Friday, April 06, 2007
BLAVATSKY AND THE KABBALAH
Anyone who proposes that Blavatsky did not subscribe to the Kabbalah has not read her work. The instances in ISIS UNVEILED and THE SECRET DOCTRINE where the Kabbalah is cited are too numerous to count. One example:
This, we believe, is the veritable theory of the modern evolutionists. "Of him who is formless, the non-existent (also the eternal, butnot First Cause), is born the heavenly man." But after he created the form of the heavenly man [here she includes Hebrew letters], he "used it as a vehicle wherein to descend," says the Kabala. Thus Adam Kadmon is the avatar of the concealed power. After that the heavenly Adam creates or engenders by the combined power of the Sephiroth, the earthly Adam. The work of creation is also begun by Sephira in the creation of the ten Sephiroth (who are the Pradjapatis of the Kabala, for they are likewise the Lords of all beings).
The Sohar asserts the same. According to the kabalistic doctrine there were old worlds (see Idra Suta: Sohar, iii, p. 292 b). Everything will return some day to that from which it first proceeded. "All things of which this world consists, spirit as well as body, will return to their principal and the roots from which they proceeded" (Sohar, ii, 218 b). The kabalists also maintain the indestructibility of matter, albeit their doctrine is shrouded still more carefully than that of the Hindus. The creation is eternal, and the universe is the "garment," or "the veil of God" -- Shekinah; and the latter is immortal and eternal as Him within whom it has ever existed. Every world is made after the pattern of its predecessor, and each more gross and material than the preceding one. In the Kabala all were called sparks. Finally, our present grossly materialistic world was formed. ISIS UNVEILED, p. 271.
Now there are three kinds of light in Occultism, as in the Kabala. (1) The Abstract and Absolute Light, which is Darkness; (2) The Light of the Manifested-Unmanifested, called by some the Logos; and (3) The latter light reflected by the Dhyan Chohans, the minorlogoi (the Elohim, collectively), who, in their turn, shed it on the objective Universe. But in the Kabala--re-edited and carefully adjusted to fit the Christian tenets by the Kabalists of the XIII. century--the three lights are described as:--(1) The clear and penetrating, that of Jehovah; (2) reflected light; and (3) light in the abstract. "This light abstractly taken (in a metaphysical or symbolical sense) is Alhim (Elohim God), while the clear penetrating light is Jehovah. THE SECRET DOCTRINE, pp 37-38
More to the point, however, is that Blavatsky studied the writings of Eliphas Levi who preceded her and who was the Father of the Paris occult revival. In his book THE HISTORY OF MAGIC, translated by Waite, Levi mentions the Kabbalah in 44 different locations according to the index, and the Zohar in 32 places. The Talmud appears in 4 places.
One example from Levi:
The religion of the Kabalists is at once hypothesis and certitude, for it proceeds from known to unknown by the help of analogy. They recognise religion as a need of humanity, as an evident and necessary fact, and it is this alone which for them is divine, permanent and universal revelation. They dispute about nothing which is, but they provide the reason for everything. So also their doctrine, by distinguishing clearly the line of demarcation which must exist for ever between science and faith, provides a basis for faith in the highest reason, guaranteeing its incontestable and permanent duration. After this come the popular forms of doctrine, which alone can vary and alone destroy one another; the Kabalist is not only undisturbed by trivialities of this kind, but can provide on the spot a reason for the most astonishing formulae.THE HISTORY OF MAGIC, pp 44-45
Without the Kabbalah there would be no occultism and no New Age movement.