Volume 1

Part 1: Do flying guitars unconsciously cerebrate?

Blavatsky’s Isis Unveiled was tremendously well-received at the time, an instant best-seller, a critical success, going through many reprintings and was the essential theosophical textbook for the first five years of the movement. Upon moving to India, more explicit oriental esoteric information began to be presented in the pages of the Blavatsky-edited, The Theosophist and the success of A. P. Sinnett’s The Occult World and especially Esoteric Buddhism effectively superceded Isis as the essential theosophical textbook for the next five years; so much so that Blavatsky herself was critical of Isis and felt the need to present a revised edition, which eventually became The Secret Doctrine, itself effectively superceding Esoteric Buddhism as the fundamental theosophical reference work.However, despite Blavatsky’s own perhaps overly severe critiques of her own work, posterity has been kind to Isis. Scholars such as Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke and Gary Lachman have praised the work and it has seemed to have aged well, standing the test of time and perhaps proving to be more accessible than the mind-boggling Secret Doctrine. Despite the complex writing style, the book makes for an excellent introduction and compendium of essential esoteric, theosophical and spriritual concepts.

The very dense, erudite writing style can be challenging, but I don’t really think the work has deep organizational and editing flaws, but rather the confusing nature of the work is merely due to some superficial hurdles that, if understood, one can see the inherent coherence of the work as a whole. Morever, it is interesting to note that The Secret Doctrine contains many verbatim passages from Isis, credited and uncredited, and there are many more striking passages that remain fundamental and enlightening examples of Theosophical concepts that have lost none of their relevancy. As Michael Gomes has written: ”a thread of continuity emerges with startling clarity through the labyrinth of words, highlighting the basic concepts Blavatsky was trying to explain”.

Primo, the work juxtaposes, compares and contrasts modern writings with a great variety of ancient writings; now the jumping back and forth from present to past ideas are sometimes a bit abrupt and unclear, but once this basic structure is understood, then the basic themes of each chapter becomes clearer.

Secundo, the chapter titles and descriptions are a little vague and do not convey the actual contents as clearly as they could. By digging a little deeper, one can see that all the chapters do have very specific and coherent themes and detailed arguments.

Tertio, the page headings, although meant to be helpful topic summaries, probably suffer from being a little too cryptic and are often phrased with an overly ironic and exotic tendency that are more distracting than useful in conveying the seriousness of the subject matter; my favorite example being ”Do flying guitars unconsciously cerebrate?” (vol. 1, p.233), a rather surrealistic question, but upon reading the page one encounters a very deep analysis of some important documentation of supernatural phenomena.

With these points in mind, the following series of articles aim to present a brief analysis of each chapter of both volumes in order to demonstrate that each chapter has a self-contained, coherent structure and collectively form part of a consistent, larger whole.

On the writing of Isis by Geoffrey Farthing.

The semantics of Isis by David Reigle.

Introduction to abridged Isis Unveiled by Michael Gomes.


Part 2: I, who am about to be sacrificed on the altar of public opinion, salute you!

The preface, although somewhat intricate, is pretty straightforward and is actually something of a bold manifesto for social, religious and intellectual reform. She is essentially arguing against a dogmatism that has created a separation between faith and reason, exemplified by the conflict between religion and science.

She argues that spiritual realities and phenomena are not outside of nature and do not depend on blind faith, but rather can be explained according to laws of nature, which modern science has not yet adequately understood. The reality of powers latent in each human soul is the fundamental principle explaining the essential spiritual reality or God, because it demonstrates one’s transcendent nature and this individual transcendent nature is linked to the absolute transcendent reality like a drop of water to an ocean.

She proposes to present a kind of perennial esoteric scientific philosophy, the Universal Wisdom-Religion or Hermetism as the solution to harmonizing and blending the spiritual with the material, faith and reason, religion and science. Moreover, a study and positive appreciation of ancient traditions of culture and knowledge to assist in this endeavour will be an important tool. To justify these claims, she clearly relates her acquaintance with Eastern adepts who have demonstrated and taught these notions to her.

Our work, then, is a plea for the recognition of the Hermetic philosophy, the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion, as the only possible key to the Absolute in science and theology.

She boldly declares her intention to question, challenge and critique many of the dogmas, beliefs, and values of the time and is very aware of the opposition and controversy that this endeavour will provoke and even names the likely sources:

  1. Christianity
  2. Science
  3. Pseudo-Scientists
  4. Broad Churchman and Free Thinkers
  5. Men of Letter and Authorities
  6. The Press

She concludes her preface with an optimistically combative statement, which however ends with a stern paraphrase of the roman gladiators salute:

“The contest now going on between the party of public conscience and the party of reaction, has already developed a healthier tone of thought. It will hardly fail to result ultimately in the overthrow of error and the triumph of Truth. We repeat again — we are laboring for the brighter morrow.

And yet, when we consider the bitter opposition that we are called upon to face, who is better entitled than we upon entering the arena to write upon our shield the hail of the Roman gladiator to Caesar: MORITURUS TE SALUTAT!”

For a good overview of the intense socio-religious ferment that Blavatsky is referring to, the following provide good references:

Bruce F Campbell – Ancient Wisdom Revived – 1982.

Lee Irwin’s broad overview Western Esotericism, Eastern Spirituality and the Global Future.


Part 3: “Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny, whether of SCIENCE or THEOLOGY.”

The ‘Before the Veil’ section is a little unwieldly; it is kind of a thing unto itself but is quite interesting nonetheless and, although kind of jumpy, the purpose is clear – to introduce some basic notions of ancient philosophy, in this case by making an argument for the revival of Platonism and also showing its close connection and origin in Indian philosophy.

Platonism is presented more in a Neoplatonic style that views the history of Greek philosophy as kind of perennial philosophy. Nowadays, Greek philosophy is strictly divided into Pre-Socratic, Classical, Middle-Platonic and Neoplatonic but perhaps those classifications are, although useful, too rigid and the Neoplatonists never made such distinctions and quoted freely from philosophers of all periods. Therefore this holistic, comparative presentation of Greek philosophy, although kind of quirky, is refreshing and much more spiritual than most studies.

Moreover, a tentative effort to demonstrate the connection with Indian philosophy is presented, comparing Plato’s Allegory of the Cave with the doctrine of Maya and the Pythagorean Tetraktys with the creation story in Manu Smriti. This notion could be considered a pioneering effort in Indo-European studies and lately Thomas McEvilley in The Shape of Ancient Thought has published a ground-breaking study that takes up this idea once again.

In the glossary at the end of this section, we have an initial attempt at defining the terminology that would later become so important; it’s kind of sketchy, but full of interest – of particular note are the Sanskrit terms which seem to show an intriguing knowledge of the more esoteric aspects of Hindu ritual that she would rarely expounded on afterwards, which such terms as Akasha, Fakir, Mantra, Pitris, Soma and Yajna. The Vedas are generously quoted in these and in many other parts and so as a sample, the entry for ‘Evolution’ is an interesting example of a comparative study of creation myths.

She continues to define her project of dealing with the conflict between Science and Religion:

Between these two conflicting Titans — Science and Theology — is a bewildered public, fast losing all belief in man’s personal immortality, in a deity of any kind, and rapidly descending to the level of a mere animal existence. Such is the picture of the hour, illumined by the bright noonday sun of this Christian and scientific era! x

She does not deny the importance of a certain sceptical and critical outlook:

Would it be strict justice to condemn to critical lapidation the most humble and modest of authors for entirely rejecting the authority of both these combatants? Are we not bound rather to take as the true aphorism of this century, the declaration of Horace Greeley: “I accept unreservedly the views of no man, living or dead”?** Such, at all events, will be our motto, and we mean that principle to be our constant guide throughout this work. xi

It is not just a matter of blindly accepting all aspects of ancient wisdom, but sifting it and blending it with what is valid in modern knowledge, a kind of middle way between ancient and modern and re-uniting science and religion:

The whole question of phenomena rests on the correct comprehension of old philosophies. Whither, then, should we turn, in our perplexity, but to the ancient sages, since, on the pretext of superstition, we are refused an explanation by the modern? Let us ask them what they know of genuine science and religion; not in the matter of mere details, but in all the broad conception of these twin truths — so strong in their unity, so weak when divided.

Besides, we may find our profit in comparing this boasted modern science with ancient ignorance; this improved modern theology with the “Secret doctrines” of the ancient universal religion. Perhaps we may thus discover a neutral ground whence we can reach and profit by both. xii

She ends this long section with an eloquent critique of materialism and a plea for spiritual freedom:

Deeply sensible of the Titanic struggle that is now in progress between materialism and the spiritual aspirations of mankind, our constant endeavor has been to gather into our several chapters, like weapons into armories, every fact and argument that can be used to aid the latter in defeating the former. Sickly and deformed child as it now is, the materialism of To-Day is born of the brutal Yesterday. Unless its growth is arrested, it may become our master.

It is the bastard progeny of the French Revolution and its reaction against ages of religious bigotry and repression. To prevent the crushing of these spiritual aspirations, the blighting of these hopes, and the deadening of that intuition which teaches us of a God and a hereafter, we must show our false theologies in their naked deformity, and distinguish between divine religion and human dogmas. Our voice is raised for spiritual freedom, and our plea made for enfranchisement from all tyranny, whether of SCIENCE or THEOLOGY. xlv


Part 4: Chap. 1a: Magic, Sacred Mathematics and the Doctrine of Cycles

Chapter 1 Magic, Sacred Mathematics and the Doctrine of Cycles

The first chapter starts off with a bang (the title, “Old Things With New Names”, doesn’t tell you much), as we are introduced with many of the classic theosophical notions pertaining to spiritual evolution including a brief excursis on reincarrnation (metempsychosis). All of this seems a bit of a tough read and hard to follow, but only because it has a somewhat odd structure; it actually makes for a solid basic introduction to the theosophical concept of esoteric evolution. So very early on we have the doctrine of cycles and its relation to evolutionary concepts which were later elaborated much more explicitly.

The structure is basically quite simple, the chapter is mainly about ancient sacred mathematics and the doctrine of cycles related to it; but to better explain the spiritual aspect of ancient science in general, pages 15-30 contain a digression on Magic as a divine and transformative science; but the placement of this digression is somewhat quirky and confusing.

There are quite a lot of side arguments, but it is clear enough that they all serve the purpose of introducing and illustrating a certain number of key concepts and strategies pertaining to esoteric philosophy or sacred science:

– Archaeological discoveries are uncovering important information about ancient wisdom which we can learn from.

– In many cases ancient knowledge was equal or even superior to modern knowledge.

– Ancient religion was in harmony with nature and had a clear understanding of spiritual principles and realities.

– This study of ancient philosophy shows the importance of the soul and an essential divine principle.

– Ancient adepts had a deep spiritual perennial wisdom that they guard and preserve.

– There has been a spiritual decline and we have lost much spiritual knowledge and so need to recover it

– History goes back a lot further than is commonly believed

– Modern science does not have all the answers.

Concepts of lost Ancient Perennial Wisdom:

There is a primitive divine universal revelation that gradually became dispersed and hidden.

One day they may learn to know better, and so become aware that the method of extreme necessarianism was practiced in ancient as well as in modern philosophy; that from the first ages of man, the fundamental truths of all that we are permitted to know on earth was in the safe keeping of the adepts of the sanctuary; that the difference in creeds and religious practice was only external; and that those guardians of the primitive divine revelation, who had solved every problem that is within the grasp of human intellect, were bound together by a universal freemasonry of science and philosophy, which formed one unbroken chain around the globe. It is for philology and psychology to find the end of the thread. That done, it will then be ascertained that, by relaxing one single loop of the old religious systems, the chain of mystery may be disentangled. (37-38)

Magic is a spiritual science and has been present in all cultures throughout history.

Magic was considered a divine science which led to a participation in the attributes of Divinity itself. “It unveils the operations of nature,” says Philo Judaeus, “and leads to the contemplation of celestial powers.”** In later periods its abuse and degeneration into sorcery made it an object of general abhorrence. We must therefore deal with it only as it was in the remote past, during those ages when every true religion was based on a knowledge of the occult powers of nature.(24)

Concepts of Esoteric Evolution

The Myth of the Fall symbolizes an evolutionary process of materialization from a primitive spiritual state.

A conviction, founded upon seventy thousand years of experience,** as they allege, has been entertained by hermetic philosophers of all periods that matter has in time become, through sin, more gross and dense than it was at man’s first formation; that, at the beginning, the human body was of a half-ethereal nature; and that, before the fall, mankind communed freely with the now unseen universes. But since that time matter has become the formidable barrier between us and the world of spirits. The oldest esoteric traditions also teach that, before the mystic Adam, many races of human beings lived and died out, each giving place in its turn to another. Were these precedent types more perfect? Did any of them belong to the winged race of men mentioned by Plato in Phaedrus? It is the special province of science to solve the problem. The caves of France and the relics of the stone age afford a point at which to begin. (1)

Science only studies evolution in its material phase; it is needed to understand the prior spiritual phase, which involves the emanation of spiritual archetypes.

For lack of comprehension of this great philosophical principle, the methods of modern science, however exact, must end in nullity. In no one branch can it demonstrate the origin and ultimate of things. Instead of tracing the effect from its primal source, its progress is the reverse. Its higher types, as it teaches, are all evolved from antecedent lower ones. It starts from the bottom of the cycle, led on step by step in the great labyrinth of nature by a thread of matter. As soon as this breaks and the clue is lost, it recoils in affright from the Incomprehensible, and confesses itself powerless. Not so did Plato and his disciples. With him the lower types were but the concrete images of the higher abstract ones. The soul, which is immortal, has an arithmetical, as the body has a geometrical, beginning. This beginning, as the reflection of the great universal ARCHAEUS, is self-moving, and from the centre diffuses itself over the whole body of the microcosm. (13-14)

If we accept Darwin’s theory of the development of species, we find that his starting-point is placed in front of an open door. We are at liberty with him, to either remain within, or cross the threshold, beyond which lies the limitless and the incomprehensible, or rather the Unutterable. If our mortal language is inadequate to express what our spirit dimly foresees in the great “Beyond” — while on this earth — it must realize it at some point in the timeless Eternity. (14)

Humanity is emerging from the lower arc of evolution.

Physiology, like everything else in this world of constant evolution, is subject to the cyclic revolution. As it now seems to be hardly emerging from the shadows of the lower arc, so it may be one day proved to have been at the highest point of the circumference of the circle far earlier than the days of Pythagoras. (8)

The ancient Hindus were aware of the sphericity of the earth and posit a phase were the earth was more ethereal.

The description of the earth in the shape of a round and bald head, which was soft at first, and became hard only from being breathed upon by the god Vayu, the lord of the air, forcibly suggests the idea that the authors of the sacred Vedic books knew the earth to be round or spherical; moreover, that it had been a gelatinous mass at first, which gradually cooled off under the influence of the air and time. So much for their knowledge about our globe’s sphericity; and now we will present the testimony upon which we base our assertion, that the Hindus were perfectly acquainted with the Heliocentric system, at least 2000 years B.C. (10)

The following authors and their works are commented on prominently in this chapter:

John William Draper (1811-1892), History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874)
Godfrey Higgins (1772-1833), Anacalypsis (1833)
Joseph Ennemoser (1787-1854), History of Magic (1819)
Charles Coleman, Mythology of the Hindus (1832)
Christian Karl Josias Bunsen (1791-1860), Egypt’s Place in Universal History (1844)
Ebers Papyrus (pdf)
Joseph Franz Molitor (1179-1860)


Part 5: Cycles and the Yugas

Chapter 1b – Concepts of Cycles

Blavatsky’s theory of cyclical history is one of the more sophisticated ones to emerge in modern times and is beginning to elicit more serious attention; for a more academic exposition on essentialists concepts of history, the classic work in the field remains Mircea Eliade, The Myth of the Eternal Return – Cosmos and History, 1954

http://users.uoa.gr/~cdokou/MythLitMA/Eliade-EternalReturn.pdf

There is a dual, interactive process of spiritual and material evolution that functions according to cycles.

The revolution of the physical world, according to the ancient doctrine, is attended by a like revolution in the world of intellect — the spiritual evolution of the world proceeding in cycles, like the physical one. (34)

Civilizations rise and fall according to these cycles, with each new phase gradually bringing a new element of progress.

Thus we see in history a regular alternation of ebb and flow in the tide of human progress. The great kingdoms and empires of the world, after reaching the culmination of their greatness, descend again, in accordance with the same law by which they ascended; till, having reached the lowest point, humanity reasserts itself and mounts up once more, the height of its attainment being, by this law of ascending progression by cycles, somewhat higher than the point from which it had before descended. (34)

The ancient concept of the four ages indicates that civilizations go through a dual phase of unconscious inspired productivity followed by a phase of critical analysis.

The division of the history of mankind into Golden, Silver, Copper and Iron Ages, is not a fiction. We see the same thing in the literature of peoples. An age of great inspiration and unconscious productiveness is invariably followed by an age of criticism and consciousness. The one affords material for the analyzing and critical intellect of the other. (34)

Historical evolution is based on archetypal principles which are continually reflected in historical events.

Thus, all those great characters who tower like giants in the history of mankind, like Buddha-Siddartha, and Jesus, in the realm of spiritual, and Alexander the Macedonian and Napoleon the Great, in the realm of physical conquests, were but reflexed images of human types which had existed ten thousand years before, in the preceding decimillennium, reproduced by the mysterious powers controlling the destinies of our world.

There is no prominent character in all the annals of sacred or profane history whose prototype we cannot find in the half-fictitious and half-real traditions of bygone religions and mythologies. As the star, glimmering at an immeasurable distance above our heads, in the boundless immensity of the sky, reflects itself in the smooth waters of a lake, so does the imagery of men of the antediluvian ages reflect itself in the periods we can embrace in an historical retrospect.

“As above, so it is below. That which has been, will return again. As in heaven, so on earth.” (34)

There are many different smaller cycles contained in larger ones, as the diurnal cycle is a miniature reflection of the annual cycle.

As our planet revolves once every year around the sun and at the same time turns once in every twenty-four hours upon its own axis, thus traversing minor circles within a larger one, so is the work of the smaller cyclic periods accomplished and recommenced, within the Great Saros. (34)

Sacred Mathematics are key in understand the evolutionary process, which has an involutionary phase from spiritual to material; and an evolutionary phase from material to spiritual, a return to the spiritual origin.

The sacred numbers of the universe in their esoteric combination solve the great problem and explain the theory of radiation and the cycle of the emanations. The lower orders before they develop into higher ones must emanate from the higher spiritual ones, and when arrived at the turning-point, be reabsorbed again into the infinite. (8)

Misconstrual of the esoteric concepts of the computation of cycles has lead adventist religious sects and all kinds of misguided apocalyptic prophecy theories.

This method of calculating by the neroses, without allowing any consideration for the secrecy in which the ancient philosophers, who were exclusively of the sacerdotal order, held their knowledge, gave rise to the greatest errors. It led the Jews, as well as some of the Christian Platonists, to maintain that the world would be destroyed at the end of six thousand years. Gale shows how firmly this belief was rooted in the Jews. It has also led modern scientists to discredit entirely the hypothesis of the ancients. It has given rise to the formation of different religious sects, which, like the Adventists of our century, are always living in the expectation of the approaching destruction of the world. (34)

The ancient cycle of the Great Year is a cycle of creation and destruction characterized by a formation period followed by a dissolution phase mark by a cataclysm and a changing of the earth poles.

At the close of each “great year,” called by Aristotle — according to Censorinus — the greatest, and which consists of six sars* our planet is subjected to a thorough physical revolution. The polar and equatorial climates gradually exchange places; the former moving slowly toward the Line, and the tropical zone, with its exuberant vegetation and swarming animal life, replacing the forbidding wastes of the icy poles. This change of climate is necessarily attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, and other cosmical throes.*

As the beds of the ocean are displaced, at the end of every decimillennium and about one neros, a semi-universal deluge like the legendary Noachian flood is brought about. This year was called the Heliacal by the Greeks; but no one outside the sanctuary knew anything certain either as to its duration or particulars. The winter of this year was called the Cataclysm or the Deluge, — the Summer, the Ecpyrosis. (30)

An explanation is given of the traditional Hindu concept of the Four Yugas, a key concept that is closely adopted for theosophical purposes.

The Neroses, the Vrihaspati, or the periods called yugas or kalpas, are life-problems to solve. The Satya-yug and Buddhistic cycles of chronology would make a mathematician stand aghast at the array of ciphers. The Maha-kalpa embraces an untold number of periods far  SHAPE back in the antediluvian ages. Their system comprises a kalpa or grand period of 4,320,000,000 years, which they divide into four lesser yugas, running as follows:

1st. — Satya yug — 1,728,000 years.

2d. — Tretya yug — 1,296,000 years.

3d. — Dvapa yug —— 864,000 years.

4th. — Kali yug —— 432,000 years.

Total ————– 4,320,000 years.

which make one divine age or Maha-yug; seventy-one Maha-yugs make 306,720,000 years, to which is added a sandhi (or the time when day and night border on each other, morning and evening twilight), equal to a Satya-yug, 1,728,000, make a manwantara of 308,448,000 years;* fourteen manwantaras make 4,318,272,000 years; to which must be added a sandhi to begin the kalpa, 1,728,000 years, making the kalpa or grand period of 4,320,000,000 of years. As we are now only in the Kali-yug of the twenty-eighth age of the seventh manwantara of 308,448,000 years, we have yet sufficient time before us to wait before we reach even half of the time allotted to the world. (32)


Part 6: Chapter 2 – Spiritualistic phenomena, scientific investigation and occult explanations

After the appropriate introductory sections, the next three chapters are quite focused and straightforward, the topic is clear, the segues are smooth and the there is a good balance of ancient and modern as well as eastern and western ideas; no major problems. This chapter is a very good analysis of the question of spiritualist manifestations, the scientific observations being duly noted and critiqued and occult explanations based on the astral nature of the material manifestations and creative will are investigated.

Notably, the spiritualist notion that séance apparitions are spirits of deceased humans is refuted, with the notion of elementals and elementaries being introduced. The case of William Crookes’ investigation of Katie King and the philosophy of Schopenhauer feature prominently.

1 Problems in dogmatism in religion and science with investigations of spiritualist phenomena. (p. 39)

Not many years ago, the person who questioned the infallibility of some theological dogma was branded at once an iconoclast and an infidel. Vae victis! . . . Science has conquered. But in its turn the victor claims the same infallibility, though it equally fails to prove its right. “Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis,” the saying of the good old Lotharius, applies to the case. Nevertheless, we feel as if we had some right to question the high-priests of science. p. 41

2- W. Crookes investigations; the Katie King case. (44)

But to return to genuine scientists. “Phenomena of a merely objective character,” says A. N. Aksakof, “force themselves upon the representatives of exact sciences for investigation and explanation; but the high-priests of science, in the face of apparently such a simple question . . . are totally disconcerted! This subject seems to have the privilege of forcing them to betray, not only the highest code of morality — truth, but also the supreme law of science — experiment! . . . They feel that there is something too serious underlying it. The cases of Hare, Crookes, de Morgan, Varley, Wallace, and Butleroff create a panic! They fear that as soon as they concede one step, they will have to yield the whole ground. Time-honored principles, the contemplative speculations of a whole life, of a long line of generations, are all staked on a single card!”* * A. N. Aksakof: “Phenomena of Mediumism.” 43

3- Accomplishments of ancient science; malleable glass; occult aspects of matter. (50)

Why should it not exist and why the idea be considered Utopian? Is it again because our modern chemists are unable to produce it? But surely it may be conceived without any great effort of imagination that all bodies must have originally come from some first matter, and that this matter, according to the lessons of astronomy, geology and physics, must have been a fluid. Why should not gold — of whose genesis our scientists know so little — have been originally a primitive or basic matter of gold, a ponderous fluid which, as says Van Helmont, “from its own nature, or a strong cohesion between its particles, acquired afterward a solid form?” 50

4- The nature of forces or intelligences behind spiritualist phenomena and the dangers of spiritualism. (52)

What is this something which thinks and even speaks but yet is not human; that is impalpable and yet not a disembodied spirit; that simulates affection, passion, remorse, fear, joy, but yet feels neither? What is this canting creature which rejoices in cheating the truthful inquirer and mocking at sacred human feeling? For, if not Mr. Crookes’s Katie King, other similar creatures have done all these. Who can fathom the mystery? The true psychologist alone. And where should he go for his text-books but to the neglected alcoves of libraries where the works of despised hermetists and theurgists have been gathering dust these many years. 54

5- Schopenhauer’s metaphysics comparable to ancient metaphysics. (55)

This “winding form” is a figure to express the vibratory motion of the Astral Light, with which the ancient priests were perfectly well acquainted, though they may have differed in views of ether, with modern scientists; for in the AEther they placed the Eternal Idea pervading the Universe, or the Will which becomes Force, and creates or organizes matter. 56-57

Call the phenomena force, energy, electricity or magnetism, will, or spirit-power, it will ever be the partial manifestation of the soul, whether disembodied or imprisoned for a while in its body — of a portion of that intelligent, omnipotent, and individual WILL, pervading all nature, and known, through the insufficiency of human language to express correctly psychological images, as — GOD. 59

The ancient philosophy affirmed that it is in consequence of the manifestation of that Will — termed by Plato the Divine Idea — that everything visible and invisible sprung into existence. As that Intelligent Idea, which, by directing its sole will-power toward a centre of localized forces called objective forms into being, so can man, the microcosm of the great Macrocosm, do the same in proportion with the development of his will-power. 62

As God creates, so man can create. Given a certain intensity of will, and the shapes created by the mind become subjective. Hallucinations, they are called, although to their creator they are real as any visible object is to any one else. Given a more intense and intelligent concentration of this will, and the form becomes concrete, visible, objective; the man has learned the secret of secrets; he is a MAGICIAN. 61-62

6- Scientific investigations on the nature of force and occult explanations of spiritualist phenomena; elementals and elementaries. (62)

Thus a force whose secret powers were thoroughly familiar to the ancient theurgists, is denied by modern skeptics. The antediluvian children — who perhaps played with it, using it as the boys in Bulwer-Lytton’s Coming Race, use the tremendous “vril” — called it the “Water of Phtha”; their descendants named it the Anima Mundi, the soul of the universe; and still later the mediaeval hermetists termed it “sidereal light,” or the “Milk of the Celestial Virgin,” the “Magnes,” and many other names. But our modern learned men will neither accept nor recognize it under such appellations; for it pertains to magic, and magic is, in their conception, a disgraceful superstition. 64

7- Critique of spiritualist theory of actors in spiritualist apparitions are disembodied human spirits. Distinction between mediums and occultists.(68)

We are far from believing that all the spirits that communicate at circles are of the classes called “Elemental,” and “Elementary.” Many — especially among those who control the medium subjectively to speak, write, and otherwise act in various ways — are human, disembodied spirits. Whether the majority of such spirits are good or bad, largely depends on the private morality of the medium, much on the circle present, and a great deal on the intensity and object of their purpose. If this object is merely to gratify curiosity and to pass the time, it is useless to expect anything serious. But, in any case, human spirits can never materialize themselves in propria persona. 68

Some main authors and works cited for this chapter are:

William Crookes (1832-1919), Researches into the Phenomena of Spiritualism (1874)
Alexander Aksakov (1832-1903)
Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), Parerga and Paralipomena (1851)
Thomas Wright (1810-1877), Narratives of Sorcery and Magic (1851, 2 vols.)


Part 7: Chapter 3 — History of the reception of scientific discoveries and investigation of spiritual phenomena

Chapter 3 (Blind Leaders of the Blind) – History of the reception of scientific discoveries and investigation of spiritual phenomena

Throughout the chapter there is considerable interesting discussion on the complicated socio-political aspects involved in public acceptance and historical evaluation of scientific theories and the history of ideas regarding spiritual phenomena. There are basically three main parts to this chapter: a discussion on the inconsistencies of science, then a discussion on comparative ancient cosmology and symbolism, and a discussion of Giordano Bruno.

It may not be obvious how these are related, but I believe the gist of this structure aims at showing how modern science, although having helped progress considerably, is full of inconsistencies and therefore is a lot less reliable than it claims to be; in contrast to this the knowledge and scientific achievements of ancient traditional cultures are appreciated; and the case of Giordano Bruno is given to illustrate how modern science has difficulty understanding ancient spiritual wisdom and tends to repress it, and even when it wishes to rehabilitate certain notably spiritual figures, they tend to mis-represent them. The questions she raises on Bruno are still being debated today.

One can wonder why she gives so much space to a critique of Auguste Comte.

Comte, although not that well-known today, was a huge influence on materialist ideologies such as those of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim; therefore on can credit Blavatsky with a certain prescience in critiquing an important source of major intellectual models for twentieth century materialist philosophy, including the pervasive sociological model of religion.

1- Hindu Magical Feats – (p.73) The magical feats recorded in India cannot be faked or duplicated by western practitioners.

We assert again, in full confidence, that there does not exist a professional wizard, either of the North, South or West, who can compete with anything approaching success, with these untutored, naked sons of the East. These require no Egyptian Hall for their performances, nor any preparations or rehearsals; but are ever ready, at a moment’s notice, to evoke to their help the hidden powers of nature, which, for European prestidigitateurs as well as for scientists, are a closed book. (74)

2- Science is hurt by avoiding the study of spiritualistic phenomena (75).

The development of psychological science has been retarded far more by the ridicule of this class of pretenders, than by the inherent difficulties of its study. The empty laugh of the scientific nursling or of the fools of fashion, has done more to keep man ignorant of his imperial psychical powers, than the obscurities, the obstacles and the dangers that cluster about the subject (75).

3- A critique of Positivism (75).

We beg the reader to keep in view, that we do not attack Comte as a philosopher, but as a professed reformer. In the irremediable darkness of his political, philosophical and religious views, we often meet with isolated observations and remarks in which profound logic and judiciousness of thought rival the brilliancy of their interpretation. But then, these dazzle you like flashes of lightning on a gloomy night, to leave you, the next moment, more in the dark than ever. If condensed and repunctuated, his several works might produce, on the whole, a volume of very original aphorisms, giving a very clear and really clever definition of most of our social evils; but it would be vain to seek, either through the tedious circumlocution of the six volumes of his Cours de Philosophie Positive, or in that parody on priesthood, in the form of a dialogue — The Catechism of the Religion of Positivism — any idea suggestive of even provisional remedies for such evils. (77)

In short, Positivism proposes to itself to destroy Theology, Metaphysics, Spiritualism, Atheism, Materialism, Pantheism, and Science, and it must finally end in destroying itself. De Mirville thinks that according to Positivism, “order will begin to reign in the human mind only on the day when psychology will become a sort of cerebral physics, and history a kind of social physics.” The modern Mohammed first disburdens man and woman of God and their own soul, and then unwittingly disembowels his own doctrine with the too sharp sword of metaphysics, which all the time he thought he was avoiding, thus letting out every vestige of philosophy. (80)

4- Scientific Innovations are often met with vigorous resistance; the history of the trustworthiness of human testimony as legal evidence; the value of science as understanding of facts and truth (83).

Knowledge does increase apace, but the great body of scientists are not entitled to the credit. In every instance they have done their best to shipwreck the new discovery, together with the discoverer. The palm is to him who has won it by individual courage, intuitiveness, and persistency. Few are the forces in nature which, when first announced, were not laughed at, and then set aside as absurd and unscientific. Humbling the pride of those who had not discovered anything, the just claims of those who have been denied a hearing until negation was no longer prudent, and then — alas for poor, selfish humanity! these very discoverers too often became the opponents and oppressors, in their turn, of still more recent explorers in the domain of natural law! So, step by step, mankind move around their circumscribed circle of knowledge, science constantly correcting its mistakes, and readjusting on the following day the erroneous theories of the preceding one. This has been the case, not merely with questions pertaining to psychology, such as mesmerism, in its dual sense of a physical and spiritual phenomenon, but even with such discoveries as directly related to exact sciences, and have been easy to demonstrate. 84

5- Many modern discoveries (in medicine notably) are based on a re-discovery of ancient accounts (88)

In an old book entitled Demonologia, the author cites many instances of important remedies which being neglected at first afterward rose into notice through mere accident. He also shows that most of the new discoveries in medicine have turned out to be no more than “the revival and readoption of very ancient practices.” During the last century, the root of the male fern was sold and widely advertised as a secret nostrum by a Madame Nouffleur, a female quack, for the effective cure of the tapeworm (88).

6- India is an important source of ancient wisdom and magical knowledge; creation myths of India, Egypt and Judea compared; the symbolism of the Lotus (90)

It is admitted on all hands that from time immemorial the distant East was the land of knowledge. Not even in Egypt were botany and mineralogy so extensively studied as by the savants of archaic Middle Asia. Sprengel, unjust and prejudiced as he shows himself in everything else, confesses this much in his Histoire de la Medicine. And yet,considered divine. The Egyptian hierophants, notwithstanding the practice of a stern and pure morality, could not be compared for one moment with the ascetical Gymnosophists, either in holiness of life or miraculous powers developed in them by the supernatural adjuration of everything earthly. By those who knew them well they were held in still greater reverence than the magians of Chaldea. Denying themselves the simplest comforts of life, they dwelt in woods, and led the life of the most secluded hermits,* while their Egyptian brothers at least congregated together. Notwithstanding the slur thrown by history on all who practiced magic and divination, it has proclaimed them as possessing the greatest secrets in medical knowledge and unsurpassed skill in its practice. 90

In all the primitive religions, the “Son of the Father” is the creative God — i.e., His thought made visible; and before the Christian era, from the Trimurti of the Hindus down to the three kabalistic heads of the Jewish-explained scriptures, the triune godhead of each nation was fully defined and substantiated in its allegories. In the Christian creed we see but the artificial engrafting of a new branch upon the old trunk; and the adoption by the Greek and Roman churches of the lily-symbol held by the archangel at the moment of the Annunciation, shows a thought of precisely the same metaphysical significance. (91)

7- Giordano Bruno’s ancient perennial philosophy given modern empirical interpretations (93).

But for the opportune appearance of Berti’s authoritative work, we would have continued to revere Bruno as a martyr, whose bust was deservedly set high in the Pantheon of Exact Science, crowned with laurel by the hand of Draper. But now we see that their hero of an hour is neither atheist, materialist, nor positivist, but simply a Pythagorean who taught the philosophy of Upper Asia, and claimed to possess the powers of the magicians, so despised by Draper’s own school! Nothing more amusing than this contretemps has happened since the supposed statue of St. Peter was discovered by irreverent archaeologists to be nothing else than the Jupiter of the Capitol, and Buddha’s identity with the Catholic St. Josaphat was satisfactorily proven. (98)

Further works discussed include:

Demonologia: Or, Natural Knowledge Revealed, S. Forsyth 1827
Émile Littré (1801-1881), Paroles de philosophie positive (1859)
Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux (1805–76), Les hauts phénomènes de la magie, précédés du spiritisme antique (1864)
Domenico Berti (1820-1897), I Vila di Giordano Bruno da Nola (1868)
Joseph Rhodes Buchanan (1814-1899), Outlines of Lectures on the Neurological System of Anthropology, as Discovered, Demonstrated and Taught in 1841 and 1842 (1854)
John Tyndall (1820-1893), Martineau and Materialism (1875)


Part 8: Chapter 4 – Theories Respecting Psychic Phenomena

Chapter 4 – (Theories Respecting Psychic Phenomena) – Religious and Scientific views regarding spiritualistic phenomena; some ancients myths compared

Chapter four is quite tight and straightforward; relying on the writings of Agenor de Gasparin, it focuses on the history of the scientific investigation of spiritualistic phenomena, pointing out the problems of materialistic bias, skepticism and intolerance that harkens back to religious persecutions in Europe and the United States.

Moreover, religious theological explanations regarding this phenomena is also critically examined, with an effort to demonstrate the pertinence of esoteric explanations to these spiritualistic manifestations.

In another somewhat intricate segue, the modern situation is contrasted with ancient wisdom, by noting that skepticism is a sign of the recurrent materialist and spiritual phases humanity goes through in its evolution, and so certain notions of spiritual evolution are presented via a comparative study of giants in ancient scriptures, the Bible, the Vedas, the Eddas, Greece, and Mexico.

1- The devil as cause of spiritualistic phenomena (Jules de Mirville) (p.99)

But the Marquis de Mirville carries this idea of God’s partnership with the Devil still further. According to him it is a regular commercial affair, in which the senior “silent partner” suffers the active business of the firm to be transacted as it may please his junior associate, by whose audacity and industry he profits. Who could be of any other opinion, upon reading the following?

“At the moment of this spiritual invasion of 1853, so slightingly regarded, we had dared to pronounce the word of a ‘threatening catastrophe.’ The world was nevertheless at peace, but history showing us the same symptoms at all disastrous epochs, we had a presentiment of the sad effects of a law which Goerres has formulated thus: [vol. v., p. 356.] ‘These mysterious apparitions have invariably indicated the chastening hand of God on earth.’ “*** 101

2- Material causes of spiritualistic phenomena (Jacques Babinet) (104)

The above proves only that de Gasparin makes no difference between phenomena purely magnetic, produced by the persevering will of the sitters among whom there may be not even a single medium, developed or undeveloped, and the so-called spiritual ones. While the first can be produced consciously by nearly every person, who has a firm and determined will, the latter overpowers the sensitive very often against his own consent, and always acts independently of him. The mesmerizer wills a thing, and if he is powerful enough, that thing is done. The medium, even if he had an honest purpose to succeed, may get no manifestations at all; the less he exercises his will, the better the phenomena: the more he feels anxious, the less he is likely to get anything; to mesmerize requires a positive nature, to be a medium a perfectly passive one. This is the Alphabet of Spiritualism, and no medium is ignorant of it. 109

3- Psychic causes of spiritualistic phenomena (Jean-Marc Antoine Thury) (109)

As Mr. Crookes tells us, Professor Thury refutes “all these explanations, and considers the effects due to a peculiar substance, fluid, or agent, pervading in a manner similar to the luminiferous ether of the scientists, all matter, nervous, organic or inorganic, which he terms psychode. He enters into full discussion as to the properties of this state, or form, or matter, and proposes the term ectenic force . . . for the power exerted when the mind acts at a distance through the influence of the psychode.”*

Mr. Crookes remarks further, that “Professor Thury’s ectenic force, and his own ‘psychic force’ are evidently equivalent terms.” 113

4- The nature of psychic force (113)

We certainly could very easily demonstrate that the two forces are identical, moreover, the astral or sidereal light as explained by the alchemists and Eliphas Levi, in his Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie; and that, under the name of AKASA, or life-principle, this all-pervading force was known to the gymnosophists, Hindu magicians, and adepts of all countries, thousands of years ago; and, that it is still known to them, and used at present by the Thibetan lamas, fakirs, thaumaturgists of all nationalities, and even by many of the Hindu “jugglers.” 113

5- Various sceptical scientific theories regarding spiritualistic phenomena (116)

After such a public exhibition of ignorance and prejudice, Mr. Butlerof, Professor of Chemistry at the St. Petersburg University, and Mr. Aksakof, Counsellor of State in the same city, who had been invited to assist on the committee for mediums, became so disgusted that they withdrew. Having published their protests in the Russian papers, they were supported by the majority of the press, who did not spare either Mendeleyeff or his officious committee with their sarcasms. The public acted fairly in that case. One hundred and thirty names, of the most influential persons of the best society of St. Petersburg, many of them no spiritualists at all, but simply investigators, added their signatures to the well-deserved protest. 118

Once more we see the Virgin Mary resume her epistolary correspondence with the faithful children of her church; and while the “angel friends” scribble messages to spiritualists through their mediums, the “mother of God” drops letters direct from heaven to earth. The shrine of Notre Dame de Lourdes has turned into a spiritualistic cabinet for “materializations,” while the cabinets of popular American mediums are transformed into sacred shrines, into which Mohammed, Bishop Polk, Joan of Arc and other aristocratic spirits from over the “dark river,” having descended, “materialize” in full light. 119

6- Roman Catholics consider the phenomena at Lourdes to be of divine cause (119)

7- Ancient myths reveal geological and anthropological truths (121)

Otherwise, whence such strange “coincidences” in the respective histories of nations and peoples so widely thrown apart? Whence that identity of primitive conceptions which, fables and legends though they are termed now, contain in them nevertheless the kernel of historical facts, of a truth thickly overgrown with the husks of popular embellishment, but still a truth? Compare only this verse of Genesis vi.: “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. . . . There were giants in the earth in those days,” etc., with this part of the Hindu cosmogony, in the Vedas, which speaks of the descent of the Brahmans. 122


Part 9: Recap Chapters 0-4

Chapter 5 is a very interesting chapter; chapters 5-10 are more akin to a basic theosophical textbook like Key or Ocean. Before we tackle those, let us recap what has been covered so far. Hopefully the following gives an indication of the very ambitious, progressive nature of Blavatsky’s project; each chapter has specific elements that contribute to a manifold argument (i.e. each chapter seems to try to blend the first four elements):

  1. Comparing, critiquing and contrasting ancient and modern science (and rehabilitating the former);
  2. Comparing ancient western knowledge with ancient eastern (Indian Knowledge) and positing the primordiality of the latter;
  3. Using the first two points (with wider comparative research) to posit the existence of a universal, perennial wisdom;
  4. Using the first 3 points to introduce notions of esoteric philosophy;
  5. Using these notions of esoteric philosophy to build a new synthesis of (a)ancient and modern science; (b) eastern and western knowledge; (c) science and religion:

Preface – (v-viii)

Before the Veil (x-xlv) Basic notions of ancient western philosophy, the importance of Platonism and its connection with Indian philosophy.

  1. The conflict between Science and Religion: x
  2. The importance of a certain sceptical and critical outlook: xi
  3. Finding a middle way between ancient and modern and re-uniting science and religion: xii
  4. A critique of materialism and a plea for spiritual freedom: xiv
  5. Esoteric glossary (xxv-xlv)

Chapter 1 (Old Things with New Names) Magic, Sacred Mathematics and the Doctrine of Cycles

  1. Concepts of Esoteric EvolutionThe Myth of the Fall symbolizes an evolutionary process (p. 1)
  2. Sacred Mathematics are key in understand the evolutionary process (8).
  3. The ancient Hindus scientific knowledge (10).
  4. The need to study the spiritual aspect of evolution (13)
  5. Magic as a spiritual science (15)
  6. The esoteric concept of cycles,the Great Year,the traditional Hindu concept of the Four Yugas, and evolution (31)
  7. There is a primitive divine universal revelation that gradually became dispersed and hidden. (37)

Chapter 2 (Phenomena and Forces)– Spiritualistic phenomena, scientific investigation and occult explanations

  1. Problems in dogmatism in religion and science with investigations of spiritualist phenomena. (p. 39)
  2. W. Crookes investigations; the Katie King case. (44)
  3. Accomplishments of ancient science; malleable glass; occult aspects of matter. (50)
  4. The nature of forces or intelligences behind spiritualist phenomena and the dangers of spiritualism. (52)
  5. Schopenhauer’s metaphysics comparable to ancient metaphysics. (55)
  6. Scientific investigations on the nature of force and occult explanations of spiritualist phenomena; elementals and elementaries. (62)
  7. Critique of spiritualist theory of actors in spiritualist apparitions being disembodied human spirits. Distinction between mediums and occultists.(68)

Chapter 3 (Blind Leaders of the Blind) – History of the reception of scientific discoveries and investigation of spiritual phenomena

  1. Hindu Magical Feats – (p.73) The magical feats recorded in India cannot be faked or duplicated by western practitioners.
  2. Science is hurt by avoiding the study of spiritualistic phenomena (75).
  3. A critique of Positivism (75).
  4. Scientific Innovations are often met with vigorous resistance; the history of the trustworthiness of human testimony as legal evidence; the value of science as understanding of facts and truth (83).
  5. Many modern discoveries (in medicine notably) are based on a re-discovery of ancient accounts (88)
  6. India is an important source of ancient wisdom and magical knowledge; creation myths of India, Egypt and Judea compared; the symbolism of the Lotus (90)
  7. Giordano Bruno’s ancient perennial philosophy given modern empirical interpretations (93).

Chapter 4 – (Theories Respecting Psychic Phenomena) – Religious and Scientific views regarding spiritualistic phenomena; some ancients myths compared

  1. The devil as cause of spiritualistic phenomena (Jules de Mirville) (p.99)
  2. Material causes of spiritualistic phenomena (Jacques Babinet) (104)
  3. Psychic causes of spiritualistic phenomena (Jean-Marc Antoine Thury) (109)
  4. The nature of psychic force (113)
  5. Various sceptical scientific theories regarding spiritualistic phenomena (116)
  6. Roman Catholics consider the phenomena at Lourdes to be of divine cause (119)
  7. Ancient myths reveal geological and anthropological truths (121)


Part 10: Chapter 5

Spirit, force, and matter, and their relation to creation and human evolution; the theory of the astral light in relation to practical magic and mesmerism, with examples from ancient comparative symbolism

Chapter 5, humbly titled On the Astral Light is actually a sprawling overview of theosophical concepts, almost a miniature version of the secret doctrine in a single chapter – with extensive examples of comparative ancient symbolism. It also deals with the astral light and the practical applications in magic and magnetism as well as aspects of esoteric evolution. Although quite short, this is a very complex chapter that is difficult to summarize, but I suggest that the following sentence taken from the chapter gives an idea of what is the underlying theme behind it:

The first revelation of the Supreme Cause in its triple manifestation of spirit, force, and matter; the divine correlation, at its starting point of evolution, allegorized as the marriage of fire and water, products of electrifying spirit, union of the male active principle with the female passive element, which become the parents of their tellurian child, cosmic matter, the prima materia, whose spirit is ether, the ASTRAL LIGHT! (p.156)

1-Fire and Light Symbolism Ancient and Modern illustrate Universal Force (p.125)

(Universal Ether 128/Chaos 129/World Soul 129/Magnetism 129/Sofia – Holy Ghost 130/Mesmerism 131/Universal Mind 131)

The ancients called it Chaos;

Plato and the Pythagoreans named it the Soul of the World.

According to the Hindus, the Deity in the shape of AEther pervades all things.

It is the invisible, but, as we have said before, too tangible Fluid.

Among other names this universal Proteus — or “the nebulous Almighty,” as de Mirville calls it in derision — was termed by the theurgists “the living fire,”** the “Spirit of Light,” and Magnes.

This last appellation indicates its magnetic properties and shows its magical nature. For, as truly expressed by one of its enemies — [[magos]] and [[magnes]] are two branches growing from the same trunk, and shooting forth the same resultants. (129)

2- Water Symbolism Illustrates Primordial Substance (133)

Alchemists claim that primordial or pre-Adamic earth when reduced to its first substance is in its second stage of transformation like clear-water, the first being the alkahest** proper.

This primordial substance is said to contain within itself the essence of all that goes to make up man; it has not only all the elements of his physical being, but even the “breath of life” itself in a latent state, ready to be awakened. This it derives from the “incubation” of the Spirit of God upon the face of the waters — chaos; in fact, this substance is chaos itself.

From this it was that Paracelsus claimed to be able to make his “homunculi”; and this is why Thales, the great natural philosopher, maintained that water was the principle of all things in nature. (134)

3- Ether in Magic and Science (135)

(Astral light 135/The will in magic 144)

** The akasa is a Sanscrit word which means sky, but it also designates the imponderable and intangible life-principle

  • the astral and celestial lights combined together, and which two form the anima mundi, and constitute the soul and spirit of man;
  • the celestial light forming his [[nous, pneuma]], or divine spirit, and the other his [[psuche]], soul or astral spirit. The grosser particles of the latter enter into the fabrication of his outward form — the body.
  • Akasa is the mysterious fluid termed by scholastic science, “the all-pervading ether”; it enters into all the magical operations of nature, and produces mesmeric, magnetic, and spiritual phenomena.
  • As, in Syria, Palestine, and India, meant the sky, life, and the sun at the same time; the sun being considered by the ancient sages as the great magnetic well of our universe.
  • The softened pronunciation of this word was Ah — says Dunlap, for “the s continually softens to h from Greece to Calcutta.” Ah is Iah, Ao, and Iao. God tells Moses that his name is “I am” (Ahiah), a reduplication of Ah or Iah. The word “As” Ah, or Iah means life, existence, and is evidently the root of the word akasa, which in Hindustan is pronounced ahasa, the life-principle, or Divine life-giving fluid or medium.
  • It is the Hebrew ruah, and means the “wind,” the breath, the air in motion, or “moving spirit,” according to Parkhurst’s Lexicon;
  • and is identical with the spirit of God moving on the face of the waters. (140)

4-Universal Substance/Force in Ancient Cosmologies (146)

(Egypt 146/Scandinavia 147/Bible 149/ Book of Jasher 149)

What modern cosmogonist could compress within so simple a symbol as the Egyptian serpent in a circle such a world of meaning? Here we have, in this creature, the whole philosophy of the universe: matter vivified by spirit, and the two conjointly evolving out of chaos (Force) everything that was to be. To signify that the elements are fast bound in this cosmic matter, which the serpent symbolizes, the Egyptians tied its tail into a knot.

There is one more important emblem connected with the sloughing of the serpent’s skin, which, so far as we are aware, has never been heretofore noticed by our symbolists. As the reptile upon casting his coat becomes freed from a casing of gross matter, which cramped a body grown too large for it, and resumes its existence with renewed activity, so man, by casting off the gross material body, enters upon the next stage of his existence with enlarged powers and quickened vitality. 150

5- Evolution in Ancient Myths 152

(World Tree 153/Pyramid 154/Double-sexed creators 156/Trinity 160/Thor and electricity 161)

The trinity in unity is an idea which all the ancient nations held in common.

