The esoteric doctrine, then, teaches, like Buddhism and Brahmanism, and even the persecuted Kabala, that the one infinite and unknown Essence exist from all eternity, and in regular and harmonious successions is either passive or active. In the poetical phraseology of Manu these conditions are called the “day” and the “night” of Brahma. The latter is either “awake” or “asleep.” The Svâbhâvikas, or philosophers of the oldest school of Buddhism (which still exists in Nepaul), speculate but upon the active condition of this “essence,” which they call Svabhâvât, and deem it foolish to theorize upon the abstract and “unknowable” power in its passive condition. Hence they are called atheists by both Christian theology and modern scientists; for neither of the two are able to understand the profound logic of their philosophy. The former will allow of no other God than the personified secondary powers which have blindly worked out the visible universe, and which became with them the anthropomorphic God of the Christians — the Jehovah, roaring amid thunder and lightning. In its turn, rationalistic science greets the Buddhists and the Svâbhâvikas as the “positivists” of the archaic ages. If we take a one-sided view of the philosophy of the latter, our materialists may be right in their own way. The Buddhists maintain that there is no Creator but an infinitude of creative powers, which collectively form the one eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable — hence not a subject for speculation for any true philosopher. Socrates invariably refused to argue upon the mystery of universal being, yet no one would ever have thought of charging him with atheism, except those who were bent upon his destruction. Upon inaugurating an active period, says the Secret Doctrine, an expansion of this Divine essence, from within outwardly, occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible universe is the ultimate result of the long chain of cosmical forces thus progressively set in motion. In like manner, when the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the Divine essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is gradually and progressively undone. The visible universe becomes disintegrated, its material dispersed; and “darkness,” solitary and alone, broods once more over the face of the “deep.” To use a metaphor which will convey the idea still more clearly, an outbreathing of the “unknown essence” produces the world; and an inhalation causes it to disappear. This process has been going on from all eternity, and our present universe is but one of an infinite series which had no beginning and will have no end.
Thus we are enabled to build our theories solely on the visible manifestations of the Deity, on its objective natural phenomena. To apply to these creative principles the term God is puerile and absurd. One might as well call by the name of Benvenuto Cellini the fire which fuses the metal, or the air that cools it when it is run in the mould. If the inner and ever-concealed spiritual, and to our minds abstract, Essence within these forces can ever be connected with the creation of the physical universe, it is but in the sense given to it by Plato. IT may be termed, at best, the framer of the abstract universe which developed gradually in the Divine Thought within which it had lain dormant.
In Chapter VIII. we will attempt to show the esoteric meaning of Genesis, and its complete agreement with the ideas of other nations. The six days of creation will be found to have a meaning little suspected by the multitude of commentators, who have exercised their abilities to the full extent in attempting to reconcile them by turns with Christian theology and un-Christian geology. Disfigured as the Old Testament is, yet in its symbolism is preserved enough of the original in its principal features to show the family likeness to the cosmogonies of older nations than the Jews.
We here give the diagrams of the Hindu and the Chaldeo-Jewish cosmogonies. The antiquity of the diagram of the former may be inferred from the fact that many of the Brahmanical pagodas are designed and built on this figure, called the “Sri-Iantara.” * And yet we find the highest honors paid to it by the Jewish and mediæval kabalists, who call it “Solomon’s seal.” It will be quite an easy matter to trace it to its origin, once we are reminded of the history of the king-kabalist and his transaction with King Hiram and Ophir — the country of peacocks, gold, and ivory — for which land we have to search in old India.
EXPLANATION OF THE TWO DIAGRAMS
REPRESENTING THE CHAOTIC AND THE FORMATIVE PERIODS, BEFORE AND AFTER OUR UNIVERSE BEGAN TO BE EVOLVED.
FROM THE ESOTERIC BRAHMANICAL, BUDDHISTIC, AND CHALDEAN STANDPOINTS
THE HINDU DOCTRINE. THE CHALDEAN DOCTRINE.
