Isis Unveiled by H. P. Blavatsky — Vol. 1
Theosophical University Press Online Edition
"STE. — Have we devils here? Do you put tricks upon us with savages, and men of Inde?" The Tempest, Act ii., Sc. 2.
"We have now, so far forth as it is requisite for our design, considered the Nature and Functions of the Soule; and have plainly demonstrated that she is a substance distinct from the body." — DR. HENRY MORE: Immortality of the Soule. 1659.
"KNOWLEDGE IS POWER; IGNORANCE IS IMBECILITY." — AUTHOR OF "Art-Magic": Ghost-Land.
THE "secret doctrine" has for many centuries been like the symbolical "man of sorrows" of the prophet Isaiah. "Who hath believed our report?" its martyrs have repeated from one generation to another. The doctrine has grown up before its persecutors "as a tender plant and as a root out of a dry ground; it hath no form, nor comeliness . . . it is despised and rejected of men; and they hid their faces from it. . . . They esteemed him not."
There need be no controversy as to whether this doctrine agrees or not with the iconoclastic tendency of the skeptics of our times. It agrees with truth and that is enough. It would be idle to expect that it would be believed by its detractors and slanderers. But the tenacious vitality it exhibits all over the globe, wherever there are a group of men to quarrel over it, is the best proof that the seed planted by our fathers on "the other side of the flood" was that of a mighty oak, not the spore of a mushroom theology. No lightning of human ridicule can fell to the ground, and no thunderbolts ever forged by the Vulcans of science are powerful enough to blast the trunk, or even scar the branches of this world-tree of KNOWLEDGE.
We have but to leave unnoticed their letter that killeth, and catch the subtile spirit of their hidden wisdom, to find concealed in the Books of Hermes — be they the model or the copy of all others — the evidences of a truth and philosophy which we feel must be based on the eternal laws. We instinctively comprehend that, however finite the powers of man, while he is yet embodied, they must be in close kinship with the attributes of an infinite Deity; and we become capable of better appreciating the hidden sense of the gift lavished by the Elohim on H'Adam: "Behold, I have given you everything which is upon the face of all the earth . . . subdue it," and "have dominion" over ALL.
Had the allegories contained in the first chapters of Genesis been
better understood, even in their geographical and historical sense, which involve nothing at all esoteric, the claims of its true interpreters, the kabalists, could hardly have been rejected for so long a time. Every student of the Bible must be aware that the first and second chapters of Genesis could not have proceeded from the same pen. They are evidently allegories and parables;* for the two narratives of the creation and peopling of our earth diametrically contradict each other in nearly every particular of order, time, place, and methods employed in the so-called creation. In accepting the narratives literally, and as a whole, we lower the dignity of the unknown Deity. We drag him down to the level of humanity, and endow him with the peculiar personality of man, who needs the "cool of the day" to refresh him; who rests from his labors; and is capable of anger, revenge, and even of using precautions against man, "lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life." (A tacit admission, by the way, on the part of the Deity, that man could do it, if not prevented by sheer force.) But, in recognizing the allegorical coloring of the description of what may be termed historical facts, we find our feet instantly on firm ground.
To begin with — the garden of Eden as a locality is no myth at all; it belongs to those landmarks of history which occasionally disclose to the student that the Bible is not all mere allegory. "Eden, or the Hebrew GAN-EDEN, meaning the park or the garden of Eden, is an archaic name of the country watered by the Euphrates and its many branches, from Asia and Armenia to the Erythraian Sea."* In the Chaldean Book of Numbers, its location is designated in numerals, and in the cipher Rosicrucian manuscript, left by Count St. Germain, it is fully described. In the Assyrian Tablets, it is rendered gan-dunyas. "Behold," say the Eloim of Genesis, "the man is become as one of us." The Eloim may be accepted in one sense for gods or powers, and taken in another one for the Aleim, or priests; the hierophants initiated into the good and the evil of this world; for there was a college of priests called the Aleim, while the head of their caste, or the chief of the hierophants, was known as Java Aleim. Instead of becoming a neophyte, and gradually obtaining his esoteric knowledge through a regular initiation, an Adam, or man, uses his intuitional faculties, and, prompted by the Serpent — Woman and matter — tastes of the Tree of Knowledge — the esoteric or secret doctrine — unlawfully. The priests of Hercules, or Mel-Karth, the "Lord" of the Eden, all wore "coats of skin." The text says: "And Java Aleim, made for Adam and his wife , "CHITONUTH OUR." The first
* See Paul to the Galatians, iv., 24, and Gospel according to Matthew, xiii. 10-15.
** A. Wilder says that "Gan-duniyas," is a name of Babylonia.
Hebrew word, chitun, is the Greek chiton. It became a Slavonic word by adoption from the Bible, and means a coat, an upper garment.
Though containing the same substratum of esoteric truth as every early cosmogony, the Hebrew Scripture wears on its face the marks of its double origin. Its Genesis is purely a reminiscence of the Babylonian captivity. The names of places, men, and even objects, can be traced from the original text to the Chaldeans and the Akkadians, the progenitors and Aryan instructors of the former. It is strongly contested that the Akkad tribes of Chaldea, Babylonia, and Assyria were in any way cognate with the Brahmans, of Hindustan; but there are more proofs in favor of this opinion than otherwise. The Shemite, or Assyrian, ought, perchance, to have been called the Turanian, and the Mongolians have been denominated Scyths. But if the Akkadians ever existed otherwise than in the imagination of some philologists and ethnologists, they certainly would never have been a Turanian tribe, as some Assyriologists have striven to make us believe. They were simply emigrants on their way to Asia Minor from India, the cradle of humanity, and their sacerdotal adepts tarried to civilize and initiate a barbarian people. Halevy proved the fallacy of the Turanian mania in regard to the Akkadian people, whose very name has been changed a dozen times already; and other scientists have proved that the Babylonian civilization was neither born nor developed in that country. It was imported from India, and the importers were Brahmanical Hindus.
It is the opinion of Professor A. Wilder, that if the Assyrians had been called Turanians and the Mongolians Scyths, then, in such a case the wars of Iran and Turan, Zohak and Jemshid, or Yima, would have been fairly comprehended as the struggle of the old Persians against the endeavors of the Assyrian satraps to conquer them, which ended in the overthrow of Nineveh; "the spider weaving her web in the palace of Afrasiab."*
"The Turanian of Prof. Muller and his school," adds our correspondent, "was evidently the savage and nomadic Caucasian, out of whom the Hamite or AEthiopian builders come; then the Shemites — perhaps a hybrid of Hamite and Aryan; and lastly the Aryan — Median, Persian, Hindu; and later, the Gothic and Slavic peoples of Europe. He supposes the Celt to have been a hybrid, analogous to the Assyrians — between the Aryan invaders of Europe and the Iberic (probably AEthiopic) population of Europe." In such a case he must admit the possibility of our assertion that the Akkadians were a tribe of the earliest Hindus. Now,
* The appropriate definition of the name "Turanian" is, any ethnic family that ethnologists know nothing about.
whether they were Brahmans, from the Brahmanic planisphere proper (40 [[degrees]] north latitude), or from India (Hindustan), or, again, from the India of Central Asia, we will leave to philologists of future ages to decide.
An opinion which with us amounts to certitude, demonstrated by an inductive method of our own, which we are afraid will be but little appreciated by the orthodox methods of modern science, is based on what will appear to the latter merely circumstantial evidence. For years we have repeatedly noticed that the same esoteric truths were expressed in identical symbols and allegories in countries between which there had never been traced any historical affiliation. We have found the Jewish Kabala and the Bible repeating the Babylonian "myths,"* and the Oriental and Chaldean allegories, given in form and substance in the oldest manuscripts of the Siamese Talapoin (monks), and in the popular but oldest traditions of Ceylon.
In the latter place we have an old and valued acquaintance whom we have also met in other parts of the globe, a Pali scholar, and a native Cingalese, who has in his possession a curious palm leaf, to which, by chemical processes, a timeproof durability has been given, and an enormous conch, or rather one-half of a conch — for it has been split in two. On the leaf we saw the representation of a giant of Ceylonian antiquity and fame, blind, and pulling down — with his outstretched arms, which are embracing the four central pillars of a pagoda — the whole temple on a crowd of armed enemies. His hair is long and reaches nearly to the ground. We were informed by the possessor of this curious relic, that the blind giant was "Somona, the Little"; so called in contradistinction with Somona-Kadom, the Siamese saviour. Moreover, the Pali legend, in as important particulars, corresponds with that of the biblical Samson.
The shell bore upon its pearly surface a pictorial engraving, divided in two compartments, and the workmanship was far more artistic, as to conception and execution, than the crucifixes and other religious trinkets carved out of the same material in our days, at Jaffa and Jerusalem. In the first panel is represented Siva, with all his Hindu attributes, sacrificing his son — whether the "only-begotten," or one of many, we never stopped to inquire. The victim is laid on a funeral pile, and the father is hovering in the air over him, with an uplifted weapon ready to strike; but the god's face is turned toward a jungle in which a rhinoceros has deeply buried its horn in a huge tree and is unable to extricate it. The adjoining panel, or division, represents the same rhinoceros on the pile
* See Berosus and Sanchoniathon; Cory's "Ancient Fragments"; Movers, and others.
with the weapon plunged in its side, and the intended victim — Siva's son — free, and helping the god to kindle the fire upon the sacrificial altar.
Now, we have but to remember that Siva and the Palentinian Baal, or Moloch, and Saturn are identical; that Abraham is held until the present day by the Mahometan Arabs as Saturn in the Kaaba;* that Abraham and Israel were names of Saturn;** and that Sanchoniathon tells us that Saturn offered his only-begotten son as a sacrifice to his father Ouranos, and even circumcised himself and forced all his household and allies to do the same,*** to trace unerringly the biblical myth to its source. But this source is neither Phoenician, nor Chaldean; it is purely Indian, and the original of it may be found in the Maha-Bharata. But, whether Brahmanical or Buddhistical, it must certainly be much older than the Jewish Pentateuch, as compiled by Ezra after the Babylonian captivity, and revised by the Rabbis of the Great Synagogue.
Therefore, we are bold enough to maintain our assertion against the opinion of many men of learning, whom, nevertheless, we consider far more learned than ourselves. Scientific induction is one thing, and knowledge of facts, however unscientific they may seem at first, is another. But science has discovered enough to inform us that Sanscrit originals, of Nepaul, were translated by Buddhistic missionaries into nearly every Asiatic language. Likewise Pali manuscripts were translated into Siamese, and carried to Burmah and Siam; it is easy, therefore, to account for the same religious legends and myths circulating in all these countries. But Manetho tells us also of Pali shepherds who emigrated westward; and when we find some of the oldest Ceylonic traditions in the Chaldean Kabala and Jewish Bible, we must think that either Chaldeans or Babylonians had been in Ceylon or India, or the ancient Pali had the same traditions as the Akkadians, whose origin is so uncertain. Suppose even Rawlinson to be right, and that the Akkadians did come from Armenia, he did not trace them farther back. As the field is now opened for any kind of hypothesis, we submit that this tribe might as well have come to Armenia from beyond the Indus, following their way in the direction of the Caspian Sea — a part which was also India, once upon a time — and from thence to the Euxine. Or they might have come originally from Ceylon by the same way. It has been found impossible to follow, with any degree of certitude, the wanderings of these nomadic Aryan tribes; hence we are left to judge from inference, and by comparing their esoteric myths. Abraham himself, for all our scientists can know, might have been one of these Pali shepherds who emigrated West. He is shown to have gone
* Movers, 86.
*** Sanchon.: in Cory's "Fragments," p. 14.
with his father, Terah, from "Ur of the Chaldees"; and Sir H. Rawlinson found the Phoenician city of Martu or Marathos mentioned in an inscription at Ur, and shows it to signify THE WEST.
If their language seems in one sense to oppose their identity with the Brahmans of Hindustan, yet there are other reasons which make good our claims that the biblical allegories of Genesis are entirely due to these nomadic tribes. Their name Ak-ad, is of the same class as Ad-Am, Ha-va,* or Ed-En — "perhaps," says Dr. Wilder, "meaning son of Ad, like the sons of Ad in ancient Arabia. In Assyrian, Ak is creator and Ad-ad is AD, the father." In Aramean Ad also means one, and Ad-ad the only-one; and in the Kabala Ad-ant is the only-begotten, the first emanation of the unseen Creator. Adon was the "Lord" god of Syria and the consort of Adar-gat, or Aster-'t,' the Syrian goddess, who was Venus, Isis, Istar, or Mylitta, etc.; and each of these was "mother of all living" — the Magna Mater.
Thus, while the first, second, and third chapters of Genesis are but disfigured imitations of other cosmogonies, the fourth chapter, beginning at the sixteenth verse, and the fifth chapter to the end — give purely historical facts; though the latter were never correctly interpreted. They are taken, word for word, from the secret Book of Numbers, of the Great Oriental Kabala. From the birth of Enoch, the appropriated first parent of modern Freemasonry, begins the genealogy of the so-called Turanian, Aryan, and Semitic families, if such they be correctly. Every woman is an euhemerized land or city; every man and patriarch a race, a branch, or a subdivision of a race. The wives of Lamech give the key to the riddle which some good scholar might easily master, even without studying the esoteric sciences. "And Ad-ah bare Jabal: he was the father of such as dwell in tents, and of such as have cattle," nomadic Aryan race; " . . . and his brother was Jubal; he was the father of all such as handle the harp and organ; . . . and Zillah bare Tubal-Cain, an instructor of every artificer in brass and iron," etc. Every word has a significance; but it is no revelation. It is simply a compilation of the most historical facts, although history is too perplexed upon this point to know how to claim them. It is from the Euxine to Kashmere, and beyond that we must search for the cradle of mankind and the sons of Ad-ah; and leave the particular garden of Ed-en on the Euphrates to
* In an old Brahmanical book called the "Prophecies," by Ramatsariar, as well as in the Southern MSS. in the legend of Christna, the latter gives nearly word for word the first two chapters of Genesis. He recounts the creation of man — whom he calls Adima, in Sanscrit, the 'first man' — and the first woman is called Heva, that which completes life. According to Louis Jacolliot ("La Bible dans l'Inde"), Christna existed, and his legend was written, over 3,000 years B.C.
the college of the weird astrologers and magi, the Aleim.* No wonder that the Northern seer, Swedenborg, advises people to search for the LOST WORD among the hierophants of Tartary, China, and Thibet; for it is there, and only there now, although we find it inscribed on the monuments of the oldest Egyptian dynasties.
The grandiose poetry of the four Vedas; the Books of Hermes; the Chaldean Book of Numbers; the Nazarene Codex; the Kabala of the Tanaim; the Sepher Jezira; the Book of Wisdom, of Schlomah (Solomon); the secret treatise on Muhta and Badha** attributed by the Buddhist kabalists to Kapila, the founder of the Sankhya system; the Brahmanas;*** the Stan-gyour,**** of the Thibetans; all these volumes have the same ground-work. Varying but in allegories they teach the same secret doctrine which, when once thoroughly eliminated, will prove to be the Ultima Thule of true philosophy, and disclose what is this LOST WORD.
It is useless to expect scientists to find in these works anything of interest except that which is in direct relation to either philology or comparative mythology. Even Max Muller, as soon as he refers to the mysticism and metaphysical philosophy scattered through the old Sanscrit literature, sees in it naught but "theological absurdities" and "fantastic nonsense."
Speaking of the Brahmanas, all full of mysterious, therefore, as a matter of course, absurd, meanings, we find him saying: "The greater portion of them is simply twaddle, and what is worse, theological twaddle. No person who is not acquainted beforehand with the place which the Brahmanas fill in the history of the Indian mind, could read more than ten pages without being disgusted."*****
We do not wonder at the severe criticism of this erudite scientist.
* Adak in Hebrew is , and Eden, . The first is a woman's name; the second the designation of a country. They are closely related to each other; but hardly to Adam and Akkad — , which are spelled with aleph.
