Sublime Myth Makes Grotesque History


Chapter VIII

No single volume could undertake the full task of establishing the fact of the conversion of allegory, myth and drama into "history," but the case has been presented in outline with enough evidence to render it a substantial claim. The stage is now ready for the introduction of the main evidence to validate the further claim that the events taken for the alleged historical narrative of Old and New Testament literature are not and never were occurrences on the plane of objective reality. The case now proceeds directly to the submission of the testimony which proves that the whole web of Gospel history was woven by ignorant assumption out of the traditional material of the rite and the myth.

It is quite possible that with so much of the evidence destroyed, full and final "proof" of the actual change of meaning can never be presented, or that material will never be found that will pin the offense on the actual culprits or show them in the actual work of making the change. There were no lie-detectors, wall-recorders or hidden cameras available to catch the manipulators at work. The change came first in the minds of the theologians and the people and only later carried out its implications in the alteration of texts and the "correction" of manuscripts. But in the pages ahead so much of the evidence that may be considered as "proof" of the general change on this score will be adduced as the scope of the volume will permit. Again a great quantity is available, and that from rather haphazard reading. A systematic search would uncover whole volumes more. Again much of the data is furnished by Massey and Higgins. It may be claimed that too much reliance is being placed upon the findings of these two delvers into the past, and that their views are prejudiced. We demur to the objection. Both gave their lives to extensive research in the field of ancient religion, both were honest in appraising the value of material and both were to the highest degree sincere in their single aim of finding what was the truth. If they were eventually disposed to a sharply critical view of Christianity, it came directly as the result of what they discovered in the history of that religion. Their hostility was engendered by the force of repellent facts brought to light in their studies, and was not the operation of a merely sectarian prejudice. No more than the present writer did they begin their investigations with a preconceived enmity to Christianity. They probably held no positive enmity against it at any time; they simply wished the world to know the actual truth about it and its history. At any rate they align their judgments and conclusions with the facts and the evidence, and their work must be judged on the basis of its agreement with the data and its competence to meet the demands of exegetical proof, as that of any other scholars. Their testimony is presented here because they saw with clearest vision and described with singular lucidity the pertinent truth in scores of situations in which a clear view has never been had before. A subsidiary aim of this study is to vindicate in the main their important findings in their field. This aim would include also Thomas Taylor in the field of Greek translation and exegesis.

It seems best to begin with what might be generally called circumstantial evidence, and then proceed to more redoubtable testimony. Every item submitted will bear more or less directly upon the case for the non-historicity of the Gospels and their characters.

It is not necessarily true that the workability of a thesis proves its correctness. But if the thesis for the historicity of Jesus piles up great difficulties and obstacles in the way of its acceptance, and that for the non-historicity clears them away, it is a major presumptive evidence that the successful and consistently workable thesis is the correct one. This broad observation will serve to introduce a series of depositions from our scholar Gerald Massey, which, at the risk of some prolixity, it seems eminently desirable to array here. They are of themselves matter of intrinsic value and bear down on our case with most pointed appositeness. Almost alone of Egyptologists this student discerned the chief elements in the great significance of Egypt’s lore of wisdom, and therefore had at his service a key by which he could penetrate more deeply into the heart of the Egyptian, Greek and Hebrew systems of religion. His pronouncements and judgments are deemed of especial value because they publish vital truths missed by all the other investigators of the literature of old.

Massey portrays the Egyptian origin and background of the Christian theology and finds it non-historical (The Natural Genesis, I, p. 479):

"Egypt labored at the portrait [of the Christ] for thousands of years before the Greeks added their finishing touches to the type of the ever-youthful solar god. It was Egypt that first made the statue live with her own life and humanized her ideal of the divine. Here was the legend of supreme pity and self-sacrifice so often told of the canonical Christ. She related how the god did leave the courts of heaven and come down as a little child, the infant Horus, born of the Virgin, through whom he took flesh, or descended into matter, ‘crossed the earth as a substitute’ (Ritual, Ch. xlviii), descended into Hades as vivifier of the dead, their vicarious justifier and redeemer, the first fruits and leader of the resurrection into eternal life. The Christian legends were first related of Horus or Osiris, who was the embodiment of divine goodness, wisdom, truth and purity; who personated ideal perfection in each sphere of manifestation and every phase of power. This was the greatest hero that ever lived in the mind of man--not in the flesh--to influence with transforming force; the only hero to whom the miracles were natural because he was not human.

"The so-called miracles of Jesus were not only impossible on human grounds; they are historically impossible because they were pre-extant as mythical representations which were made on grounds that were entirely non-human, in the drama of the Mysteries that was as non-historical as the Christmas pantomime. The miracles ascribed to Jesus on earth had been previously assigned to Iusa, the divine healer, who was non-historical in the pre-Christian religion. Horus, whose other name is Jesus, is the performer of ‘miracles’ which are repeated in the Gospels, and which were first performed as mysteries in the divine nether world. But if Horus or Iusa be made human on earth, as a Jew in Judea, we are suddenly hemmed in by the miraculous at the center of a maze with nothing antecedent for a clue; no path that leads to the heart of the mystery and no visible means of exit therefrom. With the introduction of the human personage on mundane ground, the mythical inevitably becomes the miraculous; you cannot have history without it; thus the history was founded on the miracles, which were perversions of the mythology that was provably pre-extant."

This is a clear and succinct picture of the truth on the point--except, as has been indicated in our previous work, The Lost Light, that Massey erred in the matter of the mislocation of the nether world, or underworld, of mythology, the Amenta of Egyptian texts. He thought that the Christians erred in mistaking the "earth" of Amenta for this mundane realm and in transplanting the spiritual Christos from this celestial "earth" to the real earth, thereby euhemerizing and falsely historicizing him. In aiming to correct their arrant blunder, he keeps the Christos entirely away from earth, and applies the Christly legend to the "other earth" of Amenta, located somewhere in spiritual spheres. Thus, while Massey retains the Christos as a spiritual entity only, or an element of consciousness, which is assuredly his true character, he in turn errs by keeping him away from earth and the life of man in his supposititious "other earth" of Amenta. The Christos is a real entity and he is spiritual in nature, but he is on earth and in man, yet neither a man on earth (the Christian mistake), nor a spirit in any other earth than this only one we know (Massey’s error). The Lost Light has at great length established the truth that Amenta, the underworld of mythology, Hades, is this good earth, where the Christos, a principle and not a man, but at the same time the god in man, performs all the miracles that, as Massey truly represents, were typical allegories in the myth, but were made into miracles in the Gospels when ignorance dragged symbology over into "history." To sum up, the Christians said the Christ was a man on earth in history. Massey says that the Christ was not a man at all, nor was he on earth or in history. He was, instead, the Christ in man, who after death descended into the gloomy Amenta as a shade, and there worked the miracles of healing and implemented the judgment and the resurrection. Massey’s mistake was in saying he was not on earth. He was on earth, operating during the life, not after the death, of men, only not as a man, but as a principle of righteousness, in man. The previous work has demonstrated that the ancient theologists called this life "death" (the death of the soul, buried in sense), called mortals "the dead," and by their name Amenta they designated no other region than this nether world which we know as earth. The reorientation of the meanings of these three or four names is pretty nearly the whole clue to the proper interpretation of the scriptures of antiquity. It will be necessary to keep this correction in mind in reading further cullings from Massey’s works. It vitiates his main conclusions, but does not destroy the value of his findings with regard to the conversion of myth into history.

A great enlightenment floods the mind from the vast truth couched in the following brief passage from his great work, Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World (p. 77):

"When it is conclusively proved that the Christian miracles are nothing more than the pagan mode of symbolical representation literalized, there is no longer any question of contravening, or breaking, or even challenging any well-known laws of nature. The discussion as to the probability or possibility of miracle on the old grounds of belief and doubt it closed forever."

This indeed is a welcome closure of debate, for few things have so sorely perplexed the reasoning mind and taxed the religious faith of mankind as the alleged "miracles" of Jesus in the Gospels. Whatever militates to break man’s utter faith in and reliance upon the invariability of natural law, by so much disintegrates his position of stability in the world, undermines his bases of constancy in conduct and corrodes his entire ground of moral conscience. It tends to reduce his cosmos to a chaos, if the laws of life can be abrogated at any time by a fiat of arbitrary whimsicality, however "good." The philosopher David Hume has written a treatise that lays forever the ghost of "miracles" with impregnable logic: if an event occurs it does so by and through the operation of law and not in contravention of it. There can be no such thing as a "miracle" of the kind believed in by common uncritical religious faith."

The mind of man will be doubly safeguarded against invasion from the side of irrationalism if Massey’s golden theological discovery is correct,--that the miracles are only literalized spiritual myths, and never objectively happened. It is the natural law that works no end of miracles, that is, things to make man wonder, such as the rain, the snow, the dew, fire, water, green leaf, bud, flower, seed, death and life from death ever renewed. The Christian introduction of the cult of the "supernatural" into current untutored thought has come closer to unsettling the normal sanity of the world mind and making gullible fools out of millions than any other influence known to history. What the "miracles"--before they were historicized--meant to ancient sapiency was just the truly wonder-working power of the Christ in man to transfigure mortal life and the very bodies of mortals on earth with divine health and beauty. And this knowledge and this conception is worth infinitely more than the physical "healing" by a touch from outside having nothing to do with the beneficiary’s own deserts or his own inner divinity, and therefore meaningless. The "healing" of five thousand men and women on any hillside or lakeside in Palestine two thousand years ago is an event of no significance compared with the universal understanding of the immanent Christ’s power to heal all men by his divine ferment. Religion badly needs a totally new orientation to this reputed matter of "healing." If people can for long periods violate the laws of life, particularly those connected with food and diet, become gravely ill and then run to a healer or a healing philosophy and be "made whole" by alleged divine power without reference to their demerit or their deserts under the law of life and in contravention of evolutionary justice, chaos will be introduced into the counsels of creation. In fact, the popular religious notions that have made "healing" almost the prime credential of the authenticity of any religious movement, is itself almost wholly grounded on a contempt for natural law. This has gone so far in modern "spiritual" cultism that one strong group has flaunted as one of its banners the outright shibboleth that "the laws of nature are the vaporings of mortal mind." It must basically be assumed that if "spiritual law" in some measure transcends natural law, it does so by fulfilling and consummating it, not by negating it. It is unquestionable that spiritual law bends natural forces to its purposes, as man uses a machine or soul uses body; but it does not disregard the natural energies which it uses any more than the user can disregard the laws of his machine or his body. In this field the vogue of "miracles" has wrought havoc with general sanity. Massey’s fine discernment that saw first and clearly in modern times that the "miracles" of "Jesus" were Egyptian mythical rescripts falsely turned into "history," at one stroke robs the Gospel "wonders" of their fictitious value, while restoring to us their real value as dramatic mysteries, and his work in this item puts us under vast obligation to him and to the integrity of his mind and motive. It is this obligation that urges the inclusion of so much of his material in this work.

