The Book of Genesis a Compilation of Old World Legends

The ancient Babylonian legend is that Xisuthrus (Hasisadra of the Tablets, or Xisuthrus) sailed with his ark to Armenia, and his son Sim became supreme king. Pliny says that Sim was called Zeruan; and Sim is Shem. In Hebrew, his name writes mX , Shem — a sign. Assyria is held by the ethnologists to be the land of Shem, and Egypt called that of Ham, Shem, in the tenth chapter of Genesis is made the father of all the children of Eber, of Elam (Oulam or Eilam), and Ashur (Assur or Assyria). The "nephelim," or fallen men, Gebers, mighty men spoken of in Genesis (vi. 4), come from Oulam, "men of Shem." Even Ophir, which is evidently to be sought for in the India of the days of Hiram, is made a descendant of Shem. The records are purposely mixed up to make them fit into the frame of the Mosaic Bible. But Genesis, from its first verse down to the last, has naught to do with the "chosen people"; it belongs to the world's history. Its appropriation by the Jewish authors in the days of the so-

f Saturn is generally represented as a very old man, with a sickle in his hand.

called restoration of the destroyed books of the Israelites, by Ezra, proves nothing, and, until now, has been self-propped on an alleged divine revelation. It is simply a compilation of the universal legends of the universal humanity. Bunsen says that in the "Chaldean tribe immediately connected with Abraham, we find reminiscences of dates disfigured and misunderstood, as genealogies of single men, or indications of epochs. The Abrahamic recollections go back at least three millennia beyond the grandfather of Jacob."}

Alexander Polyhistor says that Abraham was born at Kamarina or Uria, a city of soothsayers, and invented astronomy. Josephus claims the same for Terah, Abraham's father. The tower of Babel was built as much by the direct descendants of Shem as by those of the "accursed" Ham and Canaan, for the people in those days were "one," and the "whole earth was of one language"; and Babel was simply an astrological tower, and its builders were astrologers and adepts of the primitive Wisdom-Religion, or, again, what we term Secret Doctrine.

The Berosian Sibyl says: Before the Tower, Zeru-an, Titan, and Yapetosthe governed the earth, Zeru-an wished to be supreme, but his two brothers resisted, when their sister, Astlik, intervened and appeased them. It was agreed that Zeru-an should rule, but his male children should be put to death; and strong Titans were appointed to carry this into effect.

J Bunsen, "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 85.

Sar (circle, saros) is the Babylonian god of the sky. He is also Assaros or Asshur (the son of Shem), and Zero — Zero-ana, the chakkra, or wheel, boundless time. Hence, as the first step taken by Zoroaster, while founding his new religion, was to change the most sacred deities of the Sanscrit Veda into names of evil spirits, in his Zend Scriptures, and even to reject a number of them, we find no traces in the Avesta of Chakkra — the symbolic circle of the sky.

Elam, another of the sons of Shem, is Oulam zhiy and refers to an order or cycle of events. In Ecclesiastes iii. 11, it is termed "world." In Ezekiel xxvi. 20, "of old time." In Genesis iii. 22, the word stands as "forever"; and in chapter ix. 16, "eternal." Finally, the term is completely defined in Genesis vi. 4, in the following words: "There were nephelim (giants, fallen men, or Titans) on the earth." The word is synonymous with ^on, aiwn . In Proverbs viii. 23, it reads: "I was effused from Oulam, from Ras" (wisdom). By this sentence, the wise kingkabalist refers to one of the mysteries of the human spirit — the immortal crown of the man-trinity. While it ought to read as above, and be interpreted kabalistically to mean that the I (or my eternal, immortal Ego), the spiritual entity, was effused from the boundless and nameless eternity, through the creative wisdom of the unknown God, it reads in the canonical translation: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old"! which is unintelligible nonsense, without the kabalistic interpretation. When Solomon is made to say that I was "from the beginning . . . while, as yet, he (the Supreme Deity) had not made the earth nor the highest part of the dust of the world . . . I was there," and "when he appointed the foundations of the earth . . . then I was by him, as one brought up with him," what can the kabalist mean by the "I," but his own divine spirit, a drop effused from that eternal fountain of light and wisdom — the universal spirit of the Deity?

