Lesson 2-THE GENESIS OF THE DEVIL
[[The Secret Doctrine Vol. 2, Page]] 477 THE GENESIS OF THE DEVIL.
May we not then be permitted to drag the deep rivers of the Past, and thus bring to the surface the root idea that led to the transformation of the Wisdom-God, who had first been regarded as the creator of everything that exists, into an Angel of Evil — a ridiculous horned biped, half goat and half monkey, with hoofs and a tail? We need not go out of the way to compare the pagan demons of either Egypt, India, or Chaldea with the devil of Christianity, for no such comparison is possible. But we may stop to glance at the biography of the Christian Devil, a piratical reprint from the Chaldeo-Judaean mythology: —
The primitive origin of this personification rests upon the Akkadian conception of the cosmic powers — the Heavens and the Earth — in eternal feud and struggle with Chaos. Their Silik-Muludag, “the God amongst all the Gods,” the “merciful guardian of men on Earth,” was the Son of Hea (or Ea) the great God of Wisdom, called by the Babylonians Nebu. With both peoples — as in the case of the Hindu gods — their deities were both beneficent and maleficent. As Evil and punishment are the agents of Karma, in an absolutely just retributive sense, so Evil was the servant of the good (Hibbert Lect. 1887, pp. 101-115). 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,” quoteth 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).
[[Vol. 2, Page]] 478 THE SECRET DOCTRINE.
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.’ “**
This bit of Talmudic information shows plainly two things: (a) that St. Michael is called “God” in the Talmud, and somebody else “the Lord”; and (b) that Satan is a God, of whom even the “Lord” is in fear. All we read in the Zohar and other Kabalistic works on Satan shows plainly that this “personage” is simply the personification of the abstract evil, which is the weapon of Karmic law and KARMA. It is our human nature and man himself, as it is said that “Satan is always near and inextricably interwoven with man.” It is only a question of that Power being latent or active in us.
It is a well-known fact — to learned Symbologists at all events — that in every great religion of antiquity, it is the Logos Demiurge (the second logos), or the first emanation from the mind (Mahat), who is made to strike, so to say, the key-note of that which may be called the correlation of individuality and personality in the subsequent scheme of evolution. The Logos it is, who is shown in the mystic symbolism of cosmogony, theogony, and anthropogony, playing two parts in the drama of Creation and Being, i.e., that of the purely human personality and the divine impersonality of the so-called Avatars, or divine incarnations, and of the universal Spirit, called Christos by the Gnostics, and the Farvarshi (or Ferouer) of Ahura Mazda in the Mazdean philosophy.
On the lower rungs of theogony the celestial Beings of lower Hierarchies had each a Farvarshi, or a celestial “Double.” It is the same, only a still more mystic, reassertion of the Kabalistic axiom, “Deus est Demon inversus”; the word “demon,” however, as in the case of Socrates, and in the spirit of the meaning given to it by the whole of antiquity, standing for the guardian Spirit, an “Angel,” not a devil of Satanic descent, as theology will have it. The Roman Catholic Church shows its usual logic and consistency by accepting, as the ferouer of Christ, St. Michael, who was “his Angel Guardian,” as proved by St. Thomas,*** while he calls the prototypes of Michael and his synonyms, such as Mercury, for example, devils
* Vide Isis Unveiled, Vol. II., 487, et seq.
** Treat. Kiddusheem, 81. But see the Qabbala by Mr. I. Myer, pp. 92, 94, and the Zohar, quoted in his Volume.
*** In the work of Marangone “Delle grandezze del Archangelo Sancto Mikaele,” the author exclaims: “O Star, the greatest of those that follow the Sun who is Christ! . . . [[continued on following page]]