The Hill of Discernment

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The Hill of Discernment

By Alfred Trevor Barker

The Lost Word

Needless to say the study of this subject of the 'Word,' that is supposed to have been lost to the Western Races of men during the dark ages which succeeded a few centuries after the death of the great Avatara Jesus, reveals a number of surprising facts which I will endeavor to lay before you for your consideration. There are no doubt many points of view from which we can approach the subject, and to begin with it may be well to mention some of those who have testified to their belief in and search for that mysterious Word that gave Light and Wisdom and Power to the Hierophants, the Mystics, the Initiates of the Past. In ancient India there is a tradition

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.". . . 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 (Maha Chohan in another tongue), 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. — The Secret Doctrine, II, 220
As H. P. B. tells us in Isis Unveiled, Volume I, page 29, the masons "may 'shed tears at the grave of their respectable Master, Hiram Abiff'; but vainly will they search for the true locality, 'where the sprig of myrtle was placed.' " It is the same with our modern knights of the Sacred Arch. They may descend " 'through the nine arches into the bowels of the earth,' " but " 'they will never discover the sacred Delta of Enoch.' The 'Sir Knights in the South Valley' and those in 'the North Valley' may try to assure themselves that 'enlightenment dawns upon their minds,' and that as they progress in Masonry 'the veil of superstition, despotism, tyranny' and so on, no longer obscures the visions of their minds. But these are all empty words." They have cause to bewail their fate. For "since Phillipe le Bel destroyed the Knights-Templars, not one has appeared to clear up your doubts notwithstanding all claims to the contrary. Truly," she says, "you are 'wanderers from Jerusalem, seeking the lost treasure of the holy place.' Have you found it? Alas, no! for the holy place is profaned; the pillars of wisdom, strength and beauty are destroyed. Henceforth, 'you must wander in darkness,' and 'travel in humility' . . . in search of the 'lost word.' 'Pass on!' — you will never find it . . . because you are 'travelling in darkness,' and this darkness can only be dispelled by the light of the blazing torch of truth which alone the right descendants of Ormasd carry."

The great Northern Seer Swedenborg advises us to search for the Lost Word amongst the hierophants of Tartary, China, and Tibet, for it is only there now. The four Vedas, Books of Hermes, Chaldean Book of Numbers, the Kabala, Sepher Jezira, the Book of Wisdom, the Brahmanas, etc., etc., all had the same basis which, when their philosophy is understood, will all be found to reveal the same primeval Secret Doctrine which is the Ultima Thule of true philosophy, and will disclose what is this Lost Word.

The greatest of the Kabalistic works of the Hebrews, the Zohar, was compiled by Rabbi Simeon Ben Yo'hai and only completed by his son. On account of the fact that he was known to be in possession of the secret knowledge and of the 'Word,' his life became endangered, and he fled to the wilderness where he lived in a cave for twelve years surrounded by his disciples and finally died there, by signs and wonders. He is said at last to have disappeared from view; the whole cave became filled with heavenly light, and only when it subsided did the disciples perceive that the lamp of Israel was extinguished. He never imparted the most important points of his doctrine except to a few disciples, and then only orally from mouth to ear, and at low breath. Since his death this hidden doctrine has remained an inviolate secret from the outside world. Only a substitute for the Word is now used by modern masonry.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead shows that the Egyptians regarded man as not merely soul and body, but spirit also. Moreover they knew of the septenary nature of man as well. If the defunct was a purified soul that had become united with spirit, if it had the gnosis, by the power of the 'Word' it conquered the dragon Apophis, otherwise it could not escape the second death.

This points incidentally to the teachings of the esoteric philosophy as to immortality being conditional. By the neglect of the study of this knowledge of the 'Word' man risks to lose most of what is worth while — unless he wants to remain in the ranks of the living dead of the profane. But a knowledge of the Word can Save. "Its potency lies in the rhythm or the accent. This means simply that even a bad person may, by the study of the Sacred Science, be redeemed and stopped on the path of destruction."

That there are fearful secrets in nature may well be believed when, as we have seen in the case of the Russian Znachar, the sorcerer cannot die until he has passed the word to another, and the hierophants of White Magic rarely do. It seems as if the dread power of the "Word" could only be entrusted to one man of a certain district or body of people at a time. When the Brahmatma was about to lay aside the burden of physical existence, he imparted his secret to his successor, either orally, or by a writing placed in a securely-fastened casket which went into the latter's hands alone. Moses "lays his hands" upon his neophyte, Joshua, in the solitudes of Nebo and passes away forever. Aaron initiates Eleazar on Mount Hor, and dies. Siddhartha-Buddha promises his mendicants before his death to live in him who shall deserve it, embraces his favorite disciple, whispers in his ear, and dies; and as John's head lies upon the bosom of Jesus, he is told that he shall "tarry" until he shall come. Like signal-fires of the olden times, which, lighted and extinguished by turns upon one hill-top after another, conveyed intelligence along a whole stretch of country, so we see a long line of "wise" men from the beginning of history down to our own times communicating the word of wisdom to their direct successors. Passing from seer to seer, the "Word" flashes out like lightning, and while carrying off the initiator from human sight forever, brings the new initiate into view. Meanwhile, whole nations murder each other in the name of another "Word," an empty substitute accepted literally by each, and misinterpreted by all! — Isis Unveiled, II, 571
From this the reader will see that it was not Madame Blavatsky who doubted the power of the Word or the fact of succession from one hierophant of the Mysteries to another.



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