That the world moves in cycles, and events repeat
themselves therein, is an old, yet ever new truism. It is new to most, firstly,
because it belongs to a distinct group of occult aphorisms in partibus
infidelium, and our present-day Rabbis and Pharisees will accept nothing
coming from that Nazareth; secondly, because those who will swallow
a camel of whatever size, provided it hails from orthodox or accepted authorities,
will strain and kick at the smallest gnat, if only its buzz comes from theosophical
regions. Yet this proposition about the world cycles and ever-recurring
events, is a very correct one. It is one, moreover, that people could easily
verify for themselves. Of course, the people meant here are men who do their
own thinking; not those others who are satisfied to remain, from birth till
death, pinned, like a thistle fastened to the coat-tail of a country parson,
to the beliefs and thoughts of the goody-goody majority.
We cannot agree with a writer (was it Gilpin?) who said that the grandest
truths are often rejected, "not so much for want of direct evidence,
as for want of inclination to search for it." This applies but to a
few. Nine-tenths of the people will reject the most overwhelming evidence,
even if it be brought to them without any trouble to themselves, only because
it happens to clash with their personal interests or prejudices; especially
if it comes from unpopular quarters. We are living in a highly moral atmosphere,
high sounding in words. Put to the test of practice, however, the morality
of this age in point of genuineness and reality is of the nature of the
black skin of the "negro" minstrel: assumed for show and pay,
and washed off at the close of every performance. In sober truth, our opponents advocates
of official science, defenders of orthodox religion, and the tutti quanti of the detractors of Theosophy who claim to oppose our works on grounds
of scientific "evidence," "public good and truth,"
strongly resemble advocates in our courts of law miscalled of justice.
These in their defence of robbers and murderers, forgers and adulterers,
deem it to be their duty to browbeat, confuse and bespatter all who bear
witness against their clients, and will ignore, or if possible, suppress,
all evidence which goes to incriminate them. Let ancient Wisdom step into
the witness-box herself, and prove that the goods found in the possession
of the prisoner at the bar, were taken from her own strong-box; and she
will find herself accused of all manner of crimes, fortunate if she escape
being branded as a common fraud, and told that she is no better than she
What member of our Society can wonder then, that in this our age, pre-eminently
one of shams and shows, the "theosophists'" teachings so
(mis-) called, seem to be the most unpopular of all the systems now to the
fore; or that materialism and theology, science and modern philosophy, have
arrayed themselves in holy alliance against theosophical studies perhaps
because all the former are based on chips and broken-up fragments of that
primordial system. Cotton complains somewhere, that the "metaphysicians
have been learning their lesson for the last four (?) thousand years,"
and that "it is now high time that they should begin to teach something."
But, no sooner is the possibility of such studies offered, with the complete
evidence into the bargain that they belong to the oldest doctrine of the
metaphysical philosophy of mankind, than, instead of giving them a fair
hearing at least, the majority of the complainers turn away with a sneer
and the cool remark: "Oh, you must have invented all you say yourself!"
Dear ladies and gentlemen, has it ever occurred to you, how truly grand
and almost divine would be that man or woman, who, at this time of
the life of mankind, could invent anything, or discover that which had not
been invented and known ages before? The charge of being such an inventor
would only entitle the accused to the choicest honours. For show us, if
you can, that mortal who in the historical cycle of our human race has taught
the world something entirely new. To the proud pretensions of this age,
Occultism the real Eastern Occultism, or the so-called Esoteric Doctrine answers
through its ablest students: Indeed all your boasted knowledge is but the
reflex action of the by-gone Past. At best, you are but the modern popularisers
of very ancient ideas. Consciously and unconsciously you have pilfered from
old classics and philosophers, who were themselves but the superficial recorders cautious
and incomplete, owing to the terrible penalties for divulging the secrets
of initiation taught during the mysteries of the primæval Wisdom.
Avaunt! your modern. sciences and speculations are but the réchauffé dishes of antiquity; the dead bones (served with a sauce piquante of crass materialism, to disguise them) of the intellectual repasts of the
gods. Ragonwas right in saying in his Maçonnerie Occulte,
that "Humanity only seems to progress in achieving one discovery after the other, a sin truth, it only finds
that which it had lost. Most of our modern inventions for which we claim
such glory, are, after all, things people were acquainted with three and
four thousand years back.1 Lost to us through
wars, floods and fire, their very existence became obliterated from the
memory of man. And now modern thinkers begin to rediscover them once
Allow us to recapitulate a few of such things and thus refresh your memory.
Deny, if you can, that the most important of our present sciences were
known to the ancients. It is not Eastern literature only, and the whole
cycle of those esoteric teachings which an overzealous Christian Kabalist,
in France, has just dubbed "the accursed sciences" that
will give you a flat denial, but profane classical literature, as well.