He writes that no Egyptologist has ever dreamed that the Ritual--the Book of the Dead--still exists in Christian formulations, under the disguise of both the Gnostic and the canonical Gospels, or that it was the fountain-head of all the books of wisdom claimed to be divine. But no initiate in the Osirian Mysteries could possibly have rested his hope of salvation "on the Galilean line of glory," which made individual in one "man" what was spiritually attainable by all. Egypt possessed the knowledge that a kingly power of consciousness had become a voluntary immolation on the altar of sense and fleshly body, in a passion of divinest pity became incarnate, put itself "under the law" of sin and "death" for the salvation of the world; but this knowledge did not run out in futile nonsense in the belief that God had manifested once for all as a historic personality. The same legend of divine sons sacrificing their heavenly birthright for humankind was repeated in many lands with a change of name for the empyreal sufferer, but none of those initiated in the esoteric wisdom ever looked upon Iusa, or Horus, Jesus, Tammuz, Krishna, Buddha, Witoba, Marduk, Mithra, Sabazius, Adonis or any other of the many Saviors as historical in personality, "for the simple reason that they had been more truly taught." (Massey.)

The first "gospel" of the Christians "began with a collection of Sayings of Jesus, fatuously supposed to have been a historical teacher of that name," Massey avers. In some "New Sayings of Jesus" found at Oxyrhynchus, utterances of "Jesus" paralleling those found in the Ritual of remote Egyptian times are to be read.

In a lecture entitled The Logia of the Lord, or Prehistoric Sayings Ascribed to Jesus the Christ, Massey sets forth many vital data. Never, he says, were mortals more perplexed, bewildered and taken aback than were the Christians of the second, third and fourth centuries, who had started their own new beginning, warranted to be solely historic, and then found that an apparition of their faith was following them one way and meeting them in another. This "double" of their faith was obviously not founded on their alleged facts which stood as the base of their original religion, but were ages earlier in the world. It was a shadow that threatened to steal away the body of their substance, mocking them with its factual unreality--a hollow ghost of the same truths they had embraced as a solid possession. It was horrible, devilish. Nothing but the work of the devil could explain the haunting phantom. The Gnostic Ante-Christ had to be made their Anti-Christ. The pre-Christian Gnostics and some of the primitive Christian sects had a Christ who was not based on the person of the living Jesus! One and all had as their divine figure the mystical Christ of the Gnosis and the mythical Messiah, the Ever-Coming One, the type of divine selfhood, manifesting collectively and spiritually in the evolution of the race. Historic Christianity can furnish no explanation why the "biography" of its personal founder should have been held back for several centuries (and strangely the same nearly two centuries elapsed before the books on Buddha’s life were circulated); why the facts of its own origin should have been kept (and still are kept) in obscurity; why there should have been no authorized record made known earlier. The conversion of the myths and the Docetic (mystical) doctrines of the Gnosis into human history will alone account for these facts. The singular thing is, points out Massey, that the earliest Gospels are the farthest removed from the supposed human history! That came last and, he affirms, only when the spiritual Christ of the Gnosis had been rendered concrete in the density of Christian miscalculation! Christianity began as Gnosticism, and continued by means of a conversion and perversion that were opposed in vain by Paul. The Mysteries of Gnosticism were perpetuated as Christian, but with a difference, a complete change of character and identity, as interpretation shifted from the mystical to the historical plane. The first Christians based their cult system on secret doctrines whose inner sense was only explained to Initiates during a long course of discipline and study. (Mosheim and other historians testify abundantly to the existence of the Greater and the Lesser Mysteries in the primitive Christian Church.) These secret teachings were never to be divulged or promulgated, and they were not publicized until the ignorant belief in historical Christianity had taken permanent root. We are told how it was held by some that the Apocrypha might only be read by those who were "perfected" in the deeper Mysteries, and that these writings were reserved exclusively for Christian adepts. It must be obvious that the doctrine or knowledge that was forced to be kept so sacredly secret could have had no reference to personal human history that was broadcast to all, or to the teachings of that literal Christianity that boasted so simple an origin. The Greater and even the Lesser Mysteries of Christianity must have dealt with subjects that lay far over in the realm of esoteric truth, having little connection with the outer story in the Gospels. There is bluntly nothing to be esoteric or mysterious about in the direct narrative of Gospel Christianity. If the early Church had its higher Mysteries it is certain that they were of the same general nature as those of pagan Greece and Egypt. Nobody, says Justin Martyr, is permitted to partake of the Eucharist "unless he has accepted as true that which is taught by us," and unless he received the bread and wine as the very flesh and blood of that Jesus who was made flesh. In this we can see the "sarkolatrae" or worshippers of a Christ of the flesh fighting against the spiritual Christ of the Gnostics. There were many sects of so-called Christians and various versions of the nature of the Christ, Kronian or astronomical, mythical and mystical. But the Church of Rome could not escape the evidences that its foundations and ceremonies were drawn from Egypt; the Virgin Mother, the Son, the gods of Egypt were sealed up in the very corner-stone of the Church; the haunting ghost was in the Church itself.

And according to the unquestioned tradition of the Christian Fathers, which has always been accepted by the Church, the primary nucleus of the canonical Gospels was not a life of Jesus at all, but a collection of Logia or Sayings, the Logia Kuriaka, which were written down in Hebrew or Aramaic by one Matthew, as the scribe of the Lord. We have already glanced at the suggested derivation of Matthew from the Egyptian Mattiu, meaning "the word of truth," or "true sayings." Clement of Alexandria, Origen and Irenaeus agree that Matthew’s was the primary Gospel, disputing Eusebius’ story of Mark’s primacy. This tradition rests upon the testimony of Papias, Bishop of Hieropolis and friend of Polycarp. Papias is named with Pantaenus, Clement and Ammonius as one of the ancient interpreters who agreed to accept the Logia as referring to a historical Christ. He was a literalizer of mythology. He believed the Sayings to have been actually spoken by a historical Jesus, written down in Hebrew by a follower named Matthew. He wrote a work entitled Logion Kuriakon, a commentary on the Sayings. Thus the basis of the first Gospel was in no way a biography, record or history of Jesus. It was only the "Sayings of the Lord."

Now there is plenty of evidence to show that these Sayings, the admitted foundations of the canonical Gospels, were not first uttered by a personal founder of Christianity, nor invented afterwards by any of his followers. Many of them were pre-existent, pre-historic and pre-Christian! And if it can be proved that these oracles of God and Logia of the Lord are not original after the year thirty A.D., and that they can be identified as a collection of Egyptian, Hebrew and Gnostic sayings, they would be deprived of any competence to stand as evidence that the Jesus of the Gospels ever lived as a man or teacher. To begin with, says Massey, two of the Sayings assigned by Matthew to Jesus are these: "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth," and "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you." These Sayings had already been uttered by the feminine Logos called Wisdom (Sophia) in the Apocrypha. Wisdom was the Sayer personified long anterior to Christianity. (Let it be noted that the oracular voice in the Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes, or the Preacher, is translated more recently as "the Speaker." This precisely matches the character that is the utterer of truth in the Egyptian Ritual (Book of the Dead), called "the Speaker.") It might indeed with full truth be said, as Massey has just done, that the preacher of the divine words of truth in the world’s arcane scripts of old is simply, in Greek terms, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, that is, wisdom personified as feminine. It is sheer imbecility of mind that would attempt to convert the personification into a living man.

More Gospel passages are shown to have been already in the Egyptian Ritual, in Enoch, in 2 Esdras, in the Haggada of the Jews and other pre-Christian documents.

The nature of the Sayings is acknowledged by Irenaeus when he says:

"According to no one Saying of the heretics is the word of God made flesh."

The Christ, the utterer of the Sermons and Sayings, assuredly is not a person preaching on earth.

The "Sayings" were oral teachings in all the Mysteries ages before they were written down. Several of them are so ancient as to be the common property of widely separated nations. Prescott gives a few Mexican Sayings; one of these, also found in the Talmud and the New Testament, is called the "old proverb." "As the old proverb says--‘whoso regards a woman with curiosity commits adultery with his eyes.’" And the third commandment according to Buddha is: "Commit no adultery; the law is broken by even looking at the wife of another man with lust in the mind." Among the sayings assigned to the Buddha is found the one dealing with the wheat and the tares. Another is the parable of the sower. Buddha likewise told of the hidden treasure which may be laid up securely where a thief can not break in and steal. Similarly the story of the rich young man who was commanded to sell all he had and give to the poor is told by Buddha. It is reported that he also said: "You may remove from their base the snowy mountains, you may exhaust the waters of the ocean, the firmament may fall to earth, but my words in the end will be accomplished." These are samples of scores and hundreds of similarities and identities between Christian Biblical material and passages from many pre-Christian books. No one can make the search and discover these numberless resemblances without forming the conviction that the Bible writings are rescripts, garbled and corrupted, of antecedent wisdom literature. To the student who delves into the study and makes the discoveries for himself, the evidence is startling enough to settle the matter beyond all possibility of mistake. For him the argument is closed.

The Buddha, in making his departure, promises to send the Paraclete, even the spirit of truth which shall lead his followers into all truth. The Gnostic Horus says the same thing in the same character. The sayings of Krishna are frequently identical with those of Buddha and of the Gospel Christ. "I am the letter A," cries the one. "I am the Alpha and the Omega," exclaims the other. "I am the beginning and the end," says Krishna. "I am the Light, I am the Life, I am the Sacrifice." Speaking to his disciples, he affirms that they will dwell in him as he dwells in them.

Buddha has his transfiguration when he ascended the mountain in Ceylon called Pandava or Yellow-white. There the heavens opened and a great light came in full flood around him and the glory of his person shone forth with "double power." He "shone as the brightness of the Sun and Moon," identical with that of Christ; and both these are the same as that of Osiris in his ascent of the Mount of the Moon. The same scene was previously portrayed in the Persian account of the devil tempting Zarathustra and inviting him to curse the Good Belief.

But these several forms of the one character did not originate and do not meet in any human history that was lived in Egypt, India, Persia or Judea. They meet only in one place--the mythos, says Massey, with indisputable truth. The mythos arose from Egypt and there alone can we delve down to the root of the origines. The myths of Christianity and Buddhism had a common origin and branched from the same root, whether in Egypt, as Massey claims it did, or elsewhere, as others may insist.

Pronounced in Greek, the Logia or Sayings are the mythoi of Egypt. They are utterances assigned to the personified Sayers in the mythology, which preceded and accounted for our theology and Christology. They existed before writing and were not allowed to be written. They still bear witness, however mangled and mutilated, against historical Christianity. "Myth" and "mouth" are identical at the root.

In the main, the drama of the Lord’s death and the scenes of the Christian last judgment are represented in the Egyptian great Hall of Justice, where a person is separated from his sins, and those who have sided with Sut against Horus are transformed into goats. (This doubtless means that they are sent back into incarnation for further experience, and life in the body is typed by the sign of the winter solstice, Capricorn, the Goat, occupying the place of the nadir of descent into matter on the symbolic zodiacal chart. To separate the sheep from the goats is naturally to set off those still needing incarnation in Capricorn position and significance from those who, as sheep in Aries (the Ram, the Lamb) at the spring equinox, are by position and significance out of the area of incarnate life, having made the passover of the line separating physical from spiritual existence when they entered Aries.) Massey points it out as notable that of the four Gospels Matthew alone represents this drama of the Egyptian Ritual. In the Ritual every hair is weighed; in the Gospel every hair is numbered. Many chapter titles of the Ritual are "sayings" of the deceased. Horus is the divine Sayer and the souls repeat his sayings. The original Sayings were declared to have been written by Hermes, or Taht, the scribe of the gods, and they constituted the primordial Hermaean or inspired Scriptures, which the Book of the Dead declares were written in Hieroglyphics by the finger of Hermes himself.

