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or KAABA. Arabic word Ka'abah for cubic building. The square building or temple in Mecca. More especially the small cubical oratory. within, held in adoration by the Mohammedans, as containing the black stone said to have been given by an angel to Abraham. The inner as well as the outer structure receives its name from Ka'ab, meaning cube (see Allah).
II THE LITERAL CABALA.
Buxtorf (Lexicon of the Talmud) defines the Cabala to be a secret science, which treats in a mystical and enigmatical manner of things divine, angelical, theological, eclestial, and metaphysical; the subjects being enveloped in striking symbols and secret modes of teaching. Much use is made of it in the advanced degrees, and entire Rites have been constructed on its principles. Hence it demands a place in any general work on Freemasonry.
In what estimation the Cabala is held by Jewish scholars, we may learn from the traditions which they teach, and which Doctor Ginsburg has given in his exhaustive work ( Kabbalah, page 84) in the following words:
The Cabalah was first taught by God himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise. After the Fall, the angels most graciously communicated this heavenly doctrine to the disobedient child of earth, to furnish the protoplasts With the means of returning to their pristine nobility and felicity.
From Adam it passed over to Noah, and then to Abraham, the friend of God, who emigrated with it to Egypt, where the patriarch allowed a portion of this mysterious doctrine to ooze out. It was in this way that the Egyptians obtained some knowledge of it, and the other Eastern nations could introduce it into their philosophical systems.
Moses, who was learned in all the wisdom of Egypt, was first initiated into it in the land of his birth, but became most proficient in it during his wanderings in the wilderness, when he not only devoted to it the leisure hours of the whole iorty years, but received lessons in it from one of the angels. By the aid of this mysterious science, the lawgiver was enabled to solve the difficulties which arose during his management of the Israelites, in spite of the pilgrimages, wars, and the frequent miseries oi the nation. He covertly laid down the principles of this secret doctrine in the first four books of the Pentateuch, but withheld them from Deuteronomy.
This constitutes the former the man, and the latter the woman. Moses also initiated the seventy elders into the secrets of this doctrine, and they again transmitted them from hand to hand. Of all who formed the unbroken line of tradition, David and Solomon were first initiated into the Cabalah. No one, however, dared to write it down till Simon ben Jochai, who lived at the time of the destruction of the second Temple. Having been condemned to death by Titus, Rabbi Simon managed to escape with his son, and concealed himself in a cavern, where he remained for twelve years. Here in this subterranean abode, he occupied himself entirely with the contemplation of the sublime Cabalah, and was constantly visited by the prophet Elias, who disclosed to him some of its secrets, which were still concealed from the theosophical Rabbi.
Here, too, his disciples resorted to be iniciated by their master into these divine mysteries ; and here Simon ben Jochai expired with this heavenly doctrine in his mouth, whilst discoursing on it to his disciples. Scarcely had his spirit departed, when a dazzling light filled the cavern, so that no one could look at. the Rabbi; whilst a buming fire appeared outside, forming as it were a sentinel at the entrance of the cave, and denying admittance to the neighbors. It was not till the light inside, and the fire outside, had disappeared, that the disciples perceived that the lamp of Israel was extinguished.
As they were preparing for his obsequies, a voice was heard from heaven, saying, " Come ye to the marriage of Simon ben Jochai; he is entering into peace, and shall rest in his chamber!" A flame preceded the coffin, which seemed enveloped by and burning like fire. And when the remains were deposited in the tomb, another voice was heard from heaven, saying, "This is he who caused the earth to quake and the kingdoms to shake! " His son, Rabbi Eliezer, and his secretary, Rabbi Abba, as well as his disciples, then collated Rabbi Simon ben Jochai's treatises, and out of these composed the celebraced work called Sohar, that is, Splendor, which is the grand storehouse of Cabalism.
The Cabala is divided into two kinds, the Practical and the Theoretieal. The Practical Cabala is occupied in instructions for the construction of talismans and amulets, and has no connection with Masonic science.
The Theoretical Cabala is again divided into the Dogmatic and the Literal. The Dogmatic Cabala is the summary of the rabbinical theosophy and philosophy.
