There is another hypothesis possible, which is that Zero-Ishtar was the high priest of the Chaldean worship, or Magian hierophant. When the Aryans of Persia, under Darius Hystaspes, overthrew the Magian Gomates, and restored the Masdean worship, there ensued an amalgamation by which the Magian Zoro-astar became the Zara-tushra of the Vendidad. This was not acceptable to the other Aryans, who adopted the Vedic religion as distinguished from that of Avesta. But this is but an hypothesis.
And whatever Moses is now believed to have been, we will demonstrate that he was an initiate. The Mosaic religion was at best a sun-and-serpent worship, diluted, perhaps, with some slight monotheistic notions before the latter were forcibly crammed into the so-called "inspired Scriptures" by Ezra, at the time he was alleged to have rewritten the Mosaic books. At all events the Book of Numbers was a later book; and there the sun-and-serpent worship is as plainly traceable as in any Pagan story. The tale of the fiery serpents is an allegory in more than one sense. The "serpents" were the Levites or Ophites, who were Moses' body-guard (see Exodus xxxii. 26); and the command of the "Lord" to Moses to hang the heads of the people "before the Lord against the sun," which is the emblem of this Lord, is unequivocal.
The nazars or prophets, as well as the Nazarenes, were an anti-Bacchus caste, in so far that, in common with all the initiated prophets, they held to the spirit of the symbolical religions and offered a strong opposition to the idolatrous and exoteric practices of the dead letter. Hence, the frequent stoning of the prophets by the populace and under the leadership of those priests who made a profitable living out of the popular superstitions. Otfried Müller shows how much the Orphic Mysteries differed from the popular rites of Bacchus,* although the Orphikoi are known to have followed the worship of Bacchus. The system of the purest morality and of a severe asceticism promulgated in the teachings of Orpheus, and so strictly adhered to by his votaries, are incompatible with the lasciviousness and gross immorality of the popular rites. The fable of Aristeus pursuing Eurydike into the woods where a serpent occasions her death, is a very plain allegory, which was in part explained at the earliest times. Aristeus is brutal power, pursuing Eurydike, the esoteric doctrine, into the woods where the serpent (emblem of every sun-god, and worshipped under its grosser aspect even by the Jews) kills her; i.e., forces truth to become still more esoteric, and seek shelter in the Underworld, which is not the hell of our theologians. Moreover, the fate of Orpheus, torn to pieces by the Bacchantes, is another allegory to show that the gross and popular rites are always more welcome than divine but simple truth, and proves the great difference that must have existed between the esoteric and the popular worship. As the poems of both Orpheus and Mus^us were
* Otfried Müller, "Historical Greek Literature," pp. 230-240.
said to have been lost since the earliest ages, so that neither Plato nor Aristotle recognized anything authentic in the poems extant in their time, it is difficult to say with precision what constituted their peculiar rites. Still we have the oral tradition, and every inference to draw therefrom; and this tradition points to Orpheus as having brought his doctrines from India. As one whose religion was that of the oldest Magians — hence, that to which belonged the initiates of all countries, beginning with Moses, the "sons of the Prophets," and the ascetic nazars (who must not be confounded with those against whom thundered Hosea and other prophets) to the Essenes. This latter sect were Pythagoreans before they rather degenerated, than became perfected in their system by the Buddhist missionaries, whom Pliny tells us established themselves on the shores of the Dead Sea, ages before his time, "per s^culorum millia." But if, on the one hand, these Buddhist monks were the first to establish monastic communities and inculcate the strict observance of dogmatic conventual rule, on the other they were also the first to enforce and popularize those stern virtues so exemplified by Sakya-muni, and which were previously exercised only in isolated cases of well-known philosophers and their followers; virtues preached two or three centuries later by Jesus, practiced by a few Christian ascetics, and gradually abandoned, and even entirely forgotten by the Christian Church.
