FACTS UNDERLYING ADEPT BIOGRAPHIES
The tree is known by its fruits; the nature of the Adept by his words and deeds. These words of charity and mercy, the noble advice put into the mouth of Apollonius (or of his sidereal phantom), as given by Vopiscus, show the Occultists who Apollonius was. Why then call him the “Medium of Satan” seventeen centuries later? There must be a reason, and a very potent reason, to justify and explain the secret of such a strong animus of the Church against one of the noblest men of his age. There is a reason for it, and we give it in the words of the author of the Key to the Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery in the Source of Measures, and of Professor Seyffarth. The latter analyzes and explains the salient dates in the life of Jesus, and thus throws light on the conclusions of the former. We quote both, blending the two.
“According to solar months (of thirty days, one of the calendars in use among the Hebrews) all remarkable events of the Old Testament happened on the days of the equinoxes and the solstices; for instance, the foundations and the dedications of the temples and altars” (and consecration of the tabernacle). “On the same cardinal days, the most remarkable events of the New Testament happened; for instance, the annunciation, the birth, the resurrection of Christ, and the birth of John the Baptist. And thus we learn that all remarkable epochs of the New Testament were typically sanctified a long time before by the Old Testament, beginning at the day succeeding the end of the Creation, which was the day of the vernal equinox. During the crucifixion, on the 14th day of Nisan, Dionysius Areopagita saw, in Ethiopia, an eclipse of the sun, and he said, Now, the Lord (Jehovah) is suffering something. Then Christ arose from the dead on the 22d March, 17 Nisan, Sunday, the day of the vernal equinox [Seyf., quoting Philo, de Septen]––that is, on Easter, or on the day when the sun gives new life to the earth. The words of John the Baptist ‘He must increase, but I must decrease,’ serve to prove, as is affirmed by the fathers of the church, that John was born on the longest day of the year, and Christ, who was six months younger, on the shortest, ––22d June and 22d December, the solstices.”
This only goes to show that, as to another phase, John and Jesus were but epitomisers of the history of the same sun, under differences of aspect or condition; and one condition following another, of necessity, the statement, Luke ix, 7, was not only not an empty one, but it was true, that which “was said of some, that (in Jesus) John was risen from the dead.” (And this consideration serves to explain why it has been that the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus, has been so persistently kept back from translation and from popular reading. Those who have
studied it in the original have been forced to the comment that either the Life of Apollonius has been taken from the New Testament, or that the New Testament narratives have been taken from the Life of Apollonius, because of the manifest sameness of the means of construction of the narratives. The explanation is simple enough, when it is considered that the names Jesus, Hebrew :*, and Apollonius, or Apollo, are alike names of the sun in the heavens; and necessarily the history of the one, as to his travels through the signs, with the personifications of his sufferings, triumphs, and miracles, could be but the history of the other, where there was a widespread, common method of describing those travels by personification.) It seems also that, for long afterward, all this was known to rest upon an astronomical basis; for the secular church, so to speak, was founded by Constantine, and the objective condition of the worship established was that part of his decree, in which it was affirmed that the venerable day of the sun should be the day set apart for the worship of Jesus Christ, as Sun-day. There is something weird and startling in some other facts about this matter. The prophet Daniel (true prophet, as says Graetz),* by use of the pyramid numbers, or astrological numbers, foretold the cutting off of the Méshiac, as it happened (which would go to show the accuracy of his astronomical knowledge, if there was an eclipse of the sun at that time). . . . Now, however, the temple was destroyed in the year 71, in the month Virgo, and 71 is the Dove number, as shown, or 71 x 5 = 355, and with the fish, a Jehovah number.†
“Is it possible,” queries further on the author, thus answering the intimate thought of every Christian and Occultist who reads and studies his work:
Is it possible that the events of humanity do run co-ordinately with these number forms? If so, while Jesus Christ, as an astronomical figure, was true to all that has been advanced, and more, possibly, He may, as a man, have filled up, under the numbers, answers in the sea of life to predestined type. The personality of Jesus does not appear to have been destroyed, because, as a condition, He was answering to astronomical forms and relations. The Arabian says: “Your destiny is written in the stars.”‡
Nor is the “personality” of Apollonius “destroyed,” for the
* A “true prophet” because an Initiate, one perfectly versed in Occult astronomy. [H.P.B.]
† The Source of Measures, pp. 259-60. Astronomy and physiology are the bodies, astrology and psychology their informing souls; the former being studied by the eye of sensual perception, the latter by the inner or “soul-eye”; and both are exact sciences.
‡ Op cit., pp. 260-61.
same reason. The case of Jesus covers the ground for the same possibility in the cases of all Adepts and Avataras––such as Buddha, Samkaracharya, Krishna, etc.––all of these as great and as historical for their respective followers and in their countries, as Jesus of Nazareth is now for Christians and in this land.
But there is something more in the old literature of the early centuries. Iamblichus wrote a biography of the great Pythagoras.
The latter so closely resembles the life of Jesus that it may be taken for a travesty. Diogenes Laërtius and Plutarch relate the history of Plato according to a similar style.*
Why then wonder at the doubts that assail every scholar who studies all these lives? The Church herself knew all these doubts in her early stages; and though only one of her Popes has been known publicly and openly as a Pagan, how many more were there who were too ambitious to reveal the truth?
This “mystery,” for mystery indeed it is to those who, not being Initiates, fail to find the key of the perfect similitude between the lives of Pythagoras, Buddha, Apollonius, etc.-is only a natural result for those who know that all these great characters were Initiates of the same school. For them there is neither “travesty” nor “copy” of one from the other; for them they are all “originals,” only painted to represent one and the same subject: the mystic, and at the same time the public, life of the Initiates sent into the world to save portions of humanity, if they could not save the whole bulk. Hence, the same programme for all. The assumed “immaculate origin” for each, referring to their “mystic birth” during the Mystery of Initiation, and accepted literally by the multitudes, encouraged in this by the better informed but ambitious clergy. Thus, the mother of each one of them was declared a virgin, conceiving her son directly by the Holy Spirit of God; and the Sons, in consequence, were the “Sons of God,” though in truth, none of them was any more entitled to such recognition than were the rest of his brother Initiates, for they were all––so far as their mystic lives were concerned—only “the epitomisers of the
* A. Wilder, New Platonism and Alchemy, p. 12.
history of the same Sun,” which epitome is another mystery within the Mystery. The biographies of the external personalities bearing the names of such heroes have nothing to do with, and are quite independent of the private lives of the heroes, being only the mystic records of their public and, parallel therewith, of their inner lives, in their characters as Neophytes and Initiates. Hence, the manifest sameness of the means of construction of their respective biographies. From the beginning of Humanity the Cross, or Man, with his arms stretched out horizontally, typifying his kosmic origin, was connected with his psychic nature and with the struggles which lead to Initiation. But, if it is once shown that (a) every true Adept had, and still has, to pass through the seven and the twelve trials of Initiation, symbolized by the twelve labours of Hercules; (b) that the day of his real birth is regarded as that day when he is born into the world spiritually, his very age being counted from the hour of his second birth, which makes of him a “twice-born,” a Dvija or Initiate, on which day he is indeed born of a God and from an immaculate Mother; and (c) that the trials of all these personages are made to correspond with the Esoteric significance of initiatory rites––all of which corresponded to the twelve zodiacal signs––then everyone will see the meaning of the travels of all those heroes through the signs of the Sun in Heaven; and that they are in each individual case a personification of the “sufferings, triumphs and miracles” of an Adept, before and after his Initiation. When to the world at large all this is explained, then also the mystery of all those lives, so closely resembling each other that the history of one seems to be the history of the other, and vice versa, will, like everything else, become plain.
