1. This division of mankind into four successive, primitive races was accepted by the oldest priests of Egypt. They are represented by four figures of different types and skin colors in the paintings of the tomb of Seti I at Thebes. The red race bears the name Rot; the Asiatic race with yellow skin, Amu; the African race with black skin, Halasiu; the Lybico European race with white skin and blond hair, Tamahu -- Lenormant, History of the Peoples of the Orient, Vol. I.
2. Refer to the Arabian historians, as well as Abul Ghazi, Genealogical History of the Tartars and works of Mohammed Moshen, historian of the Persians. William Jones, Asiatic Researches 1. Discourse on the Tartars and Persians.
3. Histoire philosophique du genre humain, Vol. 1..
4. All who have seen a real sleep walker have been struck by the unusual intellectual excitement which is brought about during sleep. For those who have not witnessed such a phenomenon and who doubt it, we will quote a passage from the famous David Strauss. At the house of his friend, Dr. Justinus Kerner, he saw the famous Clairvoyant of Prevorst and describes her in the following manner:
"Shortly afterward, the seer fell into a hypnotic sleep. Thus for the first time I viewed this unusual state, and, I can say, in its purest and loveliest manifestation. The face bore a suffering yet exalted and tender expression and was as if bathed in heavenly light; the speech was pure, cadenced and rhythmical, a sort of recitative, an abundance of overflowing feelings which might have been compared to masses of clouds, sometimes bright, sometimes dark, gliding over the soul, or better still, to quiet, melancholy breezes caught up in the strings of a marvelous aeolian harp." (Trans. by R. Lindau, Biographie Generale, art. Kerner)
5. Refer to the last battle between Ariovistus and Caesar in the latter's Commentaries.
6. Historie philosophique du genre humain. Vol. 1.
7. It is noteworthy that the Zend Avesta, the sacred book of the Parsis, while considering Zoroaster as the one inspired by Ormuzd and the prophet of God's law, makes him the successor of a much more ancient prophet. Behind the symbolism of the ancient temples one grasps here the chain of the great revelation of mankind, uniting all true initiates. Here is the important passage:
1. Zarathustra (Zoroaster) asked Ahura-Mazda (Ormuzd, God of Light): Ahura-Mazda, holy and most sacred creator of all corporeal beings:
2. Who is the first man with whom you spoke, Ahura-Mazda?
4. Then Ahura-Mazda answered: With the noble Yima, he who was at the head of an assembly worthy of praises, O pure Zarathastra.
13. And I said to him: Watch over the worlds which belong to me, make them fertile in your role of protector.
17. And I brought him the arms of victory, I who am Ahura-Mazda:
18. A golden lance and a golden spear ...
31. Then Yima raised himself up to the stars in the south, on the path which the sun takes.
37. He walked over this land which he had made fertile. It was one-third larger than before.
43. And the radiant Yima called together the assembly of the most virtuous men in the famous Airyana Vaeja, created pure.
(Vendidad Sade, 2nd Fargard Trans. by Anquetil Duperron)
8. The horns of the ram are found on the heads of many human figures carved on Egyptian monuments. This headgear of kings and high priests is the mark of priestly and royal initiation. The two horns of the papal tiara are derived from it.
9. This is how the signs of the Zodiac represent Ram's life, according to Fabre d'Olivet, that thinker and genius who knew how to interpret the symbols of the past according to esoteric tradition: 1. Aries, The Ram which is fleeing with head turned backward, indicates Ram's position when leaving his country, his eye fixed on the land behind him. 2. The Raging Bull (Taurus) stands in the way of his march, but half of his body, held fast in the mud prevents him from executing his plan; he falls upon his knees. These are the Celts, represented by their own symbol, who in spite of their efforts, finally yield. 3. Gemini express the alliance of Ram with the Turanians. 4. Cancer, Ram's meditations and inner reflections. 5. The Lion, his battles against his enemies. 6. The Winged Virgin, victory. 7. The Scales, the equality of conquerors and conquered. 8. The Scorpion, rebellion and treason. 9. Sagittarius, the revenge he takes. 10. Capricorn. 11. Aquarius, the Waterman. 12. The sign of Pisces refers to the moral side of his story.
One may find this explanation of the Zodiac both daring and strange. However, never has any astronomer or mythologist explained to us the origin or meaning of these mysterious signs of the heavenly map, adopted and revered by humanity since the beginning of our Aryan cycle. Fabre d'Olivet's hypothesis at least has the merit of opening new and broad perspectives. I have said that these signs, when read in reverse order in the Orient and in Greece, later marked the ascending steps necessary to reach supreme initiation. Let us remember only the most famous of these emblems: The Winged Virgin meant the purity which gives victory; The Lion, moral strength; The Twins, the union of man and a divine spirit, together forming two invincible fighters; The subdued Bull, mastery over nature; The Ram, the constellation of Fire or of the universal Spirit, giving supreme initiation through the knowledge of Truth.
10. The Brahmans considered the Vedas their holy books par excellence. They found in them the science of sciences. The word Veda means knowledge. The scientists of Europe have been justifiably drawn to these texts by a kind of fascination. At first they saw in them only a patriarchal poetry; then they discovered in them not only the origin of the great Indo-European myths and our classic gods, but also a wisely organized cult, a profoundly religious and metaphysical system (See Bergaigne, La religion des Vedas, as well as the excellent and enlightening work of August Barth, Les religions de l'Inde.) The future perhaps still holds a final surprise, which will be to find in the Vedas the definition of that secret power of nature which modern science is in the process of rediscovering.