The Literal Cabala is the science which teaches a mystical mode of explaining sacred things by a peculiar use of the letters of words, and a reference to their value. Each of these divisions demands a separate attention.
I. THE DOGMATIC CABALA.
The origin of the Cabala has been placed by some scholars at a period posterior to the advent of Christianity, but it is evident, from the traces of it which are found in the Book of Daniel, that it arose at a much earlier day. It has been supposed to be derived originally from the system of Zoroaster, but whether its inventors were the contemporaries or the successors of that philosopher and reformer it is impossible to say. The doctrine of emanation is, says King (Gnostics, page10), "the soul, the essential element of the Cabala; it is likewise the essential element of Zoroastrism. " But as we advance in the study of each we will find important differences, showing that, while the idea of the Cabalistic theosophy was borrowed from the Zendavesta, the sacred book of the Persian sage, it was not a copy, but a development of it.
The Cabalistic teaching of emanation is best understood by an examination of the doetrine of the Sephiroth. The Supreme Being, say the Cabalists, is an absolute and inscrutable unity, having nothing without him and everything within him. He is called, En Soph, meaning the Infinite one. In this infinitude he cannot be comprehended by the intellect, nor described in words intelligible by human minds, so as to make his existence perceptible. It was necessary, therefore, that, to render himself comprehensible, the En Soph should make himself active and creative. But he could not become the direct creator ; because, being infinite, he is without will, intention, thought, desire, or action, all of which are qualities of a finite being only. The En Soph, therefore, was compelled to create the world in an indirect manner, by ten emanations from the infinite light which he was and in which he dwelt.
These ten emanations are the ten Sephiroth, or Splendors of the Infinite One, and the way in which they were produced was thus: - At first the En Soph sent forth into space one spiritual emanation. This first Sephirah is called Kether, meaning the Crown, because it occupies the highest position. This first Sephirah contained within it the other nine, which sprang forth in the following order: At first a male, or active potency, proceeded from it, and this, the second Sephirah, is called Chocmah or Wisdom. This sent forth an opposite, female or passive poteney, named Binah or Intelligence. These three Sephiroth constitute the first triad, and out of them proceeded the other seven.
From the junction of Wisdom and Intelligence came the fourth Sephirah, called Chesed or Mercy. This was a male potency, and from it emanated the fifth Sephirah, named Giburah or Justice.
The union of Mercy and Justice produced the sixth Sephirah, Tiphereth or Beauty; and these three constitute the second triad. From the sixth Sephirah came forth the seventh Sephirah, Nitzach or Firmness. This was a male poteney, and produced the female poteney named Hod or Splendor. From these two proceeded Isod or Foundation; and these three constituted the third triad of the Sephiroth. Lastly, from the Foundation came the tenth Sephirah, called Malcuth or Kingdom, which was at the foot of all, as the Crown was at the top.
This division of the ten Sephiroth into three triads was arranged into a form called by the Cabalists the Cabalistic Tree or the Tree of Life, as shown in the diagram.
In this diagram the vertical arrangement of the Sephiroth is called Pillars. Thus the four Sephiroth in the center are called the Middle Pillar; the three on the right, the Pillar of Mercy; and the three on the left, the Pillar of Justice.
They allude to these two qualities of God, of which the benignity of the one modifies the rigor of the other, so that the Divine Justice is always tempered by the Divine Mercy. C. W. King, in his Gnosties (page 12), refers the right-hand pillar to the pillar Jachin, and the left-hand pillar to the Pillar Boaz, which stood at the porch of the Temple; and "these two pillars", he says, "figure largely amongst all the secret societies of modem times, and naturally so . for these Illuminati have borrowed, without understanding it, the phraseology of the Cabalists and the Valentinians." But an inspection of the arrangement of the Sephiroth will show, if he is correct in his general reference, that he has transposed the pillars. Firmness would more naturally symbolize Boaz or strength, as Splendor would Jachin or Establishment.
These ten Sephiroth are collectively denominated the archetypal man, the Microcosm, as the Greek philosophers called it, and each of them refers to a particular part of the body.
Thus the Crown is the head; Wisdom, the brain; and Intelligence, the heart, which was deemed the seat of understanding. These three represent the intellectual; and the first triad is therefore called the Intellectual World. Mercy is the right arm, and Justice the left arm, and Beauty is the chest.
