This is the free portion of the full article. The full article is available to licensed users only.
How do I get access?

Kabbalah and Psychology

Kabbalah is an esoteric form of Jewish mysticism that emerged in the twelfth century, and that focused primarily on esoteric interpretations of the Torah. Kabbalists employed various forms of meditation and prayer to induce mystical states of consciousness and initiate a process of psycho-spiritual transformation. 

The Kabbalists posited a tripartite division of the soul, not unlike the theories of Plato and Aristotle in ancient Greek philosophy (Tishby, 1995, p. 128). In Kabbalah, the parts of the soul were called nefesh, ruach and neshamah (Tishby, 1995, p. 127). Some Kabbalists add to this the guph, or physical body (Halevi, 1986, p. 35). The idea was that although the soul functions as a unity, it holds within it divisions, each with their own function and sefirotic attribution. Kabbalistic psychology seeks to understand the manner in which these divisions interact, with the goal of the psychological process being to balance these components such that the