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Immortality, a possibility that has been dismissed by most and rejected by many, as though the memory of it were a curse inflicted on mankind since the sin of Adam some 5,700 years ago, is a topic up until now kept mostly in the closet. Our rational minds merely obscure the unconscious reply, “Why?” What could be so wrong with immortality, especially when death is the most feared chaos that strikes mankind?
Needless to say, death, or the fear of it, strikes an awesome chord in the hearts of most people. Immortality, or the thought of living forever, is indeed a dream that is pleasant to the minds of most humans. However, the fact that death has not gone out of style or favor – along with the cemeteries that abound around the world – is a stark reminder that death is very much a part of the human landscape. Our consciousness never has the opportunity to begin to think otherwise, or, for that matter, to think that there is anything humankind can do to change such an entrenched reality in our midst.
It seems foolhardy to entertain such a far-out and seemingly unrealistic concept as immortality. How many times have we heard about the passing on of an acquaintance and asked, “How old was the individual?” And when the response is 96 or 98 years old, one usually replies with something like, “Well, at least he lived to a ripe old age.” But in the final analysis, death is as much an expected reality as the sun coming up each morning.
Let us therefore explore the viewpoint on immortality as perceived by the Kabbalist. To begin our journey into the world of “actually living forever,” let’s consider a verse in Isaiah, which states unequivocally that at a time in the future, “death will be swallowed eternally.” What the kabbalists gleaned from the preceding verse is the idea that death is a consequence that evolves and emerges from a force, known as the angel of death, and that this entity or destructive force will lose its effectiveness. The Zohar’s description of man expiring sheds a great deal of light on the mystery of dying. (Zohar Vayakhel, v. 292 onward) The Zohar makes it very clear that when an individual is suffering and dies from some ailment, the problem does not lie with the physical “cause” of death such as heart, liver or kidney failure. Rather, a klipa (negative shell), the instrument used by Satan to inflict chaos on mankind, is responsible for the physical break-down.
Today, with the unveiling of heretofore unrevealed secrets of the Kabbalah, we are better than ever before prepared to meet head on the unopposed roll-over of Satan, who has wrought chaos, pain and suffering without facing any opposition to his senseless, uninterrupted march through human history. One can only wonder why it is that only in the last century have physicists and other scientists been rapidly bridging the gap between Kabbalah and Science. There is no meaningful reason other than the fact that Rav Yehuda Ashlag, founder of the Kabbalah Centre, with his revolutionary ideas concerning the cosmos and our own familiar landscape, became a reality in the early part of this century. Rav Ashlag infused the environment and physical cosmology with newly revealed secrets of the universe. Many of these revelations have already been incorporated into our everyday life, and many more are rapidly evolving into realizable truths, amongst them, the reality of immortality and resurrection of the dead.
Physics can and will ultimately become a branch of Kabbalah, revealing the one percent of physical reality as it was originally intended to be but a blip, an interference that causes chaos and inconvenience for humans. However, with the secrets of Kabbalah speedily becoming revealed, the physical realm of chaos will be overturned and suddenly a curtain will be removed and the true nature of the universe revealed, one of order, structure and tranquility.
There are still a great number of scientists and theologians who believe science and religion cannot co-exist or have a relationship with one another. However, from the kabbalistic perspective of the Light of The Creator, nothing could be further from the truth. One system of knowledge (the Bible and its kabbalistic decoding) relates to the 99 Percent or Tree of Life infinite reality, whereas science, of necessity, deals with the One Percent physical reality of Tree of Knowledge, Good and Evil. Science explains the effect syndrome whereas Kabbalah delves into the eternal, forever lasting cause of our existence.
Kabbalah, through the decodification of the Bible, assumes the definition of God as an energy Lightforce. Rav Ashlag, in Ten Luminous Emanations, simply asks, “If we are compelled by the Bible to ‘Love your God,’ how can we possibly come to love if the concept of an Omnipotent Being is beyond our comprehension or an entity we have never seen or communicated with?” Therefore, concluded Rav Ashlag, what the Bible refers to is the energy that emanates or comes forth from the Creator, and he gives this energy a name, The Lightforce or Light. The diverse names attributed to the Creator in the Bible merely refer to the varied levels and intensity of the Lightforce.