The proof is easy.
Are not physics and natural sciences but an amplified reproduction of
the works of Anaxagoras, of Empedocles, Democritus and others? All that
is taught now, was taught by these philosophers then. For
they maintained even in the fragments of their works still extant that
the Universe is composed of eternal atoms which, moved by a subtle internal
Fire, combine in millions of various ways. With them, this "Fire"
was the divine Breath of the Universal Mind, but now, it has become with
the modern philosophers no better than a blind and senseless Force. Furthermore
they taught that there was neither Life nor Death, but only a constant
destruction of form, produced by perpetual physical transformations.
This has now become by intellectual transformation, that which is
known as the physical correlation of forces, conservation of energy, law
of continuity, and what not, in the vocabulary of modern Science. But "what's
in a name," or in new-fangled words and compound terms, once that the
identity of the essential ideas is established?
Was not Descartes indebted for his original theories to the old
Masters, to Leucippus and Democritus, Lucretius, Anaxagoras and Epicurus?
These taught that the celestial bodies were formed of a multitude of atoms,
whose vortical motion existed from eternity; which met, and, rotating together,
the heaviest were drawn to the centres, the lightest to the circumferences;
each of these concretions was carried away in a fluidic matter, which, receiving
from this rotation an impulse, the stronger communicated it to the weaker
concretions. This seems a tolerably close description of the Cartesian theory
of Elemental Vortices taken from Anaxagoras and some others; and it does
look most suspiciously like the "vortical atoms" of Sir W. Thomson!
Even Sir Isaac Newton, the greatest among the great, is found constantly
mirroring a dozen or so of old philosophers. In reading his works one sees
floating in the air the pale images of the same Anaxagoras and Democritus,
of Pythagoras, Aristotle, Timæus of Locris, Lucretius, Macrobius,
and even our old friend Plutarch. All these have maintained one or the other
of these propositions, (1) that the smallest of the particles of matter
would be sufficient owing to its infinite divisibility to fill infinite
space; (2) that there exist two Forces emanated from the Universal Soul,
combined in numerical proportions (the centripetal and centrifugal "forces,"
of the latter day scientific saints); (3) that there was a mutual attraction of bodies, which attraction causes the latter to, what we now call, gravitate and keeps them within their respective spheres; (4) they hinted most unmistakably
at the relation existing between the weight and the density, or the quantity
of matter contained in a unit of mass; and (5) taught that the attraction
(gravitation) of the planets toward the Sun is in reciprocal proportion
to their distance from that luminary.
Finally, is it not a historical fact that the rotation of the Earth and
the heliocentric system were taught by Pythagoras not to speak of Hicetas,
Heraclides, Ecphantus, &c., over 2,000 years before the despairing
and now famous cry of Galileo, "E pur, se muove"?
Did not the priests of Etruria and the Indian Rishis still earlier,
know how to attract lightning, ages upon ages before even the astral Sir B. Franklin was formed in space? Euclid is honoured to this day perhaps,
because one cannot juggle as easily with mathematics and figures, as with
symbols and words bearing on unprovable hypotheses. Archimedes had probably
forgotten more in his day, than our modern mathematicians, astronomers,
geometricians, mechanicians, hydrostaticians and opticians ever knew. Without
Archytas, the disciple of Pythagoras, the application of the theory of mathematics
to practical purposes would, perchance, remain still unknown to our grand
era of inventions and machinery. Needless to remind the reader of that which
the Aryans knew, as it is already recorded in the Theosophist and
other works obtainable in India.
Wise was Solomon in saying that "there is no new thing under
the Sun"; and that everything that is "hath been already
of old time, which was before us" save, perhaps, the theosophical
doctrines which the humble writer of the present is charged by some with
having" invented." The prime origin of this (very complimentary)
accusation is due to the kind efforts of the S. P. R. It is the more considerate
and kind of this "world famous, and learned Society" of "Researches,"
as its scribes seem utterly incapable of inventing anything original themselves even
in the way of manufacturing a commonplace illustration. If the inquisitive
reader turns to the article which follows, he will have the satisfaction
of finding a curious proof of this fact, in a reprint from old Izaak Walton's Lives, which our contributor has entitled "Mrs. Donne's Astral
Body." Thus even the scientifically accurate Cambridge Dons
are not, it seems, above borrowing from an ancient book; and not
only fail to acknowledge the debt, but even go to the trouble of presenting
it to the public as new original matter, without even the compliment
of inverted commas. And thus all along.
In short, it may be said of the scientific theories, that those which
are true are not new; and those which are new are not true, or are at least,
very dubious. It is easy to hide behind "merely working hypotheses,"
but less easy to maintain their plausibility in the face of logic and philosophy.
