THEOSOPHY, Vol. 54, No. 11, September, 1966
(Pages 340-344; Size: 14K)
STATEMENTS OF CONSEQUENCE(1)
STRICTLY speaking, it is difficult to view the Jewish Book of Genesis otherwise than a chip from the trunk of the mundane tree of universal Cosmology, rendered in Oriental allegories. As cycle succeeded cycle, and one nation after another came upon the stage to play its brief part in the majestic drama of human life, each new people evolved from ancestral traditions its own religion, giving it a local color, and stamping it with its individual characteristics. While each of these new religions had its distinguishing traits, by which, were there no other archaic vestiges, the physical and psychological status of its creators could be estimated, all preserved a common likeness to one prototype. This parent cult was none other than the primitive "wisdom-religion." The Israelitish Scriptures are no exception.
Examination of the multitudinous religious faiths that mankind, early and late, have professed, most assuredly indicates that they have all been derived from one primitive source. It would seem as if they were all but different modes of expressing the yearning of the imprisoned human soul for intercourse with supernal spheres. As the white ray of light is decomposed by the prism into the various colors of the solar spectrum, so the beam of divine truth, in passing through the three-sided prism of man's nature, has been broken up into vari-colored fragments called RELIGIONS. And, as the rays of the spectrum, by imperceptible shadings, merge into each other, so the great theologies that have appeared at different degrees of divergence from the original source, have been connected by minor schisms, schools, and offshoots from the one side or the other. Combined, their aggregate represents one eternal truth; separate, they are but shades of human error and the signs of imperfection.
Origen, Clemens Alexandrinus, Chalcidius, Methodius, and Maimonides, on the authority of the Targum of Jerusalem, the orthodox and greatest authority of the Jews, held that the first two words in the book of Genesis -- B-RASIT -- mean Wisdom, or the Principle. And the idea of these words meaning "in the beginning" was never shared but by the profane, who were not allowed to penetrate any deeper into the esoteric sense of the sentence.
Wisdom, the first emanation of En-Soph; the Protogonos, the Hypostasis; the Adam Kadmon of the kabalists, the Brahma of the Hindu; the Logos of Plato, and the "Beginning" of St. John -- is the Rasit of the Book of Genesis. If rightly interpreted, it overturns the whole elaborate system of Christian theology, for it proves that behind the creative Deity, there was a HIGHER God; a planner, an architect; and that the former was but His executive agent -- a simple POWER!
"All things," says the Kabala, "are derived from one great Principle, and this principle is the unknown and invisible God. From Him a substantial power immediately proceeds, which is the image of God, and the source of all subsequent emanations. This second principle sends forth, by the energy (or will and force) of emanation other natures, which are more or less perfect, according to their different degrees of distance, in the scale of emanation, from the First Source of existence, and which constitute different worlds, or orders of being, all united to the external power from which they proceed. Matter is nothing more than the most remote effects of the emanative energy of the Deity. The material world receives its form from the immediate agency of powers far beneath the First Source of Being.
Almost without exception, ancient and medieval scholars believed in the arcane doctrines of wisdom. The infinite and uncreated spirit that we usually call GOD, a substance of the highest virtue and excellency, produced everything else by emanative causality. Swayambhuva -- the unknown essence of the Brahman -- is identical with En-Soph, the unknown essence of the kabalists. In the ancient primitive trinity of India, that which may be certainly considered as pre-Vedic, the germ which fecundates the mother-principle, the mundane egg, or the universal womb, is called Nara, the Spirit, or the Holy Ghost, which emanates from the primordial essence. It is, like Sephira, the oldest emanation, called the primordial point, and the White Head, for it is the point of divine light appearing from within the fathomless and boundless darkness. In Manu, it is "NARA, or the Spirit of God, which moves on Ayana, (Chaos, or place of motion), and is called NARAYANA, or moving on the waters."
In Genesis we find: "And darkness was upon the face of the deep (chaos). And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." In the Kabala, the emanation of the primordial passive principle (Sephira), by dividing itself into two parts, active and passive, emits Chochma-Wisdom and Binah-Jehovah, and in conjunction with these two acolytes, which complete the trinity, becomes the Creator of the abstract Universe, the physical world being the production of later and still more material powers. In the Hindu Cosmogony, Swayambhuva emits Nara and Nari, its bisexual emanations, and dividing its parts into two halves, male and female, these fecundate the mundane egg, within which develops Brahma, or rather Viradj, the Creator.
The universal doctrine of emanations, adopted from time immemorial by the greatest schools which taught the kabalistic, Alexandrian, and Oriental philosophers, gives the key to the panic among Christian fathers. The spirit of Jesuitism and clerical craft, which prompted Parkhurst, many centuries later, to suppress in his Hebrew Lexicon the true meaning of the first word of Genesis, originated in those days of war against the expiring Neo-platonic and eclectic school. The fathers had decided to pervert the meaning of the word "daimon," and they dreaded above all to have the esoteric and true meaning of the word Rasit unveiled to the multitudes; for if once the true sense of this sentence, as well as that of the Hebrew word asdt (translated in the Septuagint "angels," while it means emanations), were understood rightly, the mystery of the Christian trinity would have crumbled, carrying in its downfall the new religion into the same heap of ruins with the ancient Mysteries.
