The Arcane Schools by John Yarker

ORIGIN AND ANTIQUITY OF THE ARCANE SCHOOLS.
CHAPTER I.
ARCHAIC LEGENDS

IT may reasonably be supposed that the advancement of mankind which we term civilisation had made great progress in hot climates before the Arts, science, and more especially the mystery of building temples and houses of stone, brick, or wood was developed. Religious mysteries, the rudiments of science, and open and secret worship, if not innate, which we believe them to be, would arise, and as the erection, first of temples, and then of houses, indicates a knowledge of geometry and constructive tools, it implies a more advanced culture.

The tradition which has reached us through the ages is that mankind contracted very slowly the protoplasm which forms our natural body, after which a variety of wants became apparent that were in earlier ages unfelt. Whether we accept or reject this view, we can realise that the united intellect of thousands of years has been unable to supply any better idea of the creation and progress of humanity upon earth than that handed down to us from the ancient sages. As man’s material nature increased his spirituality decreased, and as his intuition tended to become dormant means were sought which might restore his ancient status. The discipline necessary for this purpose was neither suitable nor agreeable to the majority, and this led to the establishment of secret or esoteric {1} schools for those who sought the higher spiritual development. Of an unpretentious nature at first and possessing but moral trials or proofs, these schools gradually assumed a magnificent exterior under State control, with even proofs dangerous to life, and were designated THE MYSTERIES. The natural wants had now come to be provided for; the Arts and Sciences were developed: Architecture, Metallurgy, Ship-building, Astronomy, Agriculture, etc., were added to Theosophia, and religious ritual. This is the tradition of the Mysteries.

There are certain ancient legends in regard to a lost or sunken continent and a deluge which, though not absolutely accepted as history, are too probable to be passed over in silence. It is admitted by scientists that the surface of our earth is continually wasting away, with the result that the bed of the ocean is being slowly raised, and the geographical position of the land is changing: we see in one locality that the ocean is washing the land away, whilst in another the sea is receding. Equally great climatic changes are slowly developing; thus Greenland was at one time a torrid clime, which at a later age, to be reckoned only by tens of thousands of years, was succeeded by intense cold, and when our own island was depopulated by a deluge of ice and frost.

These changes are attendant upon what astronomers term the “Precession of the Equinoxes”; there is a gradual displacement of the poles of the earth, occurring in cycles or periods of 25,000 years, and the last of which reached its extreme point about 12,500 years ago, when it is held that a great cataclysm occurred which changed the face of the entire globe. It follows of necessity that men’s habits must change with climatic changes. The Hindu priests have a complicated series of cycles within cycles, which are not altogether imaginary but are grounded upon recondite astronomical calculations. When we remember that there is a great central sun round which the entire galaxy of planets and suns revolve, we may draw the analogy that in immense cycles what we may term seasonal {2} changes or states are produced, even on these planets and suns, similar to those which occur on our earth.1

There exists in Thibet and India a “Secret Doctrine” which is of unquestioned antiquity, and of which analogical confirmation may be found in the writings of the ancient Philosophers. This doctrine allows for the existence in extreme antiquity of a sunken continent in the Pacific ocean, of which the present islands are mountain tops, and in the Atlantic ocean of seven islands, the last of which sank beneath the waters about the period which we have assigned for a great cataclysm, or 12,500 years ago.

Behind this account, which in the East is considered historical, lies the cyclical doctrine of a Day and Night of Brahm, or by whatever other word the impersonal Deity is designated. These cycles are the Outbreathing and Inbreathing of the Unknowable deity, or everliving Spirit and primal Matter; the gradual progress of all created matter is the divine Day which proceeds from the etherial or cometary to the concrete by means of the Tatwas, which will correspond with the Genetic Days of Moses, and these again with the gestation of the ordinary foetus; in the divine Night everything again reverts to the etherial state, to be again followed, in immense cycles, by a reversed action.

