THE SECRET DOCTRINE -- THE SYNTHESIS OF SCIENCE, RELIGION, AND PHILOSOPHY
BOOK I., PART II.
THE EVOLUTION OF SYMBOLISM IN ITS APPROXIMATE ORDER.
The study of the hidden meaning in every religious and profane legend, of whatsoever nation, large or small — pre-eminently the traditions of the East — has occupied the greater portion of the present writer’s life. She is one of those who feel convinced that no mythological story, no traditional event in the folk-lore of a people has ever been, at any time, pure fiction, but that every one of such narratives has an actual, historical lining to it. In this the writer disagrees with those symbologists, however great their reputation, who find in every myth nothing save additional proofs of the superstitious bent of mind of the ancients, and believe that all mythologies sprung from and are built upon solar myths. Such superficial thinkers were admirably disposed of by Mr. Gerald Massey, the poet and Egyptologist, in a lecture on “Luniolatry, Ancient and Modern.” His pointed criticism is worthy of reproduction in this part of this work, as it echoes so well our own feelings, expressed openly so far back as 1875, when “Isis Unveiled” was written.
This is a very correct exposition of the lunar-mythos from its astronomical aspect. Selenography, however, is the least esoteric of the divisions of lunar Symbology. To master thoroughly — if one is permitted to coin a new word — Selenognosis, one must become proficient in more than its astronomical meaning. The moon (vide § VII. Deus Lunus) is intimately related to the Earth, as shown in Stanza VI. of Book I., and is more directly concerned with all the mysteries of our globe than is even Venus-Lucifer, the occult sister and alter-ego of the Earth.
The untiring researches of Western, and especially German, symbologists, during the last and the present centuries, have brought every Occultist and most unprejudiced persons to see that without the help of symbology (with its seven departments, of which the moderns know nothing) no ancient Scripture can ever be correctly understood. Symbology must be studied from every one of its aspects, for each nation had its own peculiar methods of expression. In short, no Egyptian papyrus, no Indian tolla, no Assyrian tile, or Hebrew scroll, should be read and accepted literally.
This every scholar now knows. The able lectures of Mr. G. Massey alone are sufficient in themselves to convince any fair-minded Christian that to accept the dead-letter of the Bible is equivalent to falling into a grosser error and superstition than any hitherto evolved by the brain of the savage South Sea Islander. But the point to which even the most truth-loving and truth-searching Orientalists — whether Aryanists or Egyptologists — seem to remain blind, is the fact that every symbol in papyrus or olla is a many-faced diamond, each of whose facets not merely bears several interpretations, but relates likewise to several sciences. This is instanced in the just quoted interpretation of the moon symbolized by the cat — an example of sidero-terrestrial imagery; the moon bearing many other meanings besides this with other nations.
As a learned Mason and Theosophist, the late Mr. Kenneth Mackenzie, has shown in his Royal Masonic Cyclopaedia, there is a great difference between emblem and symbol. The former “comprises a larger series of thoughts than a symbol, which may be said rather to illustrate some single special idea.” Hence, the symbols (say lunar, or solar) of several countries, each illustrating such a special idea, or series of ideas, form collectively an esoteric emblem. The latter is “a concrete visible picture or sign representing principles, or a series of principles, recognizable by those who have received certain instructions” (initiates). To put it still plainer, an emblem is usually a series of graphic pictures viewed and explained allegorically, and unfolding an idea in panoramic views, one after the other. Thus the Puranas are written emblems. So are the Mosaic and Christian Testaments, or the Bible, and all other exoteric Scriptures. As the same authority shows: —
The above enumerated societies are all comparatively modern, none dating back earlier than the middle ages. How much more proper, then, that the students of the oldest Archaic School should be careful not to divulge secrets of far more importance to humanity (in the sense of being dangerous in the hands of the latter) than any of the so-called “Masonic Secrets,” which have now become, as the French say, those of “Polichinelle!” But this restriction can apply only to the psychological or rather psycho-physiological and Cosmical significance of symbol and emblem, and even to that only partially. An adept must refuse to impart the conditions and means that lead to a correlation of elements, whether psychic or physical, that may produce a hurtful result as well as a beneficent one. But he is ever ready to impart to the earnest student the secret of the ancient thought in anything that regards history concealed under mythological symbolism, and thus to furnish a few more land-marks towards a retrospective view of the past, as containing useful information with regard to the origin of man, the evolution of the races and geognosy; yet it is the crying complaint of to-day, not only among theosophists, but also among the few profane interested in the subject. “Why do not the adepts reveal that which they know?” To this, one might answer, “Why should they, since one knows beforehand that no man of science will accept, even as an hypothesis, let alone as a theory or axiom, the facts imparted. Have you so much as accepted or believed in the A B C of the Occult philosophy contained in the Theosophist, “Esoteric Buddhism,” and other works and periodicals? Has not even the little which was given, been ridiculed and derided, and made to face the “animal” and “ape theory” of Huxley — Haeckel, on one hand, and the rib of Adam and the apple on the other? Notwithstanding such an unenviable prospect, a mass of facts is given in the present work. And now the origin of man, the evolution of the globe and the races, human and animal, are as fully treated here as the writer is able to treat them.
The proofs brought forward in corroboration of the old teachings are scattered widely throughout the old scriptures of ancient civilizations. The Puranas, the Zendavesta, and the old classics are full of them; but no one has ever gone to the trouble of collecting and collating together those facts. The reason for this is, that all such events were recorded symbolically; and that the best scholars, the most acute minds, among our Aryanists and Egyptologists, have been too often darkened by one or another preconception; still oftener, by one-sided views of the secret meaning. Yet even a parable is a spoken symbol: a fiction or a fable, as some think; an allegorical representation, we say, of life-realities, events, and facts. And, as a moral was ever drawn from a parable, that moral being an actual truth and fact in human life, so an historical, real event was deduced — by those versed in the hieratic sciences — from certain emblems and symbols recorded in the ancient archives of the temples. The religious and esoteric history of every nation was embedded in symbols; it was never expressed in so many words. All the thoughts and emotions, all the learning and knowledge, revealed and acquired, of the early races, found their pictorial expression in allegory and parable. Why? Because the spoken word has a potency unknown to, unsuspected and disbelieved in, by the modern “sages.” Because sound and rhythm are closely related to the four Elements of the Ancients; and because such or another vibration in the air is sure to awaken corresponding powers, union with which produces good or bad results, as the case may be. No student was ever allowed to recite historical, religious, or any real events in so many unmistakable words, lest the powers connected with the event should be once more attracted. Such events were narrated only during the Initiation, and every student had to record them in corresponding symbols, drawn out of his own mind and examined later by his master, before they were finally accepted. Thus was created in time the Chinese Alphabet, as, before that, the hieratic symbols were fixed upon in old Egypt. 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 symbol 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 explanation of the chief symbols and emblems is now attempted, as Book II., which treats of Anthropogenesis, would be most difficult to understand without a preparatory acquaintance with the metaphysical symbols at least.
Nor would it be just to enter upon an esoteric reading of symbolism without giving due honour to one who has rendered it the greatest service in this century, by discovering the chief key to ancient Hebrew symbology, interwoven strongly with metrology, one of the keys to the once universal mystery language. Mr. Ralston Skinner, of Cincinnati, the author of “The Hebrew-Egyptian Mystery and the Source of Measures” has our thanks. A mystic and a Kabalist by nature, he has laboured for many years in this direction, and his efforts were certainly crowned with great success. In his own words: —
“Divine origin” does not mean here a revelation from an anthropomorphic god on a mount amidst thunder and lightning; but, as we understand it, a language and a system of science imparted to the early mankind by a more advanced mankind, so much higher as to be divine in the sight of that infant humanity. By a “mankind,” in short, from other spheres; an idea which contains nothing supernatural in it, but the acceptance or rejection of which depends upon the degree of conceit and arrogance in the mind of him to whom it is stated. For, if the professors of modern knowledge would only confess that, though they know nothing of the future of the disembodied man — or rather will accept nothing — yet this future may be pregnant with surprises and unexpected revelations to them, once their Egos are rid of their gross bodies — then materialistic unbelief would have fewer chances than it has. Who of them knows, or can tell, what may happen when once the life cycle of this globe is run down and our mother earth herself falls into her last sleep? Who is bold enough to say that the divine Egos of our mankind — at least the elect out of the multitudes passing on to other spheres — will not become in their turn the “divine” instructors of a new mankind generated by them on a new globe, called to life and activity by the disembodied “principles” of our Earth? (See Stanza VI., Book I., Part 1.) All this may have been the experience of the Past, and these strange records lie embedded in the “Mystery language” of the prehistoric ages, the language now called Symbolism.
Recent discoveries made by great mathematicians and Kabalists thus prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that every theology, from the earliest and oldest down to the latest, has sprung not only from a common source of abstract beliefs, but from one universal esoteric, or “Mystery” language. These scholars hold the key to the universal language of old, and have turned it successfully, though only once, in the hermetically closed door leading to the Hall of Mysteries. 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 — suspected by the Mason Ragon — the language of the Hierophants, which has seven “dialects,” so to speak, each referring, and being specially 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 proof of this lies, to this day, in the extreme difficulty which the Orientalists in general, the Indianists and Egyptologists especially, experience in interpreting the allegorical writings of the Aryans and the hieratic records of old Egypt. This is because they will never remember that all the ancient records were written in a language which was universal and known to all nations alike in days of old, but which is now intelligible only to the few. Like the Arabic figures which are plain to a man of whatever nation, or like the English word 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 that mystery language signified the same thing to each man of whatever nationality. There have been several men of note who have tried to re-establish such a universal and philosophical tongue: Delgarme, Wilkins, Leibnitz; but Demaimieux, in his Pasigraphie, is the only one who has proven its possibility. The scheme of Valentinius, called the “Greek Kabala,” based on the combination of Greek letters, might serve as a model.
The many-sided facets of the mystery language have led to the adoption of widely varied dogmas and rites in the exotericism of the Church rituals. It is they, again, which are at 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. The seven keys to the mystery tongue, however, having always been in the keeping of the highest among the initiated Hierophants of antiquity, it is only the partial use of a few out of the seven which passed, through the treason of some early Church Fathers — ex-initiates of the Temples — into the hands of the new sect of the Nazarenes. Some of the early Popes were Initiates, but the last fragments of their knowledge have now fallen into the power of the Jesuits, who have turned them into a system of sorcery.
It is maintained that INDIA (not in its present limits, but including its ancient boundaries) is the only country in the world which still has among her sons adepts, who have the knowledge of all the seven sub-systems and the key to the entire system. Since the fall of Memphis, Egypt began to lose those keys one by one, and Chaldea had preserved only three in the days of Berosus. As for the Hebrews, in all their writings they 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.
“Every time I hear people talking of the religion of Egypt,” writes M. Gaston Maspero, the great French Egyptologist and the successor of Mariette Bey, “I am tempted to ask which of the Egyptian religions they are talking about? Is it of the Egyptian religion of the 4th Dynasty, or of the Egyptian religion of the Ptolemaic period? Is it of the religion of the rabble, or of that of the learned men? Of that which was taught in the schools of Heliopolis, or of that other which was in the minds and conceptions of the Theban sacerdotal class? For, between the first tomb of Memphis, which bears the cartouche of a king of the third dynasty, and the last stones at Esneh under Caesar-Philippus, the Arabian, there is an interval of at least five thousand years. Leaving aside the invasion of the Shepherds, the Ethiopian and Assyrian dominions, the Persian conquest, Greek colonization, and the thousand revolutions of its political life, Egypt has passed during those five thousand years through many vicissitudes of life, moral and intellectual. Chapter XVII. of the Book of the Dead which seems to contain the exposition of the system of the world as it was understood at Heliopolis during the time of the first dynasties, is known to us only by a few copies of the eleventh and twelfth dynasties. Each of the verses composing it was already at the time interpreted in three or four different ways; so different, indeed, that according to this or another school, the Demiurge became the solar fire —Ra-shoo, or the primordial water. Fifteen centuries later, the number of readings had increased considerably. Time had, in its course, modified the ideas about the universe and the forces that ruled it. During the hardly 18 centuries that Christianity exists, it has worked, developed and transformed most of its dogmas; how many times, then, might not the Egyptian clergy have altered its dogmas during those fifty centuries that separate Theodosius from the King Builders of the Pyramids?”
Here we believe the eminent Egyptologist is going too far. The exoteric dogmas may often have been altered, the esoteric never. He does not take into account the sacred immutability of the primitive truths, revealed only during the mysteries of initiation. The Egyptian priests have forgotten much, they altered nothing. The loss of a good deal of the primitive teaching was due to the sudden deaths of the great Hierophants, who passed away before they had time to reveal all to their successors; mostly, to the absence of worthy heirs to the knowledge. Yet they have preserved in their rituals and dogmas the principal teachings of the secret doctrine. Thus, in the seventeenth chapter mentioned by Maspero, one finds (1) Osiris saying he is Toum (the creative force in nature, giving form to all Beings, spirits and men), self-generated and self-existent, issued from Noun, the celestial river, called Father-mother of the gods, the primordial deity, which is chaos or the Deep, impregnated by the unseen spirit. (2) He has found Shoo (solar force) on the staircase in the City of the Eight (the two cubes of good and Evil), and he has annihilated the evil principles in Noun (chaos) the children of Rebellion. (3) He is the Fire and Water, i.e., Noun the primordial parent, and he created the gods out of his limbs — 14 gods (twice seven) seven dark and seven light gods (the seven Spirits of the Presence of the Christians and the Seven dark Evil Spirits). (4) He is the Law of existence and Being (v. 10), the Bennoo (or phoenix, the bird of resurrection in Eternity), in whom night follows the day, and day the night — an allusion to the periodical cycles of cosmic resurrection and human re-incarnation; for what can this mean? “The wayfarer who crosses millions of years, in the name of One, and the great green (primordial water or Chaos) the name of the other” (v. 17), one begetting millions of years in succession, the other engulfing them, to restore them back. (5) He speaks of the Seven Luminous ones who follow their Lord, who confers justice (Osiris in Amenti).
All this is now shown to have been the source and origin of Christian dogmas. That which the Jews had from Egypt, through Moses and other initiates, was confused and distorted enough in later days; and that which the Church got from both, is still more misinterpreted.
Yet their system is now proven identical in this special department of symbology — the key, namely, to the mysteries of astronomy as connected with those of generation and conception — with those ideas of ancient religions, the theology of which has developed the phallic element. The Jewish system of sacred measures applied to religious symbols is the same, so far as geometrical and numerical combinations go, as those of Chaldea, Greece, and Egypt, having been adopted by the Jews during the centuries of their slavery and captivity with those nations.  What was that system? It is the intimate conviction of the author of “The Source of Measures” that “the Mosaic Books were intended, by a mode of art speech, to set forth a geometrical and numerical system of exact science, which should serve as an origin of measures.” Piazzi Smyth believes likewise. This system and these measures are found by some scholars to be identical with those used in the construction of the great pyramid — but this is only partially so. “The foundation of these measures was the Parker ratio,” says Mr. R. Skinner, in “The Source of Measures.”
The author of this very extraordinary work has found it out, he says, in the use of the integral ratio in numbers of diameter to circumference of a circle, discovered by John Parker, of New York. This ratio is 6,561 for diameter, and 20,612 for circumference. Furthermore, that this geometrical ratio was the very ancient (and probably) the divine origin of what have now become through exoteric handling and practical application the British linear measures, “the underlying unit of which, viz., the inch, was likewise the base of one of the royal Egyptian cubits and of the Roman foot. He also found out that there was a modified form of the ratio, viz., 113-355 (explained in his work); and that while this last ratio pointed through its origin to the exact integral pi, or to 6,561 to 20,612, it also served as a base for astronomical calculations. The author discovered that a system of exact science, geometrical, numerical, and astronomical, founded on these ratios and to be found in use in the construction of the Great Egyptian Pyramid, was in part the burden of this language as contained in, and concealed under, the verbiage of the Hebrew text of the Bible. The inch and the two-foot rule of 24 inches interpreted for use through the elements of the circle (see first pages of Book I.) and the ratios mentioned, were found to be at the basis or foundation of this natural and Egyptian and Hebrew system of science, while, moreover, it seems evident enough that the system itself was looked upon as of divine origin and of divine revelation. . . .” But let us see what is said by the opponents of Prof. Piazzi Smyth’s measurements of the Pyramid.
Mr. Petrie seems to deny them, and to have made short work altogether of Piazzi Smyth’s calculations in their Biblical connection. So does Mr. Proctor, the champion “Coincidentalist” for many years past in every question of ancient arts and sciences. Speaking of “the multitude of relations independent of the Pyramid, which have turned up while the Pyramidalists have been endeavouring to connect the pyramid with the solar system . . . . these coincidences,” he says, “are altogether more curious than any coincidence between the Pyramid and astronomical numbers: the former are as close and remarkable as they are real” (i.e., those “coincidences” that would remain if even the pyramid had no existence); “the latter which are only imaginary (?) have only been established by the process which schoolboys call ‘fudging,’ and now new measures have left the work to be done all over again” (Petrie’s letter to the Academy, Dec. 17, 1881.) To this Mr. Staniland Wake justly observes in his work on “The Origin and Significance of the Great Pyramid” (London, 1882): “They must, however, have been more than mere coincidences, if the builders of the Pyramid had the astronomical knowledge displayed in its perfect orientation and in its other admitted astronomical features.”
They had it; and it is on this “knowledge” that the programme of the mysteries and of the series of Initiations was based: thence, the construction of the Pyramids, the everlasting record and the indestructible symbol of these Mysteries and Initiations on Earth, as the courses of the stars are in Heaven. The cycle of Initiation was a reproduction in miniature of that great series of Cosmic changes to which astronomers have given the name of tropical or sidereal year. Just as, at the close of the cycle of the sidereal year [25,868 years], the heavenly bodies return to the same relative positions as they occupied at its outset, so at the close of the cycle of Initiation the inner man has regained the pristine state of divine purity and knowledge from which he set out on his cycle of terrestrial incarnation.
Moses, an Initiate into the Egyptian Mystagogy, based the religious mysteries of the new nation which he created, upon the same abstract formula derived from this sidereal cycle, which he symbolised under the form and measurements of the tabernacle, that he is supposed to have constructed in the wilderness. On these data, the later Jewish High Priests constructed the allegory of Solomon’s Temple — a building which never had a real existence, any more than had King Solomon himself, who is simply, and as much a solar myth as is the still later Hiram Abif, of the Masons, as Ragon has well demonstrated. Thus, if the measurements of this allegorical temple, the symbol of the cycle of initiation, coincide with those of the Great Pyramid, it is due to the fact that the former were derived from the latter through the Tabernacle of Moses.
That our author has undeniably discovered one and even two of the keys is fully demonstrated in the work just quoted. One has but to read it to feel a growing conviction that the hidden meaning of the allegories and parables of both Testaments is now unveiled. But that he owes this discovery far more to his own genius than to Parker and Piazzi Smyth, is as certain, if not more so. For, as just shown, whether the measures of the great Pyramid taken and adopted as the correct ones by the Biblical “Pyramidalists” are beyond suspicion, is not so sure. A proof of this is the work called “The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh,” by Mr. F. Petrie, besides other works written quite recently to oppose the said calculations, which were called biassed. We gather that nearly every one of Piazzi Smyth’s measurements differs from the later and more carefully made measurements of Mr. Petrie, who concludes the Introduction to his work with this sentence:
“As to the results of the whole investigation, perhaps many theories will agree with an American who was a warm believer in Pyramid theories when he came to Gizeh. I had the pleasure of his company there for a couple of days, and at our last meal together he said to me in a saddened tone — ‘Well, Sir! I feel as if I had been to a funeral. By all means let the old theories have a decent burial, though we should take care that in our haste none of the wounded ones are buried alive.’ ”
As regards the late J. Parker’s calculation in general, and his third proposition especially, we have consulted some eminent mathematicians, and this is the substance of what they say:
Parker’s reasoning rests on sentimental, rather than mathematical, considerations, and is logically inconclusive.
Proposition III., namely, that —
— is an illustration of an arbitrary proposition, and cannot safely be relied upon in mathematical reasoning. The same observation applies, even more strongly, to Proposition VII., which states that:
Proposition IX. is a remarkable example of faulty reasoning, and it is the one on which Mr. Parker’s Quadrature mainly rests. Here it is:
Granting, for the sake of argument, that a triangle can be said to have a radius in the sense in which we speak of the radius of a circle, — for what Parker calls the radius of the triangle is the radius of a circle inscribed in the triangle and therefore not the radius of the triangle at all, — and granting for the moment the other fanciful and mathematical propositions united in his premises, why must we conclude that if the triangle and circle are opposite in all the elements of their construction, the diameter of any defined circle is in the opposite duplicate ratio of the diameter of any given equivalent triangle? What necessary connection is there between the premises and the conclusion? The reasoning is of a kind not known in geometry, and would not be accepted by strict mathematicians.
Whether the Archaic esoteric system originated the British inch or not, is of little consequence, however, to the strict and true metaphysician. Nor does Mr. Ralston Skinner’s esoteric reading of the Bible become incorrect, merely because the measurements of the Pyramid will not be found to agree with those of Solomon’s temple, the ark of Noah, etc.; or because Mr. Parker’s Quadrature of the Circle is rejected by mathematicians. For Mr. Skinner’s reading depends first of all on the Kabalistic methods and the Rabbinical value of the Hebrew letters. But it is extremely important to ascertain whether the measures used in the evolution and building of the Aryan symbolic religion, in the construction of their temples, the figures given in the Puranas, and especially in their chronology, their astronomical symbols, the duration of the cycles, and other computations, were, or were not, the same as those used in the Biblical measurements and glyphs. For this will prove that the Jews, unless they took their sacred cubit and measurements from the Egyptians (Moses being an initiate of the Priests) must have got those notions from India. At any rate they passed them to the early Christians. Hence, it is the Occultists and Kabalists who are the “true” heirs to the knowledge, or the secret wisdom which is still found in the Bible; for they alone now understand its real meaning, whereas profane Jews and Christians cling to the husks and dead letter thereof. That it is the system of measures which led to the invention of the God-names Elohim and Jehovah, and their adaptation to phallicism, and that Jehovah is a not very flattered copy of Osiris, is now demonstrated by the author of the “Source of Measures.” But the latter and Mr. Piazzi Smyth both seem to labour under the impression that (a) the priority of the system belongs to the Israelites, the Hebrew language being the divine language, and that (b) this universal language belongs to direct revelation!
The latter hypothesis is correct only in the sense shown in the last paragraph of the preceding §; but we have yet to agree as to the nature and character of the divine “Revealer.” With regard to priority, this, to the profane, will of course depend on (a) the internal and external evidence of the revelation, and (b) on each scholar’s individual preconception. This, however, cannot prevent either the theistic Kabalist, or the Pantheistic Occultist, from believing each in his way; neither of the two convincing the other. The data furnished by history are too meagre and unsatisfactory for either of them to prove to the sceptic which of them is right.
On the other hand, the proofs afforded by tradition are too constantly rejected for us to hope to settle the question in our present age. Meanwhile, materialistic science will be laughing impartially at both Kabalists and Occultists. But the said vexed question of priority once laid aside, Science, in its departments of philology and comparative religion, will find itself finally taken to task, and be compelled to admit the common claim.  Its greatest scholars, instead of pooh-poohing that supposed “farrago of absurd fiction and superstitions,” as the Brahminical literature is generally termed, will endeavour to learn the symbolical universal language with its numerical and geometrical keys. But here again they will hardly be successful if they share the belief that the Jewish Kabalistic system contains the key to the whole mystery: for, it does not. Nor does any other Scripture at present possess it in its entirety, for even the Vedas are not complete. Every old religion is but a chapter or two of the entire volume of archaic primeval mysteries — Eastern Occultism alone being able to boast that it is in possession of the full secret, with its seven keys. Comparisons will be instituted, and as much as possible will be explained in this work — the rest is left to the student’s personal intuition. For in saying that Eastern Occultism has the secret, it is not as if a “complete” or even an approximate knowledge was claimed by the writer, which would be absurd. What I know, I give out; that which I cannot explain, the student must find out for himself.
But while supposing that the whole cycle of the universal mystery language will not be mastered for whole centuries to come, even that which has been hitherto discovered in the Bible by some scholars is quite sufficient to demonstrate the claim — mathematically. Judaism having availed itself of two keys out of the seven, and these two keys having been now rediscovered, it becomes no longer a matter of individual speculation and hypothesis, least of all of “coincidence,” but one of a correct reading of the Bible texts, as anyone acquainted with arithmetic reads and verifies an addition or total.  A few years longer and this system will kill the dead letter of the Bible, as it will that of all the other exoteric faiths, by showing the dogmas in their real, naked meaning.
And then this undeniable meaning, however incomplete, will unveil the mystery of Being, besides changing entirely the modern scientific systems of Anthropology, Ethnology and especially that of Chronology. The element of Phallicism, found in every God-name and narrative in the Old (and to some degree in the New) Testament, may also in time considerably change modern materialistic views in Biology and Physiology.
Divested of their modern repulsive crudeness, such views of nature and man, on the authority of the celestial bodies and their mysteries, will unveil the evolutions of the human mind and show how natural was such a course of thought. The so-called phallic symbols have become offensive only because of the element of materiality and animality in them. As they originated with the archaic races, which, issuing to their personal knowledge from an androgyne ancestry, were the first phenomenal manifestations in their own sight of the separation of sexes and the ensuing mystery of creating in their turn — such symbols were but natural. If later races have degraded them, especially the “chosen people,” this does not affect the origin of those symbols. The little Semitic tribe — one of the smallest branchlets from the commingling of the 4th and 5th sub-races (the Mongolo-Turanian and the Indo-European, so-called, after the sinking of the great Continent) — could only accept its symbology in the spirit which was given to it by the nations from which it was derived. Perchance, in the Mosaic beginnings, that symbology was not as crude as it became later under the handling of Ezra, who remodelled the whole Pentateuch. For the glyph of Pharaoh’s daughter (the woman), the Nile (the Great Deep and Water), and the baby-boy found floating therein in the ark of rushes, has not been primarily composed for, or by, Moses. It has been found anticipated in the Babylonian fragments on the tiles, in the story of King Sargon,  who lived far earlier than Moses. Now, what is the logical inference? Most assuredly that which gives us the right to say that the story told of Moses by Ezra had been learned by him while at Babylon, and that he applied the allegory told of Sargon to the Jewish lawgiver. In short, that Exodus was never written by Moses, but re-fabricated from old materials by Ezra.
And if so, then why should not other symbols and glyphs far more crude in their phallic element have been added by this adept in the later Chaldean and Sabaean phallic worship? We are taught that the primeval faith of the Israelites was quite different from that which was developed centuries later by the Talmudists, and before them by David and Hezekiah.
All this, notwithstanding the exoteric element, as now found in the two Testaments, is quite sufficient to class the Bible among esoteric works, and to connect its secret system with Indian, Chaldean, and Egyptian symbolism. The whole cycle of biblical glyphs and numbers as suggested by astronomical observations — astronomy and theology being closely connected — is found in Indian exoteric, as well as esoteric, systems. These figures and their symbols, the signs of the Zodiac, the planets, their aspects and nodes — the last term having now passed even into our modern botany to distinguish male and female plants (the unisexual, polygamous, monoecious, dioecious, etc., etc.) — are known in astronomy as sextiles, quartiles and so on, and have been used for ages and aeons by the archaic nations, and in one sense have the same meaning as the Hebrew numerals. The earliest forms of elementary geometry must have certainly been suggested by the observation of the heavenly bodies and their groupings. Hence the most archaic symbols in Eastern Esotericism are a circle, a point, a triangle, a plane, a cube, a pentacle, and a hexagon, and plane figures with various sides and angles. This shows the knowledge and use of geometrical symbology to be as old as the world.
Starting from this, it becomes easy to understand how nature herself could have taught primeval mankind, even without the help of its divine instructors, the first principles of a numerical and geometrical symbol language.  Hence one finds numbers and figures used as an expression and a record of thought in every archaic symbolical Scripture. They are ever the same, with only certain variations growing out of the first figures. Thus the evolution and correlation of the mysteries of Kosmos, of its growth and development — spiritual and physical, abstract and concrete — were first recorded in geometrical changes of shape. Every Cosmogony began with a circle, a point, a triangle, and a cube, up to number 9, when it was synthesized by the first line and a circle — the Pythagorean mystic Decade, the sum of all, involving and expressing the mysteries of the entire Kosmos; recorded a hundred times more fully in the Hindu system, for him who can understand its mystic language. The numbers 3 and 4, in their blending of 7, as those of 5, 6, 9, and 10, are the very corner-stone of Occult Cosmogonies. This decade and its thousand combinations are found in every portion of the globe. One recognizes them in the caves and rock-cut temples of Hindostan and Central Asia, as in the pyramids and lithoi of Egypt and America; in the Catacombs of Ozimandyas, in the mounds of the Caucasian snowcapped fastnesses, in the ruins of Palenque, in Easter Island, everywhere whither the foot of ancient man has ever journeyed. The 3 and the 4, the triangle and the cube, or the male and female universal glyph, showing the first aspect of the evolving deity, is stamped for ever in the Southern Cross in the Heavens, as in the Egyptian Crux-Ansata. As well expressed, “The Cube unfolded is in display a cross of the tau, or Egyptian form, or of the Christian cross form. . . . A circle attached to the first, gives the ansated cross. . . numbers 3 and 4 counted on the cross, showing a form of the (Hebrew) golden candlestick (in the Holy of Holies), and of the 3 + 4 = 7, and 6 + 1 = 7, days in the circle of the week, as 7 lights of the sun. So also as the week of 7 lights gave origin to the month and year, so it is the time marker of birth. . . . The cross form being shown, then, by the connected use of the form 113 : 355, the symbol is completed by the attachment of a man to the cross.  This kind of measure was made to co-ordinate with the idea of the origin of human life, and hence the phallic form.” 
The Stanzas show the cross and these numbers playing a prominent part in archaic cosmogony. Meanwhile we may profit by the evidence collected by the same author to show the identity of symbols and their esoteric meaning all over the globe, which he calls rightly the “primordial vestiges of these symbols.”
Identical glyphs, numbers and esoteric symbols are found in Egypt, Peru, Mexico, Easter Island, India, Chaldea, and Central Asia. Crucified men, and symbols of the evolution of races from gods; and yet behold Science repudiating the idea of a human race other than one made in our image; theology clinging to its 6,000 years of Creation; anthropology teaching our descent from the ape; and the Clergy tracing it from Adam 4,004 years B.C.!!
Shall one, for fear of incurring the penalty of being called a superstitious fool, and even a liar, abstain from furnishing proofs — as good as any — only because that day, when all the seven keys shall be delivered unto Science, or rather the men of learning and research in the symbological department, has not yet dawned? In the face of the crushing discoveries of Geology and Anthropology with regard to the antiquity of man, shall we — in order to avoid the usual penalty that awaits every one who strays outside the beaten paths of either Theology or Materialism — hold to the 6,000 years and “special creation,” or accept in submissive admiration our genealogy and descent from the ape? Not so, as long as it is known that the secret records hold the said seven keys to the mystery of the genesis of man. Faulty, materialistic, and biassed as the scientific theories may be, they are a thousand times nearer the truth than the vagaries of theology. The latter are in their death agony for every one but the most uncompromising bigot and fanatic.  Hence we have no choice but either to blindly accept the deductions of Science, or to cut adrift from it, and withstand it fearlessly to its face, stating what the Secret Doctrine teaches us, being fully prepared to bear the consequences.
But let us see whether Science in its materialistic speculations, and even theology in its death-rattle and supreme struggle to reconcile the 6,000 years since Adam with Sir Charles Lyell’s “Geological Evidences of the Antiquity of Man,” do not themselves give us unconsciously a helping hand. Ethnology, on the confession of some of its very learned votaries, finds it already impossible to account for the varieties in the human race, unless the hypothesis of the creation of several Adams be accepted. They speak of “a white Adam and a black Adam, a red Adam and a yellow Adam.”  Were they Hindus enumerating the rebirths of Vamadeva from the Linga Purana, they could say little more. For, enumerating the repeated births of Siva, the latter show him in one Kalpa of a white complexion, in another of a black colour, in still another of a red colour, after which the Kumara becomes “four youths of a yellow colour.” This strange coincidence, as Mr. Proctor would say, speak only in favour of scientific intuition, as Siva-Kumara represents only allegorically the human races during the genesis of man. But it led to another intuitional phenomenon — in the theological ranks this time. The unknown author of “Primeval Man” in a desperate effort to screen the divine Revelation from the merciless and eloquent discoveries of geology and anthropology, remarking that “it would be unfortunate if the defenders of the Bible should be driven into the position of either surrendering the inspiration of Scripture, or denying the conclusions of geologists” — finds a compromise. Nay, he devotes a thick volume to proving this fact: “Adam was not the first man  created upon this earth.” . . . The exhumed relics of pre-Adamic man, “instead of shaking our confidence in Scripture, supply additional proof of its veracity” (p. 194). How so? In the simplest way imaginable; for the author argues that, henceforth “we” (the clergy) “are enabled to leave scientific men to pursue their studies without attempting to coerce them by the fear of heresy” . . . (this must be a relief indeed to Messrs. Huxley, Tyndall, and Sir C. Lyell). . . . “The Bible narrative does not commence with creation, as is commonly supposed, but with the formation of Adam and Eve, millions of years after our planet had been created. Its previous history, so far as Scripture is concerned, is yet unwritten.” . . . . . “There may have been not one, but twenty different races upon the earth before the time of Adam, just as there may be twenty different races of men on other worlds” (p. 55). . . . Who, then, or what were those races, since the author still maintains that Adam is the first man of our race? It was the satanic race and races! “Satan (was) never in heaven, Angels and men (being) one species.” It was the pre-Adamic race of “Angels that sinned.” Satan was “the first Prince of this world,” we read. Having died in consequence of his rebellion, he remained on earth as a disembodied Spirit, and tempted Adam and Eve. “The earlier ages of the Satanic race, and more especially during the life-time of Satan (!!!) may have been a period of patriarchal civilization and comparative repose — a time of Tubal-Cains and Jubals, when both Sciences and arts attempted to strike their roots into the accursed ground. . . . . What a subject for an epic. . . . (when) there are inevitable incidents which must have occurred. We see before us . . . . the gay primeval lover wooing his blushing bride at dewy eve under the Danish oaks, that then grew where now no oaks will grow . . . . the grey primeval patriarch . . . . the primeval offspring innocently gambolling by his side. . . . . A thousand such pictures rise before us”! . . . . (pp. 206-207).
The retrospective glance at this Satanic “blushing bride” in the days of Satan’s innocence, does not lose in poetry as it gains in originality. Quite the reverse. The modern Christian bride — who does not often blush nowadays before her gay modern lovers — might even derive a moral lesson from this daughter of Satan, in the exuberant fancy of her first human biographer. These pictures — and to appreciate them at their true value they must be examined in the volume that describes them — are all suggested with a view to reconcile the infallibility of revealed Scripture with Sir C. Lyell’s “Antiquity of Man” and other damaging scientific works. But this does not prevent truth and fact appearing at the foundation of these vagaries, which the author has never dared to sign with his own, or even a borrowed name. For, his pre-Adamic races — not Satanic but simply Atlantic, and the Hermaphrodites before the latter — are mentioned in the Bible when read esoterically, as they are in the Secret Doctrine. The seven keys open the mysteries, past and future, of the seven great Root Races, as of the seven Kalpas. Though the genesis of man, and even the esoteric geology, will surely be rejected by Science just as much as the Satanic and pre-Adamic races, yet if having no other way out of their difficulties the Scientists have to choose between the two, we feel certain that, Scripture notwithstanding, once the mystery language is approximately mastered, it is the archaic teaching that will be accepted.
Ether, this hypothetical Proteus, one of the “representative Fictions” of modern Science — which, nevertheless, was so long accepted — is one of the lower “principles” of what we call primordial substance (Akasa, in Sanskrit), one of the dreams of old, and which has now become again the dream of modern science. It is the greatest, just as it is the boldest, of the surviving speculations of ancient philosophers. For the Occultists, however, both ether and the Primordial Substance are a reality. To put it plainly, ether is the Astral Light, and the Primordial Substance is Akasa, the Upadhi of divine thought.
In modern language, the latter would be better named cosmic ideation — Spirit; the former, cosmic substance, Matter. These, the Alpha and the Omega of Being, are but the two facets of the one Absolute Existence. The latter was never addressed, or even mentioned, by any name in antiquity, except allegorically. In the oldest Aryan race, the Hindu, the worship of the intellectual classes never consisted (as with the Greeks) in a fervent adoration of marvellous form and art, which led later on to anthropomorphism. But while the Greek philosopher adored form, and the Hindu sage alone “perceived the true relation of earthly beauty and eternal truth” — the uneducated of every nation understood neither, at any time.
They do not understand it even now. The evolution of the God-idea proceeds apace with man’s own intellectual evolution. So true it is that the noblest ideal to which the religious Spirit of one age can soar, will appear but a gross caricature to the philosophic mind in a succeeding epoch! The philosophers themselves had to be initiated into perceptive mysteries, before they could grasp the correct idea of the ancients in relation to this most metaphysical subject. Otherwise — outside such initiation — for every thinker there will be a “Thus far shalt thou go and no farther,” mapped out by his intellectual capacity, as clearly and as unmistakeably as there is for the progress of any nation or race in its cycle by the law of Karma. Outside of initiation, the ideals of contemporary religious thought must always have their wings clipped and remain unable to soar higher; for idealistic as well as realistic thinkers, and even free-thinkers, are but the outcome and the natural product of their respective environments and periods. The ideals of both are only the necessary results of their temperaments, and the outcome of that phase of intellectual progress to which a nation, in its collectivity, has attained. Hence, as already remarked, the highest flights of modern (Western) metaphysics have fallen far short of the truth. Much of current Agnostic speculation on the existence of the “First Cause” is little better than veiled materialism — the terminology alone being different. Even so great a thinker as Mr. Herbert Spencer speaks of the “Unknowable” occasionally in terms that demonstrate the lethal influence of materialistic thought, which, like the deadly Sirocco, has withered and blighted all current ontological speculation. 
From the early ages of the Fourth Race, when Spirit alone was worshipped and the mystery was made manifest, down to the last palmy days of Grecian art at the dawn of Christianity — the Hellenes alone had dared to raise publicly an altar to the Unknown God. Whatever St. Paul may have had in his profound mind when declaring to the Athenians that this “unknown,” ignorantly worshipped by them, was the true God announced by himself — that Deity was not “Jehovah” (see “The Holy of Holies”), nor was he “The Maker of the world and all things.” For it is not the “God of Israel” but the “Unknown” of the ancient and modern Pantheist that “dwelleth not in temples made with hands” (Acts xviii., 23-4).
Divine thought cannot be defined, or its meaning explained, except by the numberless manifestations of Cosmic Substance in which the former is sensed spiritually by those who can do so. To say this, after having defined it as the Unknown Deity, abstract, impersonal, sexless, which must be placed at the root of every Cosmogony and its subsequent evolution, is equivalent to saying nothing at all. It is like attempting a transcendental equation of conditions for the true values of a set, having in hand for deducing them only a number of unknown quantities. Its place is found in the old primitive Symbolic charts, in which, as shown in the text, it is represented by a boundless darkness, on the ground of which appears the first central point in white — thus symbolising coeval and co-eternal Spirit-Matter making its appearance in the phenomenal world, before its first differentiation. When “the one becomes two,” it may then be referred to as Spirit and matter. To “Spirit” is referable every manifestation of consciousness, reflective or direct, and of unconscious purposiveness (to adopt a modern expression used in Western philosophy, so-called) as evidenced in the Vital Principle, and Nature’s submission to the majestic sequence of immutable law. “Matter” must be regarded as objectivity in its purest abstraction — the self-existing basis whose septenary manvantaric differentiations constitute the objective reality underlying the phenomena of each phase of conscious existence. During the period of Universal Pralaya, Cosmic Ideation is nonexistent; and the variously differentiated states of Cosmic Substance are resolved back again into the primary state of abstract potential objectivity.
Manvantaric impulse commences with the re-awakening of Cosmic Ideation (the “Universal Mind”) concurrently with, and parallel to the primary emergence of Cosmic Substance — the latter being the manvantaric vehicle of the former — from its undifferentiated pralayic state. Then, absolute wisdom mirrors itself in its Ideation; which, by a transcendental process, superior to and incomprehensible by human Consciousness, results in Cosmic Energy (Fohat). Thrilling through the bosom of inert Substance, Fohat impels it to activity, and guides its primary differentiations on all the Seven planes of Cosmic Consciousness. There are thus Seven Protyles (as they are now called), while Aryan antiquity called them the Seven Prakriti, or Natures, serving, severally, as the relatively homogeneous basis, which in the course of the increasing heterogeneity (in the evolution of the Universe) differentiate into the marvellous complexity presented by phenomena on the planes of perception. The term “relatively” is used designedly, because the very existence of such a process, resulting in the primary segregations of undifferentiated Cosmic Substance into its septenary bases of evolution, compels us to regard the protyle  of each plane as only a mediate phase assumed by Substance in its passage from abstract, into full objectivity.
