NOTES ON ABBÉ ROCA’S “ESOTERICISM OF CHRISTIAN DOGMA”
[Le Lotus, Paris, Vol. II, No. 9, December, 1887, pp. 160-173]
[Translation of the foregoing original French text]
In the opening pages of this essay—so remarkable for its sincerity and its boldness—the author [Abbé Roca] raises and solves this question: “Who can say whether the time in history in which we find ourselves is not the one when the great saying of Jesus Christ shall be fulfilled: ‘And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd’.” [John, x, 16.] Several facts of past and present history militate against this optimistic hope.
To begin with, there are the teachings and the doctrines of Eastern Esotericism, which anticipate the Kalki-Avatâra at the end of Kali-Yuga, while we are only at the beginning of it now.*
Then there is the esoteric interpretation of the Christian texts which, read in the light of, and translated into, "the language of the Mysteries," show us the identity of the fundamental and definitely universal truths; by this means, the four Gospels, as well as the Bible of Moses and everything else, from the first to the last, clearly appear to be a symbolic allegory of the same primitive mysteries and the Cycle of Initiation.
In carnalizing the central figure of the New Testament, in imposing the dogma of the Word made flesh, the Latin Church sets up a doctrine diametrically opposed to the tenets of Buddhist and Hindu Esotericism and the Greek Gnosis. Therefore, there will always be an abyss between the East and the West, as long as neither of these dogmas yields. Almost 2,000 years of bloody persecution against Heretics and Infidels by the Church looms before the
* The Kali-Yuga lasts 432,000 years, and the first 5,000 years thereof will not have expired until 1897.
Oriental nations to prevent them from renouncing their philosophic doctrines in favor of that which degrades the Christos principle.*
Then again statistics are available to prove that two-thirds of the population of the globe are still far from agreeing to gravitate to “one single Shepherd.” Armies of missionaries are sent to every corner of the earth; money by the millions is sacrificed by Rome every year and by tens of millions by the 350 to 360 Protestant sects, and what is the result of so much effort? The disclosure of a celebrated Bishop (Bishop Temple), based on statistics, tells us! Since the beginning of our century, where the Christian missionaries have made but three million converts, the Mohammedans have acquired two hundred million proselytes without the cost of one cent! Africa alone belongs almost entirely to Islam. A sign of the times!
I stated that the New Testament is but a Western allegory founded upon the universal Mysteries, the first historical traces of which, in Egypt alone, go back at least to 6,000 years before the Christian era. I am about to prove this.
The allegory is that of the Cycle of Initiation, a new version of the mysteries, at once psychical and astronomical. Sabeism and Heliolatry are therein intimately linked to that other mystery, the Incarnation of the Word or the descent into the human race of the divine Fiat, symbolized in the story of Elohim-Jehovah and the Adam of clay. Hence, psychology and astrolatry (whence astronomy) cannot be separated therein.
These same fundamental mysteries are found in the sacred texts of every nation, of every people, from the beginning of the conscious life of humanity; but when one legend based upon these mysteries attempts to arrogate exclusive rights to itself above all the rest; when it declares itself an infallible dogma to force the popular
* An explanation of this word will be found later on.—Editor, Le Lotus.
faith into a dead letter belief, to the detriment of the true metaphysical meaning, such a legend must be denounced, its veil torn away, and itself` displayed in its nakedness to the world!
Thus it is useless to speak of the esoteric identity of universal beliefs until one has thoroughly studied and understood the true esoteric sense of these two original terms: Chrêstos () and Christos (): two poles as opposed in their significance as night and day, suffering and humility, joy and glorification, etc. The true Christians died with the last of the Gnostics, and the Christians of our day are but the usurpers of a name they no longer understand. As long as this is the case, Orientals cannot agree with Occidentals; no blending of religious ideas would be possible between them.
It is said that after the Kalki-Avatâra (“He who is expected” on the White Horse, in the Apocalypse) the Golden Age will begin and every man will become his own guru (spiritual teacher or “Shepherd”) because the divine Logos, whatever name it may be given * will reign in each regenerated mortal. There can be no question, then, of a common “Shepherd” unless that Shepherd be entirely metaphorical. Moreover, the Christians, by localizing and isolating this great Principle, and denying it to any other man except Jesus of Nazareth (or the Nazar), carnalize the Christos of the Gnostics; that alone prevents them having any point in common with the disciples of the Archaic Wisdom.
Western Theosophists accept the Christos as did the Gnostics of the centuries which preceded Christianity, as do the Vedântins their Krishna: they distinguish the corporeal man from the divine Principle which, in the case of the Avatâra, animates him. Their Krishna, the historical hero, is mortal, but the divine Principle (Vishnu) which animates him, is immortal and eternal; Krishna— the man and his name—remains terrestrial at his death;
Whether it be Krishna, Buddha, Sosiosh, Horus or Christos, it is a universal principle; the “God-Men” are of all periods and innumerable.
he does not become Vishnu; Vishnu absorbs only that part of himself which had animated the Avatâra, as it animates so many others.