The mythological account of the Hindu Paradise places Mount Meru at the North-pole, or the imperishable land ; a circular island upon which is the “City of the Gods,” which is supposed to be a perfect square guarded by a wall protected by eight circular towers, and the holy mount, which is of conical shape, rises in the centre of the city2.

Temples have been designed to represent this legendary Meru, and it has also formed the basic plan of cities, which we may mention later. It is also noteworthy that the Egyptian legend of the Mystery God, Osiris or Heseri, is applicable to 68 Degrees north latitude, or where the sun dies {3} for 40 days, and which was then a hot climate, according to the legends. We know that the Mammoth existed there and fed on tropical herbage. The north they consider to have been torrid owing to the then nebulous or cometary state of our globe, which had neither cooled down nor hardened. Humanity, of a sort, existed in that land, but was moon-bred, etherial, globular, gigantic, sexless, generated as are atoms by self-multiplication. To these succeeded a second race, giants, of whom the later and more material were inspired by the Solar gods, these were dual-sexed or hermaphrodite, as many forms of life yet are, and more compact than the first race.

The Arabs and Persians have legends of such a race, and represent that it was ruled by 72 kings of the name of Suleiman, of whom the three last reigned one thousand years each. It does not seem that these Suleimans, who are, par-excellence, the rulers of all Djins, Afreets, and other elemental spirits, bear any relationship to the Israelite King, that being a more modern application. We find the name as one of the gods of the ancient Babylonians, and the late Doctor Kenealey, who as a Persian scholar translated the poems of Hafiz, asserts that the earliest Aryan teachers were named Maha-Bodhs or Solymi, and that Suleiman was an ancient title of regal power, synonymous with Sultan in Asia, Pharaoh in Egypt, Khan in Tartary, Tsar in Russia. There is also a Persian legend which alleges that in the mountains of Kaf, which can only be reached by a magic ring (that of Suleiman), there is a gallery built by the giant Arzeak where the statues of the ancient men are preserved who were ruled by the Suleimans, or wise Kings of the East. Many an Eastern storyteller laments the departed glories of the throne of Suleiman, located near the present Aden in Arabia, which it has been suggested may have been populated by Kushites from the Hindu Kush. There is a very wonderful structure hewin out of solid rock on the confiness of Afghanistan and India called the Takht-i-Suleiman, or throne of Solomon, its ancient Aryan name {4} being Shanker Acharya, fabled to have been erected by supernatural means, and known to have been a great rendezvous for two thousand years of merchants’ caravans. It is on the western side of the Suleiman Mountains.

Leaving this slight digression we return to the Secret Doctrine, which goes on to relate that in course of time a third race of men were produced with bones and divided into sexes, and who are practically the first race of Adamic men, for the rib of Adam is a euphemism alluding to the division of sex. These are said, after developing a monosyllabic language, now represented by Chinese, to have spread over the long lost Pacific continent; here they became great builders, developed the religious Mysteries, and spread from north to south, populating the Atlantic continent, who are considered a fourth race, after the Pacific continent had disappeared. Here was the home of the proto-Aryan race of a brown-white complexion. A colony of these settled in Egypt in remote ages, where they introduced the astronomy and zodiac of Asura-Maya of Romakapura, and the pupil of Narida, of whose books the Indians claim to have some fragments. Another colony of educated priests settled upon an island, where the desert of Gobi now exists, but then an inland lake, which held in its bosom 12 smaller islands. These priests, or at least some of them, allied themselves with a red-yellow Mongoloid race possessing great intuitive powers, a race of which the Chinese are a branch, for it is claimed that there were seven sub-races in each of the 3rd and 4th races.

