Nazareans Ophites and Modern Druzes

What the actual Baptists, el-Mogtasila, or Nazareans, do the two figures standing beside the cross as Buddha's virgin mother, and Kama his favorite disciple. The whole picture bears a close likeness to the Crucifixion, in the cemetery of Pope Julius, except the animals, which are conclusive proof that it cannot be Christian. It came ultimately from the far East to Ireland, with the Phrenician colonists, who erected the Round Towers as symbols of the life-giving and preserving power of man and nature, and how that universal life is produced through suffering and death."

When a Protestant clergyman is thus forced to confess the pre-Christian existence of the crucifix in Ireland, its Buddhistic character, and the penetration of the missionaries of that faith even to that then remote portion of the earth, we need not wonder that in the minds of the Nazarean contemporaries of Jesus and their descendants, he should not have been associated with that universally known emblem in the character of a Redeemer.

In noticing this admission of Dr. Lundy, Mr. Charles Sotheran remarked, in a lecture before the American Philological Society, that both legends and archeological remains unite in proving beyond question "that Ireland, like every other nation, once listened to the propagandists of Siddhartha-Buddha."

* "The religion of multiplied baptisms, the scion of the still existent sect named the 'Christians of St. John,' or Mendecans, whom the Arabs call el-Mogtasila and Baptists. The Aramean verb seba, origin of the name Sabian, is a synonym of pamrig« " (Renan, "Vie de Jesus").

believe, is fully set forth in other places, for they are the very Nazarenes of whom we have spoken so much, and from whose Codex we have quoted. Persecuted and threatened with annihilation, they took refuge in the Nestorian body, and so allowed themselves to be arbitrarily classed as Christians, but as soon as opportunity offered, they separated, and now, for several centuries have not even nominally deserved the appellation. That they are, nevertheless, so called by ecclesiastical writers, is perhaps not very difficult to comprehend. They know too much of early Christianity to be left outside the pale, to bear witness against it with their traditions, without the stigma of heresy and backsliding being fastened upon them to weaken confidence in what they might say.

But where else can science find so good a field for biblical research as among this too neglected people? No doubt of their inheritance of the Baptist's doctrine; their traditions are without a break. What they teach now, their forefathers taught at every epoch where they appear in history. They are the disciples of that John who is said to have foretold the advent of Jesus, baptized him, and declared that the latchet of his shoe he (John) was not worthy to unloose. As they two — the Messenger and the Messiah — stood in the Jordan, and the elder was consecrating the younger — his own cousin, too, humanly speaking — the heavens opened and God Himself, in the shape of a dove, descended in a glory upon his "Beloved Son"! How then, if this tale be true, can we account for the strange infidelity which we find among these surviving Nazareans? So far from believing Jesus the Only Begotten Son of God, they actually told the Persian missionaries, who, in the seventeenth century, first discovered them to Europeans, that the Christ of the New Testament was "a false teacher," and that the Jewish system, as well as that of Jesus (?), came from the realm of darkness! Who knows better than they? Where can more competent living witnesses be found? Christian ecclesiastics would force upon us an anointed Saviour heralded by John, and the disciples of this very Baptist, from the earliest centuries, have stigmatized this ideal personage as an impostor, and his putative Father, Jehovah, "a spurious God," the Ilda-Baoth of the Ophites! Unlucky for Christianity will be the day when some fearless and honest scholar shall persuade their elders to let him translate the contents of their secret books and compile their hoary traditions! It is a strange delusion that makes some writers think that the Nazareans have no other sacred literature, no other literary relics than four doctrinal works, and that curious volume full of astrology and magic which they are bound to peruse at the sunset hour, on every Sol's day (Sunday).

This search after truth leads us, indeed, into devious ways. Many are the obstacles that ecclesiastical cunning has placed in the way of our finding the primal source of religious ideas. Christianity is on trial, and has been, ever since science felt strong enough to act as Public Prosecutor. A portion of the case we are drafting in this book. What of truth is there in this Theology? Through what sects has it been transmitted?

Whence was it primarily derived? To answer, we must trace the history of the World Religion, alike through the secret Christian sects as through those of other great religious subdivisions of the race; for the Secret Doctrine is the Truth, and that religion is nearest divine that has contained it with least adulteration.

Our search takes us hither and thither, but never aimlessly do we bring sects widely separated in chronological order, into critical juxtaposition. There is one purpose in our work to be kept constantly in view — the analysis of religious beliefs, and the definition of their descent from the past to the present. What has most blocked the way is Roman Catholicism; and not until the secret principles of this religion are uncovered can we comprehend the iron staff upon which it leans to steady its now tottering steps.

