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Cabala (also Kaballah, caballa, kabala, kaballa, , qaballah, etc.)

The cabala is a collection of esoteric writings of various rabbis and a few medieval Christians which consists of mystical and numerological interpretations of Hebrew scriptures. The authors of the cabala treat every letter, word, number, and accent of Scripture as if it were a secret code which contains some profound but hidden meaning, put there by God for some profound and hidden purpose, including prophecy. The cabala also provides methods of interpretation of the occult marks on paper which the less spiritually gifted take to be mere words, to be understood either literally or figuratively. The purpose of the cabala is apparently to read God's mind, and thereby become one with the divine.

Like all other mystical works and movements, cabalists believe that the only world worth knowing, is the divine realm "above" and that one's life on earth should be spent trying to understand the mystery of the upper level. This transcendental quest represents to the atheist a rejection of the earthly realm of facts, suffering, uncertainty and impotence in favor of a fantasy realm of the imagination and a sharing in eternal bliss and omnipotence. To philosophers such as Nietzsche, mysticism is nihilism's expression of the will to power. Those who are part of the esoteric group are made to feel powerful and superior to outsiders by the magic of their fanciful imaginations.

See related entry on Bible Codes.

further reading

The Skeptic's Dictionary
Robert Todd Carroll