Take an instance. The legends––for they are all legends for exoteric purposes, whatever may be the denials in one case––of the lives of Krishna, Hercules, Pythagoras, Buddha, Jesus, Apollonius, Chaitanya. On the worldly plane, their biographies, if written by one outside the circle, would differ greatly from what we read of them in the narratives that are preserved of their mystic lives. Nevertheless, however much masked and hidden from profane gaze, the chief features of such lives will all be found there in common. Each of those characters is represented as a divinely begotten Soter (Savior), a title
bestowed on deities, great kings and heroes; everyone of them, whether at their birth or afterwards, is searched for, and threatened with death (yet never killed) by an opposing power (the world of Matter and Illusion), whether it be called a king Kamsa, king Herod, or king Mara (the Evil Power). They are all tempted, persecuted and finally said to have been murdered at the end of the rite of Initiation, i.e., in their physical personalities, of which they are supposed to have been rid for ever after spiritual “resurrection” or “birth.” And having thus come to an end by this supposed violent death, they all descend to the Nether World, the Pit or Hell––the Kingdom of Temptation, Lust and Matter, therefore of Darkness, whence returning, having overcome the “Chr‘st-condition,” they are glorified and become “Gods.”
It is not in the course of their everyday life, then, that the great similarity is to be sought, but in their inner state and in the most important events of their career as religious teachers. All this is connected with, and built upon, an astronomical basis, which serves, at the same time, as a foundation for the representation of the degrees and trials of Initiation: descent into the Kingdom of Darkness and Matter, for the last time, to emerge therefrom as “Suns of Righteousness,” is the most important of these and, therefore, is found in the history of all the Soters–from Orpheus and Hercules, down to Krishna and Christ. Says Euripides:
Heracles, who has gone out from the chambers of earth
Leaving the nether home of Pluto.*
And Virgil writes:
At Thee the Stygian lakes trembled; Thee the janitor of Orcus
Feared . . . Thee not even Typhon frightened . . .
Hail, true son of Jove, glory added to the Gods.†
Orpheus seeks, in the kingdom of Pluto, Eurydice, his lost Soul; Krishna goes down into the infernal regions and rescues therefrom his six brothers, he being the seventh Principle; a transparent allegory of his becoming a “perfect Initiate,” the
* Euripides, The Madness of Herakles, 806-08.
† Virgil, Aeneid, VIII, 296-301.
whole of the six Principles merging into the seventh. Jesus is made to descend into the kingdom of Satan to save the soul of Adam, or the symbol of material physical humanity.
Have any of our learned Orientalists ever thought of searching for the origin of this allegory, for the parent “Seed” of that “Tree of Life” which bears such verdant boughs since it was first planted on earth by the hand of its “Builders”? We fear not. Yet it is found, as is now shown, even in the exoteric, distorted interpretations of the Vedas––of the Rig-Veda, the oldest, the most trustworthy of all the four––this root and seed of all future Initiate-Saviours being called in it the Viśvakarman, the “Father” Principle, “beyond the comprehension of mortals”; in the second stage Surya, the “Son,” who offers Himself as a sacrifice to Himself; in the third, the Initiate, who sacrifices His physical to His spiritual Self. It is in Viśvakarman, the “omnificent” who becomes (mystically) Vikartana, the “sun shorn of his beams,” who suffers for his too ardent nature, and then becomes glorified (by purification), that the keynote of the Initiation into the greatest Mystery of Nature was struck. Hence the secret of the wonderful “similarity.”
All this is allegorical and mystical, and yet perfectly comprehensible and plain to any student of Eastern Occultism, even superficially acquainted with the Mysteries of Initiation. In our objective Universe of Matter and false appearances the Sun is the most fitting emblem of the life-giving, beneficent Deity. In the subjective, boundless World of Spirit and Reality the bright luminary has another and a mystical significance, which cannot be fully given to the public. The so-called “idolatrous” Parsis and Hindus are certainly nearer the truth in their religious reverence for the Sun, than the cold, ever-analyzing, and as ever-mistaken, public is prepared to believe at present. The Theosophists, who alone will be able to take in the meaning, may be told that the Sun is the external manifestation of the Seventh Principle of our Planetary System, while the Moon is its Fourth Principle, shining in the borrowed robes of her master, saturated with and reflecting every passionate impulse and evil desire of her grossly material body, Earth. The whole cycle of Adeptship and Initiation and all its mysteries are connected with, and subservient to, these two and the Seven Planets. Spiritual clairvoyance is derived from
the Sun; all psychic states, diseases, and even lunacy, proceed from the Moon.
According even to the data of History––her conclusions being remarkably erroneous while her premises are mostly correct––there is an extraordinary agreement between the “legends” of every Founder of a Religion (and also between the rites and dogmas of all) and the names and course of constellations headed by the Sun. It does not follow, however, because of this, that both Founders and their Religions should be, the one myths, and the other superstitions. They are, one and all, the different versions of the same natural primeval Mystery, on which the Wisdom-Religion was based, and the development of its Adepts subsequently framed.
And now once more we have to beg the reader not to lend an ear to the charge––against Theosophy in general and the writer in particular––of disrespect toward one of the greatest and noblest characters in the History of Adeptship––Jesus of Nazareth––nor even of hatred to the Church. The expression of truth and fact can hardly be regarded, with any approximation to justice, as blasphemy or hatred. The whole question hangs upon the solution of that one point: Was Jesus as “Son of God” and “Saviour” of Mankind, unique in the World’s annals? Was His case––among so many similar claims––the only exceptional and unprecedented one; His birth the sole supernaturally immaculate; and were all others, as maintained by the Church, but blasphemous Satanic copies and plagiarisms by anticipation? Or was He only the “son of his deeds,” a pre-eminently holy man, and a reformer, one of many, who paid with His life for the presumption of endeavouring, in the face of ignorance and despotic power, to enlighten mankind and make its burden lighter by His Ethics and Philosophy? The first necessitates a blind, all-resisting faith; the latter is suggested to every one by reason and logic. Moreover, has the Church always believed as she does now––or rather, as she pretends she does, in order to be thus justified in directing her anathema against those who disagree with her––or has she passed through the same throes of doubt, nay, of secret denial and unbelief, suppressed only by the force of ambition and love of power?
