Gerald Massey's Published Lectures

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During Fifty Thousand Years,




WHEN Giorgione was challenged to paint a figure in a picture so that the spectator could see all round it, he overcame the difficulty by arranging a mirror at the back to reflect the other half of his subject!  In like manner, we have to get all round our present subject with the aid of a reflector.  This is to be discovered in some of the symbolic customs of the pre-historic races.  The records of primitive and archaic men are only to be read in the things they did, and by aid of the signs they made, from before the time of written language and literature.

2.     The earliest human sensations, feelings, and thoughts, had to be expressed by actions long before they could be communicated in words.  Gesture-language and Fetish images originated in this primitive mode of representation; and we have now to penetrate the significance of the actions, and interpret the types employed in a font indefinitely earlier than that of letters!  The performers cannot tell us directly what they meant when so many mysterious things were done; they can only make signs to us on certain matters, and we have to translate their dumb show as best we can!

3.     Sir John Lubbock says the lower forms of religion are almost independent of prayer, but he does not take into account the fact that long before prayer could be uttered verbally, it was performed and acted by means of sign-language, which we have to read in ancient customs and primitive memorials of the fact.

4.     For example, when a crooked pin is thrown into the "Wishing Well" as an invocation to the invisible powers, the bent pin is a prayer made permanent in a visible figure, which is extant among the Egyptian hieroglyphics, as the Uten, a twisted piece of metal, signifying an offering.  It was as much the sign of prayer as are the clasped hands, or the body crouching down on bended knees, or the supplication in spoken words.  We have to read it as we would a gesture-sign.  It is a sign in gesture-language made to the unseen powers whether for good luck or bad!  So when the ear was pierced by the worshipper, as a religious rite, it was a primitive mode of appeal to the deity as the Hearer or Judge, like the god Atum, who was the first Hearer in heaven, among the Egyptian gods.  Fortunately, the primitive races of the world, such as the Blacks in Africa and Australia, still continue the customs, think the thoughts, repeat the rites, employ the signs, erect the memorials, and revere the images that were the Fetishes of the human infancy.  These are preserved even by those who can give no account of their origin in the past or their significance in the present, but who simply and sacredly repeat them as a matter of following the example and treading in the track of their forefathers!  Now Egypt, which I look upon as the living consciousness of Africa, continued to remember, and has left a written record of what was meant by these primitive practices and fetish figures; and in one aspect of the subject, that of the burial customs, the Egyptian Bible, or Book of the Dead, becomes a living tongue in the mouth of Death itself, which enables us to interpret the earlier and most ancient typology of the bone-caves found in other parts of the world.

5.     The Bongo, Bechuana, and other Inner African tribes of to-day, still prepare their dying relatives for the grave whilst the body is warm and flexible, by pressing the head forward upon the knees, which are bent up against the breast, with the legs flexed upon the thighs.  The African customs were continued on the American continent, where they are still extant.  The ancient Peruvian mummies, or preserved bodies were similarly, but more perfectly prepared for the last abode on earth.  The Comanches, the Pimas of Arizona, and other Red Indian tribes, still prepare their dead for burial in this primitive way.  Sometimes a net is thrown over the body of the dying, and as the hold on life is gradually relaxed, the net is drawn tighter and tighter until the body is bound up to become rigid in that shape for burial.  In this position the most ancient form of the mummy is still made almost alive.  And that was the most ancient mode of burial known on earth.  It can be traced back in Europe to the time of the Palæolithic or first Stone Age; and there are data extant which carry that age and its customs back (in round numbers) for some 50,000 years.  The custom was common amongst the most primitive races of the world, including the Blacks of the southern hemisphere, whether they committed the mummy to the earth, or, like the Tasmanians and Maori, concealed it in the hollow bole of a tree.

6.     Next, when we learn that the primary model of the tomb was the mother's womb,—and this fact is proved by the figures of the Cairns; and by the tree, the coffin, and the vase with female breasts, being types of the mythical Great Mother of Life; and when the identity of womb and tomb is indicated, as it is, by many pre-historic names; and further, when we have compared the images interred with the corpse, we learn for certain that in burying the dead in such a fashion, Primitive Man was preparing the mummy in the likeness of the fœtal embryo, or child in utero.  In fact, he was burying it for a future birth!

7.     We often hear of our "Mother Earth"—and the uterine formation of certain cairns in Britain can be identified by means of Egyptian hieroglyphics and symbols, which prove that the tomb was a representative image of the maternal birthplace.  Therefore, the dead, some 50,000 years ago, were buried with an idea of reproduction for another life.  This mother-mould of the beginning is also shown by the "Navel-mounds" of the Red Men in America, the Nabhi-Yoni images of the Hindus, and the Nave of the Church; by the Mam-Tor, a bosom-shaped hill, and the Mamsie, a Scottish Tumulus, in which the dead were returned to the Great Mother, accompanied by various types belonging to the symbolism of re-birth.  The Egyptian dead were buried in the Mam-Mesi, or Meskhen.  Both names literally denote the re-birthplace of the mummy.  The Meskhen is also European.  The ancient Midden, in which the bones of the dead were preserved, was known as the Miskin.  Miskin-Belac, in Brittany, is also called Cairn-Belac, the terms being convertible.

8.     We now know that all descent was first traced from the Mother alone, who survived as the Virgin Mother in mythology, whose son was her own consort; and the earliest form of the burial-place was simply feminine.  Later on the male type of the producer was added, and both sexes are then represented in the place of burial as the place of re-birth.  In Egyptian tombs the male emblem is a sign of rising again, or of being re-erected (as they expressed it) from the female place of re-birth.  And that emblem has been found in Italy, buried beneath ten feet of slowly-accreted Stalagmite—a register, probably, of 50,000 years.  To this day the Chinese seek for a burial-place just where the male and female features of the ground are most perfectly pourtrayed in a natural configuration and combination of hollow and mount.  It has never yet been determined by philologists whether the British word "Combe" means a hollow between two hills, or the hill itself.  Many Combes are found in valleys, whereas Black Combe is a mountain.  The fact is, the complete type includes both sexes.  This teaches us that the cairn was double, and that the hollow below was the feminine feature, and the mound erected above was masculine.  This bi-sexual type of the burial-place was continued in Egypt, with its Well below and conical heap above, being a Colossal stone Cairn; and the dual type culminates at last in the nave and spire of the Church, which perpetuate the same sexual symbols as the Argha-Yoni or the Nabhi-Yoni of those benighted Hindoos, who are denounced by our missionaries for their gross idolatry.  It was not "Idolomania," but a primitive kind of symbolism, a natural mode of thinging their thoughts.  This doubles the proof that the dead were buried with the idea of being reproduced; and this Parental imagery was employed to continue and convey such an idea to the living.

9.     It is here, then, at the outset, that we should have to seek for the true origin of those Phallic symbols or sexual images which are found scattered the world over, the types of production having been adopted from nature and perpetuated by the primitive builders in all lands as symbols of reproduction for a future life.  Such emblems were no more set up at first as objects of worship or provocation to lasciviousness than the earliest races of men went naked on purpose to display their nudity as an incentive to animal desire.  Nor was there any abasement of nature in these things, the human status at the time being too primitive even for any fig-leaf kind of consciousness or shame induced by clothing.  Neither were these monuments at all directly related to the religious sentiment.  That only comes in here with the aspiration for another life and yearning after the second birth.  The religious sentiment did not originate in procreation for this life, but in reproduction for the next; and the true sacredness was conferred on the cairns, mounds, navels, and bosom-shaped hills by the burial of the Dead.  For it is certain that these types of birth whether found in Nature or erected by Art, are associated in all lands with the places of burial, or they constitute the sepulchre itself, just as the Church is still the burial-place, or stands amid the Graves of the Dead.  Hottentot or British Cairns, Indian Navel-Mounds, Hindu Dagobas, Irish Round Towers, and Egyptian Pyramids and Obelisks, with the Teba or female Ark at the base, were all erected with one meaning, and each according to the same primitive typology of a resurrection.

