The Secret Doctrine Vol I

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The Secret Doctrine Vol I

By H.P. Blavatsky

On the Hidden Deity, Its Symbols and Glyphs

The Logos, or Creative Deity, the “Word made Flesh,” of every religion, has to be traced to its ultimate source and essence. In India, it is a Proteus of 1,008 divine names and aspects in each of its personal transformations, from Brahmâ-Purusha, through the Seven Divine Rishis and Ten Semi-divine Prajâpatis (also Rishis), down to the Divine-human Avatâras. The same puzzling problem of the “One in Many,” and the Multitude in One, is found in other Pantheons; in the Egyptian, the Greek and the Chaldeo-Judaic, the latter having made confusion still more confused by presenting its Gods as euhemerizations, in the shapes of Patriarchs. And these Patriarchs are now accepted by those who reject Romulus as a myth, and are represented as living and historical Entities. Verbum satis sapienti!
In the Zohar, Ain Suph is also the One, the Infinite Unity. This was known to the very few learned Fathers of the Church, who were aware that Jehovah was no “highest” God, but a third-rate Potency. But while complaining bitterly of the Gnostics, and saying: “our Heretics hold ... that Propatôr is known but to the Only-begotten Son529 [who is Brahmâ], that is to the Mind [Nous],” Irenæus failed to mention that the Jews did the same in their real secret books. Valentinus, “the profoundest doctor of the Gnosis,” held that “there was a perfect Aiôn who existed before Bythos [the first Father of unfathomable nature, which is the Second Logos], called Propatôr.” It is this Aiôn who springs as a Ray from Ain Suph, which does not create, and Aiôn who creates, or through whom, rather, everything is created, or evolves. For, as the Basilidians taught, “there was a Supreme God, Abrasax, by whom was created Mind [Mahat, in Sanskrit; Nous, in Greek]. From Mind proceeded the Word, Logos; from the Word, Providence [Divine Light, rather]; then from it Virtue and Wisdom in Principalities, Powers, Angels, etc.” By these Angels the 365 Æons were created. “Amongst the lowest, indeed, and those who made this world, he [Basilides] sets last of all the God of the Jews, whom he denies to be God [and very rightly], affirming he is one of the Angels.”
Here, then, we find the same system as in the Purânas, wherein the Incomprehensible drops a Seed, which becomes the Golden Egg, from which Brahmâ is produced. Brahmâ produces Mahat, etc. True Esoteric Philosophy, however, speaks neither of “creation,” nor of “evolution,” in the sense in which the exoteric religions do. All these personified Powers are not evolutions from one another, but so many aspects of the one and sole manifestation of the Absolute All.
The same system as that of the Gnostic Emanations prevails in the Sephirothic aspects of Ain Suph, and, as these aspects are in Space and Time, a certain order is maintained in their successive appearances. Therefore, it becomes impossible not to take notice of the great changes that the Zohar has undergone under the handling of generations of Christian Mystics. For, even in the metaphysics of the Talmud, the Lower Face or Lesser Countenance, or Microprosopus, could never be placed on the same plane of abstract ideals as the Higher, or Greater Countenance, Macroprosopus. The latter is, in the Chaldean Kabalah, a pure abstraction, the Word or Logos, or Dabar in Hebrew; which Word, though it becomes in fact a plural number, or Words, D(a)B(a)R(i)M, when it reflects itself, or falls into the aspect of a Host of Angels, or Sephiroth—the “Number”—is still collectively One, and on the ideal plane a nought, [circle], “Nothing.” It is without form or being, “with no likeness with anything else.”530 And even Philo calls the Creator, the Logos who stands next God, the “Second God,” when he speaks of “the Second God, who is his [the Highest God's] Wisdom.”531 Deity is not God. It is No-thing, and Darkness. It is nameless, and therefore called Ain Suph, the word “Ayin meaning nothing.”532 The “Highest God,” the Unmanifested Logos, is Its Son.