The Upper Triangle The Upper Triangle
Contains the Ineffable Name. It is the AUM — to be Contains the Ineffable Name. It is En-Soph, the Boundless, the
pronounced only mentally, under penalty of death. The Infinite, whose name is known to no one but the initiated, and
Unrevealed Para- Brahma, the Passive-Principle; the could not be pronounced aloud under the penalty of death.
absolute and unconditioned “mukta,” which cannot No more than Para-Brahma can En-Soph create, for he is in the
enter into the condition of a Creator, as the latter, in order same condition of non-being as the former; he is wya non-existent
to think, will, and plan, must be bound and conditioned so long as he lies in his latent or passive state within Oulom (the
(baddha); hence, in one sense, be a finite being. boundless and termless time); as such he is not the Creator of the
“THIS (Para-Brahma) was absorbed in the non-being, visible universe, neither is he the Aur (Light). He will become the
imperceptible, without any distinct attribute, non-existent latter when the period of creation shall have compelled him to
for our senses. He was absorbed in his (to us) eternal expand the Force within himself, according to the Law of which
(to himself) periodical, sleep,” for it was one of the he is the embodiment and essence.
“Nights of Brahma.” Therefore he is not the First but the “Whosoever acquaints himself with rYYh the Mercaba and the
Eternal Cause. He is the Soul of Souls, whom no being lahgash (secret speech or incantation),* will learn the secret of
can comprehend in this state. But “he who studies the secrets.”
secret Mantras and comprehends the Vâch” (the __________
Spirit or hidden voice of the Mantras, the active * Lahgash is nearly identical in meaning with
manifestation of the latent Force) will learn to understand Vâch, the hidden power of the Mantras.
him in his “revealed” aspect.
Both “THIS” and En-Soph, in their first manifestation of Light, emerging from within Darkness, may be summarized in the Svabhâvât, the Eternal and the uncreated Self-existing Substance which produces all; while everything which is of its essence produces itself out of its own nature.
The Space Around the Upper Triangle. The Space Around the Upper Triangle.
When the “Night of Brahma” was ended, and the When the active period had arrived, En-Soph sent forth from
time came for the Self-Existent to manifest Itself by within his own eternal essence, Sephira, the active Power, called
revelation, it made its glory visible by sending forth the Primordial Point, and the Crown, Keter. It is only through
from its Essence an active Power, which, female at her that the “Un-bounded Wisdom” could
first, subsequently becomes
androgyne. It is Aditi, the “Infinite,”* the Boundless, or give a concrete form to his abstract Thought. Two sides of the
rather the “Unbounded.” Aditi is the “mother” of all the upper triangle, the right side and the base, are composed of
gods, and Aditi is the Father and the Son.† “Who will unbroken lines; the third, the left side, is dotted. It is through the
give us back to the great Aditi, that I may see father and latter that emerges Sephira. Spreading in every direction, she
mother?” ‡ It is in conjunction with the latter female, finally encompasses the whole triangle. In this emanation of the
Force, that the Divine but latent Thought produces the female active principle from the left side of the mystic triangle, is
great “Deep” — water. “Water is born from a transformation foreshadowed the creation of Eve from Adam’s left rib. Adam is
of light . . . and from a modification of the water is the Microcosm of the Macrocosm, and is created in the image of
born the earth,” says Manu (book i.). the Elohim. In the Tree of Life m d y h c [ the triple triad is
“Ye are born of Aditi from the water, you who are disposed in such a manner that the three male Sephiroth are
born of the earth, hear ye all my call.”§ on the right, the three female on the left, and the four uniting
In this water (or primeval chaos) the “Infinite” androgyne, principles in the centre. From the Invisible Dew falling from
which, with the Eternal Cause, forms the first abstract Triad, the Higher “Head” Sephira creates primeval water, or chaos
rendered by AUM, deposited the germ of universal life. It is taking shape. It is the first step toward the solidification of
the Mundane Egg, in which took place the gestation of Spirit, which through various modifications will produce
Pūrūsha, or the manifested Brahma. The germ which earth.* “It requires earth and water to make a living soul,“ says
fecundated the Mother Principle (the water) is called Nara, Moses.
the Divine Spiritor Holy Ghost, ∫∫ and the waters themselves, When Sephira emerges like an active power from within the
are an emanation of the former, Nari, while the Spirit which latent Deity, she is female; when she assumes the office of a
brooded over it is called Narayana.¶ creator, she becomes a male; hence, she is androgyne.
