Theme for March: Glyphs and Symbols

The Lotus The Secret Doctrine book i p.57-58
The Ocean of Milk SD i 66-69
The Dragon and the Logoi SD i 73-74
The Vishnu Chakra SD i 112-117
Symbolism and Ideographs SD i 303-309
The Universal Language SD i 310-325
The Tree and the Serpent SD i 403-411
The Divine Hermaphrodite SD Book ii 124-130
Eden and Enlightenment SD Book ii 202-217
Logograms SD Book ii 334-335
Squaring the Circle SD Book ii 449-451
Crucifixion and Initiation SD Book ii 555-562
Cross and Fire The Theosophist (will post)
The Number Seven The Theosophist (will post)
Mysteries of Gnosis Lucifer Magazine (will post)
The Esoteric Cipher Lucifer Magazine (will post)
The One Flame and Its Rays Transactions pages 24-27

Here are the reading assignments for the month of March.  We shall be posting quotations regularly from these passages listed above.  Feel free to refer to the text for the full selection.  All comments and questions are welcome.

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The Lotus section    SD i. 57-58

(b) One of the symbolical figures for the Dual creative power in Nature (matter and force on the material plane) is Padma, the water-lily of India. The Lotus is the product of heat (fire) and water (vapour or Ether); fire standing in every philosophical and religious system as a representation of the Spirit of Deity, † the active, male, generative principle; and Ether, or the Soul of matter, the light of the fire, for the passive female principle from which everything in this Universe emanated. Hence, Ether or Water is the Mother, and Fire is the Father. Sir W. Jones (and before him archaic botany) showed that the seeds of the Lotus contain — even before they germinate — perfectly formed leaves, the miniature shape of what one day, as perfect plants, they will become: nature thus giving us a specimen of the preformation of its production . . . the seed of all phanerogamous plants bearing proper flowers containing an embryo plantlet ready formed. ‡ (See Part II., "The Lotus Flower as an Universal Symbol.") This explains the sentence "The Mother had not yet swollen"— the form being usually sacrificed to the inner or root idea in Archaic symbology.

The Lotus, or Padma, is, moreover, a very ancient and favourite
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* An unpoetical term, yet still very graphic. (See foot-note to Stanza III.)

† Even in Christianity. (See Part II., "Primordial Substance and Divine Thought.")

‡ Gross, "The Heathen Religion," p. 195.

58 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.

simile for the Kosmos itself, and also for man. The popular reasons given are, firstly, the fact just mentioned, that the Lotus-seed contains within itself a perfect miniature of the future plant, which typifies the fact that the spiritual prototypes of all things exist in the immaterial world before those things become materialised on Earth. Secondly, the fact that the Lotus plant grows up through the water, having its root in the Ilus, or mud, and spreading its flower in the air above. The Lotus thus typifies the life of man and also that of the Kosmos; for the Secret Doctrine teaches that the elements of both are the same, and that both are developing in the same direction. The root of the Lotus sunk in the mud represents material life, the stalk passing up through the water typifies existence in the astral world, and the flower floating on the water and opening to the sky is emblematical of spiritual being.

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You might say that the Rose is to the west what the Lotus is to the east.  The Rose figures into the mythology and symbolism in the west in a significant way.  The Lotus is central to eastern symbolism.  I wonder if their are flowers or plants in the Southern Hemispher, say from Australia or New Zealand or South America that have the symbolic significance of the Rose and the Lotus?

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Flowers seem to represent spiritual awakening.

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The Lotus certainly plays a central role in Buddhist symbolism.

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from The Ocean of Milk     SD i 66-69     this passage page 66

The use of geometrical figures and the frequent allusions to figures in all ancient scriptures (see Purânas, Egyptian papyri, the "Book of the Dead" and even the Bible) must be explained. In the "Book of Dzyan," as in the Kabala, there are two kinds of numerals to be studied — the figures, often simple blinds, and the Sacred Numbers, the values of which are all known to the Occultists through Initiation. The former is but a conventional glyph, the latter is the basic symbol of all. That is to say, that one is purely physical, the other purely metaphysical, the two standing in relation to each other as matter stands to spirit — the extreme poles of the ONE Substance.

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Would anyone be willing to share any basic ideas about why numerology is central to the Esoteric Sciences?

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Plato says, "God geometrizes", we live in a mathematical universe.

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Mathematics underlies everything in the manifest universe.

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From the Dragon and the Logoi section

THE DRAGON AND THE LOGOI.