We will begin with the Ophites, Nazareans, and the modern Druzes. The personal views of the author, as they will be presented in the diagrams, will be most decidedly at variance with the prejudiced speculations of Ireneus, Theodoret, and Epiphanius (the sainted renegade, who sold his brethren), inasmuch as they will reflect the ideas of certain kabalists in close relations with the mysterious Druzes of Mount Lebanon. The Syrian okhals, or Spiritualists, as they are sometimes termed, are in possession of a great many ancient manuscripts and gems, bearing upon our present subject.

The first scheme — that of the Ophites — from the very start, as we have shown, varies from the description given by the Fathers, inasmuch as it makes Bythos or depth, a female emanation, and assigns her a place answering to that of Pleroma, only in a far superior region; whereas, the Fathers assure us that the Gnostics gave the name of Bythos to the First Cause. As in the kabalistic system, it represents the boundless and infinite void within which is concealed in darkness the Unknown Primal motor of all. It envelops HIM like a veil: in short we recognize again the "Shekinah" of the En-Soph. Alone, the name of IAQ, Iao, marks the upper centre, or rather the presumed spot where the Unknown One may be supposed to dwell. Around the Iao, runs the legend, CEMEC EIAAM ABPAEAE. "The eternal Sun-Abrasax" (the Central Spiritual Sun of all the kabalists, represented in some diagrams of the latter by the circle of Tiphereth).

From this region of unfathomable Depth, issues forth a circle formed of spirals; which, in the language of symbolism, means a grand cycle, kuklo" , composed of smaller ones. Coiled within, so as to follow the spirals, lies the serpent — emblem of wisdom and eternity — the Dual Androgyne: the cycle representing Ennoia or the Divine mind, and the Serpent — the Agathodaimon, Ophis — the Shadow of the Light. Both were the Logoi of the Ophites; or the unity as Logos manifesting itself as a double principle of good and evil; for, according to their views, these two principles are immutable, and existed from all eternity, as they will ever continue to exist.

This symbol accounts for the adoration by this sect of the Serpent, as the Saviour, coiled either around the Sacramental loaf or a Tau. As a unity, Ennoia and Ophis are the Logos;

when separated, one is the Tree of Life (Spiritual); the other, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore, we find Ophis urging the first human couple — the material production of Ilda-Baoth, but which owed its spiritual principle to Sophia-Achamoth — to eat of the forbidden fruit, although Ophis represents Divine Wisdom.

The Serpent, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life, are all symbols transplanted from the soil of India. The Arasa-Maram, the banyan tree, so sacred with the Hindus, since Vishnu, during one of his incarnations, reposed under its mighty shade, and there taught humanity philosophy and sciences, is called the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life. Under the protective umbrage of this king of the forests, the Gurus teach their pupils their first lessons on immortality and initiate them in the mysteries of life and death. The Java-ALEIM of the Sacerdotal College are said, in the Chaldean tradition, to have taught the sons of men to become like one of them. To the present day Foh-tchou,* who lives in his Foh-Maeyu, or temple of Buddha, on the top of "Kouin-long-sang," + the great mountain, produces his greatest religious miracles under a tree called in Chinese Sung-Ming-Shu, or the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life, for ignorance is death, and knowledge alone gives immortality. This marvellous display takes place every three

* Foh-Tchou, literally, in Chinese, meaning Buddha's lord, or the teacher of the doctrines of Buddha — Foh.

f This mountain is situated south-west of China, almost between China and Thibet.

years, when an immense concourse of Chinese Buddhists assemble in pilgrimage at the holy place.

Ilda-Baoth, the "Son of Darkness," and the creator of the material world, was made to inhabit the planet Saturn, which identifies him still more with the Jewish Jehovah, who was Saturn himself, according to the Ophites, and is by them denied his Sinaitic name. From Ilda-Baoth emanate six spirits, who respectively dwell with their father in the seven planets. These are Saba — or Mars; Adonai — Sol, or the Sun;* Ievo — the Moon; Eloi — Jupiter; Astaphoi — Mercury (spirit of water); and Ouraios — Venus, spirit of fire.t

In their functions and description as given, these seven planets are identical with the Hindu Sapta-Loca, the seven places or spheres, or the superior and inferior worlds; for they represent the kabalistic seven spheres. With the Ophites, they belong to the lower spheres. The monograms of these Gnostic planets are also Buddhistic, the latter differing, albeit slightly, from those of the usual astrological "houses." In the explanatory notes which accompany the diagram, the names of Cirenthius (the disciple of Simon Magus), of Menander,

* Sol, being situated, on the diagram, exactly in the centre of the solar system (of which the Ophites appear to have been cognizant) — hence, under the direct vertical ray of the Higher Spiritual Sun — showers his brightness on all other planets.