The data of Matthew were put in largely with the motive of fulfilling Old Testament "prophecy." But the compiler was doubtless too uninstructed to know that the "prophecies" belonged to astronomical allegory and that they never could or did refer to human history and were not supposed to be fulfilled on the plane of objective event, except in the minds of the ignorant, who could believe that the zodiacal Virgin Mother would bring forth her aeonial child on earth in a Judean stable or cave. Massey writes an impressive sentence when he pens these momentous words: "Those who did know better, whether Jews, Samaritans, Essenes, or Gnostics, entirely repudiated the historical interpretation and did not become Christians." They were in much the same relative case as those more intelligent persons today who repudiate the bald literal interpretations made by such sects as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and just as correct in doing so. "They could no more join the ignorant fanatical Salvation Army in the first century than we can in the nineteenth." The so-called "prophecies" not only supply a raison d’être for the "history" in the Gospels; the events and attendant circumstances themselves are manufactured one after the other from the "prophecies" and sayings, i.e., from the mythos, which was already then of great antiquity. All this was done in the course of the process of literalization of the drama into a human life and its localization in Judea, under the pretext or in the blind belief that the impossible had come to pass. The events of the Gospels were not only thrust forth out of the mythos onto the stage of alleged history, but were mysteriously romanticized with the halo of prophetic fulfillment of Old Testament prediction. Of course the coming Messiah should be foretold to be born in Bethlehem (the house of bread), for the zodiacal allegory had his celestial birthplace long prepared in the sign of Pisces, the house of bread and fishes. He who was to feed the earthly multitude with the miraculously multiplied divinity symboled by bread and fish, would have to be born in the house of the fishes and of the bread which cometh down out of heaven. The Christian scriptures carried forward the salient features of the astronomical allegory, but their ignorant idolaters thought they were purveying sacred history.

Again, the child’s being taken to Nazareth was only in order that the sayings might be fulfilled that he should be called a Nazarene. And yet, says Massey, his connection with Nazareth (which, incidentally, has never received any geographical authenticity at any time and perhaps never existed at all) would no more make him a Nazarene than his being born in a stable would make him a horse. Also Jesus came to dwell in Capernaum--"his own city"--on the borders of Zebulon and Naphtali, that a saying of Isaiah might be fulfilled. He cast out devils and healed the sick, for fulfillment of the same prophet’s forecast. He taught the multitude in parables, for the same reason. In spite of his miracles and many wonderful works among the populace the people believed not in him, because Isaiah had hinted that the Lord would not be believed. Massey asks why they could be expected to believe when it was prophesied they would not. Jesus sent only two disciples to steal the ass and colt because Zechariah had spoken it so. Judas was on the spot to betray his Lord because the Psalmist had said that the Messiah’s trusted and familiar friend "hath lifted up his heel against me." The Speaker in another Psalm had cried, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" and the crucified Messiah came in flesh would have to repeat the cry from the cross. "They parted my garments among them and cast lots for my vesture"; "They gave me also gall for meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink," had also to be re-enacted to match pre-extant similar passages.

Massey earns our deep gratitude once more for dissipating another of those most fatuous delusions resulting from ignorant misconstruction of ancient mythical material. It is with reference to the so-called "prophecies." It has already been shown that the words "prophet" and "prophecy" by etymology have nothing to do, directly, with forecasting future events in the objective sphere. The prophet meant simply a preacher, or utterer of truth, and his prophecies were simply preachments. The Biblical prophets were not clairvoyant prognosticators, but sages and expounders of lofty wisdom. The prophet was just another variant of the title of "Speaker" given, as just set forth, to the character in the ritual dramas whose part it was, personating divine Wisdom, to utter or preach the sayings of divine knowledge to mankind. The ascription to the word of the meaning attached to it later in common understanding was most unfortunate. It has been responsible for the precipitation into western history of a whole enormous chapter of delusion and lunacy. The amount of insane drivel, excited emotionalism, fear and folly, that the belief in Bible (and more recently "pyramid") "prophecy" has generated in uncritical minds comes to tragic proportions. If the ancient sages, as we now more clearly see, had little concern for factual history of their past or their own present, they must have had even less concern for the equally trivial happenings of the future. What people did at any time was of little value in their eyes, or formed no part of the books of spiritual wisdom. The one thing of prime interest to them was the structure, pattern, form and meaning of all action. Their approach to history was more the Hegelian than the mere chronicler’s. And it has to be confessed after mature reflection that in the end that is the only thing about history that matters vitally. No mind can notice or remember a billionth part of the occurrences that constitute history in the factual sense. Therefore its pursuit can have only the final value of instructing the mind on the principles that have determined events, or of admonishing the moral sense or of teaching wisdom. The only worth-while deposit from events acted or studied as history is their "moral lesson." "What does history teach us?" is the only pertinent question to be asked regarding the value of the record of sheer deed. And this consummate recognition will help to dispel at last the perpetual hue and cry of the babbling religionists about Old Testament "prophecy." For it reveals that if events themselves were held of little value, the foreknowledge of them would be even less esteemed. It would assuredly be difficult to locate a single item of practical advantage or service that has ever accrued to the Christians of Europe through many centuries from their having in their possession the sheaf of Old Testament "prophecies." The net effect of their supposed reference was to throw millions of people into wonder, bewilderment and apprehension in every century. Who is ever known to have acted on the warnings and predictions to his clear and obvious profit? And yet the sad story comes to us that the people of Europe in every century since the tenth, at least, have loudly proclaimed that the burden of the "prophecies" fell directly upon their times. The same phenomenon is being repeated in the twentieth as it was previously in the nineteenth, and every one before it. At the best it has always taken a monstrous amount of imagination and stretching to make the prophetic words match the present run of events. But the Procrustean skill of the prophecy-mongers is never less than prodigious, and the gigantic frame of the present history can always be fitted into the small compass of "Bible prophecy." Perhaps this is the place to express the hope that a baleful misconception which has already reduced itself ad nauseam, may now be further reduced ad absurdum ad infinitum.

Massey again adjures us that we have only to turn to the 2 Esdras (written long B.C.) to learn that Jesus the Christ of our canonical books was both pre-historic and pre-Christian. This is one of the books that have been rejected and set apart as Apocrypha, considered to be spurious because they are supposed to contain the secret Gnosis or keys to the true meanings. In this book it is said

"My son Jesus shall be revealed to those that are with him . . . and they that remain shall rejoice within four hundred years; and after these years shall my son Christ die and all men shall have life."

Massey's vigorous comment can be given once more

"The true Christ, whether mythical or mystical, astronomical or spiritual, never could become a historical personage and never did originate in any human history. The types themselves suffice to prove that the Christ was, and could only be, typical and never could have taken form in human personality. For one thing, the mystical Christ of the Gnosis and of the pre-Christian types was a being of both sexes, as was the Egyptian Horus and other of the Messiahs, because the mystical Christ typified the spirit or soul, which belongs to the female as well as to the male, and represents that which could only be a human reality in the spiritual domain or the Pleroma of the Gnostics. This is the Christ who appears as both male and female in the Book of Revelation [a reference to the fact that Jesus in Revelation is described as wearing a golden girdle about the paps]. And the same biune type was continued in the Christian portraits of the Christ. In Didron’s Iconography, you will see that Jesus Christ is portrayed as a female with the beard of a male, and is called Jesus Christ as St. Sophia--i.e., the wisdom or spirit of both sexes. The early Christians were ignorant of this typology; but the types still remain, to be interpreted by the Gnostics and bear witness against the history. Both the type and doctrine combine to show there could be no one personal Christ in this world or in any other. However the written word may lie, the truth is visibly engraved upon the stones, and still survives in the Icons, symbols and doctrines of the Gnostics, which remain to prove that they preserved the truer tradition of the origines. And so this particular pre-Christian type was continued as a portrait of the historic Christ. It can be proved that the earliest Christians known were Gnostics—the men who knew, and who never did or could accept Historic Christianity. The Essenes were Christians in the Gnostic sense, and according to Pliny the Elder they were a Hermetic Society that had existed for ages on ages of time. Their name is best explained as Egyptian. They were known as Eshai, the healers or Therapeutae, the physicians, in Egypt; and Esha or Usha means to doctor, or heal, in Egyptian. The Sutites, the Mandaites, the Nazarites, as well as the Docetae and Elkesites, were all Gnostic Christians; they all preceded and were all opposed to the cult of the carnalized Christ. The followers of Simon the Samaritan were Gnostic Christians; and they were of the church at Antioch, where it is said the name of Christian was primarily applied. Cerinthus was a Gnostic Christian, who according to Epiphanius, denied that Christ had come in the flesh. The same writer informs us that at the end of the fourth century there were Ebionite Christians, whose Christ was the mythical fulfiller of the time-cycles, not a historic Jesus. Even Clement of Alexandria confesses that his Christ was of a nature that did not require the nourishment of corporeal food."

Mead fortifies Massey’s statement regarding the Essenes, saying they "refused to believe in the resurrection of the physical body," either of Christ or of men. The Gnostics, Mead agrees, were the first Christian theologists, and if it is a cause for reprehension that the real historical side of the new movement was obscured in order to suit the necessities of a religion that aspired to universality, then the Gnostics are the chief culprits, he says. To lend some authority to the claim that the Gnostics were not at all rabid "heretics" or fanatical religionists, a Dr. Carl Schmidt may be cited as saying that "we are amazed . . . dazzled by the richness of thought, touched by the depth of soul" of the Gnostic authors, and he speaks of "the period when Gnostic genius like a mighty eagle left the world below it and soared in wide and ever wider circles towards the pure light, the pure knowledge, in which it lost itself in ecstasy."

The alleged heresy of the Gnostics, writes Massey (The Natural Genesis, II, p. 484), which is supposed and assumed to have originated in the second century, the first being carefully avoided, only proves that the A-gnostics, who had literally adopted the pre-Christian types and believed they had been historically fulfilled, were then for the first time becoming conscious of the cult that preceded theirs, and coming face to face with those who held them to be heretics. Gnosticism was not a birth of the second century; it was not a perverter or corrupter of Christian doctrines divinely revealed, but the voice of an older cult growing more audible in its protest against a superstition as degrading now as when it was denounced by men like Tacitus, Pliny, Julian, Marcus Aurelius and Porphyry. For what, asks Massey, could be more shocking to any real religious sense than the belief that the very God himself had descended on earth as an embryo in a virgin’s womb, to undergo the precarious ordeal of the pre-natal period, of birth, infancy, the risks of physical embodiment and the suffering of cruelty and persecution, climaxed by an ignominious death on a cross of torture, to save his own created world, or a few in it who might "believe" on him, from eternal perdition? The opponents of the latest superstition were too intelligent to accept so shallow and repulsive a story and a dying deity. Porphyry terms the Christian religion "a blasphemy barbarously bold" (barbaron tolmema). "A monstrous superstition," exclaims Pliny. "A pestilence," cries Suetonius. "Exitiabilis superstitio" (ruinous superstition), says Tacitus. "Certain most impious errors are committed by them," says Celsus, "due to their extreme ignorance, in which they have wandered from the meaning of the divine enigmas." (Origen: Contra Celsum, VI, Ch. XIII.) All of which is as true as it is temperate, avers Massey. The "primitive Christians were men whose ardor was fierce in proportion to their ignorance," as is ever the case. Massey states that when Peter, Philip and John, as preachers of the new creed, were summoned before the Jewish hierarchs to be examined, the Council decided that they were only ignorant men, unlearned in the oral law, unskilled in the tradition of interpretation, believers who did not know the true meaning of that which they taught. They were not punished, but dismissed with warnings, as rude anthropoi agrammatoi kai idiotai (men uneducated and narrow-minded). Idiotai is of course the root of our word "idiots." In the Greek, however, it carries the meaning of being bound up in one’s own ideas so closely as not to be able to see beyond one’s own small horizon.

