Reincarnation in the Jewish Kabbalah
"The Holy Kabbalah is the"hidden"or"secret"teaching of Judaism. It is the mystic path appearing in Judaism just as the Sufis are to Islam and the Gnostics are to Christianity. In the same tradition, Jesus did not reveal all of his teachings in his public sermons. There was a hidden or direct teaching that was revealed privately and there was a teaching for the multitudes who would not be capable of understanding deeper truths.
When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. He told them," The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables. Mark 4:10-11, NIV
In another instance Judas (not Judas Iscariot) asks Jesus why he intends to show himself to them but not to others implying a hidden revelation.
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said," But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?"John 14:22, NIV
Jesus follows with a long commentary and tells Judas that even though he (Jesus) is giving Judas (and others) special insight there are yet even more things which Jesus will not reveal to them because they are not ready for them. That would make two layers of insight beyond the multitudes.
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. John 16:12, KJV
There are hidden teachings which Jesus discussed openly with the disciples but not with the masses simply because the masses were not spiritually prepared. To do so would have been to cast pearls before swine. How could a barnyard animal appreciate the value of a pearl? Paul indicates that he too adjusts the directness of his teachings according to the understanding of the audience. Paul clearly states that there are teachings which he holds back because the listeners lack the spiritual depth to comprehend it.
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 1 Corinthians 3:1-2, NIV
Today what remains of Paul's teachings, which are his public letters, are milk for spiritual infants. The"meat"Was not recorded as open letters to churches but were taught by Paul directly to those whom he considered qualified. His revelation of Melchizedek is another indication of this.
The Holy Kabbalah is the hidden or secret tradition of Judaism not because it was forbidden but because it requires a high degree of spiritual maturity and insight to grasp. The Kabbalah is solid spiritual food that cannot be given to milk-drinking babes. Also, early Kabbalists did not want the teachings corrupted and perverted by well meaning but immature souls. In centuries past, one had to prove worthiness to be taught the Kabbalah. The divine teaching and the spiritual practices such as ecstatic communion with God and meditation were transmitted orally under the careful and watchful guidance of an accomplished master much like the guru/disciple relationship that exists between Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic Sufi masters and their disciples. For the most part, the Kabbalah was first committed to print and published in the Middle Ages releasing it for the first time into the grasp of the secular body of mankind. Today the Kabbalah is studied and practiced by many Jews and it holds the doctrinal center stage for Hasidic Jews.
Hebrew theology was divided into three aspects which are the law, the soul of the law and the soul of the soul of the law. The law was taught to every Jew; the soul of the law, or Mishna, was revealed to Rabbis; while the soul of the soul of the law, the Kabbalah, was revealed only to the highest initiates. We have just read that Jesus and Paul both referred to knowledge that is given to the many as distinct from knowledge that is given to the few.
According to Kabbalistic history, the teachings of the Kabbalah were given to a school of angels prior to the fall of man. The angels later revealed these teachings to Adam so that the fallen state of mankind might be redeemed. Specifically, the angel Raziel was sent from heaven by God to tutor Adam in the divine principles of the Kabbalah. Various angels were then sent to the Jewish patriarchs to clarify and intensify the understanding of this profound divine science. Shem was taught by the angel Tophiel, Raphael taught Isaac, Metatron taught Moses, and Michael taught David. Solomon was also a very high initiate in Kabbalistic wisdom.
The Kabbalistic torch was passed from Adam to Noah and then to Abraham who immigrated to Egypt where he allowed a portion of the divine doctrine to be revealed to the Egyptians. Moses, who was adept in all the wisdom of Egypt, first learned the Kabbalah there but became most proficient in it while wandering for forty years in the wilderness. Moses also initiated the Seventy Elders into the way of the Kabbalah which they, in turn, transmitted orally to their students.
In centuries past the teachings of the Kabbalah were closely guarded but the sacred texts also predicted a time when the teachings could be accessed by anyone. Today the Kabbalah is experiencing a tremendous resurgence of popularity and is being taught by Rabbis in living room study groups or classes offered through local synagogues. Non-Jews are also flocking to Kabbalah classes being held in local libraries and adult education programs. While most mainstream Jews in our modern world do not court reincarnation, Kabbalists are unshakably wedded to it. The three greatest books of Kabbalism are the Sepher Yetzirah, The Book of Formation; the Sepher ha Zohar, The Book of Splendor; and the Apocalypse, The Book of Revelation. The following is a quote from the Sephar ha Zohar.
