To grasp the real and primitive sense of the term IAQ, and the reason of its becoming the designation for the most mysterious of all deities, we must search for its origin in the
§ "Evan das Land zwischen dem Indus und Tigris."
** Asi means, moreover, "Thou art," in Sanscrit, and also "sword," "Asi," without the accent on the first vowel. ff Professor A. Wilder.
figurative phraseology of all the primitive people. We must first of all go to the most ancient sources for our information. In one of the Books of Hermes, for instance, we find him saying that the number TEN is the mother of the soul, and that the life and light are therein united. For "the number 1 (one) is born from the spirit, and the number 10 (ten) from matter";* "the unity has made the TEN, the TEN the unity."+
The kabalistic gematria — one of the methods for extracting the hidden meaning from letters, words, and sentences — is arithmetical. It consists in applying to the letters of a word the sense they bear as numbers, in outward shape as well as in their individual sense. Moreover, by the Themura (another method used by the kabalists) any word could be made to yield its mystery out of its anagram. Thus, we find the author of Sepher Jezira saying, one or two centuries before our era:} "ONE, the spirit of the Alahim of Lives."§ So again, in the oldest kabalistic diagrams, the ten Sephiroth are represented as wheels or circles, and Adam Kadmon, the primitive man, as an upright pillar. "Wheels and seraphim and the holy creatures" (chioth), says Rabbi
* These sacred anagrams were called "Zeruph."
f "Book of Numbers, or Book of the Keys."
J The "Jezira," or book of the creation, was written by Rabbi Akiba, who was the teacher and instructor of Simeon Ben Iochai, who was called the prince of the kabalists, and wrote the "Sohar." Franck asserts that "Jezira" was written one century B.C. ("Die Kabbala," 65), but other and as competent judges make it far older. At all events, it is now proved that Simeon Ben Iochai lived before the second destruction of the temple.
Akiba.** In another system of the same branch of the symbolical Kabala, called Athbach — which arranges the letters of the alphabet by pairs in three rows — all the couples in the first row bear the numerical value ten; and in the system of Simeon Ben-Shetah,++ the uppermost couple — the most sacred of all, is preceded by the Pythagorean cipher, one and a nought, or zero —10.
If we can once appreciate the fact that, among all the peoples of the highest antiquity, the most natural conception of the First Cause manifesting itself in its creatures, and that to this they could not but ascribe the creation of all, was that of an androgyne deity; that the male principle was considered the vivifying invisible spirit, and the female, mother nature; we shall be enabled to understand how that mysterious cause came at first to be represented (in the picture-writings, perhaps) as the combination of the Alpha and Omega of numbers, a decimal, then as IAO, a trilateral name, containing in itself a deep allegory.
IAQ, in such a case, would — etymologically considered — mean the "Breath of Life," generated or springing forth between an upright male and an egg-shaped female principle of nature; for, in Sanscrit, as means "to be," "to live or exist"; and originally it meant "to breathe." "From it," says Max Müller, "in its original sense of breathing, the Hindus formed
** Ibid. See the constancy with which Ezekiel sticks in his vision to the "wheels" of the "living creatures" (ch. 1., passim).
ff He was an Alexandrian Neo-platonic under the first of the Ptolemies.
'asu,' breath, and 'asura,' the name of God, whether it meant the breathing one or the giver of breath."* It certainly meant the latter. In Hebrew, "Ah" and "Iah" mean life. Cornelius Agrippa, in his treatise on the Preeminence of Woman, shows that "the word Eve suggests comparison with the mystic symbols of the kabalists, the name of the woman having affinity with the ineffable Tetragrammaton, the most sacred name of the divinity." Ancient names were always consonant with the things they represented. In relation to the mysterious name of the Deity in question, the hitherto inexplicable hint of the kabalists as to the efficacy of the letter H, "which Abram took away from his wife Sarah" and "put into the middle of his own name," becomes clear.
It may perhaps be argued, by way of objection, that it is not ascertained as yet at what period of antiquity the nought occurs for the first time in Indian manuscripts or inscriptions. Be that as it may, the case presents circumstantial evidence of too strong a character not to carry a conviction of probability with it. According to Max Müller "the two words 'cipher' and 'zero,' which are in reality but one . . . are sufficient to prove that our figures are borrowed from the Arabs."+ Cipher is the Arabic "cifron," and means empty, a translation of the Sanscrit name of the nought "synya," he says. The Arabs had their figures from Hindustan, and never claimed the discovery for themselves.} As to the Pythagoreans, we need but turn to the ancient manuscripts of Boethius's Geometry, composed in the sixth century, to find in the Pythagorean numerals§ the 1 and the nought, as the first and final cipher. And Porphyry, who quotes from the Pythagorean Moderatus,** says that the numerals of Pythagoras were "hieroglyphical symbols, by means whereof he explained ideas concerning the nature of things."
