THE EASTERN GUPTA VIDYÂ AND THE KABALAH
We now return to the consideration of the essential identity between the Eastern Gupta-Vidyâ and the Kabalah as a system, while we must also show the dissimilarity in their philosophical interpretations since the Middle Ages.
It must be confessed that the views of the Kabalists––meaning by the word those students of Occultism who study the Jewish Kabalah and who know little, if anything, of any other Esoteric literature or of its teachings––are as varied in their synthetic conclusions upon the nature of the mysteries taught even in the Zohar alone, and are as wide of the true mark, as are the dicta upon it of exact Science itself. Like the mediaeval Rosicrucian and the Alchemist––like the Abbot Trithemius, John Reuchlin, Agrippa, Paracelsus, Robert Fludd, Philalethes, etc.––by whom they swear, the continental Occultists see in the Jewish Kabalah alone the universal well of wisdom; they find in it the secret lore of nearly all the mysteries of Nature––metaphysical and divine––some of them including herein, as did Reuchlin, those of the Christian Bible. For them the Zohar is an Esoteric Thesaurus of all the mysteries of the Christian Gospel; and the Sepher Yetzîrah is the light that shines in every darkness, and the container of the keys to open every secret in Nature. Whether many of our modern followers of the mediaeval Kabalists have an idea of the real meaning of the symbology of their chosen Masters is another question. Most of them have probably never given even a passing thought to
the fact that the Esoteric language used by the Alchemists was their own, and that it was given out as a blind, necessitated by the dangers of the epoch they lived in, and not as the Mystery-language, used by the Pagan Initiates, which the Alchemists had re-translated and re-veiled once more.
And now the situation stands thus: as the old Alchemists have not left a key to their writings, the latter have become a mystery within an older mystery. The Kabalah is interpreted and checked only by the light which mediaeval Mystics have thrown upon it, and they, in their forced Christology, had to put a theological dogmatic mask on every ancient teaching, the result being that each Mystic among our modern European and American Kabalists interprets the old symbols in his own way, and each refers his opponents to the Rosicrucian and the Alchemist of three and four hundred years ago. Mystic Christian dogma is the central maelstrom that engulfs every old Pagan symbol, and Christianity––Anti-Gnostic Christianity, the modern retort that has replaced the alembic of the Alchemists––has distilled out of all recognition the Kabalah, i. e., the Hebrew Zohar and other rabbinical mystic works. And now it has come to this: The student interested in the Secret Sciences has to believe that the whole cycle of the symbolical “Ancient of Days,” every hair of the mighty beard of Macroprosopus, refers only to the history of the earthly career of Jesus of Nazareth! And we are told that the Kabalah “was first taught to a select company of angels” by Jehovah himself––who, out of modesty, one must think, made himself only the third Sephîrôth in it, and a female one into the bargain. So many Kabalists, so many explanations. Some believe –– perchance with more reason than the rest––that the substance of the Kabalah is the basis upon which masonry is built, since modern Masonry is undeniably the dim and hazy reflection of primeval Occult Masonry, of the teaching of those divine Masons who established the Mysteries of the prehistoric and prediluvian Temples of Initiation, raised by truly superhuman Builders. Others declare that the tenets expounded in the Zohar relate merely to mysteries terrestrial and profane, having no more concern with metaphysical speculations––such as the soul, or the post-mortem life of man––than have the Mosaic books. Others, again––and these are the real, genuine Kabalists, who
had their instructions from initiated Jewish Rabbis––affirm that if the two most learned Kabalists of the mediaeval period, John Reuchlin and Paracelsus, differed in their religious professions ––the former being the Father of the Reformation and the latter a Roman Catholic, at least in appearance––the Zohar cannot contain much of Christian dogma or tenet, one way or the other. In other words, they maintain that the numerical language of the Kabalistic works teaches universal truths––and not any one Religion in particular. Those who make this statement are perfectly right in saying that the Mystery-language used in the Zohar and in other Kabalistic literature was once, in a time of unfathomable antiquity, the universal language of Humanity. But they become entirely wrong if to this fact they add the untenable theory that this language was invented by, or was the original property of, the Hebrews, from whom all the other nations borrowed it.
They are wrong, because, although the Zohar ( , ZHR), The Book of Splendour of Rabbi Shimon ben-Yohai, did indeed originate with him––his son, Rabbi Eleazâr, helped by his secretary, Rabbi Abbâ, compiling the Kabalistic teachings of his deceased father into a work called the Zohar––those teachings were not Rabbi Shimon’s, as the Gupta-Vidyâ shows. They are as old as the Jewish nation itself, and far older. In short, the writings which pass at present under the title of the Zohar of Rabbi Shimon are about as original as were the Egyptian synchronistic Tables after being handled by Eusebius, or as St. Paul’s Epistles after their revision and correction by the “Holy Church.”*
Let us throw a rapid retrospective glance at the history and
* This is proved if we take but a single recorded instance. G. Pico della Mirandola, finding that there was more Christianity than Judaism in the Kabalah, and discovering in it the doctrines of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Divinity of Jesus, etc., wound up his proofs of this with a challenge to the world at large from Rome. As Christian D. Ginsburg shows [“as the result of his Kabbalistic studies Mirandola published, in 1486, when only twenty-four years of age, nine hundred thesis, which were placarded in Rome, and which he undertook to defend in the presence of all European scholars whom he invited to the Eternal City, promising to defray their travelling expenses.” (Page 206 of the 1974 reprint of Ginsburg’s essays, The Essenes and The Kabbalah . . . See bibliography in the appendix of this volume.) ––Compiler. ]
the tribulations of that very same Zohar, as we know of them from trustworthy tradition and documents. We need not stop to discuss whether it was written in the first century B.C. or in the first century A.D. Suffice it for us to know that there was at all times a Kabalistic literature among the Jews; that though historically it can be traced only from the time of the Captivity, yet from the Pentateuch down to the Talmud the documents of that literature were ever written in a kind of Mystery-language, were, in fact, a series of symbolical records which the Jews had copied from the Egyptian and the Chaldaean Sanctuaries, only adapting them to their own national history––if history it can be called. Now that which we claim––and it is not denied even by the most prejudiced Kabalist, is that although Kabalistic lore had passed orally through long ages down to the latest pre-Christian Tannaim, and although David and Solomon may have been great Adepts in it, as is claimed, yet no one dared to write it down till the days of Shimon ben-Yohai. In short, the lore found in Kabalistic literature was never recorded in writing before the first century of the modern era.