** The two words answer to the terms, Macroprosopos, or macrocosm — the absolute and boundless, and the Microprosopos of the "Kabala," the "short face," or the microcosm — the finite and conditioned. It is not translated; nor is it likely to be. The Thibetean monks say that it is the real "Sutras." Some Buddhists believe that Buddha was, in a previous existence, Kapila himself. We do not see how several Sanscrit scholars can entertain the idea that Kapila was an atheist, while every legend shows him the most ascetic mystic, the founder of the sect of the Yogis.
*** The "Brahmanas" were translated by Dr. Haug; see his "Aitareya Brahmanam."
**** The "Stan-gyour" is full of rules of magic, the study of occult powers, and their acquisition, charms, incantations, etc.; and is as little understood by its lay-interpreters as the Jewish "Bible" is by our clergy, or the "Kabala" by the European Rabbis.
***** "Aitareya Brahmana," Lecture by Max Muller.
Without a clew to the real meaning of this "twaddle" of religious conceptions, how can they judge of the esoteric by the exoteric? We find an answer in another of the highly-interesting lectures of the German savant: "No Jew, no Roman, no Brahman ever thought of converting people to his own national form of worship. Religion was looked upon as private or national property. It was to be guarded against strangers. The most sacred names of the gods, the prayers by which their favor could be gained, were kept secret. No religion was more exclusive than that of the Brahmans."*
Therefore, when we find scholars who imagine, because they have learned the meaning of a few exoteric rites from a srotriya, a Brahman priest initiated in the sacrificial mysteries, that they are capable of interpreting all the symbols, and have sifted the Hindu religions, we cannot help admiring the completeness of their scientific delusions. The more so, since we find Max Muller himself asserting that since "a Brahman was born — nay, twice-born, and could not be made, not even the lowest caste, that of the Sudras, would open its ranks to a stranger." How much less likely that he would allow that stranger to unveil to the world his most sacred religious Mysteries, the secret of which has been guarded so jealously from profanation throughout untold ages.
No; our scientists do not — nay, cannot understand correctly the old Hindu literature, any more than an atheist or materialist is able to appreciate at their just value the feelings of a seer, a mystic, whose whole life is given to contemplation. They have a perfect right to soothe themselves with the sweet lullaby of their self-admiration, and the just consciousness of their great learning, but none at all to lead the world into their own error, by making it believe that they have solved the last problem of ancient thought in literature, whether Sanscrit or any other; that there lies not behind the external "twaddle" far more than was ever dreamed of by our modern exact philosophy; or that above and beyond the correct rendering of Sanscrit words and sentences there is no deeper thought, intelligible to some of the descendants of those who veiled it in the morning hours of earth's day, if they are not to the profane reader.
We do not feel in the least astonished that a materialist, and even an orthodox Christian, is unable to read either the old Brahmanical works or their progeny, the Kabala, the Codex of Bardesanes, or the Jewish Scripture without disgust at their immodesty and apparent lack of what the uninitiated reader is pleased to call "common sense." But if we can hardly blame them for such a feeling, especially in the case of the Hebrew, and
* Ibid., "Buddhist Pilgrims."
even the Greek and Latin literature, and are quite ready to agree with Professor Fiske that "it is a mark of wisdom to be dissatisfied with imperfect evidence"; on the other hand we have a right to expect that they should recognize that it is no less a mark of honesty to confess one's ignorance in cases where there are two sides to the question, and in the solution of which the scientist may as easily blunder as any ignoramus. When we find Professor Draper, in his definition of periods in the Intellectual Development of Europe, classifying the time from the days of Socrates, the precursor and teacher of Plato, to Karneades, as "the age of faith"; and that from Philo to the destruction of the Neo-platonic schools by Justinian — the "age of decrepitude," we may be allowed to infer that the learned professor knows as little about the real tendency of Greek philosophy and the Attic schools as he understood the true character of Giordano Bruno. So when we see one of the best of Sanscrit scholars stating on his own unsupported authority that the "greater portion of the Brahmanas is simply theological twaddle," we deeply regret to think that Professor Muller must be far better acquainted with the old Sanscrit verbs and nouns than with Sanscrit thought; and that a scholar so uniformly disposed to do justice to the religions and the men of old should so effectually play into the hands of Christian theologians. "What is the use of Sanscrit?" exclaims Jacquemont, who alone has made more false statements about the East than all the Orientalists put together. At such a rate there would be none indeed. If we are to exchange one corpse for another, then we may as well dissect the dead letter of the Jewish Bible as that of the Vedas. He who is not intuitionally vivified by the religious spirit of old, will never see beyond the exoteric "twaddle."
When first we read that "in the cavity of the cranium of Macroprosopos — the Long-Face — lies hidden the aerial WISDOM which nowhere is opened; and it is not discovered, and not opened"; or again, that "the nose of the 'ancient of days' is Life in every part"; we are inclined to regard it as the incoherent ravings of a lunatic. And when, moreover, we are apprized by the Codex Nazaraeus that "she, the Spiritus," invites her son Karabtanos, "who is frantic and without judgment," to an unnatural crime with his own mother, we are pretty well disposed to throw the book aside in disgust. But is this only meaningless trash, expressed in rude and even obscene language? No more can it be judged by external appearance than the sexual symbols of the Egyptian and Hindu religions, or the coarse frankness of expression of the "holy" Bible itself. No more than the allegory of Eve and the tempting serpent of Eden. The ever-insinuating, restless spirit, when once it "falls into matter," tempts Eve, or Hava, which bodily represent chaotic matter "frantic and without judgment." For matter, Karabtanos, is the son of Spirit, or
the Spiritus of the Nazarenes, the Sophia-Achamoth, and the latter is the daughter of the pure, intellectual spirit, the divine breath. 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.
"From time immemorial,"* says Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, "an emblem has been worshipped in Hindustan as the type of creation, or the origin of life. It is the most common symbol of Siva [Bala, or Maha-Deva], and is universally connected with his worship. . . . Siva was not merely the reproducer of human forms; he represented the fructifying principle, the generative power that pervades the universe. . . . Small images of this emblem carved in ivory, gold, or crystal, are worn as ornaments about the neck. . . . The maternal emblem is likewise a religious type; and worshippers of Vishnu represent it on their forehead by a horizontal mark. . . . Is it strange that they regarded with reverence the great mystery of human birth? Were they impure thus to regard it? Or are we impure that we do not so regard it? We have travelled far, and unclean have been the paths, since those old Anchorites first spoke of God and the soul in the solemn depths of their first sanctuaries. Let us not smile at their mode of tracing the infinite and incomprehensible Cause throughout all the mysteries of nature, lest by so doing we cast the shadow of our own grossness on their patriarchal simplicity."
Many are the scholars who have tried, to the best of their ability, to do justice to old India. Colebrooke, Sir William Jones, Barthelemy St. Hilaire, Lassen, Weber, Strange, Burnouf, Hardy, and finally Jacolliot, have all brought forward their testimony to her achievements in legislation, ethics, philosophy, and religion. No people in the world have ever attained to such a grandeur of thought in ideal conceptions of the Deity and its offspring, MAN, as the Sanscrit metaphysicians and theologians. "My complaint against many translators and Orientalists," says Jacolliot, "while admiring their profound knowledge is, that not having lived in India, they fail in exactness of expression and in comprehension of the symbolical sense of poetic chants, prayers, and ceremonies, and thus too often fall into material errors, whether of translation or appreciation."** Further, this author who, from a long residence in India, and the study of its literature, is better qualified to testify than those who have never been there, tells us that "the life of several generations would scarce suf-
* "Progress of Religious Ideas through Successive Ages," vol. i., p. 17.
** "La Bible dans l'Inde."
fice merely to read the works that ancient India has left us on history, ethics (morale), poetry, philosophy, religion, different sciences, and medicine." And yet Louis Jacolliot is able to judge but by the few fragments, access to which had ever depended on the complaisance and friendship of a few Brahmans with whom he succeeded in becoming intimate. Did they show him all their treasures? Did they explain to him all he desired to learn? We doubt it, otherwise he would not himself have judged their religious ceremonies so hastily as he has upon several occasions merely upon circumstantial evidence.
Still, no traveller has shown himself fairer in the main or more impartial to India than Jacolliot. If he is severe as to her present degradation, he is still severer to those who were the cause of it — the sacerdotal caste of the last few centuries — and his rebuke is proportionate to the intensity of his appreciation of her past grandeur. He shows the sources whence proceeded the revelations of all the ancient creeds, including the inspired Books of Moses, and points at India directly as the cradle of humanity, the parent of all other nations, and the hot-bed of all the lost arts and sciences of antiquity, for which old India, herself, was lost already in the Cimmerian darkness of the archaic ages. "To study India," he says, "is to trace humanity to its sources."
"In the same way as modern society jostles antiquity at each step," he adds, "as our poets have copied Homer and Virgil, Sophocles and Euripides, Plautus and Terence; as our philosophers have drawn inspiration from Socrates, Pythagoras, Plato, and Aristotle; as our historians take Titus Livius, Sallust, or Tacitus, as models; our orators, Demosthenes or Cicero; our physicians study Hippocrates, and our codes transcribe Justinian — so had antiquity's self also an antiquity to study, to imitate, and to copy. What more simple and more logical? Do not peoples precede and succeed each other? Does the knowledge, painfully acquired by one nation, confine itself to its own territory, and die with the generation that produced it? Can there be any absurdity in the suggestion that the India of 6,000 years ago, brilliant, civilized, overflowing with population, impressed upon Egypt, Persia, Judea, Greece, and Rome, a stamp as ineffaceable, impressions as profound, as these last have impressed upon us?
"It is time to disabuse ourselves of those prejudices which represent the ancients as having almost spontaneously-elaborated ideas, philosophic, religious, and moral, the most lofty — those prejudices that in their naive admiration explain all in the domain of science, arts, and letters, by the intuition of some few great men, and in the realm of religion by revelation."*
* "La Bible dans l'Inde."
We believe that the day is not far off when the opponents of this fine and erudite writer will be silenced by the force of irrefutable evidence. And when facts shall once have corroborated his theories and assertions, what will the world find? That it is to India, the country less explored, and less known than any other, that all the other great nations of the world are indebted for their languages, arts, legislature, and civilization. Its progress, impeded for a few centuries before our era — for, as this writer shows, at the epoch of the great Macedonian conqueror, "India had already passed the period of her splendor" — was completely stifled in the subsequent ages. But the evidence of her past glories lies in her literature. What people in all the world can boast of such a literature, which, were the Sanscrit less difficult, would be more studied than now? Hitherto the general public has had to rely for information on a few scholars who, notwithstanding their great learning and trustworthiness, are unequal to the task of translating and commenting upon more than a few books out of the almost countless number that, notwithstanding the vandalism of the missionaries, are still left to swell the mighty volume of Sanscrit literature. And to do even so much is the labor of a European's lifetime. Hence, people judge hastily, and often make the most ridiculous blunders.
Quite recently a certain Reverend Dunlop Moore, of New Brighton, Pa., determined to show his cleverness and piety at a single stroke, attacked the statement made by a Theosophist in a discourse delivered at the cremation of Baron de Palm, that the Code of Manu existed a thousand years before Moses. "All Orientalists of any note," he says, "are now agreed that the Institutes of Manu were written at different times. The oldest part of the collection probably dates from the sixth century before the Christian era."* Whatever other Orientalists, encountered by this Pennsylvania pundit, may think, Sir William Jones is of a different opinion. "It is clear," he says, "that the Laws of Manu, such as we possess them, and which comprise but 680 slokas, cannot be the work attributed to Soumati, which is probably that described under the name of Vriddha Manava, or Ancient Code of Manu, which has not yet been entirely reconstructed, although many passages of the book have been preserved by tradition, and are often cited by commentators."
"We read in the preface to a treatise on legislation by Narada," says Jacolliot, "written by one of his adepts, a client of Brahmanical power: 'Manu having written the laws of Brahma, in 100,000 slokas, or distichs, which formed twenty-four books and a thousand chapters, gave the work to Narada, the sage of sages, who abridged it for the use
* "Presbyterian Banner," December 20, 1876.
of mankind to 12,000 verses, which he gave to a son of Brighou, named Soumati, who, for the greater convenience of man, reduced them to 4,000.' "
Here we have the opinion of Sir William Jones, who, in 1794, affirmed that the fragments in possession of the Europeans could not be The Ancient Code of Manu, and that of Louis Jacolliot, who, in 1868, after consulting all the authorities, and adding to them the result of his own long and patient research, writes the following: "The Hindu laws were codified by Manu more than 3,000 years before the Christian era, copied by the whole of antiquity, and notably by Rome, which alone has left us a written law — the Code of Justinian; which has been adopted as the basis of all modern legislations."*
In another volume, entitled Christna et le Christ, in a scientific arraignment of a pious, albeit very learned Catholic antagonist, M. Textor de Ravisi, who seeks to prove that the orthography of the name Christna is not warranted by its Sanscrit spelling — and has the worst of it — Jacolliot remarks: "We know that the legislator Manu is lost in the night of the ante-historical period of India; and that no Indianist has dared to refuse him the title of the most ancient law-giver in the world" (p. 350).
But Jacolliot had not heard of the Rev. Dunlop Moore. This is why, perhaps, he and several other Indiologists are preparing to prove that many of the Vedic texts, as well as those of Manu, sent to Europe by the Asiatic Society of Calcutta, are not genuine texts at all, but mostly due to the cunning tentative efforts of certain Jesuit missionaries to mislead science, by the help of apocryphal works calculated at once to throw upon the history of ancient India a cloud of uncertainty and darkness, and on the modern Brahmans and pundits a suspicion of systematical interpolation. "These facts," he adds, "which are so well established in India that they are not even brought in question, must be revealed to Europe" (Christna et le Christ, p. 347).
Moreover, the Code of Manu, known to European Orientalists as that one which is commented upon by Brighou, does not even form a part of the ancient Manu called the Vriddha-Manava. Although but small fragments of it have been discovered by our scientists, it does exist as a whole in certain temples; and Jacolliot proves that the texts sent to Europe disagree entirely with the same texts as found in the pagodas of Southern India. We can also cite for our purpose Sir William Jones, who, complaining of Callouca, remarks that the latter seems in his commentaries to have never considered that "the laws of Manu are restricted to the first three ages" (Translation of Manu and Commentaries).
* "La Bible dans l'Inde."
According to computation we are now in the age of Kali-Yug, the third, reckoning from that of Satya or Kritayug, first age in which Hindu tradition establishes the laws of Manu, and the authenticity of which Sir William Jones implicitly accepted. Admitting all that may be said as to the enormous exaggerations of Hindu chronology — which, by the bye, dovetails far better with modern geology and anthropology than the 6,000 years' caricature chronology of the Jewish Scripture — still as about 4,500 years have elapsed since the fourth age of the world, or Kali-Yug, began, we have here a proof that one of the greatest Orientalists that ever lived — and a Christian in the bargain, not a Theosophist — believed that Manu is many thousand years older than Moses. Clearly one of two things should happen: Either Indian history should be remodelled for the Presbyterian Banner, or the writers for that sheet should study Hindu literature before trying their hand again at criticism of Theosophists.
But apart from the private opinions of these reverend gentlemen whose views very little concern us, we find even in the New American Cyclopaedia a decided tendency to dispute the antiquity and importance of the Hindu literature. The Laws of Manu, says one of the writers, "do not date earlier than the third century B.C." This term is a very elastic one. If by the Laws of Manu the writer means the abridgment of these laws, compiled and arranged by later Brahmans to serve as an authority for their ambitious projects, and with an idea of creating for themselves a rule of domination, then, in such a sense, they may be right, though we are prepared to dispute even that. At all events it is as little proper to pass off this abridgment for the genuine old laws codified by Manu, as to assert that the Hebrew Bible does not date earlier than the tenth century of our era, because we have no Hebrew manuscript older than that, or that the poems of Homer's Iliad were neither known nor written before its first authenticated manuscript was found. There is no Sanscrit manuscript in the possession of European scholars much older than four or five centuries,* a fact which did not in the least restrain them from assigning to the Vedas an antiquity of between four or five thousand years. There are the strongest possible arguments in favor of the great antiquity of the Books of Manu, and without going to the trouble of quoting the opinions of various scholars, no two of whom agree, we will bring forward our own, at least as regards this most unwarranted assertion of the Cyclopaedia.
