Lesson 1 – Who was this man?
Hayim Vital was the son of a Sicilian Jewish family. He was educated in classical Judaism, but he always had an inkling towards the mystical, and even the magical. His diary reveals to us interesting details about his life, and attitudes. But most interesting is that this, his diary, reveals to us the personality of the man, his ego. R. Hayim, the man saw himself in a grandiose light, and considered himself larger than the life he led. Why this was so is discussed within the context of Jungian psychology. This lesson is important in that it teaches us how to look at religious figures honesty, without the veils of legend and myth. Religious figures are human beings, who, just like us, suffer from all of life's travails. This course will give us insights into R. Hayim's life, his personality, his ego, his world and how he related to it. This is a great series (and class) to grasp the reality of Kabbalah and the humanity of one of its greatest teachers.
Lesson 2 – Hayim Vital, Mashiah and Husband
R. Hayim begins with a teaching how he is supposed to be Mashiah ben Yosef, and how in time to come thousands and thousands of students were to gather to him in Safed. Needless to say this never literally happened. This bring us into a study of the psychology of the numinosum (the inner revelation of a visualized higher being). Each religion and cultures experiences visions within their individual contexts. R. Hayim interpreted all things in his life through the veil of his kabbalistic beliefs. His relationship with his wife, and the birth and death of a daughter are all interpreted within the contexts of reincarnation. It is not important whether or not this is true, because it was true to R. Hayim in his mind and reality. Spiritual experiences are always subjective realities. Discussion about various schools of Kabbalah, and the underlying psychology that causes them to differ. Are Kabbalistic visions (or apocalypses) real visions, or are they psychological projections. All this is discussed.
Lesson 3 – The Vision of Hannah Vital, R. Hayim's Wife.
Emphasis on the subjective nature of this mystical material. We are not dealing here with objective spiritual facts, but rather subjective, psychological projections. When understood in this manner, the material is properly and best appreciated.
We discuss R. Hayim's belief that the Ari'zal was born only to teach him, R. Hayim, his unique version of Kabbalah. R. Hayim refuses to teach Kabbalah to R. Moshe Alshekh, his teacher in classical Judaism. We discuss in detail why this was so.
We conclude with the vision dream of Hannah Vital, R. Hayim's wife. Considering the description given in the text, the vision described therein sounds more like an hallucination, as opposed to a literal spiritual vision. The differences between these experiences is discussed in detail.
We conclude with a reinforcement of our understanding about the humanity of R. Hayim, the human being, and his unique world outlook.
Lesson 4 – Vision of the Demon Kings in the Looking Glass
An in-depth introduction into the Islamic understanding of the Jinn, and how it compares to both the Jewish Kabbalistic and Christian views about demons.
Readings from Legends of the Fire Spirits, Jinn and Genies from Arabia to Zanzibar, by Robert Lebling (pages 4, 141-148). Curios how many of the details revealed by the Jinn, and recorded herein, are similar to those recorded by R. Hayim Vital and other Kabbalistic authors.
The subtle differences between psychotic hallucination, and possible, actual contact with the other race than inhabits our world.
The Jinn (Shedim) are said to have religions, and follow the human religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. R. Hayim makes reference to a Christian shed, Lebling references both Muslim and Jewish Jinn. The Zohar also references the Shedim Yehudaim.
We conclude with a discussion of the astral body, and the after-life.
Lesson 5 – Visions through the Looking Glass
Rabbi Hayim describes how the Jinn/Shedim came to him personally through a mirror, and even brought with them the soul of the Ari'zal to communicate with R. Hayim. Yet, was this really the neshama of the Ari'zal or just his Havlei d'Gramai (the residual memory that remains on earth after the actual soul departs).
This class discusses in technical detail how souls connect to knowledge and information from other souls, be they Magids (spiritual guides), jinn, angels, Teli, or anything above and below.
The concepts of mind to mind communications is discussed along with details of what today is called accessing the Akashic records.
We also discuss Inner Earth, nature spirits and the Teli.
This class offers an overall understanding of the other entities with whom we share our planet. Speculative discussion also takes us into the discussion of dark matter parallel universes.
Lesson 6 – The Spirit Speaks, and the Talking Fish
R. Hayim has an encounter with a spirit that entered into a young girl, and speaks through her comatose body. The spirit entered her after she ate a piece of fish in which the spirit was present.
This class discusses from both a religious and psychological point of view the nature of this type of alleged incident. This type of story is not just from the pages of long ago history. In the last few years there spread a story about a talking fish. Rather than discuss this as rumor, I read in full the report that documents the claimed incident from the New York Times.
Spirit stories have been around in every culture throughout all of recorded history. What is real? What is psychological delusion? How can one tell? This class addresses these issues, and leaves the student well informed, and enabled to chose for oneself what one wants to believe.
Lesson 7 – The Angels Speaks from the Magic Mirror
R. Hayim relates how his associate R. Joshua brings down an angel from Heaven, and serves as medium for the angel to communicate with him.
Angelic orders, and angelic collectives. Metatron is Michael, who is Gabriel, who is Raziel. How is this all possible. How this is to be understood.
