Baron Bunsen shows this sacred formulary mixed up with a whole series of glosses and various interpretations on a monument forty centuries old. "This is identical with saying that the record (the true interpretation) was at that time no longer intelligible. . . . We beg our readers to understand," he adds, "that a sacred text, a hymn, containing the words of a departed spirit, existed in such a state about 4,000 years ago . . as to be all but unintelligible to royal scribes."+
That it was unintelligible to the uninitiated among the f Bunsen, "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 90.
latter is as well proved by the confused and contradictory glossaries, as that it was a "mystery"-word, known to the hierophants of the sanctuaries, and, moreover, a word chosen by Jesus, to designate the office assigned by him to one of his apostles. This word, PTR, was partially interpreted, owing to another word similarly written in another group of hieroglyphics, on a stele, the sign used for it being an opened eye.* Bunsen mentions as another explanation of PTR — "to show." "It appears to me," he remarks, "that our PTR is literally the old Aramaic and Hebrew 'Patar,' which occurs in the history of Joseph as the specific word for interpreting; whence also Pitrum is the term for interpretation of a text, a dream."+ In a manuscript of the first century, a combination of the Demotic and Greek texts,}: and most probably one of the few which miraculously escaped the Christian vandalism of the second and third centuries, when all such precious manuscripts were burned as magical, we find occurring in several places a phrase, which, perhaps, may throw some light upon this question. One of the principal heroes of the manuscript, who is constantly referred to as "the Judean Illuminator" or Initiate, Teleiwth;" , is made to communicate but with his Patar; the latter being written in Chaldaic
* See de Rouge , "Stele," p. 44; PTAR (videus) is interpreted on it "to appear," with a sign of interrogation after it — the usual mark of scientific perplexity. In Bunsen's fifth volume of "Egypte," the interpretation following is "Illuminator," which is more correct. f Bunsen's "Egypt," vol. v., p. 90. J It is the property of a mystic whom we met in Syria.
characters. Once the latter word is coupled with the name Shimeon. Several times, the "Illuminator," who rarely breaks his contemplative solitude, is shown inhabiting a Kruvpte (cave), and teaching the multitudes of eager scholars standing outside, not orally, but through this Patar. The latter receives the words of wisdom by applying his ear to a circular hole in a partition which conceals the teacher from the listeners, and then conveys them, with explanations and glossaries, to the crowd. This, with a slight change, was the method used by Pythagoras, who, as we know, never allowed his neophytes to see him during the years of probation, but instructed them from behind a curtain in his cave.
But, whether the "Illuminator" of the Gr^co-Demotic manuscript is identical with Jesus or not, the fact remains, that we find him selecting a "mystery "-appellation for one who is made to appear later by the Catholic Church as the janitor of the Kingdom of Heaven and the interpreter of Christ's will. The word Patar or Peter locates both master and disciple in the circle of initiation, and connects them with the "Secret Doctrine." The great hierophant of the ancient Mysteries never allowed the candidates to see or hear him personally. He was the Deus-ex-Machina, the presiding but invisible Deity, uttering his will and instructions through a second party; and 2,000 years later, we discover that the Dalai-Lamas of Thibet had been following for centuries the same traditional programme during the most important religious mysteries of lamaism.
If Jesus knew the secret meaning of the title bestowed by him on Simon, then he must have been initiated; otherwise he could not have learned it; and if he was an initiate of either the Pythagorean Essenes, the Chaldean Magi, or the Egyptian Priests, then the doctrine taught by him was but a portion of the "Secret Doctrine" taught by the Pagan hierophants to the few select adepts admitted within the sacred adyta.
But we will discuss this question further on. For the present we will endeavor to briefly indicate the extraordinary similarity — or rather identity, we should say — of rites and ceremonial dress of the Christian clergy with that of the old Babylonians, Assyrians, Phrenicians, Egyptians, and other Pagans of the hoary antiquity.