The souls must re-enter the Absolute, from whence they have emerged. But to accomplish this end they must develop the perfections; the germ of which is planted in them. And if they have not developed these traits in this one life, then they must commence another, a third, and so forth. They must go on like this until they acquire the condition that allows them to associate again with God. The Zohar
The"germ"that is planted in them which leads to the"perfections" is the I AM; it is our oneness in Christ."
Reincarnation in the Jewish Kabbalah
Reincarnation quotes from famous people
"I look upon death to be as necessary to the constitution as sleep. We shall rise refreshed in the morning."And," Finding myself to exist in the world, I believe I shall, in some shape or other always exist."
Jack London, author, best known for book Call of the Wild
"I did not begin when I was born, nor when I was conceived. I have been growing, developing, through incalculable myriads of millenniums. All my previous selves have their voices, echoes, promptings in me. Oh, incalculable times again shall I be born."
"I have been born more times than anybody except Krishna."
"As we live through thousands of dreams in our present life, so is our present life only one of many thousands of such lives which we enter from the other more real life and then return after death. Our life is but one of the dreams of that more real life, and so it is endlessly, until the very last one, the very real the life of God."
"I adopted the theory of reincarnation when I was 26. Genius is experience. Some think to seem that it is a gift or talent, but it is the fruit of long experience in many lives"
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, (German poet, playwright and scientist)
"As long as you are not aware of the continual law of Die and Be Again, you are merely a vague guest on a dark Earth."
"Live so that thou mayest desire to live again - that is thy duty - for in any case thou wilt live again!"
"I cannot think of permanent enmity between man and man, and believing as I do in the theory of reincarnation, I live in the hope that if not in this birth, in some other birth I shall be able to hug all of humanity in friendly embrace."
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"The soul comes from without into the human body, as into a temporary abode, and it goes out of it anew it passes into other habitations, for the soul is immortal." "It is the secret of the world that all things subsist and do not die, but only retire a little from sight and afterwards return again. Nothing is dead; men feign themselves dead, and endure mock funerals... and there they stand looking out of the window, sound and well, in some strange new disguise."
General George S. Patton
"So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, Where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me."
"Reincarnation contains a most comforting explanation of reality by means of which Indian thought surmounts difficulties which baffle the thinkers of Europe."
"I know I am deathless. No doubt I have died myself ten thousand times before. I laugh at what you call dissolution, and I know the amplitude of time."
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting; The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, Hath had elsewhere its setting. And cometh from afar."
Jalalu Rumi (Islamic Poet of the 13th century)
"I died as a mineral and became a plant, I died as a plant and rose to animal, I died as animal and I was man. Why should I fear? When was I less by dying?"
"My life often seemed to me like a story that has no beginning and no end. I had the feeling that I was an historical fragment, an excerpt for which the preceding and succeeding text was missing. I could well imagine that I might have lived in former centuries and there encountered questions I was not yet able to answer; that I had been born again because I had not fulfilled the task given to me."
Henry David Thoreau
"Why should we be startled by death? Life is a constant putting off of the mortal coil - coat, cuticle, flesh and bones, all old clothes."
"I am confident that there truly is such a thing as living again, that the living spring from the dead, and that the souls of the dead are in existence."
Jesus Christ in Gnostic Gospels: Pistis Sophia
"Souls are poured from one into another of different kinds of bodies of the world."
"It is not more surprising to be born twice than once; everything in nature is resurrection."
Josephus (most well known Jewish historian from the time of Jesus)
"All pure and holy spirits live on in heavenly places, and in course of time they are again sent down to inhabit righteous bodies."
Honore Balzac (French writer)
"All human beings go through a previous life... Who knows how many fleshly forms the heir of heaven occupies before he can be brought to understand the value of that silence and solitude of spiritual worlds?"
Arthur Schopenhauer (Philosopher)
"Were an Asiatic to ask me for a definition of Europe, I should be forced to answer him: It is that part of the world which is haunted by the incredible delusion that man was created out of nothing, and that his present birth is his first entrance into life."
Paul Gauguin (French post-impressionist painter)
"When the physical organism breaks up, the soul survives. It then takes on another body."
"Friends are all souls that we've known in other lives. We're drawn to each other. Even if I have only known them a day., it doesn't matter. I'm not going to wait till I have known them for two years, because anyway, we must have met somewhere before, you know."
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