Cosmic Ideation is said to be non-existent during Pralayic periods, for the simple reason that there is no one, and nothing, to perceive its effects. There can be no manifestation of Consciousness, semi-consciousness, or even “unconscious purposiveness,” except through the vehicle of matter; that is to say, on this our plane, wherein human consciousness in its normal state cannot soar beyond what is known as transcendental metaphysics, it is only through some molecular aggregation or fabric that Spirit wells up in a stream of individual or sub-conscious subjectivity. And as Matter existing apart from perception is a mere abstraction, both of these aspects of the Absolute — Cosmic Substance and Cosmic Ideation — are mutually inter-dependent. In strict accuracy — to avoid confusion and misconception — the term “Matter” ought to be applied to the aggregate of objects of possible perception, and “Substance” to noumena; for inasmuch as the phenomena of our plane are the creation of the perceiving Ego — the modifications of its own subjectivity — all the “states of matter representing the aggregate of perceived objects” can have but a relative and purely phenomenal existence for the children of our plane. As the modern Idealists would say, the co-operation of Subject and Object results in the Sense-object or phenomenon. But this does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that it is the same on all other planes; that the co-operation of the two on the planes of their septenary differentiation results in a septenary aggregate of phenomena which are likewise non-existent per se, though concrete realities for the Entities of whose experience they form a part, in the same manner as the rocks and rivers around us are real from the stand-point of a physicist, though unreal illusions of sense from that of the metaphysician. It would be an error to say, or even conceive such a thing. From the stand-point of the highest metaphysics, the whole Universe, gods included, is an illusion; but the illusion of him who is in himself an illusion differs on every plane of consciousness; and we have no more right to dogmatise about the possible nature of the perceptive faculties of an Ego on, say, the sixth plane, than we have to identify our perceptions with, or make them a standard for, those of an ant, in its mode of consciousness. The pure object apart from consciousness  is unknown to us, while living on the plane of our three-dimensional World; as we know only the mental states it excites in the perceiving Ego. And, so long as the contrast of Subject and Object endures — to wit, as long as we enjoy our five senses and no more, and do not know how to divorce our all-perceiving Ego (the Higher Self) from the thraldom of these senses — so long will it be impossible for the personal Ego to break through the barrier which separates it from a knowledge of things in themselves (or Substance). That Ego, progressing in an arc of ascending subjectivity, must exhaust the experience of every plane. But not till the Unit is merged in the all, whether on this or any other plane, and Subject and Object alike vanish in the absolute negation of the Nirvanic State (negation, again, only from our plane), is scaled that peak of Omniscience — the Knowledge of things-in-themselves; and the solution of the yet more awful riddle approached, before which even the highest Dhyan Chohan must bow in silence and ignorance — the unspeakable mystery of that which is called by the Vedantins, the Parabrahmam.
Therefore, such being the case, all those who sought to give a name to the incognizable Principle have simply degraded it. Even to speak of Cosmic Ideation — save in its phenomenal aspect — is like trying to bottle up primordial Chaos, or to put a printed label on Eternity.
What, then, is the “primordial Substance,” that mysterious object of which Alchemy was ever talking, and which became the subject of philosophical speculation in every age? What can it be finally, even in its phenomenal pre-differentiation? Even that is all in manifested Nature and — nothing to our senses. It is mentioned under various names in every Cosmogony, referred to in every philosophy, and shown to be, to this day, the ever grasp-eluding Proteus in Nature. We touch and do not feel it; we look at it without seeing it; we breathe it and do not perceive it; we hear and smell it without the smallest cognition that it is there; for it is in every molecule of that which in our illusion and ignorance we regard as Matter in any of its states, or conceive as a feeling, a thought, an emotion. . . . In short, it is the “upadhi,” or vehicle, of every possible phenomenon, whether physical, mental, or psychic. In the opening sentences of Genesis, as in the Chaldean Cosmogony; in the Puranas of India, and in the Book of the Dead of Egypt, it opens everywhere the cycle of manifestation. It is termed “Chaos,” and the face of the waters, incubated by the Spirit proceeding from the Unknown, under whatever name. (See “Chaos, Theos, Kosmos.”)
The authors of the sacred Scriptures in India go deeper into the origin of things evolved than Thales or Job, for they say: —
“From Intelligence (called Mahat in the Puranas) associated with Ignorance (Iswar, as a personal deity) attended by its projective power, in which the quality of dulness (tamas, insensibility) predominates, proceeds Ether — from ether, air; from air, heat; from heat, water; and from water, earth “with everything on it.” “From this, from this same self, was the Ether produced,” says the Veda. (Taittiriya Upanishad II. 1).
It becomes thus evident that it is not this Ether — sprung at the fourth remove from an Emanation of Intelligence “associated with Ignorance” — which is the high principle, the deific Entity worshipped by the Greeks and Latins under the name of “Pater omnipotens AEther,” and “Magnus AEther” in its collective aggregates. The septenary gradation, and the innumerable subdivisions and differences, made by the ancients between the powers of Ether collectively, from its outward fringe of effects, with which our Science is so familiar, up to the “Imponderable Substance,” once admitted as the “Ether of Space,” now about to be rejected, has been ever a vexing riddle for every branch of knowledge. The mythologists and symbologists of our day, confused by this incomprehensible glorification, on the one hand, and degradation on the other, of the same deified entity and in the same religious systems, are often driven to the most ludicrous mistakes. The Church, firm as a rock in each and all of her early errors of interpretation, has made of Ether the abode of her Satanic legions.  The whole hierarchy of the “Fallen” angels is there; the Cosmocratores — or the “world bearers,” (according to Bossuet); Mundi Tenentes — the “world holders,” as Tertullian calls them; and Mundi Domini “world dominations,” or rather dominators, the Curbati, or “Curved,” etc., who thus make of the stars and celestial orbs in their course — Devils!
The difference made between the seven states of Ether (itself one of the Seven Cosmic principles), while the AEther of the Ancients is universal Fire, may be seen in the injunctions by Zoroaster and Psellus, respectively. The former said: “Consult it only when it is without form or figure,” absque forma et figura, which means without flames or burning coals. “When it has a form — heed it not,” teaches Psellus; “but when it is formless, obey it, for it is then sacred fire, and all it will reveal thee, shall be true.”  This proves that Ether, itself an aspect of Akasa, has in its turn several aspects or “principles.”
All the ancient nations deified AEther in its imponderable aspect and potency. Virgil calls Jupiter, Pater omnipotens AEther, “the great AEther.”  The Hindus have also placed it among their deities; under the name of Akasa (the synthesis of AEther). And the author of the Homoiomerian System of philosophy, Anaxagoras of Clazomenae, firmly believed that the spiritual prototypes of all things, as well as their elements, were to be found in the boundless Ether where they were generated, whence they evolved, and whither they returned — an Occult teaching.
It thus becomes clear that it is from Ether in its highest synthetic aspect, once anthropomorphised, that sprung the first idea of a personal creative deity. With the philosophical Hindus the elements are Tamas, i.e., “unenlightened by intellect, which they obscure.”
We have now to exhaust the question of the mystical meaning of “Primordial Chaos” and of the Root-Principle, and show how they were connected in the ancient philosophies with Akasa, wrongly translated AEther, and also with Maya (illusion) — of which Ishwara is the male aspect. We shall speak further on of the intelligent “principle,” or rather of the invisible immaterial properties, in the visible and material elements, that “sprung from the primordial Chaos.”
For, “What is the primordial Chaos but AEther?” it is asked in “isis unveiled.” Not the modern Ether; not such as is recognised now, but such as was known to the ancient philosophers long before the time of Moses; but AEther, with all its mysterious and occult properties, containing in itself the germs of universal creation. Upper AEther or Akasa, is the celestial virgin and mother of every existing form and being, from whose bosom, as soon as “incubated” by the Divine Spirit, are called into existence Matter and Life, Force and Action. AEther is the Aditi of the Hindus, and it is Akasa. Electricity, magnetism, heat, light, and chemical action are so little understood even now that fresh facts are constantly widening the range of our knowledge. Who knows where ends the power of this protean giant — AEther; or whence its mysterious origin? Who, we mean, that denies the spirit that works in it, and evolves out of it all visible forms?
It will be an easy task to show that the cosmogonical legends all over the world are based on a knowledge by the ancients of those sciences, which have allied themselves in our days in support of the doctrine of evolution; and that further research may demonstrate that those ancients were far better acquainted with the fact of evolution itself, embracing both its physical and spiritual aspects, than we are now. “With the old philosophers, evolution was a universal theorem, a doctrine embracing the whole, and an established principle; while our modern evolutionists are enabled to present us merely with speculative theoretics; with particular, if not wholly negative theorems. It is idle for the representatives of our modern wisdom to close the debate and pretend that the question is settled, merely because the obscure phraseology of the Mosaic, far later, account clashes with the definite exegesis of ‘Exact Science’ ” (“Isis Unveiled”).
If one turns to the “Laws (or Ordinances) of Manu,” one finds the prototype of all these ideas. Mostly lost (to the Western world) in their original form, disfigured by later interpolations and additions, they have, nevertheless, preserved quite enough of their ancient Spirit to show its character. “Removing the darkness, the Self-existent Lord” (Vishnu, Narayana, etc.) becoming manifest, and “wishing to produce beings from his Essence, created, in the beginning, water alone. In that he cast seed. . . . . That became a golden Egg.” (V. 6, 7, 8, 9.) Whence this Self-existent Lord? It is called this, and is spoken of as “Darkness, imperceptible, without definite qualities, undiscoverable as if wholly in sleep.” (V. 5.) Having dwelt in that Egg for a whole divine year, he “who is called in the world Brahma,” splits that Egg in two, and from the upper portion he forms the heaven, from the lower the earth, and from the middle the sky and “the perpetual place of waters.” (12, 13.)
But there is, directly following these verses, something more important for us, as it corroborates entirely our esoteric teachings. >From verse 14 to 36, evolution is given in the order described in the Esoteric philosophy. This cannot be easily gainsaid. Even Medhatithi, the son of Viraswamin, and the author of the Commentary, “the Manubhasya,” whose date, according to the western Orientalists, is 1,000 A.D., helps us with his remarks to the elucidation of the truth. He showed himself either unwilling to give out more, because he knew that truth which has to be kept from the profane, or else he was really puzzled. Still, what he does give out makes the septenary principle in men and nature plain enough.
Let us begin with Chapter 1. of the “Ordinances” or “Laws” after the Self-existent Lord, the unmanifesting Logos of the Unknown “Darkness,” becomes manifested in the golden Egg. It is from this “Egg,” from —
(11.) That which is the undiscrete (undifferentiated) cause, eternal, which Is and Is not, from It issued that male who is called in the world Brahma. . . . .
Here we find, as in all genuine philosophical systems, even the “Egg” or the Circle (or Zero), boundless Infinity, referred to as It,  and Brahma, the first unit only, referred to as the male god, i.e., the fructifying Principle. It is or 10 (ten) the Decade. On the plane of the Septenary or our World only, it is called Brahma. On that of the Unified Decade in the realm of Reality, this male Brahma is an illusion.
(14.) “From Self (atmanah) he created mind, (1) which is and is not; (2) and from mind, Ego-ism (Self-Consciousness) the ruler; (3) the Lord.”
(1.) The mind is Manas. Medhatithi, the commentator, justly observes here that it is the reverse of this and shows already interpolation and rearranging; for it is Manas that springs from Ahamkara or (Universal) Self-Consciousness, as Manas in the microcosm springs from Mahat, or Maha-Buddhi (Buddhi, in man). For Manas is dual, and as shown and translated by Colebrooke, “is serving both for sense and action, is an organ by affinity, being cognate with the rest.” “The rest” means, here, that Manas, our fifth principle (the fifth, because the body was named the first, which is the reverse of the true philosophical order)  is in affinity both with Atma-Buddhi and with the lower four principles. Hence, our teaching: namely, that Manas follows Atma-Buddhi to Devachan, and that the lower (dregs, the residue of) Manas remains with Kama rupa, in Limbus, or Kama-loka, the abode of the “Shells.”
(2.) Such is the meaning of Manas, which “is, and is not.”
(3.) Medhatithi translates it as “the one conscious of the I,” or Ego, not “ruler,” as the Orientalists do. Thus they translate verse 16: “He also, having made the subtile parts of those six (the Great Self and the five organs of sense) of unmeasured brightness, to enter into the elements of Self (Atmamatrasu) created all beings.”
When, according to Medhatithi, it ought to read matra-Chit instead of “Atmamatrasu,” and thus be made to say: —
“He having pervaded the subtile parts of those six, of unmeasured brightness, by elements of self, created all beings.”
This latter reading must be the correct one, since he, the Self, is what we call Atma, and thus constitutes the seventh principle, the synthesis of the “six.” Such is also the opinion of the editor of Manava-dharma Shastra, who seems to have intuitionally entered far deeper into the spirit of the philosophy than has the translator of the “Ordinances of Manu,” the late Dr. Burnell. For he hesitates little between the text of Kulluka and the Commentaries of Medhatithi. Rejecting the tanmatra, or subtile elements, and the atmamatrasu of Kulluka, he says, applying the principles to the Cosmic Self: “The six appear rather to be the manas plus the five principles of Ether, air, fire, water, earth;” “having united five portions of these six with the spiritual element (the seventh) he (thus) created all existing things;” atmamatra is therefore the spiritual atom as opposed to the elementary, not reflective “elements of himself.” Thus he corrects the translation of verse — “17. As the subtile elements of bodily forms of This One depend on these six, so the wise call his form carira” (sharira) — and he says that “Elements” mean here portions or parts (or principles), which reading is borne out by verse 19, which says: —
“19. This non-eternal (Universe) arises then from the Eternal, by means of the subtile elements of forms of those seven very glorious principles” (purusha).
Commenting upon which, according to Medhatithi, the Editor remarks that “the five elements plus mind (Manas) and Self-Consciousness (Ahamkara)  are meant;” “subtile elements,” as before (meaning) “five portions of form” (or principles). For verse 20 shows it, when saying of these (five elements, or “five portions of form” (rupa, plus Manas and Self-Consciousness) that they constitute the “seven purusha,” or principles, called in the Puranas the “Seven Prakritis.”
Moreover, these “five elements” or “five portions” are spoken of in verse 27 as “those which are called the atomic destructible portions” — therefore “distinct from the atoms of the nyaya.”
This creative Brahma, issuing from the mundane or golden egg, unites in himself both the male and the female principles. He is, in short, the same as all the creative Protologoi. Of Brahma, however, it could not be said, as of Dionysos: “[[protogonon diphue trigonon Baccheion Hanakta Hagrion arreton kruphion dikerota dimorphon]]” — a lunar Jehovah — Bacchus truly, with David dancing nude before his symbol in the ark — because no licentious Dionysia were ever established in his name and honour. All such public worship was exoteric, and the great universal symbols were distorted universally, as those of Krishna are now by the Vallabacharyas of Bombay, the followers of the infant god. But are these popular gods the true Deity? Are they the Apex and synthesis of the sevenfold creation, man included? Never! Each and all are one of the rungs of that septenary ladder of Divine Consciousness, pagan as Christian. For Ain-Soph also is said to manifest through the Seven Letters of Jehovah’s name who, having usurped the place of the Unknown Limitless, was given by his devotees his Seven Angels of the Presence — his Seven Principles. Yet they are mentioned in almost every school. In the pure Sankhya philosophy mahat, ahamkara and the five tanmatras are called the seven Prakritis (or Natures), and they are counted from Maha-Buddhi or Mahat down to Earth. (See Sankhya Karika III. and Commentaries.)
Nevertheless, however disfigured for Rabbinical purposes is the original Elohistic version by Ezra, however repulsive at times even the esoteric meaning in the Hebrew scrolls, which is far more so than its outward veil or cloaking may be  — once the Jehovistic portions are eliminated, the Mosaic books are found full of purely occult and priceless knowledge, especially in the first six chapters.
Read by the aid of the Kabala one finds a matchless temple of occult truths, a well of deeply concealed beauty hidden under a structure, the visible architecture of which, its apparent symmetry notwithstanding, is unable to stand the criticism of cold reason, or to reveal its age, for it belongs to all the ages. There is more wisdom concealed under the exoteric fables of Puranas and Bible than in all the exoteric facts and science in the literature of the world, and more occult true Science, than there is of exact knowledge in all the academies. Or, in plainer and stronger language, there is as much esoteric wisdom in some portions of the exoteric Puranas and Pentateuch, as there is of nonsense and of designed childish fancy in it, when read only in the dead-letter murderous interpretations of great dogmatic religions, and especially of sects.
Let anyone read the first verses of chapter i. of Genesis and reflect upon them. There “God” commands to another “god,” who does his bidding — even in the cautious English Protestant translation of James the First’s authorised edition.
In the “beginning,” the Hebrew language having no word to express the idea of Eternity,  “God” fashions the heaven and the Earth; and the latter is “without form and void,” while the former is no Heaven in fact, but the “Deep,” Chaos, with darkness upon its face. 
“And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters” (v. 2), or the great Deep of the Infinite Space. And this Spirit is Nara-yana, or Vishnu.
“And God said, Let there be a firmament. . .” (v. 6), and “God,” the second, obeyed and “made the firmament” (v. 7). “And God said let there be light,” and “there was light.” Now the latter does not mean light at all, but in the Kabala, the androgyne “Adam Kadmon,” or Sephira (Spiritual light), for they are one; or, according to the Chaldean “Book of Numbers,” the secondary angels, the first being the Elohim who are the aggregate of that “fashioning” god. For to whom are those words of command addressed? And who is it who commands? That which commands is the eternal Law, and he who obeys, the Elohim, the known quantity acting in and with x, or the coefficient of the unknown quantity, the Forces of the one Force. All this is Occultism, and is found in the archaic stanzas. It is perfectly immaterial whether we call these “Forces” the Dhyan Chohans, or the Ophanim, as St. John does.
“The one Universal Light, which to Man is Darkness, is ever existent,” says the Chaldean “Book of Numbers.” >From it proceeds periodically the Energy, which is reflected in the “Deep” or Chaos, the store-house of future worlds, and, once awakened, stirs up and fructifies the latent Forces, which are the ever present eternal potentialities in it. Then awake anew the Brahmas and Buddhas — the co-eternal Forces — and a new Universe springs into being. . . . .
In the Sepher Jezireh, the Kabalistic Book of Creation, the author has evidently repeated the words of Manu. In it, the Divine Substance is represented as having alone existed from the eternity, boundless and absolute; and as having emitted from itself the Spirit.  “One is the Spirit of the living God, blessed be Its name, which liveth for ever! Voice, Spirit, and Word, this is the Holy Spirit;”  and this is the Kabalistic abstract Trinity, so unceremoniously anthropomorphised by the Christian Fathers. From this triple One emanated the whole Kosmos. First from One emanated number Two, or Air (the Father), the creative element; and then number Three, Water (the Mother), proceeded from the air; Ether or Fire completes the mystic four, the Arba-il.  “When the Concealed of the Concealed wanted to reveal Himself, he first made a point (primordial point, or the first Sephiroth, air, or Holy Ghost), shaped into a sacred form (the ten Sephiroth, or the Heavenly man), and covered it with a rich and splendid garment, that is the world.” 
“He maketh the wind His messengers, flaming Fire His servants,” says the Jezireh, showing the cosmical character of the later euhemerised Elements,  and that the Spirit permeates every atom in Kosmos.
This “primordial Substance” is called by some Chaos: Plato and the Pythagoreans named it the Soul of the World after it had been impregnated by the Spirit of that which broods over the Primeval Waters, or Chaos. It is by being reflected in it, say the Kabalists, that the brooding Principle created the phantasmagoria of a visible, manifested Universe. Chaos, before — Ether, after, the “reflection;” it is still the deity that pervades all Space and things. It is the invisible, imponderable Spirit of things and the invisible, but too tangible fluid that radiates from the fingers of the healthy magnetizer, for it is Vital Electricity — Life itself. Called in derision by the Marquis de Mirville “the nebulous Almighty,” it is termed by the Theurgists and Occultists to this day “the living Fire”; and there is not a Hindu who practises at dawn a certain kind of meditation but knows its effects.  It is the “Spirit of Light” and Magnes. As truly expressed by an opponent, Magus and magnes are two branches growing from the same trunk and shooting forth the same resultants. And in this appellation of “living fire” we may also discover the meaning of the puzzling sentence in the Zend-Avesta saying that there is “a fire that gives knowledge of the future. Science and amiable speech,” i.e., develops an extraordinary eloquence in the sybil, the sensitive, and even some orators.
This “fire” is spoken of in all the Hindu Books, as also in the Kabalistic works. The Zohar explains it as the “white hidden fire, in the Resha trivrah” (the White Head), whose Will causes the fiery fluid to flow in 370 currents in every direction of the universe. It is identical with the “Serpent that runs with 370 leaps” of the Siphrah Dzenioota, which, when the “Perfect Man,” the Metatron, is raised, i.e., when the divine man indwells in the animal man, it, the Serpent, becomes three spirits, that is to say, is Atma-Buddhi-Manas, in our theosophical phraseology. (Vide Part II. in Vol. II., §§ 3, “The Many Meanings of the War in Heaven.”)
Spirit, then, or Cosmic Ideation, and Cosmic Substance — one of whose principles is Ether — are one, and include the elements, in the sense St. Paul attaches to them. These Elements are the veiled Synthesis standing for Dhyan Chohans, Devas, Sephiroth, Amshaspends, Archangels, etc., etc. The Ether of science — the Ilus of Berosus, or the Protyle of Chemistry — constitutes, so to speak, the rude material (relatively) out of which the above-named “Builders,” following the plan traced out for them eternally in the divine thought, fashion the systems in the Cosmos. They are “myths,” we are told. “No more so than Ether and the Atoms,” we answer. The two latter are absolute necessities of physical science; the “Builders” are as absolute a necessity of metaphysics. We are twitted with: “You never saw them.” We ask the materialists: “Have you ever seen Ether, or your Atoms, or, again, your force?” Moreover, one of the greatest Western Evolutionists of our modern day, the coadjutor of Darwin, Mr. A. R. Wallace, when discussing the inadequacy of Natural Selection alone to account for the physical form of Man, admits the guiding action of “higher intelligences” as a “necessary part of the great laws which govern the material Universe” (“Contributions to Theory of Natural Selection”).
These “higher intelligences” are the Dhyan Chohans of the Occultists.
Indeed, there are few Myths in any religious system worthy of the name, but have an historical as well as a scientific foundation. “Myths,” justly observes Pococke, “are now proved to be fables, just in proportion as we misunderstand them; truths, in proportion as they were once understood.”
The one prevailing, most distinct idea — found in all ancient teaching, with reference to Cosmic Evolution and the first “creation” of our Globe with all its products, organic and inorganic (strange word for an Occultist to use) — is that the whole Kosmos has sprung from the divine thought. This thought impregnates matter, which is co-eternal with the one reality; and all that lives and breathes evolves from the emanations of the one Immutable — Parabrahm = Mulaprakriti, the eternal one-root. The former of these is, so to say, the aspect of the central point turned inward into regions quite inaccessible to human intellect, and is absolute abstraction; whereas, in its aspect as Mulaprakriti — the eternal root of all, — it gives one some hazy comprehension at least of the Mystery of Being.
The fragments of the systems that have now reached us are rejected as absurd fables. Nevertheless, occult Science — having survived even the great Flood that submersed the antediluvian giants and with them their very memory, save in the Secret Doctrine, the Bible and other Scriptures — still holds the Key to all the world problems.
Let us apply that Key to the rare fragments of long-forgotten cosmogonies and try by their scattered parts to re-establish the once Universal Cosmogony of the Secret Doctrine. The Key fits them all. No one can study ancient philosophies seriously without perceiving that the striking similitude of conception between all — in their exoteric form very often, in their hidden spirit invariably — is the result of no mere coincidence, but of a concurrent design: and that there was, during the youth of mankind, one languages, one knowledge, one universal religion, when there were no churches, no creeds or sects, but when every man was a priest unto himself. And, if it is shown that already in those ages which are shut out from our sight by the exuberant growth of tradition, human religious thought developed in uniform sympathy in every portion of the globe; then, it becomes evident that, born under whatever latitude, in the cold North or the burning South, in the East or West, that thought was inspired by the same revelations, and man was nurtured under the protecting shadow of the same tree of knowledge.
These three are the containment of Space; or, as a learned Kabalist has defined it, “Space, the all containing uncontained, is the primary embodiment of simply Unity. . . . boundless extension.”  But, he asks again, “boundless extension of what?” — and makes the correct reply — “The unknown container of all, the Unknown FIRST CAUSE.” This is a most correct definition and answer, most esoteric and true, from every aspect of occult teaching.
SPACE, which, in their ignorance and iconoclastic tendency to destroy every philosophic idea of old, the modern wiseacres have proclaimed “an abstract idea” and a void, is, in reality, the container and the body of the Universe with its seven principles. It is a body of limitless extent, whose PRINCIPLES, in Occult phraseology — each being in its turn a septenary — manifest in our phenomenal world only the grossest fabric of their sub-divisions. “No one has ever seen the Elements in their fulness,” the Doctrine teaches. We have to search for our Wisdom in the original expressions of the primeval people and in their synonyms. Even the latest of them — the Jews — show in their Kabalistic teachings this idea, e.g., the seven-headed Serpent of Space, called “the great Sea.” “In the beginning, the Alhim created the heavens and the earth; the 6 (Sephiroth). . . . They created six, and on these all things are based. And those (six) depend upon the seven forms of the cranium up to Dignity of all Dignities (Siphrah Dzenioota, i, § 16), see part ii., vol. ii. “Ancient Divisions and the Mystic Numbers.”
Now Wind, Air and Spirit have ever been synonymous with every nation. Pneuma (Spirit) and Anemos (the wind) with the Greeks, Spiritus and Ventus with the Latins, were convertible terms even if dissociated from the original idea of the breath of life. In the “Forces” of Science we see but the material effect of the spiritual affect of one or the other of the four primordial Elements, transmitted to us by the 4th Race, as we shall transmit Ether (or rather the gross subdivision of it) in its fulness to the Sixth Root Race. This is explained in the text of this and the following Book.
“Chaos” is called senseless by the ancients, because it represented and contained in itself (Chaos and Space being synonymous) all the Elements in their rudimentary, undifferentiated State. They made of Ether, the fifth element, the synthesis of the other four; for the AEther of the Greek philosophers is not its dregs — of which indeed they knew more than science does now — which are rightly enough supposed to act as an agent for many forces that manifest on Earth. Their AEther was the Akasa of the Hindus; the Ether accepted in physics is but one of its subdivisions, on our plane, — the Astral Light of the Kabalists with all its evil as well as good effects.
On account of the Essence of AEther, or the Unseen Space, being held divine as the supposed veil of Deity, it was regarded as the medium between this life and the next one. The ancients considered that when the directing active “Intelligences” (the gods) retired from any portion of Ether in our Space — the four realms which they superintend — then that particular place was left in the possession of evil, so called by reason of the absence of the Good from it.
“Nature abhors Vacuum” said the Peripatetics, who comprehended perhaps, though materialists in their way, why Democritus, with his instructor Leucippus, taught that the first principles of all things contained in the Universe were atoms and a vacuum. The latter means simply latent Deity or force; which, before its first manifestation when it became will — communicating the first impulse to these atoms — was the great Nothingness, Ain-Soph, or no-thing; was, therefore, to every sense, a Void — or Chaos.
That Chaos, however, became the “Soul of the World,” according to Plato and the Pythagoreans. According to Hindu teaching, Deity in the shape of AEther (Akasa) pervades all things; and it was called therefore by the theurgists “the living fire,” the “Spirit of Light,” and sometimes Magnes. It was the highest Deity itself which, according to Plato, built the Universe in the geometrical form of the Dodecahedron; and its “first begotten” was born of Chaos and Primordial Light (the Central Sun). This “First-Born,” however, was only the aggregate of the Host of the “Builders,” the first constructive Forces, who are called in ancient Cosmogonies the Ancients (born of the Deep, or Chaos) and the “First Point.” He is the Tetragrammaton, so-called, at the head of the Seven lower Sephiroth. This was the belief of the Chaldees. “These Chaldeans,” writes Philo, the Jew, speaking very flippantly of the first instructors of his ancestors, “were of opinion that the Kosmos, among the things that exist (?) is a single point, either being itself God (Theos) or that in it is God, comprehending the soul of all things.” (See his “Migration of Abraham,” 32.)
Chaos-Theos-Kosmos are but the three aspects of their synthesis — space. One can never hope to solve the mystery of this Tetraktis by holding to the dead-letter even of the old philosophies, as now extant. But, even in these chaos-theos-kosmos = space, are identified in all Eternity, as the One Unknown Space, the last word about which will, perhaps, never be known before our seventh Round. Nevertheless, the allegories and metaphysical symbols about the primeval and perfect cube, are remarkable even in the exoteric Puranas.
There, also, Brahma is the Theos, evolving out of Chaos, or the great “Deep,” the waters, over which Spirit = space, personified by ayana — the Spirit moving over the face of the future boundless Kosmos — is silently hovering, in the first hour of re-awakening. It is also Vishnu, sleeping on Ananta-Sacha, the great Serpent of Eternity, of which Western theology, ignorant of the Kabala, the only key that opens the secrets of the Bible, has made — the Devil. It is the first triangle or the Pythagorean triad, the “God of the three Aspects,” before it is transformed through its perfect quadrature of the infinite Circle into the “four-faced Brahma.”
“Of him who is and yet is not, from the not-being, Eternal Cause, is born the Being-Purusha,” says Manu, the legislator.
In Isis Unveiled, it is said that: —
“In the primordial state of the creation,” says Polier’s Mythologie des Indous, “the rudimental universe, submerged in water, reposed in the bosom of Vishnu. Sprung from this chaos and darkness, Brahma, the architect of the world, poised on a lotus-leaf, floated (moved) upon the waters, unable to discern anything but water and darkness.” Perceiving such a dismal state of things, Brahma soliloquises in consternation: “Who am I? Whence came I?” Then he hears a voice:  “Direct your thoughts to Bhagavat.” Brahma, rising from his natatory position, seats himself upon the lotus in an attitude of contemplation, and reflects upon the Eternal, who, pleased with this evidence of piety, disperses the primeval darkness and opens his understanding. “After this Brahma issues from the universal egg (infinite chaos) as light, for his understanding is now opened, and he sets himself to work: he moves on the eternal waters, with the spirit of God within himself; and in his capacity of mover of the waters he is Vishnu, or Narayana.” This is exoteric, of course, yet in its main idea as identical as possible with the Egyptian cosmogony, which shows in its opening sentences Athtor,  or Mother Night (which represents illimitable darkness), as the primeval element which covered the infinite abyss, animated by water and the universal spirit of the Eternal, dwelling alone in Chaos. Similarly in the Jewish Scriptures, the history of the creation opens with the spirit of God and his creative emanation — another Deity. 
The Zohar teaches that it is the primordial elements — the trinity of Fire, Air and Water — the four cardinal points, and all the Forces of Nature, which form collectively the Voice of the Will Memrab, or the “Word,” the Logos of the Absolute Silent all. “The indivisible point, limitless and unknowable” spreads itself over the endless space, and thus forms a veil (the Mulaprakriti of Parabraham) which conceals this Absolute point. (Vide infra).
In the cosmogonies of all the nations it is the “Architects” synthesized by Demiurgos (in the Bible the “Elohim”), who fashion Kosmos out of Chaos, and who are the collective Theos, “male-female,” Spirit and matter. “By a series (yom) of foundations (hasoth) the Alhim caused earth and heaven to be” (Gen. ii., 4). In the Bible it is first Alhim, then Jahva-Alhim, and finally Jehovah —after the separation of the sexes in chapter iv. of Genesis. It is noticeable that nowhere, except in the later, the last Cosmogonies of our Fifth race, is the ineffable and unutterable Name  — the symbol of the Unknown Deity, which was used only in the Mysteries — used in connection with the “Creation” of the Universe. It is the “Movers,” the “Runners,” the theoi (from [[theein]], “to run”), who do the work of formation, the “Messengers” of the manvantaric law, who have now become in Christianity the “messengers” (malachim); and it seems the same in Hinduism or early Brahmanism. For it is not Brahma who creates in the Rig Veda, but the Prajapati, the “Lords of Being,” who are the Rishis; the word Rishi (according to Professor Mahadeo Kunte) being connected with the word to move, to lead on, applied to them in their terrestrial character, when, as Patriarchs, they lead their hosts on the Seven Rivers.
Moreover, the very word “God” in the singular, embracing all the gods — or theos from theoi — came to the “superior” civilized nations from a strange source, one entirely and as pre-eminently phallic as the sincere, open-spoken lingham of India. The attempt to derive God from the Anglo-Saxon synonym “good” is an abandoned idea, for in no other language, in all of which the term varies more or less, from the Persian Khoda down to the Latin Deus, has an instance been found of a name of God being derived from the attribute of Goodness. To the Latin races it comes from the Aryan Dyaus (the Day); to the Slavonian, from the Greek Bacchus (Bagh-bog); and to the Saxon races directly from the Hebrew Yodh or Jod. The latter is , the number-letter 10, male and female, and Jod the phallic hook: — hence the Saxon Godh, the Germanic Gott, and the English God. This symbolic term may be said to represent the Creator of physical “Humanity,” on the terrestrial plane; but surely it had nothing to do with the formation or “Creation” of Spirit, gods, or Kosmos!
Chaos-Theos-Kosmos, the triple deity, is all in all. Therefore, it is said to be male and female, good and evil, positive and negative: the whole series of contrasted qualities. When latent (in pralaya) it is incognizable and becomes the unknowable Deity. It can be known only in its active functions; hence as matter-Force and living Spirit, the correlations and outcome, or the expression, on the visible plane, of the ultimate and ever-to-be unknown unity.
In its turn this triple unit is the producer of the four primary “Elements,”  which are known in our visible terrestrial nature as the seven (so far the five) Elements, each divisible into forty-nine (or seven times seven) sub-elements, with about seventy of which Chemistry is acquainted. Every Cosmical Element such as Fire, Air, Water, Earth, partaking of the qualities and defects of their Primaries, are in their nature Good and Evil, Force (or Spirit) and Matter, etc., etc.; and each, therefore, is at one and the same time Life and Death, Health and Disease, Action and Reaction. (See Section XIV., “The Four Elements.”) They are ever and constantly forming matter under the never-ceasing impulse of the One Element (the incognizable), represented in the world of phenomena by ‘AEther, or “the immortal gods who give birth and life to all.”
In “the Philosophical writings of Solomon Ben Yehudah Ibn Gebirol” (translated in Mr. Isaac Myer’s Kabbalah, just published) it is said on the structure of the Universe, “R. Yehudah began, it is written: — ‘Elohim said: Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters.’ Come, see, at the time that the Holy. . . . created the World, He created 7 heavens above, 7 earths below, 7 seas, 7 days, 7 rivers, 7 weeks, 7 years, 7 times, and 7,000 years that the world has been. The Holy is the seventh of all,” etc. (p. 415).
This, besides showing a strange identity with the cosmogony of the Puranas (e.g., Vishnu Purana 1st Book), corroborates with regard to number seven, all our teachings as briefly given in “Esoteric Buddhism.”
The Hindus have an endless series of allegories to express this idea. In the primordial Chaos, before it became developed into the Seven Oceans (Sapta Samudra) — emblematical of the seven gunas (conditioned qualities) composed of trigunas (Satwa, Rajas and Tamas, see Puranas) — lie latent both Amrita (immortality) and Visha (poison, death, evil). This allegory is found in the “Churning of the Ocean” by the gods. Amrita is beyond any guna, for it is unconditioned per se; yet when fallen into the phenomenal creation it got mixed up with Evil, Chaos, with latent theos in it, and before Kosmos was evolved. Hence, one finds Vishnu — standing here for eternal Law — periodically calling forth Kosmos into activity — “churning out of the primitive Ocean (boundless Chaos) the Amrita of Eternity, reserved only for the gods and devas; and he has to employ in the task Nagas and Asuras —demons in exoteric Hinduism. The whole allegory is highly philosophical, and we find it repeated in every philosophical System. Plato, having fully embraced the ideas of Pythagoras — who had brought them from India — compiled and published them in a form more intelligible than the mysterious numerals of the Greek Sage. Thus the Kosmos is “the Son” with Plato, having for his father and mother the Divine Thought and Matter. 
“The Egyptians,” says Dunlap,  “distinguish between an older and younger Horus; the former the brother of Osiris, the latter the son of Osiris and Isis.” The first is the Idea of the world remaining in the Demiurgic Mind, “born in darkness before the creation of the world.” The second Horus is this “Idea” going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with matter, and assuming an actual existence. 
“The Mundane God, eternal, boundless, young and old, of winding form,”  say the Chaldean oracles.
This “winding form” is a figure to express the vibratory motion of the Astral Light, with which the ancient priests were perfectly well acquainted, though its name was invented by the Martinists.
Now Cosmolatry has the finger of scorn pointed at its superstitions by modern Science, which ought, however, as advised by a French savant, before laughing at it “to remodel entirely its own system of cosmo-pneumatological education.” Satis eloquentiae, sapientiae parvum. Cosmolatry like Pantheism may be made to yield in its ultimate expression the words applied to Vishnu . . . . “He is only the ideal Cause of the Potencies to be created in the work of creation; and from him proceed the potencies to be created, after they have become the real cause. Save that one ideal cause, there is no other to which the world can be referred. . . . . Through the potency of that cause, every created thing comes by its proper nature.” (Original Sanskrit Texts, Part iv., pp. 32, 33.)
The Logos or Creative deity, the “Word made Flesh,” of every religion, has to be traced to its ultimate source and Essence. In India, it is a Proteus of 1,008 divine names and aspects in each of its personal transformations, from Brahma-Purusha down through the Seven divine Rishis and ten semi-divine Prajapati (also Rishis) to the divine-human Avatars. The same puzzling problem of the “One in many” and the multitude in One, is found in other Pantheons, in the Egyptian, the Greek and the Chaldeo-Judaic, the latter having made confusion still more confused by presenting its Gods as euhemerizations, in the shapes of Patriarchs. The latter are now accepted by those who reject Romulus as a myth, and are represented as living and historical Entities. Verbum satis sapienti.
In the Zohar, En-Soph is also the One, and the infinite Unity. This was known to the very few learned Fathers of the Church, who were aware that Jehovah was but a third rate potency and no “highest” God. But while complaining bitterly of the Gnostics and saying . . . “our Heretics hold . . . that Propator is known but to the Only begotten Son  (who is Brahma among the rest) that is to the mind” (nous), Irenaeus never mentioned that the Jews did the same in their real secret books. Valentinus, “the profoundest doctor of the Gnosis,” held that “there was a perfect aion who existed before Bythos, or Buthon (the first father of unfathomable nature, which is the second Logos) called Propator.” It is thus Aion, who springs as a Ray from Ain-Soph (who does not create), and Aion, who creates, or through whom, rather, everything is created, or evolves.
For, as the Basilidians taught, “there was a supreme god, Abraxax, by whom was created mind” (Mahat, in Sanskrit, Nous in Greek). “From Mind proceeded the word, Logos, from the word, Providence (Divine Light, rather), then from it Virtue and Wisdom in Principalities, Powers, Angels, etc., etc.” By these (Angels) the 365 AEons were created. “Amongst the lowest, indeed, and those who made this world, he (Basilides) sets last of all the God of the Jews, whom he denies to be God (and very rightly), affirming he is one of the angels” (Ibid.). Here, then, we find the same system as in the Puranas, wherein the Incomprehensible drops a seed, which becomes the golden egg, from which Brahma is produced. Brahma produces Mahat, etc., etc. True Esoteric philosophy, however, speaks neither of “creation” nor of “evolution” in the sense the exoteric religions do. All these personified Powers are not evolutions from one another, but so many aspects of the one and sole manifestation of the Absolute all. The same system as the gnostic prevails in the Sephirothal aspects of Ain-Soph, yet, as these aspects are in Space and Time, a certain order is maintained in their successive appearances. Therefore, it becomes impossible not to take notice of the great changes that the Zohar has undergone under the handling of generations of Christian Mystics. For, even in the metaphysics of the Talmud, the “lower Face” (or “Lesser Countenance”), the microprosopus, in fact, could never be placed on the plane of the same abstract ideal as the Higher, or “Greater Countenance,” macroprosopus. The latter is, in the Chaldean Kabala, a pure abstraction; the Word or Logos, or Dabar (in Hebrew), which Word, though it becomes in fact a plural number, or “Words” — D(a)B(a)Rim, when it reflects itself, or falls into the aspect of a Host (of angels, or Sephiroth, “numbers”) is still collectively One, and on the ideal plane a nought — 0, a “No-thing.” It is without form or being, “with no likeness with anything else.” (Franck, “Die Kabbala,” p. 126.) And even Philo calls the Creator, the Logos who stands next God, “the Second God,” and “the second God who is his (Highest God’s) Wisdom” (Philo. Quaest. et Solut). Deity is not God. It is nothing, and darkness. It is nameless, and therefore called Ain-Soph — “the word Ayin meaning nothing.” See Franck “Die Kabbala,” p. 153. See also Section XII., “Theogony of the Creative Gods.” The “Highest God” (the unmanifested Logos) is its Son.
