Blavatsky's knowledge of religious minutia is immense and her assertions will challenge the way you look at the world. She slices through one religious agenda after another in search of truth. No religion is safe and no beliefs go unchallenged. Now you can have both volumes of this esoteric masterpiece in one binding.
It had, like a destroying hurricane, swept away in its course those best allies of the Church, the Roman Catholic aristocracy. A sure foundation was now laid for the right of individual opinion. The world was freed from ecclesiastical tyranny by opening an unobstructed path to Napoleon the Great, who had given the deathblow to the Inquisition.
This great slaughter-house of the Christian Church — wherein she butchered, in the name of the Lamb, all the sheep arbitrarily declared scurvy — was in ruins, and she found herself left to her own responsibility and resources. So long as the phenomena had appeared only sporadically, she had always felt herself powerful enough to repress the consequences. Meanwhile the enemy had slowly but surely gained ground.
All at once it broke out with an unexpected violence. Still, for a time, the Church held her position, and with the powerful help of superstitious fear checked the progress of the intruding force. But, when in succession appeared mesmerists and somnambulists, reproducing the physical and mental phenomenon of ecstasy, hitherto believed to be the special gift of saints; when the passion for the turning tables had reached in France and elsewhere its climax of fury; when the psychography — alleged spiritual — from a simple curiosity had developed itself and settled into an unabated interest, and finally ebbed into religious mysticism; when the echoes aroused by the first raps of Rochester, crossing the oceans, spread until they were re-percussed from nearly every corner of the world — then, and only then, the Latin Church was fully awakened to a sense of danger.
Wonder after wonder was reported to have occurred in the spiritual circles and the lecture-rooms of the mesmerists; the sick were healed, the blind made to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear. Newton in America, and Du Potet in France, were healing the multitude without the slightest claim to divine intervention. The great discovery of Mesmer, which reveals to the earnest inquirer the mechanism of nature, mastered, as if by magical power, organic and inorganic bodies.
But this was not the worst. A more direful calamity for the Church occurred in the evocation from the upper and nether worlds of a multitude of "spirits," whose private bearing and conversation gave the direct lie to the most cherished and profitable dogmas of the Church. These "spirits" claimed to be the identical entities, in a disembodied state, of fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters, friends and acquaintances of the persons viewing the weird phenomena.
The Devil seemed to have no objective existence, and this struck at the very foundation upon which the chair of St. Peter rested. The clergy, frightened at the uninterrupted evidence furnished by scientific research, at last decided to confront the enemy, and we find the "Chronique des Arts" giving the cleverest, and at the same time most Jesuitical, explanation of the fact. According to their story, "The increase in the number of the faithful decided Peter upon making Rome henceforth the centre of his action.
The cemetery of Ostrianum was too distant and would not suffice for the reunions of the Christians. The motive which had induced the Apostle to confer on Linus and Cletus successively the episcopal character, in order to render them capable of sharing the solicitudes of a church whose extent was to be without limits, led naturally to a multiplication of the places of meeting. The particular residence of Peter was therefore fixed at Viminal; and there was established that mysterious Chair, the symbol of power and truth.
The august seat which was venerated at the Ostrian Catacombs was not, however, removed. Peter still visited this cradle of the Roman Church, and often, without doubt, exercised his holy functions there. A second Chair, expressing the same mystery as the first, was set up at Cornelia, and it is this which has come down to us through the ages. Perhaps we had best begin by pointing to the works of Justin Martyr. This great champion of Christianity, writing in the early part of the second century in Rome, where he fixed his abode, eager to get hold of the least proof in favor of the truth for which he suffered, seems perfectly unconscious of St.
Peter's existence!! We refer the reader anxious to learn more to the able work of Mr. George Reber, entitled "The Christ of Paul. The above article in the "Chronique des Arts," speaks of the increase of the faithful to such an extent that Ostrianum could not contain the number of Christians. Now, if Peter was at Rome at all — runs Mr. Reber's argument — it must have been between the years A.
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We will treat of it more fully in chapter iii. Now, we ask, in the name of common sense, how could the faithful of Peter's Church increase at such a rate, when Nero trapped and killed them like so many mice during his reign? History shows the few Christians fleeing from Rome, wherever they could, to avoid the persecution of the emperor, and the "Chronique des Arts" makes them increase and multiply! However: "Ornaments of ivory have been fitted to the front and back of the chair, but only on those parts repaired with acacia-wood.
Those which cover the panel in front are divided into three superimposed rows, each containing six plaques of ivory, on which are engraved various subjects, among others the 'Labors of Hercules. The article was written simply as a clever answer to several facts published during the present century. Bower, in his "History of the Popes" vol.
But in , when Bonaparte's troops occupied Rome, the chair was again examined. This time there was found the Mahometan confession of faith, in Arabic letters: "There is no Deity but Allah, and Mahomet is his Apostle. Westropp and C. Staniland Wake. In the appendix Prof. Alexander Wilder very justly remarks as follows: "We presume that the Apostle of the Circumcision, as Paul, his great rival, styles him, was never at the Imperial City, nor had a successor there, not even in the ghetto.