f Speaking of Venus, Placidus, the astrologer, always maintained that "her bluish lustre denotes heat." As to Mercury, it was a strange fancy of the Ophites to represent him as a spirit of water, when astrologically considered he is as "a cold, dry, earthy, and melancholy star."

and of certain other Gnostics, whose names are not to be met with in the Patristic writings, are often mentioned; such as Parcha (Ferho), for instance.}

The author of the diagram claims, moreover, for his sect, the greatest antiquity, bringing forward, as a proof, that their "forefathers" were the builders of all the "Dracontia" temples, even of those beyond "the great waters." He asserts that the "Just One," who was the mouth-piece of the Eternal ^on (Christos), himself sent his disciples into the world, placing them under the double protection of Sige (Silence, the Logos), and Ophis, the Agathod^mon. The author alludes no doubt, to the favorite expression of Jesus, "be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." On the diagram, Ophis is represented as the Egyptian Cnuphis or Kneph, called Dracontia. He appears as a serpent standing erect on its tail, with a lion's head, crowned and radiated, and bearing on the point of each ray one of the seven Greek vowels — symbol of the seven celestial spheres. This figure is quite familiar to those who are acquainted with the Gnostic gems,§ and is borrowed from the Egyptian Hermetic books. The description given in the

J The name which Norberg translates, in his Onomasticon to the "Codex Nazarxus," as Ferho, stands, in the original, Parcha Rabba. In the "Life of Manes," given by Epiphanius, in his "Hxr." lxvi., is mentioned a certain priest of Mithras, a friend of the great H^resiarch Manes, named Parchus.

§ Its description is found in one of the magic books of the Egyptian King Nechepsos, and its use prescribed on green jasper stones, as a potent amulet. Galen mentions it in his work, "De Simp. Med.," c. ix.

Revelation, of one "like unto the Son of Man," with his seven stars, and who is the Logos, is another form of Ophis.

The Nazarene diagram, except in a change of names, is identical with that of the Gnostics, who evidently borrowed their ideas from it, adding a few appellations from the Basilidean and Valentinian systems. To avoid repetition, we will now simply present the two in parallel.

Thus, we find that, in the Nazarene Cosmogony, the names of their powers and genii stand in the following relations to those of the Gnostics:

Nazarene Gnostic-Ophite

First Trinity

First Unity in a Trinity

Lord Ferho — the Life which is no Life—the Supreme God. The Cause which produces the Light, or the Logos in abscondito. The water of Jordanus Maximus — the water of Life, or Ajar, ISH Amon.

IAO—the Ineffable Name of the Unknown Deity—Abraxas, and the "Eternal Spiritual Sun." Unity enclosed within the Depth, Bythos, feminine principle—the boundless the feminine principle. Unity in a Trinity, enclosed within the circle, within which lie all ideal forms. From this Unity emanates the

Second Trinity (The manifestation of the first.)

Second Trinity (Idem.)

1. Lord Mano — the King of Life and Light — Rex Lucis.

First LIFE, or the primitive man.

1. Ennoia — mind.

2. Lord Jordan — manifestation or emanation of Jordan

Maximus — the waters of grace. Second LIFE.

2. Ophis, the Agathodemon.

3. The Superior Father — Abatur. Third LIFE.

This Trinity produces also a duad — Lord Ledhoio, and Fetahil, the genius (the former, a perfect emanation, the latter, imperfect). Lord Jordan—"the Lord of all Jordans," manifests Netubto (Faith without Works).*

3. Sophia Androgyne— wisdom; who, in her turn— fecundated with the Divine Light—produces Christos and Sophia-Achamoth (one perfect, the other imperfect), as an emanation. Sophia-Achamoth emanates Ilda-Baoth — the Demiurge, who produces material and soulless creation. "Works without Faith" (or grace).

* Consider those two diametrically-opposed doctrines — the Catholic and the Protestant; the one preached by Paul, the semi-Platonist, and the other by James, the orthodox Talmudist.

Moreover, the Ophite seven planetary genii, who emanated one from the other, are found again in the Nazarene religion, under the name of the "seven impostor-demons," or stellars, who "will deceive all the sons of Adam." These are Sol; Spiritus Venereus (Holy Spirit, in her material aspect),* the mother of the "seven badly-disposed stellars," answering to the Gnostic Achamoth; Nebu, or Mercury, "a false Messiah, who will deprave the ancient worship of God";+ SIN (or Luna, or Shuril); KIUN (Kivan, or Saturn); Bel-Jupiter; and the seventh, Nerig, Mars (Codex Nazarxus, p. 57).

The Christos of the Gnostics is the chief of the seven ^ons, St. John's seven spirits of God; the Nazarenes have also their seven genii or good ^ons, whose chief is Rex Lucis, Mano, their Christos. The Sapta Rishis, the seven sages of India, inhabit the Sapta-Poura, or the seven celestial cities.

