Theosophical ARTICLES



Reprinted from Original Sources

Volume III

The Theosophy Company

Los Angeles 1981

Three Volume Set: 0-938998-26-9




The difference is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
All manners take a tincture from our own,
Or some discolour’d through our passion shown;
Or fancy’s beam enlarges, multiplies,
Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.

IT is, indeed, shorter and easier to proceed from ignorance to knowledge than from error," says Jerdan.

But who in our age of religions gnashing their teeth at one another, of sects innumerable, of "isms" and "ists" performing a wild fandango on the top of each other’s heads to the rhythmical accompaniment of tongues, instead of castanets, clappering invectives—who will confess to his error? Nevertheless, all cannot be true. Nor can it be made clear by any method of reasoning, why men should on the one hand hold so tenaciously to opinions which most of them have adopted, not begotten, while they feel so savagely inimical to other sets of opinions, generated by somebody else!

Of this truth the past history of Theosophy and the Theosophical Society is a striking illustration. It is not that men do not desire novelty, or that progress and growth of thought are not welcomed. Our age is as greedy to set up new idols as it is to overthrow the old gods; as ready to give lavish hospitality to new ideas, as to kick out most unceremoniously theories that now seem to them effete. These new ideas may be as stupid as green cucumbers in a hot milk soup, as unwelcome to the majority as a fly in communion wine. Suffice it, however, that they emanate from a scientific brain, a recognized "authority," for them to be welcomed with open arms by the fanatics of science. In this our century, as all know, every one in society, whether intellectual or scientific, dull or ignorant, is ceaselessly running after some new


thing. More so even, in truth, than the Athenian of Paul’s day. Unfortunately, the new crazes men run after, now as then, are not truths—much as modern Society prides itself on living in an age of facts—but simply corroborations of men’s hobbies, whether religious or scientific. Facts, indeed, are eagerly sought after, by all—from the solemn conclaves of Science who seem to hang the destinies of the human race on the correct definition of the anatomy of a mosquito’s proboscis, down to half-starved penny-a- liner on the war-path after sensational news. But, it is only such facts as serve to pander to one or another of the prejudices and preconceptions, which are the ruling forces in the modern mind that are sure of their welcome.

Anything outside of such facts; any new or old idea unpopular and distasteful, for some mysterious reason or other, to the prevailing ismical authorities, will very soon be made to feel its unpopularity. Regarded askance, at first, with uplifted eyebrows and in wonderment, it will begin by being solemnly and almost à priori tabooed and thence refused per secula seculorum even a dispassionate hearing. People will begin to comment upon it—each faction in the light of its own prejudice and special craze. Then, each will proceed to distort it—the mutually inimical factions even clubbing their inventions, so as to slay the intruder with the more certainty, until each and all will be running amuck at it.

Thus act all the religious isms, even so all the independent Societies, whether scientific, free-thinking, Agnostic or Secularistic. Not one of these has the faintest correct conception about Theosophy or the Society of this name; none of them has ever gone to the trouble of even enquiring about either—yet, one and all will sit in Solomon’s seat and judge the hateful (perhaps, because dangerous?) intruder, in the light of their respective misconceptions. We are not likely to stop to argue Theosophy with religious fanatics. Such remarks are beneath contempt, as those in "Word and Work" which, speaking of "the prevalence of Spiritualism and its advance under the new form of Theosophy"(?), strikes both with a sledge-hammer tempered in holy water, by first accusing both Spiritualism and Theosophy of "imposture," and then of having the devil.1—But when in addition to sectarian fanatics, missionaries and foggy retrogrades, in general, we find such clear-

1 "Many, however," it adds, "who have had fuller knowledge of spiritualistic pretensions than we have, are convinced that, in some cases, there are real communications from the spirit world. If such there be, we have no doubt whence they come. They are


headed, cool, intellectual giants as Mr. Bradlaugh falling into the common errors and prejudice—the thing becomes more serious.

It is so serious, indeed, that we do not hesitate to enter a respectful yet firm protest in the pages of our journal—the only organ that is likely to publish all that we have to say. The task is an easy one. Mr. Bradlaugh has just published his views upon Theosophy in half a column of his National Reformer (June 30th) in which article— "Some Words of Explanation"—we find some half-a-dozen of the most regrettable misconceptions about the supposed beliefs of Theosophists. We publish it in extenso as it speaks for itself and shows the reason of his displeasure. Passages that we mean to controvert are underlined.


The review of Madame Blavatsky’s book in the last National Reformer and an announcement in the Sun have brought me several letters on the subject of Theosophy. I am asked for explanation as to what Theosophy is, and as to my opinions on Theosophy. The word "theosoph" is old, and was used among the Neoplatonists. From the dictionary, its new meaning appears to be, "one who claims to have a knowledge of God, or of the laws of nature by means of internal illumination." An Atheist certainly cannot be a Theosophist. A Deist might be a Theosophist. A Monist could not be a Theosophist. Theosophy must at least involve Dualism. Modern Theosophy, according to Madame Blavatsky, as set out in last week’s issue, asserts much that I do not believe, and alleges some things which to me are certainly not true. I have not had the opportunity of reading Madame Blavatsky’s two volumes, but I have read during the past ten years many publications from the pen of herself, Colonel Olcott, and other Theosophists. They appear to me to have sought to rehabilitate a kind of Spiritualism in Eastern phraseology. I think many of their allegations utterly erroneous, and their reasonings wholly unsound. I very deeply indeed regret that my colleague and coworker has, with somewhat of suddenness, and without any interchange of ideas with myself, adopted as facts, matters which seem to me as unreal as it is possible for any fiction to be. My regret is greater as I know Mrs. Besant’s devotion to any course she believes to be true. I know that she will always be earnest in the advocacy of any views she undertakes to defend, and I look to possible developments of her Theosophic opinions with the very gravest misgiving. The editorial policy

certainly from beneath, not from above." O Sancta Simplicitas, which still believes in the devil—by perceiving its own face in the mirror, no doubt?


of this paper is unchanged, and is directly antagonistic to all forms of Theosophy. I would have preferred on this subject to have held my peace, for the publicly disagreeing with Mrs. Besant on her adoption of Socialism has caused pain to both; but on reading her article and taking the public announcement made of her having joined the Theosophical organisation, I owe it to those who look to me for guidance to say this with clearness.

C. Bradlaugh

It is of course useless to go out of our way to try and convert Mr. Bradlaugh from his views as a thorough Materialist and Atheist to our Pantheism (for real Theosophy is that), nor have we ever sought by word or deed to convert Mrs. Besant. She has joined us entirely of her own free will and accord, though the fact gave all earnest Theosophists unbounded satisfaction, and to us personally more pleasure than we have felt for a long time. But we will simply appeal to Mr. Bradlaugh’s well-known sense of justice and fairness, and prove to him that he is mistaken—at any rate, as to the views of Colonel Olcott and the present writer, and also in the interpretation he gives to the term "Theosophy."

It will be sufficient to say that if Mr. Bradlaugh knew anything of the Rules of our Society he would know that if even he, the Head of Secularism, were to become today a member of the Theosophical Society, such an action would not necessitate his giving up one iota of his Secularistic ideas. We have greater atheists in the T.S. than he ever was or can be, namely, Hindus belonging to certain all-denying sects. Mr. Bradlaugh believes in mesmerism, at all events he has great curative powers himself, and therefore could not well deny the presence in some persons of such mysterious faculties; whereas, if you attempted to speak of mesmerism or even of hypnotism to the said Hindus, they would only shrug their shoulders at you, and laugh. Membership in the Theosophical Society does not expose the "Fellows" to any interference with their religious, irreligious, political, philosophical or scientific views. The Society is not a sectarian nor is it a religious body, but simply a nucleus of men devoted to the search after truth, whencesoever it may come. Mrs. Annie Besant was right when stating, in the same issue of the National Reformer, that the three objects of the Theosophical Society are:

to found a Universal Brotherhood without distinction of race or creed; to forward the study of Aryan literature and philosophy; to investigate unexplained laws of nature and the


psychical powers latent in man. On matters of religious opinion, the members are absolutely free. The founders of the society deny a personal God, and a somewhat subtle form of Pantheism is taught as the Theosophic view of the Universe, though even this is not forced on members of the Society.

To this Mrs. Besant adds, over her own signature, that though she cannot, in the National Reformer, state fully her reasons for joining the T. S., yet she has

no desire to hide the fact that this form of Pantheism appears to promise solution of some problems, especially problems in psychology, which Atheism leaves untouched.

We seriously hope that she will not be disappointed.

The second object of the T. S., i.e. the Eastern philosophy interpreted esoterically, has never yet failed to solve many a problem for those who study the subject seriously. It is only those others who, without being natural mystics, rush heedlessly into the mysteries of the unexplained psychic powers latent in every man (in Mr. Bradlaugh himself, as well as in any other) from ambition, curiosity or simple vanity—that generally come to grief and make the T. S. responsible for their own failure.

Now what is there that could prevent even Mr. Bradlaugh from joining the T. S.? We will take up the argument point by point.

Is it because Mr. Bradlaugh is an Individualist, an English Radical of the old school, that he cannot sympathize with such a lofty idea as the Universal Brotherhood of Man? His well-known kindness of heart, his proven philanthropy, his life-long efforts in the cause of the suffering and the oppressed, would seem to prove the contrary in his practice, whatever his theoretical views on the subject may be. But, if perchance he clings to his theories in the face of his practice, then let us leave aside this, the first object of the T.S. Some members of our Society, unfortunately, sympathize as little as he might with this noble, but perchance (to Mr. Bradlaugh) somewhat Utopian ideal. No member is obliged to feel in full sympathy with all three objects; suffice that he should be in sympathy with one of the three, and be willing not to oppose the two others, to render him eligible to membership in the T. S.

Is it because he is an Atheist? To begin with, we dispute "the new meaning" he quotes from the dictionary that "a Theosophist is one who claims to have a knowledge of God." No one can claim a knowledge of "God," the absolute and unknowable universal


Principle; and in a personal god Eastern Theosophists (therefore Olcott and Blavatsky) do not believe. But if Mr. Bradlaugh contends that in that case the name is a misnomer, we shall reply: theosophia properly means not a knowledge of "God" but of gods, i.e., divine, that is superhuman knowledge. Surely Mr. Bradlaugh will not assert that human knowledge exhausts the universe and that no wisdom is possible outside the consciousness of man?

And why cannot a Monist be a Theosophist? And why must Theosophy at least involve dualism? Theosophy teaches a far stricter and more far-reaching Monism than does Secularism. The Monism of the latter may be described as materialistic and summed up in the words, "Blind Force and Blind Matter ultimating in Thought." But this—begging Mr. Bradlaugh’s pardon—is bastard Monism. The Monism of Theosophy is truly philosophical. We conceive of the universe as one in essence and origin. And though we speak of Spirit and Matter as its two poles, yet we state emphatically that they can only be considered as distinct from the standpoint of human, mayavic (i.e., illusionary) consciousness.

We therefore conceive of spirit and matter as one in essence and not as separate and distinct antitheses.

What then are the "matters" that seem to Mr. Bradlaugh "as unreal as it is possible for any fiction to be"? We hope he is not referring to those physical phenomena, which most unfortunately have been confused in the Western mind with philosophical Theosophy? Real as these manifestations are—inasmuch as they were not produced by "conjuring tricks" of any kind—still the best of them are, ever were and ever will be, no better than psychological illusions, as the writer herself always called them to the disgust of many of her phenomenally inclined friends. These "unrealities" were all very well as toys, during the infancy of Theosophy; but we can assure Mr. Bradlaugh that all his Secularists might join the T. S. without ever being expected to believe in them— even though he himself produces the same "unreal" but beneficent "illusions" in his mesmeric cures, of many of which we heard long ago. And surely the editor of the National Reformer will not call "unreal" the ethical and ennobling aspects of Theosophy, the undeniable effects of which are so apparent among the bulk of Theosophists—notwithstanding a back-biting and quarrelling minority? Surely again he will not deny the elevating and


strengthening influence of such beliefs as those in Reincarnation and Karma, doctrines which solve undeniably many a social problem that seeks elsewhere in vain for a solution?

The Secularists are fond of speaking of Science as "the Saviour of Man," and should, therefore, be ready to welcome new facts and listen to new theories. But are they prepared to listen to theories and accept facts that come to them from races which, in their insular pride, they term effete? For not only do the latter lack the sanction of orthodox Western Science, but they are stated in an unfamiliar form and are supported by reasoning not cast in the mould of the inductive system, which has usurped a spurious place in the eyes of Western thinkers.

The Secularists, if they wish to remain consistent materialists, will have perforce to shut out more than half the universe from the range of their explanations: that part namely, which includes mental phenomena, especially those of a comparatively rare and exceptional nature. Or do they imagine, perhaps, that in psychology—the youngest of the Sciences—everything is already known? Witness the Psychic Research Society with its Cambridge luminaries—sorry descendants of Henry More!—how vain and frantic its efforts, efforts that have so far resulted only in making confusion worse confounded. And why? Because they have foolishly endeavoured to test and to explain psychic phenomena on a physical basis. No Western psychologist has, so far, been able to give any adequate explanation even of the simplest phenomenon of consciousness— sense perception.

The phenomena of thought-transference, hypnotism, suggestion, and many other mental and psychic manifestations, formerly regarded as supernatural or the work of the devil, are now recognized as purely natural phenomena. And yet it is in truth the same powers, only intensified tenfold, that are those "unrealities" Mr. Bradlaugh speaks about. Manipulated by those who have inherited the tradition of thousands of years of study and observation of such forces, their laws and modes of operations—what wonder that they should result in effects, unknown to science, but supernatural only in the eyes of ignorance.

Eastern Mystics and Theosophists do not believe in miracles, any more than do the Secularists; what then is there superstitious in such studies?

Why should discoveries so arrived at, and laws formulated in


accordance with strict and cautious investigation be regarded as "rehabilitated Spiritualism"?

It is a historically recognized fact that Europe owes the revival of its civilization and culture, after the destruction of the Roman Empire, to Eastern influence. The Arabs in Spain and the Greeks of Constantinople brought with them only that which they had acquired from nations lying still further Eastward. Even the glories of the classical age owed their beginnings to the germs received by the Greeks from Egypt and Phœnicia. The far remote, so-called antediluvian, ancestors of Egypt and those of the Brahmin Aryans sprang once upon a time from the same stock. However much scientific opinions may vary as to the genealogical and ethnological sequence of events, yet the fact remains undeniable that every germ of civilization which the West has cultivated and developed has been received from the East. Why then should the English Secularists and Freethinkers in general, who certainly do not pride themselves on their imaginary descent from the lost ten tribes, why should they be so reluctant to accept the possibility of further enlightenment coming to them from that East, which was the cradle of their race? And why should they, who above all, ought to be free from prejudice, fanaticism, and narrowmindedness, the exclusive prerogatives of religious bodies, why, we ask, should they who lay claim to free thought, and have suffered so much themselves from fanatical persecution, why, in the name of wonder, should they so readily allow themselves to be blinded by the very prejudices which they condemn?

This and many other similar instances bring out with the utmost clearness the right of the Theosophical Society to fair and impartial hearing; as also the fact that of all the now existing "isms" and "ists," our organization is the only body entirely and absolutely free from all intolerance, dogmatism, and prejudice.

The Theosophical Society, indeed, as a body, is the only one which opens its arms to all, imposing on none its own special beliefs, strictly limited to the small inner group within it, called Esoteric Section. It is truly Universal in spirit and constitution. It recognises and fosters no exclusiveness, no preconceptions. In the T. S. alone do men meet in the common search for truth, on a platform from which all dogmatism, all sectarianism, all mutual party hatred and condemnation are excluded; for, accepting every grain of truth wherever it is found, it waits in patience till the


chaff that accompanies it falls off by itself. It recognizes and knows of, and therefore avoids its representatives in its ranks—but one enemy—an enemy common to all, namely, Roman Catholicism, and that only because of its auricular confession. But even this exception exists only so far as regards its inner group, for reasons too apparent to need explanation.

Theosophy is monistic through and through. It seeks the one Truth in all religions, in all science, in all experience, as in every system of thought. What aim can be nobler, more universal, more all-embracing?

But evidently the world has not yet learned to regard Theosophy in this light, and the necessity of disabusing at least some of the best minds in the English-speaking countries, of the prejudices springing from the tares sown in them by our unscrupulous enemies is felt more than ever at this juncture. It is with the hope of weeding these minds from all such misconceptions, and of making the position of Theosophy plainer and clearer, that the present writer has prepared a small volume, called "The Key to Theosophy," now in the press, and to be published very shortly. Therein are gathered in the shape of dialogue all the principal errors about, and objections to, Theosophy and its teachings, and more detailed and fuller arguments in proof of the assertions made in this article will be found in that work. The writer will make it her duty to send an early copy—not to the editor of the National Reformer—but to Mr. Bradlaugh personally. Knowing him by reputation for long years, it is impossible for us to believe that our critic would ever condescend to follow the example of most of the editors, lay or clerical, and condemn a work on faith even before he had cut open its pages, merely because of the unpopularity of its author and the subject treated.

In that volume it will be found that the chief concern of Theosophists is Search after Truth, and the investigation of such problems in Nature and Man which are mysteries today, but may become secrets, open to science, tomorrow. Is this a course which Mr. Bradlaugh would oppose? Does his judgment belong to the category of those that can never be open to revision? "This shall be your creed and belief, and therefore, all investigation is useless," is a dictum of the Roman Catholic Church. It cannot be that of the Secularists—if they would remain true to their colours.

Lucifer, July, 1889



To the Editors of LUCIFER

SINCE the two Editors repeatedly assert their willingness in their great impartiality to publish even "personal remarks" upon themselves (Vide Luc. No. 6, p. 432), I avail myself of the opportunity. Having read "Esoteric Buddhism"

with much interest and general approval of the main drift of its teachings, I am anxious, with your kind permission, to formulate an objection to some points in Mr. Sinnett’s view of Evolution which have completely staggered my friends and myself. They appear to upset once and for all the explanation of the origin of man propounded by that popular author. Mr. Sinnett has, however, so uniformly expressed his willingness to answer honest criticism that I may, perhaps, hope for his assistance in solving this difficulty. Meanwhile, despite my favourable bias towards Theosophy, I must, perforce, express my conviction that one aspect of the Esoteric Doctrine—supposing of course that Mr. Sinnett is to be regarded as absolutely authoritative on the point—is opposed to Science. The point is one of fundamental importance as will be readily recognised by all—except, perhaps, by some too . . . well, too admiring Theosophists.

In "Esoteric Buddhism" we are confronted with a general acceptance of Darwinism.

Physical Man, in particular, is said to have been evolved from ape ancestors.

Man, says the Darwinian, was once an ape. Quite true. But the ape known (??) to the Darwinian will not change from generation to generation till the tail disappears and the hands turn into feet and so on ... if we go back far enough we come to a period at which there were no human forms ready developed on earth. When spiritual monads, travelling on the earliest or lowest human level, were thus beginning to come round (the Planetary chain to this globe) their onward pressure in a world containing none but animal forms provoked the improvement of the highest of these into the required form—the much talked of missing link.—("Esoteric Buddhism," 5th ed. pp. 42-3.)


And again:

The mineral kingdom will no more develop the vegetable kingdom . . . until it receives an impulse from without than the Earth was able to develop man from the ape till it received an impulse from without. Ibid. p. 48.

The theory here broached is to the effect that the development of the ape into man was brought about by the incarnation of Human Egos from the last planet in the septenary chain of globes. I may here remark that in referring to our supposed animal progenitors as the apes "known" to the Darwinian, Mr. Sinnett exceeds in audacity the boldest Evolutionist. For this hypothetical creature is not known at all, being conspicuous by its absence from any deposits yet explored. This, however, is a minor point. The real indictment to which I have been leading up is to follow.

We are told that occultists divide the term of Human existence on this planet into seven great Race Periods. At the present time the 5th of these races, the Aryan, is in the ascendant, while the 4th is still represented by teeming populaces. The 3rd is almost extinct. Now on page 64 of "Esoteric Buddhism" we are told regarding the 4th Race men that:

In the Eocene Age even in its very first part, the great cycle of the 4th Race Men, the Atlanteans had already reached its highest point.

Here, then, is a distinct landmark in the Esoteric Chronology pointed out to us. Summarizing these data we find ourselves confronted with the following propositions:

(1.) Humanity was developed physically from apes.

(2.) The 4th Race reached its prime at the commencement of the Eocene Age of Geology.

(3.) The three first Races (1st, 2nd, and 3rd) must therefore have antedated the Eocene Age by an enormous extent of time, even if we allow a much shorter period for their development than for the 4th and 5th. The 1st race, in fact, must have preceded the Tertiary Period by several millions of years.

(4.) This pre-Tertiary 1st Race was therefore derived from a still earlier ape stock.

At this point the fabric of theory collapses. Is it necessary to say that Science has been unable to find a trace of an anthropoid ape previous even to the relatively late Miocene Age? Now the Eocene precede the Miocene rocks, and the 1st Race, as already


shown, must have antedated even the era of the Eocene; it must have stretched far back into that dim and distant past when the chalk cliffs of the Secondary period were deposited! How then can Mr. Sinnett claim his view of Human Evolution as merely "complementary" to Darwin’s, when he binds himself to a chronology compared with the duration of which the Evolutionist one sinks into insignificance? Palaeontologists unanimously refuse to admit the existence of the higher apes previous to the Tertiary Period, and Darwin would have smiled at the notion. As a matter of fact, only the very lowest mammalians had made their appearance before the Eocene strata were formed. This is the view of the Science to which Mr. Sinnett invites us to bow with due reverence. Apparently he has been unconsciously nursing a viper in his bosom, for the same Science now "turns and strikes him." I ask, How THEN WAS THE 1ST RACE EVOLVED FROM APES AEONS OF YEARS BEFORE SUCH APES EXISTED? If Mr. Sinnett will kindly return a satisfactory answer to this query, he will have largely contributed to relieve the intellectual difficulties in the way of—

An Agnostic Student of Theosophy

April 20th, Aberdeen

EDITORS’ NOTE.—The above letter is an arraignment either of the Esoteric Doctrine or of its expounders. Now the doctrine itself is unassailable, though its expounders may often make mistakes in their presentation of it; particularly when, as in the case of the author of "Esoteric Buddhism," the writer was only very partially informed upon the subjects he treats of.

Leaving the author of "Esoteric Buddhism" to answer the criticism for himself, one of the editors of LUCIFER, as a person indirectly concerned with the production of the said work, begs the privilege of saying a few words upon the subject. It was as a special favour to herself that the teachings contained in Mr. Sinnett’s volume were first begun; she was the only one of the party concerned with these studies who had received for a series of years instruction in them. Therefore no one can know better than herself what was, or was not, meant in such or another tenet of this particular doctrine.

Our correspondent should bear in mind therefore, that:


(a.) At the time of the publication of "Esoteric Buddhism" (Budhism1 would be more correct) the available Occult data were comparatively scanty in its author’s hands. Otherwise, he would not have seemed to derive man from the ape—a theory absurd and impossible in the sight of the MASTERS.

(b.) Only a tentative effort was being cautiously made to test the readiness of the public to assimilate the elements of Esoteric philosophy.

For Mr. Sinnett was left largely to his own resources and speculations and very naturally followed the bent of his own mind, which, though greatly favouring esoteric philosophy, was, nevertheless, decidedly biassed by modern science. Consequently, the revelations then broached were purposely designed to rather afford a bird’s-eye view of the doctrine than to render a detailed treatment of any special problem possible. The teachings were not given at first with the object of publication. No regular systematic teaching was ever contemplated, nor could it be so given to a layman; therefore that teaching consisted of detached bits of information in the shape of answers in private letters to questions offered upon most varied subjects, on Cosmogony and Psychology, Theogony and Anthropology, and so on. Moreover, more queries were left without any reply and full explanation refused—as the latter belong to the mysteries of Eastern Initiation—than there were problems solved. This has, subsequently, proved a very wise policy. It is not at this stage of absolute materialism on the one hand, of cautious agnosticism on the other, and of fluctuating uncertainty as regards almost every individual speculation among the most eminent men of Science, that the full revelation of the archaic scheme of anthropology would be advisable. In the days of Pythagoras the heliocentric system was a mystery taught only in the silence and secrecy of the inner Temples; and Socrates was put to death for divulging it, under the inspiration of his DΑΙΜΟΝ. Now-a-day, the revealers of systems which clash with religion or science are not put to physical death, but they are

1 Budhism would mean "Wisdom," from Budha "a sage," "a wise man," and the imperative verb "Budhyadhwan" "Know," and Buddhism is the religious philosophy of Gautama, the Buddha. As Dr. Η. H. Wilson very truly remarks in his translation of Vishnu Purana, "Much erroneous speculation has originated in confounding Budha, the son of Soma (the Moon) and the regent of the planet Mercury—‘he who knows’ ‘the intelligent,’—with Buddha, any deified (?) mortal, or ‘he by whom truth is known,’ or as individually applicable, Gautama or Sakya, Son of the Raja Suddho-dana. The two characters have nothing in common; and the names are identical, only when one or other is misspelt." "Budhism" has preceded Buddhism by long ages and is pre-Vedic.


slowly tortured to their dying hour with open calumny and secret persecutions, when ridicule proves to be of no avail. Thus, a full statement of even an abridged and hardly defined "Esoteric Budhism" would do more harm than good. Only certain portions of it can be given, and they will be given very soon.

Nevertheless, as our critic readily admits, all these difficulties not withstanding, Mr. Sinnett has produced a most interesting and valuable work. That, in his too exaggerated respect and admiration for modern science, he seems to have somewhat materialized the teachings is what every metaphysician will admit. But it is also true, that the writer of "Esoteric Buddhism" would be the last man to claim any more "authoritative character" for his book, than what is given to it by the few verbatim quotations from the teachings of a Master, more particularly when treating of such moot questions as that of Evolution. The point on which his critic lays such stress—the incompatibility of the statements made in his work as to the origin of Man on this planet—certainly invalidates Mr. Sinnett’s attempted reconciliation (if it is such) of the Darwinian and Esoteric Schemes of human evolution. But at this every true Theosophist, who expects no recognition of the truths he believes in at present, but feels sure of their subsequent triumph at a future day, can only rejoice. Scientific theories or rather conjectures are really too materialistic to be reconciled with "Esoteric Budhism."

As the whole problem, however, is one of great complexity it would be out of the question to do any justice to it in the space of a brief note. The "Budhism" of the archaic, prehistoric ages is not a subject that can be disposed of in a single little volume. Suffice it to say that the larger portion of the coming "Secret Doctrine" is devoted to the elucidation of the true esoteric views as to Man’s origin and social development— hardly mentioned in Esoteric Buddhism. And to this source we must be permitted to refer the inquirer.

Lucifer, May, 1888


YOU invite questions respecting all points of difficulty in subjects connected with Occult Science. I cannot reconcile some things relating to the Apostles of Modern Theosophy.

In the "Preface to the Original Edition" (page xxiii. of the 5th Edition) of "Esoteric Buddhism," by Mr. A. P. Sinnett, there are these words—"Two years ago, neither I, nor any other European living, knew the alphabet of the science here for the first time put into a scientific statement." This is an emphatic expression; it would seem to imply that the thinking world is exclusively indebted to this book and to its author for that knowledge of the truths of Esoteric Science, which is now making its way amongst European and American Theosophists. But this can hardly be Mr. Sinnett’s meaning.

For, can the statement and its implication be consistent with the fact that Madame Blavatsky, herself a European,1 had, some years previously, written "Isis Unveiled," which though it does not give the same constructive teaching respecting the mysteries of the Universe as does "Esoteric Buddhism," does yet imply a knowledge on the part of its author of much more than "the alphabet of the science"?

But is it not true, as indicated in "The Occult World," that Mr. Sinnett owed to Madame Blavatsky his own first knowledge of Esoteric Science, and also his introduction to the adept teacher, the Master from whom he derived the bulk of his information? Madame Blavatsky, we have been led to understand, taught these truths of Occult Science years previously to Colonel Olcott, and in so doing converted him from a Spiritualist to a Theosophist. It is further likely that Madame Blavatsky taught others the same truths.2

1 In view of a number of such letters received, a full answer will be given in the "Secret Doctrine," now nearly ready.—[ED.]

2 She did, most undeniably. But as her several pupils (Europeans) were pledged disciples, which Mr. Sinnett never was, they could not give out to the world what they had learned.


I would also ask if there are no secret students of Science, in its broadest aspects, who have known these things in advance of its recent publication?

It would be a satisfaction to myself and others if it could be stated how the recent teachings of Occult Science really originated, and what the true position of "Esoteric Buddhism" is as an authoritative exponent of Occult truth.

Now that Theosophical teachings are taking hold of men’s minds, it is very desirable that the genesis of the modern movement should be truthfully known. I acknowledge myself greatly indebted to "Esoteric Buddhism," but I am very anxious to understand the facts to which I have alluded, and to have them reconciled.

Yours faithfully,

Charles B. Ingham


The case in point is a good illustration of the misconceptions which often spring from looseness of expression in a writer. Certainly, Mr. Sinnett could have no wish whatever to convey the idea that he was the first and only channel for the transmission of Esoteric doctrine. In fact, he specially repudiates the claim, as our correspondent will find if he will turn to p. xxi. of the Preface to the very edition he cites. "Let me add," says Mr. Sinnett, "that I do not regard myself as the sole exponent of the outer world, at this crisis of Esoteric truth." If he omitted to mention the writer and her American pupils and colleagues of 1874-8, Colonel Olcott and Mr. Judge, it was undoubtedly because he regarded "Madame Blavatsky," on account of her Russian nationality, as more Asiatic than European—a harmless delusion many a patriotic Englishman labours under—and the former gentlemen, as Americans. It had also escaped him for the moment, no doubt, that among the group of Initiates to which his own mystical correspondent is allied, are two of European race, and that one who is that Teacher’s superior is also of that origin, being half a Slavonian in his "present incarnation," as he himself wrote to Colonel Olcott in New York.

‘"Esoteric Buddhism" has rendered precious service, by popu-


larizing in exoteric form esoteric truths, meddling with pure metaphysics being disclaimed by its author (Vide p. 46), and in the propagation of theosophical ideas throughout the world; and it has proved its popularity by passing already through six editions, and being just at this moment about to appear in a seventh. Yet it is not free enough of minor errors to entitle it to be regarded as an infallible Scripture, nor its modest author as a Divine Revelator—as some foolish enthusiasts, in search of new idols, figure to themselves. The correspondent’s question as to "how the recent teachings of Occult Science really originated," is easily answered. A crisis had arrived in which it was absolutely necessary to bring within reach of our generation the Esoteric Doctrine of the eternal cycles. Religion, both in the West and East, had long been smothering beneath the dust heaps of Sectarianism and enfranchised Science. For lack of any scientific religious concept, Science was giving Religion the coup-de grace with the iron bar of Materialism. To crown the disorder the phantom-world of Hades, or Kama-loca, had burst in a muddy torrent into ten thousand séance-rooms, and created most misleading notions of man’s post-mortem state. Nothing but a few fundamental tenets from the Esoteric philosophy, sketched in broad outlines by such a clear and brilliant writer as Mr. Sinnett is known to be, could snatch mankind from drowning in the sea of ignorance. So once again the Gates of the Palace of Truth were opened and Mr. Sinnett and many other willing workers have caught each a ray. But as all the light can only be got by re-uniting all the different rays of the spectrum, so the archaic philosophy in its entirety can only be apprehended by combining all the glimpses of light that have passed through the many intellectual prisms of our own and preceding generations.

Lucifer, October, 1888



IN reference to various remarks concerning "Esoteric Buddhism" which appear in the course of your new work, "The Secret Doctrine," I beg to call your attention to some passages on the same subject which appeared on former occasions in the

Theosophist at a time when that magazine was edited by yourself.

In the Secret Doctrine you speak of Esoteric Buddhism as a work with "a very' unfortunate title," and in reference to a passage in my preface, emphasising the novelty for European readers of the teachings then given out, you say the error must have crept in through inadvertence. In the last number of LUCIFER you discuss the same point in a note appended to a correspondent’s letter. Permit me to remind you of an editorial note, evidently from your own pen, in the February Theosophist, 1884. This is in reply to an objection raised by Mr. W. Q. Judge that nearly all the leading ideas of the doctrine embodied in "Esoteric Buddhism" are to be found in the Bhagavad Gita. You wrote:

We do not believe our American brother is justified in his remarks. The knowledge given out in Esoteric Buddhism is most decidedly given out for the first time, inasmuch as the allegories that lie scattered in the Hindu sacred literature are now for the first time clearly explained to the world of the profane.1 Since the birth of the Theosophical Society and the publication of Isis, it is being repeated daily that all the esoteric

1 The author of the "Secret Doctrine" begs to suggest that she never denied to the doctrines expounded by Mr. Sinnett the privilege of having been clearly "EXPLAINED," for the first time, in print, in "Esot. Buddhism." All she asserts is, that it is not for the first time that they were given out to a European, and by the latter to other Europeans. Between "publishing" and "giving out" there is a decided difference; an admirable peg, at any rate, for our common enemies to hang their captious cavils upon. It is not the writer of the "Secret Doctrine," moreover, who was the first to put such a natural interpretation upon the sentence used by our esteemed friend and correspondent, but, verily, sundry critics outside of, as also within the Theosophical Society. It is no personal question between Mr. Sinnett and Η. P. Blavatsky, but between these two

NOTE: To facilitate readability, HPB's response has been given a background color. — e-ED.


wisdom of the ages lies concealed in the Vedas, the Upanishads and Bhagavad Gita; yet unto the day of the first appearance of Esoteric Buddhism, and for long centuries back, these doctrines remained a sealed letter to all but a few initiated Brahmins who had always kept the spirit of it to themselves.

Thus, if I erred in my statement about the doctrine having been unknown previously to Europeans, I erred in very good company—your own. Your note goes on to say that certainly the teachings of "Esoteric Buddhism" lie concealed in the Bhagavad Gita, "but" you say:

What of that? Of what good to W. Q. Judge or any other is the diamond that lies concealed deep underground? Of course everyone knows that there is not a gem now sparkling in a jewellery shop but pre-existed and lay concealed since its formation, for ages, within the bowels of the earth. Yet surely he who got it first from its finder, and cut and polished it, may be permitted to say that this particular diamond is given out for the first time to the world.2

In regard to my "unfortunate title," which was (as you know, I think) approved when first proposed without any question arising as to the two "d’s"—you say in the Secret Doctrine·.

It has enabled our enemies to find an effective weapon against Theosophy because, as an eminent Pali scholar very pointedly expressed it, there was in the volume named neither esotericism nor Buddhism.

It happens that you discussed the same criticism in an article in the Theosophist for November, 1883. Your text on that occasion was an article in the St. James’ Gazette, which you attributed

individuals on the one hand and their critics on the other; the former being both in duty bound— as theosophists and believers in the esoteric teaching—to defend the Sacred Doctrine from side attacks—via its expounders.—[ED.]

2 This proves, firstly, that the desire to defend, in print, a friend and co-worker quand même, even when he is not entirely right, is always injudicious; and secondly, that experience comes with age. "The good advocate not onley heares, but examines his case, and pincheth the cause where he fears it is foundred"—Fuller teaches. We proved no "good advocate," and now bear our Karma for it; from an "advocate" we have become a "defendant."—[ED.]


to Dr. Rhys Davids, and you wrote:

But before the Orientalists are able to prove that the doctrines, as taught in Mr. Sinnett's exposition are "not Buddhism, esoteric nor exoteric," they will have to make away with the thousands of Brahminical Adwaita and other Vedantin writings—the works of Sankaracharya in particular—from which it can be proved that precisely the same doctrines are taught in those works esoterically.

You spoke, in the course of the article, of the very remark you now find to be "very pointed,"3 as "such a spiteful and profitless criticism" to attribute it to the pen of the great Pali scholar.

The propriety of the title given to my book was discussed in an article in the Theosophist for June, 1884, when an editorial note was appended, in the course of which the writer said:

The name given to Mr. Sinnett’s book will not be misleading

3 So we say now. Not a word of what we wrote then do we repudiate here; and the "Secret Doctrine" proves it. But this does not clash at all with the fact that, once made public, no doctrine can be referred to any longer as "esoteric." The esoteric tenets revealed—both in "Esoteric Buddhism" and the "Secret Doctrine" have become exoteric now. Nor does a remark cease to be "spiteful" for being "very pointed," e.g., most of Carlyle’s remarks. A few years ago, at a time when our doctrines were hardly delineated and the Orientalists knew nothing of them, any such premature discussion and criticism were "profitless." But now, when these doctrines have spread throughout the whole world, unless we call things by their true names, and admit our mistakes (for it was one, to spell "Budhism," Buddhism—a mistake, moreover, distinctly attributed to ourselves, "theosophists of India," vide page xviii. Vol. 1 of the "Secret Doctrine," and not at all to Mr. Sinnett), our critics will have an undeniable right to charge us with sailing under false colours. Nothing more fatal to our cause could ever happen. If we would be regarded as theosophists, we have to protect THEOSOPHY; we have to defend our colours before we think of defending our own petty personality and amour propre, and should be ever ready to sacrifice ourselves. And this is what we have tried to do in the Introduction to the "Secret Doctrine." Poor is that standard-bearer who shields his body from the bullets of the enemy with the sacred banner entrusted to him!—[ED.]


or objectionable when the close identity between the doctrines therein expounded and those of the ancient Rishis of India is clearly perceived.4

These extracts seem to show that the unfavourable view of Esoteric Buddhism now presented to the readers of the Secret Doctrine can only have been developed in your mind within a comparatively recent period.5 Satisfied with the assurance conveyed to me—as explained in the preface to the sixth edition—by the reverend teacher from whom its substance was derived—that the book was a sound and trustworthy presentation of his teachings as a whole, that would never have to be remodelled or apologised for,6 I have been content, hitherto, to leave un

4 The Rishis having nought to do with "Buddhism," the religion of Gautama Buddha, this question shows plainly that the mistake involved in the double "d" had not yet struck the writer as forcibly as it has done later.—[ED.]

5 This is an error. What we say now in the "Secret Doctrine" is what we knew, but kept silent upon ever since the first year of publication of "Esoteric Doctrine"; though we confess we have not realised the importance of the mistake as fully from the beginning as we do now. It is the number of criticisms received in private letters and for publication in LUCIFER, from friends as well as from foes, that forced us to see the question in its true light. Had they (the criticisms) been directed only against us personally (Mr. Sinnett and Η. P. Blavatsky) they would have been left entirely unnoticed. But as all such had a direct bearing upon the doctrines taught—some persisting in calling them Buddhism, pure and simple, and others charging them with being a new-fangled doctrine invented by ourselves and fathered upon Buddhism—the danger became imminent, and a public explanation was absolutely necessary. Moreover, the impression that it was a very materialistic teaching—"Esoteric Buddhism" being accused of upholding the Darwinian hypothesis—spread from the Indian and Vedantin to almost all the European theosophists. This had to be refuted, and—we do so in the "Secret Doctrine."—[ED.]

6 No one has ever dreamt of denying that "Esoteric Buddhism" was a "trustworthy presentation" of the Masters’s teachings as a whole. That which is asserted is simply that some personal speculations of its author were faulty, and led to erroneous conclusions, (a) on account of their incompletemess, and (b) because


noticed every other criticism that it has called forth. I have known all along that it contained errors which initiates would detect, but by the time any student might be in a position to appreciate these he would be independent of its guidance, and till then he could not be embarrassed7 by them. Now, however, I regret to find that the Secret Doctrine is not merely concerned to expand and develop the earlier teaching—a task which I should be the first to recognise could be performed by no one more efficiently than by yourself—but paves the way for its expositions by remarks on Esoteric Buddhism which are not in the nature of fresh revelations concerning what are, doubtless, its many shortcomings, but are in the nature of disparagements8 which you have, on former occasions rebuked others for putting forward.

You say—in objecting to my title—"the esoteric truths presented in Mr. Sinnett’s work had ceased to be esoteric from the moment they were made public." Is not that an odd objection to appear on the first page of a book called "The Secret Doctrine"? Has the doctrine ceased to deserve that designation from the date at which your own book appeared?9

of the evident anxiety to reconcile them with modern physical science, instead of metaphysical philosophy. Very likely errors, emanating from a desire diametrically opposite, will be found in the "Secret Doctrine." Why should any of us—aye, even the most learned in occult lore among theosophists—pose for infallibility? Let us humbly admit with Socrates that "all we know is, that we know nothing"; at any rate nothing in comparison to what we have still to learn.—[ED.]

7 Not "embarrassed," but misled—and it is precisely this which has happened.—[ED.]

8 We demur to the expression. No "disparagement" whatever is meant, but simply an attempt is made to make certain tenets taught in our respective works more clear. Without such explanations, the statements made by both authors would be unavoidably denounced as contradictory. The general public rarely goes to the trouble of sifting such difficult metaphysical questions to the bottom, but judges on appearance. We have to acquaint first the reader with all the sides and aspects of a teaching before we allow him to accept or even to see in one of such a dogma.[ED.]

9 It has, most unquestionably, if logic deserves its name. Our correspondent would have hardly made this query, intended as a


These questions however are all of minor importance, though it puzzles me to understand why your view of them should have been so diametrically reversed from what it was a few years ago.10 I might hardly have written this letter at all, but for a passage in the Secret Doctrine referring to Esoteric Buddhism that occurs on page 169. There you suggest that my own attempt to explain planetary evolution fails for want of being sufficiently metaphysical, and you quote a phrase from me—"on pure metaphysics of that sort we are not now engaged"—in connexion with a passage from one of the letters of instruction I received when the book was under preparation. "In such case," you say, "as the Teacher remarks in a letter to him: ‘Why this preaching of our doctrines, all this uphill work and swimming in adversum flumen?’" Any reader will imagine that the passage quoted from the letter had reference to the passage quoted from the book.11 Nothing can be further from the fact. My remark about not being "then" concerned with "pure metaphysics" had a limited and specific application, and on the next page I see that I have dealt with that period before the earliest manifestations of Nature on the plane of the senses, when the work of evolution going on was concerned "with the elemental forces that underlie the phenomena of Nature so visible now and perceptible to the senses of Man."

From time to time, amongst criticisms of Esoteric Buddhism that have appeared to me misdirected, I have heard this charge—that I have not appreciated the great doctrine metaphysically, that I have materialised its conceptions. I do not think I have ever before put pen to paper to combat this idea, though it has always struck me as curiously erroneous; but when language from

hit and a satire, had he paid attention to what is said on pages xvii—xviii (the first and the second) of the Introduction to the "Secret Doctrine," namely—"Esoteric Buddhism" was an excellent work with a very unfortunate title, though it meant no more than does the title of this work, the "Secret Doctrine"; which means, if anything, that no more than "Esoteric Buddhism" are those portions of the "Secret Doctrine" now explained in our volumes any longer "secret"since they are divulged. We appeal to logicians and literary critics for a decision.—[ED.]

10 Vide Supra notes: the reasons are now explained.—[ED.]

11 This remark of the Master was made in a general not in any


yourself seems to fortify the impression I refer to, it is high time for me to explain, at any rate, my own attitude of mind.12

The charge of materialising the doctrine seems to me to arise entirely from the fact that I have partially succeeded in making some parts of it intelligible. The disposition to regard vagueness of exposition as equivalent to spirituality of thought is very widely spread; and multitudes of people are unaccustomed to respect any phraseology that they find themselves enabled to understand. Unused to realise a thought with precision of imaginative insight, they fancy if it is presented vividly to the mind that it must have lost caste in the realms of idealism. They are used to regarding a brick as something with a definite shape and purpose, and an idea as a Protean shadow. Give the idea a specific plan in Nature, and it will seem to them materialised, even if concerned with conditions of life as remote from materiality as Devachanic emotion.

The succession of Cause and Effect seems itself materialised—in the mental atmosphere I am discussing—if it is represented, in its most interesting aspect, as forcing its way from one plane of

specific application. But what of that?—[Ed.]

12 Once more we beg to assure our friend and colleague, Mr. Sinnett, that in saying what is said in the "Secret Doctrine" we did not for one moment contemplate the remarks as expressive of our own personal objections—seeing we know our correspondent’s ideas too well to have any. They were addressed to and directed against our benevolent critics: especially those who, with an impartiality most admirable, though worthy of a better fate, try to hit us both, and through us to upset the Esoteric Doctrine. Has not the latter been proclaimed by a number of well-wishers as an invention of Η. P. Blavatsky’s? Did not even an admirably clever and learned man—the late W. C. King—claim, in his "Gnostics and their Remains," to have "reasons for suspecting that the sibyl of ‘Esoteric Buddhism’ (i.e. your humble servant) drew her first notions from the analysis of the Inner man (to wit our seven principles) as set forth in my (his) first edition"! This—because the most philosophical Gnostic works, especially the doctrines of Valentinus and Marcus—are full of our archaic esoteric ideas. Forsooth, it is high time that the defendant, also, should "rise and explain" her attitude in the "Secret Doctrine," regardless of any one’s (even her own) personality!—[ED.]


nature to another.

For readers of this temperament Esoteric Buddhism may be materialistic; but as I venture to believe that it has been a bridge which has conducted many, and may bear many more, across the chasm which divides the interests and materialism of this life, from the realms of spiritual aspiration beyond, I have not yet seen reason to regret the mould in which it was cast, even though some of those who have used it in their time now despise its materialistic construction.13 It would load your paper too heavily if I quoted passages to show how constantly I really emphasised the non-material aspects of its teaching; but I may perhaps be allowed one from the closing sentences of the chapter on "the universe," in which I say:—"It"—the doctrine of the Esoteric Wisdom—"stoops to materialism, as it were to link its methods with the logic of that system, and ascends to the highest realms of Idealism to embrace and expound the most exalted aspiration of spirit."

The truth of the whole matter is admirably expressed in a comprehensive sentence at the end of a long article on "The Metaphysical Basis of Esoteric Buddhism," which appeared in the Theosophist for May, 1884, with the suggestive signature, Damodar K. Mavalankar. This runs:

"The reader will now perceive that Esoteric Buddhism is not a system of materialism. It is, as Mr. Sinnett calls it, ‘Transcendental Materialism,’ which is non-materialism, just as the absolute consciousness is non-consciousness."14

Any vindication of oneself must be a repulsive task. For many

13 No one we know of "despises," but many, on the other hand, rejoice, and very much so, at being able to refer to it as "materialistic." It was high time to disabuse and contradict them; and this letter from our correspondent, setting forth his true views and attitude for the first time, is one of the first good fruits produced by our remarks in the "Secret Doctrine." It is an excellent check on our mutual enemies.—[ED.]

14 These are the verbatim expressions of your friend and humble servant, the Editor. Damodar only repeated our views. But the "Damodars" are few, and there were, as our correspondent well knows, other Brahmins in England, who were the first to Proclaim "Esoteric Buddhism" materialistic to the core, and who have always maintained this idea in others.—[ED.]


reasons I would rather have left all such questions alone, but to ignore unfavourable comments when these proceed from your own pen would be to treat them with less respect than is embodied in my present remarks.

In conclusion, since the Secret Doctrine so frequently discusses what Esoteric Buddhism meant to say as regards Darwinian evolution, let me endeavour to elucidate that point. The teaching I received on the subject of race evolution was very elementary. It was not exactly "fragmentary" (as has sometimes been said), but it was a skeleton statement, as regards all the problems of "Cosmogenesis," consequently it dealt merely with that cosmic progress of the spiritual inquiry through the various kingdoms of Nature which, beginning (on the material plane) with the mineral, culminates in Man. It follows from this elementary statement that at some stage of the great evolutionary process there is an ascent from the animal to the human kingdom,15 never mind where the transition is effected. There the teaching vindicated the spirit of the Darwinian idea16 though the further illumination now

15 At the stage of the first Round, and partially at the second, never during any stage of the Fourth Round. A purely mathematical or rather algebraical reason exists for this:—The present (our) Round being the middle Round (between the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, and the 5th, 6th, and 7th) is one of adjustment and final equipoise between Spirit and matter. It is that point, in short, wherein the reign of true matter, its grossest state (which is as unknown to Science as its opposite pole— homogeneous matter or substance) stops and comes to an end. From that point physical man begins to throw off "coat after coat," his material molecules for the benefit and subsequent formation or clothing of the animal kingdom, which in its turn is passing it on to the vegetable, and the latter to the mineral kingdoms. Man having evoluted in the first Round from the animal via the two other kingdoms, it stands to reason that in the present Round he should appear before the animal world of this manvantaric period. But see the "Secret Doctrine" for particulars.—[ED.]

16 What did Darwin, or what Darwinians know of our esoteric teaching about "Rounds"! The "Spirit" of the Darwinian idea, is an Irish bull, in this case, as that "Spirit" is materialism of the grossest kind.—[ED.]


cast upon the subject by your present work shows that many specific conjectures of Darwinism are erroneous, and its application to the human evolution of this world period altogether misleading. It is needless to say that I was not furnished with the later teaching on this subject when Esoteric Buddhism was written, therefore of course my own impression at the time was that the doctrine supported the Darwinian hypothesis, as a general idea. I never heard a word breathed in India, when writing Esoteric Buddhism to the contrary effect.17

Nor was the point worth raising then. My readers had to be made acquainted with the primary principles of Karma, reincarnation and cosmic progress towards superior conditions of existence. All the cosmo-genesis that was essential to the comprehension of these principles was supplied in the teaching as given. Much was left for further development, for later opportunities. The first book of Euclid cannot also contain the second, third and fourth. In the Secret Doctrine I have no doubt we are furnished with esoteric teaching, which is the analogue of the more advanced geometry. Probably it will be least appreciated by those who read its opening pages as warning them off the subject of triangles.

Yours very respectfully, A. P. SINNETT


We thank Mr. Sinnett, with all of our heart, for this letter. Better late than never. On page 186 of Vol. I. of our "Secret Doctrine," now just published, we quote from a letter of a member of the T.S., who wrote: "I suppose you realize that three-fourths of Theosophists, and even outsiders imagine that, as far as the evolution of man is concerned, Darwinism and Theosophy kiss one another" in "Esoteric Buddhism." We repudiate the idea most vehemently on the same page, but our negation would not go very far without that of Mr. Sinnett. The letter containing the above quoted sentence was written more than two and a half years ago; and our denial, notwithstanding the same charge of Darwinism and materialism in "Esoteric Buddhism," was maintained by the same writer and supported by many others. Thus it was indispensable for the good of the Cause that Mr. Sinnett should

17 The reason for this also is stated in the "Secret Doctrine."


deny it over his own signature. Our object is accomplished, for the author of "Esoteric Buddhism" has now solemnly repudiated the charge, and we hope to receive no more such flings at our philosophical beliefs.

We close by thanking our esteemed correspondent once more for the indulgent spirit in which he deals with our remarks, but which, to our regret, he very erroneously attributes to a personal feeling due to some unwarrantable change in our attitude towards himself. We repudiate such a charge, and hope that our explanations will dissipate the last vestiges of any such suspicion.—[ED.]

Lucifer, November, 1888


By Η. P. Blavatsky

WORKS by specialists and scholars have to be treated with a certain respect, due to science. But such works as Payne Knight’s On the Worship of Priapus, and the Ancient Faiths, etc., of Dr. Inman, were merely the precursory drops of the shower of phallicism that burst upon the reading public in the shape of General Forlong’s Rivers of Life. Very soon lay writers followed the torrent, and Hargrave Jennings’ charming volume, The Rosicrucians, was superseded by his Phallicism.

As an elaborate account of this work—that hunts up sexual worship, from the grossest forms of idolatry up to its most refined and hidden symbolism in Christianity— would better suit a newspaper review than a journal like the present, it becomes necessary to state at once the reason it is noticed at all. Were Theosophists entirely to ignore it, Phallicism1 and such-like works would be used some day against Theosophy. Mr. Hargrave Jennings’ last production was written, in every probability, to arrest its progress—erroneously confounded as it is by many with Occultism, pure and simple, and even with Buddhism itself. Phallicism appeared in 1884, just at a time when all the French and English papers heralded the arrival of a few Theosophists from India as the advent of Buddhism in Christian Europe—the former in their usual flippant way, the latter with an energy that might have been worthy of a better cause, and might have been more appropriately directed against "sexual worship at home," according to certain newspaper revelations. Whether rightly or wrongly, public rumour attributes this "mystic" production of Mr. Hargrave Jennings’ to the advent of Theosophy. However it may be, and whosoever may have inspired the author, his efforts were crowned with success only in one direction. Notwithstanding that he proclaims himself, modestly enough, "the first introducer of the grand philosophical problem of this mysterious Buddhism," and pronounces his work undoubtedly new and original," declaring in the same breath that all the "previous great men and profound thinkers [before himself] labouring through the ages [in this direction] have worked

1 Phallicism, Celestial and Terrestrial, Heathen and Christian; its connection with the Rosiscrucians and the Gnostics and its foundation in Buddhism.


in vain," it is easy to prove the author mistaken. His "enthusiasm" and self-laudation may be very sincere, and no doubt his labours were "enormous," as he says; they have nevertheless led him on an entirely false track, when he asserts that:

"These physiological contests [about the mysteries of animal generation] . . . induced in the reflective wisdom of the earliest thinkers, laid the sublime foundations of the phallic worship. They led to violent schisms in religion, and to Buddhism."

Now it is precisely Buddhism which was the first religious system in history that sprang up with the determinate object of putting an end to all the male Gods and to the degrading idea of a sexual personal Deity being the generator of mankind and the Father of men.

His book, the author assures us: "Comprises within the limit of a modest octavo all that can be known of the doctrines of the Buddhists, Gnostics, and Rosicrucians as connected with phallicism."

In this he errs again, and most profoundly, or—which would be still worse—he is trying to mislead the reader by filling him with disgust for such "mysteries." His work is "new and original" in so far as it explains with enthusiastic and reverential approval the strong phallic element in the Bible; for, as he says, "Jehovah undoubtedly signifies the universal male," and he calls Mary Magdalen before her conversion the "female St. Michael," as a mystical antithesis and paradox. No one, truly in Christian countries before him has ever had the moral courage to speak so openly as he does of the phallic element with which the Christian Church (the Roman Catholic) is honeycombed, and this is the author’s chief desert and credit. But all the merit of the boasted "conciseness and brevity" of his "modest octavo" disappears on its becoming the undeniable and evident means of leading the reader astray under the most false impressions; especially as very few, if any, of his readers will follow or even share his "enthusiasm . . . converted out of the utmost original disbelief of these wondrously stimulating and beautiful phallic beliefs." Nor is it fair or honest to give out a portion of the truth, without allowing any room for a palliative, as is done in the cases of Buddha and Christ. That which the former did in India, Jesus repeated in Palestine. Buddhism was a passionate reactionary protest against the phallic worship that led every nation first to the adoration of a personal God, and finally to black magic, and the same object was aimed at


by the Nazarene Initiate and prophet. Buddhism escaped the curse of black magic by keeping clear of a personal male God in its religious system; but this conception reigning supreme in the so-called monotheistic countries, black magic—the fiercer and stronger for being utterly disbelieved in by its most ardent votaries, unconscious perhaps of its presence among them—is drawing them nearer and nearer to the maëlstrom of every nation given to sin, or to sorcery, pure and simple. No Occultist believes in the devil of the Church, the traditional Satan; every student of Occultism and every Theosophist believes in black magic, and in dark, natural powers present in the worlds, if he accept the white or divine science as an actual fact on our globe. Therefore one may repeat in full confidence the remark made by Cardinal Ventura on the devil—only applying it to black magic:

The greatest victory of Satan was gained on that day when he succeeded in making himself denied.

It may be said further, that "Black magic reigns over Europe as an all-powerful, though unrecognized, autocrat," its chief conscious adherents and practical servants being found in the Roman Church, and its unconscious practitioners in the Protestant. The whole body of the so-called "privileged" classes of society in Europe and America is honeycombed with unconscious black magic, or sorcery of the vilest character.

But Christ is not responsible for the mediæval and the modern Christianity fabricated in His name. And if the author of Phallicism be right in speaking of the transcendental sexual worship in the Roman Church and calling it "true, although doubtless of profound mystical strictly ‘Christian’ paradoxical construction," he is wrong in calling it the "celestial or Theosophical doctrine of the unsexual, transcendental phallicism," for all such words strung together become meaningless by annulling each other. "Paradoxical" indeed must be that "construction" which seeks to show the phallic element in "the tomb of the Redeemer," and the yonic in Nirvâna, besides finding a Priapus in the "Word made Flesh" or the LOGOS. But such is the "Priapomania" of our century that even the most ardent professed Christians have to admit the element of phallicism in their dogmas, lest they should be twitted with it by their opponents.

This is not meant as criticism, but simply as the defence of real, true magic, confined by the author of Phallicism to the "divine


magic of generation." "Phallic ideas," he says, are "discovered to be the foundation of all religions."

In this there is nothing "new" or "original." Since state religions came into existence, there was never an Initiate or philosopher, a Master or disciple, who was ignorant of it. Nor is there any fresh discovery in the fact of Jehovah having been worshipped by the Jews under the shape of "phallic stones" (unhewn)—of being, in short, as much of a phallic God as any other Lingam, which fact has been no mystery from the days of Dupuis. That he was pre-eminently a male deity—a Priapus—is now proven absolutely and without show of useless mysticism, by Ralston Skinner of Cincinnati, in his wonderfully clever and erudite volume, The Source of Measures, published some years ago, in which he demonstrates the fact on mathematical grounds, completely versed, as he seems to be, in kabalistic numerical calculations. What then makes the author of Phallicism say that in his book will be found "a more complete and more connected account than has hitherto appeared of the different forms of the . . . peculiar veneration (not idolatry), generally denominated the phallic worship"? "No previous writer has disserted so fully," he adds with modest reserve, "upon the shades and varieties of this singular ritual, or traced up so completely its mysterious blendings with the ideas of the philosophers as to what lies remotely in nature in regard to the origin of the history of the human race."

There is one thing really "original" and "new" in Phallicism, and it is this: while noticing and underlining the most filthy rites connected with phallic worship among every "heathen" nation, those of the Christians are idealized, and a veil of a most mystic fabric is thrown over them. At the same time the author accepts and insists upon Biblical chronology. Thus he assigns to the Chaldæan Tower of Babel—"that magnificent, monster, ‘upright,’ defiant phallus," as he puts it—an age "soon after the Flood"; and to the Pyramids "a date not long after the foundation of the Egyptian monarchy by Misraim, the son of Ham, 2188 B.C." The chronological views of the author of The Rosicrucians seem to have greatly changed of late. There is a mystery about his book, difficult, yet not wholly impossible to fathom, which may be summed up in the words of the Comte de Gasparin with regard to the works on Satan by the Marquis de Mirville: "Everything goes to show a work which is essentially an act, and has the value of a collective labour."


But this is of no moment to the Theosophists. That which is of real importance is his misleading statement, which he supports on Wilford’s authority, that the legendary war that began in India and spread all over the globe was caused by a diversity of opinion upon the relative "superiority of the male or female emblem . . . in regard of the idolatrous magic worship. . . . These physiological disputes led to violent schisms in religion and even to bloody and devastating wars, which have wholly passed out of the history . . . or have never been recorded in history remaining only as a tradition."

This is denied point-blank by initiated Brâhmanas.

If the above be given on Col. Wilford’s authority, then the author of Phallicism was not fortunate in his selection. The reader has only to turn to Max Muller’s Science of Religion to find therein the detailed history of Col. Wilford becoming—and very honestly confessing to the fact—the victim of Brâhmanical mystification with regard to the alleged presence of Shem, Ham, and Japhet in the Purânas. The true history of the dispersion and the cause of the great war are very well known to the initiated Brâhmanas, only they will not tell it, as it would go directly against themselves and their supremacy over those who believe in a personal God and Gods. It is quite true that the origin of every religion is based on the dual powers, male and female, of abstract Nature, but these in their turn were the radiations or emanations of the sexless, infinite, absolute Principle, the only One to be worshipped in spirit and not with rites; whose immutable laws no words of prayer or propitiation can change, and whose sunny or shadowy, beneficent or maleficent influence, grace or curse, under the form of Karma, can be determined only by the actions—not by the empty supplications—of the devotee. This was the religion, the One Faith of the whole of primitive humanity, and was that of the "Sons of God," the B’ne Elohim of old. This faith assured to its followers the full possession of transcendental psychic powers, of the truly divine magic. Later on, when mankind fell, in the natural course of its evolution "into generation," i.e., into human creation and procreation, and carrying down the subjective process of Nature from the plane of spirituality to that of matter—made in its selfish and animal adoration of self a God of the human organism, and worshipped self in this objective personal Deity, then was black magic initiated. This magic or sorcery is based upon, springs from, and has the very life and


soul of selfish impulse; and thus was gradually developed the idea of a personal God. The first "pillar of unhewn stone," the first objective "sign and witness to the Lord," creative, generative, and the "Father of man," was made to become the archetype and progenitor of the long series of male (vertical) and female (horizontal) Deities, of pillars, and cones. Anthropomorphism in religion is the direct generator of and stimulus to the exercise of black, left-hand magic. And it was again merely a feeling of selfish national exclusiveness—not even patriotism—of pride and self-glorification over all other nations, that could lead an Isaiah to see a difference between the one living God and the idols of the neighbouring nations. In the day of the great "change," Karma, whether called personal or impersonal Providence, will see no difference between those who set an altar (horizontal) to the Lord in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar (vertical) at the border thereof (Is. xix. 19) and they "who seek to the idols, and to the charmers, and to them that have familiar spirits, and to the wizards"—for all this is human, hence devilish black magic.

It is then the latter magic, coupled with anthropomorphic worship, that caused the "Great War" and was the reason for the "Great Flood" of Atlantis; for this reason also the Initiates—those who had remained true to primeval Revelation—formed themselves into separate communities, keeping their magic or religious rites in the profoundest secrecy. The caste of the Brâhmanas, the descendants of the "mind-born Rishis and Sons of Brahma" dates from those days, as also do the "Mysteries."

Natural sciences, archæology, theology, philosophy, all have been forced in The Secret Doctrine to give their evidence in support of the teachings herein again propounded. Vox audita perit: litera scripta manet. Published admissions cannot be made away with—even by an opponent: they have been made good use of. Had I acted otherwise, The Secret Doctrine, from the first chapter to the last, would have amounted to uncorroborated personal affirmations. Scholars and some of the latest discoveries in various departments of science being brought to testify to what might have otherwise appeared to the average reader as the most preposterous hypotheses based upon unverified assertions, the rationality of these will be made clearer. Occult teaching will at last be examined in the light of science, physical as well as spiritual.

Lucifer, July, 1896


O ye Lords of Truth who are cycling in eternity
. . . save me from the annihilation in this Region
of the Two Truths.
Egyptian "Ritual of the Dead"


THAT the world moves in cycles, and events repeat them selves 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 should be.

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 Eso-


teric 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. Ragon was right in saying in his Maçonnerie Occulte, that "Humanity only seems to progress in achieving one discovery after the other, as in 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 more."

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 over-zealous 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

1 The learned Belgian Mason would be nearer the mark by adding a few more ciphers to his four thousand years.


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

2 In the Revue Philosophique of 1883, where he translates such "gropings" by atonnements successifs.


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-incamation 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 . . . Genesis xi

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 doc-


trines 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 signposts 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 superstion, and regads man’s mental perceptions as simply the result of the organisation 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, bcause 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 mediæval Scholasticism.

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

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.

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."

5 Professor of Ecclesiastical History at the University of Brussels, in a philosophical Essay on the religious meaning of the "Unknowable."


blend itself with, merge into, and disappear in altruism and its service to Humanity?

Useless to say that Theosophy, while rejecting the one-sidedness 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 not here 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, moreover, 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 ʽIʼ 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,

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


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:

"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. 1). Here the "words" refer to the ten Sephiroth, Builders of the Universe. Again: "By the Word, (Wisdom, Logos) of YHVH were the Heavens made" (ibid.).

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

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.

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.

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 foreign lands.


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 1). 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

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.


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 bumt-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


[The following interesting letter was received by us from Fresno, California. As it is a private one, we can give but extracts from it.—Ed.]

Exploring Copan and Quinqua in Honduras and Guatemala last year, I had the good fortune to make a discovery, which I am sure will interest you. As you are aware, the most prominent sculptured monuments in Copan consist of four-sided columns of from 10 to 12 feet high. These columns represent generally only on one side large sculptured personages in high relief.

The other sides again contain ornaments and glyphic inscriptions, hitherto not read or deciphered. One pillar not previously described, however, contains only hieroglyphics arranged on all sides. It seems to be a record perhaps of laws, perhaps of historical events. This pillar is about 10 feet high, and the sides 3 and 4 feet wide respectively. But the most remarkable is that this pillar was covered by a cap in the shape of a very low truncate pyramid. On this pyramid was seen a forced dead head of colossal dimensions and surrounding the same was an expanded "sun-disc," crowning the very cap. The rays of the sun-disc were distinctly marked. The similarity of the same and the sun discs common in the Egyptian monuments was so marked, that it immediately struck me that the number of rays must be 17, the sacred number of the Egyptian sun-disc. Upon counting the rays they were found to be as expected—17.

Now is this a pure "coincidence" or is it another link in the broken and scattered chain, whose finding points toward an ancient connection between the Central American peoples, the Mayas and other races, and the Egyptians by means of a connecting Atlantis?

Another curiosity, naturally a "coincidence," is worthy of notice. One of these sculptured personages dressed in priestly robes and holding in his hand a small square box, has his legs above the sandals ornamented with the CRESCENT. The same sign was used by the Romans to signify immortality and similarly placed above


the sandals.

Cannot your trans-Himalayan Brothers give us any clue to these hieroglyphics inscribed on the Central American Monuments? Or have you no Psychometrists who could decipher them psycho-metrically? If any one should be willing to try to do so, I would send him a small portion of one of the glyphs I have in my possession, and may be some good will come out of it.

E. G.

EDITOR’S NOTE.—Assuredly the discovery mentioned in the above letter,—the pillar with its 17-rayed sun-disc,—points once more to an ancient connexion between the Central American peoples and the lost continent of Atlantis. The uniformity in the symbolical meanings of American antiquities, and of antiquities connected with "the wisdom religion" in Egypt or any other parts of Europe or Asia where they may be observed, is certainly far more remarkable than would be agreeable to theorists who wish to account for it by help of that hard-worked servant—coincidence. It has been traced with great patience through many different departments of archæology by Mr. Donnelly in his recent "Atlantis; or the Antediluvian World." The second part of the title of this volume, by the by, will not be quite acceptable to students of the subject who approach it from the side of occult science. The deluge is better left alone until cosmogony is more generally understood than at present. There is no one deluge that can conveniently be taken as a turning point in the world’s history,—with everything before that antediluvian, and everything of later date— postdiluvian. There have been many such deluges cutting the various races of mankind at the appointed time in their development. The situation has already been referred to in the "Fragments of Occult Truth." During the occupation of the Earth for one period by the great tidal wave of humanity, seven great races are successively developed, their end being in every case marked by a tremendous cataclysm which changes the face of the earth in the distribution of land and water. The present race of mankind, as often stated, is the fifth race. The inhabitants of the great continent of Atlantis were the fourth race. When they were in their prime, the European continent was not in existence as we know it now, but none the less was there free communication between Atlantis and such portions of Europe as did exist, and Egypt. The ancient Egyptians themselves were not an Atlantic colony. Mr. Donnelly is mistaken on that point, but the wisdom Religion of the initiates was certainly identical and hence the identities of symbolical sculpture. This is what the "Himalayan Brothers" say; whether any of our psychometrists will see any further, depends on the degree of their development, at any rate, we accept the offer of our esteemed correspondent with thanks and will expect the promised portion of the glyph, before we venture to say anything further.

Theosophist, May, 1883


WHILE travelling from the landing place—on the Madras "Buckingham Canal"—to Nellore, we were made to experience the novel sensation of a transit of fifteen miles in comfortable modern carriages each briskly dragged by a dozen of strong, merry men, whom we took for ordinary Hindus of some of the lower or Pariah caste. The contrast offered us by the sight of these noisy, apparently well-contented men to our palankin-bearers, who had just carried us for fifty-five miles across the sandy, hot plains that stretch between Padagangam on the same canal and Guntoor—as affording relief—was great. These palankin-bearers, we were told, were of the washerman’s caste, and had hard times working night and day, never having regular hours for sleep, earning but a few pice a day, and when the pice had the good chance of being transformed into annas, existing upon the luxury of a mud-soup made out of husks and damaged rice, and called by them "pepper-water." Naturally enough, we regarded our human carriage-steeds as identical with the palankin-bearers. We were speedily disabused, being told by one of our Brother members—Mr. Kasava Pillai, Secretary to our Nellore Theosophical Society—that the two classes had nothing in common. The former were low caste Hindus, the latter—Yanadhis. The information received about this tribe was so interesting, that we now give it to our readers, as we then received it.


The word Yanadhi is a corruption of the word "Anathi" (Aborigines), meaning "having no beginning." The Yanadhis live mostly in the Nellore District, Madras Presidency, along the coast. They are divided into two classes: (1) Cappala or Challa, "frog-eaters," "refuse-eaters"; and (2) the Yanadhis proper, or the "good Yanadhis." The first class lives, as a rule, separated from the Sudra population of the district, and earns its living by


hard work. The Cappala are employed to drag carts and carriages in lieu of cattle, as horses are very scarce and too expensive to maintain in this district. The second class, or Yanadhis proper, live partly in villages and partly in the jungles, assisting the farmers in tilling the land, as in all other agricultural occupations.

Yet both classes are renowned for their mysterious knowledge of the occult properties of nature, and are regarded as practical magicians.

Both are fond of sport and great hunters of rats and bandicoots. They catch the field-mouse by digging, and the fish by using simply their hands without the usual help of either angle or net. They belong to the Mongolian race, their colour varying from light brown to a very dark sepia shade. Their dress consists of a piece of cloth to tie around the head, and of another one to go round the waist. They live in small circular huts of about 8 feet in diameter, having an entrance of about 1½ p. in width. Before building the huts they describe large circles round the place where the huts are to be built, muttering certain words of magic, which are supposed to keep evil spirits, influences and snakes from approaching their dwelling places. They plant round their huts certain herbs believed to possess the virtue of keeping off venomous reptiles. It is really astonishing to find in those little huts two dozens of persons living, for a Yanadhi rarely has less than a dozen of children. Their diet consists chiefly of rats, bandicoots, field mice, cangi, guano, and little rice—even wild roots often forming part of their food. Their diet, in a great measure, explains their physical peculiarities. Field-mice account partly for their having so many children each. They live to a good old age; and it is only very seldom that one sees a man with grey hairs. This is attributed to the starch in the cangi they daily drink, and the easy and careless lives they lead.

Their extraordinary merit consists in the intimate knowledge they possess of the occult virtues of roots, green herbs, and other plants. They can extract the virtue of these plants, and neutralize the most fatal poisons of venomous reptiles; and even very ferocious cobras are seen to sink their hoods before a certain green leaf. The names, identity and the knowledge of these plants they keep most secret. Cases of snake-bite have never been heard of among them, though they live in jungles and the most insecure places, whereas death by snake-bite is common among the higher


classes. Devil possession is very seldom among their women. They extract a most efficacious remedy, or rather a decoction from more than a hundred different roots, and it is said to possess incalculable virtues for curing any malady.

In cases of extreme urgency and fatal sickness they consult their seer (often one for 20 or 25 families), who invokes their tutelary deity by sounding a drum, with a woman singing to it, and with a fire in front. After an hour or two he falls into a trance, or works himself into a state, during which he can tell the cause of the sickness, and prescribe a certain secret remedy, which, when paid and administered the patient is cured. It is supposed that the spirit of the deceased, whose name they have dishonoured, or the deity whom they have neglected, tells them through the medium of the seer, why they were visited with the calamity, exacts of them promise of good behaviour in future, and disappears after an advice. It is not unfrequently that men of high caste, such as Brahmins, have had recourse to them for such information, and consulted with them with advantage. The seer grows his hair and lets no razor pass his head. The Yanadhis shave their heads with the sharp end of a glass piece. The ceremonies of naming a child, marriage and journeys, and such other things, are likewise consulted.

They possess such an acute sense of smell, or rather sensitiveness, that they can see where a bird they require is, or where the object of their game is hiding itself. They are employed as guards and watchmen for the rare power they have in finding and tracing out a thief or a stranger from his foot-marks. Suppose a stranger visited their village at night, a Yanadhi could say that the village was visited by him (a stranger) by simply looking at the footsteps.

Theosophist, January, 1883


WE are reaching the time of the year when the whole Christian world is preparing to celebrate the most noted of its solemnities—the birth of the Founder of their religion. When this paper reaches its Western subscribers,

there will be festivity and rejoicing in every house. In North Western Europe and in America the holly and ivy will decorate each home, and the churches bedecked with evergreens; a custom derived from the ancient practices of the pagan Druids "that sylvan spirits might flock to the evergreens, and remain unnipped by frost till a milder season." In Roman Catholic countries large crowds flock during the whole evening and night of "Christmaseve" to the churches, to salute waxen images of the divine Infant, and his Virgin mother, in her garb of "Queen of Heaven." To an analytical mind, this bravery of rich gold and lace, pearl-broidered satin and velvet, and the bejewelled cradle do seem rather paradoxical. When one thinks of the poor, worm-eaten, dirty manger of the Jewish country-inn, in which, if we must credit the Gospel, the future "Redeemer" was placed at his birth for lack of a better shelter, we cannot help suspecting that before the dazzled eyes of the unsophisticated devotee the Bethlehem stable vanishes altogether. To put it in the mildest terms, this gaudy display tallies ill with the democratic feelings and the truly divine contempt for riches of the "Son of Man," who had "not where to lay his head." It makes it all the harder for the average Christian to regard the explicit statement that—"it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven," as anything more than a rhetorical threat. The Roman Church acted wisely in severely forbidding her parishioners to either read or interpret the Gospels for themselves, and leaving the Book, as long as it was possible, to proclaim its truths in Latin—"the voice of one crying in the wilderness." In that, she but followed the wisdom of the ages—the wisdom of the old Aryans, which is also "justified of her children"; for, as neither the modern Hindu devotee understands a word of the Sanskrit, nor the modern Parsi one syllable of the Zend, so for the average Roman Catholic the Latin is no better than Hieroglyphics. The result is that all the three— Brahmanical High Priest, Zoroastrian


Mobed, and Roman Catholic Pontiff, are allowed unlimited opportunities for evolving new religious dogmas out of the depths of their own fancy, for the benefit of their respective churches.

To usher in this great day, the bells are set merrily ringing at midnight, throughout England and the Continent. In France and Italy, after the celebration of the mass in churches magnificently decorated, "it is usual for the revellers to partake of a collation (reveillon) that they may be better able to sustain the fatigues of the night," saith a book treating upon Popish church ceremonials. This night of Christian fasting reminds one of the Sivaratree of the followers of the god Siva,—the great day of gloom and fasting, in the 11th month of the Hindu year. Only, with the latter, the night’s long vigil is preceded and followed by a strict and rigid fasting. No reveillons or compromises for them. True, they are but wicked "heathens," and therefore their way to salvation must be tenfold harder.

Though now universally observed by Christian nations as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus, the 25th of December was not originally so accepted. The most movable of the Christian feast days, during the early centuries, Christmas was often confounded with the Epiphany, and celebrated in the months of April and May. As there never was any authentic record or proof of its identification, whether in secular or ecclesiastical history, the selection of that day long remained optional; and it was only during the 4th century that, urged by Cyril of Jerusalem, the Pope (Julius I) ordered the bishops to make an investigation and come finally to some agreement as to the presumable date of the nativity of Christ. Their choice fell upon the 25th Day of December,—and a most unfortunate choice it has since proved! It was Dupuis, followed by Volney, who aimed the first shots at this natal anniversary. They proved that for incalculable periods before our era, upon very clear astronomical data, nearly all the ancient peoples had celebrated the births of their sun-gods on that very day. "Dupuis shows that the celestial sign of the VIRGIN AND CHILD was in existence several thousand years before Christ"—remarks Higgins in his Anacalypsis. As Dupuis, Volney, and Higgins have all been passed over to posterity as infidels, and enemies of Christianity, it may be as well to quote, in this relation, the confessions of the Christian Bishop of Ratisbone, "the most learned man that the middle ages produced"—the Dominican, Albertus Magnus. "The sign of the celestial Virgin rises


above the horizon at the moment in which we fix the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ," he says, in the Recherches historiques sur Falaise, par Langevin prêtre. So Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris, Apollo, etc., were all born on the 25th of December. Christmas comes just at the time of the winter solstice; the days then are shortest, and Darkness is more upon the face of the earth than ever. All the sun Gods were believed to be annually born at that epoch; for from this time its Light dispels more and more darkness with each succeeding day, and the power of the Sun begins to increase.

However it may be, the Christmas festivities, that were held by the Christians for nearly fifteen centuries, were of a particularly pagan character. Nay, we are afraid that even the present ceremonies of the church can hardly escape the reproach of being almost literally copied from the mysteries of Egypt and Greece, held in honour of Osiris and Horus, Apollo and Bacchus. Both Isis and Ceres were called "Holy Virgins," and a DIVINE BABE may be found in every "heathen" religion. We will now draw two pictures of the Merrie Christmas; one portraying the "good old times," and the other the present state of Christian worship. From the first days of its establishment as Christmas, the day was regarded in the double light of a holy commemoration and a most cheerful festivity: it was equally given up to devotion and insane merriment. "Among the revels of the Christmas season were the so-called feasts of fools and of asses, grotesque saturnalia, which were termed ‘December liberties,’ in which everything serious was burlesqued, the order of society reversed, and its decencies ridiculed"—says one compiler of old chronicles. "During the Middle Ages, it was celebrated by the gay fantastic spectacle of dramatic mysteries, performed by personages in grotesque masks and singular costumes. The show usually represented an infant in a cradle, surrounded by the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph, by bull’s heads, cherubs, Eastern Magi, (the Mobeds of old) and manifold ornaments." The custom of singing canticles at Christmas, called Carols, was to recall the songs of the shepherds at the Nativity. "The bishops and the clergy often joined with the populace in carolling, and the songs were enlivened by dances, and by the music of tambours, guitars, violins and organs. . . " We may add that down to the present times, during the days preceding Christmas, such mysteries are being enacted, with marionettes and dolls, in Southern Russia, Poland, and Galicia; and known as the Kalidowki. In Italy, Calabrian minstrels descend


from their mountains to Naples and Rome, and crowd the shrines of the Virgin-Mother, cheering her with their wild Music.

In England, the revels used to begin on Christmas eve, and continue often till Candlemas (Feb. 2), every day being a holiday till Twelfth-night (Jan. 6). In the houses of great nobles a "lord of misrule," or "abbot of unreason" was appointed, whose duty it was to play the part of a buffoon. "The larder was filled with capons, hens, turkeys, geese, ducks, beef, mutton, pork, pies, puddings, nuts, plums, sugar and honey." . . . "A glowing fire, made of great logs, the principal of which was termed the ‘Yule log,’ or Christmas block, which might be burnt till Candlemas eve, kept out the cold; and the abundance was shared by the lord’s tenants amid music, conjuring, riddles, hot-cockles, fool-plough, snap-dragon, jokes, laughter, repartees, forfeits, and dances."

In our modern times, the bishops and the clergy join no more with the populace in open carolling and dancing; and feasts of "fools and of asses" are enacted more in sacred privacy than under the eyes of the dangerous argus-eyed reporter. Yet the eating and drinking festivities are preserved throughout the Christian world; and, more sudden deaths are doubtless caused by gluttony and intemperance during the Christmas and Easter holidays, than at any other time of the year. Yet, Christian worship becomes every year more and more a false pretence. The heartlessness of this lip-service has been denounced innumerable times, but never, we think, with a more affecting touch of realism than in a charming dream-tale, which appeared in the New York Herald about last Christmas. An aged man, presiding at a public meeting, said he would avail himself of the opportunity to relate a vision he had witnessed on the previous night. "He thought he was standing in the pulpit of the most gorgeous and magnificent cathedral he had ever seen. Before him was the priest or pastor of the church, and beside him stood an angel with a tablet and pencil in hand, whose mission it was to make record of every act of worship or prayer that transpired in his presence and ascended as an acceptable offering to the throne of God. Every pew was filled with richly-attired worshippers of either sex. The most sublime music that ever fell on his enraptured ear filled the air with melody. All the beautiful ritualistic church services, including a surpassingly eloquent sermon from the gifted minister, had in turn transpired, and yet the recording angel made no entry in his tablet! The congregation were at length dismissed by the pastor


with a lengthy and beautifully-worded prayer, followed by a benediction, and yet the angel made no sign!"

"Attended still by the angel, the speaker left the door of the church in rear of the richly-attired congregation. A poor, tattered castaway stood in the gutter beside the curbstone, with her pale, famished hand extended, silently pleading for alms. As the richly attired worshippers from the church passed by, they shrank from the poor Magdalen, the ladies withdrawing aside their silken, jewel bedecked robes, lest they should be polluted by her touch."

"Just then an intoxicated sailor came reeling down the sidewalk on the other side. When he got opposite the poor forsaken girl, he staggered across the street to where she stood, and, taking a few pennies from his pocket, he thrust them into her hand, accompanied with the adjuration, ‘Here, you poor forsaken cuss, take this!’ A celestial radiance now lighted up the face of the recording angel, who instantly entered the sailor’s act of sympathy and charity in his tablet, and departed with it as a sweet sacrifice to God."

A concretion, one might say, of the Biblical story of the judgment upon the woman taken in adultery. Be it so; yet it portrays with a master hand the state of our Christian society.

According to tradition, on Christmas eve, the oxen may always be found on their knees, as though in prayer and devotion; and, "there was a famous hawthorn in the churchyard of Glastonbury Abbey, which always budded on the 24th, and blossomed on the 25th of December"; which, considering that the day was chosen by the Fathers of the church at random, and that the calendar has been changed from the old to the new style, shows a remarkable perspicacity in both the animal and the vegetable! There is also a tradition of the church, preserved to us by Olaus, archbishop of Upsal, that, at the festival of Christmas, "the men, living in the cold Northern parts, are suddenly and strangely metamorphosed into wolves; and that a huge multitude of them meet together at an appointed place and rage so fiercely against mankind, that it suffers more from their attacks than ever they do from the natural wolves." Metaphorically viewed, this would seem to be more than ever the case with men, and particularly with Christian nations, now. There seems no need to wait for Christmas eve to see whole nations changed into "wild beasts"—especially in time of war.

Theosophist, December, 1879



(Written in 1889)

JUST back from under the far-reaching shadow of the eighth wonder of the World— the gigantic iron carrot that goes by the name of the Eiffel Tower. Child of its country, wondrous in its size, useless in its object, as shaky and vacillating as the Republican soil upon which it is built, it has not one single moral feature of its seven ancestors, not one trait of atavism to boast of. The architectural Leviathan of 1889 is not even—in the question of usefulness—on a par with the New York statue of Liberty, that-would-be rival of the ancient Pharos. It is simply one of the latest fungi of modern commercial enterprise, grown on the soil of cunning speculation, in order to attract numberless flies—in the shape of tourists from the four points of the world—which it very conscientiously does. Even its splendid engineering does not add to its usefulness, but forces even an "unpopular philosopher" to exclaim, "Vanitas vanitatum; omnia vanitas." Shall modern civilization still lift its nose and sneer at its ancient and elder sister?

The wonders of the world, the seven marvels of the Pagans, will never be replaced in our days. M. de Lesseps’ admirers may look contemptuously back on the causeway built by Dexiphanes, three centuries before our conceited era, but the astral atoms of himself, as those of his son, Sostratus the Cnidian, may rest undisturbed and need feel no jealousy. The architecture of the marble tower of Pharos erected "to the gods, the Saviours, for the benefit of sailors" has hitherto remained unrivalled, in the public good derived from it, at all events. And this we may say, despite the creation of the Long Island statue of Liberty.

For verily, all the wonders of our age are destined to become but the ephemera of the century that is slowly approaching us, while they remain but the dreams and often the nightmares of the present era. All this will surely pass away and be no more. A seismic breath in Egypt may occur tomorrow and the earth will


then "open her mouth" and swallow the waters of the Canal of Suez, and it will become an impassable bog. A Terremotos, or worse still a succussatore, as they are called in South America, may lift the Long Island with its "Liberty" and toss them both a hundred feet high in the blue air, but to drop them down, covering their watery grave with the never-drying salt tears of the Atlantic Ocean. Who can tell? "Non Deus prævidet tantum sed et divini ingenii viri" saith sly Cicero in his De Divinatione, treating of cosmic phenomena. And the same thing threatens Lutetia that was, or Paris that is, and our own British Isles. No; never has God predicted as much as has the divine intellect of man; surely not. Nor would Cicero’s feelings change, had he ever read the War Cry in his day or entertained a couple of Adventists. And what would be Cicero, after all, in the presence of a modern Materialist? How would he feel? I asked myself. Would he confess himself non-plussed, or would he remark—as Job did to the new philosopher, his persecutor—"Hast thou not poured (modern) wisdom out as milk and curdled it like cheese," enough to show us what it is?

Where are ye, O relics of the departed Pagan glories! Shall we suspect in you solar myths, or hope that we see a reincarnation of the hanging gardens of Babylon in the glass and iron whale and its two gigantic glass umbrella sticks named the Crystal Palace building? Avaunt such insulting thoughts. The restless eidolon—if any be left—of haughty Semiramis can still admire her work in the astral gallery of eternal images, and call it "unparalleled." The Mausoleum of Artemisia remains unrivalled by that of the proudest raised only "to the gods of the Stock-Exchange, the Destroyers of mutual capital."

Fane of the Ephesian Diana, what temple shall ever equal thee in poetry! Modern statues, whether equestrian or pedestrian, that now fill the halls of the French Exhibition, which of you can ever put to blush the astral eidolon of the Olympian Jupiter by Phidias? To which of the sculptors or painters of our proud era shall a modern Philippus of Thessalonica address the words spoken to the divine Greek artist: "O Phidias, either the God has descended from heaven on earth to show himself to thee, or it is thou who hast ascended to contemplate the God!"


"No doubt but we are (not) the people, and Wisdom was (not) born with us," nor shall it die with us, let us add.