The 'Chair of Peter,' therefore, is sacred rather than apostolical. Its sanctity proceeded, however, from the esoteric religion of the former times of Rome. The hierophant of the Mysteries probably occupied it on the day of initiations, when exhibiting to the candidates the Petroma stone tablet containing the last revelation made by the hierophant to the neophyte for initiation. The clergy felt their prestige growing weaker every day, as they saw the people impatiently shaking off, in the broad daylight of truth, the dark veils with which they had been blindfolded for so many centuries.
Then finally, fortune, which previously had been on their side in the long-waged conflict between theology and science, deserted to their adversary. The help of the latter to the study of the occult side of nature was truly precious and timely, and science has unwittingly widened the once narrow path of the phenomena into a broad highway.
Had not. As it was, the clergy were muzzled. But if Science has unintentionally helped the progress of the occult phenomena, the latter have reciprocally aided science herself. Until the days when newly-reincarnated philosophy boldly claimed its place in the world, there had been but few scholars who had undertaken the difficult task of studying comparative theology.
This science occupies a domain heretofore penetrated by few explorers. The necessity which it involved of being well acquainted with the dead languages, necessarily limited the number of students. Besides, there was less popular need for it so long as people could not replace the Christian orthodoxy by something more tangible.
It is one of the most undeniable facts of psychology, that the average man can as little exist out of a religious element of some kind, as a fish out of the water.
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The voice of truth, "a voice stronger than the voice of the mightiest thunder," speaks to the inner man in the nineteenth century of the Christian era, as it spoke in the corresponding century B. It is a useless and unprofitable task to offer to humanity the choice between a future life and annihilation. During the last fifty years the authentic documents of the most important religions in the world have been recovered in a most unexpected and almost miraculous manner.
In their insatiable desire to extend the dominion of blind faith, the early architects of Christian theology had been forced to conceal, as much as it was possible, the true sources of the same. To this end they are said to have burned or otherwise destroyed all the original manuscripts on the Kabala, magic, and occult sciences upon which they could lay their hands.
They ignorantly supposed that the most dangerous writings of this class had perished with the last Gnostic; but some day they may discover their mistake. Other authentic and as important documents will perhaps reappear in a "most unexpected and almost miraculous manner. Is it so strange that the custodians of "Pagan" lore, seeing that the proper moment had arrived, should cause the needed document, book, or relic to fall as if by accident in the right man's way?
Geological surveyors and explorers even as competent as Humboldt and Tschuddi, have not discovered the hidden mines from which the Peruvian Incas dug their treasure, although the latter confesses that the present degenerate Indians have the secret. But though his men were out of employment and half-starved, the sheik proudly refused to "sell the secret of the dead," promising to show it gratis, when the time would come for it.
Is it, then, impossible that in some other regions of the earth are guarded the remains of that glorious literature of the past, which was the fruit of its majestic civilization? What is there so surprising in the idea? Who knows but that as the Christian Church has unconsciously begotten free thought by reaction against her own cruelty, rapacity, and dogmatism, the public mind may be glad to follow the lead of the Orientalists, away from Jerusalem and towards Ellora; and that then much more will be discovered that is now hidden? There are strange traditions current in various parts of the East — on Mount Athos and in the Desert of Nitria, for instance — among certain monks, and with learned Rabbis in Palestine, who pass their lives in commenting upon the Talmud.
As the fire which consumed the rest was but the result of accident, no precautions had been taken at the time. So perfect and solid was the fabric of the parchment, that while in some rolls the inner pages and the wood-binding were reduced to ashes, of others the parchment binding remained unscorched. These particulars were all written out in Greek, Latin, and the Chaldeo-Syriac dialect, by a learned youth named Theodas, one of the scribes employed in the museum.
One of these manuscripts is alleged to be preserved till now in a Greek convent; and the person who narrated the tradition to us had seen it himself. He said that many more will see it and learn where to look for important documents, when a certain prophecy will be fulfilled; adding, that most of these works could be found in Tartary and India. These works were partially borrowed, partially translated in the Greek language, mostly since the Ptolemies had established the Alexandrian library and encouraged the writers by their liberalities, so that the Greek language became the deposit of all the sciences" "History of Armenia".
Therefore, the greater part of the literature included in the , volumes of the Alexandrian Library was due to India, and her next neighbors. No more do sundry very learned Copts scattered all over the East in Asia Minor, Egypt, and Palestine believe in the total destruction of the subsequent libraries.
For instance, they say that out of the library of Attalus III. At that time, according to their assertions, from the moment that the Christians began to gain power in Alexandria — about the end of the fourth century — and Anatolius, Bishop of Laodicea, began to insult the national gods, the Pagan philosophers and learned theurgists adopted effective measures to preserve the repositories of their sacred learning.
Theophilus, a bishop, who left behind him the reputation of a most rascally and mercenary villain, was accused by one named Antoninus, a famous theurgist and eminent scholar of occult science of Alexandria, with bribing the slaves of the Serapion to steal books which he sold to foreigners at great prices. History tells us how Theophilus had the best of the philosophers, in A.
Suidas gives us some details about Antoninus, whom he calls Antonius, and his eloquent friend Olympus, the defender of the Serapion. But history is far from being complete in the miserable remnants of books, which, crossing so many ages, have reached our own learned century; it fails to give the facts relating to the first five centuries of Christianity which are preserved in the numerous traditions current in the East.