The initiated nazars had ever held to this rule, which had to be followed before them by the adepts of every age; and the disciples of John were but a dissenting branch of the Essenes. Therefore, we cannot well confound them with all the nazars spoken of in the Old Testament, and who are accused by Hosea with having separated or consecrated themselves to Bosheth, ( see Hebrew text ) which implied the greatest possible abomination. To infer, as some critics and theologians do, that it means to separate one's self to chastity or continence, is either to advisedly pervert the true meaning, or to be totally ignorant of the Hebrew language. The eleventh verse of the first chapter of Micah half explains the word in its veiled translation: "Pass ye away, thou inhabitant of Saphir, etc.," and in the original text the word is Bosheth. Certainly neither Baal, nor Iahoh Kadosh, with his Kadeshim, was a god of ascetic virtue, albeit the Septuaginta terms them, as well as the galli — the perfected priests — T£T£Á£a|j.£voug, the initiated and the consecrated. *
The great Sod of the Kadeshim, translated in Psalm lxxxix. 7, by "assembly of the saints," was anything but a mystery of the "sanctified" in the sense given to the latter word by Webster.
The Nazireate sect existed long before the laws of Moses, and originated among people most inimical to the "chosen" ones of Israel, viz., the people of Galilee, the ancient olla-podrida of idolatrous nations, where was built Nazara, the present Nazareth. It is in Nazara that the ancient Nazoria or Nazireates held their "Mysteries of Life" or "assemblies," as
the word now stands in the translation, + which were but the secret mysteries of initiation,} utterly distinct in their practical form from the popular Mysteries which were held at Byblus in honor of Adonis. While the true initiates of the ostracised Galilee were worshipping the true God and enjoying transcendent visions, what were the "chosen" ones about? Ezekiel tells it to us (chap. viii) when, in describing what he saw, he says that the form of a hand took him by a lock of his head and transported him from Chaldea unto Jerusalem. "And there stood seventy men of the senators of the house of Israel. . . . 'Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients . . . do in the dark?' " inquires the "Lord." "At the door of the house of the Lord . . . behold there sat women weeping for Tammuz" (Adonis). We really cannot suppose that the Pagans have ever surpassed the "chosen" people in certain shameful abominations of which their own prophets accuse them so profusely. To admit this truth, one hardly needs even to be a Hebrew scholar; let him read the Bible in English and meditate over the language of the "holy" prophets.
This accounts for the hatred of the later Nazarenes for the orthodox Jews — followers of the exoteric Mosaic Law — who are ever taunted by this sect with being the worshippers of Iurbo-Adunai, or Lord Bacchus. Passing under the disguise of Adoni-Iachoh (original text, Isaiah lxi. 1), Iahoh and Lord Sabaoth, the Baal-Adonis, or Bacchus, worshipped in the f "Codex Nazarxus," ii., 305. J See Lucian, "De Syria Dea."
groves and public sods or Mysteries, under the polishing hand of Ezra becomes finally the later-vowelled Adonai of the Massorah — the One and Supreme God of the Christians!
"Thou shalt not worship the Sun who is named Adunai," says the Codex of the Nazarenes; "whose name is also Kadush* and
El-El. This Adunai will elect to himself a nation and congregate in crowds (his worship will be exoteric) . . . Jerusalem will become the refuge and city of the Abortive, who shall perfect themselves (circumcise) with a sword . . . and shall adore Adunai."+
The oldest Nazarenes, who were the descendants of the Scripture nazars, and whose last prominent leader was John the Baptist, although never very orthodox in the sight of the scribes and Pharisees of Jerusalem were, nevertheless, respected and left unmolested. Even Herod "feared the multitude" because they regarded John as a prophet (Matthew xiv. 5). But the followers of Jesus evidently adhered to a sect which became a still more exasperating thorn in their side. It appeared as a heresy within another heresy; for while the nazars of the olden times, the "Sons of the Prophets," were Chaldean kabalists, the adepts of the new dissenting sect showed themselves reformers and innovators from the first. The great similitude traced by some critics between the rites and observances of the earliest Christians and those of the
Essenes may be accounted for without the slightest difficulty. The Essenes, as we remarked just now, were the converts of Buddhist missionaries who had overrun Egypt, Greece, and even Judea at one time, since the reign of Asoka the zealous propagandist; and while it is evidently to the Essenes that belongs the honor of having had the Nazarene reformer, Jesus, as a pupil, still the latter is found disagreeing with his early teachers on several questions of formal observance. He cannot strictly be called an Essene, for reasons which we will indicate further on, neither was he a nazar, or Nazaria of the older sect. What Jesus was, may be found in the Codex Nazarxus, in the unjust accusations of the Bardesanian Gnostics.