This brings the critic to the following reflection: While in India we find the Vedas and the Brâhmanical literature written down and edited ages before the Christian era––the Orientalists themselves being obliged to concede a couple of millenniums of antiquity to the older manuscripts; while the most important allegories in Genesis are found recorded on Babylonian tiles centuries B.C.; while the Egyptian sarcophagi yearly yield proofs of the origin of the doctrines borrowed and copied by the Jews; yet the Monotheism of the Jews is exalted and thrown into the teeth of all the Pagan nations, and the so-called Christian Revelation is placed above all others, like the sun above a row of street gas lamps. Yet it is perfectly well known, having been ascertained beyond doubt or cavil, that no manuscript, whether Kabalistic, Talmudistic, or Christian, which has reached our present generation, is of earlier date than the first centuries of our era, whereas this can certainly never be said of the Egyptian papyri or the Chaldaean tiles, or even of some Eastern writings.
But let us limit our present research to the Kabalah, and chiefly to the Zohar––called also the Midrash. This book, whose
teachings were edited for the first time between 70 and 110 A.D., is known to have been lost, and its contents to have been scattered throughout a number of minor manuscripts, until the thirteenth century. The idea that it was the composition of Moses de León of Valladolid, in Spain, who passed it off as a pseudograph of Shimon ben-Yohai, is ridiculous, and was well disposed of by Munk––though he does point to more than one modern interpolation in the Zohar. At the same time it is more than certain that the present Book of Zohar was written by Moses de León, and, owing to joint editorship, is more Christian in its colouring than is many a genuine Christian volume. Munk gives the reason why, saying that it appears evident that the author “made use of ancient documents, and among these of certain Midraschîm, or collections of traditions and Biblical expositions, which we do not now possess.”*
As a proof, also, that the knowledge of the Esoteric system taught in the Zohar came to the Jews very late indeed––at any rate, that they had so far forgotten it that the innovations and additions made by de León provoked no criticism, but were thankfully received––Munk quotes from Tholuck, a Jewish authority, the following information: Hâya Gaôn, who died in 1038, is to our knowledge the first author who developed [and perfected] the theory of the Sephîrôth, and he gave to them the names which we find again among the Kabalistic names used by Dr. Jellinek. Moses ben Shem-Tob de Leon, who held intimate intercourse with the Syrian and Chaldaean Christian learned scribes, was enabled through the latter to acquire a knowledge of some of the Gnostic writings.†
Again, the Sepher Yetzîrah (Book of Creation)––though attributed to Abraham and though very archaic as to its contents––is first mentioned in the eleventh century by Yehuda ha-Levi (in his Khozari). And these two, the Zohar and Yetzîrah, are the storehouse of all the subsequent Kabalistic works. Now let us see how far the Hebrew sacred canon itself is to be trusted.
The word “Kabalah” comes from the root “to receive,” and has a meaning identical with the Sanskrit Smriti (“received by
* [See B.C.W., Vol. VIII, p. 216.]
† This account is summarized from Isaac Myer’s Qabbalah, p. 10, et seq.
tradition”)––a system of oral teaching, passing from one generation of priests to another, as was the case with the Brâhmanical books before they were embodied in manuscript. The Kabalistic tenets came to the Jews from the Chaldaeans; and if Moses knew the primitive and universal language of the Initiates, as did every Egyptian priest, and was thus acquainted with the numerical system on which it was based, he may have ––and we say he has––written Genesis and other “scrolls.” The five books that now pass current under his name, the Pentateuch, are not withal the original Mosaic Records.* Nor were they written in the old Hebrew square letters, nor even in the Samaritan characters, for both alphabets belong to a date later than that of Moses, and Hebrew––as it is now known––did not exist in the days of the great lawgiver, either as a language or as an alphabet.
As no statements contained in the records of the Secret Doctrine of the East are regarded as of any value by the world in general, and since, to be understood by and convince the reader, one has to quote names familiar to him, and use arguments and proofs out of documents which are accessible to all, the following facts may perhaps demonstrate that our assertions are not merely based on the teachings of Occult Records:
(1) The great Orientalist and scholar, Klaproth, denied positively the antiquity of the so-called Hebrew alphabet, on the ground that the square Hebrew characters in which the Biblical manuscripts are written, and which we use in printing, were probably derived from the Palmyrene writing, or some other Semitic alphabet, so that the Hebrew Bible is written merely in the Chaldaic phonographs of Hebrew words.
The late Dr. Kenealy pertinently remarked that the Jews and Christians rely on
A phonograph of a dead and almost unknown language, as abstruse as the cuneiform letters on the mountains of Assyria.†
* There is not in the decalogue one idea that is not the counterpart, or the paraphrase, of the dogmas and ethics current among the Egyptians long before the time of Moses and Aaron. (The Mosaic Law a transcript from Egyptian Sources: vide Geometry in Religion, London, E. W. Allen, 1890.)
† Book of God. Apocalypse of Adam-Oannes, Kenealy, p. 383 [London, Reeves & Turner, 1867.] The reference to Klaproth is also from this page.
(2) The attempts made to carry back the square Hebrew character to the time of Esdras (B.C. 458) have all failed.
(3) It is asserted that the Jews took their alphabet from the Babylonians during their captivity. But there are scholars who do not carry the now-known Hebrew square letters beyond the late period of the fourth century A.D.*
The Hebrew Bible is precisely as if Homer were printed, not in Greek, but in English letters; or as if Shakespeare’s works were phonographed in Burmese.†
(4) Those who maintain that the ancient Hebrew is the same as the Syriac or Chaldaic have to see what is said in Jeremiah, wherein the Lord is made to threaten the house of Israel with bringing against it the mighty and ancient nation of the Chaldaeans:
A nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say.‡
This is quoted by Bishop Walton§ against the assumption of the identity of Chaldaic and Hebrew, and ought to settle the question.
(5) The real Hebrew of Moses was lost after the seventy years’ captivity, when the Israelites brought back Chaldaic with them and grafted it on their own language, the fusion resulting in a dialectical variety of Chaldaic, the Hebrew tincturing it very slightly, and ceasing from that time to be a spoken language.||
* See Asiat. Jour., N.S. vii, p. 275, quoted by Kenealy, p. 384.