Unauthenticated as these may appear, there is unquestionably in the heap of chaff much good grain. That these traditions are not oftener communicated to Europeans is not strange, when we consider how apt our travellers are to render themselves antagonistic to the natives by their skeptical bearing and, occasionally, dogmatic intolerance.
For no amount of money would the Arabs go near it. At night, they say, from the crevices of the desolate ruins, sunk deep in the unwatered sands of the desert, stream the rays from lights carried to and fro in the galleries by no human hands. The Afrites study the literature of the antediluvian ages, according to their belief, and the Djin learns from the magic rolls the lesson of the following day.
The Encyclopedia Britannica, in its article on Alexandria, says: "When the temple of Serapis was demolished. In rivalry of the fierce Mary-worshippers of the fourth century, the modern clerical persecutors of liberalism and "heresy" would willingly shut up all the heretics and their books in some modern Serapion and burn them alive. Modern research has more than ever unveiled the secret. The name only is different, the thing is identically the same.
Why not be impartial and add that "a good portion of it was adopted by Protestant religions also"? The very apostolic designation Peter is from the Mysteries. The hierophant or supreme pontiff bore the Chaldean title dtp Peter, or interpreter. We find the account in a paper called "The Revelation," published at Alicante, which sensibly adds that the performance was "a caricature of the memorable epoch of the Inquisition. Jesus says: "Upon this petra I will build my Church, and the gates, or rulers of Hades, shall not prevail against it"; meaning by petra the rock-temple, and by metaphor, the Christian Mysteries; the adversaries to which were the old mystery-gods of the underworld, who were worshipped in the rites of Isis, Adonis, Atys, Sabazius, Dionysus, and the Eleusinia.
The Roman Catholic Church has two far mightier enemies than the "heretics" and the "infidels"; and these are — Comparative Mythology and Philology. When such eminent divines as the Rev. James Freeman Clarke go so much out of their way to prove to their readers that "Critical Theology from the time of Origen and Jerome. In these "controversies" and critical treatment of the doctrines of the Church one can certainly find any amount of "acute reasoning," but far more of a still acuter sophistry.
Recently the mass of cumulative evidence has been re-inforced to an extent which leaves little, if any, room for further controversy. A conclusive opinion is furnished by too many scholars to doubt the fact that India was the Alma-Mater, not only of the civilization, arts, and sciences, but also of all the great religions of antiquity; Judaism, and hence Christianity, included. Herder places the cradle of humanity in India, and shows Moses as a clever and relatively modern compiler of the ancient Brahmanical traditions: "The river which encircles the country India is the sacred Ganges, which all Asia considers as the paradisaical river.
There, also, is the biblical Gihon, which is none else but the Indus. The Arabs call it so unto this day, and the names of the countries watered by it are yet existing among the Hindus. See "India in Greece," Note, Appendix, Peter, and account for the subsequent adoption of the symbol by their Holinesses, the Popes of Rome.
He alone could expound its meaning in the presence of the initiates of the third and supreme degree. Whomsoever among these initiates revealed to a profane a single one of the truths, even the smallest of the secrets entrusted to his care, was put to death. He who received the confidence had to share his fate.
He also bore upon his tiara two crossed keys supported by two kneeling Brahmans, symbol of the precious deposit of which he had the keeping. This word and this triangle were engraved upon the tablet of the ring that this religious chief wore as one of the signs of his dignity; it was also framed in a golden sun on the altar, where every morning the Supreme Pontiff offered the sacrifice of the sarvameda, or sacrifice to all the forces of nature. The hierophant of the Eleusinia was likewise always an old man, and unmarried. Is this clear enough? And will the Catholics still maintain that it was the Brahmans of 4, years ago who copied the ritual, symbols, and dress of the Roman Pontiffs?
We would not feel in the least surprised. Without going very far back into antiquity for comparisons, if we only stop at the fourth and fifth centuries of our era, and contrast the so-called "heathenism" of the third Neo-platonic Eclectic School with the growing Christianity, the result may not be favorable to the latter.
Even at that early period, when the new religion had hardly outlined its contradictory dogmas; when the champions of the bloodthirsty Cyril knew not themselves whether Mary was to become "the Mother of God," or rank as a "demon" in company with Isis; when the memory of the meek and lowly Jesus still lingered lovingly in every Christian heart, and his words of mercy and charity vibrated still in the air, even then the Christians were outdoing the Pagans in every kind of ferocity and religious intolerance.
And if we look still farther back, and seek for examples of true Christism, in ages when Buddhism had hardly superseded Brahmanism in India, and the name of Jesus was only to be pronounced three centuries later, what do we find? Which of the holy pillars of the Church has ever elevated himself to the level of religious tolerance and noble simplicity of character of some heathen? Compare, for instance, the Hindu Asoka, who lived B.
Augustine, who flourished three centuries after Christ. All these ascetics profess alike the command which people should exercise over themselves, and the purity of the soul. But people have different opinions and different inclinations. And here is what Augustine wrote after his baptism: "Wondrous depth of thy words!
It is awful to look therein; yes. Thy enemies [read Pagans] thereof I hate vehemently; Oh, that thou wouldst slay them with thy two-edged sword, that they might no longer be enemies to it; for so do I love to have them slain. Wonderful spirit of Christianity; and that from a Manichean converted to the religion of one who even on his cross prayed for his enemies!