10.    "Going to the Stones" preceded going to Church, and the people went to them because their dead were buried in or around these, the earliest Shrines.  The Memorial Stones were sacred to the dead from the first, as the latest grave-stone is to-day.  Some of the stones were carried from land to land and called the Bringers of Immortality.  In support of my theory that the Phallic Imagery was perpetuated for symbolic uses, and not for direct worship, I would point to the Umbilicus or Navel type, which, for aught we know to the contrary, may be earlier than the Phallic or Sexual Images, because the Navel unites both sexes under one sign.  Be this as it may, the primitive mode of sepulture, the formation of the earliest tomb, together with the Monuments reared above, are all founded on the natural organs of the reproductive system, and, architecturally, the so-called Phallic faith resolves itself into an objective imitation of the parts of the human body which are devoted to re-birth,—including the bos umbilicus.  Re-birth is the ideal demonstrated by the typical use made of these burial stones in passing the bodies of persons through the various holes and apertures in them at the time of initiation into the mysteries, or the transformation of the Boy into the Man; and re-birth being the fact signified, the Serpent-shaped Mound was also a tomb, and the living Tree a Coffin, because the Tree and Serpent were natural emblems of renewal or re-birth.

11.    This Natural Genesis will likewise account for the Mythical Great Mother, who was the earliest of all Divinities in all lands,—being pourtrayed in the image of the reproducer that unites both Father and Mother in one person, and who survives to-day as the Mother-Church.

12.    Moreover, the emblems buried with the dead from the earliest times are ideographic symbols of perpetuation and reproduction for the life to come.  The figure of an eye was common in the tombs of Egypt.  The name of it, "Uta," signifies salvation; and to be saved was to be preserved as a mummy waiting to be reproduced or transformed for another life.  The eye being a mirror that reflects the image, it was adopted as a type of repetition and reproduction.  Thus the Eye of Horus is the Mother of Horus, and the shoot of new life in the potato comes from the "eye"—as the place of reproduction.  One word serves for both eye and seed in the Ute language.  The Egyptians fed the eye with oil.  And filling the "Eye of Horus" is synonymous with bringing an offering of sacred oil.  The eye being the lamp of light to the body, it was supplied with that which would produce and reproduce the light.  Thus, by aid of Egypt, we can understand why the primitive race in Britain, and still further north, were accustomed to fill the cups and eyes carved on the cap-stones that covered their buried dead with offerings of fat.  They were filling the lamp of light for the gloom of the grave, and feeding the eye as an emblem of repetition or reproduction.  The symbolism still survives when candles are placed in the hands of the corpse, or left with the dead in the tomb.  And in ancient Egypt the candle was synonymous with reproduction.

13.    It is an extant custom, both with the Kaffirs and the English, to cut the hair from the tail of a calf when it is being weaned, and stuff it into the ear of its mother.  The hair being a symbol of reproduction, the action denotes a desire for plenty of milk or future progeny, whilst stuffing it into the ear signifies a wish that the prayer may be heard.  A drink on the morning after being intoxicated is called "a hair of the dog that bit you"!  This means a repetition of the dose; and as a symbol of reproduction, hair, in one shape or another, was buried with the dead.  Of course the primary type of hair is the skin—in which the dead were wrapped for preservation, transformation, and rebirth.  In the Egyptian Ritual the deceased says to his God, "Thou makest for me a skin." This God is characterised as the "Lord of the numerous transformations of the skin," which had become a type of renewal, on account of its shedding and renewing the hair.  The skin is needed because he has to pass the waylayers who cause annihilation to those who are enveloped.  The later shoe, following the skin, is also a type of renewal and reproduction; as such it was placed on the feet of the dead, and is still thrown for good luck after the newly married pair—good luck meaning plenty of progeny.  The horn of the stag or reindeer was likewise a type of renewal, coming of itself, as does the hair of the skin.  Hor-Apollo tells us the stag's horn was a symbol of permanence, because of its annual self-reproduction.  And when the Greenlander has suffered from an exhausting illness, and he recovers his health, he is said to have lost his former soul, and to have had it replaced by that of a young child or a reindeer.  In the bone-caves of France adult skulls have been discovered which were trepanned in the life-time of the owners; and into these the bones of young children had been inserted after death—these being typical of rejuvenescence and renewal from childhood—as we learn from the hieroglyphics of Egypt.

14.    In all likelihood the Dog was the first animal to come under the dominion of man, his earliest four-footed friend; his primary ally in the work of progress and civilisation.  He hunted for the men of the Kitchen-middens; he was the guide and guard of man in the palæolithic age, and he was sacrificed to become the typical guide of the poor cave-dwellers when they got benighted in the dark of death.  The bones of the dog have been found buried with the human skeleton in a very ancient cave of the Pyrenees; in Belgium; and in Britain; showing that at a period most remote the dog was looked upon as a kind of Psychopompus, an intelligent shower of the way, like Sut-Anup, the golden dog or jackal of Egypt, and Hermes in Greece,—the Dog-star in the dark of death—a guide to show the way.  "I have provided myself with a dog's head," says the Egyptian deceased in passing through the 10th gate of Elysium.  In like manner English bishops used to be buried with a dog at their feet in the coffin.  They, too, were provided with a dog's head—or a dog to show them the way!  Of course the dog would not have been needed as a typical guide to show them the way if it had not been believed or assumed that there was a way through the dark valley of the dead!  This conclusion that there was a door on the other side of the grave—as proved by the types and customs—had been reached by the men of the bone-caves in all probability more than 50,000 years ago!

15.    How, then, did primitive or archaic man attain that certainty of foothold in the dark void implied by these burial customs, and this typology of the tomb, which certainly was felt by many of the pre-historic races, including the Black Man, the Maori, and the Red Man, who has no doubt about living on in his happy hunting grounds above?  whereas so many of our own race to-day are still trying mentally to take that step in the dark, and stumble, because they can find neither foothold nor stair.  The question is not to be answered by supposing there was any subjective revelation made to primitive man, which showed him once for all that he was an immortal being, formed in the image of God!  It has taken me many years of ceaseless research to learn for myself how lowly and limited, but how natural was the revelation made to primitive man; we shall have to grope on our hands and knees at times to read it.  Nor can the subject be approached by any supposition that early man began by conceiving the existence of an immortal soul.  Modern metaphysicians may talk glibly enough about "concepts of the Infinite," of the "one God," of a "soul," or of "pure spirit;" but primitive man was not a metaphysician, nor the victim of an abysmal subjectivity.  That disease is comparatively modern, and the modern metaphysician will be the last man to enter into the mind of primitive men.

16.    When we have ransacked the myths of the world, and the legends of its earliest races, we can find no such thing anywhere as a beginning with abstract conceptions!  But there is absolute proof everywhere that man founded at first upon his observations of objective phenomena.  Primitive man was not a theorist or dealer in Ideal notions, not the kind of man to whom Ideas are Realities, but a stubborn positivist, limited as a limpet, and holding on as hard and fast to the hard rock of his facts.  The nebulosity of metaphysic is altogether a later product.  My contention is that the invisible world first demonstrated its existence to the early cave-dwellers of the human mind by becoming visible to them.  It did not dawn on them from any sudden illumination within, nor waken to consciousness as a memory of immortality.  Conception did not precede the act of begettal.  Nor did they evolve the ghost-idea without the ghost itself.  The pretensions and impostures of modern theology have tended to make these simple naturalists of the past look like impostors too, although they were not; at least they are not in the eyes of those who are acquainted with the abnormal phenomena occurring in our own time, which enable us to understand the same phenomena as a factor of knowledge and religion in the past.  I say knowledge, for in his way pre-historic man was a Gnostic; and the Gnostics founded their religion from the first upon knowledge.  By means of knowledge they attained their truth.  It appears as first sight as if the ancients, having identified the intelligence or nous in man, thought it could be fed forever by the knowledge accumulated in this life.  The Esoteric Buddhist still expects a perpetuity of existence by means of knowledge, or the Gnosis.  In the Egyptian Book of the Dead the deceased makes his way from stage to stage of his progress by what he knows.  He asserts his right of way by proclaiming: "I am the one who knows," "I am the Gnostic," "I have come," he exclaims, "having the writing"—the proof.  Certain papyri assured a passage, and "prevailing by his papyrus," like Christian with his roll, is a title of the deceased.  If he knows the first chapter of the Ritual in this life the spirit of the deceased can come forth every day as he wishes, and not be turned back, i.e., if he possesses the knowledge of facts, which were demonstrated by the ancient Spiritualism.  He is shown in the process of creating his eternal soul, by means of the Gnosis, or books of knowledge, those of Taht-Hermes.  He cries: "Let me come!  Let me spiritualise myself!  Let me make myself into a soul!  Prevail and prepare myself by the writings of Hermes!" or the Gnosis.  The immortal nature of the Soul having been demonstrated in the Mysteries, a knowledge of those Mysteries was sufficient to ensure a safe passage through the dark of death, and a sure triumph over all opposing powers, to those who had not the Vision.

