THE ROSICRUCIANS: THEIR RITES AND MYSTERIES
CHAPTER THE TWENTY-THIRD: THE OUTLINE OF THE CABALA, OR KABBALAH. ITS MYSTIC INDICATIONS. THE PURPOSE OF THE GREAT ARCHITECT OF THE UNIVERSE IN THE SENSIBLE AND SPIRITUAL WORLDS (NATURAL AND SUPERNATURAL), AND THE CHARACTER OF THEIR RECIPROCITY, AND DOUBLE-WORKING
WHAT is more dream-like than the transactions in the Apocalypse? To ordinary comprehension, the mysteries of the Cabala, and the outline (spiritual) of the beginning of things, suggested in the Revelation of Saint John, are equally unintelligible.
It seems natural to believe, that the All-Powerful, All-Wise Deity hath, before all time (as far back as we can imagine), formed and governed a world of spiritual beings, active, conscious, having understanding and reason to conduct them, and 'passions' to stimulate them. We may also conceive, that in so enormous a rebellion as that of Lucifer, where so many orders of operative spirits were drawn in, that several (or many, or a multitude) of these did more eminently transgress than others. Some, from the heights of arrogance and pride, against the Almighty Dispenser of Rewards; and others through malice and envy, and some by other specious pretences, according to the powers and capacities they enjoyed in their several states of subordination, in which they were placed; and therefore, at that period, when they shall be solemnly tried, different degrees of punishment will be awarded against them; and for a larger or shorter time, in proportion to their crimes. As confinement is also a reasonable intermediate punishment, until their general trial and sentence; so also, according to their offences, it may be reasonable to believe, that the degrees of confinement may be greater or less, and they may have more or less enjoyment of life and sensations, in proportion to their crimes. That, accordingly, some may be deprived of life and sensation, and be entirely unconscious, until the General Judgment. Some may be deprived in part, and for part of the time, and be conscious sometimes; and yet, when conscious, may be deprived of the memory of past actions, or any knowledge for the time to come; whilst others may know both, and fear and tremble at the approach of their trial and judgment.
Since the Divine Being has an infinite variety of purposes and occupations in which to employ, and infinite extensions and limitations of rewards and punishments to dispense to conscious free spirits, who may deserve rewards and punishments, and may have passed on and 'thrilled', and grown into power; so these entities rose into higher, and nobler, and more fully-informed life in the ever-springing and ever-fluent Creation. The innumerable items in this physical world, ever resigning, ever renewed, ever balanced, (subsiding to evil; recovering to good): these were in active motion. All this state of restless, universal conflict or competition; of affirmation, and of negation, in different degrees, both as to duration and intenseness; at the time of the formation of the scheme of the 'Cosmos', in the developing of the (speculative) Mosaic creation, was perhaps the area of the operations of the lapsed spirits. These had been doomed to a state of silence, by being deprived of their sensations, and had been chained down to the abysses of the several suns, or chaos of planets, by the impulse of gravitation, or mutual attraction (gravity being, magically, the magnetic, sensitive, 'angelical effluvium' spoken of by Robertus de Fluctibus and the Rosicrucians). Such may have had an opportunity of gaining degrees and impetus back again into angelic life, in recovery out of the soulless densities of matter (that meant by the 'darkness' allegorized by Moses); and reappearing, in the new order of things, in the beautiful form of new efforts at life--star-raised--astrologically raised--vegetables, growing plants, and flowers (sexed, even, in their own mysterious differences and forms and fashions), or  animals, in their higher or lower, or pure or impure kinds. These animal or 'plantal souls' come from the metamorphosed 'spirits’-world' (all this is perfectly possible, however strange and mysterious), being, in their seeds, dispersed not only over the surfaces of the several suns and planets ('if particles of light are spiritual forms'), but also throughout all the matter in the several stars, through infinite space. Those who are doomed to a long inactivity until a future judgment are within the surfaces of the several globes, and are not to 'take life' during this present period, or reign of things. That to such as the Deity thinks proper, only a fossil, vegetable, or animal, brutal life was to be given, until the conflagration of this globe. It has been a doctrine advanced in the mysticism of the Gnostics, that only for such as our Saviour Jesus Christ had interposed for mercy, a state of probation was allowed. These are the condemned (the conquered 'Hosts of the "First Fall"'--that fall of the 'Angels'). This class of spirits by their entering human bodies (having been allowed sufficient machine, and adequate physical means), combined the synthesis of reason, memory, and judgment, which combination makes them accountable for their behaviour and actions here. At the same time others, who have not these powers, at the last Judgment are to be doomed according to their former crimes; crimes of the nature and character of which poor human nature--incapable and childish as it is--can form no idea;--humanity having been never intended for a comprehension of the supernatural, mighty secrets--resting alone in the hidden MYSTERIES OF GOD! These crimes of the lapsed spirits (committed in their former state), before they were imprisoned in these globes, are as totally unimaginable by men, as crimes, and the 'wherefore', and the 'nature' of crimes, in the human mature state, are not known by children.