Nor are most of the Gnostic systems which have come down to us, mutilated as they are by the Church Fathers, anything better than the distorted shells of the original speculations. Nor were they, moreover, ever open to the public or general reader; for had their hidden meaning or esotericism been revealed, it would have been no more an esoteric teaching, and this could never have been. Marcus, the chief of the Marcosians, who flourished in the middle of the second century, and taught that Deity had to be viewed under the symbol of four syllables, gave out more of the esoteric truths than any other Gnostic. But even he was never well understood. For it is only on the surface or dead-letter of his Revelation that it appears that God is a Quaternary, to wit, “the Ineffable, the Silence, the Father, and Truth,” since in reality it is quite erroneous, and divulges only one more esoteric riddle. This teaching of Marcus was that of the early Kabalists and is ours. For he makes of Deity the Number 30, in four syllables, which, translated esoterically, means a Triad or Triangle, and a Quaternary or a Square, in all seven, which, on the lower plane, made the seven divine or Secret Letters of which the God-name is composed. This requires demonstration. In his Revelation, speaking of divine mysteries expressed by means of letters and numbers, Marcus narrates how the Supreme “Tetrad came down” unto him “from the region which cannot be seen nor named, in a female form, because the world would have been unable to bear her appearing in a male figure,” and revealed to him “the generation of the universe, untold before to either Gods or men.”
The first sentence already contains a double meaning. Why should the apparition of a female figure be more easily borne, or listened to, by the world than a male figure? On the face of it, this appears nonsensical. But to one who is acquainted with the Mystery Language, it is quite clear and simple. Esoteric Philosophy, or the Secret Wisdom, was symbolized by a female form, while a male figure stood for the Unveiled Mystery. Hence, the world, not being ready to receive it, could not bear it, and the Revelation of Marcus had to be given allegorically. Thus he writes:
When first its Father [sc. of the Tetrad] ... the Inconceivable, the Beingless, Sexless [the Kabalistic Ain Suph], desired that Its Ineffable [the First Logos, or Æon] should be born, and Its Invisible should be clothed with form, Its mouth opened and uttered the Word like unto Itself. This Word [Logos] standing near showed It what It was, manifesting itself in the form of the Invisible One. Now the uttering of the [Ineffable] Name [through the Word] came to pass in this manner. It [the Supreme Logos] uttered the first Word of its Name, ... which, was a combination [syllable] of four elements [letters]. Then the second combination was added, also of four elements. Then the third, composed of ten elements; and after this the fourth was uttered, which contained twelve elements. The utterance of the whole Name consisted thus of thirty elements and of four combinations. 
Each element has its own letters and peculiar character, and pronunciation, and groupings and similitudes; but none of them perceives the form of that of which it is the element, nor understands the utterance of its neighbour, but, what each sounds forth itself, as sounding forth all [it can], that it thinks good to call the whole.... And these sounds are they which manifest in form the Beingless and Ingenerable Æon, and these are the forms which are called Angels, perpetually beholding the Face of the Father,533 the Logos, the “Second God,” who stands next God the “Inconceivable,” according to Philo.534
This is as plain as ancient esoteric secresy could make it. It is as Kabalistic though less veiled than the Zohar, in which the mystic names, or attributes, are also four syllabled, twelve, forty-two, and even seventy-two syllabled words! The Tetrad shows to Marcus the Truth in the shape of a naked woman, and letters every limb of that figure, calling her head Α Ω, her neck Β Ψ, shoulders and hands Γ Χ, etc. In this, Sephira is easily recognized; the head, or Crown, Kether, being numbered 1; the brain, or Chokmah, 2; the Heart, or Intelligence, Binah, 3; and the other seven Sephiroth representing the limbs of the body. The Sephirothic Tree is the Universe, and Adam Kadmon personifies it in the West, as Brahmâ represents it in India.
