(from time to time when i learn something new i take notes. usually i end up throwing them away but i’m putting these on here in case somebody finds them useful. these are from the work of the chariot website and their online materials, which i went over at the beginning of this summer in order to learn a bit more about practical kabbalism.)
kabbalist principles and concepts
kabbalah was compiled from vipassana, zoroastrian devotion, and the babylonian zodiac into a jewish platonic model developed as hasidic judaism, mystic christianity, and islamic sufism. kabbalah is said to be ancient, but in actuality it is modern and only one of many forms of jewish mysticism, in common with other forms of jewish metaphysics such as the merkabah meditation or german pietism (chassidei ashkenaz). the forms of kabbalah known today are either christianity mixed with some kabbalist concepts, or they are greek philosophy from plato or aristotle filtered through sufism, using jewish kabbalist terms instead of arabic sufi ones. this modern kabbalism is known as christian kabbalah or western hermeticism.
in this christian/hermetic form of kabbalah, there are two forms of creation: the vast face (creation from, and ascent to, the zero-point), and the small face (manifestation from, and ascent to, a visualization). the vast face is found in three veils of creative power: ain (void), ain sof (infinity), and ohr ain sof (light infinite), representing a prime mover that turns dark matter and dark energy into light (energy), which is then either expanded, or more likely contracted (tzimtzum) into what is known as the small face. i have no idea how this is done. the small face is the direct contraction and moulding of light into physical forms which are put into categories on a matrix kabbalah calls the tree of life. this moulding uses different sacred names and numbers to direct the energy, as well as yogic trances and movements, or ecstatic trances.
the tree of life is a catalog of every physical creation in the universe. in order to turn from dark energy into light, energy moves through the emanations of the negative veils. in order to turn from light into forms, energy moves through spiritual, mental, emotional, formative, and physical stages into reality in stages or worlds the kabbalah calls abiya, or the four worlds. in order to return from forms to light and then from light into dark matter, the reverse movement applies.
practical kabbalah: creation and ascent
in kabbalah, energy moves through the negative veils and is contracted (tzimtzum) into the world of forms, where it is routed into one of the 22 spheres or paths on the tree of life into an object in its category. it moves through the four stages (abiya) to manifest in physical reality. this moving from ain through tzimtzum and the spheres/paths and development in abiya is the act of kabbalist creation. in other magickal traditions is known as low magick.
in kabbalah, consciousness can also move from the physical stage up through the planes to perceive the small face of god, and then shatter the small face of god and perceive light infinite and infinity, capturing glimpses of the dark matter and dark energy for as long as the created soul can stand. this moving from physical reality through tzimtzum to dark matter is ascent through visions and dreams, and in other magickal traditions is known as the great work.
in kabbalism, energy contracted (tzimtzum) is then molded into forms using the tree of life as a creative matrix. in kabbalist literature, the small face tree of life has two forms: a perfect tree, and a fallen or working tree that is the result of the fall of adam. these trees look different and are used differently.
the tree as it is drawn uses spheres and shells to represent the different objects and states in the universe, and paths to represent universal environments. there are many physical parallels to match the spheres, such as constellations/asterisms, planets, and elements; parts of the human body; held visions and metaphors; and other similar objects and ideas. the matching of these different objects is known as correspondence and this is the basis of sympathetic magick.
the act of kabbalist creation uses the activating names of the small face godform. energy is drawn into reality using godnames and requests made to beings under each sphere. energy thus moves through the four worlds into reality, where it manifests as an object or event.
kabbalah for creation
to work kabbalah for miracles, one walks a path and follows an ethic. the three paths are right hand, left hand, and straight. the directions are positive or negative sides of the small face (a form of godliness), or insight directly from the vast face (pure act of creation). when energy is drawn into tzimtzum and directed onto the tree of life, it is activated on the right hand path by the formula IHVH; on the left hand path by the formula OLAM or ELOHIM; and on the straight path by the formula EHEIEH (also known as EHEIEH ASHER EHEIEH or ASHER EHEIEH).
from there, these energies are directed into spheres or paths with other formulas which are sometimes referred to as barbarous names, and manifestation is requested from beings in each of those environments while you are in a self-directed hypnotic trance.
three paths and christian kabbalist orientation
in christian kabbalah, one establishes an orientation to the work by choosing a main path and an ethic used to walk that path.
the three paths are mercy (the right hand path); power aka severity (the left hand path); and balance aka equilibrium (the straight path).
the three ethics are devotion to the small faced god (bhakti or karma yoga), which can be seen in rituals such as the invocation of the holy guardian angel; zealous fear of god (hatha or kriya yoga), which is found in religious fundamentalism; or knowledge/insight (jnana and raj yoga, or vipassana), which rejects the idea of a god and instead peers behind the curtain of creation in order to understand universal energetic development - god as a process rather than god as a being.
some general orientations happen when you combine a path and an ethic:
: merciful discipline (temperance), merciful love (understanding), or merciful enlightenment (maturity) as guiding principles to walk the right hand path;
: disciplined power (boldness), benevolent power (magnanimity), or enlightened power (authority) as guiding principles to walk the left hand path;
: enlightened equanimity (sensibility) as a guiding principle to walk the straight path.
a path combines with an ethic but not another path; adopting two paths only confuses. rhp is convention, lhp breaks convention, sp bypasses convention entirely to get to the heart of the matter. an ethic combines with a path but not with another ethic; following two ethics again is confusion. one path and one ethic lead to a steady orientation for practical kabbalah.
in kabbalah, the creator and creation are different. the creator is the small face; the act of creation itself is the vast face. on the (left or right) side paths you meet the small face in order to either merge with it (right side) or contend with it (left side). on the straight path you see the small face as an imposter to overcome and you use insight to go directly to the vast face, where you witness creation itself with no filter. in kabbalah, god is not only a creator personality; through the straight path, god can be viewed as a process; an interaction of creative energies moving through an engine.
there is no superior way to practice kabbalah; any one of these orientations will take you through kabbalism to find the ultimate reality of creation, and at some point, they all come together to reveal the totality of the noun of creation (ultimate name of god), and the verb of it (energetic power of creation and destruction).
i stopped taking notes here