What is kabala?
MYSTlC12 asked this question on 3/19/2001:
yes can you tell me what you know of the Jewish kabala and what the catholic view of this is and how it is regarded by catholic clergy and theologians......p.s. what do these protestants mean exactly when they say they are holy spirit filled, yet call we as Catholics occultist and Satanist?
The word kabala means "tradition" of a doctrine, specifically the transmission of a secret mystical doctrine of Jewish extraction. The book "Bahir = clear, illuminated" (cf. Job 37, 21), this verse opens the book, has been considered written by a Tannaite of the first century and is called "midrash of Rabbi Nechunia ben Hakana", is one of the oldest collection of different kabalistic material. The Gnostic influence is remarkable. The pleroma is called "hammaleh = plenitude" or "hakkol=the universe". The forces of the pleroma are the ten eons (sephirot or mamaroth). You will find there the teaching of the golem and the reincarnation. As you see it's about the same question of the gnosis, how the creation became reality. This kind of doctrine developed in France (Provencal). There are some additional writings regarding mystical experiences like the "gilluje Elijahu = revelations of Elias".
The other famous book of kabala is the "Zohar – Reflections of Light" (cf. Dan 12, 3). The author is Moshe of León, a Spanish Jew. It is an elaboration of the kabalistic tenets.
The creation is "En soph= infinite origin" (the pleroma of the Gnostics) and contains 10 sepphirot: "Keter-Crown", "Chokma-Wisdom", "Bina-Inteligence", "Chesed-Grace", "Din-Judgment", "Rachamin-Mercy" (they call it also "tipheret-Glory), "Neach – Eternity", "Hod-Precious", "Malkut=Reign". The En Soph is the God absconded who reveals himself through the sepphirot. These are not a link between God and his creation but the divine dynamic manifestation of the Godhead. Zohar talks about gradualism but it's inside the Godhead.
Every one of the sepphirot offers itself to profound and intricate speculations. They are considered doors that open access to the mystery of God and every one in a specific way guides the cabbalist. The right intentions (kavannah) have to be learned and acquired in order to have access to the mystery. The world is somehow a mirror of God manifestation through the sepphirot.
An example of the speculations: The sepphirot are represented as 3 columns, at the right the column of God's grace and mercy, at the left the column the divine wrath and judgment and in the center the column of divine mercy. When the person doesn't commit a sin the left side can't act. But when he sins the left side is tempered by the middle column of mercy.
At the same time the Shekinah – the presence of God descends through the ten sepphirot and takes ever a weaker or material character. A comparison talks about the divine light that will be ensconced in every being and has to be liberated in order to go up once more to its origin. Every thing created has this way a dynamic in the direction of God.
Later the cabbalist elaborated the doctrine of the four worlds.
As you see these secret kabalistic doctrines served for infinity of speculations and application. This kind of teaching is at the root of messianic heresies and revolutions. However, you will find it too in the movement of the Chasidim where it provoked an exteriorization: the faithful has the mission to find in all things the divine scintilla and has to liberate it so it my come back to its origin precisely through the faithful. Martin Buber has collected the sayings of the Chassidic masters. They are talking to about the migration of soul from one generation to the other specially when one of the great men dies.
This concise (perhaps too much so) description makes it evident that there can be no real contact between theology and kabala. It's a mythical esoteric explanation of creation and the way God governs. It tries to explain the suffering, the evil, and the chastisement in this world. However, like all those intents the doctrine is incompatible with Christian faith.
Regarding your second question: read chapter 12 and 13 of 1 Corinthians. The protestants and the Catholic Charismatic Movement also suggest that the same charismas are alive in the Church and they try to give the Holy Ghost their person and life so He might manifest Himself through these gifts.
I don't understand the last part: who is satanic? The protestants or the Catholics?