THE SECRECY OF INITIATES
The false rendering of a number of parables and sayings of Jesus is not to be wondered at in the least. From Orpheus, the first initiated Adept of whom history catches a glimpse in the mists of the pre-Christian era, down through Pythagoras, Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, Apollonius of Tyana, to Ammonius Saccas, no Teacher or Initiate has ever committed anything to writing for public use. Each and all of them have invariably recommended silence and secrecy on certain facts and deeds; from Confucius, who refused to explain publicly and satisfactorily
what he meant by his “Great Extreme,” or to give the key to the divination by “straws,” down to Jesus, who charged his disciples to tell no man that he was Christ* (Chrestos), the “man of sorrows” and trials, before his supreme and last Initiation, or that he had produced a “miracle” of resurrection.† The Apostles had to preserve silence, so that the left hand should not know what the right hand did; in plainer words, that the dangerous proficients in the Left Hand Science–the terrible enemies of the Right Hand Adepts, especially before their supreme Initiation–should not profit by the publicity so as to harm both the healer and the patient. And if the above is maintained to be simply an assumption, then what may be the meaning of these awful words:
Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the Kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables; that seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted and their sins should be forgiven them.‡
Unless interpreted in the sense of the law of silence and Karma, the utter selfishness and uncharitable spirit of this remark are but too evident. These words are directly connected with the terrible dogma of predestination. Will the good and intelligent Christian cast such a slur of cruel selfishness on his Saviour?§
* Matthew, xvi, 20.
† Mark, v, 43.
‡ Mark, iv, 11, 12.
§ Is it not evident that the words: “lest at any time they should be converted (or: “lest haply they should turn again”–as in the revised version) and their sins be forgiven them”–do not at all mean to imply that Jesus feared that through repentance any outsider, or “them that are without,” should escape damnation, as the literal dead-letter sense plainly shows–but quite a different thing? Namely, lest any of the profane should by understanding his preaching, undisguised by parable, get hold of some of the secret teachings and mysteries of Initiation–and even of Occult powers. “Be converted” is, in other words, to obtain a knowledge belonging exclusively to the Initiated; “and their sins be forgiven them,” that is, their sins would fall upon the illegal revealer, on those who had helped the unworthy to reap there where they have never labored to sow, and had given them, thereby, the means of escaping on this earth their deserved Karma, which must thus react on the revealer, who, instead of good, did harm and failed.
The work of propagating such truths in parables was left to the disciples of the high Initiates. It was their duty to follow the keynote of the Secret Teaching without revealing its mysteries. This is shown in the histories of all the great Adepts. Pythagoras divided his classes into hearers of exoteric and esoteric lectures. The Magians received their instructions and were initiated in the far hidden caves of Bactria. When Josephus declares that Abraham taught Mathematics he meant by it “Magic,” for in the Pythagorean code Mathematics mean Esoteric Science, or Gnosis.
Professor Wilder remarks:
The Essenes of Judaea and Carmel made similar distinctions, dividing their adherents into neophytes, brethren and the perfect . . . . Ammonius obligated his disciples by oath not to divulge his higher doctrines, except to those who had been thoroughly instructed and exercised [prepared for initiation].*
One of the most powerful reasons for the necessity of strict secrecy is given by Jesus Himself, if one may credit Matthew. For there the Master is made to say plainly:
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.†
Profoundly true and wise words. Many are those in our own age, and even among us, who have been forcibly reminded of them–often when too late.‡
* New Platonism and Alchemy, 1869, pp. 7, 9.
† Matthew, vii, 6.
