Kabbala Interview with Dr. Elias Rubenstein (21.01.2018)
Dr. Rubenstein, Kabbalah is often associated with Judaism in public opinion. Is it Jewish?
Kabbalah is a so-called secret doctrine that has passed down its contents and its practical application in secret, and kept it secret from generation to generation. Kabbalah is not the property of a materially existing race, as falsely assumed, but a powerful teaching for a spiritual nation. This spiritual nation is mentioned in the Bible. The Kabbalah regards the symbolism and allegories of the Bible as a universal spiritual path that applies to both the spiritual nation and the individual. Thus the Bible is a guidepost which, if the content is interpreted correctly, reveals a path of wisdom and light.
There are many rules in the Torah that Jewish kabbalists require their students to observe. Is the Torah still up to date?
The Torah, that is, the five books of Moses, forms a basic framework that has developed over many centuries in this form as we know it. There are different variations to interpret these teachings. Some currently tend to judge these laws materially and profanely. Others are looking for a higher meaning. So, the Torah is a variation of how much the law of God can reveal itself. This statement may seem provocative to some orthodox writers or theologians, but the original concept is not exclusively bound to this form, although it is so magnificent and sublime. Two millennia ago Christ summarized the most important rules of the Torah in two commandments: “Hear Israel, YOD-HEH-WAU-HEH is our God, YOD-HEH-WAU-HEH is one. And thou shalt love thy God, YOD-HEH-WAU-HEH, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength.” (Genesis 6:4-5) The study of Kabbalah does not require membership of an explicit religious community, because Kabbalah is a universal teaching that precedes religions. Religions are transient and man-made. Accordingly, they may also have defects. It is up to each person to either belong to a religious community or not. For the study of Kabbalah it can even be advantageous to question one’s own religion and its rules and to check to what extent they really conform to the teachings of the Bible.
If Kabbalah can be studied independently of religion, how can this be done without knowledge of the Hebrew language?
The basics of Kabbalah can be learned without any knowledge of Hebrew. For example, the content of the Hermetic Academy is built on the structure of the Kabbalah. However, no knowledge of Hebrew is required here, because neither the origin nor the language is relevant for the study of Kabbalah. Therefore we distinguish between the Jewish Kabbalah and the hermetic Kabbalah. Hermetic Kabbalah can be understood as a practical way of connecting with the light of the Creator through study, meditation and ritual.
There are some well-known books and standard works of Kabbalah such as the Zohar and the Sefer Yetzirah. Is the study of these books recommended for hermetic kabbalists?
These books seem complex and incomprehensible at first, but they intend to connect the reader with the light of a higher level of wisdom. These books can be a valuable support, but their study is not an obligation or necessity.
You are head of the Hermetic Academy. How can studying at the Hermetic Academy be described?
The Hermetic Academy is a modern mystery school. On one hand, it offers a structured online curriculum based on the foundation of hermetic kabbalah. There are texts, videos and audio lectures which facilitate study. Each instruction has a theoretical and practical aspect. Parallel to these courses, students have the opportunity to participate in the events of the regional city groups.
In some circles of the Kabbalah only men are taught. How does the Hermetic Academy feel about this?
In the Hermetic Academy both men and women study. There are regional women’s and men’s groups where the tools of hermetic Kabbalah can be tried out in an familiar environment.
How does an educated economist like yourself come to Kabbalah?
Since my youth I have been interested in the Kabbalah. I was fortunate to have come into contact with the teachings of hermetic Kabbalah at an early age. The practical tools of Kabbalah gave me a better understanding of university disciplines and scientific thinking. Science and hermetic Kabbalah complement each other like man and woman; they can learn from each other and develop together.
Elias Rubenstein was born in 1974 and lives in Austria. In 1990 he began his kabbalistic studies in Great Britain, France and Spain, where he was taught in hermetic-kabbalistic mystery schools. Together with other Western Kabbalists he founded the Hermetic Academy to make these teachings accessible to a broad circle of interested parties. Elias Rubenstein received his doctorate in economics for international management and researched the effects of “transformational leadership” in this context. In addition, he has been awarded honorary doctorates and honorary senatorships for his services. In 2016 he was recognized as an “Ambassador for Peace” of the Universal Peace Federation. Website: www.elias-rubenstein.com
Dr. Elias Rubenstein – Kabbalah for man and woman: coequal initiatory path in the tree of life