Now the word Christos is in reality but a translation of the word Kris,* and that name is certainly anterior to the year 1 of our era by thousands of` years. The proof of this is in that fragment of the Erythraean Sibyl where we find the words: .† That phrase which has become so famous among Christians, is in reality but a series of nominatives of which one can make what he likes. The Church has hastened to draw from it a prophecy of the coming of Jesus. The phrase had, however, nothing to do with our era, as is proved both by history—from the 1st of January of the year 1, to the 1st of January, 1888 A. D.—and the actual text of the Sibylline fragment.
In fact, this universal and entirely pagan prophecy, dating from the beginning of our race, promises us the return of the golden age as soon as "the Child," that has been foretold, is born, and whose birth is as allegorical as it is metaphysical. It has nought to do with any particular man, any immaculate woman; it is entirely mythological in its form; astronomical and theogonic in its
* An esoteric term for the word anointed. Georg Curtius sees the origin of all these terms, , in the Sanskrit gharsh (Greek ).––Principles of Greek Etymology, Vol. I, p. 236.
[Reference is here to the work of Georg Curtius entitled Grundzüge der griechischen Etymologie (Leipzig: B. G. Teubner, 1858-62). In the 5th-ed., 1879, this subject is discussed on page 204. The only English translation known to exist is the one by A. T. Wilkins and E. B. England (London: J. Murray, 1875 and 1886), in two volumes. However, the volume and page reference, as given by H. P. B., does not seem to correspond to this translation.—Compiler.]
† [Vide H. P. B.’s explanation of this Sibylline oracle in the second installment of her essay on “The Esoteric Character of the Gospels,” and the additional data contained in Compiler’s Note No. 31appended to the above-mentioned essay.
This series of words, written in the ordinary manner and with proper accents, reads as follows:
hidden meaning. In all ages and among all peoples, the Myth-Messiah is born of a Virgin-Mother. Witness Krishna and Devakî; see the Buddhist legend grafted upon the historical Gautama the Buddha and his Mother Maya; notice that which was added to the biography of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, born of a Virgin-Mother, Queen Mut-em-ua, during the XVIIth Dynasty. Examine also the inside walls of the Sanctum Sanctorum in the temple of Luxor, built by the same Pharaoh, and you will see four very significant scenes: * first, there is the god Thoth
* [See the accompanying illustrations which represent the birth scenes mentioned by H. P. B. They are to be found on the West Wall of one of the rooms in the Temple of Luxor in Egypt. This room is situated on the East side towards the Southern end, and is best approached by a doorway in the East Wall of the Hypostyle Hall, and then by passing along the outer wall of the Temple southwards towards the first entrance on the right hand. The room is open to the sky, and because of the orientation the left end of the West Wall never gets the full rays of the sun, and is therefore difficult to photograph. The walls were much defaced during the Amarna religious revolution, and while restorations were made under Seti I, they are still in extremely poor condition.
The story on the West Wall consists of three rows of pictures. It begins at the bottom right-hand corner and proceeds leftwards to the end of the wall; it is then continued in the middle row immediately above the last scene—the moulding of the Child and his Ka by the potter or creative god Khnum—and proceeds to the right; finally, it is resumed at the left hand of the topmost row, and ends at the extreme right. This is the correct order of the events described, if we take it for granted that the artist copied the story of Queen Hatshepsut’s divine birth, as shown in her Temple at Deir-el-Bahari, where there is no possibility of mistaking the order of events, for they are sculptured in one long row.
To supplement the actual photographs taken by the Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, we append also two Plates of Drawings from the work of Albert Gayet entitled Le Temple de Luxor. Figures 197, 198, and 199 correspond to the three photographs reproduced.
H. P. B.’s comments follow very closely the text of Gerald Massey’s own explanation. This is somewhat unfortunate, as the latter contains several errors. Fig. 197 represents the god Thoth announcing to Queen Mut-em-ua that she will bear the “Great Hereditary
THOTH MUT-EM-UA KHNUM MUT-EM-UA HATHOR
SCENES OF THE ANNUNCIATION AND OF THE QUEEN CONDUCTED TO THE BIRTHROOM.
WEST WALL OF ONE OF THE HALLS IN THE TEMPLE OF LUXOR.
(Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)
(the lunar Mercury, the Egyptian Gods’ Messenger of the annunciation, the Gabriel of the Book of the Dead) saluting the Virgin Queen and announcing to her the birth of a son; then, there is the god Kneph helped by Hathor (the Holy Ghost under its two aspects, masculine and feminine, like the Sophia of the Gnostics which was transformed into the Holy Ghost), preparing and making ready the germ of the coming child; then, the mother in travail, seated on the stool of the mid-wife, who receives the newly-born in a cave; and, lastly, the scene of the Adoration. Gerald Massey, the English Egyptologist, describes this last scene as follows:
. . . . . Here the child is enthroned, receiving homage from the Gods and gifts from men. Behind the deity Kneph, on the right, three spirits—the Three Magi, or Kings of the Legend, are kneeling and offering presents with their right hand, and life with their left. The child thus announced, incarnated, born, and worshipped, was the Pharaonic representative of the Aten Sun in Egypt, the God Adon of Syria, and Hebrew Adonai; the child-Christ of the Aten Cult; the miraculous conception of the ever-virgin mother, personated by
Prince,” as is stated in the accompanying hieroglyphic inscription. Fig. 198 represents the god Khnum (not Kneph) and the goddess Hathor leading the Queen to her bed, and holding out to her the sign of life. The threefold Fig. 199 represents the birth of the King. The Queen is seated on a midwife’s chair, placed upon a bed, which in turn rests upon another bed. Two goddesses are in attendance upon her, while the baby and its Ka are received by other goddesses, probably some of the seven forms of Hathor. In the middle register, the centre is occupied by the two forms of the god of “Millions of Years.” On each side are the members of the Ogdoad of Hermopolis, primeval gods who, according to the Hermopolitan teachings, came into existence at the dawn of creation. In the bottom register is a large amulet of protection, and the “Souls of Heliopolis and of Mekhen.” Figures 200 and 201 have to do with the presentation of the baby to Amon-Ra.
It will be seen therefore, by comparing these facts with Massey’s description, that certain errors have been allowed to creep into the latter. There is also considerable diversity of views among Egyptologists with regard to the so-called “Divine Birth” scenes. It is contested by some of them that no Egyptian version portrays the future mother as being a virgin, and that the “immaculate conception” idea is foreign to Egyptian mythology.—Compiler.]
Mut-em-ua, as mother of the “only-one,” and representative of the divine mother of the youthful Sun-God.*
It is unnecessary to repeat the legend of Krishna and Devakî, of his miraculous birth, of the shepherds who took care of him, of the Rishis who saluted him, or of the Indian Herod, King Kamsa, who ordered the massacre of 40,000 new-born males, in the hope of killing Krishna, one who was to dethrone him, among them.
And has the golden age, sung by Virgil and the Sibyl, come at last? Where shall we look for it? Is it in the first centuries of Christianity when the pagans, in order to protect their Gods, massacred the Nazarenes? Is it when the latter, openly declaring themselves Christians, started drowning the gods of the heathens in torrents of human blood, in the name of Him who had preached to them, as they said, brotherly and universal love, even to their enemies, charity unto forgiveness, and the forgetting of injuries? Or is it in those centuries when the Holy Inquisition ruled, that humanity enjoyed its golden Age, its universal peace, material or moral? Or again, is it when the armies of Europe stand prepared to spring upon and exterminate each other, while legions of unfortunates perish of hunger and cold under the blessing of the Vicar of Christ (endowed with 20 millions for his jubilee) and morality in Christian and civilized countries sinks below that of wild beasts?
The fact is that the true meaning of the Sibyl’s words is really known only to the Adepts; and it is not by the Cross of Calvary that they can be interpreted.
I have not the slightest intention of hurting the feelings of those who believe in Jesus, the carnalized Christ, but I feel myself compelled to emphasize our own belief while explaining it, because the Abbé Roca wishes to identify it with that of the Roman Church; never can these two beliefs be united, unless the Catholicism of the Latin
* [Lecture on “The Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ,” p. 5, 2nd para. Vide Bio-Bibliographical Index, s.v. MASSEY.— Compiler.]
SCENE OF THE DIVINE BIRTH
ON THE SAME WEST WALL, IMMEDIATELY TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS SCENES.
(Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago)
Church returns to its earliest tenets, those of the Gnostics. For the Church of Rome was Gnostic—just as much as the Marcionites were—until the beginning and even the middle of the second century; Marcion, the famous Gnostic, did not separate from it until the year 136, and Tatian left it still later. And why did they leave it? Because they had become heretics, the Church pretends; but the history of these cults contributed by esoteric manuscripts gives us an entirely different version. These famous Gnostics, they tell us, separated themselves from the Church because they could not agree to accept a Christ made flesh, and thus began the process of carnalizing the Christ-principle. It was then also that the metaphysical allegory experienced its first transformation—that allegory which was the fundamental doctrine of all the Gnostic fraternities.*
One fact is enough to prove that the Roman Church has abandoned even the tradition preserved by the Greek Church, in that it has adopted the solar tonsure † proper to the Egyptian priests of the public temples, and to the lamas and bonzes of the popular Buddhist cult: this is sufficient to demonstrate that the Church of Rome is the one that has wandered farthest from the real religion of the mystical Christ.
