"If you would correct my
false view of facts," says Emerson, "hold up to me the same
facts in the true order of thought."
That is the process attempted in these lectures of mine; and the true order and sequence of the facts can only be ascertained by delving down to the foundations in the physical genesis; can only be stated by means of the evolutionary method; can only be proved by the Wisdom of Egypt. I claim that on each line of research my interpretation is derived from the facts themselves, and is not arbitrarily imposed upon them, or read into them by my own theoretic speculation. I do but flesh the skeleton of facts.
It is not the ancient legends that tell us lies! The men who created them did not deal falsely with us by nature. All the falsity lies in their having been falsified through ignorantly mistaking mythology for divine revelation and allegory for historic truth. Geology was not taught among the mysteries of ancient knowledge, floating fragments of which have drifted down to us in the Book of Genesis. The Christian world assumed that it was--or, at least, some sort of globe-making--and therefore it was found to be entirely opposed to scientific geology.
Mythology never did inculcate the historic fall of man. Theologists have ignorantly supposed that it did, and as a result they were bitterly opposed to the ascent of man, made known by means of evolution!
Such doctrines as the Fall of Man, the failure of God, and all that bankrupt business in the commencement of creation, the consequent genesis of evil and original sin, the depravity of matter, the filthy nature of the flesh have no other basis or beginning than in the perversion of ancient typology, and the literalisation of mythology.
According to the Hebrew Genesis the first man was born without a mother or a female of any kind. If that be fact according to revelation, it cannot be according to nature! But there is nothing gained by calling it "Revelation." By doing so "Revelation" has come to be a name applied to anything which we may not, for the time being, understand. "Revelation" has come to mean a series of confounding lies, warranted by God to be true! By making this a revelation direct from deity you destroy the character of the divine intelligence, which did not know the facts, processes, or order, of its own works; or if it did it must have palmed off a lying version on the medium of communication to the world as a divine revelation made to man.
But Adam never denoted a first man who was produced without a mother, nor Eve a first woman formed from an actual rib of Adam. That is but the literalisation of a symbolical mode of representation, the key to which has been long mislaid.
Speaking of the matter found in the Pentateuch, Philo, the learned Jew, told his countrymen the truth when he said: "The literal statement is a fabulous one, and it is in the mythical we shall find the true." On the other hand, he asserts of the myths found in the Hebrew form: "These things are not mere fabulous inventions, in which the race of poets and sophists delight, but are types shadowing forth an allegorical truth according to some mystical explanation;" not a history. The literal version is the false; and it is in the mythical that we shall find the true, but only when it is truly interpreted. Mythology is not to be understood by literalisation, even though the Christian creed has been founded on that fatal method! It is not to be made real by modern rationalizing, though that is the basis of Unitarianism; nor is it to be utilized by each one furnishing their own system of Hermeneutical interpretation. Mythology is an ancient system of knowledge, with its own mode of expression, which enshrined the science of the past in what looks to us at times like foolish and unmeaning fables. It is entirely useless to speculate on such a subject, or try to read one's own interpretation into the myths, with no clue whatever to their primordial meaning. Anybody can make an allegory go on all-fours, and read some sort of history into a myth. And, of course, he that hides can find; if you put your own meaning into what you read, you can discover it there. You may say it is so; any one can say, and possibly get a few others to hearken and believe, but no amount of mere assertion will establish the truth by means of a false interpretation of the fable. Some persons will tell us that if the "Fall of Man" be not a fact once and for all, better still, it is true for ever, because men and women are always falling; therefore the allegory is over true, and, in point of fact, a divine revelation. I have heard preachers resolve the nocturnal wrestling-match between Jacob and the angel into an exquisite allegory, made to run on all-fours for very simple people to ride on, an allegory full of light and leading, and lovely in its moral and spiritual significance, for sorely tempted men. The night of the struggle is made internal. The angel is transformed into the devil, and we have the wrestle of the soul with the tempter, and a man on his knees all night in prayer. It is the conflict of Christian and Apollyon humanized, and fought out in a bedroom, in place of the dark valley of the shadow of death. It is in this wise that such stories are to be saved from absurdity, orthodoxy is to regain its lost supremacy, and science and religion are to be reconciled for ever. But there is no truth in it all. The history was not human at first, and this subjective mode of treatment does but reface it with another sort of falsehood. If we would ascertain what these old stories originally meant we must go to mythology. In this case the Hottentots can enlighten us. They have a myth or fable of Tsuni-Goam and Gaunab, the twins, who personate the presence of light and darkness, the powers of good and evil. These two contend in mortal conflict night after night, the good one getting the better of the bad one by degrees, and growing stronger with every battle fought. At last Tsuni-Goam grew mighty enough to give his enemy a blow at the back of his ear, which put an end to Gaunab. But just as he was expiring and falling back into his own abyss of darkness, Gaunab gave his opponent a blow in the hollow of his leg, that made him go limping for life. In consequence he was called "Tsuni-Goam," the meaning of which name is "wounded knee." The struggle was that of light and darkness in the orb of the moon, or the sun of night fighting his way through the valley of the shadow of death in the underworld, during the winter, when his movement was slower; and he was represented as being lame in one knee, or maimed in his lower member. A wounded knee with a knife thrust through it is the Egyptian hieroglyphic sign for being overcome. Hence, although he conquers the powers of darkness, Tsuni-Goam is said to have been wounded in one knee. The myth is found in many lands, and is identical with that of Jacob wrestling all night with the power called an angel, who maimed him in the hollow of his thigh, and made him a form of the "wounded knee."
Also, it is worse than useless, because misleading, to begin by applying a modern mystical system of subjective interpretation to the fragments of ancient wisdom found in the Hebrew Book of Genesis, after the manner of Swedenborg. According to him the account of the Creation in Genesis is not a real history, but a narrative written in the style of the Ancient Churches, signifying spiritual and divine things.
The general subject of the first chapter is not the generation, but the new creation; the genesis becomes the re-genesis; the perverted mythos is an intentional spiritual allegory; the six days are six states in the re-creation of man; the seventh day represents the celestial man, and he is the garden of Eden, and also the most ancient Church! Adam's nakedness denotes the purity of the internal man, or the state of innocence of the celestial Church! Eve also signifies the Church. Cain is the name of those who falsified the doctrine of the most ancient Church. The serpent going on its belly denotes the groveling of the sensual principle seeking after corporeal things. The flood or deluge was a total immersion of mankind in evil and falsehood! Everything in the Word relates to the heavenly and spiritual, and is falsified if transferred to a lower level. But spiritual significations are not primary! The natural or physical must come first, because they were first; the eschatological is last. Man was no more re-made than he was made on the sixth day. Swedenborg knows or acknowledges nothing of the origin in natural phenomena; nothing of the true mythical mode of representation; nothing of an astronomical basis for the Garden of Eden, the tree of knowledge, the serpent, or the primal pair, whose figures are pourtrayed and whose story can still be read as it was first written in the stars of heaven! The imagery and types of mythology can, of course, be used as a mode of expression for later ideas, and for moral or spiritual significations--just as we continue to say the moon rises, or the sun sets, after we know better; but, from the mundane standpoint, the natural, the physical, the external alone were primal. Hence primitive Mythology is no more moral or immoral than it is obscene, senseless, or insane, simply because the phenomena were not human. Before the Egyptian hieroglyphics were understood Swedenborg undertook to vouch for the fact that they represented spiritual ideas by means of natural objects, according to his own doctrine of correspondences; which is no more true than his interpretation of the Hebrew Genesis. This can be proved. The hieroglyphics began as direct object-pictures, which became symbolical in a later phase. The three Water-Signs of the Zodiac do not represent a spiritual experience in this "Vale of Tears," but the three months' Inundation which is annual in the Valley of the Nile. The fact is that we cannot translate the thought of primitive or pre-historic man without first learning the language in which is was expressed. The wisdom, or gnosis, so carefully hidden and jealously guarded in the past, is not to be recovered with any certitude by clairvoyant insight or intuitional memory, whosoever sets up the claim! You may have the vision to see the hidden treasures lying buried at the bottom of the ocean, but you will not be able to bring it back to men by merely dredging for it in your dreams. There were Illuminati in the mysteries of old, but they did not trust to the intuitional faculty for that information, which took them seven or ten years to acquire. They were no mere self-illuminati! They knew that intuition could not take the place of research, and were careful to communicate all the exact knowledge they possessed to those whom they instructed. "Add to your faith knowledge," is the counsel of Paul. In vain we read our own thought into the primitive types of expression, and then say the ancients meant that! Subtilised interpretation will not read the riddle to the root. Nor did such things originate in riddles or intentional enigmas. You may believe me when I affirm, and you can prove it for yourselves, that mythology was a primitive method of teaching natural facts, and not an esoteric mode of misinterpreting them!
What we need to know is the primary meaning of the myth-makers; and this can only be recovered by collecting and comparing all the extant versions of the original mythos.
There is no beginning with the mystical or metaphysical in the past before we have mastered the mythical; that can only lead to a maze, or to being lost in a mist of mystification, as soon as we are out of the wood of literalisation!
Cardinal Baronius has said that the intention of Holy Scripture is to teach us how to go to heaven, and not how the heavens go! But the earliest Scripture did teach how the heavens go, and it became sacred because it was celestial.
The first creation of heaven and earth was but the division into upper and lower, by whatsoever means expressed, answering to the discreting of light from darkness. This was also rendered by the dividing of an Egg or Calabash, and by the cutting of the heaven, the Cow of Heaven, or the Heifer of the Morning and Evening Star, in two. It was neither earth-making nor heaven-making in any cosmical sense--nothing more than distinguishing the light from the darkness; the vault above from the void below. This is illustrated by the creation-legend found on the Assyrian tablets, which commences--"At that time the Heaven above had not announced, nor the Earth beneath recorded, a name." The word first uttered in heaven related to times and seasons, and the earliest word was uttered by the appointed time-keepers! The account of creation given in the second chapter of Genesis is that "these are the generations of the heaven and the earth when they were created." And the generations of the heaven were astronomical.
We learn from the cuneiform legends of creation how in the beginning God created the heavens:--"Bel prepared the Seven Mansions of the Gods. He fixed the Stars, even the Twin Stars, to correspond to them; he ordained the year, appointing the Signs of the Zodiac over it. He illuminated the Moon-God that he might watch over the night" (Sayce). (This version, however, is comparatively late, because the fatherhood had then been founded!)
Then, as Hermes says in the Divine Pymander, the heaven was seen in seven circles, and the gods were visible in the stars with all their signs, and the stars were numbered with the gods in them, the gods being seven in number; when the old Genetrix is excluded.
From the first, our theology, based on the Old Testament records, has never been anything else than a dead branch of the ancient mythology; and just when all men, free to think, were finding out this fact, Mr. Gladstone came forward and made another effort to rehabilitate the old book so generally discredited, and chivalrously led one more forlorn hope for a cause that is hopelessly lost. Surely no Christian martyr of an earlier time could have made a more pathetic or pitiable appeal to human sympathies than this man of intellect -- who is so much larger than his creed--holding on to his pious opinion in the face of facts the most fatal to his faith. For, with the literal interpretation of the book of Genesis, the Fall of Man remains a historic transaction, and the ascent made known by evolution is a stupendous delusion. It is a sad sight to see a man like Mr. Gladstone, who by his position and powers can attract a world's attention to his words, cheerfully content to become a leader in misleading; still fondly believing that the creations in the book of Genesis contain a veritable history that could not have been written unless it had been divinely inspired; still trying to make out that it is in accordance with geology, and the scientific interpretation of nature. In his case the child is not only father to the man, but a terrible tyrant over him as well.
