See the author's "NATURAL GENESIS" for references to Authorities
It would take almost a life-time
of original research to fathom or approximately gauge the depths of ignorance
in which the beginnings of Historic Christianity lie sunken out of sight.
The current ignorance of those pre-Christian
evidences that have been preserved by the petrifying past must be well-nigh
invincible, when a man like Professor Jowett could say, as if with the voice
of superstition in its dotage,
"To us the preaching of the Gospel is a New Beginning, from which we date all things; beyond which we neither desire, nor are able, to inquire."
It is the commonly accepted orthodox belief that Christianity originated with the life, miracles, sayings, and teachings; the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of an historic Jesus the Christ at the commencement of our era, called Christian; whereas, the origins were manifold, but mostly concealed. It is impossible to determine anything fundamental by an appeal to the documents which, alone out of a hundred Gospels, were made Canonical. And when Eusebius recorded his memorable boast that he had virtually made "all square" for the Christians, it was an ominous announcement of what had been done to keep out of sight the mythical and mystical rootage of historic Christianity.
The Gnostics had been muzzled, and their extant evidences, as far as possible, masked. He and his co-conspirators did their worst in destroying documents and effacing the tell-tale records of the past, to prevent the future from learning what the bygone ages could have said directly for themselves. They made dumb all Pagan voices that would have cried aloud their testimony against the unparalleled imposture then being perfected in Rome. They had almost reduced the first four centuries to silence on all matters of the most vital importance for any proper understanding of the true origins of the Christian Superstition. The mythos having been at last published as a human history everything else was suppressed or forced to support the fraud. Christolatry is founded on the Christ, who is mythical in one phase and mystical in the other; Egyptian (and Gnostic) in both, but historical in neither. The Christ was a type and a title that could not become a person. As such, the Christ of the Gnostics was the Horus continued from Egypt and Chaldea; and that which was original as mythos ages earlier cannot be also original as a later personal history.
We who commence with our canonical Gospels are three or four centuries too late to learn anything fundamental concerning the real beginnings of Christianity. You have only to turn to the second Book of Esdras to learn that Jesus the Christ of our canonical history was both pre-historic and, pre-Christian. This is one of the books of the hidden wisdom which have been rejected and set apart as the Apocrypha--considered to be spurious, because they are opposed to the received history; whereas, they contain the secret Gnosis by which alone we can identify the genuine Scripture. In this book it is said,
"My son Jesus shall be revealed with those that are with him . . . . and they that remain shall rejoice within four hundred years; and after these years shall my son Christ die, and all men shall have life."
And this was to be even as it had been in the former judgments at the end of the particular cycles of time, and the renewal of the world, which was to occur according to date!
Now, if an historic Jesus Christ of prophecy is to be found anywhere it is here,--foretold even as the prediction is supposed to have been fulfilled. Yet these books are not included among the canonical Scriptures, because they prove too much; because they are historical in the wrong sense,--i.e., they are not and could not be made humanly historical; their Jesus Christ is entirely mythical,--is the Kronian Christ; and his future coming therein announced was only the subject of astronomical prophecy. The true Christ, whether mythical or mystical, astronomical or spiritual, never could become an historical personage, and never did originate in any human history. The types of themselves suffice to prove that the Christ was, and could only be, typical, and never could have taken form in historic personality.
For one thing, the mystical Christ of the Gnosis and of the pre-Christian types was a being of both sexes, as was the Egyptian Horus and other of the Messiahs; because the mystical Christ typified the spirit or soul which belongs to the female as well as to the male, and represents that which could only be a human reality in the spiritual domain or the Pleroma of the Gnostics. This is the Christ who appears as both male and female in the Book of Revelation. And the same biune type was continued in the Christian portraits of the Christ. In Didron's Iconography you will see that Jesus Christ is portrayed as a female with the beard of a male, and is called Jesus Christ as Saint Sophia, -- i.e., the Wisdom, or the Spirit of both sexes.
The early Christians were ignorant of this typology; but the types still remain to be interpreted by the Gnosis and to bear witness against the History. Both the type and doctrine combine to show there could be no one personal Christ in this world or any other. Howsoever the written word may lie, the truth is visibly engraved upon the stones, and still survives in the Icons, symbols, and doctrines of the Gnostics, which remain to prove that they preserved the truer tradition of the origins.And so this particular pre-Christian type was continued as a portrait of the historic Christ. It can be proved that the earliest Christians known were Gnostics -- the men who knew, and who never did or could accept Historic Christianity. The Essenes were Christians in the Gnostic sense, and according to Pliny the elder, they were a Hermetic Society that had existed for ages on ages of time. Their name is best explained as Egyptian. They were known as the Eshai, the healers or Therapeutæ, the physicians in Egypt; and Esha or Usha means to doctor or heal, in Egyptian. The Sutites, the Mandaites, the Nazarites, as well as the Docetae and Elkesites, were all Gnostic Christians; they all preceded, and were all opposed to, the cult of the carnalised Christ.
The followers of Simon, the Samaritan, were Gnostic Christians, and they were of the Church at Antioch, where it is said the name of Christian was primarily applied. Cerinthus was a Gnostic Christian, who, according to Epiphanius, denied that Christ had come in the flesh. The same writer informs us that, at the end of the fourth century, there were Ebionite Christians, whose Christ was the mythical fulfiller of the time-cycles, not an historic Jesus. Even Clement Alexander confesses that his Christ was of a nature that did not require the nourishment of corporeal food.
Now, from the time of Irenæus to that of Mansell, it has been confidently asserted that Gnosticism was a heresy of the second century, a backsliding and apostacy from the true faith of historic Christianity. This is simply a delusion of the ignorant, founded on the original lie of the falsifiers! Later teachers of Gnosticism, such as Basilides and Saturninus, did arise during the second century; but these were not the founders of any fresh doctrines, nor did they make any new departure. They were Revivalists! The Christian Fathers only knew of the Gnostics of their time; they never troubled to trace the roots of Gnosticism in the remoter past.
The Christian report respecting the Gnostics, Docetae, and others, always assumes the human reality of the supposed history, and then explains the non-human interpretation of the Gnostics themselves as an heretic denial, or perversion of the alleged facts. Hence the Gnostics are charged by Irenæus with falsifying the oracles of God, and trying to discredit the word of revelation with their own wicked inventions.
We learn from Origen that, during the third century, there were various different versions of Matthew's gospel in circulation, and this he attributes partly to the forgers of gospels. Jerome, at the end of the fourth century, asserts the same thing; and of the Latin versions he says, there were as many different texts as manuscripts. The Gnostics, who had brought on the original and pre-Christian matter of the mysteries that were taught orally, no sooner placed it on record than they were said to be forging the Scriptures of Anti-Christ, whereas it was the Gnosis of the Ante-Christ of whom they, the Christians, were ignorant.
Theirs is altogether a false mode of describing the position of those who always and utterly denied that the Christ could be made flesh, to suffer and die upon a veritable cross. Here is a specimen of the way in which the Gnostic doctrines had been turned to historic account:--The true light which lighteth every man coming into the world was Gnostic, and had been Gnostic ages before the prologue of John was written; and as Gnostic doctrine it has to be read. This Light of the world, born, as the Gnostics held, with every one coming into the world, is the immortal principle in man! Hyppolytus, referring to the teaching of Basilides, a Gnostic teacher of the second century, shows us how the doctrine of the Gnostics was falsified.
