Tragedy of Satan the Double-Headed Dragon
- INTRODUCTION: THE JEWISH AND THEOSOPHICAL POSITION, AND DEVIL-WORSHIP
- LIFE’S GREATEST MYSTERY: ANNA KINGSFORD’S VISION TEACHINGS ON SATAN
- Tragedy of Satan the Double-Headed Dragon
THE GOD OF THE THEOLOGIANS, THE JEWISH GOD-NAME AND THE ANCIENT MYTH OF THE TWIN BROTHERS
IT IS A MISTAKE TO VIEW HELENA BLAVATSKY’S DISMANTLING OF BIBLICAL POLEMICS as threatening, even anti-Semitic as she has been falsely accused of for saying that Judaism was not special, and the God of the Israelites was a minor god. She often spends a great deal explaining just as she does with the history of the religions of Tibet, the early disputes in the Jewish Schools, which Theosophist Carlos Cardoso Aveline highlights in A Jewish Esoteric School.
She explains what many scholars of Ancient Near East History argue today, that Yahweh was a lesser god compared to El. H.P. Blavatsky, in her commentaries on the Kabbalah tells us, that she holds to the higher mysteries of the Tetragram, of Ein Sof. She elaborates further, that the arranging of and strange verses of Genesis have a Kabbalistic purpose, and that its esoteric meaning could be understood by comparing the accounts in the traditions of the peoples of ancient southwestern Asia and India in the Brahmanical literature. “The Aryan and the Semitic Theo-anthropographies,” she wrote, are but “two leaves on the same stem; their respective personifications and the personages standing in relation to each other…”
It does not sound like Blavatsky is being prejudiced to Jews by doing this, but in-fact trying to disengage the prejudices and ignorance brought about from age old disputes within the religions. Theosophists, knowledgeable in their respective schools and religions did this long ago by placing and charting the accounts side-by-side, and providing commentary.
Briefly, there are things said by Theosophists regarding the theory and idea of God, which developed as a result of this complex history. Theosophists repeatedly taught, that there is a difference between “God” a belief in a kind of super-entity governing the universe versus the occult view, recognized even in Tibetan Buddhism and among the six systems of Indian Philosophy as unorthodox. Theosophy teaches, that such a power as the theologians describe has never existed, and neither does Satan.
The Philosophy of Dualism is rooted in a position and questions pertaining to the nature and interaction of Spirit and Matter. However, in Theosophy, the secret doctrine is that Matter is the sole, protean and eternal substance, and matter and spirit are one. Science nor Theology have succeeded at discovering what Matter, Fire, Electricity, and Energy really are, realities of which are multi and super-sensible in Occultism. This is why Blavatsky’s master, K.H. explains in his letter on God, that if you ask the Theologians is God Space, or Matter, they will say no. However, in their Occult Philosophy, it is (Two Key Subjects in Morya’s Cosmological Notes: Space and Essence). Theologians are adamant in rejecting notions that suggest God is connected to matter (they say this being is separated), is energy (they say leads to “New Ageism”), or is “essence” (leads into Gnostic heresies).
Therefore, the Christian polemics, or someone like scholar in History of Religions and Western Esotericism Per Faxneld’s sensationalist notion of what he terms Blavatsky’s “Theosophical Luciferianism” only screens and deflects people from understanding Blavatsky’s actual perspective and motives.
The “high Initiates and Adepts (…) know no “God,” but one Universal unrelated and unconditioned Deity.”—The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 1, p. 295. “The idea of God and Devil would make any chela of six months smile in pity. Theosophists do not believe either in the one or in the other…”—H.P. Blavatsky, Misconceptions: Reply to the Article “Révolution.” “The God of the Theologians is simply an imaginary power (…) Our chief aim is to deliver humanity of this nightmare, and to teach man virtue for its own sake, and to walk in life relying on himself instead of leaning on a theological crutch, that for countless ages was the direct cause of nearly all human misery. (…) Who but a Theologian nursed on mystery and the most absurd supernaturalism can imagine a self-existent being of necessity infinite and omnipresent outside the manifested boundless universe? (…) The One Life (…) is the essence of every atom of matter (…).’—K.H. The Mahatma Letters to A.P. Sinnett, Letter no. 10. “Theosophists (…) They preach against every dogmatic and infallible religion and recognize no other deity, which dispenses suffering and recompense, than Karma, an arbiter created by their own actions. The only God they worship is TRUTH; the only devil which they recognize and which they fight against (… ) is the Satan of egotism and human passions” (Helena P. Blavatsky, CW, Vol. 8, pg. 79-80), which in contrast (regarding the last part), Leveyan Satanism embraces.