Therefore, the time is still far distant when “all the people of the universe will form one flock under one shepherd.” Human nature will have to be completely modified before it occurs. We will have to attain the Seventh Race, according to the prophecy of the Book of
* The Gnostics were actually divided into various fraternities, such as: Essenes, Therapeuts, Nazarenes or Nazars (from which Jesus of Nazareth); “James,” the Lord’s brother, head of the Church of Jerusalem, was a Gnostic to his finger tips, an ascetic of the old Biblical type, i.e., a Nazar dedicated to asceticism from his birth. The razor had never touched his head or beard. He was such a one as Jesus is represented to be in legends or pictures and such as are all the “Brother-Adepts” of every country; from the yogi-fakir of India to the greatest Mahâtmans among the Initiates of the Himâlayas.
† Magnetic and psychic force resides in the hair; hence the myth of Samson and others like him in antiquity.
SCENE OF THE DIVINE BIRTH (cont.).
FURTHER EXTENSION OF THE SCENE TO THE RIGHT OF THE PREVIOUS PICTURE.
(Courtesy of the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago )
DIVINE BIRTH SCENES FROM THE TEMPLE OF LUXOR.
(From Le Temple de Luxor, by Albert Gayet)
DIVINE BIRTH SCENE FROM THE TEMPLE OF LUXOR.
(From Le Temple de Luxor, by Albert Gayet)
Dzyan,* because it is then that the “Christos”—designated by his various pagan names, as well as those of the Gnostics “heretics”—will reign in the soul of every individual, in the soul of all those who shall have first accepted the Chrêst †––I do not say simply those who will have become Christians, which is quite another thing. For, let us proclaim it once for all, the word Christ, which means the glorified, the triumphant, and also the “anointed” (from the word , to anoint) cannot be applied to Jesus. Even according to the Gospels, Jesus was never anointed, either as High Priest, as King or as Prophet. “As a mortal,” remarks Nork, “he was anointed only once, by a woman, and not because he offered himself as king or High Priest, but, as he said himself, for his burial.” Jesus was a Chrêstos: (the Lord is good), as St. Peter said (1st Epistle, ii, 3), whether he actually lived during the Christian era or a century earlier, in the reign of Alexander Jannaeus and his wife Salome, at Lüd, as stated in the Sepher Toldoth Jeshu.‡
* A Tibetan word, the Sanskrit Jñâna, occult wisdom, knowledge.
† A word which is neither the Krest (cross) of the Slavs, nor the crucified “Christ” of the Latins. The Ray made manifest from that Centre of Life which is hidden from the eyes of Humanity for and in Eternity, the Christos, crucified as a body of flesh and bones! ! !
‡ Having drawn to Madame Blavatsky’s attention that, according to certain scholars, this assertion is erroneous, she answered as follows: “I say the scholars are either lying or talking nonsense. Our Masters affirm the statement. If the story of Jehoshua or Jesus Ben-Pandira is false, then the whole Talmud, the whole Jewish Canon is false. He was the disciple of Jehoshua Ben Perahiah, the fifth President of the Sanhedrin after Ezra who re-wrote the Bible. Compromised in the revolt of the Pharisees against Jannaeus in 105 B.C., he fled into Egypt carrying the young Jesus with him. This account is far truer than that of the New Testament which has no record in history.”
[Reference is here made to the tradition preserved in the Gemara of the Babylonian Talmud, namely in the treatises known as Sotah (chap. ix, 47a) and Sanhedrin (chap. xi, 107b). Consult in this connection H. P. B.’s article, “A Word with the Theosophists” (The Theosophist, Vol. IV, March 1883, pp. 143-145; re-published in Vol. IV, of the present Series); a footnote embodied in the 2nd installment of her essay, “The Esoteric Character of the
And there were other ascetics in the condition of Chrêstos, even in his time: all those who, entering upon the arduous path of asceticism, travelled on the road which leads to Christos,—the divine light—all those were in the Chrêstos state, ascetics belonging to the oracular temples belonging to an oracle; and vehicle of an oracle, sacrifice and victim). This was all part
Gospels”; and the valuable work of G. R. S. Mead, Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? (London and Benares: Theos. Publ. Society, 1903), who has surveyed all available exoteric evidence on this subject.
The recent discovery of certain “Scrolls” in a cave around the Dead Sea go a long way towards confirming the tradition contained in the Talmud.
Mention should be made here of the fact that H. P. B.’s original French sentence is somewhat ambiguous; a literal translation of it makes it appear equally ambiguous in English. Therefore, to eliminate any possibility of confusion, it should be pointed out that it was Jehoshua (or Joshua) Ben Perahiah who was compromised in the revolt against Jannaeus, and fled to Egypt with the young Jehoshua Ben Pandira.