Long rows of pottery and bronzes, of cunning weapons, toys and shoes and other wares are daily inspected by admiring crowds on the Exhibition grounds. Well, the "unpopular philosopher" would unhesitatingly exchange all these for a glance at the collection of Mr. Flinders Petrie now to be viewed at Oxford Mansions. Those unique treasures have been just exhumed on the site of the Kahun, of the twelfth dynasty. Between the industry of the XIXth century A.D., and that of the XXVIth B.C. (accepting, to avoid a quarrel, the chronology of the modern antiquarians and excavators) the palm must be awarded to the latter, and it is easy to show why. All these weapons, domestic and agricultural implements, foreign weights, necklaces, toys, coloured threads, textiles, and shoes now on view, have that unique feature about them that they carry us back to the days of Enoch and Methuselah, on the authority of Biblical chronology. The exhibits, we are told, relate to the twelfth dynasty 2,600 years B.C., if we have to believe archæological calculations, i.e., they show to us what kind of shoes were worn 250 years before the deluge. The idea alone that one may be gazing at the very sandals that have, perhaps, dropped from the feet of the first Grand Master and Founder of Masonry, Enoch, when "God took him," must fill the heart of every Masonic believer in Genesis with reverential delight. Before such a grand possibility, into what pale insignificance dwindles down the pleasure of inhaling the smell of Russian leather, in the shoe gallery at the Paris Exhibition. No believer in "godly Enoch, the first born of Cain-Seth-Jared," Khanoch the Initiator, no true Mason ought to run over to gay Paris, with such a treasure within his reach.

But we have still the Pyramids of Egypt left to us to admire and unravel—if we can. The pyramid of Cheops is the sphinx and wonder of our century, as it was that of the age of Herodotus. We see only its skeleton, whereas the "Father of History" examined it with its outer coating of immaculate marble. It was defiled, however, with the record of 1,600 talents1 spent only in

1 £444,000 in English money.


radishes, onions and garlic for the workmen. Let us pause, before we turn our olfactory organ from the emanations of such unpoetical food. For with the ancients was wisdom, though it passeth now our understanding. Let us hesitate before we pass judgment lest we should be caught in our own craftiness. The said onions and garlic may be as symbolical as the Pythagorean beans. Let us humbly wait till better understanding descends upon us. Quien sabe? The beautiful outer casing of both the pyramids—of Cheops and Sen-Saophis—has disappeared, engulfed in the palaces of Cairo and other cities. And with them are gone inscriptions and engraved records and cunning hieratic symbols. Does not the "Father of History" confess his dislike to speaking of things divine, and does he not avoid dwelling on symbology? Let us seek light and help from the great learned Orientalists, the artificers of Greek Speech and Akkadian Lampesuk. We have hitherto learnt many a strange story. Perchance we may be yet told that these "radishes, onions and garlic" are but so many "solar myths" and—blush for our ignorance.

But what was the fate of the last of the Seven Wonders of the World? Where are we to look for the relics of the brazen giant, the Colossus of Rhodes, whose mighty feet trod upon the two moles which formed the gate of the harbour and between whose legs ships passed full sail, and sailors hurried with their votive offerings? History tells us that the chef d’œuvre of the disciple of Lysippus, who passed twelve years in making it, was partially destroyed by an earthquake 224 B.C. It remained for about 894 years in ruins. Historians are not in the habit of telling people what became of the remains of the six wonders; nor that every great nation possessed its seven wonders—witness China, which had its Porcelain Tower of Nankin,2 now, as says a writer, only "found piecemeal in walls of peasants’ huts." Yet it is rumoured in some old chronicles that the poor Colossus was sold to a Jew.

Queer volumes may be found at times in the shops of old Russian dissenters at Moscow. One of such is a thick infoglio in

2 Gutzlaff, Hist. China, Vol. I, p. 372


the Slavonian language called, "The acts, clerical and lay, from the Chronicles of Baronius, collected in old monasteries; translated from the Polish and printed in the metropolis of Moscow, in the year of the Lord 1791." In this very curious volume full of archaic facts and statements, historical and long forgotten records beginning with the year 1, one can read under the year A.D. 683, on page 706, the following:

"The Saracen having destroyed and despoiled the Roman land ceaseth not his wicked depredation even on the sea.3 Their leader Maguvius, strong and terrible, returneth to Rhodos the island, marcheth to the brazen idol, whose name was Colossus (sic), the idol exalted as the seventh World-Wonder, and which stood over the Rhodos harbour. His height was twenty-and-one-hundred feet (stopa).4 Soil-covered and moss-grown was the idol since its upper part fell to the ground, but he had remained otherwise whole to that very day. Maguvius overthrew the trunkless legs and sold them with the rest to a Jew. Sad was the end of that world wonder."

And elsewhere the chronographer adds that the Jew’s name was Aaron of Edessa. He is not the only one to volunteer the information. Other old writers add that the Jew having broken up the Colossus, with the help of the Saracen warriors, into pieces, loaded 900 camels with them. The value of the brass material reached £36,000 English money in the Eastern markets. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Before the Jew and the Mussulman, moreover, the Rhodians themselves are said to have received large sums of money from pious donors to repair and put up the Colossus anew. But they cheated their gods and their fellow-men. They divided the money, the honest trustees, and put an end to legal enquiry by throwing the blame on the Delphic oracle, which had forbidden them, as they averred, to restore the Colossus from its ruins. And thus ended the last of the Wonders of the old Pagan world, to make room for the wonder of the Christian era—the ever-speculating, money-making Jew. There is a legend in Slavonian Folklore—or

3 The original of this passage being written in old Church Slavonian can hardly be translated in all its originality, which is very queer.

4 Some classics give it only 105 feet or 70 cubits.


shall we say a prophecy?—that after the lapse of untold ages, when our globe will have become decrepit and old through wear and tear, underground speculation and geological zeal, this "best of the worlds possible"—in Dr. Pangloss’ estimation—shall be bought at auction by the Jews—broken up for old metal, pounded into a formless heap, and rolled into balls as shares. After which the sons of Jacob and Abraham will squat around the sorry relics on their haunches, and hold counsel as to the best means of transferring it to the next Jewish bazaar and palming off the defunct globe on some innocent Christian in search of a second-hand planet. Such is the legend.

Se non e vero é ben trovato. At any rate the prophecy is suggestive even if allegorical. For indeed, if the Colossus of Rhodes could be sold for old brass to one Jew with such facility, then every crowned Colossus in Europe has reason to tremble for his fate. Why should not every Sovereign thus pass, one after the other, into the hands of the Jew in general, since they have been in that clutching grasp for some time already? If the reader shakes his head and remarks on this that the royal Colossi are not made of brass, but occupy their respective thrones "by the Grace of God" and are "God’s anointed"—he will be meekly told that as "the Lord giveth, so the Lord taketh" and that he is "no respecter of persons." Besides which there is somehow or somewhere Karma involved in that business. Few are those Potentates who do not find themselves head over ears— golden thrones and breadless subjects—in debt with one or other king of Jewry. After all, the "Lord," by whose grace they are all enthroned, from the late King Soulouk to the latest Prince of Bulgaria, is the same El-Shadài, the omnipotent, the mighty Jehovah-Izabaoth, the god whom they, or their fathers—which is all one to him "to whom a thousand years are as one day"—have unlawfully carried off from his "Holy of Holies" and confined in their own altars. The sons of Israel are, in fact and justice, his legitimate children, his "chosen people." Hence it would only be a piece of retributive justice, a kind of tardy Nemesis, should the day come when the Jew, claiming his own, shall carry off as old material the last of the kings, before he proceeds to paint afresh, as new goods, the globe itself.

Lucifer, October, 1891Η. P. B.


IT is now some time since this theory, which was first propounded in the oldest religion of the world, Vedaism, then taught by various Greek philosophers, and afterwards defended by the Theosophists of the Middle Ages, but which came to be flatly denied by the wise men of the West, like everything else, in this world of negation, has been gradually coming into prominence again. This once, contrary to the rule, it is the men of science themselves who take up. Statistics of events of the most varied nature are fast being collected and collated with the seriousness demanded by important scientific questions. Statistics of wars and of the periods (or cycles) of the appearance of great men—at least those as have been recognised as such by their contemporaries and irrespective of later opinions; statistics of the periods of development and progress at large commercial centres; of the rise and fall of arts and sciences; of cataclysms, such as earthquakes, epidemics; periods of extraordinary cold and heat; cycles of revolutions, and of the rise and fall of empires, &c.; all these are subjected in turn to the analysis of the minutest mathematical calculations. Finally, even the occult significance of numbers in names of persons and names of cities, in events, and like matters, receives unwonted attention. If, on the one hand, a great portion of the educated public is running into atheism and scepticism, on the other hand, we find an evident current of mysticism forcing its way into science. It is the sign of an irrepressible need in humanity to assure itself that there is a Power Paramount over matter; an occult and mysterious law which governs the world, and which we should rather study and closely watch, trying to adapt ourselves to it, than blindly deny, and break our heads against the rock of destiny. More than one thoughtful mind, while studying the fortunes and reverses of nations and great empires, has been deeply struck by one identical feature in their history, namely, the inevitable recurrence of similar historical events reaching in turn every one of them, and after the same lapse of time. This analogy is found between the events to be substantially the same on the whole, though there may be more or less difference as to the outward form of details. Thus, the belief of the ancients in their astrologers, soothsayers and prophets might have been warranted by


the verification of many of their most important predictions, without these prognostications of future events implying of necessity anything very miraculous in themselves. The soothsayers and augurs having occupied in days of the old civilizations the very same position now occupied by our historians, astronomers and meteorologists, there was nothing more wonderful in the fact of the former predicting the downfall of an empire or the loss of a battle, than in the latter predicting the return of a comet, a change of temperature, or, perhaps, the final conquest of Afghanistan. The necessity for both these classes being acute, observers apart, there was the study of certain sciences to be pursued then as well as they are now. The science of today will have become an "ancient" science a thousand years hence. Free and open, scientific study now is to all, whereas it was then confined but to the few. Yet, whether ancient or modern, both may be called exact sciences; for, if the astronomer of today draws his observations from mathematical calculations, the astrologer of old also based his prognostication upon no less acute and mathematically correct observations of the ever-recurring cycles. And, because the secret of this science is now being lost, does that give any warrant to say that it never existed, or that, to believe in it, one must be ready to swallow "magic," "miracles" and the like stuff? "If, in view of the eminence to which modern science has reached, the claim to prophesy future events must be regarded as either a child’s play or a deliberate deception," says a writer in the Novoyé Vremya, the best daily paper of literature and politics of St. Petersburg, "then we can point at science which, in its turn, has now taken up and placed on record the question, in its relation to past events, whether there is or is not in the constant repetition of events a certain periodicity; in other words, whether these events recur after a fixed and determined period of years with every nation; and if a periodicity there be, whether this periodicity is due to blind chance or depends on the same natural laws, on which are more or less dependent many of the phenomena of human life." Undoubtedly the latter. And the writer has the best mathematical proof of it in the timely appearance of such works as that of Dr. E. Zasse, under review, and of a few others. Several learned works, treating upon this mystical subject, have appeared of late, and of some of these works and calculations we will now treat; the more readily as they are in most cases from the pens of men of eminent learning. Having already in the June number of the


THEOSOPHIST noticed an article by Dr. Blohvitz On the significance of the number Seven,1 with every nation and people—a learned paper which appeared lately in the German journal Die Gegenwart—we will now summarize the opinions of the press in general, on a more suggestive work by a well-known German scientist, E. Zasse, with certain reflections of our own. It has just appeared in the Prussian Journal of Statistics, and powerfully corroborates the ancient theory of Cycles. These periods, which bring around ever-recurring events, begin from the infinitesimal small—say of ten years— rotation and reach to cycles which require 250, 500, 700 and 1000 years, to effect their revolutions around themselves, and within one another. All are contained within the Máhá-Yug, the "Great Age" or Cycle of the Manu calculation, which itself revolves between two eternities—the "Pralayas" or Nights of Brahma. As, in the objective world of matter, or the system of effects, the minor constellations and planets gravitate each and all around the sun, so in the world of the subjective, or the system of causes, these innumerable cycles all gravitate between that which the finite intellect of the ordinary mortal regards as eternity, and the still finite, but more profound, intuition of the sage and philosopher views as but an eternity within THE ETERNITY. "AS above, so it is below," runs the old Hermetic maxim. As an experiment in this direction, Dr. Zasse selected the statistical investigations of all the wars, the occurrence of which has been recorded in history, as a subject which lends itself more easily to scientific verification than any other. To illustrate his subject in the simplest and most easily comprehensible way, Dr. Zasse represents the periods of war and the periods of peace in the shape of small and large wave-lines running over the area of the old world. The idea is not a new one, for, the image was used for similar illustrations by more than one ancient and mediæval mystic, whether in words or picture—by Henry Kunrath, for example. But it serves well its purpose and gives us the facts we now want. Before he treats, however, of the cycles of wars, the author brings in the record of the rise and fall of the world’s great empires, and shows the degree of activity they have played in the Universal History. He points out the fact that if we divide the map of the Old World into five parts—into Eastern, Central, and Western Asia, Eastern and Western Europe, and Egypt—then we will easily perceive that every 250 years, an enormous wave passes over these areas,

1 See Volume I, pp. 345-50.


bringing into each in its turn the events it has brought to the one next preceding. This wave we may call "the historical wave" of the 250 years’ cycle. The reader will please follow this mystical number of years.

The first of these waves began in China, 2,000 years B.C.—the "golden age" of this Empire, the age of philosophy, of discoveries and reforms. "In 1750 B.C., the Mongolians of Central Asia establish a powerful empire. In 1500, Egypt rises from its temporary degradation and carries its sway over many parts of Europe and Asia; and about 1250, the historical wave reaches and crosses over to Eastern Europe, filling it with the spirit of the Argonautic expedition, and dies out in 1000 B.C. at the siege of Troy."

A second historical wave appears about that time in Central Asia. "The Scythians leave her steppes, and inundate towards the year 750 B.C. the adjoining countries, directing themselves towards the South and West; about the year 500 in Western Asia begins an epoch of splendour for ancient Persia; and the wave moves on to the east of Europe, where, about 250 B.C., Greece reaches her highest state of culture and civilization—and further on to the West, where, at the birth of Christ, the Roman Empire finds itself at its apogee of power and greatness."

Again, at this period we find the rising of a third historical wave at the far East. After prolonged revolutions, about this time, China forms once more a powerful empire, and its arts, sciences and commerce flourish again. Then 250 years later, we find the Huns appearing from the depths of Central Asia; in the year 500 A.D. a new and powerful Persian kingdom is formed; in 750—in Eastern Europe—the Byzantine empire; and, in the year 1,000—on its western side—springs up the second Roman Power, the Empire of the Papacy, which soon reaches an extraordinary development of wealth and brilliancy.

At the same time, the fourth wave approaches from the Orient. China is again flourishing; in 1250, the Mongolian wave from Central Asia has overflowed and covered an enormous area of land, including with it Russia. About 1500, in Western Asia, the Ottoman Empire rises in all its might and conquers the Balkan peninsula; but at the same time in Eastern Europe, Russia throws off the Tartar yoke, and about 1750, during the reign of Empress Catherine, rises to an unexpected grandeur and covers itself with glory. The wave ceaselessly moves further on to the West, and,


beginning with the middle of the past century, Europe is living over an epoch of revolutions and reforms, and, according to the author, "if it is permissible to prophetize, then, about the year 2,000, Western Europe will have lived one of those periods of culture and progress so rare in history." The Russian press, taking the cue, believes that "towards those days the Eastern Question will be finally settled, the national dissensions of the European peoples will come to an end, and the dawn of the new millennium will witness the abolishment of armies and an alliance between all the European empires." The signs of regeneration are also fast multiplying in Japan and China, as if pointing to the approach of a new historical wave at the extreme East.

If, from the cycle of two-and-a-half century duration, we descend to those which leave their impress every century, and, grouping together the events of ancient history, will mark the development and rise of empires, then we will assure ourselves that, beginning from the year 700 B.C., the centennial wave pushes forward, bringing into prominence the following nations—each in its turn—the Assyrians, the Medes, the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, the Macedonians, the Carthaginians, the Romans and the Germanians.

The striking periodicity of the wars in Europe is also noticed by Dr. E. Zasse. Beginning with 1700 A.D., every ten years have been signalized by either a war or a revolution. The periods of the strengthening and weakening of the warlike excitement of the European nations represent a wave strikingly regular in its periodicity, flowing incessantly, as if propelled onward by some invisible fixed law. This same mysterious law seems at the same time to make these events coincide with astronomical wave or cycle, which, at every new revolution, is accompanied by the very marked appearance of spots in the sun. The periods, when the European powers have shown the most destructive energy, are marked by a cycle of 50 years’ duration. It would be too long and tedious to enumerate them from the beginning of History. We may, therefore, limit our study to the cycle beginning with the year 1712, when all the European nations were fighting at the same time—the Northern, and the Turkish wars, and the war for the throne of Spain. About 1761, the "Seven Years’ War"; in 1810 the wars of Napoleon I. Towards 1861, the wave has a little deflected from its regular course, but, as if to compensate for it, or, propelled,


perhaps, with unusual forces, the years directly preceding, as well as those which followed it, left in history the records of the most fierce and bloody war—the Crimean war—in the former period, and the American Rebellion in the latter one. The periodicity in the wars between Russia and Turkey appears peculiarly striking and represents a very characteristic wave. At first the intervals between the cycles, returning upon themselves, are of thirty years’ duration—1710, 1740, 1770; then these intervals diminish, and we have a cycle of twenty years—1790, 1810, 1829-30; then the intervals widen again— 1853 and 1878. But, if we take note of the whole duration of the in-flowing tide of the warlike cycle, then we will have at the centre of it—from 1768 to 1812—three wars of seven years’ duration each, and, at both ends, wars of two years.

Finally, the author comes to the conclusion that, in view of facts, it becomes thoroughly impossible to deny the presence of a regular periodicity in the excitement of both mental and physical forces in the nations of the world. He proves that in the history of all the peoples and empires of the Old World, the cycles marking the millenniums, the centennials as well as the minor ones of 50 and 10 years’ duration, are the most important, inasmuch as neither of them has ever yet failed to bring in its rear some more or less marked event in the history of the nation swept over by these historical waves.

The history of India is one which, of all histories, is the most vague and least satisfactory. Yet, were its consecutive great events noted down, and its annals well searched, the law of cycles would be found to have asserted itself here as plainly as in every other country in respect of its wars, famines, political exigencies and other matters.

In France, a meteorologist of Paris went to the trouble of compiling the statistics of the coldest seasons, and discovered, at the same time, that those years, which had the figure 9 in them, had been marked by the severest winters. His figures run thus: In 859 A.D., the northern part of the Adriatic sea was frozen and was covered for three months with ice. In 1179, in the most moderate zones, the earth was covered with several feet of snow. In 1209, in France, the depth of snow and the bitter cold caused such a scarcity of fodder that most of the cattle perished in that country. In 1249, the Baltic Sea, between Russia, Norway and Sweden


remained frozen for many months and communication was held by sleighs. In 1339, there was such a terrific winter in England, that vast numbers of people died of starvation and exposure. In 1409, the river Danube was frozen from its sources to its mouth in the Black Sea. In 1469 all the vineyards and orchards perished in consequence of the frost. In 1609, in France, Switzerland and Upper Italy, people had to thaw their bread and provisions before they could use them. In 1639, the harbour of Marseilles was covered with ice to a great distance. In 1659 all the rivers in Italy were frozen. In 1699 the winter in France and Italy proved the severest and longest of all. The prices for articles of food were so much raised that half of the population died of starvation. In 1709 the winter was no less terrible. The ground was frozen in France, Italy and Switzerland, to the depth of several feet, and the sea, south as well as north, was covered with one compact and thick crust of ice, many feet deep, and for a considerable space of miles, in the usually open sea. Masses of wild beasts, driven out by the cold from their dens in the forests, sought refuge in villages and even cities; and the birds fell dead to the ground by hundreds. In 1729, 1749 and 1769 (cycles of 20 years’ duration) all the rivers and streams were ice-bound all over France for many weeks, and all the fruit trees perished. In 1789, France was again visited by a very severe winter. In Paris, the thermometer stood at 19 degrees of frost. But the severest of all winters proved that of 1829. For fifty-four consecutive days, all the roads in France were covered with snow several feet deep, and all the rivers were frozen. Famine and misery reached their climax in the country in that year. In 1839 there was again in France a most terrific and trying cold season. And now the winter of 1879 has asserted its statistical rights and proved true to the fatal influence of the figure 9. The meteorologists of other countries are invited to follow suit and make their investigations likewise, for the subject is certainly one of the most fascinating as well as instructive kind.

Enough has been shown, however, to prove that neither the ideas of Pythagoras on the mysterious influence of numbers, nor the theories of ancient world-religions and philosophies are as shallow and meaningless as some too forward free-thinkers would have had the world to believe.

Theosophist, July, 1880


THE German press has recently attempted in numerous editorials to solve what seems a mystery to the ordinary and sceptical public. They feel that they are evidently betrayed by one of their own camp—a materialist of exact science. Treating at length of the new theories of Dr. Rudolph Falb—the editor of the Leipzig "popular astronomical journal," the Sirius—they are struck with the faultless accuracy of his scientific prognostications, or rather to be plain, his meteorological and cosmological predictions. The fact is, that the latter have been shown by the sequence of events, to be less scientific conjectures than infallible prophecies. Basing himself upon some peculiar combinations and upon a method of his own, which, as he says, he has worked out after long years of researches and labour, Dr. Falb is now enabled to foretell months and even years in advance every earthquake, remarkable storm, or inundation. Thus, for example, he foretold last year’s earthquake at Zagrel. At the beginning of 1868 he prophesied that an earthquake would occur on August 13, in Peru, and it did take place on that very day. In May 1869 he published a scientific work entitled The Elementary Theory of Earthquakes and Volcanic Eruptions, in which, among other prophecies, he foretold violent earthquakes at Marseilles, at Utach, along the shores of the Austrian possessions in the Adriatic Sea, in Columbia and the Crimea, which five months later—in October—actually took place. In 1873, he predicted the earthquake in Northern Italy, at Belluno, which event occurred in the very presence of Dr. Falb, who had gone there to witness it himself, so sure was he of its taking place. In 1874, he notified to the world the then unforeseen and quite unexpected eruptions of Etna; and notwithstanding the chaff of his colleagues in science, who told him there was no reason to expect such a geological disturbance, he went to Sicily and was able to take his desired notes on the spot, when it did happen. He also prognosticated the violent storms and winds between the 23rd and the 26th of February 1877, in Italy, and that prediction was also corroborated by fact. Soon after that, Dr. Falb went to Chile, to observe the volcanic eruptions in the Andes which he had expected


and predicted two years before and—he did observe them. Immediately upon his return, in 1875, appeared his most remarkable work known as Thoughts on, and Investigations of, the Causes of Volcanic Eruptions—and which was immediately translated into Spanish and published at Valparaiso in 1877. After the predicted event at Zagrel had taken place, Dr. Falb was immediately invited to lecture in that city, where he delivered several remarkable discourses in which he once more warned the inhabitants of other forthcoming smaller earthquakes which, as is well known, did take place. The fact is that as was recently remarked by the Novoye Vremya, he has really "worked out something, knows something additional to what other people know, and is better acquainted with these mysterious phenomena of our globe than any other specialist the world over."

What is then his wonderful theory and new combinations? To give an adequate idea of them would require a volume of comments and explanations. All we can add is, that Falb has said all he could say upon the subject in a huge work of his, called Die Umwälrungen, im Welt All, in three volumes. In Vol. I, he treats of the revolutions in the stellar world; in Vol. II, of the revolutions in the regions of clouds, or of the meteorological phenomena; and in Vol. Ill of the revolutions in the bosom of the earth, or earthquakes. According to Dr. Falb’s theory our Universum is neither limitless nor eternal, but is limited to a certain time and circumscribed within a certain space. He views the mechanical construction of our planetary system and its phenomena in quite a different light than the rest of the men of science. "He is very original, and very interesting (eccentric) in some respects, though we cannot trust him in everything"— seems the unanimous opinion of the press. Evidently, the doctor is too much of a man of science to be treated as a "visionary" or a "hallucinated enthusiast"; and so he is cautiously chaffed. Another less learned mortal would surely be, were he to expound the undeniably occult and cabalistic notions upon the Cosmos that he does. Therefore, while passing over his theories in silence as if to avoid being compromised in the propagation of his "heretical" views, the papers generally add.—"We send the reader who may be curious to fathom the doctrines of Dr. Rudolph Falb to the latest work of this remarkable man and prophet." Some add to the information given the fact that Dr. Falb’s theory carries back the "Universal" deluge to 4000 years B.C., and presages another one for about the year 6,500 of the Christian era.


It appears that the theories and teaching of Dr. Falb are no new thing in this department of science, as two hundred years ago, the theory was propounded by a Peruvian named Jorie Baliri, and about a century ago by an Italian called Toaldo. We have, therefore, a certain right to infer that Dr. Falb’s views are cabalistic, or rather those of the mediaeval Christian mystics and fire-philosophers, both Baliri and Toaldo having been practitioners of the "secret sciences." At the same time—though we have not yet been so fortunate as to have read his work—that calculation of his, in reference to the Noachian deluge and the period of 6500 A.D. allotted for its recurrence, shows to us as plain as figures can speak that the learned doctor accepts for our globe the "Heliacal," Great year, or cycle of six sars, at the close and turning point of which our planet, is always subjected to a thorough physical revolution. This teaching has been propounded from time immemorial and comes to us from Chaldea through Berosus, an astrologer at the temple of Belus at Babylon. Chaldea, as is well known, was the one universal centre of magic, from which radiated the rays of occult learning into every other country where the mysteries were enacted and taught. According to this teaching,—believed in by Aristotle if we may credit Censorinus—the "great year" consists of 21,000 odd, years (the latter varying) or six Chaldean sars consisting of 3,500 years each. These two decimillenniums are naturally halved, the first period of 10,500 years bringing us to the top of the cycle and a minor cataclysm; the latter decimillennium to a terrible and universal geological convulsion. During these 21,000 years the polar and equatorial climates gradually exchange places, "the former moving slowly towards the line and the tropical zone: . . . 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 (600 years) a semiuniversal deluge like the legendary Bible flood is brought about" (see Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, pp. 30-31).

It now remains to be seen how far Dr. Falb’s theory and the old antediluvian teaching mentioned by the author of Isis Unveiled agree. At all events, as the latter work antedated by three years, his Die Umwälrungen im Welt All which was published in 1881 (but two months ago), the theory was not borrowed from the Leipzig astronomer’s work. We may add that the constant verification of


such geological and meteorological predictions besides its scientific value is of the utmost philosophical importance to the student of theosophy. For it shows: (a) that there are few secrets in nature absolutely inaccessible to man’s endeavours to snatch them from her bosom; and (b) that Nature’s workshop is one vast clock-work guided by immutable laws in which there is no room for the caprices of special providence. Yet he, who has fathomed the ultimate secrets of the Proteus-nature—which changes but is ever the same—can, without disturbing the LAW, avail himself of the yet unknown correlations of natural Force to produce effects which would seem miraculous and impossible, but to those who are unacquainted with their causes. "The law which moulds the tear also rounds the planet." There exists a wealth of chemic force—in heat, light, electricity and magnetism—the possibilities of whose mechanical motions are far from being all understood. Why then should the theosophist who believes in natural (though occult) law be regarded as either a charlatan or a credulous fool in his endeavours to fathom its secrets? Is it only because following the traditions of ancient men of science the methods he has chosen differ from those of modern learning?

Theosophist, May, 1881


IN an article, in the Tatwa Bodhini Patrika "The Essential Religion," Babu Rajnarain Bose, the well known Brahmo, prefacing it with a quotation from Ramohun Roy’s Trust Deed of the Adi Brahmo Somaj, "which is an injunction, with regard to Strengthening the bonds of union between men of all religious

persuasions, and creeds"—makes the following wise remarks.

We should regulate our conduct by keeping a constant eye upon the essentials of religion. We are apt to lose sight of them in the mists of sectarian prejudice, partiality and passion. We are apt to forget them in the heat of religious discussion, in the distraction of philosophical speculation, in the excitement of religious delight and in the engrossment of ceremonial observances. . . . We are so bent upon thrusting our own particular opinions on non-essential points of religion on others that we consider them to be essentially necessary for salvation. We are apt to forget that we ourselves are not infallible, that our own opinions on all subjects of human interest were not exactly the same twenty years ago as they are now, nor will they be exactly the same twenty years afterwards as they are now. We are apt to forget that all the members of our own sect or party, if they frankly reveal their whole minds, do not hold exactly the same opinions on all subjects concerning religion as we do. We are apt to forget that the religious opinions of man are subject to progress and they will not be the same a century afterwards as they are now. We, Theists, have as much right to say that men of other religions, less advanced in religious knowledge than we are, will not be saved, as Theists who will live centuries hence will have of saying that we, the present Theists, will not have been saved on account of our errors. Fallible man cannot with good grace be a dogmatist. We should be more mindful of performing our religious and moral duties and drawing men’s attention to those duties than dogmatically thrusting our particular opinions on particular points of religious doctrine upon others.

Learned dissertations on theology and controversies on the subject of religion are useful in their own way, but true religion before the Lord does not consist in them. It consists in a man’s "Visiting the fatherless and the widow in their affliction and keeping himself unspotted from the world," that is, from vice.


. . . Some people consider processions, festivals and religious music as the be-all and end-all of religion. They are no doubt useful in their own way, but they are not the be-all and end-all of religion. Life is the be-all and end-all of religion. . . .

We should not only regulate our own conduct by an eye to the essentials of religion, but, while propagating the religion we profess, we should draw men’s attention more to love of God and love of man than doctrinal points. We are morally culpable before God if we lay greater stress on the husk instead of the kernel of religion.

The Essential Religion does not admit of church organization. There can be no such sect as the Essential Religionists. The Essential Religion is not the exclusive property of any particular sect or church. It is the common property of all sects and churches. The members of all sects and churches should regulate their conduct according to its dictates. . . . Besides, a number of men, banded together and calling themselves Essential Religionists, must have particular conception of the Deity and future state and follow a particular mode of worship. This particular conception and particular mode of worship would at once determine them as a sect. These particular conceptions of God and future state and modes of worship give rise to religious sects among mankind. Every individual man cannot avoid joining a sect according to his own particular convictions.

Differences of religion must always exist in the world.1 To quote Parker. . . . "As many men so many theologies." As it is impossible to obliterate differences of face and make all faces exactly resemble each other, so it is difficult to obliterate distinctions of religion. Differences of religion have always existed in the world and will exist as long as it lasts. It is impossible to bring over men to one and the same religion. A certain king remarked: "It is impossible to make all watches go exactly alike. How is it possible to bring over all men to my own opinion?" Various flowers would always exist in the garden of religion, each having a peculiar fragrance of its own, Theism being the most fragrant of them all. Bearing this in mind, we should tolerate all religions, though at the same time propagating the religion which we consider to be truth by means of argument and gentle persuasion. We should tolerate even such agnostical religions as Vedantism and Buddhism as they inculcate the doctrine of the existence of God, though the followers of those religions believe Him to be impersonal, the doctrine of Yoga or communion with Him to which men must be impelled by love of God, and the doctrine of love of man or morality. Some people speak of Buddhism as an athe-

1 We beg to differ from this opinion of our kind friend.—Ed.


istical religion. Even if it were true that Buddhism is a system of pure atheism, which it is not, the phrase "atheistical religion" is a contradiction in terms. There can be no religion if divorced from God. Later researches have proved that Buddhism is not without the idea of a God as was formerly supposed.2 We should tolerate all religions. We should look upon all religions, every one of which contains greater or less truth, as God himself looks upon them, rejoicing in the truth which each contains and attributing its errors to human imperfection. . . .

These are as noble and as conciliating words as were ever pronounced among the Brahmos of India. They would be calculated to do a world of good, but for the common doom of words of wisdom to become the "voice crying in the desert." Yet even in these kindly uttered sentences, so full of benevolence and good will to all men, we cannot help discerning (we fervently hope, that Babu Rajnarain Bose will pardon our honest sincerity) a ring of a certain sectarian, hence selfish feeling, one against which our Society is forced to fight so desperately.

"We should tolerate all religions, though at the same time, propagating the religion which we consider to be true"we are told. It is our painful duty to analyze these words, and we begin by asking why should we? Where is the necessity for imposing our own personal views, our beliefs pro tem, if we may use the expression, upon other persons who, each and all must be allowed to possess—until the contrary is shown—as good a faculty of discrimination and judgment as we believe ourselves to be endowed with? We say belief pro tem basing the expression upon the writer’s own confession. "We are apt to forget," he tells his readers, "that we ourselves are not infallible, that our opinions . . . were not exactly the same twenty years ago as they are now, nor will they be exactly the same twenty years hence," and "that all the members of our own sect or party. . . . do not hold exactly the same opinions on all subjects concerning religion as we do." Precisely. Then why not leave the mind of our brothers of other religions and creeds to pursue its own natural course instead of forcibly diverting it—however gentle the persuasion—into a groove we may ourselves abandon twenty years hence? But, we may be perhaps reminded by the esteemed writer that in penning those

2 We believe it’s a great mistake due to the one-sided inferences and precipitate conclusions of some Orientalists like Mr. Lillie, the author of "Buddha and Early Buddhism." An eternal, all-pervading principle is not what is vulgarly called "God."—ED. Theos.


sentences which we have underlined, he referred but to the "non-essential points"—or sectarian dogmas, and not to what he is pleased to call the "essential" points of religion, viz.,—belief in God or theism. We answer by enquiring again, whether the latter tenet— a tenet being something which has to rest upon its own intrinsic value and undeniable evidence—whether notwithstanding, until very lately its quasi-universal acceptation,— this tenet is any better proven, or rests upon any firmer foundation than any of the existing dogmas which are admitted by none but those who accept the authority they proceed from? Are not in this case, both tenet and dogmas, the "essentials" as the "non-essentials," simply the respective conclusions and outcome of "fallible minds"? And can it be maintained that theism itself with its present crude ideas about an intelligent personal deity a little better than a superhumanly conscious big man—will not 20 years hence have reached not only a broader and more noble aspect, but even a decided turning point which will lead humanity to a far higher ideal in consequence of the scientific truths it acquires daily and almost hourly? It is from a strictly agnostic platform that we are now arguing, basing what we say merely upon the writer’s own words. And we maintain that the major premiss of his general proposition which may be thus formulated—"a personal God is,while dogmas may or may not be true"— being simply admitted, never proven, since the existence of God in general was, is, and ever will remain an improvable proposition, his conclusions however correctly derived from the minor or second premiss do not cover the whole ground. The syllogism is regular and the reasoning valid—only in the opinion of the theists. The atheist as the agnostic will protest, having logic as well as reason on his side. He will say: Why not accord to others that which you claim for yourselves? However weighty our arguments and gentle our persuasion, no theist would fail to feel hurt were we to try our hand in persuading him to throw away his theism and accept the religion or philosophy "which we consider to be true"—namely, "godless" Buddhism, or highly philosophical and logical agnosticism. As our esteemed contemporary puts it,—"it is impossible to obliterate differences of face and make all faces exactly resemble each other." Has the idea ever struck him that it is as difficult to entirely obliterate innate differences of mental perceptions and faculties, let alone to reconcile by bringing them under one standard the end-


less varieties of human nature and thought? The latter may be forced from its natural into an artificial channel. But like a mask however securely stuck on one’s face, and which is liable to be torn off by the first strong gush of wind that blows under, the convictions thus artificially inoculated are liable at any day to resume their natural course—the new cloth put upon the old garment torn out, and—"the rent made worse." We are with those who think that as nature has never intended the process known in horticulture as engrafting, so she has never meant that the ideas of one man should be inoculated with those of any other man, since were it so she would have—if really guided by intelligence—created all the faculties of human mind, as all plants, homogeneous, which is not the case. Hence, as no kind of plant can be induced to grow and thrive artificially upon another plant which does not belong to the same natural order, so no attempt toward engrafting our views and beliefs on individuals whose mental and intellectual capacities differ from ours as one variety or species of plants differs from another variety—will ever be successful. The missionary efforts directed for several hundred years toward christianizing the natives of India, is a good instance in hand and illustrates the inevitable failure following every such fallacious attempt. Very few among those natives upon whom the process of engrafting succeeded, have any real merit; while the tendency of the great majority is to return to its original specific type, that of a true-born pantheistic Hindu, clinging to his forefather’s caste and gods as a plant clings to its original genera. "Love of God and love of man is the essence of religion," says Babu Rajnarain Bose elsewhere, inviting men to withdraw their attention from the husk of religion—"the non-essentials" and concentrate it upon the kernel—its essentials. We doubt whether we will ever prove our love to man by depriving him of a fundamental and essential prerogative, that of an untrammelled and entire liberty of his thoughts and conscience. Moreover in saying, as the author does further on—

Nothing has done so much mischief to the world as religious bigotry and dogmatism on non-essential points of religion; nothing has led so much to bloody wars and fiery persecutions as the same. . . .

—he turns the weapon of logic and fact against his own argument. What religion, for instance, ever claimed more than Christianity


"love of God and love of man"—aye, "love of all men as our brothers"; and yet where is that creed that has ever surpassed it in blood-thirstiness and cruelty, in intolerance to the damnation of all other religions! "What crimes has it (Religion in general) not committed?" exclaims Prof. Huxley quoting from Lucretius, and "what cruelties," he adds, referring to Christianity—"have been perpetrated in the name of Him who said ‘Love your enemies; blessed are the peacemakers,’ and so many other noble things." Truly this religion of Love and Charity is now built upon the most gigantic holocaust of victims, the fruits of the unlawful, sinful desire to bring over all men to one mode of thinking, at any rate to one "essential" point in their religion—belief in Christ. We admit and recognize fully that it is the duty of every honest man to try to bring round by "argument and gentle persuasion" every man who errs with respect to the "essentials" of Universal ethics, and the usually recognized standard of morality. But the latter is the common property of all religions, as of all the honest men, irrespective of their beliefs. The principles of the true moral code, tried by the standard of right and justice, are recognized as fully, and followed just as much by the honest atheist as by the honest theist, religion and piety having, as can be proved by statistics, very little to do with the repression of vice and crime. A broad line has to be drawn between the external practice of one’s moral and social duties, and that of the real intrinsic virtue practised but for its own sake. Genuine morality does not rest with the profession of any particular creed or faith, least of all with belief in gods or a God; but it rather depends upon the degree of our own individual perceptions of its direct bearing upon human happiness in general, hence—upon our own personal weal. But even this is surely not all. "So long as man is taught and allowed to believe that he must be just, that the strong hand of law may not punish him, or his neighbour taking his revenge"; that he must be enduring because complaint is useless and weakness can only bring contempt; that he must be temperate, that his health may keep good and all his appetites retain their acuteness; and, he is told that, if he serves his friends, his friends may serve him, if he defends his country, he defends himself, and that by serving his God he prepares for himself an eternal life of happiness hereafter—so long, we say, as he acts on such principles, virtue is no virtue, but verily the culmination of SELFISHNESS. However sincere and


ardent the faith of a theist, unless, while conforming his life to what he pleases to term divine laws, he gives precedence in his thoughts first to the benefit that accrues from such a moral course of actions to his brother, and then only thinks of himself—he will remain at best—a pious egotist; and we do claim that belief in, and fear of God in man, is chiefly based upon, develops and grows in exact proportion to his selfishness, his fear of punishment and bad results only for himself, without the least concern for his brother. We see daily that the theist, although defining morality as the conformity of human actions to divine laws, is not a tittle more moral than the average atheist or infidel who regards a moral life simply the duty of every honest right-thinking man without giving a thought to any reward for it in afterlife. The apparently discrepant fact that one who disbelieves in his survival after death should, nevertheless, frame in most cases his life in accordance with the highest rules of morality, is not as abnormal as it seems at first. The atheist, knowing of but one existence, is anxious to leave the memory of his life as unsullied as possible in the afterremembrances of his family and posterity, and in honour even with those yet unborn. In the words of the Greek Stoic—"though all our fellow-men were swept away, and not a mortal nor immortal eye were left to approve or condemn, should we not here, within our breast, have a judge to dread, and a friend to conciliate?" No more than theism is atheism congenite with man. Both grow and develope in him together with his reasoning powers, and become either fortified or weakened by reflection and deduction of evidence from facts. In short, both are entirely due to the degree of his emotional nature, and man is no more responsible for being an atheist than he is for becoming a theist. Both terms are entirely misunderstood. Many are called impious not for having a worse but a different religion, from their neighbours, says Epicurus. Mahomedans are stronger theists than the Christians, yet they are called "infidels" by the latter, and many are the theosophists regarded as atheists, not for the denying of the Deity but for thinking somewhat peculiarly concerning this ever-to-be unknown Principle. As a living contrast to the atheist, stands the theist believing in other lives or a life to come. Taught by his creed that prayer, repentance and offerings are capable of obliterating sin in the sight of the "all-forgiving, loving and merciful Father in Heaven," he is given every hope—the strength of which


grows in proportion to the sincerity of his faith—that his sins will be remitted to him. Thus, the moral obstacle between the believer and sin is very weak, if we view it from the standpoint of human nature. The more a child feels sure of his parents’ love for him, the easier he feels it to break his father’s commands. Who will dare to deny that the chief, if not the only cause of half the misery with which Christendom is afflicted— especially in Europe, the stronghold of sin and crime—lies not so much with human depravity as with its belief in the goodness and infinite mercy of "our Father in Heaven," and especially in the vicarious atonement? Why should not men imagine that they can drink of the cup of vice with impunity—at any rate, in its results in the hereafter—when one half of the population is offered to purchase absolution for its sins for a certain paltry sum of money, and the other has but to have faith in, and place reliance upon, Christ to secure a place in paradise—though he be a murderer, starting for it right from the gallows! The public sale of indulgences for the perpetration of crime on the one hand, and the assurance made by the ministers of God that the consequences of the worst of sins may be obliterated by God at his will and pleasure, on the other, are quite sufficient, we believe, to keep crime and sin at the highest figure. He, who loves not virtue and good for their own sake and shuns not vice as vice, is sure to court the latter as a direct result of his pernicious belief. One ought to despise that virtue which prudence and fear alone direct.

We firmly believe in the actuality and the philosophical necessity of "Karma," i.e., in that law of unavoidable retribution, the not-to-be diverted effect of every cause produced by us, reward as punishment in strict conformity with our actions; and we maintain that since no one can be made responsible for another man’s religious beliefs with whom, and with which, he is not in the least concerned—that perpetual craving for the conversion of all men we meet to our own modes of thinking and respective creeds becomes a highly reprehensible action. With the exception of those above-mentioned cases of the universally recognized code of morality, the furtherance or neglect of which has a direct bearing upon human weal or woe, we have no right to be influencing our neighbours’ opinions upon purely transcendental and unprovable questions, the speculations of our emotional nature. Not because any of these respective beliefs are in any way injurious or bad


per se; on the contrary, for every ideal that serves us as a point of departure and a guiding star in the path of goodness and purity, is to be eagerly sought for, and as unswervingly followed; but precisely on account of those differences and endless variety of human temperaments, so ably pointed out to us by the respected Brahmo gentleman in the lines as above quoted. For if, as he truly points out—none of us is infallible, and that "the religious opinions of men are subject to progress" (and change, as he adds), that progress being endless and quite likely to upset on any day our strongest convictions of the day previous; and that as historically and daily proved "nothing has done so much mischief" as the great variety of conflicting creeds and sects which have led but to bloody wars and persecutions, and the slaughter of one portion of mankind by the other, it becomes an evident and an undeniable fact that, by adding converts to those sects, we add but so many antagonists to fight and tear themselves to pieces, if not now, then at no distant future. And in this case we do become responsible for their actions. Propagandism and conversion are the fruitful seeds sown for the perpetration of future crimes, the odium theologicum stirring up religious hatreds—which relate as much to the "Essentials" as to the non-essentials of any religion—being the most fruitful as the most dangerous for the peace of mankind. In Christendom, where at each street-corner starvation cries for help: where pauperism, and its direct result, vice and crime, fill the land with desolation—millions upon millions are annually spent upon this unprofitable and sinful work of proselytism. With that charming inconsistency which was ever the characteristic of the Christian churches, the same Bishops who have opposed but a few decades back the building of railways, on the ground that it was an act of rebellion against God who willed that man should not go quite as quick as the wind; and had opposed the introduction of the telegraphy, saying that it was a tempting of Providence; and even the application of anæsthetics in obstetrical cases, "under the pretence," Prof. Draper tells us, "that it was an impious attempt to escape from the curse denounced against all women in Genesis iii, 16," those same Bishops do not hesitate to meddle with the work of Providence when the "heathen" are concerned. Surely if Providence hath so decreed that women should be left to suffer for the sin of Eve, then it must have also willed that a man born a heathen should be left one as—pre-ordained. Are


the missionaries wiser, they think, than their God, that they should try to correct his mistakes; and do they not also rebel against Providence, and its mysterious ways? But leaving aside things as dark to them as they are to us, and viewing "conversion" so called, but from its practical aspect, we say that he, who under the dubious pretext that because something is truth to him it must be truth also for everyone else, labours at the conversion of his neighbours, is simply engaged in the unholy work of breeding and raising future Cains.

Indeed, our "love of man" ought to be strong enough and sufficiently intuitional to stifle in us that spark of selfishness which is the chief motor in our desire to force upon our brother and neighbour our own religious opinions and views which we may "consider (for the time being) to be true." It is a grand thing to have a worthy Ideal, but a still greater one to live up to it; and where is that wise and infallible man who can show without fear of being mistaken to another man what or who should be his ideal? If, as the theist assures us—"God is all in all"—then must he be in every ideal— whatever its nature, if it neither clashes with recognized morality, nor can it be shown productive of bad results. Thus, whether this Ideal be God, the pursuit of Truth, humanity collectively, or, as John Stuart Mill has so eloquently proved, simply our own country; and that in the name of that ideal man not only works for it, but becomes better himself, creating thereby an example of morality and goodness for others to follow, what matters it to his neighbour whether this ideal be a chimerical utopia, an abstraction, or even an inanimate object in the shape of an idol, or a piece of clay?

Let us not meddle with the natural bent of man’s religious or irreligious thought, any more than we should think of meddling with his private thoughts, lest by so doing we should create more mischief than benefit, and deserve thereby his curses. Were religions as harmless and as innocent as the flowers with which the author compares them, we would not have one word to say against them. Let every "gardener" attend but his own plants without forcing unasked his own variety upon those of other people, and all will remain satisfied. As popularly understood, Theism has, doubtless, its own peculiar beauty, and may well seem "the most fragrant of flowers in the garden of religions"— to the ardent theist. To the atheist, however, it may possibly appear


no better than a prickly thistle; and the theist has no more right to take him to task for his opinion, than the atheist has to blame him for his horror of atheism. For all its beauty it is an ungrateful task to seek to engraft the rose upon the thistle, since in nine cases out of ten the rose will lose its fragrance, and both plants their shapes to become a monstrous hybrid. In the economy of nature everything is in its right place, has its special purpose, and the same potentiality for good as for evil in various degrees—if we will but leave it to its natural course. The most fragrant rose has often the sharpest thorns; and it is the flowers of the thistle when pounded and made up into an ointment that will cure the wounds made by her cruel thorns the best.

In our humble opinion, the only "Essentials" in the Religion of Humanity are— virtue, morality, brotherly love, and kind sympathy with every living creature, whether human or animal. This is the common platform that our Society offers to all to stand upon; the most fundamental differences between religions and sects sinking into insignificance before the mighty problem of reconciling humanity, of gathering all the various races into one family, and of bringing them all to a conviction of the utmost necessity in this world of sorrow to cultivate feelings of brotherly sympathy and tolerance, if not actually of love. Having taken for our motto—"In these Fundamentals—unity; in non-essentials—full liberty; in all things—charity," we say to all collectively and to every one individually—"keep to your forefather’s religion, whatever it may be—if you feel attached to it, Brother; think with your own brains—if you have any; be by all means yourself—whatever you are, unless you are really a bad man. And remember above all, that a wolf in his own skin is immeasurably more honest than the same animal—under a sheep’s clothing."

Theosophist, June, 1883


WE have received several communications for publication, bearing on the subjects discussed in the editorial of our last issue, "Let every man prove his own work." A few brief remarks may be made, not in reply to any of the letters—which, being anonymous, and containing no card from the writers, cannot be published (nor are such noticed, as a general rule)—but to the ideas and accusations contained in one of them, a letter signed "M." Its author takes up the cudgels on behalf of the Church. He objects to the statement that this institution lacks the enlightenment necessary to carry out a true system of philanthropy. He appears, also, to demur to the view that "the practical people either go on doing good unintentionally and often do harm," and points to the workers amid our slums as a vindication of Christianity— which, by-the-bye, was in no sense attacked in the editorial so criticized.

To this, repeating what was said, we maintain that more mischief has been done by emotional charity than sentimentalists care to face. Any student of political economy is familiar with this fact, which passes for a truism with all those who have devoted attention to the problem. No nobler sentiment than that which animates the unselfish philanthropist is conceivable; but the question at issue is not summed up in the recognition of this truth. The practical results of his labours have to be examined. We have to see whether he does not sow the seeds of a greater—while relieving a lesser— evil.

The fact that "thousands are making great efforts in all the cities throughout our land" to meet want, reflects immense credit on the character of such workers. It does not affect their creed, for such natures would remain the same, whatever the prevailing dogmas chanced to be. It is certainly a very poor illustration of the fruits of centuries of dogmatic Christianity that England should be so honeycombed with misery and poverty as she is—especially on the biblical ground that a tree must be judged by its fruits! It might, also, be argued, that the past history of the Churches, stained as


it is with persecutions, the suppression of knowledge, crime and brutality, necessitates the turning over of a new leaf. The difficulties in the way are insuperable. "Churchianity" has, indeed, done its best to keep up with the age by assimilating the teachings of, and making veiled truces with, science, but it is incapable of affording a true spiritual ideal to the world.

The same Church-Christianity assails with fruitless pertinacity, the ever-growing host of Agnostics and Materialists, but is as absolutely ignorant, as the latter, of the mysteries beyond the tomb. The great necessity for the Church, according to Professor Flint, is to keep the leaders of European thought within its fold. By such men it is, however, regarded as an anachronism. The Church is eaten up with scepticism within its own walls; free-thinking clergymen being now very common. This constant drain of vitality has reduced the true religion to a very low ebb, and it is to infuse a new current of ideas and aspirations into modern thought, in short, to supply a logical basis for an elevated morality, a science and philosophy which is suited to the knowledge of the day, that Theosophy comes before the world. Mere physical philanthropy, apart from the infusion of new influences and ennobling conceptions of life into the minds of the masses, is worthless. The gradual assimilation by mankind of great spiritual truths will alone revolutionize the face of civilization, and ultimately result in a far more effective panacea for evil, than the mere tinkering of superficial misery. Prevention is better than cure. Society creates its own outcasts, criminals, and profligates, and then condemns and punishes its own Frankensteins, sentencing its own progeny, the "bone of its bone, and the flesh of its flesh," to a life of damnation on earth. Yet that society recognises and enforces most hypocritically Christianity—i.e. "Churchianity." Shall we then, or shall we not, infer that the latter is unequal to the requirements of mankind? Evidently the former, and most painfully and obviously so, in its present dogmatic form, which makes of the beautiful ethics preached on the Mount, a Dead Sea fruit, a whitened sepulchre, and no better.

Furthermore, the same "M," alluding to Jesus as one with regard to whom there could be only two alternatives, writes that he "was either the Son of God or the vilest imposter who ever trod this earth." We answer, not at all. Whether the Jesus of the New Testament ever lived or not, whether he existed as an his-


torical personage, or was simply a lay figure around which the Bible allegories clustered—the Jesus of Nazareth of Matthew and John, is the ideal for every would-be sage and Western candidate Theosophist to follow. That such an one as he, was a "Son of God," is as undeniable as that he was neither the only "Son of God," nor the first one, nor even the last who closed the series of the "Sons of God," or the children of Divine Wisdom, on this earth. Nor is that other statement that in "His life he (Jesus) has ever spoken of himself as co-existent with Jehovah, the Supreme, the Centre of the Universe," correct, whether in its dead letter, or hidden mystic sense. In no place does Jesus ever allude to "Jehovah"; but, on the contrary, attacking the Mosaic laws and the alleged Commandments given on Mount Sinai, he disconnects himself and his "Father" most distinctly and emphatically from the Sinaitic tribal God. The whole of Chapter V., in the Gospel of Matthew, is a passionate protest of the "man of peace, love and charity," against the cruel, stern, and selfish commandments of "the man of war," the "Lord" of Moses (Exod. xv., 3). "Ye have heard that it was said by them of old times,"—so and so—"But I say unto you," quite the reverse. Christians who still hold to the Old Testament and the Jehovah of the Israelites, are at best schismatic Jews. Let them be that, by all means, if they will so have it; but they have no right to call themselves even Chréstians, let alone Christians.1

It is a gross injustice and untruth to assert, as our anonymous correspondent does, that "the freethinkers are notoriously unholy in their lives." Some of the noblest characters, as well as deepest thinkers of the day, adorn the ranks of Agnosticism, Positivism and Materialism. The latter are the worst enemies of Theosophy and Mysticism; but this is no reason why strict justice should not be done unto them. Colonel Ingersoll, a rank materialist, and the leader of freethought in America, is recognised, even by his enemies, as an ideal husband, father, friend and citizen, one of the noblest characters that grace the United States. Count Tolstoi is a freethinker who has long parted with the orthodox Church, yet his whole life is an exemplar of Christ-like altruism and self-sacrifice. Would to goodness every "Christian" should take those two "infidels" as his models in private and public life. The munificence

1 See "The Esoteric Character of the Gospels," in this number. [This volume pp 168-202.]


of many freethinking philanthropists stands out in startling contrast with the apathy of the monied dignitaries of the Church. The above fling at the "enemies of the Church," is as absurd as it is contemptible.

"What can you offer to the dying woman who fears to tread alone the DARK UNKNOWN?" we are asked. Our Christian critic here frankly confesses (a.) that Christian dogmas have only developed fear of death, and (b.) the agnosticism of the orthodox believer in Christian theology as to the future post-mortem state. It is, indeed, difficult to appreciate the peculiar type of bliss which orthodoxy offers its believers in— damnation.

The dying man—the average Christian—with a dark retrospect in life can scarcely appreciate this boon; while the Calvinist or the Predestinarian, who is brought up in the idea that God may have pre-assigned him from eternity to everlasting misery, through no fault of that man, but simply because he is God, is more than justified in regarding the latter as ten times worse than any devil or fiend that unclean human fancy could evolve.

Theosophy, on the contrary, teaches that perfect, absolute justice reigns in nature, though short-sighted man fails to see it in its details on the material and even psychic plane, and that every man determines his own future. The true Hell is life on Earth, as an effect of Karmic punishment following the preceding life during which the evil causes were produced. The Theosophist fears no hell, but confidently expects rest and bliss during the interim between two incarnations, as a reward for all the unmerited suffering he has endured in an existence into which he was ushered by Karma, and during which he is, in most cases, as helpless as a torn-off leaf whirled about by the conflicting winds of social and private life. Enough has been given out at various times regarding the conditions of post-mortem existence, to furnish a solid block of information on this point. Christian theology has nothing to say on this burning question, except where it veils its ignorance by mystery and dogma; but Occultism, unveiling the symbology of the Bible, explains it thoroughly.—[ED. Lucifer.]

Lucifer, December, 1887


"Choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites." — JOSHUA, XXIV., 15.

The thirteenth number of Le Lotus, the recognised organ of Theosophy, among many articles of undeniable interest, contains one by Madame Blavatsky in reply to the Abbé Roca. The eminent writer, who is certainly the most learned woman of our acquaintance,1 discusses the following question: "Has Jesus ever existed?"2 She destroys the Christian legend, in its details, at least, with irrecusable texts which are not usually consulted by religious historians.

This article is producing a profound sensation in the Catholic and Judeo-Catholic swamp: we are not surprised at this, for the author’s arguments are such as it is difficult to break down, even were one accustomed to the Byzantine disputes of theology. — PARIS, Evening paper, of May 12, 1888.

THΕ series of articles, one of which is referred to in the above quotation from a well-known French evening paper, was originally called forth by an article in Le Lotus by the Abbé Roca, a translation of which was published in the January number of LUCIFER.

These articles, it would seem, have stirred up many slumbering animosities. They appear, in particular, to have touched the Jesuit party in France somewhat nearly. Several correspondents have written calling attention to the danger incurred by Theosophists in raising up against themselves such virulent and powerful foes. Some of our friends would have us keep silent on these topics. Such is not, however, the policy of LUCIFER, nor ever will be. Therefore, the present opportunity is taken to state, once for all, the views which Theosophists and Occultists entertain with regard to the Society of Jesus. At the same time, all those who are pur-

1 The humble individual of that name renders thanks to the editor of PARIS: not so much for the flattering opinion expressed as for the rare surprise to find the name of "Blavatsky," for once, neither preceded nor followed by any of the usual abusive epithets and adjectives which the highly cultured English and American newspapers and their gentlemanly editors are so fond of coupling with the said cognomen.—[ED.]

2 The question is rather: Did the "historical" Jesus ever exist?—[ED.]


suing in life’s great wilderness of vain evanescent pleasures and empty conventionalities an ideal worth living for, are offered the choice between the two now once more rising powers—the Alpha and the Omega at the two opposite ends of the realm of giddy, idle existence—THEOSOPHY and JESUITISM.

For, in the field of religious and intellectual pursuits, these two are the only luminaries—a good and an evil star, truly—glimmering once more from behind the mists of the Past, and ascending on the horizon of mental activities. They are the only two powers capable in the present day of extricating one thirsty for intellectual life from the clammy slush of the stagnant pool known as Modern Society, so crystallized in its cant, so dreary and monotonous in its squirrel-like motion around the wheel of fashion. Theosophy and Jesuitism are the two opposite poles, one far above, the other far below even that stagnant marsh. Both offer power—one to the spiritual, the other to the psychic and intellectual Ego in man. The former is "the wisdom that is from above . . . pure, peaceable, gentle . . . full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy," while the latter is "the wisdom that descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, DEVILISH."3 One is the power of Light, the other that of Darkness. . . .

A question will surely be asked: "Why should anyone choose between the two? Cannot one remain in the world, a good Christian of whatever church, without gravitating to either of these poles?" Most undeniably, one can do so, for a few more years to come. But the cycle is rapidly approaching the last limit of its turning point. One out of the three great churches of Christendom is split into atomic sects, whose number increases yearly; and a house divided against itself, as is the Protestant Church—MUST FALL. The third, the Roman Catholic, the only one that has hitherto succeeded in appearing to retain all its integrity, is rapidly decaying from within. It is honeycombed throughout, and is being devoured by the ravenous microbes begotten by Loyola.

It is no better now than a Dead Sea fruit, fair for some to look at, but full of the rottenness of decay and death within. Roman Catholicism is but a name. As a Church it is a phantom of the Past and a mask. It is absolutely and indissolubly bound up with, and

3 James’ General Epistle, chapter iii, 15, 17.


fettered by the Society of Ignatius Loyola; for, as rightly expressed by Lord Robert Montagu, "The Roman Catholic Church is (now) the largest Secret Society in the world, beside which Freemasonry is but a pigmy." Protestantism is slowly, insidiously, but as surely, infected with Latinism—the new ritualistic sects of the High Church, and such men among its clergy as Father Rivington, being undeniable evidence of it. In fifty years more at the present rate of success of Latinism among the "upper ten," the English aristocracy will have returned to the faith of King Charles II, and its servile copyist— mixed Society—will have followed suit. And then the Jesuits will begin to reign alone and supreme over the Christian portions of the globe, for they have crept even into the Greek Church.

It is vain to argue and claim a difference between Jesuitism and Roman Catholicism proper, for the latter is now sucked into and inseparably amalgamated with the former. We have public assurance for it in the pastoral of 1876 by the Bishop of Cambrai. "Clericalism, Ultramontanism and Jesuitism are one and the same thing—that is to say, Roman Catholicism—and the distinctions between them have been created by the enemies of religion," says the "Pastoral." "There was a time," adds Monseigneur the Cardinal, "when a certain theological opinion was commonly professed in France concerning the authority of the Pope. . . . It was restricted to our nation, and was of recent origin. The civil power during a century and a half imposed official instruction. Those who professed these opinions were called Gallicans, and those who protested were called Ultramontanes, because they had their doctrinal centre beyond the Alps, at Rome. Today the distinction between the two schools is no longer admissible. Theological Gallicanism can no longer exist, since this opinion has ceased to be tolerated by the Church. It has been solemnly condemned, past all return, by the Œcumenical Council of the Vatican. ONE CANNOT NOW BE A CATHOLIC WITHOUT BEING ULTRAMONTANE—AND JESUIT."

A plain statement; and as cool as it is plain.

The pastoral made a certain noise in France and in the Catholic world, but was soon forgotten. And as two centuries have rolled away since an exposé of the infamous principles of the Jesuits was made (of which we will speak presently), the "Black Militia" of


Loyola has had ample time to lie so successfully in denying the just charges, that even now, when the present Pope has brilliantly sanctioned the utterance of the Bishop of Cambrai, the Roman Catholics will hardly confess to such a thing. Strange exhibition of infallibility in the Popes! The "infallible" Pope, Clement XIV (Ganganelli), suppressed the Jesuits on the 23rd of July, 1773, and yet they came to life again; the "infallible" Pope, Pius VII, re-established them on the 7th of August, 1814. The "infallible" Pope, Pius IX, travelled, during the whole of his long Pontificate, between the Scylla and Charybdis of the Jesuit question; his infallibility helping him very little. And now the "infallible" Leo XIII (fatal figures!) raises the Jesuits again to the highest pinnacle of their sinister and graceless glory.

The recent Brevet of the Pope (hardly two years old) dated July 13th (the same fatal figure), 1886, is an event, the importance of which can never be overvalued. It begins with the words Dolemus inter alia, and reinstalls the Jesuits in all the rights of the Order that had ever been cancelled. It was a manifesto and a loud defiant insult to all the Christian nations of the New and the Old worlds. From an article by Louis Lambert in the Gaulois (August 18th, 1886) we learn that "In 1750 there were 40,000 Jesuits all over the world. In 1800, officially they were reckoned at about 1,000 men, only. In 1886, they numbered between 7 and 8,000." This last modest number can well be doubted. For, verily now—"Where you meet a man believing in the salutary nature of falsehoods, or the divine authority of things doubtful, and fancying that to serve the good cause he must call the devil to his aid, there is a follower of Unsaint Ignatius," says Carlyle, and adds of that black militia of Ignatius that: "They have given a new substantive to modern languages. The word Jesuitism now, in all countries, expresses an idea for which there was in nature no prototype before. Not till these last centuries had the human soul generated that abomination, or needed tο name it. Truly they have achieved great things in the world, and a general result that we may call stupendous."

And now since their reinstallment in Germany and elsewhere, they will achieve still grander and more stupendous results. For the future can be best read by the past. Unfortunately in this year of the Pope’s jubilee the civilized portions of humanity— even the Protestant ones—seem to have entirely forgotten that past. Let


then those who profess to despise Theosophy, the fair child of early Aryan thought and Alexandrian Neo-Platonism, bow before the monstrous Fiend of the Age, but let them not forget at the same time its history.

It is curious to observe, how persistently the Order has assailed everything like Occultism from the earliest times, and Theosophy since the foundation of its last Society, which is ours. The Moors and the Jews of Spain felt the weight of the oppressive hand of Obscurantism no less than did the Kabalists and Alchemists of the Middle Ages. One would think Esoteric philosophy and especially the Occult Arts, or Magic, were an abomination to these good holy fathers? And so indeed they would have the world believe. But when one studies history and the works of their own authors published with the imprimatur of the Order, what does one find? That the Jesuits have practised not only Occultism, but BLACK MAGIC in its worst form,4 more than any other body of men; and that to it they owe in large measure their power and influence!

To refresh the memory of our readers and all those whom it may concern, a short summary of the doings and actings of our good friends, may be once more attempted. For those who are inclined to laugh, and deny the subterranean and truly infernal means used by "Ignatius’ black militia," we may state facts.

In "Isis Unveiled" it was said of this holy Fraternity that—

"though established only in 1535 to 1540—in 1555 there was already a general outcry raised against them." And now once more—

"That crafty, learned, conscienceless, terrible soul of Jesuitism, within the body of Romanism, is slowly but surely possessing itself of the whole prestige and spiritual power that clings to it. . . . Throughout antiquity, where, in what land, can we find anything like this Order or anything even approaching it? . . . The cry of an outraged public morality was raised against it from its very birth. Barely fifteen years had elapsed after the bull approving its constitution was promulgated, when its members began to be driven away from one place to the other. Portugal and the Low Countries got rid of them, in 1578; France in 1594; Venice in 1606; Naples in 1622. From St. Petersburg they were expelled in 1815, and from all Russia in 1820."

The writer begs to remark to the readers, that this, which was

4 Mesmerism or HYPNOTISM is a prominent factor in Occultism. It is magic. The Jesuits were acquainted with and practised it ages before Mesmer and Charcot.—[ ED.]


written in 1875, applies admirably and with still more force in 1888. Also that the statements that follow in quotation marks may be all verified. And thirdly, that the principles (principii) of the Jesuits that are now brought forward, are extracted from authenticated MSS. or folios printed by various members themselves of this very distinguished body. Therefore, they can be checked and verified in the "British Museum" and Bodleian Library with still more ease than in our works.

Many are copied from the large Quarto5 published by the authority of, and verified and collated by, the Commissioners of the French Parliament. The statements therein were collected and presented to the King, in order that, as the "Arrêt du Parlement du 5 Mars, 1762," expresses it, "the elder son of the Church might be made aware of the perversity of this doctrine. . . . A doctrine authorizing Theft, Lying, Perjury, Impurity, every Passion and Crime; teaching Homicide, Parricide, and Regicide, overthrowing religion in order to substitute for it superstition, by favoring Sorcery, Blasphemy, Irreligion, and Idolatry . . . etc." Let us then examine the ideas on magic of the Jesuits, that magic which they are pleased to call devilish and Satanic when studied by the Theosophists. Writing on this subject in his secret instructions, Anthony Escobar6 says:


True: why should not a Jesuit cheat the Devil as well as he cheats every layman?

"Astrologers and soothsayers are either bound, or are not bound, to restore the reward of their divination, if the event does not come to pass. I own," remarks the good Father Escobar, "that the former opinion does not at all please me, because, when the astrologer or diviner has exerted all the diligence in the diabolical art which is essential to his purpose, he

5 Extracts from this "Arrêt" were compiled into a work in 4 vols., 12mo., which appeared at Paris, in 1762, and was known as "Extraits des Assertions, etc." In a work entitled "Response aux Assertions," an attempt was made by the Jesuits to throw discredit upon the facts collected by the Commissioners of the French Parliament in 1762, as for the most part malicious fabrications. "To ascertain the validity of this impeachment," says the author of "The Principles of the Jesuits," "the libraries of the two Universities, of the British Museum and of Sion College have been searched for the authors cited; and in every instance where the volume was found, the correctness of the citation was established."

6 "Theologiæ Moralis," Tomus iv. Lugduni, 1663.

7 Tom. iv., lib. xxviii., sect. I, de Præcept I., c. 20, n. 184.


has fulfilled his duty, whatever may be the result. As the physician . . . is not bound to restore his fee . . . if his patient should die; so neither is the astrologer bound to restore his charge . . . except where he has used no effort, or was ignorant of his diabolic art; because, when he has used his endeavors he has not deceived."8

Busembaum and Lacroix, in "Theologia Moralis,"9 say,


This noble fraternity, which many preachers have of late so vehemently denied to have ever been a secret one, has been sufficiently proved to be such. Its constitutions were translated into Latin by the Jesuit Polancus, and printed in the college of the Society at Rome, in 1558. "They were jealously kept secret, the greater part of the Jesuits themselves knowing only extracts from them.11 They were never produced to light until 1761, when they were published by order of the French Parliament in 1761, 1762, in the famous process of Father Lavalette." The Jesuits reckon it among the greatest achievements of their Order that Loyola supported, by a special memorial to the Pope, a petition for the reorganization of that abominable and abhorred instrument of wholesale butchery—the infamous tribunal of the Inquisition.

This Order of Jesuits is now all-powerful in Rome. They have been reinstalled in the Congregation of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, in the Department of the Secretary of the State, and in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Pontifical Government was for years previous to Victor Emanuel’s occupation of Rome entirely in their hands. . . . —Isis, vol. II, p. 355, et seq. 1876.

What was the origin of that order? It may be stated in a few words. In the year 1534, on August 16th, an ex-officer and "Knight of the Virgin," from the Biscayan Provinces, and the proprietor of the magnificent castle of Casa Solar—Ignatius Loyola,12 became the hero of the following incident. In the subterranean chapel of the Church of Montmartre, surrounded by a few

8 Ibid., sect. 2, de Præcept I, Probl. 113, n. 586.

9 "Theologia Moralis nunc pluribus partibus aucta, à R. P. Claudio Lacroix, Societatis Jesu." Coloniæ, 1757 (Ed. Mus. Brit.).

10 Tom., ii., lib. iii., Pars, i, Fr. i, c. i. dub. 2 resol. vii. What a pity that the counsel for the defence had not bethought them to cite this orthodox legalization of "cheating by palmistry or otherwise," at the recent religio-scientific prosecution of the medium Slade, in London.

11 Niccolini: "History of the Jesuits."

12 Or "St. Inigo the Biscayan," by his true name.


priests and students of theology, he received their pledges to devote their whole lives to the spreading of Roman Catholicism by every and all means, whether good or foul; and he was thus enabled to establish a new Order. Loyola proposed to his six chief companions that their Order should be a militant one, in order to fight for the interests of the Holy seat of Roman Catholicism. Two means were adopted to make the object answer; the education of youth, and proselytism (apostolat). This was during the reign of Pope Paul III, who gave his full sympathy to the new scheme. Hence in 1540 was published the famous papal bull—Regimini militantis Ecclesiæ (the regiment of the warring, or militant Church)—after which the Order began increasing rapidly in numbers and power.

At the death of Loyola, the society counted more than one thousand Jesuits, though admission into the ranks was, as alleged, surrounded with extraordinary difficulties. It was another celebrated and unprecedented bull, issued by Pope Julius the III in 1552, that brought the Order of Jesus to such eminence and helped it towards such rapid increase; for it placed the society outside and beyond the jurisdiction of local ecclesiastical authority, granted the Order its own laws, and permitted it to recognize but one supreme authority—that of its General, whose residence was then at Rome. The results of such an arrangement proved fatal to the Secular Church. High prelates and Cardinals had very often to tremble before a simple subordinate of the Society of Jesus. Its generals always got the upper hand in Rome, and enjoyed the unlimited confidence of the Popes, who thus frequently became tools in the hands of the Order. Naturally enough, in those days when political power was one of the rights of the "Vice-gerents of God"—the strength of the crafty society became simply tremendous. In the name of the Popes, the Jesuits thus granted to themselves unheard-of-privileges, which they enjoyed unstintedly up to the year 1772. In that year, Pope Clement XIV published a new bull, Dominus ac Redemptor (the Lord and Redeemer), abolishing the famous Order. But the Popes proved helpless before this new Frankenstein, the fiend that one of the "Vicars of God" had evoked. The society continued its existence secretly, notwithstanding the persecutions of both Popes and the lay authorities of every country. In 1801, under the new alias of the "Congregation of the Sacré Coeur de Jésus" it had already penetrated into and was


tolerated in Russia and Sicily.

In 1814, as already said, a new bull of Pius VII resurrected the Order of Jesus, though its late privileges, even those among the lay clergy, were withheld from it. The lay authorities, in France as elsewhere, have found themselves compelled ever since to tolerate and to count with Jesuits. All that they could do was to deny them any special privileges and subject the members of that society to the laws of the country, equally with other ecclesiastics. But, gradually and imperceptibly the Jesuits succeeded in obtaining special favours even from the lay authorities. Napoleon III granted them permission to open seven colleges in Paris only, for the education of the young, the only condition exacted being, that those colleges should be under the authority and supervision of local bishops. But the establishments had hardly been opened when the Jesuits broke that rule. The episode with the Archbishop Darboy is well known. Desiring to visit the Jesuit college in the Rue de la Poste (Paris), he was refused admittance, and the gates were closed against him by order of the Superior. The Bishop lodged a complaint at the Vatican. But the answer was delayed for such a length of time, that the Jesuits remained virtually masters of the situation and outside of every jurisdiction but their own.

And now read what Lord R. Montagu says of their deeds in Protestant England, and judge:

The Jesuit Society—with its Nihilist adherents in Russia, its Socialist allies in Germany, its Fenians and Nationalists in Ireland, its accomplices and slaves in its power, think of that Society which has not scrupled to stir up the most bloody wars between nations, in order to advance its purposes; and yet can stoop to hunting down a single man because he knows their secret and will not be its slave . . . think of a Society which can devise such a diabolical scheme and then boast of it; and say whether a desperate energy is not required in us? . . . If you have been behind the scenes . . . then you would still have before you the labour of unravelling all that is being done by our Government and of tearing off the tissue of lies by which their acts are concealed. Repeated attempts will have taught you that there is not a public man on whom you can lean. Because as England is ‘between the upper and nether millstone,’ none but adherents or slaves are now advanced; and it stands to reason that the Jesuits, who have got that far, have prepared new millstones for the time when the present ones shall have passed away; and then again, younger millstones to come on after, and wield the power of the nation.—("Recent Events


and a Clue to their Solution," Page 76.)

In France the affairs of the sons of Loyola flourished to the day when the ministry of Jules Ferry compelled them to retire from the field of battle. Many are those who still remember the useless strictness of the police measures, and the clever enacting of dramatic scenes by the Jesuits themselves. This only added to their popularity with certain classes. They obtained thereby an aureole of martyrdom, and the sympathy of every pious and foolish woman in the land was secured to them.

And now that Pope Leo XIII has once more restored to the good fathers, the Jesuits, all the privileges and rights that had ever been granted to their predecessors, what can the public at large of Europe and America expect? Judging by the bull, the complete mastery, moral and physical, over every land where there are Roman Catholics, is secured to the Black Militia. For in this bull the Pope confesses that of all the religious congregations now existing, that of the Jesuits is the one dearest to his heart. He lacks words sufficiently expressive to show the ardent love he (Pope Leo) feels for them, etc., etc. Thus they have the certitude of the support of the Vatican in all and everything. And as it is they who guide him, we see his Holiness coquetting and flirting with every great European potentate—from Bismarck down to the crowned heads of Continent and Isle. In view of the ever increasing influence of Leo XIII, moral and political—such a certitude for the Jesuits is of no mean importance.

For minute particulars the reader is referred to such well-known authors as Lord Robert Montagu in England; and on the Continent, Edgard Quinet: ľUltra-montanisme; Michelet: Le prétre, la Femme et la Famille; Paul Bert: Les Jésuites; Friedrich Nip-pold: Handbuch der Neuerster Kirchengeschichte and Welche Wege führen nach Rome? etc., etc.

Meanwhile, let us remember the words of warning we received from one of our late Theosophists, Dr. Kenneth Mackenzie, who, speaking of the Jesuits, says that:—

"Their spies are everywhere, of all apparent ranks of society, and they may appear learned and wise, or simple or foolish, as their instructions run. There are Jesuits of both sexes, and all ages, and it is a well-known fact that members of the Order, of high family and delicate nurture, are acting as menial servants in Protestant families, and doing other things of a similar nature in aid of the Society’s purposes. We cannot be too much


on our guard, for the whole Society, being founded on a law of unhesitating obedience, can bring its force to bear on any given point with unerring and fatal accuracy."13

The Jesuits maintain that "the Society of Jesus is not of human invention, but it proceeded from him whose name it bears. For Jesus himself described that rule of life which the Society follows, first by his example, and afterwards by his words."14

Let, then, all pious Christians listen and acquaint themselves with this alleged "rule of life" and precepts of their God, as exemplified by the Jesuits. Peter Alagona (St. Thomæ Aquinatis Summæ Theologiæ Compendium) says: "By the command of God it is lawful to kill an innocent person, to steal, or commit . . . (Ex mandato Dei licet occidere innocentem, furari, fornicari); because he is the Lord of life and death, and all things, and it is due to him thus to fulfill his command" (Ex primâ secundæ, Quæst., 94).

"A man of a religious order, who for a short time lays aside his habit for a sinful purpose, is free from heinous sin, and does not incur the penalty of excommunication." (Lib. iii, sec. 2, Probl. 44, n. 212).15 (Isis Unveiled, Vol. II.)

John Baptist Taberna (Synopsis Theologiæ Practicæ (propounds the following question: "Is a judge bound to restore the bribe which he has received from passing sentence?" Answer: "If he has received the bribe for passing an unjust sentence, it is probable that he may keep it . . . This opinion is maintained and defended by fifty-eight doctors" (Jesuits).16

We must abstain at present from proceeding further. So disgustingly licentious, hypocritical, and demoralizing are nearly all of these precepts, that it was found impossible to put many of them in print, except in the Latin language.17

But what are we to think of the future of Society if it is to be controlled in word and deed by this villainous Body! What are we to expect from a public, which, knowing the existence of the above mentioned charges, and that they are not exaggerated but pertain to historical fact, still tolerates, when it does not reverence, the Jesuits on meeting them, while it is ever ready to point the

13 "Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia," p. 369.

14 Imago: "Primi Sæculi Societatis Jesu," lib. I, c. 3, p. 64.

15 Anthony Escobar: "Universæ absque lite sententiæ," Theologiæ Moralis receptiore, etc., Tomus i, Lugduni, 1652 (Ed. Bibl. Acad. Cant.). "Idem sentio, e breve illud tempus ad unius horæ spatium traho. Religiosus itaque habitum demittens assignato hoc temporis intersititio, non incurrit excommunicationem, etiamsi dimmittat non solum ex causâ turpi, scilicet fornicandi, aut clàm aliquid abripiendi, set etiam ut incognitus ineat lupanar." Probl. 44, n. 213.

16 Pars, II, Tra. 2, c. 31.

17 See "Principles of the Jesuits developed in a Collection of Extracts from their own authors." London, 1839.


finger of contempt at Theosophists and Occultists? Theosophy is persecuted with unmerited slander and ridicule at the instigation of these same Jesuits, and many are those who hardly dare to confess their belief in the Philosophy of Arhatship. Yet no Theosophical Society has ever threatened the public with moral decay and the full and free exercise of the seven capital sins under the mask of holiness and the guidance of Jesus! Nor are their rules secret, but open to all, for they live in the broad daylight of truth and sincerity. And how about the Jesuits in this respect?

"Jesuits who belong to the highest category," says again Louis Lambert, "have full and absolute liberty of action—even to murder and arson. On the other hand, those Jesuits who are found guilty of the slightest attempt to endanger or compromise the Society of Jesus—are punished mercilessly. They are allowed to write the most heretical books, provided they do not expose the secrets of the Order."

And these "secrets" are undeniably of a most terrible and dangerous nature. Compare a few of these Christian precepts and rules for entering this Society of "divine origin," as claimed for it, with the laws that regulated admissions to the secret societies (temple mysteries) of the Pagans.

"A brother Jesuit has the right to kill anyone that may prove dangerous to Jesuitism."

"Christian and Catholic sons," says Stephen Fagundez, "may accuse their fathers of the crime of heresy if they wish to turn them from the faith, although they may know that their parents will be burned with fire, and put to death for it, as Tolet teaches . . . And not only may they refuse them food, . . . but they may also justly kill them."18

It is well known that Nero, the Emperor, had never dared seek initiation into the pagan Mysteries on account of the murder of Agrippina!

Under Section XIV of the Principles of the Jesuits, we find on Homicide the following Christian ethics inculcated by Father Henry Henriquez, in Summæ Theologiæ Moralis, Tomus I, Venetiis, 1600 (Ed. Coll. Sion): "If an adulterer, even though he should be an ecclesiastic . . . being attacked by the husband, kills his aggressor . . . he is not considered irregular: nonridetur irregularis (Lib. XIV, de Irregularite, c. 10, § 3).

"If a father were obnoxious to the State (being in banishment), and to the society at large, and there were no other

18 In "Præcepta Decaloga" (Edit, of Sion Library), Tom. i, lib. iv, c. 2, n. 7, 8.


means of averting such an injury, then I should approve of this" (for a son to kill his father), says Sec. XV, on Parricide and Homicide.19

"It will be lawful for an ecclesiastic, or one of the religious order, to kill a calumniator who threatens to spread atrocious accusations against himself or his religion,"20 is the rule set forth by the Jesuit Francis Amicus.

One of the most unconquerable obstacles to initiation, with the Egyptians as with the Greeks, was any degree of murder, or even of simple unchastity.

It is these "enemies of the Human Race," as they are called, that have once more obtained their old privileges of working in the dark, and inveigling and destroying every obstacle they find in their way—with absolute impunity. But—"forewarned, forearmed." Students of Occultism should know that, while the Jesuits have, by their devices, contrived to make the world in general, and Englishmen in particular, think there is no such thing as MAGIC, these astute and wily schemers themselves hold magnetic circles, and form magnetic chains by the concentration of their collective will, when they have any special object to affect, or any particular and important person to influence. Again, they use their riches lavishly to help them in any project. Their wealth is enormous. When recently expelled from France, they brought so much money with them, some part of which they converted into English Funds, that immediately the latter were raised to par, which the Daily Telegraph pointed out at the time.

They have succeeded. The Church is henceforth an inert tool, and the Pope a poor weak instrument in the hands of this Order. But for how long? The day may come when their wealth will be violently taken from them, and they themselves mercilessly destroyed amidst the general execrations and applause of all nations and peoples. There is a Nemesis—KARMA, though often it allows Evil and Sin to go on successfully for ages. It is also a vain attempt on their part to threaten the Theosophists—their implacable enemies. For the latter are, perhaps, the only body in the whole world who need not fear them. They may try, and perhaps succeed, in crushing individual members. They would vainly try their hand, strong and powerful as it may be, in an attack on the Society. Theosophists are as well protected, and better, than themselves. To the man of modern science, to all those who know nothing,

19 Opinion of John Dicastille, Sect. XV, "De Justitia et Jure," etc., cens. pp. 319, 320.

20 "Cursûs Theologici," Tomus v, Duaci, 1642, Disp. 36, Sect. 5, n. 118.


and who do not believe what they hear of WHITE and BLACK magic, the above will read like nonsense. Let it be, though Europe will very soon experience, and is already so experiencing, the heavy hand of the latter.

Theosophists are slandered and reviled by the Jesuits and their adherents everywhere. They are charged with idolatry and superstition; and yet we read in the same "Principles" of the Father Jesuits:—

"The more true opinion is, that all inanimate and irrational things may be legitimately worshipped," says Father Gabriel Vasquez, treating of Idolatry. "If the doctrine which we have established be rightly understood, not only may a painted image and every holy thing, set forth by public authority, be properly adored with God as the image of Himself, but also any other thing of this world, whether it be inanimate and irrational, or in its nature rational."21

This is Roman Catholicism, identical and henceforth one with Jesuitism—as shown by the pastoral of the Cardinal Bishop of Cambrai, and Pope Leo. A precept this, which, whether or not doing honour to the Christian Church, may at least be profitably quoted by any Hindu, Japanese, or any other "heathen" Theosophist, who has not yet given up the belief of his childhood.

But we must close. There is a prophecy in the heathen East about the Christian West, which, when rendered into comprehensible English, reads thus: "When the conquerors of all the ancient nations are in their turn conquered by an army of black dragons begotten by their sins and born of decay, then the hour of liberation for the former will strike." Easy to see who are the "black dragons." And these will in their turn see their power arrested and forcibly put to an end by the liberated legions. Then, perhaps, there will be a new invasion of an Atilla from the far East. One day the millions of China and Mongolia, heathen and Mussulman, furnished with every murderous weapon invented by civilization, and forced upon the Celestial of the East, by the infernal spirit of trade and love of lucre of the West, drilled, moreover, to perfection by Christian man-slayers—will pour into and invade decaying Europe like an irrepressible torrent. This will be the result of the work of the Jesuits, who will be its first victims, let us hope.

Lucifer, June, 1888Η. P. Blavatsky

21 De Cultu "Adorationis, Libri Tres," Lib. iii, Disp. i, c. 2.


TOLSTOI is a great poet, a great artist, a great thinker. All through his life, both heart and mind have been occupied by one burning question, coloring more or less with its painful pressure all his works. We feel its overshadowing presence in the "History of my Childhood," in "War and Peace," in "Anna Karenina," till at last it becomes the exclusive pre-occupation of his later years, which have produced such works as "My Confession," "In what does my Faith Consist?," "What shall we Do?," "Upon Life," and the "Kreutzer Sonata." This same question burns in the hearts of many, especially among Theosophists; it is indeed the question of life itself. "What is the meaning, the purpose of human life? What is the final outcome of the unnatural, distorted and falsified life of our civilisation, such as it is forced upon each of us individually? What shall we do to be happy, permanently happy? How shall man escape the horror of inevitable death?" To these ever recurring questions, Tolstoi, in his earlier works, gives no answer because he had found none himself. But he could not rest contented, as do millions of others, weaker or more cowardly natures, without an answer, one at least satisfying to his own heart and intellect; and in the five last-named works is contained that answer. An answer, it is true, that will not content the Theosophist in the form in which Tolstoi gives it, but an answer in whose basic, vital thought he may find new light, fresh hope, stronger comfort. But to understand it, we must briefly trace the road by which Tolstoi reached the peace he has found; for unless we can feel, as well as understand the inner process which led him thither, his solution, like every other solution of life’s problem, must remain a dead letter, a merely intellectual word-conception, lacking all vital force and motive power; a mere speculation, not a living truth instinct with enthusiasm.

Like all thinking men and women of today, Tolstoi lost faith in religion early in life; for this loss of one’s childish faith—in-


evitable in every life—is not, as a rule, the result of deep thought; it is rather the natural consequence of our culture and of our general experience of life. As he says himself, his faith vanished, he knew not how. But his youthful striving after ethical perfection survived for some ten years, to die out by degrees, finally disappearing utterly. Seeing everywhere around him ambition, love of power, selfishness and sensuality triumphant; seeing all that is called virtue, goodness, purity, altruism, scorned and flouted, failing to give either inward happiness and content or outward success; Tolstoi went the way of the world, did as he saw others do, practising all the vices and meannesses of the "polite world." Then he turned to literature, became a great poet, a most successful author, seeking ever, he tells us, to hide his own ignorance from himself by teaching others. For some years he succeeded in thus stifling his inner discontent, but ever more frequently, more poignantly, the question forced itself upon him: What am I living for? What do I know? And daily he saw more clearly that he had no answer to give. He was fifty years old when his despair reached its height. At the summit of his fame, a happy husband and father, author of many splendid poems full of the deepest knowledge of men and of the wisdom of life, Tolstoi realized the utter impossibility of going on living. "Man cannot imagine life, without the desire for well-being. To desire and attain that well-being—is to live. Man probes life only that he may improve it." Our science, on the contrary, investigates only the shadows of things, not their realities; and under the delusion that this unimportant secondary is the essential, science distorts the idea of life and forgets her true destiny, which is to fathom this very secret, not what today is discovered and to-morrow is forgotten.