‡ History is full of proofs of the same. Had not Anaxagoras enunciated the great truth taught in the Mysteries, viz., that the sun was surely larger than the Peloponnesus, he would not have been persecuted and nearly put to death by the fanatical mob. Had that other rabble which was raised against Pythagoras understood what the mysterious Sage of Crotona meant by giving out his remembrance of having been the “Son of Mercury”–God of the Secret Wisdom–he would not have been forced to fly for his life; nor would Socrates have been put to death, had he kept secret the revelations of his divine daimôn. He knew how little his century–save those initiated–would understand his meaning, had he given out all he knew of the moon. Thus he limited his statement to an allegory, which is now proven to have been more scientific than was hitherto believed. He maintained that the moon was inhabited and that the lunar beings lived
Even Maimonides recommends silence with regard to the true meaning of the Bible texts. This injunction destroys the usual affirmation that “Holy Writ” is the only book in the world whose divine oracles contain plain unvarnished truth. It may be so for the learned Kabalists; it is certainly quite the reverse with regard to Christians. For this is what the learned Hebrew Philosopher says:
Whoever shall find out the true sense of the Book of Genesis ought to take care not to divulge it. This is a maxim that all our sages repeat to us, and above all respecting the work of the six days. If a person should discover the true meaning of it by himself, or by the aid of another, then he ought to be silent, or if he speaks of it he ought to speak of it obscurely, in an enigmatical manner, as I do myself, leaving the rest to be guessed by those who can understand me.*
The Symbology and Esoterism of the Old Testament being thus confessed by one of the greatest Jewish Philosophers, it is only natural to find Christian Fathers making the same confession with regard to the New Testament, and the Bible in general. Thus we find Clement Alexandrinus and Origen admitting it as plainly as words can do it. Clement, who had been initiated into the Eleusinian Mysteries says, that:
The doctrines there taught contained in them the end of all instructions as they were taken from Moses and the prophets, †
a slight perversion of facts pardonable in the good Father. The words admit, after all, that the Mysteries of the Jews were identical with those of the Pagan Greeks, who took them from the Egyptians, who borrowed them, in their turn, from the Chaldaeans, who got them from the }ryans, the Atlanteans and so on–far beyond the days of that Race. The secret meaning of
in profound, vast and dark valleys, our satellite being airless and without any atmosphere outside such profound valleys; this, disregarding the revelation full of meaning for the few only, must be so of necessity, if there is any atmosphere on our bright Selene at all. The facts recorded in the secret annals of the Mysteries had to remain veiled under penalty of death.
* [Guide of the Perplexed, Pt. II, Chapter 29. Maimonides also refers to his Commentary on the Mishnah (Hagigah, II, i). H.P.B. quotes from p. 71 of The Book of God by Kenealy, who abridged Maimonides.––Compiler.]
† Stromateis, Bk. V, ch. xi.
the Gospel is again openly confessed by Clement when he says that the Mysteries of the Faith are not to be divulged to all.
But since this tradition is not published alone for him who perceives the magnificence of the word; it is requisite, therefore, to hide in a Mystery the wisdom spoken, which the Son of God taught.*
Not less explicit is Origen with regard to the Bible and its symbolical fables. He exclaims:
If we hold to the letter, and must understand what stands written in the law after the manner of the Jews and common people, then I should blush to confess aloud that it is God who has given these laws; then the laws of men appear more excellent and reasonable.†
And well he might have “blushed,” the sincere and honest Father of early Christianity in its days of relative purity. But the Christians of this highly literary and civilized age of ours do not blush at all; they swallow, on the contrary, the “light” before the formation of the sun, the Garden of Eden, Jonah’s whale and all, notwithstanding that the same Origen asks in a very natural fit of indignation:
What man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second and third days, in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon, and stars, and the first day without a heaven? What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in Paradise, inn Eden, like a husbandman, etc.? I believe that every man must hold these things for images, under which a hidden sense lies concealed.‡
Yet millions of “such idiots” are found in our age of enlightenment and not only in the third century. When Paul’s unequivocal statement in Galatians, iv, 22-25, that the story of Abraham and his two sons is all “an allegory,” and that “Agar is Mount Sinai” is added to this, then little blame, indeed, can be attached to either Christian or Heathen who declines to accept the Bible in any other light than that of a very ingenious allegory.
