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ESOTERIC AXIOMS AND SPIRITUAL SPECULATIONS


 

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, 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 Kama (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 reviewer, "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 Dalai 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 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.

H. P. Blavatsky

Theosophist, January, 1882


 

1The 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.
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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.
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3See article [by Subba Row] "The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac" by the same author in the November number of the Theosophist.-- ED.
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"ESOTERIC BUDDHISM" AND ITS CRITIC


 

[From Light, 1883.]

BOTTOM.—Let me play the lion. . . . I will roar, that I will do any man's heart good to hear me. . . . I will make the Duke say, . . . "Let him roar let him roar again." . . . Masters, you ought to consider with yourselves; to bring in—God shield us!—a lion among ladies, is a most dreadful thing; for, there is not a more fearful wild-fowl than your lion living; and we ought to look to't. . . . Nay, you must name his name, and half his face must be seen through the lion's neck; and he himself must speak through, saying thus, or to the same defect: "Ladies," or "fair ladies [or Theosophists] I would wish you," or "I would request you," or "I would entreat you," not to fear, not to tremble: . . . If you think I come hither as a lion, . . . no, I am no such thing: I am a man . . . and there indeed let him name his name.—Midsummer Night's Dream.

 

IN Light of July 21st, in the "Correspondence," appears a letter signed "G. W., M.D." Most transparent initials these, which "name the name" at once, and show the writer's face "through the lion's neck." The communication consists of just fifty-eight paragraphs, containing an equal number of sneering, rancorous, vulgar, personal flings, the whole distributed over three and a half columns. It pretends to criticize, while only misquoting and misinterpreting Eastern Esotericism. Its author would create a laugh at the expense of Mr. Sinnett's book, and succeeds in showing us what a harmless creature is the "lion," "wild-fowl" though he may be; and where he would make a show of wit, the letter is only—nasty.

I should not address your public, even in my private capacity, but that the feelings of many hundreds of my Asiatic brothers have been outraged by this, to them, ribald attack upon what they hold sacred. For them, and at their instance, I protest. It might be regarded as beneath contempt had it come from an outsider upon whom rested no obligation to uphold the dignity of the Theosophical Society; in such case it would have passed for a clumsy attempt to injure an unpalatable cause: that of Esoteric Buddhism. But when it is a wide-open secret that the letter came from a member of about five years' standing, and one who, upon the protogenesis of the "British Theosophical Society" as the "London Lodge of the Theosophical Society," retained membership. the case has quite another aspect. The cutting insult having been inflicted publicly and without antecedent warning, it appears necessary to enquire as to the occult motive.

I shall not stop to remark upon the wild résumé, which, professedly "a criticism from a European and arithmetical standpoint," passed muster with you. Nor shall I lose time over the harmless flings at "incorrigible Buddhists and other lunatics," beyond remarking à propos of "moon" and "dust-bins" that the former seems to have found a good symbol of herself as a "dust-bin" in the heads of those whose perceptive faculties seem so dusty as to prevent the entrance of a single ray of Occult light. Briefly then, since the year 1879 when we came to India, the author of the letter in question has made attempts to put himself into communication with the "Brothers." Besides trying to enter into correspondence with Colonel Olcott's Guru, he sent twice, through myself, letters addressed to the Mahâtmâs. Being, as it appears, full of one-sided prejudiced questions, suggesting to Buddhist Philosophers the immense superiority of his own "Esoteric" Christianity over the system of the Lord Buddha, which is characterized as fruitful of selfishness, human blindness, misanthropy and spiritual death, they were returned by the addressees for our edification and to show us why they would not notice them. Whoever has read a novelette contributed by this same gentleman to The Psychological Review and entitled "The Man from the East" will readily infer what must have been his attitude towards the "Himâlayan" and Tibetan Mystics. A Scotch doctor, the hero, meets at a place in Syria, in an Occult Brotherhood, a Christian convert from this "Himâlayan heathen Brotherhood," who—a Hindû—utters against his late Adept Masters the self-same libels as are now repeated in the letter under notice.*

The shot at Theosophy being badly aimed, flew wide of the mark; but still, like Richard III, "G. W., M.D." resolved, as it appears, to keep up the gunnery—

If not to fight with foreign enemies,
Yet to beat down these rebels here at home.