Let us consider a little the nature of that mysterious thing--in reality, the Master of the World--called 'Fire'. The 'body' and the 'spirit' are alike traceable into it. The human scale or register of fire is nothing; because our instruments--thermometers, pyrometers, and so forth--fail at a given point. They cannot inform us of the intensities of heat or of cold (instant destruction) which shoot upward, or downward, from either end, baffling mortal computation or idea, flying through hundreds of degrees by leaps, impossible of recognition by man. Thus man knows nothing of Fire, except the ordinary comfortable little minimum of fire--which, answering his purposes in certain indispensable respects, when risen into magnitude, destroys him as his master in a moment, and all his belongings--nay, the whole world, and its belongings, and everything conceivable. FIRE, in fact, devours every cosmic possibility.
Many particles of light lose their motion when they enter into the pores of the several bodies around us, and many remain and adhere to the bodies they enter; so that, we apprehend, vegetables consist, in great part, of these particles, which makes them so inflammable; and that the pabulum of our material fire is nothing more than the imprisoned rays or particles of light, when united to salts, and other particles of body; and that the strong heat and motion of fire, when kindled, is nothing more than the struggle of the imprisoned or fettered rays to break from the salts and aqueous particles they are united with; and, when that motion becomes exceeding quick, Fire then glows, and is thrown off in lucid rays. Where the struggle is strongest, as in metals, sulphurs, and consolidated impenetrability, the fire and flame is intense, as requiring a stronger motion to break up the atoms into brightness, and to liberate that 'flower', glory, or crown of heat, which we call flame--flame and light, nature's last achievement and brandishing victory. Out of the solidest matters for burning, comes the fiercest and the most abundant Fire; until the masses of fiery molecules burst (being turned inside-out) into the blaze of the brightest of Light! The whole late mass is then passed into the 'unknown', leaving the ruin only as ashes, with the whole power out.
An opinion was put forward in the middle ages that our souls were all originally in the first Adam; and that both our spirits and bodies are all come from him; and, by throwing off one tegument or skin after another, at each conception, we at last appear in the world in the condition we are now in. But this seems to be too much of a piece with the materialists, who may believe our souls, like matter in their conception, divisible infinitely; for this would confirm their hypothesis, that our souls are material, and infinitely divisible; and that there are souls within souls, looking backwards as far as thought can reach; for myriads of millions are included in the vehicle of one, since so many souls or animalcules are thrown off at each act of copulation, as we now observe by microscopes, when in the least drop of the semen there are such surprising numbers seen. This would also confirm their opinion, who imagine that souls take up no room or place in space, by being infinitely small; and may thus, in a manner, be conceived not to be anywhere. Whereas, from the powers we observe in ourselves, and other spiritual beings, we must take up room, and be extended in space, since we act in a limited part of it. It is impossible that souls, in the spiritual sense, can be born into this world out of so much waste.