11. What clearly proves that Soma represented the absolute feminine principle is the fact that the Brahmins later identified it with the Moon. As the Moon symbolizes the feminine principle in all ancient religions, so the Sun symbolizes the masculine principle.
12. An observation is indispensable here concerning the symbolic meaning of the legend as well as the real origin of those in history who have borne the name, "Sons of God." According to the secret doctrine of India, which was also that of the initiates of Egypt and Greece, the human soul is the child of heaven. Before it was born on earth the soul had a series of corporeal and spiritual existences. The father and mother therefore only engender the body of the child, since his soul comes from somewhere else. This universal law governs everything. The greatest prophets, even those in whom the divine Word has spoken, cannot escape it. And, in fact, from the moment one accepts the pre-existence of the soul, the question of knowing the name of the father becomes secondary. One must believe that this prophet comes from a divine world, and the real Sons of God prove this by their life and death. But the ancient initiates did not believe it necessary to make these things known to the common people. Some of those who appeared in the world as divine envoys were sons of initiates, and their mothers had frequented the temples in order to conceive chosen ones.
13. These are the genii who, in all Hindu poetry are represented as presiding over love and marriage.
14. It is a definite belief in India that the great ascetics can make themselves manifest at a distance in visible form, while their bodies remain plunged in a cataleptic sleep.
15. In ancient India these two functions were often combined. The drivers of kings' chariots were important persons, and often were the monarchs' ministers. Examples of this abound in Hindu poetry.
16. In Brahman initiation this means Supreme God, God-Spirit. Each of its letters corresponds to one of the divine qualities, that is, to one of the members of the Trinity.
17. The legend of Krishna helps us to comprehend at its very source the idea of the Virgin Mother, of the Man-God, and of the Trinity. In India this idea appears from the first in its transparent symbolism with its profound metaphysical meaning. In Book V, Chapter II the Vishnu Purana, having related the conception of Krishna by Devaki adds, "No one could look upon Devaki because of the light which surrounded her, and those who saw her radiance felt troubled in mind; the gods, invisible to mortals, continually sang her praises, since Vishnu was embodied in her. They would say, 'You are that infinite, subtle Prakriti who once bore Brahma in her womb; you were then the goddess of the Word, the Energy of the Creator of the Universe, and the Mother of the Vedas. O eternal being, who contains in your substance the essence of all created things, you were identical with creation; you were the sacrifice from which all that earth produces originates; you are the wood which in its rubbing engenders fire. Like Aditi, you are the mother of the gods; like Diti, you are the mother of the Datyas, their enemies. You are the light from which the day is born; you are humility, mother of true wisdom; you are the mother of Order; you are Desire from which love is born; you are Satisfaction from which resignation is derived; you are Intelligence, mother of Silence; you are Patience, mother of Courage; all the firmament and the stars are your children, all that exists originates in you. You went down to earth for the salvation of the world. Have compassion on us, O goddess, and show yourself kindly disposed toward the universe; be proud of bearing the god who sustains the world!' " -- This passage proves that the Brahmans identified Krishna's mother with universal substance and the feminine element in nature. They made her the second member of the divine trinity, of the initial unmanifest triad. The Father, Nara (Eternal Masculine); the mother, Nari (Eternal Feminine) and the Son, Viradi (Word-Creator), are the divine qualities. In other words, the intellectual element, the plastic element, the productive element. All three together constitute natura naturans, to use Spinoza's term. The organic world, the living universe, natura naturata is the product of the Word-Creator who in turn is manifest in three forms: Brahma, Spirit, corresponding to the divine world; Vishnu, Soul, corresponding to the human world; Siva, body, corresponding to the natural world. In these three worlds the male element and the female element (essence and substance) are equally active, and the Eternal Feminine is seen at the same time in terrestrial, human and divine nature. Isis is threefold in nature, and so is Cybele.
Thus it is clear that the double trinity, that of God and that of the universe, contains the elements and framework of a theodicy and a cosmogony. It is correct to recognize that this basis came from India. All the ancient temples, all the great religions and many outstanding philosophers have adopted it. From the time of the Apostles and during the early centuries of Christianity, the Christian initiates revered the female element in visible and invisible nature under the name of the Holy Spirit, represented by a dove, the symbol of feminine power in all the temples of Asia and Europe. If since that time the Church has hidden or lost the key to its Mysteries, their meaning is still written in its symbols.
18. The statement of this doctrine, which later became Plato's, is found in the first book of the Bhagavad Gita in the form of a dialogue between Krishna and Arjuna.
19. The Vishnu-Purana, Book V, Chapters 22 and 30 speaks of this city in rather clear terms: "Krishna resolved therefore to build a citadel where the tribe of Yadu would find a safe refuge, and which would be such that even women could defend it. The city of Dvarka was protected by raised ramparts, beautified by gardens and fish ponds, and was as splendid as Amarasvati, Indra's city. In this city he planted the Paryata tree, whose sweet scent perfumes the earth afar off. All those who approached it found themselves able to recall their previous lives."
This tree is evidently the symbol of divine knowledge and initiation. We find the same tree in Chaldean tradition. From there it passed to the Hebraic Genesis. After Krishna's death the city is submerged, the tree returns to heaven, but the temple remains. If all this has an historic significance, for one who knows the ultra-symbolic and discrete language of the Hindus, it means that some tyrant or other had the city completely destroyed and initiation became more and more secret.