(b) "The "Dragon of Wisdom" is the One, the "Eka" (Sanskrit) or Saka. It is curious that Jehovah's name in Hebrew should also be One, Echod. "His name is Echod": say the Rabbins. The philologists ought to decide which of the two is derived from the other—linguistically and symbolically: surely, not the Sanskrit? The "One" and the Dragon are expressions used by the ancients in connection with their respective Logoi. Jehovah — esoterically (as Elohim) — is also the Serpent or Dragon that tempted Eve, and the "Dragon" is an old glyph for "Astral Light" (Primordial Principle), "which is the Wisdom of Chaos." Archaic philosophy, recognizing neither Good nor Evil as a fundamental or independent power, but starting from the Absolute ALL (Universal Perfection eternally), traced both through the course of natural evolution to pure Light condensing gradually into form, hence becoming Matter or Evil. It was left with the early and ignorant Christian fathers to degrade the philosophical and highly scientific idea of this emblem (the Dragon) into the absurd superstition called the "Devil." They took it from the later Zoroastrians, who saw devils or the Evil in the Hindu Devas, and the word Evil thus became by a double transmutation D'Evil in every tongue (Diabolos, Diable, Diavolo, Teufel). But the Pagans have always shown a philosophical discrimination in their symbols. The primitive symbol of the serpent symbolised divine Wisdom and Perfection, and had always stood for psychical Regeneration and Immortality. Hence — Hermes, calling the serpent the most spiritual of all beings; Moses, initiated in the wisdom of Hermes, following suit in Genesis; the Gnostic's Serpent with the seven vowels over its head, being the emblem of the seven hierarchies of the Septenary or Planetary Creators. Hence, also, the Hindu serpent Sesha or Ananta, "the Infinite," a name of Vishnu, whose first Vahan or vehicle on the primordial waters is this serpent.*

* Like the logoi and the Hierarchies of Powers, however, the "Serpents" have to be distinguished one from the other. Sesha or Ananta, "the couch of Vishnu," is an allegorical abstraction, symbolizing infinite Time in Space, which contains the germ and throws off periodically the efflorescence of this germ, the manifested Universe; whereas, the gnostic Ophis contained the same triple symbolism in its seven vowels as the One, Three and Seven-syllabled Oeaohoo of the Archaic doctrine; i.e., the One Unmanifested Logos, the Second manifested, the triangle concreting into the Quaternary or Tetragrammaton, and the rays of the latter on the material plane.

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"Archaic philosophy, recognizing neither Good nor Evil as a fundamental or independent power, but starting from the Absolute ALL (Universal Perfection eternally), traced both through the course of natural evolution to pure Light condensing gradually into form, hence becoming Matter or Evil."

Would anyone care to comment on this passage taken from above.  Is good and evil without a metaphysical foundation?  How do we derive a morality without the good and evil dichotomy?

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Does the symbol of the dragon switch roles from myth to myth?  Sometimes it represents Initiates, sometimes the adversary of the Heros like Michael.

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From the Vishnu Chakra section  book i page 112-113

The name Vishnu is from the root vish, "to pervade," and Fohat is called the "Pervader" and the Manufacturer, because he shapes the atoms from crude material.* In the sacred texts of the Rig Veda, Vishnu, also, is "a manifestation of the Solar Energy," and he is described as striding through the Seven regions of the Universe in three steps, the Vedic God having little in common with the Vishnu of later times. Therefore the two are identical in this particular feature, and one is the copy of the other.

The "three and seven" strides refer to the Seven spheres inhabited by man, of the esoteric Doctrine, as well as to the Seven regions of the Earth. Notwithstanding the frequent objections made by would-be Orientalists, the Seven Worlds or spheres of our planetary chain are distinctly referred to in the exoteric Hindu scriptures. But how strangely all these numbers are connected with like numbers in other Cosmogonies and with their symbols, can be seen from comparisons and parallelisms made by students of old religions. The "three strides of Vishnu" through the "seven regions of the Universe," of the Rig Veda, have been variously explained by commentators as meaning "fire, lightning and the Sun" cosmically; and as having been taken in the Earth, the atmosphere, and the sky; also as the "three steps" of the dwarf (Vishnu's incarnation), though more philosophically — and in the astronomical sense, very correctly — they are explained by Aurnavâbha as being the various positions of the sun, rising, noon, and setting. Esoteric philosophy alone explains it clearly, and the Zohar laid it down very philosophically and comprehensively. It is said and plainly demonstrated therein that in the beginning the Elohim (Elhim) were called Echod, "one," or the "Deity is one in many," a very simple idea in a pantheistic conception (in its philosophical sense, of course). Then came the change, "Jehovah is Elohim," thus unifying the multiplicity and taking the first step towards Monotheism. Now to the query, "How is Jehovah Elohim?" the answer is, "By three Steps" from below

The meaning is plain.* They are all symbols, and emblematic, mutually and correlatively, of Spirit, Soul and Body (MAN); of the circle transformed into Spirit, the Soul of the World, and its body (or Earth). Stepping out of the Circle of Infinity, that no man comprehendeth, Ain-Soph (the Kabalistic synonym for Parabrahm, for the Zeroana Akerne, of the Mazdeans, or for any other "UNKNOWABLE") becomes "One" — the ECHOD, the EKA, the AHU — then he (or it) is transformed by evolution into the One in many, the Dhyani-Buddhas or the Elohim, or again the Amshaspends, his third Step being taken into generation of the flesh, or "Man." And from man, or Jah-Hova, "male female," the inner divine entity becomes, on the metaphysical plane, once more the Elohim.

