Comte de Gabalis , at sacred-texts.com
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"I have not yet quite made up my mind to this marriage, Sir," I replied.
"What deters you?" he inquired.
"To be frank with you, Sir," said I, "I cannot conquer my imagination, which always represents these pretended hosts of the Elements as so many imps of Satan." LXXVIII
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"Dissipate, O Lord!" cried he, "O God of Light! Dissipate the darkness in which ignorance and a perverse education have enveloped the mind of this chosen one, whom Thou hast made me know that Thou dost destine for such great things! And you, my Son, close not the door against Truth which is willing to enter in unto you. Be non-resistant. Nay, you need not be so, for it is most injurious to Truth to prepare the way for her. She knows how to break through gates of iron and how to enter where she pleases despite all resistance of falsehood. What have you to oppose to her? Would you say that God has not, power to create in the Elements real beings such as have described?" LXXIX
"I have not looked into the matter," said I, "to ascertain whether the thing itself be impossible, whether a single Element can furnish blood, flesh and bones; whether temperament can exist without admixture, and action without opposing force; but assuming that God has been able thus to create, what sound proof is there that He has done so?"
"Let me convince you of it at once, without further temporising. I am going to summon the Sylphs of Cardan; and you shall hear from their own lips what they are, and what I have taught you about them."
"By no means, Sir," I exclaimed hastily. "Postpone such proof, I beg of you, until I am persuaded that these folk are not the enemies of God; for until
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then I would rather die than wrong my conscience by------"
"Behold the ignorance and false piety of these unhappy times," interrupted the Comte wrathfully. "Why do they not expunge the greatest of the Anchorites LXXX from the Calendar of the Saints? Why do they not burn his statues? It is a thousand pities people do not insult his venerable ashes and cast them to the winds, as they would those of the poor wretches who are accused of having had dealings with devils! Did he bethink himself to exorcise the Sylphs? And did he not treat them as men? What have you to say to that, scrupulous Sir, you and all your miserable doctors? And is it your opinion that the Sylph who discoursed concerning his nature to this Patriarch was an imp of Satan? Did this incomparable man confer with a hobgoblin concerning the Gospel? And will you accuse him of having profaned the adorable Mysteries by conversing concerning them with a phantom enemy of God? In that case Athanasi.us and Jerome are most unworthy of the great name accorded them by your learned men, for they have written eloquent eulogies of a man who treated devils thus humanely."
"If they had taken this Sylph for a devil they would either have concealed the adventure or have altered the sense of the sermon, or of that very pathetic apostrophe, which the Anchorite--more zealous and more credulous than you--made to the cify of Alexandria.
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[paragraph continues] Now if they thought him a being who had, as he affirmed, a share in the redemption as well as we ourselves, and if they considered this apparition an extraordinary favour bestowed by God upon the Saint whose life they wrote, are you rational in thinking yourself better informed than Athanasius and Jerome, and a greater Saint than the divine Antony? What would you have said to that admirable man had you been one of the ten thousand hermits to whom he recounted the conversation he had just been having with the Sylph? Wiser and more enlightened than all those terrestial Angels, you would doubtless have demonstrated to the Holy Abbot that his entire adventure was but pure illusion, and you would have dissuaded his disciple Athanasius from making known to all the world a story so little in keeping with religion, philosophy, and common sense. Is not this true?"
"It is true," said I, "that I should have thought best either to say nothing whatever about it or to tell more." LXXXI
"Athanasius and Jerome," replied he, "were careful not to tell more, for that was all they knew, and even though they had known all, which is impossible if one is not of our number, they would not rashly have divulged the secrets of the Sages."
"But why not? Did not the Sylph propose to St. Antony what you are to-day proposing to me? " "What?" said the Comte laughing, "Marriage?
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[paragraph continues] Ah! would that have been quite fitting?"
"Probably the good man would not have accepted the offer," I ventured.
"No, certainly not," said the Comte, "for it would have been tempting God to marry at that age and to ask Him for children."
"What! " I exclaimed. "Do people marry Sylphs for the purpose of having children?"
"Indeed! " said he, "Is it ever permissible to marry for any other purpose?" LXXXII
"I did not imagine," said I, "that they aspired to I' the planting of family trees. I had supposed their sole object to be the immortalisation of the Sylphids."
"Ah! you are mistaken," quoth he. "The charity of the Philosophers causes them to have as their ultimate aim the immortality of the Sylphids: but Nature makes them desire to see them fruitful. Whenever you wish you shall see these philosophic families in the Air. Happy world, if there had been no other families and if there had been no children of sin!"
"What do you mean by children of sin?" I inquired.
"They are, my Son," he explained, "all children who are born in the ordinary way, children conceived by the will of the flesh and not by the will of God, children of wrath and malediction; in a word, children. of man and woman. You are longing to interrupt me. I see exactly what you would like to say. Yes,
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my child, know that it was never the will of the Lord that men and women should have children in the way in which they do. The design of the Most Wise Craftsman was far nobler. He would have had the world peopled in a different manner than we see it. If wretched Adam had not grossly disobeyed God's command not to touch Eve, and had he contented himself with all the other fruits in the garden of pleasure LXXXIII, with the beauties of the Nymphs and Sylphids, the world would not have had the shame of seeing itself filled with men so imperfect that they seem monsters when compared with the children of the Philosophers."
"Apparently, Sir," said I, "you believe Adam's crime to have been other than that of eating the apple."