17.    "By means of wisdom," says the wise man in the Apocrypha, "I shall attain immortality;" and "to be allied into Wisdom is immortality." To know was salvation.  Acquiring this wisdom is described in Revelation as eating a little book on purpose to be in the spirit—or be born again in the spirit, or in the Christ, as Paul has it—or to prophesy, or to know how to be entranced, and enter spirit-world as a spirit, for that is the ultimate fact.  Irenæus says of the Gnostics: "They affirm that the Inner and Spiritual man is redeemed by means of knowledge, and that they, having acquired the knowledge of all things, stand in need of nothing else, for this is the true redemption," hence they repudiated the Christian Salvation by faith.  (Irenæus, B.  I., chap.  xxi.  4.) "The souls which possessed the saving seed of Wisdom were considered superior to all others, and the Gnostics held these to be the souls of prophets, kings, and priests, who were consequently endowed with a nature loftily transcendent.  They maintain that those who have attained to perfect knowledge must of necessity be regenerated into that power which is above all." "For it is otherwise impossible to find entrance within the Pleroma." (Irenæus, B.  I., chap.  xxi.  2.) In our day such persons are sometimes called Mediums or Sensitives; in India they are the Adepts in the most hidden mysteries.  But this Gnosis by which the deceased in the Ritual prevailed over the destroyers of form, the extinguishers of breath, eclipsers of the astral shade, or the stealers of memory—for these are among the devourers named—this gnosis of redemption and salvation, the gnosis of enduring life, was not merely information or knowledge in our modern sense.  It was the gnosis of the mysteries, and all that was therein represented.  The ancient wisdom (unlike the modern) included a knowledge of trance-conditions, from which was derived the Egyptian doctrine of spiritual transformation.  This passed on into the Christian doctrine of conversion, and then the fundamental facts were lost sight of, or cast out and done with.  The adepts had learned how to transform themselves into spirits, and enter spirit-world as spirits among spirits, or as was sometimes said in the Totemic transformations, to enter the bodies of beasts—a survival of which we have in the Were-wolf.  Hermes describes the abnormal, or trance-condition, as a divine silence, and the rest of all the senses!  He says: "It looseth the soul from the bodily senses and motions, it draweth it from the body, and changeth it wholly into the essence of a god." Then, says Hermes, "the soul cometh to the eighth nature, and having its proper power, it can converse (or enter into spiritual intercourse) with the powers that are above the eighth nature." So Nirvana becomes a present possession to the Esoteric Buddhist, because in trance he can enter the eternal state.

18.    This Gnosis included that mystery of transformation which was the change spoken of by Paul, when he exclaimed—"Behold, I tell you a mystery," "We shall not entirely sleep, we shall be transformed!" according to the mystery that was revealed to him in the state of trance.  This was the transformation which finally established the existence of a spiritual entity that could be detached, more or less, from the bodily conditions for the time being in life, and, as was finally held, for evermore in death.  This mystery of regeneration was visibly enacted in life, and taught by the transformers in the early Totemic, and later religious, mysteries.

19.    Now, in discussing the origin of religious "ideas," writers, as a rule, know nothing whatever of this rootage in the mysteries of abnormal experience; whereas it is impossible to determine anything fundamental until this dark continent has been explored by those who have adequate knowledge of the facts that were familiar to the primitive races of men, and upon which the Gnostic religions were universally founded.

20.    Bastian tells us how the African Cazembe, or fetish-priest, regards himself as Immortal by reason of this power of transformation in trance.  The Dacotah medicine-men can transform themselves, and enter into conscious relationship and alliance with mighty spirits, whose powers they are thus able to make their own.  They can also summon spirits, and compel them to appear for others to see.  The Egyptian Magi, the wise men and pure Intelligences, have the Phœnix, the bird of transformation in death, for their ideographic sign, which shows that the ultimate nature of their wisdom, as seers or magi, was based on these abnormal conditions of seership!  What do you think is the use of telling the adept, whether the Hindu Buddhist, the African Seer, or the Finnic Magician, who experiences his "Tulla-intoon," or supra-human ecstasy, that he must live by faith, or be saved by belief?  He will reply that he lives by knowledge, and walks by the open sight; and that another life is thus demonstrated to him in this.  As for death, the practical Gnostic will tell you, he sees through it, and death itself is no more for him!  Such have no doubt, because they know.  The Mosaic and other sacred writings contain no annunciation of a mere doctrine of immortality, and the fact has excited constant wonder amongst the uninstructed.  But the subject was not told of old, as matter of written precepts, but as matter of fact; it was a natural reality, not a manufactured idealism.  It was not the promise of immortality that was set forth, or needed, when a demonstration was considered attainable in the mysteries of the abnormal human conditions, which were once common enough to be considered a known part of nature!  You have got the Mosaic writings, but without the older facts that were concealed at their foundations.  This is the supreme secret of all secrets in the Gnosis of the most hidden mysteries—only to be fathomed by those who could enter the abnormal conditions, and be as spirits among spirits; only to be accepted by means of knowledge.  In India to-day the stage of perfect adultship includes, even if it does not absolutely consist in, the power of transformation which occurs in trance, or in the perfect blending of the normal and abnormal faculties, so that, like Swedenborg, the Adepts can live and move and have their being in two worlds at once.  It was by this transformation that our predecessors of thousands of years ago discovered their immortal soul, or link of continuity, through spirit-awakenment, produced consciously by various methods of attaining the trance conditions.  And in this way the dust of death was first set a-sparkle, and the gloom of the grave was brightened, and grew transparent, with the luminous form of what the Egyptians called the Osirified deceased, or the Ka image of the spiritual self, the glorified Eidolon of man, which was visible to their seers in this life.  None but a Spiritualist can possibly comprehend the customs, practices, and beliefs of the primitive Spiritualists in times past.  They were genuine interrogators of Nature, however limited their knowledge.  But they made much of that which the science of to-day is inclined to make so little of, or to pooh-pooh altogether in its ignorance of the value of the pre-historic past of man, and the foundation of religious beliefs.

21.    Did you ever read by the light of a glow-worm laid on the page of a book?  I have so read in the dark.  And next morning, by the clearer light of open day, found my tiny lamp had gone out; there was no glow whatever; it was nothing more than a little gray worm!  My reading must surely have been hallucination, the merest illusion of the night, in the face of this common daylight fact, to which every person could testify, that the thing did not shine by day!  Spiritualism is that little luminous worm, which has shone with its tiny lamp divinely lit through all the darkness of the past.  Many of the earlier races learned to read a page or two in the Book of Nature by the light of it.  I have read some curious leaves by means of this little night-light.  Yet the non-Spiritualist will take up the glow-worm in the broad day-light of our age and show the on-looker that it has no lamp, that it never did shine except as a glamour of deception and illusion in the eyes of superstition.  For all that, we know it to be a glow-worm still, which goes on shining through the gloom.  By the light of this we are, for the first time, able to see through many mysteries of the past, and make out the features of primitive facts, which have been almost effaced or overgrown with fable.  Moreover, it has out-lived the long night of the past, and weathered all the winds of persecution; it shines on with the enlarging lustre of an ever-growing light, and at last our little glow-worm is growing luminous by day.  It has had a hard struggle for life, more especially during the Christian era, but it would have been strange if that could have been put to death here which puts an end to death itself hereafter.