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Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 11, 2014 at 11:53am
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From the Section:  Symbolism and Ideographs Book i

"Divine origin" does not mean here a revelation from an anthropomorphic god on a mount amidst thunder and lightning; but, as we understand it, a language and a system of science imparted to the early mankind by a more advanced mankind, so much higher as to be divine in the sight of that infant humanity. By a "mankind," in short, from other spheres; an idea which contains nothing supernatural in it, but the acceptance or rejection of which depends upon the degree of conceit and arrogance in the mind of him to whom it is stated. For, if the professors of modern knowledge would only confess that, though they know nothing of the future of the disembodied man—or rather will accept nothing—yet this future may be pregnant with surprises and unexpected revelations to them, once their Egos are rid of their gross bodies—then materialistic unbelief would have fewer chances than it has. Who of them knows, or can tell, what may happen when once the life cycle of this globe is run down and our mother earth herself falls into her last sleep? Who is bold enough to say that the divine Egos of our mankind—at least the elect out of the multitudes passing on to other spheres—will not become in their turn the "divine" instructors of a new mankind generated by them on a new globe, called to life and activity by the disembodied "principles" of our Earth? (See Stanza VI., Book I., Part 1.) All this may have been the experience of the PAST, and these strange records lie embedded in the "Mystery language" of the prehistoric ages, the language now called SYMBOLISM.

  page 309

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 12, 2014 at 5:59pm
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From The Universal Language Section:  SD book i page320-321

Starting from this, it becomes easy to understand how nature herself could have taught primeval mankind, even without the help of its divine instructors, the first principles of a numerical and geometrical symbol language.* Hence one finds numbers and figures used as an expression and a record of thought in every archaic symbolical Scripture. They are ever the same, with only certain variations growing out of the first figures. Thus the evolution and correlation of the mysteries of Kosmos, of its growth and development ― spiritual and physical, abstract and concrete ― were first recorded in geometrical changes of shape. Every Cosmogony began with a circle, a point, a triangle, and a cube, up to number 9, when it was synthesized by the first line and a circle ― the Pythagorean mystic Decade, the sum of all, involving and expressing the mysteries of the entire Kosmos; recorded a hundred times more fully in the Hindu system, for him who can understand its mystic language. The numbers 3 and 4, in their blending of 7, as those of 5, 6, 9, and 10, are the very corner-stone of Occult Cosmogonies. This decade and its thousand combinations are found in every portion of the globe. One recognizes them in the caves and rock-cut temples of Hindostan and Central Asia, as in the pyramids and lithoi of Egypt and America; in the Catacombs of Ozimandyas, in the mounds of the Caucasian snowcapped fastnesses, in the ruins of Palenque, in Easter Island, everywhere whither the foot of ancient man has ever journeyed. The 3 and the 4, the triangle and the cube, or the male and female universal glyph, showing the first aspect of the evolving deity, is stamped for ever in the Southern Cross in the Heavens, as in the Egyptian Crux-Ansata. As well expressed, "The Cube unfolded is in display a cross of the tau, or Egyptian form, or of the Christian cross form. . . . A circle attached to the first, gives the ansated cross. . . numbers 3 and 4 counted on the cross, showing a form of the (Hebrew) golden candlestick (in the Holy of Holies), and of the 3 + 4 = 7, and 6 + 1 = 7, days in the circle of the week, as 7 lights of the sun. So also as the week of 7 lights gave origin to the month and year, so it is the time marker of birth. . . . The cross form being shown, then, by the connected use of the form 113 : 355, the symbol is completed by the attachment of a man to the cross.* This kind of measure was made to co-ordinate with the idea of the origin of human life, and hence the phallic form. †"

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on March 27, 2014 at 4:19pm
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You could say that both music and mathematics are universal languages.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 14, 2014 at 11:47pm
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From the Tree and the Serpent Section  SD book i page 411

These seven vowels are represented by the Swastika signs on the crowns of the seven heads of the Serpent of Eternity, in India, among esoteric Buddhists, in Egypt, in Chaldea, etc. etc., and among the Initiates of every other country. It is on the Seven zones of post mortem ascent, in the Hermetic writings, that the "mortal" leaves, on each, one of his "Souls" (or Principles); until arrived on the plane above all zones he remains as the great Formless Serpent of absolute wisdom—or the Deity itself. The seven-headed serpent has more than one signification in the Arcane teachings. It is the seven-headed Draco, each of whose heads is a star of the Lesser Bear; but it was also, and pre-eminently, the Serpent of Darkness (i.e., inconceivable and incomprehensible) whose seven heads were the seven Logoi, the reflections of the one and first manifested Light—the universal LOGOS.

