The Blavatsky Trust

The REAL MEANING of the CHRISTIAN GOSPELS

H.P. Blavatsky

In 1887, H. P. Blavatsky founded in England the monthly magazine, Lucifer. The opening editorial, "What's in a Name?" went to the core of a Christian inversion of philosophic truth, showing that the identification of "Lucifer", the light-bringing Morning Star, with Satan, was the darkest of theological calumnies. Lucifer, she pointed out, represented the assertion of "free-will and independent thought" and the name Lucifer "is typical of the divine spirit which sacrificed itself for humanity." Her magazine was consistently the vehicle of analysis of the distortions of ecclesiastical Christianity and in a letter directed to the Archbishop of Canterbury she asserted that "in almost every point the doctrines of the churches and the practices of Christians are in direct opposition to the teachings of Jesus." One article that is particularly useful for all esotericists is The Esoteric Character of the Gospels which appeared in three parts in the first volume of Lucifer, extracts of which are reproduced below.

 


"Faith is the key of Christendom," saith Chaucer, and the penalty for lacking is as clearly stated as words can make it, in St Mark's Gospel, Chapter xvi., verse 16th: "He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

It troubles the Church very little that the most careful search for these words in the oldest texts during the last centuries remained fruitless; or, that the recent revision of the Bible led to a unanimous conviction in the truth- seeking and truth-loving scholars employed in that task, that no such un-Christ-like sentence was to be found, except in some of the latest, fraudulent texts. The good Christian people had assimilated the consoling words, and they had become the very pith and marrow of their charitable souls. To take away the hope of eternal damnation, for all others except themselves, from these chosen vessels of the God of Israel, was like taking their very life. The truth-loving and God-fearing revisers got scared; they left the forged passage (an interpolation of eleven verses, from the 9th to 20th), and satisfied their consciences with a foot-note remark of a very equivocal character, one that would grace the work and do honour to the diplomatic faculties of the craftiest Jesuits. It tells the "believer" that:-

The two oldest Greek MSS, and some other authorities OMIT from verse 9 to the end. Some authorities have a different ending to the Gospel.

- and explained no further.

But the two "oldest Greek MSS," omit the verses nolens volens, as these have never existed. And the learned and truth-loving revisers know this better than any of us do; yet the wicked falsehood is printed at the very seat of Protestant Divinity, and it is allowed to go on, glaring into the faces of coming generations of students of theology and those of their future parishioners. Neither can be, nor are they deceived by it, yet both pretend belief in the authenticity of the cruel words worthy of a theological Satan. And this Satan-Moloch is their own God of infinite mercy and justice in Heaven, and the incarnate symbol of love and charity on Earth - blended into one!

Truly mysterious are your paradoxical ways, oh - Churches of Christ!

The Churches will have to part with their cherished dogmas, or the 20th century will witness the downfall and ruin of all Christendom, and within it, belief even in a Christos, as pure Spirit. Theological Christianity must die out, never to resurrect again in its present form. This, in itself, would be the happiest solution of all, were there no danger from the natural reaction which is sure to follow: crass materialism will be the consequence and the result of centuries of blind faith, unless the loss of old ideals is replaced by other ideals, unassailable, because universal, and built on the rock of eternal truths instead of the shifting sands of human fancy. Pure immateriality must replace, in the end, the terrible anthropomorphism of those ideals in the conceptions of our modern dogmatists. Otherwise, why should Christian dogmas - the perfect counterpart of those belonging to other exoteric and pagan religions - claim any superiority? The bodies of all these were built upon the same astronomical and physiological (or phallic) symbols.

Astrologically, every religious dogma the world over, may be traced to, and located in, the Zodiacal signs and the Sun. And so long as the science of comparative symbology or any theology has only two keys to open the mysteries of religious dogmas - and these two only very partially mastered, how can a line of demarcation be drawn, or any difference made between the religions of say, Chrishna and Christ, between salvation through the blood of the "first-born primeval male" of one faith, and that of the "only begotten Son" of the other, far younger, religion?

Whenever I hear the Vedic rites discussed and called "disgusting human sacrifices," and cannibalism (sic.), I feel always inclined to ask, where's the difference? Yet there is one, in fact; for while the Christians are compelled to accept the allegorical (though, when understood, highly philosophical) drama of the New Testament Crucifixion, as that of Abraham and Isaac literally, Brahmanism - its philosophical schools at any rate - teaches its adherents, that this (pagan) sacrifice of the "primeval male" is a purely allegorical and philosophical symbol. Read in their dead-letter meaning, the four gospels are simply slightly altered versions of what the Church proclaims as Satanic plagiarisms (by anticipation) of Christian dogmas in Pagan religions.

