THE LOST LIGHT by Alvin Boyd Kuhn - Part 3 of 5
AMBROSIA AND NECTAR
Theological confusion over the ancient use of bread and wine and various foods as types of spiritual nourishment makes necessary a chapter to clarify these matters. All such figures - heavenly manna, bread, wheat, ambrosia, nectar, meat, corn, wine, honey, barley - are forms of typology suggestive of the deific life ordered to mortals for their immortal nutriment. The body of spiritual intellect, Ceres, which was the true "cereal" food for man, was crushed into bits and then welded into cake so that it might be "eaten" by mortals. The body of Christ was the intellectual bread broken to be made edible and assimilable by our lower range of digestive capacity. We could not eat the god in his wholeness, or his rawness. The golden grain of life-giving wheat had to be crushed, ground, lacerated, before it could be rendered fit food for our consumption, in the Eucharistic cake and the sacrificial meal on the altar. Jesus says that we must "eat" his body, and the Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans (Apocryphal) says that the wheat of God must be ground between the teeth of wild animals, our animal bodies, to be made the pure bread of Christ.
The breaking of the bread and the libation of the wine are now clearly seen to be emblematic of the partition of the unified energy of the godís life for distribution to the races of men. The banquets of the gods, the Passover feasts, the funerary meals, the last suppers and the Totemic repasts were all forms of a primary Eucharist. Man was given the transcendent privilege of feeding upon the life of the gods! And it can be freely admitted that nowhere is the necessity of transferring a literal physical meaning over to a spiritual one more definitely apparent than here.
The final definitive meaning of the great Eucharistic rite is bound up in the reconstitution of lost significance in this doctrine. The entire debate as to the matter of transubstantiation, transfusion, the partaking (Page 232) of the material body and blood or their inner essence, finds its resolution in the premises of this interpretation. Strangely enough it is now seen to be possible to give up the physical meaning of the sacrament and yet take it as a thing of literal reality. Man is literally to eat his Lordís body; only it is not a physical body. The eating is literal and real enough, but neither it nor the body eaten is physical. Stout human good sense has revolted at a rite of swallowing a physical body, but theology has failed to picture how we can partake of a spiritual essence or body of divinity. The absorption and transmutation of currents of deific life in our own nature is as possible as our digestion of food. The physical rite was only a symbol and, its higher meaning once apprehended, its efficacy is secured. The eating of bread and drinking of wine outwardly dramatize the inner reality, a transubstantiation which can be literally, though not physically, true.
Says St. Paul:
shun idolatry, then, my beloved [doubtless the material sense of he symbols.]
I am speaking to sensible people: weigh my words for yourselves.
The cup of blessing which we bless, is that not participating in the blood of Christ?
The bread we break,is that not participating in the body of Christ?
(for many as we are, we are one Bread, one Body, since we all partake of the one Bread)."
[ I Corinthians 10:14 ff.]
But the nauseous ecclesiastical wrangling over whether the bread and wine were the body and blood of a historical Jesus, or merely symbols of them, points to the frightful desecration of the wholly spiritual and figurative nature of the drama. The inner sense of this mighty typology passed out of ken with the submergence of Greek wisdom under canonical literalism. The body of Christ, emblemed by bread, wheat, ambrosia, meat, flesh or other forms of solid food, can mean nothing but the substantial essence of divine nature; the blood, wine, nectar, ichor, honey and liquid forms of nourishment can mean only that same divinity when liquefied to be poured out in streams of nourishment for man. The cutting of meat is to render it macerable; the grinding of grain is to render it edible; the crushing of the grape for wine is to liquefy it for drinking. In every case there is the (Page 233) destruction of the bodily integrity of the food, and a fragmentation for better assimilation. The ritualism of Christianity thus still dramatizes the principles of Greek spiritual philosophy, which it persists in denying as part of a true religious system. If we were to eat the body of Christos and drink his blood, the first had to be macerated and the second liquefied.
Briefly, solid food typified divine essence on its own high plane, the more ethereal states being the more substantial! Liquid forms emblemed the same divine nature poured out in streams, "rivers of vivification," for the feeding of "secondary natures." Also in its descent Godhood became admixed with the "watery" elements of the life down here and were further liquefied thereby. Solid food was the emblem of stability; liquid food the sign of that mobile essence which was to run out in blessing.
The several symbols must be looked at more minutely, for they cover deep suggestions of vital meaning. We take first that of bread. There is in all literature no more direct and compelling statement of the spiritual significance of bread than the verses of Johnís Gospel (6:47 ff). Says Jesus:
"I am the bread of life. Your fathers did eat Manna in the wilderness and have died; such is the bread that comes down from heaven, that a man shall eat of it and shall not die.
"And in truth the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.
"Verily, verily I say unto you, Unless you eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of Man, you have not life in you. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
"For my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood abideth in me and I in him."
[ It is impossible to pass these verses by without a remark upon what is commented upon them by Sweitzer, one of the most popular European writers of the day on religious themes, in a recent work. He follows his quotation of Johnís verses with the statement that it is not the purpose of Johnís discourse to be understood; that its aim is solely to direct attention to the miracle which is to happen in connection with the bread in the future; and that it does not matter, therefore, that it should offend the multitude.
One is indeed permitted to ask: What is the poverty of modern spiritual discernment when it is frankly stated by a leading religious publicist that Johnís immortal verses are not meant to be understood? But, after all, is it to be wondered at that there should be complete befogging of vision when all but a few Docetic wings of Christian thought have been bent on taking the eating of the flesh and the drinking of the blood of the Son of Man in a physical sense? There has not seemed to be present the matured capacity to assimilate the entirely spiritual purport of the transaction.]
The bread is, then, the radiant divine principle of light and life. The blood is the pledge of the same life poured out for manís behoof. But Jesus was not the only divine personage who offered his body and blood for the nourishment of mortals. Says Massey:
"Horus was not only the bread of life derived from heaven and the producer of bread in the character of Amsu, the husbandman; he also gave his flesh for food and his blood for drink." [ Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 900.] (Page 234)
Horus says (Rit., Ch. 53A): "I am the possessor of bread in Annu. I have bread in heaven with Ra." Again the deceased says: "I am the lord of cakes in Annu; and my bread is in heaven with Ra, and my cakes are on the earth with the god Seb." The distinction here between bread in heaven and cakes on earth is perhaps of vast significance, matching, as it does, many assertions that the soul is in heaven and the body on earth. The cake form of the divine pastry must have been regarded as a state of soul more highly advanced or refined by organic evolution. Many texts carry out the two types. The soul continues: "I eat of what they [the gods] eat there; and I eat of the cakes which are in the hall of the lord of sepulchral offerings"--or bread with the gods in heaven and cakes with the "dead" on earth. And in the Rubric to the 71st chapter of the Ritual this meaning is confirmed: "Sepulchral bread shall be given to him and he shall come forth into the presence of Ra day by day, and every day, regularly and continually." Sepulchral bread, like the funerary meals, undoubtedly refers to the "bread of Seb," or food of earth, earth and body being the sepulcher of the soul.
Wheat is much employed as a symbol. The law of divine incubation in matter is expressly intimated in Budgeís account of the Resurrection in Egypt:
"The grain which is put into the ground is the dead Osiris, and the grain which has germinated is the Osiris who has once again renewed his life." [ Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, II, p. 32.]
The resurrection of Osiris is closely interwoven with the germination of wheat. Jesus announces: "My father giveth you the true bread out of heaven and giveth life unto the world." And as Jesus was the divine bread out of heaven, the consubstantial essence with the Father, so Horus: "He is Horus, he is the flesh and blood of his father Osiris." Horus in his Christological character says: "I am a soul and my soul is divine. I am he who produceth food. I am the food that perisheth not - in my name of self-originating force, together with Nu"--the Mother Heaven. (Rit., Ch. 85).
The body of Christ could not be mystically eaten in its wholeness and unreduced power. It had to be crushed and bruised, broken and mutilated, so that from its deep gashes would flow out the living streams. If taken literally and materially, the wounded side is not only (Page 235) gruesome, but carries only a feeble suggestion of its grand meaning. And herein lies the spiritual meaning of all blood sacrifice and "shed blood." There is no truth found in it until for "blood" (of the gods) we read "divine intellect." Had early theology made it clear, in a word, that the "shed blood" of God connoted spiritual force, which we must embody in our lives, there would have been a vastly less amount of actual "bloodshed" in European history! The god shed his life essence for us out of his earth-bruised body of deific mind.
On this divine wheat, it is said, Osiris and his followers lived. It was a form of Osiris himself, as the god who brought it from heaven, and those who are it and lived upon it nourished themselves upon their god. As he came to feed them, he is declared to have "provided them with food and drink as he passed through the Tuat." How the partaking of the divine body would affect man is set forth by Budge:
"Eating and drinking with the spirits raised manís nature and Ďmade his spirit divine,í and destroyed the feeling of separation which came with the appearance of death . . . And it must always be remembered that the altar was the place to possess the power of transmuting the offerings which were laid upon it and of turning them into spiritual entities of such a nature that they became suitable food for the god Osiris and his spirits." [ Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, I, p. 264.]
But we are those spirits, the living men or Manes in this underworld. The recovered Logia, or "sayings of the Lord," give a most direct allusion to the dismemberment doctrine of the Eucharist in the line: "the flesh of the Son of God, broken for all souls."
By a slight shifting of the symbol, the ceremony performed in the rites of many lands, of eating the serpent and drinking the dragonís blood, was a replica of the Eucharistic festival. For the serpent was universally a type of supernal wisdom--"wise as serpents"--or the intellectual nature of the gods.
Horus, we find, was the Kamite prototype of Bacchus, Lord of Wine. Like Bacchus and Jesus, Horus is the vine, whose season was celebrated at the Uaka festival, with prodigious rejoicing and a deluge of drink. The divine mania, declared by Plato to be better than laborious reason, was the heady transport resulting from the imbibing of the spiritual liquor of life. The Bacchic feast of intoxication was, however sensual in later performance, a token of the legitimate and blessed ecstasy of the soul upon partaking of the heavenly wine. (Page 236) The vine and the mixing bowl were constellated as celestial symbols, the latter as the cluster called the Crater (Latin: bowl) or the Goblet, the sacramental cup or grail. The juice of the grape was the blood of Horus or Osiris, in the Egyptian Eucharist.
The Manes in one of the chapters in the Ritual prays that he may have possession of all things whatsoever that were offered ritualistically for him in the nether world, the "table of offerings which was heaped" for him on earth, "the solicitations that were uttered" for him, "that he may feed upon the bread of Seb," or food of earth experience. "Let me have possession of my funeral meals." A fact that should loom large in any valuation of Eucharistic meaning is that the flat surface of the coffin lid of the mummified Osiris constituted the table of the Egyptian Last Supper. It was the board whereon were served the mortuary meals. This unmistakable connection of the Eucharist with the burial, which is only the passing of the god into the mummy or incarnate form, speaks volubly as to the hidden relation of the two symbolic operations. For the god, about to be buried in body, was to be eaten by the mortal nature.
Ancient tribes indulged in the rite of a symbolic feeding upon the body of their god. At times when spiritual symbology had passed into the literalism of ignorance and barbarity, a living victim was cut to pieces and actually eaten by the celebrants. In very early periods of the matriarchate, when the mother was the only known giver and fount of life, a living mother was dedicated to the office of hostia or victim, and her body cut up and eaten as a token of the distribution of her fecund life. "The primordial Eucharist was eating the Motherís flesh and drinking her blood! [ Massey: Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 64.] A converted phase of this custom exhibits the idea of the "disrobing" combined with the Eucharistic rite:
"A young girl called (significantly) the Meriah, was stripped stark naked and bound with cords to a maypole crowned with flowers, and ultimately put to death . . . torn to pieces and partly eaten." [ Reclus: Primitive Folk, pp. 311-315. ]
Human sacrifices were later commuted to animal offerings. And when crude natural instincts were softened by humane ideals, bread and wine were substituted. Thus one can see how an original spiritual conception, passing from hand to hand in the lapse of time and changing mores, reverts at one time to a brutal literalism amongst untamed (Page 237) peoples and again rises to symbolism in more cultured races. Through all stages, however, can be seen the lineaments of the germinal high spiritual idea back of each rite.
One of the Egyptian texts reads: "Shesmu cuts them in pieces and cooks them in his fiery cauldrons." Another line runs: "O, Osiris-Pepi, the Sma-Bull is brought to thee cut in pieces."
Expressing a phallic significance to the ritual, it is of interest to note that in very remote tribal celebrations of the Eucharist the female participants invited the fecundating offices of the males. The two sisters, or wife and sister, of Horus plead with the still recumbent god to arise and come and embrace them. There are two women in the Biblical resurrection scene. And when Isis and Nephthys invite the young lord to come to them, Isis says: "Thou comest to us from thy retreat to . . . distribute the bread of thy being, that the gods may live and men also." This is of transcendent importance as pointing to the verification of the basic thesis of our study, that the dip into incarnation is an avenue of evolutionary advance for both the god and the animal-human in their linked lives. It is striking that in this context both Jesus and Horus are themselves raised up from death, and both raise up in turn those below. Two far separate streams of evolution are confluent in man, and both are going onward as the result of their cooperative life in one body. The Manes pleads:
"May I go in and come out without repulse at the pylons of the lords of the underworld; may there be given unto me loaves of bread in the house of coolness, and offerings of food in Annu (Heliopolis) and a homestead forever in Sekhet-Aarru (paradise), with wheat and barley therefor." [ Budge: Introduction to the Book of the Dead, p. xcix.]
And the Rubric to this chapter recites that if the chapter be known by the Manes he shall come forth in Sekhet-Aarru, "and he shall eat of that wheat and barley and his limbs shall be nourished therewith, and his body shall be like unto the bodies of the gods." Here is perfect matching of Egyptian script with Paulís statement that Christ shall "change our vile body into the likeness of his glorious body."
Holy Thursday was especially consecrated by the Roman Church to a commemoration of the Last Supper, and the institution of the Eucharistic meal was fixed, at which the corpus of the Christ, already dead, was laid out to be eaten sacramentally. In the Gospels the Last (Page 238) Supper, with Jesus present, is eaten before the crucifixion has occurred. There is obviously confusion of ancient ritualistic practice here, yet strangely enough no grave violence is done to the inner significance either way, since the Christ was "dead" in the one sense, and alive in the other. The whole of incarnation is the "crucifixion, death and burial" of the Lord.
After the raising of Osiris Taht says: "I have celebrated the festival of Eveís provender," or the meal which came to be called the Last Supper. The raising of Lazarus is likewise commemorated by a supper. "So they made him a supper there" (John 12:2).
In the Greek Mystery play the candidate for initiation underwent the taurobolium or bullís - blood bath. He stood under a grating and received upon his naked body the dripping blood of the sacrificial bull, in token that his nature was being suffused with the shed blood of the god emblemed by the astrological sign of Taurus, as in Christian practice it was the blood of the ram or lamb, the zodiacal Aries. The sign of the sun in the spring equinox determined the zodiacal type under which the Christos was figured. Elsewhere animal blood was actually drunk as a more literal partaking of the emblem of divine life.
In the Ritual the evening meal depicted the absorption of the higher nature into and by the lower, and the occasion was called the "Night of Laying Provision on the Altar." Not in a given moment of time, but in the total course of the cycle, each physical body was to be transubstantiated into spirit. The whole round of human incarnations was provided to this end. As the physical was converted into sublimated essence, we have an explanation of the strange disappearance of the physical body in all resurrection scenes. In one of the texts cited by Birch concerning the burial of Osiris at Abydos, it is said that the sepulchral chamber was searched, but the body was not found. "The ĎShadeí it was found." [ Proceedings: Biblical Archaeology, Dec. 2, 1884, p. 45.] In Marcionís account of the resurrection no body is found in the tomb; only the phantom or shade was visible there. So in the Johannine version (Ch. 20:17) the body of Jesus is missing; the "Shade" is present in the tomb. But this was of a texture which forbade it being touched.
The night of the evening meal was called also "the night of hiding him who is supreme of attributes" (Rit., Ch. 18). We have seen that (Page 239) the descent into the tomb of body was considered a hiding, and the period of incarnation was called the night of the soul.
The Eucharistic emblems are many and varied. The deceased in the Ritual prays: "Grant unto me ale, and let me cleanse myself by means of the haunch and by the offerings of cakes." In Chapter 65 cakes of white grain and ale of red grain are mentioned. The juxtaposition of the statements in the following citation is noteworthy, as identifying the emblems with their non-material references: "Thou descendest under protection; are given unto thee breed, wine and cakes . . . thou art endowed with a soul, with power and with will." "he hungers not, for he eats bread-cakes made of fine flour . . . He lives on the daily bread which comes in this season"--of incarnation. "He shall have offered wine and cakes and roasted fowl for the journey . . ." The bird was a universal symbol of the soul, and its descent into the lower fires of earth and hell provided the basis of the allegory of "roasting." In Chapter 106 the Manes says: "Give me bread and beer. Let me be made pure by the sacrificial joint, together with white bread." Horus is both the bread of life and the divine corn (Rit. Ch. 83). In I Corinthians (37:38) Paul has a remarkable imagery of divine food:
"And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain. But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body."
The remarkable passage from the Apocryphal Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans, already quoted should be recalled at this point, as it definitely states that the soul comes to be food to the wild beasts, by whom it will attain its new Godhood. The figure of the soul as wheat, ground between the teeth of the wild animals to be made the pure bread of Christ, is a most pungent typograph,--of the incarnation. And this passage prepares the ground for understanding the relevance of the manger symbolism in the Nativity scene. The Christ, at birth, was laid in a manger, the place where animals eat! He came to be eaten by the lower, animal nature.
In the Ritual the soul entreats: "Give thou bread to this Pepi, give thou beer to him, of the bread of eternity, and of the beer of everlastingness." "This bread which can not go mouldy is brought to Pepi, (Page 240) and this wine which can not go sour." What sublime imagery for states of spiritual immortality, and natures that change not!
A special feature in connection with the Eucharistic bread is seen in several passages from the Ritual, which are of great weight in stabilizing the general position of the purely figurative nature of the symbols. It is found in the chapter "of not eating filth in the underworld.":
"Let food come unto me from the place whither thou wilt bring food, and let me live upon the seven loaves of bread, which shall be brought as food before Horus, and upon bread which is brought before Thoth . . . Let me not eat filth and let me not trip up and fall in the underworld."
Again in the "chapter of not letting a man perform a journey being hungry" we read:
"Let me live upon the seven cakes which shall be brought unto me, four cakes before Horus, and three cakes before Thoth."
Four is the number of the lower physical world of the body, three the number of the soul as the triad of mind, soul, spirit. Horus was the soul in matter, Thoth the cosmic spirit.
Massey writes that a three-days fast was ended by the feeding of the multitude on what the Ritual terms "celestial diet," i.e., the "seven loaves" of heavenly bread that were supplied as sustenance for the risen dead in Annu, "the place of multiplying bread." In this phrase descriptive of Annu (Anu), one of the cities named as both the place of death and resurrection of the sun-god, we find the open sesame to the New Testament "miracle" of Jesus feeding the multitude. But in the Gospel "miracle," instead of the seven loaves we have the five loaves and the two small fishes, the latter being introduced evidently to bring in the Piscean house along with Virgo, the house of bread.
Hebrew symbology closely matches Egyptian. In Exodus (29) one reads that
"With the former lamb you must offer about seven pints of fine flour mixed with nearly three pints of beaten oil, and nearly three pints of wine as a libation . . . This is to be a regular burnt-offering made, age after age, at the entrance of the Trysting-Tent before the Eternal, where I meet you and speak to you."
If it was known that this Trysting-Tent is the human body, where alone God can meet man and speak to him, and that the three pints of (Page 241) oil and wine stand for the three elements of divine consciousness that are to be mixed with the seven elementary powers of nature or physis, the brotherhood of man might not so fearfully have miscarried. The human body is the place where the two lovers, spirit and matter, or body and soul, make their tryst, and that they are to make their libation to the Eternal before the entrance to the tent indicates that the higher and lower partners to the coming marriage compound their elements as they enter into incarnation. One stroke of symbolism tells us more than volumes of theology.
Divine food is called sometimes simply "meat." "Thou hast in great abundance in the Fields of the Gods the meat and drink which the gods live upon therein."
Even butter comes in as a type of representation, and coming from a female source, indicates the material foundation of life. The seven cows of Hathor produce the divine butter. As the formation of primal matter out of the primeval undifferentiated essence was pictured as a kind of curdling, the butter symbolism has a profound cosmical significance.
The Manesí life is fed upon divine food throughout its sojourn in Amenta; Horus and Jesus, Jonah and Ioannes of Babylonia, all came as the zodiacal Pisces, or the Fish, offering themselves as food for man while he is immersed in the sea of generation! The Egyptians saw in the tortoise, which lived half in water and half on land, the sign of Libra, the Balance, and took it as another type of divine nourishment, when the two natures, divine and human, are in equilibration in the body.
When the Manes have sufficiently cultivated the fields of Aarru, Ra says to them: "Your own possessions, gods, and your own domains, elect, are yours. Now eat. Ra . . . appoints you your food." They have labored at cultivation and at last they collect their harvest of corn. Their seeds are warmed into germination by the sunlight of Ra at his appearance. The radiance of the god in human life causes the divine seed buried in us to sprout and grow as the sun fructifies plants in any earthly garden. The elect, enveloped in light, are fed mysteriously with food from heaven. Milk is one of the types used and is called "the white liquor which the glorified ones love," and it was supplied by the seven cows, of course, providers of plenty in the meadows of Aarru. The seven cows, of course, emblem the seven modifications of cosmic (Page 242) energy which create and sustain the worlds of life, the appropriate counterparts of which irradiate manís being and formulate his basic constitution. The uplifted Manes says: "I eat of the food of Sekhet-Hetep and I go onward to the domain of the starry gods." The zodiacal twelve supply food to the gods and the elect in two groups, seven reapers and five collectors of corn (Book of Hades). The spiritualized Manes live on the food of Ra, "and the meats belong to the inhabitants of Amenta," a possible reference to the animal bodies on earth. The divine food is apparently repeated in the quails and manna that were sent from heaven in the Biblical account. The Osiris-Nu asserts: "I am the divine soul of Ra proceeding from the god Nu; that divine soul which is God. I am the creator of the divine food . . . which is not corrupted in my name of Soul." This soul "comes to him and brings him abundance of celestial food, and what the god lives on he also lives on, and he partakes of the food and drink and offerings of the god." At another place we are told that the Manes "maketh his purificatory substances with figs and wine from the vineyard of the god."
As the living rivers flow forth out of the heart of eternal matter, the womb of all life, the godly nutriment is again proffered to man streaming from the breast of the Mother Isis or Hathor. "She giveth him her breast and he suckleth thereat." Paul (I Corinthians 10:1, 2) writes that all those in Christ have eaten "the same supernatural food and all drank the same supernatural drink (drinking from the supernatural Rock which accompanied them - and that Rock was Christ)." Revelation (2:17) enlightens us with the following: "To him that overcometh, to him will I give of the hidden manna." When the deceased is making his way through Amenta, Hathor, the Egyptian Venus, goddess of Love, emerges from the trees and offers him a drink of fruit juice, which she prepared to woo him with. By accepting this gift he is bound to remain the guest of the goddess and return no more to the world of the living, unless by her permission. This fruit is not that which is sent down gratuitously from heaven, but the fruit of the soulís living experience on earth, yet it is the same thing in the end. For it is sent down as seed, and bears its fruit on the ends of the branches of the Tree of Life and Knowledge, of the taste of good and evil here on earth. And this is the same tree which in the last chapter in the Bible is declared to bear twelve fruits upon its branches. (Page 243) These twelve fruits are the completed unfoldment of the twelve original types of Kumeric infant deity that will be brought to their maturity by cultivation on this planet. The bread of Seb becomes metamorphosed eventually into the divine food. Eve and Hathor are identical figures. They offer to virgin spiritual units and to animal man the opportunity to live, grow and create, out of which cycle they will emerge as gods, through knowledge of good and evil. And the temptation is baited with the promise, "yet shall not surely die." The fruit of earthly life is divinization. Says Massey:
"Hathor was the goddess draped in golden vesture, who drew men with the cords of a love that was irresistible."
"Instead of being damned eternally through eating the fruit of the tree, the Manes in Amenta are divinized piecemeal as the result of eating it." (Rit., Ch. 82). [ Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 465.]
Again pause must be made to reflect that had these two items of theology been known in clear light, as here presented, whole centuries of human bigotry and hate might have been painted in brighter colors.
Red as the color of blood, and white, the color of milk, emblem the two natures of man, his bodily birth through the motherís blood, and his later nourishment through her milk. Red is connected closely with the first Adam, whose name means in one interpretation, Red Earth, that is, physical matter mixed with red blood. In this character he would be the answer to the Bibleís query, "Who is this that comes from Edom, with his garments crimson in Bozrah?" Edom was this man Adam, red earth, mortal clay mixed with the life essence of divinity typed by the blood, in which the Old Testament affirms several times the life of the soul is to be found. And he who comes out of Edom may be taken as the Christ, the Son of Man. For the first Adam is to give birth to the second Adam. Blood here types the divine part of man, as contrasted with earth or with water. Jesus emblems the two births as those of "water and the blood." But when the blood is used to typify the lower natural man then it is contrasted with the white essence, the motherís milk, a higher nutriment than her blood, or with the fatherís seminal essence. White universally types that which is spiritually highest, up to the shining white raiment of the redeemed. Perfection being the synthesis of all lower or divided natures in original unity, white represents that perfection, as it is the synthesis of the (Page 244) colors. Ra says to the god: "Light the earth up bright! My benefits are for you who are in the light." The food he promised them is itself of the nature of intellectual light. "The immortal liquor is the Solar Light." [Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 3. ] No utterance surpasses this for sublime import. A Chaldean Oracle asserts that "the Intelligible is food to that which understands." And the solar light is intelligence, shining abroad.
Looking now at wine, many phases of meaning not commonly considered are brought to view. The grape and the vine share in the symbolism. There is first the significant detail, brought out by Massey, that the Egyptian Garden of Aarru, or Allu (the Islamic Garden of Allah!) has in the Ritual the same essence as the substance of that celestial life itself in the Paradise above. The wine offered by the gods for manís uplift is their celestial nature.
Horus came as the lord of wine and is said to be "full of wine" at the Uaka festival. The old "festival of intoxication" is the prototype of all later communal rites that celebrate the outpouring of lofty deity. The form of this festival has become universally popular, but as usual its interior meaning has been lost. The Christian Agape and Eucharist are moderate demonstrations of the same old effort to commemorate the perpetual gift of divine afflatus to mankind. Horus achieved the subtitle of "the Jocund" when he rose up "full of wine," and was astrologically typed as Orion, with the constellation of the Crater or bowl for his cup. The fable said that this cup held seven thousand gallons of intoxicating drink and that Horus brought the grapes to make the wine. "Thou didst put grapes in the water that cometh forth from Edfu." The seven thousand had no explicit numerical significance beyond the number seven itself, the thousands only adding the idea of multiple division and diffusion. Horus came to distribute to the thousands of mortals the divine essence in its sevenfold expression in the full gamut of its nature. Who shall prove that the Jesus of the canonical Gospels, who gained notoriety as a wine-bibber and came eating and drinking, is not a frayed copy of this Kamite original? For Greece in her Bacchus repeated the same type. Christ came to intoxicate man with the divine wine.
In the Assyrian account of the Deluge those who came out of the ark poured out a libation of seven jugs of wine. And they built an (Page 245) altar on the peak of the mountain, or set up contact between man and god at the summit of manís spiritual being. Likewise after the Deluge Noah planted the vine and became intoxicated. This vine may be seen in the decans of Virgo, where the star Vindemeatrix denotes the time of the vintage in Egypt, a symbol of the infusion of the higher nature into the lower.
The Christ treading the grapes in the winepress is all very like the portrait of Har-Tema (Horus), the mighty avenger of his despoiled father, and he came at the end and the re-beginning of the cycle of incarnation, which is called the year of redemption. Careful research discloses that Edom is another name for Esau, the Red; he had asked to be fed with pottage, translated in one text "red." Edom, not identical with Eden, seems to refer to earth as the "red land." In all its Biblical usages Edom refers to the lower kingdom of human nature, not the celestial sphere in any case. Edom was heavily punished by the Eternal, David put garrisons in it and reduced its people to servants, and they later revolted. It refused passage to the Israelites, as the lower nature refused entry to the godly part. In Obadiah (I:6) we read: "But what a ransacking of Edom! What a rifling of her treasures!" Edmonites were Esauís descendants. The avenging godís anger (dramatization merely, of course) is apparently vented upon the lower propensities of human nature, which are the foes of his incarnating enterprise, the obstructors of his path and mutilators of his father Osiris. The figure of treading the winevat is a noble one and definitely points to the earth as the great winepress wherein the essence of the mortal nature is crushed and trampled by deity into a liquor to reinforce the godís dying life. That the god trod the winepress alone is evidence of the loneliness of his mission. Jesusí loneliness is accentuated in the Gospel drama. That the god comes from the underworld stained with the blood of his foes is an allegorical way of saying that he had not kept himself entirely "unspotted from the world" in his wrestling with the flesh. Greek philosophy asserts that his garments were badly stained by terrene contacts.
Plutarch tells us that the Egyptian priests conceived vines to have sprung from the blood of those fallen deities mixed with the earth. A Babylonian legend sets forth that the blood of the god Belus was mixed with the earth in the same way. Man is compounded of the mud (Page 246) of earth for his body, and the blood of the gods for his animating soul. He is Adam, red earth.
Hathor, the great mother of the living in Egyptian mythology, pours out the heavenly drink made from the fruit of the sycamore-fig tree, a most prominent ancient form of the tree of life. Hathor was the Shekhem, or shrine of the child, figured as the bearing tree, the genetrix, the womb, birdcage and significantly the tomb, not that of final death, but of buried life about to germinate. The word Shekhem, hidden shrine, is from sekh, "liquid," "drink." Teka means "to supply with drink." The fig, like the pomegranate, is an emblem of the womb. The Persea fruit is the fruit of the sycamore-fig tree. Sycamore is from sykos (sukos), the Greek for the fig-tree, from the fruit of which a powerful beverage was made. The root means latent power unfolded, as by fermentation; to fill with aeriform spirit force, as by the bubbles of air in fermentation. It becomes possible now to sense the meaning of Jesusí pronouncement (Luke 17:6):
"If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed ye would say unto this sycamore tree [Moffatt: Ďmulberryí], Be thou rooted up and be thou planted in the sea; and it would have obeyed you."
As Revelation and the Book of the Dead both describe the entry of divine fire into the "sea," causing a fermentation in it to spiritualize or divinize it, the sycamoreís removal into the sea to lodge inspiriting power in it at last comes to clear significance. To have faith as a grain of mustard seed, so tiny, is for the soul, buried in the deep soil of the mortal self, to have an instinctive assurance that, like the life in any seed, it will rise out of death to live again.
Who can fail to trace the Genesis story in the following legend preserved among the Hottentots? The deity, Heitsi Eibib, tells his son Urisip, the whitish one, not to eat of the raisin trees in the valley. Heitsi Eibib in his travels came to a valley (the earth) in which the raisin trees were ripe. There he was attacked by a severe illness. Then his young second wife (Eve is often called Adamís second wife, Lilith being the first) said: "This brave one is taken ill on account of these raisins; death is here at the place." The old man told his son: "I shall not live, I feel it." And he spoke further: "This is the thing which I order you not to do: Of the raisin trees of this valley ye shall not eat, for if ye eat of them I shall infect you; and ye shall surely die in a (Page 247) similar way." So he died. When they moved to another place, they heard always from the side whence they had come a noise as of people eating raisins and singing. The song ran:
"I, father of Urisip,
Father of this unclean one;
I, who had to eat these raisins and died,
And, dying, live."
The raisin tree gave dysentery, and this natural detail was used to prefigure the sickness, swooning, distress and intoxication that came over the gods upon their plunge into this life, or their eating of the fruit of the tree whose juice made them drunk with a mixture of spiritous and sensuous ingredients. This is, in short, to type the effect of incarnation upon the god as a bewildering, befuddling, stupefying drunkenness, as from a semi-poison injected into his blood; and such indeed the Platonists have ever described it.
"Heaven is pregnant with wine" is an Egyptian fragment.
In the Book of Judges (Ch. 6) Gideon, the son of Joash, is found beating out some wheat inside the winepress to save it from Midian, when the angel of the Lord comes down to entrust him with the commission to redeem Israel. What appears here like a mixed metaphor is perhaps only a close mingling of several customary symbols. Beating out the chaff was a kindred figure with that of stamping out the wine.
Greek philosophy, rising sphinxlike out of the Orphic Mysteries, proclaims a hidden meaning of the grapes in the winepress. Thomas Taylor says that the pressing of grapes is as evident a symbol of the dispersion of divine energy into humanity as could well be devised. [ Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, p. 142.]The grape was for this reason consecrated to Bacchus, who personalized empyreal intelligence flowing out in divided streams. Previous to its pressing it aptly represented that which is collected into one; when pressed into juice it aptly represented the diffusion of the same. Hence wine-pressing symbols the crushing and division of unity to flow into multiplicity and spiritize divided creatural life. What is most singular is that Taylor likens this process to another oft-used typology, that of fleece, stating that the Greek word for "wool," lenos, is practically identical with that for a "winepress," lenŰs. The tearing and carding of wool matches the liquidation of the grape for purposes of typism. Should it be deemed (Page 248) strange, then, that Gideon, found threshing wheat in the winepress, should immediately ask the Eternal to authenticate his commission to him by the test of the dew on the fleece? It need hardly be pointed out what strength these symbols of wine and fleece, along with flour, bring to the theory of dismemberment. And there is also the obvious suggestion of the fruitful rendering of the symbolism of the mythological Golden Fleece (Aries of the zodiac), as typing the Christ avatar who came under that sign. Fleece, says Taylor, is the symbol of laceration or distribution of intellect, or Dionysus, into matter; and he adds that Isidorus traces lana (Latin: "wool") from laniando, "tearing," as vellus (Latin: "fleece") from vellendo, also "tearing." "Delano," "to tear asunder," he uses "in relation to Bacchic discerption." So succinctly and integrally is the history of ideas preserved in the amber of words.
"The typical tree of life in an Egyptian-Greek planisphere is the grapevine. This is the tree still represented by the female vine-dresser and the male grape-gatherer in the decans of Virgo [W. H. Higgins, Arabic Names of the Stars]. Orion rose up when the grapes were ripe to represent the deliverer who was coming Ďfull of wine.í" [Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 729. ]
The birthplace of the grapes was figured in or near the sign of Virgo, the mother of the child who was to rise up out of death to bring salvation to lower man under the symbol of the vine. He was also typed as the rising Nile, bringing a new birth to the parched land of Egypt. And the grape ripened with the rising inundation! In ways that astonish us with the fidelity of the parallelism, both natural and astronomical phenomena reflect manís inner history.
The vine and sycamore tree were two types of producing life in the Kamite Paradise. In the Papyrus of Nu the Manes prays that he may sit under his own vine and also beneath the refreshing foliage of the sycamore-fig tree of Hathor. The Garden of Aarru is the garden of the grape, and the god Osiris is sometimes seated in a Naos, under the vine, from which branches of grapes are hanging. Moreover Osiris was charactered as the vine and his son Horus the unbu or Branch. Need we pause to point out the identity of this with the Biblical sentence (I Kings 4:25): "And Judah and Israel dwelt safely, every man under his vine and under his fig-tree"? (Page 249)
Jesus was the true vine of the Logos and we are his branches, destined to bear the fruit. Horus bore the same representative character in Egypt. The American Indians have traditions of tribes climbing to safety across the Mississippi, or up out of the interior of mother earth to the land of light, by means of trees with overhanging branches and grapevines. (Schoolcraft: VI, 14). Jack climbing the bean stalk to overcome the ogre is a variant of the aboriginal type-legend.
The Eucharist easily lends itself to characterization as a festival of intoxication if it is viewed in the light of the following lines from the Ritual: "Are not all hearts drunk through love of thee, O Un-Nefer (Osiris), triumphant?" The entire body of mystic testimony from St. Augustine to St. Francis of Assizi and on through to the modern revivalist, is to the effect of the spiritual intoxication of the supreme love frenzy or mania, as Plato terms it. It needs no descanting to enhance it further. There is every warrant for the ancient imagery. Only it must be seen as working at both ends of the gamut. The meaning covered by intoxication, a swooning and giddy stupefaction after his entry into mortal body; while mortal man undergoes a more positive intoxication, an exaltation and marvelous giddy expansion of his faculties when he becomes filled with the power of divine intellect and begins to feel its influence expanding the whole range and vividness of his consciousness. The one is to be thought of as a scattering of wits, the other as an overpowering afflatus. Yet incarnation is the open door to both god and animal for the advance into higher life, and their opposite elements finally so merge in the new expansion that the intoxication is the same for both in the end. The god, drunk with animal sensual enjoyment, and the animal mind, intoxicated with undreamed-of delirium, reel onward together in the dance of life, and who shall sharply distinguish where intoxication ends and ecstasy begins? All this is germane to the understanding of the symbolism and the irrefragible factuality behind it.