To make short work of a very big subject, we have but to institute a brief
comparison between the old and the new teachings. That which modern science
would make us believe, is this: the atoms possess innate and immutable
properties. That which Esoteric, and also exoteric, Eastern philosophy calls divine Spirit Substance (Purusha Prakriti) or eternal Spirit-matter,
one inseparable from the other, modern Science calls Force and Matter, adding
as we do (for it is a Vedantic conception), that, the two being inseparable,
matter is but an abstraction (an illusion rather). The properties of matter
are, by the Eastern Occultists, summed up in, or brought down to, attraction
and repulsion; by the Scientists, to gravitation and affinities. According
to this teaching, the properties of complex combinations are but the necessary
results of the composition of elementary properties; the most complex existences
being the physico-chemical automata, called men. Matter from being primarily scattered and inanimate, begets life, sensation, emotions
and will, after a whole series of consecutive "gropings." The
latter non-felicitous expression (belonging to Mr. Tyndall), forced the
philosophical writer, Delboeuf2, to criticize
the English Scientist in very disrespectful terms, and forces us in our
turn, to agree with the former. Matter, or anything equally conditioned,
once that it is declared to be subject to immutable laws, cannot "grope." But this is a trifle when compared with dead or inanimate matter, producing life, and even psychic phenomena of the highest
mentality! Finally, a rigid determinism reigns over all nature. All that
which has once happened to our automatical Universe, had to happen,
as the future of that Universe is traced in the smallest of its particles
or "atoms." Return these atoms, they say, to the same position
and order they were in at the first moment of the evolution of the physical
Kosmos, and the same universal phenomena will be repeated in precisely the
same order, and the Universe will once more return to its present conditions.
To this, logic and philosophy answer that it cannot be so, as the properties
of the particles vary and are changeable. If the atoms are eternal and matter
indestructible, these atoms can never have been born; hence, they can have
nothing innate in them. Theirs is the one homogeneous (and we add divine) substance, while compound molecules receive their properties,
at the beginning of the life cycles or manvantaras, from within
without. Organisms cannot have been developed from dead or inanimate matter, as, firstly, such matter does not exist, and secondly, philosophy
proving it conclusively, the Universe is not "subjected to fatality."
As Occult Science teaches that the universal process of differentiation
begins anew after every period of Maha-pralaya, there is no reason
to think that it would slavishly and blindly repeat itself. Immutable laws last only from the incipient to the last stage of the universal life,
being simply the effects of primordial, intelligent and entirely free action.
For Theosophists, as also for Dr. Pirogoff, Delboeuf and many a great independent
modern thinker, it is the Universal (and to us impersonal because infinite) Mind, which is the true and primordial Demiurge.
What better illustrates the theory of cycles, than the following fact?
Nearly 700 years B.C., in the schools of Thales and Pythagoras, was taught
the doctrine of the true motion of the earth, its form and the whole heliocentric
system. And in 317 A.D. Lactantius, the preceptor of Crispus Cæsar,
the son of the Emperor Constantine, is found teaching his pupil that the
earth was a plane surrounded by the sky, itself composed of fire and water!
Moreover, the venerable Church Father warned his pupil against the heretical
doctrine of the earth's globular form, as the Cambridge and Oxford "Father
Dons" warn their students now, against the pernicious and superstitious
doctrines of Theosophy such as Universal Mind, Re-incarnation and so on.
There is a resolution tacitly accepted by the members of the T. S. for the
adoption of a proverb of King Solomon, paraphrased for our daily use: "A
scientist is wiser in his own conceit than seven Theosophists that can render
a reason." No time, therefore, should be lost in arguing with them;
but no endeavour, on the other hand, should be neglected to show up their
mistakes and blunders. The scientific conceit of the Orientalists especially
of the youngest branch of these the Assyriologists and the Egyptologists is
indeed phenomenal. Hitherto, some credit was given to the ancients to
their philosophers and Initiates, at any rate of knowing a few things
that the moderns could not rediscover. But now even the greatest Initiates
are represented to the public as fools. Here is an instance. On pages 15,
16 and 17 (Introduction) in the Hibbert Lectures of 1887 by Prof.
Sayce, on The Ancient Babylonians, the reader is brought face to
face with a conundrum that may well stagger the unsophisticated admirer
of modern learning. Complaining of the difficulties and obstacles that meet
the Assyriologist at every step of his studies; after giving "the dreary
catalogue" of the formidable struggles of the interpreter to make sense
of the inscriptions from broken fragments of clay tiles; the Professor goes
on to confess that the scholar who has to read these cuneiform characters,
is often likely "to put a false construction upon isolated passages,
the context of which must be supplied from conjecture" (p. 14). Notwithstanding
all this, the learned lecturer places the modern Assyriologist higher
than the ancient Babylonian Initiate, in the knowledge of symbols and
his own religion!