Is any of this channeled communication real, or is it imagined? This lesson opens with an extended introduction into how spiritual/medium experiences need to be scrutinized with a healthy dose of skepticism.
This lesson also compares this angelic communication with angelic communications found in past Kabbalistic literature, and we analyze the marked difference between them.
Lesson 8 – The Spirit Speaks, Again.
Part 1, #24. Rabbi Hayim relates the words spoken by the young girl that she claims are channeled from spirits, and angels. Channeled communications of this nature must be subject to a healthy dose of skepticism. Even R. Hayim, to his credit, acknowledges this doubt.
Whenever there is a claim of supernatural communication, if there is no overt, and undeniable evidence of the supernatural, then the possibility of it being imagination, and projection cannot be denied. Examples of modern day occurrences of superstition.
This lesson continues a story of the supernatural, with my commentary questioning the events, and offering possible alternate psychological reasons for the occurrences.
Because of the overwhelming presence of nonsensical superstition among many religious individuals, this material is not acceptable at face value.
Lesson 9 – True Spirit, or Psychological Projection & Transference.
Part 1, #24B. We continue the dialogue between R. Jacob Abulafia, and the spirit speaking through the mouth of the daughter of Raphael Anav.
A full analysis of the difference between authentic channeled spiritual literature, and what may have to be interpreted as psychological delusions.
Psychological understandings about the workings of the human mind did not exist in the 17th century, when this material was recorded. It casts no aspersions on the author to have believed this communication to have been authentic. We explain in detail why it was not so.
Spirits like human beings are forbidden to speak slander and to cast harmful accusations, even if true. This violates the laws prohibiting Lashon HaRa, and Motzei Shem Ra (lies and slander).
We conclude with a discussion of how projections of this nature always seem to revolve around sex, and sexual perversions, and why such a focus is clearly indicative of serious psychological issues.
These problems are not unique to the 17th century, they exist to this very day, and this is why understanding these phenomena are important for us to recognize the difference between authentic spiritual experiences, and delusional, and harmful psychological projections.
Lesson 10 – A Condemnation of Religious Racism
Lesson 11 – Hayim Vital's Dreams, Part 1
We begin with an overall introduction into the symbolic nature of dreams, explaining the relationship of Hokhma and Binah consciousness, and how this is the cause of why dreams are so nebulous, and strange from the point of view of the rational mind.
The initial dreams that are recorded here are from R Hayim's youth, and this dreamy imagery reflects his then present knowledge and understanding of Kabbalah, which is evidently pre-Lurianic.
This class covers two dreams, R Hayim's dream of the dead man, and his dream of the coming of the Mashiah. Even in this early dream, R Hayim already imagines himself to be a very special person, one who wields a power that even the great Torah leaders of his generation cannot.
Our reading of the text also exposes the shortfalls of the translator in not properly understanding the text, which led to it being mistranslated in two different places.
R Hayim's vision of Mashiah and the Temple is clearly understood to be symbolic, and not literal. Why this perception is correct is fully explored.
Lesson 12 – Hayim Vital's Dreams, Part 2
A review of the highly individualized nature of dreams and their interpretations.
A review of dream questions and how they actually work. The meaning of waking up with a specific and compelling thought on one's mind.
Dream interpretations and old-style fortune telling, how they are different, and they they are similar.
Dreams about marriage. In this class we discuss issues of sexual balance and its important psychological value.
R Hayim narrates about a time of his personal despair, and a dream that came to address these issues within his psyche.
Dreams with visions of Eliyahu HaNavi or other saints, are these objective personages, or archetypes of one's personal unconscious. Ho one can tell the difference. Examples of actual dream revelations.
Lesson 13 – Hayim Vital's Dreams, Part 3
More about accurate ways of understanding and interpreting dreams.
Reading from The Forgotten Language by Erich Fromm. The definitions of consciousness and unconsciousness depend upon one another, and are defined by one another.
R Hayim's vision of Heaven, God and the souls of the righteous clearly reflect his (at that time) level of intellectual understanding. This is a clear example of how dream imagery is limited in expression by the intellectual constructs of the conscious mind. When unconscious content rises into consciousness, it does so only through those thought patterns and images that the conscious mind understands.
This dream of R Hayim shows no existence of the Lurianic Kabbalistic symbols, for which he will later become famous. These symbols are absent from his realm,just as they were, at that time absent from his mind. This indicates the subjective nature of all dream symbols.
This course is available in our online store. www.koshertorahonlinestore.com This thirteen lesson course is in MP3 audio format. Upon purchase of the course, the student will receive via email a PDF document with the links to the online audio lessons. Students are allowed to download and listen to the lessons at one's convenience. No lesson may be passed on to any third party in any format. This is a violation of copyright law.
The cost of the course is $195.00 (+ an additional Online Store standard discount of 10%). Total cost after discount: $175.00.
Tuition may be spread over two monthly payments, one for $100.00, one for $75.00.
Students interested in taking this course should order the course online, or if requesting tuition support, to email R. Tzadok at email@example.com