"And this," says he, "it is which is said in the Gospels, 'The true light which lighteth every man was coming into the world!'"
"Was coming" is an interpolation of the believers in the fact of historic fulfilment applied to that eternal light which lighted every man coming into the world; the light that dawned within, and could not come without in any form of flesh or historic personality. The Emperor Julian also remarks on the monstrous doings and fraudulent machinations of the fabricators of Historic Christianity. We may look upon the Gnostics as Inside Christians; the others as Christians Without.
Never were mortals more perplexed, bewildered, and taken back, than the Christians of the second, third, and fourth centuries, who had started from their own new beginning, warranted to be solely historic, when they found that an apparition of their faith was following them one way and confronting them in another--a faith not founded on their alleged facts, claiming to be the original religion, and ages on ages earlier in the world--a shadow that threatened to steal away their substance, mocking them with its aerial unreality--the hollow ghost of that body of truth which they had embraced as a solid and eternal possession! It was horrible. It was devilish. It was the devil, they said; and so they sought to account for Gnosticism, and fight down their fears of the phantom terrifying them in front and rear: the Gnostic ante-Christ who had now become their anti-Christ. The only primitive Christians then apart from, or preceding, the Christianised pagan church of Rome, were the various sects of Gnostics, not one of which was founded on an historical Christ. One and all they based upon the mystical Christ of the Gnosis, and the mythical Messiah, -- Him who should come because he was the Ever-Coming One, as a type of the Eternal, manifesting figuratively in time.
Historic Christianity can furnish no sufficient reason why the biography of its personal founder should have been held back; why the facts of its origin should have been kept dark; and why there should have been no authorised record made known earlier. The conversion of the mythos, and of the Docetic doctrines of the Gnosis into human history, alone will account for the fatal fact. The truth is, the earliest gospels are the furthest removed from the supposed human history. That came last; and only when the spiritual Christ of the Gnosis had been rendered concrete in the density of Christian ignorance! Christianity began as Gnosticism continued, by means of a conversion and perversion, that were opposed in vain by Paul.
The mysteries of the Gnostics were continued, with a difference, as Christian. The newly-christened re-beginnings were not only shrouded in mystery, they were the same mysteries at root as those that were pre-extant. The first Christians founded on secret doctrines that were only explained to initiates during a long course of years. These mysteries were never to be divulged or promulgated until the belief in historic Christianity had taken permanent root. We are told how it was held by some that the Apocrypha ought only to be read by those who were perfected, and that these writings were reserved exclusively for the Christian adepts. It must be obvious that the doctrine or knowledge that was forced to be kept so sacredly secret as that, could have had no relation to the human history, personality, or teachings of an inspired founder of that primitive Christianity supposed to have had so simple an origin.
True history is not established in that way, although the false may be -- as it has been. Nobody was allowed by Peter to interpret anything except in accordance with "our tradition!" Nobody, says Justin Martyr, is permitted to partake of the Eucharist
"unless he accepts as true that which is taught by us"
- -and unless he received the bread and wine as the very flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. In this we see the forgers fighting against the Gnostic Christ. There were many sects of so-called Christians, and various versions of the Christ; whether Kronian, mythical, or mystical. But the Church of Rome was the Christian church with foundations in Egypt; hence the deities of Egypt which have been discovered at the foundations of Rome; and when historic Christianity hasn't a bit of ground left to stand upon, the Church of Rome will be able and prepared to say,
"We never did really stand on that ground, and now we alone can stand without it. We are the one true church with foundations in an illimitable past."
According to the unquestioned tradition of the Christian Fathers, which has always been accepted by the Church, the primary nucleus of our canonical gospels was not a life of Jesus at all, but a collection of the Logia, oracles, or sayings, the Logia Kuriaka, which were written down in Hebrew or Aramaic, by one Matthew, as the scribe of the Lord. Clement Alexander, Origen, and Irenæus agree in stating that Matthew's was the primary gospel. This tradition rests upon the testimony of Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis, and friend of Polycarp, who is said to have suffered martyrdom for his faith during the reign of Marcus Aurelius, about 165-167 A.D. Papias is named with Pantus, Clement, and Ammonius as one of the ancient interpreters who agreed to understand the Hexæmeron as referring to an historic Christ and the Church. He was a believer in the millennium, and the second coming of the Lord, and therefore a literaliser of mythology.
But there is no reason to suspect the trustworthiness of his testimony, as he no doubt believed these "sayings" to have been the spoken words of an historic Jesus, written down in Hebrew by a personal follower named Matthew. He wrote a work on the subject, entitled Logion Kuriakon Exegesis, a commentary on the sayings of the Lord. A surviving fragment of this last work, quoted by Eusebius, tells us that Matthew wrote the sayings in the Hebrew dialect, and each one of the believers interpreted them as he was best able. Thus, the beginning of the earliest gospel was not biographical. It was no record of the life and doings of Jesus; it contained no actual historic element, nothing more than the Sayings of the Lord.
It is not pretended that our gospel, according to Matthew, is the identical work of the scribe who first wrote down the logia, but the statement of Papias is so far corroborated inasmuch as the sayings ascribed to Jesus are the basis of the Book. We read
"When Jesus had finished these sayings,"
or parables, several times over. Now, there is plenty of evidence to show that these sayings, which are the admitted foundations of the canonical gospels, were not first uttered by a personal Founder of Christianity, nor invented afterwards by any of his followers. Many of them were pre-extant, pre-historic, and pre-christian. And if it can be proved that these oracles of God and Logia of the Lord are not original, if they can be identified as a collection, an olla podrida of Egyptian, Hebrew, and Gnostic sayings, they can afford no evidence that the Jesus of the Gospels ever lived as an historic teacher. To begin with, two of the sayings assigned to Matthew to Jesus as the personal teacher of men are these :--
"Lay not up for yourselves treasure upon earth," etc., and, "If ye forgive men their trespasses your heavenly Father will also forgive you"!
But these sayings had already been uttered by the feminine Logos called Wisdom, in the Apocrypha. We find them in the Book of Ecclesiasticus;
"Lay up thy treasure according to the Commandments of the Most High, and it shall bring thee more profit than gold," and "Forgive thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done thee, so shall thy sins also be forgiven when thou prayest"!
Wisdom was the Sayer personified long anterior to the Christ. But it has never been pretended or admitted by mankind that wisdom was ever incarnated on this earth as a woman! Yet Wisdom, or Charis, had the primary right to incarnation, for she preceded the Christ. Luke also quotes a saying of Wisdom --
"Therefore also said the Wisdom of God, 'I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute';" "that the blood of all the prophets which was shed from the foundation of the world may be required of this generation."
This also is quoted or adapted from the words of Wisdom recorded in a Book of Wisdom (Esdras 2nd), where we read
"I sent unto you my servants, the prophets, whom ye have taken and slain, and torn their bodies in pieces, whose blood I will require of your hands, said the Lord. Thus saith the Almighty Lord, your house is desolate"!
In the verses immediately preceding, the speaker in the Book of Esdras had said.
"Thus saith the Almighty Lord, Have I not prayed you as a Father his sons, as a mother her daughters, and a nurse her young babes, that ye would be my people, and I should be your God; that ye would be my children, and I should be your Father? I gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; but now what shall I do unto you? I will cast you out."