If, as Jacolliot proves, text in hand, the Code of Justinian was copied from the Laws of Manu, we have first of all to ascertain the age of the
* See Max Muller's "Lecture on the Vedas."
former; not as a written and perfect code, but its origin. To answer, is not difficult we believe.
According to Varro, Rome was built in 3961 of the Julian period (754 B.C.). The Roman Law, as embodied by order of Justinian, and known as the Corpus Juris Civilis, was not a code, we are told, but a digest of the customs of legislation of many centuries. Though nothing is actually known of the original authorities, the chief source from which the jus scriptum, or written law, was derived, was the jus non scriptum, or the law of custom. Now it is just on this law of custom that we are prepared to base our arguments. The law of the twelve tables, moreover, was compiled about A.U.C. 300, and even this as respects private law was compiled from still earlier sources. Therefore, if these earlier sources are found to agree so well with the Laws of Manu, which the Brahmans claim to have been codified in the Kritayug, an age anterior to the actual Kali-yug, then we must suppose that this source of the "Twelve Tables," as laws of custom and tradition, are at least, by several hundred years, older than their copyists. This, alone, carries us right back to more than 1,000 years B.C.
The Manava Dharma Sastra, embodying the Hindu system of cosmogony, is recognized as next to the Vedas in antiquity; and even Colebrooke assigns the latter to the fifteenth century B.C. And, now, what is the etymology of the name of Manava Dharma Sastra? It is a word compounded of Manu; d'harma, institute; and sastra, command or law. How then can Manu's laws date only since the third century before our Christian era?
The Hindu Code had never laid any claims to be divinely revealed. The distinction made by the Brahmans themselves between the Vedas and every other sacred book of however respectable an antiquity, is a proof of it. While every sect holds the Vedas as the direct word of God — sruti (revelation) — the Code of Manu is designated by them simply as the smriti, a collection of oral traditions. Still these traditions, or "recollections," are among the oldest as well as the most revered in the land. But, perhaps, the strongest argument in favor of its antiquity, and the general esteem in which it is held, lies in the following fact. The Brahmans have undeniably remodelled these traditions at some distant period, and made many of the actual laws, as they now stand in the Code of Manu, to answer their ambitious views. Therefore, they must have done it at a time when the burning of widows (suttee) was neither practiced nor intended to be, which it has been for nearly 2,500 years. No more than in the Vedas is there any such atrocious law mentioned in the Code of Manu! Who, unless he is completely unacquainted with the history of India, but knows that this country was once on the verge of a
religious rebellion occasioned by the prohibition of suttee by the English government? The Brahmans appealed to a verse from the Rig-Veda which commanded it. But this verse has been recently proved to have been falsified.* Had the Brahmans been the sole authors of the Code of Manu, or had they codified it entirely instead of simply filling it with interpolations to answer their object not earlier than the time of Alexander, how is it possible that they would have neglected this most important point, and so imperilled its authority? This fact alone proves that the Code must be counted one of their most ancient books.
It is on the strength of such circumstantial evidence — that of reason and logic — that we affirm that, if Egypt furnished Greece with her civilization, and the latter bequeathed hers to Rome, Egypt herself had, in those unknown ages when Menes reigned,** received her laws, her social institutions, her arts and her sciences, from pre-Vedic India;*** and that therefore, it is in that old initiation of the priests — adepts of all the other countries — we must seek for the key to the great mysteries of humanity.
And when we say, indiscriminately, "India," we do not mean the India of our modern days, but that of the archaic period. In those ancient times countries which are now known to us by other names were all called India. There was an Upper, a Lower, and a Western India, the latter of which is now Persia-Iran. The countries now named Thibet, Mongolia, and Great Tartary, were also considered by the ancient writers as India. We will now give a legend in relation to those places which science now fully concedes to have been the cradle of humanity.
Tradition says, and the records of the Great Book explain, that long before the days of Ad-am, and his inquisitive wife, He-va, where now are found but salt lakes and desolate barren deserts, there was a vast inland sea, which extended over Middle Asia, north of the proud Himalayan range, and its western prolongation. An island, which for its unparalleled beauty had no rival in the world, was inhabited by the last remnant of the race which preceded ours. This race could live with equal ease in water, air, or fire, for it had an unlimited control over the elements. These were the "Sons of God"; not those who saw the daughters of men, but the real Elohim, though in the Oriental Kabala they have another name. It was they who imparted Nature's most weird secrets to men, and revealed to them the ineffable, and now lost "word."
* See Roth's "The Burial in India"; Max Muller's "Comparative Mythology" (Lecture); Wilson's article, "The Supposed Vaidic Authority for the Burning of Hindu Widows," etc.
** Bunsen gives as the first year of Menes, 3645; Manetho as 3892 B.C. "Egypt's Place," etc., vol. v., 34; Key.
*** Louis Jacolliot, in "The Bible in India," affirms the same.
This word, which is no word, has travelled once around the globe, and still lingers as a far-off dying echo in the hearts of some privileged men. The hierophants of all the Sacerdotal Colleges were aware of the existence of this island, but the "word" was known only to the Java Aleim, or chief lord of every college, and was passed to his successor only at the moment of death. There were many such colleges, and the old classic authors speak of them.
We have already seen that it is one of the universal traditions accepted by all the ancient peoples that there were many races of men anterior to our present races. Each of these was distinct from the one which preceded it; and each disappeared as the following appeared. In Manu, six such races are plainly mentioned as having succeeded each other.
"From this Manu Swayambhouva (the minor, and answering to Adam Kadmon) issued from Swayambhouva, or the Being existing through himself, descended six other Manus (men typifying progenitors), each of whom gave birth to a race of men. . . . These Manus, all powerful, of whom Swayambhouva is the first, have each, in his period — antara — produced and directed this world composed of movable and unmovable beings" (Manu, book i.).
In the Siva-Purana,* it runs thus:
"O Siva, thou god of fire, mayest thou destroy my sins, as the bleaching-grass of the jungle is destroyed by fire. It is through thy mighty Breath that Adhima (the first man) and Heva (completion of life, in Sanscrit), the ancestors of this race of men have received life and covered the world with their descendants."
There was no communication with the fair island by sea, but subterranean passages known only to the chiefs, communicated with it in all directions. Tradition points to many of the majestic ruins of India, Ellora, Elephanta, and the caverns of Ajunta (Chandor range), which belonged once to those colleges, and with which were connected such subterranean ways.** Who can tell but the lost Atlantis — which is also
* Purana means ancient and sacred history or tradition. See Loiseleur Des-longchamp's translations of "Manu"; also L. Jacolliot's "La Genese dans l'Humanite."
** There are archaeologists, who, like Mr. James Fergusson, deny the great antiquity of even one single monument in India. In his work, "Illustrations of the Rock-Cut Temples of India," the author ventures to express the very extraordinary opinion that "Egypt had ceased to be a nation before the earliest of the cave-temples of India was excavated." In short, he does not admit the existence of any cave anterior to the reign of Asoka, and seems willing to prove that most of these rock-cut temples were executed from the time of that pious Buddhist king, till the destruction of the Andhra dynasty of Maghada, in the beginning of the fifth century. We believe such a claim [[Footnote continued on next page]]
mentioned in the Secret Book, but, again, under another name, pronounced in the sacred language — did not exist yet in those days? The great lost continent might have, perhaps, been situated south of Asia, extending from India to Tasmania?* If the hypothesis now so much doubted, and positively denied by some learned authors who regard it as a joke of Plato's, is ever verified, then, perhaps, will the scientists believe that the description of the god-inhabited continent was not altogether fable. And they may then perceive that Plato's guarded hints and the fact of his attributing the narrative to Solon and the Egyptian priests, were but a prudent way of imparting the fact to the world and by cleverly combining truth and fiction, to disconnect himself from a story which the obligations imposed at initiation forbade him to divulge.
And how could the name of Atlanta itself originate with Plato at all? Atlante is not a Greek name, and its construction has nothing of the Grecian element in it. Brasseur de Bourbourg tried to demonstrate it years ago, and Baldwin, in his Prehistoric Nations and Ancient America, cites the former, who declares that "the words Atlas and Atlantic have no satisfactory etymology in any language known in Europe. They are not Greek, and cannot be referred to any known language of the Old World. But in the Nahuatl (or Toltec) language we find immediately the radical a, atl, which signifies water, war, and the top of the head. From this comes a series of words, such as atlan, or the border of or amid the water; from which we have the adjective Atlantic. We have also atlaca, to combat. . . . A city named Atlan existed when the continent was discovered by Columbus, at the entrance of the Gulf of Uraha, in Darien, with a good harbor. It is now reduced to an unimportant pueblo (village) named Aclo."**
Is it not, to say the least, very extraordinary to find in America a city called by a name which contains a purely local element, foreign moreover to every other country, in the alleged fiction of a philosopher of 400 years B.C.? The same may be said of the name of America, which may one day be found more closely related to Meru, the sacred mount in the centre of the seven continents, according to the Hindu tradition, than to Americus Vespucius, whose name by the bye, was never Americus at all, but Albericus, a trifling difference not deemed worth mentioning till very lately by exact history.* We adduce the following reasons in favor of our argument:
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] perfectly arbitrary. Further discoveries are sure to show how erroneous and unwarranted it was.
* It is a strange coincidence that when first discovered, America was found to bear among some native tribes the name of Atlanta.
** Baldwin: "Prehistoric Nations," p. 179.
*** Alberico Vespuzio, the son of Anastasio Vespuzio or Vespuchy, is now gravely [[Footnote continued on next page]]
1st. Americ, Amerrique, or Amerique is the name in Nicaragua for the high land or mountain range that lies between Juigalpa and Libertad, in the province of Chontales, and which reaches on the one side into the country of the Carcas Indians, and on the other side into the country of the Ramas Indians.
Ic or ique, as a terminal, means great, as cazique, etc.
Columbus mentions, in his fourth voyage, the village Cariai, probably Caicai. The people abounded with sorcerers, or medicine men; and this was the region of the Americ range, 3,000 feet high.
Yet he omits to mention this word.
The name America Provincia, first appeared on a map published at Basle, in 1522. Till that time, the region was believed to be part of India. That year Nicaragua was conquered by Gil Gonzales de Avida.*
2d. "The Northmen who visited the continent in the tenth century,** a low level coast thickly covered with wood," called it Markland, from mark, a wood. The r had a rolling sound as in marrick. A similar word is found in the country of the Himalayas, and the name of the World-Mountain, Meru, is pronounced in some dialects as MERUAH, the letter h being strongly aspirated. The main idea is, however, to show how two peoples could possibly accept a word of similar sound, each having used it in their own sense, and finding it applied to the same territory.
"It is most plausible," says Professor Wilder, "that the State of Central America, where we find the name Americ signifying (like the Hindu Meru we may add) great mountain, gave the continent its name. Vespucius would have used his surname if he had designed to give a title to a continent. If the Abbe de Bourbourg's theory of Atlan as the source of Atlas and Atlantic is verified, the two hypotheses could agree most charmingly. As Plato was not the only writer that treated of a world beyond the pillars of Hercules, and as the ocean is still shallow and grows sea-weed all through the tropical part of the Atlantic, it is not wild to imagine that this continent projected, or that there was an island-world on that coast. The Pacific also shows signs of having been a populous island-empire of Malays or Javanese — if not a continent amid the North and South. We know that Lemuria in the Indian Ocean is a dream of scientists; and that the Sahara and the middle belt of Asia were perhaps once sea-beds."
To continue the tradition, we have to add that the class of hiero-
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] doubted in regard to the naming of the New World. Indeed the name is said to have occurred in a work written several centuries before. A. Wilder (Notes).
* See Thomas Belt: "The Naturalists in Nicaragua." London, 1873.
** Torfieus: "Historia Vinlandiae Antiquae."
phants was divided into two distinct categories: those who were instructed by the "Sons of God," of the island, and who were initiated in the divine doctrine of pure revelation, and others who inhabited the lost Atlantis — if such must be its name — and who, being of another race, were born with a sight which embraced all hidden things, and was independent of both distance and material obstacle. In short, they were the fourth race of men mentioned in the Popol-Vuh, whose sight was unlimited and who knew all things at once. They were, perhaps, what we would now term "natural-born mediums," who neither struggled nor suffered to obtain their knowledge, nor did they acquire it at the price of any sacrifice. Therefore, while the former walked in the path of their divine instructors, and acquiring their knowledge by degrees, learned at the same time to discern the evil from the good, the born adepts of the Atlantis blindly followed the insinuations of the great and invisible "Dragon," the King Thevetat (the Serpent of Genesis?). Thevetat had neither learned nor acquired knowledge, but, to borrow an expression of Dr. Wilder in relation to the tempting Serpent, he was "a sort of Socrates who knew without being initiated." Thus, under the evil insinuations of their demon, Thevetat, the Atlantis-race became a nation of wicked magicians. In consequence of this, war was declared, the story of which would be too long to narrate; its substance may be found in the disfigured allegories of the race of Cain, the giants, and that of Noah and his righteous family. The conflict came to an end by the submersion of the Atlantis; which finds its imitation in the stories of the Babylonian and Mosaic flood: The giants and magicians " . . . and all flesh died . . . and every man." All except Xisuthrus and Noah, who are substantially identical with the great Father of the Thlinkithians in the Popol-Vuh, or the sacred book of the Guatemaleans, which also tells of his escaping in a large boat, like the Hindu Noah — Vaiswasvata.
If we believe the tradition at all, we have to credit the further story that from the intermarrying of the progeny of the hierophants of the island and the descendants of the Atlantian Noah, sprang up a mixed race of righteous and wicked. On the one side the world had its Enochs, Moseses, Gautama-Buddhas, its numerous "Saviours," and great hierophants; on the other hand, its "natural magicians" who, through lack of the restraining power of proper spiritual enlightenment, and because of weakness of physical and mental organizations, unintentionally perverted their gifts to evil purposes. Moses had no word of rebuke for those adepts in prophecy and other powers who had been instructed in the colleges of esoteric wisdom* mentioned in the Bible. His denunciations
* 2 Kings, xxii. 14; 2 Chronicles, xxxiv. 22.
were reserved for such as either wittingly or otherwise debased the powers inherited from their Atlantian ancestors to the service of evil spirits, to the injury of humanity. His wrath was kindled against the spirit of Ob, not that of OD.***
*** As we are going to press with this chapter, we have received from Paris, through the kindness of the Honorable John L. O'Sullivan, the complete works of Louis Jacolliot in twenty-one volumes. They are chiefly upon India and its old traditions, philosophy, and religion. This indefatigable writer has collected a world of information from various sources, mostly authentic. While we do not accept his personal views on many points, still we freely acknowledge the extreme value of his copious translations from the Indian sacred books. The more so, since we find them corroborating in every respect the assertions we have made. Among other instances is this matter of the submergence of continents in prehistoric days.
In his "Histoire des Vierges: Les Peuples et les Continents Disparus," he says: "One of the most ancient legends of India, preserved in the temples by oral and written tradition, relates that several hundred thousand years ago there existed in the Pacific Ocean, an immense continent which was destroyed by geological upheaval, and the fragments of which must be sought in Madagascar, Ceylon, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, and the principal isles of Polynesia.
"The high plateaux of Hindustan and Asia, according to this hypothesis, would only have been represented in those distant epochs by great islands contiguous to the central continent. . . . According to the Brahmans this country had attained a high civilization, and the peninsula of Hindustan, enlarged by the displacement of the waters, at the time of the grand cataclysm, has but continued the chain of the primitive traditions born in this place. These traditions give the name of Rutas to the peoples which inhabited this immense equinoctial continent, and from their speech was derived the Sanscrit." (We will have something to say of this language in our second volume.)
"The Indo-Hellenic tradition, preserved by the most intelligent population which emigrated from the plains of India, equally relates the existence of a continent and a people to which it gives the name of Atlantis and Atlantides, and which it locates in the Atlantic in the northern portion of the Tropics.
