Gnostic and Nazarene Systems Contrasted with Hindu Myths

When the woman separates herself from her androgyne, and becomes a distinct individuality, the first story is repeated over again. Both the Father and Son, the two Adams, love her beauty; and then follows the allegory of the temptation and fall. It is in the Kabala, as in the Ophite system, in which both the Ophis and the Ophiomorphos are emanations emblematized as serpents, the former representing Eternity, Wisdom, and Spirit (as in the Chaldean Magism of Aspic-worship and Wisdom-Doctrine in the olden

* "Idra Rabba," viii., pp. 107-109. f "Auszuge aus dem Sohar," p. 11.

times), and the latter Cunning, Envy, and Matter. Both spirit and matter are serpents; and Adam Kadmon becomes the Ophis who tempts himself — man and woman — to taste of the "Tree of Good and Evil," in order to teach them the mysteries of spiritual wisdom. Light tempts Darkness, and Darkness attracts Light, for Darkness is matter, and "the Highest Light shines not in its Tenebrx." With knowledge comes the temptation of the Ophiomorphos, and he prevails. The dualism of every existing religion is shown forth by the fall. "I have gotten a man from the Lord," exclaims Eve, when the Dualism, Cain and Abel — evil and good — is born. "And the Adam knew Hua, his woman (astu), and she became pregnant and bore Kin, and she said: Kiniti ais Yava. — I have gained or obtained a husband, even Yava — Is, Ais — man." "Cum arbore peccati Deus creavit seculum."

And now we will compare this system with that of the Jewish Gnostics — the Nazarenes, as well as with other philosophies.

The Ish Amon, the pleroma, or the boundless circle within which lie "all forms," is the Thought of the power divine; it works in Silence, and suddenly light is begotten by darkness; it is called the Second life; and this one produces, or generates the Third. This third light is "the Father of all things that live," as Eua is the "mother of all that live." He is the Creator who calls inert matter into life, through his vivifying spirit, and, therefore, is called the ancient of the world. Abatur is the Father who creates the first Adam, who creates in his turn the second. Abatur opens a gate and walks to the dark water (chaos), and looking down into it, the darkness reflects the image of Himself . . . and lo! a Son is formed — the Logos or Demiurge; Fetahil, who is the builder of the material world, is called into existence. According to the Gnostic dogma, this was the Metatron, the Archangel Gabriel, or messenger of life; or, as the biblical allegory has it, the androgynous Adam-Kadmon again, the Son, who, with his Father's spirit, produces the Anointed, or Adam before his fall.

When Swayambhuva, the "Lord who exists through himself," feels impelled to manifest himself, he is thus described in the Hindu sacred books.

Having been impelled to produce various beings from his own divine substance, he first manifested the waters which developed within themselves a productive seed.

The seed became a germ bright as gold, blazing like the luminary with a thousand beams; and in that egg he was born himself, in the form of Brahma, the great principle of all the beings (Manu, book i., slokas 8, 9).

The Egyptian Kneph, or Chnuphis, Divine Wisdom, represented by a serpent, produces an egg from his mouth, from which issues Phtha. In this case Phtha represents the universal germ, as well as Brahma, who is of the neuter gender, when the final a has a diaresis on it;* otherwise it becomes simply one of the names of the Deity. The former was the model of the Three Lives of the Nazarenes, as that of

* He is the universal and spiritual germ of all things.

the kabalistic "Faces," Pharazupha, which, in its turn, furnished the model for the Christian Trinity of Iren^us and his followers. The egg was the primitive matter which served as a material for the building of the visible universe; it contained, as well as the Gnostic Pleroma, the kabalistic Shekinah, the man and wife, the spirit and life, "whose light includes all other lights" or life-spirits. This first manifestation was symbolized by a serpent, which is at first divine wisdom, but, falling into generation, becomes polluted. Phtha is the heavenly man, the Egyptian Adam-Kadmon, or Christ, who, in conjunction with the female Holy Ghost, the ZOE, produces the five elements, air, water, fire, earth, and ether; the latter being a servile copy from the Buddhist A'd, and his five Dhyana Buddhas, as we have shown in the preceding chapter. The Hindu Swayambhuva-Nara, develops from himself the mother-principle, enclosed within his own divine essence — Nari, the immortal Virgin, who, when impregnated by his spirit, becomes Tanmatra, the mother of the five elements — air, water, fire, earth, and ether. Thus may be shown how from the Hindu cosmogony all others proceed.