Nor are most of the gnostic systems, which come down to us mutilated by the Church Fathers, anything better than the distorted shells of the original speculations. Nor were they open to the public or reader, at any time; i.e., had their hidden meaning or esotericism been revealed, it would have been no more an esoteric teaching, and this could never be. Alone Marcus (the chief of the Marcosians, 2nd century), who taught that deity had to be viewed under the symbol of four syllables, gave out more of the esoteric truths than any other Gnostic. But even he was never well understood. For it is only on the surface or dead letter of his Revelation that it appears that God is a quaternary, to wit: “the Ineffable, the Silence, the Father, and Truth,” — in reality it is quite erroneous, and divulges only one more esoteric riddle. This teaching of Marcus was that of the early Kabalists and ours. For he makes of Deity, the number 30 in 4 syllables, which, translated esoterically, means a Triad or Triangle, and a Quaternary or a square, in all seven, which, on the lower plane made the seven divine or secret letters of which the God-name is composed. This requires demonstration. In his “Revelation,” speaking of divine mysteries expressed by means of letters and numbers, Marcus narrates how the “Supreme Tetrad came down unto me (him) from the region which cannot be seen nor named, in a female form, because the world would have been unable to bear her appearing under a male figure,” and revealed to him “the generation of the universe, untold before to either gods or men.”
This first sentence already contains a double meaning. Why should a female figure be more easily borne or listened to by the world than a male figure? On the very face of it this appears nonsensical. Withal it is quite simple and clear to one who is acquainted with the mystery-language. Esoteric Philosophy, or the Secret Wisdom, was symbolized by a female form, while a male figure stood for the Unveiled mystery. Hence, the world not being ready to receive, could not bear it, and the Revelation of Marcus had to be given allegorically. Then he writes:
“When first the Inconceivable, the Beingless and Sexless (the Kabalistic Ain-Soph) began to be in labour (i.e., when the hour of manifesting Itself had struck) and desired that Its Ineffable should be born (the first Logos, or AEon, or Aion), and its invisible should be clothed with form, its mouth opened and uttered the word like unto itself. This word (logos) manifested itself in the form of the Invisible One. The uttering of the (ineffable) name (through the word) came to pass in this manner. He (the Supreme Logos) uttered the first word of his name, which is a syllable of four letters. Then the second syllable was added, also of four letters. Then the third, composed of ten letters; and after this the fourth, which contains twelve letters. The whole name consists thus of thirty letters and of four syllables. Each letter has its own accent and way of writing, but neither understands nor ever beholds that form of the whole Name, — no; not even the power of the letter that stands next to Itself (to the Beingless and the Inconceivable.)  All these sounds when united are the collective Beingless, unbegotten AEon, and these are the Angels that are ever beholding the face of the Father  (the Logos, the “second God,” who stands next God, “the Inconceivable,” according to Philo).
This is as plain as ancient esoteric secrecy would make it. It is as Kabalistic, but less veiled than the Zohar in which the mystic names or attributes are also four syllabled, twelve, forty-two, and even seventy-two syllabled words! The Tetrad shows to Marcus the truth in the shape of a naked woman, and letters every limb of that figure, calling her head [[omega]], her neck [[psi]], shoulders and hands [[gamma]], and [[chi]], etc., etc. In this Sephira is easily recognised, the Crown (Kether) or head being numbered one; the brain or Chochmah, 2; the heart, or Intelligence (Binah), 3; and the other seven Sephiroth representing the limbs of the body. The Sephirothal Tree is the Universe, and Adam Kadmon represents it in the West as Brahma represents it in India.
Throughout, the 10 Sephiroth are represented as divided into the three higher, or the spiritual Triad, and the lower Septenary. The true Esoteric meaning of the sacred number seven is cleverly veiled in the Zohar; yet was betrayed by the double way of writing “in the beginning” or Be-resheeth, and Be-raishath, the latter the “Higher, or Upper Wisdom.” As shown by Mr. Macgregor Mathers in his Kabbalah (p. 47), and in the Qabbalah of Mr. T. Myer (p. 233), both of these Kabalists being supported by the best ancient authorities, these words have a dual and secret meaning. Braisheeth bara Elohim means that the six, over which stands the seventh Sephiroth, belong to the lower material class, or, as the author says: “Seven . . . . are applied to the Lower Creation, and three to the spiritual man, the Heavenly Prototypic or first Adam.”
When the Theosophists and Occultists say that God is no Being, for It is nothing, No-Thing, they are more reverential and religiously respectful to the Deity than those who call God a He, and thus make of Him a gigantic Male.
He who studies the Kabala will soon find the same idea in the ultimate thought of its authors, the earlier and great Hebrew Initiates, who got this secret Wisdom at Babylonia from the Chaldean Hierophants, while Moses got his in Egypt. The Zohar cannot well be judged by its after translations in Latin and other tongues, as all those ideas were, of course, softened and made to fit in with the views and policy of its Christian arrangers; but in truth its ideas are identical with those of all other religious systems. The various Cosmogonies show that the Archaic Universal Soul was held by every nation as the “Mind” of the Demiurgic Creator; and that it was called the “Mother,” Sophia with the Gnostics (or the female Wisdom), the Sephira with the Jews, Saraswati or Vach, with the Hindus, the Holy Ghost being a female Principle.
Hence, born from it, the Kurios or Logos was, with the Greeks, the “God, mind” (nous). “Now Koros (Kurios) signifies the pure and unmixed nature of intellect — wisdom,” says Plato in “Cratylus”; and Kurios is Mercury, the Divine Wisdom, and “mercury is the Sol” (Sun) (“Arnobius” vi., xii.), from whom Thot-Hermes received this divine Wisdom. While, then, the Logoi of all countries and religions are correlative (in their sexual aspects) with the female Soul of the World or the “Great Deep;” the deity, from which these two in one have their being, is ever concealed and called the “Hidden One,” connected only indirectly with Creation,  as it can act only through the Dual Force emanating from the Eternal Essence. Even AEsculapius, called the “Saviour of all,” is identical, according to ancient classics, with Phta, the Egyptian Creative Intellect (or Divine Wisdom), and with Apollo, Baal, Adonis and Hercules (see Dunlap’s “Mystery of Adonis,” pp. 23 and 95); and Phta is, in one of its aspects, the “Anima Mundi,” the Universal Soul of Plato, the “Divine Spirit” of the Egyptians, the “Holy Ghost” of the early Christians and Gnostics, and the Akasa of the Hindus, and even, in its lower aspect, the Astral Light. For Phta was originally the “God of the Dead,” he in whose bosom they were received, hence the Limbus of the Greek Christians, or the Astral Light. It is far later that Phta was classed with the Sun-gods, his name signifying “he who opens,” as he is shown to be the first to unveil the face of the dead mummy, to call the soul to life in his bosom. (See Maspero’s “Bulaq Museum.”) Kneph, the Eternal Unrevealed, is represented by the snake-emblem of eternity encircling a water-urn, with its head hovering over the “waters” which it incubates with its breath — another form of one and the same idea of “Darkness,” its ray moving on the waters, &c. As “Logos-Soul,” this permutation is called Phta; as Logos-Creator, he becomes Imhot-pou, his son, “the god of the handsome face.” In their primitive characters these two were the first Cosmic Duad, Noot, “space or Sky,” and Noo, “the primordial Waters,” the Androgyne Unity, above whom was the Concealed Breath of Kneph. And all of them had the aquatic animals and plants sacred to them, the ibis, the swan, the goose, the crocodile, and the lotus.
Returning to the Kabalistic deity, this Concealed Unity is then = [[to pan]] = [[apeiros]], Endless, Boundless, non-Existent, so long as the Absolute is within Oulom,  the boundless and termless time, as such, En-Soph cannot be the Creator or even the modeller of the Universe, nor can he be Aur (light). Therefore En-Soph is also Darkness. The immutably Infinite and the absolutely Boundless can neither will, think, nor act. To do this it has to become finite, and it does so, by its ray penetrating into the mundane egg — infinite space — and emanating from it as a finite god. All this is left to the ray latent in the one. When the period arrives, the absolute will expands naturally the force within it, according to the Law of which it is the inner and ultimate Essence. The Hebrews did not adopt the egg as a symbol, but they substituted for it the “Duplex heavens,” for, translated correctly, the sentence “God made the heavens and the earth” would read: — “In and out of his own essence as a womb (the mundane egg), God created the two heavens.” But the Christians have chosen as the symbol of their Holy Ghost, the dove.
“Whosoever acquaints himself with the Mercaba and the lahgash (secret speech or incantation), will learn the secret of secrets.” Lahgash is nearly identical in meaning with Vach, the hidden power of the Mantras.
When the active period has arrived, from within the eternal essence of Ain-Soph, comes forth Sephira, the active Power, called the Primordial Point, and the Crown, Kether. It is only through her that the “Un-bounded Wisdom” could give a concrete form to the abstract Thought. Two sides of the upper triangle by which the ineffable Essence and the universe — its manifested body — are symbolized, the right side and the base are composed of unbroken lines; the third, the left side, is dotted. It is through the latter that emerges Sephira. Spreading in every direction, she finally encompasses the whole triangle. In this emanation the triple triad is formed. From the invisible Dew falling from the higher Uni-triad (thus leaving 7 sephiroths only), the “Head” Sephira creates primeval waters, i.e., Chaos takes shape. It is the first stage towards the solidification of spirit which through various modifications will produce earth. “It requires earth and water to make a living soul,” says Moses. It requires the image of an aquatic bird to connect it with water, the female element of procreation with the egg and the bird that fecundates it.
When Sephira emerges like an active power from within the latent Deity, she is female; when she assumes the office of a creator, she becomes a male; hence, she is androgyne. She is the “Father and Mother Aditi,” of the Hindu Cosmogony and of the Secret Doctrine. If the oldest Hebrew scrolls had been preserved, the modern Jehovah-worshipper would have found that many and uncomely were the symbols of the creative god. The frog in the moon, typical of his generative character, was the most frequent. All the birds and animals now held “unclean” in the Bible had been the symbols of the Deity in days of old. It was because they were too sacred that a mask of uncleanness was placed over them, in order to preserve them from destruction. The brazen serpent was not a bit more poetical than the goose or swan, if symbols are to be accepted a la lettre.
In the words of the Zohar: “The Indivisible Point, which has no limit and cannot be comprehended because of its purity and brightness, expanded from without, forming a brightness that served the indivisible Point as a veil;” yet the latter also “could not be viewed in consequence of its immeasurable light. It too expanded from without, and this expansion was its garment. Thus through a constant upheaving (motion) finally the world originated” (Zohar I. 20a). The Spiritual substance sent forth by the Infinite Light is the first Sephira or Shekinah: Sephira exoterically contains all the other nine Sephiroths in her. Esoterically she contains but two,* Chochmah or Wisdom, “a masculine, active potency whose divine name is Jah (),” and Binah, a feminine passive potency, Intelligence, represented by the divine name Jehovah (); which two potencies form, with Sephira the third, the Jewish trinity or the Crown, Kether. These two Sephiroths called Father, Abba, and Mother Amona, are the duad or the double-sexed logos from which issued the other seven Sephiroths. (See Zohar.) This first Jewish triad (Sephira, Chochmah, and Binah) is the Hindu Trimurti.  However veiled, even in the Zohar, and more still in the exoteric Pantheon of India, every particular connected with one is reproduced in the other. The Prajapati are the Sephiroths. Ten with Brahma they dwindle to seven, when the Trimurti, and the Kabalistic triad, are separated from the rest. The seven Builders (Creators) become the seven Prajapati, or the seven Rishis, in the same order as the Sephiroths become the Creators; then the Patriarchs, etc. In both Secret Systems, the One Universal Essence is incomprehensible and inactive in its absoluteness, and can be connected with the building of the Universe only in an indirect way. In both, the primeval Male-female or androgynous Principle, and their ten and seven Emanations (Brahma-Viraj and Aditi-Vach on the one part and the Elohim-Jehovah, or Adam-Adami (Adam Kadmon) and Sephira Eve on the other), with their Prajapati and Sephiroths, represent in their totality, first of all the Archetypal man, the Proto-logos; and only in their secondary aspect do they become Cosmic powers, and astronomical or sidereal bodies. If Aditi is the mother of the gods, Deva-Matri, Eve is the mother of all living; they are the Sakti or generative power in their female aspect of the “Heavenly man,” and they are all compound Creators. Says a “Gupta Vidya” Sutra: “In the beginning, a ray issuing from Paramarthika (the one and only true existence), it became manifested in Vyavaharika (conventional existence) which was used as a Vahan to descend into the Universal Mother, and to cause her to expand (swell, brih).” And in the Zohar it is stated: “The Infinite Unity, formless and without similitude, after the form of the heavenly man was created, used it. The Unknown Light  (Darkness) used the (heavenly form) as a chariot through which to descend, and wished to be called by this form, which is the sacred name Jehovah.”
As the Zohar says: “In the beginning was the Will of the King, prior to any other existence. . . . It (the Will) sketched the forms of all things that had been concealed but now came into view. And there went forth as a sealed secret from the head of Ain Soph, a nebulous spark of matter, without shape or form. . . . Life is drawn from below, and from above the source renews itself, the sea is always full and spreads its waters everywhere.” Thus the deity is compared to a shoreless sea, to water which is “the fountain of life” (Zohar iii., 290). “The seventh palace, the fountain of life, is the first in the order from above” (ii. 261). Hence the Kabalistic tenet on the lips of the very Kabalistic Solomon, who says in Proverbs ix., 1: “Wisdom hath builded her house; it hath hewn out its seven pillars.”
Whence then, all this identity of ideas, if there was no primeval Universal Revelation? The few points shown are like a few straws in a hayrick, in comparison to that which will be shown as the work proceeds. If we turn to that most hazy of all Cosmogonies — the Chinese, even there the same idea is found. Tsi-tsai (the Self-Existent) is the unknown Darkness, the root of the Wuliang-sheu (Boundless Age), Amitabhe, and Tien (heaven) come later on. The “great Extreme” of Confucius gives the same idea, his “straws” notwithstanding. The latter are a source of great amusement to the missionaries. These laugh at every “heathen” religion, despise and hate that of their brother Christians of other denominations, and yet one and all accept a la lettre their own Genesis. If we turn to Chaldea we find in it Anu, the concealed deity, the One, whose name, moreover, shows it to be of Sanskrit origin. Anu, which means in Sanskrit “atom,” aniyamsam aniyasam (smallest of the small), is a name of Parabrahm in the Vedantic philosophy; Parabrahm being described as smaller than the smallest atom, and greater than the greatest sphere or universe: “Anagraniyam and Mahatorvavat.” This is what George Smith gives as the first verses of the Akkadian Genesis as found in the Cuneiform Texts on the “Lateras Coctiles.” There also, we find Anu the passive deity or En-Soph, Bel, the Creator, the Spirit of God (Sephira) moving on the face of the waters, hence water itself, and Hea, the Universal Soul or wisdom of the three combined.
The first eight verses read thus:
1. When above, were not raised the
This was the chaotic or ante-genetic period — the double Swan and the Dark Swan, which becomes white, when Light is created. 
The symbol chosen for the majestic ideal of the Universal Principle will seem little calculated to answer its sacred character. A goose, or even a swan, may appear unfit, no doubt, to represent the grandeur of the Spirit. Nevertheless, it must have had some deep occult meaning, since it figures not only in every cosmogony and world religion, but even was chosen by the mediaeval Christians, the Crusaders, as the vehicle of the Holy Ghost supposed to lead the army to Palestine, to wrench the Tomb of the Saviour from the hands of the Saracen. If we are to credit Professor Draper’s statement in his “Intellectual Development of Europe,” the Crusaders, led on by Peter the Hermit, were preceded, at the head of the army, by the Holy Ghost under the shape of a white gander in company of a goat. The Egyptian God of Time, Seb, carries a goose on his head. Jupiter assumes the form of a swan and Brahma also, because the root of all this is that mystery of mysteries — the Mundane Egg. (See preceding §).
One has to learn the reason of a symbol before one depreciates it. The dual element of Air and Water is that of the ibis, swan, goose and pelican, of crocodiles and frogs, lotus flowers and water lilies, &c.; and the result is the choice of the most unseemly symbols among the modern as much as the ancient mystics. Pan, the great god of nature, was generally figured in connection with aquatic birds, geese especially, and so were other gods. If, later on, with the gradual degeneration of religion, the gods to whom geese were sacred, became Priapic deities, it does not stand to reason that water fowls were made sacred to Pan and other Phallic deities as some scoffers even of antiquity would have it (see Petronii Satyrica, cxxxvi.); but that the abstract and divine power of procreative nature had become grossly anthropomorphized. Nor does the Swan of Leda show “Priapic doings and her enjoyment thereof,” as Mr. Hargrave Jennings chastely expresses it; for the myth is but another version of the same philosophical idea of cosmogony. Swans are frequently found associated with Apollo, as they are the emblems of water and fire (sun-light also), before the separation of the Elements.
Our modern symbologists might profit by some remarks made by a well-known writer, Mrs. Lydia Maria Child. “From time immemorial an emblem has been worshipped in Hindostan as the type of creation, or the origin of life. . . . Siva or the Mahadeva being not only the reproducer of human forms, but also the fructifying principle, the generative power that pervades the Universe. The maternal emblem is likewise a religious type. This reverence for the production of life, introduced into the worship of Osiris the sexual emblems. Is it strange that they regarded with reverence the great mystery of human birth? Were they impure thus to regard it? Or are we impure that do not so regard it? But no clean and thoughtful mind could so regard them. . . . We have travelled far, and unclean have been the paths, since those old Anchorites first spoke of God and the soul in the solemn depths of their first sanctuaries. Let us not smile at their mode of tracing the infinite and the incomprehensible Cause throughout all the mysteries of nature, lest by so doing we cast the shadow of our own grossness on their patriarchal simplicity.” (“Progress of Religious Ideas,” Vol. 1, p. 17, et seq.)
Whence this universal symbol? The Egg was incorporated as a sacred sign in the cosmogony of every people on the Earth, and was revered both on account of its form and its inner mystery. From the earliest mental conceptions of man, it was known as that which represented most successfully the origin and secret of being. The gradual development of the imperceptible germ within the closed shell; the inward working, without any apparent outward interference of force, which from a latent nothing produced an active something, needing nought save heat; and which, having gradually evolved into a concrete, living creature, broke its shell, appearing to the outward senses of all a self-generated, and self-created being — must have been a standing miracle from the beginning.
The secret teaching explains the reason for this reverence by the Symbolism of the prehistoric races. The “First Cause” had no name in the beginnings. Later it was pictured in the fancy of the thinkers as an ever invisible, mysterious Bird that dropped an Egg into Chaos, which Egg becomes the Universe. Hence Brahm was called Kalahansa, “the swan in (Space and) Time.” He became the “Swan of Eternity,” who lays at the beginning of each Mahamanvantara a “Golden Egg.” It typifies the great Circle, or O, itself a symbol for the universe and its spherical bodies.
The second reason for its having been chosen as the symbolical representation of the Universe, and of our earth, was its form. It was a Circle and a Sphere; and the ovi-form shape of our globe must have been known from the beginning of symbology, since it was so universally adopted. The first manifestation of the Kosmos in the form of an egg was the most widely diffused belief of antiquity. As Bryant shows (iii., 165), it was a symbol adopted among the Greeks, the Syrians, Persians, and Egyptians. In chap. liv. of the Egyptian Ritual, Seb, the god of Time and of the Earth, is spoken of as having laid an egg, or the Universe, “an egg conceived at the hour of the great one of the Dual Force” (Sec. V., 2, 3, etc.).
Ra is shown like Brahma gestating in the Egg of the Universe. The deceased is “resplendent in the Egg of the land of mysteries” (xxii., 1). For, this is “the Egg to which is given life among the gods” (xlii., 11). “It is the Egg of the great clucking Hen, the Egg of Seb, who issues from it like a hawk” (lxiv., 1, 2, 3; lxxvii., 1).
With the Greeks the Orphic Egg is described by Aristophanes, and was part of the Dionysiac and other mysteries, during which the Mundane Egg was consecrated and its significance explained; Porphyry showing it a representation of the world, [[Ermenenei de to oon kosmon]]. Faber and Bryant have tried to show that the egg typified the ark of Noah, which, unless the latter is accepted as purely allegorical and symbolical, is a wild belief. It can have typified the ark only as a synonym of the moon, the argha which carries the universal seed of life; but had surely nothing to do with the ark of the Bible. Anyhow, the belief that the universe existed in the beginning in the shape of an egg was general. And as Wilson has it: “A similar account of the first aggregation of the elements in the form of an egg is given in all the (Indian) Puranas, with the usual epithet Haima or Hiranya, ‘golden’ as it occurs in Manu.” Hiranya, however, means “resplendent,” “shining,” rather than “golden,” as proven by the great Indian scholar, the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, in his unpublished polemics with Professor Max Muller. As said in the Vishnu Purana: “Intellect (Mahat) . . . the (unmanifested) gross elements inclusive, formed an egg . . . and the lord of the Universe himself abided in it, in the character of Brahma. In that egg, O Brahman, were the continents, and seas and mountains, the planets and divisions of the universe, the gods, the demons and mankind.” (Book i., ch. 2.) Both in Greece and in India the first visible male being, who united in himself the nature of either sex, abode in the egg and issued from it. This “first born of the world” was Dionysius, with some Greeks; the god who sprang from the mundane egg, and from whom the mortals and immortals were derived. The god Ra is shown in the Ritual (Book of the Dead, xvii., 50) beaming in his egg (the Sun), and he starts off as soon as the god Shoo (the Solar energy) awakens and gives him the impulse. “He is in the Solar egg, the egg to which is given life among the gods” (Ibid., xlii.,13). The Solar god exclaims: “I am the creative soul of the celestial abyss. None sees my nest, none can break my egg, I am the Lord!” (Ibid., LXXXV.).
In view of this circular form, the “|” issuing from the “,” or the egg, or the male from the female in the androgyne, it is strange to find a scholar saying — on the ground that the most ancient Indian MSS. show no trace of it — that the ancient Aryans were ignorant of the decimal notation. The 10, being the sacred number of the universe, was secret and esoteric, both as the unit and cipher, or zero, the circle. Moreover, Professor Max Muller says that “the two words cipher and zero, which are but one, are sufficient to prove that our figures are borrowed from the Arabs.  Cipher is the Arabic “cifron,” and means empty, a translation of the Sanscrit name of nought “sunya,” he says.  The Arabs had their figures from Hindustan, and never claimed the discovery for themselves.  As to the Pythagoreans, we need but turn to the ancient manuscripts of Boethius’s Geometry, composed in the sixth century, to find among the Pythagorean numerals  the 1 and the nought, as the first and final ciphers. And Porphyry, who quotes from the Pythagorean Moderatus,  says that the numerals of Pythagoras were “hieroglyphical symbols, by means whereof he explained ideas concerning the nature of things,” or the origin of the universe.
Now, if, on the other hand, the most ancient Indian manuscripts show as yet no trace of decimal notation in them, and Max Muller states very clearly that until now he has found but nine letters (the initials of the Sanscrit numerals) in them; on the other hand, we have records as ancient to supply the wanted proof. We speak of the sculptures and the sacred imagery in the most ancient temples of the far East. Pythagoras derived his knowledge from India; and we find Professor Max Muller corroborating this statement, at least so far as to allow the Neo-Pythagoreans to have been the first teachers of “ciphering,” among the Greeks and Romans; that “they at Alexandria, or in Syria, became acquainted with the Indian figures, and adapted them to the Pythagorean abacus” (our figures). This cautious admission implies that Pythagoras himself was acquainted with but nine figures. Thus we might reasonably answer that, although we possess no certain proof (exoterically) that the decimal notation was known by Pythagoras, who lived on the very close of the archaic ages,|  we have yet sufficient evidence to show that the full numbers, as given by Boethius, were known to the Pythagoreans, even before Alexandria was built.  This evidence we find in Aristotle, who says that “some philosophers hold that ideas and numbers are of the same nature, and amount to ten in all.”  This, we believe, will be sufficient to show that the decimal notation was known among them at least as early as four centuries B.C., for Aristotle does not seem to treat the question as an innovation of the “Neo-Pythagoreans.”
But we know more than that: we know that the decimal system must have been known to the mankind of the earliest archaic ages, since the whole astronomical and geometrical portion of the secret sacerdotal language was built upon the number 10, or the combination of the male and female principles, and since the Pyramid of “Cheops” is built upon the measures of this decimal notation, or rather upon the digits and their combinations with the nought. Of this, however, sufficient was said in Isis Unveiled, and it is useless to repeat and return to the same subject.
The symbolism of the Lunar and Solar Deities is so inextricably mixed up, that it is next to impossible to separate such glyphs as the egg, the lotus, and the “sacred” animals from each other. The ibis, for instance, sacred to Isis, who is often represented with the head of that bird, sacred also to Mercury or Thoth, because that god assumed its form while escaping from Typhon, — the ibis was held in the greatest veneration in Egypt. There were two kinds of ibises, Herodotus tells us (Lib. II. c. 75 et seq.) in that country: one quite black, the other black and white. The former is credited with fighting and exterminating the winged serpents which came every spring from Arabia and infested the country. The other was sacred to the moon, because the latter planet is white and brilliant on her external side, dark and black on that side which she never turns to the earth. Moreover, the ibis kills land serpents, and makes the most terrible havoc amongst the eggs of the crocodile, and thus saves Egypt from having the Nile infested by those horrible Saurians. The bird is credited with doing so in the moonlight, and thus being helped by Isis, as the moon, her sidereal symbol. But the nearer esoteric truth underlying these popular myths is, that Hermes, as shown by Abenephius (De cultu Egypt.), watched under the form of that bird over the Egyptians, and taught them the occult arts and sciences. This means simply that the ibis religiosa had and has “magical” properties in common with many other birds, the albatross pre-eminently, and the mythical white swan, the swan of Eternity or Time, the Kalahansa.
Were it otherwise, indeed, why should all the ancient peoples, who were no more fools than we are, have had such a superstitious dread of killing certain birds? In Egypt, he who killed an ibis, or the golden hawk — the symbol of the Sun and Osiris — risked and could hardly escape death. The veneration of some nations for birds was such that Zoroaster, in his precepts, forbids their slaughter as a heinous crime. We laugh in our age at every kind of divination. Yet why should so many generations have believed in divination by birds, and even in zoomancy, said by Suidas to have been imparted by Orpheus, who taught how to perceive in the yoke and white of the egg, under certain conditions, that which the bird born from it would have seen around it during its short life. This occult art, which demanded 3,000 years ago the greatest learning and the most abstruse mathematical calculations, has now fallen into the depths of degradation: it is old cooks and fortune-tellers who read their future to servant-girls in search of husbands, by means of the white of an egg in a glass.
Nevertheless, even Christians have to this day their sacred birds; for instance, the dove, the symbol of the Holy Ghost. Nor have they neglected the sacred animals. The Evangelical zoolatry — the Bull, the Eagle, the Lion, and the Angel (in reality the Cherub, or Seraph, the fiery-winged Serpent), is as much pagan as that of the Egyptians or the Chaldeans. These four animals are, in reality, the symbols of the four elements, and of the four lower principles in man. Nevertheless, they correspond physically and materially to the four constellations that form, so to speak, the suite or cortege of the Solar God, and occupy during the winter solstice the four cardinal points of the zodiacal circle. These four “animals” may be seen in many of the Roman Catholic New Testaments where the portraits of the evangelists are given. They are the animals of Ezekiel’s Mercabah.
As truly stated by Ragon, “the ancient Hierophants have combined so cleverly the dogmas and symbols of their religious philosophies, that these symbols can be fully explained only by the combination and knowledge of all the keys.” They can be only approximately interpreted, even if one finds out three out of these seven systems: the anthropological, the psychic, and the astronomical. The two chief interpretations, the highest and the lowest, the spiritual and the physiological, they preserved in the greatest secrecy until the latter fell into the dominion of the profane. Thus far, with regard only to the pre-historic Hierophants, with whom that which has now become purely (or impurely) phallic, was a science as profound and as mysterious as biology and physiology are now. This was their exclusive property, the fruit of their studies and discoveries. The other two were those which dealt with the creative gods (theogony), and with creative man, i.e., the ideal and the practical mysteries. These interpretations were so cleverly veiled and combined, that many were those who, while arriving at the discovery of one meaning, were baffled in understanding the significance of the others, and could never unriddle them sufficiently to commit dangerous indiscretions. The highest, the first and the fourth — theogony in relation to anthropogony — were almost impossible to fathom. We find the proofs of this in the Jewish “Holy Writ.”
It is owing to the serpent being oviparous, that it became a symbol of wisdom and an emblem of the Logoi, or the self-born. In the temple of Philoe in Upper Egypt, an egg was artificially prepared of clay made of various incenses, and it was made to hatch by a peculiar process, when a cerastes (the horned viper) was born. The same was done in antiquity for the cobra in the Indian temples. The creative God emerges from the egg that issues from the mouth of Kneph — as a winged serpent — because the Serpent is the symbol of the All-wisdom. With the Hebrews he is glyphed by the “flying or fiery serpents” of the Wilderness and Moses, and with the Alexandrian mystics he becomes the Ophio-Christos, the Logos of the Gnostics. The Protestants try to show that the allegory of the Brazen Serpent and of the “fiery serpents” has a direct reference to the mystery of Christ and Crucifixion ; but it has a far nearer relation, in truth, to the mystery of generation, when dissociated from the egg with the central germ, or the circle with its central point. The brazen Serpent had no such holy meaning as that; nor was it, in fact, glorified above the “fiery serpents” for the bite of which it was only a natural remedy. The symbological meaning of the word “brazen” being the feminine principle, and that of fiery, or “gold,” the male one. 
In the Book of the Dead, as just shown, reference is often made to the Egg. Ra, the mighty one, remains in his Egg, during the struggle between the “children of the rebellion” and Shoo (the Solar Energy and the Dragon of Darkness) (ch. xvii.). The deceased is resplendent in his Egg when he crosses to the land of mystery (xxii. i.). He is the Egg of Seb (liv. 1-3). . . . The Egg was the symbol of life in immortality and eternity; as also the glyph of the generative matrix; and the tau, associated with it, only of life and birth in generation. The Mundane Egg was placed in Khnoom, the “Water of Space,” or the feminine abstract principle (Khnoom becoming, with the fall of mankind into generation and phallicism, Ammon, the creative God); and when Phtah, the “fiery god,” carries the Mundane egg in his hand, then the symbolism becomes quite terrestrial and concrete in its significance. In conjunction with the hawk, the symbol of Osiris-Sun, the symbol is dual: it relates to both lives — the mortal and the immortal. In Kircher’s OEdipus Egyptiacus (vol. iii., p. 124) one can see, on the papyrus engraved in it, an egg floating above the mummy. This is the symbol of hope and the promise of a second birth for the Osirified dead; his Soul, after due purification in the Amenti, will gestate in this egg of immortality, to be reborn from it into a new life on earth. For this Egg, in the esoteric Doctrine, is the Devachan, the abode of Bliss; the winged scarabeus being alike a symbol of it. The “winged globe” is but another form of the egg, and has the same significance as the scarabeus, the Khopiroo (from the root Khoproo “to become,” “to be reborn,”) which relates to the rebirth of man, as well as to his spiritual regeneration.
In the Theogony of Mochus, we find AEther first, and then the air, from which Ulom, the intelligible ([[noetos]]) deity (the visible Universe of Matter) is born out of the Mundane Egg. (Mover’s Phoinizer, p. 282.)
In the Orphic Hymns, the Eros-Phanes evolves from the divine Egg, which the AEthereal Winds impregnate, wind being “the Spirit of the unknown Darkness” — “the spirit of God” (as explains K. O. Muller, 236); the divine “Idea,” says Plato, “who is said to move AEther.”
In the Hindu Katakopanishad, Purusha, the divine spirit, already stands before the original matter, “from whose union springs the great soul of the world,” Maha-Atma, Brahma, the Spirit of Life,  etc., etc.  Besides this there are many charming allegories on this subject scattered through the sacred books of the Brahmins. In one place it is the female creator who is first a germ, then a drop of heavenly dew, a pearl, and then an egg. In such cases — of which there are too many to enumerate them separately — the Egg gives birth to the four elements within the fifth, Ether, and is covered with seven coverings, which become later on the seven upper and the seven lower worlds. Breaking in two, the shell becomes the heaven, and the meat in the egg the earth, the white forming the terrestrial waters. Then again, it is Vishnu who emerges from within the egg with a lotus in his hand. Vinata, a daughter of Daksha and wife of Kasyapa (“the Self-born sprung from Time,” one of the seven “creators” of our world), brought forth an egg from which was born Garuda, the vehicle of Vishnu, the latter allegory having a relation to our Earth only, as Garuda is the Great Cycle.
The egg was sacred to Isis; the priests of Egypt never ate eggs on that account. 
Diodorus Siculus states that Osiris was born from an Egg, like Brahma. From Leda’s Egg Apollo and Latona were born, as also Castor and Pollux — the bright Gemini. And though the Buddhists do not attribute the same origin to their Founder, yet, no more than the ancient Egyptians or the modern Brahmins, do they eat eggs, lest they should destroy the germ of life latent in them, and commit thereby Sin. The Chinese believe that their first man was born from an egg, which Tien, a god, dropped down from heaven to earth into the waters.  This symbol is still regarded by some as representing the idea of the origin of life, which is a scientific truth, though the human ovum is invisible to the naked eye. Therefore we see respect shown to it from the remotest past, by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, the Japanese, and the Siamese, the North and South American tribes, and even the savages of the remotest islands.
With the Egyptians, the concealed god was Ammon (Mon). All their gods were dual: the scientific reality for the Sanctuary; its double, the fabulous and mythical Entity, for the masses. For instance, as observed in “Chaos, Theos, Kosmos,” the older Horus was the Idea of the world remaining in the demiurgic mind “born in Darkness before the creation of the world;” the second Horus  was the same Idea going forth from the Logos, becoming clothed with matter and assuming an actual existence. (Compare Mover’s “Phoinizer,” p. 268.) The same with Khnoum and Ammon;  both are represented ram-headed, and both often confused, though their functions are different. Khnoum is “the modeller of men,” fashioning men and things out of the Mundane Egg on a potter’s wheel; Ammon-Ra, the generator, is the secondary aspect of the concealed deity. Khnoum was adored at Elephanta and Philoe,  Ammon at Thebes. But it is Emepht, the One, Supreme Planetary principle, who blows the egg out of his mouth, and who is, therefore, Brahma. The shadow of the deity, Kosmic and universal, of that which broods over and permeates the egg with its vivifying Spirit until the germ contained in it is ripe, was the mystery god whose name was unpronounceable. It is Phtah, however, “he who opens,” the opener of life and Death,  who proceeds from the egg of the world to begin his dual work. (Book of Numbers.)
According to the Greeks, the phantom form of the Chemis (Chemi, ancient Egypt) which floats on the ethereal waves of the Empyrean Sphere, was called into being by Horus-Apollo, the Sun god, who caused it to evolve out of the Mundane egg. 
In the Scandinavian Cosmogony — placed by Professor Max Muller, in point of time, as “far anterior to the Vedas” in the poem of Voluspa (the song of the prophetess), the Mundane egg is again discovered in the phantom-germ of the Universe, which is represented as lying in the Ginnungagap — the cup of illusion (Maya) the boundless and void abyss. In this world’s matrix, formerly a region of night and desolation, Nebelheim (the mist-place, the nebular as it is called now, in the astral light) dropped a ray of cold light which overflowed this cup and froze in it. Then the Invisible blew a scorching wind which dissolved the frozen waters and cleared the mist. These waters (chaos), called the streams of Elivagar, distilling in vivifying drops, fell down and created the earth and the giant Ymir, who only had “the semblance of man” (the Heavenly man), and the cow, Audhumla (the “mother” or astral light, Cosmic Soul) from whose udder flowed four streams of milk (the four cardinal points: the four heads of the four rivers of Eden, etc., etc.) and which “four” allegorically are symbolized by the cube in all its various and mystical meanings.
The Christians — especially the Greek and Latin Churches — have fully adopted the symbol, and see in it a commemoration of life eternal, of salvation and of resurrection. This is found in and corroborated by the time-honoured custom of exchanging “Easter Eggs.” >From the anguinum, the “Egg” of the “pagan” Druid, whose name alone made Rome tremble with fear, to the red Easter Egg of the Slavonian peasant, a cycle has passed. And yet, whether in civilized Europe, or among the abject savages of Central America, we find the same archaic, primitive thought; if we only search for it and do not disfigure — in the haughtiness of our fancied mental and physical superiority — the original idea of the symbol.
This is the name given to the Periods called Manvantara (Manu-antara, or between the Manus) and Pralaya (Dissolution); one referring to the active periods of the Universe, the other to its times of relative and complete rest — according to whether they occur at the end of a “Day,” or an “Age” (a life) of Brahma. These periods, which follow each other in regular succession, are also called Kalpas, small and great, the minor and the Maha Kalpa; though, properly speaking, the Maha Kalpa is never a “day,” but a whole life or age of Brahma, for it is said in the Brahma Vaivarta: “Chronologers compute a Kalpa by the Life of Brahma; minor Kalpas, as Samvarta and the rest, are numerous.” In sober truth they are infinite; as they have never had a commencement, i.e., there never was a first Kalpa, nor will there ever be a last one, in Eternity.
One Parardha — in the ordinary acceptation of this measure of time — or half of the existence of Brahma (in the present Maha Kalpa) has already expired; the last Kalpa was the Padma, or that of the Golden Lotos; the present one being Varaha  (the “boar” incarnation, or Avatar).
By the scholar who studies the Hindu religion from the Puranas, one thing is to be especially noted. He must not take literally, and in one sense only, the statements therein found; since those which especially concern the Manvantaras or Kalpas have to be understood in their several references. So, for instance, these periods relate in the same language to both the great and the small periods, to Maha Kalpas and to minor Cycles. The Matsya, or Fish Avatar, happened before the Varaha or Boar Avatar; the allegories, therefore, must relate to both the Padma and the present manvantara, and also to the minor cycles which took place since the reappearance of our Chain of Worlds and Earth. And, as the Matsya Avatar of Vishnu and Vaivasvata’s Deluge are correctly connected with an event that happened on our Earth during this Round, it is evident that while it may relate to pre-cosmic events (in the sense of our Kosmos or Solar system) it has reference in our case to a distant geological period. Not even Esoteric philosophy can claim to know, except by analogical inference, that which took place before the reappearance of our Solar System and previous to the last Maha Pralaya. But it teaches distinctly that after the first geological disturbance in the Earth’s axis which ended in the sweeping down to the bottom of the Seas of the whole second Continent, with its primeval races — of which successive “Earths” or Continents Atlantis was the fourth — there came another disturbance by the axis resuming as rapidly its previous degree of inclination; when the Earth was indeed raised once more out of the Waters, and — as above so it is below; and vice versa. There were “gods” on Earth in those days — gods, and not men, as we know them now, says the tradition. As will be shown in Book II., the computation of periods in exoteric Hinduism refers to both the great cosmic and the small terrestrial events and cataclysms, and the same may be shown for names. For instance Yudishthira — the first King of the Sacea, who opens the Kali Yuga era, which has to last 432,000 years — “an actual King and man who lived 3,102 years B.C.,” applies also, name and all, to the great Deluge at the time of the first sinking of Atlantis. He is the “Yudishthira  born on the mountain of the hundred peaks at the extremity of the world beyond which nobody can go” and “immediately after the flood.” (See Royal Asiat. Soc., Vol. 9, p. 364.) We know of no “Flood” 3,102 years B.C. — not even that of Noah, for, agreeably with Judaeo-Christian chronology, it took place 2,349 years B.C.