Near the end of his greatest work, Ancient Egypt, The Light of the World (p. 905), Massey sums up the data that impelled him toward his momentous conclusions. He says that from the comparative process we learn that the literalizers of the legend and the carnalizers of the Egypto-Gnostic Christ have but gathered up the empty husks of Pagan tradition, minus the kernel of the Gnosis; so that when we have taken away from their collection all that pertains to Horus, the Egypto-Gnostic Jesus, all that remains to base a Judean history upon is nothing more than the accretion of blindly ignorant belief. And therefore of all the Gospels and collections of Sayings derived from the Ritual of the resurrection in the names of Mattiu, or Matthew, Aan or John, Thomas or Tammuz or Tum, Hermes, Iu-em-hetep, Iusa or Jesus, those that were canonized at last as Christian are the most exoteric, and therefore the furthest away from the underlying, hidden and buried, but imperishable truth. With these fateful words he ends his great work.

We have both Philo’s and Irenaeus’ expressed belief that the Word (Logos) could not become incarnate, Massey testifies. Philo no more knows a Christ that could be made flesh than he knew of a Jesus in human form--and he lived at almost the identical time of the alleged historical Jesus! So it was with the Gnostics. They declared it was not possible that he should suffer who was both incomprehensible and invisible (Irenaeus, b. I, ch. VII, p. 2). According to the Gnostics, says Irenaeus, "neither the Word, nor the Christ, nor the Savior, was made flesh. They maintain that the Word was neither born nor did he become incarnate" (b. 3, XI, p.3). It was impossible that the Gnostics could accept the doctrine of a masculine Logos being made flesh or incarnated in human form. Their Logos was the spiritual antithesis and eternal opposite of matter, not a redeemer of the flesh by wearing it. The advent of the Gnostic Christ could only be in the mind or the spirit. It could only be manifested by an illumination of the mind, a purification of the life, a change of heart in the religious sense. (It is worth pausing to comment that the "true" orthodox Christianity of Irenaeus’ day rejected illumination of the mind, purification of the life and change of heart as heresy!) To them the advent was one that could dawn only about a Christ that came from within. The type-form of divine Logos could no more apply to an external history or a personal Savior than the spirit of giving could become Santa Klaus in person. Yet, Massey points out, the Christ of this conception was identical with the Christ of Philo and of Paul. Philo, he says, has defined the incarnation as Archangelos Polyonomos, "the many-named archangel." The power or spirit that incarnated had many names and many forms of manifestation. But this incarnation was not of a nature to be embodied in one man or as one man, either past, present or future. The earliest of the Christian Fathers, Justin Martyr in particular, had given voice to expressions of the multiformity of the Christly manifestation.

The central force of Massey’s courageous assault on the ramparts of orthodox Christianity is in his categorical averment that the bulk of the material entering into the formulation of Christian doctrine and practice was long in existence before the Christian era. Let us hear his forthright declaration to this effect in his lecture on The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ (p. 22):

"Whether you believe it or not does not matter, the fatal fact remains that every trait and feature which goes to make up the Christ as Divinity, and every event or circumstance taken to establish the human personality, were pre-extant and pre-applied to the Egyptian and Gnostic Christ, who never could become flesh. The Jesus Christ with female paps, who is the Alpha and Omega of Revelation, was the IU of Egypt and the IAO of the Chaldeans. Jesus as the Lamb of God and Ichthys the Fish was Egyptian. Jesus as the Coming One; Jesus born of a Virgin Mother who was overshadowed by the Holy Ghost; Jesus born of two mothers, both of whose names were Mary; Jesus born in the manger at Christmas and again at Easter; Jesus saluted by the three kings or Magi; Jesus of the Transfiguration on the Mount; Jesus whose symbol in the catacombs is the eight-rayed star--the star of the East; Jesus as the eternal child; Jesus as God the Father, reborn as his own Son; Jesus as the child of twelve years; Jesus as the anointed one of thirty years; Jesus in his baptism; Jesus walking on the water or working his miracles; Jesus as the caster-out of demons; Jesus as a Substitute, who suffered in a vicarious atonement for sinful men; Jesus whose followers are the two brethren, the four fishers, the seven fishers, the twelve apostles, the seventy (or seventy-two, as in some texts) whose names were written in heaven; Jesus who was administered to by seven women; Jesus in his bloody sweat; Jesus betrayed by Judas; Jesus as conqueror of the grave; Jesus the resurrection and the life; Jesus before Herod; in the Hades and in his reappearance to the women and the seven fishers; Jesus who was crucified both on the fourteenth and the fifteenth of the month Nisan; Jesus who was also crucified in Egypt, as it is written in Revelation (11:8); Jesus as judge of the dead, with the sheep on the right hand and the goats on the left, is Egyptian from first to last, in every phase, from the beginning to the end."

If the revelation of these identities comes with surprising or shocking force to many readers, the wonder should mount to still greater height when it is stated, as it can be, that Massey has traced out and enumerated some one hundred and eighty of these items of similarity or identity between Horus of Egypt and the Gospel Jesus! And Horus was centuries antecedent to Jesus, and was never pictured as a living person! To the scholarly mind this astonishing fact becomes conclusive of the whole argument. The forced acceptance of the fact that when the only-begotten Son of the Eternal came to earth in all his regal splendor to redeem the fallen race of mortal men, the best he could manage to get in the books that were to establish his mission and perpetuate his influence was a garbled melange of data and symbols already associated with a score or more of previous non-existent typical characters, will bring at last a realistic recognition of the weakness of the case for the historicity. Even were the bald claim for the existence of the man Jesus to be conceded, the victory for orthodoxy and fundamentalism would be almost if not quite as damaging to that side as the refutation. It would indeed be a Pyrrhic triumph, leaving the cause of Christian theology so badly weakened and wounded by obvious inexplicability of many points, as to have forfeited the further support of thinking people everywhere. How could it be explained with rational consistency or with the salvation of respect and prestige, that the historical biography of the one and only Son of God fell into the lines of the merely dramatized "careers" of Horus of Egypt, Krishna of India, Tammuz or Marduk of Assyria, Mithra of Persia, Bacchus of Greece, Zagreus or Sabazius of Phrygia, and a list of others in various lands? The Rosetta Stone has at last brought to an end the centuries-long pretense and hypocrisy of the orthodox Christian party in the study of comparative religion.

One can understand the mental vehemence back of Massey’s fling at his critics:

"It is not I that deny the divinity of Jesus the Christ; I assert it! He was and never could be any other than a divinity; that is, a character non-human and entirely mythical, who had been the divinity of various pagan myths that had been pagan during thousands of years before our Era."

He continues with the asseveration that the Christian scheme is founded on a fable misinterpreted, and that the Coming One as the Christ was but a metaphorical figure, a type of immanent spiritual growth consummated in time, who could not take form in human personality any more than Time in person could come out of the clock-case when the hour strikes, like the cuckoo! The "history" in our Gospels is from beginning to end the identifiable story of the Sun-God and the Gnostic Christ who was not "after the flesh." The false belief, he concludes, becomes impossible when we know the true one. But the false one has ever stood in the way of our knowing the true one.

The mythical Messiah was Horus in the Osirian mythos; Har-Khuti in the Sut-Typhonian; Khunsu in that of Amen-Ra; and the Christ of the Gospels is an amalgam of all these characters, and, one may add, of others. Jesus is he that should come; and Iu, the root of the name in Egyptian, means "to come." Iu-em-hetep, the Messianic name in Egypt for thousands of years, signifies "he who comes with peace." And this is the very character in which Jesus is announced by the angels at midnight of December twenty-fourth, a date set by the Egyptian astronomical symbology. A sententious summation of the whole matter is given in Massey’s words: "From beginning to end the canonical Gospels contain the Drama of the Mysteries of the Luni-solar God, narrated as human history." The mythos is the magic key that alone will fit the lock of the Bible material and open the door to the explanation of its otherwise unfathomable obscurities. "All that is non-natural and impossible as human history, is possible, natural and explicable as mythos." This is indeed the eventful truth, and the application of it is the only measure that will ever put an end to the farcical irrationality of Christian theology and redeem the body of doctrine from ostensible nonsense to comprehensible sublimity, after centuries of befuddlement.

The catacombs of Rome, says Massey again, "are crowded with the Egypto-Gnostic types which had served the Roman, Persian, Greek and Jew as evidence for the non-historic origins of Christianity." The child-Horus of Egypt reappears in Christian iconography as the mummy-babe in the catacombs, wearing even the tell-tale sign of origin from Egypt, the solar disk! Also the resurrection of Osiris comes into Christian scriptures as the raising of Lazarus, the identification of whom with Osiris makes one of the most thrilling chapters of comparative religion revelation ever to be brought to light. Among the numerous types of Horus repeated in Roman symbols of the alleged historic Jesus are "Horus on his papyrus" as Messianic shoot or natzer (from which root in Hebrew Massey traces the word "Nazarene"); Horus the branch resprouting each cycle for endless ages from the parent vine; Horus as Ichthys the Fish; Horus as bennu or phoenix; Horus as the dove; Horus as the eight-rayed star of the Pleroma; Horus as scarabaeus; Horus as child-mummy with the head of Ra; Horus as the little black child or Bambino; Horus of the reversed triangle.

Massey shows with sufficient clearness the origin of the cross in the Tat-cross of Egypt, or the Ankh-cross, the symbol of Life as resulting from the crossing or union of the two poles of being, spirit and matter. The Tat or cross of stability, symbol of the power that sustains the worlds and all things, was the figure of the pole, thought of as the backbone of the world, the axis of all durability. It united in one the "five supports" or the five-fold tree of the Egypto-Gnostic mystery, the four corner supports and the central axis. This power was personified in Ptah as well as figured in the Tat. The light that the clearer representation of Egypt throws on this symbol is great, for it shows that the cross figure is the insignium of the same power that is personified in the Christ himself and that true depiction should not so much portray the Christ on the cross as that the Christ is the cross. The god in matter and the cross are really one. This personified power in the Egyptian Ritual says, "I am Tat, the Son of Tat" (Rit., Ch. I), or son of the Eternal, who establishes the soul for eternity in the mystery of Tattu (Rit., Ch. 17). Hence we find the figure of the god, as the cross, extended crosswise as sustainer of the universe in Egyptian vignettes. This construction is undoubtedly back of the Gospel legend of Jesus as bearer of his own cross on which he was to "die." In the Christian corruption of the grand conception into impossible "history," the doctrine of the crucifixion, with its human victim raised aloft as a sin-offering for all the world, "is but a ghastly simulacrum of the primitive meaning, or shadowy phantom of the original substance." In what respect are the Flagellantes or Penitentes of New Mexico, lashed on by the fanatic frenzy of Christian doctrine literalized, better than barbarian tribes of the forest or of the South Seas, who are pointed at by the Christians for their inhuman degeneracy in offering living humans in some of the former rites? For they even today come close to actual immolation of a man on the cross on the Good Friday of Passion Week, which Christian miscomprehension and muddled mentality has indeed made into the Black Friday of the year.