The question must be answered in the affirmative as to the
second alternative. It is an irrefutable conclusion, and a natural inference based on facts known from historical records. Leaving for the present untouched the lives of many Popes and Saints that loudly belied their claims to infallibility and holiness, let the reader turn to Ecclesiastical History, the records of the growth and progress of the Christian Church (not of Christianity), and he will find the answer on those pages. Says a writer:
The Church has known too well the suggestions of freethought created by enquiry, as also all those doubts that provoke her anger today; and the “sacred truths” she would promulgate have been in turn admitted and repudiated, transformed and altered, amplified and curtailed, by the dignitaries of the Church hierarchy, even as regards the most fundamental dogmas.
Where is that God or Hero whose origin, biography, and genealogy were more hazy, or more difficult to define and finally agree upon than those of Jesus? How was the now irrevocable dogma with regard to His true nature settled at last? By His mother, according to the Evangelists, He was a man––a simple mortal man; by His Father He is God! But how? Is He then man or God, or is He both at the same time? asks the perplexed writer. Truly the propositions offered on this point of the doctrine have caused floods of ink and blood to be shed, in turn, on poor Humanity, and still the doubts are not at rest. In this, as in everything else, the wise Church Councils have contradicted themselves and changed their minds a number of times. Let us recapitulate and throw a glance at the texts offered for our inspection. This is History.
The Bishop Paul of Samosata denied the divinity of Christ at the first Council of Antioch [269 A.D.]; at the very origin and birth of theological Christianity, He was called “Son of God” merely on account of His holiness and good deeds. His blood was corruptible in the Sacrament of the Eucharist.
At the Council of Nicaea, held A.D. 325, Arius came out with his premisses, which nearly broke asunder the Catholic Union.
Seventeen bishops defended the doctrines of Arius, who was exiled for them. Nevertheless, thirty years after, A.D. 355, at the Council of Milan, three hundred bishops signed a letter of adherence to the Arian views, notwithstanding that ten years
earlier, A.D. 345, at a new Council of Antioch, the Eusebians had proclaimed that Jesus Christ was the Son of God and One with His Father.
At the Council of Sirmium, A.D. 357, the “Son” had become no longer consubstantial. The Anomaeans, who denied that consubstantiality, and the Arians were triumphant. A year later, at the second Council of Ancyra, it was decreed that the “Son was not consubstantial but only similar to the Father in his substance.” Pope Liberius ratified the decision.
During several centuries the Council fought and quarrelled, supporting the most contradictory and opposite views, the fruit of their laborious travail being the Holy Trinity, which, Minerva-like, issued forth from the theological brain, armed with all the thunders of the Church. The new mystery was ushered into the world amid some terrible strifes, in which murder and other crimes had a high hand. At the Council of Saragossa, A.D. 380, it was proclaimed that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one and the same Person, Christ’s human nature being merely an “illusion”––an echo of the Avatâric Hindu doctrine. “Once upon this slippery path the Fathers had to slide down ad absurdum––which they did not fail of doing.” How deny human nature in him who was born of a woman? The only wise remark made during one of the Councils of Constantinople came from Eutyches, who was bold enough to say: “May God preserve me from reasoning on the nature of my God”––for which he was excommunicated by Pope Flavius.
At the Council of Ephesus, A.D. 449, Eutyches had his revenge. As Eusebius, the veracious Bishop of Caesarea,* was forcing him into the admission of two distinct natures in Jesus Christ, the Council rebelled against him and it was proposed that Eusebius should be burned alive. The bishops arose like one man, and with fists clenched, foaming with rage, demanded that Eusebius should be torn into halves, and be dealt by as he would deal with Jesus, whose nature he divided. Eutyches was re-established in his power and office, Eusebius and Flavius deposed. Then the two parties attacked each other most violently and fought. St. Flavius was so ill-treated by Bishop Diodorus, who assaulted and kicked him, that he died a few days later from the injuries inflicted.
* [Actually, Eusebius of Dorylaeum (died ca. 452).]
Every incongruity was courted in these Councils, and the result is the present living paradoxes called Church dogmas. For instance, at the first Council of Ancyra, A.D. 314, it was asked, “In baptizing a woman with child, is the unborn baby also baptized by the fact?” The Council answered in the negative; because, as was alleged, “the person thus receiving baptism must be a consenting party, which is impossible to the child in its mother’s womb.” Thus then unconsciousness is a canonical obstacle to baptism, and thus no child baptized nowadays is baptized at all in fact. And then what becomes of the tens of thousands of starving heathen babies baptized by the missionaries during famines, and otherwise surreptitiously “saved” by the too zealous Padres? Follow one after another the debates and decisions of the numberless Councils, and behold on what a jumble of contradictions the present infallible and Apostolic Church is built!
And now we can see how greatly paradoxical, when taken literally, is the assertion in Genesis: “God created man in his own image.” Besides the glaring fact that it is not the Adam of dust (of Chapter ii), who is thus made in the divine image, but the Divine Androgyne (of Chapter i), or Adam-Kadmon, one can see for oneself that God––the God of the Christians at any rate––was created by man in his own image, amid the kicks, blows and murders of the early Councils.
A curious fact, one that throws a flood of light on the claim that Jesus was an Initiate and a martyred Adept, is given in the work, (already so often referred to) which may be called “a mathematical revelation”––The Source of Measures.
Attention is called to part of the 46th verse of the 27th chapter of Matthew, as follows: “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?–– that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”* Of course, our versions are taken from the original Greek manuscripts (the reason why we have no original Hebrew manuscripts concerning these occurrences being because the enigmas in Hebrew would betray themselves on comparison with the sources of their derivation, the Old Testament). The Greek manuscripts, without exception, give these words as–
* [See also B.C.W., Vol. IX, pp. 271-80, and G. de Purucker’s Esoteric Tradition, Vol. I, pp. 69-75.]
They are Hebrew words, rendered into the Greek, and in Hebrew are as follows:
The Scripture of these words says, “that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” as their proper translation. Here then are the words, beyond all dispute; and beyond all question, such is the interpretation given of them by Scripture. Now the words will not bear this interpretation, and it is a false rendering. The true meaning is just the opposite of the one given, and is-
My God, my God, how thou dost glorify me!
But even more, for while lama is why, or how, as a verbal it connects the idea of to dazzle, or adverbially, it could run “how dazzlingly,” and so on. To the unwary reader this interpretation is enforced and made to answer, as it were, to the fulfilment of a prophetic utterance, by a marginal reference to the first verse of the twenty-second Psalm, which reads:
“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
The Hebrew of this verse for these words is––
as to which the reference is correct, and the interpretation sound and good, but with an utterly different word. The words are––
Eli, Eli, lamah azabvtha-ni?
