life energy or consciousness through which Ein Sof reveals itself to mankind is characterized as the sefirot. The Sefirot means emanations, otherwise known as attributes, where 10 such attributes exist in Kabbalah. The sefirot are not to be confused with ten distinct “gods,” but rather with ten different avenues through which the one God communicates His will.
The sefirot, 10 spiritual attributes are reflected on the human anatomy. We can split them into 2 main categories, the conscious intellect and conscious emotions. Following the 16th century transcendent kabbalistic scheme of Isaac Luria, we will omit Keter and add Da’at.
The following are the 10 Sefirah and what they mean:
In the first category which is the conscious intellect, we have Chokmah – Initial seed of an idea. This attribute enables us to be creative, spiritual and transcended. Next we have the Binah which tackles logic, analysis and understanding. Last in the category is Da’at, the central state of the Sefirot which is also known as “Tree of Life” but simply it is knowledge, attentiveness and principle.
The second category of the Sefirah consists of primary and secondary emotions.
Starting with primary emotions we have Chesed, which is kindness or love. This attribute allows us to be generous, loving and optimistic. Next is Gevurah which is severity, the power of discipline and restraint. Enabling us to practice caution and seriousness. The next Sefirah is Tiferet which is compassion or the power to empathize. Traits that follow Tiferet include balance, empathy and harmoniousness.
Secondary emotions include Netzach which is the power of determination to overcome challenges. This attribute enables us to be persistent and daring. Next is Hod, otherwise known as humility and gratitude. The traits that follow are thankfulness and devotion. Yesod is the power to focus on others and to build genuine relationships. Lastly, Malkuth is the power of speech, communication and leadership. It enables us to be leading and achieving.
These are the ten elements that make up the human self, including the internal machinery that controls all intelligence and emotions. These ten Sefirah are thought to have been employed by God to build His universe, and we use them to shape ours.