The Mystical Heritage of the Children of Abraham
by DANIEL HALE FELDMAN
Work of the Chariot
Whenever I sat to read this book, my wife heard about it I could not stop my raving praises. As a student of Qabalah, Ive read numerous titles on the subject; if this did not equal my favorite, then it surpassed it.
Very often in todays Qabalah books, the same general knowledge is rehashed. Some approach the old information in a new way, and these are delights. The very rare provide extraordinary new insights and wisdom, and these are the gems. Among such titles I classify my top-of-the-list, Dion Fortunes Mystical Qabalah; Mr. Feldmans compares like apple to orange, for its purpose is different. I put it alongside Ms. Fortunes as the most important to read.
Mr. Feldman begins his book in an absolutely important way for me: he gives the reader context. He delineates between todays different approaches to this subject, outlining the purposes and viewpoints of Mystical Qabalah (the focus of the book), Practical or Hermetic Kabbalah, Rabbinical Jewish Kabbalah, Christian Cabala, the traditions of Islam and North Indian Tantra, and yes, even the scientific version that we might call physics and astrophysics. (Whew!) This was an important separation for me, because reading books from so many viewpoints without understanding these distinctions can lead to confusion, and this is like a big ol light bulb.
After discussion of the sources of Qabalah, the author enters into the core teachings of the subject, tackling such difficult concepts as the Ayn (imagine, the "negatively existent substratum of pure Being" in case you wondered why Qabalah requires meditation if one is to fully grasp it or in fact, experience it) and the nature of Messianic appearances (indeed, one of the most complex mysteries!).
I was absolutely entranced as the book explained the different paths up the Tree, for I had never before seen them explained so thoroughly, especially alongside their various purposes. Diagrams explained include "The Way of the Angels of Destruction"; "The Way of the Angels of Elohim"; "The Way of the Wizard"; "The Way of the Saint"; "The Tree of Life"; and "The Way of Messiah." Unlike many books, this one also explains the missing sphere the void known as Daath, which avoided subject is the confusion of many new students. While the sphere is indeed a mystery having to do with a perfected Tree, it neednt have as big a question mark upon it as many books leave it with.
The book also discusses what one can expect to experience while ascending the Tree (in general terms, acknowledging the unique experience of each individual), and provides an outline of techniques that can be used to achieve such experience. (Need I mention meditation?) But admittedly, mentioning what the book covers can hardly convey the kind of fresh approach this book takes, and the mysteries it helps the reader enter into.
I feel I should provide one sample. The qlifoth here refer to the "shells of embodied consciousness" that make up who we are. We may wonder about the occasional spiritual experiences many people have why these are temporary, why they are discounted, etc. Read what Mr. Feldman offers: "The qlifoth have holes in them and revolve around one another like the spheres in a Chinese puzzle ball. The holes can randomly line up and give a perceptive flash of the Light of the Neshamah [Divine Soul]. As the shells continue to move, the line-up of the holes is disrupted and the flash ends. Most humans bury such flashes as traumatic experiences. Purification of the shells through the repetition of a root mantra over time gives the ability to accept such flashes as a desirable experience, making it possible to sustain the experiences much longer. This is the most significant advantage of taking the Name. "
There is so much more here. And again, unlike so many titles, the text here is based on the experiences of a true mystic, a qabalist who has clearly experienced the Tree. The mystic shared his experiences and explanations with a group over many years, and one of the students, Mr. Feldman, has collected these teachings together to the benefit of anyone who reads this book, an absolute must for students of spirit. Make sure to visit <http://www.workofthechariot.com/> for much detailed information and free releases of important and newly translated qabalistic texts.