“Satan was a Son, and an Angel of God. With all the Semitic nations, the Spirit of the Earth was as much the Creator in his own realm as the Spirit of the Heavens. They were twin brothers and interchangeable in their functions, when not two in one. Nothing of that which we find in Genesis is absent from the Chaldeo-Assyrian religious beliefs…”H.P. BLAVATSKY
Ancient cosmotheologies commonly express the philosophy or dualism of Light and Darkness, of the twin or hostile brothers, so that Deity is conceived of as two separate Beings always in contention. There is Adonai and Samael (the Devil, Typhon), Ormuzd and Ahriman, Agathon and Adrastus, Atys and Adrastus, Chiun (Baal-Saturnus) and Moloch, Minerva (or Adonis) and Mars, the pillar gods Hypsuranius and Uso, Osiris and Typhon, Sol and Apopis, Horus and the Serpent Apophis (Apep), two pillars of Phoenician origin Iachin (Saturn) and Boaz (a Cain-figure), Jupiter and Apopis, Isis and Nephthys, and a bewildering number of others throughout the world from the legendary myths of ancient countries, cities, and so forth.
The “Death Gods” are not always the “shadowy embodiment of evil,” but simply the god of the dead, such as was the role of Pluto, the Greek god of the underworld. Zeus and Herakles have a dual-sided nature, and Zeus is the Good and Bad Principle, and the Mediator. Although, Hades was also called Zeus Chthonios (Zeus of the underworld), the Homeric Zeus is reluctant to conquer the realm of Night, mother of the gods of Sleep, Death and Darkness. H.P. Blavatsky had written that the theologians built their God and his Archangels, Satan and his Angels, the Logos and his hierarchy from the dramas of older Pantheons.
In the Hēraklēs Mainomenos Athenian tragedy of Euripides, there is a tree surrounded by vast orbs and golden fruit, like Ovid’s Tree of Jove, bearing acorns. In this story of Proserpine, Jupiter disguises himself as a dragon to obtain her favors, and Herakles had to slay a dragon in the garden of the gods, Hesperides.
It would be unthinkable for many of the faithful to believe, the “Lord God” could be itself the tempter, or the “agent provocateur” in the creative story of Bere’shith in the Garden of Eden, if you are reading it as literal and historical, rather than also as myth. And yet we find discrepancies such as:
“And Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel.”CHRON. 21.1.
Then, ‘the anger of the Lord Jehovah was kindled against Israel,’ and he moved David to say: “Go, number Israel.”2 SAMUEL, 24.1.
In the Brahmanical literature, similarly to the Jewish Kabbalah, the creation of the world is considered to be the sport, or delight of the “Supreme Intelligence.” Hence, H.P.B. thinks it is not far-fetched to suggest in Genesis, like Jupiter, the creative deity of Genesis disguises himself as a tempter to test his creation, since this deity himself uses the tempter. This god forbids cursing Satan and reviling the gods, since to do so would be to curse the creator.
When people curse Satan, and scapegoat Satan for the wrongs in the world, and the betrayal between brother and brother, they then go and pray before their GOD. For all the times the religious, or the “faithful” speak of the ills of Satan, whether at the ramī al-jamarāt throwing stones at the three pillars and cursing Satan, or blaming natural disasters on the absence of God or the anger of a deity — it never seems to bring any good.