The ox and the ass, ever present with Jesus in his stable nativity in the Gospels, were with the Egyptian Coming One, Iusa, ages antecedently. These two animals, which Christians ignorantly assume are pictured in the birth-scenario because they "were there," are evidently typically connected with the birth of divinity because of the exceptional and peculiar type of their breeding. They owe their existence to cross-breeding, and so stood as the type of perfected Christhood, which is raised above sex, or represents sex polarity crossed and unified in one, as before the breaking of cosmic unity apart into biunity. The ox and the ass are present when the Christ comes to indicate to the initiated that the development of the Christ power returns the soul from its state of dual life on the cross to its pristine unity. It is the symbol of the divine androgyneity, or of spirit detached from matter, released from the cross, one again and not two.

A further light is thrown on this by Massey (Book of the Beginnings, I, p. 516), when he speaks of the bifurcation of the child, that is then still without sex (in manifestation), at puberty into the distinctly male or female individual. The calf represented both sexes in the non-pubescent stage, or the mother and the child only, in the phase of nature that did not yet include the father, or the developed creative mind. The bull was the type of the Father or generative force of creative thought. But even the bull, says Massey, was made to conform to the type of spirit-matter in union and neutralizing each other, in the ox. According to Varro, Massey says, there was a vulgar Latin name for ox, viz., Trio. The ox being of a third sex, neither male nor female productively, return was thus made to the primitive Nu-ter or Neuter of the beginning. And as all things are ultimately the A and the O, and begin and end in the same sexless state (in heaven there is neither marriage nor giving in marriage), the ox--and similarly the ass--was the type of fully Christified humanity. Therefore would the Christ be fitly represented as riding into the gates of the Holy City or heavenly Jerusalem on the back of the lowly ass. But why the two beasts, the ass and her foal? The ass was the symbol of the Egyptian God Atum, and ancient typism always depicted the god as creating and procreating, in the two characters of Father and Son. Life was made continuous by the creation in cycles, and the Son typified the new generation as the progeny of the old, ever repeating and recurring. It was the eternal repetition of the projection of new life from old in the time cycles, the previous old cycle being father to the succeeding one, which carried the soul onward in its long journey from the hinterland of matter up to the gates of the Aarru-Hetep of Egypt, which is the Aarru-Salem, or Jerusalem, of the Hebrew version. Iusa is pictured with the ears of an ass, and Iu is both ass and god under one name, Massey states.

A pretty solid support is seen for Massey’s general claims as to the association of pagan usages with early Christian worship in that letter of the Emperor Hadrian to Servianus, in which he writes that "those who worship Serapis are likewise Christians; even those who style themselves the Bishops of Christ are devoted to Serapis." The most prominent early Egyptian Christians were at the same time members of the Mysteries of Serapis, as many leading Greek Christians were, like Origen, Clement, Pantaenus and Ammonius, students of the Neo-platonic philosophy.

The Gnostic Jesus in the Pistis Sophia says that he found Mary, who is called his mother after the material body, that he implanted in her the first power which he had received from the hands of his Father, called Barbelo and also the good Sabaoth. Here is the prototype of the great legend in ancient mythical systems of the son impregnating his own mother, as Horus fecundated his mother Isis in Egypt. Christians can spare their spurious indignation at "heathen" sexualism in religious worship, since the meaning carried by the representation is simply that the soul, or son, in man implants in the physical body that gives him his birth the power of spirit that transfigures her also into the likeness of divinity. The soul, as primordial intelligence, is the Father ever; in each new generation it is its own son; and the physical body is the mother. The son, therefore, eternally in each generation impregnates his own mother. Evil minds may see evil in this typing; beautiful minds will see both truth and beauty in it.

Carrying on the train of similarities between Gospel and Egyptian depictions Massey points to the dove symbol. The hawk is a male emblem, the dove the female, he shows. Horus rises again in the form of a hawk in the Egyptian resurrection. As matter is ever feminine, the soul or son descending into physical body would be entering what the ancients called its "feminine phase," its incarnation. Hence at its baptism, or entering the sea of matter, again always typed as water, it would swing to the dove as symbol. The dove made its appearance to attest Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, the Eridanus of the planisphere, the Iaru-tana of the Egyptian myth, and the "river of life" in any system. Horus rises also in the form of a dove, as well as that of a hawk. He is the dove in his first phase, and the hawk in his second or perfected stage. Elsewhere, swinging the metaphor a grade higher, he says that he came as a hawk and transformed into the phoenix. "I am the Dove; I am the Dove," he exclaims as he rises up from Amenta where the egg of his future being was hatched in the divine incubator, in the An-ar-ef, the hidden land, "the abode of occultation," the house of the blind,--our earth.

Hence in the iconography of early Christianity the child-Jesus is depicted in the Virgin’s arms or in her womb, surrounded by seven doves as symbols of the Holy Spirit (Didron: Iconography, fig. 124). For the Holy Spirit, or divine working efficacy of spirit in matter, must fall into the sevenfold segmentation which force ever undergoes when it energizes matter. This had been brought out not only in ancient cosmology and esotericism, but has been in large measure demonstrated by modern physical science, and is corroborated by nature herself in the sevenfold division of light, the octave (septave) of sound, the periodic table of weights in chemistry and the seven-day table of periodicities in the gestation process in all animal life.

A fact that must loom large in the debate as an item of great significance is that mentioned by a number of writers, that neither in the case of Horus nor in those of other "world-saviors," is there any date or history falling in the gap between the ages of twelve and thirty, matching the similar lacuna in the "life" of Jesus! This datum alone points with great cogency to the non-historicity of the Sun-Gods, Christs, Messiahs. Any student of ancient literature knows the esoteric significance of numbers in arcane systematism. The numbers one, two, three, four, seven, ten, twelve, twenty-four, thirty, forty, seventy, three hundred and others are so profusely injected throughout the Bible that it could long ago have been assumed that they carried the deepest recondite meaning. Three, four, seven, twelve and forty are indeed among the most sharply revelatory keys to the entire system of scriptural interpretation. It is ridiculous that Christian exegesis of its own book has for sixteen centuries labored at the interpretation with practically no regard for the meaning of these numbers. It will later be seen as a clear evidence of esoteric incompetence. It has remained for students outside the pale of Christian apologetics to interpret the Bible most capably and profoundly.

The age of twelve in Egyptian myth was one of the indices of transformation from the natural or unregenerate state of humanity into the spiritual kingdom, on the symbolic basis of puberty, change of voice and development of mind. And thirty was the index of completed perfection, type of the spiritual heyday in evolution. The fact that at twelve Jesus left his mother (type of matter and body) to attend to the things of his Father (type of spirit) has never once been discerned as the allegory of the natural man’s conversion into the spiritual man, the attainment of his spiritual "thirty years." And a hundred such failures to read their own scriptures aright attest the blindness of exoteric vision on the part of orthodox expounders of scripture.

It is out of the question to transcribe any considerable portion of Massey’s (and other) comparative religion data, but some salient items must be introduced. There is a perfect match between the flight of the parents of Jesus into Egypt for the safety of the divine child from the Herod menace and a similar protection for Horus. The god Taht says to Isis, the mother: "Come, thou goddess Isis, hide thyself with the child," and the place of concealment indicated was in the marshes of Lower Egypt--bringing the Moses analogy to mind at once! This is pure evolutionary symbology and not personal history. That there is any vital significance in the fact that Jesus fled to Egypt to escape the Herod menace, while Horus had to be saved from the Herut menace in Lower Egypt will probably be shouted down by hostile critics. The Herut reptile was another name for the Apap serpent, the water monster that was the Egyptian type of the lower nature in man waiting to devour the child of higher divinity when he incarnated. But the substitution of the tetrarch’s name for the reptile’s designation is in the highest probability one of the tricks resorted to in the conversion of myth into history. Massey openly charges it.

Then there is the matter of the twelve disciples and their historicity. Massey affirms categorically and likely with full truth, that they "are no more human than was their teacher." But when the Word was made flesh in physical literalism his dramatic supporting cast had to be converted along with him.

What were the twelve disciples, if not men? In the esoteric understanding they were the same in twelve aspects as the three Kings or Wise Men were in a threefold division. Or they were the same three powers of spirit further subdivided into twelve aspects. They were just the spiritual power and intelligence which is the Christ itself, manifesting its wholeness in a twelve-part segmentation. In the same way in which the atomic force of the universe manifests in a seven-part differentiation, so the spiritual nucleus of life manifests in a twelve-part unfoldment. Nature sounds a seven-key octave and Divine Mind sounds a twelve-key diapason. Each in its unfoldment sounds but one key at a time, until the succession covers the gamut. As soul advances through the scale of evolution she passes through twelve grades of being one at a time, adding unto her equipment the quality gained from experience at each level, till her absorption of the essence of all nature is complete finally in a twelvefold unity. These twelve qualities of perfected spiritual cognition are what are represented by the twelve signs of the zodiac, the sun’s passing successively through each sign and acquiring the special powers of each, typing the soul’s round of the elements and the acquisition of the twelve intelligences. In the Ritual of Egypt the soul had to pass successively through twelve dungeons, each guarded by a god, in each of which it was captive until the door was opened by the god, who held the key and would not use it until the mortal could pronounce his Name. Obviously man is a prisoner to a faculty until he opens up his ability to utilize and command its powers. Ignorance is ever the gaoler and knowledge is the only release. Inasmuch as light produced by suns is the highest aspect of creative energy, the dark dungeon was the appropriate symbol of the benighted condition of the soul when imprisoned in matter. The creative command--Let there be light!--was the divine fiat that ordered the suns to shine and the galaxies to glisten. And light in the physical area was the perfect analogue and symbol of the light of intelligence that was to glow in the domain of ignorance as solar light was to irradiate the universe of space. Twelve lights would therefore be the most apt symbol of the twelve basic powers of divine intelligence, and this brings us back to the primal true designation of the twelve rays of genius in man--the Twelve Saviors of the Treasure of Light! In various other symbolic typings they were also the Twelve Reapers of the Golden Grain, the Twelve Harvesters in the Field of Amenta, the Twelve Builders, Twelve Carpenters, Twelve Masons, Twelve Potters, Twelve Weavers of the Pattern, Twelve Fishermen, Twelve Rowers of the Boat with Horus, Twelve Sailors in the Ship of Ra, the Sun. They are the twelve powers of Sun-God intelligence. And as ancient philosophy brings out the astounding facts that sunlight is the eventual product of divine mentation--"the light of the sun is the pure energy of intellect," says Proclus in one of the most illuminating sentences ever uttered--the twelve "rays" of the solar Logos become at last in men and gods the twelve faculties of spiritual intelligence the evolution of which makes each man in his aeonial career a Christ, instructing and training his "twelve disciples" within the confines of his own individuality. They were the fourfold differentiation, under the symbolism of fire, air, water and earth, of each of the three Kings, or kingly powers of divine intellect into which primordial unity of Mind breaks up in its necessary fragmentation as it descends into matter. As water falling from a height breaks up into fragments owing to the resistance of the air, and the blood-stream divides from the heart, and a tree trunk from its lower stem, so unitary intellect descending from on high breaks up into first a threefold partition and finally into a twelvefold division. In reduction to simplest form, all this means that as in physical matter and its manifestation on earth there are four basic differentiations of expressions as fire, air, water and earth, so in mind there are the four analogous subdifferentiations, again in soul the same four and again in spirit the same four. So the twelve great qualities that are to divinize us are the spirit’s fire, air, water and earth, the soul’s fire, air, water and earth, and the mind’s fire, air, water and earth, all combined in one grand synthesis, the Christ consciousness. All this is represented by the structure of the pyramid, which has the four bases as groundwork, and four three-sided upper faces as the superstructure, with the golden triangle crowning all, and glinting ever with Egyptian sunlight. In the great ancient divine-human drama the twelve facets of solar deity were of course personified in and by twelve characters, and the dark-minded Christian spoliators of sage wisdom had to make twelve uneducated fishermen out of them. There was no escape from their becoming fishermen in the Christian rendition because the Jesus who was the astronomical Avatar coming roughly around 255 B.C., came under the precessional sign of Pisces and so came as Ichthys, the Fish-Avatar. He came as Joshua (Jesus) son of Nun, and Nun is the fish in Hebrew! Can Massey be gainsaid or laughed down, then, when he says the twelve disciples were no more human than their teacher? It is Massey’s turn to laugh at the stupidity of his critics.