Now, if the most ancient Indian manuscripts show as yet no trace of decimal notation in them, Max Müller states very clearly that until now he has found but nine letters (the initials of the Sanscrit numerals) in them — on the other hand we have records as ancient to supply the wanted proof. We speak of the sculptures and the sacred imagery in the most ancient temples of the far East. Pythagoras derived his knowledge from India; and we find Professor Max Müller corroborating this statement, at least so far as allowing the Neo-Pythagoreans to have been the first teachers of "ciphering" among the Greeks and Romans; that "they, at Alexandria, or in Syria, became acquainted with the Indian figures, and adapted them to the Pythagorean abacus" (our figures). This cautious allowance implies that Pythagoras himself was acquainted with but nine figures. So that we might reasonably answer that although we possess no certain proof that the decimal notation was known to Pythagoras, who lived on the very close of the archaic ages,++ we yet have
§ See King's "Gnostics and their Remains," plate xiii.
sufficient evidence to show that the full numbers, as given by Boethius, were known to the Pythagoreans, even before Alexandria was built.* This evidence we find in Aristotle, who says that "some philosophers hold that ideas and numbers are of the same nature, and amount to Ten in all."+ This, we believe, will be sufficient to show that the decimal notation was known among them at least as early as four centuries B.C., for Aristotle does not seem to treat the question as an innovation of the "Neo-Pythagoreans."
Besides, as we have remarked above, the representations of the archaic deities, on the walls of the temples, are of themselves quite suggestive enough. So, for instance, Vishnu is represented in the Kurmavatara (his second avatar) as a tortoise sustaining a circular pillar, on which the semblance of himself (Maya, or the illusion) sits with all his attributes.
While one hand holds a flower, another a club, the third a shell, the fourth, generally the upper one, or at the right — holds on his forefinger, extended as the cipher 1, the chakra, or discus, which resembles a ring, or a wheel, and might be taken for the nought. In his first avatar, the Matsyavatam, when emerging from the fish's mouth, he is represented in the same position.} The ten-armed Durga of Bengal; the ten-headed Ravana, the giant; Parvati — as Durga, Indra, and Indrani, are found with this attribute, which is a perfect
* This city was built 332 B. C. f "Metaph." vii. F.
J See drawings from the Temple of Rama, Coleman's "Mythology of the Hindus" New York: J. W. Bouton, Publisher.
representation of the May-pole. §
The holiest of the temples among the Hindus, are those of Jaggarnath. This deity is worshipped equally by all the sects of India, and Jaggarnath is named "The Lord of the World." He is the god of the Mysteries, and his temples, which are most numerous in Bengal, are all of a pyramidal form.
There is no other deity which affords such a variety of etymologies as Iaho, nor a name which can be so variously pronounced. It is only by associating it with the Masoretic points that the later Rabbins succeeded in making Jehovah read "Adonai'" — or Lord. Philo Byblus spells it in Greek letters IEYQ — IEOV. Theodoret says that the Samaritans pronounced it Iabe (Yahva) and the Jews Yaho; which would make it as we have shown I-ah-O. Diodorus states that "among the Jews they relate that Moses called the God Iao." It is on the authority of the Bible itself, therefore, that we maintain that before his initiation by Jethro, his father-in-law, Moses had never known the word Iaho. The future Deity of the sons of Israel calls out from the burning bush and gives His name as "I am that I am," and specifies carefully that He is the "Lord God of the Hebrews" (Exod. iii. 18), not of the other nations. Judging him by his own acts, throughout the Jewish records, we doubt whether Christ himself, had he appeared in the days of the Exodus, would have been welcomed by the irascible Sinaitic Deity. However, "The Lord God," who becomes, on His own confession, Jehovah only in
§ See Hargrave Jennings, "Rosicrucians," p. 252.
the 6th chapter of Exodus (verse 3) finds his veracity put to a startling test in Genesis xxii. 14, in which revealed passage Abraham builds an altar to Jehovah-jireh.