The three Dejotas — the Hindu Trimurti;

the Three Heads of the Jewish Kabala.* “Three heads are hewn in one another and over one another.”

The trinity of the Egyptians and that of the mythological Greeks were alike representations of the first triple emanation containing two male and one female principles.

It is the union of the male Logos, or wisdom, the revealed Deity, with the female Aura or Anima Mundi — “the holy Pneuma,” which is the Sephira of the Kabalists and the Sophia of the refined Gnostics — that produced all things visible and invisible.

While the true metaphysical interpretation of this universal dogma remained within the sanctuaries, the Greeks, with their poetical instincts, impersonated it in many charming myths. (160)

The following authors and works figure prominently in this chapter:

Alexandre Jacques François Brière de Boismont (1797-1881), Hallucinations, the Rational History (1853)
Charles Darwin (1808-1882), On the Origin of the Species (1862)
Thomas Huxley’s Review of Haeckel’s Natural History of Creation (1869)
Samuel Fales Dunlap (1825-1905)
Paul Henri Mallet (1730 – 1807), Northern Antiquities (1770)


Part 11: Chapter 6 – Paracelsian explanations of supernatural and psychic phenomena

The title given for Chapter 6, ‘’ Psycho-Physical Phenomena’’ more or less indicates what this is about. However, it’s possible that there is more than just the grab-bag nature that this would imply. This chapter can be seen as a practical complementary development to chapter five’s theories of spirit, force and matter. Moreover, there seems to be a sub-text that links all of these theories to the ideas of Paracelsus. She would rarely revisit such occult and supernatural topics in such a practical way, hence this chapter remains one of her more explicit texts on the theory of practical occultism/magic and is possibly the key chapter of volume one.

1- Paracelsus as Scientific Pioneer (p. 163)

(Preparation for scientific truths 163 / revolution in chemistry 163 / Paracelsus rehabilitation 164 / defence of Mesmerism 166 / occult properties of magnet 168 / astral force 168 / Paracelsus discovers hydrogen 169 / astral nutrition 170 / dreams 170 / sleep 170 / sympathy magnetic attraction 171)

He demonstrates further that in man lies hidden a “sidereal force,” which is that emanation from the stars and celestial bodies of which the spiritual form of man — the astral spirit — is composed. This identity of essence, which we may term the spirit of cometary matter, always stands in direct relation with the stars from which it was drawn, and thus there exists a mutual attraction between the two, both being magnets. The identical composition of the earth and all other planetary bodies and man’s terrestrial body was a fundamental idea in his philosophy. “The body comes from the elements, the [astral] spirit from the stars. . . . Man eats and drinks of the elements, for the sustenance of his blood and flesh; from the stars are the intellect and thoughts sustained in his spirit.” The spectroscope has made good his theory as to the identical composition of man and stars; the physicists now lecture to their classes upon the magnetic attractions of the sun and planets.*

Of the substances known to compose the body of man, there have been discovered in the stars already, hydrogen, sodium, calcium, magnesium and iron. In all the stars observed, numbering many hundreds, hydrogen was found, except in two. Now, if we recollect how they have deprecated Paracelsus and his theory of man and the stars being composed of like substances; how ridiculed he was by astronomers and physicists, for his ideas of chemical affinity and attraction between the two; and then realize that the spectroscope has vindicated one of his assertions at least, is it so absurd to prophesy that in time all the rest of his theories will be substantiated? 168

2- Mesmer as follower of Paracelsus (173)

(Mesmer restates Paracelsus 173)

The doctrine of Mesmer was simply a restatement of the doctrines of Paracelsus, Van Helmont, Santanelli, and Maxwell, the Scotchman; and he was even guilty of copying texts from the work of Bertrand, and enunciating them as his own principles.* In Professor Stewart’s work,** the author regards our universe as composed of atoms with some sort of medium between them as the machine, and the laws of energy as the laws working this machine. Professor Youmans calls this “a modern doctrine,” but we find among the twenty-seven propositions laid down by Mesmer, in 1775, just one century earlier, in his Letter to a Foreign Physician, the following:

1st. There exists a mutual influence between the heavenly bodies, the earth, and living bodies.

2d. A fluid, universally diffused and continued, so as to admit no vacuum, whose subtility is beyond all comparison, and which, from its nature, is capable of receiving, propagating, and communicating all the impressions of motion, is the medium of this influence.

It would appear from this, that the theory is not so modern after all. Professor Balfour Stewart says, “We may regard the universe in the light of a vast physical machine.” And Mesmer:

3d. This reciprocal action is subject to mechanical laws, unknown up to the present time.

Professor Mayer, reaffirming Gilbert’s doctrine that the earth is a great magnet, remarks that the mysterious variations in the intensity of its force seem to be in subjection to emanations from the sun, “changing with the apparent daily and yearly revolutions of that orb, and pulsating

* “Du Magnetisme Animal, en France.” Paris, 1826.

** “The Conservation of Energy.” N. Y., 1875.

in sympathy with the huge waves of fire which sweep over its surface.” He speaks of “the constant fluctuation, the ebb and flow of the earth’s directive influence.” And Mesmer:

4th. From this action result alternate effects which may be considered a flux and reflux.

6th. It is by this operation (the most universal of those presented to us by nature) that the relations of activity occur between the heavenly bodies, the earth, and its constituent parts.

There are two more which will be interesting reading to our modern scientists:

7th. The properties of matter, and of organized body, depend on this operation.

8th. The animal body experiences the alternate effects of this agent; and it is by insinuating itself into the substance of the nerves, that it immediately affects them. 173

3-Further History of Animal Magnetism (173)

(research on animal magnetism 173 / mesmeric phenomena 175 / trance powers 176)

This report provoked long debates, but in May, 1826, the Academy appointed a commission which comprised the following illustrious names: Leroux, Bourdois de la Motte, Double, Magendie, Guersant, Husson, Thillaye, Marc, Itard, Fouquier, and Guenau de Mussy. They began their labors immediately, and continued them five years, communicating, through Monsieur Husson, to the Academy the results of their observations. The report embraces accounts of phenomena classified under thirty-four different paragraphs, but as this work is not specially devoted to the science of magnetism, we must be content with a few brief extracts. They assert that neither contact of the hands, frictions, nor passes are invariably needed, since, on several occasions, the will, fixedness of stare, have sufficed to produce magnetic phenomena, even without the knowledge of the magnetized. “Well-attested and therapeutical phenomena” depend on magnetism alone, and are not reproduced without it. The state of somnambulism exists and “occasions the development of new faculties, which have received the denominations of clairvoyance, intuition, internal prevision.” 175

4- Ancient and Modern Explanations of Animal Magnetism (178)

(Newton on universal magnetic substance 178 / two kinds of magnetizations 178 / astral light 179 / astral light – astral plane 180 / Astral body 181)

“The oracles assert that the impression of thoughts, characters, men, and other divine visions, appear in the aether. . . . In this the things without figure are figured,” says an ancient fragment of the Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster.*

Thus, ancient as well as modern wisdom, vaticination and science, agree in corroborating the claims of the kabalists. It is on the indestructible tablets of the astral light that is stamped the impression of every thought we think, and every act we perform; and that future events — effects of long-forgotten causes — are already delineated as a vivid picture for the eye of the seer and prophet to follow. Memory — the despair of the materialist, the enigma of the psychologist, the sphinx of science — is to the student of old philosophies merely a name to express that power which man unconsciously exerts, and shares with many of the inferior animals — to look with inner sight into the astral light, and there behold the images of past sensations and incidents. Instead of searching the cerebral ganglia for “micrographs of the living and the dead, of scenes that we have visited, of incidents in which we have borne a part,”* they went to the vast repository where the records of every man’s life as well as every pulsation of the visible cosmos are stored up for all Eternity! 179

* “Simpl. in Phys.,” 143; “The Chaldean Oracles,” Cory.

No man, however gross and material he may be, can avoid leading a double existence; one in the visible universe, the other in the invisible. The life-principle which animates his physical frame is chiefly in the astral body; and while the more animal portions of him rest, the more spiritual ones know neither limits nor obstacles. We are perfectly aware that many learned, as well as the unlearned, will object to such a novel theory of the distribution of the life-principle. They would prefer remaining in blissful ignorance and go on confessing that no one knows or can pretend to tell whence and whither this mysterious agent appears and disappears, than to give one moment’s attention to what they consider old and exploded theories. Some might object on the ground taken by theology, that dumb brutes have no immortal souls, and hence, can have no astral spirits; for theologians as well as laymen labor under the erroneous impression that soul and spirit are one and the same thing.180

5- Psychometry (182)

The psychometer is clairvoyant; that is, he sees with the inner eye. Unless his will-power is very strong, unless he has thoroughly trained himself to that particular phenomenon, and his knowledge of the capabilities of his sight are profound, his perceptions of places, persons, and events, must necessarily be very confused. But in the case of mesmerization, in which this same clairvoyant faculty is developed, the operator, whose will holds that of the subject under control, can force him to concentrate his attention upon a given picture long enough to observe all its minute details. Moreover, under the guidance of an experienced mesmerizer, the seer would excel the natural psychometer in having a prevision of future events, more distinct and clear than the latter. And to those who might object to the possibility of perceiving that which “yet is not,” we may put the question: Why is it more impossible to see that which will be, than to bring back to sight that which is gone, and is no more?

According to the kabalistic doctrine, the future exists in the astral light in embryo, as the present existed in embryo in the past. While man is free to act as he pleases, the manner in which he will act was foreknown from all time; not on the ground of fatalism or destiny, but simply on the principle of universal, unchangeable harmony; and, as it may be foreknown that, when a musical note is struck, its vibrations will not, and cannot change into those of another note. Besides, eternity can have neither past nor future, but only the present; as boundless space, in its strictly literal sense, can have neither distant nor proximate places. Our conceptions, limited to the narrow area of our experience, attempt to fit if not an end, at least a beginning of time and space; but neither of these exist in reality; for in such case time would not be eternal, nor space boundless. The past no more exists than the future, as we have said, only our memories survive; and our memories are but the glimpses that we catch of the reflections of this past in the currents of the astral light, as the psychometer catches them from the astral emanations of the object held by him. 184

6- Universal Ether and Astral Light (186)

(bridge between matter and ether 188)

The foregoing, added to the wonderful confessions of science and what we have just quoted from the Unseen Universe, throw an additional lustre on the wisdom of the long departed ages. In one of the preceding chapters we have alluded to a quotation from Cory’s translation of Ancient Fragments, in which it appears that one of the Chaldean Oracles expresses this self-same idea about ether, and in language singularly like that of the authors of the Unseen Universe. It states that from aether have come all things, and to it all will return; that the images of all things are indelibly impressed upon it; and that it is the store-house of the germs or of the remains of all visible forms, and even ideas. It appears as if this case strangely corroborates our assertion that whatever discoveries may be made in our days will be found to have been anticipated by many thousand years by our “simple-minded ancestors.” 189

7- Primordial Substances and Universal Solvent (189)

(alchemy universal solvent alkahest 189-92/water 193)

Is Professor Cooke, so eminent in modern chemistry, equally proficient in the knowledge of what the alchemists did or did not know? Is he quite sure that he understands the meaning of the alchemical diction? We are not. But let us compare his views as above expressed with but sentences written in plain and good, albeit old English, from the translations of Van Helmont and Paracelsus. We learn from their own admissions that the alkahest induces the following changes:

“(1.) The alkahest never destroys the seminal virtues of the bodies thereby dissolved: for instance, gold, by its action, is reduced to a salt of gold, antimony to a salt of antimony, etc., of the same seminal virtues, or characters with the original concrete. (2.) The subject exposed to its operation is converted into its three principles, salt, sulphur, and mercury, and afterwards into salt alone, which then becomes volatile, and at length is wholly turned into clear water. (3.) Whatever it dissolves may be rendered volatile by a sand-heat; and if, after volatilizing the solvent, it be distilled therefrom, the body is left pure, insipid water, but always equal in quantity to its original self.” Further, we find Van Helmont, the elder, saying of this salt that it will dissolve the most untractable bodies into substances of the same seminal virtues, “equal in weight to the matter dissolved“; and he adds, “This salt, by being several times cohobated with Paracelsus’ sal circulatum, loses all its fixedness, and at length becomes an insipid water, equal in quantity to the salt it was made from.”*

8-Universal Ether and Psychic Phenomena (195)

(Flammarion testifies on spiritualism 196/astral soul 198/explanation of psychic phenomena 199/psychic force is blind needs direction by will 200/astral vapors and prophecy 201/medium conductor of psychic force 201/crookes testimony 203/psychic force, spiritualism and mesmerism 204)

Most certainly the word magnetism explains in this case as little as the term psychic force; howbeit, there is more reason to use the former than the latter, if it were but for the simple fact that the transcendent magnetism or mesmerism produces phenomena identical in effects with those of spiritualism. The phenomenon of the enchanted circle of Baron Du Potet and Regazzoni, is as contrary to the accepted laws of physiology as the rising of a table without contact is to the laws of natural philosophy. As strong men have often found it impossible to raise a small table weighing a few pounds, and broken it to pieces in the effort, so a dozen of experimenters, among them sometimes, academicians, were utterly unable to step across a chalk-line drawn on the floor by Du Potet. 204

Some of the authors cited in this chapter, ones she would go on to quote extensively, are:

Paracelsus
Jan Baptist van Helmont
Baron du Potet
Franz Mesmer
William Denton


Part 12: Chapter 7

Chapter 7 Magnetism as Universal Force and source of Magic

The title to this chapter (The Elements, Elementals, and Elementaries) is quite baffling to me; this chapter deals quite clearly with magnetism. Even though the digressions defending ancient science versus modern are a little long, this chapter is one the tighter ones.

1- Survey of Authors on Magnetism (p.206)

Henry More on Subtle bodies 206 / Henry More, René Descartes, Pierre Poiret Naude, Dr. Hufeland, Tenzel Wirdig, Johannes Kepler, Baptista Porta 207-209

Finally, he throws out many valuable hints as to its “spiritual meaning.” In 1643, there appeared among the mystics a monk, Father Kircher, who taught a complete philosophy of universal magnetism. His numerous works*** embrace many of the subjects merely hinted at by Paracelsus. His definition of magnetism is very original, for he contradicted Gilbert’s theory that the earth was a great magnet. He asserted that although every particle of matter, and even the intangible invisible “powers” were magnetic, they did not themselves constitute a magnet. There is but one MAGNET in the universe, and from it proceeds the magnetization of everything existing. This magnet is of course what the kabalists term the central Spiritual Sun, or God.

The sun, moon, planets, and stars he affirmed are highly magnetic; but they have become so by induction from living in the universal magnetic fluid — the Spiritual light. He proves the mysterious sympathy existing between the bodies of the three principal kingdoms of nature, and strengthens his argument by a stupendous catalogue of instances. Many of these were verified by naturalists, but still more have remained unauthenticated; therefore, according to the traditional policy and very equivocal logic of our scientists, they are denied. For instance, he shows a difference between mineral magnetism and zoomagnetism, or animal magnetism. He demonstrates it in the fact that except in the case of the lodestone all the minerals are magnetized by the higher potency, the animal magnetism, while the latter enjoys it as the direct emanation from the first cause — the Creator. (209)

2- Universal Attraction (209)

Universal Magnetism 209/Modern Society Detrimental to Spiritual Influences 212/Three Souls 213/Magic Power of Inner Man 213/Occult powers of hidden eastern adepts 214

Kircher accounts for every feeling in human nature as results of changes in our magnetic condition. Anger, jealousy, friendship, love, and hatred, are all modifications of the magnetic atmosphere which is developed in us and constantly emanates from us. Love is one of the most variable, and therefore the aspects of it are numberless. Spiritual love, that of a mother for her child, of an artist for some particular art, love as pure friendship, are purely magnetic manifestations of sympathy in congenial natures. The magnetism of pure love is the originator of every created thing. In its ordinary sense love between the sexes is electricity, and he calls it amor febris species, the fever of species.

There are two kinds of magnetic attraction: sympathy and fascination; the one holy and natural, the other evil and unnatural. To the latter, fascination, we must attribute the power of the poisonous toad, which upon merely opening its mouth, forces the passing reptile or insect to run into it to its destruction. The deer, as well as smaller animals, are attracted by the breath of the boa, and are made irresistibly to come within its reach. The electric fish, the torpedo, repels the arm with a shock that for a time benumbs it. To exercise such a power for beneficent purposes, man requires three conditions: 1, nobility of soul; 2, strong will and imaginative faculty; 3, a subject weaker than the magnetizer; otherwise he will resist. A man free from worldly incentives and sensuality, may cure in such a way the most “incurable” diseases, and his vision may become clear and prophetic. (210)

3- Magnetism and Healing (215)

Healing Powers of Sound 215/Healing requires purity 218

Healing, to deserve the name, requires either faith in the patient, or robust health united with a strong will, in the operator. With expectancy supplemented by faith, one can cure himself of almost any morbific condition. The tomb of a saint; a holy relic; a talisman; a bit of paper or a garment that has been handled by the supposed healer; a nostrum; a penance, or a ceremonial; the laying on of hands, or a few words impressively pronounced — either will do. It is a question of temperament, imagination, self-cure. In thousands of instances, the doctor, the priest, or the relic has had credit for healings that were solely and simply due to the patient’s unconscious will. The woman with the bloody issue who pressed through the throng to touch the robe of Jesus, was told that her “faith” had made her whole.

The influence of mind over the body is so powerful that it has effected miracles at all ages.

“How many unhoped-for, sudden, and prodigious cures have been effected by imagination,” says Salverte. “Our medical books are filled with facts of this nature which would easily pass for miracles.”****

But, if the patient has no faith, what then? If he is physically negative and receptive, and the healer strong, healthy, positive, determined, the disease may be extirpated by the imperative will of the operator, which, consciously or unconsciously, draws to and reinforces itself with the universal spirit of nature, and restores the disturbed equilibrium of the patient’s aura. He may employ as an auxiliary, a crucifix — as Gassner did; or impose the hands and “will,” like the French Zouave Jacob, like our celebrated American, Newton, the healer of many thousands of sufferers, and like many others; or like Jesus, and some apostles, he may cure by the word of command. The process in each case is the same. 217

4- Ancient Theories of Spiritualism versus Modern

Porphyry and Iamblichus on the dangers of Spiritualism 218/ Doubtfullness of identity of spirits220/Dogmatism 222

There is good evidence, that of Mr. Crookes for one, to show that many “materialized” spirits talk in an audible voice. Now, we have shown, on the testimony of ancients, that the voice of human spirits is not and cannot be articulated; being, as Emanuel Swedenborg declares, “a deep suspiration.” Who of the two classes of witnesses may be trusted more safely? Is it the ancients who had the experience of so many ages in theurgical practices, or modern spiritualists, who have had none at all, and who have no facts upon which to base an opinion, except such as have been communicated by “spirits,” whose identity they have no means of proving? There are mediums whose organisms have called out sometimes hundreds of these would-be “human” forms. And yet we do not recollect to have seen or heard of one expressing anything but the most commonplace ideas. This fact ought surely to arrest the attention of even the most uncritical spiritualist. If a spirit can speak at all, and if the way is opened to intelligent as well as to unintellectual beings, why should they not sometimes give us addresses in some remote degree approximating in quality to the communications we receive through the “direct writing”? (220-21)

5- Alchemy and Perpetual Lamps (224)

Skepticism and denial of reported testimonies of eastern magic and perpetual lamps by academic scientists. 224/Perpetual Lamps and Alchemy 226

Among the ridiculed claims of alchemy is that of the perpetual lamps. If we tell the reader that we have seen such, we may be asked — in case that the sincerity of our personal belief is not questioned — how we can tell that the lamps we have observed are perpetual, as the period of our observation was but limited? Simply that, as we know the ingredients employed, and the manner of their construction, and the natural law applicable to the case, we are confident that our statement can be corroborated upon investigation in the proper quarter. What that quarter is, and from whom that knowledge can be learned, our critics must discover, by taking the pains we did. Meanwhile, however, we will quote a few of the 173 authorities who have written upon the subject. None of these, as we recollect, have asserted that these sepulchral lamps would burn perpetually, but only for an indefinite number of years, and instances are recorded of their continuing alight for many centuries. It will not be denied that, if there is a natural law by which a lamp can be made without replenishment to burn ten years, there is no reason why the same law could not cause the combustion to continue one hundred or one thousand years. (229)

6- Ancient and Modern explanations of Electro-Magnetic Power (232)

Scientific Skepticism 233/Ancient Mysteries Erect-Haired Pan 235/Ancient Knowledge of Electricity 235

Professor Carpenter vaunts the advanced philosophy of the present day which “ignores no fact however strange that can be attested by valid evidence”; and yet he would be the first to reject the claims of the ancients to philosophical and scientific knowledge, although based upon evidence quite “as valid” as that which supports the pretensions of men of our times to philosophical or scientific distinction. In the department of science, let us take for example the subjects of electricity and electro-magnetism, which have exalted the names of Franklin and Morse to so high a place upon our roll of fame. Six centuries before the Christian era, Thales is said to have discovered the electric properties of amber; and yet the later researches of Schweigger, as given in his extensive works on Symbolism, have thoroughly demonstrated that all the ancient mythologies were based on the science of natural philosophy, and show that the most occult properties of electricity and magnetism were known to the theurgists of the earliest Mysteries recorded in history, those of Samothrace. (235)

7- Ancient knowledge versus Modern (236)

Jowett credits the ancients 239/Defends ancient knowledge 239

In short, the Platonic philosophy was one of order, system, and proportion; it embraced the evolution of worlds and species, the correlation and conservation of energy, the transmutation of material form, the indestructibility of matter and of spirit. Their position in the latter respect being far in advance of modern science, and binding, the arch of their philosophical system with a keystone at once perfect and immovable. If science has made such colossal strides during these latter days — if we have such clearer ideas of natural law than the ancients — why are our inquiries as to the nature and source of life unanswered? If the modern laboratory is so much richer in the fruits of experimental research than those of the olden time, how comes it that we make no step except on paths that were trodden long before the Christian era? How does it happen that the most advanced standpoint that has been reached in our times only enables us to see in the dim distance up the Alpine path of knowledge the monumental proofs that earlier explorers have left to mark the plateaux they had reached and occupied? (239)

8-Magnetism and the Theory of Force Correlation (242)

Matter-Force correlation 242/Primordial point 242/ABC of Occultism – electricity 242/

Gravitation 244/Scientist bullied into silence 246/Universal Sympathy 246

Thus modern philosophers may be said not to have gone one step beyond what the priests of Samothrace, the Hindus, and even the Christian Gnostics well knew. The former have shown it in that wonderfully ingenious mythos of the Dioskuri, or “the sons of heaven”; the twin brothers, spoken of by Schweigger, “who constantly die and return to life together, while it is absolutely necessary that one should die that the other may live.” They knew as well as our physicists, that when a force has disappeared it has simply been converted into another force. Though archaeology may not have discovered any ancient apparatus for such special conversions, it may nevertheless be affirmed with perfect reason and upon analogical deductions that nearly all the ancient religions were based on such indestructibility of matter and force — plus the emanation of the whole from an ethereal, spiritual fire — or the central sun, which is God or spirit, on the knowledge of whose potentiality is based ancient theurgic magic.

In the manuscript commentary of Proclus on magic he gives the following account: “In the same manner as lovers gradually advance from that beauty which is apparent in sensible forms, to that which is divine; so the ancient priests, when they considered that there is a certain alliance and sympathy in natural things to each other, and of things manifest to occult powers, and discovered that all things subsist in all, they fabricated a sacred science from this mutual sympathy and similarity. Thus they recognized things supreme in such as are subordinate, and the subordinate in the supreme; in the celestial regions, terrene properties subsisting in a causal and celestial manner; and in earth celestial properties, but according to a terrene condition.” (244)

9-Universal Belief in Magic (247)

Epidemic of Unbelief 247/Astral Cycles 247/Commonality of customs 247Ideas 248/Epicurus Mutton Protoplasm 252

Formerly, magic was a universal science, entirely in the hands of the sacerdotal savant. Though the focus was jealously guarded in the sanctuaries, its rays illuminated the whole of mankind. Otherwise, how are we to account for the extraordinary identity of “superstitions,” customs, traditions, and even sentences, repeated in popular proverbs so widely scattered from one pole to the other that we find exactly the same ideas among the Tartars and Laplanders as among the southern nations of Europe, the inhabitants of the steppes of Russia, and the aborigines of North and South America? For instance, Tyler shows one of the ancient Pythagorean maxims, “Do not stir the fire with a sword,” as popular among a number of nations which have not the slightest connection with each other. He quotes De Plano Carpini, who found this tradition prevailing among the Tartars so far back as in 1246. A Tartar will not consent for any amount of money to stick a knife into the fire, or touch it with any sharp or pointed instrument, for fear of cutting the “head of the fire.”

The Kamtchadal of North-eastern Asia consider it a great sin so to do. The Sioux Indians of North America dare not touch the fire with either needle, knife, or any sharp instrument. The Kalmucks entertain the same dread; and an Abyssinian would rather bury his bare arms to the elbows in blazing coals than use a knife or axe near them. All these facts Tyler also calls “simply curious coincidences.” Max Muller, however, thinks that they lose much of their force by the fact “of the Pythagorean doctrine being at the bottom of it.” 247

The following writers on Magnetism are surveyed:

Henry More
René Descartes
Pierre Poiret
Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland
Tenzel Wirdig
Johannes Kepler
Giambattista della Porta


Part 13: Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – (Some Mysteries of Nature) – Spiritual Aspects of Cosmology, Astronomy, and Astrology

“This doctrine of God being the universal mind diffused through all things, underlies all ancient philosophies.” (290)

The title or contents page don’t really give you an indication of what the chapter is about. It’s quite tight and focused, more focused than the previous chapter, therefore it’s one of the tightest chapters of volume one. So here we have the first major exposition of Blavatsky’s philosophy of astrology, which presumably influenced all the theosophist astrologers who had such a major impact in the field.

Despite the very vague title, chapter 8 is one of the more linear, clearest, straightforward chapters in the book; no major difficulties.

1- Modern Scientific Theories in Ancient Texts (p.253)

Creation of the Universe according to the Hermetica 255/ Evolution according to the Hermetica 257/ Substantial Monism 258/ Metaphysics of Light 258

But to descend from universals to particulars, from the ancient theory of planetary evolution to the evolution of plant and animal life, as opposed to the theory of special creation, what does Mr. Proctor call the following language of Hermes but an anticipation of the modern theory of evolution of species? “When God had filled his powerful hands with those things which are in nature, and in that which compasseth nature, then shutting them close again, he said: ‘Receive from me, O holy earth! that art ordained to be the mother of all, lest thou shouldst want anything’; when presently opening such hands as it becomes a God to have, he poured down all that was necessary to the constitution of things.” Here we have primeval matter imbued with “the promise and potency of every future form of life,” and the earth declared to be the predestined mother of everything that should thenceforth spring from her bosom.

More definite is the language of Marcus Antoninus in his discourse to himself. “The nature of the universe delights not in anything so much as to alter all things, and present them under another form. This is her conceit to play one game and begin another. Matter is placed before her like a piece of wax and she shapes it to all forms and figures. Now she makes a bird, then out of the bird a beast — now a flower, then a frog, and she is pleased with her own magical performances as men are with their own fancies.”*

Before any of our modern teachers thought of evolution, the ancients taught us, through Hermes, that nothing can be abrupt in nature; that she never proceeds by jumps and starts, that everything in her works is slow harmony, and that there is nothing sudden — not even violent death. 257

2- Astrology as a Science (259)

Astrology as a science 260 / Prophecy of Nostradamus explained 260 / Chaldeans knew of Saturn three rings and Jupiter’s Four Satellites 261 / Ancient myths explain astronomy 262 / Neoplatonic Demiurgical Trinity – Zeus 263 / Diana Moon Goddess Symbolism 264 / Universal beliefs concerning the Sapphire 264 / Symbolism of Diana and the Moon 266 / Astrology – Fables of the Twelve Houses 268

Mr. Proctor thinks that the system of astrology “was formed gradually and perhaps tentatively.” Some influences may have been inferred from observed events, the fate of this or that king or chief, guiding astrologers in assigning particular influences to such planetary aspects as were presented at the time of his nativity. Others may have been invented, and afterward have found general acceptance, because confirmed by some curious coincidences.

A witty joke may sound very prettily, even in a learned treatise, and the word “coincidence” may be applied to anything we are unwilling to accept. But a sophism is not a truism; still less is it a mathematical demonstration, which alone ought to serve as a beacon — to astronomers, at least. Astrology is a science as infallible as astronomy itself, with the condition, however, that its interpreters must be equally infallible; and it is this condition, sine qua non, so very difficult of realization, that has always proved a stumbling-block to both. Astrology is to exact astronomy what psychology is to exact physiology. In astrology and psychology one has to step beyond the visible world of matter, and enter into the domain of transcendent spirit. It is the old struggle between the Platonic and Aristotelean schools, and it is not in our century of Sadducean skepticism that the former will prevail over the latter. 260

3- Solar Magnetism (270)

Light in Genesis 270 / No Heat or Gravitation in the Sun 271 / Kabalistic theory of heat and gravitation 272 / Effects of the Moon 273

The kabalistic heresies receive an unexpected support in the heterodox theories of General Pleasonton. According to his opinions (which he supports on far more unimpeachable facts than orthodox scientists theirs) the space between the sun and the earth must be filled with a material medium, which, so far as we can judge from his description, answers to our kabalistic astral light. The passage of light through this must produce enormous friction. Friction generates electricity, and it is this electricity and its correlative magnetism which forms those tremendous forces of nature that produce in, on, and about our planet the various changes which we everywhere encounter. He proves that terrestrial heat cannot be directly derived from the sun, for heat ascends. The force by which heat is effected is a repellent one, he says, and as it is associated with positive electricity, it is attracted to the upper atmosphere by its negative electricity, always associated with cold, which is opposed to positive electricity. He strengthens his position by showing that the earth, which when covered with snow cannot be affected by the sun’s rays, is warmest where the snow is deepest. This he explains upon the theory that the radiation of heat from the interior of the earth, positively electrified, meeting at the surface of the earth with the snow in contact with it, negatively electrified, produces the heat.

Thus he shows that it is not at all to the sun that we are indebted for light and heat; that light is a creation sui generis, which sprung into existence at the instant when the Deity willed, and uttered the fiat: “Let there be light”; and that it is this independent material agent which produces heat by friction, on account of its enormous and incessant velocity. In short, it is the first kabalistic emanation to which General Pleasonton introduces us, that Sephira or divine Intelligence (the female principle), which, in unity with En-Soph, or divine wisdom (male principle) produced every thing visible and invisible. He laughs at the current theory of the incandescence of the sun and its gaseous substance. The reflection from the photosphere of the sun, he says, passing through planetary and stellar spaces, must have thus created a vast amount of electricity and magnetism. Electricity, by the union of its opposite polarities, evolves heat and imparts magnetism to all substances capable of receiving it. The sun, planets, stars, and nebulae are all magnets, etc. 272

4- Cosmic Nature of Epidemics (274)

Esoteric Aspects of Epidemics 274 /

Again, the collective character of mental phenomena is illustrated by an anomalous psychological condition invading and dominating over thousands upon thousands, depriving them of everything but automatic action, and giving rise to the popular opinion of demoniacal possession, an opinion in some sense justified by the satanic passions, emotions, and acts which accompany the condition. At one period, the aggregate tendency is to retirement and contemplation; hence, the countless votaries of monachism and anchoretism; at another the mania is directed toward action, having for its proposed end some utopian scheme, equally impracticable and useless; hence, the myriads who have forsaken their kindred, their homes, and their country, to seek a land whose stones were gold, or to wage exterminating war for the possession of worthless cities and trackless deserts.** 275

5- Cosmic Aspects of Universal Magnetism (p. 280)

Universal Fluid 280 / Magnetism, gravity, nature of light 282 / Magnetism 282

“The mistake we make in some science we have specially cultivated,” says Bulwer-Lytton, “is often only to be seen by the light of a separate science as especially cultivated by another.”**

Nothing can be easier accounted for than the highest possibilities of magic. By the radiant light of the universal magnetic ocean, whose electric waves bind the cosmos together, and in their ceaseless motion penetrate every atom and molecule of the boundless creation, the disciples of mesmerism — howbeit insufficient their various experiments — intuitionally perceive the alpha and omega of the great mystery. Alone, the study of this agent, which is the divine breath, can unlock the secrets of psychology and physiology, of cosmical and spiritual phenomena. 282

6- Elementals and Universal Ether (284)

The universal ether was not, in their eyes, simply a something stretching, tenantless, throughout the expanse of heaven; it was a boundless ocean peopled like our familiar seas with monstrous and minor creatures, and having in its every molecule the germs of life. Like the finny tribes which swarm in our oceans and smaller bodies of water, each kind having its habitat in some spot to which it is curiously adapted, some friendly and some inimical to man, some pleasant and some frightful to behold, some seeking the refuge of quiet nooks and land-locked harbors, and some traversing great areas of water, the various races of the elemental spirits were believed by them to inhabit the different portions of the great ethereal ocean, and to be exactly adapted to their respective conditions. 284

7- Buddhist Cosmology (288)

Even the so-called fabulous narratives of certain Buddhistical books, when stripped of their allegorical meaning, are found to be the secret doctrines taught by Pythagoras. In the Pali Books called the Jutakas, are given the 550 incarnations or metempsychoses of Buddha. They narrate how he has appeared in every form of animal life, and animated every sentient being on earth, from infinitesimal insect to the bird, the beast, and finally man, the microcosmic image of God on earth. Must this be taken literally; is it intended as a description of the actual transformations and existence of one and the same individual immortal, divine spirit, which by turns has animated every kind of sentient being? 292

Richard A. Proctor’s Our Place among Infinities 253 and General Pleasonton’s book, “The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight, and of the Blue Color of the Sky, in developing Animal and Vegetable Life,” receive copious commentary.

Augustus Pleasonton, The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight, 1876


Part 14: Chapter 9

Chapter 9 (Cyclical Phenomena) –The evolution of the soul , the after-life and Spiritualism

This chapter embarks on the explanations of reincarnation and the after-life, which were later developed more fully, notably in Esoteric Buddhism. Some more basic concepts of theosophical notions of spiritual evolution are presented, continuing the notion of the “fall of man” introduced in Chapter one. Moreover, this chapter is particularly concerned with the theosophical critique of spiritualist theories.

1- Cycles and Human Evolution (p. 293)

Coats of skin in Genesis (294) / The mind and evolution 294 / Esoteric evolution 296

The “coats of skin,” mentioned in the third chapter of Genesis as given to Adam and Eve, are explained by certain ancient philosophers to mean the fleshy bodies with which, in the progress of the cycles, the progenitors of the race became clothed. They maintained that the god-like physical form became grosser and grosser, until the bottom of what may be termed the last spiritual cycle was reached, and mankind entered upon the ascending arc of the first human cycle. Then began an uninterrupted series of cycles or yugas; the precise number of years of which each of them consisted remaining an inviolable mystery within the precincts of the sanctuaries and disclosed only to the initiates. As soon as humanity entered upon a new one, the stone age, with which the preceding cycle had closed, began to gradually merge into the following and next higher age.

With each successive age, or epoch, men grew more refined, until the acme of perfection possible in that particular cycle had been reached. Then the receding wave of time carried back with it the vestiges of human, social, and intellectual progress. Cycle succeeded cycle, by imperceptible transitions; highly-civilized flourishing nations, waxed in power, attained the climax of development, waned, and became extinct; and mankind, when the end of the lower cyclic arc was reached, was replunged into barbarism as at the start. Kingdoms have crumbled and nation succeeded nation from the beginning until our day, the races alternately mounting to the highest and descending to the lowest points of development. Draper observes that there is no reason to suppose that any one cycle applied to the whole human race. On the contrary, while man in one portion of the planet was in a condition of retrogression, in another he might be progressing in enlightenment and civilization. 294

2- Esoteric interpretation of the Fall of Man and evolution (297)

Esoteric cycles and Egypt 297 / Genesis and evolution 297 / Anthropos primal man 298 /The fall of man 299

Whether or not the men of science are willing to concede the correctness of the Hermetic theory of the physical evolution of man from higher and more spiritual natures, they themselves show us how the race has progressed from the lowest observed point to its present development. And, as all nature seems to be made up of analogies, is it unreasonable to affirm that the same progressive development of individual forms has prevailed among the inhabitants of the unseen universe? If such marvellous effects have been caused by evolution upon our little insignificant planet, producing reasoning and intuitive men from some higher type of the ape family, why suppose that the boundless realms of space are inhabited only by disembodied angelic forms?

Why not give place in that vast domain to the spiritual duplicates of these hairy, long-armed and half-reasoning ancestors, their predecessors, and all their successors, down to our time? Of course, the spiritual parts of such primeval members of the human family would be as uncouth and undeveloped as were their physical bodies. While they made no attempt to calculate the duration of the “grand cycle,” the Hermetic philosophers yet maintained that, according to the cyclic law, the living human race must inevitably and collectively return one day to that point of departure, where man was first clothed with “coats of skin”; or, to express it more clearly, the human race must, in accordance with the law of evolution, be finally physically spiritualized. Unless Messrs. Darwin and Huxley are prepared to prove that the man of our century has attained, as a physical and moral animal, the acme of perfection, and evolution, having reached its apex, must stop all further progress with the modern genus Homo, we do not see how they can possibly confute such a logical deduction. 297

3- The Ginza, the Book of Genesis and Human Evolution (303)

Esoteric explanation of the Ginza 300 / Genesis and Giants 303 / Giant bones in Missouri 304 / Giants in Enoch 305 / Prophecy 306 / Swedenborg, Alchemy and Genesis 306 Esoteric and esoteric religion 308 / Man – object of Alchemy 309

The whole Darwinian theory of natural selection is included in the first six chapters of the Book of Genesis. The “Man” of chapter i. is radically different from the “Adam” of chapter ii., for the former was created “male and female” — that is, bi-sexed — and in the image of God; while the latter, according to verse seven, was formed of the dust of the ground, and became “a living soul,” after the Lord God “breathed into his nostrils the breath of life.” Moreover, this Adam was a male being, and in verse twenty we are told that “there was not found a helpmeet for him.” The Adonai, being pure spiritual entities, had no sex, or rather had both sexes united in themselves, like their Creator; and the ancients understood this so well that they represented many of their deities as of dual sex. The Biblical student must either accept this interpretation, or make the passages in the two chapters alluded to absurdly contradict each other. It was such literal acceptance of passages that warranted the atheists in covering the Mosaic account with ridicule, and it is the dead letter of the old text that begets the materialism of our age. Not only are these two races of beings thus clearly indicated in Genesis, but even a third and a fourth one are ushered before the reader in chapter iv., where the “sons of God” and the race of “giants” are spoken of. 303

4- Elementals and Evolution (307)

Elementals 309

Lowest in the scale of being are those invisible creatures called by the kabalists the “elementary.” There are three distinct classes of these. The highest, in intelligence and cunning, are the so-called terrestrial spirits, of which we will speak more categorically in other parts of this work. Suffice to say, for the present, that they are the larvae, or shadows of those who have lived on earth, have refused all spiritual light, remained and died deeply immersed in the mire of matter, and from whose sinful souls the immortal spirit has gradually separated. The second class is composed of the invisible antitypes of the men to be born. No form can come into objective existence — from the highest to the lowest — before the abstract ideal of this form — or, as Aristotle would call it, the privation of this form — is called forth. Before an artist paints a picture every feature of it exists already in his imagination; to have enabled us to discern a watch, this particular watch must have existed in its abstract form in the watchmaker’s mind. So with future men. 310

5- The Evolution of the Human Soul (315)

The soul and evolution 315 / Nature, immortality and pre-existence of the soul 316 / loss of soul 318

Pythagoras, Plato, Timaeus of Locris, and the whole Alexandrian school derived the soul from the universal World-Soul; and the latter was, according to their own teachings — ether; something of such a fine nature as to be perceived only by our inner sight. Therefore, it cannot be the essence of the Monas, or cause, because the anima mundi is but the effect, the objective emanation of the former. Both the human spirit and soul are preexistent. But, while the former exists as a distinct entity, an individualization, the soul exists as preexisting matter, an unscient portion of an intelligent whole. Both were originally formed from the Eternal Ocean of Light; but as the theosophists expressed it, there is a visible as well as invisible spirit in fire. They made a difference between the anima bruta and the anima divina. Empedocles firmly believed all men and animals to possess two souls; and in Aristotle we find that he calls one the reasoning soul — [[nous]], and the other, the animal soul — [[psuche]]. According to these philosophers, the reasoning soul comes from without the universal soul, and the other from within. This divine and superior region, in which they located the invisible and supreme deity, was considered by them (by Aristotle himself) as a fifth element, purely spiritual and divine, whereas the anima mundi proper was considered as composed of a fine, igneous, and ethereal nature spread throughout the universe, in short — ether. 316

6- Elementals, Nature of disembodied spirits, and spiritualism (320)

Elementals 319

Though spiritualists discredit them ever so much, these nature-spirits are realities. If the gnomes, sylphs, salamanders, and undines of the Rosicrucians existed in their days, they must exist now. Bulwer-Lytton’s Dweller of the Threshold, is a modern conception, modelled on the ancient type of the Sulanuth* of the Hebrews and Egyptians, which is mentioned in the Book of Jasher.**

The Christians call them “devils,” “imps of Satan,” and like characteristic names. They are nothing of the kind, but simply creatures of ethereal matter, irresponsible, and neither good nor bad, unless influenced by a superior intelligence. It is very extraordinary to hear devout Catholics abuse and misrepresent the nature-spirits, when one of their greatest authorities, Clement the Alexandrian, disposed of them, by describing these creatures as they really are. Clement, who perhaps had been a theurgist as well as a Neo-platonist, thus arguing upon good authority, remarks, that it is absurd to call them devils,* for they are only inferior angels, “the powers which inhabit elements, move the winds and distribute showers, and as such are agents and subject to God.”** Origen, who before he became a Christian also belonged to the Platonic school, is of the same opinion. Porphyry describes these daemons more carefully than any one else.

When the possible nature of the manifesting intelligences, which science believes to be a “psychic force,” and spiritualists the identical spirits of the dead, is better known, then will academicians and believers turn to the old philosophers for information. 326

7- The Soul and the After-Life (327)

They, as well as he, have been evolved out of condensed cosmic matter, and our physicists cannot see the slightest difference between the molecules of the four kingdoms of nature, which are thus specified by Professor Le Conte:

4. Animal Kingdom. 3. Vegetable Kingdom. 2. Mineral Kingdom. 1. Elements.

The progress of matter from each of these planes to the plane above is continuous; and, according to Le Conte, there is no force in nature capable of raising matter at once from No. 1 to No. 3, or from No. 2 to No. 4, without stopping and receiving an accession of force of a different kind on the intermediate plane.

Now, will any one presume to say that out of a given number of molecules, originally and constantly homogeneous, and all energized by the same principle of evolution, a certain number can be carried through those four kingdoms to the final result of evolving immortal man, and the others not be allowed to progress beyond planes 1, 2, and 3? Why should not all these molecules have an equal future before them; the mineral becoming plant, the plant, animal, and the animal, man — if not upon this earth, at least somewhere in the boundless realms of space? The harmony which geometry and mathematics — the only exact sciences — demonstrate to be the law of the universe, would be destroyed if evolution were perfectly exemplified in man alone and limited in the subordinate kingdoms.331

The secret doctrine teaches that man, if he wins immortality, will remain forever the trinity that he is in life, and will continue so throughout all the spheres. The astral body, which in this life is covered by a gross physical envelope, becomes — when relieved of that covering by the process of corporeal death — in its turn the shell of another and more ethereal body. This begins developing from the moment of death, and becomes perfected when the astral body of the earthly form finally separates from it. This process, they say, is repeated at every new transition from sphere to sphere. But the immortal soul, “the silvery spark,” observed by Dr. Fenwick in Margrave’s brain,* and not found by him in the animals, never changes, but remains indestructible “by aught that shatters its tabernacle.” 329

8- Psychometry, Theurgy, and Spiritualism 331

For the spiritualists, the records of the past either do not exist, or if they are familiar with its gathered treasures, they regard them as having no bearing upon their own experiences. And yet, the problems which so vex them, were solved thousands of years ago by the theurgists, who have left the keys to those who will search for them in the proper spirit and with knowledge. Is it possible that nature has changed her work, and that we are encountering different spirits and different laws from those of old? Or can any spiritualist imagine that he knows more, or even as much about mediumistic phenomena or the nature of various spirits, as a priest-caste who spent their lives in theurgical practice, which had been known and studied for countless centuries? If the narratives of Owen and Hare, of Edmonds, and Crookes, and Wallace are credible, why not those of Herodotus, the “Father of History,” of Iamblichus, and Porphyry, and hundreds of other ancient authors? If the spiritualists have their phenomena under test-conditions, so had the old theurgists, whose records, moreover, show that they could produce and vary them at will. The day when this fact shall be recognized, and profitless speculations of modern investigators shall give place to patient study of the works of the theurgists, will mark the dawn of new and important discoveries in the field of psychology. 335

The following works receive important discussion:

Alfred R. Wallace, The Action of Natural Selection on Man
Joseph Le Conte, “Correlation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces
Samuel Fales Dunlap, Sod, the Son of the Man


Part 15: Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – (The Inner and Outer Man) The Body/Soul relationship – Reincarnation, Elementals, Spiritualism

This chapter follows from the previous in dealing with the mysteries of post-mortem and ante-natal existence (This theme is explored in chapters 8-12). This is the chapter that has probably caused the most confusion; a passage on reincarnation was widely misconstrued and indeed, the passage in question, although understandable, does, I think require careful attentive reading; it can be quite tricky, although it’s not so bad if one has read the later information on reincarnation which would appear five years later in The Theosophist and Esoteric Buddhism. Blavatsky eventually published an article addressing this problem: “Theories About Reincarnation and Spirits

1- Mystery and Science (p. 336)

Science and the Mysteries of Birth and Death 336/Achilles Heel of Science – things that they confess they do not know 337/a series of sermons by F. Felix, of Notre Dame, entitled Mystery and Science. 337/Attraction and Matter 340

By whatsoever name the physicists may call the energizing principle in matter is of no account; it is a subtile something apart from the matter itself, and, as it escapes their detection, it must be something besides matter. If the law of attraction is admitted as governing the one, why should it be excluded from influencing the other? Leaving logic to answer, we turn to the common experience of mankind, and there find a mass of testimony corroborative of the immortality of the soul, if we judge but from analogies. But we have more than that — we have the unimpeachable testimony of thousands upon thousands, that there is a regular science of the soul, which, notwithstanding that it is now denied the right of a place among other sciences, is a science. This science, by penetrating the arcana of nature far deeper than our modern philosophy ever dreamed possible, teaches us how to force the invisible to become visible; the existence of elementary spirits; the nature and magical properties of the astral light; the power of living men to bring themselves into communication with the former through the latter. Let them examine the proofs with the lamp of experience, and neither the Academy nor the Church, for which Father Felix so persuasively spoke, can deny them. 340

2- Metaphysics of the Soul (341)

Creation Myths – Mind and Matter – Hermias 341 / Spirit, matter and ideal abstaction 342 / Elementals 342

Every organized thing in this world, visible as well as invisible, has an element appropriate to itself. The fish lives and breathes in the water; the plant consumes carbonic acid, which for animals and men produces death; some beings are fitted for rarefied strata of air, others exist only in the densest. Life, to some, is dependent on sunlight, to others, upon darkness; and so the wise economy of nature adapts to each existing condition some living form. These analogies warrant the conclusion that, not only is there no unoccupied portion of universal nature, but also that for each thing that has life, special conditions are furnished, and, being furnished, they are necessary. Now, assuming that there is an invisible side to the universe, the fixed habit of nature warrants the conclusion that this half is occupied, like the other half; and that each group of its occupants is supplied with the indispensable conditions of existence. It is as illogical to imagine that identical conditions are furnished to all, as it would be to maintain such a theory respecting the inhabitants of the domain of visible nature. That there are spirits implies that there is a diversity of spirits; for men differ, and human spirits are but disembodied men. 343

3- Reincarnation and Transmigration (345)

Apuleuis on the after-life 345 / Buddhism karma , reincarnation, nidanas, nirvana 347 / Cosmology of the Vedas 347 / Pythagoras and India 348 / Blavatsky describes Tantric cosmological image 348 / The ruins of the ancient city of Aurungabad are not very far from these caves 350 / Reincarnation of astral monad exceptional 351

This language can hardly be called ambiguous, and yet, the Reincarnationists quote Apuleius in corroboration of their theory that man passes through a succession of physical human births upon this planet, until he is finally purged from the dross of his nature. But Apuleius distinctly says that we come upon this earth from another one, where we had an existence, the recollection of which has faded away. As the watch passes from hand to hand and room to room in a factory, one part being added here and another there, until the delicate machine is perfected, according to the design conceived in the mind of the master before the work was begun; so, according to ancient philosophy, the first divine conception of man takes shape little by little, in the several departments of the universal workshop, and the perfect human being finally appears on our scene. 345

** Second century, A.D. “Du Dieu de Socrate,” Apul. class., pp. 143-145.

4- Witchraft, spiritualism, and elementals (353)

Witchcraft 354 / Invocation of the guardian angel 358 / Mediumship 360 / Phenomena of Re-percussion and bi-location 361 / Proclus on post-mortem revivals 366 /

This way of obtaining oracles was practiced in the highest antiquity. In India, this sublime lethargy is called “the sacred sleep of * * *” It is an oblivion into which the subject is thrown by certain magical processes, supplemented by draughts of the juice of the soma. The body of the sleeper remains for several days in a condition resembling death, and by the power of the adept is purified of its earthliness and made fit to become the temporary receptacle of the brightness of the immortal Augoeides. In this state the torpid body is made to reflect the glory of the upper spheres, as a burnished mirror does the rays of the sun. The sleeper takes no note of the lapse of time, but upon awakening, after four or five days of trance, imagines he has slept but a few moments. What his lips utter he will never know; but as it is the spirit which directs them they can pronounce nothing but divine truth. For the time being the poor helpless clod is made the shrine of the sacred presence, and converted into an oracle a thousand times more infallible than the asphyxiated Pythoness of Delphi; and, unlike her mantic frenzy, which was exhibited before the multitude, this holy sleep is witnessed only within the sacred precinct by those few of the adepts who are worthy to stand in the presence of the ADONAI. 358

5- Mediumship and Magic (366)

Universality of magic, difference between sorcerer and magician. 366 / Physical and spiritual mediumship 367 / Psychography – art-magic 368 /Spiritual and physical magic 369

If from this unbeliever we pass to the authority of an adept in that mysterious science, the anonymous author of Art-Magic, we find him stating the following: “The reader may inquire wherein consists the difference between a medium and a magician? . . . The medium is one through whose astral spirit other spirits can manifest, making their presence known by various kinds of phenomena. Whatever these consist in, the medium is only a passive agent in their hands. He can neither command their presence, nor will their absence; can never compel the performance of any special act, nor direct its nature. The magician, on the contrary, can summon and dismiss spirits at will; can perform many feats of occult power through his own spirit; can compel the presence and assistance of spirits of lower grades of being than himself, and effect transformations in the realm of nature upon animate and inanimate bodies.”* 367

6- Epidemics of Spiritual Phenomena (369)

Convulsionnaires of Cevennes 370

Abbe Paris was a Jansenist, who died in 1727. Immediately after his decease the most surprising phenomena began to occur at his tomb. The churchyard was crowded from morning till night. Jesuits, exasperated at seeing heretics perform wonders in healing, and other works, got from the magistrates an order to close all access to the tomb of the Abbe. But, notwithstanding every opposition, the wonders lasted for over twenty years. Bishop Douglas, who went to Paris for that sole purpose in 1749, visited the place, and he reports that the miracles were still going on among the Convulsionaires. When every endeavor to stop them failed, the Catholic clergy were forced to admit their reality, but screened them-selves, as usual, behind the Devil. Hume, in his Philosophical Essays, says: “There surely never was so great a number of miracles ascribed to one person as those which were lately said to have been wrought in France upon the tomb of the Abbe Paris. The curing of the sick, giving hearing to the deaf and sight to the blind, were everywhere talked of as the effects of the holy sepulchre. But, what is more extraordinary, many of the miracles were immediately proved upon the spot, before judges of unquestioned credit and distinction, in a learned age, and on the most eminent theatre that is now in the world . . . nor were the Jesuits, though a learned body, supported by the civil magistrates, and determined enemies to those opinions in whose favor the miracles were said to have been wrought, ever able distinctly to refute or detect them . . . such is historic evidence.”* Dr. Middleton, in his Free Enquiry, a book which be wrote at a period when the manifestations were already decreasing, i.e., about nineteen years after they had first begun, declares that the evidence of these miracles is fully as strong as that of the wonders recorded of the Apostles. 373

The following author’s and works receive particular attention:

Célestin Joseph Félix, Le progrès par le christianisme (see page 69)
Henry More
Joseph Glanvil, Saducismus triumphatus
Louis Figuier, Histoire du merveilleux dans les temps modernes
Emma Britten Hardinge, Art Magic


Part 16: Recap – Chapters 5-10

I think chapters 5-10 are the heart of volume one. Chapters 11-15 deal with further interesting notions. Note also that each chapter has specific elements that contribute to a manifold argument (i.e. each chapter seems to try to blend the first four elements), a very ambitious project:

1- Comparing, critiquing and contrasting ancient and modern science (and rehabilitating the former);

2- Comparing ancient and modern western knowledge with eastern culture;

3- Using the first two points (with wider comparative research) to posit the existence of a universal, perennial wisdom;

4- Using the first 3 points to introduce notions of esoteric philosophy;

5- Using these notions of esoteric philosophy to build a new synthesis of (a)ancient and modern science; (b) eastern and western knowledge; (c) science and religion.