20. Sakia-Muni's greatness resides in his sublime charity, in his moral reform and in the social revolution he brought about through overthrowing the ossified castes. But Sakia-Muni added nothing to the esoteric doctrine of the Brahmans; he only revealed certain parts of it. Its psychology is fundamentally the same, though it follows a different path. (See my article on La Legende de Bouddha in Revue des Deux Mondes, July 1,1885)
If the Buddha is not represented in this volume, this is not because we do not recognize his place in the series of the Great Initiates. Rather it is because of the special plan of this book. Each of the reformers or philosophers selected is intended to show the doctrine of the Mysteries in a different aspect and at another stage in its evolution. From this viewpoint, Buddha would represent a needless repetition in connection with Pythagoras, through whom I developed the doctrine of reincarnation and evolution of souls, on the one hand, and on the other, with Jesus Christ, who promulgated for the West as well as the East, the ideal of universal Brotherhood and Love.
As for the book Esoteric Buddhism by Sinnet, which in some respects is very interesting, worthy of being read, and whose origin many people attribute to self-styled initiates still living in Tibet, it is impossible for me, until otherwise informed, to see anything in it but a very clever compilation of Brahmanism and Buddhism, with certain ideas borrowed from the Kabbala, Paracelsus, and a few thoughts from modern science.
21. In an inscription of the Fourth Dynasty, the Sphinx is spoken of as a monument whose origin was lost in the darkness of time and which had been found by chance during the reign of this prince, buried in the sand of the desert, under which it was forgotten for long generations. And the Fourth Dynasty carries us back four thousand years before Christ. Let one calculate the antiquity of the Sphinx from this!
22. "Scientific esoteric theology," says Mr. Maspero, "is monotheistic since the period of the Ancient Empire. The affirmation of the fundamental unity of the Divine Being is expressed in formal terms and with great force in the texts which date back to this period. God is the Unique One, Who exists in essence, the only One Who lives in substance, the Sole Generator in heaven and on earth Who is not engendered. Father, Mother and Son at the same time, He engenders, gives birth and exists perpetually; and those three persons, far from dividing the unity of the divine nature, contribute to its infinite perfection. His attributes are immensity, eternity, independence, all-powerful will and boundless kindness. 'He creates his own members, who are gods,' say the old texts. Each of these secondary gods, considered identical with the One God, can form a new type from whom other inferior types emanate in turn and by the same process." -- Histoire ancienne des peuples de l'Orient.
23. For a long time archeologists have seen in the sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh the tomb of King Sesostus, on the testimony of Herodotus, who was not an initiate, and to whom the Egyptian priests hardly confided anything except trifles and folk tales. The kings of Egypt, however, had their tombs elsewhere. The strange inner structure of the Pyramid proves that it was to be used for initiation ceremonies and secret practices of the priests of Osiris. The Well of Truth which we described, the ascending staircase and the room of the arcana are found there. The room called the King's Chamber, which contains the sarcophagus, was the one where the adept was led on the eve of his great initiation. These same arrangements were reproduced in the great temples of central and upper Egypt.
24. The Vision of Hermes is found at the beginning of the Books of Hermes Trismegistus under the name Poimandres. Ancient Egyptian tradition has come to us only in a slightly altered Alexandrian form. I have tried to reconstruct this major fragment of Hermetic teaching in the setting of the higher initiation and the esoteric synthesis it represents.
25. These gods had other names in the Egyptian language, but in all mythologies the seven cosmogonic gods correspond in their meaning and attributes. They have their common root in ancient esoteric tradition. Since Western tradition has adopted the Latin names, we use them for greater clarity.
26. There are Ten Sephiroth in the Kabbala. The first three represent the divine Trinity, the seven others, the evolution of the universe.
27. These are the Egyptian terms for this septenary constitution of man, as found in the Kabbala: Chat, material body, Anch, vital force, Ka, the ethereal counterpart or astral body, Hati, animal soul, Bai, rational soul, Cheybi, spiritual soul, Ku, the divine Spirit.
One will find the development of these fundamental ideas of esoteric doctrine in the sections on Orpheus and on Pythagoras.
28. In Egyptian doctrine, man was considered as having consciousness in this life only of the animal soul and rational soul, called hati and bai. The higher part of his being, the spiritual soul and divine Spirit, Cheybi and Ku, exist in him in the state of unconscious seed and develop after this life when he himself becomes an Osiris.
29. Ibrim means "those of the other side, those beyond, those who have passed the river." -- Renan, Hist. du peuple d'Israel.
30. Moses' Egyptian first name (Manethon, quoted by Philo).
31. The Biblical account (Exodus 2:1–10) makes Moses a Jew of the tribe of Levi, found by Pharaoh's daughter among the bulrushes of the Nile, where his nurse had placed him in order to touch the princess' heart and save the child from a persecution similar to that of Herod. By contrast, Manethon, an Egyptian priest to whom we owe the most precise information on the dynasties of the Pharaohs, -- information confirmed today by the inscriptions on monuments, -- states that Moses was a priest of Osiris. Strabo, who obtained his information from the same source, that is, from the Egyptian priests, also confirms this. The Egyptian source has more validity here than the Jewish source, for the priests of Egypt had no interest in making Greeks or Romans believe that Moses was one of them, while the national vanity of the Jews caused them to make the founder of their nation a man of their own blood. The Biblical account recognizes, moreover, that Moses was raised in Egypt and was sent by his government as inspector of the Jews of Goshen. This is the important, major fact which establishes the secret relation between the Mosaic religion and Egyptian initiation. Clement of Alexandria believed that Moses was deeply initiated into the science of Egypt, and, in effect, the work of the creator of Israel would be incomprehensible without this.
32. Later (Numbers 3:1) after the Exodus, Aaron and Miriam, Moses' brother and sister, according to the Bible, reproached him for having married an Ethiopian. Jethro, Sephora's father, therefore was of this race.
