Lies a Kabbalist Told Me

Originally published online November 8, 2005.

I’m just going to ramble off some thoughts on the nature of internal balancing and negation for a little bit.

First off, as professed by a lot of Kabbalistic followers, I don’t think the end goal of balance is absolute negation and destruction of self. That just seems absurd to me. I think it’s actually a misinterpretation of what is meant. Balancing isn’t the act of putting two opposites together to destroy each other, but rather holding both at once and keeping them equally. The idea that balance equates to negation is based on the mathematical fallacy that X + -X = 0 in all instances, when what is in fact being looked for within balance is X + -X = Y. Sexual intercourse is an excellent example of this. From a Kabbalistic perspective the male and female are opposites. Yet when they’re joined together in sexual union, they don’t negate and destroy each other (at least with most species), and if certain conditions are met they’ll actually create something completely new while at the same time retaining their own selves in the process.

That isn’t to say that negation doesn’t serve a purpose. Many of the systems out there contain lessons on negation, and the reason for it seems to be that there’s a natural progression from higher magick to lower magick, not vice-versa as the terms seem to imply, or as some practitioners would like it to be believed.

Let me get into that a little more. Ritual magick is almost like magick with training wheels for a couple of reasons. First off, the methods employed make it easier to effectively use magick. All those rituals, symbols, ect. when properly used make everything easier. Secondly it allows the magician to be properly focused and create change only with intention. What I mean is it’s very unlikely that you’ll find yourself performing a complex ritual that involves four props, a cloak, a chalk symbol, and fifteen minutes of chanting on accident.

Lower magick is a bit more difficult to effectively use, although it does have some benefits in that it is more versatile and easier to perform. The magician is dependent upon their own ability alone to bring about change. But as the magician becomes more capable, lower magick becomes much easier. Which leads into the second problem. When the magician is at a point where they can bring about change very easily, it isn’t too difficult for them to bring it about accidentally. A magician in this situation who happens to be emotionally unbalanced or who has an overactive imagination they can’t control becomes very likely to accidentally do all sorts of things unwittingly that have real consequences.

And so under these systems, as the practitioner becomes more and more able and lower magick becomes easier to use, they’re being trained how to control and negate their thoughts, lest they be allowed to remain unchecked and start causing change to occur.

As for imbalance, and I’m going to keep this short and say just what I want to say because it is somewhat basic, if ever imbalance does occur it can feed itself like a cycle that makes it progressively worse. Once a single side starts to dominate, it tends to beat out the other side and push itself further and further out in that direction. Once this cycle has been allowed to continue for a while, it can become very difficult to break it and achieve balance again.

From the Kabbalistic perspective we’re given the idea of balance as being achieved by having the right and the left each pulling in their directions with equal force, and there are some who will propose that true balance is based on having both opposites equally pulling on each other. But from my experiences, that isn’t entirely true, as the end goal should be codification rather than conflict.

Let me explain some. If one side does start to dominate, a quick fix is to just flood yourself with the other side to balance each out. This is effective to some degree. The fact that both sides exist equally will prevent either side from becoming strong enough on its own to make balancing out later on achievable. The two sides will manage to keep each other in check so neither gets out of control. But it isn’t an ideal situation.

Both sides are still feeding within their cycles and pushing more and more towards their side, they’re just doing it within a duality rather than alone. Like I said earlier, this duality has purpose and can help the situation, but it isn’t ideal. It creates a situation where the practitioner is pretty much being torn two different ways. Like the right side of the body is trying to move left with all its might while the left side is trying to move right with all it’s might.

And within this opposition there isn’t much real power. Things become out of focus so to speak, and the power that does exist from each side of the duality can’t be properly focused to achieve it’s ends. The practitioner can lean to one side or the other, and attempt to use that power to achieve the necessary ends, using that which is needed where it is needed rather than having a pure source that can swing towards either end as needed. But once again, this creates problems.

The first thing that comes to mind, is that the left has the power to act, where as the right has the power to sanctify that action and make it good. The left has the power to seek out and create a pleasurable situation, where as the right has the power to find the situation pleasurable. Ect. (These are just a few examples, I could go on all day with this if I really wanted to). Neither side on its own will ever be good, it’s only through their dual existence that good can be achieved. By concentrating your efforts temporarily towards either side rather than at the center you’re taking on everything that exists within that side, both the positive and the negative, and you’re not balancing out the negative aspect with the positive aspect of the opposing side. And so you are, at least for that moment, following the left or right hand path rather than the center path.

The other problem that occurs is that doing this immediately destroys the balance that was achieved through duality. Either more power has been given to one side, or power has been depleted from the other. And so after the act is taken, steps then have to be made to equal out the unused side, to recreate the balance. And of course there’s the danger of not being able to recreate that balance, and one of the sides continuing on its cycle as the dominate force.