The origin of all religions - Judaeo - Christianity included - is found in a few primeval truths, not one of which can be explained apart from all the others, as each is a complement of the rest in some one detail. They are all, more or less, broken rays of the same Sun of truth, and their beginnings have to be sought in the archaic records of the Wisdom-religion. Without the light of the latter, the greatest scholars can see but the skeletons thereof covered with masks of fancy, and based mostly on personified Zodiacal signs.

A thick film of allegory and blinds, the "dark sayings" of fiction and parable, thus covers the original esoteric texts from which the New Testament - as now known - was compiled. Whence, then, the Gospels, the life of Jesus of Nazareth? Has it not been repeatedly stated that no human, mortal brain could have invented the life of the Jewish Reformer, followed by the awful drama on Calvary?Pieta by Giovanni Bellini We say, on the authority of the esoteric Eastern School, that all this came from the Gnostics, as far as the name Christos and the astronomico-mystical allegories are concerned, and from the writings of the ancient Tanaim as regards the Kabalistic connection of Jesus or Joshua, with the Biblical personifications. One of these is the mystic esoteric name of Jehovah - not the present fanciful God of the profane Jews ignorant of their own mysteries, the God accepted by the still more ignorant Christians - but the compound Jehovah of the pagan Initiation. This is proven very plainly by the glyphs or mystic combinations of various signs which have survived to this day in the Roman Catholic hieroglyphics.

PIETA, painting by Giovanni Bellini at Rimini
reproduced in Christ in Art by Mrs Henry Jenner

The Gnostic Records contained the epitome of the chief scenes enacted during the mysteries of initiation, since the memory of man; though even that was given out invariably under the garb of semi-allegory, whenever entrusted to parchment or paper. But the ancient Tanaim, the Initiates from whom the wisdom of the Kabala (oral tradition) was obtained by the later Talmudists, had in their possession the secrets of the mystery language, and it is in this language that the Gospels were written.

He alone who has mastered the esoteric cypher of antiquity - the secret meaning of the numerals, a common property at one time of all nations - has the full proof of the genius which was displayed in the blending of the purely Egypto-Jewish, Old Testament allegories and names, and those of the pagan-Greek Gnostics, the most refined of all mystics of that day. Bishop Newton proves it himself quite innocently, by showing that "St Barnabas, the companion of St Paul, in his epistle (ch. ix.) discovers ... the name of Jesus crucified in the number 318," namely, Barnabas finds it in the mystic Greek I H T - the tau being the glyph of the cross.

On this, a Kabalist, the author of an unpublished MS. on the Key of Formation of the Mystery Language, observes: - "But this is but a play upon the Hebrew letters Jodh, Chith, and Shin, from whence the I H S as the monogram of Christ coming down to our day, the sum of the letters being 318 or the number of Abraham and his Satan, and of Joshua and his Amalek ... also the number of Jacob and his antagonist ... It is the number of Melchizedek's name, for the value of the last is 304 and Melchizedek was the priest of the most high God, without beginning nor ending of days."

The solution and secret of Melchizedek are found in the fact that "in the ancient Pantheons the two planets which had exited from eternity (aeonic eternity) and were eternal, were the Sun and the Moon, or Osiris and Isis, hence the terms of without beginning nor ending of days. 304 multiplied by two is 608. So also the numbers in the word Seth, who was a type of the year. There are a number of authorities for the number 888 as applying to the name of Jesus Christ, and as said this is in antagonism to the 666 of the Anti-Christ ... The staple value in the name of Joshua was the number 365, the indication of the Solar year, while Jehovah delighted in being the indication of the Lunar year - and Jesus Christ was both Joshua and Jehovah in the Christian Pantheon ... "

This is but an illustration to our point to prove that the Christian application of the compound name Jesus-Christ is all based on Gnostic and Eastern mysticism. It was only right and natural that Chroniclers like the initiated Gnostics, pledged to secrecy, should veil or cloak the final meaning of their oldest and most sacred teachings. The right of the Church fathers to cover the whole with an epitheme of euhemerized fancy is rather more dubious. The Gnostic Scribe and Chronicler deceived no one. Every Initiate into the Archaic gnosis - whether of the pre-Christian or post-Christian period - knew well the value of every word of the "mystery-language." For these Gnostics - the inspirers of primitive Christianity - were "the most cultured, the most learned and most wealthy of the Christian name," as Gibbon has it. Neither they, nor their humbler followers, were in danger of accepting the dead letter of their own texts. But it was different with the victims of the fabricators of what is now called orthodox and historic Christianity.