Draper for "Conflict between Religion and Science"; book xii. Who the enemies of the "Lord" were, according to the Christians, is not difficult to surmise; the few inside the Augustinian fold were His new children and favorites, who had supplanted in His affections the sons of Israel, His "chosen people. The teeming multitudes of heathendom were proper food for the flames of hell; the handful within the Church communion, "heirs of salvation.
But if such a proscriptive policy was just, and its enforcement was "sweet savor" in the nostrils of the "Lord," why not scorn also the Pagan rites and philosophy? Why draw so deep from the wells of wisdom, dug and filled up to brim by the same heathen? Did they propose, in fleeing from heathendom as the Jews did from Egypt, to carry off the valuables of its religious allegories, as the "chosen ones" did the gold and silver ornaments?
It certainly does seem as if the events of the first centuries of Christianity were but the reflection of the images thrown upon the mirror of the future at the time of the Exodus. It became the Plato-Philonean doctrine later, and such as we find it now. Plato considered the divine nature under a three-fold modification of the First Cause, the reason or Logos, and the soul or spirit of the universe. Under this unexpected garb his personality was all but lost. We see him under the disfigured Plato-Philonean mask, not as the disciples heard him on the mount.
So far then the heathen philosophy had helped them in the building of the principal dogma. But when the theurgists of the third Neo-platonic school, deprived of their ancient Mysteries, strove to blend the doctrines of Plato with those of Aristotle, and by combining the two philosophies added to their theosophy the primeval doctrines of the Oriental Kabala, then the Christians from rivals became persecutors. Once that the metaphysical allegories of Plato were being prepared to be discussed in public in the form of Grecian dialectics, all the elaborate system of the Christian trinity would be unravelled and the divine prestige completely upset.
The eclectic school, reversing the order, had adopted the inductive method; and this method became its death-knell. Of all things on earth, logic and reasonable explanations were the most hateful to the new religion of mystery; for they threatened to unveil the whole ground-work of the trinitarian conception; to apprise the multitude of the doctrine of emanations, and thus destroy the unity of the whole. It could not be permitted, and it was not.
History records the Christ -like means that were resorted to. The universal doctrine of emanations, adopted from time immemorial by the greatest schools which taught the kabalistic, Alexandrian, and Oriental philosophers, gives the key to that panic among the Christian fathers. That spirit of Jesuitism and clerical craft, which prompted Parkhurst, many centuries later, to suppress in his Hebrew Lexicon the true meaning of the first word of Genesis, originated in those days of war against the expiring Neo-platonic and eclectic school. This is the true reason why dialecticians, as well as Aristotle himself, the "prying philosopher," were ever obnoxious to Christian theology.
The amount of abuse he heaped upon the memory of the great logician can only be equalled — never surpassed — by the Pope's anathemas and invectives against the liberals of the Italian government. Of course the Christian clergy can never get reconciled with a doctrine based on the application of strict logic to discursive reasoning? The number of those who have abandoned theology on this account has never been made known.
They have asked questions and been forbidden to ask them; hence, separation, disgust, and often a despairing plunge into the abyss of atheism. The Orphean views of ether as chief medium between God and created matter were likewise denounced. And when could the latter be more feared than at that critical moment? And that the idea of these words meaning " in the beginning " was never shared but by the profane, who were not allowed to penetrate any deeper into the esoteric sense of the sentence.
Beausobre, and after him Godfrey Higgins, have demonstrated the fact. From Him a substantial power immediately proceeds, which is the image of God, and the source of all subsequent emanations. This second principle sends forth, by the energy or will and force of emanation, other natures, which are more or less perfect, according to their different degrees of distance, in the scale of emanation, from the First Source of existence, and which constitute different worlds, or orders of being, all united to the eternal power from which they proceed.
Matter is nothing more than the most remote effect of the emanative energy of the Deity. He only said that God created heaven and earth through the Principle, who is His Son. It is not the time he points to, but to the immediate author of the creation. The Kabala — the Oriental as well as the Jewish — shows that a number of emanations the Jewish Sephiroth issued from the First Principle, the chief of which was Wisdom.
The early Fathers of the Church had not much to exert their imagination; they found a ready-made doctrine that had existed in every theogony for thousands of years before the Christian era. Their trinity is but the trio of Sephiroth, the first three kabalistic lights of which Moses Nachmanides says, that " they have never been seen by any one; there is not any defect in them, nor any disunion.
The Egyptian Phtah, or "the Principle of Light — not the light itself, and the Principle of Life, though himself no life. The Son is at once the male Ra , or Light of Wisdom, Prudence or Intelligence, Sephira, the female part of Himself; while from this dual being proceeds the third emanation, the Binah or Reason, the second Intelligence — the Holy Ghost of the Christians. How then avoid perceiving at once, that had not the Christians purposely disfigured in their interpretation and translation the Mosaic Genesis to fit their own views, their religion, with its present dogmas, would have been impossible?
The word Rasit, once taught in its new sense of the Principle and not the Beginning, and the anathematized doctrine of emanations accepted, the position of the second trinitarian personage. For, if the angels are the first divine emanations from the Divine Substance, and were in existence before the Second Principle, then the anthropomorphized Son is at best an emanation like themselves, and cannot be God hypostatically any more than our visible works are ourselves.