The Delaware Indians put into effect an outward demonstration of the intoxicating imagery when in one of their festivals an old man threw handfuls of tobacco on heated stones in a tent, and the sitters, narcotized by the fumes, were carried in a swoon. The ceremony typed the inhalation of spirit, producing a delirious rapture. Vapor has ever been a mode of representing spirit, and the smoke (Page 250) of the Indianís pipe was suggestive of allaying the fierce nature of rude forest children to mildness and peace.
The Egyptian typology placed a Lake of Sa in the northern heavens. Sa was the name of a sort of ichor that circulated in the veins of the gods and perfected mortals. This they could communicate to men on earth and give them health, vigor and new life. This datum will be of significance when we come to study the Egyptian spirit body, the Sahu.
Honey, as symbol, shared place with the Greek nectar served at the tables of the Olympian gods. Its plain suggestion is of the sweetness of the divine life as sustenance for starving mortals, and as bestowing immortality. Some of its relevance of course can be traced to its origin from the bee. There is a tradition that bees alone of all animals descended from Paradise. Virgil (Georgics IV) celebrates the never-dying bee that ascends alive into heaven. The faithful diligent insect is thus an image of the immortal soul, or the god. Egyptian typology makes the Abait, or bird-fly, the guide of the souls of the dead on their way to the fields of Aarru, the land of celestial honey. The "beeline" directness of travel betokens the unerring sense of the soul, lost afar in Amentaís fields, to go straight home. This Aarru is, of course, "Jerusalem the Golden, with milk and honey blest" of the Christian hymn. The "ba" name of the astral or ethereal body of man in Egypt may be related to "bee." For ba is also a word for "honey." Honey was used in embalming. It is suggestively entwined with the imagery of the "meads of amaranth." The soul is as the bee gathering sweet honey of immortality from the flowers of life experience on earth. Also the bee reproduces the new life in plants by acting as the intermediator between male and female flower elements; and the divine soul likewise links male spirit and female body and marries them in man.
The myth represents the sun, eternal type of divine generative source, as "letting water fall from his eyes; it is changed into working bees; they work in the flowers of each kind, and honey and wax are produced instead of water." Shu and Tefnut give honey to the living members. Divine emanations, falling as tear drops, diffuse their power of blessing over the earth, like Shakespeareís "gentle rain from heaven."
The Samson story in Judges bears on the meaning of honey. (Page 251) "Out of the strong came forth honey." The honey was found by the solar god (Samson means "solar") in the decaying carcass of the lion upon his return. The return types evolution, as the outward journey, involution. The god, as the lion, is "slain" on the outward arc or descent, overcome by matter. But in evolution, the bees (the soul) have built their nest of sweet honey in the very midst of the old decay, in the very body of corruption. In the Persian myth we see the lion depicted with a bee in his mouth.
There are, however, intimations of involved astrological reference in the linking together of the bee and the lion. Massey thinks that the bee typifies the sweet refreshing waters of the inundation in Egypt, which came to its fullest outpouring in the month of July, the sign of the lion. His elaboration of the point is lengthy and the reader is referred to his Lecture on Luniolatry. The lion, or lioness, he claims, types the fiery solar heat (Cf. the lioness in heat) and the bee the cooling influence of the waters. For the hero, Samson, fairly immersed in symbols of the number thirty, obviously is a soli-lunar character, and the full moon in the lion sign rose in conjunction with the sign of Aquarius, the Waterman. The moon brought the cool waters that conquered the solar heat. The application of the typism may hint at the godís bringing the force of cool intellectual judgment to allay the fierce heat of sensual passion of the lower self. The types of divinity in the summer season are the reverse of those appropriate to the winter. Salvation comes to man in the heat of summer in the form of shade, coolness and water. Earth and water type the lower self and the evil side under winterís symbolism. But they spell salvation under reversed conditions. The duality and reversibility of the symbols must be constantly borne in mind.
The most meaningful aspect of the wine symbolism is perhaps that of fermentation. This arises from the development in the liquid of a potent energy at first latent. Hidden and buried, silent and inert, the dynamic fiery spirit rises to activity and exerts an influence that yields to mortals a semblance of divine inspiration and glorious liberty. As a symbol it is far-reaching and vivid. The "spirit" in wine and the spirit in man are not inaptly related even as a pun. The Greeks indulged in such puns, as in the Cratylus of Plato, and yet have covered the most majestic significations under these light touches. The "spirit" in wine is a graphic figure of the other spirit. Wine is water that has (Page 252) in it the fire of spirit, and in American pioneer days it was often called "firewater." Fire universally typed spirit. Grape juice is just water of earth that has had injected in it a power engendered by the sun, again the type of spirit, as it passed through the length of the vine to be deposited in the berry at the end. The sun, like the Christ it symboled in his "miracle" at Cana, turns water into wine in any vineyard!
The Egyptian goddess who represented the "spirit" of alcoholic fermentation was Sekhet, and her pictures show her carrying the sun-disk on the head of a lioness. Her name is also, says Massey, the name for the Bee. As a goddess Sekhet is the fiery energy of Mother Nature, which engenders the ferment out of which comes the soul, the bee. For she is also the goddess of sweetness or pleasure, literally "goddess of the honeymoon." She is designated the "force or energy of the gods, astonisher of mankind." (Birch, Gallery, p. 17.) She was the inspirer of the male, his Sakti, or creative force. The Egyptian sakh means "to inflame," "to inspire," and Sekhet is the double force personified as female. This sakh brings us close again to the syc- of the sycamore fig, whose juice bred spirit intoxication, and the Greek psyche hovers close in the background of this etymology. The soul is, or causes, the divine ferment in the body of life, developed there, as in the vine, by the sun of manís spiritual self. Drink and divinity are thus found under one name, as were fleece and grape, seven and peace, star and soul.
Isis, whose original variant names were Hes, Hesit, Sesit, Sesh, etc., also carries this element of Sekhetís function. Sesh means primarily "breath," which is the inspirer (Latin: spiro, I breathe) in the sense of imparting the gift of higher life of spirit to a creature "dead" in matter. Man was not finished until God had breathed into him divine breath. Ses, Sesh is "breath," "flame," "combustion"; also "the spirit of wine." From it Massey traces the "svas" from which we have the Swastika, the sign of vivifying fire,--"tika" meaning "cross."
Another root yields meaning along the same line. Kep means "to light," "kindle," "heat," "cause a ferment." And from it Massey derives the Greek fire-forger of the gods, Vulcan or Hephaestus, who is Kep and the Greek root of the Latin aestas, summer heat. He forges for the gods whatever needs to be shaped by fire. Vapor produced from water by heat was the primitive illustration for breath which gave a creature its soul. It was a natural marvel, this emergence of a principle of fiery (Page 253) energy in vapor form, so likely a type of soul engendered in man out of the mixture of his lower earth and water elements.
Horus and Jesus, both turning water into wine, represented this transforming power of the god, maturing the inert elements of sense and feeling into spiritual character. Horus put grapes into the water, and "the water of Teta is as wine even as that of Ra." The Jewish Feast of the Tent or Tabernacle was a ceremony embodying the turning of water into wine.
There are many instances of rivers and seas being turned into blood, Revelation reports that at the sound of the angelís trumpet a mountain, around which lightning played (symbol of the divine emanations, Joveís thunderbolts), went down into the sea and changed its waters into blood. As the first forms of life were generated in sea water, their initial body plasms were just that water. In eras of evolution this primitive life fluid was gradually transmuted, by the operation upon it of even higher voltages of life force, into that which eventually in man became human blood! Sea water has been turned into blood in manís constitution! Blood is the fluid containing the living dynamic, and the Bible states that the soul dwells in the blood. Now, astonishingly, chemical analysis reveals that sea water and human blood are identical in elementary composition. It has remained for science and ancient symbolism to combine in this latter day to tell us the hidden meaning of one of the greatest spiritual allegories that theology failed to interpret for eighteen centuries.
Blood is the last of the Eucharistic signs to be dealt with. Few Christians can tell capably why it was that the human race had to be redeemed by the blood of an innocent victim poured out for its guilt. There is so glaring an inference of vicariousness here that common sense has halted long before giving credence to this dogma. It seems to contravene all natural justice and leaves an unstudied laity incredulous and unconvinced. There could be found no ground of fitness in the necessity that made a being of a higher rank, a god, come down and suffer gratuitously for sins of ours. With its linkage to evolution and anthropology cut totally away from it, there was no way to connect the doctrine with elucidative reference. Even Massey revolts in horror from the Biblical verse, in the words of the Son: "My father! This day shalt thou refresh thyself in blood." The picture of a blood-lustful deity terrifies us. But such revulsion is gratuitous. (Page 254) The primal implications hold nothing to cause us horror. The Son is only reminding the Father that the descent of his germinal essence into the blood of this human body would give him his next cycle of rebirth and renewal. "Day" is one of the glyphs for cycle, aeon, round of incarnation, as in Genesis with its seven "days" of creation. The god finds fresh experience and new conquest in each life; he renews himself like the phoenix or the eagle, when bathed in new blood-bodies in incarnation. In our cycle he does this in the blood of man. But what might well cause Massey and the whole world abhorrence is that blood as symbol should have been taken for blood as substance, and that a whole millennium and a half of alleged civilized history has been deluded with the picture of a human personage buying unearned redemption for a race by the gruesome act of pouring out the blood of his physical body on a wooden cross! Rational reaction from religion is largely, if not overwhelmingly, justified. To a degree distressing to contemplate religion has befogged the mind of the world by converting the forms of ancient tropism into a sense repugnant even to the intelligence of children.
The entire theological theme of blood sacrifice, so literalized in the Old Testament rites, reduces itself to the one simple meaning of divine life poured out to circulate vitally through the mental and spiritual veins of man on earth. Mortal man underwent a transfusion of deific "blood." Divine energies of consciousness course and thrill through our life. This higher infusion regenerates us, makes us new. The lamb slain on the altar was but the ceremonial token of this meaning. The bull-bath of Mithraic rites was the washing away of sin in the blood of the Tauric emanation of deity. On the other side, however, the consuming of the animal on the altar by fire that flashed down from heaven was the token of the transfiguration of the animal nature in man into immortal purity by the aeonial "burning" of the godly fire in life after life. Man was nourished in the substance of animal life, as the candle flame feeds upon the animal tallow below it, converting it from gross substance into divine flame. That a race of people could for centuries believe that God demanded the killing and burning of actual animals on actual altars for his sensuous delight of sniffing the odors of roasting flesh - a sweat savor unto his nostrils - well nigh destroys faith in human intelligence. The imputation of gory sensualism to (Page 255) supreme deity, the unconscionable assumption that he would delight in the slaughter of billions of his own creatures, and that he would discharge manís sins by accepting the suffering of a lower order of his creatures as yet incapable of sin, form a list of theological aberrations that have gone far to throw the general mind into nearly barbarian besottedness.
The cleansing power of the blood was in part at least borrowed from the fact of the menstrual process. The ancient allegorists did not hesitate to employ the generative functions in the way of cosmic analogues. It is outwardly easy to fasten the charge of phallicism on the symbolic religion of the past. But manís creative processes are typical of all creative process, and the sages did not scruple to use the known functionism to depict the unknown cosmic procedures. There is no taint of ill in this until sordid sensuality invades the realm of pure depiction. Each incarnation in earthly bodies subjected the soul to a sort of menstrual purification, working, so to say, a lot of bad blood out of the system of god-man. It linked him with a body of flesh which came "under the law" of periodicity and purgation. Books on primeval religious customs tell of men dressing as women and laboring to manifest the menstrualia, in token of the entry of the god into his feminine phase, becoming a child of Mother Nature. In Egypt Tefnut (the Greek Daphne) was a name formed from the root tefn, tebn, "to shed, drip, drop." The same root means also to "rise up, spread, illumine," as the dawn. The dawn of womanhood came with the cleansing by blood.
However theology might like to disown the connection, this background looms as essential for our interpretation of the Gospel "bloody sweat" of the savior in the Garden of Gethsemane. The menstrual purification of the god in Egypt was in Smen! Legends of Tem, Atum and Ra portray them as shedding drops of their blood, under male symbolism, to fall on the earth and create mankind, or man and woman, Shu and Tefnut, Hu and Sa. The relation of Smen to the essence of the male blood is obvious. The gods poured out their vital life to fecundate matter, their mother and sister, to give creation a new birth. This general typism is all that could ever have been hinted at under the figure of the bloody sweat. The emission of life-fluid is accompanied by sweating. The male and female aspects of the meaning enter side by side. Smen, says Massey, was the place appointed for the (Page 256) purging, purifying and cleansing of souls. It is the place of pain and torment, the birthplace of the new moon, symbol of the infant birth of solar light in humanity. Hesmen is the Egyptian name for the rhythmic purgation. It is the voice of matter, the woman, saying in the Ritual: "I am the woman, the orb in the darkness; I have brought my orb to darkness where it is changed to light." The bloody sweat of the god in Smen is described as "the flux emanating from Osiris," when Osiris is the god in his feminine or material expression. It is the divine "shedding of blood," without which humanity would have no cosmic opportunity to escape the eternal weight of karmic "sin."
Where the outpouring of deific power was not as yet linked with Mother Natureís body, was not yet implemented by its proper Shakti, or force in matter, the god was figured as "masturbating." Kheper-Ra was the Egyptian deity fulfilling this function. His type was the beetle or scarabaeus, which, according to Egyptian belief, created its young by itself alone, without the female. There was hidden in this symbolism the truth that would have settled the famous "filioque" dispute that split the early Church into Greek and Roman Catholicism.
Chapter 17 of the Ritual runs:
"O ye gods who are in the presence of Osiris, grant me your arms, for I am the god who shall come into being among you. Who then are these? They are the drops of blood which came forth from the phallus of Ra when he went forth to perform mutilation upon himself. They sprang into being as the gods Hu and Sa." [In another legend Shu and Tefnut.]
The Ritual states that "the sun mutilates himself, and from the streams of blood all things come into existence." Here is so-called phallicism, yet with sublimity.
Matching the Assyrian and Egyptian jugs of wine and pitchers of mixed drink, the Hebrews (Leviticus 4) were ordered to sprinkle some blood seven times before the Eternal in front of the curtain of the inner sanctuary. This was for a sweet savor and soothing fragrance to deity. In their sacrifices they were instructed never to consume the blood of any animal: "The soul of any creature lies in its blood . . . blood expiates by reason of the soul in it."
Esau was called "red" because he sucked his motherís blood before his birth. He is said to have sold his birthright for a mess of "red." Tradition shows him to have been a divinity imaged by the solar (Page 257) hawk, which symbolized blood "because they say that this bird does not drink water but blood, by which the soul is nourished" (Hor-Apollo, Bk. I, 6). The soul lives on natural forces, its Motherís blood, before it is born into Christhood in man.
One of the marvels in Exodus that were to persuade the reluctant Egyptians to let the Israelites go was the turning into blood some water that Moses poured on the ground. The pouring it on the ground would point to the necessity of making the transformation on earth. A Mexican legend sets forth the vivification of the dead remains of former races by the blood of the gods.
As the sun of spirit descending into the darkness of matter, in the evening or autumn, the god was suggestively depicted as the woman, suffering, becoming ill, wasting her substance unproductively. The god linked with Mother Nature was as a woman not yet impregnated by spirit. It required the passage of "virtue" from the Christ to stop her wastage.
A further aspect of the red-and-white symbolism comes to view here. If the red types the motherís blood giving generation, the white types the seminal life of spirit. The union of the white of divinity with the red of nature produces the new birth. Nor did the sages overlook the meaningful fact that it is the white creative essence of the fatherís blood that releases the stream of the motherís white nourishment for the new child. So the first or natural man, born of the blood, the first Adam or "red earth," is raised to his status of spiritual new birth by "the white liquor which the glorified ones love." And both the motherís and the fatherís condensation of white creative and sustaining essence is distilled out of the natural red blood. Our divinization turns us from red to white. Under Christmas tropism, the red stands for the divine; the green - universal color of nature - for the physical.
The red color of the evening sun, sinking into his feminine phase, and the red color of the morning sun, when for a brief space of his infancy he is still close to his Mother Earth, like the human child tied through the first years to his mother, again beautifully adumbrate the feminine connotation of red; while the white blaze of the sun throughout the day suggests the male or spiritual power.
In the Ritual (Ch. 37A) the Speaker is told he shall make four troughs of clay and shall "fill them with milk of a white cow." The four containers of the divine ichor are the physical, etheric, emotional (Page 258) and concrete mental natures in manís lower self. An instructive picturing of the human creation is given in this Kamite description: the basis of the oblation in the Egyptian sacrifice is "the blood of beings that have been destroyed."
"Said by the majesty of the god, Let them begin with Elephantine and bring to me the fruits in quantity. And when the fruits had been brought they were given . . . (Lacuna).
"The Sekti (miller) of Annu was grinding the fruits, while the priestesses poured the juices into vases; and those fruits were put into vessels with the blood of the beings, and there were seven thousand pitchers of drink.
"And there came the majesty of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt, with the gods, to see the drink after he had ordered the goddess to destroy the beings in three days of navigation."
The Assyrian seven jugs and the Egyptian seven thousand pitchers of drink are brewed from the blood of the massacred beings (the dismembered incarnating gods) mingled with the juice of the fruits of earth. This is vastly significant. Massey comments instructively:
"Blood and the fruit of earth were the two primitive forms of the offering, and these are blended together in a deluge of intoxicating drink." [ Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 561.]
The plain inference here is that the mingling in one drink of the juices of the fruits of earth and the blood of the "beings," is a type of the blending in one composite nature of the life of the gods and that of animal-man--the base of all religion.
An exactly similar depiction is found in the Berosan account of the Babylonian creation. The deity Belus cut off his own head; whereupon the other gods mixed the blood as it gushed out with the earth, and from the mixture men were formed. "On this account it is that men are rational and partake of divine knowledge."
The Beast in Revelation is to be overcome by the blood of the Lamb. The lower sense creature in us is to be raised up by the infusion of godlike quality from above.
We are now in possession of much of the multifarious data which will enable proper judgment to be exercised in interpreting the central significance of the Eucharistic meal. We commemorate our partaking of the Lordís body and blood to remind our sluggish sense that there dwells in us a god, whose nature is compounded with that of a beast. (Page 259)
In the drama the Lord assigned immediately a pointed reason for his institution of the rite. And in this reason we come upon one of the pivotal elements of the Platonic philosophy, the loss of which out of Christian theology has contributed to our generally palsied grasp of fundamental truth. Little is it dreamed that the Lord himself announced the great Platonic doctrine of "reminiscence" in the midst of his ordination of the Eucharist. The worldís astutest students have been puzzled and perplexed over the great Academicianís principle of regained memory for the soul, and they have labeled it a philosophical fantasy, a finely spun poetization. That it bears direct relation to our earthly history has not been discerned by scholars.
When the Christos concluded his injunction to eat the broken fragments of his body and to drink the flowing stream of his lifeblood with the command: "Do this in memory of me," he set Platoís great doctrine at the very heart of Christianity. But Christianity could not catch the relevance of the statement because it did not have the correlative tenets of the dismemberment and disfigurement. The restoration of memory can have understanding only in relation to a previous loss of it. Paradise regained must follow Paradise lost. So "rememberment" is the repairing of the dismemberment. Reminiscence is the recuperation of shattered memory. Death must have its resurrection. Divine intellect, dispersed into all forms of divulsion and enfeeblement, torn into fragments, with the links of connection lost, condemned to wander blindly in murks and shadows, must be reintegrated in the end. "My reason returned unto me," says the reconstituted Nebuchadnezzar. The Prodigal Son remembered his forgotten Fatherís house on high. Away off in that "far country," the Vale of Lethe and Land of Oblivion, the exiled soul begins to recover from its amnesia, and the divine nostalgia sets in to lead it back home.
A Chaldean Oracle states that the "paternal principle" of higher intellect "will not receive the will of the soul till she has departed from oblivion; and has spoken the word, assuming the memory of her paternal sacred impression." Immersed in scattered and partial images of reality, the soul can not regain her former unity of vision until she has restored some semblance of her former integrity of intellection. She must weave the tangled strands of mental fleece again into a garment with pattern matching archetypal ideals.
The figures of both Jesus and Jonah, fast asleep in the holds of their (Page 260) respective ships in the storm are variant types of this oblivion of the god in his mundane journey. In a similar episode in the career of Horus, "there was deep slumber within the ship."
Iamblichus paints a beautiful picture of the gods gathering up the loose shreds of memory and weaving them again into the design of original loveliness, to escape their dire condition of forgetfulness:
"Neither is it proper to say that the soul primarily consists of harmony and rhythm. For thus enthusiasm would be adapted to the soul alone. It is better . . . to assert that the soul, before she gave herself to body, was the auditor of divine harmony; and that hence, when she proceeded into body and heard melodies of such a kind as especially preserve the divine vestiges of memory, she embraced these, from them recollected divine harmony, and tends and is allied to it, and as much as possible participates of it." [ Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, p. 133.]
Amid her distraction the soul catches faint and feeble glimpses of former felicity and these stir her latent recollection of harmonies known before. Through them she strives to integrate her former bliss and grandeur. And this states the whole office of ritual religion!
Platoís esoteric principle, grounded in segments of recondite anthropology lost out of modern consideration, is one vital to all theory and practique of education. Subtle principles of cultural technique are involved in the incarnational situation which make learning not at all the acquiring of something new and alien to the soul, but the remembering or recollecting of scattered fragments of things inherently kin to consciousness itself. Culture is reintegration, not the acquiring of a collection.
Of the nine Muses of classical mythology Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory, and memory is thus indicated as one of the nine paths by which we return to our divinity. Mercury also shared the function of rehabilitating the memory. A note by Thomas Taylor reads:
"Hermes disperses the sleep and oblivion with which the different herds of souls are oppressed. He is likewise the supplier of recollection, the end of which is a genuine intellectual apprehension of divine natures." [ In Iamblichusí Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, p. 7.]
As man is a rational soul thrust into an irrational life, the province of Mercury is to impress upon the mind, distracted by the shifting flux of this worldís dream images, the beauty of the stable principles (Page 261) of Universal Mind that were visioned by the soul in her own world. Chapter 90 of the Ritual gives a prayer in these words:
"O thou who restorest memory in the mouth of the dead through the words of power which they possess, let my mouth be opened through the words of power which I possess."
The title of Chapter 25 is itself convincing: "The chapter of making a man possess memory in the underworld." This again is the whole office of religion. Of what, be it asked, could a man on earth be expected to have memory, if not of a former life which he had forgotten?
If religion is to be animated and inspired by its most forceful significance, it must be practiced with a view to awakening in earthbound souls lost divine memories. This is the import of all its song, its ritual, its rhythms and prayers. A powerful reinforcement of spiritual unction and dynamic life would well up out of its decadent forms if this motif were revived. Salvation, the aim of religion, is by way of rekindled memory of slumbering divinity.
In an address to Pepi it is written that the god "setteth his remembrance upon men and his love before the gods." Indeed the Ritual records the fact that the deceased in Amenta was shown his Ka (higher soul body) and assured that it accompanied him through the lower earth in order that he might not utterly forget his divine moorings, or as he says, "that he might not suffer loss of identity by forgetting his name." Man is on earth like one stricken with amnesia. Showing him his Ka bestirs the Manes to recall his divine name and nature. Also the passage of Osiris through the underworld is effected only by means of his preserving all the mystical names in memory. Ra has 75 names, Osiris 153. As the "name" stood for one of the higher spiritual principles, to call upon the name of the Lord, or to know the deityís name, was to have come en rapport with his higher nature. This presupposed the restoration of all the soulís higher metaphysical faculties. This is given elsewhere as knowing the names of all the gates and their god keepers, past whom the voyaging soul had to go.
In the Orphic Mysteries of Greece the phrase occurs more than once: "I am a child of earth and the starry sky, but my race is of heaven alone." The "dead" man is instructed to address these words to the guardian of the Lake of Memory, while he asks for a drink of water from the lake. In our highest flights toward divine consciousness we (Page 262) drink from that Lake of Memory and regale ourselves anew with aboriginal harmonies. If it holds true to its prime purpose the persistent vogue of religion in human society is abundantly warranted.
Max MŁller gives an important link of philology when he derives the Sanskrit word Smara, "love," from Smar, "to recollect"! [Lectures, Vol. I, p. 383. Ed. 1862. ] He states that the German Schmerz, "pain," and the English "smart," come from this root. Love, then, like learning, is only the memory of former transports and ecstasies of the glory the soul once had with the Father before the worlds.
When, therefore, Jesus breaks the bread and sips the wine in token of his death till he come - his discerption and dismantling - he is dramatizing the necessity of their "remembering" his scattered selfhood in their lives. The Ritual of Egypt assigns a name to the ship of Horus as it passes across the sea of this lower life, which name shows the archaic origin of the sage philosophy of Greece: "Collector of souls is the name of my barque"! Recollection is the soulís office on earth. We are to gather up in the boat of our life the twelve baskets of scattered fragments and restore the broken body of our Lord "whole and entire."
Out of the dissertation on divine food here elaborated there should accrue to the modern mind a new and grander sense of the Christís ordinance: "Do this in memory of me." And an elevated consciousness arising from the double sense of the word "remember" should lift humanity once more to an awareness of its mission, which is to bind up the broken and dismembered body of the Lord of Hosts, by welding together the nations in the spirit of a lofty fraternity. In the light of restored sublimity to the doctrine, every individual will know that the appeal to remember his deity comes not from an isolated figure in ancient Judea, but from the living god within, begging all to drink the cup of communion with him and thus hasten to forge that recollection of him which alone will effect his release from the dreary grave of the body. (Page 263)
EARTH, WATER, AIR, FIRE
The possibility of making an effective interpretation of arcane scriptures will be seen to be closely interwoven with the part played in symbolic structure by the four elements, earth, water, air and fire. Grasp of the ideas hidden under the use of these four emblems comes close to putting one in possession of the key to most of the mystery. The revelation of the full force of their application will prove astonishing.
Much absurdity has found expression in common belief as to their significance. It has everywhere been asserted that the ancients conceived all substances to be composed of these four primary and irreducible constituents, instead of the ninety-two mineral elements of modern chemistry. This is folly. What they were dealing with is a vastly different formula. They were not asserting manís physical body, with all other things, was compounded of only four elements. They held manís total constitution to be compounded of four distinct grades or modifications of original essence, each of which gave him a body, by virtue of which his life effected its conscious expression in four different worlds at the same time. Each of the bodies was charactered and symboled by one of the four elements, and the more sublimated ones interpenetrated the coarser, localizing the functionism of all four in the lower one, manís physical body, symboled by the earth; an emotional body, of which water was the suggestive emblem; a mental body, with air as its sign; and a spiritual body, typed by fire or the sun. A fifth, not yet evolved to function in humanity and beyond the ken of mortal knowledge, was predicated as the development of a distant future. It was called a body of aether, the fifth element, called by Aristotle a term equivalent to "quintessence." It yet lies latent and undifferentiated in the inner core of the element of fire. (Pae 264)
The Bibles of antiquity can not be understood unless this basic predication be made, that man lives not alone on one plane of nature, but on four, and that he makes contact with the realities of each of them by means of a body composed of the matter indigenous to that realm. His focus of consciousness may pass from one to the other of the four bodies under pressure of the swing of his interests. When we grandiloquently speak of living within the whole range of our being, we are unwittingly repeating a conception of ancient theory, the literal truth of which we have lost the data to comprehend.
Of an eventual septenary constitution man has as yet progressed only so far as to have deployed into function the lower quaternary of powers. Plato in the Timaeus says that "three genera of mortals yet await to be created." Each emanation of energic force brings to manifestation one of the bodies of our composite mechanism, as it does one of the planes of nature. We are now in the fourth of such rounds or cycles, and have therefore developed four of the ultimate seven bodies of our equipment for contacting the reality of all worlds. And these four bodies are typed by earth, water, air and fire, symbolically.
The matter of the contemporary existence of these four (or five) bodies within the single space of the physical may occasion some incredulity as to the ancient theory. But modern science has itself opened the door of explanation here. It is a matter of the fineness of molecular particles and interstitial spaces. Certain rays can be passed through "solid" substances, because their electrons swing in minute orbits amid vaster ones. It is declared esoterically that the atomic matter of which each of manís four bodies is composed is in structural essence a sevenfold attenuation or sublimation of the one which it interpenetrates. Each one interpenetrates its coarser neighbor, and at the same time is interpenetrated by its next finer associate. So the four dwell together, occupying the same three-dimensional area, yet with a "great gulf" fixed between each pair, the abyss of difference of electronic vibration, wave length, frequency and radial orbit. This is the great gulf that divides each world from all others. It is not a chasm of spacial distance, but a hiatus between vibrational frequencies, wave length and other forms of potency. To bridge the abyss and step from one world to another, it is requisite that man should be able to tune up, or down, the mathematical "pitch" of his consciousness, as exemplified by the "tuning in" process of the radio. Two discordant tones of consciousness (Page 265) are not on the same plane, or in the same world. Their failure to harmonize puts them into different areas of the field of life.
The five planes were represented by the five geometric figures, the cube for earth, the sphere for water, the triangle for fire, the crescent for air, and the candle-flame tip for aether. Certain significations of the figure-symbols will be presented in the sequel, but it is doubtful if anyone at present knows authoritatively the full range of meaning attached to them. In some drawings of the series, air, the third, and fire, the fourth, are reversed in position. Their relative place in the order is doubtless of vital importance, but for the ends of religious symbolism, it seems not to be a question of critical value. After examination of many applications of the typing it has been found advantageous to make a more condensed grouping of the four under the two heads of fire and water, as these two appear to do double duty in carrying the burden of the symbolism.
This reduces the fourfold nature of man to the broad generality of the dualism, or the compound of two elements, the divine and the earthly, in one body.
This will be found to serve the readiest purposes of interpreting the many myths, for there appears to be a vast preponderance of the dual representation in the scriptures and folklore of the world, under the wide imagery of fire and water.
The two most distinctive symbols, then, are fire and water, and their proper interpretation almost alone gives a key to the religious texts. Let fire be taken to refer undeviatingly to our higher or divine segment, and water to our lower or animal-human portion; or fire to connote the god from heaven, and water the earthly man, the first Adam. In an even more condensed form, fire may type the soul and water the body. Classifications so general are not to be taken as scientifically precise; but they will be seen to be systematically applicable, without loss of explicit meaning. The fifth element, aether, may profitably be ignored, as it stands for the innermost essence of all manifest life, and humanity is not in conscious relation to its high mode of activity.
Oddly enough, by one of those inversions to which the imagery is susceptible, the serpent has become a symbol of both the fire and the water elements, and hence types both our divine and our sensual natures. "When above it was the serpent of air and fire, and when below the serpent of water and earth." [Massey: The Natural Genesis, I, p. 344. ] There was the fiery serpent (Pae 266) that Moses lifted up, and the water dragon of Revelation, of the Aeneid and other classical works. There is the Good Serpent, Agathodaemon, and the Evil Serpent, Kakodaemon, symbol of Satan. Water, too, became a dual sign, with a higher and lower translation. As the first it was an emblem of the outpourings of divinity, the water of life that Jesus promised to the woman at the well; as the second, it typed the fluctuating, restless, sensual nature in which the divine fire was so nearly drowned out. Even fire shares the dual meaning, for it symbols the celestial life, the fire of Prometheus, Joveís thunderbolt, as well as the fires of the torture and hell of earthly existence. The Ritual speaks of our baptism on earth "in the Pool of the Double Fire." This is easily comprehensible because of the shifting of the divine beings from the empyrean to the mundane sphere of activity. In heaven it was a pure and clear flame; on earth it was fed with damp, coarse fuel, and became lurid in hue and charged with noxious, sulphurous gases, and turned to steam and smoke. A large part of the whole significance of the incarnation can be seen reflected in the imagery of fire introduced into a semi-watery condition. Our work will be wasted effort if it does not succeed in imprinting on every imagination the indelible suggestion that our earthly history is adumbrated by the picture of an imperishable and unquenchable spark of divine fire struggling to live and expand its power in a moist environment. Our inmost essence is as a central nucleus of fire striving valiantly to light a mass of damp green wood - the animal nature. The resultant smoke and smudge is the perfect type of our life here, intellectually and spiritually. These were the very symbols of our terrene existence employed in Greek philosophy.
This peculiar duality of the symbols, discerned throughout, is itself a reflection of the twofold movement, or double status, of the soul in incarnation. For that which began as heavenly passed into earthly embodiment, and the pertinence of the symbols had to change with the change of milieu. All the heavenly symbols became inwrought with earthly reference and imperfection, and thus picked up the implication of evil. On earth, then, we may expect to find the celestial symbols with meanings almost completely reversed, or with their purity besmirched, so to say. It is not surprising that the wise Egyptians should have given us a picture of this very reversal in one of their typical vignettes. (Page 267) For, says Massey:
"The god advancing in a reversed position is the sun [the god, soul] in the underworld. The image accords exactly with an Egyptian scene of the sun passing through the Hades, where we see the twelve gods of the earth, or the lower domain of night, marching towards a mountain turned upside down, and two typical personages are also turned upside down. This is an illustration of the passage of the sun through the underworld. The reversed (people) on the same monument are the dead. Thus the Osirified deceased who had attained the second life, in the Ritual says exultingly, ĎI do not walk on my head.í The dead, as the Akhu, are the spirits, and the Atua is a spirit who comes walking upside down." (Book of Hades.) [The Natural Genesis, I, p. 529. ]
One of the rites of the resurrection was the "erecting of the Tat," or setting the Tat cross or the mummy upright on its feet. In addition to the imagery of death in all its forms to type our spiritually defunct condition here, there was employed also the idea of an entire reversal of position to portray the true state of the soul in its untoward predicament. We are heavenly spirits turned upside down on earth! Earth reverses heavenly lines of motion. It reflects the pattern of things in the mount, but inverted. The highest symbols of heaven therefore fall at the very bottom of earthly tracing. And the very spirit of the god who came to earth, renouncing his bliss on high to bring immortal gifts to man, was himself later inverted into the personification of evil! We have, then, the angels of light turned into demons, the bright flame of divinity metamorphosed into the lurid fire of hell, the waters of life becoming the raging seas that engulfed the boats of Jonah and Jesus, the serpent of wisdom becoming the dragon of evil.
With the four basic elements now established, it is interesting to note the curious typical results obtained when any two are brought together, as the fact of incarnation does bring all four together in man. Some remarkable and surprising combinations are produced, both in symbol and in actuality.
Manís lower nature, as seen in any diagram, is composed of the elements of earth and water, his higher nature of fire and air. Any time either of the two upper is crossed with either of the two lower, there is a rough symbol of incarnation, or combination of the divine with the human. But the two that together comprise either our lower or higher nature may also be found in correlation. This is admirably seen in the two lower, where the mixture of earth and water produces, as any child can tell, mud or mire. At once we have a key to translate (Page 268) the significance of the papyrus swamps of Egyptian legends, the "miry clay" of Plato and the Bible, and the celebrated Reed (not Red) Sea of Exodus (see Moffatt Translation). The marshes of Lower Egypt in which Horus and Jesus and Sargon were all secreted can be taken now as the glyphs of the human physical body, compounded of earth and water. The body is itself about seven-eighths water and the remainder earth. The lotus, papyrus or reed has a number of meanings, but in the main they typify the new life springing up out of the mud and water, to flower out in the air and the fire of the sun. The risen Horus is figured seated on a lotus pad above the water.
Mud, as the type of matter (and matter, mud, and mother all come from the same linguistic root), is dialectically analyzed in the Greek philosophy:
"Matter," says Simplicius in his commentary on the first book of Aristotleís Physics, "is nothing else then mutation of sensibles, with respect to intelligibles, deviating from thence and carried down to non-being. These things, indeed, which are the properties of sensibles are irrational, corporeal, distributed into parts, and passing into bulk and divulsion through an ultimate progression into generation, viz., into matter; for matter is always truly the last sediment. Hence also the Egyptians call the dregs of the first (or highest) life, which they symbolically denominate water, matter, being, as it were, a certain mire."
What Simplicius is quaintly telling us in terms of reasoned analysis of the elements of being which are quite "Greek" to us moderns, is that matter is to be thought of as a kind of sediment deposited on the lowest levels of inert life by the crystallization of ethereal forces, precisely as snow is the sedimentary deposit of vaporous states of water, subjected to a reduction of temperature. Nature furnishes a perfect analogy for every truth.