Their successors have all been made to fall into the mistakes of the "foolish Galatians" reproved by Paul, who, as he tells them (Gal. iii. 1-5), having begun (by believing) in the Spirit (of Christos), "ended by believing in the flesh," - i.e., a corporeal Christ. That Paul was a Gnostic, a founder of a new sect of gnosis which recognized, as all other Gnostic sects did, a "Christ-Spirit," though it went against its opponents, the rival sects, is sufficiently clear to all but dogmatists and theologians. Nor is it less clear that the primitive teachings of Jesus, whenever he may have lived, could be discovered only in Gnostic teachings; against which discovery, the falsifiers who dragged down Spirit into matter, thus degrading the noble philosophy of primeval Wisdom-Religion, having taken ample precautions from the first.

The works of Basilides alone -"The philosopher devoted to the contemplation of Divine things," as Clement describes him - the 24 volumes of his interpretations upon the Clement of AlexandriaGospels - were all burned by order of the Church, Eusebius tell us (H.E., iv. 7). As these Interpretations were written at a time when the Gospels we have now, were not yet in existence, here is proof that the Evangel, the doctrines of which were delivered to Basilides by the Apostle Matthew, and Glaucus, the disciple of Peter (Clemens Al. "Strom." vii. 7, §106), must have differed widely from the present New Testament.

Illust: Clement of Alexandria

Another proof of the claim that the Gospel of Matthew in the usual Greek texts is not the original gospel written in Hebrew, is given by no less an authority than S. Jerome (or Hieronymus ). The suspicion of a conscious and gradual euhemerization (the method of mythological interpretation which regards myths as traditional accounts of real incidents in human history) of the Christ principle ever since the beginning, grows into a conviction, once that one becomes acquainted with a certain confession contained in book ii. of the "Comment to Matthew" by Hieronymus. For we find in it the proofs of a deliberate substitution of the whole gospel, the one now in the Canon having been evidently rewritten by this too zealous Church Father.

No wonder that the very meaning of the terms Chrestos and Christos, and the bearing of both on "Jesus of Nazareth," a name coined out of Joshua the Nazar, has now become a dead letter for all with the exception of non-Christian Occultists. For even the Kabalists have no original data now to rely upon. The Zohar and the Kabala have been remodelled by Christian hands out of recognition; and were it not for a copy of the Chaldean Book of Numbers there would remain no better than garbled accounts.

It is foolish to maintain that the Kabala has never existed before the day of the Spanish Jew, Moses de Leon, accused of having forged this pseudograph in the 13th century, as to claim that any of the Kabalistical works now in our possession are as original as they were when Rabbi Simeon Ben Jochai delivered the traditions to his sons and followers. Not a single one of these books is immaculate, none has escaped mutilation by Christian hands.

Munk, one of the most learned and able critics of his day on the subject, says "Haya Gaon, who died in 1038, is to our knowledge the first author who developed the theory of the Sephiroth and he gave to them the names which we find again to be among the Kabalists; this doctor, who had intimate intercourse with the Syrian and Chaldean Christian savans, was enabled by these last to acquire a knowledge of some of the Gnostic writings" Which "Gnostic writings" and esoteric tenets passed part and parcel into the Kabalistic works, with many more modem interpolations that we now find in the Zohar, as Munk well proves. The Kabala is Christian now, not Jewish.

Thus with what several generations of most active Church Fathers ever working at the destruction of old documents and the preparation of new passages to be interpolated in those which happened to survive, there remains of the Gnostics - the legitimate offspring of the Archaic Wisdom-religion - but a few unrecognisable shreds. But a particle of genuine gold will glitter for ever; and, however garbled the accounts left by Tertullian and Epiphanius of the Doctrines of "Heretics," an occultist can yet find even in them traces of those primeval truths which were once universally imparted during the mysteries of Initiation. Among other works with most suggestive allegories in them, we have still the so-called Apocryphal Gospels, and the last discovered as the most precious relic of Gnostic literature, a fragment called Pistis-Sophia, "Knowledge-Wisdom."

The Blavatsky Trust 2003
reproduced from 'Insight' May/June 2003, The Journal of The Theosophical Society in England

An expanded version of the preceding essay is reproduced in a 44 page booklet, THE ESOTERIC CHARACTER OF THE GOSPELS available for £1.50 from the Book Department at 50 Gloucester Place, London W1U 8EA
http://www.theosophical-society.org.uk
Postage is free to members residing within the UK. Those living elsewhere should add 50 pence. All payment is to be in £ sterling.

 

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