"Apart from the fact that the supposition of an ancient continent in those latitudes, the vestiges of which may be found in the volcanic islands and mountainous surface of the Azores, the Canaries and Cape Verd, is not devoid of geographical probability, the Greeks, who, moreover, never dared to pass beyond the pillars of Hercules, on account of their dread of the mysterious ocean, appeared too late in antiquity for the stories preserved by Plato to be anything else than an echo of the Indian legend. Moreover, when we cast a look on a planisphere, at the sight of the islands and islets strewn from the Malayan Archipelago to Polynesia, from the straits of Sund to Easter Island, it is impossible, upon the hypothesis of continents preceding those which we inhabit, not to place there the most important of all.
"A religious belief, common to Malacca and Polynesia, that is to say to the two opposite extremes of the Oceanic world, affirms 'that all these islands once formed two immense countries, inhabited by yellow men and black men, always at war; and that the gods, wearied with their quarrels, having charged Ocean to pacify them, the latter swallowed up the two continents, and since, it had been impossible to make him give up his captives. Alone, the mountain-peaks and high plateaux escaped the flood, by the power of the gods, who perceived too late the mistake they had committed.' [[Footnote continued on next page]]
The ruins which cover both Americas, and are found on many West Indian islands, are all attributed to the submerged Atlantians. As well as the hierophants of the old world, which in the days of Atlantis was almost connected with the new one by land, the magicians of the now submerged country had a net-work of subterranean passages running in all directions. In connection with those mysterious catacombs we will now give a curious story told to us by a Peruvian, long since dead, as we were travelling together in the interior of his country. There must be truth in it; as it was afterward confirmed to us by an Italian gentleman who had seen the place and who, but for lack of means and time, would have verified the tale himself, at least partially. The informant of the Italian was an old priest, who had had the secret divulged to him, at confession, by a Peruvian Indian. We may add, moreover, that the priest was com-
[[Footnote continued from previous page]] "Whatever there may be in these traditions, and whatever may have been the place where a civilization more ancient than that of Rome, of Greece, of Egypt, and of India was developed, it is certain that this civilization did exist, and that it is highly important for science to recover its traces, however feeble and fugitive they may be" (pp. 13-15).
This last tradition, translated by Louis Jacolliot from the Sanscrit manuscripts, corroborates the one we have given from the "Records of the Secret Doctrine." The war mentioned between the yellow and the black men, relates to a struggle between the "sons of God" and the "sons of giants," or the inhabitants and magicians of the Atlantis.
The final conclusion of M. Jacolliot, who visited personally all the islands of Polynesia, and devoted years to the study of the religion, language, and traditions of nearly all the peoples, is as follows:
"As to the Polynesian continent which disappeared at the time of the final geological cataclysms, its existence rests on such proofs that to be logical we can doubt no longer.
"The three summits of this continent, Sandwich Islands, New Zealand, Easter Island, are distant from each other from fifteen to eighteen hundred leagues, and the groups of intermediate islands, Viti, Samoa, Tonga, Foutouna, Ouvea, Marquesas, Tahiti, Pournouton, Gambiers, are themselves distant from these extreme points from seven or eight hundred to one thousand leagues.
"All navigators agree in saying that the extreme and the central groups could never have communicated in view of their actual geographical position, and with the insufficient means they had at hand. It is physically impossible to cross such distances in a pirogue . . . without a compass, and travel months without provisions.
"On the other hand, the aborigines of the Sandwich Islands, of Viti, of New Zealand, of the central groups, of Samoa, Tahiti, etc., had never known each other, had never heard of each other before the arrival of the Europeans. And yet, each of these people maintained that their island had at one time formed a part of an immense stretch of land which extended toward the West, on the side of Asia. And all, brought together, were found to speak the same language, to have the same usages, the same customs, the same religious belief. And all to the question, 'Where is the cradle of your race?' for sole response, extended their hand toward the setting sun" (Ibid., p. 308).
pelled to make the revelation, being at the time completely under the mesmeric influence of the traveller.
The story concerns the famous treasures of the last of the Incas. The Peruvian asserted that since the well-known and miserable murder of the latter by Pizarro, the secret had been known to all the Indians, except the Mestizos who could not be trusted. It runs thus: The Inca was made prisoner, and his wife offered for his liberation a room full of gold, "from the floor up to the ceiling, as high up as his conqueror could reach" before the sun would set on the third day. She kept her promise, but Pizarro broke his word, according to Spanish practice. Marvelling at the exhibition of such treasures, the conqueror declared that he would not release the prisoner, but would murder him, unless the queen revealed the place whence the treasure came. He had heard that the Incas had somewhere an inexhaustible mine; a subterranean road or tunnel running many miles under ground, where were kept the accumulated riches of the country. The unfortunate queen begged for delay, and went to consult the oracles. During the sacrifice, the chief-priest showed her in the consecrated "black mirror"* the unavoidable murder of her husband, whether she delivered the treasures of the crown to Pizarro or not. Then the queen gave the order to close the entrance, which was a door cut in the rocky wall of a chasm. Under the direction of the priest and magicians, the chasm was accordingly filled to the top with huge masses of rock, and the surface covered over so as to conceal the work. The Inca was murdered by the Spaniards and his unhappy queen committed suicide. Spanish greed overreached itself and the secret of the buried treasures was locked in the breasts of a few faithful Peruvians.
Our Peruvian informant added that in consequence of certain indiscretions at various times, persons had been sent by different governments to search for the treasure under the pretext of scientific exploration. They had rummaged the country through, but without realizing their object. So far this tradition is corroborated by the reports of Dr. Tschuddi and other historians of Peru. But there are certain additional details which we are not aware have been made public before now.
* These "magic mirrors," generally black, are another proof of the universality of an identical belief. In India these mirrors are prepared in the province of Agra and are also fabricated in Thibet and China. And we find them in Ancient Egypt, from whence, according to the native historian quoted by Brasseur de Bourbourg, the ancestors of the Quiches brought them to Mexico; the Peruvian sun-worshippers also used it. When the Spaniards had landed, says the historian, the King of the Quiches, ordered his priests to consult the mirror, in order to learn the fate of his kingdom. "The demon reflected the present and the future as in a mirror," he adds (De Bourbourg: "Mexique," p. 184).
Several years after hearing the story, and its corroboration by the Italian gentleman, we again visited Peru. Going southward from Lima, by water, we reached a point near Arica at sunset, and were struck by the appearance of an enormous rock, nearly perpendicular, which stood in mournful solitude on the shore, apart from the range of the Andes. It was the tomb of the Incas. As the last rays of the setting sun strike the face of the rock, one can make out, with an ordinary opera-glass, some curious hieroglyphics inscribed on the volcanic surface.
When Cusco was the capital of Peru, it contained a temple of the sun, famed far and near for its magnificence. It was roofed with thick plates of gold, and the walls were covered with the same precious metal; the eave-troughs were also of solid gold. In the west wall the architects had contrived an aperture in such a way that when the sunbeams reached it, it focused them inside the building. Stretching like a golden chain from one sparkling point to another, they encircled the walls, illuminating the grim idols, and disclosing certain mystic signs at other times invisible. It was only by understanding these hieroglyphics — identical with those which may be seen to this day on the tomb of the Incas — that one could learn the secret of the tunnel and its approaches. Among the latter was one in the neighborhood of Cusco, now masked beyond discovery. This leads directly into an immense tunnel which runs from Cusco to Lima, and then, turning southward, extends into Bolivia. At a certain point it is intersected by a royal tomb. Inside this sepulchral chamber are cunningly arranged two doors; or, rather, two enormous slabs which turn upon pivots, and close so tightly as to be only distinguishable from the other portions of the sculptured walls by the secret signs, whose key is in the possession of the faithful custodians. One of these turning slabs covers the southern mouth of the Liman tunnel — the other, the northern one of the Bolivian corridor. The latter, running southward, passes through Trapaca and Cobijo, for Arica is not far away from the little river called Pay'quina,* which is the boundary between Peru and Bolivia.
Not far from this spot stand three separate peaks which form a curious triangle; they are included in the chain of the Andes. According to tradition the only practicable entrance to the corridor leading northward is in one of these peaks; but without the secret of its landmarks, a regiment of Titans might rend the rocks in vain in the attempt to find it. But even were some one to gain an entrance and find his way as far as the turning slab in the wall of the sepulchre, and attempt to blast it out,
* Pay'quina, or Payaquina, so called because its waves used to drift particles of gold from the Brazil. We found a few specks of genuine metal in a handful of sand that we brought back to Europe.
the superincumbent rocks are so disposed as to bury the tomb, its treasures, and — as the mysterious Peruvian expressed it to us — "a thousand warriors" in one common ruin. There is no other access to the Arica chamber but through the door in the mountain near Pay'quina. Along the entire length of the corridor, from Bolivia to Lima and Cusco, are smaller hiding places filled with treasures of gold and precious stone, the accumulations of many generations of Incas, the aggregate value of which is incalculable.
We have in our possession an accurate plan of the tunnel, the sepulchre, and the doors, given to us at the time by the old Peruvian. If we had ever thought of profiting by the secret, it would have required the cooperation of the Peruvian and Bolivian governments on an extensive scale. To say nothing of physical obstacles, no one individual or small party could undertake such an exploration without encountering the army of smugglers and brigands with which the coast is infested; and which, in fact, includes nearly the whole population. The mere task of purifying the mephitic air of the tunnel, which had not been entered for centuries, would also be a serious one. There, however, the treasure lies, and there the tradition says it will lie till the last vestige of Spanish rule disappears from the whole of North and South America.
The treasures exhumed by Dr. Schliemann at Mycenae, have awakened popular cupidity, and the eyes of adventurous speculators are being turned toward the localities where the wealth of ancient peoples is supposed to be buried, in crypt or cave, or beneath sand or alluvial deposit. Around no other locality, not even Peru, hang so many traditions as around the Gobi Desert. In Independent Tartary this howling waste of shifting sand was once, if report speaks correctly, the seat of one of the richest empires the world ever saw. Beneath the surface are said to lie such wealth in gold, jewels, statuary, arms, utensils, and all that indicates civilization, luxury, and fine arts, as no existing capital of Christendom can show to-day. The Gobi sand moves regularly from east to west before terrific gales that blow continually. Occasionally some of the hidden treasures are uncovered, but not a native dare touch them, for the whole district is under the ban of a mighty spell. Death would be the penalty. Bahti — hideous, but faithful gnomes — guard the hidden treasures of this prehistoric people, awaiting the day when the revolution of cyclic periods shall again cause their story to be known for the instruction of mankind.
According to local tradition, the tomb of Ghengiz Khan still exists near Lake Tabasun Nor. Within lies the Mongolian Alexander, as though asleep. After three more centuries he will awake and lead his people to new victories and another harvest of glory. Though this prophetic
tradition be received with ever so many grains of salt, we can affirm as a fact that the tomb itself is no fiction, nor has its amazing richness been exaggerated.
The district of the Gobi wilderness and, in fact, the whole area of Independent Tartary and Thibet is jealously guarded against foreign intrusion. Those who are permitted to traverse it are under the particular care and pilotage of certain agents of the chief authority, and are in duty bound to convey no intelligence respecting places and persons to the outside world. But for this restriction, even we might contribute to these pages accounts of exploration, adventure, and discovery that would be read with interest. The time will come, sooner or later, when the dreadful sand of the desert will yield up its long-buried secrets, and then there will indeed be unlooked-for mortifications for our modern vanity.
"The people of Pashai,"* says Marco Polo, the daring traveller of the thirteenth century, "are great adepts in sorceries and the diabolic arts." And his learned editor adds: "This Pashai, or Udyana, was the native country of Padma Sambhava, one of the chief apostles of lamaism, i.e., of Thibetan Buddhism, and a great master of enchantments. The doctrines of Sakya, as they prevailed in Udyana in old times, were probably strongly tinged with Sivaitic magic, and the Thibetans still regard the locality as the classic ground of sorcery and witchcraft."
The "old times" are just like the "modern times"; nothing is changed as to magical practices except that they have become still more esoteric and arcane, and that the caution of the adepts increases in proportion to the traveller's curiosity. Hiouen-Thsang says of the inhabitants: "The men . . . are fond of study, but pursue it with no ardor. The science of magical formulae has become a regular professional business with them."** We will not contradict the venerable Chinese pilgrim on this point, and are willing to admit that in the seventh century some people made "a professional business" of magic; so, also, do some people now, but certainly not the true adepts. It is not Hiouen-Thsang, the pious, courageous man, who risked his life a hundred times to have the bliss of perceiving Buddha's shadow in the cave of Peshawer, who would have accused the holy lamas and monkish thaumaturgists of "making a professional business" of showing it to travellers. The injunction of Gautama, contained in his answer to King Prasenagit, his protector, who called on him to perform miracles, must have been ever
* The regions somewhere about Udyana and Kashmere, as the translator and editor of Marco Polo (Colonel Yule), believes. Vol. i., p. 173.
** "Voyage des Pelerins, Bouddhistes," vol. i.; "Histoire de la Vie de Hiouen-Thsang," etc., traduit du Chinois en francais, par Stanislas Julien.
present to the mind of Hiouen-Thsang. "Great king," said Gautama, "I do not teach the law to my pupils, telling them 'go, ye saints, and before the eyes of the Brahmans and householders perform, by means of your supernatural powers, miracles greater than any man can perform.' I tell them, when I teach them the law, 'Live, ye saints, hiding your good works, and showing your sins.' "
Struck with the accounts of magical exhibitions witnessed and recorded by travellers of every age who had visited Tartary and Thibet, Colonel Yule comes to the conclusion that the natives must have had "at their command the whole encyclopaedia of modern 'Spiritualists.' Duhalde mentions among their sorceries the art of producing by their invocations the figures of Laotsen* and their divinities in the air, and of making a pencil write answers to questions without anybody touching it."**
The former invocations pertain to religious mysteries of their sanctuaries; if done otherwise, or for the sake of gain, they are considered sorcery, necromancy, and strictly forbidden. The latter art, that of making a pencil write without contact, was known and practiced in China and other countries centuries before the Christian era. It is the A B C of magic in those countries.
When Hiouen-Thsang desired to adore the shadow of Buddha, it was not to "professional magicians" that he resorted, but to the power of his own soul-invocation; the power of prayer, faith, and contemplation. All was dark and dreary near the cavern in which the miracle was alleged to take place sometimes. Hiouen-Thsang entered and began his devotions. He made 100 salutations, but neither saw nor heard anything. Then, thinking himself too sinful, he cried bitterly, and despaired. But as he was going to give up all hope, he perceived on the eastern wall a feeble light, but it disappeared. He renewed his prayers, full of hope this time, and again he saw the light, which flashed and disappeared again. After this he made a solemn vow: he would not leave the cave till he had the rapture to see at last the shadow of the "Venerable of the Age." He had to wait longer after this, for only after 200 prayers was the dark cave suddenly "bathed in light, and the shadow of Buddha, of a brilliant white color, rose majestically on the wall, as when the clouds suddenly open, and, all at once, display the marvellous image of the 'Mountain of Light.' A dazzling splendor lighted up the features of the divine countenance. Hiouen-Thsang was lost in contemplation and wonder, and would not turn his eyes away from the sublime and incom-
* Lao-tsi, the Chinese philosopher.