From the standpoint of the HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHY and Literature, Hesiod and others explain the role and nature of Pluto, god of Hades in Greek Mythology, or Satan. SATAN is the figure humans have created to personify metaphysical and abstract notions of evil, tied to primal human history, primal emotions and their evolution. Satan is seen as Darkness and the cause of Evil, but Darkness is an aspect of Nature. What people attribute to Nature as evil is natural, even a necessity, for planetary and cosmic events balances out things allowing for new growth. The SUN, e.g., brings life, but also destroys it. In this view, it is absolute Just Law. The propensity towards evil (centrifugal. “away from the centre”) exists in the mind or thought, and in action. Hence, Blavatsky explains, that Lucifer is our mind, or is in it, which was dishonestly exploited by Christians misquoting out-of-context. The teaching, is that spiritual discipline turns unconscious action into spiritualized will in an effort to win against and subdue the lower nature, which results in one’s closer proximity “toward the centre.” The same part of us, that leads to our descent into our animalistic nature is in-fact the same principle that leads us to transcend it, not two separate gods but double-headed; so, therefore that ego is also “our redeemer” from animalism.
The point was not understood by those bent on labeling her a Satanist. If we are to take rationally the argument, that the similitude in the attributes of ancient gods was anticipated by the Hebrews, and that simply, the gods of antiquity are a class of personating spirits, “how are we to know that Jehovah was not a personating Spirit?” H.P.B. asks, since this god arrogates to himself the attributes of a parentless abstract element, that is nameless and unknown.
“Admitting with Jehovah, who expressly asserts it, the existence of other gods, which were personators of the One God, were these other gods simply a higher class of personating spirits, which had acquired and exercised greater powers? And is not personation the Key to the mystery of the Spirit state?”H.P. BLAVATSKY, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, VOL. 2, PP. 144-145.
An odd qualifier in defining a viewpoint as anti-Semitic, regards the beliefs of many ancient writers grouped under the name of Gnostics, that taught that the physical world was the hopelessly corrupt product of a false god. As described, the Jewish god was once just one of many deities of the ancient Israelites. It is strange to be in the present-day, after long centuries of development of religious ideas, for a great mass of human civilization to remain adamant in the belief of one people, whose position to be true, necessitates the notion, that every god of every other people is false. To say it is anti-Semitic to question that belief, that historically developed at its core is highly fallacious, though this is how Blavatsky is accused of anti-Semitism. These arguments point back at the basis of that belief, that Christianity and Islam takes.
“But then, there was the grandiose and ideal figure of Jesus of Nazareth to be set off against a dark background, to gain in radiance by the contrast; and a darker one the Church could hardly invent. Lacking the Old Testament symbology, ignorant of the real connotation of the name of Jehovah — the rabbinical secret substitute for the ineffable and unpronounceable name — the Church mistook the cunningly fabricated shadow for the reality, the anthropomorphized generative symbol for the one Secondless Reality, the ever unknowable cause of all. As a logical sequence the Church, for purposes of duality, had to invent an anthropomorphic Devil — created, as taught by her, by God himself. Satan has now turned out to be the monster fabricated by the “Jehovah-Frankenstein,” — his father’s curse and a thorn in the divine side — a monster, than whom no earthly Frankenstein could have fabricated a more ridiculous bogey. (…) History shows in every race and even tribe, especially in the Semitic nations, the natural impulse to exalt its own tribal deity above all others to the hegemony of the gods; and proves that the God of the Israelites was such a tribal God, and no more, even though the Christian Church, following the lead of the “chosen” people, is pleased to enforce the worship of that one particular deity, and to anathematize all the others. Whether originally a conscious or an unconscious blunder, nevertheless, it was one. Jehovah has ever been in antiquity only “a god among other Gods,” (lxxxii. Psalm). The Lord appears to Abraham, and while saying, “I am the Almighty God,” yet adds, “I will establish my covenant to be a God unto thee” (Abraham), and unto his seed after him (Gen. Xvii. 7)…”
And not unto Romans, Greeks and Germanic peoples.
This is true, in that the Biblical narratives depict Yahweh, god of the Israelites as sole creator god and lord (adonai) of the universe, although Yahweh is argued by some scholars as being Canaanite in origin, and subordinate to another deity, a supreme god known as El. Canaanite inscriptions mention a lesser god Yahweh, and the Book of Deuteronomy explains that “the Most High, El, gave to the nations their inheritance” and that “Yahweh’s portion is his people, Jacob and his allotted heritage” (32:8-9). Blavatsky was called anti-Semitic for suggesting this, although today many scholars argue this same point (see Yahweh, Ancient Archaeological Encyclopedia) — that the Israelite god Yahweh was a minor god, or as Blavatsky refers to as a “national deity” or “exoteric deity.” As mentioned, she explains in regards to the Kabbalah, that she holds to the higher mysteries pertaining to Ain-Soph, which she likens to Parabrahm and Swayambhu-Narayana.