"Why, my Son," he replied, "are you one of those who are so simple-minded as to take the story of the apple literally? Ah! know that the Holy Language makes use of these innocent metaphors to prevent us from having improper ideas of an action which has caused all the misfortunes of the human race. Thus when Solomon said, 'I will go up unto the palm tree and gather the fruit thereof,' * he had another appetite than that for eating dates. This language consecrated by the Angels, and in which they chant hymns to the living God, has no terms to express what it implies figuratively by the words apple and date. But the
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[paragraph continues] Sage easily deciphers these chaste figures of speech. * When he sees that the taste and mouth of Eve were not punished, and that she was delivered with pain, he knows that it was not the tasting which was criminal. And discovering what the first sin was, by reason of the care which the first sinners took to hide certain parts of their bodies with leaves, he concludes that God did not will men to multiply in this vile way. O Adam! thou shouldst only have begotten men like unto thyself, or have engendered none save heroes or giants.''
"Eh! What expedient had he," I asked, "for either of these marvellous generations?"
"Obeying God," he replied, "and touching only the Nymphs, Gnomids, Sylphids or Salamanders: Thus there would have been none save heroes born, and the Universe would have been peopled with marvellous men filled with strength and wisdom. God has been pleased to enable us to conjecture the difference between that innocent world and the guilty one we behold to-day by now and then permitting us to see children born in the manner He designed."
"Then, Sir, have these children of the Elements occasionally been seen? If so, a Master of Arts from the Sorbonne, who was citing St. Augustin, St. Jerome, and Gregory of Nazianzus the other day, was mistaken in believing that no issue can spring from the love
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of spirits for women, or from the relationship men can have with certain demons he called Hyphialtes."
"Lactantius has reasoned better," the Comte replied, "and cautious Thomas Aquinas has learnedly determined not only that these intimacies, may be fruitful, but also that the children thus born are of a far nobler and more heroic nature. In fact, when it pleases you, you shall read of the lofty deeds of those mighty and famous men LXXXIV whom Moses says were born in this manner. We have their records in our possession in the Book of the Wars of the Lord LXXXV, cited in the twenty-first chapter of the Book of Numbers. Meantime just think what the world would be if all its inhabitants were like Zoroaster."
"What!" said I, "Zoroaster whom people say was the inventor of necromancy?"
"The same of whom the ignorant have written that calumny," said the Comte. "He had the honour of being the son of the Salamander Oromasis and of Vesta, Noah's wife. He lived for twelve hundred years, the sagest monarch in the world, and then was carried away to the Region of the Salamanders by his father Oromasis."
"I do not doubt that Zoroaster is with the Salamander Oromasis in the Region of Fire," said I, "but I should not like to put such an affront upon Noah as you have been guilty of."
"The affront is not so great as you might think,"
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replied the Comte; "all your patriarchs considered it a great honour to be the reputed fathers of those children whom the Sons of God were pleased to have by their wives LXXXVI, but as yet this is too much for you. Let us return to Oromasis. He was beloved by Vesta, Noah's wife. This Vesta after her death became the tutelary genius of Rome, and the Sacred Fire LXXXVII, which she desired the virgins to preserve with so much care, was in honour of the Salamander, her lover. Besides Zoroaster, there sprang from their love a daughter of rare beauty and wisdom, the divine Egeria, from whom Numa Pompilius received all his laws. She compelled Numa, whom she loved, to build a temple to Vesta XC, her mother, where the Sacred Fire should be maintained in honour of her father Oromasis. This is the truth concerning the fable about the Nymph Egeria which Roman poets and historians have related."
"William Postel, least ignorant of all those who have studied the Cabala in ordinary books, was aware that Vesta was Noah's wife LXXXVIII, but he did not know that Egeria was Vesta's daughter, and not having read the secret books of the ancient Cabala, a copy of which the Prince de Mirande LXXXIX bought so dearly, he confused things and believed that Egeria was merely the good genius of Noah's wife."
"In those books we learn that Egeria was conceived upon the waters when Noah was wandering upon
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the avenging floods which inundated the Universe. Women were at that time reduced to the small number who were saved in the Cabalistic Ark, built by that second father of mankind."
"This illustrious man, mourning over the frightful chastisement wherewith the Lord was punishing the crimes caused by Adam's love for Eve, and seeing that Adam had ruined his posterity by preferring her to the daughters of the Elements and by taking her from that Salamander or Sylph who would have gained her affection--Noah, I say, profited by the fatal example of Adam and was content that his wife Vesta should yield herself to the Salamander Oromasis, Prince of Fiery Beings; and persuaded his three sons likewise to surrender their three wives to the Princes of the three other Elements. The Universe was, in a short time, re-peopled with heroic men, so learned, so handsome, so admirable, that their posterity dazzled by their virtues has mistaken them for divinities. One of Noah's children, rebelling against his father's counsel, could not resist the attractions of his wife any more than Adam could withstand the charms of his Eve . But just as Adam's sin blackened the souls of all his descendants, so Ham's lack of complaisance for the Sylphs branded all his black posterity; whence comes the horrible complexion of the Ethiopians, say our Cabalists, and of all those hideous peoples who have been commanded to dwell in the torrid zone as punishment for the profane ardour of their father."
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"These are very singular fancies, Sir," said I, marvelling at the man's ravings, "and your Cabala is of wonderful service in illuminating antiquity."
"Of wonderful service," he rejoined gravely, "and without it Scripture, history, fable and Nature are obscure and unintelligible. You believe, for example, that the injury Ham did his father was what it seems literally to be; as a matter of fact, it was something quite different. Noah went forth from the Ark, and perceiving that his wife Vesta had but grown more beautiful through her love for Oromasis, fell passionately in love with her again. Ham fearing that his father was about to re-people the earth with progeny as black as his own Ethiopians, seized his 'opportunity one day when the old man was full of wine, and mercilessly maltreated him. You laugh?"
"I laugh at Ham's indiscreet zeal," said I.