** "The Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. i., p. 318. See also, in this connection, the experiments of Mr. Crookes, described in chapter vi. of this work.
parable object." Hiouen-Thsang adds in his own diary, See-yu-kee, that it is only when man prays with sincere faith, and if he has received from above a hidden impression, that he sees the shadow clearly, but he cannot enjoy the sight for any length of time.*
Those who are so ready to accuse the Chinese of irreligion will do well to read Schott's Essays on Buddhism in China and Upper Asia.** "In the years Yuan-yeu of the Sung (A.D. 1086-1093) a pious matron with her two servants lived entirely to the Land of Enlightenment. One of the maids said one day to her companion: 'To-night I shall pass over to the Realm of Amita' (Buddha). The same night a balsamic odor filled the house, and the maid died without any preceding illness. On the following day the surviving maid said to her lady: 'Yesterday my deceased companion appeared to me in a dream, and said: "Thanks to the persevering supplications of our dear mistress, I am become an inhabitant of Paradise, and my blessedness is past all expression in words." ' The matron replied: 'If she will appear to me also, then will I believe all you say.' The next night the deceased really appeared to her. The lady asked: 'May I, for once, visit the Land of Enlightenment?' 'Yea,' answered the blessed soul; 'thou hast but to follow thine hand-maiden.' The lady followed her (in her dream), and soon perceived a lake of immeasurable expanse, overspread with innumerable red and white lotus flowers, of various sizes, some blooming, some fading. She asked what those flowers might signify? The maiden replied: 'These are all human beings on the Earth whose thoughts are turned to the Land of Enlightenment. The very first longing after the Paradise of Amita produces a flower in the Celestial Lake, and this becomes daily larger and more glorious as the self-improvement of the person whom it represents advances; in the contrary case, it loses in glory and fades away.'*** The matron desired to know the name of an enlightened one who reposed on one of the flowers, clad in a waving and wondrously glistening raiment. Her whilom maiden answered: 'That is Yang-kie.' Then asked she the name of another, and was answered: 'That is Mahu.'
* Max Muller: "Buddhist Pilgrims."
** Berlin Academy of Sciences, 1846.
*** Colonel Yule makes a remark in relation to the above Chinese mysticism which for its noble fairness we quote most willingly. "In 1871," he says, "I saw in Bond street an exhibition of the (so-called) 'spirit' drawings, i.e., drawings executed by a 'medium' under extraneous and invisible guidance. A number of these extraordinary productions (for extraordinary they were undoubtedly) professed to represent the 'Spiritual Flowers' of such and such persons; and the explanation of these as presented in the catalogue was in substance exactly that given in the text. It is highly improbable that the artist had any cognizance of Schott's Essays, and the coincidence was certainly very striking" ("The Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. i., p. 444).
The lady then said: 'At what place shall I hereafter come into existence?' Then the Blessed Soul led her a space further, and showed her a hill that gleamed with gold and azure. 'Here,' said she, 'is your future abode. You will belong to the first order of the blessed.' When the matron awoke, she sent to inquire for Yang-kie and Mahu. The first was already departed; the other still alive and well. And thus the lady learned that the soul of one who advances in holiness and never turns back, may be already a dweller in the Land of Enlightenment, even though the body still sojourn in this transitory world."
In the same essay, another Chinese story is translated, and to the same effect: "I knew a man," says the author, "who during his life had killed many living beings, and was at last struck with an apoplexy. The sorrows in store for his sin-laden soul pained me to the heart; I visited him, and exhorted him to call on the Amita; but he obstinately refused. His illness clouded his understanding; in consequence of his misdeeds he had become hardened. What was before such a man when once his eyes were closed? In this life the night followeth the day, and the winter followeth the summer; that, all men are aware of. But that life is followed by death, no man will consider. Oh, what blindness and obduracy is this!" (p. 93.)
These two instances of Chinese literature hardly strengthen the usual charge of irreligion and total materialism brought against the nation. The first little mystical story is full of spiritual charm, and would grace any Christian religious book. The second is as worthy of praise, and we have but to replace "Amita" with "Jesus" to have a highly Orthodox tale, as regards religious sentiments and code of philosophical morality. The following instance is still more striking, and we quote it for the benefit of Christian revivalists:
"Hoang-ta-tie, of T'anchen, who lived under the Sung, followed the craft of a blacksmith. Whenever he was at his work he used to call, without intermission, on the name of Amita Buddha. One day he handed to his neighbors the following verses of his own composition to be spread about: —
'Ding dong! The hammer-strokes fall long and fast,
Until the iron turns to steel at last!
Now shall the long, long day of rest begin,
The Land of Bliss Eternal calls me in!'
"Thereupon he died. But his verses spread all over Honan, and many learned to call upon Buddha."*
To deny to the Chinese or any people of Asia, whether Central,
* Schott: "Essay on Buddhism," p. 103.
Upper, or Lower, the possession of any knowledge, or even perception of spiritual things, is perfectly ridiculous. From one end to the other the country is full of mystics, religious philosophers, Buddhist saints, and magicians. Belief in a spiritual world, full of invisible beings who, on certain occasions, appear to mortals objectively, is universal. "According to the belief of the nations of Central Asia," remarks I. J. Schmidt, "the earth and its interior, as well as the encompassing atmosphere, are filled with spiritual beings, which exercise an influence, partly beneficent, partly malignant, on the whole of organic and inorganic nature. . . . Especially are deserts and other wild or uninhabited tracts, or regions in which the influences of nature are displayed on a gigantic and terrible scale, regarded as the chief abode or rendezvous of evil spirits. And hence the steppes of Turan, and in particular the great sandy Desert of Gobi have been looked on as the dwelling-place of malignant beings, from days of hoary antiquity."
Marco Polo — as a matter of course — mentions more than once in his curious book of Travels, these tricky nature-spirits of the deserts. For centuries, and especially in the last one, had his strange stories been completely rejected. No one would believe him when he said he had witnessed, time and again, with his own eyes, the most wonderful feats of magic performed by the subjects of Kublai-Khan and adepts of other countries. On his death-bed Marco was strongly urged to retract his alleged "falsehoods"; but he solemnly swore to the truth of what he said, adding that "he had not told one-half of what he had really seen!" There is now no doubt that he spoke the truth, since Marsden's edition, and that of Colonel Yule have appeared. The public is especially beholden to the latter for bringing forward so many authorities corroborative of Marco's testimony, and explaining some of the phenomena in the usual way, for he makes it plain beyond question that the great traveller was not only a veracious but an exceedingly observant writer. Warmly defending his author, the conscientious editor, after enumerating more than one hitherto controverted and even rejected point in the Venetian's Travels, concludes by saying: "Nay, the last two years have thrown a promise of light even on what seemed the wildest of Marco's stories, and the bones of a veritable RUC from New Zealand lie on the table of Professor Owen's cabinet!"*
The monstrous bird of the Arabian Nights, or "Arabian Mythology," as Webster calls the Ruc (or Roc), having been identified, the next thing in order is to discover and recognize that Aladdin's magical lamp has also certain claims to reality.
* "The Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. i., Preface to the second edition, p. viii.
Describing his passage through the great desert of Lop, Marco Polo speaks of a marvellous thing, "which is that, when travellers are on the move by night . . . they will hear spirits talking. Sometimes the spirits will call him by name . . . even in the daytime one hears these spirits talking. And sometimes you shall hear the sound of a variety of musical instruments, and still more commonly the sound of drums."*
In his notes, the translator quotes the Chinese historian, Matwanlin, who corroborates the same. "During the passage of this wilderness you hear sounds," says Matwanlin, "sometimes of singing, sometimes of wailing; and it has often happened that travellers going aside to see what those sounds might be, have strayed from their course and been entirely lost; for they were voices of spirits and goblins."** "These goblins are not peculiar to the Gobi," adds the editor, "though that appears to have been their most favored haunt. The awe of the vast and solitary desert raises them in all similar localities."
Colonel Yule would have done well to consider the possibility of serious consequences arising from the acceptance of his theory. If we admit that the weird cries of the Gobi are due to the awe inspired "by the vast and solitary desert," why should the goblins of the Gadarenes (Luke viii. 29) be entitled to any better consideration? and why may not Jesus have been self-deceived as to his objective tempter during the forty days' trial in the "wilderness"? We are quite ready to receive or reject the theory enunciated by Colonel Yule, but shall insist upon its impartial application to all cases. Pliny speaks of the phantoms that appear and vanish in the deserts of Africa;*** AEthicus, the early Christian cosmographer, mentions, though incredulous, the stories that were told of the voices of singers and revellers in the desert; and "Mas'udi tells of the ghuls, which in the deserts appear to travellers by night and in lonely hours"; and also of "Apollonius of Tyana and his companions, who, in a desert near the Indus by moonlight, saw an empusa or ghul taking many forms. . . . They revile it, and it goes off uttering shrill cries."**** And Ibn Batuta relates a like legend of the Western Sahara: "If the messenger be solitary, the demons sport with him and fascinate him, so that he strays from his course and perishes."***** Now if all these matters are capable of a "rational explanation," and we do not doubt it as regards most of these cases, then, the Bible-devils of the wilderness deserve no more consideration, but should have the same rule applied to them. They, too, are creatures of terror, imagination, and superstition;
* Ibid., vol. i., p. 203.
** "Visdelon," p. 130.
*** "Pliny," vii., 2.
**** "Philostratus," book ii., chap. iv.
***** Ibid., book iv., p. 382; "Book of Ser Marco Polo," vol. i., p. 206.
hence, the narratives of the Bible must be false; and if one single verse is false, then a cloud is thrown upon the title of all the rest to be considered divine revelation. Once admit this, and this collection of canonical documents is at least as amenable to criticism as any other book of stories.*
There are many spots in the world where the strangest phenomena have resulted from what was later ascertained to be natural physical causes. In Southern California there are certain places on the sea-shore where the sand when disturbed produces a loud musical ring. It is known as the "musical sand," and the phenomenon is supposed to be of an electrical nature. "The sound of musical instruments, chiefly of drums, is a phenomenon of another class, and is really produced in certain situations among sandhills when the sand is disturbed," says the editor of Marco Polo. "A very striking account of a phenomenon of this kind, regarded as supernatural, is given by Friar Odoric, whose experience I have traced to the Reg Ruwan or flowing sand north of Kabul. Besides this celebrated example . . . I have noted that equally well-known one of the Jibal Nakics, or 'Hill of the Bell' in the Sinai desert; . . . Gibalul-Thabul, or hill of the drums. . . . A Chinese narrative of the tenth century mentions the phenomenon as known near Kwachau, on the eastern border of the Lop desert, under the name of "the singing sands."**
That all these are natural phenomena, no one can doubt. But what of the questions and answers, plainly and audibly given and received? What of conversations held between certain travellers and the invisible spirits, or unknown beings, that sometimes appear to whole caravans in tangible form? If so many millions believe in the possibility that spirits may clothe themselves with material bodies, behind the curtain of a "medium," and appear to the circle, why should they reject the same possibility for the elemental spirits of the deserts? This is the "to be,
* There are pious critics who deny the world the same right to judge the "Bible" on the testimony of deductive logic as "any other book." Even exact science must bow to this decree. In the concluding paragraph of an article devoted to a terrible onslaught on Baron Bunsen's "Chronology," which does not quite agree with the "Bible," a writer exclaims, "the subject we have proposed to ourselves is completed. . . . We have endeavored to meet Chevalier Bunsen's charges against the inspiration of the "Bible" on its own ground. . . . An inspired book . . . never can, as an expression of its own teaching, or as a part of its own record, bear witness to any untrue or ignorant statement of fact, whether in history or doctrine. If it be untrue in its witness of one, who shall trust its truth in the witness of the other?" ("The Journal of Sacred Literature and Biblical Record," edited by the Rev. H. Burgess, Oct., 1859, p. 70.)
** Remusat: "Histoire du Khotan," p. 74; "Marco Polo," vol. i., p. 206.
or not to be" of Hamlet. If "spirits" can do all that Spiritualists claim for them, why can they not appear equally to the traveller in the wildernesses and solitudes? A recent scientific article in a Russian journal attributes such "spirit-voices," in the great Gobi desert, to the echo. A very reasonable explanation, if it can only be demonstrated that these voices simply repeat what has been previously uttered by a living person. But when the "superstitious" traveller gets intelligent answers to his questions, this Gobi echo at once shows a very near relationship with the famous echo of the Theatre Porte St. Martin at Paris. "How do you do, sir?" shouts one of the actors in the play. "Very poorly, my son; thank you. I am getting old, very . . . very old!" politely answers the echo!
What incredulous merriment must the superstitious and absurd narratives of Marco Polo, concerning the "supernatural" gifts of certain shark and wild-beast charmers of India, whom he terms Abraiaman, have excited for long centuries. Describing the pearl-fishery of Ceylon, as it was in his time, he says that the merchants are "obliged also to pay those men who charm the great fishes — to prevent them from injuring the divers whilst engaged in seeking pearls under water — one-twentieth part of all that they take. These fish-charmers are termed Abraiaman (Brahman?), and their charm holds good for that day only, for at night they dissolve the charm, so that the fishes can work mischief at their will. These Abraiaman know also how to charm beasts and birds, and every living thing."
And this is what we find in the explanatory notes of Colonel Yule, in relation to this degrading Asiatic "superstition": "Marco's account of the pearl-fishery is still substantially correct. . . . At the diamond mines of the northern Circars, Brahmans are employed in the analogous office of propitiating the tutelary genii. The shark-charmers are called in Tamil, Kadal-Katti, 'sea-binders,' and in Hindustani, Hai-banda, or 'shark-binders.' At Aripo they belong to one family, supposed to have the monopoly of the charm.* The chief operator is (or was, not many years ago) paid by the government, and he also received ten oysters from each boat daily during the fishery. Tennent, on his visit, found the incumbent of the office to be a Roman Catholic Christian (?), but that did not seem to affect the exercise of the validity of his functions. It is remarkable that not more than one authenticated accident from sharks had taken place during the whole period of the British occupation."**
Two items of fact in the above paragraph are worthy of being
* Like the Psylli, or serpent-charmers of Libya, whose gift is hereditary.
** "Ser Marco Polo," vol. ii., p. 321.
placed in juxtaposition. 1. The British authorities pay professional shark-charmers a stipend to exercise their art; and, 2, only one life has been lost since the execution of the contract. (We have yet to learn whether the loss of this one life did not occur under the Roman Catholic sorcerer.) Is it pretended that the salary is paid as a concession to a degrading native superstition? Very well; but how about the sharks? Are they receiving salaries, also, from the British authorities out of the Secret Service Fund? Every person who has visited Ceylon must know that the waters of the pearl coast swarm with sharks of the most voracious kind, and that it is even dangerous to bathe, let alone to dive for oysters. We might go further, if we chose, and give the names of British officials of the highest rank in the Indian service, who, after resorting to native "magicians" and "sorcerers," to assist them in recovering things lost, or in unravelling vexatious mysteries of one kind or another, and being successful, and at the time secretly expressing their gratitude, have gone away, and shown their innate cowardice before the world's Areopagus, by publicly denying the truth of magic, and leading the jest against Hindu "superstition."
Not many years ago, one of the worst of superstitions scientists held to be that of believing that the murderer's portrait remained impressed on the eye of the murdered person, and that the former could be easily recognized by examining carefully the retina. The "superstition" asserted that the likeness could be made still more striking by subjecting the murdered man to certain old women's fumigations, and the like gossip. And now an American newspaper, of March 26, 1877, says: "A number of years ago attention was attracted to a theory which insisted that the last effort of vision materialized itself and remained as an object imprinted on the retina of the eye after death. This has been proved a fact by an experiment tried in the presence of Dr. Gamgee, F. R. S., of Birmingham, England, and Prof. Bunsen, the subject being a living rabbit. The means taken to prove the merits of the question were most simple, the eyes being placed near an opening in a shutter, and retaining the shape of the same after the animal had been deprived of life."
If, from the regions of idolatry, ignorance, and superstition, as India is termed by some missionaries, we turn to the so-called centre of civilization — Paris, we find the same principles of magic exemplified there under the name of occult Spiritualism. The Honorable John L. O'Sullivan, Ex-Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States to Portugal, has kindly furnished us with the strange particulars of a semi-magical seance which he recently attended with several other eminent men, at Paris. Having his permission to that effect, we print his letter in full.
"NEW YORK, Feb. 7, 1877.
"I cheerfully obey your request for a written statement of what I related to you orally, as having been witnessed by me in Paris, last summer, at the house of a highly respectable physician, whose name I have no authority to use, but whom, after the usual French fashion of anonymizing, I will call Dr. X.
"I was introduced there by an English friend, well-known in the Spiritualist circles in London — Mr. Gledstanes. Some eight or ten other visitors were present, of both sexes. We were seated in fauteuils, occupying half of a long drawing-room, flush with a spacious garden. In the other half of the room was a grand piano, a considerable open space between it and us, and a couple of fauteuils in that space, evidently placed there to be occupied by other sitters. A door near them opened into the private apartments.
