The Future of the Theosophical Society
Q. Tell me, what do you expect for Theosophy in the future?
A. If you speak of Theosophy, I answer that, as it has existed eternally throughout the endless cycles upon cycles of the Past, so it will ever exist throughout the infinitude of the Future, because Theosophy is synonymous with everlasting truth.
Q. Pardon me; I meant to ask you rather about the prospects of the Theosophical Society.
A. Its future will depend almost entirely upon the degree of selflessness, earnestness, devotion, and last, but not least, on the amount of knowledge and wisdom possessed by those members, on whom it will fall to carry on the work, and to direct the Society after the death of the Founders.
Q. I quite see the importance of their being selfless and devoted, but I do not quite grasp how their knowledge can be as vital a factor in the question as these other qualities. Surely the literature which already exists, and to which constant additions are still being made, ought to be sufficient?
A. I do not refer to technical knowledge of the esoteric doctrine, though that is most important; I spoke rather of the great need which our successors in the guidance of the Society will have of unbiased and clear judgment. Every such attempt as the Theosophical Society has hitherto ended in failure, because, sooner or later, it has degenerated into a sect, set up hard-and-fast dogmas of its own, and so lost by imperceptible degrees that vitality which living truth alone can impart. You must remember that all our members have been bred and born in some creed or religion, that all are more or less of their generation both physically and mentally, and consequently that their judgment is but too likely to be warped and unconsciously biased by some or all of these influences. If, then, they cannot be freed from such inherent bias, or at least taught to recognize it instantly and so avoid being led away by it, the result can only be that the Society will drift off onto some sandbank of thought or another, and there remain a stranded carcass to molder and die.
Q. But if this danger be averted?
A. Then the Society will live on into and through the twentieth century. It will gradually leaven and permeate the great mass of thinking and intelligent people with its large-minded and noble ideas of Religion, Duty, and Philanthropy. Slowly but surely it will burst asunder the iron fetters of creeds and dogmas, of social and caste prejudices; it will break down racial and national antipathies and barriers, and will open the way to the practical realization of the Brotherhood of all men. Through its teaching, through the philosophy which it has rendered accessible and intelligible to the modern mind, the West will learn to understand and appreciate the East at its true value. Further, the development of the psychic powers and faculties, the premonitory symptoms of which are already visible in America, will proceed healthily and normally. Mankind will be saved from the terrible dangers, both mental and bodily, which are inevitable when that unfolding takes place, as it threatens to do, in a hotbed of selfishness and all evil passions. Man's mental and psychic growth will proceed in harmony with his moral improvement, while his material surroundings will reflect the peace and fraternal goodwill which will reign in his mind, instead of the discord and strife which is everywhere apparent around us today.
Q. A truly delightful picture! But tell me, do you really expect all this to be accomplished in one short century?
A. Scarcely. But I must tell you that during the last quarter of every hundred years an attempt is made by those "Masters," of whom I have spoken, to help on the spiritual progress of Humanity in a marked and definite way. Towards the close of each century you will invariably find that an outpouring or upheaval of spirituality-or call it mysticism if you prefer-has taken place. Some one or more persons have appeared in the world as their agents, and a greater or less amount of occult knowledge and teaching has been given out. If you care to do so, you can trace these movements back, century by century, as far as our detailed historical records extend.
Q. But how does this bear on the future of the Theosophical Society?
A. If the present attempt, in the form of our Society, succeeds
better than its predecessors have done, then it will be in existence
as an organized, living, and healthy body when the time comes for
the effort of the twentieth century. The general condition of men's
minds and hearts will have been improved and purified by the spread
of its teachings, and, as I have said, their prejudices and dogmatic
illusions will have been, to some extent at least, removed. Not
only so, but besides a large and accessible literature ready to
men's hands, the next impulse will find a numerous and united body
of people ready to welcome the new torch-bearer of Truth. He will
find the minds of men prepared for his message, a language ready
for him in which to clothe the new truths he brings, an organization
awaiting his arrival, which will remove the merely mechanical, material
obstacles and difficulties from his path. Think how much one, to
whom such an opportunity is given, could accomplish. Measure it
by comparison with what the Theosophical Society actually has achieved
in the last fourteen years, without any of these advantages and
surrounded by hosts of hindrances which would not hamper the new
leader. Consider all this, and then tell me whether I am too sanguine
when I say that if the Theosophical Society survives and lives true
to its mission, to its original impulses through the next hundred
years-tell me, I say, if I go too far in asserting that earth will
be a heaven in the twenty-first century in comparison with what
it is now!
Absoluteness When predicated of the Universal Principle, it denotes an abstraction, which is more correct and logical than to apply the adjective absolute to that which can have neither attributes nor limitations.
Adam Kadmon (Heb.)
Archetypal man, Humanity. The "Heavenly man" not fallen into sin. Cabalists refer it to the Ten Sephiroth on the plane of human perception.
In the Cabala Adam Kadmon is the manifested Logos corresponding to our third Logos, the unmanifested being the first paradigmic ideal man, and symbolizing the universe in abscondito, or in its "privation" in the Aristotelian sense.
The first Logos is "the light of the World," the second, and the third, its gradually deepening shadows.
Adept (Lat. adeptus) In Occultism, one who has reached the stage of initiation and become a master in the Science of Esoteric Philosophy.
Aether (Gr.) With the Ancients, the Divine luminiferous substance which pervades the whole universe; the "garment" of the Supreme Deity, Zeus, or Jupiter. With the Moderns, Ether, for the meaning of which, in physics and chemistry, see Webster's Dictionary, or some other. In Esotericism, Aether is the third principle of the Kosmic Septenary, matter (earth) being the lowest, and akasha, the highest.
Agathon (Gr.) Plato's Supreme Deity, lit. "the good." Our Alaya or the Soul of the World.
Agnostic A word first used by Professor Huxley, to indicate one who believes nothing which cannot be demonstrated by the senses.
Ahankara (Sans.) The conception of "I," self-consciousness or self-identity; the "I," or egoistical and Mayavic principle in man, due to our ignorance which separates our "I" from the Universal One-Self. Personality, egoism also.
Ain-Soph (Heb.) The "Boundless" or "Limitless" Deity emanating and extending. Ain-Soph is also written En-Soph and Ain-Suph, for no one, not even the Rabbis, are quite sure of their vowels. In the religious metaphysics of the old Hebrew philosophers, the One Principle was an abstraction like Parabrahman, though modern Cabalists have succeeded by mere dint of sophistry and paradoxes in making a "Supreme God" of it, and nothing higher. But with the early Chaldean Cabalists Ain-Soph was "without form or being" with "no likeness with anything else." That Ain-Soph has never been considered as the "Creator" is proved conclusively by the fact that such an orthodox Jew as Philo calls "creator" the Logos, who stands next the "Limitless One," and is "the Second God." "The Second God is in its (Ain-Soph's) wisdom," says Philo in Quæst et Solut. Deity is no-thing; it is nameless, and therefore called Ain-Soph-the word Ain meaning nothing.
Alchemy (Arabic Ul-Khemi) the chemistry of nature. Ul-Khemi or Al-Kimia, however, is really an Arabianized word, taken from the Greek 'chemeia' from 'chumos': "juice," extracted from a plant. Alchemy deals with the finer forces of nature and the various conditions of matter in which they are found to operate. Seeking under the veil of language, more or less artificial, to convey to the uninitiated so much of the Mysterium Magnum as is safe in the hands of a selfish world, the Alchemist postulates as his first principle, the existence of a certain Universal Solvent in the homogeneous substance from which the elements were evolved; which substance he calls pure gold, or summum materiae. This solvent, also called menstruum universale, possesses the power of removing all the seeds of disease out of the human body, of renewing youth, and prolonging life. Such is the lapis philosophorum (philosopher's stone). Alchemy first penetrated into Europe through Geber, the great Arabian sage and philosopher, in the eighth century of our era; but it was known and practiced long ages ago in China and Egypt. Numerous papyri on Alchemy, and other proofs that it was the favorite study of Kings and Priests, have been exhumed and preserved under the generic name of Hermetic treatises. Alchemy is studied under three distinct aspects, which admit of many different interpretations, viz.: the Cosmic, the Human, and the Terrestrial.
