Theosophical University Press Online Edition
The history of the evolution of the Satanic myth would not be complete if we omitted to notice the character of the mysterious and Cosmopolitan Enoch, variously called Enos, Hanoch, and finally Enoichion by the Greeks. It is from his Book that the first notions of the Fallen Angels were taken by the early Christian writers.
The “Book of Enoch” is declared apocryphal. But what is an Apocrypha? The very etymology of the term shows that it is simply a secret book, i.e., one that belonged to the catalogue of temple libraries under the guardianship of the Hierophants and initiated priests, and was never meant for the profane. Apocrypha comes from the verb crypto, [[krupto]], “to hide.” For ages the Enoichion (the Book of the Seer) was preserved in the “city of letters” and secret works — the ancient Kirjath-Sepher, later on, Debir (see Joshua xv., 15).
Some of the writers interested in the subject — especially Masons — have tried to identify Enoch with Thoth of Memphis, the Greek Hermes, and even with the Latin Mercury. As individuals, all these are distinct one from the other; professionally — if one may use this word, now so limited in its sense — they belong one and all to the same category of sacred writers, of Initiators and Recorders of Occult and ancient Wisdom. Those who in the Kuran (see Surat XIX.) are generically termed the Edris, or the “Learned” (the Initiated), bore in Egypt the name of “Thoth,” the inventor of arts, sciences, writing or letters, of music and astronomy. Among the Jews the Edris became “Enoch,” who, according to Bar-Hebraeus, “was the first inventor of writing,” books, arts, and sciences, the first who reduced to a system the progress of the planets. In Greece he was called Orpheus, and thus changed his name with every nation. The number Seven being attached to, and connected with, each of those primitive Initiators,* as well as the number 365, of the days in the year, astronomically, it identifies the mission, character, and the sacred office of all those men, but certainly not their personalities. Enoch is the seventh Patriarch; Orpheus is the possessor of the phorminx, the 7-stringed lyre, which is the seven-fold mystery of initiation. Thoth, with the seven-rayed Solar Discus on his head, travels in the Solar boat, the 365 degrees, jumping out every fourth (leap) year for one day. Finally, Thoth-Lunus is the septenary
* Khanoch, or Hanoch, or Enoch means the “Initiator” and “teacher,” as well as the “Son of Man,” Enos (vide Genesis iv., 26), esoterically.
god of the seven days, or the week. Esoterically and spiritually, Enoichion means the “Seer of the Open Eye.”
The story about Enoch, told by Josephus, namely, that he had concealed under the pillars of Mercury or Seth his precious rolls or books, is the same as that told of Hermes, “the father of Wisdom,” who concealed his books of Wisdom under a pillar, and then, finding the two pillars of stone, found the science written thereon. Yet Josephus, notwithstanding his constant efforts in the direction of Israel’s unmerited glorification, and though he does attribute that science (of Wisdom) to the Jewish Enoch — writes history. He shows those pillars as still existing during his own time. He tells us that they were built by Seth; and so they may have been, only neither by the Patriarch of that name, the fabled son of Adam, nor by the Egyptian god of Wisdom — Teth, Set, Thoth, Tat, Sat (the later Sat-an), or Hermes, who are all one, — but by the “sons of the Serpent-god,” or “Sons of the Dragon,” the name under which the Hierophants of Egypt and Babylon were known before the Deluge, as were their forefathers, the Atlanteans.