It is this supreme god, El, that is also known by the mystery name of Ain-Soph, the Boundless. The Kabbalists make of Ain-Soph a creator, but the means by which the worlds enter into existence happens through emanation — in Kabbalist texts, representing a beam flashing from Itself.
This is from a chapter of The Secret Doctrine (1888) titled, “IS PLEROMA SATAN’S LAIR?” and within that section is a sub-section titled, “Jehovah, the Personating Spirit.” The whole section inquires and traces the consequence and origin of the most treasured dogmas of Christian theology, especially concerning the “God of the Israelites,” and Satan. She explains the variety of etymologies to the name Jehovah, as a compound attribute-appellation of a creative Elohim, a national or exoteric deity; and the monotheistic and Kabbalistic reasons the account of Genesis is arranged as it is.
Blavatsky uses the same tactics that were used against the gods of peoples of the ancient Near-East and others to demonstrate the fallacy of Church polemics, by asking, is Jehovah a personating spirit. Man in Occult Philosophy is pictured as the microcosm, containing in them the aspects of both good and evil. Theology, she argues cannot admit the notion that God and Satan are two-sides of one double-headed dragon.
“Thus, esoteric philosophy shows that man is truly the manifested deity in both its aspects — good and evil, but theology cannot admit this philosophical truth. Teaching the dogma of the Fallen Angels in its dead-letter meaning, and having made of Satan the corner-stone and pillar of the dogma of redemption — to do so would be suicidal. Having once shown the rebellious angels distinct from God and the Logos in their personalities, the admission that the downfall of the disobedient Spirits meant simply their fall into generation and matter, would be equivalent to saying that God and Satan were identical. For since the Logos (or God) is the aggregate of that once divine Host accused of having fallen, it would follow that the Logos and Satan are one. Yet such was the real philosophical view of the now disfigured tenet in antiquity.”The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 515
Christianity isolated itself to assert its authority:
“Let us then fathom this creation of the Patristic fancy still deeper, and find its prototype with the Pagans. The origin of the new Satanic myth is easy to trace. The tradition of the Dragon and the Sun is echoed in every part of the world, both in its civilized and semi-savage regions. It took rise in the whisperings about secret initiations among the profane, and was established universally through the once universal heliolatrous religion. There was a time when the four parts of the world were covered with the temples sacred to the Sun and the Dragon; but the cult is now preserved mostly in China and the Buddhist countries, “Bel and the Dragon being uniformly coupled together, and the priest of the Ophite religion as uniformly assuming the name of his God” (“Archaeology,” Vol. xxv., p. 220, London). In the religions of the past, it is in Egypt we have to seek for its Western origin. The Ophites adopted their rites from Hermes Trismegistus, and heliolatrous worship crossed over with its Sun-gods into the land of the Pharaohs from India. In the gods of Stonehenge we recognise the divinities of Delphi and Babylon, and in those of the latter the devas of the Vedic nations. Bel and the Dragon, Apollo and Python, Krishna and Kaliya, Osiris and Typhon are all one under many names— the latest of which are Michael and the Red Dragon, and St. George and his Dragon. As Michael is “one as God,” or his “Double,” for terrestrial purposes, and is one of the Elohim, the fighting angel, he is thus simply a permutation of Jehovah. Whatever the Cosmic or astronomical event that first gave rise to the allegory of the “War of Heaven,” its earthly origin has to be sought in the temples of Initiation and archaic crypts.”The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, pg. 378-379.
This follows the tract of the later constructed monotheism:
“But Eliphas Levi was yet too subservient to his Roman Catholic authorities; one may add, too jesuitical, to confess that this devil was mankind, and never had any existence on earth outside of that mankind. In this, Christian theology, although following slavishly in the steps of Paganism, was only true to its own time-honoured policy. It had to isolate itself, and to assert its authority. Hence it could not do better than turn every pagan deity into a devil. Every bright sun-god of antiquity — a glorious deity by day, and its own opponent and adversary by night, named the Dragon of Wisdom, because it was supposed to contain the germs of night and day — has now been turned into the antithetical shadow of God, and has become Satan on the sole and unsupported authority of despotic human dogma. After which all these producers of light and shadow, all the Sun and the Moon Gods, were cursed, and thus the one God chosen out of the many, and Satan, were both anthropomorphised.”