"Rather," replied he, "admire the kindness of the Salamander Oromasis, whom jealousy did not prevent from taking pity upon the disgrace of his rival. He taught his son Zoroaster, otherwise known as Japhet, XCI the Name of Omnipotent God which expresses His eternal fecundity. Japhet pronounced the Redoubtable Name JABAMIAH XCII six times alternately with his brother Shem, walking backward towards the patriarch, and they completely restored the old man. This story, misunderstood, caused the Greeks to say that the oldest of the Gods was maltreated by one of his children;
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but this is the truth of the matter. Hence you XCIII can see how much more humane are the ethics of the Children of Fire than our own, and even more so than those of the Peoples of the Air or the Water; for their jealousy is cruel, as the divine Paracelsus shows us in an incident he recounts, and which was witnessed by the entire town of Stauffenberg. A certain Philosopher, with whom a Nymph was engaged XCIV in an intrigue of immortality, was so disloyal as to love a woman. As he sat at dinner with his new paramour and some friends, there appeared in the air the most beautiful leg in the world. The invisible sweetheart greatly desired to show herself to the friends of her faithless lover, that they might judge how wrong he was in preferring a woman to her. Afterward the indignant Nymph killed him on the spot."
"Ah Sir," I exclaimed, "this is quite enough to disgust me with these tender sweethearts."
"I confess," he rejoined, "that their tenderness is apt to be somewhat violent. But if exasperated women have been known to murder their perjured lovers, we must not wonder that these beautiful and faithful mistresses fly into a passion when they are betrayed, and all the more so since they only require men to abstain from women whose imperfeaions they cannot tolerate, and give us leave to love as many of their number as we please. They prefer the interest and immortality of their companions to their personal satisfaction,
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and they are very glad to have the Sages give to their Republic as many immortal children as possible."
"But after all, Sir," I asked. "how does it happen that there are so few examples of all that you tell me?"
"There are a great number, my child," he answered, "but they are neither heeded nor credited, in fact, they are not properly interpreted for lack of knowledge of our principles. People attribute to demons all that they should ascribe to the Elementary Peoples. A little Gnome was beloved by the celebrated Magdalen of the Cross XCV, Abbess of a Monastery at Cordova in Spain. Their alliance began when she was twelve years of age; and they continued their relationship for the space of thirty years. An ignorant confessor persuaded Magdalen that her lover was a hobgoblin, and compelled her to ask absolution of Pope Paul III. It could not possibly have been a demon, however, for all Europe knew, and Cassiodorus Renius XCVI was kind enough to transmit to posterity, the daily miracles wrought through the intercession of this holy maiden, and which obviously would never have come to pass if her relationship with the Gnome had been as diabolical as the venerable Dictator imagined. This same Doctor, if I mistake not, would impertinently have said that the Sylph who immortalised himself with the youthful Gertrude XCVII, nun of the Monastery of Nazareth in the diocese of Cologne, was some devil or other."
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"And so he was, no doubt," I said.
"Ah, my Son," pursued the Comte mirthfully, "If that were the case the Devil is not the least unfortunate if he has power to carry on an intrigue with a girl of thirteen, and to write her such billets doux as were found in her casket. Rest assured, my child, that. the Devil, in the region of death, has sadder employment and that more in keeping with the hatred which the God of Purity bears him; but thus do people wilfully close their eves to the truth. We find, for instance, in Titus Livy, that Romulus XCVIII was the son of Mars. The sceptics say that this is a fable, the theologians that he was the son of an incubus devil, the
wags that Mademoiselle Sylvia had lost her gloves and sought to cover her confusion by saying that a god had stolen them from her."
"Now we who are acquainted with Nature, and whom God has called out of darkness into His wonderful Light, know that this so-called Mars was a Salamander in whose sight the young Sylvia found favour, and who made her the mother of the great Romulus, that hero who, after having founded his superb city, was carried away by his father in a fiery chariot as Zoroaster was by Oromasis XCIX. Another Salamander was the father of Servius Tullius C. Titus Livy, deceived by c the resemblance, says that he was the God of Fire. And the ignorant have passed the same judgment upon him as upon the father of Romulus. The renowned Hercule CI
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and the invincible Alexander CII were sons of the greatest of the Sylphs CIII. Not knowing this, the historians said that Jupiter was their father. They spoke the truth for, as you have learned, these Sylphs, Nymphs and Salamanders set themselves up for divinities. The historians, believing them to be so, called all those who were born of them 'Children of the Gods.'"
"Such was the divine Plato CIV, the most divine Apollonius of Tyana, Hercules, Achilles, Sarpedon, the pious Æneas, and the celebrated Melchizedek. For do you know who the father of Melchizedek was?"
"No, indeed," said I, "St. Paul himself did not know."
"Rather say that he did not tell," returned the Comte, "and that he was not permitted to reveal the Cabalistic Mysteries. He well knew that Melchizedek's father was a Sylph, and that the King of Salem was conceived in the Ark by the wife of Shem. That Pontiff's method of sacrificing was the same as that which his cousin Egeria taught King Numa, as well as the worship of a Supreme Deity without image or statue *, for which reason the Romans, becoming idolaters at a later period, burned the Holy Books of Numa which Egeria had dictated. The first God of the Romans was the true God, their sacrifice a true sacrifice. They offered up bread and wine to the Supreme Ruler of the Universe: but all that became perverted
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in course of time. In acknowledgment of this first worship, however, God gave the Empire of the World to this city which had owned His supremacy. The same sacrifice which Melchizedek------"
"Sir," I interposed, "Pray let us drop Melchizedek, CV the Sylph that begat him, his cousin Egeria, and the sacrifice of bread and wine. These proofs seem to be rather remote. I should be greatly obliged if you would tell me some more recent news. For when someone asked a certain Doctor what had become of the companions of that species of Satyr which appeared to St. Antony and which you call a Sylph, I heard him say that all these folk are dead nowadays. So it may be that the Elementary Peoples have perished CVI since you own they are mortal and we hear no tidings of them."