These three methods were typified under the three alchemical properties-sulphur, mercury, and salt. Different writers have stated that these are three, seven, ten, and twelve processes respectively; but they are all agreed there is but one object in Alchemy, which is to transmute gross metals into pure gold. But what that gold really is, very few people understand correctly. No doubt there is such a thing in Nature as transmutation of the baser metal into the nobler; but this is only one aspect of Alchemy, the terrestrial, or purely material, for we see logically the same process taking place in the bowels of the earth. Yet, besides and beyond this interpretation, there is in Alchemy a symbolical meaning, purely psychic and spiritual. While the Cabalist-Alchemist seeks for the realization of the former, the Occultist-Alchemist, spurning the gold of the earth, gives all his attention to and directs his efforts only towards the transmutation of the baser quaternary into the divine upper trinity of man, which when finally blended, is one. The spiritual, mental, psychic, and physical planes of human existence are in Alchemy compared to the four elements-fire, air, water, and earth, and are each capable of a three-fold constitution, i.e., fixed, unstable, and volatile. Little or nothing is known by the world concerning the origin of this archaic branch of philosophy; but it is certain that it antedates the construction of any known Zodiac, and as dealing with the personified forces of nature, probably also any of the mythologies of the world. Nor is there any doubt that the true secrets of transmutation (on the physical plane) were known in the days of old, and lost before the dawn of the so-called historical period. Modern chemistry owes its best fundamental discoveries to Alchemy, but regardless of the undeniable truism of the latter, that there is but one element in the universe, chemistry placed metals in the class of elements, and is only now beginning to find out its gross mistake. Even some encyclopedists are forced to confess that if most of the accounts of transmutation are fraud or delusion,
. yet some of them are accompanied by testimony which renders them probable. By means of the galvanic battery even the alkalis have been discovered to have a metallic basis. The possibility of obtaining metal from other substances which contain the ingredients composing it, of changing one metal into another . must therefore be left undecided. Nor are all Alchemists to be considered impostors. Many have labored under the conviction of obtaining their object, with indefatigable patience and purity of heart, which is soundly recommended by Alchemists as the principal requisite for the success of their labors.
Alexandrian School See Alexandrian Philosophers.
Alexandrian Philosophers This famous school arose in Alexandria, Egypt, which city was for long ages the seat of learning and philosophy. It was famous for its library, founded by Ptolemy Soter at the very beginning of his reign-a library which once boasted 700,000 rolls, or volumes (Aulus Gellius), for its museum, the first real Academy of Sciences and Arts, for its world-renowned scholars, such as Euclid, the father of scientific geometry; Apollonius of Perga, the author of the still-extant work on conic sections; Nicomachus, the arithmetician: for astronomers, natural philosophers, anatomists such as Herophilus and Erasistratus; physicians, musicians, artists, etc. But it became still more famous for its eclectic, or new Platonic school, founded by Ammonius Saccas in 173 ad, whose disciples were Origen, Plotinus, and many other men now famous in history. The most celebrated schools of the Gnostics had their origin in Alexandria. Philo-Judaeus, Josephus, Iamblichus, Porphyry, Clement of Alexandria, Eratosthenes the astronomer, Hypatia, the virgin philosopher, and numberless other stars of second magnitude, all belonged at various times to these great schools, and helped to make of Alexandria one of the most justly renowned seats of learning that the world has ever produced.
Altruism from Alter, other. A quality opposed to Egoism. Actions tending to do good to others, regardless of self.
Ammonius Saccas A great and good philosopher who lived in Alexandria between the second and third centuries of our Era, the founder of the Neo-Platonic School of the Philaletheians or "lovers of truth." He was of poor birth and born of Christian parents, but endowed with such prominent, almost divine goodness as to be called Theodidaktos, the "God-taught." He honored that which was good in Christianity, but broke with it and the Churches at an early age, being unable to find in Christianity any superiority over the old religions.
Analogeticists The disciples of Ammonius Saccas (see above) so called because of their practice of interpreting all sacred legends, myths, and mysteries by a principle of analogy and correspondence, which rule is now found in the Cabalistic system, and preeminently so in the schools of Esoteric philosophy in the East.
Ananda (Sans.) Bliss, joy, felicity, happiness. A name of a favorite disciple of Gautama, the Lord Buddha.
Anaxagoras A famous Ionian philosopher, who lived 500 bc, studied philosophy under Anaximenes of Miletus, and settled in the days of Pericles, at Athens. Socrates, Euripides, Archelaus, and other distinguished men and philosophers were among his disciples and pupils. He was a most learned astronomer, and was one of the first to explain openly that which was taught by Pythagoras secretly-viz., the movements of the planets, the eclipses of the sun and moon, etc. It was he who taught the theory of chaos, on the principle that "nothing comes from nothing," ex nihilo nihil fit-and of atoms, as the underlying essence and substance of all bodies, "of the same nature as the bodies which they formed." These atoms, he taught, were primarily put in motion by nous (universal intelligence, the Mahat of the Hindus), which nous is an immaterial, eternal, spiritual entity; by this combination the world was formed, the material gross bodies sinking down, and the ethereal atoms (or fiery ether) rising and spreading in the upper celestial regions. Antedating modern science by over 2,000 years, he taught that the stars were of the same material as our earth, and the sun a glowing mass; that the moon was a dark uninhabitable body, receiving its light from the sun; and beyond the aforesaid science he confessed himself thoroughly convinced that the real existence of things, perceived by our senses, could not be demonstrably proved. He died in exile at Lampsacus, at the age of seventy-two.
Anima Mundi (Lat.) The "Soul of the World," the same as Alaya of the Northern Buddhists; the divine Essence which pervades, permeates, animates, and informs all things, from the smallest atom of matter to man and god. It is in a sense "the seven-skinned Mother" of the stanzas in The Secret Doctrine; the essence of seven planes of sentience, consciousness, and differentiation, both moral and physical. In its highest aspect it is Nirvana; in its lowest, the Astral Light. It was feminine with the Gnostics, the early Christians, and the Nazarenes; bisexual with other sects, who considered it only in its four lower planes, of igneous and ethereal nature in the objective world of forms, and divine and spiritual in its three higher planes. When it is said that every human soul was born by detaching itself from the Anima Mundi, it is meant, esoterically, that our higher Egos are of an essence identical with It, and Mahat is a radiation of the ever unknown Universal Absolute.
Anoia (Gr.) is "want of understanding," "folly"; and is the name applied by Plato and others to the lower Manas when too closely allied with Kama, which is characterized by irrationality (agnoia). The Greek agnoia is evidently a derivative of the Sanskrit ajñana (phonetically agnyana), or ignorance, irrationality, and absence of knowledge.
Anthropomorphism From the Greek Anthropos, man. The act of endowing God or the gods with a human form and human attributes or qualities.
Anugita (Sans.) One of the Upanishads. A very occult treatise.
Apollo Belvidere Of all the ancient statues of Apollo, the son of Jupiter and Latona, called Phoebus, Helios, the radiant, and the Sun-the best and most perfect is the one of this name, which is in the Belvidere Gallery in the Vatican, at Rome. It is called the Pythian Apollo, as the god is represented in the moment of his victory over the serpent Python. The statue was found in the ruins of Antium in 1503.
Apollonius of Tyana A wonderful philosopher born in Cappadocia about the beginning of the first century; an ardent Pythagorean, who studied the Phoenician sciences under Euthydemus, and Pythagorean philosophy and other subjects under Euxenus of Heraclea. According to the tenets of the Pythagorean school he remained a vegetarian the whole of his long life, ate only fruit and herbs, drank no wine, wore vestments made only of plant fibers, walked barefooted and let his hair grow to the full length, as all the Initiates have done before and after him. He was initiated by the priests of the temple of Aesculapius (Asclepios) at Aegae, and learnt many of the "miracles" for healing the sick wrought by the God of medicine. Having prepared himself for a higher initiation by a silence of five years, and by travel-visiting Antioch, Ephesus, and Pamphylia and other parts-he repaired via Babylon to India, alone, all his disciples having abandoned him as they feared to go to the "land of enchantments." A casual disciple, Damis, whom he met on his way, accompanied him, however, on his travels. At Babylon he got initiated by the Chaldeans and Magi, according to Damis, whose narrative was copied by one named Philostratus one hundred years later. After his return from India, he showed himself a true Initiate in that the pestilence, earthquakes, deaths of kings, and other events, which he prophesied, duly happened.
At Lesbos, the priests of Orpheus got jealous of him, and refused to initiate him into their peculiar mysteries, though they did so several years later. He preached to the people of Athens and other States the purest and noblest ethics, and the phenomena he produced were as wonderful as they were numerous, and well authenticated. "How is it," inquires Justin Martyr, in dismay,
How is it that the talismans (telesmata) of Apollonius have power, for they prevent, as we see, the fury of the waves, and the violence of the winds, and the attacks of wild beasts; and whilst our Lord's miracles are preserved by tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous, and actually manifested in present facts?
