THEOSOPHY, Vol. 50, No. 7, May, 1962
(Pages 323-327; Size: 15K)
"WHEN thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father in secret," says the Nazarene, the pupil of the Essenes. Prayer opens the spiritual sight of man, for prayer is desire, and desire develops WILL; the magnetic emanations proceeding from the body at every effort -- whether mental or physical -- produce self-magnetization and ecstasy.
That which supports the faith of man in God and a spiritual life to come is intuition; the divine outcome of the inner-self, which defies the mummeries of the Roman Catholic priest and his ridiculous idols; the thousand and one ceremonies of the Brahman and his idols; and the jeremiads of the Protestant preacher, and desolate and arid creed, with no idols, but a boundless hell and damnation hooked on at the end. Were it not for this intuition, undying though often wavering because so clogged with matter, human life would be a parody and humanity a fraud. This ineradicable feeling of a presence of some one outside and inside ourselves is one that no dogmatic contradictions nor external forms of worship can destroy in humanity, let scientists and clergy do what they may.
To accept the Bible as a "revelation" and nail belief to a literal translation, is worse than absurdity -- it is a blasphemy against the Divine majesty of the "Unseen." If we had to judge of the Deity, and the world of spirits by its human interpreters, now that philology proceeds with giant-strides on the fields of comparative religions, belief in God and the soul's immortality could not withstand the attacks of reason for one century more. Modern science, by neglecting to unriddle the true sense of the Bible, and by allowing the whole of Christendom to go on believing in the dead letter of the Jewish theology, tacitly constitutes herself the confederate of the fanatical clergy. She has no right to ridicule the records of a people who never wrote them with the idea that they would receive such strange interpretations at the hands of an inimical religion. That their holiest texts should be turned against them and that the dead men's bones could have smothered the spirit of truth, is the saddest feature of Christianity!
That which the student will do well to remember is that, with every people except the Christian nations, the Devil is to this day no worse an entity than the opposite aspect in the dual nature of the so-called Creator. This is only natural. One cannot claim God as the synthesis of the whole Universe, as Omnipresent and Omniscient and Infinite, and then divorce him from evil. As there is far more evil than good in the world, it follows on logical grounds that either God must include evil, or stand as the direct cause of it, or else surrender his claims to absoluteness. The ancients understood this so well that their philosophers -- now followed by the Kabalists -- defined evil as the lining of God or Good: Demon est Deus inversus being a very old adage.
Indeed, evil is but an antagonizing blind force in nature; it is reaction, opposition, and contrast, -- evil for some, good for others. There is no malum in se: only the shadow of light, without which light could have no existence, even in our perceptions. If evil disappeared, good would disappear along with it from Earth. The "Old Dragon" was pure spirit before he became matter, passive before he became active. In the Syro-Chaldean magic both Ophis and Ophiomorphis are joined in the Zodiac, at the sign of the Androgyne Virgo-Scorpio. Before its fall on earth the "Serpent" was Ophis-Christos, and after its fall it became Ophiomorphis-CHRESTOS. Everywhere the speculations of the Kabalists treat of Evil as a FORCE, which is antagonistic, but at the same time essential, to Good, as giving it vitality and existence, which it could never have had otherwise.
In human nature, evil denotes only the polarity of matter and spirit, a struggle for life between the two manifested Principles in Space and Time, which principles are one per se, inasmuch as they are rooted in the Absolute. In Kosmos, the equilibrium must be preserved. The operations of the two contraries produce harmony, like the centripetal and centrifugal forces, which are necessary to each other -- mutually inter-dependent -- "in order that both should live." If one is arrested, the action of the other will become immediately self-destructive.
There would be no life possible (in the Mayavic sense) without Death, nor regeneration and reconstruction without destruction. Plants would perish in eternal sunlight, and so would man, who would become an automaton without the exercise of his free will and aspirations after that sunlight, which would lose its being and value for him had he nothing but light. Good is infinite and eternal only in the eternally concealed from us, and this is why we imagine it eternal. On the manifested planes, one equilibrates the other.
Having to trace the origin of the idea to the very beginnings of human mind, it is but just, meanwhile, to give his due even to the proverbial Devil. Antiquity knew of no isolated, thoroughly and absolutely bad "god of evil." Pagan thought represented good and evil as twin brothers, born from the same mother -- Nature; so soon as that thought ceased to be Archaic, Wisdom too became Philosophy. In the beginning the symbols of good and evil were mere abstractions, Light and Darkness; then their types became chosen among the most natural and ever-recurrent periodical Cosmic phenomena -- the Day and the Night, or the Sun and the Moon. Then the Hosts of the Solar and Lunar deities were made to represent them, and the Dragon of Darkness was contrasted with the Dragon of Light.
The Host of Satan is a Son of God, no less than the Host of the B'ni Alhim, those children of God coming to "present themselves before the Lord," their father (see Job ii.). According to Genesis, "The Sons of God" became the "Fallen Angels" only after perceiving that the daughters of men were fair. In the Indian philosophy, the Suras are among the earliest and brightest gods, and become Asuras only when dethroned by Brahmanical fancy.