This is in one of the Books of Wisdom hidden away in our Apocrypha. Now, if we turn to the gospels of Luke and Matthew we shall find that they have quoted these words of Wisdom: but we now see that Wisdom is not credited with her own sayings concerning the Father God! On the contrary, they are given to an historic Christ, as a personal teacher and a prophet. That which was said of the house of Israel by Wisdom in Esdras is now applied to the city of Jerusalem by the Christ; and if you re-date a saying like that by a few hundred years there is little wonder if it dislocates the history. Paul likewise quotes the saying from the Book of Esdras when he says,
"I will receive you and will be to you a Father, and ye shall be to me Sons and Daughters saith the Lord Almighty."
But he does not refer or re-apply it to Jesus as is done in the Gospels! Here we see the current coinage of Wisdom has been defaced by the Gospel compilers -- not by Paul -- and then re-issued under the sign and superscription of another name, that of Jesus the Christ; and historic evidence of a nature like that is as futile as the negro's non-effective charge of gunpowder which he shrewdly suspected of having been fired off before. Paul likewise quotes or refers to one of the sayings found in Matthew. "Faithful is the saying," he writes to Timothy. But although he is speaking of the Christ, he does not say his saying, nor refer it to an historic teacher.
It was one of the sayings, or true words, called the "Logia," which had been the dark sayings and parables of the pre-christian mysteries from of old, and which in Egypt were the sayings of Truth herself. The Hebrew Psalmist says,
"I will utter dark sayings of old."
The Proverbs of Solomon are the sayings. The Jewish Haggadah were the sayings. The Commandments were sayings, as is shown by Paul, Rom. xiii. 9. Peter, in the Clementine Recognitions, does not pretend to
"pronounce the sayings of the Lord as spoken by himself"
(or profess that they were spoken by himself in person, as I read the passage), he admits that it is not in their commission to say this. But they are to teach and to show from the sayings how every one of them is based upon truth. This is in reply to Simon Magus, who has pointed out the contradictory nature of the sayings. I hold it only to be a matter of time and research to prove that the sayings in general assigned to Jesus, which are taken to demonstrate his historic existence as a personal teacher, were pre-extant, pre-historic, and pre-christian. One of the sayings in the Mysteries reported by Plato was,
"Many are the Thyrsus-bearers but few are the Mystics," which is echoed twice over by Matthew in the saying, "Many are called but few are chosen." "It is more blessed to give than to receive,"
is one of the Logia of the Lord quoted in the book of Acts, but not found in the Gospels. Two of the sayings are identified as Essenic by Josephus, who says the Essenes swear not at all, but whatsoever they say is firmer than an oath; and when Jesus says,
"A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another,"
there was certainly nothing new in that which had been a command and a practice of the Essenes ages before. Men knew who were the Essenes by their love for one another. Some of the parables appear in the Talmud, amongst them are those of the Wise and Unwise Builders and that of the Marriage Feast. Various sayings are collected from the Talmud, such as the golden rule,
"Do unto others as ye would they should do unto you." "Love thy neighbour as thyself." "With the measure we mete we shall be measured again." "Let thy yea be just and thy nay be likewise just." "Whoso looketh upon the wife of another with a lustful eye is considered as if he had committed adultery." "Be of them that are persecuted, not of them that persecute."
But as Deutsch has said, to assume that the Talmud borrowed these from the New Testament would be like assuming that Sanskrit sprang from Latin.
The nature of the "Sayings" is acknowledged by Irenæus when he says, "
According to no one Saying of the heretics is the word of God made flesh."
That is the Sayings which were current among the Gnostics as Knowers. Marcion knew and quoted the Gnostic saying which was afterwards amplified and quoted in John's Gospel --
"No one knew the father save the son, nor the son save the father, and he to whom he will reveal him."
This is a Gnostic saying, and it involves the Gnostic doctrine which cannot be understood independently of the Gnosis. It is quoted as one of the sayings before it was reproduced in the Gospel according to John.
Such sayings were the Oral teachings in all the mysteries ages before they were written down. Some of them are so ancient as to be the common property of several nations. Prescott gives a few Mexican sayings; one of these, also found in the Talmud and the New Testament, is called the
"the old proverb." "As the old proverb says -- ' Whoso regards a woman with curiosity commits adultery with his eyes.'"
And the third commandment according to Buddha is --
"Commit no adultery, the law is broken by even looking at the wife of another man with lust in the mind."
Amongst other sayings assigned to Buddha we find the one respecting the wheat and the tares.
Another is the parable of the sower. Buddha likewise told of the hidden treasure which may be laid up by a man and kept securely where a thief cannot break in and steal; the treasure that a man may carry away with him when he goes. The story of the rich young man who was commanded to sell all he had and give to the poor is told of Buddha. It is reported that he also said --
"You may remove from their base the snowy mountains, you may exhaust the waters of the ocean, the firmament may fall to earth, but my words in the end will be accomplished."
Some of Buddha's sayings are uttered in the same character as that of the canonical Christ. For example, when speaking of his departure Buddha, like the Christ, promises to send the Paraclete, even the spirit of truth, who shall bear witness of him and lead his followers to the truth. The Gnostic Horus says the same things in the same character, and these sayings, by whomsoever uttered, carry the mythical character with them. The sayings of Krishna as well as those of the Buddha are frequently identical with those of the Christ. I am the letter A, cries the one. I am the Alpha and Omega (or the A.O.), exclaims the other. I am the beginning, the middle, and the end, says Krishna --
"I am the Light, I am the Life, I am the Sacrifice."
Speaking of his disciples, he affirms that they dwell in him and he dwells in them.
The attitude of the Sayer as the personal revealer, the veritable and visible image of the hidden God in the Gospels, is that of the mythical Horus, the representative of Osiris--of Iu as manifestor of Atum, and of Khunsu as the son of Amen-Ra, who was the hidden God by name. The status had been attained, and the stand was occupied by the mythical divinity, and no room was left for a human Claimant many centuries later. If we take the transfiguration on the Mount, Buddha ascended the mountain in Ceylon called Pandava or Yellow-White. There the heaven opened, and a great light was in full flood around him, and the glory of his person shone forth with
"double power." He "shone as the brightness of Sun and Moon."
This was the transfiguration of Buddha, identical with that of the Christ, and both are the same as that of Osiris in his ascent of the Mount of the Moon. The same scene of the temptation on the Mount was previously pourtrayed in the Persian account of the Devil tempting Zarathustra, and inviting him to curse the Good Belief.
But these several forms of the one character do not meet, and did not originate in any human history -- lived either in Egypt, India, Persia, or Judea. They only meet in the Mythos, which may be traced to a common origin in Egypt, where we can delve down to the real root of the matter. Astronomical mythology claims, and Egypt can account for, at least 30,000 years of time; and that alone will explain these relationships and likenesses found on the surface by an original identity at root. The myths of Christianity and Buddhism had a common origin, and branched from the same root in the soil of Egypt, whence emanated several dogmas, like that of the Immaculate virgin motherhood, and the divine child who is the ancestral soul self-reproduced. And in company with the doctrines we naturally find a few of the sayings of the Buddha, which have often been paralleled with some of those assigned to the Christ.