The Secret Doctrine explains the mysteries of the Tetragrammaton, and that in one of the etymologies of Jehovah, it represents a hermaphroditic creative or generative power. It is a compound appellation of mankind — Epigeios and Eua, Jah and Hovah or Adam and Eve, i.e., male and female. Adam, a collective name for man and woman, the tetragram in its first stage in Genesis as hermaphroditic and androgyne, expressing the divine creation spiritually, devoid of carnal sin. Adam-Eve, or Jehovah is the symbolical personification of both divine and human creative power. The names, Adam, Seth, Cain, Abel or Hebel are but permutations of the name YHVH. Then, she explains the connections of Jehovah to the moon (Lunus), which was believed to effect a vitalizing power on the sidereal realm and earth. The Hebrews used the moon to derive their lunar calculations, and thus for agriculture. The observance of the seventh day (Jehovah-Sabbath) is the day (2 Kings 4, 23) of the new moon (Jehovah).
“Reject the explanation of the Secret Doctrine and the whole Pentateuch becomes the abomination of abominations. Therefore, do we find Jehovah, the anthropomorphic God, everywhere in the Bible, but of AIN SUPH [Ein Sof, the numberless and inconceivable] not one word is said. (…) So true is this, indeed, that the authors of the New Testament who had to blend their system with both the Jewish and the Pagan, had to borrow their most metaphysical symbols not from the Pentateuch, or even the Kabala, but from the Âryan astro-symbology.”Helena P. Blavatsky, Kabalah and the Kabalists, Lucifer, May, 1892
“The reading of the Chaldeo-Assyrian tiles has now demonstrated it beyond a shadow of doubt. We find the same idea in the Zohar. Satan was a Son, and an Angel of God. With all the Semitic nations, the Spirit of the Earth was as much the Creator in his own realm as the Spirit of the Heavens. They were twin brothers and interchangeable in their functions, when not two in one. Nothing of that which we find in Genesis is absent from the Chaldeo-Assyrian religious beliefs, even in the little that has hitherto been deciphered. The great “Face of the Deep” of Genesis is traced in the Tohu-bohu, “Deep,” “Primeval Space,” or Chaos of the Babylonians. Wisdom (the Great Unseen God) — called in Genesis chap. i. the “Spirit of God” — lived, for the older Babylonians as for the Akkadians, in the Sea of Space. Toward the days described by Berosus, this sea became the visible waters on the face of the Earth — the crystalline abode of the great mother, the mother of Ea and all the gods, which became, still later, the great Dragon Tiamat, the Sea Serpent. Its last stage of development was the great struggle of Bel with the Dragon — the Devil!
Whence the Christian idea that God cursed the Devil? The God of the Jews, whomsoever he was, forbids cursing Satan. Philo Judaeus and Josephus both state that the Law (the Pentateuch and the Talmud) undeviatingly forbid one to curse the adversary, as also the gods of the gentiles. “Thou shalt not revile the gods,” quoth the god of Moses (Exodus xxii. 28), for it is God who “hath divided (them) unto all nations” (Deut. iv. 19); and those who speak evil of “Dignities” (gods) are called “filthy dreamers” by Jude (8). For even Michael the Archangel durst not bring against him (the devil) a railing accusation, but said: “The Lord rebuke thee” (ibid 9). Finally the same is repeated in the Talmud.* “Satan appeared one day to a man who used to curse him daily, and said to him: ‘Why dost thou this?’ Consider that God himself would not curse me, but merely said: ‘The Lord rebuke thee, Satan’ (see Talmudic Studies in the Kiddushin Tract 81b§).The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2., pg. 477-78
Quentin Spannagel explained in a review of Elaine Pagel’s “The Origin of Satan” the history of this angel of God:
“Another example of Satan not being the Prince of Evil is found in the book of Job. Here Satan takes on a dissenting role, but still is an angel of God. He is a special kind of reconnaissance angel, keeping tabs on who remains faithful to God and who becomes unfaithful. God boasts that Job is a righteous and faithful servant. Satan takes on an adversarial role; reminding God that Job was truly faithful; but, Job persevered in his faith when tested, and Satan was forced to retreat. Though Satan takes on the role of an opponent and brings hardship on Job, Satan remains an angel of God.