† Book of God, loc. cit.
‡ Op. cit., v, 15.
§ Prolegomena, iii, 13, quoted by Kenealy, p. 385.
|| See Book of God, p. 385. “Care should be taken,” says Butler (quoted by Kenealy, p. 489), “to distinguish between the Pentateuch in the Hebrew language but in the letters of the Samaritan alphabet, and the version of the Pentateuch in the Samaritan language. One of the most important differences between the Samaritan and the Hebrew text respects the duration of the period between the deluge and the birth of Abraham. The Samaritan text makes it longer by some centuries than the Hebrew text; and the Septuagint makes it longer by some centuries than the Samaritan. It is observable that in the authentic translation of the Latin Vulgate, the Roman Church follows the computation expressed in the Hebrew text; and in her Martyrology follows that of the Seventy,” both texts being inspired, as she claims.
As to our statement that the present Old Testament does not contain the original Books of Moses, this is proven by the facts that:
(1) The Samaritans repudiated the Jewish canonical books and their “Law of Moses.” They will have neither the Psalms of David, nor the Prophets, nor the Talmud and Mishnâh: nothing but the real Books of Moses, and in quite a different edition.* The Books of Moses and of Joshua are disfigured out of recognition by the Talmudists, they say.
(2) The “black Jews” of Cochin, Southern India––who know nothing of the Babylonian Captivity or of the ten “lost tribes” (the latter a pure invention of the Rabbis), proving that these Jews must have come to India before the year 600 B.C.––have their Books of Moses which they will show to no one. And these Books and Laws differ greatly from the present scrolls. Nor are they written in the square Hebrew characters (semi-Chaldaic and semi- Palmyrene) but in the archaic letters, as we were assured by one of them––letters entirely unknown to all but themselves and a few Samaritans.
(3) The Karaim Jews of the Crimea––who call themselves the descendants of the true children of Israel, i.e., of the Sadducees––reject the Torah and the Pentateuch of the Synagogue, reject the Sabbath of the Jews (keeping Friday), will have neither the Books of the Prophets nor the Psalms––nothing but their own Books of Moses and what they call his one and real Law.
This makes it plain that the Kabalah of the Jews is but the distorted echo of the Secret Doctrine of the Chaldaeans, and that the real Kabalah is found only in the Chaldaean Book of Numbers now in the possession of some Persian Sûfîs. Every nation in antiquity had its traditions based on those of the Âryan Secret Doctrine; and each nation points to this day to a Sage of its own race who had received the primordial revelation from, and had recorded it under the orders of, a more or less divine Being. Thus it was with the Jews, as with all others. They had received their Occult Cosmogony and Laws from their Initiate, Moses, and they have now entirely mutilated them.
* See Rev. Joseph Wolff’s Journal, p. 200. [Quoted in Book of God, pp. 382-83.]
Âdi is the generic name in our Doctrine of all the first men, i.e, the first speaking races, in each of the seven zones––hence probably “Ad-am.” And such first men, in every nation, are credited with having been taught the divine mysteries of creation. Thus, the Sabaeans (according to a tradition preserved in the Sûfî works) say that when the “Third First Man” left the country adjacent to India for Babel, a tree* was given to him, then another and a third tree, whose leaves recorded the history of all the races; the “Third First Man” meant one who belonged to the Third Root-Race, and yet the Sabaeans call him Adam. The Arabs of Upper Egypt, and the Mohammedans generally, have recorded a tradition that the Angel Azâzel brings a message from the Wisdom-Word of God to Adam whenever he is reborn; this the Sûfîs explain by adding that this book is given to every Seli- Allah (“the chosen one of God”) for his wise men. The story narrated by the Kabalists––namely, that the book given to Adam before his Fall (a book full of mysteries and signs and events which either had been, were, or were to be) was taken away by the Angel Raziel after Adam’s Fall, but again restored to him lest men might lose its wisdom and instruction; that this book was delivered by Adam to Seth, who passed it to Enoch, and the latter to Abraham, and so on in succession to the most wise of every generation––relates to all nations, and not to the Jews alone. For Berosus narrates in his turn that Xisuthros compiled a book, writing it at the command of his deity, which book was buried in Zipara† or Sippara, the City of the Sun, in Ba-bel-on-ya, and was dug up long afterwards and deposited in the temple of Belos; it is from this book that Berosus took his history of the antediluvian dynasties of Gods and Heroes. Aelian (in Nimrod) speaks of a Hawk (emblem of the Sun), who in the days of the beginnings brought to the Egyptians a book containing the wisdom of their religion. The Sam-Sam
* A tree is symbolically a book––as “pillar” is another synonym of the same.
† The wife of Moses, one of the seven daughters of a Midian priest, is called Zipora. It was Jethro, the priest of Midian, who initiated Moses; Zipora, one of the seven daughters. being simply one of the seven Occult powers that the Hierophant was and is supposed to pass to the initiated novice.
of the Sabaeans is also a Kabalah, as is the Arabic Zem-Zem (Well of Wisdom).*
We are told by a very learned Kabalist that Seyffarth asserts that the old Egyptian tongue was only old Hebrew, or a Semitic dialect; and he proves this, our correspondent thinks, by sending him “some 500 words in common” in the two languages. This proves very little to our mind. It only shows that the two nations lived together for centuries, and that before adopting the Chaldaean for their phonetic tongue the Jews had adopted the old Coptic or Egyptian. The Israelitish Scriptures drew their hidden wisdom from the primeval Wisdom-Religion that was the source of other Scriptures, only it was sadly degraded by being applied to things and mysteries of this Earth, instead of to those in the higher and ever-present, though invisible, spheres. Their national history, if they can claim any autonomy before their return from the Babylonian captivity, cannot be carried back one day earlier than the time of Moses. The language of Abraham––if Zeruan (Saturn, the emblem of time ––the “Sar,” “Saros,” a “cycle”) can be said to have any language––was not Hebrew, but Chaldaic, perhaps Arabic, and still more likely some old Indian dialect. This is shown by numerous proofs, some of which we give here; and unless, indeed, to please the tenacious and stubborn believers in Bible chronology, we cripple the years of our globe to the Procrustean bed of 7,000 years, it becomes self-evident that the Hebrew cannot be called an old language, merely because Adam is supposed to have used it in the Garden of Eden. Bunsen says in Egypt’s Place in Universal History that in the
Chaldean tribe immediately connected with Abraham, we find reminiscences of dates disfigured and misunderstood, as genealogies of single men, or indications of epochs. The Abrahamic tribe-recollections go back at least three millennia beyond the grandfather of Jacob.†
The Bible of the Jews has ever been an Esoteric Book in its hidden meaning, but this meaning has not remained one and the same throughout since the days of Moses. It is useless, considering the limited space we can give to this subject, to attempt
* See for these details the Book of God, pp. 244, 250.