What Josephus tells us, therefore, must be allegorically true, with the exception of the application made of it. According to his version the two famous pillars were entirely covered with hieroglyphics, which, after the discovery, were copied and reproduced in the most secret corners of the inner temples of Egypt, and have thus become the source of its Wisdom and exceptional learning. These two “pillars,” however, are the prototypes of the two “tables of stones” hewn by Moses at the command of the “Lord.” Hence, in saying that all the great adepts and mystics of antiquity — like Orpheus, Hesiod, Pythagoras and Plato — got the elements of their theology from those hieroglyphics, he is right in one sense, and wrong in another; for he errs in accuracy. The Secret Doctrine teaches us that the arts, sciences, theology, and especially the philosophy of every nation which preceded the last universally known, but not universal Deluge, had been recorded ideographically from the primitive oral records of the Fourth Race, and that these were the inheritance of the latter from the early Third Root-Race before the allegorical Fall. Hence, also, the Egyptian pillars, the tablets, and even the “white Oriental porphyry stone” of the Masonic legend — which Enoch, fearing that the real and precious secrets would be lost, concealed before the Deluge in the bowels of the Earth — were simply the more or less symbolical and allegorical copies from the primitive Records. The “Book of Enoch” is one of such copies and is a Chaldean, now very incomplete compendium. As already said, Enoichion means in Greek the “inner eye,” or the Seer; in Hebrew, and with the help of Masoretic points it means the initiator and instructor, . It is a generic title; besides which his legend is
that of several other prophets, Jewish and heathen, with changes of made-up details, the root-form being the same. Elijah is also taken up into Heaven alive; and the astrologer, at the court of Isdubar, the Chaldean Hea-bani, is likewise raised to heaven by the god Hea, who was his patron, as Jehovah was of Elijah (whose name means in Hebrew “God-Jah,” Jehovah, ), and again of Elihu, which has the same meaning. This kind of easy death, or euthanasia, has an esoteric meaning. It symbolises the death of any adept who has reached the power and degree, as also the purification, which enable him to die only in the physical body and still live and lead a conscious life in his astral body. The variations on this theme are endless, but the secret meaning is ever the same. The Pauline expression (Hebrews xi. 5) “that he should not see death” — ut non videret mortem — has thus an esoteric meaning, but nothing supernatural in it. The mangled interpretation given of some Biblical hints to the effect that Enoch, “whose years will equal those of the world,” (of the Solar year, 365 days,) will share with Christ and the prophet Elijah the honours and bliss of the last advent and of the destruction of Antichrist — signify, esoterically, that some of the great adepts will return in the Seventh Race, when all Error will be made away with, and the advent of Truth will be heralded by those Sishta, the holy “Sons of Light.”
The Latin church is not always logical, nor prudent either. She declares the “Book of Enoch” an apocrypha, and has gone so far as to claim, through Cardinal Cajetan and other luminaries of the Church, the rejection from the Canon of even the Book of Jude, who, though an inspired apostle, quotes from and thus sanctifies the Book of Enoch, which is alleged to be an apocryphal work. Fortunately, some of the dogmatics perceived the peril in time. Had they accepted Cajetan’s resolution, they would have been forced to reject likewise the fourth Gospel; as St. John borrows literally from Enoch, and places in the mouth of Jesus, a whole sentence! (Vide supra, § XVIII., sub-sect. A, about the sheep and the robbers.)
Ludolph, the “father of Ethiopic literature,” commissioned to investigate the various Enochian MSS. presented by Pereisc, the traveller, to the Mazarine Library, declared that “no book of Enoch could exist among the Abyssinians”! Further researches and discoveries worsted his too dogmatic assertion, as all know. Bruce and Ruppel found and brought that same work from Abyssinia some years later, and Bishop Laurence translated it. But Bruce despised it, and scoffed at its contents; as did all the rest of the Scientists. He declared it “a Gnostic work,” in which “the age of giants who devour” men — is given . . . hence it is another “Apocalypsis.” Giants! another fairy-tale.
Such, however, was not the opinion of all the best critics. Dr. Hanneberg places the Book of Enoch along with the Third Book of the Maccabees, at the head of the list of those whose authority stands the nearest to that of the canonical works.
Verily, “where doctors disagree . . .”
As usual, however, they were all right and all wrong. To accept Enoch as a Biblical character, a single living man, is like accepting Adam as the first one. Enoch was a generic title, applied to, and borne by, scores of individuals, at all times and ages, and in every race and nation. This may be easily inferred from the fact that the ancient Talmudists and the teachers of Midrashim are not agreed generally in their views about Hanokh, the Son of Yered. . . . Some say Enoch was a great Saint, beloved by God, and taken alive to heaven (i.e., one who reached Mukti or Nirvana, on earth, as Buddha did and others still do); and others maintain that he was a sorcerer, a wicked magician. This shows only that Enoch, or its equivalent, was a term, even during the days of the later Talmudists, which meant “Seer,” “Adept in the Secret Wisdom,” etc., without any specification as to the character of the title-bearer. When Josephus, speaking of Elijah and Enoch (Antiquities, ix., 2), remarks that “it is written in the sacred books they (Elijah and Enoch) disappeared, but so that nobody knew that they died,” it means simply that they had died in their personalities, as Yogis die to this day in India, or even some Christian monks to the world. They disappear from the sight of men and die — on the terrestrial plane — even for themselves. A seemingly figurative way of speaking, yet literally true.