Many wonder where the first occurrence of the singular Satan occurred and many believe it was with the Essenes of the Jewish community. The Essenes were a monastic group of Jews who believed the vast majority of Jews had lost their original faith. For this reason, Essenes isolated themselves from the rest of the Jewish community. The Essenes went so far as to stop attacking the pagans as evil-doers, but focused most of their criticism on their fellow Jews. Since the majority of Jews were God’s favor, but fell from grace, they wanted a figure that personified this. The ideal figure for this was Satan: one of God’s angels who fell from grace, and now is overwhelmed with evil. Christians would incorporate and expand the Essenes’ tradition of demonizing their opponents.”QUENTIN SPANNAGEL, REVIEW OF: THE ORIGIN OF SATAN: HOW CHRISTIANS DEMONIZED JEWS, PAGANS, AND HERETICS BY ELAINE PAGELS
Similar to Quentin Spannagel’s review, another source on this is a thesis of Morgan A. Matos called “The Satanic Phenomenon: Medieval Representations of Satan” (2011). Master of Liberal Studies Theses. 28. http://scholarship.rollins.edu/mls/28.
Samuel Fales Dunlap meant the same when he wrote in Sod: Son of Man, that:
“Palestine is the source of Christianity, we had almost said, of the Jewish Kabbala. In the time of its origin Christianity seems to have joined with the Gnostic Jews in opposition to the Rabbis and the ancient Tanaim—to all who continued the old assaults upon the Adonis-Baal, or Bacchus-worship, or laid too much stress upon the forms, ceremonies and technicalities of the Pharisees.”S.F. Dunlap, Sod: The Son of Man, p. xvi.
The people of ancient Sidon placed Time (Chronos), primordial before all. Chronos is endless duration, an aspect of the Absolute itself. The creator god of the Genesis (1.1) account (Bere’shith) in the beginning created the heavens and the earth, but curiously not hell. History Channel’s True Monsters: The Origin and Evolution of Satan explains how Dante constructed the Inferno, and that hell is not in the Bible.
And James Tabor confirmed H.P. Blavatsky when she explained the mistranslation about the shedim into angels and demons in the Theosophical Glossary.
“(…) For it is only owing to deliberate mistranslation that the Hebrew word asdt has been translated “angels” from the Septuagint, when it means Emanations, Æons, precisely as with the Gnostics. Indeed, in Deuteronomy (xxxiii., 2) the word asdt or ashdt is translated as “fiery law”, while the correct rendering of the passage should be “from his right hand went [not a fiery law, but] a fire according to law”; viz., that the fire of one flame is imparted to, and caught up by another like as in a trail of inflammable substance. This is precisely emanation. As shown in Isis Unveiled: ‘In Evolution, as it is now beginning to be understood, there is supposed to be in all matter an impulse to take on a higher form–a supposition clearly expressed by Manu and other Hindu philosophers of the highest antiquity. The philosopher’s tree illustrates it in the case of the zinc solution. The controversy between the followers of this school and the Emanationists may be briefly stated thus: The Evolutionist stops all inquiry at the borders of ‘the Unknowable’; the Emanationist believes that nothing can be evolved—or, as the word means, unwombed or born–except it has first been involved, thus indicating that life is from a spiritual potency above the whole’.”Helena P. Blavatsky, The Theosophical Glossary, TPH, 1973, 113-114.
The many occupants of ancient Egypt, the Greeks, nor the Jews believed in a hell of eternal or temporary damnation. The Gospels translations create a misunderstanding, since in Matthew 16.18, the original text reads “the gates of death,” rather than the “gates of Hades.” The story of God casting the angels down into Tartarus, is exactly like the Titanomachy, or War of Jupiter and the Titans as told in the only surviving Hesiod’s Theogony. But Tartarus became translated as hell. The words, Tartarus, “Tophet,” nor “the Valley of Hinnom” (Gehenna in Isiah lxvi.24), a place where Jews burn waste fit the hellists’ interpretation. Hades and Sheol both translate to “grave.” Hell as a place of eternal damnation is extra-Biblical, like the invented Lucifer of Christian mythology.