A common ancient symbolic term for our life here is the "sea of generation." Iamblichus joins Heraclitus in likening generation to a water symbol, that of a river, as being always in flux. It is the river of Lethe, flowing through the dark meadows of Ate, as Empedocles says. It represents in its swirling currents the voracity of matter and the light-hating world, as the gods say, and the winding streams under which many are drawn down, as the Chaldean Oracles assert. The fitness of the meadow to stand for this life is seen in its lying always (Page 269) in a low marshy place contiguous to a stream. It tells of land and water in juxtaposition and therefore matches mire in its suggestiveness.
Plotinus in a passage already quoted has called our descent a fall into dark mire. The Hebrew Psalmist, in the words of the incarnated deity, cries:
"Save me, O God! for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing. I am come in unto deep waters where the floods overwhelm me."
Without the skill of the Greeks in dealing with abstruse facts of cosmology under symbolic typism we are hardly prepared to catch the aptness of the figure of water for the creeping inroads of sensual impulse upon the divine purity. But the god cries that the waters of animal passion have come in to inundate his soul. Again he prays:
"Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink. Let me be delivered from them that hate me. Let not the water-floods overwhelm me, neither let the deep swallow me up."
His gratitude for eventual deliverance takes the form (Ps. 40):
"He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings."
Yet--"he hath founded the earth upon the waters and established it upon the floods" (Ps. 24), because out of the water and the mud of mortal life was to come the new generation, the son, Jesus or Horus, as the young shoot of the papyrus reed of divine life.
The mire and filth of the Augean stables cleansed by Hercules is another form of this imagery, for the solar hero turns into them the waters of two rivers. The two streams represent those of spirit and matter, generally, and only out of the interworking of the two does eventual purgation come.
A vivid light can now be thrown on such a fiction as this: Horus was mutilated and his members cast into the water. To find them Isis invoked the aid of Sebek, or Sevekh, the crocodile-god, an ancient solar deity, who, having examined the banks of the swamps with his claws, took his net and fished out the pieces. Sebek then reconstituted the god whole and entire. The significance of Sebekís participation is in his name, which means "seven," intimating that a septenary development (Pae 270) was entailed in the perfective process. Man is perfected always in a cycle of seven stages.
Water and earth yield another deposit than that of mud or mire, a very curious one. Water, depositing particles of mineral earth, petrifies a piece of wood, a combination of water, earth and air. Not even such a symbol is irrelevant, since it speaks in loudest tones of the hardening influence of the lower nature upon the higher, and images the Gorgon shield, turning all softer natures to stone.
Air and water in conjunction provide much matter for symbology. In the first place there is air in water, and it needs only the application of the still more energic element fire to beget life and engender most of the other forms of living symbolism. In ice or cold water the energies of life remain inert; let fire be applied and the resultant energization gives us a faint suggestion of the whole meaning of the entry of the gods into the province of less active substances. Fire plunged into water most pointedly dramatizes the basic import of the whole incarnation procedure. The soul, a fiery nucleus of noetic intelligence, is plunged into the watery habitat of the fleshly body. The moral fight is a combat between the fire of spirit and the water of emotion and desire; and fire must win the victory by eventually drying up and converting into steam the heavy humid nature of animal-man. Fire must dry out a path across the sea of generation, so that it may cross this Reed (Red) Sea out of Egypt, as also the Jordan River, into the Holy Land, without wetting its feet! Fire enters the watery realm of body, already permeated by air in hidden form. Heat raises the water into vapor, which, being an airy form of water, suggests the birth of mind out of emotion. We read in the Ritual (Ch. 164): "Oh, the Being dormant within his body, making his burning in flame, glowing within the sea by his vapor. Come, give the fire, transport [perhaps better, "transform"] the vapor of the Being." The vapor was a type of the breath of life, air containing moisture, symbol of the soul that was linked with emotion. It was a plea for the god to come and sublimate the emotional element of the lower self, water, by unifying it with air, mind. Each higher element is able to raise the potential of the one below it and refine it. So earth (sense) is raised and purified by water (emotion); water (emotion) by air (mind); and air (mind) by fire (spirit). This gives us the key table of values. By their simple (Page 271) application in various combinations a hundred intimate meanings of ancient scriptures may be resolved into comprehensible reading.
A common form of air and water mixed is foam or bubbles. Froth arises when air becomes violently active in water. Fire, spirit, quickens and intensifies the process. We have here the ground for the solution of that riddle of Greek mythology which makes Venus to be born from the sea-foam, produced by the energy of the great God Jupiter striding through the sea. It is a beautiful allegory, hinting that the goddess of Love is born in the evolutionary process when air, mind, is injected into the field of the animal impulses and passions. This came when the god, descending, brought air and fire to energize the elements in the sea water (of the body). Froth would intimate the elevation of emotion to the plane of thought, or the thorough mixing of thought with emotion,--perhaps also the emotionalizing of thought. Bubbles rising to the surface suggest the evolution of thought out of the very depths of the physical and emotional departments of man. The Egyptian image of the water-cow indicated life emanating from the primordial waters. And the rising of Aphrodite into breathing life and beauty out of the foam marks this idea as Egyptian in origin. Nu-ti, "froth," is the same word as Neith, who was one of the early Kamite personifications of the first life rising from the waters. Neith is Hathor, the Egyptian Venus, the mother of life, twofold in character as liquid and aeriform. Her celestial representative was Ursa Major, the Great Bear (or Bearer, suggests Massey), the great dipper in which the water of life was held, and from which, as it turned around the pole, it was periodically poured out and again dipped up! In early times its orbit dipped down into the sub-horizonal sea. So this great sidereal directory of the heavens became the greatest of astronomical symbols to the ancients, dramatizing the seven great elementary mother powers of nature that periodically arose out of the waters of life. Operated by its handle of three stars, typing the solar triad of mind, soul and spirit, it caught up the living waters in its four-starred cup, the fourfold physical basis of all things.
The Egyptian male-female pair of Shu and Tefnut personify the dual subsistence of breath and moisture. "These in one form may be the breath of life and its dew, as Tef is to drip or drop."[Massey: The Natural Genesis, I, p. 147. ] Air and moisture are combined in the breath of mortals. The creative breath of mortal life is emaned and drips its moisture upon the earth in rain, (Page 272) fog or dew. The spirit of God outbreathed as air or breath, from which was precipitated the water of life on earth. Rain is distilled out of the bosom of the air. In the form of vapor, visible or invisible, the upper heaven holds the celestial water, the type of divine life embosomed in air - emotions germinally latent in thoughts. And when this water has fallen to earth, it takes the action of fiery spirit to convert it back again to heavenly state, and this can only be done by the superior energy transmuting its nature from liquid to vapor or "spirit" form.
The deceased, awaiting his resurrection, cries to Nu: "Give me water and the breath of life!" The reply comes: "I bring thee the vase containing the abundant water for rejoicing the heart by its effusion, that thou mayest breathe the breath of life resulting from it." Water, though not in its liquid form, is the first aspect of matter in all the oldest mythologies and cosmologies. It is indeed the primal substance of the universal mother. In the Berosan account of creation the primal mother is called Thallath, which is the Greek thallassa, "the sea." Tiamat and Typhon are equivalent to Tefnut (Greek Daphne), the Great Depth, or Tepht (also Tophet). Basically, mother, matter and water are one. Plato speaks of water as "the liquid of the whole vivification." Again he alludes to it mystically as "a certain fountain."
The interpenetration of the gross bodies by the subtler ones in man may perhaps be realistically depicted by the relations subsisting between the four elements in the outer world. Living physical bodies of earthly constituency hold water, the water embosoms air, and in the air is the hidden potency of fire. The elements consistently interpenetrate each other, the finer in the coarse. We have already traced the vivid symbolism of fermentation, or the generation of air in water, type of the enkindling of spirit. At the baptism of Jesus by John, according to Justin Martyr, "a fire was kindled in the waters of the Jordan." This matches the Egyptian "a burning within the sea." Spirit sets its ferment and its blaze a-going amid the watery elements of the body.
Seeking in the heights and depths of the natural creation for symbols of truth, the mythographers could not miss so patent a type as that of the fish leaping out of the water. It was a vivid suggestion of the soul in matter leaping in aspiration for short breaths of air in the kingdom above it. Whether it be seeking a momentís breath of a diviner air in the kingdom above, or only a fly as food, it projects itself from the (Page 273) lower to a higher plane, prefiguring the sallies of the human soul - often otherwise represented by ichthys, the fish - from its mortal habitat into the purer realms of spirit. The soul, like the fish, must occasionally clutch at a morsel of more heavenly food. The fish stood for the immortal soul as breather in the water of mundane existence.
A Norse myth tells of the division of a single primal world into two halves, or the separation of the two waters of the firmament, as in Genesis. The one was a world of water, the other of air, and the beings in the lower water ascend by night to breathe the pure air of the upper half; and it is said the sun consumes them like vapor. This would restate the Assumption of the Virgin, the festival of the old astronomical phenomenon of August and early September, when the sun absorbs the constellation of the Virgin, emblematic of the dissolution of all physical worlds in the bosom of the Absolute. It might be said that after every day and every incarnation man ascends to inhale refreshing draughts of spiritual air on an upper plane. Without this frequent release and relief he could not support prolonged existence in the denser world below.
The "secret of Horus in An" is the mystery of how his mother caught him in the water. Neith, given by Massey as equivalent to "net," fished him out. Cosmically he typified the first life emanating from the water; humanly the god coming to birth in the water of the body. Many of the symbols can be worked on two or even more planes of explanation. Every cosmic process has its reflection in the natural world, again in the spiritual life of man, and lastly in the very physiology of the body. Nature is meaningless nowhere.
The perch on the head of Neith or Hathor is a badge of the birth from water. Neith also carries the shuttle or knitter for her net, wherewith she becomes a catcher of men out of the waters, and draws them up into the world of air and spirit.
The East has always portrayed true being as an escape from the waters of life. Hence the widespread use of the fishermanís net as an emblem of salvation. Jesus did not startle his disciples with a new metaphor when he called them to be "fishers of men." Two Ritual chapters furnish suggestion here. Chapter 153A is entitled "of coming forth from the net," and 153B "of coming forth from the Catcher of Fish." Water so obviously presented a menace to life by drowning that it becomes the focus of ideas emphasizing an escape from evil. (Page 274) As such it is not the water of life, but the water of death. It signified the lower life of generation, or life in "death." Water stops our breathing and perils the air-sustained life of deity. An oyster that could keep shut up and safe under water was one of the figures of spiritual security.
Nun in the Chaldean is the Great Fish; Nuna in Syriac is the constellation Cetus, the Whale. Nun of the Hebrew alphabet is the fish, as Mem is water. The picture of a great fish "breathing out" water caused it to be personified as the mother heaven that poured forth water and the breath of life. The Egyptians also made the lotus, ascending from the water, a symbol of breath, and the Egyptian Seshin for "lotus" is from ses, "breath."
The close philosophical relation of water and air is shown in a number of languages by the identical derivation of the words "to swim" and "to be born." Birth and swimming in or on water are practically synonymous. It is best seen in the Latin. The same root, na, means both "to be born" and "to swim." Being born of water, avers Massey, is but to be borne upon it. As man was not able to live under water, life was pictured as a coming out of it or a floating upon it. To be born into life, therefore, was to escape from the water, and come up where breath was obtainable. The very first act of the babe newborn out of the water of the womb is to catch its first breath! Immersed in the waters of generation, of sense and desire, man can not come to his real life, or second birth, until he can rise out of the "water" to breathe the more vivifying air of the heaven of mind and spirit. The power of the sun (god) to stimulate life and growth could not reach him effectively in the kingdom of water (nature); he had first to lift his head out of the water into the kingdom of air (mind) before the rays of the god could breed spiritually within him.
From the na stem we trace both "naval" and "navel," relating birth and sailing. Nef, says Massey, means in Egyptian both "sailor" and "to breathe." The navel was one of the earliest doorways between the two worlds (of water and air), and as such it maintained its symbolic value. The navel was an image of breath in the waters of the womb. It was the channel by which the breath of life passed into the soul in the water. The god, through whom we partake of the breath of life from a higher plane, is spiritually our navel, located at the very center of our being. (Page 275)
In the ideography the female came to be regarded as the furnisher of water, and the male as the supplier of breath, the combination yielding life. These were Tefnut and Shu. He became the inspirer of soul, she the former of flesh. It was the god, masculine, who breathed the breath of life into the nostrils. In the Ritual the Speaker, coming to his new life, says he has been "snatched from the waters of his Mother" and "emaned from the nostrils of his Father Osiris." The Chinese matched this with their Ying and Yin, the male and female, or breath and water sources.
The water and the lotus were both female emblems at first. The papyrus-scepter of Uat is the express sign of the feminine nature of Uati, who represented the features of both wet and heat, water and breath, or body and soul, heat being necessary to turn water into vapor or breath.
A simple yet strong ideograph of the unified action of water and air is a ship driven by the wind. The wind (intellect) imparts motion to that which navigates the waters. The body is driven by the mind! Mind and wind, both unseen, energize the visible.
Very suggestive is the request in the Ritual (Ch. 55): "May air be given unto these young divine beings," a reference to the Kumaras or Innocents when first plunged into their material baptism. And even more directly pertinent is the chapter title (56): "Of sniffing air in the waters of the underworld." And another title (Ch. 54) is: "Of giving air to the overseer of the palace . . . Nu, triumphant, in the underworld." And again Chapter 57 is that "of breathing the air and having dominion over the waters of the underworld." When Horus rises he is exultingly welcomed as escaping from the dark lower region, "without water and without air," as the condition of soul in matter.
In Africa and Central America the god Houragan (Hurricane) was the personification of the mingled power of water and air. Hurakan in Quichť means a stream of water that pours straight down. In the hieroglyphics Hura is heaven (Greek: oura-nos), "over," "above." Khan is a watery tempest. Typhon, the abyss of primordial heaven, is identical with typhoon. Mixcohuatl, the "cloud serpent," the chief of the Mexican gods, bears the name of the tropical whirlwind.
The flying fish came in for its share of appropriate suggestiveness, and another bird, the hissing widgeon, which issued from the waters (Page 276) to fly along the surface, became a symbol of the soaring free soul, which was nearly always pictured as winged or feathered.
Naturally all species of aero-aquatic birds came under the scope of this typology. The bird that could rise off the water and soar away was inescapably a type of the rising soul. But the ancients joined the two kinds of life in one creature which became one of the most universal of all symbols, the winged serpent or feathered snake. Recent researches in Central America have brought to light the wide prevalence of this emblem in the Mayan and other civilizations on the American continent. And since it was general in Asia and Africa in remote times, the question of intercommunication or separate origin is once more pertinently raised. The snake that could fly is the incontrovertible evidence of ancient knowledge of the union of divinity and earthiness in manís organic life. Man that is born of water and the spirit (air) should once again become wise as to his dual origin. And modern man should cease to belittle the mythopoetic genius of his ancestors who endeavored, with almost incredible sagacity, to embody important knowledge of cosmic facts in imperishable glyphs. In the terms of evolutionary biology the swan is the feathered snake, and Hansa, the bird of primordial life and intelligence that floats above the waters of the abyss, is the eternal emblem of that spiritual life that has stepped into our fluctuating sea of natural impulse to bring order, harmony and beauty into the realm of nescience and chaos.
The Akhekh gryphon is a dragon with wings. Wings and feathers supply the type of air and fire in the later Bird of the Sun. The bird symbolized the swift-darting and lofty-soaring motion of divine intelligence. The French Swan-Dragon unites the birdís head with the serpentís tail. An ancient Greek work makes the first godly nature a serpent which later transmuted into a hawk. One form of the gryphon was the body of a beast, the tail of a serpent and the head of a peacock. This is the mythical cockatrice. It was so named because of its origin from the egg of a cock hatched by a serpent. The divine is hatched and nurtured in the body of nature.
Earth with water yielded mire, or sensuousness; water with air suggested mingled emotion and dawning thought; spiritous wine hinted at a fiery element in water, or "firewater." Beside Isis, whose name derives from stems meaning to breathe and ferment, there is the goddess Uati, a name congenital perhaps with our "wet" and "heat," if not the (Page 277) basis of "water" itself. She was the genetrix, and signified wet and heat in conjunction; and her function suggests the conversion of water into breathing life by the mother in heat, or gestating! Unleavened bread would represent the natural man unspiritualized by the ferment of divine efficacies. It would show the first Adam, the man unregenerate, born of water, the natural body, but not of the spirit. Leavened bread was "spiritualized" bread. And oddly enough the little leaven that leaveneth the whole lump does indeed generate by its ferment a sort of breathing in the dough, for the latter becomes permeated with air bubbles which work to the surface. Bring the god of fire into matter and the latter begins to manifest the breath of life. Fire rises, and is the ultimate type of evolution, in which life sparks ascend to the empyrean. Water falls, and is the type of involution, or life descending to incubate in matter. But water below, acted upon by fire, is transformed into a sublimated state in which it can effect its return to the empyrean. The gist of the story of religion is here. Fire had to be brought down from heaven to convert fallen water into spiritous vapor, to enable it to rise again.
Physical nature presents a notable exemplification of the fourfold elemental typology in the phenomenon of a thunderstorm. Our universal mother has set the advertising sign of her modes and configurations all about us, but only the ancients heeded her message or read her language. The upper air, or heaven, surcharged with electricity, discharges its pent energies above the earth in flashes of fire. The mighty potency performs a sort of electrolysis upon the constituent elements of the air, dismembering, so to say, the unit mass of embosomed moisture held in suspension in the atmosphere and sending it in fragments to the earth to nourish the life of man and beast. Not an item or detail of the theological typism is lacking in the phenomenon. As the fire emanation from heaven operated to precipitate its latent forces in the broken globules of water to the earth to fructify its life, so the fiery nature of deity came potentially to earth in fragments to liberate its powers in new growth. The celestial energy of pure spirit runs down the gamut of fire, air, water and earth. In man likewise a flash of the fire of spirit darts out of the surcharged bosom of the upper aether of consciousness, agitates the elements of the plane of mind next below it, these in turn release emotions on the plane below, and they deposit a final influence upon the very material of the earthy (Page 278) body. Each plane in succession receives the effects of the outrush of life from above. A breeze ruffling the surface of a pond is a vivid symbol of a thought stirring the emotions, the type of which is water. And the waves washing the shores portray in a measure the emotional wear and tear on the body. "Let nature be your teacher," says Wordsworth.
But a still more eloquent symbol comes to view to edify the mind of man at the end of the shower: the rainbow! In its sevenfold coloration we read again the septenary design of all natural constitution, including the life of man. The one divine essence of white light, shining out through the descending waters, is broken into its seven constituent rays. All manifest form must therefore be septenary in structure. Every cycle runs its course and comes to its perfection in seven sub-cycles. Hence the Eternal placed the rainbow in the heavens, at the end of the rain, in token that "never again will he destroy mankind." For man, at the end of his sojourn in the watery habitat of body, will have completed his perfection in seven stages and will not need further immersion in the sea of generation. As the rainbow disappears with the last rain, the sun reigns alone again in its one white light.
A unitary ray of light, passed through a three-faced glass prism and breaking into its seven colors, is a memorable certification of cosmic creational method. Man actually presents a three-faced transparent medium for the first light in the upper levels of his nature to provide the requisite condition for this phenomenon in his life. The immortal unit of spirit itself has segmented already into a triad which hovers in the upper sphere of consciousness. It is the great solar triad of Mind-Soul-Spirit, the reflection in human make-up of the cosmic Trinity of Will-Wisdom-Activity. It is manís triangle of conscious faculty and it is of bright essence. Through it shines the one unbroken ray of Intelligence from the primal fount of light to be reflected on the physical screen of human life on earth, in a final sevenfold differentiation.
Still another phase of portrayal meets us in nature when we consider the change from a watery beginning to a fiery heyday in the progress of each dayís summer sun. The dewy freshness of dawn (water) and the burning heat of midday (fire) are personalized in Egypt by the goddesses Tefnut and Sekhet respectively. Tef(n) connotes the meaning of "dew" and "moisture" from its primary signification of "to drip, or drop." Then the watery phase of the goddess is superseded by (Page 279) the fiery one, and Tefnut becomes Sekhet, the heat principle which engenders ferment and new life. This is the transformation of Daphne (Tefnut) dawn, into the laurel or wood of fire, in the Greek poetization.
Another Ritual title (Ch. 163) is deeply suggestive: "Of not allowing the body of a man to molder away in the underworld." (The spiritual body is meant here, as the physical body does molder away.) The Manes is addressed:
"Hail, thou who art lying prostrate within thy body, whose flame cometh into being from out of the fire that blazeth within the sea (or water) in such wise that the sea (or water) is raised up on high out of the fire thereof."
If there are still any who dispute the mythical nature of ancient constructions, let them demonstrate how a fire blazing in the midst of a sea could be spoken of otherwise than allegorically. But when one knows that a universal code of symbol language made fire represent spiritual mind, and water flesh and carnality, then it can be seen how the poets speak rationally of a fire blazing in the sea and trying to raise it up again in vapor or spirit.
Another strong confirmation of the analysis is found in the Ritual (Ch. 176). In comment on it Budge writes: "As fire and boiling water existed in the underworld, he hastened to protect himself from burns and scalds by the use of chapters 63A and 63B." For the titles of these two chapters are: "Of drinking water and not being burnt by fire in the underworld," and "Of not being scalded with water." How squarely this is matched in the Bible (Is. 43):
"When thou passest through the waters I shall be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle on thee."
The underworld, then, is the place where fire and water are joined in affective relation; and where could this conjunction take place other than in the physical body?
And what pithy moral corollaries are discerned in the analogies if they are carried into particulars! The god (fire) stood in danger, as the Greeks clearly intimate, of suffering from the exhalations arising from its contact with the humors of the carnal body. It must be seen (Page 280) that the godís entry into the body of an inferior being would result in the injection of an increased voltage, as it were, in the activities of all its forces. Animality would be more keenly energized as the transforming ferment began its work. The god stood in danger of being "burned," "scalded" by the "steam" engendered by the heightening of all lower psycho-chemical powers. The enhanced potential of the sense and emotion functionism provided by his own alliance with them, might overpower him.
One of the phallic renderings of the rainbow symbolism is curiously interesting. It is made to allegorize the prohibition of the male from union with the female during menstruation. Erymanthus, the son of Apollo, was said to have been struck blind because he looked on Venus when she was bathing. Acteon, seeing Diana at her bath, was turned into a stag. David was punished for his relations with Bathsheba, whom he saw bathing. What is the significance of the punishment of all these solar heroes for contacting the woman during her period? It is but one of the forms of cryptic typology under which ancient sagacity limned in outline the "fall" of the god when he linked his life with the feminine or material powers in a cycle of manifestation. He is dramatized as contaminating himself by his union with the wasting expenditure of natural force. He looks upon mother nature when she is shedding her lifeblood fruitlessly. The glance of his eye, the sun, through her shower fixes the sevenfold division of physical nature in the sky. But the rainbow comes at the end of the rainstorm, and union of spirit with matter at the end of its outpouring is the time propitious for fecundation and the new birth. At any rate the punishment allotted to deity for intercourse with the flowing stream of the natural physical order, typed as feminine, is his being reduced to imprisonment in the animal body of man! Like the rainbow, this is sevenfold in organization. The sun, peeking out and beholding nature dripping, projects the sign of his intercourse with matter upon the opposite side of heaven in his septenary dismemberment. The sevenfold fission of his primal unity shows the disruption of his integrity in the sight of all the earth!
This is not empty imagery. It has had historical actualization in a strange way. It is related in Genesis (6) and in other racial epics that the sons of God had untimely intercourse with the females of the more advanced animal species, breeding the races of half-human, half-animal (Page 281) types. Early connection with the female animals instituted the miscegenation that so nearly thwarted the cosmic plan. As a result of the unleashing of powerful procreative forces in the animal world there ensued an unnatural production of hybrid monsters and prodigies of lust, which, the books hint, had to be expunged from evolution by the sinking of continents. One of the backgrounds of the "deluge" is thus erected. Procreation in the Golden Age or Edenic state was by kriyashakti, exercised by the will and the mind. This was possible because incarnation had not yet been fully achieved, and the forms of flesh were of ethereal tenuity. But miscegenation began prematurely and bred misshapen monsters. The enhancing of the keen powers of sense by the entry of the gods intensified the carnal mind, and a more or less promiscuous generation ran riot. This is the meaning of the harlotry or whoredom against which the Eternal vents his displeasure so vehemently throughout the prophetic books of the Old Testament. It is also allegorized by the various tempests on the sea into which the solar heroes must be cast, after being awakened, to still the raging waters of animal lust. This is the meaning of Jonahís being cast into the waters after the casting of lots showing him responsible for the tempest. As the belly is the seat of the sexual and animal nature, the solar god is appropriately placed in the fishís belly. And that neither Jonahís venture nor Jesusí burial is historical is indicated by the fact that both were held captive in this cavern of death for three days!
In the Eternalís promise to Noah that the rainbow after every storm would remind him of his compact not to bring further destruction on the earth, he concludes with: "and the waters shall never again become a deluge to destroy every creature." The structure of this sentence is enlightening; for it is to be noted that the Eternal does not say that there shall be no waters to cover the earth, but that the waters of living force released for evolutionary purposes shall not again get out of hand and "become a deluge."
Of great value in this connection is the latter part of an Egyptian inscription called the Destruction of Mankind, dealing with the rebellion and fall of the angels. It ends similarly to that of Noah:
"When the deluge of blood is over, it is stated by the majesty of Ra: ĎI shall now protect men on this account. I raise my hand (in token) that I shall not again destroy men.í" (Page 282)
Here it is distinctly called a deluge of blood, not of water, signifying that the fiery nature of deity was drowned in the blood of incarnation. This points clearly to the racial biological nature of the deluge and away from any historical imputation whatever. Cosmology, biology, racial origin and individual spiritual history are all woven together in the skein of both the rainbow and the deluge symbolism. The thread that is missing is objective history!
The four elemental symbols are found to suggest these interesting correlations when two or more are seen in interplay. But there is almost no end of allusions to each of them separately in the tomes of the old wisdom. Much of this material is too valuable to be passed by. We begin with earth at the bottom.
This element need not be dealt with at great length. It is readily seen for what it truly is, the nethermost stratum of matter to which intelligence descends to manifest. The mineral kingdom of earth, the physical base of manís body, marks the nadir of the downward sweep and the turning point or pivot. On its descending arc life undergoes a subjection of its finer forces to sluggish inert matter, on the analogy of a fire being reduced in burning potency. The earth is thus the opposite pole to heaven, as matter is the opposite node to spirit. And forever between these two extremes of positive and negative being plies the tireless shuttle of life. From spirit to matter and back again is the schedule of lifeís endless journey. The ultimate significance of this is the profound mystery of all being. But Life is; and one of its activities is the cyclical periodicity of its creative function, its circulation around the wheel of birth, growth and death. It rhythmically institutes a progressive order, runs its course, perfects its products and then annihilates these products (to outward sense), leaving their seeds of new life, however, to flower in the next cycle.
Archaic wisdom expounds more intricate cosmic and evolutionary data than modern science has yet picked up. It asserts that the stars and planets are living beings, like humans. If a mortal-immortal man has four distinct bodies appertaining to his entire being, so does a planet. The ancient science says that each globe physically discernible is but one of a chain of seven bodies existing, like manís vestures, in four types of matter symboled, again like manís bodies, by earth, water, air and fire. A life wave emanating from the Father darts outward and courses around this chain of seven globes, organizing them in fact, (Page 283) and creating a kingdom of kindred matter on each plane. The direction is downward or matterward for the first four globes, after which it turns again spiritward and sweeps upward through the last three. That is, the life wave builds a planetary spirit body on the plane of spirit (fire), a more material body on the plane of mind (air), a still more dense one on the plane of emotion (water), and finally an entirely material globe on the plane of mineral earth. Then it turns upward in its swing, rebuilding new globe bodies on the subtler planes through which it descended till it rests at last in the glorious new spirit body on the plane of the empyreal fire. On the fourth or lowest plane it builds up, lives and then retires from, the dense physical globe which is the earth.
The earth is thus the place of critical interest in the whole cycle. The life wave is sent forth to return with a harvest of more abundant life. Now it is only as spirit contacts and overcomes the inertia of matter that it brings its own potentialities to birth. Abiding eternally on its own plane, as Platonic philosophy says, it remains nonproductive. It must go forth, seek adventure, meet with opposition, wrestle with the powers that would choke it, and achieve its new cyclical victory in a world of adversity. As Plotinus writes, "It is not enough for the soul merely to exist; she must show what she is capable of begetting." Here is the model and the genius of all romance, all drama. And the earth is the scene of this conflict between the embryonic immortal and the titanic mortal forces. And where the earth stands in the chain of planetary bodies, the physical body of man stands in the chain of vehicles or vestures which compose each individual. The human body is the seat and arena of the great conflict of personal destiny. Without dwelling in and mastering the body of flesh, the individual soul, as says Plotinus, would never know her powers. She would be spiritual, as she was from the start; but she would dream her existence away without ever becoming consciously aware of her latent creative capabilities, if she did not incarnate. Incarnation is evolutionís method of setting the seal of reality upon conscious life. This is the office of earth-life in the cycle and of incarnation for the individual soul. And it is the crucial point in all philosophy, as it is the critical point in individual destiny. As for the soul her pathway to heaven runs through the earth, and on it she goes to her "death" to be born anew. (Page 284)
In the Ritual (Ch. 19) the chapter of the Crown of Triumph shows the meaning of placing a floral wreath or crown upon the mummy in the sheta or coffin. It was to depict that the "garland of earth in the nether world becomes the crown of triumph for eternal wear." The crown of life was given to those who had suffered on earth. Earth and the body were the double arena in which the soul wrought out its perfection. Untried, untested in the fires of bodily experience, its faculties could not have been forged into strength, power and beauty. The soul comes into the underworld of darkness to win the immortal crown of light and glory, for only by victory over the powers of darkness can the light be brought to shining.
The Ritual makes it clear that the underworld of the earth is the realm to which the father Osiris, or Amen-Ra, or other deity pictured as aged, comes to regain his youth. "The old man (Amen-Ra) shineth in the form of one that is young"; "the old man that maketh himself young again"; "the unknown one who hideth himself from that which cometh forth from him"; and finally the one who is "deified in the underworld." In the Book of Breathings the Manes is told:
"Then doth thy soul breathe forever and ever, and thy form is made anew with thy life upon earth; thou art made divine along with the souls of the gods, thy heart is the heart of Ra, and thy members are the members of the great god."
"And the god Ap-uat (i.e., the Opener of the Ways) hath opened up for thee a prosperous path."
The Manes cries to Ra, his divinity:
"Make thou thy roads glad for me; and make broad for me thy paths when I shall set out from earth for the life in the celestial regions."
Saying that the divine speech of Ra is in his ears in the Tuat (underworld) the Manes prays that "no defects of my mother be imputed to me." This is to say: let no stains from my contacts with mother earth adhere to me. Yet to the unit of undivinized spirit it is told: "Through Keb (Seb) thou dost become a spirit." Apotheosis is on earth. The swamps of earth are the miry path to the Aarru-Hetep at the summit of the mount. (Page 285)
We meet in the Ritual the statement that "Earth opens to Ra! Earth closes to Apap!" It is the story of the Reed (Red) Sea over again. The physical domain opens as the soul learns the keys of magic power that part the waters. These keys are virtue, discipline, wisdom. But earth closes to block the way to Apap, or evil and ignorance. Earth provides the conditions that induce every quality of spirit to burgeon in beauty; but it brings to nought the counsels of the ungodly through karmic law. To live in the lower, sensual, grasping nature is to plunge into the waters and be overwhelmed; to aspire after fervent righteousness is to find that dry land between the parted waters.
The next element is water, and this is a more pertinent symbol of the lower self in man even than earth. It stands in two senses, first, for the primordial essence of all substance, the water of the abyss, the mother principle of all things; secondly for the higher water of life. The first is called in Egypt the water of the Nun, or of Nu (Nnu, equated with Noah by Massey). The Greek Nux (Nyx), Latin Nox, perhaps matches this goddess of the infinite void, in whom there is nothing but the sheer potentiality of life. As this is the primal darkness and the void, Nu, Nun, Nyx, is apparently the linguistic original of all things negative in speech, as "no," "none," "not," "nought," "never," "negative," German "nichts." But out of it flashed the first ray of light. It was the water of source, and life is born out of water.
But the primal abyss splits into two firmaments, and there is the water above to match the water below. So secondly there is the water of life, the higher firmament. This is practically equivalent to spirit and is another but less used form of the fire symbol itself. The rain that falls from the skies, and not the flowing water below, would be its type.
Closer to man, however, there is a third application of the water symbol. The element is made to stand for the second of his constituent principles, the emotional nature, which is so closely inwrought with his physical body as generally to include the latter in its reference. This is the most suggestive and fruitful use of water as symbol. It is the water of earth, of sense, of generation, that holds the threat of drowning the god. It is the water in which he has to learn to walk without sinking! It is the water that he has to transmute into wine as spirit. Water is the aptest symbol of the lower life because of its fluid nature and its constant motion and fluctuation, picturing sense and emotion. (Page 286)
Life cast amid the senses and the feelings is in unceasing flux, as Heraclitus said. Like the restless throb of ocean, it is never still. No figure could better portray the dual sense-emotion life of mortals than the heaving bosom of the sea, or the moving current of a river or brook.
Nature indeed holds before us a marvelous textual illustration of the whole cyclical life process in her water-circulation system. We have the ocean as the source of all rising water emanations. The sun elevates great masses of moisture into the skies by its power; and a reduction of temperature causes this water vapor to condense and fall upon the land. From remote highlands it trickles into the brooks, streams, rivers and bays, and finally rejoins its primal sea of source. The circuit bristles with analogies to the life cycle at every turn. The sunís function in lifting masses of vapor invisibly to heaven types the spiritís power to refine the unseen elements of consciousness and elevate the substance of life. The reduction in temperature symbolizes a procedure in evolution which leads souls back to earth. The condensation of the vapor mass into individual drops symbols the dismemberment of deity. The fall to earth matches the descent of the gods. The beneficent agency of the rain in uplifting natural growth is evident as a parallel with the work of the god in uplifting the human. Without water from heaven humanity would be equally sterile, spiritually, as are the animals. The return to primal unity in the sea is manifest in the conversion of individual selfishness back to social and spiritual solidarity. Then comes a step in the cycle that yields the utmost of instruction for thought. Every phase of the round is visible except that in which the water is lifted from the sea again into heaven. The entire cycle is perceptible except the one arc in which matter is returned to spirit (vapor) form. In every visible round of life process there is always the one stage that is invisible!
This observation holds a pointed moral for science and truth-seeking generally. It has been the unwillingness to recognize the reality of the process of life in its invisible stages that has kept science from discerning full truth. For human life runs a similar cycle, issuing from the subjective or spirit world into the objective palpable life of body, and retiring again. But, like the vapor rising from the ocean, its return to heaven and its positive existence there is unseen. Science stands on its firm denial of the soulís subsistence after death on the sheer ground of (Page 287) its disappearance. Natureís typology intimates that, like the vapor that has risen to the skies, it will return again to earth, and that it must therefore be subsistent in the interim. As the water cycle is complete in spite of one invisible segment, so the natural cycle of life is complete, with no arc missing. The apparently missing link is found in the unseen world. But is not science itself finding that the most vital and dynamic realities are in the unseen world?
The sally of the gods into natureís realm is imaged as a welling forth of water from a living rock or secret source. Ihuh (Jehovah), the Lord, is described in Egypt as "the fountain of living waters" (Psalms, 29:10). Revelation speaks similarly (Ch. 22:1): "And he showed me a river of water of life brought as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God." And in Isaiah when it is said that the dumb shall break forth into singing, it is added: "Waters are to well forth in the wilderness, streams in the desert." Jesus cried:
"If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37).
In the Ritual the god says: "I flood the land with water." There were various pools and lakes which the Manes was to cross on his journey through the underworld. Pepi, the soul, is called "the efflux of the celestial water, and he appeared when Nu came into being." For the Manes the promise is made: "He shall quaff water at the fountain head." In an Irish myth seven streams flowed forth from "Counlaís Well" into the River Shannon. All cosmic effluence is in seven rays or streams. The Egyptian text says of the Manes: "He gulpeth down seven cubits of the great waters." The Rig-Veda (10:8, 3) gives us a similar hint, though it has several loftier interpretations: "When the sun flew up, the (seven) Arushis refreshed their bodies in the water." The disappearance by day of the seven stars of the Great Bear, which always typed these seven creative emanations, is probably the natural basis of this poetization. The water issuing from the base of a rock is typical of godly life emanating from the eternal rock of being. In the Ritual we meet with the hero who, like Moses, causes water to gush from the rock. He says: "I make the water to issue forth." Of this water the children of light "drink abundantly." The water of dawn, the dew, symbolizing the first outpouring, is called "the water of (Page 288) Tefnut," twin sister of Shu, god of life by air. And it is notable that in the Hebrew version the first to make the water come forth by miracle for the people to drink is Miriam, whose relation to Moses is identical with that of Tefnut to Shu. This Shu, as the son of Nun, the firmamental water, is the life in breath; and almost unquestionably furnishes the prototypal character of Joshua, the son of Nun in the Hebrew book. And Joshua is identical by name with Jesus. The text pictures the goddess Nut standing beneath her sycamore tree, from which she pours out the water of life, as Hathor offers her fruit juice from the tree.