“In that egg, the great Power sat inactive a whole year of the She is the “Father and Mother Aditi,” of the Hindu Cosmogony.
Creator, at the close of which, by his thought alone, he caused * George Smith gives the first verses of the Akkadian Genesis as found
the egg to divide itself.” ** The upper half became heaven, the in the Cuneiform Texts on the “Lateres Coctiles.” There, also, we find
lower, the Anu, the passive deity or En-Soph, Bel, the Creator, the Spirit of God
————————————————————— (Sephira) moving on the face of the waters, hence water itself, and
* In “Rig-Veda Sanhita” the meaning is given by Max Müller Hea the Universal Soul or wisdom of the three combined.
as the Absolute, “for it is derived from ‘diti,’ bond, and the
negative particle A.” The first eight verses read thus:
1. When above, were not raised the heavens;
† “Hymns to the Maruts,” I., 89, 10. 2. and below on the earth a plant had not grown up.
3. The abyss had not broken its boundaries.
‡ Ibid., I., 24, 1. 4. The chaos (or water) Tiamat (the sea) was the
producing mother of the whole of them.
§ Ibid., X., 63, 2. (This is the Cosmical Aditi and Sephira.)
5. Those waters at the beginning were ordained but
∫∫ Thus is it that we find in all the philosophical theogonies, the Holy 6. a tree had not grown, a flower had not unfolded.
Ghost female. The numerous sects of the Gnostics had Sophia; the Jewish 7. When the gods had not sprung up, any one of them;
kabalists and Talmudists, Shekinah (the garment of the Highest), which 8. a plant had not grown, and order did not exist.
descended between the two cherubim upon the Mercy Seat; and we find This was the chaotic or ante-genesis period.
even Jesus made to say, in an old text, “My Mother, the Holy Ghost, took
“The waters are called nara, because they were the production of Nara,
the Spirit of God” (“Institutes of Manu,” i. 10).
¶ Narayana, or that which moves on the waters.
** “Manu,” sloka 12.
earth (both yet in their ideal, not their manifested form).
Thus, this second triad, only another name for the first
one (never pronounced aloud), and which is the real pre-
Vedic and primordial secret Trimurti, consisted of After brooding over the “Deep,” the Spirit of
God” produces its own image in the water, the Universal
Nara, Father-Heaven, Womb, symbolized in Manu by the Golden Egg. In the
Nari, Mother-Earth, kabalistic Cosmogony, Heaven and Earth are personified by
Viradj, the Son — or Universe. Adam Kadmon and the second Adam. The first Ineffable
Triad, contained in the abstract idea of the “Three Heads,”
The Trimurti, comprising Brahma, the Creator, was a “mystery name.” It was composed of En-Soph,
Vishnu, the Preserver, and Siva, the Destroyer and Sephira, and Adam Kadmon, the Protogonos, the latter
Regenerator, belongs to a later period. It is an anthro- being identical with the former, when bisexual.* In every
pomorphic afterthought, invented for the more popular triad there is a male, a female, and an androgyne. Adam-
comprehension of the uninitiated masses. The Dikshita, Sephira is the Crown (Keter). It sets itself to the work of
the initiate, knew better. Thus, also, the profound allegory creation, by first producing Chochmah, Male Wisdom, a
under the colors of a ridiculous fable, given in the Aytareya masculine active potency, represented by hY , jah, or the
Brahmana,* which resulted in the representations in some Wheels of Creation, mYnPa, from which proceeds Binah,
temples of Brahm-Nara, assuming the form of a bull, and Intelligence, female and passive potency, which is
his daughter, Aditi-Nari, that of a heifer, contains the same Jehovah, hwhy, whom we find in the Bible figuring as the
metaphysical idea as the “fall of man,” or that of the Spirit Supreme. But this Jehovah is not the kabalistic
into generation — matter. The All-pervading Divine Spirit Jodcheva. The binary is the fundamental corner-stone
embodied under the symbols of Heaven, the Sun, and Heat of Gnosis. As the binary is the Unity multiplying itself
(fire) — the correlation of cosmic forces — fecundates Matter and self-creating, the kabalists show the “Unknown”
or Nature, the daughter of Spirit. And Para-Brahma himself passive En-Soph, as emanating from himself, Sephira,
has to submit to and bear the penance of the curses of the which, becoming visible light, is said to produce Adam