The three indignant answers called out by "G. W., M.D.," having emanated from an English lady and two genuine English gentlemen, are, in my humble opinion, too dignified and mild for the present case. So brutal an attack demanded something stronger than well-bred protests; and at the risk of being taken by "G. W., M.D." as the reverse of well-bred, I shall use plain words about this whilom friend, but now traitor—I hope to show the term is not too harsh. As an ardent Theosophist, the grateful loyal friend of the author denounced—who deserves and has the regard of Mahâtmâ Koot-Hoomi—and as the humble pupil of Those to whom I owe my life and the future of my soul, I shall speak. While I have breath, I shall never allow to pass unnoticed such ugly manifestations of religious intolerance, nay, bigotry, and personal rancour resulting from envy, in a member of our Society.

Before closing, I must notice one specially glaring fact. Touched evidently to the quick by Mr. Sinnett's very proper refusal to let one so inimical see the "Divine Face" (yes, truly Divine, though not so much so as the original) of the Mahâtmâ, "G. W., M.D." with a sneer of equivocal propriety, calls it a mistake. He says:

For just as some second-class saints have been made by gazing on halfpenny prints of the Mother of God, so who can say that if my good friend had permitted my sceptical eyes to look on the Divine face of Koot-Hoomi I might not forthwith have been converted into an Esoteric Buddhist?

Impossible; an Esoteric Buddhist never broke his pledged word; and one who upon entering the Society gave his solemn word of honour, in the presence of witnesses, that he would

Defend the interests of the Society and the honour of a brother Theosophist, when unjustly assailed, even at the peril of my [his] own life,

and then could write such a letter, would never be accepted in that capacity. One who unjustly assails the honour of hundreds of his Asiatic brothers, slanders their religion and wounds their most sacred feelings, may be a very esoteric Christian, but certainly is a disloyal Theosophist. My perceptions of what constitutes a man of honour may be very faulty, but I confess that I could not imagine such a one making public caricatures upon confessedly "private instructions." (See second column, paragraph 14 of his letter.) Private instructions of this sort, given at confidential private meetings of the Society in advance of their publication, are exactly what the entering member's "word of honour" pledges him not to reveal.

The broken faith hath made thee prey for worms;
What canst thou swear by now?

Your correspondent deprecates

At the outset this Oriental practice of secrecy; [he knows] that secrecy and cunning are ever twin sisters, [and it appears to him] childish and effeminate [to pretend] by secret words and signs to enshrine great truths behind a veil, which is only useful as a concealment of ignorance and nakedness.

Indeed: so he is not an "Esoteric Christian" after all, else I have misread the Bible. For what I find there in various passages, of which I cite but one, shows me that he is as disloyal to his own Master and Ideal Christ, as he is to Theosophy:

And He said unto them [His own disciples], Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without [the "G.W., M.D.'s" of the day] all these things are done in parables: that seeing they may see and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. (Mark, iv. II, 12.)

Shall we characterize this also as "childish and effeminate," say that the twins sisters "secrecy and cunning" lurk behind this veil, and that in this instance, as usual, it was "only useful as a concealment of ignorance and nakedness"? The grandeur of Esoteric Buddhism is that it hides what it does from the vulgar, not "lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins forgiven them," or as they would say, "cheat their Karma"—but lest by learning prematurely that which can safely be trusted only to those who have proved their unselfishness and self-abnegation, even the wicked, the sinners should be hurt.

And now, may the hope of Bottom be realized, and some London Duke say to this harmless lion: "Let him roar, let him roar again."

H. P. BLAVATSKY.
Nilgherry Hills, Aug. 23rd, 1883.


 

* The mythical hero of the story would seem to have met at Paris with a certain pseudo-Brâhman, a convert to Roman Catholicism, who is giving himself out as an ex-Chelâ—his statements and all corroborative ones to the contrary notwithstanding; he may have misled, if not the mythical Scotch doctor, at least the actual "M.D." of London. And, by the way, our French Fellows may as well know, that unless this pretender ceases his bogus revelations as to the phenomenal powers of our Mahâtmâs being "of the devil" a certain native gentleman who has known this convert of the Jesuits from childhood, will expose him most fully.—H. P. B.
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THE ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS


". . . . 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 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 him.3 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 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 Chréstians,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.9Each 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!

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.

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 successors 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 regard 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 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, pre-eminently 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 psychic 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 Christ-man. 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 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.

