< A Few Questions to Hiraf (continued from page 3-243) >
If the primitive Rosicrucians learned their first lessons of wisdom from Oriental masters, not so with their direct descendants, the fire-philosophers or Paracelsists; for in many things the Cabala of the latter Illuminati proves to be degenerated into a twin sister of the Jewish. Let us compare. Besides admitting the “Schedim,” or intermediate spirits of the Jews—the elementary ones, which they divide into four classes, those of the air, of the water, the fire, and of minerals—the Christian Cabalist believes like the Jewish, in Asmodeus, the Ever-accursed One, or our good friend the orthodox Satan. Asmodeus, or Asmodi, is the chief of the elementary goblins. This doctrine alone differs considerably from the Oriental philosophy, which denies that the great Ain-soph (the Endless or Boundless) who made his existence known through the medium of the spiritual substance sent forth from his Infinite Light—the eldest of the ten Intelligences or Emanations—the first Sephira—could ever create an endless, macrocosmal evil. It (Oriental philosophy) teaches us that, though the first three spheres out of seven—taking it for granted that our planet comes in fourth—are inhabited by elementary or future men (this might account for the modern doctrine of Re-incarnation perhaps) and, though until they become such men they are beings without immortal souls in them and but the “grossest purgations of the celestial fire,” still they do not belong to Eternal Evil. Every one of them has the chance in store of having its matter reborn on this “fourth sphere,” which is our planet, and so have “the gross purgation” purified by the Immortal Breath of the Aged of the Aged, who endows every human being with a portion of his boundless self. Here, on our planet, commences the first spiritual transition, from the Infinite to the Finite, of the elementary matter which first proceeded from the pure Intelligence, or God, and also the operation of that pure Principle upon this material purgation. Thus begins the immortal man to prepare for Eternity.
In their primitive shape, the elementary spirits, so often mistaken in modern Spiritualism for the undeveloped or unprogressed spirits of our dead, stand in relation to our planet as we stand in relation to the Summer Land. When we use the term “disembodied spirit,” we only repeat what the elementary ones most certainly think or say of us human beings, and if they are as yet devoid of immortal souls, they are, nevertheless, gifted with instinct and craft, and we appear as little material to them as the spirits of the fifth sphere appear to us. With our passage into each subsequent sphere, we throw off something of our primitive grossness. Hence, there is eternal progress—physical and spiritual—for every living being. The transcendental knowledge and philosophy of the greatest Oriental Cabalists never penetrated beyond a certain mark, and the Hermetist, or rather Rosicrucian, if we would be precise, never went farther than to solve the majestic, but more limited problems of the Jewish Cabala, which we can divide thus:
1. The nature of the Supreme Being:
2. The origin, creation, and generation of the Universe, the Macrocosmos;
3. The creation, or generation, of outflowing of angels and man;
4. The ultimate destiny of angels, man, and the Universe; or the inflowing;
5. To point out to humanity the real meaning of the whole of the Hebrew Scriptures.
As it is, the real, the complete Cabala of the first ages of humanity is in possession, as I said before, of but a few Oriental philosophers; where they are, who they are, is more than is given me to reveal. Perhaps I do not know it myself, and have only dreamed it. Thousands will say it is all imagination; so be it. Time will show. The only thing I can say is that such a body exists, and that the location of their Brotherhoods will never be revealed to other countries, until the day when Humanity shall awake in a mass from its spiritual lethargy, and open its blind eyes to the dazzling light of Truth. A too premature discovery might blind them, perhaps forever. Until then, the speculative theory of their existence, will be supported by what people erroneously believe to be supernal facts. Notwithstanding the selfish, sinful opposition of science to Spiritualism in general, and that of the scientists in particular, who, forgetting that their first duty is to enlighten Humanity, instead of that, allow millions of people to lose themselves and drift about like so many disabled ships, without pilot or compass, among the sandbanks of superstition; notwithstanding the toy-thunderbolts and harmless anathemas hurled around by the ambitious and crafty clergy, who, above all men, ought to believe in spiritual truths; notwithstanding the apathetic indifference of that class of people who prefer believing in nothing, pretending the while to believe in the teachings of their churches, which they select according to their best notions of respectability and fashion; notwithstanding all these things, Spiritualism will rise above all, and its progress can be as little helped as the dawn of the morning or the rising of the sun. Like the former, will the glorious Truth arise among all these black clouds gathered in the East; like the latter, will its brilliant light pour forth upon awakening humanity its dazzling rays. These rays will dissipate these clouds and the unhealthy mists of a thousand religious sects which disgrace the present century. They will warm up and recall into new life the millions of wretched souls who shiver and are half frozen under the icy hand of killing skepticism. Truth will prevail at last, and Spiritualism, the new world’s conqueror, reviving, like the fabulous Phoenix out of the ashes of its first parent, Occultism, will unite for ever in one Immortal Brotherhood all antagonistic races; for this new St. Michael will crush for ever the dragon’s head—of Death!
I have but a few words more to say before I close. To admit the possibility of anyone becoming a practical Cabalist (or a Rosicrucian, we will call him, as the names seem to have become synonymous) who simply has the firm determination to “become” one, and hopes to get the secret knowledge through studying the Jewish Cabala, or every other one that may come into existence, without actually being initiated by another, and so being “made” such by someone who “knows,” is as foolish as to hope to thread the famous labyrinth without the clue, or to open the secret locks of the ingenious inventors of the mediaeval ages, without having possession of the keys. If the Christian New Testament, the easiest and youngest of all the Cabalas known to us, has presented such immense difficulties to those who would interpret its mysteries and secret meanings (which, were they only once studied with the key of modern Spiritualism, would open as simply as the casket in Aesop’s fable), what hope can there be for a modern Occultist, learned only in theoretical knowledge, to ever attain his object? Occultism without practice will ever be like the statue of Pygmalion, and no one can animate it without infusing into it a spark of the sacred Divine Fire. The Jewish Cabala, the only authority of the European Occultist, is all based on the secret meanings of the Hebrew scriptures, which, in their turn, indicate the keys to them, by signs hidden and unintelligible to the uninitiated. They afford no hope for the adepts to solve them practically. The Seventh Rule of the Rosicrucian “who became, but was not made” has its secret meaning, like every other phrase left by the Cabalists to posterity, in writing. The words: “The dead letter killeth,” which Hiraf quotes, can be applied in this case with still more justice than to the Christian teachings of the first apostles. A Rosicrucian had to struggle ALONE, and toil long years to find some of the preliminary secrets—the ABC of the great Cabala—only on account of his ordeal, during which were to be tried all his mental and physical energies. After that, if found worthy, the word “Try” was repeated to him for the last time before the final ceremony of the ordeal. When the High Priests of the Temple of Osiris, of Serapis, and others, brought the neophyte before the dreaded Goddess Isis, the word “Try” was pronounced for the last time; and then, if the neophyte could withstand that final mystery, the most dreaded as well as the most trying of all horrors for him who knew not what was in store for him; if he bravely “lifted the veil of Isis,” he became an initiate, and had naught to fear more. He had passed the last ordeal, and no longer dreaded to meet face to face the inhabitants from “over the dark river.”
The only cause for the horror and dread we feel in the <... continues on page 3-245 >