"Jesu is Nebu, the false Messiah, the destroyer of the old orthodox religion," says the Codex 4 He is the founder of the sect of the new nazars, and, as the words clearly imply, a follower of the Buddhist doctrine. In Hebrew the word naba abn means to speak of inspiration; and wbn is nebo, a god of wisdom. But Nebo is also Mercury, and Mercury is Buddha in the Hindu monogram of planets. Moreover, we find the Talmudists holding that Jesus was inspired by the genius of Mercury. §
The Nazarene reformer had undoubtedly belonged to one of these sects; though, perhaps, it would be next to impossible to decide absolutely which. But what is self-evident is that he
J Ibid.; Norberg, "Onomasticon," 74.
§ Alph. de Spire, "Fortalicium Fidei," ii., 2.
preached the philosophy of Buddha-Sakyamuni. Denounced by the later prophets, cursed by the Sanhedrim, the nazars — they were confounded with others of that name "who separated themselves unto that shame,"* they were secretly, if not openly persecuted by the orthodox synagogue. It becomes clear why Jesus was treated with such contempt from the first, and deprecatingly called "the Galilean." Nathaniel inquires — "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" (John i. 46) at the very beginning of his career; and merely because he knows him to be a nazar. Does not this clearly hint, that even the older nazars were not really Hebrew religionists, but rather a class of Chaldean theurgists? Besides, as the New Testament is noted for its mistranslations and transparent falsifications of texts, we may justly suspect that the word Nazareth was substituted for that of nasaria, or nozari. That it originally read "Can any good thing come from a nozari, or Nazarene"; a follower of St. John the Baptist, with whom we see him associating from his first appearance on the stage of action, after having been lost sight of for a period of nearly twenty years. The blunders of the Old Testament are as nothing to those of the gospels. Nothing shows better than these self-evident contradictions the system of pious fraud upon which the super-structure of the Messiahship rests. "This is Elias which was for to come," says Matthew of John the Baptist, thus forcing an ancient kabalistic tradition into the frame of evidence (xi. 14). But when addressing the Baptist himself, they ask him (John i. 21), "Art
thou Elias?" "And he saith I am not"! Which knew best — John or his biographer? And which is divine revelation?
The motive of Jesus was evidently like that of Gautama-Buddha, to benefit humanity at large by producing a religious reform which should give it a religion of pure ethics; the true knowledge of God and nature having remained until then solely in the hands of the esoteric sects, and their adepts. As Jesus used oil and the Essenes never used aught but pure water,+ he cannot be called a strict Essene. On the other hand, the Essenes were also "set apart"; they were healers (assaya) and dwelt in the desert as all ascetics did.
But although he did not abstain from wine he could have remained a Nazarene all the same. For in chapter vi. of Numbers, we see that after the priest has waved a part of the hair of a Nazorite for a wave-offering before the Lord, "after that a Nazarene may drink wine" (v. 20). The bitter denunciation by the reformer of the people who would be satisfied with nothing is worded in the following exclamation: "John came neither eating nor drinking and they say: 'He hath a devil.' . . . The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say: 'Behold a man gluttonous and a wine-bibber.' " And yet he was an Essene and Nazarene, for we not only find him sending a message to Herod, to say that he was one of those who cast out demons, and who performed cures, but actually calling himself a prophet and declaring himself f "The Essenes considered oil as a defilement," says Josephus, "Wars," ii., p. 7.
equal to the other prophets.*
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