Saturday, March 03, 2007
CABALA IN THE JEWISH ENCYCLOPEDIA
The material I've posted so far is contained in the first 13-1/2 pages of the printout of the entry "Cabala" in the Jewish Encyclopedia. To orient you in case you want to double check what I'm posting, I'll post the section sub-headings starting now.
According to the article, the pious can ascend to God if they free themselves from whatever binds body and soul. Here again Gnosticism is said to be "closely connected with Jewish mysticism", and that this union between God and the soul of a man is its objective. Is this the "alchemical wedding" often spoken of in esoteric and occult literature? They sound very much the same from the description given in the encyclopedia.
Through the employment of mysteries, incantations, names of angels, etc., the mystic assures for himself the passage to God, and learns the holy words and formulas with which he overpowers the evil spirits that try to thwart and destroy him. Gaining thereby the mastery over them, he naturally wishes to exercise it even while still on earth, and tries to make the spirits serviceable to him.
The angelology and demonology, magic and incantation are said to have been borrowed from Babylonia, Persia and Egypt, Judaized in the process, and became the "mystical adoration of the name of God and of speculations regarding the mysterious power of the Hebrew alphabet."
Another pagan conception which, in refined form, passed into the Cabala through the Talmud, was the so-called..."mystery of sex"..., Possibly this old conception underlies the Talmudical passages referring to the mystery of marriage, such as "the Shekinah dwells between man and woman".
Syzygies means "pairs".
Pantheism is a part of this doctrine:
...as mysticism attempted to solve the problems of creation and world government by introducing sundry intermediary personages, creative potentialities such as Metatron, Shekinah, and so on, the more necessary it became to exalt God in order to prevent His reduction to a mere shadow; this exaltation being rendered possible by the introduction of the pantheistic doctrine of emanation, which taught that in reality nothing existed outside of God....the writings of the church fathers bear evidence of many Judaizing Gnostics who were disciples of anthropomorphism.
Different Groups of Mystic Literature
Geonic literature is the link between the Talmud and the Cabala.
The theosophical speculations deal chiefly with the person of Metatron-Enoch, the son of Jared turned into a fiery angel, a minor Yhwh--a conception with which...many mystics of the Talmudic age were occupied.