No wit of man, however scholarly, can save this passage from falseness of rendering on its face; and as so, it becomes a most terrible blow upon the proper first-face sacredness of the recital.*
For ten years or more, sat the revisers (?) of the Bible, a most imposing and solemn array of the learned of the land, the greatest Hebrew and Greek scholars of England, purporting to correct the mistakes and blunders, the sins of omission and of commission of their less learned predecessors, the translators of the Bible. Are we going to be told that none of them saw the glaring difference between the Hebrew words azabvtha-ni, in Psalms, xxii, and sabachthani in Matthew; that they were not aware of the deliberate falsification?
For “falsification” it was. And if we are asked the reason why the early Church Fathers resorted to it, the answer is plain:
* The Source of Measures, Appendix VII, pp. 300-01.
Because the Sacramental words belonged in their true rendering to Pagan temple rites. They were pronounced after the terrible trials of Initiation, and were still fresh in the memory of some of the “Fathers” when the Gospel of Matthew was edited into the Greek language. Because, finally, many of the Hierophants of the Mysteries, and many more of the Initiates were still living in those days, and the sentence rendered in its true words would class Jesus directly with the simple Initiates. The words “My God, my Sun, thou hast poured thy radiance upon me!” were the final words that concluded the thanksgiving prayer of the Initiate, “the Son and the glorified Elect of the Sun.” In Egypt we find to this day carvings and paintings that represent the rite. The candidate is between two divine sponsors; one “Osiris-Sun” with the head of a hawk, representing life, the other Mercury––the ibis-headed, psychopompic genius, who guides the Souls after death to their new abode, Had‘s––standing for the death of the physical body, figuratively. Both are shown pouring the “stream of life,” the water of purification, on the head of the Initiate, the two streams of which, interlacing, form a cross.* The better to conceal the truth, this basso-relievo has also been explained as a “Pagan presentiment of a Christian truth.” The Chevalier des Mousseaux calls this Mercury: †
The assessor of Osiris-Sol, as St. Michael is the assessor, Ferouer, of the Word.
The monogram of Chr‘stos and the Labarum, the standard of Constantine––who, by the by, died a Pagan and was never baptized––is a symbol derived from the above rite and also denotes “life and death.” Long before the sign of the Cross was adopted as a Christian symbol, it was employed as a secret sign of recognition among Neophytes and Adepts. Says Éliphas Lévi:
The sign of the cross adopted by the Christians does not belong exclusively to them. It is kabalistic, and represents the oppositions and quaternary equilibrium of the elements. We see by the occult verse of the Pater,
* [Vide B.C.W. Vol. IX, p. 273, where this fact is shown by an illustration of a carving from Kôm-Ombô in Egypt.––Compiler.]
† [See pp. 114-17 & 122 of Les Médiateurs et les moyens de la magie . . . Paris, Henri Plon, 1863. Wherein he also refers the reader to his Dieu et les dieux, Paris, Lagny fréres, 1854.––Compiler.]
to which we have called attention in another work, that there were originally two ways of making it, or, at least, two very different formulas to express its meaning; one reserved for priests and initiates; the other given to neophytes and the profane.*
One can understand now why the Gospel of Matthew, the Evangel of the Ebionites, has been for ever excluded in its Hebrew form from the world’s curious gaze.
Jerome found the authentic and original evangel, written in Hebrew, by Matthew the apostle-publican, in the library collected at Caesarea, by the martyr Pamphilius. “I received permission from the Nazaroeans, who at Beroea of Syria used this [gospel], to translate it,” he writes toward the end of the fourth century.† “In the evangel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use,” adds Jerome, “which recently I translated from Hebrew into Greek, and which is called by most persons the genuine Gospel of Matthew,” etc.‡
That the apostles had received a “secret doctrine” from Jesus, and that he himself taught one, is evident from the following words of Jerome, who confessed it in an unguarded moment. Writing to the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus, he complains that “a difficult work is enjoined, since this translation has been commanded me by your Felicities, which St. Matthew himself, the Apostle and Evangelist, DID NOT WISH TO BE OPENLY WRITTEN, For if this had not been SECRET, he [Matthew] would have added to the evangel that what he gave forth was his; but he made this book sealed up in the Hebrew characters: which he put forth even in such a way that the book, written in Hebrew letters and by the hand of himself, might be possessed by the men most religious; who also, in the course of time, received it from those who preceded them. But this very book they never gave to any one to be transcribed; and its text they related some one way and some another.”§ And he adds further on the same page:
* Dogme et rituel de la haute magie, Vol. II, p. 88. [See p. 228 of English tr. cited on pp. 31-32 fn. of this volume.]
† Jerome, De viris illustribus liber, cap. 3. “It is remarkable that, while all Church Fathers say that Matthew wrote in Hebrew, the whole of them use the Greek text as the genuine apostolic writing, without mentioning what relation the Hebrew Matthew has to our Greek one! It had many peculiar additions which are wanting in our [Greek] Evangel” (Olshausen, Nachweis der Echtheit der sämtlichen Schriften des Neuen Test., p. 35).
‡ Comment. to Matthew, Bk. II, ch. xii, 13. Jerome adds that it was written in the Chaldaic language, but with Hebrew letters. [Dial. contra Pelag., iii, 2.]
§ Jerome, Opera omnia, ed. Johannes Martianay, Paris, 1693- 1706, Vol. V, col. 445. Cf. Dunlap, Sôd, the Son of Man, p. 46. [See also B.C.W., Vol. VIII, pp. 233-38.]
“And it happened that this book, having been published by a disciple of Manichaeus, named Seleucus, who also wrote falsely The Acts of the Apostles, exhibited matter not for edification, but for destruction; and that this book was approved in a synod which the ears of the Church properly refused to listen to.”*
[Jerome] admits himself, that the book which he authenticates as being written “by the hand of Matthew,” was nearly unintelligible to him, notwithstanding that he translated it twice, for it was arcane or a secret. Nevertheless, Jerome coolly sets down every commentary upon it, except his own, as heretical. More than that, Jerome knew that this original Gospel of Matthew was the expounder of the only true doctrine of Christ; and that it was the work of an evangelist who had been the friend and companion of Jesus. He knew that if of the two Gospels, the Hebrew in question and the Greek belonging to our present Scripture, one was spurious, hence heretical, it was not that of the Nazarenes; and yet, knowing all this, Jerome becomes more zealous than ever in his persecution of the “Heretics.” Why? Because to accept it was equivalent to reading the death-sentence of the established Church. The Gospel according to the Hebrews was well known to have been the only one accepted for four centuries by the Jewish Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites. And neither of the latter accepted the divinity of Christ.†
The Ebionites were the first, the earliest Christians, whose representative was the Gnostic author of the Clementine Homilies, and as the author of Supernatural Religion shows,‡ Ebionitic Gnosticism had once been the purest form of Christianity. They were the pupils and followers of the early Nazarenes––the kabalistic Gnostics. They believed in the Aeôns, as the Cerinthians did, and that “the world was put together by
* This accounts also for the rejection of the works of Justin Martyr, who used only this Gospel according to the Hebrews, as also did most probably Tatian, his disciple. At what a late period the divinity of Christ was fully established we can judge by the mere fact that even in the fourth century Eusebius [Eccl. Hist., III, 25] did not denounce this book as spurious, but only classed it with such as the Apocalypse of John; and Credner (Zur Gesch. des Kanons, p. 120) shows Nicephorus inserting it, together with the Revelation, in his Stichometry, among the Antilegomena. The Ebionites, the genuine primitive Christians, rejecting the rest of the Apostolic writings, make use only of this Gospel (Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. I, xxvi, 2; also Eusebius, Eccl. Hist., III, xxvii), and the Ebionites, as Epiphanius declares, firmly believed, with the Nazarenes, that Jesus was but a man, “of the seed of a man” [Panarion, Haer. XXX, iii] .
† Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, pp. 181- 83.
‡ Cassels, Supernatural Religion, Vol. II, p. 4.
Angels” (Dhyani-Chohans), as Epiphanius complains (Contra Ebionitas):* “Ebion had the opinion of the Nazarenes, the form of Cerinthians.” “They decided that Christ was of the seed of a man,” he laments.† Thus again:
. . . . the badge of Dan-Scorpio is death-life, in the symbol as crossbones and skull, or back of the head, or life-death; and this was the monogram of Chrestos, and the Labarum, or standard of Constantine, the Roman emperor. Abel has been shown to be Jesus, and Cain-Vulcain or Mars, pierced him. Constantine was the Roman emperor, whose warlike god was Mars, and a Roman soldier pierced Jesus on the cross. . . . But the piercing of Abel was the consummation of his marriage with Cain, and this was proper under the form of Mars-Generator; hence the double glyph, one of Mars-Generator [Osiris-Sun] and Mars-Destroyer [Mercury the God of Death in the Egyptian basso-relievo] in one; significant, again, of the primal idea of the living cosmos, or of birth and death, as necessary to the continuation of the stream of life.‡
To quote once more from Isis Unveiled:
. . . a Latin cross, of a perfect Christian shape, was discovered hewn upon the granite slabs of the Adytum [of the Serapeum]; . . . and the monks did not fail to claim that the cross had been hallowed by the Pagans in a “spirit of prophecy.” At least, Sozomen, with an air of triumph, records the fact.§ But archaeology and symbolism, those tireless and implacable enemies of clerical false pretences, have found in the hieroglyphics of the legend running round the design at least a partial interpretation of its meaning.
According to King and other numismatists and archaeologists, the cross was placed there as the symbol of eternal life. Such a Tau, or Egyptian cross, was used in the Bacchic and Eleusinian Mysteries. Symbol of the dual generative power, it was laid upon the breast of the Initiate, after his
* Panarion, lib. I, t. II, Indic. § 8; XXX, 1.
† See also Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, p. 180 ff.
‡ The Source of Measures, p. 299. This “stream of life” being emblematised in the Philae basso-relievo just mentioned, by the water poured in the shape of a Cross on the initiated candidate by Osiris–Life and the Sun–and Mercury–Death. It was the finale of the rite of Initiation after the seven and the twelve tortures in the Crypts of Egypt were passed through successfully.
§ Another untrustworthy, untruthful and ignorant writer, an ecclesiastical historian of the fifth century. His alleged history of the strife between the Pagans, Neoplatonists, and the Christians of Alexandria and Constantinople, which extends from the year 324 to 439, dedicated by him to Theodosius, the younger, is full of deliberate falsifications. [Cf. Socrates Scholasticus, Ecclesiastical History, Bk. V, xvii, & Bk. VII, ch. xv.]
“new birth” was accomplished, and the Mystae had returned from their baptism in the sea. It was a mystic sign that his spiritual birth had regenerated and united his astral soul with his divine spirit, and that he was ready to ascend in spirit to the blessed abodes of light and glory––the Eleusinia. The Tau was a magic talisman at the same time as a religious emblem. It was adopted by the Christians through the Gnostics and Kabalists, who used it largely, as their numerous gems testify, and who had the Tau (or handled cross) from the Egyptians, and the Latin Cross from the Buddhist missionaries, who brought it from India, where it can be found even now, two or three centuries B.C. The Assyrians, Egyptians, ancient Americans, Hindus, and Romans had it in various, but very slight modifications of shape. Till very late in the middle ages, it was considered a potent spell against epilepsy and demoniacal possession; and the “signet of the living God” brought down in St. John’s vision by the angel ascending from the east to “seal the servants of our God in the foreheads,” was but the same mystic Tau––the Egyptian Cross. In the painted glass of St. Denys (France), this angel is represented as stamping this sign on the forehead of the elect; the legend reads SIGNUM TAK. In King’s Gnostics, the author reminds us that “this mark is commonly borne by St. Anthony, an Egyptian recluse.”* What the real meaning of the Tau was, is explained to us by the Christian St. John, the Egyptian Hermes, and the Hindu Brahmans. It is but too evident that, with the Apostle at least, it meant the “Ineffable Name,” as he calls this “signet of the living God” a few chapters further on† the “Father’s name written in their foreheads. ”
The Brahmatma, the chief of the Hindu Initiates, had on his head-gear two keys, symbol of the revealed mystery of life and death, placed crosslike; and, in some Buddhist pagodas of Tartary and Mongolia, the entrance of a chamber within the temple, generally containing the staircase which leads to the inner dagoba,‡ and the porticos of some Prachidas § are ornamented with a cross formed of two fishes, as found on some of the zodiacs of the Buddhists. We should not wonder at all at learning that the sacred device in the tombs, in the catacombs at Rome, the “vesica Piscis,” was derived from the said Buddhist zodiacal sign. How general must have been that geometrical figure in the world-symbols, may be inferred from the fact that there is a Masonic tradition that Solomon’s temple was built on three foundations, forming the “triple Tau” or three crosses.
In its mystical sense, the Egyptian cross owes its origin, as an emblem, to the realisation by the earliest philosophy of an androgynous dualism of every manifestation in nature, which proceeds from the abstract ideal of
* Vol. I, p. 135 (lst. ed.)
† Revelation, vii, 2,3; xiv, 1.
‡ Dagoba is a small temple of globular form, in which are preserved the relics of Gautama.
§ Prachidas are buildings of all sizes and forms, like our mausoleums, and are sacred to votive offerings to the dead.
a likewise androgynous deity, while the Christian emblem is simply due to chance. Had the Mosaic law prevailed, Jesus should have been lapidated.* The crucifix was an instrument of torture, and utterly common among Romans as it was unknown among Semitic nations. It was called the “Tree of Infamy.” It is but later that it was adopted as a Christian symbol; but, during the first two decades, the apostles looked upon it with horror.† It is certainly not the Christian Cross that John had in mind when speaking of the “signet of the living God,” but the mystic Tau––the Tetragrammaton, or mighty name, which, on the most ancient kabalistic talismans, was represented by the four Hebrew letters composing the Holy Word.