Satan never assumed an anthropomorphic, individualised shape, until the creation by man, of a "one living personal god," had been accomplished; and then merely as a matter of prime necessity. A screen was needed; a scape-goat to explain the cruelty, blunders, and but too-evident injustice, perpetrated by him for whom absolute perfection, mercy, and goodness were claimed. This was the first Karmic effect of abandoning a philosophical and logical Pantheism, to build, as a prop for lazy man, "a merciful father in Heaven," whose daily and hourly actions as Natura naturans, the "comely mother but stone cold," belie the assumptions. This led to the primal twins, Osiris-Typhon, Ormazd-Ahriman, and finally Cain-Abel and the tutti-quanti of contraries.
Having commenced by being synonymous with Nature, "God," the Creator, ended by being made its author. Pascal settles the difficulty very cunningly: "Nature has perfections, in order to show that she is the image of God: and defects, in order to show that she is only his image," he says.
The further back one recedes into the darkness of prehistoric ages, the more philosophical does the prototypic figure of the later Satan become. The first "Adversary" in individual human form that one meets with in old Puranic literature is one of her greatest Rishis and Yogis -- Narada, surnamed the "Strife-maker." And he is a Brahmaputra, a son of Brahma, the male. Who the great "Deceiver" really is, one can ascertain by searching for him with open eyes and an unprejudiced mind, in every old cosmogony and Scripture. It is the anthropomorphised Demiurge, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, when separated from the collective Hosts of his fellow-Creators, whom, so to speak, he represents and synthesizes. It is now the God of theologies. "The thought is father to the wish." Once upon a time, a philosophical symbol left to perverse human fancy; afterwards fashioned into a fiendish, deceiving, cunning, and jealous God.
Few are those theists and believers in a personal God, who do not make of Satan the shadow of God; or who, confounding both, do not believe they have a right to pray to that idol asking its help and protection for the exercise and impunity of their evil and cruel deeds. "Lead us not into Temptation" is addressed daily to "our Father, which art in Heaven," and not to the Devil, by millions of human Christian hearts. They do so, repeating the very words put into the mouth of their Saviour, and do not give one thought to the fact that their meaning is contradicted point blank by James "the brother of the Lord." "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man" (James I:13).
Why, then, say it is the Devil who tempts us, when the Church teaches us on the authority of Christ that it is God who does so? Open any pious volume in which the word "temptation" is defined in its theological sense, and forthwith you find two definitions: (1) "Those afflictions and troubles whereby God tries his people"; (2) Those means and enticements which the Devil makes use of to ensnare and allure mankind. (James I:2, 12 and Matt. 6:13.) If accepted literally, the two teachings of Christ and James contradict each other, and what dogma can reconcile the two if the occult meaning is rejected?
Between the alternative allurements, wise will be that philosopher who will be able to decide where God disappears to make room for the Devil! Therefore when we read that "the Devil is a liar and the father of it, i.e., INCARNATE LIE, and are told in the same breath that Satan -- the Devil -- was a son of God and the most beautiful of his archangels, rather than believe that Father and Son are a gigantic, personified and eternal LIE, we prefer to turn to Pantheism and to Pagan philosophies for information.
Once that the key to Genesis is in our hands, it is the scientific and symbolical Kabala which unveils the secret. The great Serpent of the Garden of Eden and the "Lord God" are identical, and so are Jehovah and Cain ONE -- that Cain who is referred to in theology as the "murderer" and the LIAR to God! Jehovah tempts the King of Israel to number the people, and Satan tempts him to do the same in another place. Jehovah turns into the fiery serpents to bite those he is displeased with; and Jehovah informs the brazen serpent that heals them. These short, and seemingly contradictory, statements in the Old Testament (contradictory because the two Powers are separated instead of being regarded as the two facets of one and the same thing) are the echoes -- distorted out of recognition by exotericism and theology -- of the universal and philosophical dogmas in nature, so well understood by the primitive Sages.
The true Buddhist, recognizing no "personal god," nor any "Father" and "Creator of Heaven and Earth," still believes in an absolute consciousness, "Adi-Buddha"; and the Buddhist philosopher knows that there are Planetary Spirits, the "Dhyan Chohans." But though he admits of "spiritual lives," yet, as they are temporary in eternity, even they, according to his philosophy, are "the maya of the day," the illusions of a "day of Brahma," a short manvantara of 4,320,000,000 years. The "Yin-Sin" is not for the speculations of men, for the Lord Buddha has strongly prohibited such inquiry.
If the Dhyan Chohans and all the invisible Beings -- the Seven Centres and their direct Emanations, the minor centres of Energy -- are the direct reflex of the ONE Light, yet men are far removed from these, since the whole of the visible Kosmos consists of "self-produced beings, the creatures of Karma." Thus regarding a personal God "as only a gigantic shadow thrown upon the void of space by the imagination of ignorant men," they teach that only "two things are (objectively) eternal, namely Akasa and Nirvana"; and that these two are ONE in reality, and but a maya when divided. "Buddhists deny creation and cannot conceive of a Creator." "Everything has come out of Akasa (or Svabhavat on our earth) in obedience to a law of motion inherent in it, and after a certain existence passes away. Nothing ever came out of nothing." (Buddhist Catechism.)
THE SCREEN OF TIME
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(1) NOTE.--Collated from the writings of H. P. Blavatsky.
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