The intermarriage of these two races, which we may compare with that of the sons of God with the daughters of men, gave rise to a fifth race of Aryans, who sent out civilising missions over the world, and it is asserted that there are records which show that these priests travelled into Europe to superintend the erection of religious structures such as existed amongst the British Druids, and it is not impossible, as the Eastern civilisation had a lengthy precedence over that of Europe. {5}

When the island of Atlantis sank a pass was reft which drained the Desert of Gobi, and caused the Aryans to take refuge in the mountains and high table-lands, and the change of climate may have sent out others to seek a warmer home; others being forced outwards by the increase in population, and thus compelled to colonise new regions. Thibet has preserved many details of the wars of this lost Atlantis, charging the cause of its destruction to the cultivation, by a portion of its tribes of black magic, or the left-hand path. It may be mentioned that there yet remains between Cabul and Balkh, or the ancient Bactria, some five immense statues from 120 to 60 feet high, said to symbolise this doctrine of these successive races3. It is curious that on Easter Island there are some similar statues, ranging from 70 to 3 feet high, mentioned by Cooke as equal to our best masonry, and of which investigation has been made by the Smithsonian Institute, and which are said to have been wrought in lava with iron tools.

The Egyptian priests had a chronology vastly in excess of the ordinary computation, and the accounts dovetail with what we have already related. Herodotus, who visited Egypt about 450 B.C., states that the following were careful records of time preserved by the priests. Before any King, a dynasty of gods ruled in Egypt; the First of these were the 8 great gods, sometimes enumerated as 7; then followed the 12, who were produced from the eight, of which the Egyptian and Tyrian Heracles was one, and who ruled 17,000 years before the historian’s time; Horus, the son of Osiris, who the historian tells us is identical with Bacchus and his son with the Grecian Apollo, ruled 15,000 years before his own visit. From the time of Menes, the first human king and founder of Memphis, the priests read over to him the names of 330 kings, and also showed him the statues of 341 hierophants, which the historian estimates, at 3 to a century, as representing 11,340 years from the foundation of Memphis. Herodotus {6} was prohibited from giving any esoteric information, but we may point out that there is an affinity between the twelve zodiacal signs and the labours of the Grecian Heracles whom Herodotus considers to be much more modern than the Heracles of Egypt and Tyre, and whose labours were applied to the Hercules of the Latins. The great gods may refer to the Cabiric culte, the lesser gods to the Aryan, but we shall see more of this as we proceed. The former are represented by the planets, and the latter by the zodiacal signs. The birth of the gods may indicate the introduction of their worship into a country or district, their marriage the era when one worship was associated with another, whilst their death may be explained on the doctrine of an alleged reincarnation. The Egyptians, Herodotus says, were the first who erected altars, shrines, and temples, and who engraved the figures of animals in stone; the first to divide the year into twelve months, and to give names to the 12 gods; the first to defend the doctrine of the soul’s immortality; the first to develop geometry.

It is worthy of note that 3, 7, and 12 are prominently represented in Hebrew. There are 3 mother letters, 7 double, and 12 simple characters, which actually bear a planetary and zodiacal signification. The Hebrew alphabet is but an adaptation from an older one, but the arrangement proves that the inventor was an Initiate of the Mysteries, of which this alphabet is the synthesis. It is asserted that in the most ancient times there were two secret zodiacal signs and ten that were known as also 10 simple characters. It is now impossible to fix with mathematical precision the dates of such zodiacs as exist. Of the Egyptian that at Dendara might refer to 13,000 B.C., but there is one at Esne which might refer to 15,000 B.C. Without doubt the ancient Hierophant who designed these figures embodied therein a secret doctrine, and it has been supposed that the system was intended to symbolise the destinies of humanity for the 2,500 years which each sign represents, or for the period which the sun occupies in over-running {7} a sign. The chronology here set forth is much in excess of that allowed by the more extravagant archaeologists, but, in some confirmation of it, Baron Bunsen admits traces of buried pottery which may be 20,000 years old, estimated upon the deposit which the Nile leaves at each annual flow.

