THEOSOPHY, Vol. 58, No. 12, October, 1970
(Pages 365-372; Size: 23K)
(Number 36 of a 36-part series)



WE must now give some proofs of what we have stated, and demonstrate that the word Jehovah, if Masonry adheres to it, will ever remain as a substitute, never be identical with the lost mirific name. This is so well known to the kabalists, that in their careful etymology of the YHVH they show it beyond doubt to be only one of the many substitutes for the real name, and composed of the two-fold name of the first androgyne -- Adam and Eve, Jod (or Yodh), Vau and He-Va -- the female serpent as a symbol of Divine Intelligence proceeding from the ONE-Generative or Creative Spirit. Thus, Jehovah is not the sacred name at all. Had Moses given to Pharaoh the true "name," the latter would not have answered as he did, for the Egyptian King-Initiates knew it as well as Moses, who had learned it with them. The "name" was at that time the common property of the adepts of all the nations in the world, and Pharaoh knew certainly the "name" of the Highest God mentioned in the Book of the Dead. But instead of that, Moses (if we accept the allegory of Exodus literally), gives Pharaoh the name of Yeva, the expression or form of the Divine name used by all the Targums as passed by Moses. Hence Pharaoh's reply: "And who is that Yeva(1) that I should obey his voice?"

"Jehovah" dates only from the Masoretic innovation. When the Rabbis, for fear that they should lose the keys to their own doctrines, then written exclusively in consonants, began to insert their vowel-points in their manuscripts, they were utterly ignorant of the true pronunciation of the NAME. Hence, they gave it the sound of Ado-nah, and made it read Ja-ho-vah. Thus the latter is simply a fancy, a perversion of the Holy Name. And how could they know it? Alone, out of all their nation the high priests had it in their possession, and respectively passed it to their successors, as the Hindu Brahmaâtma does before his death. Once a year only, on the day of atonement, the high priest was allowed to pronounce it in a whisper. Passing behind the veil into the inner chamber of the sanctuary, the Holy of Holies, with trembling lips and downcast eyes he called upon the dreaded NAME. The bitter persecution of the kabalists, who received the precious syllables after deserving the favor by a whole life of sanctity, was due to a suspicion that they misused it.

The Book of Jasher, a work -- as we are told by a very learned Hebrew divine, of New York -- composed in Spain in the twelfth century as "a popular tale," and that had not "the sanction of the Rabbinical College of Venice," is full of kabalistical, alchemical, and magical allegories. Admitting so much, it must still be said that there are few popular tales but are based on historical truths. The Norsemen in Iceland, by Dr. G. W. Dasent, is also a collection of popular tales, but they contain the key to the primitive religious worship of that people. So with the Book of Jasher. It contains the whole of the Old Testament in a condensed form, and as the Samaritans held, i.e., the five Books of Moses, without the Prophets. Although rejected by the orthodox Rabbis, we cannot help thinking that, as in the case of the apocryphal Gospels, which were written earlier than the canonical ones, the Book of Jasher is the true original from which the subsequent Bible was in part composed. Both the apocryphal Gospels and Jasher, are a series of religious tales, in which miracle is heaped upon miracle, and which narrate the popular legends as they first originated, without any regard to either chronology or dogma. Still both are corner-stones of the Mosaic and Christian religions. That there was a Book of Jasher prior to the Mosaic Pentateuch is clear, for it is mentioned in Joshua, Isaiah, and II Samuel.

Nowhere is the difference between the Elohists and Jehovists so clearly shown as in Jasher. Jehovah is here spoken of as the Ophites held him to be, a Son of Ilda-Baoth, or Saturn. In this Book, the Egyptian Magi, when asked by Pharaoh "Who is he, of whom Moses speaks as the I am?" reply that the God of Moses "we have learned, is the Son of the Wise, the Son of ancient kings."(2) Now, those who assert that Jasher is a forgery of the twelfth century -- and we readily believe it -- should nevertheless explain the curious fact that, while the above text is not to be found in the Bible, the answer to it is, and is, moreover, couched in unequivocal terms. At Isaiah 19:11, the "Lord God" complains of it very wrathfully to the prophet, and says: "Surely the princes of Zoan are fools, the counsel of the wise counsellors of Pharaoh is become brutish; how say ye unto Pharaoh, I am the Son of the Wise, the Son of ancient kings?" which is evidently a reply to the above. At Joshua 10:13, Jasher is referred to in corroboration of the outrageous assertion that the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves. "Is not this written in the Book of Jasher?" says the text. And at II Samuel 1:18, the same book is again quoted. "Behold," it says, "it is written in the Book of Jasher." Clearly, Jasher must have existed; it must have been regarded as authority; must have been older than Joshua; and, since the verse in Isaiah unerringly points to the passage above quoted, we have at least as much reason to accept the current edition of Jasher as a transcription, excerpt, or compilation of the original work, as we have to revere the Septuagint Pentateuch, as the primitive Hebraic sacred records.