Mr. Gladstone still maintains the opinion that the man who wrote the account of the creations in Genesis was "gifted with faculties passing all human experience, or else his knowledge was divine." The order of development presented, he says, is first the water population; second, the air population; third, the land population of animals; and fourth, the land population consummated in man. And Mr. Gladstone says this same four-fold order is understood to have been so affirmed in our time by natural science, that it may be taken as a demonstrated conclusion and established fact. The reply of science is a point-blank denial. It admits nothing of this kind. It knows better. This is not the order in which the various populations made their first appearance on the globe; and it was only by classing these populations according to the notion of distinct creations, which were produced at the rate of one a day or so, that any such definition or distinction could ever have been made. Whatsoever the order of succession, that succession was gradual, with a good deal of parallelism and lapping over on various lines of development. In short, the account is not geological, is not true, when judged by the earth's record itself! Besides, when the ancients placed water before earth, in their series of elements, they had no particular thought whether water or earth was first in existence. They were only concerned with water being their first recognized necessary and essential element of life. And if we were teaching our children without any pretense of revelation or assumption of divine knowledge; if we limited ourselves to the natural facts, we should have to point out that the water population as a whole did not exist before there was any land population. There was no such thing as a completion of creation No. 1, before the beginning of creation No. 2. No such thing as creation in that sense at all; neither as the act of one day, nor of a million years. We know that many forms of life on land preceded various forms which are found in the waters, and that life was proceeding on its special lines of variation in several elements at once. Moreover, though man is the crowning out-come of the animal world, it is not necessary to assume any sudden or complete ending to the animal creation before he could appear,--as if all lines of descent had to converge and culminate in him! It is very likely that man was earlier than the horse, and almost certain that he was before the dog, as we know that animal. Man had probably put in an appearance as head of his line before various other species had reached the last term of their series. It is certain there never were four or three definite and successive periods of time (and no other) in which three or four distinct populations could have originated. That which is wrong as scientific matter-of-fact cannot be made right as trustworthy matter of faith; not even by the specious dialectic of Mr. Gladstone or any other non-evolutionist. Nor is there any loop-hole of escape in supposing that the day and night of each creation were not intended by the compiler of Genesis to mean a day and night of 24 hours! We are not allowed to wriggle out of that conclusion. The six days might have meant vastly indefinite periods (after we had heard of the geological series and sequence), but for that fatal Seventh Day which completes the week of seven days. The reason why we keep the Sabbath every seventh day is because this was the day of rest for the Lord after his six days' hard labour. "And God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because that in it he rested." This was the accepted origin of keeping holy the seventh day every week, and not at the end of aeons of time, or six ages. The plain meaning of the compiler is not to be evaded or got away from. The writer of the Hebrew Genesis says positively that all things were made and finished in one week, and for that reason we celebrate the Sabbath day. Seven days in one week are also shown by the dedication of each day to one of the seven planetary gods. And seven days in one week cannot be geological periods any more than they can apply to the subjective experience of the soul!
Mr. Gladstone says the question is "whether natural science in the patient exercise of its high calling to examine facts finds that the works of God cry out against what we have fondly believed to be his work, and tell another tale." The answer is, they do cry out, and give the lie to that authority so foolishly supposed to be divine. The Word of God says that the act of Adam brought death into the world. The older record shows, leaf after leaf or stratum beneath stratum, that death had been at work tens of millions of years before man appeared on the earth.
In all these orthodox attempts to rationalize mythology, writers and preachers are dealing with matters which they have not yet understood, and which never can be understood on their plane of thought, or within their narrow limits. In Æsop's fable the wolf overhears the nurse threaten to throw the child to him, and he believes her; but, after long waiting for the fulfillment of prophecy to bring him his supper, he finds that she did not mean what she said. So is it with the myths; they never meant what they said when literally interpreted. And the literalisation of mythology is the fountain-head of all our false belief, mystification being the secondary source. From my point of view, this is merely slaying the slain over again. And yet this literalisation of mythology is continued to be taught as God's truth to the men and women of the future in their ignorant and confiding childhood. And some eight or ten millions of pounds are annually filched from our national revenues for the benefit of a Church and clergy established and legally empowered to make the people believe that these falsified fables are a true divine revelation, received direct from God; and if they doubt and deny it they will be doomed to suffer atrocious tortures through all eternity. Mr. Gladstone says he is persuaded that the belief of Christians and Jews concerning the inspiration of the Book is impregnable. He believes the Genesis to be a revelation for the Christians, made by God to the Jews, such as presents to the rejecter of that belief a problem which demands solution at his hands, and which he has not been able to solve. For himself, Mr. Gladstone is so simple and profound a believer in revelation, if biblical, and in the inspiration of the Mosaic writer in particular, that he is lost in astonishment at the phenomenon it presents to him. He asks, How can these things be, and not overcome us with wonder? How came they to be, "not among Akkadians, or Assyrians, or Egyptians, who monopolized the stores of human knowledge when this wonderful tradition was born, but among the obscure records of a people who, dwelling in Palestine for twelve hundred years from their sojourn in the Valley of the Nile, hardly had force to stamp even so much as a name on the history of the world at large, and only then began to be admitted to the general communion of mankind when their scriptures assumed the dress which a Gentile tongue was needed to supply? It is more rational, I contend, to say that these astonishing anticipations were a God-given supply than to think that this race should have entirely transcended in kind, even more than in degree, all known exercise of human faculties." The answer is, that it does not do to begin with wonder in matters which demand inquiry and research--the answer is, that this matter of the Creations did not originate with the Jewish race at all. Mr. Gladstone's assumption is the sheerest fallacy. The wonderful tradition was not born among them! It was wholly and far more perfectly pre-extant amongst the Persians, the Akkadians, and Egyptians. The Book of Genesis is assigned to a man who was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. I cannot answer for the man, but I can for some of the matter. To begin with, the legend of Eden is one of those primeval traditions that must have been the common property of the undivided human race, carried out into all lands as they dispersed in various directions from one centre, which I hold to have been African. As Sharpe, an early English Egyptologist, and a translator of the Hebrew Scriptures, asserts correctly-"The whole history of the fall of man is of Egyptian origin. The temptation of the woman by the serpent, and of man by the woman, the sacred tree of knowledge, the cherubs guarding with flaming swords the door of the garden, the warfare declared between the woman and the serpent, may all be seen upon the Egyptian sculptured monuments."
The French Egyptologist, M. Lefébure, who has lately identified Adam with the Egyptian Atum, as I had done seven years earlier in my Book of Beginnings, refers to a scene on the coffin of Penpii in the Louvre, which is similar to the history of Adam in the terrestrial paradise, where a naked and ithyphallique personage called "the Lord of food" (Neb-tefa), is standing before a serpent with two legs and two arms, and the reptile is offering him a red fruit, or at least a little round object painted red. The same scene is again found on the tomb of Rameses VI. And on a statue relatively recent in the Museum of Turin it is to Atum = Adam that the serpent, as Tempter, is offering the round object, or fruit of the tree.
The same writer says --
"The Tree of life and knowledge was well known in Egypt." And "whether the scene of Neb-tefa can be identified with the history of Adam or not, we can see that the greater number of the peculiar features of this history existed in Egypt--the tree of life and knowledge, the serpent of Paradise, Eve thinking of appropriating divinity to herself, and in short Adam himself, are all there." (Trans. S. Bib. Arch. v.9, pt.1., p. 180.)
These and other matters pertaining to the astronomical allegory and the natural genesis of mythology were pre-extant in Egypt, and had been carried out over the world untold ages before a Palestinian Jew had ever trod the earth. And yet, incredible as it may sound, Mr. Gladstone has the reckless confidence to declare that the Hebrew account of creation has no Egyptian marks upon it! That would indeed be strange if it had been written by a man who was a master of the wisdom of Egypt.
Mr. Gladstone may have been misled by the Hibbert lecturer, Mr. Renouf, who has said (p.243), "It may be confidently asserted that neither the Hebrews nor Greeks learned any of their ideas from Egypt." A statement which reveals a congenital deficiency of the comparative faculty. The same may be said of Professor Sayce, when he asserts the "the Theology and the Astronomy of Egypt and Babylonia show no vestiges of a common source."
The Creation of the Woman from the Man in the second chapter of Genesis is likewise found in the Magical Texts, where it is said of the Seven Spirits--"They bring forth the Woman from the Loins of the Man" (Sayce, Hib. Lect. 395).
This also has an Egyptian mark upon it. Such a creation is alluded to in the Book of the Dead, where the speaker says, "I know the mystery of the Woman who was made from the Man." Professor Sayce also asserts that there is "no trace in the Book of Genesis" of the great struggle between the God of Light and the Dragon of Darkness, who in one form are Merodach and Tiamat. The conflict is there, however, but from the original Egyptian source. It is represented as the enmity between the Woman and the Serpent, and also between her Seed and the Serpent. The Roman Church renders the passage (Gen. iii. 15) addressed to the Serpent--"She shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise her heel." Both versions are Egyptian. Horus is the Son and Seed of Isis. Sometimes he is pourtrayed as bruiser of the Apap Serpent's head; at others it is she who conquers. Both are combined in the Imagery which the Egyptians set in the Planisphere, where Isis in the shape of Virgo bears the Seed in her hands, and bruises the Serpent's head beneath her feet. This Seed in one form was sown in Egypt immediately after the Inundation, and in this way (as I have shown) the Zodiacal representation reflects the Seasons of Egypt all round the year.
The Serpent itself in the Hebrew Genesis is neither an original nor a true type. Two opposite characters have been fused and confused in it for the sake of a false moral. Serpent and Dragon were primarily identical as emblems of evil in physical phenomena; each was the representative of Darkness, and as such the Deluder of Men. Afterwards the Serpent was made a type of Time, of Renewal, and, therefore, of Life; the Dragon-Crocodile a zoötype of intelligence. Both Crocodile and Serpent were combined in Sevekh-Ra. Both were combined in the Polar Dragon; and in the Book of Revelation the Dragon remains that old Serpent, considered to be the Deluder of Mankind. Both were combined in the Chnubis Serpent-Dragon of the Gnostics, which was a survival of Kneph as the Agatho-Demon or Good Serpent of Egypt. The Akkadian type as Ea, is the Good Serpent, the Serpent of Life, the God of Wisdom. Now it was the Serpent of Wisdom that first offered the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge for the Enlightenment of Mankind; whether this be Egyptian, Akkadian, or Gnostic, it is the Good Serpent. And as Guardian of the Tree set in Heaven it was the Good Serpent, or intelligent Dragon, as keeper of the treasures of Astral knowledge. It was the later Theology, Persian and Hebrew, that gave the character of the Evil One to the Serpent of Wisdom, and perverted the original meaning, both of the temptation and the Tempter who protected the Tree; which has been supplemented by the theology of the Vitriol-throwers who have scarified and blasted the face of nature on earth, and defiled and degraded the starry Intelligencers in heaven.
Professor Sayce's statements are no more correct than Mr. Renouf's, and Mr. Renouf's is no more true than Mr. Gladstone's. Further evidence may be found in my "Natural Genesis." But no non-Evolutionist can understand or interpret the Past. He is too ready to accept the re-beginning, where there can be at most a new point of departure.
Mr. Gladstone has been too much wrapt up in the One Book! He does not know that the story of Genesis is to be found written in the Bible above, and that the Happy Garden, the primal pair, the war of the serpent, and the first mother, together with the Tree of Knowledge, are all constellated in the stars of heaven, according to Egyptian mythology, and are all verifiable on the monuments. When he does learn that such is the fact, he cannot claim that the history inscribed upon the starry walls was written by the Jews, or copied from the Hebrew record! But let us see whether we cannot discover a few more Egyptian marks on the Genesis!
A Paradise or Garden that is watered without rain by a mist that went up from the earth to fall upon it in refreshing dew is certainly suggestive of an Egyptian origin, as that was the one way in which Egypt was watered from above. This was not so in the Eden at the head of the Persian Gulf. Besides which the Eight Primary Powers or Gods of Egypt were the dwellers in Eden or "Am-Smen," the Paradise of the Eight, who comprised the Genetrix and her Seven Children. The original Genesis and all the chief Types are identifiably Egyptian to begin with. But the Hebrew version was more directly derived from the Persian, as the Evil Serpent proves.