The Aryan legend of the sunken Atlantis is said to have been recorded in Egypt. Plato indirectly informs us in the “Timaeus” that when his ancestor Solon visited Egypt the priests of Neith at Sais informed him that many catastrophes had occurred to mankind in remote times, the most remarkable of which was one contained in the records of the temple. That some 9,000 years before this visit, which took place about 600 B.C., a large continent and some adjacent islands had perished in one night by earthquakes, and that from these islands was the way to the true continent; that the inhabitants of this Atlantis were a race who recognised that great advantages sprang from a just and righteous commerce; that they had conquered and colonised Greece, and extended themselves on one side as far as Lybia, and on the other to Tyrrhenia. But a part of the island’s inhabitants had given themselves up to selfish aggrandizement, and had made war upon the well disposed people, and to subvert the good regulations which had been established by Poseidon and his son Atlas. Whereupon the incensed gods, in one night, sank the country of Atlantis beneath the waves of the ocean. It is further stated that the country had temples of black and white stones, decorated within and without with precious metals. The shrine of Poseidon and the palace of the King was surrounded with three sheets of water, forming three parallel concentric circles, and a temple existed roofed with gilded copper. Theopompus in his “Meropis” attributes a similar account to the priests of Phrygia, and tells us that the island contained a fighting and a contemplative race; the former knew how to make themselves invulnerable to iron, so that they could only be wounded by stone or wood. Proclus quotes Marcellus on the subject. {8} Blavatsky says that they had a written character and used it with the tanned skins of monstrous animals now extinct. Professor Bowdler Sharpe thinks that allied forms of birds point to a lost continent which stretched from South America to Australia with an arm extending to Madagascar, and this would meet the account of Plato.

We have another account, similar in its essentials to that recorded. “The Popul-Vul,” or “Book of the Azure Veil” of the Mexicans, tells us that these Atlantians were a race that “knew all things by intuition,” and repeat the charge of sorcery, or black magic, as the cause of the destruction of their country by the gods. This book allegorises and personifies the forces of nature. The “Troano MS.” records the same matter with special mention of the geological changes which the catastrophe caused. Dr. le Plongeon translates a passage thu: — “In the year 6 Kan, on the 11th Muluc, in the month Zac, there occurred terrible earthquakes which continued without interruption until the 13th Chuen.” The MS. goes on to say that the land of Mu disapeared and that ten countries were scattered, and that this occurred 8,060 years before the book was written. This writer advances still more extraordinary matter confirmative of the statements of the book.

We find in the grave-mounds of a prehistoric race4, as well as in the architectural sculptures of the Mayaux, the cross in its various forms; the tau cross {T} of Egypt, on the breast of numerous statues throughout America, the equilimbed cross {+}, and the so-called Latin cross {symbol: a Latin cross}, a form equally found in Egypt in pre-Christian times. There is the winged-egg with a symbolic explanation same as was given to it in Egypt5. Brother George Oliver, D.D., asserts that these races used a cube of pure crystal in their temples, and Dr. le Plongeon, who spent twelve years in overhauling the ruins of Yucatan, has found cubical dice upon which is engraved a human hand, as well as crystals of a globular form, arrows of jade, the {9} hardest of stones, etc. The hand, as a symbol, held an important place amongst these people, as it is found stamped on the inside of buildings as if it was done with the actual hand of the architect as a mark of approval, or as a modern Indian Rajah stamps his own hand on the standard given to one of his troops; the same custom appears in the Temples of India. Le Plongeon further found an altar which is a facsimile of one at Anger-thom in Cambogia, and he also claims that he has discovered the tomb, statue, and cremated body of Prince Cay Canchi, the High-priest; in the centre of his mausoleum was represented 12 serpent heads, and the statue which he disinterred at Chichen Itza, the city of the Sages, possesses a carved apron on which is figured an open human hand. The number seven is an important factor in their secret symbolism.

The Doctor, who found a difficulty in getting into print because the publishers saw no money in the subject, claims that the following account is sculptured upon the ruined temple of Uxmal, and confirmed by the “Troano MS.” as the veritable history of the country, but which has become mythologised in the old world: the history of an Empire more ancient than Atlantis, embracing three continents peopled by a red and black race, that is including North and South America and Atlantis; that this empire was symbolised by the trident, and the three-peaked crown of its kings, and alluded to in mythology as the kingdom of Poseidon, Kronos, or Saturn.