It is argued, that it can be demonstrated, that the New Testament Jesus did not believe in such a hell, neither in the idea, that when you die, the soul goes to heaven or hell. John 14.6 and 3.13-16 though interpreted to say Jesus demands worship of him, and those who do not are to be eternally damned to hell. Matthew 5:28-30, 18:8-9 (mentions an everlasting fire), and Mark 9:43-48 speaks of Jesus as encouraging his followers to mutilate themselves to avoid being cast into hell-fire. In John, it does not mention the word “hell,” but it could not mean, that Jesus damns souls to Hades, as Hades is not a place where souls are eternally damned.
The Grecism and Gnosis in the New Testament is apparent in places, familiar to those acquainted with other schools pre-dating it, but of what sophistication and prose it offers to people that find it the greatest book ever written, this scripture hides a number of messed-up things attributed to Jesus. The Christian apologists, that poke fun at the “gibberish” and “nonsense” of certain Gnostic texts hence, appear to overlook the same in their canons.
The highest god among the Semites was El, or Elyon later absorbed into the Israelite Yahweh, Lord of Hosts — initially a subordinate god given charge to a portion of the world to rule as a local deity. The First Temple was devoted to a trinity of El, Yahweh and Asherah.
The construction of monotheism is not a superior evolution of the idea of the nature of reality, but created more confusions and philosophical problems, because it also attempts to hide the history, that was mentioned. Richard Smoley, who had explained Blavatsky’s angle in his article God and the Great Angel (Quest Magazine, Winter 2011: 24-28) was also right, when he explained in his book, How God became God: What Scholars are Really Saying About God And the Bible (2016), that these mistakes committed by the faith of ancient Israel were transmitted like a heritable disease to Christianity and Islam.
This history shows us that the ancient Israelites, Jews, Jesus and those that will later call themselves his followers as Christians each have different understandings about God, and the relationship between the soul and human body. As in the Torah among the Jews and ancient Israelites, the idea that the soul exists outside the body is absent before the Babylonian exile, until their interactions with Persian and Hellenistic philosophies. Therefore, our reading of these concepts through these philosophies are justified, as opposed to the idea it introduces notions alien to the scriptural text.
There is much conflict between what conventional Christianity teaches, and its scripture; and then conflict between actual history and what scripture teaches, or exaggerates. Some have argued, that the view of Jesus is of the ancient Hebrew belief, that the soul was the breath that kept the body alive, and when the breath leaves the body, the body no longer lives, and the breath doesn’t go to an after-life locality.
The Hades of Greek mythology was believed to be located under the earth, so there is historically, a difference between Hades as a locality (as in a place of actual physical descent in some of the Mysteries) and Hades as a stage where the shadow-doubles or eidolons of all beings go through a semi-material plane, or astral locality beyond our sensuous perceptions.
In this case, in antiquity, to speak of one that has made descent into Hades was to say, one is crowned a full initiate (The Liberator-God in Ancient Religion). Jesus, Attis, Herakles, Orpheus and many other characters of mythology descend into Hades, a descent indicating secret initiation into the Sacred Mysteries of the God that lifts up souls through It.
Concluding on this point about the mysticism of the Sacred Mysteries, the Greek Esotericism and Modern Theosophy, Anna Kingsford’s interpretations become simple to understand, whereas certain Christians have misread. The student learns that:
- “The mystery of SATAN, Pluto or Hades hides the key to the spiritual planes, and the aspirant must conquer trials;
- In numerous myths, the candidates for Initiation in the story go to the depths of the Nether world to retrieve their maiden (the Soul);
- Every Man who entered Hades and out the other-side was crowned a full-initiate, or a hero;
- If the candidate conquers the trials, they become sōter or sōteria. No superstitious fool could ever hope to attain such victory, conditions which had to be earned, and were not given. The day this happened, these institutions began to dry out and decline.
- Kundalini has been equated with Satan and Lucifer by Christians in the past in attempts to demonize Indian culture and religions. This concept is in ancient Greek mythology and mysteries also. The Parakletōs translated in the English as comforter in the New Testament is actually a fire-god, a psychic, or rather psycho-somatic principle, and was part of the purificatory rites of initiation.