Water was the first element of life recognized by the primitive perception. Water was considered to be the mother, or Maternal Source, personified. In Egypt the Mother of Life pours out the Water of Life from the Tree of Life! She is the first form of the Celestial Waterer. In the mystical sense, Blood is the Water of Life, and therefore the Mother of Life. This beginning on earth with and from the water was Egyptian, Babylonian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, Greek, British, Universal.
It is said upon an Assyrian tablet that "the heaven was made from the waters." So in the Egyptian beginning the sky was looked upon as the celestial water. This water was also entified in the river Nile, which was called the "Way of the Gods," when the Nature-Powers had been divinised. In that sense, as it were, heaven descended, to be continued on earth. From this water of heaven the land in Egypt was visibly deposited, and the earth was "compacted out of water and by means of water." When these were discreted there was the dry land. Here if anywhere is the primary hint of a cosmical beginning with a fact in nature, but not with a theory of nature nor a system of geology.
The second element of life was Breath, anima or air. In Egyptian, breath or spirit is Nef; and this was personated by Kneph, a form of the first god, who is said to be the breath of souls, or those who are in the firmament. Nef, for breath and spirit, explains the Hebrew Nephesh for soul, as the breath of life. Kneph, the breathing life in the firmament, is also the Sailor on the water! In the Hebrew version, Kneph becomes the Spirit moving on the face of the waters. In the Egyptian representation he sails the waters in his ark,--just as Ea does in the Akkadian version of the myth. The god Kneph is also the spirit that presides over the Bau, which had become the Pit-hole, or the Tomb from the Womb of the Beginning. The Egyptian Bau is the Hebrew Bohu, or the Void. In both it is a place left unpersonified. In the later phase of personification this Bau of Birth becomes the Phnician Baev, called the Consort of Kolpia, the Wind or Spirit. The Bau was also personified in the Babylonian goddess Bohu. The Phnician Baev points back to the Egyptian Bab (or Beb) for the hole, cave, well, source, or outrance -- the original of all the Babs in later language, including Babylon.
Now, that which is performed by the Elohim en gros in Genesis is done by the Ali, or Seven Companions, in Egypt, most of whom can be recognized individually in relation to the Seven Elements. As the Hebrew Elohim, they may be dislimned and lose their likeness, but they are the same seven powers of eternal nature (as explained by the Gnostics or Kabalists). In one of the Egyptian creation-legends--shown by a monument which was restored in the time of Shabaka -- it is said of the Creator, "A blessing was pronounced upon all things in the day when he bid them exist, and before he had yet caused gods to be made for Ptah." This, it appears to me, has left another Egyptian mark on the first chapter of Genesis in the refrain, "And the Elohim saw that it was good," which is uttered seven times over, in accordance with the sevenfold nature of the Elohim; and the blessing is pronounced--"And God blessed them!" "And God blessed the seventh day!" It would be going to far afield to show all the Egyptian marks in one lecture; but I must offer another example. The Hebrew word employed for creating, when the Elohim form the heaven and the earth, is "Bara." The essential meaning of the word is to give a manifestation in form to material previously without shape. Nothing could so perfectly realize it as the potter at work on his clay. And the Egyptian image of a Creator, as the Former, is Khepr, who, as the Beetle, formed his little globe with his hands, and who, as Khepr-Ptah, is the Potter sitting at his wheel, and shaping the egg of the sun and moon, or the vase of matter to contain life--he who was the Former or Creator "in his name of Let-the-Earth-be." The Potter, in Hebrew and Phnician, is the Jatzer; and this word is also applied to the Hebrew God as Creator, Jatzariah being Jah the Potter. Thus the Kabalist Book of Creation, named the Sepher-Jatzirah, is the Book of Creation as the workmanship of the Former or Potter. Anyone who knows anything of the monuments will here recognize another Egyptian mark; I may say the Egyptian potter's mark on the Hebrew creations. The Creator or Former, as Khepr-Ptah the Potter, is the head of the Seven Knemmu, who are his assistants in the work of creation. He is the chief of the Ali or Elohim, as the fashioner and builder of the heavens. He is also the father of the Egyptian Adam, or Atum, the Red One; just as the Hebrew or Phnician Elohim are the creators of Adam the Red. Jehovah-Elohim, the Lord God of the second chapter of Genesis, can be further identified with Ptah, the founder of the earth and former of men. Ptah is the father of Atum = Adam, the father of human beings. He is designated the father of the fathers, an equivalent to
the title of Ialdabaoth, chief of the seven Gnostic Elohim. The name of Ptah signifies the Opener from Put to open; and the Hebrew name of xyxtp shows that Jah is Puthach = Putha, or Ptah, as the Opener (cf. Fuerst, p. 1166). These we may claim for other Egyptian marks.
But I have now learned that the account of the creations in Genesis is not so directly derived from the Egyptian as I had once thought; that is, it was re-written after the time of the captivity in Babylon, and the consequent acquaintance with the creation-legends in their latest Persian form. This can be shown by a comparison with the Parsee Bundahish or Aboriginal Creation--more literally, the Creation of the Beginning. Indeed, we may suspect that the first words of the Hebrew Genesis have to do with the title of the Bundahish. They are, "B'Rashith Elohim Bara;" and "B'Rashith," when literally translated, reads, "in the beginning of," leaving an elipsis, without stating in the beginning of what! Now the meaning of the word Bundahish is, the Creation of the Beginning. This far more perfect statement seems to have been bungled in adapting it for the Hebrew version.
The first two facts distinguishable in external phenomena by man were those of Darkness and Light. The panorama of mythological representation is drawn out from these as its opening scene, and the long procession of the Powers of Nature, which became divinities at a later stage, starts upon its march through heaven above to cast its shadows on the earth below.
By observing the alternation of Light and Darkness, a primary measure of time was first established as the creation of a night and day, marked by the Twin-Star. And "there was evening, and there was morning, one day," as the result of this earliest creation of the Beginning. In the Persian Bundahish, the deity Ahura-Mazda is the chief of the Seven Amchaspands just as the creator Ptah is of the Seven Khnemmu; and the Gnostic Ialdabaoth of the Seven Elohim. Here we learn that the God created the world in six periods, although not in six days. The first of Ahura-Mazda's creatures of the world was the sky, and his good thought by good procedure produced the light of the world. This is identical with the Elohim seeing the light that it was good; and with the blessing pronounced on his creations by the Egyptian deity. The light now separated and distinguished from darkness in the creation of time is quite distinct from the divine, the abstract, or the illimitable and eternal light already existing with Ahura-Mazda; it is the evening and morning, one day.
Darkness and light are personified and represented as being at ceaseless enmity with each other in the confusion of Chaos, but they come to an understanding as co-creators, and make a covenant, in appointing this primeval period of time.
And such was the first creation in the Persian series of six. "And of Ahura's creatures of the world," it is said, "the first was the sky, the second, water; the third earth; the fourth, plants; the fifth, animals; the sixth, mankind." The creation of light in the Hebrew Genesis is the creation of the sky in the Persian; and the creation of water in the Persian Genesis, becomes the dividing of the waters in the Hebrew version. The time of this creation is called the second day.
The third Persian creation is that of earth, which is the dry land of the Hebrew--"and the Elohim called the dry land Earth."
The fourth Persian creation, or rather creature, is that of plants. This is not a separate creation in the Hebrew version; it is thrown into the third creation, that of earth. Nevertheless, the third must have included the plants because it includes every herb yielding seed and every tree that bears edible fruit. And yet in chapter 2, verse 5, when the creations are all completed, and the Elohim had finished the work which they had made, we are told that "no plant of the field was yet in the earth, and no herb of the field had yet sprung up." Which proves how mixed and muddled, as well as un-original, is the Mosaic version. In the fourth Hebrew creation the heavenly bodies become the time-keepers for signs and seasons. This is not one of the six Persian creations, which six are followed by the "formation of the luminaries." Of these it is said "Ahura-Mazda produced illumination between the sky and the earth, the constellation-stars and those not of the constellations, then the moon; and afterwards the sun." The fifth Persian creation is that of the animals. This creation is limited to the winged fowl, sea animals, and fishes, in the Hebrew account, which is considerably mixed.
Mr. Gladstone asks: "Is there the smallest inconsistency in a statement which places the emergence of our land, and its separation from the sea, and the commencement of vegetable life, before the final and full concentration of light upon the sun, and its reflection on the moon and planets? and as there would be light diffused before there was light concentrated, why may not that diffused light have been sufficient for the purposes of vegetation?" Certainly, as there was light enough to make day before there was any sun or moon, there ought to, and should, have been. In my reply I am not concerned to reconcile the literal rendering of the Hebrew Genesis with scientific fact, but I shall have to point out on behalf of the mythical original that according to the present interpretation the heaven and earth could and did exist before the stars, or the moon and the sun! There was no time kept on earth or in heaven until night and day were divided and marked by the alternation of light and darkness, or by the Twin Star of Evening and Dawn, therefore the heavenly bodies were not made use of, ergo they did not exist in any requisite sense of the Mythos.
Lastly, man is the product of the sixth creation in both renderings. If taken literally, man of the sixth Persian creation appears on the scene before the stars or moon or sun, which follow the six creations, not as mere light-givers to the earth, but as time-keepers for man. And that alone will explain why the stars are said to be in existence before the moon; and the moon before the sun! In the Persian writings the invariable order is that of stars, moon, and sun! In describing the mythical mount Alborz, the mount Meru of the Persian system of the Heavens, it is said that it grew for 200 years up to the star-station; for 200 more years up to the moon-station; for 200 more years up to the sun-station; for 200 more years up to the endless light! That is a mode of building up the heavens in accordance with the order of the Celestial timekeepers, and of the Kronian creations. Time was first told by the stars, morning and evening, and by the seven which turned round once in the circle of a year; next by means of the moon and its monthly renewal; next by means of the sun; solar time being last because the most difficult to make out.
In a papyrus at Turin it is said of Taht, the god of lunar time, in Egypt, "He hath made all that the world contains, and hath given it light when all was darkness, and there was as yet no sun!" This was figurative, and applies solely to the moon, by which time was kept earlier than it could be defined by the sun. It is well known that the lunar year and the lunar zodiac, or pathway of the moon, were earlier than the solar zodiac of 12 signs, which is too late for the mythical Beginnings.
In the Babylonian account of creation the moon is produced before the sun. As George Smith points out, this is in reverse order to that of the Hebrew Genesis. Evidently, he says, the Babylonians considered the moon the principal body, while the book of Genesis makes the sun the greater light. "Here is becomes evident," says this Bibliolator, "that Genesis is truer to nature than the Chaldean text." The uninspired Babylonians, you see, did not know that the moon was the lesser, and the sun the larger light!
Professor Sayce likewise tells us that "the idea which underlay the religious belief of Akkad" was, that "the moon existed before the sun" (Hib. Lect. 165). Neither of these Assyriologists appears to have had any notion why this was so represented!
The Arkadians, the Argives, the Quichés, and other races of men claimed to be Pro-Selenes, or those who lived before the time of the moon, not before the existence of that luminary! Truer to nature can have no meaning for an account of the creation of light prior to the existence of the heavenly bodies--that is, if literally taken. But neither the Egyptians, Babylonians, nor Persians were talking about the cosmical creation in the modern sense, as has been ignorantly assumed, and foolishly contended for, but about the mythical beginnings of the Time-keepers. In these the mapping out of the lunar month came before the solar year. Hence the sun-god was called the child of the moon-god Sin, in Assyria, and the lunar god, Taht, or Tehuti, is called the father of Osiris, the sun-god, in Egypt; the priority being dependent on the earlier observations for the keeping of time. So the Mexicans held the planet Venus to have been created before the sun! It was earlier than the moon, they said, and properly the first light that appeared in the world. That would be as a star of morning and evening which made the first day. Hence we are told that the first man, Oannes, came up out of the Red Sea, and landed in Babylonia on the "First Day."
The Great Mother, to whom the planet Venus was dedicated, was represented by the Heifer, the pure Heifer, the sacred Heifer, the Golden Calf, as it was called. This being of either sex, it supplied a twin type for Venus, as Hathor or Ishtar, the double Star, that was male at rising and female at sunset, and therefore the Twin-Stars of the "First Day."