Jesus himself says in Gnostic literature: "When I first came into the world I brought with me twelve powers. I took them from the hands of the twelve saviors of the treasure of light," that is, from the twelve who are called the aeons in the Gnostic astronomy. And he adds that he took these twelve powers and "cast them into the sphere of the rulers," and "bound them into the bodies of your mothers." By this he means that he has in evolution incorporated them in organic creational systems and finally into the bodies of men, the fleshly body being the mother of the individual soul. Jesus is to reign as king over these twelve powers, the "nine guardians and the three amens," "the five supporters and the seven amens," and all the other characters which were "light emanations," and which would have had no meaning if Jesus had not likewise been an astronomical figure. He unifies them all in himself as he gathers them to himself in passing through the twelve phases of creative manifestation. Beside the twelve "disciples of Jesus" there are found in the Bible the twelve sons of Jacob, the twelve of Judah, the twelve tribes of Israel, the twelve stones Joshua was ordered to set up in the dry bed of the Jordan River, the twelve pieces of the concubine’s body cut up (in the nineteenth chapter of Judges), the twelve tables of stone, the twelve commandments, the twelve Urim and Thummim on the breastplate of the High Priest, and others.

Moreover we find striking identity in the Christ’s proclamations, the one in the Gospels, the other in the Gnostic texts, of an esoteric doctrine which he will propound openly to his disciples, though he must speak in parable to the multitude. In the Gnostic Gospel Jesus says:

"Rejoice and be glad for this hour. From this day will I speak with you freely, from the beginning of the truth unto the completion thereof; and I will speak to you face to face, without parable. From this hour will I hide nothing from you of the things which pertain to the height."

Matching this with the statement of the Gospel Jesus to his disciples that to them that are without it is given to be taught in parables, but to them in the inner circle it is given to be instructed in the mysteries, there is presented an interesting parallel indeed. More light is thrown on this mystery of esotericism when in the Gnostic scriptures Jesus says, "I will tell unto you the mystery of the one and only ineffable, and all its types, all its configurations, all its regulations . . . for this mystery is the support of them all." Again he says: "I tore myself asunder and brought unto them the mysteries of light to purify them . . . otherwise no soul in the whole of humankind should have been saved." And another excerpt from his Gnostic sayings is of great value, as it clears up a point of meaning which has been sadly misconceived heretofore. When Jesus in the Gospels says that the believer must leave father, mother and kin to follow after him, it has been a "hard saying," too hard to be accepted in literal sense. It therefore should come with great relief to the perplexed faithful to learn at last what the passage actually means in the light of the same unmutilated and unhistoricized text of the Gnostic Gospel:

"For this cause have I said unto you aforetime, ‘He who shall not leave father and mother to follow after me is not worthy of me.’ What I said then was, ye shall leave your parents the rulers, that ye may all be children of the first, everlasting mystery." (Bk. 2, 341.)

Earlier the parents or "rulers" that were to be left for the Christ ministry were described as the seven elementary or natural powers, the mother powers of nature, giving birth to the first Adam, or natural man, who must be left in the seeking after the higher spiritual genius of divinity! Again it is seen how the literalizing process has reduced high cosmic splendor of meaning to the tawdriness of a family desertion and a flouting of the dearest bonds of mortal kinship.

Jesus gave his disciples power to raise the "dead." In the Pyramid Texts of Teta it is said: "Horus hath given his children power to raise thee up" from the funeral couch.

Massey calls attention to a discrepancy in the version of the miraculous draught of fishes in two Gospels, John and Luke. In John, when Jesus reappears to the seven fishers on board the boat to cause the miraculous haul, it is after his resurrection from the dead. Consequently the transaction, Massey thinks, took place in a region beyond the tomb and not in the life on earth. Whereas in Luke’s version his reappearance was in the earth-life and not a reappearance after death. Orthodox idea of course holds that Jesus was resurrected on earth and that Massey’s conclusion therefore is not sound. What is true, of course, is that there was no physical or bodily resurrection at all, but only the re-arising out of the grave or tomb of the earthly body of that living nucleus of soul that had descended into the body for incarnation. When the soul from elevated spheres descends and links its refined energies with the coarse life of body, the ancient seers pictured its durance in flesh as its death and burial. Just as naturally, then, its release from body at the end of a life cycle was its resurrection from "the dead." There was no place at all for the historical episode of one man’s bursting the bars of a hillside rocky tomb at any time. The resurrection, Paul tells us, was in a spiritual body, dissociating its tenuous substance from the meshes of the fleshly vehicle.

Again that which was a spiritual mystery in Egypt became a "miracle" in Christianity. In the Ritual of Egypt (Ch. 113) Sebek catches the fish in his marvelous net, and it is proclaimed by Ra to be a mystery.

Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes in the Gospels, and this incident binds wonderfully in with one of the greatest bits of comparative religion data ever to be formulated. When one has grasped from Greek rational theology the significance of the great doctrine of God’s deific multiplication of his own life by dividing primeval unity into endless multiplicity, sharing his oneness with the infinity of his creatures, and then applies to it the elucidation of the Christ’s multiplying that same divinity under the two zodiacal types of bread and fish (Virgo and Pisces), and then will turn to the Egyptian symbolic writing, he will come upon the amazing discovery that the city of Annu (Anu), (Any in English)--which with the Beth, "house," of the Hebrew gives us Beth-any of the Gospels--was described in the Ritual as "the place of multiplying bread!" From John we learn that "this is that bread which came down from heaven," the divine immortal soul which came here to multiply itself, as an oak multiplies its life in its acorns, in the house of bread, which is the human body. When will the religious mind break through the obfuscations of deadening literalism to see at last that the human body, the soul’s tenement on earth, is that Bethlehem, that house of bread, wherein the divine bread comes to be multiplied? Here at last is incontrovertible and irrefutable proof that the Christian has to go back to ancient Egypt’s wisdom to discover the keys to the interpretation of his own Bible. If ever the Christian doctrines are to shed any real light on human understanding of the problems of life and immortality, it will be only with the help of Egypt’s restored mysteries. As Massey so clearly demonstrated, Christian truth has been sealed up in a fatal obscurantism and Egypt holds the keys to release it.

In the Gospels it is the women who announce the resurrection. "The goddesses and the women proclaim me when they see me," shouts Horus as he rises from the tomb on "the horizon of the resurrection."

Horus was not only the "bread of life" derived from heaven; he also gave his flesh for food and his blood for drink, as did Jesus. He says he has bread in heaven with Ra, and bread on earth with Seb, the earth-god.

Dealing further with the cross as symbol, the arresting fact is brought to light that this emblem in the Egyptian was never the symbol of death--in the sense of the demise of the body--but of life! It was the symbol of "death" only in the transferred sense of the word "death" as the circumscribed life of the soul in the tomb of the body on earth. The cross is the "tree," and the "tree" is the "tree of life which is in the garden" of this world. This chain of identity has not been seen or worked upon. In one form of the symbolism Jesus is nailed on the tree in its form of the cross of wood; but to suit another form of metaphorical approach he IS the tree of life. He is the branch, the shoot (Hebrew natzer, whence probably "Nazarene"), of his Father, the eternal Tree whose branches ramify into all the universe. But for us in turn Christ is the tree, the vine, and we are the branches. A number of allusions in this relation from ancient non-Biblical sources would have kept in better understanding the connection between the tree of Genesis and the cross, or tree, of Calvary. Ancient mythic tradition had it that various typal Christ characters, Noah, Seth, Enoch, Moses, Joshua, plucked a shoot from the tree of life in the garden and planted it on the mount of Golgotha, where it burgeoned anew to become the tree of the crucifixion. And if, in its deepest sense, the cross of crucifixion is only the metaphor for this incarnation in body, which gives ever more abundant life to the soul by multiplying its potentialities through the ordeal of suffering, then the tree of life and knowledge in Genesis remains still the tree or cross of life and salvation, and not the gruesome cross of death. But clearly in the first instance it is the tree of the Father in his original generation of life; in the second it is the tree of the Son, in regeneration, or eternal renewal of life. The legends--some even carried on into Christian exploitation--that the wood of the cross of Jesus became alive and put forth green shoots, solidly substantiate this figurism. It is matched also by the burgeoning of Aaron’s rod when cast to earth! Divine life flowers anew from the old stem each time it is planted afresh in the soil of earthly body! The Christmas legend spoke of the rose blooming from the Glastonbury thorn in the winter solstice, and we prate in profound stupidity of the Christ as being a fresh shoot from the rod of Jesse. The mighty truth is in our midst, but goes all unrecognized.

The purely allegorical implications of the cross symbol should have been seen from the Platonic and Gnostic representations of the form of the cross called the Stauros. It was the four-armed structure of the Christ-aeon or emanation extended out over the field of creation, and represented spirit as being "crucified in space," and, Einstein would add, in time. The fourfold division of primary life energy out into space in the creation of universes is, as clearly as could be done, set forth in Genesis, where the river of life split off into four streams, named there Pison, Gihon, Hiddekel and Euphrates. All this is to tell us that life invariably in manifestation "quadrates" itself, or comes to expression in four differentiated aspects, which, be it proclaimed with ultimate clarity at last, are typified in all ancient literature by the four elements of earth, water, air and fire. This partition of primordial life force into the four forms of its manifestation is all that can possibly be meant by the symbol of the four-armed cross in the cosmic range. For the individual its meaning is the quadration of the one energy of consciousness in his life in the four aspects of sense, emotion, thought and soul.