The passage deserves to be quoted in toto:
It is true that many of the sacred texts were so written as to be intelligible
only to the initiated; but the initiated were provided with keys and glosses, many of which are in our hands(?) . . . We can penetrate into the
real meaning of documents which to him (the ordinary Babylonian) were a
sealed book. Nay, more than this, the researches that have been made during
the last half-century into the creed and beliefs of the nations of the
world both past and present, have given us a clue to the interpretation
of these documents which even the initiated priests did not possess.
The above (the italics being our own) may be better appreciated when
thrown into a syllogistic form.
Major premise: The ancient Initiates had keys and glosses to their
esoteric texts, of which they were the INVENTORS.
Minor premise: Our Orientalists have many of these keys.
Conclusion: Ergo, the Orientalists have a clue which the Initiates
themselves did not possess!!
Into what were the Initiates, in such a case, initiated? and who invented
the blinds, we ask.
Few Orientalists could answer this query. We are more generous, however;
and may show in our next that, into which our modest Orientalists have never
yet been initiated all their alleged "clues" to the contrary.
Go to, let us go down and there confound their
language that they may not understand
one another's speech . . .
Having done with modern physical Sciences we next
turn to Western philosophies and religions. Every one of these is equally
based upon, and derives its theories and doctrines from heathen, and moreover, exoteric thought. This can easily be traced from Schopenhauer and
Mr. Herbert Spencer, down to Hypnotism and so-called "Mental Science."
The German philosophers modernize Buddhism; the English are inspired by
Vedantism; while the French, borrowing from both, add to them Plato, in
a Phrygian cap, and occasionally, as with Auguste Comte, the weird sex-worship
or Mariolatry of the old Roman Catholic ecstatics and visionaries. New systems,
yclept philosophical, new sects and societies, spring up now-a-days in every
corner of our civilized lands. But even the highest among them agree on
no one point, though each claims supremacy. This, because no science, no
philosophy being at best, but a fragment broken from the WISDOM RELIGION can stand alone, or be complete in itself.
Truth, to be complete, must represent an unbroken continuity. It must have
no gaps, no missing links. And which of our modern religions, sciences or
philosophies, is free from such defects? Truth is One. Even as the palest
reflection of the Absolute, it can be no more dual than is absoluteness
itself, nor can it have two aspects. But such truth is not for the
majorities, in our world of illusion especially for those minds which are
devoid of the noëtic element. These have to substitute for the
high spiritual and quasi absolute truth the relative one, which having
two sides or aspects, both conditioned by appearances, lead our "brain-minds" one
to intellectual scientific materialism, the other to materialistic or anthropomorphic
religiosity. But even that kind of truth, in order to offer a coherent and
complete system of something, has, while naturally clashing with its opposite,
to offer no gaps and contradictions, no broken or missing links, in the
special system or doctrine it undertakes to represent.
And here a slight digression must come in. We are sure to be told by
some, that this is precisely the objection taken to theosophical expositions,
from Isis Unveiled down to the Secret Doctrine. Agreed. We
are quite prepared to confess that the latter work, especially, surpasses
in these defects all the other theosophical works. We are quite ready to
admit the faults charged against it by its critics that it is badly arranged,
discursive, over-burdened with digressions into by-ways of mythology, etc.,
etc. But then it is neither a philosophical system nor the Doctrine, called secret or esoteric, but only a record of a few of its facts
and a witness to it. It has never claimed to be the full exposition
of the system (it advocates) in its totality; (a) because as the
writer does not boast of being a great Initiate, she could, therefore, never
have undertaken such a gigantic task; and (b) because had she been
one, she would have divulged still less. It has never been contemplated
to make of the sacred truths an integral system for the ribaldry and sneers
of a profane and iconoclastic public. The work does not pretend to set up
a series of explanations, complete in all their details, of the mysteries
of Being; nor does it seek to win for itself the name of a distinct system
of thought like the works of Messrs. Herbert Spencer, Schopenhauer or Comte.
