- 5. At the fourth ( Round, or revolution of life and being around “ the seven smaller wheels ” ) (a), the sons are told to create their images One third refuses. Two ( thirds ) obey.
The full meaning of this sloka can be fully comprehended only after reading the detailed additional explanations in the “ Anthropogenesis ” and its commentaries, in Book II. Between this Sloka and the last, Sloka 4 in this same Stanza, extend long ages ; and there now gleams the dawn and sunrise of another æon. The drama enacted on our planet is at the beginning of its fourth act, but for a clearer comprehension of the whole play the reader will have to turn back before he can proceed onward. For this verse belongs to the general Cosmogony given in the archaic volumes, whereas Book II. will give a detailed account of the “ Creation ” or rather the formation, of the first human beings, followed by the second humanity, and then by the third ; or, as they are called, “ the first, second, and the third Root-Races.” As the solid Earth began by being a ball of liquid fire, of fiery dust and its protoplasmic phantom, so did man.
( a) That which is meant by the qualification the “ Fourth ” is explained as the “ fourth Round ” only on the authority of the Com- mentaries. It can equally mean fourth “ Eternity ” as “ Fourth Round,” or even the fourth (our) Globe. For, as will repeatedly be shown, it is the fourth Sphere on the fourth or lowest plane of material life. And it so happens that we are in the Fourth Round, at the middle point of which the perfect equilibrium between Spirit and Matter had to take place. * Says the Commentary explaining the verse : —
“ The holy youths ( the gods ) refused to multiply and create species after their likeness, after their kind. They are not fit forms ( rupas ) for us. They have to grow. They refuse to enter the chhayas ( shadows or images ) of their inferiors. Thus had selfish feeling prevailed from the beginning, even among the gods, and they fell under the eye of the Karmic Lipikas.”
They had to suffer for it in later births. How the punishment reached the gods will be seen in the second volume.
- 6. The curse is pronounced (a) : they will be born in the fourth ( Race ), suffer and cause suffering (b). This is the first war (c).
(a) It is a universal tradition that, before the physiological “ Fall,” propagation of one’s kind, whether human or animal, took place through the will of the Creators, or of their progeny. It was the Fall of Spirit into generation, not the Fall of mortal man. It has already been stated that, to become a Self-Conscious Spirit, the latter must pass through every cycle of being, culminating in its highest point on earth in Man.
* It was, as we shall see, at this period — during the highest point of civilization and knowledge, as also of human intellectuality, of the fourth, Atlantean Race — that, owing to the final crisis of physiologico-spiritual adjustment of the races, humanity branched off into its two diametrically opposite paths : the right- and the left-hand paths of knowledge or of Vidya. “ Thus were the germs of the White and the Black Magic sown in those days. The seeds lay latent for some time, to sprout only during the early period of the Fifth (our Race ).” ( Commentary. )
Spirit per se is an unconscious negative abstraction. Its purity is inherent, not acquired by merit ; hence, as already shown, to become the highest Dhyan Chohan it is necessary for each Ego to attain to full self-consciousness as a human, i.e., conscious Being, which is synthesized for us in Man. The Jewish Kabalists arguing that no Spirit could belong to the divine hierarchy unless Ruach (Spirit) was united to Nephesh (living Soul), only repeat the Eastern Esoteric teaching. “ A Dhyani has to be an Atma-Buddhi ; once the Buddhi-Manas breaks loose from its immortal Atma of which it (Buddhi) is the vehicle, Atman passes into non-being, which is absolute Being.” This means that the purely Nirvanic state is a passage of Spirit back to the ideal abstraction of Be-ness which has no relation to the plane on which our Universe is accomplishing its cycle.
(b) “ The curse is pronounced ” does not mean, in this instance, that any personal Being, god, or superior Spirit, pronounced it, but simply that the cause which could but create bad results had been generated, and that the effects of a Karmic cause could lead the “ Beings ” that counteracted the laws of Nature, and thus impeded her legitimate progress, only to bad incarnations, hence to suffering.