Philosophy tells us: "You are a part of Humanity, therefore you must co-operate in the development of Humanity and in the realising of its ideals; your life’s goal coincides with that of all other men." But how does it help me to know that I live for that for which all Humanity lives, when I am not told what it is for which that very Humanity does live? Why does the world exist? What is the outcome of the fact that it does exist and will exist? Philosophy gives no answer.

Scepticism, Nihilism, Despair—thither the thinking man is driven by such thoughts, if he seeks the last word of Wisdom in the Science and Philosophy of the schools. Such, too, is the real,


inner, mental condition of many an one, both without and within the Theosophical Society.

In regard to this, the problem of life, Tolstoi divides men in general into four classes:—

Some, young and feeble of intellect, live happily in their ignorance—for them the problem of life has, as yet, no existence.

Others know and understand the problem well enough, but turn purposely away from it, favored by fortunate surroundings which permit them to pass their lives as it were in intoxication.

The third group consists of those who know that death is better than a life passed in error and ignorance; but they live on, because they lack the strength to put a sudden end to the fraud—life.

Finally, there are the strong and consistent natures, who grasp the whole stupidity of the farce being played with them, therefore put an end to this silly farce at one stroke.

"I could do nothing," he says, "but think, think of the horrible position I was in. . . . My inner condition at that time, which brought me near to suicide, was such that everything I had hitherto done, everything I could still do, seemed to me foolish and bad. Even what was most precious to me in life, what had so far drawn away my eyes from the cruel reality—my family and my art—even these lost all value for me."

From this depth of despair he escaped at length. "Life is all," he reasoned, "I, my reason itself, are products of this general life. But at the same time Reason is the creator and the final judge of human life proper. How then can reason deny to the latter a meaning without denying itself and calling itself senseless? Hence I am only calling life meaningless, because I do not grasp its meaning." Convinced that Life has a meaning, Tolstoi sought this meaning among those who really live—the people. But there he again met disappointment, the bitterest of all, because here lay his last hope. For, among the people, he found only a solution of life’s problem resting upon a conception of the universe which is contrary to reason, and is based upon that blind faith he had long since cast aside.

"I subjected," he tells us, "the dicta of my reason to a fresh examination, and found that Reason did not suffice to answer my questions, because it does not bring into its reasoning the


conception of the Infinite (Cause-less, Time-less, Space-less); because it explains my life, passed in Time, Space, and Causality, in terms of Time, Space, and Causality again: thus explaining it indeed with logical correctness, but only in terms of the same components, i.e., leaving its ultimate basis—with which alone we are concerned— unexplained. Religion, on the contrary, does the exact opposite: she knows no logic, but does know the conception of the Infinite, to which she refers everything, and, to that extent, gives correct answers. Religion says: Thou shall live according to the law of God; the outcome of thy life will be eternal suffering or eternal happiness; the meaning of thy life, which is not annihilated by death, is union with the Infinite Deity. . . . The conception of the Infinite Deity, of the divinity of the Soul, of the relations of human actions to God: these are conceptions, which have been ripened in the hidden infinity of human thought, and without which there would be no life, and I too should not exist.

"But what is God? On what train of thought rests the belief in his existence and in the relation of man to him? If I am," reasoned Tolstoi, "there must be a reason for my being, and a reason for that ground, and an ultimate reason, and this is God. I felt calmed; my uncertainty and the consciousness of standing orphaned in life vanished. But when I asked myself: What is God? How shall I act towards him? I found only banal answers that destroyed my faith again. . . . But that I have the conception of God in me, the fact and the necessity of this conception—of this no one can deprive me. Whence then this conception? Whence its necessity? This necessity is God himself. And I felt glad again. All things around me lived, and had a meaning. The conception of God is not indeed God himself; but the necessity of forming this conception, the craving for a knowledge of God, through which knowledge I live—that is God, the living and life-giving God. . . . Live in the thought, thou art a manifestation of God, and then thy life will testify to the existence of God."

Tolstoi had regained Faith, "the evidence of things not seen," and his religious faith expressed itself for three years in a life in strict conformity with the most stringent prescriptions of the orthodox Greek Church. But at last, finding the Church and the entire Christian community acting in direct contradiction to his root-conception of true Religion, he broke loose from orthodoxy


and set out to determine what is True in Religion for himself from the study of the New Testament.

But before considering the conclusions he reached, let us examine for a moment, from the Theosophical standpoint, Tolstoi’s fundamental position. His argument for the existence of an Infinite God as the necessary "ultimate ground" of human reason, is precisely one of the Theosophist’s arguments for the existence of Kosmic or Universal Mind, and, as an argument, it proves nothing more. Influenced by Western habits of feeling, he ascribes to the Universal Mind anthropomorphic attributes which it cannot possess, thus sowing the seeds of the strained and forced conclusions as to practical action which he subsequently arrives at. Fundamentally he is right; but in the effort to satisfy the demands of his emotional nature he falls into a quasi-anthropomorphism. For us, however, more importance attaches to the poignant picture he presents of the mental misery that tortures every honest thinker to-day, and to his pointing out of the road, the only road, by which an escape is possible. For starting from his basis we are led, if we reason carefully and closely, to the basic conclusions of Theosophical teaching, as will be seen later.

To return to Tolstoi’s religious unfoldment. Studying the Gospels, he came to find the kernel, the essence of Jesus’ teaching in the Sermon on the Mount, understood in its literal, simple sense, "even as a little child would understand it." He considers as the perfect expression of Christ’s law of Charity and Peace, the command, "Resist not evil," which to him is the most perfect rendering of true Christianity, and this command he describes as "the sole and eternal law of God and of men." He also points out that long before the appearance of the historical Jesus, this law was known and recognized by all the leaders and benefactors of the human race. "The progress of mankind towards good," he writes, "is brought about by those who suffer, not by those who inflict, martyrdom."

Such is the essence of Tolstoi’s religion; but we shall be better able to enter into its real meaning and appreciate his practical deductions therefrom, after having examined, first, his doctrine of religious bliss, and second, his philosophy of life.

I believe, says Tolstoi: (1) that happiness on earth depends solely upon the fulfilling of Christ’s teaching; (2) that its fulfil-


ment is not only possible, but easy and full of joy. Happiness, he teaches, is love towards all men, union with them, and evil is the breach of this unity. Love and unity are the natural condition of men, in which all men find themselves who are not led astray by false teachings.

These conceptions changed his whole view of life; all he had before striven for, all that counts for so much in the world, honor, fame, culture, riches, increased refinement of life, of surroundings, of food, of clothing, of manners—all this lost its value in his eyes, and in place of them he came to esteem what the World calls bad and low, simplicity, poverty, want of culture. But the real essence of his teaching lies in the conception of the Universal Brotherhood of mankind.

For Tolstoi, Life means the striving of man after well being, after happiness, a happiness only to be attained, as we have seen, through the fulfilment of the commands of Jesus. Of these commands the deepest meaning is: true life, therefore also true happiness, consists—not in the preservation of one’s personality, but—in absorption into the All, into God and Humanity. Since God is Reason, the Christian teaching may be formulated thus: subordinate thy personal life to reason, which demands of thee unconditional love for all beings.1

The personal life, that which recognises and wills only one’s own "I," is the animal life; the life of reason is the human, the existence proper to man according to his nature as man. The crowning maxim of Stoic ethics: live according to nature, according to thy human nature, expresses the same thing. The teachings of the wisest lawgivers: the Brahmans, Gautama Buddha, Confucius, Lao-Tze, Moses, all contain the same explanation of life, make the same demand upon the man. For, from the remotest times onwards, Humanity has ever been conscious of the torturing inner contradiction, wherein all who seek after personal well-being find themselves. As, unfortunately, there is no other solution of this contradiction except to transfer the centre of attraction of one’s existence2 from the personality, which can never be saved from destruction, to the everlasting All, it is intelligible that all the sages of the past, and with them also the greatest thinkers of later

1 Absolutely the same doctrine as that taught by Buddha and all other Initiates, Plato included. A fact recognised by Tolstoi, though not given its due significance by him.

2 Where thy treasure is, there will try heart be also.


centuries, have established doctrines and moral laws identical in their general meaning because they saw more clearly than other men both this contradiction and its solution.

It is not difficult to see wherein consists the basic contradiction of personal life. That which for man is the most important, that alone which he desires, that which—as it seems to him—alone really lives, namely his personality, is destroyed, because a skeleton, decays, does not remain "himself"; while that which he does not desire, which has no value for him, the life and welfare of which he does not feel, the whole outside world of struggling beings, that proves itself to be that which endures, which truly lives.

With the awakening of the reasoning consciousness, which must occur sooner or later in every man, he becomes conscious of the gulf between the animal and the human life; he realises this more and more fully, till at last—on the highest plane of consciousness— the fundamental contradiction of life is recognised as only an apparent contradiction, pertaining solely to the sphere of animal existence, and the meaning of life, after which the personal man seeks in vain, is at last discovered. It is not discovered by logical deduction, but intuitively. The spiritually awakened or regenerated man suddenly finds himself transported into the eternal, timeless condition of the life of pure "Reason,"3 in which can be no more illusions, contradictions, riddles. . . . The life of reason is, as the original and only true life, also the normal life of man: and man as such can only be called "living" in so far as he subdues the animal in him under the law of Reason; precisely as the animal only really lives when it obeys, not only the laws of the matter which composes it, but also the higher law of organic life. . . . When once it has been recognised that, in specifically human life, the primacy naturally belongs not to the personality, but to the Reason, there is nothing super-human in following the natural law of human life and both regarding and using as a tool what is a mere tool of the true life—the personality. . . . But it may be asked: Why then do we have a personality if we are to renounce it, deny it? In order that the personality, like any tool, may serve merely as a means to an end—other answer there is none. The personality is nothing

3 Meaning Plato’s "Noetic Life."


but the "spade," that is given to the reasoning being to be dug with, to be blunted in that digging and then sharpened again, to be used up, but not to be cleaned and stored away. To use a tool as a tool is not to deny it, but simply to make it serve its proper purpose, i.e., Reason.

This is Tolstoi’s philosophy of life, identical in its basis with that of Theosophy. But lacking the universality of the latter, leaning too exclusively upon the corrupted and fragmentary dicta of but one Teacher of Wisdom, Tolstoi’s philosophy fails to guide him in practice and, as a study of his work shows, lands him eventually in self-contradiction. This self-contradiction, however, being but of the surface, of the physical plane only, is of relatively small importance, contrasted with the real escape he has made beyond the delusions in which most of us live.

Want of space renders it impossible to follow out into further detail the comparison between Tolstoi’s views and those of Theosophy. Every reader of Lucifer can readily do so for himself, and we will only add that Dr. Von Koeber’s essay, which has supplied the material for the above sketch, and of which it is mainly a summary, is worthy the careful study of every one who can read German. Of the Appendix, which Dr. Hübbe Schleiden has tacked on thereto, it must be said to show a want of appreciation and understanding of the true spirit and meaning of Tolstoi’s thought and action, which seems to indicate the same misconception of the nature of real "mysticism," that may be noticed in the same writer’s other essays.

Lucifer, September, 1890


"That the world is in such bad condition morally, is conclusive evidence that none of its religions and philosophies, those of the civilized races less than any other, have ever possessed the truth. The right and logical explanation of the subject, of the problems of the great dual principles—right and wrong, good and evil, liberty and despotism, pain and pleasure, egotism and altruism—are as impossible to them now as they were 1881 years ago: they are as far from the solution as they ever were. . . ."

(From an Unpublished Letter, well known to Theosophists.)

ONE need not belong to the Theosophical Society to be forcibly struck with the correctness of the above remarks. The accepted creeds of the civilized nations have lost their restraining influence on almost every class of society; nor have they ever had any other restraint save that of physical fear: the dread of theocratic thumb-screws, and hell-tortures. The noble love of virtue, for virtue’s own sake, of which some ancient Pagan nations were such prominent exemplars has never blossomed in the Christian heart at large, nor have any of the numerous post-christian philosophies answered the needs of humanity, except in isolated instances. Hence, the moral condition of the civilized portions of mankind has never been worse than it is now—not even, we believe, during the period of Roman decadence. Indeed, if our greatest masters in human nature and the best writers of Europe, such acute psychologists—true vivisectors of moral man—as Count Tolstoi in Russia, Zola in France, and as Thackery and Dickens in England before them, have not exaggerated facts—and against such an optimistic view we have the records of the criminal and divorce courts in addition to Mrs. Grundy’s private sessions "with closed doors"—then the inner rottenness of our Western morality surpasses anything the old Pagans have ever been accused of. Search carefully, search far and wide throughout the ancient classics, and even in the writings of the Church Fathers breathing such hatred to Pagans—and every vice and crime fathered upon the latter will find its modern imitator in the archives of the European tribunals.


Yea, "gentle reader," we Europeans have servilely imitated every iniquity of the Pagan world, while stubbornly refusing to accept and follow any one of its grand virtues.

Withal, we moderns have undeniably surpassed the ancients in one thing—namely, in the art of whitewashing our moral sepulchres; of strewing with fresh and blooming roses the outside walls of our dwellings, to hide the better the contents thereof, the dead men’s bones and all uncleanness, and making them, "indeed, appear beautiful without." What matters it that the "cup and platter" of our heart remain unclean if they "outwardly appear righteous unto men"? To achieve this object, we have become past-masters in the art of blowing trumpets before us, that we "may have glory of men." The fact, in truth, that we deceive thereby neither neighbor nor kinsman, is a matter of small concern to our present generations of hypocrites, who live and breathe on mere appearances, caring only for outward propriety and prestige. These will moralize to their neighbors, but have not themselves even the moral courage of that cynical but frank preacher who kept saying to his congregation: "Do as I bid you, but do not do as I do."

Cant, cant, and always cant; in politics and religion, in Society, commerce, and even literature. A tree is known by its fruits; an Age has to be judged by its most prominent authors. The intrinsic moral value of every particular period of history has generally to be inferred from what its best and most observant writers had to say of the habits, customs, and ethics of their contemporaries and the classes of Society they have observed or been living in. And what now do these writers say of our Age, and how are they themselves treated?

Zola’s works are finally exiled in their English translations; and though we have not much to say against the ostracism to which his Nana and La Terre have been subjected, his last—La Bête Humaine—might have been read in English with some profit. With "Jack the Ripper" in the near past, and the hypnotic rage in the present, this fine psychological study of the modern male neurotic and "hysteric," might have done good work by way of suggestion. It appears, however, that prudish England is determined to ignore the truth and will never allow a diagnosis of the true state of its


diseased morals to be made—not by a foreign writer at all events. First, then, have departed Zola’s works, forcibly exiled. At this many applauded, as such fictions, though vividly pointing out some of the most hidden ulcers in social life, were told really too cynically and too indecently to do much good. But now comes the turn of Count Lev Tolstoi. His last work, if not yet exiled from the bookstalls, is being rabidly denounced by the English and American press. In the words of "Kate Field’s Washington" why? Does "The Kreutzer Sonata" defy Christianity? No. Does it advocate lax morals? No. Does it make the reader in love with that "intelligent beast" Pozdnisheff? On the contrary. . . . Why then is the Kreutzer Sonata so abused? The answer comes: "because Tolstoi has told the truth," not as averred "very brutally," but very frankly, and "about a very brutal condition of things" certainly; and we, of the 19th century, have always preferred to keep our social skeletons securely locked in our closets and hidden far away from sight. We dare not deny the terribly realistic truths vomited upon the immorality of the day and modern society of Pozdnisheff; but—we may call the creator of Pozdnisheff names. Did he not indeed dare to present a mirror to modern Society in which it sees its own ugly face? Withal, he offers no possible cure for our social sores. Hence, with eyes lifted heavenward and foaming mouths, his critics maintain that, all its characteristic realism notwithstanding, the "Kreutzer Sonata is a prurient book, like to effect more harm than good, portraying vividly the great immorality of life, and offering no possible remedy for it" (Vanity Fair). Worse still. "It is simply repulsive. It is daring beyond measure and without excuse; . . . the work of a mind . . . not only morbid, but . . . far gone in disease through unwholesome reflection" (New York Herald).

Thus the author of "Anna Karenina" and of the "Death of Ivan Ilyitch," the greatest psychologist of this century, stands accused of ignoring "human nature" by one critic, of being "the most conspicuous case out of Bedlam," and by another (Scot’s Observer) called "the ex-great artist." "He tilts," we are told, "against the strongest human instincts" because forsooth, the author—an orthodox Russian born—tells us that far better no marriage at all than such a desecration of what his church regards as one of the holy Sacraments. But in the opinion of the Protestant Vanity Fair, Tol-


stoi is "an extremist," because "with all its evils, the present marriage system, taken even as the vile thing for which he gives it us (italics are ours) is a surely less evil than the monasticism—with its effects—which he preaches." This shows the ideas of the reviewer on morality!

Tolstoi, however, "preaches" nothing of the sort; nor does his Pozdnisheff say so, though the critics misunderstand him from A to Z, as they do also the wise statement that "not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth" or a vile man’s heart and imagination. It is not "monasticism" but the law of continence as taught by Jesus (and Occultism) in its esoteric meaning—which most Christians are unable to perceive—that he preaches. Nothing can be more moral or more conducive to human happiness and perfectibility than the application of this law. It is one ordained by Nature herself. Animals follow it instinctively, as do also the savage tribes. Once pregnant, to the last day of the nursing of her babe, i.e., for eighteen or twenty months, the savage squaw is sacred to her husband; the civilised and semi-civilised man alone breaking this beneficent law. Therefore, speaking of the immorality of marriage relations as at present practised, and of unions performed on commercial bases, or, what is worse, on mere sensual love, Pozdnisheff elaborates the idea by uttering the greatest and the holiest truths, namely, that:

"For morality to exist between men and women in their daily life, they must make perfect chastity their law.1 In progressing towards this end, man subdues himself. When he has arrived at the last degree of subjection we shall have moral marriages. But if a man as in our Society advances only towards physical love, even though he surrounds it with deception and with the shallow formality of marriage, he obtains nothing but licensed vice.

A good proof that it is not "monasticism" and utter celibacy which are preached, but only continence, is found on page 84 where the fellow-traveller of Pozdnisheff is made to remark that the result of the theory of the latter would be "that a man would have to keep away from his wife except once every year or two." Then again there is this sentence:—

"I did not at that time understand that the words of the Gospel as to looking upon a woman with the eyes of desire

1 All the italics throughout the article are ours.


did not refer only to the wives of others, but especially and above all to one’s own wife."

"Monastics" have no wives, nor do they get married if they would remain chaste on the physical plane. Tolstoi, however, seems to have answered in anticipation of British criticism and objections on these lines, by making the hero of his "grimy and revolting book" (Scot’s Observer) say:—

"Think what a perversity of ideas there must be, when the happiest, the freest condition of the human being, that of (mental) chastity, is looked upon as something miserable and ridiculous. The highest ideal, the most perfect condition to be attained by woman, that of a pure being, a vestal, a virgin, provokes, in our society, fear and laughter."

Tolstoi might have added—and when moral continence and chastity, mistaken for "monasticism," are pronounced far more evil than "the marriage system taken even as the vile thing for which he (Tolstoi) gives it us." Has the virtuous critic of Vanity Fair or the Scot’s Observer never met with a woman who, although the mother of a numerous family, had withal remained all her life mentally and morally a pure virgin, or with a vestal (in vulgar talk, a spinster) who although physically undefiled, yet surpassed in mental, unnatural depravity the lowest of the fallen women? If he has not—we have.

We maintain that to call "Kreutzer Sonata" pointless, and "a vain book," is to miss most egregiously the noblest as well as the most important points in it. It is nothing less than wilful blindness, or what is still worse—that moral cowardice which will sanction every growing immorality rather than allow its mention, let alone its discussion, in public. It is on such fruitful soil that our moral leprosy thrives and prospers instead of being checked by timely palliatives. It is blindness to one of her greatest social evils of this kind that led France to issue her unrighteous law, prohibiting the so-called "search of paternity." And is it not again the ferocious selfishness of the male, in which species legislators are of course included, which is responsible for the many iniquitous laws with which the country of old disgraced itself? e.g., the right of every brute of a husband to sell his wife in a market-place with a rope around her neck; the right of every beggar-husband over his rich wife’s fortune, rights now happily abrogated. But does not law protect man to this day, granting him means for legal impunity


in almost all his dealings with woman?

Has it never occurred to any grave judge or critic either—any more than to Pozdnisheff—"that immorality does not consist in physical acts alone but on the contrary, in liberating one’s self from all moral obligations, which such acts impose"? (Kreutzer Sonata, p. 32.) And as a direct result of such legal "liberation from any moral obigations," we have the present marriage system in every civilized nation, viz., men "steeped in corruption" seeking "at the same time for a virgin whose purity might be worthy" of them (p. 39); men, out of a thousand of whom "hardly one could be found who has not been married before at least a dozen times" (p.41)!

Aye, gentlemen of the press, and humble slaves to public opinion, too many terrible, vital truths, to be sure, are uttered by Pozdnisheff to make the "Kreutzer Sonata" ever palatable to you. The male portion of mankind—book reviewers as others—does not like to have a too faithful mirror presented to it. It does not like to see itself as it is, but only as it would like to make itself appear. Had the book been directed against your slave and creature—woman, Tolstoi’s popularity would have, no doubt, increased proportionately. But for almost the first time in literature, a work shows male kind collectively in all the artificial ugliness of the final fruits of civilization, which make every vicious man believe himself, like Pozdnisheff, "a thoroughly moral man." And it points out as plainly that female dissimulation, worldliness and vice, are but the handiwork of generations of men, whose brutal sensuality and selfishness have led woman to seek reprisals. Hear the fine and truthful description of most Society men:—

"Women know well enough that the most noble, the most poetic love is inspired, not by moral qualities, but by physical intimacy. . . . Ask an experienced coquette . . . which she would prefer, to be convicted in the presence of the man she wishes to subjugate, of falsehood, perversity, and cruelty, or to appear before him in a dress ill-made. . . . She would choose the first alternative. She knows very well that we only lie when we speak of our lofty sentiments; that what we are seeking is the woman herself, and that for that we are ready to forgive all her ignominies, while we would not forgive her a costume badly


cut. . . . Hence those abominable jerseys, those artificial protrusions behind, those naked arms, shoulders and bosoms."

Create no demand and there will be no supply. But such demand being established by men, it . . . .

"Explains this extraordinary phenomenon: that on the one hand woman is reduced to the lowest degree of humiliation, while on the other she reigns above everything. . . . ‘Ah, you wish us to be merely objects of pleasure? Very well, by that very means we will bend you beneath our yoke,’ say the women" who "like absolute queens, keep as prisoners of war and at hard labor nine-tenths of the human race; and all because they have been humiliated, because they have been deprived of the rights enjoyed by man. They avenge themselves on our voluptuousness, they catch us in their nets" . . . Why? Because "the great majority look upon the journey to the church as a necessary condition for the possession of a certain woman. So you may say what you will, we live in such an abyss of falsehood, that unless some event comes down upon our head . . . we cannot wake up to the truth" . . .

The most terrible accusation, however, is an implied parallel between two classes of women. Pozdnisheff denies that the ladies in good society live with any other aims than those of fallen women, and reasons in this wise:

"If human beings differ from one another by their internal life, that ought to show itself externally; and externally, also, they will be different. Now compare women of the most unhappy, the most despised class, with women of the highest society; you see the same dresses, the same manners, the same perfumes, the same passion for jewelry, for brilliant and costly objects; the same amusements, the same dances, music, and songs. The former attract by all possible means; the latter do the same. There is no difference, none whatever."

And would you know why? It is an old truism, a fact pointed out by Ouida, as by twenty other novelists. Because the husbands of the "ladies in good Society"—we speak only of the fashionable majority, of course—would most likely gradually desert their legitimate wives were these to offer them too strong a contrast with the demi-mondaines whom they all adore. For certain men who for long years have constantly enjoyed the intoxicating atmosphere of certain places of amusement, the late suppers in cabinets particuliers in the company of enamelled females artificial from top to foot, the correct demeanor of a lady, presiding over their dinner table, with her cheeks paintless, her hair, complexion and eyes as


nature made them—becomes very soon a bore. A legitimate wife who imitates in dress, and mimicks the desinvolture of her husband’s mistress has perhaps been driven at the beginning to effect such a change out of sheer despair, as the only means of preserving some of her husband’s affection, once she is unable to have it undivided. Here, again, the abnormal fact of enamelled, straw-haired, painted and almost undressed wives and girls in good Society, are the handiwork of men—of fathers, husbands, brothers. Had the animal demands of the latter never created that class which Baudelaire calls so poetically les fleurs du mal, and who end by destroying every household and family whose male members have once fallen a victim to their hypnotism—no wife and mother, still less a daughter or a sister, would have ever thought of emulating the modern hetaira. But now they have. The act of despair of the first wife abandoned for a demi-mondaine has borne its fruit. Other wives have followed suit, then the transformation has gradually become a fashion, a necessity. How true then these remarks:

"The absence of women’s rights does not consist in being deprived of the right of voting, or of administering law; but in the fact that with regard to matters of affection she is not the equal of man, that she has not the right to choose instead of being chosen. That would be quite abnormal, you think. Then let men also be without their rights. . . . At bottom her slavery lies in the fact of her being regarded as a source of enjoyment. You excite her, you give her all kinds of rights equal to those of man:2 but she is still looked upon as an instrument of pleasure, and she is brought up in that character from her childhood. . . . She is always the slave, humiliated and corrupted, and man remains still her pleasure-seeking master. Yes, to abolish slavery, it is first of all necessary that public opinion should admit that it is shameful to profit by the labor of one’s neighbor; and to emancipate woman it is necessary that public opinion should admit that it is shameful to regard her as an instrument of pleasure."

Such is man, who is shewn in all the hideous nakedness of his selfish nature, almost beneath the "animals" which "would seem to know that their descendants continue the species, and they accordingly follow a certain law." But "man alone does not, and will not, know. . . . The lord of creation—man; who, in the name of his love, kills one half of the human race! Of woman, who ought to be

2 This, only in "semi" civilised Russia, if you please. In England she has not even the privilege of voting yet.


his helpmate in the movement of Humanity towards freedom, he makes, for the sake of his pleasures, not a helpmate but an enemy." · · · ·

And now it is made abundantly clear, why the author of the Kreutzer Sonata has suddenly become in the eyes of all men—"the most conspicuous case out of Bedlam." Count Tolstoi who alone has dared to speak the truth in proclaiming the whole relation of the sexes to each other as at present, "a gross and vile abomination," and who thus interferes with "man’s pleasures"—must, of course, expect to be proclaimed a madman. He preaches "Christian virtue," and what men want now is vice, such as the old Romans themselves have never dreamed of. "Stone him to death"—gentlemen of the press. What you would like, no doubt, to see practically elaborated and preached from every housetop, is such articles as Mr. Grant Allen’s "The Girl of the Future." Fortunately, for that author’s admirers, the editor of the Universal Review has laid for once aside "that exquisite tact and that rare refinement of feeling which distinguishes him from all his fellows" (if we have to believe the editor of the Scot’s Observer). Otherwise he would have never published such an uncalled-for insult to every woman, whether wife or mother. Having done with Tolstoi’s diagnosis we may now turn to Grant Allen’s palliative.

But even Mr. Quilter hastens while publishing this scientific effusion, to avoid identifying himself with the opinions expressed in it. So much more the pity, that it has seen the light of publicity at all. Such as it is, however, it is an essay on the "problem of Paternity and Maternity" rather than that of sex; a highly philanthropic paper which substitutes "the vastly more important and essential point of view of the soundness and efficiency of the children to be begotten" to that "of the personal convenience of two adults involved" in the question of marriage. To call this problem of the age the "Sex Problem" is one error; the "Marriage Problem," another, though "most people call it so with illogical glibness." Therefore to avoid the latter Mr. Grant Allen . . . . "would call it rather the Child Problem, or if we want to be very Greek, out of respect to Girton, the Problem of Pædopoetics."

After this fling at Girton, he has one at Lord Campbell’s Act,


prohibiting certain too décolleté questions from being discussed in public: after which the author has a third one, at women in general. In fact his opinion of the weaker sex is far worse than that of Pozdnisheff in the Kreutzer Sonata, as he denies them even the average intellect of man. For what he wants is "the opinions of men who have thought much upon these subjects and the opinions of women (if any) who have thought a little." The author’s chief concern being "the moulding of the future British nationality," and his chief quarrel with the higher education of women, "the broken-down product of the Oxford local examination system," he has a fourth and fifth fling, as vicious as the rest, at "Mr. Podsnap and Mrs. Grundy" for their pruderie, and at the "university" ladies. What, then, he queries:

. . . "Rather than run the risk of suffusing for one moment the sensitive cheek of the young person, we must allow the process of peopling the world hap-hazard with hereditary idiots, hereditary drunkards, hereditary consumptives, hereditary madmen, hereditary weaklings, hereditary paupers to go on unchecked, in its existing casual and uncriticized fashion, for ever and ever. Let cancer beget cancer, and crime beget crime: but never for one moment suggest to the pure mind of our blushing English maiden that she has any duty at all to perform in life in her capacity as a woman, save that of gratifying a romantic and sentimental attachment to the first black moustache or the first Vandyke beard she may happen to fall in with." . . .

Such weakness for one "black moustache" will never do. The author has a "nobler," a "higher" calling for the "blushing English maiden," to wit, to keep herself in readiness to become a happy and proud mother for the good of the State, by several "black" and fair moustaches, in sequence, as we shall see, if only handsome and healthy. Thence his quarrel with the "higher education" which debilitates woman. For—

. . . "the question is, will our existing system provide us with mothers capable of producing sound and healthy children, in mind and body, or will it not? If it doesn’t, then inevitably and infallibly it will go to the wall. Not all the Mona Cairds and Olive Schreiners that ever lisped Greek can fight against the force of natural selection. Survival of the fittest is stronger than Miss Buss, and Miss Pipe, and Miss Helen Gladstone, and the staff of the Girls’ Public Day School Company, Limited, all put together. The race that lets its women fail in their maternal functions will sink to the nethermost abyss of limbo, though


all its girls rejoice in logarithms, smoke Russian cigarettes, and act Æschylean tragedies in most æsthetic and archaic chitons. The race that keeps up the efficiency of its nursing mothers will win in the long run, though none of its girls can read a line of Lucian or boast anything better than equally-developed and well-balanced minds and bodies."

Having done with his entrée en matiѐre, he shows us forthwith whither he is driving, though he pretends to be able to say very little in that article; only "to approach by a lateral avenue one of the minor outworks of the fortress to be stormed." What this "fortress" is, we will now see and by the "lateral" small "avenue" judge of the magnitude of the whole. Mr. G. Allen, having diagnosed that which for him is the greatest evil of the day, now answers his own question. This is what he proposes for producing sound children out of sound—because unmarried—mothers, whom he urges to select for every new babe a fresh and well-chosen father. It is, you see—

. . . "what Mr. Galton aptly terms ‘eugenics’—that is to say a systematic endeavor towards the betterment of the race by the deliberate selection of the best possible sires, and their union for reproductive purposes with the best possible mothers." The other "leaves the breeding of the human race entirely to chance, and it results too often in the perpetuation of disease, insanity, hysteria, folly, and every other conceivable form of weakness or vice in mind and body. Indeed, to see how foolish is our practice in the reproduction of the human race, we have only to contrast it with the method we pursue in the reproduction of those other animals, whose purity of blood, strength, and excellence has become of importance to us."

"We have a fine sire of its kind, be it stallion, bull, or bloodhound, and we wish to perpetuate his best and most useful qualities in appropriate offspring. What do we do with him? Do we tie him up for life with a single dam, and rest content with such foals, or calves, or puppies as chance may send us? Not a bit of it. We are not so silly. We try him freely all round a whole large field of choice, and endeavor by crossing his own good qualities with the good qualities of various accredited mares or heifers to produce strains of diverse and well-mixed value, some of which will prove in the end more important than others. In this way we get the advantage of different mixtures of blood, and don’t throw away all the fine characteristics of our sire upon a single set of characteristics in a single dam, which may or may not prove in the end the


best and fullest complement of his particular nature."

Is the learned theorist talking here of men and women, or discussing the brute creation, or are the human and animal kinds so inseparably linked in his scientific imagination as to disable him from drawing a line of demarcation between the two? It would seem so, from the cool and easy way in which he mixes up the animal sires and dams with men and women, places them on the same level, and suggests "different mixtures of blood." We abandon him willingly his "sires," as, in anticipation of this scientific offer, men have already made animals of themselves ever since the dawn of civilization. They have even succeeded, while tying up their "dam" to a single "sire" under the threat of law and social ostracism, to secure for themselves full privileges from that law and Mrs. Grundy and have as great a choice of "dams" for each single "sire," as their means would permit them. But we protest against the same offer to women to become nolens volens "accredited mares and heifers." Nor are we prepared to say that even our modern loose morals would publicly approve of or grant Mr. Allen the "freedom" he longs for, "for such variety of experimentation," without which, he says it is quite "impossible to turn out the best results in the end for humanity." Animal humanity would be more correct, though he explains that it is "not merely a question of prize sheep and fat oxen, but a question of begetting the highest, finest, purest, strongest, sanest, healthiest, handsomest and morally noblest citizens." We wonder the author does not add to these laudatory epithets, two more, viz., "the most respectful sons," and men "proudest of their virtuous mothers." The latter are not qualified by Mr. Grant Allen, because, perchance, he was anticipated on this point by the "Lord God" of Hosea (i. 2) who specializes the class from which the prophet is commanded to take a wife unto himself.

In a magazine whose editor has just been upholding the sacredness of marriage before the face of the author of the Kreutzer Sonata, by preceding the "Confession" of Count Tolstoi with an eulogy on Miss Tennant, "the Bride of the Season"—the insertion of "The Girl of the Future" is a direct slap in the face of that marriage. Moreover, Mr. G. Allen’s idea is not new. It is as old as Plato, and as modern as Auguste Comte and the "Oneida


Community" in the United States of America. And, as neither the Greek philosopher nor the French Positivist have approached the author in his unblushing and cynical naturalism—neither in the Vth Book of the Republic, nor "the Woman of the Future" in the Catechism of the Religion of Positivism—we come to the following conclusion. As the name of Comte’s "Woman of the Future" is the prototype of Mr. G. Allen’s "Girl of the Future," so the daily rites of the "mystic coupling" performed in the Oneida, must have been copied by our author and published, with only an additional peppering of still crasser materialism and naturalism. Plato suggests no more than a method for improving the human race by the careful elimination of unhealthy and deformed children, and by coupling the better specimens of both sexes; he contents himself with the "fine characteristics" of a "single sire" and "a single dam," and would have turned away in horror at the idea of "the advantage of different mixtures of blood." On the other hand the high-priest of Positivism, suggesting that the woman of the future "should cease to be the female of the man," and "submitting to artificial fecundation," thus become "the Virgin Mother without a husband," preaches only a kind of insane mysticism. Not so with Mr. Grant Allen. His noble ideal for woman is to make of her a regular brood-mare. He prompts her to follow out

. . . "the divine impulse of the moment, which is the voice of Nature within us, prompting us there and then (but not for a lifetime) to union with a predestined and appropriate complement of our being," and adds: "If there is anything sacred and divine in man surely it is the internal impetus which tells him at once, among a thousand of his kind, that this particular woman, and no other, is now and here the one best fitted to become with him the parent of a suitable offspring. If sexual selection among us (men only, if you please), is more discriminative, more specialized, more capricious, and more dainty than in any other species, is not that the very mark of our higher development, and does it not suggest to us that Nature herself, on these special occasions, is choosing for us anatomically the help most meet for us in our reproductive functions?"

But why "divine"? And if so, why only in man when the stallion, the hog and the dog all share this "divine impulse" with him? In the author’s view "such an occasional variation modifying and heightening the general moral standard" is ennobling; in


our theosophical opinion, such casual union on momentary impulse is essentially bestial. It is no longer love but lust, leaving out of account every higher feeling and quality. By the way, how would Mr. Grant Allen like such a "divine impulse" in his mother, wife, sister or daughter? Finally, his arguments about "sexual selection" being "more capricious and dainty in man than in any other species of animal," are pitiable. Instead of proving this "selection" "sacred and divine" he simply shows that civilized man has descended lower than any brute after all these long generations of unbridled immorality. The next thing we may be told is, that epicureanism and gluttony are "divine impulses," and we shall be invited to see in Messalina the highest exemplar of a virtuous Roman matron.

This new "Catechism of Sexual Ethics"—shall we call it?—ends with the following eloquent appeal to the "Girl of the Future" to become the brood mares of cultured society stallions:—

"This ideal of motherhood, I believe, under such conditions would soon crystallize into a religious duty. The free and educated woman, herself most often sound, sane, and handsome, would feel it incumbent upon her, if she brought forth children for the State at all, to bring them forth in her own image, and by union with a sympathetic and appropriate father. Instead of yielding up her freedom irrevocably to any one man, she would jealously guard it as in trust for the community, and would use her maternity as a precious gift to be sparingly employed for public purposes, though always in accordance with instinctive promptings, to the best advantage of the future offspring. . . . If conscious of possessing valuable and desirable maternal qualities, she would employ them to the best advantage for the State and for her own offspring, by freely commingling them in various directions with the noblest paternal qualities of the men who most attracted her higher nature. And surely a woman who had reached such an elevated ideal of the duties of sex as that would feel she was acting far more right in becoming the mother of a child by this splendid athlete, by that profound thinker, by that nobly-moulded Adonis, by that high-souled poet, than in tying herself down for life to this rich old dotard, to that feeble young lord, to this gouty invalid, to that wretched drunkard, to become the mother of a long family of scrofulous idiots."

And now gentlemen of the Press, severe critics of Tolstoi’s "immoral" Sonata, stern moralists who shudder at Zola’s "filthy


realism," what say you to this production of one of your own national prophets, who has evidently found honor in his own country? Such naturalistic articles as "The Girls of the Future," published in the hugest and reddest Review on the globe, are, methinks, more dangerous for the public morals than all the Tolstoi-Zola fictions put together. In it we see the outcome of materialistic science, which looking on man only as a more highly developed animal, treats therefore its female portion on its own animalistic principles. Steeped over the ears in dense matter and in the full conviction that mankind, along with its first cousins the monkeys, is directly descended of an ape father, and a baboon mother of a now extinct species, Mr. Grant Allen must, of course, fail to see the fallacy of his own reasoning. E.g., if it is an "honor for any woman to have been loved by Shelley. . . . and to have brought into the world a son by a Newton," and another "by a Goethe," why should not the young ladies who resort to Regent Street at the small hours of night and who are soaked through and through with such "honors," why should not they, we ask, receive public recognition and a vote of thanks from the Nation? City squares ought to be adorned with their statues, and Phryne set up hereafter as an illustrious example to Hypatia.

No more cutting insult could be offered to the decent women and respectable girls of England. We wonder how the ladies interested in the Social problems of the day will like Mr. Grant Allen’s article!

Lucifer, July, 1890Η. P. B.


AT or near the beginning of the present century all the books called Hermetic were loudly proclaimed and set down as simply a collection of tales, of fraudulent pretences and most absurd claims, being, in the opinion of the average man of science, unworthy of serious attention. They "never existed before the Christian era," it was said; "they were all written with the triple object of speculation, deceit and pious fraud"; they were all, the best of them, silly apocrypha. In this respect, the nineteenth century proved a most worthy progeny of the eighteenth. For in the age of Voltaire, as well as in this, everything that did not emanate direct from the Royal Academy was false, superstitious and foolish, and belief in the wisdom of the Ancients was laughed to scorn, perhaps more even than it is now. The very thought of accepting as authentic the works and vagaries of a false Hermes, a false Orpheus, a false Zoroaster, of false Oracles, false Sibyls, and a thrice false Mesmer and his absurd "fluids," was tabooed all along the line. Thus all that had its genesis outside the learned and dogmatic precincts of Oxford and Cambridge,1 or the Academy of France, was denounced in those days as "unscientific" and "ridiculously absurd." This tendency has survived to the present day.

One feels dwarfed and humbled in reading what the great modern "Destroyer" of every religious belief, past, present and future—M. Renan—has to say of poor humanity and its powers of discernment. "Mankind," he believes, "has but a very narrow mind; and the number of men capable of seizing acutely (fine-

1 We think we see the sidereal phantom of the old philosopher and mystic, Henry More, once of Cambridge University, moving about in the astral mist, over the old moss-covered roofs of the ancient town from which he wrote his famous letter to Glanvil about "witches." The soul seems restless and indignant, as on that day, May the 5th, 1678, when the Doctor complained so bitterly to the author of Sadducismus Triumphatus of Scot, Adie and Webster. "Our new inspired saints," the soul is heard to mutter, "sworn advocates of the witches, who . . . against all sense and reason . . . will have even no Samuel in the scene but a confederate knave . . . these inblown buffoons, puffed up with . . . ignorance, vanity and stupid infidelity." (See Letters to Glanvil, quoted in Isis Unveiled I, p. 206.)


ment) the true analogy of things is quite imperceptible" (Études Religieuses). Upon comparing, however, this statement with another opinion expressed by the same author, namely, that "the mind of the true critic should yield, hands and feet bound, to facts, to be dragged by them wherever they may lead him" (Études Historiques),2 one feels relieved. When, moreover, these two philosophical statements are strengthened by that third enunciation of the famous Academician, who declares that "tout parti pris à priori doit être banni de la science," there remains little to fear. Unfortunately M. Renan is the first to break the golden rule.

The evidence of Herodotus, called, sarcastically no doubt, "the father of history," since in every question upon which modern thought disagrees with him his testimony goes for nought; the sober and earnest assurances in the philosophical narratives of Plato and Thucydides, Polybius and Plutarch, and even certain statements of Aristotle himself; all these are invariably laid aside whenever they are involved with what modern criticism is pleased to regard as a myth. It is some time since Strauss proclaimed that "the presence of a supernatural element or miracle in a narrative is an infallible sign of the presence in it of a myth," and such is the criterium adopted tacitly by every modern critic. But what is a myth—μυθoς—to begin with? Are we not told distinctly by the ancient classics that mythus is equivalent to the word tradition? Was not its Latin equivalent the term fabula, a fable, a synonym with the Romans of that which was told, as having happened in prehistoric time, and not necessarily an invention? Yet with such autocrats of criticism and despotic rulers as M. Renan in France, and most of the English and German Orientalists, there may be no end of surprises in store for us in the century to come—historical, geographical, ethnological and philological surprises—travesties in philosophy having become so common of late that we can be startled by nothing in that direction. We have already been told by one learned speculator that Homer was simply a mythical personification of the Epopee,3 by another that Hippocrates, son of Esculapius "could only be a chimera," that the Asclepiadæ—their seven hundred years of duration notwithstanding—might after all prove simply a fiction; that the city of Troy—Dr. Schliemann notwithstanding—"existed only on the maps," etc., etc. Why should we not be invited after this to regard

2 Mѐmoire read at the Académie des Inscriptions et des Belles Lettres, 1859.

3 See Alfred Maury’s Grѐce. Vol. I, p. 248, and the speculations of Holymann.


every hitherto historical character in days of old as a myth? Were not Alexander the Great needed by philology as a sledge-hammer to break the heads of Brâhmanical chronological pretensions, he would have become long ago simply a symbol for annexation, or a genius of Conquest, as De Mirville neatly put it.

Blank denial is the only means left, the most secure refuge and asylum, to shelter for some little time to come the last of the sceptics. When one denies unconditionally it becomes unnecessary to go to the trouble of arguing, and, what is worse, of having to yield occasionally a point or two before the irrefutable arguments and facts of one’s opponent. Creuzer, greatest of the symbologists of his time, the most learned among the masses of erudite German mythologists, must have envied the placid self-confidence of certain sceptics, when he found himself forced in a moment of desperate perplexity to admit, "Decidedly and first of all we are compelled to return to the theories of trolls and genii, as they were understood by the ancients, a doctrine without which it is absolutely impossible to explain to oneself anything with regard to the mysteries."4

Occultism, all over the globe, is intimately connected with Chaldean Wisdom, and its records show the forefathers of the Aryan Brâhmans in the sacred offices of the Chaldees—an Adept caste (different from the Babylonian Chaldeans and Caldees)at the head of the arts and sciences, of astronomers and seers, confabulating with the "stars," and "receiving instructions from the brilliant sons of Ilu" (the concealed deity). Their sanctity of life and great learning—the latter passing to posterity—made the name for long ages a synonym of Science. Yes; they were indeed mediators between the people and the appointed messengers of heaven, whose bodies shine in the starry heavens, and they were the interpreters of their wills. But is this Astrolatry or Sabeanism? Have they worshipped the stars we see, or is it the modern (following in this the mediæval) Roman Catholics, who, guilty of the same worship to the letter, and having borrowed it from the later Chaldees, the Lebanon Nabatheans and the baptized Sabeans (not from the learned Astronomers and Initiates of the days of old), would now veil it by anathematizing the source whence it same? Theology and Churchianism would fain trouble the clear spring that fed them from the first, to prevent posterity

4 Creuzer’s Introduction des Mysteres, Vol. Ill, p. 456.


from looking into it and thus seeing their reflection. The Occultists, however, believe the time has come to give every one his due. As to our other opponents—the modern sceptic and the epicurean, the cynic and the Sadducee—they may find our answer to their denials in our earlier writings (see Isis Unveiled, Vol. I, p. 535). We say now what we said then, in reply to the many unjust aspersions thrown on the ancient doctrines: "The thought of the present day commentator and critic as to the ancient learning is limited to and runs round the exotericism of the temples; his insight is either unwilling or unable to penetrate into the solemn adyta of old, where the hierophant instructed the neophyte to regard the public worship in its true light. No ancient sage would have taught that man is the king of creation, and that the starry heaven and our mother earth were created for his sake."

When we find such works as the Rivers of Life and Phallicism appearing in our day in print, under the auspices of Materialism, it is easy to see that the day for concealment and travesty has passed away. Science in philology, symbolism, and comparative religions has progressed too far to deny any longer, and the Church is too wise and cautious not to be now making the best of the situation. Meanwhile, the "rhombs of Hecate" and the "wheels of Lucifer,"5 daily exhumed on the site of Babylon, can no longer be used as a clear evidence of Satan-worship, since the same symbols are shown in the ritual of the Latin Church. The latter is too learned to be ignorant of the fact that even the later Chaldees, who had gradually fallen into dualism, reducing all things to two primal principles, had no more worshipped Satan or idols than have the Zoroastrians, who are now accused of the same, but that their religion was as highly philosophical as any; their dual and exoteric Theosophy became the heirloom of the Jews, who, in their turn, were forced to share it with the Christians. Parsis are charged to this day with heliolatry, and yet in the Chaldean Oracles, under the "Magical and Philosophical Precepts" of Zoroaster, the following is found:

Direct not thy mind to the vast measures of the earth;
For the plant of truth is not upon ground.
Nor measure the measures of the sun, collecting rules,
For he is carried by the eternal will of the Father, not for your sake.
Dismiss the impetuous course of the moon;

5 De Mirville’s Pneumatologie, "Religion des Demons."


For she runs always by the work of necessity.
The progression of the stars was not generated for your sake.6

There is a vast difference between the true worship taught to those who showed themselves worthy, and the state religions. The Magians are accused of all kinds of superstition, but the Chaldean Oracle proceeds:

The wide aërial flight of birds is not true,
Nor the dissections of the entrails of victims; they are all mere toys,
If you would open the sacred paradise of piety,
Where virtue, wisdom, and equity are assembled.

Surely it is not those who warn people against "mercenary fraud" who can be accused of it; as said elsewhere: "If they accomplished acts which seem miraculous, who can with fairness presume to deny that it was done merely because they possessed a knowledge of natural philosophy and psychological science to a degree unknown to our schools." The above-quoted stanzas form a rather strange teaching to come from those who are universally believed to have worshipped the sun, and moon, and the starry host, as Gods. The sublime profundity of the Magian precepts being beyond the reach of modern materialistic thought, the Chaldean philosophers are accused, together with the ignorant masses, of Sabeanism and sun-worship, cults which were simply those of the uneducated masses.

Things of late have changed, true enough; the field of investigation has widened; old religions are a little better understood; and, since that memorable day when the Committee of the French Academy, headed by Benjamin Franklin, investigated Mesmer’s phenomena but to proclaim them charlatanry and clever knavery, both "heathen philosophy" and mesmerism have acquired certain rights and privileges, and are now viewed from quite a different standpoint. Is full justice rendered them withal, and are they appreciated any better? We are afraid not. Human nature is the same now, as when Pope said of the force of prejudice, that:

The difference is as great between
The optics seeing, as the objects seen.
All manners take a tincture from our own,
Or some discolour'd through our passion shown,
Or fancy’s beam enlarges, multiplies,
Contracts, inverts, and gives ten thousand dyes.

6 Psellus, 4. See Cory’s Ancient Fragments, p. 269, 2nd. Ed.


Thus, in the first decades of our century, Hermetic Philosophy was regarded by both Churchmen and men of science from two quite opposite points of view. The former called it sinful and devilish, the latter denied point-blank its authenticity, notwithstanding the evidence brought forward by the most erudite men of every age, including our own. The learned Father Kircher, for one, was not even noticed; and his assertion, that all the fragments known under the titles of works by Mercury Trismegistus, Berosus, Pherecydes of Syros, etc., were rolls escaped from the fire that devoured one hundred thousand volumes of the great Alexandrian Library, was simply laughed at. Nevertheless, the educated classes of Europe knew then, as they do now, that the famous Alexandrian Library—"the marvel of the ages"—was founded by Ptolemy Philadelphus; and that most of its MSS. were carefully copied from hieratic texts and the oldest parchments, Chaldean, Phœnician, Persian, etc., these transliterations and copies amounting in their turn to another hundred thousand, as Josephus and Strabo assert.

Moreover, there is the additional evidence of Clemens Alexandrinus, that ought to be credited to some extent,7 and he testifies to the existence of thirty thousand additional volumes of the Books of Thoth, placed in the library of the tomb of Osymandiasus, over the entrance of which were inscribed the words, "A Cure for the Soul."

7 The forty-two Sacred Books of the Egyptians, mentioned by Clement of Alexandria, as having existed in his time, were but a portion of the Books of Hermes. Iamblichus, on the authority of the Egyptian priest Abammon, attributes twelve hundred, and Manetho thirty-six thousand, of such Books to Hermes. But the testimony of Iamblichus, as a Neo-Platonist and theurgist, is of course rejected by modern critics. Manetho, who is held by Bunsen in the highest consideration as a "purely historical personage," with whom "none of the later native historians can be compared" (see Egypte, i. p. 97), suddenly became a Pseudo-Manetho, as soon as the ideas propounded by him clashed with the scientific prejudices against Magic and the Occult knowledge claimed by the ancient priests. However, none of the archæologists doubt for a moment the almost incredible antiquity of the Hermetic books. Champollion shows the greatest regard for their authenticity and truthfulness, corroborated as they are by many of the oldest monuments. And Bunsen brings irrefutable proofs of their age. From his researches, for instance, we learn that there was a line of sixty-one kings before the days of Moses, who preceded the Mosaic period by a clearly-traceable civilization of several thousand years. Thus we are warranted in believing that the works of Hermes Trismegistus were extant many ages before the birth of the Jewish law-giver. "Styli and inkstands were found on monuments of the Fourth Dynasty, the oldest in the world," says Bunsen. If the eminent Egyptologist rejects the period of 48,863 years before Alexander, to which Diogenes Laërtius carries back the records of the priests, he is evidently more embarrassed with the ten thousand of astronomical observations, and remarks that "if they were actual observations, they must have extended over 10,000 years" (p. 14). "We learn, however," he adds, "from one of their own old chronological works . . . that the genuine Egyptian traditions concerning the mythological period, treated of myriads of years" (Egypte, i. p. 15).


Since then, as everyone knows, entire texts out of the "apocryphal" works of the "false" Pymander, and the no less "false" Asclepiades, were found by Champollion inscribed within the most ancient monuments of Egypt. After having devoted their whole lives to the study of the records of the old Egyptian wisdom, both Champollion-Figeac and Champollion Junior, publicly declared, notwithstanding many biassed judgments, hazarded by certain hasty and unwise critics, that the Books of Hermes:

Truly contain a mass of Egyptian traditions which are constantly corroborated by the most authentic records and monuments of the Egypt of the hoariest antiquity, and are only the faithful copies of what is found in those books.

None will question the merit of Champollion as an Egyptologist, and if he declares that everything demonstrates the accuracy of the writings of the mysterious Hermes Trismegistus, that their antiquity runs back into the night of time, and that they are corroborated in their minutest details, then indeed criticism ought to be fully satisfied. "These inscriptions," says Champollion, "are only the faithful echo and expression of the most ancient verities."8

Since this was written by him some of the apocryphal verses by the mythical Orpheus have also been found copied word for word in certain inscriptions of the Fourth Dynasty in hieroglyphics, addressed to various deities.

Finally, Creuzer discovered and pointed out the numerous passages borrowed from Orphic hymns by Hesiod and Homer; and Christians appealed, in their turn, to the testimony of Æschylus, as showing "prescience in at least one of the Sibyls of old," says De Mirville.9

Thus gradually the ancient claims came to be vindicated, and modern criticism had to submit to evidence. Many are now the writers who confess that such kind of literature as the Hermetic works of Egypt can never be dated too far back into the prehistoric ages. It was also found that the texts of many of those ancient works—Enoch included— deemed and so loudly proclaimed apocryphal just at the beginning of this century, are now discovered and recognized in the most secret and sacred sanctuaries of Chaldea, India, Phœnicia, Egypt and Central Asia.

But even such proofs have failed to convince Materialism. The reason for it is very simple and self-evident. Those texts, studied and held in universal veneration at one time, copied and tran-

8 Egypte. 143.

9 Pneumatologie. vi. Section 2, "Prometheus."


scribed by every philosopher, and found in every temple; often mastered, whole lives of incessant mental labour having been devoted to them, by the greatest sages living, by statesmen and classic writers, kings and renowned Adepts—what were they? Treatises on Magic and Occultism, pure and simple; the now tabooed and derided Theosophy and Occult Sciences, laughed to scorn by modern Materialism. Were the people so simple and credulous in the days of Plato and Pythagoras? Were the millions of Babylonia and Egypt, of India and Greece, during the periods of learning and civilization that preceded the year One of our era (giving birth but to the intellectual darkness of the fanaticism of the Middle Ages), so simple and credulous that so many, otherwise great, men should have devoted their lives to an illusion, a mere hallucination? It would seem so, had we to be content with the word and conclusions of our modern philosophers.

However, every art and science, whatever its intrinsic merit, must have had a discoverer, and subsequently proficients in it to teach it to others. What is the origin of Occultism? Who are its most renowned professors? and what is known of these, whether in history or legend? We find Clemens Alexandrinus, one of the most learned and intelligent of the early Church Fathers, putting these same questions and answering them. "If," correctly argues that ex-pupil of the Neo-Platonic school and its philosophers, "if there is a science, there must necessarily be a professor of it." And he goes on to say that Cleanthes had Zeno to teach him; Theophrastus, Aristotle; Metrodorus, Epicurus; Plato, Socrates, etc.; and that when he looked further back to Pythagoras, Pherecydes and Thales, he had still to search and enquire who were their master and masters. The same for the Egyptians, the Indians, the Babylonians, and the Magi themselves. He would not cease questioning, he says, in order to learn who it was they all had for their masters. And when he should have forcibly brought down the enquiry to the very cradle of mankind, to the birth of the first man, he would reiterate once more his questioning, and ask him (Adam, no doubt) "who had been his professor?" Surely, argues Clemens, "his master would turn out no man this once," and even when we should have reached as high as the angels, the same query would have to be offered to them: "who were their [meaning the divine and the fallen angels] masters and doctors of Sciences?"10

10 Strom., i. vi.


The aim of the good Father’s long argument is of course to discover two distinct Masters, one the preceptor of Biblical Patriarchs, the other, the teacher of the Gentiles. But the Secret Doctrine need go to no such trouble. Her professors are well aware who were the Masters of their predecessors in Occult Sciences and Wisdom.

The two Professors are finally traced out by Clement, and they are, as might be expected, God, and His eternal and everlasting enemy and opponent, the Devil; the subject of Clement’s enquiry relating to the dual aspect of the Hermetic Philosophy as cause and effect. Admitting the moral beauty and virtues preached in every Occult work he was acquainted with, Clement wants to know the cause of the apparent contradiction between doctrine and practice, good and bad Magic, and he comes to the conclusion that Magic has two origins—divine and diabolical. He perceives its bifurcation into two channels; hence his inference and deduction.

We perceive it too, without necessarily designating this bifurcation the "left Path"; we judge it as it issued from the hands of its founder. Otherwise, judging also by the effects of Clemens’ own religion, and the walk in life of certain of its professors since the death of their Master, the Occultists would have a right to come to about the same conclusion, and say that while Christ, the Master of all true Christians, was in every way godly, those who resorted to the horrors of the Inquisition, to the extermination and torture of heretics, Jews, and Alchemists, the Protestant Calvin who burned Servetus, and the Catholic and Protestant persecuting successors, down to the whippers and burners of witches in America, must have had for their Master the Devil. But Occultists, not believing in the Devil, are precluded from retaliating in this way. Clemens’ testimony, however, is valuable in so far as it shows (1) the enormous number of works on Occult Sciences extant in his day; and (2) the extraordinary powers acquired through those sciences by certain men.

He devotes the whole of his sixth volume of the Stromateis to this research of the first two "Masters" of the true and the false philosophies respectively, both preserved in the sanctuaries of Egypt. And thereupon he apostrophizes the Greeks, asking why they should not believe in the miracles of Moses when their own philosophers claim the same privileges. "It is Æacus," he says, "obtaining through his powers a marvellous rain; it is Aristæus


who causes the winds to blow, Empedocles quieting the gale, and forcing it to cease,"11 etc., etc.

The books of Mercurius Trismegistus attracted his attention the most. Their extreme wisdom, he remarks, ought always to be in everyone’s mouth.12 He is loud in his praise of Hystaspes (or Gushtasp), and of the Sibylline Books and even of astrology.

There have been use and abuse of Magic in all ages, as there are use and abuse of Mesmerism or Hypnotism in our own. The ancient world had its Apolloniuses and its Pherecydes, and intellectual people could discriminate between them, as they can now. While not one classic or pagan writer has ever found one word of blame for Apollonius of Tyana, for instance, it is not so with regard to Pherecydes. Hesychius of Miletus, Philo of Byblos and Eustathius charge him with having built his philosophy and science on demoniacal traditions. Cicero declares that Pherecydes is, potius divinus quam medicus, "rather a soothsayer than a physician"; and Diogenes Laërtius gives a vast number of stories relating to his predictions. One day Pherecydes of Syros prophesies the shipwreck of a vessel hundreds of miles away from him; another time he predicts the capture of the Lacedæmonians by the Arcadians; finally, he foresees his own wretched end.13

Such imputations as these prove very little, except, perhaps, the presence of clairvoyance and prevision in every age. Had it not been for the evidence brought forward by his own co-religionists, that Pherecydes abused his powers, there would have been no proof at all against him, either of sorcery or of any other malpractice. Such evidence as is given by Christian writers is of no value. Baronius, for instance, and De Mirville find an unanswerable proof of demonology in the belief of a philosopher in the coëternity of matter with spirit. Says De Mirville:

Pherecydes, postulating in principle the primordiality of Zeus or Ether, and then admitting on the same plane another principle, coëternal and co-working with the first one, which he calls the fifth element, or Ôgenos—thus confesses that he gets his powers from Satan . . . for Ôgenos is Hades, and Hades is—our Christian Hell.

The first statement is "known to every school-boy" without De Mirville going to the trouble of explaining it; as to the de-

11 Therefore Empedocles is called Κωλυσανϵμος—"the dominator of the wind."—Diogenes, L. 8. 60.

12 See Stroma., I, vi. ch. iv.

13 Diogenes, L. i. I, § 146.


duction, every Occultist will deny it point-blank, and only smile at the folly. But now we come to the conclusion.

The résumé of the views of the Latin Church—as given by various authors of the same type as the Marquis—is that the Hermetic Books—their wisdom notwithstanding, and this wisdom is fully admitted in Rome—are "the heirloom left by Cain, the accursed, to mankind." It is "absolutely proven," says a modern memorialist of "Satan in History," "that immediately after the flood, Ham and his descendants had propagated anew the ancient teachings of the accursed Cainites and of the submerged Race." This proves, at any rate, that Magic, or Sorcery as he calls it, is an Antediluvian Art, and thus one point is gained. For, as he says, "the evidence of Berosus is there" (Antiq. i. 3), and he shows Ham to be identical with the first Zoroaster(!), the famous founder of Bactria (!!), and the first author of all the Magic Arts of Babylonia. Zoroaster, on the same authority, is the Chemesenua or Ham (Cham),14 the infamous,15 who left the faithful and loyal Noachians, the blessed, and he is the object of the adoration of the Egyptians, who after receiving from him their country’s name Chemia (chemistry?), built in his honour a town called Chemmis, or the "city of fire."16 Ham adored fire, it is said, whence the name Chammaim, given to the pyramids; which, in their turn, having become vulgarized, passed on their name to our modern "chimney" (cheminée).17

This statement is entirely wrong. Egypt was the cradle of chemistry and its birthplace—this is pretty well known by this time.

14 The English-speaking people who spell the name of Noah’s disrespectful son "Ham," have to be reminded that the right spelling is Kham, or Cham.

15 Black Magic, or Sorcery, is the evil result obtained in any shape or way through the practice of Occult Arts; hence it has to be judged only by its effects. The name of Ham or Cain, when pronounced, has never killed anyone; whereas, if we are to believe that same Clemens Alexandrinus, who traces the professor of every Occultist, outside Christianity, to the Devil, the name of Jehovah (pronounced Jevo and in a peculiar way) had the effect of killing any man at a distance. The mysterious Schemhamphorasch were not always used for holy purposes by the Kabalists, especially on the Sabbath, or Saturday, sacred to Saturn or the evil Shani.

16 Chemmis, the prehistoric city, may or may not have been built by Noah’s son, but it was not his name that was given to the town, but that of the mystery goddess Khœmnu or Chœmnis (Greek form), the deity that was created by the ardent fancy of the neophyte, who was thus tantalized during his "twelve labours" of probation before his final initiation. Her male counterpart is Khem; Chemmis or Khemmis (to-day Akhmim) was the chief seat of the god Khem. The Greeks, identifying Khem with Pan, called this city Panopolis.

17 Pneumatologie, Vol. II, p. 210. This looks more like pious vengeance than philology. The picture, however, is incomplete, as the author ought to have added to the "chimney" a witch flying out of it on a broomstick.


Kenrick and others show the root of the word to be chemi or chem, which is not Cham or Ham, but Khem, the Egyptian Phallic God of the Mysteries.

But this is not all. De Mirville is bent upon finding a Satanic origin even for the now innocent Tarot.

As to the means for the propagation of this Magic—the bad, diabolical Magic— tradition points it out to us in certain Runic characters traced on metallic plates [or leaves, des lames], which escaped destruction in the deluge.18 This might have been regarded as legendary had not subsequent discoveries shown it far from being so. Plates were found with other such Runic and Satanic characters traced upon them, and these being exhumed, were recognized [?]. They were covered with queer signs, utterly indecipherable and of undeniable antiquity, to which the Hamites [Sorcerers—with the author] attribute marvellous and terrible powers.19

We may leave the pious Marquis to his own orthodox beliefs, as he, at any rate, seems quite sincere in his views; nevertheless, his able arguments will have to be sapped at their foundation, for it must be shown on mathematical grounds who, or rather what, Cain and Ham really were. De Mirville is only the faithful son of his Church, interested in keeping Cain in his anthropomorphic character and present place in Holy Writ. The student of Occultism, on the other hand, is solely interested in the truth. But the age has to follow the natural course of its evolution. As I said in Isis:

We are at the bottom of a cycle and evidently in a transitory state. Plato divides the intellectual progress of the universe during every cycle into fertile and barren periods. In the sublunary regions, the spheres of the various elements remain eternally in perfect harmony with the divine nature, he says; "but their parts," owing to a too close proximity to earth, and their commingling with the earthly (which is matter, and therefore the realm of evil), "are sometimes according, and sometimes contrary to (divine) nature." When those circulations—which Eliphas Lévi calls "currents of the astral light"—in the univer-

18 How could they escape from the deluge—unless God so willed it?

19 There is a curious work in Russia, written in the Slavonian Sacerdotal language, by the famous Archbishop Peter, on Mogela (the tomb). It is a book of Exorcisms (and, at the same time, Evocations) against the dark powers that trouble the monks and nuns in preference to all. Some who had the good fortune to get it—for its sale is strictly forbidden and kept secret—tried to read it aloud for the purposes of exorcising these powers. Some became lunatics; others died at the sight of what took place. A lady got it by paying two thousand roubles for an incomplete copy. She used it once, and then threw it into the fire the same day, thereafter becoming deadly pale whenever the book was mentioned.


sal ether which contains in itself every element, take place in harmony with the divine spirit, our earth and everything pertaining to it enjoys a fertile period. The occult powers of plants, animals, and minerals magically sympathize with the "superior natures," and the divine soul of man is in perfect intelligence with these "inferior" ones. But during the barren periods, the latter lose their magic sympathy, and the spiritual sight of the majority of mankind is so blinded as to lose every notion of the superior powers of its own divine spirit. We are in a barren period: the eighteenth century, during which the malignant fever of scepticism broke out so irrepressibly, has entailed unbelief as an hereditary disease upon the nineteenth. The divine intellect is veiled in man; his animal brain alone philosophizes.

Lucifer, June, 1892Η. P. B.


Initiates are sure to come into the company of the gods.
—SOCRATES in the Phaedo

IN the first number of the Revue Theosophique in the initial portion of the fine lecture of our brother and colleague, the erudite Correspondent-Secretary of the T.S. Hermes, read in the footnote (fn. 2, p. 23):

We designate under the term Initiate every seeker in the possession of the elementary principles of the Occult Science. One must beware lest he confuse this term with that of Adept, which indicates the highest degree of elevation to which the initiate may attain. We have in Europe many Initiates. I do not think that there exist any adepts as in the Orient.

Foreign to the genius of the French language, not even having at hand a dictionary of etymology, it is impossible for me to say if this double definition is authorized in French except in the terminology of the Free-Masons. But in English, as in the sense that usage has sanctioned among Theosophists and occultists in India, these two terms have a sense absolutely different from the one given by the author. I mean to say that the definition as given by M. Papus to the word Adept is the one which applies to the word Initiate and vice-versa.

I would never have thought of correcting this error—in the eyes of Theosophists at least—if it had not threatened in my opinion to throw into the minds of the subscribers to our Revue, a very regrettable confusion in the future.

As I was the first one to employ these two adjectives (qualificatifs) in a sense entirely opposed to the meaning lent to them by Masons and M. Papus there would certainly result some equivocations (quiproquos) which must be avoided at all costs. Let us understand ourselves first if we want to be understood by our readers.

Let us halt at a fixed and invariable definition of the terms which we employ in Theosophy; because otherwise instead of order and clarity, we would only bring a greater confusion into the already existing chaos of the ideas of the profane world.


Not being cognizant of the reasons which caused our wise brother to use said terms in the manner that he uses them, I take to task the "Sons of the Widow" who use the terms in a sense entirely the reverse of the true sense.

Everybody knows that the word "Adept" comes from the Latin Adeptus. This term is derived from the two words, ad "of" and Apisci "to pursue" (Sanskrit ap).

An Adept would then be a person versed in a certain art or science acquired in one manner or another. It follows that this qualification can be applied as well to an adept in astronomy as to an adept in the art of making pâtés de foies gras (chopped liver); a shoemaker as a perfumer, the one versed in the art of making boots, the other in the art of chemistry—are "adepts."

As to the term Initiate, it is quite another matter. Every Initiate must be an adept in occultism; he must become one before being initiated in the Great Mysteries. But every adept is not always an Initiate. It is true that the Illuminati used the term Adeptus in speaking of themselves, but they did so in a general sense—e.g., in the seventh degree of the order of the Rite of Zimmendorf. Thus were used the terms Adeptatus, Adeptus Coronatus in the seventh degree of the Swedish rite; and Adeptus Exemptus in the seventh degree of the Rosie-Cross. This is an innovation of the Middle Ages. But no real Initiate of The Great (or even the Lesser) Mysteries, is called in the classical works Adeptus, but Initiatus in Latin, and Epopte in Greek. These same Illuminati treated as Initiates only those of their brothers who were more instructed than the others in the mysteries of their Society. It was only the less instructed among them who had the name Mystes and Adeptes inasmuch as they were as yet only admitted to the inferior degrees.

Let us pass now to the term "initiate."

Let us first say that there is a great difference between the verb and the substantive (substantif) of this word. A professor initiates his pupil into the first elements of a certain science, a science in which the student may become adept, that is, versed in its specialty. On the other hand, an adept in occultism is first instructed in the religious mysteries, after which, if he is lucky enough not to succumb during the terrible trials of initiation, he becomes an INITIATE. The best classical translators invariably render the Greek by this phrase: "Initiated in the Great Mys-


teries"; for this term is synonymous with Hierophant, "he who explains the sacred mysteries." Initiatus among the Romans was equivalent to the term Mystagogus and both were absolutely reserved for the one who in the Temple initiated others into the highest mysteries. He represented, therefore, figuratively, the Universal Creator. None dared pronounce this name before the profane. The place of the "Initiatus" was to the Orient, where he was seated, a globe about or suspended from his neck. The Free-Masons tried to imitate the Hierophant-Initiatus in the person of their "Venerables" and Grand Masters of the Lodges.

But does the cowl make the monk?

It is to be regretted that they did not content themselves with this sole profanation.

The substantive French (and English) "initiation" being derived from the Latin word initium, commencement, the Masons with more respect for the dead letter that kills than for the spirit which gives life have applied the term "initiate" to all their neophytes or candidates—to the beginners—in all the Masonic degrees—the highest as well as the lowest.

Yet they knew better than anyone that the term Initiatus pertained to the 5th and to the highest degree of the order of the Templars; that the title Initiate in the mysteries was the 21st degree of the metropolitan chapter in France; in the same manner as that of the Initiate in the profound mysteries indicated the 62nd degree of the same chapter. Knowing all this, they nevertheless applied this title, sacred and sanctified by its antiquity, to their simple candidates—the infants (bambins), among the "Sons of the Widow." But because the passion for innovations and modifications of all kinds accomplished for the Masons what an occultist of the Orient regards as a veritable sacrilege, is this a reason for the Theosophists to accept their terminology?

We, disciples of the Masters of the Orient, have naught to do with modern Masonry. The real secrets of symbolical Masonry are lost—as Ragon so well proves. The keystone (clef de voûte), the central stone of the arch built by the first royal dynasties of the Initiates—ten times prehistorical—found itself shaken since the abolition of the last mysteries. The work of destruction, or rather of strangling and choking commenced by the Cæsars, was finally achieved in Europe, by the Church Fathers. Imported once more, since, from the sanctuaries of the Far East, the sacred


stone was cracked and finally broken into a thousand pieces.

On whom shall the blame for this crime fall?

Shall it be on the Free-Masons, the Templars especially—persecuted, assassinated and violently divested of their annals and written statutes? Shall it be on the Church, which having appropriated the dogmas and rituals of primitive Masonry, passed them off as its own travestied rites, as the sole TRUTH and resolved to smother the latter?

Be that as it may, it is no longer the Masons who have all of the truth whether we place the blame on Rome or the insect Shermah1 of the famous temple of Solomon which modern Masonry vindicates as base and origin of its order.

For decades of thousands of years the genealogical tree of the sacred science which the peoples possessed in common, was the same—for the temple of this science is ONE and is built on the unshakeable rock of primitive truths. But the Masons of the last two centuries preferred to divorce themselves from it. Once more, and applying this time the practice to the allegory, they have broken the cube which divided itself into twelve parts. They have rejected the real stone for the false, and whatever they did with the first—their angular stone—it was certainly not according to the spirit that gives life but according to the dead letter that kills.

Is it again the Worm Samis (alias the "insect Shermah") of which the traces on the rejected stone had already led into error the "builders of the Temple" that gnawed the same lines? But this time what was done was done with full knowledge. The builders must have known the total2 by heart to judge by the thirteen lines or five surfaces.

No matter! We faithful disciples of the East prefer to all these stones a stone that has naught to do with all the other mummeries of the Masonic degrees.

We will adhere to the Eben Shatijah (having another name in

1 From a Jewish tradition, the stones that served to build the temple of Solomon (an allegorical symbol taken literally of which an actual edifice was made) were not cut and polished by hand of man but by a worm named Samis created by God for this purpose. These stones were miraculously transported on the spot where the temple was to rise and cemented henceforth by the angels who raised the Temple of Solomon. The Masons have introduced the Worm Samis in their legendary history and call it the "insect Shermah."

2 This total is composed of a bisected isosceles triangle—three lines—the side of the cube being the base; two squares diagonally bisected having each a perpendicular line toward the center—six lines; two straight lines at right angles; and a diagonally bisected square—two lines; total thirteen lines or five surfaces of the cube.


Sanskrit), the perfect cube which while containing the delta or triangle, replaces the name of the Tetragrammaton of the Kabalists, by the symbol of the incommunicable name.

We willingly leave to the Masons their "insect"; while hoping for them that modern symbology which marches at such rapid pace, will never discover the identity of the Worm Shermah-Samis with Hiram Abif—which would be embarrassing enough.

However, and upon reflection, the discovery would not be without its useful side and not lacking in great charm. The idea of a worm that would be at the head of the Masonic genealogy and of the Architect of the first temple of the Masons, would also make of this worm the "father Adam" of the Masons, and would only render the "Sons of the Widow" the dearer to the Darwinists. This would re-approach them to modern Science, which only looks for proofs of Nature to fortify the theory of Haeckelian evolution. What would it matter to them, after all, once they have lost the secret of their true origin?

No one need decry this assertion which is a well attested fact. I allow myself to remind Messrs, the Masons who might read this, that as regards esoteric Masonry almost all the secrets have disappeared since Elias Ashmole, and his immediate successors. If they seek to contradict us, we will, like Job, tell them, "Thine own mouth condemneth thee, and not I: yea, thine own books testify against thee." (XV, 6).

Our greatest secrets once upon a time were taught in Masonic Lodges, the world over. But their Grand Masters and Gurus perished one after the other; and all that remained written in secret manuscripts—like the one of Nicholas Stone, for instance, destroyed in 1720 by some scrupulous brothers—was put to the fire and annihilated between the end of the seventeenth and the beginning of the eighteenth centuries, in England, as well as on the Continent.

Why this destruction?

Certain brothers in England whisper to each other that this destruction was the consequence of a shameful pact entered into by certain Masons and the Church. An aged "brother," great kabalist, has just died here, whose grandfather, a celebrated Mason, was the intimate friend of Count St. Germain, when the latter was sent, it is said, by Louis XV, to England in 1760, to negotiate peace between the two countries. Count St. Germain left


in the hands of this Mason certain documents concerning the history of Masonry and containing the keys of more than one incomprehensible mystery. He did this under the condition that these documents would become the secret inheritance of all his descendents who became Masons. These papers profited two Masons, the father and the son, the one who just died, and will profit no one else in Europe. Before his death, the precious documents were entrusted to an Oriental (a Hindu) whose mission it was to deliver them to a certain person who would come to fetch them at Amritsa, city of Immortality. It is also secretly said that the celebrated founder of the Lodge of the Trinosophes, J. M. Ragon, was also initiated into many mysteries in Belgium by an Oriental—and there are some who assert that he knew in his youth Count St. Germain. This explains, perhaps, why the author of the "Tuileur General De La Maçonnerie," or Manual of the Initiate, asserted that Elias Ashmole was the real founder of modern Masonry. Nobody knew better than Ragon the extent of the loss of Masonic secrets, as he himself well says: "It is of the essence and nature of the Mason to search for the light wherever he thinks he can find it," announces the circular of the Grand Orient of France. "In the meanwhile," he adds, "the Mason is given the glorious title of Child of Light and is left enveloped in obscurity." (Cours Philosophique, etc., p. 60.)

Thus, if as we think, M. Papus has followed the Masons in his definition of the terms Adept and Initiate, he was wrong, for one does not turn towards "obscurity" when one is himself in a ray of light. Theosophy has invented naught, said nothing new, only faithfully repeating the lessons of the highest antiquity. The terminology, introduced fifteen years ago in the T.S., is the true one, for in each case its terms are a faithful translation of their Sanskrit equivalents, almost as old as the last human race. This terminology could not be modified, at this hour, without the risk of introducing in Theosophical teachings a chaos as deplorable as it is dangerous for their clarity.

Let us remind ourselves especially of these words so true of Ragon:

Initiation had India for a cradle. She has preceded the civilization of Asia and Greece, and in polishing the spirit and the customs of the peoples, she has served as a base for all the laws, civil, political and religious.


The word Initiate is the same as dwija, the "twice-born" Brahman. That is to say that initiation was considered as birth into a new life or as Apulius says, "it is the ‘resurrection into a new life’, ‘novam vitam inibat’."

Aside from this, M. Papus’ lecture on the Seal of the Theosophical Society is admirable, and the erudition that he displays is most remarkable. The members of our Fraternity owe him sincere thanks for explanations that are as clear and just as they are interesting.

Revue Theosophique, April, 1889


To send the injured unredressed away,
How great soe’er the offender, and the wrong’d
Howe’er obscure, is wicked, weak and vile—
Degrades, defiles, and should dethrone a king.

THE mention of Cagliostro’s name produces a two-fold effect. With the one party, a whole sequence of marvellous events emerges from the shadowy past; with others the modern progeny of a too realistic age, the name of Alexander, Count

Cagliostro, provokes wonder, if not contempt. People are unable to understand that this "enchanter and magician" (read "Charlatan") could ever legitimately produce such an impression as he did on his contemporaries. This gives the key to the posthumous reputation of the Sicilian known as Joseph Balsamo, that reputation which made a believer in him, a brother Mason, say, that (like Prince Bismarck and some Theosophists) "Cagliostro might well be said to be the best abused and most hated man in Europe." Nevertheless, and notwithstanding the fashion of loading him with opprobrious names, none should forget that Schiller and Goethe were among his great admirers, and remained so to their deaths. Goethe while travelling in Sicily devoted much labour and time to collecting information about "Giuseppe Balsamo" in his supposed native land; and it was from these copious notes that the author of Faust wrote his play "The Great Kophta."

Why this wonderful man is receiving so little honour in England, is due to Carlyle. The most fearlessly truthful historian of his age—he, who abominated falsehood under whatever appearance—has stamped with the imprimatur of his honest and famous name, and thus sanctified the most iniquitous of historical injustices ever perpetrated by prejudice and bigotry. This owing to false reports which almost to the last emanated from a class he disliked no less than he hated untruth, namely the Jesuits, or—lie incarnate.


The very name of Giuseppe Balsamo, which, when rendered by cabalistic methods, means "He who was sent," or "The Given," also "Lord of the Sun," shows that such was not his real patronymic. As Kenneth R. H. Mackenzie, F.T.S., remarks, toward the end of the last century it became the fashion with certain theosophical professors of the time to transliterate into Oriental form every name provided by Occult Fraternities for disciples destined to work in the world. Whosoever then, may have been Cagliostro’s parents, their name was not "Balsamo." So much is certain, at any rate. Moreover, as all know that in his youth he lived with, and was instructed by, a man named, as is supposed, Althotas, "a great Hermetic Eastern Sage" or in other words an Adept, it is not difficult to accept the tradition that it was the latter who gave him his symbolical name. But that which is known with still more certainty is the extreme esteem in which he was held by some of the most scientific and honoured men of his day. In France we find Cagliostro—having before served as a confidential friend and assistant chemist in the laboratory of Pinto, the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta—becoming the friend and protégé of the Prince Cardinal de Rohan. A high born Sicilian Prince honoured him with his support and friendship, as did many other noblemen. "Is it possible, then," pertinently asks Mackenzie, "that a man of such engaging manners could have been the lying impostor his enemies endeavoured to prove him?"

The chief cause of his life-troubles was his marriage with Lorenza Feliciani, a tool of the Jesuits; and two minor causes his extreme good nature, and the blind confidence he placed in his friends—some of whom became traitors and his bitterest enemies. Neither of the crimes of which he is unjustly accused could lead to the destruction of his honour and posthumous reputation; but all was due to his weakness for an unworthy woman, and the possession of certain secrets of nature, which he would not divulge to the Church. Being a native of Sicily, Cagliostro was naturally born in a family of Roman Catholics, no matter what their name, and was brought up by monks of the "Good Brotherhood of Castiglione," as his biographers tell us; thus, for the sake of dear life he had to outwardly profess belief in and respect for a Church, whose traditional policy has ever been, "he who is not with us is against us," and forthwith to crush the enemy in the bud. And yet, just for this, is Cagliostro even to-day accused of having served the Jesuits as their spy; and this by Masons who ought


to be the last to bring such a charge against a learned Brother who was persecuted by the Vatican even more as a Mason than as an Occultist. Had it been so, would these same Jesuits even to this day vilify his name? Had he served them, would he not have proved himself useful to their ends, as a man of such undeniable intellectual gifts could not have blundered or disregarded the orders of those whom he served. But instead of this, what do we see? Cagliostro charged with being the most cunning and successful impostor and charlatan of his age; accused of belonging to the Jesuit Chapter of Clermont in France; of appearing (as a proof of his affiliation to the Jesuits) in clerical dress at Rome. Yet, this "cunning impostor" is tried and condemned—by the exertions of those same Jesuits—to an ignominious death, which was changed only subsequently to life-long imprisonment, owing to a mysterious interference or influence brought to bear on the Pope!

Would it not be more charitable and consistent with truth to say that it was his connection with Eastern Occult Science, his knowledge of many secrets—deadly to the Church of Rome—that brought upon Cagliostro first the persecution of the Jesuits, and finally the rigour of the Church? It was his own honesty, which blinded him to the defects of those whom he cared for, and led him to trust two such rascals as the Marquis Agliato and Ottavio Nicastro, that is at the bottom of all the accusations of fraud and imposture now lavished upon him. And it is the sins of these two worthies— subsequently executed for gigantic swindles and murder—which are now made to fall on Cagliostro. Nevertheless it is known that he and his wife (in 1770) were both left destitute by the flight of Agliato with all their funds, so that they had to beg their way through Piedmont and Geneva. Kenneth Mackenzie has well proven that Cagliostro had never mixed himself up with political intrigue—the very soul of the activities of the Jesuits. "He was most certainly unknown in that capacity to those who have jealously guarded the preparatory archives of the Revolution, and his appearance as an advocate of revolutionary principles has no basis in fact." He was simply an Occultist and a Mason, and as such he was allowed to suffer at the hands of those who, adding insult to injury, first tried to kill him by life-long imprisonment and then spread the rumour that he had been their ignoble agent. This cunning device was in its infernal craft well worthy of its primal originators.


There are many landmarks in Cagliostro’s biographies to show that he taught the Eastern doctrine of the "principles" in man, of "God" dwelling in man—as a potentiality in actu (the "Higher Self")—and in every living thing and even atom—as a potentiality in posse, and that he served the Masters of a Fraternity he would not name because on account of his pledge he could not. His letter to the new mystical but rather motley Brotherhood the (Lodge of) Philalethes, is a proof in point. The Philalethes, as all Masons know, was a rite founded in Paris in 1773 in the Loge des Amis Réunis, based on the principles of Martinism1 and whose members made a special study of the Occult Sciences. The Mother Lodge was a philosophical and theosophical Lodge, and therefore Cagliostro was right in desiring to purify its progeny, the Lodge of Philalethes. This is what the Royal Masonic Cyclopædia says on the subject:

On the 15 February 1785 the Lodge of Philalethes in solemn Section, with Lavalette de Langes, royal treasurer; Tassin, the hanker; and Tassin, an officer in the royal service; opened a Fraternal Convention, at Paris . . . Princes (Russian, Austrian, and others), fathers of the Church, councillors, knights, financiers, barristers, barons, Theosophists, canons, colonels, professors of Magic, engineers, literary men, doctors, merchants, postmasters, dukes, ambassadors, surgeons, teachers of languages, receivers-general, and notably two London names—Boosie, a merchant, and Brooks of London—compose this Convention, to whom may he added M. 1e Count de Cagliostro, and Mesmer "the inventor" as Thory describes him (Acta Latomorum, vol. ii. p. 95), "of the doctrine of magnetism!" Surely such an able set of men to set the world to rights, as France never saw before or since!

The grievance of the Lodge was that Cagliostro, who had first promised to take charge of it, withdrew his offers, as the "Convention" would not adopt the Constitutions of the Egyptian Rite, nor would the Philalethes consent to have its archives consigned to the flames, which were his conditions sine qua non. It is strange that his answer to that Lodge should be regarded by Brother K. R. H. Mackenzie and other Masons as emanating "from a Jesuit source." The very style is Oriental, and no European Mason— least of all a Jesuit—would write in such a manner. This is how the answer runs:

1 The Martinists were Mystics and Theosophists who claimed to have the secret of communicating with (Elemental and Planetary) Spirits of the ultramundane Spheres. Some of them were practical Occultists.


. . . The unknown grand Master of true Masonry has cast his eyes upon the Philaletheans. . . . Touched by the sincere avowal of their desires, he deigns to extend his hand over them, and consents to give a ray of light into the darkness of their temple. It is the wish of the Unknown Great Master, to prove to them the existence of one God—the basis of their faith; the original dignity of man; his powers and destiny. . . . It is by deeds and facts, by the testimony of the senses, that they will know GOD, MAN and the intermediary spiritual beings (principles) existing between them; of which true Masonry gives the symbols and indicates the real road. Let then, the Philalethes embrace the doctrines of this real Masonry, submit to the rules of its supreme chief, and adopt its constitutions. But above all let the Sanctuary be purified, let the Philalethes know that light can only descend into the Temple of Faith (based on knowledge), not into that of Scepticism. Let them devote to the flames that vain accumulation of their archives; for it is only on the ruins of the Tower of Confusion that the Temple of Truth can be erected.