Gerald Massey, in a letter to the Medium and Daybreak, a London weekly, gives an account of his historical researches on this important subject, from which the following paragraphs are quoted in The Theosophist, Vol. V, Suppl. to June, 1884, pp. 84-85:
“The Christian cult did not commence with our Canonical Gospels, nor with a personal founder supposed to be therein portrayed.
“The Jehoshua of the Talmud was undoubtedly an historical character. According to a tradition preserved in the Toledoth Jehoshua, he was related to Queen Salome, the wife and later widow of King Jannaeus, who reigned from the year 106 to 79 B.C. She is said to have tried to protect Jehoshua from his sacerdotal enemies, because she had been a witness of his wonderful works. One Jewish account asserts that this man, who is not to be named, was a disciple of Jehoshua ben-Perachia. It also says he was born in the fourth year of the reign of Alexander Jannaeus, notwithstanding the assertions of his followers that he was born in the reign of Herod. That is about a century earlier than the Christian era, which is supposed to have been dated from the birth of Christ. Jehoshua is described as being the son of Pandira and of Stada, the Strayed One.
“The Rabbi ben-Perachia is likewise an historical character. He had begun to teach in the year 154 B.C.; therefore he was not born later than 180 to 170 B.C. But it is also related that this Rabbi fled into Egypt during the Civil War in which the Pharisees
of the cycle of initiation; anyone who wants to be convinced of it has merely to investigate. No “sacrificial victim” could be united to Christ triumphant before passing through the preliminary stage of the suffering Chrêst who was put to death.
Astronomically, it was the death of the Sun,* but death the precursor of the New Sun,† death engendering life in the bosom of darkness.
revolted against King Alexander Jannaeus. This was about the year 105 B.C.; and as Jehoshua ben-Pandira accompanied the Rabbi as his pupil, he may have been born as early as 120 B.C. We learn from Tract Shabbath, of the Babylonian Gemara to the Mishna, that Jehoshua ben-Pandira was stoned to death as a wizard in the city of Lud or Lydda, and was afterwards crucified by being hung upon the tree on the eve of the Passover. Another tradition records that Jehoshua was put to death during the reign of Salome, which ended in the year 71 B.C.
“Jehoshua is the sole historical Jesus known either to the Jews or the Christians. For, Epiphanius in the fourth century actually traces the pedigree of his Jesus the Christ to Pandira, who was the father of that Jehoshua who lived and died at least a century too soon to be the Christ of our Canonical Gospels. This shifts the historic basis altogether; it antedates the human history by a century and destroys the historic character of the Gospels, together with that of any other Jesus than Jehoshua ben-Pandira whom both Jews and Christians agree to identify as the sole human personality. The traditions further show that Jehoshua was a Nazarene in reality, and not because he was born at Nazareth, which never could have constituted any one a Nazarene!
“Now the Book Abodazura contains a comment on the Apostle James, in which it describes him as ’a follower of Jehoshua the Nazarene,’ whom I have shown to be that ‘other Jesus,’ who was not the Jesus or Christ of Paul. Here then opens the great rift between an historical Jehoshua, the magician, preacher, and the mythological Jesus of the Canonical Gospels; a rift that has never been bottomed, and over which I have attempted to throw a bridge.”
Consult the Bio-Bibliographical Index, s.v. JOSHUA BEN PERAHIAH.—Compiler.]
* Upon the cross of the autumnal equinox, the point where the ecliptic crosses the equator, and where the sun descends into that latter circle, announcing winter, death
† Christmas, when the sun reascends towards the Equator after having passed the Winter Solstice, announcing Spring, the renewal, Easter.
Psychologically, it was the death of the senses and the flesh, the resurrection of the spiritual Ego, the Christos in each one of us.
Yes, it is indeed the Christos himself who directs this occult movement; but if it is so, it is not with the idea that Saint Peter, who denied his Christ three times, should receive the keys of the mysteries from the hands of the Mahâtmans, nor that the latter should re-enact the scene of the three Magi-Kings. It is hardly necessary to repeat again that which other Mahâtmans, the Hierophants of Egypt, repeated every 19 years, according to the Metonic Cycle, five or six thousand years, at least, before the XIXth century. The astronomical Christos can have but one anniversary of birth and of resurrection in 19 years, as shown by Gerald Massey, because his parents are the Sun and the Moon, the heavenly bodies which accompany “the Man crucified in Space,” which images preceded even the figure described by Plato. That day, consecrated by a ceremony, was fixed in Egypt according to the full moon of Easter.*
As stated by the London Egyptologist and lecturer quoted above:
The birthplace of the Egyptian Messiah [Horus] at the Vernal Equinox was figured in Apt, or Apta, the corner. . . .†
But Apta also means the Crib and the Manger, therefore the child born in the Apta was supposed to be born in the Crib, and this Apta, as Crib, is the hieroglyphic sign of the birthplace of the Sun.‡
This point was indicated by the intersection of the Colure of the Equinox with the Equator, and as it passed from sign to sign, the corresponding star of the Orient (or of the East) served to mark its position.