 

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 16, 2014 at 12:09pm
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From the section entitled The Divine Hermaphrodite

An impenetrable veil of secrecy was thrown over the occult and religious mysteries taught, after the submersion of the last remnant of the Atlantean race, some 12,000 years ago, lest they should be shared by the unworthy, and so desecrated. Of these sciences several have now become exoteric — such as Astronomy, for instance, in its purely mathematical and physical aspect. Hence their dogmas and tenets, being all symbolised and left to the sole guardianship of parable and allegory, have been forgotten, and their meaning has become perverted. Nevertheless, one finds the hermaphrodite in the scriptures and traditions of almost every nation; and why such unanimous agreement if the statement is only a fiction?

Permalink Reply by David Reigle on March 18, 2014 at 7:00pm
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This agrees with the quotation posted by Nicholas several days ago, about the loss of the mysteries in relation to Atlantis rather than in relation to the beginning of the Christian era.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 18, 2014 at 10:35pm
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You get the impression, with everything else in nature, that these processes happen slowly and gradually over time.  I don't really know, but I would assume that the accelleration of the mysteries demise, was much added by the early Roman Church. Alvin Boyd Kuhn chronicles these events systematically in his "Shadow of the Third Century: A Re-evaluation of Christianity."

Permalink Reply by David Reigle on March 19, 2014 at 8:54pm
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Yes, it seems that the demise of the mysteries was much accelerated by the early Church. Interesting that you mention Alvin Boyd Kuhn's book, "Shadow of the Third Century: A Re-evaluation of Christianity." This Theosophical background book was a major source for the bestselling 2004 book by the progressive Canadian theologian Tom Harpur, issued as The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light, and later as The Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity? An important book.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 20, 2014 at 12:06pm
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I have been reading through the Kuhn book slowly over the last couple of months.  It is really dense and detailed.  He definitely did his homework about the transformation of Christianity from teachings from a Sage to institutionalized religion.  This theme this month on Glyphs and Symbols reveals a lot of what Kuhn was talking about.  Major symbols were distorted and bent to conform to dogmas of the church.

Permalink Reply by David Reigle on March 24, 2014 at 3:59pm
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Blavatsky's stance that scriptures must be read symbolically has received major support by the discovery of the Nag Hammadi texts. Before this discovery, Alvin Boyd Kuhn eloquently argued for the symbolic reading in his trilogy, The Lost Light: An Interpretation of Ancient Scriptures (1940), Who Is This King of Glory? A Critical Study of the Christos-Messiah Tradition (1944), and Shadow of the Third Century: A Revaluation of Christianity (1949). These three books drew upon the earlier work of Godfrey Higgins, Anacalypsis: An Inquiry into the Origin of Languages, Nations and Religions (1833), written at a time when little reliable information about these things was available, and especially upon on the three large 2-volume books by Gerald Massey, A Book of the Beginnings (1881), The Natural Genesis (1883), and Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World (1907), written in the comparatively early days of Egyptology. Blavatsky, too, like Kuhn, had drawn upon the work of Massey for support for her stance on symbology.

Then in 2004 Tom Harpur published his influential book, The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light, drawing heavily upon the writings of Kuhn, especially Kuhn's book, The Lost Light, and by extension upon Kuhn's sources, Massey and Higgins. Harpur's message about reading the scriptures symbolically to find the Christ within rather than an external, historical Jesus, was welcomed by many open-minded Christians, and strongly disliked by many others. Because it reached many people, it was subjected to critical scrutiny. His critics pointed out the unreliability of many of the alleged facts that Harpur had derived from Kuhn, who in turn had derived them from Massey and some from Higgins. A good example of such a critique can be found on Amazon, under Harpur's book, The Pagan Christ, the review by Ward Gasque, titled "Did Christianity Get All of Its Good Ideas from Pagans?" The reviewer shows that many of these alleged "facts" cannot be supported by the evidence. So a number of Harpur's good and helpful points are discredited. A number of things in Blavatsky's writings can be similarly discredited. Good ideas supported by unsupportable "facts."

In today's world, we need verifiable facts to support a symbolic reading of the scriptures such as Blavatsky and Kuhn and Harpur advocate. It so happens that in one important area, the facts have become available by way of the Nag Hammadi discoveries. Gerald Massey had written an essay, titled "Paul the Gnostic Opponent of Peter, not an Apostle of Historic Christianity" (published in the book, Gerald Massey's Lectures). As students of Blavatsky's writings know, she took the same view (see the 1897 third volume of The Secret Doctrine). But, based on the Pastorals, it has been a standard teaching of the Church that Paul was a strenuous opponent of the Gnostics. Among the Nag Hammadi texts, some writings of the Valentinians were discovered, in which these early Gnostics advocate a symbolic reading of the scriptures. They revere Paul as a great Gnostic teacher who taught the secret symbolic reading of the gospels. This newly brought out fact has been admirably documented by Elaine Pagels in her 1975 book, The Gnostic Paul. It shows how Paul's genuine epistles were understood by the Valentinian Gnostics, providing early and indisputable evidence that these Gnostic Christians in fact accepted the same symbolic reading that is advocated by Blavatsky and Kuhn and Harpur.