Rabbi Shimon ben-Yohai, the compiler of the Zohar, never imparted the most important points of his doctrine otherwise than orally, and to a very limited number of disciples. Therefore,
* Op. cit., Bk. I, ch. xii.
† In Leviticum, Homilia VII.
‡ Origen, De Principiis, Bk. IV, cho i, § 16.
without the final initiation into the Merkabah, the study of the Kabalah will be ever incomplete, and the Merkabah can be taught only “in darkness, in a deserted place, and after many and terrific trials.” Since the death of that great Jewish Initiate this hidden doctrine has remained, for the outside world, an inviolate secret.
Among the venerable sect of the Tannaim, the wise men, there were those who taught the secrets practically and initiated some disciples into the grand and final Mystery. But the Mishnah Hagigah, 2nd Section, says that the table of contents of the Merkabah “must only be delivered to wise old ones.” The Gemara is still more dogmatic. “The more important secrets of the Mysteries were not even revealed to all the priests. Alone the initiates had them divulged.”* And so we find the same great secrecy prevalent in every ancient religion.†
What says the Kabalah itself? Its great Rabbis actually threaten him who accepts their sayings verbatim. We read in the Zohar:
Woe to the man who sees in the Thorah, i.e., Law, only simple recitals and ordinary words! Because if in truth it only contained these, we would even today be able to compose a Thorah much more worthy of admiration. For if we find only the simple words, we would only have to address ourselves to the legislators of the earth,‡ to those in whom we most frequently meet with the most grandeur. It would be sufficient to imitate them, and make a Thorah after their words and example. But it is not so; each word of the Thorah contains an elevated meaning and a sublime mystery . . . . The recitals of the Thorah are the vestments of the Thorah. Woe to him who takes this garment for the Thorah itself . . . . The simple take notice only of the garments or recitals of the Thorah; they know no other thing, they see not that which is concealed under the vestment. The more instructed men do not pay attention to the vestment, but to the body which it envelops.§
* [Clement, Strom., v., 670.]
† Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 350.
‡ The materialistic “lawgivers,” the critics and Sadducees who have tried to tear to shreds the doctrines and teachings of the great Asiatic Masters past and present–no scholars in the modern sense of the word– would do well to ponder over these words. No doubt that doctrines and secret teachings, had they been invented and written in Oxford and Cambridge, would be more brilliant outwardly. Would they equally answer to universal truths and facts, is the next question however.
§ Zohar, iii, fol. 152 b, quoted in Myer’s Qabbalah, p. 102.
Ammonius Saccas taught that the Secret Doctrine of the Wisdom-Religion was found complete in the Books of Thoth (Hermes), from which both Pythagoras and Plato derived their knowledge and much of their Philosophy; and these Books were declared by him to be “identical with the teachings of the Sages of the remote East.” Professor A. Wilder remarks:
As the name Thoth means a college or assembly, it is not altogether improbable that the books were so named as being the collected oracles and doctrines of the sacerdotal fraternity of Memphis. Rabbi Wise has suggested a similar hypothesis in relation to the divine utterances recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures.*
This is very probable. Only the “divine utterances” have never been, so far, understood by the profane. Philo Judaeus, a non-initiate, attempted to give their secret meaning and–failed.
But Books of Thoth or Bible, Vedas or Kabalah, all enjoin the same secrecy as to certain mysteries of nature symbolised in them. “Woe be to him who divulges unlawfully the words whispered into the ear of Manushi by the First Initiator.” Who that “Initiator” was is made plain in the Book of Enoch:
From them [the Angels] I heard all things, and understood what I saw; that which will not take place in this generation [Race], but in a generation which is to succeed at a distant period [the 6th and 7th Races] on account of the elect [the Initiates].†
Again, it is said with regard to the judgment of those who, when they have learned “every secret of the angels,” reveal them, that:
They have discovered secrets, and they are those who have been judged; but not thou, my son [Noah]. The Lord of Spirits knows that thou art pure and good, free from the reproach of discovering [revealing] secrets.‡
But there are those in our century, who, having “discovered secrets” unaided and owing to their own learning and acuteness only, and who being, nevertheless, honest and straightforward men, undismayed by threats or warning since they have never
* New Platonism and Alchemy, p. 6.
