The Kabbalah has its origin among the prophets of ancient Israel, though some would propose that it goes back to Abraham and Sarah. Or yet further, back to the first man and woman, Adam and Eve. Essentially, the Kabbalah is the inner and mystical tradition within and behind Judaism, which has continued to develop and evolve for thousands of years. The word Kabbalah basically means "the tradition." It is drawn from the root word "kibel," which means "to receive" or "something received," and implies a tradition or transmission that comes by way of Divine revelation. On the most basic level, Kabbalah connotes an experience of higher consciousness and the spiritual knowledge, understanding and wisdom that comes with it—thus a state of Divine illumination. When a person embodies something of this Divine illumination, there is a distinct Divine presence and power that moves with, in and through them. Thus, they can impart and facilitate this Divine illumination to others. This is Kabbalah, a tradition or transmission of Divine illumination; a vehicle of self-realization or enlightenment.
Historically we know that Yeshua (Aramaic for "Jesus") was a Jewish teacher (rabbi), and that he was a Jewish mystic and prophet. Likewise, we know his disciples were Jewish and that originally Christianity was a Jewish spiritual movement, which only later fully expanded beyond the Jewish peoples. It stands to reason, then, that Yeshua taught his disciples a form of Jewish Mysticism/Gnosticism; namely a form of what has come to be known as the "Kabbalah." This is the view taken by the Sophian Tradition of Gnostic Christianity, which is basically a school of Christian Kabbalah. It has strong roots in the Judaic Kabbalah, yet has evolved along its own line of Gnostic adepts and masters. At its foundation, it holds secret teachings of Yeshua Messiah—the realized individual who has become known as Jesus Christ. This perspective leads to a very different view of the teachings and purpose of Yeshua, and a very different view of who Yeshua was. Essentially, this view proposes that Christhood is a state of Divine illumination or enlightenment, and that Yeshua was a teacher of a path to self-realization. In other words, according to the Sophian Tradition of Gnostic Christianity, Yeshua was a master of the Kabbalah, and was among the greatest masters of the Kabbalah to have walked among us.
Frequently, when we speak of self-realization or enlightenment, Eastern traditions of enlightenment, such as Buddhism or Vedanta, arise in the minds of most people. When we speak of realized or enlightened individuals, the lamas and gurus of Eastern traditions come to mind. Yet in our midst, within our own Western tradition, there are teachings on enlightenment and liberation, or self-realization, which are among the most advanced and powerful in the world. From one generation to another, enlightened individuals have imparted the teachings of Gnosticism and Kabbalah to their close spiritual friends in private, just as Yeshua imparted them to his disciples. Unlike in the East, however, these teachings could not be openly shared because of the stronghold of orthodox and fundamental Christianity on our Western society and culture. These teachings were confined to relatively small secret societies and kept hidden, for a time when they could be freely and openly shared. It seems that the time has now come, and that the floodgates have opened. The sharing of inner and mystical wisdom found in the Christian Kabbalah, the Sophian Tradition and other forms of the Western Mystery Tradition has finally become a reality.
Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ: A Gnostic Christian Kabbalah represents the first written record of the basic teachings on the Tree of Life in the Kabbalah, as they are taught to initiates of the Sophian Tradition. When I decided to sit down and write this book, I began a series of Sunday lectures in our Fellowship that focused on the Tree of Life Glyph in Christian Kabbalah. I wanted the book to bear some of the qualities of an oral tradition, which is what it records. Though the teachings given in the lectures extended beyond what space would allow in the book, the bulk of the teachings, and many of the practices communicated in the lectures, appear in it—including Gnostic Christian teachings and practices that one will find in no other source. Essentially, Gnosis of the Cosmic Christ is an invitation to an adventure in Gnostic and Kabbalistic thought. Even more so, it is an invitation to an experience of Divine illumination that lies behind the teachings, through the use of the spiritual practices that are given.