The Logia or sayings are the mythoi in Greek. They were mythical sayings assigned to Sayers, who were also mythical in that mythology which preceded and accounts for our Theology and Christology. The sayings were the oral wisdom, and, as the name implies, that wisdom was uttered by word of mouth alone. They existed before writing, and were not allowed to be written afterwards. The mode of communicating them in the Mysteries, as in Masonry, was from mouth to ear; and, in passing, it may be remarked that the war of the Papacy against Masonry is because it is a survival of the pre-Christian Mysteries, and a living, however imperfect, witness against Historic Christianity! Mythos or myth denotes anything delivered by word of mouth, myth and mouth being identical at root.
Now, as the mouth of utterance preceded the word that was uttered, it follows that the first form of the sayer or Logos was female, and that the feminine wisdom was first, although she has not yet been made flesh. The mother was primordial, and the earliest soul or spirit was attributed to her; she was the mouth, utterer, or sayer, long before the sayings were assigned to the male Logos or Christ. Thus in the Apocrypha, as in other Gnostic books, the sayings of Wisdom are found which have been made counterfeit in the mouth of the Christ made historic. She was the primal type of Wisdom, who built her house with the Seven Pillars, and who was set in the heavens as Kefa, later Sefekh, and latest Sophia. She is called the Living Word or Logos at Ombos, because as her constellation, the Great Bear, turned round annually, it told the time of the year. She is pourtrayed in the planisphere with her tongue hanging out to show that she is the mouthpiece of time who utters the Word. Wisdom was also the earliest teller of human time. In her mystical phase she told the time for the sexes to come together.
Thus, on the ground of natural phenomena, the Logia were first uttered by the Lady, and not by the Lord. This is the woman who has been so badly abused by those who desired to dethrone her; the primitive protestants who set up the male image in her place and on her pedestal. In Egypt the Sayings were assigned to various divinities, that is mythical characters. One of these was the Solar God Iu-em-hept, the Egyptian Jesus, who was the son of Atum, and who is called "the Eternal Word" in the "Book of the Dead." After these sayings had been recorded it is said of them in a text at least 5000 years old,
"I have heard the words of Iu-em-hept and Har-ta-tef as it is said in their sayings!"
The Osirian form of the "the Lord" who utters the Logia in the Egyptian Ritual is Horus, he whose name signifies the Lord.
I cannot prove that sets of the sayings of the Lord, as Horus, were continued intact up to the time of Papias. Nor is that necessary. For, according to the nature of the hidden wisdom they remained oral and were not intended to be written down. They were not collected to be published as historic until the mysteries had come to an end or, on one line of their descent, were merged in Christianity. But a few most significant ones may be found in the Book of the Dead. In one particular passage the speaker says he has given food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, and a boat to the shipwrecked; and, as the Osirified has done these things, the Judges say to him,
"Come, come in peace," and he is welcomed to the festival which is called "Come thou to me."
Those who have done these things on earth are held to have done them to Horus, the Lord; and they are invited to come to him as the blessed ones of his father Osiris. In this passage we have not only the sayings reproduced by Matthew, but also the drama and the scenes of the Last Judgment represented in the Great Hall of Justice, where a person is separated from his sins, and those who have sided with Sut against Horus are transformed into goats. Here it is noticeable that Matthew only of the four Evangelists represents this drama of the Egyptian Ritual! Among the sayings of Jesus, or Logia of the Lord, is the saying that
"the very hairs of your head are numbered;"
and in the Ritual every hair is weighed; also the night of the judgment-day is designated that of "weighing a hair." Various chapters of the Ritual are the "sayings." They are preceded by the formula,
"said by the deceased," or "said to the deceased."
Horus, the Lord, is the divine Sayer. "Says Horus" is a common statement; and the souls repeat his sayings. He is the Lord by name, and therefore his are the original sayings, or Logia of the Lord. These sayings, or Logia of the Lord, were written by Hermes or Taht, the Scribe of the Gods, and they constituted the original Hermean or inspired Scriptures, which the Book of the Dead declares were written in Hieroglyphics by the finger of Hermes himself. This Recorder of the sayings is said to have power to grant the Makheru to the Solar God -- that is, the gift of speaking the Truth by means of the Word, because he is the Registrar of the "sayings"--the scribe of the wisdom uttered orally, the means, therefore, by which the Word was made Truth to men; not flesh in human form. This is the part assigned to Matthew, the called one, the Evangelist and Scribe, who first wrote down the Logia, or sayings of the Lord. Now, the special name or title of Hermes in the particular character of the Recorder and Registrar in the Hall of the Double Truth, or Justice, is Matthew in Egyptian--that is, Matiu.
And my claim is not only that the primary Logia of the Lord were the sayings of Horus, whose name means "the lord," but also that the Matthew who, according to the testimony of Papias, first wrote down the Logia of the Lord, was none other than Matiu, or Hermes, the recorder of the sayings in the Egyptian Ritual, who has been made an historic personage in the Canonical Gospel in exact accordance with the humanising of the Mythical Christ.
One mode of manipulating the sayings, and making out a history is apparent, and can be followed. This was by looking it out in the alleged Hebrew prophecies, and inserting it piecemeal between the groups of sayings. There is proof that, with the sayings as primary data, the history of the Canonical Gospel, according to Matthew, was written on the principle of fulfiling the supposed prophecies found in the Old Testament, or elsewhere. The compiler was too uninstructed to know that the prophecies themselves belonged entirely to the Astronomical Allegory, and never did or could relate to forthcoming events that were to be fulfilled in human history; and never were supposed to do so, except by the ignorant, who knew no better, and who, in fact, thought the zodiacal Virgin had brought forth her child on earth; which could only be born, and that figuratively, in heaven.
Those who did know better, whether Jews, Samaritans, Essenes, or Gnostics, entirely repudiated the historic interpretation, and did not become Christians. They could no more join the ignorant, fanatical Salvation Army in the first century than we can in the nineteenth. The so-called prophecies not only supply a raison d'être for the history in the gospels, the events and circumstances themselves are manufactured one after another from the prophecies and sayings--that is, from the mythos which was pre-extant, in the course of the literalisation into a human life, and the localisation in Judea, under the pretext, or in the blind belief, that the impossible had come to pass.
Justin Martyr's great appeal for historical proofs is made to the Old Testament prophecies; and so is Matthew's. According to him, Jesus was born at Bethlehem in order that it might be fulfilled which was said by Micah that a Governor and Shepherd for Israel should come out of Bethlehem in Judea. That was in the Celestial Bethlehem or House of Bread-Corn, the zodiacal sign of the Fishes, where the mythical Messiah was to be reborn about the year 255 B.C.
Again, the young child was only taken to Nazareth that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, that he should be called a Nazarene. And yet he would no more become a Nazarene in that way than a man could become a horse by being born in a stable. Jesus came to dwell in Capernaum, on the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali, that a saying of Isaiah's might be fulfilled!
He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all that were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet. For the same impotent reason he charged his followers not to make him known to men as the Christ! He taught the multitude in parables only that it might be fulfilled which had been spoken by the prophet. Although Jesus wrought his miracles, and did so many wonderful works, yet the people believed not on him, because Isaiah had previously said:
"Lord! who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?"