This relates to an esoteric division of time and a mystery explained elsewhere, and may therefore be left aside for the present. Suffice to remark at this juncture that all the efforts of imagination of the Wilfords, Bentleys, and other would-be OEdipuses of esoteric Hindu Chronology have sadly failed. No computation of either the Four Ages, or the Manvantaras, has ever been unriddled by our very learned Orientalists, who have therefore cut the Gordian Knot by proclaiming the whole “a figment of the Brahmanical brain.” So be it, and may the great scholars rest in peace. This “figment” is given in the Preliminary Sections which preface Anthropogenesis in Book II., and with esoteric additions.
Let us see, however, what were the three kinds of pralayas, and what is the popular belief about them. For once it agrees with Esotericism.
Of the pralaya before which fourteen Manvantaras elapse, having over them as many presiding Manus, and at whose close occurs the “incidental” or Brahma’s dissolution, it is said in Vishnu Purana, in condensed form, that “at the end of a thousand periods of four ages, which complete a day of Brahma, the earth is almost exhausted. The eternal Avyaya (Vishnu) assumes then the character of Rudra (the destroyer, Siva) and re-unites all his creatures to himself. He enters the Seven rays of the Sun and drinks up all the waters of the globe; he causes the moisture to evaporate, thus drying up the whole Earth. Oceans and rivers, torrents and small streams, are all exhaled. Thus fed with abundant moisture the seven solar rays become sevens suns by dilation, and they finally set the world on fire. Hari, the destroyer of all things, who is ‘the flame of time, Kalagni,’ finally consumes the Earth. Then Rudra, becoming Janardana, breathes clouds and rain.”
There are many kinds of Pralaya, but three chief ones are specially mentioned in old Hindu books; and of these, as Wilson shows: — The first is called Naimittika  “occasional” or “incidental,” caused by the intervals of “Brahma’s Days;” it is the destruction of creatures, of all that lives and has a form, but not of the substance which remains in statu quo till the new dawn in that “Night.” The other is called Prakritika — and occurs at the end of the Age or Life of Brahma, when everything that exists is resolved into the primal element, to be remodelled at the end of that longer night. But the third, Atyantika, does not concern the Worlds or the Universe, but only the individualities of some people; it is thus individual pralaya or nirvana; after having reached which, there is no more future existence possible, no rebirth till after the Maha Pralaya. The latter night, lasting as it does 311,040,000,000,000 years, and having the possibility of being almost doubled in case the lucky Jivanmukti reaches Nirvana at an early period of a Manvantara, is long enough to be regarded as eternal, if not endless. The Bhagavata (XII., iv, 35) speaks of a fourth kind of pralaya, the Nitya or constant dissolution, and explains it as the change which takes place imperceptibly in everything in this Universe from the globe down to the atom — without cessation. It is growth and decay (life and death).
When the Maha Pralaya arrives, the inhabitants of Swar-loka (the upper sphere) disturbed by the conflagration, seek refuge “with the Pitris, their progenitors, the Manus, the Seven Rishis, the various orders of celestial Spirits and the Gods, in Maharloka.” When the latter is reached also, the whole of the above enumerated beings migrate in their turn from Maharloka, and repair to Jana-loka in “their subtile forms, destined to become re-embodied, in similar capacities as their former, when the world is renewed at the beginning of the succeeding Kalpa;” (Vayu Purana).
“ . . . . These clouds, mighty in size, and loud in thunder, fill up all space (Nabhas-tala),” goes on Vishnu Purana. — (Book VI., ch. iii.) “Showering down torrents of water, these clouds quench the dreadful fires, and then they rain uninterruptedly for a hundred (divine) years, and deluge the whole world (Solar System). Pouring down, in drops as large as dice, these rains overspread the earth, and fill the middle region (Bhuvaloka) and inundate heaven. The world is now enveloped in darkness, and all things animate, or inanimate, having perished, the clouds continue to pour down their waters” . . . “and the Night of Brahma reigns supreme over the scene of desolation . . . . .”
This is what we call in the Esoteric Doctrine a “Solar Pralaya” . . . When the waters have reached the region of the Seven Rishis, and the world (our Solar System) is one ocean, they stop. The breath of Vishnu becomes a strong wind, which blows for another hundred (divine) years until all clouds are dispersed. The wind is then reabsorbed: and “That, of which all things are made, the Lord by whom all things exist, He who is inconceivable, without beginning, the beginning of the universe, reposes, sleeping upon Sesha (the Serpent of Infinity) in the midst of the deep. The Adikrit (Creator?) Hari, sleeps upon the ocean of Space in the form of Brahma — glorified by Sanaka  and the Siddha (Saints) of Jana-loka, and contemplated by the holy denizens of Brahma-loka, anxious for final liberation, involved in mystic slumber, the celestial personification of his own illusions. . . .” This is the Pratisanchara (dissolution?) termed incidental because Hari is its incidental (ideal) Cause. . . . .  When the Universal Spirit wakes, the world revives; when he closes his eyes, all things fall upon the bed of mystic slumber. In like manner, as 1,000 great ages constitute a Day of Brahma (in the original it is Padma-yoni, the same as Abjayoni — “lotos-born,” not Brahma), so his Night consists of the same period. “Awaking at the end of his night, the unborn . . . creates the Universe anew. . . .” (Vishnu Purana.)
This is “incidental” pralaya; what is the Elemental Dissolution? “When by dearth and fire,” says Parasara to Maitreya, “all the worlds and Patalas (hells) are withered up . . .  the progress of elemental dissolution is begun. Then, first the waters swallow up the property of Earth (which is the rudiment of smell), and earth deprived of this property proceeds to destruction — and becomes one with water . . . . when the Universe is thus pervaded by the waves of the watery Element, its rudimentary flavour is locked up by the elements of fire . . . on account of which the waters themselves are destroyed . . . and become one with fire; and the Universe is therefore, entirely filled with flame (ethereal) which gradually overspreads the whole world. While Space is one flame, the element of wind seizes upon the rudimental property or form, which is the cause of light, and that being withdrawn (pralina) all becomes of the nature of air. The rudiment of form being destroyed, and Vibhavasu (fire?) deprived of its rudiment, air extinguishes fire and spreads over space, which is deprived of light when fire merges into air. Air, then, accompanied by sound, which is the source of Ether, extends everywhere throughout the ten regions . . . . until Ether seizes upon cohesion (Sparsa —Touch?) its rudimental property, by the loss of which, air is destroyed, and kha remains unmodified; devoid of form, flavour, touch (Sparsa), and smell, it exists, embodied (murttimat) and vast, and pervades the whole Space. Akasa, whose characteristic property and rudiment is sound (the “Word”), occupies the whole containment of Space. Then the origin (Noumenon?) of the Elements (Bhutadi), devours sound (collective Demiurgos); and the hosts of Dhyan Chohans, and all the existing Elements  are at once merged into their original. The primary Element, Consciousness, combined with tamasa (spiritual darkness) is itself disintegrated by mahat (the Universal Intellect), whose characteristic property is Buddhi, and earth and Mahat are the inner and outer boundaries of the Universe.” Thus as (in the beginning) “were the seven forms of Prakriti (nature) reckoned from Mahat to earth, so these seven successively re-enter into each other.” 
“The Egg of Brahma (Sarva-mandala) is dissolved in the waters that surround it, with its seven zones (dwipas) seven oceans, seven regions, and their mountains; the investure of water is drunk by the fire; the (stratum of) fire is absorbed by (that of) air; air blends itself with ether (Akasa); the Bhutadi (the origin, or rather the cause, of the primary element) devours the ether and is (itself) destroyed by Mahat (the Great, the Universal mind), which along with all these is seized upon by Prakriti and disappears. The Prakriti is essentially the same, whether discrete or indiscrete; only that which is discrete is finally absorbed by and lost in the indiscrete. Pums (Spirit) also, which is one, pure, imperishable, eternal, all-pervading, is a portion of that Supreme spirit which is all things. That Spirit (Sarvesa) which is other than (embodied) Spirit, and in which there are no attributes of name, species (naman and jati, or rupa, hence body rather than species), or the like — remains as the sole existence (Satta). . . Prakriti and Purusha both resolving finally into Supreme Spirit. . . .” (From Vishnu Purana, Wilson’s mistakes being here corrected, and original words put in brackets).
This is the final Pralaya  — the Death of Kosmos — after which its Spirit rests in Nirvana, or in that for which there is neither Day nor Night. All the other pralayas are periodical and follow, in regular succession, the Manvantaras, as the night follows the day of every human creature, animal, and plant. The cycle of creation of the lives of Kosmos is run down, the energy of the manifested “Word” having its growth, culmination, and decrease, as have all things temporary, however long their duration. The Creative Force is Eternal as Noumenon; as a phenomenal manifestation in its aspects, it has a beginning and must, therefore, have an end. During that interval it has its periods of activity and its periods of rest. And these are the “Days and the nights of Brahma.” But Brahma, the Noumenon, never rests, as it never changes and ever is, though it cannot be said to be anywhere. . . . .
The Jewish Kabalists felt this necessity of immutability in an eternal, infinite Deity, and therefore applied the same thought to the anthropomorphic god. The idea is poetical and very appropriate in its application. In the Zohar we read as follows: —
“As Moses was keeping a vigil on Mount Sinai, in company with the deity, who was concealed from his sight by a cloud, he felt a great fear overcome him, and suddenly asked: ‘Lord, where art thou . . . . sleepest thou, O Lord? . . .’ And the Spirit answered him: ‘I never sleep: were I to fall asleep for a moment before my time, all the creation would crumble into dissolution in one instant.’ ”
“Before my time” is very suggestive. It shows the God of Moses to be only a temporary substitute, like Brahma the male, a substitute and an aspect of that which is immutable, and which therefore can take no part in the “days,” or in the “nights,” nor have any concern whatever with reaction or dissolution.
While the Eastern Occultists have seven modes of interpretation, the Jews have only four — namely, the real-mystical; the allegorical; the moral; and the literal or Pashut. The latter is the key of the exoteric Churches and not worth discussion. Read in the first, or mystical key, here are several sentences which show the identity of the foundations of construction in every Scripture. It is given in Mr. T. Myer’s excellent book on the Kabalistic works he seems to have well studied. I quote verbatim. “B’raisheeth barah elohim ath hash ama yem v’ath haa’retz — i.e., ‘In the beginning the God(s) created the heavens and the earth;” (the meaning of which is:) the six Sephiroth of Construction,  over which B’raisheeth stands, all belong Below. It created six (and) on these stand all Things. And those depend upon the seven forms of the Cranium up to the Dignity of all Dignities. And the second ‘Earth’ does not come into calculation, therefore it has been said: ‘And from it (that Earth) which underwent the curse, came it forth.’ . . . . ‘It (the Earth) was without form and void; and darkness was over the face of the Abyss, and the Spirit of elohim . . . . was breathing (me’ racha ’phath) — i.e., hovering, brooding over, moving. . . . . Thirteen depend on thirteen (forms) of the most worthy Dignity. Six thousand years hang (are referred to) in the first six words. The seventh (thousand, the millennium) above it (the cursed Earth) is that which is strong by Itself. And it was rendered entirely desolate during twelve hours (one . . . . Day) as is written. . . . . In the thirteenth, It (the Deity) shall restore all . . . . and everything shall be renewed as before; and all those six shall continue . . . . etc.” (Qabbalah, p.233, from Siphrah Dzeniuta, c. i., § 16, s. 9.)
The “Sephiroth of Construction” are the six Dhyan Chohans, or Manus, or Prajapati, synthesized by the seventh “B’raisheeth (the First Emanation or Logos), and who are called, therefore, the Builders of the Lower or physical Universe” all belong Below. These six whose essence is of the Seventh — are the Upadhi, the base or fundamental stone on which the objective Universe is built, the noumenoi of all things. Hence they are, at the same time, the Forces of nature, the Seven Angels of the Presence, the sixth and seventh principles in man; the spirito-psycho-physical spheres of the Septenary chain, the Root Races, etc., etc. They all “depend upon the Seven forms of the Cranium” up to the highest. The “second Earth” “does not come into calculation” because it is no Earth, but the Chaos or Abyss of Space in which rested the paradigmatic, or model universe in ideation of the over-soul brooding over it. The term “Curse” is here very misleading, for it means simply doom or destiny, or that fatality which sent it forth into the objective state. This is shown by that “Earth” under the “Curse” being described as “without form and void,” in whose abysmal depths the “Breath” of the Elohim (collective Logoi) produced or photographed the first divine Ideation of the things to be. This process is repeated after every Pralaya before the beginnings of a new Manvantara, or period of sentient individual being. “Thirteen depend on thirteen forms,” refers to the thirteen periods personified by the thirteen Manus, with Swayambhuva the fourteenth (13, instead of 14, being an additional veil): those fourteen Manus who reign within the term of a Mahayuga, a “Day” of Brahma. These (thirteen-fourteen) of the objective Universe depend on the thirteen (fourteen) paradigmatic, ideal forms. The meaning of the “Six thousand years” which “hang in the first six words,” has again to be sought in the Indian Wisdom. They refer to the primordial six (seven) “Kings of Edom” who typify the worlds (or spheres) of our chain during the first Round, as well as the primordial men of this Round. They are the septenary pre-Adamic (or before the Third, Separated Race) first Root-race. As they were shadows, and senseless (they had not eaten yet of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge), they could not see the Parguphim, or “Face could not see Face” (primeval men were unconscious), “therefore, the primordial (seven) Kings died,” i.e., were destroyed (vide Sepherah Djenioutha). Now, who are they? They are the Kings who are “the Seven Rishis, certain (secondary) divinities, Sakra (Indra), Manu, and the Kings his Sons, who are created and perish at one period,” as said in Vishnu Purana (Book I. chap. iii.). For the seventh (“thousand”) (not the millennium of exoteric Christianity, but that of Anthropogenesis) represents both the “seventh period of creation,” that of physical man (Vishnu Purana), and the seventh Principle — both macrocosmic and microcosmic, — as also the pralaya after the Seventh period, the “Night” which has the same duration as the “Day” of Brahma. “It was rendered entirely desolate during twelve hours, as is written.” It is in the Thirteenth (twice six and the Synthesis) that everything shall be restored “and the six will continue.”
Thus the author of the Qabbalah remarks quite truly that “Long before his (Ibn Gebirol’s) time . . . many centuries before the Christian era, there was in Central Asia a ‘Wisdom Religion;’ fragments of which subsequently existed among the learned men of the archaic Egyptians, the ancient Chinese, Hindus, etc. . . .” and that . . . . . “The Qabbalah most likely originally came from Aryan sources, through Central Asia, Persia, India and Mesopotamia, for from Ur and Haran came Abraham and many others into Palestine” (p. 221). And such was the firm conviction of C. W. King, the author of “The Gnostics and their Remains.”
Vamadeva Modelyar (Modely) describes the coming “night” most poetically. Though it is given in Isis Unveiled, it is worthy of repetition.
“Strange noises are heard, proceeding from every point . . . These are the precursors of the Night of Brahma; dusk rises at the horizon, and the Sun passes away behind the thirteenth degree of Macara (sign of the Zodiac), and will reach no more the sign of the Minas (zodiacal pisces, or fish). The gurus of the pagodas appointed to watch the rasichakr (Zodiac), may now break their circle and instruments, for they are henceforth useless.
“Gradually light pales, heat diminishes, uninhabited spots multiply on the earth, the air becomes more and more rarified; the springs of waters dry up, the great rivers see their waves exhausted, the ocean shows its sandy bottom and plants die. Men and animals decrease in size daily. Life and motion lose their force, planets can hardly gravitate in space; they are extinguished one by one, like a lamp which the hand of the chokra (servant) neglects to replenish. Surya (the Sun) flickers and goes out, matter falls into dissolution (pralaya), and Brahma merges back into Dayus, the Unrevealed God, and, his task being accomplished, he falls asleep. Another day is passed, night sets in, and continues until the future dawn.
“And now again he re-enters into the golden egg of His Thought, the germs of all that exist, as the divine Manu tells us. During His peaceful rest, the animated beings, endowed with the principles of action, cease their functions, and all feeling (manas) becomes dormant. When they are all absorbed in the Supreme Soul, this Soul of all the beings sleeps in complete repose till the day when it resumes its form, and awakes again from its primitive darkness.” 
As the “Satya-yuga” is always the first in the series of the four ages or Yugas, so the Kali ever comes the last. The Kali yuga reigns now supreme in India, and it seems to coincide with that of the Western age. Anyhow, it is curious to see how prophetic in almost all things was the writer of Vishnu Purana when foretelling to Maitreya some of the dark influences and sins of this Kali Yug. For after saying that the “barbarians” will be masters of the banks of the Indus, of Chandrabhaga and Kasmera, he adds:
“There will be contemporary monarchs, reigning over the earth — kings of churlish spirit, violent temper, and ever addicted to falsehood and wickedness. They will inflict death on women, children, and cows; they will seize upon the property of their subjects, and be intent upon the wives of others; they will be of unlimited power, their lives will be short, their desires insatiable. . . . People of various countries intermingling with them, will follow their example; and the barbarians being powerful (in India) in the patronage of the princes, while purer tribes are neglected, the people will perish (or, as the Commentator has it, ‘The Mlechchas will be in the centre and the Aryas in the end.’)  Wealth and piety will decrease until the world will be wholly depraved. Property alone will confer rank; wealth will be the only source of devotion; passion will be the sole bond of union between the sexes; falsehood will be the only means of success in litigation; and women will be objects merely of sensual gratification. . . . . . External types will be the only distinction of the several orders of life; . . . . . a man if rich will be reputed pure; dishonesty (anyaya) will be the universal means of subsistence, weakness the cause of dependence, menace and presumption will be substituted for learning; liberality will be devotion; mutual assent, marriage; fine clothes, dignity. He who is the strongest will reign; the people, unable to bear the heavy burthen, Khara bhara (the load of taxes) will take refuge among the valleys. . . . Thus, in the Kali age will decay constantly proceed, until the human race approaches its annihilation (pralaya) . . . . When the close of the Kali age shall be nigh, a portion of that divine being which exists, of its own spiritual nature . . . shall descend on Earth . . . (Kalki Avatar) endowed with the eight superhuman faculties. . . . He will re-establish righteousness on earth, and the minds of those who live at the end of Kali Yuga shall be awakened and become as pellucid as crystal. The men who are thus changed . . . shall be the seeds of human beings, and shall give birth to a race who shall follow the laws of the Krita age, the age of purity. As it is said, ‘When the sun and moon and the lunar asterism Tishya and the planet Jupiter are in one mansion, the Krita (or Satya) age shall return.’ ”
“. . . . Two persons, Devapi, of the race of Kuru and Moru, of the family of Ikshwaku, continue alive throughout the four ages, residing at Kalapa.  They will return hither in the beginning of the Krita age . . . Moru  the son of Sighru through the power of Yoga is still living . . . . and will be the restorer of the Kshattriya race of the Solar dynasty.”  (Vayu Purana, Vol. III, p. 197).
Whether right or wrong with regard to the latter prophecy, the blessings of Kali Yuga are well described, and fit in admirably even with that which one sees and hears in Europe and other civilized and Christian lands in full XIXth, and at the dawn of the XXth century of our great era of Enlightenment.
There are no ancient symbols, without a deep and philosophical meaning attached to them; their importance and significance increasing with their antiquity. Such is the Lotus. It is the flower sacred to nature and her Gods, and represents the abstract and the Concrete Universes, standing as the emblem of the productive powers of both spiritual and physical nature. It was held sacred from the remotest antiquity by the Aryan Hindus, the Egyptians, and the Buddhists after them; revered in China and Japan, and adopted as a Christian emblem by the Greek and Latin Churches, who made of it a messenger as the Christians do now, who replace it with the water lily.  It had, and still has, its mystic meaning which is identical with every nation on the earth. We refer the reader to Sir William Jones.  With the Hindus, the lotus is the emblem of the productive power of nature, through the agency of fire and water (spirit and matter). “Eternal!” says a verse in the Bhagavad Gita, “I see Brahm the creator enthroned in thee above the lotus!”; and Sir W. Jones shows, as noted in the Stanzas, that the seeds of the lotus contain, even before they germinate, perfectly-formed leaves, the miniature shapes of what one day, as perfected plants, they will become. The lotus, in India, is the symbol of prolific earth, and what is more, of Mount Meru. The four angels or genii of the four quarters of Heaven (the Maharajahs, see Stanzas) stand each on a lotus. The lotus is the two-fold type of the Divine and human hermaphrodite, being of dual sex, so to say.
The spirit of Fire (or Heat), which stirs up, fructifies, and develops into concrete form everything (from its ideal prototype), which is born of water or primordial Earth, evolved Brahma — with the Hindus. The lotus flower, represented as growing out of Vishnu’s navel — that God resting on the waters of space and his Serpent of Infinity — is the most graphic allegory ever made: the Universe evolving from the central Sun, the point, the ever-concealed germ. Lakshmi, who is the female aspect of Vishnu,  and who is also called Padma, the lotus, is likewise shown floating at “Creation,” on a lotus flower, and during the “churning of the ocean” of space, springing from the “sea of milk,” like Venus from the froth.
sings an English Orientalist and poet (Sir Monier Williams).
The underlying idea in this symbol is very beautiful, and it shows, furthermore, its identical parentage in all the religious systems. Whether in the lotus or water-lily shape it signifies one and the same philosophical idea — namely, the emanation of the objective from the subjective, divine Ideation passing from the abstract into the concrete or visible form. For, as soon as Darkness — or rather that which is “darkness” for ignorance — has disappeared in its own realm of eternal Light, leaving behind itself only its divine manifested Ideation, the creative Logoi have their understanding opened, and they see in the ideal world (hitherto concealed in the divine thought) the archetypal forms of all, and proceed to copy and build or fashion upon these models forms evanescent and transcendent.
At this stage of action, the Demiurge  is not yet the Architect. Born in the twilight of action, he has yet to first perceive the plan, to realise the ideal forms which lie buried in the bosom of Eternal Ideation, as the future lotus-leaves, the immaculate petals, are concealed within the seed of that plant. . . . .
In chapter lxxxi. of the Ritual (Book of the Dead), called “Transformation into the Lotus,” a head emerging from this flower, the god exclaims: “I am the pure lotus, emerging from the Luminous one. . . . . I carry the messages of Horus. I am the pure lotus which comes from the Solar Fields. . . . .”
The lotus-idea may be traced even in the Elohistic chapter, the 1st of Genesis, as stated in Isis. It is in this idea that we must look for the origin and explanation of the verse in the Jewish cosmogony, which reads: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth . . . . the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself.” In all the primitive religions, the “Son of the Father” is the creative God — i.e., His thought made visible; and before the Christian era, from the Trimurti of the Hindus down to the three kabalistic heads of the scriptures as explained by the Jews, the triune godhead of each nation was fully defined and substantiated in its allegories.
Such is the cosmic and ideal significance of this great symbol with the Eastern peoples. But, applied to practical and exoteric worship — which had also its esoteric symbology — the lotus became in time the carrier and container of a more terrestrial idea. No dogmatic religion has ever escaped the sexual element in it; and to this day it soils the moral beauty of the root idea. The following is quoted from the same Kabalistic MSS. already mentioned: —
This is a correct rendering of the underlying ideas of old, of the purely pantheistic conceptions, impersonal and reverential, of the archaic philosophers of the prehistoric ages. Not so, however, when applied to sinful humanity, to the gross ideas attached to personality. Therefore, no pantheistic philosopher would fail to find the remarks that follow the above and which represent the anthropomorphism of Judean symbology, other than dangerous for the sacredness of true religion, and fitting only our materialistic age, which is the direct outcome and result of that anthropomorphic character. For this is the key-note to the entire spirit and essence of the Old Testament. “Therefore,” goes on the MSS., treating of the symbolism of art-speech of the Bible: —
No such thought “carried to the extreme” ever existed among the old primitive Aryans. This is proven by the fact that in the Vedic period their women were not placed apart from men in penetralia, or “Zenanas.” Their seclusion began when the Mahomedans — the next heirs to Hebrew symbolism after Christian ecclesiasticism — had conquered the land and gradually enforced their ways and customs upon the Hindus. The pre- and post-Vedic woman was as free as man; and no impure terrestrial thought was ever mixed with the religious symbology of the early Aryans. The idea and application are purely Semitic. This is corroborated by the writer of the said intensely learned and Kabalistic revelation himself, when he closes the above-quoted passages by adding: —
Most decidedly not. Rather never give a thought to it and leave it for ever nameless, as the early Pantheists did, than degrade the sacredness of that Ideal of Ideals, by dragging down its symbols into such anthropomorphic forms! Here again one perceives the immense chasm between Aryan and Semitic religious thought: two opposite poles — Sincerity and Concealment. With the Brahmins, who have never invested with an “original Sin” element the natural procreative functions of mankind, it is a religious duty to have a son. A Brahmin, in days of old, having accomplished his mission of human creator, retired to the jungle and passed the rest of his days in religious meditations. He had accomplished his duty to nature as mortal man and its co-worker, and henceforth gave all his thoughts to the spiritual immortal portion in himself, regarding the terrestrial as a mere illusion, an evanescent dream — which it is. With the Semite, it was different. He invented a temptation of flesh in a garden of Eden; showed his God (esoterically, the Tempter and the Ruler of Nature) cursing for ever an act, which was in the logical programme of that nature.  All this exoterically, as in the cloak and dead letter of Genesis and the rest; and at the same time esoterically he regarded the supposed sin and fall as an act so sacred, as to choose the organ, the perpetrator of the original sin, as the fittest and most sacred symbol to represent that God, who is shown as branding its entering into function as disobedience and everlasting sin!
Who can ever fathom the paradoxical depths of the Semitic mind? And this paradoxical element, minus its innermost significance, has now passed entirely into Christian theology and dogma!
Whether the early Fathers of the Church knew the esoteric meaning of the Hebrew (Old) Testament, or whether only a few of them were aware of it, while the others remained ignorant of the secret, is for posterity to decide. One thing is certain, at any rate. As the esotericism of the New Testament agrees perfectly with that of the Hebrew Mosaic Books; and since, at the same time, a number of purely Egyptian symbols and pagan dogmas in general — the Trinity for example — have been copied by, and incorporated into, the Synoptics and St. John, it becomes evident that the identity of those symbols was known to the writers of the New Testament, whoever they were. They must have been aware also of the priority of the Egyptian esotericism, since they have adopted several such symbols that typify purely Egyptian conceptions and beliefs — in their outward and inward meaning — and which are not to be found in the Jewish Canon. One of such is the water-lily in the hands of the Archangel in the early representations of his appearance to the Virgin Mary; and these symbolical images are preserved to this day in the iconography of the Greek and Roman Churches. Thus water, fire, the Cross, as well as the Dove, the Lamb, and other sacred animals, with all their combinations, yield esoterically an identical meaning, and must have been accepted as an improvement upon Judaism pure and simple.
For the Lotus and Water are among the oldest symbols, and in their origin are purely Aryan, though they became common property during the branching-off of the fifth race. Let us give an example. Letters, as much as numbers, were all mystic, whether in combination or each taken separately. The most sacred of all is the letter M. It is both feminine and masculine, or androgyne, and is made to symbolize water, the great deep, in its origin. It is mystic in all the languages, Eastern and Western, and stands as a glyph for the waves, thus: . In the Aryan Esotericism, as in the Semitic, this letter has always stood for the waters; e.g., in Sanskrit makara — the tenth sign of the Zodiac — means a crocodile, or rather an aquatic monster associated always with water. The letter MA is equivalent to and corresponds with number 5 — composed of a binary, the symbol of the two sexes separated, and of the ternary, symbol of the third life, the progeny of the binary. This, again, is often symbolised by a Pentagon, the latter being a sacred sign, a divine Monogram. Maitreya is the secret name of the Fifth Buddha, and the Kalki Avatar of the Brahmins — the last Messiah who will come at the culmination of the Great Cycle. It is also the initial letter of the Greek Metis or Divine Wisdom; of Mimra, the “word” or Logos; and of Mithras (the Mihr), the Monad, Mystery. All these are born in, and from, the great Deep, and are the Sons of Maya — the Mother; in Egypt, Mouth, in Greece Minerva (divine wisdom), Mary, or Miriam, Myrrha, etc.; of the Mother of the Christian Logos, and of Maya, the mother of Buddha. Madhava and Madhavi are the titles of the most important gods and goddesses of the Hindu Pantheon. Finally, Mandala is in Sanskrit “a circle,” or an orb (the ten divisions of the Rig Veda). The most sacred names in India begin with this letter generally — from Mahat, the first manifested intellect, and Mandara, the great mountain used by the gods to churn the Ocean, down to Mandakin, the heavenly Ganga (Ganges), Manu, etc., etc.
Shall this be called a coincidence? A strange one it is then, indeed, when we find even Moses — found in the water of the Nile — having the symbolical consonant in his name. And Pharaoh’s daughter “called his name Moses . . . because,” she said, “I drew him out of Water” (Exod. ii., 10.)  Besides which the Hebrew sacred name of God applied to this letter M is Meborach, the “Holy” or the “Blessed,” and the name for the water of the Flood is M’bul. A reminder of the “three Maries” at the Crucifixion and their connection with Mar, the Sea, or Water, may close this example. This is why in Judaism and Christianity the Messiah is always connected with Water, Baptism, the Fishes (the sign of the Zodiac called Meenam in Sanskrit), and even with the Matsya (fish) Avatar, and the Lotus — the symbol of the womb, or the water-lily, which is the same.
In the relics of ancient Egypt, the greater the antiquity of the votive symbols and emblems of the objects exhumed, the oftener are the lotus flowers and the water found in connection with the Solar Gods. The god Khnoom — the moist power — water, as Thales taught it, being the principle of all things, sits on a throne enshrined in a lotus (Saitic epoch, Serapeum). The god Bes stands on a lotus, ready to devour his progeny. (Ibid, Abydos.) Thot, the god of mystery and Wisdom, the sacred Scribe of Amenti, wearing the Solar disc as head gear, sits with a bull’s head (the sacred bull of Mendes being a form of Thot) and a human body, on a full blown lotus. (IVth Dynasty.) Finally it is the goddess Hiquet, under her shape of a frog, who rests on the lotus, thus showing her connection with water. And it is this frog-symbol, undeniably the most ancient of their Egyptian deities, from whose unpoetical shape the Egyptologists have been vainly trying to unravel her mystery and functions. Its adoption in the Church by the early Christians shows that they knew it better than our modern Orientalists. The “frog or toad goddess” was one of the chief cosmic deities connected with creation, on account of her amphibious nature, and chiefly because of her apparent resurrection, after long ages of solitary life enshrined in old walls, in rocks, etc. She not only participated in the organization of the world, together with Khnoom, but was also connected with the dogma of resurrection.  There must have been some very profound and sacred meaning attached to this symbol, since, notwithstanding the risk of being charged with a disgusting form of zoolatry, the early Egyptian Christians adopted it in their Churches. A frog or toad enshrined in a lotus flower, or simply without the latter emblem, was the form chosen for the Church lamps, on which were engraved the words “I am the resurrection” “[[ego eimi anastasis]].”  These frog goddesses are also found on all the mummies.
This archaic symbol is the most poetical of all symbols, as also the most philosophical. The ancient Greeks brought it into prominence, and the modern poets have worn it threadbare. The Queen of Night, riding in the majesty of her peerless light in heaven, throwing all, even Hesperos, into darkness, and spreading her silver mantle over the whole sidereal world, has ever been a favourite theme with all the poets of Christendom, from Milton and Shakespeare down to the latest versifier. But the refulgent lamp of night, with her suite of stars unnumbered, spoke only to the imagination of the profane. Until lately, Religion and Science had nought to do with the beautiful mythos. Yet, the cold chaste moon, she, in the words of Shelley —
stands in closer relations to Earth than any other sidereal orb. The Sun is the giver of life to the whole planetary system; the Moon is the giver of life to our globe; and the early races understood and knew it, even in their infancy. She is the Queen and she is the King, and was King Soma before she became transformed into Phoebe and the chaste Diana. She is pre-eminently the deity of the Christians, through the Mosaic and Kabalistic Jews, though the civilized world may have remained ignorant of the fact for long ages; in fact, ever since the last initiated Father of the Church died, carrying with him into his grave the secrets of the pagan temples. For the “Fathers” — such as Origen or Clemens Alexandrinus — the Moon was Jehovah’s living symbol: the giver of Life and the giver of Death, the disposer of being — in our World. For, if Artemis was Luna in Heaven, and, with the Greeks, Diana on Earth, who presided over child-birth and life: with the Egyptians, she was Hekat (Hecate) in Hell, the goddess of Death, who ruled over magic and enchantments. More than this: as the personified moon, whose phenomena are triadic, Diana-Hecate-Luna is the three in one. For she is Diva triformis, tergemina, triceps — three heads on one neck,  like Brahma-Vishnu-Siva. Hence she is the prototype of our Trinity, which has not always been entirely male. The number seven, so prominent in the Bible, so sacred in its seventh (Sabbath) day, came to the Jews from Antiquity, deriving its origin from the four-fold number 7 contained in the 28 days of the lunar month, each septenary portion thereof being typified by one quarter of the moon.
It is worth the trouble of presenting in this work a bird’s-eye view of the origin and development of the lunar myth and worship in historical antiquity, on our side of the globe. Its earlier origin is untraceable by exact science, rejecting as it does tradition; while for Theology, which, under the guidance of the crafty Popes, has put a brand on every fragment of literature that does not bear the imprimatur of the Church of Rome, its archaic history is a sealed book. Whether the Egyptian or the Aryan Hindu religious philosophy is the more ancient — and the Secret Doctrine says it is the latter — does not much matter in this instance, as the lunar and solar “worship” are the most ancient in the world. Both have survived, and prevail to this day throughout the whole world, with some openly, with others — e.g., in Christian symbolics — secretly. The cat, a lunar symbol, was sacred to Isis, herself the Moon in one sense, as Osiris was the Sun. The cat is often seen on the top of the Sistrum in the hand of the goddess. This animal was held in great veneration in the city of Bubaste, which went into deep mourning after the death of every sacred cat, because Isis, as the Moon, was particularly worshipped in this city of mysteries. The astronomical symbolism connected with it has already been given in Section I. of “Symbolism,” and no one has better described it than Mr. G. Massey, in his Lectures and in “The Natural Genesis.” The eye of the cat, it is said, seems to follow the lunar phases in its growth and decline, and its orbs shine like two stars in the darkness of night. Hence the mythological allegory which shows Diana hiding under the shape of a cat in the Moon, when, in company with other deities, she was seeking to escape the pursuit of Typhon (Vide the Metamorphoses of Ovid). The moon in Egypt was both the “Eye of Horus” and the “Eye of Osiris,” the Sun.
The same with the Cynocephalus. The dog-headed ape was a glyph to symbolise the sun and moon, in turn, though the Cynocephalus is more a Hermetic than a religious symbol. For it is the hieroglyph of Mercury, the planet, as of the Mercury of the Alchemical philosophers, “as,” say the Alchemists, “Mercury has to be ever near Isis, as her minister, as without Mercury neither Isis nor Osiris can accomplish anything in the great work.” Cynocephalus, whenever represented with the Caduceus, the Crescent, or the Lotus, is a glyph of the “philosophical” Mercury; but when seen with a reed, or a roll of parchment, he stands for Hermes, the secretary and adviser of Isis, as Hanuman filled the same office with Rama.
Though the regular Sun-Worshippers, the Parsis, are few, yet not only is the bulk of the Hindu mythology and history based upon and interblended with these two worships, but so is also the Christian religion itself. From their origin down to our modern day it has coloured the theologies of both the Roman Catholic and Protestant Churches. The difference, indeed, between the Aryan Hindu and the Aryan European faiths is very small, if only the fundamental ideas of both are taken into consideration. Hindus are proud of calling themselves Suryas and Chandravansas (of the Solar and Lunar dynasties). The Christians pretend to regard it as idolatry, and yet they adhere to a religion entirely based upon the solar and lunar worships. It is useless and vain for the Protestants to exclaim against the Roman Catholics for their “Mariolatry,” based on the ancient cult of lunar goddesses, when they themselves worship Jehovah, pre-eminently a lunar god, and when both Churches have accepted in their theologies the “Sun”-Christ and the lunar trinity.
What is known of Chaldaean Moon-Worship, of the Babylonian god, Sin, called by the Greeks “Deus Lunus,” is very little, and that little is apt to mislead the profane student who fails to grasp the esoteric significance of the symbols. As popularly known to the ancient profane philosophers and writers (for those who were initiated were pledged to silence) the Chaldaea were the worshippers of the moon under her (and his) various names, just as were the Jews, who came after them.
In the unpublished MSS. on the Art Speech, already mentioned, giving a key to the formation of the ancient (symbolical) language, a logical raison d’etre is brought forward for this double worship. It is written by a wonderfully well-informed and acute scholar and Mystic, who gives it in the comprehensive form of a hypothesis. The latter, however, becomes forcibly a proven fact in the history of religious evolution in human thought, to anyone who has ever had a glimpse into the secret of ancient Symbology. Thus, he says: —
This is the physiological or anthropological key to the Moon symbol. The key that opens the mystery of theogony, or the evolution of the Manvantaric gods, is more complicated, and has nothing phallic in it. All is mystical and divine there. But the Jews, beyond connecting Jehovah directly with the Moon as a generative god, preferred to ignore the higher hierarchies, and have made of some of them (zodiacal constellations and planetary gods) their Patriarchs, thus euhemerizing the purely theosophical idea and dragging it down to the level of sinful humanity. (See section “Holy of Holies” in the “Symbolism” of Book II.) The MSS. from which the above is extracted explains very clearly to what hierarchy of gods Jehovah belonged, and who this Jewish God was; for it shows in clear language that which the writer has always insisted upon — namely, that the God with which the Christians have burdened themselves was no better than the lunar symbol of the reproductive or generative faculty in nature. They have ever ignored even the Hebrew secret god of the Kabalists, Ain-Soph, as grand as Parabrahmam in the earliest Kabalistic and mystical conceptions. But it is not the Kabala of Rosenroth that can ever give the true original teachings of Simeon-Ben-Iochai, as metaphysical and philosophical as any. And how many are there among the students of the Kabala who knew anything of them except in their distorted Latin translations. Let us glance at the idea which led the ancient Jews to adopt a substitute for the ever Unknowable, and which has misled the Christians into mistaking the substitute for the reality.
This “double womb” also shows the duality of the idea carried from the highest, spiritual, down to the lowest or terrestrial plane; and by the Jews limited to the latter. With them, therefore the number 7 has acquired the most prominent place in their exoteric religion, a cult of external forms and empty rituals; as their Sabbath, for instance, the seventh day sacred to their deity, the moon, symbolical of the generative Jehovah. While with other nations the number seven was typical of theogonic evolution, of cycles, cosmic planes, and the Seven Forces and Occult Powers in Kosmos, as a boundless whole, whose first upper triangle was unreachable to the finite intellect of man — while other nations, therefore, busied themselves, in their forcible limitation of Kosmos in Space and Time, only with its septenary manifested plane, the Jews centred this member solely in the moon, and based all their sacred calculations thereupon. Hence we find the thoughtful author of the MSS. just quoted, remarking, in reference to the metrology of the Jews that: “If 20,612 be multiplied by 4/3 the product will afford a base for the ascertainment of the mean revolution of the moon, and if this product be again multiplied by 4/3, this continued product will afford a base for finding the exact period of the mean solar year, . . . this form . . . becoming, for the finding of astronomical periods of time, of very great service.” This double number (male and female) is symbolized also in some well-known idols: e.g., “Ardanari-Iswara, the Isis of the Hindus, Eridanus, or Ardan, or the Hebrew Jordan, or source of descent. She is standing on a lotus-leaf flowing on the water. But the signification is, that it is androgyne or hermaphrodite, that is phallus and yoni combined, the number 10, the Hebrew letter Jod , the containment of Jehovah. She, or rather she-he, gives the minutes of the same circle of 360 degrees.”
“Jehovah,” in its best aspect is Binah, “the Upper mediating Mother, the Great Sea or Holy Spirit;” therefore rather a synonym of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, than of his Father; that “Mother, being the Latin Mare” the Sea is here also, Venus, the Stella del Mare, or “Star of the Sea.”
The ancestors of the mysterious Akkadians — the Chandra or Indovansas, the Lunar Kings whom tradition shows reigning at Prayag (Allahabad) ages before our era — had come from India, and brought with them the worship of their forefathers, of Soma, and his son Budha, which afterwards became that of the Chaldeans. Yet such adoration, apart from popular Astrolatry and Heliolatry, was in no sense idolatry. No more, at any rate, than the modern Roman Catholic symbolism which connects their Virgin Mary — the Magna Mater of the Syrians and Greeks — with the Moon.