These three represent moral qualities; and hence the second triad is called the Moral World. Firmness is the right leg, Splendor the left leg, and Foundation the privates. These three represent power and stability; and hence the third triad is called the Material World. Lastly, Kingdom is the feet, the basis on which all stand, and represents the harmony of the whole archetypal man. Again, each of these Sephiroth was represented by a Divine name and by an Angelic name, which may be thus tabulated:
But to enter fully upon the nature of these various worlds would carry us too far into the obscure mysticism of the Cabala. The ten Sephiroth, represented in their order of ascent from the lowest to the highest, from the Foundation to the Crown, forcibly remind us of the system of Mystical Ladders which pervaded all the ancient as well as the modern initiations; the Brahmanical Ladder of the Indian mysteries; the Ladder of Mithras, used in the Persian mysteries; the Scandinavian Ladder of the Gothic mysteries, and in the Masonic mysteries the Ladder of Kadosh; and lastly, the Theological Ladder of the Symbolical Degrees
II. THE LITERAL CABALA.
This division of the Cabala, being, as has already been said, occupied in the explanation of sacred words by the value of the letters of which they are composed, has been extensively used by the inventors of the advanced degrees in the symbolism of their significant words. It is divided into three species : Gematria, Notaricon, and Temura.
1. Gematria. The word, which is evidently a rabbinical corruption of the Greek geometria, is defined by Buxtorf to be "a species of the Cabala which collects the same sense of different words from their equal numerical value." The Hebrews, like other ancient nations, having no figures in their language, made use of the letters of their alphabet instead of numbers, each having a numerical value. Gematria, is therefore, a mode of contemplating words according to the numerical value of their letters.
Any two words, the letters of which have the same numerical value, are mutually convertible, and each is supposed to contain the latent signification of the other.
Thus the words in Genesis xlix, 10, "Shiloh shall come," are supposed to contain a prophecy of the Messiah, because the letters of ''Shiloh shall come, " and of "Messiah," both have the numerical value of 358, according to the above table.
By Gematria, applied to the Greek language, we find the identity of Abraxas and Mithras, the letters of each word having in the Greek alphabet the equal value of 365. This is by far the most common mode of applying the literal Cabala.
2. Notaricon is derived from the Latin notarius a shorthand writer or writer in cipher. The Roman Notarii were accustomed to use single letters, to signify whole words with other methods of abbreviation, by marks called notae. Hence, among the Cabalists, notaricon is a mode constructing one word out of the initials or finals of many, or a sentence out of the letters of a word, each letter being used as the initial of another word. Thus of the sentence in Deuteronomy xxx, 12, "Who shall go up for us to heaven?" in Hebrew, the initial letters of each word are taken to form the word circumcision, and the finals to form Jehovah; hence it is concluded that Jehovah hath shown circumcision to be the way to heaven. Again : the six letters of the first word in Genesis, ''in the beginning, " are made use of to form the initials of six words which constitute a sentence signifying that "In the beginning God saw that Israel would accept the law,"
3. Temura is a rabbinical word which signifies permutation. Hence temura is a Caballstic result produced by a change or permutation of the letters of a word.
Sometimes the letters are transposed to form another word, as in the modern anagram ; and sometimes the letters are changed for others, according to certain fixed rules of alphabetical permutation, the first letter being placed for the twenty-second the second for the twenty-first, the third for the twentieth, and so on. It is in this way that Babel, is made out of Sheshach, and hence the Cabalists say that when Jeremiah used the word Sheshach, xxv, 26, he referred to Babel.
A degree found in the archives of the Mother Lodge of the Philosophical Rite of France.
or CABEIRI. A group of minor Greek, deities (the name signifying great Gods) having the protection of sailors and vessels at sea. Worshipped at Lemnos, Samothrace, Thessalia, Bocotia, etc., as early as the fifth century. Initiation into their mysteries portrayed passage through death to a higher live. Many of the ancient deities believed to have been members of the Cabiri such as Pluto, proserpine, Mercury, the sons of Vulcan, the sons of Jupiter, etc. (see An Encyclopedia of occultism, Lewis Spence, New York, 1920, page 83).