Incidentally, Harpur has a 2007 sequel to The Pagan Christ, titled Water into Wine: An Empowering Vision of the Gospels. It has an Appendix on "The Egyptian Theological and Philosophical Roots of Christianity," supporting the premises on which his earlier book was written. This book newly adds an Appendix on "Mystical Parallels between the Gospels and the Vedic Scriptures."

Permalink Reply by Samantha Province on March 25, 2014 at 12:40pm
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St. Paul's epistles have always been one of my favorite parts of the Bible and Elaine Pagel's book really elucidates some of his inner meaning. Another wonderful scholarly book on this subject that has been a favorite of mine for a long time is A Separate God by Simone Petrement (a personal friend of the mystic Simone Weil). She presents a compelling case that Gnosticism was an intra-Christian phenomenon that derived from the teachings in the Pauline and Johannine corpus, and not an alien and parasitic growth as the current orthodoxy says. Her volume also has some of the most insightful analysis of Valentian Gnostic teachings.

In regard to Gerald Massey, Dorothy Murdock has presented what I regard as a very cogent case for the reliability of his work (and by extension that of Kuhn and Harpur) in her recent book Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on March 27, 2014 at 4:21pm
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Could you share any symbolism found in Paul's epistles?   Just a couple maybe.

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Permalink Reply by Samantha Province on March 27, 2014 at 10:35pm
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This is going to be a bit long, sorry!

The Valentinians distinguish two levels of Christian spirituality and following from that two levels on which Paul's letters can be read. The first level is the psychic, or soul-ish. This corresponds to the merely exoteric level, at which the believer submits in fear before a judging, law-giving deity who is identified with Yahweh of the Old Testament. The psychic believer recieves forgiveness of his sins and is expected to go forth and perform good works. The next level is the pneumatic, or spiritual. The pneumatic has gnosis, or knowledge, of a deity that is beyond Yahweh. This is the incognizable god of love that Jesus came to reveal.

Following from this, the Valentinians recognize two levels of meaning in Paul's writings. There is the psychic level, which anyone who has attended a literalist Christian church is probably already familiar with. The second level is that of the initiate, which is more concerned with the spiritual Christ than the historical man Jesus. As H.P.B, writes of Paul, read the little of original that is left of him in the writings attributed to this brave, honest, sincere man, and see whether any one can find a word therein to show that Paul meant by the word Christ anything more than the abstract ideal of the personal divinity indwelling in man. For Paul, Christ is not a person, but an embodied idea. "If any man is in Christ he is a new creation," he is reborn, as after initiation, for the Lord is spirit — the spirit of man.The Valentinian Gospel of Philip says, Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father.

As an example, a crucial Pauline symbol is that of the resurrection of the dead. The literalist psychic Christian interprets this as the rising of literal bodies. Elaine Pagels writes in her Gnostic Gopels that Paul himself, of course, later defended the teaching on resurrection as fundamental to Christian faith. But although his discussion often is read as an argument for bodily resurrection, it concludes with the words "I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable [that is, the mortal body] inherit the imperishable." Paul describes the resurrection as "a mystery," the transformation from physical to spiritual existence. The Valentinians, following this line of thought, recognize the resurrection as a spiritual event: the finding of the undying true self. Pagels writes, One gnostic teacher, whose Treatise on Resurrection, a letter to Rheginos, his student, was found at Nag Hammadi, says: "Do not suppose that resurrection is an apparition [phantasia; literally, "fantasy"]. It is not an apparition; rather it is something real. Instead," he continues, "one ought to maintain that the world is an apparition, rather than resurrection." Like a Buddhist master, Rheginos' teacher, himself anonymous, goes on to explain that ordinary human existence is spiritual death. But the resurrection is the moment of enlightenment: "It is . . . the revealing of what truly exists . . . and a migration(metabole—change, transition) into newness." Whoever grasps this becomes spiritually alive. This means, he declares, that you can be "resurrected from the dead" right now: "Are you—the real you—mere corruption? . . . Why do you not examine your own self, and see that you have arisen?" [Another] text from Nag Hammadi, the Gospel of Philip, expresses the same view, ridiculing ignorant Christians who take the resurrection literally. "Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error." Instead they must "receive the resurrection while they live." The author says ironically that in one sense, then, of course "it is necessary to rise 'in this flesh,' since everything exists in it!"

As another example, Paul often speaks of freedom from the works of the law, election, and salvation by grace. The Valentinians hold that all of this applies to the pneumatic elect, and not the psychics, who regard themselves as slaves of the Old Testament lawgiver. Pagels writes of the Valentinian exegesis of the epistle to the Romans in herGnostic Paul, The pneumatics... are of the elect: they recieve redemption according to the "law of faith"-faith not in the psychic Jesus but in the pneumatic Christ. Unlike the works-salvation of the psychics, the pneumatic redemption excludes all human effort (and hence all "boasting"): it depends entirely upon "what God foreordained" (3:25) in election. Paul says of this in 3:28, "we reason that the anthropos (the pneumatic) is justified by faith apart from the works of the law." Taking into account the fundamentally monistic perspective of Valentinian Gnosticism, I believe we can profitably compare this to the conception in Advaita Vedanta that we are not the doer of the actions, but... the mere witness of them to quote William Judge.