Of this worship, the most pious Roman Catholics feel quite proud, and loudly confess to it. In a Memoire to the French Academy, the Marquis De Mirville says: —
Surely nothing could be more sincere than this! It justifies entirely what Mr. Gerald Massey has said in his Lecture on “Luniolatry, Ancient and Modern”: —
A charming allegory is found in the Zohar, one which unveils better than anything ever did the true character of Jehovah or YHVH in the primitive conception of the Hebrew Kabalists. It is now found in the philosophy of I’bn Gebirol’s Kabbalah, translated by Isaac Myer. “In the introduction written by R’Hez’quee-yah, which is very old,” says our author, “and forms part of our Brody edition of the Zohar (I, 5b. sq.) is an account of a journey taken by R. El’azar, son of R. Shim-on b. Io’hai, and Rabbi Abbah.” They met a man with a heavy burden and asked his name; but he refused to give it and proceeded to explain to them Thorah (Law). “They asked: ‘Who caused thee thus to walk and carry such a heavy load?’ He answered: ‘The letter , (Yod, which = 10, and is the symbolical letter of Kether and the essence and germ of the Holy name YHVH) . . . . They said to him: ‘If thou wilt tell us the name of thy father, we will kiss the dust of thy feet.’ He replied: ‘As to my father, he had his dwelling in the Great Sea, and was a fish therein’ (like Vishnu and Dagon or Oannes), ‘which (first) destroyed the great sea’ . . . . . and he was great and mighty and ‘Ancient of Days,’ until he swallowed all the other fishes in the (Great) Sea . . . R. El’azar listened and said to him: ‘Thou art the Son of the Holy Flame, thou art the Son of Rab Ham — ’nun-ah Sabah [the old: the fish in Aramaic or Chaldee is nun (noon)] thou art the Son of the Light of the Thorah,” (Dharma) etc. Then the author explains that the feminine Sephiroth, Binah, is termed by the Kabalist the great sea: therefore Binah, whose divine names are Jehovah, Yah, and Elohim, is simply the Chaldean Tiamat, the female power, the Thalatth of Berosus, who presides over the Chaos, and was made out later by Christian theology to be the serpent and the Devil. She-He (Yah-hovah) is the supernal (Heh, and Eve). This Yah-hovah then or Jehovah, is identical with our Chaos — Father, Mother, Son, — on the material plane and in the purely physical World. Demon and Deus at one and the same time; the sun and moon, good and evil, God and Demon.
Lunar magnetism generates life, preserves and destroys it, psychically as well as physically. And if, astronomically, she is one of the seven planets of the ancient world, in theogony she is one of the regents thereof; with Christians now as much as with Pagans, the former referring to her under the name of one of their archangels, and the latter under that of one of their gods.
Therefore the meaning of the “fairy tale” translated by Chwolson from an old Chaldean MSS. translated into Arabic, about Qu-tamy being instructed by the idol of the moon, is easily understood (vide Book III.) Seldenus tells us the secret as well as Maimonides (More Nevochim, Book III., ch. xxx). The worshippers of the Teraphim (the Jewish Oracles) “carved images and claimed that the light of the principal stars (planets) permeating these through and through, the angelic Virtues (or the regents of the stars and planets) conversed with them, teaching them many most useful things and arts.” And Seldenus explains that the Teraphim were built and composed after the position of certain planets, those which the Greeks called [[stoicheia]], and according to figures that were located in the sky and called [[alexeteroi]], or the tutelary gods. Those who traced out the [[stoicheia]] were called [[stoicheiomatichoi]], or the diviners by the [[stoicheia]]. (De Diis Syriis, Teraph, II. Synt. p. 31) vide infra, the Teraphim.
It is such sentences, however, in the “Nabathean agriculture,” that have frightened the men of science and made them proclaim the work “either an apocrypha or a fairy tale, unworthy of the notice of an Academician.” At the same time, as shown, zealous Roman Catholics and Protestants tore it metaphorically to pieces; the former because “it described the worship of demons,” the latter because it is “ungodly.” They are all wrong, once more. It is not a fairy tale; and as far as regards pious Churchmen, the same worship may be shown in the Scriptures, however disfigured by translation. Solar and Lunar worship, as well as that of the Stars and Elements, are traced, and figure in the Christian theology; defended by Papists, they are stoutly denied by the Protestants only at their own risk and peril. Two instances may be given.
Ammianus Marcellinus teaches that ancient divinations were always accomplished with the help of the Spirits of the Elements, “Spiritus elementorum, and in Greek [[pneumata ton stoicheion]] “(1. I., 21).
But it is found now that the planets, the Elements, and the Zodiac, were figured not only in Heliopolis by the twelve stones called “mysteries of the elements,” elementorum arcana, but also in Solomon’s temple, and, as pointed out by various writers, in several old Italian churches and even at Notre Dame de Paris where they can be seen to this day.
No symbol — the sun included — was more complex in its manifold meanings than the lunar symbol. The sex was, of course, dual. With some it was male, e.g., the Hindu “King Soma,” and the Chaldean Sin; with other nations it was female, the beauteous goddesses Diana-Luna, I’lythia, Lucina. In Tauris, human victims were sacrificed to Artemis, a form of the lunar goddess; the Cretans called her Dictynna, and the Medes and Persians Anaitis, as shown by an inscription of Koloe: ‘[[Artemidi ‘Anaeiti]]. But, we are now concerned chiefly with the most chaste and pure of the virgin goddesses, Luna-Artemis, to whom Pamphos was the first to give the surname of [[Kalliste]], and of whom Hippolitus wrote: [[Kallista polu parthenon]]. (See Pausanias viii., 35, 8.) This Artemis-Lochia, the goddess that presided at conception and child-birth (Iliad, Pausanias, etc., etc.), is, in her functions and as the triple Hecate, the Orphic deity, the predecessor of the God of the Rabbins and pre-Christian Kabalists, and his lunar type. The goddess [[Trimorphos]]was the personified symbol of the various and successive aspects represented by the moon in each of her three phases; and this interpretation was already that of the Stoics (Cornut. De Nat, D. 34, 1), while the Orpheans explained the epithet ([[Trimorphos]]) by the three kingdoms of nature over which she reigned. Jealous, blood-thirsty, revengeful and exacting, Hecate-Luna is a worthy counterpart of the “jealous God” of the Hebrew prophets.
The whole riddle of the solar and lunar worship, as now traced in the churches, hangs indeed on this world-old mystery of lunar phenomena. The correlative forces in the “Queen of Night,” that lie latent for modern science, but are fully active to the knowledge of Eastern adepts, explain well the thousand and one images under which the moon was represented by the ancients. It also shows how much more profoundly learned in the Selenic mysteries were the ancients than are now our modern astronomers. The whole Pantheon of the lunar gods and goddesses, Nephtys or Neith, Proserpina, Melytta, Cybele, Isis, Astarte, Venus, and Hecate, on the one hand, and Apollo, Dionysius, Adonis, Bacchus, Osiris, Atys, Thammuz, etc., etc., on the other, all show on the face of their names and titles — those of “Sons” and “Husbands” of their mothers — their identity with the Christian Trinity. In every religious system the gods were made to merge their functions as Father, Son, and Husband, into one, and the goddesses were identified as “Wife, Mother, and Sister” of the male God; the former synthesizing the human attributes as the “Sun, the giver of Life,” the latter merging all the other titles in the grand synthesis known as Maia, Maya, Maria, etc., a generic name. Maia, in its forced derivation, has come to mean with the Greeks, “mother,” from the root ma (nurse), and even gave its name to the month of May, which was sacred to all those goddesses before it became consecrated to Mary.  Its primitive meaning, however, was Maya, Durga, translated by the Orientalists as “inaccessible,” but meaning in truth the “unreachable,” in the sense of illusion and unreality; as being the source and cause of spells, the personification of Illusion.
In religious rites the moon served a dual purpose. Personified as a female goddess for exoteric purposes, or as a male god in allegory and symbol, in occult philosophy our satellite was regarded as a sexless Potency to be well studied, because it was to be dreaded. With the initiated Aryans, Khaldii, Greeks and Romans, Soma, Sin, Artemis Soteira (the hermaphrodite Apollo, whose attribute is the lyre, and the bearded Diana of the bow and arrow), Deus Lunus, and especially Osiris-lunus and Thot-lunus,  were the occult potencies of the moon. But whether male or female, whether Thot or Minerva, Soma or Astoreth, the Moon is the Occult mystery of mysteries, and more a symbol of evil than of good. Her seven phases (original, esoteric division) are divided into three astronomical phenomena and four purely psychic phases. That the moon was not always reverenced is shown in the Mysteries, in which the death of the moon-god (the three phases of gradual waning and final disappearance) was allegorized by the moon standing for the genius of evil that triumphs for the time over the light and life-giving god (the sun), and all the skill and learning of the ancient Hierophants in Magic was required to turn this triumph into a defeat.
It was the most ancient worship of all, that of the third Race of our Round, the Hermaphrodites, to whom the male-moon became sacred, when after the “Fall” so-called, the sexes had become separated. “Deus Lunus” then became an androgyne, male and female in turn; to serve finally, for purposes of sorcery, as a dual power, to the Fourth Root-race, the Atlanteans. With the Fifth (our own) the lunar-solar worship divided the nations into two distinct, antagonistic camps. It led to events described aeons later in the Mahabharatan War, which to the Europeans is the fabulous, to the Hindus and Occultists the historical, strife between the Suryavansas and the Indovansas. Originating in the dual aspect of the moon, the worship of the female and the male principles respectively, it ended in distinct solar and lunar cults. Among the Semitic races, the sun was for a very long time feminine and the moon masculine — the latter notion being adopted by them from the Atlantean traditions. The moon was called “the Lord of the sun,” Bel-Shemesh,  before the Shemesh worship. The ignorance of the incipient reasons for such a distinction, and of occult principles, led the nations into anthropomorphic idol-worship. But the religion of every ancient nation had been primarily based upon the Occult manifestations of a purely abstract Force or Principle now called “God.” The very establishment of such worship shows, in its details and rites, that the philosophers who evolved those systems of nature, subjective and objective, possessed profound knowledge, and were acquainted with many facts of a scientific nature. For besides being purely Occult, the rites of lunar worship were based, as just shown, upon a knowledge of physiology (quite a modern science with us), psychology, sacred mathematics, geometry and metrology, in their right applications to symbols and figures, which are but glyphs, recording observed natural and scientific facts; in short, upon a most minute and profound knowledge of nature. Lunar magnetism generates life, preserves and kills it. Soma embodies the triple power of the Trimurti, though it passes unrecognized by the profane to this day. The allegory that makes Soma, the moon, produced by the churning of the Ocean of Life (Space) by the gods in another Manvantara (i.e., in the pregenetic day of our planetary system), and that other allegory, which shows “the Rishis milking the earth, whose calf was Soma, the moon,” has a deep cosmographical meaning; for it is neither our earth which is milked, nor was the moon, which we know, the calf.  Had our wise men of science known as much of the mysteries of nature as the ancient Aryans did, they would surely never have imagined that the moon was projected from the Earth. Once more, the oldest of permutations in theogony, the Son becoming his own father and the mother generated by the Son, has to be remembered and taken into consideration if the symbolical language of the ancients is to be understood by us. Otherwise mythology will be ever haunting the Orientalists as simply “the disease which springs up at a peculiar stage of human culture!” — as Renouf gravely observes in a Hibbert lecture.
The ancients taught the, so to speak, auto-generation of the Gods: the one divine essence, unmanifested, perpetually begetting a second-self, manifested, which second-self, androgynous in its nature, gives birth in an immaculate way to everything macro- and micro-cosmical in this universe. This was shown in the Circle and the Diameter, or the Sacred 10, a few pages back.
But our Orientalists, their extreme desire to discover one homogeneous element in nature notwithstanding, will not see it; cramped in their researches by such ignorance, they — the Aryanists and Egyptologists — are constantly led astray from truth in their speculations. Thus, de Rouge is unable to understand, in the text which he translates, the meaning of Ammon-Ra saying to King Amenophes (supposed to be Memnon), “Thou art my Son, I have begotten thee”; and as he finds the same idea in many a text and under various forms, this very Christian Orientalist is finally compelled to exclaim that “for this idea to have entered the mind of a hierogrammatist, there must have been in their religion a more or less defined doctrine, indicating as a possible fact that might come to pass, a divine and immaculate incarnation under a human form.” Precisely. But why throw the explanation on an impossible prophecy, when the whole secret is explained by the later religion copying the earlier?
That doctrine was universal, and it was not the mind of any one hierogrammatist that evolved it; for the Indian avatars are a proof to the contrary. After which, having come “to realize clearer”  what “the Divine Father and Son” were with the Egyptians, de Rouge still fails to account for, and perceive what were the functions attributed to the feminine principle in that primordial generation. He does not find it in the goddess Neith, of Sais. Yet he quotes the sentence of the Commander to Cambyses when introducing that king into the Saitic temple: “I made known to his Majesty the dignity of Sais, which is the abode of Neith, the great (female) producer, genitrix of the Sun, who is the first-born, and who is not begotten, but only brought forth,” and hence is the fruit of an immaculate mother.
How much more grandiose, philosophical and poetical is the real distinction — for whoever is able to understand and appreciate it — made between the immaculate virgin of the ancient Pagans and the modern Papal conception. With the former, the ever-youthful mother nature, the antitype of her prototypes, the sun and moon, generates and brings forth her “mind-born” son, the Universe. The Sun and Moon, as male-female deities, fructify the earth, the microcosmical mother, and the latter conceives and brings forth, in her turn. With the Christians, “the first-born” (primogenitus) is indeed generated, i.e., begotten, “genitum, non factum,” and positively conceived and brought forth — “Virgo pariet,” explains the Latin Church. Thus, she drags down the noble spiritual ideal of the Virgin Mary to the earth, and, making her “of the earth earthy,” degrades that ideal to the lowest of the anthropomorphic goddesses of the rabble.
Truly, Neith, Isis, Diana, etc., etc., were each of them “a demiurgical goddess, at once visible and invisible, having her place in Heaven, and helping to the generation of species” — the moon, in short. Her occult aspects and powers are numberless, and, in one of them, the moon becomes with the Egyptians Hathor, another aspect of Isis,  and both of these goddesses are shown suckling Horus. Behold in the Egyptian Hall of the British Museum, Hathor worshipped by Pharaoh Thotmes, who stands between her and the Lord of Heavens. The monolith was taken from Karnac; and the same goddess has the following legend inscribed on her throne: “The Divine Mother and Lady, or Queen of Heaven;” also “the Morning Star,” and the “Light of the Sea” (Stella matutina and Lux maris). All the lunar goddesses had a dual aspect — one divine, the other infernal. All were the virgin mothers of an immaculately born Son — the Sun. Raoul Rochetti shows the moon-goddess of the Athenians — Pallas, or Cybele, Minerva, or again Diana — holding her child-son on the lap, invoked in her festivals as [[Monogenes Theou]], “the one Mother of God,” sitting on a lion, and surrounded by twelve personages; in whom the Occultist recognises the twelve great gods, and the pious Christian Orientalist the apostles, or rather the Grecian pagan prophecy thereof.
They are both right, for the immaculate goddess of the Latin Church is a faithful copy of the older pagan goddesses; the number (twelve) of the apostles is that of the twelve tribes, and the latter are a personification of the twelve great gods, and of the twelve signs of the Zodiac. Every detail almost in the Christian dogma is borrowed from the heathens. Semele, the wife of Jupiter and mother of Bacchus, the Sun, is, according to Nonnus, also “carried,” or made to ascend to heaven after her death, where she presides between Mars and Venus, under the name of the Queen of the World, or the universe, [[panbasileia]]; “at the names of which, as at the names of Hathor, Hecate, and other infernal goddesses,” “tremble all the demons.” 
“[[Semelen premousi daimones]].” This Greek inscription on a small temple, reproduced on a stone that was found by somebody, and copied by Montfaucon, as De Mirville tells us (113, Archaeologie de la Vierge mere) informs us of the stupendous fact, that the Magna Mater of the old world was an impudent plagiarism, perpetrated by the Demon, of the Immaculate Virgin Mother of his Church. Whether so, or vice versa, is of no importance. That which is interesting to note is the perfect identity between the archaic copy and the modern original.
Did space permit we might show the inconceivable coolness and unconcern exhibited by certain followers of the Roman Catholic Church, when made to face the revelations of the Past. To Maury’s remark that “the Virgin took possession of all the Sanctuaries of Ceres and Venus, and that the pagan rites, proclaimed and practised in honour of those goddesses, were in a good measure transferred to the mother of Christ,” the advocate of Rome answers: —
Verily so, since Pindar’s Hymns to Minerva (p. 19) . . . “who sits at the right hand of her Father Jupiter, and who is more powerful than all the other (angels or) gods,” are likewise applied to the Virgin. It is St. Bernard, who, quoted by Cornelius a Lapide, is made to address the Virgin Mary in this wise: —
“The Sun-Christ lives in thee and thou livest in him.” (Sermon on the Holy Virgin.) . . . .
Again the Virgin is admitted to be the moon by the same unsophisticated holy man. Being the Lucina of the Church, that is in childbirth, the verse of Virgil — “Casta fove Lucina, tuus jam regnat Apollo” — is applied to her. Like the moon, the Virgin is the Queen of Heaven,” adds the innocent saint; (Apocal., ch. xii., Comm. by Cornelius a Lapide).
This settles the question. The more similarity, according to such writers as De Mirville, there exists between the pagan conceptions and the Christian dogmas, the more divine appears the Christian religion, and the more is it seen to be the only truly inspired one, especially in its Roman Catholic form. The unbelieving scientists and the academicians who think they see in the Latin Church quite the opposite of divine inspiration, and who will not believe in the satanic tricks of plagiarism by anticipation, are severely taken to task. But then “they believe in nothing and reject even the ‘Nabathean Agriculture’ as a romance and a pack of superstitious nonsense,” complains the memorialist. “In their perverted opinion Qu-ta-my’s ‘idol of the moon’ and the statue of the Madonna are one!” A noble Marquis wrote twenty years ago six huge volumes, or, as he calls them “Memoires to the French Academy,” with the sole object of showing Roman Catholicism an inspired and revealed faith. As a proof thereof, he furnishes numberless facts, all tending to show that the entire ancient world, ever since the deluge, had been, with the help of the devil, systematically plagiarizing the rites, ceremonies, and dogmas of the future Holy Church to be born ages later. What would that faithful son of Rome have said had he heard his co-religionist — M. Renouf, the distinguished Egyptologist of the British Museum — declaring, in one of his learned lectures, that “neither Hebrews nor Greeks borrowed any of their ideas from Egypt?” 
But perhaps it is just this that M. Renouf intended to say namely, that it is the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Aryans, who borrowed theirs from the Latin Church? And if so, why, in the name of logic, do the Papists reject the additional information which the Occultists may give them on Moon-worship, since it all tends to show their (the Roman Catholic) worship as old as the world — of Sabaeanism and Astrolatry?
The reason of early Christian and later Roman Catholic astrolatry, or the symbolical worship of Sun and Moon — identical with that of the Gnostics, though less philosophical and pure than the “Sun worship” of the Zoroastrians — is a natural consequence of its birth and origin. The adoption by the Latin Church of such symbols as the water, fire, sun, moon and stars, and a good many other things, is simply a continuation by the early Christians of the old worship of Pagan nations. Thus Odin got his wisdom, power, and knowledge, by sitting at the feet of Mimir, the thrice-wise Jotun, who passed his life by the fountain of primeval Wisdom, the crystalline waters of which increased his knowledge daily. Mimir “drew the highest knowledge from the fountain, because the world was born of water; hence primeval wisdom was to be found in that mysterious element” (“Asgard and the Gods,” 86). The eye which Odin had to pledge to acquire that knowledge may be “the Sun, which enlightens and penetrates all things; his other eye being the moon, whose reflection gazes out of the deep, and which at last, when setting, sinks into the Ocean.” (Ibid.) But it is something more, besides this. Loki, the fire-god, is said to have hidden in the water, as well as in the moon, the light-giver, whose reflection he found therein; and this belief that the fire finds refuge in the water was not limited to the old Scandinavians. It was shared by all nations and was finally taken up by the early Christians, who symbolized the Holy Ghost under the shape of Fire, “cloven tongues like as fire” — the breath of the Father-Sun. This “Fire” descends also into the Water or the Sea: Mar, Mary. The dove was the symbol of the Soul with several nations, it was sacred to Venus, the goddess born from the sea-foam, and it became later the symbol of the Christian Anima Mundi, or the Holy Spirit.
One of the most occult chapters in the “Book of the Dead” is ch. lxxx., entitled: “To make the transformation into the god giving light to the path of Darkness,” wherein “Woman-light of the Shadow” serves Thot in his retreat in the moon. Thot-Hermes is said to hide therein, because he is the representative of the Secret Wisdom. He is the manifested logos of its light side, the concealed deity or “Dark Wisdom” when he is supposed to retire to the opposite hemisphere. Speaking of her power, the moon calls herself repeatedly: “The Light which shineth in Darkness,” the “Woman-Light.” Hence it became the accepted symbol of all the Virgin-Mother goddesses. As the wicked “evil” spirits warred against the moon in days of yore, so they are supposed to war now, without being able to prevail, however, against the actual Queen of Heaven, Mary, the moon. Hence also the moon was intimately connected in all the Pagan theogonies with the Dragon, her eternal enemy; the Virgin, or Madonna, standing on the mythical Satan under that form, crushed and made powerless, under her feet. This, because the head and tail of the Dragon, which represent in Eastern astronomy to this day the ascending and descending nodes of the moon, were also symbolized in ancient Greece by the two serpents. Hercules kills them on the day of his birth, and so does the babe in his virgin mother’s arms. As Mr. Gerald Massey aptly observes in this connection: “All such symbols figured their own facts from the first, and did not pre-figure others of a totally different order. The Iconography (and dogmas, too) had survived in Rome from a period remotely pre-Christian. There was neither forgery nor interpolation of types; nothing but a continuity of imagery with a perversion of its meaning.”
The Ophites asserted that there were several kinds of genii, from god to man; that the relative superiority of these was ruled by the degree of light that was accorded to each; and they maintained that the serpent had to be constantly called upon and to be thanked for the signal service it had rendered humanity. For it taught Adam that if he ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he would raise his being immensely by the learning and wisdom he would thus acquire. Such was the exoteric reason given.
It is easy to see whence the primal idea of this dual, Janus-like character of the Serpent: the good and the bad. This symbol is one of the most ancient, because the reptile preceded the bird, and the bird the mammal. Thence the belief, or rather the superstition, of the savage tribes who think that the souls of their ancestors live under this form, and the general association of the Serpent with the tree. The legends about the various things it represents are numberless; but, as most of them are allegorical, they have now passed into the class of fables based on ignorance and dark superstition. For instance, when Philostratus narrates that the natives of India and Arabia fed on the heart and liver of serpents in order to learn the language of all the animals, the serpent being credited with that faculty, he certainly never meant his words to be accepted literally. (See De Vita Apollonii, lib. 1, c. xiv.) As will be found more than once as we proceed, the “Serpent” and “Dragon” were the names given to the “Wise Ones,” the initiated adepts of olden times. It was their wisdom and their learning that were devoured or assimilated by their followers, whence the allegory. When the Scandinavian Sigurd is fabled to have roasted the heart of Fafnir, the Dragon, whom he had slain, becoming thereby the wisest of men, it meant the same thing. Sigurd had become learned in the runes and magical charms; he had received the “word” from an initiate of that name, or from a sorcerer, after which the latter died, as many do, after “passing the word.” Epiphanius lets out a secret of the Gnostics while trying to expose their heresies. The Gnostic Ophites, he says, had a reason for honouring the Serpent: it was because he taught the primeval men the Mysteries (Adv. Haeres. 37). Verily so; but they did not have Adam and Eve in the garden in their minds when teaching this dogma, but simply that which is stated above. The Nagas of the Hindu and Tibetan adepts were human Nagas (Serpents), not reptiles. Moreover, the Serpent has ever been the type of consecutive or serial rejuvenation, of Immortality and Time.
The numerous and extremely interesting readings, the interpretations and facts about Serpent worship, given in “The Natural Genesis,” are very ingenious and scientifically correct. But they are far from covering the whole of the meanings implied. They divulge only the astronomical and physiological mysteries, with the addition of some cosmic phenomena. On the lowest plane of materiality the Serpent was, no doubt, “the great mystery in the mysteries,” and was, very likely, “adopted as a type of feminine pubescence, on account of its sloughing and self-renewal.” It was so, however, only with regard to mysteries concerning terrestrial animal life, for as symbol of “reclothing and rebirth in the (universal) mysteries” its “final phase”  — or shall we rather say its incipient and culminating phases — they were not of this plane. They were generated in the pure realm of ideal light, and having accomplished the round of the whole cycle of adaptations and symbolism, the “mysteries” returned from whence they had come — into the essence of immaterial causality. They belonged to the highest gnosis. And surely this could have never obtained its name and fame solely on account of its penetration into physiological and especially feminine functions!
As a symbol, the Serpent had as many aspects and occult meanings as the Tree itself; the “Tree of Life,” with which it was emblematically and almost indissolubly connected. Whether viewed as a metaphysical or a physical symbol, the Tree and Serpent, jointly, or separately, have never been so degraded by antiquity as they are now, in this our age of the breaking of idols, not for truth’s sake, but to glorify the more gross matter. The revelations and interpretations in “The Rivers of Life” would have astounded the worshippers of the Tree and Serpent in the days of archaic Chaldean and Egyptian wisdom; and even the early Saivas would have recoiled in horror at the theories and suggestions of the author of the said work. “The notion of Payne Knight and Inman that the cross or Tau is simply a copy of the male organs in a triadic form is radically false,” writes Mr. G. Massey, who proves what he says. But this is a statement that could be as justly applied to almost all the modern interpretations of ancient symbols. “The Natural Genesis,” a monumental work of research and thought, the most complete on that subject that has ever been published, covering as it does a wider field, and explaining much more than all the symbologists who have hitherto written, does not yet go beyond the “psycho-theistic” stage of ancient thought. Nor were Payne Knight and Inman altogether wrong; except in entirely failing to see that their interpretations of the “Tree of Life,” as the cross and phallus, fitted the symbol, and approximated it, only on the lowest and last stage of the evolutionary development of the idea of the Giver of Life. It was the last and the grossest physical transformation of nature, in animal, insect, bird, and even plant; for biune, creative magnetism, in the form of the attraction of the contraries, or sexual polarization, acts in the constitution of reptile and bird as it does in that of man. Moreover, the modern symbologists and Orientalists — from first to last — being ignorant of the real mysteries revealed by occultism, can necessarily see but this last stage. If told that this mode of procreation, which the whole world of being has now in common on this earth, is but a passing phase, a physical means of furnishing the conditions to, and producing the phenomena of life which will alter with this, and disappear with the next Root-Race — they would laugh at such a superstitious and unscientific idea. But the most learned Occultists assert this because they know it. The universe of living beings, of all those which procreate their species, is the living witness to the various modes of procreation in the evolution of animal and human species and races; and the naturalist ought to sense this truth intuitionally, even though he is yet unable to demonstrate it. And how could he, indeed, with the present modes of thought! The landmarks of the archaic history of the past are few and scarce, and those that men of science come across are mistaken for finger-posts of our little era. Even so-called “universal” (?) history embraces but a tiny field in the almost boundless space of the unexplored regions of our latest, fifth Root-Race. Hence, every fresh sign-post, every new glyph of the hoary Past that is discovered, is added to the old stock of information, to be interpreted on the same lines of pre-existing conceptions, and without any reference to the special cycle of thought which that particular glyph may belong to. How can Truth ever come to light if this method is never changed!
Thus, in the beginning of their joint existence as a glyph of Immortal Being, the Tree and Serpent were divine imagery, truly. The tree was reversed, and its roots were generated in Heaven and grew out of the Rootless Root of all-being. Its trunk grew and developed, crossing the planes of Pleroma, it shot out crossways its luxuriant branches, first on the plane of hardly differentiated matter, and then downward till they touched the terrestrial plane. Thus, the Asvattha, tree of Life and Being, whose destruction alone leads to immortality, is said in the Bhagavatgita to grow with its roots above and its branches below (ch. xv.). The roots represent the Supreme Being, or First Cause, the Logos; but one has to go beyond those roots to unite oneself with Krishna, who, says Arjuna (XI.), is “greater than Brahman, and First Cause . . . the indestructible, that which is, that which is not, and what is beyond them.” Its boughs are Hiranyagharba (Brahma or Brahman in his highest manifestations, say Sridhara and Madhusudana), the highest Dhyan Chohans or Devas. The Vedas are its leaves. He only who goes beyond the roots shall never return, i.e., shall reincarnate no more during this “age” of Brahma.
It is only when its pure boughs had touched the terrestrial mud of the garden of Eden, of our Adamic race, that this Tree got soiled by the contact and lost its pristine purity; and that the Serpent of Eternity — the heaven-born Logos — was finally degraded. In days of old — of the divine Dynasties on Earth — the now dreaded Reptile was regarded as the first beam of light that radiated from the abyss of divine Mystery. Various were the forms which it was made to assume, and numerous the natural symbols adapted to it, as it crossed aeons of Time: as from Infinite Time itself — Kala — it fell into the space and time evolved out of human speculation. These forms were Cosmic and astronomical, theistic and pantheistic, abstract and concrete. They became in turn the Polar Dragon and the Southern Cross, the Alpha Draconis of the Pyramid, and the Hindu-Buddhist Dragon, which ever threatens, yet never swallows the Sun during its eclipses. Till then, the Tree remained ever green, for it was sprinkled by the waters of life; the great Dragon, ever divine, so long as it was kept within the precincts of the sidereal fields. But the tree grew and its lower boughs touched at last the infernal regions — our Earth. Then the great serpent Nidhogg — he who devours the corpses of the evil-doers in the “Hall of Misery” (human life), so soon as they are plunged into “Hwergelmir,” the roaring cauldron (of human passions) — gnawed the World-tree. The worms of materiality covered the once healthy and mighty roots, and are now ascending higher and higher along the trunk; while the Midgard-snake coiled at the bottom of the Seas, encircles the Earth, and, through its venomous breath, makes her powerless to defend herself.
They are all seven-headed, the dragons and serpents of antiquity — “one head for each race, and every head with seven hairs on it,” as the allegory has it. Aye, from Ananta, the Serpent of Eternity which carries Vishnu through the Manvantara, from the original primordial Sesha, whose seven heads become “one thousand heads” in the Puranic fancy, down to the seven-headed Akkadian Serpent. This typifies the Seven principles throughout nature and man; the highest or middle head being the seventh. It is not of the Mosaic, Jewish Sabbath that Philo speaks in his Creation of the World, when saying that the world was completed “according to the perfect nature of number 6.” For, “when that reason (nous) which is holy in accordance with the number seven, has entered the soul (rather the living body), the number six is thus arrested, and all the mortal things which that number makes.” And again: “Number 7 is the festival day of all the earth, the birthday of the world. I know not whether any one would be able to celebrate the number 7 in adequate terms.” . . . (Par. pp. 30 and 419). The author of The Natural Genesis thinks that “the Septenary of Stars seen in the great bear (the Septarshis) and seven-headed Dragon furnished a visible origin for the symbolic seven of time above. The goddess of the seven stars,” he adds —
The above is quite plain, but it was not the knowledge of astronomy only that led the ancients to the process of Sevening. The primal cause goes far deeper and will be explained in its place.
The above quotations are no digressions. They are brought forward as showing (a) the reason why a full Initiate was called a “Dragon,” a “Snake” a “Naga”; and (b) that our septenary division was used by the priests of the earliest dynasties in Egypt, for the same reason and on the same basis as by us. This needs further elucidation, however. As already stated, that which Mr. G. Massey calls the four genii of the four cardinal points; and the Chinese, the Black Warrior, White Tiger, Vermilion Bird, and Azure Dragon, is called in the Secret Books, — the “Four Hidden Dragons of Wisdom” and the “Celestial Nagas.” Now, as shown, the seven-headed or septenary Dragon-Logos had been in course of time split up, so to speak, into four heptanomic parts or twenty-eight portions. Each lunar week has a distinct occult character in the lunar month; each day of the twenty-eight has its special characteristics; as each of the twelve constellations, whether separately or in combination with other signs, has an occult influence either for good or for evil. This represents the sum of knowledge that men can acquire on this earth; yet few are those who acquire it, and still fewer are the wise men who get to the root of knowledge symbolized by the great Root Dragon, the spiritual logos of these visible signs. But those who do, receive the name of “Dragons,” and they are the “Arhats of the Four Truths of the 28 Faculties,” or attributes, and have always been so called.
The Alexandrian Neo-Platonists asserted that to become real Chaldees or Magi, one had to master the science or knowledge of the periods of the Seven Rectors of the world, in whom is all wisdom. In “Proclus in Timaeus,” b. 1, Jamblichus is credited with another version, which does not however, alter, the meaning. He says that “the Assyrians have not only preserved the records of seven and twenty myriads of years, as Hipparchus says they have, but likewise of the whole apocatastases and periods of the Seven Rulers of the World.” The legends of every nation and tribe, whether civilized or savage, point to the once universal belief in the great wisdom and cunning of the Serpents. They are “charmers.” They hypnotise the bird with their eye, and man himself, very often, does not feel above their fascinating influence; therefore the symbol is a most fitting one.
The crocodile is the Egyptian dragon. It was the dual symbol of Heaven and Earth, of Sun and Moon, and was made sacred, in consequence of its amphibious nature, to Osiris and Isis. According to Eusebius, the Egyptians represented the sun in a ship as its pilot, this ship being carried along by a crocodile “to show the motion of the Sun in the moyst (Space)”; (Prepar. Evang., 1, 3, c. 3). The crocodile was moreover, the symbol of Egypt herself — the lower, as being the more swampy of the two countries. The Alchemists claim another interpretation. They say that the symbol of the sun in the ship on the Ether of Space meant that the hermetic matter is the principle, or basis, of gold, or again the philosophical sun; the water, within which the crocodile is swimming, is that water or matter made liquid; the ship herself, finally, representing the vessel of nature, in which the sun, or the sulphuric, igneous principle, acts as a pilot: because it is the sun which conducts the work by his action upon the moist or mercury. The above is only for the Alchemists.
The Serpent became the type and symbol of evil, and of the Devil, only during the middle ages. The early Christians — besides the Ophite Gnostics — had their dual Logos: the Good and the Bad Serpent, the Agathodaemon and the Kakodaemon. This is demonstrated by the writings of Marcus, Valentinus, and many others, and especially in Pistis Sophia — certainly a document of the earliest centuries of Christianity. On the marble sarcophagus of a tomb, discovered in 1852 near the Porta Pia, one sees the scene of the adoration of the Magi, “or else,” remarks the late C. W. King in “The Gnostics,” “the prototype of that scene, the ‘Birth of the New Sun.’ ” The mosaic floor exhibited a curious design which might have represented either (a) Isis suckling the babe Harpocrates, or (b) the Madonna nursing the infant Jesus. In the smaller sarcophagi that surrounded the larger one, eleven leaden plates rolled like scrolls were found, three of which have been deciphered. The contents of these ought to be regarded as final proof of a much-vexed question, for they show that either the early Christians, up to the VIth Century, were bond fide pagans, or that dogmatic Christianity was borrowed wholesale, and passed in full into the Christian Church — Sun, Tree, Serpent, Crocodile and all.
And this “True and Perfect Serpent” is the seven-lettered God who is now credited with being Jehovah, and Jesus One with him. To this Seven-vowelled god the candidate for initiation is sent by Christos, in the Pistis Sophia, a work earlier than St. John’s Revelation, and evidently of the same school. “The (Serpent of the) Seven Thunders uttered these seven vowels,” but “Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not,” says Revelation. “Do ye seek after these mysteries?” inquiries Jesus in Pistis Sophia. “No mystery is more excellent than they (the seven vowels): for they shall bring your souls unto the Light of Lights” — i.e., true Wisdom. “Nothing, therefore, is more excellent than the mysteries which ye seek after, saving only the mystery of the Seven Vowels and their Forty and nine Powers, and the numbers thereof.”
In India, it was the mystery of the Seven Fires and their forty-nine fires or aspects, or “the members thereof,” just the same.
These seven vowels are represented by the Swastika signs on the crowns of the seven heads of the Serpent of Eternity, in India, among esoteric Buddhists, in Egypt, in Chaldea, etc. etc., and among the Initiates of every other country. It is on the Seven zones of post mortem ascent, in the Hermetic writings, that the “mortal” leaves, on each, one of his “Souls” (or Principles); until arrived on the plane above all zones he remains as the great Formless Serpent of absolute wisdom — or the Deity itself. The seven-headed serpent has more than one signification in the Arcane teachings. It is the seven-headed Draco, each of whose heads is a star of the Lesser Bear; but it was also, and pre-eminently, the Serpent of Darkness (i.e., inconceivable and incomprehensible) whose seven heads were the seven Logoi, the reflections of the one and first manifested Light — the universal Logos.
This symbolical sentence, in its many-sided forms, is certainly most dangerous and iconoclastic in the face of all the dualistic later religions — or rather theologies — and especially so in the light of Christianity. Yet it is neither just nor correct to say that it is Christianity which has conceived and brought forth Satan. As an “adversary,” the opposing Power required by the equilibrium and harmony of things in Nature — like Shadow to throw off still brighter the Light, like Night to bring into greater relief the Day, and like cold to make one appreciate the more the comfort of heat — Satan has ever existed. Homogeneity is one and indivisible. But if the homogeneous One and Absolute is no mere figure of speech, and if heterogeneity in its dualistic aspect, is its offspring — its bifurcous shadow or reflection — then even that divine Homogeneity must contain in itself the essence of both good and evil. If “God” is Absolute, Infinite, and the Universal Root of all and everything in Nature and its universe, whence comes Evil or D’Evil if not from the same “Golden Womb” of the absolute? Thus we are forced either to accept the emanation of good and evil, of Agathodaemon and Kakodaemon as offshoots from the same trunk of the Tree of Being, or to resign ourselves to the absurdity of believing in two eternal Absolutes!
Having to trace the origin of the idea to the very beginnings of human mind, it is but just, meanwhile, to give his due even to the proverbial devil. Antiquity knew of no isolated, thoroughly and absolutely bad “god of evil.” Pagan thought represented good and evil as twin brothers, born from the same mother — Nature; so soon as that thought ceased to be Archaic, Wisdom too became Philosophy. In the beginning the symbols of good and evil were mere abstractions, Light and Darkness; then their types became chosen among the most natural and ever-recurrent periodical Cosmic phenomena — the Day and the Night, or the Sun and Moon. Then the Hosts of the Solar and Lunar deities were made to represent them, and the Dragon of Darkness was contrasted with the Dragon of Light (See Stanzas V., VII. of Book I.) The Host of Satan is a Son of God, no less than the Host of the B’ni Alhim, these children of God coming to “present themselves before the Lord,” their father (see Job ii.). “The Sons of God” become the “Fallen Angels” only after perceiving that the daughters of men were fair, (Genesis vi.) In the Indian philosophy, the Suras are among the earliest and the brightest gods, and become Asuras only when dethroned by Brahminical fancy. Satan never assumed an anthropomorphic, individualized shape, until the creation by man, of a “one living personal god,” had been accomplished; and then merely as a matter of prime necessity. A screen was needed; a scape-goat to explain the cruelty, blunders, and but too-evident injustice, perpetrated by him for whom absolute perfection, mercy, and goodness were claimed. This was the first Karmic effect of abandoning a philosophical and logical Pantheism, to build, as a prop for lazy man, “a merciful father in Heaven,” whose daily and hourly actions as Natura naturans, the “comely mother but stone cold,” belie the assumption. This led to the primal twins, Osiris-Typhon, Ormazd-Ahriman, and finally Cain-Abel and the tutti-quanti of contraries.
Having commenced by being synonymous with Nature, “God,” the Creator, ended by being made its author. Pascal settles the difficulty very cunningly: “Nature has perfections, in order to show that she is the image of God: and defects, in order to show that she is only his image,” he says.
The further back one recedes into the darkness of the prehistoric ages, the more philosophical does the prototypic figure of the later Satan appear. The first “Adversary” in individual human form that one meets with in old Puranic literature is one of her greatest Rishis and Yogis — Narada, surnamed the “Strife-maker.”
And he is a Brahmaputra, a son of Brahma, the male. But of him later on. Who the great “Deceiver” really is, one can ascertain by searching for him with open eyes and an unprejudiced mind, in every old cosmogony and Scripture.
