The Kabbalah of the Soul: The Transformative Psychology and Practices of Jewish Mysticism

Excerpts & Samples

By Leonora Leet

Publisher : Inner Traditions/Bear & Company

ABOUT Leonora Leet

Leonora Leet
Leonora Leet received her Ph.D. from Yale University and was Professor of English at St. John's University. Her other books on the Kabbalah are Renewing the Covenant and The Secret Doctrine of the Kabbalah.



Reveals the transformative spiritual work by which the soul can reach ever higher dimensions of consciousness.

• Relates the soul levels of the Zohar to the various paths the soul may travel toward ultimate realization.

• Introduces a new meditative technique called "the Transformative Moment".

Throughout the history of the Jewish esoteric tradition, humankind has been understood to play a pivotal role in the perfection of the cosmos, uniting the finite with the infinite in the perfection of divine personality. Working from an original synthesis of the major kabbalistic traditions of cosmology derived from the Bible, the Zohar, and the school of Isaac Luria, Leonora Leet has erected a new framework for understanding the mechanism of the transformative spiritual work that enables the human soul to reach increasingly higher dimensions of consciousness. This analysis extends the frontiers of Leet's prior works on the Kabbalah to provide a new illumination of human possibilities.

Leet first considers the false temptations of worldly power and pleasure that lead to the fall of the soul and then the means of its redemption. She develops a powerful meditative technique called "the Transformative Moment," whose workings are exemplified by Jacob and Joseph and that allow the individual to progress through all the higher levels of the soul, even possibly to attain the miraculous powers of the legendary spiritual masters. She further correlates the hierarchy of soul levels with Ezekiel's Throne vision to show the various paths the soul may travel toward self-realization: sex, love, power, knowledge, holiness, and unification. The first four paths relate to the four-faced living creatures (Chayot) of Ezekiel's Throne vision--the bull-ox, lion, eagle, and man. The final two paths correlate to the prophet and the envisioned man on the throne he recognizes to be his divine higher self, the knowledge that defines the secret doctrine of the whole of the Jewish mystical tradition culminating in the Kabbalah.

"a daring and innovative exposition of the secret doctrines and practices of traditional Jewish mysticism uniquely applicable to the present."
Elliot R. Wolfson, Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University, author of Through a Speculum that Shines and other works of Kabbalah scholarship

". . . a work of astounding erudition and truly amazing variety and originality that provides an illuminating, new ‘guide for the perplexed.’"
Philip Beitchman, Ph. D., author of Alchemy of the Word: Cabala of the Renaissance and The View From Nowhere: Essays in Mysticism, Literature and Philosophy

"Leet’s adventurous spirit and erudition--charting new territory for Kabbalistic exploration--deserves an audience of those who take Kabbalah seriously."
Gerald Epstein, M. D., Director, American Institue for Mental Imagery, author of Healing Visualizations and Waking Dream Therapy

"Leet's extraordinary and brilliant investigation offers profound insights into the authentic tradition as it discovers its contemporary relevance. ‘Hallelu-Yah’ !"
Rabbi Itzchak Marmorstein, Educational Director, Mercaz HaRaya Center for Vision

"Continuing the Zoharic and Lurianic traditions, Leet reclaims the soul of Kabbalah to build an inclusive model of personal transformation."
Jason Shulman, Director, A Society of Souls, a school of Integrated Kabbalistic Healing

"This scholarly, highly creative kabbalistic model of interpenetrating levels of soul and cosmos offers a new model for transpersonal psychiatry."
Ann Massion, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School