That these metaphysical subtleties never entered into the head of the honest-minded, sincere Paul, is evident; as it is furthermore evident, that like all learned Jews he was well acquainted with the doctrine of emanations and never thought of corrupting it. How can any one imagine that Paul identified the Son with the Father, when he tells us that God made Jesus "a little lower than the angels" Hebrews ii.
Of whatever, or how many forgeries, interlined later in the Acts, the Fathers are guilty we know not; but that Paul never considered Christ more than a man "full of the Spirit of God" is but too evident: "In the arche was the Logos, and the Logos was adnate to the Theos. John — is the Rasit — tyXar , of the Book of Genesis. If rightly interpreted it overturns, as we have remarked, the whole elaborate system of Christian theology, for it proves that behind the creative Deity, there was a HIGHER god; a planner, an architect; and that the former was but His executive agent — a simple POWER!
They persecuted the Gnostics, murdered the philosophers, and burned the kabalists and the masons; and when the day of the great reckoning arrives, and the light shines in darkness, what will they have to offer in the place of the departed, expired religion? What will they answer, these pretended monotheists, these worshippers and pseudo -servants of the one living God, to their Creator? How will they account for this long persecution of them who were the true followers of the grand Megalistor, the supreme great master of the Rosicrucians, the FIRST of masons.
Commenting upon the subject, A. Franck, the learned Hebrew scholar of the Institute and translator of the Kabala, expresses the same idea. Says Jacolliot: "What is then this religious philosophy of the Orient, which has penetrated into the mystic symbolism of Christianity?
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We answer: This philosophy, the traces of which we find among the Magians, the Chaldeans, the Egyptians, the Hebrew kabalists and the Christians, is none other than that of the Hindu Brahmans, the sectarians of the pitris, or the spirits of the invisible worlds which surround us. But if the Gnostics were destroyed, the Gnosis, based on the secret science of sciences, still lives. The ancient Kabala, the Gnosis, or traditional secret knowledge, was never without its representatives in any age or country. The trinities of initiates, whether passed into history or concealed under the impenetrable veil of mystery, are preserved and impressed throughout the ages.
At the Transfiguration we see them as Jesus, Moses, and Elias, the three Trismegisti; and three kabalists, Peter, James, and John — whose revelation is the key to all wisdom. Who, of those who ever studied the ancient philosophies, who understand intuitionally the grandeur of their conceptions, the boundless sublimity of their views of the Unknown Deity, can hesitate for a moment to give the preference to their doctrines over the incomprehensible dogmatic and contradictory theology of the hundreds of Christian sects?
Franck: "Die Kabbala. For, as we have shown before now, Plato never claimed to be the inventor of all that he wrote, but gave credit for it to Pythagoras, who, in his turn, pointed to the remote East as the source whence he derived his information and his philosophy. Colebrooke shows that Plato confesses it in his epistles, and says that he has taken his teachings from ancient and sacred doctrines! And Mosheim thinks that Philo has filled his works with passages directly contradicting each other for the sole purpose of concealing the true doctrine.
For once we see a critic on the right track. And this very trinitarian idea, as well as the so bitterly denounced doctrine of emanations, whence their remotest origin? The answer is easy, and every proof is now at hand. In the sublime and profoundest of all philosophies, that of the universal "Wisdom-Religion," the first traces of which, historical research now finds in the old pre-Vedic religion of India. As the much-abused Jacolliot well remarks, "It is not in the religious works of antiquity, such as the Vedas, the Zend Avesta, the Bible, that we have to search for the exact expression of the ennobling and sublime beliefs of those epochs.
Swayambhouva is the unrevealed Deity; it is the Being existent through and of itself; he is the central and immortal germ of all that exists in the universe. Three trinities emanate and are confounded in him, forming a Supreme unity. These trinities, or the triple Trimurti, are: the Nara, Nari, and Viradyi — the initial triad; the Agni, Vaya, and Sourya — the manifested triad; Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, the creative triad.
Each of these triads becomes less metaphysical and more adapted to the vulgar intelligence as it descends. Together with Swayambhouva, they are the ten Sephiroth of the Hebrew kabalists, the ten Hindu Prajapatis — the En-Soph of the former, answering to the great Unknown, expressed by the mystic A U M of the latter.
Therefore, they are named the virtues, or the sensible world. It is these last Sephiroth that constitute the natural world, or nature in its essence and in its active principle. Natura naturans. This kabalistic conception is thus proved identical with that of the Hindu philosophy. Moreover, the injunction of secrecy was as strict with the kabalists, as with the initiates of the Adyta and the Hindu Yogis.
Truly the fate of many a future generation hung on a gossamer thread, in the days of the third and fourth centuries. Had not the Emperor sent in to Alexandria a rescript — which was forced from him by the Christians — for the destruction of every idol, our own century would never have had a Christian mythological Pantheon of its own.
