The 72 Names-- A Critical Review,
This review is from: The 72 Names of God: Technology for the Soul (Hardcover)
The 72 Names of God--A Critical Review
This is a paradox for me. This is an important book (which is why I'm reviewing it) but I'm also disturbed by the economic intentions of its producers.
This is a glossy and contemporary coffee-table book. The subject matter, however, shouldn't be presented in a way that would lead anyone to think this is some kind of fad.
I think its main producer (not author)makes several interesting and true statements about how one should approach these Names. One point he unashamedly makes is that it is for everyone (regardless of one's philosophical and behavioral disposition.) I absolutely disagree as have so many credible Kabbalists throughout the past (estimated) 1800 years.
The reason for this is that these "Names" are attached to gates, "forces" that are attracted when one employs the necessary visualization and contemplative techniques. To be sure, this book presupposes that one has some familiarity with the three different types of meditation: visualization, contemplative and verbal.
There's also the interpretation of a few of the Names that is quite controversial. There are varying beliefs about the afterlife within Judaism and especially with the topic of communing with the dead. When this book first came out several years ago, I was one of the first ones to purchase it. I sent Rabbi Berg and The Kabbalah Center an email questioning the interpretation of a Name that allows for necromancy. Their curt response left a lot to be desired.
Apart from these concerns, these are, in fact, the Names that Kabbalists have maintained are the Names for Creation. Many of the Names use the same letters, and are only distinguished by permutation and the expectation that one brings.
This is not a book for everyone. One must attempt to live an upstanding life or the appeals may result in the influences from the Other Side.