. . . . . When the birthplace was in the sign of the Bull, Orion was the star that rose in the East to tell where the young Sun-God was
* Among the Christians also, the day of the Nativity is determined by the full moon of Easter, a strange coincidence!
† [“The Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ,” p. 7.]
‡ The Egyptians carried the new-born in its crib through the streets of Alexandria.
reborn. Hence it is called the “Star of Horus.” That was then the star of the “Three Kings” who greeted the Babe; for the “Three Kings” is still a name of the three stars in Orion’s Belt . . .*
And our author adds:
Plutarch also tells us how the Mithraic Cult had been particularly established in Rome about the year 70 B.C.† And Mithras was fabled as having been born in a cave. Wherever Mithras was worshipped the cave was consecrated as his birthplace. The cave can be identified, and the birth of the Messiah in that cave, no matter under what name he was born, can be definitely dated. The “Cave of Mithras” was the birthplace of the Sun in the Winter Solstice, when this occurred on the 25th of December in the sign of the Sea-Goat, with the Vernal Equinox in the sign of the Ram. Now the Akkadian name of the tenth month, that of the Sea-Goat, which answers roughly to our December, the tenth by name, is Abba Uddu, that is, the “Cave of Light”; the cave of re-birth for the Sun in the lowest depth at the Solstice, figured as the Cave of Light. . . . .
This cave was continued as the birthplace of the Christ. You will find it in all the Gospels of the Infancy, and Justin Martyr says, “Christ was born in the Stable, and afterwards took refuge in the Cave.” He likewise vouches for the fact that Christ was born on the same day that the Sun was re-born in Stabula Augiae, or, in the Stables of Augias. Now the cleansing of this Stable was the sixth labour of Heracles, his first being in the sign of the Lion; and Justin was right; the Stable and Cave are both figured in the same Celestial Sign. But mark this! The cave was the birthplace of the Solar Messiah from the year 2410 to the year 255 B.C.; at which later date the Solstice passed out of the Sea-Goat into the sign of the Archer; and no Messiah, whether called Mithras, Adon, Tammuz, Horus or Christ, could have been born in the Cave of Abba Uddu or the Stable of Augias on the 25th of December after the year 255 B.C., therefore Justin had nothing but the Mithraic tradition of the by-gone birthday to prove the birth of the Historical Christ 255 years later!‡
Thus, with mathematics and astronomy to help us, it has been demonstrated that Jesus could not have been born December 25, 255 years later; the Precession of the Equinoxes, or the Sidereal increment forbids it.§
* [Op. cit., p. 7.]
† [Lives: Life of Pompey, ch. 24.]
‡ [Massey, op. cit., pp. 6-7.]
§ [Vide Compiler’s footnote on page 365 of this Volume.]
It is in this ancient wisdom, and in the Christos of the Gnostics under its various names, that the Theosophists, disciples of the Mahâtmans, believe. Is the Abbé Roca ready to make the Pope accept this belief, and to accept it himself?—I doubt it. What, then, can we do?
The Abbé Roca quotes us passages from Paul speaking of the “Word made flesh” and of a God existing corporeally; but the Abbé Roca is too learned to deny that the Epistles of St. Paul have not come down to us entirely immaculate. For several centuries the Church refused them a place among orthodox scriptures, as it did also the Revelation of St. John, and when these two books were accepted, they were, as is definitely proved, in a mutilated form.
But for that, the great enemy of St. Peter would have made but one mouthful of the apostle of the circumcision. That is why, to the expression advanced, “the Word made flesh,” Theosophists—Gnostic and Buddhist—could oppose these other words of Paul’s asking whether the Galatians are foolish enough—after beginning with faith in Spirit—to fall back into a belief in a corporeal god; for that is the esoteric meaning of what he says in his Epistle to the Galatians, iii, 3, etc.
There is another extraordinary thing which the Abbé Roca really ought to explain to us. It would appear, from every calculation, that Paul had been converted to Christ three or four years before the crucifixion of Jesus! Thus, according to the Acts, his vision dated from the year 30 or 31, but according to what he also told the Galatians, it must have occurred in the year 27. He said, in fact, that he had not gone to Jerusalem for three years after his conversion (Gal., i, 18 et seq.), and after this he spoke (Ibid., ii, 1 et seq.) of returning there fourteen years later, with Barnabas and Titus. Now, “the date of that second visit at least, if not of the first, can be historically fixed, because it was made during the great famine that is known to have occurred in the year 44, when Paul and Barnabas sent relief to the poor.” If then we subtract 17 from the date of 44, it follows that St. Paul was converted in the year 27, that is, while Jesus still lived! And that
can hardly be explained unless, as Gerald Massey proves (thus corroborating the facts taught in the secret books of the Gnosis—see Isis Unveiled, Vol. II),* Paul had been converted, not to Jesus of Nazareth, but to the Christos of the Gnostics. In his Epistles he has been made to fulminate against the heretics, but these heretics were actually Peter, James, and the other Apostles.