Another compelling factor that must be remembered is that the Kabbalah and the Bible, when decoded by the Kabbalah, concern themselves with the universal truths of our existence, and therefore existed long before the concept of religion ever began. The Kabbalah was first revealed in written form some four thousand years ago by the Patriarch, Abraham. The Bible itself existed long before there was a world with its inhabitants. Suffice it to say that the Bible’s intended purpose was to permit the unity of the Lightforce to reign and dwell amongst mankind and prevent chaos wherever its presence prevailed. What took place later on is where mankind’s difficulties in coming to grips with theology and the Deity arose.
The Kabbalah in this Age of Aquarius will, according to the Zohar, straighten out the shortcomings and difficulties that exist in our society. Men and women of all and different persuasions will come to realize and understand both the Bible and the Kabbalah for what they really are, an understanding of the workings and makings of our universe and a guide to how mankind can prevent the chaos, so prevalent, from becoming a destructive force. Their understanding will encompass acceptance of the reality of restoration and immortality.
Let us therefore reflect on what has already been recorded on the subjects of immortality and restoration in particular, and the idea of mind over matter in general. Death is first mentioned in the Bible when Adam is commanded by the Lightforce not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Had Adam opted for the Tree of Life reality, he surely would not have died. Resurrection was a feat accomplished by Elisha the Prophet when he brought back to life the later prophet Habakuk. We are told that every sage in the period of the Tannaim (10 CE – 220 CE) could restore the dead to the living. Within the book of Ezekiel the Prophet, stories abound involving resurrection of the dead. Then why have we been distanced these past two thousand years from the experiences of restoration or the reality of immortality?
The closest we have come of late to resurrection is in recoveries from something termed in medical science as “clinical death.” This event usually takes place when a person’s vital organs cease to function and the patient is confirmed as brain dead, completely unconscious. For reasons unknown, some of these patients return to consciousness and remarkably, recite in great and accurate detail what the doctors and nurses were doing during the period they were in a coma, what the medical personnel were discussing, and even such minor details as their positions around the bed.
For the patient to be capable of recalling and communicating events occurring, to the best of understanding, during death, has been explained as being due to the “out of body experience.” While this explanation may describe the hovering above of the soul, which might observe the goings on during the body’s death experience, how does one explain the restoration to life of a body that was dead?
I believe that in this Age of Aquarius, the consciousness of the people has been raised to the point that our imaginations have been fired into reaching for anything our hearts desire, and achieving that which we eagerly seek, namely, immortality. The Kabbalistic perspective on the sin of Adam will go a long way towards explaining the mysteries of death and demystifying the long list of tales and myths that surround the subject of death.
Just what did happen in the Garden of Eden, amongst the first people to inhabit earth? What was the prohibition on eating from the Tree of Knowledge all about? Although the Lightforce decreed that if Adam and Eve were to eat from the Tree of Knowledge “they would die,” nevertheless Adam and Eve continued in life after having partaken of the “forbidden fruit.” Did the Lightforce change his mind? Was the snake right when he told Eve she would not die even after eating the fruit? And when Adam was admonished by the Lightforce for disobeying the command not to eat the fruit, his response was that his wife Eve was responsible for his disobedience. Are we to assume that already at the beginning of time humankind had buried within our genes the familiar “passing of the buck” syndrome, that leads us to blame others for our own mistakes or misfortunes?
To remind our readers what Rav Shimon Bar Yochai had to say about the Bible is essential if we hope to have some clarity and certainty without chaos in our lives. Rav Shimon stated (Zohar, Beha’alotcha) that the entire Bible is a code, and the Zohar its cipher.