In the Occult phraseology of certain Occultists "Father, Son and Angels" stood for the compound symbol of physical, and astro-Spiritual MAN.2 John G. Gichtel (end of XVIIth cent.), the ardent lover of Boehme, the Seer of whom St. Martin relates that he was married "to the heavenly Sophia," the Divine Wisdom—made use of this term. Therefore, it is easy to see what Cagliostro meant by proving to the Philalethes on the testimony of their "senses," "God, man and the intermediary Spiritual beings," that exist between God (Atma), and Man (the Ego). Nor is it more difficult to understand his true meaning when he reproaches the Brethren in his parting letter which says: "We have offered you the truth; you have disdained it. We have offered it for the sake of itself, and you have refused it in consequence of a love of forms. . . Can you elevate yourselves to (your) God and the knowledge of yourselves by the assistance of a Secretary and a Convocation?" etc.3

Many are the absurd and entirely contradictory statements about Joseph Balsamo, Count de Cagliostro, so-called, several

2 See the Three Principles and the Seven Forms of Nature by Boehme and fathom their Occult significance, to assure yourself of this.

3 The statement on the authority of Beswick that Cagliostro was connected with The Loge dcs Amis Réunis under the name of Count Grabionka is not proven. There was a Polish Count of that name at that time in France, a mystic mentioned in Madame de Krüdner’s letters which are with the writer’s family, and one who belonged, as Beswick says, together with Mesmer and Count St. Germain, to the Lodge of the Philalethes. Where are Lavalette de Langes’ Manuscripts and documents left by him after his death to the Philosophic Scottish Rite? Lost?


of which were incorporated by Alexander Dumas in his Mémoires d’un Medicin, with those prolific variations of truth and fact which so characterize Dumas pére’s romances. But though the world is in possession of a most miscellaneous and varied mass of information concerning that remarkable and unfortunate man during most of his life, yet of the last ten years and of his death, nothing certain is known, save only the legend that he died in the prison of the Inquisition. True, some fragments published recently by the Italian savant, Giovanni Sforza, from the private correspondence of Lorenzo Prospero Bottini, the Roman ambassador of the Republic of Lucca at the end of the last century, have somewhat filled this wide gap. This correspondence with Pietro Calandrini, the Great Chancellor of the said Republic, begins from 1784, but the really interesting information commences only in 1789, in a letter dated June 6, of that year, and even then we do not learn much.

It speaks of the "celebrated Count di Cagliostro, who has recently arrived with his wife from Trent viâ Turin to Rome. People say he is a native of Sicily and extremely wealthy, but no one knows whence that wealth. He has a letter of introduction from the Bishop of Trent to Albani. . . . So far his daily walk in life as well as his private and public status are above reproach. Many are those seeking an interview with him, to hear from his own lips the corroboration of what is being said of him." From another letter we learn that Rome had proven an ungrateful soil for Cagliostro. He had the intention of settling at Naples, but the plan could not be realised. The Vatican authorities who had hitherto left the Count undisturbed, suddenly laid their heavy hand upon him. In a letter dated 2 January, 1790, just a year after Cagliostro’s arrival, it is stated that: "last Sunday secret and extraordinary debates in council took place at the Vatican." It (the council) consisted of the State Secretary and Antonelli, Pillotta and Campanelli, Monsignor Figgerenti performing the duty of Secretary. The object of that Secret Council remains unknown, but public rumour asserts that it was called forth owing to the sudden arrest on the night between Saturday and Sunday, of the Count di Cagliostro, his wife, and a Capuchin, Fra Giuseppe Maurijio. The Count is incarcerated in Fort St. Angelo, the Countess in the Convent of St. Apollonia, and the monk in the prison of Araceli. That monk, who calls himself "Father Swizzero," is regarded as a confederate of the famous magician. In the


number of the crimes he is accused of is included that of the circulation of a book by an unknown author, condemned to public burning and entitled, "The Three Sisters." The object of this work is "to pulverize certain three high-born individuals."

The real meaning of this most extraordinary misinterpretation is easy to guess. It was a work on Alchemy; the "three sisters" standing symbolically for the three "Principles" in their duplex symbolism. On the plane of occult chemistry they "pulverize" the triple ingredient used in the process of the transmutation of metals; on the plane of Spirituality they reduce to a state of pulverization the three "lower" personal "principles" in man, an explanation that every Theosophist is bound to understand.

The trial of Cagliostro lasted for a long time. In a letter of March the 17th, Bottini writes to his Lucca correspondent that the famous "wizard" has finally appeared before the Holy Inquisition. The real cause of the slowness of the proceedings was that the Inquisition, with all its dexterity at fabricating proofs, could find no weighty evidence to prove the guilt of Cagliostro. Nevertheless, on April the 7th, 1791, he was condemned to death. He was accused of various and many crimes, the chiefest of which were his being a Mason and an "Illuminate," an "Enchanter" occupied with unlawful studies; he was also accused of deriding the holy Faith, of doing harm to society, of possessing himself by means unknown of large sums of money, and of inciting others, sex, age and social standing notwithstanding, to do the same. In short, we find the unfortunate Occultist condemned to an ignominious death for deeds committed, the like of which are daily and publicly committed now-a-days, by more than one Grand Master of the Masons, as also by hundreds of thousands of Kabbalists and Masons, mystically inclined. After this verdict the "arch heretic’s" documents, diplomas from foreign Courts and Societies, Masonic regalias and family relics were solemnly burned by the public hangmen in the Piazza della Minerva, before enormous crowds of people. First his books and instruments were consumed. Among these was the MS. on the Maçonnerie Egyptienne, which thus can no longer serve as a witness in favour of the reviled man. And now the condemned Occultist had to be passed over to the hands of the civil Tribunal, when a mysterious event happened.

A stranger, never seen by any one before or after in the Vatican, appeared and demanded a private audience of the Pope, sending


him by the Cardinal Secretary a word instead of a name. He was immediately received, but only stopped with the Pope for a few minutes. No sooner was he gone than his Holiness gave orders to commute the death sentence of the Count to that of imprisonment for life, in the fortress called the Castle of St. Leo, and that the whole transaction should be conducted in great secrecy. The monk Swizzero was condemned to ten years’ imprisonment; and the Countess Cagliostro was set at liberty, but only to be confined on a new charge of heresy in a convent.

But what was the Castle of St. Leo? It now stands on the frontiers of Tuscany and was then in the Papal States, in the Duchy of Urbino. It is built on the top of an enormous rock, almost perpendicular on all sides; to get into the "Castle" in those days, one had to enter a kind of open basket which was hoisted up by ropes and pulleys. As to the criminal, he was placed in a special box, after which the jailors pulled him up "with the rapidity of the wind." On April 23rd, 1792, Giuseppe Balsamo—if so we must call him—ascended heavenward in the criminal’s box, incarcerated in that living tomb for life. Giuseppe Balsamo is mentioned for the last time in the Bottini correspondence in a letter dated March 10th, 1792. The ambassador speaks of a marvel produced by Cagliostro in his prison during his leisure hours. A long rusty nail taken by the prisoner out of the floor was transformed by him without the help of any instrument into a sharp triangular stiletto, as smooth, brilliant and sharp as if it were made of the finest steel. It was recognized for an old nail only by its head, left by the prisoner to serve as a handle. The State Secretary gave orders to have it taken away from Cagliostro, and brought to Rome, and to double the watch over him.

And now comes the last kick of the jackass at the dying or dead lion. Luiggi Angiolini, a Tuscan diplomat, writes as follows: "At last, that same Cagliostro, who made so many believe that he had been a contemporary of Julius Cæsar, who reached such fame and so many friends, died from apoplexy, August 26, 1795. Semironi had him buried in a wood-barn below, whence peasants used to pilfer constantly the crown property. The crafty chaplain reckoned very justly that the man who had inspired the world with such superstitious fear while living, would inspire people with the same feelings after his death, and thus keep the thieves at bay. . . . ."


But yet—a query! Was Cagliostro dead and buried indeed in 1792, at St. Leo? And if so, why should the custodians at the Castle of St. Angelo, of Rome show innocent tourists the little square hole in which Cagliostro is said to have been confined and "died"? Why such uncertainty or—imposition, and such disagreement in the legend? Then there are Masons who to this day tell strange stories in Italy. Some say that Cagliostro escaped in an unaccountable way from his aerial prison, and thus forced his jailors to spread the news of his death and burial. Others maintain that he not only escaped, but, thanks to the Elixir of Life, still lives on, though over twice three score and ten years old!

"Why," asks Bottini, "if he really possessed the powers he claimed, has he not indeed vanished from his jailors, and thus escaped the degrading punishment altogether?"

We have heard of another prisoner, greater in every respect than Cagliostro ever claimed to be. Of that prisoner too, it was said in mocking tones, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. . . . let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe. . . ."

How long shall charitable people build the biographies of the living and ruin the reputations of the dead, with such incomparable unconcern, by means of idle and often entirely false gossip of people, and these generally the slaves of prejudice!

So long, we are forced to think, as they remain ignorant of the Law of Karma and its iron justice.

Lucifer, January, 1890Η. P. B.


IN the "History of the Christian Religion to the year two hundred," by Charles B. Waite, A.M., announced and reviewed in the Banner of Light (Boston), we find portions of the work relating to the great thaumaturgist of the second century A.D.—

Apollonius of Tyana, the rival of whom had never appeared in the Roman Empire.

"The time of which this volume takes special cognizance is divided into six periods, during the second of which, A.D. 80 to A.D. 120, is included the ‘Age of Miracles,’ the history of which will prove of interest to Spiritualists as a means of comparing the manifestations of unseen intelligences in our time with similar events of the days immediately following the introduction of Christianity. Apollonius Tyaneus was the most remarkable character of that period, and witnessed the reign of a dozen Roman emperors. Before his birth, Proteus, an Egyptian god, appeared to his mother and announced that he was to be incarnated in the coming child. Following the directions given her in a dream, she went to a meadow to gather flowers. While there, a flock of swans formed a chorus around her, and, clapping their wings, sung in unison. While they were thus engaged, and the air was being fanned by a gentle zephyr, Apollonius was born."

This is a legend which in days of old made of every remarkable character a "son of God" miraculously born of a virgin. And what follows is history. "In his youth he was a marvel of mental power and personal beauty, and found his greatest happiness in conversations with the disciples of Plato, Chrysippus and Aristotle. He ate nothing that had life, lived on fruits and the products of the earth; was an enthusiastic admirer and follower of Pythagoras, and as such maintained silence for five years. Wherever he went he reformed religious worship and performed wonderful acts. At feasts he astonished the guests by causing bread, fruits, vegetables and various dainties to appear at his bidding. Statues became animated with life, and bronze figures advanced from their pedestals, took the position and performed


the labors of servants. By the exercise of the same power dematerializaton occurred; gold and silver vessels, with their contents, disappeared; even the attendants vanished in an instant from sight.

"At Rome, Apollonius was accused of treason. Brought to examination, the accuser came forward, unfolded his roll on which the accusation had been written, and was astounded to find it a perfect blank.

"Meeting a funeral procession he said to the attendants, ‘Set down the bier, and I will dry up the tears you are shedding for the maid.’ He touched the young woman, uttered a few words, and the dead came to life. Being at Smyrna, a plague raged at Ephesus, and he was called thither. ‘The journey must not be delayed,’ he said, and had no sooner spoken the words than he was at Ephesus.

"When nearly one hundred years old, he was brought before the Emperor at Rome, accused of being an enchanter. He was taken to prison. While there he was asked when he would be at liberty? ‘To-morrow, if it depends on the judge; this instant, if it depends on myself.’ Saying this, he drew his leg out of the fetters, and said, ‘You see the liberty I enjoy.’ He then replaced it in the fetters.

"At the tribunal he was asked: ‘Why do men call you a god?’

"‘Because,’ said he, ‘every man that is good is entitled to the appellation.’ "‘How could you foretell the plague at Ephesus?’

"He replied: ‘By living on a lighter diet than other men.’

"His answers to these and other questions by his accusers exhibited such strength that the Emperor was much affected, and declared him acquitted of crime; but said he should detain him in order to hold a private conversation. He replied: ‘You can detain my body, but not my soul; and, I will add, not even my body.’ Having uttered these words he vanished from the tribunal, and that same day met his friends at Puteoli, three days’ journey from Rome.

"The writings of Apollonius show him to have been a man of learning, with a consummate knowledge of human nature, imbued with noble sentiments and the principles of a profound philosophy. In an epistle to Valerius he says:

"‘There is no death of anything except in appearance; and so, also, there is no birth of anything except in appearance. That


which passes over from essence into nature seems to be birth, and that which passes over from nature into essence seems, in like manner, to be death; though nothing really is originated, and nothing ever perishes; but only now comes into sight, and now vanishes. It appears by reason of the density of matter, and disappears by reason of the tenuity of essence; but is always the same, differing only in motion and condition.’

"The highest tribute paid to Apollonius was by the Emperor Titus. The philosopher having written to him, soon after his accession, counselling moderation in his government, Titus replied:

"‘In my own name and in the name of my country I give you thanks, and will be mindful of those things. I have, indeed, taken Jerusalem, but you have captured me.’

"The wonderful things done by Apollonius, thought to be miraculous, the source and producing cause of which Modern Spiritualism clearly reveals, were extensively believed in, in the second century, and hundreds of years subsequent; and by Christians as well as others. Simon Magus was another prominent miracle-worker of the second century, and no one denied his power. Even Christians were forced to admit that he performed miracles. Allusion is made to him in the Acts of the Apostles, viii: 9-10. His fame was world-wide, his followers in every nation, and in Rome a statue was erected in his honor. He had frequent contests with Peter, what we in this day would call miracle-matches in order to determine which had the greater power. It is stated in ‘The Acts of Peter and Paul’ that Simon made a brazen serpent to move, stone statues to laugh, and himself to rise in the air; to which is added: ‘as a set-off to this, Peter healed the sick by a word, caused the blind to see, &c.’ Simon, being brought before Nero, changed his form: suddenly he became a child, then an old man; at other times a young man. ‘And Nero, beholding this, supposed him to be the Son of God.’

"In ‘Recognitions,’ a Petrine work of the early ages, an account is given of a public discussion between Peter and Simon Magus, which is reproduced in this volume.

"Accounts of many other miracle-workers are given, showing most conclusively that the power by which they wrought was not confined to any one or to any number of persons, as the Christian world teaches, but that mediumistic gifts were then, as now, possessed by many. Statements quoted from the writers of the first two centuries of what took place will severely tax the credulity of


the most credulous to believe, even in this era of marvels. Many of those accounts may be greatly exaggerated, but it is not reasonable to suppose that they are all sheer fabrications, with not a moiety of truth for their foundation; far less so with the reveal-ments made to men since the advent of Modern Spiritualism. Some idea of the thoroughness with which every subject is dealt with in this volume may be formed when we state that in the index there are two hundred and thirteen references to passages relating to ‘Jesus Christ’; from which, also, it may be justly inferred that what is given must be of great value to those seeking information that will enable them to determine whether Jesus was ‘Man, Myth, or God.’ ‘The Origin and History of Christian Doctrines,’ also ‘The Origin and Establishment of the Authority of the Church of Rome over other Churches,’ are fully shown, and much light thrown upon many obscure and disputed questions. In a word, it is impossible for us, without far exceeding the limits prescribed for this article, to render full justice to this very instructive book; but we think enough has been said to convince our readers that it is one of more than ordinary interest, and a desirble acquisition to the literature of this progressive age."1

Some writers tried to make Apollonius appear a legendary character, while pious Christians will persist in calling him an impostor. Were the existence of Jesus of Nazareth as well attested by history and he himself half as known to classical writers as was Apollonius no sceptic could doubt to-day the very being of such a man as the Son of Mary and Joseph. Apollonius of Tyana was the friend and correspondent of a Roman Empress and several Emperors, while of Jesus no more remained on the pages of history than as if his life had been written on the desert sands. His letter to Agbarus, the prince of Edessa, the authenticity of which is vouchsafed for by Eusebius alone—the Baron Munchausen of the patristic hierarchy—is called in the Evidences of Christianity "an attempt at forgery" even by Paley himself, whose robust faith accepts the most incredible stories. Apollonius, then, is a historical personage; while many even of the Apostolic Fathers themselves, placed before the scrutinizing eye of historical criticism, begin to flicker and many of them fade out and disappear like the "will o’-the-wisp" or the ignis fatuus.

Theosophist, June, 1881

1 Second Edition, I vol., 8vo., pp. 455. Chicago: C. V. Waite & Co. Thomas J Whitehead & Co., agents for New England, 5 Court Square, Room 9, Boston.


Will you or any of your readers enlighten me on the following points:

  1. What is a Yogi?
  2. Can he be classed with a Mahatma?
  3. Can Visvamitra, Valmiki, Vasistha and other Rishis be classed with the Yogis and the Mahatmas?
  4. Or with the Mahatmas only?
  5. Or with the Yogis only?
  6. Did the Yogis know Occult Science?
  7. Is vegetarianism necessary for the study and development of Occult Science?
  8. Did our Rishis know Occult sciences?

By throwing some light on the above questions you will oblige.

Yours truly,

Bombay, 30th April 1883
161, Malabar Hill.


  1. A Yogi in India is a very elastic word. It now serves generally to designate a very dirty, dung-covered and naked individual, who never cuts nor combs his hair, covers himself from forehead to heels with wet ashes, performs Pranayam, without realizing its true meaning, and lives upon alms. It is only occasionally that the name is applied to one who is worthy of the appellation. The real meaning however, of the word when analysed etymologically, will show that its root is "yug"—to join—and thus will yield its real significance. A real Yogi is a person who, having entirely divorced himself from the world, its attract-
  1. tions and pleasures, has succeeded after a more or less long period of training, to reunite his soul with the "Universal Soul" or to "join" with Parabrahm. If by the word "Yogi" our correspondent means the latter individual, viz., one who has linked his 7th and 6th principles or Atman and Buddhi and placed thereby his lower principles or Manas (the animal soul and the personal ego) en rapport with the Universal Principle, then—
  2. He may be classed with the Mahatmas, since this word means simply a "great soul." Therefore query—3—is an idle question to make. The Rishis—at any rate those who can be proved to have actually lived (since many of those who are mentioned under the above designation are more or less mythical) were of course "Mahatmas," in the broad sense of the word. The three Rishis named by our questioner were historical personages and were very high adepts entitled to be called Mahatmas.
  1. They may be Mahatmas (whenever worthy of the appellation), and whether married or celibates, while they can be called—
  2. "Yogis"—only when remaining single, viz., after devoting their lives to religious contemplation, asceticism and—celibacy.
  3. Theoretically every real Yogi knows more or less the Occult sciences; that is to say, he must understand the secret and symbolical meaning of every prescribed rite, as the correct significance of the allegories contained in the Vedas and other sacred books. Practically, now-a-days very few, if any, of those Yogis whom one meets with occasionally are familiar with occultism. It depends upon their degree of intellectual development and religious bigotry. A very saintly, sincere, yet ignorantly pious ascetic, who has not penetrated far beyond the husks of his philosophical doctrine would tell you that no one in Kali-Yug is permitted to become a practical occultist; while an initiated Yogi has to be an occultist; at any rate, he has to be sufficiently powerful to produce all the minor phenomena (the ignorant would still call even such minor manifestation—"miracles") of adeptship. The real Yogis, the heirs to the wisdom of the Aryan Rishis, are not to be met, however, in the world mixing with the profane and allowing themselves to be known as Yogis. Happy are they to whom the whole world is open, and who know it from their inaccessible ashrums; while the world (with the exception of a very few) knowing them not, denies their very existence. But, it really is not a matter of great concern with them whether people at large believe in, or even know of them.
  1. The exposition of "Occultism" in these columns has been clear enough to show that it is the Science by the study and practice of which the student can become a MAHATMA. The articles "The Elixir of Life" and the Hints on Esoteric Theosophy are clear enough on this point. They also explain scientifically the necessity of being a vegetarian for the purposes of psychic development. Read and study, and you will find why Vegetarianism, Celibacy, and especially total abstinence from wine and spirituous drink are strictly necessary for "the development of Occult knowledge"—see "Hints on Esoteric Theosophy," No. 2. Question 8th being unnecessary in view of the aforesaid, we close the explanation.

Theosophist, June, 1883


". . . . Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy presence, and of the consummation of the age?"1 asked the Disciples of the MASTER, on the Mount of Olives.

THE reply given by the "Man of Sorrow," the Chréstos, on his trial, but also on his way to triumph, as Christos, or Christ,2 is prophetic, and very suggestive. It is a warning indeed. The answer must be quoted in full. Jesus . . . . said unto them:—

Take heed that no man lead you astray. For many shall come in my name saying, I am the Christ; and shall lead many astray. And ye shall hear of wars . . . . but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. But all these things are the beginning of travail. . . . Many false prophets shall arise, and shall lead many astray . . . . then shall the end come. . . . when ye see the abomination of desolation which was spoken through Daniel. . . . Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is the Christ, or There; believe him not. . . . If they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the wilderness, go not forth; behold, he is in the inner chambers, believe them not. For as the lightning cometh forth from the East, and is seen even in the West, so shall be the presence of the Son of Man, etc., etc.

Two things become evident to all in the above passages, now that their false rendering is corrected in the revision text: (a) "the coming of Christ," means the presence of CHRISTOS in a regenerated world, and not at all the actual coming in body of "Christ" Jesus; (b) this Christ is to be sought neither in the wilderness nor "in the inner chambers," nor in the sanctuary of any temple or church built by man; for Christ— the true esoteric SAVIOUR—is no man, but the DIVINE PRINCIPLE in every human being. He who

1 St. Matthew xxiv., et seq. The sentences italicised are those which stand corrected in the New Testament after the recent revision in 1881 of the version of 1611; which version is full of errors, voluntary and involuntary. The word "presence," for "coming," and "the consummation of the age," now standing for "the end of the world," have altered, of late, the whole meaning, even for the most sincere Christians, if we exempt the Adventists.

2 He who will not ponder over and master the great difference between the meaning of the two Greek words — χρηστός and χριστός must remain blind for ever to the true esoteric meaning of the Gospels; that is to say, to the living Spirit entombed in the sterile dead-letter of the texts, the very Dead Sea fruit of lip-Christianity.


strives to resurrect the Spirit crucified in him by his own terrestrial passions, and buried deep in the "sepulchre" of his sinful flesh; he who has the strength to roll back the stone of matter from the door of his own inner sanctuary, he has the risen Christ in him3 The "Son of Man" is no child of the bond-woman—flesh, but verily of the free-woman—Spirit,4 the child of man’s own deeds, and the fruit of his own spiritual labour.

On the other hand, at no time since the Christian era, have the precursor signs described in Matthew applied so graphically and forcibly to any epoch as they do to our own times. When has nation arisen against nation more than at this time? When have "famines"—another name for destitute pauperism, and the famished multitudes of the proletariat—been more cruel, earthquakes more frequent, or covered such an area simultaneously, as for the last few years? Millenarians and Adventists of robust faith, may go on saying that "the coming of (the carnalised) Christ" is near at hand, and prepare themselves for "the end of the world." Theosophists—at any rate, some of them—who understand the hidden meaning of the universally-expected Avatars, Messiahs, Sosioshes and Christs—know that it is no "end of the world," but "the consummation of the age," i.e., the close of a cycle, which is now fast approaching.5 If our readers have forgotten the concluding passages of the article, "The Signs of the Times,"6 in LUCIFER for October last, let them read them over, and they will plainly see the meaning of this particular cycle.

Many and many a time the warning about the "false Christs" and prophets who shall lead people astray has been interpreted by charitable Christians, the worshippers of the dead-letter of their

3 For ye are the temple ("sanctuary" in the revised N. T.) of the living God. (II. Cor. Vi., 16.)

4 Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, was feminine with the Jews, as with most ancient peoples, and it was so with the early Christians. Sophia of the Gnostics, and the third Sephiroth Binah (the female Jehovah of the Kabalists), are feminine principles—"Divine Spirit," or Ruach. "Achath Ruach Elohim Chiim." "One is She, the Spirit of the Elohim of Life," is said in "Sepher Yezirah."

5 There are several remarkable cycles that come to a close at the end of this century. First, the 5,000 years of the Kaliyug cycle; again the Messianic cycle of the Samaritan (also Kabalistic) Jews of the man connected with Pisces (Ichthys or "Fish-man" Dag). It is a cycle, historic and not very long, but very occult, lasting about 2,155 solar years, but having a true significance only when computed by lunar months. It occurred 2410 and 255 B.C., or when the equinox entered into the sign of the Ram, and again into that of Pisces. When it enters, in a few years, the sign of Aquarius, psychologists will have some extra work to do, and the psychic idiosyncrasies of humanity will enter on a great change.

6 See Volume II, p. 381.


scripture, as applying to mystics generally, and Theosophists most especially. The recent work by Mr. Pember, "Earth’s Earliest Ages," is a proof of it. Nevertheless, it seems very evident that the words in Matthew’s Gospel and others can hardly apply to Theosophists. For these were never found saying that Christ is "Here" or "There," in wilderness or city, and least of all in the "inner chamber" behind the altar of any modern church. Whether Heathen or Christian by birth, they refuse to materialise and thus degrade that which is the purest and grandest ideal—the symbol of symbols—namely, the immortal Divine Spirit in man, whether it be called Horus, Krishna, Buddha, or Christ. None of them has ever yet said: "I am the Christ"; for those born in the West feel themselves, so far, only Chrestians,7 however much they may strive to become Christians in Spirit. It is to those, who in their great conceit and pride refuse to win the right of such appellation by first leading the life of Chrestos;8 to those who haughtily proclaim themselves Christians (the glorified, the anointed) by sole virtue of baptism when but a few days old—that the above-quoted words of Jesus apply most forcibly. Can the prophetic insight of him who uttered this remarkable warning be doubted by any one who sees the numerous "false prophets" and pseudo-apostles (of Christ), now roaming over the world? These have split the one divine Truth into fragments, and broken, in the camp of the Protestants alone, the rock of the Eternal Verity into three hundred and fifty odd pieces, which now represent the bulk of their Dissenting sects. Accepting the number in round figures as 350, and admitting, for argument’s sake, that, at least, one of these may have the approximate truth, still 349 must be necessarily false.9 Each of these claims to have Christ exclusively in its "inner chamber," and denies him to all others, while, in truth, the great majority of their respective followers daily put Christ to death on the cruciform tree of matter—the "tree of infamy" of the old Romans—indeed!

7 The earliest Christian author, Justin Martyr, calls, in his first Apology, his coreligionists Chrestians, χρηστιανοί—not Christians.

8 "Clemens Alexandrinus, in the second century, founds a serious argument on this paranomasia (lib. iii., cap. xvii., 53 et circa), that all who believed in Chrest (i.e., "a good man") both are, and are called Chrestians, that is, good men," (Strommata, lib. ii. "Higgins’ Anacalypsis"). And Lactantius (lib. iv., cap. vii.) says that it is only through ignorance that people call themselves Christians, instead of Chrestians: "qui proper ignorantium errorem cum immutata litera Chrestum solent dicere."

9 In England alone, there are over 239 various sects. (See Whitaker’s Almanac.) In 1883, there were 186 denominations only, and now they steadily increase with every year, an additional 53 sects having sprung up in only four years!


The worship of the dead-letter in the Bible is but one more form of idolatry, nothing better. A fundamental dogma of faith cannot exist under a double-faced Janus form. "Justification" by Christ cannot be achieved at one’s choice and fancy, either by "faith" or by "works" and James, therefore (ii., 25), contradicting Paul (Heb. xi., 31), and vice versa,10 one of them must be wrong. Hence, the Bible is not the "Word of God," but contains at best the words of fallible men and imperfect teachers. Yet read esoterically, it does contain, if not the whole truth, still, "nothing but the truth," under whatever allegorical garb. Only: Quot homines tot sententiœ.

The "Christ principle," the awakened and glorified Spirit of Truth, being universal and eternal, the true Christos cannot be monopolized by any one person, even though that person has chosen to arrogate to himself the title of the "Vicar of Christ," or of the "Head" of that or another State-religion. The spirits of "Chrest" and "Christ" cannot be confined to any creed or sect, only because that sect chooses to exalt itself above the heads of all other religions or sects. The name has been used in a manner so intolerant and dogmatic, especially in our day, that Christianity is now the religion of arrogance par excellence, a stepping-stone for ambition, a sinecure for wealth, sham and power; a convenient screen for hypocrisy. The noble epithet of old, the one that made Justin Martyr say that "from the mere name, which is imputed to us as a crime, we are the most excellent,"11 is now degraded. The missionary prides himself with the so-called conversion of a heathen, who makes of Christianity ever a profession, but rarely a religion, a source of income from the missionary fund, and a pretext, since the blood of Jesus has washed them all by anticipation, for every petty crime, from drunkenness and lying up to theft. That same missionary, however, would not hesitate to publicly condemn the greatest saint to eternal perdition and hell fires if that holy man has only neglected to pass through the fruitless and meaningless form of baptism by water with accompaniment of lip prayers and vain ritualism.

10 It is but fair to St. Paul to remark that this contradiction is surely due to later tampering with his Epistles. Paul was a Gnostic himself, i.e., a "Son of Wisdom," and an Initiate into the true mysteries of Christos, though he may have thundered (or was made to appear to do so) against some Gnostic sects, of which, in his day, there were many. But his Christos was not Jesus of Nazareth, nor any living man, as shown so ably in Mr. Gerald Massey’s lecture, "Paul, the Gnostic Opponent of Peter." He was an Initiate, a true "Master-Builder" or adept, as described in "Isis Unveiled," Vol. II., pp. 90-91.

11 о̋σοντε ἐκ τού κατηγορουμένου ἡμω̑ν ὀνόματος χρησότατοι ὑπάρχομεν (First Apology).


We say "lip prayer" and "vain ritualism" knowingly. Few Christians among the laymen are aware even of the true meaning of the word Christ; and those of the clergy who happen to know it (for they are brought up in the idea that to study such subjects is sinful) keep the information secret from their parishioners. They demand blind, implicit faith, and forbid inquiry as the one unpardonable sin, though nothing of that which leads to the knowledge of the truth can be aught else than holy. For what is "Divine Wisdom," or Gnosis, but the essential reality behind the evanescent appearances of objects in nature—the very soul of the manifested LOGOS? Why should men who strive to accomplish union with the one eternal and absolute Deity shudder at the idea of prying into its mysteries—however awful? Why, above all, should they use names and words the very meaning of which is a sealed mystery to them—a mere sound? Is it because an unscrupulous, power-seeking Establishment called a Church has cried "wolf" at every such attempt, and, denouncing it as "blasphemous," has ever tried to kill the spirit of inquiry? But Theosophy, the "divine Wisdom," has never heeded that cry, and has the courage of its opinions. The world of sceptics and fanatics may call it, one—an empty "ism"the other "Satanism": they can never crush it. Theosophists have been called Atheists, haters of Christianity, the enemies of God and the gods. They are none of these. Therefore, they have agreed this day to publish a clear statement of their ideas, and a profession of their faith—with regard to monotheism and Christianity, at any rate—and to place it before the impartial reader to judge them and their detractors on the merits of their respective faiths. No truth-loving mind would object to such honest and sincere dealing, nor will it be dazzled by any amount of new light thrown upon the subject, howsoever much startled otherwise. On the contrary, such minds will thank LUCIFER, perhaps, while those of whom it was said "qui vult decipi decipiatur"let them be deceived by all means!

The editors of this magazine propose to give a series of essays upon the hidden meaning or esotericism of the "New Testament." No more than any other scripture of the great world-religions can the Bible be excluded from that class of allegorical and symbolical writings which have been, from the pre-historic ages, the receptacle of the secret teachings of the Mysteries of Initiation, under a more or less veiled form. The primitive writers of the Logia (now the Gospels) knew certainly the truth, and the whole truth; but their suc-


cessors had, as certainly, only dogma and form, which lead to hierarchical power at heart, rather than the spirit of the so-called Christ’s teachings. Hence the gradual perversion. As Higgins truly said, in the Christologia of St. Paul and Justin Martyr, we have the esoteric religion of the Vatican, a refined Gnosticism for the cardinals, a more gross one for the people. It is the latter, only still more materialized and disfigured, which has reached us in our age.

The idea of writing this series was suggested to us by a certain letter published in our October issue, under the heading of "Are the Teachings ascribed to Jesus contradictory?" Nevertheless, this is no attempt to contradict or weaken, in any one instance, that which is said by Mr. Gerald Massey in his criticism. The contradictions pointed out by the learned lecturer and author are too patent to be explained by any "Preacher" or Bible champion; for what he has said—only in more terse and vigorous language—is what was said of the descendant of Joseph Pandira (or Panthera) in "Isis Unveiled" (vol. ii., p. 201), from the Talmudic Sepher Toldos Jeshu. His belief with regard to the spurious character of the Bible and New Testament, as now edited, is therefore, also the belief of the present writer. In view of the recent revision of the Bible, and its many thousands of mistakes, mistranslations, and interpolations (some confessed to, and others withheld), it would ill become an opponent to take any one to task for refusing to believe in the authorised texts.

But the editors would object to one short sentence in the criticism under notice. Mr. Gerald Massey writes:—

"What is the use of taking your ‘Bible oath’ that the thing is true, if the book you are sworn upon is a magazine of falsehoods already exploded, or just going off?"

Surely it is not a symbologist of Mr. Massey’s powers and learning who would call the "Book of the Dead," or the Vedas, or any other ancient Scripture, "a magazine of falsehoods."12 Why not re-

12 The extraordinary amount of information collated by that able Egyptologist shows that he has thoroughly mastered the secret of the production of the New Testament. Mr. Massey knows the difference between the spiritual, divine and purely metaphysical Christos, and the made-up "lay figure" of the carnalized Jesus. He knows also that the Christian canon, especially the Gospels, Acts and Epistles, are made up of fragments of gnostic wisdom, the ground-work of which is pre-Christian and built on the MYSTERIES of Initiation. It is the mode of theological presentation and the interpolated passages—such as in Mark xvi. from verse 9 to the end—which make of the Gospels a "magazine of (wicked) falsehoods," and throw a slur on CHRISTOS. But the Occultist who discerns between the two currents (the true gnostic and the pseudo Christian) knows that the passages free from theological tampering belong to archaic wisdom, and so does Mr. Gerald Massey, though his views differ from ours.


gard in the same light as all the others, the Old, and, in a still greater measure, the New Testament?

All of these are "magazines of falsehoods," if accepted in the exoteric dead-letter interpretations of their ancient, and especially their modern, theological glossarists. Each of these records has served in its turn as a means for securing power and of supporting the ambitious policy of an unscrupulous priesthood. All have promoted superstition, all made of their gods bloodthirsty and ever-damning Molochs and fiends, as all have made nations to serve the latter more than the God of Truth. But while cunningly-devised dogmas and intentional misinterpretations by scholiasts are beyond any doubt, "falsehoods already exploded," the texts themselves are mines of universal truths. But for the world of the profane and sinners, at any rate—they were and still are like the mysterious characters traced by "the fingers of a man’s hand" on the wall of the Palace of Belshazzar: they need a Daniel to read and understand them.

Nevertheless, TRUTH has not allowed herself to remain without witnesses. There are, besides great Initiates into scriptural symbology, a number of quiet students of the mysteries or archaic esotericism, of scholars proficient in Hebrew and other dead tongues, who have devoted their lives to unriddle the speeches of the Sphinx of the world-religions. And these students, though none of them has yet mastered all the "seven keys" that open the great problem, have discovered enough to be able to say: There was a universal mystery-language, in which all the World Scriptures were written, from Vedas to "Revelation," from the "Book of the Dead" to the Acts. One of the keys, at any rate—the numerical and geometrical key13 to the Mystery Speech is now rescued; an ancient language, truly, which up to this time remained hidden, but the evidences of which abundantly exist, as may be proven by undeniable mathematical demonstrations. If, indeed, the Bible is forced on the acceptance of the world in its dead-letter meaning, in the face of the modern discoveries by Orientalists and the efforts of independent students and kabalists, it is easy to prophesy that even the present new generations of Europe and America will repudiate it, as all the

13 "The key to the recovery of the language, so far as the writer’s efforts have been concerned, was found in the use, strange to say, of the discovered integral ratio in numbers of diameter to circumference of a circle," by a geometrician. "This ratio is 6,561 for diameter and 20,612 for circumference." (Cabalistic MSS.) In one of the future numbers of "LUCIFER" more details will be given, with the permission of the discoverer.—ED.


materialists and logicians have done. For, the more one studies ancient religious texts, the more one finds that the ground-work of the New Testament is the same as the ground-work of the Vedas, of the Egyptian theogony, and the Mazdean allegories. The atonements by blood—blood-covenants and blood-transferences from gods to men, and by men, as sacrifices to the gods—are the first keynote struck in every cosmogony and theogony; soul, life and blood were synonymous words in every language, preeminently with the Jews; and that blood-giving was life-giving. "Many a legend among (geographically) alien nations ascribes soul and consciousness in newly-created mankind to the blood of the god-creators." Berosus records a Chaldean legend ascribing the creation of a new race of mankind to the admixture of dust with the blood that flowed from the severed head of the god Belus. "On this account it is that men are rational and partake of divine knowledge," explains Berosus.14 And Lenormant has shown (Beginnings of History, p. 52, note) that "the Orphics said that the immaterial part

of man, his soul (his life) sprang from the blood of Dionysius Zagreus, whom . . . . Titans tore to pieces." Blood "revivifies the dead"—i.e., interpreted metaphysically, it gives conscious life and a soul to the man of matter or clay—such as the modern materialist is now. The mystic meaning of the injunction, "Verily I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, ye have not life in yourselves," &c., can never be understood or appreciated at its true occult value, except by those who hold some of the seven keys, and yet care little for St. Peter.15 These words, whether said by Jesus of Nazareth, or Jeshua Ben-Panthera, are the words of an INITIATE. They have to be interpreted with the help of three keys—one opening the psy-

14 Cory’s Anc. Frag., p. 59, f. So do Sanchoniaton and Hesiod, who both ascribe the vivifying of mankind to the spilt blood of the gods. But blood and soul are one (nephesh), and the blood of the gods means here the informing soul.

15 The existence of these seven keys is virtually admitted, owing to deep research in the Egyptological lore, by Mr. G. Massey again. While opposing the teachings of "Esoteric Buddhism"—unfortunately misunderstood by him in almost every respect—in his Lecture on "The Seven Souls of Man," he writes (p. 21):—

"This system of thought, this mode of representation, this septenary of powers, in various aspects, had been established in Egypt, at least, seven thousand years ago, as we learn from certain allusions to Atum (the god ‘in whom the fatherhood was individualised as the begetter of an eternal soul,’ the seventh principle of the Theosophists), found in the inscriptions lately discovered at Sakkarah. I say in various aspects, because the gnosis of the Mysteries was, at least, sevenfold in its nature—it was Elemental, Biological, Elementary (human), Stellar, Lunar, Solar and Spiritual—and nothing short of a grasp of the whole system can possibly enable us to discriminate the various parts, distinguish one from the other, and determinate the which and the what, as we try to follow the symbolical Seven through their several phases of character."


chic door, the second that of physiology, and the third that which unlocks the mystery of terrestrial being, by unveiling the inseparable blending of theogony with anthropology. It is for revealing a few of these truths, with the sole view of saving intellectual mankind from the insanities of materialism and pessimism, that mystics have often been denounced as the servants of Antichrist, even by those Christians who are most worthy, sincerely pious and respectable men.

The first key that one has to use to unravel the dark secrets involved in the mystic name of Christ, is the key which unlocked the door to the ancient mysteries of the primitive Aryans, Sabeans and Egyptians. The Gnosis supplanted by the Christian scheme was universal. It was the echo of the primordial wisdom-religion which had once been the heirloom of the whole of mankind; and, therefore, one may truly say that, in its purely metaphysical aspect, the Spirit of Christ (the divine logos) was present in humanity from the beginning of it. The author of the Clementine Homilies is right; the mystery of Christos—now supposed to have been taught by Jesus of Nazareth—"was identical" with that which from the first had been communicated "to those who were worthy," as quoted in another lecture.16 We may learn from the Gospel according to Luke, that the "worthy" were those who had been initiated into the mysteries of the Gnosis, and who were "accounted worthy" to attain that "resurrection from the dead" in this life. . . . "those who knew that they could die no more, being equal to the angels as sons of God and sons of the Resurrection." In other words, they were the great adepts of whatever religion; and the words apply to all those who, without being Initiates, strive and succeed, through personal efforts to live the life and to attain the naturally ensuing spiritual illumination in blending their personality—(the "Son") with (the "Father,") their individual divine Spirit, the God within them. This "resurrection" can never be monopolized by the Christians, but is the spiritual birth-right of every human being endowed with soul and spirit, whatever his religion may be. Such individual is a Christman. On the other hand, those who choose to ignore the Christ (principle) within themselves, must die unregenerate heathens—baptism, sacraments, lip-prayers, and belief in dogmas notwithstanding.

In order to follow this explanation, the reader must bear in mind

16 "Gnostic and Historic Christianity."


the real archaic meaning of the paronomasia involved in the two terms Chréstos and Christos. The former means certainly more than merely "a good," and "excellent man," while the latter was never applied to any one living man, but to every Initiate at the moment of his second birth and resurrection.17 He who finds Christos within himself and recognises the latter as his only "way," becomes a follower and an Apostle of Christ, though he may have never been baptised, nor even have met a "Christian," still less call himself one.


The word Chréstos existed ages before Christianity was heard of. It is found used, from the fifth century B.C., by Herodotus, by Æschylus and other classical Greek writers, the meaning of it being applied to both things and persons.

Thus in Æschylus (Cho. 901) we read of Μαντούματα πνθόχρηστα (pythochrésta) the "oracles delivered by a Pythian God" (Greek-Eng. Lex.) through a pythoness; and Pythochréstos is the nominative singular of an adjective derived from chrao χράω (Eurip. Ion, 1,218). The later meanings coined freely from this primitive application, are numerous and varied. Pagan classics expressed more than one idea by the verb χράоμαι "consulting an oracle"; for it also means "fated," doomed by an oracle, in the sense of a sacrificial victim to its decree, or—"to the WORD"; as chrésterion is not only "the seat of an oracle" but also "an offering to, or for, the oracle."18 Chrestés χρήστης is one who expounds or explains oracles, "a prophet, a soothsayer;"19 and chrésterios χρηστήριος is one who belongs to, or is in the service of, an oracle, a god, or a "Master";20 this Canon Farrar’s efforts notwithstanding.21

17 "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God." (John iii. 4.) Here the birth from above, the spiritual birth, is meant, achieved at the supreme and last initiation.

18 The word χρεών is explained by Herodotus (7.11.7.) as that which an oracle declares, and τό χρεών is given by Plutarch (Nic. 14.) as "fate," "necessity." Vide Herod. 7.215; 5.108; and Sophocles, Phil. 437.

19 See Liddell and Scott’s Greek-Engl. Lex.

20 Hence of a Guru, "a teacher," and chela, a "disciple," in their mutual relations.

21 In his recent work—"The Early Days of Christianity," Canon Farrar remarks:—"Some have supposed a pleasant play of words founded on it, as between Chrestos (‘sweet’ Ps. xxx., iv., 8) and Christos (Christ)" (I. p. 158, foot-note). But there is nothing to suppose, since it began by a "play of words," indeed. The name Christus was not "distorted into Chrestus," as the learned author would make his readers believe (p. 19), but it was the adjective and noun Chrestos which became distorted into Christus, and applied to Jesus. In a foot-note on the word "Chrestian," occurring in the First Epistle


All this is evidence that the terms Christ and Christians, spelt originally Chrést and Chréstians χρηστιανοι22 were directly borrowed from the Temple terminology of the Pagans, and meant the same thing. The God of the Jews was now substituted for the Oracle and the other gods; the generic designation "Chréstos" became a noun applied to one special personage; and new terms such as Chréstianoї and Chréstodoulos "a follower or servant of Chrestos"—were coined out of the old material. This is shown by Philo Judæus, a monotheist, assuredly, using already the same term for monotheistic purposes. For he speaks of θεόχρηστος (théochréstos) "God-declared," or one who is declared by god, and of λόγια θεάχρηστα (logia théochrésta) "sayings delivered by God"—which proves that he wrote at a time (between the first century B. C., and the first A. D.) when neither Christians nor Chrestians were yet known under these names, but still called themselves the Nazarenes. The notable difference between the two words χράω—"consulting or obtaining response from a god or oracle" (χρέω being the Ionic earlier form of it), and χρίω (chrio) "to rub, to anoint" (from which the name Christos), have not prevented the ecclesiastical adoption and coinage from Philo’s expression θεὁχρηστος of that other term θεόχριστος "anointed by God." Thus the quiet substitution of the letter ι for η for dogmatic purposes, was achieved in the easiest way, as we now see.

The secular meaning of Chréstos runs throughout the classical Greek literature pari passu with that given to it in the mysteries. Demosthenes’ saying ω͒ χρηστέ (330, 27), means by it simply "you nice fellow ’; Plato (in Phaed. 264 B) has χρηστòς εt̑ őτι ηγει̂ — "you

of Peter (chap, iv., 16), in which in the revised later MSS. the word was changed into Christian, Canon Farrar remarks again, "Perhaps we should read the ignorant heathen distortion, Chrestian." Most decidedly we should; for the eloquent writer should remember his Master’s command to render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s. His dislike notwithstanding, Mr. Farrar is obliged to admit that the name Christian was first INVENTED, by the sneering, mocking Antiochians, as early as A.D. 44, but had not come into general use before the persecution by Nero. "Tacitus," he says, "uses the word Christians with something of apology. It is well known that in the N. T. it only occurs three times, and always involves a hostile sense (Acts xi. 26, xxvi. 28 as it does in iv. 16)." It was not Claudius alone who looked with alarm and suspicion on the Christians, so nicknamed in derision for their carnalizing a subjective principle or attribute, but all the pagan nations. For Tacitus, speaking of those whom the masses called "Christians," describes them as a set of men detested for their enormities and crimes. No wonder, for history repeats itself. There are, no doubt, thousands of noble, sincere, and virtuous Christian-born men and women now. But we have only to look at the viciousness of Christian "heathen" converts; at the morality of those proselytes in India, whom the missionaries themselves decline to take into their service, to draw a parallel between the converts of 1,800 years ago, and the modern heathens "touched by grace."

22 Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Lactantius, Clemens Alexandrinus, and others spelt it in this way.


are an excellent fellow to think . . ." But in the esoteric phraseology of the temples "chrestos,"23 a word which, like the participle chréstheis, is formed under the same rule, and conveys the same sense—from the verb χράομαι ("to consult a god")—answers to what we would call an adept, also a high chela, a disciple. It is in this sense that it is used by Euripides (Ion. 1320) and by Æschylus (IC). This qualification was applied to those whom the god, oracle, or any superior had proclaimed this, that, or anything else. An instance may be given in this case.

The words χρη̂σεν οἰκιστήοα used by Pindar (p. 4-10) mean "the oracle proclaimed him the coloniser." In this case the genius of the Greek language permits that the man so proclaimed should be called χρηστός (Chréstos). Hence this term was applied to every Disciple recognised by a Master, as also to every good man. Now, the Greek language affords strange etymologies. Christian theology has chosen and decreed that the name Christos should be taken as derived from χρίω, χρίσω (Chriso), "anointed with scented unguents or oil." But this word has several significances. It is used by Homer, certainly, as applied to the rubbing with oil of the body after bathing (Il. 23, 186; also in Od. 4, 252) as other ancient writers do. Yet the word χρίστης (Christes) means rather a white-washer, while the word Chrestes (χρήστης) means priest and prophet, a term far more applicable to Jesus, than that of the "Anointed," since, as Nork shows on the authority of the Gospels, he never was anointed, either as king or priest. In short, there is a deep mystery underlying all this scheme, which, as I maintain, only a thorough knowledge of the Pagan mysteries is capable of unveiling.24 It is not what the early Fathers, who had an object to achieve,

23 Vide Liddell and Scott’s Greek and English Lexicon. Chrestos is really one who is continually warned, advised, guided, whether by oracle or prophet. Mr. G. Massey is not correct in saying that ". . . . The Gnostic form of the name Chrest, or Chrestos, denotes the Good God, not a human original," for it denoted the latter, i.e., a good, holy man; but he is quite right when he adds that "Chrestianus signifies . .. . ‘Sweetness and Light’." "The Chrestoi, as the Good People, were pre-extant. Numerous Greek inscriptions show that the departed, the hero, the saintly one—that is, the ‘Good’—was styled Chrestos, or the Christ; and from this meaning of the ‘Good’ does Justin, the primal apologist, derive the Christian name. This identifies it with the Gnostic source, and with the ‘Good God’ who revealed himself according to Marcion—that is, the Un-Nefer or Good-opener of the Egyptian theology."— (Agnostic Annual.)

24 Again I must bring forward what Mr. G. Massey says (whom I quote repeatedly because he has studied this subject so thoroughly and so conscientiously).

"My contention, or rather explanation," he says, "is that the author of the Christian name is the Mummy-Christ of Egypt, called the Karest, which was a type of the immortal spirit in man, the Christ within (as Paul has it), the divine offspring incarnated, the Logos, the Word of Truth, the Makheru of Egypt. It did not originate as a mere type! The preserved mummy was the dead body of any one that was Karest, or mummified, to


may affirm or deny, that is the important point, but rather what is now the evidence for the real significance given to the two terms Chréstos and Christos by the ancients in the pre-Christian ages. For the latter had no object to achieve, therefore nothing to conceal or disfigure, and their evidence is naturally the more reliable of the two. This evidence can be obtained by first studying the meaning given to these words by the classics, and then their correct significance searched for in mystic symbology.

Now Chrestos, as already said, is a term applied in various senses. It qualifies both Deity and Man. It is used in the former sense in the Gospels, and in Luke (vi., 35), where it means "kind," and "merciful." χρηστός έστιν έπì τοὺς, in I Peter (ii., 3), where it is said, "Kind is the Lord," χοηστòς ὁ κύριος. On the other hand, it is explained by Clemens Alexandrinus as simply meaning a good man; i.e., "All who believe in Chrést (a good man) both are, and are called Chréstians, that is good men." (Strom, lib. ii.) The reticence of Clemens, whose Christianity, as King truly remarks in his "Gnostics," was no more than a graft upon the congenial stock of his original Platonism, is quite natural. He was an Initiate, a new Platonist, before he became a Christian, which fact, however much he may have fallen off from his earlier views, could not exonerate him from his pledge of secrecy. And as a Theosophist and a Gnostic, one who knew, Clemens must have known that Christos was "the WAY," while Chréstos was the lonely traveller journeying on to reach the ultimate goal through that "Path," which goal was Christos, the glorified Spirit of "TRUTH," the reunion with which makes the soul (the Son) ONE with the (Father) Spirit. That Paul knew it, is certain, for his own expressions prove it. For what do the words πάλιν ὠδίνω α̋χρις ον͒ μορφωθη̑ χριστòς ένὑμι̑ν, or as given in the authorised translations, "I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you" mean, but what we give in its esoteric rendering, i.e., "until you find the Christos within yourselves as your only ‘way’." (Vide Galatians iv., 19 and 20.)

Thus Jesus, whether of Nazareth or Lüd,25 was a Chrestos, as

be kept by the living; and, through constant repetition, this became a type of the resurrection from (not of!) the dead." See the explanation of this further on.

25 Or Lydda. Reference is made here to the Rabbinical tradition in the Babylonian Gemara, called Sepher Toledoth Jeshu, about Jesus being the son of one named Pandira, and having lived a century earlier than the era called Christian, namely, during the reign of the Jewish king Alexander Jannæus and his wife Salome, who reigned from the year


undeniably as that he never was entitled to the appellation of Christos, during his lifetime and before his last trial. It may have been as Higgins thinks, who surmises that the first name of Jesus was, perhaps, χρεισός the second χρησός, and the third χρισός. "The word χρεισός was in use before the H (cap. eta) was in the language." But Taylor (in his answer to Pye Smith, p. 113) is quoted saying "The complimentary epithet Chrest . . . . signified nothing more than a good man."

Here again a number of ancient writers may be brought forward to testify that Christos (or Chreistos, rather) was, along with χρησος = Hrésos, an adjective applied to Gentiles before the Christian era. In Philopatris it is said εἰ τύχοι χρη̑στος καὶ ἐν ι̋θνεσιν, i.e., "if chrestos chance to be even among the Gentiles," etc.

Tertullian denounces in the 3rd chapter of his Apologia the word "Christianus" as derived by "crafty interpretation";26 Dr. Jones, on the other hand, letting out the information, corroborated by good sources, that Hrésos (χρησός) was the name given to Christ by the Gnostics, and even by unbelievers," assures us that the real name ought to be χρισός or Christos—thus repeating and supporting the original "pious fraud" of the early Fathers, a fraud which led to the carnalizing of the whole Christian system.27 But I propose to show as much of the real meaning of all these terms as lies within my humble powers and knowledge. Christos, or the "Christ-condition," was ever the synonym of the "Mahatmic-condition," i.e., the union of the man with the divine principle in him. As Paul

106 to 79 B.C. Accused by the Jews of having learned the magic art in Egypt, and of having stolen from the Holy of Holies the Incommunicable Name, Jehoshua (Jesus) was put to death by the Sanhedrin at Lud. He was stoned and then crucified on a tree, on the eve of Passover. The narrative is ascribed to the Talmudistic authors of "Sota" and "Sanhedrin," p. 19, Book of Zechiel. See "Isis Unveiled," II. 201; Arnobius; Eliphas Levi’s "Science des Esprits," and "The Historical Jesus and Mythical Christ," a lecture by G. Massey.

26 "Christianus quantum interpretatione de unctione deducitas. Sed ut cum preferam Chrestianus pronunciatus a vobis (nam nec nominis certa est notitia penes vos) de suavitate vel benignitate compositum est." Canon Farrar makes a great effort to show such lapsus calami by various Fathers as the results of disgust and fear. "There can be little doubt," he says (in The Early Days of Christianity) "that the . . . . name Christian . . . . was a nick-name due to the wit of the Antiochians . . . . It is clear that the sacred writers avoided the name (Christians) because it was employed by their enemies (Tac. Ann. xv. 44). It only became familiar when the virtues of Christians had shed lustre upon it. . . . ." This is a very lame excuse, and a poor explanation to give for so eminent a thinker as Canon Farrar. As to the "virtues of Christians" ever shedding lustre upon the name, let us hope that the writer had in his mind’s eye neither Bishop Cyril, of Alexandria, nor Eusebius, nor the Emperor Constantine, of murderous fame, nor yet the Popes Borgia and the Holy Inquisition.

27 Quoted by G. Higgins. (See Vol. I., pp. 569-573.)


says (Ephes. iii. 17) "κατοικη̑σαι τòν χριστόν διὰ τη̑ς πίστεως ἐν ναι̑ς καρδίαις ὑμω̑ν." "That you may find Christos in your inner man through knowledge" not faith, as translated; for Pistis is "knowledge," as will be shown further on.

There is still another and far more weighty proof that the name Christos is pre-Christian. The evidence for it is found in the prophecy of the Erythrean Sybil. We read in it IHΣOYE XPEIΣT0ΣΘΕΟΝ ΙΟΣ ΣΩΤΗΡ ΣTAYP0Σ. Read esoterically, this string of meaningless detached nouns, which has no sense to the profane, contains a real prophecy—only not referring to Jesus—and a verse from the mystic catechism of the Initiate. The prophecy relates to the coming down upon the Earth of the Spirit of Truth (Christos), after which advent—that has once more nought to do with Jesus—will begin the Golden Age; the verse refers to the necessity before reaching that blessed condition of inner (or subjective) theophany and theopneusty, to pass through the crucifixion of flesh or matter. Read exoterically, the words "Iesous Chreistos theou yios soter stauros," meaning literally "Iesus, Christos, God, Son, Saviour, Cross," are most excellent handles to hang a Christian prophecy on, but they are pagan, not Christian.

If called upon to explain the names IESOUS CHREISTOS, the answer is: study mythology, the so-called "fictions" of the ancients, and they will give you the key. Ponder over Apollo, the solar god, and the "Healer," and the allegory about his son Janus (or Ion), his priest at Delphos, through whom alone could prayers reach the immortal gods, and his other son Asclepios, called the Soter, or Saviour. Here is a leaflet from esoteric history written in symbolical phraseology by the old Grecian poets.

The city of Chrisa28 (now spelt Crisa), was built in memory of Kreusa (or Creusa), daughter of King Erechtheus and mother of Janus (or Ion) by Apollo, in memory of the danger which Janus escaped.29 We learn that Janus, abandoned by his mother in a

28 In the days of Homer, we find this city, once celebrated for its mysteries, the chief seat of Initiation and the name of Chrestos used as a title during the mysteries. It is mentioned in the Iliad, ii., 520 as "Chrisa" (χρι̑σα). Dr. Clarke suspected its ruins under the present site of Krestona, a small town, or village rather, in Phocis, near the Crissæan Bay. (See E. D. Clarke, 4th ed., Vol. viii, p. 239, "Delphi.")

29 The root of χρητός (Chretos) and χρηστός (Chrestos) is one and the same; χράω which means "consulting the oracle," in one sense, but in another one "consecrated," set apart, belonging to some temple, or oracle, or devoted to oracular services. On the other hand, the word xpε (χρέω) means "obligation," a "bond, duty," or one who is under the obligation of pledges, or vows taken.


grotto "to hide the shame of the virgin who bore a son," was found by Hermes, who brought the infant to Delphi, nurtured him by his father’s sanctuary and oracle, where, under the name of Chresis (χρησις) Janus became first a Chrestis (a priest, soothsayer, or Initiate), and then very nearly a Chresterion, "a sacrificial victim,"30 ready to be poisoned by his own mother who knew him not, and who, in her jealousy, mistook him, on the hazy intimation of the oracle, for a son of her husband. He pursued her to the very altar with the intention of killing her—when she was saved through the pythoness, who divulged to both the secret of their relationship. In memory of this narrow escape, Creusa, the mother, built the city of Chrisa, or Krisa. Such is the allegory, and it symbolizes simply the trials of Initiation.31

Finding then that Janus, the solar God, and son of Apollo, the Sun, means the "Initiator" and the "Opener of the Gate of Light," or secret wisdom of the mysteries; that he is born from Krisa (esoterically Chris), and that he was a Chrestos through whom spoke the God; that he was finally Ion, the father of the Ionians, and, some say, an aspect of Asclepios, another son of Apollo, it is easy to get hold of the thread of Ariadne in this labyrinth of allegories. It is not the place here to prove side issues in mythology, however. It suffices to show the connection between the mythical characters of hoary antiquity and the later fables that marked the beginning of our era of civilization. Asclepios (Esculapius) was the divine physician, the "Healer," the "Saviour," Σωτήρ as he was called, a title also given to Janus of Delphi; and IASO, the daughter of Asclepios, was the goddess of healing, under whose patronage

30 The adjective χρηστός was also used as an adjective before proper names as a compliment, as in Plat. Theact, p. 166A, "Οὑτος ὁ Σωκράτης ὁ χρηστός"; (here Socrates is the Chrestos), and also as a surname, as shown by Plutarch (V. Phocion), who wonders how such a rough and dull fellow as Phocion could be surnamed Chréstos.

31 There are strange features, quite suggestive, for an Occultist, in the myth (if one) of Janus. Some make of him the personification of Kosmos, others, of Coelus (heaven), hence he is "two-faced" because of his two characters of spirit and matter; and he is not only "Janus Bifrons" (two-faced), but also Quadrifrons—the perfect square, the emblem of the Kabbalistic Deity. His temples were built with four equal sides, with a door and three windows on each side. Mythologists explain it as an emblem of the four seasons of the year, and three months in each season, and in all of the twelve months of the year. During the mysteries of Initiation, however, he became the Day-Sun and the Night-Sun. Hence he is often represented with the number 300 in one hand, and in the other 65, or the number of days of the Solar year. Now Chanoch (Kanoch and Enosh in the Bible) is, as may be shown on Kabalistic authority, whether son of Cain, son of Seth, or the son of Methuselah, one and the same personage. As Chanoch (according to Fuerst), "he is the Initiator, Instructor—of the astronomical circle and solar year," as son of Methuselah, who is said to have lived 365 years and been taken to heaven alive, as the


were all the candidates for initiation in her father’s temple, the novices or chrestoi, called "the sons of Iaso." (Vide for name, "Plutus," by Aristoph. 701).

Now, if we remember, firstly, that the names of IESUS in their different forms, such as Iasius, Iasion, Jason and Iasus, were very common in ancient Greece, especially among the descendants of Jasius (the Jasides), as also the number of the "sons of Iaso," the Mystoϊ and future Epoptai (Initiates), why should not the enigmatical words in the Sibylline Book be read in their legitimate light, one that had nought to do with a Christian prophecy? The secret doctrine teaches that the first two words ΙΗΣΟΥΣ XPEIΣTOΣ mean simply "son of Iaso, a Chrestos," or servant of the oracular God. Indeed IASO (Ιασώ) is in the Ionic dialect IESO (Ίησώ) and the expression Ἰ ησου̑ς (Iesous)in its archaic form, ÍΙΗΣΟΥΣ—simply means "the son of Iaso or Ieso, the "healer," i.e., ὁ Ἰ ησου̑ς (υι̑oς).No objection, assuredly, can be taken to such rendering, or to the name being written Ieso instead of Iaso, since the first form is attic, therefore incorrect, for the name is Ionic. "Ieso" from which "O’Iesous" (son of Ieso)—i.e., a genitive, not a nominative—is Ionic and cannot be anything else, if the age of the Sibylline book is taken into consideration. Nor could the Sibyl of Erythrea have spelt it originally otherwise, as Erythrea, her very residence, was a town in Ionia (from Ion or Janus) opposite Chios; and that the Ionic preceded the attic form.

Leaving aside in this case the mystical signification of the now famous Sibylline sentence, and giving its literal interpretation only, on the authority of all that has been said, the hitherto mysterious words would stand; "Son of IASO, CHRESTOS (the priest or servant) (of the) SON of (the) GOD (Apollo) the SAVIOUR from the CROSS"—(of flesh or matter).32 Truly, Christianity can never hope to be understood until every trace of dogmatism is swept away from it, and the dead letter sacrificed to the eternal Spirit of Truth,

representative of the Sun (or God). (See Book of Enoch.) This patriarch has many features in common with Janus, who, exoterically, is Ion but IAO cabalistically, or Jehovah, the "Lord God of Generations," the mysterious Yodh, or ONE (a phallic number). For Janus or Ion is also Consivius, a conserendo, because he presided over generations. He is shown giving hospitality to Saturn (Chronos "time"), and is the Initiator of the year, or time divided into 365.

32 Stauros became the cross, the instrument of crucifixion, far later, when it began to be represented as a Christian symbol and with the Greek letter T, the Tau. (Luc. Jud. Voc.) Its primitive meaning was phallic, a symbol for the male and female elements; the great serpent of temptation, the body which had to be killed or subdued by the dragon of wisdom, the seven-vowelled solar chnouphis or Spirit of Christos of the Gnostics, or, again, Apollo killing Python.


which is Horus, which is Crishna, which is Buddha, as much as it is the Gnostic Christos and the true Christ of Paul.

In the Travels of Dr. Clarke, the author describes a heathen monument found by him.

Within the sanctuary, behind the altar, we saw the fragments of a marble cathedra, upon the back of which we found the following inscription, exactly as it is here written, no part of it having been injured or obliterated, affording perhaps the only instance known of a sepulchral inscription upon a monument of this remarkable form.

The inscription ran thus: XPHΣTOΣ ΠΡΩΤΟΥ ΘΕΣΣΑΛΟΣ ΛΑΡΙΣΣΑΙΟΣ ΠΕΛΑΣΓΙΟΤΗΣ ΕΤΩΝ IH; or, "Chrestos, the first, a Thessalonian from Larissa, Pelasgiot 18 years old Hero." Chrestos the first (protoo), why? Read literally the inscription has little sense; interpreted esoterically, it is pregnant with meaning. As Dr. Clarke shows, the word Chrestos is found on the epitaphs of almost all the ancient Larissians; but it is preceded always by a proper name. Had the adjective Chrestos stood after a name, it would only mean "a good man," a posthumous compliment paid to the defunct, the same being often found on our modern tumular epitaphs. But the word Chrestos, standing alone and the other word, "protoo," following it, gives it quite another meaning, especially when the deceased is specified as a "hero." To the mind of an Occultist, the defunct was a neophyte, who had died in his 18th year of neophytism,33 and stood in the first or highest class of discipleship, having passed his preliminary trials as a "hero"; but had died before the last mystery, which would have made of him a "Christos," an anointed, one with the spirit of Christos or Truth in him. He had not reached the end of the "Way," though he had heroically conquered the horrors of the preliminary theurgic trials.

We are quite warranted in reading it in this manner, after learning the place where Dr. Clarke discovered the tablet, which was, as Godfrey Higgins remarks, there, where "I should expect to find it, at Delphi, in the temple of the God IE.," who, with the Christians became Jah, or Jehovah, one with Christ Jesus. It was at the foot of Parnassus, in a gymnasium, "adjoining the Castalian foun-

33 Even to this day in India, the candidate loses his name and, as also in Masonry, his age (monks and nuns also changing their Christian names at their taking the order or veil), and begins counting his years from the day he is accepted a chela and enters upon the cycle of initiations. Thus Saul was "a child of one year," when he began to reign, though a grown-up adult. See I Samuel ch. xiii. I, and Hebrew scrolls, about his initiation by Samuel.


tain, which flowed by the ruins of Crisa, probably the town called Crestona," etc. And again: "In the first part of its course from the (Castalian) fountain, it (the river) separates the remains of the gymnasium . . . from the valley of Castro," as it probably did from the old city of Delphi—the seat of the great oracle of Apollo, of the town of Krisa (or Kreusa) the great centre of initiations and of the Chrestoi of the decrees of the oracles, where the candidates for the last labour were anointed with sacred oils34 before being plunged into their last trance of forty-nine hours’ duration (as to this day, in the East), from which they arose as glorified adepts or Christoi."

In the Clementine Recognitions it is announced that the father anointed his son with "oil that was taken from the wood of the Tree of Life, and from this anointing he is called the Christ": whence the Christian name. This again is Egyptian. Horus was the anointed son of the father. The mode of anointing him from the Tree of Life, portrayed on the monuments, is very primitive indeed; and the Horus of Egypt was continued in the Gnostic Christ, who is reproduced upon the Gnostic stones as the intermediate link betwixt the Karest and the Christ, also as the Horus of both sexes. ("The name and nature of the Christ."GERALD MASSEY. )

Mr. G. Massey connects the Greek Christos or Christ with the Egyptian Karest, the "mummy type of immortality," and proves it very thoroughly. He begins by saying that in Egyptian the "Word of Truth" is Ma-Kheru, and that it is the title of Horus. Thus, as he shows, Horus preceded Christ as the Messenger of the Word of Truth, the Logos or the manifestor of the divine nature in humanity. In the same paper he writes as follows:

The Gnosis had three phases—astronomical, spiritual, and doctrinal, and all three can be identified with the Christ of Egypt. In the astronomical phase the constellation Orion is called the Sahu or mummy. The soul of Horus was represented as rising from the dead and ascending to heaven in the stars of Orion. The mummy-image was the preserved one, the saved, therefore a portrait of the Saviour, as a type of immortality. This was the figure of a dead man, which, as Plutarch and Herodotus tell us, was carried round at an Egyptian banquet, when the guests were invited to look on it and eat and drink and be happy, because, when they died, they would become what the image symbolised—that is, they also would be immortal! This type of immortality was called the Karest, or Karust, and it was the

34 Demosthenes, "De Corona," 313, declares that the candidates for initiation into the Greek mysteries were anointed with oil. So they are now in India, even in the initiation into the Yogi mysteries—various ointments or unguents being used.


Egyptian Christ. To Kares means to embalm, anoint, to make the Mummy as a type of the eternal; and, when made, it was called the Karest; so that this is not merely a matter of name for name, the Karest for the Christ.

This image of the Karest was bound up in a woof without a seam, the proper vesture of the Christ! No matter what the length of the bandage might be, and some of the mummy-swathes have been unwound that were 1,000 yards in length, the woof was from beginning to end without a seam. . . . Now, this seamless robe of the Egyptian Karest is a very tell-tale type of the mystical Christ, who becomes historic in the Gospels as the wearer of a coat or chiton, made without a seam, which neither the Greek nor the Hebrew fully explains, but which is explained by the Egyptian Ketu for the woof, and by the seamless robe or swathing without seam that was made for eternal wear, and worn by the Mummy-Christ, the image of immortality in the tombs of Egypt.

Further, Jesus is put to death in accordance with the instructions given for making the Karest. Not a bone must be broken. The true Karest must be perfect in every member. "This is he who comes out sound; whom men know not is his name."

In the Gospels Jesus rises again with every member sound, like the perfectly-preserved Karest, to demonstrate the physical resurrection of the mummy. But, in the Egyptian original, the mummy transforms. The deceased says: "I am spiritualised. I am become a soul. I rise as a God." This transformation into the spiritual image, the Ka, has been omitted in the Gospel.

This spelling of the name as Chrest or Chrést in Latin is supremely important, because it enables me to prove the identity with the Egyptian Karest or Karust, the name of the Christ as the enbalmed mummy, which was the image of the resurrection in Egyptian tombs, the type of immortality, the likeness of the Horus, who rose again and made the pathway out of the sepulchre for those who were his disciples or followers. Moreover, this type of the Karest or Mummy-Christ is reproduced in the Catacombs of Rome. No representation of the supposed historic resurrection of Jesus has been found on any of the early Christian monuments. But, instead of the missing fact, we find the scene of Lazarus being raised from the dead. This is depicted over and over again as the typical resurrection where there is no real one! The scene is not exactly in accordance with the rising from the grave in the Gospel. It is purely Egyptian, and Lazarus is an Egyptian mummy! Thus Lazarus, in each representation, is the mummy-type of the resurrection; Lazarus is the Karest, who was the Egyptian Christ, and who is reproduced by Gnostic art in the Catacombs of Rome as a form of the Gnostic Christ, who was not and could not become an historical character.

Further, as the thing is Egyptian, it is probable that the name


is derived from Egyptian. If so, Laz (equal to Ras) means to be raised up, while aru is the mummy by name. With the Greek terminal Ѕ this becomes Lazarus. In the course of humanising the mythos the typical representation of the resurrection found in the tombs of Rome and Egypt would become the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. This Rarest type of the Christ in the Catacombs is not limited to Lazarus.

By means of the Karest type the Christ and the Christians can both be traced in the ancient tombs of Egypt. The mummy was made in this likeness of the Christ. It was the Christ by name, identical with the Chrestoi of the Greek Inscriptions. Thus the honoured dead, who rose again as the followers of Horus-Makheru, the Word of Truth, are found to be the Christians oi χρηστοί, on the Egyptian monuments. Ma-Kheru is the term that is always applied to the faithful ones who win the crown of life and wear it at the festival which is designated ‘Come thou to me’—an invitation by Horus the Justifier to those who are the ‘Blessed ones of his father, Osiris’—they who, having made the Word of Truth the law of their lives, were the Justified—oἰ χρηστοί, the Christians, on earth.

In a fifth century representation of the Madonna and child from the cemetery of St. Valentinus, the new-born babe lying in a box or crib is also the Karest, or mummy-type, further identified as the divine babe of the solar mythos by the disk of the sun and the cross of the equinox at the back of the infant’s head. Thus the child-Christ of the historic faith is born, and visibly begins in the Karest image of the dead Christ, which was the mummy-type of the resurrection in Egypt for thousands of years before the Christian era. This doubles the proof that the Christ of the Christian Catacombs was a survival of the Karest of Egypt.

Moreover, as Didron shows, there was a portrait of the Christ who had his body painted red!35 It was a popular tradition that the Christ was of a red complexion. This, too, may be explained as a survival of the Mummy-Christ. It was an aboriginal mode of rendering things tapu by colouring them red. The dead corpse was coated with red ochre—a very primitive mode of making the mummy, or the anointed one. Thus the God Ptah tells Rameses II. that he has "re-fashioned his flesh in vermilion." This anointing with red ochre is called Kura by the Maori, who likewise made the Karest or Christ.

We see the mummy-image continued on another line of descent when we learn that among other pernicious heresies and deadly sins with which the Knights Templars were charged, was the impious custom of adoring a Mummy that had red eyes. Their Idol, called Baphomet, is also thought to have been a mummy. . . . . . . The Mummy was the earliest human image of the Christ.

35 Because he is cabalistically the new Adam, the "celestial man," and Adam was made of red earth.


I do not doubt that the ancient Roman festivals called the Charistia were connected in their origin with the Karest and the Eucharist as a celebration in honour of the manes of their departed kith and kin, for whose sakes they became reconciled at the friendly gathering once a year. . . . . . It is here, then, we have to seek the essential connection between the Egyptian Christ, the Christians, and the Roman Catacombs. These Christian Mysteries, ignorantly explained to be inexplicable, can be explained by Gnosticism and Mythology, but in no other way. It is not that they are insoluble by human reason, as their incompetent, howsoever highly paid, expounders now-a-days pretend. That is but the puerile apology of the unqualified for their own helpless ignorance—they who have never been in possession of the gnosis or science of the Mysteries by which alone these things can be explained in accordance with their natural genesis. In Egypt only can we read the matter to the root, or identify the origin of the Christ by nature and by name, to find at last that the Christ was the Mummy-type, and that our Christology is mummified mythology."— (Agnostic Annual.)

The above is an explanation on purely scientific evidence, but, perhaps, a little too materialistic, just because of that science, notwithstanding that the author is a well-known Spiritualist. Occultism pure and simple finds the same mystic elements in the Christian as in other faiths, though it rejects as emphatically its dogmatic and historic character. It is a fact that in the terms Ιησου̑ς ὁ χριστός (See Acts v. 42, ix. 14; I Corinth, iii. 17, etc.), the article ὁ designating "Christos," proves it simply a surname, like that of Phocion, who is referred to as Φωκίων ὁ χρηστός (Plut. v.). Still, the personage (Jesus) so addressed—whenever he lived—was a great Initiate and a "Son of God."

For, we say it again, the surname Christos is based on, and the story of the Crucifixion derived from, events that preceded it. Everywhere, in India as in Egypt, in Chaldea as in Greece, all these legends were built upon one and the same primitive type; the voluntary sacrifice of the logoϊ—the rays of the one LOGOS, the direct manifested emanation from the One ever-concealed Infinite and Unknown—whose rays incarnated in mankind. They consented to fall into matter, and are, therefore, called the "Fallen Ones." This is one of those great mysteries which can hardly be touched upon in a magazine article, but shall be noticed in a separate work of mine, The Secret Doctrine, very fully.

Having said so much, a few more facts may be added to the etymology of the two terms, χριστός being the verbal adjective in


Greek of χρίω "to be rubbed on," as ointment or salve, and the word being finally brought to mean "the Anointed One," in Christian theology; and Kri, in Sanskrit, the first syllable in the name of Krishna, meaning "to pour out, or rub over, to cover with,"36 among many other things, this may lead one as easily to make of Krishna, "the anointed one." Christian philologists try to limit the meaning of Krishna’s name to its derivation from Krish, "black"; but if the analogy and comparison of the Sanskrit with the Greek roots contained in the names of Chrestos, Christos, and Chrishna, are analyzed more carefully, it will be found that they are all of the same origin.37

"In Bockh’s ‘Christian Inscriptions,’ numbering 1,287, there is no single instance of an earlier date than the third century, wherein the name is not written Chrest or Chreist." (The Name and Nature of the Christ, by G. Massey, "The Agnostic Annual.")

Yet none of these names can be unriddled, as some Orientalists imagine, merely with the help of astronomy and the knowledge of zodiacal signs in conjunction with phallic symbols. Because, while the sidereal symbols of the mystic characters or personifications in Puranâs or Bible, fulfill astronomical functions, their spiritual anti-types rule invisibly, but very effectively, the world. They exist as abstractions on the higher plane, as manifested ideas on the astral, and become males, females and androgyne powers on this lower plane of ours. Scorpio, as Chrestos-Meshiac, and Leo, as Christos-Messiah antedated by far the Christian era in the trials and triumphs of Initiation during the Mysteries, Scorpio standing as symbol for the latter, Leo for the glorified triumph of the "sun" of truth. The mystic philosophy of the allegory is well understood by the author of the "Source of Measures"; who writes: "One (Chrestos) causing himself to go down into the pit (of Scorpio, or incarnation in the womb) for the salvation of the world;

36 Hence the memorialising of the doctrine during the MYSTERIES. The pure monad, the "god" incarnating and becoming Chrestos, or man, on his trial of life, a series of those trials led him to the crucifixion of flesh, and finally into the Christos condition.

37 On the best authority the derivation of the Greek Christos is shown from the Sanskrit root ghársh = "rub"; thus: ghársh-a-mi-to, "to rub," and ghársh-tá-s "flayed, sore." Moreover, Krish, which means in one sense to plough and make furrows, means also to cause pain, "to torture, to torment," and ghrsh-ta-s "rubbing"—all these terms relating to Chrestos and Christos conditions. One has to die in Chrestos, i.e., kill one’s personality and its passions, to blot out every idea of separateness from one’s "Father," the Divine Spirit in man; to become one with the eternal and absolute Life and Light (SAT) before one can reach the glorious state of Christos, the regenerated man, the man in spiritual freedom.


this was the Sun, shorn of his golden rays, and crowned with blackened38 ones (symbolizing this loss) as the thorns; the other was the triumphant Messiah, mounted up to the summit of the arch of heaven, personated as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. In both instances he had the Cross; once in humiliation (as the son of copulation), and once holding it in his control, as the law of creation, he being Jehovah"—in the scheme of the authors of dogmatic Christianity. For, as the same author shows further, John, Jesus and even Apollonius of Tyana were but epitomizers of the history of the Sun "under differences of aspect or condition."39 The explanation, he says, "is simple enough, when it is considered that the names Jesus, Hebrew שי and Apollonius, or Apollo, are alike names of the Sun in the heavens, and, necessarily, the history of the one, as to his travels through the signs, with the personifications of his sufferings, triumphs and miracles, could be but the history of the other, where there was a wide-spread, common method of describing those travels by personification." The fact that the Secular Church was founded by Constantine, and that it was a part of his decree "that the venerable day of the Sun should be the day set apart for the worship of Jesus Christ as Sun-day," shows that they knew well in that "Secular Church" "that the allegory rested upon an astronomical basis," as the author affirms. Yet, again, the circumstance that both Purânas and Bible are full of solar and astronomical allegories, does not militate against that other fact that all such scriptures in addition to these two are closed

38 The Orientalists and Theologians are invited to read over and study the allegory of Viswakarman, the "Omnificent," the Vedic God, the architect of the world, who sacrificed himself to himself or the world, after having offered up all worlds, which are himself, in a "Sarva Madha" (general sacrifice)—and ponder over it. In the Purânic allegory, his daughter Yoga-siddha "Spiritual consciousness," the wife of Surya, the Sun, complains to him of the too great effulgence of her husband; and Viswakarma, in his character of Takshaka, "wood cutter and carpenter," placing the Sun upon his lathe cuts away a part of his brightness. Surya looks, after this, crowned with dark thorns instead of rays, and becomes Vikarttana ("shorn of his rays"). All these names are terms which were used by the candidates when going through the trials of Initiation. The Hierophant-Initiator Personated Viswakarman; the father, and the general artificer of the gods (the adepts on earth), and the candidate—Surya, the Sun, who had to kill all his fiery passions and wear the crown of thorns while crucifying his body before he could rise and be reborn into a new life as the glorified "Light of the World"—Christos. No Orientalist seems to have ever perceived the suggestive analogy, let alone to apply it!

39 The author of the "Source of Measures" thinks that this "serves to explain why it has been that the Life of Apollonius of Tyana, by Philostratus, has been so carefully kept back from translation and popular reading." Those who have studied it in the original have been forced to the comment that either the "Life of Apollonius has been taken from the New Testament, or that New Testament narratives have been taken from the Life of Apollonius, because of the manifest sameness of the means of construction of the narrative." (p. 260).


books to the scholars "having authority." (!) Nor does it affect that other truth, that all those systems are not the work of mortal man, nor are they his invention in their origin and basis.

Thus "Christos," under whatever name, means more than Karest, a mummy, or even the "anointed" and the elect of theology. Both of the latter apply to Chréstos, the man of sorrow and tribulation, in his physical, mental, and psychic conditions, and both relate to the Hebrew Mashiac (from whence Messiah) condition, as the word is etymologised40 by Fuerst, and the author of "The Source of Measures," p. 255. Christos is the crown of glory of the suffering Chréstos of the mysteries, as of the candidate to the final UNION, of whatever race and creed. To the true follower of the SPIRIT OF TRUTH, it matters little, therefore, whether Jesus, as man and Chrestos, lived during the era called Christian, or before, or never lived at all. The Adepts, who lived and died for humanity, have existed in many and all the ages, and many were the good and holy men in antiquity who bore the surname or title of Chrestos before Jesus of Nazareth, otherwise Jesus (or Jehoshua) Ben Pandira was born.41 Therefore, one may be permitted to conclude, with good reason, that Jesus, or Jehoshua, was like Socrates, like Phocian, like Theodorus, and so many others surnamed Chréstos, i.e., the "good, the excellent," the gentle, and the holy Initiate, who showed the "way" to the Christos condition, and thus became himself "the Way" in the hearts of his enthusiastic admirers. The Christians, as all the "Hero-worshippers" have tried to throw into the background all the other Chréstoϊ, who have appeared to them as rivals

40 "The word חיש shiac, is in Hebrew the same word as a verbal, signifying to go down into the pit. As a noun, place of thorns, pit. The hifil participle of this word is חישם or Messiach, or the Greek Messias, Christ, and means "he who causes to go down into the pit" (or hell, in dogmatism). In esoteric philosophy, this going down into the pit has the most mysterious significance. The Spirit "Christos" or rather the "Logos" (read Logoï), is said to "go down into the pit," when it incarnates in flesh, is born as a man. After having robbed the Elohim (or gods) of their secret, the pro-creating "fire of life," the Angels of Light are shown cast down into the pit or abyss of matter, called Hell, or the bottomless pit, by the kind theologians. This, in Cosmogony and Anthropology. During the Mysteries, however, it is the Chréstos, neophyte, (as man), etc., who had to descend into the crypts of Initiation and trials; and finally, during the "Sleep of Siloam" or the final trance condition, during the hours of which the new Initiate has the last and final mysteries of being divulged to him. Hades, Schéol, or Patala, are all one. The same takes place in the East now, as took place 2,000 years ago in the West, during the MYSTERIES.

41 Several classics bear testimony to this fact. Lucian, c. 16 says Φωκίων ὁ χρηστός, and Φωκίων ὁ ἐπίκλην (λεγόμενος surnamed "χρηστòς.") In Phædr. p. 226 Ε, it is written, "you mean Theodorus the Chrestos." "Τòν χρηστὸν λὲγεις θεόδωρον." Plutarch shows the same; and χρηστός—Chrestus, is the proper name (see the word in Thesaur. Steph.) of an orator and disciple of Herodes Atticus.


of their Man-God. But if the voice of the MYSTERIES has become silent for many ages in the West, if Eleusis, Memphis, Antium, Delphi, and Crèsa have long ago been made the tombs of a Science once as colossal in the West as it is yet in the East, there are successors now being prepared for them. We are in 1887 and the nineteenth century is close to its death. The twentieth century has strange developments in store for humanity, and may even be the last of its name.


No one can be regarded as a Christian unless he professes, or is supposed to profess, belief in Jesus, by baptism, and in salvation, "through the blood of Christ." To be considered a good Christian, one has, as a conditio sine quâ non, to show faith in the dogmas expounded by the Church and to profess them; after which a man is at liberty to lead a private and public life on principles diametrically opposite to those expressed in the Sermon on the Mount. The chief point and that which is demanded of him is, that he should have—or pretend to have—a blind faith in, and veneration for, the ecclesiastical teachings of his special Church.

"Faith is the key of Christendom,"

saith Chaucer, and the penalty for lacking it is as clearly stated as words can make it, in St. Mark’s Gospel, Chapter xvi., verse 16th: "He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that be- lieveth not shall be damned."

It troubles the Church very little that the most careful search for these words in the oldest texts during the last centuries remained fruitless; or, that the recent revision of the Bible led to a unanimous conviction in the truth-seeking and truth-loving scholars employed in that task, that no such un-Christ-like sentence was to be found, except in some of the latest, fraudulent texts. The good Christian people had assimilated the consoling words, and they had become the very pith and marrow of their charitable souls. To take away the hope of eternal damnation, for all others except themselves, from these chosen vessels of the God of Israel, was like taking their very life. The truth-loving and God-fearing revisers got scared; they left the forged passage (an interpolation of eleven verses, from the 9th to the 20th), and satisfied their consciences with a footnote remark of a very equivocal character, one that would grace the


work and do honour to the diplomatic faculties of the craftiest Jesuits. It tells the "believer" that:—

The two oldest Greek MSS, and some other authorities OMIT from verse 9 to the end. Some authorities have a different ending to the Gospel.42

—and explains no further.

But the two "oldest Greek MSS." omit the verses nolens volens, as these have never existed. And the learned and truth-loving revisers know this better than any of us do; yet the wicked falsehood is printed at the very seat of Protestant Divinity, and it is allowed to go on, glaring into the faces of coming generations of students of theology and, hence, into those of their future parishioners. Neither can be, nor are they deceived by it, yet both pretend belief in the authenticity of the cruel words worthy of a theological Satan. And this Satan-Moloch is their own God of infinite mercy and justice in Heaven, and the incarnate symbol of love and charity on Earth—blended in one!

Truly mysterious are your paradoxical ways, oh—Churches of Christ!

I have no intention of repeating here stale arguments and logical exposés of the whole theological scheme; for all this has been done, over and over again, and in a most excellent way, by the ablest "Infidels" of England and America. But I may briefly repeat a prophecy which is a self-evident result of the present state of men’s minds in Christendom. Belief in the Bible literally, and in a carnalised Christ, will not last a quarter of a century longer. The Churches will have to part with their cherished dogmas, or the 20th century will witness the downfall and ruin of all Christendom, and with it, belief even in a Christos, as pure Spirit. The very name has now become obnoxious, and theological Christianity must die out, never to resurrect again in its present form. This, in itself, would be the happiest solution of all, were there no danger from the natural reaction which is sure to follow: crass materialism will be the consequence and the result of centuries of blind faith, unless the loss of old ideals is replaced by other ideals, unassailable, because universal, and built on the rock of eternal truths instead of the shifting sands of human fancy. Pure immateriality must replace, in the end, the

42 Vide "Gospel according to St. Mark," in the revised edition printed for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1881.


terrible anthropomorphism of those ideals in the conceptions of our modern dogmatists. Otherwise, why should Christian dogmas—the perfect counterpart of those belonging to other exoteric and pagan religions—claim any superiority? The bodies of all these were built upon the same astronomical and physiological (or phallic) symbols. Astrologically, every religious dogma the world over, may be traced to, and located in, the Zodiacal signs and the Sun. And so long as the science of comparative symbology or any theology has only two keys to open the mysteries of religious dogmas—and these two only very partially mastered, how can a line of demarcation be drawn, or any difference made between the religions of say, Chrishna and Christ, between salvation through the blood of the "first-born primeval male" of one faith, and that of the "only begotten Son" of the other, far younger, religion?