I am ignorant of what the erudite Abbé Roca intends to disclose to the world in his next volume on the subject of the “Fall from Eden” which he regards as a cataclysm, “punishment of a frightful crime, of an audacious revolt”; but I can assure him that the opinion of the “Theosophists-Chelas” upon the subject is already formed in advance.
The terrible crime was merely the natural result of the law of evolution: that is the races—hardly solidified at first—of our androgynous and semi-ethereal prototypes, materializing themselves little by little, taking on a physical body, then separating into distinct males and females, finally procreated carnally after they had formerly created their likenesses by entirely different methods which will be explained some day (if, however, one may express by the word create an idea quite contrary to that of engender).
This “audacious revolt” is again an anthropomorphic and personifying allegory that we owe to the Church, which materialized, in order to disguise them the better, all the ancient ideas—old as the world. It was a philosophic doctrine imbedded in the esoteric meaning of the Promethean legend. The sacred fire which he stole from the Gods is the flame of conscious intellect, the spark which animates the fifth principle, or Manas; it is also the generating and sexual flame; that spark is the reflection —if not the very essence—of the Archangels or Monads, forced by their karma from the preceding manvantara, to incarnate in the astral forms of the third great pre-Adamite race before its “fall”—the fall of Spirit into Matter. That
* [The most likely passages are those on pp. 89-91, 137 and 162 footnote.—Compiler.]
supposed “revolt,” that “theft” of the creative fire, is a result of Evolution (of which the Darwinian theory is but the rough exterior husk on the physical or material plane).
Once endowed with the creative fire, completely evolved mankind had no further need for the help of the Powers or creative Gods, such as the Elohim of chapter ii of Genesis. Men became creative Gods, in their turn, able to give life to beings like themselves; whence the Greek allegory of Ouranos mutilated by Saturn-Kronos, who in turn finds himself mutilated by his son Jupiter; the allusion is perfectly transparent; since men had discovered, thanks to Prometheus, the secret of the various methods of creation, and were creating in their turn, what was the use of god-creators?
The so-called theft of the creative fire is, according to Enoch, the crime which caused the guilt of the fallen angels, of whom the Church has made Satan and his Host.
The Abbé Roca tells us again of the “Sat of the Hermetists,” but he commits a double error in attributing that “Sat” to the Hermetists, who had never heard of it, and in calling it “Substance” like the Yliaster of Paracelsus.
Sat is a Sanskrit term, used in the philosophy of the Vedânta; it is an adjective untranslatable into any language; neither substance nor pure Spirit, nor even any thing, Sat is the infinite All, LIFE, or rather ABSOLUTE Existence, which cannot be translated either by the verb “to be” (Eheieh),* or by the verb “to live” , of which the Kabbalists have made a glyph of existence by transmuting it in a dozen different ways without the meaning
* [According to Wm. Gesenius’ Hebrew-English Lexicon of the Old Testament (1836), means “to be, to come to pass, to happen, to become, to be made or done, to come into existence,” while i s a more infrequent form in Hebrew, meaning also “to be,” or “to exist.” Eheieh, , is the first person singular, “I am,” such as in the well-known expression, “I am that I am,” , eheieh asher eheieh. Both verbs have their origin in the idea of “breathing.”—Compiler.]
being altered, and applying it to their Jehovah. Sat is the Absolute, or Parabrahm—and where is the Vedântin who would ever allow himself to call “spirit” Parabrahm, or the neuter Brahma!—while the Yliaster of Paracelsus is only the Anima Mundi; it is not even Mûlaprakriti, which is the “veil of Parabrahm” (literally, the root of Nature) but simply the Âkâœa, the noumenon of the Astral Light, the veil between the Earth and the first waters.
To the ecclesiastical religion of Christianity which has materialized everything, which has carnalized the Logos or Word, which, out of the unknown God of St. Paul, has made an anthropomorphic being, our SAT would never be either comprehensible or acceptable; our Sat, of which Ain-Soph, the negative divinity of the Kabbalists, is merely a pale metaphysical copy.