6- Arguing for the idea of India as the cradle of civilization.

7- Critiquing and clarifying spiritualistic phenomena.

Chapter 5 (On the Astral Light) Spirit force and matter, and its relation to creation and human evolution and the theory of the astral light in relation to practical magic and mesmerism

1-Fire and Light Symbolism Ancient and Modern illustrate Universal Force (p.125)

(Universal Ether 128/Chaos 129/World Soul 129/Magnetism 129/Sofia – Holy Ghost 130/Mesmerism 131/Universal Mind 131)

2- Water Symbolism Illustrates Primordial Substance (133)

3- Ether in Magic and Science (135)

(Astral light 135/The will in magic 144)

4-Universal Substance/Force in Ancient Cosmologies (146)

(Egypt 146/Scandinavia 147/Bible 149/ Book of Jasher 149)

5- Evolution in Ancient Myths (152)

(World Tree 153/Pyramid 154/Double-sexed creators 156/Trinity 160/Thor and electricity 161)

 

Chapter 6 – (Psycho-Physical Phenomena) Paracelsian explanations of supernatural and psychic phenomena

1- Paracelsus as Scientific Pioneer (p. 163)

(Preparation for scientific truths 163/revolution in chemistry 163/Paracelsus rehabilitation 164/defence of Mesmerism 166/occult properties of magnet 168/astral force 168/Paracelsus discovers hydrogen 169/astral nutrition 170/dreams170/sleep 170/sympathy magnetic attraction 171)

2- Mesmer as follower of Paracelsus (173)

(Mesmer restates Paracelsus 173)

3-Further History of Animal Magnetism (173)

(research on animal magnetism 173/mesmeric phenomena 175/trance powers 176)

4- Ancient and Modern Explanations of Animal Magnetism (178)

(Newton on universal magnetic substance 178/two kinds of magnetizations 178/astral light 179/astral light – astral plane 180/Astral body 181)

5- Psychometry (182)

6- Universal Ether and Astral Light (186)

(Bridge between matter and ether 188)

7- Primordial Substances and Universal Solvent (189)

(Alchemy universal solvent alkahest 189-92/water 193)

 

Chapter 7 (The Elements, Elementals, and Elementaries) Magnetism as Universal Force and source of Magic

1- Survey of Authors on Magnetism (p.206)

Henry More on Subtle bodies 206/ Henry More, René Descartes, Pierre Poiret Naude, Dr. Hufeland, Tenzel Wirdig, Johannes Kepler, Baptista Porta 207-209

2- Universal Attraction (209)

Universal Magnetism 209/Modern Society Detrimental to Spiritual Influences 212/Three Souls 213/Magic Power of Inner Man 213/Occult powers of hidden eastern adepts 214

3- Magnetism and Healing (215)

Healing Powers of Sound 215/Healing requires purity 218

4- Ancient Theories of Spiritualism versus Modern

Porphyry and Iamblichus on the dangers of Spiritualism 218/ Doubtfullness of identity of spirits220/Dogmatism 222

5- Alchemy and Perpetual Lamps (224)

Skepticism and denial of reported testimonies of eastern magic and perpetual lamps by academic scientists. 224/Perpetual Lamps and Alchemy 226

6- Ancient and Modern explanations of Electro-Magnetic Power (232)

Scientific Skepticism 233/Ancient Mysteries Erect-Haired Pan 235/Ancient Knowledge of Electricity 235

7- Ancient knowledge versus Modern (236)

Jowett credits the ancients 239/Defends ancient knowledge 239

8-Magnetism and the Theory of Force Correlation (242)

Matter-Force correlation 242/Primordial point 242/ABC of Occultism – electricity 242/

Gravitation 244/Scientist bullied into silence 246/Universal Sympathy 246

9-Universal Belief in Magic (247)

Epidemic of Unbelief 247/Astral Cycles 247/Commonality of customs 247Ideas 248/Epicurus Mutton Protoplasm 252

 

Chapter 8 – (Some Mysteries of Nature) – Spiritual Aspects of Cosmology, Astronomy, and Astrology

1- Modern Scientific Theories in Ancient Texts (p.253)

Creation of the Universe according to the Hermetica 255/ Evolution according to the Hermetica 257/ Substantial Monism 258/ Metaphysics of Light 258

2- Astrology as a Science (259)

Astrology as a science 260 / Prophecy of Nostradamus explained 260 / Chaldeans knew of Saturn three rings and Jupiter’s Four Satellites 261 / Ancient myths explain astronomy 262 / Neoplatonic Demiurgical Trinity – Zeus 263 / Diana Moon Goddess Symbolism 264 / Universal beliefs concerning the Sapphire 264 / Symbolism of Diana and the Moon 266 / Astrology – Fables of the Twelve Houses 268

3- Solar Magnetism (270)

Light in Genesis 270 / No Heat or Gravitation in the Sun 271 / Kabalistic theory of heat and gravitation 272 / Effects of the Moon 273

4- Cosmic Nature of Epidemics (274)

Esoteric Aspects of Epidemics 274

5- Cosmic Aspects of Universal Magnetism (p. 280)

Universal Fluid 280 / Magnetism, gravity, nature of light 282 / Magnetism 282

6- Elementals and Universal Ether (284)

7- Buddhist Cosmology (288)

 

Chapter 9 (Cyclical Phenomena) –The evolution of the soul , the after-life and Spiritualism

  • Cycles and Human Evolution (293)

Coats of skin in Genesis 294 / The mind and evolution 294 / Esoteric evolution 296

  • Esoteric interpretation of the Fall of Man and evolution (297)

Esoteric cycles and Egypt 297 / Genesis and evolution 297 / Anthropos primal man 298 /The fall of man 299

3- The Ginza, the Book of Genesis and Human Evolution (303)

Esoteric explanation of the Ginza 300 / Genesis and Giants 303 / Giant bones in Missouri 304 / Giants in Enoch 305 / Prophecy 306 / Swedenborg, Alchemy and Genesis 306 Esoteric and esoteric religion 308 / Man – object of Alchemy 309

4- Elementals and Evolution (307)

Elementals 309

5- The Evolution of the Human Soul (315)

The soul and evolution 315 / Nature, immortality and pre-existence of the soul 316 / loss of soul 318

6- Elementals, Nature of disembodied spirits, and spiritualism (320)

Elementals 319

7- The Soul and the After-Life (327)

8- Psychometry, Theurgy, and Spiritualism (331)

 

Chapter 10 – (The Inner and Outer Man) The Body/Soul Relationship – Elementals, Spiritualism and Reincarnation

1- Mystery and Science (p. 336)

Science and the Mysteries of Birth and Death 336/Achilles Heel of Science – things that they confess they do not know 337/a series of sermons by F. Felix, of Notre Dame, entitled Mystery and Science. 337/Attraction and Matter 340

2- Metaphysics of the Soul (341)

Creation Myths – Mind and Matter – Hermias 341 / Spirit, matter and ideal abstaction 342 / Elementals 342

3- Reincarnation and Transmigration (345)

Apuleuis on the after-life 345 / Buddhism karma , reincarnation, nidanas, nirvana 347 / Cosmology of the Vedas 347 / Pythagoras and India 348 / Blavatsky describes Tantric cosmological image 348 / The ruins of the ancient city of Aurungabad are not very far from these caves 350 / Reincarnation of astral monad exceptional 351

4- Witchraft, spiritualism, and elementals (353)

Witchcraft 354 / Invocation of the guardian angel 358 / Mediumship 360 / Phenomena of Re-percussion and bi-location 361 / Proclus on post-mortem revivals 366 /

5- Mediumship and Magic (366)

Universality of magic, difference between sorcerer and magician. 366 / Physical and spiritual mediumship 367 / Psychography – art-magic 368 /Spiritual and physical magic 369

6- Epidemics of Spiritual Phenomena (369)

Convulsionnaires of Cevennes 370


Part 17: Chapter 11

Chapter 11 – (Psychological and physical marvels) Esoteric Aspects of Embryology, the Will, and Imagination

Chapter’s 11-15 seem a little looser, not quite as cohesive as the previous chapters, but they still tackle some basic theosophical themes. Chapters 9-13 all deal with various aspect of pre-natal and post-mortem life while chapters 13-14 deals with the question of Atlantis. This chapter’s impressive main section on esoteric embryology segues nicely from the previous chapter’s discussion on reincarnation, but overall, this is probably the least cohesive chapter in the sense that the work’s running side arguments, although very interesting, overcrowd the chapter’s main topic. However, her discussion of physiology is one of her most impressive treatments of the technicalities of hardcore science, many specialized, technical, mainstream scientific works were consulted and very perceptively commented on.

1- Phenomena of Invulnerability (p.378)

Impenetrable mesmeric astral fluid 378 / Invulnerability of soldiers 379 / Power to fire astral bolts of force 380 / Power to charm and tame animals 381 / Blavatsky’s snake charming personal account 382

AND now we must search Magical History for cases similar to those given in the preceding chapter. This insensibility of the human body to the impact of heavy blows, and resistance to penetration by sharp points and musket-bullets, is a phenomenon sufficiently familiar in the experience of all times and all countries. While science is entirely unable to give any reasonable explanation of the mystery, the question appears to offer no difficulty to mesmerists, who have well studied the properties of the fluid. The man, who by a few passes over a limb can produce a local paralysis so as to render it utterly insensible to burns, cuts, and the prickings of needles, need be but very little astonished at the phenomena of the Jansenists. As to the adepts of magic, especially in Siam and the East Indies, they are too familiar with the properties of the akasa, the mysterious life-fluid, to even regard the insensibility of the Convulsionnaires as a very great phenomenon. The astral fluid can be compressed about a person so as to form an elastic shell, absolutely nonpenetrable by any physical object, however great the velocity with which it travels. In a word, this fluid can be made to equal and even excel in resisting-power, water and air. 378

2- The Mysteries of Embryology (384)

Plastic power of pregnant mother’s imagination 384 / Power of imagination to cure diseases 385 /

Soul-blindness 387 / Esoteric aspects of embryology 388 / Critique of the inductive method 394 / Universal force 394 / Astral light and pregnant women (eliphas levi) 395 / Imagination 397 / Cases of stigmata appearances 398 / Universal ether 400 / Substantialism, atomism 401

This mysterious process of a nine-months formation the kabalists call the completion of the “individual cycle of evolution.” As the foetus develops from the liquor amnii in the womb, so the earths germinate from the universal ether, or astral fluid, in the womb of the universe. These cosmic children, like their pigmy inhabitants, are first nuclei; then ovules; then gradually mature; and becoming mothers in their turn, develop mineral, vegetable, animal, and human forms. From centre to circumference, from the imperceptible vesicle to the uttermost conceivable bounds of the cosmos, these glorious thinkers, the kabalists, trace cycle merging into cycle, containing and contained in an endless series. The embryo evolving in its pre-natal sphere, the individual in his family, the family in the state, the state in mankind, the earth in our system, that system in its central universe, the universe in the cosmos, and the cosmos in the First Cause: — the Boundless and Endless. So runs their philosophy of evolution:

“All are but parts of one stupendous whole, Whose body Nature is; and God the Soul.”

“Worlds without number Lie in this bosom like children.” 389-90

From whatever aspect we view and question matter, the world-old philosophy that it was vivified and fructified by the eternal idea, or imagination — the abstract outlining and preparing the model for the concrete form — is unavoidable. If we reject this doctrine, the theory of a cosmos evolving gradually out of its chaotic disorder becomes an absurdity; for it is highly unphilosophical to imagine inert matter, solely moved by blind force, and directed by intelligence, forming itself spontaneously into a universe of such admirable harmony. If the soul of man is really an outcome of the essence of this universal soul, an infinitesimal fragment of this first creative principle, it must of necessity partake in degree of all the attributes of the demiurgic power. As the creator, breaking up the chaotic mass of dead, inactive matter, shaped it into form, so man, if he knew his powers, could, to a degree, do the same. 397

3- A Critique of the Despotism of Science and Scientific Methodology (403)

John Stuart Mill on impossibility of miracles 403 / Plato and Aristotle scientific method regarding supernatural phenomena 405 / Destruction of ancient mystical texts 405 / Plato and Aristotle 408

What facts? we might inquire. A man of science cannot be expected to admit that these facts can be furnished by occult science, since he does not believe in the latter. Nevertheless, the future may demonstrate this verity. Aristotle has bequeathed his inductive method to our scientists; but until they supplement it with “the universals of Plato,” they will experience still more “failures” than the great tutor of Alexander. The universals are a matter of faith only so long as they cannot be demonstrated by reason and based on uninterrupted experience. Who of our present-day philosophers can prove by this same inductive method that the ancients did not possess such demonstrations as a consequence of their esoteric studies? Their own negations, unsupported as they are by proof, sufficiently attest that they do not always pursue the inductive method they so much boast of. Obliged as they are to base their theories, nolens volens, on the groundwork of the ancient philosophers, their modern discoveries are but the shoots put forth by the germs planted by the former. And yet even these discoveries are generally incomplete, if not abortive. Their cause is involved in obscurity and their ultimate effect unforeseen. “We are not,” says Professor Youmans, “to regard past theories as mere exploded errors, nor present theories as final. The living and growing body of truth has only mantled its old integuments in the progress to a higher and more vigorous state.”* This language, applied to modern chemistry by one of the first philosophical chemists and most enthusiastic scientific writers of the day, shows the transitional state in which we find modern science; but what is true of chemistry is true of all its sister sciences. 405

4- Strange Accounts of Ancient Science Validated by Modern Discoveries (411)

Solomon on flow of water 410 / Belief in magic universal 414

The unanimous testimony of mankind is said to be an irrefutable proof of truth; and about what was ever testimony more unanimous than that for thousands of ages among civilized people as among the most barbarous, there has existed a firm and unwavering belief in magic? The latter implies a contravention of the laws of nature only in the minds of the ignorant; and if such ignorance is to be deplored in the ancient uneducated nations, why do not our civilized and highly-educated classes of fervent Christians, deplore it also in themselves? The mysteries of the Christian religion have been no more able to stand a crucial test than biblical miracles. Magic alone, in the true sense of the word, affords a clew to the wonders of Aaron’s rod, and the feats of the magi of Pharaoh, who opposed Moses; and it does that without either impairing the general truthfulness of the authors of the Exodus, or claiming more for the prophet of Israel than for others, or allowing the possibility of a single instance in which a “miracle” can happen in contravention of the laws of nature. Out of many “miracles,” we may select for our illustration that of the “river turned into blood.” The text says: “Take thy rod and stretch out thine hand (with the rod in it) upon the waters, streams, etc. . . . that they may become blood.” 414

Notable authors and works discussed:

Eusebe de Salverte (1771-1839), The Occult Sciences (1843)
William Aitken (1825–1892), The Science and Practice of Medicine (1868)
George Jackson Fisher, M.D (1825-1893), Diploteratology; an Essay on Compound Human Monsters (1865)
Catherine Crowe (1803-1876), Night-Side of Nature (1848)
Edouard Fournie (1833-1886), Physiologie du Systeme Nerveux (1872)
Henry More, “Immortality of the Soul


Part 18: Chapter 12

Chapter 12 – (The Impassable Chasm) The After-Life and Esoteric Aspects of Vampirism

1- Huxley and Tyndall on Modern Science (p. 417)

Mind-matter relation 418 / Huxley’s materialism 419 / Domain of science physical & invisible 421 / Hume on miracles 421

Thus, it would seem that even as to the most ordinary natural phenomena, scientific opinion is far from being unanimous. There is not an experimentalist or theologian, who, in dealing with the subtile relations between mind and matter, their genesis and ultimate, does not draw a magical circle, the plane of which he calls forbidden ground. Where faith permits a clergyman to go, he goes; for, as Tyndall says, “they do not lack the positive element — namely, the love of truth; but the negative element, the fear of error, preponderates.” But the trouble is, that their dogmatic creed weighs down the nimble feet of their intellect, as the ball and chain does the prisoner in the trenches. 418

We have also given as much thought as our natural powers will permit to Professor Huxley’s celebrated lecture On the Physical Basis of Life, so that what we may say in this volume as to the tendency of modern scientific thought may be free from ignorant misstatement. Compressing his theory within the closest possible limits, it may be formulated thus: Out of cosmic matter all things are created; dissimilar forms result from different permutations and combinations of this matter; matter has “devoured spirit,” hence spirit does not exist; thought is a property of matter; existing forms die that others may take their place; the dissimilarity in organism is due only to varying chemical action in the same life-matter — all protoplasm being identical. 418

2- Instinct and Reason; Spiritualism and Materialism (422)

Spiritual nature of fire 423 / Hippocrates on faith and science 424 / What is instinct? 425 / Science Rejection of tradition 426 / Alchemists on evolution 427 / Everything a manifestation of spirit 428 / Plato and Aristotle on the eternity of the world 428 / Darwin and the mystery of first creation 429 / Jains and Vedantins on after-life 430 / Platonism and Buddhism 430 / After-life 432 / Reason and instinct 432 / Instinct 434 / Prayer 434 / Spiritual intuition 435 / The reign of wisdom closed 436

But, we will now turn from our digression to further consider the question of reason and instinct. The latter, according to the ancients, proceeded from the divine, the former from the purely human. One (the instinct) is the product of the senses, a sagaciousness shared by the lowest animals, even those who have no reason — it is the [[aisthetikon]]; the other is the product of the reflective faculties — [[noetikon]], denoting judiciousness and human intellectuality. Therefore, an animal devoid of reasoning powers has in its inherent instinct an unerring faculty which is but that spark of the divine which lurks in every particle of inorganic matter — itself materialized spirit. In the Jewish Kabala, the second and third chapters of Genesis are explained thus: When the second Adam is created “out of the dust,” matter has become so gross that it reigns supreme. Out of its lusts evolves woman, and Lilith has the best of spirit. The Lord God, “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (the sunset of spirit, or divine light obscured by the shadows of matter) curses not only them who have committed the sin, but even the ground itself, and all living things — the tempting serpent-matter above all.

Who but the kabalists are able to explain this seeming act of injustice? How are we to understand this cursing of all created things, innocent of any crime? The allegory is evident. The curse inheres in matter itself. Henceforth, it is doomed to struggle against its own grossness for purification; the latent spark of divine spirit, though smothered, is still there; and its invincible attraction upward compels it to struggle in pain and labor to free itself. Logic shows us that as all matter had a common origin, it must have attributes in common, and as the vital and divine spark is in man’s material body, so it must lurk in every subordinate species. The latent mentality which, in the lower kingdoms is recognized as semi-consciousness, consciousness, and instinct, is largely subdued in man. Reason, the outgrowth of the physical brain, develops at the expense of instinct — the flickering reminiscence of a once divine omniscience — spirit. Reason, the badge of the sovereignty of physical man over all other physical organisms, is often put to shame by the instinct of an animal. As his brain is more perfect than that of any other creature, its emanations must naturally produce the highest results of mental action; but reason avails only for the consideration of material things; it is incapable of helping its possessor to a knowledge of spirit. In losing instinct, man loses his intuitional powers, which are the crown and ultimatum of instinct. Reason is the clumsy weapon of the scientists — intuition the unerring guide of the seer. Instinct teaches plant and animal their seasons for the procreation of their species, and guides the dumb brute to find his appropriate remedy in the hour of sickness. Reason — the pride of man — fails to check the propensities of his matter, and brooks no restraint upon the unlimited gratification of his senses. Far from leading him to be his own physician, its subtile sophistries lead him too often to his own destruction. 432-33

3- Eastern Magic (437)

Tibetan koonboum tree 440 / Tibetan moon picture 441 / Prediction for 1976 regarding Asian scripture 442 / Fire tricks 446 / Elementals 447 / Dragon snake symbolism 448 / Buddhist after-life 449

Were there no inner sight or intuition, the Jews would never have had their Bible, nor the Christians Jesus. What both Moses and Jesus gave to the world was the fruit of their intuition or illumination. What their subsequent elders and teachers allowed the world to understand was — dogmatic misrepresentations, too often blasphemy.

To accept the Bible as a “revelation” and nail belief to a literal translation, is worse than absurdity — it is a blasphemy against the Divine majesty of the “Unseen.” If we had to judge of the Deity, and the world of spirits, by its human interpreters, now that philology proceeds with giant-strides on the fields of comparative religions, belief in God and the soul’s immortality could not withstand the attacks of reason for one century more. That which supports the faith of man in God and a spiritual life to come is intuition; that divine outcome of our inner-self, which defies the mummeries of the Roman Catholic priest, and his ridiculous idols; the thousand and one ceremonies of the Brahman and his idols; and the jeremiads of the Protestant preacher, and his desolate and arid creed, with no idols, but a boundless hell and damnation hooked on at the end. Were it not for this intuition, undying though often wavering because so clogged with matter, human life would be a parody and humanity a fraud. This ineradicable feeling of the presence of some one outside and inside ourselves is one that no dogmatic contradictions, nor external form of worship can destroy in humanity, let scientists and clergy do what they may. Moved by such thoughts of the boundlessness and impersonality of the Deity, Gautama-Buddha, the Hindu Christ, exclaimed: “As the four rivers which fall in the Ganges lose their names as soon as they mingle their waters with the holy river, so all who believe in Buddha cease to be Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaisyas, and Sudras!” 435

4- Esoteric Aspects of Vampires (449)

Vampirism 449 / After death 452 / Elementals 457 / Fakirs phenomena 459 / The devil is a fallacy 459

Pierart, whose doctrine was founded on that of the theurgists, exhibits a warm indignation against the superstition of the clergy which requires, whenever a corpse is suspected of vampirism, that a stake should be driven through the heart. So long as the astral form is not entirely liberated from the body there is a liability that it may be forced by magnetic attraction to reenter it. Sometimes it will be only half-way out, when the corpse, which presents the appearance of death, is buried. In such cases the terrified astral soul violently reenters its casket; and then, one of two things happens — either the unhappy victim will writhe in the agonizing torture of suffocation, or, if he had been grossly material, he becomes a vampire. The bicorporeal life begins; and these unfortunate buried cataleptics sustain their miserable lives by having their astral bodies rob the life-blood from living persons. The ethereal form can go wherever it pleases; and so long as it does not break the link which attaches it to the body, it is at liberty to wander about, either visible or invisible, and feed on human victims. “According to all appearance, this ‘spirit’ then transmits through a mysterious and invisible cord of connection, which perhaps, some day may be explained, the results of the suction to the material body which lies inert at the bottom of the tomb, aiding it, in a manner, to perpetuate the state of catalepsy.”*** 449

Still, there are interesting particulars to be gathered in relation to vampirism, since belief in this phenomenon has existed in all countries, from the remotest ages. The Slavonian nations, the Greeks, the Wallachians, and the Servians would rather doubt the existence of their enemies, the Turks, than the fact that there are vampires. The broucolak, or vourdalak, as the latter are called, are but too familiar guests at the Slavonian fireside. Writers of the greatest ability, men as full of sagacity as of high integrity, have treated of the subject and believed in it. Whence, then, such a superstition? Whence that unanimous credence throughout the ages, and whence that identity in details and similarity of description as to that one particular phenomenon which we find in the testimony — generally sworn evidence — of peoples foreign to each other and differing widely in matters concerning other superstitions.451

This chapter is the fourth segment on the Ante-Natal and Post-Mortem evolution of the soul. The following authors and works receive significant attention:

John William Draper (1811-1892), History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874)
Pierre Jean Georges Cabanis (1757-1808)
Thomas Huxley (1825-1895), On the Physical Basis of Life (1868)
Johann Lorenz Mosheim (1693-1755), Ammonias Saccas
Antoine Augustin Calmet (1672-1757), Dissertazioni sopra le apparizioni di spiriti e vampiri (1756)


Part 19: Chapter 13

Chapter 13 (Realities and Illusion) The After-Life: After-Death Revival and Alchemy

1- The coherence of magic and alchemy (p. 461)

Esoteric Science 461 / Esoteric and scientific formulas 462 / Magnetism 463 / Esotericism and chemistry 464 / Mysteries of nature, plants 467 / Faith 467

THERE are persons whose minds would be incapable of appreciating the intellectual grandeur of the ancients, even in physical science, were they to receive the most complete demonstration of their profound learning and achievements. Notwithstanding the lesson of caution which more than one unexpected discovery has taught them, they still pursue their old plan of denying, and, what is still worse, of ridiculing that which they have no means of either proving or disproving. So, for instance, they will pooh-pooh the idea of talismans having any efficacy one way or the other. That the seven spirits of the Apocalypse have direct relation to the seven occult powers in nature, appears incomprehensible and absurd to their feeble intellects; and the bare thought of a magician claiming to work wonders through certain kabalistic rites convulses them with laughter. Perceiving only a geometrical figure traced upon a paper, a bit of metal, or other substance, they cannot imagine how any reasonable being should ascribe to either any occult potency. But those who have taken the pains to inform themselves know that the ancients achieved as great discoveries in psychology as in physics, and that their explorations left few secrets to be discovered. 461

2- Psychic Nature of Animals ( 467)

Astral vision in animals 467 / Blavatsky’s experience with animals 470

Every animal is more or less endowed with the faculty of perceiving, if not spirits, at least something which remains for the time being invisible to common men, and can only be discerned by a clairvoyant. We have made hundreds of experiments with cats, dogs, monkeys of various kinds, and, once, with a tame tiger. A round black mirror, known as the “magic crystal,” was strongly mesmerized by a native Hindu gentleman, formerly an inhabitant of Dindigul, and now residing in a more secluded spot, among the mountains known as the Western Ghauts. He had tamed a young cub, brought to him from the Malabar coast, in which part of India the tigers are proverbially ferocious; and it is with this interesting animal that we made our experiments.

3- Eastern Magic (471)

Hindu Magic 471 / Mass hallucinations 473 / Blavatsky’s travels 474

“Sanang Setzen,” says Colonel Yule,* “enumerates a variety of the wonderful acts which could be performed through the Dharani (mystic Hindu charms). Such were sticking a peg into solid rock; restoring the dead to life; turning a dead body into gold; penetrating everywhere as air does (in astral form); flying; catching wild beasts with the hand; reading thoughts; making water flow backward; eating tiles; sitting in the air with the legs doubled under, etc.” Old legends ascribe to Simon Magus precisely the same powers. “He made statues to walk; leaped into the fire without being burned; flew in the air; made bread of stones; changed his shape; assumed two faces at once; converted himself into a pillar; caused closed doors to fly open spontaneously; made the vessels in a house move of themselves, etc.” The Jesuit Delrio laments that credulous princes, otherwise of pious repute, should have allowed diabolical tricks to be played before them, “as for example, things of iron, and silver goblets, or other heavy articles, to be moved by bounds, from one end of the table to the other, without the use of a magnet, or of any attachment.”* We believe WILL-POWER the most powerful of magnets. The existence of such magical power in certain persons is proved, but the existence of the Devil is a fiction, which no theology is able to demonstrate. 471-72

4- Re-animation of the Dead (475)

After-death revival 475 / Astral double after death 476 / Telepathy 477 / Prolonged burial of fakirs 477 / Premature burial – suspended animation 479 / The nature of death 480 / Resuscitation of the dead 482 / Jewish schools of magic 482 / After-death and trance states 484

Bearing ever in mind that we repudiate the idea of a miracle and returning once more to phenomena more serious, we would now ask what logical objection can be urged against the claim that the reanimation of the dead was accomplished by many thaumaturgists? The fakir described in the Franco-Americain, might have gone far enough to say that this will-power of man is so tremendously potential that it can reanimate a body apparently dead, by drawing back the flitting soul that has not yet quite ruptured the thread that through life had bound the two together. Dozens of such fakirs have allowed themselves to be buried alive before thousands of witnesses, and weeks afterward have been resuscitated. And if fakirs have the secret of this artificial process, identical with, or analogous to, hibernation, why not allow that their ancestors, the Gymnosophists, and Apollonius of Tyana, who had studied with the latter in India, and Jesus, and other prophets and seers, who all knew more about the mysteries of life and death than any of our modern men of science, might have resuscitated dead men and women? And being quite familiar with that power — that mysterious something “that science cannot yet understand,” as Professor Le Conte confesses — knowing, moreover, “whence it came and whither it was going,” Elisha, Jesus, Paul, and Apollonius, enthusiastic ascetics and learned initiates, might have recalled to life with ease any man who “was not dead but sleeping,” and that without any miracle.

If the molecules of the cadaver are imbued with the physical and chemical forces of the living organism,* what is to prevent them from being set again in motion, provided we know the nature of the vital force, and how to command it? The materialist can certainly offer no objection, for with him it is no question of reinfusing a soul. For him the soul has no existence, and the human body may be regarded simply as a vital engine — a locomotive which will start upon the application of heat and force, and stop when they are withdrawn. To the theologian the case offers greater difficulties, for, in his view, death cuts asunder the tie which binds soul and body, and the one can no more be returned into the other without miracle than the born infant can be compelled to resume its foetal life after parturition and the severing of the umbilicus. But the Hermetic philosopher stands between these two irreconcilable antagonists, “master of the situation. He knows the nature of the soul — a form composed of nervous fluid and atmospheric ether — and knows how the vital force can be made active or passive at will, so long as there is no final destruction of some necessary organ. The claims of Gaffarilus — which, by the bye, appeared so preposterous in 1650** — were later corroborated by science. 475

5- Mediumship and Mediatorship (485)

Occult forces 485 / Universal accounts of spiritual phenomena 486 / Mediumship and Mediatorship

About such men as Apollonius, Iamblichus, Plotinus, and Porphyry, there gathered this heavenly nimbus. It was evolved by the power of their own souls in close unison with their spirits; by the superhuman morality and sanctity of their lives, and aided by frequent interior ecstatic contemplation. Such holy men pure spiritual influences could approach. Radiating around an atmosphere of divine beneficence, they caused evil spirits to flee before them. Not only is it not possible for such to exist in their aura, but they cannot even remain in that of obsessed persons, if the thaumaturgist exercises his will, or even approaches them. This is MEDIATORSHIP, not mediumship. Such persons are temples in which dwells the spirit of the living God; but if the temple is defiled by the admission of an evil passion, thought or desire, the mediator falls into the sphere of sorcery. The door is opened; the pure spirits retire and the evil ones rush in. This is still mediatorship, evil as it is; the sorcerer, like the pure magician, forms his own aura and subjects to his will congenial inferior spirits.

But mediumship, as now understood and manifested, is a different thing. Circumstances, independent of his own volition, may, either at birth or subsequently, modify a person’s aura, so that strange manifestations, physical or mental, diabolical or angelic, may take place. Such mediumship, as well as the above-mentioned mediatorship, has existed on earth since the first appearance here of living man. The former is the yielding of weak, mortal flesh to the control and suggestions of spirits and intelligences other than one’s own immortal demon. It is literally obsession and possession; and mediums who pride themselves on being the faithful slaves of their “guides,” and who repudiate with indignation the idea of “controlling” the manifestations, “could not very well deny the fact without inconsistency. This mediumship is typified in the story of Eve succumbing to the reasonings of the serpent; of Pandora peeping in the forbidden casket and letting loose on the world, sorrow and evil, and by Mary Magdalene, who from having been obsessed by ‘seven devils’ was finally redeemed by the triumphant struggle of her immortal spirit, touched by the presence of a holy mediator, against the dweller.” This mediumship, whether beneficent or maleficent, is always passive. Happy are the pure in heart, who repel unconsciously, by that very cleanness of their inner nature, the dark spirits of evil. For verily they have no other weapons of defense but that inborn goodness and purity. Mediumism, as practiced in our days, is a more undesirable gift than the robe of Nessus. 488

6- Ancient and Modern Spiritualistic Phenomena (491)

Different gods mentioned in the Bible 491 / Different types of spirits evoked 492 / Mediums and mediators 494 / Types of spirits, elementals 495

We are forced to contradict, point-blank, such an assertion. They are identical only so far that the same forces and occult powers of nature produce them. But though these powers and forces may be, and most assuredly are, all directed by unseen intelligences, the latter differ more in essence, character, and purposes than mankind itself, composed, as it now stands, of white, black, brown, red, and yellow men, and numbering saints and criminals, geniuses and idiots. The writer may avail himself of the services of a tame orang-outang or a South Sea islander; but the fact alone that he has a servant makes neither the latter nor himself identical with Aristotle and Alexander. The writer compares Ezekiel “lifted up” and taken into the “east gate of the Lord’s house,”** with the levitations of certain mediums, and the three Hebrew youths in the “burning fiery furnace,” with other fire-proof mediums; the John King “spirit-light” is assimilated with the “burning lamp” of Abraham; and finally, after many such comparisons, the case of the Davenport Brothers, released from the jail of Oswego, is confronted with that of Peter delivered from prison by the “angel of the Lord”! 492

7- Levitation (496)

Mesmerism, mediumship and magnetism 499 / Levitation esoterically explained 500

Thus levitation, we will say, must always occur in obedience to law — a law as inexorable as that which makes a body unaffected by it remain upon the ground. And where should we seek for that law outside of the theory of molecular attraction? It is a scientific hypothesis that the form of force which first brings nebulous or star matter together into a whirling vortex is electricity; and modern chemistry is being totally reconstructed upon the theory of electric polarities of atoms. The waterspout, the tornado, the whirlwind, the cyclone, and the hurricane, are all doubtless the result of electrical action. This phenomenon has been studied from above as well as from below, observations having been made both upon the ground and from a balloon floating above the vortex of a thunder-storm.

Observe now, that this force, under the conditions of a dry and warm atmosphere at the earth’s surface, can accumulate a dynamic energy capable of lifting enormous bodies of water, of compressing the particles of atmosphere, and of sweeping across a country, tearing up forests, lifting rocks, and scattering buildings in fragments over the ground. Wild’s electric machine causes induced currents of magneto-electricity so enormously powerful as to produce light by which small print may be read, on a dark night, at a distance of two miles from the place where it is operating. 496-97

8- Alchemy on the Elixir of Life, the Universal Solvent and the Philosopher’s Stone (502)

Perpetual motion 502 / The elixir of life 503 / Esoteric and scientific formulas 506 / Tetraktys 507 / Smaragdine tablet 508

We may say the same of the elixir of life, by which is understood physical life, the soul being of course deathless only by reason of its divine immortal union with spirit. But continual or perpetual does not mean endless. The kabalists have never claimed that either an endless physical life or unending motion is possible. The Hermetic axiom maintains that only the First Cause and its direct emanations, our spirits (scintillas from the eternal central sun which will be reabsorbed by it at the end of time) are incorruptible and eternal. But, in possession of a knowledge of occult natural forces, yet undiscovered by the materialists, they asserted that both physical life and mechanical motion could be prolonged indefinitely. The philosophers’ stone had more than one meaning attached to its mysterious origin. Says Professor Wilder: “The study of alchemy was even more universal than the several writers upon it appear to have known, and was always the auxiliary of, if not identical with, the occult sciences of magic, necromancy, and astrology; probably from the same fact that they were originally but forms of a spiritualism which was generally extant in all ages of human history.”

Our greatest wonder is, that the very men who view the human body simply as a “digesting machine,” should object to the idea that if some equivalent for metalline could be applied between its molecules, it should run without friction. Man’s body is taken from the earth, or dust, according to Genesis; which allegory bars the claims of modern analysts to original discovery of the nature of the inorganic constituents of human body. If the author of Genesis knew this, and Aristotle taught the identity between the life-principle of plants, animals, and men, our affiliation with mother earth seems to have been settled long ago. 502

9- Ancient Science validated by Modern Discoveries (510)

Chinese printing 513 / Numbers and colors and sound 513

Professor Roscoe, visiting Kirchhoff and Bunsen when they were making their great discoveries of the nature of the Fraunhoffer lines, says that it flashed upon his mind at once that there is iron in the sun; therein presenting one more evidence to add to a million predecessors, that great discoveries usually come with a flash, and not by induction. There are many more flashes in store for us. It may be found, perhaps, that one of the last sparkles of modern science — the beautiful green spectrum of silver — is nothing new, but was, notwithstanding the paucity “and great inferiority of their optical instruments,” well known to the ancient chemists and physicists. Silver and green were associated together as far back as the days of Hermes. Luna, or Astarte (the Hermetic silver), is one of the two chief symbols of the Rosicrucians. It is a Hermetic axiom, that “the cause of the splendor and variety of colors lies deep in the affinities of nature; and that there is a singular and mysterious alliance between color and sound.” The kabalists place their “middle nature” in direct relation with the moon; and the green ray occupies the centre point between the others, being placed in the middle of the spectrum. The Egyptian priests chanted the seven vowels as a hymn addressed to Serapis;* and at the sound of the seventh vowel, as at the “seventh ray” of the rising sun, the statue of Memnon responded. Recent discoveries have proved the wonderful properties of the blue-violet light — the seventh ray of the prismatic spectrum, the most powerfully chemical of all, which corresponds with the highest note in the musical scale. The Rosicrucian theory, that the whole universe is a musical instrument, is the Pythagorean doctrine of the music of the spheres. Sounds and colors are all spiritual numerals; as the seven prismatic rays proceed from one spot in heaven, so the seven powers of nature, each of them a number, are the seven radiations of the Unity, the central, spiritual SUN.

“Happy is he who comprehends the spiritual numerals, and perceives their mighty influence!” exclaims Plato. And happy, we may add, is he who, treading the maze of force-correlations, does not neglect to trace them to this invisible Sun! * “Book of Ser Marco Polo,” vol. i., pp. 133-135. 513-514

This is the fifth and final chapter on post-mortem / ante-natal experience which covers a broad range of spiritualistic, supernatural and magical topics besides. The following authors and works have significant mention in this chapter:

Henry Maudsley (1835 – 1918), Body and Mind (1871)
Sir Henry Yule (1820 – 1889), The Travels of Marco Polo (C. 1300)
Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), La science des esprits (The Science of Spirits), 1865
William Gilbert (1544-1603) On the Magnet (1600)
Josiah Parsons Cooke (1827-1894), The New Chemistry (1876)


Part 20: Chapter 14

Chapter 14–(Egyptian Wisdom) Egypt, Atlantis and Sacred Architecture

The last two chapters of volume one delve into archaeological and anthropological aspects, presenting the theosophical theories of Atlantis for the first time.

1- Advanced Technology of Egypt 520

India, Ethiopia, Egypt 516 / Egyptian Hydraulics 517 / Egyptian Architecture 518 / Carthage 520 / Egyptian Labyrinth 523 / Egyptian Slave theory 525 / Ancient Electricity 526 / Egyptian Sophisticated Cosmetic Products 529 / Egyptian War Technology 530 / Egyptian Math and Geometry 531 / Egyptian Medicine 532 / Egyptian Knowledge attested by Ancients 533 / Egyptian Astronomy 533 / Persia 534 / Zoroaster 535 / Egyptian Textiles 536 / Egyptians Influenced Jewish Ritual 536 / Indian Magical Anaesthetics 540 / Egyptian Chemistry 542 / Egyptian Metallurgy 542 / Egyptian Music 544 / Egyptian Dentistry and Optometry 545

May we not assign as a reason for this remark the fact that until very recently nothing was known of Old India? That these two nations, India and Egypt, were akin? That they were the oldest in the group of nations; and that the Eastern Ethiopians — the mighty builders — had come from India as a matured people, bringing their civilization with them, and colonizing the perhaps unoccupied Egyptian territory? But we defer a more complete elaboration of this theme for our second volume.* 516

A curious argument, indeed. If the size and grandeur of public monuments are to serve to our posterity as a standard by which to approximately estimate the “progress of civilization” attained by their builders, it may be prudent, perhaps, for America, so proud of her alleged progress and freedom, to dwarf her buildings at once to one story. Otherwise, according to Professor Fiske’s theory, the archaeologists of A.D. 3877 will be applying to the “Ancient America” of 1877, the rule of Lewis — and say the ancient United States “may be considered as a great latifundium, or plantation, cultivated by the entire population, as the king’s (president’s) slaves.” Is it because the white-skinned Aryan races were never born “builders,” like the Eastern AEthiopians, or dark-skinned Caucasians,**** and, therefore, never able to compete with the latter in such colossal structures, that we must jump at the conclusion that these grandiose temples and pyramids could only have been erected under the whip of a merciless despot? Strange logic! It would really seem more prudent to hold to the “rigorous canons of criticism” laid down by Lewis and Grote, and honestly confess at once, that we really know little about these ancient nations, and that, except so far as purely hypothetical speculations go, unless we study in the same direction as the ancient priests did, we have as little chance in the future. We only know what they allowed the uninitiated to know, but the little we do learn of them by deduction, ought to be sufficient to assure us that, even in the nineteenth century, with all our claims to supremacy in arts and sciences, we are totally unable, we will not say to build anything like the monuments of Egypt, Hindustan, or Assyria, but even to rediscover the least of the ancient “lost arts.” Besides, Sir Gardner Wilkinson gives forcible expression to this view of the exhumed treasures of old, by adding that, “he can trace no primitive mode of life, no barbarous customs, but a sort of stationary civilization from the most remote periods.” Thus far, archaeology disagrees with geology, which affirms that the further they trace the remains of men, the more barbarous they find them. It is doubtful if geology has even yet exhausted the field of research afforded her in the caves, and the views of geologists, which are based upon present experience, may be radically modified, when they come to discover the remains of the ancestors of the people whom they now style the cave-dwellers. 525-26

2- The Near East, Ancient America and the Legend of Atlantis 545

Lost Inca City 547 / Mexican and Hindu Astronomy 548 / Arabian Nights and Odyssey 549 / The Near East and Ancient America 550 / Stonehenge 551 / Dragon and Sun Symbolism 551 / Biblical Genealogy 554 / The Near East and Central America 555 / Atlantis 557

Apart from the fact that this mysterious city has been seen from a great distance by daring travellers, there is no intrinsic improbability of its existence, for who can tell what became of the primitive people who fled before the rapacious brigands of Cortez and Pizarro? Dr. Tschuddi, in his work on Peru, tells us of an Indian legend that a train of 10,000 llamas, laden with gold to complete the unfortunate Inca’s ransom, was arrested in the Andes by the tidings of his death, and the enormous treasure was so effectually concealed that not a trace of it has ever been found. He, as well as Prescott and other writers, informs us that the Indians to this day preserve their ancient traditions and sacerdotal caste, and obey implicitly the orders of rulers chosen among themselves, while at the same time nominally Catholics and actually subject to the Peruvian authorities. Magical ceremonies practiced by their forefathers still prevail among them, and magical phenomena occur. So persistent are they in their loyalty to the past, that it seems impossible but that they should be in relations with some central source of authority which constantly supports and strengthens their faith, keeping it alive. May it not be that the sources of this undying faith lie in this mysterious city, with which they are in secret communication? Or must we think that all of the above is again but a “curious coincidence”? 547

This tradition of the Dragon and the Sun — occasionally replaced by the Moon — has awakened echoes in the remotest parts of the world. It may be accounted for with perfect readiness by the once universal heliolatrous religion. There was a time when Asia, Europe, Africa, and America were covered with the temples sacred to the sun and the dragons. The priests assumed the names of their deities, and thus the tradition of these spread like a net-work all over the globe: “Bel and the Dragon being uniformly coupled together, and the priest of the Ophite religion as uniformly assuming the name of his god.”*** But still, “if the original conception is natural and intelligible . . . and its occurrence need not be the result of any historical intercourse,” as Professor Muller tells us, the details are so strikingly similar that we cannot feel satisfied that the riddle is entirely solved. The origin of this universal symbolical worship being concealed in the night of time, we would have far more chance to arrive at the truth by tracing these traditions to their very source. And where is this source? Kircher places the origin of the Ophite and heliolatrous worship, the shape of conical monuments and the obelisks, with the Egyptian Hermes Trismegistus.* Where, then, except in Hermetic books, are we to seek for the desired information? Is it likely that modern authors can know more, or as much, of ancient myths and cults as the men who taught them to their contemporaries? Clearly two things are necessary: first, to find the missing books of Hermes; and second, the key by which to understand them, for reading is not sufficient. Failing in this, our savants are abandoned to unfruitful speculations, as for a like reason geographers waste their energies in a vain quest of the sources of the Nile. Truly the land of Egypt is another abode of mystery! 551

The perfect identity of the rites, ceremonies, traditions, and even the names of the deities, among the Mexicans and ancient Babylonians and Egyptians, are a sufficient proof of South America being peopled by a colony which mysteriously found its way across the Atlantic. When? at what period? History is silent on that point; but those who consider that there is no tradition, sanctified by ages, without a certain sediment of truth at the bottom of it, believe in the Atlantis-legend. There are, scattered throughout the world, a handful of thoughtful and solitary students, who pass their lives in obscurity, far from the rumors of the world, studying the great problems of the physical and spiritual universes. They have their secret records in which are preserved the fruits of the scholastic labors of the long line of recluses whose successors they are. The knowledge of their early ancestors, the sages of India, Babylonia, Nineveh, and the imperial Thebes; the legends and traditions commented upon by the masters of Solon, Pythagoras, and Plato, in the marble halls of Heliopolis and Sais; traditions which, in their days, already seemed to hardly glimmer from behind the foggy curtain of the past; — all this, and much more, is recorded on indestructible parchment, and passed with jealous care from one adept to another. These men believe the story of the Atlantis to be no fable, but maintain that at different epochs of the past huge islands, and even continents, existed where now there is but a wild waste of waters. In those submerged temples and libraries the archaeologist would find, could he but explore them, the materials for filling all the gaps that now exist in what we imagine is history. They say that at a remote epoch a traveller could traverse what is now the Atlantic Ocean, almost the entire distance by land, crossing in boats from one island to another, where narrow straits then existed. 557-58

3- Comparative Sacred Architecture

Universal Religion 560 / Comparative Sacred Architecture 561 /Origin of the Jewish People 567 / Universal Symbolism of Temple Arches 571 / Common Mathematical Proportions 572 / Archaeology and Philology 574

There never was, nor can there be more than one universal religion; for there can be but one truth concerning God. Like an immense chain whose upper end, the alpha, remains invisibly emanating from a Deity — in statu abscondito with every primitive theology — it encircles our globe in every direction; it leaves not even the darkest corner unvisited, before the other end, the omega, turns back on its way to be again received where it first emanated. On this divine chain was strung the exoteric symbology of every people. Their variety of form is powerless to affect their substance, and under their diverse ideal types of the universe of matter, symbolizing its vivifying principles, the uncorrupted immaterial image of the spirit of being guiding them is the same.