But an answer is easily found to this, in the fact that, after crossing the Hindu Koosh, Apollonius had been directed by a king to the abode of the Sages, whose abode it may be to this day, and who taught him their unsurpassed knowledge. His dialogues, with the Corinthian Menippus, give to us truly the esoteric catechism, and disclose (when understood) many an important mystery of nature. Apollonius was the friend, correspondent, and guest of kings and queens, and no wonderful or "magic" powers are better attested than his. Towards the close of his long and wonderful life he opened an esoteric school at Ephesus, and died at the ripe old age of one hundred years.
Archangel Highest, supreme angel. From the two Greek words, arch, "first," and angelos, "messenger."
Arhat (Sans.) also pronounced and written Arahat, Arhan, Rahat, etc., "the worthy one," a perfected aryan, one exempt from reincarnation, "deserving Divine honors." This was the name first given to the Jain, and subsequently to the Buddhist holy men initiated into the esoteric mysteries. The Arhat is one who has entered the last and highest path, and is thus emancipated from rebirth.
Arians The followers of Arius, a presbyter of the Church in Alexandria in the fourth century. One who holds that Christ is a created and human being, inferior to God the Father, though a grand and noble man, a true adept, versed in all the divine mysteries.
Aristobulus An Alexandrian writer, and an obscure philosopher. A Jew who tried to prove that Aristotle explained the esoteric thoughts of Moses.
Aryan (Sans.) Lit., "the holy"; those who had mastered the aryasatyani and entered the aryamarga path to Nirvana or Moksha, the great "fourfold" path. They were originally known as Rishis. But now the name has become the epithet of a race, and our Orientalists, depriving the Hindu Brahmins of their birthright, have made ryans of all Europeans. Since, in esotericism, the four paths or stages can only be entered through great spiritual development and "growth in holiness," they are called the aryamarga. The degrees of Arhatship, called respectively Srotapatti, Sakridagamin, Anagamin, and Arhat, or the four classes of aryas, correspond to the four paths and truths.
Aspect The form (Rupa) under which any principle in septenary man or nature manifests is called an aspect of that principle in Theosophy.
Astral Body The ethereal counterpart or double of any physical body-Doppelgänger.
Astrology The science which defines the action of celestial bodies upon mundane affairs, and claims to foretell future events from the positions of the stars. Its antiquity is such as to place it among the very earliest records of human learning. It remained for long ages a secret science in the East, and its final expression remains so to this day, its esoteric application only having been brought to any degree of perfection in the West during the lapse of time since Varaha Mihira wrote his book on Astrology, some 1400 years ago. Claudius Ptolemy, the famous geographer and mathematician who founded the system of Astronomy known under his name, wrote his Tetrabiblos, which is still the basis of modern Astrology, in 135 ad. The science of Horoscopy is studied now chiefly under four heads, viz.:
1. Mundane, in its application to meteorology, seismology, husbandry.
2. State or Civic, in regard to the future of nations, Kings, and rulers.
3. Horary, in reference to the solving of doubts arising in the mind upon any subject.
4. Genethliacal in connection with the future of individuals from birth unto death.
The Egyptians and the Chaldeans were among the most ancient votaries of Astrology, though their modes of reading the stars and the modern methods differ considerably. The former claimed that Belus, the Bel or Elu of the Chaldeans, a scion of the Divine Dynasty, or the dynasty of the King-gods, had belonged to the land of Chemi, and had left it to found a colony from Egypt on the banks of the Euphrates, where a temple, ministered by priests in the service of the "lords of the stars," was built. As to the origin of the science, it is known on the one hand that Thebes claimed the honor of the invention of Astrology; whereas, on the other hand, all are agreed that it was the Chaldeans who taught that science to the other nations. Now Thebes antedated considerably, not only "Ur of the Chaldeans," but also Nipur, where Bel was first worshipped-Sin, his son (the moon), being the presiding deity of Ur, the land of the nativity of Terah, the Sabean and Astrolater, and of Abram, his son, the great Astrologer of Biblical tradition. All tends, therefore, to corroborate the Egyptian claim. If later on the name of Astrologer fell into disrepute in Rome and elsewhere, it was owing to the frauds of those who wanted to make money of that which was part and parcel of the Sacred Science of the Mysteries, and who, ignorant of the latter, evolved a system based entirely on mathematics, instead of transcendental metaphysics with the physical celestial bodies as its Upadhi or material basis. Yet, all persecutions notwithstanding, the number of adherents to Astrology among the most intellectual and scientific minds was always very great. If Cardan and Kepler were among its ardent supporters, then later votaries have nothing to blush for, even in its now imperfect and distorted form. As said in Isis:
Astrology is to exact astronomy, what psychology is to exact physiology. In astrology and psychology one has to step beyond the visible world of matter and enter into the domain of transcendent spirit.
Athenagoras A Platonic Philosopher of Athens, who wrote an apology for the Christians in 177 ad, addressed to Marcus Aurelius, to prove that the accusations brought against them, viz., that they were incestuous and ate murdered children, were untrue.
Atma (Sans.) The Universal Spirit, the divine monad, "the seventh Principle," so called, in the exoteric "septenary" classification of man. The Supreme Soul.
Aura (Gr. and Lat.) A fine, delicate invisible essence or fluid that emanates from human, animal, and other bodies. It is a psychic effluvium partaking of both the mind and the body, as there is both an electro-vital and at the same time an electro-mental aura; called in Theosophy the akashic or magnetic aura. In R.C. Martyrology, a Saint.
Avatara (Sans.) Divine incarnation. The descent of a god or some exalted Being who has progressed beyond the necessity for rebirth, into the body of a simple mortal. Krishna was an Avatara of Vishnu. The Dalai-Lama is regarded as an Avatara of Avalokitesvara and the Tashi-Lama as one of Tson-kha-pa, or Amitabha. These are two kinds of Avataras: one born from woman and the other "parentless," Anupapadaka.
Beness A term coined by Theosophists to render more accurately the essential meaning of the untranslatable word Sat. The latter word does not mean Being, for the term Being presupposes a sentient consciousness of existence. But as the term Sat is applied solely to the absolute principle, that universal, unknown, and ever unknowable principle which philosophical Pantheism postulates, calling it the basic root of Kosmos and Kosmos itself, it could not be translated by the simple term Being. Sat, indeed, is not even, as translated by some Orientalists, "the incomprehensible Entity," for it is no more an "Entity" than a non-entity, but both. It is as said absolute Beness-not "Being"-the one, secondless, undivided and indivisible All-the root of nature both visible and invisible, objective and subjective, comprehensible and-never to be fully comprehended.
Bhagavad-Gita (Sans.) Lit., "the Lord's Song," a portion of The Mahabharata, the great epic poem of India. It contains a dialogue wherein Krisha (the "Charioteer") and Arjuna (his Chela) have a discussion upon the highest spiritual philosophy. The work is preeminently occult or esoteric.
Black Magic Sorcery; necromancy, or the raising of the dead and other selfish abuses of abnormal powers. This abuse may be unintentional; still it has to remain "black" magic whenever anything is produced phenomenally simply for one's own gratification.
Böhme, Jacob A mystic and great philosopher, one of the most prominent Theosophists of the medieval ages. He was born about 1575 at Old Diedenberg, some two miles from Görlitz (Silesia), and died in 1624, being nearly fifty years old. When a boy he was a common shepherd, and, after learning to read and write in a village school, became an apprentice to a poor shoemaker at Görlitz. He was a natural clairvoyant of the most wonderful power. With no education or acquaintance with science he wrote works which are now proved to be full of scientific truths; but these, as he himself says of what he wrote, he "saw as in a Great Deep in the Eternal." He had "a thorough view of the universe, as in chaos," which yet opened itself in him, from time to time, "as in a young planet," he says. He was a thorough born mystic, and evidently of a constitution which is most rare; one of those fine natures whose material envelope impedes in no way the direct, even if only occasional, intercommunication between the intellectual and spiritual Ego. It is this Ego which Jacob Böhme, as so many other untrained mystics, mistook for God. "Man must acknowledge," he writes, "that his knowledge is not his own, but from God, who manifests the Ideas of Wisdom to the Soul of Man in what measure he pleases." Had this great Theosophist been born 300 years later he might have expressed it otherwise. He would have known that the "God" who spoke through his poor uncultured and untrained brain was his own Divine Ego, the omniscient Deity within himself, and that what that Deity gave out was not "what measure he pleased," but in the measure of the capacities of the mortal and temporary dwelling it informed.
