key text in the Theosophical movement
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology, published in 1877, is a book of esoteric philosophy and Helena Petrovna Blavatsky's first major work and a key text in her Theosophical movement.
Isis Unveiled: A Master-Key to the Mysteries of Ancient and Modern Science and Theology (1877) edit
Vol. I Preface edit
- The work now submitted to public judgment is the fruit of a somewhat intimate acquaintance with Eastern adepts and study of Their science. It is offered to such as are willing to accept truth wherever it may be found, and to defend it, even looking popular prejudice straight in the face. It is an attempt to aid the student to detect the vital principles which underlie the philosophical systems of old.
- The book is written in all sincerity. It is meant to do even justice, and to speak the truth alike without malice or prejudice. But it shows neither mercy for enthroned error, nor reverence for usurped authority. It demands for a spoliated past, that credit for its achievements which has been too long withheld. It calls for a restitution of borrowed robes, and the vindication of calumniated but glorious reputations. Toward no form of worship, no religious faith, no scientific hypothesis has its criticism been directed in any other spirit.
- Men and parties, sects and schools are but the mere ephemera of the world's day.
- Truth, high-seated upon its rock of adamant, is alone eternal and supreme.
- We believe in no Magic which transcends the scope and capacity of the human mind, nor in "miracle," whether divine or diabolical, if such imply a transgression of the laws of nature instituted from all eternity. Nevertheless, we accept the saying of the gifted author of Festus, that the human heart has not yet fully uttered itself, and that we have never attained or even understood the extent of its powers.
- Is it too much to believe that man should be developing new sensibilities and a closer relation with nature? The logic of evolution must teach as much, if carried to its legitimate conclusions...
- When, years ago, we first travelled over the East, exploring the penetralia of its deserted sanctuaries, two saddening and ever-recurring questions oppressed our thoughts: Where, who, what is GOD? Who ever saw the immortal SPIRIT of man, so as to be able to assure himself of man's immortality?
- It was while most anxious to solve these perplexing problems that we came into contact with certain men, endowed with such mysterious powers and such profound knowledge that we may truly designate them as the sages of the Orient. To Their instructions we lent a ready ear. They showed us that by combining science with religion, the existence of God and immortality of man's spirit may be demonstrated like a problem of Euclid. For the first time we received the assurance that the Oriental philosophy has room for no other faith than an absolute and immovable faith in the omnipotence of man's own immortal self. We were taught that this omnipotence comes from the kinship of man's spirit with the Universal Soul — God!
- Our work... is a plea for the recognition of the Hermetic philosophy, the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion, as the only possible key to the Absolute in science and theology.
- To show that we do not at all conceal from ourselves the gravity of our undertaking, we may say in advance that it would not be strange if the following classes should array themselves against us: The Christians, who will see that we question the evidences of the genuineness of their faith.
The Scientists, who will find their pretensions placed in the same bundle with those of the Roman Catholic Church for infallibility...
Pseudo-Scientists will, of course, denounce us furiously.
Broad Churchmen and Freethinkers will find that we do not accept what they do, but demand the recognition of the whole truth.
Men of letters and various authorities, who hide their real belief in deference to popular prejudices.
The mercenaries and parasites of the Press, who prostitute its more than royal power, and dishonor a noble profession, will find it easy to mock at things too wonderful for them to understand...
From many will come honest criticism...
- We look to the future. The contest now going on between the party of public conscience and the party of reaction, has already developed a healthier tone of thought. It will hardly fail to result ultimately in the overthrow of error and the triumph of Truth.
- We repeat again — we are laboring for the brighter morrow. And yet, when we consider the bitter opposition that we are called upon to face, who is better entitled than we upon entering the arena to write upon our shield the hail of the Roman gladiator to Caesar: Moriturus te Salutât!
Before the Veil edit
- It is nineteen centuries since, as we are told, the night of Heathenism and Paganism was first dispelled by the divine light of Christianity; and two-and-a-half centuries since the bright lamp of Modern Science began to shine on the darkness of the ignorance of the ages. Within these respective epochs, we are required to believe, the true moral and intellectual progress of the race has occurred.