(c) “ There were many wars ” refers to several struggles of adjustment, spiritual, cosmical, and astronomical, but chiefly to the mystery of the evolution of man as he is now. Powers — pure Essences — “ that were told to create ” is a sentence that relates to a mystery explained, as already said, elsewhere. It is not only one of the most hidden secrets of Nature — that of generation, over whose solution the Embryologists have vainly put their heads together — but likewise a divine function that involves that other religious, or rather dogmatic, mystery, the “ Fall ” of the Angels, as it is called. Satan and his rebellious host would thus prove, when the meaning of the allegory is explained, to have refused to create physical man, only to become the direct Saviours and the Creators of “ divine Man.” The symbolical teaching is more than mystical and religious, it is purely scientific, as will be seen later on. For, instead of remaining a mere blind, functioning medium, impelled and guided by fathomless Law, the “ rebellious ” Angel claimed and enforced his right of independent judgment and will, his
right of free-agency and responsibility, since man and angel are alike under Karmic Law. *
“ And there was war in Heaven. . . . Michael and his angels fought against the Dragon ; and the Dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not ; neither was their place found any more in Heaven. And the Dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.”
The Kabalistic version of the same story is given in the Codex Nazareus, the scripture of the Nazarenes, the real mystic Christians of John the Baptist and the Initiates of Christos. Bahak-Zivo, the “ Father of the Genii,” is ordered to construct creatures (to create). But, as he is “ ignorant of Orcus,” he fails to do so, and calls in Fetahil, a still purer spirit, to his aid, who fails still worse. This is a repetition of the failure of the “ Fathers,” the lords of light who fail one after the other. (Book II, Sloka 17.)
We will now quote from our earlier Volumes : —
“ Then steps on the stage of creation the spirit † (of the Earth so-called, or the Soul, Psyche, which St. James calls ‘ devilish ’) the lower portion the Anima Mundi or Astral Light. (See the close of this Sloka). With the Nazarenes and the Gnostics this Spirit was
* Explaining Kabalistic views, the author of the “ New Aspects of Life ” says of the Fallen Angels that, “ According to the symbolical teaching, Spirit, from being simply a functionary agent of God, became volitional in its developed and developing action ; and, substituting its own will for the Divine desire in its regard, so fell. Hence the Kingdom and reign of Spirits and spiritual action, which flow from and are the product of Spirit-volition, are outside, and contrasted with, and in contradiction to the Kingdom of Souls and Divine action.” So far, so good ; but what does the Author mean by saying, “ When man was created, he was human in constitution, with human affections, human hopes and aspirations. From this state he fell — into the brute and savage ” ? This is diametrically opposite to our Eastern teaching, and even to the Kabalistic notion so far as we understand it, and to the Bible itself. This looks like Corporealism and Substantialism colouring positive philosophy, though it is rather hard to feel quite sure of the Author’s meaning (see p. 235). A fall, however, “ from the natural into the supernatural and the animal ” — supernatural meaning the purely spiritual in this case — means what we suggest.
† On the authority of Irenæus, of Justin Martyr and the “ Codex ” itself, Dunlap shows that the Nazarenes regarded “ Spirit ” as a female and Evil Power in its connection with our Earth. (Dunlap : “ Sod,” the Son of the Man, p. 52).
feminine. Thus the spirit of the Earth perceiving that for Fetahil, * the newest man (the latest), the splendour was ‘ changed,’ and that for splendour existed ‘ decrease and damage,’ she awakes Karabtanos, † ‘ who was frantic and without sense and judgment,’ and says to him : — ‘ Arise, see, the splendour (light) of the newest man (Fetahil) has failed (to produce or create men), the decrease of this splendour is visible. Rise up, come with thy mother (the Spiritus) and free thee from limits by which thou art held, and those more ample than the whole world.’ After which follows the union of the frantic and blind matter, guided by the insinuations of the spirit (not the Divine breath but the Astral spirit, which by its double essence is already tainted with matter) ; and the offer of the mother being accepted, the Spiritus conceives “ Seven Figures,” and the seven stellars (planets) which represent also the seven capital sins, the progeny of an astral soul separated from its divine source (spirit) and matter, the blind demon of concupiscence. Seeing this, Fetahil extends his hand towards the abyss of matter, and says : — ‘ Let the Earth exist, just as the abode of the powers has existed.’ Dipping his hand in the chaos, which he condenses, he creates our planet. ‡ ”
“ Then the Codex proceeds to tell how Bahak-Zivo was separated from the Spiritus, and the Genii or angels from the rebels. § Then Mano || (the greatest), who dwells with the greatest ferho, call Kebar-Zivo (known also by the name of Nebat-Iavar bar Iufin Ifafin), Helm and Vine of the food of life, ¶ he being the third life, and commiserating the rebellious and foolish Genii, on account of the magnitude of their ambition, says : ‘ Lord of the Genii ** (Æons), see what the Genii, the
* Fetahil is identical with the host of the Pitris who “ created Man ” as only a “ shell.” He was, with the Nazarenes, the king of light, and the creator ; but in this instance he is the unlucky Prometheus, who fails to get hold of the Living Fire necessary for the formation of the divine Soul, as he is ignorant of the secret name, the ineffable or incommunicable name of the Kabalists.