Book of the Keys An ancient Cabalistic work. The original is no longer extant, though there may be spurious and disfigured copies and forgeries of it.
Brahma (Sans.) The student must distinguish between the neuter Brahma, and the male Creator of the Indian Pantheon, Brahmâ . The former Brahma or Brahman is the impersonal, Supreme, and uncognizable Soul of the Universe, from the essence of which all emanates, and into which all returns; which is incorporeal, immaterial, unborn, eternal, beginningless, and endless. It is all-pervading, animating the highest god as well as the smallest mineral atom. Brahmâ, on the other hand, the male and the alleged Creator, exists in his manifestation periodically only, and passes into pralaya, i.e., disappears and is annihilated as periodically. (see below)
Brahmâ's Day A period of 2,160,000,000 years, during which Brahmâ, having emerged out of his Golden Egg (Hiranyagarbha), creates and fashions the material world (for he is simply the fertilizing and creative force in Nature). After this period the worlds being destroyed in turn by fire and water, he vanishes with objective nature; and then comes the Night of Brahmâ (see below).
Brahmâ's Night A period of equal duration to Brahmâ's Day, in which Brahmâ is said to be asleep. Upon awakening he recommences the process, and this goes on for an age of Brahmâ composed of alternate "Days" and "Nights," and lasting for 100 years of 2,160,000,000 each. It requires fifteen figures to express the duration of such an age, after the expiration of which the Maha-Pralaya or Great Dissolution sets in, and lasts in its turn for the same space of fifteen figures.
Brahma-Vidya (Sans.) The knowledge or Esoteric Science about the true nature of Brahma and Brahmâ.
Buddha (Sans.) "The enlightened." Generally known as the title of Gautama Buddha, the Prince of Kapilavastu, the founder of modern Buddhism. The highest degree of knowledge and holiness. To become a Buddha one has to break through the bondage of sense and personality; to acquire a complete perception of the real Self, and learn not to separate it from all the other Selves; to learn by experience the utter unreality of all phenomena, foremost of all the visible Kosmos; to attain a complete detachment from all that is evanescent and finite, and to live while yet on earth only in the immortal and everlasting.
Buddhi (Sans.) Universal Soul or Mind. Maha -Buddhi is a name of Mahat; also the Spiritual Soul in man (the sixth principle exoterically), the vehicle of atma, the seventh, according to the exoteric enumeration.
Buddhism the religious philosophy taught by Gautama Buddha. It is now split into two distinct churches: the Southern and Northern. The former is said to be the purer, as having preserved more religiously the original teachings of the Lord Buddha. The Northern Buddhism is confined to Tibet, China, and Nepal. But this distinction is incorrect. If the Southern Church is nearer, and has not, in fact, departed, except perhaps in trifling dogmas, due to the many councils held after the death of the Master, from the public or exoteric teachings of Sakyamuni, the Northern Church is the outcome of Siddhartha Buddha's esoteric teachings which he confined to his elect Bhikshus and Arhats. Buddhism, in fact, cannot be justly judged in our age either by one or the other of its exoteric popular forms. Real Buddhism can be appreciated only by blending the philosophy of the Southern Church and the metaphysics of the Northern Schools. If one seems too iconoclastic and stern, and the other too metaphysical and transcendental, events being overcharged with the weeds of Indian exotericism-many of the gods of its Pantheon having been transplanted under new names into Tibetan soil-it is due to the popular expression of Buddhism in both churches. Correspondentially, they stand in their relation to each other as Protestantism to Roman Catholicism. Both err by an excess of zeal and erroneous interpretations, though neither the Southern nor the Northern Buddhist clergy have ever departed from Truth consciously, still less have they acted under the dictates of priestocracy, ambition, or an eye to personal gain and power, as the later churches have.
Buddhi-Taijas (Sans.) A very mystic term, capable of several interpretations. In Occultism, however, and in relation to the human principles (exoterically), it is a term to express the state of our dual Manas, when, reunited during a man's life, it bathes in the radiance of Buddhi, the Spiritual Soul. For Taijas means the radiant, and Manas, becoming radiant in consequence of its union with Buddhi, and being, so to speak, merged into it, is identified with the latter; the trinity has become one; and, as the element of Buddhi is the highest, it becomes Buddhi-Taijas . In short, it is the human soul illuminated by the radiance of the divine soul, the human reason lit by the light of the Spirit or Divine Self-Consciousness.
The hidden wisdom of the Hebrew Rabbis of the middle ages derived from the older secret doctrines concerning divine things and cosmogony, which were combined into a theology after the time of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon.
All the works that fall under the esoteric category are termed Cabalistic.
Caste Originally the system of the four hereditary classes into which Indian population was divided: Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra-(a) descendant of Brahmâ; (b) warrior; (c) mercantile, and (d) the lowest or agricultural Sudra class. From these four, hundreds of divisions and minor castes have sprung.
Causal Body This "body," which is in reality no body at all, either objective or subjective, but Buddhi the Spiritual Soul, is so-called because it is the direct cause of the Sushupti state leading to the Turiya state, the highest state of Samadhi. It is called Karanopadhi, "the basis of the cause," by the "Taraka Raja" Yogis, and in the Vedanta System corresponds to both the Vijñanamaya and Anandamayakosha (the latter coming next to Atma, and therefore being the vehicle of the Universal Spirit). Buddhi alone could not be called a "Causal body," but becomes one in conjunction with Manas, the incarnating Entity or Ego.
Chela (Sans.) A disciple. The pupil of a Guru or Sage, the follower of some Adept, or a school of philosophy.
Chréstos (Gr.) The early gnostic term for Christ. This technical term was used in the fifth century bc by Aeschylus, Herodotus and others. The Manteumata pythocresta, or the "Oracles delivered by a Pythian God" through a pythoness, are mentioned by the former (Cho. 901), and Pythocréstos is derived from chrao. Chrésterion is not only "the test of an oracle," but an offering to, or for, the oracle. Chréstes is one who explains oracles, a "prophet and soothsayer," and Chrésterios, one who serves an oracle or a God. The earliest Christian writer, Justin Martyr, in his first Apology, calls his coreligionists Chréstians. "It is only through ignorance that men call themselves Christians, instead of Chréstians," says Lactantius The terms Christ and Christians, spelt originally Chrést and Chréstians, were borrowed from the Temple vocabulary of the Pagans. Chréstos meant, in that vocabulary, "a disciple on probation," a candidate for hierophantship; who, when he had attained it, through Initiation, long trials and suffering, and had been anointed (i.e., "rubbed with oil," as Initiates and even Idols of the Gods were, as the last touch of ritualistic observance), was changed into Christos-the "purified" in esoteric or mystery language. In mystic symbology, indeed, Christes or Christos meant that the "way," the Path, was already trodden and the goal reached; when the fruits of the arduous labor, uniting the personality of evanescent clay with the indestructible Individuality, transformed it thereby into the immortal Ego. "At the end of the way stands the Christes," the Purifier; and the union once accomplished, the Chréstos, the "man of sorrow" became Christos himself. Paul, the Initiate, knew this, and meant this precisely, when he is made to say in bad translation, "I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you," the true rendering of which is, ". until you form the Christos within yourselves." But the profane, who knew only that Chréstos was in some way connected with priest and prophet, and knew nothing about the hidden meaning of Christos, insisted, as did Lactantius and Justin Martyr, on being called Chréstians instead of Christians. Every good individual, therefore, may find Christ in his "inner man," as Paul expresses it, whether he be Jew, Muslim, Hindu, or Christian.
Christ See Chréstos.
Christian Scientist A newly-coined term for denoting the practitioners of a healing art by will. The name is a misnomer, since Buddhist or Jew, Hindu or Materialist can practice this new form of Western Yoga with like success if he can only guide and control his will with sufficient firmness. "Mental Scientists" is another rival school. These work by a universal denial of every disease and evil imaginable, and claim, syllogistically, that since Universal Spirit cannot be subject to the ailing of flesh, and since every atom is Spirit and in Spirit, and since, finally, they-the healers and the healed-are all absorbed in this Spirit or Deity, there is not, nor can there be, such a thing as disease. This prevents in nowise both Christian and Mental Scientists from succumbing to disease and nursing chronic diseases for years in their own bodies just like other ordinary mortals.
Clairaudience The faculty-whether innate or acquired by occult training-to hear things at whatever distance.