- The ancient philosophers were well enough for their respective generations, but they were illiterate as compared with modern men of science. The ethics of Paganism perhaps met the wants of the uncultivated people of antiquity, but not until the advent of the luminous "Star of Bethlehem," was the true road to moral perfection and the way to salvation made plain... Now, the dullest may read the will of God in His revealed word; men have every incentive to be good, and are constantly becoming better.
- This is the assumption; what are the facts? On the one hand an unspiritual, dogmatic, too often debauched clergy; a host of sects, and three warring great religions; discord instead of union, dogmas without proofs, sensation-loving preachers, and wealth and pleasure-seeking parishioners' hypocrisy and bigotry, begotten by the tyrannical exigencies of respectability, the rule of the day, sincerity and real piety exceptional.
- On the other hand, scientific hypotheses built on sand; no accord upon a single question; rancorous quarrels and jealousy; a general drift into materialism. A death-grapple of Science with Theology for infallibility — "a conflict of ages."
- At Rome, the self-styled seat of Christianity, the putative successor to the chair of Peter is undermining social order with his invisible but omnipresent net-work of bigoted agents, and incites them to revolutionize Europe for his temporal as well as spiritual supremacy. We see him who calls himself the "Vicar of Christ," fraternizing with the anti-Christian Moslem against another Christian nation, publicly invoking the blessing of God upon the arms of those who have for centuries withstood, with fire and sword, the pretensions of his Christ to Godhood!
- Between these two conflicting Titans — Science and Theology — is a bewildered public, fast losing all belief in man's personal immortality, in a deity of any kind, and rapidly descending to the level of a mere animal existence. Such is the picture of the hour, illumined by the bright noonday sun of this Christian and scientific era!
- Would it be strict justice to condemn to critical lapidation the most humble and modest of authors for entirely rejecting the authority of both these combatants? Are we not bound rather to take as the true aphorism of this century, the declaration of Horace Greeley: "I accept unreservedly the views of no man, living or dead"? Such, at all events, will be our motto, and we mean that principle to be our constant guide throughout this work.
- The whole question of phenomena rests on the correct comprehension of old philosophies. Whither, then, should we turn, in our perplexity, but to the ancient sages, since, on the pretext of superstition, we are refused an explanation by the modern? Let us ask them what they know of genuine science and religion; not in the matter of mere details, but in all the broad conception of these twin truths — so strong in their unity, so weak when divided. Besides, we may find our profit in comparing this boasted modern science with ancient ignorance; this improved modern theology with the "Secret doctrines" of the ancient universal religion. Perhaps we may thus discover a neutral ground whence we can reach and profit by both. It is the Platonic philosophy, the most elaborate compend of the abstruse systems of old India, that can alone afford us this middle ground.
- Although twenty-two and a quarter centuries have elapsed since the death of Plato, the great minds of the world are still occupied with his writings. He was, in the fullest sense of the word, the world's interpreter. And the greatest philosopher of the pre-Christian era mirrored faithfully in his works the spiritualism of the Vedic philosophers who lived thousands of years before himself, and its metaphysical expression. Vyasa, Djeminy, Kapila, Vrihaspati, Sumati, and so many others, will be found to have transmitted their indelible imprint through the intervening centuries upon Plato and his school. Thus is warranted the inference that to Plato and the ancient Hindu sages was alike revealed the same wisdom. So surviving the shock of time, what can this wisdom be but divine and eternal?
- Plato taught justice as subsisting in the soul of its possessor and his greatest good. "Men, in proportion to their intellect, have admitted his transcendent claims." Yet his commentators, almost with one consent, shrink from every passage which implies that his metaphysics are based on a solid foundation, and not on ideal conceptions.