It is the anthropomorphised Demiurge, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, when separated from the collective Hosts of his fellow-Creators, whom, so to speak, he represents and synthesizes. It is now the God of theologies. “The thought is father to the wish.” Once upon a time, a philosophical symbol left to perverse human fancy; afterwards fashioned into a fiendish, deceiving, cunning, and jealous God.
Dragons and other fallen angels being described in other parts of this work, a few words upon the much-slandered Satan will be sufficient. That which the student will do well to remember is that, with every people except the Christian nations, the Devil is to this day no worse an entity than the opposite aspect in the dual nature of the so-called Creator. This is only natural. One cannot claim God as the synthesis of the whole Universe, as Omnipresent and Omniscient and Infinite, and then divorce him from evil. As there is far more evil than good in the world, it follows on logical grounds that either God must include evil, or stand as the direct cause of it, or else surrender his claims to absoluteness. The ancients understood this so well that their philosophers — now followed by the Kabalists — defined evil as the lining of God or Good: Demon est Deus inversus, being a very old adage. Indeed, evil is but an antagonizing blind force in nature; it is reaction, opposition, and contrast, — evil for some, good for others. There is no malum in se: only the shadow of light, without which light could have no existence, even in our perceptions. If evil disappeared, good would disappear along with it from Earth. The “Old Dragon” was pure spirit before he became matter, passive before he became active. In the Syro-Chaldean magic both Ophis and Ophiomorphos are joined in the Zodiac, at the sign of the Androgyne Virgo-Scorpio. Before its fall on earth the “Serpent” was Ophis-Christos, and after its fall it became Ophiomorphos-Chrestos. Everywhere the speculations of the Kabalists treat of Evil as a force, which is antagonistic, but at the same time essential, to Good, as giving it vitality and existence, which it could never have otherwise. There would be no life possible (in the Mayavic sense) without Death, nor regeneration and reconstruction without destruction. Plants would perish in eternal sunlight, and so would man, who would become an automaton without the exercise of his free will and aspirations after that sunlight, which would lose its being and value for him had he nothing but light. Good is infinite and eternal only in the eternally concealed from us, and this is why we imagine it eternal. On the manifested planes, one equilibrates the other. Few are those theists and believers in a personal God, who do not make of Satan the shadow of God; or who, confounding both, do not believe they have a right to pray to that idol asking its help and protection for the exercise and impunity of their evil and cruel deeds. “Lead us not into Temptation” is addressed daily to “our Father, which art in Heaven,” and not to the Devil, by millions of human Christian hearts. They do so, repeating the very words put in the mouth of their Saviour, and do not give one thought to the fact that their meaning is contradicted point blank by James “the brother of the Lord.” “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man.” — (The Gen. Ep. of James, i, 13). Why, then, say that it is the Devil who tempts us, when the Church teaches us on the authority of Christ that it is God who does so? Open any pious volume in which the word “temptation” is defined in its theological sense, and forthwith you find two definitions: (1) “Those afflictions and troubles whereby God tries his people;” (2) Those means and enticements which the Devil makes use of to ensnare and allure mankind. (St. James i., 2, 12, and Mat. vi., 13.) If accepted literally, the two teachings of Christ and James contradict each other, and what dogma can reconcile the two if the occult meaning is rejected?
Between the alternative allurements, wise will be that philosopher who will be able to decide where God disappears to make room for the Devil! Therefore when we read that “the Devil is a liar and the father of it,” i.e., incarnate lie, and are told in the same breath that Satan — the Devil — was a son of God and the most beautiful of his archangels, rather than believe that Father and Son are a gigantic, personified and eternal lie, we prefer to turn to Pantheism and to Pagan philosophy for information.
Once that the key to Genesis is in our hands, it is the scientific and symbolical Kabala which unveils the secret. The great Serpent of the Garden of Eden and the “Lord God” are identical, and so are Jehovah and Cain one — that Cain who is referred to in theology as the “murderer” and the liar to God! Jehovah tempts the King of Israel to number the people, and Satan tempts him to do the same in another place. Jehovah turns into the fiery serpents to bite those he is displeased with; and Jehovah informs the brazen serpent that heals them.
These short, and seemingly contradictory, statements in the Old Testament (contradictory because the two Powers are separated instead of being regarded as the two faces of one and the same thing) are the echoes — distorted out of recognition by exotericism and theology — of the universal and philosophical dogmas in nature, so well understood by the primitive Sages. We find the same groundwork in several personifications in the Puranas, only far more ample and philosophically suggestive.
Thus Pulastya, a “Son of God” — one of the first progeny — is made the progenitor of Demons, the Rakshasas, the tempters and the Devourers of men. Pisacha (female Demon) is a daughter of Daksha, a “Son of God” too, and a God, and the mother of all the Pisachas (Padma Purana). The Demons, so called in the Puranas, are very extraordinary devils when judged from the standpoint of European and orthodox views about these creatures, since all of them — Danavas, Daityas, Pisachas, and the Rakshasas — are represented as extremely pious, following the precepts of the Vedas, some of them even being great Yogis. But they oppose the clergy and Ritualism, sacrifices and forms — just what the full-blown Yogins do to this day in India — and are no less respected for it, though they are allowed to follow neither caste nor ritual; hence all those Puranic giants and Titans are called Devils. The Missionaries, ever on the watch to show, if they can, the Hindu traditions no better than a reflection of the Jewish Bible, have evolved a whole romance on the alleged identity of Pulastya with Cain, and of the Rakshasas with the Cainites, “the accursed,” the cause of the Noachian Deluge. (See the work of Abbe Gorresio, who “etymologises” Pulastya’s name as meaning the “rejected,” hence Cain, if you please). Pulastya dwells in Kedara, he says, which means a “dug-up place,” a mine, and Cain is shown in tradition and the Bible as the first worker in metals and a miner thereof!
While it is very probable that the Gibborim (the giants) of the Bible are the Rakshasas of the Hindus, it is still more certain that both are Atlanteans, and belong to the submerged races. However it may be, no Satan could be more persistent in slandering his enemy, or more spiteful in his hatred, than the Christian theologians are in cursing him as the father of every evil. Compare their vituperations and opinions given about the Devil with the philosophical views of the Puranic sages and their Christ-like mansuetude. When Parasara, whose father was devoured by a Rakshasa, was preparing himself to destroy (magically) the whole race, his grandsire, Vasishta, says a few extremely suggestive words to him. He shows the irate Sage, on his own confession, that there is Evil and Karma, but no “evil spirits.” “Let thy wrath be appeased,” he says. “The Rakshasas are not culpable; thy father’s death was the work of Karma. Anger is the passion of fools; it becometh not a wise man. By whom, it may be asked, is any one killed? Every man reaps the consequences of his own acts. Anger, my son, is the destruction of all that man obtains . . . and prevents the attainment of emancipation. The sages shun wrath. Be not thou, my child, subject to its influence. Let not those unoffending spirits of darkness be consumed; let thy sacrifice cease. Mercy is the might of the righteous” (Vishnu Purana, Book i., ch. i.). Thus, every such “sacrifice” or prayer to God for help is no better than an act of black magic. That which Parasara prayed for, was the destruction of the Spirits of Darkness, for his personal revenge. He is called a Pagan, and the Christians have doomed him as such, to eternal hell. Yet, in what respect is the prayer of sovereigns and generals, who pray before every battle for the destruction of their enemy, any better? Such a prayer is in every case black magic of the worst kind, concealed like a demon “Mr. Hyde” under a sanctimonious “Dr. Jekyll.”
In human nature, evil denotes only the polarity of matter and Spirit, a struggle for life between the two manifested Principles in Space and Time, which principles are one per se, inasmuch they are rooted in the Absolute. In Kosmos, the equilibrium must be preserved. The operations of the two contraries produce harmony, like the centripetal and centrifugal forces, which are necessary to each other — mutually inter-dependent — “in order that both should live.” If one is arrested, the action of the other will become immediately self-destructive.
Since the personification called Satan has been amply analyzed from its triple aspect — in the Old Testament, Christian theology and the ancient Gentile attitude of thought — those who would learn more of it are referred to Vol. II. of Isis Unveiled, chap. x. See also several sections in Book II., Part II. of this work. The present subject is touched upon and fresh explanations attempted for a very good reason. Before we can approach the evolution of physical and divine man, we have first to master the idea of cyclic evolution, to acquaint ourselves with the philosophies and beliefs of the four races which preceded our present race, to learn what were the ideas of those Titans and giants — giants, verily, mentally as well as physically. The whole of antiquity was imbued with that philosophy which teaches the involution of spirit into matter, the progressive, downward cyclic descent, or active, self-conscious evolution. The Alexandrian Gnostics have sufficiently divulged the secret of initiations, and their records are full of “the sliding down of AEons” in their double qualification of Angelic Beings and Periods: the one the natural evolution of the other. On the other hand, Oriental traditions on both sides of the “black water” — the oceans that separate the two Easts — are as full of allegories about the downfall of Pleroma, of that of the gods and Devas. One and all, they allegorized and explained the Fall as the desire to learn and acquire knowledge — to know. This is the natural sequence of mental evolution, the spiritual becoming transmuted into the material or physical. The same law of descent into materiality and re-ascent into spirituality asserted itself during the Christian era, the reaction having stopped only just now, in our own special sub-race.
That which, perhaps ten millenniums ago, was allegorized in Pymander in a triune character of interpretation, meant as a record of an astronomical, anthropological, and even alchemical fact, namely, the allegory of the seven rectors breaking through the seven circles of fire, was dwarfed into one material and anthropomorphic interpretation — the rebellion and Fall of the Angels. The multivocal, profoundly philosophical narrative, under its poetical form of the “Marriage of Heaven with Earth,” the love of nature for Divine form and the “Heavenly man,” enraptured with his own beauty mirrored in nature — i.e., Spirit attracted into matter — has now become, under theological handling: “the seven Rectors disobeying Jehovah, self admiration generating Satanic Pride, followed by their Fall, Jehovah permitting no worship to be lost save upon himself.” In short, the beautiful Planet-Angels, the glorious cyclic aeons of the ancients, became henceforward synthesized in their most orthodox shape in Samael, the chief of the Demons in the Talmud, “That great serpent with twelve wings that draws down after himself, in his Fall, the solar system, or the Titans.” But Schemal, the alter ego and the Sabean type of Samael, meant, in his philosophical and esoteric aspect, the “year” in its astrological evil aspect, its twelve months or wings of unavoidable evils, in nature; and in esoteric theogony (see Chwolson in Nabathean Agriculture, Vol. II., p. 217), both Schemal and Samael represented a particular divinity. With the Kabalists they are “the Spirit of the Earth,” the personal god that governs it, identical de facto with Jehovah. For the Talmudists admit themselves that Samael is a god-name of one of the seven Elohim. The Kabalists, moreover, show the two, Schemal and Samael, as a symbolical form of Saturn, Chronos, the twelve wings standing for the 12 months, and the symbol in its collectivity representing a racial cycle. Jehovah and Saturn are also glyphically identical.
This leads in its turn to a very curious deduction from a Roman Catholic dogma. Many renowned writers belonging to the Latin Church admit that a difference exists, and should be made, between the Uranian Titans, the antediluvian giants (also Titans), and those post-diluvian giants in whom they (the Roman Catholics) will see the descendants of the mythical Ham. In clearer words, there is a difference to be made between the Cosmic, primordial opposing Forces — guided by cyclic law — the Atlantean human giants, and the post-diluvian great adepts, whether of the right or the left hand. At the same time they show that Michael, “the generalissimus of the fighting Celestial Host, the bodyguard of Jehovah,” as it would seem (see de Mirville) is also a Titan, only with the adjective of “divine” before the cognomen. Thus those “Uranides” who are called everywhere “divine Titans,” and who, having rebelled against Kronos (Saturn), are therefore also shown to be the enemies of Samael (an Elohim, also and synonymous with Jehovah in his collectivity), are identical with Michael and his host. In short, the roles are reversed, all the combatants are confused, and no student is able to distinguish clearly which is which. Esoteric explanation may, however, bring some order into this confusion, in which Jehovah becomes Saturn, and Michael and his army, Satan and the rebellious angels, owing to the indiscreet endeavours of the too faithful zealots to see in every pagan god a devil. The true meaning is far more philosophical, and the legend of the first “Fall” (of the angels) assumes a scientific colouring when correctly understood.
Kronos stands for endless (hence immovable) Duration, without beginning, without an end, beyond divided Time and beyond Space. Those “Angels,” genii, or Devas, who were born to act in space and time, i.e., to break through the seven circles of the superspiritual planes into the phenomenal, or circumscribed, super-terrestrial regions, are said allegorically to have rebelled against Kronos and fought the (then) one living and highest God. In his turn, when Kronos is represented as mutilating Uranus, his father, the meaning of this mutilation is very simple: Absolute Time is made to become the finite and the conditioned; a portion is robbed from the whole, thus showing that Saturn, the father of the gods, has been transformed from Eternal Duration into a limited Period. Chronos cuts down with his scythe even the longest and (to us) seemingly endless cycles, yet, for all that, limited in Eternity, and puts down with the same scythe the mightiest rebels. Aye, not one will escape the scythe of Time! Praise the god or gods, or flout, one or both, and that scythe will not be made to tremble one millionth of a second in its ascending or descending course.
The Titans of Hesiod’s Theogony were copied in Greece from the Suras and Asuras of India. These Hesiodic Titans, the Uranides, numbered once upon a time as only six, have been recently discovered to be seven — the seventh being called Phoreg — in an old fragment relating to the Greek myth. Thus their identity with the Seven rectors is fully demonstrated. The origin of the “War in Heaven” and the Fall has, in our mind, to be traced unavoidably to India, and perhaps far earlier than the Puranic accounts thereof. For Taramaya was in a later age, and there are three accounts, each of a distinct war, to be traced in almost every Cosmogony.
The first war happened in the night of time, between the gods the (A)-suras, and lasted for the period of one “divine year.”  On this occasion the deities were defeated by the Daityas, under the leadership of Hrada. After that, owing to a device of Vishnu, to whom the conquered gods applied for help, the latter defeated the Asuras. In the Vishnu Purana no interval is found between the two wars. In the Esoteric Doctrine, one war takes place before the building of the Solar system; another, on earth, at the “creation” of man; and a third “war” is mentioned as taking place at the close of the 4th Race, between its adepts and those of the 5th Race, i.e., between the Initiates of the “Sacred Island” and the Sorcerers of Atlantis. We shall notice the first contest, as recounted by Parasara, while trying to separate the two accounts, purposely blended together. It is there stated that as the Daityas and Asuras were engaged in the duties of their respective orders (Varna) and followed the paths prescribed by holy writ, practising also religious penance (a queer employment for demons if they are identical with our devils, as it is claimed) — it was impossible for the gods to destroy them. The prayers addressed by the gods to Vishnu are curious as showing the ideas involved in an anthropomorphic deity. Having, after their defeat, “fled to the Northern shore of the Milky Ocean (Atlantic Ocean),  the discomfited gods address many supplications “to the first of beings, the divine Vishnu,” and among others this one: “Glory to thee, who art one with the Saints, whose perfect nature is ever blessed. . . . Glory to thee, who art one with the Serpent-race, double-tongued, impetuous, cruel, insatiate of enjoyment and abounding with wealth. . . . Glory to thee, . . . . O Lord, who hast neither colour nor extension, nor size (ghana), nor any predicable qualities, and whose essence (rupa), purest of the pure is appreciable only by holy Paramarshi (greatest of sages or Rishis). We bow to thee, in the nature of Brahma uncreated, undecaying (avyaya), who art in our bodies and in all other bodies, and in all living creatures, and beside whom nothing exists. We glorify that Vasudeva, the lord of all, who is without soil, the seed of all things, exempt from dissolution, unborn, eternal; being in essence Paramapadatmavat (beyond the condition of spirit) and in essence and substance (rupa), the whole of this (Universe).” (Book III., ch. xvii., Vish. Purana.)
The above is quoted as an illustration of the vast field offered by the Puranas to adverse and erroneous criticism, by every European bigot who forms an estimate of an alien religion on mere external evidence. Any man accustomed to subject what he reads to thoughtful analysis, will see at a glance the incongruity of addressing the accepted “Unknowable,” the formless, and attributeless Absolute, such as the Vedantins define Brahma, as being “one with the serpent-race, double-tongued, cruel and insatiable,” thus associating the abstract with the concrete, and bestowing adjectives on that which is freed from any limitations, and conditionless. Even Dr. Wilson, who, after living surrounded by Brahmins and Pundits in India for so many years, ought to have known better — even that scholar lost no opportunity to criticize the Hindu Scriptures on this account. Thus, he exclaims: — 
“The Puranas constantly teach incompatible doctrines! According to this passage, the Supreme being is not the inert cause of creation only, but exercises the functions of an active providence. The Commentator quotes a text of the Veda in support of this view: ‘Universal Soul entering into men, governs their conduct.’ Incongruities, however, are as frequent in the Vedas as in the Puranas. . . . .”
Less frequent, in sober truth, than in the Mosaic Bible. But prejudice is great in the hearts of our Orientalists — especially in those of “reverend” scholars. Universal Soul is not the inert Cause of Creation or (Para) Brahma, but simply that which we call the sixth principle of intellectual Kosmos, on the manifested plane of being. It is Mahat, or Mahabuddhi, the great Soul, the vehicle of Spirit, the first primeval reflection of the formless Cause, and that which is even beyond Spirit.
So much for Professor Wilson’s uncalled-for fling. As for the apparently incongruous appeal to Vishnu by the defeated gods, the explanation is there, in the text of Vishnu Purana, if Orientalists would only notice it.  There is Vishnu, as Brahma, and Vishnu in his two aspects, philosophy teaches. There is but one Brahma, “essentially prakriti and Spirit,” &c.
Therefore, it is not Vishnu — “the inert cause of creation” — which exercised the functions of an active Providence, but the Universal Soul, that which E. Levi calls Astral Light in its material aspect. And this “Soul” is, in its dual aspect of spirit and matter, the true anthropomorphic God of the Theists; as this God is a personification of that Universal Creative Agent, pure and impure both, owing to its manifested condition and differentiation in this Mayavic World — God and Devil — truly. But Dr. Wilson failed to see how Vishnu, in this character, closely resembles the Lord God of Israel, “especially in his policy of deception, temptation, and cunning.”
In the Vishnu Purana this is made as plain as can be. For it is said there, that “at the conclusion of their prayers (stotra) the gods beheld the Sovereign Deity Hari (Vishnu) armed with the conch, the discus, and the mace, riding on Garuda. .” Now “Garuda” is the manvantaric cycle, as will be shown in its place. Vishnu, therefore, is the deity in space and time; the peculiar God of the Vaishnavas (a tribal or racial God, as they are called in esoteric philosophy): i.e., one of the many Dhyanis or Gods, or Elohim, one of whom was generally chosen for some special reasons by a nation or a tribe, and thus became gradually a “God above all Gods” (2 Chronicles ii. 5,) the “highest God” as Jehovah, Osiris, Bel, or any other of the Seven Regents.
“The tree is known by its fruit,” — the nature of a God by his actions. The latter, we have either to judge by the dead-letter narratives, or to accept allegorically. If we compare the two — Vishnu, as the defender and champion of the defeated gods; and Jehovah, the defender and champion of the “chosen” people, so called by antiphrasis, no doubt, as it is the Jews who had chosen that “jealous” God — we shall find that both use deceit and cunning. They do so on the principle of “the end justifying the means,” in order to have the best of their respective opponents and foes — the demons. Thus while (according to the Kabalists) Jehovah assumes the shape of the tempting Serpent in the Garden of Eden; sends Satan with a special mission to tempt Job; and harasses and wearies Pharaoh with Sarai, Abraham’s wife, and “hardens” his heart against Moses, lest there should be no opportunity for plaguing his victims “with great plagues” (Genesis xii., Exodus) — Vishnu is made in his Purana to resort to a trick no less unworthy of any respectable god.
Finally the Daityas were seduced by the wily talk of Mahamoha, as Eve was seduced by the advice of the Serpent. They became apostates to the Vedas. As Dr. Muir translates the passage: —
Whatever may be thought of Hindus, no enemy of theirs can regard them as fools. A people whose holy men and sages have left to the world the greatest and most sublime philosophies that ever emanated from the minds of men, must have known the difference between right and wrong. Even a savage can discern white from black, good from bad, and deceit from sincerity and truthfulness. Those who had narrated this event in the biography of their god, must have seen that in this case it was that God who was the arch-Deceiver, and the Daityas, who “never transgressed the precepts of the Vedas,” who had the sunny side in the transaction, and who were the true “Gods.” Thence there must have been, and there is a secret meaning hidden under this allegory. In no class of Society, in no nation, are deceit and craft considered as Divine virtues — except perhaps in the clerical classes of theologians and modern Jesuitism.
The Vishnu Purana,  like all other works of this kind, has passed at a later period into the hands of the temple-Brahmins, and the old MSS. have, no doubt, been once more tampered with by sectarians. But there was a time when the Puranas were esoteric works, and so they are still for the Initiates who can read them with the key that is in their possession.
Whether the Brahmin Initiates will ever give out the full meaning of these allegories, is a question with which the writer is not concerned. The present object is to show that, while honouring the creative Powers in their multiple forms, no philosopher could, or ever has, accepted the allegory for the true Spirit, except, perhaps, some philosophers belonging to the present “superior and civilized” Christian races. For, as shown, Jehovah is not one whit the superior of Vishnu on the plane of ethics. This is why the Occultists and even some Kabalists, whether they regard or not those creative Forces as living and conscious Entities — and one does not see why they should not be so accepted — will never confuse the Cause with the effect, and accept the Spirit of the Earth for Parabrahm or Ain-Soph. At all events they know well the true nature of what was called Father-AEther by the Greeks, Jupiter-Titan, etc., etc. They know that the soul of the Astral Light is divine, and its body (the light-waves on the lower planes) infernal. This Light is symbolized by the “Magic Head” in the Zohar, the double Face on the double Pyramid: the black pyramid rising against a pure white ground, with a white head and face within its black triangle; the white pyramid, inverted — the reflection of the first in the dark waters, showing the black reflection of the white face. . . . .
This is the “Astral Light,” or Demon est Deus Inversus.
To thoroughly comprehend the idea underlying every ancient cosmology necessitates the study, in a comparative analysis, of all the great religions of antiquity; as it is only by this method that the root idea will be made plain. Exact science — could the latter soar so high, while tracing the operations of nature to their ultimate and original sources — would call this idea the hierarchy of Forces. The original, transcendental and philosophical conception was one. But as systems began to reflect with every age more and more the idiosyncracies of nations; and as the latter, after separating, settled into distinct groups, each evolving along its own national or tribal groove, the main idea gradually became veiled with the overgrowth of human fancy. While in some countries the Forces, or rather the intelligent Powers of nature, received divine honours they were hardly entitled to, in others — as now in Europe and the civilized lands — the very thought of any such Force being endowed with intelligence seems absurd, and is proclaimed unscientific. Therefore one finds relief in such statements as are found in the Introduction to “Asgard and the Gods: Tales and Traditions of our Northern Ancestors,” by W.S.W. Anson. The author remarks, on p. 3: “Although in Central Asia, or on the banks of the Indus, in the land of the Pyramids, and in the Greek and Italian peninsulas, and even in the North, whither Kelts, Teutons and Slavs wandered, the religious conceptions of the people have taken different forms, yet their common origin is still perceptible. We point out this connection between the stories of the gods, and the deep thought contained in them, and their importance, in order that the reader may see that it is not a magic world of erratic fancy which opens out before him, but that . . . Life and nature formed the basis of the existence and action of these divinities.” And though it is impossible for any Occultist or student of Eastern Esotericism to concur in the strange idea that “the religious conceptions of the most famous nations of antiquity are connected with the beginnings of civilization amongst the Germanic races,” he is yet glad to find such truths expressed as that: “These fairy tales are not senseless stories written for the amusement of the idle; they embody the profound religion of our forefathers . . .”
Precisely so. Not only their religion, but likewise their History. For a myth, in Greek [[mythos]], means oral tradition, passed from mouth to mouth from one generation to the other; and even in the modern etymology the term stands for a fabulous statement conveying some important truth; a tale of some extraordinary personage whose biography has become overgrown, owing to the veneration of successive generations, with rich popular fancy, but which is no wholesale fable. Like our ancestors, the primitive Aryans, we believe firmly in the personality and intelligence of more than one phenomenon-producing Force in nature.
As time rolled on, the archaic teaching grew dimmer; and those nations more or less lost sight of the highest and One principle of all things, and began to transfer the abstract attributes of the “causeless cause” to the caused effects — become in their turn causative — the creative Powers of the Universe: the great nations, out of the fear of profaning the idea, the smaller, because they either failed to grasp it or lacked the power of philosophic conception needed to preserve it in all its immaculate purity. But one and all, with the exception of the latest Aryans, now become Europeans and Christians, show this veneration in their Cosmogonies. As Thomas Taylor,  the most intuitional of all the translators of Greek Fragments, shows, no nation has ever conceived the One principle as the immediate creator of the visible Universe, for no sane man would credit a planner and architect with having built the edifice he admires with his own hands. On the testimony of Damascius ([[Peri archon]]) they referred to it as “the Unknown Darkness.” The Babylonians passed over this principle in silence: “To that god,” says Porphyry, in [[Peri apoches empsuchon]], “who is above all things, neither external speech ought to be addressed, nor yet that which is inward. . . . .” Hesiod begins his theogony with: “Chaos of all things was the first produced,”  thus allowing the inference that its cause or producer must be passed over in reverential silence. Homer in his poems ascends no higher than Night, whom he represents Zeus as reverencing. According to all the ancient theologists, and to the doctrines of Pythagoras and Plato, Zeus, or the immediate artificer of the universe, is not the highest god; any more than Sir Christopher Wren in his physical, human aspect is the Mind in him which produced his great works of art. Homer, therefore, is not only silent with respect to the first principle, but likewise with respect to those two principles immediately posterior to the first, the AEther and Chaos of Orpheus and Hesiod, and the bound and infinity of Pythagoras and Plato.  . . . . Proclus says of this highest principle that it is. . . . “the Unity of Unities, and beyond the first adyte. . . . . more ineffable than all silence, and more occult than all Essence. . . . . concealed amidst the intelligible gods.” (Ibid.)
To what was written by Thomas Taylor in 1797 — namely, that the “Jews appear to have ascended no higher. . . . than the immediate artificer of the universe”; as “Moses introduces a darkness on the face of the deep, without even insinuating that there was any cause of its existence,”  one might add something more. Never have the Jews in their Bible (a purely esoteric, symbolical work) degraded so profoundly their metaphorical deity as have the Christians, by accepting Jehovah as their one living yet personal God.
This first, or rather one, principle was called “the circle of Heaven,” symbolized by the hierogram of a point within a circle or equilateral triangle, the point being the logos. Thus, in the Rig Veda, wherein Brahma is not even named, Cosmogony is preluded with the Hiranyagharha, “the Golden Egg,” and Prajapati (Brahma later on), from whom emanate all the hierarchies of “Creators.” The Monad, or point, is the original and is the unit from which follows the entire numeral system. This Point is the First Cause, but that from which it emanates, or of which, rather, it is the expression, the Logos, is passed over in silence. In its turn, the universal symbol, the point within the circle, was not yet the Architect, but the cause of that Architect; and the latter stood to it in precisely the same relation as the point itself stood to the circumference of the Circle, which cannot be defined, according to Hermes Trismegistus. Porphyry shows that the Monad and the Duad of Pythagoras are identical with Plato’s infinite and finite in “Philebus” — or what Plato calls the [[apeiron]] and [[peras]]. It is the latter only (the mother) which is substantial, the former being the “cause of all unity and measure of all things” (Vit. Pyth. p. 47); the Duad (Mulaprakriti, the Veil) being thus shown to be the mother of the Logos and, at the same time, his daughter — i.e., the object of his perception — the produced producer and the secondary cause of it. With Pythagoras, the Monad returns into silence and Darkness as soon as it has evolved the triad, from which emanate the remaining seven numbers of the 10 (ten) numbers which are at the base of the manifested universe.
In the Norse cosmogony it is again the same. “In the beginning was a great abyss (Chaos), neither day nor night existed; the abyss was Ginnungagap, the yawning gulf, without beginning, without end. All Father, the Uncreated, the Unseen, dwelt in the depth of the ‘Abyss’ (Space) and willed, and what was willed came into being.” (See “Asgard and the Gods.”) As in the Hindu cosmogony, the evolution of the universe is divided into two acts: called in India the Prakriti and Padma Creations. Before the warm rays pouring from the “Home of Brightness” awake life in the Great Waters of Space, the Elements of the first creation come into view, and from them is formed the Giant Ymir (also Orgelmir) — primordial matter differentiated from Chaos (literally seething clay). Then comes the cow Audumla, the nourisher,  from whom is born Buri (the Producer) who, by Bestla, the daughter of the “Frost-Giants” (the sons of Ymir) had three sons, Odin, Willi and We, or “Spirit,” “Will,” and “Holiness.” (Compare the Genesis of the Primordial Races, in this work.) This was when Darkness still reigned throughout Space, when the Ases, the creative Powers (Dhyan Chohans) were not yet evolved, and the Yggdrasil, the tree of the universe of Time and of Life, had not yet grown, and there was, as yet, no Walhalla, or Hall of Heroes. The Scandinavian legends of creation, of our earth and world, begin with time and human life. All that precedes it is for them “Darkness,” wherein All-Father, the cause of all, dwells. As observed by the editor of “Asgard and the Gods,” though these legends have in them the idea of that All-Father, the original cause of all, “he is scarcely more than mentioned in the poems,” not because, as he thinks, before the preaching of the gospel, the idea “could not rise to distinct conceptions of the Eternal,” but on account of its great esoteric character. Therefore, all the creative gods, or personal Deities, begin at the secondary stage of Cosmic evolution. Zeus is born in, and out of Kronos — Time. So is Brahma the production and emanation of Kala, “eternity and time,” Kala being one of the names of Vishnu. Hence we find Odin, the father of the gods and of the Ases, as Brahma is the father of the gods and of the Asuras, and hence also the androgyne character of all the chief creative gods, from the second Monad of the Greeks down to the Sephiroth Adam Kadmon, the Brahma or Prajapati-Vach of the Vedas, and the androgyne of Plato, which is but another version of the Indian symbol. The best metaphysical definition of primeval theogony in the spirit of the Vedantins may be found in the “Notes on the Bhagavat-Gita,” by Mr. T. Subba Row. (See “Theosophist” for February, 1887.) Parabrahmam, the unknown and the incognisable, as the lecturer tells his audience:
This Logos is the Sabda Brahmam of the Hindus, which he will not even call Eswara (the “lord” God), lest the term should create confusion in the people’s minds. But it is the Avalokiteswara of the Hindus, the Verbum of the Christians in its real esoteric meaning, not in the theological disfigurement.
And the lecturer explains what he means by this acting of something which is nothing, though it is the all, by a fine simile. He compares the Logos to the sun through which light and heat radiate, but whose energy, light and heat, exist in some unknown condition in Space and are diffused in Space only as visible light and heat, the sun being only the agent thereof. This is the first triadic hypostasis. The quaternary is made up by the energizing light shed by the Logos.
The Hebrew Kabalists give it in a shape which esoterically is identical with the Vedantic. Ain-Soph, they taught, could not be comprehended, could not be located, nor named, though the causeless cause of all. Hence its name — Ain-Soph — is a term of negation, “the inscrutable, the incognizable, and the unnameable.” They made of it, therefore, a boundless circle, a sphere, of which human intellect, with the utmost stretch, could only perceive the vault. In the words of one who has unriddled much in the Kabalistical system, in one of its meanings thoroughly, in its numerical and geometrical esotericism: — “Close your eyes, and from your own consciousness of perception try and think outward to the extremest limits in every direction. You will find that equal lines or rays of perception extend out evenly in all directions, so that the utmost effort of perception will terminate in the vault of a sphere. The limitation of this sphere will, of necessity, be a great Circle, and the direct rays of thought in any and every direction must be right line radii of the circle. This, then, must be, humanly speaking, the extremest all-embracing conception of the Ain-Soph manifest, which formulates itself as a geometrical figure, viz., of a circle, with its elements of curved circumference and right line diameter divided into radii. Hence, a geometrical shape is the first recognisable means of connection between the Ain-Soph and the intelligence of man.” 
This great circle (which Eastern Esotericism reduces to the point within the Boundless Circle) is the Avalokiteswara, the Logos or Verbum of which Mr. Subba Row speaks. But this circle or manifested God is as unknown to us, except through its manifested universe, as the one, though easier, or rather more possible to our highest conceptions. This Logos which sleeps in the bosom of Parabrahmam during Pralaya, as our “Ego is latent (in us) at the time of sushupti, sleep”; which cannot cognize Parabrahmam otherwise than as Mulaprakriti — the latter being a cosmic veil which is “the mighty expanse of cosmic matter” — is thus only an organ in cosmic creation, through which radiate the energy and wisdom of Parabrahmam, unknown to the Logos, as it is to ourselves. Moreover, as the Logos is as unknown to us as Parabrahmam is unknown in reality to the Logos, both Eastern Esotericism and the Kabala — in order to bring the Logos within the range of our conceptions — have resolved the abstract synthesis into concrete images; viz., into the reflections or multiplied aspects of that Logos or Avalokiteswara, Brahma, Ormazd, Osiris, Adam-Kadmon, call it by any of these names — which aspects or Manvantaric emanations are the Dhyan Chohans, the Elohim, the Devas, the Amshaspends, &c., &c. Metaphysicians explain the root and germ of the latter, according to Mr. Subba Row, as the first manifestation of Parabrahmam, “the highest trinity that we are capable of understanding,” which is Mulaprakriti (the veil), the Logos, and the conscious energy “of the latter,” or its power and light ; or — “matter, force and the Ego, or the one root of self, of which every other kind of self is but a manifestation or a reflection.” It is then only in this “light” (of consciousness) of mental and physical perception, that practical Occultism can throw this into visibility by geometrical figures; which, when closely studied, will yield not only a scientific explanation of the real, objective, existence  of the “Seven sons of the divine Sophia,” which is this light of the Logos, but show by means of other yet undiscovered keys that, with regard to Humanity, these “Seven Sons” and their numberless emanations, centres of energy personified, are an absolute necessity. Make away with them, and the mystery of Being and Mankind will never be unriddled, not even closely approached.
It is through this light that everything is created. This root of mental self is also the root of physical Self, for this light is the permutation, in our manifested world, of Mulaprakriti, called Aditi in the Vedas. In its third aspect it becomes Vach,  the daughter and the mother of the Logos, as Isis is the daughter and the mother of Osiris, who is Horus; and Mout, the daughter, wife, and mother of Ammon, in the Egyptian Moon-glyph. In the Kabala, Sephira is the same as Shekinah, and is, in another synthesis, the wife, daughter, and mother of the “Heavenly man,” Adam Kadmon, and is even identical with him, just as Vach is identical with Brahma, and is called the female Logos. In the Rig-Veda, Vach is “mystic speech,” by whom Occult Knowledge and Wisdom are communicated to man, and thus Vach is said to have “entered the Rishis.” She is “generated by the gods;” she is the divine Vach — the “Queen of gods”; and she is associated — like Sephira with the Sephiroth — with the Prajapati in their work of creation. Moreover, she is called “the mother of the Vedas,” “since it is through her power (as mystic speech) that Brahma revealed them, and also owing to her power that he produced the universe” — i.e., through speech, and words (synthesized by the “word”) and numbers. 
But Vach being also spoken of as the daughter of Daksha — “the god who lives in all the Kalpas” — her Mayavic character is thereby shown: during the pralaya she disappears, absorbed in the one, all-devouring Ray.
But there are two distinct aspects in universal Esotericism, Eastern and Western, in all those personations of the female Power in nature, or nature — the noumenal and the phenomenal. One is its purely metaphysical aspect, as described by the learned lecturer in his “Notes on the Bhagavat-Gita;” the other terrestrial and physical, and at the same time divine from the stand-point of practical human conception and Occultism. They are all the symbols and personifications of Chaos, the “Great Deep” or the Primordial Waters of Space, the impenetrable veil between the incognisable and the Logos of Creation. “Connecting himself through his mind with Vach, Brahma (the Logos) created the primordial waters.” In the Kathaka Upanishad it is stated still more clearly: “Prajapati was this Universe. Vach was a second to him. He associated with her . . . she produced these creatures and again re-entered Prajapati.” 
And here we may incidentally point out one of the many unjust slurs thrown by the pious and good missionaries in India on the religion of the land. This allegory — in the “Satapatha Brahmana” — namely, that Brahma, as the father of men, performed the work of procreation by incestuous intercourse with his own daughter Vach, also called Sandhya (twilight), and Satarupa (the hundred formed), is incessantly thrown into the teeth of the Brahmins, as condemning their “detestable, false religion.” Besides the fact, conveniently forgotten by the Europeans, that the Patriarch Lot is shown guilty of the same crime under the human form, whereas Brahma, or rather Prajapati, accomplished the incest under the form of a buck with his daughter, who had that of a hind (rohit), the esoteric reading of Genesis (ch. iii.) shows the same. Moreover, there is certainly a cosmic, not a physiological meaning attached to the Indian allegory, since Vach is a permutation of Aditi and Mulaprakriti (Chaos), and Brahma a permutation of Narayana, the Spirit of God entering into, and fructifying nature; therefore, there is nothing phallic in the conception at all.
As already stated, Aditi-Vach is the female Logos, or the “word,” Verbum; and Sephira in the Kabala is the same. These feminine Logoi are all correlations, in their noumenal aspect, of Light, and Sound, and Ether, showing how well-informed were the ancients both in physical science (as now known to the moderns), and as to the birth of that science in the Spiritual and Astral spheres.
Thus Vach, Shekinah, or the “music of the spheres” of Pythagoras, are one, if we take for our example instances in the three most (apparently) dissimilar religious philosophies in the world — the Hindu, the Greek and the Chaldean Hebrew. These personations and allegories may be viewed under four (chief) and three (lesser) aspects or seven in all, as in Esotericism. The para form is the ever subjective and latent Light and Sound, which exist eternally in the bosom of the incognisable; when transferred into the ideation of the Logos, or its latent light, it is called pasyanti, and when it becomes that light expressed, it is madhyama.
Now the Kabala gives the definition thus: “There are three kinds of light, and that (fourth) which interpenetrates the others; (1) the clear and the penetrating, the objective light, (2) the reflected light, and (3) the abstract light. The ten Sephiroth, the three and the Seven, are called in the Kabala the 10 words, d-brim (Dabarim), the numbers and the Emanations of the heavenly light, which is both Adam Kadmon and Sephira, or (Brahma) Prajapati-Vach. Light, Sound, Number, are the three factors of creation in the Kabala. Parabrahmam cannot be known except through the luminous Point (the Logos), which knows not Parabrahmam but only Mulaprakriti. Similarly Adam Kadmon knew only Shekinah, though he was the vehicle of Ain-Soph. And, as Adam Kadmon, he is in the esoteric interpretation the total of the number ten, the Sephiroth (himself a trinity, or the three attributes of the incognisable Deity in One).  “When the Heavenly man (or Logos) first assumed the form of the Crown  (Kether) and identified himself with Sephira, he caused seven splendid lights to emanate from it (the Crown),” which made in their totality ten; so the Brahma-Prajapati, once he became separated from, yet identical with Vach, caused the seven Rishis, the seven Manus or Prajapatis to issue from that crown. In Exotericism one will always find 10 and 7, of either Sephiroth or Prajapati; in Esoteric rendering always 3 and 7, which yield also 10. Only when divided in the manifested sphere into 3 and 7, they form , the androgyne, and , or the figure X manifested and differentiated.
This will help the student to understand why Pythagoras esteemed the Deity (the Logos) to be the centre of unity and “Source of Harmony.” We say this Deity was the Logos, not the monad that dwelleth in Solitude and Silence, because Pythagoras taught that unity being indivisible is no number. And this is also why it was required of the candidate, who applied for admittance into his school, that he should have already studied as a preliminary step, the Sciences of Arithmetic, Astronomy, Geometry and Music, held as the four divisions of Mathematics.  Again, this explains why the Pythagoreans asserted that the doctrine of Numbers — the chief of all in Esotericism — had been revealed to man by the celestial deities; that the world had been called forth out of Chaos by Sound or Harmony, and constructed according to the principles of musical proportion; that the seven planets which rule the destiny of mortals have a harmonious motion “and intervals corresponding to musical diastemes, rendering various sounds, so perfectly consonant, that they produce the sweetest melody, which is inaudible to us, only by reason of the greatness of the sound, which our ears are incapable of receiving.” (Censorinus.)
