I jumped into a room on a chat program for a minute to take a break from studying Kabbalah. I typed in the room that I have been researching it. To my surprise, a Kabbalist was in the room. I do not know how representative this dialogue is regarding what all Kabbalists actually believe, but he did affirm several the things that I have discovered in my research. So it does seem that he knew what he was talking about. Nevertheless, you'll find his dialogue very very interesting. I was actually surprised by some of the things he said. Finally, the dialogue is a little choppy at first, but then it gets amazing after we move from a public dialogue to a private one.
Matt: Just taking a brief break from studying Kabbalah
Watcher: Cool. I am a Kabbalist.
Matt: Watcher really?
Watcher: What books are you studying?
Matt: Berg, Yhuda., The 72 Names of God. Technology for the Soul. Los Angeles, CA: The Kabbalah Center, 2003; Cooper, David A., God is a Verb. New York, New York: Riverhead Brooks, 1997. Hopking, C.J.M., The Practical Kabbalah Guidebook. New York, New York: Sterling Publishing Co. 2001. Leet, Leonora., The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah. Rochester Vermont: Inner Traditions, 1999, and several more.
Watcher: First you must study theoretical Kabbalah before you attempt any practical Kabbalah.
Matt: And how do I do that? The books I am reading are saying the same thing.
Watcher: First, learn Hebrew. Study the Hebrew alphabet.
Matt: I have had Hebrew in seminary.
Watcher: And then study the Torah.
Matt: Kabbalah is nothing more than mysticism.
Watcher: Kabbalah does not contradict the Torah.
Matt: Yes it does
Watcher: It supports the Torah
Matt: Contradicts it. From what I have read... it sure does.
Watcher: Then the Kabbalah you are studying is not Jewish Kabbalah
Matt: Well, what I'm studying contradicts the Torah. Where is the "real" Kabbalah, out of the Zohar?
Watcher: Check out www.koshertorah.com. There is a lot of information on theoretical Kabbalah there. Dude of Earl: Theoretical?
Matt: So Watcher, what is metatron?
Watcher: A compilation of the divine name using deduction.
Matt: What do you mean by "compilation"?
Matt: Are you Lurianic? [that is a type of Kabbalah]
Matt: Then which?
Watcher: Hermetic as most of my approach is from the Golden Dawn literature although I have been studying from more Jewish sources and am beginning to question the Kabbalah of the Golden Dawn
Matt: ok, Watcher, can you help me define some terms from your perspective? God? Impersonal or personal?
Watcher: Which aspect of God the highest aspect of God is not perceivable and thus is impersonal but a lesser manifestation of God is indeed personal.
Matt: Is God self-aware?
Watcher: Kether [Crown, he is using the Hebrew words instead of the English ones] is not self aware
Matt: Is the highest manifestation of God self-aware? Kether? What is that?
Watcher: Kether is the pinnacle. The point from which all became manifest.
Matt: The pinnacle of what?
Watcher: The pinnacle of God
Matt: That term is meaningless
Watcher: You must examine the tree.
Matt: I have the tree in front of me. Kater, crown, binah chokmah. [I inserted a copy of the Tree of Life to the right to illustrate what we are talking about.]
Watcher: Kether can not actually be defined through language binah [Understanding] and chokmah [Wisdom]. That is where God becomes self-aware.
Matt: You mean God himself (ITSELF) becomes self-aware as he ascends the planes of knowledge? [Kabbalists don't refer to God as a He]
Watcher: As the Shachinah pours down from kether into Binah and Chokmah the conciousness and will of God become manifest
Matt: Tell me more about this kether. I do not understand what keter is. Tell me specifically what it is.
Watcher: Neither do I as I have not ascended to kether myself. Kether is the inscrutable monad the root of all things. The ultimate unit of concioiusness.
Matt: If Kether cannot be defined, then it has no meaning. If it cannot be defined, there is no point in discussing it.
Watcher: Language can not describe experiencing kether.