- Plato could not accept a philosophy destitute of spiritual aspirations; the two were at one with him. For the old Grecian sage there was a single object of attainment: real knowledge. He considered those only to be genuine philosophers, or students of truth, who possess the knowledge of the really-existing, in opposition to the mere seeming; of the always-existing, in opposition to the transitory; and of that which exists permanently, in opposition to that which waxes, wanes, and is developed and destroyed alternately.
- Magician. — This term, once a title of renown and distinction, has come to be wholly perverted from its true meaning. Once the synonym of all that was honorable and reverent, of a possessor of learning and wisdom, it has become degraded into an epithet to designate one who is a pretender and a juggler; a charlatan, in short, or one who has "sold his soul to the Evil One"; who misuses his knowledge, and employs it for low and dangerous uses, according to the teachings of the clergy, and a mass of superstitious fools who believe the magician a sorcerer and an enchanter. But Christians forget, apparently, that Moses was also a magician, and Daniel, "Master of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers" (Daniel, v. II). The word magician then, scientifically speaking, is derived from Magh, Mah, Hindu or Sanscrit Maha — great; a man well versed in the secret or esoteric knowledge; properly a Sacerdote.
Volume I The "Infallibility" of Modern Science edit
- We venture to say a few words in explanation of the plan of this work. Its object is not to force upon the public the personal views or theories of its author; nor has it the pretensions of a scientific work, which aims at creating a revolution in some department of thought. It is rather a brief summary of the religions, philosophies, and universal traditions of human kind, and the exegesis of the same, in the spirit of those secret doctrines, of which none — thanks to prejudice and bigotry — have reached Christendom in so unmutilated a form, as to secure it a fair judgment. Introduction
- Since the days of the unlucky mediaeval philosophers, the last to write upon these secret doctrines of which they were the depositories, few men have dared to brave persecution and prejudice by placing their knowledge upon record. And these few have never, as a rule, written for the public, but only for those of their own and succeeding times who possessed the key to their jargon. The multitude, not understanding them or their doctrines, have been accustomed to regard them. Introduction
- The discoveries of modern science do not disagree with the oldest traditions which claim an incredible antiquity for our race. Chapter I
- The astral perisprit is contained and confined within the physical body as ether in a bottle, or magnetism in magnetized iron. It is a centre and engine of force, fed from the universal supply of force, and moved by the same general laws which pervade all nature and produce all cosmical phenomena. Its inherent activity causes the incessant physical operations of the animal organism and ultimately results in the destruction of the latter by overuse and its own escape. It is the prisoner, not the voluntary tenant, of the body. Chapter VI
- The infinite and uncreated spirit that we usually call GOD, a substance of the highest virtue and excellency, produced everything else by emanative causality. God thus is the primary substance, the rest, the secondary; if the former created matter with a power of moving itself, he, the primary substance, is still the cause of that motion as well as of the matter, and yet we rightly say that it is matter which moves itself. "We may define this kind of spirit we speak of to be a substance indiscernible, that can move itself, that can penetrate, contract, and dilate itself, and can also penetrate, move, and alter matter," which is the third emanation. Chapter VII
- Everything lives and perishes through magnetism; one thing affects another one, even at great distances, and its "congenitals" may be influenced to health and disease by the power of this sympathy, at any time, and notwithstanding the intervening space. Chapter VII
- Science tells us that heat may be shown to develop electricity, electricity produce heat; and magnetism to evolve electricity, and vice versa. Motion, they tell us, results from motion itself, and so on, ad infinitum. This is the A B C of occultism and of the earliest alchemists. The indestructibility of matter and force being discovered and proved, the great problem of eternity is solved. Chapter VII
- Evidently Proclus does not advocate here simply a superstition, but science; for notwithstanding that it is occult, and unknown to our scholars, who deny its possibilities, magic is still a science. It is firmly and solely based on the mysterious affinities existing between organic and inorganic bodies, the visible productions of the four kingdoms, and the invisible powers of the universe. Chapter VII