What has always seemed strange is that we are accustomed to receiving a manual or handbook when we purchase a new car, appliance, or computer. However, when we enter this chaotic premise known as earth, there doesn’t seem to be a manual as to how to avoid its pitfalls or tragedies, how to safely journey through life’s existence. In fact, we have come to accept almost as a given that our journey along the highways and byways of life is without a known roadway. Is it any wonder that we rarely arrive at our projected or intended destination? So many roadblocks seem to obstruct our routes that one is amazed at how we finally do arrive home.
The Zohar cautions us not to accept the literal or superficial meanings of what is written in the Torah. Rav Shimon knew many wise men who could create far better tales and folklore than those which appear in the Bible. The Bible, states the Zohar, is the road map and manual to be used during our trip towards the correction process. But doubt appears when we open the Bible, as many, if not all of us, wonder where in it one can find the answers to daily, complex problems. The Bible does not seem to be an accessible handbook or practical manual.
The Bible might be compared to those green signs on the highway that are illuminated by headlights at night. If the lights fail to work at night, then the road signs, although visible during the day, remain concealed, and a weary traveler might fail to take the intended exit. The Bible, without the appropriate illumination by the Kabbalah, will be rendered useless, an unlit road sign of no help to the unfamiliar traveler.
On the surface, the Bible does not provide the fulfillment everyone has come to expect from its spiritual teachings. On the contrary, paradoxes and contradictions fill its pages. However, a turning point has occurred in our century.
Thousands of years have passed, and no one has thought of opposing the force or forces of mortality or those entities that bring about that significant event known as death. We have always been led to believe that death and taxes are inevitable. Then again, what could or should prompt us into believing that death is not a universal law which governs over all physicality? After all, are we not constantly reminded of this indisputable fact by the numerous cemeteries around the world?
The Zohar states that the different circumstances that appear to cause death, such as heart failure, cancer, and other attributed causes, are only deceptions employed by Satan to mislead mankind into believing that anything and everything other than itself is responsible for the inevitable death that touches us all. The infinite causes of death exist solely and only because the Angel of Death has penetrated the human body space. When Satan points his finger at someone or something, the death-knoll has been sounded. To perpetuate death consciousness amongst mankind, he plays some awful and strange games with us. There are times when he retreats for the purpose of misleading us into believing that antibiotics or other remedial therapies have actually saved a person from certain death, only to return at a later date.
Am I suggesting that we close all hospital facilities and let people simply die without medical treatment? Are we to conclude from what has just been stated that I am in favor of doing away with the medical establishment? Nothing could be further from the truth. My intention is to raise the consciousness of humankind and view the reality of death, which comes sooner or later, for what it truly is, nothing more than an illusion.
A good starting point in understanding why, from a Kabbalastic perspective, death is to be considered illusory and thus removable, comes from scripture. “Death will be swallowed up eternally,” states Isaiah 25:8, indicating that at some time down the road death will disappear.
With this, we can begin to comprehend the tragedy of death as something that does not have permanency or eternity. Consequently, as all the illusory phenomena around us, it comes and goes, which actually means that our consciousness has the capacity to roll physical events backwards to a state of order and beneficence. A most celebrated illusion is known as the reversible goblet. One way to view this picture is to see a white goblet against a black background. In contrast, however, if the white area is treated as the background and the black region as the figure, then one sees the profiles of two faces looking at each other.
Strange as it may seem, no one ever sees both pictures at the same time. If we are to take this paradox one step further, we come to realize that our problem with the background/figure illusion is much deeper than merely one of the limitations of the mind’s ability to process visual information. We come to realize our lack of control over the conscious mind. Despite all concerted and concentrated efforts, we usually lose our focus on one aspect of the picture and wander on to the next. In this context must we now begin to consider the idea of death. From a kabbalistic perspective, death is an illusion. Moses and Jacob the Patriarch, to name a few, did not die, states the Zohar. This despite the superficial declaration of the Bible itself that these characters did, indeed, die.