For this cause (or on this account) they could not believe! And where, then, was the sense in expecting them to believe? Jesus only sent the two disciples to steal the ass and colt, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet Zechariah. The choosing of Judas as one of the disciples, and his consequent treachery, do but occur in the Gospels, because it had been written by the Psalmist:
"Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me!"
which refers to an identifiably Egyptian Mythos. In another Psalm assigned to David, the speaker cries:
"My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me! They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture."
And in another he exclaims:
"They gave me also gall for meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink."
And these sayings, which were pre-extant and pre-applied, constitute the Christian record of the historic crucifixion! It cannot be pretended that they are prophecies. The transactions and sayings in the Psalms are personal to the speaker there and then, whether Mythical or Historical, and not to any future sufferer; and the tremendous transactions pourtrayed in the Gospels are actually based upon a repetition of that which had already occurred! When Jesus is represented by John as being in his death-agony, he only said, "I thirst," in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled -- and not because he was thirsty!--the Scripture being these Sayings previously attributed to the psalmist David. The earlier sayings are repeated as the later doings, and the non-historical is finally the sole evidence for the Historical. When the Roman soldiers had crucified Jesus they took the vesture that was without a seam, and said:
"Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it," that the Scripture might be fulfilled which saith: "They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots."
Such was the familiarity of the Roman soldiers with the Jewish Scriptures, and such their respect for them, that they could do nothing that was not laid down in the Hebrew Writings to be interpreted as prophecy! And in such a desperate way the prophecies had to be fulfilled in order that the History might be written. In the first place the sayings are not original, not personal to any historical Jesus, and yet they are the acknowledged foundations of the four gospels. Therefore in them we have the foundations laid independently of any supposed Founder of Christianity. Next, we have more or less seen how a part of the history superimposed on the sayings first collected by Matthew was extracted piecemeal from the parables, oracles, alleged prophecies, and un-alleged Mythos of the Old Testament; and thus we get upon the track of the compilers, and can trace their method of working from the matter of the Mythos. Now, when we find, and can identify, the skeleton of some particular person, we have got the foundation of the man, no matter where the rest of him may be -- recoverable or not. So is it with the Christ of our Canonical Gospels.
The mythical Christ is the skeleton, and that is identifiably Egyptian. This mythical Christ, as Horus, was continued in the more mystical phase as the Horus of the Gnostics. The Gnostic Rituals repeat the matter, names, symbols, and doctrines found in some later chapters of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The Gnostics supply the missing links between the oral sayings and the written Word; between the Egyptian and the Canonical Gospels; between the Matthew who wrote down the sayings of the Lord in Hebrew or Aramaic, and the Matiu who is said to have written the Ritual in hieroglyphics with the very finger of Hermes himself. The Gnostics were the knowers by name; their artists perpetuated the Egyptian types; and the original myths, symbols, and doctrines now recovered from the buried land of Egypt vouch for their knowledge of the mysteries which lurk in the sayings, parables, events, and characters that have been gathered up in our Gospels, to be naturalised and re-issued in an historic narrative as the fulfilment of prophecy. They inherited the Gnosis of Egypt, which remained unwritten, and therefore was unknown to the Christians in general; the mysteries that were performed in secret, and the science kept concealed.
The Gnostics complained, and truly maintained, that their mysteries had been made mundane in the Christian Gospels; that celestial persons and celestial scenes, which could only belong to the pleroma--could only be explained by the secret wisdom or gnosis--had been transferred to earth and translated into a human history; that their Christ, who could not be made flesh, had been converted into an historical character; that their Anthropos was turned into the Son of Man -- according to Matthew -- Monogenes into the Only-begotten, according to John, their Hemorrhoidal Sophia into the woman who suffered from the issue of blood, the mother of the seven inferior powers into Mary Magdalene possessed by her seven devils, and the twelve Æons into the twelve Apostles. Thus, the Gnostics enable us to double the proof which can be derived directly and independently from Egypt. They claim that the miracle of the man who was born blind, and whose sight was restored by Jesus, was their mystery of the Æon, who was produced by the Only-begotten as the sightless creature of a soulless Creator.
Irenæus, in reporting this, makes great fun of the Word that was born blind! He did not know that this Gnostic mystery was a survival of the Egyptian myth of the two Horuses, one of whom was the blind Horus, who exclaims in his blindness --
"I come to search for mine eyes,"
and has his sight restored at the coming of the Second Horus--the light of the world. Nor did he dream that the two-fold Horus would explain why the blind man in our Gospels should be single in one version and two-fold in another account of the same miracle. The Gnostic Horus came to seek and to save the poor lost mother, Sophia, who had wandered out of the pleroma, and the Gnostics identified this myth with the statement assigned to Jesus when he said he had only come after that lost sheep which was gone astray. For, as Irenæus says, they explain the wandering sheep to mean their mother. This shows how the character of the Christ was limited to the mould of the Mythos and the likeness of Horus. But the lost sheep of the House of Israel has not yet found Jesus.
The very same transactions and teachings ascribed to Jesus in the Gospels are assigned to the Gnostic Christ, who, like the Egyptian Horus, is the Sayer in heaven, or within the pleroma, and not upon our earth. And, in the Gospel according to John, we have Jesus identifying himself as the Son of Man which is in heaven, whilst at the same time he is represented as talking and teaching the Gnosis of the mysteries on earth. He tells Nicodemus, who came to him by night, that
"No man hath ascended into heaven but he that descended out of heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven,"
as was Anthropos when he taught the twelve according to the Gnostic account of the transactions within the pleroma. Also, the twelve Æons are addressed in the language of the Gnosis when Jesus says to the twelve --
"Ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning."
They tell us, says Irenæus, that the knowledge communicated by the Christ to the Æons within the pleroma has not been openly divulged, because all are not capable of receiving it; but it was mystically made known, by means of parables, to those who were qualified for receiving it. The Gnostic Christ reveals the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven to the twelve Æons in parables. And in the Gospel the Christ speaks to the twelve in parables only, and to them alone is it given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. In this process of converting the mythical into the historical we are told that Jesus, the very Son of God, was sent into the world to teach and enlighten and save mankind, and yet he spoke his teaching in parables which the people could not, and were not intended to, understand.
"All these things spake Jesus in parables to the multitude; and without a parable spake he nothing unto them," in order that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things hidden from the foundation of the world!"
He spoke to the multitudes in this wise, so that they might not understand. Yet in the chapter following it is said --
"He called to him the multitude (not the disciples) and said unto them, Hear and understand,"
and immediately uttered a dark saying. We are also told that the common people heard him gladly! In another instance, as crucial as it is interesting -- illustrative of the way in which the mythical, the Kronian Christ, was made human as the instructor of man -- it is said as Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives the disciples came to him privately, and asked him to tell them about his coming in the clouds at the end of the world. And amongst other things they are to do, he says, -- Let them that are in Judea flee unto the mountains. Let him that is on the house-tops not go down. But what sense is there in advising any such mode of escape from the great tribulation and catastrophe which involved the end of the world? There would not be much advantage on the house-top or even the hill-top if the stars were falling from heaven, with the firmament raining all round with flames, and the end of all things had indeed come. We might just as well seek refuge at the top of a fire-escape. And they are to pray that their flight may not be in winter, or on the Sabbath, as if it could possibly matter to any mortal in what season of the year, or day of the week, such a catastrophe should occur.