The Hawaiian mythoi have a rock that yields water on being struck with a rod.
Heaven as the source of celestial water is indicated in the derivation of the Greek Ouranos, "heaven," from the Egyptian Urnas, which is the celestial water (probably giving the root of our "urn"). It is the blood of Ouranos that gives birth to Aphrodite.
Neptune is traced to the Egyptian nef, "sailor," and this god was the sun over the waters, the god who completed the circuit round or over the waters.
Water was the first creation, and up out of its depths came the emanating gods to get the breath of life. Could one find a more astonishing replica of this cosmic situation than that furnished by the modus of human birth? Every child who in this life is to travel from nature to God issues into life out of a sack of water, and the first thing done by the attendant is to stimulate the latent breathing power. "Tefnut bears him, Shu gives him life."
The gods who brought the water of life down to mortals had thereafter to endure the drenching by this same element in its earthly form. Says Daniel: "He shall be drenched with the dews of heaven." As the original cosmic water was the Nun, or the negation of all positive life, so the earthly shadow of water, that is, matter, is similarly a type of the negation of life. It is inert. The Egyptian ideograph of privation, negation, is a wave of water! And many Indian languages have a similar term for "he dies" and "water." This indicates the idea of death by drowning, the paraphrase of incarnation. The gods descend to drink of the waters of carnal life at the peril of their immortal souls. The dead beneath the waters, says Massey, are the Manes in Amenta, where the waters are an image of the lower Nun, (Page 289) the water not above, but below, the horizon. Isis sought her drowned son Horus in the waters of the underworld, from which he was fished out by Sevekh. Bacchus, lord of the humid nature, in being raised again, ascends from the water, enters the air and comes then as the Fanman or Winnower, the purifier by air (mind). (Plutarch: De Iside et Osiride) This marks once more the evolution of natural man over into the kingdom of spirit, the transition from water to air, or from emotion to mind, from Tefnut to Sekhet, or from Tefnut to Shu. Jonah, the personification of the god in matter, cried from "the belly of death":
"For thou didst cast me into the depth, in the heart of the seas, and the flood was round about me; all thy waves and thy billows passed over me . . . The waters compassed me about, even to the soul. The deep was round about me; the weeds were wrapped about my head."
Job (26) cries that "the dead tremble beneath the waves . . . He stilleth the sea by his power," as did Jonah and Jesus, Horus and Tammuz and others. "He turneth back the waterflood which is over the thigh of the goddess Nut . . ." The Manes in dread of the deluge prays to "have power over the water and not be drowned" (Rit., Ch. 57). Glimpsing his coming earthly victory, he cries: "I am the being who is never overwhelmed in the waters."
Herod in attempting to kill Jesus by a slaughter of the innocents is paralleled by the Pharaoh. He attempted to blot out the menace of the Israelites by ordering the Hebrew midwives to kill all the male children at the time of birth by drowning (Exod. I:22). This is a depiction of the general danger menacing the god during his incarnation in the watery realm of the body. The Psalms express it indirectly (74): "Thou breakest the heads of the dragons in the waters." The gods had to break the power of the elementary lives engendered in the lower or water kingdoms. Sargon says that his mother gave him to the river, "which drowned me not."
"He drew me out of great waters," sings the Psalmist. Moses is water-born. Josephus explains the name as signifying "one who was taken out of the water." Moffatt translates it as "removed" (from the water). Pharaohís daughter called the name of the child Mosheh, and said "because I drew him out of the water." (Exod. II:10). Maui, of New Zealand legend, like Moses and Sargon, was drawn out of the (Page 290) water at birth. And the floating ark was the coffin. The Speaker says: "I am coffined in an ark like Horus, to whom his cradle is brought." This cradle is often represented as a nest of papyrus reeds, equated thus with the ark of bulrushes. Thor in the Norse mythos had to wade through the waters, there being no bridge for him, as he fares to the Doomstead under the Ygdrasil. The root of this great Norse tree of life was beneath the water, its stem and branches above, like the lotus. The Ygdrasil ash stands in the well of the Urdar fountain. The Egyptian Pool of Persea nourished the roots of "the two divine sycamore trees of earth and heaven." In Revelation the tree of life is planted on both sides of the river of waters.
It was in the storm on the sea that the distressed sailors in the gray light of dawn saw Jesus walking upon the troubled waters, drawing nigh to them. In quieting the storm he played the part of Horus in the Ritual, of whom it is written: "He hath destroyed the waterflood of his mother"--nature. In another form this stands: "He hath dispersed the power of the raging rainstorm." And again: "He hath dispersed for thee the rainstorm, he hath driven away for thee the waterflood, he hath broken for thee the tempests." All this prefigures the stilling of the strong restless power of the natural elements in manís lower life, the mother-material nature, symboled by water. The god descending into the sphere of "water" was imaged by the duck, goose or swan; who all dive for food under the water. In a beautiful myth of the island of Celebes, seven celestial nymphs descend from the sky to bathe. They are seen by Kasimbaha, who stole the robes of one of them named Utahagi. These robes gave her the power of flying, and without them she was caught. She became his wife and bore him a son. Here we find ignorant primitives, according to scholastic rating, preserving a definite legend of the highest spiritual truth. For the robe stolen by the man on earth was her divine vesture, the immortal spiritual body.
The Ritual speaks eloquently again in one of its chapter titles: "Of drinking water in the underworld." And in this chapter the Manes prays: "May there be granted to me mastery over the water courses as over the members of Set (Sut)."
One of the Chinese Trinity of gods "showed the people how to cultivate the ground which had been reclaimed from the waters" (Shu-King). (Page 291)
We have in this imagery the meaning of "casting bread upon the waters." It is the going out into incarnation of that "bread" which cometh down out of heaven for the life of the world. As the life in generation is distressful for the god, one of the promises pertaining to final release from the ordeal emphasizes that "there shall be no more night, no more sea" in the blessed homeland of the father. But the bread cast out is multiplied and returns a sevenfold increase.
The zodiacal sign of Aquarius is the Waterman pouring from an urn the water of life in a double stream. The sacred literature is filled with references to the two waters, or the water of the double source. In many myths there are two streams, two springs, two wells, two lakes. Cosmically the two indicate the original fission of Godís being into the two poles of positive and negative life, or spirit and matter. This was the divine life that emanated in two streams to fructify creation. In the lower world it is reflected in the division between the water of the air above and on the earth below, vapor and liquid, cloud on high and stream on the ground. Sometimes the goddesses representing primal fecundity are cut in two, as Tiamat, Isis, Neith, Hathor, Apt, Rerit. Thus Nut was the goddess of celestial water and Apt of the terrestrial; Isis of the heavenly, Nephthys of the earthly. These were pictured as the two cows or two groups of seven cows (as in Pharaohís dream) or a cow of two colors, fore and hind. The cow, as productive source of life-food, was paired into the water-cow of earth and the milch-cow of heaven. The water-cow symboled Mother Nature alone, before the advent of divine spirit, the masculine bull, into creation - matter unfructified by intelligence. The seven cows betoken the seven creative Elohim, the living energies of matter. The two living streams of water were put in the uranograph in the form of a watercourse with two branches, one of which was the Iarutana (Egy.), Eridanus (Greek), Jordan (Hebrew); and the other the milk stream, the Milky Way, Via Lactea. The Eridanus, or earth water, was the stream that had to be passed over in incarnation; the Milky Way was the water course by which the soul ascended again into the heavens of spirit. The cow of earth was constellated in the seven stars of the Great Bear, the Milch-cow of heaven in Cassiopeia.
The Hindu Aditi, as the Great Mother of the Gods, becomes twain. She yields milk for the gods, and is identical with the heaven cow in Egypt. Aditi was the primal form of Dyaus (Zeus), the sky divinity. (Page 292)
She alternates with Diti as mother of the embryo that was divided into seven parts, the seven Elohim. As Aditi she was the undivided Absolute; as Diti she was the divided one, mother of the two streams of outpoured life.
Of Ra it is written: "Thou bringest the milk of Isis to him and the waterflood of Nephthys." Or again: "Thou hast brought the milk of Isis to Teta, and the water of the celestial stream of Nephthys."
The Egyptians figured the two waters in the Nile, with its two arms, the Blue Nile and the White Nile. In the planispheres the south was Upper Egypt (by elevation); so the heavenly chart depicts the celestial Nile or Eridanus (Jordan) as pouring forth its divine stream from the southern sky, rising from the star Achernar in Eridanus constellation, and traveling northward to Orionís foot, or where Orion rises up as Horus, the lord of the fertilizing inundation. Horusí representative in the planisphere is Orion. In the celestial chart Orion is found standing, club in hand, the mighty hunter, with one foot on the water of the River Eridanus. By this it is depicted that the young solar god, our divinity, rises up where the stream of natural evolution ends and stands over it invested with the majesty and power of the lord of the lower waters of sense and emotion. Also in the case of the Nile there were two sources of its water, one earthly, the Lake Nyanza, the other celestial, or the rain and snow from heaven in the highlands of source.
The Persian Bundahish details the two waters of origin as female and male seed. "All milk arises from the seed of the males and the blood is that of the females." The two waters, or blood and milk, were both typed as feminine at first, to represent nature as productive without spiritual fecundation. To symbol the latter, the one was afterwards made masculine. The first pair was the motherís blood and milk; the second, blood and seminally-engendered milk, or milk treated as of male generation.
As in the cosmos, matter, the virgin mother of life, was evolving her forms without the visible presence of animating divine intelligence, that is, before a creature embodying intelligence had been evolved, so in human racial history the body of man was built up by nature without the ensouling presence of mind. Matter and its inherent force, the feminine aspect of life, alone occupied the field. Marvelously this phase is paralleled not only in some aspects of biology but in early racial (Page 293) history itself. Following upon Totemic social organization there was the Matriarchate, when the woman was head and ruler, because she was the only known producer of life. The function of fatherhood was obscurely known. The mother and later the daughter, or the mother and her sister, were the only known bonds of blood relation for the children. As in the cosmos, so in human society, the male element, while operative, was hidden out of sight and knowledge. A child was related only through two women, mother and daughter, or mother and aunt. Massey asserts in a hundred pages that these two are the archetypal forms of the two wives, or two women who are dramatis personae in nearly every religious myth of origin. Adam, Abraham, Jacob, Laban, David, Moses, Samson had two wives, and the Old Testament is replete with stories of two women, who are sisters, as Aholah and Aholibah, in Ezekiel. Two Meris figure in the story of Osiris, and the two Maries in that of Jesus.
Two pools were pictured in the Ritual, the Pool of Natron and the Pool of Salt. Also the Pool of the North and the Pool of the South.
The male or seminal element, then, marked the introduction of spiritual vivification into the natural order. A new birth ensued for nature, new powers were released for her creatures, and they sprang forward to attain a new status in conscious being. The element injected into nature to produce this generation was typified, both by the Gnostics and by Jesus, as "the salt of the earth" and the "light of the world." The sowing of the spiritual seed, or the potentiality of the god, was the earnest of manís redemption from animal status. The effort to fix the character of our "salvation" without knowing specifically the nature of our "fall"--without definite knowledge of what we were to be saved from - has held the human mind for centuries captive to a vague dread, a bogie apprehension, that has been a vast discredit to theology. Salt is the figure of preservation. As in the case of the mummy unguents, salt was to preserve the lower nature of man from decay.
Curiously the two Pools are elsewhere called the Pool of the Moon and the Pool of the Sun. In the Pool of Natron, or Hesmen, or Smen, the bloody sweat of menstruation, we have the feminine, that is, material aspect of life, for which the moon ever stands, in opposition to the sun, which is masculine, life-generative and vivifying. The moon in its phase unlighted by the sun represented the woman, nature, in (Page 294) her unproductive stage. She was in her virgin state, unwedded to male spirit, unfecundated by mind. Impregnation by Intelligence would make her productive and take her out from under her subjection "to the law" of periodicity and matter.
And this alone is the meaning of the "miracle" in which Jesus heals the woman with an issue of blood from her youth, who touched the hem of his robe and received the perceptible discharge of his power. The incident is just one of the old mythic depictions, using the sexual procreative functionism as a weathervane of spiritual meaning. When matter, the virgin mother, received the impregnation of spirit, the periodic course of nature was interrupted and a miraculous new birth of life was inaugurated. The stoppage of her issue of blood was but the sign of the entrance of deity into humanity. For the ceasing of the natural flow is the sure index of the ensuing advent of a higher birth. Nature, running to waste without fruitage, was healed by divine impregnation or vivification. Christianity has been content to take from this incident the meager wealth of a physical "cure"; ancient poetic genius deposited in it a mine of inexhaustible cosmic suggestiveness, a source of great moral enrichment for all.
That antique document, the Book of Enoch, comments directly upon the point under discussion (80:7-10):
"The water which is above shall be the agent (male) and the water which is under the earth shall be the recipient, and all shall be destroyed."
Jesus said that he was from above and natural man from beneath. It is found in the Ritual that in the Pool of Natron and the Pool of Salt the sun was reborn each day and the moon each night. The circuit of experience each day, or each life, for both the divine man (sun) and the animal man (moon) amounted to a rebaptism and renewal of life. "I grow young each day," exults the soul in the Ritual.
The constellation of the Great Bear was called "The Well of the Seven Stars." The Hebrew Beer-Sheba (Sheba meaning obviously "seven") was an early form of the primordial water. Beer-Sheba in the Septuagint is given as "Phrear Horkou" (Greek), meaning: "The well of the oath." What can this strange name connote, save that it is a subtle designation for this life in watery body, to which the soul descended under the karmic "command" or covenant, or oath, which binds it to return to this living well of life? (Page 295)
The twin pools were located in Anu, the white water being southward, the red northward. In the Ritual one name for it is the "Well of Sem-Sem." Sem-Sem denotes regenesis. The Ritual says: "Inexplicable is the Sem-Sem, which is the greatest of all secrets." It was the place where sun and moon were renewed. In consequence it was a place where the deceased seeks the waters of regeneration, or fount of youth. He says (Ch. 97): "I wash in the Pool of Peace. I draw water from the Divine Pool under the two Sycamores of heaven and earth. All justification is redoubled on my behalf." "Osiris is pure by the Well of the South and the North."
In plain language all this metaphorization means simply that man, a biune being, strides forward in his evolution by dipping in the experiences of both the carnal embodiment, the Pool of Natron, the "Nature" Pool, and in the godís divine essence, the Pool of Salt, the "Spirit" Pool.
The water of life is sometimes said to be concealed between two lofty mountains which stand close together. But for two or three minutes each day they move apart, and the seeker of the healing and vivifying water must be ready on the instant to dart through, fill his two flasks and instantly rush back. Zechariah (14:4) hints at this:
"And the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof towards the East and towards the West, and half of the mountain shall remove toward the North and half toward the South."
"Day" is a glyph for a cycle of any length, here an incarnation. The period of openness between the two mountains is just the time between birth and death in this life, during which brief moment, the soul must fall speedily to work to wrest all it can from this opportunity for contact between the two natures, animal and divine. It must strive quickly to fill its cup of experience from the flowing waters. The night cometh when no man can work. For this is the only time in its evolution when it can drink from the double spring, the two pools. The two or three minutes coincide with the two (or three) days in the tomb.
And by the shifting of the earthís axis the east-west relation was supplanted by the north-south one, as referred to by Zechariah.
The Egyptian god Hapi, being of both sexes, denotes the eunuch in whom the two were united. He is the epicene personification, androgyne. From the mouth of Hapi issues the one stream which enters (Page 296) two other figures from whose two mouths it is emaned in a double stream. This is the one water dividing into two in the mythology. In the astrograph this is Aquarius.
In Egyptian and Hebrew traditions the deity is represented as shedding two creative tears, a poetic version of the two waters.
In the Hindu picture of Mahadeva and Parvati the waters of Soma are seen issuing from the head of the male deity and from the mouth of the cow, the feminine emblem. Siva is the mouth of the male source and Parvati, the Great Mother, is that of the feminine source. "He who knows the golden reed standing in the midst of the waters is the mysterious Prajapati, the generator."
Milk from the body signified the female water, while Soma juice figured the male element, the wine that went to the head!
The ancient mother source was portrayed as twofold, a breathing land-animal in front, a water-animal behind, typing the elements of water and air. This is seen in the zodiacal Capricorn, the sea-goat, land-goat in front, sea animal in the rear. The Hindu goddess Maya hovers over the waters, and presses her two breasts with both hands, ejecting the twofold stream of living nutriment. The Hermaean Zodiac shows the Great Bear with streaming breasts, and the zodiacal Virgin is represented by the Bear as unproductive in Virgo, but the "bearer" in the sign of Pisces, where she is half fish and half human. Ishtar, another personification of the genetrix, was dual. One of her names was Semiramis, the daughter of Atergatis. The latter has the tail of a fish, but the daughter was wholly human. The fish denoted water, and the dove on Ishtarís head signified air, again throwing sense and soul into relation.
Since the Eridanus is the Jordan, the word merits closer attention. It came from the Egyptian Iarutana. Eri, later Uri, was an Egyptian name for the inundation, meaning "great, mighty," whilst tun or tana signified "that which rises up and bursts and bonds." In Eritanu, or Iarutana, we then have the mighty river rising to overflow its banks. Astrologically it was placed in the heavenly chart as issuing from the mouth of the constellation of the Southern Fish, type of life source, and flowing north to the foot of Orion.
It is of note that in Joshua (22) it is said the Eternal made the Jordan the boundary between the main body of the Israelites and the Reubenites and Gadites, who had not been permitted to cross into (Page 297) the Promised Land because, as it is put, "you have no share in the Eternal." Naturally this stream of life force sweeping mankind onward marks the boundary between the animal and the spiritual kingdoms. Animal man can not cross it until he has been bathed in its waters and been purified and transformed. We are crossing this boundary line between our lower and higher natures.
There is plentiful use of the water symbol under the special form of the sea. "The angel descended until he reached the sea of the earth, and he stood with his right foot upon it." This matches Horus-Orion in the starry chart standing with his foot upon the end of the Jordan River. The Dragon poured forth the water flood to overwhelm the Woman cast out of heaven. This points to the release of the surging forces of the carnal nature upon the soul after incarnation. But the earth opened to swallow up the released waters and helped the Woman, at which the Beast waxed more wroth; "and he waged war against them upon the borders of the sea which encompassed the earth." This is Paulís war of the carnal mind against the spirit on the rim or boundary between earth and sea, our two natures!
The watery field of life is pictured as a "crystal sea wherein the fire was reflected, and upon it there stood those who had overcome the influence of the Beast, who had not worshipped his image nor borne upon them the mark of his number."
Ra brings to Teta "the power to journey over the Great Green Sea." The Manes (Teta) "goes round about the Lake and on the flood of the Great Green Sea." Again: "Thou sailest over the Lake of Kha, in the north of heaven, like a star passing over the Great Green Sea . . . as far as the place where is the star Seh (Orion)." This matches the location of the Eridanus. Hawaiian tradition says that the voyaging souls "waded safely through the sea."
One of the most specific corroborations of the meaning of the water symbol is found in Revelation in the expression that when the books of life were opened, "the sea gave up its dead, for Death and Hades found no more any place, because they were judged and cast down." Orthodox typology present two varying symbols of what takes place "when the dead are raised." One says the graves were opened; the other that the sea gave up its dead. Here is a land and water conflict, only resolvable by symbolism, which may use many figures to picture one truth. But literal history falls meaningless between two varying (Page 298) statements of fact. The grave and the sea both refer to mortal life, which under any figure yields up its living "dead" at the end of the accomplished cycle. Then the seer "beheld the fashioning of the earth anew; for the sea out of which the Beast had risen was now no more." "There shall be . . . no more sea."
It is necessary to give some space to the symbolism of the fish, for it carries part of the imputation of the water element. For practical purposes it is possible to equate the four terms, fish, sea, matter and mother, in significance. The fish denotes, first, life in submergence, or the god in matter, who yet does not die, who can still breathe under the elements. But more specifically it intimates the source of life flowing outward toward matter. It is the outrance, not the entrance, of life. The whale spouting out its water stream is suggestive. The Eridanus poured forth from the mouth of the Southern Fish. The os tincae, or tenchís mouth, was one of the religious symbols of frequent occurrence. Watching a fish, one notes an apparent expulsion of water from the mouth with the semblance of chewing. It is the door of lifeís emanation, and it is the denizen of the waters out of which life streams. The zodiacal Pisces is the sign of the birth of saviors. Jesus, Horus, Ioannes and others came as Ichthys (Ichthus), "fish" in Greek. And we have the fish-avatar of Vishnu. The door of life is figured in the shape of a fish-mouth at the western or feminine end of a church. The Popeís miter is the mouth of a fish. The soul of life comes by way of the water.
The Vesica Piscis or fishís bladder denoted the presence of air in the water, and the bubbles rising from the fishís mouth double this hint as to the presence of mind in matter. The fish was a lower symbol than the swan or duck, for it must swim in the water; the other can float on the surface. In this sense it types the god caught, trapped in water; also likely to be caught in a net. It is said that cynocephali, who lay in wait to seize fish, "were allowed to catch them because of their ignorance." It is the soulís lack of full knowledge that causes it to be caught again and again in the meshes of carnality.
The fish zodiacally stands for the feet of the man. The mermaid with tail of fish represented the body as partaking in its nether half of the lower forces of life. Manís feet are in the water of life. Ishtar-Semiramis was given the tail of a fish. The tail also portrays the, as yet, non-dual character of life, creative power not yet bifrond. (Page 299) It shows the non-division of the legs. The mummied Christ figure in the Catacombs, with legs bound helplessly together, depicts the god strapped in the bonds of the natural elements, not yet having manifested the duality. He can not use his two legs and walk, like a god. He is only the first, natural man, not man and god conjoined.
Semiramisí brother was Ichthys in the statue at Ascalon. Ichthys was a title of Bacchus. In the Hermaean Zodiac Pisces is named Ichthon, and the fish is the female goddess who brought forth the young sun-god as her Piscean offspring, whether called Horus in Egypt, Jesus in Palestine and Rome, or Marduk, the fish of Hea, in Assyria. Christ was Ichthys the Fish from 255 B.C. unto about 1900 A.D., or for the period of the Piscean era in the precession. Previous to that he was Aries, the Lamb of God. Who will figure him now as the Waterman?
An old Egyptian story, the tale of Setnau, written by Taht himself, and alleged to be so potent that two pages of it, when recited, would open the secrets of nature and unlock all mysteries, says: "The divine power will raise fishes to the surface of the water." Metaphorically this refers to the power of the god to lift the natural man, immersed in the sea of material life, to mastery over his lower self, and bring him to the top or surface of his fleshly nature from out of the depths of it.
The Ritual reports the god as declaring: "I am the great and mighty Fish which is in the city of Qem-Ur." This is the god in matter. But it is promised that Ra "shall be separated from the Egg and from the Abtu Fish." Abtu is a form of Abydos, the place of burial of the god. Ra shall be freed from the fish or submerged state. Two chapter titles tell of "coming forth from the net" and from "the catcher of the fish." The swampy region from which Sevekh, solar deity, recovered the mutilated limbs of Horus, was called Ta-Remu, "the land of the Fish," a name given it by Ra.
Gathering up some scattered fragments of the water emblem, we note Homer describing the river Titaresius flowing from the Styx as pure and unmixed with the taint of death and gliding like oil over the surface of the water by which the gods made their covenant. Oil on troubled waters may be seen to be a profounder symbolism than was conceived before. For the god, oil is no chance symbol, as it was regularly employed in the anointing to type celestial radiance, the sheen of the divine glory. To pour oil on the waters is indeed to quiet (Page 300) the storms of raging animality by the calm of reason and the gentleness of love.
In the Hebrew the water of life flows from the rock Tser till the time of Miriamís passing away. This represents the female source. The change to the masculine phase occurs when the water gushes forth for the first time from the rock Seba (Beer-Sheba) by the command of Moses. This was the water of Meribah, and in the Egyptian Meri is water, and Bah is the male.
In Judges (30) God split the rock as sign of the dual nature, and water flowed forth to quench Samsonís thirst, as in the case of Moses.
The throne on which Osiris is seated is sometimes placed, in the vignettes to the Ritual, on water, still or running. This is to say that the god is seated above the unstable foundation of the changing earth life. But life is to be established through its experience here, and so "he hath established it upon the floods."
When the god had been transformed he is said to "have gained power over fresh water." As salt typed the saving grace of divinity, the fresh water would point to the new and as yet unsaved natural creature. "Moisture," says the Chaldean Oracles, "is a symbol of life, and hence both Plato and, prior to Plato, the gods call the soul at one time a drop from the whole of vivification; and at another time a certain fountain of it."
The chapter can be brought to a close with a few intimations of the air symbolism. It is much less general than those of water and fire. The Sanskrit "Asu," meaning "vital breath" is of great importance because it is the base of Asura (Persian: Ahura, surname of Ahura-Mazda), one of the specific names of the hosts of incarnating gods.
Both Horus and Jesus came forth with a fan in their hands, as the Winnower. This emblem is a clear glyph for the principle of mind. Intellect is to sweep out the chaff of sensuality and free the golden grain. Those initiated into the Greater Mysteries were washed with water and then breathed upon, fanned and winnowed by the purifying spirit. This was the dual baptism of water and the spirit, or fire. One of the two great symbols held in the hands of the Gods in Egypt was a fan called the Khi, the sign of air, breath and spirit. The other was the Hek, or Aut-crook, which denoted laying hold, in the downward direction, of matter by spirit; in the reversed direction, of spirit by the lower personality.(Page 301)
Lack of air, or smothering, was a twin type with drowning for the limitations of incarnation. A phrase of the Ritual indicates this: "whose throat stinketh for lack of air." In descending to seek her lost brother and husband Osiris, Isis is claimed to have "made light appear from her feathers; she made air to come into being by means of her two wings,"--another personation of the fanner or winnower. The god fans the mortal to keep him from being suffocated for lack of air, mind. The god brings us intellect, which indeed keeps us from being smothered by the intolerable life of sense. The cogency of leaven as a symbol lies in its generating air within the material mass. The raising of dough is synonymous with the resurrection of mortality. In the Ritual there is a "chapter of giving air to the soul in the underworld." Mind came as our savior.(Page 302)
FIRE ON HEAVENíS HEARTH
The way is now cleared for the majestic sweep of the fire symbolism. It rises above the other elements in grandeur and impressiveness. The full implication of its meaning lifts the mind into reaches of luminous suggestiveness as to the splendor of the experience awaiting us in nobility, and even as a mere figure it has a certain power to stir dim intimations of the magnificence of that reality which it hints at. There is in nature hardly a phenomenon more wonderful than the eating away of a stick of wood by a flame. The mystery of all life is back of that energic display. And the mystery becomes awesome when we realize that our own life is more than analogous to fire; it is of kindred nature with it. The soul within us is a spark of divine flame.
The origin of the word is of interest. It goes back to the Greek pur(pyr). Massey traces the word "pyramid" from the stem, plus the Egyptian met, meaning "ten" or "a measure," giving us pyramet. He asserts that it stands thus for the ten original measures or arcs traced by the god of fire, the sun, through the zodiacal circuit. As the great pyramid at Gizeh, and others, seem to have been intimately related to sidereal measurements, this theory of origin is plausible. The word would then mean "a ten-form measure of fire," a figure for manifest life.
But the Greek pur itself traces back to the Chaldean ur, primitive word for "fire." To this the Egyptians added their article "the" as prefix, in the form of p-, making the word p-ur or pur. The first emanation, Abraham, came out from ur, the primal fire of creation.
The Sanskrit Agni, god of fire, is traced by Massey to the general root, ag, meaning "to move quickly," as in the Latin ago, "to go," agile (Lat.), "active," our "agitate" and others. As this derivation links it closely to the Greek theos, "god," who by etymology is the "swift runner," "the swift goer," Agni, god of fire, may well be connected (Page 303) with the theos, the god whose symbol everywhere is the swift-darting shaft of fire, whether in the heavens or in the uplands of reason and intelligence. The "flash of intelligence" is the exact sign and token of the swift activity of the god within us.
That the soul is a spark from the celestial fire is attested by the words of the Speaker in the Ritual (Ch. 97): "Lo I come from the lake of flame, from the lake of fire, and from the field of flame, and I live."
In the Vision of Scipio Cicero has preserved some of the ancient doctrine concerning the derivation of souls from the empyrean. The spirit of Africanus tells his son that souls were supplied to men from the eternal fires, which are constellations and stars. Virgil says that in souls there is a potency like fire. In the Hymn to Minerva of Proclus, souls originate
"From the great fatherís
fount, supremely bright,
Like fire resounding, leaping into light."
One of the Chaldean
Oracles runs as follows:
"The soul being a splendid fire, through the power of the Father remains immortal, is the mistress of life . . . the soul extends vital illumination to body."
And again most succinctly:
"All things are the progeny of one fire."
The first Oracle of Zoroaster tells of a ladder which reached from Tartarus to the first or highest fire. This was the gamut of stages between the lowest levels of material life and the highest spiritual. The principle of soul, says the Oracle, is the operator and giver of life-bearing fire. It fills the vivific bosom of Hecate (the lower nature) and pours on the linked natures of matter and spirit the fertile strength of a fire endured with mighty power. Concerning divine Love the Oracle speaks:
"Who first leaped forth from intellect, clothing fire bound together with fire, that he might govern the fiery cratera (bowls), restraining the flower of his own fire."
When Ceres delivered up the government to Proserpina, her daughter (intellect to soul), she instructed her to have conjugal relation (Page 304) with Apollo, the sun-god, as thus the god would beget "famed offspring, with faces glowing with refulgent fire."
The upper fire, the Oracles affirm, did not shut up its power in matter, nor in works, but in intellect. "For the artificer of the fiery world is an intellect of intellect." Saturn, who in the Oracles is the first fountain, the strong spirit which is beyond the fiery poles, endues all the lower principles with his essence. These, through his pervading might, "become refulgent with the furrows of inflexible and implacable fire." They "are the intellectual conceptions from the paternal fountain, plucking abundantly the flower of the fire of ceaseless time." And that our progress upward is a return to a fiery nature is shown by these excerpts:
"A fire-heated conception has the first order. For the mortal who approaches to fire will receive a light from divinity; . . ."
"A singular fire extends itself by leaps through the waves of air; or an infigured fire, whence a voice runs before; or a light beheld near, every way splendid, resounding and convolved. But also behold a horse full of refulgent light; or a boy carried on a swift horse - a boy fiery or clothed with gold."
"Rivers being mingled, perfect the works of incorruptible fire."
It was the statement of Greek philosophy that "from the exhalations arising from the burning bodies of the Titans, mankind were produced." [ Thomas Taylor: Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, p. 126.]
An echo of this abstrusity of esoteric lore is heard in the accounts of the Wiradthuri tribe of Western Australia. One of their initiations is apparently the analogue of the whole basic structure of religion, represented in a fire drama. In the puberty initiations the lads were frightened by a large fire lighted near them, being told that the Dhur-Moolan was about to burn them. This god was supposed to take them into the bush and instruct them in all the traditional customs. So he went through a pretended killing of the boys, cutting them up and burning the pieces to ashes, after which he molded the ashes into human shape and restored them to life as new beings.[See. R. H. Matthews: The Wiradthuri Tribes, Journal of Anthropology Inst., Vol. XXV, 1896. ] Primitive ignorance may be the nursery of superstition, but much alleged primitive ignorance is old wisdom surviving in ruinous grandeur by the implacable power of tradition.
In the Clementine Homilies (8:18) the offspring of the unnatural (Page 305) and untimely union between the sons of God and the daughters of men described in Genesis are declared to be "bastards, begotten of the fire of angels and the blood of women." The gods are rebuked for polluting themselves with women, "as the sons of men do," and for creating a hybrid and unworthy progeny whose destruction they would in the future lament. (Enoch 12)
Many tribes held the firefly, which thrives in moist grasses, to be a typical emblem of our divinity. Its periodical flashing in the dark is suggestive.
The Logia and Revelation both yield data on the theme of fire. At the first angelís trumpet message there ascended on the earth a hail of fire which was scattered from the Altar of Fire before the throne. "And the hail of fire was mingled with the blood of the Lamb; these were cast upon earth to consume away its evil." Horus had said that he came to put an end to evil. At the second angelís blast lightning flashed forth and went down into the sea, which it changed into blood. We have seen that a hail of stars or sparks over the earth was the typical figuration of the descent of the bright deities. The Egyptian ceremony of flinging a blazing cross into the Nile conveys the same connotation. The deities in incarnation were styled by the Greeks water-nymphs. A cross on fire thrust into water carried the purport of the sacrificial act of incarnation. A fiery serpent on the cross is a kindred emblem. The Targum commands: "Make thee a burning." In India the swastika cross was a special emblem of fire, the god Agni. In the early Church the cross of fire was adorned on a Friday, when a lighted cross was suspended from the dome of St. Peterís, the cross being covered with lamps in a fire-traced figure. Dante describes the souls in Paradise as praying inside a cross of fire, which is their world. The hawk is a symbol of solar fire, and Horus arose hawk-headed or divinized with fire.
When Lucifer fell upon the earth and with his key unlocked the pit of the abyss, there issued from it clouds of smoke like that which proceeds from a great furnace, and it obscured the light of the sun! That is to say, the mingled steam and exhalation from electrolyzed "water" and Ďburning flesh," or the carnal nature vivified by currents of deific potency, rose all around the god and well nigh obscured his inner glow. And out of the smoke came forth locusts and scorpions, having power to sting and poison. And these went forth to torment all the (Page 306) dwellers on earth; only they could not harm those who had not the mark of the Beast on them. The army of horsemen that came forth to battle these forms of evil coming out of the smoke appeared as if "emitting fire." This fire scorched those who love to do wickedness, and drove them back into the pit. This denotes the burning out of those strong animal propensities in the fiery furnace of human experience. Proclus in his Timaeus (Lib. V) observes concerning the telestic art that "it obliterates through divine fire all the stains produced by generation." This is the true and only meaning of purgatory.
Another angel descended with a rainbow on his head, his face was as the sun for brightness and his feet were resting upon pillars of fire. This lower fire searched the lives of all on earth and filled with pain those who bore the mark of the Beast.
In the Book of Overthrowing Apap this archfiend and his associates, the Sami and the Sebau (minions of Seb), are burnt up by the flames of the sun-god. In the Book of Am-Tuat the bodies, souls, shadows and heads of the enemies of Ra are burnt and consumed daily in pits of fire. In the eighth section of the Book of Gates a picture is drawn of a monster speckled serpent called "Kheti," with seven folds, in each one of which stands a god. The open mouth of the serpent belches a stream of fire into the faces of the enemies of Ra, whose arms are tied behind their backs in agonized helplessness. Horus stands by, urging the reptile to consume the enemies of his father. In the Book of Am-Tuat there is also a group of twelve serpents, whose work was to pour fire from their bodies "which was to light the dead sun-god on his way." The soul of the god, typed often as "the Eye of Ra," is described as "the flame which followeth after Osiris to burn up the souls of his enemies." "Uatchet, the Lady of Flames, is the Eye of Ra." Ra is addressed as "Thou who givest blasts of fire from thy mouth, (who makest the two lands bright with thy radiance)." The Manes who come out of Amenta pure "shall have burnt incense before Ra."
The inner idea of burning animal flesh on a physical altar was the consuming by divine fire of the dross that emanated from the carnal segment in man. The god came into the natural man to transfigure him. To achieve this aeonial labor his fire had to burn out slowly the grosser elements, earthy and moist, by spiritual alchemy and replace them by subtle and pure essence akin to its own diviner substance. A Buddhist phrase, "the gross purgations of the celestial fire," attests the (Page 307) nature of the chemistry that must take place. The burning up of dross to refine pure metal is a glib poetic shibboleth in philosophy, but few know that it is a description of an actual biochemical process taking place in human life. All our lower emotionalism and heavier sensualism is as fuel for the burning. The lurid flare of such a combustion is only turned to pure clear flame by pain and defeat. Animal sacrifice on an altar was only to dramatize the conversion of lower man to higher under the action of fiery spiritual energies. And it is significant that the ancients swore, not by the altar, but by the fire which was on the altar. One would not swear by the impermanent part of his nature, but by the stable and abiding. This was the fire of soul and conscience. The inner fire, imprisoned in body, strives to burn its way into flame. But its fuel is moist and damp--green wood - and it must first slowly dry out the resistant mass. The grossly misunderstood phrase, "the wrath of God," is just this steady consuming of obstructing material.