On the contrary, the Secret Doctrine merely asserts that a system,
known as the WISDOM RELIGION,
the work of generations of adepts and seers, the sacred heirloom of pre-historic
times actually exists, though hitherto preserved in the greatest secrecy
by the present Initiates; and it points to various corroborations of its
existence to this very day, to be found in ancient and modern works. Giving
a few fragments only, it there shows how these explain the religious dogmas
of the present day, and how they might serve Western religions, philosophies
and science, as sign-posts along the untrodden paths of discovery. The work
is essentially fragmentary, giving statements of sundry facts taught in
the esoteric schools kept, so far, secret by which the ancient symbolism
of various nations is interpreted. It does not even give the keys to it, but merely opens a few of the hitherto secret drawers. No new philosophy is set up in the Secret Doctrine, only the hidden meaning
of some of the religious allegories of antiquity is given, light being thrown
on these by the esoteric sciences, and the common source is pointed out,
whence all the world-religions and philosophies have sprung. Its chief attempt
is to show, that however divergent the respective doctrines and systems
of old may seem on their external or objective side, the agreement
between all becomes perfect, so soon as the esoteric or inner side
of these beliefs and their symbology is examined and a careful comparison
made. It is also maintained that its doctrines and sciences, which form
an integral cycle of universal cosmic facts and metaphysical axioms and
truths, represent a complete and unbroken system; and that he who is brave
and persevering enough, ready to crush the animal in himself, and
forgetting the human self, sacrifices it to his Higher Ego, can always
find his way to become initiated into these mysteries. This is all the Secret
Doctrine claims. Are not a few facts and self-evident truths, found
in these volumes all the literary defects of the exposition notwithstanding, truths already proved practically to some, better than the most ingenious
"working" hypotheses, liable to be upset any day, than the unexplainable mysteries of religious dogmas, or the most seemingly profound philosophical
speculations? Can the grandest among ' these speculations be really profound,
when from their Alpha to their Omega they are limited and
conditioned by their author's brain-mind, hence dwarfed and crippled
on that Procrustean bed, cut down to fit limited sensuous perceptions which
will not allow the intellect to go beyond their enchanted circle? No "philosopher"
who views the spiritual realm as a mere figment of superstition, and regards
man's mental perceptions as simply the result of the organization of the
brain, can ever be worthy of that name.
Nor has a materialist any right to the appellation, since it means a
"lover of Wisdom," and Pythagoras, who was the first to coin the
compound term, never limited Wisdom to this earth. One who affirms that
the Universe and Man are objects of the senses only, and who fatally chains
thought within the region of senseless matter, as do the Darwinian evolutionists,
is at best a sophiaphobe when not a philosophaster never a philosopher.
Therefore is it that in this age of Materialism, Agnosticism, Evolutionism,
and false Idealism, there is not a system, however intellectually expounded,
that can stand on its own legs, or fail to be criticized by an exponent
from another school of thought as materialistic as itself; even Mr. Herbert
Spencer, the greatest of all, is unable to answer some criticisms. Many
are those who remember the fierce polemics that raged a few years ago in
the English and American journals between the Evolutionists on the one hand
and the Positivists on the other. The subject of the dispute was with regard
to the attitude and relation that the theory of evolution would bear to
religion. Mr. F. Harrison, the Apostle of Positivism, charged Mr. Herbert
Spencer with restricting religion to the realm of reason, forgetting that
feeling and not the cognizing faculty, played the most important part in
it. The "erroneousness and insufficiency" of the ideas on the
"Unknowable" as developed in Mr. Spencer's works were also taken to task by Mr. Harrison. The idea was erroneous,
he held, be cause it was based on the acceptation of the metaphysical absolute.
It was insufficient, he argued, because it brought deity down to an empty
abstraction, void of any meaning.3 To this
the great English writer replied, that he had never thought of offering
his "Unknowable" and Incognizable, as a subject for religious
worship. Then stepped into the arena, the respective admirers and defenders
of Messrs. Spencer and Harrison, some defending the material metaphysics of the former thinker (if we may be permitted to use
this paradoxical yet correct definition of Mr. Herbert Spencer's philosophy), others, the arguments of the Godless and Christless
Roman Catholicism of Auguste Comte,4 both
sides giving and receiving very hard blows. Thus, Count d'Alviella of Brussels,5 suddenly discovered in Mr. H. Spencer a kind of
hidden, yet reverential Theist, and compared Mr. Harrison to a casuist of
It is not to discuss the relative merits of materialistic Evolutionism,
or of Positivism either, that the two English thinkers are brought forward;
but simply to point, as an illustration, to the Babel-like confusion of
modern thought. While the Evolutionists (of Herbert Spencer's school) maintain
that the historical evolution of the religious feeling consists in the constant
abstraction of the attributes of Deity, and their final separation from
the primitive concrete conceptions this process rejoicing in the easy-going
triple compound of deanthropomorphization, or the disappearance of
human attributes the Comtists on their side hold to another version. They
affirm that fetishism, or the direct worship of nature, was the primitive
religion of man, a too protracted-evolution alone having landed it in anthropomorphism.
Their Deity is Humanity and the God they worship, Mankind, as far as we
understand them. The only way, therefore, of settling the dispute, is to
ascertain which of the two "philosophical" and "scientific"
theories, is the less pernicious and the more probable. Is it true to say,
as d'Alviella assures us, that Mr. Spencer's "Unknowable" contains
all the elements necessary to religion; and, as that remarkable writer is
alleged to imply, that "religious feeling tends to free itself from
every moral element"; or, shall we accept the other extremity and agree
with the Comtists, that gradually, religion will blend itself with, merge
into, and disappear in altruism and its service to Humanity?
