THEOSOPHY, Vol. 44, No. 1, November, 1955
(Pages 32-35; Size: 12K)
WHENCE HUMAN LANGUAGE?(1)
LANGUAGE is certainly coeval with reason. Nor could it have been developed before men became one with the informing principles in them -- those who fructified and woke to life the manasic element dormant in the primitive man. Hence the first race, being devoid of a mind on our plane, was speechless. The second race had a "sound-language," to wit, chant-like sounds composed of vowels alone. The third race developed, in the beginning, a kind of language which was only a slight improvement on the various sounds in Nature, on the cries of gigantic insects and of the first animals -- which, however, were hardly nascent in the day of the early third race. Only in its second half -- the middle third race, was speech developed. "The whole human race was at that time of 'one language and one lip'."
Monosyllabic speech, composed of single-syllable words or sounds, was that of the first approximately fully developed beings at the close of the third race, according to occult teachings. This was after their separation into sexes, and the full awakening of their minds. Before that the races communicated through what would now be called "thought-transference." To this there was one great exception: the Race "set apart," the first in whom the "Sons of Wisdom" had incarnated during the first portion of the third root race. In this "Race" are said to have incarnated the highest Dhyanis, "Munis and Rishis from previous Manvantaras," to form the nursery for future human adepts on this earth and during the present cycle.
With the exception of this Race -- called the "Sons of Will and Yoga" and whose language, that of the gods, did not have its origin on this plane at all -- thought was very little developed in nascent physical man, and never soared above a low terrestrial level. Monosyllabic speech was the vowel parent of the monosyllabic languages mixed with hard consonants, the latter language being still in use amongst the yellow races which are known to the anthropologists. As the cycles passed, these linguistic characteristics developed into the agglutinative languages, or those languages still not subject to voice, case, tense, and so on. The agglutinative tongues were spoken by some Atlantean races, while other parent stocks of the fourth (Atlantean) race preserved the mother-language. And as languages have their cyclic evolution, their childhood, purity, growth, fall into matter, admixture with other languages, maturity, decay and finally death, so the primitive speech of the most civilized Atlantean races -- the language which is referred to as "Rakshasi Bhasa" in old Sanskrit works -- decayed and almost died out.
While the "cream" of the fourth Atlantean race gravitated more and more toward the apex of physical and intellectual evolution, thus leaving as an heirloom to nascent fifth (the Aryan) race the inflectional, highly developed languages, the agglutinative decayed and remained as a fragmentary fossil idiom, scattered now, and nearly limited to the aboriginal tribes of America. The inflectional speech -- the root of the Sanskrit, very erroneously called "the elder sister" of the Greek, instead of its mother -- was the first language of the fifth race. Contemporary languages of today are the descendants of the children of the early Sanskrit; while the latter being the classical language of the Brahmans, was never known nor spoken in its true systematized form except by the initiated Brahmans -- as it was preëminently a mystery language. "The mystery language of the prehistoric races is not a phonetic, but a purely pictorial and symbolic tongue. It is known in its fulness to the very few, having been for the masses for more than 5,000 years an absolutely dead language."
The great archaic system known from prehistoric ages as the sacred Wisdom Science, one that is contained and can be traced in every old as well as in every new religion, had, and still has, its universal language. This is the language of the Hierophants, which has seven "dialects," so to speak -- each referring, and being especially appropriated to one of the seven mysteries of Nature. Each had its own symbolism. Nature could thus be either read in its fulness, or viewed from one of its special aspects. The Secret Doctrine speaks of a very old Book, which tradition says was taken down in Senzar, the secret sacred tongue, from the words of the Divine Beings, who dictated it to the sons of Light, in Central Asia, at the very beginning of the fifth (our) race. For there was a time when its language (the Sen-zar) was known to the Initiates of every nation, when the forefathers of the Toltecs understood it as easily as the inhabitants of the lost Atlantis; who inherited it, in their turn, from the sages of the third race, the Manushi -- who learnt it direct from the Devas of the second and first races. This "very old Book" is the original work from which the many volumes of the * were compiled. The Siphrah Dzeniouta and Sepher Jezirah, the book of Shu-king, the sacred volumes of the Egyptian Thoth-Hermes, the Puranas in India, and the Chaldean Book of Numbers and the Pentateuch itself, are all derived from that one small parent volume.