Says the Eternal, then, in Deuteronomy (32), when he notes that his sons have sacrificed to "demons, to no-gods, to gods who are utter strangers, to newcomers of gods""
"For a self-willed
race are they,
Children devoid of loyalty.
My wrath has flared up,
flaming to the nether world itself,
burning up earth and all it bears,
setting the roots of the hills ablaze.
came the Eternal,
from Seir he dawned on us;
from Paranís range he rayed out,
blazing in fire from the south.
It is given in the Ritual (Ch. 108) that "the Osiris, triumphant, knoweth the name of this serpent. . . . ĎDweller in his fireí is his name."
The Manes "opens the doors of heaven by the flames which are about the abode of the gods; he advances through the fire which is about the home of the gods, who make a way for him, to make him pass onwards, for he is Horus."
According to another text, "Horus led the deceased through the abode of the gods situated among the flames of fire." (Page 308)
Sut and Horus are the representatives of the dual life of man, and are the divine twins, the first of whom, Sut, brings the water of the inundation to submerge the fire of deity in the sea of generation; and the second, Horus, brings the rebirth of the fire within the very borders of the sea of life. Both were astrologically united in the star Sut-Canopus. In an Australian myth the hawk brought the fire to the aborigines.
A typical mythical account of the war in heaven and descent of the fire-devas to earth is found in another Australian legend of the bandicoot who had a firebrand, but refused to share it. This was the rebellion. The hawk and the pigeon were deputed to get it. The pigeon made a lunge for it, whereupon the bandicoot desperately hurled it toward the water to put it out. But the hawk deflected it into the grass over the sea, which caught fire. The hawk and pigeon (dove) are birds of soul-fire, the bandicoot the bird of darkness, a type of the water that put out the solar fire.
All through the worldís Mšrchen one finds that fire is often dual, the first being the natural fire, as of lightning, flint-fire and other forms; the second is a fire that is human in origin, requiring mind to achieve it.
Sut and Horus, as the human duality, are typed in the two phases, light and dark, of the moon. Sut is the black vulture (which lives on blood) and Horus the golden hawk. The lunar ibis, bird of Ptah, is black and white, and portrays the two natures in one creature. There is a legend of a black raven that once was white. In a Thlinker tradition the white bird is represented as becoming black in passing up the flue of Kanukhís fireplace. This is a form of the phoenix which transforms from black to white (or into the golden hawk) and from white to black in its passage to and from the underworld, which is called Kanukhís flue.
A prayer in the Ritual (Ch. 163) begs the god to "grant that the flame may leave the fire, wherever it may be, to raise up the hands of Osiris," which were bandaged to the sides of his inert body in the mummy case. Osiris is himself appealed to, as the Governor of Amenta, to "grant light and fire to the happy soul which is in Sutenkhenen (Heracleopolis)," the underworld. Samsonís bound arms were freed by the burning away of his flaxen bonds. The soul (in Ch. 63B) says that Ra has "lifted up the moist emanations of Osiris from the (Page 309) Lake of Fire and he was not burned." "A fire was kindled for thee in the hands of the goddess Rerit [the hippopotamus goddess of the Nile, i.e., the virgin mother]; she performeth acts of protection for thee every day." The Manes is exhorted to "kindle the fire in order that the flame may rise up; and throw incense upon it in order that the smell of incense may rise up." A chapter (137A) deals with the four blazing flames which are made for the Khu or spirit. The flame riseth, it is said, in Abru (Abydos) and it cometh to the Eye of Horus. It is set in order on the brow of Osiris and on his breast, and is fixed within his shrine. The Rubric specifies that this chapter shall be recited over the four fires made of anointed atma[ If this term is the same as the Sanskrit Atma, it means the high spiritual essence, the soul of the soul of man.] cloth, and the fires shall be placed in the hands of four men who shall have the names of the four pillars of Horus written on their shoulders. It is promised that the soul that undertakes to perform the offices of this chapter of the Four Blazing Fires each day shall find release from every hall in the underworld and from the seven halls of Osiris. The four men are the four guardians of the cardinal points, upholding man at the four corners of his being, or in his four bodies.
The Manes says again: "I am the Great One, son of the Great One; I am Fire, son of Fire, to whom was given his head after it was cut off." The descent was symbolized as a cutting off of the head, since intellect was lost.
The genetrix of the seven stars is called the keeper of fire, the spark-holder.
Sut signifies "Fire-stone," according to Massey. Oddly enough, lightning was anciently regarded as the dart of a fiery stone, and it has the name of the fire-stone widely attached to it among many peoples. So we have Jesus saying, "I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven." But the name likely has also a reference to the flint-stone fire, as potential fire locked up in stone. Indeed flint was a frequent symbol of the buried deific potency. One of the Mexican legends reports the Mother-Creatrix as having given birth to a flint knife, which fell on earth and became the origin of men. The flint is a graphic symbol of the presence of hidden fire in the physical world. In the same fashion a god (fire) is buried invisibly within the body of physical humanity. Flint nurses the potentiality of the birth of fire within it! "When the Serpent-lightning darted out of the cloud it buried itself in the earth, (Page 310) leaving its stone-head in the aerolith of smelted sand." It was called the Thunder-hatchet. (Records of the Past.)
The element of fire was regarded as latent in both wood and stone, needing effort, force, a blow or heat to bring it forth. Fire, with its eternal intimation of spirit, was regarded as the divine inner essence of these materials, a conception now endorsed by late science.
When the Mystery candidate came forth from the examination he was asked what the judges have awarded him and he replies: "A flame of fire and a pillar of crystal." (Ch. 125.)
The Quichť name for lightning is Cak-ul-ha, that is, "fire coming from water"; and the serpent of fire and the serpent of water are one, ultimately. The winged serpent signified winged lightning.
The Old Testament (Exod. 24:12) declares that the glory of the Lord was in appearance like a devouring fire on top of the mount. The Psalms (18) say that he "thundered in the heavens. He made darkness his secret place; a smoke issued from his nostrils and devouring fire out of his mouth . . . and he hurtled stones and coals of fire." He is called the "Lightning-sender." In Exodus (20) the Eternal descended in fire upon a cloud. Here is the mingling of fire and water again. "Smoke rose like steam from a kiln, till the people all trembled terribly." The lightning only flashed on the third day, a significant fact explained later.
In most of these illustrations the fire alluded to is that of upper intelligence flashing forth to enlighten the natural order. But this fire, in its contact with the watery and earthly elements of the carnal self, stirs up steam, sulphurous exhalations, fumes, noxious gases and dust, and in this transformation it becomes truly a fire of Tophet and Hades! Nevertheless it is still the purifying fire. As washing by water was an emblem of purgation, so fumigation was a companion type. Says Massey:
"Amenta was the land of precious metals and the furnace of solar fire. Hence Ptah, the miner, became the blacksmith of the gods, the Kamite Vulcan." [ Ancient Egypt, the Light of the World, p. 359.]
If, then, the earth is the furnace of fire, there can be no quibbling about the meaning of the vivid narrative of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, the three who were cast into the fiery furnace, in Daniel. It is only another allegory of the solar triadic god, (Page 311) in his three principles of mind-soul-spirit, embodied in the sphere of flesh, typed now as a fiery furnace. The Manes, who is spirit in this furnace, is shown his Ka, his pure higher soul, as a means of aiding him to remember his name in the great house, "in the crucible of the great house of flame." One of the chapters is designed to be read so that its magical potency may enable the Manes to "escape from every fire." In another the soul prays (Ch. 17) to be "delivered from the god who liveth upon the damned, whose face is that of a hound, but whose skin is that of a man," "at the angle of the pool of fire." Here is the man and animal combined, another of the oft-recurring glyphs of our duality. And where the man and the animal are united, where they meet, is the pool of fire!
In the Psalms it is said, "They go through fire and through water" and are "brought out into a place of abundance." "So," says Edward Carpenter, "was the Greek Hercules, who overcame death though his body was consumed in the burning garment of mortality out of which he rose to heaven." [ Pagan and Christian Creeds, p. 129.]
The Book of Judges [ Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, II, p. 175.] recounts how at the sacrifices for the Eternal, the meat and the unleavened bread which the angel had commanded Gideon to "put on the rock yonder," were touched by the tip of the wand in the angelís hand, at which "fire spurted out of the rock and burned up the meat and the cakes. So Gideon realized it was an angel of the Eternal."
In Exodus (12) the directions from the Eternal to the Israelites were that the meat of the sacrificial offering was "not to be eaten raw or boiled in water, but roasted in fire, head and legs and all." The true food for man to consume is not that immersed in his lower watery nature, but that transformed into suitable spiritual nourishment by the fire of spirit alone. It is to be recalled that the Titans first boiled the members of Bacchus in water and afterwards roasted them in fire. The fiery force of deity had caused the lower elements to seethe and boil; when the moisture (carnality) was all dried out, the remainder of the process was a "roasting."
The immolation of Jephthahís daughter as a burnt sacrifice appears to be another figuration of the divinization of the mortal (feminine) nature after two and a fraction aeons. For she asked permission to bewail her unfruitfulness for two months in the hills. Hill or hills is a frequent glyph for earth. To burn her up was not to destroy her, so we (Page 312) can save our tears. It was to set her on fire with a brighter purer flame.
Gideonís routing of the Midianites "in the valley below" by the smashing of the clay pitchers in which were lighted torches, is of extremely apt relevance in the terms of the symbology of fire and water. A pitcher is a water container, but these were empty. The water had been dried up, and the fire burned unquenched. The water of sense burned out, the only remaining task for the spirit, to consummate its full release from its prison, was to rend asunder the veil of flesh, the body. This was achieved in the shattering of the clay pitchers. The Midianites are the multitude of lower impulses, ever the adversaries, the enemies. They flee and vanish the moment they see the divine fire glow forth in its full release of hidden power!
The story of Samson, a typical solar hero, provides splendid exemplification of the fire symbology. When he was delivered over to the Philistines (the lower propensities again) he was bound with two new ropes. But when the Philistines were about to punish him, "the spirit of the Eternal inspired him mightily, the ropes around his arms became like flax that has caught fire, the bonds melted off his hands." The god within burned away his bonds. A whole chapter of exposition could not add force to the sublime meaning here pictured.
It is appropriate to consider the beautiful emblemism of the "pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night," whereby the Eternal manifested his guiding presence with his children on their mundane journey. In the full glare of the blinding light of divinity, some watery veil is necessary to intervene between us and the overpowering glory. The Eternal put his hand over Mosesí eyes while his glory passed by. Manís face must be veiled in the presence of deity. God interposes the veil of matter between us and his hidden spirit. This is the cloud by day. But in the evolutionary night time, when the soul is deeply submerged in material darkness, there is needed the shining of the pillar of fire. It is the moon by night. In the Elysian or paradisical realms the angels are represented as refreshing themselves in bowers of shade or cloud. Shade is grateful in the summer. But on earth the buried god needs light. The gross physical sense of the moving pillars is impossible. A marching column of some two million people, and some twenty miles long, would need to rest at night, whereas the literal translation would presuppose their needing a light to guide their nocturnal march. (Page 313)
Then there is that other great religious usage, the significance of which no mind can fail to sense in all its dynamic admonition for humanity. Many nations felt it incumbent, under the strength of the most powerful obligations, to maintain a fire perpetually burning on the central hearth of the nation. In Rome a class of virgins, chosen for physical and spiritual purity, were put in charge of the Vestal Fire, and death was the penalty for letting it die out. Likewise, as is not so generally known, death by burial alive was the penalty for sexual intercourse, inflicted remorselessly upon these maidens. This, too, was regarded as a letting of the spiritual fire on the hearth of life go out. The ancients knew that if once the spark of empyreal fire kindled in the moist nature of the earthy man was permitted to die out, it was the second and irretrievable death of the soul. That portion or fragment of deity that was sent into the flesh could be divulsed entirely from its linkage to heaven - the silver cord could be cut - and the soul lost, for the rest of the aeonial cycle. The 64th chapter of the Ritual is to be recited in order that the person may not die a second time, "but may come forth and escape from the fire." To escape the second death the Manes had to keep the sacred fire aglow.
In the elaborate ceremony conducted over the mummy, there was one act which stands out in the sharp forcefulness of its meaning. The Rubric to the 137th chapter says that the figure of the mummy was to be smeared with bitumen (the same substance was used to caulk the wicker boat in which Moses and Sargon floated among the reeds) and set fire to. This was to figure the lower nature being lighted up by the fire of the higher. The life of the god, says Budge naively, "sometimes takes the form of a flame of fire." Budge adds: "These ceremonies are said to be Ďan exceedingly great mystery of Amenta and a type of the hidden things of the other world.í"6 Again we see the scholarís mind stultified by want of that one key to ancient books: that this world is Amenta. For the mystery pertains to the hidden things of no other world than this one we know. But it is, of course, a type of the mysteries of all other cosmic worlds.
Then there is the "burning bush" of Moses. "When he looked there was the thorn-bush ablaze with fire, yet not consumed" (Ex. 2). "The angel of the Eternal appeared to him in a flame of fire rising out of the thorn-bush." To be sure, the fire rises out of the natural order, (Page 314) symboled by a bush. The figure of the burning bush seems to offer no more significance than the "golden bough" of classical lore, or the branch of the sycamore-fig that burns with fire but is not consumed. Horus indeed was typed as the "golden unbu" (branch) from his motherís tree. No fact in nature lends itself with more felicity to the idea of new life from old than that of the bright new shoot (as of the pine) at the end of last seasonís more darkly colored growth. Its lighter color is significant of new glory. As Jesus was the shoot of the vine (also Horus), his Egyptian mythical designation would have been the "golden unbu." In the texts the unbu is the symbol of the son reborn from the dead father. There is a figure of the disk of light raying all ablaze from the summit of the sycamore-fig, which thus appears to burn with fire, but is not burned. The Manes approaches the holy emblem without shoes, salutes the tree and addresses the god in the solar fire: "Shine on me, O unknown soul. I draw near to the god whose words were heard by me in the lower earth" (Ch. 64). One is now prepared to sense the meaning of the bright-spangled star that tops our Christmas pine tree. And by the same token one can know the cryptic meaning of the Star of Bethlehem. Need it be added that the burning bush is just the symbol of natureís "green" product, the first Adam, being divinized to golden splendor by the touch of the godís spiritual fire? Any green tree or stalk or stem, tipped at its summit by the bright-hued flower, furnishes the same moral. Human life is to flower out at its summit in radiant colors. And we set fire to the Yule log.
An old English legend identifies the golden bough of Horus with the bush that flowered at Christmas, the Glastonbury thorn. The flowering at Christmas depicts the birth of the solar god at the solstice, the application of which to individual spiritual history will be examined later. Says Horus (Ch. 42): "I am Unbu, who proceedeth from Nu, and my mother is Nut." Again: "I am Unbu of An-ar-ef, the flower in the abode of occultation," or in the fleshly world of hiding. Possession of the golden bough in classical mythology was the passport of release from the underworld.
There is, also, the flaming two-edged sword of the angel set to guard the tree of life in the garden. Origen says that the Gnostic diagram of this symbol was as follows: "The flaming sword was depicted as the diameter of a flaming circle, and as if mounting guard over (Page 315) the tree of knowledge and of life." There is doubtless much mystical, astrological and other occult symbolism in the sign; but in relation to the human situation its meaning seems to be simpler. Manís life here is cast between the two fires of heaven and earth, the bright fire of celestial splendor and the lurid one of earth. They are of course two aspects or modifications of the same one fire. Hence his life is cut by the fire that catches him on both sides, upper and lower. The fire of life consumes in both directions. It lights and it also burns. It glows in beauteous glory; it painfully consumes the lower self. Heaven is fiery; so is hell. As the waters were sundered, so was the divine fire. The flaming sword is the eternal reminder of the two-edgedness of our nature. The doubleness of the fire that has come to deify us is announced in the line in the Ritual: "Pepi is the country (or the god) Setit, the conqueror of the Two Lands, whose flame receives its two portions." We are bathed in "the Pool of the Double Fire." The Two Lands are the two areas or fields of our dual selfhood. Man is to conquer the twoness of his being, merging the two portions into one new creation. The Ritual says that "he cultivates the Two Lands, he pacifies the Two Lands, he unites the Two Lands." It says also that "he cultivates the crops on both sides of the horizon."
John Baptistís statement in the New Testament is a mighty affirmation of the truth of what is here presented. He represented the lower man, antecedent and preparatory to the spiritual self. He bears the symbolism of water (if not of earth), as Jesus does that of fire and air. For his statement yet rings down the centuries of Christian theology: "I indeed baptize you with water, but he that cometh after me shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit [Latin: spiritus, "air"!] and with fire." The man born of the natural or maternal order (man born of woman) alone, preceded him that was born of the Fatherís divine spirit. Again our thesis is dramatically vindicated by "scripture."
Iamblichus tells us that the three golden apples of Hesperides are: (1), Illumination; (2), A communion of operation; and, (3), A perfect plenitude of Divine Fire. [ Mysteries of the Egyptians, Chaldeans and Assyrians, p. 272.]
A mass of testimony could be drawn from the Bible to stress the prominence of the fire typology. Isaiah strongly enjoins us (50, 11): "Behold all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled." Job admonishes evildoers (18:5): "Yea, the light of the (Page 316) wicked shall be put out and the spark of his fire shall not shine. The light shall be dark in his tabernacle, and his candle shall be put out with him." Paul says that if we awake "from the dead," "Christ will shine upon" us. Isaiah says that we wait for the light, and exhorts us to "arise, shine, for thy light is come." John says that "light is come into the world" and "that was the true light" when the Christos arrived. He declares that the only condemnation was the worldís rejection of the light when it came. The Psalmist says that the Lord is his light and his salvation and that "light is sown for the righteous." "In thy light shall we see light." Jesus said: "When I am in the world I am the light of the world." He assured the righteous that they were the light of the world, that indeed they needed no other light to lighten their path, as they had light in themselves. The Lord made his ministers a flame of fire. "The Lord God is a sun and a shield"--the pillar and the cloud, the meaning of which, clear at last, is simply spirit and matter. When there was darkness over the land of Egypt, "the Israelites had light in their dwellings." And this is not speaking of rush lights in Egyptian huts, but spiritual light in physical bodies. Jesus was "the sun of righteousness" and at the end of human evolution "the righteous shall shine like the sun." And if there is needed a pointblank utterance from the Bible to cover our claim, it might be found in the line from the Psalms: "Our God is a living fire." For a long series of generations Christendom has set fire to the Yule log and lighted candles on the Christmas tree. Yet there is hardly a child in the West that could give a reason for these rites that would convey a modicum of the truth. For the venerable teaching that nature put forth on its topmost bough a bright effulgence of deity, a bright flower at the top of the green stem, a shining god at the summit of elemental creation, has long been lost. Yet the Christ has come, bringing and distributing "that light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world."
The fire emblem has become involved in a host of combinations with other types, and its play in all mythology is extensive. Many of these references to it carry valuable implications.
The ancient Apt, mother of the world, is called "the kindler of sparks," the "kindler of light for the deceased in the dark of death" (Rit., Ch. 137: Vign: Papyrus of Nebseni). Thus the old first bringer of rebirth is the kindler of light in the sepulcher - of earth. (Page 317) Mary Magdalene who is her counterpart in the Gospel version, comes to the tomb "early, while it is yet dark," and finds the stone moved away and light kindled at the tomb sufficient to see by. Chapter 137B is entitled: "Of kindling a flame by Nebseni, the scribe in the temple of Ptah."
The great classical fable of Prometheus bears relations to the fire sign. The myth is not entirely unique. There is, for instance, the Hindu tale of the monster (Titan) Rahu, who smuggled himself into the presence of the Gods of light and drank the Amrit-juice of immortality. He was cut in two, but could not be destroyed, by Indra, and the two halves were set as signs in the heavens at the places of the lunar eclipses.
That the Promethean myth is not entirely to be dissociated from the story of the Galilean savior is shown by the fact that, according to Carpenter, "Prometheus, the greatest and earliest benefactor of the human race, was nailed by hands and feet, and with arms extended, to the rocks of Mt. Caucasus." [Pagan and Christian Creeds, p. 139.]When one knows that this figure fastened to a cross or rock is but the outward dramatization of the truth of the godís impalement on the stake of matter, all historical realism connected with it becomes revolting.
The Titans were styled in the Mysteries "Thyrsus-bearers, and Prometheus concealed fire in a thyrsus or reed; after which he was considered as bringing celestial light into generation or leading soul into body, or calling forth the divine illumination."[Taylor: Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, p. 139. ] The natural order harbors in it the seeds of spiritual growth.
Massey quite plausibly allocates to the word "Teitan" the "number of the Beast" given in Revelation as 666. He argues that the triple "S" on the Gnostic stones, represents this number, "S" equaling 6. SSS then equals 666. It was a sign of the six elementary creations that prepare the way for the seventh. He traces the value of the letters as follows:
The statement that the Beast lost one of its heads, which was afterwards restored and healed (Cf. a similar case in the Egyptian mythos) is interpreted by him to mean that the descent of the Titanic hosts was the figurative equivalent of the loss of the head or intellect to be regained in the evolutionary sequel. The sevenfold corpus of deity, (Page 318) minus one of its heads, was thus numerically reduced from seven to six. Man, then, is to be regarded as a sevenfold being suffering the temporary loss of his (divine) intellect, or head, which he is striving to restore or heal. We must round out the Beast in us by giving him a head of intelligence. There is still more to this typology of seven minus one. The fabled Mt. Meru "is also described as being intersected by six parallel ranges running east and west. Six is typed by the hexagon or space in six directions"--a symbol of our life in this three-dimensional world, where the cube of six sides is the typical shape of any existential object. The six parallel ranges are the six planes beneath the topmost level, where the "heart of Bacchus" was preserved when the mental body was dismembered. Says Proclus in the Timaeus: "The Framer made the heavens six in number, and for the seventh he cast into the midst the fire of the sun." This was the crowning of natureís six elementary kingdoms with the element of mind, or the first injection of intellect into the evolutionary creation in and through the person of man, Atum-Ra, the first god-born race. Nature struggles upward through six degrees of material coarseness, till her product, animal-man, is sufficiently sensitized to be made the vehicle of Manas, or Mind.
Job (5:19) relates six and seven mysteriously in a remarkable statement: "He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven, there shall no evil touch thee." Trouble is associated with six and deliverance from it with seven. Life is captive and harassed during its long peregrinations upward through the three subatomic"elemental kingdoms" in the invisible world, the preliminary stages in the formation of matter out of empty space, and the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms in the visible atomic world; and intelligence comes in the seventh kingdom to release it from its subconscious captivity. Life is in "Egyptian" bondage to nature through six aeons. The seventh - and seven times seven - brings the glorious "year of jubilee," when all captives and prisoners are set free. In Numbers a Hebrew slave was to serve six years and go free in the seventh without paying a ransom. The fields were to be cultivated for six years and to lie fallow the seventh. But when the Messiah came - and his Egyptian name Iu-em-hetep means "he who comes seventh"--he was allegorized as coming under the dominance of the six lower forces; and so the number seven later took on in the texts the evil implications of the number six and is the (Page 319) numerical type of servitude. Jacob is made to serve seven years for Leah and an added seven for Rachel. In some old texts the ten plagues of Egypt were originally seven.
The profounder significance of the first "miracle" of Jesus in turning water into wine at the marriage feast of Cana hinges upon the fact, hardly ever commented on, that the servants set out for the transformation six pots of water in earthen vessels! Jesus, embodying the seventh or transmuting power, came to convert that nature that had been constituted by the first six outpourings of primal life into higher spiritual status. The Christ has the task of transfiguring six lower elemental powers into divinity. And in the Gospel story he went up into the mount for the transfiguration "after six days"! Spiritual "wine" was to be made out of the six types of elemental "water" in manís constitution. And man, physically, comes close to being six-sevenths water in composition!
The "year of the Lord" was divided into six (double) signs of the zodiac. The sun passes annually through these six signs, and manís soul, his sun, also passes through six levels of being in attaining self-conscious freedom. It makes the round of the elements of earth, water, air and fire in twelve subdivisions. These elements being embodied in his own constitution, the sun-soul in man passes through them to achieve its mastery of all life. His victory in the seventh kingdom regains for him all that was lost in the beginning. The Christ adds the seventh head to the decapitated natural order. The seventh and "lost" Pleiad will be recaptured by Orion, the mighty hunter, Egyptís astrological figure for Horus. The Christ will restore the lost light.
The Titans, of whom Prometheus was one, appear in a dual and somewhat confusing character in the mythology. They are both manís good angel and his devil. The solution of this enigma of theology will be fully expounded in the next chapter. But, briefly, it can be said that the Titans of mythology match the Lucifer character of theology.
"Hesiod says the Father called the Revolters by an opprobrious name, Teitans, when he cursed them. And they were cast down into Tartarus and bound in chains and darkness in the abyss." (Theogony I, 207; II, 717).
The god, the Titan, Prometheus, Lucifer, who brought us our divine fire from the empyrean, was in part converted into the Beast when his (Page 320) Titanic intellect was linked with the six elementary forces. He mingled his lifeblood with theirs, and the contagion of elementary impulse went to his head! Certain of the myths tend to align the Titans with the six elementary powers; and this is a natural confusion since the higher mentality did commingle with the lower instincts. The god who was angelic, because untested, in heaven, became demoniacal on earth, and the coloring of every attribute is altered as he indeed "suffers a sea change" in plunging into the lower waters.
The myth of the Greek Saturn, who was overthrown and despoiled by the Titans in that heavenly warfare, is read as planetary cosmology by Massey and others. The meaning is that each lower grade of life organized in the progressive outpourings "steals" away the higher creative force to use on its own plane. The functions and the glory of Saturn were alleged to have been transferred to the sun, who became the new lord of the six. Saturn is identical with the Egyptian Sebek (Sevekh) whose name is "seven," and in the early mythos he was the deity who crowned the six elementary forces with completion, as their ruler and governor. Says Massey:
"The sun and Saturn both became the lord of the seventh day, the Sabbath, the day of rest and peace, which is Hept, [Hetep] the name of No. 7. But in the cult of Sebek . . . the original of the solar Sabazius, son of . . . Kubele, the sun and Saturn were combined as Sabat, Sabaoth, or Sapt, which, read as Sebti, shows the dual form of Seb, for the sun and Saturn . . . Sabazius was reported to have been torn into seven parts by the Titans, corresponding to the seven days of the week and the seven planets to which they were dedicated." [The Natural Genesis, II, p. 78. ]
That is to say, our number "seven" (Latin: septem) is derived from Saturn and the sun combined in their two names of Seb and Hept, compounded into sept. Seb, as we have seen, covers the dual meaning of "star" and "soul," both suggesting fire. As the coming of the god of intellect and reason, the seventh element, crowned the long elemental warfare of cosmic creation with the peace and rest of intellectual control, order and harmony, so the deific principle gives its name to the day of peace that follows the hurly-burly of the six secular days. In general we devote six days to bodily interests; the seventh should go to the interests of the soul. Ancient discernment of primary (Page 321) creational verities gave us our week of seven days, to stand as an eternal reminder of the sevenfold cosmic order, of which our own basic constitution is itself a reflection and a miniature. And old Egypt gives us the philosophical demonstration of all this in the dual meaning of the word Hept, which is both "seven" and "peace." The seventh element is that noetic intellect which stills the storm on the passional waters and brings peace to chaotic nature, based on its six lower mindless energies. Iu-em-hetep (Imhotep of the Greeks) is he who comes to bring peace as number seven.
In Exodus (23) it is written:
"The radiance of the Eternal rested on the mountain of Sinai; for six days the cloud covered it, and on the seventh day he called from the cloud to Moses (the Eternalís radiance looked to the Israelites like blazing fire on the top of the mountain.)"
It is in a verse from this same chapter that a very noteworthy statement is made:
"For six years you may sow your land and gather in your crops, but every seventh year you must let the land alone, so the poor people may pick up something; anything they leave the wild animals can eat, for if you worship their gods it will endanger you."
There is ample warrant for a momentís digression from the main theme of the chapter to follow out several implications of this astonishing passage. The injunction not to cultivate the fields every seventh year, so that the "poor" might have some "pickings," is on the face of it impossible physically. For if the land was left alone, there would be no planting and hence no picking. How could the earthly poor profit from unplanted fields?
The command has nothing to do with agriculture or charity, except that which is cosmic and spiritual. It is one of those ingenious "parables" by which ancient sagacity embodied great evolutionary truth in pictorial representation. It concerns in this case a most recondite fact of esoteric knowledge. Bizarre as it may sound to modern ears, it was the teaching of the abstruse biological science of old that at the dissolution of the several component principles of the multiple human constitution at the completion of the cycle (the seventh day), one of these bodies of etheric material (of types now predicated by science), (Page 322) the "astral," called the "chhaya" in India, floated free as an independent entity, possessing both sufficient vitality to preserve it from disintegration, and a semblance of mental automatism. In this condition it was utilized by nature for a particular purpose. It was made the matrix or mold about which was aggregated coarser matter, as a magnetic field organizes iron filings, which matter gave it a body and localized it on earth as a living creature. Both the Bible and other esoteric writings have mysterious sayings about the lower orders of life feeding upon the lees or dregs of the orders above them, even in some cases excrementitious matter. The meaning is approached along the line of a peculiar emblemism. Manís discarded "astral" shells, so the doctrine teaches, serve as the models and the animating principles of lower forms of life. Our "astral" leavings, cast-off clothing, are made to serve as the feeling souls of inferior creatures. The animal picks up our emotion body and builds his physical body over it as a model. Manís part in creative evolution is far more direct than he imagines. Every phase or grade of life is creative, to its degree. If this item seems strange, it assuredly is no more so than many of the almost unbelievable phenomena of physical biology in general in animal and insect life. Nature has a bigger bag of tricks than we realize. She employs a vast range of unsuspected and startling methods in the endless repertoire of her ingenuity. At any rate the fact was so taught in the arcane schools of occultism, and here in Exodus is a passage directly pointing to it, since the text can mean nothing intelligible in its literal sense. The seventh round in all cycles of life in nature is always the epoch at which soul consummates its work in an organism and retires to its proper level above, leaving the physical bases of life to stand without further cultivation until the beginning of the next series of seven rounds. During the retirement the lower animal self, the "poor," reaps the harvest of its previous attachment to the higher entity. The ethereal vestures survive, for they are enduring in proportion to their atomic fineness. We have already equated "the poor" and also "the people" with the Gentiles, who were the "sons of men" in contrast to the "Sons of God"; the humans in whom the Christ principle has not yet been made consciously the ruler.
And the second startling item of this excerpt asserts that what those "poor" semi-humans leave may be picked up, in a third order of gradation, by the wild animals. This is informative indeed. (Page 323) The process of divination begins with the highest God and is relayed, in ever diminishing power, from rank to rank, down to the animal. Only by living on the lees of the superior order can each kingdom link itself to its appropriate measure of divine vivification.
By such occult analysis is it possible to see the meaning of the final hint of danger expressed by the line: "for if you worship their gods it will endanger you." This work has already set forth the peril involved for the heavenly visitant in taking residence in animal forms, if it permitted itself to "worship their gods" of sensuality and beastliness. A number of passages of scripture admonish the children of light to "make no compact" with the "natives" of that realm to which they were sent, nor to marry their "women"!
The sum of this material which shows the world to be figuratively "at sixes and sevens" is that conscious life was in servitude and bondage to blind unintelligent elemental forces for six aeons, three in the invisible and three in the visible worlds, and was only lifted up to the liberty of sons of God when the spiritual fire of the spiritual sun, the second Adam or the Christ, was set in the heavens of manís conscious being as the ruler of the six sub-mental powers. In Galatians (4) Paul clearly states that when we were children in evolution "we were in bondage to them that by nature are no gods." We were in slavery to the elementals of the earth and of the air, as he distinctly says! He warns his brethren not to come under the power of these elementals, as it would endanger their spiritual integrity.
Stars are closely intermingled with the fire symbolism. They are themselves fiery in constitution, blazing suns or their planets. Stars were considered the children of Ra, the great lord of the spiritual sun, who emaned them like tears from his eyes. Souls were his offspring, centrally nucleated by his solar fire. He was the parent of the Kumaras. Stars were held to be a race of higher beings, having souls of the essence of light coming from the sun. "I have shed my seed (of light) abroad for you," he says to his sons.[ Book of Hades, Fifth Division, D. ] In the Book of Adam and Eve, translated from the Ethiopic by Malan, God says: "I made thee of the light, and I wished to bring out children of the light from three." The sunís children were called Ruti, or men of excellence. Under the name of Khabsu the stars are synonymous with souls, as also in the name of Seb. Souls in Amenta were represented by stars. As the souls arose in their resurrection they appeared above the horizon on the eastern (Page 324) side of heaven. This is why the rising star of the solar deity born in mankind was seen "in the east" in the Gospel story. It dies in the west, like the sun, and has its new birth in the house of bread (Bethlehem) in the east. The god Shu-Anhur was called the "lifter up of the sky," together with its inhabitants, the stars. Ra addresses Shu: "Be the guardian of the multitudes that live in the nocturnal sky," or sky of the Lower Egypt of Amenta. "Put them on thy head and be their fosterer," or sustainer. Spiritually this betokens the elevation of our elemental nature by the shifting of the center of intellectual and spiritual gravity above the horizon in the heaven of consciousness. The stars were in fact the bodies of gods, and the lucent fragment of deity in man is his star.
The Great Bear of seven stars drew the first circle or cycle of time in the abyss of chaos, and gave definite law, order and periodicity to the primary creation. From primal elemental disorder, nature settled down to rhythmic regularity as the beginning of stable order in her worlds. From blind erratic struggle the elements fell into order in a septenary mechanism. This was imaged first in the Great Bear, the mother of the first cycle of regular time and fixed revolutions. This primary cluster in the sky should never cease to speak to our imagination of the heptarchy of forces in nature, which are the bases of our lives as well. This mighty fact of creation was in the mind of the sage who wrote that at the dawn of creation all the sons of the Elohim shouted for joy and "the Morning Stars sang together" (Job 38). The music of the spheres began with the first swing into symmetrical order and balanced harmony between centripetal and centrifugal energies that had been jangling in confusion and dissonance before the seventh element, the sun or spirit, gave the six a king. But Plato strangely tells us that "with the sixth creation ended the order of song." (Philebus, 66.) Coincident with this we are also told that the sixth pole star in succession passed from the constellation of Lyra, the Harp, to that of Hercules, the man-god. All these veiled hints have tremendous meaning, for this would seem to indicate that the soul comes into the order of nature bringing a power of independent will, which may contravene the mechanical automatism of nature, break into the rhythm and mar the music - until it learns of itself anew to fix the measure to a higher harmony. Manís free agency does inject either a reasoned or an unreasoned self-initiative into that which was automatically rhythmic (Page 325) before. In a former reference we have heard the great Lord himself complain of the spirits who had broken in upon his celestial music and marred the harmony, for which he threw them down into incarnation.
The Rubric to chapter 129 of the Ritual says of the Manes: "And he shall be established as a star face to face with Septet [Sirius, Sothis, the Dog-Star] and his corruptible body shall be as a god . . . forever." To deify the human is to make a star of him. The Manes himself prays (Ch. 102): "Let me be among the stars that never rest." It is promised (Ch. 164) that "he shall become a star of heaven." Has orthodoxy held out to its votaries any such thrilling cosmic view of their future? The Osiris-Nu pleads (Ch. 188): "May I enter into the house of his body, which, behold, hath become one of the starry gods!" This would be the higher spiritual body, not the corporeal. It is said to the soul: "Thou art purified with the libation of the stars. The stars that never set bear thee up; thou enterest in the place where thy father is, where Keb [Seb] is . . . thou becomest a soul therein." The soul (Pepi) pleads: "Make thou this Pepi to be an imperishable star before thee." The acme of directness is attained in the next statement: "Pepi is a star." To Teta, the soul, it is said: "Thou seizest the hands of the imperishable stars . . . for behold thou art one of the gods." "The imperishable stars follow and minister unto thee." Pepi is addressed: "Thou art the Great Star; Orion beareth thee on his shoulder. Thou traversest heaven with Orion, thou sailest through the Tuat with Osiris." Again: "Pepi takes his seat among you, O ye star gods of the Tuat." And finally in grand simplicity stands the categorical pronouncement : "Thy soul is a living star at the head of his brethren." For the six elementary powers were his natural brothers, of whom he, like Joseph and like Jesus, was made the chief or head. From brethren they were reduced to children when the god principle took charge and synthesized their functions. The fiery soul of intellect became king of the lower six elementary powers in manís make-up. The Christos came as the Prince of Peace to rise to kingship over natureís six divisions of force. "Unto you a king is given . . . and his name shall be called . . . the Prince of Peace."