As I said this situation isn’t ideal. What is ideal is the codification of these two sides. Having the left and the right merged into a single entity that is both at once, the true center. The opposite forces still exist in full, but both are allowed to exist in their complete form and flow fully through each other. That which remains is both of the left and the right equally, but rather than pulling in opposite directions is unified towards the same ends. It’s been unified, and contains the best aspects of both parts, while at the same time the coexistence of those aspects work against the negative aspects of those parts. To fall back on the earlier analogy of the two sides of the body going in opposite directions, in this instance both sides would act to move forwards together.


5 Responses to Lies a Kabbalist Told Me

  1. motsie says:

    Interesting. I have always thought of the energetic consequences of feeding imbalance. Now I am considering the concept of feeding balance.

    It seems that energy circulation would serve to yoke the left and right together, am I wrong?

    Please be gentle, I have just been threatened with banishment from a perfume site forum for not being intellectually hefty enough!

  2. Rob says:

    If you’re circulating, you’re just switching back and forth between the left and right aspects of the energy. To gain any sort of real power that way, you have to lean to one side, and then rebalance again. Most of the time you’re just trying to set the left against the right to balance the two. It’s a constant juggling act, and you’re actually expending a lot of energy just to keep it going.

    The next step after balance is codification. You can merge the two sides together into a singular aspect. All parts of the right and the left come together. Once this is achieved the energy is in its completed form, and its purified. It becomes far more powerful, and it can do whatever needs to be done with it. It also doesn’t need all of the upkeep of just balancing. You just have to make sure that you don’t get knocked off balance and start leaning to the left or right. You don’t have to switch off between producing energy of the left and right vareties. You just produce balanced, codified energy.

    There are disadvantages to codification though. At times you may wish to explore some aspect of yourself, and that may involve seeing where things go when you allow energy to build up on either side. Balancing works well there, since you can keep yourself from becoming inbalanced, which is a lot of work to fix, and still see where an emotion building on the left or right side only leads too.

    I’ve noticed that with magickal people, people who are naturally adept, they usually tend to utilize energy differently than most people, even before they start to work with magick. Most people take in energy, they’re effected by it, and they let it go. Magickal people tend to soak it like a sponge though, and they’ll carry around them for long periods of time, and they’ll have a lot of it coursing through them.

    The downside to this is if that energy is incompatable with the person or imbalanced, it can rip through them and become very destructive. That’s why it’s very important for people who are naturally able to utilize energy to learn how to balance, codify, raise, and ground energy, and how to convert energy between different forms.

  3. motsie says:

    Thanks for responding.

    What techniques are used to codify energy? Can you recommend a text which describes these techniques?

  4. motsie says:

    I’ve been thinking about codification and I’ve concluded that the process you’re describing is consolidation and assimilation into your framework. I assumed that was a natural process because that is how I operate. The degree to which I can effectively weild energy or information is related to degree of assimilation of that data/energy. I can access less assimilated data less well only getting and understanding of the way of it , not necessarilly the why or how.

    A natural tendency towards Balance is my strongest characteristic. It makes for slow, but steady, progress. Anyway, that’s incarnation strategy I seem to have decided on for this spark.

    If you see flaws in my observations, please advise me.

    Sincere Thanks,


  5. Rob says:

    How do I explain. Codified energy is a unified left and right. The left and right cease to exist at all. It becomes the middle path. It contains both aspects. The energy is purified. It keeps all of the positive aspects of both sides and counters all of the negative aspects.

    How to do it? I don’t know how to describe it. You just make the energy come together when it’s balanced. If you study Reiki and Chi you’d learn about energy, but that’s all I can think of as far as books would go. I haven’t studied either, but I hear good things.

    I suppose meditation may help you. The first time I managed to codify the energy within me it was by singing, which is very similiar to meditation and often overlooked within magick. I use song for all sorts of energy tricks.

    How far advanced is your energy manipulation skills? That might be part of the problem there. Can you charge items, drain items, cyphon from people, tap entities, ect? Psionically?

    Stones are a good starting place. You don’t need anything fancy. You can various gemstones and crystals fairly cheap. Go pick out a bunch and play with them. Try drawing out there energy into you, charging them up with energy, ect.

    Put a gemstone in your hand and make a fist around it. Visualize the energy coming out of the stone and coming into your hand and moving through your arm and into your chest. Will the energy of the stone to do just that. If you do it right, you should draw the stone’s energy into you. The exact opposite method would charge it, imagining the energy moving through you, down your arm, into your fist, and into the rock.

    Energy manipulation works into quite a bit of psionic magick. Everything from basic stuff like putting up barriers and making glamours to more advanced things like shooting street fighter esque fireballs from your hands. I can’t shoot the fireballs, but I’ve been told on good authority that it’s an extension of energy work. There are easier cool things that can be done with energy though.

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