- That which science calls gravitation, the ancients and the mediaeval hermetists called magnetism, attraction, affinity. It is the universal law, which is understood by Plato and explained in Timaeus as the attraction of lesser bodies to larger ones, and of similar bodies to similar, the latter exhibiting a magnetic power rather than following the law of gravitation. Chapter VII
- "True science has no belief," says Dr. Fenwick, in Bulwer-Lytton's Strange Story; "true science knows but three states of mind: denial, conviction, and the vast interval between the two, which is not belief, but the suspension of judgment." Such, perhaps, was true science in Dr. Fenwick's days. But the true science of our modern times proceeds otherwise; it either denies point-blank, without any preliminary investigation, or sits in the interim, between denial and conviction, and, dictionary in hand, invents new Graeco-Latin appellations for non-existing kinds of hysteria! Chapter VII
- Annihilation means, with the Buddhistical philosophy, only a dispersion of matter, in whatever form or semblance of form it may be; for everything that bears a shape was created, and thus must sooner or later perish, i.e., change that shape; therefore, as something temporary, though seeming to be permanent, it is but an illusion, Maya; for, as eternity has neither beginning nor end, the more or less prolonged duration of some particular form passes, as it were, like an instantaneous flash of lightning. Chapter VII
- While Moses forbids 'graven images' of Him whose name is not to be taken in vain, Spinoza goes farther. He clearly infers that God must not be so much as described. Human language is totally unfit to give an idea of this "Being" who is altogether unique. Whether it is Spinoza or the Christian theology that is more right in their premises and conclusion, we leave the reader to judge for himself. Every attempt to the contrary leads a nation to anthropomorphize the deity in whom it believes, and the result is that given by Swedenborg. Instead of stating that God made man after his own image, we ought in truth to say that "man imagines God after his image," forgetting that he has set up his own reflection for worship. Chapter IX
- What is imagination? Psychologists tell us that it is the plastic or creative power of the soul; but materialists confound it with fancy. The radical difference between the two, was however, so thoroughly indicated by Wordsworth, in the preface to his Lyrical Ballads, that it is no longer excusable to interchange the words. Imagination, Pythagoras maintained to be the remembrance of precedent spiritual, mental, and physical states, while fancy is the disorderly production of the material brain. Chapter XI
- As Mr. Wallace justly observes, Hume's apothegm, that "a miracle is a violation of the laws of nature," is imperfect; for in the first place it assumes that we know all the laws of nature; and, second, that an unusual phenomenon is a miracle. Chapter XII
- What proofs other than negative have we that the animal is without a surviving, if not immortal, soul? On strictly scientific grounds we can adduce as many arguments pro as contra. To express it clearer, neither man nor animal can offer either proof or disproof of the survival of their souls after death. And from the point of view of scientific experience, it is impossible to bring that which has no objective existence under the cognizance of any exact law of science. Chapter XII
- There is a phenomenon in nature unknown, and therefore rejected by physiology and psychology in our age of unbelief... The whole difficulty lies in that 1, the ultimate moment of separation between the two is believed to be that when the body is declared dead by science; and 2, a prevailing unbelief in the existence of either soul or spirit in man, by the same science. Chapter XII
- The kabalists say that a man is not dead when his body is entombed. Death is never sudden; for, according to Hermes, nothing goes in nature by violent transitions. Everything is gradual, and as it required a long and gradual development to produce the living human being, so time is required to completely withdraw vitality from the carcass. "Death can no more be an absolute end, than birth a real beginning. Birth proves the preexistence of the being, as death proves immortality," says the same French kabalist [Eliphas Levi] . Chapter XIII
- Man is not dead when he is cold, stiff, pulseless, breathless, and even showing signs of decomposition; he is not dead when buried, nor afterward, until a certain point is reached. Chapter XIII
- When science shall have effectually demonstrated to us the origin of matter, and proved the fallacy of the occultists and old philosophers who held (as their descendants now hold) that matter is but one of the correlations of spirit, then will the world of skeptics have a right to reject the old Wisdom, or throw the charge of obscenity in the teeth of the old religions. Chapter XV
Preface to Volume II edit
- Were it possible, we would keep this work out of the hands of many Christians whom its perusal would not benefit, and for whom it was not written. We allude to those whose faith in their respective churches is pure and sincere, and those whose sinless lives reflect the glorious example of that Prophet of Nazareth, by whose mouth the spirit of truth spake loudly to humanity.