Knorr von Rosenroth, busying himself with the interpretation of the Kabala, argues that, "In this first state (of secret wisdom), the infinite God Himself can be understood as 'Father' (of the new covenant). But the Light being let down by the Infinite through a canal into the 'primal Adam,' or Messiah, and joined with him, can be applied to the name SON. And the influx emitted down from him (the Son) to the lower parts (of the universe), can be applied to the character of the Holy Ghost."* Sophia-Achamoth, the half-spiritual, half-material Life, which vivifies the inert matter in the depths of chaos, is the Holy Ghost of the Gnostics, and the Spiritus (female) of the Nazarenes. She is — be it remembered — the sister of Christos, the perfect emanation, and both are children or emanations of Sophia, the purely spiritual and intellectual daughter of Bythos, the Depth. For the elder Sophia is Shekinah, the Face of God, "God's Shekinah, which is his image."+

"The Son Zeus-Belus, or Sol-Mithra is an image of the Father, an emanation from the Supreme Light," says Movers. "He passed for Creator."}

"Philosophers say the first air is anima mundi. But the garment (Shekinah) is higher than the first air, since it is joined closer to the En-Soph, the Boundless."§ Thus Sophia is Shekinah, and Sophia-Achamoth the anima mundi, the astral light of the kabalists, which contains the spiritual and material germs of all that is. For the Sophia-Achamoth, like Eve, of whom she is the prototype, is "the mother of all that live."

There are three trinities in the Nazarene system as well as in the Hindu philosophy of the ante and early Vedic period.

While we see the few translators of the Kabala, the Nazarene Codex, and other abstruse works, hopelessly floundering amid the interminable pantheon of names, unable to agree as to a system in which to classify them, for the one hypothesis contradicts and overturns the other, we can but wonder at all this trouble, which could be so easily overcome. But even now, when the translation, and even the perusal of the ancient Sanscrit has become so easy as a point of comparison, they would never think it possible that every philosophy — whether Semitic, Hamitic, or Turanian, as they call it, has its key in the Hindu sacred works. Still facts are there, and facts are not easily destroyed. Thus, while we find the Hindu trimurti triply manifested as

Nara (or Para-Pouroucha), Agni, Brahma, the Father,

Nari (Manama), Vaya, Vishnu, the Mother,

Viradj (Brahma), Surya, Siva, the Son, and the Egyptian trinity as follows:

Kneph (or Amon), Osiris, a(Horus),the Father,

Khons, Horus, Malouli, the Son;** the Nazarene System runs,

Ferho (Ish-Amon), Mano, Abatur, the Father,

Chaos (dark water), Spiritus Netubto, the Mother,

Fetahil, Ledhaio, Lord Jordan, the Son.

; Champollion, Junior, "Lettres."

The first is the concealed or non-manifested trinity — a pure abstraction. The other the active or the one revealed in the results of creation, proceeding out of the former — its spiritual prototype. The third is the mutilated image of both the others, crystallized in the form of human dogmas, which vary according to the exuberance of the national materialistic fancy.

The Supreme Lord of splendor and of light, luminous and refulgent, before which no other existed, is called Corona (the crown); Lord Ferho, the unrevealed life which existed in the former from eternity; and Lord Jordan — the spirit, the living water of grace.* He is the one through whom alone we can be saved; and thus he answers to the Shekinah, the spiritual garment of En-Soph, or the Holy Ghost. These three constitute the trinity abscondito. The second trinity is composed of the three lives. The first is the similitude of Lord Ferho, through whom he has proceeded forth; and the second Ferho is the King of Light — Mano (Rex Lucis). He is the heavenly life and light, and older than the Architect of heaven and earth. + The second life is Ish Amon (Pleroma), the vase of election, containing the visible thought of the Iordanus Maximus — the type (or its intelligible reflection), the prototype of the living water, who is the "spiritual Jordan."} Third life, which is produced by the other two, is ABATUR (Ab, the Parent or Father). This is the mysterious and decrepit

* "Codex Nazarxus," vol. ii., pp. 47-57. f Ibid., vol. i., p. 145. J Ibid., vol. ii., p. 211.