In the cabalistic, which is; therefore, the astrological view, the sun in every vortex is the centre and lowest part; the ascent is from the sun, the descent to it. A vortex may be divided into four concentric orbs or worlds (unequal), and termed the utmost, or highest, Aziluth; the next, Briah; the third, Jetzirah; the lowest, or inmost, Asiah (or Asia). The first, Aziluth ('absorbed in divine contemplations'), extends from the margin of the vortex to Saturn; the second, Briah (social or political), from Saturn to Mars; the third, Jetzirah (leonine and belluine), from Mars to Mercury; the fourth, Asia (mechanical), from Mercury to the frigescent Sun. Asia, superior, from Mercury to the atmosphere of the now frigid star. Asia, inferior, the atmosphere and body of the frigid star itself. Hence, perhaps, Saturn and Jupiter were worshipped by the sons of darkness, corrupting old traditions at the will of their Prince, the Old Serpent (as the causer of all visible things), and as presiding over counsel and benignity, as apparent, and as to work in a world which is half-shadow. Mars and Venus over the irascible and concupiscible. Mercury over ingenuity and human production, or 'making', technical and mechanical. These are all astrological meanings and interpretations. All souls, even Aziluthic were clothed with corporeal vehicles, they being the means of sensation and commerce, the highest gratifications of animal, or perhaps of all created natures. The deeper immersed these entities are in the vortex, that is in matter (or 'darkness'), the more gross the vehicle; and yet supplying the most abundant means--contributing the most of power--to the Fire, or the Light, because all comprehensible FIRE and LIGHT is material. There is a revolution of human souls through all the four worlds (the Four Elements, or the four corners of the universe of the Rosicrucians, Aziluth, etc.), either by divine fate, or their own fault. The periods are unequal, especially the Aziluthic and Briathic. The legitimate revolution of angelic souls is no lower than Asia, superior. Their vehicles are richer in the exquisite sensual gratifications than the human; but their souls are less gifted with the possibility of the divine aspiration than the human. This mystery lies at the very base of the cabalistic profundities, which form the first step upon which, in mounting upwards out of man’s ordinary nature, the true Rosicrucians (humblest, and yet haughtiest, of the children of men) place their feet. Hence the above-referred-to 'darkened' angels--a certain number, at least, of them, fell first by breaking-forth into 'Jetzirah', without Divine Leave, out of that region cabalistically denominated 'Briah', in which, and in 'Aziluth', innocence reigned universally. And there the augmented delights and vigour of their vehicles, through the greater heat and increased magnificent fulgency of the sun, allured them, and strengthened them, to those inordinate deeds (impossible to be comprehended by man), by the divine magic of those regions, and to the traitorous embassy of that proud princely genius, the 'Rebel Leader' amongst the principal Archangels, known afterwards by many names, but herein by that of Ophioneus, or Lucifer, 'Bringer of Light', or 'Morning Star' (Lux-fero)--which brought to them the name of Rephaim, or giants; and to human souls the lapse out of 'Briah', by joining the rebel angels. This is the cabalistic, theosophical or mystical story of the 'First Fall'--or that of the 'Angels'. Souls which degenerate into the vivified region, cabalistically called 'Asia', not through their own fault, but by divine fate, return safe into 'Aziluth', neither broken by adversity, nor softened by pleasures, aided in all states, by Grace Divine. This is the meaning of the 'Elect', or the chosen of God.
In 'Aziluth' the souls of men and angels, wholly intent on the adoration of the Supreme Master, and occupied in sublime wonderings, neglect and scarcely perceive the life of the natural vehicle--'that of wants'. From the celestially igneous and vivacious, and illuminated character of this life, and of the magic aura, or matter of this supernatural region, it is named cœlum empyræum. This was Adam's state before Eve was created, and before the 'sexes' became possible, or the distinctions of 'sex' sprang into existence. For, whereas Adam owed his birth to God, who made him out of matter, Eve owed her birth to Adam, who produced her out of 'ruined' matter. Thus we see the necessity of the Saviour, 'born of Woman', through the pardon, under penalties, which in the continual generations absolve the sin--the seed of the WOMAN 'bruising' (crushing) the SERPENT'S Head. Eve was the 'Feminized Adam', and was the 'First in the Fall', misinterpreting the Devil as a God: but out of this temptation, and as a result of its success, arises the 'possibility of Man'--the great stumbling-block to all the disbelievers, who are unable to rise into any supernatural idea. In 'Briah'--or the region in which descent was furthered, the Aziluthic ardour being abated, the view became turned to the outward world, or the world of physical construction, and to the life, and sensations, and sustainment of the vehicle. This became the state after the formation of Eve. Then arose the transaction between God and the Soul of the Messiah