Matt: Do you affirm that you are part of the divine, part of God's very nature and that you preexisted with him before he became a person here on earth?
Matt: You believe in self divinity, correct?
Matt: Do you believe in reincarnation?
Matt: So, you believe that the soul preexisted, is an emanation from God, that you are divine in nature, and that we reincarnate. That is very unbiblical.
Watcher: God said to Jeremiah before you where born I knew you.
Matt: He was referring to salvific acknowledge. God never says he knows an unbeliever.
Watcher: That is your interpretation
Matt: He only knows believers. The Messiah taught us this.
Watcher: So God does not know all?
Matt: When Jesus spoke, he told us that those who are damned are the ones to whom he says, "I never knew you."
Matt: Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them...."
Watcher: So what the Messiah taught contradicts what the Torah and the Prophets taught?
Matt: When God says he knows you, it means you are saved, delivered from the punishment of sin. If he says he does not know you, that means you're in a state of damnation. The way the word is used in this context is not dealing with God's omniscience.
Watcher: Jeremiah was before Jesus so how is that possible?
Matt: Yes, but I'm telling you what it means. Jesus is the creator of the universe, Col. 1:15-17; John 1:1-3. He was before Jeremiah. But, this is Christian theology we are getting into. For the moment, I am interested in the principles of Kabbalah.
Watcher: The concept of Christ was before Jeremiah yes.
Matt: Do you affirm that Solomon had the sacred ring?
Watcher: The seal of Solomon. Yes. It is an amalgamation of two Egyptian symbols
Matt: Ok, and you affirm that this gave Solomon power over demonic forces.
Watcher: No God gave Solomon power over demonic forces. The symbol represents the hermetic axiom. As above so below.
Matt: Can you please tell me what the hermetic axiom is?
Watcher: Whatsoever is done in heaven is done on earth.
[Since this first part was in a public room, someone typed in something about blood sacrifices]
Watcher: Kabballah does not teach blood sacrifices.
Matt: Watcher if the Kabbalah does not involve any blood sacrifice, and if it is based on the Torah, then how is that possible since the book of Leviticus repeatedly teaches blood sacrifice?
Watcher: Blood sacrifice is part of Judaism. Yet it has nothing to do with Kabbalah. It is part of the Law of God.
Matt: But Watcher, you said that Kabbalah was based on the Torah and that it does not contradict the Torah. If it is true that Kabbalah does not teach blood sacrifice and the Torah clearly teaches blood sacrifice...
Watcher: Yes the Torah does. But that does not mean that blood sacrifice is part of practical Kabbalah. Practical Kabbalah involves rectifying oneself. Repentance if you will. The seal of Solomon represents heaven on earth as the downwards facing triangle symbolizes the Spirit realm. The upwards facing triangle represents the material world.
Matt: I'm curious about the ring that Solomon had. It gave him powers over demonic forces, correct?
Watcher: No God gave Solomon power over demonic forces
Matt: Ok... thanks.
Watcher: Solomon's understanding of this concept. Whatsoever is done in heaven is done on earth
Matt: This demonic control that he had. Is it true that Solomon used some of these demonic forces to aid him in constructing the first Temple?.
Watcher: Solomon used various spirits, elementals, angels and demons, for many purposes.
Matt: So then is it fair to say that Solomon used some of these dark forces to aid him in constructing the first Temple?
Watcher: Yes, that is the legend.
Matt: If Solomon used some of these dark forces to aid him in constructing the first Temple, isn't that a problem?
Matt: Isn't the temple of God supposed to be holy? How then could we have demonic forces helping in its construction?
Watcher: God gave man dominion over the earth. Even demons obey God.
Matt: For the moment I'm not talking about man's dominion. I'm curious about this issue of Solomon using demonic forces to build the holy temple of God? You see, I have a serious problem with evil forces being used to construct the holy temple of God.
Watcher: Then you will have even more problems with the fact that God used evil forces to create the universe.
Matt: I guess I would.
Watcher: But nevertheless God created evil forces and yes they serve a purpose.