In the Pythagorean Theogony the hierarchies of the heavenly Host and Gods were numbered and expressed numerically. Pythagoras had studied Esoteric Science in India; therefore we find his pupils saying “The monad (the manifested one) is the principle of all things. >From the Monad and the indeterminate duad (Chaos), numbers; from numbers, Points; from points, Lines; from lines, Superficies; from superficies, Solids; from these, solid Bodies, whose elements are four — Fire, Water, Air, Earth; of all which transmuted (correlated), and totally changed, the world consists.” — (Diogenes Laertius in Vit. Pythag.)
And this may also, if it does not unriddle the mystery altogether, at any rate lift a corner of the veil off those wondrous allegories that have been thrown upon Vach, the most mysterious of all the Brahmanical goddesses, she who is termed “the melodious cow who milked forth sustenance and water” (the Earth with all her mystic powers); and again she “who yields us nourishment and sustenance” (physical Earth). Isis is also mystic Nature and also Earth; and her cow’s horns identify her with Vach. The latter, after having been recognised in her highest form as para, becomes at the lower or material end of creation — Vaikhari. Hence she is mystic, though physical, Nature, with all her magic ways and properties.
Again, as goddess of Speech and of Sound, and a permutation of Aditi — she is Chaos, in one sense. At any rate, she is the “Mother of the gods,” and it is from Brahma (Iswara, or the Logos) and Vach, as from Adam Kadmon and Sephira, that the real manifested theogony has to start. Beyond, all is darkness and abstract speculation. With the Dhyan Chohans, or the gods, the Seers, the Prophets and the adepts in general are on firm ground. Whether as Aditi, or the divine Sophia of the Greek Gnostics, she is the mother of the seven sons: the “Angels of the Face,” of the “Deep,” or the “Great Green One” of the “Book of the Dead.” Says the Book of Dzyan (Knowledge through meditation) —
“The great mother lay with , and the |, and the , the second | and the  in her bosom, ready to bring them forth, the valiant sons of the || (or 4,320,000, the Cycle) whose two elders are the and the . (Point).”
At the beginning of every cycle of 4,320,000, the Seven (or, as some nations had it, eight) great gods, descended to establish the new order of things and give the impetus to the new cycle. That eighth god was the unifying Circle or Logos, separated and made distinct from its host, in exoteric dogma, just as the three divine hypostases of the ancient Greeks are now considered in the Churches as three distinct personae. “The Mighty Ones perform their great works, and leave behind them everlasting monuments to commemorate their visit, every time they penetrate within our mayavic veil (atmosphere),” says a Commentary.  Thus we are taught that the great Pyramids were built under their direct supervision, “when Dhruva (the then Pole-star) was at his lowest culmination, and the Krittika (Pleiades) looked over his head (were on the same meridian but above) to watch the work of the giants.” Thus, as the first Pyramids were built at the beginning of a Sidereal year, under Dhruva (Alpha Polaris), it must have been over 31,000 years (31,105) ago. Bunsen was right in admitting for Egypt an antiquity of over 21,000 years, but this concession hardly exhausts truth and fact in this question. “The stories told by Egyptian priests and others of time-keeping in Egypt, are now beginning to look less like lies in the sight of all who have escaped from biblical bondage,” writes the author of “The Natural Genesis.” “Inscriptions have lately been found at Sakkarah, making mention of two Sothiac cycles . . . registered at that time, now some 6,000 years ago. Thus when Herodotus was in Egypt, the Egyptians had — as now known — observed at least five different Sothiac cycles of 1,461 years. The priests informed the Greek inquirer that time had been reckoned by them for so long that the sun had twice risen where it then set, and twice set where it then arose. This . . . can only be realized as a fact in nature by means of two cycles of Precession, or a period of 51,736 years,” (vol. ii, p. 318. But see in our Book II., “Chronology of the Brahmins.”)
Mor Isaac (See Kircher’s OEdipus, vol. ii., p. 425) shows the ancient Syrians defining their world of the “Rulers” and “active gods” in the same way as the Chaldeans. The lowest world was the Sublunary — our own — watched by the “Angels” of the first or lower order; the one that came next in rank, was Mercury, ruled by the “Archangels”; then came Venus, whose gods were the Principalities; the fourth was that of the Sun, the domain and region of the highest and mightiest gods of our system, the solar gods of all nations; the fifth was Mars, ruled by the “Virtues”; the sixth — that of Bel or Jupiter — was governed by the Dominions; the seventh — the world of Saturn — by the Thrones. These are the worlds of form. Above come the four higher ones, making seven again, since the three highest are “unmentionable and unpronounceable.” The eighth, composed of 1,122 stars, is the domain of the Cherubs; the ninth, belonging to the walking and numberless stars on account of their distance, has the seraphs; as to the tenth — Kircher, quoting Mor Isaac, says that it is composed “of invisible stars that could be taken, they said, for clouds — so massed are they in the zone that we call Via Straminis, the Milky Way”; and he hastens to explain that “these are the stars of Lucifer, engulfed with him in his terrible shipwreck.” That which comes after and beyond the tenth world (our Quaternary, or the Arupa world), the Syrians could not tell. “All they knew was that it is there that begins the vast and incomprehensible ocean of the infinite, the abode of the true divinity without boundary or end.”
Champollion shows the same belief among the Egyptians. Hermes having spoken of the Father-Mother and Son, whose spirit (collectively the divine fiat) shapes the Universe, says: — “Seven Agents (mediums) were also formed, to contain the material (or manifested) worlds, within their respective circles and the action of these agents was named destiny.” He further enumerates seven and ten and twelve orders, which would take too long to detail here.
As the “Rig Vidhana” together with the “Brahmanda Purana” and all such works, whether describing the magic efficacy of the Rig-Vedic Mantras or the future Kalpas, are declared by Dr. Weber and others to be modern compilations “belonging probably only to the time of the Puranas,” it is useless to refer the reader to their mystic explanations; and one may as well quote simply from the archaic books utterly unknown to the Orientalists. These works explain that which so puzzles the scholars, namely that the Saptarshi, the “mind-born sons” of Brahma, are referred to in the Satapatha Brahmana under one set of names; in the Mahabharata under another set; and that the Vayu Purana makes even nine instead of seven Rishis, by adding the names of Bhrigu and Daksha to the list. But the same occurs in every exoteric Scripture. The secret doctrine gives a long genealogy of Rishis, but separates them into many classes. Like the Gods of the Egyptians, who were divided into seven, and even twelve, classes, so are the Indian Rishis in their Hierarchies. The first three groups are the Divine, the Cosmical and the Sub-lunary. Then come the Solar Gods of our system, the Planetary, the Sub-Mundane, and the purely human — the heroes and the Manoushi.
At present, however, we are only concerned with the pre-cosmic, divine gods, the Prajapati or the “Seven Builders.” This group is found unmistakably in every Cosmogony. Owing to the loss of Egyptian archaic documents — since, according to M. Maspero, “the materials and historical data on hand to study the history of the religious evolution in Egypt are neither complete nor very often intelligible” — in order to have the statements brought forward from the Secret Doctrine corroborated partially and indirectly, the ancient hymns and inscriptions on the tombs must be appealed to. One such, at any rate, shows that Osiris was, like Brahma-Prajapati, Adam Kadmon, Ormazd, and so many other Logoi, the chief and synthesis of the group of “Creators” or Builders. Before Osiris became the “One” and the highest god of Egypt he was worshipped at Abydos as the head or leader of the Heavenly Host of the Builders belonging to the higher of the three orders. The hymn engraved on the votive stela of a tomb from Abydos (3rd register) addresses Osiris thus: “Salutations to thee, Osiris, elder son of Sib; thou the greatest over the six gods issued from the goddess Noo (primordial Water), thou the great favourite of thy father Ra; father of fathers, King of Duration, master in the eternity . . . who, as soon as these issued from thy mother’s bosom, gathered all the crowns and attached the Uraeus (serpent or naja)  on thy head; multiform god, whose name is unknown and who has many names in towns and provinces. . .” Coming out from the primordial water crowned with the uraeus, which is the serpent emblem of Cosmic fire, and himself the seventh over the six primary gods issued from Father-Mother, Nou and Nout (the sky), who can Osiris be, but the chief Prajapati, the chief Sephiroth, the chief Amshaspend-Ormazd! That this latter solar and cosmic god stood, in the beginning of religious evolution, in the same position as the archangel “whose name was secret,” is certain. This Archangel was the representative on earth of the Hidden Jewish God, Michael, in short: it is his “Face” that is said to have gone before the Jews like a “Pillar of Fire.” Burnouf says, “The seven Amshaspends, who are most assuredly our archangels, designate also the personifications of the divine Virtues.” (Comment on the Yacna, p. 174.) And these archangels, therefore, are as “certainly” the Saptarishi of the Hindus, though it is next to impossible to class each with its pagan prototype and parallel, since, as in the case of Osiris, they have all so “many names in towns and provinces.” Some of the most important, however, will be shown in their order.
One thing is thus undeniably proven. The more one studies their Hierarchies and finds out their identity, the more proofs one acquires that there is not one of the past and present personal gods, known to us from the earliest days of History, that does not belong to the third stage of Cosmic manifestation. In every religion we find the concealed deity forming the ground work; then the ray therefrom, that falls into primordial Cosmic matter (first manifestation); then the androgyne result, the dual Male and Female abstract Force, personified (second stage); this separates itself finally, in the third, into seven Forces, called the creative Powers by all the ancient Religions, and the “Virtues of God” by the Christians. The later explanation and metaphysical abstract qualifications have never prevented the Roman and Greek Churches from worshipping these “Virtues” under the personifications and distinct names of the seven Archangels. In the Book of Druschim (p. 59, 1st Treatise) in the Talmud, a distinction between these groups is given which is the correct Kabalistical explanation. It says:
“There are three groups (or orders) of Sephiroth. 1st. The Sephiroth called “the divine attributes” (abstract). 2nd. The physical or sidereal Sephiroth (personal) — one group of seven, the other of ten. 3rd. The metaphysical Sephiroth, or periphrasis of Jehovah, who are the first three Sephiroth (Kether, Chochma and Binah), the rest of the seven being the (personal) seven spirits of the Presence” (also of the planets).
The same division has to be applied to the primary, secondary and tertiary evolution of gods in every theogony, if one wishes to translate the meaning esoterically. We must not confuse the purely metaphysical personifications of the abstract attributes of Deity, with their reflection — the sidereal gods. This reflection, however, is in reality the objective expression of the abstraction: living Entities and the models formed on that divine prototype. Moreover, the three metaphysical Sephiroth or “the periphrasis of Jehovah” are not Jehovah; it is the latter himself with the additional titles of Adonai, Elohim, Sabbaoth, and the numerous names lavished on him, who is the periphrasis of the Shaddai, , the Omnipotent. The name is a circumlocution, indeed, a too abundant figure of Jewish rhetoric, and has always been denounced by the Occultists. To the Jewish Kabalists, and even the Christian Alchemists and Rosicrucians, Jehovah was a convenient screen, unified by the folding of its many flaps, and adopted as a substitute: one name of an individual Sephiroth being as good as another name, for those who had the secret. The Tetragrammaton, the Ineffable, the sidereal “Sum Total,” was invented for no other purpose than to mislead the profane and to symbolize life and generation.  The real secret and unpronounceable name — “the word that is no word” — has to be sought in the seven names of the first seven emanations, or the “Sons of the Fire,” in the secret Scriptures of all the great nations, and even in the Zohar, the Kabalistic lore of that smallest of all, the Jewish. This word, composed of seven letters in each tongue, is found embodied in the architectural remains of every grand building in the world; from the Cyclopean remains on Easter Island (part of a continent buried under the seas nearer four million years ago  than 20,000) down to the earliest Egyptian pyramids.
We shall have to enter more fully upon this subject, and bring practical illustrations to prove the statements made in the text.
For the present it is sufficient to show, by a few instances, the truth of what was asserted at the beginning of this Monograph, namely, that no Cosmogony, the world over, with the sole exception of the Christian, has ever attributed to the One Highest cause, the universal Deific Principle, the immediate creation of our Earth, man, or anything connected with these. This statement holds as good for the Hebrew or Chaldean Kabala as it does for Genesis, had the latter been ever thoroughly understood, and — what is still more important — correctly translated.  Everywhere there is either a logos — a “Light shining in Darkness,” truly — or the Architect of the Worlds is esoterically a plural number. The Latin Church, paradoxical as ever, while applying the epithet of Creator to Jehovah alone, adopts a whole Kyriel of names for the working forces of the latter, those names betraying the secret. For if the said Forces had nought to do with “Creation” so-called, why call them Elohim (Alhim) in plural; “divine workmen” and Energies ([[’Energeia]]), incandescent celestial stones (lapides igniti coelorum), and especially, “supporters of the World” ([[Kosmokratores]]), governors or rulers of the World (rectores mundi), the “Wheels” of the World (Rotae), Ophanim, Flames and Powers, “Sons of God” (B’ne Alhim), “Vigilant counsellors,” etc., etc.
It was often premised (and as unjustly as usual) that China, nearly as old a country as India, had no cosmogony. “It was unknown to Confucius, and the Buddhists extended their Cosmogony without introducing a personal God,”  it is complained. The Yi-King, “the very essence of ancient thought and the combined work of the most venerated sages, fails to show a distinct cosmogony.” Nevertheless, there is one, and a very distinct one. Only as Confucius did not admit of a future life  and the Chinese Buddhists reject the idea of One Creator, accepting one cause and its numberless effects, they are misunderstood by the believers in a personal God. The “great Extreme” as the commencement “of changes” (transmigrations) is the shortest and perhaps the most suggestive of all Cosmogonies, for those who, like the Confucianists, love virtue for its own sake, and try to do good unselfishly without perpetually looking to reward and profit. The “great Extreme” of Confucius produces “two figures.” These “two” produce in their turn “the four images”; these again “the eight symbols.” It is complained that though the Confucianists see in them “Heaven, Earth and man in miniature,” . . . we can see in them anything we like. No doubt, and so it is with regard to many symbols, especially in those of the latest religions. But they who know something of Occult numerals, see in these “figures” the symbol, however rude, of a harmonious progressive Evolution of Kosmos and its beings, both the Heavenly and the Terrestrial. And any one who has studied the numerical evolution in the primeval cosmogony of Pythagoras (a contemporary of Confucius) can never fail to find in his Triad, Tetractis and Decade emerging from the one and solitary Monad, the same idea. Confucius is laughed at by his Christian biographer for “talking of divination” before and after this passage, and is represented as saying: “The eight symbols determine good and ill fortune, and these lead to great deeds. There are no imitable images greater than heaven and earth. There are no changes greater than the four seasons (meaning North, South, East and West, et seq.). There are no suspended images brighter than the sun and moon. In preparing things for use, there is none greater than the sage. In determining good and ill-luck there is nothing greater than the divining straws and the tortoise.” 
Therefore, the “divining straws” and the “tortoise,” the “symbolic sets of lines,” and the great sage who looks at them as they become one and two, and two become four, and four become eight, and the other sets “three and six,” are laughed to scorn, only because his wise symbols are misunderstood.
So the author and his colleagues will scoff no doubt at the Stanzas given in our text, for they represent precisely the same idea. The old archaic map of Cosmogony is full of lines in the Confucian style, of concentric circles and dots. Yet all these represent the most abstract and philosophical conceptions of the Cosmogony of our Universe. At all events it may answer, perhaps, better to the requirements and the scientific purposes of our age, than the cosmogonical essays of St. Augustine and the “Venerable Bede,” though these were published over a millennium later than the Confucian.
Confucius, one of the greatest sages of the ancient world, believed in ancient magic, and practised it himself “if we take for granted the statements of Kin-yu” . . . . and “he praised it to the skies in Yi-kin,” we are told by his reverend critic. Nevertheless, even in his age — i.e., 600 B.C., Confucius and his school taught the sphericity of the Earth and even the heliocentric system; while, at about thrice 600 years after the Chinese philosopher, the Popes of Rome threatened and even burnt “heretics” for asserting the same. He is laughed at for speaking of the “Sacred Tortoise.” No unprejudiced person can see any great difference between a tortoise and a lamb as candidates for sacredness, as both are symbols and no more. The Ox, the Eagle,  the Lion, and occasionally the Dove, are “the sacred animals” of the Western Bible, the first three being found grouped round the Evangelists; and the fourth (the human face) is a Seraph, i.e., a fiery serpent, the Gnostic Agathodaemon probably.  As explained, the “sacred animals” and the Flames or “Sparks” within the “Holy Four” refer to the prototypes of all that is found in the Universe in the Divine Thought, in the Root, which is the perfect cube, or the foundation of the Kosmos collectively and individually. They have all an occult reference to primordial Cosmic forms and its first concretions, work, and evolution.
In the earliest Hindu exoteric cosmogonies, it is not even the Demiurge who creates. For it is said in one of the Puranas that: “The great Architect of the World gives the first impulse to the rotatory motion of our planetary system by stepping in turn over each planet and body.” It is this action “that causes each sphere to turn around itself, and all around the Sun.” After which action, “it is the Brahmandica, the Solar and Lunar Pitris (the Dhyani-Chohans)” who take charge of their respective spheres (earths and planets), to the end of the Kalpa.” The Creators are the Rishis; most of whom are credited with the authorship of the mantras or Hymns of the Rig Veda. They are sometimes seven, sometimes ten, when they become prajapati, the “Lord of Beings”; then they rebecome the seven and the fourteen Manus, as the representatives of the seven and fourteen cycles of Existence (“Days of Brahma”); thus answering to the seven AEons, when at the end of the first stage of Evolution they are transformed into the seven stellar Rishis, the Saptarishis; while their human doubles appear as heroes, Kings and Sages on this earth.
The Esoteric doctrine of the East having thus furnished and struck the key-note — which is as scientific as it is philosophical and poetical, as may be seen, under its allegorical garb — every nation has followed its lead. It is from the exoteric religions that we have to dig out the root-idea before we turn to esoteric truths, lest the latter should be rejected. Furthermore, every symbol — in every national religion — may be read esoterically, and the proof furnished for its being correctly read by transliterating it into its corresponding numerals and geometrical forms — by the extraordinary agreement of all — however much the glyphs and symbols may vary among themselves. For in the origin those symbols were all identical. Take, for instance, the opening sentences in various cosmogonies: in every case it is either a circle, an egg, or a head. Darkness is always associated with this first symbol and surrounds it, — as shown in the Hindu, the Egyptian, the Chaldeo-Hebrew and even the Scandinavian systems — hence black ravens, black doves, black waters and even black flames; the seventh tongue of Agni, the fire-god being called “Kali,” “the black,” as it was a black flickering flame. Two black doves flew from Egypt and settling on the oaks of Dodona, gave their names to the Grecian gods. Noah lets out a black raven after the deluge, which is a symbol for the Cosmic pralaya, after which began the real creation or evolution of our earth and humanity. Odin’s black ravens fluttered around the Goddess Saga and “whispered to her of the past and of the future.” What is the real meaning of all those black birds? They are all connected with the primeval wisdom, which flows out of the pre-cosmic Source of all, symbolised by the Head, the Circle, the Egg; and they all have an identical meaning and relate to the primordial Archetypal man (Adam Kadmon) the creative origin of all things, which is composed of the Host of Cosmic Powers — the Creative Dhyan-Chohans, beyond which all is darkness.
Let us inquire of the wisdom of the Kabala — even veiled and distorted as it now is, — to explain in its numerical language an approximate meaning, at least of the word “raven.” This is its number value as given in the “Source of Measures.”
“The term Raven is used but once, and taken as eth-h’orebv , = 678, or 113 x 6; while the Dove is mentioned five times. Its value is 71, and 71 x 5 = 355. Six diameters, or the raven, crossing, would divide the circumference of a circle of 355 into 12 parts or compartments; and 355 subdivided for each unit by 6, would equal 213-0, or the head (“beginning”) in the first verse of Genesis. This divided or subdivided, after the same fashion, by 2, or the 355 by 12, would give 213-2, or the word B’rash, , or the first word of Genesis, with its prepositional prefix, signifying the same concreted general form astronomically, with the one here intended.” Now the secret reading of the first verse of Genesis being: “In Rash (B’rash) or head, developed gods, the Heavens and the Earth” — it is easy to comprehend the esoteric meaning of the raven, once that the like meaning of the Flood (or Noah’s Deluge) is ascertained. Whatever the many other meanings of this emblematical allegory may be, its chief meaning is that of a new cycle and a new Round (our Fourth Round.)  The “Raven,” or the Eth-H’Orebv, yields the same numerical value as the “Head,” and returned not to the ark, while the dove returned, carrying the olive-branch, when Noah, the new man of the new Race (whose prototype is Vaivasvata Manu), prepared to leave the ark, the womb (or Argha) of terrestrial nature, is the symbol of the purely spiritual, sexless and androgyne man of the first three Races, who vanished from earth for ever. Numerically Jehovah, Adam, Noah, are one in the Kabala: at best, then, it is Deity descending on to Ararat (later on Sinai), to incarnate in man his image, through the natural process, henceforth: the mother’s womb, whose symbols are the ark, the mount (Sinai), etc., in Genesis. The Jewish allegory is at once astronomical, and purely physiological rather than anthropomorphic.
And here lies the abyss between the two systems (Aryan and Semitic), though built on the same foundation. As shown by an expounder of the Kabala, “the basic idea underlying the philosophy of the Hebrews was that God contained all things within himself and that man was his image; man, including woman (as Androgynes);” and that “geometry and numbers (and measures applicable to astronomy) are contained in the terms man and woman; and the apparent incongruity of such a mode was eliminated by showing the connection of man and woman with a particular system of numbers and measures and geometry, by the parturient time-periods, which furnished the connecting link between the terms and the facts shown, and perfected the mode used.” It is argued that, the primal cause being absolutely incognizable, “the symbol of its first comprehensible manifestation was the conception of a circle with its diameter line, so as at once to carry the idea of geometry, phallicism, and astronomy;” and this was finally applied to the “signification of simply human generative organs.”  Hence the whole cycle of events from Adam and the Patriarchs down to Noah is made to apply to phallic and astronomical uses, the one regulating the other, as the lunar periods, for instance. Hence, too, their genesis begins after their coming out of the Ark, and the close of the flood — at the Fourth Race. With the Aryan people it is different.
Eastern Esotericism has never degraded the One Infinite Deity, the container of all things, to such uses; and this is shown by the absence of Brahma from the Rig Veda and the modest positions occupied therein by Rudra and Vishnu, who became the powerful and great Gods, the “Infinites” of the exoteric creeds, ages later. But even they, “Creators” as the three may be, are not the direct creators and “forefathers of men.” The latter are shown occupying a still lower scale, and are called Prajapatis, the Pitris (our lunar ancestors), etc., etc. — never the “One Infinite God.” Esoteric philosophy shows only physical man as created in the image of the Deity: but the latter is but “the minor gods.” It is the Higher-Self, the real Ego who alone is divine and god.
“There was neither day nor night, nor sky nor earth, nor darkness nor light, nor any other thing save only one, unapprehensible by intellect, or that which is Brahma and Pumis (Spirit) and Pradhana (crude matter)” (Veda: “Vishnu Purana Commentary”); or literally: “One Pradhanika Brahma Spirit: that was.” The “Pradhanika Brahma Spirit” is Mulaprakriti and Parabrahmam.
In Vishnu Purana, Parasara says to Maitreya, his pupil: — “I have thus explained to you, excellent Muni, six creations. . . . the creation of the Arvaksrotas beings was the seventh, and was that of man.” Then he proceeds to speak of two additional and very mysterious creations, variously interpreted by the commentators.
Origen, commenting upon the books written by Celsus, his opponent — books which were all destroyed by the prudent Church Fathers — evidently answers the objections of his contradictor and reveals his system at the same time. This was evidently septenary. But his theogony, the genesis of the stars or planets, that of sound and colour, all found as an answer satire, and no better. Celsus, you see, “desiring to exhibit his learning,” speaks of a ladder of creation with seven gates, and on the top of it the eighth — ever closed. The mysteries of the Persian Mithras are explained and “musical reasons, moreover, are added.” . . . . And to these again he strives “to add a second explanation connected also with musical considerations,”  — i.e., with the seven notes of the scale, the Seven Spirits of the Stars, &c., &c.
Valentinus expatiates upon the power of the great Seven, who were called to bring forth this universe after Ar(r)hetos, or the Ineffable, whose name is composed of seven letters, had represented the first hebdomad. This name (Ar(r) hetos) is one to indicate the Sevenfold nature of the One (the logos). “The goddess Rhea,” says Proclus in Timaeus (p. 121), “is a Monad, Duad, and Heptad,” comprehending in herself all the Titanidae, “who are seven.”
The Seven Creations are found in almost every Purana. They are all preceded by what Wilson translates — “the indiscrete Principle,” absolute Spirit independent of any relation with objects of sense. They are — (1) Mahattattwa, the Universal Soul, Infinite Intellect, or Divine Mind; (2) Bhuta or Bhutasarga, elemental creation, the first differentiation of Universal indiscrete Substance; (3) Indriya or Aindriyaka, organic evolution. “These three were the Prakrita creations, the developments of indiscrete nature preceded by indiscrete principle”; (4) Mukhya, the fundamental creation of perceptible things, was that of inanimate bodies; (5) Tairyagyonya, or Tiryaksrotas, was that of animals; (6) Urdhwasrotas, or that of divinities  (?); (7) Arvaksrotas, was that of man. (See Vishnu Purana.)
This is the order given in the exoteric texts. According to esoteric teaching there are seven primary, and seven secondary “creations;” the former being the Forces self-evolving from the one causeless force; the latter, showing the manifested Universe emanating from the already differentiated divine elements.
Esoterically, as well as exoterically, all the above enumerated Creations stand for the (7) periods of Evolution, whether after an “Age” or a “Day” of Brahma. This is the teaching par excellence of Occult Philosophy, which, however, never uses the term “creation,” nor even that of evolution, “with regard to primary ‘Creation’:” but calls all such forces “the aspects of the Causeless Force.” In the Bible the seven periods are dwarfed into the six days of creation and the seventh day of rest, and the Westerns adhere to the letter. In the Hindu philosophy, when the active Creator has produced the world of gods, the germs of all the undifferentiated elements and the rudiments of future senses (the world of noumena, in short), the Universe remains unaltered for a “Day of Brahma,” a period of 4,320,000,000 years. This is the seventh passive period or the “Sabbath day” of Eastern philosophy, that follows six periods of active evolution. In the Satapatha Brahmana “Brahma” (neuter), the absolute Cause of all Causes, radiates the gods. Having radiated the gods (through its inherent nature) the work is interrupted. In the 1st Book of Manu it is said, “At the expiration of each night (pralaya) Brahma, having been asleep, awakes, and, through the sole energy of the motion, causes to emanate from itself the spirit, which in its essence is, and yet is not.”
In the Sepher Jezirah, the Kabalistic Book of Creation, the author has evidently repeated the words of Manu. In it the Divine Substance is represented as having alone existed from the eternity, boundless and absolute; and as having emitted from itself the Spirit. “One is the Spirit of the living God, blessed be his Name, who liveth for ever! Voice, Spirit, and Word, this is the Holy Spirit.” (Sepher Jezireh, chap. 1, Mishna IX.) And this is the Kabalistic abstract Trinity, so unceremoniously anthropomorphized by the Fathers. From this triple one emanated the whole Kosmos. First from one emanated number two, or Air, the creative element; and then number three, Water, proceeded from the air; Ether or Fire complete the mystic four, the Arba-il. (Ibid.) In the Eastern doctrine Fire is the first Element — Ether, synthesizing the whole (since it contains all of them).
In the Vishnu Purana, the whole seven periods are given, and the progressive Evolution of “Spirit-Soul,” and of the seven forms of matter (or principles) are shown. It is impossible to enumerate them in this work. The reader is asked to peruse one of the Puranas.
“R. Yehudah began, it is written: ‘Elohim said: Let there be a firmament, in the midst of waters. . . . . At the time that the Holy . . . created the world, He (they) created seven heavens Above. He created seven earths Below, seven seas, seven days, seven rivers, seven weeks, seven years, seven times, and 7,000 years that the world has been. . . . . the seventh of all the millennium. So here are seven earths Below, they are all inhabited except those which are above, and those . . . . below. And . . . . between each earth, a heaven (firmament) is spread out between each other. . . . . And there are in them (these earths) creatures who look different from each other . . . . but if you object and say that all the children of the world came out from Adam, it is not so. . . . . And the lower earths, where do they come from? They are from the chain of the earth, and from the heaven below,” etc., etc. 
Irenaeus is our witness (and a very unwilling one, too) that the Gnostics taught the same system, veiling very carefully the true esoteric meaning. This “veiling,” however, is identical with that of the Vishnu Purana and others. Thus Irenaeus writes of the Marcosians: “They maintain that first of all the four elements, fire, water, earth and air, were produced after the image of the primary tetrad above, and that then if we add their operations, namely, heat, cold, dryness and moisture, an exact likeness of the ogdoad is presented.” (B. i. ch. xvii.)
Only this “likeness” and the ogdoad itself is a blind, just as in the seven creations of the Vishnu Puranas, to which two more are added of which the eighth, termed Anugraha, “possesses both the qualities of goodness and darkness,” a Sankhyan more than a Puranic idea. For Irenaeus says again (b. I. xxx. 6) that “they (the Gnostics) had a like eighth creation which was good and bad, divine and human. They affirm that man was formed on the eighth day. Sometimes they affirm that he was made on the sixth day, and at others on the eighth; unless, perchance, they mean that his earthly part was formed on the sixth day and his fleshly part (?) on the eighth day; these two being distinguished by them.”
They were so “distinguished,” but not as Irenaeus gives it. The Gnostics had a superior Hebdomad, and an inferior one, in Heaven; and a third terrestrial Hebdomad, on the plane of matter. Iao, the mystery god and the Regent of the Moon, as given in Origen’s chart, was the chief of these superior “Seven Heavens,”  hence identical with the chief of the lunar Pitris, that name being given by them to the lunar Dhyan-Chohans. “They affirm that these seven heavens are intelligent, and speak of them as being angels,” writes the same Irenaeus; and adds that on this account they termed Iao Hebdomas, while his mother was called “Ogdoas,” because, as he explains, “she preserved the number of the first begotten and primary Ogdoad of the Pleroma.” (Ibid. b. I, v. 2).
This “first begotten Ogdoad” was (a) in theogony the second Logos (the manifested) because he was born of the Seven-fold first Logos, hence he is the eighth on this manifested plane; and (b) in astrolatry, it was the Sun, Marttanda — the eighth son of Aditi, whom she rejects while preserving her Seven Sons, the planets. For the ancients have never regarded the Sun as a planet, but as a central and fixed Star. This, then, is the second Hebdomad born of the Seven-rayed one, Agni, the Sun and what not, only not the seven planets, which are Surya’s brothers, not his Sons. These Astral gods, whose chief with the Gnostics was Ildabaoth  (from Ilda “child,” and Baoth “the egg”), the son of Sophia Achamoth, the daughter of Sophia (Wisdom), whose region is the Pleroma, were his (Ildabaoth’s) sons. He produces from himself these six stellar spirits: Jove (Jehovah), Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloi, Osraios, Astaphaios,  and it is they who are the second, or inferior Hebdomad. As to the third, it is composed of the seven primeval men, the shadows of the lunar gods, projected by the first Hebdomad. In this the Gnostics did not, as seen, differ much from the esoteric doctrine except that they veiled it. As to the charge made by Irenaeus, who was evidently ignorant of the true tenets of the “Heretics,” with regard to man being created on the sixth day, and man being created on the eighth, this relates to the mysteries of the inner man. It will become comprehensible to the reader only after he has read Book II., and understood well the Anthropogenesis of the Esoteric doctrine.
Ildabaoth is a copy of Manu. The latter boasts, “Oh, best of twice-born men! Know that I (Manu) am he, the creator of all this world, whom that male Viraj . . . spontaneously produced” (I., 33). He first creates the ten lords of Being, the Prajapatis, who, as verse 36 says . . . “produce seven other Manus.” (The Ordinances of Manu.) Ildabaoth does likewise: “I am Father and God, and there is no one above me,” he exclaims. For which his mother coolly puts him down by saying, “Do not lie, Ildabaoth, for the father of all, the first man (Anthropos) is above thee, and so is Anthropos, the Son of Anthropos” (Irenaeus, b. I, ch. xxx., 6). This is a good proof that there were three Logoi (besides the Seven born of the First), one of these being the Solar Logos. And, again, who was that “Anthropos” himself, so much higher than Ildabaoth? The Gnostic records alone can solve this riddle. In Pistis Sophia the four-vowelled name Ieov is in each case accompanied by the epithet of “the Primal, or First man.” This shows again that the gnosis was but an echo of our archaic doctrine. The names answering to Parabrahm, to Brahm, and Manu (the first thinking man) are composed of one-vowelled, three-vowelled and seven-vowelled sounds. Marcus, whose philosophy was certainly more Pythagorean than anything else, speaks of a revelation to him of the seven heavens sounding each one vowel as they pronounced the seven names of the seven (angelic) hierarchies.
When spirit has permeated every minutest atom of the seven principles of Kosmos, then the secondary creation, after the above-mentioned period of rest, begins. “The creators (Elohim) outline in the second ‘hour’ the shape of man,” says Rabbi Simeon (The Nuctameron of the Hebrews). “There are twelve hours in the day,” says the Mishna, “and it is during these that creation is accomplished.” The “twelve hours of the day” are again the dwarfed copy, the faint, yet faithful, echo of primitive Wisdom. They are like the 12,000 divine years of the gods, a cyclic blind. Every “Day of Brahma” has 14 Manus, which the Hebrew Kabalists, following, however, in this the Chaldeans, have disguised into 12 “Hours.”  The Nuctameron of Apollonius of Tyana is the same thing. “The Dodecahedron lies concealed in the perfect Cube,” say the Kabalists. The mystic meaning of this is, that the twelve great transformations of Spirit into matter (the 12,000 divine years) take place during the four great ages, or the first Mahayuga. Beginning with the metaphysical and the supra-human, it ends in the physical and purely human natures of Kosmos and man. Eastern philosophy can give the number of mortal years that run along the line of spiritual and physical evolutions of the seen and the unseen, if Western science fails to do so.
Primary Creation is called the Creation of Light (Spirit); and the Secondary — that of Darkness (matter).  Both are found in Genesis, chap. i., v. 2, and at the beginning of chapter ii. The first is the emanation of self-born gods (Elohim); the second of physical nature.
This is why it is said in the Zohar: — “Oh, companions, companions, man as emanation was both man and woman; as well on the side of the Father as on the side of the Mother. And this is the sense of the words: — And Elohim spoke: ‘Let there be Light and it was Light!’ . . . And this is the ‘two-fold man’ ” Light, moreover, on our plane, is darkness in the higher spheres.
“Man and woman on the side of the Father” (Spirit) refers to Primary Creation; and on the side of the Mother (matter) to the secondary. The two-fold man is Adam Kadmon, the male and female abstract prototype and the differentiated Elohim. Man proceeds from the Dhyan Chohan, and is a “Fallen Angel,” a god in exile, as will be shown.
In India these creations were described as follows: —
(I.) Mahat-tattwa creation — so-called because it was the primordial self-evolution of that which had to become Mahat — the “divine Mind, conscious and intelligent”; esoterically, “the spirit of the Universal soul.” . . . “Worthiest of ascetics, through its potency (the potency of that cause); every produced cause comes by its proper nature.” (Vishnu Purana.) “Seeing that the potencies of all beings are understood only through the knowledge of That (Brahma), which is beyond reasoning, creation, and the like, such potencies are referable to Brahma.” That, then, precedes the manifestation. “The first was Mahat,” says Linga Purana; for the one (the That) is neither first nor last, but all. Exoterically, however, this manifestation is the work of the “Supreme One” (a natural effect, rather, of an Eternal Cause); or, as the Commentator says, it might have been understood to mean that Brahma was then created (?), being identified with Mahat, active intelligence or the operating will of the Supreme. Esoteric philosophy renders it “the operating law.”
It is on the right comprehension of this tenet in the Brahmanas and Puranas that hangs, we believe, the apple of discord between the three Vedantin Sects: the Advaita, Dwaita, and the Visishtadvaitas. The first arguing rightly that Parabrahman, having no relation, as the absolute all, to the manifested world — the Infinite having no connection with the finite — can neither will nor create; that, therefore, Brahma, Mahat, Iswara, or whatever name the creative power may be known by, creative gods and all, are simply an illusive aspect of Parabrahmam in the conception of the conceivers; while the other sects identify the impersonal Cause with the Creator, or Iswara.
Mahat (or Maha-Buddhi) is, with the Vaishnavas, however, divine mind in active operation, or, as Anaxagoras has it, “an ordering and disposing mind, which was the cause of all things,” — [[Nous o diakosmonte kai panton aitios]].
Wilson saw at a glance the suggestive connection between Mahat and the Phoenician Mot, or Mut, who was female with the Egyptians — the Goddess Mout, the “Mother” — “which, like Mahat,” he says, “was the first product of the mixture (?) of Spirit and matter, and the first rudiment of Creation:” “Ex connexione autem ejus spiritus prodidit Mot . . . . . From whose seed were created all living things” — repeats Brucker (I., 240) — giving it a still more materialistic and anthropomorphic colouring.
Nevertheless, the esoteric sense of the doctrine is seen through every exoteric sentence on the very face of the old Sanscrit texts that treat of primordial Creation. “The Supreme Soul, the all permeant (Sarvaga) Substance of the World, having entered (been drawn) into matter (prakriti) and Spirit (purusha), agitated the mutable and the immutable principles the season of Creation (manvantara) having arrived.”  . . . Esoteric doctrine teaches that the Dhyan Chohans are the collective aggregate of divine Intelligence or primordial mind, and that the first Manus — the seven “mind-born” Spiritual Intelligences — are identical with the former. Hence the “Kwan-shi-yin” — “the golden Dragon in whom are the seven,” of Stanza III. — is the primordial Logos, or Brahma, the first manifested creative Power; and the Dhyani-Energies are the Manus, or Manu-Swayambhuva collectively. The direct connection, moreover, between the “Manus” and “Mahat” is easy to see. Manu is from the root man, “to think”; and thinking proceeds from the mind. It is, in Cosmogony, the pre-nebular period.
(II.) “The second Creation,” “Bhuta,” was of the rudimental principles (Tanmatras), thence termed the elemental creation (Bhuta-sarga).  It is the period of the first breath of the differentiation of the pre-Cosmic Elements or matter. Bhutadi means literally “the origin of the Elements,” and precedes Bhuta-sarga — the “creation” or differentiation of those Elements in primordial “Akasa” (Chaos or Vacuity).  In the “Vishnu Purana” it is said to proceed along, and belong to, the triple aspect of Ahankara, translated Egotism, but meaning rather that untranslateable term the “I-am-ness,” that which first issues from “Mahat,” or divine mind; the first shadowy outline of Self-hood, for “pure” Ahankara becomes “passionate” and finally “rudimental” (initial); it is “the origin of conscious as of all unconscious being,” though the Esoteric school rejects the idea of anything being “unconscious” — save on this (our) plane of illusion and ignorance. At this stage of the Second Creation, the second hierarchy of the Manus appear, the Dhyan Chohans or Devas, who are the origin of Form (rupa): the Chitrasikhandina (bright-crested) or the Riksha — those Rishis who have become the informing souls of the seven stars (of the Great Bear).  In astronomical and Cosmogonical language this Creation relates to the first stage of Cosmic-life, the Fire-Mist Period after its Chaotic stage,  when atoms issue from Laya.
(III.) The third (the Indriya) was the modified form of Ahankara, the conception of “I,” (from “Aham,” “I”) termed the organic Creation, or creation of the senses (Aindriyaka). “These three were the Prakrita creation, the (discrete) developments of indiscrete nature preceded by the indiscrete principle.” “Preceded by,” ought to be replaced here with “beginning by,” Buddhi; for the latter is neither a discrete nor an indiscrete quantity, but partakes of the nature of both, in man as in Kosmos: a unit — a human monad on the plane of illusion — when once freed from the three forms of Ahankara and liberated from its terrestrial manas, Buddhi becomes truly a continued quantity, both in duration and extension, because eternal and immortal. Earlier it is stated, that the third Creation “abounding with the quality of goodness, is termed Urdhvasrotas;” and a page or two further the Urdhvasrotas creation is referred to as “the sixth creation . . . that of the divinities” (p. 75). This shows plainly that earlier as well as later manvantaras have been purposely confused, to prevent the profane from perceiving the truth. This is called “incongruity” and “contradictions” by the Orientalists. 