† Book of Enoch, I, 2, tr. by Richard Laurence, London, Kegan Paul, 1883. [San Diego, Wizards Bookshelf, rpr. 1983].
‡ Op. cit., LXIV, 10.
pledged themselves to secrecy, feel quite startled at such revelations. One of these is the learned author and discoverer of one “Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery.” As he says, there are “some strange features connected with the promulgation and condition” of the Bible.
Those who compiled this Book were men as we are. They knew, saw, handled, and realized, through the key measure,* the law of the living, ever-active God.† They needed no faith that He was, that He worked, planned, and accomplished, as a mighty mechanic and architect.‡ What was it, then, that reserved to them alone this knowledge, while, first, as men of God, and second, as apostles of Jesus the Christ, they doled out a blinding ritual service, and an empty teaching of faith, and no substance as proof, properly coming through the exercise of just those senses which the Deity has given all men as the essential means of obtaining any right understanding? Mystery, and parable, and dark saying, and cloaking of the true meanings are the burdens of the Testaments, Old and New. Take it that the narratives of the Bible were purposed inventions to deceive the ignorant masses, even while enforcing a most perfect code of moral obligations: How is it possible to justify so great frauds, as part of a Divine economy, when to that economy the attribute of simple and perfect truthfulness must, in the nature of things, be ascribed? What has, or what by possibility ought mystery to have, with the promulgation of the truths of God?§
Nothing whatever most certainly, if those mysteries had been given from the first. And so it was with regard to the first, semi-divine, pure and spiritual Races of Humanity. They had the “truths of God,” and lived up to them, and their ideals. They preserved them, so long as there was hardly any evil, and hence scarcely a possible abuse of that knowledge and those truths. But evolution and the gradual fall into materiality is also one of the “truths” and also one of the laws of “God.” And as
* The key is shown to be “in the source of measures originating the British inch and the ancient cubit” as the author tries to prove.
† The word as a plural might have better solved the mystery. God is ever-present; if he were ever-active he could no longer be an infinite God–nor ever-present in his limitation.
‡ The author is evidently a Mason of the way of thinking of General Pike. So long as the American and English Masons will reject the “Creative Principle” of the “Grand Orient” of France they will remain in the dark.
§ J. Ralston Skinner, The Source of Measures, pp. 308-09. [Cincinnati, Robert Clark Co., 1875. Reprinted with new Hebrew and numerical indices added by John Drais; San Diego, Wizards Bookshelf, rpr 1982.]
mankind progressed, and became with every generation more of the earth, earthly, the individuality of each temporary Ego began to assert itself. It is personal selfishness that develops and urges man on to abuse of his knowledge and power. And selfishness is a human building, whose windows and doors are ever wide open for every kind of iniquity to enter into man’s soul. Few were the men during the early adolescence of mankind, and fewer still are they now, who feel disposed to put into practice Pope’s forcible declaration that he would tear out his own heart, if it had no better disposition than to love only himself, and laugh at all his neighbours. Hence the necessity of gradually taking away from man the divine knowledge and power, which became with every new human cycle more dangerous as a double-edged weapon, whose evil side was ever threatening one’s neighbour, and whose power for good was lavished freely only upon self. Those few “elect” whose inner natures had remained unaffected by their outward physical growth, thus became in time the sole guardians of the mysteries revealed, passing the knowledge to those most fit to receive it, and keeping it inaccessible to others. Reject this explanation from the Secret Teachings, and the very name of Religion will become synonymous with deception and fraud.