    II  

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 picture (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 picture (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 picture "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 picture is one who expounds  or explains oracles, "a prophet, a soothsayer;"19 and chrésterios picture 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

All this is evidence that the terms Christ and  Christians, spelt originally Chrést and Chréstians picture22 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 Chréstianoï 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 picture (théochréstos)  "God-declared," or one who is declared by god, and of picture (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 picture--"consulting  or obtaining response from a god or oracle" (picture being the Ionic earlier form  of it), and picture (chrio) "to rub, to anoint" (from which the name Christos),  have not prevented the ecclesiastical adoption and coin age from Philo's  expression picture of that other term picture "anointed by God." Thus the quiet substitution of the letter, picture for picture 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 picture (330, 27), means by it simply "you  nice fellow"; Plato (in Phaed. 264 B) has picture--"you 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 picture ("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 picture 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 picture (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 picture, picture (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 (11. 23, 186; also in Od. 4, 252) as other ancient  writers do. Yet the word picture (Christes) means rather a white-washer, while the word Chrestes (picture) 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, 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." picture, in I Peter (ii., 3), where it is said, "Kind is the  Lord," picture.  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 picture, 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 Chréstos, as undeniably as that he never was entitled to the  appellation of Christos, during his life-time and before his  last trial. It may have been as Higgins thinks, who surmises that the first  name of Jesus was, perhaps, picture the second picture, and the third picture. "The word picture 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 for ward to testify  that Christos (or Chreistos, rather) was, along with picture = Hrésos,  an adjective applied to Gentiles before the Christian era. In Philopatris it is said picture, 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 (picture) was the  name given to Christ by the Gnostics, and even by unbelievers," assures  us that the real name ought to be picture 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 says    (Ephes. iii. 17) "picture picture." "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 picture picture.  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 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 (picture) 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," picture 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  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 Mystoï 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 picture mean simply "son  of Iaso, a Chrestos," or servant of the oracular God. Indeed IASO (picture) is in the lonic    dialect IESO (picture) and the expression picture (lesous) --in its archaic form, picture--simply means "the son of Iaso or Ieso, the "healer," i.e., picture (picture). No objection, assuredly, can be taken to such rendering,  or to the name being written leso instead of laso, since  the first form is attic, therefore incorrect, for the name  is lonic. "Ieso" from which "O'lesous" (son of Ieso)--i.e., a genitive, not a nominative--is    lonic 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 lonic 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, 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: picturepicture; 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 fountain, 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 Chréstoi 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 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 s 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 Karest 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 picture,    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--picture, 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.

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 picture(See Acts v. 42, ix. 14; I Corinth. iii. 17, etc.),  the article picture designating "Christos," proves it simply a surname, like that  of Phocion, who is referred to as picture (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 logoï--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. picture being the verbal adjective in Greek of picture "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, i 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; 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 picture 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 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 Chrestos 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 Chréstoï, who have  appeared to them as rivals 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.

    III  

No onecan 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 believeth 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 foot-note 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 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 first-born 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, be comes  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--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 IHT--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 IHS as the monogram of Christ  coming down to our day, and this reads as picture 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, 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 "picture" 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 (H. 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, god-like, theosophic  philosopher," as Clement of Alexandria thought him, Tertullian exclaims:

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 { 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 Hieronysus. 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 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 adds:

"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.

 

H.P.Blavatsky

Lucifer, November, December, 1887  and February, 1888


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. back to text

2 He who will not ponder over and master  the great difference between the meaning of the two Greek words-- picture and picture 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. back to text

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

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." back to text

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. back to text

6 See Volume II. p. 381. back to text

7 The earliest Christian author, Justin  Martyr, calls, in his first Apology, his co-religionists Chrestians, picture --not Christians. back to text

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." back to text

9 In England alone, there are over 239various 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! back to text

10 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. back to text

11 picture (First Apology). back to text

12The 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, back to text

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. back to text

14Cory'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. back to text

15The 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    etemal 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." back to text

16 "Gnostic and Historic Christianity." back to text

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. back to text

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

19 See Liddell and Scott's Greek-Engl.  Lex. back to text

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

21In 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)" (1. 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 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 modem heathens "touched by grace." back to text

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

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.) back to text

24Again 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 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. back to text

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 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, back to text

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. back to text

27Quoted bye G. Higgins. (See  Vol. I., pp. 569-573.) back to text

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" (picture). 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.") back to text

29 The root of picture (Chretos) and picture (Chrestos) is one and the same; 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 picture (picture) means "obligation," a "bond, duty," or one  who is under the obligation of pledges, or vows taken. back to text

30 The adjective was also used  as an adjective before proper names as a compliment, as in Plat. Theact,  p. 166A, ""; (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. back to text