other gods (Elohim) for such an incest. (See corresponding Kadmon. But, in the hidden sense, Sephira and Adam are
column.) According to the immutable, and, therefore, fatal one and the same light, only latent and active, invisible and
law, both Nara and Nari are mutually Father and Mother, visible. The second Adam, as the human tetragram, produces
as well as Father and Daughter.† Matter, through infinite in his turn Eve, out of his side. It is this second triad, with
transformation, is the gradual product of Spirit. The unification which the kabalists have hitherto dealt, hardly hinting at the
of one Eternal Supreme Cause required such a correlation; Supreme and Ineffable One, and never committing anything
and if nature be to writing. All knowledge concerning the latter was imparted
——————————————————— orally. It is the second Adam, then, who is the unity repre-
* See Haug’s “Aytareya Brahmanam,” of the Rig-Veda. sented by Jod, emblem of the kabalistic male principle, and,
at the same time, he is Chochmah, Wisdom, while Binah or
† The same transformations are found in the cosmogony of Jehovah is Eve; the first
every important nation. Thus, we see in the Egyptian mythology, ————————————————————
Isis and Osiris, sister and brother, man and wife; and Horus, the * When a female power, she is Sephira; when male, he is Adam Kadmon;
Son of both, becoming the husband of his mother, Isis, and for, as the former contains in herself the other nine Sephiroth,
producing a son, Malouli. so, in their totality, the latter, including Sephira, is embodied
in the Archetypal Kadmon, the prwtogono” .
the product or effect of that Cause, in its turn it has to be Chochmah issuing from Keter, or the androgyne, Adam
fecundated by the same divine Ray which produced Kadmon, and the second, Binah, from Chochmah. If we combine
nature itself. The most absurd cosmogonical allegories, if with Jod the three letters which form the name of Eve, we will
analyzed without prejudice, will be found built on strict have the divine tetragram pronounced IEVO-HEVAH, Adam and
and logical necessarianism. Eve, hwhy, Jehovah, male and female, or the idealization of
“Being was born from not-being,” says a verse in the humanity embodied in the first man. Thus is it that we can
Rig-Veda.* The first being had to become androgyne and prove that, while the Jewish kabalists, in common with their
finite, by the very fact of its creation as a being. And thus initiated masters, the Chaldeans and the Hindus, adored the
even the sacred Trimurti, containing Brahma, Vishnu, and Supreme and Unknown God, in the sacred silence of their
Siva will have an end when the “night” of Para-Brahma sanctuaries, the ignorant masses of every nation were left to
succeeds the present “day,” or period of universal activity. adore something which was certainly less than the Eternal
The second, or rather the first, triad — as the highest Substance of the Buddhists, the so-called Atheists. As Brahma,
one is a pure abstraction — is the intellectual world. The the deity manifested in the mythical Manu, or the first man
Vâch which surrounds it is a more definite transformation (born of Swayambhuva, or the Self-existent), is finite, so
of Aditi. Besides its occult significance in the secret Man- Jehovah, embodied in Adam and Eve, is but a human god.
tram, Vâch is personified as the active power of Brahma He is the symbol of humanity, a mixture of good with a
proceeding from him. In the Vedas she is made to speak portion of unavoidable evil; of spirit fallen into matter. In
of herself as the supreme and universal soul. “I bore the worshipping Jehovah, we simply worship nature, as
Father on the head of the universal mind, and my origin embodied in man, half-spiritual and half-material, at
is in the midst of the ocean; and therefore do I pervade all best: we are Pantheists, when not fetich worshippers,
beings. . . . Originating all beings, I pass like the breeze like the idolatrous Jews, who sacrificed on high places,
(Holy Ghost). I am above this heaven, beyond this earth; in groves, to the personified male and female principle,
and what is the Great One that am I.” † Literally, Vâch is ignorant of IAO, the Supreme “Secret Name” of the
speech, the power of awakening, through the metrical Mysteries.