22.    The earliest known form of the priest and the prophet was the medium, or seer.  Professor Huxley is quite right in affirming that, although he has little use for the fact in his system of interpretation.  "Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake—'Come, and let us go to the seer,' for he that is called a prophet was aforetime called a seer." And the Lord might be consulted cheaply in this way for the small sum of sixpence three-farthings.  They seem to have paid mediums even worse then than the world does now-a-days.

23.    Siberian Shamanism is a survival of the most primitive kind of Spiritualism, based on mediumship and abnormal phenomena.  It has no system of religion or ethics; no ritual, precepts, or dogmas; and no definite theology.  The Shaman can visit spirit-world, and the spirits can come to him, speak through him, or become visible at times through his presence.  That is its claim, and the sum-total of its pretentions.  The Shaman of the Finns induces the super-normal ecstasy, called the "Tulla-intoon," with the ostensible object of becoming—as they phrase it—"The likeness of the spirit that is in possession of him." We now consider that such transformations do constantly occur, according to a likeness known to the observers, which was previously unknown to the medium.

24.    The Tohunga or priest of the Maoris is their medium for spirit intercourse.

25.    In Loango, when an adult is about to adopt a new fetish image, the Ganga or priest mesmerizes the postulant to consult him in the trance condition.  He listens to the words uttered by the ecstatic, and then the choice is determined by what the somnambule says.  The same practice is, or was, extant among the Acageman Indians.  One of the negro methods of treatment, says Bastian, would almost appear to have been plagiarised from our animal magnetisers.  In their system it is called Dorsal manipulation, and its purpose is to re-isolate the somnambulic subject after contact with the Cazembe or magician, and, as they say, for fear that the superabundance of his magical power should otherwise annihilate the victim or the subject, which looks as if they knew more than we do about matters perplexing us to-day.  For this practice has the appearance of their being consciously engaged in returning some of the vitality of which the person has been deprived in producing the phenomena of the abnormal state.  The West African Indians look to their mediums or magicians for protection against ghosts in general, and pay them to keep the apparitions away.  The mediums, wizards, sorcerers, shamans, adepts, and others, who had the power of going out of the body in this life, were feared all the more after death by many tribes, because they had demonstrated some of the facts which created such fear and terror in the living; and had also been their exorcists and layers of the ghost.  I do not suppose that Mr.  Herbert Spenser will have included this fact amongst the origins of ecclesiastical institutions; yet it is a fact that the modern fiction of the ever-living one (in its secondary phase) is founded on medium-ship.  It is said "the king never dies." The Egyptian king, or ank, was the "ever-living one" on this mystical ground.  So was it with the inner African medicine-man—in a sense which is only to be understood by means of the transformation and transmigration which occurs in trance.  We can adduce proof positive that immortality or continuity was originally demonstrated by means of these phenomena, and that in this way pre-historic man first found his enduring soul, because it was a common article of faith that only the chiefs, the seers, prophets, and kings of men, could or did obtain immortality—that is, the men who demonstrated it.  These are the born immortals, the superior souls spoken of by Hermes and by the Gnostics, which possessed the saving seed of wisdom within themselves; and who were of a nature loftily transcendent.

26.    There is a class, if not the earliest class, of chiefs or supreme beings amongst men, who were first recognised as the ever-living ones, the immortals, because they were the mediums for spirit intercourse—mediators between the two worlds.  With the Tonguans to-day it is only the chiefs who have power to return after death and inspire the mediums; not the souls of the common people who had been without the abnormal power in this life.  The Fijians maintain that only the few are immortal Spirits.  Hence the desire to obtain such a condition, and possess that knowledge of it which was taught in the Mysteries.  Here, also, we get back to the origin of conditional or potential immortality, as taught by the Gnostics.

27.    Whatsoever secret Brotherhoods there may be of Hindu Mahatmas or Tibetan Adepts, such fraternities are known to be extant in Africa, and they are Spiritualistic.  In Cabende and Loango there are secret associations of the Fetishmen or mediums.  They constitute a fraternity—the brothers—and form a society apart—an Order, whose secrets are only known to the initiated, and whose mysterious faculties are the terrors of the uninitiated.  Bastian describes the King of Bamba as dwelling isolated in his banza in an almost inaccessible mountain district, at the head of one of those systems of religious mystery which exercise an overwhelming influence amongst the natives along the West Coast of Africa.  New members are admitted into these Brotherhoods only after a probation of ten years.  They must prepare themselves by fasting, by drinking, by inhaling narcotics; they must give proofs of being ecstatics or mediums, by becoming frantic in the sacred dances, and by seeing in the state of trance!  These are the Secret Societies of savage mediumship.  The Red Men also had their brotherhoods of the adepts.  The "Friendly Society of the Spirit" is mentioned by Carver.  This was an association of Spiritualists who were Mediums, Magicians, or Fetish Priests.  Carver saw an elderly member of this brotherhood throw a bean at a young man who was a candidate for election into the society, whereupon he instantly fell motionless, as if he had been shot, and remained for a long time in trance.  One of three such societies among the American Indians is that of the Meda or Mediums; the chief festival of the order being that of Medawin.  At this festival songs are sung, which are only recorded in symbolical pictures that have been preserved from time immemorial, and can only be read by the few who have been made the guardians of this secret language.

28.    Any way, these primitive Spiritualists were terribly in earnest in their modes of over-leaping the ordinary barriers of life,—of forcing open the very door of death, and taking the other world by storm.  They exhausted themselves in all manner of ways,—by hideous howling, partial strangulation, furious dancing, shuddering ecstasies, cutting, wounding, and bleeding, until they swooned into the coveted state of inner consciousness, which may be attained in such a variety of ways,—the crudest methods having been discovered first.  An ancient Indian seer, says Mr.  Tylor, would fast for seven days, to purge his vision for spiritual seeing.  And he makes merry over all this light-headed business.  It certainly would be a very round-about way of going to work on the theory of imposture put forth by the ignorant pretenders to knowledge in our day.  And here a curious side-light may be allowed to glance on this subject.  Our missionaries have recorded numerous instances in which native mediums—i.e., supposed practitioners of imposture, have been converted to Christianity.  The men who converted them thought they were impostors.  But though they were taught to look with horror and loathing on their old practices as damnable, there is no instance of their recanting and denouncing their spirit-intercourse as trickery, or of pleading imposture, or even self-deception, which would have been so acceptable a solution to the missionaries of the mysterious manifestations.  On the contrary, they have always solemnly affirmed the genuineness of the phenomena.  Close observers, like Mariner, Williams, and Moerenhout, strenuously repudiate the theory of imposture.  The Zulus say the continually stuffed body cannot see secret things; and the world, in general, has never shown much faith in fat prophets or poets.  It evidently believes in thinness and suffering as good for them, and has always done its best to inspire them with sufficient starvation.  It believes in purity by purging.  Apollonius of Tyana declared that his power of prophecy was not due to magic or stimulation of the soul, but simply to his abstinence from animal food enhancing the receptive conditions.  There have been many ways of reaching the other world, however, besides starving.  We know the Hindus, the Chaldeans, Assyrians, Egyptians were acquainted with animal magnetism.  The Egyptians and Scythians also made use of Indian Hemp for their spiritual sleepers.  Indian soothsayers still prepare themselves with the sweating bath for their ecstatic condition, in which the spirits make their communications to the bystanders.  The Malay retires to the desert to fast and pray, in order that he may attain the abnormal condition.  The Zulu doctor fasts, suffers, castigates himself, till he swoons into the state of trance in which he carries on his spirit communication.  Aristophanes wittily ridicules spirit communication in representing the cowardly character Pisander as going to a Necromancer and asking to be shown his own soul, which had long since departed and left him only a breathing body.  We also find that Ælian has a gird at the Hindu mode of inducing the sacred sleep.  He says the followers of Apis have a better method of getting at the spirit world.  Apis is an excellent interpreter of futurity.  He does not employ virgins and old women sitting on a tripod, nor require that they should be intoxicated with the sacred potion.  In the Persian Bahman Yasht, the god Ahura-Mazda throws Zarathustra into the clairvoyante trance by giving him some magnetised water to drink.