33. Travelers of recent times report that Hindu fakirs have themselves buried after being plunged into a cataleptic sleep, indicating the exact day when they must be disinterred. One of them, after three weeks of burial, was found alive, safe and sound.
34. The seven daughters of Jethro, of whom the Bible speaks (Exodus 2:16-20), evidently have a symbolic meaning, like this entire account which has come to us in a legendary and completely popularized form: It is very unlikely that the priestly ruler of a great temple would make his daughters feed his herds or reduce an Egyptian priest to the role of shepherd. The seven daughters of Jethro symbolize seven virtues that the initiate was forced to acquire in order to open the Well of Truth. In the story of Agar and Ishmael, this well is called "The Well of the Living One Who sees me."
35. The true restorer of Moses' cosmogony is a man of genius almost forgotten today, to whom France will do justice when esoteric science, which is integral and religious science, is reconstructed on its own indestructible foundations. Fabre d'Olivet could not be understood by his contemporaries, for he was at least a hundred years ahead of his time. His universal outlook encompassed in equal degree three faculties whose union creates transcendental intellects: intuition, analysis and synthesis. Born at Ganges (Hérault) in 1767, he undertook the study of mystical doctrines of the Orient after having acquired an extensive understanding of the sciences, philosophies and literatures of the Occident. Count de Gébelin, through his Primitive World opened for him the first vistas of the symbolic meaning of the myths of antiquity and the sacred language of the temples. In order to become initiated in the doctrines of the Orient, he learned Chinese, Sanskrit, Arabic and Hebrew. In 1815 he published his major book, The Hebraic Tongue Restored. This book includes: 1. An introductory dissertation on the origin of speech; 2. A Hebrew grammar, based on new principles; 3. Hebrew roots viewed according to etymological science; 4. A preliminary discourse; 5. A French and English translation of the first ten chapters of Genesis, which contain the cosmogony of Moses. This translation is accompanied by a commentary of the greatest interest. I can only summarize here the principles and substance of this very revealing book. It is permeated with the deepest esoteric spirit and is constructed according to the most rigorous scientific method. The method Fabre d'Olivet uses to fathom the secret meaning of the Hebrew text of Genesis is a comparison of Hebrew with Arabic, Syriac, Aramaic and Chaldean from the point of view of basic common roots, of which he furnishes us an admirable lexicon supported by examples taken from all the languages, a lexicon which can serve as a key for sacred names among all peoples. Of all esoteric books on the Old Testament, Fabre d'Olivet's gives the surest keys. In addition, he gives an enlightening account of the history of the Bible and the apparent reasons why its hidden meaning was lost, and even today is utterly unknown to science and official theology.
I shall say a few words about another, more recent work. This is The Mission of the Jews, by Saint-Yves d'Alveydre (1884). Saint-Yves owes his philosophical initiation to Fabre d'Olivet's books. His interpretation of Genesis is essentially that of the latter's book, The Hebraic Tongue Restored; his metaphysics, that of The Golden Verses of Pythagoras; his philosophy of history and the general setting of his work are taken from The Philosophical History of the Human Race. (These works of Fabre d'Olivet published by Putnam's, N.Y. 1921-9.) From these basic ideas, adding his own materials and shaping them to his liking, he constructed a new building of great richness. His purpose is twofold: to prove that the science and religion of Moses were the necessary result of religious movements which preceded them in Asia and Egypt, which Fabre d'Olivet had already brought to light in his brilliant works; next, to prove that the ternary government by arbitration, composed of three powers, economic, judiciary and religious or scientific, was in every age a corollary of the doctrine of the initiates and a constituent part of religions long before Greece. Such is Saint-Yves' own idea, a pregnant idea worthy of the highest consideration. He calls it synarchy, or government according to principles; he finds in it the social, organic law, the sole salvation of the future. It is not our task here to discuss to what extent the author has historically proved his thesis. Saint-Yves does not like to quote his sources, but his book, of unusual value, based upon a vast knowledge of esoteric science, abounds in pages of great inspiration, in great descriptions and in many new ideas. My views differ from his on many points, especially in regard to the concept of Moses to which, in my opinion, Saint-Yves has given too great and legendary proportions. However, beyond this I wish to point to the great value of this extraordinary book, to which I owe much. I would refer the reader also to his Mission of the Sovereigns and True France, where Saint-Yves did justice, though a bit late, and in spite of himself, to his teacher, Fabre d'Olivet.
36. Spinoza's natura naturans.
37. This is how Fabre d'Olivet explains the name IEVE: "This name, first of all, incorporates the sign indicative of life when doubled and forming the basically productive root EE. This root is never employed as a noun, and is the only one which has this prerogative. From its formation, it is not only a verb, but a unique verb from which the others are only derivatives: In short, the verb EVE, to be, being. Here (as can be seen, and as I took care to explain in my grammar) the intelligible sign VAU (V) is in the middle of the root of life. Moses, taking this verb par excellence to form from it the proper noun of the Being of beings, adds to it the sign of potential manifestation and of Eternity I and obtains IEVE, in which the facultative being is placed between a past without origin, and a future without end. This marvelous name, therefore, means exactly The Being who is, was and is to be. (For further details, see Fabre d'Olivet, The Hebraic Tongue Restored, trnsl. by Redfield, Putnam's, New York, 1921 -- Ed.)
38. "Elohim is the plural of Elo, a name given to the Supreme Being by the Hebrews and Chaldeans, and itself derived from the root El, which pictures elevation, strength and expansive power, and which means in a universal sense, God. Hoa, that is, He, is one of the sacred names for divinity in Hebrew, Chaldaic, Syriac, Ethiopian, Arabic." -- Fabre d'Olivet, The Hebraic Tongue Restored, N.Y. 1921.