There was, says the author, a deified king named Can, whose totem or emblem was the serpent, and a rule of his kingdom, as in some Asiatic countries, was that the eldest son should marry his youngest sister. This Can had 3 sons and 2 daughters, thus making a famly of 7, each of whom ruled one of seven cities. Following the rule already mentioned, one of the brothers named Coh, chacmol or leopard, took to wife his sister Moo, but their brother Aac, whose TOTEM was the turtle, out of love for his sister slew her husband treacherously. According to {10} the custom of the country he is represented as offering her fruit, whilst she is seated under a tree upon which is perched a macaw as the “totem” of Moo; the serpent, or her husband’s emblem, is twined in the branches of the tree, whilst a monkey stands by as if representing a councillor. The tree is the emblem of the country, and the representation is in close conformity with the legend of Genesis as to the temptation of Eve. Moo refuses to accept this symbol of the love of Aac, and he puts her to death, as well as her elder brother Cay Canchi, or Hunacay, the wise-fish, the high-priest.

It is noteworthy that in the sculptured representations of this legend, or history, whichever it may be, the murderer Aac is represented as a Sun-worshipper, whilst Coh and his sister Moo venerate the serpent. A curious analogy to this is to be found in Egypt, it is in a statue of Typhon or Set as described by Plutarch. It is the representation of a hippopotamus, which corresponds to the turtle of Aac, and on the back of the animal is a hawk and a serpent in the act of fighting. Le Plongeon again affords another correspondence with Egypt in the description of the 12 kings descended from the 7 of the race of Can, who ruled before the destruction of Atlantis; for we have here the 12 minor gods and the zodiac, and the 7 greater gods or planets. The account may be veritable history, as Le Plongeon maintains that it is, but it is possible that the author may have mistaken for history a still older mythology carried from Atlantis to Pucatan.

The temple of Chichen Itza is itself an interesting study. It is built on a ground plan of three apartments which {Symbol on two lines of text: A Greek cross with a short horizontal bar at the top and bottom of the vertical arm} make a triple cross. In one peculiarity it corresponds 1 with some ancient temples in Egypt and Cambodia where a keyed arch was then not known. It has a triangular arch constructed by the overlapping of large stones, in which the three sons of Can are symbolised; by taking in the sides we have five to include the two sister; and adding the ends we have seven or the whole family; numbers which are sacred both in Central America and in {11} the East. Over the door of the sanctuary is represented both the cross-bones and a skeleton holding up its two fleshless arms in the form of two squares, a position which is sometimes represented in Egypt as that in which the soul appears before Osiris. Here again it is singular that a corresponding doctrine is found in India as to the symbolism of the walls and floors of their temples. There are other temples in Yucatan which were intended for sun-worship, the ground plan being three concentric circles, like the lakes we have mentioned as surrounding a palace in Atlantis

But the most extraordinary part of the claims of Le Plongeon is that he has discovered the interpretation of the hieroglyphical inscriptions and finds that the character used, with the exception of a very few letters, is absolutely identical with the hieratic alphabet of Egypt, whilst the language which these characters bespeak is yet found in almost pristine purity in the dialect of Patan, a language which is perfectly constructed and strikingly resembles the Coptic. As in Egypt and Chaldea the ground plan of a temple was the oblong square {symbol of a horizontal rectangle}, which was again the symbol both in Yucatan and Egypt of the letter M or “Ma”, which implies the earth, and the word Maya. In the names of the Greek alphabet Le Plongeon finds a poem, the Patan words of which gives the history of the great catastrophe.