But the soul is specifically typed by that great and brilliant emblem of our divinity, the Morning Star. The Titan who came hurtling to earth still clinging to his stolen possession, the spiritual fire, was Lucifer, "the bright and morning star." (Page 326)
The significance of this emblem is in its heralding the approach of day. "The day star is rising." It is the harbinger of the coming of the great Lord of Day. As the announcer it becomes identical in function with Anup, the fiery ape in Egypt, Mercury in Greek mythology, and John Baptist in Christianity. Anup is the way-opener for the advent of Horus, who, though coming after him, was before him in stature and authority (Rit., Ch. 44). Anup abode in the dark and empty reaches of the desert of Amenta until the day of his manifestation in the heliacal rising of the star Sothis (Sirius), the morning star of the year in Egypt, which heralded the birth of Horus, as the opening of the year. John dwelt in the wilderness until the time of his theophany or "showing forth in Israel" (Luke I:80). The soul was held out in the wilderness of the six elemental energies until the arrival of the Christ. Anup was only a star god, but as such he was the precursor of the greater solar light. As the sun in its splendor far outshines the total galaxy of the stars, so the deity whose association with man was presaged by the star-god, was far to surpass in glory any product of the natural series. And this is made clear by the Gospel statement that the least in the kingdom of the god is greater than the highest of those born of woman, that is, nature.
The stars typed one of the elementary creations, of which there seem to have been three, the first being cosmic and universal, offering a sevenfold differentiation in primal substance; the second stellar and planetary; the third racial and individual in mankind. Much of the endless confusion in the interpretation of creation legends has arisen because of failure to distinguish which of these creations was being dealt with. What is fundamental, however, to all understanding is that all of natureís cyclic processes are typical of each other. So that cosmogenesis adumbrates the planetary formation, which in turn is an enlarged picture of the anthropogenesis. As man was formed in the image and likeness of the Elohim, the seven-rayed creative Logoi, the septenary constitution pictured in the first and second creations appertains to him by reflection. All ancient philosophy referable to man was built upon the human constitution as a septenate of powers. We see the first creation in the hebdomadal formation of all physical creation; the second in the septenary solar systems; the third in the human formed of seven principles or natures. Of the first the Mother alone, the Virgin, Achamoth, Typhon, Apt, Nut, Neith, Isis, Hathor, Rerit, (Page 327) Ishtar, Tiamat, Semiramis, Cybele and other primary feminine deities become the bearer and producer. Of the second Sevekh (Sebek, Seb), Saturn, and the Sun, as the leader of the seven Rishis, Archangels, Elohim, Kabiri, were the progenitors. Of the third the twelve legions of Asuras, Kumaras, Titans, Deva-Angels, Rudras, Adityas, who came collectively as Prometheus and Lucifer, individually as sons of the solar radiance, sons of Ra, or sparks of the divine fire, were the chief agents. They still supervise their continuing creation from their citadel deep within the shrine of manís life. In one form or another, solar light, essence, power is centered in every manifestation. In the innermost sanctuary of life dwells the spark, the ray, the flame of solar glory. The sun is the central type and embodiment of the highest divinity. The Christs were all sun-gods.
In the Kabalah the vital statement is found that in each solar system the soul in its aeonial round dwells successively on six planes and spends its seventh aeon on the sun of that system. This is after the analogy of the soul in the human body, for there it successively energizes, from lowest to highest, the six elemental physical ranges of power, and six sub-spiritual psychic centers, before it ascends into the supreme flowering of the solar fire in the head.
Sirius, otherwise Sothis and Septet, being the morning star in the mythos, etymologically supplies another significant link in the story. Septet is another form of the word "seven." The six natural forces were completed and synthesized by the coming of the seventh. The morning star heralded the perfection of the sevenfold creation as it announced the coming of the crowning glory. This Sirius, the Dog-Star, was the type of Anup, the dog or jackal god, as the guide of souls in the dark of night, or incarnation. "The star Sept (Sothis) with long strides leads on the celestial path of Ra each day, and the blessed one rises as a star." The star precedes Ra, the sun in man. Of Pepi it is written: "His sister is Sept (Sothis), he is born as the Morning Star (Venus)." And again: "His sister, the star Sept (Sothis), his guide, the Morning Star, takes him by the hand to Sekhet-Hetep." Usually women, in the mythology, are the guides, protectors and watchers of the sun-god in the mythology, as they are the natural bearers, rearers and watchers of the human infant, until his own divinity arises. As the feminine always types the natural as distinct from the spiritual, the religious myth depicts the youthful solar god as being born of woman, (Page 328) cradled, watched and nourished by women, type of the elementary forces. The god comes to be born, nursed and nurtured in the lap of Mother Nature. But he must leave her at twelve!
In one place the text of the Ritual says, as to Pepi: "The Morning Star giveth birth to him." In another it says: "Pepi giveth birth to the Morning Star." The apparent contradiction is a matter of viewpoint, or a matter like the priority of hen or egg. Did John the Baptist bring Jesus, or Jesus John? John himself solves the riddle by saying: "He who cometh after me is preferred before me." The star brings the dawn, but the dawn also brings the star. Of the coming god, as of the Christ, the Ritual says: "His light appeareth in the sky like that of a great star, the Morning Star." And again: "Thou revolvest about Ra, near the Morning Star." The Manes is instructed: "Command thou that he is to sit by thee, on the shoulders of the Morning Star on the horizon." Following the statement that heaven is pregnant with wine, it is said that "Nut maketh herself to give birth to her daughter, the Morning Star." And immediately follows the exhortation to the soul: "Rise up thou, then, O Pepi, thou third Septet (Sothis), whose seats are purified." Calling Pepi the "third Septet" bears out fully what has just been expounded as to the three creations, each sevenfold in organization, the last being that of septenary man. That the god in his coming was to enter the waters of incarnation and the mires of earth is betokened by the following: "He places thee like the Morning Star in the fields of Reeds (Sekhet-Aarru)."
Numbers (24:17) predicts that "there shall come a star out of Jacob." As the Gnostic Jesus of Revelation (22:16) himself declares: "I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and Morning Star." And the angel promises in Revelation (2:28), to him that overcometh "I will give the Morning Star." This comes as the seventh of a series of promises "to him that overcometh."
The frequent use of the censer in Revelation is to be noticed. Seven angels had given to them seven censers, containing the fire from the altar of God within the innermost place, which the seven were to cast upon the earth! Here is the basic allegory again in small compass. In the Logia these details are preceded by the announcement: "And I beheld yet another sign in the heavens, which was marvelous in its (Page 329) meaning and great in its issues!" Surely; for it was the story of the deification of the human race. The burning of incense, a very general custom in religious observance in the world, runs parallel in meaning to keeping alive the Vestal Fire. In the Old Testament all cereal was to be mixed with oil and sprinkled with incense - a double seal of divinity. The Manes is addressed in the Ritual: "Thou art pure with the incense of Horus." Again we read" "Incense is presented unto thee, thou becomest God." One becomes a god only by the gift of that higher fire that purges the lower nature and refines it to true gold. And this gold is the immortal solar light. The words for gold, light and deity all derive from the same original root, "ar," "aur," "or."
Lightning, a great sacred symbol of the outflashing of the power of God on earth, was often pictured as seven-barbed. This usage establishes it definitely as a figure for the seven-forked emanation that engendered the creation. It is the type of a fiery power resident in latent form in the air and water elements. So the god is latent in the water of physical nature. The swift power of the fiery dart was typical of the "swift-running" power of deity, for the Greek word for god, theos, means the "swift-darter." In Assyria Tiamat, mother of "seven sons of the abyss," wielded a seven-speared thunderbolt, typifying her children, as powers. The highest of the seven is lightning by name. In Africa some tribes have a word for divinity which translates "lightning." Many peoples had thunder-gods, and the Bible is full of allusions to thunder. The fiery dart of Intelligence into the bosom of the worlds produces or carries the Voice of the Logos out into nature, in seven primary tones. The Hebrew male god of thunder, Kak, or Iach, probably equates with the Hindu Vach, the Word. As the forerunner and prophet of rain, the thunder held the office of Mercury and Anup, the announcers of divine advent.
Even embers and sparks are not slighted in the typism. We have the ancient Egyptian tale of Cinderella, the "sitter in the ashes," embers or cinders. Sitting in her lonely hutch on earth by the dead embers of the fire, she is the soul come to desolation on earth, stripped of her fire. But she surpasses her sisters and fits herself to be dight with radiance again. The flame that ramifies out in seven tongues is the original figure of the seven-branched candlestick. Deity comes to earth to manifest himself in seven flaming aspects of his being. And still stand the great ancient pyramids, the word by etymology (Page 330) reading "a measure of (creative) fire," with square base and triangular upper faces, the four and the three united to constitute the sevenfold physical structure of the worlds and man, and multiplied to constitute the twelve deific powers to be unfolded by spiritual humanity. (Page 331)
NOXIOUS FUMES AND LURID FLARES
It has been necessary to anticipate the substance of this chapter in one or two places in the preceding one, because many important statements so closely link the two fires, the supernal and the infernal, that it was impossible to present the one in entire disseverance from the other. The background for the clarification of this aspect of the interpretation has therefore already been set up. Yet the whole doctrine of "hellfire" has fallen so infinitely remote from even the outskirts of true understanding that it must be grappled with in good earnest. The deplorable state of modern exegesis in this segment of theology impels one to a vehement expression of that disgust at the harrowing grotesquerie of rendering which a comparison of ancient esoteric meaning with current superstition so readily excites. But this situation must be evident by now as a general matter, and should need but little reinforcement beyond the continued revelation of gaping chasms of difference between the old and the present readings. Yet this theology of a hell of fiery torment has suffered such an unconscionable distortion from its primary bearing, and has afflicted the mind of mankind with so outrageous a delusion, that every consideration points to the necessity of a vigorous handling in the interests of sanity and social benefit. The perversion of original teaching regarding the lower fire has cast over the collective mind of the Western world the foulest hypnotic obsession which it has ever suffered. The strangling tentacles of this theological devilfish have spread over the whole of Christendom and have compressed the spiritual genius of that segment of mankind into the coldest and most inhuman bigotry known to history. For ages the doctrine in its misconceived form has deprived the Christianized world of its reason, and opened doors to the entry of every superstition. It has snuffed out the native spark of human brotherhood and brought between man and man the lurid glare of its own devilish mischief. (Page 332)
For the fiercest fires of persecution and fiendish cruelty ever lighted upon earth flared out under the impulsion of the fantastic theological teaching that the acts of oneís brother may be the impious machination of "the devil." It is too gruesome and ghoulish a chapter of horrors to linger upon; yet the same philosophical benightedness out of which this atrocious monster of diabolism and demonism has emerged has never to this day been dispelled by the light of wisdom. A more sensitive humanity of the present, sickened by the ghastly spectacle of past tortures and holocausts inspired by fiendish zeal, has tried to drop the subject as far as possible out of sight, and has imposed a taboo upon its exploitation in religious quarters. But the darkness has not been dissipated, and the monster is still capable, on provocation, of glaring fiercely out of the murks. The light that would have enabled the Christian world to descry the Beast in his true outlines and character has never been rekindled since it was extinguished about the third century. Had that light been available it would have revealed that the fiery dragon of the pit was none other than the god himself, his face begrimed with smoke, his features distorted by the grimaces of the Beast through whose eyes he looked out upon this strange world, and his countenance luridly alight with the smudgy flare of the earthly furnace. Miltonís lakes of seething fire in Paradise Lost are a travesty of truth, unless taken purely as the symbology they are. For Satan is the god himself - on earth! This broad assertion is incontestable. It is proven by the very name. The descending god was the Light-bringer, Lucifer, the bright and morning star, which is precisely the character assumed by the Jesus of the Biblical Revelation! The Christian devil, the hated serpent of evil, Satan, is Lucifer, the god of light on earth, Prometheus, the "benefactor of mankind,"--"the god" himself.
Indoctrinated orthodoxy may rise to protest the identification. Some ghastly mistake will be alleged in the philology. It will be in vain. Erudite theology has at times perhaps known the truth, but has kept an advised silence. The general mind has lost the key to the mystery. By dropping the name Lucifer and clinging to that of Satan alone, the mischief has been bred and perpetuated. That Satan and Jesus are identical is as true as that Sut and Horus in Egypt are twins! The god and devil are kindred. They are full brothers. Their mother is one. They are the two aspects or manifestations of the same force. It may be said that the evil character is the good (Page 333) seen in reversed reflection on earth. For an ancient esoteric adage in Latin ran: DEMON EST DEUS INVERSUS, "the devil is the god turned upside down." Satan is the god in incarnation; or he is the god as he appears after his nature has been diffracted in its passage through the blurred medium of earth life. The devil is the god transformed into a being of reduced power, blunted moral sense, befogged intellect and forgotten glory. He is the god bemired with the slime of carnal generation, beset with the strong sensuous and sexual urge of the brute. In short, he is the divine soul entangled in the bestial nature and himself lending more fiery intensity to the impulses of the body by his vitalizing presence!
The genesis of what is called "evil" may perhaps be dialectically derivable from the fundamental premises of thought. But the origin of evil in reference to manís specific cosmic situation is a particular problem, only to be determined by full knowledge of this situation. As the world does not possess such knowledge in full measure, the great problem is enveloped in some obscurity.
But the sages of the early dawn vouchsafed a portion of this knowledge deemed sufficient to yield to reflection an intelligent comprehension of the issues involved and a philosophic attitude toward them. The rank of the gods sent to earth, their endowments and capabilities, their attitude toward their mission, their obligation in relation to past dereliction, and the implications of their tenanting the animal bodies assigned to them, were broadly revealed to the initiates and theodidaktoi of an early period. With all these interests and relations the connotations of the term "evil" are intimately concatenated. This knowledge, elaborated to much detail, was the treasure of the Mystery Societies and Brotherhoods, and formed the esoteric motivation of their regimes of discipline, instruction and consecration. The modern revival of interest in this mine of truth has not yet recovered all that has slipped away. The uncertainty about some of the major premises is supplemented by the additional difficulty of determining which of the two phases of the representative figures, Satan, Lucifer, Apap, Sut, Typhon, the serpent, the dragon, the beast, is being emphasized in the numberless myths and legends. And there is the ever-present doubleness of the meaning of the symbols, making it difficult to know whether the higher or the lower aspect is meant. But enough hints are provided usually to enable scholarship to work with intelligence upon the material. (Page 334)
The origin of evil is indeed the mystery of our life. It is inwrought with the key situation of humanity. The arising of evil in a system of total and absolute good is indeed a riddle that taxes the best effort of brain and heart. The difficulty, however, has been made by the mistaken common assumption that Good is absolute, that is, good as conceived in human ideation, good in its specific human relevance. The Supreme God has been called the Good, and this has been misleading. Good can only be absolute if evil is also absolute, and this can not be, since there can not be two different and opposing absolutes. The absolute is beyond good and evil alike. There is an abstract and detached conception of good which the mind can predicate of the entire scheme of things, to posit which, however, would require our saying that that which is beyond both good and evil is the good. Yet such a declaration is dialectically impossible, because that which we would characterize as good is beyond all character. Descriptive statements about it are empty sound. It is not within the scope of any predication whatever. The ultimate is neutral to us always.
It only becomes either good or bad to us when it ceases to be absolute and relates itself to itself as spirit and matter, positive and negative, male and female, light and dark. And, be it proclaimed in clarion tones, the whole matter of the theological bogie of the devil, or incarnate evil, arose solely from the miscarriage of the dramatic necessity of ascribing an adverse, opposing and relatively evil character to the negative or material pole of life force! The bifurcation of the Unmanifest into the two nodes of being to become manifest threw both poles in contrariety and opposition to each other. The spiritual, or active and conscious end came to be represented as the "good" and the inert and negative material end carried the dramatic imputation of the "evil." The two can never step out of their poised interrelation with each other, since they have existence only in the terms of such relation. They are only and always relative to each other. Good and evil have no human meaning outside the terms of a counterpoise with each other. Each gets its characterization by virtue of its being not what the other is, being its diametric opposite. Each gains what it possesses of substantiality and character from being the reflex of the other. Good is Not-evil and evil is the Not-good.
Manifestation of life comes only through the tension between the (Page 335) two modalities, because it requires just such a stress to awaken latent consciousness to open awareness. Actuality comes to birth only at the central point of contact between the subjective and the objective worlds. If life does not establish the countervalence between its two opposite aspects, it remains unconscious. The friction between spirit and matter is the ground of lifeís ultimate or at least increased self-consciousness. So the soul comes to this earth to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Evil is therefore one of its two essential conditions for normal growth and expansion. A sagacious view of philosophical archai, therefore, perceives "evil" in its true light, and once and forever lifts from off its imputed entifications in religion all stigma and bad odor. At the same time it apprehends its role in the drama, in which it plays the part of the "adversary," "the opposer," of the active building power of life. This is the role that has all to easily become misunderstood for one of absolute evil, when it should have been judiciously envisaged as but relative, and as conducive to the awakening of the positive energies of life itself. For without the necessity of exerting itself and deploying its as yet unawakened powers to overcome the opponentís resistance and inertia, the divine seed would continue to slumber on in unconscious ignorance of its own capabilities. It awakes its dormant giant potentialities by "overcoming the adversary."
This is the heavy role of the villain in every play. He is the foil. He acts as the steppingstone over which the hero strides to victory. His dark designs make the heroís virtue shine out the brighter by contrast. He furnishes the dark background against which the conquerorís exploits stand out in relief.
Hence that which in human and worldly affairs wears all the outward appearance of evil - defeat , disaster, loss, crime, treachery - is to be seen only as good under a disguise. It subserves a karmic purpose,--the challenging of some hidden power to come awake and rouse itself to function. Later on, its hidden beneficence is seen, and we say: Now I know why that happened; without it I would never have gained what I now possess. So "evil" is good under a mask. The villain is our other self in masquerade. If we could at the moment tear off his false face, we would see him as the lovely fairy, ready to transform us into something nobler.
It is the antithesis of good and evil, our experience with both wings (Page 336) of the bird of life, and the resultant deposit of wisdom in our own interior vehicle of consciousness, that gives us ultimately our cognition of values. And in the finale this valuation overleaps mere characterization as either good or bad. We are balanced between the two in order to transcend them both. The child unites characteristics of both its parents and carries life forward one step higher.
The gist of the matter is that value - which should not be thought of as good in contradistinction to evil, but as evolutionary gain - can not be brought to birth unless good is opposed by evil; and evil is just this opposition. It is in every sense except that of immediate human estimate of it entirely necessary, salutary and beneficent. But no one can calculate the untold volume of wretchedness that has been heaped up in world history by the frightful miscarriage of this basic understanding. For the mass mind was overridden by the assignment to "evil" of a positive character, reifying it into a living bogie, and was in the last stage of gross literalization devastated by its personification in an actual "devil." The transmogrification of this dramatic personage into the realistic bogieman to harass millions of earthís simple-minded children by Christendom is perhaps the crowning disservice which a distorted theology has rendered its unenlightened devotees.
Our sense of evil only arises because of our imperfect vision. As Paul said, we now see life in part and through a glass darkly. If we could see it whole, we would see all things in their proper place in the large picture, and hence in their beneficence. More piercing vision would penetrate the mask of evil and reveal it as good. But our sense of evil, and our reactions to it, are part of the cost of our growth. They are the terms and conditions under which we advance to larger appreciations. The apparent evil is part of the path we must tread to reach values beyond. Evil may be said to be episodical, an incident along the way, as life marches on. Seen out of proportion and relation it assumes its grim aspect.
And what is sin? Again has a baleful theology terrorized the minds of millions with an apparition that is as unsubstantial as the bugaboo of evil. Again it is a normal and natural phase of the evolutionary situation which has been wrested from its balanced meaning in the dramatic typology and turned into a thing of psychological terrorism. Sin is in brief nothing but the "lust for life" itself, and the appetency and zest of the higher soul for the life of flesh and sense, (Page 337) through which alone it can become creative in new generations. Sin is the entangling of the entified spirits in the laws and nature and motivations of the flesh, not to add the world and "the devil," and its free indulgence in the play of its creative powers through and upon these elementary forces. Sin is the spiritís subjection of itself to the dominance of these proclivities to an inordinate or disproportionate degree. The Cycle of Necessity draws it down into their domain and makes it for a time and in a measure subject to their sway. Whether duly or unduly influenced by them, its submergence under their power is what the ancient drama pictured as sin.
At least one philosopher has kept his vision of this portrayal true and steady. Plotinus declares that if the soul keeps her eye fixed steadily on the star of her higher self, "she need not regret having become acquainted with evil or knowing the nature of vice," and having had the opportunity of manifesting her creative faculties through her conjunction with the body. This is grandly refreshing amid the welter of corrupted philosophies berating and belaboring the life of sense with the stigma of evil and the curse. The latter have grown up in the wake of a morbid religionism turned ascetic when the lighter play of drama was burdened with the lugubrious weight of misconceived ideas of sin and the devil.
A portion or degree of cosmic divine spirit was to become creative in man, and was sent here to try its intellectual powers upon a formative work. It had thence to show its lordship over the elements and the matter with which creative intelligence had to work. It had to be thrown in strategic relation to the world of matter at its appropriate place and station. Like both Jesus and Jonah, it had to be thrown into the "sea," to subdue its ungoverned raging. It had then to take charge of the seven lower furies and range them under its higher command. The unregulated play of these subordinate and irrational forces of sense in the field of life, once the god had plunged into their milieu, is sin. It is powerful at first and for a long time, until the soul gradually rises to assert its kingship over the seven heads of the Beast. It is only admissibly evil - and then still in a relative sense - when it usurps the prerogatives of the lord, unhinges the balance between the two forces, and becomes grossly immoderate and libertine. Only when the soul, still not wide awake and vigilantly in control, permits the (Page 338) lower animality to rule inordinately, is it sin in the mawkish theological sense of shame and remorsefulness.
To help a world lift itself out from under the darksome shadow of gloomy moroseness, induced by twisted theologies, into the brighter day of clearer comprehension, it may be said that the general mind must grasp once again the basic deific motif in creation, to begin with. As set forth just now, "sin" has its rise in the desire of life to become parent of each new cycle of recurrent creation. Spirit and matter must woo, win and wed each other; and their copulation, envisaged through the medium of a diseased human view of sexual relation, became tinged with the stains of moral baseness. This is the psychological genesis of the interpretation so long foisted upon the "fall" of Adam and Eve "into carnal sin." Physical parenthood has long borne the stigma of some remote spiritual transgression, and still the shadow of social and universal shame clings to it. A great modern cult, and some of its offshoots, have expressly stressed the possibility of regaining the Edenic spiritual creation of human beings without resort to the physical mode of procreation. And of course the Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth doctrines have been haloed about with intimations of the same sort. This is all, however, the result of incomprehension turning charming and luminously suggestive typology into crass realism.
Why does God create? Why is he not content to enjoy his exalted position in endless contemplation of his own perfection? As far as human cognition can rise to conceive of it, Godís motive in creation announced in the old books, is Lila, translated "the sport of the gods," "the delight of God." The highest joy and sweetest preoccupation of work. As man reflects deity, it may be known from this datum that Godís highest pleasure comes from his creative labors. He creates for the sport and the joy of it. He first thinks out (in Platoís "archetypal ideas") what sort of universe he will build, and then proceeds to reap the delight of seeing it grow under his hands. "The sea is his for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land." His reveling in creation does not stop at his ideal conception of prospective worlds; like the true artisan, he must realize the satisfaction of seeing them take form in the concrete. Plastic matter, susceptible to every breath of creative impulse, is his potterís clay. God comes out of his noumenal world (Page 339) to enjoy a period of activity in the realm of sense. Having thought long enough of his projected creation, he now wills to emerge onto the field of physical activity and bring it into substantial reality. He longs to feel the play of elemental energies through his vast physical frame. Any man yearning to rise from sedentary occupation and brain work to experience the "feel" of muscular activity outdoors, is a sufficient analogue. The opposition, tension and zest for the game are provided by the playing forces on the two teams of matter and spirit. The game or battle will yield him adequate thrills, since in it he will find coming to function still unevolved latencies of his own measureless being. Each act will enhance his sense of power and glory. That he may live again and enjoy a new joust with matter he must plunge his nucleated units of consciousness into a state of "death" and burial in material inertia. Paul asks if this is evil; and his own answer, overlooked and never understood, must become the keynote of a new world attitude to life: "Never! The law was holy, just and altogether righteous."
There is evidence that the word "sin" has derivations and connections of the most momentous import. Some of these are astonishing. In the first place "Sin" was a name for "the mount of the moon." Arcane books speak of the incarnating souls as having fallen into the moon, and earth is still called the "sublunary sphere." This has immediate links with pertinent meaning, since the lower aspects of manís nature, his two lower bodies, the "astral" and physical, have been built up over the "astral" molds left by the retreating race of men on the moon chain of evolution. Since the spirit plunges into the lower man, the belly of death, it may aptly be said to fall into the mount of the moon. The soul fell into "Sin" or landed on "Mt. Sin."
But another etymology falls in here with unexpected force. The lower physical and emotional half of manís constitution is, in its relation to physical nature, typed in ancient tomes by "the woman." The lower nature, that holds the soul in material bondage, is specifically dramatized by the character of Hagar, the concubine of Abraham, significantly dubbed "the bond-woman." To "her" we are in bondage. There is very definite connection between this name Hagar and the Agar, or Akar, or Aker, which was the name for the tunnel of the underworld through which incarnating souls had to pass from the rear (material) end of the Sphinx forward to the front (spiritual) end or (Page 340) head. The materials are now ready for St. Paul to use in making for us a startling weaving of the several etymological strands into a thread of great strength. For in Galatians (4:24 ff) he makes a positive identification of Mt. Sinai with Hagar (Agar): "Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children." To call a woman a mountain, and that localized in a specific country on the map, for once clearly shatters all possible literalism or historicism in the verse. But beyond that it throws into relation, likely that of identity, the two mountains Sin and Sin-ai. Sinai is derived (by Massey) from the Egyptian senai, sheni, meaning "point of turning and returning," and almost surely refers to that point where life strikes a balance between the forces of involution and evolution in the cosmic "solstice." In its descent spirit reaches the nadir point in the depths of matter, is held in a state of exact equilibrium with it - the "pool of equipoise" of the Egyptians - experiences its new birth of life from this relation, and then turns to return to the Father above. The name Sinai, then, is most revelatory. All communication with deity, all revelation of deity to man, must occur on this Mount Sinai, when the feet of the woman clothed with the sun rest upon the moon, or lower part of manís organic structure. So Moses (man) ascends into the mount to receive the commandments of the law and the dicta of the Lord. And Jesus ascends into the same Mount to deliver his sermon unto mortal men. This whole situation is of strategic importance for the entire theme and must be unfolded at length in later connections.
Evil and sin must be cleared of their theological accretions of gruesomeness and morbid sentimentalism. They were involvements of the evolutionary predicament which, under the ruses and resources of dramatic representation, became tinged with darksome psychological hues and inspired a volume of unnatural effort to mortify the human part of our nature. Whole generations of children, taught by literal-minded parents and tutors, imbibed the idea that in the universe there was a deity, dividing power equally with God, who was wholly bent on defeating the good, and who must be resisted, if life is to be "saved." Back of this miscarriage, as back of all absurd popular religious notions, lurks the great truth, that Life has divided its powers between (Page 341) spirit and matter, and that all growth is the outcome of the "war" between these two energies. Clearly apprehended in a philosophical view, this is knowledge of high verity, knowledge that stabilizes the mind with a grasp on the ultimate beneficence of the scheme. On the other hand the popular distortion of it is a horrendous fallacy, devastating to faith in the salutary operation of cosmic law. Between the two there is the whole vast gulf of the difference between sanity and composure and the practical certainty of a monstrous dementia.
The devil is just the god on earth; and how the radiant son of the morning, bright angelic Lucifer, became transmogrified into the dour person of Satan is a matter of deepest concern for religion and for humanity. This problem could have been solved readily enough if the Western mind had not lost the data for thinking. Logic can not proceed when the due premises are wanting. These lie buried in forgotten books dealing with cosmology and anthropology. To supply them again to modern reflection is a major purpose of this work.
The basic item is the duality of man as the result of the incarnation. Evil arises from the union in one organism of brute and god. When the god stepped in, the potentiality of evil was engendered. Evil could not arise from animal alone; paradoxically, it awaited the coming of the god. The animal is unmoral, incapable of either morality or immorality. He has no sense of good and evil. He has not eaten of the fruit of the tree of good and evil. The "god" in man is the first being in evolution who steps out from under the law of natural automatism and periodical regularity, and assumes his training in the art of balancing consciously discerned forces of evil and good. He came into the flesh for the very purpose of opening his eyes (Cf.: "and their eyes were opened" in Genesis) and seeing consciously how to weigh his action in the balance between the two poles of life. He came to eat of the fruit of the tree. While the beast was unmoral, the god was morally capable, but innocent. He had to learn grace by contacting guilt. He had to win his right to the enjoyment of good by overcoming evil. "To him that overcometh shall all things be given," but not to divine souls that would rather dream away their existence in mystical bliss in the empyrean. Without warfare with evil the soul would never come into cognition of its own capacities. As Plotinus affirms, "she would not know what she possesses," and her faculties would never receive their development. Nature could not become productive until it had (Page 342) thrown its opposing forces into the duality of spirit and matter, positive and negative, and provided thus the basis for experience. Consciousness can not come to self-consciousness unless the subjective aspect is confronted with the objective. Spirit and matter are helpless, or rather, as Plotinus adds, are really nonexistent, until they interact in "opposition." It is this "opposition" that stabilizes them in relation to each other. Monism is a true philosophy applicable only before and after the worlds are! It takes both Nux and Lux to make life conscious. And virtue can not be won except as the laurel wreath for victory over vice.
The opening of the eyes in the creation allegory is the dramatic typing of manís awakening to his first glimpse of self-consciousness. It marks the distinguishing insignium of manís superior position above the beast. It marks the line of his evolutionary passover. At this point man stepped over the greatest boundary line in all the universe of life. He passed out of the sway of the unconscious mindless energies of nature, the "subconscious mind" of cosmic deity, and became, albeit at the lowest level, a sharer with God in his conscious creative intelligence. He stepped across the line from the kingdom of bondage to the natural mindless forces into potential rulership of them. He ceased being the son of Hagar, the bond-woman, and became the son of Sarah, the free-woman. He became, collectively, children of the promise and of the adoption, sons and heirs of the Father. He stepped from bondage under the law to the possible "liberty of the sons of God." Liberty! The animal can not sin; man can. He has this freedom! He may choose - good or evil. But he must face the consequences. These are the terms of his evolutionary education. The good or evil consequences would instruct him. Choose he well or badly, karmic compensation would advise. But his new freedom was his highest prerogative, his badge of incipient divinity. That he was prone, of necessity, to make many bad choices until his karmic education had sobered and enlightened him is indicated from a most significant passage from Plotinus:
"They began to revel in free will; they indulged in their own movement; they took the wrong path. Then it was that they lost the knowledge that they sprang from that divine order. They no longer had a true vision of the Supreme or of themselves. Smitten with longing for the lower, (Page 343) rapt in love of it, they grew to depend upon it; so they broke away as far as they were able."
This tells the whole story of whatever there is intrinsic in the perverted idea of the "fall." It was just the fall of the child learning to walk! It was nothing but the floundering of ignorant innocence before it has grown wise through trial and error. It was inherent in the very conditions of the evolutionary situation. It was more or less inevitable. And its "evil" consequences were to be absorbed in the vicissitudes of later experience, as the follies of youth are ironed out in subsequent larger vision and more steady conduct.
The god brought the possibility of "evil" with him on his arrival. He came to suffer many things, because his coming threw a stable and orderly evolution temporarily into an unstable one. The animal was bound to a fixed order in nature, whose unvarying laws left him no choice, no freedom to deviate. The god came to get practice in the use of freedom to break through this order and win independent creative facility for himself. And he was incidentally to impart to the animal in whose body he lived that part of his new found knowledge that he managed to make habitual, or transferred by the force of repetition over to the subconscious, which is the animalís highest conscious self. For he was, along with his own education, to help the animal bridge the gulf between its kingdom and the human.
But he threw a disturbance into a condition that had previously been equilibrated and stable. He introduced free choice and variant procedure into the hitherto inerrant course of the animalís behavior. He could break natural routine, initiate new tentative and note the result. A god who could not do evil is a marionette, not a god. There is no merit in compulsory good. Reward must come with victory. Trial and error was to result in knowledge, which therefore could not be its antecedent or concomitant at the start.
Wisdom is a resultant, a deposit, a crystallization of fluid elements. Freedom began with ignorance in order to end in wisdom. Freedom and blunder were means to an end. The smooth harmony of natural law was bound to be thrown, for a time, into discord. This is the meaning behind the rebel angelsí breaking in upon the harmony of the great Godís festival song with raucous shouts, which may be seen (Page 344) possibly as their riotous exultation at the prospect of a new freedom never enjoyed before, like schoolboys let out for a holiday, as Plotinus paints it.
While the god was thus to be buried in the very belly of the great Abtu fish, his immunity from complete drowning and loss of his deific life was provided for. It is hinted at in various typographs. He was to be protected, as Plato says, like an oyster in its shell. He was as the fish in the water, that would be able to breathe even under the water. Again he was shown as learning to walk on the water without sinking into its depths. The Ritual of Egypt speaks of his being immersed in the water of the underworld, but hovering over, the water; or in it as to his body, but aloof from it as to his soul. The latter is especially prominent in the Ritual for the "dead." More than one passage repeats that while "my dead body lies in the grave, my soul is in heaven." "Thy material body liveth in Tattu and in Nif-urtet, and thy soul liveth in heaven each day." "Heaven holdeth thy soul, O Osiris Auf-ankh, and earth holdeth thy form" (Ch. 163). "Thy soul is in heaven, and thy body is under ground" (Ch. 169). "Ra grasps his hands, a spirit in heaven, a body on earth." "Thy water is in heaven; thy solid parts are on the earth." "The Sun-god," writes Massey, "whether as Atum-Iu or Osiris-Ra, is a mummy in Amenta and a soul in heaven."
These passages are of great value. Particularly should the one be noted which says that "thy material body liveth in Tattu" while the soul lives in heaven. This forestalls, the likely argument that these passages refer to the ordinarily deceased person, whose body is in the ground (if not cremated) while his soul has gone to heaven. The deeper meaning here is that man actually inhabits two worlds at once. He is in heaven by virtue of his divine consciousness; he is on earth through his physical body.
All this situation was part of a larger divine plan. The god was to touch the tip of the head or inchoate mental faculty of the animal with the flame of his intellect, but not further embrace the animalís life. He was to light the wick of intelligence for the lower being. He was to kindle a fire in the body, but not be burned thereby. But it is said that the waywardness of the gods pretty badly marred the progress of the work. As a group they had bound themselves under a covenant to do the work promptly and return. But earth currents overwhelmed (Page 345) them, swept them into forgetfulness, and they truly lost their divine heads and were carried down into sensuous life and sexual procreation. The passage from Plotinus tells why the first essay of PhaŽthon to drive the chariot of the Sun resulted in a wild orgy of uncontrolled movement. The seven charges drawing the chariot proved unmanageable for the untested powers of the young god. He gave himself to the delight of a wild revel in the sensual enjoyment of life, and the thrill of adventure tingled through his blood as he indulged his fancy in free creational direction of energies. His drive was outward, and he threw himself into the interests of the lower vehicle. And here lurks the rationale of his changed character from Lucifer to Satan. In drama he was pictured as in part the author of evil when he lent his own superior forces and faculties to the virile energies of the beast. He threw the added power of his own dynamism into the life of animal man. This is the evil aspect of his kindling a fire on earth, or in the sea around the earth. He in fact kindled a fiercer fire under the caldron containing the water of life and the animal ingredients of the lower human constitution, and raised the potentials of all the elemental appetencies. Into the hellish brew went the qualities of the creatures of earth, of the water and of night - the bat, the owl, the toad, the lizard, the newt, the snake; of herbs gathered under the light of waning moon; of every noxious and venomous thing; and under it all burned the fire of the god! Around flitted the three witches, the masquerading earthly forms, feminine and material, of the three divine principles of mind-soul-spirit, the solar triad, poking the fire. And as they revel around the eerie scene, the fire burns and the caldron bubbles, brewing the double toil and trouble for god and man; but all the while the broth is being transformed into its spiritual sublimation, so that it returns to heaven as vapor, in the midst of which the geni can be seen taking form. So the animal ingredients are transformed and lifted up in the burning lake.