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Uniting the mystic theosophy of old Egypt with the refined philosophy of the Greeks; nearer to the ancient Mysteries of Thebes and Memphis than they had been for centuries; versed in the science of soothsaying and divination, as in the art of the Therapeutists; friendly with the acutest men of the Jewish nation, who were deeply imbued with the Zoroastrian ideas, the Neo-platonists tended to amalgamate the old wisdom of the Oriental Kabala with the more refined conceptions of the Occidental Theosophists. Notwithstanding the treason of the Christians, who saw fit, for political reasons, after the days of Constantine, to repudiate their tutors, the influence of the new Platonic philosophy is conspicuous in the subsequent adoption of dogmas, the origin of which can be traced but too easily to that remarkable school.
Though mutilated and disfigured, they still preserve a strong family likeness, which nothing can obliterate. But, if the knowledge of the occult powers of nature opens the spiritual sight of man, enlarges his intellectual faculties, and leads him unerringly to a profounder veneration for the Creator, on the other hand ignorance, dogmatic narrow-mindedness, and a childish fear of looking to the bottom of things, invariably leads to fetish-worship and superstition. When Cyril, the Bishop of Alexandria, had openly embraced the cause of Isis, the Egyptian goddess, and had anthropomorphized her into Mary, the mother of God; and the trinitarian controversy had taken place; from that moment the Egyptian doctrine of the emanation of the creative God out of Emepht began to be tortured in a thousand ways, until the Councils had agreed upon the adoption of it as it now stands — the disfigured Ternary of the kabalistic Solomon and Philo!
But as its origin was yet too evident, the Word was no longer called the "Heavenly man," the primal Adam Kadmon, but became the Logos — Christ, and was made as old as the "Ancient of the Ancient," his father. If we now stop to consider another of the fundamental dogmas of Christianity, the doctrine of atonement, we may trace it as easily back to heathendom.
This corner-stone of a Church which had believed herself built on a firm rock for long centuries, is now excavated by science and proved to come from the Gnostics. Professor Draper shows it as hardly known in the days of Tertullian, and as having " originated among the Gnostic heretics. The Gnostics entertained many of the Essenean ideas; and the Essenes had their "greater" and "minor" Mysteries at least two centuries before our era.
They were the Isarim or Initiates, the descendants of the Egyptian hierophants, in whose country they had been settled for several centuries before they were converted to Buddhistic monasticism by the missionaries of King Asoka, and amalgamated later with the earliest Christians; and they existed, probably, before the old Egyptian temples were desecrated and ruined in the incessant invasions of Persians, Greeks, and other conquering hordes. The hierophants had their atonement enacted in the Mystery of Initiation ages before the Gnostics, or even the Essenes, had appeared.
The hierophant had the option of either offering his pure and sinless life as a sacrifice for his race to the gods whom he hoped to rejoin, or an animal victim. The former depended entirely on their own will. At the last moment of the solemn "new birth," the initiator passed "the word" to the initiated, and immediately after that the latter had a weapon placed in his right hand, and was ordered to strike. The Kurios and Kora are mentioned repeatedly in "Justin Martyr. So deeply is it rooted among the popular beliefs, that we do not imagine there is a person in Russia who has not heard of it.
The ancient Variago-Rouss had his Mysteries in the North as well as in the South of Russia; and there are many relics of the by-gone faith scattered in the lands watered by the sacred Dnieper, the baptismal Jordan of all Russia. No Znachar the knowing one or Koldoun sorcerer , male or female, can die in fact before he has passed the mysterious word to some one. The popular belief is that unless he does that he will linger and suffer for weeks and months, and were he even finally to get liberated, it would be only to wander on earth, unable to quit its region unless he finds a successor even after death.
How far the belief may be verified by others, we do not know, but we have seen a case which, for its tragical and mysterious denoument , deserves to be given here as an illustration of the subject in hand. An old man, of over one hundred years of age, a peasant-serf in the government of S——, having a wide reputation as a sorcerer and healer, was said to be dying for several days, and still unable to die.
The report spread like lightning, and the poor old fellow was shunned by even the members of his own family, as the latter were afraid of receiving the unwelcome inheritance. At last the public rumor in the village was that he had sent a message to a colleague less versed than himself in the art, and who, although he lived in a distant district, was nevertheless coming at the call, and would be on hand early on the following morning.
There was at that time on a visit to the proprietor of the village a young physician who, belonging to the famous school of Nihilism of that day, laughed outrageously at the idea. The master of the house, being a very pious man, and but half inclined to make so cheap of the "superstition," smiled — as the saying goes — but with one corner of his mouth. Meanwhile the young skeptic, to gratify his curiosity, had made a visit to the dying man, had found that he could not live twenty-four hours longer, and, determined to prove the absurdity of the "superstition," had taken means to detain the coming "successor" at a neighboring village.
Early in the morning a company of four persons, comprising the physician, the master of the place, his daughter, and the writer of the present lines, went to the but in which was to be achieved the triumph of skepticism. The dying man was expecting his liberator every moment, and his agony at the delay became extreme. We tried to persuade the physician to humor the patient, were it for humanity's sake. He only laughed. Getting hold with one hand of the old wizard's pulse, he took out his watch with the other, and remarking in French that all would be over in a few moments, remained absorbed in his professional experiment.