"Aged of the Aged," the "Ancient Senem sui obtegentem et grandxvum mundi." This latter third Life is the Father of the Demiurge Fetahil, the Creator of the world, whom the Ophites call Ilda-Baoth,§ though Fetahil is the only-begotten one, the reflection of the Father, Abatur, who begets him by looking into the "dark water";** but the Lord Mano, "the Lord of loftiness, the Lord of all genii," is higher than the Father, in this kabalistic Codex — one is purely spiritual, the other material. So, for instance, while Abatur's "only begotten" one is the genius Fetahil, the Creator of the physical world, Lord Mano, the "Lord of Celsitude," who is the son of Him, who is "the Father of all who preach the Gospel," produces also an "only-begotten" one, the Lord Lehdaio, "a just Lord." He is the Christos, the anointed, who pours out the "grace" of the Invisible Jordan, the Spirit of the Highest Crown.

In the Arcanum, "in the assembly of splendor, lighted by Mano, to whom the scintillas of splendor owe their origin," the genii who live in light "rose, they went to the visible Jordan, and flowing water . . . they assembled for a counsel . . . and called forth the Only-Begotten Son of an imperishable image, and who cannot be conceived by reflection, Lebdaio, the just Lord, and sprung from Lebdaio, the just lord, whom the life had produced by his word."++

** Sophia-Achamoth also begets her son Ilda-Baoth, the Demiurge, by looking into chaos or matter, and by coming in contact with it. ff "Codex Nazarxus," vol. ii., p. 109. See "Sod, the Son of the Man," for translation.

Mano is the chief of the seven ^ons, who are Mano (Rex Lucis), Aiar Zivo, Ignis Vivus, Lux, Vita, Aqua Viva (the living water of baptism, the genius of the Jordan), and Ipsa Vita, the chief of the six genii, which form with him the mystic seven. The Nazarene Mano is simply the copy of the Hindu first Manu — the emanation of Manu Swayambhuva — from whom evolve in succession the six other Manus, types of the subsequent races of men. We find them all represented by the apostle-kabalist John in the "seven lamps of fire" burning before the throne, which are the seven spirits of God,"* and in the seven angels bearing the seven vials. Again in Fetahil we recognize the original of the Christian doctrine.

In the Revelation of Joannes Theologos it is said: "I turned and saw in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man . . . his head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire . . . and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace" (i. 13, 14, 15). John here repeats, as is well known, the words of Daniel and Ezekiel. "The Ancient of Days . . . whose hair was white as pure wool . . . etc." And "the appearance of a man . . . above the throne . . . and the appearance of fire, and it had brightness round about."+ The fire being "the glory of the Lord." Fetahil is son of the man, the Third Life, and his upper part is represented as white as snow, while standing near the throne of the living fire he has the appearance of a

f Ezekiel.

flame.

All these "apocalyptic" visions are based on the description of the "white head" of the Sohar, in whom the kabalistic trinity is united. The white head, "which conceals in its cranium the spirit," and which is environed by subtile fire. The "appearance of a man" is that of Adam Kadmon, through which passes the thread of light represented by the fire. Fetahil is the Vir Novissimis (the newest man), the son of Abatur,} the latter being the "man," or the third life,§ now the third personage of the trinity. John sees "one like unto the son of man," holding in his right hand seven stars, and standing between "seven golden candlesticks" (Revelation i.). Fetahil takes his "stand on high," according to the will of his father, "the highest ^on who has seven sceptres," and seven genii, who astronomically represent the seven planets or stars. He stands "shining in the garment of the Lord's, resplendent by the agency of the genii."** He is the Son of his Father, Life, and his mother, Spirit, or Light.++ The Logos is represented in the Gospel according to John as one in whom was "Life, and the life was the light of men" (i. 4). Fetahil is the Demiurge, and his father created the visible universe of matter through him.}} In the Epistle of Paul to the Ephesians (iii. 9), God is said

§ The first androgyne duad being considered a unit in all the secret computations, is, therefore, the Holy Ghost.