As a Roman Catholic, the Abbé Roca tells us that, “outside of God, there exists in the universe but one and the same substance,” whatever that may be. Disciples of the Mahâtmans, the Theosophists answer him: we reject a conditioned and limited God, though he would have outside of himself but one mathematical point! We are not looking for a dwarf-God, a God endowed with human attributes, made in the image of man; above all, we do not want a God fashioned by the mortal architects of a Church which has had the audacity to proclaim itself infallible! The Divinity that we acknowledge, we who hardly dare to formulate an adumbration of its conception, is God-the ALL, absolute, infinite, without beginning or end; the omnipresent divinity, of which the only WORD that can be “made flesh” is Humanity! And that Word, which corporeal mankind—especially that mankind found under the aegis of the Churches—crucifies constantly and without intermission, that Word is resurrected only in that man who is sufficiently liberated from bonds tied by mortal hands, no longer to make for himself an earthly idol, either of the Church—the statue with feet of clay—or the world—the Satan who never renounces his pomp and works!
The Christos which Theosophists, thus liberated, have acknowledged, ever since the secula seculorum, is the spiritual
Ego, glorious and triumphant over the flesh. But, as the allegory of the Four Evangelists shows, the Son, from his resurrection, ascends to heaven to be forever one with the Father. Does that mean that we should accept the “miracle” of the Ascension as applied to the resurrected body of a man who has been made into a God? Does it mean that a fact so supernatural has ever taken place in the history of mankind? No! We absolutely reject such an interpretation, we reject that dogma which degrades the great mystery of universal Unity,* because, as far as we are concerned, we explain it quite differently:
Once united to his Âtman-Christos, the Ego, by that very act, loses the great illusion called ego-ism, and perceives at last the fullness of truth; that Ego knows that it has never lived outside the great All, and that it is inseparable from it. Such is Nirvâna, which, for it, is but the return to its primitive condition or state. Imprisoned in its oubliette † of flesh and matter, it had lost even the conception or memory of that condition, but once the light of Spirit has revealed to it the illusion of the senses, it places no more trust in earthly things, for it has learned to scorn them; the Son is now united to the Father; thenceforth the soul is one with Spirit! And when a man has reached this point in the Gnosis, or Theosophy, what has he then to do with the dogmas of any Church?
As to the Church, it has always made mysteries, and as the Abbé says very correctly, “mysteries exist only for the ignorant”; furthermore, is it not Christ himself who is made by the Catholic Church to say: “. . . that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops” [Luke, xii, 3]. And what is that, but a repetition of the commandment of Gautama the Buddha: “Go and proclaim on the housetops of the
* The legend of the Ascension is merely an allegory as old as the world; to believe in it one would have also to admit the authenticity of the ascension of Elijah carried alive into cosmic space, himself, his horses and his chariot.
† [Underground dungeon or cell where the prisoner was deliberately forgotten.—Compiler.]
pariahs, and in broad daylight, the mysteries of the Brâhmanas which they have kept secret in their temples. They have done so for love of power, for control of` the blind, and to usurp the prerogatives of the Devas (Gods).”
What the Brâhmanas were doing when Siddhârtha Buddha came to deliver the people from the yoke of that caste, the Roman Church has done to this very day in the West; Theosophists will bring to light the mysteries of the Catholic Church, which are really those of the Brâhmanas, although under other names; in doing so, they will merely follow the commandments of the two great Mahâtmans: Gautama of Kapilavastu and Jesus of Judaea. Both of them had found their “Christos,” the eternal Truth, and both, being Sages and Initiates, proclaimed the same truths.
We all thank the Abbé Roca for his brave and generous words; we do not doubt that such priests as he, who have the courage to translate “the dead letter” of the symbolic texts and proclaim the esoteric truths “upon the housetops,” may be ready to follow the way of Truth, the Light which they find on their path.
Honor to such!
But we are not as optimistic, however, as he is. Though the Church sees its greatest “mysteries” unmasked and proclaimed by scholars of every country who are versed in Orientalism and Symbology, or by Theosophists, we cannot believe that it will ever accept our truths; we believe still less that it will ever confess its errors. And, as on their part, true Theosophists will never accept either a Christ made Flesh, according to the Roman dogma, or an anthropomorphic God, still less a “Shepherd” in the person of a Pope, it is not they who will move towards “the Mountain of Salvation”; they will wait till the Roman Mohammed takes the trouble of starting on the road which leads to Meru.* Will that ever take place? I leave that to the reader to judge for himself.
One last word! The Abbé Roca also speaks of the triple meaning canonically accorded to and recognized in the
* The sacred mountain, abode of the Devas.—Editor, Le Lotus.
Biblical texts by his Church. But the Gnosis, like the Gupta-Vidyâ (the secret science) has seven keys which open the seven mysteries. When the Roman Church, or its adherents, shall have acknowledged and studied the four keys (or meanings) which they lack, it will be possible to set about prophesying. Until then, let us try, at least, not to kill each other, if it is not really possible for us to love each other. The future is the greatest of the mysteries and those who have, like Prometheus, the gift of seeing into the Future, reveal the coming mysteries but to a small minority. Let us wait for wisdom to come to a greater number.
H. P. BLAVATSKY.