Clairvoyance A faculty of seeing with the inner eye or spiritual sight. As now used, it is a loose and flippant term, embracing under its meaning both a happy guess due to natural shrewdness or intuition, and also that faculty which was so remarkably exercised by Jacob Böhme and Swedenborg. Yet even these two great seers, since they could never rise superior to the general spirit of the Jewish Bible and Sectarian teachings, have sadly confused what they saw, and fallen far short of true clairvoyance.
Clemens Alexandrinus A Church Father and voluminous writer, who had been a Neo-Platonist and a disciple of Ammonius Saccas. He was one of the few Christian philosophers between the second and third centuries of our era, at Alexandria.
College of Rabbis A college at Babylon; most famous during the early centuries of Christianity, but its glory was greatly darkened by the appearance in Alexandria of Hellenic teachers, such as Philo-Judaeus, Josephus, Aristobulus, and others. The former avenged themselves on their successful rivals by speaking of the Alexandrians as Theurgists and unclean prophets. But the Alexandrian believers in thaumaturgy were not regarded as sinners and impostors when orthodox Jews were at the head of such schools of "hazim." There were colleges for teaching prophecy and occult sciences. Samuel was the chief of such a college at Ramah; Elisha, at Jericho. Hillel had a regular academy for prophets and seers; and it is Hillel, a pupil of the Babylonian College, who was the founder of the sect of the Pharisees and the great orthodox Rabbis.
Cycle (Gr. Kuklos) The ancients divided time into endless cycles, wheels within wheels, all such periods being of various durations, and each marking the beginning or end of some event either cosmic, mundane, physical, or metaphysical. There were cycles of only a few years, and cycles of immense duration, the great Orphic cycle referring to the ethnological change of races lasting 120,000 years, and that of Cassandrus of 136,000, which brought about a complete change in planetary influences and their correlations between men and gods-a fact entirely lost sight of by modern astrologers.
Deist One who admits the possibility of the existence of a God or gods, but claims to know nothing of either, and denies revelation. An agnostic of olden times.
Deva (Sans.) A god, a "resplendent" Deity, Deva-Deus, from the root div, "to shine." A Deva is a celestial being-whether good, bad or indifferent-which inhabits "the three worlds," or the three planes above us. There are 33 groups or millions of them.
Devachan (Sans.) The "Dwelling of the Gods." A state intermediate between two earth-lives, and into which the Ego ( Atma-Buddhi-Manas, or the Trinity made one) enters after its separation from Kamarupa, and the disintegration of the lower principles, after the death of the body, on Earth.
Dhammapada (Sans.) A work containing various aphorisms from the Buddhist Scriptures.
Dhyana (Sans.) One of the six Paramitas of perfection. A state of abstraction which carries the ascetic practicing it far above the region of sensuous perception, and out of the world of matter. Lit., contemplation. The six stages of Dhyani differ only in the degrees of abstraction of the personal Ego from sensuous life.
Dhyani-Chohans (Sans.) Lit., "The Lords of Light." The highest gods, answering to the Roman Catholic Archangels. The divine Intelligences charged with the supervision of Kosmos.
Double The same as the Astral body or "Doppelgänger."
Ecstasis (Gr.) A psycho-spiritual state; a physical trance which induces clairvoyance, and a beatific state which brings on visions.
Ego (Lat.) "I"; the consciousness in man of the "I am I," or the feeling of I-am-ship. Esoteric philosophy teaches the existence of two Egos in man, the mortal or personal, and the higher, the divine or impersonal, calling the former "personality," and the latter "individuality."
Egoity (from the word Ego). Egoity means "individuality"-never "personality," as it is the opposite of Egoism or "selfishness," the characteristic par excellence of the latter.
Eidolon (Gr.) The same as that which we term the human phantom, the Astral form.
Elementals (Spirits of the Elements) The creatures evolved in the Four Kingdoms, or Elements-Earth, Air, Fire, and Water. They are called by the Cabalists, Gnomes (of the Earth), Sylphs (of the Air), Salamanders (of the Fire), and Undines (of the Water), except a few of the higher kinds and their rulers. They are rather the forces of nature than ethereal men and women. These forces, as the servile agents of the occultist, may produce various effects; but if employed by elementaries (Kamarupas)-in which case they enslave the mediums-they will deceive. All the lower invisible beings generated on the fifth, sixth, and seventh Planes of our terrestrial atmosphere are called Elementals-Peris, Devs, Djins, Sylvans, Satyrs, Fauns, Elves, Dwarfs, Trolls, Norns, Kobolds, Brownies, Nixies, Goblins, Pinkies, Banshees, Moss People, White Ladies, Spooks, Fairies, etc., etc.
Eleusinia (Gr.) The Eleusinian Mysteries were the most famous and the most ancient of all the Greek mysteries (save the Samothracian), and were performed near the hamlet of Eleusis, not far from Athens. Epiphanius traces them to the days of Iacchos (1800 bc) They were held in honor of Demeter, the great Ceres, and the Egyptian Isis; and the last act of the performance referred to a sacrificial victim of atonement and a resurrection, when the Initiate was admitted to the highest degree of Epopt. The festival of the Mysteries began in the month of Boëdromion (September), the time of grape-gathering, and lasted from the 15th to the 22nd-seven days. The Hebrew Feast of Tabernacles-the feast of ingatherings-in the month of Ethanim (the seventh) also began on the 15th and ended on the 22nd of that month. The name of the month (Ethanim) is derived, according to some, from Adonim, Adonia, Attenim, Ethanim, and was in honor of Adonai, or Adonis (Tham), whose death was lamented by the Hebrews in the groves of Bethlehem. The sacrifice of "Bread and Wine" was performed both in the Eleusinia and during the Feast of Tabernacles.
Emanation (the doctrine of) is in its metaphysical meaning opposed to evolution, yet one with it. Science teaches that, physiologically, evolution is a mode of generation in which the germ that develops the fetus preexists already in the parent, the development and final form and characteristics of that germ being accomplished by nature; and that (as in its cosmology) the process takes place blindly, through the correlation of the elements and their various compounds. Occultism teaches that this is only the apparent mode, the real process being Emanation, guided by intelligent forces under an immutable Law. Therefore, while the Occultists and Theosophists believe thoroughly in the doctrine of Evolution as given out by Kapila and Manu, they are Emanationists rather than Evolutionists. The doctrine of Emanation was at one time universal. It was taught by the Alexandrian, as well as by the Indian philosophers, by the Egyptian, the Chaldean, and Hellenic Hierophants, and also by the Hebrews (in their Cabala, and even in Genesis). For it is only owing to deliberate mistranslation that the Hebrew word asdt was translated "angels" from the Septuagint, while it means Emanations, Aeons, just as with the Gnostics. Indeed, in Deuteronomy the word asdt or ashdt is translated as "fiery law," whilst the correct rendering of the passage should be, "from his right went (not a fiery law, but) a fire according to law," viz., that the fire of one flame is imparted to and caught up by another-like as in a trail of inflammable substance. This is precisely Emanation, as shown in Isis Unveiled.
In Evolution, as it is now beginning to be understood, there is supposed to be in all matter an impulse to take on a higher form-a supposition clearly expressed by Manu and other Hindu philosophers of the highest antiquity. The philosopher's tree illustrates it in the case of the zinc solution. The controversy between the followers of this school and the Emanationists may be briefly stated thus: The Evolutionist stops all inquiry at the borders of "the unknowable." The Emanationist believes that nothing can be evolved-or, as the word means, unwombed or born-except it has first been involved, thus indicating that life is from a spiritual potency above the whole.
Esoteric Hidden, secret. From the Greek Esotericos-"inner," concealed.
Esoteric Bodhism Secret wisdom or intelligence, from the Greek Esotericos, "inner," and the Sanskrit Bodhi, "knowledge," in contradistinction to Buddhi, "the faculty of knowledge or intelligence," and Buddhism, the philosophy or Law of Buddha (the Enlightened). Also written "Budhism," from Budha (Intelligence, Wisdom) the Son of Soma.
Exoteric (Gr.) Outward, public; the opposite of esoteric or hidden.
Extra-Cosmic Outside of Kosmos or Nature. A nonsensical word invented to assert the existence of a personal god independent of or outside Nature per se; for as Nature, or the Universe, is infinite and limitless there can be nothing outside it. The term is coined in opposition to the Pantheistic idea that the whole Kosmos is animated or informed with the Spirit of Deity, Nature being but the garment, and matter the illusive shadows, of the real unseen Presence.
Eurasians An abbreviation of "European-Asians." The mixed colored races; the children of the white fathers, and the dark mothers of India, and vice versa.