Throughout, the Ten Sephiroth are represented as divided into the Three higher, or the spiritual Triad, and the lower Septenary. The true esoteric meaning of the sacred number Seven though cleverly veiled, in the Zohar, is betrayed by the double way of writing the term, “in the Beginning,” or Be-rasheeth, and Be-raishath, the latter the “Higher, or Upper Wisdom.” As shown by S. L. MacGregor Mathers535 and Isaac Myer,536 both of these Kabalists being supported by the best ancient authorities, these words have a dual and secret meaning. Braisheeth barah Elohim means, that the six, over which stands the seventh Sephira, belong to the lower material class, or, as the author says: “Seven ... are applied to the Lower Creation, and Three to the Spiritual Man, the Heavenly Prototypic or First Adam.”
When the Theosophists and Occultists say that God is no Being, for It is Nothing, No-Thing, they are more reverential and religiously respectful to the Deity than those who call God He, and thus make of Him a gigantic Male.
He who studies the Kabalah will soon find the same idea in the ultimate thought of its authors, the earlier and great Hebrew Initiates, who got this Secret Wisdom in Babylonia from the Chaldean Hierophants, just as Moses got his in Egypt. The Zoharic system cannot very well be judged by its translations into Latin and other tongues, when all its ideas were softened and made to fit in with the views and policy of its Christian arrangers; for its original ideas are identical with those of all other religious systems. The various Cosmogonies show that the Universal Soul was considered by every archaic nation as the Mind of the Demiurgic Creator; and that it was called the Mother, Sophia, or the female Wisdom, with the Gnostics; the Sephira, with the Jews; Sarasvatî or Vâch, with the Hindûs; the Holy Ghost also being a female Principle.
Hence, the Kurios, or Logos, born from it, was, with the Greeks, the God, Mind (Nous). “Now Koros [Kurios] ... signifies the pure and unmixed nature of Intellect—Wisdom,” says Plato, in Cratylus;537 and Kurios is Mercury (Mercurius, Mar-kurios), the Divine Wisdom, and “Mercury is Sol [the Sun],”538 from whom Thot-Hermes received this Divine Wisdom. While, then, the Logoi of all countries and religions are correlative, in their sexual aspects, with the female Soul of the World or the Great Deep, the Deity, from which these Two in One have their being, is ever concealed and called the Hidden One, and is connected only indirectly with “Creation,”539 as it can act only through the Dual Force emanating from the Eternal Essence. Even Æsculapius, called the “Saviour of all,” is identical, according to ancient classical writers, with the Egyptian Ptah, the Creative Intellect, or Divine Wisdom, and with Apollo, Baal, Adonis and Hercules:540 and Ptah, in one of its aspects, is the Anima Mundi; the Universal Soul of Plato; the Divine Spirit of the Egyptians; the Holy Ghost of the early Christians and Gnostics; and the  kâsha of the Hindûs, and even, in its lower aspect, the Astral Light. For Ptah was originally the God of the Dead, he into whose bosom they were received, hence the Limbus of the Greek Christians, or the Astral Light. It was far later that Ptah was classed with the Sun-Gods, his name signifying “he who opens,” as he is shown to be the first to unveil the face of the dead mummy, to call the Soul to life in his bosom. Kneph, the Eternal Unrevealed, is represented by the snake-emblem of eternity encircling a water-urn, with its head hovering over the “Waters,” which it incubates with its breath—another form of the one original idea of “Darkness,” with its Ray moving on the Waters, etc. As the Logos-Soul, this permutation is called Ptah; as the Logos-Creator, he becomes Imhotep, his Son, the “God of the handsome face.” In their primitive characters, these two were the first Cosmic Duad, Noot, Space or “Sky,” and Noon, the “Primordial Waters,” the Androgyne Unity, above whom was the Concealed Breath of Kneph. And all of them had the aquatic animals and plants sacred to them, the ibis, the swan, the goose, the crocodile, and the lotus.