arrangement contained in the number and syllables of the Shekinah is the Hindu Vâch, and praised in the same
Mantras, ‡ corresponding powers in the invisible world. In terms as the latter. Though shown in the kabalistic Tree of Life
the sacrificial Mysteries Vâch stirs up the Brahma (Brahma as proceeding from the ninth Sephiroth, yet Shekinah is the
jinvati), or the power lying latent at the bottom of every “veil” of En-Soph, and the “garment” of Jehovah. The “veil,” for
magical operation. It existed from eternity as the Yajna it succeeded for long ages in concealing the real supreme God,
(its latent form), lying dormant in Brahma from “no-begin- the universal Spirit, and masking Jehovah, the exoteric deity,
ning,” and proceeded forth from him as Vâch (the active made the Christians accept him as the “father” of the initiated
power). It is the key to the “Traiv- Jesus. Yet the kabalists, as well as the Hindu Dikshita, know
——————————————————— the power of the Shekinah or Vâch, and call it the
* Mandala I., Sukta 166, Max Müller. “secret wisdom,” trhsn-xmbx.
The triangle played a prominent part in
† “Asiatic Researches,” vol. viii., pp. 402, 403; Colebrooke’s translation.
‡ As in the Pythagorean numerical system every number on
earth, or the world of the effects, corresponds to its invisible
prototype in the world of causes.
idyâ,” the thrice sacred science which teaches the the religious symbolism of every great nation; for everywhere it
Yajus (the sacrificial Mysteries).* represented the three great principles—spirit, force, and matter;
Having done with the unrevealed triad, and the first or the active (male), passive (female), and the dual or correlative
triad of the Sephiroth, called the “intellectual world,” principle which partakes of both and binds the two together. It
little remains to be said. In the great geometrical figure was the Arba or mystic “four,” * the mystery-gods, the Kabeiri,
which has the double triangle in it, the central circle re- summarized in the unity of one supreme Deity. It is found in
presents the world within the universe. The double tri- the Egyptian pyramids, whose equal sides tower up until lost
angle belongs to one of the most important, if it is not in in one crowning point. In the kabalistic diagram the central
itself the most important, of the mystic figures in India. circle of the Brahmanical figure is replaced by the cross; the
It is the emblem of the Trimurti three in one. The triangle celestial perpendicular and the terrestrial horizontal base line.†
with its apex up-ward indicates the male principle, down- But the idea is the same: Adam Kadmon is the type of humanity
ward the female; the two typifying, at the same time, as a collective totality within the unity of the creative God
spirit and matter. This world within the infinite universe and the universal spirit
is the microcosm within the macrocosm, as in the Jewish ——————————————————
Kabala. It is the symbol of the womb of the universe, the * Eve is the trinity of nature, and Adam the unity of spirit; the former the
terrestrial egg, whose archetype is the golden mundane created material principle, the latter the ideal organ of the creative
egg. It is from within this spiritual bosom of mother nature principle, or, in other words, this androgyne is both the principle and the
that proceed all the great saviours of the universe—the Logos, for a is the male, and b the female; and, as Levi expresses it,
avatars of the invisible Deity. this first letter of the holy language, Aleph, represents a man pointing
“Of him who is and yet is not, from the not-being, with one hand toward the sky, and with the other toward the ground.
Eternal Cause, is born the being Pouroucha,” says Manu, It is the macrocosm and the microcosm at the same time, and explains the
the legislator. Pouroucha is the “divine male,” the second double triangle of the Masons and the five-pointed star. While the male
god, and the avatar, or the Logos of Para-Brahma and is active the female principle is passive, for it is SPIRIT and MATTER,
his divine son, who in his turn produced Viradj, the son, the latter word meaning mother in nearly every language. The columns of
or the ideal type of the universe. “Viradj begins the work Soloman’s temple, Jachin and Boaz, are the emblems of the androgyne;
of creation by producing the ten Pradjapati, ‘the lords of they are also respectively male and female, white and black, square and
all beings.’ ” round; the male a unity, the female a binary. In the later kabalistic
According to the doctrine of Manu, the universe is sub- treatises, the active principle is pictured by the sword rkw , the passive
jected to a periodical and never-ending succession of creations by the sheath hbqn . See “Dogme et Rituel de la Haute Magie,” vol. i.
