THEOSOPHY, Vol. 51, No. 10, August, 1963
(Pages 283-285; Size: 9K)
TODAY the Kabala is a dual science, it is Eastern and it is Western. Both aspects, East and West, are veiled, one with exoteric Monotheism, the other with exoteric Pantheism. In the one case there is the pretended belief in one God, in the other -- many gods, both assuming these masks to hide sacred truths from the profane. But the real students and philosophers whether Aryan or Semitic have never accepted the anthropomorphism of either many gods or one god as a philosophical proposition.
Nor is the Kabala per se any of the written works about it. In itself it is no series of charts and diagrams, no special volume, not even a system. It consists of seven systems, and these seven are always transmitted orally, from mouth to ear, from generation to generation of Initiates; under pledge of oath and never recorded in writing by anyone. There are seven methods of oral transmission which pertain, it is taught, to the universal pictorial language. "Pictorial" in this regard means any cipher or secret code, any number, symbol or other glyph that can be represented, whether objectively or subjectively. Any given esoteric work or subject is thus interpreted. We find references then to what is termed a symbolical Kabala, and the statement that students explain the real Kabala by the symbolical. For those who are able to master it, there is no need to exercise the imagination. It requires spiritual perception. The only original copy of the true Kabala, which is contained in the Chaldean Book of Numbers, pertains to and teaches about the realm of spirit, not matter.
Very few Christians understand, if they know anything at all of, the Jewish Theology. The Talmud is the darkest enigma even for most Jews, while those Hebrew scholars who do comprehend it do not boast of their knowledge. Their kabalistic books are still less understood by them; for in our days more Christian than Jewish students are engrossed in the elimination of their great truths. How much less is definitely known of the Oriental, or the universal Kabala!
History catches glimpses of Kabalists since the eleventh century; all are familiar with the names Paracelsus, Jacob Boehme, Reuchlin, Spinoza, Newton, Roger Bacon. What then, we may ask, is a Kabalist? The strongest aspiration in man's nature is the longing to seek for the Unknown, a thirst for knowledge lying hidden below the surface and driving him on. But those so propelled toward the mystical and metaphysical world are in the minority, few are the seekers of a true higher world. By far the search seems to apply in greatest numbers to the world of the objective.
One must bear for ever in mind the impressive fable of Oedipus, and beware of the same consequences. Oedipus unriddled but one-half of the enigma offered him by the Sphinx and caused its death; the other half of the mystery avenged the death of the symbolic monster, and forced the King of Thebes to prefer blindness and exile in his despair rather than face what he did not feel himself pure enough to encounter. He unriddled the man, the form, and had forgotten God, the idea. If a man would follow in the steps of Hermetic philosophers he must prepare himself beforehand for martyrdom. He must give up personal pride and all selfish purposes, and be ready for everlasting encounters with friends and foes. He must part, once for all, with every remembrance of his earlier ideas, on all and on everything. Existing religions, knowledge, science, must rebecome a blank book for him, as in the days of his babyhood, for if he wants to succeed he must learn a new alphabet on the lap of Mother Nature, every letter of which will afford a new insight to him, every syllable and word an unexpected revelation. (The two hitherto irreconcilable foes, science and theology, will ally themselves with the ignorant masses against the modern Occultist.)
To science it will be the duty of the Kabalist to prove that from the beginning of time there was but one positive science -- Occultism: that it was the mysterious lever of all intellectual forces, the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil of the allegorical paradise, from which gigantic trunk sprang in every direction boughs, branches, and twigs, the former shooting forth straight enough at first, the latter deviating with every inch of growth, assuming more and more fantastical appearances, till at last one after the other lost its vital juice, got deformed, and, drying up, finally broke off, scattering the ground afar with heaps of rubbish.
To theology the Occultist of the future will have to demonstrate that the Gods of the mythologies, the Elohim of Israel as well as the religious and theological mysteries of Christianity, to begin with the Trinity, sprang from the sanctuaries of Memphis and Thebes; that their mother Eve is but the spiritualized Psyche of old, both of them paying a like penalty for their curiosity, descending to Hades or Hell, the latter to bring back to earth the famous Pandora's box, the former to search out and crush the head of the serpent -- the symbol of time and evil, the crime of both expiated by the pagan Prometheus and the Christian Lucifer; the first delivered by Hercules, the second conquered by the Saviour.
Furthermore, the Occultist will have to prove to Christian theology, publicly, what many of its priesthood are well aware of in secret, namely, that their God on earth was a Kabalist, the meek representative of a tremendous Power, which, if misapplied, might shake the world to its foundations; and that of all their evangelical symbols, there is not one but can be traced up to its parent fount. For instance, their incarnated Verbum of Logos was worshipped at his birth by the three Magi led on by a star, and received from them the gold, the frankincense and myrrh -- the whole of which is simply an excerpt from the Kabala our modern theologians despise, and the representation of another and still more mysterious "Ternary" embodying allegorically in its emblems the highest secrets of the Kabala.
Moses, the Egyptian Initiate, entrusted the Kabala orally but to his elect. In no country was the true esoteric doctrine trusted to writing. He could not reveal to the multitude the sublime secrets of religious speculation, nor the Cosmogony of the Universe. But the primitive and pure Oriental Gnosticism, the sublime Revelation to the early Races, was eventually corrupted and degraded completely by different subsequent sects. While Moses got his Kabalistic wisdom from Egypt, the earlier and greater Hebrew Initiates got theirs from the Chaldean Hierophants at Babylon. Thus the substratum of the Jewish Kabala is identical with the substratum of all other systems, which, whether religious or philosophical were all derived from the Eastern Secret Doctrine, which passed through India, China, Greece, Egypt and Chaldea. The Kabala known to Western mystics today is inseparable from the Hebrew Pentateuch, so-called books of Moses or first five books of the Old Testament. The latter are at best only two or three centuries older than the Christian era, the Kabala purporting to explain them having now passed through centuries of alterations and corruptions.
ITS UNDERLYING IDEAS
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