Hope this helped!

Permalink Reply by CERVERA Franck on April 5, 2014 at 3:09pm
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 こんばんは たみこさん.

In Paul we can find behind the social power, behind the law, behind the prejudices and behind the Human Nature, the Universal Soul, the brotherhood of Humanity in his unity in God !

Two references :

-Epistle to the Galatians 3 - 28

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

-Epistle to the Ephesians 2 – 18

For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

さようなら.

Franck.

Permalink Reply by CERVERA Franck on April 7, 2014 at 5:10pm
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I forgot to say why it’s a symbol. It’s a mathematical symbol :

-Once (you or me or us) + other + God = One. Thus 1 + 1 + 1 = 1.

It’s 3 in 1, like the Trinity Mystery, at the Universal scale or Human scale depend of the point of view…

I think we can find the same concept in the 1st Hymn of the 1st Book of the Rig Veda in two verses :

Rig Veda 1-5 :

-अग्निर्होता कविक्रतुः सत्यश्चित्रश्रवस्तमः । देवो देवेभिरा गमत ॥ ५ ॥

- agnirhotā kavikratuḥ satyaścitraśravastamaḥ | devo devebhirā ghamat || 5

- (a)5 || May Agni, sapient-minded Priest, truthful, most gloriously great, | The God, come hither with the Gods.

- (b)5 || The adorable God, the source of vitality and knowledge, the giver and acceptor, is truth personified, and divine unparalleled. | May He be a source of inspiration to the aspirants.

Rig Veda 1-9 :

-स नः पितेव सूनवेςग्ने सूपायनो भव । सचस्वा नः सवस्तये ॥ ९ ॥

- Sa naḥ piteva sūnave ’gne sūpāyano bhava | Sacasvā naḥ svastaye || 9

- (a)9 || Be to us easy of approach, even as a father to his son | Agni, be with us for our weal.

- (b)9 || Lord, be unto us easy of access, as a father is to his son. | May you be ever-present with us for our sake.

This passage could be Christian isn't it ?

Another interesting correspondence with the Christian concept of Trinity : in Sanskrit the word “Agni” (अग्नि) can be translate by “God” (or “Lord”), “Fire” or the number “3”…

Notes :

(a) = tr. by Ralph T.H. Griffith, [1896]

(b) = tr. by Svamy Satya Prakash Sarasvati and Satyakam Vidyalankar, [1977]

 

Permalink Reply by David Reigle on March 27, 2014 at 9:23pm
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Thank you, Samantha, for the very relevant references you posted. I did not know of Simone Petrement's book, A Separate God. It makes perfect sense that Gnosticism was an intra-Christian phenomenon, at a time when the use of symbolism in religious writings was more widely accepted. Glad for the recommendation. Thanks also for calling our attention to D. M. Murdock's book supporting Massey's findings.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 20, 2014 at 4:06pm
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From the Section: Eden and Enlightenment  book ii page 202 First Paragraph of that section

Whence the idea, and the true meaning of the term "Eden"? Christians will maintain that the Garden of Eden is the holy Paradise, the place desecrated by the sin of Adam and Eve; the Occultist will deny this dead-letter interpretation, and show the reverse. One need not believe and see in the Bible divine revelation in order to say that this ancient book, if read esoterically, is based upon the same universal traditions. What Eden was is partially shown in Isis Unveiled.*

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 23, 2014 at 3:00pm
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From the Section: Logograms  SD book ii page 334-5

The complete records of the growth, development, social, and even political life of the Lemurians, have been preserved in the secret annals. Unfortunately, few are those who can read them; and those who could would still be unable to understand the language, unless acquainted with all the seven keys of its symbolism. For the comprehension of the Occult Doctrine is based on that of the seven sciences; which sciences find their expression in the seven different applications of the secret records to the exoteric texts. Thus we have to deal with modes of thought on seven entirely different planes of Ideality. Every text relates to, and has to be rendered from, one of the following standpoints —

1. The Realistic plane of thought;
2. The Idealistic;
3. The purely Divine or Spiritual.

The other planes too far transcend the average consciousness, especially of the materialistic mind, to admit of their being even symbolized in terms of ordinary phraseology. There is no purely mythical element in any of the ancient religious texts; but the mode of thought in which they were originally written has to be found out and closely adhered to during the process of interpretation. For, it is either symbolical (archaic mode of thought), emblematical (a later though very ancient mode of thought), parabolical (allegory), hieroglyphical, or again logo-grammical — the most difficult method of all, as every letter, as in the Chinese language, represents a whole word. Thus, almost every proper name, whether in the Vedas, the "Book of the Dead," or the Bible (to a degree), is composed of such logograms. No one who is not initiated into the mystery of the occult religious logography can presume to know what a name in any ancient fragment means, before he has mastered the meaning of every letter that composes it. How is it to be expected that the merely profane thinker, however great his erudition in orthodox symbolism, so to say — i.e., in that symbolism which can never get out of the old grooves of Solar-myth and sexual-worship — shall penetrate into the arcana. behind the veil. One who deals with the husk or shell of the dead letter, and devotes himself to the kaleidoscopic transformation of barren word-symbols, can never expect to get beyond the vagaries of modern mythologists.