29.    We have been untruly taught, by those who knew no better, that this was all a delusion of the past; but the fact is that many thousands of years ago our progenitors had become sufficiently familiar with the business they were about.  The African priests, says Bastian, are profoundly versed in the science of ghostly apparitions.  The spirit-seers of America might get from African professors many practical rules for intercourse with spirits.  Whereas the travellers and missionaries generally who report on their mysteries are entirely ignorant that spiritual manifestations and clairvoyante vision were natural realities in the past as they are verifiable in the present.

30.    For example, the Serpent-Wisdom, or wisdom of the serpent, played an important part in the ancient mysteries.  The "way of a serpent" and the workmanship are amongst the most amazing in universal nature.  Without hands it can climb trees and catch the agile ape.  Without fins it can outswim the fish.  It has no legs, and the human foot cannot match it in fleetness.  Death is in its coil for the bird on the wing, which the springing reptile will snatch out of its element.  As a type of elemental power it has no equal; hence it was the supreme fetish in Egypt, worn as the forefront of the gods.  "Wise as the serpent" is a saying; but the wisdom of the serpent has to be interpreted.  It was not merely the representative of elemental power, but of mind or mental influence in the primitive sense.  The serpent is the Mesmerist and magician of the animal world.  With its magnetic eyes it has the power to fascinate, paralyse, and draw the prey to its deadly mouth.  It probably evoked the earliest idea of magical influence, and gave to man his fist lessons in animal magnetism.  No disk of the Hypnotist, or navel of Vishnu, no look of the Mesmerist, has any such power as the gaze of the serpent in inducing the comatose condition.  I have seen a sensitive person mesmerised by it almost instantaneously.  A traveller has described his sensations as he sank deeper and deeper into the somnambulic sleep under its fatally fascinating influence.  And when the shot was fired which arrested the serpent's charm and set him free, he felt the blow as if he had been struck by the bullet.  In the Avesta the look of the serpent is synonymous with the most paralysing and deadly opposition.  The serpent and charming are synonymous.  In the Egyptian Ritual a deluding snake named Ruhak is the Great Charmer, or fascinator that draws the victim to its mouth with the magic power of its eyes.  The speaker exclaims, "Go back, Ruhak, fascinating, or striking cold with the eyes." The supreme mode of exhibiting mental power is by Magic, and that is represented as charming the serpent.  "These are the gods," it is said in the Texts, "who charm for Har-Khuti in the lower world—they charm Apap for him." Apap is the giant serpent of darkness, who is the eternal enemy of the sun.  They cry, "Oh, impious Apap!  thou art charmed by us through the means of what is in our hands." That is, by a magic wand carried in the hands of the charmers.

31.    Primitive man must have had a long, hard wrestle for supremacy before he could have mesmerised and mastered his old subtle enemy, the serpent, or charmed his charmer, as he learned to do at last, when he became the serpent-charmer, which he ultimately did.  Africans to-day will magnetise a serpent with a few passes an make it stiff as a stick.  And in this character we find his figure proudly set in heaven, for the first star in Ophiuchus is known in Arabic as Ras-al-Hawwa, the head of the serpent-charmer.  Ophiuchus is not merely the serpent-holder, he is the serpent-charmer.  The Egyptian serpent-headed goddess Heh is called the "Maker of invisible existences apparent," which seems to characterise the serpent as the revealer of an unseen world—this it was, as the magnetiser of man—and hence the serpent type of Wisdom.  Hea, the Akkadian god of Wisdom, is represented by the serpent.  It was the serpent that inducted the primal pair into the secrets of the hidden wisdom when they ate of the fruit that was to open their vision and make them wise—in keeping with the character here assigned to it!  In some ancient drawings the serpent and the Goddess of Wisdom are pourtrayed in the act and attitude of offering the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge to the human being.  Sometimes the serpent holds the fruit in its mouth.

32.    Africa is the primordial home of the serpent-wisdom, and the serpent was there made use of to produce the abnormal condition in Sensitives.  The Africans tell of women being possessed and made insane by contact with the serpent.  That is, the reptile, from the fascination of its look, fear of its touch, and use of its tongue, threw the mediums into the state of trance called the stupor of the serpent, in which they saw clairvoyantely, divined and prophesied, and so became divinely inspired, as the phenomena were interpreted.  We are told that Cassandra and Helenus were prepared for seeing into the future by means of Serpents that cleansed the passages of their sense by licking them!  In this way the sensitives were tested, and made frantic; thus the serpent chose its own oracle and mouthpiece and became the revealer of preternatural knowledge.  The stupor caused by the serpent's sorcery created a kind of religious awe, and the extraordinary effects produced on the mediums were attributed to the supernatural power of the serpent!  Those who were found to be greatly affected by it were chosen to become Fetish women, priestesses, and pythonesses.  This Obea cult still survives wherever the black race has migrated, and the root of the matter, which travellers have found so difficult to get at, is unearthed at last, as a most primitive kind of Spiritualism, in which the serpent acted the part of the mesmerist or magnetizer to the natural somnambules.  This I personally learned from an Initiate in the Voudou Mysteries.

33.    In various parts of Africa, especially on the Guinea coast, the oracle of the serpent is a common institution.  The reptile is kept in a small hut by an old woman, who feeds it, and who gives forth the responses when the serpent oracle is consulted.  She is the medium of spirit-communication!  In Hwida the fetish priests are known by a name which signifies the "mother of the serpent." In a chant of the Algonkins it is asked, "Who is Manitu?"—or medicine man—and the reply is, "He that goeth with the serpent." The witch of Endor is called a woman who was mistress of Aub.  Aub is also an Assyrian word which means the serpent.  In Egyptian the serpent is Ap, to be inflated, serpent-like.  In short, the witch was a pythoness, a serpent-woman inspired with the serpent wisdom of Obea or the ophite cult.  In the Hebrew book of Genesis the serpent beguiles the woman to eat the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, and is damned for doing so.  But there was a sect of Gnostic Christians who paid the serpent the highest honour because it had done this thing.  Being Gnostics, they were acquainted with the serpent-wisdom, and knew what the fable signified, which is what the collectors and translators of those ancient fragments never have known, and so we have a creed called Christian, founded on an impious perversion of ancient knowledge, which teaches that all mankind were likewise damned because the first pair tasted of the tree of knowledge, and all of us are additionally damned who do not accept the story as true!

34.    The chief sacred trees of the world, the typical trees of knowledge, have always been those that produce a fruit or juice from which an alcoholic or narcotic drink could be distilled on purpose to induce the somnambulic trance.  The Egyptians used the juice of the sycamore fig tree.  Human beings transform into immortal spirits by drinking of its juice, which is represented as a liquid of life.  In inner Africa the toddy-palm supplied the sacred potion already fermented; and what an amazing Tree of Knowledge that toddy-palm must have been!  In India the Tree of Knowledge was the Pippala, or sacred fig tree.  This fig tree is a meeting place for men and immortals.  Under it Yama, king of the departed, and the Pitris, the protecting, fatherly spirits, quaffed the divine drink in common with human beings.  From the fruit of it a drink was made, so potent that it not only exalted men to the status of immortals, and placed them on a footing of fellowship with the gods, but brought down the gods to meet with men.  In other words, intoxication was a mode of spirit-communication — the mediums being inspired by strong drink to utter their revelations.  This is pourtrayed on Hindoo monuments.  It was the Tree of Knowledge, and the drink was divine just because it lapped the senses in Elysium, and opened the inner eyes to see in trance.  In the Hindu drawings you see the medium who was intoxicated, and consulted underneath the Tree of Knowledge; she eats—or drinks—of the fruit of the tree, that her inner eyes may be opened.  In the Rig-Vda the gods are represented as obtaining immortality by constantly getting drunk with Amartyam Madam, the immortal stimulant!  They drink copiously the first thing in the morning, they are drunk by mid-day, and dead drunk at night.  We hear of North-American Indians who have the notion that immortality consists in being eternally dead drunk—dead drunk being a primitive mode of expressing extreme felicity in a life beyond the present—a kind of paradisaical condition.  The worshippers follow the example of their gods, and drink the intoxicating soma juice to attain immortality.  In this state they sing—

"We've quaffed the Soma bright,
 And are immortal grown,
 We've entered into light,
 And all the gods have known."