So far as human intellect can go in the ideal interpretation of the spiritual universe, its laws and powers, the last word was pronounced ages since; and, if the ideas of Plato can be simplified for the sake of easier comprehension, the spirit of their substance can neither be altered, nor removed without material damage to the truth. Let human brains submit themselves to torture for thousands of years to come; let theology perplex faith and mime it with the enforcing of incomprehensible dogmas in metaphysics; and science strengthen skepticism, by pulling down the tottering remains of spiritual intuition in mankind, with her demonstrations of its fallibility, eternal truth can never be destroyed. We find its last possible expression in our human language in the Persian Logos, the Honover, or the living manifested Word of God. The Zoroastrian Enoch-Verihe is identical with the Jewish “I am“; and the “Great Spirit” of the poor, untutored Indian, is the manifested Brahma of the Hindu philosopher. One of the latter, Tcharaka, a Hindu physician, who is said to have lived 5,000 years B.C., in his treatise on the origin of things, called Usa, thus beautifully expresses himself: “Our Earth is, like all the luminous bodies that surround us, one of the atoms of the immense Whole of which we show a slight conception by terming it — the Infinite.” 560-61

Thus is it that all the religious monuments of old, in whatever land or under whatever climate, are the expression of the same identical thoughts, the key to which is in the esoteric doctrine. It would be vain, without studying the latter, to seek to unriddle the mysteries enshrouded for centuries in the temples and ruins of Egypt and Assyria, or those of Central America, British Columbia, and the Nagkon-Wat of Cambodia. If each of these was built by a different nation; and neither nation had had intercourse with the others for ages, it is also certain that all were planned and built under the direct supervision of the priests. And the clergy of every nation, though practicing rites and ceremonies which may have differed externally, had evidently been initiated into the same traditional mysteries which were taught all over the world. 561

This chapter uses a very wide variety of references; the following are a general sampling:

Draper, John William (1811-1882), History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume I (1875)
James Martin Peebles (1822 – 1922), Around the World: Or, Travels in Polynesia, China, India, Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Other ‘Heathen’ Countries, 1875
Christian Charles Josias von Bunsen (1791 –1860), Egypt’s Place In Universal History (1848)
Wilkinson, John Gardner, Sir (1797-1875), The manners and customs of the ancient Egyptians (1878)
Isaac Preston Cory (1802–1842), Cory’s Ancient Fragments (1826, 1832 ed.)
Albrecht Müller (1819–1890), “The First Traces of Man in Europe I,” in Popular Science Monthly Volume 6, April 1875
Abbé Charles-Étienne Brasseur de Bourbourg (8 September 1814 – 8 January 1874), Voyage sur l’Isthme de Tehuantepec dan l’état de Chiapas et la République de Guatémala, 1859 et 1860 (1861)
Popol Vuh. Le livre sacré et les mythes de l’antiquité américaine avec les livres héroïques et historiques des Quichés (1861)
John Lloyd Stephens (American, 1805–1852), Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas, and Yucatan (1845)
Frank Vincent (1848-1916), The Land of the White Elephant: Sights and Scenes in Southeastern Asia. (1874)


Part 21: Chapter 15

Chapter 15 – (India the cradle of the race) India, Atlantis and Eastern Magical Knowledge

This final chapter completes the accounts of Atlantis begun in the previous chapter and caps off the various running side arguments quite nicely, notably with concluding arguments about India as the cradle of civilization.

1- The Secret Doctrine and Genesis

Genesis – Eden 575 / Samson Shiva 577 / Chaldea – Ceylon connection 578 / Mother goddess 579 / Genesis chapter 4 579 / Adam Eden 580 /

Had the allegories contained in the first chapters of Genesis been better understood, even in their geographical and historical sense, which involve nothing at all esoteric, the claims of its true interpreters, the kabalists, could hardly have been rejected for so long a time. Every student of the Bible must be aware that the first and second chapters of Genesis could not have proceeded from the same pen. They are evidently allegories and parables;* for the two narratives of the creation and peopling of our earth diametrically contradict each other in nearly every particular of order, time, place, and methods employed in the so-called creation. In accepting the narratives literally, and as a whole, we lower the dignity of the unknown Deity. We drag him down to the level of humanity, and endow him with the peculiar personality of man, who needs the “cool of the day” to refresh him; who rests from his labors; and is capable of anger, revenge, and even of using precautions against man, “lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life.” (A tacit admission, by the way, on the part of the Deity, that man could do it, if not prevented by sheer force.) But, in recognizing the allegorical coloring of the description of what may be termed historical facts, we find our feet instantly on firm ground. 575

2- India, the Cradle of Civilisation (580)

Ginza and serpent myth 582 / Phallic symbolism 583 / India of 6000 years ago 585 / Manu smriti 586 / Kali Yuga 587 / Succession of nations India, Egypt, Greece, Rome 590 / Six races of Manu 590

Can there be any absurdity in the suggestion that the India of 6,000 years ago, brilliant, civilized, overflowing with population, impressed upon Egypt, Persia, Judea, Greece, and Rome, a stamp as ineffaceable, impressions as profound, as these last have impressed upon us? It is on the strength of such circumstantial evidence — that of reason and logic — that we affirm that, if Egypt furnished Greece with her civilization, and the latter bequeathed hers to Rome, Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned,** received her laws, her social institutions, her arts and her sciences, from pre-Vedic India;*** and that therefore, it is in that old initiation of the priests — adepts of all the other countries — we must seek for the key to the great mysteries of humanity.

And when we say, indiscriminately, “India,” we do not mean the India of our modern days, but that of the archaic period. In those ancient times countries which are now known to us by other names were all called India. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, the latter of which is now Persia-Iran. The countries now named Thibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary, were also considered by the ancient writers as India. We will now give a legend in relation to those places which science now fully concedes to have been the cradle of humanity. 590

We believe that the day is not far off when the opponents of this fine and erudite writer will be silenced by the force of irrefutable evidence. And when facts shall once have corroborated his theories and assertions, what will the world find? That it is to India, the country less explored, and less known than any other, that all the other great nations of the world are indebted for their languages, arts, legislature, and civilization. Its progress, impeded for a few centuries before our era — for, as this writer shows, at the epoch of the great Macedonian conqueror, “India had already passed the period of her splendor” — was completely stifled in the subsequent ages. But the evidence of her past glories lies in her literature. What people in all the world can boast of such a literature, which, were the Sanscrit less difficult, would be more studied than now? Hitherto the general public has had to rely for information on a few scholars who, notwithstanding their great learning and trustworthiness, are unequal to the task of translating and commenting upon more than a few books out of the almost countless number that, notwithstanding the vandalism of the missionaries, are still left to swell the mighty volume of Sanscrit literature. And to do even so much is the labor of a European’s lifetime. Hence, people judge hastily, and often make the most ridiculous blunders. 585

3- Atlantis (591)

Atlantis 593 / Lost treasure of Incas 596 /

To continue the tradition, we have to add that the class of hierophants was divided into two distinct categories: those who were instructed by the “Sons of God,” of the island, and who were initiated in the divine doctrine of pure revelation, and others who inhabited the lost Atlantis — if such must be its name — and who, being of another race, were born with a sight which embraced all hidden things, and was independent of both distance and material obstacle. In short, they were the fourth race of men mentioned in the Popol-Vuh, whose sight was unlimited and who knew all things at once. They were, perhaps, what we would now term “natural-born mediums,” who neither struggled nor suffered to obtain their knowledge, nor did they acquire it at the price of any sacrifice. Therefore, while the former walked in the path of their divine instructors, and acquiring their knowledge by degrees, learned at the same time to discern the evil from the good, the born adepts of the Atlantis blindly followed the insinuations of the great and invisible “Dragon,” the King Thevetat (the Serpent of Genesis?). Thevetat had neither learned nor acquired knowledge, but, to borrow an expression of Dr. Wilder in relation to the tempting Serpent, he was “a sort of Socrates who knew without being initiated.” Thus, under the evil insinuations of their demon, Thevetat, the Atlantis-race became a nation of wicked magicians. In consequence of this, war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance may be found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his righteous family. The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis; which finds its imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood: The giants and magicians ” . . . and all flesh died . . . and every man.” All except Xisuthrus and Noah, who are substantially identical with the great Father of the Thlinkithians in the Popol-Vuh, or the sacred book of the Guatemaleans, which also tells of his escaping in a large boat, like the Hindu Noah — Vaiswasvata. 593

4- Asian Magical Knowledge (600)

Gobi desert prediction 600 / Spiritual flowers Buddhism China 601 / Desert spirits 605 / Shark charmers 606 / Eye of victim retains image of murderer 607 /

The “old times” are just like the “modern times”; nothing is changed as to magical practices except that they have become still more esoteric and arcane, and that the caution of the adepts increases in proportion to the traveller’s curiosity. Hiouen-Thsang says of the inhabitants: “The men . . . are fond of study, but pursue it with no ardor. The science of magical formulae has become a regular professional business with them.“** We will not contradict the venerable Chinese pilgrim on this point, and are willing to admit that in the seventh century some people made “a professional business” of magic; so, also, do some people now, but certainly not the true adepts. It is not Hiouen-Thsang, the pious, courageous man, who risked his life a hundred times to have the bliss of perceiving Buddha’s shadow in the cave of Peshawer, who would have accused the holy lamas and monkish thaumaturgists of “making a professional business” of showing it to travellers. The injunction of Gautama, contained in his answer to King Prasenagit, his protector, who called on him to perform miracles, must have been ever present to the mind of Hiouen-Thsang. “Great king,” said Gautama, “I do not teach the law to my pupils, telling them ‘go, ye saints, and before the eyes of the Brahmans and householders perform, by means of your supernatural powers, miracles greater than any man can perform.’ I tell them, when I teach them the law, ‘Live, ye saints, hiding your good works, and showing your sins.’ ”

Struck with the accounts of magical exhibitions witnessed and recorded by travellers of every age who had visited Tartary and Thibet, Colonel Yule comes to the conclusion that the natives must have had “at their command the whole encyclopaedia of modern ‘Spiritualists.’ Duhalde mentions among their sorceries the art of producing by their invocations the figures of Laotsen* and their divinities in the air, and of making a pencil write answers to questions without anybody touching it.“** 600

5- Modern Spiritualism and Ancient Theory (607)

Beethoven sceance 611 / Religion of ancients religion of the future 613 / Animated statues 614 / Fanaticism 615 / Animated statues 616 / After-death elementaries 616

Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mahometanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts. “I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh,” writes the prophet Joel. “Verily I say unto you . . . greater works than these shall you do,” promises Jesus. But this can only come to pass when the world returns to the grand religion of the past; the knowledge of those majestic systems which preceded, by far, Brahmanism, and even the primitive monotheism of the ancient Chaldeans. Meanwhile, we must remember the direct effects of the revealed mystery. The only means by which the wise priests of old could impress upon the grosser senses of the multitudes the idea of the Omnipotency of the Creative will or FIRST CAUSE; namely, the divine animation of inert matter, the soul infused into it by the potential will of man, the microcosmic image of the great Architect, and the transportation of ponderous objects through space and material obstacles.

6- Accomplishments of Ancient India (618)

613Achievements of India 618 / Pymander after-life soul journey through the planetary spheres 625 / Egypt came from India 627

Such were the results attained by this ancient and imposing Brahmanical civilization. What have we to offer for comparison? Beside such majestic achievements of the past, what can we place that will seem so grandiose and sublime as to warrant our boast of superiority over an ignorant ancestry? Beside the discoverers of geometry and algebra, the constructors of human speech, the parents of philosophy, the primal expounders of religion, the adepts in psychological and physical science, how even the greatest of our biologists and theologians seem dwarfed! Name to us any modern discovery, and we venture to say, that Indian history need not long be searched before the prototype will be found of record. Here we are with the transit of science half accomplished, and all our ideas in process of readjustment to the theories of force-correlation, natural selection, atomic polarity, and evolution. And here, to mock our conceit, our apprehensions, and our despair, we may read what Manu said, perhaps 10,000 years before the birth of Christ:

“The first germ of life was developed by water and heat” (Manu, book i., sloka 8). “Each being acquires the qualities of the one which immediately precedes it, in such a manner that the farther a being gets away from the primal atom of its series, the more he is possessed of qualities and perfections” (book i., sloka 20).

“Water ascends toward the sky in vapors; from the sun it descends in rain, from the rain are born the plants, and from the plants, animals” (book iii., sloka 76).

“Man will traverse the universe, gradually ascending, and passing through the rocks, the plants, the worms, insects, fish, serpents, tortoises, wild animals, cattle, and higher animals. . . . Such is the inferior degree” (Ibid.).

“These are the transformations declared, from the plant up to Brahma, which have to take place in his world” (Ibid.). 621

The following authors and their works receive notable mention:

Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890), The Bible in India or The life of Iezeus Christna (1869)
History of the Virgins. Vanished People and Continents (1874)
Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880), The Progress of Religious Ideas through Successive Ages (3 vols., New York, 1855)
John Denison Baldwin (1809-1883), Pre-Historic Nations or Inquiries Concerning Some of the Great Peoples and Civilizations of Antiquity and Their Probable (1869)
Xuanzang (602-664), ——— (1856). Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen-Thsang [History of the Life of Xuanzang] (in French). Paris.
Wilhelm Schott (1802-1889), Über den Buddhaismus in Hoch Asien und in China
John L. O’Sullivan (1813-1895)
Max Müller (1823-1890) Three Lectures on the Vedanta Philosophy
Cyprian (200-258), De idolorum vanitate (“On the Vanity of Images,”)
Jacques Joseph Champollion-Figeac (1178-1867), L’Egypt ancienne et moderne (1840)


Part 22: Recap Chapters 11-15

Chapter 11 – (Psychological and physical marvels) Esoteric Aspects of Embryology, the Will, and Imagination

1- Phenomena of Invulnerability (p.378)

Impenetrable mesmeric astral fluid 378 / Invulnerability of soldiers 379 / Power to fire astral bolts of force 380 / Power to charm and tame animals 381 / Blavatsky’s snake charming personal account 382

2- The Mysteries of Embryology (384)

Plastic power of pregnant mother’s imagination 384 / Power of imagination to cure diseases 385 / Soul-blindness 387 / Esoteric aspects of embryology 388 / Critique of the inductive method 394 / Universal force 394 / Astral light and pregnant women (eliphas levi) 395 / Imagination 397 / Cases of stigmata appearances 398 / Universal ether 400 / Substantialism, atomism 401

3- A Critique of the Despotism of Science and Scientific Methodology (403)

John Stuart Mill on impossibility of miracles 403 / Plato and Aristotle scientific method regarding supernatural phenomena 405 / Destruction of ancient mystical texts 405 / Plato and Aristotle 408

4- A Critique of the Despotism of Science and Scientific Methodology (403)

John Stuart Mill on impossibility of miracles 403 / Plato and Aristotle scientific method regarding supernatural phenomena 405 / Destruction of ancient mystical texts 405 / Plato and Aristotle 408

Chapter 12 – (The Impassable Chasm) The After-Life and Esoteric Aspects of Vampirism

1- Huxley and Tyndall on Modern Science (p. 417)

Mind-matter relation 418 / Huxley’s materialism 419 / Domain of science physical & invisible 421 / Hume on miracles 421

2- Instinct and Reason; Spiritualism and Materialism (422)

Spiritual nature of fire 423 / Hippocrates on faith and science 424 / What is instinct? 425 / Science Rejection of tradition 426 / Alchemists on evolution 427 / Everything a manifestation of spirit 428 / Plato and Aristotle on the eternity of the world 428 / Darwin and the mystery of first creation 429 / Jains and Vedantins on after-life 430 / Platonism and Buddhism 430 / After-life 432 / Reason and instinct 432 / Instinct 434 / Prayer 434 / Spiritual intuition 435 / The reign of wisdom closed 436

3- Eastern Magic (437)

Tibetan koonboum tree 440 / Tibetan moon picture 441 / Prediction for 1976 regarding Asian scripture 442 / Fire tricks 446 / Elementals 447 / Dragon snake symbolism 448 / Buddhist after-life 449

4- Esoteric Aspects of Vampires (449)

Vampirism 449 / After death 452 / Elementals 457 / Fakirs phenomena 459 / The devil is a fallacy 459

Chapter 13 (Realities and Illusion) The After-Life: After-Death Revival and Alchemy

1- The coherence of magic and alchemy (p. 461)

Esoteric Science 461 / Esoteric and scientific formulas 462 / Magnetism 463 / Esotericism and chemistry 464 / Mysteries of nature, plants 467 / Faith 467

2- Psychic Nature of Animals ( 467)

Astral vision in animals 467 / Blavatsky’s experience with animals 470

3- Eastern Magic (471)

Hindu Magic 471 / Mass hallucinations 473 / Blavatsky’s travels 474

4- Re-animation of the Dead (475)

After-death revival 475 / Astral double after death 476 / Telepathy 477 / Prolonged burial of fakirs 477 / Premature burial – suspended animation 479 / The nature of death 480 / Resuscitation of the dead 482 / Jewish schools of magic 482 / After-death and trance states 484

5- Mediumship and Mediatorship (485)

Occult forces 485 / Universal accounts of spiritual phenomena 486 / Mediumship and Mediatorship

6- Ancient and Modern Spiritualistic Phenomena (491)

Different gods mentioned in the Bible 491 / Different types of spirits evoked 492 / Mediums and mediators 494 / Types of spirits, elementals 495

7- Levitation (496)

Mesmerism, mediumship and magnetism 499 / Levitation esoterically explained 500

8- Alchemy on the Elixir of Life, the Universal Solvent and the Philosopher’s Stone (502)

Perpetual motion 502 / The elixir of life 503 / Esoteric and scientific formulas 506 / Tetraktys 507 / Smaragdine tablet 508

9- Ancient Science validated by Modern Discoveries (510)

Chinese printing 513 / Numbers and colors and sound 513

Chapter 14–(Egyptian Wisdom) Egypt, Atlantis and Sacred Architecture

1- Advanced Technology of Egypt 520

India, Ethiopia, Egypt 516 / Egyptian Hydraulics 517 / Egyptian Architecture 518 / Carthage 520 / Egyptian Labyrinth 523 / Egyptian Slave theory 525 / Ancient Electricity 526 / Egyptian Sophisticated Cosmetic Products 529 / Egyptian War Technology 530 / Egyptian Math and Geometry 531 / Egyptian Medicine 532 / Egyptian Knowledge attested by Ancients 533 / Egyptian Astronomy 533 / Persia 534 / Zoroaster 535 / Egyptian Textiles 536 / Egyptians Influenced Jewish Ritual 536 / Indian Magical Anaesthetics 540 / Egyptian Chemistry 542 / Egyptian Metallurgy 542 / Egyptian Music 544 / Egyptian Dentistry and Optometry 545

2- The Near East, Ancient America and the Legend of Atlantis 545

Lost Inca City 547 / Mexican and Hindu Astronomy 548 / Arabian Nights and Odyssey 549 / The Near East and Ancient America 550 / Stonehenge 551 / Dragon and Sun Symbolism 551 / Biblical Genealogy 554 / The Near East and Central America 555 / Atlantis 557

3- Comparative Sacred Architecture

Universal Religion 560 / Comparative Sacred Architecture 561 /Origin of the Jewish People 567 / Universal Symbolism of Temple Arches 571 / Common Mathematical Proportions 572 / Archaeology and Philology 574

Chapter 15 – (India the cradle of the race) India, Atlantis and Eastern Magical Knowledge

The Secret Doctrine and Genesis (p. 575)

Genesis – Eden 575 / Samson Shiva 577 / Chaldea – Ceylon connection 578 / Mother goddess 579 / Genesis chapter 4 579 / Adam Eden 580 /

2- India, the Cradle of Civilisation 580

Ginza and serpent myth 582 / Phallic symbolism 583 / India of 6000 years ago 585 / Manu smriti 586 / Kali Yuga 587 / Succession of nations India, Egypt, Greece, Rome 590 / Six races of Manu 590

3- Atlantis 591

Atlantis 593 / Lost treasure of Incas 596 / Gobi desert prediction 600 / Spiritual flowers Buddhism China 601 / Desert spirits 605 / Shark charmers 606 / Eye of victim retains image of murderer 607 /

4- Asian Magical Knowledge

Gobi desert prediction 600 / Spiritual flowers Buddhism China 601 / Desert spirits 605 / Shark charmers 606 / Eye of victim retains image of murderer 607 /

5- Modern Spiritualism and Ancient Theory 607

Beethoven sceance 611 / Religion of ancients religion of the future 613 / Animated statues 614 / Fanaticism 615 / Animated statues 616 / After-death elementaries 616

6- Accomplishments of Ancient India 618

Achievements of India 618 / Pymander after-life soul journey through the planetary spheres 625 / Egypt came from India 627


Volume 1: Conclusion

Isis Unveiled Vol. I is a remarkable work in many ways. It can serve as a basic primer in esoteric philosophy and the occult sciences. It also introduces new theosophical concept s of spiritual evolution and it contains several interesting running sub-themes that serve to argue for the following ideas:

1- Comparing, critiquing and contrasting ancient and modern science (and rehabilitating the former);

2- Comparing ancient and modern western knowledge with eastern culture;

3- Using the first two points (with wider comparative research) to posit the existence of a universal, perennial wisdom;

4- Using the first 3 points to introduce notions of esoteric philosophy;

5- Using these notions of esoteric philosophy to build a new synthesis of (a)ancient and modern science; (b) eastern and western knowledge; (c) science and religion.

6- Arguing for the idea of India as the cradle of civilization.

7- Critiquing and clarifying spiritualistic phenomena.

Another important aspect is the skeptic outlook towards science – there is an impressive amount of hardcore scientific research and critique of modern empirical scientific method; therefore it offers considerable insight into the area of philosophy of science. Moreover, the polemic aspect is bold and forceful; this is clearly a project of intellectual reform aimed both at the materialist science and academic fields as well as the spiritualist corner.

It is important to understand the context of alternative spirituality that existed prior to the publication of Isis, notably from the 1850s to about 1900 there was a remarkable wave of spiritualistic phenomena, materializations, etc…and Isis is very much concerned with these questions and debates and so this can be considered an important work in the history of spiritualism and modern spiritual movements.

The scope of the research is impressively wide and eclectic and it can be said to be attempting to lay down the foundations of a new worldview and indeed, many of the themes have been adapted to contemporary spiritual and new age movements, so Isis can be considered a touchstone work for modern spirituality and also a seminal work in the history of alternative science.

The presentation of volume may give the impression that the work is just a collection of esoteric anecdotes, but as Michael Gomes has pointed out, a closer reading shows that this is not the case; the text has a clear structure and coherence, although, due to the complexity and density of the writing, the structure is not easily discernible. The chart below attempts to show a clearer outline of the work:

Introduction Preface – (v-viii)

Before the Veil (x-xlv) Platonism and Indian philosophy.

1 Magic, Sacred Mathematics and the Doctrine of Cycles

Science and Spiritualism 2 Spiritualistic phenomena and occult explanations

3 Scientific discoveries and investigation of spiritual phenomena

4 Religious and Scientific views regarding spiritualistic phenomena;

Spirit, Force and Matter

Theoretical

Practical

 

5- Spirit force and matter; creation and human evolution ; the astral light

6 – Paracelsian explanations of supernatural and psychic phenomena

Universal Magnetism

Theoretical

Cosmic

 

7- Magnetism as Universal Force and source of Magic

8 – Spiritual Aspects of Cosmology, Astronomy, and Astrology

Reincarnation, pre-natal and post-mortem experience 9 The evolution of the soul , the after-life and Spiritualism

10 –The Body/Soul Relationship – Elementals, Spiritualism and Reincarnation

11 –Esoteric Aspects of Embryology, the Will, and Imagination

12 –The After-Life and Esoteric Aspects of Vampirism

13 The After-Life: After-Death Revival and Alchemy

Spiritual Evolution and Anthropology

Ancient Civilisations and Atlantis

14–Egypt, Atlantis and Sacred Architecture

15 –India, Atlantis and Eastern Magical Knowledge


Part 24: [Volume 1 Contents]

Preface – (v-viii)

Before the Veil (x-xlv) Basic notions of ancient western philosophy, the importance of Platonism and its connection with Indian philosophy.

The conflict between Science and Religion: x

The importance of a certain sceptical and critical outlook: xi

Finding a middle way between ancient and modern and re-uniting science and religion: xii

A critique of materialism and a plea for spiritual freedom: xiv

Esoteric glossary (xxv-xlv)

Chapter 1 (Old Things with New Names) Magic, Sacred Mathematics and the Doctrine of Cycles

1-Concepts of Esoteric Evolution – The Myth of the Fall symbolizes an evolutionary process (p. 1)

2- Sacred Mathematics are key in understand the evolutionary process (8).

3- The ancient Hindus scientific knowledge (10).

4- The need to study the spiritual aspect of evolution (13)

5- Magic as a spiritual science (15)

6- The esoteric concept of cycles,the Great Year,the traditional Hindu concept of the Four Yugas, and evolution (31)

7- There is a primitive divine universal revelation that gradually became dispersed and hidden. (37)

Chapter 2 (Phenomena and Forces)– Spiritualistic phenomena, scientific investigation and occult explanations

1- Problems in dogmatism in religion and science with investigations of spiritualist phenomena. (p. 39)

2- W. Crookes investigations; the Katie King case. (44)

3- Accomplishments of ancient science; malleable glass; occult aspects of matter. (50)

4- The nature of forces or intelligences behind spiritualist phenomena and the dangers of spiritualism. (52)

5- Schopenhauer’s metaphysics comparable to ancient metaphysics. (55)

6- Scientific investigations on the nature of force and occult explanations of spiritualist phenomena; elementals and elementaries. (62)

7- Critique of spiritualist theory of actors in spiritualist apparitions being disembodied human spirits. Distinction between mediums and occultists.(68)

Chapter 3 (Blind Leaders of the Blind) – History of the reception of scientific discoveries and investigation of spiritual phenomena

1- Hindu Magical Feats – (p.73) The magical feats recorded in India cannot be faked or duplicated by western practitioners.

2- Science is hurt by avoiding the study of spiritualistic phenomena (75).

3- A critique of Positivism (75).

4- Scientific Innovations are often met with vigorous resistance; the history of the trustworthiness of human testimony as legal evidence; the value of science as understanding of facts and truth (83).

5- Many modern discoveries (in medicine notably) are based on a re-discovery of ancient accounts (88)

6- India is an important source of ancient wisdom and magical knowledge; creation myths of India, Egypt and Judea compared; the symbolism of the Lotus (90)

7- Giordano Bruno’s ancient perennial philosophy given modern empirical interpretations (93).

Chapter 4 – (Theories Respecting Psychic Phenomena) – Religious and Scientific views regarding spiritualistic phenomena; some ancients myths compared

1- The devil as cause of spiritualistic phenomena (Jules de Mirville) (p.99)

2- Material causes of spiritualistic phenomena (Jacques Babinet) (104)

3- Psychic causes of spiritualistic phenomena (Jean-Marc Antoine Thury) (109)

4- The nature of psychic force (113)

5- Various sceptical scientific theories regarding spiritualistic phenomena (116)

6- Roman Catholics consider the phenomena at Lourdes to be of divine cause (119)

7- Ancient myths reveal geological and anthropological truths (121)

Chapter 5 (On the Astral Light) Spirit force and matter, and its relation to creation and human evolution and the theory of the astral light in relation to practical magic and mesmerism

1-Fire and Light Symbolism Ancient and Modern illustrate Universal Force (p.125)

2- Water Symbolism Illustrates Primordial Substance (133)

3- Ether in Magic and Science (135)

4-Universal Substance/Force in Ancient Cosmologies (146)

5- Evolution in Ancient Myths (152)

Chapter 6 – (Psycho-Physical Phenomena) Paracelsian explanations of supernatural and psychic phenomena

1- Paracelsus as Scientific Pioneer (p. 163)

2- Mesmer as follower of Paracelsus (173)

3-Further History of Animal Magnetism (173)

4- Ancient and Modern Explanations of Animal Magnetism (178)

5- Psychometry (182)

6- Universal Ether and Astral Light (186)

7- Primordial Substances and Universal Solvent (189)

Chapter 7 (The Elements, Elementals, and Elementaries) Magnetism as Universal Force and source of Magic

1- Survey of Authors on Magnetism (p.206)

2- Universal Attraction (209)

3- Magnetism and Healing (215)

4- Ancient Theories of Spiritualism versus Modern

5- Alchemy and Perpetual Lamps (224)

6- Ancient and Modern explanations of Electro-Magnetic Power (232)

7- Ancient knowledge versus Modern (236)

8-Magnetism and the Theory of Force Correlation (242)

9-Universal Belief in Magic (247)

Chapter 8 – (Some Mysteries of Nature) – Spiritual Aspects of Cosmology, Astronomy, and Astrology

1- Modern Scientific Theories in Ancient Texts (p.253)

2- Astrology as a Science (259)

3- Solar Magnetism (270)

4- Cosmic Nature of Epidemics (274)

5- Cosmic Aspects of Universal Magnetism (p. 280)

6- Elementals and Universal Ether (284)

7- Buddhist Cosmology (288)

Chapter 9 (Cyclical Phenomena) –The evolution of the soul , the after-life and Spiritualism

1- Cycles and Human Evolution (293)

2- Esoteric interpretation of the Fall of Man and evolution (297)

3- The Ginza, the Book of Genesis and Human Evolution (303)

4- Elementals and Evolution (307)

5- The Evolution of the Human Soul (315)

6- Elementals, Nature of disembodied spirits, and spiritualism (320)

7- The Soul and the After-Life (327)

8- Psychometry, Theurgy, and Spiritualism (331)

Chapter 10 – (The Inner and Outer Man) The Body/Soul Relationship – Elementals, Spiritualism and Reincarnation

1- Mystery and Science (p. 336)

2- Metaphysics of the Soul (341)

3- Reincarnation and Transmigration (345)

4- Witchraft, spiritualism, and elementals (353)

5- Mediumship and Magic (366)

6- Epidemics of Spiritual Phenomena (369)

Chapter 11 – (Psychological and physical marvels) Esoteric Aspects of Embryology, the Will, and Imagination

1- Phenomena of Invulnerability (p.378)

2- The Mysteries of Embryology (384)

3- A Critique of the Despotism of Science and Scientific Methodology (403)

4- Strange Accounts of Ancient Science Validated by Modern Discoveries (411)

Chapter 12 – (The Impassable Chasm) The After-Life and Esoteric Aspects of Vampirism

1- Huxley and Tyndall on Modern Science (p. 417)

2- Instinct and Reason; Spiritualism and Materialism (422)

3- Eastern Magic (437)

4- Esoteric Aspects of Vampires (449)

Chapter 13 (Realities and Illusion) The After-Life: After-Death Revival and Alchemy

1- The coherence of magic and alchemy (p. 461)

2- Psychic Nature of Animals ( 467)

3- Eastern Magic (471)

4- Re-animation of the Dead (475)

5- Mediumship and Mediatorship (485)

6- Ancient and Modern Spiritualistic Phenomena (491)

7- Levitation (496)

8- Alchemy on the Elixir of Life, the Universal Solvent and the Philosopher’s Stone (502)

9- Ancient Science validated by Modern Discoveries (510)

Chapter 14–(Egyptian Wisdom) Egypt, Atlantis and Sacred Architecture

1- Advanced Technology of Egypt 520

2- The Near East, Ancient America and the Legend of Atlantis 545

3- Comparative Sacred Architecture

Chapter 15 – (India the cradle of the race) India, Atlantis and Eastern Magical Knowledge

1- The Secret Doctrine and Genesis (p. 575)

2- India, the Cradle of Civilisation (580)

3- Atlantis (591)

4- Asian Magical Knowledge (600)

5- Modern Spiritualism and Ancient Theory (607)

6- Accomplishments of Ancient India (618)


Volume 2

Part 1: Chapter 1

Chapter 1 (The Church! Where is it?”) Christianity’s relation to Spiritualism and Paganism

Not quite the epic, revolutionary, innovative manifesto that was volume one, volume two is more linear and focused. It is essentially concerned with exploring the origins of Christianity and critiquing the Nicene creed. It aims at proposing a reformation of Christian theology through comparative religion and esoteric philosophy, notably in vindicating Gnosticism and the Kabbalah; hence she can be considered a seminal figure in the revival of those two belief systems. This work can also be seen as a forerunner of all the alternative biographies of Jesus Christ that continue to catch the public attention. The first chapter is a solid introduction that succinctly presents some key themes that will be more fully developed in later chapters.

1- Christianity’s attitude towards paganism and spiritualism (p.1)

The Church in the scientific era 3 / Church sees spiritualism as a resurgence of paganism 4 / Comparative phallic symbolism in architecture 5

Summoning back the long-forgotten memories of the Mosaic laws, the Romish Church claims the monopoly of miracles, and of the right to sit in judgment over them, as being the sole heir thereto by direct inheritance. The Old Testament, exiled by Colenso, his predecessors and contemporaries, is recalled from its banishment. The prophets, whom his Holiness the Pope condescends at last to place, if not on the same level with himself, at least at a less respectful distance,*** are dusted and cleaned. The memory of all the diabolical abracadabra is evoked anew. The blasphemous horrors perpetrated by Paganism, its phallic worship, thaumaturgical wonders wrought by Satan, human sacrifices, incantations, witchcraft, magic, and sorcery are recalled and DEMONISM is confronted with spiritualism for mutual recognition and identification. Our modern demonologists conveniently overlook a few insignificant details, among which is the undeniable presence of heathen phallism in the Christian symbols. A strong spiritual element of this worship may be easily demonstrated in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God; and a physical element equally proved in the fetish-worship of the holy limbs of Sts. Cosmo and Damiano, at Isernia, near Naples; a successful traffic in which ex-voto in wax was carried on by the clergy, annually, until barely a half century ago.* 4-5

It is but fair to say at once that the last of the true Christians died with the last of the direct apostles. Max Muller forcibly asks: “How can a missionary in such circumstances meet the surprise and questions of his pupils, unless he may point to that seed,** and tell them what Christianity was meant to be? unless he may show that, like all other religions, Christianity too, has had its history; that the Christianity of the nineteenth century is not the Christianity of the middle ages, and that the Christianity of the middle ages was not that of the early Councils; that the Christianity of the early Councils was not that of the Apostles, and that what has been said by Christ, that alone was well said?”*** (10)

2-Origin of Christian belief in the Devil and Hell (10)

Isis 10 / Christianity died with apostles 10 / Devil and hell specifically Christian 11 / St-John’s apocalypse 12 / History of spirits compiled efficiently 15

Whence then did the divine learn so well the conditions of hell, as to actually divide its torments into two kinds, the poena damni and poenae sensus, the former being the privation of the beatific vision; the latter the eternal pains in a lake of fire and brimstone? If they answer us that it is in the Apocalypse (xx. 10), we are prepared to demonstrate whence the theologist John himself derived the idea, “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are and shall be tormented for ever and ever,” he says. Laying aside the esoteric interpretation that the “devil” or tempting demon meant our own earthly body, which after death will surely dissolve in the fiery or ethereal elements,* the word “eternal” by which our theologians interpret the words “for ever and ever” does not exist in the Hebrew language, either as a word or meaning. 12

3- Christianity’s relation to the Supernatural (16)

Vatican library – laws of nature 16 / Physiological conditions of America 19 / Secret Vatican libraries 20 / Magic in the church 20 / Protestant practice of predictions 21 / French revolution 22

Where, in the records of European Magic, can we find cleverer enchanters than in the mysterious solitudes of the cloister? Albert Magnus, the famous Bishop and conjurer of Ratisbon, was never surpassed in his art. Roger Bacon was a monk, and Thomas Aquinas one of the most learned pupils of Albertus. Trithemius, Abbott of the Spanheim Benedictines, was the teacher, friend, and confidant of Cornelius Agrippa; and while the confederations of the Theosophists were scattered broadcast about Germany, where they first originated, assisting one another, and struggling for years for the acquirement of esoteric knowledge, any person who knew how to become the favored pupil of certain monks, might very soon be proficient in all the important branches of occult learning.

This is all in history and cannot be easily denied. Magic, in all its aspects, was widely and nearly openly practiced by the clergy till the Reformation. And even he who was once called the “Father of the Reformation,” the famous John Reuchlin,* author of the Mirific Word and friend of Pico di Mirandola, the teacher and instructor of Erasmus, Luther, and Melancthon, was a kabalist and occultist. (20)

4- The attitude of Science and Comparative Religion to Spiritualism (25)

Source of Peter’s chair 25 / Need for spiritual belief 25 / Prediction of discovery of ancient documents 26 / Ancient manuscript in monastery 27 / Ancient documents not destroyed 28

But if Science has unintentionally helped the progress of the occult phenomena, the latter have reciprocally aided science herself. Until the days when newly-reincarnated philosophy boldly claimed its place in the world, there had been but few scholars who had undertaken the difficult task of studying comparative theology. This science occupies a domain heretofore penetrated by few explorers. The necessity which it involved of being well acquainted with the dead languages, necessarily limited the number of students. Besides, there was less popular need for it so long as people could not replace the Christian orthodoxy by something more tangible. (25)

5- India and Paganism as source of Christian theology (The logos, the Trinity, the Eucharist) (30)

Peter and the mysteries 30 / Aum 31 / Origin of the Trinity 34 / Genesis first verse 36 / The Logos – Genesis 37 / Trinity of initiates 38 / Trinity – sefirots 40 / Dogmatism 41 / Trinity origins 41 / Blavatsky’s story of sorcerer and the word 43 / Origin of the eucharist 45 / Sumer and India 45 / Trinity 49 / Redeemer – Genesis 50

Babylonia happened to be situated on the way of the great stream of the earliest Hindu emigration, and the Babylonians were one of the first peoples benefited thereby.** These Khaldi were the worshippers of the Moon-god, Deus Lunus, from which fact we may infer that the Akkadians — if such must be their name — belonged to the race of the Kings of the Moon, whom tradition shows as having reigned in Pruyay — now Allahabad. With them the trinity of Deus Lunus was manifested in the three lunar phases, completing the quaternary with the fourth, and typifying the death of the Moon-god in its gradual waning and final disappearance.

This death was allegorized by them, and attributed to the triumph of the genius of evil over the light-giving deity; as the later nations allegorized the death of their Sun-gods, Osiris and Apollo, at the hands of Typhon and the great Dragon Python, when the sun entered the winter solstice. Babel, Arach, and Akkad are names of the sun.

The Zoroastrian Oracles are full and explicit upon the subject of the Divine Triad. “A triad of Deity shines forth throughout the whole world, of which a Monad is the head,” admits the Reverend Dr. Maurice.

“For from this Triad, in the bosoms, are all things governed,” says a Chaldean oracle. The Phos, Pur, and Phlox, of Sanchoniathon,*** are Light, Fire, and Flame, three manifestations of the Sun who is one. Bel-Saturn, Jupiter-Bel, and Bel or Baal-Chom are the Chaldean trinity;**** “The Babylonian Bel was regarded in the Triume aspect of Belitan, Zeus-Belus (the mediator) and Baal-Chom who is Apollo Chomaeus. This was the Triune aspect of the ‘Highest God,’ who is, according to Berosus, either El (the Hebrew), Bel, Belitan, Mithra, or Zervana, and has the name [[Pater]], “the Father.”*****

The Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva,****** corresponding to Power, Wisdom, and Justice, which answer in their turn to Spirit, Matter, Time, and the Past, Present, and Future, can be found in the temple of Gharipuri; thousands of dogmatic Brahmans worship these attributes of the Vedic Deity, while the severe monks and nuns of Buddhistic Thibet recognize but the sacred trinity of the three cardinal virtues: Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, professed by the Christians, practiced by the Buddhists and some Hindus alone.

The Persian triplicate Deity also consists of three persons, Ormazd, Mithra, and Ahriman. “That is that principle,” says Porphyry,* “which the author of the Chaldaic Summary saith, ‘They conceive there is one principle of all things, and declare that is one and good.‘ ”

The Chinese idol Sanpao, consists of three equal in all respects;** and the Peruvians “supposed their Tanga-tanga to be one in three, and three in one,” says Faben.*** The Egyptians have their Emepht, Eicton, and Phta; and the triple god seated on the Lotos can be seen in the St. Petersburg Museum, on a medal of the Northern Tartars. (49)

6- Christianity’s struggles with Gnostics and Neoplatonists (51)

Blavatsky’s story of Church on Mount Athos and lost Celsus text 52

In the foregoing lies the foundation of the fierce hatred of the Christians toward the “Pagans” and the theurgists. Too much had been borrowed; the ancient religions and the Neo-platonists had been laid by them under contribution sufficiently to perplex the world for several thousand years. Had not the ancient creeds been speedily obliterated, it would have been found impossible to preach the Christian religion as a New Dispensation, or the direct Revelation from God the Father, through God the Son, and under the influence of God the Holy Ghost. As a political exigence the Fathers had — to gratify the wishes of their rich converts — instituted even the festivals of Pan. They went so far as to accept the ceremonies hitherto celebrated by the Pagan world in honor of the God of the gardens, in all their primitive sincerity.*** It was time to sever the connection. Either the Pagan worship and the Neo-platonic theurgy, with all ceremonial of magic, must be crushed out forever, or the Christians become Neo-platonists. (51)

The following authors and their works receive notable discussion in this chapter:

Speeches of Pope Pius IX (1792-1878) (1875)
Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux (1805–76), Les hauts phénomènes de la magie (1864)
Friedrich Max Müller (1820-1900), Chips from a German Workshop (1867–75, 5 vols.)
Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890), Le Spiritisme dans le monde : l’initiation et les sciences occultes dans l’Inde et chez tous les peuples de l’antiquité. (1875)
Adolphe Franck (1809-1893), La Kabbale ou Philosophie Religieuse des Hébreux. (1843)
John William Draper (1811-1892), History of the Conflict Between Religion and Science (1874)


Part 2: Chapter 2

Chapter 2 – Christianity’s Relation to Pagan Practices; Pagan Mysteries compared to Christianity and Hinduism (Christian Crimes and Heathen Virtues)

This lengthy chapter is quite a tour-de-force and also has probably some of her most scathing critique of Christianity. The 20-odd pages that cover abuses of the Roman Catholic Church are quite harrowing and has some of her most vehement critiques of ecclesiastical abuses. At the same time, the writing is well-researched as she avails herself to an impressive array of popular and obscure works on magic, sorcery and the like, constituting an trailblazing study on the Salem Witch Hunt and the Spanish Inquisition which have since become proverbial symbols of fanatical persecution.

Some may assume that she is radically anti-Christian, but I don’t think that that is the case. The chapter ends with a brief summary of her critical stance, and one can see that there is a definite appreciation of various aspects of Christianity and her arguments are quite articulate and nuanced, based on contemporary historical research. She is basically pushing for reforms (I think that the subsequent history of Christianity has shown how urgent these reform issues were).

Moreover, in comparative religion mode, she also begins to undertake an insightful analysis of ancient symbology in theology and ritual. Her section on the ancient pagan mysteries compared to Indian mysticism is particularly striking in its depth and originality. It is quite a wide coverage of diverse topics, but it all seems to hold together in a compelling exploration of Pagan and Christian history.

1- Magical Practices in Roman Catholic Church (55)

Persecution and Torture by Roman Catholics 55 / Pope Sylvester II practiced magic 57 / 900 witches burned 58

Nowhere, during the middle ages, were the arts of magic and sorcery more practiced by the clergy than in Spain and Portugal. The Moors were profoundly versed in the occult sciences, and at Toledo, Seville, and Salamanca, were, once upon a time, the great schools of magic. The kabalists of the latter town were skilled in all the abstruse sciences; they knew the virtues of precious stones and other minerals, and had extracted from alchemy its most profound secrets. (59-60)

2- Persecution of Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (59)

Torquemada 59 / Magic in Spain and Portugal 59 / Monks with Magical powers 60 / Books on witchcraft 61 / Witch Burnings 62

* Besides these burnings in Germany, which amount to many thousands, we find some very interesting statements in Prof. Draper’s “Conflict between Religion and Science.” On page 146, he says: “The families of the convicted were plunged into irretrievable ruin. Llorente, the historian of the Inquisition, computes that Torquemada and his collaborators, in the course of eighteen years, burned at the stake 10,220 persons, 6,860 in effigy, and otherwise punished 97,321! . . . With unutterable disgust and indignation, we learn that the papal government realized much money by selling to the rich, dispensations to secure them from the Inquisition.” (62)

3-Exorcims (66)

Sorcery in India 69-70 / Vision and Saints and Spiritualists 73 / Exorcisms 73

And now we will quote in this connection the truthful remark of a writer who passed years in India in the study of the origin of such superstitions: “Vulgar magic in India, like a degenerated infiltration, goes hand-in-hand with the most ennobling beliefs of the sectarians of the Pitris. It was the work of the lowest clergy, and designed to hold the populace in a perpetual state of fear. It is thus that in all ages and under every latitude, side by side with philosophical speculations of the highest character, one always finds the religion of the rabble.“* In India it was the work of the lowest clergy; in Rome, that of the highest Pontiffs. But then, have they not as authority their greatest saint, Augustine, who declares that “whoever believes not in the evil spirits, refuses to believe in Holy Writ?”** (69-70)

4- Mystical Visions in the Church (73)

Christian and Pagan subdue animals 77

We fancy that it would be hard to demonstrate to satisfaction that the visions of Catholic saints, are, in any one particular instance, better or more trustworthy than the average visions and prophecies of our modern “mediums.” The visions of Andrew Jackson Davis — however our critics may sneer at them — are by long odds more philosophical and more compatible with modern science than the Augustinian speculations. Whenever the visions of Swedenborg, the greatest among the modern seers, run astray from philosophy and scientific truth, it is when they most run parallel with theology. Nor are these visions any more useless to either science or humanity than those of the great orthodox saints. (73)

5- Fabulations and Deceptions in the Medieval Church (79)

Buddhist and Christian fetishes 79 / Inman on critiquing Christianity 80 / Universal Deity 81

These two anecdotes, chosen at random from among hundreds, if rivalled are not surpassed by the wildest romances of the Pagan thaumaturgists, magicians, and spiritualists! And yet, when Pythagoras is said to have subdued animals, even wild beasts, merely through a powerful mesmeric influence, he is pronounced by one-half of the Catholics a bare-faced impostor, and by the rest a sorcerer, who worked magic in confederacy with the Devil. Neither the she-bear, nor the eagle, nor yet the bull that Pythagoras is said to have persuaded to give up eating beans, were alleged to have answered with human voices; while St. Benedict’s “black raven,” whom he called “brother,” argues with him, and croaks his answers like a born casuist. When the saint offers him one-half of a poisoned loaf, the raven grows indignant and reproaches him in Latin as though he had just graduated at the Propaganda! (77-78)

6- Pagan Influence on Christianity (84)

Universal wisdom 84 / Logos 87 / Cross 88 / Augustine diverted bible 88 / Paul an initiate 90 /Soma and the mysteries 91 / Peter and the mysteries 92 / Roman Catholic and Pagan costumes 94

Would we push our inquiries farther, and seek to ascertain as much in relation to the nimbus and the tonsure of the Catholic priest and monk?* We shall find undeniable proofs that they are solar emblems. Knight, in his Old England Pictorially Illustrated, gives a drawing by St. Augustine, representing an ancient Christian bishop, in a dress probably identical with that worn by the great “saint” himself. The pallium, or the ancient stole of the bishop, is the feminine sign when worn by a priest in worship. On St. Augustine’s picture it is bedecked with Buddhistic crosses, and in its whole appearance it is a representation of the Egyptian (tau), assuming slightly the figure of the letter . “Its lower end is the mark of the masculine triad,” says Inman; “the right hand (of the figure) has the forefinger extended, like the Assyrian priests while doing homage to the grove. . . . When a male dons the pallium in worship, he becomes the representative of the trinity in the unity, the arba, or mystic four.”** (94)

7- Pagan Mysteries compared to Christianity and Hinduism (97)

Nature of ancient mysteries 99 / Trials of Initiation 100 / Mysteries ennobling 100 / Communion with god 102 / Indian initiation 103 / Pitris 107 / Eleusynian Mysteries 108 / Immaculate Conception 110 / Christian Hindu syncretism 110 / Eleusynian Mysteries 111 / Plato and Buddha 111 / Eleusis 112 / Indian Initiation 114 / Supreme Soul 116 / Socrates 118 / Mediumship118 / Talmud 119

And now we will try to give a clear insight into one of the chief objects of this work. What we desire to prove is, that underlying every ancient popular religion was the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical, professed and practiced by the initiates of every country, who alone were aware of its existence and importance. To ascertain its origin, and the precise age in which it was matured, is now beyond human possibility.

