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Kabbalah of Light

An except by Catherine Shainberg

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The conscious mind is naturally antagonistic to the unconscious. It prides itself on its precise observation and objectivity. It likes to separate, analyze, categorize. It uses its powerful logical thrust to establish scientific proof of things that it calls “facts.” This chair, this table, the sea are facts of the reality we live in. Facts depend on hypotheses, such as the types of questions we ask ourselves, and the points of view from which we perceive and examine them. Our dearly held certainties may shift and change when new questions and new hypotheses emerge. Ask Albert Einstein if the table is really solid, and he may say that also being pure energy, it is both a solid and not a solid at all. The sea is blue, but the ancient Greeks saw it wine red. Blue was not a “fact” in the time of Homer. The world was geocentric until Copernicus proved otherwise. A scientist will describe the rose as having a stem, thorns, leaves, petals, pistils, coloring and scent, which are different aspects of a totality of experience, which only the unconscious gives access to. The unconscious has no hypotheses, it is a cauldron of swirling experiences. Tap into it, and up pops a dream image. The unconscious deals only in revelation, and revelation, being an experience, is, by definition, true. If I turn a corner and am suddenly faced with a blazing sunset over the ocean, my heart moves not to the “fact” of the sunset, but to the wondrous experience. The conscious mind deals in facts, the unconscious deals in truth.


To get to the truth of what you really want, you’re going to have to tap into the unconscious. The unconscious runs the show, and this is a “fact” verified by many tests conducted by experimental psychologists and researchers. Some researchers go so far as to say that the unconscious runs 95 percent of our body functions. It is a “fact” that our carefully analyzed and agonized choices are mostly decided by the unconscious. Our creative innovations rise up, fully formed from the unconscious, and yet most of us have no clue how to access this great power. Unlike the conscious mind, the unconscious cannot be worked out, analyzed, or pinned down, it can only be received. It will come in whatever form it chooses. Kabbalah, which means receiving, is the science of letting the unconscious speak.


To learn who you are, to discover your hidden motivations, and to speak to your body and cells, you will have to leave behind what you perceive as the safe shores of the conscious mind. Can you trust the unconscious? There lies the rub. Most of us don’t see its value because we confuse our visions with fantasy. But fantasy is the contrary of “true imagination” as William Blake liked to call it. Fantasy is a product of your conscious mind seizing upon your brain’s capacity to make images, and twisting them to suit its purpose. Suppose you desperately want to believe this very handsome man (or woman) who is married to your best friend is really interested in you. You fantasize about the person overcoming many obstacles to come to you, including getting rid of their partner. You visualize the person finally embracing you, and now both of you are riding off into the sunset. This has nothing to do with the truth. Unfortunately, many of the visualizations taught today trade in fantasy. You are told what to see. While that may be entertaining, it is not transformative.


The unconscious is the source of all creativity. How to tap into your creativity, dialogue with your images, and trigger transformation is the subject of this book. There is a methodology to it that is as precise as anything science pertains to be. The Celts’ image for this work is a naked blade lifted above dark waters by a mysterious woman called the Lady of the Lake. The waters, you may have guessed, are the waters of the unconscious. The sword illustrates the jolting, the sometimes cutting truths of the images that pop up at the surface of the unconscious. If you wish to return to the Garden of Eden you must face the revolving sword of the angel guarding its gates. Don’t worry, you will not be cut by the sword or, as the Greeks saw it, turned to stone by your Medusa truths. Like the hero Perseus you will learn to disarm and, more saliently, to transform those aspects of yourself that you don’t like. But the Celts’ powerful image of a sword above waters speaks to the cutting edge of truth that the unconscious wields against you. What better way than to tackle your images head-on, and responding to their necessity to ignite the creative shift! You will become the warrior, hero, gallant knight or lady of your life story.


Catherine Shainberg, Ph.D., is a renowned teacher, healer, psychologist, and dream and imagery expert. She is the lineage holder for the Kabbalah of Light, as transmitted to her by Colette Aboulker-Muscat, revered kabbalist and teacher, whose mother was a Sheshet, and with whom Shainberg spent 10 years of intense study in Jerusalem and an additional 20 years in collaboration. In 1982 she founded the School of Images, dedicated to teaching the techniques of this ancient tradition. The author of “Kabbalah and the Power of Dreaming” and “DreamBirth,” she conducts imagery and dreaming workshops internationally and at the nine International Schools of Imagery she created around the world.

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