If we would find the model of the Papal tiara, we must search the annals of the ancient Assyrian tablets. We invite the reader to give his attention to Dr. Inman's illustrated work, Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism. On page sixty-four, he will readily recognize the head-gear of the successor of St. Peter in the coiffure worn by gods or angels in ancient Assyria, "where it appears crowned by an emblem of the male trinity" (the Christian Cross). "We may mention, in passing," adds Dr. Inman, "that, as the Romanists adopted the mitre and the tiara from 'the cursed brood of Ham,' so they adopted the Episcopalian crook from the augurs of Etruria, and the artistic form with which they clothe their angels from the painters and urn-makers of Magna Grecia and Central Italy."
Would we push our inquiries farther, and seek to ascertain as much in relation to the nimbus and the tonsure of the
Catholic priest and monk?* We shall find undeniable proofs that they are solar emblems. Knight, in his Old England Pictorially Illustrated, gives a drawing by St. Augustine, representing an ancient Christian bishop, in a dress probably identical with that worn by the great "saint" himself. The pallium, or the ancient stole of the bishop, is the feminine sign when worn by a priest in worship. On St. Augustine's picture it is bedecked with Buddhistic crosses, and in its whole appearance it is a representation of the Egyptian T (tau), assuming slightly the figure of the letter Y. "Its lower end is the mark of the masculine triad," says Inman; "the right hand (of the figure) has the forefinger extended, like the Assyrian priests while doing homage to the grove. . . . When a male dons the pallium in worship, he becomes the representative of the trinity in the unity, the arba, or mystic four."+
"Immaculate is our Lady Isis," is the legend around an engraving of Serapis and Isis, described by King, in The Gnostics and their Remains, H KYPIA ICIC ArNH ". . . the very terms applied afterwards to that personage (the Virgin Mary) who succeeded to her form, titles, symbols, rites, and ceremonies. . . . Thus, her devotees carried into the new priesthood the former badges of their profession, the obligation to celibacy, the tonsure, and the surplice, omitting, unfortunately, the frequent ablutions prescribed by the ancient creed." "The 'Black Virgins,' so highly reverenced in certain French cathedrals . . . proved, when at last critically
* The Priests of Isis were tonsured. f See "Ancient Faiths," vol. ii., pp. 915-918.
examined, basalt figures of Isis"! *
Before the shrine of Jupiter Ammon were suspended tinkling bells, from the sound of whose chiming the priests gathered the auguries; "A golden bell and a pomegranate . . . round about the hem of the robe," was the result with the Mosaic Jews. But in the Buddhistic system, during the religious services, the gods of the Deva Loka are always invoked, and invited to descend upon the altars by the ringing of bells suspended in the pagodas. The bell of the sacred table of Siva at Kuhama is described in Kailasa, and every Buddhist vihara and lamasery has its bells.
We thus see that the bells used by Christians come to them directly from the Buddhist Thibetans and Chinese. The beads and rosaries have the same origin, and have been used by Buddhist monks for over 2,300 years. The Linghams in the Hindu temples are ornamented upon certain days with large berries, from a tree sacred to Mahadeva, which are strung into rosaries. The title of "nun" is an Egyptian word, and had with them the actual meaning; the Christians did not even take the trouble of translating the word Nonna. The aureole of the saints was used by the antediluvian artists of Babylonia, whenever they desired to honor or deify a mortal's head. In a celebrated picture in Moore's Hindoo Pantheon, entitled, "Christna nursed by Devaki, from a highly-finished picture," the Hindu Virgin is represented as seated on a lounge and nursing Christna. The hair brushed back, the long veil, and
* "The Gnostics and their Remains," p. 71.
the golden aureole around the Virgin's head, as well as around that of the Hindu Saviour, are striking. No Catholic, well versed as he might be in the mysterious symbolism of iconology, would hesitate for a moment to worship at that shrine the Virgin Mary, the mother of his God!+ In Indur Subba, the south entrance of the Caves of Ellora, may be seen to this day the figure of Indra's wife, Indranee, sitting with her infant son-god, pointing the finger to heaven with the same gesture as the Italian Madonna and child. In Pagan and Christian Symbolism, the author gives a figure from a medieval woodcut — the like of which we have seen by dozens in old psalters — in which the Virgin Mary, with her infant, is represented as the Queen of Heaven, on the crescent moon, emblem of virginity. "Being before the sun, she almost eclipses its light. Than this, nothing could more completely identify the Christian mother and child with Isis and Horus, Ishtar, Venus, Juno, and a host of other Pagan goddesses, who have been called 'Queen of Heaven,' 'Queen of the Universe,' 'Mother of God,' 'Spouse of God,' 'the Celestial Virgin,' 'the Heavenly Peace-Maker,' etc."}:
Such pictures are not purely astronomical. They represent the male god and the female goddess, as the sun and moon in conjunction, "the union of the triad with the unit." The horns of the cow on the head of Isis have the same significance.
f See illustration in Inman's "Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism," p. 27. J Ibid., p. 76.