A single glance, however, is enough to assure one that it could not have attained the marvellous perfection in which we find it pictured to us in the relics of the various esoteric systems, except after a succession of ages. A philosophy so profound, a moral code so ennobling, and practical results so conclusive and so uniformly demonstrable is not the growth of a generation, or even a single epoch. Fact must have been piled upon fact, deduction upon deduction, science have begotten science, and myriads of the brightest human intellects have reflected upon the laws of nature, before this ancient doctrine had taken concrete shape.

The proofs of this identity of fundamental doctrine in the old religions are found in the prevalence of a system of initiation; in the secret sacerdotal castes who had the guardianship of mystical words of power, and a public display of a phenomenal control over natural forces, indicating association with preterhuman beings.

Every approach to the Mysteries of all these nations was guarded with the same jealous care, and in all, the penalty of death was inflicted upon initiates of any degree who divulged the secrets entrusted to them. We have seen that such was the case in the Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, among the Chaldean Magi, and the Egyptian hierophants; while with the Hindus, from whom they were all derived, the same rule has prevailed from time immemorial. (99)

8 – Phallic Symbolism (120)

Phallic symbolism 120

If that abstract sentiment called Christian charity prevailed in the Church, we would be well content to leave all this unsaid. We have no quarrel with Christians whose faith is sincere and whose practice coincides with their profession. But with an arrogant, dogmatic, and dishonest clergy, we have nothing to do except to see the ancient philosophy — antagonized by modern theology in its puny offspring — Spiritualism — defended and righted so far as we are able, so that its grandeur and sufficiency may be thoroughly displayed. It is not alone for the esoteric philosophy that we fight; nor for any modern system of moral philosophy, but for the inalienable right of private judgment, and especially for the ennobling idea of a future life of activity and accountability.

We eagerly applaud such commentators as Godfrey Higgins, Inman, Payne Knight, King, Dunlap, and Dr. Newton, however much they disagree with our own mystical views, for their diligence is constantly being rewarded by fresh discoveries of the Pagan paternity of Christian symbols. But otherwise, all these learned works are useless. Their researches only cover half the ground. Lacking the true key of interpretation they see the symbols only in a physical aspect. They have no password to cause the gates of mystery to swing open; and ancient spiritual philosophy is to them a closed book. Diametrically opposed though they be to the clergy in their ideas respecting it, in the way of interpretation they do little more than their opponents for a questioning public. Their labors tend to strengthen materialism as those of the clergy, especially the Romish clergy, do to cultivate belief in diabolism. 120

In burning the works of the theurgists; in proscribing those who affect their study; in affixing the stigma of demonolatry to magic in general, Rome has left her exoteric worship and Bible to be helplessly riddled by every free-thinker, her sexual emblems to be identified with coarseness, and her priests to unwittingly turn magicians and even sorcerers in their exorcisms, which are but necromantic evocations. Thus retribution, by the exquisite adjustment of divine law, is made to overtake this scheme of cruelty, injustice, and bigotry, through her own suicidal acts. (120)

The following works are important references for this chapter:

S. Forsyth, Demonologia: Or, Natural Knowledge Revealed (1827)
Roger Gougenot des Mousseaux (1805–76), Mœurs et pratiques des démons ou des esprits visiteurs du spiritisme ancien et moderne (1865)
Thomas Wright (1810-1877), Narratives of sorcery and magic, from the most authentic sources (1852)
Wilhelm Gottlieb Soldan (1803– 1869), Geschichte der Hexenprozesse
The Golden Legend
Thomas Inman (1820-1876), Ancient pagan and modern Christian symbolism (1869)


Part 3: Chapter 3

Chapter 3- Overview of Early Gnosticism in Relation to Nazarene Groups (Divisions Among the Early Christians)

This chapter gives quite an intricate study of the origins of early Christianity from the perspective of comparative religion. Relying on some of the very learned and critical studies of the period, she adroitly follows the intricacies of the mystical movements from a period where there was really not a lot of historical records. What emerges is an interesting alternative portrayal of Jesus and Gnosticism, and so opens a theme that will be further pursued in most subsequent chapters. What is interesting is that, despite that focus on esoteric tradition, her views are quite realistic and modest, merely hinting at certain possibilities, based on historical research.

1- Peter and the Myth of Apostolic Succession (p.123)

Christianity sprung from perennial tradition 123/ Peter and the Dogma of Apostolic Succession 125 / Apocryphal Tradition about Peter and the Church 125 / Peter Apostle of Circumcision 126 / Sepher Toldos Jeshu 127

Clement describes Basilides, the Gnostic, as “a philosopher devoted to the contemplation of divine things.” This very appropriate expression may be applied to many of the founders of the more important sects which later were all engulfed in one — that stupendous compound of unintelligible dogmas enforced by Irenaeus, Tertullian, and others, which is now termed Christianity. If these must be called heresies, then early Christianity itself must be included in the number. Basilides and Valentinus preceded Irenaeus and Tertullian; and the two latter Fathers had less facts than the two former Gnostics to show that their heresy was plausible. Neither divine right nor truth brought about the triumph of their Christianity; fate alone was propitious. We can assert, with entire plausibility, that there is not one of all these sects — Kabalism, Judaism, and our present Christianity included — but sprung from the two main branches of that one mother-trunk, the once universal religion, which antedated the Vedaic ages — we speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which merged later into Brahmanism. 123

We must once more return to that greatest of all the Patristic frauds; the one which has undeniably helped the Roman Catholic Church to its unmerited supremacy, viz.: the barefaced assertion, in the teeth of historical evidence, that Peter suffered martyrdom at Rome. It is but too natural that the Latin clergy should cling to it, for, with the exposure of the fraudulent nature of this pretext, the dogma of apostolic succession must fall to the ground. (125)

2- Nazarenes in Relation to Ebionites and Essenes (127)

Nazarenes and Ebionites 127

We may the more readily credit this friendship between Peter and his late co-religionists as we find in Theodoret the following assertion: “The Nazarenes are Jews, honoring the ANOINTED (Jesus) as a just man and using the Evangel according to Peter.”** Peter was a Nazarene, according to the Talmud. He belonged to the sect of the later Nazarenes, which dissented from the followers of John the Baptist, and became a rival sect; and which — as tradition goes — was instituted by Jesus himself.

History finds the first Christian sects to have been either Nazarenes like John the Baptist; or Ebionites, among whom were many of the relatives of Jesus; or Essenes (Iessaens) the Therapeutae, healers, of which the Nazaria were a branch. All these sects, which only in the days of Irenaeus began to be considered heretical, were more or less kabalistic. They believed in the expulsion of demons by magical incantations, and practiced this method; Jervis terms the Nabatheans and other such sects “wandering Jewish exorcists,”*** the Arabic word Nabae, meaning to wander, and the Hebrew [[Heb char]] naba, to prophesy. The Talmud indiscrimi nately calls all the Christians Nozari.* All the Gnostic sects equally believed in magic. Irenaeus, in describing the followers of Basilides, says, “They use images, invocations, incantations, and all other things pertaining unto magic.” Dunlap, on the authority of Lightfoot, shows that Jesus was called Nazaraios, in reference to his humble and mean external condition; “for Nazaraios means separation, alienation from other men.”** (127)

3- Jehovistic and Chaldean currents in Judaism (128)

Exoteric and Esoteric Religion in the Old Testament 128

The Jewish Scriptures indicate two distinct worships and religions among the Israelites; that of Bacchus-worship under the mask of Jehovah, and that of the Chaldean initiates to whom belonged some of the nazars, the theurgists, and a few of the prophets. The headquarters of these were always at Babylon and Chaldea, where two rival schools of Magians can be distinctly shown. Those who would doubt the statement will have in such a case to account for the discrepancy between history and Plato, who of all men of his day was certainly one of the best informed. Speaking of the Magians, he shows them as instructing the Persian kings of Zoroaster, as the son or priest of Oromasdes; and yet Darius, in the inscription at Bihistun, boasts of having restored the cultus of Ormazd and put down the Magian rites! Evidently there were two distinct and antagonistic Magian schools. The oldest and the most esoteric of the two being that which, satisfied with its unassailable knowledge and secret power, was content to apparently relinquish her exoteric popularity, and concede her supremacy into the hands of the reforming Darius. The later Gnostics showed the same prudent policy by accommodating themselves in every country to the prevailing religious forms, still secretly adhering to their own essential doctrines. (128)

4- John the Baptist’s relation to Nazarenes (132)

John the Baptist and the Nazarenes 132 / Essenes 133 / Baptism 134 / Pharisees and Saducees 135 / The Ginza (Codex Nazareus 136)

The oldest Nazarenes, who were the descendants of the Scripture nazars, and whose last prominent leader was John the Baptist, although never very orthodox in the sight of the scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem were, nevertheless, respected and left unmolested. Even Herod “feared the multitude” because they regarded John as a prophet (Matthew xiv. 5). But the followers of Jesus evidently adhered to a sect which became a still more exasperating thorn in their side. It appeared as a heresy within another heresy; for while the nazars of the olden times, the “Sons of the Prophets,” were Chaldean kabalists, the adepts of the new dissenting sect showed themselves reformers and innovators from the first. The great similitude traced by some critics between the rites and observances of the earliest Christians and those of the Essenes may be accounted for without the slightest difficulty. The Essenes, as we remarked just now, were the converts of Buddhist missionaries who had overrun Egypt, Greece, and even Judea at one time, since the reign of Asoka the zealous propagandist; and while it is evidently to the Essenes that belongs the honor of having had the Nazarene reformer, Jesus, as a pupil, still the latter is found disagreeing with his early teachers on several questions of formal observance. He cannot strictly be called an Essene, for reasons which we will indicate further on, neither was he a nazar, or Nazaria of the older sect. What Jesus was, may be found in the Codex Nazaraeus, in the unjust accusations of the Bardesanian Gnostics. (133)

5- Jesus’ relation to Nazarenes (137)

Hindu Baptism Ceremonies 137 / Nazars, Essenes, Galileans 138

The motive of Jesus was evidently like that of Gautama-Buddha, to benefit humanity at large by producing a religious reform which should give it a religion of pure ethics; the true knowledge of God and nature having remained until then solely in the hands of the esoteric sects, and their adepts. As Jesus used oil and the Essenes never used aught but pure water,* he cannot be called a strict Essene. On the other hand, the Essenes were also “set apart”; they were healers (assaya) and dwelt in the desert as all ascetics did. (133)

6- Zoroastrian connection to Nazarenes (140)

Nazars and Paganism 141 / Nazars and Zoroastrianism 142

If we carefully trace the terms nazar, and nazaret, throughout the best known works of ancient writers, we will meet them in connection with “Pagan” as well as Jewish adepts. Thus, Alexander Polyhistor says of Pythagoras that he was a disciple of the Assyrian Nazaret, whom some suppose to be Ezekiel. Diogenes Laertius states most positively that Pythagoras, after being initiated into all the Mysteries of the Greeks and barbarians, “went into Egypt and afterward visited the Chaldeans and Magi”; and Apuleius maintains that it was Zoroaster who instructed Pythagoras.

Were we to suggest that the Hebrew nazars, the railing prophets of the “Lord,” had been initiated into the so-called Pagan mysteries, and belonged (or at least a majority of them) to the same Lodge or circle of adepts as those who were considered idolaters; that their “circle of prophets” was but a collateral branch of a secret association, which we may well term “international,” what a visitation of Christian wrath would we not incur! And still, the case looks strangely suspicious. (141)

7- Essenes and Mystery Religions in relation to Nazarenes (143)

Luke, who was a physician, is designated in the Syriac texts as Asaia, the Essaian or Essene. Josephus and Philo Judaeus have sufficiently described this sect to leave no doubt in our mind that the Nazarene Reformer, after having received his education in their dwellings in the desert, and been duly initiated in the Mysteries, preferred the free and independent life of a wandering Nazaria, and so separated or inazarenized himself from them, thus becoming a travelling Therapeute, a Nazaria, a healer. Every Therapeute, before quitting his community, had to do the same. Both Jesus and St. John the Baptist preached the end of the Age;** which proves their knowledge of the secret computation of the priests and kabalists, who with the chiefs of the Essene communities alone had the secret of the duration of the cycles. The latter were kabalists and theurgists; “they had their mystic books, and predicted future events,” says Munk.*** (144)

8- Jesus and the Ancient Portrayal of Magicians (147)

All this points undeniably to the fact, that except a handful of self-styled Christians who subsequently won the day, all the civilized portion of the Pagans who knew of Jesus honored him as a philosopher, an adept whom they placed on the same level with Pythagoras and Apollonius. Whence such a veneration on their part for a man, were he simply, as represented by the Synoptics, a poor, unknown Jewish carpenter from Nazareth? As an incarnated God there is no single record of him on this earth capable of withstanding the critical examination of science; as one of the greatest reformers, an inveterate enemy of every theological dogmatism, a persecutor of bigotry, a teacher of one of the most sublime codes of ethics, Jesus is one of the grandest and most clearly-defined figures on the panorama of human history. His age may, with every day, be receding farther and farther back into the gloomy and hazy mists of the past; and his theology — based on human fancy and supported by untenable dogmas may, nay, must with every day lose more of its unmerited prestige; alone the grand figure of the philosopher and moral reformer instead of growing paler will become with every century more pronounced and more clearly defined. It will reign supreme and universal only on that day when the whole of humanity recognizes but one father — the UNKNOWN ONE above — and one brother — the whole of mankind below. (150)

9- Docetic Asepct of Jesus and Reincarnation (151)

While the kabalists called this mysterious and rare occurrence of the union of spirit with the mortal charge entrusted to its care, the “descent of the Angel Gabriel” (the latter being a kind of generic name for it), the Messenger of Life, and the angel Metatron; and while the Nazarenes termed the same Abel-Zivo,* the Delegatus sent by the Lord of Celsitude, it was universally known as the “Anointed Spirit.”

Thus it is the acceptation of this doctrine which caused the Gnostics to maintain that Jesus was a man overshadowed by the Christos or Messenger of Life, and that his despairing cry from the cross “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani,” was wrung from him at the instant when he felt that this inspiring Presence had finally abandoned him, for — as some affirmed — his faith had also abandoned him when on the cross. (154)

10 – Basilides, Buddhism, the Cosmic Christ (155)

Thus, Christos, as a unity, is but an abstraction: a general idea representing the collective aggregation of the numberless spirit-entities, which are the direct emanations of the infinite, invisible, incomprehensible FIRST CAUSE — the individual spirits of men, erroneously called the souls. They are the divine sons of God, of which some only overshadow mortal men — but this the majority — some remain forever planetary spirits, and some — the smaller and rare minority — unite themselves during life with some men. Such God-like beings as Gautama-Buddha, Jesus, Tissoo, Christna, and a few others had united themselves with their spirits permanently — hence, they became gods on earth. Others, such as Moses, Pythagoras, Apollonius, Plotinus, Confucius, Plato, Iamblichus, and some Christian saints, having at intervals been so united, have taken rank in history as demi-gods and leaders of mankind. When unburdened of their terrestrial tabernacles, their freed souls, henceforth united forever with their spirits, rejoin the whole shining host, which is bound together in one spiritual solidarity of thought and deed, and called “the anointed.” Hence, the meaning of the Gnostics, who, by saying that “Christos” suffered spiritually for humanity, implied that his Divine Spirit suffered mostly. (159)

11- Marcion (159)

Was Marcion so far wrong? Was it blasphemy, or was it intuition, divine inspiration in him to express that which every honest heart yearning for truth, more or less feels and acknowledges? If in his sincere desire to establish a purely spiritual religion, a universal faith based on unadulterated truth, he found it necessary to make of Christianity an entirely new and separate system from that of Judaism, did not Marcion have the very words of Christ for his authority? “No man putteth a piece of new cloth into an old garment . . . for the rent is made worse. . . . Neither do men put new wine into old bottles, else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish; but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved.” In what particular does the jealous, wrathful, revengeful God of Israel resemble the unknown deity, the God of mercy preached by Jesus; — his Father who is in Heaven, and the Father of all humanity? (163)

12- Hinduism, Buddhism, and Bacchus worship compared to Christianity (163)

“Good master, what shall I do that I may have eternal life?” asks a man of Jesus. “Keep the commandments.” “Which?” “Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,”** is the answer.

“What shall I do to obtain possession of Bhodi? (knowledge of eternal truth)” asks a disciple of his Buddhist master. “What way is there to become an Upasaka?” “Keep the commandments.” “What are they?” “Thou shalt abstain all thy life from murder, theft, adultery, and lying,” answers the master.***

Identical injunctions are they not? Divine injunctions, the living up to which would purify and exalt humanity. But are they more divine when uttered through one mouth than another? If it is god-like to return good for evil, does the enunciation of the precept by a Nazarene give it any greater force than its enunciation by an Indian, or Thibetan philosopher? We see that the Golden Rule was not original with Jesus; that its birth-place was India. Do what we may, we cannot deny Sakya-Muni Buddha a less remote antiquity than several centuries before the birth of Jesus. In seeking a model for his system of ethics why should Jesus have gone to the foot of the Himalayas rather than to the foot of Sinai, but that the doctrines of Manu and Gautarna harmonized exactly with his own philosophy, while those of Jehovah were to him abhorrent and terrifying? The Hindus taught to return good for evil, but the Jehovistic command was: “An eye for an eye” and “a tooth for a tooth.” (164)

Prominent authors and works used in this chapter:

Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890), Histoire des Vierges. Les Peuples et les continents disparus (History of the Virgins. Vanished People and Continents) (1874)
La Bible dans l’Inde, ou la Vie de Iezeus Christna (The Bible in India or The life of Iezeus Christna) (1869)
Lydia Maria Child (1802 – 1880), The Progress of Religious Ideas Through Successive Ages
John Denison Baldwin (1809 –1883), Pre-Historic Nations; or, Inquiries Concerning Some of the Great Peoples and Civilizations of Antiquity (1869)
Stanislas Aignan Julien (1797 –1873), Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen-Thsang [History of the Life of Xuanzang] (1856).

Buddhist Records of the Western World, by Hiuen Tsiang. 2 vols. (Vol 1, 2) Translated by Samuel Beal. London. 1884.
Jacques Joseph Champollion-Figeac (1778 –1867), Égypte Ancienne (1839)
Max Müller (1823 –1900), Lectures on the Origin and Growth of Religion as Illustrated by the Religions of India (1878) “Buddhist Pilgrims
On the Vanity of Idols (Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 5)
Schott’s essay on Buddhism in Upper Asia and China (1846) Über den Buddhismus in Hochasien und in China. Berlin 1844; Probably quoted from The Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo, translated by Henry Yule


Part 4: Chapter 4

Chapter 4 – Oriental Cosmogonies and Bible Records

Chapter 4 continues the investigation of early Christianity and Gnosticism and introduces a bold plan of reforming theology by presenting an esoteric concept of theology supported by comparative religion studies. Both the Logos and the Trinity are essential principles and the more esoteric notion of the Sacred Four, which is the Trinity in conjunction with an additional divine feminine principle, such as the Heavenly Virgin, the Shekinah, or the Shakti. Moreover, an analysis of Gnostic creation myths is introduced as the basis of a cosmogony.

The historical study of early Christianity covers the period of the Acts of the Apostles and various early Christian apocrypha. She posits a plain, simple conception of the early Christians, a view that is widely adopted today, using a perennialist perspective and gives some interesting views on the rather obscure Nazarenes and Ebionites, in particular.

1- The Ophite Theology compared with Indian and Near Eastern systems

Critique of discrepancies in the Old Textament (167 )/ Marcion’s doctrines 168 / The Ophites 168 / Ophite system of Emanations 169 / The Sacred Four in Hindu, Near Eastern and Ophite systems 169 / Arba-Il: Ennoia (Primitive Man) Sige (silence) and Bythos (depth) Sophia 170 / Christos and Sophia_Achamoth 172 / Gnostic Sermon on Mary 172 / Hindu and Gnostic Sacred Four 173 / Mandaen Sacred Four and Ilda-Baoth 174 / Confict between Peter and Paul 175 / Sethian and Ophite Systems – Divinity of Christ 176 / Isaac Newton critiques New Testament authenticity – the Trinity 177 / First Christians – factions of Peter and Paul 178 / Ebionites 180 / Hebrew Gospel of Mattew 181 / Sophia-Achamoth begets Ilda-Baoth 183 / Gnostic Pantheon 185 / Christos 185/ Death of Christos 186 / Ophis 187

The Gnostic Ophites taught the doctrine of Emanations, so hateful to the defenders of the unity in the trinity, and vice versa. The Unknown Deity with them had no name; but his first female emanation was called Bythos or Depth.* It answered to the Shekinah of the kabalists, the “Veil” which conceals the “Wisdom” in the cranium of the highest of the three heads. As the Pythagorean Monad, this nameless Wisdom was the Source of Light, and Ennoia or Mind, is Light itself. The latter was also called the “Primitive Man,” like the Adam Kadmon, or ancient Adam of the Kabala. Indeed, if man was created after his likeness and in the image of God, then this God was like his creature in shape and figure — hence, he is the “Primitive man.” The first Manu, the one evolved from Swayambhuva, “he who exists unrevealed in his own glory,” is also, in one sense, the primitive man, with the Hindus. Thus the “nameless and the unrevealed,” Bythos, his female reflection, and Ennoia, the revealed Mind proceeding from both, or their Son are the counterparts of the Chaldean first triad as well as those of the Brahmanic Trimurti. (169)

To place it still clearer, the Babylonian System recognizes first — the ONE (Ad, or Ad-ad), who is never named, but only acknowledged in thought as the Hindu Swayambhuva. From this he becomes manifest as Anu or Ana — the one above all — Monas. Next comes the Demiurge called Bel or Elu, who is the active power of the Godhead. The third is the principle of Wisdom, Hea or Hoa, who also rules the sea and the underworld. Each of these has his divine consort, giving us Anata, Belta,and Davkina. These, however, are only like the Saktis, and not especially remarked by theologists. But the female principle is denoted by Mylitta, the Great Mother, called also Ishtar. So with the three male gods, we have the Triad or Trimurti, and with Mylitta added, the Arba or Four (Tetraktys of Pythagoras), which perfects and potentializes all. Hence, the above-given modes of expression. The following Chaldean diagram may serve as an illustration for all others:

Triad / Anu, Bel, Hoa. / Mylitta — Arba-il, or Four-fold God,

become, with the Christians,

Trinity / God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, / Mary, or mother of these three Gods since they are one, or, the Christian Heavenly Tetraktys.

Hence, Hebron, the city of the Kabeiri was called Kirjath-Arba, city of the Four. The Kabeiri were Axieros — the noble Eros, Axiokersos, the worthy horned one, Axiokersa, Demeter and Kadmiel, Hoa, etc.

The Pythagorean ten denoted the Arba-Il or Divine Four, emblematized by the Hindu Lingham: Anu, 1; Bel, 2; Hoa, 3, which makes 6. The triad and Mylitta as 4 make the ten. (171)

After that, always in spite at the perfection of man, Ilda-Baoth created the three kingdoms of nature, the mineral, vegetable, and animal, with all evil instincts and properties. Impotent to annihilate the Tree of Knowledge, which grows in his sphere as in every one of the planetary regions, but bent upon detaching “man” from his spiritual protectress, Ilda-Baoth forbade him to eat of its fruit, for fear it should reveal to mankind the mysteries of the superior world. But Sophia-Achamoth, who loved and protected the man whom she had animated, sent her own genius Ophis, in the form of a serpent to induce man to transgress the selfish and unjust command. And “man” suddenly became capable of comprehending the mysteries of creation.

Ilda-Baoth revenged himself by punishing the first pair, for man, through his knowledge, had already provided for himself a companion out of his spiritual and material half. He imprisoned man and woman in a dungeon of matter, in the body so unworthy of his nature, wherein man is still enthralled. But Achamoth protected him still. She established between her celestial region and “man,” a current of divine light, and kept constantly supplying him with this spiritual illumination. (185)

Then follow allegories embodying the idea of dualism, or the struggle between good and evil, spirit and matter, which is found in every cosmoogony, and the source of which is again to be sought in India. The types and antitypes represent the heroes of this Gnostic Pantheon, borrowed from the most ancient mythopoeic ages. But, in these personages, Ophis and Ophiomorphos, Sophia and Sophia-Achamoth, Adam-Kadmon, and Adam, the planetary genii and the divine AEons, we can also recognize very easily the models of our biblical copies — the euhemerized patriarchs. The archangels, angels, virtues and powers, are all found, under other names, in the Vedas and the Buddhistic system. The Avestic Supreme Being, Zero-ana, or “Boundless Time,” is the type of all these Gnostic and kabalistic “Depths,” “Crowns,” and even of the Chaldean En-Soph. The six Amshaspands, created through the “Word” of Ormazd, the “First-Born,” have their reflections in Bythos and his emanations, and the antitype of Ormazd — Ahriman and his devs also enter into the composition of Ilda-Baoth and his six material, though not wholly evil, planetary genii. (185)

2- Conflict between Peter and Paul – Jehovists and Gnostics (188)

Basilides 188 / The Clementine Homilies 189 / Wonders of Jesus 194 / Jesus and Reincarnation 194

The first groups of Christians, whom Renan shows numbering but from seven to twelve men in each church, belonged unquestionably to the poorest and most ignorant classes. They had and could have no idea of the highly philosophical doctrines of the Platonists and Gnostics, and evidently knew as little about their own newly-made-up religion. To these, who if Jews, had been crushed under the tyrannical dominion of the “law,” as enforced by the elders of the synagogues, and if Pagans had been always excluded, as the lower castes are until now in India, from the religious mysteries, the God of the Jews and the “Father” preached by Jesus were all one. The contentions which reigned from the first years following the death of Jesus, between the two parties, the Pauline and the Petrine — were deplorable. What one did, the other deemed a sacred duty to undo. If the Homilies are considered apocryphal, and cannot very well be accepted as an infallible standard by which to measure the animosity which raged between the two apostles, we have the Bible, and the proofs afforded therein are plentiful. (175)

And now we ask again the question: Who were the first Christians? Those who were readily converted by the eloquent simplicity of Paul, who promised them, with the name of Jesus, freedom from the narrow bonds of ecclesiasticism. They understood but one thing; they were the “children of promise” (Galatians iv. 28). The “allegory” of the Mosaic Bible was unveiled to them; the covenant “from the Mount Sinai which gendereth to bondage” was Agar (Ibid., 24), the old Jewish synagogue, and she was “in bondage with her children” to Jerusalem, the new and the free, “the mother of us all.” On the one hand the synagogue and the law which persecuted every one who dared to step across the narrow path of bigotry and dogmatism; on the other, Paganism* with its grand philosophical truths concealed from sight; unveiling itself but to the few, and leaving the masses hopelessly seeking to discover who was the god, among this overcrowded pantheon of deities and sub-deities. To others, the apostle of circumcision, supported by all his followers, was promising, if they obeyed the “law,” a life hereafter, and a resurrection of which they had no previous idea. (179)

But who then were the first Christians, may still be asked? Doubtless the Ebionites; and in this we follow the authority of the best critics. “There can be little doubt that the author (of the Clementine Homilies) was a representative of Ebionitic Gnosticism, which had once been the purest form of primitive Christianity. . . .”* And who were the Ebionites? The pupils and followers of the early Nazarenes, the kabalistic Gnostics. In the preface to the Codex Nazaraeus, the translator says: “That also the Nazarenes did not reject . . . the AEons is natural. For of the Ebionites who acknowledged them (the AEons), these were the instructors.”** (180)

This controversy about the supremacy of Jehovah, between the Presbyters and Fathers on the one hand, and the Gnostics, the Nazarenes, and all the sects declared heterodox, as a last resort, on the other, lasted till the days of Constantine, and later. That the peculiar ideas of the Gnostics about the genealogy of Jehovah, or the proper place that had to be assigned, in the Christian-Gnostic Pantheon, to the God of the Jews, were at first deemed neither blasphemous nor heterodox is evident in the difference of opinions held on this question by Clemens of Alexandria, for instance, and Tertullian. The former, who seems to have known of Basilides better than anybody else, saw nothing heterodox or blamable in the mystical and transcendental views of the new Reformer. “In his eyes,” remarks the author of The Gnostics, speaking of Clemens, “Basilides was not a heretic, i.e., an innovator as regards the doctrines of the Christian Church, but a mere theosophic philosopher, who sought to express ancient truths under new forms, and perhaps to combine them with the new faith, the truth of which he could admit without necessarily renouncing the old, exactly as is the case with the learned Hindus of our day.”** (188)

3- Essenes and Nazarenes

Essenes 196 / Syriac Gospel, Synesius, Hermtetica 198 / Symbolism of Masssacre of the Innocent 199 /

The Sepher Todos Jeshu 201 / Nazarenes 202 / Nazarenes and Gnostics 204 / Heresiologists 208 / Holy Virgin in India, Egypt and Christianity 208 / Angels and Sefiroths 210

Thus, if Josephus never wrote the famous interpolation forged by Eusebius, concerning Jesus, on the other hand, he has described in the Essenes all the principal features that we find prominent in the Nazarene. When praying, they sought solitude.** “When thou prayest, enter into thy closet . . . and pray to thy Father which is in secret” (Matthew vi. 6). “Everything spoken by them (Essenes) is stronger than an oath. Swearing is shunned by them” (Josephus II., viii., 6). “But I say unto you, swear not at all . . . but let your communication be yea, yea; nay, nay” (Matthew v. 34-37).

The Nazarenes, as well as the Essenes and the Therapeutae, believed more in their own interpretations of the “hidden sense” of the more ancient Scriptures, than in the later laws of Moses. Jesus, as we have shown before, felt but little veneration for the commandments of his predecessor, with whom Irenaeus is so anxious to connect him. (196)

Eusebius states that before the siege of Jerusalem the small Christian community — comprising members of whom many, if not all, knew Jesus and his apostles personally — took refuge in the little town of Pella, on the opposite shore of the Jordan. Surely these simple people, separated for centuries from the rest of the world, ought to have preserved their traditions fresher than any other nations! It is in Palestine that we have to search for the clearest waters of Christianity, let alone its source. The first Christians, after the death of Jesus, all joined together for a time, whether they were Ebionites, Nazarenes, Gnostics, or others.

They had no Christian dogmas in those days, and their Christianity consisted in believing Jesus to be a prophet, this belief varying from seeing in him simply a “just man,”* or a holy, inspired prophet, a vehicle used by Christos and Sophia to manifest themselves through. These all united together in opposition to the synagogue and the tyrannical technicalities of the Pharisees, until the primitive group separated in two distinct branches — which, we may correctly term the Christian kabalists of the Jewish Tanaim school, and the Christian kabalists of the Platonic Gnosis.** The former were represented by the party composed of the followers of Peter, and John, the author of the Apocalypse; the latter ranged with the Pauline Christianity, blending itself, at the end of the second century, with the Platonic philosophy, and engulfing, still later, the Gnostic sects, whose symbols and misunderstood mysticism overflowed the Church of Rome. (198)

This allegory, like the rest of them in such books, is written “inside and outsideit has its secret meaning, and ought to be read two ways. The kabalistic books explain its mystical meaning. Further, the same Talmudist says, in substance, the following: Jesus was thrown in prison,** and kept there forty days; then flogged as a seditious rebel; then stoned as a blasphemer in a place called Lud, and finally allowed to expire upon a cross. “All this,” explains Levi, “because he revealed to the people the truths which they (the Pharisees) wished to bury for their own use. He had divined the occult theology of Israel, had compared it with the wisdom of Egypt, and found thereby the reason for a universal religious synthesis.”*** (202

When the metaphysical conceptions of the Gnostics, who saw in Jesus the Logos and the anointed, began to gain ground, the earliest Christians separated from the Nazarenes, who accused Jesus of perverting the doctrines of John, and changing the baptism of the Jordan.**** “Directly,” says Milman, “as it (the Gospel) got beyond the borders of Palestine, and the name of ‘Christ’ had acquired sanctity and veneration in the Eastern cities, he became a kind of metaphysical impersonation, while the religion lost its purely moral cast and assumed the character of a speculative theogony.“***** The only half-original document that has reached us from the primitive apostolic days, is the Logia of Matthew. The real, genuine doctrine has remained in the hands of the Nazarenes, in this Gospel of Matthew containing the “secret doctrine,” the “Sayings of Jesus,” mentioned by Papias. These sayings were, no doubt, of the same nature as the small manuscripts placed in the hands of the neophytes, who were candidates for the Initiations into the Mysteries, and which contained the Aporrheta, the revelations of some important rites and symbols. For why should Matthew take such precautions to make them “secret” were it otherwise? (204)

In the religious metaphysics of the Hebrews, the Highest One is an abstraction; he is “without form or being,” “with no likeness with anything else.”* And even Philo calls the Creator, the Logos who stands next God, “the SECOND God.” “The second God who is his WISDOM.”** God is NOTHING, he is nameless, and therefore called Ain-Soph — the word Ain meaning nothing.*** But if, according to the older Jews, Jehovah is the God, and He manifested Himself several times to Moses and the prophets, and the Christian Church anathematized the Gnostics who denied the fact — how comes it, then, that we read in the fourth gospel that “No man hath seen God AT ANY TIME, but the only-begotten Son . . . he hath declared him”? The very words of the Gnostics, in spirit and substance. This sentence of St. John — or rather whoever wrote the gospel now bearing his name — floors all the Petrine arguments against Simon Magus, without appeal. The words are repeated and emphasized in chapter vi.: “Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he (Jesus) hath seen the Father” (46) — the very objection brought forward by Simon in the Homilies. These words prove that either the author of the fourth evangel had no idea of the existence of the Homilies, or that he was not John, the friend and companion of Peter, whom he contradicts point-blank with this emphatic assertion. Be it as it may, this sentence, like many more that might be profitably cited, blends Christianity completely with the Oriental Gnosis, and hence with the KABALA. (210)

Selected References:

Walter Richard Cassels (1826-1907), Supernatural Religion: An Inquiry into the Reality of Divine Revelation (1874)
Charles William King (1818 –1888), The Gnostics and Their Remains (1864)
Sefer Toledot Yeshu
Samuel Fales Dunlap, Sod, the Son of the Man
Codex Nazareus – Ginza Rba
Titus Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100) (The Works of Flavius Josephus)
Zend Avesta
Salomon Munk (1803 – 1867), Palestine. Description géographique, historique, et archéologique (1845)
Philo of Alexandria (c. 20 BCE – c. 50 CE), On the Contemplative Life


Recap, Chapters 1-4

Chapter 1 (The Church! Where is it?”) Christianity’s relation to Spiritualism and Paganism

1- Christianity’s attitude towards paganism and spiritualism (p.1)

The Church in the scientific era 3 / Church sees spiritualism as a resurgence of paganism 4 / Comparative phallic symbolism in architecture 5

2- Origin of Christian belief in the Devil and Hell (10)

Isis 10 / Christianity died with apostles 10 / Devil and hell specifically Christian 11 / St-John’s apocalypse 12 / History of spirits compiled efficiently 15

3- Christianity’s relation to the Supernatural (16)

Vatican library – laws of nature 16 / Physiological conditions of America 19 / Secret Vatican libraries 20 / Magic in the church 20 / Protestant practice of predictions 21 / French revolution 22

4- The attitude of Science and Comparative Religion to Spiritualism (25)

Source of Peter’s chair 25 / Need for spiritual belief 25 / Prediction of discovery of ancient documents 26 / Ancient manuscript in monastery 27 / Ancient documents not destroyed 28

5- India and Paganism as source of Christian theology (The logos, the Trinity, the Eucharist) (30)

Peter and the mysteries 30 / Aum 31 / Origin of the Trinity 34 / Genesis first verse 36 / The Logos – Genesis 37 / Trinity of initiates 38 / Trinity – sefirots 40 / Dogmatism 41 / Trinity origins 41 / Blavatsky’s story of sorcerer and the word 43 / Origin of the eucharist 45 / Sumer and India 45 / Trinity 49 / Redeemer – Genesis 50

6- Christianity’s struggles with Gnostics and Neoplatonists (51)

Blavatsky’s story of Church on Mount Athos and lost Celsus text 52

Chapter 2 – Christianity’s Relation to Pagan Practices; Pagan Mysteries compared to Christianity and Hinduism (Christian Crimes and Heathen Virtues)

1- Magical Practices in Roman Catholic Church (55)

Persecution and Torture by Roman Catholics 55 / Pope Sylvester II practiced magic 57 / 900 witches burned 58

2- Persecution of Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (59)

Torquemada 59 / Magic in Spain and Portugal 59 / Monks with Magical powers 60 / Books on witchcraft 61 / Witch Burnings 62

3-Exorcisms (66)

Sorcery in India 69-70 / Vision and Saints and Spiritualists 73 / Exorcisms 73

4- Mystical Visions in the Church (73)

Christian and Pagan subdue animals 77

5- Fabulations and Deceptions in the Medieval Church (79)

Buddhist and Christian fetishes 79 / Inman on critiquing Christianity 80 / Universal Deity 81

6- Pagan Influence on Christianity (84)

Universal wisdom 84 / Logos 87 / Cross 88 / Augustine diverted bible 88 / Paul an initiate 90 /Soma and the mysteries 91 / Peter and the mysteries 92 / Roman Catholic and Pagan costumes 94

7- Pagan Mysteries compared to Christianity and Hinduism (97)

Nature of ancient mysteries 99 / Trials of Initiation 100 / Mysteries ennobling 100 / Communion with god 102 / Indian initiation 103 / Pitris 107 / Eleusynian Mysteries 108 / Immaculate Conception 110 / Christian Hindu syncretism 110 / Eleusynian Mysteries 111 / Plato and Buddha 111 / Eleusis 112 / Indian Initiation 114 / Supreme Soul 116 / Socrates 118 / Mediumship 118 / Talmud 119

8 – Phallic Symbolism (120)

Phallic symbolism 120

3- Overview of Early Gnosticism in Relation to Nazarene Groups (Divisions Among the Early Christians)

1- Peter and the Myth of Apostolic Succession (p.123)

Christianity sprung from perennial tradition 123/ Peter and the Dogma of Apostolic Succession 125 / Apocryphal Tradition about Peter and the Church 125 / Peter Apostle of Circumcision 126 / Sepher Toldos Jeshu 127

2- Nazarenes in Relation to Ebionites and Essenes (127)

Nazarenes and Ebionites 127

3- Jehovistic and Chaldean currents in Judaism (128)

Exoteric and Esoteric Religion in the Old Testament 128

4- John the Baptist’s relation to Nazarenes (132)

John the Baptist and the Nazarenes 132 / Essenes 133 / Baptism 134 / Pharisees and Saducees 135 / The Ginza (Codex Nazareus 136)

5- Jesus’ relation to Nazarenes (137)

Hindu Baptism Ceremonies 137 / Nazars, Essenes, Galileans 138

6- Zoroastrian connection to Nazarenes (140)

Nazars and Paganism 141 / Nazars and Zoroastrianism 142

7- Essenes and Mystery Religions in relation to Nazarenes (143)

8- Jesus and the Ancient Portrayal of Magicians (147)

Chapter 4 – Eastern and Gnostic Cosmologies compared; Conflicts in the Early Christian Church (Oriental Cosmogonies and Bible Records)

1- The Ophite Theology compared with Indian and Near Eastern systems

Critique of discrepancies in the Old Textament (167 )/ Marcion’s doctrines 168 / The Ophites 168 / Ophite system of Emanations 169 / The Sacred Four in Hindu, Near Eastern and Ophite systems 169 / Arba-Il: Ennoia (Primitive Man) Sige (silence) and Bythos (depth) Sophia 170 / Christos and Sophia_Achamoth 172 / Gnostic Sermon on Mary 172 / Hindu and Gnostic Sacred Four 173 / Mandaen Sacred Four and Ilda-Baoth 174 / Confict between Peter and Paul 175 / Sethian and Ophite Systems – Divinity of Christ 176 / Isaac Newton critiques New Testament authenticity – the Trinity 177 / First Christians – factions of Peter and Paul 178 / Ebionites 180 / Hebrew Gospel of Mattew 181 / Sophia-Achamoth begets Ilda-Baoth 183 / Gnostic Pantheon 185 / Christos 185/ Death of Christos 186 / Ophis 187

2- Conflict between Peter and Paul – Jehovists and Gnostics (188)

Basilides 188 / The Clementine Homilies 189 / Wonders of Jesus 194 / Jesus and Reincarnation 194

3- Essenes and Nazarenes

Essenes 196 / Syriac Gospel, Synesius, Hermtetica 198 / Symbolism of Masssacre of the Innocent 199 /

The Sepher Todos Jeshu 201 / Nazarenes 202 / Nazarenes and Gnostics 204 / Heresiologists 208 / Holy Virgin in India, Egypt and Christianity 208 / Angels and Sefiroths 210


Part 5: Chapter 5

Chapter Five – The Kabbalah and Comparative Religion

Chapter Five continues from the previous in presenting some ambitious comparative theology studies from an esoteric perspective with the idea to introduce a reformed universalist-based theological world view, from a Trinitarian-Logos-based conception. In this chapter, the Kabbalistic Ten Sefirots play a prominent part and so posits an early origin for the medieval Kabbalistic texts, something which gets less support today, but some studies are being done in that area and there have been recent breakthrough studies linking the Kabbalah to Near Eastern Cosmology.

When Blavatsky refers to Kabbalistic doctrines in the early Christian period, she most likely is referring to what is now termed Jewish Gnosticism. We are much better informed of today thanks to the Dead Sea Scroll and Nag Hammadi Gnostic Library discoveries which has made Jewish Gnosticism a major area of interest the academic field, and so Blavatsky’s stress on this area is all the more relevant. For her perennialist concerns, she favors a link between Jewish Gnosticism and the later Medieval-era Kabbalah tradition, a concept not greatly favored in academic studies, but again, some work has been done favoring this link, notably with the work of people like Moshe Idel.

She also presents a strong comparative study of the vexed question of the Savior/Avatar figure in apocalyptic contexts which she explains that the Avatar of apocalyptic literature is not coming any time soon and so she is not to blame for all the wild interpretations that have emerged, as she really tried to clarify that kind of confusion.

1- Sefirots compared

Sefiroths 212 / Hindu Cosmogony and Kabalah 214 / Sefiroths 215 / Genesis 216 / Emanations 219 / Zoroastrian Cosmogony 220

Thus, with the Hebrew kabalists, En-Soph is non-existent , for it is incomprehensible to our finite intellects, and therefore cannot exist to our minds. Its first emanation was Sephira, the crown . When the time for an active period had come, then was produced a natural expansion of this Divine essence from within outwardly, obedient to eternal and immutable law; and from this eternal and infinite light (which to us is darkness) was emitted a spiritual substance.*

This was the First Sephiroth, containing in herself the other nine Sephiroth, or intelligences. In their totality and unity they represent the archetypal man, Adam Kadmon, the [[protogonos]], who in his individuality or unity is yet dual, or bisexual, the Greek Didumos, for he is the prototype of all humanity. Thus we obtain three trinities, each contained in a “head.”

In the first head, or face (the three-faced Hindu Trimurti), we find Sephira, the first androgyne, at the apex of the upper triangle, emitting Hackama, or Wisdom, a masculine and active potency — also called Jah, — and Binah, , or Intelligence, a female and passive potency, also represented by the name Jehovah . These three form the first trinity or “face” of the Sephiroth.

This triad emanated Hesed, , or Mercy, a masculine active potency, also called El, from which emanated Geburah , or Justice, also called Eloha, a feminine passive potency; from the union of these two was produced Tiphereth , Beauty, Clemency, the Spiritual Sun, known by the divine name Elohim; and the second triad, “face,” or “head,” was formed.

These emanating, in their turn, the masculine potency Netzah, , Firmness, or Jehovah Sabaoth, who issued the feminine passive potency Hod,, Splendor, or Elohim Sabaoth; the two produced Jesod, , Foundation, who is the mighty living one El-Chai, thus yielding the third trinity or “head.”

The tenth Sephiroth is rather a duad, and is represented on the diagrams as the lowest circle. It is Malchuth or Kingdom, , and Shekinah , also called Adonai, and Cherubim among the angelic hosts. The first “Head” is called the Intellectual world; the second “Head” is the Sensuous, or the world of Perception, and the third is the Material or Physical world. 214

Swayambhuva, the unknown essence of the Brahmans, is identical with En-Soph, the unknown essence of the kabalists. As with the latter, the ineffable name could not be pronounced by the Hindus, under the penalty of death. In the ancient primitive trinity of India, that which may be certainly considered as pre-Vedic, the germ which fecundates the mother-principle, the mundane egg, or the universal womb, is called Nara, the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, which emanates from the primordial essence. It is like Sephira, the oldest emanation, called the primordial point, and the White Head, for it is the point of divine light appearing from within the fathomless and boundless darkness.

In Manu it is “NARA, or the Spirit of God, which moves on Ayana (Chaos, or place of motion), and is called NARAYANA, or moving on the waters.”*** In Hermes, the Egyptian, we read: “In the beginning of the time there was naught in the chaos.” But when the “verbum,” issuing from the void like a “colorless smoke,” makes its appearance, then “this verbum moved on the humid principle.”**** And in Genesis we find: “And darkness was upon the face of the deep (chaos). And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” In the Kabala, the emanation of the primordial passive principle (Sephira), by dividing itself into two parts, active and passive, emits Chochma-Wisdom and Binah-Jehovah, and in conjunction with these two acolytes, which complete the trinity, becomes the Creator of the abstract Universe; the physical world being the production of later and still more material powers.*****

In the Hindu Cosmogony, Swayambhuva emits Nara and Nari, its bisexual emanation, and dividing its parts into two halves, male and female, these fecundate the mundane egg, within which develops Brahma, or rather Viradj, the Creator. “The starting-point of the Egyptian mythology,” says Champollion, “is a triad . . . namely, Kneph, Neith, and Phtah; and Ammon, the male, the father; Muth, the female and mother; and Khons, the son.” 214-15

2- Kabbalistic Trinity Compared

Kabalistic Trinity 222 / Shekinah 223 / Shekinah in Ginza and Ophite Systems 224 / Trinity in India and Egypt 226 / Three Trinities in Hindu, Egyptian and Ginza 227 Trinity in the Ginza 228

There are three trinities in the Nazarene system as well as in the Hindu philosophy of the ante and early Vedic period. While we see the few translators of the Kabala, the Nazarene Codex, and other abstruse works, hopelessly floundering amid the interminable pantheon of names, unable to agree as to a system in which to classify them, for the one hypothesis contradicts and overturns the other, we can but wonder at all this trouble, which could be so easily overcome. But even now, when the translation, and even the perusal of the ancient Sanscrit has become so easy as a point of comparison, they would never think it possible that every philosophy — whether Semitic, Hamitic, or Turanian, as they call it, has its key in the Hindu sacred works. Still facts are there, and facts are not easily destroyed. Thus, while we find the Hindu trimurti triply manifested as

Nara (or Para-Pouroucha), Agni, Brahma, the Father,

Nari (Mariama), Vaya, Vishnu, the Mother, Viradj (Brahma),

Surya, Siva, the Son,

and the Egyptian trinity as follows:

Kneph (or Amon), Osiris, Ra (Horus), the Father,

Maut (or Mut), Isis, Isis, the Mother,

Khons, Horus, Malouli, the Son;****

the Nazarene System runs,

Ferho (Ish-Amon), Mano, Abatur, the Father,

Chaos (dark water), Spiritus (female), Netubto, the Mother,

Fetahil, Ledhaio, Lord Jordan, the Son.

The first is the concealed or non-manifested trinity — a pure abstraction. The other the active or the one revealed in the results of creation, proceeding out of the former — its spiritual prototype. The third is the mutilated image of both the others, crystallized in the form of human dogmas, which vary according to the exuberance of the national materialistic fancy. 227-28

Mano is the chief of the seven AEons, who are Mano (Rex Lucis), Aiar Zivo, Ignis Vivus, Lux, Vita, Aqua Viva (the living water of baptism, the genius of the Jordan), and Ipsa Vita, the chief of the six genii, which form with him the mystic seven. The Nazarene Mano is simply the copy of the Hindu first Manu — the emanation of Manu Swayambhuva — from whom evolve in succession the six other Manus, types of the subsequent races of men. We find them all represented by the apostle-kabalist John in the “seven lamps of fire” burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God,”** and in the seven angels bearing the seven vials. Again in Fetahil we recognize the original of the Christian doctrine. 229

3- Four-Face Cherubim and World Saviours Compared

The Kabbalah and Christianity 230 / Four-Faced Cherubim compared 231 / Four-Faced Cherubim in Buddhism and Hinduism 232 / Kabbalah and Christ / The Logos Saviour in Various Systems 236 / Christian Dogmatism 238 / Resurrection of daughter of Jairus and Hari-Purana 241 / Divinity of Christ 242 / Gospel of John and Pastor of Hermas 243 / Christian Heresieology 248

We will not stop to discuss at length the special holiness of the four-faced Cherubim, although we might, perhaps, show their origin in all the ancient pagodas of India, in the vehans (or vehicles) of their chief gods; as likewise we might easily attribute the respect paid to them to the kabalistic wisdom, which, nevertheless, the Church rejects with great horror. But, we cannot resist the temptation to remind the reader that he may easily ascertain the several significances attributed to these Cherubs by reading the Kabala. “When the souls are to leave their abode,” says the Sohar, holding to the doctrine of the pre-existence of souls in the world of emanations, “each soul separately appears before the Holy King, dressed in a sublime form, with the features in which it is to appear in this world. It is from this sublime form that the image proceeds” (Sohar, iii., p. 104 ab). Then it goes on to say that the types or forms of these faces “are four in number — those of the angel or man, of the lion, the bull, and the eagle.” Furthermore, we may well express our wonder that Irenaeus should not have re-enforced his argument for the four gospels — by citing the whole Pantheon of the four-armed Hindu gods!

