I was lying in bed recently, reading a book on Qabalah and thought to myself - “How would I introduce this to an absolute beginner who had never heard of it before?”
I’m not saying it’s correct or valid or “the right way,” but I personally find Kabbalah (also spelled Qabalah) SO damn interesting. This is my attempt to explain what it is as simply as possible (from my point of view). I’ve stripped out its weird/complicated language and boiled things down to basics. Again, this is just MY oversimplified interpretation. Please take it with a grain of salt.**
Qabalah is a system of understanding reality - a philosophy about the nature of the universe and what lies beyond it - all stemming from a story of how the universe was created.
See this image above? You’ve maybe seen it before. It’s called The Tree or Life. It’s a graph of the “levels” of reality. Let’s start at the bottom.
Basically all of the physical world - everything you see, taste, hear, feel - down to electrons and neutrons and quarks —you know, physical “things” in space - is ALLLLLL represented by the bottom circle - the one marked #10.
From there on up it’s all “nonphysical” levels of reality, each getting less and less “dense” as you get to #1 at the very top.
Actually let’s jump to the top now - #1. This is the purist version of what you might call God - the original Source - the most singular Consciousness. There’s actually a couple levels of “nothingness” before #1 but that’s not important right now. Most people think of God and our world as just 2 things. This system is different - it says physical things like our bodies are #10 on that Tree of Life and the purist form of God is #1 and there’s a whole lotta levels of variation between that range - almost like a gradient or spectrum. What’s between 1 and 10?
Well, what most people think when they think of “God” - the Being with a personality such as “The Father” in the Bible for instance - is like #4 and there are 3 more “mystical” levels of God less dense (higher) than even that. #6 is the highest level a human can hope to truly experience or “become” - this is where Jesus and other saints have reached. There are angels and archangels in there as well. Then as it gets denser into #7-9 it’s more like intelligences and mind and emotion and “the astral realm” and forces and meanings and other nonphysical things we actually already know about like thought and dreams.
Imagine the Big Bang - one thing that multiplied to two and those splitting again and again - except the physical matter that makes up our “universe” is only the last step of 10 - a whole buncha shit is “above” it.
Says who? Why would I believe that? Just ignore those questions for now. Just play with the idea.
And here’s one of the fascinating parts. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase “As Above, So Below.” Not only is the Tree of Life a map of the unfolding from God to the nonphysical to the physical - it’s also a template that can be used for various other scales or types of map. For instance: it's a map of our psyche, the levels of your mind. It’s also a map of the human body and the energy hotspots in your inner being (related to the chakras, if you know what those are). It can also be used as a map of your own self, from your most earthy and carnal physical self (#10) to your Highest inner being, or your Soul (and even your unity with God on the highest level). It also can be interpreted in a variety of other ways. Each of these 10 levels has correspondences with all sorts of scales from color ranges to astrological associations.
Who cares? What good is this? One - to me it’s all just an interesting model and it’s so detailed and complicated that it’s a never ending exploration of fun different angles. But secondly, it also potentially allows your consciousness to ascend - at least to the level where you can see physical reality and all of life’s drama as only a tiny fraction of the larger story. It’s true that if it’s all bullshit then you’re just deluding yourself, but that’s why you keep it loose and playful. Besides as a system it just makes sense to me since the multiplying pattern is observable as a reflection in nature.
Remember the Transformers tagline “More than meets the eye”? It’s an appropriate phrase here. Again, where it came from is a whole different story (spoiler: it’s Jewish mysticism) and whether it’s true or not is not something I can say with any certainty. But the idea is worthy of considering and the exploration is load of fun.
**DISCLAIMER: For any Qabalah/Kabbalah experts out there, I know this is not the whole truth and in many’s opinions will be flat out wrong, but forgive my attempt to introduce the concepts to absolute beginners.