and dissolutions, which periods of creation are named Man-
vântara. † The vertical line being the male principle, and the horizontal the female,
“It is the germ (which the Divine Spirit produced from its out of the union of the two at the intersection point is formed the
own substance) which never perishes in the being, for it be- CROSS; the oldest symbol in the Egyptian history of gods. It is the key
comes the soul of Being, and at the period of pralaya (dissolution) of Heaven in the rosy fingers of Neith, the celestial virgin, who opens
it returns to absorb itself again into the Divine Spirit, which the gate at dawn for the exit of her first-begotten, the radiant sun.
itself rests from all eternity It is the Stauros of the Gnostics, and the philosophical cross of the high-
———————————————————— grade Masons. We find this symbol ornamenting the tee of the
* See initial chap., vol. i., word Yajna. umbrella- shaped oldest pagodas in Thibet, China, and India, as we find
it in the hand of Isis, in the shape of the “handled cross.” In one of the
Chaitya caves, at Ajunta, it surmounts the three umbrellas in stone,
and forms the centre of the vault.
within Swayambhuva, the ‘Self-Existent’ ” (Institute of “Of him who is formless, the non-existent (also the eternal, but
Manu, book i.). not First Cause), is born the heavenly man.” But after he created
As we have shown, neither the Svabhavikas, Buddhist the form of the heavenly man hal[mra , he “used it as a vehicle
philosophers—nor the Brahmans believe in a creation of the wherein to descend,” says the Kabala. Thus Adam Kadmon is the
universe ex nihilo, but both believe in the Prakriti, the inde- avatar of the concealed power. After that the heavenly Adam
structibility of matter. creates or engenders by the combined power of the Sephiroth,
The evolution of species, and the successive appearance of the earthly Adam. The work of creation is also begun by
various new types is very distinctly shown in Manu. Sephira in the creation of the ten Sephiroth (who are the
“From earth, heat, and water, are born all creatures, Pradjapatis of the Kabala, for they are likewise the Lords of all
whether animate or inanimate, produced by the germ which beings).
the Divine Spirit drew from its own substance. Thus has The Sohar asserts the same. According to the kabalistic
Brahma established the series of transformations from the doctrine there were old worlds (see Idra Suta: Sohar, iii., p. 292b).
plant up to man, and from man up to the primordial essence proceeded. “All things of which this world consists, spirit as
. . . . Among them each succeeding being (or element) well as body, will return to their principal, and the roots from
acquires the quality of the preceding; and in as many which they proceeded” (Sohar, ii., 218 b). The kabalists also
degrees as each of them is advanced, with so many properties maintain the indestructibility of matter, albeit their doctrine
is it said to be endowed” (Manu, book i., sloka 20). * is shrouded still more carefully than that of the Hindus. The
This, we believe, is the veritable theory of the modern creation is eternal, and the universe is the “garment,” or
evolutionists. “the veil of God” — Shekinah; and the latter is immortal
—————————————————— and eternal as Him within whom it has ever existed. Every
* “When this world had emerged from obscurity, the subtile world is made after the pattern of its predecessor, and each
elementary principles produced the vegetable germ which at first more gross and material than the preceding one. In the Kabala
animated the plants; from the plants, life passed through the fan- all were called sparks. Finally, our present grossly materialistic
tastic organisms which were born in the ilus (boue) of the waters; world was formed.
then through a series of forms and different animals, it at length In the Chaldean account of the period which preceded the
reached man” (“Manu,” book i.; and “Bhagavatta”). Genesis of our world, Berosus speaks of a time when there
Manu is a convertible type, which can by no means be explained existed nothing but darkness, and an abyss of waters, filled
as a personage. Manu means sometimes humanity, sometimes man. with hideous monsters, “produced of a two-fold principle. . . .
The Manu who emanated from the uncreated Swayambhuva is, These were creatures in which were combined the limbs of
without doubt, the type of Adam Kadmon. The Manu who is pro- every species of animals. In addition to these fishes, reptiles,
genitor of the other six Manus is evidently identical with the Rishis, serpents, with other monstrous animals, which assumed each
or seven primeval sages who are the forefathers of the post-diluvian other’s shape and countenance.” *
races. He is — as we shall show in Chapter VIII. — Noah, and his six ——————————————————
sons, or subsequent generations are the originals of the post-diluvian * Cory’s “Ancient Fragments.”
and mythical patriarchs of the Bible.