ST. PAUL, THE REAL FOUNDER OF PRESENT CHRISTIANITY
We may repeat with the author of Phallicism:
We are all for construction––even for Christian, although of course philosophical construction. We have nothing to do with reality, in man’s limited, mechanical, scientific sense, or with realism. We have undertaken to show that mysticism is the very life and soul of religion,* . . . that the
* But we can never agree with the author “that rites and ritual and formal worship and prayers are of the absolute necessity of things,” for the external can develop and grow and receive worship only at the expense of, and to the detriment of, the internal, the only real and true.
Bible is only misread and misrepresented when rejected as advancing supposed fabulous and contradictory things; that Moses did not make mistakes, but spoke to the “children of men” in the only way in which children in their nonage can be addressed; that the world is, indeed, a very different place from that which it is assumed to be; that what is derided as superstition is the only true and the only scientific knowledge, and moreover that modern knowledge and modern science are to a great extent not only superstition, but superstition of a very destructive and deadly kind.*
All this is perfectly true and correct. But it is also true that the New Testament, the Acts and the Epistles––however much the historical figure of Jesus may be true––all are symbolical and allegorical sayings, and that “it was not Jesus but Paul who was the real founder of Christianity”;† but it was not the official Church Christianity, at any rate. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch,” the Acts of the Apostles tell us,‡ and they were not so called before, nor for a long time after, but simply Nazarenes.
This view is found in more than one writer of the present and the past centuries. But, hitherto, it has always been laid aside as an unproven hypothesis, a blasphemous assumption; though, as the author of “Paul, the Founder of Christianity”§ truly says:
Such men as Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Eusebius have transmitted to posterity a reputation for untruth and dishonest practices; and the heart sickens at the story of the crimes of that period.
The more so, since the whole Christian scheme rests upon their sayings. But we find now another corroboration, and this time on the perfect reading of biblical glyphs. In The Source of Measures we find the following:
It must be borne in mind that our present Christianity is Pauline, not Jesus. Jesus, in his life, was a Jew, conforming to the law; even more, He
* Hargrave Jennings, Phallicism, Celestial and Terrestrial, etc., pp. 37, 38. London, George Redway, 1884.
† See Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 574.
‡ Acts xi, 26.
§ Article by Dr. A. Wilder, in The Evolution (a New York Journal), Sept., 1877.
says: “The scribes and pharisees sit in Moses’ seat; whatsoever therefore they command you to do, that observe and do.” And again: “I did not come to destroy, but to fulfil the law.” Therefore, He was under the law to the day of his death, and could not, while in life, abrogate one jot or tittle of it. He was circumcised and commanded circumcision. But Paul said of circumcision that it availed nothing, and he (Paul) abrogated the law. Saul and Paul––that is, Saul, under the law, and Paul, freed from the obligations of the law––were in one man, but parallelisms in the flesh, of Jesus the man under the law as observing it, who thus died in Chrestos and arose, freed from its obligations, in the spirit world as Christos, or the triumphant Christ. It was the Christ who was freed, but Christ was in the spirit. Saul in the flesh was the function of, and parallel of, Chrestos. Paul in the flesh was the function of and parallel of Jesus become Christ in the spirit, as an earthly reality to answer to and act for the apotheosis; and so, armed with all authority in the flesh to abrogate the human law.*
The real reason why Paul is shown as “abrogating the law” can be found only in India, where to this day the most ancient customs and privileges are preserved in all their purity, notwithstanding the abuse levelled at the same. There is only one class of persons who can disregard the law of Brâhmanical institutions, caste included, with impunity, and that is the perfect “Svâmis,” the Yogis––who have reached, or are supposed to have reached, the first step towards the Jîvanmukta state––or the full Initiates. And Paul was undeniably an Initiate. We will quote a passage or two from Isis Unveiled, for we can say now nothing better than what was said then:
Take Paul, read the little of original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether anyone can find a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation,”† he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit––the spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who had understood the secret ideas underlying the teachings of Jesus, although he had never met him. ‡
But Paul himself was not infallible or perfect.