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 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. back to text

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. back to text

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. back to text

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  the Yogi mysteries--various ointments or unguents being used. back to text

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

36Hence 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. back to text

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. back to text

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 Viswakarmâ,  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 re-born 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! back to text

39The 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). back to text

40"The word picture 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 picture 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 Elohlm (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 MIDDLEless 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. back to text

41 Several classics bear testimony to  this fact. Lucian, c. 16 says picture, and picture (picture surnamed "picture." ) In Phædr. p. 226 E; it is written, "you  mean Theodorus the Chrestos." "picture." Plutarch shows the same; and picture--Chrestus,  is the proper name (see the word in Thesaur. Steph.) of an orator  and disciple of Herodes Atticus. back to text

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

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. back to text

44 Thus while the three Synoptics display  a combination ofthe 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 purdy Gnostic. back to text

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.") back to text

46'rhis 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 picture 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. back to text

47 See "Supern. Relig.," vol.  ii., chap. "Basilides." back to text

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. back to text

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.) back to text

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.) back to text

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. back to text

52 The chief details are given in "Isis  Unveiled," vol iii., 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. back to text

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. back to text

"ESOTERIC BUDDHISM" AND THE "SECRET DOCTRINE"


 

CORRESPONDENCE

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 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 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 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 unnoticed 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

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 meta-physics 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 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 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 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 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

OUR CLOSING REMARK

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 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.]

H. P. Blavatasky

Lucifer, November, 1888


 

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 H. P. Blavatsky, but between these two 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.]
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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"--Puller teaches. We proved no "good advocate," and now bear our Karma for it; from an "advocate" we have become a "defendant."--[ED.]
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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. I 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.]
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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.]
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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 H. 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.]
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6 No one has ever dreamt of denying that "Esoteric Buddhism" was a "trustworthy presentation" of the Master'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 incompleteness, and (b) because 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.]
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7 Not "embarrassed," but misled--and it is precisely this which has happened.--[ED.]
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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.]
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9 It has, most unquestionably, if logic deserves its name. Our correspondent would have hardly made this query, intended as a 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.]
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10 Vide Supra notes: the reasons are now explained.--[ED.]
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11 This remark of the Master was made in a general not in any specific application. But what of that?--[ED.]
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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 H. 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.]
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13 No one we know of "despises," but many, on the other band, 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 heck on our mutual enemies.--[ED.]
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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.]
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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.]
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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.]
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17 The reason for this also is stated in the "Secret Doctrine."
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FAKIRS AND TABLES


 

[From the New York Sun, April 1st, 1877.]

HOWEVER ignorant I may be of the laws of the solar system, I am at all events so firm a believer in heliocentric journalism that I subscribe some remarks for The Sun upon my "iconoclasm."

No doubt it is a great honour for an unpretending foreigner to be thus crucified between the two greatest celebrities of your chivalrous country—the truly good Deacon Richard Smith, of the blue gauze trousers, and the nightingale of the willow and the cypress, G. Washington Childs, A. M. But I am not a Hindu Fakir, and therefore can not say that I enjoy crucifixion, especially when unmerited. I do not even fancy being swung round the "tall tower" with the steel hooks of your satire metaphorically thrust through my back. I have not invited the reporters to a show. I have not sought notoriety. I have only taken up a quiet corner in your free country, and, as a woman who has travelled much, shall try to tell a Western public the strange things I have seen among Eastern peoples. If I could have enjoyed this privilege at home I should not be here. Being here, I shall, as your old English proverb expresses it, "Tell the truth and shame the devil."

The World reporter who visited me wrote an article which mingled his souvenirs of my stuffed apes and my canaries, my tiger-heads and palms, with aerial music and the flitting doppelgängers of Adepts. It was a very interesting article and was certainly intended to be very impartial. If I appear in it to deny the immutability of natural law, and inferentially to affirm the possibility of miracle, it is either due to my faulty English or to the carelessness of the reader.

There are no such uncompromising believers in the immutability and universality of the laws of Nature as students of Occultism. Let us then, with your permission, leave the shade of the great Newton to rest in peace. It is not the principle of the law of gravitation, or the necessity of a central force acting toward the sun, that is denied, but the assumption that, behind the law which draws bodies toward the earth's centre, and which is our most familiar example of gravitation, there is no other law, equally immutable, that under certain conditions appears to counteract the former.