If the Christ was in most real truth crucified in space, the physical timber on Golgotha’s ghastly height, hewn and sawed and nailed, might be accepted with enlightenment as pure symbol of cosmic process. But as it stands in common thought among Christian people it is the gruesome sign of the most abject stultification of the godlike principle of intelligence known to history.

Lundy says that Plato must have learned his theology in Egypt and the East, and doubtless knew, from the stories of Krishna, Buddha and Mithra, that other religions had their mythical crucified victims long antecedent to Christianity. Witoba, one of the incarnations of Vishnu, is pictured with holes in his feet.

The nails of the cross have received considerable emphasis in the Gospel story. The nail, Massey shows, was a type of male virility or of the deeper power of nature that binds male (spirit) and female (matter) together for all effective progenation. The nailing of the body of the Christ on the cross would be the dramatization of the incarnational union of the two ends of the life polarity. Spirit must be nailed to matter to give it its quadration, for free from matter it remains in uncreative unity.

Drawing his data largely from Didron’s Iconography, Massey brings forth from those recesses of buried ancient secrets which he explored so capably, the fact that must startle all Christian readers with its pertinence to the general theme here elaborated, viz., that with the whole foundation of Christianity resting upon the physical cross and the man nailed on it, the religion that claims to have had its very origin from that cross and man has given no evidence of awareness or commemoration of that pivotal event in all its varied and elaborate iconography for about six hundred years after its founding! Massey records that during the first six or seven centuries no figure of a man appears upon the cross in Christian monumental hierography. There are all forms of the cross except that, the alleged starting point of the new religion! The Christ, and him crucified, says Massey, was not the initial but the final form of the crucifix. Over the first six centuries the representation of the foundation of the Christian faith in a crucified Redeemer is entirely absent from Christian art! Massey writes (Book of the Beginnings, I, 433):

"The earliest known form of the human figure on the cross is the crucifix presented by Pope Gregory the Great to Queen Theodolinde of Lombardy, now in the Church of St. John at Monza, whilst no image of the Crucified is found in the catacombs at Rome earlier than that of San Giulio belonging to the seventh or eighth century. So in the earliest representations of the Trinity made by the ‘Christian’ artists, the Father and the Holy Ghost (who was feminine as the Dove), are portrayed beside the Cross. There is no Christ and no Crucified; the Cross is the Christ, even as the Stauros was a type and name of Horus, the Gnostic Christ. The Cross, not the Crucified, is the primary symbol of the Christian Church. . . . And that Cross is pre-Christian, is pagan and heathen, in half a dozen different shapes. During centuries the Cross stood for the Christ and was addressed as if it were a living being. It was divinized at first and humanized at last."

The Gospel incident which dramatizes Jesus as running away from his mother at the age of twelve and saying he must henceforth be about the business of his Father, briefly noticed, must be scanned for some further elucidation of hidden purport. (The very first consideration is the thought that if orthodox interpretation insists upon taking "his mother" as his human female parent in the story, by what warrant does it not take "his Father" also as his human male parent? He says in effect that he must leave his mother and go to his father, and if the one parent is taken as human, why not the other?) The esoteric significance of this "incident" has never been divined in theology. It is a grand cosmic dramatization, based on the puberty transformation of the boy into the man. The parallelism is startling and suggestive. With the "mother" typing nature and the "Father" spirit, the transition of the boy over from the care of his mother, in which he had been nurtured up till then, to the interests of his father, along with the first development of sexual creative power and the budding of intellect at the same time, as well as the deepening of the voice, which is a most amazing natural symbol of the power henceforth of the voice to utter the true word instead of the fancies of the child, the physiological climacteric was the most striking possible form of depiction ready at hand of the great central truth of all scriptures--the evolutionary transformation of man the natural, or the first Adam, over into man spiritual, or the second Adam. In Egypt there were two Horuses, or two aspects of Horus, Horus the babe and Horus the man, or Horus the younger and Horus the elder. The younger Horus was the child of the mother--nature-and abode under her tutelage, that is, was ruled by natural instinct and not by reason or mind, until he had risen to the development of the twelve facets of his germinal divinity of higher consciousness, whereupon he graduated from the care of mother nature and entered the kingdom of his Father, intellect and spirit. He was then the elder Horus, the grown son of his Father, done with nature and ready to wield the powers of intellect and soul, the business of the Father. With his changed voice allied to developed wisdom he could then utter the "true word" or the echo of the Logos, impossible with his feminine falsetto before! Could anything in nature more completely and admirably typify the profoundest of theological conceptions?

The purpose here, however, is again to indicate that the Gospel mention of the incident, brief as it is, has once more faithfully copied Egyptian prototypes. Every feature of the narrative is found prefigured in the Kamite portrayals. Horus the infant is the child of the Virgin, i.e., matter, or body, produced under natural conditions before the principle of mind (the male element) has unfolded and united with matter to generate the spiritual man. Horus the elder is the child become the man, graduated from the care of mother nature, and having germinated the seed of intellect and spirit into growth and function. Massey is the first to have made this determination clearly, but his work has been left in desuetude. The god Kephr, the world-builder, was symboled by the male beetle or scarabaeus which, the Egyptians alleged, procreated without the aid of the female. This is the type, not of virgin pure matter, but of virgin pure spirit, before union with the female or mother matter in incarnate life.

Astronomically the first Horus or natural man was the child of the Virgin in the sign Virgo; and six months later--which in zodiacal symbology would be at the entire completion of the incarnational cycle--in the sign of Pisces the second Horus, second Adam or the Christ, is reborn of the Fish-mother, or in the house of the Fishes. And in the Gospels Jesus the Christ is born with all the varied forms of the fish-type, as Ichthys the Fish, son of Nun (the Fish in Hebrew), and with twelve "fishermen" as disciples. And Luke’s Gospel places the birth of Jesus just six months after that of John the Baptist; who as the forerunner and herald of the Christos is the dramatic character of the first or natural man, preceding him to prepare the way for him and make his paths straight! Will orthodox exegetists tell us how the six months’ interval between the births of the natural man and his divine successor, the Spiritual Christ, given by Luke, are to be accounted for on any other basis than that of the zodiacal chart, where in pure typology the two births occur just six months apart on opposite sides of the zodiac? This single datum of comparative religion is enough to put the whole structure of Christian historicity on the defensive. If the unthinkable assumption or claim of historical factuality for the occurrence of Jesus’ birth just six months after that of John could be predicated as true, how could the human mind ever contain its wonder at the coincidence of the actual history precisely matching the chart of pagan symbology? This is but one of hundreds of instances in which Christian "history" has had to dance to the tune played by pagan allegorism and typism.

The word "mount" or "mountain" is another link between the Gospels and pre-Christian derivations. The mount is very frequent in Egyptian typology, and the thing it did not mean in esoteric rendering was an earthly hill or elevation. It meant specifically the earth itself. The earth was the mount, raised up in space, where matter and soul, the god and the (animal) man, the one descending "from above," the other ascending from the slime to animal, met for that interrelation that meant evolution. Therefore every great transaction in the evolutionary process "took place" "on the mount." Earth is the only place where spirit and matter ever meet on equal terms or in the balance (symboled of course by the equinoxes), and so it is that God always called man (typed by "Moses") up into Mount Sinai to commune with him. Jesus, the Christ, is drawn up onto the mount to be tempted, he delivers his Sermon or Sayings of wisdom to humanity on the mount (though Luke says it was on a level plain), he was crucified on the hill and was transfigured in the height. Even the ark landed on the "mount of earth," as "Ararat" is a variant of the Hebrew arets (old form areth), "the earth." It is as futile to try to locate "the hill of the Lord," "thy holy hill," "the hills whence cometh my strength," on the map or earth’s surface as it is to locate the milk and honey of Jerusalem the Golden in Palestine. Horus was symbolically placed, for all his ordeals and transformations, on the Mount of the Horizon, and this Mount--existing nowhere as a locality on earth, but being the mundane sphere itself--is the Egyptian prototype of all the holy mounts, Gerizim, Horeb, Sinai, Zion, Carmel, Calvary, in the scriptures.

The mount was the "place of emergence" in mythology. This is notable because it aids in the definite localization of its meaning. Life emerges from unmanifestation in the invisible worlds of pure Form (in the Greek sense) to visible manifestation in the physical cosmos, and it can do this only where spirit can achieve its embodiment in matter. A physical planet is the necessary ground for such processing. Spirit emerges from subjective to objective existence on the Mount of Earth. A prominent modern school of philosophy, Bergson’s, has dealt so fully with this phase of cosmic procedure that it has taken the name of the "Emergent Philosophy." As life emerged out of darkness into light it gave birth to the suns, the lamps of creation. Hence the mount again was the place of birth for the sun. The solar orb, symbolizing always the divine power of spiritual light, went to its "death" in matter on the Mount of the Horizon on the West, the Western Mount, Mount Manu, and arose in its rebirth on the Mount of the East, or of Dawn, Mount Bakhu. These two names are instructive. Ma-nu is the elementary primordial abyss of the waters, empty space, or inchoate matter, as nu is the hieroglyph for water. Under the symbolism of the sun setting in the western ocean, life goes down from the heights of pure ethereality into the sea of matter. Passing through the round of the material kingdoms it emerges again on the east with a focus of consciousness developed to divine power in a physical organism, and comes forth as a soul or spirit individually conscious. Human-divine consciousness comes from the union in man’s body of the two elements of psychic soul and divine spirit, and, oddly enough these two "persons" in man were named by the Egyptians respectively the ba and the khu. The Eastern Mount would then bring divinity to birth as the ba-khu, and so the Mount of Dawn for the divine soul in man was called Mount Bakhu. These two mounts are in Revelation and elsewhere in the Bible.

There is no end of repetition in the Bible of the Egyptian "three days in the tomb." Hosea speaks of the Israelites being held in bondage and being released and raised up "after two days" or "on the third day." The place of captivity for the soul in matter has variable naming, such as Babylon, Egypt, Assyria, Sodom, Arabia, none of which has geographical but only allegorical reference. If final and clinching proof is needed to show that the captivities and bondages in the Old Testament are only mythical representations, we have it in the prophet’s assignment to them of a three-days length. The descent of the soul into body to manifest her powers and make her appearance or epiphany (or emergence) is the only substance and reality in any of the "captivities" of scripture. When the soul accomplishes its growth in the dungeons of Amenta, Sheol, Hades, and rises in triumph over the flesh and the grave, she is beautifully said to "lead captivity captive." That the allegories of their Old Testament were known to the Jews as non-historical is shown by the fact that fragments of the original mythos crop up in the Haggadoth, Talmud, Mishna, Kabalah and other Hebrew sacred scripts, Massey points out. This material was known to the Jews, and obviously not as history. Further, most of it had for ages been known to the Egyptians and again not as history. It is fatal to the historical sense of holy writ that we can turn to such old works as the Kabalah and Enoch and the Zohar and find their scenes, names, numbers and personages identical with those supposed to be historical in the Old Testament. An article in the Classical Journal (Vol. 17, p. 264), by T. T. Massey says that "the 600,000 men who came up out of Egypt as Hebrew warriors in the Book of Exodus are 600,000 inhabitants of Israel in the heavens, according to the Jewish Kabalah, and the same scenes, events and personages that appear as mundane in the Pentateuch are celestial in the Book of Enoch." Indeed the first "mapping" and "localizing" of events in the life and evolution of the race were unquestionably first celestial and not mundane. It was never anything but empyreal--until gross ignorance supervened upon intelligence and made the tragic conversion.

