In the Egyptian Funeral Ritual found among the hymns of the Book of the Dead, and which is termed by Bunsen "that precious and mysterious book," we read an address of the deceased, in the character of Horus, detailing all that he has done for his father Osiris. Among other things the deity says:
"30. I have given thee thy Spirit.
31. I have given thee thy Soul.
32. I have given thee thy force (body)," etc.
In another place the entity, addressed as "Father" by the disembodied soul, is shown to mean the "spirit" of man; for the verse says: "I have made my soul come and speak with his Father," its Spirit. *
The Egyptians regarded their Ritual as essentially a Divine inspiration; in short, as modern Hindus do the Vedas, and modern Jews their Mosaic books. Bunsen and Lepsius show that the term Hermetic means inspired; for it is Thoth, the Deity itself, that speaks and reveals to his elect among men the will of God and the arcana of divine things. Portions of them are expressly stated "to have been written by the very finger of Thoth himself"; to have been the work and composition of the great God.t "At a later period their Hermetic character is still more distinctly recognized, and on a coffin of the 26th Dynasty, Horus announces to the
* "The Funeral Ritual of the Deeds of Horus." f Bunsen, "Egypt's Place in Universal History," vol. v., p. 133.
deceased that Thoth himself has brought him the books of his divine words, or Hermetic writings."*
Since we are aware that Moses was an Egyptian priest, or at least that he was learned in all their wisdom, we need not be astonished that he should write in Deuteronomy (ix. 10). "And the Lord delivered unto me two tables of stones written with the finger of God"; or to find in Exodus xxxi., "And he (the Lord) gave unto Moses . . . two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."
In the Egyptian notions, as in those of all other faiths founded on philosophy, man was not merely, as with the Christians, a union of soul and body; he was a trinity when spirit was added to it. Besides, that doctrine made him consist of kha — body; khaba — astral form, or shadow; ka — animal soul or life-principle; ba — the higher soul; and akh — terrestrial intelligence. They had also a sixth principle named Sah — or mummy; but the functions of this one commenced only after the death of the body. After due purification, during which the soul, separated from its body, continued to revisit the latter in its mummified condition, this astral soul "became a God," for it was finally absorbed into "the Soul of the world." It became transformed into one of the creative deities, "the god of Phtah,"+ the Demiurgos, a generic name for the creators of the world, rendered in the Bible as the
* Lepsius, "Abth." iii.; Bl., 276; Bunsen, 134.
f In the eighty-first chapter of the "Ritual" the soul is called the germ of lights and in the seventy-ninth the Demiurgos, or one of the creators.
Elohim. In the Ritual the good or purified soul, "in conjunction with its higher or uncreated spirit, is more or less the victim of the dark influence of the dragon Apophis. If it has attained the final knowledge of the heavenly and the infernal mysteries — the gnosis, i.e., complete reunion with the spirit, it will triumph over its enemies; if not the soul could not escape its second death. It is 'the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone' (elements), into which those that are cast undergo a 'second death' (Apocalypse). This death is the gradual dissolution of the astral form into its primal elements, alluded to several times already in the course of this work. But this awful fate can be avoided by the knowledge of the "Mysterious Name" — the "Word,"§ say the kabalists.
J "Ritual," vi, 44; Champollion, "Manifestations to the Light"; Lepsius, "Book of the Dead"; Bunsen, "Egypt's Place in Universal History."
§ We cannot help quoting a remark by Baron Bunsen in relation to the "Word" being identical with the "Ineffable Name" of the Masons and the kabalists. While explaining the "Ritual," some of the details of which "resemble rather the enchantments of a magician than solemn rites, although a hidden and mystical meaning must have been attached to them" (the honest admission of this much, at least, is worth something), the author observes: "The mystery of names, the knowledge of which was a sovereign virtue, and which, at a later period, degenerated into the rank heresy (?) of the Gnostics and the magic of enchanters, appears to have existed not only in Egypt but elsewhere. Traces of it are found in the 'Cabala' ... it prevailed in the Greek and Asiatic mythology" ( Egypt's Place, etc.," p. 147).