The way the Zohar describes their death is that the people who were in contact with Moses or Jacob could no longer consciously grasp their presence or hear them speak. This by itself does not determine the existence or non-existence of people who have passed on. The new age of physics has already determined the existence of “uncertainty”; this principle may very well be applied to the notion of death.
Now, let me examine the idea of death itself. Where did it come from, where and when did it start? Cain slew Abel, states the Torah. However, how did Cain know of the death phenomenon, as much as he had never seen death before? According to the Bible, no one had died until that moment.
Returning to Genesis 2:17, when the Lightforce told Adam that “the day he eats from the Tree of Knowledge, he will die,” we know from the Biblical account that when Adam did eat from the Tree of Knowledge he did not die. This fact seemingly contradicts the Lightforce’s original statement to Adam. The interpretation of what actually took place is provided by the Zohar. Adam was told that that once he ate from – became attached to – the consciousness of Tree of Knowledge, the illusion that the deceased no longer is present becomes a temporary reality. The consciousness that Satan imposed upon Adam was that the 99 percent of the person dies when the 1 percent flesh suddenly no longer appears.
However, we now understand, and this is verified by science, that similarly to what happens with the background-figure illusion, we can by will and consciousness roll physical reality in any direction that we choose. What is not to say that our consciousness cannot roll back the deceased physical reality to its former state of being alive? In fact, our problem with the idea of immortality is that we are so accustomed to thinking only in linear terms. This means that if we can place in our consciousness that we wish to roll back the physical reality of a present dead person to his or her previous state of life and mobility, there is nothing in the sciences that can conclusively prove that this cannot be done or accomplished. I know, the scientist can point to many a gravesite or cemetery and say, “There is all the proof we need.” However, despite the fact that there are markers or monuments that scream out that individuals are dead, I, for one, am not impressed by these tombstones. It is possible that all the stone is telling or reminding us is that the person lying beneath is no longer visible to us, or interacting with us.
Medical science tells us that every cell in the human body is replaced roughly every seven years... a fact that would seem to imply we have an inborn Fountain of Youth guaranteeing that we remain forever young and free of disease and physical death. But for some reason, no such extended warranty comes with these bodies we occupy. Like everything else in Murphy’s universe, we are subject to entropy. But we do not have to be.
Cells that “die” do not cease to exist. Their atomic structures remain essentially unchanged in their undifferentiated state. Before a cell became a heart or lung, it was in an undifferentiated state. We cannot tell the difference between the two cells. The cells become differentiated into a heart or liver, according to their metaphysical, unseen DNA structure. When a heart or liver becomes diseased, or when a limb is severed, why can the person so afflicted not simply grow a new organ or limb? The DNA that created it in the first place still is there; why can one not simply call upon it to repeat the original creative process? The answer of course is that one can, if one is properly connected to the rejuvenative process.
Clipped fingernails and hair trimmed by the barber swiftly grow back, so why are organ transplant surgeons and the manufacturers of prosthetic devices still doing a booming business?
The Kabbalist has it within his or her power to control and manipulate the physical, creative process, even reversing it when circumstances demand that some material entity, such as a cancerous tumor or a life-wrecking tragedy, be “rolled back” from “tree” to “seed,” from differentiated to undifferentiated, so it can then be ejected from the physical world.
Without proper guidelines, humankind is destined to be controlled by the features of a chaotic universe subject to all the rules of entropy. Most of us spend our lives bouncing back and forth between the good and the bad sides of Tree of Knowledge reality as we grasp for ourselves in one moment and share with someone in another, and the action eventually just wears us out.
Kabbalah provides the methodology by which we can inhabit Tree of Life reality; then decay and disintegration cannot become integral parts of our lives. If fully under the Tree of Life reality, all physical matter, including that which constitutes our bodies, never could decay and even death, a random phenomenon belonging to the Tree of Knowledge, never could occur.