Useless to say that Theosophy, while rejecting the one-sided-ness and
therefore the limitation in both ideas, is alone able to reconcile
the two, i.e., the Evolutionists and the Positivists on both metaphysical
and practical lines. How to do this it is no there the place to say, as
every Theosophist acquainted with the main tenets of the Esoteric Philosophy
can do it for himself. We believe in an impersonal "Unknowable"
and know well that the ABSOLUTE, or Absoluteness, can
have nought to do with worship on anthropomorphic lines; Theosophy rejects
the Spencerian "He" and substitutes the impersonal IT for the personal pronoun, whenever speaking of the Absolute and the "Unknowable."
And it teaches, as foremost of all virtues, altruism and self-sacrifice,
brotherhood and compassion for every living creature, without, for all that,
worshipping Man or Humanity. In the Positivist, more-over, who admits of
no immortal soul in men, believes in no future life or reincarnation, such
a "worship" becomes worse than fetishism: it is Zoolatry,
the worship of the animals. For that alone which constitutes the real Man is, in the words of Carlyle, "the essence of our being, the mystery
in us that calls itself 'I' . . . a breath of Heaven; the Highest Being
reveals himself in man." This denied, man is but an animal "the
shame and scandal of the Universe," as Pascal puts it.
It is the old, old story, the struggle of matter and spirit, the "survival
of the unfittest," because of the strongest and most material.
But the period when nascent Humanity, following the law of the natural and dual evolution, was descending along with spirit into matter is
closed. We (Humanity) are now helping matter to ascend toward spirit; and
to do that we have to help substance to disenthral itself from the viscous
grip of sense. We, of the fifth Root Race, are the direct descendants of
the primeval Humanity of that Race; those, who on this side of the Flood
tried, by commemorating it, to save the antediluvian Truth and Wisdom, and
were worsted in our efforts by the dark genius of the Earth the spirit
of matter, whom the Gnostics called Ildabaoth and the Jews Jehovah. Think
ye, that even the Bible of Moses, the book you know so well and understand
so badly, has left this claim of the Ancient Doctrine without witness? It
has not. Allow us to close with a (to you) familiar passage, only interpreted
in its true light.
In the beginning of time, or rather, in the childhood of the fifth Race,
"the whole earth was of one lip and of one speech," saith
chapter XI of Genesis. Read esoterically, this means that mankind
had one universal doctrine, a philosophy, common to all; and that men were bound by one religion, whether this term be derived from the Latin
word relegere, "to gather, or be united" in speech or in
thought, from religens, "revering the gods," or, from religare,
"to be bound fast together." Take it one way or the other, it
means most undeniably and plainly that our forefathers from beyond the "flood"
accepted in common one truth i.e., they believed in that aggregate
of subjective and objective facts which form the consistent, logical
and harmonious whole called by us the Wisdom Religion.
Now, reading the first nine verses of chapter XI between
the lines, we get the following information. Wise in their generation, our
early fathers were evidently acquainted with the imperishable truism which
teaches that in union alone lies strength in union of thought as
well as in that of nations, of course. Therefore, lest in disunion they
should be "scattered upon the face of the earth," and their Wisdom-religion
should, in consequence, be broken up into a thousand fragments; and lest
they, themselves, instead of towering as hitherto, through knowledge,
heavenward, should, through blind faith begin gravitating earthward the
wise men, who "journeyed from the East," devised a plan. In those
days temples were sites of learning, not of superstition; priests taught
divine Wisdom, not man-invented dogmas, and the ultima thule of their
religious activity did not centre in the contribution box, as at present.
Thus "'Go to,' they said, 'let us build a city and a tower,
whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make a name.' And they made burnt brick and used it for stone, and built therewith a city and a tower."
So far, this is a very old story, known as well to a Sunday school ragamuffin
as to Mr. Gladstone. Both believe very sincerely that
these descendants of the "accursed Ham" were proud sinners whose
object was like that of the Titans, to insult and dethrone Zeus-Jehovah,
by reaching "heaven," the supposed abode of both. But since we
find the story told in the revealed6 Scripts, it must, like all the rest in them, have its esoteric interpretation.
In this, Occult symbolism will help us. All the expressions that we have
italicized, when read in the original Hebrew and according to the canons
of esoteric symbolism, will yield quite a different construction. Thus:
1. "And the whole earth (mankind), was of one lip (i.e.,
proclaimed the same teachings) and of the same words" not of
"speech" as in the authorized version.
Now the Kabalistic meaning of the term "words" and "word"
may be found in the Zohar and also in the Talmud. "Words"
(Dabarim) mean "powers," and word, in the singular,
is a synonym of Wisdom; e.g., "By the uttering of ten words was the world created" (Talmud "Pirkey Aboth" c.
