While there is a tendency in the modern spiritual or new age community to suggest that the path of the kabbalist or mystic is adorned with fragrant flowers, and gilded with positive affirmations, or that it sparkles with the love and light that beams forth from the hearts of fluffy-winged angels — that by following the teachings of spiritual masters, you will encounter wonderous sights, enter into prosperity, annul the “shadow self”, and resolve all manner of disorder in one’s life.
The reality however, for those who genuinely seek to peer behind the veil of malkuth and experience the world of creation and infinite potential, is often a difficult and sometimes tragic one. Those who dare to shift their consciousness beyond material existence, can often appear unsettling, or even threatening to others who are firmly anchored in the rigid materialism of our consensus reality.
Kabbalah is therefore, a labour of love for those who choose to study and practice. It is a calling to struggle in Avodat HaShem, or “Divine Service”. For the job of gathering the sparks and balancing the spheres threatens the power and control of the “mighty ones” of this world, and their loyal servants of chaos and destruction.
Kabbalah is therefore a vocation of self-sacrifice, not self-aggrandizement or self-fulfillment, or self-actualization. It is not a means to exert one’s “true will” upon nature, but a means to align one’s nature with divine will — to become a channel for the sephirotic attributes of the “Crown of Creation”, or kether, in this world. The mekubalim draw down into earthly manifestation the splendor or “kavod” of Havayah through the divine presence of the Shekinah for the sake of tikkun olam; the healing of our world.
Kabbalah is not about living your best life, attaining mastery or success, satisfying worldly desires or entertaining spiritual curiosities or even finding one’s soulmate, even though such joys and moments of happiness may certainly be found along the way. Kabbalah is a serious undertaking that is not for the faint of heart, but for those called to service to humanity. It fulfills our deepest desire for purpose and fulfillment beyond material goals by attaining applied wisdom and understanding, not for oneself, but for the community and for the sake of that which is good.