Even Swedenborg, a pretty credible testifier albeit he saw only with the eye of inner vision, states that "their historical books were written in the prophetic style and for the most part were made-histories, like those contained in Genesis I to XI." (Arcana Coelesta, 2897.)

In his Jesus and Paul (161) Bacon, who is not specifically aiming at giving the scriptures a mythical rendering, writes that the story of Jesus’ walking on the sea in Mark 6:45-52 has a supplement in Matthew 14:28-33, which further draws out the parallel with purely spiritual meaning; saying that in Jewish symbolism power to tread upon the sea or triumph over it signifies victory over the power of Sheol. And in reference to the inner significance of the "captivities" he speaks of victory over the imprisoning powers of darkness. Also he very rightly says (p. 205) that the history of the conception of the Messiah as a great light entering the lower world of darkness and death to effect both judgment and deliverance would carry us far back into pre-Christian interpretative application of the Isaian passage: "The people that sat in darkness have seen a great light; unto them that dwell in the shadow of death hath the light shined." This is just the kind of thing that Massey claims throughout, and supports his claim with mountainous evidence.

But Bacon has a passage which comes dangerously close to repudiating the very fundamental of Christianity in his effort to discredit the Gnosis and early Christian esotericism, or some aspects of them. He says (p. 201) that talk about mystical experiences, gnosis, insight into mysteries, fellowship with God and participation in his eternal life, new birth into eternity and the rest of the current mystical jargon of the day, is all froth and self-deception unless it issues in practical deeds of unselfish service. This pungent asseveration is greeted with the heartiest second from this quarter. Indeed in many respects nothing in religious circles needs to be said so forcefully as just this protest against the extravagances and follies of mystical religion in our day and all days. At the same time it must be recognized that the attainment of these things in a sane and balanced way is certainly the aim and goal of the highest Christian aspiration. If it is not so the whole immense body of saintly mystical rhapsodism in the history of the Church is all froth and self-deception. The point of difference, then, is the degree of sanity and balance with which such experiences are undergone and reacted to. So that once more it is seen that the item in all religion that receives the final and crucial emphasis is philosophical intelligence, as a lever of control over the whimsicalities of mysticism. This point, though touched upon here incidentally, is of absolutely transcendent importance in all estimate of true religiosity.

It is a standing challenge to the proponents of this historical thesis of scripture to explain away the eighth verse of the eleventh chapter of Revelation. If every word, verse, chapter and letter of Holy Writ is--as has been solemnly declared by four or five Church Councils--God’s unalterable truth, we then have the Bible itself in the plainest of words declaring the crucifixion of Jesus to be non-literal and non-historical. Speaking of the "two witnesses" (which it explains are the "two olive trees"--therefore certainly not persons or characters) the preceding verse says that "the Dragon shall rise up and slay them." Then follows the eighth verse with its categorical denial of a historical crucifixion in Jerusalem:

"And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the city which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified."

Jesus crucified not in Jerusalem, but in Sodom and Egypt--two places, geographically, making it necessary to assume two crucifixions or a half crucifixion in each place--and these two "places" expressly described, not as physical localities, but as "spiritually" considered. Here is the Bible’s own express declaration that the crucifixion was nothing but a spiritual transaction. Christian exegesis is pretty silent about this verse; it is a question if it has ever been chosen as text for a sabbath sermon. It flies straight in the face of all that ecclesiastical policy stood for from the third century forward to the present. It is the verbatim contradiction of all official Christian theology over sixteen centuries. It is a flat denial of the physical crucifixion and inferentially of the "life" of Jesus, as the Christ. It promises still the final triumph of esotericism. Jerusalem was the "holy city" of the evolved spiritual consciousness, city of "heavenly peace," as its name implies, and never anything else. As a matter of fact, even in its empyreal connotation, Jerusalem was not the locality of consciousness in which the Christ in us is crucified. Jerusalem, on the contrary, is the city of blessedness in which, after the crucifixion, he enters into the peace of his glorious triumph, carried up to the gates of it on the back of the lowly animal, his body. The place of his crucifixion is not in heaven, where peace abides, but down in the depth (Egyptian Tepht, whence Tophet) of matter, the Sodom and Egypt of the fleshly incarnation. There is enough of the primal truth of Christian beginnings left in this one verse to redeem an errant religion from its lost ways and sorry plight.

One of the Sibyl’s prophecies was to the effect that the Messiah would come when Rome shall be the ruler of Egypt. "When Rome shall rule Egypt, then shall dawn upon men the supremely great kingdom of the immortal king and a pure sovereign will come to conquer the scepters of the whole earth into all ages." The earliest Church endorsed these Sibylline utterances and cited them to prove the foundation claims of its own religion. Here surely, then, there is a prophecy whose literal fulfillment gave it the lie. Rome did conquer Egypt, and after two thousand years of painful history the world still needs the King of Kings more sorely than ever. Here is an example of fulfilled "prophecy," the folly of which should--but probably will not--carry disillusionment to the rabid mongers of "Bible Prophecy."

But there doubtless was esoteric meaning of intelligent sort back of the Sibyl’s utterance. Rome, as the power-center of the world empire, was poetized as the city of epic divine fulfillment, and Egypt, as always in the Bible, was the land of bondage for the soul crucified in body, the "flesh-pots of Egypt." Of course the kingdom of the Lord of spiritual light would come when "Rome," the city of attainment, should conquer and rule over "Egypt," the place of earthly carnal sense. Esotericism redeems another saying of Holy Writ from absurd nonsense and historical contradiction. And it is the only thing that will redeem the whole historical structure of religious meaning from asininity.

Allan Upward writes that in the religion of the inner life "the redemption of the sinner is not so much the historical transaction consummated on the material cross of Calvary as it is the work of the Christ within. . . . Without this feature the history of Christianity can not be understood."

No less a philosopher than Spinoza has this to say relative to the nature of the Christ (Op. I, 510, Epis. To Oldenburg): "that a knowledge of the Christ after the flesh is not necessary to the spiritual life, but the thing that is necessary is a knowledge of that eternal Son of God, the wisdom of God, which has manifested itself in all things and chiefly in the human mind, and most of all in man perfected as Christos."

Paul’s verse in I Cor. 15:17 becomes illogical if the historical thesis is held to: "If Christ be not raised, ye are yet in your sins." Every inference of this statement points to a non-historical and purely intimate personal resurrection. If the resurrection was historical and the verse means what it says, then the logic of the situation makes the resurrection dependent upon the state of sinfulness of the people then, or at any time. He did or did not rise, according as the people’s general sin is eradicated or is still in force. If people are yet sinful, then Christ can not have risen. The sins or righteousness of people would keep the Christ bobbing up and down between earth and heaven, like a barometer registering the world’s batting average in the overcoming of sin. In the esoteric sense the Christ’s resurrection is indeed dependent upon the progress of humanity upward to righteousness. We do still bury him deeper with every sin, or raise him up with every sincere act. He does rise or fall with our advance or backsliding. But if this true theory is applied to the physical resurrection, an ass’s bray is not ribald enough to express its ridiculousness. And again despised esotericism alone saves revered scripture from harlequin comics.

Oddly enough the Encyclopedia Britannica (Article: Jews) takes the view that the varied traditions in Jewish religion up to a later stage can not be regarded as objective history. It is naturally impossible, it says, to treat them from any modern standpoint as fiction; "they are honest even when they are most untrustworthy." This peculiar characterization defeats its own intent by obvious self-contradiction. What value honest untrustworthiness has is a bit hard to see. The whole muddle is cleared up if the traditions are regarded as honest and trustworthy allegories. For as honest but untrustworthy history they make no sense whatever, and are valueless if untrustworthy.

Any number of texts throughout the Bible at once lose all comprehensible meaning if taken in the historical sense. For instance, there is the statement in I Cor., 6:1: "Do you not know that the Christians are to be the judges of the world? . . . Do you not know that we are to be the judges of angels, to say nothing of ordinary matters? . . . Do you not know that your bodies are parts of Christ’s body?" Taking "Christians" in its historical sense, the picture gives us the ludicrous scenario of good Church folk in the judgment pronouncing sentence upon Mohammedans, Buddhists, Zoroastrians! And taking Christ’s body as that of Jesus, the man, we would on Paul’s averment be his physical limbs, joints and viscera. Or is it permissible for literalists to take what they like as allegorical and also take what they want as literal? This is their only resort in the end. It makes inconsistency the necessary base of their structure.

Also there is I Cor., 8:6, saying, "yet for us there is . . . just one through whom we live." If the Lord Jesus Christ is Jesus, he is here declared to have made all things, most of which were here and made before he came. As the cosmic Logos, to be sure, he conceivably made the worlds; but as the man Jesus, his hands would have plenty to do with a few mountains and rivers. In the Oxyrhyncus papyri we have the Logos saying, "I am all that was and is and shall be! And my veil it hath never been lifted by mortals"--appropriate for the divine Word, but fatally inapplicable to the man of flesh. Even this lifting of the veil is drawn from the inscription on the base of the statue of Isis at Sais in Egypt.

Also John’s passage that "he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not," can have no reference to a personal living Jesus. If this is so it is important to note that even the last clause--that the world knew him not--must have some larger cosmic relevance and can not refer to popular rejection of him and his preachment, according to the accepted interpretation.

A work of great statistical research and vital data is Godbey’s The Lost Tribes a Myth. In it he asserts that modern excavations have shown Egyptian dominance in Palestine through the greater part of 3000 years. There were Israelite kings who were political "sons" of Egypt, and Pharaohs warred to establish their authority. (References to the Book of I Kings are given to support this.) "But," says Godbey, "there is no extant effort to append the history of Israel to the antiquity of Egypt." Of course there was not, for the reason that neither Egyptian nor ancient Hebrew literature was dealing with history or antiquity in the historical sense. But if Godbey means that there has been no effort to append Jewish "alleged" history to the religious antiquities of Egypt, Massey’s work alone would sufficiently belie his assertion.

A number of utterances of Jesus in his dramatic character of the cosmic Aeon or Logos makes his human personal stature seem futile and puerile beyond measure. His proclamation that he was before Abraham in the loins of the cosmic creation, helping to shape the universe from the foundation of the worlds, sounds senseless when the majestic words are supposed to come from the lips of a mere man on earth. It is the same with his final consummative plea which he makes to his Father in John to restore unto him that glory which he had with him aforetime in cosmic heavens before the worlds were, after he had come into the world whither he had been sent and had done the divine preaching, "healing," "miracle-working," ending with his humiliating crucifixion on a wooden cross, is to reduce cosmic events to the proportion of newspaper chronicles. A great many texts would show the preposterous inapplicability of cosmic characterizations attaching to Jesus as the Logos when referred to Jesus as the man.

The evidence in this chapter is of the kind generally called "textual evidence." It is by no means lacking in either weight or cogency. What is here assembled is a mere tid-bit or filip to what would be a full meal of this significant material. The quantity could be increased to voluminous proportions. Strong as the temptation is to linger in this field, the practical considerations of the task call for a grappling with a series of far more substantial arguments and evidences in the case, which rise in a scale of pertinence and convincing force from chapter to chapter.