† Bunsen, op. cit., Vol. V, p. 85.
anything like the detailed history of the vicissitudes of the so-called Pentateuch, and besides, the history is too well known to need lengthy disquisitions. Whatever was, or was not, the Mosaic Book of Creation––from Genesis down to the Prophets ––the Pentateuch of today is not the same. It is sufficient to read the criticisms of Erasmus, and even of Sir Isaac Newton, to see clearly that the Hebrew Scriptures had been tampered with and remodelled, had been lost and rewritten, a dozen times before the days of Ezra. This Ezra himself may yet one day turn out to have been Azara, the Chaldaean priest of the Fire and Sun-God, a renegade who, through his desire of becoming a ruler, and in order to create an Ethnarchy, restored the old lost Jewish Books in his own way. It was an easy thing for one versed in the secret system of Esoteric numerals, or Symbology, to put together events from the stray books that had been preserved by various tribes, and make of them an apparently harmonious narrative of creation and of the evolution of the Judaean race. But in its hidden meaning, from Genesis to the last word of Deuteronomy, the Pentateuch is the symbolical narrative of the sexes, and is an apotheosis of Phallicism, under astronomical and physiological personations.* Its coordination, however, is only apparent; and the human hand appears at every moment, is found everywhere in the “Book of God.” Hence the Kings of Edôm discussed in Genesis before any king had reigned in Israel; Moses records his own death, and Aaron dies twice and is buried in two different places, to say nothing of other trifles. For the Kabalist they are trifles, for he knows that all these events are not history, but are simply the cloak designed to envelope and hide various physiological peculiarities; but for the sincere Christian, who accepts all these “dark sayings” in good faith, it matters a good deal. Solomon may very well be regarded as a myth† by the Masons, as they lose
* As is fully shown in The Source of Measures and other works.
† Surely even Masons would never claim the actual existence of Solomon? As Kenealy shows, he is not noticed by Herodotus, nor by Plato, nor by any writer of standing. It is most extraordinary, he says, “that the Jewish nation, over whom but a few years before the mighty Solomon had reigned in all his glory, with a magnificence scarcely equalled by the greatest monarchs, spending nearly eight thousand millions of gold on a temple, was overlooked by the historian Herodotus, writing of Egypt
nothing by it, for all their secrets are Kabalistic and allegorical ––for those few, at any rate, who understand them. For the Christian, however, to give up Solomon, the son of David–– from whom Jesus is made to descend––involves a real loss. But how even the Kabalists can claim great antiquity for the Hebrew texts of the old Biblical scrolls now possessed by the scholars is not made at all apparent. For it is certainly a fact of history, based on the confessions of the Jews themselves, and of Christians likewise, that:
The Scriptures having perished in the captivity of Nabuchadrezzar, Esdras, the Levite, the priest, in the times of Artaxerxes, king of the Persians, having become inspired, in the exercise of prophecy restored again the whole of the ancient Scriptures.*
One must have a strong belief in “Esdras,” and especially in his good faith, to accept the now-existing copies as genuine Mosaic Books; for:
Assuming that the copies, or rather phonographs which had been made by Hilkiah and Esdras, and the various anonymous editors, were really true and genuine, they must have been wholly exterminated by Antiochus; and the version of the Old Testament which now subsists must have been made by Judas, or by some unknown compilers, probably from the Greek of the Seventy, long after the appearance and death of Jesus. †
The Bible, therefore, as it is now (the Hebrew texts, that is), depends for its accuracy on the genuineness of the Septuagint; this, we are again told, was written miraculously by the Seventy, in Greek, and the original copy having been lost since that time, our texts are re-translated back into Hebrew from that language. But in this vicious circle of proofs we once more have to rely upon the good faith of two Jews––Josephus and Philo Judaeus
on the one hand, and of Babylon on the other––visiting both places, and of course passing almost necessarily within a few miles of the splendid capital of the national Jerusalem? How can this be accounted for?” he asks (p. 457). Nay, not only are there no proofs of the twelve tribes of Israel having ever existed, but Herodotus, the most accurate of historians, who was in Assyria when Ezra flourished, never mentions the Israelites at all; and Herodotus was born in 484 B.C. How is this?
* Clement, Stromateis, Bk. I, chap. xii.
† Book of God, p. 408.
of Alexandria––these two Historians being the only witnesses that the Septuagint was written under the circumstances narrated. And yet it is just these circumstances that are very little calculated to inspire one with confidence. For what does Josephus tell us? He says that Ptolemy Philadelphus, desiring to read the Hebrew Law in Greek, wrote to Eleazar, the highpriest of the Jews, begging him to send him six men from each of the twelve tribes, who should make a translation for him. Then follows a truly miraculous story, vouchsafed by Aristeas, of these seventy- two men from the twelve tribes of Israel, who, shut up in an island, compiled their translation in exactly seventy-two days, etc.
All this is very edifying, and one might have had very little reason to doubt the story, had not the “ten lost tribes” been made to play their part in it. How could these tribes, lost between 700 and 900 B.C., each send six men some centuries later, to satisfy the whim of Ptolemy, and to disappear once more immediately afterwards from the horizon? A miracle, verily.
We are expected, nevertheless, to regard such documents as the Septuagint as containing direct divine revelation: Documents originally written in a tongue about which nobody now knows anything; written by authors that are practically mythical, and at dates as to which no one is able even to make a defensible surmise; documents of the original copies of which there does not now remain a shred. Yet people will persist in talking of the ancient Hebrew, as if there were any man left in the world who now knows one word of it. So little, indeed, was Hebrew known that both the Septuagint and the New Testament had to be written in a heathen language (the Greek), and no better reasons for it given than what Hutchinson says, namely, that the Holy Ghost chose to write the New Testament in Greek.