“Hanokh transmitted the science of (astronomical) calculation and of computing the seasons to Noah,” says the Midrash Pirkah R. Eliezar (cap. viii.), referring to Henoch that which others did to Hermes Trismegistus, because the two are identical in their esoteric meaning. “Hanokh” in this case, and his “Wisdom,” belong to the cycle of the Fourth Atlantean Race,* and Noah to that of the Fifth.† In this case both represent the Root-Races, the present one and the one that preceded it. In another sense, Enoch disappeared, “he walked with God, and he was not, for God took him,” the allegory referring to the disappearance of the Sacred and Secret knowledge from among men; for “God” (or Java Aleim — the high hierophants, the heads of the colleges of initiated priests‡) took him; in other words, the Enochs or the Enoichions, the Seers and their knowledge and wisdom, became strictly
* Says the Zohar, “Hanokh had a book which was one with the book of the generations of Adam; this is the Mystery of Wisdom.”
† Noah is heir to the Wisdom of Enoch; in other words, the Fifth is heir to the Fourth Race.
‡ Vide Isis Unveiled, Vol. 1, p. 575, et seq.
confined to the Secret Colleges of the Prophets, with the Jews, and to the temples with the Gentiles.
Interpreted with the help of merely the symbolical key, Enoch is the type of the dual nature of man — spiritual and physical. Hence he occupies the centre of the astronomical cross (given by Eliphas Levi from a secret work), which is a six-pointed star, “the Adonai.” In the upper triangle is the Eagle; in the left lower triangle stands the lion; in the right, the bull: while between the bull and the lion, over them and under the eagle, is the face of Enoch or man. (Vide illustrated diagram in Isis Unveiled, Vol. II., p. 452). Now the figures on the upper triangle represent the Four Races, leaving out the first — the Chhayas or Shadows — and the “Son of Man,” Enos or Enoch, is in the centre, because he stands between the two (the Fourth and the Fifth) Races, as he represents the Secret Wisdom of both. These are the four animals of Ezekiel and of the Revelation. The same double triangle which in Isis, Vol. II, (p. 453), faces the Hindu Adanari, is by far the best. For there, only the three (for us) historical races are symbolized; the third, the androgynous, by Ada-nari; the fourth, symbolized by the strong, powerful lion; and the fifth — the Aryan — by that which is its most sacred symbol to this day, the bull (and the cow).
A man of great erudition — a French savant — M. de Sacy, finds several most singular statements in the Book of Enoch, “worthy of the most serious examination,” he says. For instance, “the author (Enoch) makes the solar year consist of 364 days, and seems to know periods of three, of five, and of eight years, followed by four supplementary days, which, in his system, appear to be those of the equinoxes and solstices.”* . . . . To which he adds, later on, “I see but one means to palliate them (these ‘absurdities’), it is to suppose that the author expounds some fanciful system which may have existed before the order of Nature had been altered at the period of the Universal Deluge.”
Precisely so; and the Secret Doctrine teaches that that “order of nature” has been thus altered, and the series of the Earth’s humanities too. For, as the angel Uriel tells Enoch: “Behold, I have showed thee all things, O Enoch; and all things have I revealed to thee. Thou seest the Sun, the Moon, and those which conduct the stars in Heaven, which cause all their operations, seasons, and arrivals to return. In the days of sinners the years shall be shortened . . . . the moon shall change its laws, etc.” (chap. lxxix). In those days also, years before the great Deluge that carried away the Atlanteans and changed the face of the whole earth — because “the earth (on its axis) became inclined” —
* See Danielo’s criticisms upon De Sacy, in the Annales de Philosophie, p. 393.