39. "Ruah Elohim: The Breath of God, figuratively indicates a movement of expansion, dilation. In a hieroglyphic sense it is the force opposed to that of darkness. Thus, if the word darkness characterizes a compressing power, the word ruah characterizes an expanding power. One will find in both words that eternal system of two opposing forces which the wise men and scientists of all ages from Parmenides and Pythagoras to Descartes and Newton saw in nature and called by different names." -- Fabre d'Olivet, Hebrew Tongue Restored.
40. Breath . . . Elohim, Light. These three names are the hieroglyphic resumé of the second and third verses of Genesis. The following is the transliteration of the Hebrew text of the third verse: Wa-iaomer Aelohim iehi-aour, wa iehi aour. This is the literal translation Fabre d'Olivet gives: "And-he-said (declaring his will) HE-The-Being-of-beings: There-shall-be light; and-there-(shall be)-became light (intellectual elementizing)." The word ROUA, meaning breath, is found in the second verse. The word AOUR, which means light, is the word ROUA in reverse. The divine Breath, returning back upon itself, created intelligible Light.
41. Genesis 2:23. Aisha, the Soul, here resembling Woman, is the wife of Aish, the Intellect resembling Man. She is taken from him, she constitutes his inseparable half, his volitional faculty. The same relationship exists between Dionysus and Persephone in the Orphic Mysteries.
42. In the Samaritan version of the Bible, the adjective universal, infinite, is added to Adam's name. Therefore this name is a matter of the human species, of the rule of man in all the heavens.
43. In antiquity, words inscribed on stone were considered the most sacred of all. The hierophant of Eleusis read to the initiates from tablets of stone, things which they swore not to repeat to anyone, and which were written nowhere else.
44. Twice an attack on the temple of Delphi was repelled in the same circumstances. In 480 B.C. the troops of Xerxes attacked it and withdrew, frightened by a storm accompanied by flames coming from the sun and the fall of great blocks of rock. -- Herodotus. In 279 B.C. the temple was again attacked by an invasion of Gauls and Cymri. Delphi was defended by only a small group of Phoceans. The barbarians attacked, but at the moment they were about to enter the temple, a storm broke out and the Phoceans routed the Gauls.
(See the excellent account in The History of the Gauls by Amedee Thierry, Book II.)
45. According to the ancient tradition of the Thracians, poetry had been invented by Olen. This name means Universal Being in Phoenician. Apollo has the same root: Ap Olen or Ap Wholen means Universal Father. Originally, in Delphi the Universal Being was worshipped under the name Olen. The cult of Apollo was introduced by a reforming priest under the impetus of the doctrine of the solar Word, which then was spreading through all the sanctuaries of India and Egypt. This reformer identified the Universal Father with his double manifestation, hyperphysical light and the visible sun. But this reform was scarcely known outside the walls of the sanctuary. It was Orpheus who gave new power to the solar Word of Apollo by reviving it and vitalizing it with the Mysteries of Dionysius. (See Fabre d'Olivet, Golden Verses of Pythagoras, trnsl. by Redfield, Putnam's N.Y. 1925.)
46. TRAKIA, according to Fabre d'Olivet is derived from the Phoenician Rakhiwe, meaning ethereal space or firmament. For the poets and initiates of Greece like Pindar, Aeschylus or Plato, the name Thrace had a symbolic sense and meant the land of pure doctrine and sacred poetry which stems from it. This word therefore had a philosophical and historical meaning for them. Philosophically it designated an intellectual sphere, the group of doctrines and traditions which trace the origin of the world from a divine intelligence. Historically this name recalled the country and people where Dorian doctrine and poetry, that vigorous offshoot of the ancient Ayran spirit had first developed to flowering in Greece through the sanctuary of Apollo. The use of this kind of symbolism is proved by subsequent history. At Delphi was a group of Thracian priests who were the guardians of the high doctrine. The Council of the Amphyctions was formerly defended by a Thracian guard, that is, a guard of initiate warriors. The tyranny of Sparta suppressed this incorruptible army and replaced it with mercenaries of brute force. Later the verb "to thracize" was applied ironically to those faithful to the former doctrine.
47. Strabo confirms positively that ancient poetry was only the language of allegory. Denys of Halicarnassus confirms this, stating that the mysteries of nature and the most sublime concepts of morality have been hidden beneath a veil. Therefore it is not at all a mere metaphor when ancient poetry was called the Language of the Gods. This secret magic meaning which makes for its power and charm is contained in its very name. The majority of linguists have derived the word poetry from the Greek verb poiein, to make, to create. This is simple etymology, and is very natural on the surface, but hardly conforms with the sacred language of the temples, from which primitive poetry came. It is more logical to recognize with Fabre d'Olivet that Poiesis comes from the Phoenician phohe (mouth, voice, language, speech) and from ish (superior being, originating being, figuratively: God). The Etruscan Aes or Aesar, Gallic Aes, Scandinavian Ase, Copit Os (Lord), Egyptian Osiris have the same root. (See also, Wadler, Arnold: One Language, Source of All Tongues, New York, 1948 -- Ed.)
48. Bacchus with a bull's face is found in the 29th Orphic Hymn. It is a recollection of a former cult which in no way belongs to the pure tradition of Orpheus. For the latter completely purified and transfigured the popular Bacchus into the celestial Dionysius, the symbol of the divine Spirit which evolves throughout the kingdoms of nature. We again find the infernal Bacchus of the sorceress Bacchantes in the figure of Satan with a bull's face which the witches of the Middle Ages invoked and worshipped in their nocturnal revels. This is the celebrated Baphomet, of which the Church accused the Knights Templars of being a sect, in order to discredit them. (See Henry Milman: History of Latin Christianity, on the Knights Templars. -- Ed.)