Ezekiel in representing his four animals, now called Cherubim, as types of the four symbolical beings, which, in his visions support the throne of Jehovah, had not far to go for his models. The Chaldeo-Babylonian protecting genii were familiar to him; the Sed, Alap or Kirub (Cherubim), the bull, with the human face; the Nirgal, human-headed lion; Oustour the Sphinx-man; and the Nathga, with its eagle’s head. The religion of the masters — the idolatrous Babylonians and Assyrians — was transferred almost bodily into the revealed Scripture of the Captives, and from thence came into Christianity. 231

It is in the Buddhistic representations of Mount Meru, called by the Burmese Mye-nmo, and by the Siamese Sineru, that we find one of the originals of the Adam Kadmon, Seir-Anpin, the “heavenly man,” and of all the AEons, Sephiroth, Powers, Dominions, Thrones, Virtues, and Dignities of the Kabala. Between two pillars, which are connected by an arch, the key-stone of the latter is represented by a crescent. This is the domain in which dwells the Supreme Wisdom of A’di Buddha, the Supreme and invisible Deity. Beneath this highest central point comes the circle of the direct emanation of the Unknown — the circle of Brahma with some Hindus, of the first avatar of Buddha, according to others. This answers to Adam Kadmon and the ten Sephiroth. Nine of the emanations are encircled by the tenth, and occasionally represented by pagodas, each of which bears a name which expresses one of the chief attributes of the manifested Deity. Then below come the seven stages, or heavenly spheres, each sphere being encircled by a sea. These are the celestial mansions of the devatas, or gods, each losing somewhat in holiness and purity as it approaches the earth. Then comes Meru itself, formed of numberless circles within three large ones, typifying the trinity of man; and for one acquainted with the numerical value of the letters in biblical names, like that of the “Great Beast,” or that of Mithra [[Mithras abraxas]], and others, it is an easy matter to establish the identity of the Meru-gods with the emanations or Sephiroth of the kabalists. Also the genii of the Nazarenes, with their special missions, are all found on this most ancient mythos, a most perfect representation of the symbolism of the “secret doctrine,” as taught in archaic ages. 233

The whole is surrounded by the Maha Samut, or the great sea — the astral light and ether of the kabalists and scientists; and within the central circles appears “the likeness of a man.” He is the Achadoth of the Nazarenes, the twofold unity, or the androgyne man; the heavenly incarnation, and a perfect representation of Seir-Anpin (short-face), the son, of Arich Anpin (long-face).* This likeness is now represented in many lamaseries by Gautama-Buddha, the last of the incarnated avatars. Still lower, under the Meru, is the dwelling of the great Naga, who is called Rajah Naga, the king-serpent — the serpent of Genesis, the Gnostic Ophis — and the goddess of the earth, Bhumay Nari, or Yama, who waits upon the great dragon, for she is Eve, “the mother of all that live.” Still lower is the eighth sphere, the infernal regions. The uppermost regions of Brahma are surrounded by the sun, moon, and planets, the seven stellars of the Nazarenes, and just as they are described in the Codex. 234

The same in the case of the numerous Logoi. While the Zoroastrian Sosiosh is framed on that of the tenth Brahmanical Avatar, and the fifth Buddha of the followers of Gautama; and we find the former, after having passed part and parcel into the kabalistic system of king Messiah, reflected in the Apostle Gabriel of the Nazarenes, and AEbel-Zivo, the Legatus, sent on earth by the Lord of Celsitude and Light; all of these —

Hindu and Persian, Buddhist and Jewish, the Christos of the Gnostics and the Philonean Logos — are found combined in “the Word made flesh” of the fourth Gospel. Christianity includes all these systems, patched and arranged to meet the occasion. Do we take up the Avesta — we find there the dual system so prevalent in the Christian scheme. The struggle between Ahriman,* Darkness, and Ormazd, Light, has been going on in the world continually since the beginning of time. When the worst arrives and Ahriman will seem to have conquered the world and corrupted all mankind, then will appear the Saviour of mankind, Sosiosh. He will come seated upon a white horse and followed by an army of good genii equally mounted on milk-white steeds.** And this we find faithfully copied in the Revelation: “I saw heaven opened, and beheld a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called faithful and true. . . . And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses” (Revelation xix. 11, 14).

Sosiosh himself is but a later Persian permutation of the Hindu Vishnu. The figure of this god may be found unto this day representing him as the Saviour, the “Preserver” (the preserving spirit of God), in the temple of Rama. The picture shows him in his tenth incarnation — the Kalki avatar, which is yet to come — as an armed warrior mounted upon a white horse. Waving over his head the sword destruction, he holds in his other hand a discus, made up of rings encircled in one another, an emblem of the revolving cycles or great ages,*** for Vishnu will thus appear but at the end of the Kaliyug, answering to the end of the world expected by our Adventists. “And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword . . . on his head were many crowns” (Revelation xix. 12). Vishnu is often represented with several crowns superposed on his head. “And I saw an angel standing on the Sun” (17). The white horse is the horse of the Sun.**** Sosiosh, the Persian Saviour, is also born of a virgin,***** and at the end of days he will come as a Redeemer to regenerate the world, but he will be preceded by two prophets, who will come to announce him.****** Hence the Jews who had Moses and Elias, are now waiting for the Messiah. “Then comes the general resurrection, when the good will immediately enter into this happy abode — the regenerated earth; and Ahriman and his angels (the devils),* and the wicked, be purified by immersion in a lake of molten metal. . . . Henceforward, all will enjoy unchangeable happiness, and, headed by Sosiosh, ever sing the praises of the Eternal One.”** The above is a perfect repetition of Vishnu in his tenth avatar, for he will then throw the wicked into the infernal abodes in which, after purifying themselves, they will be pardoned — even those devils which rebelled against Brahma, and were hurled into the bottomless pit by Siva,*** as also the “blessed ones” will go to dwell with the gods, over the Mount Meru. 236-37

Jesus, as Messiah, was not manifested at the last of the days; for the latter are yet to come, notwithstanding a number of divinely-inspired prophecies, followed by disappointed hopes, as a result, to testify to his immediate coming. The belief that the “last times” had come, was natural, when once the coming of King Messiah had been acknowledged. The second peculiarity is found in the fact that the prophecy could have been accepted at all, when even its approximate determination is a direct contradiction of Mark, who makes Jesus distinctly state that neither the angels, nor the Son himself, know of that day or that hour.*** We might add that, as the belief undeniably originated with the Apocalypse, it ought to be a self-evident proof that it belonged to the calculations peculiar to the kabalists and the Pagan sanctuaries. It was the secret computation of a cycle, which, according to their reckoning, was ending toward the latter part of the first century. It may also be held as a corroborative proof, that the Gospel according to Mark, as well as that ascribed to John, and the Apocalypse, were written by men, of whom neither was sufficiently acquainted with the other. The Logos was first definitely called petra (rock) by Philo; the word, moreover, as we have shown elsewhere, means, in Chaldaic and Phoenician, “interpreter.” Justin Martyr calls him, throughout his works, “angel,” and makes a clear distinction between the Logos and God the Creator. 246

Selected References:

Tertullian (full name Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus – c. 155 – c. 240 AD), Against all Heresies
Irenaeus (early 2nd century – died c. AD 202), On the Detection and Overthrow of the So-Called Gnosis (commonly called Against Heresies)
Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 310–320 – 403), Adversus Haereses (Latin: “Against Heresies”) (Panarion) (374 or 375, and issued about three years later)
Theodoret of Cyrus or Cyrrhus (c. AD 393 – c. 458/466), Ecclesiastical History
The Clementine Homilies, which consists of 20 books and exists in the original Greek; the other is called the Clementine Recognitions
Eliphas Levi (1810-1875), La science des esprits (The Science of Spirits), 1865
The Hermetica are Egyptian–Greek wisdom texts from the 2nd century AD


Part 6: Chapter 6

Chapter 6 – Comparative Cosmology and Soul Evolution

This is one of the more all-encompassing chapters in Isis where you have this sprawling overview of the main Theosophical concepts, cosmology, spiritual evolution, human evolution, cycles and reincarnation. Moreover, she devotes more space to the notion of Avatar, but, alas, few people seem to have paid attention to this aspect of her writings, preferring to develop variant extrapolations.

She also continues her analysis of early Christianity, moving to the fourth century, with a pointed critique of the Nicean Council of 325 CE. Although the documents she uses are less accepted as authentic nowadays, in general, she points to that event as the unhappy turning points towards religious dogmatism. As Michael Gaddis states in his 2005 work, this was the beginning of the practice of using secular power to establish doctrinal orthodoxy within Christianity, an example followed by all later Christian emperors, which led to a circle of Christian violence, and of Christian resistance couched in terms of martyrdom (There is no crime for those who have Christ; religious violence in the Roman Empire. University of California Press 2005. page 340)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nicaea

1- Development of Christianity in the fourth Century (251)

Nicean Council 251 /

We must not forget that the Christian Church owes its present canonical Gospels, and hence its whole religious dogmatism, to the Sortes Sanctorum. Unable to agree as to which were the most divinely-inspired of the numerous gospels extant in its time, the mysterious Council of Nicea concluded to leave the decision of the puzzling question to miraculous intervention. This Nicean Council may well be called mysterious. There was a mystery, first, in the mystical number of its 318 bishops, on which Barnabas (viii. 11, 12, 13) lays such a stress; added to this, there is no agreement among ancient writers as to the time and place of its assembly, nor even as to the bishop who presided. Notwithstanding the grandiloquent eulogium of Constantine,* Sabinus, the Bishop of Heraclea, affirms that “except Constantine, the emperor, and Eusebius Pamphilus, these bishops were a set of illiterate, simple creatures, that understood nothing”; which is equivalent to saying that they were a set of fools. Such was apparently the opinion entertained of them by Pappus, who tells us of the bit of magic resorted to to decide which were the true gospels. In his Synodicon to that Council Pappus says, having “promiscuously put all the books that were referred to the Council for determination under a communion-table in a church, they (the bishops) besought the Lord that the inspired writings might get upon the table, while the spurious ones remained underneath, and it happened accordingly.” But we are not told who kept the keys of the council chamber over night! 251

Hypatia 252 /

It is more than curious that Cave, the author of the Lives of the Fathers, should find it incredible that Cyril sanctioned her murder on account of his “general character.” A saint who will sell the gold and silver vessels of his church, and then, after spending the money, lie at his trial, as he did, may well be suspected of anything. Besides, in this case, the Church had to fight for her life, to say nothing of her future supremacy. Alone, the hated and erudite Pagan scholars, and the no less learned Gnostics, held in their doctrines the hitherto concealed wires of all these theological marionettes. Once the curtain should be lifted, the connection between the old Pagan and the new Christian religions would be exposed; and then, what would have become of the Mysteries into which it is sin and blasphemy to pry? With such a coincidence of the astronomical allegories of various Pagan myths with the dates adopted by Christianity for the nativity, crucifixion, and resurrection, and such an identity of rites and ceremonies, what would have been the fate of the new religion, had not the Church, under the pretext of serving Christ, got rid of the too-well-informed philosophers? To guess what, if the coup detat had then failed, might have been the prevailing religion in our own century would indeed, be a hard task. But, in all probability, the state of things which made of the middle ages a period of intellectual darkness, which degraded the nations of the Occident, and lowered the European of those days almost to the level of a Papuan savage — could not have occurred. 253

Symbolism of the Cross 255 /

According to King and other numismatists and archaeologists, the cross was placed there as the symbol of eternal life. Such a Tau, or Egyptian cross, was used in the Bacchic and Eleusinian Mysteries. Symbol of the dual generative power, it was laid upon the breast of the initiate, after his “new birth” was accomplished, and the Mystae had returned from their baptism in the sea. It was a mystic sign that his spiritual birth had regenerated and united his astral soul with his divine spirit, and that he was ready to ascend in spirit to the blessed abodes of light and glory — the Eleusinia. The Tau was a magic talisman at the same time as a religious emblem. It was adopted by the Christians through the Gnostics and kabalists, who used it largely, as their numerous gems testify, and who had the Tau (or handled cross) from the Egyptians, and the Latin cross from the Buddhist missionaries, who brought it from India, where it can be found until now, two or three centuries B.C. The Assyrians, Egyptians, ancient Americans, Hindus, and Romans had it in various, but very slight modifications of shape. Till very late in the mediaeval ages, it was considered a potent spell against epilepsy and demoniacal possession; and the “signet of the living God,” brought down in St. John’s vision by the angel ascending from the east to “seal the servants of our God in their foreheads,” was but the same mystic Tau — the Egyptian cross. In the painted glass of St. Dionysus (France), this angel is represented as stamping this sign on the forehead of the elect; the legend reads, SIGNVM TAY. In King’s Gnostics, the author reminds us that “this mark is commonly borne by St. Anthony, an Egyptian recluse.”** What the real meaning of the Tau was, is explained to us by the Christian St. John, the Egyptian Hermes, and the Hindu Brahmans. It is but too evident that, with the apostle, at least, it meant the “Ineffable Name,” as he calls this “signet of the living God,” a few chapters further on,*** the “Fathers name written in their foreheads.

Fish Symbolism 256

Joshua, son of Nun, or Nave (Navis), could have with perfect propriety adopted the image of a ship, or even of a fish, for Joshua means Jesus, son of the fish-god; but it was really too hazardous to connect the emblems of Venus, Astarte, and all the Hindu goddesses — the argha, dove, and fish — with the “immaculate” birth of their god! This looks very much as if in the early days of Christianity but little difference was made between Christ, Bacchus, Apollo, and the Hindu Christna, the incarnation of Vishnu, with whose first avatar this symbol of the fish originated.

In the Hari-purana, in the Bagaved-gitta, as well as in several other books, the god Vishnu is shown as having assumed the form of a fish with a human head, in order to reclaim the Vedas lost during the deluge. Having enabled Visvamitra to escape with all his tribe in the ark, Vishnu, pitying weak and ignorant humanity, remained with them for some time. It was this god who taught them to build houses, cultivate the land, and to thank the unknown Deity whom he represented, by building temples and instituting a regular worship; and, as he remained half-fish, half-man, all the time, at every sunset he used to return to the ocean, wherein he passed the night.

“It is he,” says the sacred book, “who taught men, after the diluvium, all that was necessary for their happiness.

“One day he plunged into the water and returned no more, for the earth had covered itself again with vegetation, fruit, and cattle.

“But he had taught the Brahmas the secret of all things” (Hari-purana).

So far, we see in this narrative the double of the story given by the Babylonian Berosus about Oannes, the fish-man, who is no other than Vishnu — unless, indeed, we have to believe that it was Chaldea which civilized India! 257

2- Comparative Ancient Cosmology (260)

Hindu and Near Eastern Creation Myths and Darwin 260 /

We would ask this French scholar, who seems so familiar with every sloka of the books of Manu, and other Vedic writers, the meaning of this sentence so well known to him:

“Plants and vegetation reveal a multitude of forms because of their precedent actions; they are surrounded by darkness, but are nevertheless endowed with an interior soul, and feel equally pleasure and pain” (Manu, book i.).

If the Hindu philosophy teach the presence of a degree of soul in the lowest forms of vegetable life, and even in every atom in space, how is it possible that it should deny the same immortal principle to man? And if it once admit the immortal spirit in man, how can it logically deny the existence of the parent source — I will not say the first, but the eternal Cause? Neither rationalists nor sensualists, who do not comprehend Indian metaphysics, should estimate the ignorance of Hindu metaphysicians by their own.

Spiritual Evolution 263 /

The grand cycle, as we have heretofore remarked, includes the progress of mankind from its germ in the primordial man of spiritual form to the deepest depth of degradation he can reach — each successive step in the descent being accompanied by a greater strength and grossness of the physical form than its precursor — and ends with the Flood. But while the grand cycle, or age, is running its course, seven minor cycles are passed, each marking the evolution of a new race out of the preceding one, on a new world. And each of these races, or grand types of humanity, breaks up into subdivisions of families, and they again into nations and tribes, as we see the earth’s inhabitants subdivided to-day into Mongols, Caucasians, Indians, etc.

Before proceeding to show by diagrams the close resemblance between the esoteric philosophies of all the ancient peoples, however geographically remote from each other, it will be useful to briefly explain the real ideas which underlie all those symbols and allegorical representations and have hitherto so puzzled the uninitiated commentators. Better than anything, it may show that religion and science were closer knit than twins in days of old; that they were one in two and two in one from the very moment of their conception. With mutually convertible attributes, science was spiritual and religion was scientific. Like the androgyne man of the first chapter of Genesis — “male and female,” passive and active; created in the image of the Elohim. Omniscience developed omnipotency, the latter called for the exercise of the former, and thus the giant had dominion given him over all the four kingdoms of the world. But, like the second Adam, these androgynes were doomed to “fall and lose their powers” as soon as the two halves of the duality separated. The fruit of the Tree of Knowledge gives death without the fruit of the Tree of Life. Man must know himself before he can hope to know the ultimate genesis even of beings and powers less developed in their inner nature than himself. So with religion and science; united two in one they were infallible, for the spiritual intuition was there to supply the limitations of physical senses. Separated, exact science rejects the help of the inner voice, while religion becomes merely dogmatic theology — each is but a corpse without a soul. 263-64

Chart of Hindu and Kabbalah Cosmology 265

The Space Around the Upper Triangle.

Having done with the unrevealed triad, and the first triad of the Sephiroth, called the “intellectual world,” little remains to be said. In the great geometrical figure which has the double triangle in it, the central circle represents the world within the universe. The double triangle belongs to one of the most important, if it is not in itself the most important, of the mystic figures in India. It is the emblem of the Trimurti three in one. The triangle with its apex upward indicates the male principle, downward the female; the two typifying, at the same time, spirit and matter. This world within the infinite universe is the microcosm within the macrocosm, as in the Jewish Kabala. It is the symbol of the womb of the universe, the terrestrial egg, whose archetype is the golden mundane egg. It is from within this spiritual bosom of mother nature that proceed all the great saviours of the universe — the avatars of the invisible Deity.

Thus is it that we can prove that, while the Jewish kabalists, in common with their initiated masters, the Chaldeans and the Hindus, adored the Supreme and Unknown God, in the sacred silence of their sanctuaries, the ignorant masses of every nation were left to adore something which was certainly less than the Eternal Substance of the Buddhists, the so-called Atheists. As Brahma, the deity manifested in the mythical Manu, or the first man (born of Swayambhuva, or the Self-existent), is finite, so Jehovah, embodied in Adam and Eve, is but a human god. He is the symbol of humanity, a mixture of good with a portion of unavoidable evil; of spirit fallen into matter. In worshipping Jehovah, we simply worship nature, as embodied in man, half-spiritual and half-material, at best: we are Pantheists, when not fetich worshippers, like the idolatrous Jews, who sacrificed on high places, in groves, to the personified male and female principle, ignorant of IAO, the Supreme “Secret Name” of the Mysteries.

3- Eastern Doctrine of Cycles and Evolution (272)

Hindu Cycles 272 /

When the cycle of creation is run down, the energy of the manifested word is weakening. He alone, the Unconceivable, is unchangeable (ever latent), but the Creative Force, though also eternal, as it has been in the former from “no beginning,” yet must be subject to periodical cycles of activity and rest; as it had a beginning in one of its aspects, when it first emanated, therefore must also have an end. Thus, the evening succeeds the day, and the night of the deity approaches. Brahma is gradually falling asleep. In one of the books of Sohar, we read the following:

“As Moses was keeping a vigil on Mount Sinai, in company with the Deity, who was concealed from his sight by a cloud, he felt a great fear overcome him and suddenly asked: ‘Lord, where art Thou . . . sleepest thou, O Lord?’ And the Spirit answered him: ‘I never sleep; were I to fall asleep for a moment before my time, all the Creation would crumble into dissolution in one instant.’ ” And Vamadeva-Modely describes the “Night of Brahma,” or the second period of the Divine Unknown existence, thus:

“Strange noises are heard, proceeding from every point. . . . These are the precursors of the Night of Brahma; dusk rises at the horizon and the Sun passes away behind the thirtieth degree of Macara (sign of the zodiac), and will reach no more the sign of the Minas (zodiacal pisces, or fish). The gurus of the pagodas appointed to watch the ras-chakr (Zodiac), may now break their circle and instruments, for they are henceforth useless. 273

Avatars of Vishnu and evolution 274 /

If we now examine the ten mythical avatars of Vishnu, we find them recorded in the following progression:

Matsya-Avatar: as a fish. It will also be his tenth and last avatar, at the end of the Kali-yug. 2. Kurm-Avatar: as a tortoise. 3. Varaha: as a boar. 4. Nara-Sing: as a man-lion; last animal stage. 5. Vamuna: as a dwarf; first step toward the human form. 6. Parasu-Rama: as a hero, but yet an imperfect man. 7. Rama-Chandra: as the hero of Ramayana. Physically a perfect man; his next of kin, friend and ally Hanouma, the monkey-god. The monkey endowed with speech.** 8. Christna-Avatar: the Son of the Virgin Devanaguy (or Devaki) one formed by God, or rather by the manifested Deity Vishnu, who is identical with Adam Kadmon.*** Christna is also called Kaneya, the Son of the Virgin. 9. Gautama-Buddha, Siddhartha, or Sakya-muni. (The Buddhists reject this doctrine of their Buddha being an incarnation of Vishnu.) 10. This avatar has not yet occurred. It is expected in the future, like the Christian Advent, the idea of which was undoubtedly copied from the Hindu. When Vishnu appears for the last time he will come as a “Saviour.” According to the opinion of some Brahmans he will appear himself under the form of the horse Kalki. Others maintain that he will be mounting it. This horse is the envelope of the spirit of evil, and Vishnu will mount it, invisible to all, till he has conquered it for the last time. The “Kalki-Avataram,” or the last incarnation, divides Brahmanism into two sects. That of the Vaihnava refuses to recognize the incarnations of their god Vishnu in animal forms literally. They claim that these must be understood as allegorical. 274

In this diagram of avatars we see traced the gradual evolution and transformation of all species out of the ante-Silurian mud of Darwin and the ilus of Sanchoniathon and Berosus. Beginning with the Azoic time, corresponding to the ilus in which Brahma implants the creative germ, we pass through the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic times, covered by the first and second incarnations as the fish and tortoise; and the Cenozoic, which is embraced by the incarnations in the animal and semi-human forms of the boar and man-lion; and we come to the fifth and crowning geological period, designated as the “era of mind, or age of man,” whose symbol in the Hindu mythology is the dwarf — the first attempt of nature at the creation of man. In this diagram we should follow the main idea, not judge the degree of knowledge of the ancient philosophers by the literal acceptance of the popular form in which it is presented to us in the grand epical poem of Maha-Bharata and its chapter the Bagaved-gitta. 275

Evolution of the ape family 278

He would, perhaps, learn — were the Brahman to judge him worthy of an explanation — that the Hindu sees in the ape but what Manu desired he should: the transformation of species most directly connected with that of the human family — a bastard branch engrafted on their own stock before the final perfection of the latter.*** He might learn, further, that in the eyes of the educated “heathen” the spiritual or inner man is one thing, and his terrestrial, physical casket another. That physical nature, the great combination of physical correlations of forces ever creeping on toward perfection, has to avail herself of the material at hand; she models and remodels as she proceeds, and finishing her crowning work in man, presents him alone as a fit tabernacle for the overshadowing of the Divine spirit. But the latter circumstance does not give man the right of life and death over the animals lower than himself in the scale of nature, or the right to torture them. Quite the reverse. Besides being endowed with a soul — of which every animal, and even plant, is more or less possessed — man has his immortal rational soul, or nous, which ought to make him at least equal in magnanimity to the elephant, who treads so carefully, lest he should crush weaker creatures than himself. It is this feeling which prompts Brahman and Buddhist alike to construct hospitals for sick animals, and even insects, and to prepare refuges wherein they may finish their days.278-79

4- The Evolution of the Soul in Ancient Greece and Buddhism (279)

Transmigration of Souls – Body, Soul and Spirit in ancient Greece 279 /

Plato, Anaxagoras, Pythagoras, the Eleatic schools of Greece, as well as the old Chaldean sacerdotal colleges, all taught the doctrine of the dual evolution; the doctrine of the transmigration of souls referring only to the progress of man from world to world, after death here. Every philosophy worthy of the name, taught that the spirit of man, if not the soul, was preexistent. “The Essenes,” says Josephus, “believed that the souls were immortal, and that they descended from the ethereal spaces to be chained to bodies.”* In his turn, Philo Judaeus says, the “air is full of them (of souls); those which are nearest the earth, descending to be tied to mortal bodies, [[palindromousin authis]], return to other bodies, being desirous to live in them.”** In the Sohar, the soul is made to plead her freedom before God: “Lord of the Universe! I am happy in this world, and do not wish to go into another world, where I shall be a handmaid, and be exposed to all kinds of pollutions.”*** The doctrine of fatal necessity, the everlasting immutable Law, is asserted in the answer of the Deity: “Against thy will thou becomest an embryo, and against thy will thou art born.”**** Light would be incomprehensible without darkness, to make it manifest by contrast; good would be no good without evil, to show the priceless nature of the boon; and so, personal virtue could claim no merit, unless it had passed through the furnace of temptation. Nothing is eternal and unchangeable, save the Concealed Deity. Nothing that is finite — whether because it had a beginning, or must have an end — can remain stationary. It must either progress or recede; and a soul which thirsts after a reunion with its spirit, which alone confers upon it immortality, must purify itself through cyclic transmigrations, onward toward the only Land of Bliss and Eternal Rest, called in the Sohar, “The Palace of Love,” ; in the Hindu religion, “Moksha”; among the Gnostics, the “Pleroma of eternal Light”; and by the Buddhists, Nirvana. The Christian calls it the “Kingdom of Heaven,” and claims to have alone found the truth, whereas he has but invented a new name for a doctrine which is coeval with man. 279

Transmigration of Souls in Buddhism 286

It is the philosophy of Siddhartha-Buddha again that Pythagoras expounded, when asserting that the ego ([[nous]]) was eternal with God, and that the soul only passed through various stages (Hindu Rupa-locas) to arrive at the divine excellence; meanwhile the thumos returned to the earth, and even the phren was eliminated. Thus the metempsychosis was only a succession of disciplines through refuge-heavens (called by the Buddhists Zion),** to work off the exterior mind, to rid the nous of the phren, or soul, the Buddhist “Winyanaskandaya,” that principle that lives from Karma and the Skandhas (groups). It is the latter, the metaphysical personations of the “deeds” of man, whether good or bad, which, after the death of his body, incarnate themselves, so to say, and form their many invisible but never-dying compounds into a new body, or rather into an ethereal being, the double of what man was morally. It is the astral body of the kabalist and the “incarnated deeds” which form the new sentient self as his Ahancara (the ego, self-consciousness), given to him by the sovereign Master (the breath of God) can never perish, for it is immortal per se as a spirit; hence the sufferings of the newly-born self till he rids himself of every earthly thought, desire, and passion. 286

References

Synodicon Vetus
Socrates of Constantinople, Historia Ecclesiastica
William Cave (1637 – 1713), Lives of the most eminent Fathers of the Church that flourished in the first four centuries, Vol. 1 (Oxford, 1840),
Louis Jacolliot (1837-1890), Fétichisme, polythéisme, monothéisme. La Genèse de l’humanité, 1876
Les traditions indo-européennes et africaines, 1876
Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Volume 13, Issue 1 January 1881 , pp. 59-79
Art. III.—The Nirvana of the Northern Buddhists, J. Edkins
George Smith (1840-1876), The Chaldean Account of Genesis
Charles Coleman, The Mythology Of The Hindus, 1832
Jules Barthélemy-Saint-Hilaire (1805 – 1895), Du bouddhisme, 1855
Ueber die Auflösung der Arten durch natürliche Zuchtwahl -Wigand, Albert 1872


Part 7: Chapter 7

Chapter 7 – Gnosticism, Early Christianity, Buddhism and the Secret Doctrine

This chapter wraps up the historical survey of early Christianity and the pioneering study of the Ophite and Mandaean cosmologies in a bid to rehabilitate the much-maligned Gnostics. The Codex Nazaraeus is now know as the Ginza Rba and was translated into english in 2011. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginza_Rba

The subsequent chapters focus on more specific points raised in previous chapters. Blavatsky’s survey of early Christianity is basically uses specifically selected material of 19th century historians with various critiques and discretely adds some general but concrete historical comments from a more esoteric perspective, developing a comparative/universalist/perennialist perspective, which if fact serves to trace the history of a secret esoteric society who seem to have been very much concerned with the early Christian period. Interestingly, she states that the Essenes gave birth to the Christian gnostics, a view that has become widespread today with the theory that Christian gnosticsim sprung from Jewish Gnosticism, of which we new have much more documentation.

1- Ophites and Mandaen systems (289)

Mandaens 289 / Ophite and Mandaen sytems compared 292 / Seven Sacred Planets 294 / Trinity 295 / Iao 296 / Decimal System 299 /

One by one the tide of time engulfed the sects of the early centuries, until of the whole number only one survived in its primitive integrity. That one still exists, still teaches the doctrine of its founder, still exemplifies its faith in works of power. The quicksands which swallowed up every other outgrowth of the religious agitation of the times of Jesus, with its records, relics, and traditions, proved firm ground for this. Driven from their native land, its members found refuge in Persia, and to-day the anxious traveller may converse with the direct descendants of the “Disciples of John,” who listened, on the Jordan’s shore, to the “man sent from God,” and were baptized and believed. This curious people, numbering 30,000 or more, are miscalled “Christians of St. John,” but in fact should be known by their old name of Nazareans, or their new one of Mendaeans. 289-90

Ophite and Mandaen sytems compared 292

The Serpent, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life, are all symbols transplanted from the soil of India. The Arasa-Maram, the banyan tree, so sacred with the Hindus, since Vishnu, during one of his incarnations, reposed under its mighty shade, and there taught humanity philosophy and sciences, is called the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. Under the protective umbrage of this king of the forests, the Gurus teach their pupils their first lessons on immortality and initiate them in the mysteries of life and death. The JavaALEIM of the Sacerdotal College are said, in the Chaldean tradition, to have taught the sons of men to become like one of them. To the present day Foh-tchou,* who lives in his Foh-Maeyu, or temple of Buddha, on the top of “Kouin-long-sang,”* the great mountain, produces his greatest religious miracles under a tree called in Chinese Sung-Ming-Shu, or the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, for ignorance is death, and knowledge alone gives immortality. This marvellous display takes place every three years, when an immense concourse of Chinese Buddhists assemble in pilgrimage at the holy place. 293-94

Trinity 295

NAZARENE.

First Trinity.

Lord FERHO — the Life which is no Life — the Supreme God. The Cause which produces the Light, or the Logos in abscondito. The water of Jordanus Maximus — the water of Life, or Ajar, the feminine principle. Unity in a Trinity, enclosed within the ISH AMON.

Second Trinity. (The manifestation of the first.)

  1. Lord MANO — the King of Life and Light — Rex Lucis. First LIFE, or the primitive man. 2. Lord Jordan — manifestation or emanation of Jordan Maximus — the waters of grace. Second LIFE. 3. The Superior Father — Abatur. Third LIFE.

This Trinity produces also a duad — Lord Ledhoio, and Fetahil, the genius (the former, a perfect emanation, the latter, imperfect).

Lord Jordan — “the Lord of all Jordans,” manifests NETUBTO (Faith without Works).*

[[Column 2]]

GNOSTIC-OPHITE.

First Unity in a Trinity.

IAO the Ineffable Name of the Unknown Deity — Abraxas, and the “Eternal Spiritual Sun.” Unity enclosed within the Depth, Bythos, feminine principle — the boundless circle, within which lie all ideal forms. From this Unity emanates the

Second Trinity. (Idem.)

  1. Ennoia — mind. 2. Ophis, the Agathodaemon. 3. Sophia Androgyne — wisdom; who, in her turn — fecundated with the Divine Light — produces

Christos and Sophia-Achamoth (one perfect, the other imperfect), as an emanation.

Sophia-Achamoth emanates Ilda-Baoth — the Demiurge, who produces material and soulless creation. “Works without Faith” (or grace).*

2- Druzes

Fourth Century Christianity 303 / Druzes 306 / Druze Initiation 312 / Eastern Secret Societies 315 / Buddhism and Nirvana 319

Fourth Century Christianity 303

The Koinobi lived in Egypt, where Jesus passed his early youth. They were usually confounded with the Therapeutae, who were a branch of this widely-spread society. Such is the opinion of Godfrey Higgins and De Rebold. After the downfall of the principal sanctuaries, which had already begun in the days of Plato, the many different sects, such as the Gymnosophists and the Magi — from whom Clearchus very erroneously derives the former — the Pythagoreans, the Sufis, and the Reshees of Kashmere, instituted a kind of international and universal Freemasonry, among their esoteric societies. “These Rashees,” says Higgins, “are the Essenians, Carmelites, or Nazarites of the temple.”* “That occult science known by ancient priests under the name of regenerating fire,” says Father Rebold, ” . . . a science that for more than 3,000 years was the peculiar possession of the Indian and Egyptian priesthood, into the knowledge of which Moses was initiated at Heliopolis, where he was educated; and Jesus among the Essenian priests of Egypt or Judea; (305)

Druzes 306

It is from these descendants that the Sufis, chiefly composed of Persians and Syrians, acquired their proficient knowledge in astrology, medicine, and the esoteric doctrine of the ages. “The Sufi doctrine,” says C. W. King, “involved the grand idea of one universal creed which could be secretly held under any profession of an outward faith; and, in fact, took virtually the same view of religious systems as that in which the ancient philosophers had regarded such matters.”**** The mysterious Druzes of Mount Lebanon are the descendants of all these. Solitary Copts, earnest students scattered hither and thither throughout the sandy solitudes of Egypt, Arabia, Petraea, Palestine, and the impenetrable forests of Abyssinia, though rarely met with, may sometimes be seen. Many and various are the nationalities to which belong the disciples of that mysterious school, and many the side-shoots of that one primitive stock. The secresy preserved by these sub-lodges, as well as by the one and supreme great lodge, has ever been proportionate to the activity of religious persecutions; and now, in the face of the growing materialism, their very existence is becoming a mystery. 306

Eastern Secret Societies 315

And yet the Druzes may be said to belong to one of the least esoteric of secret societies. There are others far more powerful and learned, the existence of which is not even suspected in Europe. There are many branches belonging to the great “Mother Lodge” which, mixed up with certain communities, may be termed secret sects within other sects. One of them is the sect commonly known as that of Laghana-Sastra. It reckons several thousand adepts who are scattered about in small groups in the south of the Dekkan, India. In the popular superstition, this sect is dreaded on account of its great reputation for magic and sorcery. The Brahmans accuse its members of atheism and sacrilege, for none of them will consent to recognize the authority of either the Vedas or Manu, except so far as they conform to the versions in their possession, and which they maintain are professedly the only original texts; the Laghana-Sastra have neither temples nor priests, but, twice a month, every member of the community has to absent himself from home for three days. Popular rumor, originated among their women, ascribes such absences to pilgrimages performed to their places of fortnightly resort. In some secluded mountainous spots, unknown and inaccessible to other sects, hidden far from sight among the luxurious vegetation of India, they keep their bungalows, which look like small fortresses, encircled as they are by lofty and thick walls. These, in their turn, are surrounded by the sacred trees called assonata, and in Tamul arassa maram. These are the “sacred groves,” the originals of those of Egypt and Greece, whose initiates also built their temples within such “groves” inaccessible to the profane.*

Buddhism and Nirvana 319

Except a few impartial archaeologists, who trace a direct Buddhistic element in Gnosticism, as in all those early short-lived sects we know of very few authors, who, in writing upon primitive Christianity, have accorded to the question its due importance. Have we not facts enough to, at least, suggest some interest in that direction? Do we not learn that, as early as in the days of Plato, there were “Brachmans” — read Buddhist, Samaneans, Saman, or Shaman missionaries — in Greece, and that, at one time, they had overflowed the country? Does not Pliny show them established on the shores of the Dead Sea, for “thousands of ages”? After making every necessary allowance for the exaggeration, we still have several centuries B.C. left as a margin. And is it possible that their influence should not have left deeper traces in all these sects than is generally thought? We know that the Jaina sect claims Buddhism as derived from its tenets — that Buddhism existed before Siddhartha, better known as Gautama-Buddha. 321

3- Early Christianity

Buddhism and Essenes 323 / Gnostics and Christianity 324 / Apostolic Succession 325 / Nicolaitans 329 / Christian Folk Customs 331 / Jesus 335 / Pagan maxims and Gospels Compared 338 / Historical Jesus and Buddha 339 / Apollonius of Tyana 341 / / Christianity and Comparative Religion 344

Buddhism and Essenes 323

As a last word, the Christian Gnostics sprang into existence toward the beginning of the second century, and just at the time when the Essenes most mysteriously faded away, which indicated that they were the identical Essenes, and moreover pure Christists, viz.: they believed and were those who best understood what one of their own brethren had preached. In insisting that the letter Iota, mentioned by Jesus in Matthew (v. 18), indicated a secret doctrine in relation to the ten aeons, it is sufficient to demonstrate to a kabalist that Jesus belonged to the Free-masonry of those days; for I, which is Iota in Greek, has other names in other languages; and is, as it was among the Gnostics of those days, a pass-word, meaning the SCEPTRE of the FATHER, in Eastern brotherhoods which exist to this very day. 324

Gnostics and Christianity 324

We have carefully looked over the works of such authors as Payne Knight, C. W. King, and Olshausen, which treat of our subject; we have reviewed the bulky volumes of Irenaeus, Tertullian, Sozomen, Theodoret; and in none but those of Epiphanius have we found any accusation based upon direct evidence of an eye-witness. “They say”; “Some say”; “We have heard” — such are the general and indefinite terms used by the patristic accusers. Alone Epiphanius, whose works are invariably referred to in all such cases, seems to chuckle with delight whenever he couches a lance. We do not mean to take upon ourselves to defend the sects which inundated Europe at the eleventh century, and which brought to light the most wonderful creeds; we limit our defense merely to those Christian sects whose theories were usually grouped under the generic name of Gnosticism. These are those which appeared immediately after the alleged crucifixion, and lasted till they were nearly exterminated under the rigorous execution of the Constantinian law. The greatest guilt of these were their syncretistic views, for at no other period of the world’s history had truth a poorer prospect of triumph than in those days of forgery, lying, and deliberate falsification of facts. 326

Apostolic Succession 325

But before we are forced to believe the accusations, may we not be permitted to inquire into the historical characters of their accusers? Let us begin by asking, upon what ground does the Church of Rome build her claim of supremacy for her doctrines over those of the Gnostics? Apostolic succession, undoubtedly. The succession traditionally instituted by the direct Apostle Peter. But what if this prove a fiction? Clearly, the whole superstructure supported upon this one imaginary stilt would fall in a tremendous crash. And when we do inquire carefully, we find that we must take the word of Irenaeus alone for it — of Irenaeus, who did not furnish one single valid proof of the claim which he so audaciously advanced, and who resorted for that to endless forgeries. He gives authority neither for his dates nor his assertions. This Smyrniote worthy has not even the brutal but sincere faith of Tertullian, for he contradicts himself at every step, and supports his claims solely on acute sophistry. Though he was undoubtedly a man of the shrewdest intellect and great learning, he fears not, in some of his assertions and arguments, to even appear an idiot in the eyes of posterity, so long as he can “carry the situation.” Twitted and cornered at every step by his not less acute and learned adversaries, the Gnostics, he boldly shields himself behind blind faith, and in answer to their merciless logic falls upon imaginary tradition invented by himself. 326

Pagan maxims and Gospels Compared 338

SENTENCES FROM SEXTUS, THE PYTHAGOREAN, AND OTHER HEATHEN.

  1. “Possess not treasures, but those things which no one can take from you.”
  2. “It is better for a part of the body which contains purulent matter, and threatens to infect the whole, to be burnt, than to continue so in another state (life).”
  3. “You have in yourself something similar to God, and therefore use yourself as the temple of God.
  4. “The greatest honor which can be paid to God, is to know and imitate his perfection.
  5. 5. “What I do not wish men to do to me, I also wish not to do to men” (Analects of Confucius, 76; See Max Muller’s The Works of Confucius).
  6. “The moon shines even in the house of the wicked” (Manu).
  7. “They who give, have things given to them; those who withhold, have things taken from them” (Ibid.).
  8. “Purity of mind alone sees God” (Ibid.) — still a popular saying in India.

VERSES FROM THE NEW TESTAMENT.*

  1. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal” (Matthew vi. 19).
  2. “And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off; it is better for thee to enter unto life maimed, than go to hell,” etc. (Mark ix. 43).
  3. “Know ye not ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Corinthians, iii. 16).
  4. “That ye may be the children of your Father, which is in Heaven, be ye perfect even as your Father is perfect” (Matthew v. 45-48).
  5. “Do ye unto others as ye would that others should do to you.”
  6. “He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew v. 45).
  7. “Whosoever hath, to him shall be given . . . but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away” (Matthew xiii. 12).
  8. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matthew v. 8).

Historical Jesus and Buddha 339

While the mythical birth and life of Jesus are a faithful copy of those of the Brahmanical Christna, his historical character of a religious reformer in Palestine is the true type of Buddha in India. In more than one respect their great resemblance in philanthropic and spiritual aspirations, as well as external circumstances is truly striking. Though the son of a king, while Jesus was but a carpenter, Buddha was not of the high Brahmanical caste by birth. Like Jesus, he felt dissatisfied with the dogmatic spirit of the religion of his country, the intolerance and hypocrisy of the priesthood, their outward show of devotion, and their useless ceremonials and prayers. As Buddha broke violently through the traditional laws and rules of the Brahmans, so did Jesus declare war against the Pharisees, and the proud Sadducees. What the Nazarene did as a consequence of his humble birth and position, Buddha did as a voluntary penance. He travelled about as a beggar; and — again like Jesus — later in life he sought by preference the companionship of publicans and sinners. Each aimed at a social as well as at a religious reform; and giving a death-blow to the old religions of his countries, each became the founder of a new one. 339

Christianity and Comparative Religion 344

The researches of Laboulaye, Anquetil Duperron, Colebrooke, Barthelemy St. Hilaire, Max Muller, Spiegel, Burnouf, Wilson, and so many other linguists, have brought some of the truth to light. And now that the difficulties of the Sanscrit, the Thibetan, the Singhalese, the Zend, the Pehlevi, the Chinese, and even of the Burmese, are partially conquered, and the Vedas, and the Zend-Avesta, the Buddhist texts, and even Kapila’s Sutras are translated, a door is thrown wide open, which, once passed, must close forever behind any speculative or ignorant calumniators of the old religions. Even till the present time, the clergy have, to use the words of Max Muller — “generally appealed to the deviltries and orgies of heathen worship . . . but they have seldom, if ever, endeavored to discover the true and original character of the strange forms of faith and worship which they call the work of the devil.”**** When we read the true history of Buddha and Buddhism, by Muller, and the enthusiastic opinions of both expressed by Barthelemy St. Hilaire, and Laboulaye; and when, finally, a Popish missionary, an eye-witness, and one who least of all can be accused of partiality to the Buddhists — the Abbe Huc, we mean — finds occasion for nothing but admiration for the high individual character of these “devil-worshippers”; we must consider Sakya-muni’s philosophy as something more than the religion of fetishism and atheism, which the Catholics would have us believe it. Huc was a missionary and it was his first duty to regard Buddhism as no better than an outgrowth of the worship of Satan. The poor Abbe was struck off the list of missionaries at Rome, after his book of travels was published. This illustrates how little we may expect to learn the truth about the religions of other people, through missionaries, when their accounts are first revised by the superior ecclesiastical authorities, and the former severely punished for telling the truth. 345

References

Lundy, John P. (John Patterson) (1823-1892), Monumental Christianity, Or, the Art and Symbolism of the Primitive Church 1876
Joseph Ernest Renan (1823 – 1892), Vie de Jesus 1863
John Russell, Viscount Amberley (1842 –1876), An analysis of religious belief (1876)
Colonel Charles Henry Churchill (1807–1869), Mount Lebanon: A Ten Years’ Residence from 1842 to 1852, describing the Manners, Customs, and Religion of its Inhabitants, 1853
John Yarker (1833 –1913), Notes on the Scientific and Religious Mysteries of Antiquity: The Gnosis and Secret Schools, 1872.
Pirkei Avot (also spelled as Pirkei Avoth or Pirkei Avos or Pirke Aboth – Chapters of the Fathers
Sayings of the Jewish Fathers (Pirqe Aboth) translated by Charles Taylor [1897]
Richard Payne Knight (1750 –1824), A discourse on the worship of Priapus, and its connection with the mystic theology of the ancients (1786)
Kersey Graves (1813- 1883), The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors, 1875
David Friedrich Strauss (1808-1874), The life of Jesus, critically examined (1860)


Part 8: Chapter 8

Chapter 8 – Jesuits, Templars, Rosicrucians, Masons, and the Lost Word (Jesuitry and Masonry)

This chapter is an important statement about Blavatsky’s secret lodge of eastern adepts relation to Western esoteric societies and at the same time it forms a brief segue with her history of ancient esoteric societies and the present. Moreover, she presents a critique of the Jesuits which places her in the Jesuit conspiracy theory camp. It is fairly tame by today’s standards, she seems to rely mainly on The Principles of the Jesuits by Henry Handley Norris (1839).

She continued to write on this question afterwards and the Jesuits have undergone major changes in the 20th century and continue to be heavily critiqued to this day for various reasons and due to the various power struggles with the Catholic church, it is difficult to evaluate where Blavatsky views would apply in today’s context; suffice to say that her critique is part of a wider critical Christian reform project present throughout volume two.

She does maintain that the Templars, the early Roscrucians, and the early Masons did indeed have authentic esoteric credentials (derived from the East), but that they all became corrupted and have lost much of their knowledge. Although this chapter does have the mystery and intrigue that one would expect from a chapter on esoteric secret societies, it does not have the sensationalistic speculations of the modern conspiracy theory works that have proliferated greatly since her time (for example, https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=jesuit+conspiracy ) and she tends to be critical of the many claims of long authentic lineages claimed by many western esoteric groups. Moreover, she continued to write on this subject afterwards for example:

http://www.katinkahesselink.net/blavatsky/articles/v8/y1887_036.htm

see also Geoffrey Farthing’s compilation on Masonry:

http://www.blavatskytrust.org.uk/html/articles/the%20right%20angle%20p12.htm

  1. The Jesuits (348)

The Secret Word 348 / Jesuits 352 / Simon Magus 357 / Jesuit ethics 357 / Hermetism 361 / Jesuit Initiations 365

The Jesuits, Jesuit ethics

In what particular was then Simon Magus a blasphemer, if he only did that which his conscience invincibly told him was true? And in what particular were ever the “Heretics,” or even infidels of the worst kind more reprehensible than the Jesuits — those of Caen,***** for instance — who say the following:”The Christian religion is . . . evidently credible, but not evidently true. It is evidently credible; for it is evident that whoever embraces it is prudent. It is not evidently true; for it either teaches obscurely or the things which it teaches are obscure. And they who affirm that the Christian religion is evidently true, are obliged to confess that it is evidently false.” “Infer from hence —

“1. That it is not evident that there is now any true religion in the world. . . . . . . . . ”

“2. That it is not evident that of all religions existing upon the earth, the Christian religion is the most true; for have you travelled over all countries of the world, or do you know that others have? . . .

“Neither is an avowed belief in Jesus Christ, in the Trinity, in all the articles of Faith, and in the Decalogue, necessary to Christians. The only explicit belief which was necessary to the former (Jews) and is necessary to the latter (Christians) is 1, of God; 2, of a rewarding God” (Position 8).

“4. That it is not evident that the predictions of the prophets were given by inspiration of God; for what refutation will you bring against me, if I deny that they were true prophecies, or assert that they were only conjectures?

