isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter iii (religious sects)

“”The Divine mind is eternal”, says the Codex, “and it is pure light, and poured out through splendid and immense space, pleroma. It is Genetrix of the Aeons, but one of them went to matter, chaos, stirring up confused, turbulentos, movements; and by a certain portion of heavenly light fashioned it, properly constituted for use and appearance, but the beginning of every evil. The Demiurge, of matter, claimed divine honor. Therefore Christus, “the anointed”, the prince of the Aeons, (powers), was sent, (expiditus), who taking on the person of a most devout Jew, Jesu, was to conquer him; but who having laid it, the body, aside, departed on high.” We will explain further on the full significance of the name Christos and its mystic meaning.

And now, in order to make such passages as the above more intelligible, we will endeavor to define, as briefly as possible, the dogmas in which, with very trifling differences, nearly all the Gnostics sects believed. It is in Ephesus that flourished in those days the greatest college, wherein the abstruse Oriental speculations and the Platonic philosophy were taught in conjunction. It was a focus of the universal “secret” doctrines; the weird laboratory whence, fashioned in elegant Grecian phraseology, sprang the quintessence of Buddhistic, Zoroastrian, and Chaldean philosophy.

Artemis, the gigantic concrete symbol of theosophico-pantheistic abstractions, the great mother Multimamma, androgyne and patroness of the “Ephesian writings”, was conquered by Paul; but although the zealous converts of the apostles pretended to burn all their books on “curious arts”, ta perierga, enough of these remained for them to study when their first zeal had cooled off.

It is from Ephesus that spread nearly all the Gnosis which antagonized so fiercely with the Irenaean dogmas; and still it was Ephesus, with her numerous collateral branches of the great college of the Essenes, which proved to be the hot bed of all the kabalistic speculations brought by the Tanaim from the captivity. “In Ephesus”, says Matter, “the notions of the Jewish-Egyptian school, and the semi-Persian speculations of the kabalists had then recently come to swell the vast conflux of Grecian and Asiatic doctrines, so there is no wonder that teachers should have sprung up there who strove to combine the religion newly preached by the apostle with the ideas there so long established.”

Had not the Christians burdened themselves with the Revelations of a little nation, and accepted the Jehovah of Moses, the Gnostic ideas would never have been termed heresies; once relieved of their dogmatic exaggerations the world would have had a religious system based on pure Platonic philosophy, and surely something would then have been gained.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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