The final explanation of all such foolishness is that the matter is mythical, and, of course, it refuses to be realised in any such literal way. The parable never meant the end of this world; the literalisers of the mythos thought it did. That was only a false inference of ignorant belief. But such are the foundations of the faith. Such desperate dilemmas as these are the inevitable result of representing the Mythical Sayer in heaven as an historical teacher on earth.
The two chief abiding places to which the peripatetic Christ retires are called "the Mountain" and "the Desert." These localities in the Egyptian mythos are the upper and lower heavens, otherwise the mount of the equinox and the wilderness of the underworld; and where John cries in the wilderness, Aan or Anup howled in the desert. Now, according to Egyptian thought and mode of expression the dead are those who are on the mountain; the living are those who are in the valley or on the earth. Horus on earth, or in the valley, is mortal, the child of the immaculate mother Isis alone. Horus on the mountain is spiritualised as the son of the Father Osiris, in whose power he overcomes the devil. Sut or Satan has the best of it down in the wilderness, and Horus conquers up on the mount, in the day of their Great Battle.
Jesus undergoes the same change as Horus does in his baptism. He likewise becomes the son of the Father, and in the strength of his adultship he ascends the mountain and becomes the vanquisher of Satan. This typical mountain is a pivot on which a good deal may be said to turn. The contest between Jesus and Satan, called the temptation on the Mount, is pourtrayed upon the monuments in a scene where Horus and Sut contend for supremacy, and at last agree to divide the whole world between them. Horus takes the south, and Sut the north, called the hinder part, where Jesus says, --
"Get thee behind me, Satan!"
The devil's long tail is an extant sign of this hinder part, which was typified in Egypt by the tail. If the Christ had been historical in this transaction, the devil must be historical too. Both stand on the same footing of fact or fable. According to the record, Satan must have been as real as the Christ, or Christ as mythical as the devil. Was Satan also incarnated for life in the flesh? If so, when did he die? where was the place of his burial? and did he also rise again? Nobody seems to care what became of the poor devil after he was told to get behind, or take a back seat, that of the hinder part. The scene in the Mount of Transfiguration is obviously derived from the ascent of Osiris (or Horus), and his transfiguration in the Mount of the Moon. The sixth day was celebrated as that of the change and transfiguration of the solar god in the lunar orb, which he re-entered as the regenerator of its light. With this we may compare the statement made by Matthew that
"After six days Jesus" went "up into a high mountain apart, and he was transfigured." "And his face did shine as the sun" (of course!), "and his garments became white as the light."
The natural phenomena on which these Egyptian legends or myths were founded are the contentions of light and darkness at the time of the equinox, or in the waxing and waning of the light in the lunar orb.
"He must increase, but I must decrease,"
says John, who plays the part of Sut-Aan to Jesus as the Light of the World. This was the battle between Horus and Satan. In one legend it is said that Sut was seven days fleeing on the back of an ass from his battle with Horus. That means the seven days of the second quarter of the moon, during which Horus triumphs as Lord of the growing light. And here we can point to a curious survival! The Unicorn was a type of Sut, and the Lion of Horus; and their conflict is described in our legend --
"The Lion and the Unicorn
Were fighting for a farthing,
The Lion beat the Unicorn
Up and down the garden!
The Lion and the Unicorn
Were fighting for a crown,
The Lion beat the Unicorn
Up and down the town!"
The farthing is a fourth; and they
fought for a fourthing, or a quarter of the moon; equal to the seven days during
which darkness was put to flight; and the crown is the full, round disk of the
moon. Thus, as the Egyptian imagery proves, the arms of England illustrate the
same subject-matter as the contest of Horus and Sut, of Angro-Mainyus and Zarathustra,
and of the Christ and Satan. And now, if you will have the patience, I will
show a scene in which the Christ of the Gospels is restored to his proper place
and station in the heavens, as the Teacher on the Mount, and as such can be
identified. Jesus goes up into the mythical mountain when he appoints the twelve
disciples, that they might be with him, and have authority to cast out devils
(Mark iii. 14).
In Matthew's compilation Jesus calls the twelve, and gives them authority to cast out devils. It is here that he says
"the harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few."
Luke describes the same scene in the same words, and the same commission is granted, the same powers are given to the disciples! But now the seventy have taken the place of the twelve.
"And the Seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us in thy name!" The "Seventy in the Mount"
are an ancient pre-Christian institution. They were once the "Seventy Elders" who received their instructions from Moses in the Mount. But in many ancient authorities these Seventy with Christ are Seventy-two. The two different numbers are identifiably astronomical, and they go to double my proof. Previous to the heaven of twelve divisions, and seventy-two sub-divisions, or duo-decans of the zodiac, there was a heaven of ten divisions and seventy sub-divisions; and we find the same mixture of the seventy with the seventy-two, and of the ten with the twelve, in the Astronomical Book of Enoch.
Here, in the Canonical Version, we have the twelve, and the complementary seventy-two, but no ten to account for the seventy! This missing factor we shall find in the Divine Pymander, or fragments of Hermes. There we meet with the ten in the mount, and the ten are the expellers of devils or torments, just as the twelve and the seventy are in the gospels. All these parts belong to one system of mythological representation, and wherever they are separately found can be identified, as certainly as the scattered pieces of a puzzle by those who know the subject-matter of the total picture. As before said, the scene on the mount of transfiguration reproduces the ascent of Buddha into Mount Pandava or Yellow-White, and of Osiris into the Moon! Now, this Mount of the Moon was a seat of the eight great gods of Egypt. And in the Divine Pymander it is called the Octonary of Tat, who is Lord in Smen, the region of the eight, at the north celestial pole. Lower down it was the mount of the four quarters, or of the Moon, and of the four with Horus in the Mount; and, still lower down, it becomes the heaven of the twelve signs, the zodiacal circle; and here the fragments of Hermes, or the Divine Pymander, have brought on matter of very special importance.
One of the chapters is entitled "The Secret Sermon on the Mount of Regeneration." Regeneration is the mystical form of the transfiguration of Osiris in the Mount of the Moon. This Mount, also called the Tabernacle, is said to consist of the Zodiacal circle, the signs of which are the twelve belonging to the Mount--the Zodiac being the lowest of three heavens, or stories to the Mount, Stellar, Lunar, and Solar. Now, let us see how the Mount, together with the Sayer and the Sermon on the Mount, have been reproduced in the Gospels. In the account furnished by Matthew we find but four companions with Christ in the Mount. These are the two pairs of the brethren, who answer to the four brothers of Osiris, who are the gods of the four quarters. But in Luke's Gospel the Mount of the four has become the Mount of the twelve. Accordingly the sermon is here delivered lower down, at the bottom of the Mount! In fact, Jesus, instead of being seated with the four on the Mount, is said to stand with the twelve in the plain below!
This shows the Mount to be astronomical as well as mythical. Further, in the same scene, where the disciples are twelve in number, as lords of the harvest -- according to Matthew's Gospel -- they are seventy or seventy-two according to Luke, the number of duo-decans into which the twelve signs of the Zodiac were finally sub-divided. In the Divine Pymander the title of the "Mount of Regeneration" serves to show the nature of the sermon. It is the "Secret Sermon." "Oh, son," says Hermes,
"this wisdom is to be understood in silence;"
that is, the knowledge or experience of the Regeneration taught by the Secret Sermon on the Mount. Hermes had said that No man can be saved before regeneration; and Tat desires to understand the nature of this regeneration. He says to Hermes,
"I do humbly entreat thee, at the going up to the mountain!"