Returning to the Kabalistic Deity, this Concealed Unity is then Ain Suph (??? ???, τ? π?ν, τ? ?πειρον), Endless, Boundless, Non-Existent (???), so long as the Absolute is within Oulom,541 the Boundless and Termless Time; as such, Ain Suph cannot be the Creator or even the Modeller of the Universe, nor can It be Aur (Light). Therefore Ain Suph is also Darkness. The immutably Infinite, and the absolutely Boundless, can neither will, think, nor act. To do this, it has to become Finite, and it does so by its Ray penetrating into the Mundane Egg, or Infinite Space, and emanating from it as a Finite God. All this is left to the Ray latent in the One. When the period arrives, the Absolute Will expands naturally the Force within it, according to the Law of which it is the inner and ultimate Essence. The Hebrews did not adopt the Egg as a symbol, but they substituted for it the “Duplex Heavens,” for, translated correctly, the sentence “God made the heavens and the earth” would read: “In and out of his own Essence, as a Womb [the Mundane Egg], God created the Two Heavens.” The Christians, however, have chosen the Dove, the bird and not the egg, as the symbol of their Holy Ghost.
“Whoever acquaints himself with Hud, the Mercabah and the Lahgash [secret speech or incantation], will learn the secret of secrets.” Lahgash is nearly identical in meaning with Vâch, the hidden power of the Mantras.
When the active period has arrived, from within the Eternal Essence of Ain Suph, comes forth Sephira, the Active Power, called the Primordial Point and the Crown, Kether. It is only through her that the “Un-bounded Wisdom” could give a Concrete Form to the Abstract Thought. Two sides of the Upper Triangle, by which the Ineffable Essence and its Manifested Body, the Universe, are symbolized, the right side and the base, are composed of unbroken lines; the third, the left side, is dotted. It is through the latter that emerges Sephira. Spreading in every direction, she finally encompasses the whole Triangle. In this emanation the triple Triad is formed. From the invisible Dew falling from the higher Uni-triad, the “Head,”—thus leaving 7 Sephiroth only—Sephira creates Primeval Waters, or in other words, Chaos takes shape. It is the first stage towards the solidification of Spirit which, through various modifications, will produce Earth. “It requires Earth and Water to make a Living Soul,” says Moses. It requires the image of an aquatic bird to connect it with Water, the female element of procreation, with the egg and the bird that fecundates it.
When Sephira emerges as an Active Power from within the Latent Deity, she is female; when she assumes the office of a Creator, she becomes a male; hence, she is androgyne. She is the “Father and Mother, Aditi,” of the Hindû Cosmogony and of the Secret Doctrine. If the oldest Hebrew scrolls had been preserved, the modern Jehovah-worshipper would have found that many and uncomely were the symbols of the “Creative God.” The frog in the moon, typical of his generative character, was the most frequent. All the birds and animals now called “unclean” in the Bible have been the symbols of this Deity, in days of old. A mask of uncleanness was placed over them, in order to preserve them from destruction, because they were so sacred. The brazen serpent is not a bit more poetical than the goose or swan, if symbols are to be accepted à la lettre.