Matt: But at least you are admitting that Solomon used demonic forces to build the holy temple of God. I was surprised by that when I read it. But thank you for confirming it. Now, are you saying that God created evil forces in a state of being evil? Or was it that they were created good and then fell in the rebellion against God and became evil?
Watcher: The story of the fall is a metaphorical one. It represents aspects of creation falling into chaos
Matt: Okay, but do you believe that God created demonic forces in the state of being evil?
Watcher: God created everything in perfection.
Matt: OK. But please forgive me for asking the same question again. Do you believe that God created demonic forces in the state of being evil?
Watcher: I answered you and you did not listen.
Matt: Watcher, please be patient with me since I look for specific answers. If you say that things were created in perfection, that could be taken different ways. It could mean that perfectly evil creatures were created or that perfectly good creatures were created. What I want to know is do you affirm, as a Kabbalist, that God created morally evil beings?
Watcher: God created all things as they where supposed to be. Yes God created evil for a purpose.
Matt: So then am I correct in understanding that you are stating that God created demonic forces directly as demonic and evil forces?
Watcher: God created everything in perfection yet aspects of creation did not remain perfect.
Matt: May I ask you how the God of holiness creates moral evil? Isn't that against his holy nature?
Watcher: Read the scripture. It does say that God creates both good and evil in the Psalms.
Matt: I do read the Scriptures. But I need to know what it is you believe about the Scriptures.
Watcher: How did God create evil? How did God create anything? God has a plan for all things
Matt: I do not believe that God created moral evil since I believe that is contrary to his nature, the nature of his perfect holiness. Hab. 1:13 says that God is too pure to even look upon evil. God can create "evil" in the context of calamity, pestilence, earthquake, etc. [See Isaiah 45:7 for this]
Watcher: I don't know. I do not have a concordance with me at the moment. Look at it this way. God created lucifer right?
Matt: God created an angel who was good. The angel rebelled and became evil. God did not create evil.
Watcher: But did not God know what Lucifer would do before he created him?
Matt: Of course he did. But that does not mean that God created him ontologically evil.
Watcher: So then he did create evil. If God did not know then God can not be all knowing
Watcher: Regardless, Matt God is in control.
Matt: Of course God knew. 1 John 3:20 says that God knows all things.
Watcher: God is in Control
Matt: And of course God is in control. But it is against God's holiness to create moral evil
Watcher: So thus God created Lucifer knowing what he would do and thus is responsible for evil
Matt: God created an angel who was good, knowing that the angel would fall and rebel. In that sense, God is the indirect cause, not the direct cause.
Matt: Watcher would you care to continue this in private?
[There were others in this chat who were inserting comments occasionally and it began to get side tracked, so I offered to go to a private room where we continued]
Watcher: Yes. God is responsible for evil because he created Lucifer knowing what would happen
Matt: By the way, because our previous chat was in a public room, I have no problem copying the text and put it on my web site. It is very interesting and informative. But do you mind if I possibly use our private dialogue on my web site as well?
Watcher: I don't mind in the slightest. I used to reference your site when I was a Christian. So thus evil must exist for a reason or God would not have created him in the first place.
Matt: Thank you. From what I have been reading about Kabbalah, it seems to me to be a nonfalsifiable belief system. It takes the Torah and reinterprets it in a mystical fashion. It is very very reminiscent of New Age theology.
Watcher: The Torah was always meant to be interpreted in a mystical fashion.
Matt: I do not believe it was meant to be interpreted in a mystical fashion at all. Jesus referred to it literally.
Watcher: When it was convenient. That is the problem with Christians. They interpret literally when it is convenient and use scripture metaphorically when it is convenient.
Matt: Well, Paul also referred to it literally. He referred to Adam as being the one through whom sin entered the world.
Watcher: It is all to support their presuppositions.
Matt: Well, how do you know that you are not the one who is being mystical or literal to suit your presuppositions? You see, I have been doing a great deal of study for many years on various religious systems. I just got through studying Wicca and like Kabbalah, it is nonfalsifiable. In other words, it cannot be proven to be false.
