Mysteries of the Qabalah
Available as PDF, epub, and Kindle ebook.
Written from a Theosophical viewpoint, this volume has a lot more Kabbalah content than Hidden Treasures of the Ancient Qabalah (Gewurz's other book). Gewurz explains the 'signatures' of each Hebrew letter, the use of techniques such as permutation and numerology to find deeper meaning in the sacred writings, and the history and bibliography of Jewish mysticism. Although, strictly speaking, this is uncredited, the title page mentions 'E.G.' and most library catalogs list this as attributed to Gewurz.
This book has 50 pages in the PDF version, and was originally published in 1922.
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Excerpt from 'Mysteries of the Qabalah'
The word according to the secret tradition designates the deep interior feeling binding an entity to its own individual existence, making it ardently desire to preserve and enlarge it.
Nachash, the snake within man is the radical egotism which causes an individual being to make of itself a center and to relate everything else to it. Moses defines this sentiment as the seducing passion of elementary nature and the secret spring with which the Creator has provided all (animate) things in nature; we know it by the name of natural instinct. Nachash is not to be understood as a separate being, but rather as a central movement given to matter, a hidden spring acting in the depths of things. The self-seeking elements within man, the blind passions common to us all in our early stages of evolution are the offspring of this snake—Nachash. This word stands for an unreasoning self-centered instinct in all the oriental languages, it means an internal ardour, a centralized fire, agitated by a violent movement and seeking to extend itself. The Chaldaic derives from it all ideas of fear, sorrow, anxiety and evil, and painful passions. In the Arabic, Syriac and Ethiopian it signifies a tormenting affliction.
The Lesson of Nachash
All love emotions are expansive, all emotions of hatred are restrictive. Hope and faith are of the nature of love and expand the soul, while fear and doubt and despair are of the nature of hate and contract our souls, making us feel uneasy, and unhappy. The snake stands for contraction, for tightness and indrawing; while men fight and quarrel with one another they always resemble more or less the old snake, each drawing to its side, anxious for self-preservation. Freedom from the snake's anguish can only be had by ceasing from the snake's ways, and learning to obey the law of love, the first dictate of which is self-sacrifice.
There is no death, there is no destruction, all is but change and transformation, first the caterpillar, then the chrysalis, then the beautiful butterfly. Likewise, first physical man, then the mighty mind, and at last a noble soul.
In the days of old, when physical force was the chief arbiter between man and man, those that loved knowledge were compelled to abandon the affairs of this world and to retire to the forests and hills in order to pursue their studies. They could never maintain their position among fighting and cruel tyrants, and were obliged to live solitary lives, contenting themselves with a few morsels of bread to satisfy their hunger and plain water to quench their thirst. They slept on the bare earth and from early morning till late at night they meditated and studied and prayed. These were the Gnanis and Bhaktas of the past. Nowadays there are schools and colleges and societies and institutions where the ancient wisdom can be studied quite comfortably in easy chairs, with the use of electric light and central heating systems to keep us oblivious to the hardships of the outside world.
In themselves these blessings of modern civilization are quite harmless, but in an indirect manner they do injure us. The pure consciousness of man is not enriched by study per se, and the increase of knowledge is not the highest aim of man, it is only if knowledge is made subservient to love that it fulfills its mission. Therefore when the acquisition of learning is made possible in the midst of comforts, and even luxury, the danger always exists of hardening the mind and making it miss the beautiful lessons of charity, forgiveness and forbearance, while those who are trained by hardships and have to learn their lessons on empty or half-filled stomachs are more accessible to the appeals of suffering and want. Consequently the deprivations which the poor students had to undergo in olden times taught them as much (if not more) as their books, whereas the well-off students of today are ever in peril of losing their souls while enlarging their minds.
The Brotherhood of the White Lodge is a body of great men whose souls have been made perfect through suffering, they watch over humanity from their exalted planes on which their spiritual status enables them to live and pour down upon it knowledge and wisdom, and skill in the arts and crafts according as the world's Karma permits them to do so.
They are always affiliated to those organizations on earth whose members are single-minded, and true hearted and genuinely desirous of the welfare of the race. Especially are they interested in the advancement of science, philosophy and religion, and all public bodies promoting these subjects are helped (without knowing whence the help cometh) by the Brotherhood of the White Lodge. For the last three decades there has been a steady and growing increase of knowledge in all departments of human activity. Inventions have multiplied, and discoveries of unsuspected laws of nature are being made on every hand. Philosophic and scientific thought has never been so abundant and so brilliant as it is today, but the receivers of the gifts know not the givers, and often frustrate the gracious purposes which were to be served by the bestowal of the gifts.