As Above So Below Kabalah Secret Doctrine of Israel, The

Secret Doctrine of Israel, The

Secret Doctrine of Israel, The
Catalog # SKU1872
Publisher TGS Publishing
Weight 1.00 lbs
Author Name Arthur Edward Waite
ISBN 10: 0000000000
ISBN 13: 0000000000000


Secret Doctrine
of Israel

Arthur Edward Waite

An in depth look and research into the Judaism's Secret Doctrines, commonly referred to as the Kaballah. Arthur Waite was an avid and capable student of the 'mysteries' and his studies into the Secret Doctrine reveal more than most modern writers on the subject.

Sephir He Zohar - THE BOOK OF SPLENDOUR has something to tell us at this day which is worth hearing by those who have ears. I do not affirm, God preventing, that it is the only way, for ways are many to the height. From the beginning of things He has called man and woman in all the states of life in childhood and virginity, in espousals and widowhood and He Who makes all things one has called the Lover and Beloved, that they may go up hand in hand and become one in Him.

Excerpt from the Preface

IN the year 1902 I endeavoured in The Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah to offer a consideration in detail of the chief texts which embody the Secret Tradition in Israel, together with some account of the manner in which it influenced Christian scholarship in Europe during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, or broadly speaking, from the period of Picus de Mirandula until the eve of the French Revolution.

The publication of Sepher Ha Zohar, or The Book of Splendour, which is the primary Kabalistic text, for the first time in another language than the original Chaldaic, took place in France between the years 1906 and 1911, thus putting into the hands of modern students the best means of judgment concerning the tradition at large. If there be not at the present day much that remains for our agreement in the very interesting literary monograph of Adolphe Franck, entitled La Kabbale published in 1843 and reprinted more recently, with some corrections, in 1892, I believe that I shall be in accord with all scholarship that deserves the name if I express my concurrence when he says that the later Kabalists, like Isaac de Loria, Abraham Cohen Loria et hoc genus omne, added mainly their personal reveries to that great text and enfeebled it precisely in proportion as they sought to develop and reduce it into a system of the conventional kind.

I am concerned in the present study with few questions belonging to purely critical scholarship, but in these prefatory remarks a word must be said upon the Zohar in respect of its authority or otherwise on the question of date not indeed with the view of discussing, much less of deter mining so difficult a question, but to shew in the interests of clearness that such a question exists. The text itself belongs to a period in literature which knew nothing of chronological importance and still less of the values attaching to personalities in authorship. It is anonymous in respect of its redaction and it is silent as to the circumstances under which and the imputed time of the world when it came into the ever growing circle of Jewish records.

By its hypothesis, however, it is an account of discourses between Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai and other masters of the mystic understanding of the Law and the Prophets, of whom he was leader and chief. This is the first point of the hypothesis. In respect of the second and last point, it is a record of the debates which took place between certain immediate successors of Rabbi Simeon, who belongs by tradition to the first century of the Christian era, or the period of the destruction of Jerusalem by Vespasian, A.D. 70, I put aside in this connection various texts and extracts or fragments of texts which are, as one may say, imbedded in the Zohar, introduced for the most part at arbitrary points, where they have little or no relation to that which precedes and comes after. It is to this that we owe the preservation of certain parts of a work entitled Sepher Ha Bahir, or Book of Brightness.

Their authority has been disputed, but there seems good ground for believing (1) that if the Zohar proper is a work of the early Christian centuries, then these items are approximately of similar antiquity ; or (2) if we suppose for a moment that the text major was invented at a late period being at or about the end of the 13th century whether by a certain Moses de Leon or another, then it seems probable, from the positions assigned to the extracts, that they were brought in from another source. Speaking generally of all the additamenta, their introduction is so apart from design that they might have been attached by a tran scriber where they suited his convenience, or when he happened to come across some of them.

The Book of Concealment, The Greater Holy Synod and The Lesser Holy Synod, which have been made available for some years by more or less pretentious and unsatisfactory translations into French and English, from the Latin version of Rosenroth, are particular instances to the point in this connection. There seems no reason whatsoever why the first should follow one of the closing sections of the Commentary on Exodus, why the second should intervene at an early stage of the Commentary on Numbers, or the third appear at the end of the Zohar, amidst the fragments of a Commentary on Deuteronomy. It may be said indeed that the last is that which recounts the death of Simeon Ben Jochai, and that hence it is an appropriate conclusion to the work ; but there is no chronological order to be found in the text as a whole, and in the course of many early discussions between the Sons of the Doctrine, it is evident that the great master of Kabalistic sentences has already passed away.

