WHAT THE OCCULTISTS AND KABALISTS HAVE TO SAY
The Zohar, an unfathomable store of hidden wisdom and mystery, is very often appealed to by Roman Catholic writers. A very learned Rabbi, now the Chevalier Drach, having been converted to Roman Catholicism, and being a great Hebraist, thought fit to step into the shoes of Pico della Mirandola and John Reuchlin, and to assure his new co-religionists that the Zohar contained in it pretty nearly all the dogmas of Catholicism. It is not our province to show here how far he has succeeded or failed; only to bring one instance of his explanations and preface it with the following:
The Zohar, as already shown, is not a genuine production of the Hebrew mind. It is the repository and compendium of the oldest doctrines of the East, transmitted orally at first, and then written down in independent treatises during the Captivity at Babylon, and finally brought together by Rabbi Shimon ben Yohai, toward the beginning of the Christian era. As Mosaic cosmogony was born under a new form in Mesopotamian countries, so the Zohar was a vehicle in which were focussed rays from the light of Universal Wisdom. Whatever likenesses are found between it and the Christian teachings, the compilers of the Zohar never had Christ in their minds. Were it otherwise, there would not be one single Jew of the Mosaic law left in the world by this time. Again, if one is to accept literally what the Zohar says, then any religion under the sun may find corroboration in its symbols and allegorical sayings; and this, simply because this work is the echo of the primitive truths, and every creed is founded on some of these; the Zohar being but a veil of the Secret Doctrine. This is so evident that we have only to point to the said ex-Rabbi, the Chevalier Drach, to prove the fact.
In Part III, fol. 87 (col. 346th) the Zohar treats of the Spirit guiding the Sun, its Rector, explaining that it is not the Sun itself that is meant thereby, but the Spirit “on, or under” the Sun. Drach is anxious to show that it was Christ who was meant by that “Sun,” or the Solar Spirit therein. In his comment upon that passage which refers to the Solar Spirit as “that stone which the builders rejected,” [Ps. 118, 22] he asserts most positively that this
Sun-stone (pierre soleil) is identical with Christ, who was that stone,
and that therefore
The sun is undeniably (sans contredit) the second hypostasis of the Deity,* or Christ.
If this be true, then the Vaidic or pre-Vaidic Âryans, Chaldaeans and Egyptians, like all Occultists past, present, and future, Jews included, have been Christians from all eternity. If this be not so, then modern Church Christianity is Paganism pure and simple exoterically, and transcendental and practical Magic, or Occultism, esoterically.
For this “stone” has a manifold significance, a dual existence, with gradations, a regular progression and retrogression. It is a “mystery” indeed.
The Occultists are quite ready to agree with St. Chrysostom, that the infidels—the profane, rather—
Being blinded by sunlight, thus lose sight of the true Sun in the contemplation of the false one.†
But if that Saint, and along with him now the Hebraist Drach, chose to see in the Zohar and the Kabalistic Sun “the second hypostasis,” this is no reason why all others should be blinded by them. The mystery of the Sun is the grandest perhaps, of all the innumerable mysteries of Occultism. A Gordian knot, truly, but one that cannot be severed with the double-edged sword of scholastic casuistry. It is a true deo dignus vindice nodus, and can be untied only by the Gods. The meaning of this is plain, and every Kabalist will understand it.
Contra solem ne loquaris† was not said by Pythagoras with regard to the visible Sun. It was the “Sun of Initiation” that was meant, in its triple form—two of which are the “Day-Sun” and the “Night-Sun.”
If behind the physical luminary there were no mystery that
* Harmonie entre l’Église et la Synagogue, t. II, p. 427, by the Chevalier Drach. [Paris, Paul Mellier, 1844.] See De Mirville IV. 38, 39.
† Op. cit.
‡ [“Do not speak against the Sun.”]