We then see the representatives of Science agreeing upon this one point, at least. The initiates of all countries had the same "mystery
And what then was the penalty attached to the neglect of it? When man leads a naturally pure, virtuous life, there is none whatever; except delay in the world of spirits, until he finds himself sufficiently purified to receive it from his Spiritual "Lord," one of the mighty Host. But if otherwise, the "soul," as a half animal principle, becomes paralyzed, and grows unconscious of its subjective half — the Lord — and in proportion to the sensuous development of the brain and nerves, sooner or later, it finally loses sight of its divine mission on earth. Like the Vourdalak, or Vampire, of the Servian tale, the brain feeds and lives and grows in strength and power at the expense of its spiritual parent. Then the already half-unconscious soul, now fully intoxicated by the fumes of earthly life, becomes senseless, beyond hope of redemption. It is powerless to discern the splendor of its higher spirit, to hear the warning voice of its "guardian Angel," and its "God." It aims but at the development and fuller comprehension of natural, earthly life; and thus, can discover but the mysteries of physical nature. Its grief and fear, hope and joy, are all closely blended with its terrestrial existence. It ignores all that cannot be demonstrated by either its organs of action, or sensation. It begins by becoming virtually dead; it dies at last completely. It is annihilated. Such name." And now it remains with the scholars to prove that every adept, hierophant, magician, or enchanter (Moses and Aaron included) as well as every kabalist, from the institution of the Mysteries down to the present age, has been either a knave or a fool, for believing in the efficacy of this name.
a catastrophe may often happen long years before the final separation of the life-principle from the body. When death arrives, its iron and clammy grasp finds work with life as usual; but there is no more a soul to liberate. The whole essence of the latter has been already absorbed by the vital system of the physical man. Grim death frees but a spiritual corpse; at best an idiot. Unable either to soar higher or awaken from lethargy, it is soon dissolved in the elements of the terrestrial atmosphere.
Seers, righteous men, who had attained to the highest science of the inner man and the knowledge of truth, have, like Marcus Antoninus, received instructions "from the gods," in sleep and otherwise. Helped by the purer spirits, those that dwell in "regions of eternal bliss," they have watched the process and warned mankind repeatedly. Skepticism may sneer; faith, based on knowledge and spiritual science, believes and affirms.
Our present cycle is preeminently one of such soul-deaths. We elbow soulless men and women at every step in life. Neither can we wonder, in the present state of things, at the gigantic failure of Hegel's and Schelling's last efforts at some metaphysical construction of a system. When facts, palpable and tangible facts of phenomenal Spiritualism happen daily and hourly, and yet are denied by the majority of "civilized" nations, little chance is there for the acceptance of purely abstract metaphysics by the ever-growing crowd of materialists.
In the book called by Champollion La Manifestation a la
Lumière, there is a chapter on the Ritual which is full of mysterious dialogues, with addresses to various "Powers" by the soul. Among these dialogues there is one which is more than expressive of the potentiality of the "Word." The scene is laid in the "Hall of the Two Truths." The "Door," the "Hall of Truth," and even the various parts of the gate, address the soul which presents itself for admission. They all forbid it entrance unless it tells them their mystery, or mystic names. What student of the Secret Doctrines can fail to recognize in these names an identity of meaning and purpose with those to be met with in the Vedas, the later works of the Brahmans, and the Kabala?