5. That it is not evident that the miracles were real, which are recorded to have been wrought by Christ; although no one can prudently deny them (Position 6). ***** “Thesis propugnata in regio Soc. Jes. Collegio celeberrimae Academiae Cadomensis, die Veneris, 30 Jan., 1693.” Cadomi, 1693. (357)

Hermetism 361

And far older, perhaps. It dates from the time when the soul was an objective being, hence when it could hardly be denied by itself; when humanity was a spiritual race and death existed not. Toward the decline of the cycle of life, the ethereal man-spirit then fell into the sweet slumber of temporary unconsciousness in one sphere, only to find himself awakening in the still brighter light of a higher one. But while the spiritual man is ever striving to ascend higher and higher toward its source of being, passing through the cycles and spheres of individual life, physical man had to descend with the great cycle of universal creation until it found itself clothed with the terrestrial garments. Thenceforth the soul was too deeply buried under physical clothing to reassert its existence, except in the cases of those more spiritual natures, which, with every cycle, became more rare. And yet none of the pre-historical nations ever thought of denying either the existence or the immortality of the inner man, the real “self.” Only, we must bear in mind the teachings of the old philosophies: the spirit alone is immortal — the soul, per se, is neither eternal nor divine. When linked too closely with the physical brain of its terrestrial casket, it gradually becomes a finite mind, a simple animal and sentient life-principle, the nephesh of the Hebrew Bible.* (362)

2- Masonry

Egyptian Cycles and Reincarnation 366 / Magic – Pagan and Christian 370 / Masonry 371 / Templars 380 / Current Masonry 387 / Eastern Masonry 392 / Secret Masonic Ciphers 394 / JHVH and the lost Word 398 / Ancient Secret Brotherhoods 402

Templars 380

The Temple was the last European secret organization which, as a body, had in its possession some of the mysteries of the East. True, there were in the past century (and perhaps still are) isolated “Brothers” faithfully and secretly working under the direction of Eastern Brotherhoods. But these, when they did belong to European societies, invariably joined them for objects unknown to the Fraternity, though at the same time for the benefit of the latter. It is through them that modern Masons have all they know of importance; and the similarity now found between the Speculative Rites of antiquity, the mysteries of the Essenes, Gnostics, and the Hindus, and the highest and oldest of the Masonic degrees well prove the fact. If these mysterious brothers became possessed of the secrets of the societies, they could never reciprocate the confidence, though in their hands these secrets were safer, perhaps, than in the keeping of European Masons. When certain of the latter were found worthy of becoming affiliates of the Orient, they were secretly instructed and initiated, but the others were none the wiser for that.

No one could ever lay hands on the Rosicrucians, and notwithstanding the alleged discoveries of “secret chambers,” vellums called “T,” and of fossil knights with ever-burning lamps, this ancient association and its true aims are to this day a mystery. Pretended Templars and sham Rose-Croix, with a few genuine kabalists, were occasionally burned, and some unlucky Theosophists and alchemists sought and put to the torture; delusive confessions even were wrung from them by the most ferocious means, but yet, the true Society remains to-day as it has ever been, unknown to all, especially to its cruelest enemy — the Church. 380

Current Masonry 387

Thus falls to ruins the grand epic poem of Masons, sung by so many mysterious Knights as another revealed gospel. As we see, the Temple of Solomon is being undermined and brought to the ground by its own chief “Master Masons,” of this century. But if, following the ingenious exoteric description of the Bible, there are yet Masons who persist in regarding it as once an actual structure, who, of the students of the esoteric doctrine will ever consider this mythic temple otherwise than an allegory, embodying the secret science? Whether or not there ever was a real temple of that name, we may well leave to archaeologists to decide; but that the detailed description thereof in 1 Kings is purely allegorical, no serious scholar, proficient in the ancient as well as mediaeval jargon of the kabalists and alchemists, can doubt. The building of the Temple of Solomon is the symbolical representation of the gradual acquirement of the secret wisdom, or magic; the erection and development of the spiritual from the earthly; the manifestation of the power and splendor of the spirit in the physical world, through the wisdom and genius of the builder. The latter, when he has become an adept, is a mightier king than Solomon himself, the emblem of the sun or Light himself — the light of the real subjective world, shining in the darkness of the objective universe. This is the “Temple” which can be reared without the sound of the hammer, or any tool of iron being heard in the house while it isin building.” 391

Eastern Masonry 392

In the East, this science is called, in some places, the “seven-storied,” in others, the “nine-storied” Temple; every story answers allegorically to a degree of knowledge acquired. Throughout the countries of the Orient, wherever magic and the wisdom-religion are studied, its practitioners and students are known among their craft as Builders — for they build the temple of knowledge, of secret science. Those of the adepts who are active, are styled practical or operative Builders, while the students, or neophytes are classed as speculative or theoretical. The former exemplify in works their control over the forces of inanimate as well as animate nature; the latter are but perfecting themselves in the rudiments of the sacred science. These terms were evidently borrowed at the beginning by the unknown founders of the first Masonic guilds. 392

JHVH and the lost Word 398

At all events, Jehovah is not the ancient of the ancient, or “aged of the aged,” of the Sohar; for we find him, in this book, counselling with God the Father as to the creation of the world. “The work-master spoke to the Lord. Let us make man after our image” (Sohar i., fol. 25). Jehovah is but the Metatron, and perhaps, not even the highest, but only one of the AEons; for he whom Onkelos calls Memro, the “Word,” is not the exoteric Jehovah of the Bible, nor is he Jahve the Existing One.

It was the secresy of the early kabalists, who were anxious to screen the real Mystery name of the “Eternal” from profanation, and later the prudence which the mediaeval alchemists and occultists were compelled to adopt to save their lives, that caused the inextricable confusion of divine names. This is what led the people to accept the Jehovah of the Bible as the name of the “One living God.” Every Jewish elder, prophet, and other man of any importance knew the difference; but as the difference lay in the vocalization of the “name,” and its right pronunciation led to death, the common people were ignorant of it, for no initiate would risk his life by teaching it to them. Thus the Sinaitic deity came gradually to be regarded as identical with “Him whose name is known but to the wise.” When Capellus translates: “Whosoever shall pronounce the name of Jehovah, shall suffer death,” he makes two mistakes. The first is in adding the final letter h to the name, if he wants this deity to be considered either male or androgynous, for the letter makes the name feminine, as it really should be, considering it is one of the names of Binah, the third emanation; his second error is in asserting that the word nokeb means only to pronounce distinctly. It means to pronounce correctly. Therefore, the biblical name Jehovah may be considered simply a substitute, which, as belonging to one of the “powers” got to be viewed as that of the “Eternal.” There is an evident mistake (one of the very many), in one of the texts in Leviticus, which has been corrected by Cahen, and which proves that the interdiction did not at all concern the name of the exoteric Jehovah, whose numerous other names could also be pronounced without any penalty being incurred.* In the vicious English version, the translation runs thus: “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall surely be put to death,” Levit. xxiv. 16. Cahen renders it far more correctly, thus: “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Eternal shall die,” etc. The “Eternal” being something higher than the exoteric and personal “Lord.”** 400-401

Ancient Secret Brotherhoods 402

The greatest mistake of the age was to attempt a comparison of the relative merits of all the ancient religions, and scoff at the doctrines of the Kabala and other superstitions.

But truth is stranger than fiction; and this world-old adage finds its application in the case in hand. The “wisdom” of the archaic ages or the “secret doctrine” embodied in the Oriental Kabala, of which, as we have said, the Rabbinical is but an abridgment, did not die out with the Philaletheans of the last Eclectic school. The Gnosis lingers still on earth, and its votaries are many, albeit unknown. Such secret brotherhoods have been mentioned before Mackenzie’s time, by more than one great author. If they have been regarded as mere fictions of the novelist, that fact has only helped the “brother-adepts” to keep their incognito the more easily. We have personally known several of them who, to their great merriment had had the story of their lodges, the communities in which they lived, and the wondrous powers which they had exercised for many long years, laughed at and denied by unsuspecting skeptics to their very faces. Some of these brothers belong to the small groups of “travellers.” Until the close of the happy Louis-Philippian reign, they were pompously termed by the Parisian garcon and trader the nobles etrangers, and as innocently believed to be “Boyards,” Valachian “Gospodars,” Indian “Nabobs,” and Hungarian “Margraves,” who had gathered at the capital of the civilized world to admire its monuments and partake of its dissipations. There are, however, some insane enough to connect the presence of certain of these mysterious guests in Paris with the great political events that subsequently took place. Such recall at least as very remarkable coincidences, the breaking out of the Revolution of ’93, and the earlier explosion of the South Sea Bubble, soon after the appearance of “noble foreigners,” who had convulsed all Paris for more or less longer periods, by either their mystical doctrines or “supernatural gifts.” The St. Germains and Cagliostros of this century, having learned bitter lessons from the vilifications and persecutions of the past, pursue different tactics now-a-days.

But there are numbers of these mystic brotherhoods which have naught to do with “civilized” countries; and it is in their unknown communities that are concealed the skeletons of the past. These “adepts” could, if they chose, lay claim to strange ancestry, and exhibit verifiable documents that would explain many a mysterious page in both sacred and profane history. Had the keys to the hieratic writings and the secret of Egyptian and Hindu symbolism been known to the Christian Fathers, they would not have allowed a single monument of old to stand unmutilated. And yet, if we are well informed — and we think we are — there was not one such in all Egypt, but the secret records of its hieroglyphics were carefully registered by the sacerdotal caste. These records still exist, though “not extant” for the general public, though perhaps the monuments may have passed away for ever out of human sight. 402-403

References:

Robert Plot (1640 – 1696), The Natural History of Staffordshire, 1686.
James Anderson (c. 1679/1680 – 1739), The Constitutions of 1723.
The Crata Repoa
Karl or Carl Richard Lepsius (23 December 1810 – 10 July 1884)
James Burton Robertson (1800 – 1877), Freemasonry … A lecture delivered on the 26th May, 1862
Albert Pike (1809 –1891), Abstract of Proceedings of the Supreme Council 1876
The papacy and the civil power – Thompson, R.W. , 1876
Leon Hyneman (1808 – 1879), Freemasonry in England from 1567 to 1813 (1877)


Recap: Chapters 5-8

Chapter Five – The Kabbalah and Comparative Religion (Mysteries of the Kabala)
1- Sefirots compared
Sefiroths 212 / Hindu Cosmogony and Kabalah 214 / Sefiroths 215 / Genesis 216 / Emanations 219 / Zoroastrian Cosmogony 220

2- Kabbalistic Trinity Compared
Kabalistic Trinity 222 / Shekinah 223 / Shekinah in Ginza and Ophite Systems 224 / Trinity in India and Egypt 226 / Three Trinities in Hindu, Egyptian and Ginza 227 Trinity in the Ginza 228

3- Four-Face Cherubim and World Saviours Compared
The Kabbalah and Christianity 230 / Four-Faced Cherubim compared 231 / Four-Faced Cherubim in Buddhism and Hinduism 232 / Kabbalah and Christ / The Logos Saviour in Various Systems 236 / Christian Dogmatism 238 / Resurrection of daughter of Jairus and Hari-Purana 241 / Divinity of Christ 242 / Gospel of John and Pastor of Hermas 243 / Christian Heresieology 248

Chapter 6 – Comparative Cosmology and Soul Evolution (Esoteric Doctrines of Buddhism Parodied in Christianity)
1- Development of Christianity in the fourth Century (251)
Nicean Council 251 /Hypatia 252 /Symbolism of the Cross 255 /Fish Symbolism 256

2- Comparative Ancient Cosmology (260)
Hindu and Near Eastern Creation Myths and Darwin 260 / Spiritual Evolution 263 /Chart of Hindu and Kabbalah Cosmology 265

3- Eastern Doctrine of Cycles and Evolution (272)
Hindu Cycles 272 / Avatars of Vishnu and evolution 274 /Evolution of the ape family 278

4- The Evolution of the Soul in Ancient Greece and Buddhism (279)
Transmigration of Souls – Body, Soul and Spirit in ancient Greece 279 / Transmigration of Souls in Buddhism 286

Chapter 7 – Gnosticism, Early Christianity, Buddhism and the Secret Doctrine (Early Christian Heresies and Secret Societies)
1- Ophites and Mandaen systems (289)
Mandaens 289 / Ophite and Mandaen sytems compared 292 / Seven Sacred Planets 294 / Trinity 295 / Iao 296 / Decimal System 299 /

2- Druzes
Fourth Century Christianity 303 / Druzes 306 / Druze Initiation 312 / Eastern Secret Societies 315 / Buddhism and Nirvana 319

3- Early Christianity
Buddhism and Essenes 323 / Gnostics and Christianity 324 / Apostolic Succession 325 / Nicolaitans 329 / Christian Folk Customs 331 / Jesus 335 / Pagan maxims and Gospels Compared 338 / Historical Jesus and Buddha 339 / Apollonius of Tyana 341 / / Christianity and Comparative Religion 344

Chapter 8 – Jesuits, Templars, Rosicrucians, Masons, and the Lost Word (Jesuitry and Masonry)
1- The Jesuits (348)
The Secret Word 348 / Jesuits 352 / Simon Magus 357 / Jesuit ethics 357 / Hermetism 361 / Jesuit Initiations 365

2- Masonry
Egyptian Cycles and Reincarnation 366 / Magic – Pagan and Christian 370 / Masonry 371 / Templars 380 / Current Masonry 387 / Eastern Masonry 392 / Secret Masonic Ciphers 394 / JHVH and the lost Word 398 / Ancient Secret Brotherhoods 402


Part 9: Chapter 9

Chapter 9 Principles of Esoteric Evolution: Symbolism and Astrology in the Bible and the Vedas (The Vedas and the Bible)

This chapter is another section of the spiritual evolutionary concepts and is a good prelude to Esoteric Buddhism and the Secret Doctrine; not as detailed, but the basic principles as basically the same. Having finished with the historical critical analysis, with this chapter we get a final generous helping of esoteric theological doctrine, essentially presenting an exoteric exegesis of the creation story from Genesis, with comparisons from Hindu texts, the centerpiece being probably the esoteric explanations of Ezekiel’s Wheel.

This chapter is one of Blavatsky’s most important astrological writings, written from a unique, mystical/kabbalistic perspective. Moreover, it can be considered as a seminal influence on the fields of historical astrology and evolutionary astrology. It is one of the most difficult chapters in Isis Unveiled, probably the closest in style to Secret Doctrine.

1- Seven in Ancient Scriptures (405)

Myth Interpretation 405/Seven in Hinduism and Judaism 406 / Mantras 409 /Symbolism 411 / Symbolism of Seven 417

This number reappears likewise on almost every page of Genesis, and throughout the Mosaic books, and we find it conspicuous (see following chapter) in the Book of Job and the Oriental Kabala. If the Hebrew Semitics adopted it so readily, we must infer that it was not blindly, but with a thorough knowledge of its secret meaning; hence, that they must have adopted the doctrines of their “heathen” neighbors as well. It is but natural, therefore, that we should seek in heathen philosophy for the interpretation of this number, which again reappeared in Christianity with its seven sacraments, seven churches in Asia Minor, seven capital sins, seven virtues (four cardinal and three theological), etc.

Have the seven prismatic colors of the rainbow seen by Noah no other meaning than that of a covenant between God and man to refresh the memory of the former? To the kabalist, at least, they have a significance inseparable from the seven labors of magic, the seven upper spheres, the seven notes of the musical scale, the seven numerals of Pythagoras, the seven wonders of the world, the seven ages, and even the seven steps of the Masons, which lead to the Holy of Holies, after passing the flights of three and five. 408

One must consult the Pythagoreans and Kabalists to learn the potentiality of this number. Exoterically the seven rays of the solar spectrum are represented concretely in the seven-rayed god Heptaktis. These seven rays epitomized into THREE primary rays, namely, the red, blue, and yellow, form the solar trinity, and typify respectively spirit- matter and spirit-essence. Science has also reduced of late the seven rays to three primary ones, thus corroborating the scientific conception of the ancients of at least one of the visible manifestations of the invisible deity, and the seven divided into a quaternary and a trinity.

The Pythagoreans called the number seven the vehicle of life, as it contained body and soul. They explained it by saying, that the human body consisted of four principal elements, and that the soul is triple, comprising reason, passion, and desire. The ineffable WORD was considered the Seventh and highest of all, for there are six minor substitutes, each belonging to a degree of initiation. The Jews borrowed their Sabbath from the ancients, who called it Saturn’s day and deemed it unlucky, and not the latter from the Israelites when Christianized. The people of India, Arabia, Syria, and Egypt observed weeks of seven days; and the Romans learned the hebdomadal method from these foreign countries when they became subject to the Empire. Still it was not until the fourth century that the Roman kalends, nones, and ides were abandoned, and weeks substituted in their place; and the astronomical names of the days, such as dies Solis (day of the Sun), dies Lunae (day of the Moon), dies Martis (day of Mars); dies Mercurii (day of Mercury), dies Jovis (day of Jupiter), dies Veneris (day of Venus), and dies Saturni (day of Saturn), prove that it was not from the Jews that the week of seven days was adopted. Before we examine this number kabalistically, we propose to analyse it from the standpoint of the Judaico-Christian Sabbath. 417-18

“Thus, the week of six days and the seventh, the Saba or Sapta-day period, is of the highest antiquity. The observance of the lunar festivals in India, shows that that nation held hebdomadal meetings as well. With every new quarter the moon brings changes in the atmosphere, hence certain changes are also produced throughout the whole of our universe, of which the meteorological ones are the most insignificant. On this day of the seventh and most powerful of the prismatic days, the adepts of the “Secret Science” meet as they met thousands of years ago, to become the agents of the occult powers of nature (emanations of the working God), and commune with the invisible worlds. It is in this observance of the seventh day by the old sages — not as the resting day of the Deity, but because they had penetrated into its occult power, that lies the profound veneration of all the heathen philosophers for the number seven which they term the “venerable,” the sacred number. The Pythagorean Tetraktis, revered by the Platonists, was the square placed below the triangle; the latter, or the Trinity embodying the invisible Monad — the unity, and deemed too sacred to be pronounced except within the walls of a Sanctuary. 418-19

2- Symbolism in Genesis (420)

Genesis 420 / Early Vedic Civilisation 430 / Ethiopeans and Egyptians 435 / Bible History 439 / Moses and Sargon 441 / Symbolism of Noah 443 / Dragon symbolism 446 / Ark symbolism 447 / Patriarch Symbolism 449 / Symbolism of the Four Beasts 451 / Cross Symbolism 453

The allegories of the “fall of man” and the “deluge,” are the two most important features of the Pentateuch. They are, so to say, the Alpha and Omega, the highest and the lowest keys of the scale of harmony on which resounds the majestic hymns of the creation of mankind; for they discover to him who questions the Zura (figurative Gematria), the process of man’s evolution from the highest spiritual entity unto the lowest physical — the post-diluvian man, as in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, every sign of the picture writing which cannot be made to fit within a certain circumscribed geometrical figure may be rejected as only intended by the sacred hierogrammatist for a premeditated blind — so many of the details in the Bible must be treated on the same principle, that portion only being accepted which answers to the numerical methods taught in the Kabala. 424

Vaivasvata (who in the Bible becomes Noah) saves a little fish, which turns out to be an avatar of Vishnu. The fish warns that just man that the globe is about to be submerged, that all that inhabit it must perish, and orders him to construct a vessel in which he shall embark, with all his family. When the ship is ready, and Vaivasvata has shut up in it with his family the seeds of plants and pairs of all animals, and the rain begins to fall, a gigantic fish, armed with a horn, places itself at the head of the ark. The holy man, following its orders, attaches a cable to this horn, and the fish guides the ship safely through the raging elements. In the Hindu tradition the number of days during which the deluge lasted agrees exactly with that of the Mosaic account. When the elements were calmed, the fish landed the ark on the summit of the Himalayas. 425

The exoteric plan of the Bible was made to answer also to four ages. Thus, they reckon the Golden Age from Adam to Abraham; the silver, from Abraham to David; copper, from David to the Captivity; thenceforward, the iron. But the secret computation is quite different, and does not vary at all from the zodiacal calculations of the Brahmans. We are in the Iron Age, or Kali-Yug, but it began with Noah, the mythical ancestor of our race. 442

This statement that the story of Noah is but another version in its hidden meaning of the story of Adam and his three sons, gathers proof on every page of the book of Genesis. Adam is the prototype of Noah. Adam falls because he eats of the forbidden fruit of celestial knowledge; Noah, because he tastes of the terrestrial fruit: the juice of the grape representing the abuse of knowledge in an unbalanced mind. Adam gets stripped of his spiritual envelope; Noah of his terrestrial clothing; and the nakedness of both makes them feel ashamed. The wickedness of Cain is repeated in Ham. But the descendants of both are shown as the wisest of races on earth; and they are called on this account “snakes,” and the “sons of snakes,” meaning the sons of wisdom, and not of Satan, as some divines would be pleased to have the world understand the term. 449

Comparing the biblical patriarchs with the descendants of Vaiswasvata, the Hindu Noah, and the old Sanscrit traditions about the deluge in the Brahmanical Mahabharata, we find them mirrored in the Vaidic patriarchs who are the primitive types upon which all the others were modelled. But before comparison is possible, the Hindu myths must be comprehended in their true significance. Each of these mythical personages bears, besides an astronomical significance, a spiritual or moral, and an anthropological or physical meaning. The patriarchs are not only euhemerized gods — the prediluvian answering to the twelve great gods of Berosus, and to the ten Pradjapati, and the postdiluvian to the seven gods of the famous tablet in the Ninevean Library, but they stand also as the symbols of the Greek AEons, the kabalistic Sephiroth, and the zodiacal signs, as types of a series of human races.*** This variation from ten to twelve will be accounted for presently, and proved on the very authority of the Bible. Only, they are not the first gods described by Cicero,* which belong to a hierarchy of higher powers, the Elohim — but appertain rather to the second class of the “twelve gods,” the Dii minores, and who are the terrestrial reflections of the first, among whom Herodotus places Hercules.** Alone, out of the group of twelve, Noah, by reason of his position at the transitional point, belongs to the highest Babylonian triad, Noah, the spirit of the waters. The rest are identical with the inferior gods of Assyria and Babylonia, who represented the lower order of emanations, introduced around Bel, the Demiurge, and help him in his work, as the patriarchs are shown to assist Jehovah — the “Lord God.” 450-51

3- Ezekiel’s Wheel Astrological Symbolism

Astrological Symbolism 455 / Bible Patriarchs and the Zodiac 459 / Symbolism of Ezekiel’s Wheel 461 / Cycles 466 / Kabbalah on Adam and Eve 468 / Biblical Scholarship 469

The true Sabean astrological doctrine secretly taught that within this double sign was hidden the explanation of the gradual transformation of the world, from its spiritual and subjective, into the “two-sexed” sublunary state. The twelve signs were therefore divided into two groups. The first six were called the ascending, or the line of Macrocosm (the great spiritual world); the last six, the descending line, or the Microcosm (the little secondary world) — the mere reflection of the former, so to say. This division was called Ezekiel’s wheel, and was completed in the following way: First came the ascending five signs (euphemerized into patriarchs), Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, and the group concluded with Virgo-Scorpio. Then came the turning-point, Libra. After which, the first half of the sign Virgo-Scorpio, was duplicated and transferred to lead the lower, or descending group of Microcosm which ran down to Pisces, or Noah (deluge). To make it clearer, the sign Virgo-Scorpio, which appeared originally thus , became simply Virgo, and the duplication, , or Scorpio, was placed between Libra, the seventh sign (which is Enoch, or the angel Metatron, or Mediator between spirit and matter, or God and man). It now became Scorpio (or Cain), which sign or patriarch led mankind to destruction, according to exoteric theology; but, according to the true doctrine of the wisdom-religion, it indicated the degradation of the whole universe in its course of evolution downward from the subjective to the objective. 456-457

The following diagram represents Ezekiel’s Wheel, as given in many works, among others, in Hargrave Jennings’ Rosicrucians:

EZEKIEL’S WHEEL (exoteric). (see Isis 2:461 for the diagram)

These signs are (follow numbers):

1, Aries; 2, Taurus; 3, Gemini; 4, Cancer; 5, Leo; 6, Virgo, or the ascending line of the grand cycle of creation. After this comes 7, Libra — “man,” which, though it is found right in the middle, or the intersection point, leads down the numbers:

8, Scorpio; 9, Sagittarius; 10, Capricornus; 11, Aquarius; and 12, Pisces.

While discussing the double sign of Virgo-Scorpio and Libra, Hargrave Jennings observes (p. 65):

“All this is incomprehensible, except in the strange mysticism of the Gnostics and the kabalists; and the whole theory requires a key of explanation to render it intelligible; which key is only darkly referred to as possible, but refused absolutely, by these extraordinary men, as not permissible to be disclosed.” 461

EZEKIEL’S WHEEL (esoteric). (see Isis 2:462 for the diagram)

To explain the presence of Jodheva (or Yodheva), or what is generally termed the tetragram , and of Adam and Eve, it will suffice to remind the reader of the following verses in Genesis, with their right meaning inserted in brackets.

Adam, is written with one letter, Jod or Yodh; therefore it must not be read Jehova but Ieva, or Eve. The Adam of the first chapter is the spiritual, therefore pure androgyne, Adam Kadmon. When woman issues from the left rib of the second Adam (of dust), the pure Virgo is separated, and falling “into generation,” or the downward cycle, becomes Scorpio,*emblem of sin and matter. While the ascending cycle points at the purely spiritual races, or the ten prediluvian patriarchs (the Pradjapatis, and Sephiroth)** are led on by the creative Deity itself, who is Adam Kadmon or Yodcheva, the lower one is that of the terrestrial races, led on by Enoch or Libra, theseventh; who, because he is half-divine, half-terrestrial, is said to have been taken by God alive. Enoch, or Hermes, or Libra are one. All are the scales of universal harmony; justice and equilibrium are placed at the central point of the Zodiac. The grand circle of the heavens, so well discoursed upon by Plato, in his Timaeus, symbolizes the unknown as a unity; and the smaller circles which form the cross, by their division on the plane of the Zodiacal ring — typify, at the point of their intersection, life. The centripetal and centrifugal forces, as symbols of Good and Evil, Spirit and Matter, Life and Death, are also those of the Creator and the Destroyer, — Adam and Eve, or God and the Devil, as they say in common parlance. In the subjective, as well as in the objective worlds, they are the two powers, which through their eternal conflict keep the universe of spirit and matter in harmony. They force the planets to pursue their paths, and keep them in their elliptical orbits, thus tracing the astronomical cross in their revolution through the Zodiac. In their conflict the centripetal force, were it to prevail, would drive the planets and living souls into the sun, type of the invisible Spiritual Sun, the Paraatma or great universal Soul, their parent; while the centrifugal force would chase both planets and souls into the dreary space, far from the luminary of the objective universe, away from the spiritual realm of salvation and eternal life, and into the chaos of final cosmic destruction, and individual annihilation. But the balance is there, ever sensitive at the intersection point. It regulates the action of the two combatants, and the combined effort of both, causes planets and “living souls” to pursue a double diagonal line in their revolution through Zodiac and Life; and thus preserving strict harmony, in visible and invisible heaven and earth, the forced unity of the two reconciles spirit and matter, and Enoch is said to stand a “Metatron” before God. Reckoning from him down to Noah and his three sons, each of these represent a new “world,” i.e., our earth, which is the seventh* after every period of geological transformation, gives birth to another and distinct race of men and beings.

Cain leads the ascending line, or Macrocosm, for he is the Son of the “Lord,” not of Adam (Genesis iv. 1). The “Lord” is Adam Kadmon, Cain, the Son of sinful thought, not the progeny of flesh and blood, Seth on the other hand is the leader of the races of earth, for he is the Son of Adam, and begotten “in his own likeness, after his image” (Genesis v. 3). Cain is Kenu, Assyrian, and means eldest, while the Hebrew word means a Smith, an artificer. 462-464

References

Max Muller, Comparative Mythology: An Essay, 1875
Horace Hayman Wilson (1786 –1860), The Westminster Review, Volume 54 1851 p.153
Johann Reuchlin (1455 –1522), De Verbo Mirifico (The Wonder-Working Word, 1494)
Berossus (beginning of the 3rd century BC), Fragments of Chaldæan History, Berossus: From Alexander Polyhistor.
Abbe J.A. Dubois or Jean-Antoine Dubois (1765 –1848), Description of the character, manners, and customs of the people of India: and of their institutions, religious and civil, 1817
Edward Pococke (baptised 8 November 1604 – 10 September 1691), India in Greece: or, Truth in mythology: containing the sources of the Hellenic race, the colonisation of Egypt and Palestine, the wars of the Grand Lama, and the Bud’histic propaganda in Greece. Publication date 1852.
Hargrave Jennings (1817-1890), The Rosicrucians 1870
Edward Moor (1771–1848), The Hindu Pantheon 1810
George Smith (1840 –1876), Assyrian Discoveries: An Account of Explorations and Discoveries on the Site of Nineveh, 1875
William Hone (1780 –1842), The Apocryphal New Testament, 1820
Christian Knorr von Rosenroth (1636 –1689), Kabbala Denudata (1684)
Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney (1757 –1820), Volney’s Ruins: or, Meditation on the revolutions of empires (1869)
The Book of Enoch, Translated from Ethiopic by Richard Laurence, London, 1883.


Part 10: Chapter 10

Chapter 10 – The Origin and History of the Dogma of Satan (The Devil-Myth)

We leave the historical and esoteric theology for a specialized critique of a specific Christian dogma, and so this chapter stands as a very intricate yet focused theological critique focusing on a dualistic saviour/logos-adversary/tempter perspective, something that she was wont to undertake in later writings such as the well-known “Have Animals Souls?” and this chapter is recast considerably expanded in the Secret Doctrine. Despite the fact the existence of the Devil has faded into disbelief, people are still confronted with the problem of evil as much as ever and subconscious fears have taken on all types of devilish forms in popular culture, so this chapter remains quite relevant.

Such ambitious theological studies have gone out of fashion in more recent times (except among the fundamentalist population), but Jeffrey Burton Russell’s ambitious The Devil Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity (1977) has a similar dualistic perspective and the social perspective of Elaine Pagel’s The Origin of Satan (1995) can also be found echoed in Blavatsky as well as the concept that Satan is derived mainly from Jewish Gnosticism.

1- Eternal Damnation / Christian Missionaries (473)

“The Baptist preachers met yesterday in the Mariners’ Chapel, in Oliver Street. Several foreign missionaries were present. The Rev. John W. Sarles, of Brooklyn, read an essay, in which he maintained the proposition that all adult heathen, dying without the knowledge of the Gospel, are damned eternally. Otherwise, the reverend essayist argued, the Gospel is a curse instead of a blessing, the men who crucified Christ served him right, and the whole structure of revealed religion tumbles to the ground. 474

2-Dogma of the existence of Satan (476)

It is a late day for us to expect the Christian clergy to undo and amend their work. They have too much at stake. If the Christian Church should abandon or even modify the dogma of an anthropomorphic devil, it would be like pulling the bottom card from under a castle of cards. The structure would fall. The clergymen to whom we have alluded perceived that upon the relinquishing of Satan as a personal devil, the dogma of Jesus Christ as the second deity in their trinity must go over in the same catastrophe. Incredible, or even horrifying, as it may seem, the Roman Church bases its doctrine of the godhood of Christ entirely upon the satanism of the fallen archangel. We have the testimony of Father Ventura, who proclaims the vital importance of this dogma to the Catholics. 479

3- Biblical Passages (480)

This dogma of the Devil and redemption seems to be based upon two passages in the New Testament: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil.”** “And there was war in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon; and the Dragon fought, and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.” Let us, then, explore the ancient Theogonies, in order to ascertain what was meant by these remarkable expressions.

The first inquiry is whether the term Devil, as here used, actually represents the malignant Deity of the Christians, or an antagonistic, blind force — the dark side of nature. By the latter we are not to understand the manifestation of any evil principle that is malum in se, but only the shadow of the Light, so to say. The theories of the kabalists treat of it as a force which is antagonistic, but at the same time essential to the vitality, evolving, and vigor of the good principle. Plants would perish in their first stage of existence, if they were kept exposed to a constant sunlight; the night alternating with the day is essential to their healthy growth and development. Goodness, likewise, would speedily cease to be such, were it not alternated by its opposite. In human nature, evil denotes the antagonism of matter to the spiritual, and each is accordingly purified thereby. In the cosmos, the equilibrium must be preserved; the operation of the two contraries produce harmony, like the centripetal and centrifugal forces, and are necessary to each other. If one is arrested, the action of the other will immediately become destructive. 480

4- Serpent-Dragon Pagan Sources (482)

Three and a half centuries before Christ, Plato expressed his opinion of evil by saying that “there is in matter a blind, refractory force, which resists the will of the Great Artificer.” This blind force, under Christian influx, was made to see and become responsible; it was transformed into Satan! 483

His identity with Typhon can scarcely be doubted upon reading the account in Job of his appearance with the sons of God, before the Lord. He accuses Job of a readiness to curse the Lord to his face upon sufficient provocation. So Typhon, in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, figures as the accuser. The resemblance extends even to the names, for one of Typhon’s appellations was Seth, or Seph; as Satan, in Hebrew, means an adversary. In Arabic the word is Shatana — to be adverse, to persecute, and Manetho says he had treacherously murdered Osiris and allied himself with the Shemites (the Israelites). This may possibly have originated the fable told by Plutarch, that, from the fight between Horus and Typhon, Typhon, overcome with fright at the mischief he had caused, “fled seven days on an ass, and escaping, begat the boys Ierosolumos and Ioudaios (Jerusalem and Judea).” 483

Referring to an invocation of Typhon-Seth, Professor Reuvens says that the Egyptians worshipped Typhon under the form of an ass; and according to him Seth “appears gradually among the Semites as the background of their religious consciousness.”* The name of the ass in Coptic, AO, is a phonetic of IAO, and hence the animal became a pun-symbol. Thus Satan is a later creation, sprung from the overheated fancy of the Fathers of the Church. By some reverse of fortune, to which the gods are subjected in common with mortals, Typhon-Seth tumbled down from the eminence of the deified son of Adam Kadmon, to the degrading position of a subaltern spirit, a mythical demon — ass. Religious schisms are as little free from the frail pettiness and spiteful feelings of humanity as the partisan quarrels of laymen. We find a strong instance of the above in the case of the Zoroastrian reform, when Magianism separated from the old faith of the Brahmans. The bright Devas of the Veda became, under the religious reform of Zoroaster, daevas, or evil spirits, of the Avesta. Even Indra, the luminous god, was thrust far back into the dark shadow** in order to show off, in a brighter light, Ahura-mazda, the Wise and Supreme Deity. 484

The several tribes and nations had their tutelar gods, and vilified those of inimical peoples. The transformation of Typhon, Satan and Beelzebub are of this character. Indeed, Tertullian speaks of Mithra, the god of the Mysteries, as a devil. 488

But “no Devil, no Christ.” This is the basic dogma of the Church. We must hunt the two together. There is a mysterious connection between the two, more close than perhaps is suspected, amounting to identity. If we collect together the mythical sons of God, all of whom were regarded as “first-begotten,” they will be found dovetailing together and blending in this dual character. Adam Kadmon bifurcates from the spiritual conceptive wisdom into the creative one, which evolves matter. The Adam made from dust is both son of God and Satan; and the latter is also a son of God,* according to Job. 492

5- Job (493)

The Book of Job is a complete representation of ancient initiation, and the trials which generally precede this grandest of all ceremonies. 495″Then Job answered the Lord.” He understood His ways, and his eyes were opened for the first time. The Supreme Wisdom descended upon him; and if the reader remain puzzled before this final PETROMA of initiation, at least Job, or the man “afflicted” in his blindness, then realized the impossibility of catching “Leviathan by putting a hook into his nose.” The Leviathan is OCCULT SCIENCE, on which one can lay his hand, but “do no more,“** whose power and “comely proportion” God wishes not to conceal. 499

It is the luminous Self — the Atman of the Hindus, our immortal spirit, who alone can redeem our soul; and will, if we follow him instead of being dragged down by our body. Therefore, in the Chaldean texts, the above reads, “My deliverer, my restorer,i.e., the Spirit who will restore the decayed body of man, and transform it into a clothing of ether. And it is this Nous, Augoeides, Ferwer, Aggra, Spirit of himself, that the triumphant Job shall see without his flesh — i.e., when he has escaped from his bodily prison, and that the translators call “God.” 496

6- Demons / Church History (500)

It will be perceived from these extended illustrations that the Satan of the Old Testament, the Diabolos or Devil of the Gospels and Apostolic Epistles, were but the antagonistic principle in matter, necessarily incident to it, and not wicked in the moral sense of the term. The Jews, coming from the Persian country, brought with them the doctrine of two principles. They could not bring the Avesta, for it was not written. But they — we mean the Asidians and Pharsi — invested Ormazd with the secret name of , and Ahriman with the name of the gods of the land, Satan of the Hittites, and Diabolos, or rather Diobolos, of the Greeks. The early Church, at least the Pauline part of it, the Gnostics and their successors, further refined upon their ideas; and the Catholic Church adopted and adapted them, meanwhile putting their promulgators to the sword. 500

But it may be argued, perhaps, that Hindu theology, both Brahmanical and Buddhistic, is as strongly impregnated with belief in objective devils as Christianity itself. There is a slight difference. This very subtlety of the Hindu mind is a sufficient warrant that the well-educated people, the learned portion, at least, of the Brahman and Buddhist divines, consider the Devil in another light. With them the Devil is a metaphysical abstraction, an allegory of necessary evil; while with Christians the myth has become a historical entity, the fundamental stone on which Christianity, with its dogma of redemption, is built. He is as necessary — as Des Mousseaux has shown — to the Church as the beast of the seventeenth chapter of the Apocalypse was to his rider. 502

7- Avatars (503)

Avatars or incarnations were common to the old religions. India had them reduced to a system. The Persians expected Sosiosh, and the Jewish writers looked for a deliverer. Tacitus and Suetonius relate that the East was full of expectation of the Great Personage about the time of Octavius. “Thus doctrines obvious to Christians were the highest arcana of Paganism.”* The Maneros of Plutarch was a child of Palestine;* his mediator Mithras, the Saviour Osiris is the Messiah. 503

Pimander, the Logos, issues from the Infinite Darkness, and covers the earth with clouds which, serpentine-like, spread all over the earth (See Champollion’s Egypte). The Logos is the oldest image of God, and he is the active Logos, says Philo.**** The Father is the Latent Thought.

“I, Wisdom, came out of the mouth of the Most High, and covered the earth as a cloud.“*** This idea being universal, we find an identical phraseology to express it, among Pagans, Jews, and early Christians. The Chaldeo-Persian Logos is the Only-Begotten of the Father in the Babylonian cosmogony of Eudemus. “Hymn now, ELI, child of Deus,” begins a Homeric hymn to the sun.***** Sol-Mithra is an “image of the Father,” as the kabalistic Seir-Anpin. 506

8- Sun and Dragon Myths / Hell (506)

That of all the various nations of antiquity, there never was one which believed in a personal devil more than liberal Christians in the nineteenth century, seems hardly credible, and yet such is the sorrowful fact. Neither the Egyptians, whom Porphyry terms “the most learned nation of the world,” ****** nor Greece, its faithful copyist, were ever guilty of such a crowning absurdity. We may add at once that none of them, not even the ancient Jews, believed in hell or an eternal damnation any more than in the Devil, although our Christian churches are so liberal in dealing it out to the heathen. Wherever the word “hell” occurs in the translations of the Hebrew sacred texts, it is unfortunate. The Hebrews were ignorant of such an idea; but yet the gospels contain frequent examples of the same misunderstanding. So, when Jesus is made to say (Matthew xvi. 18) “. . . and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” in the original text it stands “the gates of death.” Never is the word “hell” — as applied to the state of damnation, either temporary or eternal — used in any passage of the Old Testament, all hellists to the contrary, notwithstanding. “Tophet,” or “the Valley of Hinnom” (Isaiah lxvi. 24) bears no such interpretation. The Greek term “Gehenna” has also quite a different meaning, as it has been proved conclusively by more than one competent writer, that “Gehenna” is identical with the Homeric Tartarus. 506

Everything in the external worship of the Buddhists is allegorical and is never otherwise accepted or taught by the educated pungis (pundits). The accusation that they allow, and tacitly agree to leave the poor people steeped in the most degrading superstitions, is not without foundation; but that they enforce such superstitions, we most vehemently deny. And in this they appear to advantage beside our Christian clergy, who (at least those who have not allowed their fanaticism to interfere with their brains), without believing a word of it, yet preach the existence of the Devil, as the personal enemy of a personal God, and the evil genius of mankind. 508

The Logos triumphs once more over the great Dragon; Michael, the luminous archangel, chief of the AEons, conquers Satan.* 509

Like Apollo and other gods, Jesus is killed by his Logos;** he rises again, kills him in his turn, and becomes his master. Can it be that this old symbol has, like the rest of ancient philosophical conceptions, more than one allegorical and never-suspected meaning? The coincidences are too strange to be results of mere chance. 510

9- Descent into Hell / Gospel of Nicodemus (514)

In connection with several of the Pagan deities which are made after death, and before their resurrection to descend into Hell, it will be found useful to compare the pre-Christian with the post-Christian narratives. Orpheus made the journey,*** and Christ was the last of these subterranean travellers. In the Credo of the Apostles, which is divided in twelve sentences or articles, each particular article having been inserted by each particular apostle, according to St. Austin**** the sentence “He descended into hell, the third day he rose again from the dead,” is assigned to Thomas; perhaps, as an atonement for his unbelief. Be it as it may, the sentence is declared a forgery, and there is no evidence “that this creed was either framed by the apostles, or indeed, that it existed as a creed in their time.”514

This god was Herakles, the “Only-Begotten One,” and the Saviour. And it is he who was chosen as a model by the ingenious Fathers. Hercules — called Alexicacos — for he brought round the wicked and converted them to virtue; Soter, or Saviour, also called Neulos Eumelos — the Good Shepherd; Astrochiton, the star-clothed, and the Lord of Fire. “He sought not to subject nations by force but by divine wisdom and persuasion,” says Lucian. “Herakles spread cultivation and a mild religion, and destroyed the doctrine of eternal punishment by dragging Kerberus (the Pagan Devil) from the nether world.” And, as we see, it was Herakles again who liberated Prometheus (the Adam of the pagans), by putting an end to the torture inflicted on him for his transgressions, by descending to the Hades, and going round the Tartarus. Like Christ he appeared as a substitute for the pangs of humanity, by offering himself in a self-sacrifice on a funereal-burning pile. “His voluntary immolation,” says Bart, “betokened the ethereal new birth of men. . . . Through the release of Prometheus, and the erection of altars, we behold in him the mediator between the old and new faiths. . . . He abolished human sacrifice wherever he found it practiced. He descended into the sombre realm of Pluto, as a shade . . . he ascended as a spirit to his father Zeus in Olympus.” 515

10- Israelites and Saturn (523)

El, the Sun-God of the Syrians, the Egyptians, and the Semites, is declared by Pleyte to be no other than Set or Seth, and El is the primeval Saturn — Israel.* Siva is an AEthiopian God, the same as the Chaldean Baal — Bel; thus he is also Saturn. Saturn, El, Seth and Kiyun, or the biblical Chiun of Amos, are all one and the same deity, and may be all regarded in their worst aspect as Typhon the Destroyer. When the religious Pantheon assumed a more definite expression, Typhon was separated from his androgyne — the good deity, and fell into degradation as a brutal unintellectual power.

Such reactions in the religious feelings of a nation were not unfrequent. The Jews had worshipped Baal or Moloch, the Sun-God Hercules,** in their early days — if they had any days at all earlier than the Persians or Maccabees — and then made their prophets denounce them. On the other hand, the characteristics of the Mosaic Jehovah exhibit more of the moral disposition of Siva than of a benevolent, “long-suffering” God. Besides, to be identified with Siva is no small compliment, for the latter is God of wisdom. Wilkinson depicts him as the most intellectual of the Hindu gods. He is three-eyed, and, like Jehovah, terrible in his resistless revenge and wrath. And, although the Destroyer, “yet he is the re-creator of all things in perfect wisdom.”*** He is the type of St. Augustine’s God who “prepares hell for pryers into his mysteries,” and insists on trying human reason as well as common sense by forcing mankind to view with equal reverence his good and evil acts. 524

11- Judaism and Christian Theology (525)

The question may be more than easily answered. The law of Moses, and the so-called monotheism of the Jews, can hardly be said to have been more than two or three centuries older than Christianity. The Pentateuch itself, we are able to show, was written and revised upon this “new departure,” at a period subsequent to the colonization of Judea under the authority of the kings of Persia. The Christian Fathers, in their eagerness to make their new system dovetail with Judaism, and so avoid Paganism, unconsciously shunned Scylla only to be caught in the whirlpool of Charybdis. Under the monotheistic stucco of Judaism was unearthed the same familiar mythology of Paganism. But we should not regard the Israelites with less favor for having had a Moloch and being like the natives. Nor should we compel the Jews to do penance for their fathers. They had their prophets and their law, and were satisfied with them. How faithfully and nobly they have stood by their ancestral faith under the most diabolical persecutions, the present remains of a once-glorious people bear witness. The Christian world has been in a state of convulsion from the first to the present century; it has been cleft into thousands of sects; but the Jews remain substantially united. Even their differences of opinion do not destroy their unity. 526

The boasted wide gap between Christianity and Judaism, that is claimed on the authority of Paul, exists but in the imagination of the pious. We are nought but the inheritors of the intolerant Israelites of ancient days; not the Hebrews of the time of Herod and the Roman dominion, who, with all their faults, kept strictly orthodox and monotheistic, but the Jews who, under the name of Jehovah-Nissi, worshipped Bacchus-Osiris, Dio-Nysos, the multiform Jove of Nyssa, the Sinai of Moses. The kabalistic demons — allegories of the profoundest meaning — were adopted as objective entities, and a Satanic hierarchy carefully drawn by the orthodox demonologists. 526

12- Bacchus (527)

True to the exclamation of David, paraphrased in King James’ Version as “all the gods of the nations are idols,” i.e., devils, Bacchus or the “first-born” or the Orphic theogony, the Monogenes, or “only-begotten” of Father Zeus and Kore, was transformed, with the rest of the ancient myths, into a devil. By such a degradation, the Fathers, whose pious zeal could only be surpassed by their ignorance, have unwittingly furnished evidence against themselves. They have, with their own hands, paved the way for many a future solution, and greatly helped modern students of the science of religions.

It was in the Bacchus-myth that lay concealed for long and dreary centuries both the future vindication of the reviled “gods of the nations,” and the last clew to the enigma of Jehovah. The strange duality of Divine and mortal characteristics, so conspicuous in the Sinaitic Deity, begins to yield its mystery before the untiring inquiry of the age. One of the latest contributions we find in a short but highly-important paper in the Evolution, a periodical of New York, the closing paragraph of which throws a flood of light on Bacchus, the Jove of Nysa, who was worshipped by the Israelites as Jehovah of Sinai.

“Such was the Jove of Nysa to his worshippers,” concludes the author. “He represented to them alike the world of nature and the world of thought. He was the ‘Sun of righteousness, with healing on his wings,’ and he not only brought joy to mortals, but opened to them hope beyond mortality of immortal life. Born of a human mother, he raised her from the world of death to the supernal air, to be revered and worshipped. At once lord of all worlds, he was in them all alike the Saviour. 528

References:

Knight, Richard Payne (1751 –1824), The symbolical language of ancient art and mythology; an inquiry (1818)
Colquhoun, John Campbell (1803–1870), An history of magic, witchcraft, and animal magnetism (1851)
Vendidad
Haug, Martin (1827 –1876), Essays on the sacred language, writings, and religion of the Parsis (1862)
Wake, Charles Staniland (1835–1910), The origin of serpent–worship (1873)
Influence of the phallic idea in the religions of antiquity (1870)
Fergusson, James (1808-1886), Tree & Serpent Worship, Or Illustrations Of Mythology & Art In India (1868)
Athanasius Kircher (1602 –1680), Oedipus Aegyptiacus (1652-4) (see here)
William Williams (d. 1813), Primitive history, from the creation to Cadmus
Hardy, Robert Spence (1803-1868), A manual of Budhism, in its modern development (1853)
Sibylline Oracles, see translation by Milton S. Terry, 1899
Nonnus of Panopolis (end of the 4th or in the 5th century AD)
Dionysiaca
Deane, John Bathurst (1797 –1887), The Worship of the Serpent (1833)
Creuzer, Georg Friedrich (1771 –1858), Symbolism and mythology of the ancient peoples, particularly the Greeks (1810) (see here)
Plutarch (CE 46 – CE 120), On Isis and Osiris
Edward Upham (1776–1834), Mahavamsa (1833)
The Golden Legend (see also here)
Taylor, Reverend Robert (1784 –1844)
The Gospel of Nicodemus, also known as the Acts of Pilate
The Shepherd of Hermas
Preller, Ludwig (1809 –1861), Griechische mythologie (1854)
Lalitavistara Sūtra. See: Foucaux, Édouard. Le Lalitavistara : l’histoire traditionnelle de la vie du Bouddha Çakyamuni
Euripides (c. 480 – c. 406 BC)
Heracles (c. 416 BCE.)
Lucian of Samosata (125 AD – after 180 AD)


Part 11: Chapter 11

1. Chapter 11– Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity Compared (Comparative Results of Buddhism and Christianity)

This chapter is a concise comparative study of Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity through the study of their founders, certain doctrines, and rituals. The perspective remains that of a critique of Christianity and a defense of Eastern religions, also tending to demonstrate the eastern and esoteric origins of various key facets of Christianity, such as the doctrine of transubstantiation.