- History preserves the names of many as heroes, philosophers, philanthropists, martyrs, and holy men and women; but how many more have lived and died, unknown but to their intimate acquaintance, unblessed but by their humble beneficiaries! These have ennobled Christianity, but would have shed the same lustre upon any other faith they might have professed — for they were higher than their creed.
- They are to be found at this day, in pulpit and pew, in palace and cottage; but the increasing materialism, worldliness and hypocrisy are fast diminishing their proportionate number. Their charity, and simple, child-like faith in the infallibility of their Bible, their dogmas, and their clergy, bring into full activity all the virtues that are implanted in our common nature.
- We have personally known such God-fearing priests and clergymen, and we have always avoided debate with them, lest we might be guilty of the cruelty of hurting their feelings; nor would we rob a single layman of his blind confidence, if it alone made possible for him holy living and serene dying.
- An analysis of religious beliefs in general, this volume is in particular directed against theological Christianity, the chief opponent of free thought. It contains not one word against the pure teachings of Jesus, but unsparingly denounces their debasement into pernicious ecclesiastical systems that are ruinous to man's faith in his immortality and his God, and subversive of all moral restraint.
- We cast our gauntlet at the dogmatic theologians who would enslave both history and science; and especially at the Vatican, whose despotic pretensions have become hateful to the greater portion of enlightened Christendom. The clergy apart, none but the logician, the investigator, the dauntless explorer should meddle with books like this. Such delvers after truth have the courage of their opinions.
Volume II Theology edit
- Chapter II
- But, if the knowledge of the occult powers of nature opens the spiritual sight of man, enlarges his intellectual faculties, and leads him unerringly to a profounder veneration for the Creator, on the other hand ignorance, dogmatic narrow-mindedness, and a childish fear of looking to the bottom of things, invariably leads to fetish-worship and superstition.
- In the Book of Hermes, "Pimander," is enunciated in distinct and unequivocal sentences, the whole trinitarian dogma accepted by the Christians. "The light is me," says Pimander, the DIVINE THOUGHT. "I am the nous or intelligence, and I am thy god, and I am far older than the human principle which escapes from the shadow. I am the germ of thought, the resplendent WORD, the SON of GOD. Think that what thus sees and hears in thee, is the Verbum of the Master, it is the Thought, which is God the Father... The celestial ocean, the AETHER, which flows from east to west, is the Breath of the Father, the life-giving Principle, the HOLY GHOST!" For they are not at all separated and their union is LIFE.
- Chapter II
- Every one of the numberless religions and religious sects views the Deity after its own fashion; and, fathering on the unknown its own speculations, it enforces these purely human outgrowths of overheated imagination on the ignorant masses, and calls them "revelation." As the dogmas of every religion and sect often differ radically, they cannot be true. And if untrue, what are they?
- Chapter III
- We can assert, with entire plausibility, that there is not one of all these sects — Kabalism, Judaism, and our present Christianity included — but sprung from the two main branches of that one mother-trunk, the once universal religion, which antedated the Vedaic ages — we speak of that prehistoric Buddhism which merged later into Brahmanism
- The religion which the primitive teaching of the early few apostles most resembled — a religion preached by Jesus himself — is the elder of these two, Buddhism. The latter as taught in its primitive purity, and carried to perfection by the last of the Buddhas, Gautama, based its moral ethics on three fundamental principles.
- Perhaps the Church of Rome was but consistent in choosing as her titular founder the apostle who thrice denied his master at the moment of danger; and the only one, moreover, except Judas, who provoked Christ in such a way as to be addressed as the "Enemy." "Get thee behind me, Satan!" exclaims Jesus, rebuking the taunting apostle.(Gospel according to Mark, viii. 33.)