Any other earlier sense these creations have besides that of time-keeping was merely elemental, and relating to the order in which man recognized and represented the natural elements. Darkness, with its voice of thunder, was the first! Out of the darkness issued the light. These two were the Twins of eternal alternation in external phenomena, found in so many forms of the mythos as the two Brothers, who fought each other for the Birthright. The next two were moisture and air, or the water of life and the breath of life. These four creations, or, as the Bundahish has it, four creatures of Ahura-Mazda, were the four elements of darkness and light, water and air.
In Egypt they were typified by the Jackal of darkness, the Hawk of light, the Ape of breath, and the Hippopotamus or Dragon of the waters, which were made those Keepers of the four corners who are universal in mythology. They indicate four elements, or four seasons, four quarters of the year, or the four-fold heaven by which the circle of the whole was divided; and squared as it was in the circle of Yima.
I have followed out the various creations, or heavens, from beginning to end in the "Natural Genesis." At present we must turn once more to the Persian Bundahish where it says in Revelation--such being the formula frequently employed on matters of religion, or on the periods for the observance of religious duties--"the creatures of the world were created by me complete in three hundred and sixty-five days; that is the six periods of the festivals which are completed in a year." Here, then, we part company with the six days and one week of creation in the Hebrew book of Genesis! We can see that is but a condensed summary of an earlier account, which may lead us a little nearer to nature, and to those phenomenal facts on which mythology was founded--the Rock on which our Biblical Theology will be wrecked. In this version of the creation-legend the six creations are completed in one year of 365 days, or rather the year of 365 days has been finally completed in six stages, or seasons, or periods of time-keeping! In accordance with this sixth creation we learn from the Targum of Palestine that Adam, as the Adamic man, was created in the image of the Lord, his maker, with 365 nerves. Here the divine model of humanity was the solar god of time, or of the creations perfected at last in a year of 365 days! which figures are reflected in the 365 nerves. Now we can see how the Persian sixth day of celebration of each of the six creations became the six days of creation in the Hebrew Genesis, in the process of condensing mythology into cosmical and human history; and one year into one week to make it more tangible at a later time! The creations include the elements identified, together with the various systems of keeping time, which culminated at last in a year of 365 and a quarter days. These systems may be roughly sketched as (1) the one day of a light and dark; (2) one turn round to a year; (3) the half-years of the solstices; (4) a lunar month of the four quarters; (5) planetary time; (6) solar time, or a year of 365 days.
When it says in the Persian Revelation --"The Creatures of the world were created by me in 365 days," it does not mean during that period, any more than it means the six days of the Hebrew mis-rendering of the matter. It means that the concluding creation of the six different creations culminated in a year of solar time, or 365 days to the year, in the image of which Adamic man was formed with 365 nerves.
The origin of the Sabbath in Genesis is curiously paralleled, or suggested, in the Bundahish. We read "on matters of religion," it says in Revelation thus--"The creatures (or six creations) were created by me complete in 365 days. That is the six Gahanbars, which are completed in a year." And here the matters of religion are explained as being the periods for observance of religious duties. That is, the six festivals or Sabbaths were instituted to commemorate the six creations which were created complete, or culminated, in a year of 365 days. The Persians represented their God as resting during five days after each of the six seasons of creation; and they also celebrated a great six days' festival annually, beginning on the 1st of March and ending on the sixth day, as the greatest holiday, because in this, the sixth season (in place of the sixth day in the Hebrew Genesis) Ahura-Mazda had created the most superior things. Thus the six creations in the Hebrew version have been visibly condensed into six periods of time, and there is but one period for religious observance on the seventh day! And whereas the Persians, or Parsees, hold their six festivals and periods of rest in one whole year, we have fifty-two Sabbaths, which shows the latest rendering, as well as the development of the same mythos. The Hebrew Elohim rested on the seventh day, whereas the Persian Ahura-Mazda rested for five days at a time after each of the six creations.
Further, the six seasons or periods of creation had been reduced from the earlier Babylonian version, in which the seventh day was not a Sabbath, but the period in which the Animals and Man were created.
We are also told in the Bundahish--"It says in Revelation that before the coming of the Destroyer vegetation had no thorns upon it or bark about it; and afterwards, when the Destroyer came, it was created with bark, and things grew thorny!" And in the Avesta, an older scripture, this destroyer, the evil opponent, is a serpent--as it is in the book of Genesis.
It is too late now to advance the claim, or assume that the Persians, the Babylonians, and the Egyptians borrowed their versions from that given by the inspired writer of the Hebrew Pentateuch. And these facts, I submit, furnish sufficient evidence that the Book of Genesis does not contain an original revelation made by God to the Jews; in short, it does not contain any revelation at all. We are compelled to seek elsewhere before we can really understand what it does contain! The Six Creations, Creative Acts, or Periods are Persian; but the Legends in Genesis have been derived from more than one source.
Of late years a mighty fuss has been made about the fact that two different systems, known as the Elohistic and Jahvistic, have been imperfectly blended and utilized in the Hebrew version of the Genesis, but with no application of the comparative process to the various systems of creations, according to mythology, and with no clue whatever to the natural phenomena in which the mythology was founded, or to the gnosis by which the myths were anciently interpreted.
According to the Persian reckoning, the human creature was formed as the sixth creation, or, as the Hebrew version has it, on the sixth day; whereas in the version of the Seventy man was created on the eighth day. Now, if we look closely at the first chapter of Genesis, we shall find both these reckonings combined, but not blended. Although there are no more than six days of creation mentioned in the Hebrew Genesis, there are eight distinct acts of creation or utterances of the Word. These are enumerated as follows:--
(1) The Elohim said--"Let there be light."
(2) The Elohim said--"Let there be a firmament."
(3) The Elohim said--"Let the waters be gathered together," * * * and--"let the dry land appear."
(4) The Elohim said--"Let the earth put forth grass."
(5) The Elohim said--"Let there be light in the firmament."
(6) The Elohim said--"Let the waters bring forth."
(7) The Elohim said--"Let the earth bring forth."
(8) The Elohim said--"Let us make man in our image."
The Bundahish has six creations only. The eight are Egypto-Gnostic, in keeping with the Ogdoad of primary powers. According to the Gnostics, who had preserved the only true knowledge of these mythical matters, man, as the eighth creation, belongs to the mystery of the Ogdoad. Irenæus tells us how the Gnostics maintained that man was formed on the eighth day of creation: "Sometimes they say he was made on the sixth, and at others on the eighth day." (B. 1, C. 18, 2)
These two creations of man on the sixth day and on the eighth were those of the Adamic or fleshly man and of the spiritual man, who were known to Paul and the Gnostics as the first and second Adam, the man of earth and the man from heaven. Irenæus also says they insisted that Moses began with the Ogdoad of the Seven Powers and their Mother, who is called Sophia (the old Kefa of Egypt, who is the "Living Word" at Ombos). Thus we find the two systems are run into each other, and left without the means of distinguishing the one from the other, or of knowing how they had either of them originated. So that, instead of a revelation of the beginning in the Hebrew Genesis, we have to go far beyond it to find any beginning whatever.
So it is with the Fall. Here, as before, the Genesis does not begin at the beginning. There was an earlier Fall than that of the Primal Pair. In this, the number of those who failed and fell was seven. We meet with these Seven in Egypt--(Eight with the Mother)--where they are called the "Children of Inertness," who were cast out from "Am-Smen," the Paradise of the Eight; also, in a Babylonian legend of creation, as the Seven Brethren, who were Seven Kings; like the Seven Kings in the Book of Revelation; and the Seven Non-Sentient Powers, who became the Seven Rebel Angels that made war in Heaven. The Seven Kronidæ, described as the Seven Watchers, who, in the beginning, were formed in the interior of heaven. The heaven, like a vault, they extended or hollowed out; that which was not visible they raised, and that which had no exit they opened; their work of creation being exactly identical with that of the Elohim in the Book of Genesis. These are the Seven elemental powers of space, who were continued as Seven timekeepers. It is said of them, "In watching was their office, but among the stars of heaven their watch they kept not," and their failure was the Fall. In the Book of Enoch the same Seven watchers in heaven are stars which transgressed the commandment of God before their time arrived, for they came not in their proper season, therefore was he offended with them, and bound them until the period of the consummation of their crimes, at the end of the secret, or great year of the world--i.e., the Period of Precession, when there was to be the restoration and re-beginning. The Seven deposed constellations are seen by Enoch, looking like Seven great blazing mountains overthrown--the Seven mountains in Revelation, on which the Scarlet Lady sits.
The Book of Genesis tells us nothing about the nature of the Elohim, erroneously rendered God, who are the creators of the Hebrew beginning, and who are themselves pre-extant and seated when the theatre opens and the curtain ascends. It says that in the beginning the Elohim created the heaven and the earth. In thousands of books the Elohim have been discussed, but with no application of the comparative process to this and the earlier mythologies, and therefore with no conclusive result. Our bibliolators were too conceited in their insular ignorance to think there was any thing worth knowing outside of their own Books. Foolishly fancying they had gotten a revelation all to themselves, a supernatural version of the cosmical Genesis, they did not care to seek for, did not dream of, a natural or scientific Genesis, and could not make out the mythical; consequently they have never known what it was they were called upon to worship in the name of God. In his paper on the Evolution of Theology, Professor Huxley assumes that the Elohim of Genesis originated as the ghosts of ancestors, in doing which he no more plumbs to the bottom than does Mr. Gladstone. The Elohim are Seven in number, whether as nature powers, gods of constellations, or planetary gods. Whereas the human ghosts are not, and never were, a septenary, although they may be, and have been, confused with the typical seven as the Pitris and Patriarchs, Manus and Fathers of earlier times. The Gnostics, however, and the Jewish Kabalah preserve an account of the Elohim of Genesis by which we are able to identify them with other forms of the seven primordial powers. They are the children of the ancient Mother called Sophia. Their names are Ialdabaoth, Jehovah (or Iao), Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloeus, Oreus and Astanphæus. Ialdabaoth signifies the Lord God of the fathers; that is the fathers who preceded the Father; and thus the Seven are identical with the Seven Pitris or Fathers in India. (Irenæus B.1, 30, 5.) Moreover, the Hebrew Elohim were pre-extant by name and nature as Phnician divinities or powers. Sanchoniathon mentions them by name, and describes them as the Auxiliaries of Kronus or Time. In this phase, then, the Elohim are timekeepers in heaven! In the Phnician Mythology the Elohim are the Seven sons of Sydik, identical with the Seven Kabiri, who in Egypt are the Seven sons of Ptah, and the Seven spirits of Ra in the Book of the Dead; in Britain, with the Seven Companions of Arthur in the Ark; in Polynesia, with the Seven dwarf sons of Pinga; in America, with the Seven Hohgates; in India, with the Seven Rishis; in Persia, with the Seven Amchaspands; in Assyria, with the Seven Lumazi.
They had one common genesis in phenomena, as I have traced them by number, by nature, and by name; and also one common Kamite origin. They are always seven in number as a companionship or brotherhood, who Kab, that is turn round together, whence the 'Kab-ari.' The Egyptian Ali or Ari, gives us the root meaning; the Ari are the companions, guardians and watchers, who turn round together. Hence the Aluheim or Elohim. They are also the Ili or gods, in Assyrian, who were seven in number! Eight with the Mother in the beginning, or the Manifestor in the end. In their primordial phase they were seven elementary powers, warring in chaos, lawless and timeless. They were first born of the Mother in space; and then the Seven Companions passed into the sphere of time, as auxiliaries of Kronus, or Sons of the Male Parent. As Damascius says, in his "Primitive Principles," the Magi consider that space and time were the source of all; and from being powers of the air, the gods were promoted to become timekeepers for man. Seven constellations were assigned to them, and so they could be called the auxiliaries of Kronus, when time was established. As the seven turned round in the ark of the sphere they were designated the Seven Sailors, Companions, Rishis, or Elohim. The first "Seven Stars" are not planetary. They are the leading stars of seven constellations, which turned round with the Great Bear in describing the circle of a year. These the Assyrians called the seven Lumazi, or leaders of the flocks of stars, designated sheep. On the Hebrew line of descent or development, these Elohim are identified for us by the Kabalists and Gnostics, who retained the hidden wisdom or gnosis, the clue of which is absolutely essential to any proper understanding of mythology or theology. The creation of the Elohim as auxiliaries of Kronus was not world-making at all in our sense. The myth-makers were not geologists, and did not pretend to be. The chaos which preceded Creation was simply that of timelessness, and of the unintellectual and non-sentient Nature-Powers. Creation proper began with the first means of measuring and recording a cycle of time. Thus the primary creation in the Genesis, as in the Bundahish, is the creation of time, in which the morning and evening measured one day.