It would seem, therefore, but natural to make a difference between the mystery-God law, adopted from the highest antiquity by all who participated in the esoteric knowledge of the priests, and his phonetic counterparts, whom we find treated with so little reverence by the Ophites and other Gnostics. Once having burdened themselves like the Azazel the of wilderness with the sins and iniquities of the Jewish nation, it now appears hard for the Christians to have to confess that those whom they thought fit to consider the "chosen people" of God — their sole predecessors in monotheism — were, till a very late period, as idolatrous and polytheistic as their neighbors. The shrewd Talmudists have escaped the accusation for long centuries by screening themselves behind the Masoretic invention. But, as in everything else, truth was at last brought to light. We know now that Ihoh mrp must be read Iahoh and Iah, not Jehovah. Iah of the Hebrews is plainly the Iacchos (Bacchus) of the Mysteries; the God "from whom the liberation of souls was expected — Dionysus, Iacchos, Iahoh, Iah."* Aristotle then was right when he said: "Jon HIT was Oromasdes and Ahriman Pluto, for the God of heaven, Ahura-mazda, rides on a chariot which the Horse of the Sun follows."+ And Dunlap
* K. O. Müller, "History of Greek Literature," p. 283; "Movers," pp. 547-553; Dunlap, "Sod, the Mysteries of Adoni," p. 21.
f See "Universal History," vol. v., p. 301.
quotes Psalm lxviii. 4, which reads:
"Praise him by his name Iach (n1),
Who rides upon the heavens, as on a horse,"
and then shows that "the Arabs represented Iauk (Iach) by a horse. The Horse of the Sun (Dionysus)."} Iah is a softening of Iach, "he explains." n ch and H h interchange; so s softens to h. The Hebrews express the idea of Life both by a ch and an h; as chiach, to be, hiah, to be; Iach, God of Life, Iah, "I am. "§ Well then may we repeat these lines of Ausonius:
"Ogugia calls me Bacchus; Egypt thinks me Osiris;
The Musians name me Ph'anax; the Indi consider me
The Roman Mysteries call me Liber; the Arabian race
And the chosen people Adoni and Jehovah — we may add.
How little the philosophy of the old secret doctrine was understood, is illustrated in the atrocious persecutions of the Templars by the Church, and in the accusation of their worshipping the Devil under the shape of the goat — Baphomet! Without going into the old Masonic mysteries, there is not a Mason — of those we mean who do know something — but has an idea of the true relation that Baphomet bore to Azaze, the scapegoat of the wilderness,**
** See Leviticus xvi. 8, 10, and other verses relating to the biblical goat in the original texts.
whose character and meaning are entirely perverted in the Christian translations. "This terrible and venerable name of God," says Lanci,* librarian to the Vatican, "through the pen of biblical glossers, has been a devil, a mountain, a wilderness, and a he-goat." In Mackenzie's Royal Masonic Cyclopedia, the author very correctly remarks that "this word should be divided into Azaz and El," for "it signifies God of Victory, but is here used in the sense of author of Death, in contrast to Jehovah, the author of Life; the latter received a dead goat as an offering."+ The Hindu Trinity is composed of three personages, which are convertible into one. The Trimurti is one, and in its abstraction indivisible, and yet we see a metaphysical division taking place from the first, and while Brahma, though collectively representing the three, remains behind the scenes, Vishnu is the Life-Giver, the Creator, and the Preserver, and Siva is the Destroyer, and the Death-giving deity. "Death to the Life-Giver, life to the Death-dealer. The symbolical antithesis is grand and beautiful," says Gliddon.} "Deus est Demon inversus" of the kabalists now becomes clear. It is but the intense and cruel desire to crush out the last vestige of the old philosophies by perverting their meaning, for fear that their own dogmas should not be rightly fathered on them, which impels the Catholic Church to carry on such a systematic persecution in regard to Gnostics, Kabalists, and even the comparatively innocent Masons.
* "Sagra Scrittura," and "Paralipomeni." f Article "Goat," p. 257.
J "Types of Mankind," p. 600; "Royal Masonic Cyclopedia."
Alas, alas! How little has the divine seed, scattered broadcast by the hand of the meek Judean philosopher, thrived or brought forth fruit.
He, who himself had shunned hypocrisy, warned against public prayer, showing such contempt for any useless exhibition of the same, could he but cast his sorrowful glance on the earth, from the regions of eternal bliss, would see that this seed fell neither on sterile rock nor by the way-side. Nay, it took deep root in the most prolific soil; one enriched even to plethora with lies and human gore!
