Kabbalistic Healing by Jason Shulman.
From the introduction:
To study Kabbalah is not to study a subject but to meet a teacher. This is the teacher God sends out to all created things.
To study Kabbalah is to study yourself.
1. Leaving The Limited
2. Living Between The Light and Dark: The Holy Ego
3. Healing, Briah, and the Concept of Not-Making
4. The Healing of Immanence and The Nature of God
5. Within Death
6. Prayer: The Concrete Path
7. The Words of God
Afterword: It Starts With Disappointment…
…And It Ends In Light
About A Society of Souls
What Is Kabbalah?
Kabbalah is an esoteric method, discipline, and school of thought in Jewish mysticism.
What Is This Book About
From my perspective, the reasons to study Kabbalah are completely practical and human. It lessens the distance between ourselves and others, lets us see the origins of what truly nourishes us, and it reawakens in us the trembling of awe and sex.
It is a book of deep healing that bridges the Eastern and Western philosophies in spirituality. In addition, it’s a guidebook to using the Kabbalah to transform our consciousness in order to heal our body, mind, and spirit.
In this book, you’ll find:
—A process of unification with God and the healing implications of that process for our daily life
—The Four Kabbalistic Universes that form a topographical map of reality
—A unique perspective on human consciousness and the nature of existence from a leading modern Kabbalist
Kabbalistic Healing is about the process of unification with God (in reference to Source, Real Self, Awakening or Submission, Buddha-nature, or Real). It draws upon the author’s work at A Society of Souls, which promotes the belief that the ultimate form of healing is to create a unitive or non-dual state of consciousness. Traditional views tend to demean the “ego-self”, however, Shulman shows us the importance of our gift of self-awareness. In addition, he shows us how to come to peace with ourselves.
Why Study Kabbalah?
This excerpt taken from the Introduction speaks volumes:
All journeys begin with a question. In this case, it is our soul that speaks:
“Why study Kabbalah?”
“To know God.”
“Why must we know God?”
“Because God is not separate from us in any way. God is our innermost issue, our closer-than-closest self, and we have a desire to know ourselves, to understand the world around us—which is also God—and so we search for what we know is there.”
“Isn’t it enough to follow our religions as they were handed down to us?”
Perhaps. But because they were handed down to us, we run the risk of only getting to know God secondhand, someone else’s God. God cannot be known secondhand. Sooner or later, if you are in touch with the inner drive to understand, through bodily excitement or through the pain of life, you want to know directly, and that is when the metaphysical approach to knowing comes into play. Kabbalah is simply the understanding and encouragement handed down through the centuries from people who have done what you want to do. They stand there, their immortal parts still calling, still present, saying, ‘Here is how you can learn for yourself. Here is the courage to try.'”Jason Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing: A Path To An Awakened Soul (Introduction, Page 5)
What Are The Four Kabbalistic Universes?
The kabbalistic universe called Assiyah is the universe of making or action. This is the that of the physical realm, the one that we interact with everyday and sets the context in which we live. Here is where we express ourselves physically and where our behaviors take place.
“Things that cannot be physically seen or understood, such as the spiritual worlds and God, are believed to be far away, even in physical terms.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 15)
In this world, the ego is at its densest.
“We fully and firmly believe that we are somebody, and we never question the rightness of this view. And even though we believe we are somebody, we are not concerned with the inner self very much because there is not so much of an inner self here. We are more concerned with how this self makes its way in the world: who supports its existence and desires and who stands in the way. From this perspective, the world is essentially divided.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 16)
The second universe is called Yetzirah. This is the world of internal feelings. It introduces to us the concept that the interior world is an undiscovered country. We notice that we have fears and longings. So in this world, we discover the things we do not understand about ourselves and the world.
“In yetziratic consciousness we begin to look for the origin of our feelings. This journey can at times be terrifying. Because of our awareness of desire, we now have a different relationship with the world. We begin to see both our known and unknown internal desires as the lens through which we see the world.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 18)
The highly integrated universe of creation is the third universe. It contains the consciousness of both Assiyah and Yetzirah. So this universe where we transition from the Separateness we experience in Assiyah to Oneness.
“From the perspective of Briah, Yetzirah—despite all its sophistication—still looks profoundly limited. The whole of Yetzirah and Assiyah taken together can be seen for the first time for what it really is: fiction. It is fiction because it is only part of the picture, and we tend to identify with it as a picture of the Whole. Briah is the realm of “is-ness,” wherein each thing—free of the objectification of Assiyah and the historical, psychological pain of Yetzirah—is finally completely itself and thus shines with the Light of God.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 20)
Universe four is Atzilut and is the most essential of the kabbalistic universes. This is the universe that is most transparent to God’s Light, having never been shattered during the process of Creation. So this is a world at which we “arrive” to through life experience and purification. It is when we are able to come to a place of surrender and discover that God was never far from us. In addition, we realize that we are always one with God and closer than we could ever imagine. From this vantage point, we are able to live our lives full and we are able to live this truth with others. We can see ourselves and other people for who we are and live life from this space.