But the Seven Cronies, as we may now call them, were found to be telling time somewhat vaguely by the year, in accordance with the annual revolution of the starry sphere; and, being found inexact and unfaithful to their trust, they were dispossessed and superseded--or, as it was fabled, they fell from heaven. The Seven were then succeeded by a Polar Pair and a Lunar Trinity of Time-keepers. For example, it has been observed that there was a fixed centre, which was a pivot to the Starry Vast all turning round. Here there were two constellations with seven stars in each. We call them the Two Bears. But the seven stars of the Lesser Bear were once considered to be the seven heads of the Polar Dragon, which we meet with--as the beast with seven heads--in the Akkadian Hymns and in the Book of Revelation. The mythical dragon originated in the crocodile, which is the Dragon of Egypt. Plutarch tells us the Egyptians said the crocodile was the sole animal living in water which has his eyesight covered over with a film, so thin that he can see without himself being seen by others--"in which he agrees with the first god." Now, in one particular cult, the Sut-Typhonian, the first god was Sevekh, who wears the crocodile's head, as well as the serpent, and who is the Dragon, or whose constellation was the Dragon.
The name of Sevekh signifies the sevenfold; hence the seven heads of the Dragon, the Dragon who is of the seven and "is himself also an eighth," as we are told in Revelation. In him the Seven Powers were unified, as they were in Ea, Iao-Chnubis, and various other of the chief gods who summed up the earlier powers in the supreme one, when unity was attained at last. For it is certain that no one god was ever made known to man by primitive revelation. The only starting-point was in external phenomena, which assuredly manifested no oneness in personality. The group of Totemic brotherhood preceded the fatherhood, and finally the fatherhood superseded the Totemic group in heaven, as it was on earth. One form of this god was Sut-Nub, and Nub means the golden. Thus the reign of Sut was that age of gold afterwards assigned to Saturn by the Greeks. In Egypt the Great Bear was the constellation of Typhon, or Kepha, the old genetrix, called the Mother of the Revolutions; and the Dragon with seven heads was assigned to her son Sevekh-Kronus, or Saturn, called the Dragon of Life. That is, the typical dragon or serpent with seven heads was female at first, and then the type was continued as male in her son Sevekh, the Sevenfold Serpent, in Ea the Sevenfold, in Num-Ra, in the Seven-headed Serpent, Iao-Chnubis, and others. We find these two in the book of Revelation. One is the Scarlet Lady, the mother of mystery, the great harlot, who sat on a scarlet-coloured beast with seven heads, which is the Red Dragon of the Pole. She held in her hand the unclean things of her fornication. That means the emblems of the male and female, imaged by the Egyptians at the Polar centre, the very uterus of creation as was indicated by the Thigh constellation, called the Khepsh of Typhon, the old dragon, in the northern birthplace of Time in heaven. The two revolved about the pole of heaven, or the Tree, as it was called, which was figured at the centre of the starry motion. In the book of Enoch these two constellations are identified as Leviathan and Behemoth = Bekhmut, or the Dragon and Hippopotamus = Great Bear, and they are the primal pair that was first created in the garden of Eden. So that the Egyptian first mother, Kefa, whose name signifies mystery, was the original of the Hebrew Chavah, our Eve; and therefore Adam is one with Sevekh, the sevenfold one, the solar dragon, in whom the powers of light and darkness were combined, and the sevenfold nature was shown in seven rays worn by the Gnostic Iao-Chnubis, god of the number seven, who is Sevekh by name and a form of the first father as head of the seven. Another bit of evidence here may be adduced from the Rabbinical legends relating to Adam's first wife. Her name was Lilith, and Lilith = Rerit, is that Egyptian goddess whose constellation was the Great Bear. Thus Adam and Eve are identified at last with the Greater and Lesser Bears, and the mythical Tree of Knowledge with the celestial Northern Pole. The Hebrew Adam can be likewise shown to have been a form of the chief one of the earlier seven who fell from heaven. Not only is he the head of the first group of Patriarchs turned into historical characters in the Genesis, who are seven in number, preceding the ten, but also learn that, in the mysteries of Samothrace, the name of Adam was given to the first and chief one of the Seven Kabiri, who were a form of the earliest Seven time-keepers, that failed and fell from heaven! Moreover, the Gnostics identify these primary seven by nature and by name as the Seven Mundane Dæmons who always oppose and resist the human race, because it was on their account that the father among the seven was cast down to a lower world!--not to the earth. One name of this father is Ialdabaoth. Adam is another name of the same mythical personage, and Adam at Samothrace was chief of the Seven. Adam, as the father among the Seven, is identical with the Egyptian Atum, who was the father-god in his first sovereignty, and whose other name of Adon is identical with the Hebrew Adonai. In this way the second creation in Genesis reflects and continues the later creation in the mythos, which explains it. The Fall of Adam to the lower world led to his being humanized on earth, by which process the celestial was turned into the mortal, and this, which belongs to the astronomical allegory, got literalised as the fall of Man, or descent of the soul into matter, and the conversion of the angelic into an earthly being. The Roman Church has always held that mankind were created in consequence of the fall of the rebel angels who raised a revolt in heaven, which was simply a survival of the Mythos, as it is found in the texts when Ea, the first father, is said to "grant forgiveness to the conspiring gods," for whose "redemption did he create mankind" (Sayce, Hib. Lect. 140). The subject matter is celestial solely, and solely celestial because it was astronomical. The Fall was not to the earth, nor on the earth, but to a lower heaven, called the Adamah in Genesis; nor did Adam and Eve become human realities below because they were outcast gods of constellations that were superseded above. The matter is mythical, and I am trying to show, as the result of wide research, what is the meaning of that which we call "mythical," by tracing the physical origin of the ancient gods, the Hebrew included, to natural phenomena, in accordance with data and determinatives still extant.
As nothing was known concerning the Genesis and nature of the Elohim, it has always been a moot question as to whom the speakers addressed the speech, "Let us make man in our image!" It has commonly been assumed that the "us" denoted a plural of dignity like the "we" of Royalty and Editorship. But it is not so. The Elohim are the Egyptian, Akkadian, Hebrew, and Phnician form of the universal Seven Powers, who are Seven in Egypt, Seven in Akkad, Babylon, Persia, India, Britain, and Seven amongst the Gnostics and Kabalists. They were the Seven fathers who preceded the father in heaven, because they were earlier than the individualized fatherhood on earth. Mythology reflects the primitive sociology, as in a mirror, and we could not comprehend the reflection in the divine dynasties above until we knew something fundamental about the human relationships on the earth beneath.
The field of Babylonian Mythology is one vast battle-ground between the early Motherhood and the later Fatherhood--that is, the Mother in space, in the stellar and lunar characters opposed to the later and solar Fatherhood, which became more especially Semite; indeed, where the Akkadians wrote the "female and the male," the Semite translators prepensely reverse it, and render it by the "male and the female." This setting up of the supreme God as solely Male, to the exclusion of the female, has often been erroneously attributed to a supposed "Monotheistic Instinct" originating with the Semites! In Egypt the solar Fatherhood had been attained in the sovereignty of Atum-Ra, when the records begin; but this same battle went on all through her monumental history, more fiercely when the Heretics, the Motherites, the Blackheads, were now and again reinforced by allies from without.
When the Elohim said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness," there were seven of them who represented the seven elements, powers, or souls that went to the making of the human being who came into existence before the Creator was represented anthropomorphically, or could have conferred the human likeness on the Adamic man. It was in the seven-fold image of the Elohim that man was first created, with his seven elements, principles, or souls, and therefore could not have been formed in the image of the one God. The seven Gnostic Elohim tried to make a man in their own image, but could not, from lack of virile power. Thus, their creation in earth and heaven was a failure. The Gnostics identify these seven as the Hebrew Elohim who exhorted each other, saying, "Let us make man after our image and likeness." They did so; but the man whom they made was a failure, because they themselves were lacking in the soul of the fatherhood! When the Gnostic Ialdabaoth, chief of the Seven cried, "I am the father and God," his mother Sophia replied, "Do not tell lies, Ialdabaoth, for the first man (Anthropos Son of Anthropos) is above thee!" That is, man who had now been created in the image of the fatherhood, was superior to the gods who were derived from the mother parent alone! For, as it had been at first on earth, so was it afterwards in heaven; and thus the primary gods were held to be soulless, like the earliest races of men because they had not attained the soul of the individualized fatherhood. The Gnostics taught that the spirits of wickedness, the inferior Seven, derived their origin from the great mother alone, who produced without fatherhood! It was in the image, then, of the sevenfold Elohim that the seven races were formed which we sometimes hear of as the pre-Adamite races of men, because they were earlier than the fatherhood which was individualized only in the second Hebrew creation. These were the primitive people of the past,--the old, despised, dark races of the world,--who were held to have been created without souls, because they were born before the fatherhood was individualized on earth or in heaven; for, there could be no God the Father recognized until the human father had been identified--nothing more than the general ancestral soul of the fathers, or the soul of the seven elemental forces. These early races were first represented by Totemic zoötypes, and were afterwards abominated as the dog-men, monkey-men, men with tails, mere preliminary people, created in the likeness of animals, reptiles, fish, or birds. Warriors with the body of a bird of the valley (?), and men with the faces of ravens, were suckled by the old dragon Tiamat; and their type may be seen in the image of the twin Sut-Horus, who has the head of a bird of light in front, and the Neh, or black vulture of darkness, behind. Ptah and his Seven Khnemmu are the Pygmies.
As the black race was first on earth, so is it in the mirror of mythology. These are the "people of the black heads," who are referred to on the tablets, and classed with reptiles, during a lunar eclipse. These typical black heads were the primeval powers of darkness, to which the old black aborigines in various lands were likened or assimilated by their despisers. In the Babylonian prayers we find the many-named mother-goddess is invoked as "the mother who has begotten the black heads." These at times were intentionally confused and confounded with their elemental prototypes. Seven such races are described in the Bundahish, or aboriginal creation, as the earth-men, the men of the water, the breast-eared, the breast-eyed, the one-legged, the bat-men, and the men with tails. These were the soulless people. They are also referred to by Esdras as the other people who are nothing, "but be like unto spittle"--that is, when compared with those who descended from the father, as Adam, or Atum, on earth, and who worshipped a father, as Atum, or Jehovah, in heaven. There were seven creations altogether; seven heavens, which were planetary in their final phase, seven creators, and seven races of men. And when the one God had been evolved he was placed at the head of the Seven. Hence Ptah in Egypt was called the Father of the fathers, who in India are known as the Seven Pitris. So Ahura-Mazda, Ialdabaoth, or Jehovah, was placed first in the later creation.
The chief of the Seven Ali = Elohim as supreme one of the group became the Semitic Al or El, designated the highest god, who was the seventh as Saturn; so that El and Jehovah - Elohim are identical in their phenomenal origin, whilst El-Shadai is the same son of the old suckler who was Typhon in Egypt and Tiamat in Assyria.