At all events, Jehovah is not the ancient of the ancient, or "aged of the aged," of the Sohar; for we find him, in this book, counselling with God the Father as to the creation of the world. "The workmaster spoke to the Lord. Let us make man after our image" (Sohar i., fol. 25). Jehovah is but the Metatron, and perhaps, not even the highest, but only one of the Æons; for he whom Onkelos calls Memro, the "Word," is not the exoteric Jehovah of the Bible, nor is he Jahve the Existing One.

It was the secrecy of the early kabalists, who were anxious to screen the real Mystery name of the "Eternal" from profanation, and later the prudence which the mediæval alchemists and occultists were compelled to adopt to save their lives, that caused the inextricable confusion of divine names. This is what led the people to accept the Jehovah of the Bible as the name of the "One living God." Every Jewish elder, prophet, and other man of any importance knew the difference; but as the difference lay in the vocalization of the "name," and its right pronunciation led to death, the common people were ignorant of it, for no initiate would risk his life by teaching it to them. Thus the Sinaitic deity came gradually to be regarded as identical with "Him whose name is known but to the wise." When Capellus translates: "Whosoever shall pronounce the name of Jehovah, shall suffer death," he makes two mistakes. The first is in adding the final letter h to the name, if he wants this deity to be considered either male or androgynous, for the letter makes the name feminine, as it really should be, considering it is one of the names of Binah, the third emanation; his second error is in asserting that the word nokeb means only to pronounce distinctly. It means to pronounce correctly. Therefore, the biblical name Jehovah may be considered simply a substitute, which, as belonging to one of the "powers" got to be viewed as that of the "Eternal." There is an evident mistake (one of the very many), in one of the texts in Leviticus, which has been corrected by Cahen, and which proves that the interdiction did not at all concern the name of the exoteric Jehovah, whose numerous other names could also be pronounced without any penalty being incurred. In the vicious English version, the translation runs thus: "And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, shall surely be put to death" (Lev. 24:16). Cahen renders it far more correctly, thus: "And he that blasphemeth the name of the Eternal shall die," etc. The "Eternal" being something higher than the exoteric and personal "Lord."

As with the Gentile nations, the symbols of the Israelites were ever bearing, directly or indirectly, upon sun-worship. The exoteric Jehovah of the Bible is a dual god, like all the other gods; and the fact that David -- who is entirely ignorant of Moses -- praises his "Lord," and assures him that the "Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods," may be of a very great importance to the descendants of Jacob and David, but their national God concerns us in no wise. We are quite ready to show the "Lord God" of Israel the same respect as we do to Brahma, Zeus, or any other secondary deity. But we decline, most emphatically, to recognize in him either the Deity worshipped by Moses, or the "Father" of Jesus, or yet the "Ineffable Name" of the kabalists. Jehovah is, perhaps, one of the Elohim, who was concerned in the formation (which is not creation) of the universe, one of the architects who built from preexisting matter, but he never was the "Unknowable" Cause that created "bara," in the night of the Eternity. These Elohim first form and bless; then they curse and destroy; as one of these Powers, Jehovah is therefore by turns beneficent and malevolent; at one moment he punishes and then repents. He is the antitype of several of the patriarchs -- of Esau and of Jacob, the allegorical twins, emblems of the ever manifest dual principle in nature. So Jacob, who is Israel, is the left pillar -- the feminine principle of Esau, who is the right pillar and the male principle. When he wrestles with Malach-Iho, the Lord, it is the latter who becomes the right pillar, and Jacob-Israel names God; although the Bible-interpreters have endeavored to transform him into a mere "angel of the Lord" (Gen. 32), Jacob conquers him -- as matter will but too often conquer spirit -- but his thigh is put out of joint in the fight.