Permalink Reply by Tamiko Yamada on March 23, 2014 at 3:44pm
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Would it be fair to say that we live in a symbolical world?

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 24, 2014 at 12:03pm
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From Squaring the Circle:   SD book ii page 451

Nor is there any need of proselytizing. As remarked by the wise Cicero, "Time destroys the speculations of man, but it confirms the judgment of nature." Let us bide our time. Meanwhile, it is not in the human constitution to witness in silence the destruction of one's gods, whether they be true or false. And as theology and materialism have combined together to destroy the old gods of antiquity and seek to disfigure every old philosophical conception, it is but just that the lovers of old wisdom should defend their position, by proving that the whole arsenal of the two is, at best, formed of new weapons made out of very old material.

 

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 27, 2014 at 3:48pm
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From the selection: Crucifixion and Initiation  SD book ii page 555

Between speculative Atheism and idiotic anthropomorphism there must be a philosophical mean, and a reconciliation. The Presence of the Unseen Principle throughout all nature, and the highest manifestation of it on Earth — MAN, can alone help to solve the Problem, which is that of the mathematician whose x must ever elude the grasp of our terrestrial algebra. The Hindus have tried to solve it by their avatars, the Christians think they did it — by their one divine Incarnation. Exoterically — both are wrong; esoterically both of them are very near the truth. Alone, among the Apostles of the Western religion, Paul seems to have fathomed — if not actually revealed — the archaic mystery of the Cross. As for the rest of those who, by unifying and individualizing the Universal Presence, have thus synthesized it into one symbol — the central Point in the Crucifix — they have shown thereby that they have never seized the true Spirit of the teaching of Christ, and by their interpretations they have degraded it in more than one way. They have forgotten the Spirit of that universal symbol and have selfishly monopolized it — as though the Boundless and the Infinite can ever be limited and conditioned to one manifestation individualized in one man, or even in a nation!

  SD Book ii 555-562

Permalink Reply by Larry Leon Lynch on March 29, 2014 at 2:51pm
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Hello Gerry,

I'm presenting a rather lengthy post of an allegory written by one of the early Theosophical writers - Franz Hartmann, MD.  This allegory speaks volumes to me in very plain language and may help to solve some of the riddle (mystery) of the Christian Crucifixion/Resurrection.  The text is copied verbatim from his book, "The Life of Jehoshua, Prophet of Nazareth" - Copyright 1909:

THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHRIST

(AN ALLEGORY)

     Forever the Light shineth into darkness, but the darkness com-prehendeth it not. Long, long ago in the past, perhaps millions of ages ago, at a time beyond human calculation, there was a realm of Light, wherein resided the Spirit of Wisdom. His body was like a Sun, and the living rays emanating from him filled the Universe with glory. Matter of a fiery and ethereal kind, such as is unknown to man, filled all space, and the light coming from that Spirit penetrated the realm of Matter and endowed it with life and sensation. Gradually this matter began to cool, centers of attractions were formed, and around these centers still more matter condensed, and they grew into revolving globes traveling with lightning velocity through space, being guided by the Spirit of Wisdom. Upon these globes stones, vegetables, animals, and human beings grew.

     But in proportion as this matter became dense and solid, it became impenetrable to the light coming from the Spirit of Wisdom, and the men born therein groped in darkness, until they discovered a phosphorescent substance in the caves of the earth which gave forth a light like a diamond after having been exposed to the sun, and they called it ' Ratio.' By the light of this stone they were able to see their surroundings. Men and animals used this stone, but in the hands of men it shone brighter than when the animals used it.

     But the light which they now possessed threw a false glitter upon the objects which it illuminated and caused them to appear distorted and not as they actually were. The Spirit of Wisdom, pitying mankind on account of their ignorance and darkness wherein they lived, resolved to descend to them; but being unable to make himself visible to men, because their eyes had become petrified and blind, he attempted to manifest himself by assuming a more solid shape in their souls.

     He entered the Heart of Man and found it to be a stable, filled with animals of all kinds. There was an ox called the Will, tied to the yoke of passion, and an ass called Reason, led about by erroneous speculations. There was a hog called Intemperance, and a goat called Lechery, and around the door prowled the tiger, the wolf, and the hyena, seeking to gain admittance, while snakes and poisonous reptiles were wriggling and crawling through the cracks of the roof. The stable was full of impurities, the windows were covered with cobwebs, that prevented the light from entering; but in spite of these disgusting surroundings the Spirit of Wisdom remained there and attempted to clean it and transform it into a temple, fit for him to reside therein.