The scene was solemn and appalling. Suddenly the door opened, and a young boy entered with the intelligence, addressed to the doctor, that the koum was lying dead drunk at a neighboring village, and, according to his orders, could not be with "grandfather" till the next day. The young doctor felt confused, and was just going to address the old man, when, as quick as lightning, the Znachar snatched his hand from his grasp and raised himself in bed. His deep-sunken eyes flashed; his yellow-white beard and hair streaming round his livid face made him a dreadful sight. One instant more, and his long, sinewy arms were clasped round the physician's neck, as with a supernatural force he drew the doctor's head closer and closer to his own face, where he held him as in a vise, while whispering words inaudible to us in his ear.
The skeptic struggled to free himself, but before he had time to make one effective motion the work had evidently been done; the hands relaxed their grasp, and the old sorcerer fell on his back — a corpse! A strange and ghostly smile had settled on the stony lips — a smile of fiendish triumph and satisfied revenge; but the doctor looked paler and more ghastly than the dead man himself. He stared round with an expression of terror difficult to describe, and without answering our inquiries rushed out wildly from the hut, in the direction of the woods.
Messengers were sent after him, but he was nowhere to be found. About sunset a report was heard in the forest. An hour later his body was brought home, with a bullet through his head, for the skeptic had blown out his brains! What made him commit suicide? What magic spell of sorcery had the "word" of the dying wizard left on his mind? Who can tell? Verily the "Christs" of the pre-Christian ages were many. But they died unknown to the world, and disappeared as silently and as mysteriously from the sight of man as Moses from the top of Pisgah, the mountain of Nebo oracular wisdom , after he had laid his hands upon Joshua, who thus became "full of the spirit of wisdom" i.
Nor does the Mystery of the Eucharist pertain to Christians alone. There had been an esoteric meaning attached to it from the first establishment of the Mysteries, and the Eucharistia is one of the oldest rites of antiquity. With the hierophants it had nearly the same significance as with the Christians. Ceres was bread, and Bacchus was wine ; the former meaning regeneration of life from the seed, and the latter — the grape — the emblem of wisdom and knowledge; the accumulation of the spirit of things, and the fermentation and subsequent strength of that esoteric knowledge being justly symbolized by wine.
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The mystery related to the drama of Eden; it is said to have been first taught by Janus, who was also the first to introduce in the temples the sacrifices of "bread" and "wine" in commemoration of the "fall into generation" as the symbol of the "seed. Thus "Bacchus was directly called upon," he says. Psalms xxiv. Kadesh may mean in one sense to devote, hallow, sanctify, and even to initiate or to set apart; but it also means the ministers of lascivious rites the Venus-worship and the true interpretation of the word Kadesh is bluntly rendered in Deuteronomy xxiii.
The "holy" Kadeshuth of the Bible were identical as to the duties of their office with the Nautch-girls of the later Hindu pagodas. The Hebrew Kadeshim or galli lived "by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove," or bust of Venus-Astarte, says verse the seventh in the twenty-third chapter of 2 Kings. The dance performed by David round the ark was the "circle-dance" said to have been prescribed by the Amazons for the Mysteries.
Such was the dance of the daughters of Shiloh Judges xxi. It was simply a characteristic of the Sabean worship, for it denoted the motion of the planets round the sun. That the dance was a Bacchic frenzy is apparent. Sistra were used on the occasion, and the taunt of Michael and the king's reply are very expressive. David knew nothing of Moses, it seems, and if he introduced the Jehovah-worship it was not in its monotheistic character, but simply as that of one of the many gods of the neighboring nations — a tutelary deity to whom he had given the preference, and chosen among "all other gods.
Following the Christian dogmas seriatim, if we concentrate our attention upon one which provoked the fiercest battles until its recognition, that of the Trinity, what do we find? We meet it, as we have shown, northeast of the Indus; and tracing it to Asia Minor and Europe, recognize it among every people who had anything like an established re-.
It was taught in the oldest Chaldean, Egyptian, and Mithraitic schools. The Chaldean Sun-god, Mithra, was called "Triple," and the trinitarian idea of the Chaldeans was a doctrine of the Akkadians, who, themselves, belonged to a race which was the first to conceive a metaphysical trinity. The Chaldeans are a tribe of the Akkadians, according to Rawlinson, who lived in Babylonia from the earliest times. They were Turanians, according to others, and instructed the Babylonians into the first notions of religion.
But these same Akkadians, who were they? Those scientists who would ascribe to them a Turanian origin, make of them the inventors of the cuneiform characters; others call them Sumerians; others again, respectively, make their language, of which for very good reasons no traces whatever remain — Kasdean, Chaldaic, Proto-Chaldean, Kasdo-Scythic, and so on. The only tradition worthy of credence is that these Akkadians instructed the Babylonians in the Mysteries, and taught them the sacerdotal or Mystery-language.
Jacolliot, who took such pains to penetrate the mysteries of the Brahmanical initiation in translating and commenting upon the Agrouchada-Parikshai, confesses the following:. The rare expressions that we have been able to catch like — L'rhom, h'hom, sh'hrum, sho'rhim, are in fact most curious, and do not seem to belong to any known idiom. Vans Kennedy has long ago declared his opinion that Babylonia was once the seat of the Sanscrit language and of Brahmanical influence.
His lips move, and none will ever hear the terrible formula pronounced, except in the interior of the temples, and then in a cautious whisper.