The Mayaux had their religious Mysteries which were governed by 12 priests, with initiations and carefully guarded sacred rites, of which some account may be gathered in the writings of the Quiches, a neighbouring race at Xibalba: in passing through these initiations the Neophyte had to undergo most severe bodily trials, which Le Plongeon compares with certain descriptions in the Chaldean “Book of Enoch”. It is not, however, shown that in these Mysteries Art symbolism exists such as we shall find in Thibet and China and in Freemasonry. We learn elsewhere from some researches made at the instance of the Smithsonian Institute that these, or similar Mysteries, {12} are yet preserved by the Zuni people and consist of twelve orders of priests, into some degrees of which Mr. Frank H. Cushing has recently obtained admission after undergoing severe bodily trials. Historical and religious analogies with Yucatan are to be found amongst the Japanese who represent the first seven gods by the same symbols as the Mayas, and Brother George Oliver sets forth that a Japanese candidate, in initiation into their Mysteries, represents the sun’s passage through the twelve Zodiacal signs. It is singular that the Mayaux legends or Mythology should contain so much in common with Egypt, Asia, and India. Persia has the tradition of one brother slain by another. The Hindu “Ramayana” represents that the king of the monkey race, perhaps an inferior aboriginal tribe such as the Andamans, had two sons, Bali and Sougravia, each of whom desired the same wife, and Sougravia, by the aid of the divine Rama, treacherously slew his brother Bali. It is alleged, in confirmation of Solon’s statement, that Atlantian emigrants settled in Egypt and Greece, that they equally settled in the Dekkan. Indeed, the “Ramayana” states that Maya, the magician and architect of the Davanas, took possession of South India and navigated the ocean from west to east and from the south to the north; the word Maya here meaning a dweller upon the sea.

In the Atlantic Islands, or mountain tops of Atlantis, there is a general belief that a system of secret Mysteries prevails, and this seems to have been established as a fact by several recent Masonic experiments.6 The natives of Virginia have a society of Initiates designated Huseanawer. The mother prepares a funeral pyre for her son of whom a simulated sacrice is to be made, as in the case of Isaac, and during the preparation she weeps him as dead. A tree is cut down and a crown made from its boughs: the initiate is given a powerful narcotic by which he is thrown into a state of somnambulism, and after a protracted retirement he {13} is looked upon by his tribe as a new man. Again, the negroes of Guinea have certain Mysteries called the Belly Paaro; the candidate is led into a wood where he is divested of all clothing and metals; here he passes five years in absolute seclusion; after this he is initiated into the most secret doctrines of the sect.7 The object of their worship, as with the Maoris, is Rangi and Papa, or the heavenly Father and the earthly Mother

Even in the Pacific islands, or the mountain tops of a great sunken continent which has been denominated Lemuria, there exists a system of religious Mysteries. Heckethorn mentions that at Tahiti and scattered over Polynesia, is a society called Areoiti, which has seven degrees of initiation, which none but the king may pass over all at once. One of their ceremonies is practised at the winter solstice, and it is a funereal ceremony resembling that in honour of Osiris, Bacchus and Adonis. The meaning underlying this initiation is the generative powers of nature, and laymen have to undergo severe bodily trials.8

There are cave pictures in Australia of a race more ancient than the Bosjesmen, one of these caves has a robed figure with a rainbow round the head which the Rev. J. Matthew considers to be identical with the chief god of Sumatra.9 There are many general assertions that a system of signs identical with modern Freemasonry exists amongst the native Australians, and one such account appears in Ars Quatuor Coronatorum.10 But the most precise account is a paper in the “New Zealand Craftsman” of 8 Feb., 1898, by Brother Henry Stowell, whose grandmother was a Maori. The paper deserves to be fully copied.