Study the Vedas; read even the superficial, often disfigured writings of our great Orientalists, and think over what you will have learnt. Behold Brahmans, Egyptian Hierophants, and Chaldean Magi, teaching several thousand years before our era that the gods themselves had been only mortals (in previous births) until they won their immortality by offering their blood to their Supreme God or chief. The "Book of the Dead," teaches that mortal man "became one with the gods through an interflow of a common life in the common blood of the two." Mortals gave the blood of their firstborn sons in sacrifice to the Gods. In his Hinduism, p. 35, Professor Monier Williams, translating from the Taitiriya Brâhmana, writes:—"By means of the sacrifice the gods obtained heaven." And in the Tandya Brâhmana:"The lord of creatures offered himself a sacrifice for the gods." . . . And again in the Satapatha Brâhmana:"He who, knowing this, sacrifices with the Purusha-madha or the sacrifice of the primeval male, becomes everything."

Whenever I hear the Vedic rites discussed and called "disgusting human sacrifices," and cannibalism (sic.), I feel always inclined to ask, where’s the difference? Yet there is one, in fact; for while Christians are compelled to accept the allegorical (though, when understood, highly philosophical) drama of the New Testament Crucifixion, as that of Abraham and Isaac literally,43 Brahmanism

43 Vide "The Soldier’s Daughter," in this number, by the Rev. T. G. Headley, and notice the desperate protest of this true Christian, against the literal acceptance of the "blood sacrifices," "Atonement by blood," etc., in the Church of England. The reaction begins: another sign of the times.


—its philosophical schools at any rate—teaches its adherents, that this (pagan) sacrifice of the "primeval male" is a purely allegorical and philosophical symbol. Read in their dead-letter meaning, the four gospels are simply slightly altered versions of what the Church proclaims as Satanic plagiarisms (by anticipation) of Christian dogmas in Pagan religions. Materialism has a perfect right to find in all of them the same sensual worship and "solar" myths as anywhere else. Analysed and criticised superficially and on its dead- letter face, Professor Joly ("Man before Metals," pp. 189-190) finding in the Swastika, the crux ansata, and the cross pure and simple, mere sexual symbols—is justified in speaking as he does. Seeing that "the father of the sacred fire (in India) bore the name of Twashtri, that is the divine carpenter who made the Swastika and the Pramantha, whose friction produced the divine child Agni, in Latin Ignis; that his mother was named Maya; he himself, styled Akta (anointed, or Christos) after the priests had poured upon his head the spirituous soma and on his body butter purified by sacrifice"; seeing all this he has a full right to remark that:—

The close resemblance which exists between certain ceremonies of the worship of Agni and certain rites of the Catholic religion may be explained by their common origin. Agni in the condition of Akta, or anointed, is suggestive of Christ; Maya, Mary, his mother; Twashtri, St. Joseph, the carpenter of the Bible.

Has the professor of the Science Faculty of Toulouse explained anything by drawing attention to that which anyone can see? Of course not. But if, in his ignorance of the esoteric meaning of the allegory he has added nothing to human knowledge, he has on the other hand destroyed faith in many of his pupils in both the "divine origin" or Christianity and its Church and helped to increase the number of Materialists. For surely, no man, once he devotes himself to such comparative studies, can regard the religion of the West in any light but that of a pale and enfeebled copy of older and nobler philosophies.

The origin of all religions—Judaeo-Christianity included—is to be found in a few primeval truths, not one of which can be explained apart from all the others, as each is a complement of the rest in some one detail. And they are all, more or less, broken rays of the same Sun of truth, and their beginnings have to be sought in the archaic records of the Wisdom-religion. Without the light of


the latter, the greatest scholars can see but the skeletons thereof covered with masks of fancy, and based mostly on personified Zodiacal signs.

A thick film of allegory and blinds, the "dark sayings" of fiction and parable, thus covers the original esoteric texts from which the New Testament—as now known—was compiled. Whence, then, the Gospels, the life of Jesus of Nazareth? Has it not been repeatedly stated that no human, mortal brain could have invented the life of the Jewish Reformer, followed by the awful drama on Calvary? We say, on the authority of the esoteric Eastern School, that all this came from the Gnostics, as far as the name Christos and the astronomico-mystical allegories are concerned, and from the writings of the ancient Tanaïm as regards the Kabalistic connection of Jesus or Joshua, with the Biblical personifications. One of these is the mystic esoteric name of Jehovah—not the present fanciful God of the profane Jews ignorant of their own mysteries, the God accepted by the still more ignorant Christians—but the compound Jehovah of the pagan Initiation. This is proven very plainly by the glyphs or mystic combinations of various signs which have survived to this day in the Roman Catholic hieroglyphics.

The Gnostic Records contained the epitome of the chief scenes enacted during the mysteries of initiation, since the memory of man; though even that was given out invariably under the garb of semi-allegory, whenever entrusted to parchment or paper. But the ancient Tanaïm, the Initiates from whom the wisdom of the Kabala (oral tradition) was obtained by the later Talmudists, had in their possession the secrets of the mystery language, and it is in this language that the Gospels were written.44 He alone who has mastered the esoteric cypher of antiquity—the secret meaning of the numerals, a common property at one time of all nations—has the full proof of the genius which was displayed in the blending of the purely Egypto-Jewish, Old Testament allegories and names, and those of the pagan-Greek Gnostics, the most refined of all the mystics of that day. Bishop Newton proves it himself quite innocently, by showing that "St. Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul, in his epistle (ch. ix.) discovers . . . the name of Jesus crucified in the number 318," namely, Barnabas finds it in the mystic Greek I Η T

44 Thus while the three Synoptics display a combination of the pagan Greek and Jewish symbologies the Revelation is written in the mystery language of the Tanaïm—the relic of Egyptian and Chaldean wisdom—and St. John’s Gospel is purely Gnostic.


—the tau being the glyph of the cross. On this, a Kabalist, the author of an unpublished MS. on the Key of Formation of the Mystery Language, observes:—"But this is but a play upon the Hebrew letters Jodh, Chith, and Shin, from whence the I H S as the monogram of Christ coming down to our day, and this reads as שתי or 381, and sum of the letters being 318 or the number of Abraham and his Satan, and of Joshua and his Amalek . . . also the number of Jacob and his antagonist. . . (Godfrey Higgins gives the authority for the number 608) . . . It is the number of Melchizedek’s name, for the value of the last is 304 and Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God, without beginning nor ending of days." The solution and secret of Melchizedek are found in the fact that "in the ancient Pantheons the two planets which had existed from eternity (æonic eternity) and were eternal, were the Sun and the Moon, or Osiris and Isis, hence the terms of without beginning nor ending of days. 304 multiplied by two is 608. So also the numbers in the word Seth, who was a type of the year. There are a number of authorities for the number 888 as applying to the name of Jesus Christ, and as said this is in antagonism to the 666 of the Anti-Christ. . . . The staple value in the name of Joshua was the number 365, the indication of the Solar year, while Jehovah delighted in being the indication of the Lunar year—and Jesus Christ was both Joshua and Jehovah in the Christian Pantheon. . . ."

This is but an illustration to our point to prove that the Christian application of the compound name Jesus-Christ is all based on Gnostic and Eastern mysticism. It was only right and natural that Chroniclers like the initiated Gnostics, pledged to secresy, should veil or cloak the final meaning of their oldest and most sacred teachings. The right of the Church fathers to cover the whole with an epitheme of euhemerized fancy is rather more dubious.45 The Gnostic Scribe and Chronicler deceived no one. Every Initiate into the Archaic gnosis—whether of the pre-Christian or post-Christian period—knew well the value of every word of the "mystery-language." For these Gnostics—the inspirers of primitive Christianity—were "the most cultured, the most learned and most wealthy of the Christian name," as Gibbon has it. Neither they,

45 "The claim of Christianity to possess Divine authority rests on the ignorant belief that the mystical Christ could and did become a Person, whereas the gnosis proves the corporeal Christ to be only a counterfeit Presentment of the trans-corporeal man; consequently, historical portraiture is, and ever must be, a fatal mode of falsifying and discrediting the Spiritual Reality." (G. Massey, "Gnostic and Historic Christianity.")


nor their humbler followers, were in danger of accepting the dead letter of their own texts. But it was different with the victims of the fabricators of what is now called orthodox and historic Christianity. Their successors have all been made to fall into the mistakes of the "foolish Galatians" reproved by Paul, who, as he tells them (Galat. iii. 1-5), having begun (by believing) in the Spirit (of Christos), "ended by believing in the flesh,"—i.e., a corporeal Christ. For such is the true meaning of the Greek sentence,46 "ἐναρξάμενοι Πνεύματι νυ̑ν σαρκὶ ἐπιτελει̑όθε." That Paul was a gnostic, a founder of a new sect of gnosis which recognized, as all other gnostic sects did, a "Christ-Spirit," though it went against its opponents, the rival sects, is sufficiently clear to all but dogmatists and theologians. Nor is it less clear that the primitive teachings of Jesus, whenever he may have lived, could be discovered only in Gnostic teachings; against which discovery, the falsifiers who dragged down Spirit into matter, thus degrading the noble philosophy of primeval Wisdom-Religion, have taken ample precautions from the first. The works of Basilides alone—"The philosopher devoted to the contemplation of Divine things," as Clement describes him—the 24 volumes of his interpretations upon the Gospels—were all burned by order of the Church, Eusebius tells us (Η. E., iv. 7).

As these Interpretations were written at a time when the Gospels we have now, were not yet in existence,47 here is a good proof that the Evangel, the doctrines of which were delivered to Basilides by the Apostle Matthew, and Glaucus, the disciple of Peter (Clemens Al. "Strom." vii. 7, §106), must have differed widely from the present New Testament. Nor can these doctrines be judged by the distorted accounts of them left to posterity by Tertullian. Yet even the little this partisan fanatic gives, shows the chief gnostic doctrines to be identical, under their own peculiar terminology and personations, with those of the Secret Doctrine of the East. For, discussing Basilides, the "pious, godlike, theosophic philosopher," as Clement of Alexandria thought him, Tertullian exclaims:

46 This sentence analyzed means "Shall you, who in the beginning looked to the Christ-Spirit, now end by believing in a Christ of flesh," or it means nothing. The verb ἐπιτελου̑μαι has not the meaning of "becoming perfect," but of "ending by," becoming so. Paul’s lifelong struggle with Peter and others, and what he himself tells of his vision of a Spiritual Christ and not of Jesus of Nazareth, as in the Acts—are so many proofs of this.

47 See "Supern. Relig.," vol. ii., chap. "Basilides."


After this, Basilides, the heretic, broke loose.48 He asserted that there is a Supreme God, by name Abraxas, by whom Mind (Mahat) was created, which the Greeks call Nous. From this emanated the Word; from the Word, Providence; from Providence, Virtue and Wisdom; from these two again, Virtues, Principalities,49 and Powers were made; thence infinite productions and emissions of angels. Among the lowest angels, indeed, and those that made this world, he sets last of all the god of the Jews, whom he denies to be God himself, affirming that he is but one of the angels.50 (Isis Unv. vol. ii.)

Another proof of the claim that the Gospel of Matthew in the usual Greek texts is not the original gospel written in Hebrew, is given by no less an authority than S. Jerome (or Hieronymus). The suspicion of a conscious and gradual euhemerization of the Christ principle ever since the beginning, grows into a conviction, once that one becomes acquainted with a certain confession contained in book ii. of the "Comment, to Matthew" by Hieronymus. For we find in it the proofs of a deliberate substitution of the whole gospel, the one now in the Canon having been evidently rewritten by this too zealous Church Father.51 He says that he was sent toward the close of the fourth century by "their Felicities," the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus to Cæsarea, with the mission to compare the Greek text (the only one they ever had) with the Hebrew original version preserved by the Nazarenes in their library, and to translate it. He translated it, but under protest; for, as he says, the Evangel "exhibited matter not for edification, but for destruction.52 The "destruction" of what? Of the dogma that Jesus

48 It was asked in "Isis Unveiled," were not the views of the Phrygian Bishop Montanus, also deemed a HERESY by the Church of Rome? It is quite extraordinary to see how easily that Church encourages the abuse of one heretic, Tertullian, against another heretic, Basilides, when the abuse happens to further her own object.

49 Does not Paul himself speak of "Principalities and Powers in heavenly places" (Ephesians iii. 10; i. 21), and confess that there be gods many and Lords many (Kurioi)? And angels, powers (Dunameis), and Principalities? (See I Corinthians viii. 5; and Epistle to Romans, viii. 38.)

50 Tertullian: "Præscript." It is undeniably owing only to a remarkably casuistical, sleight-of-hand-like argument that Jehovah, who in the Kabala is simply a Sephiroth, the third, left-hand power among the Emanations (Binah), has been elevated to the dignity of the One absolute God. Even in the Bible he is but one of the Elohim (See Genesis, chapter iii. v. 22, "The Lord God" making no difference between himself and others.)

51 This is history. How far that re-writing of, and tampering with, the primitive gnostic fragments which are now become the New Testament, went, may be inferred by reading "Supernatural Religion," which went through over twenty-three editions, if I mistake not. The host of authorities for it given by the author, is simply appalling. The list of the English and German Bible critics alone seems endless.

52 The chief details are given in "Isis Unveiled," vol ii., pp. 180-183, et seq. Truly faith in the infallibility of the Church must be stone-blind—or it could not have failed being killed and—dying.


of Nazareth and the Christos are one—evidently; hence for the "destruction" of the newly planned religion.53 In this same letter the Saint (who advised his converts to kill their fathers, trample on the bosom that fed them, by walking over the bodies of their mothers, if the parents stood as an obstacle between their sons and Christ)—admits that Matthew did not wish his gospel to be openly written, hence that the MS. was a secret one. But while admitting also that this gospel "was written in Hebrew characters and by the hand of himself " (Matthew), yet in another place he contradicts himself and assures posterity that as it was tampered with and re-written by a disciple of Manicheus, named Seleucus . . . "the ears of the Church properly refused to listen to it." (Hieron., "Comment, to Matthew," book ii. chapter xii., 13.)

No wonder that the very meaning of the terms Chrestos and Christos, and the bearing of both on "Jesus of Nazareth," a name coined out of Joshua the Nazar, has now become a dead letter for all with the exception of non-Christian Occultists. For even the Kabalists have no original data now to rely upon. The Zohar and the Kabala have been remodelled by Christian hands out of recognition; and were it not for a copy of the Chaldean Book of Numbers there would remain no better than garbled accounts. Let not our Brothers, the so-called Christian Kabalists of England and France, many of whom are Theosophists, protest too vehemently; for this is history (See Munk). It is as foolish to maintain, as some German Orientalists and modern critics still do, that the Kabala has never existed before the day of the Spanish Jew, Moses de Leon, accused of having forged this pseudograph in the 13th century, as to claim that any of the Kabalistical works now in our possession are as original as they were when Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochaï delivered the "traditions to his sons and followers. Not a single of these books is immaculate, none has escaped mutilation by Christian hands. Munk, one of the most learned and able critics of his day on this subject, proves it, while protesting as we do, against the assumption that it is a post-Christian forgery, for he says:

"It appears evident to us that the author made use of ancient documents, and among these of certain Midraschim or collections of traditions and Biblical expositions, which we do not now possess."

After which, quoting from Tholuck (1. c. pp. 24 and 31), he

53 See Hieronymus: "De Viros," illust. cap. 3; Olshausen: "Neuen Text.," p. 32. The Greek text of Matthew’s Gospel is the only one used or ever possessed by the Church.



"Haya Gaon, who died in 1038, is to our knowledge the first author who developed the theory of the Sephiroth and he gave to them the names which we find again to be among the Kabalists (Tellenik, Moses ben Schem Tob di Leon, p. 13, note 5); this doctor, who had intimate intercourse with the Syrian and Chaldean Christian savans, was enabled by these last to acquire a knowledge of some of the Gnostic writings."

Which "Gnostic writings" and esoteric tenets passed part and parcel into the Kabalistic works, with many more modern interpolations that we now find in the Zohar, as Munk well proves. The Kabala is Christian now, not Jewish.

Thus, what with several generations of most active Church Fathers ever working at the destruction of old documents and the preparation of new passages to be interpolated in those which happened to survive, there remains of the Gnostics—the legitimate offspring of the Archaic Wisdom-religion—but a few unrecognisable shreds. But a particle of genuine gold will glitter for ever; and, however garbled the accounts left by Tertullian and Epiphanius of the Doctrines of the "Heretics," an occultist can yet find even in them traces of those primeval truths which were once universally imparted during the mysteries of Initiation. Among other works with most suggestive allegories in them, we have still the so-called Apocryphal Gospels, and the last discovered as the most precious relic of Gnostic literature, a fragment called Pistis-Sophia, "Knowledge-Wisdom."

In my next article upon the Esoteric character of the Gospels, I hope to be able to demonstrate that those who translate Pistis by "Faith," are utterly wrong. The word "faith" as grace or something to be believed in through unreasoned or blind faith, is a word that dates only since Christianity. Nor has Paul ever used this term in this sense in his Epistles; and Paul was undeniably—an INITIATE.

Lucifer, November, December, 1887, February, 1888Η. P. B.



THEOSOPHISTS are very often, and very unjustly too, accused of infidelity and even of Atheism. This is a grave error, especially with regard to the latter charge.

In a large society, composed of so many races and nationalities, in an association wherein every man and woman is left to believe in whatever he or she likes, and to follow or not to follow—just as they please—the religion they were born and brought up in, there is but little room left for Atheism. As for "infidelity," it becomes a misnomer and a fallacy. To show how absurd is the charge, in any case, it is sufficient to ask our traducers to point out to us, in the whole civilized world, that person who is not regarded as an "infidel" by some other person belonging to some different creed. Whether one moves in highly respectable and orthodox circles, or in a so-called heterodox "society," it is all the same. It is a mutual accusation, tacitly, if not openly, expressed; a kind of a mental game at shuttlecock and battledore flung reciprocally, and in polite silence, at each other’s heads. In sober reality, then, no theosophist any more than a non-theosophist can be an infidel; while, on the other hand, there is no human being living who is not an infidel in the opinion of some sectarian or other. As to the charge of Atheism, it is quite another question.

What is Atheism, we ask, first of all? Is it disbelief in and denial of the existence of a God, or Gods, or simply the refusal to accept a personal deity on the somewhat gushy definition of R. Hall, who explains Atheism as "a ferocious system" because, "it leaves nothing above (?) us to excite awe, nor around us to awaken tenderness" (!) If the former, then most of our members—the hosts in India, Burmah, and elsewhere—would demur, as they believe in Gods and supernal beings, and are in great awe of some of them. Nor would a number of Western Theosophists fail to confess their full belief in Spirits, whether spatial or planetary, ghosts or angels. Many of us accept the existence of high and low Intelligences, and of Beings as great as any "personal" God. This is no occult secret.


What we confessed to in the November LUCIFER (editorial), we reiterate again. Most of us believe in the survival of the Spiritual Ego, in Planetary Spirits and Nirmanakayas, those great Adepts of the past ages, who, renouncing their right to Nirvana, remain in our spheres of being, not as "spirits" but as complete spiritual human Beings. Save their corporeal, visible envelope, which they leave behind, they remain as they were, in order to help poor humanity, as far as can be done without sinning against Karmic law. This is the "Great Renunciation," indeed; an incessant, conscious self-sacrifice throughout æons and ages till that day when the eyes of blind mankind will open and, instead of the few, all will see the universal truth. These Beings may well be regarded as God and Gods—if they would but allow the fire in our hearts, at the thought of that purest of all sacrifices, to be fanned into the flame of adoration, or the smallest altar in their honour. But they will not. Verily, "the secret heart is fair Devotion’s (only) temple," and any other, in this case, would be no better than profane ostentation.

Now with regard to other invisible Beings, some of whom are still higher, and others far lower on the scale of divine evolution. To the latter we will have nothing to say; the former will have nothing to say to us: for we are as good as non-existent for them. The homogeneous can take no cognizance of the heterogeneous; and unless we learn to shuffle off our mortal coil and commune with them "spirit to spirit," we can hardly hope to recognize their true nature. Moreover, every true Theosophist holds that the divine HIGHER SELF of every mortal man is of the same essence as the essence of these Gods. Being, moreover, endowed with free-will, hence having, more than they, responsibility, we regard the incarnated EGO as far superior to, if not more divine than, any spiritual INTELLIGENCE still awaiting incarnation. Philosophically, the reason for this is obvious, and every metaphysician of the Eastern school will understand it. The incarnated EGO has odds against it which do not exist in the case of a pure divine Essence unconnected with matter; the latter has no personal merit, whereas the former is on his way to final perfection through the trials of existence, of pain and suffering. The shadow of Karma does not fall upon that which is divine and unalloyed, and so different from us that no relation can exist between the two. As to those deities which are regarded in the Hindu esoteric Pantheon as finite and therefore under the sway of Karma, no true philosopher would ever worship them;


they are signs and symbols.

Shall we then be regarded as atheists, only because while believing in Spiritual Hosts—those beings who have to be worshipped in their collectivity as a personal God—we reject them absolutely as representing the ONE Unknown? and because we affirm that the eternal Principle, the ALL in ALL, or the Absoluteness of the Totality, cannot be expressed by limited words, nor be symbolized by anything with conditioned and qualificative attributes? Shall we, moreover, permit to pass without protest the charge against us of idolatry—by the Roman Catholics, of all men? They, whose religion is as pagan as any other of the solar and element worshippers; whose creed was framed out for them, cut and dry, ages before the year I of Christian era; and whose dogmas and rites are the same as those of every idolatrous nation—if any such nation still exists in spirit anywhere at this day. Over the whole face of the earth, from the North to the South Pole, from the frozen gulfs of Northland to the torrid plains of Southern India, from Central America to Greece and Chaldea, the Solar Fire, as the symbol of divine Creative Power, of Life and Love, was worshipped. The union of the Sun (male element) with Earth and the Water (matter, the female element) was celebrated in the temples of the whole Universe. If Pagans had a feast commemorative of this union—which they celebrated nine months ere the Winter Solstice, when Isis was said to have conceived—so have the Roman Catholic Christians. The great and holy day of the Annunciation, the day on which the Virgin Mary "found favour with (her) God" and conceived "the Son of the Highest," is kept by Christians nine months before Christmas. Hence, the worship of the Fire, lights and lamps in the churches. Why? Because Vulcan, the fire-God, married Venus, the daughter of the Sea; that the Magi watched over the sacred fire in the East, and the Virgin-Vestals in the West. The Sun was the "Father"; Nature, the eternal Virgin-Mother: Osiris and Isis, Spirit-Matter, the latter worshipped under each of its three states by Pagan and Christian. Hence the Virgins—even in Japan—clothed with star-spangled blue, standing on the lunar crescent, as symbolical of female Nature (in her three elements of Air, Water, Earth); Fire or the male Sun, fecundating her yearly with his radiant beams (the "cloven tongues like as of fire" of the Holy Ghost).

In Kalevala the oldest epic Poem of the Finns, of the pre-Christian antiquity of which there remains no doubt in the minds of schol-


ars, we read of the gods of Finland, the gods of air and water, of fire and the forest, of Heaven and the Earth. In the superb translation by J. M. Crawford, in Rune L (Vol. II) the reader will find the whole legend of the Virgin Mary in

Mariatta, child of beauty,
Virgin-Mother of the Northland. . .

Ukko, the great Spirit, whose abode is in Yûmäla, the sky or Heaven, chooses the Virgin Mariatta as his vehicle to incarnate through her in a Man-God. She becomes pregnant by plucking and eating a red berry (marja), when, repudiated by her parents, she gives birth to a "Son immortal," in the manger of a stable. Then the "Holy Babe" disappears, and Mariatta is in search of him. She asks a star, "the guiding star of Northland," where her "holy baby lies hidden," but the star answers her angrily:—

If I knew, I would not tell thee;
’Tis thy child that me created,
In the cold to shine for ever. . . .

and tells the Virgin nothing. Nor will the golden moon help her, because, Mariatta’s babe having created her, left her in the great sky:—

Here to wander in the darkness,
All alone at eve to wander,
Shining for the good of others. . . .

It is only the "Silver Sun" who, taking pity upon the Virgin-Mother, tells her:—

Yonder is thy golden infant,
There thy holy babe lies sleeping,
Hidden to his belt in water,
Hidden in the reeds and rushes.

She takes the holy baby home, and while the mother calls him "Flower,"

Others named him Son of Sorrow.

Is this a post-Christian legend? Not at all; for, as said, it is essentially pagan in origin and recognized as pre-Christian. Hence, with such data in hand in literature, the ever-recurring taunts of idolatry and atheism, of infidelity and paganism, ought to cease. The term idolatry, moreover, is of Christian origin. It was used by the early Nazarenes, during the 2½ centuries of our era, against those nations who used temples and churches, statues and images, because they, the early Christians themselves, had neither temples, statues, nor images, all of which they abhorred. Therefore the term "idola-


trous" fits far better our accusers than ourselves, as this article will show. With Madonnas on every cross road, their thousands of statues, from Christs and Angels in every shape down to Popes and Saints, it is rather a dangerous thing for a Catholic to taunt any Hindu or Buddhist with idolatry. The assertion has now to be proved.


We may begin by the origin of the word God. What is the real and primitive meaning of the term? Its meanings and etymologies are as many as they are various. One of them shows the word derived from an old Persian and mystic term goda. It means "itself," or something self-emanating from the absolute Principle. The root word was godan— whence Wodan, Woden, and Odin, the Oriental radical having been left almost unaltered by the Germanic races. Thus they made of it gott, from which the adjective gut—"good," as also the term gotz, or idol, were derived. In ancient Greece, the word Zeus and Theos led to the Latin Deus. This goda, the emanation, is not, and cannot be, identical with that from which it radiates, and is, therefore, but a periodical, finite manifestation. Old Aratus, who wrote "full of Zeus are all the streets and the markets of man; full of Him is the sea and the harbours," did not limit his deity to such a temporary reflection on our terrestrial plane as Zeus, or even its antetype—Dyaus, but meant, indeed, the universal, omnipresent Principle. Before the radiant god Dyaus (the sky) attracted the notice of man, there was the Vedic Tad ("that") which, to the Initiate and philosopher, would have no definite name, and which was the absolute Darkness that underlies every manifested radiancy. No more than the mythical Jupiter—the latter reflection of Zeus—could Sûrya, the Sun, the first manifestation in the world of Maya and the Son of Dyaus, fail to be termed "Father" by the ignorant. Thus the Sun became very soon interchangeable and one with Dyaus; for some, the "Son," for others, the "Father" in the radiant sky; Dyaus-Pitar, the Father in the Son, and the Son in the Father, truly shows, however, his finite origin by having the Earth assigned to him as a wife. It is during the full decadence of metaphysical philosophy that Dyâva-prithivi "Heaven and Earth" began to be represented as the Universal cosmic parents, not alone of men, but of the gods also. From the original conception, abstract and poetical, the ideal cause fell into grossness. Dyaus, the sky, became very soon Dyaus or Heaven, the abode of the "Father," and finally, in-


deed, that Father himself. Then the Sun, upon being made the symbol of the latter, received the title of Dina-Kara "day-maker," of Bhaskara "light-maker," now the Father of his Son, and vice versa. The reign of ritualism and of anthropomorphic cults was henceforth established and finally degraded the whole world, retaining supremacy to the present civilized age.

Such being the common origin, we have but to contrast the two deities—the god of the Gentiles and the god of the Jews—on their own revealed WORD; and judging them on their respective definitions of themselves, conclude intuitively which is the nearest to the grandest ideal. We quote Colonel Ingersoll, who brings Jehovah and Brahma parallel with each other. The former, "from the clouds and darkness of Sinai," said to the Jews:—

Thou shalt have no other gods before me. . . . Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them; for I, the Lord thy God, am a jealous God. visiting the iniquities of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." Contrast this with the words put by the Hindu into the mouth of Brahm: "I am the same to all mankind. They who honestly serve other gods, involuntarily worship me. I am he who partaketh of all worship, and I am the reward of all worshippers." Compare these passages. The first, a dungeon where crawl the things begot of jealous slime; the other, great as the domed firmament inlaid with suns. . . .

The "first" is the god who haunted Calvin’s fancy, when he added to his doctrine of predestination that of Hell being paved with the skulls of unbaptized infants. The beliefs and dogmas of our churches are far more blasphemous in the ideas they imply than those of the benighted Heathen. The amours of Brahmâ, under the form of a buck, with his own daughter, as a deer, or of Jupiter with Leda, under that of a swan, are grand allegories. They were never given out as a revelation, but known to have been the products of the poetic fancy of Hesiod and other mythologists. Can we say as much of the immaculate daughters of the god of the Roman Catholic Church—Anna and Mary? Yet, even to breathe that the Gospel narratives are allegories too, as they would be most sacrilegious were they accepted in their dead letter, constitutes in a Christian born the acme of blasphemy!

Verily, they may whitewash and mask as much as they like the god of Abraham and Isaac, they shall never be able to disprove the assertion of Marcion, who denied that the God of Hate could be the


same as the "Father of Jesus." Heresy or not, but the "Father in Heaven" of the Churches remained since then a hybrid creature; a mixture between the Jove of the Pagan mobs and the "jealous God" of Moses, exoterically the SUN, whose abode is in Heaven, or the sky, esoterically. Does he not give birth to LIGHT "that shineth in Darkness," to the Day, the bright Dyaus, the Son, and is he not the MOST HIGH—Deus Cælum? And is it not again Terra, the "Earth," the ever immaculate as the ever prolific Virgin who, fecundated by the ardent embraces of her "Lord"—the fructifying rays of the Sun, becomes, in this terrestrial sphere, the mother of all that lives and breathes on her vast bosom? Hence, the sacredness of her products in Ritualism—the bread and the wine. Hence also, the ancient messis, the great sacrifice to the goddess of harvest (Ceres Eleusina, the Earth again): messis, for the Initiates, missa for the profane,1 now transformed into the Christian mass or liturgy. The ancient oblation of the fruits of the Earth to the Sun, the Deus Aitissimus, "the Most High," the symbol of the G. A. O. T.

U. of the Masons to this day, became the foundation of the most important ritual among the ceremonies of the new religion. The worship offered to Osiris-Isis (the Sun and the Earth),2 to Bel and the cruciform Astarte of the Babylonians; to Odin or Thor and Friga, of the Scandinavians; to Belen and the Virgo Paritura of the Celts; to Apollo and the Magna Mater of the Greeks; all these couples having the same meaning, passed bodily to, and were transformed by, the Christians into the Lord God or the Holy Ghost descending upon the Virgin Mary.

Deus Sol or Solus, the Father, was made interchangeable with the Son: the "Father" in his noon glory, he became the "Son" at Sun-rise, when he was said to "be born." This idea received its full apotheosis annually on December the 25th, during the Vernal Solstice, when the Sun—hence the solar gods of all the nations—was said to be born. Natalis solis invicte. And the "precursor" of the resurrecting Sun grows, and waxes strong, until the vernal equinox, when the god Sol begins its annual course, under the sign of the Ram or the Lamb, the first lunar week of the month. The 1st of March was feasted throughout all pagan Greece, as its neomenia

1 From pro, "before," and fanum, "the temple," i. e., the non-initiates who stood before the fane, but dared not enter it.—(Vide the Works of Ragon.)

2 The Earth, and the Moon, its parent, are interchangeable. Thus all the lunar goddesses were also the representative symbols of the Earth.—Vide The Secret Doctrine, "Symbolism."


was sacred to Diana. Christian nations celebrate their Easter, for the same reason, on the first Sunday that follows the full moon, at the Vernal Equinox. With the festivals of the Pagans, the canonicals of their priests and Hierophants were copied by Christendom. Will this be denied? In his "Life of Constantine" Eusebius confesses—thus saying, perhaps, the only truth he ever uttered in his life—that "in order to render Christianity more attractive to the Gentiles, the priests (of Christ) adopted the exterior vestments and ornaments used in the pagan cult." He might have added "their rituals" and dogmas also.


It is a matter of History—however unreliable the latter—for a number of facts preserved by ancient writers corroborate it, that Church Ritualism and Freemasonry have sprung from the same source, and developed hand in hand. But as Masonry, even with its errors and later innovations, was far nearer the truth than the Church, the latter began very soon her persecutions against it. Masonry was, in its origin, simply archaic Gnosticism, or early esoteric Christianity; Church Ritualism was, and is, exoteric paganism, pure and simple—remodelled, we do not say reformed. Read the works of Ragon, a Mason who forgot more than the Masons of to-day know. Study, collating them together, the casual but numerous statements made by Greek and Latin writers, many of whom were Initiates, most learned Neophytes and partakers of the Mysteries. Read finally the elaborate and venomous slanders of the Church Fathers against the Gnostics, the Mysteries and their Initiates—and you may end by unravelling the truth. It is a few philosophers who, driven by the political events of the day, tracked and persecuted by the fanatical Bishops of early Christianity—who had yet neither fixed ritual nor dogmas nor Church—it is these Pagans who founded the latter. Blending most ingeniously the truths of the Wisdom-religion with the exoteric fictions so dear to the ignorant mobs, it is they who laid the first foundations of ritualistic Churches and of the Lodges of modern Masonry. The latter fact was demonstrated by Ragon in his ANTE-OMNIÆ of the modern Liturgy compared with the ancient Mysteries, and showing the rituals conducted by the early Masons; the former may be ascertained by a like comparison of the Church canonicals, the sacred vessels, and the festivals of the Latin and other Churches, with those of the pagan nations. But Churches and Masonry have widely di-


verged since the days when both were one. If asked how a profane can know it, the answer comes: ancient and modern Freemasonry are an obligatory study with every Eastern Occultist.

Masonry, its paraphernalia and modern innovations (the Biblical Spirit in it especially) notwithstanding, does good both on the moral and physical planes—or did so, hardly ten years ago, at any rate.3 It was a true ecclesia in the sense of fraternal union and mutual help, the only religion in the world, if we regard the term as derived from the word religare, "to bind" together, as it made all men belonging to it "brothers"— regardless of race and faith. Whether with the enormous wealth at its command it could not do far more than it does now, is no business of ours. We see no visible, crying evil from this institution, and no one yet, save the Roman Church, has ever been found to show that it did any harm. Can Church Christianity say as much? Let ecclesiastical and profane history answer the question. For one, it has divided the whole mankind into Cains and Abels; it has slaughtered millions in the name of her God—the Lord of Hosts, truly, the ferocious Jehovah Sabbaoth—and instead of giving an impetus to civilization, the favourite boast of her followers—it has retarded it during the long and weary Mediæval ages. It is only under the relentless assaults of science and the revolt of men trying to free themselves, that it began to lose ground and could no longer arrest enlightenment. Yet has it not softened, as claimed, the "barbarous spirit of Heathendom"? We say no, most emphatically. It is Churchianity with its odium theologicum, since it could no longer repress human progress, which infused its lethal spirit of intolerance, its ferocious selfishness, greediness, and cruelty into modern civilization under the mask of cant and meek Christianity. When were the Pagan Cæsars more bloodthirsty or more coolly cruel than are the modern Potentates and their armies? When did the millions of the Proletariat starve as they do now? When has mankind shed more tears and suffered than at present?

Yes; there was a day when the Church and Masonry were one. These were centuries of intense moral reaction, a transitional period of thought as heavy as a nightmare, an age of strife. Thus, when the creation of new ideals led to the apparent pulling down of the

3 Since the origin of Masonry, the split between the British and American Masons and the French "Grand Orient" of the "Widow’s Sons" is the first one that has ever occurred. It bids fair to make of these two sections of Masonry a Masonic Protestant and a Roman Catholic Church, as far as regards ritualism and brotherly love, at all events.


old fanes and the destruction of old idols, it ended in reality with the rebuilding of those temples out of the old materials, and the erection of the same idols under new names. It was a universal rearrangement and whitewashing—but only skin deep. History will never be able to tell us—but tradition and judicious research do—how many semi-Hierophants and even high Initiates were forced to become renegades in order to ensure the survival of the secrets of Initiation. Prætextatus, pro-consul at Achaia, is credited with remarking in the IVth century of our era, that "to deprive the Greeks of the sacred mysteries which bind together the whole mankind was equivalent to depriving them of their life." The Initiates took perhaps the hint, and thus joining nolens volens the followers of the new faith, then becoming all domineering, acted accordingly. Some hellenized Jewish Gnostics did the same; and thus more than one "Clemens Alexandrinus"—a convert to all appearance, an ardent Neo-Platonist and the same philosophical pagan at heart—became the instructor of ignorant Christian Bishops. In short the convert malgré lui blended the two external mythologies, the old and the new, and while giving out the compound to the masses, kept the sacred truths for himself.

The kind of Christians they made may be inferred from the example of Synesius, the Neo-Platonist. What scholar is ignorant of the fact, or would presume to deny, that the favourite and devoted pupil of Hypatia—the virgin-philosopher, the martyr and victim of the infamous Cyril of Alexandria—had not even been baptised when first offered by the bishops of Egypt the Episcopalian See of the Ptolemaïd? Every student is aware that, when finally baptised, after having accepted the office proffered, it was so skin-deep that he actually signed his consent only after his conditions had been complied with and his future privileges guaranteed. What the chief clause was, is curious. It was a sine quâ non condition that he was to be allowed to abstain from professing the (Christian) doctrines, that he, the new Bishop, did not believe in! Thus, although baptised and ordained in the degrees of deaconship, priesthood, and episcopate, he never separated himself from his wife, never gave up his Platonic philosophy, nor even his sport so strictly forbidden to every other bishop. This occurred as late as the Vth century.

Such transactions between initiated philosophers and ignorant priests of reformed Judaism were numerous in those days. The


former sought to save their "mystery-vows" and personal dignity, and to do so they had to resort to a much-to-be-regretted compromise with ambition, ignorance, and the rising wave of popular fanaticism. They believed in Divine Unity, the ONE or Solus, unconditioned and unknowable; and still they consented to render public homage and pay reverence to Sol, the Sun moving among his twelve apostles, the 12 signs of the Zodiac, alias the 12 Sons of Jacob. The hoi polloi remaining ignorant of the former, worshipped the latter, and in them, their old time-honoured gods. To transfer that worship from the solar-lunar and other cosmic deities to the Thrones, Archangels, Dominions, and Saints was no difficult matter; the more so since the said sidereal dignities were received into the new Christian Canon with their old names almost unchanged. Thus, while, during Mass, the "Grand Elect" reiterated, under his breath, his absolute adherence to the Supreme Universal Unity of the "incomprehensible Workman," and pronounced in solemn and loud tones the "Sacred Word" (now substituted by the Masonic "Word at low breath"), his assistant proceeded with the chanting of the Kyriel of names of those inferior sidereal beings whom the masses were made to worship. To the profane catechumen, indeed, who had offered prayers but a few months or weeks before to the Bull Apis and the holy Cynocephalus, to the sacred ibis and the hawk-headed Osiris, St. John’s eagle4 and the divine Dove (witness of the Baptism while hovering over the Lamb of God), must have appeared as the most natural development and sequence to his own national and sacred zoology, which he had been taught to worship since the day of his birth.


It may thus be shown that both modern Freemasonry and Church ritualism descend in direct line from initiated Gnostics, Neo-Platonists, and renegade Hierophants of the Pagan Mysteries, the secrets of which they have lost, but which have been nevertheless

4 It is an error to say that John the Evangelist became the patron Saint of Masonry only after the XVIth century, and it implies a double mistake. Between John the "Divine," the "Seer" and the writer of Revelation, and John the Evangelist who is now shown in company of the Eagle, there is a great difference, as the latter John is a creation of Irenæus, along with the fourth gospel. Both were the result of the quarrel of the Bishop of Lyons with the Gnostics, and no one will ever tell what was the real name of the writer of the grandest of the Evangels. But what we do know is, that the Eagle is the legal property of John, the author of the Apocalypsis, written originally centuries B. C., and only re-edited, before receiving canonical hospitality. This John, or Oannes, was the accepted patron of all the Egyptian and Greek Gnostics (who were the early Builders or Masons of "Solomon’s Temple," as, earlier, of the Pyramids) from the beginning of


preserved by those who would not compromise. If both Church and Masons are willing to forget the history of their true origin, the theosophists are not. They repeat: Masonry and the three great Christian religions are all inherited goods. The "ceremonies and passwords" of the former, and the prayers, dogmas, and rites of the latter, are travestied copies of pure Paganism (copied and borrowed as diligently by the Jews), and of Neo-Platonic theosophy. Also, that the "passwords" used even now by Biblical Masons and connected with "the tribe of Judah," "Tubal-Cain," and other Zodiacal dignitaries of the Old Testament, are the Jewish aliases of the ancient gods of the heathen mobs, not of the gods of the Hierogrammatists, the interpreters of the true mysteries. That which follows proves it well. The good Masonic Brethren could hardly deny that in name they are Solicoles indeed, the worshippers of the Sun in heaven, in whom the erudite Ragon saw such a magnificent symbol of the G. A. Ο. T. U.—which it surely is. Only the trouble he had was to prove—which no one can—that the said G. A. Ο. T. U. was not rather the Sol of the small exoteric fry of the Pro-fanes than the Solus of the High Epoptai. For the secret of the fires of SOLUS, the spirit of which radiates in the "Blazing Star," is a Hermetic secret which, unless a Mason studies true theosophy, is lost to him for ever. He has ceased to understand now, even the little indiscretions of Tshuddi. To this day Masons and Christians keep the Sabbath sacred, and call it the "Lord’s" day; yet they know as well as any that both Sunday, and the Sonntag of Protestant England and Germany, mean the Sun-day or the day of the Sun, as it meant 2,000 years ago.

And you, Reverend and good Fathers, Priests, Clergymen, and Bishops, you who so charitably call theosophy "idolatry" and doom its adherents openly and privately to eternal perdition, can you boast of one single rite, vestment, or sacred vessel in church or temple that does not come to you from paganism? Nay, to assert it would be too dangerous, in view, not only of history, but also of

time. The Eagle was his attribute, the most archaic of symbols—being the Egyptian Ah, the bird of Zeus, and sacred to the Sun with every ancient people. Even the Jews adopted it among the Initiated Kabalists, as "the symbol of the Sephirah Tiph-e-reth, the spiritual Æther or air," says Mr. Myer’s "Qabbalah." With the Druids the eagle was the symbol of the Supreme Deity, and again a portion of the cherubic symbol. Adopted by the pre-Christian Gnostics, it could be seen at the foot of the Tau in Egypt, before it was placed in the Rose-Croix degree at the foot of the Christian cross. Pre-eminently the bird of the Sun, the Eagle is necessarily connected with every solar god, and is the symbol of every seer who looks into the astral light, and sees in it the shadows of the Past, Present, and Future, as easily as the Eagle looks at the Sun.


the confessions of your own priestly craft.

Let us recapitulate if only to justify our assertions.

"Roman sacrificators had to confess before sacrificing," writes du Choul. The priests of Jupiter donned a tall, square, black cap (Vide Armenian and Greek modern priests), the head dress of the Flamines. The black soutane of the Roman Catholic priest is the black hierocoraces, the loose robe of the Mithraic priests, so-called from being raven coloured (raven, corax). The King-Priest of Babylon had a golden sealring and slippers kissed by the conquered potentates, a white mantle, a tiara of gold, to which two bandelets were suspended. The popes have the sealring and the slippers for the same use; a white satin mantle bordered with golden stars, a tiara with two bejewelled bandelets suspended to it, etc., etc. The white linen alb (alba vestis) is the garment of the priests of Isis: the top of the heads of the priests of Anubis was shaven (Juvenal), hence the tonsure; the chasuble of the Christian "Father" is the copy from the upper garment of the Phoenician priest-sacrificers, a garment called calasiris, tied at the neck and descending to their heels. The stole comes to our priests from the female garment worn by the Galli, the male—Nautches of the temple, whose office was that of the Jewish Kadashim; (Vide II Kings 23:7, for the true word) their belt of purity (?) from the ephod of the Jews, and the lsiac cord; the priests of Isis being vowed to chastity. (Vide Ragon, for details.)

The ancient pagans used holy water or lustrations to purify their cities, fields, temples, and men, just as it is being done now in Roman Catholic countries. Fonts stood at the door of every temple, full of lustral water and called favisses and aquiminaria. Before sacrificing, the pontiff or the curion (whence the French curé), dipping a laurel branch into the lustral water, sprinkled with it the pious congregation assembled, and that which was then termed lustrica and aspergilium is now called sprinkler (or goupillon, in French). The latter was with the priestesses of Mithra the symbol of the Universal lingam. Dipped during the Mysteries in lustral milk, the faithful were sprinkled with it. It was the emblem of Universal fecundity; hence the use of the holy water in Christianity, a rite of phallic origin. More than this; the idea underlying it is purely occult and belongs to ceremonial magic. Lustrations were performed by fire, sulphur, air, and water. To draw the attention of the celestial gods, ablutions were resorted to; to conjure the nether gods away, aspersion was used.

The vaulted ceilings of cathedrals and churches, Greek or Latin,


are often painted blue and studded with golden stars, to represent the canopy of the heavens. This is copied from the Egyptian temples, where solar and star worship was performed. Again, the same reverence is paid in Christian and Masonic architecture to the Orient (or the Eastern point) as in the days of Paganism. Ragon described it fully in his destroyed volumes. The princeps porta, the door of the World, and of the "King of Glory," by whom was meant at first the Sun, and now his human symbol, the Christ, is the door of the Orient, and faces the East in every church and temple.5 It is through this "door of life"—the solemn pathway, through which the daily entrance of the luminary into the oblong square6 of the earth or the Tabernacle of the Sun is effected every morning—that the "newly born" babe is ushered, and carried to the baptismal font; and it is to the left of this edifice (the gloomy north whither start the "apprentices," and where the candidates got their trial by water) that now the fonts, and in the days of old the well (piscinas) of lustral waters, were placed in the ancient churches, which had been pagan fanes. The altars of heathen Lutetia were buried, and found again under the choir of Notre-Dame of Paris, its ancient lustral wells existing to this day in the said Church. Almost every great ancient Church on the Continent that antedates the Middle Ages was once a pagan temple in virtue of the orders issued by the Bishops and Popes of Rome. Gregory the Great (Platine en sa Vie) commands the monk Augustine, his missionary in England, in this wise: "Destroy the idols, never the temples! Sprinkle them with holy water, place in them relics, and let the nations worship in the places they are accustomed to." We have but to turn to the works of Cardinal Baronius, to find in the year XXXVIth of his Annals his confession. The Holy Church, he says, was permitted to appropriate the rites and ceremonies used by the pagans in their idolatrous cult, since she (the Church) expiated them by her consecration! In the Antiquités Gaulises (Book II, Ch. 19) by Fauchet, we read that the Bishops of France adopted and used the pagan ceremonies in order to convert followers to Christ.

5 Except, perhaps, the temples and chapels of dissident Protestants, which are built anywhere, and used for more than one purpose. In America I know of chapels hired for fairs and shows, and even theatres; to-day a chapel, the day after sold for debts, and fitted for a gin shop or a public house. I speak of chapels, of course, not of Churches and Cathedrals.

6 A Masonic term; a symbol of the Arks of Noah, and of the Covenant, of the Temple of Solomon, the Tabernacle, and the Camp of the Israelites, all built as "oblong squares." Mercury and Apollo were represented by oblong cubes and squares, and so is Kaaba, the great temple at Mecca.


This was when Gaul was still a pagan country. Are the same rites and ceremonies used now in Christian France, and other Roman Catholic countries, still going on in grateful remembrance of the pagans and their gods?


Up to the IVth century the churches knew of no altars. Up to that date the altar was a table raised in the middle of the temple, for purposes of Communion, or fraternal repasts (the Cœna, as mass was originally said in the evening). In the same way now the table is raised in the "Lodge" for Masonic Banquets, which usually close the proceedings of a Lodge and at which the resurrected Hiram Abifs, the "Widow’s Sons," honour their toasts by firing, a Masonic mode of transubstantiation. Shall we call their banquet tables altars, also? Why not? The altars were copies from the ara maxima of pagan Rome. The Latins placed square and oblong stones near their tombs, and called them ara, altar; they were consecrated to the gods Lares and Manes. Our altars are a derivation from these square stones, another form of the boundary stones known as the gods Termini—the Hermeses, and the Mercuries, whence Mercurius quadratus, quadriceps, quadrifrons, etc., etc., the four-faced gods, whose symbols these square stones were, from the highest antiquity. The stone on which the ancient kings of Ireland were crowned was such an "altar." Such a stone is in Westminster Abbey, endowed, moreover, with a voice. Thus our altars and thrones descend directly from the priapic boundary stones of the pagans—the gods termini.

Shall the church-going reader feel very indignant if he is told that the Christians adopted the pagan way of worshipping in a temple, only during the reign of Diocletianus? Up to that period they had an insurmountable horror for altars and temples, and held them in abomination for the first 250 years of our era. These primitive Christians were Christians indeed; the moderns are more pagan than any ancient idolators. The former were the Theosophists of those days; from IVth century they became Helleno-Judaic Gentiles minus the philosophy of the Neo-Platonists. Read what Minutius Felix says in the IIIrd century to the Romans:—

You fancy that we (Christians) conceal that which we worship because we will have neither temples nor altars? But what image of God shall we raise, since Man is himself God’s image? What temple can we build to the Deity, when the Universe,


which is Its work, can hardly contain It? How shall we enthrone the power of such Omnipotence in a single building? Is it not far better to consecrate to the Deity a temple in our heart and spirit?

But then the Chrestians of the type of Minutius Felix had in their mind the commandment of the MASTER-INITIATE, not to pray in the synagogues and temples as the hypocrites do, "that they may be seen of men." (Matthew 6:5.) They remembered the declaration of Paul, the Apostle-Initiate, the "Master Builder" (I Corinthians 3:10), that MAN was the one temple of God, in which the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, dwelleth. (Ibid.) They obeyed the truly Christian precepts, whereas the modern Christians obey but the arbitrary canons of their respective churches, and the rules of their Elders. "Theosophists are notorious Atheists," exclaims a writer in the "Church Chronicle." "Not one of them is ever known to attend divine service . . . the Church is obnoxious to them"; and forthwith uncorking the vials of his wrath, he pours out their contents on the infidel, heathen F.T.S. The modern Churchman stones the Theosophist as his ancient forefather, the Pharisee of the "Synagogue of the Libertines" (Acts 6:9) stoned Stephen, for saying that which even many Christian Theosophists say, namely that "the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands" (Ibid. 48); and they "suborn men" just as these iniquitous judges did (Ibid. II) to testify against us.

Forsooth, friends, you are indeed the righteous descendants of your predecessors, whether of the colleagues of Saul, or of those of Pope Leo X, the cynical author of the ever famous sentence: "How useful to us this fable of Christ," "Quantum nobis prodest hac fabula Christi!"


The "Solar Myth" theory has become in our day stale—ad nauseam—repeated as we hear it from the four cardinal points of Orientalism and Symbolism, and applied indiscriminately to all things and all religions, except Church Christianity and state-religion. No doubt the Sun was throughout the whole antiquity and since days immemorial the symbol of the Creative Deity—with every nation, not with the Parsis alone; but so he is with the Ritualists. As in days of old, so it is now. Our central star is the "Father" for the pro-fanes, the Son of the ever unknowable Deity for the Epoptai. Says the same Mason, Ragon, "the Sun was the most


sublime and natural image of the GREAT ARCHITECT, as the most ingenious of all the allegories under which the moral and good man (the true sage) had ever endowed infinite and limitless Intelligence." Apart from the latter assumption, Ragon is right; for he shows this symbol gradually receding from the ideal so represented and conceived, and becoming finally from a symbol the original, in the minds of his ignorant worshippers. Then the great Masonic author proves that it is the physical Sun which was regarded as both the Father and the Son by the early Christians.

"Oh, initiated Brethren," be exclaims. "Can you forget that in the temples of the existing religion a large lamp burns night and day? It is suspended in front of the chief altar, the depository of the ark of the Sun. Another lamp burning before the altar of the virgin-mother is the emblem of the light of the moon. Clemens Alexandrinus tells us that the Egyptians were the first to establish the religious use of the lamps. . . . Who does not know that the most sacred and terrible duty was entrusted to the Vestals? If the Masonic temples are lighted with three astral lights, the sun, the moon, and Episcopes (Wardens, in French Surveillants), it is because one of the Fathers of Masonry, the learned Pythagoras, ingenuously suggests that we should not speak of divine things without a light. Pagans celebrated a festival of lamps called Lampadophorics in honour of Minerva, Prometheus, and Vulcan. But Lactantius and some of the earliest fathers of the new faith complained bitterly of this pagan introduction of lamps in the Churches; ‘If they deigned,’ writes Lactantius, ‘to contemplate that light which we call the SUN, they would soon recognise that God has no need of their lamps.’ And Vigilantius adds: ‘Under the pretext of religion the Church established a Gentile custom of lighting vile candles, while the SUN is there illuminating us with a thousand lights. Is it not a great honour for the LAMB OF GOD (the sun thus represented), which placed in the middle of the throne (the Universe) fills it with the radiance of his Majesty?’ Such passages prove to us that in those days the primitive Church worshipped THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE WORLD in its image the SUN, sole of its kind." (The Mass and its Mysteries, pp. 19 and 20.)

Indeed, while Christian candidates have to pronounce the Masonic oath turned to the East and that their "Venerable" keeps in the Eastern corner, because the Neophytes were made to do the same during the Pagan Mysteries, the Church has, in her turn, preserved the identical rite. During the High Mass, the High-Altar (ara maxima) is ornamented with the Tabernacle, or the pyx (the box in which the Host is kept), and with six lighted tapers. The esoteric meaning of the pyx and contents—the symbol of the Christ-Sun—


is that it represents the resplendent luminary, and the six tapers the six planets (the early Christians knowing of no more), three on his right and three on his left. This is a copy of the seven-branched candlestick of the synagogue, which has an identical meaning. "Sol est Dominus Meus" "the Sun is my Lord!" exclaims David in Psalm 95, translated very ingeniously in the authorized version by "The Lord is a great God," "a great King above all Gods" (v. 3), or planets truly! Augustin Chalis is more sincere in his Philosophie des Religions Compareés (Vol. II, p. 18), when he writes:

All are devs (demons), on this Earth, save the God of the Seers (Initiates) the sublime IAO; and if in Christ you see aught than the SUN, then you adore a dev, a phantom such as are all the children of night.

The East being the cardinal point whence arises the luminary of the Day, the great giver and sustainer of life, the creator of all that lives and breathes on this globe, what wonder if all the nations of the Earth worshipped in him the visible agent of the invisible Principle and Cause; and that mass should be said in the honour of him who is the giver of messis or "harvest." But, between worshipping the ideal as a whole, and the physical symbol, a part chosen to represent that whole and the ALL, there is an abyss. For the learned Egyptian, the Sun was the "eye" of Osiris, not Osiris himself; the same for the learned Zoroastrians. For the early Christians the Sun became the Deity, in toto; and by dint of casuistics, sophistry, and dogmas not to be questioned, the modern Christian churches have contrived to force even the educated world to accept the same, while hypnotising it into a belief that their god is the one living true Deity, the maker of, not the Sun—a demon worshipped by the "heathen." But what may be the difference between a wicked demon, and the anthropomorphic God, e.g., as represented in Solomon’s Proverbs? That "God," unless poor, helpless, ignorant men call upon him, when their "fear cometh as desolation" and their "destruction as a whirlwind," threatens them in such words as these: "I will laugh at your calamities, I will mock when your fear cometh!" (Prov. 1:27.) Identify this God with the great Avatar on whom the Christian legend is hung; make him one with that true Initiate who said, "Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted": and what is the result? Such identification alone is quite sufficient to justify the fiendish joy of Tertullian, who laughed and rejoiced at the idea of his infidel next of kin roasting in hell-fire;


the advice of Hieronymus to the Christian convert to trample over the body of his pagan mother, if she seeks to prevent him leaving her for ever to follow Christ; and it makes of all the Church tyrants, murderers, and omnes gentes of the Inquisition, the grandest and noblest exemplars of practical Christianity that have ever lived!


The ritualism of primitive Christianity—as now sufficiently shown—sprang from ancient Masonry. The latter was, in its turn, the offspring of the, then, almost dead Mysteries. Of these we have now a few words to say.

It is well known that throughout antiquity, besides the popular worship composed of the dead-letter forms and empty exoteric ceremonies, every nation had its secret cult known to the world as the MYSTERIES. Strabo, one among many others, warrants for this assertion. (Vide Georg, lib. 10.) No one received admittance into them save those prepared for it by special training. The neophytes instructed in the upper temples were initiated into the final Mysteries in the crypts. These instructions were the last surviving heirlooms of archaic wisdom, and it is under the guidance of high Initiates that they were enacted. We use the word "enacted" purposely; for the oral instructions at low breath were given only in the crypts, in solemn silence and secrecy. During the public classes and general teachings, the lessons in cosmogony and theogony were delivered in allegorical representation, the modus operandi of the gradual evolution of Kosmos, worlds, and finally of our earth, of gods and men, all was imparted in a symbolical way. The great public performances during the festivals of the Mysteries, were witnessed by the masses and the personified truths worshipped by the multitudes—blindly. Alone the high Initiates, the Epoptœ, understood their language and real meaning. All this, and so far, is well known to the world of scholars.

It was a common claim of all the ancient nations that the real mysteries of what is called so unphilosophically, creation, were divulged to the elect of our (fifth) race by its first dynasties of divine Rulers—gods in flesh, "divine incarnations," or Avatars, so called. The last Stanzas, given from the Book of Dzyan in The Secret Doctrine (Vol. II, p. 21), speak of those who ruled over the descendants "produced from the holy stock," and . . . "who re-descended, who


made peace with the fifth (race) who taught and instructed it."

The phrase "made peace" shows that there had been a previous quarrel. The fate of the Atlanteans in our philosophy, and that of the prediluvians in the Bible, corroborates the idea. Once more—many centuries before the Ptolemies—the same abuse of the sacred knowledge crept in amongst the initiates of the Sanctuary in Egypt. Preserved for countless ages in all their purity, the sacred teachings of the gods, owing to personal ambition and selfishness, became corrupted again. The meaning of the symbols found itself but too often desecrated by unseemly interpretations, and very soon the Eleusinian Mysteries remained the only ones pure from adulteration and sacrilegious innovations. These were in honour of (Ceres) Demeter, or Nature, and were celebrated in Athens, the flowers of the intellect of Asia Minor and Greece being initiated thereinto. In his 4th Book, Zosimus states that these Initiates embraced the whole of mankind;7 while Aristides calls the Mysteries the common temple of the earth.

It is to preserve some reminiscence of this "temple," and to rebuild it, if need be, that certain elect ones among the initiated began to be set apart. This was done by their High Hierophants in every century, from the time when the sacred allegories showed the first signs of desecration and decay. For the great Elusinia finally shared the same fate as the others. Their earlier excellency and purpose are described by Clement of Alexandria who shows the greater Mysteries divulging the secrets and the mode of construction of the Universe, this being the beginning, the end and the ultimate goal of human knowledge, for in them was shown to the initiated Nature and all things as they are. (Strom. 8.) This is the Pythagorean Gnosis, ἡγνω̑σις τω̑ν ὄντων. Epictetus speaks of these instructions in the highest terms: "All that is ordained therein was established by our masters for the instruction of men and the correction of our customs." (Apud Arrian. Dissert, lib. cap. 21.) Plato asserts in the Phædo the same: the object of the Mysteries was to re-establish the soul in its primordial purity, or that state of perfection from which it had fallen.


But there came a day when the Mysteries deviated from their

7 Says Cicero in de Nat. Deorum, lib. I—"omitto Eleusinam sanctam illam et augustam; ab initiantur gentes orarum ultima."


purity in the same way as the exoteric religions. This began when the State bethought itself, on the advice of Aristogeiton (510 B.C.), of drawing from the Eleusinia a constant and prolific source of income. A law was passed to that effect. Henceforth, no one could be initiated without paying a certain sum of money for the privilege. That boon which could hitherto be acquired only at the price of incessant, almost superhuman effort, toward virtue and excellency, was now to be purchased for so much gold. Laymen— and even priests themselves—while accepting the desecration lost eventually their past reverence for the inner Mysteries, and this led to further profanation of the Sacred Science. The rent made in the veil widened with every century; and more than ever the Supreme Hierophants, dreading the final publication and distortion of the most holy secrets of nature, laboured to eliminate them from the inner programme, limiting the full knowledge thereof but to the few. It is those set apart who soon became the only custodians of the divine heirloom of the ages. Seven centuries later, we find Apuleius, his sincere inclination toward magic and the mystical notwithstanding, writing in his Golden Ass a bitter satire against the hypocrisy and debauchery of certain orders of half-initiated priests. It is through him also, that we learn that in his day (IInd century A.D.) the Mysteries had become so universal that persons of all ranks and conditions, in every country, men, women, and children all were initiated! Initiation had become as necessary in his day as baptism has since become with the Christians; and, as the latter is now, so the former had become then—i.e., meaningless, and a purely dead-letter ceremony of mere form. Still later, the fanatics of the new religion laid their heavy hand on the Mysteries.

The Epoptæ, they "who see things as they are" disappeared one by one, emigrating into regions inaccessible to the Christians. The Mystæ (from Mystes "or veiled") "they who see things only as they appear" remained very soon, alone, sole masters of the situation.

It is the former, the "set apart," who have preserved the true secrets; it is the Mystæ, those who knew them only superficially, who laid the first foundation stone of modern masonry; and it is from this half pagan, half converted primitive fraternity of Masons that Christian ritualism and most of dogmas were born. Both the Epoptæ and the Mystæ are entitled to the name of Masons: for both carrying out their pledges to, and the injunction of their long de-


parted Hierophants and βаσιλει̑ς "Kings" rebuilt, the Epoptæ, their "lower," and the Mystæ, their "upper" temples. For such were the irrespective appellations in antiquity, and are so to this day in certain regions. Sophocles speaks in the Electra (Act 2) of the foundations of Athens—the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries—as being the "sacred edifice of the gods," i. e., built by the gods. Initiation was spoken of as "walking into the temple," and "cleaning," or rebuilding the temple referred to the body of an initiate on his last and supreme trial. (Vide St. John’s Gospel, 2:19). The esoteric doctrine, also, was sometimes called by the name of "Temple" and popular exoteric religion, by that of "city." To build a temple meant to found an esoteric school; to "build a city temple" signified to establish a public cult. Therefore, the true surviving "Masons" of the lower Temple, or the crypt, the sacred place of initiation, are the only custodians of the true Masonic secrets now lost to the world. We yield willingly to the modern Fraternity of Masons the title of "Builders of the higher Temple," as the à priori superiority of the comparative adjective is as illusionary as the blaze of the burning bush of Moses itself in the Templars’ Lodges.


The misunderstood allegory known as the Descent into Hades, has wrought infinite mischief. The exoteric "fable" of Hercules and Theseus descending into the infernal regions; the journey thither of Orpheus, who found his way by the power of his lyre (Ovid Metam.); of Krishna, and finally of Christ, who "descended into Hell and the third day rose again from the dead"—was twisted out of recognition by the non-initiated adapters of pagan rites and transformers thereof, into Church rites and dogmas.

Astronomically, this descent into hell symbolized the Sun during the autumnal equinox when abandoning the higher sidereal regions—there was a supposed fight between him and the Demon of Darkness who got the best of our luminary. Then the Sun was imagined to undergo a temporary death and to descend into the infernal regions. But mystically, it typified the initiatory rites in the crypts of the temple, called the Underworld. Bacchus, Herakles, Orpheus, Asklepios and all the other visitors of the crypt, all descended into hell and ascended thence on the third day, for all were initiates and "Builders of the lower Temple." The words addressed


by Hermes to Prometheus, chained on the arid rocks of the Caucasus—i. e., bound by ignorance to his physical body and devoured therefore by the vultures of passion—apply to every neophyte, to every Chrestos on trial. "To such labours look thou for no termination until the (or a) god shall appear as a substitute in thy pangs and shall be willing to go both to gloomy Hades and to the murky depths around Tartarus." (Æschylus: Prometheus, 1027, ff.) They mean simply that until Prometheus (or man) could find the "God," or Hierophant (the Initiator) who would willingly descend into the crypts of initiation, and walk around Tartarus with him, the vulture of passion would never cease to gnaw his vitals.8 Eschylus as a pledged Initiate could say no more; but Aristophanes less pious, or more daring, divulges the secret to those who are not blinded by a too strong preconception, in his immortal satire on Heracles’ descent into Hell. (Frogs.) There we find the chorus of the "blessed ones" (the initiated), the Elysian Fields, the arrival of Bacchus (the god Hierophant) with Herakles, the reception with lighted torches, emblems of new LIFE and RESURRECTION from the darkness of human ignorance to the light of spiritual knowledge—eternal LIFE. Every word of the brilliant satire shows the inner meaning of the poet:

Wake, burning torches . . . for thou comest
Shaking them in thy hand, Iacche,
Phosphoric star of the nightly rite.

All such final initiations took place during the night. To speak, therefore, of anyone as having descended into Hades, was equivalent in antiquity to calling him a full Initiate. To those who feel inclined to reject this explanation, I would offer a query. Let them explain, in that case, the meaning of a sentence in the sixth book of Virgil’s Æneid. What can the poet mean, if not that which is asserted above, when introducing the aged Anchises in the Elysian fields, he makes him advise Æneas his son, to travel to Italy . . . where he would have to fight in Latium, a rude and barbarous people; therefore, he adds, before you venture there "Descend into Hades," i.e.

8 The dark region in the crypt, into which the candidate under initiation was supposed to throw away for ever his worst passions and lusts. Hence the allegories by Homer, Ovid, Virgil, etc., all accepted literally by the modern scholar. Phlegethon was the river in Tartarus into which the initiate was thrice plunged by the Hierophant, after which the trials were over and the new man born anew. He had left in the dark stream the old sinful man for ever, and issued on the third day, from Tartarus, as an individuality, the personality being dead. Such characters as Ixion, Tantalus, Sisyphus, etc., are each a Personification of some human passion.


get yourself initiated.

The benevolent clericals, who are so apt to send us on the slightest provocation to Tartarus and the infernal regions, do not suspect what good wishes for us the threat contains; and what a holy character one must be before one gets into such a sanctified place.

It is not pagans alone who had their Mysteries. Bellarmin (De Eccl. Triumph, lib. 2, cap. 14) states that the early Christians adopted, after the example of pagan ceremonies, the custom of assembling in the church during the nights preceding their festivals, to hold vigils or "wakes." Their ceremonies were performed at first with the most edifying holiness and purity. But very shortly after that, such immoral abuses crept into these "assemblies" that the bishops found it necessary to abolish them. We have read in dozens of works about the licentiousness in the pagan religious festivals. Cicero is quoted (de Leg. lib. 2, cap. 15) showing Diagondas, the Theban, finding no other means of remedying such disorders in the ceremonies than the suppression of the Mysteries themselves. When we contrast the two kinds of celebrations, however, the Pagan Mysteries hoary with age centuries before our era, and the Christian Agapæ and others in a religion hardly born and claiming such a purifying influence on its converts, we can only pity the mental blindness of its defenders and quote for their benefit Roscommon, who asks:—

When you begin with so much pomp and show, Why is the end so little and so low?

Primitive Christianity—being derived from the primitive Masonry—had its grip, pass-words, and degrees of initiation. "Masonry" is an old term but it came into use very late in our era. Paul calls himself a "master-builder" and he was one. The ancient Masons called themselves by various names and most of the Alexandrian Eclectics, the Theosophists of Ammonias Saccas and the later Neo-Platonists, were all virtually Masons. They were all bound by oath to secrecy, considered themselves a Brotherhood, and had also their signs of recognition. The Eclectics or Philaletheians comprised within their ranks the ablest and most learned scholars of the day, as also several crowned heads. Says the author of The Eclectic Philosophy:

Their doctrines were adopted by pagans and Christians in Asia and Europe, and for a season everything seemed favourable for a general fusion of religious belief. The Emperors Alex-


ander Severus and Julian embraced them. Their predominating influence upon religious ideas excited the jealousy of the Christians of Alexandria. The school was removed to Athens, and finally closed by the Emperor Justinian. Its professors withdrew to Persia,9 where they made many disciples.

A few more details may prove perchance, interesting. We know that the Eleusinian Mysteries survived all others. While the secret cults of the minor gods such as the Curates, the Dactyli, the worship of Adonis, of the Kabiri, and even those of old Egypt had entirely disappeared under the revengeful and cruel hand of the pitiless Theodosius,10 the Mysteries of Eleusis could not be so easily disposed of. They were indeed the religion of mankind, and shone in all their ancient splendour if not in their primitive purity. It took several centuries to abolish them, and they could not be entirely suppressed before the year 396 of our era. It is then that the "Builders of the higher, or City Temple" appeared first on the scene and worked unrelentingly to infuse their rituals and peculiar dogmas into the nascent and ever fighting and quarrelling church. The triple Sanctus of the Roman Catholic Mass is the triple S S S of these early Masons, and is the modern prefix to their documents or "any written balustre—the initial of Salutem, or Health" as cunningly put by a Mason. "This triple masonic salutation is the most ancient among their greetings." (Ragon.)


But they did not limit their grafts on the tree of the Christian religion to this alone. During the Mysteries of Eleusis, wine represented Bacchus and Ceres—wine and bread, or corn.11 Now Ceres

9 And we may add, beyond, to India and Central Asia, for we find their influence everywhere in Asiatic countries.

10 The murderer of the Thessalonians, who were butchered by this pious son of the Church.

11 Bacchus is certainly of Indian origin. Pausanias shows him the first to lead an expedition against India, and the first to throw a bridge over the Euphrates. "The cable which served to unite the two opposite shores being exhibited to this day," writes this historian, "it being woven from vine-branches and trainings of ivy." (X 29. 4.) Arrianus and Quintus-Curtius explained the allegory of Bacchus’ birth from the thigh of Zeus, by saying that he was born on the Indian Mount Meru (from μηρός thigh). We are aware that Eratosthenes and Strabo believed the Indian Bacchus had been invented by flatterers to simply please Alexander, believed to have conquered India as Bacchus is supposed to have done. But on the other hand Cicero mentions the god as a Son of Thyoné and Nisus; and Dionysus or Διόνυσος means the god Dis from Mount Nys in India. Bacchus crowned with ivy, or Kissos is Krishna, one of whose names was Kissen. Dionysus was pre-emimently the god who was expected to liberate the souls of men from their prisons of flesh— Hades and the human Tartarus, in one of its symbolical senses. Cicero calls Orpheus a


or Demeter was the female productive principle of the Earth; the spouse of Father Æther, or Zeus; and Bacchus, the son of Zeus-Jupiter, was his father manifested: in other words, Ceres and Bacchus were the personifications of Substance and Spirit, the two vivifying principles in Nature and on Earth. The hierophant Initiator presented symbolically, before the final revelation of the mysteries, wine and bread to the candidate, who ate and drank, in token that the spirit was to quicken matter: i. e. the divine wisdom of the Higher-Self was to enter into and take possession of his inner Self or Soul through what was to be revealed to him.

This rite was adopted by the Christian Church. The Hierophant who was called the "Father," has now passed, part and parcel—minus knowledge—into the "Father" priest, who to-day administers the same communion. Jesus calls himself a vine and his "Father" the husbandman; and his injunction at the Last Supper shows his thorough knowledge of the symbolical meaning (Vide infra, note) of bread and wine, and his identification with the logoi of the ancients. "Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life." "This is a hard saying," he adds. . . . "The words (rhemata, or arcane utterances) that I speak unto you, they are Spirit and they are Life." They are; because "it is the Spirit that quickeneth." Furthermore these rhemata of Jesus are indeed the arcane utterances of an Initiate.

But between this noble rite, as old as symbolism, and its later anthropomorphic interpretation, now known as transubstantiation, there is an abyss of ecclesiastical sophistry. With what force the exclamation—"Woe unto you lawyers. For ye have taken away the key of knowledge," (and will not permit even now gnosis to be given to others); with what tenfold force, I say, it applies more now than then. Aye; that gnosis, "ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were (and are) entering ye prevented," and still prevent. Nor has the modern priesthood alone laid itself open to this blame. Masons, the descendants, or at any rate the successors, of the "Builders of the upper Temple" during the Mysteries, they who ought to know better, will pooh-pooh and scorn any one among their own brethren who will remind them of their true origin.

son of Bacchus; and there is a tradition which not only makes Orpheus come from India (he being called ὀρϕός dark, of tawny complexion) but identifies him with Arjuna, the chela and adoptive son of Krishna. (Vide Five Years of Theosophy: "Was writing known before Panini?")


Several great modern Scholars and Kabalists, who are Masons, and could be named, received worse than the cold shoulder from their Brethren. It is ever the same old, old story. Even Ragon, the most learned in his day among all the Masons of our century, complains of it, in these words:—

All the ancient narratives attest that the initiations in the days of old had an imposing ceremonial, and became memorable for ever through the grand truths divulged and the knowledge that resulted therefrom. And yet there are some modern Masons, of half-learning, who hasten to treat as charlatans all those who successfully remind of, and explain to them these ancient ceremonies! (Cours. Philos, p. 87 note [2].)


Vanitas vanitatum! nothing is new under the sun. The "Litanies of the Virgin Mary" prove it in the sincerest way. Pope Gregory I, introduces the worship of the Virgin Mary and the Chalcedonian Council proclaim her the mother of God. But the author of the Litanies had not even the decency (or is it the brains?) to furnish her with any other than pagan adjectives and titles, as I shall presently show. Not a symbol, not a metaphor of this famous Litany but belonged to a crowd of goddesses; all Queens, Virgins, or Mothers; these three titles applying to Isis, Rhea, Cybele, Diana, Lucifera, Lucina, Luna, Tellus, Latona triformis, Proserpina, Hecate, Juno, Vesta, Ceres, Leucothea, Astarte, celestial Venus and Urania, Alma Venus, etc., etc., etc.

Besides the primitive signification of trinity (the esoteric, or that of Father, Mother, Son) does not this Western trimurti (three faces) mean in the masonic pantheon: "Sun, Moon, and the Venerable"? a slight alteration, forsooth, from the Germanic and Northern Fire, Sun and Moon.

It is the intimate knowledge of this, perchance, that made the Mason, J. M. Ragon describe his profession of faith thus:

For me the Son is the same as Horus, son of Osiris and Isis; he is the SUN who, every year redeems the world from sterility and the universal death of the races.

And he goes on to speak of the Virgin Mary’s particular litanies, temples, festivals, masses and Church services, pilgrimages, oratories, Jacobins, Franciscans, vestals, prodigies, ex voto, niches, statues, etc., etc., etc.


De Maleville, a great Hebrew scholar and translator of Rabbinical literature, observes that the Jews give to the moon all those names which, in the Litanies, are used to glorify the Virgin. He finds in the Litanies of Jesus all the attributes of Osiris—the Eternal Sun, and of Horus, the Annual Sun.

And he proves it.

Mater Christi is the mother of the Redeemer of the old Masons, who is the Sun. The hoi polloi among the Egyptians, claimed that the child, symbol of the great central star, Horus, was the Son of Osireth and Oseth, whose souls had ensouled, after their death, the Sun and the Moon. Isis became, with the Phœnicians, Astarte, the names under which they adored the Moon, personified as a woman adorned with horns, which symbolised the crescent. Astarte was represented at the autumnal equinox after her husband (the Sun’s) defeat by the Prince of Darkness, and descent into Hades, as weeping over the loss of her consort, who is also her son, as Isis does that of her consort, brother and son (Osiris-Horus). Astarte holds in her hand a cruciform stick, a regular cross, and stands weeping on the crescent moon. The Christian Virgin Mary is often represented in the same way, standing on the new moon, surrounded by stars and weeping for her son juxta crucem lacrymosa dum pendebat (Vide Stabat Mater Dolorosa). Is not she the heiress of Isis and Astarte? asks the author.

Truly, and you have but to repeat the Litany to the Virgin of the R. Catholic Church, to find yourself repeating ancient incantations to Adondïa (Venus), the mother of Adonis, the Solar god of so many nations; to Mylitta (the Assyrian Venus), goddess of nature; to Aldat, whom the Arabs symbolized by the two lunar horns; to Selene, wife and sister of Helion, the Sun god of the Greeks; or, to the Magna Mater, . . . honestissima, purissima, castissima, the Universal Mother of all Beings—because SHE IS MOTHER NATURE.

Verily is Maria (Mary) the Isis Myrionymos, the Goddess Mother of the ten thousand names! As the Sun was Phœbus, in heaven, so he became Apollo, on earth, and Pluto in the still lower regions (after sunset); so the moon was Phœbe in heaven, and Diana on earth (Gœa, Latona, Ceres); becoming Hecate and Proserpine in Hades. Where is the wonder then, if Mary is called regina virginum, "Queen of Virgins," and castissima (most chaste), when even the prayers offered to her at the sixth hour of the morning and the


evening are copied from those sung by the "heathen" Gentiles at the same hours in honour of Phœbe and Hecate? The verse of the "Litany to the Virgin," stella matutina,12 we are informed, is a faithful copy of a verse from the litany of the triformis of the pagans. It is at the Council which condemned Nestorius that Mary was first titled as the "Mother of God," mater dei.

In our next, we shall have something to say about this famous Litany of the Virgin, and show its origin in full. We shall cull our proofs, as we go along, from the classics and the moderns, and supplement the whole from the annals of religions as found in the Esoteric Doctrine. Meanwhile, we may add a few more statements and give the etymology of the most sacred terms in ecclesiastical ritualism.


Let us give a few moments of attention to the assemblies of the "Builders of the upper Temple" in early Christianity. Ragon has shown plainly to us the origin of the following terms:—

(а) "The word ‘mass,’ comes from the Latin Messis—‘harvest,’ whence the noun Messias, ‘he who ripens the harvest,’ Christ, the Sun."

(b)The word "Lodge" used by the Masons, the feeble successors of the Initiates, has its root in loga, (loka, in Sanskrit) a locality and a world; and in the Greek logos, the Word, a discourse; signifying in its full meaning "a place where certain things are discussed."

(c)These assemblies of the logos of the primitive initiated masons came to be called synaxis, "gatherings" of the Brethren for the purpose of praying and celebrating the cœna (supper) wherein only bloodless offerings, fruit and cereals, were used. Soon after these offerings began to be called hostiœ or sacred and pure hosties, in contrast to the impure sacrifices (as of prisoners of war, hostes, whence the word hostage). As the offerings consisted of the harvest fruits, the first fruits of messis, thence the word "mass." Since no father of the Church mentions, as some scholars would have it, that the word mass comes from the Hebrew missah (oblatum, offering) one explanation is as good as the other. For an exhaustive enquiry on the word missa and mizda, see King’s Gnostics, pp. 124, et seq.

Now the word synaxis was also called by the Greeks agyrmos,

12 The "Morning Star," or Lucifer, the name which Jesus calls himself in Rev. 22:16, and which becomes, nevertheless, the name of the Devil, as soon as a theosophical journal assumes it!


ἀγυρμὸς (a collection of men, assembly). It referred to initiation into the Mysteries. Both words—synaxis and agyrmos13—became obsolete with the Christians, and the word missa, or mass, prevailed and remained. Theologians will have it, desirous as they are to veil its etymology, that the term messias (Messiah) is derived from the Latin word missus (messenger, the sent). But if so, then again it may be applied as well to the Sun, the annual messenger, sent to bring light and new life to the earth and its products. The Hebrew word for Messiah mâshiah (anointed, from mashah, to anoint) will hardly apply to, or bear out the identity in the ecclesiastical sense; nor will the Latin missa (mass) derive well from that other Latin word mittere, missum, "to send," or "dismiss." Because the communion service—its heart and soul—is based on the consecration and oblation of the host or hostia (sacrifice), a wafer (a thin, leaflike bread) representing the body of Christ in the Eucharist, and that such wafer of flour is a direct development of the harvest or cereal offerings. Again, the primitive masses were cœnas (late dinners or suppers), which, from the simple meals of Romans, who "washed, were anointed, and wore a cenatory garment" at dinner, became consecrated meals in memory of the last Supper of Christ.

The converted Jews in the days of the Apostles met at their synaxes, to read the Evangels and their correspondence (Epistles). St. Justin (150 A.D.) tells us that these solemn assemblies were held on the day called Sun (Sunday, dies magnus), on which days there were psalms chanted "collation of baptism with pure water and the agapœ of the holy cœna with bread and wine." What has this hybrid combination of pagan Roman dinners, raised by the inventors of church dogmas to a sacred mystery, to do with the Hebrew Messiah "he who causes to go down into the pit" (or Hades), or its Greek transliteration Messias. As shown by Nork, Jesus "was never anointed either as high priest or king," therefore his name of Messias cannot be derived from its present Hebrew equivalent. The less so, since the word anointed, or "rubbed with oil" a Homeric term, is chris, χρίς and chrio, χρίω both to anoint the body with oil. (See LUCIFER for 1887, "The Esoteric Meaning of the Gospels.")

Another high Mason, the author of "The Source of Measures,"

13 Hesychius gives the name (agyrmos) to the first day of the initiation into the mysteries of Ceres, goddess of harvest, and refers to it also under that of Synaxis. The early Christians called their mass, before this term was adapted, and the celebration of their mysteries—Synaxis, a word compounded from sun "with," and ago "I lead," whence, the Greek synaxis or an assembly.


summarizes this imbroglio of the ages in a few lines by saying:—

The fact is there were two Messiahs: One, as causing himself to go down into the pit, for the salvation of the world;14 this was the sun shorn of his golden rays and crowned with blackened ones (symbolizing this loss) as the thorns. The other, was the triumphant Messiah, mounted up to this summit of the arch of Heaven, personated as the Lion of the tribe of Judah. In both instances he had the cross. . . ."

At the Ambarvales, the festivals in honour of Ceres, the Arval (the assistant of the High Priest) clad in pure white, placing on the hostia (sacrificial heap) a cake of corn, water and wine, tasted the wine of libation and gave to all others to taste. The oblation (or offering) was then taken up by the High Priest. It symbolized the three kingdoms of Nature—the cake of corn (vegetable kingdom), the sacrificial vase or chalice (mineral), and the pall (the scarf-like garment) of the Hierophant, an end of which he threw over the oblation wine cup. This pall was made of pure white lambskins.

The modern priest repeats, gesture for gesture, the acts of the pagan priest. He lifts up and offers the bread to be consecrated; blesses the water that is to be put in the chalice, and then pours the wine into it, incenses the altar, etc., etc., and going to the altar washes his fingers saying, "I will wash my hands among the INNOCENT and encompass thy altar, O Lord." He does so, because the ancient and pagan priest did the same, saying, "I wash (with lustral water) my hands among the INNOCENT (the fully initiated Brethren) and encompass thy altar, O great Goddess" (Ceres). Thrice went the high priest round the altar loaded with offerings, carrying high above his head the chalice covered with the end of his snow-white lamb-skin. . . .

The consecrated vestment worn by the Pope, the pall, "has the form of a scarf made of white wool, embroidered with purple crosses." In the Greek Church, the priest covers, with the end of the pall thrown over his shoulder, the chalice.

The High Priest of antiquity repeated thrice during the divine services his "O redemptor mundi" to Apollo ‘the Sun’ his mater Salvatoris, to Ceres, the earth, his Virgo paritura to the Virgin God-

14 From times immemorial every initiate before entering on his supreme trial of initiation, in antiquity as at the present time, pronounced these sacramental words. . . . "And I swear to give up my life for the salvation of my brothers, which constitute the whole mankind, if called upon, and to die in the defence of truth. . . ."


dess, etc., and pronounced seven ternary commemorations. (Hearken, O Masons!)

The ternary number, so reverenced in antiquity, is as reverenced now, and is pronounced five times during the mass. We have three introibo, three Kyrie eleison, three mea culpa, three agnus dei, three Dominus Vobiscum. A true masonic series! Let us add to this the three et cum spiritu tuo, and the Christian mass yields to us the same seven triple commemorations.

PAGANISM, MASONRY, and THEOLOGY—such is the historical trinity now ruling the world sub rosa. Shall we close with a Masonic greeting and say:—

Illustrious officers of Hiram Abif, Initiates, and "Widow’s sons." The Kingdom of Darkness and ignorance is fast dispelling, but there are regions still untouched by the hand of the scholar, and as black as the night of Egypt. Fratres, sobrii estote et vigilate!

Lucifer, March, May, 1889Η. P. B.



UNIVERSAL aspirations, especially when impeded and suppressed in their free manifestation, die out but to return with tenfold power. They are cyclic, like every other natural phenomenon, whether mental or cosmic, universal or national. Dam a river in one place, and the water will work its way into another, and break out through it like a torrent.

One of such universal aspirations, the strongest perhaps in man’s nature, is the longing to seek for the unknown; an ineradicable desire to penetrate below the surface of things, a thirst for the knowledge of that which is hidden from others. Nine children out of ten will break their toys to see what there is inside. It is an innate feeling and is Protean in form. It rises from the ridiculous (or perhaps rather from the reprehensible) to the sublime, for it is limited to indiscreet inquisitiveness, prying into neighbours’ secrets, in the uneducated, and it expands in the cultured into that love for knowledge which ends in leading them to the summits of science, and fills the Academies and the Royal Institutions with learned men.

But this pertains to the world of the objective. The man in whom the metaphysical element is stronger than the physical, is propelled by this natural aspiration towards the mystical, to that which the materialist is pleased to call a "superstitious belief in the supernatural." The Church, while encouraging our aspirations after the holy—on strictly theological and orthodox lines, of course—condemns at the same time the human craving after the same, whenever the practical search after it departs from its own lines. The memory of the thousands of illiterate "witches," and the hundreds of learned alchemists, philosophers and other here-

1 The spelling of the word is various; some write Cabbalah, others Kabbalah. The latest writers have introduced a new spelling as more consonant with the Hebrew manner of writing the word and make it Qabalah. This is more grammatical, perhaps, but as no Englishman will ever pronounce a foreign name or word but in an Englishified way, to write the term simply Kabalah seems less pretentious and answers as well.


tics, tortured, burnt, and otherwise put to death during the Middle Ages, remains as an ever-present witness to that arbitrary and despotic interference.

