Adonai and Satan: Transformation of Sun-Gods by Christianity

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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. It puts forth, for some of us, the uncomfortable question: Is Jehovah a Personating Spirit, using the same tactics Christianity has done to all past religions and mythologies, by turning every old god to a devil.

“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.

But theology seems to have lost sight of the human capacity for discriminating and finally analysing all that is artificially forced upon its reverence. 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) — not unto Aryan [Indo] Europeans.

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.

The author of “New Aspects of Life” describes the Jewish God very correctly from the Kabalistic stand-point as “the Spirit of the Earth, which had revealed itself to the Jew as Jehovah” (p. 209). “It was that Spirit again who, after the death of Jesus, assumed his form and personated him as the risen Christ” — the doctrine of Cerinthius and several Gnostic sects with slight variation, as one can see. But the author’s explanations and deductions are remarkable: “None knew . . . better than Moses . . . and so well as he how great was the power of those (gods of Egypt) with whose priests he had contended,” he says . . . “the gods of which Jehovah is claimed to be the God” (by the Jews only). “What were these gods, these Achar of which Jehovah, the Achad, is claimed to be the God . . . by overcoming them?” the author asks; to which our Occultism answers: “those whom the Church now calls the Fallen Angels and collectively Satan, the Dragon, overcome, if we have to accept her dictum, by Michael and the Host, that Michael being simply Jehovah himself, one of the subordinate Spirits at best.”

Therefore, the author is again right in saying: “The Greeks believed in the existence of . . . daimons. But . . . they were anticipated by the Hebrews, who held that there was a class of personating spirits which they designated demons, ‘personators.’ 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? But once granting this position, how are we to know that Jehovah was not a personating Spirit, a Spirit which arrogated to itself that it was, and thus became, the personator of the one unknown and unknowable God? Nay, how do we know that the Spirit calling itself Jehovah, in arrogating to itself his attributes did not thus cause its own designation to be imputed to the One who is in reality as nameless as incognizable?” (pp. 144-145.)”

The Secret Doctrine, Vol. 2, pp. 507-9

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