Yet the masses could not be allowed to remain without some sort of moral restraint. Man is ever craving for a “beyond” and cannot live without an ideal of some kind, as a beacon and a consolation. At the same time, no average man, even in our age of universal education, could be entrusted with truths too metaphysical, too subtle for his mind to comprehend, without the danger of an imminent reaction setting in, and faith in Gods and Saints making room for an unscientific blank Atheism. No real philanthropist, hence no Occultist, would dream for a moment of a mankind without one tittle of Religion. Even the modern day Religion in Europe, confined to Sundays, is better than none. But if, as Bunyan* put it, “Religion is the best armour that a man can have,” it certainly is the “worst cloak”; and it is that “cloak” and false pretence which the Occultists and the Theosophists fight against. The true ideal Deity, the one living God in Nature, can never suffer in man’s worship if that
* [See Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, #4011.]
outward cloak, woven by man’s fancy, and thrown upon the Deity by the crafty hand of the priest greedy of power and domination, is drawn aside. The hour has struck with the commencement of this century to dethrone the “highest God” of every nation in favour of One Universal Deity–the God of Immutable Law, not charity; the God of Just Retribution, not mercy, which is merely an incentive to evil-doing and to a repetition of it. The greatest crime that was ever perpetrated upon mankind was committed on that day when the first priest invented the first prayer with a selfish object in view. A God who may be propitiated by iniquitous prayers to “bless the arms” of the worshipper, and send defeat and death to thousands of his enemies–his brethren; a Deity that can be supposed not to turn a deaf ear to chants of laudation mixed with entreaties for a “fair propitious wind” for self, and as naturally disastrous to the selves of other navigators who come from an opposite direction–it is this idea of God that has fostered selfishness in man, and deprived him of his self-reliance. Prayer is an ennobling action when it is an intense feeling, an ardent desire rushing forth from our very heart, for the good of other people, and when entirely detached from any selfish personal object; the craving for a beyond is natural and holy in man, but on the condition of sharing that bliss with others. One can understand and well appreciate the words of the “heathen” Socrates, who declared in his profound though untaught wisdom, that:
Our prayers should be for blessings on all, in general, for the Gods know best what is good for us.*
But official prayer–in favour of a public calamity, or for the benefit of one individual irrespective of losses to thousands–is the most ignoble of crimes, besides being an impertinent conceit and a superstition. This is the direct inheritance by spoliation from the Jehovites–the Jews of the Wilderness and of the Golden Calf.
It is “Jehovah,” as will be presently shown, that suggested the necessity of veiling and screening this substitute for the unpronounceable name, and that led to all this “mystery,
* [See Plato’s Laws, Books 3, 7 & 10 (¶ 900 etc.); as well as Intro. to Bk. X by Proclus in Th. Taylor ed.]
parables, dark sayings and cloaking.” Moses had, at any rate, initiated his seventy Elders into the hidden truths, and thus the writers of the Old Testament stand to a degree justified. Those of the New Testament have failed to do even so much, or so little. They have disfigured the grand central figure of Christ by their dogmas, and have led people ever since into millions of errors and the darkest crimes, in His holy name.
It is evident that with the exception of Paul and Clement of Alexandria, who had been both initiated into the Mysteries, none of the Fathers knew much of the truth themselves. They were mostly uneducated, ignorant people; and if such as Augustine and Lactantius, or again the Venerable Bede and others, were so painfully ignorant until the time of Galileo* of the most vital truths taught in the Pagan temples–of the rotundity of the earth, for example, leaving the heliocentric system out of question–how great must have been the ignorance of the rest! Learning and sin were synonymous with the early Christians. Hence the accusations of dealing with the Devil lavished on the Pagan Philosophers.