In the present age both Church and Science, the blindly-believing and the all-denying, are arrayed against the Secret Sciences, though both Church and Science believed in and practised them—especially the Kabalah—at a not very distant period of history. One says now, "It is of the devil!" the other that "the devil is a creation of the Church, and a disgraceful superstition"; in short, that there is neither devil nor occult sciences. The first one forgets that it has publicly proclaimed, hardly 400 years ago, the Jewish Kabalah as the greatest witness to the truths of Christianity;2 the second, that the most illustrious men of science were all alchemists, astrologers and magicians, witness Paracelsus, Van Helmont, Roger Bacon, etc. But consistency has never been a virtue of Modern Science. It has religiously believed in all which it now denies, and it has denied all that it now believes in, from the circulation of the blood up to steam and electric power.

This sudden change of attitude in both powers cannot prevent events from taking their natural course. The last quarter of our century is witnessing an extraordinary outbreak of occult studies, and magic dashes once more its powerful waves against the rocks of Church and Science, which it is slowly but as surely undermining. Any one whose natural mysticism impels him to seek for sympathetic contact with other minds, is astonished to find how large a number of persons are not only interested in Mysticism generally, but are actually themselves Kabalists. The river dammed during the Middle Ages has flowed since noiselessly underground, and has now burst up as an irrepressible torrent. Hundreds today study the Kabalah, where scarcely one or two could have been found some fifty years ago, when fear of the Church was still a powerful factor in men’s lives. But the long-pent-up torrent has now diverged into two streams—Eastern Occultism and the Jewish

2 This is demonstrated by what we know of the life of John Picus de Mirandola. Ginsburg and others have stated the following facts, namely, that after having studied the Kabalah Mirandola "found that there is more Christianity than Judaism in the Kabalah; he discovered in it proofs for the doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Divinity of Christ, the heavenly Jerusalem, the fall of the Angels," and so on. "In 1486, when only twenty-four years old, he published 900 theses which were placarded in Rome (not without the consent or knowledge surely of the Pope and his Government?), and which he undertook to defend in the presence of all European scholars, whom he invited to the Eternal City, promising to defray their travelling expenses. Among the theses was the following: ‘No science yields greater proof of the Divinity of Christ than magic and the Cabbalah’." The reason why will be shown in the present article.


Kabalah; the traditions of the Wisdom-Religion of the races that preceded the Adam of the "Fall"; and the system of the ancient Levites of Israel, who most ingeniously veiled a portion of that religion of the Pantheists under the mask of monotheism.

Unfortunately many are called but few chosen. The two systems threaten the world of the mystics with a speedy conflict, which, instead of increasing the spread of the One Universal Truth, will necessarily only weaken and impede its progress. Yet, the question is not, once more, which is the one truth. For both are founded upon the eternal verities of prehistoric knowledge, as both, in the present age and the state of mental transition through which humanity is now passing, can give out only a certain portion of these verities. It is simply a question: "Which of the two systems contains most unadulterated facts; and, most important of all—which of the two presents its teachings in the most Catholic (i.e., unsectarian) and impartial manner?" One—the Eastern system—has veiled for ages its profound pantheistic unitarianism with the exuberance of an exoteric polytheism; the other—as said above—with the screen of exoteric monotheism. Both are but masks to hide the sacred truth from the profane; for neither the Âryan nor the Semitic philosophers have ever accepted either the anthropomorphism of the many Gods, or the personality of the one God, as a philosophical proposition. But it is impossible within the limits we have at our disposal, to attempt to enter upon a minute discussion of this question. We must be content with a simpler task. The rites and ceremonies of the Jewish law seem to be an abyss, which long generations of Christian Fathers, and especially of Protestant Reformers, have vainly sought to fill in with their far-fetched interpretations. Yet all the early Christians, Paul and the Gnostics, regarded and proclaimed the Jewish law as essentially distinct from the new Christian law. St. Paul called the former an allegory, and St. Stephen told the Jews an hour before being stoned that they had not even kept the law that they had received from the angels (the æons), and as to the Holy Ghost (the impersonal Logos or Christos, as taught at Initiation) they had resisted and rejected it as their fathers had done (Acts vii.). This was virtually telling them that their law was inferior to the later one. Notwithstanding that the Mosaic Books which we think we have in the Old Testament, cannot be more than two or three centuries older than Christianity, the Protestants have nevertheless made of them their


Sacred Canon, on a par with, if not higher than, the Gospels. But when the Pentateuch was written, or rather rewritten after Ezdras, i.e., after the Rabbis had settled upon a new departure, a number of additions were made which were taken bodily from Persian and Babylonian doctrines; and this at a period subsequent to the colonization of Judea under the authority of the kings of Persia. This reëditing was of course done in the same way as with all such Scriptures. They were originally written in a secret key, or cipher, known only to the Initiates. But instead of adapting the contents to the highest spiritual truths as taught in the third, the highest, degree of Initiation, and expressed in symbolic language—as may be seen even in the exoteric Purânas of India—the writers of the Pentateuch, revised and corrected, they who cared but for earthly and national glory, adapted only to astro-physiological symbols the supposed events of the Abrahams, Jacobs, and Solomons, and the fantastic history of their little race. Thus they produced, under the mask of monotheism, a religion of sexual and phallic worship, one that concealed an adoration of the Gods, or the lower æons. No one would maintain that anything like the dualism and the angelolatry of Persia, brought by the Jews from the captivity, could ever be found in the real Law, or Books of Moses. For how, in such case, could the Sadducees, who reverenced the Law, reject angels, as well as the soul and its immortality? And yet angels, if not the soul’s immortal nature, are distinctly asserted to exist in the Old Testament, and are found in the Jewish modern scrolls.3

This fact of the successive and widely differing redactions of that which we loosely term the Books of Moses, and of their triple adaptation to the first (lowest), second, and third, or highest, degree of Sodalian initiation, and that still more puzzling fact of the diametrically opposite beliefs of the Sadducees and the other Jewish sects, all accepting, nevertheless, the same Revelation—can be made comprehensible only in the light of our Esoteric explanation. It also shows the reason why, when Moses and the Prophets belonged to the Sodalities (the great Mysteries), the latter yet seem so often to fulminate against the abominations of the Sodales and their "Sod." For had the Old Canon been translated literally, as is claimed, instead of being adapted to a mono-

3 This is just what the Gnostics had always maintained quite independently of Christians. In their doctrines the Jewish God, the "Elohim," was a hierarchy of low terrestrial angels—an lldabaoth, spiteful and jealous.


theism absent from it, and to the spirit of each sect, as the differences in the Septuagint and Vulgate prove, the following contradictory sentences would be added to the hundreds of other inconsistencies in "Holy Writ." "Sod Ihoh [the mysteries of Johoh, or Jehovah] are for those who fear him," says Psalm xxv. 14, mistranslated "the secret of the Lord is with them that fear him." Again "Al [El] is terrible in the great Sod of the Kadeshim" is rendered as—"God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints" (Psalm lxxxix. 7). The title of Kadeshim (Kadosh sing.) means in reality something quite different from saints, though it is generally explained as "priests," the "holy" and the "Initiated"; for the Kadeshim were simply the galli of the abominable mysteries (Sod) of the exoteric rites. They were, in short, the male Nautches of the temples, during whose initiations the arcanum, the Sod (from which "Sodom," perchance) of physiological and sexual evolution, were divulged. These rites all belonged to the first degree of the Mysteries, so protected and beloved by David—the "friend of God." They must have been very ancient with the Jews, and were ever abominated by the true Initiates; thus we find the dying Jacob’s prayer is that his soul should not come into the secret (Sod, in the original) of Simeon and Levi (the priestly caste) and into their assembly during which they "slew a man" (Genesis xlix. 5, 6).4 And yet Moses is claimed by the Kabalists as chief of the Sodales! Reject the explanation of the Secret Doctrine and the whole Pentateuch becomes the abomination of abominations.

Therefore, do we find Jehovah, the anthropomorphic God, everywhere in the Bible, but of AIN SUPH not one word is said. And therefore, also, was the Jewish metrology quite different from the numeral methods of other people. Instead of serving as an adjunct to other prearranged methods, to penetrate therewith as with a key into the hidden or implied meaning contained within the literal sentences—as the initiated Brahmins do to this day, when reading their sacred books—the numeral system with the Jews is, as the author of Hebrew Metrology tells us, the Holy Writ itself: "That very thing, in esse, on which, and out of which, and by the continuous interweaving use of which, the very text of the

4 To "slay a man" meant, in the symbolism of the Lesser Mysteries, the rite during which crimes against nature were committed, for which purpose the Kadeshim were set aside. Thus Cain "slays" his brother Abel, who, esoterically, is a female character and represents the first human woman in the Third Race after the separation of sexes. See also the Source of Measures, pp. 253, 283, etc.


Bible has been made to result, as its enunciation, from the beginning word of Genesis to the closing word of Deuteronomy."

So true is this, indeed, that the authors of the New Testament who had to blend their system with both the Jewish and the Pagan, had to borrow their most metaphysical symbols not from the Pentateuch, or even the Kabalah, but from the Âryan astro-symbology. One instance will suffice. Whence the dual meaning of the First-born, the Lamb, the Unborn, and the Eternal—all relating to the Logos or Christos? We say from the Sanskrit Aja, a word the meanings of which are: (a) the Ram, or the Lamb, the first sign of the Zodiac, called in astronomy Mesha; (b) the Unborn, a title of the first Logos, or Brahma, the self-existent cause of all, described and so referred to in the Upanishads.

The Hebrew Kabalistic Gematria, Notaricon, and T’mura are very ingenious methods, giving the key to the secret meaning of Jewish symbology, one that applied the relations of their sacred imagery only to one side of Nature—namely, the physical side. Their myths and the names and the events attributed to their Biblical personages were made to correspond with astronomical revolutions and sexual evolution, and had nought to do with the spiritual states of man; hence no such correspondences are to be found in the reading of their sacred canon. The real Mosaic Jews of the Sodales, whose direct heirs on the line of initiation were the Sadducees, had no spirituality in them, nor did they feel any need for it apparently. The reader, whose ideas of Initiation and Adeptship are intimately blended with the mysteries of the after life and soul survival, will now see the reason for the great yet natural inconsistencies found on almost every page of the Bible. Thus, in the Book of Job, a Kabalistic treatise on Egypto-Arabic Initiation, the symbolism of which conceals the highest spiritual mysteries, one finds yet this significant and purely materialistic verse: "Man born of a woman is . . . like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not" (xiv. I, 2). But Job speaks here of the personality, and he is right; for no Initiate would say that the personality long survived the death of the physical body; the spirit alone is immortal. But this sentence in Job, the oldest document in the Bible, makes only the more brutally materialistic that in Ecclesiastes, iii, 19, et seq., one of the latest records. The writer, who speaks in the name of Solomon, and says that "that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts, even . . . as the one dieth, so dieth the other . . . so that


a man hath no preëminence above a beast," is quite on a par with the modern Haeckels, and expresses only that which he thinks.

Therefore, no knowledge of Kabalistic methods can help one in finding that in the Old Testament which has never been there since the Book of the Law was re-written (rather than found) by Hilkiah. Nor can the reading of the Egyptian symbols be much helped by the mediæval Kabalistic systems. Indeed, it is but the blindness of a pious illusion that can lead anyone to discover any spiritual and metaphysical correspondences or meaning in the Jewish purely astro-physiological symbology. On the other hand, the ancient pagan religious systems, so-called, are all built upon abstract spiritual speculations, their gross external forms being, perhaps, the most secure veil to hide their inner meaning.

It can be demonstrated, on the authority of the most learned Kabalists of our day that the Zohar, and almost all the Kabalistic works, have passed through Christian hands. Hence, that they cannot be considered any longer as universal, but have become simply sectarian. This is well shown by Picus de Mirandola’s thesis upon the proposition that "no Science yields greater proof of the divinity of Christ than magic and the Kabalah." This is true of the divinity of the Logos, or of the Christos of the Gnostics; because that Christos remains the same WORD of the ever-unmanifested Deity, whether we call it Parabrahm or Ain Suph—by whatever name he himself is called—Krishna, Buddha, or Ormazd. But this Christos is neither the Christ of the Churches, nor yet the Jesus of the Gospels; it is only an impersonal Principle. Nevertheless the Latin Church made capital of this thesis; the result of which was, that as in the last century, so it is now in Europe and America. Almost every Kabalist is now a believer in a personal God, in the very teeth of the original impersonal Ain Suph, and is, moreover, a more or less heterodox, but still a, Christian. This is due entirely to the ignorance of most people (a) that the Kabalah (the Zohar especially) we have, is not the original Book of Splendour, written down from the oral teachings of Simon Ben Jochai; and (b) that the latter, being indeed an exposition of the hidden sense of the writings of Moses (so-called) was as equally good an exponent of the Esoteric meaning contained under the shell of the literal sense in the Scriptures of any Pagan religion. Nor do the modern Kabalists seem to be aware of the fact, that the Kabalah as it now stands, with its more than


revised texts, its additions made to apply to the New as much as to the Old Testament, its numerical language recomposed so as to apply to both, and its crafty veiling, is no longer able now to furnish all the ancient and primitive meanings. In short that no Kabalistic work now extant among the Western nations can display any greater mysteries of nature, than those which Ezra and Co., and the later co-workers of Moses de Leon, desired to unfold; the Kabalah contains no more than the Syrian and Chaldean Christians and ex-Gnostics of the thirteenth century wanted those works to reveal. And what they do reveal hardly repays the trouble of passing one’s life in studying it. For if they may, and do, present a field of immense interest to the Mason and mathematician, they can teach scarcely anything to the student hungering after spiritual mysteries. The use of all the seven keys to unlock the mysteries of Being in this life, and the lives to come, as in those which have gone by, show that the Chaldean Book of Numbers, and the Upanishads undeniably conceal the most divine philosophy—as it is that of the Universal Wisdom Religion. But the Zohar, now so mutilated, can show nothing of the kind. Besides which, who of the Western philosophers or students has all those keys at his command? These are now entrusted only to the highest Initiates in Gupta Vidya, to great Adepts; and, surely it is no self-taught tyro, not even an isolated mystic, however great his genius and natural powers, who can hope to unravel in one life more than one or two of the lost keys.5

The key to the Jewish metrology has been undeniably unravelled, and a very important key it is. But as we may infer from the words of the discoverer himself in the footnote just quoted—though that key (concealed in the "Sacred Metrology") discloses the fact that "Holy Writ" contains "a rational science of sober

5 The writer in the Masonic Review is thus quite justified in saying as he does, that "the Kabalistic field is that in which astrologers, necromancers, black and white magicians, fortune-tellers, chiromancers, and all the like, revel and make claims to supernaturalism ad nauseam"; and he adds: "The Christian quarrying into its mass of mysticism, claims its support and authority for that most perplexing of all problems, the Holy Trinity, and the portrayed character of Christ. With equal assurance, but more effrontery, the knave, in the name of Cabbalah, will sell amulets and charms, tell fortunes, draw horoscopes, and just as readily give specific rules. . . . for raising the dead, and actually—the devil. . . . Discovery has yet to be made of what Cabbalah really consists, before any weight or authority can be given to the name. On that discovery will rest the question whether the name should be received as related to matters worthy of rational acknowledgment." "The writer claims that such a discovery has been made, and that the same embraces rational science of sober and great worth." "The Cabbalah," from the Masonic Review for September, 1885, by Brother J. Ralston Skinner (McMillian Lodge, No. 141).


and great worth," yet it helps to unveil no higher spiritual truth than that which all astrologers have insisted upon in every age; i.e., the close relation between the sidereal and all the terrestrial bodies—human beings included. The history of our globe and its humanities is prototyped in the astronomical heavens from first to last, though the Royal Society of Physicists may not become aware of it for ages yet to come. By the showing of the said discoverer himself, "the burden of this secret doctrine, this Cabbalah, is of pure truth and right reason, for it is geometry with applied proper numbers, of astronomy and of a system of measures, viz., the Masonic inch, the twenty-four inch gauge (or the double foot), the yard, and the mile. These were claimed to be of divine revelation and impartation, by the possession and use of which, it could be said of Abram: ‘Blessed of the Most High God, Abram, measure of heaven and earth’"—the "creative law of measure."

And is this all that the primitive Kabalah contained? No; for the author remarks elsewhere: "What the originally and intended right reading was [in the Pentateuch] who can tell?" Thus allowing the reader to infer that the meanings implied in the exoteric, or dead letter of the Hebrew texts, are by no means only those revealed by metrology. Therefore are we justified in saying that the Jewish Kabalah, with its numerical methods, is now only one of the keys to the ancient mysteries, and that the Eastern or Âryan systems alone can supply the rest, and unveil the whole truth of Creation.6

What this numeral system is, we leave its discoverer to explain himself. According to him:

Like all other human productions of the kind, the Hebrew text of the Bible was in characters which could serve as sound signs for syllable utterance, or for this purpose what are called letters. Now in the first place, these original character signs were also pictures, each one of them; and these pictures of themselves stood for ideas which could be communicated, much like the original Chinese letters. Gustav Seyffarth shows that the Egyptian hieroglyphics numbered over 600 picture characters, which embraced the modified use, syllabically, of

6 Even as it stands now, the Kabalah, with its several methods, can only puzzle by offering several versions; it can never divulge the whole truth. The readings of even the first sentence of Genesis are several. To quote the author: "It is made to read ‘B’rashith barâ Elohim,’ etc., ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ wherein Elohim is a plural nominative to a verb in the third person singular. Nachminedes called attention to the fact that the text might suffer the reading, ‘B’rash ithbarâ Elohim,’ etc., ‘In the head (source or beginning) created itself (or developed) gods, the heavens and the earth,’ really a more grammatical rendering." (Ibid.) And yet we are forced to believe the Jewish monotheism!


the original number of letters of the Hebrew alphabet. The characters of the Hebrew text of the sacred scroll were divided into classes, in which the characters of each class were interchangeable; whereby one form might be exchanged for another to carry a modified signification, both by letter, and picture, and number. Seyffarth shows the modified form of the very ancient Hebrew alphabet in the old Coptic by this law of interchange of characters.7 This law of permitted interchange of letters is to be found quite fully set forth in the Hebrew dictionaries. . . . Though recognized . . . it is very perplexing and hard to understand, because we have lost the specific use and power of such interchange. [Just so!] In the second place these characters stood for numbers—to be used for numbers as we use specific number signs—though also there is very much to prove that the old Hebrews were in possession of the so-called Arabic numerals, as we have them, from the straight line I to the zero character, together making 1+9=10. . . . In the third place, it is said, and it seems to be proved, that these characters stood for musical notes; so that, for instance, the arrangement of the letters in the first chapter of Genesis, can be rendered musically or by song.8 Another law of the Hebrew characters was that only the consonantal signs were characterized—the vowels were not characterized, but were supplied. If one will try it he will find that a consonant of itself cannot be made vocal without the help of a vowel;9 therefore . . . the consonants made the framework of a word, but to give it life or utterance into the air, so as to impart the thought of the mind, and the feelings of the heart, the vowels were supplied.

Now, even if we suppose, for argument’s sake, that the "framework," i.e., the consonants of the Pentateuch are the same as in the days of Moses, what changes must have been effected with those scrolls—written in such a poor language as the Hebrew, with its less than two dozens of letters—when rewritten time after time, and its vowels and points supplied in ever-new combinations! No two minds are alike, and the feelings of the heart change. What could remain, we ask, of the original writings of Moses, if such ever existed, when they had been lost for nearly 800 years and then found when every remembrance of them must have disappeared from the minds of the most learned, and Hilkiah has

7 Before Seyffarth can hope to have his hypothesis accepted, however, he will have to prove that (a) the Israelites had an alphabet of their own when the ancient Egyptians or Copts had as yet none; and (b) that the Hebrew of the later scrolls is the Hebrew, or "mystery language" of Moses, which the Secret Doctrine denies.

8 Not the Hebrew helped by the Massoretic signs, at all events. See further on, however.

9 And therefore as the vowels were furnished ad libitum by the Massorets they could make of a word what they liked!


them rewritten by Shaphan, the scribe? When lost again, they are rewritten again by Ezra; lost once more in 168 B.C. the volume or scrolls were again destroyed; and when finally they reappear, we find them dressed in their Massoretic disguise! We may know something of Ben Chajim, who published the Massorah of the scrolls in the fifteenth century; we can know nothing of Moses, this is certain, unless we become—Initiates of the Eastern School.

Ahrens, when speaking of the letters so arranged in the Hebrew sacred scrolls—that they were of themselves musical notes—had probably never studied Âryan Hindû music. In the Sanskrit language there is no need to so arrange letters in the sacred ollas that they should become musical. For the whole Sanskrit alphabet and the Vedas, from the first word to the last, are musical notations reduced to writing, and the two are inseparable.10 As Homer distinguished between the "language of Gods" and the language of men,11 so did the Hindus.

The Devanâgarî—the Sanskrit character—is the "Speech of the Gods" and Sanskrit the divine language.12 As to the Hebrew let the modern Isaiahs cry "Woe is me!" and confess that which "the newly-discovered mode of language (Hebrew metrology) veiled under the words of the sacred Text" has now clearly shown. Read the Source of Measures, read all the other able treatises on the subject by the same author. And then the reader will find that with the utmost good-will and incessant efforts covering many years of study, that laborious scholar, having penetrated under the mask of the system, can find in it little more than pure anthropomorphism. In man, and on man, alone, rests the whole scheme of the Kabalah, and to man and his functions, on however enlarged a scale, everything in it is made to apply. Man, as the Archetypal Man or Adam, is made to contain the whole Kabalistic system. He is the great symbol and shadow, thrown by the manifested

10 See Theosophist, November, 1879, article Hindû Music, p. 47.

11 Thes. xiv. 289, 290.

12 The Sanskrit letters are three times as numerous as the poor twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. They are all musical and are read, or rather chanted, according to a system given in very old Tantrika works (see Tantra Shâstras); and are called Deva-nâgarî, "the speech or language of the Gods." And since each answers to a numeral, and has therefore a far larger scope for expression and meaning, it must necessarily be far more perfect and far older than the Hebrew, which followed the system, but could apply it only in a very limited way. If either of the two languages were taught to humanity by the Gods, surely it is rather Sanskrit—the perfect of the most perfect languages on Earth—than Hebrew, the roughest and the poorest. For once we believe in a language of divine origin, we can hardly believe at the same time that angels or Gods or any divine messenger should have selected the inferior in preference to the superior.


Kosmos, itself the reflection of the impersonal and ever incomprehensible principle; and this shadow furnishes by its construction—the personal grown out of the impersonal—a kind of objective and tangible symbol of everything visible and invisible in the Universe. "As the First Cause was utterly unknown and un-nameable, such names as were adopted as most sacred (in Bible and Kabalah) and commonly made applicable to the Divine Being, were after all not so," but were mere manifestations of the unknowable, such

In a cosmic or natural sense, as could become known to man. Hence these names were not so sacred as commonly held, inasmuch as with all created things they were themselves but names or enunciations of things known. As to metrology, instead of a valuable adjunct to the Biblical system . . . the entire text of the Holy Writ in the Mosaic books is not only replete with it as a system, but the system itself is that very thing, in esse,

from the first to the last word.

For instance, the narratives of the first day, of the six days, of the seventh day, of the making of Adam, male and female, of Adam in the Garden, of the formation of the woman out of the man, of . . . the genealogy of Ararat, of the ark, of Noah with his dove and raven, . . . of Abram’s travel from Ur . . . into Egypt before Pharaoh, of Abram’s life, of the three covenants, . . . of the construction of the tabernacle and the dwelling of Jehovah, of the famous 603,550 as the number of men capable of bearing arms, . . . the exodus out of Egypt, and the like—all are but so many modes of enunciation of this system of geometry, of applied number ratios, of measures and their various applications.

And the author of Hebrew Metrology ends by saying:

Whatever may have been the Jewish mode of complete interpretation of these books, the Christian Church has taken them for what they show on their first face— and that only. The Christian Church has never attributed to these books any property beyond this; and herein has existed its great error.

But the Western European Kabalists, and many of the American (though luckily not all), claim to correct this error of their Church. How far do they succeed and where is the evidence of their success? Read all the volumes published on the Kabalah in the course of this century; and if we except a few volumes issued recently in America, it will be found that not a single Kabalist has penetrated even skin deep below the surface of that "first


face." Their digests are pure speculation and hypotheses and—no more. One bases his glosses upon Ragon’s Masonic revelations; another takes Fabre d’Olivet for his prophet—this writer having never been a Kabalist, though he was a genius of wonderful, almost miraculous, erudition, and a polyglot linguist greater than whom there was since his day none, even among the philologists of the French Academy, which refused to take notice of his work. Others, again, believe that no greater Kabalist was born among the sons of men than the late Éliphas Lévi—a charming and witty writer, who, however, has more mystified than taught in his many volumes on Magic. Let not the reader conclude from these statements that real, learned Kabalists are not to be found in the Old and New Worlds. There are initiated Occultists, who are Kabalists, scattered hither and thither, most undeniably, especially in Germany and Poland. But these will not publish what they know, nor will they call themselves Kabalists. The "Sodalian oath" of the third degree holds good now as ever.

But there are those who are pledged to no secrecy. Those writers are the only ones on whose information the Kabalists ought to rely, however incomplete their statements from the standpoint of a full revelation, i.e., of the sevenfold Esoteric meaning. It is they who care least for those secrets after which alone the modern Hermetist and Kabalist is now hungering—such as the transmutation into gold, and the Elixir of Life, or the Philosopher’s Stone—for physical purposes. For all the chief secrets of the Occult teachings are concerned with the highest spiritual knowledge. They deal with mental states, not with physical processes and their transformations. In a word, the real, genuine Kabalah, the only original copy of which is contained in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, pertains to, and teaches about, the realm of spirit, not that of matter.

What, then, is the Kabalah, in reality, and does it afford a revelation of such higher spiritual mysteries? The writer answers most emphatically NO. What the Kabalistic keys and methods were, in the origin of the Pentateuch and other sacred scrolls and documents of the Jews now no longer extant, is one thing; what they are now is quite another. The Kabalah is a manifold language; moreover, one whose reading is determined by the dead-letter face text of the record to be deciphered. It teaches and helps one to read the Esoteric real meaning hidden under the mask of that dead letter; it cannot create a text or make one find in the


document under study that which has never been in it from the beginning. The Kabalah—such as we have it now—is inseparable from the text of the Old Testament, as remodelled by Ezra and others. And as the Hebrew Scriptures, or their contents, have been repeatedly altered—notwithstanding the ancient boast that not one letter in the Sacred Scroll, not an iota, has ever been changed—so no Kabalistic methods can help us by reading in it anything besides what there is in it. He who does it is no Kabalist, but a dreamer.

Lastly, the profane reader should learn the difference between the Kabalah and the Kabalistic works, before he is made to face other arguments. For the Kabalah is no special volume, nor is it even a system. It consists of seven different systems applied to seven different interpretations of any given Esoteric work or subject. These systems were always transmitted orally by one generation of Initiates to another, under the pledge of the Sodalian oath, and they have never been recorded in writing by any one. Those who speak of translating the Kabalah into this or another tongue may as well talk of translating the wordless signal-chants of the Bedouin brigands into some particular language. Kabalah, as a word, is derived from the root Kbl (Kebel) "to hand over," or "to receive" orally. It is erroneous to say, as Kenneth Mackenzie does in his Royal Masonic Cyclopædia, that "the doctrine of the Kabalah refers to the system handed down by oral transmission, and is nearly allied to tradition"; for in this sentence the first proposition only is true, while the second is not. It is not allied to "tradition" but to the seven veils or the seven truths orally revealed at Initiation. Of these methods, pertaining to the universal pictorial languages—meaning by "pictorial" any cipher, number, symbol, or other glyph that can be represented, whether objectively or subjectively (mentally)—three only exist at present in the Jewish system.13 Thus, if Kabalah as a word is Hebrew, the system itself is no more Jewish than is sunlight; it is universal.

On the other hand, the Jews can claim the Zohar, Sepher Yetzirah (Book of Creation), Sepher Dzeniuta, and a few others, as their own undeniable property and as Kabalistic works.

Lucifer, May, 1892Η. P. B.

13 Of these three not one can be made to apply to purely spiritual metaphysics. One divulges the relations of the sidereal bodies to the terrestrial, especially the human; the other relates to the evolution of the human races and the sexes; the third to Kosmo-theogony and is metrological.


I would advise all in general that they would take into serious consideration the true and genuine ends of knowledge; that they seek it not either for pleasure or contention, or contempt of others, or for profit, or for fame, or for honour and promotion, or such-like adulterate or inferior ends; but for merit and emolument of life, that they may regulate and perfect the same in charity.


IN the present article I shall carry no coals to Newcastle. This means that I do not propose to teach learned Brahmins the mysteries of their religious philosophy, but will take for my subject a few things from the Universal Kabbala. The former— once placed upon polemical grounds—is an awkward adversary to fight. Unless one has instead of a head an encyclopaedia crammed with quotations, figures, numbers and verses scattered throughout crores of pages, such polemics will be more injurious than useful. Each of the disputants will find himself with the same number of adherents to his views as he had before, as neither will convince a single man from the party opposed to him.

Repeating with Sir T. Browne that "I envy no man that knows more than myself, but pity them that know less," I will deal now with questions I am thoroughly conversant with, and in support of which I can quote good authorities.

Having studied the Kabbala, for nearer forty than thirty years, I may perhaps be allowed to regard the Zohar as a legitimate ground for me to stand upon. This, however, will be no discussion, but simply a few statements of facts. Four names and teachings from the Kabbala have been brought forward to oppose our septenary doctrine:

  1. We are told that the Tetragrammaton "is in the way of a final union with the Logos." Because his mystic "constitution," "as represented by the sacred Tetragram has not a septenary basis."
  2. That "it is one of the oldest directions of the ancient Wisdom-religion that the macrocosm1 should be interpreted accord-

1 Just so. Malkuth is the 10th Sephiroth, but as the "Bride of Microprosopus" or Tetragrammaton, who is hexamerous—Malkuth, or the material limb, is the seventh. She

  1. ing to the plan revealed by Malkuth."
  2. That (a) "Shekinah is an androgyne power"; and (b) that she "should be accepted as a guide to the interpretation of the constitution of the microcosm."
  3. That "Its (Shekinah’s) male form is the figure of man seen on the mysterious throne in the vision of Ezekiel."2

I am afraid none of the above statements are correct. I am compelled to say that each and all are entirely erroneous. My authorities for saying so, will be the three chief books of the Zohar—"The Book of Concealed Mystery" and the two "Assemblies"—the "Greater" and the "Lesser," as also the Kabbala of Knorr von Rosenroth,3 the Sepher Jetzirah, with its commentaries, and the Asch Metzareth, containing a key to the Kabbalistical symbolism, and all supplemented with various codices.

An axiom echoed from the hoariest antiquity teaches us that the first step to knowledge is to know and to confess that we are ignorant. I must have taken this step, for I fully realize how very ignorant I am in many things, and confess how little I know. Nevertheless, what I know, I do know.

And perhaps, were I wiser, I ought to be glad to know so little; because

If ignorance is the curse of God,

As Shakespeare has it, too much of

Knowledge, when wisdom is too weak to guide her,
Is like a headstrong horse that throws the rider . . .

In this particular case, however, I have no fear of being thrown out of my stirrups. I venture even to say that it is quite impossible, with the Zohar before one’s eyes and its (just) hundred and seventy passages of references and several hundreds of comments and glosses upon the real meaning of Tetragrammaton alone. Meanwhile, as "no man knoweth all"—errare humanum est—and as none of us, so far as I know, has reached the glorified position of an omniscient Buddha or a Sankaracharya, it is but just that we should compare notes and unveil that which can be lawfully unveiled. Hence I shall endeavour to show the true nature of the "Tetragrammaton" and prove its four letters to be a mere glyph,

is the fourth letter of IHVH, or He, but the Logos, or son, is only the letter V (Vau), as will be shown.

2 Theosophist, August, 1887, pp. 700 and 705.

3 Now translated by S. Liddell Macgregor Mathers, F.T.S. See his "Kabbala Unveiled."


a mask to conceal metaphysically its connection with, and relation to, the supernal and the inferior worlds. I will give nothing of my own speculations or knowledge, which are my personal property, the fruitage of my studies, and with which, therefore, the public has nothing to do. I shall only show what the Tetragrammaton is said to be in the Zohar, and as explained to the writer personally by a Hebrew initiated Rabbi, in Palestine and made very plain to every advanced Kabbalist.

I. The Tetragrammaton is called in the Kabbala by various names. It is IHVH, the Microprosopus, in distinction to AHIH, the Macroprosopus. It is the LESSER FACE, a reflection (tainted with matter or Malkuth, its bride, the mother earth)—of the "Vastor," rather "Limitless" Face; therefore he is the antithesis of Macroprosopus. But who, or what is Macroprosopus, itself?

II. It is not "Ain-Soph" the Non-Existent, or Non-Being, no more than is Tetragrammaton; for both AHIH and IHVH are glyphs of existence, and symbols of terrestrial-androgynous, as well as male and female—life. Both are therefore mixed with Malkuth,—H-eva, "the mother of all that lives," and cannot be confounded in our spiritual perceptions with EHEIEH—the one ABSOLUTE Esse, or "Be-ness," as some call it, though Rabbis have tried hard to have the mantle fall upon their exoteric god. They are reflections of the Ain-Soph, the Hebrew Parabrahmam; for Ain- Soph is negative, and they, actual, positive life—therefore Maya or Illusion.

This is proven clearly by their dual presence in the cross—the oldest phallic symbol, thus—


—as shown in The "Kabbalah Unveiled," p. 31.4

III. There are two "Tetragrammatons" in the Kabbala, or, rather—he is dual, and for the matter of that, even triple, quater-

4 So old and so phallic, indeed, that leaving the ansated cross of Egypt aside, the terra cotta discs called fusaioles, found by Schliemann in abundance under the ruins of ancient Troy, are almost all in these two forms: swastika1 and swastika2 — the Indian Svastica and the Cross, the latter being Svastica or "Thor’s Hammer" minus its four addition-


nary and a septenary. He becomes nine and thirteen only toward the end when "thirteen" or UNITY destroys the septenate symbolized by the "Seven Inferior," which seven, are "the seven kings of Edom," (when the races are concerned) and the seven "lower Sephiroth" when the human principles are referred to. The first Tetragrammaton is the ever concealed one, the FATHER,—himself an emanation of the eternal light, thence not Ain-Soph. He is not the four-lettered Tetraktis, but the Square only, so to say, on a plane surface. It is the ideal geometrical figure formed of four imaginary lines, the abstract symbol of an abstract idea, or four "mathematical" lines enclosing a "mathematical" space—which is "equal to nothing enclosing nothing"—as says Dr. Pratt, speaking of the triangle in his "New Aspects of Life." A Phantom veiled with four breaths. So much for "Father" Macroprosopus-TETRAGRAMMATON. Whereas

IV. Microprosopus-Tetragrammaton—the "Son" or Logos, is the triangle in a square; the seven-fold, cube; or as Mr. R. Skinner shows it—the six-faced cube unfolded becomes the seven-partitioned cross, when the androgyne separates into opposite sexes.5 In the words of a commentary on the Secret Doctrine—

"The circle emanates a light which becomes to our vision four-cornered; this unfolds and becomes seven." Here the "circle" is the first sephira "the kether" or crown, the Risha Havurah, or "white head," and the "upper skull." [It is not limitless, but temporary in this phenomenal world.] It emanates the two lower Sephiroth (Chokhmah and Binah, which are "Father-Mother") and thus form the triangle, the first or upper triad of the Sephirothal Tree. This is the one or the monad of Pythagoras. But, it has emanated from the Seven Elohim, male and female, who are

al angles. No need to explain that the Orientalists who are unable to soar higher than the material plane, are nevertheless right, and that they have discovered one of the secret keys (of exoteric religions, only, however) in asserting that the origin of the cross is the arani and pramanthâ, the stick and the perforated vessel for kindling fire of the ancient Brahmins. Prometheus stealing the sacred fire of (pro) creation to endow men with, has undeniably the origin of his name in Pramanthâ. The god Agni was celestial fire, only so long as he was hidden in his casket. No sooner had Matare-swan, the Rig-Vedic aërial being, forced him out of it for the benefit of the consuming Bhrigus, than he became terrestrial fire, that of procreation, therefore phallic. The word mathâ or pramanthâ, we are told, has for its prefix pra, adding the idea of robbing or stealing by force to that contained in the root mathâ of the verb mathami, or manthnami, "to produce by friction." Hence Prometheus stealing the heavenly fire to degrade it (in one sense) on earth. He not only kindles the spark of life in the man of clay, but teaches him the mysteries of creation, which, from Kriyasakti, falls into the selfish act of procreation. [Vide supra—text.]

5 Four in length or the vertical line, and three horizontally. See Theosophist, April, 1887.


called the "Upper Father-Mother." These are themselves the reflections of the Female Holy Spirit, of which it is said in Sepher Jezirah "One is She, the Elohim of life."6 How far yet from AIN-SOPH the ALL, are these numbers7 of the Jewish Kabbala, for they are in fact only secret numbers and glyphs. Microprosopus comes the fourth.

Let any one turn to Plate IV of Kabbalah Denudata (Eng. Trans.) drawn by Mr. Mathers. Let him throw a glance at the "Symbolical Deific Forms" placed in their relations to the four Kabbalistic worlds—and he will soon see that "Tetragrammaton" or Microprosopus, the "Lesser countenance," comes as the fourth. For clearer explanation I copy a small portion of the table.

The four Letters The Sephiroth The four Worlds
Letters of the Tetragrammaton
brackets Macroprosopus Atziloth Archetypal W.
IYod The Father brackets Briah Creative W.
HThe supernal He The Mother Supernal
VVau Microprosopus Yetzirah Formative W.
HThe inferior He brackets The bride of Tetragrammaton or Malkuth Asiah Material W.

It thus follows that although Macroprosopus—or kether, the crown of numbers, for it is the white head, or O, the cipher8 is still removed from Ain-Soph, being only its universal reflection or light—that it is not the tetragram. It is simply SPACE, the boundless and the inscrutable, the supernal soil in which are concealed the archetypal ideas or forms of all; from which grows the ROOT of Kosmos, the universal Tree of Life in the creative world. The trunk of this "tree" are the "father, and mother, the 2nd and 3rd Sephiroth, or Chokhmah and Binah," respectively, Jehovah and "Jehovah-Elohim."9

6 See the "Kabbalah Unveiled." Introd. pp. 21-22.

7 Sephira means a numeral; it is one, and therefore singular, and the Sephiroth is a plural word, both of which have passed their names to our "ciphers" and are only the numbers of the creative hierarchies of the Dhyan Chohans. When the Elohim say "Let us make man," they have to work from the first to the last seventh, each endowing man with its own characteristic or principle.

8 The Hebrews had no word for a cipher or nought, hence the symbolism of a head or a round circle.

9 The student must bear in mind that Jehovah as a name is always male and female, or androgynous. It is a compound of two words—Jah and Hovah or "Jah eve." Jah alone is masculine and active: therefore while the 2nd Sephiroth Chokhma, "Wisdom," is masculine and stands for Ab "Father," Binah, "Intelligence," is feminine, passive, and


V. "The Father-Mother" belong to the creative world, because it is they who create; i.e., they are the bisexual material, the essence out of which the "Son," (the universe) is formed. This Son is Microprosopus, or TETRAGRAMMATON. Why is he the four-lettered symbol? Whence the sacredness of this Tetraktis? Is it the ineffable name, or is it in any way connected with that unpronounceable name? I do not hesitate to answer in the negative. It is simply a blind, a symbol to veil the better the septenary constitution of man and his origin, and the various mysteries connected with it. Its name, the Tetragram, is composed of four letters, but what is their secret, esoteric meaning? A Kabbalist will not hesitate to answer: "read it numerically and compute the figures and numbers, and you will know."

Now "Tetragrammaton" is Father-Mother and the "Son" in one. It is Jehovah, whose name is written IHVH, and whose letters read symbolically according to the method revealed at the FOURTH initiation,10 will read in two ways. It is composed of two masculine letters (IV) and two feminine characters (two H, he); or the "superior" and the "inferior" H. The first is the "supernal mother" or "the female Jehovah, as Binah", the other is the inferior H," or the 10th Sephiroth, Malkuth, the foundation of matter. It is impossible to reveal in print the first reading, when it is written AHIH, beyond stating that exoterically it is connected with the "I am that I am" and with Eheieh "Absolute BENESS or SAT."

It can be read in twelve different ways, each sentence being symbolized in a sign of the Zodiac. These transpositions are all made to refer to the mystery of being or existence—as an abstract conception.

But IHVH, the Tetragrammaton of the formative world, and the spouse of the "Bride," whose kingdom is Asiah or matter, though easy of explanation, is still more difficult to reveal in words, not on account of its sacredness, but rather of its indecency. I refer the reader for the plain symbolism of the four letters I, Η, V, H, to Mr. R. Skinner’s "Source of Measures," p. 10,

stands for Ama "Mother," the great deep whose name is "Jehovah." But the masculine name is symbolized by one letter alone, the—Yod—whose significance is entirely phallic.

10 Tradition says that the last initiates into the seven mysteries of Microprosopus and the supreme Tett (number 9 and the letter t.) the mystery of the two Aima (the two mothers, or the first and the second H. of the word IHVH) were the three Rabbis Schimeon, Abba and Eleazar who, in the Mysteries or Sod, had stood for Kether, Chokhma, and Binah. (See "Zohar, the Lesser Holy Assembly.") After their death the knowledge of the five upper initiations was lost.


wherein that symbolism is given. Hindus see it daily in their Linghas and Yonis. It is Jehovah-Tzabaoth, the Septenary Elohim concealed in the Holy of Holies, the Argha, or Noah’s Ark. Therefore (see Plate in K. Unv.) he is the seventh Sephiroth among the "superior" septenary, as Malkuth is the seventh of the "inferior" Sephiroth. Microprosopus is the third letter V (Vau) and is called tetragram only, because he is one of the four letters which embrace the whole nine Sephiroth—but not Sephira. He is the secret septenary, which has been hitherto occult, and now is thoroughly unveiled. On the tables which give the relations of the Sephiroth with the ten divine names, the ten archangels, their ten orders, the planets, etc., demons and the ten arch devils—Netzach, the 7th Sephiroth, whose name is exoterically "firmness and victory," and esoterically something more, is called by its Divine name Jehovah Tzabaoth and corresponds with Haniel (human physical life) the androgyne Elohim, with Venus-Lucifer and Baal, and finally with the letter Vau or Microprosopus, the Logos. All these belong to the formative world.

They are all septenates, all associated with plastic formation and MATTER—their "bride." The latter is the "inferior mother" Aima, "the woman with child" of the 12th chapter of Revelation, pursued by the great Dragon (of wisdom). Who is this Dragon? Is he the devil Satan, as we are taught to believe by the Church? Certainly not. He is the Dragon of Esoteric Wisdom, who objects to the child born of the "woman" (the universe), for this child is its mankind, hence ignorance and illusion. But Mikael and his angels, or Jehovah Tzabaoth (the "Host") who refused to create as the seven passionless, mind-born, sons of Brahma did, because they aspire to incarnate as men in order to become higher than the gods—fight the Dragon, conquer him, and the child of matter is born. The "Dragon" of esoteric wisdom falls back into darkness indeed!11

11 The key which opens this mystery is the seventh key, and relates to the seventh trumpet of the seventh angel, after whose blast St. John sees the woman and "War in Heaven." (See Revelation, chap. XI, verse 15, and chapter XII, and try to understand.) This allegory "War in Heaven" has six other meanings; but this one is on the most material plane and explains the septenary principle. The "woman" is crowned with 12 stars and has the sun and moon to clothe her (twice seven), she being the universe; the Dragon has seven heads, seven crowns and ten horns—another occult symbolism, and he is one of the seven LOGOI. Perchance those who have reflected over the strange behaviour of Narada may understand the analogy. Indeed, a Prajapat and a great Vedic Rishi, and yet one who is ever interfering with the physical procreation of men, he seduces twice the thousands of Daksha’s sons into remaining celibates and Yogis, for this he is cursed to be incarnated, born in a womb, and those who know something about numbers and cycles will now understand better the meaning of this allegory.


Therefore, though I do not feel the slightest objection to any mystic willing to unite himself with the Logos called "Tetragrammaton" or Microprosopus, I personally prefer a union with Macroprosopus, on general principles; at any rate in this cycle of incarnation. After which, with the help of the "PERFECT NUMBER," I hope to see the supernal light reducing to ashes not only my "seven inferiors" (the Microprosopus), but even the semblance of the thirteen in the unity, that "wage war with seven," (Book of Conc. Mys. v. 27) and along with them the Macroprosopical square. The letter Yod in the path of the ninth Sephira having a decidedly phallic signification, I decline union with the lower sevenfold and seven lettered Jehovah, and prefer pinning my faith to "Ain-Soph"—pure and simple; otherwise, why leave the bosom of Orthodox church at all? As well join the "Salvation Army" at once, and sing "Blood, blood," the whole day.

The "Logos" which we recognize is not the Tetragrammaton, but the CROWN, Kether, which has nought to do with the material plane nor with Macro, or Microprosopus—but which is connected only with the pro-archetypal world. As it is said,

"By gematria AHIH equals IHV without the H, the symbol of Malkuth," the "Bride," (p. 31). "Closely associated with . . . the letters of the Tetragrammaton is that subject of the four Keroubim (cherubs). . . . Therefore the Keroubim represent the powers of the letters of the Tetragrammaton on the material plane . . . The Keroubim are the living forms of the letters symbolized in the Zodiac by Taurus, Leo, Aquarius and Scorpio . . ." (pp. 32 and 34, Int. to Kab. Den).

What the symbolism of these four animals represents in its turn "on the material plane" is again known.

Taurus—whether called Siva’s Bull, the Egyptian Bull Apis, the Zoroastrian "Bull" killed by Ahriman,—is ever a symbol of the seed of life, of generative as well as of the destructive force, while Scorpio is the symbol of sin (in the sexual sense) of evil and spiritual death, and Scorpio is the fourth number of Tetragrammaton—or Malkuth.

"The mystery of the earthly and mortal man is after the mystery of the supernal and immortal one . . ." In the form of the body is the Tetragrammaton found. "The head is (the letter Yod), the arms and shoulders are like (supernal) H, the body is V, and the legs are represented by the H (he) final." (Kal. Unv. p. 34.)

In the "Scale of the number Seven," the name of God is rep-


resented with seven letters. The scale is septenary; whatever way one looks from the first original or archetypal down to the seventh or temporal world.

The "Tree of Life" has seven branches and seven fruits on it. In the "Book of Concealed Mystery," BRASHITH, the initial word in Genesis, reads Bera sheth, "He created the six." Upon these depend all things which are below (v. 16), all things being synthesized by Malkuth—the Seventh—Microprosopus.

"Microprosopus is formed of the six Sephiroth, three male and three female" (v. 67). The limbs of the Tetragrammaton are called the six members of Microprosopus, and 6 is the numerical value of V (Vau) his letter. When they (the limbs) touch the earth, they become seven (p. 32, Kab. Unv., and verse 9 of Comm. xxii. in Book of Numbers).

The whole "Book of Concealed Mystery" is full of such sentences. "The Microprosopus is six-fold. . . ." As he is formed of six Sephiroth which are called with Malkuth the inferior seven. These members are emanated from the first six (creative) words pronounced. "His seventh principle is represented by the tenth Sephiroth . . .who is Eve in the exoteric system, or the inferior mother. . . ." Hence the seventh week is called the Millennium, the Sabbath, and also the seventh kingdom." (Book of Conc. Myst. v. 22.)

The Kabbalists have always made a difference not only between AIN-SOPH, the numberless and the Inconceivable, but even between Microprosopus and the lower Tetragrammaton, the "Son," thence, the Logos. For, it is written in the "Greater Holy Assembly"—

"(83.) And concerning this the children of Israel wished to know in their minds, like as it is written" (Exodus xvii. 7), ‘Is the Tetragrammaton in the midst of us, or the negatively existent one?" Where they distinguished between Microprosopus who is called Tetragrammaton, and between Macroprosopus, who is called "AIN, the negative existence" (p. 121). But—the "Yod of the ancient one is hidden and concealed." (73. Int.)

(v. 1152.) We have learned that there were ten (companions, the Sephiroth) who entered into the SOD (mysteries of creation) and that seven only came forth.

(v. 1158.) And when Rabbi Shimeon revealed the Arcana, there were found none present there save those (companions).


(v. ΙΙ59.) And Rabbi Shimeon called them the seven eyes of Tetragrammaton, like as it is written, Zach. iii. 9, "These are the seven eyes of Tetragrammaton."

In the Bible the latter word is translated "The Lord," which shows plainly that the Christians have accepted for their "Lord God" a fourth Sephirothal emanation and the male letter "Vau."

Is this the "Logos" every initiate has to seek union with, as "the ultimate result of his labours"? Then, he may as well remain in his septenary mortal body as long as he can.

With respect to the other "obstacles," they are as incorrectly stated. The "Figure of the man on the Throne" in Ezekiel answers in esotericism to the archetypal plane, the world of Atziloth, not to the Schekinah in Malkuth and Asiah, on the material plane; as will become evident to any one who analyzes the vision kabbalistically. For, firstly, there are four clear divisions of the symbolism of the vision; namely, the form of the man, the throne on which he is seated, the firmament above the heads of the living creatures, and the "living creatures" themselves with their ophanim or wheels. These again clearly answer to the four Kabbalistical worlds or planes themselves, i.e., Atziloth, the Archetypal—the shadowy figure of the man; Briah, the Creative,—the throne; Jetzirah, the Formative, the firmament; Asiah, the Material, the living creatures. These answer again to the four letters of the tetragram: thus, the uppermost point of Yod in IHVH to the "figure of the man," the H (He) to the throne, the V (Vau) to the firmament, and the H final to the creatures. (See Plate IX of the Kabbalah Unveiled.)

The "figure of the man" is not "the male form of Shekinah." Shekinah is not "an androgyne power."12 Shekinah is sexless or feminine if anything. It is primordial light emanating from the ever-concealed Ain-Soph. In the archetypal world it is Sephira, in the material and the formative it becomes Shekinah, the latent life and light of this inferior world of matter—the "veil of Ain-Soph" and the "divine presence" on the path of Malkuth from the material to the higher worlds. She is the Buddhi of the physical body—the soul or spark burning in the vessel; and after the vessel is broken, merging into the seventh (according to Theosophical computation) and into the first or Macroprosopus Kabbalistically,

12 I have consulted our brother Mr. S. Liddell Macgregor Mathers whether any Kabbalist justified the idea that Shekinah was "an androgyne power." He said no—"it is sexless and is the divine presence." (See his Kabbalah, page 55, note between verses 32 and 33.)


as it is the first ray from the concealed.13

The plan revealed by Malkuth is given in the "Book of Concealed Mystery," the

Sephra Dzenioutha, V. 31, as follows:

"The Tree which is mitigated (that is, the Path of the Kingdom or Shekinah, which is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which in itself existeth from the judgment, but is mitigated by the bridegroom through the influx of mercies) resideth within the shells; (because the Kingdom hath its dominion over all things, and its feet descend into death). In its branches (in the inferior worlds) the birds lodge and build their nests (the souls and the angels have their place). Beneath it those animals which have power seek the shade (that is the shells, Klipoth, ‘for in it every beast of the forest doth walk forth.’ Ps. civ. 20).

"This is the tree which hath two paths for the same end (namely, good and evil, because it is the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil). And it hath around it seven columns (that is, the seven palaces), and the four splendours, (that is, the four animals) whirl around it (in four wheels) on their four sides (after the four-fold description of the chariot of Yechesgiel (Ezekiel)."

This tree has seven branches,14 on each of which are four leaves and three fruits. Moreover there is an evident analogy between the above verse in S.D. and Chapter I to IV of Revelation. For the seven churches "of Asia" are identical with the "seven palaces" in Asiah, or the material septenary place. The seven stars which are in the right hand of the "figure" in the 1st chapter are not these seven churches, but the seven keys to them; and the two-edged (androgyne) word which proceeds from his mouth is the Yod of IHVH. This "figure" is the septenary "Tetragrammaton" the V (Vau).15

But this figure is a different thing altogether to the one which is on the throne in Ezekiel’s vision. For the former (the figure in Chapter I of Revelation) is on the planes of Jetzirah (the world of formation, the habitat of the angels who would not create), and the figure of Ezekiel is on the plane of Atziloth, and is de-

13 Nor is Shekinah a Sephiroth, for she proceeds from, and is latent in, the tenth Malkuth, and is destroyed with the latter. (See 22, Book of Conc. Myst.) The mistake has probably arisen from Shekinah’s divine name being Adonai and the angelic Keroubim. But no Kabbalist will give out in print the key to this.

14 See engraving from the Babylonian account of creation (by G. Smith, "Chaldean account of Genesis") of the Sacred Tree, with figure on each side and serpent in the background. This engraving is taken from an early Babylonian cylinder, and represents the said tree with its seven branches.

15 Or Vau, whose number is six and symbolism—a hook or crook; phallic.


scribed in the 4th chapter of the Apocalypse as the "one who sat upon the throne."

In order to be two, to bear the burden of the above statements, I have applied to Mr. S. L. Macgregor Mathers (than whom there are few more learned Kabbalists in England, though I do not certainly agree with all his views. But on this question we are in almost full agreement). Our brother has kindly consented to give an opinion in writing, and this is how he distributes the SEPHIROTHAL Tree.

Binah Chokmah
Geburah Chesed
Hod Netzach

Here the figure on the throne in Ezekiel’s vision refers to Kether; the throne to Chokhmah and Binah, the world of Briah, whose alternative name is Korsia,the throne; the firmament is Microprosopus, who consists of the six Sephiroth,—Chesed, Geburah, Tiphereth, Netzach, Hod and Yesod. Now Yesod is the path of ingress into Malkuth or the created material world; and the Shekinah is the Presence in Malkuth, the Queenly Presence; for Shekinah is feminine, and not androgynous. And the seal of the Macrocosm the six pointed star, the16

Star of David

is the emblem of Microprosopus, the Tetragrammaton—the Vau of IHVH, who stands within the seven light-bearers of Malkuth, which are no other than the seven last Sephiroth themselves, or

16 It is the seal of the Macrocosm certainly, but it becomes that of Microcosm only when the five pointed star is enclosed within it, for it is the latter which is properly the sign of Macroprosopus. It is the Shatkon Chakram (the wheel of Vishnu) and the Panchakon (Pentagram). We would call the former the seal of Macroprosopus only when the hexagram is surrounded by or within a circle; not otherwise. But this does not affect the question. The Kabbalah of Knorr Von Rosenroth contains a good many errors, and other versions—especially the Latin translations, all made by Christians bent upon squeezing out nolens volens a prophetic and Christian meaning out of the Zohar—more still.


the six Sephiroth which compose Microprosopus with Malkuth added as the seventh.17

Nothing can be plainer I believe. Whatever the transcendental, metaphysical speculations and interpretations, which, of course, can be satisfied with Tetraktis on the plane of the Archetypal world, once that we descend into the world of the Astral and of the phenomenally occult, we cannot have less than seven principles upon which to base ourselves. I have studied the Kabbala under two learned Rabbis, one of whom was an initiate, and there was no difference between the two teachings (the esoteric Eastern and the Western) in this instance.

Of course it is well known that any one endowed with even a moderate dose of ingenuity can, if he has studied the three Kabbalistic modes of interpretation— especially the Notarikon—make what he likes of the unpointed Hebrew words and letters. But the explanations I give require no Notarikon, but simply a knowledge of the seventh esoteric key. With Massoretic points one can transform the astral Jehovah Tzabaoth, and even Jehovah-Elohim into the "One living" and the highest God the "God of gods"—whereas he is merely one of the formative and generative gods. A good instance of the above dishonesty is found in Mr. Mather’s translation of Knorr von Rosenroth’s Kabbalah Denudata. He gives us six specimens of the various readings of the first word only (B’rashith) in Genesis. With the rules of Notarikon the opening sentence "B’rashith Bara Elohimeth hashamayim v’eth h’arets" or "In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth," may be made to mean whatever one pleases; since the first and solitary word B’rashith is forced to yield six dogmatic teachings of the Latin Church.

As shown by the aforesaid Kabbalist, Solomon Meir Ben Moses, a convert to Roman Catholicism in 1665, who took the name of Prosper Rugere, succeeded in proving on strictly Notariconist grounds that the said first word (B’rashith) revealed six Christian meanings, the 1st of these was "The sun, the spirit, the father, their trinity, perfect unity"; the 3rd, "Ye shall worship my firstborn, my first, whose name is Jesus"; the 5th, "I will choose a Virgin worthy to bring forth Jesus, and ye shall call her blessed."

17 The Sephra Dzenioutha says concerning Malkuth, "The Shekinah (or queenly presence) which is below that is a Path of the kingdom, namely, Malkuth, the tenth and last Sephira." (I, c. 32).


The sixth is given in the foot-note below.18 The two others are repetitions.

The same remarkable elasticity of interpretation is afforded in the esoteric texts of other nations. Each symbol and glyph having seven keys to it, it follows that one party may be using one key to any subject under dispute, and then accuse another student who is using another key of deliberate misinterpretation.

Such is not my policy however. In esoteric matters I would rather seek conciliation than quarrel over mistakes made, whether real or imaginary; because the CAUSE and the triumph of truth ought to be dearer to a true Occultist and Theosophist than petty successes over disputants.

No one occultist, if he is true to his colours, can give out the meaning of all the "Seven Mysteries of Wisdom"—even if he himself is acquainted with all—which would be a marvel, indeed. For those "Seven Mysteries" in toto are known thoroughly only to the "MASTERS OF WISDOM"; and those Masters would hardly indulge in polemical discussions whether in newspaper or periodical. What is the use then of losing time and power over proving that one facet of the diamond shines with more light and brilliancy than its sister facet instead of uniting all the forces to draw the attention of the profane to the radiance of the jewel itself? We students of the sacred science ought to help each other, encourage research and profit by our mutual knowledge, instead of unprofitably criticizing it to satisfy personal pride. This is how I look at it: for otherwise our enemies, who started by calling us humbugs on the sole strength of their sectarian and materialistic prejudices and bigotry, will be justified in reiterating their accusation on the ground of our mutual denunciations.

Materialism is raising its ghastly head higher than ever.

Knowledge, one of the scientific papers of London, gives us a foretaste of what is in store for the occultist. While reviewing the Kabbalah Unveiled, it is loud in proclaiming "the extraordinary intellectual vagaries of the Hebrew commentators on their scrip-

18 In the Notarikon "Every letter of a word is taken for the initial or abbreviation of another word, so that from the letters of a word a sentence may be formed." Thus, from the letters of this word B’rashith, I too could easily make a sentence which would read:—"Beware! rows are soon hatched in Theosophy," and then offer it as a divine warning and revelation, taking as my authority the "Book of God." This reading would be as true, but more to the point than the 6th of Prosper Rugere’s versions; for he made of B’rashith—"Beaugoh ratzephim Asattar Shegopi Jeshuah Thakelo," which, translated, reads "I, (God) will hide myself in cake (wafer) for ye shall eat Jesus, my body"—and converted thereby, and forthwith, another Jew to Roman Catholicism!


tures." It crushes under the weight of its materialist contempt the idea from Dr. Ginsburg’s "Essay on the Kabbalah"—that the mysteries of being were "taught by the Almighty himself to a select company of angels, who formed a theosophic school in Paradise!" and winds up by a tremendous point of mocking admiration, in parenthesis (!). This, on page 259 of Knowledge, Sept. 1, 1887. On page 245, Mr. Edward Clodd offers us, instead of the teachings of the "Theosophic angels," those of the Darwinists of the Haeckelian School. Having surveyed "a vast field" in Kosmos, "the limits of which shade into the unlimited on all sides," this anti-Kabbalistic champion of modern science ends his "vagaries" by the following startling enunciation:

We began with the primitive nebula, we end with the highest forms of consciousness; the story of creation is shown (!?) to be the unbroken record of the evolution OF GAS INTO GENIUS (!!!).

This shows how we stand with the men of modern science and how much we need all our forces to hold the materialists at bay.

One word more and I have done. I am repeatedly asked to show my authority—book, page and verse—for the esoteric doctrine of the "Septenary." This is like saying to one in the midst of a desert prove to me that water is full of infusoria when there is no microscope to be got. Better than any one, those who make such a claim upon me, know that outside of the few places where secret MSS. are stored for ages, no esoteric doctrines were ever written and plainly explained; otherwise they would have lost long ago their very name. There is such a thing as an "unwritten" Kabbala, as well as a written one, even in the West. Many things are orally explained, and always have been. Nevertheless, hints and allusions to it are numerous and scattered throughout the exoteric scriptures, and the classification depends, of course, on the school that interprets it, and still more upon personal intuition and conception. The question is not whether there are three, five or seven colours in the rays of the spectrum, for every one knows there are, in fact and nature, but one—the colourless white. And, though Science discerns very plainly seven prismatic rays as clear as are the seven notes in the scale; yet, one has heard of very great men of science who insisted there were only four or five until it was found out that they were colour-blind.

Theosophist, November, 1887Η. P. Blavatsky



SIR,—"R.P." attempts in the October number of our Magazine to prove that I have taught in Isis Unveiled substantially the doctrine of Visishtadwaita, to which view I take exception. I am quite aware of the fact that Isis is far from being as complete a work as, with the same materials, it might have been made by a better scholar; and that it lacks symmetry, as a literary production, and perhaps here and there accuracy. But I have some excuse for all that. It was my first book; it was written in a language foreign to me—in which I had not been accustomed to write; the language was even more unfamiliar to certain Asiatic philosophers who rendered assistance; and, finally, Colonel Olcott, who revised the manuscript and worked with me throughout, was then—in the years 1875 and 1876—almost entirely ignorant of Aryan Philosophy, and hence unable to detect and correct such errors as I might so readily fall into when putting my thoughts into English. Still, despite all this, I think "R.P.’s" criticism is faulty. If I erred in making too little distinction between an Impersonal God, or Parabrahm, and a Personal God, I scarcely went to the length of confounding the one with the other completely. The pages (vol. ii. 216-17; and 153; and pref. p. 2) that he relies upon, represent not my own doctrine but the ideas of others. The first two are quotations from Manu, and show what an educated Brahman and a Buddhist might answer to Prof. Max Müller’s affirmation that Moksha and Nirvana mean annihilation; while the third (vol. ii. p. 153) is a defense and explanation of the inner sense of the Bible, as from a Christian mystic’s standpoint. Of course this would resemble Visishtadwaitism, which, like Christianity, ascribes personal attributes to the Universal Principle. As for the reference to the Preface, it seems that even when read in the dead-letter sense, the paragraph could only be said to reflect my personal opinion and not the Esoteric Doctrine. A sceptic in my early life, I had sought and obtained through the Masters the full assurance of the existence of a principle (not Personal God)—"a boundless and fathomless ocean" of which my "soul" was a


drop. Like the Adwaitis, I made no difference between my Seventh Principle and the Universal Spirit, or Parabrahm; nor did, or do I believe in an individual, segregated spirit in me, as a something apart from the whole. And see, for proof, my remark about the "omnipotence of man’s immortal spirit"—which would be a logical absurdity upon any theory of egoistic separation. My mistake was that throughout the whole work I indifferently employed the words Parabrahm and God to express the same idea: a venial sin surely, when one knows that the English language is so poor that even at this moment I am using the Sanskrit word to express one idea and the English one for the other! Whether it be orthodox Adwaita or not, I maintain as an occultist, on the authority of the Secret Doctrine, that though merged entirely into Parabrahm, man’s spirit while not individual per se, yet preserves its distinct individuality in Paranirvana, owing to the accumulation in it of the aggregates, or skandhas that have survived after each death, from the highest faculties of the Manas. The most spiritual—i.e., the highest and divinest aspirations of every personality follow Buddhi and the Seventh Principle into Devachan (Swarga) after the death of each personality along the line of rebirths, and become part and parcel of the Monad. The personality fades out, disappearing before the occurrence of the evolution of the new personality (rebirth) out of Devachan: but the individuality of the spirit-soul [dear, dear, what can be made out of this English!] is preserved to the end of the great cycle (Maha-Manwantara) when each Ego enters Paranirvana, or is merged in Parabrahm. To our talpatic, or mole-like, comprehension the human spirit is then lost in the One Spirit, as the drop of water thrown into the sea can no longer be traced out and recovered. But de facto it is not so in the world of immaterial thought. This latter stands in relation to the human dynamic thought, as, say, the visual power through the strongest conceivable microscope would to the sight of a half-blind man: and yet even this is a most insufficient simile—the difference is "inexpressible in terms of foot-pounds." That such Parabrahmic and Paranirvanic "spirits," or units, have and must preserve their divine (not human) individualities, is shown in the fact that, however long the "night of Brahma" or even the Universal Pralaya (not the local Pralaya affecting some one group of worlds) yet, when it ends, the same individual Divine Monad resumes its majestic path of evolution, though on a higher, hundredfold perfected and more pure chain of earths


than before, and brings with it all the essence of compound spiritualities from its previous countless rebirths. Spiral evolution, it must be remembered, is dual, and the path of spirituality turns, corkscrew-like, within and around physical, semi-physical, and supra-physical evolution. But I am being tempted into details which had best be left for the full consideration which their importance merits to my forthcoming work, the Secret Doctrine.

Theosophist, January, 1886Η. P. Blavatsky



Madam,Since you have published a posthumous letter of my Master and beloved friend, the late Éliphas Lévi, I think it would be agreeable to you to publish, if judged suitable, a few extracts of the many manuscripts in my possession, written expressly for, and given to, me by my ever-regretted MASTER.

To begin, I send you—"Stray Thoughts on Death and Satan" from his pen.

I cannot close this letter without expressing the deep indignation aroused in me by the base diatribes published in the London Spiritualist against your Society and its members. Every honest heart is irritated at such unfair treatment, especially when proceeding from a man of honour as Mr. Harrison (Editor of the Spiritualist) who admits in his journal anonymous contributions that are tantamount to libels.

With the utmost respect, I remain, Madam,
Yours Devotedly,

Marseilles, July 29, 1881

Editor’s Note.—It is with feelings of sincere gratitude that we thank Baron Spadalieri for his most valuable contribution. The late Éliphas Lévi was the most learned Kabalist and Occultist of our age, in Europe, and every thing from his pen is precious to us, in so far as it helps us to compare notes with the Eastern Occult doctrines and, by the light thrown upon both, to prove to the world of Spiritualists and Mystics, that the two systems—the Eastern-Aryan, and the Western or the Chaldeo-Jewish Kabala—are one in their principal metaphysical tenets. Only, while the Eastern Occultists have never lost the key to their esotericism, and are daily verifying and elaborating their doctrines by personal experiments, and by the additional light of modern science, the Western or Jewish Kabalists, besides having been misled for


centuries by the introduction of foreign elements in it such as Christian dogmas, dead-letter interpretations of the Bible &c., have most undeniably lost the true key to the esoteric meaning of Simeon Ben Jochai’s Kabala, and are trying to make up for the loss, by interpretations emanating from the depths of their imagination and inner consciousness. Such is evidently the case with J. K., the self-styled London "Adept," whose anonymous and powerless vilifications of the Theosophical Society and its members are pertinently regarded by Baron Spadalieri as "tantamount to libels." But we have to be charitable. That poor descendant of the Biblical Levites—as we know him to be—in his pigmy efforts to upset the Theosophists, has most evidently fractured his brain against one of his own "occult" sentences. There is one especially in the Spiritualist (July 22), to which the attention of the mystically inclined is drawn further down as this paragraph is most probably the cause of the sad accident which befell so handsome a head. Be it as it may, but it now disables the illustrious J. K. from communicating "scientifically his knowledge" and forces him at the same time to remain, as he expresses it, "in an incommunicable ecstatic state." For it is in no other "state" that our great modern adept, the literary man of such a "calibre"* that to suspect him of "ignorance" becomes equal, in audacity, to throwing suspicion upon the virtue of Caesar’s wife—could possibly have written the following lines, intended by him, we believe, as a lucid and clear exposition of his own psycho-Kabalistic lore as juxtaposed to the "hard words," "outlandish verbiage," "moral and philosophical platitudes," and "jaw-breakers" of "the learned Theosophists."

These are the "gems of occult wisdom" of the illustrious Jewish Kabalist who, like a bashful violet, hides his occult learning under two modest initials.

* "To accuse a literary man of my calibre of ignorance, is as amusing a mistake as it would have been to charge Porson of ignorance of Greek," he writes in the Spiritualist of July 8. . . . "The occult is my special subject, and . . . there is but little . . . that I do not know," he adds. Now, the above sentence settles the question at rest with us. Not only an "adept" but no layman or profane of the most widely recognized intellect and ability, would have ever dared, under the penalty of being henceforth and for ever regarded as the most ridiculously conceited of—Æsopus’ heroes—to use such a sentence when speaking of himself! So stupidly arrogant, and cowardly impertinent has he shown himself behind the shield of his initials to far better and more worthy men than himself, in his transparent attacks upon them in the above-named Spiritualist—that it is the first and certainly the last time that we do him the honour of noticing him in these columns. Our journal has a nobler task, we trust, than to be polemizing with those, whom in vulgar parlance the world generally terms—bullies—ED. THEOS.


"In every human creature there lies latent in the involitional part of the being a sufficient quantity of the omniscient, the absolute. To induce the latent absolute, which is the involitional part of our volitional conscious being, to become manifest, it is essential that the volitional part of our being should become latent. After the preparatory purification from acquired depravities, a kind of introversion has to take place; the involitional has to become volitional, by the volitional becoming involitional. When the conscious becomes semi-unconscious, the, to us, formerly unconscious becomes fully conscious. The particle of the omniscient that is within us, the vital and growing, sleepless, involitional, occult or female principle being allowed to express itself in the volitional, mental, manifest, or masculine part of the human being, while the latter remains in a state of perfect passivity, the two formerly dissevered parts become reunited as one holy (wholly) perfect being, and then the divine manifestation is inevitable." Very luckily, J. K. gives us himself the key to this grandiloquent gush: "necessarily" he adds, "this is only safely practicable while living in uncompromisingly firm purity, for otherwise there is danger of unbalancement—insanity, or a questionable form of mediumship."

The italics are ours. Evidently with our immaculate "adept" the "involitional, occult or female principle" was not allowed to "express itself in the volitional, mental, manifest, or masculine part" of his being, and—behold the results!!

For the edification of our Hindu readers, who are unprogressive enough to refuse reading the lucubrations of "J.K.," or follow the mental "grand trapeze" performed by this remarkable "Adept" on the columns of the Spiritualist, we may add that in the same article he informs his English readers that it is "Hindu mystification, acting on Western credulity" which "brought out the Theosophical Society." "Hindu philosophy" according to that great light of the nineteenth century is no "philosophy" but "rather mysticism." . . . "Following the track of the mystifying and mystified Hindus they (the Theosophists) consider the four above faculties (Sidhis of Krishna) Anima, Mahima, Laghima and Garima to be the power they (we) have to strive for." "Indeed, what a ludicrous confusion of effect with cause"!

The fracture of the brain must have been serious indeed. Let us hope that timely and repeated lotions of "Witch-Hazel" or "the


Universal Magic Balm" will have its good effects. Meanwhile, we turn the attention of our Hindu readers and students of Occultism to the identity of the doctrines taught by Éliphas Lévi (who, too, is contemptuously sneered at, and sent by the "Adept" to keep company with "Brothers," Yogis, and "Fakirs") in every essential and vital point with those of our Eastern initiates.




Death is the necessary dissolution of imperfect combinations. It is the re-absorption of the rough outline of individual life into the great work of universal life; only the perfect is immortal.

It is a bath in oblivion. It is the fountain of youth where on one side plunges old age, and whence on the other issues infancy.1

Death is the transfiguration of the living; corpses are but the dead leaves of the Tree of Life which will still have all its leaves in the spring. The resurrection of men resembles eternally these leaves.

Perishable forms are conditioned by immortal types.

All who have lived upon earth, live there still in new exemplars of their types, but the souls which have surpassed their type receive elsewhere a new form based upon a more perfect type, as they mount ever on the ladder of worlds;2 the bad exemplars are broken, and their matter returned into the general mass.3

Our souls are as it were a music, of which our bodies are the instruments. The music exists without the instruments, but it cannot make itself heard without a material intermediary; the immaterial can neither be conceived nor grasped.

Man in his present existence only retains certain predispositions from his past existences.

Evocations of the dead are but condensations of memory, the imaginary coloration of the shades. To evoke those who are no longer there, is but to cause their types to reissue from the

1 Rebirth of the Ego after death. The Eastern, and especially Buddhistic doctrine of the evolution of the new, out of the old Ego.ED. THEOS.

2 From one loka to the other; from a positive world of causes and activity, to a negative world of effects and passivity.—ED. THEOS.

3 Into Cosmic matter, when they necessarily lose their self-consciousness or individuality, or are annihilated, as the Eastern Kabalists say.—ED. THEOS.


imagination of nature.4

To be in direct communication with the imagination of nature, one must be either asleep, intoxicated, in an ecstacy, cataleptic, or mad.

The eternal memory preserves only the imperishable; all that passes in Time belongs of right to oblivion.

The preservation of corpses is a violation of the laws of nature; it is an outrage on the modesty of death, which hides the works of destruction, as we should hide those of reproduction. Preserving corpses is to create phantoms in the imagination of the earth;5 the spectres of the night-mare, of hallucination, and fear, are but the wandering photographs of preserved corpses. It is these preserved or imperfectly destroyed corpses, which spread, amid the living, plague, cholera, contagious diseases, sadness, scepticism and disgust of life.6 Death is exhaled by death. The cemeteries poison the atmosphere of towns, and the miasma of corpses blight the children even in the bosoms of their mothers.

Near Jerusalem in the Valley of Gehenna a perpetual fire was maintained for the combustion of filth and the carcasses of animals, and it is to this eternal fire that Jesus alluded when he says that the wicked shall be cast into Gehenna; signifying that dead souls will be treated as corpses.

The Talmud says that the souls of those who have not believed in immortality will not become immortal. It is faith only which gives personal immortality;7 science and reason can only affirm the general immortality.

The mortal sin is the suicide of the soul. This suicide would occur if the man devoted himself to evil with the full strength of his mind, with a perfect knowledge of good and evil, and an entire liberty of action which seems impossible in practice, but which is possible in theory, because the essence of an independent personality is an unconditioned liberty. The divinity imposes

4 To ardently desire to see a dead person is to evoke the images of that person, to call it forth from the astral light or ether wherein rest photographed the images of the Past. That is what is being partially done in the seance-rooms. The Spiritualists are unconscious NECROMANCERS.— ED. THEOS.

5 To intensify these images in the astral or sidereal light.—ED. THEOS.

6 People begin intuitionally to realize the great truth, and societies for burning bodies and crematories are now started in many places in Europe.—ED. THEOS.

7 Faith and will power. Immortality is conditional, as we have ever stated. It is the reward of the pure and good. The wicked man, the material sensualist only survives. He who appreciates but physical pleasures will not and cannot live in the hereafter as a self-conscious Entity.—ED. THEOS.


nothing upon man, not even existence. Man has a right to withdraw himself even from the divine goodness, and the dogma of eternal hell is only the assertion of eternal freewill.

God precipitates no one into hell. It is men who can go there freely, definitively and by their own choice.

Those who are in hell, that is to say, amid the gloom of evil8 and the sufferings of the necessary punishment, without having absolutely so willed it, are called to emerge from it. This hell is for them only a purgatory. The damned completely, absolutely and without respite, is Satan who is not a rational existence, but a necessary hypothesis.

Satan is the last word of the creation. He is the end infinitely emancipated. He willed to be like God of which he is the opposite. God is the hypothesis necessary to reason, Satan the hypothesis necessary to unreason asserting itself as free-will.

To be immortal in good, one must identify oneself with God; to be immortal in evil, with Satan. These are the two poles of the world of souls; between these two poles vegetate and die without remembrance the useless portion of mankind.

Editor’s Note.—This may seem incomprehensible to the average reader, for it is one of the most abstruse of the tenets of Occult doctrine. Nature is dual: there is a physical and material side, as there is a spiritual and moral side to it; and, there is both good and evil in it, the latter the necessary shadow to its light. To force oneself upon the current of immortality, or rather to secure for oneself an endless series of rebirths as conscious individualities—says the Book of Khiu-te Vol. XXXI, one must become a co-worker with nature, either for good or for bad, in her work of creation and reproduction, or in that of destruction. It is but the useless drones, which she gets rid of, violently ejecting and making them perish by the millions as self-conscious entities. Thus, while the good and the pure strive to reach Nipang (nirvana or that state of absolute existence and absolute consciousness—which, in the world of finite perceptions, is non-existence and non-consciousness)—the wicked will seek, on the contrary, a series of lives as conscious, definite existences or beings, preferring to be ever suffering under the law of retributive

8 That is to say, they are reborn in a "lower world" which is neither "Hell" nor any theological purgatory, but a world of nearly absolute matter and one preceding the last one in the "circle of necessity" from which "there is no redemption, for there reigns absolute spiritual darkness." (Book of Khiu-te.)—ED. THEOS.


justice rather than give up their lives as portions of the integral, universal whole. Being well aware that they can never hope to reach the final rest in pure spirit, or nirvana, they cling to life in any form, rather than give up that "desire for life," or Tanha which causes a new aggregation of Skandas or individuality to be reborn. Nature is as good a mother to the cruel bird of prey as she is to the harmless dove. Mother nature will punish her child, but since he has become her co-worker for destruction she cannot eject him. There are thoroughly wicked and depraved men, yet as highly intellectual and acutely spiritual for evil, as those who are spiritual for good. The Egos of these may escape the law of final destruction or annihilation for ages to come. That is what Éliphas Lévi means by becoming "immortal in evil," through identification with Satan. "I would thou wert cold or hot," says the vision of the Revelation to St. John (III. 15-16). "So then because thou art, lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." The Revelation is an absolutely Kabalistic book. Heat and cold are the two "poles," i.e., good and evil, spirit and matter. Nature spues the "lukewarm" or "the useless portion of mankind" out of her mouth, i.e., annihilates them. This conception that a considerable portion of mankind may after all not have immortal souls, will not be new even to European readers. Coleridge himself likened the case to that of an oak tree bearing, indeed, millions of acorns, but acorns of which under normal conditions not one in a thousand ever developed into a tree, and suggested that as the majority of the acorns failed to develop into a new living tree, so possibly the majority of men fail to develop into a new living entity after this earthly death.



Satan is merely a type, not a real personage.

It is the type opposed to the Divine type, the necessary foil to this in our imagination.

It is the factitious shadow which renders visible to us the infinite light of the Divine.

If Satan was a real personage then would there be two Gods, and the creed of the Manicheans would be a truth.

Satan is the imaginary conception of the absolute in evil; a conception necessary to the complete affirmation of the liberty of the human will, which, by the help of this imaginary absolute seems able to equilibrate the entire power even of God. It is the


boldest, and perhaps, the sublimest of the dreams of human pride.

"You shall be as Gods knowing good and evil," saith the allegorical serpent in the Bible. Truly to make evil a science is to create a God of evil, and if any spirit can eternally resist God, there is no longer one God but two Gods.

To resist the Infinite, infinite force is necessary, and two infinite forces opposed to each other must neutralize each other.9 If resistance on the part of Satan is possible the power of God no longer exists, God and the Devil destroy each other, and man remains alone; he remains alone with the phantom of his Gods, the hybrid sphynx, the winged bull, which poises in its human hand a sword of which the wavering lightnings drive the human imagination from one error to the other, and from the despotism of the light, to the despotism of the darkness.

The history of mundane misery is but the romance of the war of the Gods, a war still unfinished, while the Christian world still adores a God in the Devil, and a Devil in God.

The antagonism of powers is anarchy in Dogma. Thus to the church which affirms that the Devil exists the world replies with a terrifying logic: then God does not exist; and it is vain to seek escape from this argument to invent the supremacy of a God who would permit a Devil to bring about the damnation of men; such a permission would be a monstrosity, and would amount to complicity, and the god that could be an accomplice of the devil, cannot be God.

The Devil of Dogmas is a personification of Atheism. The Devil of Philosophy is the exaggerated ideal of human free-will. The real or physical Devil is the magnetism of evil.

Raising the Devil is but realizing for an instant this imaginary personality. This involves the exaggeration in one’s self beyond bounds of the perversity of madness by the most criminal and senseless acts.

The result of this operation is the death of the soul through madness, and often the death of the body even, lightning-struck, as it were, by a cerebral congestion.

9 And evil being infinite and eternal, for it is coêval with matter, the logical deduction would be that there is neither God nor Devil—as personal Entities, only One Uncreated, Infinite, Immutable and Absolute Principle or Law: EVIL or DEVIL—the deeper it falls into matter, GOOD or GOD as soon as it is purified from the latter and re-becomes again pure unalloyed Spirit or the ABSOLUTE in its everlasting, immutable Subjectivity.—ED. THEOS.


The Devil ever importunes, but nothing ever gives in return. St. John calls it "the Beast" (la Bête) because its essence is human folly (la Bêtise humaine).

Éliphas Lévi’s (Bonoe Memoriæ) creed, and that of his disciples.

We believe in a God-Principle, the essence of all existence, of all good and of all justice, inseparable from nature which is its law and which reveals itself through intelligence and love.

We believe in Humanity, daughter of God, of which all the members are indissolubly connected one with the other so that all must co-operate in the salvation of each, and each in the salvation of all.

We believe that to serve the Divine essence it is necessary to serve Humanity. We believe in the reparation of evil, and in the triumph of good in the life eternal.

Theosophist, October, 1881Fiat


WE are glad to lay before our readers the first of a series of unpublished writings of the late Éliphas Lévi (Abbé Louis Constant) one of the great masters of occult sciences of the present century in the West. An ex-Catholic priest, he was unfrocked by the ecclesiastical authorities at Rome, who tolerate no belief in God, Devil, or Science outside the narrow circle of their circumscribed dogma, and who anathematize every creed-crushed soul that succeeds in breaking its mental bondage. "Just in the ratio that knowledge increases, faith diminishes; consequently, those that know the most, always believe the least"—said Carlyle. Éliphas Lévi knew much; far more than the privileged few even among the greatest mystics of modern Europe; hence, he was traduced by the ignorant many. He had written these ominous words . . . "The discovery of the great secrets of true religion and of the primitive science of the Magi, revealing to the world the unity of the universal dogma, annihilates fanaticism by scientifically explaining and giving the reason for every miracle," and these words sealed his doom. Religious bigotry persecuted him for disbelieving in "divine" miracle; bigoted materialism for using the word "miracle" and "prodigy"; dogmatic science, for attempting to explain that which she could not yet explain herself, and in which, therefore, she disbelieved. The author of "The Dogma and Ritual of High Magic," of the "Science of Spirits," and of "The Key to the Great Mysteries," died, as his famous predecessors in the occult arts, Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus and many others did—a pauper. Of all the parts of the world, Europe is the one which stones her true prophets the most cruelly, while being led by the nose by the false ones the most successfully. Europe will prostrate herself before any idol, provided it flatters her preconceived hobbies and loudly appeals to, and proclaims her superior intelligence. Christian Europe will believe in divine and demoniacal miracles and in the infallibility of a book condemned out of its own mouth, and consisting of old exploded legends. Spiritualistic Europe will fall into ecstasies before the Eidolon of a medium—when it is not a sheet and a clumsy mask—and remain firmly convinced of the reality of the


apparitions of ghosts and the spirits of the dead. Scientific Europe will laugh Christians and Spiritualists to scorn, destroy all and build nothing, limiting herself to preparing arsenals of materials which she knows not in most cases what to do with, and whose inner nature is still a mystery for her. And then all the three agreeing in everything else to disagree, will combine their efforts to put down a science hoary with age and ancient wisdom, the only science which is capable of making religion—scientific, Science— religious, and of ridding human Intelligence of the thick cobwebs of CONCEIT and SUPERSTITION.

The article that follows is furnished to us by an esteemed Fellow of the Theosophical Society, and a pupil of Éliphas Lévi. Having lost a dear friend who committed suicide, the great master of the occult science was desired by our correspondent and his pupil to give his views upon the state of the soul of the felo-de-se. He did so; and it is with the kind permission of his pupil, that we now translate and publish his manuscript. Though personally we are far from agreeing with all his opinions—for having been a priest, Éliphas Lévi could never rid himself to his last day of a certain theological bias—we are yet prepared to always lend a respectful ear to the teachings of so learned a Kabalist. Like Agrippa and, to a certain extent, Paracelsus himself, Abbé Constant may be termed a Biblical or Christian Kabalist, though Christ was in his sight more of an ideal than of a living Man-God or an historical personage. Moses and Christ, if real entities, were human initiates into the arcane mysteries in his opinion. Jesus was the type of regenerated humanity, the deific principle being shown under a human form but to prove humanity alone divine. The mysticism of the official church which seeks to absorb the human in the divine nature of Christ, is strongly criticized by her ex-representative. More than anything else Éliphas Lévi is then a Jewish Kabalist. But were we even so much disposed to alter or amend the teachings of so great a master in Occultism, it would be more than improper to do so now, since he is no longer alive to defend and expound his positions. We leave the unenviable task of kicking dead and dying lions to the jackasses—voluntary undertakers of all attacked reputations. Thence, though we do not personally agree with all his views, we do concur in the verdict of the world of letters that Éliphas Lévi was one of the cleverest, most learned, and interesting of writers upon all such abstruse subjects.




(From an unpublished letter)

Voluntary death is the most irredeemable of sinful actions, but it is also the least inexcusable of crimes owing to the painful effort required to accomplish it. Suicide is the result of weakness demanding at the same time a great mental force. It may be inspired by devotion, as it can be due to selfishness, and, proceeds as often through ignorance. Did men but know what a solidarity binds them together, that they live in other men as other men live in them, they would rejoice instead of lamenting in finding a double share of suffering allotted them in life; for, aware of the immutable law of universal equilibrium and harmony, they would be cognizant then of the double share of felicity due to them; hence they would be less ready to renounce their price of labour under the plea of the work being too rough. I pity sincerely your unfortunate friend, though it is for him and his like that the consoling words may be addressed:—"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

I am asked what could be done to help his suffering soul? I would certainly never advise you to turn for consolation to the Church. Though she does not forbid hope, the Church regards the suicide as one debarred for ever from the communion of saints; her rigorous laws forcing her always to condemn him. You may help the poor deserter of life, with "prayer"—but that prayer must be one of action, not words. See whether he has not left something undone, or might not have done some more good on earth than he has, and then try to accomplish the deed for him, and in his name.1 Give alms for him; but intelligent and delicate alms; for the latter bear fruit only when helping the cripple and the old, those who are incapable of working; and the

1 The Kabalistic theory is, that a man having so many years, days, and hours to live upon earth and not one minute less than the period allotted to him by fate whenever the Ego gets consciously and deliberately rid of its body before the hour marked, for then must it still live even as a disembodied suffering soul. The Ego, or the sentient individual soul is unable to free itself from the attraction of the earth and has to vegetate and suffer all the torments of the mythical hell in it. It becomes an Elementary Spirit; and when the hour of deliverance strikes, the soul having learned nothing, and in its mental torture lost the remembrance of the little it knew on earth it is violently ejected out of the earth’s atmosphere and carried adrift, a prey to the blind current which forces it into some new reincarnation which the soul itself is unable to select as it otherwise might with the help of its good actions. . . .


money devoted to charity ought to serve to encourage labour and not to favour and promote laziness. If that hapless soul moves you so much to compassion, and you feel such a sympathy for it, then does that feeling come from on high, and you will become the providence and light of that soul. It will live, so to say, on your intellectual and moral life, receiving in the great darkness into which it has rushed by its action no other light but the reflection of your good thoughts for it. But know, that by establishing between yourself and a suffering spirit such a special bond of union you expose yourself to the risk of feeling the reflection of analogous suffering. You may experience great sadness; doubts will assail you; and make you feel discouraged. That poor being adopted by you, may, perhaps, cause you the same agony as the child on the eve of being born makes his mother suffer. The last comparison is so exact that our forefathers have given to that adoption of suffering souls the name of EMBRYONATE in our holy Science (Occultism). I have touched this subject in my work The Science of Spirits; but, as the question concerns you now personally, I will try to make the idea plainer.