"I pray God," exclaimed the Comte with emotion, "I pray God, who is ignorant of nothing, to be pleased to ignore that ignoramus who decides so presumptously that of which he is ignorant. May God confound him and all his tribe! Where has he learned that the Elements are abandoned and that all those wonderful Peoples are annihilated? If he would take the trouble to read history a little, and not ascribe to the Devil, as the old wives do, everything which goes beyond the bounds of the chimerical theory which has been con-structed about Nature, he would find in all ages and in all places proofs of what I have told you."
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"What would your Doctor say to this authentic CVII account of a recent occurrence in Spain? A beautiful Sylphid was beloved by a Spaniard, lived with him for three years, presented him with three fine children and" then died. Shall one say that she was a devil? A clever answer that! According to what Natural Philosophy can the Devil organise for himself a woman's body, conceive, bear children and suckle them? What proof is there in Scripture of the extravagant power which your theologians are forced in this instance to accord the Devil? And with what probable reason can their feeble Natural Philosophy supply them? The Jesuit Delrio in good faith naïvely recounts several of these adventures, and without taking the trouble to give physical explanations, extricates himself by saying that those Sylphids were demons. How tirue it is that your greatest doctors very often know no more than silly women!"
"How true it is that God loves to withdraw into His cloud-enveloped throne, and deepening the darkness which encompasses His Most Awful Majesty, He dwells in an inaccessible Light, and reveals His Truths only to the humble in heart. Learn to be humble, my Son, if you would penetrate that sacred night which environs Truth. Learn from the Sages to concede the devils no power in Nature since the fatal stone has shut them up in the depths of the abyss. Learn of the Philosophers to seek always for natural
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causes in all extraordinary events; and when natural causes are lacking have recourse to God and to His holy Angels, and never to evil spirits who can no longer do aught but suffer, else you would often be guilty of unintentional blasphemy and would ascribe to the Devil the honour of the most wonderful works of Nature."
"If you should be told, for example, that the divine Apollonius of Tyana CVIII was immaculately conceived, and that one of the noblest Salamanders descended to immortalise himself with his mother, you would.call that Salamander a demon and you would give the Devil, the glory of fathering one of the greatest men who ever sprang from our Philosophic marriages."
"But, Sir," I remarked, "this same Apollonius is reputed amongst us to be a great sorcerer, and they have nothing better to say of him."
"Behold," exclaimed the Comte, "one of the most wonderful effects of ignorance and bad education! Because one hears one's nurse tell stories about sorcerers, every extraordinary occurrence can have only the Devil for author. The greatest doctors may strive in vain, they are not believed unless they echo the nurses. Apollonius was not born of man; he understood the language of birds; he was seen on the same day in different parts of the world. He vanished in the presence of the Emperor Domitian who wished to do him harm; he raised a girl from the dead by means of Onomancy. He announced at Ephesus, in
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an assembly gathered from all parts of Asia, that at that very hour they were killing the tyrant at Rome. A judgment of this man is the point at issue. The nurses say that he was a sorcerer. St. Jerome and St. Justin Martyr say that he was merely a Philosopher. CIX Jerome, Justin and our Cabalists are to be adjudged visionaries, and silly women are to carry the day. Ah! Let the ignorant perish in their ignorance, but do you, my child, save yourself from shipwreck."
"When you read that the celebrated Merlin was immaculately conceived by a nun, daughter of a king of Great Britain, and that he foretold the future more clearly than Tyresias CX, do not say with the masses that he was the son of an incubus devil, because there never have been any; nor that he prophesied through the assistance of devils, since according to the Holy Cabala devil is the most ignorant of all beings. Rather say with the Sages that the English Princess was consoled in her retirement by a Sylph who took pity on her, that he diverted her with his attentions, that he knew how to please her, and that Merlin CXI, their son, was brought up by the Sylph in all knowledge, and learned from him to perform the many wonders which English history relates of him."
"No longer cast aspersion upon the Comtes de Cleves by saying that the Devil is their father, and have a better opinion of the Sylph who, so the story goes, came to Cleves in a miraculous boat drawn by
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a swan harnessed with a silver chain. After having several children by the heiress of Cleves, this Sylph re-embarked on his aerial boat one day at high noon, in full view of everyone. What has he done to your doctors that constrains them to pronounce him a devil?"
"Have you so little regard for the honour of the House of Lusignan as to give your Comtes de Poitiers a diabolical genealogy? What will you say of their celebrated mother?"
"I verily believe, Sir," I declared, "that you are about to tell me the fairy tale of Melusina."
"Ah!" he replied, "If you deny the story of Melusina CXII I am inclined to think you prejudiced. But in order to deny it you must burn the books of the great Paracelsus who affirms in five or six different places that nothing is more certain than the fact that this same Melusina was a Nymph. And you must give the lie to your historians who say that since her death or, to speak more accurately, since she disappeared from the sight of her husband, whenever her descendants are threatened with misfortune, or a King of France is to die in some extraordinary way, she never fails to appear in mourning upon the great tower of the Château of Lusignan which she had built. If you persist in maintaining that she was an evil spirit, you will pick a quarrel with all those who are descended from this Nymph, or who are related to her house."
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"Do you think, Sir," said I, "that these noblemen prefer to trace their origin to the Sylphs?"
"They would undoubtedly prefer to do so," he rejoined, "if they knew that which I am now teaching
you, and they would consider these extraordinary births CXIII a great honour. If they had any Cabalistic Light they would know that such births are more conformable with the method whereby God, in the beginning, intended mankind to multiply. Children CXIV born in this way are happier, more valiant, wiser, more renowned and more blest of God. Is it not more glorious for these illustrious men to be descended from beings so perfect, wise and powerful than from some foul hobgoblin or infamous Asmodeus?"