- This tradition, then, of which we have been speaking, affirms that, when frightened at the accusation of the servant of the high priest, the apostle had thrice denied his master, and the cock had crowed, Jesus, who was then passing through the hall in custody of the soldiers, turned, and, looking at Peter, said: "Verily, I say unto thee, Peter, thou shalt deny me throughout the coming ages, and never stop until thou shalt be old, and shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee and carry thee whither thou wouldst not." The latter part of this sentence, say the Greeks, relates to the Church of Rome, and prophesies her constant apostasy from Christ, under the mask of false religion. Later, it was inserted in the twenty-first chapter of John, but the whole of this chapter had been pronounced a forgery, even before it was found that this Gospel was never written by John the Apostle at all.
- Chapter IV
- "Tell me who it is who brings about the re-birth (the revolutio)?" is asked of the wise Hermes. "God's Son, the only man, through the will of God," is the answer of the "heathen." "God's son" is the immortal spirit assigned to every human being. It is this divine entity which is the "only man," for the casket which contains our soul, and the soul itself, are but half-entities, and without its overshadowing both body and astral soul, the two are but an animal duad. It requires a trinity to form the complete "man," and allow him to remain immortal at every "re-birth," or revolutio, throughout the subsequent and ascending spheres, every one of which brings him nearer to the refulgent realm of eternal and absolute light.
- Chapter VII
- The Buddhists maintain that there is no Creator but an infinitude of creative powers, which collectively form the one eternal substance, the essence of which is inscrutable — hence not a subject for speculation for any true philosopher.
- Socrates invariably refused to argue upon the mystery of universal being, yet no one would ever have thought of charging him with atheism, except those who were bent upon his destruction. Upon inaugurating an active period, says the Secret Doctrine, an expansion of this Divine essence, from within outwardly, occurs in obedience to eternal and immutable law, and the phenomenal or visible universe is the ultimate result of the long chain of cosmical forces thus progressively set in motion. In like manner, when the passive condition is resumed, a contraction of the Divine essence takes place, and the previous work of creation is gradually and progressively undone. The visible universe becomes disintegrated, its material dispersed; and "darkness," solitary and alone, broods once more over the face of the "deep." To use a metaphor which will convey the idea still more clearly, an outbreathing of the "unknown essence" produces the world; and an inhalation causes it to disappear. This process has been going on from all eternity, and our present universe is but one of an infinite series which had no beginning and will have no end.
- In the "fall of Adam" we must see, not the personal transgression of man, but simply the law of the dual evolution. Adam, or "Man," begins his career of existences by dwelling in the garden of Eden, "dressed in the celestial garment, which is a garment of heavenly light" (Sohar, ii., 229 b); but when expelled he is "clothed" by God, or the eternal law of Evolution or necessarianism, with coats of skin. But even on this earth of material degradation — in which the divine spark (Soul, a corruscation of the Spirit) was to begin its physical progression in a series of imprisonments from a stone up to a man's body — if he but exercise his WILL and call his deity to his help, man can transcend the powers of the angel. "Know ye not that we shall judge angels?" asks Paul (1 Corinthians, vi. 3). The real man is the Soul (Spirit), teaches the Sohar. "The mystery of the earthly man is after the mystery of the heavenly man... the wise can read the mysteries in the human face" (ii., 76 a).
- Chapter VII
- The inference to be drawn from all this is, that the made-up and dogmatic Christianity of the Constantinian period is simply an offspring of the numerous conflicting sects, half-castes themselves, born of Pagan parents. Each of these could claim representatives converted to the so-called orthodox body of Christians. And, as every newly-born dogma had to be carried out by the majority of votes, every sect colored the main substance with its own hue, till the moment when the emperor enforced this revealed olla-podrida, of which he evidently did not himself understand a word, upon an unwilling world as the religion of Christ. Wearied in the vain attempt to sound this fathomless bog of international speculations, unable to appreciate a religion based on the pure spirituality of an ideal conception, Christendom gave itself up to the adoration of brutal force as represented by a Church backed up by Constantine. Since then, among the thousand rites, dogmas, and ceremonies copied from Paganism, the Church can claim but one invention as thoroughly original with her — namely, the doctrine of eternal damnation, and one custom, that of the anathema.