"For, if the truth of God hath more abounded, through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" naively inquires Paul, the best and sincerest of all the apostles. And he then adds: "Let us do evil, that good may come!" (Romans iii. 7, 8). This is a confession which we are asked to believe as having been a direct inspiration from God! It explains, if it does not excuse, the maxim adopted later by the Church that "it is an act of virtue to deceive and lie, when by such means the interests of the Church might be promoted. "§ A maxim applied in its fullest sense by that accomplished professor in forgery, the Armenian Eusebius; or yet, that innocent-looking bible-kaleidoscopist — Ireneus. And these men were followed by a whole army of pious assassins, who, in the meanwhile, had improved upon the system of deceit, by proclaiming that it was lawful even to
§ "Ecclesiastical History," vol. i., pp. 381, 382. Read the whole quotations to appreciate the doctrine in full.
kill, when by murder they could enforce the new religion. Theophilus, "that perpetual enemy of peace and virtue," as the famous bishop was called; Cyril, Athanasius, the murderer of Arius, and a host of other canonized "Saints," were all but too worthy successors of Saint Constantine, who drowned his wife in boiling water; butchered his little nephew; murdered, with his own pious hand, two of his brothers-in-law; killed his own son Crispus, bled to death several men and women, and smothered in a well an old monk. However, we are told by Eusebius that this Christian Emperor was rewarded by a vision of Christ himself, bearing his cross, who instructed him to march to other triumphs, inasmuch as he would always protect him!
It is under the shade of the Imperial standard, with its famous sign, "In hoc signo vinces," that "visionary" Christianity, which had crept on since the days of Iren^nus, arrogantly proclaimed its rights in the full blaze of the sun. The Labarum had most probably furnished the model for the true cross, which was "miraculously," and agreeably to the Imperial will, found a few years later. Nothing short of such a remarkable vision, impiously doubted by some severe critics — Dr. Lardner for one — and a fresh miracle to match, could have resulted in the finding of a cross where there had never before been one. Still, we have either to believe the phenomenon or dispute it at the risk of being treated as infidels; and this, notwithstanding that upon a careful computation we would find that the fragments of the "true Cross" had multiplied themselves even more miraculously than the five loaves in the invisible bakery, and the two fishes. In all cases like this, where miracles can be so conveniently called in, there is no room for dull fact. History must step out that fiction may step in.
If the alleged founder of the Christian religion is now, after the lapse of nineteen centuries, preached — more or less unsuccessfully however — in every corner of the globe, we are at liberty to think that the doctrines attributed to him would astonish and dismay him more than any one else. A system of deliberate falsification was adopted from the first. How determined Iren^us was to crush truth and build up a Church of his own on the mangled remains of the seven primitive churches mentioned in the Revelation, may be inferred from his quarrel with Ptolem^us. And this is again a case of evidence against which no blind faith can prevail. Ecclesiastical history assures us that Christ's ministry was but of three years' duration. There is a decided discrepancy on this point between the first three synoptics and the fourth gospel; but it was left for Iren^us to show to Christian posterity that so early as A.D. 180 — the probable time when this Father wrote his works against heresies — even such pillars of the Church as himself either knew nothing certain about it, or deliberately lied and falsified dates to support their own views. So anxious was the worthy Father to meet every possible objection against his plans, that no falsehood, no sophistry, was too much for him. How are we to understand the following; and who is the falsifier in this case? The argument of Ptolem^us was that Jesus was too young to have taught anything of much importance; adding that "Christ preached for one year only, and then suffered in the twelfth month." In this Ptolemeus was very little at variance with the gospels. But Ireneus, carried by his object far beyond the limits of prudence, from a mere discrepancy between one and three years, makes it ten and even twenty years! "Destroying his (Christ's) whole work, and robbing him of that age which is both necessary and more honorable than any other; that more advanced age, I mean, during which also, as a teacher, he excelled all others." And then, having no certain data to furnish, he throws himself back on tradition, and claims that Christ had preached for over TEN years! (book ii., c. 22, pp. 4, 5). In another place he makes Jesus fifty years old.
But we must proceed in our work of showing the various origins of Christianity, as also the sources from which Jesus derived his own ideas of God and humanity.