The thread of glory emitted by En-Soph from the highest of the three kabalistic heads, through which "all things shine with light," the thread which makes its exit through Adam Primus, is the individual spirit of every man. "I was daily his (En-Soph's) delight, rejoicing always before him . . . and my delights were with the sons of men," adds Solomon, in the same chapter of the Proverbs. The immortal spirit delights in the sons of men, who, without this spirit, are but dualities (physical body and astral soul, or that life-principle which animates even the lowest of the animal kingdom). But, we have seen that the doctrine teaches that this spirit cannot unite itself with that man in whom matter and the grossest propensities of his animal soul will be ever crowding it out. Therefore, Solomon, who is made to speak under the inspiration of his own spirit, that possesses him for the time being, utters the following words of wisdom: "Hearken unto me, my son" (the dual man), "blessed are they who keep my ways. . . . Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates. . . . For whoso findeth me, findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the Lord. . . . But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul . . . and loves death" (Proverbs vii. 1-36).

This chapter, as interpreted, is made by some theologians, like everything else, to apply to Christ, the "Son of God," who states repeatedly, that he who follows him obtains eternal life, and conquers death. But even in its distorted translation it can be demonstrated that it referred to anything but to the alleged Saviour. Were we to accept it in this sense, then, the Christian theology would have to return, nolens volens, to Averroism and Buddhism; to the doctrine of emanation, in short; for Solomon says: "I was effused" from Oulam and Rasit, both of which are a part of the Deity; and thus Christ would not be as their doctrine claims, God himself, but only an emanation of Him, like the Christos of the Gnostics. Hence, the meaning of the personified Gnostic ^on, the word signifying cycles or determined periods in the eternity and at the same time, representing a hierarchy of celestial beings — spirits. Thus Christ is sometimes termed the "Eternal ^on." But the word "eternal" is erroneous in relation to the ^ons. Eternal is that which has neither beginning nor end; but the "Emanations" or ^ons, although having lived as absorbed in the divine essence from the eternity, when once individually emanated, must be said to have a beginning. They may be therefore endless in this spiritual life, never eternal.

These endless emanations of the one First Cause, all of which were gradually transformed by the popular fancy into distinct gods, spirits, angels, and demons, were so little considered immortal, that all were assigned a limited existence. And this belief, common to all the peoples of antiquity, to the Chaldean Magi as well as to the Egyptians and even in our day held by the Brahmanists and Buddhists, most triumphantly evidences the monotheism of the ancient religious systems. This doctrine calls the life-period of all the inferior divinities, "one day of Parabrahma." After a cycle of fourteen milliards, three hundred and twenty-millions of human years — the tradition says — the trinity itself, with all the lesser divinities, will be annihilated, together with the universe, and cease to exist. Then another universe will gradually emerge from the pralaya (dissolution), and men on earth will be enabled to comprehend Swayambhuva as he is. Alone, this primal cause will exist forever, in all his glory, filling the infinite space. What better proof could be adduced of the deep reverential feeling with which the "heathen" regard the one Supreme eternal cause of all things visible and invisible.

This is again the source from which the ancient kabalists derived identical doctrines. If the Christians understood Genesis in their own way, and, if accepting the texts literally, they enforced upon the uneducated masses the belief in a creation of our world out of nothing; and moreover assigned to it a beginning, it is surely not the Tanaim, the sole expounders of the hidden meaning contained in the Bible, who are to be blamed. No more than any other philosophers had they ever believed either in spontaneous, limited, or ex nihilo creations. The Kabala has survived to show that their philosophy was precisely that of the modern Nepal Buddhists, the Svabhavikas. They believed in the eternity and the indestructibility of matter, and hence in many prior creations and destructions of worlds, before our own. "There were old worlds which perished."* "From this we see that the Holy One, blessed be His name, had successively created and destroyed sundry worlds, before he created the present world; and when he created this world he said: 'This pleases me; the previous ones did not please me.' "+ Moreover, they believed, again like the Svabhavikas, now termed Atheists, that every thing proceeds (is created) from its own nature and that once that the first impulse is given by that Creative Force inherent in the "Self-created substance," or Sephira, everything evolves out of itself, following its pattern, the more spiritual prototype which precedes it in the scale of infinite creation. "The indivisible point which has no limit, and cannot be comprehended (for it is absolute), expanded from within, and formed a brightness which served as a garment (a veil) to the indivisible points. . . . It, too, expanded from within. . . Thus, everything originated through a constant upheaving agitation, and thus finally the world originated."}