** "Codex Nazarxus," vol. iii., p. 59. ff Ibid., vol. i., p. 285. JJ Ibid., vol. i., p. 309, to have "created all things by Jesus." In the Codex the Parent-Life says: "Arise, go, our son first-begotten, ordained for all creatures."* "As the living father hath sent me," says Christ, "God sent his only-begotten son that we might live."+ Finally, having performed his work on earth, Fetahil reascends to his father Abatur. "Et qui, relicto quem procreavit mundo, ad Abatur suum patrem contendit,"% "My father sent me . . . I go to the Father," repeats Jesus.

Laying aside the theological disputes of Christianity which try to blend together the Jewish Creator of the first chapter of Genesis with the "Father" of the New Testament, Jesus states repeatedly of his Father that "He is in secret." Surely he would not have so termed the ever-present "Lord God" of the Mosaic books, who showed Himself to Moses and the Patriarchs, and finally allowed all the elders of Israel to look on Himself. § When Jesus is made to speak of the temple at Jerusalem as of his "Father's house," he does not mean the physical building, which he maintains he can destroy and then again rebuild in three days, but of the temple of Solomon; the wise kabalist, who indicates in his Proverbs that every man is the temple of God, or of his own divine spirit. This term of the "Father who is in secret," we find used as much in the Kabala as in the Codex Nazarxus, and elsewhere. No one has ever seen the

* Ibid., vol. i., p. 287. See "Sod, the Son of the Man," p. 101.

§ "Then went up Moses and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel. And they saw the God of Israel," Exodus xxiv. 9, 10.

wisdom concealed in the "Cranium," and no one has beheld the "Depth" (Bythos). Simon, the Magician, preached "one Father unknown to all."**

We can trace this appellation of a "secret" God still farther back. In the Kabala the "Son" of the concealed Father who dwells in light and glory, is the "Anointed," the Seir-Anpin, who unites in himself all the Sephiroth, he is Christos, or the Heavenly man. It is through Christ that the Pneuma, or the Holy Ghost, creates "all things"

(Ephesians iii. 9), and produces the four elements, air, water, fire, and earth. This assertion is unquestionable, for we find Iren^us basing on this fact his best argument for the necessity of there being four gospels. There can be neither more nor fewer than four — he argues. "For as there are four quarters of the world, and four general winds ( kaqoli;ka pneu;mata ) . . . it is right that she (the Church) should have four pillars. From which it is manifest that the Word, the maker of all, he who sitteth upon the Cherubim . . . as David says, supplicating his advent, 'Thou that sittest between the Cherubim, shine forth!' For the Cherubim also are four-faced and their faces are symbols of the working of the Son of God."++

We will not stop to discuss at length the special holiness of the four-faced Cherubim, although we might, perhaps, show their origin in all the ancient pagodas of India, in the vehans

** Iren^us, "Clementine Homilies," I., xxii., p. 118. ff "Adv. Hxs," III., ii., 18.

(or vehicles) of their chief gods; as likewise we might easily attribute the respect paid to them to the kabalistic wisdom, which, nevertheless, the Church rejects with great horror. But, we cannot resist the temptation to remind the reader that he may easily ascertain the several significances attributed to these Cherubs by reading the Kabala. "When the souls are to leave their abode," says the Sohar, holding to the doctrine of the pre-existence of souls in the world of emanations, "each soul separately appears before the Holy King, dressed in a sublime form, with the features in which it is to appear in this world. It is from this sublime form that the image proceeds" (Sohar, iii., p. 104 ab). Then it goes on to say that the types or forms of these faces "are four in number — those of the angel or man, of the lion, the bull, and the eagle." Furthermore, we may well express our wonder that Iren^us should not have re-enforced his argument for the four gospels — by citing the whole Pantheon of the four-armed Hindu gods!

Ezekiel in representing his four animals, now called Cherubim, as types of the four symbolical beings, which, in his visions support the throne of Jehovah, had not far to go for his models. The Chaldeo-Babylonian protecting genii were familiar to him; the Sed, Alap or Kirub (Cherubim), the bull, with the human face; the Nirgal, human-headed lion; Oustour the Sphinx-man; and the Nathga, with its eagle's head. The religion of the masters — the idolatrous Babylonians and Assyrians — was transferred almost bodily into the revealed Scripture of the Captives, and from thence came into Christianity.

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