Matt: You see, Jesus, as an example, actually walk around on the earth, ate, slept, etc., was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead. This actually happened and it is written about by the eyewitnesses. Christianity is falsifiable in that all we need to do is to produce the body of Jesus and we can prove that Christianity is false. It is falsifiable because it is historical. It actually occurred. There are things that can be verified and checked out.
Matt: But, in Kabbalah, you can't do that? Its interpretations are so subjective and mystical that there is no way to verify the "inner divinity," "the plains of consciousness," etc. It is all, and please excuse my term here, mystical mumbo-jumbo.
Watcher: Because Kabbalah is a theurgical system, a metaphysic. [theurgic means divine intervention]
Matt: Exactly... it is metaphysical, subjective, not verifiable, etc.
Watcher: Not a religion
Matt: Oh yes it is a religion. It makes statements about God, salvation, Jesus, the word of God, creation, the fall, angels, etc. There are variations within Kabbalah but there are common denominators. It is definitely a religious movement.
Watcher: Although principles of Kabbalah are being seen in modern physics.
Matt: Well, I don't know what that means, but I do know that after having read hundreds of pages of Kabbalah material, it is nonfalsifiable. It is the apparent formulation of several individuals over hundreds of years who seem to have made up a theological system that rests in other dimensions of reality. How do you verify other dimensions of reality in which levels of consciousness and divine expression co-mingle?
Watcher: Kabbalah is a system for categorizing the mind.
Matt: You see? I could make stuff up and it would fit right in the pages of Kabbalah.
Matt: I could talk about the ethereal presence of the highest plane of self-realization in the God consciousness and that when you are in tune with that divine consciousness through meditation on the Torah, you will achieve the self-realization and awareness of your true divinity. I just made that up....But that is the kind of thing I'm reading in Kabbalah pages.
Watcher: Yes and it is truth.
Matt: Huh???? You mean, what I just made up is truth?
Watcher: Based on the teachings of the ancients
Matt: Actually, I was drawing more on New Age terminology and ideas that I was on Kabbalah. They are, however, quite similar and the New Age movement is also just as nonfalsifiable. You see, nonfalsifiability means that a system of thought really does not rest in reality. It means that it rests in the mind of its creator. What is interesting about Jesus, about Christianity, is the intrusion of God into our material world. With Jesus, something actually happened, something that could be seen, touched, felt, etc.
Watcher: Reality is what you make it
Matt: Now, if reality is what I want to make it, then my reality is that whatever you say that contradicts what I say, is false. Is my reality true or is it false? Please tell me.
Watcher: Spirituality is subjective.
Matt: If spirituality is subjective, then aren't you making an absolute statement about it? If so, that is self refuting. In other words, it cannot be true because it refutes itself.
Watcher: How is spirituality not subjective? One person sees Jesus. No other person feels the presence of the Spirit and so forth.
Matt: I'm only responding to what you said. You said it is subjective. But saying that it is subjective is making an absolute statement. If something is absolute it cannot be subjective. I'm only showing you that you are not logical.
Watcher: It is all a subjective experience that effects the individual directly.
Matt: If it is all subjective experience, then how do you know anything is real?
Watcher: You are not allowing me to finish my point so of course it wouldn't seem illogical
Matt: If it is all subjective experience, then how do you know Kabbalah is real?
Watcher: Because it works for me. It works within the framework of my consciousness.
Matt: That's it? It works for you? That is your response?
Matt: So, if alcoholism "works" for someone, is it good?
Watcher: Sure. But they will not do anything productive with their life
Matt: Is it possible that you could be deceived from Satan?
Watcher: If so I do not care so long as I do something productive with my life and change the world for the better
Matt: Wait a minute. If you are being deceived by Satan, you don't care? You would not want to know if you are being deceived?
Watcher: That is for God to decide.
Matt: So it's okay to be deceived as long as that deception "works" for you, right?
Matt: Okay, then a question for you.