The Hebrew language is considered to be very old, and yet there exists no trace of it anywhere on the old monuments, not even in Chaldaea. Among the great number of inscriptions of various kinds found in the ruins of that country:
One in the Hebrew Chaldee letter and language has never been found; nor has a single authentic medal or gem in this new-fangled character been ever discovered, which could carry it even to the days of Jesus.*
* Book of God, p. 453.
The original Book of Daniel is written in a dialect which is a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic; it is not even in Chaldaic, with the exception of a few verses interpolated later on. According to Sir W. Jones and other Orientalists, the oldest discoverable languages of Persia are the Chaldaic and Sanskrit, and there is no trace of the “Hebrew” in these. It would be very surprising if there were, since the Hebrew known to the philologists does not date earlier than 500 B.C., and its characters belong to a far later period still. Thus, while the real Hebrew characters, if not altogether lost are nevertheless so hopelessly transformed —
A mere inspection of the alphabet showing that it has been shaped and made regular, in doing which the characteristic marks of some of the letters have been retrenched in order to make them more square and uniform—*
that no one but an initiated Rabbi of Samaria or a “Jaina” could read them, the new system of the Masoretic points has made them a sphinx-riddle for all. Punctuation is now to be found everywhere in all the later manuscripts, and by means of it anything can be made of a text; a Hebrew scholar can put on the texts any interpretation he likes. Two instances given by Kenealy will suffice:
In Genesis xlix, 21, we read:
Naphtali is a hind let loose; he giveth goodly words.
By only a slight alteration of the points Bochart changes this into:
Napthali is a spreading tree, shooting forth beautiful branches.
So again, in Psalms (xxix, 9), instead of:
The voice of the Lord maketh the hind to calve, and discovereth the forests;
Bishop Lowth gives:
The voice of the Lord striketh the oak, and discovereth the forests.
The same word in Hebrew signifies “God” and “Nothing,” . . . . †
With regard to the claim made by some Kabalists that there was in antiquity one knowledge and one language, this claim is also our own, and it is very just. Only it must be added, to make the thing clear, that this knowledge and language have
* Asiatic Journal, vii, p. 275, quoted by Kenealy, p. 384.
† Book of God, p. 385.
both been esoteric ever since the submersion of the Atlanteans. The Tower of Babel myth relates to that enforced secrecy. Men falling into sin were regarded as no longer trustworthy for the reception of such knowledge, and, from being universal, it became limited to the few. Thus, the “one-lip”—or the Mystery-language—being gradually denied to subsequent generations, all the nations became severally restricted to their own national tongue; and forgetting the primeval Wisdom-language, they stated that the Lord—one of the chief Lords or Hierophants of the Mysteries of the Yava-Aleim—had confounded the languages of all the earth, so that the sinners could understand one another’s speech no longer. But Initiates remained in every land and nation, and the Israelites, like all others, had their learned Adepts. One of the keys to this Universal Knowledge is a pure geometrical and numerical system, the alphabet of every great nation having a numerical value for every letter,* and, moreover, a system of permutation of syllables and synonyms which is carried to perfection in the Indian Occult methods, and which the Hebrew certainly has not. This one system, containing the elements of Geometry and Numeration, was used by the Jews for the purpose of concealing their Esoteric creed under the mask of a popular and national monotheistic Religion. The last who knew the system to perfection were the learned and “atheistical” Sadducees, the greatest enemies of the pretensions of the Pharisees and of their confused notions brought from Babylon. Yes, the Sadducees, the
* Speaking of the hidden meaning of the Sanskrit words, Mr. T. Subba Row, in his able article on “The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac,” gives some advice as to the way in which one should proceed to find out “the deep significance of ancient Sanskrit nomenclature . . . in the old Aryan myths. . . . 1. Find out the synonyms of the word used which have other meanings. 2. Find out the numerical value of the letters composing the word according to the methods of the ancient Tantrika works [Tantrika Śastra—works on Incantation and Magic]. 3. Examine the ancient myths or allegories, if there are any, which have any special connection with the word in question. 4. Permute the different syllables composing the word and examine the new combinations that will thus be formed and their meanings,” etc. But he does not give the principal rule. And no doubt he is quite right. The Tantrika Śastras are as old as Magic itself. Have they also borrowed their Esotericism from the Hebrews? [Cf. Five Years of Theosophy, 1885, pp. 106-07.]
Illusionists, who maintained that the Soul, the Angels, and all similar Beings, were illusions because they were temporary—thus showing themselves at one with Eastern Esotericism. And since they rejected every book and Scripture, with the exception of the Law of Moses, it seems that the latter must have been very different from what it is now.*
The whole of the foregoing is written with an eye to our Kabalists. Great scholars as some of them undoubtedly are, they are nevertheless wrong to hang the harps of their faith on the willows of Talmudic growth—on the Hebrew scrolls, whether in square or pointed characters, now in our public libraries, museums, or even in the collections of Paleographers. There do not remain half-a-dozen copies from the true Mosaic Hebrew scrolls in the whole world. And those who are in possession of these—as we indicated a few pages back—would not part with them, or even allow them to be examined, on any consideration whatever. How then can any Kabalist claim priority for Hebrew Esotericism, and say, as does one of our correspondents, that “the Hebrew has come down from a
* Their founder, Zadoc, was the pupil, through Antigonus of Socho, of Simon the Just. They had their own secret Book of the Law ever since the foundation of their sect (about 400 B.C.) and this volume was unknown to the masses. At the time of the Separation the Samaritans recognized only the Book of the Law of Moses and the Book of Joshua, and their Pentateuch is far older, and is different from the Septuagint. In 168 B.C. Jerusalem had its temple plundered, [See Samuel Burder’s The Genuine Works of Flavius Josephus, Vol. II, pp. 331-35. New York, Dodd, Mead & Co., 1879.] and its Sacred Books—namely the Bible made up by Ezra and finished by Judas Maccabeus—were lost, . . . . after which the Masorah completed the work of destruction (even of Ezra’s once-more adjusted Bible) begun by the change into square from horned letters. Therefore the later Pentateuch accepted by the Pharisees was rejected and laughed at by the Sadducees. They are generally called atheists; yet, since those learned men, who made no secret of their free-thought, furnished from among their number the most eminent of the Jewish high-priests, this seems impossible. How could the Pharisees and the other two believing and pious sects allow notorious atheists to be selected for such posts? The answer is difficult to find for bigotry and for believers in a personal, anthropomorphic God, but very easy for those who accept facts. The Sadducees were called atheists because they believed as the initiated Moses believed, thus differing very widely from the latter made-up Jewish legislator and hero of Mount Sinai.
far remoter antiquity than any of them [whether Egyptian or even Sanskrit!], and that it was the source, or nearer to the old original source, than any of them”?*
As our correspondent says: “It becomes more convincing to me every day that in a far past time there was a mighty civilization with enormous learning, which had a common language over the earth, as to which its essence can be recovered from the fragments which now exist.”