But truth must out. The Occultists, referred to as “the followers of the accursed Cain,” by such writers as de Mirville, are now in a position to reverse the tables. That which was hitherto known only to the ancient and modern Kabalists in Europe and Asia, is now published and shown as being mathematically true. The author of the Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures has now proved to general satisfaction, it is to be hoped, that the two great God-names, Jehovah and Eloh§m, stood, in one meaning of their numerical values, for a diameter and a circumference value, respectively; in
* In his Pneumatologie, Vol. IV [of Des Esprits. . .], pp. 105-112, the Marquis de Mirville claims the knowledge of the heliocentric system–earlier than Galileo–for Pope Urban VIII. The author goes further. He tries to show that famous Pope, not as the persecutor but as one persecuted by Galileo, and calumniated by the Florentine Astronomer into the bargain. If so, so much the worse for the Latin Church, since her Popes, knowing of it, still preserved silence upon this most important fact, either to screen Joshua or their own infallibility. One can understand well that the Bible having been so exalted over all the other systems, and its alleged monotheism depending upon the silence preserved, nothing remained of course but to keep quiet over its symbolism, thus allowing all its blunders to be fathered on its God.
other words, that they are numerical indices of geometrical relations; and finally that Jehovah is Cain and vice versa.
This view, says the author,
. . . . helps, also, to take the horrid blemish off from the name of Cain, as a put-up job to destroy his character; for even without these showings, by the very text, he [Cain] was Jehovah. So the theological schools had better be alive to making the amend honorable, if such a thing is possible, to the good name and fame of the God they worship.*
This is not the first warning received by the “theological schools,” which, however, no doubt knew it from the beginning, as did Clement of Alexandria and others. But if it be so they will profit still less by it, as the admission would involve more for them than the mere sacredness and dignity of the established faith.
But, it may also be asked, why is it that the Asiatic religions, which have nothing of this sort to conceal and which proclaim quite openly the Esotericism of their doctrines, follow the same course? It is simply this: While the present, and no doubt enforced silence of the Church on this subject relates merely to the external or theoretical form of the Bible–the unveiling of the secrets of which would have involved no practical harm, had they been explained from the first–it is an entirely different question with Eastern Esotericism and Symbology. The grand central figure of the Gospels would have remained as
* Op. cit., App. vii, p. 296. The writer feels happy to find this fact now mathematically demonstrated. When it was stated in Isis Unveiled that Jehovah and Saturn were one and the same with Adam-Kadmon, Cain, Adam and Eve, Able, Seth, etc., and that all were convertible symbols in The Secret Doctrine (see Vol. II, pp. 446, 448, 464 et seq.); that they answered, in short, to secret numerals and stood for more than one meaning in the Bible as in other doctrines–the author’s statements remained unnoticed. Isis had failed to appear under a scientific form, and by giving too much, in fact, gave very little to satisfy the enquirer. But now, if mathematics and geometry, besides the evidence of the Bible and Kabalah are good for anything, the public must find itself satisfied. No fuller, more scientifically given proof can be found to show that Cain is the transformation of an Elohim (the Sephirah Binah) into Yah-Veh (or God-Eve) androgyne, and that Seth is the Jehovah male, than in the combined discoveries of Seyffarth, Knight, etc., and finally in Mr. Ralston Skinner’s most erudite work. The further relations of these personifications of the first human races, in their gradual development, will be given later on in the text.
unaffected by the symbolism of the Old Testament being revealed, as would that of the Founder of Buddhism had the Brahmanical writings of the Purânas, that preceded his birth, all been shown to be allegorical. Jesus of Nazareth, moreover, would have gained more than he would have lost had he been presented as a simple mortal left to be judged on his own precepts and merits, instead of being fathered on Christendom as a God whose many utterances and acts are now so open to criticism. On the other hand the symbols and allegorical sayings that veil the grand truths of Nature in the Vedas, the Brâhmanas, the Upanishads and especially in the Lamaist Theg-pa chen-po mdo and other works, are of quite a different nature, and far more complicated in their secret meaning. While the Biblical glyphs have nearly all a triune foundation, those of the Eastern books are worked on the septenary principle. They are as closely related to the mysteries of Physics and Physiology, as to Psychism and the transcendental nature of cosmic elements and Theogony; unriddled they would prove more than injurious to the uninitiated; delivered into the hands of the present generations in their actual state of physical and intellectual development, in the absence of spirituality and even of practical morality, they would become absolutely disastrous.