“The Maori in their traditions, “Fangitawhiti” (epic poems), and language show conclusively that ages ago there was at Hawaiki, a grand temple known as Wharekura, {14} at which temple meetings were regularly held and presided over by Tohunga, or initiates of a very high order, and wherein was taught and practised a perfect system of principles in an esoteric form, with exhaustive and appropriate rituals, also symbols, signs, and passwords, and that these were kept and preserved on tables of stone, which latter were deposited in the temple. The ritual and symbols were entrusted by the Ariki-Ranji (divine and supreme head) to the various officers in order to properly carry out the ceremonials connected with these meetings, whereat only those others who were entitled to be present had the happiness of listening to the recitals, and of observing the uses of the higher symbols. Regarded from a Maori point of view this Masonry is neither more nor less than the relation of ‘the main features of creation and the origin and history of the higher destiny of man,’ which relation was accompanied with appropriate symbols. TANE was the G.A.O.T.U., he may or may not be identical with the Chaldean Oannes. The language in which this wisdom religion was embodied is extremely archaic, but thanks to my having been taught in my youth by an aged Tohunga, and relative, some of the symbols and mysteries, I understand many of the allusions and am acquainted with various signs. A knowledge of astronomy being absolutely essential to a proper realisation of the principles of the order, its Adepts — Tohunga-Kokorangi — constantly taught in observatories its elements and phenomena, to those who were accepted for qualification.

“Under the Maori system the two main Pillars, together with their Chapters, were represented before the dome of the sky. These were divine. A subordinate pillar was ‘the Pillar of the Earth’; at certain points the Nagana or centre was traced. These were two great circles which intersected and which had their corresponding circles. The square was taught upon four points of the visible universe. Moral teachings were more or less {15}} associated with the Figure of the Ripeka cross, the type of good and evil, or enlightenment and ignorance by two opposing lines. It appears that there is a universal tendency to restrict, thwart, or delimit its beneficial functions. Hence, ‘”He waewae tapeka ta ta ara Ripeka.”’ (‘A foot which diverges from the good or pure to the evil or impure path.’) The figure of the triangle, Tantora, formed the basis of, or for, the most elaborate calculations in connection with astronomy and geography.

“The term ‘Mason,’ ‘Masonry,’ ‘Masonic,’ are used in the English sense and for convenience. Days and months were measured by successive phases of the moon, while the year was marked by the heliacal rising in June of the star Puanga, Rigel in Orion, due east, this being the star of the Maori new year, and the first sign of the Awahio-Rangi, or zodiac.

“I have no knowledge of the use of such a thing as the 24 inch gauge, but can vouch that calculations of length or distance were worked out with nice exactitude. The signs in use varied from those of the Europeans. Still in some important respects, so far as a mere M.M. is able to compare, there is astonishing agreement, and the agreement suggests “a variation on the European scale,” owing to the incorporation or blending therein, of the terms of the Oath. The ordinance of the Tapu sanctity was its (Masonic) very essence: any infringement thereof, or neglect of its observance, by whomsoever, resulted in sure and speedy death, which was the true penal sign, silent and awesome. Then again ‘Speculative Masonry’ was not advanced or urged, and each one appears to have used his enlightenment for the purpose of furthering his knowledge along these ancient lines, which embraced the complete system, offering that fulness of happiness granted to mortals who were enabled to penetrate the very depths of nature, and by revelling in her mysteries attain the threshold of the divine.”

There are numerous other archaic legends which might have appeared in this chapter but which it will be more {16} convenient to refer to hereafter by way of illustration. Those of Genesis, for instance, come within this category. The Adamic legend of Genesis has the appearance of being the esoteric caste mythology of a tribe which settled in the Caucasian highlands, holding the Aryan doctrine of divine incarnations, to which they gave the expression of a coming Messiah, or divine reincarnation, who was to redeem and rehabilitate their own fallen race alone, and we have seen that the serpent was equally an esoteric emblem in America. Analogous legends to those of Genesis appear also in Vedaic literature. A clergyman recently advanced in his book entitled the “Fall of Adam” that it allegorised the intercourse of the higher spiritual or Adamic man with the lower and soulless race of pre-Adamites, and as we are not bound down by the Rabinical chronology we may carry such a theory back to the “Moon” and “Sun” races of Thibet.