49. A Phoenician word, composed of aur, light, and rophae, healing.
50. Among the numerous lost books which the Orphic writers of Greece attributed to Orpheus was the Argonautics which was concerned with the great Hermetic work; Demetriad, a poem on the mother of the gods, to which a Cosmogony corresponded; the Holy Songs of Bacchus or The pure Spirit, which has as its complement a Theogony, not to mention other works such as The Veil or The Network of Souls, on the art of the Mysteries and rituals; The Book of Mutations, on chemistry and alchemy; The Corybantes, on terrestrial mysteries and earthquakes; the Anemoscopy, on the science of atmospheres, a natural and magical botany, etc....
51. Pausanias tells us that every year a procession made its way from Delphi to the Valley of Tempe to pick the sacred laurel. This symbolic custom reminded Apollo's disciples that they were attached to the Orphic initiation, and that the original sign of Orpheus was the ancient, sturdy tree whose young living branches the priests of Delphi always picked.
This blending of Apollonian and Orphic tradition is to be observed in yet another manner in the history of the temples. In fact, the famous dispute between Apollo and Bacchus over the tripod of the temple has no other meaning. Bacchus, says the legend, gave the tripod to his brother and withdrew to Parnassus. This means that Dionysus and the Orphic initiation remained the privilege of the initiates, while Apollo gave his oracles to the people in general.
52. The cry Evohe, which in reality was pronounced, He Vau He, was the sacred cry of all the initiates of Egypt, Judea, Phoenicia, Asia Minor and Greece. The four sacred letters, pronounced in the following manner: lod (EE) He, Vo, He, represented God in His eternal fusion with nature; they embraced the totality of Being, the Living Universe. lod (Osiris) meant Divinity, strictly speaking, creative intellect, the Eternal Masculine, which is in all things, in all places and above all. He-Vau-He represented the Eternal Feminine, Eve, Isis, Nature, in all the visible and invisible forms engendered by it. The highest initiation, that of the theogonic sciences and the theurgic arts, corresponded to the letter Jod (EE). Another order of sciences corresponded to each of the letters of Eve. Like Moses, Orpheus reserved the sciences which corresponded to the letter Jod (Jove, Zeus, Jupiter) and the idea of the unity of God, to the initiates of the first class, seeking nevertheless to interest the people in it through poetry, the arts and their living symbols. It is for this reason that the cry Evohe was openly proclaimed in the Festivals of Dionysus, where, besides the initiates, the simple aspirants to the Mysteries were admitted.
In this appears all the difference between the work of Moses and the work of Orpheus. Both departed from Egyptian initiation and possessed the same truth, but they applied it in different ways. Moses severely, jealously glorifies the Father, the male God. He entrusts its care to a sacred priesthood and subjects the people to an implacable discipline without revelation. Orpheus, divinely in love with the External Feminine, with Nature, glorifies her in the name of God, who penetrates her and whom he wishes to make burst forth in a divine humanity. And this is why the cry Evohe became the sacred cry par excellence, in all the Mysteries of Greece. (On Evohe see Rudolf Steiner: Eurythmy as Visible Speech and Visible Song. -- Ed.)
53. The Amphictyonic Oath of the allied peoples gives an idea of the grandeur and social strength of this institution: "We swear never to overthrow the Amphictionic cities, never to turn aside from the things necessary to their needs, whether during peace or war. If any power dares trouble them, we will move against it and we will destroy its cities. Should the impious steal the offerings from the temple of Apollo, we swear that we shall use our feet, arms, voices, all our strength, against them and their accomplices!"
54. In transcendent mathematics, it is demonstrated algebraically that Zero multiplied by Infinity is equal to One. Zero, in the order of absolute ideas, means indeterminate Being. The Infinite, the Eternal in the language of the temples, was indicated by a circle or by a serpent biting its tail, which meant the Infinite moving itself. And, from the moment Infinity becomes determined, it produces all the numbers it contains in its great unity and which it governs in perfect harmony.
This is the transcendent meaning of the first problem of the Pythagorean theogony, the reason which brings it about that the great Monad contains all the small ones, and that all numbers originate from the great Unity in movement.
55. This doctrine is identical with that of the initiate St. Paul, who speaks of the spiritual body. (See Rudolf Steiner: The Bhagavad Gita and the Epistles of St. Paul -- Ed.)
56. One must place Fabre d'Olivet (Golden Verses of Pythagoras) in the first rank of these. This living concept of the forces of the universe permeating it from top to bottom has nothing to do with the empty speculations of the pure metaphysicians, for example, thesis, antithesis and synthesis of Hegel, which are simply intellectual exercises.
57. Certain strange definitions in the form of metaphors which have been transmitted to us and which come from the secret teaching of the master, allow one to surmise the grandiose concept that Pythagoras had of the Cosmos. Speaking of the constellations, he called the Great and Little Dipper: the hands of Rea-Kybele. Now, Rea-Kybele esoterically means astral light returning, the divine wife of the universal fire, or creative spirit which, in concentrating in the solar systems, attracts the non-material essences of beings, grasps them, and causes them to enter the cycle of lives. He also called the planets the Dogs of Proserpine. This unusual expression has no meaning other than an esoteric one. Prosperpine, the goddess of souls, was present at their incarnation into matter. Pythagoras therefore called the planets Dogs of Proserpine because they keep the incarnated souls as the mythological Cerberus guards souls in hell.
58. The law is called Karma by the Brahmans and Buddhists. (See Rudolf Steiner: The Manifestations of Karma, 1910. -- Ed.)