"Sir," said I, "our theologians are far from saying that the Devil is the father of all those men who are born without one's knowing who is responsible for them. They recognise the fact that the Devil is a spirit and therefore cannot engender."
"Gregory of Nice," replied the Comte, "does not say that, for he holds that demons multiply among A themselves as men do."
"We are not of his opinion," I answered, "but it happens, our doctors say, that------"
"Ah!" the Comte interrupted, "do not tell me what they say or you will be talking very obscene and indecent foolishness as they do. What abominable evasion they have been guilty of! The way in which
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they have all, with one accord, embraced this revolting idea is amazing. And what pleasure they have taken in posting hobgoblins in ambush to take advantage of the unoccupied lower nature of the recluse, and so hasten into the world those miraculous men whose illustrious memory they blacken by so base an origin. Do they call this philosophising? Is it worthy of God to say that He has such complaisance for the Devil as to countenance these abominations, granting them the grace of fecundity which He has denied to great Saints, and rewarding such obscenity by creating for these embryos of iniquity, souls more heroic than for those formed in the chastity of legitimate marriage?"
"If I dared to break in upon your declamation, Sir," said I, "I would own, in order to pacify you, that it were .greatly to be desired that our doctors had hit upon some solution less offensive to such pure ears as yours. Indeed, they have been obliged altogether to deny the facts upon which the question is founded."
"A rare expedient! " he rejoined. "How is it possible to deny manifest truths? Put yourself in the place of an ermine-furred theologian and suppose the blessed Danhuzerus comes to you as the Oracle of his religion------''
At this point a lackey came to say that a certain young nobleman had come to visit me.
"I do not care to have him see me" remarked the
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"I ask your pardon, Sir," said I, "but as you can readily judge from this nobleman's name, I cannot say that I am not at home to anyone; therefore may I trouble you to go into this closet?"
"It is not worth while," said he, "I am about to make myself invisible."
"Ah! Sir," I exclaimed. "A truce to deviltry, I beg
of you, I am not prepared to jest about it."
"What ignorance," said the Comte,
smiling and shrugging his shoulders,
"not to know that to become invisible
one has only to place before
oneself the opposite of the
light! " He went into my
closet and the young
at almost the
same moment. I now
ask his pardon for
not speaking to
him of my
115:LXXVIII p. 116 SATAN CABALISTICALLY DEFINED.--St. Paul states that there is "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." 1 If this be true, Satan, the so-called force of evil, can be but a manifestation of God. "The Hebrew satan is derived from the same root as séteh, 'turn away,' (Prov. iv., 15), it implies the notion of turning and moving away from a thing; "hence the meaning of adversary, opposer."According to our Sages the evil inclination, the adversary (satan) and the angel are undoubtedly identical, and the adversary being called 'angel,' because he is among the sons of God. "It has thus been shown to you that one and the same thing is designated by these three different terms, and that actions ascribed to these three are in reality the actions of one and the same agent." 2 In the Book of Genesis this agent is personified as "the serpent more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made," in which allegory interpreted * Satan, the serpent, is seen to be the Serpent Fire or Solar Force misgoverned by the human mind, turning away from and operating in opposition to the Law of Nature, God, which wills obedience from all things.
115:1 Ephesians, iv., 6;
115:2 RABBI MOSES MAIMONIDES, "GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED." EXTRACTS PART III., CHAPTER XX71., PAGES 298-299. 2ND EDITION OF TRANSLATION BY M. FRIEDLANDER, PH.D.
115:* PAGE 126.
117:LXXIX PLATO ON THE PEOPLE OF THE ELEMENTS.--"There are also many other animals and men upon it (the earth), some dwelling in mid-earth, others about the air, as we do about the sea, and others in islands which the air flows round, and which are near the continent: and in one word, what water and the sea are to us for our necessities, the air is to them; and what air is to us, that ether is to them. But their seasons are of such a temperament that they are free from disease, and live for a much longer time than those here, and surpass us in sight, hearing, and smelling, and everything of this kind, as much as air excels water, and ether air, in purity." SOCRATES SPEAKING. PLATO, THE PHAEDO." PAGE 195, EVERYMAN EDITION.
SYLPHS OF CARDAN. NOTE D, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
119:LXXX p. 120 251 A.D. ST. ANTONY, 356 A.D., the founder of Christian monasticism, born at Coma in Egypt.
Incident to which the Comte refers.
ST. ANTONY AND THE ELEMENTARY BEING.--
"Antony was amazed, and thinking over what he had seen went on his way. Before long in a small rocky valley shut in on all sides he sees a mannikin with hooked snout, horned forehead, and extremities like goats' feet. When he saw this, Antony like a good soldier seized the shield of faith and the helmet of hope: the creature none the less began to offer him the fruit of the palm-trees to support him on his journey and as it were pledges of peace. Antony perceiving this stopped and asked who he was. The answer he received from him was this: I am a mortal being and one of those inhabitants of the desert whom the Gentiles deluded by various forms of error worship under the names of Fauns, Satyrs, and Incubi. I am sent to represent my tribe. We pray you in our behalf to entreat the favour of your Lord and ours, who, we have learnt, came once to save the world, and 'whose sound has gone forth into all the earth.' As he uttered such words as these, the aged traveller's cheeks streamed with tears, the marks of his deep feeling, which he shed in the fulness of his joy. He rejoiced over the Glory of Christ and the destruction of Satan, and marvelling all the while that he could understand the Satyr's language, p. 122 and striking the ground with his staff, he said, 'Woe to thee, Alexandria, who instead of God worshippest monsters! Woe to thee, harlot city, into which have flowed together the demons of the whole world! What will you say now? Beasts speak of Christ, and you instead of God worship monsters,' He had not finished speaking when, as if on wings, the wild creature fled away. Let no one scruple to believe this incident; its truth is supported by what took place when Constantine was on the throne, a matter of which the whole world was witness. For a man of that kind was brought alive to Alexandria and shewn as a wonderful sight to the people. Afterwards his lifeless body, to prevent its decay through the summer heat, was preserved in salt and brought to Antioch that the Emperor might see it." ST. JEROME'S LIFE OF PAULUS THE FIRST HERMIT, CHAPTER VIII. TRANSLATED BY THE HON. W. H. FREEMANTLE, M.A.