"Dr. X. came in, and discoursed to us for about twenty minutes with rapid and vehement French eloquence, which I could not undertake to report. He had, for over twenty-five years, investigated occult mysteries, of which he was about to exhibit some phenomena. His object was to attract his brethren of the scientific world, but few or none of them came to see for themselves. He intended before long to publish a book. He presently led in two ladies, the younger one his wife, the other (whom I will call Madame Y.) a medium or sensitive, with whom he had worked through all that period in the prosecution of these studies, and who had devoted and sacrificed her whole life to this work with him. Both these ladies had their eyes closed, apparently in trance.
"He stood them at the opposite ends of the long grand piano (which was shut), and directed them to put their hands upon it. Sounds soon began to issue from its chords, marching, galloping, drums, trumpets, rolling musketry, cannon, cries, and groans — in one word, a battle. This lasted, I should say, some five to ten minutes.
"I should have mentioned that before the two mediums were brought in I had written in pencil, on a small bit of paper (by direction of Mr. Gledstanes, who had been there before), the names of three objects, to be known to myself alone, viz., some musical composer, deceased, a flower, and a cake. I chose Beethoven, a Marguerite (daisy), and a kind of French cake called plombieres, and rolled the paper into a pellet, which I kept in my hand, without letting even my friend know its contents.
"When the battle was over, he placed Mme. Y. in one of the two fauteuils, Mme. X. being seated apart at one side of the room, and I was asked to hand my folded, or rolled, paper to Mme. Y. She held it (unopened) between her fingers, on her lap. She was dressed in white merino, flowing from her neck and gathered in at the waist, under a blaze of light from chandeliers on the right and left. After a while she dropped the little roll of paper to the floor, and I picked it up. Dr. X. then raised her to her feet and told her to make "the evocation of the dead." He withdrew the fauteuils and placed in her hand a steel rod of about four and half or five feet in length, the top of which was surmounted with a short cross-piece — the Egyptian Tau. With this she traced a circle round herself, as she stood, of about six feet in diameter. She did not hold the cross-piece as a handle, but, on the contrary, she held the rod at the opposite end. She presently handed it back to Dr. X. There she stood for some time, her hands hanging down and folded together in front of her, motionless, and with her eyes directed slightly upward toward one of the opposite corners of the long salon. Her lips presently began to move, with muttered sounds, which after a while became distinct in articulation, in short broken sentences or phrases, very much like the recitation of a litany. Cer-
tain words, seeming to be names, would recur from time to time. It sounded to me somewhat as I have heard Oriental languages sound. Her face was very earnest and mobile with expression, with sometimes a slight frown on the brow. I suppose it lasted about fifteen or twenty minutes, amidst the motionless silence of all the company, as we gazed on the weird scene. Her utterance finally seemed to increase in vehemence and rapidity. At last she stretched forth one arm toward the space on which her eyes had been fixed, and, with a loud cry, almost a scream, she exclaimed: 'BEETHOVEN!' — and fell backward, prostrate on the floor.
"Dr. X. hastened to her, made eager magnetic passes about her face and neck, and propped up her head and shoulders on cushions. And there she lay like a person sick and suffering, occasionally moaning, turning restlessly, etc. I suppose a full half-hour then elapsed, during which she seemed to pass through all the phases of gradual death (this I was told was a re-enacting of the death of Beethoven). It would be long to describe in detail, even if I could recall all. We watched as though assisting at a scene of real death. I will only say that her pulse ceased; no beating of the heart could be perceived; her hands first, then her arms became cold, while warmth was still to be felt under her arm-pits; even they at last became entirely cold; her feet and legs became cold in the same manner, and they swelled astonishingly. The doctor invited us all to come and recognize these phenomena. The gasping breaths came at longer and longer intervals, and feebler and feebler. At last came the end; her head fell sidewise, her hands, which had been picking with the fingers about her dress, collapsed also. The doctor said, 'she is now dead'; and so it indeed seemed. In vehement haste he produced (I did not see from where) two small snakes, which he seemed to huddle about her neck and down into her bosom, making also eager transverse passes about her head and neck. After a while she appeared to revive slowly, and finally the doctor and a couple of men servants lifted her up and carried her off into the private apartments, from which he soon returned. He told us that this was all very critical, but perfectly safe, but that no time was to be lost, for otherwise the death, which he said was real, would be permanent.
"I need not say how ghastly the effect of this whole scene had been on all the spectators. Nor need I remind you that this was no trickery of a performer paid to astonish. The scene passed in the elegant drawing-room of a respectable physician, to which access without introduction is impossible, while (outside of the phenomenal facts) a thousand indescribable details of language, manner, expression, and action presented those minute guarantees of sincerity and earnestness which carry conviction to those who witness, though it may be transmitted to those who only hear or read of them.
"After a time Mme. Y. returned and was seated in one of the two fauteuils before mentioned, and I was invited to the other by her side. I had still in my hand the unopened pellet of paper containing the three words privately written by me, of which (Beethoven) had been the first. She sat for a few minutes with her open hands resting on her lap. They presently began to move restlessly about. "Ah, it burns, it burns," she said, and her features contracted with an expression of pain. In a few moments she raised one of them, and it contained a marguerite, the flower I had written as my second word. I received it from her, and after it had been examined by the rest of the company, I preserved it. Dr. X. said it was of a species not known in that part of the country; an opinion in which he was certainly mistaken, as a few days afterwards I saw the same in the flower-market of the Madeleine. Whether this flower was produced under her hands, or was simply an apport, as in the phenomenon we are familiar with in the experiences of Spiritualism, I do not know. It was the one or the other, for she certainly did not have it as she sat there by my side, under a strong light, before it
made its appearance. The flower was perfectly fresh in every one of its delicate petals.
"The third word I had written on my bit of paper was the name of a cake — plombieres. She presently began to go through the motions of eating, though no cake was visible, and asked me if I would not go with her to Plombieres — the name of the cake I had written. This might have been simply a case of mind-reading.
"After this followed a scene in which Madame X., the doctor's wife, was said, and seemed to be, possessed by the spirit of Beethoven. The doctor addressed her as "Monsieur Beethoven." She took no notice until he called the name aloud in her ear. She then responded with polite bows, etc. (You may remember that Beethoven was extremely deaf.) After some conversation he begged her to play, and she seated herself at the piano and performed magnificently both some of his known music and some improvisations which were generally recognized by the company as in his style. I was told afterwards, by a lady friend of Madame X., that in her normal state she was a very ordinary amateur performer. After about half an hour spent in music and in dialogue in the character of Beethoven, to whom her face in expression, and her tumbled hair, seemed to acquire a strange resemblance, the doctor placed in her hands a sheet of paper and a crayon, and asked her to sketch the face of the person she saw before her. She produced very rapidly a profile sketch of a head and face resembling Beethoven's busts, though as a younger man; and she dashed off a rapid name under it, as though a signature, 'Beethoven.' I have preserved the sketch, though how the handwriting may correspond with Beethoven's signature I cannot say.
"The hour was now late, and the company broke up; nor had I any time to interrogate Dr. X. upon what we had thus witnessed. But I called on him with Mr. Gledstanes a few evenings afterwards. I found that he admitted the action of spirits, and was a Spiritualist, but also a great deal more, having studied long and deeply into the occult mysteries of the Orient. So I understood him to convey, while he seemed to prefer to refer me to his book, which he would probably publish in the course of the present year. I observed a number of loose sheets on a table all covered with Oriental characters unknown to me — the work of Madame Y. in trance, as he said, in answer to an inquiry. He told us that in the scene I had witnessed, she became (i.e., as I presumed, was possessed by) a priestess of one of the ancient Egyptian temples, and that the origin of it was this: A scientific friend of his had acquired in Egypt possession of the mummy of a priestess, and had given him some of the linen swathings with which the body was enveloped, and from the contact with this cloth of 2,000 or 3,000 years old, the devotion of her whole existence to this occult relation, and twenty years seclusion from the world, his medium, as sensitive Madame Y., had become what I had seen. The language I had heard her speak was the sacred language of the temples in which she had been instructed, not so much by inspiration but very much as we now study languages, by dictation, written exercises, etc., being even chided and punished when she was dull or slow. He said that Jacolliot had heard her in a similar scene, and recognized sounds and words of the very oldest sacred language as preserved in the temples of India, anterior, if I remember right, to the epoch of the Sanscrit.
"Respecting the snakes he had employed in the hasty operation of restoring her to life, or rather perhaps arresting the last consummation of the process of death, he said there was a strange mystery in their relation to the phenomena of life and death. I understood that they were indispensable. Silence and inaction on our part were also insisted upon throughout, and any attempt at questioning him at the time was peremptorily, almost angrily, suppressed. We might come and talk afterward, or wait for the appearance of his book, but he alone seemed entitled to exercise the faculty of
speech throughout all these performances — which he certainly did with great volubility, the while, with all the eloquence and precision of diction of a Frenchman, combining scientific culture with vividness of imagination.
"I intended to return on some subsequent evening, but learned from Mr. Gledstanes that he had given them up for the present, disgusted with his ill-success in getting his professional colleagues and men of science to come and witness what it was his object to show them.
"This is about as much as I can recall of this strange, weird evening, excepting some uninteresting details. I have given you the name and address of Dr. X. confidentially, because he would seem to have gone more or less far on the same path as you pursue in the studies of your Theosophical Society. Beyond that I feel bound to keep it private, not having his authority to use it in any way which might lead to publicity.
"Your friend and obedient servant,
"J. L. O'SULLIVAN."
In this interesting case simple Spiritualism has transcended its routine and encroached upon the limits of magic. The features of mediumship are there, in the double life led by the sensitive Madame Y., in which she passes an existence totally distinct from the normal one, and by reason of the subordination of her individuality to a foreign will, becomes the permutation of a priestess of Egypt; and in the personation of the spirit of Beethoven, and in the unconscious and cataleptic state into which she falls. On the other hand, the will-power exercised by Dr. X. upon his sensitive, the tracing of the mystic circle, the evocations, the materialization of the desired flower, the seclusion and education of Madame Y., the employment of the wand and its form, the creation and use of the serpents, the evident control of the astral forces — all these pertain to magic. Such experiments are of interest and value to science, but liable to abuse in the hands of a less conscientious practitioner than the eminent gentleman designated as Dr. X. A true Oriental kabalist would not recommend their duplication.
Spheres unknown below our feet; spheres still more unknown and still more unexplored above us; between the two a handful of moles, blind to God's great light, and deaf to the whispers of the invisible world, boasting that they lead mankind. Where? Onward, they claim; but we have a right to doubt it. The greatest of our physiologists, when placed side by side with a Hindu fakir, who knows neither how to read nor write, will very soon find himself feeling as foolish as a school-boy who has neglected to learn his lesson. It is not by vivisecting living animals that a physiologist will assure himself of the existence of man's soul, nor on the blade of the knife can he extract it from a human body. "What sane man," inquires Sergeant Cox, the President of the London Psychological Society, "what sane man who knows nothing of magnetism or physiology, who had never witnessed an experiment nor learned its
principles, would proclaim himself a fool by denying its facts and denouncing its theory?" The truthful answer to this would be, "two-thirds of our modern-day scientists." The impertinence, if truth can ever be impertinent, must be laid at the door of him who uttered it — a scientist of the number of those few who are brave and honest enough to utter wholesome truths, however disagreeable. And there is no mistaking the real meaning of the imputation, for immediately after the irreverent inquiry, the learned lecturer remarks as pointedly: "The chemist takes his electricity from the electrician, the physiologist looks to the geologist for his geology — each would deem it an impertinence in the other if he were to pronounce judgment in the branch of knowledge not his own. Strange it is, but true as strange, that this rational rule is wholly set at naught in the treatment of psychology. Physical scientists deem themselves competent to pronounce a dogmatic judgment upon psychology and all that appertains to it, without having witnessed any of its phenomena, and in entire ignorance of its principles and practice."
We sincerely hope that the two eminent biologists, Mr. Mendeleyeff, of St. Petersburg, and Mr. Ray Lankester, of London fame, will bear themselves under the above as unflinchingly as their living victims do when palpitating under their dissecting knives.
For a belief to have become universal, it must have been founded on an immense accumulation of facts, tending to strengthen it, from one generation to another. At the head of all such beliefs stands magic, or, if one would prefer — occult psychology. Who, of those who appreciate its tremendous powers even from its feeble, half-paralyzed effects in our civilized countries, would dare disbelieve in our days the assertions of Porphyry and Proclus, that even inanimate objects, such as statues of gods, could be made to move and exhibit a factitious life for a few moments? Who can deny the allegation? Is it those who testify daily over their own signatures that they have seen tables and chairs move and walk, and pencils write, without contact? Diogenes Laertius tells us of a certain philosopher, Stilpo, who was exiled from Athens by the Areopagus, for having dared to deny publicly that the Minerva of Pheidias was anything else than a block of marble. But our own age, after having mimicked the ancients in everything possible, even to their very names, such as "senates," "prefects," and "consuls," etc.; and after admitting that Napoleon the Great conquered three-fourths of Europe by applying the principles of war taught by the Caesars and the Alexanders, knows so much better than its preceptors about psychology, that it would vote every believer in "animated tables" into Bedlam.
* "The Spiritualist," London, Nov. 10, 1876.
Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in either of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mahometanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts. "I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh," writes the prophet Joel. "Verily I say unto you . . . greater works than these shall you do," promises Jesus. But this can only come to pass when the world returns to the grand religion of the past; the knowledge of those majestic systems which preceded, by far, Brahmanism, and even the primitive monotheism of the ancient Chaldeans. Meanwhile, we must remember the direct effects of the revealed mystery. The only means by which the wise priests of old could impress upon the grosser senses of the multitudes the idea of the Omnipotency of the Creative will or FIRST CAUSE; namely, the divine animation of inert matter, the soul infused into it by the potential will of man, the microcosmic image of the great Architect, and the transportation of ponderous objects through space and material obstacles.
Why should the pious Roman Catholic turn away in disgust at the "heathen" practices of the Hindu Tamil, for instance? We have witnessed the miracle of San Gennaro, in good old Naples, and we have seen the same in Nargercoil, in India. Where is the difference? The coagulated blood of the Catholic saint is made to boil and fume in its crystal bottle, to the gratification of the lazzaroni; and from its jewelled shrine the martyr's idol beams radiant smiles and blessings at the Christian congregation. On the other hand, a ball of clay filled with water, is stuffed into the open breast of the god Suran; and while the padre shakes his bottle and produces his "miracle" of blood, the Hindu priest plunges an arrow into the god's breast, and produces his "miracle," for the blood gushes forth in streams, and the water is changed into blood. Both Christians and Hindus fall in raptures at the sight of such a miracle. So far, we do not see the slightest difference. But can it be that the Pagan learned the trick from San Gennaro?
"Know, O, Asclepius," says Hermes, "that as the HIGHEST ONE is the father of the celestial gods, so is man the artisan of the gods who reside in the temples, and who delight in the society of mortals. Faithful to its origin and nature, humanity perseveres in this imitation of the divine powers; and, if the Father Creator has made in His image the eternal gods, mankind in its turn makes its gods in its own image." "And, dost thou speak of statues of gods; O, Trismegistus?" "Verily, I do, Asclepius, and however great thy defiance, perceivest thou not that these statues are endowed with reason, that they are animated with a soul, and that they can operate the greatest prodigies. How can we reject the
evidence, when we find these gods possessing the gift of predicting the future, which they are compelled to tell, when forced to it by magic spells, as through the lips of the divines and their visions? . . . It is the marvel of marvels that man could have invented and created gods. . . . True, the faith of our ancestors has erred, and in their pride they fell into error as to the precise essence of these gods . . . but they have still found out that art themselves. Powerless to create soul and spirit, they evoke the souls of angels and demons in order to introduce them into the consecrated statues; and so make them preside at their Mysteries, by communicating to idols their own faculty to do good as well as evil."