Aye, there existed indeed a mighty civilization, and a still mightier secret learning and knowledge, the entire scope of which can never be discovered by Geometry and the Kabalah alone; for there are seven keys to the large entrance door, and not one, nor even two, keys can ever open it sufficiently to allow more than glimpses of what lies within.
Every scholar must be aware that there are two distinct styles—two schools, so to speak—plainly traceable in the Hebrew Scriptures: the Elohistic and the Jehovistic. The portions belonging to these respectively are so blended together, so completely mixed up by later hands, that often all external characteristics are lost. Yet it is also known that the two schools were antagonistic; that the one taught esoteric, the other exoteric, or theological doctrines; that the one, the Elohists, were Seers (Roeh), whereas the other, the Jehovists, were prophets (Nabi),† and that the latter—who later became Rabbis–were generally only nominally prophets by virtue of their official position, as the Pope is called the infallible and inspired
* The measurements of the Great Pyramid being those of the temple of Solomon, of the Ark of the Covenant, etc., according to Piazzi Smythe and the author of The Source of Measures, and the Pyramid of Gizeh being shown on astronomical calculations to have been built 4950 B.C., and Moses having written his books—for the sake of argument—not even half that time before our era, how can this be? Surely if any one borrowed from the other, it is not the Pharaohs from Moses. Even philology shows not only the Egyptian, but even the Mongolian, older than the Hebrew.
† This alone shows how the Books of Moses were tampered with. In I Samuel (ix, 9), it is said: “He that is now called a prophet [Nabi] was beforetime called a Seer [Roeh].” Now since before Samuel, the word “Roeh” is met nowhere in the Pentateuch, but its place is always taken by that of “Nabi,” this proves clearly that the Mosaic text has been replaced by that of the later Levites. (See for fuller details Jewish Antiquities, by the Rev. D. Jennings, D.D.)
vicegerent of God. That, again, the Elohists meant by “Elohim” “forces,” identifying their Deity, as in the Secret Doctrine, with Nature; while the Jehovists made of Jehovah a personal God externally, and used the term simply as a phallic symbol—a number of them secretly disbelieving even in metaphysical, abstract Nature, and synthesizing all on the terrestrial scale. Finally, the Elohists made of man the divine incarnate image of the Elohim, emanated first in all Creation; and the Jehovists show him as the last, the crowning glory of the animal creation, instead of his being the head of all the sensible beings on earth. (This is reversed by some Kabalists, but the reversion is due to the designedly-produced confusion in the texts, especially in the first four chapters of Genesis. )
Take the Zohar and find in it the description relating to Ain-Soph, the Western or Semitic Parabrahman. What passages have come so nearly up to the Vedntic ideal as the following:
The creation [the evolved Universe] is the garment of that which has no name, the garment woven from the Deity’s own substance.*
Between that which is Ain or “nothing,” and the Heavenly Man, there is an Impersonal First Cause, however, of which it is said:
Before It gave any shape to this world, before It produced any form, It was alone, without form or similitude to anything else. Who, then, can comprehend It, how It was before the creation, since It was formless? Hence it is forbidden to represent It by any form, similitude, or even by Its sacred name, by a single letter or a single point.†
The sentence that follows, however, is an evident later interpolation; for it draws attention to a complete contradiction:
And to this the words (Deut. iv, 15), refer—”Ye saw no manner of similitude on the day the Lord spake unto you.”
But this reference to Chapter iv of Deuteronomy, when in Chapter v God is mentioned as speaking “face to face” with the people, is very clumsy.
* Zohar, i, 2a. [See also: Zohar (Bereshith, Genesis) tr. by Nurho de Manhar (pseud.) Wizards Bookshelf, San Diego, 1980.]
† Zohar, 42 B.
Not one of the names given to Jehovah in the Bible has any reference whatever to either Ain Soph or the Impersonal First Cause (which is the Logos) of the Kabalah; but they all refer to the Emanations.
For although, to reveal itself to us, the Concealed of all the Concealed sent forth the Ten Emanations [Sephîrôth] called the Form of God, Form of the Heavenly Man, yet since even this luminous form was too dazzling for our vision, it had to assume another form, or had to put on another garment, which consists of the Universe. The Universe, therefore, or the visible world, is a farther expansion of the Divine Substance, and is called in the Kabalah “The Garment of God.”*
This is the doctrine of all the Hindu Puranas, especially that of the Vishnu-Purana. Vishnu pervades the Universe and is that Universe; Brahm enters the Mundane Egg, and issues from it as the Universe; Brahma even dies with it and there remains only Brahman, the impersonal, the eternal, the unborn, and the unqualifiable. The Ain-Soph of the Chaldaeans and later of the Jews is assuredly a copy of the Vaidic Deity; while the “Heavenly Adam,” the Macrocosm which unites in itself the totality of beings and is the Esse of the visible Universe, finds his original in the Puranic Brahma. In Sod, “the Secret of the Law,” one recognizes the expressions used in the oldest fragments of the Gupta-Vidya, the Secret Knowledge. And it is not venturing too much to say that even a Rabbi quite familiar with his own special Rabbinical Hebrew would only comprehend its secrets thoroughly if he added to his learning a serious knowledge of the Hindu philosophies. Let us turn to Stanza I of the Book of Dzyan for an example.
The Zohar premises, as does the Secret Doctrine, a universal, eternal Essence, passive—because absolute—in all that men call attributes. The pregenetic or precosmical Triad is a pure metaphysical abstraction. The notion of a triple hypostasis in one Unknown Divine Essence is as old as speech and thought.