concerning his 'Passion', and the 'Redemption of the World'. The soul of the Messiah profited so much in the cabalistic 'Aziluth', and adhered to the eternal Logos with so strict a love, that, at length, they were united into one 'Person' (Partzuph)--(this is the mystic doctrine of the Gnostics)--with the highest aziluthic, or rather hyperaziluthic union, as Soul and Body, into one Individuality, thence rightly called the Son of God, name or nature ineffable. This Divine Messiah is constituted by God the Father, Ruler of all Souls, human and angelical, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Upon his undertaking to become the Saviour of the Lost World--thence arose his union with the divine Logos, which was completed and declared. (John xvii. 5; Heb. i. 6; Philippians ii. 6-8; Ps. lxxii. 5, according to the Septuagint.) Its mystical primæval duration until the sun of this vortex (the solar system) cooled into a planet (rather comet), through the rebel Rephaim overturning all order and beauty; and therefore deprived of the solar light and heat, the principle of their magic power and operations, and before the moon became frigid, and was struck off from the bulk of the earth, and set rolling, circumvolving, in its new magic, feminine light--maker of the sensitives--as a satellite to our world. The chaotic comet being formed into a habitable earth through the force of gravitation, and, physically, in the exertion of the powers centripetal and centrifugal, solidifying it into a globe, the lapsed human souls--having drank of the 'river of Lethe' to make this new state of trial and purification (here we encounter the Buddhistic system) more attainable and effectual, sank into terrestrial bodies. All this, and the new operations arising in place of that divine magic so greatly abused by them in their former state, and in their cabalistical state, called 'Jetzirah'--Gen. iii.
The Jetzirathic Rephaim of the Cabala esteemed themselves Elohim (Gods) in their supernaturally drunken and mad frolics, as being experimentally skilled in all sorts of contrivances, good and evil, through the use and abuse of magic. And so the Serpent persuaded Eve it would be with her. Whence the name of Jetzirah, the Cabalistic term for this development, from the Chaldaic, or foundation--Hebrew 'jatzar', to form 'good and evil' magically, not mechanically.
Catachismus, Cabalisticus, Mercavæus Sephirothicus. Refer to a very valuable old Book, published in London, in the possession of the authors of this present work and entitled 'A Miscellaneous Metaphysical Essay, or, An Hypothesis concerning the Formation and Generation of Spiritual and Material Beings, with Their Several Characteristics and Properties, and how far the several surrounding Beings partake of either property. To which is added Some Thoughts upon Creation in General, upon Pre-existence, the Cabalistic Account of the Mosaic Creation, the Formation of Adam, and Fall of Mankind; and upon the Nature of Noah's Deluge. As also upon the Dormant State of the Soul, from the Creation to our Birth, and from our Death to the Resurrection. The whole considered upon the Principles of Reason, and from the Tenor of the Revelations in the Holy Scriptures. By an Impartial Inquirer after Truth.--London.' (No name or date.)
It is impossible to tell now who was the author of this remarkable work. It was, in fact, an explanatory treatise on the Cabala.
We have, as far as allowable, given the Rosicrucian interpretation thereof. The whole range of these subjects is pre-eminently mysterious and Phallic. For Phallicism seems to rest as the basis of everything, as it proffers undoubtedly as the foundation and the meaning of all the mythologies. It follows from this, that this human state must be a supernatural (natural) place, of inquietude, and of penitential suffering; and that this place of trial--the world--is only a state of purgation and of trouble, introductory to some other--and it is to be hoped--better state. 'The whole Creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together, until now.'--St. Paul.
The following suggestions are from Scripture:
'And those "members of the body" which we think to be "less honourable", upon them we bestow "more abundant honour".'--1 Cor. xii. 23.
'But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are.'--1 Cor. i. 27 and 28.
'For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.'--1 Cor. i. 19.
'He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.'--Rev. ii. II.
'To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone' (the 'Philosophers’ Stone?') 'and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.'--Rev. ii. 17.
'And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations.'--Rev. ii. 26.
'And I will give him the Morning Star.'--Rev. ii. 28.
'And I will write upon him my New Name.'--Rev. iii. I2.
'He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.'--Rev. xxi. 7.
'We discover that, not only is the "Garden of Eden" an allegory in itself, but the whole structure of the Bible is an allegory, beginning with Creation, (as described by Moses), and ending with Christ's spiritual, or clairvoyant, appearance to St. John in the Revelation.'
The whole is, however, indicative of pure spiritual life.
1. This agrees with the Pythagorean ideas, and with those of Lucretius.