More than any other country,
Ancient Egypt was an illustration of theocratic power. There, priesthood
ruled and adumbrated royalty. Depositories of the Indo-Iran tradition of
Ra, Zar�thustra and Manu, the priests of Thebes and Memphis made
of Egypt the fortress of antique Esoterism. Their Sovereign Lord God and
Teacher bore the name of Hermes or Thoth, the Great Initiator. In him were
typified the three great powers of royalty, law-giving or legislative and
high priesthood which made the Greeks, disciples of the Egyptians, surname
him Hermes Trismegistus or thrice great.
To Hermes was credited a
large number of books containing the secrets of Indo-Aryan occult science.
Fire was the first Principle, the basis of all teaching and the law of
Ammon-Ra, the Sun God of Thebes.
Only after the conquest of
Egypt by the Hyksos (2000 B.C.) Did the priests spread among the people
the cult of Osiris and Isis and their son Horus. This popular religion
served as a screen which most effectively shielded the Hermetic mysteries
from intrusion and disclosure and safeguarded ancient and Aryan Esoterism
which had to fear annihilation at the hand of the priesthood of the black
or Ethiopian race whose Esoterism was based upon a different conception
of occult and psychic knowledge.
A striking example of the
rivalry of the two esoteric schools is given in the Bible, and many people
believe that Moses and Aaron were practicing magic taught them by the Ethiopian
Jethro (Who was a White Man, not a Negro), failed to confound the Egyptian
priests before Pharaoh. (We know by this that the Jews were prevalent in
Egypt even then, but known by another name, because they have never recognized
the power of Almighty God and therefore would believe nothing less than
that Moses and Aaron were practicing magic and not showing the power of
God. But Pharaoh realized that theirs was not magic, but was the power
of God, and so in the end decided to let the Children of Israel go; even
though he repented of it later and chased after them with his army, only
to watch them drown as the sea closed around them)
Concealed behind the popular
cult of Osiris and Isis was the soul of Egyptian Esoterism which no one
could reach, except after having been deemed worthy to penetrate the most
sacred mysteries of Isis whose statue, with its face veiled, stood before
the door of the temple of Occultism.
The trials of initiation
which a candidate had to withstand before he beheld the light of Osiris
and understood the "Vision of Hermes" were long and terrible. They were
interspersed, however, by states of trance induced by special beverages,
during which the initiate had voluptuous visions of Isis preceded by the
five-pointed flamboyant star (of the Jews - Jewish Encyclopedia) or the
Rose of Isis.
Two great flowing currents
issued from the esoteric wisdom, jealously safeguarded by the Egyptians,
namely: Mosaism or Judaism, taught (so the Jews say) by Moses whose God
was Jehovah, and Orpheism taught by Orpheus whose God was Zeus or Jupiter.
The former adapted his beliefs to suit the mentality of undisciplined,
rebellious masses of Israelites in Egypt, hence a god of Fear and Vengeance;
the latter legislated for a people whose Hellenic genius touched sublime
heights of philosophic wisdom on the one hand, and sought on the other
to carry its irrepressible sense of beauty and light-heartedness in its
pursuit of material pleasures. Hence the great difference between the two
currents which had derived their initial teaching from the same source.