5., Mish. I). Herethe "words" refer to the ten Sephiroth, Builders of the Universe. Again: "By the Word,
(Wisdom, Logos) of YHVH were the Heavens made"
2-4. "And the man7 (the chief leader)
said to his neighbour, 'Go to, let us make bricks (disciples) and burn them to a burning (initiate, fill them with
sacred fire), let us build us a city (establish mysteries and teach the Doctrine8) and a tower (Ziggurrat, a sacred temple tower) whose top may reach unto heaven'
" (the highest limit reachable in space). The great tower of Nebo,
of Nabi on the temple of Bel, was called "the house of the seven
spheres of heaven and earth," and "the house of the stronghold
(or strength, tagimut) and the foundation stone of heaven and earth."
Occult symbology teaches, that to burn bricks for a city means
to train disciples for magic, a "hewn stone" signifying
a full Initiate, Petra the Greek and Kephas the Aramaic
word for stone, having the same meaning, viz., "interpreter
of the Mysteries," a Hierophant. The supreme initiation was
referred to as "the burning with great burning." Thus, "the bricks are fallen, but we will build (anew) with hewn stones"
of Isaiah becomes clear. For the true interpretation of the four last verses
of the genetic allegory about the supposed "confusion of tongues"
we may turn to the legendary version of the Yezidis and read verses
5, 6, 7, and 8 in Genesis, ch. xi, esoterically:
"And Adonai (the Lord) came down and said: 'Behold, the people is one (the people are united in thought and deed) and they have one lip (doctrine).' And now they begin to spread it and 'nothing
will be restrained from them (they will have full magic powers and get all
they want by such power, Kriyasakti,) that they have imagined'."
And now what are the Yezidis and their version and what is Ad-onai? Ad
is "the Lord," their ancestral god; and the Yezidis are a heretical
Mussulman sect, scattered over Armenia, Syria, and especially Mosul, the
very site of Babel (see "Chaldean Account of Genesis"), who are
known under the strange name of "Devil-worshippers." Their confession of faith is very original. They recognize
two powers or gods Allah and Ad, (or Adonai) but identify the latter with
Sheitân or Satan. This is but natural since Satan is also "a
son of god"9 (see Job I).
As stated in the Hibbert Lectures (pp. 346 and 347), Satan the "Adversary,"
was the minister and angel of God. Hence, when questioned on the
cause of their curious worship of one who has become the embodiment of Evil
and the dark spirit of the Earth, they explain the reason in a most logical,
if irreverent, manner. They tell you that Allah, being All-good,
would not harm the smallest of his creatures. Ergo, has he no need
of prayers, or burnt-offerings of the "firstlings of the flock and
the fat thereof." But that their Ad, or the Devil, being All-bad,
cruel, jealous, revengeful and proud, they have, in self-preservation, to
propitiate him with sacrifices and burnt offerings smelling sweet in his
nostrils, and to coax and flatter him. Ask any Sheik of the Yezidis of Mosul
what they have to say, as to the confusion of tongues, or speech when Allah "came down to see the city and the tower which the children of men
had builded"; and they will tell you it is not Allah but Ad,
the god Sheitan, who did it. The jealous genius of the earth became envious
of the powers and sanctity of men (as the god Vishnu becomes jealous of
the great powers of the Yogis, even when they were Daityas); and
therefore this deity of matter and concupiscence confused their brains,
tempted and made the Builders" fall into his nets; and thus, having
lost their purity, they lost therewith their knowledge and magic powers,
intermarried and became "scattered upon the face of the earth."
This is more logical than to attribute to one's "God," the All-good, such ungodly tricks as are fathered upon him in the Bible.
Moreover, the legend about the tower of Babel and the confusion of speech,
is like much else, not original, but comes from the Chaldeans and Babylonians.
George Smith found the version on a mutilated fragment of the Assyrian tablets,
though there is nothing said in it about the confusion of speech.
"I have translated the word 'speech' with a prejudice," he says
(Chaldean account of Genesis, p. 163), "I have never seen the
Assyrian word with this meaning." Anyone who reads for himself the
fragmentary translation by G. Smith, on pages 160-163 in the volume cited,
will find the version much nearer to that of the Yezidis than to
the version of Genesis. It is he, whose "heart was evil"
and who was "wicked," who confused "their counsel,"
not their "speech," and who broke "the Sanctuary . . . which
carried Wisdom," and "bitterly they wept at Babel."
And so ought to "weep" all the philosophers and lovers of Ancient
Wisdom; for it is since then that the thousand and one exoteric substitutes
for the one true Doctrine or lip had their beginning, obscuring more
and more the intellects of men, and shedding innocent blood in fierce fanaticism.