Ferho (Gnostic). The highest and greatest creative power with the Nazarene Gnostics (Codex Nazaraeus).
Fire-Philosophers The name given to the Hermetists and Alchemists of the Middle Ages, and also to the Rosicrucians. The latter, the successors of Theurgists, regarded fire as the symbol of Deity. It was the source, not only of material atoms, but the container of the Spiritual and Psychic Forces energizing them. Broadly analyzed, Fire is a triple principle; esoterically, a septenary, as are all the rest of the elements. As man is composed of Spirit, Soul, and Body, plus a fourfold aspect; so is Fire. As in the works of Robert Flood (de Fluctibus), one of the famous Rosicrucians, fire contains-Firstly, a visible flame (body); secondly, an invisible, astral fire (soul); and thirdly, spirit. The four aspects are (a) heat (life), (b) light (mind), (c) electricity (Kamic or molecular powers), and (d) the synthetic essences, beyond spirit, or the radical cause of its existence and manifestation. For the Hermetist or Rosicrucian, when a flame is extinct on the objective plane, it has only passed from the seen world into the unseen; from the knowable into the unknowable.
Gautama (Sans.) A name in India. It is that of the Prince of Kapilavastu, son of Sudhodana, the Sâkya King of a small territory on the borders of Nepal, born in the seventh century bc, now called the "Savior of the world." Gautama or Gotama was the sacerdotal name of the Sâkya family. Born a simple mortal, he rose to Buddhaship through his own personal and unaided merit; a man-verily greater than any God!
Gebirol Salomon Ben Jehudah, called in literature Avicebron. An Israelite by birth, a philosopher, poet, and Cabalist; a voluminous writer and a mystic. He was born in the eleventh century at Malaga (1021), educated at Saragossa, and died at Valencia in 1070, murdered by a Mohammedan. His fellow-religionists called him Salomon, the Sephardi, or the Spaniard, and the Arabs, Abu Ayyub Suleiman-ben ya'hya Ibn Dgebirol, whilst the Scholastics named him Avicebron (see Myers' Quabbalah). Ibn Gebirol was certainly one of the greatest philosophers and scholars of his age. He wrote much in Arabic, and most of his manuscript have been preserved. His greatest work appears to be The Megôr Hayyim, i.e., The Fountain of Life, "one of the earliest exposures of the secrets of the Speculative Cabala," as his biographer informs us.
Gnosis (Gr.) Lit. "knowledge." The technical term used by the schools of religious philosophy, both before and during the first centuries of so-called Christianity, to denote the object of their enquiry. This spiritual and sacred knowledge, the Gupta-Vidya of the Hindus, could only be obtained by Initiation into Spiritual Mysteries of which the ceremonial "Mysteries" were a type.
Gnostics (Gr.) The philosophers who formulated and taught the "Gnosis" or knowledge. They flourished in the first three centuries of the Christian Era. The following were eminent: Valentinus, Basilides, Marcion, Simon Magus, etc.
Golden Age The ancients divided the life cycle into the Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages. The Golden was an age of primeval purity, simplicity, and general happiness.
Great Age There were several "Great Ages" mentioned by the ancients. In India it embraced the whole Maha-Manvantara the "Age of Brahmâ ," each "Day" of which represents the Life Cycle of a chain, i.e., it embraces a period of Seven Rounds. Thus while a "Day" and a "Night" represent, as Manvantara and Pralaya, 8,640,000,000 years, an "age" lasts through a period of 311,040,000,000,000; after which the Pralaya or dissolution of the universe becomes universal. With the Egyptian and Greeks the "Great Age" referred only to the Tropical, or Sidereal year, the duration of which is 25,868 solar years. Of the complete age-that of the Gods-they said nothing, as it was a matter to be discussed and divulged only at the Mysteries, and during the Initiation Ceremonies. The "Great Age" of the Chaldeans was the same in figures as that of the Hindus.
Guhya-Vidya (Sans.) The secret knowledge of mystic-mantras.
Gupta-Vidya (Sans.) The same as Guhya-Vidya . Esoteric or secret science, knowledge.
Gyges "The ring of Gyges" has become a familiar metaphor in European literature. Gyges was a Lydian, who, after murdering the King Candaules, married his widow. Plato tells us that Gyges descending once into a chasm of the earth, discovered a brazen horse, within whose opened side was the skeleton of a man of gigantic stature, who had a brazen ring on his finger. This ring when placed on his own finger made him invisible.
Hades (Gr.), or Aides, the "invisible," the land of shadows; one of whose regions was Tartarus, a place of complete darkness, as was also the region of profound dreamless sleep in Amenti. Judging by the allegorical description of the punishments inflicted therein, the place was purely Karmic. Neither Hades nor Amenti were the Hell still preached by some retrograde priests and clergymen; and whether represented by the Elysian Fields or by Tartarus, they could only be reached by crossing the river to the "other shore." As well expressed in the "Egyptian Belief," the story of Charon, the ferryman (of the Styx) is to be found not only in Homer, but in the poetry of many lands. The River must be crossed before gaining the Isles of the Blest. The Ritual of Egypt described a Charon and his boat long ages before Homer. He is Khu-en-na, "the hawk-headed steersman." (See Hell.)
Hallucinations A state produced sometimes by physiological disorders, sometimes by mediumship, and at others by drunkenness. But the cause that produces the visions has to be sought deeper than physiology. All such, particularly when produced through mediumship, are preceded by a relaxation of the nervous system, generating invariably an abnormal magnetic condition which attracts to the sufferer waves of astral light. It is these latter that furnish the various hallucinations, which, however, are not always, as physicians would explain them, mere empty and unreal dreams. No one can see that which does not exist-i.e., which is not impressed-in or on the astral waves. But a seer may perceive objects and scenes (whether past, present, or future) which have no relation whatever to himself; and perceive, moreover, several things entirely disconnected with each other at one and the same time, so as to produce the most grotesque and absurd combinations. But drunkard and seer, medium and adept see their respective visions in the astral light; only while the drunkard, the madman, and the untrained medium, or one in a brain fever, see, because they cannot help it, and evoke jumbled visions unconsciously to themselves without being able to control them, the adept and the trained Seer have the choice and the control of such visions. They know where to fix their gaze, how to steady the scenes they wish to observe, and how to see beyond the upper outward layers of the astral light. With the former such glimpses into the waves are hallucinations; with the latter they become the faithful reproduction of what actually has been, is, or will be taking place. The glimpses at random, caught by the medium, and his flickering visions in the deceptive light, are transformed under the guiding will of the adept and seer into steady pictures, the truthful representation of that which he wills to come within the focus of his perception.
Hell A term which the Anglo-Saxon race has evidently derived from the name of the Scandinavian goddess, Hela, just as the word ad, in Russian and other Slavonian tongues expressing the same conception, is derived from the Greek Hades, the only difference between the Scandinavian cold Hell, and the hot Hell of the Christians, being found in their respective temperatures. But even the idea of these overheated regions is not original with the Europeans, many people having entertained the conception of an underworld climate; as well we may, if we localize our Hell in the center of the earth. All exoteric religions-the creeds of the Brahmins, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, Mohammedans, Jews, and the rest, made their Hells hot and dark, though many were more attractive than frightful. The idea of a hot Hell is an afterthought, the distortion of an astronomical allegory. With the Egyptians Hell became a place of punishment by fire not earlier than the 17th or 18th Dynasty, when Typhon was transformed from a God into a Devil. But at whatever time they implanted this dread superstition in the minds of the poor ignorant masses, the scheme of a burning Hell and souls tormented therein is purely Egyptian. Ra (the Sun) became the Lord of the Furnace, in Karr, the Hell of the Pharaohs, and the sinner was threatened with misery "in the heat of infernal fires." "A lion was there," says Dr. Birch, "and was called the roaring monster." Another describes the place as "the bottomless pit and lake of fire, into which the victims are thrown" (compare Revelation). The Hebrew word gaï-hinnom (gehena) had never really the significance given to it in Christian orthodoxy.
Hermas An ancient Greek writer, of whose works only a few fragments now remain extant.
Hierogrammatists (Gr.) The title given to those Egyptian priests who were entrusted with the writing and reading of the sacred and secret records. The "scribes of the secret records" literally. They were the instructors of the neophytes preparing for initiation.
Hierophant From the Greek Hierophantes, literally "he who explains sacred things," a title belonging to the highest adepts in the temples of antiquity, who were the teachers and expounders of the Mysteries, and the Initiators into the final great Mysteries. The Hierophant stood for the Demiurge, and explained to the postulants for Initiation the various phenomena of creation that were produced for their tuition.