- Chapter IX
- "The myths," says Horace in his Ars Poetica, "have been invented by wise men to strengthen the laws and teach moral truths." While Horace endeavored to make clear the very spirit and essence of the ancient myths, Euhemerus pretended, on the contrary, that "myths were the legendary history of kings and heroes, transformed into gods by the admiration of the nations." It is the latter method which was inferentially followed by Christians when they agreed upon the acceptation of euhemerized patriarchs, and mistook them for men who had really lived.
- The allegories of the "fall of man" and the "deluge," are the two most important features of the Pentateuch. They are, so to say, the Alpha and Omega, the highest and the lowest keys of the scale of harmony on which resounds the majestic hymns of the creation of mankind; for they discover to him who questions the Zura (figurative Gematria), the process of man's evolution from the highest spiritual entity unto the lowest physical — the post-diluvian man, as in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, every sign of the picture writing which cannot be made to fit within a certain circumscribed geometrical figure may be rejected as only intended by the sacred hierogrammatist for a premeditated blind — so many of the details in the Bible must be treated on the same principle, that portion only being accepted which answers to the numerical methods taught in the Kabala.
- "Noah is a revolutio of Adam, as Moses is a revolutio of Abel and Seth," says the Kabala; that is to say, a repetition or another version of the same story. The greatest proof of it is the distribution of the characters in the Bible. For instance, beginning with Cain, the first murderer, every fifth man in his line of descent is a murderer. Thus there come Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methuselah, and the fifth is Lamech, the second murderer, and he is Noah's father.
- By drawing the five-pointed star of Lucifer (which has its crown-point downward) and writing the name of Cain beneath the lowest point, and those of his descendants successively at each of the other points, it will be found that each fifth name — which would be written beneath that of Cain — is that of a murderer. In the Talmud this genealogy is given complete, and thirteen murderers range themselves in line below the name of Cain. This is no coincidence. Siva is the Destroyer, but he is also the Regenerator. Cain is a murderer, but he is also the creator of nations, and an inventor. This star of Lucifer is the same one that John sees falling down to earth in his Apocalypse.
- And is there no possibility that there was a period, and several periods, when man existed, and yet was not an organic being — therefore could not have left any vestige of himself for exact science? Spirit leaves no skeletons or fossils behind, and yet few are the men on earth who doubt that man can live both objectively and subjectively. At all events, the theology of the Brahmans, hoary with antiquity, and which divides the formative periods of the earth into four ages, and places between each of these a lapse of 1,728,000 years, far more agrees with official science and modern discovery than the absurd chronological notions promulgated by the Councils of Nice and Trent.
- Chapter X
- The Gnostics were the earliest Christians with anything like a regular theological system, and it is only too evident that it was Jesus who was made to fit their theology as Christos, and not their theology that was developed out of his sayings and doings. Their ancestors had maintained, before the Christian era, that the Great Serpent — Jupiter, the Dragon of Life, the Father and "Good Divinity," had glided into the couch of Semele, and now, the post-Christian Gnostics, with a very trifling change, applied the same fable to the man Jesus, and asserted that the same "Good Divinity," Saturn (Ilda-Baoth), had, in the shape of the Dragon of Life, glided over the cradle of the infant Mary.
- Jesus taught the world nothing that had not been taught as earnestly before by other masters. He begins his sermon [on the Mount] with certain purely Buddhistic precepts that had found acceptance among the Essenes, and were generally practiced by the Orphikoi, and the Neo-platonists... Every word of his sermon is an echo of the essential principles of monastic Buddhism.