In mutual interplay god and animal accentuate each otherís potential energies. In a sense the god makes a worse hell of this nether pit of Tophet, for he plays a part in the degradation of the beast. An excerpt from the Codex Nazareus seems to confirm this delineation:
"He himself will captivate the sons of men by the allurements of cunning delusions and will imbue them with blood and monthly pollution." (Page 346)
Yet both parties find an enhancement of their range and powers of consciousness through the struggle. But traditional figures of the Satanic personage have taken form and clung to popular fancy out of the allegorical depictions of the cosmic scene. The god, plunged into the hell of body, was painted as plying his fierce labor in mingling his higher fire with the lower elementary fury, stoking the furnace with the fuel of his pride, rebellion and lust for sense, and enjoying with the animal the mutual exchange of their polarized forces. Fantasy sets up the portrait - his body reeking with sweat (Cf. the bloody sweat of Gethsemane), his countenance grimy and lurid in the glare of the fire made murky with the commingled smoke, steam, ashes and soot (Sut) arising from his effort to "burn" the damp green material. This is the ancient picture drawn by high poetic fancy to convey the recondite philosophical principles actually involved; and the failure of heavy ignorant zealotry to catch its fanciful import has cost a crass civilization centuries of woe. The Logia speak in no uncertain terms of this tradition:
"There was one who reigned over them all, even the Star of the Morning, which had fallen upon the earth, Lucifer, but they named him Abaddon, for he was the Destroyer."
Here was in fact proud Lucifer, rebel against the too long protracted passivity of life in the higher worlds, come to earth, baptized in the waters of the Jordan River on the boundary between the two kingdoms, kindling a fire in the water itself, throwing his reed or rod into the Nile of earth and turning it into blood, injecting his own fiery energies into the sluggish life of the beast, himself torn and distracted, abased and crucified, disfigured out of all semblance of his divinity. Let us recall here Isaiahís account: "How was his visage marred, more than any man!" The figure of intoxication used by the mythicists to betoken this phase of the godís condition is by no means inapt. This was indeed the "riotous living" in which the Prodigal Son spent his substance. And St. Paul helps us understand the depth of degradation into which the innocent souls fell by his statement that the sweep of lower motivation caused them to change "the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own (Page 347) hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator . . ." This is also the story of Ichabod, from whom "the glory" had departed.
With its roots winding deeply into the heart of this theological depiction, there has sprung up the growth of a gigantic excrescence on the psychological life of mankind that has found no explanation, and can find none, outside the purview of the background just presented. Here lies the key to one of the most inexplicable and redoubtable phenomena in the domain of sociology, for which sociological science can provide no material for a formula of understanding,--the sense of shame appertaining to the sexual organs and functions. From instantaneous creation in the noumenal world by projection of thought energies, the god found himself thrust into lowly physical bodies and reduced to the sensuous procedure of sexual progenation. Swooning into the "deep sleep" that attended his descent from the higher planes, he awoke on the plane of earth to find himself forced to procreate physically like the animals. From deep within his most real self sprang that sense of revulsion at the change, the shadow of which has clung to his consciousness in spite of all rationalization or sophistication. The soul sensed its degradation. Ancient scriptures reflected this feeling in their naming the physical body, as the agent of this debasement, "the garment of shame." In the Pistis Sophia Jesus tells Salome, in answer to her question, that his kingdom shall come "when you shall have trampled underfoot the garment of shame" and returned from the divided life of sex to androgyneity.
If the sense of shame was not inherent in the anthropological situation at the beginning, it was developed and strengthened by the wild license or "Harlotry" in which the first groups of the Sons of God indulged with the females of the higher animal species after reaching earth. There seems to have been a long period of sexual miscegenation, the experience of which would have imprinted the reaction of shame lastingly upon the subconscious psyche of early humanity. This is perhaps the "evil concupiscence" against which Paul crusades in his Epistles. And it is significant that in a later passage in the first chapter of Romans, in which Paul states that God gave them up to a reprobate mind to do the things "which are not convenient," he adds as their final description that they were "covenant-breakers." (Page 348) We protest that this takes his preachment out of the rank of mere pious homiletics and makes it referable to the racial predicament we are dealing with. Greek philosophy speaks of the violation of "broad oaths fast sealed."
Reverting for a moment to the philosophic analysis of evil, it is highly desirable that the view of Platonic systematism should be gleaned from a few pointed excerpts. Near the end of his two great volumes on the theology of Plato Proclus dilates at length upon the nature of evil in grand fashion. There is not such a thing, he says, as
"unmixed evil or evil itself, or an eternal idea, form and essence of evil; but moral evil is mixed with good, and so far as it is good, it subsists from divinity; but so far as it is evil, it is derived from another cause which is impotent. For evil is nothing else than a greater or less declination, departure, defect and privation from the good itself . . . in the same manner as darkness from (want of) the sun. It is debility and absence of power. And that which is evil to partial natures, is not evil to the universe."
Christian aberrancy from high philosophy can be seen in the erection of evil into a positive, active force and personifying it in a semi-deity.
Evil is only a byproduct of the good on its march to full development. Proclus has further enlightenment for us, which should not be missed:
"Evil in souls is a debility of not always and uniformly adhering to better natures and to the good. Hence arises their descent to things subordinate, their oblivion, their malefic inclination to things conversant with body, and their dischord with reason. According to some, matter is that which is primarily evil, and is evil itself, and the debility of souls arises from their lapse into matter."
But we owe to Thomas Taylor a reminder that it is error to impute evil gratuitously to matter:
"This Proclus denies and says that both body and matter originate from deity and that both are the progeny of divinity. He adds . . . that souls sinned before they were thrust into matter; that there are not two principles (matter and deity); and that matter is neither good nor evil, but a thing necessary, and distant in the last degree from the good itself."
Here is balance and sanity, so sorely needed in an age overrun with cults of the "spiritual" raving against the "evil" nature of matter, (Page 349) making it a theological "devil." This declaration should be advanced to prominence in the philosophic treatment of the place and function of matter in evolution and systematic thought. Modern spiritual cultism needs to be enlightened with the assurance that matter is in itself neither good nor evil, but neutral. It has no moral quality in itself, but receives such from the good or evil use made of it, as any mechanical invention. It is to become the implementation of the good, and is therefore vitally necessary, as Proclus declares. Cult diatribes against matter as evil are at last seen to be beyond the mark, and the orthodox hypostasization and personification of evil is discovered to be equally inane.
Whatever seems evil exists indeed for the sake of the good:
"To divinity, therefore, nothing is evil, not even of the things which are called evil. For he uses these also to a good purpose . . . For he [the demiurgus] concealed evil in the use of good." Evil "consists in the privation of symmetry between form and matter."
The last statement is a detail which is doubtless most relevant. The god and the animal being conjoined in one organism, evil arose from the want of harmony between them. This is at the base of those Platonic discussions on harmony and symmetrical allotment of function in the Greek thought. Two widely diverse and in a sense antagonistic elements were thrust into a marriage in one body. A conflict was inevitable. Paulís war of the flesh against the soul was on. The animal could no longer drift in his course of unintelligent natural instinct; and on his part the god was erratic in his incipient lordship over lower forces. What measure of human wretchedness, instability and recklessness does not flow from these factors operative in the situation?
Hence Lucifer became transformed into Satan. Without his intrusion the animal would have known no evil, no aberrancy, no contravention of cyclic order, with consequent pain and distress. But he would have purchased the continuance of his halcyon blissfulness at the cost of -remaining an animal! He could not step across the gap between beast and sentient man without awakening the knowledge of good and evil. The god stepped into the beastís own province and brought that disturbing influence that began the harrowing process, for both, of learning through suffering. By the godís stripes we are healed, and both he and his pupil suffer many an anguish before the (Page 350) healing is effected. Fittingly the Logia are found saying: "The Beast that was, that is, and that is soon to be cast down into the bottomless pit, is the mystery of iniquity by whose power the world hath been made full of sorrow."
The Beast that was chained in prison or cast down into the lake of fire that burned with brimstone is to be found, along with the lake, in the Ritual (Ch. 17). He is called Baba, the eternal devourer, whose dwelling is in the lake of fire, the red lake, the pool of the damned, in the fiery pit of the recess or "bight" of Amenta. It is to be pointed out that this Baba, called "the lord of gore," extracts the hearts and viscera from the corpses doomed to be consumed at his banquet and "eats the livers of the princes." This personation is identical with that of the Beast in Revelation (10) who makes war on the "Logos of God," but is defeated and cast into the lake that blazes with brimstone. The angel invites all the "birds that fly in mid-heaven to gather for the great banquet of God," at which "the flesh of kings" was devoured. In the Promethean myth the bird, vulture or eagle, comes daily to consume the liver of the king of heaven, bound helpless to the rock, or the cross. The bird typifying generally the soul, coming to devour the liver of the god, unquestionably has some reference to the purificatory offices of the spiritual nature in the evolutionary process, though a more subtle knowledge of the function of the liver in vital economy would probably enable us to read further astonishing significance in the symbology. The myth may perhaps simply signify the soulís periodical visitation to earth to pluck the fruits of the purgative and purificatory experience, by which through bodily suffering evil is transmuted into good, as the liver cleanses impurities of the body.
Paul in Ephesians (2) and elsewhere sets forth the forces in conflict in the arena of the human breast:
"You were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you moved as you followed the course of this world . . . when we obeyed the passions of our flesh, carrying the dictates of the flesh and its impulses, when we were objects of Godís anger like the rest of men."
Again this use of the word "anger," often elsewhere "ire" or "wrath," must be carefully delimited in meaning, since it refers to nothing like human vindictiveness, but just the "fire" of deity working its natural (Page 351) efficacy in and upon the elements of the body. "Ire" is "fire" with the Greek diagamma dropped off, and "wrath" is the original fire of creative force.
Paulís admonition was to "abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul." He speaks of the deadly enmity between the two natures, as does Plato, and pleads with the disciples to strive for the victory of the spiritual man over the carnal. He puts sexual vice at the head of a list of corrupt practices, and sexual continence at the head of a list of virtues.
Through the diversion of dramatic meaning into false channels, the god, then, became regarded as the instigator of all evil in the moral situation. It is noteworthy that in the Jonah legend, the god, asleep in the hold of the storm-tossed vessel, is found, by casting lots, to be responsible for the storm. Two features here deserve elucidation. He was asleep. The god, who should have been awake and alert to control the sweeping urges of sensual thought (water agitated by air, mind, symbolically) was asleep. While he lay inert the storm of air and water raged. He was thus responsible, for he was sent to be the master of these very elements. He waked in time and his destiny demanded that he be thrown into the midst of the waters, to take charge and still them. The storm then quieted.
Next, he lay in the hold. This was called Akar (Agar, Hagar), a region of Amenta. It types the lower self, the lower part of the organism, the natural, carnal man. He had been captivated and his divine genius and memory were narcotized by the oblivion-producing influences of incarnation. He lay in a torpor in the hold of the ship, the belly of the mortal man.
So the god, rendered at first sluggish, beastly, brutalized, became the evil one. And the alteration of character from benefactor to demon, has wrought ghastly mischief in religious machination. Spurred on by the imaginary hypostatization of an Evil Spirit in the world, men have by the very force and contagion of a fixed obsession wrought themselves into the likeness of this malignant demon and dramatized in actual history their conception of his diabolical role. Swept on by the inculcated theory of his presence in personal form in the world, bigots everywhere found in the assumption a ready subterfuge for persecution and cruelty. Since embodiment had to be found (Page 352) for the Evil Spirit, every unacceptable act or idea of oneís brother or oneís enemy could be charged to demoniac possession. Thus there was provided an easy channel for a terrible outpouring of manís inhumanity to man, and there was let loose an orgy of vicious despotism in religion that has stained the record of Christianity almost past repair. Nothing but philosophical understanding of the real issues involved will clarify the error in religious attitude on this matter. Nothing but the realization that Satan was and is himself the angel of light, our heavenly benefactor, will restore sober sanity to a race rendered next to demonical by an infernal theology.
There is documentary evidence to indicate that this figure was not at first regarded as the evil genius of man at all, but was rated as the Agathodaemon, or Guardian Spirit. On Masseyís authority it may be stated that "the Serpent in Egypt, Chaldea, India, America and Europe is the Good Serpent generally, the Agathodaemon." The Ritual (Ch. 83) affirms that "The Great One shining with his body as a God is Sut." Sut was strictly not the evil one. He was the seven-headed serpent or dragon. And the seven Uraei, or serpent-headed gods, are typical not of death, but of life. Another voice concurs in this estimate.
"Like Satan himself, even as the Rev. Dunbar Heath has shown (The Fallen Angels), the serpent had not, indeed, a wholly evil character among the early Hebrews." [Westrop and Wake: Phallism in Ancient Religions, p. 47. ]
The same authority (p. 57) goes further:
"Whatever may be the explanation of the fact, it is understood that, notwithstanding the hatred with which he was afterwards regarded, this god Seth, or Set, was at one time highly venerated in Egypt. Bunsen says that up to the thirteenth century before Christ, Set Ďwas a great god universally adored throughout Egypt, who confers on the sovereigns of the eighteenth and nineteenth dynasties the symbols of life and power.í He adds: ĎBut subsequently, in the course of the twentieth dynasty he is suddenly treated as an evil demon, inasmuch as his effigies and name are obliterated on all the monuments and inscriptions that could be reached.í Moreover, according to Bunsen, Seth Ďappears gradually among the Semites as the background of their religious consciousnessí; and not merely was he Ďthe primitive god of Northern Egypt and Palestine,í but his genealogy as Ďthe Seth of Genesis, the father of Enoch (the man), must be considered as originally running parallel with that derived from the Elohim, Adamís father.í" (Page 353)
This is effective corroboration of the claim advanced herein that the father of intelligent man was the Titanic host, typified by the fiery serpent. Once revered by infant humanity as the bestower of light and life, this collective being later suffered a transformation of imputed character and became thought of as the father of all ill. Some of the dramatic implications worked over into popular belief, and the dramatic character of the Adversary overbore the true understanding of the hidden beneficence of the son of the morning.
The doctrine of hellfire has drifted from the original connotation far away from intelligible meaning. It must be reduced again to rational sense.
Chemically all life processes are a burning. Oxidation is a slower burning, as in rust. All decomposition is a burning. Disintegration of a composite by operation of a superior potency is a burning. Hence all energic activity among the elements of life is thought of as the work of fire. Manís whole life, then, is cast in the midst of a veritable welter of fiery forces, and so Egypt described the world as the lake of fire, or again "the crucible of the great house of flame" and "the Pool of the Double Fire." "Higher" fires and "lower" fires, or the rays of cosmic thought and the purely chemical energies embosomed in matter, called by the Egyptians "the seven Uraeus divinities," unite on earth in a combat and interfusion which constitutes indeed "the fiery furnace" of theological myth. The god came here, to transmute both himself and his animal protťgť into higher natures. He was to burn out the dross and refine the material of the coarser sheaths, those of "earth" and "water," to make possible the unfoldment to function of the principle of mind. This type of spiritual combustion is all that was originally meant by the purging by fire and the winnowing by air. To purify is to make clean by fire. Burning out, or blowing out, the chaff of the animal compound in us by the divine fire of soul, or the divine afflatus of spirit, was the universal mythical symbol of our divinization. Coming with his fan in his hand "he will thoroughly purge his floor." The floor is the physical base of life. The higher potency will cleanse the lowest. More than once the Egyptian Ritual harps on the soulís "acquiring dominion over his feet." The rite of feet-washing can be immediately divined as a type of cleansing the lowest nature. Texts in the Ritual state that he who has won control over his feet has done all he needs to do to insure salvation. (Page 354)
Says Isaiah (I:25): "And I will turn my hand upon thee and purely purge away thy dross and take away thy tin." After purging his floor, "he will gather his wheat into the garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable" (Matt., Luke). We are in hell because the lower segment of us needed the burning, and the upper segment the winnowing, or both segments needed both operations, according to the application of the figure.
To be consumed in the lake, or the furnace, of fire, then, is not, as theology has mistaught a harrowed world, to writhe in flames of torment piled by a vengeful god to satiate a thwarted wrath. There are seven-league-boot strides of distance and difference between this insufferable product of a fiendish theology and the august philosophical conception of primal wisdom. The latter is instinct with dignity and truth; the other a frenzy of inhuman weakness goaded by ignorant fear. Some semblance at least of the hidden truth should have been conceived from the fact that even in the distorted rendering, the souls in hell burn, but do not burn up. Their torment, says orthodoxy, is eternal; and the true and sane original meaning of this whole doctrine went awry because "eternal" was substituted in the translation for "aeonial." The stress of anguish of the fiery experience was to last through the aeon or cycle of incarnation. This rendering yields instruction and intelligence; the other mocks the reason.
The souls burn, but are not extirpated. They die, but live on, eventually transfigured. "I died yesterday, but I am alive today," cries the Manes. "In one of the hells the shades (Manes) are seen burning, but they were able to resist the fire, and consequently it is said: ĎThe shades live; they have raised their powers.í"
The lower fires burn with smudge and murk; they must be transmuted to pure flame. Fire there will be; its quality is the vital concern. Says Isaiah (9:17):
"For wickedness burneth as a fire. It shall devour the briars and thorns, and shall kindle in the thickets of the forests."
The briars, thorns and thickets are the dense undergrowth of coarse sensualism, which will burn themselves out, by conversion into gentler flames.
In Egypt the goddess Sekhet is made to play the part of the avenger of the wicked with hell fire. She is the fiery energies latent in matter, (Page 355) generating the various forms of burning and purification to which the Kumaras will be subjected. The release of her powers upon the god will search and purge his nature. She is typed by the lioness, material consort and counterpart of Shu, the lion-god, astrologically the hot July sun of the lion sign. Natureís typology is most striking in this relation. In the incarnation cycle, symboled as well by winter as by night, the fire of soul immersed in earthy and watery body, absorbs, as it were, an excess of the two lower elements. In the inter-life periods, when the soul is out of body, and figuratively in its summer time, the heat of July drives out the water and its earthy admixture in sweat! But life in the empyrean then runs to an excess of fire and heated air, and the soul has to escape from this menace by a retreat again to earth and water - incarnation. Even this intimation has its appropriate and very suggestive summer emblemism; for, as in winter fire and heated air stand as the types of salvation for man from menace of earth and water, in the summer water and earth, and even darkness (shade), offer salvation from the menace of air and fire. The seasonal swing, with all its concomitant conditions, can be taken as an exact duplication of the evolutionary pendulum, which swings the soul from an excess of mind and spirit over to the opposite excess of sense and feeling, and back again. In embodiment the water struggles to quench the fire; in heaven the fire expunges the water. It is an axiom of occult and esoteric study that the world shall be alternately destroyed by fire and water. This has been accepted in a literal way, so that the legend is that the continent of Lemuria some millions of years ago was destroyed by fiery convulsions and the later continent of Atlantis submerged by water. If continents sink both fire and water must of necessity play a part in the development. It is true that living factual history, of men and of universes and planets, does in general carry out the outline of symbolism. Yet it may be suggested that perhaps in this instance it is possible that sheer typology became once more too directly historicized. As Horus and Sut alternately vanquish each other in endless repetition, so fire and water eternally dominate in turn.
As Sekhet is linked with the Lion sign, so Serkh, or Heh, is instructively seen as related to Scorpio. We can see this better through Masseyís studies: (Page 356)
"The serpent-goddess Heh especially represents the element of Fire that was first symbolized by the lightning of the serpentís sting. But the serpent itself was recognized before the goddess of fire or heat was personified. She is called the ĎMaker of Invisible Existence Apparent.í But it was the serpent that first revealed and made manifest in pain and death the fiery power that existed invisibly. The fury of the solar fire suggested the fang-sting. The name of the Sirocco, the very breath of fire, identifies itself with Serkh, the (Egyptian) name of the Scorpio, which further shows the hard form of Serf, the blast of burning breath." [The Natural Genesis, I, p. 324. ]
Before dilating upon the Scorpion typology, a momentís attention must be paid to the remarkable name given to the serpent-goddess of fire: The Maker of Invisible Existence Apparent. The whole program of incarnation is designed to enable incipient divinity to bring out into manifestation all its latent powers. All manifestation is to effect an Epiphany. There is nothing hidden that shall not be revealed, as evolution throws out upon the screen of concrete existence the deeper things of God. And the sculpturing tool that molds in matter the forms of archetypal conception is the burning flame of material energy in the veins of substance, guided by intelligence. To impale a cosmic thought in a fixed structure of matter, to imprison it in inert substance, required the deadly sting of the Scorpion-goddess Serkh, which threw the invisible existence into motionless stability in the arms of matter.
The allegorical function of the sign of Scorpio is most impressive. The god in his autumn descent into body to make his hidden existence visible is stung into lethal sleep by the Scorpion-goddess. This is a most striking natural emblem of the swooning noted in connection with the downward march toward body. God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam when he was to be bifurcated into duality in earthly life. The entire progression into flesh involved the soulís "death," as from a sting of poison. The baser fires of sense, permeating his more ethereal bodies, injected noxious elements into it, rendering it lethal and sluggish. The foreign substances of the lower man poisoned the god. He was stung to death as he descended. This is in keeping with the position of Scorpio in the zodiac, which falls in the October-November date, when the sun likewise is going to death in winter. He comes with power to tread on serpents and scorpions and put all things under his feet; but his victory is not won at the start; it will (Page 357) come at the end. Like Jesus, Job and Samson, he must first come under the power of the adversary. He first becomes the helpless infant attacked by the serpent, the Herut menace; he becomes Sekari, the silent sufferer. The Scorpion sign in the autumn of the year is the intimation of the fatal sting of spirit by the serpent of the lower nature, the asp or Uraeus of Egypt, "a serpent of fire."
The sense is more directly to be apprehended in connection with several myths that represent Isis (nature) as scheming to extract from Ra his mighty secret of wisdom. She arranges to have Ra pass a certain place at which he would be bitten by a snake or scorpion. In the ensuing coma the secret could be wrested from him. This is a mighty glyph of incarnational truth. It is only when the god is bound in oblivion in the lap of matter that he imparts to matter (Isis) the qualities of his mind. She must reduce him and his intellectual fire to inertness so that she may abstract from him his living intellectual essence and impregnate her body with the seed of his mind after his death, which is exactly the substance and gist of another of the great Egyptian myths of the gods. This one has given ignorant Christian scholars and priests paroxysms of affected revulsion against the imputed sacrilege and obscenity of pagan "beliefs." So Serkh, a form of Isis characterized as the Scorpion-goddess, causes the descending god of pure intellect to be struck and paralyzed by the sting of bodily sense.
It is hardly less than astonishing that one can turn to the field of natural phenomena and find there a living duplication of the death of the Christos on the cross of matter. A number of species of insects resort to a stinging of the male by the female, as the result of which the former is thrown into a state of coma, and the mother takes advantage of his helplessness to deposit her eggs in the fleshly portion of his body, so that when they shortly come into larva form they may have his body to feed upon until able to find food elsewhere. Jesus commanded us to eat his body. He was laid in the manger, where the animals eat. The god goes to his death, and from his dying body and shed blood the young generation draws the nutriment that sustains life. Job and Isaiah refer to the sting that poisons the god.
Budge seems to have become so entangled in the dual relevance of the serpent symbol that he gave up the effort to grapple with it in despair: (Page 358)
"In short, the serpent was either a power for good or the incarnation of diabolical cunning and wickedness."[Osiris and the Egyptian Resurrection, II, p. 236. ]
He did not know it was both. But the matter is complicated and his distress is easily comprehended. There is the dragon of wisdom guarding the tree of knowledge, and there is the Apap monster, the crocodile of the waters. The latter is the "villain" of the play. But there is light in many statements that the serpent of evil is to be transformed into the serpent of good. There is the "lifting up of the serpent," which, however, again may have a twofold interpretation, denoting either the lifting up of the elementary powers (the lower serpent) to a higher condition through transformation; or the lifting up of the fiery serpent of the god-nature, after it has fallen into degradation. When Moses lifted up the brazen serpent on the cross in the wilderness, it can mean either that the Israelites should lift up the fallen god to his fiery purity, or that they should raise up the baser nature to a higher place through linkage with their exalted status. Both meanings at any rate eventually merge into one. For as the higher self had intertwined his nature with that of the lower self, the lifting up of the one must involve the redemption of the other. In the famed caduceus of Mercury the two serpents intertwined around the staff or wand are united at the bottom, because spirit and matter are joined in manís physical life.
Mosesí raising the serpent is paralleled in Egyptian lore by the saying of the Speaker: "I am raised up to (or as) the serpent of the sun." The influence of the Christly deity lifts up the lower self. Moses stands for man, and Jehovah ordered Moses to build a tabernacle in which he (Jehovah) should be raised up. It may fall with surprise and incredulity upon most readers to be told that the Jehovah character of the creation legend is by no means the Supreme Lord, but merely one of the seven Elohim, or builders of the physical universe. He is one of the seven Uraeus "deities"; another one of the seven bears the name of Oreus, which is a form of Uraeus. So man is to raise up the natural order to the spiritual, and he is to do it in the "tabernacle" which he is engaged in building. This is that body of spiritual radiance which every man is steadily formulating out of the fiery essence of the very matter of his body, as lower fires are transmuted to higher. This transformation is made by man here on the cross of material life. (Page 359) The seven Uraeus deities, of whom Jehovah was one, were the powers that lay embosomed in matter, the forces that built the physical universe, all below the level of mind. They were the Apap or Hydra monster swimming in the water of the lower Nun; and man had to transmute them into solar fire. Uraeus, the name, evidently derives from Ur, the original creative fire, and aei, meaning in Greek "ever, always." They were the "eternal fires" that forged the various creations. They create life below the level of mind, but must be lifted up to be changed into spiritual intelligences. They begin around the feet of the gods and goddesses, and end on their foreheads. In man physiologically they are brought up from the base of the spine and crown the human development by opening up the latent faculties of divine intelligence locked up in the pineal gland and pituitary body in the head. A line from the Ritual dispels all doubt as to their higher or lower rating and nature. It reads: "The seven Uraeus divinities are my body." They are the fiery formative energies of matter, not of mind. They are the energy in the atom, seven blind forces, which, however, draw the chariot of creation and must therefore be directed by intelligence.
One form of the serpent of the water is the great Hydra monster of the uranograph, Apap or Herut. He swims alongside the ship of Horus crossing the Lake of Putrata, or water of the bodily life, ready to devour any careless sailor who may fall overboard. In the planispheres his elongated body stretches across seven signs of the zodiac, and his head, with open mouth, comes directly under the feet of the Virgin. Her feet are over his head, fulfilling the Biblical promise that her heel should bruise his head. He is the serpent or dragon of many myths.
The manner in which this monster is to be overcome or beaten off is of great interest. The Speaker (Ch. 108) exclaims triumphantly: "I understand the mystical representation of things and by that means I repulse Apap." By "mystical representations of things" is meant something that modern insight does not discern and with which it is not conversant. It indicates the ancient use of spiritual typology, carried to a high degree of subtlety and artistry that engendered dynamic forms of psychological reaction. The cathartic virtue of Greek drama has been fairly well envisaged by students. But the practice of handling symbolic formulae of profound truth was in olden time a high art, used as a means of exalting and purifying the entire life. (Page 360) We note this often in the directions appended to the Ritual chapters as Rubrics. To put it tersely for modern skepticism, symbols can be used aright to exert a positive and salutary magic. Certain potencies in nature are released to play in the individual by the habitual contemplation of truth on the analogy of natural and other images. Much ancient ceremonial in religion was repetition of magical formulae of the sort. In the mindís grasp of subtle correspondence between physical phenomena and hidden truth there was liberated a psychic dynamism which was cathartic of the whole nature. To repulse Apap, to transform bestial desire into love and brotherhood, demands the skillful handling of subtle forces. Thought, will and feeling must be harmonized in a delicate balance. Theurgic magic and spiritual therapy were closely bound up with "the mystical representations of things."
To prevent the serpent from stinging, to meet this massive brute force of primal instinct and tame it to reason, required that the god-soul should learn to "charm the serpent." The significance of this "charmingí is profound. "These are the gods who charm for Har-Khuti (Horus) in Amenta. They, the masters of their nets, charm those who are in the nets." In the scene portrayed in this chapter of the Ritual men walk before Ra to charm Apap for him. They chant: "O impious Apap, thou art charmed by us through the means of what is in our hands!" The first star in Ophiuchus is called "the head of the Serpent-Charmer."
"Who is Manitou?" an Algonquin chant asks. "He that goeth with the Serpent"--the god who lives with and tames the lower self. The widespread use of such terms as Manitou, Mana and Manna to indicate a spirit power in man and things is indicative of much. The words connote "magical power" as believed to be possessed by every tribal medicine-man. The probability is that the term is of kindred root with the word "man" itself, and Manas (Sanskrit), "mind." For mind constitutes man what he is, and it is the mind principle in man that was sent precisely for the purpose of charming the animal propensities into culture. A "mantram" is a Vedic word for a magical incantation. The godís action upon the brute self was likened to a charming, and the word "charm" is itself from the stem that gives us "Christ" and "Eucharist" and "charity." For the god to "charm" the beast was to lull the animal nature to docility, the while it lent ear to the sweet strains of a higher melody which transformed it magically. (Page 361)
The great potent serpent-charmer is mind, thought. Man is the thinking magician, rendering impotent the baleful sting of the serpent. The Christos tramples underfoot the serpents and scorpions, whose lethal sting endangers him.
Singular verification of these interpretations is found in the mythical episodes of Orpheus, the Greek hero-god. He is shown seated amidst eight animals (the elementary seven powers, counted as eight with their Lord) playing upon his lyre of seven strings. Massey traces the name Orpheus to the Egyptian Uarp, "the harper." The word is from the root signifying "to delight, charm or be charmed." He enchants the wild beasts and overcomes with the charms of his music all the powers of Hades. Circeís charming was at once followed by a transformation, but in this case from men into beasts, marking the god in his descent charmed by matter, and it had to be followed by a countertransformation back to men. In most legends of classical mythology in which the solar hero faces the task of rescuing a maiden (the soul) from the cave in which she is guarded by a dragon, he is represented as first lulling the dragon to sleep or charming him by some potent talisman.
Immediately after Jesus said to his disciples that he beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven he subjoined: "Behold I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy." And when the seventy returned with joy from their mission, they exclaimed: "Lord, even the devils are subject unto us in thy name." The power to tread on serpents and scorpions was the power to rule - not necessarily to crush - the elementary nature. They were in Egypt the Sami and the Sebau and the minions of Sut. The latter was assigned the scorpion as the type of evil.
The power to charm a dangerous serpent by silent concentration was so evidently a demonstration of the efficacy of some invisible magic that mind, thought and magic were named after the serpent. It, too, was seen to possess this strange power. And the (higher) serpent became the type of occult control, wisdom, sagacity, for this reason. It even was one of the chief symbols of deity itself. The Greek drakon, "dragon," denotes the keen-eyed seer, as does the Sanskrit Naga, "serpent."
The dual aspect of the serpent symbol is graphed in the heavens in an ancient Egyptian planisphere. The great crocodile (Page 362) (dragon, serpent) appears at the place of the autumn equinox, close to the Scorpion, yet stretches across six signs to the spring equinox. It is the power that reaches from sense to soul. Likewise there is found in the northern sky the (former) pole star Alpha Draconis, and in the southern heavens the star Eta Hydri. On this dual pivot of the dragons the starry skies revolved. As in the uranograph between the two Dragons was run the line of the axis of stability for the planet, so the axis of stability in manís life is the line of force running between the upper serpent of spiritual wisdom and the lower one of animality. All cosmic stability is fixed upon a line of force playing between the two poles of vital affinity, positive and negative, the two serpent fires. Man exists only because spirit and body were united in one organism and the reciprocal play of currents of force between them sustains his life. The seers of old wrote the signs of this relationship in the skies. There was the serpent of heaven and the snake of earth. And man is the compound of their two energies.
Apap, the water monster, grasps at souls to devour them. The souls on board Horusí ship exult at having escaped his jaws. Appropriately he is also called the "eater of the heads" of the dead in Amenta. He subverts the intellect of man. But even his nature is finally changed and exalted, and he, along with the seven Uraei, is lifted up. They all become the servants of the god of light in the sun-cults. They at first war in fierce opposition to man as the Seven Adversaries; later they fight for Ra against every manifestation of evil. The Scorpion eventually stings "on behalf of gods and men." Serkh, Scorpion-goddess, becomes the guardian of the sun and keeper of the chained Apap. "I have come," says the Manes, "like the sun through the gates of the Sun-goer, otherwise called the Scorpion." (Rit., Ch. 147.) This puts Scorpio at the place of the autumn equinox, where it was in remote times,--the eagle, one of the four cardinal guardians.
When the seven Uraei were raised to be worn on the foreheads of the gods, that which had been most deadly was transformed into that which was divine. It is said of each serpent emitting jets of fire in Hades, "Its flame is for Ra." The death-darting dragons became the watchers of the gates of heaven and guardians of the tree of knowledge, the three golden apples (mind-soul-spirit) and every treasure of light. The seven elementary powers first described as Wicked Spirits are promoted from that character to become the "Seven Great Spirits (Page 363) in the service of their Lord," and the seven attendants of the solar Ra in Egypt. This transformation is matched in Persia and India. In the planisphere they stand behind the constellation of the Thigh or Meskhen, Ursa Major, in the north. They are called "the Followers of Osiris," who "burn the wicked souls of his enemies," and "the givers of blows for sins." Four of these are Amsta, Hapi, Tuamutef and Kabhsenuf, prominent in Egyptian lore as the "Four Chieftains of the Four Corners," and Sons of Horus. They were emblemed by the four Canopic jars at the corners of the mummy-case.
The gist of all this is that the first seven-ply creation was elementary and chaotic, and that the advent of mind in creation in the person of man put these wild forces for the first time under rational control in an organic being. From the status of enemies and opponents, the first principles were tamed to manís service. As a reward of service they will be lifted up to partake of manís higher nature. The text (Ch. 85) has the Osirified dead saying: "I pass through substance. I pierce the darkness. Hidden reptile is my name. The soul of my body is a serpent of life." Chapter 87 of the Ritual carries the expressive title "of making the transformation into the serpent Sata." Allusion to the danger encountered by the god in the underworld is found in the "chapter by which a person is not devoured or bitten by the eater of the head, which is a snake."
The frequent early figure of a serpent coiled seven times round the summit of a hill or a cone (seen in the serpent mounds of America) types the fiery energy of life circling the round of the seven cycles in all creations. There was a sevenfold movement in each of the creations, the stellar, the solar or planetary, and the human, both racial and individual. The Beast had seven heads. The Ritual gives: "O the very high hill in Hades! the heavens rest upon it. There is a snake on it, Sati is his name. He is about twenty cubits in his coil." He is also called "the Serpent of Millions of Years," which indicates that he is a type of the cyclic revolutions of life force about the globes. The crocodile-god Sevekh (seven) is said to be on the hill of the Lord of Bata.
The serpent laying its eggs and coiling about them for incubation was the true type of natural gestation, which brought forth fixed cycles of revolving life arising out of the primal chaos. By shape the egg itself is a symbol of revolution. Each seven coils or revolutions of the mother life engender a new creation. The seven non-intelligent powers (Page 364) ...--monsters, giants, blind adversaries - are the breeding force of a new life that is intelligent. The powers that swirled and swarmed in the abyss of darkness become the nursery of the sun of intellect in the kingdom of man, who is so far the crown of earthly life. The great old giant dragon was simply a type of primordial darkness and chaos. It gave birth to seven powers which fought blindly until they were subdued and synthesized under the last and highest of them, the Christ mind. This great dragon was pictured with its tail in its mouth. The figure betokened the cycle returning into itself or back to source, or the parent life reabsorbing its own products. Kronos, Father Time, in the great myths devoured his own children. The Oriental expects his individual consciousness to be drawn back into the universal Nirvana. The dragon of the original abyss later came to be the dragon of mother earth herself, who swallowed up her children one by one as the grave closed over them. Also she swallowed the sun each evening and the stars as they set.
Sut, as a later representative of evil, became the opponent of the god both in the physical and the moral order. He waged war with the sun-god and was defeated, but never slain. Horus attacked him and fought with him for three days, and though wounded, he escaped with his life. He suffered rout periodically and perpetually, but was not destroyed, or only figuratively so. He lived to fight again. The sun-god cast a spell on him every day and rendered him powerless for evil. He was chained down for the aeon. All this was the natural expression of the moral conflict in manís soul, as it is of all other conflict, for life subsists in manifestation only by virtue of the pull, tension or struggle between the two nodal forces. Now one, now the other, is conqueror. The original mother of life, represented variously as the crocodile dragon, the hippopotamus, cow, sow, lioness, water-horse and finally woman, "the great harlot," who all meet in Kep, or Kefa (Heva, Chavvak, Eve), "the mother of the living," was the gestator of Sut and Horus, who are born twins! They typify the two aspects of lifeís expression, activity and passivity, positive and negative force, light and darkness. The story of life is a story of unending conflict between the two "hostile" powers. The legends paint but a single cycle of growth, but the cycles repeat themselves endlessly. Any cycle is emblematic of every other one, and hence of all movement or all truth. If man knows (Page 365) his own life in its cycle, he knows all. The arcane wisdom exhorted man to know himself.