-- just as the Twelve besought Jesus privately in the Mount. And Hermes shows him how the mortal man while in the flesh can transform into the immortal mind. In the mysteries this was figured as the rising from the dead, and it was so taught by the Gnostics. The process was illustrated by transformation, or entering into the state of trance, whereby (as was held) the mortal was changed into the immortal in this life; and it is evident that in the scene of the transfiguration described by Matthew, the vision of the three witnesses belongs to the trance condition, for they had a vision which they were to tell to no man! In the Canonical Gospels the mythical Mount has been made mundane; the divine speakers have been made human; the mystical teaching has been literalised by the endeavour to make the total transaction historical. After the
"Secret Sermon (or spiritual representation) in the Mount of Regeneration, and the profession of silence,"
Hermes tells Tat to keep silence--these things are neither to be taught nor told: they are to be hid in silence! In the gospels Jesus charges the disciples that they shall tell no man what things they have witnessed, save when the Son of Man shall have risen again from the dead. And the disciples, who are said to have just seen a resurrection from the dead performed before them, are described as questioning among themselves what the rising again from the dead should mean! (Mark ix. 9.) In the Osirian myth the rising from the dead was the re-birth of the Lord of light in the orb of the New Moon. That was the transfiguration of Osiris in the Mount of the Moon, on the sixth day of the month. In the mystical phase the rising from the dead in the Mount of Regeneration, as pourtrayed by Hermes, was a transformation into the spiritual or abnormal state, which demonstrated immortality.
Thus we have the rising from the dead in two phases -- astronomical and spiritual; both Egyptian, both able to explain their own meaning, and both pre-Christian! In the gospels we have the same Mount, the same Mythos, the same matter, the same Numbers, the same characters, rendered historically. You can't help seeing the bones of the Mythos staring through its skin! You are positively present at the transformation of the mythical into the historical. The soli-lunar god and the Gnostic Christ have both contributed obviously to the make-up of the humanised Christ on the
"Mount of Regeneration and the profession of silence!"
No wonder the disciples could not understand what the rising from the dead should mean! In this manner the Mythos can be followed, as it goes on eating its way through the history, like the larvae of the Anobium pertinax, of which it is recorded by Peiquot that one specimen perforated twenty-seven folio volumes in a line so straight that a cord could be passed through the hole, and the twenty-seven volumes slung up altogether.
It is claimed by Christian teachers that the Christ was incarnated as the especial revealer of the father who is in heaven, and that the revelation culminated on the Mount when he taught the fatherhood of God in the Lord's prayer. But the Lord's prayer is no more original than is the Lord to whom it was last assigned. In the Jewish "Kadish" we have the following pre-Christian form of it, which is almost word for word the same:--
"Our father which art in heaven! Be gracious to us, O Lord our God! Hallowed be thy name! And let the remembrance of thee be glorified in heaven above and upon earth below! Let thy kingdom reign over us now and for ever! Thy holy men of old said, 'Remit and forgive unto all men whatsoever they have done against me!' And lead us not into temptation! But deliver us from the evil thing! For thine is the kingdom, and thou shalt reign in glory for ever and for ever."
If such a revelation had ever been historical, if the divine son had once been incarnated to reveal the fatherhood, it could not have remained until the Christian era for this to be done. It did not need any Deity to descend from heaven to reveal that which had been common doctrine in Egypt at least 4,000 years earlier. And this prayer was prayed by the one particular people who rejected the Son of God when he had come down. But the matter is mythical and mystical, -- it can only be understood doctrinally by means of the Gnosis. The initial point of the teaching is this,--there could be no fatherhood in heaven until the human fatherhood was individualized on earth. Previously there was only the divine mother and the fathers in general. Hence the first Messiah was called the Son of the Woman, as he is in the book of Enoch; the later is the Son of Man--the Gnostic Anthropos, and the only-begotten of the Father, the Gnostic Monogenes. This is he who was the last of the Æons, and who came at the end of the world. He instructed the Æons who had preceded him, and
"taught them that those who had a comprehension of the unbegotten were sufficient for themselves, or needed no higher knowledge than that proclaimed by him."
He first announced among them what related to the knowledge of the father, but that was within the Pleroma, not on the earth. This was the great and abstruse mystery of the Gnostics, says Irenæus, that the Proarche, the Power which is above all others and contains all, is termed Anthropos; hence the manifester is styled the "Son of Man." This title of the Christ occurs nearly eighty times over in the Gospel according to Matthew, where he is identical with the Gnostic Anthropos --Son of Anthropos. That is, the Son of the God who was now imaged in the likeness of the individualized Father, which was the latest institution in heaven, because it had been last on earth. Here, it may be observed in passing, is a fact that is forever fatal to the theory that the Christology of the Gospels was derived from Buddhism. There is no divine fatherhood proclaimed by the Son in Buddhism. But the teaching was Egyptian.
The most important sayings assigned to Jesus by the writer of John's Gospel are not recorded or referred to by the Synoptics--Matthew, Mark, and Luke. These contain the secret wisdom of the Gnostics; they are the Logia of the Gnostic Christ, who was Horus, the Lord, in Egypt. They are spoken by the Son of Man, who is in heaven (John iii. 13), and who taught the twelve Æons there with the same doctrinal sayings that are here assigned to the Teacher of the twelve on earth, or on the Mount. Moreover, in John's gospel we meet with the Seven Fishers on board the boat. These correspond to the seven who are followers of Horus in the Egyptian Ritual, and who are said to fish for Horus. They go a-fishing with Horus in his boat; and they are also called the
"Seven planks in the boat of souls."
The miraculous draught of fishes occurs in both. Now, it is noticeable that this miraculous take of fishes is described by Luke as occurring during the life-time of Jesus, but according to the Johanine gospel, the transaction takes place in a region beyond the tomb, or at least, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, --and therefore in the very region where the Gnostics declared these things had occurred. Which, think ye, was first, --the assuredly mythical, or the alleged historical?
The gospel according to John is the link of connection between the true Gnosis and the false history of the other gospels. It shows the very ground on which the mythos alighted to be made mundane, and that is why it was kept secret, and withheld until the middle of the second century or so, by which time the doctrine of the Christ made flesh was considered safe, and sure to supersede the teachings of the Gnostics with the gospel of historic Christianity.
An identifiable personal founder and historical teacher of Christianity is the least of all the various factors! The Church of Rome did not derive its secret dogmas and doctrines from the canonical gospels in which his teachings are believed to be enshrined. Various Egyptian doctrines, not to be found in our canonical gospels, survived in the Church of Rome; these were taught esoterically according to an unwritten tradition, and only allowed to become exoteric as time and opportunity permitted. Take for example the worship of the "Sacred Heart." That is no recent invention of Rome or the Ritualists.