The Koinobi lived in Egypt, where Jesus passed his early youth. They were usually confounded with the Therapeute, who were a branch of this widely-spread society. Such is the opinion of Godfrey Higgins and De Rebold. After the downfall of the principal sanctuaries, which had already begun in the days of Plato, the many different sects, such as the Gymnosophists and the Magi — from whom Clearchus very erroneously derives the former — the Pythagoreans, the Sufis, and the Reshees of Kashmere, instituted a kind of international and universal Freemasonry, among their esoteric societies. "These Rashees," says Higgins, "are the
Essenians, Carmelites, or Nazarites of the temple."* "That occult science known by ancient priests under the name of regenerating fire," says Father Rebold, " . . . a science that for more than 3,000 years was the peculiar possession of the Indian and Egyptian priesthood, into the knowledge of which Moses was initiated at Heliopolis, where he was educated; and Jesus among the Essenian priests of Egypt or Judea; and by which these two great reformers, particularly the latter, wrought many of the miracles mentioned in the Scriptures."+
Plato states that the mystic Magian religion, known under the name of Machagistia, is the most uncorrupted form of worship in things divine. Later, the Mysteries of the Chaldean sanctuaries were added to it by one of the Zoroasters and Darius Hystaspes. The latter completed and perfected it still more with the help of the knowledge obtained by him from the learned ascetics of India, whose rites were identical with those of the initiated Magi.} Ammian, in his history of
f Quoted in the "Seers of the Ages," by J. M. Peebles.
J We hold to the idea — which becomes self-evident when the Zoroastrian imbroglio is considered — that there were, even in the days of Darius, two distinct sacerdotal castes of Magi: the initiated and those who were allowed to officiate in the popular rites only. We see the same in the Eleusinian Mysteries. Belonging to every temple there were attached the "hierophants" of the inner sanctuary, and the secular clergy who were not even instructed in the Mysteries. It is against the absurdities and superstitions of the latter that Darius revolted, and "crushed them," for the inscription of his tomb shows that he was a "hierophant" and a Magian himself. It is also but the exoteric rites of this
Julian's Persian expedition, gives the story by stating that one day Hystaspes, as he was boldly penetrating into the unknown regions of Upper India, had come upon a certain wooded solitude, the tranquil recesses of which were "occupied by those exalted sages, the Brachmanes (or Shamans). Instructed by their teaching in the science of the motions of the world and of the heavenly bodies, and in pure religious rites . . . he transfused them into the creed of the Magi. The latter, coupling these doctrines with their own peculiar science of foretelling the future, have handed down the whole through their descendants to succeeding ages." * It is from these descendants that the Sufis, chiefly composed of Persians and Syrians, acquired their proficient knowledge in astrology, medicine, and the esoteric doctrine of the ages. "The Sufi doctrine," says C. W. King, "involved the grand idea of one universal creed which could be secretly held under any profession of an outward faith; and, in fact, took virtually the same view of religious systems as that in which the ancient philosophers had regarded such matters."+ The mysterious Druzes of Mount Lebanon are the descendants of all these. Solitary Copts, earnest students scattered hither and thither throughout the sandy solitudes of Egypt, Arabia, class of Magi which descended to posterity, for the great secresy in which were preserved the "Mysteries" of the true Chaldean Magi was never violated, however much guess-work may have been expended on them.
f "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 185.
Petrea, Palestine, and the impenetrable forests of Abyssinia, though rarely met with, may sometimes be seen. Many and various are the nationalities to which belong the disciples of that mysterious school, and many the side-shoots of that one primitive stock. The secresy preserved by these sub-lodges, as well as by the one and supreme great lodge, has ever been proportionate to the activity of religious persecutions; and now, in the face of the growing materialism, their very existence is becoming a mystery.}
J These are truths which cannot fail to impress themselves upon the minds of earnest thinkers. While the Ebionites, Nazarites, Hemerobaptists, Lampseans, Sabians, and the many other earliest sects which wavered later between the varying dogmatisms suggested to them by the esoteric and misunderstood parables of the Nazarene teacher, whom they justly regarded as a prophet, there were men, for whose names we would vainly search history, who preserved the secret doctrines of Jesus as pure and unadulterated as they had been received. And still, even all these above-mentioned and conflicting sects were far more orthodox in their Christianity, or rather Christism, than the Churches of Constantine and Rome. "It was a strange fate that befell these unfortunate people" (the Ebionites), says Lord Amberley, "when, overwhelmed by the flood of heathenism that had swept into the Church, they were condemned as heretics. Yet, there is no evidence that they had ever swerved from the doctrines of Jesus, or of the disciples who knew him in his lifetime. . . . Jesus himself was circumcised . . . reverenced the temple at Jerusalem as 'a house of prayer for all nations.' . . . But the torrent of progress swept past the Ebionites, and left them stranded on the shore" ("An Analysis of Religious Beliefs," by Viscount Amberley, vol. i., p. 446).
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