isis unveiled, vol 2: chapter vii (defending the secret science)

“It will not be found without interest to see what Mr. John Yarker, Jr., has to say on some modern secret societies among the Orientals.

“The nearest resemblance to the Brahmanical Mysteries, is probably found in the very ancient ‘Paths’ of the Dervishes, which are usually governed by twelve officers, the oldest ‘Court’ superintending the others by right of seniority. Here the master of the ‘Court’ is called ‘Sheik’, and has his deputies, ‘Caliphs’, or successors, of which there may be many, (as, for instance, in the brevet degree of a Master Mason). The order is divided into at least four columns, pillars, or degrees. The first step is that of ‘Humanity’, which supposes attention to the written law, and ‘annihilation in the Sheik’. The second is that of the ‘Path’, in which the ‘Murid’, or disciple, attains spiritual powers and ‘self-annihilation’ into the ‘Peer’ or founder of the ‘Path’. The third stage is called ‘Knowledge’, and the ‘Murid’ is supposed to become inspired, called ‘annihilation into the Prophet.’ The fourth stage leads him even to God, when he becomes a part of the Deity and sees Him in all things. The first and second stages have received modern subdivisions, as ‘Integrity’, Virtue, ‘Temperance’, ‘Benevolence’. After this the Sheik confers upon him the grade of ‘Caliph’, or Honorary Master, for in their mystical language, ‘the man must die before the saint can be born.’ It will be seen that this kind of mysticism is applicable to Christ as founder of a Path.’”

To this statement, the author adds the following on the Bektash Dervishes, who “often initiated the Janizaries. They wear a small marble cube spotted with blood. There ceremony is as follows: Before reception a year’s probation is required, during which false secrets are given to test the candidate; he has two godfathers and is divested of all metals and even clothing; from the wool of a sheep a cord is made for his neck, and a girdle for his loins; he is led into the center of a square room, presented as a slave, and seated upon a large stone with twelve escallops; his arms are crossed upon his breast, his body inclined forward, his right toes extended over his left foot; after various prayers he is placed in a particular manner, with his hand in a peculiar way in that of the Sheik, who repeats a verse from the Koran: ‘Those who on giving thee their hand swear to thee an oath, swear it to God, the hand of God is placed in their hand; whoever violates this oath, will do so to his hurt, and to whoever remains faithful God will give a magnificent reward.’ Placing the hand below the chin is their sign, perhaps in memory of their vow. All use the double triangles. The Brahmans inscribe the angles with their trinity, and they possess also the Masonic sign of distress as used in France.”

From the very day when the first mystic found the means of communication between this world and the worlds of the invisible host, between the sphere of matter and that of pure spirit, he concluded that to abandon this mysterious science to the profanation of the rabble was to lose it. An abuse of it might lead mankind to speedy destruction; it was like surrounding a group of children with explosive batteries and furnishing them with matches. The first self-made adept initiated but a select few and kept silence with the multitudes. He recognized his God and felt the Great Being within himself. The “Atman”, the Self, the mighty Lord and Protector, once that man knew him as the “I AM”, the “Ego Sum”, the “Ahmi”, showed his full power to him who could recognize the “still small voice”.

From the days of the primitive man described by the first Vedic poet, down to our modern age, there has not been a philosopher worthy of that name, who did not carry in the silent sanctuary of his heart the grand and mysterious truth. If initiated, he learnt it as a sacred science; if otherwise, then, like Socrates repeating to himself, as well as to his fellowmen, the noble injunction, “O man, know thyself”, he succeeded in recognizing his God within himself. “Ye are gods”, the king-psalmist tells us, and we find Jesus reminding the scribes that the expression, “Ye are gods”, was addressed to other mortal men, claiming for himself the same privilege without any blasphemy. And as a faithful echo, Paul, while asserting that we are all “the temple of the living God”, cautiously adds, that after all, these things are only for the “wise”, and it is unlawful to speak of them.

Therefore, we must accept the reminder, and simply remark that even in the tortured and barbarous phraseology of the Codex Nazaraeus, we detect throughout the same idea. Like an undercurrent, rapid and clear, it runs without mixing its crystalline purity with the muddy and heavy waves of dogmatism. We find it in the Codex, as well as in the Vedas, in the Avesta, as in the Abhidharma, and in Kapila’s Sankhya Sutras not less than in the Fourth Gospel.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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