* Zohar i, 2a. See Dr. Christian David Ginsburg’s essay on The Cabbalah, its Doctrines, Developments and Literature. [First published in Gt. Britain in 1863 by Longmans Green & Co.; for the quotation above see p. 108 of a 1974 reprint of Ginsburg’s combined essays, bearing the title: The Essenes and The Kabbalah . . ., reprinted in N.Y. by Sam Weiser; also 1972.—Compiler.]
Hiranyagarbha, Hari, and Śamkara—the Creator, the Preserver, and the Destroyer—are the three manifested attributes of it, appearing and disappearing with Kosmos; the visible Triangle, so to speak, on the plane of the ever-invisible Circle. This is the primeval root-thought of thinking Humanity; the Pythagorean Triangle emanating from the ever-concealed Monad, or the Central Point.
Plato speaks of it and Plotinus calls it an ancient doctrine, on which Cudworth remarks that:
Since Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Plato, who, all of them, asserted a Trinity of divine hypostases, unquestionably derived much of their doctrine from the Egyptians, it may be reasonably suspected, that the Egyptians did the like before them.*
The Egyptians certainly derived their Trinity from the Indians. Wilson justly observes:
As, however, the Grecian accounts and those of the Egyptians are much more perplexed and unsatisfactory than those of the Hindus, it is most probable that we find amongst them the doctrine in its most original, as well as most methodical and significant, form.†
This, then, is the meaning:
“Darkness alone filled the Boundless All, for Father, Mother and Son were once more One.”‡
Space was, and is ever, as it is between the Manvantaras. The Universe in its pre-kosmic state was once more homogeneous and one—outside its aspects. This was a Kabalistic, and is now a Christian teaching.
As is constantly shown in the Zohar, the Infinite Unity, or Ain-Soph, is ever placed outside human thought and appreciation; and in Sepher Yetzirâh we see the Spirit of God—the Logos, not the Deity itself—called One.
One is the Spirit of the living God, . . . who liveth forever. Voice, Spirit, [of the Spirit], and Word: this is the Holy Spirit,§
* Ralph Cudworth, Intellectual System of the Universe, I, iii. London, Thomas Tegg, 1845. Quoted by Wilson, Vishnu Purana, Vol. I, p. 14 fn.
† Vishnu Purana, I, 14. [H.H. Wilson ed., London, John Murray, 1840.]
‡ Stanza I, 5 [The Secret Doctrine, I, p. 40] .
§ Spher Yetzirah, I, §9.
RALPH CUDWORTH, DD.
and the Quaternary. From this Cube emanates the whole Kosmos.
Says the Secret Doctrine:
It is called to life. The mystic Cube in which rests the Creative Idea, the manifesting Mantra [or articulate speech— Vach] and the holy Purusha [both radiations of prima materia] exist in the Eternity in the Divine Substance in their latent state
And in the Sepher Yetzirah, when the Three-in-One are to be called into being—by the manifestation of Shekhinah, the first effulgency or radiation in the manifesting Kosmos—the “Spirit of God,” or Number One,* fructifies and awakens the dual Potency, Number Two, Air, and Number Three, Water; in these “are darkness and emptiness, slime and dung”—which is Chaos, the Tohu-Vah-Bohu. The Air and Water emanate Number Four, Ether or Fire, the Son. This is the Kabalistic Quaternary. This Fourth Number, which in the manifested Kosmos is the One, or the Creative God, is with the Hindus the “Ancient,” Sanat, the Prajâpati of the Vedas and the Brahmâ of the Brâhmans—the heavenly Androgyne, as he becomes the male only after separating himself into two bodies, Vâch and Virâj. With the Kabalists, he is at first the Yôd-Havâh, only later becoming Jehovah, like Virâj, his prototype, after separating himself as Adam-Kadmon into Adam and Eve in the formless, and into Cain-Abel in the semiobjective world, he became finally the Yôd-Havâh, or man and woman, in Enoch, the son of Seth.
For, the true meaning of the compound name of Jehovah—of which, unvoweled, you can make almost anything—is: men and women, or humanity composed of its two sexes. From the first chapter to the end of the fourth chapter of Genesis every name is a permutation of another name, and every personage is at the same time somebody else. A Kabalist
* In its manifested state it becomes Ten, the Universe. In the Chaldaean Kabalah it is sexless. In the Jewish, Shekhinah is female, and the early Christians and Gnostics regarded the Holy Ghost as a female potency. In the Book of Numbers “Shekhina” is made to drop the final “h” that makes it a feminine name. Narayana, the Mover on the Waters, is also sexless; but it is our firm belief that Shekhînah and Daiviprakiti, the “Light of the Logos,” are one and the same thing philosophically.
traces Jehovah from the Adam of earth to Seth, the third son—or rather race—of Adam.* Thus Seth is Jehovah male; and Enos, being a permutation of Cain and Abel, is Jehovah male and female, or our mankind. The Hindu Brahmâ-Virâj, Virâj-Manu, and Manu-Vaivasvata, with his daughter and wife, Vâch, present the greatest analogy with these personages—for anyone who will take the trouble of studying the subject in both the Bible and the Puranas. It is said of Brahmâ that he created himself as Manu, and that he was born of, and was identical with, his original self, while he constituted the female portion “Śata-rupa” (hundred-formed). In this Hindu Eve, “the mother of all living beings,” Brahma created Viraj, who is himself, but on a lower scale, as Cain is Jehovah on an inferior scale: both are the first males of the Third Race. The same idea is illustrated in the Hebrew name of God ( ). Read from right to left “Yôd” () is the father. “He” () the mother, “Vau” () the son, and “He” ( ), repeated at the end of the word, is generation, the act of birth, materiality. This is surely a sufficient reason why the God of the Jews and Christians should be personal, as much as the male Brahmâ, Vishnu, or Śiva of the orthodox, exoteric Hindu.
Thus the term of Yhvh alone—now accepted as the name of “One living [male] God”—will yield, if seriously studied, not only the whole mystery of Being (in the Biblical sense), but also that of the Occult Theogony, from the highest divine Being, the third in order, down to man. As shown by the best Hebraists:
The verbal or Hayah, or E-y-e, means to be, to exist, while or Hayah, or E-y-e, means to live, as motion of existence.†
Hence Eve stands as the evolution and the never-ceasing “becoming” of Nature. Now if we take the almost untranslatable Sanskrit word Sat, which means the quintessence of
* The Elohim create the Adam of dust, and in him Jehovah-Binah separates himself into Eve, after which the male portion of God becomes the Serpent, tempts himself in Eve, then creates himself in her as Cain, passes into Seth, and scatters from Enoch, the Son of Man, or Humanity, as Yod-Havah.