He was the sole expounder of the exoteric secrets and doctrines. It was forbidden even to pronounce his name before an uninitiated person. He sat in the East, and wore as symbol of authority, a golden globe, suspended from the neck. He was also called Mystagogus.
Hillel A great Babylonian Rabbi of the century preceding the Christian Era. He was the founder of the sect of the Pharisees, a learned and a saintly man.
Hinayana (Sans.) The "Smaller Vehicle," a Scripture and a School of the Buddhists, contrasted with the Mahayana, "The Greater Vehicle." Both schools are mystical. (See Mahayana.) Also in exoteric superstition, the lowest form of transmigration.
Homogeneity From the Greek words homos, "the same," and genos, "kind." That which is of the same nature throughout, undifferentiated, non-compound, as gold is supposed to be.
Hypnotism (Gr.) A name given by Dr. Braid to the process by which one man of strong will-power plunges another of weaker mind into a kind of trance; once in such a state the latter will do anything suggested to him by the hypnotist. Unless produced for beneficial purposes, the Occultists would call it black magic or sorcery. It is the most dangerous of practices, morally and physically, as it interferes with the nerve fluids.
Iamblichus A great Theosophist and an Initiate of the third century. He wrote a great deal about the various kinds of demons who appear through evocation, but spoke severely against such phenomena. His austerities, purity of life, and earnestness were great. He is credited with having been levitated ten cubits high from the ground, as are some modern Yogis, and mediums.
Illusion In Occultism everything finite (such as the Universe and all in it) is called Illusion or Maya .
Individuality One of the names given in Theosophy and Occultism to the human Higher Ego. We make a distinction between the immortal and divine and the mortal human Ego which perishes. The latter or "Personality" (personal Ego) survives the dead body but for a time in Kamaloka: the Individuality prevails forever.
Initiate From the Latin Initiatus. The designation of anyone who was received into and had revealed to him the mysteries and secrets of either Masonry or Occultism. In times of antiquity they were those who had been initiated into the arcane knowledge taught by the Hierophants of the Mysteries; and in our modern days those who have been initiated by the adepts of mystic lore into the mysterious knowledge, which, notwithstanding the lapse of ages, has yet a few real votaries on earth.
Isvara (Sans.) The "Lord" or the personal god, divine spirit in man. Literally Sovereign (independent) existence. A title given to Siva and other gods in India. Siva is also called Isvaradeva, or sovereign deva.
Iu-Kabar Zivo Gnostic term. The "Lord of the Aeons" in the Nazarene system. He is the procreator (Emanator) of the seven holy lives (the seven primal Dhyani-Chohans or Archangels, each representing one of the cardinal virtues), and is himself called the third life (third Logos). In the Codex he is addressed as the Helm and Vine of the food of life. Thus he is identical with Christ (Christos) who says: "I am the true vine and my Father is the husbandman." It is well known that Christ is regarded in the Roman Catholic Church as the "Chief of the Aeons," as also is Michael, "who is as God." Such also was the belief of the Gnostics.
Javidan Khirad (Pers.) A work on moral precepts.
Jñana (Sans.) Knowledge: Occult Wisdom.
Josephus Flavius A historian of the first century; a Hellenized Jew who lived in Alexandria and died at Rome. He was credited by Eusebius with having written the 16 famous lines relating to Christ, which were most probably interpolated by Eusebius himself, the greatest forger among the Church Fathers. This passage, in which Josephus, who was an ardent Jew and died in Judaism, is nevertheless made to acknowledge the Messiahship and divine origin of Jesus, is now declared spurious both by most of the Christian Bishops (Lardner among others) and even by Paley (See his Evidence of Christianity). It was for centuries one of the weightiest proofs of the real existence of Jesus, the Christ.
Kamaloka (Sans.) The semi-material plane, to us subjective and invisible, where the disembodied "personalities," the astral forms called Kamarupa, remain until they fade out from it by the complete exhaustion of the effects of the mental impulses that created these eidolons of the lower animal passions and desires. (See Kamarupa.) It is the Hades of the ancient Greeks and the Amenti of the Egyptians-the land of Silent Shadows.
Kamarupa (Sans.) Metaphysically and in our esoteric philosophy it is the subjective form created through the mental and physical desires and thoughts in connection with things of matter, by all sentient beings: a form which survives the death of its body. After that death, three of the seven principles-or, let us say, planes of the senses and consciousness on which the human instincts and ideation act in turn-viz., the body, its astral prototype, and physical vitality, being of no further use, remain on earth; the three higher principles, grouped into one, merge into a state of Devachan, in which state the Higher Ego will remain until the hour for a new reincarnation arrives, and the eidolon of the expersonality is left alone in its new abode. Here the pale copy of the man that was, vegetates for a period of time, the duration of which is variable according to the element of materiality which is left in it, and which is determined by the past life of the defunct. Bereft as it is of its higher mind, spirit, and physical senses, if left alone to its own senseless devices, it will gradually fade out and disintegrate. But if forcibly drawn back into the terrestrial sphere, whether by the passionate desires and appeals of the surviving friends or by regular necromantic practices-one of the most pernicious of which is mediumship-the "spook" may prevail for a period greatly exceeding the span of the natural life of its body. Once the Kamarupa has learnt the way back to living human bodies, it becomes a vampire feeding on the vitality of those who are so anxious for its company. In India these Eidolons are called Pisachas-and are much dreaded.
Kapilavastu (Sans.) The birthplace of the Lord Buddha, called the "yellow dwelling," the capital of the monarch who was the father of Gautama Buddha.
Kardec, Allan The adopted name of the Founder of the French Spiritists, whose real name was Rivaille. It was he who gathered and published the trance utterances of certain mediums and afterwards made a "philosophy" of them between the years 1855 and 1870.
Karma (Sans.) Physically, action; Metaphysically, the Law of Retribution; the Law of Cause and Effect or Ethical Causation. It is Nemesis only in the sense of bad Karma. It is the eleventh Nidana in the concatenation of causes and effects in orthodox Buddhism; yet it is the power that controls all things, the resultant of moral action, the metaphysical Samskâra, or the moral effect of an act committed for the attainment of something which gratifies a personal desire. There is the Karma of merit and the Karma of demerit. Karma neither punishes nor rewards; it is simply the one Universal Law which guides unerringly and, so to say, blindly, all other laws productive of certain effects along the grooves of their respective causations. When Buddhism teaches that "Karma is that moral Kernel (of any being) which alone survives death and continues in transmigration" or reincarnation, it simply means that there remains nought after each personality, but the causes produced by it, causes which are undying, i.e., which cannot be eliminated from the Universe until replaced by their legitimate effects, and so to speak, wiped out by them. And such causes, unless compensated during the life of the person who produced them with adequate effects, will follow the reincarnated Ego and reach it in its subsequent incarnations until a full harmony between effects and causes is fully reestablished. No "personality"-a mere bundle of material atoms and instinctual and mental characteristics-can, of course, continue as such in the world of pure spirit. Only that which is immortal in its very nature and divine in its essence, namely, the Ego, can exist forever. And as it is that Ego which chooses the personality it will inform after each Devachan, and which receives through these personalities the effects of the Karmic causes produced, it is, therefore, the Ego, that Self, which is the "moral Kernel" referred to, and embodied Karma itself, that "which alone survives death."
The Crown, the highest of the ten Sephiroth; the first of the supernal Triad. It corresponds to the Macroprosopus, Vast Countenance, or Arikh Anpin, which differentiates into Chokmah and Binah.
Krishna (Sans.) The most celebrated Avatara of Vishnu, the "Savior" of the Hindus and the most popular god. He is the eighth Avatara, the son of Devaki , and the nephew of Kansa, the Indian Herod, who while seeking for him among the shepherds and cowherds who concealed him, slew thousands of their newly-born babes. The story of Krishna's conception, birth, and childhood are the exact prototype of the New Testament story. The missionaries, of course, try to show that the Hindus stole the story of the Nativity from the early Christians who came to India.
Kshetrajña or Kshetrajñesvara (Sans.) Embodied Spirit in Occultism, the conscious Ego in its highest manifestations; the reincarnating Principle, or the "Lord" in us.
Kumara (Sans.) A virgin boy or young celibate. The first Kumaras are the seven sons of Brahmâ , born out of the limbs of the god in the so-called Ninth Creation. It is stated that the name was given to them owing to their formal refusal to "procreate" their species, and thus they "remained Yogis" according to the legend.