† The spirit of Matter and Concupiscence ; “ Kamarupa ” minus “ Manas,” Mind.
‡ See Franck’s “ Codex Nazaræus,” and Dunlap’s “ Sod, the Son of the Man.”
§ Codex Nazaræus, ii., 233.
|| This Mano of the Nazarenes strangely resembles the Hindu Manu, the Heavenly Man of the “ Rig Vedas.”
¶ “ I am the true Vine, and my father is the husbandman.” (John xv., 1.)
** With the Gnostics, Christ, as well as Michael who is identical with him in some respects, was the “ Chief of the Æons.”
rebellious angels do, and about what they are consulting. * They say, ‘ Let us call for the world, and let us call the ‘ powers ’ into existence,” The Genii are the Principes, the “ Sons of Light,” but thou art the “ Messenger of Life.” †
And in order to counteract the influence of the seven “ badly disposed ” principles, the progeny of Spiritus, cabar-zio, the mighty Lord of Splendor, produces seven other lives (the cardinal virtues) who shine in their own form and light “ from on high ” ‡ and thus re-establish the balance between good and evil, light and darkness.
Here one finds a repetition of the early allegorical, dual systems, as the Zoroastrian, and detects a germ of the dogmatic and dualistic religions of the future, a germ which has grown into such a luxuriant tree in ecclesiastical Christianity. It is already the outline of the two “ Supremes ” — God and Satan. But in the Stanzas no such idea exists.
Most of the Western Christian Kabalists — pre-eminently Eliphas Lévi — in their desire to reconcile the Occult Sciences with Church dogmas, did their best to make of the “ Astral Light ” only and pre-eminently the Pleroma of early Church Fathers, the abode of the Hosts of the Fallen Angels, of the “ Archons ” and “ Powers.” But the Astral Light, while only the lower aspect of the Absolute, is yet dual. It is the Anima Mundi, and ought never to be viewed otherwise, except for Kabalistic purposes. The difference which exists between its “ light ” and its “ Living Fire ” ought to be ever present in the mind of the Seer and the “ Psychic.” The higher aspect, without which only creatures of matter from that Astral Light can be produced, is this Living Fire, and it is the Seventh Principle. It is said in “ Isis Unveiled,” in a complete description of it : —
“ The Astral Light or Anima Mundi is dual and bisexual. The (ideal) male part of it is purely divine and spiritual, it is the Wisdom, it is Spirit or Purusha ; while the female portion (the Spiritus of the Nazarenes) is tainted, in one sense, with matter, is indeed matter, and therefore is evil already. It is the life-principle of every living creature, and furnishes the astral soul, the fluidic perisprit, to men, animals, fowls of the air, and everything living. Animals have only the latent germ of the highest immortal soul in them. This latter will develop
* Codex Nazaræus, i., 135.
‡ See the Cosmogony of Pherecydes.
only after a series of countless evolutions ; the doctrine of which evolution is contained in the Kabalistic axiom : ‘ A stone becomes a plant ; a plant, a beast ; a beast, a man ; a man, a spirit ; and the spirit, a god.’ ” (Vol. I., p. 301, note.)
