Monday, October 12, 2009


There is a lot of frightening copy concerning the date Dec.21, 2012, and it's alleged significance in the Mayan calendar. What do actual Mayans think of this? Not much, it seems. They generally feel the date's significance has been confused by western myths "read into" their ancient calendar. As Kabbalists, it's important to keep belief specific to its origin, so we should at least consider what the Mayans actually say.

The Mayan calendar is not based on our planet's annual orbit of the sun. It's really based on the nine month human gestation period. Numerous complicated cycles of the fundemental nine month period result in major 394-year cycles, called Kartums. After each Kartum, the calendar reverts back to zero, just as our calendar does on midnight of each December 31. In contradiction to general western belief, Mayans say their calendar does not "just end" on Dec. 21, 2012. Rather, it continues on in it's 394-year cycles until 4772, when the whole thing reverts back to a new first Kartum. Each Kartum is said to have historical significance, marking cycles in human development, both spiritual and political. However, there is no such thing as an end of days or end of times in the Mayan calendar. It just isn't there.

The date December 21, 2012 is the end of the 13th Kartum of the Mayan calendar. To Mayans, the number 13 is special, for it has spiritual significance. As it turns out, the end of the 13th Kartum marks the end of a turbulent period of spiritual and political change in the world, which has certainly been the case. The next Kartum will see a spiritual calming in the world, marked by a rebirth of old doctrines that have been mutated or lost over the past several Kartums. This will also mark a new age of politics, because all political systems are necessarily intertwined with the spiritual systems in vogue at the time they were created. Thus, the 14th Mayan Kartum will see the formation of a new world politic based on a re-emergence of long-forgotten or hidden spiritual doctrines.

Could this be related to bringing Kabbalist Doctrine to the non-Jewish theosophies of the world? Kabbalism is certainly an ancient doctrine, said to find its roots some 4000 years ago. It has been held in "secret" for nearly all of that period because it's methodologies of scriptural understanding have been judged as heretical and damnable by all non-Jewish Judeo-Christian religions for nearly 2000 years. In our relatively enlightened age, Kabbalism can be expanded beyond it's historically Jewish domain for the first time, and bring the potential of universal human brotherhood to fruition.

December 21, 2012 will not witness the end of the world, end of times, end of days, or whatever! If the prophetic influences attached to the cycles of the Mayan calendar are in any way correct, the date will mark the beginning of a new age of spirituality and peace, in stark contrast to the terrible events that have inundated the western world for the past 400 years.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Kabbalism is not Deism

On the surface, Kabbalism sounds like Deism. But, when one digs beneath the surface, we find they are very, very different theosophies.

Deism is generally understood to be belief in a non-intervening God. More specifically, once God created the universe, God abandoned it! All the natural laws that govern the operation and evolution of the universe were literally built-into the seed of creation. The universe evolves automatically. God effects no control over living creatures, has no influence on natural phenomena, and provides no supernatural insights to sentient beings. Religion is believed to be the result of the natural machinations of the rational human mind, and ought to be inspired by a scientific understanding of the world around us. Thus, Deism is a form of personal, self-realized religion. It seems that modern Deism emerged in Europe in the mid-17th century with the work of Spinoza. It reached its popular peak in the 18th century with Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson. While its popularity diminished in the 19th century, one principle adherent was said to be Charles Darwin. In the 20th century, we might find that many famous scientists like Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking have some deist notions contained in their writings, but classifying them as Deists would be a stretch.

There are a few similarities between Kabbalism and Deism, but many, many differences. Kabbalism identifies an infinitely perfect, infinitely knowing creator God, whom is given the name Ein Sof. Ein Sof caused the seed of creation to come into physical being, containing all the ingredients necessary for the universe to eventually become precisely what we find today. But, Ein Sof did not abandon anything. For creation to begin and evolve, a great hierarchy of angels were brought into being concurrent with the formation of the seed of creation. A few very special angels called Seferah have enormous power, and seem to be divine from the perspective of the human mind. One most important Sefirah is named Elohim (Alhim) who caused the seed of creation to inflate, transmutate from primordial pre-creation substance into created substance (both physical and spirituous), and evolve exactly as intended by the will of Ein Sof. Elohim is the facilitator of creation. Thus, Elohim was the first cosmic intervener in creation. Other Angelic interveners include Sefirah like Yahweh and Jehovah, Seraphic angels like Michael and Gabriel, Cherubic communal angels, and a countless myriad of lesser angels that constantly surround and influence each of us. Thus, Kabbalism believes in a non-intervening Creator, but is not a belief in total non-intervention. The angels intervene in creation, according to their respective reasons for existence. This may be correctly understood as indirect intervention, but not Divine intervention per se.

In addition, Kabbalism teaches that once Elohim’s role of facilitator ended with the culmination of the sixth stage (day) of creation, the universe has operated independent of Ein Sof and Elohim. This is a result of the natural laws and forces built into the seed of creation by Ein Sof and fine-tuned by Elohim during the first six stages of creation. While this has some superficial similarity to Deism, the notions of Angelic facilitation in the progression of creation and on-going Angelic supernatural interaction within creation, decidedly contradict Deist theosophy.

Modern Deism also teaches that we must be skeptical about the Bible, arguing that there are many passages which contradict each other in the Old Testament and should be ignored. Further, Deism asserts that if new scientific discovery contradicts scripture, then we should reject the passages found to be at odds with scientific understanding. Kabbalism addresses these situations, with a subtle but significant twist. If we find an interpretation of a passage or passages to be in contradiction with other passages of scripture, then our interpretation must be incorrect and needs to be amended. Scripture is God’s word, and there is no contradiction in God. We might not understand the reasons why we incorrectly read contradictions in scripture the moment they are realized. However, as our spiritual nature evolves and becomes more learned, we will eventually understand the correct understanding of previously problematic scriptural passages. Deist rejection of scripture based on the appearance of epistemological contradiction is essentially an exercise in short-sightedness. What‘s more, Kabbalism ascribes to the theosophy that echoes St. Augustine, who taught that if our interpretation of scripture contradicts what we find about the world around us, then our interpretation of scripture must be incorrect. Scripture is not what appears to contradict science, but rather it is the incorrect teaching of scripture that results in the apparent contradiction. It should be noted that, to date, no Kabbalist teachings of scripture have been found to contradict science!

Lastly, while Deism presents itself as a self-realized form of non-ritualistic religion, Kabbalism makes no such claim. Kabbalism is pure theosophy, i.e. theological philosophy. If one embraces Kabbalist doctrine and still feels drawn to partake in the religious rites and practices of a specific theological persuasion, then by all means do so. If the practice of institutionalized religion doesn’t work for an individual, and a more personalized spirituality seems best, then follow that path. Deism rejects all forms of organized religion. Kabbalism doesn’t reject religion at all. Kabbalism shuns judgment and the rejection of institutional religion is nothing less than base judgment. Whether one rejects or follows a specific religious persuasion makes no difference to the Kabbalist. Kabbalism may well be the most “accepting” theosophical doctrine in existence.

In summation, while Deism and Kabbalism at first glance seem to have similarities, the number and depth of their respective dissimilarities make them no less than mutually exclusive. Kabbalism should not be confused with Deism.