In Egypt the conflict was first waged between the sun-god Ra and Apap. It was symboled variously by the death and rebirth of sunshine daily and seasonally, by the waxing and waning moon, and by the setting and rising stars. In the realm of spiritual activity it was carried on by Sut and Horus. Astrologically the Dragon in the northern sky was the good serpent of Ra, or Horus, while the elongated Hydra was the evil serpent of Sut or Satan. Lastly the two were depicted as twin brothers fighting over their birthright! Their conflict took place, be it noted, in Amenta, where they fought upon the mount and were constellated as the Twins contending in Gemini. We shall see them as Cain and Abel, Jacob and Esau and other pairs.
The Bible offers first the warfare between Cain and Abel, the first two sons of Adam (Atum). Research brings to light the little-known fact that Abel is feminine in gender! This would seem to put Cain in the role of the conqueror of material nature and darkness. Massey states that Abel represents the waning light of evening or autumn, the god descending into incarnation or entering upon his "feminine phase." Cain then would be the one who puts an end to this cycle, and rises to victory in a new birth. Cain may be a type of Khunsu, Egyptian god, son of Atum-Ra, but Khunsu obtains his victory under the typology of the moonís phases, rather than those of the sun. He is the lunar light, victorious over the dark phase.
In the struggle between Horus and Sut over the succession the two were parted by the intervention of Taht, the moon-god, who assigns each to his domain, the one north, the other south. This marks the bifurcation into spirit and matter, or male and female potency, by the instrumentality of matter, represented by the moon. It is allegorized in the fairy princess stories by the awarding of one half of the fatherís kingdom to the hero-rescuer of the kingís daughter who had been captured by the dragon. In the kingdom of man it meant the placing of the godís intelligence in the upper portion of the body and the animal soul or Sut below the diaphragm, in Jonahís "belly of death." The significance of Tahtís mediatorship is that the moon is the agency of effecting an intermediate relation between the hidden solar light and the dark power of night, by its reflection of the sun-godís rays in the darkness. The moon is thus the perfect type of the mediatorial function (Page 366) of that principle in Platoís philosophy which stands midway between the higher Nous, or spiritual intelligence, and the doxa, or sense mind of the animal self. The bee gets some of its character as type of soul because it is the active agent of marrying the male and female elements of the flower. In Roman religion this principle was the Pontifex or Bridge-builder between the two natures, since it spans the gap between them and makes communication possible. And in human history it grandly types the situation in which, when the soul in body is quite cut off, like the earth at night, from the direct rays of heavenly light, and gropes in darkness, there comes to its aid the principle of Manas, the hidden intellect, to intervene, like the moon that relays light from an unseen source, between man and the god who seems to have deserted him. The moonlight is the symbol of that spiritual light that shines not directly in full power, but refracted through intervening media, into our prison of darkness. Cut off from our full solar light in the darkness of incarnation, we still have the divine light by reflection upon our physical lives. The moonlight is not that true light, but it bears witness to that light.
Beside the pairs of contending brothers, mythology presents the many pairs of the two women, whose representative functions are somewhat more difficult to discern. The solar heroes have ever two mothers, a heavenly and an earthly one. The one conceives the son, the other bears him. "The Two Daughters of the king of the north gave birth to thee, the great ladies of his head." It is added, significantly: "Heaven beareth thee up on thy right side, earth on thy left side." The intent here is to tell us that we are upheld by the opposite action of the positive and negative strands of primal force, the powers of "heaven" and "earth," or, for the individual, mind and body. The two women are elsewhere described as the "Two Goddesses who conceive and do not breed"--until fructified by the germ of mind.
But it is said that Sut opens and Horus closes up the two mothers. There is abstruse meaning hidden under this typing. It seems to use the imagery of opening and closing the womb in impregnation and childbirth. The opening was ascribed to Sut because it signals the coming forth of conscious life into and under his domain, matter. As St. Paul has told us, sin and evil sprang to life when the soul came into incarnation. Sut opened the womb of being and began the phase of manifestation in all the lower realms. Horus, spirit force, (Page 367) led the life of nature back from matter to the noumenal worlds, and thus closed the womb of the universal mother. As the "Bull of his Mother," he impregnated her again and again, closing her womb until the birth. The sons of intelligence must reproduce through union with natural and material forms in each generation. Matter, the mother of life, is the Great Harlot, ever fecund, yielding her bosom to spirit to embody its forms. Horus closes the womb with fertile seed; Sut opens it again to let the new birth escape into darkness and death. If this is not the sense of the typology, it hides something else profound indeed.
The two brothers were typed by white and black birds, respectively. The golden hawk pictured Horus, the black vulture Sut. Eagle and crow, dove and raven, hawk and blackbird, pigeon and bandicoot are often paired. The stars Sothis (Sirius) and Canopus likewise carry the characters in the sky. In India Krishna and Bala-Rama do the impersonation. Krishna asks the other: "Do you know that you and I are alike the origin of the world?" Krishna came from the black hair of Vishnu and Bala-Rama from the white. Krishna comes (Massey) from a word meaning "waning moon"; Bala means virile male force. There are the two brothers in the Babylonian books, the one ousting the other each night. It is the younger of the twins that always slays the dragon with seven heads, rescuing the soul. Ultimately he marries the princess, which is to say that the two natures merge into one; and he inherits half the paternal kingdom.
On one occasion when Horus and Sut were battling, Sut cast filth in the face of Horus and blinded him; Horus retaliated by tearing away Sutís genitals. If incarnation entails the godís being blinded by having the "mire" of earth cast in his face, he at least wins the use of the procreative powers of matter for the time. His release finally from the dominance of carnal instincts and his graduation from sexual generation back to spiritual creation would be the general significance of his circumcision.
In the resurrection of the dismembered Osiris, "Horus, who loves him, brings him his Eye; Set, who loves him, brings him his testicles, and Thoth, who loves him, brings him his arm and shoulder." Set (Sut) is here painted in friendly colors. So in another text: "Nut gives thee to be a god unto Set in thy name of God. . . . Horus seizes Set, he places him under thee; Set bears thee up, he is beneath thee as earth is beneath thee. Rule thou him, therefore, in thy name of Ta-tcheser. (Page 368)
Horus makes thee to grasp Set by his middle; he shall not get out of thy hand." Here is evidence that the elementary powers were to be taken in hand by the god and utilized in support of his life. The subordination of the beast under divine faculty is surely indicated in this material. The eye definitely identifies Horus as the deity of spiritual vision, the testicles relate Sut to the realm of generation, or flesh.
Sut is definitely made the upholder and servant of Horus in some passages. "Hail, Osiris (deceased), wake up! Horus hath made Thoth to bring thine enemy to thee. He places thee on his back; he cannot throw thee off. Thou makest thy seat upon him. Come forth, sit upon him, he escapes not from thy hand. Hail, be thou master of him."
"He sets thee on thy throne; Horus makes thine enemy to bow beneath thee. When he would have union with thee, thou escapest his member."
Here is further and unquestioned confirmation of the claim that the seven lower powers are later drawn into the service of the soul. The god was to "put all things under his feet," to have dominion over the beast, bird and fish of the worlds lying below his plane. The allusion to escaping Sutís member bent on intercourse would dramatize the idea of the soulís escape from being drawn into defilement and pollution by full immersion in the animal nature on its low plane.
Roman classicism presents the fable of Romulus and Remus, and again one kills the other. A common early tradition in the world is the founding of a city by a fratricide.
A Greek version of the twins is seen in Eros, Love, and Ant-Eros, the latter being the opposing phase. He avenged unrequited love and contended with Cupid (Eros).
The natural man and the spiritual son were charactered most peculiarly by another set of symbols. The former became the uncouth "lad from the country," au naturel, and the latter the "gilded youth from the town." Grotesque as this may seem, it attests the invincible studiousness of the ancients for suggestive symbols borrowed from nature and life. A companion pair was the King in the city and the Chief in the bush.
Astrally the twins are given places in opposite quarters of the sky, as gods of the north and south. Then they are distinguished as the setting and rising sun, waning and waxing moon. Sometimes the character of Sut is assigned to a double of Horus, who is the ugly old man, (Page 369) fading in his dotage, or the crippled deity, or the immature and impubescent child. He is being worsted and supplanted by the young solar Horus, born anew and come to pubescence (type of the rebirth of his lost power) at the age of twelve, when his wisdom confounds the old men and he leaves his mother. This second and virile character is also taken by Jesus, as the Christ of the catacombs, the "blooming boy" Bacchus of the Greek Mysteries, the youthful Mithras of the Persians, and the fair Apollo of Greece. Also there was an elder and a younger Horus, the one born to suffer and die ignominiously, the other to rise crowned with light. So the Hindu Prajapati was one-half mortal, the other half immortal, and in his mortal life he feared death. There was a double Horus, a biune Bacchus, a two-faced Janus and the two-sided Jesus, the little mummied child and suffering servant, as well as the risen and glorified Lord.
A very important facet of the myth of the Two Brothers is to be envisaged through the story of another pair of twins, Jacob and Esau. They struggle for supremacy in the motherís womb. In the womb of the abyss of matter the two forces struggle before they come to manifestation. We have seen that hair, as in Samsonís case, stands as the type of solar radiance or power. Esau is the "red, hairy one." Jacob (Egyptian Hak, Hakh, or Hakekh) is the dark twin. When Rebecca found that "twins were struggling in her womb," she was terrified and consulted the Eternal. She was told:
"In your limbs lie nations twain,
rival races from their birth;
one the mastery shall gain,
the younger oíer the elder reign."
Esau emerged first and Jacob came out grasping the otherís heel. Much the same story comes to light in the delivery of the twins of Tamar, who had been impregnated by Judah, her father-in-law. During labor a hand appeared, and the midwife tied a red thread around it. But the hand drew back and the other babe was born first. The first-born was Perez (Breach: his untimely birth a breach of order). The brotherís name was Zerah (Scarlet).
It is, however, in a well-preserved tradition of the Rabbins that we find the pointed significance of the Jacob and Esau birth. The grasping of Esauís heel by Jacob can not be seen in its full import (Page 370) without completing the story by means of the tradition. It says that on Esauís heel there was the likeness of a serpent! Again we have the heel of the god treading the head of the serpent and being marked with its imprint. If the two natures, one higher, one below it, are conjoined in man, obviously the foot, or heel, of the upper man will be just over the head of the lower, and vice versa. And at the point where the two contact there would be localized the whole friction and alternate bruising between them. The god would trample on and eventually crush out the nature, the head, of the brute elementary forces; but he would not come off unscathed. He would bear the mark of the beast on his heel. Esau is thus identified as the higher or spiritual twin.
The vulnerability of the gods in one point, the heel, was not confined to Hebrew literature. Osiris was wounded in the feet and had to recover the use of them. The classical example of Achilles, whose mother Metis held him by the heel while she dipped him in the waters of the Styx, leaving him vulnerable in the heel which was untouched by the water, occurs to every mind. The mother, nature, holds the god in her realm with her grasp only on his lowest part, the heel. If he is stung, it must be there. We are dipped in the river Styx of this life to render us invulnerable to further attack.
The serpent fulfilled his prophesied mission of enmity against the womanís seed, the Christ nature in man. He pursued the woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and with twelve stars in her diadem, down to earth and went away to make war with her offspring on the border of the sea that encompassed the earth. The divine sun pours its rays upon the soul and "clothes it with light as with a garment." The moon is the generator of the forces that constitute the nature below, and so the moon is under her feet. And the topmost output of the whole cycle will be the twelve shining powers of intellectual light that man is to evolve. Every impact of the carnal nature of man against the rule of pure intellect in his mundane life is a skirmish in the serpentís warfare against the soul. The war in heaven was transferred to earth and is still going on. It is the Battle of Armageddon. The two wings of a great eagle that were given the woman to transport her to a place prepared by God, where she should be nourished for three and a half cycles, until the time of her delivery of the Christ child, very probably refers to the sign of Scorpio, coming in the late autumn, the time of the soulís descent. (Page 371) For the Scorpion was in its higher of two aspects the eagle, and it is still taken in that character by astrologers. The waterflood poured out by the Dragon to overwhelm her evidently types the release of the strong sweep of karmic and evolutionary forces which drives about one-third of the "stars of heaven" into incarnation. But earth helped the woman and swallowed up this flood. This is our assurance that mundane life is beneficent. The hard experience on earth tamed and subdued the wild energies of elementary nature and became indeed a place of refuge and safety. And here in the crypt of earth, the "bight of Amenta," mother nature brings up her Man-child.
But finally at the judgment, which is held on the highest mount of resurrection glory, the great old Mother and her seven earth-born spirits are judged, rejected and cast down out of heaven. Apt, as the primordial mother of life, is succeeded by Hathor, and the Sevekh dragon by Horus. What this sheaf of events seems to imply is that the powers that had at first functioned cosmically, came in the course of aeons to operate in the building of physical man, a miniature replica of the cosmos, and when finally converted to a higher level, received a new name and nature. The harshness of the details of being judged and cast out is purely a dramatic blind to cover the fine meaning astutely. Deity works out of its system in the fires of earth life the debilitating and paralyzing effect of its initial poisoning by the seven influences of Seb. The text of Revelation says that "fire descended from heaven and consumed them"; but consumption must be read as conversion into natures of finer purity. The Christ then moves out of the control of his mother nature and seeks the things of his father, spirit, at the perfection of his twelve facets of intelligence.
It is of the utmost significance that the new heaven and new earth, in which the tree of life was to bear twelve fruits upon its branches, was to be formed according to "the measure of a man." Man means "thinker," fundamentally; and so thought, intelligent mind, was to rule the new dispensation. It would establish life finally in its spiritual kingdom of twelve divisions, superseding the natural order which was founded on a basis of seven divisions. The motherís number, seven, was to be supplanted by the fatherís number, twelve. Man was to go on to evolve his twelve divine faculties. The twelve signs of the zodiac depict the twelve segments of the nature of man when all have been perfected. No ancient religion can be understood without (Page 372) reference to them. The coming of the twelvefold spiritual hierarchy ended the reign of the seven elementary powers, from bondage to which Paul says we must be freed. The Dragon of seven heads is overthrown, and on the head of the Woman, saved by earth experience, is placed the diadem of divinized humanity, studded with twelve stars, or spiritual fires.
The statement in Revelation is that the fifth angel poured out his bowl upon the throne of the Beast in his kingdom of darkness, overthrowing the reign of that power which had filled many with sore disease and made them cry out against the Most High. Occult books reveal that we are now in the fifth race of the fourth round of life energy on this globe, and are developing the fifth principle, Manas, the intellect. The reasoning mind, then, is destined to put an end to the reign of bestiality.
When the seven angels had poured out upon the earth the fires of "the seven bowls of the judgment of him that lives for ever," it is said that the temple (St. Paul assures us that the temple is the body) became filled with the smoke from the seven bowls, so that the power and the glory of God could no more be seen, nor could anyone enter the temple again until the seven angels had poured out the fires of judgment upon the earth. This is clearly an occult reference to what we have described as the smudge, smoke, vapors, soot and murk arising when the powers of god and beast first mingled in the body. It may also cover the unnatural intermixture and miscegenation of god-men and animals that seems to have been a fact of history. The "temple" had of course to be purified before the true Ego of the individual could enter and rule. Hence the whole earthly experience is the purgation, beyond question.
Matching the splendid imagery of Revelation, the Ritual of Egypt presents "the woman clothed with the sun," who says: "I am the Woman, an orb of light in the darkness; I have brought my orb to the darkness; it is changed into light. I overthrow the extinguishers of flame. I have stood. The fiends have hidden their faces." The seven elements were the powers of material darkness; the Christ power was that of light. The unevolved soul goes into darkness to become irradiated with light. The lower passions would extinguish the flames of deity and must be overthrown. They are the fiends, the minions of Sut and (Page 373) Satan, who turn and flee as the light of virtue shines forth, like the host of Midianites when Gideonís three hundred broke their clay pitchers and revealed the lights hidden within.
In the Arabic Gospel of the Infancy, when the boy had been bitten by the serpent, the Lord Jesus says to his playmates, "Boys, let us go and kill the serpent." He proves his power over the reptile by making it suck the venom from the wound. Earthly and Satanic influences poison the descending soul; yet experience in overcoming their power in the milling grind of life extracts the poison in the end. "God sends down to death; he also lifts up," says the New Testament. In the same Gospel it is related that a damsel was afflicted by Satan, the cursed one, in the form of a huge dragon which from time to time appeared to her and prepared to swallow her up. He also sucked out all her blood, so that she remained like a corpse. She is cured by a strip of clothing from a garment worn by the child Jesus (Ch. 33). This is obviously another form of the story of the woman with an issue of blood who touches the fringe of Jesusís garment. In the Gnostic version it is Sophia who suffers from an issue of blood, and is sustained by Horus when her life is flowing away. The Christ principle fecundates Nature and closes her unfruitful womb to make her give birth to the glory of an intellectual delivery.
As Joseph takes charge of the virgin mother and the infant fleeing to Egypt for safety, so in the Egyptian mythos the earth-god Seb becomes the protector of Isis and the foster-father of the child Horus when they are forced to hide in the marshes till the threat of Herut is passed. And as "the earth helped the Woman" in the Revelation version, so Seb, the earth deity, helped the woman and child in Egypt. The dragons issue from a cave on the roadside, but Jesus appears, according to the Gnostic story, and they adore him. So the demons cringe before him in the New Testament. In the Ritual Horus saves his father from the four crocodiles. "I am the Son," he says, "who saves the great one from the four crocodiles." He orders them to go back one by one and they obey him. For Ra has given him sovereignty over Lower Egypt, with power to tread down serpents, scorpions and dragons. But there is much hidden value in the legend that the serpent stings the child on its way into "Egypt," and that the earth-god heals the wound. It is a mighty item of philosophy, this assurance that mundane experience for the god-soul is the only antidote for certain imperfections (Page 374) inhering even in celestial beings. It is evolutionís cure for lack of development, the prime cause of all that is named evil. The god needed further tempering and purification in "the crucible of the great house of flame" of flesh and sense. He was carried far down toward dissolution in the fiery test, but was re-welded into finer temper by the ordeals of earth, water, air and fire, and rebuilt to more perfect wholeness. The goose portrayed on the head of Seb in an Egyptian planisphere (according to Kircher) types the earth as "the goose that laid the golden egg daily." If this be but a poetograph for the newborn daily sun of golden light, that sun in turn is the everlasting symbol of the rise of a golden egg of new divinity from out the confines of earth or the "sea." The god is the divine egg laid in humanity, for he is the heavenly foetus in the womb of the body. As he is destined to burgeon out, like the flower, into a burst of golden glory, it is by no means mere poetic fiction to call him the golden egg. And earth lays this golden nugget. The earth being our common mother, we have before us the Egyptian source of "Mother Goose," and the mysterious sagacity concealed in her catchy jingles.
The Goliath story is but an embellishing of the original glyph of a dragon in its conflict with the young deity in man. A dragon is always exchangeable with a giant. The fabled giants and those mentioned in the sixth chapter of Genesis, the Nephilim (the "fallen ones," by etymology) were early beings produced by the intermixture of the Titans with the largest animals in the miscegenation, and are therefore the most literal or historical embodiments of the dragon-monster idea, and they were the prototypes of the ogres of childrenís books. Egypt shows us fables, more than one, in which the giant-ogre was killed by the blow of a small egg (of the pigeon, dove or other bird) in the middle of the forehead. The significance of slaying the beast or dragon of mental darkness by sinking the symbol of incipient mind and light into its forehead should need little elaboration. The elemental giant or ogre in us is killed when the egg or pebble of intellect (the white stone of Revelation) is implanted in the citadel of reason. The egg or pebble can undoubtedly be taken to stand for the pineal gland in the middle of the skull, the opening of which to function brings the full light of deific consciousness into manifestation, and slays the giant or ogre. The germ of mind, reason, intellect will charm and "kill" the Goliath in us. David is proven to be another figure of the solar god. (Page 375)
Horus too, pierces the Apap-dragon in the eye with his lance and pins him to earth. The lance was a figure for the sun-ray tipped with red flame for effective piercing power. The tree we have seen used as the paramount symbol of living force, and the Christmas tree tipped with the blazing star, or the main stem of the pine made red hot at the top, was an instrument in the hands of the sun-heroes. There is outside of Egyptian sources a most famous instance of the occurrence of this emblem. Ulysses bores out the single eye of the massive Cyclopean giant Polyphemus with a great pine stake fired at the tip. And this operation takes place in a cave, which had become the prison of death for the hero and his men - the underworld. The solar hero wounds the giant of darkness by the injection of fire into his head! And fire signifies intellect. Horus at one time fights Sut with the branch of a palm. This weapon matches the golden bough and is a particularly pertinent solar symbol, being a product of torrid lands, and also, according to Massey, putting forth a new branch on its trunk every thirty days, thirty being the number of days in a solar, twenty-eight in a lunar, month.
These seven mighty engines of creative force, presumably the seven great spirits before the throne of God, were indeed the seven creative Logoi, Elohim, Kabiri, Ali, Baalim, Rishis, Cosmocratores, Sephiroth, Aeons. Enoch gives their names: Azazzel, Amazarak, Armers, Barkayel, Akabeel, Tamiel and Asaradel. In the ancient Hebrew version they are: Ildabaoth, Jehovah, Sabaoth, Adonai, Eloeus, Oreus and Astanphaios. Again in Chaldean they are: Bel, Ea, Rimmon, Nebo, Marduk, Nerra and Ninib. They were typified by the seven stars of the Great Bear. By some they are taken to be the powers that ruled the seven successive pole stars, which fixed the earthís axial position from age to age. For in one rendering of the mythos the seven giants bore the world of the heptanomis, or cosmos of seven divisions, upon their backs, each standing at his station as one of the seven great guardians of stability. It is said that when the Demiurgus asked their help in the work of creation, they meditated and forgot. They slumbered and fell from their posts one by one. The seven sleepers of the myth, and those specifically in the cave at Ephesus, with their dog, answer to the seven sleepers with Anup and his jackal at the pole in the Egyptian portrayal. (Page 376)
In its human application the myth is reflected in the seven elementaries, which, being the original founders of manís constitution, fell from their status as rulers of his life when the crowning principle of conscious intelligence placed mind on the throne and superseded the reign of the seven. The seven giants that have been "slain" by the young solar power, Jack the Giant Killer, were subdued, like wild horses, until they bore the spiritual ruler on their backs. All domestication of wild animals to serve man is a type of the conversion of natural energies in manís constitution to the service of his thought. They are the "seven devils" that had to be cast out of Mary Magdalene (type of the mother or nature again), the seven plagues of Egypt, the seven lean kine that ate the fat kine, the seven lean years, the seven ages of servitude. They were previously our pole stars, but are to be displaced now and cast down by intellect, which should be our pole star or rod of stability henceforth. In their human phase they are the earth elementals under whose dominion Paul asserts that we fall when we woo the carnal mind. They govern the life of every child until the age of seven, when mind begins to dispossess them and move toward the throne. And again they are the seven diabolical propensities, the seven deadly sins, which, only too thinly covered over by a veneer of social restraint, gush up now and again in the individual, in the nation, in the world, when vital forces sweep upon them and fan them into expression. Apap is being bound, but he is yet far from being securely tied by the thongs of reason and disciplined mind.
In the Kabalah the seven, or first hebdomad, headed by Ildabaoth, say: "Come, let us make man after our image"; and the mother having furnished them with the idea of a man, they formed a giant of immense size. But he could only crawl along the ground until the Father had breathed into him the breath of life, emblem of mentality. From Ildabaothís sentence in the Kabalah it can be seen who it is in the Genesis story that propose to make man after their image - not at all Supreme Deity, but the seven lower archangels, one of whom was Jehovah. But Jehovah is used in the Bible myth to represent the entire seven, as are also Sabaoth and Adonai at times.
And in the Divine Pymander of Hermes one reads: "This is the mystery that to this day is hidden and kept secret; for nature being mingled with man brought forth a wonder most wonderful." There are accounts of previous creations of worlds or systems that fell because (Page 377) they were imperfect. Perfection awaited the generation of man, the advent of the Christos. The septenary creation was the formation, principle by principle, of the natural man in the image of the seven Kabiri, Elohim, who could endow their creature with the six (often called seven) elementary constituents, culminating in sensation and emotion, but could not give him the baptism of air and fire, or mind and soul. The twelve-part division came when the pole star passed from Lyra into Hercules, the sign of the Man, whose twelve labors are the achievement of twelve distinct stages of evolutionary development. The music of the spheres ceased - for the time - with the conquest of the seven; and the introduction of free will, coupled at first with primal ignorance, brought the beginning of the worldís woe, manís slow attainment of mastery by the sweat of his brow, in a milieu of disorder, misery and struggle, typed by the twelve labors of the solar figure. The struggle of man, the thinker, with the seven maternal forces which he has to surmount is the great Battle of Armageddon, which Paul and Plato make the supreme moral issue of mundane life.
The Druid and other ancient temples were formed of twelve stones set in a circle or oval. A most striking repetition of this duodecal symbol is found when Joshua (Jesus) in crossing the Jordan into the kingdom of peace and plenty is commanded to set up twelve stones in the bed of the river, the waters being dried up. Also it is seen in the Gilgal circle which became the lodging place of the Israelites. The "chosen people" were to be given a Promised Land abounding in milk and honey; but it was already occupied by the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites and Girgashites, the primal seven powers! The Lord kept promising Israel that he would dispossess these seven tribes of the land on behalf of his nation of twelve tribes. Old Testament narrative leaves little question as to the mythical nature of this whole story. For it is told later on with what inhuman ruthlessness the Eternal, in campaign after campaign under Joshua, Gideon, Jephthah and other leaders, slew "multitudes in number as the sands of the seashore" on single days. The only salvation of sense and sanity for the narrative is to transfer its meaning from outer history to inner relevance, where it properly belongs. Then one can absolve the Eternal from unthinkable cruelty, in understanding that the solar ray within us, after crossing the boundary between the two kingdoms of our nature, before it can institute its twelve-act regime, (Page 378) must dispossess (by conversion of nature) the countless myriads of natural instincts, animal impulses, carnal desires that previously operated there - the progeny of the seven mother powers.
Seven blasts upon the ramís horn on the seventh day brought the fall of Jericho (seven letters in the name); and seven blasts upon the seven angelís trumpets in Revelation announced the new heaven and new earth, founded upon the twelve bases in manís constitution.
Sut, the head of the seven first powers, is said to be bound in chains each morning. "Chains are flung upon thee by the scorpion-goddess and slaughter is dealt out to thee by Maati [Judgment]. Apap is fallen and is in bonds" (Ch. 39). This daily drama was enacted yearly as well. Sut is put in chains, cast into prison, or made to flee with a chain of steel upon him (Ch. 20). Or he is pierced with hooks. Horus is described as "putting an end to the opposition of Sut, the power of darkness" (Ch. 137B). Sut and his minions, the Sebau, are declared to have thrown down the pillars of Osiris on the ground. Horus, the young solar god, came to set them upright. Sut was the master of the legions of devils that Jesus (Horus) had to cast out of the man whom they had obsessed on the Gadarene lake shore in the Gospels. Could anything be more significant than that the dispossessed demons should be made to come out of the man beside a body of water and enter animals? And there is the further detail that the herd ran down the "steep into the lake and were choked" (Luke 8:33). The demoniacal powers could not be permitted to rule man; their activity appertained only to the animal kingdom, to which the Christ relegates them in the watery milieu of the body. Was this incident original in Gospel literature? In the Egyptian judgment scene, when the person whose life record marked him as evil was condemned and rejected, he was delivered over immediately to the Typhonian beast, crocodile-hippopotamus-pig all in one. And he was, as thus indicated, sent down again into incarnation in the body of the beast! In short, he was not released, but thrust back into animal body for more experience.
Matching the temptation scene in the Gospels, Sut is said to have seized Horus in the desert of Amenta and carried him to the top of the Mount called Hetep, the place of peace, where the two contending powers were reconciled by Shu or Taht, according to the treaty made by Seb.
In the Gospel of the Infancy there are two boys, the bad one and the (Page 379) good one. In some of the Apocryphal Gospels the bad boy, who in Pseudo-Matthew (29) is called the Son of Satan, runs at Jesus and thrusts him in a way to injure his shoulder and paralyze his arm. The Gospel of Thomas recites the incident. In the Egyptian material Sut has weakened Horus by pinning down his arm, and in this condition Horus is subject to his assailantís might. But at the resurrection Horus frees his arm and strikes down Sut or stabs him to the heart. Sut was designated "the eater of the arm."
Sut thus has a manifold function to fulfill in the typology. He is a versatile adversary. He puts out Horusí eye; he seizes and imprisons him; he ties his arm; he sows the tares amid the grain; he lets loose the locusts and other plagues; he entraps Horus and his company in the ark; he swallows the falling stars and devours the damned (those condemned to earth life). He represents opposition to Horus, the good light, at every point and in every form. So Horus comes to put an end to this opposition. In victory he says to his father Osiris: "I have brought thee the associates of Sut in chains."
When Jesus was seized in the Garden of Gethsemane he acknowledges the (temporary) triumph of the enemy: "This is your hour," he says to his captors, "and the power of darkness" (Luke 22:53). In the seizure of Horus by the associates of Sut, they see the double crown on the forehead of Horus and fall to the ground upon their faces (Rit., Ch. 134). The magical efficacy of the double crown of Horus lay in the fact that it signified the godís control over both Lower and Upper "Egypt." When Judas and his associates came to take Jesus he said: "I am" (not "I am he"--Massey). Then "they went backward and fell to the ground." Scene for scene the two are the same.
The seven stars of the Lesser Bear were figured as the followers or reflections of the greater creation, the second creation in the likeness of the first, or the small creation in the image of the cosmic one. The microcosm was formed over the grand lines of the macrocosm. In the center of the great Denderah zodiac there is the hippopotamus (identical with the Bear) and her dog, fox or jackal. The two are Typhon-Sut, or the mother and her child at the center of all. This is natureís ancient stellar picture of the Madonna and her child before it was reduced to the human phase. The dog, fox and jackal, with their instinctive faculty of following a trail in the dark, were limned as the guide of souls in the darkness of incarnation; and the little bear, dog or fox, (Page 380) whose pivotal star was the pole itself, thus became the "cynosure" ("dogís tail") for night-bound mariners in a literal sense, the spiritual meaning being evident to all who are not obtuse. The guide or watchdog was double-headed, a watcher by day and by night, or guardian of the two segments of our life, the heavenly and the earthly. The great stellar universe served as the model for the formation of the smaller, though higher, universe in manís life, for the great first gods of nature said they would create man "in their own image." The Great and Little Bears type these two creations. And the Little Bear, symbolizing manís divine part, is the only one anchored fast to the very pole of heaven, the pledge of eternal stability. Truly "the heavens are telling."
Strangely and with amazing fidelity, in spite of intervening centuries of ignorance, social custom preserves the original form, if not the meaning, of symbolic festivals. Horus or Iusa (Jesus) in the "house of a thousand years" was the bringer of the millennium. Sut or Satan was released for a little period, seven days at most ("days" meaning cycles), and the commemoration of this cyclic event was fixed in the worldwide carnival which indicates by its name its derivation from Satan - the Saturnalia. Saturn, the chief of the primary seven powers, was identical with Sevekh, Seb, Set, Sut or Satan. He was, as in Job, Genesis and elsewhere, released for the seven periods of a cycle, during which Horus had to do combat with him. Then he was bound for a thousand years, the millennium of peace. It is instructive to see in the Saturnalia, with its license, the far-flung prolongation of the ancient idea of the release from bondage of the elementary powers, both in and out of human nature. The elemental forces, or Saturn or Satan, are unbound when the god comes into incarnation, and, as Paul shows, they bring sin to birth. In astrology Saturn is the power that limits or constricts the native. Horus and Sut alternately bind each other and as often escape the bondage. The lower instincts are given rein to test the god and develop his fiber when he comes to fight them. They do not succumb without a battle. And here at last is the end of the mystification for orthodox Bible students of the disconcerting riddle, as to why God gave Satan free hand to tease and harry a godly man like (Page 381) Job. Thousands in ancient Roman streets, gay throngs in Paris, Naples and New Orleans once a year commemorate the freedom of the elemental nature to play upon the spiritual, by the temporary relaxation of conventional bonds and the venting of sexual suggestiveness.
Horus wounded Apap so severely that he sank in the depths of the sea, and his defeat took place, according to Maspero, Birch and Chabas, at the very moment of the beginning of the new year. In the solar mythos this point of time betokened the end of the dark powersí reign and the beginning of the new dispensation. The constellation Corvus, the Crow, reveals the bird (the soul), perched on the body of the dead monster, pecking at its folds, sign of victory.
But while Apap lives, he subsists on "the slaughter of the glorious ones, the gods and the damned in the nether world." He feeds upon those gods who became enamored and infatuated with his clammy seductions, and thus supply him with food and fuel to keep alive his natural hunger. He feeds upon the livers of the princes. The degenerate gods become the damned, on whom the monster lives. The Manes, personating Horus, addresses Apap:
"I see the way toward thee. I gather myself together. I am the man who put a veil upon thy head without being injured. I am the great magician. Thine eyes have been given me and through them I am glorified . . . I am he who takes possession of thy strength. I go round the sky; thou are in the valley, as was ordered to thee before."
Here speaks the conqueror, the solar fire, reciting that he has grappled with the elementary serpent, subdued him without being injured in turn, and yet, be it noted, converted his opponentís elemental strength to his own high purposes. "I have repulsed Apap and healed the wounds he made."
As hinted, the far-famed but generally misconceived Battle of Armageddon, supposed ignorantly to refer to some catastrophic world conflict, is this spiritual warfare between the two opposing parties in the great drama of life. With reference to manís life, it is the warfare waged between the spiritual and the material energies on the stage of human consciousness. We are fighting the Battle of Armageddon now. The conscious life of every soul is the battle ground, and individual moral character is the issue. The terrain of this conflict is manís own psycho-physical organism. Misguided Christian interpretation (Page 382) has removed the meaning of every representation as far from the life of the individual as it was possible to take it. The Battle of Armageddon is the Battle of Incarnation. We are deciding its issue by every act of present living. A likely derivation of the world traces it from the Egyptian title of Horus as Lord of the Two Horizons, Har-Makhu; to which the Hebrews or Greeks added the Hebrew word for "Lord," Adon; making it Har-Makhu-Adon, or "Lord God of the Two Horizons." And the Ritual gives a significant detail in connection with the battle between Horus (Har-Makhu) and the hosts of Sut. It is fought at midnight (incarnation) and on the horizon! This assuredly clinches its purely symbolical character.
The Sebau or Sami were just "the imps of Satan"--really the word Seb pluralized. They are Paulís "elementals of the earth" and those "that by nature are no gods" (Galatians: 4). In the legend they were finally defeated on the night of the judgment, when the last adversaries were overthrown. Horus, Un-Nefer, is to triumph over Apap in the presence of Osiris, Lord of Amenta, and of the great sovereign chiefs who are in Annu, on the night of the battle with and overthrow of the Seba-fiend (Seba equals seven).
Horus, the newborn divine child, is immune to serious injury from the evil Apap. "Not men or gods, the glorious ones or the damned, not generations past, present or to come, can inflict an injury on him who cometh forth and proceedeth as the eternal child, the everlasting one" (Rit., Ch. 42). He tells the serpent, here called Abur, that he is the divine babe, the mighty one. One of the representations shows Horus as a cat, cutting off the serpentís head with a knife. The god is a cat because he can see in the dark and his eyes shine in the dark - of incarnation.
Apophis, like Sut, was not originally evil. He was formerly the divine messenger, the earliest Mercury, the character afterwards assigned to the moon-god Taht. He was termed "The Good One, the Star of the Two Worlds."
One of the water forms of the Dragon was Leviathan. In the Psalms (74) the soul is addressed: "Thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces; thou gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness." This appears to be a reference to the Good Dragon, the gods descending to be food for "the people" in this "wilderness." The breaking in pieces seems a clear allusion to the dismemberment. (Page 383)
This treatment of the entire theme of the Titans, Prometheus, Lucifer, Satan, Sut, Apap, Seb, the Sebau, the two serpents, fiery and watery, the dragon and the crocodile, under all their mythical representations, has made along and perhaps prolix recital. But it is justified if it will demonstrate the original good character of the Saturnian personage, clarify the reasons that led to his transmogrification into a "personal devil" to frighten humanity, and replace harrowing misconception in the Western mind with sane comprehension, with reference to this lamentable miscarriage of wisdom. The discussion has opened up the cryptic meaning of a score or more of pivotal constructions in the Bible. With keys derived from the mythoi we can once more read intelligible meaning into material that by perversion has thrown the human spirit under subjection to motivations the most fiendish and diabolical. Surely the world desperately needs the scholarly perspicacity that will cast this "devil" out of human thought. (Page 384)
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