nature, geologically, astronomically, and cosmically in general, could not have been the same, just because the Earth had inclined. See chap. lxiv. (Sect. xi.) . . . . “And Noah cried with a bitter voice ‘Hear me, hear me, hear me’; three times. And he said ‘The earth labours and is violently inclined; surely, I shall perish with it.’ ”
This, by the way, looks like one of those many “inconsistencies,” if the Bible is read literally. For, to say the least, this is a very strange fear in one who had “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” and been told to build an ark! But here we find the venerable Patriarch expressing as much fear as if, instead of a “friend” of God, he had been one of the Giants doomed by the wrathful deity. The earth has already inclined, and the deluge of waters has become simply a question of time, and yet Noah seems to know nothing of his intended salvation.
A decree had come indeed; the decree of nature and the Law of Evolution, that the earth should change its race, and that the Fourth Race should be destroyed to make room for a better one. The Manvantara had reached its turning point of three and a half Rounds, and gigantic physical Humanity had reached the acme of gross materiality. Hence the apocalyptic verse that speaks of a commandment gone forth that they may be destroyed, “that their end may be” (of the race); for they knew truly “every secret of the angels, every oppressive and secret power of the Satans, and every power of those who commit sorcery, as well as of those who make molten images in the whole earth.”
And now a natural question. Who could have informed the apocryphal author of this powerful vision (to whatever age he may be assigned before the day of Galileo) that the Earth could occasionally incline her axis? Whence has he derived such astronomical and geological knowledge if the Secret Wisdom, of which the ancient Rishis and Pythagoras had drunk, is but a fancy, an invention of the later ages? Has Enoch read prophetically perchance in Frederick Klee’s work on the Deluge (p. 79) these lines: “The position of the terrestrial globe with reference to the Sun has evidently been, in primitive times, different from what it is now; and this difference must have been caused by a displacement of the axis of rotation of the Earth.”?
This reminds one of that other unscientific statement made by the Egyptian priests to Herodotus, namely, that the Sun has not always risen where it arises now, and that in former times the ecliptic had cut the equator at right angles.*
There are many such “dark sayings” throughout Puranas, Bible and Mythology; and to the occultist they divulge two facts: (a) that the ancients knew as well, and better, perhaps, than the moderns
* Astronomie Ancienne, Bailly, Vol. I., p. 203, and Vol. II., p. 216.
do, astronomy, geognosy and cosmography in general; and (b) that the globe and its behaviour have altered more than once since the primitive state of things. Thus, on the blind faith of his “ignorant” religion, which taught that Phaeton, in his desire to learn the hidden truth, made the Sun deviate from its usual course — Xenophantes asserts somewhere that, “the Sun turned toward another country”; which is a parallel, however slightly more scientific, if as bold, of Joshua stopping the course of the Sun altogether. Yet it may explain the teaching of the Northern mythology (in Jeruskoven) that, before the actual order of things, the Sun arose in the South, and its placing the Frigid Zone in the East, whereas now it is in the North.
The Book of Enoch, in short, is a resume, a compound of the main features of the History of the Third, Fourth and Fifth Races; a very few prophecies from the present age of the world; a long retrospective, introspective and prophetic summary of universal and quite historical events — geological, ethnological, astronomical, and psychic — with a touch of theogony out of the antediluvian records. The Book of this mysterious personage is referred to and quoted copiously in the Pistis Sophia, and also in the Zohar and its most ancient Midrashim. Origen and Clement of Alexandria held it in the highest esteem. To say, therefore, that it is a post-Christian forgery is to utter an absurdity and to become guilty of an anachronism, since Origen, among others, lived in the second century of the Christian era, yet he mentions it as an ancient and venerable work. The secret and sacred name and its potency are well and clearly though allegorically described in the old volume. From the XVIIIth to the Lth chapter, the Visions of Enoch are all descriptive of the Mysteries of Initiation, one of which is the Burning Valley of the “Fallen Angels.”
Perhaps St. Augustine was quite right in saying that the Church rejected the Book of Enoch out of her canon owing to its too great antiquity, ob nimiam antiquitatem.* There was no room for the events noticed in it within the limit of the 4004 years B.C. assigned to the world from its “creation”!
* City of God, I. xv. ch. xxiii.