The doctrine is Egyptian, and of the remotest antiquity. The heart, on account of its relation to the blood, was held to be the house of life, and also the mother of life. The heart was the shrine of the soul. Its Egyptian name of Hat, and Hor, the soul, or divine child, compose the name of Hathor, the mother of Horus, the Christ. And as the heart or habitation is the mother of life, it was adopted as a type of the birth-place. And so in the Ritual the soul, speaking as Horus, says,
"My heart is (or was) my mother,"
in a chapter (30) which contains the doctrine of the "Sacred Heart." For this reason the heart-shaped fruit of the Persea tree of life was an emblem of Hathor and her child. The stone of it was shown through a cleft in the fruit to denote the seed of the woman.
Now, as previously said, one name of Hathor is Meri. Horus was the Child-Christ of the Sacred Heart of Meri, who was the goddess of love in Egypt, as well as the abode or dwelling of life, before she became the Madonna Mary in Rome. This is not only the source of the Sacred Heart as a Christian doctrine, it is also the origin of Cupid, the child-god of love, and the typical heart still sacred to lovers on Valentine's day.
Possibly the nearest we can get to Jesus ben Pandira as a teacher, if he makes any appearance whatever in the Gospels, is in the gloomy ascetic, the anti-naturalist, who mistook the non-natural for the divine; who would have had men to save their protoplasmal souls by becoming eunuchs for the Kingdom of heaven's sake! and whose model for heaven itself was a monastery, as when he says,
"In my father's house are many monai,"
or monasterion, -- with no women there to cause a second fall from heaven! He might possibly have been the self-tormenting teacher of a creed of monkery, only that institution was already established, and no place was left for him to be the founder even there.
It is just possible that Joshua ben Pandira may have brought out of Egypt a version of the Sayings of the original Matiu or Matthew, together with a form of the Horus-myth. If so, these would be manipulated by his followers, one of whom, James, is said, in the book Abadazurah, to have been a follower of Jehoshua the Nazarene, and so by degrees the historic Joshua would be confused with, and finally converted into, Jesus the Christ of Nazareth, and the mystical Sayer into the Word made flesh: the Jesus of that "other Gospel" which was opposed by Paul. The sayings themselves, selected in a last assortment, have not even the consistency of a kaleidoscope. They will not fall into any set form of themselves, or reflect any mental unity anywhere. And so each sect or system of interpretation has to take them and construct its own kaleidoscope, and determine its own views, doing all it can to impose them upon others. Texts may be quoted on all sides for purposes the most antagonistic. Diversity radiates outwardly from them because there was no unity of origin, no individual life at the heart of them all.
When our missionaries first made the sayings known to the Arawaks of Guiana, they remarked,
"The word is good but we knew most of it before."
Most of the true sayings were known before! As we have them they are so various -- good, bad, and indifferent -- as to constitute that hybrid mixture which is certain to entail sterility. Some of the sayings are no more appropriate to our human wants than was the old lady's tract on the sin of dancing, which she offered to a poor fellow who had to hobble about on two wooden legs and crutches! "
If thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out!"
Of what value is such advice as that? Also, it is impossible for us to love our enemies, if it were right to do so; and, as has been said, it would be wrong to do it if it were possible.
"Blessed are they who have not seen yet have believed."
Why, tyranny could devise no doctrine that could be turned to more fatal account! "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for their's is the kingdom of heaven." Do you call the teaching of that saying divine? I think it would be false and fraudulent if uttered by a voice from the Infinite with all heaven for its mouthpiece! The poor in spirit are the accursed, the outcasts, and pariahs of the earth; those who sink into the squalor and crawl in the filthy dens of poverty, to become the natural victims of all its parasites of prey. The poor in spirit are the prematurely old men, weary, worn-out women, and wizened children, all bleaching into a ghastly white in the chilling shadow of daily want!
The poor in spirit are those who crouch and offer their backs to the whip, who remain bowed just as they were bent, and allow their hands to be fettered and held fast in the attitude of prayer, when they ought to be up and striking. They who are content to crawl like caterpillars, and be trodden as caterpillars underfoot. Poverty of spirit is the very devil; the source of half the evil extant; most of the meannesses in human nature may be traced to poverty of spirit! It dwarfs the mental stature of men, makes them bow the neck, and creep and grovel for a little gain, or go down on all fours in the dirt, as beasts in human form, from lack of spirit enough to stand erect!
The poor in spirit dare not think for themselves, or utter what they think! They only wonder what other folk will think! They who are only mere preliminary people that go monkeying round under the pretence of being women and men! In this world of struggle, this scene of survival for the fittest, the poor in spirit stand no chance, and find no place; there is no victory for those who fight no battle. And as to heaven--do you really think heaven is a harbour of refuge for the poor in spirit and the area-sneaks of earth? The poor and needy, the hungry and suffering, are not the blessed, and no assumption of divine authority on the part of the sayer will ever make them so. These beatitudes are not divine revelations, they are only the false promises of the priests, who were the crafty founders of the faith, made comfortable to Roman rule.
One very striking note of the want of human personality and historic verity in the Christ of the canonical Gospels is the absence of all recognition of Rome. There is no shadow of Rome to be seen on the face of the Christ; no word of rebuke for her inhuman and non-natural crimes; no sign of anything contemporary: except the counselling of submission to Cæsar. The slave would look in vain to the sayings of Jesus for any denunciation of slavery. There is not one word of condemnation for the oppressors, nor of comfort for the oppressed. No vision of the better day on earth for them. Nothing but the mythical Day of the Lord.
Yet the existence of slavery was endorsed by the Roman law, was practised with all its evils, and enforced by all her legions. Jesus, however, makes no attack on the institution; and the fact was quoted and emphatically emphasised by the ministers of the Gospel of Christ against the persecuted Abolitionists of America. Nor is there a single word uttered on behalf of subjugated, downtrodden womankind. Not a saying that will aid in lifting woman to an equality with man--not a rebuke to the bigoted Jew who thanked his God each morning that he was not a woman. Nor is he credited with uttering one word against cruelty to animals; he gives no voice to the dumb creation. No quickening of conscience in these matters can be attributed to him. Neither the mother, the wife, nor the sister, owes any gratitude to his alleged teaching, who exclaimed,
"Woman, what have I to do with thee?"
Neither the slaves, nor the women, nor the children, nor the animals, owe their deliverance from inhuman thraldom to him. He had nothing to say about these pitifully-human interests. And it is a foolish farce to go on attributing the emancipation of humanity to the teachings of Jesus the Great Reformer. As a human history nothing can be made of it. It does not even begin to be--however much you believe. The contradictions are such as make history impossible. Amidst the dissolution of dogmas and the universal wreck of creeds, vain is the endeavour to prop the falling structure with the personality of the Canonical Christ, which evades us and vanishes in proportion as we seek for it in the Gospels.
The common assumption is that the historic element was the kernel of the whole, and that the fable accreted around it. But, if you will try it over again this other way, you will find the mythos which was fundamental will explain all. The mythos being pre-extant, shows that the core of the matter was mythical, and it follows that the alleged history is incremental. And when at last we do get to the bottom of the abyss we learn that the historic grounds have been formed from the sunken débris or dregs of the ancient mythology.
That pyramid of imposture reared by Rome,
All of cement, for an eternal home,
Must crumble back to earth; and every gust
Shall revel in the desert of its dust;
And when the prison of the Immortal, Mind,
Hath fallen to set free the bound and blind,
No more shall life be one long dread of death,
Humanity shall breathe with fuller breath;
Expand in spirit and in stature rise,
To match its birth-place of the earth and skies.
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