In the words of the Zohar:
The Indivisible Point, which has no limit and cannot be comprehended because of Its purity and brightness, expanded from without, forming a brightness that served the Indivisible Point as a Veil; [yet the latter also] could not be viewed inconsequence of its immeasurable Light. It too expanded from without, and this expansion was its Garment. Thus through a constant upheaving [motion] finally the world originated.542
The Spiritual Substance sent forth by the Infinite Light is the First Sephira or Shekinah. Sephira, exoterically, contains all the other nine Sephiroth in her: esoterically, she contains but two, Chokmah or Wisdom, “a masculine, active potency whose divine name is Jah (??),” and Binah, or Intelligence, a feminine passive potency, represented by the divine name Jehovah (????); which two potencies form, with Sephira the third, the Jewish Trinity or the Crown, Kether. These two Sephiroth, called Abba, Father, and Amona, Mother, are the Duad, or the double-sexed Logos, from which issued the other seven Sephiroth. Thus, the first Jewish Triad, Sephira, Chokmah and Binah, is the Hindû Trimûrti.543 However veiled even in the Zohar, and still more in the exoteric Pantheon of India, every particular connected with one is reproduced in the other. The Prajâpatis are the Sephiroth. Ten with Brahmâ, they dwindle to seven when the Trimûrti, or the Kabalistic Triad, are separated from the rest. The seven Builders, or “Creators,” become the seven Prajâpati, or the seven Rishis, in the same order as the Sephiroth become the Creators, then the Patriarchs, etc. In both Secret Systems, the One Universal Essence is incomprehensible and inactive, in its Absoluteness, and can be connected with the Building of the Universe only in an indirect way. In both, the primeval Male-female, or Androgynous, Principle and its ten and seven Emanations—Brahmâ-Virâj and Aditi-Vâch, on the one hand; and the Elohim-Jehovah, or Adam-Adami (Adam Kadmon) and Sephira-Eve, on the other; with their Prajâpatis and Sephiroth—in their totality, represent primarily the Archetypal Man, the Protologos; and it is only in their secondary aspect that they become cosmic powers, and astronomical or sidereal bodies. If Aditi is the Mother of the Gods, Deva-Mâtri, Eve is the Mother of All Living; both are the Shakti, or Generative Power, in their female aspect, of the Heavenly Man, and they are both compound Creators. Says a Guptâ Vidyâ Sûtra:
In the beginning, a Ray, issuing from Paramârthika [the one and only True Existence], became manifested in Vyâvahârika [Conventional Existence], which was used as a Vâhana to descend with into the Universal Mother, and to cause her to expand [swell, brih].
And in the Zohar it is stated:
The Infinite Unity, formless and without similitude, after the Form of the Heavenly Man was created, used it. The Unknown Light544 [Darkness] used the Heavenly Form (??? ?????—Adam Oilah) as a Chariot (?????—Mercabah), through which to descend, and wished to be called by this Form, which is the sacred name Jehovah.
As the Zohar again says:
In the beginning was the Will of the King, prior to any other existence.... It [the Will] sketched the forms of all things that had been concealed but now came into view. And there went forth as a sealed secret, from the head of Ain Suph, a nebulous spark of matter, without shape or form.... Life is drawn from below, and from above the source renews itself, the sea is always full and spreads its waters everywhere.
Thus the Deity is compared to a shoreless sea, to Water which is “the fountain of life.”545 “The seventh palace, the fountain of life, is the first in the order from above.”546 Hence the Kabalistic tenet on the lips of the very Kabalistic Solomon, who says in Proverbs: “Wisdom hath builded her house; it hath hewn out its seven pillars.”547
Whence, then, all this identity of ideas, if there were no primeval Universal Revelation? The few points so far brought out are like a few straws in a stack, in comparison to that which will be disclosed as the work proceeds. If we turn to the Chinese Cosmogony, the most hazy of all, even there the same idea is found. Tsi-tsai, the Self-Existent, is the Unknown Darkness, the Root of the Wu-liang-sheu, Boundless Age; Amitâbha, and Tien, Heaven, come later on. The “Great Extreme” of Confucius gives the same idea, his “straws” notwithstanding. The latter are a source of great amusement to the missionaries, who laugh at every “heathen” religion, despise and hate that of their brother Christians of other denominations, and yet one and all accept their own Genesis, literally.