In the American Can we may have a coincidence with the Tartar title of Khan, and perhaps with the Biblical Cain. In the scriptural account it is Cain, the eldest son, who, like the Thibetians, offers a sacrifice of the fruits of the earth, slays his younger brother Abel who offers a sacrifice of blood, and who leaves no progeny. The continuance of a spiritually minded line devolves upon the third son, or race of Seth. It is after the marriage of these sons of God with the daughters of men that we find the union of the worldly arts of the line of Cain with the more spiritual line of Seth. According to the Talmud Lamech marries the two daughters of Keenan, to whom it assigns the stone tablets of prophecy; the progeny of these marriages become men of renown — Jabal, Jubal, Tubal Cain, &c. In Egypt owing either to a racial inversion of the legend, which may have either been the production of some very old racial war, or later to mark their detestation of the Hyksos, or Shepherd Kings, the priests made of the god Set, or Seth, a devil identical with Typhon who murdered his brother Osiris. There existed in Africa, contemporary with the beginning of {17} Christianity, a sect of Abelites, and it is not improbable that the Syrian Baal, the Cretan Abelios, the Celtic Abellio, and the Greek Apollo, were modified versions of the Hebrew Hebel or Abel.

It is worth while to note that the Jewish Bible makes the line of Cain to be the first to build a city, which may mean a series of wooden huts analogous to those which originated the trabeated, or beam style of stone work, prevailing amongst the early Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans in their temples and coming down even to Christian times; found as well in the cave temples of India, which are richly and wonderfully carved to represent woodwork. After the flood it is the descendants of Ham who become the great builders, and Japhet is to “dwell in the Tents of Shem,” which tent is the prototype of the Pagodas of China, Persia, and Japan.

As these legendary accounts of an art which spread from a sunken continent are scarcely more than prehistoric tradition, we need not follow the subject further in this chapter; widely spread as these traditions are, they can scarcely be altogether baseless. Some confirmation has been found by scientific sea-soundings, and further corroboration is afforded in the accepted fact that all the Pacific islanders are of the same race, and speak dialects of the same language, and this at a distance from each other which is impassable to their small boats; all equally say that their forefathers dwelt in a land over which the waves of the ocean now sweep.

We are, for these various reasons, justified in a belief in the veritable existence of such continents, and, by the same parity of reasoning, as we find sacred and secret mysteries existing amongst them, in the Pacific, Atlantic, and in Australia, we are justified in supposing that these sacred schools are as old as the race that inhabited these continents. We see, however, that these mysteries have no architectural aims, and are a part of the conjecture with which we began this chapter, as to the relative position of religion and art. If the reader places no {18} confidence in these traditions, until science has pronounced upon them, he can forget that he has read them, and pass on to what is more generally accepted.

In the following pages closer proof will be found of the existence of a system resembling Free Masonry, and though we have not a minute book to prove that primeval man invented Free Masonry, under a more ancient name, and then established Lodges in Tartary, Egypt, Babylon, Greece, Italy, Britain, etc., yet the fact that similar societies existed in all these countries is indisputable, and there is no doubt that other and more important links will yet be brought to light by a diligent perusal of old classical authors, by someone who has the intuitive ability to understand the language of Mystery.

{19}

 

1 Vide Notes and Queries (S. C. and L. M. Gould, Manchester, N.H.), xi, p. 203.

2 Anacalypsis, i. p. 507

3 The Secret Doctrine, of H. P. Blavatsky.

4 See Ars Quatuor Coronatorum, v, part II.

5 ”Sacred Mysteries of the Mayas and Quiches 11,500 Years Ago.”

6 Canadian Craftsman, xvii, No. 4; also A.Q.C.

7 Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries. Jno. Hogg, I875, by Heckethorn.>>

8 Secret Societies of All Ages and Countries. Jno. Hogg, I875, by Heckethorn.>>

9 Lucifer, xiv, 1894.

10 Vol. x. Bro. F. Jones.

 

Table of Contents | Archaic Legends | Proto-Aryan Civilisation and Mysteries | Aryan Civilisation and Mysteries | The Mysteries in Relation to Philosophy | Philosophy in Relation to Masonic Rites | The Mystic and Hermetic Schools in Christian Times | Recapitulated Proof of Ancient Masonry | Masonry in Saxon England | Masonry in Norman England | …