When in the second creation, and in the second chapter of Genesis, Jehovah-Elohim forms man from the dust of the ground, and woman from the bone of man, Jehovah is that one God who sums up in himself the seven previous powers, precisely as they were totalled in Atum-Ra, Sevekh-Ra, Agni, or Ahuramazda. He has been identified for us by name as one of the seven Gnostic Elohim, their Iao, or Jehovah. This God appears by name in the second chapter of the Book of Genesis, and yet in verse 26 of chapter iv, it is stated that "then began men to call upon the name of Jehovah." And again the same God, apparently, is announced by name in Exodus vi. 3, where he affirms that he has not been known previously by the name of Jah or Jehovah. But the difference between Jehovah-Elohim and Jah or Iao is a fact which can only be determined by a knowledge of the phenomena. The Jewish Kabalah and Gnosticism have never yet been grappled with or discussed in relation to mythology and the rootage in nature. The subject has only been nibbled at in a little grazing, with a go-as-you-please, modern interpretation of the doctrines concerning spirit and matter. The seven-fold one God is the same in origin, whether known by name as Jehovah, Iao-Sabaoth, Sevekh the seven-fold, Ea the fish with seven fins, Ra with seven souls, Agni with seven arms, the Gnostic Chnubis or Heptaktis with seven rays, El of the Seventh Planet, or the Dragon with seven heads.
But there is another Jah or Iao, who is the lunar divinity, and who was that Duad of the mother and child which becomes a Triad as the child grows into the consort for the same mother. It is more ancient than the divine Fatherhood, and preceded the luni-solar trinity of father, mother and son. This was the Moon-God who rode on the heavens by the name of Jah! and in this phase the zoötypes were superseded by the human likeness, and the God was imaged as one in the three-fold human character, when time was reckoned by the mother-moon, the child-moon and the virile new moon. The human family exalted to heaven as the divine father, mother and child followed the recognition of the personal fatherhood in sociology, and the knowledge that the lunar light was derived from the sun. Just as this institution superseded the mother and the brotherhood of the Totemic stage on earth, so was it in heaven. In each phase the human sociology is reflected in the mirror of mythology. One Jewish sign of this trinity, given by Bochart, is a circle containing three yod letters, the numerical value of which is 30--or ten days to each of three phases of the Moon. Another of the lunar types is the Ass--the three-legged ass of the Bundahish. In the Egyptian hieroglyphics the head of the ass is a sign for No. 30 on the same ground; and on account of such typology the Jews were charged with being worshippers of an ass. Thus the Elohim were the Seven Powers--elemental, pre-planetary or planetary; Jehovah-Elohim was the sevenfold one as supreme amongst the planetary Gods, and Jah is the three-fold lunar Deity, the trinity in unity--in the likeness of the human family; these were again combined in a totality that is ten-fold in the divine fatherhood. Hence the Hebrew letter Yod, the sign of ten, is a symbol of the ineffable name of Iao, Jah, or Jehovah; thus the name of the Iao can be expressed in Roman numerals by the 1 and 0, which figure the number 10: and this figure of the ten-fold totality so made up is both the heavenly man, called Adam Kadmon by the Kabalists, composed of what they term the 10 Sephiroth, and the Supreme Being worshipped by the whole of Christendom today as the one God, supposed to have been made known by Divine revelation to a Monotheistic race of men.
The Egyptian Aten will show us how and why the Jews could use the name of Adon as an equivalent for that of Jah or the Yod, which has the numerical value of 10. Aten as a title of Highness is determined by the numerical sign of 10, and therefore is an equivalent for I O, or Iao of the ten-fold nature, unified at last in Aten or Adon as the Lord, who was God of the 10 Tribes.
Such, to put briefly what I have elaborated elsewhere, was the origin in natural phenomena, and such was the unity at last attained in a tenfold totality by the Supreme One, the All, the unity not being initial but final: E pluribus unum.
Mr. Gladstone's last and most pathetic plea -- pitiful as a flag of distress fluttering at the mast-head of a doomed vessel visibly going down--is that the tale in Genesis is beautiful if not true! He says--"If we view it as a popular narrative it is singularly vivid, forcible, and effective; if we take it as a poem it is indeed sublime!" But the question is--Is it false or true? Have we been deluded, misled, and cheated? The essence of poetry even must be truth, and not falsehood, however attractive; must not mislead us on the pretext of being a revelation. The older I grow the faster I am losing my faith in all lovely unrealities. Consider the effects of such false teaching! Only the other day a child who had been taught that God made man out of the dust of the earth was watching an eddying cloud of dust being whirled into shape by the wind, when she cried, "Oh, mother, come here! Look! I think God is creating another baby!" Our mental standpoint has been made quite as childish with regard to other Beginnings. And from every pulpit of the past we have been implored to remain as little children at the mother's knee. We have been taught and compelled to surrender our reason, doff our manhood and grovel like worms in the earth as the successful mode of wriggling our way through this world into heaven. We have been robbed by a thief in the night. Children have been cheated out of their natural senses, and the mental emasculation of men has taken the place of the physical once inculcated by the Christ (Math. xix. 12). Men who are sane on most other subjects will give up all common sense on this, and talk like intellectual lunatics. See how the teachers of the people, who ought to have learned better for themselves, continue all their life through to wear the cast-off vestments of ancient mythology.
Take Mr. Ruskin as another typical example. He is in many ways a most diligent searcher after truth, and a worshipper of all things noble and beautiful. But he was so profoundly infected by the falsehood made religious to him in childhood as to be marked by it and mentally maimed for life. In his "Modern Painters," he tells us that "man perished in seeking knowledge," and "there is not any part of our nature, nor can there be through eternity, uninfluenced or unaffected by the fall." 'Tis most painful to see such a man, so human at heart, such a seer and lover of all loveliness believing so damnable a lie, and endorsing it not only for his own lifetime, but for so long as his writings may last, because it was told to him in his own confiding childhood. It is good to waken the eyes of men to the beautiful, but still better to lead them to the enduring truth! So soon as my own eyes were opened wide enough to take in the immense imposture that has been based upon mythology, I gave up my chance of a seat upon the Mount of the Muses, and turned aside from the proffered crown of poetry as a seeker after verifiable certitude. And after all how can the picture of a divinised fool at the head of affairs with so certain a break down in the beginning be beautiful when such a representation reduces the drama of the whole universe into a most pitiful one-act farce? Any God who demands the worship of fear would be unworthy the service of love. Our modern Atheism is mainly the result of this false Theism being torn up by the root to expose its godlessness. Falsehood is always fraudulent; no matter how it may be poetized or painted; no matter how religiously we have believed it true; or how long we may have been imposed on by its fairness; and woe to the revelation that is proved to be false! woe to the sphinx when her secret is at last found out! It will then be her turn to be torn.
The Hebrew Pentateuch has not only retarded the growth of science in Europe for eighteen centuries, but the ignorant believers in it as a book of revelation have tried to strangle every science at its birth. There could be and was but little or no progress in astronomy, geology, biology, or sociology until its teachings were rejected by the more enlightened among men--the free thinkers and demonstrators of the facts. The progress has been in proportion to the repudiation; and, for myself, the nearer I draw towards death the more earnestly--nay, vengefully--do I resent the false teachings that have embittered my life--not for myself only, but more for others, and most of all for the children. Remember, the education of English children to-day is chiefly in the hands of the orthodox teachers, who still give the Bible all the preference over nature and science, and who will go on deluding the innocent little ones as long as ever they are paid or permitted to do so. But what a dastardly shame it is for us to allow the children to be taught that which we know to be false, or do not ourselves believe to be true! The present calls upon you with an appealing voice to protect the unborn future against this terrible tyranny of the past. Do not any longer let the winding-sheet of death be the swaddling-bands put on the helpless little ones for life at their intellectual birth. It is appalling to think of the populations that have already passed on victimized, the lives that have been wrecked, the brains that have been bruised, and the hearts broken of those who have dashed themselves against these barriers to human progress and the freedom of thought, which were ignorantly erected and then made sacred in the name of God, by means of this Hebrew Book of the Beginnings; in short, by a literalisation of mythology.
That should inspire one effort more,
Mightier than any made before.
The barrier-wall at last shall fall;
The future must be free for all!
As an opponent of what may be termed the Aryan school of interpretation it has been my special work to show that mythology is not a farrago of foolish fables, nor the mere raving of words that have lost their senses. I have amply demonstrated the fact that the myths were no mere products of ancient ignorance, but are the deposited results of a primitive knowledge; that they were founded upon natural phenomena and remain the register of the earliest scientific observation. Those, however, who have not yet learned that mythology contains the gnosis of the earliest science, and is the great pre-historic record, are unable to teach us anything fundamental concerning it. They cannot read the record itself or verify it by continual reference to those natural phenomena on which it is based, and by which the truth of the interpretation has to be verified and tested. Without this foothold of fact being firmly established mythology resolves itself into a bog without a bottom.
It appears to me that Professor Sayce in his lectures on the Babylonian Religions, is frequently dealing with matters which can only be fathomed by the comparative process, and that it is misleading to compare the ancient mythologies with the Egyptian omitted, whereas he rigorously rejects any light from that source. No Mythological Religion can be explained by itself alone. The comparative method is as the bringing together of flint and steel to strike the first spark for the necessary light. Without question or inquiry; without collecting and comparing the data; without presenting his evidence for the assertion, he makes the following authoritative declaration. "Apart from the general analogies which we find in all early civilizations, the Script, the Theology and the Astronomy of Egypt and Babylonia show no vestiges of a common source." (Hib. Lect. p. 136.)
There may be a pitfall intended in these delusive words as the mythology and so-called cosmology are entirely omitted. But you cannot have the Astronomy apart from the Mythology by which it was represented! The Prof. says further there is one conclusive and fatal objection to the derivation from Egypt "inasmuch as there is no traceable connection between the hieroglyphics of Egypt and the primitive pictures out of which the cuneiform characters were developed." Professor Sayce is an expert and an authority passably orthodox, whose word will be taken for gospel by those who are not qualified to question it. I am not an acknowledged authority. I can only plead that my facts may have a hearing. Without knowing the facts we cannot attain the truth, and short of the fullest truth there is no final authority. The Egyptian hieroglyphics were developed out of the same primitive pictures and natural objects as the Akkadian. Both were direct transcripts from nature at first, and there is but one origin in nature for the earliest figures. Again he says: "If Lepsius were right (in maintaining the opposite view) the primitive hieroglyphics out of which the cuneiform characters were evolved would offer resemblances to the hieroglyphics. But this is not the case. Even the idea of divinity is represented differently in them. In Chaldea it is expressed by an eight-rayed star; in Egypt, by a stone-headed axe" (p. 435).
That is true; and yet in the sole illustration adduced by him the Professor is wrong! The evidence of the first witness called is against the truth of his vaguely vast generalization. The star with the eight rays is likewise an Egyptian ideograph of divinity; it is a numerical figure for the Nunu or Associate Gods. (Burton E.H. 34.) This is the sign of the pleroma of the godhead, the divine ogdoad. It was continued as a symbol of Horus-Orion, the manifestor of the Eight, the mummy-constellation of the only one who rose again! The eight-rayed sign was also a symbol of Hathor and of Taht because, like the eight-rayed or eight-looped star, it was the numerical figure of the eight gods, hence it was the sign of the Abode as Hathor, and the manifestor as Taht-Smen; as it is of Ishtar and of Assur. The Egyptians not only used this octave of divinity, they also give us the reason for using it. This numerical sign of the primary group of eight gods was not continued as the symbol of abstract divinity, and it is rare, but still it exists to refute the Professor, who has to plumb far more profoundly before he touches bottom. The five-rayed star, Seb, is likewise the hieroglyphic symbol for a god or divinity, so that the Professor's suggested inference is false twice over. It will never do to presume too much on the common ignorance concerning the buried past of Egypt, the rootage out of range, and the long development of the original ideographs. For example, the Egyptian pictograph of a soul is a human-headed bird, and that type is continued when the Babylonian dead are described as being clad like birds in a garment of feathers. Notwithstanding Mr. Sayce's offhand dicta it will be seen in the future that Egypt was as truly the parent of hieroglyphics as she is of alphabets! But to show the Professor's determination to avoid Egypt: after pointing to the fact that the statues from Telloh bear a great likeness to the Egyptian in the time of the pyramid builders; and after admitting that the Egyptian art of sculpture was infinitely superior to the Babylonian at that time,--he quietly suppresses Egypt altogether on behalf of an entirely unknown "school of sculpture in the Sinaitic peninsula!" (P. 138.) Anything rather than look Egypt honestly in the face!