The present study is in no sense a sequel to The Doctrine and Literature of the Kabalah ; it approaches the whole question of Zoharic tradition from another point of view ; but as I do not wish it to cover the same ground when occasion might prompt this, it will be sufficient at this point to refer those who are concerned to the consideration which I have given therein upon the questions of date and authority in respect of the Zohar. It represents the views of scholarship at the period, under all reserves that are necessary concerning my own knowledge.


I AM entering in this chapter upon that part of my task which is at once most important and difficult. It may be an open question whether I should begin at the highest point of the research and thence work downward or take the opposite course and so as the proverb counsels proceed from small beginnings to the greater end. That is best which seems the simplest, and I have therefore chosen to work upwards from below. I will cite in the first place certain great axioms of the whole subject as these have been proclaimed on the authority of the masters. It is testified that the union of the male and female must be a perfect union in the mystery of faith.

There is also another testimony, already given, and this is that the title to behold the face of Shekinah is one of purity, the scholium on which though it lies far away in the text is that modesty is the union of the male and female ; and it may be noted in this connection that the most cryptic of all texts in the Zohar containing the mysteries of Divine personalities is called The Book of Con cealment or of Modesty.

These things being so, we may consider in the next place what is said on the subject of espousals, as these are known on earth. There is one definition which is in keeping with the tradition at large, and this is that marriage is the union of the Sacred Name here below that is, its completion in each person. The thesis appertaining hereto is that circumcision is the symbol of all purity in sexual intercourse ; that Israel is placed on this account in purity as a starting-point and enters under the wings of the Shekinah.

This sacred sign of the Covenant constitutes the root-matter of the Sacred Name and of the Mystery of Faith. As the sun enlightens the world, so the sacred sign enlightens the body ; as a buckler protects man, so does this : no evil spirit can approach him who preserves it in purity. But as the advantage is greater with which the children of Israel begin their earthly life so is the responsibility greater if they make the covenant of no effect in their own persons.

Now, the Sacred Name is never attached to an in complete man, being one who is unmarried, or one who dies without issue. Such a person does not penetrate after death into the vestibule of Paradise, on account of his incompleteness. He is like a tree that is rooted up, and he must be planted anew that is to say, he must suffer rebirth, as we have seen, in order that the Sacred Name may be completed in all directions.

The command to fulfil the Law, which means the procreation and engendering of children, is to spread the radiance of the Sacred Name in every direction, by collecting spirits and souls which constitute the glory of the Holy one above and below. Whosoever fails to apply himself to the fulfilment of this command diminishes the figure of his Master and prevents it descending here below. The last statement refers of course to the making of man, male and female, in the likeness of the Elohim.

It is said also that the paucity in the descent of souls is the reason why the Shekinah does not come down into this world, but this is in contradiction to the presence of the Indwelling Glory throughout the whole creation. God blessed Adam because they were made together male and female, and blessings are found only where male and female are united for the fulfilment of the purpose of creation, which according to the counsel of the Elohim was to increase, multiply and replenish the earth. It was not good for man to be alone because this end was in a state of frustration.

It may even be that the Zoharic legend concerning the male and female being originally side by side may be only a veiled way of indicating that they were not in the marital estate. Afterwards they were face to face, signifying the fulfilment of the precept. I have now dealt briefly with what may be called the principles at issue, and we have next to see after what manner those who exalted so highly the nuptial state gave instruction, so to speak, on its practice here below.

The doctrine was that no marriage is made on earth before it is proclaimed in heaven, and that the Holy One accomplishes unions in the world above before the descent of souls on earth. About the last point we shall see at a later stage. In practice the Sons of the Doctrine were separated as far from the uninitiated world of Israel as the chosen people at large were separated ex hypothesi by the fact of their circumcision.

There is a particular sense in which it is held that the union here below between husband and wife is the work of the Holy One, and herefrom, as from other considerations, arises the sanctity and necessity of that act which is implied by the word union. After what manner the Divine is said to intervene therein, or perhaps I should say to overshadow it, is indicated by the theory that man is formed below on the model of that which is above.






















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