This “creation” of the immortals, the “Deva-Sarga,” is the last of the first series, and has a universal reference; namely, to Evolutions in general, not specifically to our Manvantara; but the latter begins with the same over and over again, showing that it refers to several distinct Kalpas. For it is said “at the close of the past (Padma) Kalpa the divine Brahma awoke from his night of sleep and beheld the universe void.” Then Brahma is shown going once more over the “seven creations” in the secondary stage of evolution, repeating the first three on the objective plane.
(IV.) The Mukhya, the Primary as it begins the series of four. Neither the word “inanimate” bodies nor yet immovable things, as translated by Wilson, gives a correct idea of the Sanskrit terms used. Esoteric philosophy is not the only one to reject the idea of any atom being inorganic, for it is found also in orthodox Hinduism. Moreover, Wilson himself says (in his collected Works, vol. iii., p. 381): “All the Hindu systems consider vegetable bodies as endowed with life . . . ” Charachara, or the synonymous sthavara and jangama, is, therefore, inaccurately rendered by “animate and inanimate,” “sentient beings,” and “unconscious,” or “conscious and unconscious beings,” etc., etc. “Locomotive and fixed” would be better, since trees are considered to possess souls.” Mukhya is the “creation” or organic evolution of the vegetable kingdom. In this secondary Period, the three degrees of Elemental or Rudimental Kingdoms are evolved in this world, corresponding inversely in order to the three Prakritic creations during the Primary period of Brahma’s activity. As in that period, in the words of “Vishnu Purana”: “The first creation was that of Mahat (Intellect), the second, of Tanmatras (rudimental principles), and the third, that of the senses (Aindriyaka)”; in this one, the order of the Elemental Forces stands thus: (1) The nascent centres of Force (intellectual and physical); (2) the rudimental principles — nerve force, so to say; and (3) nascent apperception, which is the Mahat of the lower kingdoms, especially developed in the third order of Elementals; these are succeeded by the objective kingdom of minerals, in which latter that apperception is entirely latent, to re-develop only in the plants). The mukhya “Creation,” then, is the middle point between the three lower and the three higher kingdoms, which represent the seven esoteric kingdoms of Kosmos, as of Earth.
(V.) The Tiryaksrotas (or Tairyagyonya) creation,  that of the “(sacred) animals,” corresponding only on Earth, to the dumb animal creation. That which is meant by “animals,” in primary Creation, is the germ of awakening consciousness or of apperception, that which is faintly traceable in some sensitive plants on Earth and more distinctly in the protistic monera.  On our globe, during the first round, animal “creation” precedes that of man, while the former (or mammal) evolves from the latter in our fourth round — on the physical plane: in Round I. the animal atoms are drawn into a cohesion of human physical form; while in Round IV. the reverse occurs according to magnetic conditions developed during life. And this is metempsychosis (See “Mineral Monad” in “Five Years of Theosophy,” p. 276). This fifth stage of evolution, called exoterically “Creation,” may be viewed in both the Primary and Secondary periods, one as the Spiritual and Cosmic, the other as the material and terrestrial. It is Archibiosis, or life-origination — “origination,” so far, of course, as the manifestation of life on all the seven planes is concerned. It is at this period of Evolution that the absolutely eternal universal motion, or vibration, that which is called in Esoteric language “the great breath,” differentiates in the primordial, first manifested atom. More and more, as chemical and physical sciences progress, does this occult axiom find its corroboration in the world of knowledge: the scientific hypothesis, that even the simplest elements of matter are identical in nature and differ from each other only owing to the variety of the distributions of atoms in the molecule or speck of substance, or by the modes of its atomic vibration, gains every day more ground.
Thus, as the differentiation of the primordial germ of life has to precede the evolution of the Dhyan Chohan of the third group or hierarchy of Being in Primary Creation, before those “gods” can become rupa (embodied in their first ethereal form), so animal creation has to precede, for that same reason, divine man on earth. And this is why we find in the Puranas: “The fifth, the Tairyagyonya creation, was that of animals, and —
(VI). The Urdhvasrotas creation, or that of divinities (Vishnu Purana Book I. chap. i.). But these (divinities) are simply the prototypes of the First Race, the fathers of their “mind-born” progeny with the soft bones.  It is these who became the Evolvers of the “Sweat-born” — an expression explained in Book II. Finally, the sixth “Creation” is followed, and “Creation in general, closed by —
(VII.) The evolution of the “Arvaksrotas beings, which was the seventh, and was that of man” (Vishnu Purana, Book I.).
The “eighth creation” mentioned is no Creation at all; it is a blind again, for it refers to a purely mental process: the cognition of the “ninth” creation, which, in its turn, is an effect, manifesting in the secondary of that which was a “Creation” in the Primary (Prakrita) Creation.  The Eighth, then, called Anugraha (the Pratyayasarga or the intellectual creation of the Sankhyas, explained in Karika, v. 46, p. 146), is “that creation of which we have a perception” — in its esoteric aspect — and “to which we give intellectual assent (Anugraha) in contradistinction to organic creation.” It is the correct perception of our relations to the whole range of “gods” and especially of those we bear to the Kumaras — the so-called “Ninth Creation” — which is in reality an aspect of or reflection of the sixth in our manvantara (the Vaivasvata). “There is a ninth, the Kumara Creation, which is both primary and secondary,” says Vishnu Purana, the oldest of such texts.  “The Kumaras,” explains an esoteric text, “are the Dhyanis, derived immediately from the supreme Principle, who reappear in the Vaivasvata Manu period, for the progress of mankind.”  The commentator of the Vishnu Purana corroborates it, by remarking that “these sages live as long as Brahma; and they are only created by him in the first Kalpa, although their generation is very commonly and inconsistently introduced in the Varaha, or Padma Kalpa” (the secondary). Thus, the Kumaras are, exoterically, “the creation of Rudra or Nilalohita, a form of Siva, by Brahma, and of certain other mind-born sons of Brahma. But, in the esoteric teaching, they are the progenitors of the true spiritual self in the physical man — the higher Prajapati, while the Pitris, or lower Prajapati, are no more than the fathers of the model, or type of his physical form, made “in their image.” Four (and occasionally five) are mentioned freely in the exoteric texts, three Kumaras being secret.  (Compare what is said of “The Fallen Angels” in Book II.).
The Exoteric four are: Sanat-Kumara, Sananda, Sanaka, and Sanatana; and the esoteric three are: Sana, Kapila, and Sanat-sujata. Special attention is once more drawn to this class of Dhyan Chohans, for herein lies the mystery of generation and heredity hinted at in Book I. (See the four Orders of Angelic Beings; Comment on Stanza VII.). Book II. explains their position in the divine Hierarchy. Meanwhile, let us see what the exoteric texts say about them.
They do not say much; nothing to him who fails to read between the lines. “We must have recourse, here, to other Puranas for the elucidation of this term,” remarks Wilson, who does not suspect for one moment that he is in the presence of the “Angels of Darkness,” the mythical “great enemy” of his Church. Therefore, he contrives to elucidate no more than that these (divinities) declining to create progeny  (and thus rebelling against Brahma), remained, as the name of the first implies, ever boys, Kumaras: that is, ever pure and innocent, whence their creation is also called the “Kumara.” (Book I. chap. v., Vishnu Purana.) The Puranas, however, may afford a little more light. “Being ever as he was born, he is here called a youth; and hence his name is well known as Sanat-Kumara” (Linga purana, prior section LXX. 174.) In the Saiva Purana, the Kumaras are always described as Yogins. The Kurma Purana, after enumerating them, says: “These five, O Brahmans, were Yogins, who acquired entire exemption from passion.” They are five, because two of the Kumaras fell.
Of all the seven great divisions of Dhyan-Chohans, or Devas, there is none with which humanity is more concerned than with the Kumaras. Imprudent are the Christian Theologians who have degraded them into fallen Angels, and now call them “Satan” and Demons; as among these heavenly denizens who refuse to create, the Archangel Michael — the greatest patron Saint of Western and Eastern Churches, under his double name of St. Michael and his supposed copy on earth, St. George conquering the Dragon — has to be allowed one of the most prominent places. (See Book II., “The Sacred Dragons and their Slayers.”)
The Kumaras, the “mind-born Sons” of Brahma-Rudra (or Siva) the howling and terrific destroyer of human passions and physical senses, which are ever in the way of the development of the higher spiritual perceptions and the growth of the inner eternal man — mystically,  are the progeny of Siva, the Mahayogi, the great patron of all the Yogis and mystics of India. They themselves, being the “Virgin-Ascetics,” refuse to create the material being man. Well may they be suspected of a direct connection with the Christian Archangel Michael, the “Virgin Combatant” of the Dragon Apophis, whose victim is every soul united too loosely to its immortal Spirit, the Angel who, as shown by the Gnostics, refused to create just as the Kumaras did. (See Book II., “The Mystic Dragons and their Slayers.”). . . Does not that patron-Angel of the Jews preside over Saturn (Siva or Rudra), and the Sabbath, the day of Saturn? Is he not shown of the same essence with his father (Saturn), and called the “Son of Time,” Kronos, or Kala (time), a form of Brahma (Vishnu and Siva)?” And is not “Old Time” of the Greeks, with its scythe and sand-glass, identical with the “Ancient of Days” of the Kabalists, the latter “Ancient” being one with the Hindu “Ancient of Days,” Brahma (in his triune form), whose name is also “Sanat,” the Ancient? Every Kumara bears the prefix of Sanat and Sana; and Sanaischara is Saturn, the planet (Sani and Sarra), the King Saturn whose Secretary in Egypt was Thot-Hermes the first. They are thus identified both with the planet and the god (Siva), who are, in their turn, shown the prototypes of Saturn, who is the same as Bel, Baal, Siva, and Jehovah Sabbaoth, The angel of whose face is mikael ( “who is as God”). He is the patron, and guardian Angel of the Jews, as Daniel tells us (v. 21); and, before the Kumaras were degraded, by those who were ignorant of their very name, into demons and fallen angels, the Greek Ophites, the occultly inclined predecessors and precursors of the Roman Catholic Church after its secession and separation from the primitive Greek Church, had identified Michael with their Ophiomorphos, the rebellious and opposing spirit. This means nothing more than the reverse aspect (symbolically) of Ophis — divine Wisdom or Christos. In the Talmud, Mikael (Michael) is “Prince of Water” and the chief of the seven Spirits, for the same reason that his prototype (among many others) Sanat-Sujata, — the chief of the Kumaras — is called Ambhamsi, “Waters,” — according to the commentary on Vishnu Purana. Why? Because the “Waters” is another name of the “Great Deep,” the primordial Waters of space or Chaos, and also means “Mother,” Amba, meaning Aditi and Akasa, the Celestial Virgin-Mother of the visible universe. Furthermore, the “Waters of the flood” are also called “the Great Dragon,” or Ophis, Ophio-Morphos.
The Rudras will be noticed in their Septenary character of “Fire-Spirits” in the “Symbolism” attached to the Stanzas in Book II. There we shall also consider the Cross (3 + 4) under its primeval and later forms, and shall use for purposes of comparison the Pythagorean numbers side by side with Hebrew Metrology. The immense importance of the number seven will thus become evident, as the root number of nature. We shall examine it from the standpoints of the Vedas and the Chaldean Scriptures, as it existed in Egypt thousands of years B.C., and as treated in the Gnostic records; we shall show how its importance as a basic number has gained recognition in physical Science; and we shall endeavour to prove that the importance attached to the number seven throughout all antiquity was due to no fanciful imaginings of uneducated priests, but to a profound knowledge of natural law.
Metaphysically and esoterically there is but One Element in nature, and at the root of it is the Deity; and the so-called seven elements, of which five have already manifested and asserted their existence, are the garment, the veil, of that deity; direct from the essence whereof comes Man, whether physically, psychically, mentally or spiritually considered. Four elements only are generally spoken of in later antiquity, five admitted only in philosophy. For the body of ether is not fully manifested yet, and its noumenon is still “the Omnipotent Father — AEther, the synthesis of the rest.” But what are these “Elements” whose compound bodies have now been discovered by Chemistry and Physics to contain numberless sub-elements, even the sixty or seventy of which no longer embrace the whole number suspected. (Vide Addenda, §§ XI. and XII., quotations from Mr. Crookes’ Lectures.) Let us follow their evolution from the historical beginnings, at any rate.
The four Elements were fully characterized by Plato when he said that they were that “which composes and decomposes the compound bodies.” Hence Cosmolatry was never, even in its worst aspect, the fetishism which adores or worships the passive external form and matter of any object, but looked ever to the noumenon therein. Fire, Air, Water, Earth, were but the visible garb, the symbols of the informing, invisible Souls or Spirits — the Cosmic gods to whom worship was offered by the ignorant, and simple, respectful recognition by the wiser. In their turn the phenomenal subdivisions of the noumenal Elements were informed by the Elementals, so called, the “Nature Spirits” of lower grades.
In the Theogony of Mochus, we find Ether first, and then the air; the two principles from which Ulom the intelligible ([[noetos]]) God (the visible universe of matter) is born. 
In the Orphic hymns, the Eros-Phanes evolves from the Spiritual Egg, which the AEthereal winds impregnate, Wind being “the Spirit of God,” who is said to move in AEther, “brooding over the chaos” — the Divine “Idea.” In the Hindu Katakopanisad, Purusha, the Divine Spirit, already stands before the original matter, from whose union springs the great Soul of the World, “Maha = Atma, Brahm, the Spirit of Life;”  these latter appellations being again identical with the Universal Soul, or Anima Mundi, the Astral Light of the Theurgists and Kabalists, being its last and lowest division.”
The [[stoicheia]] (Elements) of Plato and Aristotle, were thus the incorporeal principles attached to the four great divisions of our Cosmic World, and it is with justice that Creuzer defines those primitive beliefs . . . as a species of magism, a psychic paganism, and a deification of potencies; a spiritualization which placed the believers in a close community with these potencies,” (Book IX, p. 850). So close, indeed, that the hierarchies of those potencies or Forces have been classified on a graduated scale of seven from the ponderable to the imponderable. They are Septenary, — not as an artificial aid to facilitate their comprehension — but in their real Cosmic gradation, from their chemical (or physical) to their purely spiritual composition. Gods — with the ignorant masses — gods independent and supreme; daemons with the fanatics, who, intellectual as they often may be, are unable to understand the Spirit of the philosophical sentence, in pluribus unum. With the hermetic philosopher they are forces relatively “blind,” or “intelligent,” according to which of the principles in them he deals with. It required long millenniums before they found themselves, in our cultured age, finally degraded into simple chemical elements.
At any rate, good Christians, and especially the Biblical Protestants, ought to show more reverence for the four Elements, if they would show any for Moses. For the Bible manifests the consideration and mystic significance in which they were held by the Hebrew Lawgiver, on every page of the Pentateuch. The tent which contained the Holy of Holies “was a Cosmic Symbol, sacred, in one of its meanings, to the Elements, the four cardinal points, and Ether. Josephus shows it built in white, the colour of Ether. And this explains also why, in the Egyptian and the Hebrew temples — according to Clemens Alexandrinus — a gigantic curtain, supported by five pillars, separated the sanctum sanctorum (now represented by the altar in Christian churches) wherein the priests alone were permitted to enter, from the part accessible to the profane. By its four colours the curtain symbolized the four principal Elements, and signified the knowledge of the divine that the five senses of men can enable man to acquire with the help of the four Elements. (See Stromata I., v. § 6).
In Cory’s Ancient Fragments, one of the “Chaldean Oracles” expresses ideas about the elements and Ether in language singularly like that of the Unseen Universe, written by two eminent scientists of our day.
Whence came the four elements and the malachim of the Hebrews? They have been made to merge, by a theological sleight-of-hand on the part of the Rabbins and the later Fathers of the Church into Jehovah, but their origin is identical with that of the Cosmic gods of all other nations. Their symbols, whether born on the shores of the Oxus, on the burning sands of Upper Egypt, or in the wild forests, weird and glacial, which cover the slopes and peaks of the sacred snowy mountains of Thessaly, or again, in the pampas of America, their symbols, we repeat, when traced to their source, are ever one and the same. Whether Egyptian or Pelasgian, Aryan or Semitic, the genius loci, the local god, embraced in its unity all nature; but not especially the four elements any more than one of their creations, such as trees, rivers, mounts or stars. The genius loci — a very late after-thought of the last sub-races of the Fifth Root-race, when the primitive and grandiose meaning had become nearly lost — was ever the representative in his accumulated titles of all his colleagues. It was the god of fire, symbolised by thunder, as Jove or Agni; the god of water, symbolised by the fluvial bull or some sacred river or fountain, as Varuna, Neptune, etc.; the god of air, manifesting in the hurricane and tempest, as Vayu and Indra; and the god or spirit of the earth, who appeared in earthquakes, like Pluto, Yama, and so many others.
These were the Cosmic gods, ever synthesizing all in one, as found in every cosmogony or mythology. Thus, the Greeks had their Dodonean Jupiter, who included in himself the four elements and the four cardinal points, and who was recognized, therefore, in old Rome under the pantheistic title of Jupiter Mundus; and who now, in modern Rome, has become the Deus Mundus, the one mundane god, who is made to swallow all others in the latest theology — by the arbitrary decision of his special ministers.
As gods of Fire, Air, Water, they were celestial gods; as gods of the lower region, they were infernal deities: the latter adjective applying simply to the Earth. They were “Spirits of the Earth” under their respective names of Yama, Pluto, Osiris, the “Lord of the lower kingdom, etc., etc.,” and their tellurial character proves it sufficiently.  The ancients knew of no worse abode after death than the Kamaloka, the limbus on this Earth. If it is argued that the Dodonean Jupiter was identified with Aidoneus, the king of the subterranean world, and Dis, or the Roman Pluto and the Dionysius Chthonios, the subterranean, wherein, according to Creuzer (I, vi., ch. 1), oracles were rendered, then it will become the pleasure of the Occultists to prove that both Aidoneus and Dionysius are the bases of Adonai, or “Jurbo Adonai,” as Jehovah is called in Codex Nazaraeus. “Thou shalt not worship the Sun, who is named Adonai, whose name is also Kadush and El-El” (Cod. Naz., I, 47; see also Psalm lxxxix., 18), and also “Lord Bacchus.” Baal-Adonis of the Sods or Mysteries of the pre-Babylonian Jews became the Adonai by the Massorah, the later-vowelled Jehovah. Hence the Roman Catholics are right. All these Jupiters are of the same family; but Jehovah has to be included therein to make it complete. Jupiter-Aerios or Pan, the Jupiter Ammon, and the Jupiter-Bel-Moloch, are all correlations and one with Yurbo-Adonai, because they are all one cosmic nature. It is that nature and power which create the specific terrestrial symbol, and the physical and material fabric of the latter, which proves the Energy manifesting through it as extrinsic.
For primitive religion was something better than simple pre-occupation about physical phenomena, as remarked by Schilling; and principles, more elevated than we modern Sadducees know of, “were hidden under the transparent veil of such merely natural divinities as thunder, the winds, and rain.” The ancients knew and could distinguish the corporeal from the spiritual elements, in the forces of nature.
The four-fold Jupiter, as the four-faced Brahma — the aerial, the fulgurant, the terrestrial, and the marine god — the lord and master of the four elements, may stand as a representative for the great Cosmic gods of every nation. While passing power over the fire to Hephaistos-Vulcan, over the sea, to Poseidon-Neptune, and over the Earth, to Pluto-Aidoneus — the aerial Jove was all these; for AEther, from the first, had pre-eminence over, and was the synthesis of, all the elements.
Tradition points to a grotto, a vast cave in the deserts of Central Asia, whereinto light pours through its four seemingly natural apertures or clefts placed crossways at the four cardinal points of the place. >From noon till an hour before sunset that light streams in, of four different colours, as averred — red, blue, orange-gold, and white — owing to some either natural or artificially prepared conditions of vegetation and soil. The light converges in the centre around a pillar of white marble with a globe upon it, which represents our earth. It is named the “grotto of Zaratushta.”
When included under the arts and sciences of the fourth race, the Atlanteans, the phenomenal manifestation of the four elements, justly attributed by the believers in Cosmic gods to the intelligent interference of the latter, assumed a scientific character. The magic of the ancient priests consisted, in those days, in addressing their gods in their own language. “The speech of the men of the earth cannot reach the Lords. Each must be addressed in the language of his respective element” — is a sentence which will be shown pregnant with meaning. “The Book of Rules” cited adds as an explanation of the nature of that Element-language: “It is composed of sounds, not words; of sounds, numbers and figures. He who knows how to blend the three, will call forth the response of the superintending Power” (the regent-god of the specific element needed).
Thus this “language” is that of incantations or of Mantras, as they are called in India, sound being the most potent and effectual magic agent, and the first of the keys which opens the door of communication between Mortals and the Immortals. He who believes in the words and teachings of St. Paul, has no right to pick out from the latter those sentences only that he chooses to accept, to the rejection of others; and St. Paul teaches most undeniably the existence of cosmic gods and their presence among us. Paganism preached a dual and simultaneous evolution: “creation” — “spiritualem ac mundanum,” as the Roman Church has it — ages before the advent of that Roman Church. Exoteric phraseology has changed little with respect to divine hierarchies since the most palmy days of Paganism, or “Idolatry.” Names alone have changed, along with claims which have now become false pretences. For when Plato put in the mouth of the Highest Principle — “Father AEther” or Jupiter — these words, for instance: “The gods of the gods of whom I am the maker (opifex) as I am the father of all their works (operumque parens)”; he knew the spirit of this sentence as fully, we suspect, as St. Paul did, when saying: “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, as there be gods many and lords many,” . . . . etc. (1 Cor. viii. 5.)  Both knew the sense and the meaning of what they put forward in such guarded terms.
Says Sir W. Grove, F.R.S., speaking of the correlation of forces, “The ancients when they witnessed a natural phenomenon, removed from ordinary analogies, and unexplained by any mechanical action known to them, referred it to a soul, a spiritual or preternatural power. . . . Air and gases were also at first deemed spiritual, but subsequently they became invested with a more material character; and the same words [[pneuma]], spirit, etc., were used to signify the soul or a gas; the very word gas, from geist, a ghost or spirit, affords us an instance of the gradual transmutation of a spiritual into a physical conception . . . . . .” (P. 89.) This, the great man of science (in his preface to the fifth edition of “Correlation of Physical Forces”) considers as the only concern of exact science, which has no business to meddle with the causes. “Cause and effect,” he explains, “are therefore, in their abstract relation to these forces, words solely of convenience. We are totally unacquainted with the ultimate generating power of each and all of them, and probably shall ever remain so; we can only ascertain the norma of their actions; we must humbly refer their causation to one omnipresent influence, and content ourselves with studying their effects and developing, by experiment, their mutual relations” (p. xiv.).
This policy once accepted, and the system virtually admitted in the above-quoted words, namely, the spirituality of the “ultimate generating power,” it would be more than illogical to refuse to recognise this quality which is inherent in the material elements, or rather, in their compounds — as present in the fire, air, water or earth. The ancients knew these powers so well, that, while concealing their true nature under various allegories, for the benefit (or to the detriment) of the uneducated rabble, they never departed from the multiple object in view, while inverting them. They contrived to throw a thick veil over the nucleus of truth concealed by the symbol, but they ever tried to preserve the latter as a record for future generations, sufficiently transparent to allow their wise men to discern that truth behind the fabulous form of the glyph or allegory. They are accused of superstition and credulity, those ancient sages; and this by those very nations, which, learned in all the modern arts and sciences, cultured and wise in their generation, accept to this day as their one living and infinite God, the anthropomorphic “Jehovah” of the Jews.
What were some of the alleged “superstitions”? Hesiod believed, for instance, that “the winds were the sons of the giant Typhoeus,” who were chained and unchained at will by AEolus, and the polytheistic Greeks accepted it along with Hesiod. Why should not they, since the monotheistic Jews had the same beliefs, with other names for their dramatis personae, and since Christians believe in the same to this day? The Hesiodic AEolus, Boreas, etc., etc., were named Kadim, Tzaphon, Daren, and Ruach Hajan by the “chosen people” of Israel. What is, then, the fundamental difference? While the Hellenes were taught that AEolus tied and untied the winds, the Jews believed as fervently that their Lord God, “with smoke coming out of his nostrils and fire out of his mouth, rode upon a cherub and did fly; and was seen upon the wings of the wind” (II. Sam., xxii. 9 and 11). The expressions of the two nations are either both figures of speech, or both superstitions. We think they are neither; but only arise from a keen sense of oneness with nature, and a perception of the mysterious and the intelligent behind every natural phenomenon, which the moderns no longer possess. Nor was it “superstitious” in the Greek pagans to listen to the oracle of Delphi, when, at the approach of the fleet of Xerxes, that oracle advised them to “sacrifice to the Winds,” if the same has to be regarded as Divine Worship in the Israelites, who sacrificed as often to the wind and fire — especially to the latter element. Do they not say that their “God is a consuming fire” (Deut. iv., 24), who appeared generally as Fire and “encompassed by fire”? and did not Elijah seek for him (the Lord) in the “great strong wind, and in the earthquake”? Do not the Christians repeat the same after them? Do not they, moreover, sacrifice to this day, to the same “God of Wind and Water?” They do; because special prayers for rain, dry weather, trade-winds and the calming of storms on the seas exist to this hour in the prayer-books of the three Christian churches; and the several hundred sects of the Protestant religion offer them to their God upon every threat of calamity? The fact that they are no more answered by Jehovah, than they were, probably, by Jupiter Pluvius, does not alter the fact of these prayers being addressed to the Power or Powers supposed to rule over the Elements, or of these Powers being identical in Paganism and Christianity; or have we to believe that such prayers are crass idolatry and absurd “superstition” only when addressed by a Pagan to his idol, and that the same superstition is suddenly transformed into praiseworthy piety and religion whenever the name of the celestial addressee is changed? But the tree is known by its fruit. And the fruit of the Christian tree being no better than that of the tree of Paganism, why should the former command more reverence than the latter.
Thus, when we are told by the Chevalier Drach, a converted Jew, and the Marquis de Mirville, a Roman Catholic fanatic of the French aristocracy, that in Hebrew lightning is a synonym of fury, and is always handled by an evil Spirit; that Jupiter Fulgur or Fulgurans is also called by the Christians oelicius, and denounced as the soul of lightning, its daemon;  we have either to apply the same explanation and definitions to the “Lord God of Israel,” under the same circumstances, or renounce our right of abusing the gods and creeds of other nations.
The foregoing statements emanating as they do from two ardent and learned Roman Catholics, are, to say the least, dangerous, in the presence of the Bible and its prophets. Indeed, if Jupiter, the “chief Daemon of the Pagan Greeks,” hurled his deadly thunder-bolts and lightnings at those who excited his wrath, so did the Lord God of Abraham and Jacob. We find in II. Samuel, that “the Lord thundered from heaven, and the most High uttered his voice, and he sent out arrows (thunder bolts) and scattered them (Saul’s armies) with lightning, and discomforted them.” (Chap. xxii. 14, 15.)
The Athenians are accused of having sacrificed to Boreas; and this “Demon” is charged with having submerged and wrecked 400 ships of the Persian fleet on the rocks of Mount Pelion, and of having become so furious “that all the Magi of Xerxes could hardly counteract it by offering contra-sacrifices to Tethys” [Herodotus “Polym.” cxc]. Very fortunately, no authenticated instance is on the records of Christian wars showing a like catastrophe on the same scale happening to one Christian fleet owing to the “prayers” of its enemy — another Christian nation. But this is from no fault of theirs, for each prays as ardently to Jehovah for the destruction of the other, as the Athenians prayed to Boreas. Both resorted to a neat little piece of black magic con amore. Such abstinence from divine interference being hardly due to lack of prayers, sent to a common Almighty God for mutual destruction, where, then, shall we draw the line between Pagan and Christian? And who can doubt that all Protestant England would rejoice and offer thanks to the Lord, if, during some future war, 400 ships of the hostile fleet were to be wrecked owing to such holy prayers. What is, then, the difference, we ask again, between a Jupiter, a Boreas, and a Jehovah? No more than this: The crime of one’s own next-of-kin — say of one’s “father” — is always excused and often exalted, whereas the crime of our neighbour’s parent is ever gladly punished by hanging. Yet the crime is the same.
So far the “blessings of Christianity” do not seem to have made any appreciable advance on the morals of the converted Pagans.
The above is not a defence of Pagan gods, nor is it an attack on the Christian deity, nor does it mean belief in either. The writer is quite impartial, and rejects the testimony in favour of either, neither praying to, believing in, nor dreading any such “personal” and anthropomorphic God. The parallels are brought forward simply as one more curious exhibition of the illogical and blind fanaticism of the civilized theologian. For, so far, there is not a very great difference between the two beliefs, and there is none in their respective effects upon morality, or spiritual nature. The “light of Christ” shines upon as hideous features of the animal-man now, as the “light of Lucifer” did in days of old.
“Those unfortunate heathens in their superstition regard even the Elements as something that has comprehension! . . . . They still have faith in their idol Vayu — the god or, rather, Demon of the Wind and Air . . . they firmly believe in the efficacy of their prayers, and in the powers of their Brahmins over the winds and storms. . . . .” (The Missionary Lavoisier, of Cochin, in the Journal des Colonies.) In reply to this, we may quote from Luke viii., 24: “And he (Jesus) arose and rebuked the Wind and the raging of the Water, and they ceased and there was a calm.” And here is another quotation from a prayer book: . . . “Oh, Virgin of the Sea, blessed Mother and Lady of the Waters, stay thy waves . . .” etc., etc. (prayer of the Neapolitan and Provencal sailors, copied textually from that of the Phoenician mariners to their Virgin-goddess Astarte.) The logical and irrepressible conclusion arising from the parallels brought forward, and the denunciation of the Missionary is this: The commands of the Brahmins to their element-gods not remaining “ineffectual,” the power of the Brahmins is thus placed on a par with that of Jesus. Moreover, Astarte is shown not a whit weaker in potency than the “Virgin of the Sea” of Christian sailors. It is not enough to give a dog a bad name, and then hang him; the dog has to be proven guilty. Boreas and Astarte may be devils in theological fancy, but, as just remarked, the tree has to be judged by its fruit. And once the Christians are shown as immoral and wicked as the pagans ever were, what benefit has humanity derived from its change of gods and idols?
That, however, which God and the Christian Saints are justified in doing, becomes a crime, if successful, in simple mortals. Sorcery and incantations are regarded as fables now; yet from the day of the Institutes of Justinian down to the laws against witchcraft of England and America — obsolete but not repealed to this day — such incantations, even when only suspected, were punished as criminal. Why punish a chimera? And still we read of Constantine, the Emperor, sentencing to death the philosopher Sopatrus for unchaining the winds, and thus preventing ships loaded with grain from arriving in time to put an end to famine. Pausanias, when affirming that he saw with his own eyes “men who by simple prayers and incantations” stopped a strong hail-storm, is derided. This does not prevent modern Christian writers from advising prayer during storm and danger, and believing in its efficacy. Hoppo and Stadlein two magicians and sorcerers — were sentenced to death for throwing charms on fruit and transferring a harvest by magic arts from one field to another, hardly a century ago, if we can believe Sprenger, the famous writer, who vouches for it: “Qui fruges excantassent segetem pellicentes incantando.”
Let us close by reminding the reader that, without the smallest shadow of superstition, one may believe in the dual nature of every object on Earth — in the spiritual and the material, the visible and the invisible nature, and that science virtually proves this, while denying its own demonstration. For if, as Sir William Grove has it, the electricity we handle is but the result of ordinary matter affected by something invisible, the “ultimate generating power” of every Force, the “one omnipresent influence,” then it only becomes natural that one should believe as the ancients did; namely, that every Element is dual in its nature. “Ethereal fire is the emanation of the Kabir proper; the aerial is but the union (correlation) of the former with terrestrial fire, and its guidance and application on our earthly plane belongs to a Kabir of a lesser dignity” — an Elemental, perhaps, as an Occultist would call it; and the same may be said of every Cosmic Element.
No one will deny that the human being is possessed of various forces: magnetic, sympathetic, antipathetic, nervous, dynamical, occult, mechanical, mental — every kind of force; and that the physical forces are all biological in their essence, seeing that they intermingle with, and often merge into, those forces that we have named intellectual and moral — the first being the vehicles, so to say, the upadhi, of the second. No one, who does not deny soul in man, would hesitate in saying that their presence and commingling are the very essence of our being; that they constitute the Ego in man, in fact. These potencies have their physiological, physical, mechanical, as well as their nervous, ecstatic, clairaudient, and clairvoyant phenomena, which are now regarded and recognised as perfectly natural, even by science. Why should man be the only exception in nature, and why cannot even the elements have their vehicles, their “Vahans” in what we call the physical forces? And why, above all, should such beliefs be called “superstition” along with the religions of old?
Like Avalokiteshwara, Kwan-shi-yin has passed through several transformations, but it is an error to say of him that he is a modern invention of the Northern Buddhists, for under another appellation he has been known from the earliest times. The Secret Doctrine teaches that “He who is the first to appear at Renovation will be the last to come before Re-absorption (pralaya).” Thus the logoi of all nations, from the Vedic Visvakarma of the Mysteries down to the Saviour of the present civilised nations, are the “Word” who was “in the beginning” (or the reawakening of the energising powers of Nature) with the One Absolute. Born of Fire and Water, before these became distinct elements, IT was the “Maker” (fashioner or modeller) of all things; “without him was not anything made that was made”; “in whom was life, and the life was the light of men”; and who finally may be called, as he ever has been, the Alpha and the Omega of manifested Nature. “The great Dragon of Wisdom is born of Fire and Water, and into Fire and Water will all be re-absorbed with him” (Fa-Hwa-King). As this Bodhisatva is said “to assume any form he pleases” from the beginning of a Manvantara to its end, though his special birthday (memorial day) is celebrated according to the Kin-kwang-ming-King (“Luminous Sutra of Golden Light”) in the second month on the nineteenth day, and that of “Maitreya Buddha” in the first month on the first day, yet the two are one. He will appear as Maitreya Buddha, the last of the Avatars and Buddhas, in the seventh Race. This belief and expectation are universal throughout the East. Only it is not in the Kali yug, our present terrifically materialistic age of Darkness, the “Black Age,” that a new Saviour of Humanity can ever appear. The Kali yug is “l’Age d’Or” (!) only in the mystic writings of some French pseudo-Occultists. (See “La Mission des Juifs.”)
Hence the ritual in the exoteric worship of this deity was founded on magic. The Mantras are all taken from special books kept secret by the priests, and each is said to work a magical effect; as the reciter or reader produces, by simply chanting them, a secret causation which results in immediate effects. Kwan-Shi-Yin is Avalokiteshwara, and both are forms of the seventh Universal Principle; while in its highest metaphysical character this deity is the synthetic aggregation of all the planetary Spirits, Dhyani Chohans. He is the “Self-manifested;” in short, the “Son of the Father.” Crowned with seven dragons, above his statue there appears the inscription Pu-Tsi-K’iun-ling, “the universal Saviour of all living beings.”
Of course the name given in the archaic volume of the Stanzas is quite different, but Kwan-Yin is a perfect equivalent. In a temple of Pu’to, the sacred island of the Buddhists in China, Kwan-Shi-Yin is represented floating on a black aquatic bird (Kala-Hansa), and pouring on the heads of mortals the elixir of life, which, as it flows, is transformed into one of the chief Dhyani-Buddhas — the Regent of a star called the “Star of Salvation.” In his third transformation Kwan-Yin is the informing spirit or genius of Water. In China the Dalai-Lama is believed to be an incarnation of Kwan-Shi-Yin, who in his third terrestrial appearance was a Bodhisattva, while the Teshu Lama is an incarnation of Amitabha Buddha, or Gautama.
It may be remarked en passant that a writer must indeed have a diseased imagination to discover phallic worship everywhere, as do the authors of “China Revealed” (McClatchey) and “Phallicism.” The first discovers “the old phallic gods, represented under two evident symbols — the Khan or Yang, which is the membrum virile, and the Kwan or Yin, the pudendum muliebre.” (See “Phallicism,” p. 273.) Such a rendering seems the more strange as Kwan-Shi-Yin (Avalokiteswara) and Kwan-Yin, besides being now the patron deities of the Buddhist ascetics, the Yogis of Thibet, are the gods of chastity, and are, in their esoteric meaning, not even that which is implied in the rendering of Mr. Rhys Davids’ “Buddhism,” (p. 202): “The name Avalokiteshwara . . . means ‘the Lord who looks down from on high.’ ” Nor is Kwan-Shi-Yin “the Spirit of the Buddhas present in the Church,” but, literally interpreted, it means “the Lord that is seen,” and in one sense, “the divine SELF perceived by Self” (the human) — the Atman or seventh principle merged in the Universal, perceived by, or the object of perception to, Buddhi, the sixth principle or divine Soul in man. In a still higher sense, Avalokiteshwara = Kwan-Shi-Yin, referred to as the seventh Universal principle, is the Logos perceived by the Universal Buddhi — or Soul, as the synthetic aggregate of the Dhyani-Buddhas: and is not the “Spirit of Buddha present in the Church,” but the omnipresent universal Spirit manifested in the temple of Kosmos or Nature. This Orientalistic etymology of Kwan and Yin is on a par with that of “Yogini,” which, we are told by Mr. Hargrave Jennings, “is a Sanskrit word, in the dialects pronounced Yogi or Zogee (!), and is equivalent to Sena, and exactly the same as Duti or Duti-Ca’ — i.e., a sacred prostitute of the temple, worshipped as Yoni or Sakti” (p. 60). “The books of morality,” in India, “direct a faithful wife to shun the society of Yogini or females who have been adored as Sakti . . . amongst the votaries of a most licentious description.” Nothing should surprise us after this. And it is, therefore, with hardly a smile that we find another preposterous absurdity quoted about “Budh,” as being a name “which signifies not only the sun as the source of generation but also the male organ (Round Towers of Ireland; quoted by Mr. Hargrave Jennings in “Phallicism,” p. 264). Max Muller, in his “False Analogies,” says that “the most celebrated Chinese scholar of his time, Abel Remusat,” maintains “that the three syllables I Hi Wei (in the fourteenth chapter of the Tao-te-king) were meant for Je-ho-vah (Science of Religion, p. 332); and again, Father Amyot, who “feels certain that the three persons of the Trinity could be recognised” in the same work. And if Abel Remusat, why not Hargrave Jennings? Every scholar will recognise the absurdity of ever seeing in Budh, “the enlightened” and “the awakened,” a “phallic symbol.”
Kwan-shi-yin, then, is “the Son identical with his Father” mystically, or the Logos — the word. He is called the “Dragon of Wisdom” in Stanza III., as all the Logoi of all the ancient religious systems are connected with, and symbolised by, serpents. In old Egypt, the God Nahbkoon, “he who unites the doubles,” (astral light re-uniting by its dual physiological and spiritual potency the divine human to its purely divine Monad, the prototype “in heaven” or Nature) was represented as a serpent on human legs, either with or without arms. It was the emblem of the resurrection of Nature, as also of Christ with the Ophites, and of Jehovah as the brazen serpent healing those who looked at him; the serpent being an emblem of Christ with the Templars also, (see the Templar degree in Masonry). The symbol of Knouph (Khoum also), or the soul of the world, says Champollion (Pantheon, text 3), “is represented among other forms under that of a huge serpent on human legs; this reptile, being the emblem of the good genius and the veritable Agathodaemon, is sometimes bearded.” The sacred animal is thus identical with the serpent of the Ophites, and is figured on a great number of engraved stones, called Gnostic or Basilidean gems. This serpent appears with various heads (human and animal), but its gems are always found inscribed with the name [[CHNOUBIS]] (Chnoubis). This symbol is identical with one which, according to Jamblichus and Champollion, was called “the first of the celestial gods”; the god Hermes, or Mercury with the Greeks, to which god Hermes Trismegistos attributes the invention of, and the first initiation of men into, magic; and Mercury is Budh, Wisdom, Enlightenment, or “Re-awakening” into the divine Science.
To close, Kwan-Shi-Yin and Kwan-Yin are the two aspects (male and female) of the same principle in Kosmos, Nature and Man, of divine wisdom and intelligence. They are the “Christos-Sophia” of the mystic Gnostics — the Logos and its Sakti. In their longing for the expression of some mysteries never to be wholly comprehended by the profane, the Ancients, knowing that nothing could be preserved in human memory without some outward symbol, have chosen the (to us) often ridiculous images of the Kwan-Yins to remind man of his origin and inner nature. To the impartial, however, the Madonnas in crinolines and the Christs in white kid gloves must appear far more absurd than the Kwan-Shi-Yin and Kwan-Yin in their dragon garb. The subjective can hardly be expressed by the objective. Therefore, since the symbolic formula attempts to characterise that which is above scientific reasoning, and as often far beyond our intellects, it must needs go beyond that intellect in some shape or other, or else it will fade out from human remembrance.