Labro, St. A Roman Saint solemnly beatified a few years ago. His great holiness consisted in sitting at one of the gates of Rome night and day for forty years, and remaining unwashed through the whole of that time, the result of which was that he was eaten by vermin to his bones.
Lao-tzu (Chin.) A great Sage, Saint, and Philosopher, who preceded Confucius.
Law of Retribution (See Karma).
Linga-sharîra (Sans.) "Astral body," i.e., the aerial symbol of the body. This term designates the doppelgänger, or the "astral body" of man or animal. It is the eidolon of the Greeks, the vital and prototypal body, the reflection of the man of flesh. It is born before man and dies or fades out with the disappearance of the last atom of the body.
Logos (Gr.) The manifested deity with every nation and people; the outward expression or the effect of the Cause which is ever concealed. Thus, speech is the logos of thought; hence, in its metaphysical sense, it is aptly translated by the terms Verbum, and the Word.
Long Face A Cabalistic term, Areekh Anpeen in Hebrew; or "Long Face," in Greek, Macroprosopus, as contrasted with "Short Face," or Zeir Anpeen, the Microprosopus. One relates to Deity, the other to man, the "little image of the great form."
Longinus, Dionysius Cassius A famous critic and philosopher, born in the very beginning of the third century (about 213). He was a great traveler, and attended at Alexandria the lectures of Ammonius Saccas, the founder of Neo-Platonism, but was rather a critic than a follower. Porphyry (the Jew Malek or Malchus) was his pupil before he became the disciple of Plotinus. It is said of him that he was a living library and a walking museum. Towards the end of his life he became the instructor in Greek literature of Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra. She repaid his services by accusing him before the Emperor Aurelius of having advised her to rebel against the latter, a crime for which Longinus, with several others, was put to death by the Emperor in 273.
Macrocosm (Gr.) The "Great Universe" or Kosmos, literally.
Magic The "great" Science. According to Deveria and other Orientalists, "Magic was considered as a sacred science inseparable from religion" by the oldest and most civilized and learned nations. The Egyptians, for instance, were a most sincerely religious nation, as were, and are still, the Hindus. "Magic consists of, and is acquired by, the worship of the gods," says Plato. Could, then, a nation which, owing to the irrefragable evidence of inscriptions and papyri, is proved to have firmly believed in magic for thousands of years, have been deceived for so long a time? And is it likely that generations upon generations of a learned and pious hierarchy, many among whom led lives of self-martyrdom, holiness, and asceticism, would have gone on deceiving themselves and the people (or even only the latter) for the pleasure of perpetuating belief in "miracles"? Fanatics, we are told, will do anything to enforce belief in their god or idols. To this we reply:
In such cases Brahmins and Egyptian Rekhget-amens or Hierophants, would not have popularized the belief in the power of man by magic practices, to command the services of the gods: which gods are in truth but the occult powers or potencies of Nature, personified by the learned priests themselves, who reverenced only in them the attributes of the one unknown and nameless Principle.
As Proclus, the Platonist, ably puts it:
Ancient priests, when they considered that there is a certain alliance and sympathy in natural things to each other, and of things manifest to occult powers, and discovered that all things subsist in all, fabricated a sacred science from this mutual sympathy and similarity . and applied for occult purposes both celestial and terrene natures, by means of which, through a certain similitude, they deduced divine natures into this inferior abode.
Magic is the science of communicating with, and directing supernal supramundane potencies, as well as commanding those of lower spheres; a practical knowledge of the hidden mysteries of nature which are known only to the few, because they are so difficult to acquire without falling into sin against the law. Ancient and medieval mystics divided magic into three classes-Theurgia, Goetia, and Natural Magic.
Theurgia has long since been appropriated as the peculiar sphere of the Theosophists and metaphysicians,
-says Kenneth Mackenzie.
Goetia is black magic, and "natural" or white magic has risen with healing in its wings to the proud position of an exact and progressive study.
The remarks added by our late learned brother are remarkable:
The realistic desires of modern times have contributed to bring magic into disrepute and ridicule . Faith (in one's own self) is an essential element in magic, and existed long before other ideas which presume its preexistence. It is said that it takes a wise man to make a fool; and a man's idea must be exalted almost to madness, i.e., his brain susceptibilities must be increased far beyond the low miserable status of modern civilization, before he can become a true magician, for a pursuit of this science implies a certain amount of isolation and an abnegation of self.
A very great isolation certainly, the achievement of which constitutes a wonderful phenomenon, a miracle in itself. Withal, magic is not something supernatural. As explained by Iamblichus,
. they, through the sacerdotal theurgy, announce that they are able to ascend to more elevated and universal essences, and to those that are established above fate, viz., to god and the demiurgos: neither employing matter, nor assuming any other things besides, except the observation of a sensible time.
Already some are beginning to recognize the existence of subtle powers and influences in nature, in which they have hitherto known nought. But, as Dr. Carter Blake truly remarks:
The nineteenth century is not that which has observed the genesis of new, nor the completion of old, methods of thought .
-to which Mr. Bonwick adds, that:
. if the Ancients knew but little of our mode of investigation into the secrets of Nature, we know still less of their mode of research.
Magic, Black (See above). Sorcery, abuse of powers.
Magic, Ceremonial Magic, according to Cabalistic rites worked out, as alleged by the Rosicrucians and other mystics, by invoking Powers higher spiritually than Man, and commanding Elementals who are far lower than himself on the scale of being.
Magic, White or "Beneficent Magic," so called, is divine magic, devoid of selfishness, love of power, of ambition or material gain, and bent only on doing good to the world in general and one's neighbor in particular. The smallest attempt to use one's abnormal powers for the gratification of self makes of these powers sorcery or Black Magic.
Maha-Manvantara (Sans.) Lit., the great interludes between the Manus-the period of universal activity. Manvantara here implies simply a period of activity as opposed to Pralaya or rest-without reference to the length of the cycle.
Mahat (Sans.) Lit. "The Great One." The first principle of Universal Intelligence and consciousness. In the Puranic philosophy, the first product of root-nature or Pradhana (the same as Mûlaprakiti); the producer of Manas the thinking principle, and of Ahankâra, Egotism or the feeling of "I am I" in the lower Manas.
Mahatma (Sans.) Lit., "Great Soul." An adept of the highest order. An exalted being, who having attained to the mastery over his lower principles, is therefore living unimpeded by the "man of flesh." Mahatmas are in possession of knowledge and power commensurate with the stage they have reached in their spiritual evolution. Called in Pali Rahats and Arahats.
Mahayana (Sans.) A school of Buddhist philosophy; lit., the "Great Vehicle." A mystical system founded by Nagarjuna. Its books were written in the second century bc.
Manas (Sans.) Lit., the "Mind." The mental faculty which makes of a man an intelligent and moral being, and distinguishes him from the mere animal; a synonym of Mahat. Esoterically, however, it means, when unqualified, the Higher Ego or the sentient reincarnating Principle in man. When qualified it is called by Theosophists Buddhi-Manas, or the spiritual soul, in contradistinction to its human reflection-Kama-Manas.
Manasaputra (Sans.) Lit., the "Sons of Mind" or mind-born Sons; a name given to our Higher Egos before they incarnated in mankind. In the exoteric though allegorical and symbolical Purânas (the sacred and ancient writings of Hindus), it is the title given to the mind-born Sons of Brahmâ , the Kumâra.
Manas Sutratman (Sans.) Two words meaning mind (Manas) and Thread Soul (Sutratman). It is, as said, the synonym of our Ego, or that which reincarnates. It is a technical term of Vedantic philosophy.
Manas-Taijas (Sans.) Lit., the "radiant" Manas; a state of the Higher Ego which only high metaphysicians are able to realize and comprehend. The same as "Buddhi-Taijas " (see above).
Mantras (Sans.) Verses from the Vedic works, used as incantations and charms. By Mantras are meant all those portions of the Vedas which are distinct from the Brâhmanas, or their interpretation.
Manu (Sans.) The great Indian legislator. The name comes from the Sanskrit root man, to think, man really standing only for Svayambhuva, the first of the Manus, who started from Svayambhu , the Self-Existent, who is hence the Logos and the progenitor of mankind. Manu is the first legislator-almost a divine being.
Manvantara (Sans.) A period of manifestation, as opposed to Pralaya (dissolution or rest); the term is applied to various cycles, especially to a Day of Brahmâ -4,320,000,000 Solar years-and to the reign of one Manu-308,448,000. Lit., Manvantara-"between Manus."
Master A translation from the Sanskrit Guru, "Spiritual teacher," and adopted by the Theosophists to designate the Adepts, from whom they hold their teachings.