Had our modern philosophers studied, instead of sneering at, the old Books
of Wisdom say the Kabala they would have found that which would
have unveiled to them many a secret of ancient Church and State. As they
have not, however, the result is evident. The dark cycle of Kali Yug has brought back a Babel of modern thought, compared with which the
"confusion of tongues" itself appears a harmony. All is dark and
uncertain; no argument in any department, neither in sciences, philosophy,
law, nor even in religion. But, "woe unto them that call evil good,
and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness,"
saith Isaiah. The very elements seem confused and climates shift, as if
the celestial "upper ten" themselves had lost their heads. All
one can do is to sit still and look on, sad and resigned, while
The slack sail shifts from side to side;
The boat untrimm'd admits the tide;
Borne down adrift, at random toss'd,
The oar breaks short, . . . the rudder's lost.
Lucifer, January, February, 1891
H. P. Blavatsky
1 The learned Belgian Mason
would be nearer the mark by adding a few more ciphers to his four thousand
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2 In the Revue Philosophique of
1883, where he translates such "gropings" by atonements successifs.
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3 As the above is repeated from memory.
it does not claim to be quoted with verbal exactitude, but only to give
the gist of the argument.
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4 The epithet is Mr. Huxley's. In his lecture
in Edinburgh in 1868, On the Physical Basis of Life, this great opponent
remarked that Auguste "Comte's philosophy in practice might be compendiously
described as Catholicism minus Christianity, and antagonistic to
the very essence of Science."
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5 Professor of Ecclesiastical History at
the University of Brussels, in a philosophical Essay on the religious
meaning of the "Unknowable."
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6 A curious and rather unfortunate word
to use, since, as a translation from the Latin revelare, it signifies
diametrically the opposite of the now accepted meaning in English. For the
word "to reveal" or "revealed" is derived from the Latin revelare, "to reveil" and rot to reveal, i.e.,
from re "again" or "back" and velare "to
veil," or to hide something, from the word velum or "a
vail" (or veil), a cover. Thus, instead of unvailing, or revealing,
Moses has truly only "reveiled" once more the Egypto-Chaldean
theological legends and allegories, into which, as one "learned in
all the Wisdom of Egypt" he had been initiated. Yet Moses was not the
first revealer or reveiler, as Ragon well observes. Thousands of
years before him Hermes was credited with veiling over the Indian mysteries
to adapt them for the land of the Pharaohs. Of course, at present there
is no longer classical authority to satisfy the orthodox philologist, but
the occult authority which maintains that originally the word revelare meant to "veil once more," and hence that revelation means the
throwing a veil over a subject, a blind is positively overwhelming
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7 This is translated from the Hebrew original.
"Chief-leader" (Rab-Mag) meaning literally Teacher-Magician,
Master or Guru, as Daniel is shown to have been in Babylon.
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8 Some Homeric heroes also when they are
said, like Laomedon, Priam's father, to have built cities, were in reality
establishing the Mysteries and introducing the Wisdom-Religion in
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9 It is commanded in Ecclesiasticus XXI, 30, not to curse Satan, "lest one should forfeit his own life."
Why? Because in their permutations "the Lord God," Moses, and
Satan are one. The name the Jews gave while in Babylon to their exoteric God, the substitute for the true Deity of which they never spoke
or wrote, was the Assyrian Mosheh or Adar, the god of the
scorching sun (the "Lord thy God is a consuming flame"
verily!) and therefore, Mosheh or Moses, shone also. In Egypt, Typhon
(Satan) the red, was identified both with the red Ass or Typhon called
Set or Seth (and worshipped by the Hittites) and the same as El (the
Sun god of the Assyrians and the Semites, or Jehovah), and with Moses, the
red, also. (See Isis Unv. Vol. II. 523-24.) For Moses was red-skinned.
According to the Zohar (Vol. I. p. 28) B' sar d' Mosheh soomaq.
i.e., "the flesh of Moses was deep red," and the words
refer to the saying, "The face of Moses was like the face of the Sun"
(see Qabbalah by Isaac Myer p. 93). These three were the three
aspects of the manifested God (the substitute for Ain Suph the
infinite Deity) or Nature, in its three chief Kingdoms the Fiery or Solar,
the Human or Watery, the Animal or Earthy. There never was a Mosheh or Moses, before the Captivity and Ezra, the deep Kabalist; and what is
now Moses had another name 2,000 years before. Where are the Hebrew scrolls
before that time? Moreover, we find a corroboration of this in Dr. Sayce's Hibbert Lectures (1887). Adar is the Assyrian "War God"
or the Lord of Hosts and the same as Moloch. The Assyrian equivalent
of Mosheh (Moses) is Masu, the "double" or the "twin,"
and Masu is the title of Adar meaning also a "hero." No
one who reads carefully the said Lectures from page 40 to 58, can fail to
see that Jehovah, Mâsu and Adar, with several others are permutations.
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