. . . bent upon inaugurating a new and broad reform, one embracing
* The Source of Measures, p. 262.
† [2 Corinth, v, 17.]
‡ Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 574.
the whole of humanity, he sincerely set his own doctrines far above the wisdom of the ages, above the ancient Mysteries and final revelation to the Epoptae.*
Another proof that Paul belonged to the circle of the “Initiates” lies in the following fact. The apostle had his head shorn at Cenchreae (where Lucius Apuleius was initiated) because “he had a vow.” The Nazars––or set apart––as we see in the Jewish Scriptures, had to cut their hair which they wore long, and which “no razor touched” at any other time, and sacrifice it on the altar of initiation. And the Nazars were a class of Chaldaean Theurgists [or Initiates].†
It is shown in Isis Unveiled that Jesus belonged to this class.
Paul declares that: “According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-builder, I have laid the foundation.” (I Corinth. iii, 10.)
The expression, master-builder, used only once in the whole Bible, and by Paul, may be considered as a whole revelation. In the Mysteries, the third part of the sacred rites was called epopteia, or revelation, reception into the secrets. In substance it means [the highest stage of clairvoyance––the divine] . . . but the real significance of the word is “overseeing,” from –– “I see myself.” [In Sanskrit the root ap had the same meaning originally, though now it is understood as meaning “to obtain.”]‡
The word epopteia is a compound one, from –– “upon,” and ––“to look” or be an overseer, an inspector––also used for a master-builder. The title of master-mason, in Freemasonry, is derived from this, in the sense used in the Mysteries. Therefore, when Paul entitles himself a “master-builder,” he is using a word pre-eminently kabalistic, theurgic, and masonic, and one which no other apostle uses. He thus declares himself an adept, having the right to initiate others.
If we search in this direction, with those sure guides, the Grecian Mysteries and the Kabalah, before us, it will be easy to find the secret reason why Paul was so persecuted and hated by Peter, John, and James. The author of the Revelation was a Jewish Kabalist pur sang, with all the hatred inherited by him from his forefathers toward the [Pagan]
† Op. cit., Vol. II, p. 90.
‡ In its most extensive meaning, the Sanskrit word has the same literal sense as the Greek term; both imply “revelation,” by no human agent, but through the “receiving of the sacred drink.” In India the initiated received the “Soma,” sacred drink, which helped to liberate his soul from the body; and in the Eleusinian Mysteries it was the sacred drink offered at the Epopteia. The Grecian Mysteries are wholly derived from the Brahmanical Vedic rites, and the latter from the Ante-Vaidic religious Mysteries–– primitive Buddhist Philosophy.
Mysteries.* His jealousy during the life of Jesus extended even to Peter; and it is but after the death of their common master that we see the two apostles––the former of whom wore the Mitre and the Petalon of the Jewish Rabbis––preach so zealously the rite of circumcision. In the eyes of Peter, Paul, who had humiliated him, and whom he felt so much his superior in “Greek learning” and philosophy, must have naturally appeared as a magician, a man polluted with the “Gnôsis,” with the “wisdom” of the Greek Mysteries––hence, perhaps, “Simon the Magician” [as a comparison, not a nickname].†
* It is needless to state that the Gospel according to John was not written by John but by a Platonist or a Gnostic belonging to the Neo-Platonic school.
† Op. cit., Vol. II, pp. 90-91. The fact that Peter persecuted the “Apostle to the Gentiles,” under that name, does not necessarily imply that there was no Simon Magus individually distinct from Paul. It may have become a generic name of abuse. Theodoret and Chrysostom, the earliest and most prolific commentators on the Gnosticism of those days, seem actually to make of Simon a rival of Paul, and to state that between them passed frequent messages. The former, as a diligent propagandist of what Paul terms the “antithesis of the Gnosis” (I Tim. vi, 20), must have been a sore thorn in the side of the apostle. There are sufficient proofs of the actual existence of Simon Magus.