“Atzilut is the end of the journey, the final understanding of the fact that God is fully here, that there was never any separate place to go. As such, the realm of Atzilut is beyond description: it is the world, ourselves, our consciousness itself. It is the “world to come,” here and now. While it can be experienced, to talk about it creates a “thing-ness” that is not part of its nature.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 22)
“What we make is who we are. And who we are is what we make. In other words, theories are always about ourselves as much as what we are theorizing about.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 12)
“The individual self is part of who we are, and it is only a problem if we do not see all of who we are as holy. If we see all as holy, then we do our best to heal the extreme separateness the ego has fallen into because of the wounds of our karma, culture, childhood, and civilization, and the existential problems of life itself.” (James Shulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 35)
“Liberation occurs when we can see simultaneously both the solidity and validity of the ego and its transparent, temporary nature, not aiming at one or the other state, but holding both. While in the beginning there is an “inner foe,” at the next step of development there is no inner foe. Ultimate liberation which we might call Love, knows no such boundaries and is content to let the ego exist. This contentment is what heals the ego from being the leader of an opposition sect (“me only”), bringing it to its rightful place as the human function that sustains and directs our efforts. Then the ego is the birthplace of the individual who is divine and beautiful in his or her own right and needs no introduction to God.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 45)
“To heal others—which from the perspective of Integrated Kabbalistic Healing is the same as healing ourselves—we have to make an evolutionary leap.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 49)
“Not-making is that condition in which things are simply what they are and we are no making “secondary somethings” out of primary experience. We engage with Reality directly.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 49)
“My feeling of humiliation originated from a fossilized thought.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 70)
“Man does many things to achieve one thing; God does One thing to achieve many things.” —G.T. Fechner, 1835
“All of my training as a healer up until that point had taught me to do something, or to give something. Now I knew that to heal her, I simply had to receive the already present Divinity within her.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 83)
“You could say that I am a bearded, bald fellow of such-and-such an age, but none of those things would be true. All the descriptions of me are not who I am.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 94)
“What was left in that silence was Who we both were. This was hard for the ego to accept because there was no self-reflective one to feel it. It was simply Presence and Light.” (James Schulman, Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 95)
“The Prajnaparamita Sutra, also known as the Heart Sutra, perhaps the central exposition of the Buddha’s transcendent wisdom in the Mahayana tradition, expresses this condition of unity in the following way:
This radical teaching of truth is openly presented as a nonteaching. Therefore, nothing can obstruct this teaching, which is as all-embracing and ungraspable as space, no trace of which can ever be found, crystallized, isolated, divided, tested or analyzed. This teaching of truth is not related to any other teachings, because it does preserve the concept of otherness, nor does it encounter any adversarial positions, because it does not proclaim any principle of opposition. It is a traceless teaching because it is utterly spontaneous—not brought into being by various causes or influences. (The One) now speaking has never been born… (but is) an image of Pure Presence….(he is) the image of the One who has disappeared by awakening as Reality…” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 109)
“When Rabbi Shima Bunam of Przysucha was dying, it is said that his wife burst into tears. When he asked, “What are you crying for? My whole life was only that I might learn how to die,” he was speaking as one for whom death was not the opposite or destruction of what he was. Instead, he saw clearly who he truly was. His true unification lay in the unity of his life and death. While in this story they are presented as sequential, in Reality, life and death are always simultaneous, twins whose existence creates what we call “the Now” of our life.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 109-110)
“In Briah we are an individual and not-an individual at the same time.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 133)
“In Briah our very actions become living prayers themselves because we are unified in a place where opposites are held in one paradigm—the past and the future, the fractured and the whole, the mundane and the sublime, Heaven and Earth—all exist in a relationship of complementarity.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 137)
“The sephirot are not things, nor do they point to things. Instead they are a continuum of Unity and the experiences of Wholeness.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 150)
“At first we do not know what is going on. We don’t know whom to blame. Things are simply wrong, and we ratchet down our expectations into a movie about the real thing, or maybe the screen goes blank entirely and we live another life.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 168)
“The universe is set up so that everything that we an be in the presence of, and remain whole with, returns from dust to diamonds, returns to inherent Wholeness.” (Kabbalistic Healing, pg. 173)
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Kabbalistic Healing: A Path To An Awakened Soul