The famous Lady Ellenborough, known among the Arabs of Damascus, and in the desert, after her last marriage, as Hanoum Midjwal, had a talisman in her possession, presented to her by a Druse from Mount Lebanon. It was recognized by a certain sign on its left corner, to belong to that class of gems which is known in Palestine as a “Messianic” amulet, of the second or third century B.C. It is a green stone of a pentagonal form; at the bottom is engraved a fish; higher, Solomon’s Seal;‡ and still higher, the four Chaldaic letters––Yod, He, Vau, He, YAHO, which form the name of the Deity. These are arranged in quite an unusual way, running from below upward, in reversed order, and forming the Egyptian Tau. Around these there is a legend which, as the gem is not our property, we are not at liberty to give. The Tau, in its mystical sense, as well as the crux ansata, is the Tree of Life.
It is well known, that the earliest Christian emblems––before it was ever attempted to represent the bodily appearance of Jesus––were the Lamb, the Good Shepherd, and the Fish. The origin of the latter emblem, which has so puzzled the archaeologists, thus becomes comprehensible. The whole secret lies in the easily ascertained fact that, while in the Kabalah, the King Messiah is called “Interpreter,” or Revealer of the mystery, and shown to be the fifth emanation, in the Talmud––for reasons we will now explain––the Messiah is very often designated as “DAG,” or the Fish. This is an inheritance from the Chaldees, and relates––as the very name indicates––to the Babylonian Dagon, the man-fish, who was the instructor and interpreter of the people, to whom he appeared. Abarbanel explains the name, by stating that the sign of his (Messiah’s) coming “is the conjunction of Saturn and Jupiter in the sign Pisces”.§ Therefore, as the
* The Talmudistic records claim that, after having been hanged, he was lapidated and buried under the water at the junction of two streams. Mishnah Sanhedrin, VI, 4; Talmud of Babylon, same article, 48a, 67a. [cited by E. Renan].
† Coptic Legends of the Crucifixion, MSS. XI.
‡ We are at a loss to understand why King, in his “Gnostic Gems” represents Solomon’s Seal as a five-pointed star, whereas it is six-pointed, and is the signet of Vishnu in India. [The Gnostics, etc., Plate XIII pt. 4.]
§ King (Gnostics and their Remains, p. 138, 1st. ed., 1864.) gives the
Christians were intent upon identifying their Christos with the Messiah of the Old Testament, they adopted it so readily as to forget that its true origin might be traced still further back than the Babylonian Dagon. How eagerly and closely the ideal of Jesus was united, by the early Christians, with every imaginable kabalistic and pagan tenet, may be inferred from the language of Clement of Alexandria, addressed to his brother co-religionists.
When they were debating upon the choice of the most appropriate symbol to remind them of Jesus, Clement advised them in the following words: “Let the engraving upon the gem of your ring be either a dove or a ship running before the wind [the Argha], or a fish.”* Was the good father, when writing this sentence, labouring under the recollection of Joshua, son of Nun (called Jesus in the Greek and Slavonian versions); or had he forgotten the real interpretation of these pagan symbols?†
And now, with the help of all these passages scattered hither and thither in Isis and other works of this kind, the reader will see and judge for himself which of the two explanations––the Christian or that of the Occultist––is the nearer to truth. If Jesus were not an Initiate, why should all these allegorical incidents of his life be given? Why should such extreme trouble be taken, so much time wasted trying to make the above: (a) answer and dovetail with purposely picked out sentences in the Old Testament, to show them as prophecies; and (b) to preserve in them the initiatory symbols, the emblems so pregnant with Occult meaning and all of these belonging to Pagan mystic Philosophy? The author of the Source of Measures gives out that mystical intent; but only once now and again, in its one-sided, numerical and kabalistic meaning, without paying any attention to, or having concern with, the primeval and more spiritual origin, and he deals with it only so far as it relates to the Old Testament. He attributes the purposed change in the sentence “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani” to the principle already mentioned of the crossed bones and skull in the Labarum,
As an emblem of death, being placed over the door of life and signifying birth, or of the intercontainment of two opposite principles in
figure of a Christian symbol, very common during the middle ages, of three fishes interlaced into a triangle, and having the FIVE letters (a most sacred Pythagorean number) I. X. 1. K. G. engraved on it. The number five relates to the same kabalistic computation.
* [Pedagogus, III, xl.]
† Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, pp. 253-56. [Note diagram in Isis on p. 256.]
one, just as, mystically, the Saviour was held to be man-woman. *
The author’s idea is to show the mystic blending by the Gospel writers of Jehovah, Cain, Abel, etc., with Jesus (in accordance with Jewish kabalistic numeration); the better he succeeds, the more clearly he shows that it was a forced blending, and that we have not a record of the real events of the life of Jesus, narrated by eyewitnesses or the Apostles. The narrative is all based on the signs of the Zodiac:
Each . . . a double sign, or male-female [in ancient astrological Magic] – viz., it was Taurus-Eve, and Scorpio was Mars-Lupa, or Mars with the female wolf [in relation to Romulus]. So, as these signs were opposites of each other, yet met in the centre, they were connected; and so in fact it was, and in a double sense, the conception of the year was in Taurus, as the conception of Eve by Mars, her opposite, in Scorpio. The birth would be at the winter solstice, or Christmas. On the contrary, by conception in Scorpio––viz., of Lupa by Taurus––birth would be in Leo. Scorpio was Chr‘stos in humiliation, while Leo was Christos in triumph. While Taurus-Eve fulfilled astronomical functions, Mars-Lupa fulfilled spiritual ones by type †
The author bases all this on Egyptian correlations and meanings of Gods and Goddesses, but ignores the Aryan, which are far earlier.
“Muth, or Mouth, was the Egyptian cognomen of Venus (Eve, mother of all living),‡ or the moon. Plutarch (Isis, 374) hands it down that ‘Isis was sometimes called Muth, which word means mother. Either Man, or Maut, means nurse, mother. Perhaps Muth is to be derived from Man-tho, materterra (Eve-Adam), which being the fact, Muth differs in nothing from Isis, queen of the earth (Issa, , woman).’ (Isis, 372.) Isis, he says, is that part of nature which, as feminine, contains in herself, as (nutrix) nurse, all things to be born. ‘Certainly the moon,’ speaking astronomically, ‘chiefly exercises this function in Taurus, Venus being the house (in opposition to Mars, generator, in Scorpio), because the sign is luna, , , hypsoma.’ Since truly it may be taken from this passage of Plutarch, that Isis Metheur differs from Isis Muth, and that in the vocable Muth, the
* The Source of Measures, p. 301. All this connects Jesus with great Initiates and solar heroes; all this is purely Pagan, under a newly-evolved variation, the Christian scheme.
† Op. cit., 296.