Incident to which the Abbé refers.
TEMPTATION OF ST. ANTONY.--"But the devil, who hates and envies what is good, could not endure to see such a resolution in a youth, but endeavoured to carry out against him what he had been wont to effect against others. In a word he raised in his mind a great dust of debate, wishing to debar him from his settled purpose. But when the enemy saw himself to be too weak for Antony's determination, and that he rather was conquered by the other's firmness, overthrown p. 124 by his great faith and falling through his constant prayers, then at length putting his trust in the weapons * which are 'in the navel of his belly,' and boasting in them--for they are his first snare for the young--he attacked the young man, disturbing him by night and harassing him by day, so that even the onlookers saw the struggle which was going on between them. And the devil, uuhappy wight, one night even took upon him the shape of a woman and imitated all her acts simply to beguile Antony. But he, his mind filled with Christ and the nobility inspired by Him, and considering the spirituality of the soul, quenched the coal of the other's deceit."
ATHANASIUS' "LIFE OF ANTONY," CHAPTER V.
121:* COMPARE BEHEMOTH AND LEVIATHAN. NOTE FF, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
123:LXXXII "DIVORCE should warn the age of some fundamental error in the marriage state." MARY BAKER EDDY.
125:* Song of Solomon, Chapter vii:, verse 8.
The curse of the Lord upon the serpent, "upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:" makes reference to the fact that, during a certain period of human evolution, man shall remain in ignorance of the Law governing the serpent (Solar Force) which shall manifest in man's lower or earthly vehicles misgoverned by the human mind.
"And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, p. 128 and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." During the above mentioned cycle of evolution, in his ignorance of the Law governing the Serpent Fire, man shall continually direct it downward or bruise its head, while the Serpent Fire, thus misdirected, shall bruise man's heel, heel being a euphemism for that part of man nearest the earth, that is to say, the body, lower emotions and mortal mind.
"And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: "Here the tree of life symbolises the upward play of the Solar Force for the creation of the deathless or Solar body. Hence the meaning is lest man should learn the Law governing Solar Force and, directing it upward, become immortal.
"So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life." Various interpretations of this passage . are possible. Cosmically speaking, the garden of Eden symbolises those realms -of higher spiritual attainment, at the gates of which, from the time of man's descent into the lower cycles of evolution, God placed Heavenly Beings charged with the duty of preventing that nature in man correspondent to their own from receiving stimulation during man's progress through p. 130 the lower spheres of knowledge. The Muhammedans rightly hold that man can only be born again in Spirit through the aid of Heavenly Powers typified by the Angel Gabriel, † who is said by them to connect the heart of man with the soul, the lower consciousness with the higher. Then the same,force in Nature which has deterred man from premature spiritual attainment assists him in his upward evolution, the mind having been prepared through man's own effort for a further understanding of God's Mysteries.
125:† "GABRIEL, ONE. OF THE HOLY ANGELS, WHO IS OVER PARADISE AND THE SERPENTS AND THE CHERUBIM." BOOK OF ENOCH, CHAPTER XX., 7.
127:* The Holy Language described by Emmanuel Swedenborg. Note gg, Commentary Continued.
129:LXXXIV MIGHTY AND FAMOUS MEN.--"There were giants in the earth in those, days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown." Genesis vi., 4. Since the Book of Genesis is attributed to Moses, this verse is authority for the Comte's statement.
MOSES AN INITIATE. NOTE HH, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
129:LXXXV BOOK OF THE WARS OF THE LORD. NOTE ii, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
131:LXXXVI p. 132 MARRIAGES OF THE GODS. "We are informed by Proclus in his Mss. commentary on the Parmenides of Plato, that ancient theologists mystically dominated the kindred conjunction and communion of divine causes with each other, Marriage."
131:LXXXVII SACRED FIRE. NOTE JJ, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
131:LXXXVIII NOAH, VESTA AND EGERIA. NOTE KK, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
131:LXXXIX PRINCE DE MIRANDE AND THE CABALA. NOTE LL, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
131:XC NUMA.--When those Higher Intelligences which guide the evolution of mankind have determined upon that fixed ideal or principle which shall hold together in concord the minds of a race for a certain epoch of time, in order that a definite range of experience may p. 134 be gained, they send their Messenger to mankind endowed with the radiance and life-giving powers of the Sun that its divine regenerative force may be poured into the channel determined upon, creating in the minds of men that new ideal which shall give a dynamic impulse to human evolution. Numa, Son of the Sun, was such a Messenger imparting to Roman civilisation that spiritual impulse and initiative which vitalised and guided it until the focus of the current was changed. The decline of the Roman Empire was coincident with the ebb of this current, and with the withdrawal of the Sun Force from the conjunction of planets dominated by Mars under which the Roman civilisation was generated.
When a religion is given to the world, a centre is usually established in which the pure essence of the sacred teachings is preserved intact. For as the human mind evolves in this essence it becomes tinctured so that the original teaching and instruction tend to become disintegrated by the action of human thought. Thus those whom Numa anointed with the Sacred Fire or Everliving Solar Force transmitted this power and knowledge of its mystery to their successors, who maintained their temples of worship as centres for its radiation and the regeneration of the race, until that purpose for which the religion of Numa had been instituted was fulfilled and the Force which had vitalised it was withdrawn.