59. The Epiphany or vision from above; the autopsy, or direct view; the theophany, or manifestation of God, are so many correlative ideas and expressions which indicate the state of perfection in which the initiate, having joined his soul to God, contemplates complete Truth.
60. We shall cite two famous absolutely authentic events of this kind. The first took place in Antiquity, and the hero is the famous philosopher-magician, Apollonius of Tyana.
The Second-sight of Apollonius of Tyana. "While these things (the assassination of the Emperor Domitian) were taking place in Rome, Apollonius saw them at Ephesus. Domitian was attacked by Clement around noontime; the same day at the same hour, Apollonius was making a speech in the gardens near the Xystes. Suddenly he lowered his voice a little, as if he had been gripped by a sudden fright. He continued his speech, but his language did not have its usual power, as happens with those who speak while thinking of something else. Then he became silent, like those who have lost the train of their thought. He cast terrified glances toward the earth, moved three or four steps forward, and cried out, 'Kill the tyrant!' One would have said that he saw, not the reflected image of the event as in a mirror, but the event itself in all its reality. The Ephesians (for all Ephesus went to hear Apollonius' speeches) were struck with amazement. Apollonius stopped, like a man who waits to see the outcome of an uncertain event. Finally he cried out, 'Be of good cheer, Ephesians, the tyrant was killed today! What am I saying? -- Today? By Minerva! He was killed at the very instant I interrupted myself!' The Ephesians thought that Apollonius had lost his mind; they indeed hoped that he had told the truth, nevertheless they feared that some danger would result for him from this discourse . . . But soon messengers came to announce the good news and gave testimony in favor of Apollonius' science: for the murder of the tyrant, the day it was consummated, the hour of noon, the author of the murder whom Apollonius had encouraged, -- all these details were in perfect agreement with those the gods had shown him the day of his speech to the Ephesians." -- Life of Apollonius by Philostratus. (See Emil Bock, The Three Years for an account of Apollonius of Tyana -- Ed.)
The Second-sight of Swedenborg: The second event refers to the greatest seer of modern times. One can have reservations regarding the objective reality of Swedenborg's vision, but one cannot doubt his second-sight, attested to by a host of facts. The vision that Swedenborg had at thirty leagues' distance from the fire of Stockholm created an uproar in the second half of the eighteenth century. The famous German philosopher, Kant had an inquiry made by a friend at Gothenburg in Sweden, the city where the event took place, and this is what he writes about it to one of his friends:
"The following occurrence appears to me to have the greatest weight of proof, and to place the assertion respecting Swedenborg's extraordinary gift beyond all possibility of doubt. In the year 1759, toward the end of September, on Saturday, at four o'clock in the afternoon, Swedenborg arrived at Gothenburg from England, when Mr. William Castel invited him to his house, together with a party of fifteen persons. About six o'clock, Swedenborg went out and returned to the company quite pale and alarmed. He said that a dangerous fire had just broken out in Stockholm, at the Södermalm (Gothenburg is about 50 German miles -- about 500 English -- from Stockholm), and that it was spreading very fast. He was restless and went out often. He said that the house of one of his friends, whom he named, was already in ashes and that his own was in danger. At eight o'clock, after he had been out again, he joyfully exclaimed, 'Thank God! The fire is extinguished, the third door from my house.' The news occasioned great commotion throughout the whole city, but particularly amongst the company in which he was. It was announced to the governor the same evening. On Sunday morning, Swedenborg was summoned to the governor, who questioned him concerning the disaster. Swedenborg described the fire precisely, how it had begun, in what manner it had ceased, and how long it had continued. On the same day the news spread through the city, and as the governor had thought it worthy of attention, the consternation was considerably increased, because many were in trouble on account of their friends and property, which might have been involved in the disaster. On Monday evening a messenger arrived at Gothenburg, who was dispatched by the Board of Trade during the time of the fire. In the letters brought by him, the fire was described precisely in the manner stated by Swedenborg. On Tuesday morning the royal courier arrived at the governor's with the melancholy intelligence of the fire, of the loss which it had occasioned, and of the houses it had damaged and ruined, not in the least differing from that which Swedenborg had given at the very time when it happened; for the fire was extinguished at eight o'clock." -- Letter from Immanuel Kant to Charlotte von Knobloch, written at Königsburg. (Quoted in George Trobridge, Emanuel Swedenborg, Life and Teaching, page 197-8. -- Ed.)
61. This idea comes logically from the human and divine ternary, from the trinity of the Microcosm and Macrocosm which we have discussed in the preceding chapters. The metaphysical correlative of Destiny, Liberty and Providence has been admirably deduced by Fabre d'Olivet in his analysis of The Golden Verses of Pythagoras.
62. This classification of men corresponds to the four stages of Pythagorean initiation, forming the basis of all initiations up to that of the original Free Masons, who possessed a few bits of esoteric doctrine. (See Fabre d'Olivet, The Golden Verses of Pythagoras.)
63. This is the version of Diogenes of Laërte on Pythagoras' death. According to Dicearcus, quoted by Porphyrus, the master probably escaped destruction, along with Archippus and Lysis. But he doubtless wandered from city to city until reaching Metapontus, where he let himself die of hunger in the Temple of the Muses. The inhabitants of Metapontus claim, on the other hand, that the sage, welcomed by them, died peacefully in their city. They showed his house, his seat and tomb to Cicero. It should be noted that a long time after the master's death, the cities which had persecuted Pythagoras at the time of the change, claim the honor of having sheltered and saved him. The cities around the Gulf of Tarentum fought over the philosopher's ashes with the same ferocity that the cities of Iona struggled over the honor of having given birth to Homer.