Magicians, Kabalists, Mystics, Neo-platonists and Theurgists of Alexandria, who so surpassed the Christians in their achievements in the secret science; Brahmans or Samaneans (Shamans) of old; and modern Brahmans, Buddhists, and Lamaists, have all claimed that a certain power attaches to these various names, pertaining to one ineffable Word. We have shown from personal experience how deeply the belief is rooted to this day in the popular mind all over Russia,* that the Word works "miracles" and is at the bottom of every magical feat. Kabalists mysteriously connect Faith with it. So did the apostles, basing their assertions on the words of Jesus, who is made to say: "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed . . . nothing shall be impossible unto you," and Paul, repeating the words of
Moses, tells that "the WORD is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart; that is, the word of faith" (Romans x. 8). But who, except the initiates, can boast of comprehending its full significance?
In our days it is as it was in olden times, to believe in the biblical "miracles" requires faith; but to be enabled to produce them one's self demands a knowledge of the esoteric meaning of the "word." "If Christ," say Dr. Farrar and Canon Westcott, "wrought no miracles, then the gospels are untrustworthy." But even supposing that he did work them, would that prove that gospels written by others than himself are any more trustworthy? And if not, to what purpose is the argument? Besides, such a line of reasoning would warrant the analogy that miracles performed by other religionists than Christians ought to make their gospels trustworthy. Does not this imply at least an equality between the Christian Scriptures and the Buddhist sacred books? For these equally abound with phenomena of the most astounding character. Moreover, the Christians have no longer genuine miracles produced through their priests, for they have lost the Word. But many a Buddhist Lama or Siamese Talapoin — unless all travellers have conspired to lie — has been and now is able to duplicate every phenomenon described in the New Testament, and even do more, without any pretence of suspension of natural law or divine intervention either. In fact, Christianity proves that it is as dead in faith as it is dead in works, while Buddhism is full of vitality and supported by practical proofs.
The best argument in favor of the genuineness of Buddhist
"miracles" lies in the fact that Catholic missionaries, instead of denying them or treating them as simple jugglery — as some Protestant missionaries do, have often found themselves in such straits as to be forced to adopt the forlorn alternative of laying the whole on the back of the Devil. And so belittled do the Jesuits feel themselves in the presence of these genuine servants of God, that with an unparalleled cunning, they concluded to act in the case of the Talapoins and Buddhists as Mahomet is said to have acted with the mountain. "And seeing that it would not move toward him, the Prophet moved himself toward the mountain." Finding that they could not catch the Siamese with the birdlime of their pernicious doctrines in Christian garb, they disguised themselves, and for centuries appeared among the poor, ignorant people as Talapoins, until exposed. They have even voted and adopted a resolution forthwith, which has now all the force of an ancient article of faith. "Naaman, the Syrian," say the Jesuits of Caen, "did not dissemble his faith when he bowed the knee with the king in the house of Rimmon; neither do the Fathers of the Society of Jesus dissemble, when they adopt the institute and the habit of the Talapoins of Siam" (nec dissimulant Patres S. J. Talapoinorum Siamensium institutum vestemque affectantes. — Position 9, 30 Jan, 1693).
The potency contained in the Mantras and the Vach of the Brahmans is as much believed in at this day as it was in the early Vedic period. The "Ineffable Name" of every country and religion relates to that which the Masons affirm to be the mysterious characters emblematic of the nine names or attributes by which the Deity was known to the initiates. The Omnific Word traced by Enoch on the two deltas of purest gold, on which he engraved two of the mysterious characters, is perhaps better known to the poor, uneducated "heathen" than to the highly accomplished Grand High Priests and Grand Z.'s of the Supreme Chapters of Europe and America. Only why the companions of the Royal Arch should so bitterly and constantly lament its loss, is more than we can understand. This word of M. M. is, as they will tell themselves, entirely composed of consonants. Hence, we doubt whether any of them could ever have mastered its pronunciation, had it even been 'brought to light from the secret vault," instead of its several corruptions. However, it is to the land of Mizraim that the grandson of Ham is credited with having carried the sacred delta of the Patriarch Enoch. Therefore, it is in Egypt, and in the East alone that the mysterious "Word" must be sought.
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