What less or more do we find in the Universal Ecclesia, until the days of the Reformation, and in the Roman Popish Church after the separation? We have compared the relative value of the Hindu Cosmogony; the Chaldeo, Zoroastrian, Jewish Kabala; and that of the so-termed Heretics. A correct diagram of the Judaico-CHRISTIAN religion, to enforce which on the heathen who have furnished it, are expended such

* The material, bad side of Sophia-Achamoth, who emanates from herself Ilda-Baoth and his six sons.

f See Norberg's translation of "Codex Nazarxus," Preface. This proves once more the identification of Jesus with Gautama-Buddha, in the minds of the Nazarene Gnostics, as Nebu or Mercury is the planet sacred to the Buddhas.

great sums every year, would still better prove the identity of the two; but we lack space and are also spared the necessity of proving what is already thoroughly demonstrated.

In the Ophite gems of King (Gnostics), we find the name of Iao repeated, and often confounded with that of Ievo, while the latter simply represents one of the genii antagonistic to Abraxas. In order that these names may not be taken as identical with the name of the Jewish Jehovah we will at once explain this word. It seems to us surpassingly strange that so many learned archeologists should have so little insisted that there was more than one Jehovah, and disclaimed that the name originated with Moses. Iao is certainly a title of the Supreme Being, and belongs partially to the Ineffable Name; but it neither originated with nor was it the sole property of the Jews. Even if it had pleased Moses to bestow the name upon the tutelar "Spirit," the alleged protector and national deity of the "Chosen people of Israel," there is yet no possible reason why other nationalities should receive Him as the Highest and One-living God. But we deny the assumption altogether. Besides, there is the fact that Yaho or Iao was a "mystery name" from the beginning, mrp and m never came into use before King David. Anterior to his time, few or no proper names were compounded with iah or jah. It looks rather as though David, being a sojourner among the Tyrians and Philistines (2 Samuel), brought thence the name of Jehovah. He made Zadok high-priest, from whom came the Zadokites or Sadducees. He lived and ruled first at Hebron ■p~an, Habir-on or Kabeir-town, where the rites of the four

(mystery-gods) were celebrated. Neither David nor Solomon recognized either Moses or the law of Moses. They aspired to build a temple to mrp, like the structures erected by Hiram to Hercules and Venus, Adon and Astarte.

Says Furst: "The very ancient name of God, Yaho, written in the Greek law, appears, apart from its derivation, to have been an old mystic name of the Supreme deity of the Shemites. (Hence it was told to Moses when initiated at Hor-Eb — the cave, under the direction of Jethro, the Kenite or Cainite priest of Midian.) In an old religion of the Chaldeans, whose remains are to be found amongst the Neo-platonists, the highest divinity enthroned above the seven heavens, representing the Spiritual Light-Principle (nous)* and also conceived as Demiurgus,+ was called law IT', who was, like the Hebrew Yaho, mysterious and unmentionable, and whose name was communicated to the initiated. The Phrenicians had a Supreme God whose name was trilateral and secret, and he was law."}

But while Fürst insists that the name has a Semitic origin, there are other scholars who trace it farther than he does, and look back beyond the classification of the Caucasians.

In Sanscrit we have Jah and Jaya, or Jaa and Ja-ga, and this

* Nous, the designation given by Anaxagoras to the Supreme Deity, was taken from Egypt, where he was styled Nout.

f By very few though, for the creators of the material universe were always considered as subordinate deities to the Most High God. J Lydus, 1. c., Ledrenus, 1. c.

throws light on the origin of the famous festival of the car of Jaga-nath, commonly called Jaggernath. Javhe means "he who is," and Dr. Spiegel traces even the Persian name of God, "Ahura," to the root ah,§ which in Sanscrit is pronounced as, to breathe, and asu, became, therefore, in time, synonymous with "Spirit."** Rawlinson strongly supports the opinion of an Aryan or Vedic influence on the early Babylonian mythology. We have given, a few pages back, the strongest possible proofs of the identity of Vishnu with Dag-on. The same may be adduced for the title of Iaw, and its Sanscrit root traced in every country. JU or Jovis is the oldest Latin name for God. "As male he is Ju-piter, or Ju, the father, pitar being Sanscrit for father; as feminine, Ju-no or Ju, the comforter — nn being the Phrenician word for rest and comfort."++ Professor Max Müller shows that although "Dyaus," sky, does not occur as a masculine in the ordinary Sanscrit, yet it does occur in the Veda, "and thus bears witness to the early Aryan worship of Dyaus, the Greek Zeus" (The Veda).

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