35.    Exactly as it is with the first pair of people in the book of Genesis.  The Serpent informs the woman that if she will eat of the fruit of the tree their eyes shall be opened, and they shall be as gods, knowing good from evil.  And when the woman saw that it was a tree to be desired to make one wise, she did eat of it.  The Wise are the Seers in this abnormal sense.  Prophets, seers, magi and wizards are the wise men.  The primal pair have eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, the Elohim or celestial spirits exclaim, "Behold!  the man has become as one of us," that is, as a spirit amongst spirits.  This opening of the eyes means an unsealing of the interior vision.  "And their eyes were opened, and they knew him," is said of those who had seen the risen Christ.  So Balaam, the man who saw in vision, that is, in the trance condition, is described as the man whose eyes were opened; the Seer who saw the vision of the Almighty, falling in trance, having his eyes opened.  In this aspect, eating of the Tree of Knowledge was simply partaking of the divine drink, the drink of immortality, the sacred potion or Nepenthe, which was made and administered in all the mysteries, for the purpose of producing the abnormal vision in the practice of spirit-intercourse.  The Tree of Knowledge had taught them how to enter the spirit-life or spirit-world that way, by means of wisdom or knowledge.  The Typical Tree had its religious rootage here, not in direct adoration, but in the mystery of fermentation, and attained its sacredness on account of the Divine drink.  Hence the Trees could be very various, but the product was one.  We may note that Sophia, the Greek word for wisdom, originally signified wine.  A prior form of the word in Egyptian, as Sefa or Kefa, meant distilling and the mystery of fermentation.  Alcoholic spirits were very prominent in primitive spiritism, because they produced abnormal effects!  Intoxication was also a mode of illustrating the genesis of spirit—the alcoholic being a type of the human product.  The facts are registered in language.  In Sanskrit, Sidhu is distilled spirit, and Siddha means the spiritually perfected; the Siddhas being the perfect spirits.  So in Egyptian, Shethu denotes spirits of wine; Sheta is the mystery of mysteries, and the Sheta was the coffin or sarcophagus in which the dead transformed, or were turned into Spirits.  In the Bacchic Mysteries they also enacted the production of the spirit by means of fermentation; the soul assigned to Seb, who represented the sap of wood in Egypt, or, as we now see, the juice of the tree that ferments and produces the alcoholic spirit—the drink that made men wise in the Mysteries.  In the book of Deuteronomy the Jews are instructed or commanded to spend their savings in drink, as an offering to the Deity, which shows that intoxication was also a religious rite with them.

36.    It was this crude nature of these primitive practices that chiefly led to the wholesale condemnation of mediums, sorcerers, wizards, witches, and all who had familiar spirits.  It was so in Egypt as in India; in the Persian writings as well as the Mosaic.  And these denunciations were and still are accepted as the very word of God by those who are ignorant of the phenomena, and who could not distinguish the lower from the higher, saintly from satanic, or black magic from white.  Thus, on account of certain early practices, Spiritualism was damned altogether, instead of being fathomed and explained.  Our customs of drinking strong liquors, snuffing most potent powders, and smoking narcotic herbs, which are now besotting and degrading the race—so much so that our protoplasm and protozoa have to come into being half-fuddled with nicotine—so that our children are doomed by heredity to become smokers and drinkers, without being allowed the chance of making a fresh start for themselves—these very customs have been bequeathed to us as sacred survivals from the times when the trance-conditions were induced by such means!

37.    Again, the universal customs of Transforming, of Masking and Mumming, are related to the mysteries of ancient spiritism.  In Egyptian the word mum, whence the name of mummy, means the dead body.  We have the identical word and meaning in English, applied to a beer called "mum-beer," which was not taxed because it is non-alcoholic, unfermented, spiritless, or dead beer, i.e., mum-bear.    This is not so called, as some have suggested, from a man named Mummer, who was once famous for his brew of strong ale.  Our mummers used to go about in masks and "mum" by making sounds with closed lips.  The two sexes exchanged dresses with each other, as a part of the transformation that was being enacted by the mummers, who represented the dead come back in disguise to pay a visit to the living.  The annual masking still practised by our children about the time of "All-Soul's day," is a survival of this primitive pantomime, in which the masks signify the spirits of the dead or the mummies.  The institution of "All Souls" is a most ancient ceremonial festival of the dead.  It is celebrated in many lands, and is common to the most diverse races of mankind.  On a certain day after the Autumn equinox the spirits of all those (all souls) who had died during the year were supposed to gather together at an appointed place in the West to follow their leader, the red sun of Autumn, down through the under-world, or across the horizon of the resurrection.  When such mysteries were performed, those who acted the part of spirits did so in masks, and therefore masks still mean the dead, the mummies or spirits.  The modern pastime was an earlier religious mystery.  In the genuine Christmas Pantomime we have an extant illustration of this primitive masking and mumming, which belonged to the drama of the dead, even as we find it in the Egyptian Ritual.  In those subterranean scenes of the Pantomime we are really in the Egyptian Meska, the re-birthplace of the dead, where the transformations into the new life were represented; and the Meska is the original Mask as place of transformation, mode of transformation, or symbol of transformation.  The pivot of the pantomime on which all turns is the principle of transformation.  The transformation is from the lower world of the dead, the place of the mummies or masks—hence the giants, dwarfs, fairies, gnomes, bad spirits, and other types of the elemental powers, that were represented earlier than human spirits—to the daylight world of life, light, and liberty, now represented by fun, frolic, and lawlessness.  Harlequin is the potent transformer, who wields the wonder-working wand.  With his mask down he is invisible; another proof that the masks represent the dead or the spirits.  The final transformation scene represents heaven; the upper world of three.  The mask, then, is the face of the dead, and the death-mask of the Siberian Shaman was preserved and hung up in his late residence, just above the place where he used to sit.  In New Britain the natives perform a religious ceremony called the "duk-duk," in which a spirit-messenger is represented as coming in a mask.  The women and children are prohibited from seeing the mask, and they must not say that it conceals any human being.  If the performer allows the mask to slip off, they kill and make a ghost of him.  Masks in animal forms and fashions represent the nature-powers or the Totemic and typical ancestors, but the human mask assuredly stands for a human spirit.  And the endeavour to represent this can be traced from the rudest beginnings.  In some instances the human face has been flayed from the bones, and transferred to form the mask of a fetish image.  The aborigines of Bolivia and Brazil used to take off the face and scalp from the skull, and reduce them to a miniature mask of humanity, supposed to possess supernatural properties, and to furnish a most potent medicine.  The Maori, amongst others, learned to dessicate the head and preserve it in its own skin, on the way to complete mummifying of the corpse.  Before the mummy could be embalmed entirely the skull was sacredly saved, and sometimes the flesh was imitated by coating it with a mask made of reddish matter.  We are now for the first time in a position to apprehend the meaning of the mummy-image, and to appreciate the motive of the Egyptians, who practised the art of embalming the dead until it was absolutely perfected.

38.    The Mummy or corpse was the dead mask which had been let fall from the face of life by the person who had transformed, and this was faithfully preserved, because it was the mortal likeness of the person who had transformed and become a spirit!