Like the Arabic figures which are plain to a man of whatever nation, or like the English and, which becomes et for the Frenchman, und for the German, and so on, yet which may be expressed for all civilized nations in the simple sign & -- so all the words of the mystery language signified the same things to each man of whatever nationality. Each letter of the ancient alphabets had its philosophical meaning and raison d'être, the number 1 signified with the Alexandrian Initiates a body erect, a living standing man, he being the only animal that has the privilege. And by adding to the 1 a head, it was transferred into a P, a symbol of paternity, of the creative potency; while R signified a "moving man," one on his way. In the Chinese language, the alphabet of which may be read in any language, and which is only a little less ancient than the Egyptian alphabet of Thoth, every word has its corresponding symbol, conveying the word needed in a pictorial form. The language possesses many thousands of such symbolical letters or logograms, each meaning a whole word; for letters proper, or an alphabet, do not exist in the Chinese language any more than they did in the Egyptian till a far later period. The American Indians have a number of different modes of picture-writing and ideographic-writing with which philology is familiar. But not one of our scientists is yet familiar with, or even knows of the early hieroglyphic cypher, still preserved in some Fraternities, and named in Occultism the Senzar.
Every old religious and philosophical symbol had seven meanings attached to it. Each meaning pertained to its legitimate plane of thought; i.e., either purely metaphysical or astronomical, psychological or physiological, etc. The ancient Hierophants combined the dogmas and symbols of their religious philosophy; these symbols can be fully explained only by combination and knowledge of all the keys. There can be only an approximate interpretation even if one finds three of the seven systems: the anthropological, the psychical and the astronomical. The two chief interpretations, the highest and lowest, the spiritual and physiological, were preserved in the greatest secrecy till they later fell into the dominion of the profane. These were the exclusive property of the prehistoric Hierophants, the fruit of their study and discovery. The other two keys or systems dealt with the creative gods (theogony) and with creative man, i.e., with the ideal and the practical mysteries. This interpretation was so cleverly veiled and combined that meanings could never be sufficiently unriddled to commit dangerous indiscretions. The highest -- the first and fourth -- theogony in relation to anthropogony -- were almost impossible to fathom.
The many-sided facets of the mystery language have led to the adoption of widely varied dogmas and rituals in the exotericism of the Christian rites. It is they, again, which are the origin of most of the dogmas of the Christian Church, e.g., the seven Sacraments, the Trinity, the Resurrection; the seven capital Sins and the seven Virtues. Every old religion is but a chapter or two of the entire volume of archaic primitive mysteries -- Eastern Occultism. The Hebrew writings show no more than a thorough knowledge of the astronomical, geometrical and numerical systems of symbolizing all the human, and especially the physiological functions. They never had the higher keys. The whole cycle of biblical glyphs and numbers as suggested by astronomical observations -- astronomy and theology being closely connected -- is found in the Indian exoteric, as well as esoteric systems. All the sounds in Nature -- and in consequence, of music -- are directly allied to astronomy and mathematics; that is to say, to the planets, signs of the Zodiac, sun and moon, and to rotation and number. Above all, they depend on Akasha, the ether of space.
The Ramayana of India is called the musical epic, and stands beside the Iliad for antiquity and stately simplicity, and for the surpassing melody of its numbers, no less than for its elevated morality. The system of universal numerals of Pythagoras was built entirely upon the "metrical speech" of the Hindu Vedas. "Happy he who comprehends the spiritual numerals, and perceives their mighty influence!" exclaims Plato. The most sacred as the most ancient of the Sanskrit works, the Hindu Vedas, contain the science of incantation or Mantras, said to be the "most potent and effectual magic agent, and the first of the keys opening the door of communication between mortals and immortals."
WHITE LOTUS DAY
Back to the complete list of the
GROUPING OF HUNDREDS OF "COLLATED ARTICLES"
Back to the full listing containing all of the
"Additional Categories of Articles".
ONE (1) FOOTNOTE LISTED BELOW:
(1) NOTE.--Collated from Theosophical works.
Back to text.