If but once in a hundred years a table or a Fakir is seen to rise in the air, without a visible mechanical cause, then that rising is a manifestation of a natural law of which our scientists are as yet ignorant. Christians believe in miracles; Occultists credit them even less than pious scientists, Sir David Brewster, for instance. Show an Occultist an unfamiliar phenomenon, and he will never affirm a priori that it is either a trick or a miracle. He will search for the cause in the reason of causes.

There was an anecdote about Babinet, the astronomer, current in Paris in 1854, when the great war was raging between the Academy and the "waltzing tables." This sceptical man of science had proclaimed in the Revue des Deux Mondes (January, 1854, p. 414) that the levitation of furniture without contact "was simply as impossible as perpetual motion." A few days later, during an experimental séance, a table was levitated without contact in his presence. The result was that Babinet went straight to a dentist to have a molar tooth extracted, which the iconoclastic table in its aërial flight had seriously damaged. But it was too late to recall his article.

I suppose nine men out of ten, including editors, would maintain that the undulatory theory of light is one of the most firmly established. And yet if you will turn to page 22 of The New Chemistry, by Prof. Josiah P. Cooke, Jr., of Harvard University (New York, 1876), you will find him saying:

I cannot agree with those who regard the wave-theory of light as an established principle of science. . . . It requires a combination of qualities in the ether of space which I find it difficult to believe are actually realized.

What is this but iconoclasm?

Let us bear in mind that Newton himself accepted the corpuscular theory of Pythagoras and his predecessors, from whom he learned it, and that it was only en désespoir de cause that later scientists accepted the wave theory of Descartes and Huyghens. Kepler maintained the magnetic nature of the sun. Leibnitz ascribed the planetary motions to agitations of an ether. Borelli anticipated Newton in his discovery, although he failed to demonstrate it as triumphantly. Huyghens and Boyle, Horrocks and Hooke, Halley and Wren, all had ideas of a central force acting toward the sun, and of the true principle of diminution of action of the force in the ratio of the inverse square of the distance. The last word has not yet been spoken with respect to gravitation; its limitations can never be known until the nature of the sun is better understood.

They are just beginning to recognize—see Prof. Balfour Stewart's lecture at Manchester, entitled, The Sun and the Earth, and Prof. A. M. Mayer's lecture, The Earth a Great Magnet—the intimate connection between the sun's spots and the position of the heavenly bodies. The interplanetary magnetic attractions are but just being demonstrated. Until gravitation is understood to be simply magnetic attraction and repulsion, and the part played by magnetism itself in the endless correlations of forces in the ether of space—that "hypothetical medium," as Webster terms it—is better grasped, I maintain that it is neither fair nor wise to deny the levitation of either Fakir or table. Bodies oppositely electrified attract each other; similarly electrified they repulse each other. Admit, therefore, that any body having weight, whether man or inanimate object, can by any cause whatever, external or internal, be given the same polarity as the spot on which it stands, and what is to prevent its rising?

Before charging me with falsehood when I affirm that I have seen both men and objects levitated, you must first dispose of the abundant testimony of persons far better known than my humble self. Mr. Crookes, Prof. Thury of Geneva, Louis Jacolliot, your own Dr. Gray and Dr. Warner, and hundreds of others, have, first and last, certified the fact of levitation.

I am surprised to find how little even the editors of your erudite contemporary, The World, are acquainted with Oriental metaphysics in general, and the trousers of the Hindû Fakirs in particular. It was bad enough to make those holy mendicants of the religion of Brahmâ graduate from the Buddhist Lamaseries of Tibet; but it is unpardonable to make them wear baggy breeches in the exercise of their religious functions.

This is as bad as if a Hindû journalist had represented the Rev. Mr. Beecher entering his pulpit in the scant costume of the Fakir—the dhoti, a cloth about the loins, "only that and nothing more." To account, therefore, for the oft-witnessed, open-air levitations of the Swamis and Gurus upon the theory of an iron frame concealed beneath the clothing, is as reasonable as Monsieur Babinet's explanation of the table-tipping and tapping as unconscious ventriloquism.

You may object to the act of disembowelling, which I am compelled to affirm I have seen performed. It is as you say, "remarkable," but still not miraculous. Your suggestion that Dr. Hammond should go and see it is a good one. Science would be the gainer, and your humble correspondent be justified. Are you, however, in a position to guarantee that he would furnish the world of sceptics with an example of "veracious reporting," if his observation should tend to overthrow the pet theories of what we loosely call science?

Yours very respectfully,
H. P. BLAVATSKY.
New York, March 28th, 1877.

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