It is not antiquity alone which is full of evidence that the statues and idols of the gods at times exhibited intelligence and locomotive powers. Full in the nineteenth century, we see the papers recording the capers played by the statue of the Madonna of Lourdes. This gracious lady, the French Notre Dame, runs away several times to the woods adjoining her usual residence, the parish church. The sexton is obliged to hunt after the runaway, and bring her home more than once.* After this begins a series of "miracles," healing, prophesying, letter-dropping from on high, and what not. These "miracles" are implicitly accepted by millions and millions of Roman Catholics; numbers of these belonging to the most intelligent and educated classes. Why, then, should we disbelieve in testimony of precisely the same character, given as to contemporary phenomena of the same kind, by the most accredited and esteemed historians — by Titus Livy, for instance? "Juno, would you please abandon the walls of Veii, and change this abode for that of Rome?" inquires of the goddess a Roman soldier, after the conquest of that city. Juno consents, and nodding her head in token of acquiescence, her statue answers: "Yes, I will." Furthermore, upon their carrying off the figure, it seems to instantly "lose its immense weight," adds the historian, and the statue seems rather to follow them than otherwise.**
With naivete, and a faith bordering on the sublime, des Mousseaux, bravely rushes into the dangerous parallels, and gives a number of instances of Christian as well as "heathen" miracles of that kind. He prints a list of such walking statues of saints and Madonnas, who lose their weight, and move about as so many living men and women; and presents unimpeachable evidence of the same, from classical authors, who described their miracles.*** He has but one thought, one anxious and all-overpowering desire — to prove to his readers that magic does exist,
* Read any of the papers, of the summer and autumn of 1876.
** Tite-Livy, v. dec. i., — Val. Max., 1, cap. vii.
*** See "Les Hauts Phenomenes de la Magie"; "La Magie au XIXme Siecle"; "Dieu et les Dieux," etc.
and that Christianity beats it flat. Not that the miracles of the latter are either more numerous, or more extraordinary, or suggestive than those of the Pagans. Not at all; and he is a fair historian as to facts and evidence. But, it is his arguments and reflections that are priceless: one kind of miracle is produced by God, the other by the Devil; he drags down the Deity and placing Him face to face with Satan, allows the arch-enemy to beat the Creator by long odds. Not a word of solid, evident proof to show the substantial difference between the two kinds of wonders.
Would we inquire the reason why he traces in one the hand of God and in the other the horn and hoof of the Devil? Listen to the answer: "The Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolical Church declares the miracles wrought by her faithful sons produced by the will of God; and all others the work of the spirits of Hell." Very well, but on what ground? We are shown an endless list of holy writers; of saints who fought during their whole lives with the fiends; and of fathers whose word and authority are accepted as "word of God" by the same Church. "Your idols, your consecrated statues are the abode of demons," exclaims St. Cyprian. "Yes, it is these spirits who inspire your divines, who animate the bowels of your victims, who govern the flight of birds, and who, mixing incessantly falsehood with truth, render oracles, and . . . operate prodigies, their object being to bring you invincibly to their worship."*
Fanaticism in religion, fanaticism in science, or fanaticism in any other question becomes a hobby, and cannot but blind our senses. It will ever be useless to argue with a fanatic. And here we cannot help admiring once more the profound knowledge of human nature which dictated to Mr. Sergeant Cox the following words, delivered in the same address as before alluded to: "There is no more fatal fallacy than that the truth will prevail by its own force, that it has only to be seen to be embraced. In fact the desire for the actual truth exists in very few minds, and the capacity to discern it in fewer still. When men say that they are seeking the truth, they mean that they are looking for evidence to support some prejudice or prepossession. Their beliefs are moulded to their wishes. They see all, and more than all, that seems to tell for that which they desire; they are blind as bats to whatever tells against them. The scientists are no more exempt from this common failing than are others."
We know that from the remotest ages there has existed a mysterious, awful science, under the name of theopoea. This science taught the art of endowing the various symbols of gods with temporary life and intelli-
* "De Idol. Vanit.," lib. I., p. 452.
gence. Statues and blocks of inert matter became animated under the potential will of the hierophant. The fire stolen by Prometheus had fallen down in the struggle to earth; it embraced the lower regions of the sky, and settled in the waves of the universal ether as the potential Akasa of the Hindu rites. We breathe and imbibe it into our organic system with every mouthful of fresh air. Our organism is full of it from the instant of our birth. But it becomes potential only under the influx of WILL and SPIRIT.
Left to itself, this life-principle will blindly follow the laws of nature; and, according to conditions, will produce health and an exuberance of life, or cause death and dissolution. But, guided by the will of the adept, it becomes obedient; its currents restore the equilibrium in organic bodies, they fill the waste, and produce physical and psychological miracles, well-known to mesmerizers. Infused in inorganic and inert matter, they create an appearance of life, hence motion. If to that life an individual intelligence, a personality, is wanting, then the operator must either send his scin-lecca, his own astral spirit, to animate it; or use his power over the region of nature-spirits to force one of them to infuse his entity into the marble, wood, or metal; or, again, be helped by human spirits. But the latter — except the vicious, earth-bound class* — will not infuse their essence into these inanimate objects. They leave the lower kinds to produce the similitude of life and animation, and only send their influence through the intervening spheres like a ray of divine light, when the so-called "miracle" is required for a good purpose. The condition — and this is a law in spiritual nature — is purity of motive, purity of the surrounding magnetic atmosphere, personal purity of the operator. Thus is it, that a Pagan "miracle" may be by far holier than a Christian one.
Who that has seen the performance of the fakirs of Southern India, can doubt the existence of theopoea in ancient times? An inveterate skeptic, though more than anxious to attribute every phenomenon to jugglery, still finds himself compelled to testify to facts; and facts that are to be witnessed daily if one chooses. "I dare not," he says, speaking of Chibh-Chondor, a fakir of Jaffna-patnam, "describe all the exercises which he performed. There are things one dares not say even
* These, after their bodily death, unable to soar higher, attached to terrestrial regions, delight in the society of the kind of elementals which by their affinity with vice attract them the most. They identify themselves with these to such a degree that they very soon lose sight of their own identity, and become a part of the elementals, the help of which they need to communicate with mortals. But as the nature-spirits are not immortal, so the human elementaries who have lost their divine guide — spirit — can last no longer than the essence of the elements which compose their astral bodies holds together.
after having witnessed them, for fear of being charged with having been under an inexplicable hallucination! And yet, ten, nay, twenty times, I saw and saw again the fakir obtain similar results over inert matter. . . . It was but child's play for our 'charmer' to make the flame of candles which had, by his directions, been placed in the remotest corners of the apartment, pale and become extinguished at will; to cause the furniture to move, even the sofas on which we sat, the doors to open and shut repeatedly: and all this without quitting the mat upon which he sat on the floor.
"Perhaps I will be told that I saw imperfectly. Possibly; but I will say that hundreds and thousands of persons have seen and do see what I have, and things more wonderful; has one of all these discovered the secret, or been able to duplicate these phenomena? And I can never repeat too often that all this does not occur on a stage, supplied with mechanical contrivances for the use of the operator. No, it is a beggar crouched, naked, on the floor, who thus sports with your intelligence, your senses, and all that which we have agreed among ourselves to style the immutable laws of nature, but which he appears to alter at will!
"Does he change its course? 'No, but he makes it act by using forces which are yet unknown to us,' say the believers. However that may be, I have found myself twenty times at similar performances in company with the most distinguished men of British India — professors, physicians, officers. Not one of them but thus summarized his impressions upon quitting the drawing-room. 'This is something terrifying to human intelligence!' Every time that I saw repeated by a fakir the experiment of reducing serpents to a cataleptic state, a condition in which these animals have all the rigidity of the dry branch of a tree, my thoughts have reverted to the biblical fable (?) which endows Moses and the priests of Pharaoh with the like power."*
Assuredly, the flesh of man, beast, and bird should be as easily endowed with magnetic life-principle as the inert table of a modern medium. Either both wonders are possible and true, or both must fall to the ground, together with the miracles of Apostolic days, and those of the more modern Popish Church. As for vital proofs furnished to us in favor of such possibilities, we might name books enough to fill a whole library. If Sixtus V. cited a formidable array of spirits attached to various talismans, was not his threat of excommunication for all those who practiced the art, uttered merely because he would have the knowledge of this secret confined within the precincts of the Church? How would it do for his "divine" miracles to be studied and successfully reproduced by
* L. Jacolliot: "Voyage au Pays des Perles."
every man endowed with perseverance, a strong positive magnetic power, and an unflinching will? Recent events at Lourdes (of course, supposing them to have been truthfully reported) prove that the secret is not wholly lost; and if there is no strong magician-mesmerizer concealed under frock and surplice, then the statue of Notre-Dame is moved by the same forces which move every magnetized table at a spiritual seance; and the nature of these "intelligences," whether they belong to the classes of human, human elementary, or elemental spirits depends on a variety of conditions. With one who knows anything of mesmerism, and at the same time of the charitable spirit of the Roman Catholic Church, it ought not to be difficult to comprehend that the incessant curses of the priests and monks; and the bitter anathemas so freely pronounced by Pius IX. — himself a strong mesmerizer, and believed to be a jettatore (evil eye) — have drawn together legions of elementaries and elementals under the leadership of the disembodied Torquemadas. These are the "angels" who play pranks with the statue of the Queen of Heaven. Any one who accepts the "miracle" and thinks otherwise blasphemes.
Although it would seem as if we had already furnished sufficient proofs that modern science has little or no reason to boast of originality, yet before closing this volume we will adduce a few more to place the matter beyond doubt. We have but to recapitulate, as briefly as possible, the several claims to new philosophies and discoveries, the announcement of which has made the world open its eyes so wide within these last two centuries. We have pointed to the achievements in arts, sciences, and philosophy of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Chaldeans, and Assyrians; we will now quote from an author who has passed long years in India studying their philosophy. In the famous and recent work of Christna et le Christ, we find the following tabulation:
"Philosophy. — The ancient Hindus have created from the foundation the two systems of spiritualism and materialism, of metaphysical philosophy and of positive philosophy. The first taught in the Vedantic school, whose founder was Vyasa; the second taught in the Sankya school, whose founder was Kapila.
"Astronomical Science. — They fixed the calendar, invented the zodiac, calculated the precession of the equinoxes, discovered the general laws of the movements, observed and predicted the eclipses.
"Mathematics. — They invented the decimal system, algebra, the differential, integral, and infinitesimal calculi. They also discovered geometry and trigonometry, and in these two sciences they constructed and proved theorems which were only discovered in Europe as late as the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was the Brahmans in fact who first deduced the superficial measure of a triangle from the calculation of its three
sides, and calculated the relations of the circumference to the diameter. Furthermore, we must restore to them the square of the hypotenuse and the table so improperly called Pythagorean, which we find engraved on the goparama of the majority of great pagodas.
"Physics. — They established the principle which is still our own to-day, that the universe is a harmonious whole, subject to laws which may be determined by observation and experiment. They discovered hydrostatics; and the famous proposition that every body plunged in water loses of its own weight a weight equal to the volume which it displaces, is only a loan made by the Brahmans to the famous Greek architect, Archimedes. The physicists of the pagodas calculated the velocity of light, fixed in a positive manner the laws which it follows in its reflection. And finally, it is beyond doubt, from the calculations of Surya-Sidhenta, that they knew and calculated the force of steam.
"Chemistry. — They knew the composition of water, and formulated for gases the famous law, which we know only from yesterday, that the volumes of gas are in inverse ratio to the pressures that they support. They knew how to prepare sulphuric, nitric, and muriatic acids; the oxides of copper, iron, lead, tin, and zinc; the sulphurets of iron, copper, mercury, antimony, and arsenic; the sulphates of zinc and iron; the carbonates of iron, lead, and soda; nitrate of silver; and powder.
"Medicine. — Their knowledge was truly astonishing. In Tcharaka and Sousruta, the two princes of Hindu medicine, is laid down the system which Hippocrates appropriated later. Sousruta notably enunciates the principles of preventive medicine or hygiene, which he places much above curative medicine — too often, according to him, empyrical. Are we more advanced to-day? It is not without interest to remark that the Arab physicians, who enjoyed a merited celebrity in the middle ages — Averroes among others — constantly spoke of the Hindu physicians, and regarded them as the initiators of the Greeks and themselves.
"Pharmacology. — They knew all the simples, their properties, their use, and upon this point have not yet ceased to give lessons to Europe. Quite recently we have received from them the treatment of asthma, with the datura.
"Surgery. — In this they are not less remarkable. They made the operation for the stone, succeeded admirably in the operation for cataract, and the extraction of the foetus, of which all the unusual or dangerous cases are described by Tcharaka with an extraordinary scientific accuracy.
"Grammar. — They formed the most marvellous language in the world — the Sanscrit — which gave birth to the greater part of the idioms of the Orient, and of Indo-European countries.
"Poetry. — They have treated all the styles, and shown themselves
supreme masters in all. Sakuntala, Avrita, the Hindu Phaedra, Saranga, and a thousand other dramas have their superiors neither in Sophocles nor Euripides, in Corneille nor Shakespere. Their descriptive poetry has never been equalled. One must read, in the Megadata, "The Plaint of an Exile," who implores a passing cloud to carry his remembrances to his cottage, his relatives and friends, whom he will never see more, to form an idea of the splendor to which this style has been carried in India. Their fables have been copied by all modern and ancient peoples, who have not even given themselves the trouble to color differently the subject of these little dramas.
"Music. — They invented the gamut with its differences of tones and half-tones much before Gui d'Arezzo. Here is the Hindu scale:
"Architecture. — They seem to have exhausted all that the genius of man is capable of conceiving. Domes, inexpressibly bold; tapering cupolas; minarets, with marble lace; Gothic towers; Greek hemicycles; polychrome style — all kinds and all epochs are there, betokening the origin and date of the different colonies, which, in emigrating, carried with them their souvenirs of their native art."
Such were the results attained by this ancient and imposing Brahmanical civilization. What have we to offer for comparison? Beside such majestic achievements of the past, what can we place that will seem so grandiose and sublime as to warrant our boast of superiority over an ignorant ancestry? Beside the discoverers of geometry and algebra, the constructors of human speech, the parents of philosophy, the primal expounders of religion, the adepts in psychological and physical science, how even the greatest of our biologists and theologians seem dwarfed! Name to us any modern discovery, and we venture to say, that Indian history need not long be searched before the prototype will be found of record. Here we are with the transit of science half accomplished, and all our ideas in process of readjustment to the theories of force-correlation, natural selection, atomic polarity, and evolution. And here, to mock our conceit, our apprehensions, and our despair, we may read what Manu said, perhaps 10,000 years before the birth of Christ:
"The first germ of life was developed by water and heat" (Manu, book i., sloka 8).
"Water ascends toward the sky in vapors; from the sun it descends in rain, from the rain are born the plants, and from the plants, animals" (book iii., sloka 76).
"Each being acquires the qualities of the one which immediately precedes it, in such a manner that the farther a being gets away from the
primal atom of its series, the more he is possessed of qualities and perfections" (book i., sloka 20).
"Man will traverse the universe, gradually ascending, and passing through the rocks, the plants, the worms, insects, fish, serpents, tortoises, wild animals, cattle, and higher animals. . . . Such is the inferior degree" (Ibid.).
"These are the transformations declared, from the plant up to Brahma, which have to take place in his world" (Ibid.).
"The Greek," says Jacolliot, "is but the Sanscrit. Pheidias and Praxiteles have studied in Asia the chefs-d'oeuvre of Daonthia, Ramana, and Aryavosta. Plato disappears before Dgeminy and Veda-Vyasa, whom he literally copies. Aristotle is thrown into the shade by the Pourva-Mimansa and the Outtara-Mimansa, in which one finds all the systems of philosophy which we are now occupied in re-editing, from the Spiritualism of Socrates and his school, the skepticism of Pyrrho, Montaigne, and Kant, down to the positivism of Littre."