A suicide may be compared to a madman, who, to avoid work, would cut off his hands and feet and thus would force others to carry and work for him. He has deprived himself of his physical limbs before his spiritual organs were formed. Life has become impossible to him in such a state; but that which for him is still more impossible is to annihilate himself before his time. If, then, he is fortunate enough to find a person devoted enough to his memory to sacrifice himself and offer him a refuge, he will live through and by that person’s life, not according to the way of the vampires, but according to that of the embryos who live on their mother’s substance without diminishing for it that substance, for nature supplies the waste and gives much to those who spend much. In his pre-natal life the child is conscious of his existence and manifests already his will, by movements independent of, and undirected by, his mother’s will, and causing her even pain. The baby is ignorant of his mother’s thoughts, and the latter knows not what her child may be dreaming of. She is conscious of two existences but not of two distinct souls in her, as their two souls are one in the feeling of her love; and that the birth of her babe does not sever the souls as it does the two bodies. It only gives them—if I may use the expression—a new polarization (as the two ends of a magnet). The same in death which is our second


birth. Death does not separate but only polarizes the two souls which were sincerely attached to each other on this earth. The souls disenthralled from their earthly fetters elevate our own to themselves; and in our turn our souls can attract them down2 through a power similar to that of the magnet.

But the sinful souls suffer two kinds of torture. One is the result of their imperfect disenthralment from the terrestrial bonds which keeps them down chained to our planet; the other is owing to a lack of "celestial magnet."3 The latter becomes the lot of those souls which having despaired have violently broken the chain of life, hence of their equilibrium, and have to remain in consequence in a state of absolute helplessness until a generous embodied soul volunteers to share with them its magnetism and life, and so helps them in time to re-enter into the current of universal life by furnishing the needed polarization.

You know what that word means. It is borrowed from astronomy and physical science. Stars have opposite and analogous poles which determine the position of their axis; and natural as well as artificial magnets have the same. The law of polarization is universal and rules the world of spirits as that of physical bodies.

Theosophist, July, 1881

2 It would be an error to infer from the above that Éliphas Lévi believed in the so- called Spiritualism. He derided both the Spiritualistic and the Spiritist theory of the return of the disembodied souls or spirits in an objective or materialized form on earth. Teaching the Kabalistic doctrine of the subjective inter-communication between the embodied and the disembodied spirits, and the mutual influence exercised by those souls, that influence is limited by him to purely psychological and moral effects, and lasts but so long as the pure soul slumbers in its transitory state in the ether, or the sinful one (the Elementary Spirit) is kept in bondage in the earthly regions.

3 Celestial magnet means here that spiritual buoyancy, (the absence of sinful deeds and thoughts supposed to be possessed of a material heaviness) which alone is enabled to carry the disembodied Soul to higher or rather to purer regions.


MR. L. OLIPHANT’S new work "Land of Gilead" attracts considerable attention. Reviews appeared some time since, but we had to lay the subject aside until now for lack of space. We will now have something to say, not of the work itself—though justice can hardly be sufficiently done to the writings of that clever author—but of what he tells us respecting the Druses—those mystics of Mount Lebanon of whom so little is known. We may, perchance, shed some new light on the subject.

"The Druse," Mr. Oliphant thinks, "has a firm conviction that the end of the world is at hand. Recent events have so far tallied with the enigmatical prophecies of his sacred books, that he looks forward to the speedy resurrection of El Hakim, the founder and divine personage of the sect. In order to comprehend this, the connection between China and Druse theology has to be remembered. The souls of all pious Druses are supposed to be occupying in large numbers certain cities in the west of China. The end of the world will be signalised by the approach of a mighty army from the East against the contending powers of Islam and Christianity. This army will be under the command of the Universal Mind, and will consist of millions of Chinese Unitarians. To it Christians and Mahomedans will surrender and march before it to Mecca. El Hakim will then appear; at his command, the Caaba will be demolished by fire from Heaven, and the resurrection of the dead will take place. Now that Russia has come into collision with China, the Druses see the fulfilment of their sacred prophecies, and are eagerly waiting for an Armageddon in which they believe themselves destined to play a prominent part."—(Pioneer.)

Mr. Lawrence Oliphant is, in our opinion, one of England’s best writers. He is also more deeply acquainted with the inner life of the East than most of the authors and travellers who have written upon the subject—not even excepting Captain and Mrs. Burton. But even his acute and observing intellect could hardly fathom the secret of the profoundly mystical beliefs of the Druses. To begin with: El Hakim is not the founder of their sect. Their ritual and dogmas were never made known, but to those who have been admitted into their brotherhood. Their origin is next to unknown. As to their external religion, or what has rather transpired of it, that can be told in a few words. The Druses are believed


to be a mixture of Kurds, Mardi-Arabs, and other semi-civilized tribes. We humbly maintain that they are the descendants of, and a mixture of, mystics of all nations— mystics, who, in the face of cruel and unrelenting persecution by the orthodox Christian Church and orthodox Islamism, have ever since the first centuries of the Mahomedan propaganda, been gathered together, and who gradually made a permanent settlement in the fastnesses of Syria and Mount Lebanon, where they had from the first found refuge. Since then, they have preserved the strictest silence upon their beliefs and truly occult rites. Later on. their warlike character, great bravery, and unity of purpose which made their foes, whether Mussulmans or Christians, equally fear them, helped them toward forming an independent community, or, as we may term it, an imperium in imperio. They are the Sikhs of Asia Minor, and their polity offers many points of similarity with the late "commonwealth" of the followers of Guru Nanak—even extending to their mysticism and indomitable bravery. But the two are still more closely related to a third and still more mysterious community of religionists, of which nothing, or next to nothing, is known by outsiders: we mean that fraternity of Tibetan Lamaists, known as the Brotherhood of Khe-lang, who mix but little with the rest. Even Csomo de Koros, who passed several years with the Lamas learned hardly more of the religion of these Chakravartins (wheel-turners) than what they chose to let him know of their exoteric rites; and of the Khe-langs, he learned positively nothing.

The mystery that hangs over the scriptures and religion of the Druses is far more impenetrable than that connected with the Amritsar and Lahore "Disciples," whose grantha is well known, and has been translated into European languages more than once. Of the alleged forty-five sacred books1 of the Lebanon mystics, none were ever seen, let alone examined, by any European scholar. Many manuscripts have never left the underground Holoweys (place of religious meeting) invariably built under the meeting-

1 The work presented by Nasr-Allah to the French King as a portion of the Druse Scriptures, and translated by Petis de la Croix in 1701—is pronounced a forgery. Not one of the copies now in the possession of the Bodleian, Vienna, or Vatican Libraries is genuine, and besides each of them is a copy from the other. Great was always the curiosity of the travellers and greater yet the efforts of the indomitable and ever-prying missionary, to penetrate behind the veil of Druse worship, but all have resulted in failure. The strictest secrecy as to the nature of their beliefs, the peculiar rites practised in their subterranean Holoweys, and the contents of their canonical books was enjoined upon their followers by H’amsa and Boha-eddin, the chief and first disciple of the former.


room on the ground-floor, and the public Thursday assemblies of the Druses are simply blinds intended for over-curious travellers and neighbours.

Verily a strange sect are the "Disciples of H’amsa," as they call themselves. Their Okhal or spiritual teachers besides having, like the Sikh Akali, the duty of defending the visible place of worship, which is merely a large, unfurnished room, are also the guardians of the Mystical Temple, and the "wise men," or the initiates of their mysteries, as their name of Okhal implies: Akl being in Arabic "intelligence" or "wisdom." It is improper to call them Druses, as they regard it as an insult; nor are they in reality the followers of Daruzi, a heretical pupil of H’amsa, but the true disciples of the latter. The origin of that personage who appeared among them in the eleventh century, coming from Central Asia, and whose secret or "mystery" name is "El-Hamma," is quite unknown to our European scholars. His spiritual titles are "Universal Source, or Mind," "Ocean of Light," and "Absolute or Divine Intelligence." They are, in short, repetitions of those of the Tibetan Dalai-Lama, whose appellation "Path to the Ocean,"2 means, Path or "Way to the Ocean of Light" (Intelligence) or Divine Wisdom—both titles being identically the same. It is curious that the Hebrew word Lamad should also mean "the God-taught."

An English Orientalist recently found that the religion of Nanak had a good deal of Buddhism in it. (Art. Diwali in Calcutta Review.) This would be only natural since the Empire of Hindustan is the land of Buddhas and Boddhisattvas. But that the religion of the Druses, between whose geographical and ethnological position and that of the Hindus there is an abyss, should be so, is far more incomprehensible and strange. Yet it is a fact. They are more Lamaists in their beliefs and certain rites, than any other people upon the face of the globe. The fact may be contradicted, but it will be only because Europe knows next to nothing of either. Their system of government is set down as feudal and patriarchal, while it is as theocratic as that of the Lamaists—or

2 "Lama" means path or road in the vulgar Tibetan language, but in that figurative sense it conveys the meaning of way: as the "way to wisdom or salvation." Strangely enough it also means "cross." It is the Roman figure X or ten, the emblem of perfection or perfect number, and stood for ten with the Egyptians, Chinese, Phœnicians, Romans, &c. It is also found in the Mexican secular calendars. The Tartars call it lama from the Scytho-Turanian word lamh, hand, (from the number of fingers on both hands), and it is synonymous with the Jod of the Chaldees, "and thus became the name of a cross, of the High Priest of the Tartars, and of the Lamaic Messenger of God," says the author of the Book of God; "Commentaries on the Apocalypse." With the Irish luam signifies the head of the Church, a spiritual chief.


as that of the Sikhs—as it used to be. The mysterious representation of the Deity appears in H’amsa, whose spirit is said to guide them, and periodically re-incarnate itself in the person of the chief Okhal of the Druses, as it does in the Guru-Kings of the Sikhs, some of whom, like Guru Govind, claimed to be the reincarnations of Nanak, while the Dalai-Lamas of Tibet claim to be those of Buddha. The latter, by the way, are loosely called Shaberons and Khubilghans (both in various degrees re-incarnations not of Buddha, the MAN, but of his Buddh-like divine spirit) by Abbe Hue and others without any regard to the difference in the appellation: El Hamma or H’amsa came from the "Land of the Word of God." Where was that land? Swedenborg, the Northern seer, advised his followers to search for the LOST WORD, among the hierophants of Tartary, Tibet and China. To this we may add a few explanatory and corroborative facts. Ll’hassa, the theocratic metropolis of Tibet, is commonly translated as "God-land," that is to say, this is the only English equivalent that we can find.3 Though separated by the Karakorum range and little Tibet, the great Tibet is on the same Asiatic plateau in which our Biblical scholars designate the table-land of Pamir4 as the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of the mythical Adam. Tibet or Ti-Boutta, will yield, etymologically, the words Ti, which is the equivalent for God in Chinese, and Buddha, or wisdom: the land, then, of the Wisdom-Deity, or of the incarnations of Wisdom. It is also called "Bod-Jid." Now "Jid" and "Jod" are synonymous apocalyptic and phallic names for the Deity—YOD being the Hebrew name for God. G. Higgins shows in his Celtic Druids, the Welsh Druids altering the name of Bod-Jid into Budd-ud which with them too meant the "Wisdom of Jid" or what people now call "god."5

3 And a most unsatisfactory term it is, as the Lamaists have no conception of the anthropomorphic deity which the English word "God" represents. Fo or Buddha (the latter name being quite unknown to the common people) is their equivalent expression for that All-embracing, Superior Good, or Wisdom from which all proceeds, as does the light from the sun, the cause being nothing personal, but simply an Abstract Principle. And it is this that in all our theosophical writing, for the want of a better word, we have to term "God-like," and "Divine."

4 There are several Pamirs in Central Asia. There is the Alighur Pamir which lies more north than either—the great Pamir with Victoria Lake in its vicinity, Taghdumbast Pamir and the little Pamir, more south; and eastward another chain of Pamir dividing Mustagh Pass and Little Guhjal. We would like to know on which of these we have to look for the garden of Eden?

5 The name in Hebrew for sanctuary is Te-bah and Ti-boutta and Tebet, also a cradle of the human race. Thebeth meaning "a box"—the "ark" of Noah and the floating cradle of Moses.


The religion of the Druses is said to be a compound of Judaism, Mahomedanism and Christianity, strongly tinged with Gnosticism and the Magian system of Persia. Were people to call things by their right names, sacrificing all self-conceit to truth, they might confess things otherwise. They could say, for instance, that Mahomedanism being a compound of Chaldeism, Christianity and Judaism; Christianity, a mixture of Judaism, Gnosticism and Paganism; and Judaism, a wholesale Egypto-Chaldean Kabalism, masquerading under invented names and fables, made to fit the bits and scraps of the real history of the Israelite tribes—the religious system of the Druses would then be found one of the last survivals of the archaic Wisdom-Religion. It is entirely based on that element of practical mysticism of which branches have from time to time sprung into existence. They pass under the unpopular names of Kabalism, Theosophy and Occultism. Except Christianity which, owing to the importance it gives to the principal prop of its doctrine of Salvation—(we mean the dogma of Satan) had to anathematize the practice of theurgy—every religion, including Judaism and Mahomedanism, credits these above-named branches. Civilisation having touched with its materialistic all-levelling, and all-destroying hand even India and Turkey, amid the din and chaos of crumbling faiths and old sciences, the reminiscence of archaic truths is now fast dying out. It has become popular and fashionable to denounce "the old and mouldy superstitions of our forefathers";—verily even among the most natural allies of the students of theurgy or occultism—the Spiritualists. Among the many creeds and faiths striving to follow the cyclic tide, and helping it themselves to sweep away the knowledge of old, strangely blind to the fact, that the same powerful wave of materialism and modern science also sweeps away their own foundations—the only religions which have remained as alive as ever to these forgotten truths of old, are those which from the first have kept strictly aloof from the rest. The Druses, while outwardly mixing up with Moslems and Christians alike, ever ready to read the Kuran as well as the Gospels in their Thursday public meetings, have never allowed an uninitiated stranger to penetrate the mysteries of their own doctrines. Intelligence6 alone communicates to the soul (which with them is mortal, though it survives the body) the enlivening and divine spark of the Supreme Wisdom

6 The Druses divide man into three principles: body, soul and intelligence—the "Divine Spark," which Theosophists call "spirit."


or Ti-meami—they say—but it must be screened from all nonbelievers in H’amsa. The work of the soul is to seek wisdom, and the substance of earthly wisdom is to know Universal Wisdom, or "God," as other religionists call that principle. This is the doctrine of the Buddhists and Lamaists who say "Buddha" where the Druses say "Wisdom"— one word being the translation of the other. "In spite of their external adoption of the religious customs of the Moslems, of their readiness to educate their children in Christian schools, their use of the Arabic language, and of their free intercourse with strangers, the Druses remain even more than the Jews a peculiar people"—says a writer. They are very rarely if ever converted; they marry within their own race; and adhere most tenaciously to their traditions, baffling all efforts to discover their cherished secrets. Yet they are neither fanatical, nor do they covet proselytes.

In his Journey through Tartary, Tibet, and China, Huc speaks with great surprise of the extreme tolerance and even outward respect shown by the Tibetans to other religions. A grand Lama, or a "living Buddha," as he calls him, whom the two missionaries met at Choang-Long, near Koum-boum certainly had the best of them in good breeding as well as tact and deference to their feelings. The two Frenchmen, however, neither understood nor appreciated the act, since they seemed quite proud of the insult offered by them to the Hobilgan. "We were waiting for him . . . seated on the kang . . . and purposely did not rise to receive him, but merely made him a slight salutation"—boasts Hue (vol. ii. p. 35-36). The Grand Lama "did not appear disconcerted" though; upon seeing that they as "purposely" withheld from him "an invitation to sit down" he only looked at them "surprised," as well he might. A breviary of theirs having attracted his attention, he demanded "permission to examine it"; and then, carrying it "solemnly to his brow" he said: "It is your book of prayer; we must always honour and reverence other people’s prayers." It was a good lesson, yet they understood it not. We would like to see that Christian missionary who would reverently carry to his brow the Vedas, the Tripitaka, or the Grantha, and publicly honour other people’s prayers! While the Tibetan "savage," the heathen Hobilgan, was all affability and politeness, the two French "Lamas of Jehovah" as Abbe Hue called his companion and himself, behaved like two uneducated bullies. And to think that they even


boast of it in print!

No more than the Druses do the Lamaists seek to make proselytes. Both people have their "schools of magic"—those in Tibet being attached to some la-khang (lamaseries), and those among the Druses in the closely-guarded crypts of initiation, no stranger being even allowed inside the buildings. As the Tibetan Hobilgans are the incarnations of Buddha’s spirit, so the Druse Okhals—erroneously called "Spiritualists" by some writers—are the incarnations of H’amsa. Both peoples have a regular system of passwords and signs of recognition among the neophytes, and we know them to be nearly identical since they are partially those of the Theosophists.

In the mystical system of the Druses there are five "messengers" or interpreters of the "Word of the Supreme Wisdom," who occupy the same position as the five chief Boddhisattvas, or Hobilgans of Tibet, each of whom is the bodily temple of the spirit of one of the five Buddhas. Let us see what can be made known of both classes. The names of the five principal Druse "messengers," or rather their titles—as these names are generic, in both the Druse and Tibetan hierarchies, and the title passes at the death of each to his successor—are:

  1. H’amsa7, or "El Hamma," (spiritual wisdom) considered as the Messiah, through whom speaks Incarnate Wisdom.
  2. Ismail—Ti-meami—(the universal soul). He prepares the Druses before their initiation to receive "wisdom."
  3. Mohammed—(the Word). His duty is to watch over the behaviour and necessities of the brethren;—a kind of Bishop.
  4. Se-lama, (the "Preceding") called the "Right Wing."
  5. Mokshatana Boha-eddin, (the "Following") named the "Left Wing."

These last are both messengers between H’amsa and the Brotherhood. Above these living mediators who remain ever unknown

7 Very curiously the Druses identify their H’amsa with Hemsa, the Prophet Mahomet’s uncle, who, they say, tired of the world and its deceitful temptations, simulated death at the battle of Dhod, A.D. 625, and retired to the fastnesses of a great mountain in Central Asia where he became a saint. He never died in spirit. When several centuries after that he appeared among them it was in his second spiritual body, and when their Messiah had, after founding the brotherhood, disappeared, Se-lama and Boha-eddin were the only ones to know the retreat of their Master. They alone knew the bodies into which he went on, successively re-incarnating himself—as he is not permitted to die until the return of the Highest Messenger, the last or one of the ten avatars. He alone—the now invisible but expected one—stands higher than H’amsa. But, it is not, as erroneously believed, "El-Hakim," the Fatimite Khalif of bad name.


to all but the chief Okhals stand the ten Incarnates of the "Supreme Wisdom," the last of whom is to return at the end of the cycle, which is fast approaching—though no one but El Hamma knows the day—that last "messenger" in accordance with the cyclic recurrences of events being also the first who came with H’amsa, hence Boha-eddin. The names of the Druse Incarnations are Ali A-llal who appeared in India (Kabir we believe); Albar in Persia; Alya in Yemen; Moill and Kahim, in Eastern Africa; Moessa and Had-di in Central Asia; Albou and Manssour in China; and Buddea, that is, Boha-eddin8 in Tartary, whence he came and whither he returned. This last one, some say, was dual-sexed on earth. Having entered into El-Hakim—the Khalif, a monster of wickedness—he brought him to be assassinated, and then sent H’amsa to preach and to found the Brotherhood of Lebanon. El-Hakim then is but a mask. It is Buddea, i.e., Boha-eddin they expect.9

And now for the Lamaic hierarchy. Of the living or incarnate Buddhas there are five also, the chief of whom is Dalay, or rather Talay, Lama—from Tale "Ocean" or Sea; he being called the "Ocean of Wisdom." Above him, as above H’amsa, there is but the "SUPREME WISDOM"—the abstract principle from which emanated the five Buddhas— Maïtree Buddha (the last Boddhisattva, or Vishnu in the Kalanki avatar) the tenth "messenger" expected on earth—included. But this will be the One Wisdom and will incarnate itself into the whole humanity collectively, not in a single individual. But of this mystery—no more at present.

These five "Hobilgans" are distributed in the following order:

  1. Talay-Lama, of Lha-ssa—the incarnation of the "Spiritual" "passive" wisdom—which proceeds from Gautama or Siddartha Buddha, or Fo.
  2. Bande-cha-an Rem-boo-tchi, at Djashi-Loombo. He is "the active earthly wisdom."
  3. Sa-Dcha-Fo, or the "Mouthpiece of Buddha," otherwise the "word" at Ssamboo.

8 One of the names of Minerva, Goddess of Wisdom, was Budea.

9 In the Druse system there is no room for a personal deity, unless a portion of the divine impersonal and abstract wisdom incarnates itself in a mortal man. The deific principle with them is the essence of Life, the All, and as impersonal as the Parabrahm of the Vedantins or the Nirvana State of the Buddhists, ever invisible, all-pervading and incomprehensible, to be known but through occasional incarnations of its spirit in human form. These ten incarnations or human avatars, as above specified, are called the "Temples of Ti-meam" (Universal Spirit).

  1. Khi-sson-Tamba—the "Precursor" (of Buddha) at the Grand Kooren.
  2. Tchang-Zya-Fo-Lang, in the altai mountains. He is called the "Successor" (of Buddha).

The "Shaberons" are one degree lower. They, like the chief Okhals of the Druses, are the initiates of the great wisdom or Buddh Esoteric religion. This double list of the "Five" shows great similarity at least between the polity of the two systems. The reader must bear in mind that they have sprung into their present visible conditions nearly at the same time. It was from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries that modern Lamaism evolved its ritual and popular religion, which serves the Hobilgans and Shaberons as a blind, even against the curiosity of the average Chinaman and Tibetan. It was in the eleventh century that H’amsa founded the Brotherhood of Lebanon; and till now no one has acquired its secrets!

It is supremely strange that both the Lamas and Druses should have the same mystical statistics. They reckon the bulk of the human race at 1,332 millions. When good and evil, they say, shall come to an equilibrium in the scales of human actions (now evil is far the heavier), then the breath of "Wisdom," will annihilate in a wink of the eye just 666 millions of men. The surviving 666 millions will have "Supreme Wisdom" incarnated in them.10 This may have, and probably has, an allegorical meaning. But what relation might it possibly bear to the number of the "grand Beast" of John’s Revelation?

If more were known than really is of the religions of Tibet and the Druses, then would scholars see that there is more affinity, between Turanian Lamaists and the Semitic, "El-Hammites," or Druses, than was ever suspected. But all is darkness, conjecture, and mere guesswork whenever the writers speak of either the one or the other. The little that has transpired of their beliefs is generally so disfigured by prejudice and ignorance that no learned Lama or Druse would ever recognise a glimpse of likeness to his

10 The Hindus have the same belief. In the "Deva-Yug" they will all be devs or gods. See Lama-nim-tshen-po, or "Great Road to Perfection"; a work of the fifteenth century. The author of this book is the Great Reformer of Lamaism, the famous Tzong-ka-pa, from whose hair sprang up the famous koum-boum letter tree—a tree whose leaves all bear sacred Tibetan inscriptions, according to the tradition. This tree was seen by Abbe Hue some forty years ago, and was seen last year by the Hungarian traveller Count Szitcheny; who, however, begging his pardon, could not, under its physical surroundings, have carried away a branch of it, as he pretends to have done.


faith in these speculative fantasies. Even the profoundly suggestive conclusion to which came Godfrey Higgins (Celtic Druids Part I, 101) however true, is but half so. "It is evident" he writes "that there was a secret science possessed somewhere (by the ancients) which must have been guarded by the most solemn oaths . . . and I cannot help suspecting that there is still a secret doctrine known only in the deep recesses of the crypts of Tibet." . . .

To conclude with the Druses: As Selama and Boha-eddin—two names more than suggestive of the words "Lama" and "Buddha"—are the only ones entrusted with the secret of H’amsa’s retreat; and having the means of consulting with their master, they produce from time to time his directions and commands to the Brotherhood, so, even to this day do the Okhals of that name travel every seventh year, through Bussora and Persia into Tartary and Tibet to the very west of China and return at the expiration of the eleventh year, bringing them fresh orders from "Εlʼ Hamma." Owing to the expectation of war between China and Russia, only last year a Druse messenger passed through Bombay on his way to Tibet and Tartary. This would explain "the superstitious" belief that "the souls of all pious Druses are supposed to be occupying in large numbers certain cities in China." It is around the plateau of the Pamirs—they say with the Biblical scholars—that the cradle of the true race must be located: but the cradle of initiated humanity only; of those who have for the first time tasted of the fruit of knowledge, and these are in Tibet, Mongolia, Tartary, China and India, where also the souls of their pious and initiated brethren transmigrate, and rebecome "sons of God." What this language means every Theosophist ought to know. They discredit the fable of Adam and Eve, and say that they who first ate of the forbidden fruit and thus became "Elohim" were Enoch or Hermes (the supposed father of Masonry), and Seth or Sat-an, the father of secret wisdom and learning, whose abode, they say, is now in the planet Mercury,11 and whom the Christians were kind enough to convert into a chief devil, the

11 Buddha is son of Maya; and (according to Brahmanic notion) of Vishnu; "Maia" is mother of Mercury by Jupiter. Buddha means the "wise" and Mercury is God of Wisdom (Hermes); and the planet sacred to Gautama Buddha is Mercury. Venus and Isis presided over navigation, as Mary or Maria, the Madonna presides now. Is not the latter hymned to this day by the Church:

"Ave Maris Stella . . . . .
"Dei Mater Alma?"or

Hail, Star of the Sea,
Mother of God—thus identified with Venus?


"fallen Angel." Their evil one is an abstract principle, and called the "Rival."

The "millions of Chinese Unitarians" may mean Tibetan Lamas, Hindus, and others of the East, as well as Chinamen. It is true that the Druses believe in and expect their resurrection day in Armageddon, which, however, they pronounce otherwise. As the phrase occurs in the Apocalypse it may seem to some that they got the idea in St. John’s Revelation. It is nothing of the kind. That day which, according to the Druse teaching "will consummate the great spiritual plan—the bodies of the wise and faithful will be absorbed into the absolute essence, and transformed from the many, into the one." This is pre-eminently the Buddhist idea of Nirvana, and that of the Vedantin final absorption into Parabrahm. Their "Persian Magianism and Gnosticism," make them regard St. John as Oannes, the Chaldean Man-Fish, hence connects their belief at once with the Indian Vishnu and the Lamaic Symbology. Their "Armageddon" is simply "Ramdagon,"12 and this is how it is explained.

The sentence in Revelation is no better interpreted than so many other things by Christians, while even the non-Kabalistic Jews know nothing of its real meaning. Armageddon is mistaken

12 Rama, of the Solar race, is an incarnation of Vishnu—a Sun-God. In "Machha," or the first Avatar, in order to save humanity from final destruction (see Vishnu Purana) that God appears to King Satyavrata and the seven saints who accompany him on the vessel to escape Universal Deluge, as an enormous fish with one stupendous horn. To this horn the King is commanded by Hari to tie the ship with a serpent (the emblem of eternity) instead of a cable. The Talay-Lama, besides his name of "Ocean," is also called Sarou, which in Tibetan, means the "unicorn," or one-horned. He wears on his head-gear a prominent horn, set over a Yung-dang, or mystic cross; which is the Jain and Hindu Swastica. The "fish" and the sea, or water, are the most archaic emblems of the Messiahs, or incarnations of divine wisdom, among all the ancient people. Fishes play prominently a figure on old Christian medals; and in the catacombs of Rome the "Mystic Cross" or "Anchor" stands between two fishes as supporters. "Dagh-dae"—the name of Zaratushta’s mother, means the "Divine Fish" or Holy Wisdom. The "Mover on the Waters" whether we call him "Narayan" or Abatur, (the Kabalistic Superior Father and "Ancient of the World") or "Holy Spirit" is all one. According to Codex Nazareæus, Kabalah and Genesis, the Holy Spirit when moving on the waters mirrored himself—and "Adam Kadmon was born." Mare in Latin, is the sea. Water is associated with every creed. Mary and Venus are both patronesses of the sea and of sailors—and both mothers of Gods of Love, whether Divine or Earthly. The mother of Jesus is called Mary or Mariah—the word meaning in Hebrew mirror that in which we find but the reflection instead of a reality, and 600 years before Christianity there was Maya, Buddha’s mother, whose name means illusion—identically the same. Another curious "coincidence" is found in the selections of new Dalay Lamas in Tibet. The new incarnation of Buddha is ascertained by a curious icthumancy with three gold fishes. Shutting themselves up in the Buddha-La (Temple), the Hobilgans place three goldfish in an urn, and on one of these ancient emblems of Supreme Wisdom, shortly appears the name of the child into whom the soul of the late Talay-Lama is supposed to have transmigrated.


for a geographical locality, viz., the elevated table of Esdraelon or Ar-mageddon "the mountain of Megiddo," where Gideon triumphed over the Midianites.13 It is an erroneous notion, for the name in the Revelation refers to a mythical place mentioned in one of the most archaic traditions of the heathen East, especially among the Turanian and Semitic races. It is simply a kind of purgatorial Elysium, in which departed spirits are collected, to await the day of final judgment. That it is so is proved by the verse in Revelation. "And he gathered them together into a place called . . . Armageddon (XVI. 16), when the seventh angel will pour out his vial into the air." The Druses pronounce the name of that mystical locality "Ramdagon." It is, then, highly probable that the word is an anagram, as shown by the author of the "Commentary on the Apocalypse." It means "Rama-Dagon,"14 the first signifying Sun-God of that name, and the second "Dagon" or the Chaldean Holy Wisdom incarnated in their "Messenger," Oannes—the Man-Fish, and descending on the "Sons of God" or the Initiates of whatever country; those, in short, through whom Deific Wisdom occasionally reveals itself to the world.

Theosophist, June, 1881

13 It is not the "Valley of Megeddo," for there is no such valley known. Dr. Robinson’s typographical and Biblical notions being no better than hypotheses.

14 Ram is also womb, and valley; and in Tibetan "goat." "Dag" is fish; from Dagon, the man-fish, or perfect wisdom.


FEW persons are capable of appreciating the truly beautiful and esthetic; fewer still of revering those monumental relics of bygone ages, which prove that even in the remotest epochs mankind worshipped a Supreme Power, and people were moved to express their abstract conceptions in works which should defy the ravages of Time. The Vandals—whether Slavic Wends, or some barbarous nation of Germanic race—came at all events from the North. A recent occurrence is calculated to make us regret that Justinian did not destroy them all; for it appears that there are still in the North worthy scions left of those terrible destroyers of monuments of arts and sciences, in the persons of certain Russian merchants who have just perpetrated an act of inexcusable vandalism. According to the late Russian papers, the Moscow arch-millionaire, Kokoref, with his Tiflis partner the American Crœsus, Mirzoef, is desecrating and apparently about to totally destroy perhaps the oldest relic in the world of Zoroastrianism—the "Attesh-Gag" of Baku.1

Few foreigners, and perhaps as few Russians, know anything of this venerable sanctuary of the Fire-worshippers around the Caspian Sea. About twenty versts from the small town of Baku in the valley of Absharon in Russian Georgia, and among the barren, desolated steppes of the shores of the Caspian, there stands—alas! rather stood, but a few months ago—a strange structure, something between a mediæval Cathedral and a fortified castle. It was built in unknown ages, and by builders as unknown. Over an area of somewhat more than a square mile, a tract known as the "Fiery Field," upon which the structure stands, if one but digs from two to three inches into the sandy earth, and applies a lighted match, a jet of fire will stream up, as if from a spout.2 The "Guebre Temple," as the building is sometimes termed, is carved out of one solid rock. It comprises an enormous square enclosed by crenelated walls, and

1 Attesh-Kudda also.

2 A bluish flame is seen to arise there, but this fire does not consume, "and if a person finds himself in the middle of it, he is not sensible of any warmth."—See Kinneir’s Persia, page 35.


at the centre of the square, a high tower also rectangular resting upon four gigantic pillars. The latter were pierced vertically down to the bed-rock and the cavities were continued up to the battlements where they opened out into the atmosphere; thus forming continuous tubes through which the inflammable gas stored up in the heart of the mother rock were conducted to the top of the tower. This tower has been for centuries a shrine of the fire-worshippers and bears the symbolical representation of the trident—called teersoot. All around the interior face of the external wall, are excavated the cells, about twenty in number, which served as habitations for past generations of Zoroastrian recluses. Under the supervision of a High Mobed, here, in the silence of their isolated cloisters, they studied the Avesta, the Vendidad, the Yaҫna—especially the latter, it seems, as the rocky walls of the cells are inscribed with a greater number of quotations from the sacred songs. Under the tower-altar, three huge bells were hung. A legend says that they were miraculously produced by a holy traveller, in the tenth century during the Mussulman persecution, to warn the faithful of the approach of the enemy. But a few weeks ago, and the tall tower-altar was yet ablaze with the same flame that local tradition affirms has been kindled thirty centuries ago. At the horizontal orifices in the four hollow pillars burned four perpetual fires, fed uninterruptedly from the inexhaustible subterranean reservoir. From every merlon on the walls, as well as from every embrasure flashed forth a radiant light, like so many tongues of fire; and even the large porch overhanging the main entrance was encircled by a garland of fiery stars, the lambent lights shooting forth from smaller and narrower orifices. It was amid these impressive surroundings, that the Guebre recluses used to send up their daily prayers, meeting under the open tower-altar; every face reverentially turned toward the setting sun, as they united their voices in a parting evening hymn. And as the luminary— the "Eye of Ahura-mazda"—sank lower and lower down the horizon, their voices grew lower and softer, until the chant sounded like a plaintive and subdued murmur . . . A last flash—and the sun is gone; and, as darkness follows daylight almost suddenly in these regions, the departure of the Deity’s symbol was the signal for a general illumination, unrivalled even by the greatest fire-works at regal festivals. The whole field seemed nightly like one blazing prairie. . . .

Till about 1840, "Attesh-Gag" was the chief rendezvous for all the Fire-worshippers of Persia. Thousands of pilgrims came and


went; for no true Guebre could die happy unless he had performed the sacred pilgrimage at least once during his life-time. A traveller—Koch—who visited the cloister about that time, found in it but five Zoroastrians, with their pupils. In 1878, about fourteen months ago, a lady of Tiflis, who visited the Attesh-Gag, mentioned in a private letter that she found there but one solitary hermit, who emerges from his cell but to meet the rising and salute the departing sun. And now, hardly a year later, we find in the papers that Messrs. Kokoref and Co., are busy erecting on the Fiery Field enormous buildings for the refining of petroleum! All the cells but the one occupied by the poor old hermit, half ruined and dirty beyond all expression, are inhabited by the firm’s workmen; the altar over which blazed the sacred flame, is now piled high with rubbish, mortar and mud, and the flame itself turned off in another direction. The bells are now, during the periodical visits of a Russian priest, taken down and suspended in the porch of the superintendent’s house; heathen relics being as usual used—though abused—by the religion which supplants the previous worship. And, all looks like the abomination of desolation. . . . "It is a matter of surprise to me," writes a Baku correspondent in the St. Petersburg Vjedomosti, who was the first to send the unwelcome news, "that the trident, the sacred teersoot itself, has not as yet been put to some appropriate use in the new firm’s kitchen . . . ! Is it then so absolutely necessary that the millionaire Kokoref should desecrate the Zoroastrian cloister, which occupies such a trifling compound in comparison to the space allotted to his manufactories and stores? And shall such a remarkable relic of antiquity be sacrificed to commercial greediness which can after all neither lose nor gain one single rouble by destroying it?"

It must apparently, since Messrs. Kokoref and Co., have leased the whole field from the Government, and the latter seems to feel quite indifferent over this idiotic and useless Vandalism. It is now more than twenty years since the writer visited for the last time Attesh-Gag. In those days besides a small group of recluses it had the visits of many pilgrims. And since it is more than likely that ten years hence, people will hear no more of it, I may just as well give a few more details of its history. Our Parsee friends will, I am sure, feel an interest in a few legends gathered by me on the spot.

There seems to be indeed a veil drawn over the origin of Attesh-Gag. Historical data are scarce and contradictory. With the exception of some old Armenian Chronicles which mention it inciden-


tally as having existed before Christianity was brought into the country by Saint Nina during the third century,3 there is no other mention of it anywhere else so far as I know. Tradition informs us—how far correctly is not for me to decide—that long before Zarathustra, the people, who now are called in contempt, by the Mussulmans and Christians, "Guebres," and, who term themselves "Behedin" (followers of the true faith) recognized Mithra, the Mediator, as their sole and highest God—who included within himself all the good as well as the bad gods. Mithra representing the two natures of Ormazd and Ahriman combined, the people feared him, whereas, they would have had no need of fearing, but only of loving and reverencing him as Ahura-Mazda, were Mithra without the Ahriman element in him.

One day as the god, disguised as a shepherd, was wandering about the earth, he came to Baku, then a dreary, deserted sea-shore, and found an old devotee of his quarrelling with his wife. Upon this barren spot wood was scarce, and she would not give up a certain portion of her stock of cooking fuel to be burned upon the altar. So the Ahriman element was aroused in the god and, striking

3 Though St. Nina appeared in Georgia in the third, it is not before the fifth century that the idolatrous Grouzines were converted to Christianity by the thirteen Syrian Fathers. They came under the leadership of both St. Antony and St. John of Zedadzene—so called, because he is alleged to have travelled to the Caucasian regions on purpose to fight and conquer the chief idol Zeda! And thus, while—as incontrovertible proof of the existence of both—the opulent tresses of the black hair of St. Nina are being preserved to this day as relics, in Zion Cathedral at Tiflis—the thaumaturgic John has immortalized his name still more. Zeda, who was the Baal of the Trans-Caucasus, had children sacrificed to him, as the legend tells us, on the top of the Zedadzene mount, about 18 versts from Tiflis. It is there that the Saint defied the idol, or rather Satan under the guise of a stone statue— to single combat, and miraculously conquered him; i.e., threw down, and trampled upon the idol. But he did not stop there in the exhibition of his powers. The mountain peak is of an immense height, and being only a barren rock at its top, spring water is nowhere to be found on its summit. But in commemoration of his triumph, the Saint had a spring appear at the very bottom of the deep, and—as people assert—a fathomless well, dug down into the very bowels of the mountain, and the gaping mouth of which was situated near the altar of the god Zeda, just in the centre of his temple. It was into this opening that the limbs of the murdered infants were cast down after the sacrifice. The miraculous spring, however, was soon dried up, and for many centuries there appeared no water. But, when Christianity was firmly established, the water began re-appearing on the 7th day of every May, and continues to do so till the present time. Strange to say, this fact does not pertain to the domain of legend, but is one that has provoked an intense curiosity even among men of science, such as the eminent geologist, Dr. Abich, who resided for years at Tiflis. Thousands upon thousands proceed yearly upon pilgrimage to Zedadzene on the seventh of May; and all witness the "miracle." From early morning, water is heard bubbling down at the rocky bottom of the well; and, as noon approaches, the parched-up walls of the mouth become moist, and clear cold sparkling water seems to come out from every porosity of the rock; it rises higher and higher, bubbles, increases, until at last having reached to the very brim, it suddenly stops, and a prolonged shout of triumphant joy bursts from the fanatical crowd. This cry seems to shake like a sudden discharge of artillery the very depths of the mountain and awaken the echo for miles around. Every one hurries to fill a vessel with the miraculous water. There are necks wrung and heads broken on that day at Zedadzene, but every one who survives carries home a provision of the crystal fluid. Toward evening the water begins decreasing as mysteriously as it had appeared, and at midnight the well is again perfectly dry. Not a drop of water, nor a trace of any spring, could be found by the engineers and geologists bent upon discovering the "trick." For a whole year, the sanctuary remains deserted, and there is not even a janitor to watch the poor shrine. The geologists have declared that the soil of the mountain precludes the possibility of having springs concealed in it. Who will explain the puzzle?


the stingy old woman, he changed her into a gigantic rock. Then, the Ahura-Mazda element prevailing, he, to console the bereaved widower, promised that neither he, nor his descendants, should ever need fuel any more, for he would provide such a supply as should last till the end of time. So he struck the rock again and then struck the ground for miles around, and the earth and the calcareous soil of the Caspian shores were filled up to the brim with naphtha. To commemorate the happy event, the old devotee assembled all the youths of the neighborhood and set himself to excavating the rock— which was all that remained of his ex-wife. He cut the battlemented walls, and fashioned the altar and the four pillars, hollowing them all to allow the gases to rise up and escape through the top of the merlons. The god Mithra upon seeing the work ended, sent a lightning flash, which set ablaze the fire upon the altar, and lit up every merlon upon the walls. Then, in order that it should burn the brighter, he called forth the four winds and ordered them to blow the flame in every direction. To this day, Baku is known under its primitive name of "Baadéy-ku-bá," which means literally the gathering of winds.

The other legend, which is but a continuation of the above, runs thus: For countless ages, the devotees of Mithra worshipped at his shrines, until Zarathustra, descending from heaven in the shape of a "Golden Star," transformed himself into a man, and began teaching a new doctrine. He sung the praises of the One but Triple god—the supreme Eternal, the incomprehensible essence "Zervana-Akerene," which emanating from itself "Primeval Light," the latter in its turn produced Ahura-Mazda. But this process required that the "Primeval One" should previously absorb in itself all the light from the fiery Mithra, and thus left the poor god despoiled of all his brightness. Losing his right of undivided supremacy, Mithra, in despair, and instigated by his Ahrimanian nature, annihilated himself for the time being, leaving Ahriman alone, to fight out his quarrel with Ormazd, the best way he could. Hence, the prevailing Duality in nature since that time until Mithra returns; for he promised to his faithful devotees to come back some day. Only since then, a series of calamities fell upon the Fire-worshippers. The last of these was the invasion of their country by the Moslems in the 7th century, when these fanatics commenced most cruel persecutions against the Behedin. Driven away from every quarter, the Guebres found refuge but in the province of Kerman, and in the city of Yezd. Then followed heresies. Many of the Zoroastrians


abandoning the faith of their forefathers, became Moslems; others, in their unquenchable hatred for the new rulers, joined the ferocious Koords and became devil, as well as fire-worshippers. These are the Yezids. The whole religion of these strange sectarians—with the exception of a few who have more weird rites, which are a secret to all but to themselves—consists in the following. As soon as the morning sun appears, they place their two thumbs crosswise one upon the other, kiss the symbol, and touch with them their brow in reverential silence. Then they salute the sun and turn back into their tents. They believe in the power of the Devil, dread it, and propitiate the "fallen angel" by every means; getting very angry whenever they hear him spoken of disrespectfully by either a Mussulman or a Christian. Murders have been committed by them on account of such irreverent talk, but people have become more prudent of late.

With the exception of the Bombay community of Parsees, Fire-worshippers are, then, to be found but in the two places before mentioned, and scattered around Baku. In Persia some years ago, according to statistics they numbered about 100,000 men;4 I doubt, though, whether their religion has been preserved as pure as even that of the Gujaráthi Parsees, adulterated as is the latter by the errors and carelessness of generations of uneducated Mobeds. And yet, as is the case of their Bombay brethren, who are considered by all the travellers as well as Anglo-Indians, as the most intelligent, industrious and well-behaved community of the native races, the fire-worshippers of Kerman and Yezd bear a very high character among the Persians, as well as among the Russians of Baku. Uncouth and crafty some of them have become, owing to long centuries of persecution and spoliation; but the unanimous testimony is in their favour and they are spoken of as a virtuous, highly moral, and industrious population. "As good as the word of a Guebre" is a common saying among the Koords, who repeat it without being in the least conscious of the self-condemnation contained in it.

I cannot close without expressing my astonishment at the utter ignorance as to their religions, which seems to prevail in Russia

4 Mr. Grattan Geary in his recent highly valuable and interesting work "Through Asiatic Turkey" (London, Sampson Law & Co.) remarks of the Guebres of Yezd—"it is said that there are only 5,000 of them all told." But as his information was gleaned while travelling rapidly through the country, he was apparently misinformed in this instance. Perhaps, it was meant to convey the idea to him that there were but 5,000 in and about Yezd at the time of his visit. It is the habit of this people to scatter themselves all over the country in the commencement of the summer season in search of work.


even among the journalists. One of them speaks of the Guebres, in the article of the St. Petersburg Vjedemosti above referred to, as of a sect of Hindu idolaters, in whose prayers the name of Brahma is constantly invoked. To add to the importance of this historical item Alexandre Dumas (senior) is quoted, as mentioning in his work Travels in the Caucasus that during his visit to Attesh-Gag, he found in one of the cells of the Zoroastrian cloister "two Hindu idols"!! Without forgetting the charitable dictum: De mortuus nil nisi bonum, we cannot refrain from reminding the correspondent of our esteemed contemporary of a fact which no reader of the novels of the brilliant French writer ought to be ignorant of; namely, that for the variety and inexhaustible stock of historical facts, evolved out of the abysmal depths of his own consciousness, even the immortal Baron Münchausen was hardly his equal. The sensational narrative of his tiger-hunting in Mingrelia, where, since the days of Noah, there never was a tiger, is yet fresh in the memory of his readers.

Theosophist, October, 1879


Hail, holy light, offspring of Heaven first-born.
Or of the Eternal co-eternal beam. . . . Since God is light
Bright effluence of bright essence increate. . . . Satan
Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of hell
Explores his solitary flight.

NO more philosophically profound, nor grander or more graphic and suggestive type exists among the allegories of the World-religions than that of the two Brother-Powers of the Mazdean religion, called Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu, better known in their modernized form of Ormuzd and Ahriman. Of these two emanations, "Sons of Boundless Time"—Zeruana Akarana—itself issued from the Supreme and Unknowable Principle,1 the one is the embodiment of "Good Thought" (Vohu Manô), the other of "Evil Thought" (Akô Manô). The "King of Light" or Ahura Mazda, emanates from Primordial Light2 and forms or creates by means of the "Word," Honover (Ahuna Vairya), a pure and holy world. But Angra Mainyu, though born as pure as his elder brother, becomes jealous of him, and mars everything in the Universe, as on the earth, creating Sin and Evil wherever he goes.

The two Powers are inseparable on our present plane and at this stage of evolution, and would be meaningless, one without the other. They are, therefore, the two opposite poles of the One Manifested Creative Power, whether the latter is viewed as a Universal Cosmic Force which builds worlds, or under its anthropomorphic aspect, when its vehicle is thinking man. For Ormuzd and Ahriman are the respective representatives of Good and Evil, of Light and Darkness, of the spiritual and the material elements

1 Though this deity is the "First-born," yet metaphysically and logically Ormuzd comes in order as a fourth emanation (compare with Parabrahm-Mulaprakriti and the three Logoi, in the Secret Doctrine). He is the Deity of the manifested plane. In the esoteric interpretation of the Avestian sacred allegories, AHURA or ASURA is a generic name for the sevenfold Deity, the Ruler of the Seven Worlds; and Hvaniratha (our earth) is the fourth, in plane and number. We have to distinguish between such names as Ahura Mazdâo, Varana, the "Supreme" deity and the synthesis of the Ameshâspends, etc. The real order would be: the Supreme or the One Light, called the Eternal; then Zeruana Akarana (compare Vishnu in his abstract sense as the Boundless pervading All and Kâla, Time), the Fravashi or the Ferouer of Ormuzd (that eternal Double or Image which precedes and survives every god, man and animal), and finally Ahura Mazda Himself.

2 Zeruana Akarana means, at the same time, Infinite Light, Boundless Time, Infinite Space and Fate (Karma). See Vendidad, Farg. xix. 9.


in man, and also in the Universe and everything contained in it. Hence the world and man are called the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, the great and the small universe, the latter being the reflection of the former. Even exoterically, the God of Light and the God of Darkness are, both spiritually and physically, the two ever-contending Forces, whether in Heaven or on Earth.3 The Parsis may have lost most of the keys that unlock the true interpretations of their sacred and poetical allegories, but the symbolism of Ormuzd and Ahriman is so self-evident, that even the Orientalists have ended by interpreting it, in its broad features, almost correctly. As the translator4 of the Vendidad writes, "Long before the Parsis had heard of Europe and Christianity, commentators, explaining the myth of Tahmurath, who rode for thirty years on Ahriman as a horse, interpreted the feat of the old legendary king as the curbing of evil passions and restraining Ahriman in the heart of man." The same writer broadly sums up Magism in this wise:—

The world, such as it is now, is twofold, being the work of two hostile beings, Ahura Mazda, the good principle, and Angra Mainyu, the evil principle; all that is good in the world comes from the former, all that is bad in it comes from the latter. The history of the world is the history of their conflict, how Angra Mainyu invaded the world of Ahura Mazda and marred it, and how he shall he expelled from it at last. Man is active in the conflict, his duty in it being laid before him in the law revealed by Ahura Mazda to Zarathustra. When the appointed time is come a son of the lawgiver, still unborn, named Saoshyant (Sosiosh) will appear, Angra Mainyu and hell will be destroyed, men will rise from the dead, and everlasting happiness will reign over all the world.

Attention is drawn to the sentences italicised by the writer, as they are esoteric. For the Sacred Books of the Mazdeans, as all the other sacred Scriptures of the East (the Bible included), have to be read esoterically. The Mazdeans had practically two religions, as almost all the other ancient nations—one for the people and the other for the initiated priests. Esoterically, then, the underlined sentences have a special significance, the whole meaning of which

3 The Parsis, the last relic of the ancient Magi, or Fire-worshippers of the noble Zoroastrian system, do not degrade their Deity by making him the creator of the evil spirits as well as of the pure angels. They do not believe in Satan or the Devil, and therefore, their religious system cannot in truth be termed dualistic. A good proof of this was afforded about half a century ago, at Bombay, when the Rev. Dr. Wilson, the Orientalist, debated the subject with the Parsi high-priests, the Dasturs. The latter very philosophically denied his imputation, and demonstrated to him that far from accepting the texts of their Sacred Books literally, they regarded them as allegorical as far as Ahriman was concerned. For them he is a symbolical representation of the disturbing elements in Kosmos and of the evil passions and animal instincts in man (Vendidad).

4 Vendidad, trans, by J. Darmsteter, "Introduction" p. lvi.


can be obtained only by the study of occult philosophy. Thus, Angra Mainyu, being confessedly, in one of its aspects, the embodiment of man’s lowest nature, with its fierce passions and unholy desires, "his hell" must be sought for and located on earth. In occult philosophy there is no other hell—nor can any state be comparable to that of a specially unhappy human wretch. No "asbestos" soul, inextinguishable fires, or "worm that never dies," can be worse than a life of hopeless misery upon this earth. But it must, as it has once had a beginning, have also an end. Ahura Mazda alone,5 being the divine, and therefore the immortal and eternal symbol of "Boundless Time," is the secure refuge, the spiritual haven of man. And as Time is twofold, there being a measured and finite time within the Boundless, Angra Mainyu is only a periodical and temporary Evil. He is Heterogeneity as developed from Homogeneity. Descending along the scale of differentiating nature on the cosmic planes, both Ahura Mazda and Angra Mainyu become, at the appointed time, the representatives and the dual type of man, the inner or divine INDIVIDUALITY, and the outer personality, a compound of visible and invisible elements and principles. As in heaven, so on earth; as above, so below. If the divine light in man, the Higher Spirit-Soul, forms, including itself, the seven Ameshâspends (of which Ormuzd is the seventh, or the synthesis), Ahriman, the thinking personality, the animal soul, has in its turn its seven Archidevs opposed to the seven Ameshâspends.

During our life cycle, the good Yazatas, the 99,999 Fravashi (or Ferouers) and even the "Holy Seven," the Ameshâspends themselves,6 are almost powerless against the Host of wicked Devs—the symbols of cosmic opposing powers and of human passions and sins.7 Fiends of evil, their presence radiates and fills the world with moral and physical ills: with disease, poverty, envy and pride, with despair, drunkenness, treachery, injustice, and cruelty, with anger and bloody-handed murder. Under the advice of Ahriman, man from the first made his fellow-man to weep and suffer. This state of things will cease only on the day when Ahura Mazda, the sevenfold deity, assumes his seventh name8 or aspect. Then, will he send

5 Ahura Mazda stands here no longer as the supreme One God of eternal Good and Light but as its own Ray, the divine EGO which informs man—under whatever name.

6 The gods of light, the "immortal seven," of whom Ahura Mazda is the seventh. They are deified abstractions.

7 Or devils.

8 In verse 16th of Yast XIX, we read: "I invoke the glory of the Ameshâspends, who all seven, have one and the same thinking, one and the same speaking, one and the same doing, one and the same lord, Ahura Mazda." As an occult teaching says: During each of the seven periods (Races) the chief ruling Light is given a new name; i.e., one of the seven hidden names, the initials of which compose the mystery name of the Septenary Host, viewed as one.


his "Holy Word" Mathra Spenta (or the "Soul of Ahura") to incarnate in Saoshyant (Sosiosh), and the latter will conquer Angra Mainyu. Sosiosh is the prototype of "the faithful and the true" of the Revelation, and the same as Vishnu in the Kalki-avatar. Both are expected to appear as the Saviour of the World, seated on a white horse and followed by a host of spirits or genii, mounted likewise on milk-white steeds.9 And then, men will arise from the dead and immortality come.10

Now the latter is of course purely allegorical. It stands in the occult sense, that materialism and sin being called death, the materialist, or the unbeliever, is "a dead man"—spiritually. Occultism has never regarded the physical personality as the man; nor has Paul, if his Epistle to the Romans (vi-vii), is correctly understood. Thus mankind, arrived "at the appointed time" (the end of our present Round), at the end of the cycle of gross material flesh, will, with certain bodily changes, have come to a clearer spiritual perception of the truth. Redemption from flesh means a proportionate redemption from sin. Many are those who seeing will believe, and, in consequence, rise "from the dead." By the middle of the Seventh Race, says an occult prophecy, the struggle of the two conflicting Powers (Buddhi and Kama Manas) will have almost died out. Everything that is irredeemably sinful and wicked, cruel and destructive, will have been eliminated, and that which is found to survive will be swept away from being, owing, so to speak, to a Karmic tidal-wave in the shape of scavenger-plagues, geological convulsions and other means of destruction. The Fifth Round will bring forth a higher kind of Humanity; and, as intelligent Nature always proceeds gradually, the last Race of this Round must necessarily develop the needed materials thereof. Meanwhile, we are still in the Fifth Race of the Fourth Round only, and in the Kaliyuga, into the bargain. The deadly strife between spirit and matter, between Light and Goodness and Darkness and Evil, began on our globe with the first appearance of contrasts and opposites in vegetable and animal nature, and continued more fiercely than ever after man had become the selfish and personal being he now is. Nor is there any chance of its coming to an end before falsehood is replaced by truth, selfishness by altruism, and supreme justice reigns in the heart of man. Till then, the noisy battle will

9 Nork ii. 176. Compare Rev. xix., 11-14, "I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he that sat upon him . . . and the armies followed him upon white horses."

10 Yast XIX. 89 et seq.


rage unabated. It is selfishness, especially; the love of Self above all things in heaven and earth, helped by human vanity, which is the begetter of the seven mortal sins. No; Ashmogh, the cruel "biped serpent," is not so easily reduced. Before the poor creature now in the clutches of Darkness is liberated through Light, it has to know itself. Man, following the Delphic injunction, has to become acquainted with, and gain the mastery over, every nook and corner of his heterogeneous nature, before he can learn to discriminate between HIMSELF and his personality. To accomplish this difficult task, two conditions are absolutely requisite: one must have thoroughly realised in practice the noble Zoroastrian precept: "Good thoughts, good words, good deeds," and must have impressed them indelibly on his soul and heart, not merely as a lip-utterance and form-observance. Above all, one has to crush personal vanity beyond resurrection.

Here is a suggestive fable and a charming allegory from the old Zoroastrian works. From the first incipient stage of Angra Mainyu’s power, he and his wicked army of fiends opposed the army of Light in everything it did. The demons of lust and pride, of corruption and impiety, systematically destroyed the work of the Holy Ones. It is they who made beautiful blossoms poisonous; graceful snakes, deadly; bright fires, the symbol of deity, full of stench and smoke; and who introduced death into the world. To light, purity, truth, goodness and knowledge, they opposed darkness, filth, falsehood, cruelty and ignorance. As a contrast to the useful and clean animals created by Ahura Mazda, Angra Mainyu created wild beasts and bloodthirsty fowls of the air. He also added insult to injury and deprecated and laughed at the peaceful and inoffensive creations of his elder brother. "It is thine envy," said the holy Yazatas one day to the unholy fiend, the evil-hearted, "Thou art incapable of producing a beautiful and harmless being, O cruel Angra Mainyu" . . .

The arch-fiend laughed and said that he could. Forthwith he created the loveliest bird the world had ever seen. It was a majestic peacock, the emblem of vanity and selfishness, which is self-adulation in deeds.

"Let it be the King of Birds," quoth the Dark One, "and let man worship him and act after his fashion."

From that day "Melek Taus" (the Angel Peacock) became the special creation of Angra Mainyu, and the messenger through


which the arch-fiend is invoked by some11 and propitiated by all men.

How often does one see strong-hearted men and determined women moved by a strong aspiration towards an ideal they know to be the true one, battling successfully, to all appearance, with Ahriman and conquering him. Their external Selves have been the battle-ground of a most terrible, deadly strife between the two opposing Principles; but they have stood firmly—and won. The dark enemy seems conquered; it is crushed in fact, so far as the animal instincts are concerned. Personal selfishness, that greed for self, and self only, the begetter of most of the evils—has vanished; and every lower instinct, melting like soiled icicles under the beneficient ray of Ahura Mazda, the radiant EGO-SUN, has disappeared, making room for better and holier aspirations. Yet, there lurks in them their old and but partially destroyed vanity, that spark of personal pride which is the last to die in man. Dormant it is, latent and invisible to all, including their own consciousness; but there it is still. Let it awake but for an instant, and the seemingly crushed-out personality comes back to life at the sound of its voice, arising from its grave like an unclean ghoul at the command of the midnight incantator. Five hours— nay, five minutes even—of life under its fatal sway, may destroy the work of years of self-control and training, and of laborious work in the service of Ahura Mazda, to open wide the door anew to Angra Mainyu. Such is the result of the silent and unspoken but ever-present worship of the only beautiful creation of the Spirit of Selfishness and Darkness.

Look around you and judge of the deadly havoc made by this last and most cunning of Ahriman’s productions, notwithstanding its external beauty and harmlessness. Century after century, year after year, all is changing; everything is progressing in this world; one thing only changeth not—human nature. Man accumulates knowledge, invents religions and philosophies, but himself remains still the same. In his ceaseless chase after wealth and honours and the will o’ the wisps of novelty, enjoyment and ambition, he is ever moved by one chief motor—vain selfishness. In these days of socalled progress and civilization, when the light of knowledge claims to have replaced almost everywhere the darkness of ignorance, how many more volunteers do we see added to the army of

11 The Yezidis, or "Devil Worshippers," some of whom inhabit the plains of ancient Babylonia, to this day worship Melek Taus, the peacock, as the messenger of Satan and the mediator between the Arch-fiend and men.


Ahura Mazda, the Principle of Good and Divine Light? Alas, the recruits of Angra Mainyu, the Mazdean Satan, outnumber these, daily more and more. They have overrun the world, these worshippers of Melek Taus, and the more they are enlightened the easier they succumb. This is only natural. Like Time, both the boundless and the finite, Light is also twofold; the divine and the eternal, and the artificial light, which paradoxically but correctly defined, is the darkness of Ahriman. Behold on what objects the best energies of knowledge, the strongest human activity, and the inventive powers of man are wasted at the present hour: on the creation, amelioration and perfection of war-engines of destruction, on guns and smokeless powders, and weapons for the mutual murder and decimation of men. Great Christian nations seek to outvie each other in the discovery of better means for destroying human life, and for the subjecting by the strongest and the craftiest of the weakest and the simplest, for no better reason than to feed their peacock-vanity and self-adulation; and Christian men eagerly follow the good example. Whereon is spent the enormous wealth accumulated through private enterprize by the more enlightened through the ruin of the less intelligent? Is it to relieve human suffering in every form, that riches are so greedily pursued? Not at all. For now, just as 1,900 years ago, while the beggar Lazarus is glad to feed on the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table, no means are neglected by Dives to hedge himself off from the poor. The minority that gives and takes care that its left hand remains ignorant of what its right hand bestows, is quite insignificant when compared with the enormous majority who are lavish in their charity—only because they are eager to see their names heralded by the press to the world.

Great is the power of Ahriman! Time rolls on, leaving with every day the ages of ignorance and superstition further behind, but bringing us in their stead only centuries of ever-increasing selfishness and pride. Mankind grows and multiplies, waxes in strength and (book-)wisdom; it claims to have penetrated into the deepest mysteries of physical nature; it builds railroads and honeycombs the globe with tunnels; it erects gigantic towers and bridges, minimizes distances, unites the oceans and divides whole continents. Cables and telephones, canals and railways more and more with every hour unite mankind into one "happy" family, but only to furnish the selfish and the wily with every means of stealing a better march on the less selfish and improvident. Truly, the "upper ten" of science and wealth have subjected to their sweet will and


pleasure, the Air and the Earth, the Ocean and the Fire. This, our age, is one of progress, indeed, an era of the most triumphant display of human genius. But what good has all this great civilization and progress done to the millions in the European slums, to the armies of the "great unwashed"? Have any of these displays of genius added one comfort more to the lives of the poor and the needy? Is it not true to say that distress and starvation are a hundred times greater now than they were in the days of the Druids or of Zoroaster? And is it to help the hungry multitudes that all this is invented, or again, only to sweep off the couch of the rich the last-forgotten rose-leaves that may uncomfortably tickle their well-fed bodies? Do electric wonders give one additional crust of bread to the starving? Do the towers and the bridges, and the forests of factories and manufactures, bring any mortal good to the sons of men, save giving an additional opportunity to the wealthy to vampirize or "sweat" their poorer brother? When, I ask again, at what time of the history of mankind, during its darkest days of ignorance, when was there known such ghastly starvation as we see now? When has the poor man wept and suffered, as he weeps and suffers in the present day—say, in London, where for every club-visitor who dines and wines himself daily, at a price that would feed twenty-five families for a whole day, one may count hundreds and thousands of starving wretches. Under the very windows of the fashionable City restaurants, radiant with warmth and electric lights, old trembling women and little children may be seen daily, shivering and fastening their hungry eyes on the food they smell each time the entrance door is opened. Then they "move on"—by order, to disappear in the dark gloom, to starve and shiver and finally to die in the frozen mud of some gutter. . . .

The "pagan" Parsis know not, nor would their community tolerate, any beggars in its midst, least of all—STARVATION!

Selfishness is the chief prompter of our age; Chacun pour soi, Dieu pour tout le monde, its watchword. Where then is the truth, and what practical good has done that light brought to mankind by the "Light of the World," as claimed by every Christian? Of the "Lights of Asia" Europe speaks with scorn, nor would it recognise in Ahura Mazda a divine light. And yet even a minor light (if such) when practically applied for the good of suffering mankind, is a thousand times more beneficent than even infinite Light, when confined to the realm of abstract theories. In our days the latter Light has only succeeded in raising the pride of Christian nations


to its acme, in developing their self-adulation, and fostering hardheartedness under the name of all-binding law. The "personality" of both nation and individual has thrown deep roots into the soil of selfish motives; and of all the flowers of modern culture those that blossom the most luxuriously are the flowers of polite Falsehood, Vanity, and Self-exaltation.

Few are those who would confess or even deign to see, that beneath the brilliant surface of our civilization and culture lurks, refusing to be dislodged, all the inner filth of the evils created by Ahriman; and indeed, the truest symbol, the very picture of that civilization is the last creation of the Arch-fiend—the beautiful Peacock. Truly saith Theosophy unto you—it is the Devil’s Own.

Lucifer, March, 1891


Mated with a squalid savage—what to me Were sun or clime?
I, the heir of all the ages, in the foremost files of time—
Not in vain the distance beacons. Forward, forward let us range
Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing groves of change.
Through the shadow of the globe we sweep into the younger day
Better fifty years of Europe, than a cycle of Cathay . . .

WE, of the century claiming itself as the XIXth of our era, are very proud of our Progress and Civilization—Church and Churchmen attributing both to the advent of Christianity—"Blot Christianity out of the pages of man’s history," they say, "and what would his laws have been?—what his civilization?" Aye; "not a law which does not owe its truth and gentleness to Christianity, not a custom which cannot be traced in all its holy and healthful parts to the Gospel."

What an absurd boast, and how easily refuted!

To discredit such statements one has but to remember that our laws are based on those of Moses—life for life and tooth for tooth; to recall the laws of the holy Inquisition, i.e., the burning of heretics and witches by the hecatomb, on the slightest provocation; the alleged right of the wealthiest and the strongest to sell their servants and fellow men into slavery, not to carry into effect the curse bestowed on Ham, but simply "to purchase the luxuries of Asia by supplying the slave market of the Saracens";1 and finally the Christian laws upheld to this day in England, and called women’s disabilities, social and political. Moreover, as in the blessed days of our

1 View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages by Η. H. Hallam, LL.D., F.R.A.S., p. 614. The author adds: "This trade was not peculiar to Venice. In England, it was very common, even after the Conquest, to export slaves to Ireland; till in the reign of Henry II, the Irish came to a non-importation agreement which put a stop to the practice." And then, in a footnote: "William of Malmsbury accuses the Anglo-Saxon nobility of selling their female servants, even when pregnant by them, as slaves to foreigners." This is the Christian mode of dealing as Abraham with Hagar with a vengeance!


forefathers’ ignorance, we meet now with such choice bits of unblushing blague as this, "We speak of our civilization, our arts, our freedom, our laws, and forget entirely how large a share of all is due io Christianity" (Rose).

Just so! "our laws and our arts," but neither "our civilization" nor "our freedom." No one could contradict the statement that these were won in spite of the most terrible opposition by the Church during long centuries, and in the face of her repeated and loud anathemas against civilization and freedom and the defenders of both. And yet, notwithstanding fact and truth, it is being constantly urged that even the elevated position (?!) of the Christian woman as compared with her "heathen" sister, is entirely the work of Christianity! Were it true, this would at best be but a poor compliment to pay to a religion which claims to supersede all others. As it is not true, however—Lecky, among many other serious and trustworthy writers, having shown that "in the whole feudal legislation (of Christendom) women were placed in a much lower legal position than in the Pagan Empire"the sooner and the oftener this fact is mentioned the better it will be for plain truth. Besides this, our ecclesiastical laws are honeycombed as has been said, with the Mosaic element. It is Leviticus not the Roman code, which is the creator and inspirer of legislation—in Protestant countries, at any rate.

Progress, says Carlyle, is "living movement." This is true; but it is so only on the condition that no dead weight, no corpse shall impede the freedom of that "living movement." Now in its uncompromising conservatism and unspirituality the Church is no better than a dead body. Therefore it did and still does impede true progress. Indeed, so long as the Church—the deadliest enemy of the ethics of Christ—was in power, there was hardly any progress at all. It was only after the French Revolution that real culture and civilization had a fair start.

Those ladies who claim day after day and night after night with such earnest and passionate eloquence, at "Woman’s Franchise League" meetings, their legitimate share of rights as mothers, wives and citizens, and still attend "divine" service on Sundays— prosecute at best the unprofitable business of boring holes through seawater. It is not the laws of the country that they should take to task, but the Church and chiefly themselves. It is the Karma of the


women of our era. It was generated with Mary Magdalene, got into practical expression at the hands of the mother of Constantine, and found an ever renewed strength in every Queen and Empress "by the grace of God." Judean Christianity owes its life to a woman—une sublime hallucinée, as Renan puts it. Modern Protestantism and Roman Catholicism owe their illegitimate existence, again, to priest-ridden and church-going women; to the mother who teaches her son his first Bible lesson; to the wife or sister who forces her husband or brother to accompany her to church and chapel; to the emotional and hysterical spinster, the admirer of every popular preacher. And yet the predecessors of the latter have for fifteen centuries degraded women from every pulpit!

In Lucifer of October, 1889, in the article "The Women of Ceylon," we can read the opinion of Principal Donaldson, LL.D., of the University of St. Andrews, about the degradation of woman by the Christian Church. This is what he said openly in the Contemporary Review.

It is a prevalent opinion that woman owes her present high position to Christianity. I used to believe in this opinion. But in the first three centuries I have not been able to see that Christianity had any favorable effect on the position of women, but, on the contrary, that it tended to lower their character and contract the range of their activity.

How very correct then, the remark of Η. H. Gardener, that in the New Testament "the words sister, mother, daughter, and wife, are only names for degradation and dishonor"!

That the above is a fact, may be seen in various works, and even in certain Weeklies. "Saladin" of the Agnostic gives in his last "At Random" eloquent proofs of the same by bringing forward dozens of quotations. Here are a few of these:

Mrs. Mary A. Livermore says: "The early Church fathers denounced women as noxious animals, necessary evils, and domestic perils."

Lecky says: "Fierce invectives against the sex form a conspicuous and grotesque portion of the writings of the fathers."

Mrs. Stanton says that holy hooks and the priesthood teach that "woman is the author of sin, who [in collusion with the devil] effected the fall of man."

Gamble says that in the fourth century holy men gravely argued the question, "Ought women to be called human beings?"


But let the Christian fathers speak for themselves. Tertullian, in the following flattering manner, addresses woman: "You are the devil’s gateway; the unsealer of the forbidden tree; the first deserter from the divine law. You are she who persuaded him whom the devil was not valiant enough to attack. You destroyed God’s image— man."

Clement of Alexandria says: "It brings shame to reflect of what nature woman is." Gregory Thaumaturgus says: "One man among a thousand may be pure; a woman, never."

"Woman is the organ of the devil."—St. Bernard.

"Her voice is the hissing of the serpent."—St. Anthony.

"Woman is the instrument which the devil uses to get possession of our souls."— St. Cyprian.

"Woman is a scorpion."—St. Bonaventure.

"The gate of the devil, the road of iniquity."—St. Jerome.

"Woman is a daughter of falsehood, a sentinel of hell, the enemy of peace."—St. John Damascene.

"Of all wild beasts the most dangerous is woman."—St. John Chrysostom.

"Woman has the poison of an asp, the malice of a dragon."—St. Gregory the Great.

Is it surprising, with such instructions from the fathers, that the children of the Christian Church should not "look up to women, and consider them men’s equals"?

Withal, it is emotional woman who, even at this hour of progress, remains as ever the chief supporter of the Church! Nay it is she again who is the sole cause, if we have to believe the Bible allegory, that there is any Christianity or churches at all. For only imagine where would be both, had not our mother Eve listened to the tempting Serpent. First of all there would be no sin. Secondly, the Devil having been thwarted, there would be no need of any Redemption at all, nor of any woman to have "seed" in order that it should "bruise under its heel the serpent’s head"; and thus there would be neither Church nor Satan. For as expressed by our old friend Cardinal Ventura de Raulica, Serpent-Satan is "one of the fundamental dogmas of the Church, and serves as a basis for Christianity." Take away that basis and the whole struggle topples overboard into the dark waters of oblivion.

Therefore, we pronounce the Church ungrateful to woman, and the latter no worse than a willing martyr; for if her enfranchisement and freedom necessitated more than an average moral courage a century ago, it requires very little now; only a firm determination.


Indeed, if the ancient and modern writers may be believed, in real culture, freedom, and self-dignity the woman of our century has placed herself far beneath the ancient Aryan mother, the Egyptian—of whom Wilkinson and Buckle say that she had the greatest influence and liberty, social, religious and political among her countrymen—and even the Roman matron. The late Peary Chand Mitra has shown, "Manu" in hand, to what supremacy and honor the women of ancient Aryavarta had been elevated. The author of the "Women of Ancient Egypt" tells us that "from the earliest time of which we can catch a glimpse, the women of Egypt enjoyed a freedom and independence of which modern nations are only beginning to dream." To quote once more from "At Random":

Sir Henry Maine says: "No society, which preserves any tincture of Christian institutions, is ever likely to restore to married women the personal liberty conferred on them by the Roman law."

The cause of "Woman's Rights" was championed in Greece five centuries before Christ.

Helen H. Gardener says: "When the Pagan law recognised her [the wife] as the equal of her husband, the Church discarded that law."

Lecky says: "In the legends of early Rome we have ample evidence both of the high moral estimate of women and of their prominence in Roman life. The tragedies of Lucretia and of Virginia display a delicacy of honor and a sense of the supreme excellence of unsullied purity which no Christian nation can surpass."

Sir Henry Maine, in his "Ancient Laws," says that "the inequality and oppression which related to women disappeared from Pagan laws," and adds: "the consequence was that the situation of the Roman female became one of great personal and proprietary independence: but Christianity tended somewhat, from the very first, to narrow this remarkable liberty." He further says that "the jurisconsults of the day contended for better laws for wives, but the Church prevailed in most instances, and established the most oppressive ones."

Professor Draper, in his "Intellectual Development of Europe," gives certain facts as to the outrageous treatment of women by Christian men (the clergy included) which it would be exceedingly indelicate in me to repeat.

Moncure D. Conway says: "There is not a more cruel chapter in history than that which records the arrest, by Christianity, of the natural growth of European civilisation regarding women."


Neander, the Church historian, says: "Christianity diminishes the influence of woman."

Thus, it is amply proved that instead of an "elevated" position, it is a degraded one to which Christianity (or rather "Churchianity") has brought woman. Apart from this, woman has nought to thank it for.

And now, a word of good advice to all the members of Leagues and other societies connected with Woman’s Rights. In our days of culture and progress, now that it is shown that in Union alone lies strength, and that tyrants can be put down only by their own weapons; and that finally we find that nothing works better than a "strike"—let all the champions of women’s rights strike, and pledge themselves not to set foot in church or chapel until their rights are re-established and their equality with men recognised by law. We prophesy that before six months are over every one of the Bishops in Parliament will work as jealously as themselves to bring in bills of reformation and pass them. Thus will Mosaic and Talmudic law be defeated to the glory of—WOMAN.

But what are really culture and civilization? Dickens’ idea that our hearts have benefited as much by macadam as our boots, is more original from a literary, than an aphoristical, standpoint. It is not true in principle, and it is disproved in nature by the very fact that there are far more good-hearted and noble-minded men and women in muddy country villages than there are in macadamised Paris or London. Real culture is spiritual. It proceeds from within outwards, and unless a person is naturally noble-minded and strives to progress on the spiritual before he does so on the physical or outward plane, such culture and civilization will be no better than whitened sepulchres full of dead men’s bones and decay. And how can there be any true spiritual and intellectual culture when dogmatic creeds are the State religion and enforced under the penalty of the opprobrium of large communities of "believers." No dogmatic creed can be progressive. Unless a dogma is the expression of a universal and proven fact in nature, it is no better than mental and intellectual slavery. One who accepts dogmas easily ends by becoming a dogmatist himself. And, as Watts has


well said: "A dogmatical spirit inclines a man to be censorious of his neighbors. . . . He is tempted to disdain his correspondents as men of low and dark understandings because they do not believe what he does."

The above finds its demonstration daily in bigoted clergymen, in priests and Rabbis. Speaking of the latter and of the Talmud in connection with progress and culture, we note some extraordinary articles in Les Archives Israelites, the leading organ of the French Jews, at Paris. In these the stagnation of all progress through fanaticism is so evident, that after reading some papers signed by such well-known names of men of culture as F. Crémieux (Clericalisme et Judaisme), A. Franck, a member of the Institute (Les Juifs et I’Humanité), and especially an article by Elie Aristide Astruc, "Grand rabbin de Bayonne, grand rabbin honoraire de la Belgique," etc.—("Pourquoi nous restons Juifs")—no one can detect the faintest trace of the progress of the age, or preserve the slightest hope of ever witnessing that which the Christians are pleased to call the moral regeneration of the Jews. This article (not to mention the others), written by a man who has an enormous reputation for learning and ability, bears on its face the proofs of what is intellectual culture, minus spirituality. The paper is addressed to the French Jews, considered as the most progressed of their race, and is full of the most ardent and passionate apology for Talmudic Judaism, soaked through and through with colossal religious self-opinionatedness. Nothing can approach its self-laudation. It precludes every moral progress and spiritual reformation in Judaism; it calls openly upon the race to exercise more than ever an uncompromising exclusiveness, and awakens the darkest and the most bigoted form of ignorant fanaticism. If such are the views of the leaders of the Jews settled in France, the hotbed of civilization and progress, what hope is there left for their coreligionists of other countries?

The article, "Why we remain Jews," is curious. A. Astruc, the learned author thereof, notifies his readers solemnly that the Jews have to remain nolens volens Jews, as not one of the existing religions could "satisfy the genius of the nation." "Were we forced to


break with Judaism," he argues, "where is that other creed which could guide our lives?" He speaks of the star that once arose in the East and led the Magi to Bethlehem, but asks, "could the East, the cradle of religions, give us now a true creed? Never!" Then he turns to an analysis of Islamism and Buddhism. The former, he finds too dry in dogma and too ritualistic in form, and shows that it could never satisfy the Israelitish mind. Buddhism with its aspirations towards Nirvana, considered as the greatest realisation of bliss and "the most abstruse consciousness of non-being"(?) seems to him too negative and passive.

We will not stop to discuss this new phase of metaphysics, i.e., the phenonmenon of non-being endowed with self-consciousness. Let us rather see the author’s analysis of the two forms of Christianity—Roman Catholicism and Protestantism. The former with its Trinitarianism, and the dogmas of Divine Incarnation and Redemption, are incomprehensible "to the free mind of the Israelite"; the latter is too much scattered into innumerable sects to ever become the religion of the future. Neither of these two faiths "could satisfy a Jew," he says; therefore, the Rabbi implores his coreligionists to remain faithful to Judaism, or the Mosaic law, as this faith is the best and the most saving of all; it is, in short, as he puts it, "the ultimate as the highest expression of human religious thought."

This ultra-fanatical article has drawn the attention of several "Christian" papers. One of these takes its author to task severely for his fear of dogmas only because human reason is unable to comprehend them; as though, he adds, "any religious faith could ever be built upon reason"! This is well said, and would denote real progressive thought in the mind of the critic, had not his definition of belief in dogmas been a bona fide defence of them, which is far from showing philosophical progress. Then, the Russian reviewer, we are happy to say, defends Buddhism against the Rabbi’s assault.

We would have our honorable friend understand that he is quite wrong in undervaluing Buddhism, or regarding it, as he does, as infinitely below Judaism. Buddhism with its spiritual aspiration heavenward, and its ascetic tendencies, is, with all its defects, most undeniably more spiritual and humanitarian than Judaism ever was; especially modern Judaism with its inimical exclusiveness, its dark and despotic kahal, its deadening talmudic ritualism, which is a Jewish substitute for religion. and its determined hatred of all progress (Nov. Vremva).


This is good. It shows a beginning, at any rate, of spiritual culture in the journalism of a country regarded hitherto as only semi-civilised, while the press of the fully civilised nations generally breathes religious intolerance and prejudice, if not hatred, whenever speaking of a pagan philosophy.

And what, after all, does our civilization amount to in the face of the grandiose civilizations of the Past, now so remote and so forgotten, as to furnish our modern conceit with the comforting idea that there never were any true civilizations at all before the advent of Christianity? Europeans call the Asiatic races "inferior" because, among other things, they eat with their hands and use no pocket-handkerchiefs. But how long is it that we, of Christendom, have ceased eating with our thumb and fingers, and begun blowing our noses with cambric? From the beginnings of the nations and down to the end of the XVIIIth century Christendom has either remained ignorant of, or scorned the use of, the fork. And yet in the Rome of the Cæsars, civilization was at the height of its development; and we know that if at the feasts of Lucullus, famous for their gorgeous luxury and sumptuousness, each guest chose his succulent morsel by plunging his fingers into a dish of rare viands, the guests of the Kings of France did the same as late as the last century. Almost 2,000 years rolled away, between Lucullus and the Pagan Cæsars on the one hand and the latest Bourbons on the other, yet the same personal habits prevailed; we find the same at the brilliant courts of Francois I, Henry II, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV. The French historian, Alfred Franklin, gives in his interesting volumes La Vie privée d’autrefois du XII au XVIII siécles, les Repas, etc., a mass of curious information, especially as to the etiquette and the laws of propriety which existed in those centuries. He who, instead of using daintily his three fingers, used the whole hand to fish a piece of food out of the dish, sinned as much against propriety in those days, as he who puts his knife to his mouth while eating, in our own day. Our forefathers had very strict rules on cleanliness: e.g., the three fingers being de rigueur, they could be neither licked, nor wiped on one’s jacket, but had to be cleaned and dried after every course "on the table cloth." The Vlth volume of the work named acquaints the reader with all the details of the sundry customs. The modern habit of washing one’s hands be-


fore dinner—existing now in truth, only in England—was strictly de rigueur, not only at the courts of the French kings, but was a general custom, and had to be repeated before every course. The office was performed at courts by chamberlains and pages, who holding in their left hand a gold or silver basin, poured with their right hand out of a similar jug, aromatic, tepid water on to the hands of the diners. But this was in the reign of Henry III and IV. Two centuries later, in the face of progress and civilization, we see this custom disappearing, and preserved only at the courts and by the highest aristocracy. In the XVIth century it began to fall into desuetude: and even Louis the XIVth limited his ablutions to a wet napkin. In the midst of the bourgeoisie it had almost disappeared; and Napoleon 1st washed his hands only once before dinner. To-day no country save England has preserved this custom.

How much cleaner are the primitive peoples in eating than we are—the Hindus, for instance, and especially the Brahmans. These use no forks, but they take a full bath and change entirely their clothes before sitting down to dinner, during which they wash their hands repeatedly. No Brahman would eat with both his hands, or use his fingers for any other purpose while eating. But the Europeans of the eighteenth century had to be reminded, as we find in various works upon etiquette, of such simple rules as the following: "It is considered improper, and even indecent, to touch one’s nose, especially when full of snuff, while eating one’s dinner" (loc. cii.). Yet Brahmans are "pagans" and our forefathers Christians.

In China, native forks (chop-sticks) were used 1,000 years B.C., as they are now. And when was the fork adopted in Europe? This is what Franklin tells us:

Roasted meats were eaten with fingers as late as the beginning of this century. Montaigne remarks in his Essais that he more than once bit his fingers through his habitual precipitation in eating. The fork was known in the days of Henry III, but rarely used before the end of the last century. The wife of Charles le Bel (1324) and Clemence of Hungary had in their dowry each one fork only; and the Duchess of Tours had two. Charles V (1380) and Charles VI (1418) had in their table inventory only three golden forks—for fruit. Charlotte d’Albrey (1514) three likewise, which were, however, never used.

Germany and Italy adopted the fork at their meals a century


earlier than did the French. Cornet, an Englishman, was much surprised, while travelling in Italy in 1609, to find "a strange-looking, clumsy, and dangerous weapon called a fork," used by the natives while eating. In 1651 we find Ann of Austria refusing to use this "weapon," and eating together with her son (Louis XIV) with her fingers. The fork came into general use only at the beginning of our own century.

Whither then shall we turn to find a corroboration of the mendacious claim, that we owe our civilization and culture, our arts, sciences, and all, to the elevating and benign influence of Christianity? We owe to it nothing—nothing at all, neither physically nor morally. The progress we have achieved, so far, relates in every case to purely physical appliances, to objects and things, not to the inner man. We have now every convenience and comfort of life, everything that panders to our senses and vanity, but not one atom of moral improvement do we find in Christendom since the establishment of the religion of Christ. As the cowl does not make the monk, so the renunciation of the old Gods has not made men any better than they were before, but only, perhaps, worse. At any rate, it has created a new form of hypocrisy—cant; nor has civilization spread as much as is claimed for it. London is civilized, but in truth—only in the West-end. As to the Eastend with its squalid population, and its desolate wildernesses of Whitechapel, Limehouse, Stepney, etc., it is as uncultured and almost as barbarous as Europe was in the early centuries of our era, and its denizens, moreover, have acquired a form of brutality quite unknown to those early ages, and never dreamt of by the worst savages or modern heathen nations. And it is the same in every Christian metropolis, in every town and city; outward polish, inward roughness and rottenness—a Dead Sea fruit indeed!

The simple truth is that the word "civilization" is a very vague and undefined term. Like good and evil, beauty and ugliness, etc., civilization and barbarism are relative terms. For that which to the Chinaman, the Hindu, and the Persian would appear the height of culture, would be regarded by the European as a shocking lack of manners, a terrible breach of Society etiquette. In India the traveller is disgusted whenever he sees the native using his fingers instead of a pocket-handkerchief. In China, the Celestial is pro-


foundly sickened at perceiving a European storing carefully into his pocket the product of his mucous glands. In Bombay the Puritan English woman regards, suffused with blushes, the narrow space of bared waist, and the naked knees and legs of the native woman. Bring the Brahmanee into a modern ball-room—nay, the "Queen’s Drawing-room"—and watch the effect produced on her. Several thousand years B.C., the Amazons danced the Circle Dance around the "Great Mother," at the Mysteries; the daughters of Shiloh, bare to the waist, and the prophets of Baal divested of their clothes, whirled and leaped likewise at the Sabean festivals. This was simply symbolical of the motion of the planets around the Sun, but is now branded as a phallic dance. How then will future generations characterize our modern ball-room dances and the favorite waltz? What difference is there between the ancient priestesses of the God Pan, or the Bacchantes, with the rest of the sacred dancers, and the modern priestesses of Terpsychore? We really see very little. The latter, nude almost down to their waists, dance likewise their "circle dance," while whirling around the ballroom; the only distinction between them being, that the former performed their dance without mixing with the opposite sex, while the waltzers are clasped in turn in the arms of strangers, of men who are neither their husbands nor their brothers.

