THEOSOPHY, Vol. 91, Spring 2003
(Pages 33-35; Size: 7K)

QUOTATIONS ON PROMETHEUS

From The Secret Doctrine

THE TITAN--HIS ORIGIN IN ANCIENT INDIA

IN our modern day there does not exist the slightest doubt in the minds of the best European symbologists that the name Prometheus possessed the greatest and most mysterious significance in antiquity. ... according to the significant legend, the author of the Mythologie de la Grèce Antique remarks: "Thus Prometheus is something more than the archetype of humanity; he is its generator. In the same way that we saw Hephæstus moulding the first woman (Pandora) and endowing her with life, so Prometheus kneeds the moist clay, of which he fashions the body of the first man whom he will endow with the soul-spark" (Apollodorus, I., 7, 1). After the Flood of Deukalion, Zeus, it was taught, had commanded Prometheus and Athena to call forth a new race of men from the mire left by the waters of the deluge (Ovid, Metam. I, 81. Etym. M. v. 33D@:02,bl)...

The same authors remind the world of another equally mysterious personage, though one less generally known than Prometheus, whose legend offers remarkable analogies with that of the Titan. The name of this second ancestor and generator is Phoroneus, the hero of an ancient poem, now unfortunately no longer extant -- the Phoronidæ. His legend was localized in Argolis, where a perpetual flame was preserved on his altar as a reminder that he was the bringer of fire upon earth (Pausanias, 11, 19, 5; Cf. 20, 3.) A benefactor of men as Prometheus was, he had made them participators of every bliss on earth. Plato (Timæus, p. 22), and Clemens Alexandrinus (Strom. I, p. 380) say that Phoroneus was the first man, or "the father of mortals." His genealogy, which assigns to him as his father Inachos, the river, reminds one of that of Prometheus, which makes that Titan the son of the Oceanid Clymene. But the mother of Phoroneus was the nymph Melia; a significant descent which distinguishes him from Prometheus (SD ii, p. 519).

ADAM KADMON--THE JEWISH HERMES

The Adam Primus, or Kadmon, the Logos of the Jewish mystics, is the same as the Grecian Prometheus, who seeks to rival with the divine wisdom; he is also the Pymander of Hermes, or the POWER OF THE THOUGHT DIVINE, in its most spiritual aspect, for he was less hypostasized by the Egyptians than the two former. These all create men, but fail in their final object. Desiring to endow man with an immortal spirit, in order that by linking the trinity in one, he might gradually return to his primal spiritual state without losing his individuality, Prometheus fails in his attempt to steal the divine fire, and is sentenced to expiate his crime on Mount Kazbeck. Prometheus is also the Logos of the ancient Greeks, as well as Herakles. In the Codex Nazaræus we see Bahak-Zivo deserting the heaven of his father, confessing that though he is the father of the genii, he is unable to "construct creatures," for he is equally unacquainted with Orcus as with "the consuming fire which is wanting in light." And Fetahil, one of the "powers," sits in the "mud" (matter) and wonders why the living fire is so changed.

ALLEGORY OF THE FALL

The allegory of the Fall of man and the fire of Prometheus is also another version of the myth of the rebellion of the proud Lucifer, hurled down to the bottomless pit -- Orcus. In the religion of the Brahmans, Moisasure, the Hindu Lucifer, becomes envious of the Creator's resplendent light, and at the head of a legion of inferior spirits rebels against Brahma, and declares war against him. Like Hercules, the faithful Titan, who helps Jupiter and restores to him his throne, Siva, the third person of the Hindu trinity, hurls them all from the celestial abode in Honderah, the region of eternal darkness. But here the fallen angels are made to repent of their evil deed, and in the Hindu doctrine they are all afforded the opportunity to progress. In the Greek fiction, Hercules, the Sun-god, descends to Hades to deliver the victims from their tortures; and the Christian Church also makes her incarnate god descend to the dreary Plutonic regions and overcome the rebellious ex-archangel. In their turn the kabalists explain the allegory in a semi-scientific way. Adam the second, or the first-created race which Plato calls gods, and the Bible the Elohim, was not triple in his nature like the earthly man: i.e., he was not composed of soul, spirit, and body, but was a compound of sublimated astral elements into which the "Father" had breathed an immortal, divine spirit. The latter, by reason of its godlike essence, was ever struggling to liberate itself from the bonds of even that flimsy prison; hence the "sons of God," in their imprudent efforts, were the first to trace a future model for the cyclic law. But, man must not be "like one of us," says the Creative Deity, one of the Elohim "intrusted with the fabrication of the lower animal." And thus it was, when the men of the first race had reached the summit of the first cycle, they lost their balance, and their second envelope, the grosser clothing (astral body), dragged them down the opposite-arc (SD ii, 298, 299).


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