One cannot discuss the Tree of Knowledge without acknowledging the serpent that led Eve to its “forbidden fruit” in the story of Eden. The serpent of Genesis still is there, and while this implacable enemy of humankind cannot enter the Tree of Life, he does metaphorically, have things “bugged” all the way up to the Tree of Life. Sitting there with headset on and tape recorder running in his dark cosmic basement, where he has tapped into all the telephone lines in the universe, he is aware long before we are, of what is coming through metaphysical channels for each of us.
In truth, the only people death can “kill” are those who cannot connect with the Tree of Life reality because they have rejected the Lightforce. Let us state it right up front: one who masters Kabbalah need not die, because the 99 Percent of us, the Lightforce, is eternal.
Murphy, ever the trickster, is the one who clothes death in robes of terror, painting a mendacious picture of the skeletal “grim reaper” with a scythe the size of a bulldozer blade in his bony hand. Murphy whispers that death is a dark and inescapable finality... a lonely corridor down which all must walk and none return. And, as ever, Murphy is a liar.
Let us take a look at a rather complicated Zohar passage dealing with a death that never happened... the death of Jacob, third and greatest of the Biblical patriarchs. Because the message of the text is so important, it is repeated here verbatim, in all of its antique style:
Come and behold: Jacob is attached to the Tree of Life, which never has any death in it, for all the living are established and perfected in this tree that gives life to all that grasp on to it. Therefore, Jacob did not die. And when did he die? It occurred when it was written: "He gathered up his feet into the bed" (Genesis 49:33). "The bed" is as you say, "Behold it is his litter, that of Solomon" (Song of Songs 2:7), WHICH IS MALCHUT. About this bed, it is written: "Her feet go down to death" (Proverbs 5:5). Therefore, it is written: "He gathered up his feet into the bed," and then, "and he expired and was gathered unto his people." BUT AS LONG AS HE HELD ON TO THE TREE OF LIFE, WHICH IS ZEIR ANPIN, HE DID NOT DIE BECAUSE DEATH IS ONLY FROM THE ASPECT OF MALCHUT, AS EXPLAINED. Then the Holy One, blessed be He, made Jacob the chosen among the Patriarchs. This is what is written: "Jacob whom I have chosen" (Isaiah 41:8).(Zohar Beshalach, v. 97).
The passage takes a bit of translation but what it means is simply this: Jacob left the physical environment we call reality only when he chose to do so, and “death” had nothing to do with it. In fact, the Zohar passage illustrates a stunning paradox: death exists for the sole purpose of proving that it does not exist; death negates itself.
Long before his departure from the realm of physicality, Jacob attained the consciousness of the Tree of Life. Cain and Abel did not. But because his body remained alive and functionally interactive, he was seen here by friends, followers, and members of his extended family. But there is only one exit from the familiar illusory world of ours, and that is through the door of illusion. Therefore, when Jacob decided he no longer desired physical existence, he had to “touch” the Tree of Knowledge, like Adam before him – an act implied by the metaphor of gathering his legs onto the bed – in order to stop the heartbeat of the body he no longer cared to inhabit. At that moment, those gathered at his bedside saw what seemed to be a living body become a corpse, which they no doubt buried with great weeping and lamentation.
To those left behind, in the Tree of Knowledge reality, Jacob vanished into the grave. To Jacob, in the Tree of Life reality, it was those left behind who ultimately vanished. Death is not a skeleton wrapped in a shroud; Death is a door through which we pass into the realm of truth. Unfortunately, convinced that Death is real, most of us go right on “touching the bed” in a desperate, if misguided, effort to go on “living.”
When one achieves communion with the Lightforce of the Tree of Life reality, chaos no longer remains a part of the human landscape. When thus connected, we are allowed to reject death. A contemporary witnessing of this phenomenon was recorded during World War II. When the Nazis entered the Ukraine, one of the diabolical sports they undertook was to dig up the remains of sainted persons known for the miracles they performed against human nature. To their breathless wonder and sense of mystery, the corpses, some dating back 200 years, were found to be completely intact. Frightened, they immediately had the graves restored. Here was a clear example of how, when one is connected with the Tree of Life reality as these kabbalists were, then the illusory realm of Tree of Knowledge becomes what it was truly meant to be, a materiality subject to human interference and invasion, to be controlled and transformed in opposition to its basic nature, that of creating chaos in the universe.