‡ As Vach, mother of all living, a permutation of Aditi, as Eve was one of Sephirah. [H.P.B.]
notion of bringing forth may be concealed, and since fructification must take place, Sol being joined with Luna in Libra, it is not improbable that Muth first indeed signifies Venus in Libra; hence Luna in Libra.” (Beiträge zur Kenntniss, pars II, 9, Gustav Seyffarth, Leipsig, 1840 under Muth.)* . . . . the double play upon the word Muth, ;&/, by help of which the real intent is produced in the occult way, as intended. Sin, death, and woman are one in the glyph, and are correlatively connected with intercourse and birth.†
All this is applied by the author only to the exoteric and Jewish euhemerized symbols, whereas they were meant, first of all, to conceal cosmogonical mysteries, and then, those of anthropological evolution with reference to the Seven Races, already evoluted and to come, and especially as regards the last branch races of the third Root-Race. However, the word void [primeval Chaos] is shown to be taken for Eve-Venus-Naamah, agreeably with Fürst’s definition; for as he says:
“In this primitive signification [of void] was , [bohu] taken in the Biblical cosmogony, and used in establishing the dogma (, Jes(us), m’aven, Jes-us from nothing), respecting creation.‡ Hence, Aquila translates , vulg. vacua” (hence vacca, cow),§ “Onkelos and Samarit, *18*9. The Phoenician cosmogony has connected into a personified expression denoting the primitive substance, and as a deity, the mother of races of the Gods.|| The Aramean name , for the mother of the gods, which passed over to the Gnostics, Babylonians, and Egyptians, is identical then with
* Op. cit., pp. 294-95.
† Op. cit., p. 295.
‡ Which shows the writers of the New Testament considerably skilled in the Kabalah and Occult Sciences, and corroborates still more our assertion. [H.P.B.]
§ Hence also the horns of Isis––Nature, Earth, and the Moon––taken from Vâch, the Hindu “Mother of all that lives,” identified with Viraj and called in Atharvaveda the daughter of Kama, the first desires: “That daughter of thine, O Kama, is called the cow, she whom Sages name Vach-Viraj,” who was milked by Brihaspati, the Rishi, which is another mystery. [H.P.B.]
|| Which is Aditi and Vach [H. P. B.]
Môt ( , our Muth), properly, , originated in Phoenician from an interchange of b with m.”*
Rather, one would say, go to the origin. The mystic euhemerisation of Wisdom and Intelligence, operating in the work of cosmic evolution, or Buddhi under the names of Brahma, Purusha, etc., as male power, and Aditi-Vach, etc., as female, whence Sarasvati, Goddess of Wisdom, who became under the veils of Esoteric concealment, Butos, Bythos-Depth, the grossly material, personal female, called Eve, the “primitive woman” of Irenaeus, and the world springing out of Nothing.
The workings out of this glyph of 4th Genesis help to the comprehension of the division of one character into the forms of two persons; as Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Abram and Isaac, Jacob and Esau, and so on [all male and female] . . . Now, as linking together several great salient points in the Biblical structure: (1) as to the Old and New Testaments; with, also (2) as to the Roman Empire; (3) as to confirming the meanings and uses of symbols; and (4) as to confirming the entire explanation and reading of the glyphs; as (5) recognizing and laying down the base of the great pyramid as the foundation square of the Bible construction; (6) as well as the new Roman adoption under Constantine––the following is given: †
Cain has been shown to be . . . the 360 circle of the Zodiac, the perfect and exact standard, by a squared division; hence his name of Melchizadik . . . .[The geometrical and numerical demonstrations here follow.] It has been repeatedly stated that the object of the Great Pyramid construction was to measure the heavens and the earth . . . [the objective spheres as evoluting from the subjective, purely spiritual Kosmos, we beg leave to add]; therefore, its measuring containment would indicate all the substance of measure of the heavens and the earth, or agreeably to ancient recognition, Earth, Air, Water, and Fire.‡ (The base side of this pyramid
* Op. cit., pp. 295-96. [Skinner quotes Julius Fürst’s A Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon . . ., under Bohu. ]
† Had we known the learned author before his book was printed, he might have been perchance prevailed upon to add a seventh link from which all others, far preceding those enumerated in point of time, and surpassing them in universally philosophical meaning, have been derived, aye, even to the great pyramid, whose foundation square was, in its turn, the great Aryan Mysteries.
‡ We would say cosmic Matter, Spirit, Chaos, and Divine Light, for the Egyptian idea was identical in this with the Aryan. However, the author is right with regard to the Occult Symbology of the Jews. They were a remarkably matter of fact, unspiritual people at all times; yet even with them Ruah was Divine Spirit, not “air.”
was diameter to a circumference in feet of 2400. The characteristic of this is 24 feet, or 6 x 4 = 24, or this very Cain-Adam square.) Now, by the restoration of the encampment of the Israelites, as initiated by Moses, by the great scholar, Father Athanasius Kircher, the Jesuit priest, the above is precisely, by Biblical record and traditionary sources, the method of laying off this encampment. The four interior squares were devoted to (1) Moses and Aaron; (2) Kohath; (3) Gershon; and (4) Merari––the last three being the heads of the Levites. The attributes of these squares were the primal attributes of Adam-Mars and were concreted of the elements, Earth, Air, Fire, Water, or = Iam = Water, = Nour = Fire, ( = Rouach = Air, and = Iâbeshah = Earth. The initial letters of these words are INRI. [The words translated as Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum–– "Jesus, King of the Jews.”] This square of INRI is the Adam square, which was extended from, as a foundation, into four others of 144 x 2 = 288, to the side of the large square, and 288 x 4 = 1152 = the whole circumference. But this square is the display of also circular elements and 1152 can denote this. Put INRI into a circle, or read it as the letters stand in the square, as to its values of 1521, and we have which reads 1152 of this fact. But, as seen, Cain denotes this as, or in, the 115 of his name: which 115 was the very complement to make up the 360-day year, to agree with the balances of the standard circle, which were Cain. The corner squares of the larger square are, A = Leo, and B = Dan Scorpio; and it is seen that Cain pierces Abel at the intersection of the equinoctial with the solstice cross lines, referred to from Dan-Scorpio, on the celestial circle. But Dan- Scorpio borders on Libra, the scales, whose sign is which sign is that of the ancient pillow, on which the back of the head to the ears* rested, the pillow of Jacob), and is represented for one symbol as also the badge of Dan-Scorpio is death-life, in the symbol . . . . Now, the cross is the emblem of the origin of measures, in the Jehovah form of a straight line ONE of a denomination of 20612, the perfect circumference; hence Cain was this as Jehovah, for the text says that he was Jehovah. But the attachment of a man to this cross was that of 113:355 to 6561:5153 x 4 = 20612, as shown. Now, over the head of Jesus crucified was placed the inscription, of which the initial letters of the words have always been retained as symbolic, and handed down and used as a monogram of Jesus Chrstos––viz., INRI, or Jesus Nazarenus Rex Judaeorum; but they are located on the cross or the cubed form of the circular origin of measures, which measure the substance of Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, or INRI = 1152, as shown. Here is the man on the cross, or 113:355 combined with 6561:5153 x 4 = 20612. These are the pyramid-base numbers, as coming from 113:355 as the Hebrew source; whence the Adam square, which is the pyramid base, and, the centre one to the larger square of the encampment. Bend INRI into
* Mr. Ralston Skinner shows that the symbol , the crossed bones and skull, has the letter P Koph, the half of the head behind the ears.
a circle, and we have 1152, or the circumference of the latter. But Jesus dying (or Abel married) made use of the very words needed to set forth all. He says, Eli, Eli, Lâmâh Shâbahthânî. . . . read them by their power values, in circular form, as produced from the Adam form, as shown, and we have = 113, = 113, or 113 –– 311:- = 345, or Moses in the Cain-Adam pyramid circle: : = 710, equals Dove, or Jonah, and 710 ÷ 2 = 355––553; and finally, as determinative of all, , or ni, where = Nun, fish = 565, and = 1 or 10, together 5651 = or the Christ value. . . .
