A Guide to the Hidden Wisdom of Kabbala HTML version
...the Kabbalists chose a special language that can be referred to as the “language of branches.”
Nothing takes place in this world that is not drawn from its roots in the spiritual world. On the contrary,
everything in this world originates in the spiritual world and then descends into this world. The
Kabbalists accordingly found a ready language by which they could easily convey their achievements
to one another orally and in writing for future generations. They took the names of branches from the
material world; each name is self-explanatory and indicates its upper root in the higher world system.
For every force and action in this world there is a force and action in the
spiritual world that is its root. Each spiritual force correlates to only one
force, its branch in the material world.
Of this direct correlation it is written, “There is nothing growing below that
does not have an angel above urging it to grow.” That is, there is nothing in
our world that does not have a corresponding force in the spiritual world.
Because of this direct correlation, and because spirituality does not contain
names – just feelings and forces without the mantle of animal, mineral,
vegetable, or speech – Kabbalists use names of branches in this world in
order to define their spiritual roots by them. Baal HaSulam writes further:
With all the explanations, you will comprehend what sometimes appear in the Kabbalah books as
strange terminology for the human spirit, particularly in the basic Kabbalah books, The Zohar and
books by the Ari. The question arises, why did Kabbalists use such simple terminology to express
these lofty ideas? The explanation is that no language in the world can reasonably be used, except for
the special language of branches, based on the corresponding upper roots... It should not be surprising
if strange expressions are sometimes used, since there is no choice in the matter. The matter of good
cannot replace the matter of bad, and vice versa. We must always convey precisely the branch or
incident showing the upper root as the occasion dictates. We must also elaborate until the exact
definition is found.
In Kabbalah, the student repeats the main ideas of Kabbalistic wisdom:
“place,” “time,” “movement,” “lack,” “body,” “body parts” or “organs,”
“match,” “kiss,” “hug,” etc., over and over again, until he feels within himself
the right feeling for every idea.
A final word: It should be noted that there are some so-called instructors of
Kabbalah who communicate erroneous interpretations to their students. The
error stems from the fact that the Kabbalists wrote their books using the
language of branches and used words from our world to express spiritual
ideas. Those who do not understand the correct use of this language are
mistaken. They teach that there is a connection between the body and the
spiritual Vessel, for example, as if by physical actions a person is doing
something spiritual. The branches are an integral part of Kabbalah and
without their use, one is not learning true Kabbalah.