Watcher: In all honesty it is all in the mind of the human being, God, the devil, whatever.
Matt: If what works for the child rapist is to abuse the child, rape the child, and then murder the child, because it fulfills his desires and helps him cope with difficulties in life, is that good?
Watcher: For him it is. But he would also have to face the consequences for his actions
Matt: I did not ask you if it was good for him. I asked you if it was good.
Matt: Can you please tell me if it is good or not?
Watcher: To him it is good. I see no wrong in it.
Matt: I did not ask if it is good to him. I asked if it is good. Can you please answer that question?
Watcher: But I have no feeling for human beings whatsoever
Matt: You see no wrong in it? So then if someone were to murder you after torturing you for days, would that be OK for that person to do?
Watcher: Well I should not say I have no feeling, no conscience.
Watcher: To that person it would be ok. They would better hope I never got loose because I would do far worse to them.
Matt: Amazing. It seems that Kabbalah has deceived you.
Watcher: Kabbalah has not deceived me.
Matt: Then for you, there is no real right or wrong. It is all subjective. What is right and what is wrong is totally up to the individual in the circumstances. For you, goodness is not rest upon the nature of God and his perfection. It rests in whatever you prefer. In this, you are self-centered and self-serving.
Watcher: God is what you make him. Yes, I am a psychopath. I am self-centered because that is my nature
Matt: No, God is not altered by what I desire. God exists independently of what I am. My desire has no effect on his nature.
Watcher: God is in your mind. His nature is perceived by you as you have defined him. It is a form of auto-hypnosis.
Matt: No. God exists independently of myself. He entered this world in the form of Christ, the person of Jesus, walked on the earth, died, was buried, and rose from the dead. God intervened in this physical world to demonstrate his reality and his absoluteness.
Watcher: Well then the day I see Christ with my own eyes I will believe. But because I do not believe I will not see. You see my point. If I convinced myself that he was real enough I may just see him. But that does not mean it is real. It just means that my mind made it real to me. Such is the nature of human beings
Matt: Do you see that there is no way for you to escape your mental cage? No matter what you think or say, it is subjectively vague enough that nothing absolute can break you free. That is not how God works. God tells us plainly what the truth is because truth is based upon who he is. He is absolute. He does not change.
Watcher: Show me God then. Show me God.
Matt: It is not for me to show God to you. God reveals himself. But since you're not looking to God, but you are looking to mystical subjectivism, you will never be able to see him.
Watcher: And what if God revealed himself in a different manner to me than he has to you
Matt: At best, all you will have is your self deceiving subjectivity brought about by Satan.
Watcher: Am I wrong to believe how God has revealed himself to me because it does not agree with your beliefs?
Matt: You need to turn to Jesus. You need to talk to him and believe what he said in the Gospels. You need to believe what Jesus said about himself, clearly and plainly.
Watcher: You mean what the Catholic church says he said in the gospels.
Matt: You need to trust him for what he actually said, not what anyone else would impose upon his words in a confusing morass of subjective imposition thereby changing what Jesus says.
Watcher: There is very little evidence to support the New Testament.
Matt: That is another topic and you should know, since you said that you have studied on my site, that I know about the reliability and sufficiency of the New Testament documents. Your accusation is unfounded.
Watcher: Because I will not believe a word written in any book.
Matt: If you don't believe a word written in the book then how do you believe the words that I'm typing to you here?
Watcher: Through which I can experiment using hypnosis on the minds of the weak.
Matt: How do you believe the words written in the Zohar?
Watcher: I don't. I use them all. They are all tools for me to formulate a unifying world religion.
Matt: Okay, well, I thank you for the dialog. It has been most enlightening. I see that we are not going to get anywhere.
Watcher: I apologize
Matt: I thank you for the dialog.
At this point I gave up on the dialog because it was getting lengthy and I was not getting through to him. I hope that you can see the utter nonsense that this person was teaching. He's making logic errors and not understanding the word of God. It is truly sad to see such a profound deception as this. Nevertheless, I hope the dialog was informative.