The seven principles of the Eastern Initiates had not been explained when “ Isis ” was written, but only the three Kabalistic Faces of the semi-exoteric Kabala. * But these contain the description of the mystic natures of the first group of Dhyan Chohans in the regimen ignis, the region and “ rule (or government) of fire,” which group is divided into three classes, synthesized by the first, which makes four or the “ Tetraktis.” ( See Comments on Stanza VII. Book I.) If one studies the Comments attentively he will find the same progression in the angelic natures, viz., from the passive down to the active, the last of these Beings being as near to the Ahamkara element (the region or plane wherein Ego-ship or the feeling of I-am-ness is beginning to be defined) as the first ones are near to the undifferentiated essence. The former are Arupa, incorporeal ; the latter, Rupa, corporeal.
In Volume II. of Isis ( p. 183 et seq. ) the philosophical systems of the Gnostics and the primitive Jewish Christians, the Nazarenes and the Ebionites, are fully considered. They show the views held in those days — outside the circle of Mosaic Jews — about Jehovah. He was identified by all the Gnostics with the evil, rather than with the good principle. For them, he was Ilda-Baoth, “ the son of Darkness,” whose mother, Sophia Achamoth, was the daughter of Sophia, the Divine Wisdom (the female Holy Ghost of the early Christians) — Akâsa ; † while Sophia Achamoth personified the lower Astral Light or Ether. Ilda-Baoth, ‡ or Jehovah, is simply one of the Elohim, the seven
* They are found, however, in the Chaldean Book of Numbers.
† The astral light stands in the same relation to Akâsa and Anima Mundi, as Satan stands to the Deity. They are one and the same thing seen from two aspects : the spiritual and the psychic — the super-ethereal or connecting link between matter and pure spirit, and the physical. See for the difference between nous, the higher divine wisdom, and psyche, the lower and terrestrial (St. James iii. v. 15-17). Vide “ Demon est Deus inversus,” Part II. of this volume.
‡ Ilda-Baoth is a compound name made up of Ilda, ילד, “ a child,” and Baoth ; both from בדוצ the egg, and בהוה Baoth, “ chaos,” emptiness, void, or desolation ; or the child born in the egg of Chaos, like Brahmâ.
creative Spirits, and one of the lower Sephiroth. He produces from himself seven other Gods, “ Stellar Spirits ” (or the lunar ancestors *), for they are all the same. † They are all in his own image (the “ Spirits of the Face ”), and the reflections one of the other, and have become darker and more material as they successively receded from their originator. They also inhabit seven regions disposed like a ladder, as its rungs slope up and down the scale of spirit and matter. ‡ With Pagans and Christians, with Hindus and Chaldeans, with the Greek as with the Roman Catholics — with a slight variation of the texts in their interpretations — they all were the Genii of the seven planets, as of the seven planetary spheres of our septenary chain, of which Earth is the lowest. (See Isis, Vol. II. p. 186.) This connects the “ Stellar ” and “ Lunar ” Spirits with the higher planetary Angels and the Saptarishis (the seven Rishis of the Stars) of the Hindus — as subordinate Angels (Messengers) to these “ Rishis,” the emanations, on the descending scale, of the former. Such, in the opinion of the philosophical Gnostics, were the God and the Archangels now worshipped by the Christians ! The “ Fallen Angels ” and the legend of the “ War in Heaven ” is thus purely pagan in its origin and comes from India viâ Persia and Chaldea. The only reference to it in the Christian canon is found in Revelations xii., as quoted a few pages back.
Thus “ Satan,” once he ceases to be viewed in the superstitious, dogmatic, unphilosophical spirit of the Churches, grows into the grandiose image of one who made of terrestrial a divine man ; who gave him, throughout the long cycle of Mahâ-kalpa the law of the Spirit of Life, and made him free from the Sin of Ignorance, hence of death. (See the Section On Satan in Part II. Vol. II.)
* Jehovah’s connection with the moon in the Kabala is well known to students.
† About the Nazarenes see Isis, Vol. II. p. 131 and 132 ; the true followers of the true Christos were all Nazarenes and Christians, and were the opponents of the later Christians.
‡ Vide supra, the diagram of the lunar ring of seven worlds, where, as in our or any other chain, the upper worlds are spiritual, while the lowest, whether Moon, Earth, or any planet, is dark with matter.