135:XCI p. 136 JAPHET. NOTE MM, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
135:XCII JABAMIAH.--"Therefore Divine Plato in Cratylus and in Philebus commandeth to reverence the names of God more than the Images or statues of the gods: for there is a more express Image and power of God, reserved in the faculty of the mind, especially if it be inspired from above, than in the works of mens hands; Therefore sacred words have not their power in Magi-call operations, from themselves, as they are words, but from the occult Divine powers working by them in the minds of those who by faith adhere to them; by which words the secret power of God as it were through Conduite pipes, is transmitted into them, who have ears purged by faith, and by most pure conversation and invocation of the divine names are made the habitation of God, and capable of these divine influences; whosoever therefore useth rightly these words or names of God with that purity of mind, in that manner and order, as they were delivered, shall both obtain and do many wonderfull things."
THREE BOOKS OF OCCULT PHILOSOPHY, WRITTEN BY HENRY CORNELIUS AGRIPPA OF NETTESHEIM, COUNSELLER TO CHARLES THE FIFTH, EMPEROR OF GERMANY: AND JUDGE OF THE PREROGATIVE COURT. TRANSLATED OUT OF THE LATIN INTO THE ENGLISH TONGUE, BY J. F. LONDON 1651. BOOK III., CHAPTER xi. OF THE DIVINE NAMES, AND THEIR POWER AND VERTUE.
137:XCIII p. 138 THE GREEK MYTH.--"The Goddess Night, too, in Orpheus, advises Jupiter to make use of honey as an artifice. For she says to him--
[paragraph continues] This, therefore, takes place, and Saturn being bound," is maltreated in the same manner as Noah; "the theologist obscurely signifying by this, that divine natures become through pleasure bound, and drawn down into the realms of generation." PORPHYRY, TREATISE ON THE HOMERIC CAVE OF THE NYMPHS. § 7.
137:XCIV NYMPH OF STAUFFENBERG. NOTE NN, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
139:XCV p. 140 MAGDALEN OF THE CROSS. NOTE OO, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
139:XCVI CASSIODORUS RENIUS. NOTE PP, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
139:XCVII GERTRUDE, NUN OF THE MONASTERY OF NAZARETH. NOTE QQ, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
141:XCVIII p. 142 ROMULUS. NOTE RR, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
141:XCIX OROMASIS.--Plutarch, in his treatise on Isis and Osiris, says that it was the opinion of the most ancient Sages that "Oromasis was born of the purest light--and being thrice increased withdrew from the Sun to as great a distance as there is from the Sun to the earth, and adorned the heaven with planets and stars, among which he established one as guardian and guide to the others, the Dog Star." ISIS AND OSIRIS, CHAPTER 47.
This statement identifies Oromasis with Osiris (page 88), and with the God of the Hebrew, Christian, and Muhammedan religions (page 26).
141:C SERVIUS TULLIUS. NOTE SS, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
141:CI HERCULES. NOTE TT, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
143:* Roman worship. Note vv, Commentary Continued.
143:CII p. 144 356 B.C. ALEXANDER THE GREAT, 323 B.C., was the reputed son of Philip, King of Macedonia. In reality he was the son of an Egyptian high priest and Initiate, and of Philip's wife Olympias. From the age of fifteen he was for three years the pupil of Aristotle who moulded his genius for the work for which it had incarnated, namely, that initial fusing of civilisations culminating in the Roman Empire under Julius Cæsar, whereby Greek and Roman letters leavened the then known world and made a medium for the transmission of the Christ and Muhammed messages. The divine authority under which the Adept Alexander the Great accomplished what was virtually the conquest of the then known world in less than fifteen years, is explicitly acknowledged in the Koran Sura i8. "They will ask thee of Dhoulkarnain (Alexander the Great), SAY: I will recite to you an account of him. We stablished his power upon the earth; and made for him a way to everything. And a route he followed.' The Angel Gabriel speaking.
143:CIII GREATEST OF THE SYLPHS.--The word Sylph] I4at times used'in these Discourses with the meaning, of Master or Spiritual Teacher. MASTER DEFINED. NOTE UU, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
143:CIV PLATO, A SON OF THESUN.--Elearchus the Sophist, Amaxilides in the second book of his Philosophy, and Plato's nephew Speusippus, his sister's son, who p. 146 succeeded him in the conduct of his academy, affirm that Plato's mother Periione was beloved by Apollo, the Sun God, who made her the mother of Plato, who was therefore a Son of the Sun.
145:CV p. 146 MELCHIZEDEK AND SHEM.--Philo speaks of Melchizedek as "the logos, the priest whose inheritance is the true God." * And other Hebrew authorities state that the Rabbis identify Melchizedek with Shem, and say that Noah having been crippled by the lion † while in the Ark, Shem officiated as priest at the sacrifice of thanksgiving offered after the subsidence of the flood. They also state that Noah in blessing his two sons declared that the Shekinah (Paraclete) was to to dwell only in the tents of Shem. Melchizedek and Shem are known as Sovereign Directors of this Divine or Super Solar Force.
145:* De Allegoriis Legum, iii., 26.
145:† Symbolic of the lower nature and passions.
145:CVI RECENT TIDINGS OF THE ELEMENTARY PEOPLES? NOTE WW, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
147:CVII THE MAN WHO THINKS, WILLS TO KNOW.--The Abbe recounts these stories as a means of pointing out the folly of accepting and affirming without reflectior the opinion of others.
Man sinks into oblivion and indifference of though and allows himself to be governed by the minds am opinions of others.
It has therefore been possible to keep him in ignorance of his true estate and to retard his spiritual progres for centuries.
The man who does not think cannot know, and he becomes the slave and property of other minds.