The name of Israel has its derivation from Israel or Asar, the Sun-God, who is known as Suryal, Surya, and Sur. Isra-el means "striving with God." The "sun rising upon Jacob-Israel," is the Sun-God Isaral, fecundating matter or earth, represented by the female-Jacob. As usual, the allegory has more than one hidden meaning in the Kabala. Esau, Æsaou, Asu, is also the sun. Like the "Lord," Esau fights with Jacob and prevails not. The God-Sun first strives against, and then rises on him in convenant.

If it will be argued that Moses was unacquainted with the Hindu philosophy and, therefore, could not have taken Siva, the regenerator and the destroyer, as his model for Jehovah, then we must admit that there was some miraculous international intuition which prompted every nation to choose for its exoteric national deity the dual type we find in the "Lord God" of Israel. All these fables speak for themselves. Siva, Jehovah, Osiris, are all the symbols of the active principle in nature par excellence. They are the forces which preside at the formation or regeneration of matter and its destruction. They are the types of Life and Death, ever fecundating and decomposing under the never-ceasing influx of the anima mundi, the Universal intellectual Soul, the invisible but ever-present spirit which is behind the correlation of the blind forces. This spirit alone is immutable, and therefore the forces of the universe, cause and effect, are ever in perfect harmony with this one great Immutable Law. Spiritual Life is the one primordial principle above; Physical Life is the primordial principle below, but they are one under their dual aspect. When the Spirit is completely untrammelled from the fetters of correlation, and its essence has become so purified as to be reunited with its CAUSE, it may -- and yet who can tell whether it really will -- have a glimpse of the Eternal Truth. Till then, let us not build ourselves idols in our own image, and accept the shadows for the Eternal Light.

The greatest mistake of the age was to attempt a comparison of the relative merits of all the ancient religions, and scoff at the doctrines of the Kabala and other superstitions.

But truth is stranger than fiction; and this world-old adage finds its application in the case in hand. The "wisdom" of the archaic ages or the "secret doctrine" embodied in the Oriental Kabala, of which, as we have said, the Rabbinical is but an abridgment, did not die out with the Philoletheans of the last Eclectic school. The Gnosis lingers still on earth, and its votaries are many, albeit unknown. Such secret brotherhoods have been mentioned before Mackenzie's time, by more than one great author. If they have been regarded as mere fictions of the novelist, the fact has only helped the "brother-adepts" to keep their incognito the more easily. We have personally known several of them who, to their great merriment had had the story of their lodges, the communities in which they lived, and the wondrous powers which they had exercised for many long years, laughed at and denied by unsuspecting skeptics to their very faces. Some of these brothers belong to the small groups of "travellers." Until the close of the happy Louis-Philippian reign, they were pompously termed by the Parisian garçon and trader, the nobles étrangers, and as innocently believed to be "Boyards," Valachian "Gospodars," Indian "Nabobs," and Hungarian "Margraves," who had gathered at the capital of the civilized world to admire its monuments and partake of its dissipations. There are, however, some insane enough to connect the presence of certain of these mysterious guests in Paris with the great political events that subsequently took place. Such recall at least as very remarkable coincidences, the breaking out of the Revolution of '93, and the earlier explosion of the South Sea Bubble, soon after the appearance of "noble foreigners," who had convulsed all Paris for more or less longer periods, by either their mystical doctrines or "supernatural gifts." The St. Germains and Cagliostros of this century, having learned bitter lessons from the vilifications and persecutions of the past, pursue different tactics nowadays.

But there are numbers of these mystic brotherhoods which have naught to do with "civilized" countries; and it is in their unknown communities that are concealed the skeletons of the past. These "adepts" could, if they chose, lay claim to strange ancestry, and exhibit verifiable documents that would explain many a mysterious page in both sacred and profane history. Had the keys to the hieratic writings and the secret of Egyptian and Hindu symbolism been known to the Christian Fathers, they would not have allowed a single monument of old to stand unmutilated. And yet, if we are well informed -- and we think we are -- there was not one such in all Egypt, but the secret records of its hieroglyphics were carefully registered by the sacerdotal caste. These records still exist, though "not extant" for the general public, though perhaps the monuments may have passed away for ever out of human sight.

