Many students on the Path to the Self-realization of the Being ask, "Why should I bother to learn complicated systems and obscure names? I want to be practical."
This is a worthwhile point of view; for becoming absorbed in intellectualism will leave the seeker lost in theories and debates, yet without the experience of Reality. However, without a robust Intellectual Culture, the aspirant of the Path remains vulnerable to many dangers, and is very likely to end in confusion.
This is synonymous with the traveler who wants to visit the obscure reaches of the North Pole, and yet refuses to use a map. This person will get to the edge of town, perhaps, but how much further will he get?
The Initiatic Kabbalah is the map of the Self-realization of the Being.
One student became impressed with the teaching method of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and wishing to understand more about him, entered into meditation in order to investigate him further. After a while, the student perceived Krishnamurti giving a lecture, and a moment later, this same student realized he was inside of Krishnamurti, and felt and saw and spoke as if he WAS Krishnamurti. This experience continued for some time until the lecture was over; after which the student found himself back inside of his own body, feeling quite surprised.
Naturally, after such an experience, most practitioners would wonder, "Am I the reincarnation of Krishnamurti?"
This would be a typical reaction for someone who has not understood the Kabbalah well. However, the student of our example knew the Kabbalah very well and was therefore not confused by what he had experienced. He knew that in the sphere of Chokmah, everything is one, because everything is connected through the light of the Christ. He knew that in his meditation he had penetrated into the sphere of Chokmah and saw Krishnamurti from that point of view. Had he meditated upon Krishna or Jesus or Buddha, he would have seen himself as that master, but that does not mean that he is that master. It simply means that he entered into a particular level of consciousness.
This is one of the primary reasons why there are so many self-proclaimed "masters." Most of them are people who simply did not understand something they perceived or experienced.
It is precisely this type of confusion that fractured the Theosophical Society.
To understand the science of the Kabbalah is to understand the map of the Path.
It is not necessary to memorize every detail of the map; however, it is necessary to study it and understand how we are working and where we are going, otherwise we are more likely to become lost.