The word Rasit, once taught in its new sense of the Principle and not the Beginning, and the anathematized doctrine of emanations accepted, the position of the second trinitarian personage becomes untenable. For, if the angels are the first divine emanations from the Divine Substance, and were in existence before the Second Principle, then the anthropomorphized Son is at best an emanation like themselves, and cannot be God hypostatically any more than our visible works are ourselves. That these metaphysical subtleties never entered into the head of the honest-minded, sincere Paul, is evident; as it is furthermore evident, that like all learned Jews he was well acquainted with the doctrine of emanations and never thought of corrupting it.
The endless emanations of the one First Cause, all of which were gradually transformed by the popular fancy into distinct gods, spirits, angels, and demons, were so little considered immortal, that all were assigned a limited existence. And this belief, common to all the people of antiquity, to the Chaldean Magi as well as to the Egyptians, and even in our day held by the Brahmanists and Buddhists, most triumphantly evidences the monotheism of the ancient religious systems. This doctrine calls the life-period of all the inferior divinities, "one day of Parabrahma." Alone, the primal cause will exist forever, in all his glory, filling the infinite space. What better proof could be adduced of the deep reverential feeling with which the "heathen" regard the one Supreme eternal cause of all things visible and invisible.
For over fifteen centuries, thanks to the blindly brutal persecutions of those great vandals of early Christian history, Constantine and Justinian, ancient WISDOM slowly degenerated until it gradually sank into the deepest mire of monkish superstition and ignorance. In their insatiable desire to extend the dominion of blind faith, the early architects of Christian theology had been forced to conceal, as much as it was possible, the true sources of the same. To this end they are said to have burned or otherwise destroyed all the original manuscripts of the Kabala, magic, and occult sciences upon which they could lay their hands. They ignorantly supposed that the most dangerous writings of this class had perished with the last Gnostic; but some day they may discover their mistake. Other authentic and as important documents will perhaps reappear in a "most unexpected and almost miraculous manner."
With the last seven wise men of the Orient, the remnant group of the Neo-platonists, Hermias, Priscianus, Diogenes, Eulalius, Damaskius, Simplicius and Isidorus, who fled from the fanatical persecutions of Justinian to Persia, the reign of wisdom closed. The Pythagorean "knowledge of things as they are"; the profound erudition of the Gnostics; the world and time-honored teachings of the great philosophers; all were rejected as doctrines of Antichrist and Paganism, and committed to the flames. The books of Thoth (or Hermes Trismegistus), which contain within their sacred pages the spiritual and physical history of the creation and progress of our world, were left to mould in oblivion and contempt for ages. They found no interpreters in Christian Europe; the Philalethians, or wise "lovers of the truth," were no more; they were replaced by the light-fleers, the tonsured and hooded monks of Papal Rome, who dread truth, in whatever shape and from whatever quarter it appears, if it but clashes in the least with their dogmas.
They persecuted the Gnostics, murdered the philosophers, and burned the kabalists and the masons; and when the day of the great reckoning arrives, and the light shines in darkness, what will they have to offer in the place of the departed, expiring religion? What will they answer, these pretended monotheists, these worshippers and pseudo-servants of the one living God, to their Creator? How will they account for this long persecution of them who were the true followers of the grand Megalistor, the supreme great master of the Rosicrucians, the FIRST of masons. "For he is the Builder and the Architect of the Temple of the universe; He is the Verbum Sapienti."
Neither the great First Cause nor its emanation -- human, immortal spirit -- have left themselves "without a witness." Who knows but that as the Christian Church has unconsciously begotten free thought by reaction against her own cruelty, rapacity, and dogmatism, the public mind may be glad to follow the lead of the Orientalists, away from Jerusalem and towards Ellora; and that then much more will be discovered that is now hidden?
In the sublime and profoundest of all philosophies, that of the universal "Wisdom-Religion," the first traces of which, historical research finds in the old pre-Vedic religion of India ... underlying every ancient popular religion the same ancient wisdom-doctrine, one and identical, professed and practiced by the initiates of every country, who alone were aware of its existence and importance.
"The THOUGHT concealed as yet the world in silence and darkness. ... Then the Lord who exists through Himself, and who is not to be divulged to the external senses of man; dissipated darkness, and manifested the perceptible world.
"He that can be perceived only by the spirit, that escapes the organs of sense, who is without visible parts, eternal, the soul of all beings, that none can comprehend, displayed his own splendor" (Manu, i., slokas 6-7). Such is the ideal of the Supreme in the mind of every Hindu philosopher.
STATEMENTS ON THE SECRET DOCTRINE
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.--A student's collation from Theosophical works.
Back to text.