     He attempted to make his presence known to the proprietor of the stable, but for a long time his calls   were not listened to; for besides the noise made by the animals in the lower part of the building, there was a great noise made in the upper story, which was occupied by traders of all kinds, by lecturers and preachers, scientists, theologians and moralizers, of whom each one tried to make himself heard above the rest.

     By some accident the voice of Wisdom attracted at last the attention of the proprietor, but he could not understand what it said, for the language seemed foreign to him. He therefore sent a commission to examine the claims of that Spirit. Sophistry and Superstition, the daughters of Ignorance, and a fellow named Logic, an illegitimate son of a woman called Experience, arrived, accompanied by a dog called Selfishness. They listened to the Spirit and wrote down what he said. They then asked him for his certificates, to prove who he was, and wanted to dispute with him; and as he did not answer their arguments in a manner comprehensible to them, they shook their heads and did not believe what he said. The animals clamored that the strange visitor should be ejected, for his presence disturbed them in their comfort and ease. Moreover, the angel having begun to assume a material form, needed some nourishment to acquire substance and strength, and he abstracted blood from the animals in the stable and nourished himself with it.

     Such a state of affairs appeared intolerable to the proprietor of the house, and he resolved to kill the intruder. He was, however, afraid to attack him openly, because he feared the light that shone from his body. He had in his employ two servants in whom he trusted, although they were two thieves, who continually robbed their master of his most valuable treasures whenever any opportunity offered itself; but he knew it not, and believed them to be his faithful assistants. The name of one of these thieves was Credulity, and the name of the other was Skepticism, and both were the greatest enemies of the Truth.

     One evening the Spirit went into the garden that surrounded the house. He had succeeded in transforming, by his magic power, some of the animals into men, and they followed him; but the proprietor hearing of his whereabouts, sent his servants to have him arrested. But Credulity and Skepticism had never seen the Spirit of Wisdom, and did not know him; they therefore applied to Logic, who by a certain trick of argumentation, which he had learned from a sorceress in the West, whose name was Curiosity, managed to come very near to the Truth, and kissed him, and (they) then treacherously overpowered the Spirit of Wisdom and caused him to be crucified. But the Spirit, being immortal, could not die; the men who attempted to kill him merely destroyed his form, and thereby rendered themselves incapable of seeing his outward expression, and the Spirit of Wisdom returned to his eternal home, to descend again and again into the hearts of men and to repeat the same process for ever and ever, by being born, crucified, and resurrected every day. 

I hope this is helpful...enjoy.

Permalink Reply by Gerry Kiffe on March 28, 2014 at 10:39am
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Samantha, thank  you for the explanation.  You have presented your points very clearly and logically.  We appreciate the effort you put into that.  The whole arena of symbolism is so fascinating.  When we get away from literal interpretations of things we find a whole world of meaning opening up to us.  This is proven by your discussion of the resurrection and redemption.  You get the feeling that these ideas have to do with the awakening of soul memories within us of higher planes of being that for whatever reasons we have alienated ourselves from.  The Secret Doctrine is a treasure trove of symbolism and HPB makes it very clear the suggestive  nature of symbols is a crucial element of the Esoteric Science.

Permalink Reply by ModeratorTN on March 29, 2014 at 12:41pm
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From The One Flame and It's Rays   Transactions  page 23-24

Q. Then, on reawakening, will the men of one Manvantara have to pass through a stage corresponding to the Ah-hi stage in the next Manvantara?

A. In some of the Manvantaras, the tail is in the mouth of the serpent. Think over this Symbolism.

Q. A man can choose what he will think about; can the analogy be applied to the Ah-hi?

A. No; because a man has free will and the Ah-hi have none. They are obliged to act simultaneously, for the law under which they must act gives them the impulse. Free will can only exist in a Man who has both mind and consciousness, which act and make him perceive things both within and without himself. The "Ah-hi" are Forces, not human Beings.

Q. But are they not conscious agents in the work?

A. Conscious in as far as they act within the universal consciousness. But the consciousness of the Manasa-putra on the third plane is quite different. It is only then that they become Thinkers. Besides, Occultism, unlike modern Science, maintains that every atom of matter, when once differentiated, becomes endowed with its own kind of Consciousness. Every cell in the human body (as in every animal) is endowed with its own peculiar discrimination, instinct, and, speaking relatively, with intelligence.

Q. Can the Ah-hi be said to be enjoying bliss?

A. How can they be subject to bliss or non-bliss? Bliss can only be appreciated, and becomes such when suffering is known.

Q. But there is a distinction between happiness and bliss.

A. Granting that there may be, still there can be neither happiness nor bliss without a contrasting experience of suffering and pain.

Q. But we understand that bliss, as the state of the Absolute, was intended to be referred to.

A. This is still more illogical. How can the ABSOLUTE be said to feel? The Absolute can have no condition nor attribute. It is only that which is finite and differentiated which can have any feeling or attitude predicated of it.