Let those who doubt the exactness of the latter assertion read this phrase, extracted textually from the Outtara-Mimansa, or Vedanta, of Vyasa, who lived at an epoch which the Brahmanical chronology fixes at 10,400 years before our era:
"We can only study phenomena, verify them, and hold them to be relatively true, but nothing in the universe, neither by perception nor by induction, nor by the senses, nor by reasoning, being able to demonstrate the existence of a Supreme Cause, which could, at a fixed point of time, have given birth to the universe, Science has to discuss neither the possibility nor impossibility of this Supreme Cause."
Thus, gradually but surely, will the whole of antiquity be vindicated. Truth will be carefully sifted from exaggeration; much that is now considered fiction may yet be proved fact, and the "facts and laws" of modern science found to belong to the limbo of exploded myths. When, centuries before our era, the Hindu Bramaheupto affirmed that the starry sphere was immovable, and that the daily rising and setting of stars confirms the motion of the earth upon its axis; and when Aristarchus of Samos, born 267 years B.C., and the Pythagorean philosopher Nicete, the Syracusan, maintained the same, what was the credit given to their theories until the days of Copernicus and Galileo? And the system of these two princes of science — a system which has revolutionized the whole world — how long will it be allowed to remain as a complete and undisturbed whole? Have we not, at the present moment, in Germany, a learned savant, a Professor Schoepfer, who, in his public lectures at Berlin, tries to demonstrate, 1, that the earth is immovable; 2, the sun is but a little bigger than it seems; and 3, that Tycho-Brahe was perfectly right
and Galileo perfectly wrong?* And what was Tycho-Brahe's theory? Why, that the earth stands immovable in the centre of the universe, and that around it, as around its centre, the whole of the celestial vault gravitates every twenty-four hours; and finally, that the sun and moon, apart from this motion, proceed on curved lines peculiar to themselves, while Mercury, with the rest of the planets, describes an epicycloid.
We certainly have no intention to lose time nor devote space to either combating or supporting this new theory, which suspiciously resembles the old ones of Aristotle and even the Venerable Bede. We will leave the learned army of modern Academicians to "wash their family linen among themselves," to use an expression of the great Napoleon. But we will, nevertheless, avail ourselves of such a good opportunity as this defection affords to demand once more of science her diploma or patents of infallibility. Alas! are these, then, the results of her boasted progress?
It was hardly more than yesterday when, upon the strength of facts within our own observation, and corroborated by the testimony of a multitude of witnesses, we timidly ventured the assertion that tables, mediums, and Hindu fakirs were occasionally levitated. And when we added that, if such a phenomenon should happen but once in a century, "without a visible mechanical cause, then that rising is a manifestation of a natural law of which our scientists are yet ignorant," we were called "iconoclastic," and charged, in our turn, by the newspapers, with ignorance of the law of gravitation. Iconoclastic or not, we never thought of charging science with denying the rotation of the earth on its axis, or its revolution around the sun. Those two lamps, at least, in the beacon of the Academy, we thought would be kept trimmed and burning to the end of time. But, lo! here comes a Berlin professor and crushes our last hopes that Science should prove herself exact in some one particular. The cycle is truly at its lowest point, and a new era is begun. The earth stands still, and Joshua is vindicated!
In days of old — in 1876 — the world believed in centrifugal force, and the Newtonian theory, which explained the flattening of the poles by the rotatory motion of the earth around its axis, was orthodox. Upon this hypothesis, the greater portion of the globular mass was believed to gravitate toward the equator; and in its turn the centrifugal force, acting on the mass with its mightiest power, forced this mass to concentrate itself on the equator. Thus is it that the credulous scientists believed the
* "Ultimate Deductions of Science; The Earth Motionless." A lecture demonstrating that our globe does neither turn about its own axis nor around the sun; delivered in Berlin by Doctor Schoepfer. Seventh Edition.
earth to rotate around its axis; for, were it otherwise, there would exist no centrifugal force, and without this force there could be no gravitation toward the equatorial latitudes. It has been one of the accepted proofs of the rotation of the earth, and it is this deduction, with several others, that the Berlin professor declares that, "in common with many other scientists," he "rejects."
"Is this not ridiculous, gentlemen," he concludes, "that we, confiding in what we were taught at school, have accepted the rotation of the earth around its axis as a fact fully demonstrated, while there is nothing at all to prove it, and it cannot be demonstrated? Is it not cause of astonishment that the scientists of the whole educated world, commencing with Copernicus and Kepler, should have begun by accepting such a movement of our planet, and then three and a half centuries later be searching for such proofs? But, alas! though we search, we find none, as was to be expected. All, all is vain!"
And thus it is that at one stroke the world loses its rotation, and the universe is bereaved of its guardians and protectors, the centrifugal and centripetal forces! Nay, ether itself, blown out of space, is but a "fallacy," a myth born of a bad habit of using empty words; the sun is a pretender to dimensions to which it was never entitled; the stars are twinkling dots, and "were so expressly disposed at considerable distances from one another by the Creator of the universe, probably with the intention that they should simultaneously illumine the vast spaces on the face of our globe" — says Dr. Schoepfer.
And is it so that even three centuries and a half have not sufficed the men of exact science to construct one theory that not a single university professor would dare challenge? If astronomy, the one science built on the adamantine foundation of mathematics, the one of all others deemed as infallible and unassailable as truth itself, can be thus irreverently indicted for false pretences, what have we gained by cheapening Plato to the profit of the Babinets? How, then, do they venture to flout at the humblest observer who, being both honest and intelligent, may say he has seen a mediumistic, or magical phenomenon? And how dare they prescribe the "limits of philosophical inquiry," to pass beyond which is not lawful? And these quarrelling hypothesists still arraign as ignorant and superstitious those giant intellects of the past, who handled natural forces like world-building Titans, and raised mortality to an eminence where it allied itself with the gods! Strange fate of a century boasting to have elevated exact science to its apex of fame, and now invited to go back and begin it's A B C of learning again!
Recapitulating the evidence contained in this work, if we begin with the archaic and unknown ages of the Hermetic Pimander, and come
down to 1876, we find that one universal belief in magic has run through all these centuries. We have presented the ideas of Trismegistus in his dialogue with Asclepius; and without mentioning the thousand and one proofs of the prevalence of this belief in the first centuries of Christianity, to achieve our purpose we have but to quote from an ancient and a modern author. The first will be the great philosopher Porphyry, who several thousand years after the days of Hermes, remarks in relation to the prevailing skepticism of his century, the following: "We need not be amazed in seeing the vulgar masses ([[hoi polloi]]) perceive in statues merely stone and wood. Thus it is generally with those who, ignorant in letters, find naught in stylae covered with inscriptions but stone, and in written books naught but the tissue of the papyrus." And 1,500 years later, we see Mr. Sergeant Cox, in stating the case of the shameful prosecution of a medium by just such a blind materialist, thus expressing his ideas: "Whether the medium is guilty or guiltless . . . certain it is that the trial has had the unlooked-for effect of directing the attention of the whole public to the fact that the phenomena are asserted to exist, and by a great number of competent investigators are declared to be true, and of the reality of which every person may, if he pleases, satisfy himself by actual inspection, thus sweeping away, thus and for ever, the dark and debasing doctrines of the materialists."
Still, in harmony with Porphyry and other theurgists, who affirmed the different natures of the manifesting "spirits" and the personal spirit or will of man, Mr. Sergeant Cox adds, without committing himself any further to a personal decision: "True, there are differences of opinions . . . and perhaps ever will be, as to the sources of the power that is exhibited in these phenomena; but whether they are the product of the psychic force of the circle . . . or, if spirits of the dead be the agents, as others say, or elemental spirits (whatever it may be) as asserted by a third party, this fact at least is established — that man is not wholly material, that the mechanism of man is moved and directed by some non-material — that is, some non-molecular structure, which possesses not merely intelligence, but can exercise also a force upon matter, that something to which, for lack of a better title, we have given the name of soul. These glad tidings have by this trial been borne to thousands and tens of thousands, whose happiness here, and hopes of a hereafter, have been blighted by the materialists, who have preached so persistently that soul was but a superstition, man but an automaton, mind but a secretion, present existence purely animal, and the future — a blank."
"Truth alone," says Pimander, "is eternal and immutable; truth is the first of blessings; but truth is not and cannot be on earth: it is possible that God sometimes gifts a few men together with the faculty of
comprehending divine things with that of rightly understanding truth; but nothing is true on earth, for everything has matter on it, clothed with a corporeal form subject to change, to alteration, to corruption, and to new combinations. Man is not the truth, for only that which has drawn its essence from itself, and remains itself, and unchangeable, is true. How can that which changes so as not to finally be recognized, be ever true? Truth, then, is that only which is immaterial and not enclosed within a corporeal envelope, that which is colorless and formless, exempt from change and alteration; that which is ETERNAL. All of that which perishes is a lie; earth is but dissolution and generation; every generation proceeds from a dissolution; the things of earth are but appearances and imitations of truth; they are what the picture is to reality. The things of earth are not the TRUTH! . . . Death, for some persons, is an evil which strikes them with profound terror. This is ignorance. . . . Death is the destruction of the body; the being in it dies not. . . . The material body loses its form, which is disintegrated in course of time; the senses which animated it return to their source and resume their functions; but they gradually lose their passions and their desires, and the spirit ascends to heaven to become a HARMONY. In the first zone, it leaves behind itself the faculty of increasing and decreasing; in the second, the power of doing evil and the frauds of idleness; in the third, deceptions and concupiscence; in the fourth, insatiable ambition; in the fifth, arrogance, audacity, and temerity; in the sixth, all yearning after dishonest acquisitions; and in the seventh, untruthfulness. The spirit thus purified by the effect on him of the celestial harmonies, returns once more to its primitive state, strong of a merit and power self-acquired, and which belongs to it properly; and only then he begins to dwell with those that sing eternally their praises of the FATHER. Hitherto, he is placed among the powers, and as such has attained to the supreme blessing of knowledge. He is become a GOD! . . . No, the things of earth are not the truth."
After having devoted their whole lives to the study of the records of the old Egyptian wisdom, both Champollion-Figeac and Champollion, Junior, publicly declared, notwithstanding many biassed judgments hazarded by certain hasty and unwise critics, that the Books of Hermes "truly contain a mass of Egyptian traditions which are constantly corroborated by the most authentic records and monuments of Egypt of the hoariest antiquity."*
Closing up his voluminous summary of the psychological doctrines of the Egyptians, the sublime teachings of the sacred Hermetic books, and
* Champ.-Figeac: "Egypte," p. 143.
the attainments of the initiated priests in metaphysical and practical philosophy, Champollion-Figeac inquires — as he well may, in view of the then attainable evidence — "whether there ever was in the world another association or caste of men which could equal them in credit, power, learning, and capability, in the same degree of good or evil? No, never! And this caste was subsequently cursed and stigmatized only by those who, under I know not what kind of modern influences, have considered it as the enemy of men and — science."*
At the time when Champollion wrote these words, Sanscrit was, we may say, almost an unknown tongue for science. But little in the way of a parallel could have been drawn between the respective merits of the Brahmans and the Egyptian philosophers. Since then, however, it has been discovered that the very same ideas, expressed in almost identical language, may be read in the Buddhistic and Brahmanical literature. This very philosophy of the unreality of mundane things and the illusion of the senses — whose whole substance has been plagiarized in our own times by the German metaphysicians — forms the groundwork of Kapila's and Vyasa's philosophies, and may be found in Gautama Buddha's enunciation of the "four truths," the cardinal dogmas of his doctrine. Pimander's expression "he is become a god" is epitomized in the one word, Nirvana, which our learned Orientalists most incorrectly consider as the synonym of annihilation!
This opinion of the two eminent Egyptologists is of the greatest value to us if it were only as an answer to our opponents. The Champollions were the first in Europe to take the student of archaeology by the hand, and, leading him on into the silent crypts of the past, prove that civilization did not begin with our generations; for "though the origins of ancient Egypt are unknown, she is found to have been at the most distant periods within the reach of historical research, with her great laws, her established customs, her cities, her kings, and gods"; and behind, far behind, these same epochs we find ruins belonging to other still more distant and higher periods of civilization. "At Thebes, portions of ruined buildings allow us to recognize remnants of still anterior structures, the materials of which had served for the erection of the very edifices which have now existed for thirty-six centuries!"** "Everything told us by Herodotus and the Egyptian priests is found to be exact, and has been corroborated by modern scientists," adds Champollion.***
Whence the civilization of the Egyptians came, will be shown in volume II., and in this respect it will be made to appear that our deductions, though based upon the traditions of the Secret Doctrine, run par-
* Ibid., p. 119.
** Ibid., p. 2.
*** Ibid., p. 11.
allel with those of a number of most respected authorities. There is a passage in a well-known Hindu work which may well be recalled in this connection.
"Under the reign of Viswamitra, first king of the Dynasty of Soma-Vanga, in consequence of a battle which lasted five days, Manu-Vina, heir of the ancient kings, being abandoned by the Brahmans, emigrated with all his companions, passing through Arya, and the countries of Barria, till he came to the shores of Masra" (History of India, by Collouca-Batta). Unquestionably this Manu-Vina and Menes, the first Egyptian King, are identical.
Arya, is Eran (Persia); Barria, is Arabia, and Masra, was the name of Cairo, which to this day is called, Masr, Musr, and Misro. Phoenician history names Maser as one of the ancestors of Hermes.
And now we will bid farewell to thaumatophobia and its advocates, and consider thaumatomania under its multifarious aspects. In vol. II., we intend to review the "miracles" of Paganism and weigh the evidence in their favor in the same scales with Christian theology. There is a conflict not merely impending but already begun between science and theology, on the one hand, and spirit and its hoary science, magic, on the other. Something of the possibilities of the latter have already been displayed, but more is to come. The petty, mean world, for whose approving nod scientists and magistrates, priests and Christians compete, have begun their latter-day crusade by sentencing in the same year two innocent men, one in France, the other in London, in defiance of law and justice. Like the apostle of circumcision, they are ever ready to thrice deny an unpopular connection for fear of ostracism by their own fellows. The Psychomantics and the Psychophobists must soon meet in fierce conflict. The anxiety to have their phenomena investigated and supported by scientific authorities has given place with the former to a frigid indifference. As a natural result of so much prejudice and unfairness as have been exhibited, their respect for scientists is waning fast, and the reciprocal epithets bandied between the two parties are becoming far from complimentary to either. Which of them is right and which wrong, time will soon show and future generations understand. It is at least safe to prophesy that the Ultima Thule of God's mysteries, and the key to them are to be sought elsewhere than in the whirl of Avogadro's molecules.
People who either judge superficially, or, by reason of their natural impatience would gaze at the blazing sun before their eyes are well fitted to bear lamp-light, are apt to complain of the exasperating obscurity of language which characterizes the works of the ancient Hermetists and their successors. They declare their philosophical treatises on magic incomprehensible. Over the first class we can afford to waste no
time; the second, we would beg to moderate their anxiety, remembering those sayings of Espagnet — "Truth lies hid in obscurity," and "Philosophers never write more deceitfully than when plainly, nor ever more truly than when obscurely." Furthermore, there is a third class, whom it would compliment too much to say that they judge the subject at all. They simply denounce ex-cathedra. The ancients they treat as dreamy fools, and though but physicists and thaumatophobic positivists, they commonly claim a monopoly of spiritual wisdom!
We will select Irenaeus Philaletha to answer this latter class. "In the world our writings shall prove a curious-edged knife; to some they shall carve out dainties, but to others they shall only serve to cut their fingers; yet we are not to be blamed, for we do seriously admonish all who shall attempt this work that they undertaketh the highest piece of philosophy in nature; and though we write in English, yet our matter will be as hard as Greek to some, who will think, nevertheless, that they understand as well, when they misconstrue our meaning most perversely; for is it imaginable that they who are fools in nature should be wise in books, which are testimonies unto nature?"
The few elevated minds who interrogate nature instead of prescribing laws for her guidance; who do not limit her possibilities by the imperfections of their own powers; and who only disbelieve because they do not know, we would remind of that apothegm of Narada, the ancient Hindu philosopher:
"Never utter these words: 'I do not know this — therefore it is false.' "
"One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."