An Introduction to the Study of the Kabalah
By William Wynn Westcott
Students of literature, philosophy and religion who have
any sympathy with the Occult Sciences may well pay some
attention to the Kabalah of the Hebrew Rabbis of olden times;
for whatever faith may be held by the enquirer he will gain
not only knowledge, but also will broaden his views of life
and destiny, by comparing other forms of religion with the
faith and doctrines in which he has been nurtured, or which
he has adopted after reaching full age and powers of discretion.
Being fully persuaded of the good to be thus derived, I
desire to call attention to the dogmas of the old Hebrew
Kabalah. I had the good fortune to be attracted to this
somewhat recondite study, at an early period of life, and
I have been able to spare a little time in subsequent years
to collect some knowledge of this Hebrew religious philosophy;
my information upon the subject has been enlarged by my
membership of The Rosicrucian Society. Yet the Kabalistic
books are so numerous and so
lengthy, and so many of them only to be studied in Rabbinic
Hebrew and Chaldee that I feel to-day less confident of
my knowledge of the Kabalah than I did twenty years ago,
when this essay was first published, after delivery in the
form of lectures to a Society of Hermetic Students in 1888.
Since that date a French translation of "The Zohar,"
by Jean de Pauly, and a work entitled "The Literature
and History of the Kabalah," by Arthur E. Waite, have
been published, yet I think that this little treatise will
be found of interest to those who have not sufficient leisure
to master the more complete works on the Kabalah.
The Old Testament has been of necessity referred to, but
I have by intention made no references to the New Testament,
or to the faith and doctrines taught by Jesus the Christ,
as the Saviour of the world: if any desire to refer to the
alleged reference in the Kabalah to the Trinity, it will
be found in the Zohar ii., 43, b.: and an English version
of the same in "The Kabbalah," by C. D. Ginsburg.