The Professor is so anxious to hustle unacceptable facts out of sight and get rid of their testimony, he asserts that the existence of a "Cushite race" in Chaldea solely depends on a misinterpretation and a probable corruption of the text in the Book of Genesis. But Cush is the black. The Cushites were the Black race; and the aborigines of Babylonia were the Black men of the monuments, the "black-heads" of the Akkadian Texts. Hence the god Kus, their deity of eclipse and darkness. The Professor is all hind-before with regard (or disregard) to the origins in the black land, the primeval birthplace. He is not yet out of the Ark of the Semitic or the shadow of the Aryan beginnings, which have so darkened and deluded us; and has to advance backwards a good deal further beyond the Altaic boundaries.
As I have already shown in the "Natural Genesis," the beginnings of mythology in Egypt and Akkad are definitely identical. The Old Dragon of Chaos and the Abyss is the same whether called Tiamat, Tavthe, or Typhon. By Typhon I mean the beast that imaged the first Great Mother, hippopotamus in front and crocodile behind, who therefore is the Dragon of Egypt. Her name of Tep, Teb, or Tept is the original of Typhon. Tiamat=Tavthe represents that abyss of the beginning which is the Egyptian Tepht. This Tepht is the abyss, the source, the void, the hole of the snake, the habitat of the dragon, the outrance or uterus of birth as place which preceded personification. Another name for the abyss is Abzu, the earlier form of which is the Egyptian Khepsh in the north--that is, the Pool of Khep, the hippopotamus or Typhon=Dragon. Tept and Tavthe are one, the water-horse and dragon-horse are one. In both forms they give birth to the well-known seven primal powers, elemental energies, or demons of physical force, first recognised as warring in chaos, who were afterwards cast out and superseded, or moralised as the seven wicked spirits. When the primary powers become the seven evil spirits, it is said of them, "They are not known among the sentient gods." So in Egypt the same seven were denounced as the non-sentient "Children of inertness." And just as the Akkadian seven were continued and made the messengers and ministers of wrath to the supreme God, Anu, so did the Egyptian seven survive as the seven great spirits in the service of Ra; their station being in the region of the Great Bear, the constellation of their mother. (Rit., ch. 17.)
This mother-goddess first brought forth in space and next in time. If we take the star of evening and morning as the type of the earliest time, then the mother Tiamat passes into Ishtar, goddess of the evening and the morning star. The dragon Tiamat was called the Bis-Bis, identified by George Smith with the crocodile as the symbol of Egypt; and Ishtar=Venus, the "Lady of Dawn," was called Bis-bisi, which shows the survival of the same genetrix in her change of character out of space into time. Another proof of this continuity by transformation is furnished when Ishtar as Queen of Heaven (so rendered by Mr. Sayce) called herself the "Unique Monster" (p. 267.) Precisely in the same way do we see the Typhonian genetrix Ta-Urt in Egypt pass into Hes-ta-Urt (whence Hestaroth or Ashtaroth) and Hathor, when the domesticated cow succeeded the water-cow as the Zoötype of Hes, As (Isis), or of Hathor, the Lunar form of the Goddess of Love, in whose person the beast was transfigured into the beauty.
According to ancient tradition, the culture of Chaldea was brought to that country by a Fish-Man, who rose up in "the first year," from that part of the Red or "Erythræan Sea which borders upon Babylonia." The original of this type can be identified in Ea the fish-god, deity of the house of the deep and divinity of wisdom. Whence came Ea, then, by the Red Sea? Lepsius says from Egypt--so says Egypt herself.
Professor Sayce had previously denied our right to compare the myths of two different nations before their relationships have been established by language, and that by grammar (which is late), in preference to the vocabulary. Thus mythology is put out of court, and words are to be accounted of no weight. Still, it is well to remember that the Professor has before now taken his stand on a false bottom that was found to be crumbling under foot day by day! It is at least suggestive to find that the name and nature of Ea, the oldest Akkadian form of the One God, may be so fully explained by the Egyptian Uâ (later Ea) for the one, the one alone, isolated as the only one; also the Thinker and the Captain of the Boat. It should be premised that the Egyptian U preceded the letter or sound of E, hence Ua=Ea. The Egyptian Ua, which passed into Ea, also appears in the Akkadian Ua for the Supreme One, the sole Lord or Chief. In one form Ea is the fish-god, and the hieroglyphic sign for Ua=Ea is fishing-tackle! Ea was the deity of the deep, and Ua=Ea is Boat and Captain both. Of course the fish was the earlier image, but the Egyptians had gone far ahead in substituting the work of their own hands for the primitive natural types. Ea is the wise god, the thinker and instructor; and Uaua (Eg.) means to think, consider, meditate. Ea's prototype in the indefinitely earlier mythology of Egypt is Num=Kneph, whose twofold nature is indicated by the two ways of spelling one name. As Num he is Lord of the inundation; as Kneph he is the Breath of those who are in the firmament. Nef signifies breath, and is also the name of the sailor. Ea is god of the watercourse and the atmosphere. Ea was the Antelope of the deep; Num was the bearded He-goat; the Sea-goat of the Zodiac. One type of Num is the serpent; as it is of Ea. Ea is said to represent the House, which is â in Egyptian. In a case of this kind Professor Sayce can only perceive or will only admit a "general analogy."
Egyptian also offers the likeliest original for the name of Oan or Oannes, the Greek form of Ea, the fish, seeing that Ua=Oa, and that An is the fish in Egyptian; whilst An, to appear, to show, is determined by the fish in the water-precinct, where the fish is the revealer who emerged from the waters as Ea-an, or Oannes. (Denkmäler 3, 46 C.) If the original Fish-Man came from Egypt, it would probably be as the Crocodile=Dragon, the Typhonian type of both the ancient mother and her son Sevekh. The crocodile is the fish that passes the day on dry land and the night in the waters. Its name of Sevekh is identical with that of the number seven; and Ea is connected with a typical fish of seven fins (?). The crocodile, as Plutarch tells us, was a supreme type of the one God, or, as the name shows, of the seven-fold powers in one image. Sevekh was the same good demon of one Cult in Egypt that Num-Ra was in the other, but indefinitely earlier.
To my apprehension, the Babylonian "House of the Seven bonds of heaven and earth," is identical with the "House of the Seven Halls and Seven stairways," assigned to Osiris; and the God Nebo as stellar, lunar, and planetary Deity; as prophet and proclaimer, is identical with Sut-Anup (later Nub and Anubis) in a dozen different aspects; whilst Nebo-Nusku = the double Anubis. Further, the same Great Mother who was Venus as Hathor became the mother-moon. Professor Sayce seems to think that where the moon is male it cannot also be female. If I am right, Ishtar must also have had a lunar character as the Mother-Goddess. But Professor Sayce makes the point-blank assertion that Ishtar was not a goddess of the moon. (P. 256.) "The moon was conceived of as a God, not as a Goddess." He assures us that Ishtar was the spirit of earth and the Goddess of Love, the dual divinity of the planet Venus. But there is no male moon without the female Goddess. It is not a question of "Conception," but of begettal. The observers were concerned with the lunar phases as natural facts, the mother or reproducing phase being first. The mother Goddess brought forth the Child of light, whether as Taht, Khunsu, Duzu, Tammuz, or Horus, and there is no lunar myth possible without the motherhood, which preceded the fatherhood. The child of the moon in one phase is her consort in the other. Thus when Ishtar makes up to Izdubar, the solar god who represents the later fatherhood, he twits her on the subject of her child-consort, the bridegroom of her youth, whom she had so long pursued, like Venus wooing Adonis. In the legend of Tammuz and Ishtar the Goddess, in descending to the underworld in search of her bridegroom, passes through seven gates. In each of these she is stripped of a part of her glory, represented as her ornaments. On her return she ascends through seven other gates, when her ornaments are restored to her, both being done according to ancient rules. These gates are the 14 lower lunar mansions in which the lunar Osiris was torn into 14 parts by Typhon, the Power of darkness, when Isis descended in search of her beloved. They likewise coincide with the 14 houses of judgment and the 14 trials in the Egyptian Book of the Dead, which will explain the tests and punishments of the Goddess as the pre-solar type of the suffering and triumphing souls who had to win their crown of justification in these 14 trials. Besides which one of Ishtar's titles is that of Goddess Fifteen, because that is the day of mid-moon in a soli-lunar month of 30 days. Professor Sayce leaves this title unnoticed, and then denies that Ishtar was a goddess of the moon! Moreover, there is another test to be applied in natural phenomena. The Goddess in her Course is credited with various infidelities. Not only is she charged with having clung year after year to her child-consort Tammuz, as the Bridegroom, amongst her victims are the Eagle (Alala) the Lion, the Horse, Tabulu the shepherd, and Isullanu, the gardener. These, as I read the Mythos, refer to certain constellations, corner-keepers or others, to be found in the lunar course, which cannot apply to the planet Venus or to the Spirit of the earth. A sign of the lunar reckoning may be read in the statement that Ishtar rode the horse with whip and spur for seven leagues galloping, or during one quarter of the moon. Another lunar sign may be seen in the statement that Ishtar had also torn out the teeth of the Lion seven by seven, or for seven nights together, in her passage through the Lion-quarter of the moon; Eagle, Horse (Pegasus?), and Lion must probably stand for three of the four quarters of a lunar zodiac. Also the Errand of Ishtar corresponds to the descent of Isis into the underworld in search of Osiris, who was torn into 14 parts, and Isis was the lunar Goddess. Moreover, Ishtar robbed her lover, Isullanu, of his eye, and in his blindness mocked him; just as Horus and Samson were each robbed of an eye. Lastly, the Bow was lunar and Ishtar was Goddess of the Bow. Here, as elsewhere, we are left utterly adrift if we cannot secure a firm anchorage in the various natural phenomena themselves, by which the types of divinity must be determined. Professor Sayce acknowledges his inability to account for the name of Ishtar. "Its true etymology was buried in the night of antiquity." "It is therefore quite useless to speculate on the subject." (P. 257.) And so, of course, there is an end of it, the last word being said. It is just possible, however, that Egypt, from which the Professor looks religiously away, has something final yet to say on these matters. Not perhaps by such interpretation as Mr. Renouf's. Professor Sayce admits that Ishtar appears as Esther in the Book of Esther. Here it is Hadassah who figures in the mythical character of Ishtar as the virgin dedicated or betrothed during twelve months. Whether the typical character is thus continued or not, it is the fact that the word "Shtar" [Macrobius, Saturn. 121. ] is the Egyptian name of the Betrothed female, and Shta denotes that which is most mystical, secret, and holy, the very mother of mystery. Ishtar was the betrothed of Tammuz; she was called the "Bridal Goddess," the goddess who was mystically betrothed to the child that grew up to become her own Consort. She remained the Mother of Mystery. Thus Ishtar=Venus, the goddess of love, was the Shtar or Betrothed, as the pre-monogamic consort or bride, i.e., the "bridal goddess," who is denounced in Revelation as the Great Harlot.