64. In the language of the temples, the term "son of woman" designated the lower stage of initiation, woman meaning here, nature. Above these were "sons of men" or initiates of Spirit and Soul; "the sons of the gods" or initiates of cosmogonic science, and "Sons of God" or initiates of the supreme science. Pythia calls the Persians "sons of women," designating them thus from the nature of their religion. Taken literally, her words would not have any meaning.
65. "These are still to be seen in Minerva's garden," said Herodotus, VIII, 39. The Gallic invasion which took place two hundred years later was repelled in a similar manner. There again a storm gathers, lightning falls on the Gauls at intervals, the earth trembles under their feet, they see supernatural appearances, and the Temple of Apollo is saved. These facts seem to prove that the priests of Delphi possessed the science of cosmic fire, and knew how to manipulate electricity through secret powers like the Chaldean magi. (See Amedee Thierry, Histoire des Gaulois, I, 246).
66. Contemporary science would see in these facts only simple hallucinations or suggestions. The science of ancient esoterism attributed both a subjective and objective value to this kind of phenomenon, which was frequently produced in the Mysteries. It believed in the existence of elemental spirits without an individualized soul and without reason. Half-conscious, they fill the earthly atmosphere and are in some way the souls of the elements. Magic, which is will put into action in the manipulation of secret powers, makes these beings visible at times. Heraclitus speaks of them when he says, "Nature, in all places is full of daemons." Plato calls them daemons of the elements, Paracelsus names them elementals. According to Paracelsus they are attracted by the magnetic atmosphere of man, are electrified and are capable of assuming all imaginable human forms. The more man is given over to his passions, the more he becomes their prey without being aware of it. The magus alone subdues them and uses them. But they constitute a sphere of deceiving illusions and follies which it is necessary to master and pass upon one's entrance into the spiritual world. Bulwer Lytton calls them "the guardian of the threshold" in his unusual novel, Zanoni.
67. This is the tree of dreams mentioned by Virgil in the descent of Aeneus into hell, in the sixth book of the Aeneid, which reproduces the main scenes of the Mysteries of Eleusis with poetic amplifications.
68. The gold objects contained in the cist were the pine cone (symbol of fertility and generation), the spiral serpent (universal evolution of the soul; fall into matter and redemption by the spirit); the egg (recalling the sphere of divine perfection, the goal of man.)
69. These mysterious words have no meaning in Greek. This proves that they are very ancient, and come from the Orient. Wilford gives them a Sanscrit origin. Knox would come from Kansha, meaning object of the greatest desire; Om from Urn, the soul of Brahma, and Pax from Pasha, tour, exchange, cycle. The supreme blessing of the hierophant of Eleusis means therefore: "May your desires be fulfilled; return to the universal Soul!"
70. How did Jesus become the Messiah? This is the original, most fundamental question in the concept of the Christ, but the problem cannot be solved without intuition and without esoteric tradition. It is with this esoteric light, this inner flame of all religions, this central truth of all fertile philosophy, that I have attempted to reconstruct the life of Jesus in broad outline, while taking into account all the previous work of historical criticism which has prepared the way. As far as what concerns the historical and relative value of the Gospels, I have taken the three Synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke) as a basis, and John's Gospel as the arcanum of the esoteric doctrine of Christ, at the same time allowing for the posterior composition and symbolic tendency of this Gospel.
The four Gospels, which must be compared with each other, are equally authentic, but in different ways. Matthew and Mark are the valuable Gospels of the letter and fact; the public acts and speeches are found there. Gentle Luke lets the meaning of the Mysteries be partly seen beneath the poetic veil of legend. This is the Gospel of the Soul, of Woman and of Love, John unveils these mysteries. One finds with him the deep foundation of the doctrine, the secret teaching, the meaning of the Promise, the esoteric reserve. Clement of Alexandria, one of the rare Christian bishops who possessed the key of universal esoterism, has well called it "the Gospel of the Spirit." John has a profound view of the transcendent truths revealed by the Master and a powerful way of summarizing them. His symbol is the Eagle, whose wings fly through space, and whose flaming eye observes the deepest secrets. (See also Rudolf Steiner's book, Christianity as Mystical Fact and the Mysteries of Antiquity, as well as his published lecture cycles on the four Gospels. Emil Bock's Studies in the Gospels and his The Three Years also contain useful material.--Ed.)
71. Points in common between the Essenes and Pythagoreans: Prayer at sunrise; linen clothing; fraternal love-feasts; novitiate of one year; three stages of initiation; organization of the Order and community of property arranged by trustees; law of silence; oath of the Mysteries; division of teaching into three parts: 1) science of universal principles or theogony, which Philo calls Logic; 2) Physics or cosmogony; 3) morality, that is, everything that deals with man, the science to which the Therapeuts would be dedicated. (See also Rudolf Steiner's lecture cycle on the Gospel of Matthew and Bock's The Three Years-Ed.)
72. Points in common between the teaching of the Essenes and that of Jesus: Love of one's neighbor as a first duty; prohibition of an oath in attesting to truth as a witness; hatred of the lie; humility; institution of the Supper borrowed from the love-feasts, but with an entirely new meaning, that of Sacrifice.
73. Book of Enoch, Chapters 48 and 61. This passage proves that the doctrine of the Word and the Trinity found in John's Gospel existed in Israel long before the time of Jesus, and came from the depths of esoteric prophecy. In the apocryphal Book of Enoch, The Lord of Spirits represents the Father; The Elect, the Son, the Chosen One; The Other Force, the Holy Spirit.
The Great Initiates