39.    In the primary stage and rudest conditions of the human race, the returning ghost was naturally an object of terror and dread, the representative of all that was most fearsome in external phenomena; not in the least likely to evoke, although it helped to ultimately evolve, a feeling of reverence, which led to some kind of worship; and a long road had to be travelled from the earliest period, when the ghost was besought and propitiated not to appear, up to the time when the bones of the dead were kept in the house or chest, and the mask or mummy was sacredly preserved on purpose to secure the presence of the ghost as a protection for the living relatives—whence the lares and penates, and other forms of the household gods.  Doubtless, it took a very long time to utilise the ghost, or fully make out its message to man.  But that stage had been travelled by the Egyptians when they first come into view.  It is certain that from the earliest monumental period, and, probably, ages before that, the Egyptians represented man to be what is termed an immortal spirit.  The text of the 130th chapter of the "Book of the Dead" is said to have been discovered or re-discovered, in the reign of Housapti, the fifth king of the first dynasty, who lived more than 6000 years ago.  At that time certain portions of the sacred books were found as antiquities, of which the very tradition had been lost.  And this is the chapter of "Vivifying the soul for ever." The Egyptians were accustomed to set up two different images with the dead body in the tomb.  One of these is the Shebti, or duplicative figure.  This was one of their types of transformation; it represented the duplication of the mummy for another life, called that of the Second Breath.  The other image was named the Ka, or second self.  The 105th chapter of the Ritual is entitled the chapter of "Propitiating the Ka of a person in the divine nether world;" and, in the pictorial illustration, the person is represented in the act of adoring his own spiritual image, the glorified Eidolon, to which he relates how he abominates all filthy things, in order that his ka, or higher self, may be propitiated and pleased.  The Egyptian title of ka-ankh meant the living likeness, or the likeness of the immortal, the one that lived on after death.  Moreover, this ka was not only the reflex image of the defunct erected in the tomb; it was also pourtrayed as being born with the mortal into this life.  In the scenes at Luxor, in which Amenhept III.  is represented at the moment of birth, another infant, his exact likeness, is depicted as his ka, his genius, himself in a divine effigy.  Also, it was a great joy for the spirit of the deceased to be permitted to revisit the dead body and see how carefully it was preserved, which shows us the final crowning motive for making and keeping the Mummy.  In the chapter (lxxxix.) of the visit of the soul or Ka of the deceased to his body, it is said,—"Thou hast let my eternal soul see my body!" "He sees his body;" and "He is at peace in his Mummy!"

40.    The chief fact with which we are now concerned, is, that the Mummy-image supplied the supreme type of transformation, and was the Egyptian Karast, or Christ.  Various symbols of durability and rebirth were buried with the Egyptian dead, when the mummy was deposited in the hen-ankhu, or chest of the living.  A copy of the Book of the Second Breath —Sen-sen— formed his pillow, and the leaves of the Book of Life were the lining of his coffin.  He was accompanied by his types of protection, of duration, and renewal, the ankh-cross of life to come; the ankham-flower of life, worn at the ear, the tat-cross, or buckle of stability, the beetle of transformation, the vulture-image of victory; the green-stone (Uat) of revivification, the tablet of rosin, a type of preservation; the Level or corner-sign of Amenu, signifying to come—our "amen." And, with the eyes of the sun and moon to light him through the darkness, the Egyptian entered his tomb, called the "Good Dwelling." A number of copies of the Shebti, or double of the dead, were ranged in the Serdab to signify manifold repetition, and the Ka-image of his spiritual self was erected in the tomb, as his visible link with his dead form on earth.  But, the Mummy itself was also preserved as a type, just as the mummified hawks, mice, cats, and other animals, were preserved for their typical significance.  Both Herodotus and Plutarch tell us how the Egyptians ended a banquet by carrying round, in a coffin, the image of a dead body.  "Look on it, they said, and drink, for when you are dead you will be like this!" That image was the mummy-type of immortality!  The sentiment was not that of "Eat and drink!  for to-morrow we die!" It was one of rejoicing in the assurance of immortality which the mummy-image represented.  This mummy-image was the Egyptian Corpus Christi, the body of Christ, or spirit which was to be reborn.  We have to go a long way back to get at the origin of the types and symbols now called Christian; not one of these originated at the beginning of our era!  The Christ, for instance, is a pre-Christian type, connected with the mask, the mummy, and the mysteries of transformation.

41.    The first male type of the Christ was after the flesh, and founded on the transformation of the boy into man—the Christ who became the anointed one of puberty.  This Phallic fetish associated with the rite of circumcision was the one repudiated by Paul for the spiritual Christ—not the historical Jesus.  In the Gnostic sense the word made s£rx, or flesh, was this Phallic Logos founded on the Causative Seed; the reproductive power which transformed in this life having been made a type of transformation for the future life!  In the Gospel according to Thomas, it is said—"He who seeks me will find me in children from seven years old; for there concealed I shall, in the fourteenth year, be made manifest"—that is, as the pubescent Christ or Horus.  In Greek the Christ means the anointed; but the mystical or spiritual sense of the word was preceded by the physical.  Chriso and Chresthai are also names for daubing over with colouring matter; and it still is a primitive practice amongst the Black men and Red men to cover the bodies or bones of the dead with red ochre.  Human bones buried in the mounds of Caithness have been found coated over with red earth.  This was done to preserve and save them.  It was also typical of their being refleshed; and the bone, head, mask, or body so saved became the symbol of a salvation and a saviour, because it was an image of transformation.  This was the mummy figure in Egypt.  To "karas," in Egyptian, is to anoint, embalm, or make the mummy; and the type of preservation so made was called the Karast or Christ.  Such, I maintain, is the Egyptian origin of the Christ called the Anointed in Greek.  The one who transformed and rose again from the dead, designated the Karast or Christ, was represented both by the prepared and preserved mummy, and by the carven image, which was the likeness of a dead man.  Moreover, this was the original Christ, whose vesture was without seam.  In making the perfect mummy type of continuity or immortality the body had to be bound up in the ketu or woof, a seamless robe, or a bandage without a seam.  No matter how long this might be—and some swathes have been unrolled that were 1000 yards in length—it was woven without a seam.  This, I repeat, was the seamless robe of the mystical Christ, which re-appears as the coat, coating, or chiton (cf.  ketu, Eg.  woof) of the Christ according to John.  The Assyrians also made use of a mysterious sacred image called the mamit, or mamitu.  It is celebrated in their hymns as the Mamit!  the Mamit!  the Treasure which passeth not away!  It is spoken of as a shape of salvation, descending from the midst of the heavenly abyss: a life-giving image that was placed, as is the Cross, in the hands of the dying, to drive away evil spirits.  This mamit was the sign, or fetish-image, of the one deity who never fails.  I have shown elsewhere that this type of eternal life was identical with the Corpus Domini, the mummy-krist of Egypt!  The Bit-Mamiti was the house of the mummies!  The Kan-Mamiti was the book of the mummy; and the Mamit I hold to have been the image of the resurrection; a type and teacher of the Eternal!  So, Mammoth in Hebrew is a name of the corpse as the image of the dead.

42.    We can trace the Karast or Mummy-Christ of Egypt a little further.  When he transformed in the underworld, spiritualised or obtained a soul in the stars of heaven, he rose on the horizon as or in the constellation Orion—that is, the star of Horus, the Karast, or Christ.  Hence Orion is named the Sahu, or constellation of the mummy who has transformed and ascended into heaven from the Mount of the Equinox, at the end of forty days, as the starry image of life to come, the typical Saviour of men.  And Orion must have represented the risen Horus, the karast or Christ, at least 6000 years ago!  This Christ is said to come forth sound, with no limb missing and not a bone broken, because the deceased was reconstituted in accordance with the physical imagery.  And by aid of this Corporeal Christ of Egypt we can understand why the risen Christ of the Gospels is made to demonstrate that he is not a spirit or bodiless ghost, as the disciples thought, but is in possession of the flesh and bones of the properly preserved corpse.  They have omitted the transformation into the spiritual Christ.  Thus in that character he is only the corpus Christi, or mummy-Christ, of Egypt—a type transferred and not a reality, either spiritual or physical.  There can be no doubt of this, for the child-Christ (copied into my book) is actually portrayed on a Christian monument in the Roman catacombs as this very image of the Mummy-Christ of Egypt, bound up in the seamless swathe of the Karast.