Again, it appears to me that much of what I have already said of Horus, of Taht, of Khunsu, Apollo, and other forms of the soli-lunar hero is applicable not only to Mithras but to Merodach, and to an Assyrian god called Adar (provisionally). I may claim to have discovered the origin of this particular mythical character through seeking the foundations in natural phenomena. Adar is a solar hero who is especially related to night and darkness, and yet is a deity of light. He is a warrior and champion of the gods. He is the voice or supreme oracle of the divinities. He is the son, the messenger, the revealer of the Solar god hidden in the deep of the underworld. In other features he is like Taht and Khunsu, each of whom is the visible representative, the revealer, of the sun-god by night. Adar was designated "Lord of the date," just as Taht was called "Lord of the date-palm." Adar was likewise "Lord of the Pig," just as Khunsu is the personified lord over the pig of Typhon in the disk of the moon at full (Zodiac of Denderah). This is the god who, as Adonis, was slain by the pig or boar at one season of the year, but who was victor over it in the first of the six upper signs, which is the sign of Pisces in the Zodiac of Denderah. [Sayce, p. 233.]This same character is continued in Tammuz, the deity who was first brought forth by the mother alone, to become her consort, the only one of a twofold nature; and who was made the later revealer of a Father in heaven as the child of the solar god when reborn as such of the mother-moon. The month of Tammuz in the Aramaic calendar is (roughly) our month of June. This is the month of Duzu in the Assyrian calendar. In the Egyptian it was the month Mesore, as June in the sacred year, the month of the re-birth of the river and of the child Horus, who was re-born (Mes) of the river at the re-birth of the Inundation. In the pre-Osirian Mythos the child was the representative of Tum and to be the re-born (Mes) Tum or the child of Tum, as was Iu-em-hept, the Eternal Word, would be renderable as Tum-mus or Messu, just as Ra-messu means the child of the solar god, although I am not aware that Tum does appear under that form of name, and I am supposing that Tammuz was a development from the Egyptian Tum. For this reason! We are told in the texts [Records 4.95. ] that Tum is the duplicate of Aten=Adon=Adonai; and Adon = Tammuz. Aten was the child-God; Tum was the father. This child of the sun-god was always born in the moon as the solar light of the world by night, the son of the Spirit of the deep who was the hidden sun in the under-world. He is pourtrayed in the disk of the full-moon both as Horus (or Tum-mes) and Khunsu (Planisphere and Zodiacs of Denderah). Now, when the actual deluge began with the sun in the sign of the Beetle (later Crab), and in the month of Tammuz or Mesore, the moon rose at full in the sign of the sea-goat, and the child was therefore reborn of the full moon in that sign, and so on through the three water signs, which are consequently solar on one side of the Zodiac and lunar on the other! Rightly read this absolutely proves the Egyptian origin of the signs set in heaven in relation to the Inundation, the lunar zodiac being first, and identifies the child of Tum as the original of the Akkadian Dumu-zi-Apzu, and of the Semite "Timmuz (or Dimmuz) of the Flood; "[Champollion. Gram : 1292. ] not Noah's unfortunate deluge, but the inundation of the Nile, the deluge that began in the month Mes-Horus or Tum-Mes=Tammuz, and culminated at the autumn equinox as it always has done, and did this year. The Akkadian name of the month Tammuz is Su-Kul-na, "seizer of seed," and to explain that we must go back to the sign of the Beetle set above by the Egyptians, because the beetle Khepr began to roll up his seed at that time to preserve it from the coming flood. The Beetle is the sign of Cancer in the oblong Zodiac of Denderah.
Professor Sayce's account of Tammuz and Ishtar shows neither gauge nor grip of the real subject matter. He tells us that Adonis=Tammuz was "slain by the Boar's Tusk of Winter," and his "funeral-festival" was held in June because the "bright Sun of the springtide was then slain and withered by the hot blasts of summer" (pp. 227-9). But here is the true rendering as restored according to the Egyptian myth, which was extant in the pre-monumental times of the Shus-en-Har, who are claimed to have been the Rulers for 13,000 years before the time of Menes. The Solar God as Source of Life was re-born in natural phenomena, as his own child the Horus of Light in the Moon; the Child of the Lotus in the Water; the Seed as the Bread of Life in the Corn. In each phase he was opposed by Sut-Typhon in the form of Darkness, Drought, or Death. Previous to the Inundation he was pierced by Sut in the parching Drought. Then it was the errand of Isis as of Ishtar to fetch the Water of Life. This she did as the Lunar Mistress of the Water. At the birth of the River in Mesore-Tammuz, the Moon rose at full in the first Lunar Water-sign, whither she had gone for the Water of Life in the under-world--or, astronomically, entered the lowest signs. Here is one proof. Papsukal is the Regent of Capricorn, the first water-sign, and he is the messenger that hurries off to the Sun-God (who is certainly not the dead Tammuz!) with the news of Ishtar's arrival in search of the Fountain of Life.
Isis in her search was accompanied by Anup, her golden dog; and in the Hermean Zodiac Anup is stationed in the sign of the Sea-Goat, where he is shaking the Systrum of Isis to frighten away the Typhonian influences.--(Plutarch.) Here is additional evidence. When the Moon rose at full in these three signs they represented the Waters of Life to Egypt, in accordance with the then flowing Inundation of the Nile; but when the Sun itself entered the sign of Capricorn, in winter, the passage became the "Crossing of the Waters of Death," for the Solar God, or the Souls in the Eschatological phase. Hence the typical "Two Waters" of the Egyptian Mythos, called the Pools of the North and South. My contention is, that the imagery thus set in heaven to reflect the seasons on earth was Egyptian from the first, and that it can only be rightly read in the original version according to time and season in Egypt.
Professor Sayce makes the perplexing assertion that "the month of Tammuz was called in the Akkadian Calendar 'the month of the Errand of Ishtar.'" But the month Ki-Innanna (formerly read Ki-Gingir-na), the message of Nanna or Ishtar, is Ululu, two months later than Tammuz; and the message of Ishtar, as Virgo, in August, is not to be converted into the legend of her descent into Hades in June, when the Sun was in Cancer and the full Moon was in Capricorn.
Merodach represents the Sun in Scorpio, as the deity of that sign, but this does not mean that he is the Sun itself! In the Egyptian mythos it was as the Sun in Scorpio that Osiris was betrayed to his death by Typhon. Then his son, Horus=Merodach, was reborn of the Moon in the Bull, the first of the six upper signs, to become the avenger of his victimised father! Thus as heir-apparent of the Solar God, the Hero comes to the aid of the Moon during an eclipse, and overcomes the Dragon of Darkness.
This revealer of the father-god in natural phenomena, under whatsoever name, is supremely important as the mythical character that supplied the type to current Christology. When the scientific fact was first discovered the doctrine of a divine trinity, consisting of father, mother, and child, was then established. The child was the light of the sun, his father being the hidden source in the underworld, his mother the moon, as reproducer of that light. This reflex image of the father's glory, his light of the world by night, the representative of his power in the six upper signs, whilst the sun was in the six lower signs, is the child as Horus, as the re-born Tum=Tum-mes, Tammuz, Apollo, Merodach, the hero, the warrior against the dragon, and the powers of darkness at night or during the lunar eclipse, the Masu, the anointed, the only begotten, furnished by the past as a factor in the theology of the present, which meets with no recognition whatsoever from Professor Sayce, or from any other writers on mythology who are known to me.
Except in the technique of his scholarship, one sees but little sign that the professor has thought out his far-reaching subject fundamentally. For example, Berossos repeats a Babylonian description of nature, which he distinctly affirms to have been allegorical. The professor admits (p. 392) that these "composite creatures were really the offspring of Totemism"; that is, they were symbolical Zoötypes. And yet he can say of them, "we may see (in these) a sort of anticipation of the Darwinian hypothesis"! But men with wings, two heads, and horses' feet, centaurs, mermaids, and sphinxes, belong to a mythical mode of representing ideas, not to "imperfect, first attempts of nature," in accordance with the doctrine of development. Such confusion of thought is likely to make the truth of the matter doubly indistinguishable. Again, he tells us that "the god was a beast before he became a man," whereas he means that the primary forces recognised in nature first were represented by Zoötypes before the superhuman powers were imaged in the human likeness. He does not define what he means by "worship" or "religion" when he imports these terms into the remoter past, and thus sets up a false standard of judgment. Worship of the heavenly bodies was nothing more than the looking up to them as the tellers of time, even though they may be called oracles! The Kronian gods were only types of time in a world without clocks and watches. He speaks of theological conceptions becoming mythical, whereas the mythical representation preceded the theological phase. He can "find no trace of ancestor-worship in the early literature of Chaldea" (p. 358). But I doubt whether a man who resolves the Dæmon of Socrates into an Intuition, can know how or where to look for the proof. He tells us the earliest Babylonian religion was purely Shamanistic, only the spirits it recognised were not spirits in "our sense of the word," whichever sense that may be! Now Shamanism is the most primitive kind of Spiritualism, but it includes human spirits as well as the elementals; and as human spirits include the spirits of ancestors, and as Mul-lil is the Lord of ghost-world, and Nergal is the god of apparitions, called the Khadhi (which agrees with the Egyptian Khati for the dead), then the Shamanism of Babylonia must have included a worship of ancestors! The non-evolutionist cannot truly interpret the past for us, even when reinforced by the non-spiritualist.
It matters little to me that Professor
Sayce should ignore my work, but it does matter greatly to him that he should
have to ignore all the facts which are fatal to his assumptions. He cannot get
rid of the facts by thus ignoring them. He cannot establish a negation by closing
his eyes to all that is positively opposed to his conclusions. In trying to
do so he has blindly shut out all that Egypt had to say and show and suggest.
That simple policy was practised long ago by the ostrich, and the ruse is generally
acknowledged to have proved a preposterous failure. As the superstructure of
Assyriology is now reared and settling down securely upon fixed foundations,
I am willing to discuss the matters here mooted in the press or debate with
Professor Sayce upon the platform, where I will undertake to demonstrate the
common origin of the mythological astronomy, and prove that the Egyptian is
the primeval parent of the Babylonian. Meanwhile the foregoing pages and the
following comparative list (not to say anything of the "Natural Genesis")
contain a sufficient answer to his declaration that the two have nothing in
common but general analogies:--
|Tepht, the abyss||= Tavthe, the abyss.|
|Khepsh, pool of hippopotamus.||= Abzu, the deep.|
|Bau, the hole or void.||= Bahu, the void personified.|
|Tep, Typhon, the dragon.||= Tavthe = Tiamat, the dragon.|
|Matut, Storm-God.||= Matu, Storm-God.|
|Isis as the Scorpion.||= Ishtar as the Scorpion.|
|Triad of Isis, Nephtys, and Horus.||= Triad of Ishtar, Tillil, and Tammuz.|
|Ra, God of the Double House.||= Ea, God of the House.|
|Five Celestials born of Seb.||= Five Anúnas, or spirits of heaven.|
|Seven evil spirits.||= Seven evil spirits.|
|Seven servants of Ra.||= Seven servants of Anu.|
|The Nunu, 8 gods or spirits.||= The Anúnus, or 8 spirits of earth.|
|The Put Circle of 9 Spirits, or gods of||= The Igigi, 9 spirits of heaven.|
|Num, god of the deep and inundation,||= Ea, god of the deep and the "good|
|and the "good wind."||wind."|
|Ua = Ea, the captain.||= Ea, god of the boat.|
|Hathor, the white heifer.||= Ishtar, the white heifer.|
|Shetar, the betrothed.||= Ishtar, the "bridal goddess."|
|Anup, the announcer.||= Nebo, the announcer.|
|Double Anubis.||= Nebo and Nusku.|
|Horus (luni-solar hero).||= Merodach.|
|Tum as Aten or the Messu.||= Tammuz.|
|Kek, god of darkness.||= Kus, god of darkness.|
|Â, moon, lunar divinity.||= Â, lunar divinity.|
|Khekh, a spirit.||= Igigi, spirits.|
|Rupa, the prince.||= Rubu, the prince.|
|Nerau, the chief, the victor.||= Nerra, the victor.|
|Ser, chief, head.||= Sar, king.|
|Tabu, great bear or hippopotamus.||= Dabu, the great bear or hippopotamus.|
P.S.--By the by, is Professor Sayce equally certain that he is correct in his dates of precession? He gives the entrance of the vernal equinox into the signs of the Bull and Ram as being about the years, 4,700 and 2,500 B.C. I found that Cassini and other astronomers gave the figures 4,565 and 2,410 B.C. And from data kindly supplied to me by the present Astronomer Royal from independent calculations made at Greenwich, these were the dates, corroborated and confirmed.
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