Of forty-seven tombs of the kings, near Gornore, recorded by the Egyptian priests on their sacred registers, only seventeen were known to the public, according to Diodorus Siculus, who visited the place about sixty years B.C. Notwithstanding this historical evidence, we assert that the whole number exist to this day, and the royal tomb discovered by Belzoni among the sandstone mountains of Biban-el-Melook (Melech?) is but a feeble specimen of the rest. We will add, furthermore, that the Arab-Christians, the monks, scattered around in their poor, desolate convents on the borderland of the great Lybian Desert, know of the existence of such unbetrayed relics. But they are Copts, sole remnants of the true Egyptian race, and the Copt predominating over the Christian monk in their natures, they keep silent; for what reason it is not for us to tell. There are some who believe that their monkish attire is but a blind, and that they have chosen these desolate homes among arid deserts and surrounded by Mahometan tribes, for some ulterior purposes of their own. Be it as it may, they are held in great esteem by the Greek monks of Palestine; and there is a rumor current among the Christian pilgrims of Jerusalem, who throng the Holy Sepulchre at every Easter, that the holy fire from heaven will never descend so miraculously as when these monks of the desert are present to draw it down by their prayers.(3)

"The kingdom of Heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Many are the candidates at the doors of those who are supposed to know the path that leads to the secret brotherhoods. The great majority are refused admittance, and these turn away interpreting the refusal as an evidence of the non-existence of any such secret society. Of the minority accepted, more than two-thirds fail upon trial. The seventh rule of the ancient Rosicrucian brotherhoods, which is universal among all true secret societies: "the Rosy-Crux becomes and is not made," is more than the generality of men can bear to have applied to them. But let no one suppose that of the candidates who fail, any will divulge to the world even the trifle they have learned, as some Masons do. None know better than themselves how unlikely it is that a neophyte should ever talk of what was imparted to him. Thus these societies will go on and hear themselves denied without uttering a word until the day shall come for them to throw off their reserve and show how completely they are masters of the situation.

COMPILER'S NOTE: The following is a separate item which followed the above article but was on the same page. I felt it was useful to include it here:


A view of history which recognizes that historical events have meaning cannot ignore the question of values -- their preservation and possible actualization in the drama of occurrences. It has already been pointed out that for Radhakrishnan, Being is in some way characterized by value. Sat, that which is, is also satyam, that which is true. Unless the values cherished by men have grounding in the very structure of reality and unless their actualization in the context of human events is somehow guaranteed, history would make little sense. The traditionally accepted triplet of ultimate values -- Truth, Goodness, and Beauty have their foundation in God Himself. For Radhakrishnan moral values in history are not just "empirical accidents," but are grounded in reality, "which is the source of the significance of what happens" in the temporal process of history. Man cannot strive for ideals with courage and conviction unless assured that those ideals are not just accidental fancies but eternal verities which give meaning to life. Emphasizing this point Radhakrishnan writes:

Moral enthusiasm is possible only if our motive includes the expectation of being able to contribute to the achievement of moral ideals.... If ethical thought is profound, it will give a cosmic motive to morality. Moral consciousness must involve a conviction of the reality of ideals. 


[Reminder: THE CHRISTIAN SCHEME series has now ended.]

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(4) NOTE.--"The Christian Scheme," begun in November, 1967, is collated from the works of H. P. Blavatsky. It recounts the historical background and early development of Christianity. This article concludes the series.
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(1) Yeva is Heva, the feminine counterpart of Jehovah-Binah.
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(2) We find a very suggestive point in connection with this appellation of Jehovah, "Son of ancient Kings," in the Jaïna sect of Hindustan, known as the Sauryas. They admit that Brahma is a Devatâ, but deny his creative power, and call him the "Son of a King."
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(3) The Greek monks have this "miracle" performed for the "faithful" every year on Easter night. Thousands of pilgrims are there waiting with their tapers to light them at this sacred fire, which at the precise hour and when needed, descends from the chapel-vault and hovers about the sepulchre in tongues of fire until every one of the thousand pilgrims has lighted his wax taper at it.
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