† The Source of Measures, p. 8.
absolute immutable Being, or Be-ness—as it has been rendered by an able Hindu Occultist—we shall find no equivalent for it in any language; but it may be regarded as most closely resembling “Ain,” or “Ain-Soph,” Boundless Being. Then the term Hâyâh, “to be,” as passive, changeless, yet manifested existence may perhaps be rendered by the Sanskrit Jîvâtman, universal life or soul, in its secondary or cosmic meaning; while “Hâyâh,” “to live,” as “motion of existence,” is simply Prana, the ever-changing life in its objective sense. It is at the head of this third category that the Occultist finds Jehovah—the Mother, Binah, and the Father, Arelim. This is made plain in the Zohar, when the emanation and evolution of the Sephirôth are explained: First, Ain-Soph, then Shekhinah, the Garment or Veil of Infinite Light, then Sephîrah or the Kadmon, and, thus making the fourth, the spiritual Substance sent forth from the Infinite Light. This Sephîrah is called the Crown, Kether, and has besides, six other names—in all seven. These names are: 1. Kether; 2. the Aged; 3. the Primordial Point; 4. the White Head; 5. the Long Face; 6. the Inscrutable Height; and 7. Eheyeh (“I am”).* This Septenary Sephîrah is said to contain in itself the nine Sephirôth. But before showing how she brought them forth, let us read an explanation about the Sephirth in the Talmud, which gives it as an archaic tradition, or Kabalah.
There are three groups (or orders) of Sephîrôth: 1. The Sephrth called “divine attributes” (the Triad in the Holy Quaternary); 2. the sidereal (personal) Sephîrôth; 3. the metaphysical Sephîrôth, or a periphrasis of Jehovah, who are the first three Sephirôth (Kether, Hokmah and Bînâh), the rest of the seven being the personal “Seven Spirits of the Presence” (also of the planets, therefore). Speaking of these, the angels are meant, though not because they are seven, but because they represent the seven Sephirôth which contain in them the universality of the Angels.
This shows (a) that, when the first four Sephîrôth are
* This identifies Sephirah, the third potency, with Jehovah the Lord, who says to Moses out of the burning bush: “(Here) I am” (Exodus iii, 4). At this time the “Lord” had not yet become Jehovah. It was not the one male God who spoke, but the Elohim manifested, or the Sephiroth in their manifested collectivity of seven, contained in the triple Sephirah.
separated, as a Triad-Quaternary—Sephîrah being its synthesis—there remain only seven Sephiroth, as there are seven Rishis; these become ten when the Quaternary, or the first divine Cube, is scattered into units; and (b) that while Jehovah might have been viewed as the Deity, if he be included in the three divine groups or orders of the Sephiroth, the collective Elohim, or the quaternary indivisible Kether, once that he becomes a male God, he is no more than one of the Builders of the lower group—a Jewish Brahma.* A demonstration is now attempted.
The first Sephirah, containing the other nine, brought them forth in this order: (2) Hokmah (or Wisdom), a masculine active potency represented among the divine names as Yah; and, as a permutation or an evolution into lower forms in this instance—becoming the ophanim (or the Wheels—cosmic rotation of matter) among the army, or the angelic hosts. From this Hokmah emanated a feminine passive potency called (3) Intelligence, Binah, whose divine name is Jehovah, and whose angelic name, among the Builders and Hosts, is Arelim.† It is from the union of these two potencies, male and female (or Hokmah and Binah) that emanated all the other Sephiroth, the seven orders of the Builders. Now if we call Jehovah by his divine name, then he becomes at best and forthwith “a female passive” potency in Chaos. And if we view him as a male God, he is no more than one of many, an Angel, Arelim. But straining the analysis to its highest point, and if his male name Yah, that of Wisdom, be allowed to him, still he is not the “Highest and the one Living God”; for he is contained with many others within Sephirah, and Sephirah herself is a third Potency in Occultism, though regarded as the first in the
* The Brahmans were wise in their generation when they gradually, for no other reason than this, abandoned Brahma, and paid less attention to him individually than to any other deity. As an abstract synthesis they worshipped him collectively and in every God, each of which represents him. As Brahmâ, the male, he is far lower than Śiva, the Linga, who personates universal generation, or Vishnu, the preserver—both Śiva and Vishnu being the regenerators of life after destruction. The Christians might do worse than follow their example, and worship God in Spirit, and not in the male Creator.
† A plural word, signifying a collective host generically; literally, the “strong lion.”
exoteric Kabalah—and is one, moreover, of lesser importance than the Vaidic Aditi, or the Primordial Water of Space, which becomes after many a permutation the Astral Light of the Kabalist.
Thus the Kabalah, as we have it now, is shown to be of the greatest importance in explaining the allegories and “dark sayings” of the Bible. As an Esoteric work upon the mysteries of creation, however, it is almost worthless as it is now disfigured, unless checked by the Chaldaean Book of Numbers or by the tenets of the Eastern Secret Science, or Esoteric Wisdom. The Western nations have neither the original Kabalah, nor yet the Mosaic Bible.
Finally, it is demonstrated by internal as well as by external evidence, on the testimony of the best European Hebraists, and the confessions of the learned Jewish Rabbis themselves, that “an ancient document forms the essential basis of the Bible, which received very considerable insertions and supplements”; and that “the Pentateuch arose out of the primitive or older document by means of a supplementary one.” Therefore in the absence of the Book of Numbers,* the Kabalists of the West are only entitled to come to definite conclusions, when they have at hand some data at least from that “ancient document”—data now found scattered throughout Egyptian papyri, Assyrian tiles, and the traditions preserved by the descendants of the disciples of the last Nazars. Instead of that, most of them accept as their authorities and infallible guides Fabre d’Olivet—who was a man of immense erudition and of speculative mind, but neither a Kabalist nor an Occultist, either Western or Eastern—and the Mason Ragon, the greatest of the “Widow’s sons,” who was even less of an Orientalist than d’Olivet, for Sanskrit learning was almost unknown in the days of both these eminent scholars.
* The writer possesses only a few extracts, some dozen pages in all, verbatim quotations from that priceless work, of which but two or three copies, perhaps, are still extant.