43.    Some of the Christian Fathers supposed that the Egyptians believed in the physical resurrection of the preserved body, and this false inference is frequently echoed in our own day.  But it is a mistake of the ignorant.  The doctrine of the resurrection of the Body is not Egyptian.  There is proof extant that the Egyptians did not make the Mummy as their type of a physical resurrection.  Being phenomenal and not mere theoretical Spiritualists, they had no need of a Corporeal resurrection.  With them the deathless only was divine, and their dead are spirits divinized by rebirth in the likeness of their Gods.  I repeat, the doctrine of the physical resurrection of the body is not Egyptian.  We find in the "Book of the Dead" that the promise of all blessedness, the supreme felicity, is for the spirit not to re-enter the earthly body for evermore.  In the rubric to chapter lxxxix.  we read—"His soul does not enter, or is not thrust back, into his mummy forever." Their idea of the life hereafter always turned on the transformation, and not on the resurrection, of the body; and their doctrine is that of transformation in the Hades, and not of resurrection from the earth.  They left the dogma of a physical resurrection to be carried off as the stolen property of the non-spiritist Christians in Rome, along with so many other dead effigies of things that never lived.  Accordingly the early Christians, who were ignorant of Egyptian symbolism, did base their belief in a life hereafter upon a bodily resurrection here, derived from the Karast or Mummy-Christ.  Their foothold in a future existence as spiritual entities did depend on the re-possession of an earthly physique.  Without the physical possibility there was no spiritual probability hereafter for them—no life without the re-constitution of the old dead dust, which a mere whiff of science scatters forever, and so abolishes their one bit of foothold in all the universe.  Modern or ancient Spiritualism has no message or meaning for such people; they are corporeally founded, and there they rest and cling to the earth with the rootage of eighteen hundred years.  This was a natural result of taking over the mummy-type of Egypt without a knowledge of the typology, and the ghost-idea without the ghost in reality, or the facts upon which it was founded.  The doctrines and dogmas of Christian theology are derived from Egypt and its arcanum of mystery, which the modern believers have never yet penetrated—we are only just now opening the door.  And here it may be said that those Egyptologists, who are orthodox Bibliolators, first and foremost, are not going to help us much.  Bibliolatry puts out the eyes of scholarship.  We have to get at the facts and help ourselves!

44.    The pre-Christian religion was founded on a knowledge of natural and verifiable Facts, the data being actual, and the method very simply scientific—whether you accept my conclusions or not,—but the Christian Cult was founded on ignorant belief, which swallowed in faith all that was impossible in fact, and unverifiable in phenomena.  Current orthodoxy is based upon a deluding idealism—derived from literalised legend and misinterpreted mythology—on the idea that man fell from paradise, and was damned for ever before the first child had been born—on the idea that the world was consequently lost—on the idea that the world is to be saved and man restored by a vicarious atonement—on the idea of a miraculous physical resurrection from the dead.  And all these ideas are at once non-natural, non-spiritual, unscientific, and utterly false; and year by year, day after day, their props are being knocked away.  But the phenomenal Spiritualist in all ages has founded on his facts.  These facts were common with the pre-historic races, and the phenomena were cultivated more intelligently in the ancient Mysteries.  But they were utterly abominated and crushed or cast out by the later religion.

45.    What has the Christian Church done with the human soul, which was an assured possession of the pre-Christian religions?  It was handed over to their keeping and they have lost it!  They have acted exactly like the dog in Æsop's fable—who, seeing the likeness of the shoulder of mutton reflected in the water, dropped the substance which he held in his mouth, and plunged in to try and seize its shadow!  They substituted a phantom of faith for the knowledge of phenomena!  Hence their deadly enmity against the Gnostics, the men who knew.  They had got hold of a faith that could stand alone independently of fact, if you only made believe hard enough, and killed out all who could not believe.  They drew down the blinds of every window that looked forth into the Past, and shut out the light of nature from the blinded world in which they sought to live, and compel all other people to live, by a farthing candle of faith alone.  They parted company with nature, and cut themselves adrift from the ground of phenomenal fact.  They became the murderous enemies of the ancient spiritism which had demonstrated the existence and continuity of the soul and offered evidence of another life on the sole ground of fact to be found in nature.  And ever since they have waged a ceaseless warfare against the phenomena and the agents—which are as live and active to-day as they were in any time past.  Mediums, prophets, and seers, witches, and wizards—the Born Immortals of the early races—have always been done to death by them with horrible tortures and inhuman cruelties.  They have fought all along against the most vital and valuable, the profoundest part of the knowledge of nature, the most concealed, occult, and subtle; and been at war all through against the other world.  But murder will out, and the innumerable multitude of their victims are only dead against them.  They are living on for us; they are working with us; they are fighting for the eternal truth with terrible power, against the worshippers of the gory God, the men of the "bloody faith," which has yet to pay for all the massacre and misery that the race has suffered, in order that a delusive fiction might be forced upon the world.  The soul was established as a fact, and the future life was demonstrated in the mysteries of ancient Spiritism.  These were the creators of a sentiment that might be called religious, for the first time, and the Christian teachers to-day are but trafficking in and beguiling the hereditary sentiment so evolved, by not only trying to do without the original factors in the past, but by seeking to efface them from Nature itself.  If anything could have put an end to Spiritualism, it was the never-ceasing Christian persecution that was directed towards that end.  They substituted a physical resurrection from the dead for a spiritual continuity, such as was demonstrated in the mysteries of the men who knew!  As if a physical resurrection, that was alleged to have occurred once on a time, could demonstrate the continuity of spiritual existence for us!  And to-day you still see their learned doctors of divinity trying to get at the other world by grave-digging—still fumbling after the spirit of man as though his essence were dust of the earth—which they say God has power to put together, every particle of it, at the Last Day; and so we shall rise again after all.  They oppose, and fear Cremation, as Bishop Wordsworth admitted, because it looks as though that would destroy the physical and only foothold of their resurrection.  Tomb-stones, and books, are still dedicated by them to the memory of those who are "no more!"  The future life for them is but a desolate "perhaps."  The meeting again is only a "may be." At the mouth of the gaping grave they mumble something about the "hope" of a joyful resurrection.  That is the physical resurrection at the Last Day, on which the failing faith was founded at first; and that, according to John, was all the alleged Founder of the faith had to reveal when He is said to have said: "Every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on Him, I will raise him up at the last day!" The Spiritualism of the Roman Catholic Church, with its doctrine of Angels, its Purgatorial Penance, and efficacy of Prayers for the dead, is a survival from Paganism, and was not derived from the teachings of the supposed Founder of Historic Christianity as represented in the Canonical Gospels.  Hence the rejection of that (and all other such) Spiritualism by the Protestants!

46.    And some of our friends, who are Christians first and Spiritualists afterwards, want to convert Christianity into Spiritualism.  But it will not, and cannot, be converted.

In vain you try to engraft the living shoot
Upon a dead tree, rotten to the root.

The Christians themselves know better than that, and they are far more logical.  They apprehend truly enough that their religion did not originate in Spiritualism, but as its deadly antagonist; hence when phenomenal Spiritualism is presented in our own day as a basis for immortality, just as it was in the pre-Christian ages and religions of all lands, and in all the mysteries where the genuine Gnosis was unfolded, the Christians stop their ears against any such report, or take up arms to defend the faith against the alleged facts.  You cannot spiritualise such a creed any more than you can make it scientific, and the reason for this must be sought, and is to be found, in its mythological and non-spiritual origin.  It is of necessity at war with all the facts in nature upon which it was not founded.  We do not want a closer connection with a superseded system of thought, but rather a repeal of the union and the fullest freedom of complete divorce.  It is for Spiritualism to join hands with Science, enlarge the boundaries of knowledge, found upon the facts in nature, not seek for an impossible alliance with a system that has always been anti-natural and at war with scientific facts, because it was falsely founded, from the first, in fable and in faith versus knowledge; the early Christians having been those who ignorantly believed, as opposed to the Gnostics, or the men who knew.

47.    I do not propose to raise a new cry, form another sect, advertise an infallible nostrum, or pose as the founder of any fresh faith, when I say that a new and more comprehensive and inclusive kind of Gnosticism, which shall be quite free and above board and open all round, is one of the crying wants of our age.  Spiritualism cannot be made to stand under or buttress the falling faith, but it may help to establish a new Gnosticism which shall found upon the facts first and let the faith follow naturally after.




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