How unfathomable are thy mysteries, O sphinx of progress, called modern civilization!

Lucifer, August, 1890


A JOURNAL interested like the THEOSOPHIST in the explorations of archæology and archaic religions, as well as the studyof the occult in nature, has to be doubly prudent and discreet. To bring the two conflicting elements—exact science and metaphysics—into direct contact, might create as great a disturbance as to throw a piece of potassium into a basin of water. The very fact that we are predestined and pledged to prove that some of the wisest of Western scholars have been misled by the dead letter of appearances and that they are unable to discover the hidden spirit in the relics of old, places us under the ban from the start. With those sciolists who are neither broad enough, nor sufficiently modest to allow their decisions to be reviewed, we are necessarily in antagonism. Therefore, it is essential that our position in relation to certain scientific hypotheses, perhaps tentative and only sanctioned for want of better ones—should be clearly defined at the outset.

An infinitude of study has been bestowed by the archæologists and the orientalists upon the question of chronology—especially in regard to Comparative Theology. So far, their affirmations as to the relative antiquity of the great religions of the pre-Christian era are little more than plausible hypotheses. How far back the national and religious Vedic period, so called, extends—"it is impossible to tell," confesses Prof. Max Müller; nevertheless, he traces it "to a period anterior to 1,000 B.C.," and brings us "to 1,100 or 1,200 B.C., as the earliest time when we may suppose the collection of the Vedic hymns to have been finished." Nor do any other of our leading scholars claim to have finally settled the vexed question, especially delicate as it is in its bearing upon the chronology of the book of Genesis. Christianity, the direct outflow of Judaism and in most cases the State religion of their respective countries, has unfortunately stood in their way. Hence, scarcely two scholars agree; and each assigns a different date to the Vedas and the Mosaic books, taking care in every case to give the latter the benefit of the doubt. Even that leader of the leaders in philological and chronological questions— Professor Müller, hardly twenty years ago,


allowed himself a prudent margin by stating that it will be difficult to settle "whether the Veda is ‘the oldest of books,’ and whether some of the portions of the Old Testament may not be traced back to the same or even an earlier date than the oldest hymns of the Veda." The THEOSOPHIST is, therefore, quite warranted in either adopting or rejecting as it pleases the so-called authoritative chronology of science. Do we err then, in confessing that we rather incline to accept the chronology of that renowned Vedic scholar, Swami Dayánund Saraswati, who unquestionably knows what he is talking about, has the four Vedas by heart, is perfectly familiar with all Sanskrit literature, has no such scruples as the Western Orientalists in regard to public feelings, nor desire to humour the superstitious notions of the majority, nor has any object to gain in suppressing facts? We are only too conscious of the risk in withholding our adulation from scientific authorities. Yet, with the common temerity of the heterodox we must take our course, even though, like the Tarpeïa of old, we be smothered under a heap of shields—a shower of learned quotations from these "authorities."

We are far from feeling ready to adopt the absurd chronology of a Berosus or even Syncellus—though in truth they appear "absurd" only in the light of our preconceptions. But, between the extreme claims of the Brahmins and the ridiculously short periods conceded by our Orientalists for the development and full growth of that gigantic literature of the ante-Mahábháratan period, there ought to be a just mean. While Swami Dayánund Saraswati asserts that "The Vedas have now ceased to be objects of study for nearly 5,000 years," and places the first appearance of the four Vedas at an immense antiquity; Professor Müller, assigning for the composition of even the earliest among the Brâhmanas, the years from about 1,000 to 800 B.C., hardly dares, as we have seen, to place the collection and the original composition of the Sanhitâ, of Rig-Vedic hymns, earlier than 1,200 to 1,500 before our era!1 Whom ought we to believe; and which of the two is the better informed? Cannot this gap of several thousand years be closed, or would it be equally difficult for either of the two cited authorities to give data which would be regarded by science as thoroughly convincing? It is as easy to reach a false conclusion by the modern inductive method as to assume false premises from which to make deductions. Doubtless Professor Max Müller has good reasons for arriving at his chronological conclusions. But so has Dayánund Saraswati Pandit.

1 Lecture on the Vedas.


The gradual modifications, development and growth of the Sanskrit language are sure guides enough for an expert philologist. But, that there is a possibility of his having been led into error would seem to suggest itself upon considering a certain argument brought forward by Swami Dayánund. Our respected friend and teacher maintains that both Professor Müller and Dr. Wilson have been solely guided in their researches and conclusion by the inaccurate and untrustworthy commentaries of Sayana, Mahidar, and Uvata, commentaries which differ diametrically from those of a far earlier period as used by himself in connection with his great work the Veda Bhashya. A cry was raised at the outset of this publication that Swami’s commentary is calculated to refute Sayana and the English interpreters. "For this," very justly remarks Pandit Dayánund, "I cannot be blamed; if Sayana has erred, and English interpreters have chosen to take him for their guide, the delusion cannot be long maintained. Truth alone can stand, and Falsehood before growing civilization must fall."2 And if, as he claims, his Veda Bhashya is entirely founded on the old commentaries of the ante-Mahábháratan period to which the Western scholars have had no access, then, since his were the surest guides of the two classes, we cannot hesitate to follow him, rather than the best of our European Orientalists.

But, apart from such primâ facie evidence, we would respectfully request Professor Max Müller to solve us a riddle. Propounded by himself, it has puzzled us for over twenty years, and pertains as much to simple logic as to the chronology in question. Clear and undeviating, like the Rhône through the Geneva lake, the idea runs through the course of his lectures, from the first volume of "Chips" down to his last discourse. We will try to explain.

All who have followed his lectures as attentively as ourselves will remember that Professor Max Müller attributes the wealth of myths, symbols, and religious allegories in the Vedic hymns, as in Grecian mythology, to the early worship of nature by man. "In the hymns of the Vedas," to quote his words, "we see man left to himself to solve the riddle of this world. He is awakened from darkness and slumber by the light of the sun" . . . and he calls it—"his life, his truth, his brilliant Lord and Protector." He gives names to all the powers of nature, and after he has called the fire "Agni," the sun-light "Indra," the storms "Maruts," and the dawn "Usha," they all seem to grow naturally into beings like himself, nay greater than

2 Answer to the Objections to the Veda-Bháshya.


himself.3 This definition of the mental state of primitive man, in the days of the very infancy of humanity, and when hardly out of its cradle—is perfect. The period to which he attributes these effusions of an infantile mind, is the Vedic period, and the time which separates us from it is, as claimed above, 3,000 years. So much impressed seems the great philologist with this idea of the mental feebleness of mankind at the time when these hymns were composed by the four venerable Rishis, that in his introduction to the Science of Religion (p. 278) we find the Professor saying: "Do you still wonder at polytheism or at mythology? Why, they are inevitable. They are, if you like, a parler enfantin of religion. But the world has its childhood, and when it was a child it spake as a child, (nota bene, 3,000 years ago), it understood as a child, it thought as a child . . . The fault rests with us if we insist on taking the language of children for the language of men. . . . The language of antiquity is the language of childhood . . . the parler enfantin in religion is not extinct . . . as, for instance, the religion of India."

Having read thus far, we pause and think. At the very close of this able explanation, we meet with a tremendous difficulty, the idea of which must have never occurred to the able advocate of the ancient faiths. To one familiar with the writings and ideas of this Oriental scholar, it would seem the height of absurdity to suspect him of accepting the Biblical chronology of 6,000 years since the appearance of the first man upon earth as the basis of his calculations. And yet the recognition of such chronology is inevitable if we have to accept Professor Müller’s reasons at all; for here we run against a purely arithmetical and mathematical obstacle, a gigantic miscalculation of proportion . . .

No one can deny that the growth and development of mankind—mental as well as physical—must be analogically measured by the growth and development of man. An anthropologist, if he cares to go beyond the simple consideration of the relations of man to other members of the animal kingdom, has to be in a certain way a physiologist as well as an anatomist; for, as much as ethnology it is a progressive science which can be well treated but by those who are able to follow up retrospectively the regular unfolding of human faculties and powers, assigning to each a certain period of life. Thus, no one would regard a skull in which the wisdom-tooth, so called, would be apparent, the skull of an infant. Now, according to geology, recent researches "give good reasons to believe that

3 Chips from a German Workshop, vol. 1, p. 68.


under low and base grades the existence of man can be traced back into the tertiary times." In the old glacial drift of Scotland—says Professor W. Draper—"the relics of man are found along with those of the fossil elephant"; and the best calculations so far assign a period of two-hundred-and-forty thousand years since the beginning of the last glacial period. Making a proportion between 240,000 years—the least age we can accord to the human race—and 24 years of a man’s life, we find that three thousand years ago, or the period of the composition of Vedic hymns, mankind would be just twenty-one—the legal age of majority, and certainly a period at which man ceases using, if he ever will, the parler enfantin or childish lisping. But, according to the views of the Lecturer, it follows that man was, three thousand years ago, at twenty-one, a foolish and undeveloped—though a very promising—infant, and at twenty-four, has become the brilliant, acute, learned, highly analytical and philosophical man of the nineteenth century. Or, still keeping our equation in view, in other words, the Professor might as well say, that an individual who was a nursing baby at 12 M. on a certain day, would at 12:20 P.M., on the same day, have become an adult speaking high wisdom instead of his parler enfantin!

It really seems the duty of the eminent Sanskritist and Lecturer on Comparative Theology to get out of this dilemma. Either the Rig-Veda hymns were composed but 3,000 years ago, and, therefore, cannot be expressed in the "language of childhood"— man having lived in the glacial period—but the generation which composed them must have been composed of adults, presumably as philosophical and scientific in the knowledge of their day, as we are in our own; or, we have to ascribe to them an immense antiquity in order to carry them back to the days of human mental infancy. And, in this latter case, Professor Max Müller will have to withdraw a previous remark, expressing the doubt "whether some of the portions of the Old Testament may not be traced back to the same or even an earlier date than the oldest hymns of the Vedas."

Theosophist, October, 1879


In a lengthy review of A. Lillie’s book, Buddha and Early Buddhism, by M. A. (Oxon), our esteemed friend, the critic, takes the opportunity for another quiet little fling at his well-wishers, the Theosophists. On the authority (?) of Mr. Lillie, who seems to know all about it, the reviewer contradicts and exposes the assertions made and theories enunciated by the Theosophists. We will now quote from his review "Buddhism and Western Thought," published in the October number of the Psychological Review:

"It will be evident to any reader, who has followed me so far, that the Buddhist belief is permeated by what I have described as a distinctive, ‘a peculiar note of Modern Spiritualism—the presence and guardianship of departed spirits’ (!?)1 I confess that this struck me with some surprise, and, I may say, pleased surprise, for I had come to think that there was a marked antagonism between Eastern and Western modes of thought and belief on this point. We have heard much in disparagement of this special article of faith from some friends who have told us a great deal about the theosophical beliefs of the Hindus, and who have chanted the praises of the Buddhistic as against the Christian faith with vehement laudation of the one, and with abundant scorn of the other. . . . But be this as it may, we have been told so often, that we have come to accept it as a lesson from those who know better than ourselves, that our Western belief in the action of departed human spirits in this world of ours is a crazy fallacy. We have believed, at least, that such was the Eastern creed. For ourselves, we (some of us at least) prefer our own experience to the instructions of any whose dogmatic statements are so sweeping as those with which we are met from Eastern experts. The statements and claims made have seemed to us altogether too vast. It may be, we are driven to think, that departed spirits do not operate in the East, but at any rate we find that they do act in the West. And while we are far from declining to recognize the truth that pervades much of the Spiritualism of the East,

1 The italics and points of exclamation are ours. We would like to know what the learned priests of Ceylon, the lights of Buddhism, such as Sumangala Unnanse, would have to say to this?—Ed.


and have tried our best to induce our friends to widen their view by adopting it in some degree, we have been sad to think that it should so absolutely contradict the experience of the West.

"Mr. Lillie affords me some consolation. I find throughout his book not only most instructive variety of opinion, which I can correlate with my own beliefs and theories to benefit and advantage, but I find that the belief in the intervention of departed human spirits, which we had all of us imagined to be anathema maranatha in the East is, in effect, a permeating principle of Buddhism in his estimation!"—(Part II, p. 174.)

The writer, after that, proceeds to speak of "Buddhistic Spiritualism" . . . a "root-principle" of which is "a belief that the living may be brought en rapport with their departed friends"; of adepts being "highly developed mediums"; and quotes an interesting clause from a chapter of Mr. Lillie’s book. Says the last-named authority:

"I have dwelt at length on this supernaturalism, because it is of the highest importance to our theme. Buddhism was plainly an elaborate apparatus to nullify the action of evil spirits by the aid of good spirits operating at their highest potentiality, through the instrumentality of the corpse, or a portion of the corpse of the chief aiding spirit. The Buddhist temple, the Buddhist rites, the Buddhist liturgy, all seem based on this one idea that a whole or portions of a dead body was necessary. What were these assisting spirits? Every Buddhist, ancient or modern, would admit at once that a spirit that has not yet attained the Bodily or Spiritual awakenment cannot be a good spirit. It is still in the domains of Kâma (death, appetite).2 It can do no good thing; more than that, it must do evil things. . . . The answer of Northern Buddhism, if we consult such books as the ‘White Lotus of Dharma’ and the ‘Lalita Vistara,’ is that the good spirits are the Buddhas, the dead prophets. They come from the ‘fields of the Buddhas’ to commune with earth."

For all this M. A. (Oxon) rejoices, as he thinks it corroborates the Spiritual theories and is calculated to confound the Theosophists. We, however, are afraid that it will confound, in the end, but Mr. Lillie. "The life of Buddha is permeated," says the re-

2 We have not read Mr. Lillie’s book; but if he teaches in it many other things no truer than his idea that Kama means "Death," his authority is likely to prove of a most fragile kind. Kama never meant death, but lust, desire; in this sense—a passionate desire to live again.—Ed.


viewer, "with what seems to me uncompromising Spiritualism . . . and in triumph adds: "It is a significant fact that throughout this elucidation of Buddhistic Spiritualism we have not once come upon an Elemental or Elementary Spirit."

No wonder since they have in Buddhistic and Brahmanical Esotericism their own special and technical names whose significance, Mr. Lillie—if he understood their meaning as correctly as he did the word Kama—was just the person to overlook, or include in the generic name of "Spirits." We will not try to personally argue out the vexed question with our friend, M. A. (Oxon), as our voice might have no more authority with him than Mr. Lillie’s has with us. But we will tell him what we have done. As soon as his able review reached us, we marked it throughout, and sent both the numbers of the magazine containing it, to be, in their turn, reviewed and corrected by two authorities. We have the weakness to believe that these Specialists in the matter of esoteric Buddhism may be regarded as far greater than Mr. Lillie or any other European authority is likely to ever be; for these two are:—(1) H. Sumangala Unnanse, Buddhist High Priest of Adam’s Peak, Ceylon, the teacher of Mr. Rhys Davids, a member of our General Council and the most learned expounder of Southern Buddhism; and (2) the Chohan-Lama of Rinch-cha-tze (Tibet) the Chief of the Archive-registrars of the secret Libraries of the Dalaï and Ta-shii-hlumpo-Lamas-Rim-boche,—also a member of our Society. The latter, moreover, is a "Pan-chhen," or great teacher, one of the most learned theologians of Northern Buddhism and esoteric Lamaism. From the latter we have already received the promise of showing how very erroneous are, in every case, the views of both, the author and his reviewer, the message being accompanied by a few remarks to the address of the former which would have hardly flattered his vanity as an author. The High Priest Sumangala, we hope, will give his ideas upon "Buddhistic Spiritualism" as well, as soon as he finds leisure—no easy matter, by the way, considering his engagements. If the authority and learning of Mr. Lillie, after that, will still be placed higher than that of the two most learned Buddhist expounders of Southern and Northern Buddhism of our day, then we will have nothing more to say.

Meanwhile, none will deny that esoteric Buddhism and Brahmanism are one, for the former is derived from the latter. It is


well-known, the most important feature of reform, perhaps, was that Buddha made adeptship or enlightenment (through the dhyâna practices of Iddhi) open to all, whereas the Brahmans had been jealously excluding all men without the pale of their own haughty caste from this privilege of learning the perfect truth. Therefore, in the present connection we will give the ideas of a learned Brahman upon Spiritualism as viewed from the esoteric stand-point. The author of the article which follows, than whom, no layman, perhaps, in India is better versed in the Brahmanical Occult Sciences3 outside the inner conclave of the adepts—reviews in it the seven-fold principle in man, as given in Fragments of Occult Truth, and establishes for that purpose an exhaustive comparison between the two esoteric doctrines—the Brahmanical and Buddhistic— which he considers "substantially identical." His letter was written at our personal request, with no view to polemics, the writer himself being probably very far from the thought while answering it that it would ever be published. Having obtained his permission, however, to that effect, we now gladly avail ourselves of the opportunity. Besides being the best review we are likely to ever obtain upon so abstruse a subject, it will show M. A. (Oxon), and our other friends, the Spiritualists, how far such authors as Mr. Lillie have seized the "root-principle" of the Asiatic religions and philosophy. At all events the readers will be enabled to judge, how much modern Spiritualism, as now expounded, is "a permeating principle" of Brahmanism, the elder sister of Buddhism.

Theosophist, January, 1882

3 See article [by Subba Row] "The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac" by the same author in the November number of the Theosophist.ED.


[In his article, "The Aryan-Arhat Esoteric Tenets on the Sevenfold Principle in Man," in the Theosophist for January 1882, Subba Row made statements which drew comment from H.P.B., printed as the Notes of an editorial appendix following his article. Before each of these five Notes by H.P.B., we give in brackets the statement by Subba Row to which it applied.]

Note I

[SUBBA ROW: NOW it is extremely difficult to show whether the Tibetans derived their doctrine from the ancient Rishis of India, or the ancient Brahmans learned their occult science from the adepts of Tibet; or again whether the adepts of both countries professed originally the same doctrine and derived it from a common source.]

In this connection it will be well to draw the reader’s attention, to the fact that the country called "Si-dzang" by the Chinese, and Tibet by Western geographers, is mentioned in the oldest books preserved in the province of Fo-kien (the chief headquarters of the aborigines of China)—as the great seat of occult learning in the archaic ages. According to these records, it was inhabited by the "Teachers of Light," the "Sons of Wisdom," and the "Brothers of the Sun." The Emperor Yu the "Great" (2207 B.C.), a pious mystic, is credited with having obtained his occult wisdom and the system of theocracy established by him—for he was the first one to unite in China ecclesiastical power with temporal authority—from Si-dzang. That system was the same as with the old Egyptians and the Chaldees; that which we know to have existed in the Brahmanical period in India, and to exist now in Tibet: namely, all the learning, power, the temporal as well as the secret wisdom were concentrated within the hierarchy of the priests and limited to their caste. Who were the aborigines of Tibet is a question which no ethnographer is able to answer correctly at present. They practise the Bhon religion, their sect is a pre- and anti-Buddhistic one, and they are to be found mostly in the province of Kam—that is all that is known of them. But even that would justify the supposition that they are the greatly degenerated descendants of mighty and wise forefathers. Their ethnical type shows that they are not pure Turanians, and their


rites—now those of sorcery, incantations, and nature-worship, remind one far more of the popular rites of the Babylonians, as found in the records preserved on the excavated cylinders, than of the religious practices of the Chinese sect of Tao-sse—(a religion based upon pure reason and spirituality)—as alleged by some. Generally, little or no difference is made even by the Kyelang missionaries who mix greatly with these people on the borders of British Lahoul—and ought to know better—between the Bhons and the two rival Buddhist sects, the Yellow Caps and the Red Caps. The latter of these have opposed the reform of Tzong-ka-pa from the first and have always adhered to old Buddhism so greatly mixed up now with the practices of the Bhons. Were our Orientalists to know more of them, and compare the ancient Babylonian Bel or Baal worship with the rites of the Bhons, they would find an undeniable connection between the two. To begin an argument here, proving the origin of the aborigines of Tibet as connected with one of the three great races which superseded each other in Babylonia, whether we call them the Akkadians (invented by F. Lenormant), or the primitive Turanians, Chaldees and Assyrians—is out of question. Be it as it may, there is reason to call the trans-Himalayan esoteric doctrine Chaldeo-Tibetan. And, when we remember that the Vedas came—agreeably to all traditions—from the Manssorowa Lake in Tibet, and the Brahmins themselves from the far North, we are justified in looking on the esoteric doctrines of every people who once had or still has it—as having proceeded from one and the same source; and, to thus call it the "Aryan-Chaldeo-Tibetan" doctrine, or Universal WISDOM Religion. "Seek for the LOST WORD among the hierophants of Tartary, China, and Tibet," was the advice of Swedenborg, the seer.

Note II

[SUBBA ROW: Your assertion in "Isis Unveiled" that Sanskrit was the language of the inhabitants of the said continent (Atlantis), may induce one to suppose that the Vedas had probably their origin there,—wherever else might be the birthplace of the Aryan esotericism.]

Not necessarily—we say. The Vedas, Brahmanism, and along with these, Sanskrit, were importations into what we now regard as India. They were never indigenous to its soil. There was a time when the ancient nations of the West included under the generic


name of India many of the countries of Asia now classified under other names. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, even during the comparatively late period of Alexander; and Persia—Iran is called Western India in some ancient classics. The countries now named Tibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary were considered by them as forming part of India. When we say, therefore, that India has civilized the world and was the Alma Mater of the civilizations, arts and sciences of all other nations (Babylonia, and perhaps even Egypt, included) we mean archaic, prehistoric India. India of the time when the great Gobi was a sea, and the lost "Atlantis" formed part of an unbroken continent which began at the Himalayas and ran down over Southern India, Ceylon, Java, to far-away Tasmania.

Note III

[SUBBA Row: . . . the knowledge of the occult powers of nature possessed by the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis was learned by the ancient adepts of India and was appended by them to the esoteric doctrine taught by the residents of the sacred Island.]

To ascertain such disputed questions, one has to look into and study well the Chinese sacred and historical records—a people whose era begins nearly 4,600 years back (2697 B.C.). A people so accurate and by whom some of the most important inventions of modern Europe and its so much boasted modern science, were anticipated—such as the compass, gun-powder, porcelain, paper, printing, &c.—known, and practised thousands of years before these were rediscovered by the Europeans—ought to receive some trust for their records. And from Lao-tze down to Hiouen-Thsang their literature is filled with allusions and references to that island and the wisdom of the Himalayan adepts. In the Catena of Buddhist Scriptures from the Chinese by the Rev. Samuel Beal, there is a chapter "On the TIAN-TA’I School of Buddhism" (pp. 244-258) which our opponents ought to read. Translating the rules of that most celebrated and holy school and sect in China founded by Chin-che-Khae, called Che-chay (the wise one) in the year 575 of our era, when coming to the sentence which reads: "That which relates to the one garment (seamless) worn by the GREAT TEACHERS OF THE SNOWY MOUNTAINS, the school of the Haimavatas" (p. 256) the European translator places


after the last sentence a sign of interrogation, as well he may. The statistics of the school of the "Haimavatas" or of our Himalayan Brotherhood, are not to be found in the General Census Records of India. Further, Mr. Beal translates a Rule relating to "the great professors of the higher order who live in mountain depths remote from men," the Aranyakas, or hermits.

So, with respect to the traditions concerning this island, and apart from the (to them) historical records of this preserved in the Chinese and Tibetan Sacred Books: the legend is alive to this day among the people of Tibet. The fair Island is no more, but the country where it once bloomed remains there still, and the spot is well known to some of the "great teachers of the snowy mountains," however much convulsed and changed its topography by the awful cataclysm. Every seventh year, these teachers are believed to assemble in SCHAM-CHA-LO, the "happy land." According to the general belief it is situated in the north-west of Tibet. Some place it within the unexplored central regions, inaccessible even to the fearless nomadic tribes; others hem it in between the range of the Gangdisri Mountains and the northern edge of the Gobi Desert, South and North, and the more populated regions of Khoondooz and Kashmir, of the Gya-Pheling (British-India), and China, West and East, which affords to the curious mind a pretty large latitude to locate it in. Others still place it between Namur Nur and the Kuen-Lun Mountains—but one and all firmly believe in Scham-bha-la, and speak of it as a fertile, fairy-like land, once an island, now an oasis of incomparable beauty, the place of meeting of the inheritors of the esoteric wisdom of the god-like inhabitants of the legendary Island.

In connection with the archaic legend of the Asian Sea and the Atlantic Continent, is it not profitable to note a fact known to all modern geologists—that the Himalayan slopes afford geological proof, that the substance of those lofty peaks was once a part of an ocean floor?

Note IV

[SUBBA Row: You said that in cases where tendencies of a man’s mind are entirely material, and all spiritual aspirations and thoughts were altogether absent from his mind, the seventh principle leaves him either before or at the time of death, and the sixth principle disappears with it. Here, the very proposi-


tion that the tendencies of the particular individual’s mind are entirely material, involves the assertion that there is no spiritual intelligence or spiritual Ego in him. You should then have said that, whenever spiritual intelligence should cease to exist in any particular individual the seventh principle ceases to exist for that particular individual for all purposes. Of course, it does not fly off anywhere. There can never be anything like a change of position in the case of Brahmam.]

True—from the standpoint of Aryan Esotericism, and the Upanishads; not quite so in the case of the Arahat or Tibetan esoteric doctrine; and it is only on this one solitary point that the two teachings disagree, as far as we know. The difference is very trifling though, resting, as it does, solely upon the two various methods of viewing the one and the same thing from two different aspects.

We have already pointed out that, in our opinion, the whole difference between Buddhistic and Vedantic philosophies was that the former was a kind of Rationalistic Vedantism, while the latter might be regarded as transcendental Buddhism. If the Aryan esotericism applies the term jivátma to the seventh principle, the pure and per se unconscious spirit—it is because the Vedanta postulating three kinds of existence—(1) the pâramârthika—(the true, the only real one), (2) the vyavahârika (the practical), and (3) the pratibhâsika (the apparent or illusory life)—makes the first life or jiva, the only truly existent one. Brahma or the ONE’S SELF is its only representative in the universe, as it is the universal Life in toto while the other two are but its "phenomenal appearances," imagined and created by ignorance, and complete illusions suggested to us by our blind senses. The Buddhists, on the other hand, deny either subjective or objective reality even to that one Self-Existence. Buddha declares that there is neither Creator nor an ABSOLUTE Being. Buddhist rationalism was ever too alive to the insuperable difficulty of admitting one absolute consciousness, as in the words of Flint—"wherever there is consciousness there is relation, and wherever there is relation there is dualism." The ONE LIFE is either "MUKTA" (absolute and unconditioned) and can have no relation to anything nor to any one; or it is "BADDHA" (bound and conditioned), and then it cannot be called the ABSOLUTE; the limitation, moreover, necessitating another deity as powerful as the first to account for all the evil in this world. Hence, the Arahat secret doctrine on cosmogony, admits


but of one absolute, indestructible, eternal, and uncreated UNCONSCIOUSNESS (so to translate), of an element (the word being used for want of a better term) absolutely independent of everything else in the universe; a something ever present or ubiquitous, a Presence which ever was, is, and will be, whether there is a God, gods, or none; whether there is a universe, or no universe; existing during the eternal cycles of Maha Yugs, during the Pralayas as during the periods of Manvantara: and this is SPACE, the field for the operation of the eternal Forces and natural Law, the basis (as our correspondent rightly calls it) upon which take place the eternal intercorrelations of Akása-Prakriti, guided by the unconscious regular pulsations of Sakti—the breath or power of a conscious deity, the theists would say—the eternal energy of an eternal, unconscious Law, say the Buddhists. Space then, or "Fan, Bar-nang" (Mâha Sûnyatâ) or, as it is called by Lao-tze, the "Emptiness" is the nature of the Buddhist Absolute. (See Confucius’ "Praise of the Abyss.") The word jiva then, could never be applied by the Arahats to the Seventh Principle, since it is only through its correlation or contact with matter that Fo-hat (the Buddhist active energy) can develop active conscious life; and that to the question "how can Unconsciousness generate consciousness?" the answer would be: "Was the seed which generated a Bacon or a Newton self-conscious?"

Note V

[SUBBA Row: The term Jivatma is generally applied by our philosophers to the seventh principle when it is distinguished from Paramatma or Parabrahmam.]

The impersonal Parabrahmam thus being made to merge or separate itself into a personal "jivatma," or the personal god of every human creature. This is, again, a difference necessitated by the Brahmanical belief in a God whether personal or impersonal, while the Buddhist Arahats, rejecting this idea entirely, recognise no deity apart from man.

To our European readers: Deceived by the phonetic similarity, it must not be thought that the name "Brahman" is identical in this connection with Brahma or Iswara—the personal God. The Upanishads—the Vedanta Scriptures—mention no such God and, one would vainly seek in them any allusions to a conscious deity. The Brahmam, or Parabrahm, the ABSOLUTE of the Vedantins,


is neuter and unconscious, and has no connection with the masculine Brahmâ of the Hindu Triad, or Trimûriti. Some Orientalists rightly believe the name derived from the verb "Brih," to grow or increase, and to be, in this sense, the universal expansive force of nature, the vivifying and spiritual principle, or power, spread throughout the universe and which in its collectivity is the one Absoluteness, the one Life and the only Reality.

Theosophist, January, 1882


A Long-Delayed Promise Fulfilled

They who are on the summit of a mountain can see all men; in like manner they who are intelligent and free from sorrow are enabled to ascend above the paradise of the Gods; and when they there have seen the subjection of man to birth and death and the sorrows by which he is afflicted, they open the doors of the immortal.
—From the Tched-du brjod-pai tsoms of the BKAH-HGYUR

IN the January number of the Theosophist for 1882, we promised our readers the opinions of the Venerable Chohan-Lama—the chief of the Archive-registrars of the libraries containing manuscripts on esoteric doctrines belonging to the Ta-lοϊ and

Ta- shü-hlumpo Lamas Rim-boche of Tibet—on certain conclusions arrived at by the author of Buddha and Early Buddhism. Owing to the brotherly kindness of a disciple of the learned Chohan, than whom no one in Tibet is more deeply versed in the science of esoteric and exoteric Buddhism, we are now able to give a few of the doctrines which have a direct bearing on these conclusions. It is our firm belief that the learned Chohan’s letters, and the notes accompanying them, could not arrive at a more opportune time. Besides the many and various misconceptions of our doctrines, we have more than once been taken severely to task by some of the most intelligent Spiritualists for misleading them as to the real attitude and belief of Hindus and Buddhists as to "spirits of the departed." Indeed, according to some Spiritualists "the Buddhist belief is permeated by the distinctive and peculiar note of modern Spiritualism, the presence and guardianship of departed spirits," and the Theosophists have been guilty of misrepresenting this belief. They have had the hardihood, for instance, to maintain that this "belief in the intervention of departed human spirits" was anathema maranatha in the East, whereas it is "in effect, a permeating principle of Buddhism."

What every Hindu, of whatever caste and education, thinks of the "intervention of departed spirits" is so well known throughout the length and breadth of India that it would be loss of time to


repeat the oft-told tale. There are a few converts to modern Spiritualism, such as Babu Peary Chand Mittra, whose great personal purity of life would make such intercourse harmless for him, even were he not indifferent to physical phenomena, holding but to the purely spiritual, subjective side of such communion. But, if these be excepted, we boldly reassert what we have always maintained: that there is not a Hindu who does not loathe the very idea of the reappearance of a departed "spirit" whom he will ever regard as impure; and that with these exceptions no Hindu believes that, except in cases of suicide, or death by accident, any spirit but an evil one can return to earth. Therefore, leaving the Hindus out of the question, we will give the ideas of the Northern Buddhists on the subject, hoping to add those of the Southern Buddhists to them in good time. And, when we say "Buddhists," we do not include the innumerable heretical sects teeming throughout Japan and China who have lost every right to that appellation. With these we have nought to do. We think but of Buddhists of the Northern and Southern Churches—the Roman Catholics and the Protestants of Buddhism, so to say.

The subject which our learned Tibetan correspondent treats is based on a few direct questions offered by us with a humble request that they should be answered, and the following paragraphs from Buddha and Early Buddhism:

"I have dwelt somewhat at length on this supernaturalism, because it is of the highest importance to our theme. Buddhism was plainly an elaborate apparatus to nullify the action of evil spirits by the aid of good spirits operating at their highest potentiality through the instrumentality of the corpse or a portion of the corpse of the chief aiding spirit. The Buddhist temple, the Buddhist rites, the Buddhist liturgy, all seem based on this one idea that a whole or portions of a dead body was necessary. What were these assisting spirits? Every Buddhist, ancient or modern, would at once admit that a spirit that has not yet attained the Bodhi or spiritual awakenment cannot be a good spirit. It can do no good thing; more than that, it must do evil things.

"The answer of Northern Buddhism is that the good spirits are the Buddhas, the dead prophets. They come from certain ‘fields of the Buddhas’" to commune with earth.

Our learned Tibetan friend writes:

"Let me say at once that monks and laymen give the most


ridiculously absurd digest of the Law of Faith, the popular beliefs of Tibet. The Capuchin Della Penna’s account of the brotherhood of the ‘Byang-tsiub’ is simply absurd. Taking from the Bkah-hgyur and other books of the Tibetan laws some literal descriptions, he then embellishes them with his own interpretation. Thus he speaks of the fabled worlds of ‘spirits,’ where live the ‘Lha, who are like gods’; adding that the Tibetans imagine ‘these places to be in the air above a great mountain, about a hundred and sixty thousand leagues high and thirty-two thousand leagues in circuit; which is made up of four parts, being of crystal to the east, of the red ruby to the west, of gold to the north, and of the green precious stone—lapis lazuli—to the south. In these abodes of bliss they—the Lha—remain as long as they please, and then pass to the paradise of other worlds.’

"This description resembles far more—if my memory of the missionary-school-going period at Lahoula does not deceive me—the ‘new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven’ in John’s vision—that city which measured ‘twelve thousand furlongs,’ whose walls were of ‘jasper,’ the buildings of ‘pure gold,’ the foundations of the walls ‘garnished with all manner of precious stones’ and ‘the twelve gates were twelve pearls’—than the city of the Jang-Chhub either in the Bkah-hgyur or in the ideas of the Tibetans. In the first place, the sacred canon of the Tibetans, the Bkah-hgyur and Bstan-hgyur, comprises one thousand seven hundred and seven distinct works—one thousand and eighty-three public and six hundred and twenty-four secret volumes—the former being composed of three hundred and fifty and the latter of seventy-seven folio volumes.

"Could they even by chance have seen them, I can assure the Theosophists that the contents of these volumes could never be understood by anyone who had not been given the key to their peculiar character, and to their hidden meaning.

"Every description of localities is figurative in our system; every name and word is purposely veiled; and a student, before he is given any further instruction, has to study the mode of deciphering, and then of comprehending and learning the equivalent secret term or synonym for nearly every word of our religious language. The Egyptian enchorial or hieratic system is child’s play to the deciphering of our sacred puzzles. Even in those volumes to which the masses have access, every sentence has a dual meaning, one


intended for the unlearned, and the other for those who have received the key to the records.

"If the efforts of such well-meaning, studious and conscientious men as the authors of Buddhist Records of the Western World, and Buddha and Early Buddhism—whose poetical hypotheses may be upset and contradicted, one by one, with the greatest ease— resulted in nought, verily then, the attempts of the predecessors and successors of the Abbés Huc, Gabet and others must prove a sorry failure; since the former have not and the latter have, an object to achieve in purposely disfiguring the unparalleled and glorious teachings of our blessed master, Shakya Thub-pa.

"In the Theosophist for October, 1881, a correspondent correctly informs the reader that Gautama the Buddha, the wise, ‘insisted upon initiation being thrown open to all who were qualified.’ This is true; such was the original design put for some time in practice by the great Sang-gyas, and before he had become the All-Wise. But three or four centuries after his separation from this earthly coil, when Asoka, the great supporter of our religion, had left the world, the Arhat initiates, owing to the secret but steady opposition of the Brâhmans to their system, had to drop out of the country one by one and seek safety beyond the Himalayas. Thus, though popular Buddhism did not spread in Tibet before the seventh century, the Buddhist initiates of the mysteries and esoteric system of the Aryan Twice-born, leaving their motherland, India, sought refuge with the pre-Buddhistic ascetics; those who had the Good Doctrine, even before the days of Shâkya-Muni. These ascetics had dwelt beyond the Himâlayan ranges from time immemorial. They are the direct successors of those Âryan sages who, instead of accompanying their Brâhman brothers in the prehistorical emigration from Lake Manasarovara across the Snowy Range into the hot plains of the Seven Rivers, had preferred to remain in their inaccessible and unknown fastnesses. No wonder, indeed, if the Âryan esoteric doctrine and our Arahat doctrines are found to be almost identical. Truth, like the sun over our heads, is one; but it seems as if this eternal truism must be constantly reiterated to make the dark, as much as the white, people remember it. Only that truth may be kept pure and unpolluted by human exaggerations—its very votaries betimes seeking to adapt it, to pervert and disfigure its fair face to their own selfish ends—


it has to be hidden far away from the eye of the profane. Since the days of the earliest universal mysteries up to the time of our great Shâkya Tathâgata Buddha, who reduced and interpreted the system for the salvation of all, the divine Voice of the Self, known as Kwan-yin, was heard but in the sacred solitude of the preparatory mysteries.

"Our world-honoured Tsong-kha-pa closing his fifth Damngag reminds us that ‘every sacred truth, which the ignorant are unable to comprehend under its true light, ought to be hidden within a triple casket concealing itself as the tortoise conceals his head within his shell; ought to show her face but to those who are desirous of obtaining the condition of Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi’—the most merciful and enlightened heart.

"There is a dual meaning, then, even in the canon thrown open to the people, and, quite recently, to Western scholars. I will now try to correct the errors—too intentional, I am sorry to say, in the case of the Jesuit writers. No doubt but that the Chinese and Tibetan Scriptures, so-called, the standard works of China and Japan, some written by our most learned scholars, many of whom—as uninitiated though sincere and pious men—commented upon what they never rightly understood, contain a mass of mythological and legendary matter more fit for nursery folklore than an exposition of the Wisdom Religion as preached by the world’s Saviour. But none of these are to be found in the canon; and, though preserved in most of the Lamasery libraries, they are read and implicitly believed in only by the credulous and pious whose simplicity forbids them ever stepping across the threshold of reality. To this class belong The Buddhist Cosmos, written by the Bonze Jin-ch’an, of Pekin; The Shing-Tao-ki, or ‘The Records of the Enlightenment of Tathâgata,’ by Wang- Puh, in the seventh century, The Hi-shai Sûtra, or ‘Book of Creation,’ various volumes on heaven and hell, and so forth—poetic fictions grouped around a symbolism evolved as an after-thought.

"But the records from which our scholastic author, the monk Della Penna quotes— or I should rather say, misquotes—contain no fiction, but simply information for future generations, who may, by that time, have obtained the key to the right reading of them. The ‘Lha’ of whom Della Penna speaks but to deride the fable, they who ‘have attained the position of saints in this world,’ were simply the initiated Arhats, the adepts of many and various


grades, generally known under the name of Bhanté or Brothers. In the book known as the Avatamsaka Sûtra, in the section on ‘the Supreme Âtman—Self—as manifested in the character of the Arhats and Pratyeka Buddhas,’ it is stated that ‘Because from the beginning, all sentient creatures have confused the truth, and embraced the false; therefore has there come into existence a hidden knowledge called Alaya Vijñâna.’ ‘Who is in the possession of the true hidden knowledge?’ ‘The great teachers of the Snowy Mountain,’ is the response in The Book of Law. The Snowy Mountain is the ‘mountain a hundred and sixty thousand leagues high.’ Let us see what this means. The last three ciphers being simply left out, we have a hundred and sixty leagues; a Tibetan league is nearly five miles; this gives us seven hundred and eighty miles from a certain holy spot, by a distinct road to the west. This becomes as clear as can be, even in Della Penna’s further description, to one who has but a glimpse of the truth. ‘According to their law,’ says that monk, ‘in the west of this world, is an eternal world, a paradise, and in it a saint called Ho-pahme, which means "Saint of Splendour and Infinite Light." This saint has many distinct "powers," who are all called "chang-chub",’ which—he adds in a footnote—means ‘the spirits of those who, on account of their perfection, do not care to become saints, and train and instruct the bodies of the reborn Lamas, so that they may help the living.’

"This shows that these presumably dead ‘chang-chubs’ are living Bodhisatwas or Bhanté, known under various names among Tibetan people; among others, Lha or ‘spirits,’ as they are supposed to have an existence more in spirit than in flesh. At death they often renounce Nirvâna—the bliss of eternal rest, or oblivion of personality—to remain in their spiritualized astral selves for the good of their disciples and humanity in general.

"To some Theosophists, at least, my meaning must be clear, though some are sure to rebel against the explanation. Yet we maintain that there is no possibility of an entirely pure ‘self’ remaining in the terrestrial atmosphere after his liberation from the physical body, in his own personality, in which he moved upon earth. Only three exceptions are made to this rule:

"The holy motive prompting a Bodhisatwa, a Sravaka, or Rahat to help to the same bliss those who remain behind him, the living; in which case he will stop to instruct them either from within or without; or, secondly, those who, however pure, harmless and


comparatively free from sin during their lives, have been so engrossed with some particular idea in connection with one of the human mâyâs as to pass away amidst that all-absorbing thought; and, thirdly, persons in whom an intense and holy love, such as that of a mother for her orphaned children, creates or generates an indomitable will fed by that boundless love to tarry with and among the living in their inner selves.

"The periods allotted for these exceptional cases vary. In the first case, owing to the knowledge acquired in his condition of Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi—the most holy and enlightened heart—the Bodhisatwa has no fixed limit. Accustomed to remain for hours and days in his astral form during life, he has power after death to create around him his own conditions, calculated to check the natural tendency of the other principles to rejoin their respective elements, and can descend or even remain on earth for centuries and millenniums. In the second case, the period will last until the all-powerful magnetic attraction of the subject of the thought—intensely concentrated at the moment of death—becomes weakened and gradually fades out. In the third, the attraction is broken either by the death or the moral unworthiness of the loved ones. It cannot in either case last more than a lifetime.

"In all other cases of apparitions or communications by whatever mode, the ‘spirit’ will prove a wicked ‘bhuta’ or ‘ro-lang’ at best—the soulless shell of an ‘elementary.’ The ‘Good Doctrine’ is rejected on account of the unwarranted accusation that ‘adepts’ only claim the privilege of immortality. No such claim was ever brought forward by any eastern adept or initiate. Very true, our Masters teach us ‘that immortality is conditional,’ and that the chances of an adept who has become a proficient in the Alaya Vijñana, the acme of wisdom, are tenfold greater than those of one who, being ignorant of the potentialities centered within his Self, allows them to remain dormant and undisturbed until it is too late to awake them in this life. But the adept knows no more on earth, nor are his powers greater here than will be the knowledge and powers of the average good man when the latter reaches his fifth and especially his sixth cycle or round. Our present mankind is still in the fourth of the seven great cyclic rounds. Humanity is a baby hardly out of its swaddling clothes, and the highest adept of the present age knows less than he will know as a child in the seventh round. And as mankind is an


infant collectively, so is man in his present development individually. As it is hardly to be expected that a young child, however precocious, should remember his existence from the hour of his birth, day by day, with the various experiences of each, and the various clothes he was made to wear on each of them, so no ‘self,’ unless that of an adept having reached Samma-Sambuddha—during which an illuminate sees the long series of his past lives throughout all his previous births in other worlds—was ever able to recall the distinct and various lives he passed through. But that time must come one day. Unless a man is an irretrievable sensualist, dooming himself thereby to utter annihilation after one of such sinful lives, that day will dawn when, having reached the state of absolute freedom from any sin or desire, he will see and recall to memory all his past lives as easily as a man of our age turns back and passes in review, one by one, every day of his existence."

We may add a word or two in explanation of a previous passage, referring to Kwan-yin. This divine power was finally anthropomorphized by the Chinese Buddhist ritualists into a distinct double-sexed deity with a thousand hands and a thousand eyes, and called Kwan-shai-yin Bodhisatwa, the Voice-Deity, but in reality meaning the voice of the ever-present latent divine consciousness in man; the voice of his real Self, which can be fully evoked and heard only through great moral purity. Hence Kwan-yin is said to be the son of Amitabhâ Buddha, who generated that Saviour, the merciful Bodhisatwa, the "Voice" or the "Word" that is universally diffused, the "Sound" which is eternal. It has the same mystical meaning as the Vâch of the Brâhmans. While the Brâhmans maintain the eternity of the Vedas from the eternity of "sound," the Buddhists claim by synthesis the eternity of Amitabhâ, since he was the first to prove the eternity of the Self-born, Kwan-yin. Kwan-yin is the Vâchîshvara or Voice-Deity of the Brâhmans. Both proceed from the same origin as the Logos of the neo-platonic Greeks; the "manifested deity" and its "voice" being found in man’s Self, his conscience; Self being the unseen Father, and the "voice of Self" the Son; each being the relative and the correlative of the other. Both Vâchîshvara and Kwan-yin had, and still have, a prominent part in the Initiation Rites and Mysteries in the Brâhmanical and Buddhist esoteric doctrines.

We may also point out that Bodhisatwas or Rahats need not be


adepts; still less, Brâhmans, Buddhists, or even "Asiatics," but simply holy and pure men of any nation or faith, bent all their lives on doing good to humanity.

Doctrines of the Holy "Lha"

"The forms under which any living being may be reborn, are six-fold. The highest class are the Lha, ‘spirits, highest beings, gods’; they rank next to the Buddhas, and inhabit the six celestial regions. Two of these regions belong to the earth; but the four others, which arc considered as superior mansions, lie in the atmosphere, far beyond the earth."

"As a consequence of premature decease, the ‘Bardo’ is prolongated. This is the middle state between the death and the new rebirth, which does not follow immediately, hut there exists an interval which is shorter for the good than for the had."—(EMIL SCHLAGINTWEIT. Buddhism in Tibet.)

The notes that follow are compiled, or rather translated, as closely as the idiomatic difficulties would permit, from Tibetan letters and manuscripts, sent in answer to several questions regarding the western misconceptions of Northern Buddhism or Lamaism. The information comes from a Gelung of the Inner Temple—a disciple of Bas-pa Dharma, the Secret Doctrine.

"Brothers residing in Gya-P-heling—British India—having respectfully called my master’s attention to certain incorrect and misleading statements about the Good Doctrine of our blessed Phag-pa Sang-gyas—most Holy Buddha—as alleged to be carried on in Bhod-Yul, the land of Tibet, I am commanded by the revered Ngag-pa to answer them. I will do so, as far as our rules will permit me to discuss so sacred a subject openly. I can do no more, since, till the day when our Pban-chhen-rin-po-chhe shall be reborn in the lands of the P-helings—foreigners—and, appearing as the great Chom-dën-da, the conqueror, shall destroy with his mighty hand the errors and ignorance of ages, it will be of little, if of any, use to try to uproot these misconceptions."

A prophecy of Tsong-ka-pa is current in Tibet to the effect that the true doctrine will be maintained in its purity only so long as Tibet is kept free from the incursions of western nations, whose crude ideas of fundamental truth would inevitably confuse and obscure the followers of the Good Law. But, when the western world is more ripe in the direction of philosophy, the incarnation of


Pban-chhen-rin-po-chhe—the Great Jewel of Wisdom—one of the Teshu Lamas, will take place, and the splendour of truth will then illuminate the whole world. We have here the true key to Tibetan exclusiveness.

Our correspondent continues:

"Out of the many erroneous views presented to the consideration of our master, I have his permission to treat the following: first, the error generally current among the Ro-lang-pa—spiritualists—that those who follow the Good Doctrine have intercourse with, and reverence for, Ro-lang-ghosts—or the apparitions of dead men; and, secondly, that the Bhanté—Brothers—or ‘Lha,’ popularly so-called—are either disembodied spirits or gods."

The first error is found in Buddha and Early Buddhism, since this work has given rise to the incorrect notion that spiritualism was at the very root of Buddhism. The second error is found in the Succinct Abstract of the Great Chaos of Tibetan Laws by the Capuchin monk Della Penna and the accounts given by his companions, whose absurd calumnies of Tibetan religion and laws written during the past century have been lately reprinted in Mr. Markham’s Tibet.

"I will begin with the former error," writes our correspondent. "Neither the Southern nor Northern Buddhists, whether of Ceylon, Tibet, Japan or China, accept western ideas as to the capabilities and qualifications of the ‘naked souls.’

"For we deprecate unqualifiedly and absolutely all ignorant intercourse with the Ro-lang. For what are they who return? What kind of creatures are they who can communicate at will objectively or by physical manifestation? They are impure, grossly sinful souls, ‘a-tsa-ras’; suicides; and such as have come to premature deaths by accident and must linger in the earth’s atmosphere until the full expiration of their natural term of life.

"No right-minded person, whether Lama or Chhipa—non-Buddhist—will venture to defend the practice of necromancy, which, by a natural instinct has been condemned in all the great Dharmas—laws or religions—and intercourse with, and using the powers of these earth-bound souls is simply necromancy.

"Now the beings included in the second and third classes—suicides and victims of accident—have not completed their natural term of life; and, as a consequence, though not of necessity mis-


chievous, are earth-bound. The prematurely expelled soul is in an unnatural state; the original impulse under which the being was evolved and cast into the earth-life has not expended itself—the necessary cycle has not been completed, but must nevertheless be fulfilled.

"Yet, though earth-bound, these unfortunate beings, victims whether voluntary or involuntary, are only suspended, as it were, in the earth’s magnetic attraction. They are not, like the first class, attracted to the living from a savage thirst to feed on their vitality. Their only impulse—and a blind one, since they are generally in a dazed or stunned condition—is, to get into the whirl of rebirth as soon as possible. Their state is that we call a false Bar-do—the period between two incarnations. According to the karma of the being—which is affected by his age and merits in the last birth—this interval will be longer or shorter.

"Nothing but some overpoweringly intense attraction, such as a holy love for some dear one in great peril, can draw them with their consent to the living; but by the mesmeric power of a Ba-po, a necromancer—the word is used advisedly, since the necromantic spell is Dzu-tul, or what you term a mesmeric attraction—can force them into our presence. This evocation, however, is totally condemned by those who hold to the Good Doctrine; for the soul thus evoked is made to suffer exceedingly, even though it is not itself but only its image that has been torn or stripped from itself to become the apparition; owing to its premature separation by violence from the body, the ‘jang-khog’—animal soul—is yet heavily loaded with material particles—there has not been a natural disintegration of the coarser from the finer molecules—and the necromancer, in compelling this separation artificially, makes it, we might almost say, to suffer as one of us might if he were flayed alive.

"Thus, to evoke the first class—the grossly sinful souls—is dangerous for the living; to compel the apparition of the second and third classes is cruel beyond expression to the dead.

"In the case of one who died a natural death totally different conditions exist; the soul is almost, and in the case of great purity, entirely beyond the necromancer’s reach; hence beyond that of a circle of evokers, or spiritualists, who, unconsciously to themselves, practise a veritable necromancer’s Sang-nyag, or magnetic incantation. According to the karma of the previous birth the interval


of latency—generally passed in a state of stupor—will last from a few minutes to an average of a few weeks, perhaps months. During that time the ‘jang-khog’—animal soul—prepares in solemn repose for its translation, whether into a higher sphere—if it has reached its seventh human local evolution—or for a higher rebirth, if it has not yet run the last local round.

"At all events it has neither will nor power at that time to give any thought to the living. But after its period of latency is over, and the new self enters in full consciousness the blessed region of Devachan—when all earthly mists have been dispersed, and the scenes and relations of the past life come clearly before its spiritual sight—then it may, and does occasionally, when espying all it loved, and that loved it upon earth, draw up to it for communion and by the sole attraction of love, the spirits of the living, who, when returned to their normal condition, imagine that it has descended to them.

"Therefore we differ radically from the western Ro-lang-pa—spiritualists—as to what they see or communicate with in their circles and through their unconscious necromancy. We say it is but the physical dregs, or spiritless remains of the late being; that which has been exuded, cast off and left behind when its finer particles passed onward into the great Beyond.

"In it linger some fragments of memory and intellect. It certainly was once a part of the being, and so possesses that modicum of interest; but it is not the being in reality and truth. Formed of matter, however etherealized, it must sooner or later be drawn away into vortices where the conditions for its atomic disintegration exist.

"From the dead body the other principles ooze out together. A few hours later the second principle—that of life—is totally extinct, and separates from both the human and ethereal envelopes. The third—the vital double—finally dissipates when the last particles of the body disintegrate. There now remain the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh principles: the body of will; the human soul; the spiritual soul, and pure spirit, which is a facet of the Eternal. The last two, joined to, or separated from, the personal self, form the everlasting individuality and cannot perish. The remainder proceeds to the state of gestation—the astral self and whatever survived in it of the will, previous to the dissolution of the physical body.


"Hence for any conscious action in this state are required the qualifications of an adept, or an intense, undying, ardent and holy love for someone whom the deceased leaves behind him on earth; as otherwise the astral ego either becomes a ‘bhûta’—‘ro-lang’ in Tibetan—or proceeds to its further transmigrations in higher spheres.

"In the former case the Lha, or ‘man-spirit,’ can sojourn among the living for an indefinite time, at his own pleasure; in the latter the so-called ‘spirit’ will tarry and delay his final translation but for a short period; the body of desire being held compact, in proportion to the intensity of the love felt by the soul and its unwillingness to part with the loved ones.

"At the first relaxation of the will it will disperse, and the spiritual self, temporarily losing its personality and all remembrance of it, ascends to higher regions. Such is the teaching. None can overshadow mortals but the elect, the ‘Accomplished,’ the ‘Byang-tsiub,’ or the ‘Bodhisatwas’ alone—they who have penetrated the great secret of life and death—as they are able to prolong, at will, their stay on earth after ‘dying.’ Rendered into the vulgar phraseology, such overshadowing is to ‘be born again and again’ for the benefit of mankind."

If the spiritualists, instead of conferring the power of "controlling" and "guiding" living persons upon every wraith calling itself "John" or "Peter," limited the faculty of moving and inspiring a few chosen pure men and women only to such Bodhisatwas or holy initiates—whether born as Buddhists or Christians, Brâhmans or Mussulmans on earth—and, in very exceptional cases, to holy and saintly characters, who have a motive, a truly beneficial mission to accomplish after their departure, then would they be nearer to the truth than they are now.

To ascribe the sacred privilege, as they do, to every "elementary" and "elemental" masquerading in borrowed plumes and putting in an appearance for no better reason than to say: "How d’ye do, Mr. Snooks?" and to drink tea and eat toast, is a sacrilege and a sad sight to him who has any intuitional feeling about the awful sacredness of the mystery of physical translation, let alone the teaching of the adepts.

"Further on Della Penna writes:

"‘These chang-chüb—the disciples of the chief saint—have


not yet become saints, but they possess in the highest degree five virtues—charity, both temporal and spiritual, perfect observance of law, great patience, great diligence in working to perfection, and the most sublime contemplation.’"

We would like to know how they could have all these qualities, especially the latter— trance—were they physically dead!

"These chang-chüb have finished their course and are exempt from further transmigrations; passing from the body of one Lama to that of another; but the Lama [meaning the Dalai-Lama] is always endowed with the soul of the same chang-chüb, although he may be in other bodies for the benefit of the living to teach them the Law, which is the object of their not wishing to become saints, because then they would not be able to instruct them. Being moved by compassion and pity they wish to remain chang-chüb to instruct the living in the Law, so as to make them finish quickly the laborious course of their transmigrations. Moreover, if these chang-chüb wish, they are at liberty to transmigrate into this or other worlds, and at the same time they transmigrate into other places with the same object.

"This rather confused description yields from its inner sense two facts: first, that the Buddhist Tibetans—we speak of the educated classes—do not believe in the return of the departed spirits, since, unless a soul becomes so purified upon earth as to create for itself a state of Bodhisat-hood—the highest degree of perfection next to Buddha—even saints in the ordinary acceptation of the term would not be able to instruct or control the living after their death; and, secondly, that, rejecting as they do the theories of creation, God, soul—in its Christian and spiritualistic sense—and a future life for the personality of the deceased, they yet credit man with such a potentiality of will, that it depends on him to become a Bodhisatwa and acquire the power to regulate his future existences, whether in a physical or in a semi-material shape.

"Lamaists believe in the indestructibility of matter, as an element. They reject the immortality, and even the survival of the personal self, teaching that the individual self alone—i.e., the collective aggregation of the many personal selves that were represented by that One during the long series of various existences—may survive. The latter may even become eternal—the word eternity with them embracing but the period of a great cycle—eternal in its integral individuality, but this may be done only by becom-


ing a Dhyan-Chohan, a ‘celestial Buddha,’ or what a Christian Kabbalist might call a ‘planetary spirit’ or one of the Elohim; a part of the ‘conscious whole,’ composed of the aggregate intelligences in their universal collectivity, while Nirvâna is the ‘unconscious whole.’ He who becomes a Tong-pa-nyi—he who has attained the state of absolute freedom from any desire of living personally, the highest condition of a saint—exists in non-existence and can benefit mortals no more. He is in ‘Nipang’ for he has reached the end of ‘Thar-lam,’ the path to deliverance, or salvation from transmigrations. He cannot perform Tul-pa—voluntary incarnation, whether temporary or life-long—in the body of a living human being; for he is a ‘Dang-ma,’ an absolutely purified soul. Henceforth he is free from the danger of ‘Dal-jor,’ human rebirth; for the seven forms of existence— only six are given out to the uninitiated—subject to transmigration have been safely crossed by him. ‘He gazes with indifference in every sphere of upward transmigration on the whole period of time which covers the shorter periods of personal existence,’ says the Book of Khiu-ti.

"But, as ‘there is more courage to accept being than non-being, life than death,’ there are those among the Bodhisatwas and the Lha—‘and as rare as the flower of udambara are they to meet with’—who voluntarily relinquish the blessing of the attainment of perfect freedom, and remain in their personal selves, whether in forms visible or invisible to mortal sight—to teach and help their weaker brothers.

"Some of them prolong their life on earth—though not to any supernatural limit; others become ‘Dhyan-Chohans,’ a class of the planetary spirits or ‘devas’ who, becoming, so to say, the guardian angels of men, are the only class out of the seven-classed hierarchy of spirits in our system who preserve their personality. These holy Lha, instead of reaping the fruit of their deeds, sacrifice themselves in the invisible world as the lord Sang-gyas—Buddha—did on this earth, and remain in Devachan— the world of bliss nearest to the earth."

Lucifer, September, 1894Η. P. Blavatsky


THIRTY-SEVEN years ago, two daring Lazarist Missionaries who were attached to the Roman Catholic Mission establishment at Pekin, undertook the desperate feat of penetrating as far as L’hassa, to preach Christianity among the benighted

Buddhists. Their names were Huc and Gabet; the narrative of their journeys shows them to have been courageous and enthusiastic to a fault. This most interesting volume of travel appeared at Paris more than thirty years ago, and has since been translated twice into English and, we believe, other languages as well. As to its general merits we are not now concerned, but will confine ourself to that portion—vol. ii, p. 84, of the American edition of 1852—where the author, M. Huc, describes the wonderful "Tree of ten thousand Images" which they saw at the Lamaserai, or Monastery, of Kum Bum, or Koun Bourn, as they spell it. M. Huc tells us that the Tibetan legend affirms that when the mother of Tsong-Ka-pa, the renowned Buddhist reformer, devoted him to the religious life, and, according to custom she "cut off his hair and threw it away, a tree sprang up from it, which bore on every one of its leaves a Tibetan character." In Hazlitt’s translation (London, 1856) is a more literal (though, still, not exact) rendering of the original, and from it—pp. 324-6—we quote the following interesting particulars:

There were upon each of the leaves well-formed Thibetan characters, all of a green colour, some darker, some lighter than the leaf itself. Our first impression was a suspicion of fraud on the part of the Lamas, but, after a minute-examination of every detail, we could not discover the least deception. The characters all appeared to us portions of the leaf itself, equally with its veins and nerves; the position was not the same in all; in one leaf they would be at the top of the leaf, in another in the middle, in a third at the base, or at the side, the younger leaves represented the characters only in a partial state of formation. The bark of the tree and its branches, which resemble that of a plane-tree, are also covered with these characters. When you remove a piece of old bark, the young bark under it exhibits the individual outlines of characters in a germinating state, and what is very singular, these new characters are not unfrequently different from those which they replace.


The tree of the Ten thousand Images seemed to us of great age. Its trunk, which three men could scarcely embrace with outstretched arms, is not more than eight feet high; the branches, instead of shooting up, spread out in the shape of a plume of feathers and are extremely bushy; few of them are dead. The leaves are always green, and the wood, which is of a reddish tint, has an exquisite odour something like cinnamon. The Lamas informed us that in summer towards the eighth moon, the tree produces huge red flowers of an extremely beautiful character.

The Abbé Huc himself puts the evidence with much more ardor. "These letters," he says, "are of their kind, of such a perfection that the type-foundries of Didot contain nothing to excel them." Let the reader mark this, as we shall have occasion to recur to it. And he saw on—or rather in—the leaves, not merely letters but "religious sentences," self-printed by nature in the chlorophyll, starchy cells, and woody fibre! Leaves, twigs, branches, trunk—all bore the wonderful writings on their surfaces, outer and inner, layer upon layer, and no two superposed characters identical. "For do not fancy that these superposed layers repeat the same printing. No, quite the contrary; for each lamina you lift presents to view its distinct type. How, then, can you suspect jugglery? I have done my best in that direction to discover the slightest trace of human trick, and my baffled mind could not retain the slightest suspicion." Who says this? A devoted Christian missionary, who went to Tibet expressly to prove Buddhism false and his own creed true, and who would have eagerly seized upon the smallest bit of evidence that he could have paraded before the natives in support of his case. He saw and describes other wonders in Tibet—which are carefully suppressed in the American edition, but which by some of his rabidly orthodox critics are ascribed to the devil. Readers of Isis Unveiled, will find some of these wonders described and discussed, especially in the first volume; where we have tried to show their reconciliation with natural law.

The subject of the Kum Bum tree has been brought back to our recollection by a review, in Nature, vol. xxvii, p. 171, by Mr. A. H. Keane, of Herr Kreitner’s just published Report of the Expedition to Tibet under Count Szechenyi, a Hungarian nobleman, in 1877-80. The party made an excursion from Sining-fu to the monastery of Kum Bum "for the purpose of testing Huc’s extraordinary account of the famous tree of Buddha." They found


"neither image [of Buddha on the leaves], nor letters, but a waggish smile playing around the corner of the mouth of the elderly priest escorting us. In answer to our enquiries he informed us that a long time ago, the tree really produced leaves with Buddha’s image, but that at present the miracle was of rare occurrence. A few God-favoured men alone were privileged to discover such leaves." That is quite enough for this witness: a Buddhist priest, whose religion teaches that there are no persons favoured by any God, that there is no such being as a God who dispenses favours, and that every man reaps what he has sown, nothing less and nothing more—made to say such nonsense: this shows what this explorer’s testimony is worth to his adored sceptical science! But it seems that even the waggishly-smiling priest did tell them that good men can and do see the marvellous leaf-letters, and so, in spite of himself, Herr Kreitner rather strengthens than weakens the Abbé Huc’s narrative. Had we never personally been able to verify the truth of the story, we should have to admit that the probabilities favor its acceptance, since the leaves of the Kum Bum tree have been carried by pilgrims to every corner of the Chinese Empire (even Herr Kreitner admits this), and if the thing were a cheat, it would have been exposed without mercy by the Chinese opponents of Buddhism, whose name is Legion. Besides, nature offers many corroborative analogies. Certain shells of the waters of the Red Sea (?) are said to have imprinted upon them the letters of the Hebrew alphabet; upon certain locusts are to be seen certain of the English alphabet; and in the Theosophist, vol. ii, p. 91, an English correspondent translates from Licht Mehr Licht an account by Sheffer, of the strangely distinct marking of some German butterflies (Vanissa Atalanta) with the numerals of the year 1881. Then again, the cabinets of our modern Entomologists teem with specimens which show that nature is continually producing among animals examples of the strangest mimicry of vegetable growths—as, for instance, caterpillars which look like tree-bark, mosses and dead twigs, insects that cannot be distinguished from green leaves, &c. Even the stripes of the tiger are mimicries of the stalks of the jungle grasses in which he makes his lair. All these separate instances go to form a case of probable fact as to the Huc story of the Kum Bum tree, since they show that it is quite possible for nature herself without miracle to produce vegetable growths in the form of legible characters. This is also the view of another correspondent of Nature, a


Mr. W. T. Thiselton Dyer, who, in the number of that solid periodical for January 4th, after summing up the evidence, comes to the conclusion that "there really was in Huc’s time a tree with markings on the leaves, which the imagination of the pious assimilated to Tibetan characters." Pious what? He should remember that we have the testimony, not from some pious and credulous Tibetan Buddhist, but from an avowed enemy of that faith, M. Huc, who went to Kum Bum to show up the humbug, who did "his best in that direction to discover the slightest trace of human trick" but whose "baffled mind could not retain the slightest suspicion." So until Herr Kreitner and Mr. Dyer can show the candid Abbé’s motive to lie to the disadvantage of his own religion, we must dismiss him from the stand as an unimpeached and weighty witness. Yes, the letter-tree of Tibet is a fact; and moreover, the inscriptions in its leaf-cells and fibres are in the SENSAR, or sacred language used by the Adepts, and in their totality comprise the whole Dharma of Buddhism and the history of the world. As for any fanciful resemblance to actual alphabetical characters, the confession of Huc that they are so beautifully perfect "that the type foundries of Didot [a famous typographic establishment of Paris] contain nothing to excel them," settles that question most completely. And as for Kreitner’s assertion that the tree is of the lilac species. Huc’s description of the colour and cinnamon-like fragrance of its wood, and shape of its leaves, show it to be without probability. Perhaps that waggish old monk knew common mesmerism and "biologized" Count Szechenyi’s party into seeing and not seeing whatever he pleased, as the late Prof. Bushell made his Indian subjects imagine whatever he wished them to see. Now and again one meets with such "wags."

Theosophist, March, 1883


SO little is known by Europeans of what is going on in Tibet, and even in the more accessible Bhootan, that an Anglo-Indian paper—one of those which pretend to know, and certainly discuss every blessed subject, whether they really know anything of it or not—actually came out with the following bit of valuable information:

It may not be generally known that the Deb Raja of Bhootan, who died in June last, but whose decease has been kept dark till the present moment, probably to prevent disturbances, is our old and successful opponent of 1864-65 . . . .

The Bhootan Government consists of a spiritual chief, called the Dhurm Raja, an incarnation of Buddha (?!!) who never dies—and a civil ruler called the Deb Raja in whom is supposed to centre all authority.

A more ignorant assertion could hardly have been made. It may be argued that "Christian" writers believe even less in Buddha’s reincarnations than the Buddhists of Ceylon, and, therefore, trouble themselves very little, whether or not they are accurate in their statements. But, in such a case, why touch a subject at all? Large sums are annually spent by Governments to secure old Asiatic manuscripts and learn the truth about old religions and peoples, and it is not showing respect for either science or truth to mislead people interested in them by a flippant and contemptuous treatment of facts.

On the authority of direct information received at our Headquarters, we will try to give a more correct view of the situation than has hitherto been had from books. Our informants are firstly—some very learned lamas; secondly—a European gentleman and traveller, who prefers not to give his name; and thirdly—a highly educated young Chinaman, brought up in America, who has since preferred to the luxuries of worldly life and the pleasures of Western civilization, the comparative privations of a religious and contemplative life in Tibet. Both of the two last-named gentlemen are Fellows of our Society, and the latter—our "Celestial"


Brother—losing, moreover, no opportunity of corresponding with us. A message from him has been just received via Darjeeling.

In the present article, it is not much that we will have to say. Beyond contradicting the queer notion of the Bhootanese Dharma Raja being "an incarnation of Buddha," we will only point out a few absurdities, in which some prejudiced writers have indulged.

It certainly was never known—least of all in Tibet—that the spiritual chief of the Bhootanese was "an incarnation of Buddha, who never dies." The "Dug-pa1 or Red Caps" belong to the old Nyang-na-pa sect, who resisted the religious reform introduced by Tsong-kha-pa between the latter part of the fourteenth and the beginning of the fifteenth centuries. It was only after a lama coming to them from Tibet in the tenth century had converted them from the old Buddhist faith so strongly mixed up with the Bhon practices of the aborigines—into the Shammar sect, that, in opposition to the reformed "Gyelukpas," the Bhootanese set up a regular system of reincarnations. It is not Buddha though, or "Sang-gyas"—as he is called by the Tibetans.—who incarnates himself in the Dharma Raja, but quite another personage; one of whom we will speak about later on.

Now what do the Orientalists know of Tibet, its civil administration, and especially its religion and its rites? That, which they have learned from the contradictory, and in every case imperfect statements of a few Roman Catholic monks, and of two or three daring lay travellers, who, ignorant of the language, could scarcely be expected to give us even a bird’s-eye view of the country. The missionaries, who introduced themselves in 1719, stealthily into Lhassa,2 were suffered to remain there but a short time and were finally forcibly expelled from Tibet. The letters of the Jesuits—Desideri, and Johann Grueber, and especially that of Fra della Penna, teem with the greatest absurdities.3 Certainly as superstitious, and apparently far more so than the ignorant Tibetans themselves, on whom they father every iniquity, one has but to read

1 The term "Dug-pa" in Tibet is deprecatory. They themselves pronounce it "Dög-pa" from the root to "bind" (religious binders to the old faith); while the paramount sect—the Gyeluk-pa (yellow caps)—and the people, use the word in the sense of "Dug-pa" mischief-makers, sorcerers. The Bhootanese are generally called Dug-pa throughout Tibet and even in some parts of Northern India.—ED.

2 Out of twelve Capuchin friars who, under the leadership of Father della Penna, established a mission at Lhassa, nine died shortly after, and only three returned home to tell the tale. (See Tibet, by Mr. Clements R. Markham.)

3 See Appendix to Narratives of the Mission of George Bogie to Tibet. By Clemente R. Markham, C. B., F. R. S., Trübner & Co., London.—ED.


these letters to recognize in them that spirit of odium theologicum felt by every Christian, and especially Catholic missionary for the "heathen" and their creeds; a spirit which blinds one entirely to the sense of justice. And when could have been found any better opportunity to ventilate their monkish ill-humour and vindictiveness than in the matter of Tibet, the very land of mystery, mysticism and seclusion? Beside these few prejudiced "historians," but five more men of Europe ever stepped into Tibet. Of these, three—Bogle, Hamilton and Turner—penetrated no farther than its borderlands; Manning—the only European who is known to have set his foot into Lha-ssa4—died without revealing its secrets, for reasons suspected, though never admitted, by his only surviving nephew—a clergyman; and Csömo de Korös, who never went beyond Zanskar, and the lamasery of Phag-dal.5

The regular system of the Lamaïc incarnations of "Sang-gyas" (or Buddha) began with Tsong-kha-pa. This reformer is not the incarnation of one of the five celestial Dhyans, or heavenly Buddhas, as is generally supposed, said to have been created by Sakya Muni after he had risen to Nirvana, but that of "Amita," one of the Chinese names for Buddha. The records preserved in the Gön-pa (lamasery) of "Tda-shi Hlum-po" (spelt by the English Teshu Lumbo) show that Sang-gyas incarnated himself in Tsong-kha-pa in consequence of the great degradation his doctrines had fallen into. Until then, there had been no other incarnations than those of the five celestial Buddhas and of their Boddhisatwas, each of the former having created (read, overshadowed with his spiritual wisdom) five of the last-named—there were, and now are in all but thirty incarnations-—five Dhyans and twenty-five Boddhisatwas. It was because, among many other reforms, Tsong-kha-pa forbade necromancy (which is practiced to this day with the most disgusting rites, by the Bhöns—the aborigines of Tibet—with whom the Red Caps, or Shammars, had always fraternized),

4 We speak of the present century. It is very dubious whether the two missionaries Huc and Gabet ever entered Lha-ssa. The Lamas deny it.—ED.

5 We are well aware that the name is generally written Pugdal, but it is erroneous to do so. "Pugdal" means nothing, and the Tibetans do not give meaningless names to their sacred buildings. We do not know how Csömo de Korös spells it, but, as in the case of Pho-ta-la of Lhassa loosely spelt "Potala"—the lamasery of Phäg-dal derives its name from Phäg-pa (Phag— eminent in holiness, Buddha-like, spiritual; and pha-man, father) the title of "Awalokiteswara," the Boddhisatwa who incarnates himself in the Dala’i Lama of Lha-ssa. The valley of the Ganges where Buddha preached and lived, is also called "Phäg-yul," the holy, spiritual land; the word phag coming from the one root—Phä or Phö being the corruption of Fo—(or Buddha) as the Tibetan alphabet contains no letter F.—ED.


that the latter resisted his authority. This act was followed by a split between the two sects. Separating entirely from the Gyelukpas, the Dugpas (Red Caps)—from the first in a great minority—settled in various parts of Tibet, chiefly its borderlands, and principally in Nepaul and Bhootan. But, while they retained a sort of independence at the monastery of Sakia-Djong, the Tibetan residence of their spiritual (?) chief Gong-sso Rimbo-chay, the Bhootanese have been from their beginning the tributaries and vassals of the Dalaï-Lamas. In his letter to Warren Hastings in 1774, the Tda-shi Lama, who calls the Bhootans "a rude and ignorant race," whose "Deb Rajah is dependent upon the Dalaï-Lama," omits to say that they are also the tributaries of his own State and have been now for over three centuries and a half. The Tda-shi Lamas were always more powerful and more highly considered than the Dalaï-Lamas. The latter are the creation of the Tda-shi Lama, Nabang-Lob-Sang, the sixth incarnation of Tsong-kha-pa—himself an incarnation of Amitabha, or Buddha. This hierarchy was regularly installed at Lha-ssa, but it originated only in the latter half of the seventeenth century.6

In Mr. C. R. Markham’s highly interesting work above noticed, the author has gathered every scrap of information that was ever brought to Europe about that terra incognita. It contains one passage, which, to our mind, sums up in a few words the erroneous views taken by the Orientalists of Lamaism in general, and of its system of perpetual reincarnation especially. "It was, indeed," it reads, "at about the period of Hiuen-Thsang’s journey, that Buddhism first began to find its way into Tibet, both from the direction of China and that of India; but it came in a very different form from that in which it reached Ceylon several centuries earlier. Traditions, metaphysical speculations, and new dogmas, had overlaid the original Scriptures with an enormous collection of more recent revelation. Thus Tibet received a vast body of truth, and could only assimilate a portion for the establishment of popular belief. Since the original Scriptures had been conveyed into Ceylon by the son of Asoka, it had been revealed to the devout Buddhists

6 Says Mr. Markham in Tibet Ap. XVII Preface): "Gedun-tubpa, another great reformer, was contemporary with Tsong-kha-pa, having been born in 1339, and dying in 1474" (having thus lived 135 years). He built the monastery at Teshu Lumbo (Tda-shi Hlum-po) in 1445, and it was in the person of this perfect Lama, as he was called, that the system of perpetual incarnation commenced. He was himself the incarnation of Boddhisatwa Padma Pani and on his death he relinquished the attainment of Buddha-hood that he might be born again and again for the benefit of mankind. . . . When he died, his successor was found as an infant by the possession of certain divine marks.


of India that their Lord had created the five Dhyani or celestial Buddhas, and that each of these had created five Boddhisatwas, or beings in the course of attaining Buddhahood. The Tibetans took firm hold of this phase of the Buddhistic creed, and their distinctive belief is that the Boddhisatwas continue to remain in existence for the good of mankind by passing through a succession of human beings from the cradle to the grave. This characteristic of their faith was gradually developed, and it was long before it received its present form;7 but the succession of incarnate Boddhisatwas was the idea towards which the Tibetan mind tended from the first." At the same time, as Max Müller says: "The most important element of the Buddhist reform has always been its social and moral code, not its metaphysical theories. That moral code, taken by itself, is one of the most perfect which the world has ever known; and it was this blessing that the introduction of Buddhism brought into Tibet." (ρ. XIV, Introduction.)

The "blessing" has remained and spread all over the country, there being no kinder, purer-minded, more simple or sin-fearing nation than the Tibetans, missionary slanders notwithstanding.8 But yet, for all that, the popular Lamaism, when compared with the real esoteric, or Arahat Buddhism of Tibet, offers a contrast as great as the snow trodden along a road in the valley, to the pure and undefiled mass which glitters on the top of a high

7 Its "present" is its earliest form, as we will try to show further on. A correct analysis of any religion viewed but from its popular aspect, becomes impossible—least of all Lamaism, or esoteric Buddhism as disfigured by the untutored imaginative fervour of the populace. There is a vaster difference between the "Lamaism" of the learned classes of the clergy and the ignorant masses of their parishioners, than there is between the Christianity of a Bishop Berkeley and that of a modern Irish peasant. Hitherto Orientalists have made themselves superficially acquainted but with the beliefs and rites of popular Buddhism in Tibet, chiefly through the distorting glasses of missionaries which throw out of focus every religion but their own. The same course has been followed in respect to Sinhalese Buddhism, the missionaries having, as Col. Olcott observes in the too brief Preface to his Buddhist Catechism, for many years been taunting the Sinhalese with the "puerility and absurdity of their religion" when, in point of fact, what they speak of is not orthodox Buddhism at all. Buddhist folklore and fairy stories are the accretions of twenty-six centuries.—ED.

8 The reader has but to compare in Mr. Markham’s Tibet the warm, impartial and frank praises bestowed by Bogle and Turner on the Tibetan character and moral standing and the enthusiastic eulogies of Thomas Manning to the address of the Dalaï- Lama and his people, with the three letters of the three Jesuits in the Appendix, to enable himself to form a decisive opinion. While the former three gentlemen, impartial narrators, having no object to distort truth, hardly find sufficient adjectives to express their satisfaction with the Tibetans, the three "men of God" pick no better terms for the Dalaï-Lamas and the Tibetans than "their devilish God the Father" . . . "vindictive devils" . . . "fiends who know how to dissemble," who are "cowardly, arrogant, and proud" . . . "dirty and immoral," &c., &c., &c., all in the same strain for the sake of truth and Christian charity!—ED.


mountain peak.9 A few of such mistaken notions about the latter, we will now endeavour to correct as far as it is compatible to do so.

Before it can be clearly shown how the Bhootanese were forcibly brought into subjection, and their Dharma Raja made to accept the "incarnations" only after these had been examined into, and recognized at Lha-ssa, we have to throw a retrospective glance at the state of the Tibetan religion during the seven centuries which preceded the reform. As said before, a Lama had come to Bhootan from Kam—that province which had always been the stronghold and the hot-bed of the "Shammar" or Bhön rites10— between the ninth and tenth centuries, and had converted them into what he called Buddhism. But in those days, the pure religion of Sakya Muni had already commenced degenerating into that Lamaism, or rather fetichism, against which four centuries later, Tsong-kha-pa arose with all his might. Though three centuries had only passed since Tibet had been converted (with the exception of a handful of Shammars and Bhöns), yet esoteric Buddhism had crept far earlier into the country. It had begun superseding the ancient popular rites ever since the time when the Brahmins of India, getting again the upper hand over Asoka’s Buddhism, were silently preparing to oppose it, an opposition which culminated in their finally and entirely driving the new faith out of the country. The brotherhood or community of the ascetics known as the Byang-tsiub—the "Accomplished" and the "Perfect"—existed before Buddhism spread in Tibet, and was known, and so mentioned in the pre-Buddhistic books of China as the fraternity of the "great teachers of the snowy mountains."

Buddhism was introduced into Bod-yul in the beginning of the seventh century by a pious Chinese Princess, who had married a Tibetan King,11 who was converted by her from the Bhön re-

9 As Father Desideri has it in one of his very few correct remarks about the lamas of Tibet, "though many may know how to read their mysterious books, not one can explain them"—an observation by-the-bye, which might be applied with as much justice to the Christian as to the Tibetan clergy. (See App. Tibet p. 306).—ED.

10 The Shammar sect is not, as wrongly supposed, a kind of corrupted Buddhism, but an offshoot of the Bhön religion—itself a degenerated remnant of the Chaldean mysteries of old, now a religion entirely based upon necromancy, sorcery and soothsaying. The introduction of Buddha’s name in it means nothing.—ED.

11 A widely spread tradition tells us that after ten years of married life, with her husband’s consent she renounced it, and in the garb of a nun—a Ghelung-ma, or "Ani," she preached Buddhism all over the country, as, several centuries earlier, the Princess Sanghamitta. Asoka’s daughter, had preached it in India and Ceylon.—ED.


ligion into Buddhism, and had become since then a pillar of the faith in Tibet, as Asoka had been nine centuries earlier in India. It was he who sent his minister—according to European Orientalists: his own brother, the first Lama in the country—according to Tibetan historical records—to India. This brother minister returned "with the great body of truth contained in the Buddhist canonical Scriptures; framed the Tibetan alphabet from the Deva-nagri of India, and commenced the translation of the canon from Sanskrit—which had previously been translated from Pali, the old language of Magadha—into the language of the country." (See Markham’s Tibet.)12

Under the old rule and before the reformation, the high Lamas were often permitted to marry, so as to incarnate themselves in their own direct descendants—a custom which Tsong-kha-pa abolished, strictly enjoining celibacy on the Lamas. The Lama Enlightener of Bhootan had a son whom he had brought with him. In this son’s first male child born after his death the Lama had promised the people to reincarnate himself. About a year after the event—so goes the religious legend—the son was blessed by his Bhootanese wife with triplets, all the three boys! Under this embarrassing circumstance, which would have floored any other casuists, the Asiatic metaphysical acuteness was fully exhibited. The spirit of the deceased Lama—the people were told—incarnated himself in all the three boys. One had his Om, the other his Han, the third—his Hoong. Or, (Sanskrit): Buddha—divine mind, Dharma—matter or animal soul, and Sangha— the union of the former two in our phenomenal world. It is this pure Buddhist tenet which was degraded by the cunning Bhootanese clergy to serve the better their ends. Thus their first Lama became a triple incarnation, three Lamas, one of whom—they say—got his "body," the other, his "heart" and the third, his "word" or wisdom. This hierarchy lasted with power undivided until the fifteenth century, when a Lama named Duk-pa Shab-tung, who had been defeated by the Gyelukpas of Gay-don Toob-pa,13 invaded Bhootan at the

12 But, what he does not say (for none of the writers, he derives his information from, knew it) is that this Princess is the one, who is believed to have reincarnated herself since then in a succession of female Lamas or Rim-ani—precious nuns. Durjiay Pan-mo of whom Bogle speaks—his Tda-shi Lama’s half-sister—and the superior of the nunnery on the Lake Yam-dog-ccho or Piate-Lake, was one of such reincarnations.—ED.

13 The builder and founder of Tda-shi Hlum-po (Teshu-lumbo) in 1445; called the "Perfect Lama," or Panchhen—the precious jewel from the words—Pan-chhen great teacher, and "Rim-bochay" priceless jewel. While the Dalaï-Lama is only Gyalba Rim-


head of his army of monks. Conquering the whole country, he proclaimed himself their first Dharma Raja, or Lama Rimbo-chay—thus starting a third "Gem" in opposition to the two Gyeluk-pa "Gems." But this "Gem" never rose to the eminence of a Majesty, least of all was he ever considered a "Gem of Learning" or wisdom. He was defeated very soon after his proclamation by Tibetan soldiers, aided by Chinese troops of the Yellow Sect, and forced to come to terms. One of the clauses was the permission to reign spiritually over the Red Caps in Bhootan, provided he consented to reincarnate himself in Lha-ssa after his death, and make the law hold good forever. No Dharma Raja since then was ever proclaimed or recognized, unless he was born either at Lhassa or on the Tda-shi Hlum-po territory. Another clause was to the effect that the Dharma Rajas should never permit public exhibitions of their rites of sorcery and necromancy, and the third that a sum of money should be paid yearly for the maintenance of a lamasery, with a school attached where the orphans of Red-caps, and the converted Shammars should be instructed in the "Good Doctrine" of the Gyelukpas. That the latter must have had some secret power over the Bhootanese, who are among the most inimical and irreconcilable of their Red-capped enemies, is proved by the fact that Lama Duk-pa Shab-tung was reborn at Lha-ssa, and that to this day, the reincarnated Dharma Rajahs are sent and installed at Bhootan by the Lha-ssa and Tzi-gadze authorities. The latter have no concern in the administration save their spiritual authority, and leave the temporal government entirely in the hands of the Deb-Rajah and the four Pën-lobs, called in Indian official papers Penlows, who in their turn are under the immediate authority of the Lha-ssa officials.

From the above it will be easily understood that no "Dharma Raja" was ever considered as an incarnation of Buddha. The expression that the latter "never dies" applies but to the two great incarnations of equal rank—the Dalai and the Tda-shi Lamas. Both are incarnations of Buddha, though the former is generally designated as that of Avalokiteswara, the highest celestial Dhyan. For him who understands the puzzling mystery by having obtained a key to it, the Gordian knot of these successive reincarnations is easy to untie. He knows that Avalokiteswara and Buddha are

bochay, or "gem of kingly majesty," the Tda-shi Lama of Tzi-gadze is Panchhen Rim-bochay or the Gem of Wisdom and Learning.ED.


one as Amita-pho14 (pronounced Fo) or Amita-Buddha is identical with the former. What the mystic doctrine of the initiated "Phag-pa" or "saintly men" (adepts) teaches upon this subject, is not to be revealed to the world at large. The little that can be given out will be found in a paper on the "Holy Law" which we hope to publish in our next.

Theosophist, March, 1882

14 In Tibetan pho and pha—pronounced with a soft labial breath-like sound—means at the same time "man, father." So pha-yul is native land: pho-nya, angel, messenger of good news: pha-me, ancestors, &c., &c.


FOLLOWING the example of the Parsi Gentleman whose letter you published in the Theosophist of January, 1882, I am induced to enquire if there are Hindu Mahatmas among the Himalayan BROTHERS. By the term Hindu, I mean a believer in Vedas and the Gods they describe. If there are none, will any Brother of the 1st Section1 be so kind as to enlighten the Hindu Community in general and the Hindu Theosophists in particular whether any Hindu Rishis of old still exist in flesh and blood? The adept Himalayan BROTHERS