[All of the above] throws light upon the transfiguration scene on the mount. There were present there Peter and James and John with Jesus; or , Iami, James, water; , Peter, earth; (, John, spirit, air, and , Jesus, fire, life––together INRI. But behold Eli and Moses met them there, or and or Elî and Lâmâh, or 113 and 345. And this shows that the scene of transfiguration was connected with the one above set forth.*
This kabalistical reading of the Gospel narratives––hitherto supposed to record the most important, the most mystically awful, yet most real events of the life of Jesus––must fall with terrible weight upon some Christians. Every honest trusting believer who has shed tears of reverential emotion over the events of the short period of the public life of Jesus of Nazareth, has to choose one of the two ways opening before him after reading the aforesaid: either his faith has to render him quite impervious to any light coming from human reasoning and evident fact; or he must confess that he has lost his Saviour. The One whom he had hitherto considered as the unique incarnation on this earth of the One Living God in heaven, fades into thin air, on the authority of the properly read and correctly interpreted Bible itself. Moreover, since on the authority of Jerome himself and his accepted and authentic confession, the book written by the hand of Matthew “exhibits matter not for edification but for destruction” (of Church and human Christianity, and only that), what truth can
* Op. cit., pp. 296-302. By these numbers, explains the author, “Eli is 113 (by placing the word in a circle); Lamah being 345, is by change of letters to suit the same values (in a circle), or Moses, while Sabachth is John, or the dove, or Holy Spirit, because (in a circle) it is 710 (or 355 x 2). The termination ni, as nuni, or 5651 becomes Jehovah.”
be expected from his famous Vulgate? Human mysteries, concocted by generations of Church Fathers bent upon evolving a religion of their own invention, are seen instead of a divine Revelation; and that this was so is corroborated by a prelate of the Latin Church. Saint Gregory Nazianzen wrote to his friend and confidant, St. Jerome:
Nothing can impose better on a people than verbiage; the less they understand the more they admire . . . . Our fathers and doctors have often said, not what they thought, but that to which circumstances and necessity forced them.
Which then of the two––the clergy, or the Occultists and Theosophists––are the more blasphemous and dangerous? Is it those who would impose upon the world’s acceptance a Saviour of their own fashioning, a God with human shortcomings, and who therefore is certainly not a perfect divine Being; or those others who say: Jesus of Nazareth was an Initiate, a holy, grand and noble character, but withal human, though truly “a Son of God”?
If Humanity is to accept a so-called supernatural Religion, how far more logical to the Occultist and the Psychologist seems the transparent allegory given of Jesus by the Gnostics. They, as Occultists, and with Initiates for their Chiefs, differed only in their renderings of the story and in their symbols, and not at all in substance. What say the Ophites, the Nazarenes, and other “heretics”? Sophia, “the Celestial Virgin,” is prevailed upon to send Christos, her emanation, to the help of perishing humanity, from whom Ialdabaôth (the Jehovah of the Jews) and his six Sons of Matter (the lower terrestrial Angels) are shutting out the divine light. Therefore, Christos, the perfect,*
Uniting himself with Sophia [divine wisdom] descended through the seven planetary regions, assuming in each an analogous form . . . [and] entered into the man Jesus at the moment of his baptism in the Jordan. From this time forth Jesus began to work miracles; before that he had been entirely ignorant of his own mission.
* The Western personification of that power, which the Hindus call the Bija, the “one seed,” or Mahâ-Vishnu––a power, not the God––or that mysterious Principle that contains in Itself the Seed of Avatarism.
Ialdabaôth, discovering that Christos was bringing to an end his kingdom of Matter, stirred up the Jews, his own people, against Him, and Jesus was put to death. When Jesus was on the Cross, Christos and Sophia left His body, and returned to Their own sphere. The material body of Jesus was abandoned to the earth, but He Himself, the Inner Man, was clothed with a body made up of aether.*
Thenceforth he consisted merely of soul and spirit . . . During his sojourn upon earth of eighteen months after he had risen, he received from Sophia that perfect knowledge, that true Gnosis, which he communicated to the small portion of the Apostles who were capable of receiving the same.†
The above is transparently Eastern and Hindu; it is the Esoteric Doctrine pure and simple, save for the names and the allegory. It is, more or less, the history of every Adept who obtains Initiation. The Baptism in the Jordan is the Rite of Initiation, the final purification, whether in sacred pagoda, tank, river, or temple lake in Egypt or Mexico. The perfect Christos and Sophia––divine Wisdom and Intelligence––enter the Initiate at the moment of the mystic rite, by transference from Guru to Chela, and leave the physical body, at the moment of the death of the latter, to re-enter the Nirmanakaya, or the astral Ego of the Adept.
The spirit of Buddha [collectively] overshadows the Bodhisattvas of his Church,
says the Buddhist Ritual of Aryasanga
Says the Gnostic teaching:
When he [the spirit of Christos] shall have collected all the Spiritual, all the Light [that exists in matter], out of Ialdabaôth’s empire, Redemption is accomplished and the end of the world arrived.‡
Say the Buddhists:
When Buddha [the Spirit of the Church] hears the hour strike, he will send Maitreya-Buddha––after whom the old world will be destroyed.
* “Arise into Nervi [Nirvâna] from this decrepit body into which thou hast been sent. Ascend into thy former abode, O blessed Avatar!”
† King, The Gnostics and Their Remains (2nd ed., 1887), pp. 100-01.
‡ Op.cit., p. 101.
That which is said of Basilides by King may be applied as truthfully to every innovator, so called, whether of a Buddhist or of a Christian Church. In the eyes of Clemens Alexandrinus, he says, the Gnostics taught very little that was blameable in their mystical transcendental views.
In his eyes the latter (Basilides), was not a heretic, that is an innovator upon the accepted doctrines of the Catholic Church, but only a theosophic speculator who sought to express old truths by new formulae.*
There was a Secret Doctrine preached by Jesus; and “secrecy” in those days meant Secrets, or Mysteries of Initiation, all of which have been either rejected or disfigured by the Church. In the Clementine Homilies we read:
And Peter said: “We remember that our Lord and Teacher, commanding us, said ‘Guard the mysteries for me and the sons of my house.’ “ Wherefore also he explained to His disciples privately the Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens.†
* Op.cit., p.258.
† Homilies, XIX, xx.