Nevertheless the secret teachings of the sanctuaries have not remained without witness; they have been made immortal in various ways. They have burst upon the world in hundreds of volumes full of the quaint, head-breaking phraseology of the Alchemist; they have flashed like irrepressible cataracts of Occult mystic lore from the pens of poets and bards. Genius alone had certain privileges in those dark ages when no dreamer could offer the world even a fiction without suiting his heaven and his earth to biblical text. To genius alone it was permitted in those centuries of mental blindness, when the fear of the “Holy Office” threw a thick veil over every cosmic and psychic truth, to reveal unimpeded some of the grandest truths of Initiation. Whence did Ariosto, in his Orlando Furioso, obtain his conception of that valley of the Moon, where after our death we can find the ideas and images of all that exists on earth? How came Dante to imagine the many descriptions given in his Inferno–a new Johannine Apocalypse, a true Occult Revelation in verse–his visit and communion with the Souls of
the Seven Spheres? In poetry and satire every Occult truth has been welcomed–none has been recognized as serious. The Comte de Gabalis is better known and appreciated than Porphyry and Iamblichus. Plato’s mysterious Atlantis is proclaimed a fiction, while Noah’s Deluge is to this day on the brain of certain Archaeologists, who scoff at the archetypal world of Marcel Palingenius’ Zodiac,* and would resent as a personal injury being asked to discuss the four worlds of Mercury Trismegistus–the Archetypal, the Spiritual, the Astral and the Elementary, with three others behind the opened scene. Evidently civilized society is still but half prepared for the revelation. Hence, the Initiates will never give out the whole secret, until the bulk of mankind has changed its actual nature and is better prepared for truth. Clemens Alexandrinus was positively right in saying, “It is requisite to hide in a mystery the wisdom spoken”†–which the “Sons of God” teach.
That Wisdom, as will be seen, relates to all the primeval truths delivered to the first Races, the “Mind-born,” by the “Builders” of the Universe themselves
. . . . . there was, in every ancient country having claims to civilization, an esoteric doctrine, a system which was designated WISDOM;‡ and those who were devoted to its prosecution were first denominated sages, or wise men . . . . Pythagoras termed this system , the Gnosis or Knowledge of things that are. Under the noble designation of WISDOM, the ancient teachers, the sages of India, the magians of Persia and Babylon,
* [Zodiacus vitae, etc., by Marcello Palingenio Stellato (pseud.of Pier Angelo Manzoli–, ca. 1534. See Bio-Bibliographical Appendix for further data.]
† Stromateis, Bk. I, ch. xii.
‡ “The writings extant in olden times often personified Wisdom as an emanation and associate of the Creator. Thus we have the Hindu Buddha, the Babylonian Nebo, the Thoth of Memphis, the Hermes of Greece; also the female divinities, Neith, M‘tis, Athena, and the Gnostic potency Achamoth or Sophia. The Samaritan Pentateuch denominated the Book of Genesis, Akamauth, or Wisdom, and two remnants of old treatises, the Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Jesus, relate to the same matter. The Book of Mashalim–the Discourses or Proverbs of Solomon . . . . personifies Wisdom as the auxiliary of the Creator.” [footnote by A. Wilder.]
In the Secret Wisdom of the East that auxiliary is found collectively in the first emanations of Primeval Light, the Seven Dhyani-Chohans, who have been shown to be identical with the “Seven Spirits of the Presence” of the Roman Catholics.
the seers and prophets of Israel, the hierophants of Egypt and Arabia, and the philosophers of Greece and the West included all knowledge which they considered as essentially divine; classifying a part as esoteric and the remainder as exterior. The Hebrew Rabbis called the exterior and secular series the Merkabah, as being the body or vehicle which contained the higher knowledge.*
Later on, we shall speak of the law of the silence imposed on Eastern chelas.