Treasures of Jewish Mysticism

The scientific study of Jewish mysticism or Kabbalah may be divided into the historical, theoretical, and practical. The theoretical Kabbalah deals with the mysteries and teaching structures of angelic and earthly domains and the divine emanation of divine energy (Ain Soph) that pass thru the thru ten (10) Sephirot represented in this vibrant chart. These ten Sephirot activate the channels to “enlightenment.” We may intuitively and intellectually enlighten and with humble devotion direct our actions to develop each of the ten (10) Sephirot.

Angels were created by God on the first day according to the Book of Enoch. These higher angels or Archangels and Divine Mother or Shekinah and Great Father are interchangeably called in ancient Hebrew sources “Elohim.” The Book of Enoch goes into detail about the names and functions of the Archangels, the higher order angels, and the lesser angels and demons. This knowledge of angels was given first to Enoch for the benefit of humanity. Such awareness of higher consciousness helps humans understand the divine Kabbalistic precept: it is in heaven as it is on earth. All on high and all in the material world effect and reflect each other.

Enoch, “the Teacher of Righteousness,” the “Initiate,” and “Teacher of Teachers” was the father of Methuselah. Methuselah is often called the longest living descendant of Adam. Enoch was the grandfather of Noah. That is how long-ago Enoch lived. The Book of Enoch is believed by Jewish tradition to be transmitted by Enoch after he was, like Ezekiel who followed him, taken up into the heavens during meditation. Enoch explains sinful angels described as the “Sons of God” mated with human women, the “Daughters of Man,” and conceived of giants known as Nephilim. This mystery is perhaps one of the most puzzling in the knowledge of spiritual and human evolution.

The mystical tradition teaches these giants or Nephilim, the results of angelic sin with humans, were then wiped out by the Great Flood, as punishment for (wo)man’s sins. Human Enoch was taken into Heaven and transformed by fire into the divine angel Metatron. Enoch then returned to Earth and taught humans on this plane they could access the higher angelic realms for divine secret wisdom of “the inner tradition” which Moses said should be studied at night and in secret.

This “Teacher of Secret Knowledge” archetype indicates transformation thru meditation leads to wisdom. The use of this universal archetype can be seen in psychoanalysis and shamanism as well as throughout the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim mystical paths. The Book of Enoch reads: “While the Watchers promise them liberty, they are the servants of corruption,” and this admission rings out as a fitting invocation for human material ego-based greed. Furthermore, the “dumb ass speaking with the man’s voice forbade the madness of the Prophet.” Much about prophetic Enoch was revised after Noah for the Old and New Testaments but remain as relevant today as to any period and space.

The mystical Dead Sea Scrolls discovered in 1947 date back to between 100 BC and 68 AD, but their origins are hundreds or thousands of years old, and its wisdom may originate with some older lost civilization of pyramid temple builders. These uncovered Dead Sea Scrolls however date back to around Jesus’ time. The Dead Sea Scrolls also contain pictographic images of the magic seals of the seven Archangels associated with the days of the week.

There are interesting parallels in the Dead Sea Scrolls with Persian Zoroastrianism including themes of good v. evil and the Apocalypse. You can even see the Arabesque designs of the Seals of Solomon and this can best be explained by remembering when Solomon built his great Temple on the Temple Mount, he also permitted pagan temples to remain.

King Solomon was liberal in his spiritual, diplomatic, and philosophical tastes but he was nonetheless a Jewish legal scholar and mystic. Solomon built his Temple to house the Tabernacle so it would open the gates to the Four Kabbalistic Worlds of (1) Action, (2) Formation, (3) Creation, and (4) Emanation. Solomon built his Temple by putting angels and demons to work for God.

Solomon was David’s son. David’s line Jewish tradition says will produce the Messiah or “Anointed One.” Most striking is David’s prophetic revelation in The Dead Sea Scrolls of his own crucifixion, which never occurred, a thousand years before Jesus was crucified and one millennium before the cruel practice existed or was recorded (Psalm 22:9). David foresaw Jesus’ crucifixion or his own in another life.

The Dead Sea Scrolls place faith in a great “Teacher of Righteousness” in the tradition of Enoch, Abraham, and Moses. The Essenes inscribed on their Dead Sea Scrolls books from the canonical Old Testament as well as sublime entries like “The Ages of the World,” “Phases of the Moon,” and “Purification Rituals.” Due to the Essene faith in the immortal soul, they appear to have influenced the Early Christian Gnostics. The Gnostics also kept alive the Neolithic Mesopotamian idea of the “sacred feminine” preserved in the renewed form of the Jewish Shekinah.

The importance of the Essene monastery at Qumran, Israel with ritual purification baths remains underappreciated in many standard historical narratives. At least some of the “initiated” Sons of Light at Qumran were storing arms and preparing for an apocalyptic revolt against Rome and the Sons of Darkness. There are even some non-canonical versions of Jesus’ life which show him wielding the sword of the Archangel Michael. This may have been homage to the Jewish idea the Messiah would be a military commander instead of a pacifist, but such versions were not accepted by early church authorities. Perhaps this was a form of social control as well as a sincere message of faith for universal peace during a time of state sponsored war and terror from imperial Rome and its appeaser clients including the mainstream Jewish rabbinical legal establishment known as the Sanhedrin.

The non-canonical Apocrypha (Hidden) and Pseudigrapha (Somewhat Hidden) sources include the Books of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch. These early Jewish mystical texts portray the human soul as a battlefield for the angels of light and darkness. The Book of Jubilees recounts the Book of Enoch. The Apocryphal Book of the Maccabees sacred to Rastafarians in Ethiopia and Jamaica recounts the Jewish rebellion against the imperial Syrian Greeks. The heroes of the Jewish revolution against the Hellenized pagans demanded the right to freely worship above all the Jewish law of the divine covenant with one God. One of the leaders of the rebellion against the Greeks, Judah Maccabee, was himself known among the Tribes of Israel as “The Hammer” when he established the Jewish Declaration of Independence and Festival of Lights known as Chanukkah. The Maccabees foreshadowed frequent Jewish revolts against Rome such as the Bar Kochba Revolt (132–35 AD) supported by Rabbi Akiva and documented by Roman historian Josephus in The Jewish Wars.

The lesser known, hidden, esoteric, and non-canonical books provide a glimpse into the world between the Old and New Testaments which some of the Church accepted texts do not provide. One bit of context is for certain. Many early Jewish historical texts, especially those not from the accepted church canon, both from before and after Jesus, were spiritual, revolutionary, and prophetic. The apocalyptic content of the Dead Sea Scrolls was retold in the form of the Book of Revelations and made a part of the New Testament.

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Multi-media essays on arts and sciences, culture and society, law and politics, justice and spirituality

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Reid Friedson, PhD

Multi-media essays on arts and sciences, culture and society, law and politics, justice and spirituality