- The Christian virtues inculcated by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount are nowhere exemplified in the Christian world... Meanwhile the vices which coarse-mouthed slanderers have attributed to Paganism, are current everywhere among Christian Fathers and Christian Churches.
- The light of Christianity has only served to show how much more hypocrisy and vice its teachings have begotten in the world since its advent, and how immensely superior were the ancients over us in every point of honor.
- The clergy, by teaching the helplessness of man, his utter dependence on Providence, and the doctrine of atonement, have crushed in their faithful followers every atom of self-reliance and self-respect. So true is this, that it is becoming an axiom that the most honorable men are to be found among atheists and the so-called “infidels”.
- Let them [i.e. the Christian theologians] pass on – we have devoted too much space to them and their conglomerate theology, already. We have weighed both in the balance of history, of logic, of truth, and found them wanting. Their system breeds atheism, nihilism, despair, and crime: its priests and preachers are unable to prove by works their reception of divine power. If both Church and priest could but pass out of the sight of the world as easily as their names do now from the eye of our reader, it would be a happy day for humanity.
- Chapter XI
- Comparative theology is a two-edged weapon, and has so proved itself. But the Christian advocates, unabashed by evidence, force comparison in the serenest way; Christian legends and dogmas, they say, do somewhat resemble the heathen, it is true; but see, while the one teaches us the existence, powers, and attributes of an all-wise, all-good Father-God, Brahmanism gives us a multitude of minor gods, and Buddhism none whatever; one is fetishism and polytheism, the other bald atheism.
- Jehovah is the one true God, and the Pope and Martin Luther are His prophets! This is one edge of the sword, and this the other: Despite missions, despite armies, despite enforced commercial intercourse, the "heathen" find nothing in the teachings of Jesus — sublime though some are — that Christ and Gautama had not taught them before.
- To gain over any new converts, and keep the few already won by centuries of cunning, the Christians give the "heathen" dogmas more absurd than their own, and cheat them by adopting the habit of their native priests, and practicing the very "idolatry and fetishism" which they so disparage in the "heathens." Comparative theology works both ways.
Quotes about edit
- The Ageless Wisdom teaching was first made available to the general public around 1875 by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky in her seminal works: The Secret Doctrine and Isis Unveiled. Blavatsky established the Theosophical Society to introduce this `new' perspective on history and human evolution. The intermediate phase of the teaching was revealed by Alice A. Bailey who, from 1919 to 1949, collaborated with a Master of Wisdom known as `the Tibetan'.
- By-the-bye you must not trust Isis literally. The book is but a tentative effort to divert the attention of the Spiritualists from their preconceptions to the true state of things. The author was made to hint and point out the true direction, to say what things are not, not what they are. Proof readers helping, a few real mistakes have crept in as on page i, chapter i, volume i, where divine Essence is made emanating from Adam instead of the reverse.
- The book is out, and we have to patiently wait for the results... Isis emanating from women... The Hersites and literary Phihstines will go hard to work, the flings, squibs and coups de bee falling thick upon her—though aimed at you alone as the Editor of the Pioneer is far from being beloved by his colleagues of India, Spiritualistic papers have already opened the campaign in London and the Yankee editors of the Organs of "Angels" will follow suit, the heavenly "Controls" ejaculating their choicest scandalum magnatum. Some men of science—least of all their admirers—the parasites who bask in the sun and dream they are themselves that sun—are not likely to forgive you the sentence—really much too flattering—which ranges the comprehension of a poor, unknown Hindoo " So far beyond the science and philosophy of Europe, that only the broadest minded representatives of either will be able to realize the existence of such powers in man, etc." But what of that? It was all foreseen and was to be expected. When the first hum and dingdong of adverse criticism is hushed, thoughtful men will read and ponder over the book, as they have never pondered over the most scientific efforts of Wallace and Crookes to reconcile modern science with Spirits, and—the little seed will grow and thrive.