Excerpt from The Key to the True Kabbalah
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The Kabbalah is the science of letters, of language and the Word — not, however, the language of the intellectual, but (mind you) the universal language. The term Kabbalah is of Hebrew origin; the various religious systems have different terms for this science. Thus, for instance, in India and Tibet the science of the Word is called Tantra. And again in other religious systems they speak of “formulas” and so on.
In my present work I [Franz Bardon] will retain the term Kabbalah. To speak Kabbalistically is to form words from letters — words analogous to this or that idea according to the universal laws. Knowledge of the use of Kabbalistic language must be gained through practical experience. Kabbalah, therefore, is the universal language by which everything was created; it is the embodiment of one or several divine ideas. God created everything by means of the universal language of Kabbalah. John the Evangelist also refers to Kabbalah in the Bible when he says, “In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God.” Thereby John clearly expresses the truth that God made use of the Word in order to create out of Himself.
Only he who is actually in a position to materialize the divinity within himself in accordance with the universal laws in such a way that he will speak, out of himself, as a deity, may be regarded as a true Kabbalist. The practicing Kabbalist, therefore, is a theurgist, a “god-man,” capable of applying the universal laws in the same way as the macrocosmic God.
Just like the magician who, through the initiation he receives and the development he endures upon the path of perfection, has realized the connection with his inner deity and can now act accordingly, so does the Kabbalist as well, the only difference being that the Kabbalist makes use of the Divine Word externally as an expression of his divine spirit. Every true magician who has control of the universal laws can become a Kabbalist by acquiring knowledge of the practical Kabbalah. The structures of the Kabbalah cited in numerous books are quite suitable for the theorist who wants to get an idea of the lawfulness of the Kabbalah, but they are thoroughly insufficient as regards that practice which promises knowledge of the correct application of the powers of the Word.
Thus it is clear that a perfect Kabbalist must be a person connected with God, a person who has realized God within himself and who, being a god-man, makes use of the universal language whereby whatever he utters immediately becomes a reality. To whatever sphere he directs this language, there shall his utterance be realized. In India, for instance, a person who immediately realizes every spoken word is called a vag. In Kundalini Yoga this power and ability is identified with the Visuddha Chakra. A perfect Kabbalist knows everything concerning the lawfulness of the micro- and macrocosmic Word — by which the law of creation through the Word is to be understood — and he also knows what true harmony represents. Since, with his microcosmic language, he is representing the deity, a true Kabbalist will never violate the laws of harmony. If he acts contrary to the laws of harmony, he is no longer a true Kabbalist but a man of chaos. From the Hermetic point of view, a Kabbalist or theurgist is, in his own body, a representative of the macrocosmic deity on our earth. Whatever he, as God’s representative, speaks in the original language will occur, for he has the same power as the creator, as God.
To achieve this maturity and pinnacle of Kabbalistic initiation the theurgist must first learn his letters like a child. In order to form words and sentences with them and, in time, to speak in the cosmic language, he must have a complete command of them. The methodology involved in this learning is dealt with in the practical part of this book.
Anyone, no matter which religious system he may adhere to, can occupy himself with the true Kabbalah, theoretically as well as practically. The Kabbalistic science is not a privilege of those who profess the Jewish faith. Hebrew scholars affirm that the Kabbalah is of Jewish origin, but in the Jewish mystical tradition itself the knowledge of the Kabbalah is said to be of ancient Egyptian origin. The history of the Hebrew Kabbalah, its beginnings and development, etc., may be found in the relevant literature on the subject, for much has already been written in this field.
In my book, I [Franz Bardon] explain the synthesis of Kabbalah only so far as is absolutely necessary for the practice. I refrain from the unnecessary burden of history and other structural interpretations of Kabbalistic philosophy.
The term Kabbalah has often been abused by degrading it to a game of numbers, horoscopic assessments, name analogies and various other mantic devices. As the reader will learn from the practical part of this book, numbers do have a certain relationship to letters, although this is one of the lowest aspects of the Kabbalah, and one which we do not wish to deal with here. True Kabbalah is not a mantic science which makes fortune-telling possible, nor is it a form of astrology which facilitates the interpretation of horoscopes, nor is it an anagram, the construed names of which make prognosis possible.
Man as Kabbalist
In my first book, Initiation into Hermetics, I [Franz Bardon] divided man into three regions — body, soul and spirit. Also, I discussed the concept of the “tetrapolar magnet.” Upon meditation, it will be clear to the student that the mental body is connected to the astral body by the mental matrix, and that the astral matrix keeps the mental and astral bodies together with the material body. It will also become clear that the physical body is kept alive by food (the condensed substance of the elements), while the astral body is sustained by breathing. The mental matrix links sense perception to the material and astral bodies. The aspiring Kabbalist must understand these concepts thoroughly and, if he seriously wishes to study the Kabbalah, must be able to gain a clear picture of these processes in his own body. Apart from this fundamental doctrine, the Kabbalist must acquire a deeper relationship with his own self, for these deeper relations form the actual basis for the study of the Kabbalah.
The activities and effects between body, soul and spirit come to pass automatically within every human being, whether or not he has been initiated into the secrets of Hermetic science. For the Kabbalist these activities and effects constitute the basics: he understands all the processes and is therefore able to arrange his life in accordance with the universal laws….