Anti-Buddhism – Kabbalah?

When…one moves one’s hand from the chair to the table it is because one thinks… that one will receive greater pleasure. If one did not think so, one would leave one’s hand on the chair for the rest of one’s life.

Kabbalist Yehuda Ashlag

And when somebody commits suicide for the benefit of others? Wow! What is it that lets one person serenely immolate themselves , but tethers others to compulsion or addiction for a lifetime?

Laitman a Kabbalist, author and somewhat of a cult figure in the Holy Land, asserts that the life of an  individual is controlled by a balance of internal and external motivators. In Kabbalist terms these forces are called the ‘Will to receive’. Laitman suggests that Mans Will is divided into 4 degrees:

  1. Physical desires for food, reproduction, and family;
  2. Wealth;
  3.  Power and respect, sometimes separated into two distinct groups; and
  4. Desire for knowledge.

In short when we have these desires in perfect balance the true self may operate with perfect freedom. In our primordial state we are said to be naturally balanced or unbiased, neither having  habits nor opinions, nor an ego  severed from Gaia, or the reality of which it is a part. How remarkable then that children learn so much, and so fast,  later to become , hobbled and hateful. Matter dominates Mankinds Will because Mankinds Will is spent trying to dominate matter! We see what this does to the individual but imagine a civilization?

How does this tie with anti-Buddhism? By, ‘anti’ I mean antipodal;

Kabbalah, seems to emphasise the flow of Will [and hence people/life] through a strategic control of desired objects, sounds like capitalism no?  Buddhism, perhaps, reverses this in emphasising, ‘naturalness’, waiting for the tide and following the habits of nature.  The majesty of life holds together immaculately so why not sit back and enjoy?

Zen goes further, suggesting we transcend the sensory World, thus our Karmic legacy and our biased Will, all together and then act with the peaceful and detached spontaneity of childhood.

Just my take, but  ad astra alas Zen!


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4 responses to “Anti-Buddhism – Kabbalah?”

  1. Sensual-Animist says :

    Exactly. In my opinion, anyone who tries to impose their will(ego) over nature(their true self), is delusional.

  2. moderndayruth says :

    Very interesting post, otove! I’ve also compared the two paths – and seemingly they are totally different … but i have a close friend, who is a Tibetan lama – and (for the lack of better expression) highly positioned one in that hierarchy – and when you get a kabbalist and buddhist talking – they’d hardly disagree on any of the spiritual premises…

    • otove says :

      Since writing this post, I realise theres alot more to the debate. Never heard a buddhist and a Jew in conversation though, i have to admit!


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