Zvi Ish-Shalom – Mystical Experience, Primordial Wisdom: The Source and Heart of Judaism and the Great Religions

Zvi Ish-Shalom Episode Cover Art

Zvi Ish-Shalom is a professor of Jewish mysticism, an author, an ordained rabbi, and the guiding light of Kedumah, a teaching out of time and space, whose primary calling is to translate wisdom from the primordial ground of being into a discernible wisdom stream. In this remarkable conversation, Zvi describes how he found ways to map and interpret his own profound mystical experiences, how the teachings arise from the ground of being, about how they might become accessible to us all, regardless of religion or spiritual tradition, and how they are especially relevant for young people today, seeking to find a structure for their spiritual journey. His familiarity with the realm of mystical experience is extremely engaging—he tells of discovering the vow taken by our soul before we were born and dropping the barriers between us and God, surrendering to the divine. Roger Walsh found Zvi’s book The Kedumah Experience “the most profound spiritual text he’s ever read in the Jewish tradition,” and listeners will almost certainly be excited to read Zvi’s latest book, published since the recording of this podcast, The Path of Primordial Light: Ancient Wisdom for the Here and Now.  Recorded at the Science & Nonduality Conference, October 2019, with Dr. Roger Walsh, John Dupuy, and Douglas Prater.

“Being willing to lose everything for truth…when we orient that way, the most profound revelations and depths occur.”

Note: This podcast was recorded live and includes, at times, some extraneous noises in the background. Please excuse them — we felt the conversation was very valuable and well worth sharing with our audience. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Topics & Time Stamps

  • Roger’s discovery of Zvi Ish-Shalom’s book while touring Israel: the most profound spiritual text he’d ever read in the Jewish tradition (02:00)
  • The gnostic intermediary: how Zvi revives the culture, infusing a fresh understanding of the Jewish mystical tradition (04:43)
  • Zvi’s personal story, starting with deep states of connection praying in the synagogue in Brooklyn (07:40)
  • How Zvi found ways to map and interpret his profound mystical experiences, establishing cause and effect (13:45)
  • Remembering one’s life purpose, the vow taken by your soul before embodiment (17:47)
  • Zvi’s Kedumah experience: the concept of primordial Torah, or the ground of our being, and how the teaching arises (19:57)
  • How to transmit the Kedumah teachings to the secular world? (22:32)
  • The radical experiential perspective in which the Kedumah is rooted is what makes it so timely for us today (28:17)
  • Revivifying the Jewish lineage wisdom stream through the lens of Kedumah: bringing in living expressions of the mystery (31:26)
  • The way in which a profound analytical study of the texts creates an opening and becomes a process of illumination, deepening, and distilling truth in an ever more discriminating way (37:35) 
  • What the new Kedumah paradigm offers young people who are searching for structure for their spiritual journey  (43:27)
  • The practice of dialectical inquiry (havruta) to discover the truth of reality embedded inside the texts and how to reveal it (48:20)
  • Comparing the Torah scroll to the human being: working to unpack the truth of the human experience (51:06)
  • Greek philosophy was used as a practice to investigate human life, metaphysics, and open to the transcendent as well (53:15)
  • Socrates and the fundamental wisdom of seeking truth for its own sake (56:37)
  • How does Zvi teach contemplative prayer and meditation? Building the embodied capacity for integration and allowing ourselves to surrender to the divine (59:07)
  • Zvi’s “journey of silence” (01:03:03)

Resources & References

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Zvi Ish-Shalom mystical experiences

Zvi Ish-Shalom, Ph.D., is core faculty at Naropa University, and is the guiding teacher of Kedumah, the Primordial Transmissions, and the Soulship. Zvi is the author of The Kedumah Experience: The Primordial Torah; Sleep, Death, and Rebirth: Mystical Practices of Lurianic Kabbalah; and most recently The Path of Primordial Light: Ancient Wisdom for the Here and Now.


Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell



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