In the later Zoroastrian books, after that Darius had restored both the worship of Ormazd and added to it the purer Magianism of the primitive Secret Wisdom — hwtsn-twmbx , of which, as the inscription tells us, he was himself a hierophant, we see again reappearing the Zeru-ana, or boundless time, represented by the Brahmans in the chakkra, or a circle; that we see figuring on the uplifted finger of the principal deities. Further on, we will show the relation in which it stands to the

* Idra Suta, "Sohar," iii., p. 292 b. f Bereshith Rabba, "Parsha," ix. J "Sohar," i., p. 20 a.

Pythagorean, mystical numbers — the first and the last — which is a zero (O), and to the greatest of the Mystery-Gods IAO. The identity of this symbol alone, in all the old religions, is sufficient to show their common descent from one primitive Faith.§ This term of "boundless time," which can be applied but to the ONE who has neither beginning nor end, is called by the Zoroastrians Zeruana-Akarene, because he has always existed. "His glory," they say, is too exalted, his light too resplendent for either human intellect or mortal eyes to grasp and see. His primal emanation is eternal light which, from having been previously concealed in darkness, was called out to manifest itself, and thus was formed Ormazd, "the King of Life." He is the first-born of boundless time, but like his own antitype, or preexisting spiritual idea, has lived within primitive darkness from all eternity. His Logos created the pure intellectual world. After the lapse of three grand cycles** he created the material world in six periods. The six Amshaspands, or primitive spiritual men, whom Ormazd created in his own image, are the mediators between this world and himself. Mithras is an emanation of the Logos and

§ "The Sanscrit s," says Max Müller, "is represented by the z and h. Thus the geographical name 'hapta hendu,' which occurs in the 'Avesta,' becomes intelligible, if we retranslate the z and h into the Sanscrit s. For 'Sapta Sindhu,' or the seven rivers, is the old Vaidic name for India itself" ("Chips," vol. i., p. 81). The "Avesta" is the spirit of the "Vedas" — the esoteric meaning made partially known.

** What is generally understood in the "Avesta" system as a thousand years, means, in the esoteric doctrine, a cycle of a duration known but to the initiates and which has an allegorical sense.

the chief of the twenty-eight izeds, who are the tutelary angels over the spiritual portion of mankind — the souls of men. The Ferouers are infinite in number. They are the ideas or rather the ideal conceptions of things which formed themselves in the mind of Ormazd or Ahuramazda before he willed them to assume a concrete form. They are what Aristotle terms "privations" of forms and substances. The religion of Zarathustra, as he is always called in the Avesta, is one from which the ancient Jews have the most borrowed. In one of the Yashts, Ahuramazda, the Supreme, gives to the seer as one of his sacred names, Ahmi, "I am"; and in another place, ahmi yat ahmi, "I am that I am," as Jehovah is alleged to have given it to Moses.

This Cosmogony, adopted with a change of names in the Rabbinical Kabala, found its way, later, with some additional speculations of Manes, the half-Magus, half-Platonist, into the great body of Gnosticism. The real doctrines of the Basilideans, Valentinians, and the Marcionites cannot be correctly ascertained in the prejudiced and calumnious writings of the Fathers of the Church; but rather in what remains of the works of the Bardesanesians, known as the Nazarenes. It is next to impossible, now that all their manuscripts and books are destroyed, to assign to any of these sects its due part in dissenting views. But there are a few men still living who have preserved books and direct traditions about the Ophites, although they care little to impart them to the world. Among the unknown sects of Mount Lebanon and Palestine the truth has been concealed for more than a thousand years. And their diagram of the Ophite scheme differs with the description of it given by Origen and hence with the diagram of Matter.*

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