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This, then, was the language now respectively baptized by every scientist, and, according to his imaginative and philological propensities, Kasdeo-Semitic, Scythic, Proto-Chaldean, and the like. Scarcely two of even the most learned Sanscrit philologists are agreed as to the true interpretation of Vedic words. Let one put forth an essay, a lecture, a treatise, a translation, a dictionary, and straightway all the others fall to quarrelling with each other and with him as to his sins of omission and commission. In volume i. Professor Whitney brands him as a "bungler and a humbug," and, as we remarked above, this is the very general verdict.
Textor de Ravisi, a learned Indianist, ten years Governor of Karikal, India, to report upon its merits. He was an ardent Catholic, and bitterly opposed Jacolliot's conclusions where they discredited the Mosaic and Catholic revelations; but he was forced to say: "Written with good faith, in an easy, vigorous, and passionate style, of an easy and varied argumentation, the work of M.
Jacolliot is of absorbing interest. Let Jacolliot have the benefit of the doubt when such very imposing authorities are doing their best to show up each other as incompetents and literary journeymen. We quite agree with Professor Whitney that "the truism, that [for European critics? With them the trinity of Deus Lunus was manifested in the three lunar phases, completing the quaternary with the fourth, and typifying the death of the Moon-god in its gradual waning and final disappearance. This death was allegorized by them, and attributed to the triumph of the genius of evil over the light-giving deity; as the later nations allegorized the death of their Sun-gods, Osiris and Apollo, at the hands of Typhon and the great Dragon Python, when the sun entered the winter solstice.
Babel, Arach, and Akkad are names of the sun. The Zoroastrian Oracles are full and explicit upon the subject of the Divine Triad. We expect, therefore, nothing of the present. When the Vedas were written, he held the rank of Maha-Deva or Bel among the gods of aboriginal India. Petersburg Museum, on a medal of the Northern Tartars. Among the Church dogmas which have most seriously suffered of late at the hands of the Orientalists, the last in question stands conspicuous.
The reputation of each of the three personages of the anthropomorphic godhead as an original revelation to the Christians through Divine will, has been badly compromised by inquiry into its predecessors and origin. Orientalists have published more about the similarity between Brahmanism, Buddhism, and Christianity than was strictly agreeable to the Vatican.
Views of the trinity in accordance with the Egyptian traditions were established. Not only was the adoration of Isis under a new name restored, but even her image, standing on the crescent moon, reappeared. The well-known effigy of that goddess with the infant Horus in her arms has descended to our days, in the beautiful artistic creations of the Madonna and child. Isis is also by right the Queen of Heaven, and is generally represented carrying in her hand the Crux Ansata composed of the mundane cross, and of the Stauros of the Gnostics, she is a great deal younger than the celestial virgin, Neith.
In one of the tombs of the Pharaohs — Rhameses, in the valley of Biban-el-Molouk, in Thebes, Champollion, Junior, discovered a picture, according to his opinion the most ancient ever yet found. It represents the heavens symbolized by the figure of a woman bedecked with stars. The birth of the Sun is figured by the form of a little child, issuing from the bosom of its "Divine Mother.
In the Book of Hermes, "Pimander" is enunciated in distinct and unequivocal sentences, the whole trinitarian dogma accepted by the Christians. Think that what thus sees and hears in thee, is the Verbum of the Master, it is the Thought, which is God the Father. Ancient as may be the origin of Hermes, lost in the unknown days of Egyptian colonization, there is yet a far older prophecy, directly relating to the Hindu Christna, according to the Brahmans. It is, to say the least, strange that the Christians claim to base their religion upon a prophecy of the Bible, which exists nowhere in that book.
In what chapter or verse does Jehovah, the "Lord God," promise Adam and Eve to send them a Redeemer who will save humanity? In these words there is not the slightest allusion to a Redeemer, and the subtilest of intellects could not extract from them, as they stand in the third chapter of Genesis, anything like that which the Christians have contrived to find.
On the other hand, in the traditions and Manu, Brahma promises directly to the first couple to send them a Saviour who will teach them the way to salvation. In the foregoing lies the foundation of the fierce hatred of the Christians toward the "Pagans" and the theurgists. Too much had been borrowed; the ancient religions and the Neo-platonists had been laid by them under contribution sufficiently to perplex the world for several thousand years.
Had not the ancient creeds been speedily obliterated, it would have been found impossible to preach the Christian religion as a New Dispensation, or the direct Revelation from God the Father, through God the Son, and under the influence of God the Holy Ghost. As a political exigence the Fathers had — to gratify the wishes of their rich converts — instituted even the festivals of Pan. They went so far as to accept the ceremonies hitherto celebrated by the Pagan world in honor of the God of the gardens, in all their primitive sincerity.
Either the Pagan worship and the Neo-platonic theurgy, with all ceremonial of magic, must be crushed out forever, or the Christians become Neo-platonists. They were carried on for over two centuries after the unscrupulous Bishop of Lyons had uttered his last religious paradox. Celsus, the Neo-platonist, and a disciple of the school of Ammonius Saccas, had thrown the Christians into perturbation, and even had arrested for a time the progress of proselytism by successfully proving that the original and purer forms of the most important dogmas of Christianity were to be found only in the teachings of Plato.
Celsus accused them of accepting the worst superstitions of Paganism, and of interpolating passages from the books of the Sybils, without rightly understanding their meaning.