And so above, below, outside, and inside, the Christian Church, in the priestly garments, and the religious rites, we recognize the stamp of exoteric heathenism. On no subject within the wide range of human knowledge, has the world been more blinded or deceived with such persistent misrepresentation as on that of antiquity. its hoary past and its religious faiths have been misrepresented and trampled under the feet of its successors. its hierophants and prophets, myste and epopt^,* of the once sacred adyta of the temple shown as demoniacs and devil-worshippers. Donned in the despoiled garments of the victim, the Christian priest now anathematizes the latter with rites and ceremonies which he has learned from the theurgists themselves. The Mosaic Bible is used as a weapon against the people who furnished it. The heathen philosopher is cursed under the very roof which has witnessed his initiation; and the "monkey of God" (i.e., the devil of Tertullian), "the originator and founder of magical theurgy, the science of illusions and lies, whose father and author is the demon," is exorcised with holy water by the hand which holds the identical lituus+ with which the ancient augur, after a solemn prayer, used to determine the regions of heaven, and evoke, in the name of the Highest, the minor god (now termed the Devil), who unveiled to his eyes futurity, and enabled him to prophesy! On the part of the Christians and the clergy it is nothing but shameful ignorance, prejudice, and that contemptible pride so boldly
* initiates and seers.
f The augur's, and now bishop's, pastoral crook.
denounced by one of their own reverend ministers, T. Gross, J which rails against all investigation "as a useless or a criminal labor, when it must be feared that they will result in the overthrow of preestablished systems of faith." On the part of the scholars it is the same apprehension of the possible necessity of having to modify some of their erroneously-established theories of science. "Nothing but such pitiable prejudice," says Gross, "can have thus misrepresented the theology of heathenism, and distorted — nay, caricatured — its forms of religious worship. it is time that posterity should raise its voice in vindication of violated truth, and that the present age should learn a little of that common sense of which it boasts with as much self-complacency as if the prerogative of reason was the birthright only of modern times."
All this gives a sure clew to the real cause of the hatred felt by the early and medieval Christian toward his Pagan brother and dangerous rival. We hate but what we fear. The Christian thaumaturgist once having broken all association with the Mysteries of the temples and with "these schools so renowned for magic," described by St. Hilarion,§ could certainly expect but little to rival the Pagan wonder-workers. No apostle, with the exception perhaps of healing by mesmeric power, has ever equalled Apollonius of Tyana; and the scandal created among the apostles by the miracle-doing Simon Magus, is too notorious to be repeated here again.
J "The Heathen Religion." § "Peres du Desert d'Orient," vol. ii., p. 283.
"How is it," asks Justin Martyr, in evident dismay, "how is it that the talismans of Apollonius (the telesmata ) have power in certain members of creation, for they prevent, as we see, the fury of the waves, and the violence of the winds, and the attacks of wild beasts; and whilst our Lord's miracles are preserved by tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous, and actually manifested in present facts, so as to lead astray all beholders?"* This perplexed martyr solves the problem by attributing very correctly the efficacy and potency of the charms used by Apollonius to his profound knowledge of the sympathies and antipathies (or repugnances) of nature.
Unable to deny the evident superiority of their enemies' powers, the fathers had recourse to the old but ever successful method — that of slander. They honored the theurgists with the same insinuating calumny that had been resorted to by the Pharisees against Jesus. "Thou hast a d^mon," the elders of the Jewish Synagogue had said to him. "Thou hast the Devil," repeated the cunning fathers, with equal truth, addressing the Pagan thaumaturgist; and the widely-bruited charge, erected later into an article of faith, won the day.
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