The man who thinks, wills to know, and tends to become the expression of the God within.
149:CVIII p. 150 BIRTH OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA, 97 A.D.--"Apollonius was born in Tyana, a town founded by Greeks in Cappodocia. He was called Apollonius from his father. Whilst his mother was with child of him, Proteus the Egyptian god appeared to her, who, as Homer writes, has the power of assuming such a variety of shapes. The woman without being much alarmed, asked him what she should bring forth? to which he replied, 'Thou shalt bring forth me.' The natives of the place affirm, that at the instant of her delivery, a thunderbolt which seemed ready to fall on the ground, rose aloft, and suddenly disappeared. By this the Gods prefigured, I think, the splendor of the child, his superiority over earthly beings, his intercourse with them, and what he was to do when arrived to manhood. All the people of the country say that Apollonius was the son of Jupiter." EXTRACTS FROM CHAPTERS IV., V. AND VI. OF PHILOSTRATUS’ "LIFE OF APOLLONIUS OF TYANA." TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK BY THE REV. EDWARD BERWICK.
ST. JEROME ON APOLLONIUS OF TYANA.--"Apollonius too was a traveller--the one I mean who is called the sorcerer by' ordinary people and the philosopher by such as follow Pythagoras. Everywhere he found something to learn, and as he was always going to new places, he became constantly wiser and better."
EXTRACTS FROM ST. JEROME'S LETTER TO PAULINUS ON THE STUDY OF SCRIPTURE. §1.
151:CIX JUSTIN MARTYR ON APOLLONIUS OF TYANA.--HOW is it that the talismans of Apollonius have power over certain parts of creation? For, as we see, they arrest the fury of the waves and the violence of the winds and the attacks of wild beasts. And while the miracles wrought by our Lord are preserved by tradition alone, those of Apollonius are most numerous and manifested to us in the very moment of their occurence: why, then, should they not lead astray all beholders? QUESTION xxiv.
Apollonius was a man well skilled in the powers of Nature and the mutual attra&ions and repulsions inherent in them, and by virtue of this skill produced the effects he did. EXTRACT FROM ANSWER xxiv. TRANSLATED FROM THE GREEK, JUSTIN MARTYRIS OPERA, 1593, PAGE 316.
151:CX TYRESIAS. NOTE XX, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
151:CXI MERLIN was born during the fifth century of the present era at the town now called Caermarthen, Wales, and was a professed Christian. When King Vortigern asked Merlin's mother, daughter of King Demetius, to tell him the name of her son's father, she answered " that she never had the society of any one mortal or human, only a spirit assuming the shape of a beautiful young man, had many times appeared unto her, p. 154 seeming to court her with no common affection, but when any of her fellow-virgins came in, he would suddenly disappear and vanish, by whose many and urgent importunities, being at last overcome, I yielded, saith she, to his pleasure--and I was delivered of this soil (now in your presence) whom I caused to be called
Merlin." THE LIFE OF MERLIN, SURNAMED AMBROSIUS; HIS PROPHECIES AND PREDICTIONS INTERPRETED, AND THEIR TRUTH MADE GOOD BY OUR ENGLISH ANNALS. LONDON, 1813. PAGES 52-53.
MERLINS PROPHECY OF THE CONQUEST OF THE AIR AND OF AERIAL AND SUBMARINE WARFARE. NOTE YY, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
MERLINS PROPHECY OF WORLD PEACE. NOTE vii, COMMENTARY CONCLUDED.
153:CXII MELUSINA A NYMPH.--"Let us speak a little of Melusina. The subject should not be treated with shallowness or levity. She was not what theologians suppose, but a Nymph." LIBER DE NYMPHIS, SYLPHIS, PYGMAEIS ET SALAMANDRIS, TRACTATUS IV. TRANSLATED FROM THE LATIN EDITION OF THE WORKS OF PARACELSUS. PUBLISHED AT GENEVA IN 1658. VOL. II., PAGE 396.
155:CXIII p. 156 EXTRAORDINARY BIRTHS, COMPARE THE BIRTH OF JESUS AS RELATED IN THE KORAN. NOTE ZZ, COMMENTARY CONTINUED.
155:CXIV CHILDREN OF THE PHILOSOPHERS.--The Philosophers hold that to engender children is the most sacred and filial duty of man. Both man and woman are taught by them that the aim and aspiration of union is to enter into a conscious relationship with the incoming ego or soul. Their disciples seek so to prepare and govern themselves that they may be worthy to bring a soul manifesting in the loftiest and purest levels of consciousness into incarnation on earth, thereby giving life to a more highly evolved being than it is possible for unthinking minds, impure hearts and unprepared bodies to attract. The Philosopher, being in conscious relationship with the incoming ego, affords it great assistance as it passes through the denser states of matter, and encourages and stimulates it to incarnate or enter the physical body prior to birth: for then for a space of time it cringes from assuming its dense physical vesture since, as it were, it dies to the world from which it came. Through knowledge of Nature's Law and obedience to it the Philosopher has power? to attract frôm the Heavenly World those perfected beings who come as messengers to the race.
Purity of body, mind and soul, and the worship of God through the being beloved, ever bring into life on earth a soul beautified by its own Divine Source. p. 158 And if two people having physical characteristics which are ugly worship God through the being beloved with purity of mind and heart, the law of hereditary physical resemblance will be modified, and their offspring will radiate that which is of the soul.
The child which is product of unpurified, ungoverned and unhallowed passion and desire becomes the vehicle of an ego of like character but more dominant in will, with inclinations equalling the sum of the
Ppassions and desires of the unthinking parents. Such are, in truth, the children of wrath and malediction for whose salvation the Philosophers, through reverent preparation of body, soul and spirit for parenthood, seek to bring into incarnation those Beings who are chosen vessels of the Divine Love and Wisdom.