If we turn to the Chaldean we find in it Anu, the Concealed Deity, the One, whose name, moreover, shows it to be of Sanskrit origin; for Anu in Sanskrit means Atom, Anîyâmsam-anîyasâm, smallest of the small, being a name of Parabrahman, in the Vedântic philosophy, in which Parabrahman is described as smaller than the smallest atom, and greater than the greatest sphere or universe, Anagrânîyas and Mahatoruvat. In the first verses of the Akkadian Genesis, as found in the cuneiform texts on the Babylonian tiles or Lateres Coctiles, and as translated by George Smith, we find Anu, the Passive Deity, or Ain Suph; Bel, the Creator, the Spirit of God, or Sephira, moving on the Face of the Waters, hence Water itself; and Hea, the Universal Soul, or Wisdom of the Three combined.
The first eight verses read as follows:
1. When above, were not raised the heavens:
2. and below on the earth a plant had not grown up;
3. the abyss had not broken open their boundaries.
4. The Chaos (or Water) Tiamat (the Sea) was the producing-mother of the whole of them. [This is the Cosmical Aditi and Sephira.]
5. Those waters at the beginning were ordained; but
6. a tree had not grown, a flower had not unfolded.
7. When the Gods had not sprung up, any one of them;
8. a plant had not grown, and order did not exist.548
This was the Chaotic or Ante-genetic Period; the double Swan, and the Dark Swan which becomes white, when Light is created.549
The symbol chosen for the majestic ideal of the Universal Principle may perhaps seem little calculated to answer its sacred character. A goose, or even a swan, will, no doubt, be thought an unfit symbol to represent the grandeur of the Spirit. Nevertheless, it must have had some deep Occult meaning, since it figures not only in every Cosmogony and World-religion, but was also chosen by the Crusaders, among the mediæval Christians, as the Vehicle of the Holy Ghost, which was supposed to be leading the army to Palestine, to wrench the tomb of the Saviour from the hands of the Saracen. If we are to credit Professor Draper's statement, in his Intellectual Development of Europe, the Crusaders, under Peter the Hermit, were preceded, at the head of the army, by the Holy Ghost, under the shape of a white gander in the company of a goat. Seb, the Egyptian God of Time, carries a goose on his head; Jupiter assumes the form of a swan, and so also does Brahmâ; and the root of all this is that mystery of mysteries—the Mundane Egg. One should learn the reason of a symbol before depreciating it. The dual element of Air and Water is that of the ibis, swan, goose and pelican, of crocodiles and frogs, lotus flowers and water lilies, etc.; and the result is the choice of the most unseemly symbols by the modern as much as by the ancient Mystics. Pan, the great God of Nature, was generally figured in company with aquatic birds, geese especially, and so were other Gods. If later on, with the gradual degeneration of religion, the Gods to whom geese were sacred, became priapic deities, it does not, therefore, follow that water-fowls were made sacred to Pan and other phallic deities, as some scoffers even of antiquity would have it,550 but that the abstract and divine power of Procreative Nature had become grossly anthropomorphized. Nor does the swan of Leda show “priapic doings and her enjoyment thereof,” as Mr. Hargrave Jennings chastely expresses it; for the myth is but another version of the same philosophical idea of Cosmogony. Swans are frequently found associated with Apollo, as they are the emblems of Water and Fire, and also of the Sun-light, before the separation of the Elements.
Our modern symbologists might profit by some remarks made by a well-known writer, Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, who says:
From time immemorial an emblem has been worshipped in Hindûstan as the type of creation, or the origin of life.... Shiva, or the Mahâdeva, being not only the reproducer of human forms, but also the fructifying principle, the generative power that pervades the Universe. The maternal emblem is likewise a religious type. This reverence for the production of life introduced into the worship of Osiris the sexual emblems. Is it strange that they regarded with reverence the great mystery of human birth? Were they impure thus to regard it? Or are weimpure that we do not so regard it? But no clean and thoughtful mind could so regard them.... 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 the incomprehensible Cause throughout all the mysteries of nature, lest by so doing we cast the shadow of our own grossness on their patriarchal simplicity.551



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