The Cabiri were gods who' worship was first established in the island of Samothrace, where the Cabiric Mysteries were practised. The gods called the Cabiri were originally two, and afterward four, in number, and are supposed by Bryant (Analysis of Ancient Mythology, iii, 342) to have referred to Noah and his three sons, the Cabiric Mysteries being a modification of the arkite worship.
In these mysteries there was a ceremony called the "Cabiric Death," in which was represented amid the groans and tears and subsequent rejoicings of the initiates, the death and restoration to life of Cadmillus, the youngest of the Cabiri. The legend recorded that he was slain by his three Brethren, who afterward fled with his virile parts in a mystic basket. His body was crowned with flowers, and was buried at the foot of Mount Olympus. Clement of Alexandria speaks of the legend as the sacred mystery of a brother slain by his brethren, or in the original as frater trucidatus ā fratribus.
There is much perplexity connected with the subject of these mysteries, but it is generally suppossed that they were instituted in honor of Atys, the son of Cybele or Demeter, of whom Cadmillus was but another name. According to Macrobius, Atys was one of the appellations of the sun, and we know that the mysteries were celebrated at the vernal equinox. They lasted three days, during which they represented in the person of Atys, or Cadmillus, the enigmatical death of the sun in winter, and his regeneration in the spring. In all probability, in the initiation, the candidate passed through a drama, the subject of which , was the violent death of Atys. The Cabiric Death was, in fact, a type of the Hiramic, and the legend, so far as it can be understood from the faint allusions of ancient authors, was very analogous in spirit and design to that of the Third Degree of Freemasonry.
Many persons annually resorted to Samothrace to be initiated into the celebrated mysteries, among whom are mentioned Cadmus, Orpheus, Hercules, and Ulysses. Jamblichus says, in his Life of Pythagoras, that from those of Lemnos that sage derived much of his wisdom. The mysteries of the Cabiri were much respected among the common people, and great care was taken in their concealment. The priests made use of a language peculiar to the Rites.
The mysteries were in existence at Samothrace as late as the eighteenth year of the Christian era, at which time the Emperor Germanicus embarked for that island, to be initiated, but was prevented from accomplishing his purpose by adverse winds.
The word is purely Masonic, and in some writings of the early part of the eighteenth century we find the expression cable rope. Prichard so uses it in 1730. The German word for cable or rope is kabeltauw, and thence our cale tow is probably derived.
In its first inception, the cable tow seems to have been used only as a physical means of controlling the candidate, and such an interpretation is still given in the Entered Apprentice's Degree. But the Second and Third Degrees a more modern symbolism has been introduced, and the cable tow is in these grades supposed to symbolize the convenant by which all freemasons are tied, thus reminding us of the passage in Hosea (xi, 4), "1 drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love.
CABLE TOW'S LENGTH.
Gädieke says that, "according to the ancient laws of Freemasonry, every brother must attend his Lodge if he is within the length of his cable tow." The old writers define the length of a cable tow, which they sometimes called a cable's length, to be three miles for an Entered Apprentice. But the expression is really symbolic, and as it was defined by the Baltimore Convention in 1842, means the scope of a man's reasonable ability.
A district containing twenty cities which Solomon gave to Hiram, King of Tyre, for his assistance in the construction of the Temple. Clark (Commentary and Critical Notes) thinks it likely that they were not given to Hiram so that they should be annexed to his Tyrian dominions, but rather to be held as security for the money which he had advanced.
This, however, is merely conjectural. The district containing them is placed by Josephus in the northwest part of Galilee, adjacent to Tyre. Hiram does not appear to have been satisfied with the gift ; why, is uncertain. Kitto thinks because they were not situated on the coast. A Masonic legend says because they were ruined and dilapidated villages, and in token of his dissatisfaction, Hiram called the district Cabul. The meaning of this word is not known. Josephus, probably by conjecture from the context, says it means unpleasing. Hiller and, after him, Bates (Dictionary) suppose that the name is derived from a combination of letters meaning as and nothing. The Talmudic derivation from "tied with fetters", is described by Brother Mackey as Talmudically childish. The dissatisfaction of Hiram and its results constitute the subject of the legend of the Degree of Intimate Secretary in the Scottish Rite.
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