people sensed instinctively, why should every nation, from the primitive peoples down to the Pârsîs of today, have turned towards the Sun during prayers? The Solar Trinity is not Mazdean, but is universal, and is as old as man. All the temples in Antiquity were invariably made to face the Sun, their portals to open to the East. See the old temples of Memphis and Baalbec, the Pyramids of the Old and of the New (?) Worlds, the Round Towers of Ireland, and the Serapeiom of Egypt. The Initiates alone could give a philosophical explanation of this, and a reason for it— its mysticism notwithstanding—were only the world ready to receive it, which, alas! it is not. The last of the Solar Priests in Europe was the Imperial Initiate, Julian, now called the Apostate.* He tried to benefit the world
* Julian died for the same crime as Socrates. Both divulged a portion of the solar mystery, the heliocentric system being only a part of what was given during Initiation—one consciously, the other unconsciously, the Greek Sage never having been initiated. It was not the real solar system that was preserved in such secrecy, but the mysteries connected with the Sun’s constitution. Socrates was sentenced to death by earthly and worldly judges; Julian died a violent death because the hitherto protecting hand was withdrawn from him, and, no longer shielded by it, he was simply left to his destiny or Karma. For the student of Occultism there is a suggestive difference between the two kinds of death. Another memorable instance of the unconscious divulging of secrets pertaining to mysteries is that of the poet, P. Ovidius Naso, who, like Socrates, had not been initiated. In his case, the Emperor Augustus, who was an Initiate, mercifully changed the penalty of death into banishment to Tomos on the Euxine. This sudden change from unbounded royal favour to banishment has been a fruitful scheme of speculation to classical scholars not initiated into the Mysteries. They have quoted Ovid’s own lines to show that it was some great and heinous immorality of the Emperor of which Ovid had become unwillingly cognizant. The inexorable law of the death penalty always following upon the revelation of any portion of the Mysteries to the profane, was unknown to them. Instead of seeing the amiable and merciful act of the Emperor in its true light, they have made it an occasion for traducing his moral character. The poet’s own words can be no evidence, because as he was not an Initiate, it could not be explained to him in what his offence consisted. There have been comparatively modern instances of poets unconsciously revealing in their verses so much of the hidden knowledge as to make even Initiates suppose them to be fellow-Initiates, and come to talk to them on the subject. This only shows that the sensitive poetic temperament is sometimes so far transported beyond the bounds of ordinary sense as to get glimpses into
by revealing at least a portion of the great mystery of the — [threefold] and—he died. “There are three in one,” he said of the Sun—the central Sun* being a precaution of Nature: the first is the universal cause of all, Sovereign Good and perfection; the Second Power is paramount Intelligence, having dominion over all reasonable beings, @,D@4H; the third is the visible Sun. The pure energy of solar intelligence proceeds from the luminous seat occupied by our Sun in the centre of heaven, that pure energy being the Logos of our system; the “Mysterious Word-Spirit produces all through the Sun, and never operates through any other medium,” says Hermes Trismegistus. “For it is in the Sun, more than in any other heavenly body that the [unknown] Power placed the seat of its habitation.”† Only neither Hermes Trismegistus nor Julian, an initiated Occultist, nor any other, meant by this Unknown Cause Jehovah, or Jupiter. They referred to the cause that produced all the manifested “great Gods” or Demiurgi (the Hebrew God included) of our system. Nor was our visible, material Sun meant, for the latter was only the manifested symbol. Philolaus the Pythagorean, explains and completes Trismegistus by saying:
The Sun is a mirror of fire, the splendour of whose flames by their reflection in that mirror [the Sun] is poured upon us, and that splendour we call image. ‡
It is evident that Philolaus referred to the central spiritual Sun, whose beams and effulgence are only mirrored by our central Star, the Sun. This is as clear to the Occultists as it was to the Pythagoreans. As for the profane of pagan antiquity, it was, of course, the physical Sun that was the “highest God”
what has been impressed on the Astral Light. In the Light of Asia there are two passages that might make an Initiate of the first degree think that Mr. Edwin Arnold had been initiated himself in the Himalayan ashrams, but this is not so.
* A proof that Julian was acquainted with the heliocentric system.
† [Quia in sole saltem et non alibi uspiam, sedem habitations suae posuit. MINERVA MUNDI. (WMS. 167; The Theosophist, Vol. LV, Nov. 1933, p. 145).—Compiler.]
‡ [Des Esprits, IV, pp. 21-22.]
for them, as it seems—if Chevalier Drach’s view be accepted—to have now virtually become for the modern Roman Catholics. If words mean anything, the statements made by the Chevalier Drach that “this sun is, undeniably, the second hypostasis of the Deity,” imply what we say; as “this Sun” refers to the Kabalistic Sun, and “hypostasis” means substance or subsistence of the Godhead or Trinity—distinctly personal. As the author, being an ex-Rabbi, thoroughly versed in Hebrew, and in the mysteries of the Zohar, ought to know the value of words; and as, moreover, in writing this, he was bent upon reconciling “the seeming contradictions,” as he puts it, between Judaism and Christianity —the fact becomes quite evident. But all this pertains to questions and problems which will be solved naturally and in the course of the development of the doctrine. The Roman Catholic Church stands accused, not of worshipping under other names the Divine Beings worshipped by all nations in Antiquity, but of declaring idolatrous, not only the Pagans ancient and modern, but every Christian nation that has freed itself from the Roman yoke. The accusation brought against herself by more than one man of Science, of worshipping the stars like true Sabaeans of old, stands to this day uncontradicted, yet no star-worshipper has ever addressed his adoration to the material stars and planets, as will be shown before the last page of this work is written; none the less is it true that those Philosophers alone who studied Astrology and Magic knew that the last word of those sciences was to be sought in, and expected from, the Occult forces emanating from those constellations.