Interview Kabbalah: Glastonbury, May 2016
This interview was held after a meeting with Kabbalists from different streams inside the tradition.
The questions were asked by Andy Levinson and answers coming from Mike Bais
Q: What is Kabbalah? And what is the use of practicing Kabbalah?
A: Kabbalah is the mystical tradition inside the Judaic religious line. Having said this, Kabbalah is much more than this. It has evolved over millennia and thereby cross- fertilized with many other mystical traditions and esoteric streams of thought, like Neo- Platonism, Egyptian wisdom, Vedas, Arabic influences etc.
The teachings are presented to us in two diagrams; de Tree of Life and Jacobs Ladder. These are reflections of the human being, the world, the cosmos and Divinity. So, what’s the use? That is a typical modern inquiry, I would say. Through the tradition, you become of more self- knowledge by reflection like looking in a mirror. Eventually, it is God beholding God, Who is doing the “looking” in the mirror! As soon as you realize this, you become of use!
Q: Is Kabbalah a tradition to serve others or the world? That’s how you make it sound.
A: People who start with Kabbalah need something in life. It always starts with the person and the requirements they have. They want to get something out of the teachings for them. This is an acceptable progression as we all need first to grow in ourselves before we can serve others. The Tree of life bears “fruit” according to one’s development. The more one needs for him/ herself, the more we reap fruits only for ourselves. If our development reaches beyond our personal selves/ ego-life, we begin reaping fruits for the world and beyond.
Q: So, some people seek healing. What does Kabbalah say about healing?
A: The work of the Kabbalist is the Work of Unity. This means that the Kabbalist works towards a development of becoming “whole” which in itself is derived from the word “Holy”. Both words connote to the bringing back yourself and the world to a state of union. The “way of return” to the Source of Unity, is called Teshuvah, a Hebrew word for “return or inversion”. This means that the Kabbalist needs to go inside to find that Truth. That way is simultaneously the way of healing.
Q: The truth and union you are talking about; are they states of consciousness that one could attain in life or only after death?
A: It is very specifically for the mystical tradition in general, and therefore also in Kabbalah, that the “Kingdom of Heaven is within you” as Jesus Christ says in the Gospel of Thomas. It is a realization in the Eternal moment of Now! If you cannot in this lifetime, here and now…. You will most likely not find it anywhere else. Unfortunately, “heaven” has been made exclusive by orthodox and institutionalized religion. They have exported heaven outside of the human being.
Q: That’s interesting. I know that some people would call that blasphemy?
A: Exactly the reason why Jesus was executed on the cross. He said that the “Father and I are one”, which in Kabbalah would be known as “bringing heaven to earth”. This is not so much a matter of literacy, but we are talking in metaphors here. Rather, we are awakening to a deeper reality, which is, that this life (human being, the earth, all creatures, the cosmos) is the Kingdom of heaven! One has to first realize this within oneself.
Q: You do teach Kabbalah yourself. What is your approach to this tradition?
A: I follow the teachings of Z’ev Ben Shimon Halevi (Warren Kenton), who has been the main source of my Kabbalah development. He transmits the Toledano tradition, which is a practical and philosophical tradition. I follow that line, and of course, one does not copy the teacher, but transmits the teaching! I bring in my own experience and knowledge, which makes the tradition “alive” and vibrant, preventing it from fossilizing and decaying. What is most important for me, is that Kabbalah teaches the a universal outlook on life. It invites us to look at the bigger picture and such we need in these times of tremendous changes.
Mike has given Kabbalah lectures and classes nationally and internationally. For individuals and groups, communities, churches, business and companies, and at different conferences for consciousness and wellbeing. Kabbalah has helped many people through its Universal Wisdom, Inspiration and Clarity. And has given many people insights and answers for now and the future!
This post is also available in: Dutch