To embrace this reality will require a complete overhaul of the average person’s perspective concerning chaos and death, but all we need to eliminate chaos from our lives is a change in consciousness. At this, the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, we will come to a collective realization that there is nothing out there, absolutely nothing, including all complete universal physicality, but consciousness. At this level of understanding, chaos, ill health, financial failure and all the rest of the dismal litany of Murphy’s Law will be seen for what they are... illusory manifestations of mind and consciousness. In short, they are figments of our imagination and when that is realized on a broad scale, Murphy finally will be out of business. In this state of consciousness, the entire universe will be prepared for the Lightforce and its ability to enlighten us and illuminate the dark corridors of our lives.
There is nothing amazing about resurrection of the dead. This reality is rooted in the already established existence of an ordered universe in which entropy and decay do not exist. Within the Tree of Life reality, entropy and decay do not exist. What is in fact truly astonishing are the changes that the science of physics has undergone since the founding of The Kabbalah Centre by Rav Yehuda Ashlag in 1922. These changes began with that most significant convention in the history of physics and science, the Fifth Solvay Conference in October 1927, where the Copenhagen Interpretation of quantum mechanics was disseminated among physicists and the rug of the familiar foundation of physics was literally pulled out from under and conventional ways in which physicists had observed the universe, completely overturned: it was science and Kabbalah, together at last.
What emerged from the Copenhagen Interpretation was the realization that there is an inherent randomness in nature. This then influenced the emergence of the Many-Worlds-Interpretation, called the Everett Interpretation after Hugh Everett, who first proposed it in 1957. The parallel universe concept had already had its origin, within Genesis. The concept only emerged in clarity through Rav Ashlag, whose knowledge, in turn, gave birth to the parallel universe idea as well as to many subsequent scientific concepts, the most important of which is the subject of this article.
In 1927, another physicist Niels Bohr ended once and for all the classical idea of objectivity by proclaiming that the physical world is an illusion. The real world, he said, lies one step beyond, where a chair is not a chair until we observe it and proclaim it so. It does not exist, he said, until we acknowledge its existence. Overnight, the common expression, “If I hadn’t seen it, I never would have believed it,” became the inverse: “If I hadn’t believed it, I never would have seen it.”
Before we consider how and why immortality can become a reality in our day, now, let us recall in summation the two essential features necessary to reestablish this phenomenon. First, we must achieve the elevated state of consciousness needed to reach into the realm of the Tree of Life reality. Secondly, we must become aware of Satan/Murphy and their operational tactics if we are to recognize the origin of our chaos and have it removed at its source. Mankind has been misled into recognizing and dealing only with the second or peripheral line of attack.
It is precisely for this reason that humankind has been unsuccessful these past 5,757 years in eliminating pain and suffering. We have been chasing the smoke screens of Satan/Murphy all these years, and he has therefore been successful in eluding any and all forms of attack on his destructive modus operandi. Satan has been totally in control of our 4-6 percent rational consciousness over these millennia. Consequently, we have failed to roll back the consequences of his attacks upon us, which have usually taken the form of illness, financial failure and social upheaval.
However, this is the Age of Aquarius. Humankind, for the very first time, has been furnished the equipment needed to battle and destroy Satan/Murphy’s front-line defenses, needed to penetrate this very real yet unidentified metaphysical force bent on rendering humankind defenseless and full of despair.
No longer are we merely going to be sitting ducks waiting for “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Mankind is now ready for a pre-emptive strike against our formidable enemy and assuredly, in our day, we shall witness the demise of chaos and disorder within the entire universe.
This article originally appeared in Kabbalah Magazine Vol. 2, Issue 4, May/June 1997.