1. Christianity and Comparative Religion 529 / Buddhism 533 / Avatars 535 / Krishna, Buddha and Christ Compared 537 / Buddhism and Christianity 540

Lives of Krishna, Buddha and Christ Compared No orthodox Brahmans and Buddhists would deny the Christian incarnation; only, they understand it in their own philosophical way, and how could they deny it? The very corner-stone of their religious system is periodical incarnations of the Deity. Whenever humanity is about merging into materialism and moral degradation, a Supreme Spirit incarnates himself in his creature selected for the purpose. The “Messenger of the Highest” links itself with the duality of matter and soul, and the triad being thus completed by the union of its Crown, a saviour is born, who helps restore humanity to the path of truth and virtue. The early Christian Church, all imbued with Asiatic philosophy, evidently shared the same belief — otherwise it would have neither erected into an article of faith the second advent, nor cunningly invented the fable of Anti-Christ as a precaution against possible future incarnations. Neither could they have imagined that Melchisedek was an avatar of Christ. They had only to turn to the Bagavedgitta to find Christna or Bhagaved saying to Arjuna: “He who follows me is saved by wisdom and even by works. . . . As often as virtue declines in the world, I make myself manifest to save it.” 535

Kapila, Orpheus, Pythagoras, Plato, Basilides, Marcian, Ammonius and Plotinus, founded schools and sowed the germs of many a noble thought, and disappearing left behind them the refulgence of demi-gods. But the three personalities of Christna, Gautama, and Jesus appeared like true gods, each in his epoch, and bequeathed to humanity three religions built on the imperishable rock of ages. That all three, especially the Christian faith, have in time become adulterated, and the latter almost unrecognizable, is no fault of either of the noble Reformers. It is the priestly self-styled husbandmen of the “vine of the Lord” who must be held to account by future generations. Purify the three systems of the dross of human dogmas, the pure essence remaining will be found identical. Even Paul, the great, the honest apostle, in the glow of his enthusiasm either unwittingly perverted the doctrines of Jesus, or else his writings are disfigured beyond recognition. The Talmud, the record of a people who, notwithstanding his apostasy from Judaism, yet feel compelled to acknowledge Paul’s greatness as a philosopher and religionist, says of Aher (Paul),* in the Yerushalmi, that “he corrupted the work of that man” — meaning Jesus.* 536

CHRISTNA.

Epoch: Uncertain. European science fears to commit itself. But the Brahmanical calculations fix it at about 6,877 years ago.

Christna descends of a royal family, but is brought up by shepherds; is called the Shepherd God. His birth and divine descent are kept secret from Kansa.

An incarnation of Vishnu, the second person of the Trimurti (Trinity). Christna was worshipped at Mathura, on the river Jumna (See Strabo and Arrian and Bampton Lectures, pp. 98-100).

Christna is persecuted by Kansa, Tyrant of Madura, but miraculously escapes. In the hope of destroying the child, the king has thousands of male innocents slaughtered.

Christna’s mother was Devaki, or Devanagui, an immaculate virgin (but had given birth to eight sons before Christna).

CHRISTNA.

Chistna is endowed with beauty, omniscience, and omnipotence from birth. Produces miracles, cures the lame and blind, and casts out demons. Washes the feet of the Brahmans, and descending to the lowest regions (hell), liberates the dead, and returns to Vaicontha the paradise of Vishnu. Christna was the God Vishnu himself in human form.

Christna creates boys out of calves, and vice versa (Maurice’s Indian Antiquities, vol. ii., p. 332). He crushes the Serpent’s head. (Ibid.)

Christna is Unitarian. He persecutes the clergy, charges them with ambition and hypocrisy to their faces, divulges the great secrets of the Sanctuary — the Unity of God and immortality of our spirit. Tradition says he fell a victim to their vengeance. His favorite disciple, Arjuna, never deserts him to the last. There are credible traditions that he died on the cross (a tree), nailed to it by an arrow. The best scholars agree that the Irish Cross at Tuam, erected long before the Christian era, is Asiatic. (See Round Towers, p. 296, et seq., by O’Brien; also Religions de l’Antiquie;

Creuzer’s Symbolik, vol. i., p. 208; and engraving in Dr. Lundy’s Monumental Christianity, p. 160.

Christna ascends to Swarga and becomes Nirguna.

GAUTAMA-BUDDHA.

Epoch

: According to European science and the Ceylonese calculations, 2,540 years ago.

Gautama is the son of a king. His first disciples are shepherds and mendicants.

According to some, an incarnation of Vishnu; according to others, an incarnation of one of the Buddhas, and even of Ad’Buddha, the Highest Wisdom.

Buddhist legends are free from this plagiarism, but the Catholic legend that makes of him St. Josaphat, shows his father, king of Kapilavastu, slaying innocent young Christians (!!). (See Golden Legend.)

Buddha’s mother was Maya, or Mayadeva; married to her husband (yet an immaculate virgin).

GAUTAMA-BUDDHA.

Buddha is endowed with the same powers and qualities, and performs similar wonders. Passes his life with mendicants. It is claimed for Gautama that he was distinct from all other Avatars, having the entire spirit of Buddha in him, while all others had but a part (ansa) of the divinity in them.

Gautama crushes the Serpent’s head, i.e., abolishes the Naga worship as fetishism; but, like Jesus, makes the Serpent the emblem of divine wisdom.

Buddha abolishes idolatry; divulges the Mysteries of the Unity of God and the Nirvana, the true meaning of which was previously known only to the priests. Persecuted and driven out of the country, he escapes death by gathering about him some hundreds of thousands of believers in his Buddhaship. Finally, dies, surrounded by a host of disciples, with Ananda, his beloved disciple and cousin, chief among them all. O’Brien believes that the Irish Cross at Tuam is meant for Buddha’s, but Gautama was never crucified. He is represented in many temples, as sit- ting under a cruciform tree, which is the “Tree of Life.” In another image he is sitting on Naga the Raja of Serpents with a cross on his breast.*

Buddha ascends to Nirvana.

JESUS OF NAZARETH.

Epoch

: Supposed to be 1877 years ago. His birth and royal descent are concealed from Herod the tyrant.

Descends of the Royal family of David. Is worshipped by shepherds at his birth, and is called the “Good Shepherd” (See Gospel according to John).

An incarnation of the Holy Ghost, then the second person of the Trinity, now the third. But the Trinity was not invented until 325 years after his birth. Went to Mathura or Matarea, Egypt, and produced his first miracles there (See Gospel of Infancy).

Jesus is persecuted by Herod, King of Judaea, but escapes into Egypt under conduct of an angel. To assure his slaughter, Herod orders a massacre of innocents, and 40,000 were slain.

Jesus’ mother was Mariam, or Miriam; married to her husband, yet an immaculate virgin, but had several children besides Jesus. (See Matthew xiii. 55, 56.)

JESUS OF NAZARETH.

Jesus is similarly endowed. (See Gospels and the Apocryphal Testament.) Passes his life with sinners and publicans. Casts out demons likewise. The only notable difference between the three is that Jesus is charged with casting out devils by the power of Beelzebub, which the others were not. Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, dies, descends to hell, and ascends to heaven, after liberating the dead.

Jesus is said to have crushed the Serpent’s head, agreeably to original revelation in Genesis. He also transforms boys into kids, and kids into boys. (Gospel of Infancy.)

Jesus rebels against the old Jewish law; denounces the Scribes, and Pharisees, and the synagogue for hypocrisy and dogmatic intolerance. Breaks the Sabbath, and defies the Law. Is accused by the Jews of divulging the secrets of the Sanctuary. Is put to death on a cross (a tree). Of the little handful of disciples whom he had converted, one betrays him, one denies him, and the others desert him at the last, except John — the disciple he loved. Jesus, Christna, and Buddha, all three Saviours, die either on or under trees, and are connected with crosses which are symbolical of the three-fold powers of creation.

Jesus ascends to Paradise.

538-39

We see the best and most learned of our writers uselessly striving to show that the extraordinary similarities — amounting to identity — between Christna and Christ are due to the spurious Gospels of the Infancy and of St. Thomas having “probably circulated on the coast of Malabar, and giving color to the story of Christna.”*** Why not accept truth in all sincerity, and reversing matters, admit that St. Thomas, faithful to that policy of proselytism which marked the earliest Christians, when he found in Malabar the original of the mythical Christ in Christna, tried to blend the two; and, adopting in his gospel (from which all others were copied) the most important details of the story of the Hindu Avatar, engrafted the Christian heresy on the primitive religion of Christna. 539

2- Doctrines Compared

Christian Doctrine of Atonement 543 / Doctrine of Predestination 546 / Christian copies from Buddhism 549 / The Supreme in Religions 553 / Krishna, Buddha and Christ as Avatars 555 / Buddha and Jesus 559

The clergy say: no matter how enormous our crimes against the laws of God and of man, we have but to believe in the self-sacrifice of Jesus for the salvation of mankind, and His blood will wash out every stain. God’s mercy is boundless and unfathomable. It is impossible to conceive of a human sin so damnable that the price paid in advance for the redemption of the sinner would not wipe it out if a thousandfold worse. And, furthermore, it is never too late to repent. Though the offender wait until the last minute of the last hour of the last day of his mortal life, before his blanched lips utter the confession of faith, he may go to Paradise; the dying thief did it, and so may all others as vile. These are the assumptions of the Church.

But if we step outside the little circle of creed and consider the universe as a whole balanced by the exquisite adjustment of parts, how all sound logic, how the faintest glimmering sense of Justice revolts against this Vicarious Atonement! If the criminal sinned only against himself, and wronged no one but himself; if by sincere repentance he could cause the obliteration of past events, not only from the memory of man, but also from that imperishable record, which no deity — not even the Supremest of the Supreme — can cause to disappear, then this dogma might not be incomprehensible. But to maintain that one may wrong his fellow-man, kill, disturb the equilibrium of society, and the natural order of things, and then — through cowardice, hope, or compulsion, matters not — be forgiven by believing that the spilling of one blood washes out the other blood spirt — this is preposterous! Can the results of a crime be obliterated even though the crime itself should be pardoned? The effects of a cause are never limited to the boundaries of the cause, nor can the results of crime be confined to the offender and his victim. Every good as well as evil action has its effects, as palpably as the stone flung into a calm water. The simile is trite, but it is the best ever conceived, so let us use it. The eddying circles are greater and swifter, as the disturbing object is greater or smaller, but the smallest pebble, nay, the tiniest speck, makes its ripples. And this disturbance is not alone visible and on the surface. Below, unseen, in every direction — outward and downward — drop pushes drop until the sides and bottom are touched by the force. More, the air, above the water is agitated, and this disturbance passes, as the physicists tell us, from stratum to stratum out into space forever and ever; an impulse has been given to matter, and that is never lost, can never be recalled! . . .

So with crime, and so with its opposite. The action may be instantaneous, the effects are eternal. When, after the stone is once flung into the pond, we can recall it to the hand, roll back the ripples, obliterate the force expended, restore the etheric waves to their previous state of non-being, and wipe out every trace of the act of throwing the missile, so that Time’s record shall not show that it ever happened, then, then we may patiently hear Christians argue for the efficacy of this Atonement. 542-43

O Divine Justice, how blasphemed has been thy name! Unfortunately for all such speculations, belief in the propitiatory efficacy of blood can be traced to the oldest rites. Hardly a nation remained ignorant of it. Every people offered animal and even human sacrifices to the gods, in the hope of averting thereby public calamity, by pacifying the wrath of some avenging deity. There are instances of Greek and Roman generals offering their lives simply for the success of their army. Caesar complains of it, and calls it a superstition of the Gauls. “They devote themselves to death . . . believing that unless life is rendered for life the immortal gods cannot be appeased,” he writes. “If any evil is about to befall either those who now sacrifice, or Egypt, may it be averted on this head,” was pronounced by the Egyptian priests when sacrificing one of their sacred animals. And imprecations were uttered over the head of the expiatory victim, around whose horns a piece of byblus was rolled.* The animal was generally led to some barren region, sacred to Typhon, in those primitive ages when this fatal deity was yet held in a certain consideration by the Egyptians. It is in this custom that lies the origin of the “scape-goat” of the Jews, who, when the rufous ass-god was rejected by the Egyptians, began sacrificing to another deity the “red heifer.” 547

The “Well” played a prominent part in the Mysteries of the Bacchic festivals. In the sacerdotal language of every country, it had the same significance. A well is “the fountain of salvation” mentioned in Isaiah (xii. 3). The water is the male principle in its spiritual sense. In its physical relation in the allegory of creation, the water is chaos, and chaos is the female principle vivified by the Spirit of God — the male principle. In the “Kabala,” Zachar means “male”; and the Jordan was called Zachar (“Universal History,” vol. ii., p. 429). It is curious that the Father of St. John the Baptist, the Prophet of Jordan — Zacchar — should be called Zachar-ias. One of the names of Bacchus is Zagreus.550

Despite the notable similarity of the direct teachings of Gautama and Jesus, we yet find their respective followers starting from two diametrically opposite points. The Buddhist divine, following literally the ethical doctrine of his master, remains thus true to the legacy of Gautama; while the Christian minister, distorting the precepts recorded by the four Gospels beyond recognition, teaches, not that which Jesus taught, but the absurd, too often pernicious, interpretations of fallible men — Popes, Luthers, and Calvins included. The following are two instances selected from both religions, and brought into contrast. Let the reader judge for himself:

“Do not believe in anything because it is rumored and spoken of by many,” says Buddha; “do not think that is a proof of its truth.

“Do not believe merely because the written statement of some old sage is produced; do not be sure that the writing has ever been revised by the said sage, or can be relied on. Do not believe in what you have fancied, thinking that, because an idea is extraordinary, it must have been implanted by a Deva, or some wonderful being.

“Do not believe in guesses, that is, assuming something at hap-hazard as a starting-point, and then drawing conclusions from it — reckoning your two and your three and your four before you have fixed your number one.

Do not believe merely on the authority of your teachers and masters, or believe and practice merely because they believe and practice.

“I [Buddha] tell you all, you must of yourselves know that this is evil, this is punishable, this is censured by wise men; belief in this will bring no advantage to any one, but will cause sorrow; and when you know this, then eschew it.”*

It is impossible to avoid contrasting with these benevolent and human sentiments, the fulminations of the OEcumenical Council and the Pope,

* Alabaster: “Wheel of the Law,” pp. 43-47. 559

3- Rituals Compared

Doctrine of Transubstantiation and Theurgy 560 / Various Blood Rituals 568 / State of Christianity 573 / Christ and Siamese Saviour 576 / Buddha and Saint Joshaphat 579 /Practices of Christianity and Eastern practices 581

There is not a dogma in the Church to which these words can be better applied than to the doctrine of transubstantiation.** “Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life,” Christ is made to say. “This is a hard saying,” repeated his dismayed listeners. The answer was that of an initiate. “Doth this offend you? It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words (remata, or arcane utterances) that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life.”

The hierophant-initiator presented symbolically before the final revelation wine and bread to the candidate who had to eat and drink of both in token that the spirit was to quicken matter, i.e., the divine wisdom was to enter into his body through what was to be revealed to him. Jesus, in his Oriental phraseology, constantly assimilated himself to the true vine (John xv. 1). Furthermore, the hierophant, the discloser of the Petroma, was called “Father.” When Jesus says, “Drink . . . this is my blood,” what else was meant, it was simply a metaphorical assimilation of himself to the vine, which bears the grape, whose juice is its blood — wine. It was a hint that as he had himself been initiated by the “Father,” so he desired to initiate others. His “Father” was the husbandman, himself the vine, his disciples the branches. His followers being ignorant of the terminology of the Mysteries, wondered; they even took it as an offense, which is not surprising, considering the Mosaic injunction against blood.

There is quite enough in the four gospels to show what was the secret and most fervent hope of Jesus; the hope in which he began to teach, and in which he died. In his immense and unselfish love for humanity, he considers it unjust to deprive the many of the results of the knowledge acquired by the few. This result he accordingly preaches — the unity of a spiritual God, whose temple is within each of us, and in whom we live as He lives in us — in Spirit. This knowledge was in the hands of the Jewish adepts of the school of Hillel and the kabalists. But the “scribes,” or lawyers, having gradually merged into the dogmatism of the dead letter, had long since separated themselves from the Tanaim, the true spiritual teachers; and the practical kabalists were more or less persecuted by the Synagogue. Hence, we find Jesus exclaiming: “Woe unto you lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge [the Gnosis]: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering ye prevented” (Luke xi.52). The meaning here is clear. They did take the key away, and could not even profit by it themselves, for the Masorah (tradition) had become a closed book to themselves as well as to others. 560-61

There were even those among the highest epoptae of the greater Mysteries who knew nothing of their last and dreaded rite — the voluntary transfer of life from hierophant to candidate. In Ghost-Land**** this mystical operation of the adept’s transfer of his spiritual entity, after the death of his body, into the youth he loves with all the ardent love of a spiritual parent, is superbly described. As in the case of the reincarnation of the lamas of Thibet, an adept of the highest order may live indefinitely. His mortal casket wears out notwithstanding certain alchemical secrets for prolonging the youthful vigor far beyond the usual limits, yet the body can rarely be kept alive beyond ten or twelve score of years. The old garment is then worn out, and the spiritual Ego forced to leave it, selects for its habitation a new body, fresh and full of healthy vital principle. In case the reader should feel inclined to ridicule this asser- tion of the possible prolongation of human life, we may as well refer him to the statistics of several countries. The author of an able article in the Westminster Review, for October, 1850, is responsible for the statement that in England, they have the authentic instances of one Thomas Jenkins dying at the age of 169, and “Old Parr” at 152; and that in Russia some of the peasants are “known to have reached 242 years.”* There are also cases of centenarianism reported among the Peruvian Indians. We are aware that many able writers have recently discredited these claims to an extreme longevity, but we nevertheless affirm our belief in their truth. 564

Take Paul, read the little of original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether any one can find a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. “If any man is in Christ he is a new creation,” he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit — the spirit of man. Paul was the only one of the apostles who had understood the secret ideas underlying the teachings of Jesus, although he had never met him. But Paul had been initiated himself; and, bent upon inaugurating a new and broad reform, one embracing the whole of humanity, he sincerely set his own doctrines far above the wisdom of the ages, above the ancient Mysteries and final revelation to the epoptae. As Professor A. Wilder well proves in a series of able articles, it was not Jesus, but Paul who was the real founder of Christianity. “The disciples were called Christians first in Antioch,” say the Acts of the Apostles. “Such men as Irenaeus, Epiphanius, and Eusebius have transmitted to posterity a reputation for untruth and dishonest practices; and the heart sickens at the story of the crimes of that period,” writes this author, in a recent article.* “It will be remembered,” he adds, “that when the Moslems overran Syria and Asia Minor for the first time, they were welcomed by the Christians of those regions as deliverers from the intolerable oppression of the ruling authorities of the Church.” 574

References:

Inman, Thomas (1820-1876), Ancient Faiths And Modern (1876)
William Dwight Whitney (1827 – 1894), On The Vedic Doctrine Of A Future Life (1859) p. 404 The Bibliotheca Sacra and Biblical Repository, Volume 16
Buddhaghoṣa (5th-century). Buddhaghosa; Rogers, H. T. (Henry Thomas), 1830-1898;
Buddhaghosha’s parables
Horace Hayman Wilson (1786 – 1860), The Vishnu Purana (1840)
Emil Schlagintweit (1835 –1904), Buddhism in Tibet (1863)
Isaac Jacob Schmidt (1779 – 1847), Grammatik der tibetischen Sprache / verfasst von I. I. Schmidt. Hrsg. von der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften. – St. Petersburg : Bei W. Gräff ; Leipzig : Bei Leopold Voss, 1839.
Eugène Burnouf (1801 – 1852), Introduction à l’histoire du Bouddhisme indien (1844 ; 1876)
Le Bhagavata Purana ou histoire poétique de Krîchna. Traduit par M. Eugène Burnouf (1840)
Henry Alabaster (1836-1884), The Wheel of the Law: Buddhism. 1871
Sir Charles Wilkins, KH, FRS (1749 – 1836), The Bhagvat-geeta, or, Dialogues of Kreeshna and Arjoon (1785)
Britten Hardinge, Emma, Ghost Land or Researches Into the Mysteries of Occultism (1876)
Évariste Régis Huc, C.M., or the Abbé Huc, (1813–1860), Travels in Tartary, Thibet, and China during the years 1844-5-6. Volume 1 by Huc
Simon de la Loubère (1642 – 1729), Du Royaume de Siam, 1691
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
Gospel of James
Barlaam and Josaphat
Émile-Louis Burnouf (1821-1907)
Alexander Wilder (1823-1909)


Part 12: Chapter 12

Chapter 12 – Eastern Magic, Shamanism and Conclusion (Conclusions and Illustrations)

This final chapter serves as a conclusion for both volumes, so there is a return to the more occult and phenomenal topics of the first volume. It ends on a practical note; there is a final presentation of magic as a practical culmination of theoretical esoteric knowledge, and as such it is based on a spiritual and holistic worldview summed up in ten propositions, which are fairly well-known. This chapter is rich in her personal travel accounts and the spiritualism is addressed again; quite a satisfying conclusion for a ground-breaking, revolutionary, erudite two-volume epic journey into the mysteries of life that remains of great interest today.

1- Eastern Magic (p.587)

Ten fundamental propositions of Oriental Philosophy 587 / Two kinds of seership, soul and spirit 590 / Astral Projection 594 / Tibetan Buddhist Talking Baby 598 / Eastern Astral Practices 602 / Tibetan Magic 606 / Buddhist Flower Manifestation 609 / Folk Superstitions and Occult Truth 610 / The Mysterious Todas 613

1st. There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of law — eternal, immutable, ever active. Apparent miracle is but the operation of forces antagonistic to what Dr. W. B. Carpenter, F. R. S. — a man of great learning but little knowledge — calls “the well-ascertained laws of nature.” Like many of his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws once “known,” now unknown to science.

2d. Nature is triune: there is a visible, objective nature; an invisible, indwelling, energizing nature, the exact model of the other, and its vital principle; and, above these two, spirit, source of all forces, alone eternal, and indestructible. The lower two constantly change; the higher third does not.

3d. Man is also triune: he has his objective, physical body; his vitalizing astral body (or soul), the real man; and these two are brooded over and illuminated by the third — the sovereign, the immortal spirit. When the real man succeeds in merging himself with the latter, he becomes an immortal entity.

4th. Magic, as a science, is the knowledge of these principles, and of the way by which the omniscience and omnipotence of the spirit and its control over nature’s forces may be acquired by the individual while still in the body. Magic, as an art, is the application of this knowledge in practice.

5th. Arcane knowledge misapplied, is sorcery; beneficently used, true magic or WISDOM.

6th. Mediumship is the opposite of adeptship; the medium is the passive instrument of foreign influences, the adept actively controls himself and all inferior potencies.

7th. All things that ever were, that are, or that will be, having their record upon the astral light, or tablet of the unseen universe, the initiated adept, by using the vision of his own spirit, can know all that has been known or can be known.

8th. Races of men differ in spiritual gifts as in color, stature, or any other external quality; among some peoples seership naturally prevails, among others mediumship. Some are addicted to sorcery, and transmit its secret rules of practice from generation to generation, with a range of psychical phenomena, more or less wide, as the result.

9th. One phase of magical skill is the voluntary and conscious withdrawal of the inner man (astral form) from the outer man (physical body). In the cases of some mediums withdrawal occurs, but it is unconscious and involuntary. With the latter the body is more or less cataleptic at such times; but with the adept the absence of the astral form would not be noticed, for the physical senses are alert, and the individual appears only as though in a fit of abstraction — “a brown study,” as some call it.

10th. The corner-stone of MAGIC is an intimate practical knowledge of magnetism and electricity, their qualities, correlations, and potencies. Especially necessary is a familiarity with their effects in and upon the animal kingdom and man. There are occult properties in many other minerals, equally strange with that in the lodestone, which all practitioners of magic must know, and of which so-called exact science is wholly ignorant. Plants also have like mystical properties in a most wonderful degree, and the secrets of the herbs of dreams and enchantments are only lost to European science, and useless to say, too, are unknown to it, except in a few marked instances, such as opium and hashish. Yet, the psychical effects of even these few upon the human system are regarded as evidences of a temporary mental disorder. The women of Thessaly and Epirus, the female hierophants of the rites of Sabazius, did not carry their secrets away with the downfall of their sanctuaries. They are still preserved, and those who are aware of the nature of Soma, know the properties of other plants as well.

To sum up all in a few words, MAGIC is spiritual WISDOM; nature, the material ally, pupil and servant of the magician. One common vital principle pervades all things, and this is controllable by the perfected human will. The adept can stimulate the movements of the natural forces in plants and animals in a preternatural degree. Such experiments are not obstructions of nature, but quickenings; the conditions of intenser vital action are given.

The adept can control the sensations and alter the conditions of the physical and astral bodies of other persons not adepts; he can also govern and employ, as he chooses, the spirits of the elements. He cannot control the immortal spirit of any human being, living or dead, for all such spirits are alike sparks of the Divine Essence, and not subject to any foreign domination. 589

There are two kinds of seership — that of the soul and that of the spirit. The seership of the ancient Pythoness, or of the modern mesmerized subject, vary but in the artificial modes adopted to induce the state of clairvoyance. But, as the visions of both depend upon the greater or less acuteness of the senses of the astral body, they differ very widely from the perfect, omniscient spiritual state; for, at best, the subject can get but glimpses of truth, through the veil which physical nature interposes. The astral principle, or mind, called by the Hindu Yogin fav-atma, is the sentient soul, inseparable from our physical brain, which it holds in subjection, and is in its turn equally trammelled by it. This is the ego, the intellectual life-principle of man, his conscious entity. While it is yet within the material body, the clearness and correctness of its spiritual visions depend on its more or less intimate relation with its higher Principle. When this relation is such as to allow the most ethereal portions of the soul-essence to act independently of its grosser particles and of the brain, it can unerringly comprehend what it sees; then only is it the pure, rational, supersentient soul. That state is known in India as the Samaddi; it is the highest condition of spirituality possible to man on earth. Fakirs try to obtain such a condition by holding their breath for hours together during their religious exercises, and call this practice dam-sadhna. The Hindu terms Pranayama, Pratyahara, and Dharana, all relate to different psychological states, and show how much more the Sanscrit, and even the modern Hindu language are adapted to the clear elucidation of the phenomena that are encountered by those who study this branch of psychological science, than the tongues of modern peoples, whose experiences have not yet necessitated the invention of such descriptive terms. 590

But, while it is our firm belief that most of the physical manifestations, i.e., those which neither need nor show intelligence nor great discrimination, are produced mechanically by the scin-lecca (double) of the medium, as a person in sound sleep will when apparently awake do things of which he will retain no remembrance. The purely subjective phenomena are but in a very small proportion of cases due to the action of the personal astral body. They are mostly, and according to the moral, intellectual, and physical purity of the medium, the work of either the elementary, or sometimes very pure human spirits. Elementals have naught to do with subjective manifestations. In rare cases it is the divine spirit of the medium himself that guides and produces them. 597

In Japan and Siam there are two orders of priests, of which one are public, and deal with the people, the other strictly private. The latter are never seen; their existence is known but to very few natives, never to foreigners. Their powers are never displayed in public, nor ever at all except on rare occasions of the utmost importance, at which times the ceremonies are performed in subterranean or otherwise inaccessible temples, and in the presence of a chosen few whose heads answer for their secrecy. Among such occasions are deaths in the Royal family, or those of high dignitaries affiliated with the Order. One of the most weird and impressive exhibitions of the power of these magicians is that of the withdrawal of the astral soul from the cremated remains of human beings, a ceremony practiced likewise in some of the most important lamaseries of Thibet and Mongolia.

Both in Western and Eastern Thibet, as in every other place where Buddhism predominates, there are two distinct religions, the same as it is in Brahmanism — the secret philosophy and the popular religion. The former is that of the followers of the doctrine of the sect of the Sutrantika.* They closely adhere to the spirit of Buddha’s original teachings which show the necessity of intuitional perception, and all deductions therefrom. These do not proclaim their views, nor allow them to be made public. 607

2- Shamanism

Shamanism 615 / Life extending powers 620 / Animal Tamers 622 / Siberian Shaman Rescue 624 / The Koordistan 629 / The Power of Breathing 632

What is now generally known of Shamanism is very little; and that has been perverted, like the rest of the non-Christian religions. It is called the “heathenism” of Mongolia, and wholly without reason, for it is one of the oldest religions of India. It is spirit-worship, or belief in the immortality of the souls, and that the latter are still the same men they were on earth, though their bodies have lost their objective form, and man has exchanged his physical for a spiritual nature. In its present shape, it is an offshoot of primitive theurgy, and a practical blending of the visible with the invisible world. Whenever a denizen of earth desires to enter into communication with his invisible brethren, he has to assimilate himself to their nature, i.e., he meets these beings half-way, and, furnished by them with a supply of spiritual essence, endows them, in his turn, with a portion of his physical nature, thus enabling them sometimes to appear in a semi-objective form. It is a temporary exchange of natures, called theurgy. Shamans are called sorcerers, because they are said to evoke the “spirits” of the dead for purposes of necromancy. The true Shamanism — striking features of which prevailed in India in the days of Megasthenes (300 B.C.) — can no more be judged by its degenerated scions among the Shamans of Siberia, than the religion of Gautama-Buddha can be interpreted by the fetishism of some of his followers in Siam and Burmah. It is in the chief lamaseries of Mongolia and Thibet that it has taken refuge; and there Shamanism, if so we must call it, is practiced to the utmost limits of intercourse allowed between man and “spirit.” The religion of the lamas has faithfully preserved the primitive science of magic, and produces as great feats now as it did in the days of Kublai-Khan and his barons. 615

A number of lamas in Sikkin produce meipo — “miracle” — by magical powers. The late Patriarch of Mongolia, Gegen Chutuktu, who resided at Urga, a veritable paradise, was the sixteenth incarnation of Gautama, therefore a Boddhisattva. He had the reputation of possessing powers that were phenomenal, even among the thaumaturgists of the land of miracles par excellence. Let no one suppose that these powers are developed without cost. The lives of most of these holy men, miscalled idle vagrants, cheating beggars, who are supposed to pass their existence in preying upon the easy credulity of their victims, are miracles in themselves. Miracles, because they show what a determined will and perfect purity of life and purpose are able to accomplish, and to what degree of preternatural ascetism a human body can be subjected and yet live and reach a ripe old age. No Christian hermit has ever dreamed of such refinement of monastic discipline; and the aerial habitation of a Simon Stylite would appear child’s play before the fakir’s and the Buddhist’s inventions of will-tests. But the theoretical study of magic is one thing; the possibility of practicing it quite another. At Bras-ss-Pungs, the Mongolian college where over three hundred magicians (sorciers, as the French missionaries call them) teach about twice as many pupils from twelve to twenty, the latter have many years to wait for their final initiation. Not one in a hundred reaches the highest goal; and out of the many thousand lamas occupying nearly an entire city of detached buildings clustering around it, not more than two per cent. become wonder-workers. One may learn by heart every line of the 108 volumes of Kadjur,* and still make but a poor practical magician. There is but one thing which leads surely to it, and this particular study is hinted at by more than one Hermetic writer. One, the Arabian alchemist Abipili, speaks thus: “I admonish thee, whosoever thou art that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of nature; if that thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek after the ex cellency of other things? . . . O MAN, KNOW THYSELF! IN THEE IS HID THE TREASURE OF TREASURES.” 617

3- Conclusion

The Purpose of this work 634 / Spiritualism 636 / Perennialism 638

By those who have followed us thus far, it will naturally be asked, to what practical issue this book tends; much has been said about magic and its potentiality, much of the immense antiquity of its practice. Do we wish to affirm that the occult sciences ought to be studied and practiced throughout the world? Would we replace modern spiritualism with the ancient magic? Neither; the substitution could not be made, nor the study universally prosecuted, without incurring the risk of enormous public dangers. At this moment, a well-known spiritualist and lecturer on mesmerism is imprisoned on the charge of raping a subject whom he had hypnotized. A sorcerer is a public enemy, and mesmerism may most readily be turned into the worst of sorceries.

We would have neither scientists, theologians, nor spiritualists turn practical magicians, but all to realize that there was true science, profound religion, and genuine phenomena before this modern era. We would that all who have a voice in the education of the masses should first know and then teach that the safest guides to human happiness and enlightenment are those writings which have descended to us from the remotest antiquity; and that nobler spiritual aspirations and a higher average morality prevail in the countries where the people take their precepts as the rule of their lives. We would have all to realize that magical, i.e., spiritual powers exist in every man, and those few to practice them who feel called to teach, and are ready to pay the price of discipline and self-conquest which their development exacts.

Many men have arisen who had glimpses of the truth, and fancied they had it all. Such have failed to achieve the good they might have done and sought to do, because vanity has made them thrust their personality into such undue prominence as to interpose it between their believers and the whole truth that lay behind. The world needs no sectarian church, whether of Buddha, Jesus, Mahomet, Swedenborg, Calvin, or any other. There being but ONE Truth, man requires but one church — the Temple of God within us, walled in by matter but penetrable by any one who can find the way; the pure in heart see God.

The trinity of nature is the lock of magic, the trinity of man the key that fits it. Within the solemn precincts of the sanctuary the SUPREME had and has no name. It is unthinkable and unpronounceable; and yet every man finds in himself his god. “Who art thou, O fair being?” inquires the disembodied soul, in the Khordah-Avesta, at the gates of Paradise. “I am, O Soul, thy good and pure thoughts, thy works and thy good law . . . thy angel . . . and thy god.” Then man, or the soul, is reunited with ITSELF, for this “Son of God” is one with him; it is his own mediator, the god of his human soul and his “Justifier.” “God not revealing himself immediately to man, the spirit is his interpreter,” says Plato in the Banquet.

Besides, there are many good reasons why the study of magic, except in its broad philosophy, is nearly impracticable in Europe and America. Magic being what it is, the most difficult of all sciences to learn experimentally — its acquisition is practically beyond the reach of the majority of white-skinned people; and that, whether their effort is made at home or in the East. Probably not more than one man in a million of European blood is fitted — either physically, morally, or psychologically — to become a practical magician, and not one in ten millions would be found endowed with all these three qualifications as required for the work. Civilized nations lack the phenomenal powers of endurance, both mental and physical, of the Easterns; the favoring temperamental idiosyncrasies of the Orientals are utterly wanting in them. In the Hindu, the Arabian, the Thibetan, an intuitive perception of the possibilities of occult natural forces in subjection to human will, comes by inheritance; and in them, the physical senses as well as the spiritual are far more finely developed than in the Western races. Notwithstanding the notable difference of thickness between the skulls of a European and a Southern Hindu, this difference, being a purely climatic result, due to the intensity of the sun’s rays, involves no psychological principles. Furthermore, there would be tremendous difficulties in the way of training, if we can so express it. Contaminated by centuries of dogmatic superstition, by an ineradicable — though quite unwarranted — sense of superiority over those whom the English term so contemptuously “niggers,” the white European would hardly submit himself to the practical tuition of either Kopt, Brahman, or Lama. To become a neophyte, one must be ready to devote himself heart and soul to the study of mystic sciences. Magic — most imperative of mistresses — brooks no rival. Unlike other sciences, a theoretical knowledge of formulai without mental capacities or soul powers, is utterly useless in magic. The spirit must hold in complete subjection the combativeness of what is loosely termed educated reason, until facts have vanquished cold human sophistry. 635-36

Those best prepared to appreciate occultism are the spiritualists, although, through prejudice, until now they have been the bitterest opponents to its introduction to public notice. Despite all foolish negations and denunciations, their phenomena are real. Despite, also, their own assertions they are wholly misunderstood by themselves. The totally insufficient theory of the constant agency of disembodied human spirits in their production has been the bane of the Cause. A thousand mortifying rebuffs have failed to open their reason or intuition to the truth. Ignoring the teachings of the past, they have discovered no substitute. We offer them philosophical deduction instead of unverifiable hypothesis, scientific analysis and demonstration instead of undiscriminating faith. Occult philosophy gives them the means of meeting the reasonable requirements of science, and frees them from the humiliating necessity to accept the oracular teachings of “intelligences,” which as a rule have less intelligence than a child at school. So based and so strengthened, modern phenomena would be in a position to command the attention and enforce the respect of those who carry with them public opinion. Without invoking such help, spiritualism must continue to vegetate, equally repulsed — not without cause — both by scientists and theologians. In its modern aspect, it is neither a science, a religion, nor a philosophy. 636

Our examination of the multitudinous religious faiths that mankind, early and late, have professed, most assuredly indicates that they have all been derived from one primitive source. It would seem as if they were all but different modes of expressing the yearning of the imprisoned human soul for intercourse with supernal spheres. As the white ray of light is decomposed by the prism into the various colors of the solar spectrum, so the beam of divine truth, in passing through the three-sided prism of man’s nature, has been broken up into vari-colored fragments called RELIGIONS. And, as the rays of the spectrum, by imperceptible shadings, merge into each other, so the great theologies that have appeared at different degrees of divergence from the original source, have been connected by minor schisms, schools, and off-shoots from the one side or the other. Combined, their aggregate represents one eternal truth; separate, they are but shades of human error and the signs of imperfection. The worship of the Vedic pitris is fast becoming the worship of the spiritual portion of mankind. It but needs the right perception of things objective to finally discover that the only world of reality is the subjective.

What has been contemptuously termed Paganism, was ancient wisdom replete with Deity; and Judaism and its offspring, Christianity and Islamism, derived whatever of inspiration they contained from this ethnic parent. Pre-Vedic Brahmanism and Buddhism are the double source from which all religions sprung; Nirvana is the ocean to which all tend. For the purposes of a philosophical analysis, we need not take account of the enormities which have blackened the record of many of the world’s religions. True faith is the embodiment of divine charity; those who minister at its altars, are but human. As we turn the blood-stained pages of ecclesiastical history, we find that, whoever may have been the hero, and whatever costumes the actors may have worn, the plot of the tragedy has ever been the same. But the Eternal Night was in and behind all, and we pass from what we see to that which is invisible to the eye of sense. Our fervent wish has been to show true souls how they may lift aside the curtain, and, in the brightness of that Night made Day, look with undazzled gaze upon the UNVEILED TRUTH. 639-40

References:

Peary Chand Mitra (1814 –1883)
Human Nature V11 N3 March 1877
Francis Gerry Fairfield (1836-1887)
Library Table, July 19 1877, “A Clinical View of Spiritual Phenomena
Turner, Samuel (1749?-1802), An account of an embassy to the court of the teshoo lama, in Tibet; containing a narrative of a journey through Bootan, and part of Tibet, 1800
John Tyndall, FRS (2 August 1820 – 4 December 1893), Sound. A course of eight lectures delivered at the Royal institution of Great Britain (1867)
Ali Puli
Edmund Brice (fl. 1648–1696)
Centrum Naturae Concentratum, or, The Salt of Nature Regenerated
Tractatus de Lapide, Manna Benedicto
Aurifontina chymica, or, A collection of fourteen small treatises concerning the first matter of philosophers
John Crawfurd, FRS (1783 –1868), Journal of an Embassy from the Governor-general of India to the Courts of Siam and Cochin China:1830
Le père Jean-Baptiste Girard (1680-1733), Recueil général des pièces concernant le Procès entre la Dem. Cadiere et le P. Girard Jésuite (1731)


Recap: Chapters 9-12

Chapter 9 Principles of Esoteric Evolution: Symbolism and Astrology in the Bible and the Vedas (The Vedas and the Bible)

1- Seven in Ancient Scriptures (405)

Myth Interpretation 405/Seven in Hinduism and Judaism 406 / Mantras 409 /Symbolism 411 / Symbolism of Seven 417

2- Symbolism in Genesis (420)

Genesis 420 / Early Vedic Civilisation 430 / Ethiopeans and Egyptians 435 / Bible History 439 / Moses and Sargon 441 / Symbolism of Noah 443 / Dragon symbolism 446 / Ark symbolism 447 / Patriarch Symbolism 449 / Symbolism of the Four Beasts 451 / Cross Symbolism 453

3- Ezekiel’s Wheel Astrological Symbolism

Astrological Symbolism 455 / Bible Patriarchs and the Zodiac 459 / Symbolism of Ezekiel’s Wheel 461 / Cycles 466 / Kabbalah on Adam and Eve 468 / Biblical Scholarship 469

Chapter 10 – The Origin and History of the Dogma of Satan (The Devil-Myth)

1- Eternal Damnation / Christian Missionaries (473)

2-Dogma of the existence of Satan (476)

3- Biblical Passages (480)

4- Serpent-Dragon Pagan Sources (482)

5- Job (493)

6- Demons / Church History (500)

7- Avatars (503)

8- Sun and Dragon Myths / Hell (506)

9- Descent into Hell / Gospel of Nicodemus (514)

10- Israelites and Saturn (523)

11- Judaism and Christian Theology (525)

12- Bacchus (527)

Chapter 11– Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity Compared (Comparative Results of Buddhism and Christianity)

1- Christianity and Comparative Religion 529

Buddhism 533 / Avatars 535 / Krishna, Buddha and Christ Compared 537 / Buddhism and Christianity 540

2- Doctrines Compared

Christian Doctrine of Atonement 543 / Doctrine of Predestination 546 / Christian copies from Buddhism 549 / The Supreme in Religions 553 / Krishna, Buddha and Christ as Avatars 555 / Buddha and Jesus 559

3- Rituals Compared

Doctrine of Transubstantiation and Theurgy 560 / Various Blood Rituals 568 / State of Christianity 573 / Christ and Siamese Saviour 576 / Buddha and Saint Joshaphat 579 /Practices of Christianity and Eastern practices 581

Chapter 12 – Eastern Magic, Shamanism and Conclusion (Conclusions and Illustrations)

1- Eastern Magic (p.587)

Ten fundamental propositions of Oriental Philosophy 587 / Two kinds of seership, soul and spirit 590 / Astral Projection 594 / Tibetan Buddhist Talking Baby 598 / Eastern Astral Practices 602 / Tibetan Magic 606 / Buddhist Flower Manifestation 609 / Folk Superstitions and Occult Truth 610 / The Mysterious Todas 613

2- Shamanism

Shamanism 615 / Life extending powers 620 / Animal Tamers 622 / Siberian Shaman Rescue 624 / The Koordistan 629 / The Power of Breathing 632

3- Conclusion

The Purpose of this work 634 / Spiritualism 636 / Perennialism 638


Recap: Chapters 1-12

Chapter 1 (The Church! Where is it?”) Christianity’s relation to Spiritualism and Paganism

1- Christianity’s attitude towards paganism and spiritualism (p.1)

2- Origin of Christian belief in the Devil and Hell (10)

3- Christianity’s relation to the Supernatural (16)

4- The attitude of Science and Comparative Religion to Spiritualism (25)

5- India and Paganism as source of Christian theology (The logos, the Trinity, the Eucharist) (30)

6- Christianity’s struggles with Gnostics and Neoplatonists (51)

Chapter 2 – Christianity’s Relation to Pagan Practices; Pagan Mysteries compared to Christianity and Hinduism (Christian Crimes and Heathen Virtues)

1- Magical Practices in Roman Catholic Church (55)

2- Persecution of Witchcraft and the Spanish Inquisition (59)

3-Exorcisms (66)

4- Mystical Visions in the Church (73)

5- Fabulations and Deceptions in the Medieval Church (79)

6- Pagan Influence on Christianity (84)

7- Pagan Mysteries compared to Christianity and Hinduism (97)

8 – Phallic Symbolism (120)

Chapter 3- Overview of Early Gnosticism in Relation to Nazarene Groups (Divisions Among the Early Christians)

1- Peter and the Myth of Apostolic Succession (p.123)

2- Nazarenes in Relation to Ebionites and Essenes (127)

3- Jehovistic and Chaldean currents in Judaism (128)

4- John the Baptist’s relation to Nazarenes (132)

5- Jesus’ relation to Nazarenes (137)

6- Zoroastrian connection to Nazarenes (140)

7- Essenes and Mystery Religions in relation to Nazarenes (143)

8- Jesus and the Ancient Portrayal of Magicians (147)

Chapter 4 – Eastern and Gnostic Cosmologies compared; Conflicts in the Early Christian Church (Oriental Cosmogonies and Bible Records)

1- The Ophite Theology compared with Indian and Near Eastern systems (167)

2- Conflict between Peter and Paul – Jehovists and Gnostics (188)

3- Essenes and Nazarenes (196)

Chapter 5 – The Kabbalah and Comparative Religion (Mysteries of the Kabala)

1- Sefirots compared (212)

2- Kabbalistic Trinity Compared (222)

3- Four-Face Cherubim and World Saviours Compared (230)

Chapter 6 – Comparative Cosmology and Soul Evolution (Esoteric Doctrines of Buddhism Parodied in Christianity)

1- Development of Christianity in the fourth Century (251)

2- Comparative Ancient Cosmology (260)

3- Eastern Doctrine of Cycles and Evolution (272)

4- The Evolution of the Soul in Ancient Greece and Buddhism (279)

Chapter 7 – Gnosticism, Early Christianity, Buddhism and the Secret Doctrine (Early Christian Heresies and Secret Societies)

1- Ophites and Mandaen systems (289)

2- Druzes (303)

3- Early Christianity (323)

Chapter 8 – Jesuits, Templars, Rosicrucians, Masons, and the Lost Word (Jesuitry and Masonry)

1- The Jesuits (348)

2- Masonry (366)

Chapter 9 Principles of Esoteric Evolution: Symbolism and Astrology in the Bible and the Vedas (The Vedas and the Bible)

1- Seven in Ancient Scriptures (405)

2- Symbolism in Genesis (420)

3- Ezekiel’s Wheel Astrological Symbolism (455)

Chapter 10 – The Origin and History of the Dogma of Satan (The Devil-Myth)

1- Eternal Damnation / Christian Missionaries (473)

2-Dogma of the existence of Satan (476)

3- Biblical Passages (480)

4- Serpent-Dragon Pagan Sources (482)

5- Job (493)

6- Demons / Church History (500)

7- Avatars (503)

8- Sun and Dragon Myths / Hell (506)

9- Descent into Hell / Gospel of Nicodemus (514)

10- Israelites and Saturn (523)

11- Judaism and Christian Theology (525)

12- Bacchus (527)

Chapter 11– Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity Compared (Comparative Results of Buddhism and Christianity)

1- Christianity and Comparative Religion (529)

2- Doctrines Compared (543)

3- Rituals Compared (560)

Chapter 12 – Eastern Magic, Shamanism and Conclusion (Conclusions and Illustrations)

1- Eastern Magic (p.587)

2- Shamanism (615)

3- Conclusion (634)


Conclusion

The second volume of Isis Unveiled, dealing with religion, although looser in structure, is nonetheless a sprawling, ambitious study in comparative religion. The first seven chapters mainly comprise a fairly detailed and original study of early Christianity through the first five centuries, relying on the studies of the time, mainly Supernatural Religion by Cassels, with the eighth chapter filling out the history of esoteric movements up to her time.

At the same time, the first eight chapters pursue other goals, mainly to critique perceived problems with the current Christian churches and pointing out the historical causes and to present a reform project by presenting an esoteric study of key Judeo-Christian theological concepts such as the Trinity and the Logos through perennialist comparative studies involving Hinduism, Buddhism, Greek Paganism, Zoroastrianism and Gnosticism, among others.

She has a notably pro-Gnostic stance, both Jewish and Christian, foreshadowing the remarkable resurgence of Gnosticism in the latter half of the twentieth spurred by the famous Qumran and Nag Hammadi discoveries. Indeed her writings are quite consonant with the contents of those texts, especially in her noting the importance of Jewish Gnosticism. She also presents groundbreaking research on Mandean Gnosticism with her use of the Ginza (Codex Nazareus). Morever, her portrayal of Jesus prefigures the alternative biographical studies of Jesus and the historical view of a simpler early Christianity that challenges the later assumptions of the Nicean council.

The final four chapters, are more focused and self-contained: chapter nine adds more study of theosophical concepts of spiritual evolution in ancient scriptures that prefigure the Secret Doctrine, chapter ten presents a specific critique of the dogma of the Devil, adopting a Miltonian/Masonic esoteric interpretation of the fall of Lucifer, chapter eleven gives a solid comparative overview of Hindusim, Christianity, and Buddhism while chapter twelve serves as a general conclusion for both volumes, emphasizing magical practices found in eastern religions.

With the remarkable subsequent rise of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as Gnosticism, Sufism and the Kabbalah in the West and the continued decline and necessary reforms by the Christian churches, this work can be seen as remarkably prescient and influential (one is tempted to see this work as the founding charter for modern new age and alternative spirituality) and many of the ideas and theories are still relevant 140 years later.

The Basic ideas that govern both volumes can be summarized as follows:

1- Comparing, critiquing and contrasting ancient and modern science and religion (and rehabilitating the former);

2- Comparing ancient and modern western knowledge with eastern culture (and rehabilitating the latter);

3- Using the first two points (with wider comparative research) to posit the existence of a universal, perennial wisdom;

4- Using the first 3 points to introduce notions of esoteric philosophy (which includes a holistic, essentialist multi-modal ontological world view, a cyclical view of history, a pro-Atlantis anthropological theory, and a Darwin-informed concept of spiritual evolution);

5- Using these notions of esoteric philosophy to build a new synthesis of (a) ancient and modern science; (b) eastern and western knowledge; (c) science and religion.

6- Arguing for the idea of India as a pre-eminent cradle of civilization.

7- Critiquing and clarifying the problem of spiritual phenomena and magic using esoteric principles.

8- Positing the existence of adepts, who through their acquired spiritual knowledge, have been the caretakers of a primordial divine wisdom since the earliest existence of humanity.