Manly P Hall

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In the Mysteries the seven Logi, or Creative Lords, are shown as streams of force issuing from the mouth of the Eternal One. This signifies the spectrum being extracted from the white light of the Supreme Deity. The seven Creators, or Fabricators, of the inferior spheres were called by the Jews the Elohim. By the Egyptians they were referred to as the Builders (sometimes as the Governors) and are depicted with great knives in their hands with which they carved the universe from its primordial substance. Worship of the planets is based upon their acceptation as the cosmic embodiments of the seven creative attributes of God. The Lords of the planets were described as dwelling within the body of the sun, for the true nature of the sun, being analogous to the white light, contains the seeds of all the tone and color potencies which it manifests.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The Greek Mysteries included in their doctrines a magnificent concept of the relationship existing between music and form. The elements of architecture, for example, were considered as comparable to musical modes and notes, or as having a musical counterpart. Consequently when a building was erected in which a number of these elements were combined, the structure was then likened to a musical chord, which was harmonic only when it fully satisfied the mathematical requirements of harmonic intervals. The realization of this analogy between sound and form led Goethe to declare that "architecture is crystallized music."

In constructing their temples of initiation, the early priests frequently demonstrated their superior knowledge of the principles underlying the phenomena known as vibration. A considerable part of the Mystery rituals consisted of invocations and intonements, for which purpose special sound chambers were constructed. A word whispered in one of these apartments was so intensified that the reverberations made the entire building sway and be filled with a deafening roar. The very wood and stone used in the erection of these sacred buildings eventually became so thoroughly permeated with the sound vibrations of the religious ceremonies that when struck they would reproduce the same tones thus repeatedly impressed into their substances by the rituals.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The far-reaching effect exercised by music upon the culture of the Greeks is thus summed up by Emil Nauman: "Plato depreciated the notion that music was intended solely to create cheerful and agreeable emotions, maintaining rather that it should inculcate a love of all that is noble, and hatred of all that is mean, and that nothing could more strongly influence man's innermost feelings than melody and rhythm. Firmly convinced of this, he agreed with Damon of Athens, the musical instructor of Socrates, that the introduction of a new and presumably enervating scale would endanger the future of a whole nation, and that it was not possible to alter a key without shaking the very foundations of the State. Plato affirmed that music which ennobled the mind was of a far higher kind than that which merely appealed to the senses, and he strongly insisted that it was the paramount duty of the Legislature to suppress all music of an effeminate and lascivious character, and to encourage only s that which was pure and dignified; that bold and stirring melodies were for men, gentle and soothing ones for women. From this it is evident that music played a considerable part in the education of the Greek youth. The greatest care was also to be taken in the selection of instrumental music, because the absence of words rendered its signification doubtful, and it was difficult to foresee whether it would exercise upon the people a benign or baneful influence. Popular taste, being always tickled by sensuous and meretricious effects, was to be treated with deserved contempt. (See The History of Music.)

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Most persons fear the unknown, and we might say that an expert in any field of thinking is one phase of the unknown. The average person is afraid of experts, of people who know more than he does. Our natural tendency in making decisions is to consult people on our own level. In other words, we gain our advice and assistance over a back fence, from some notice on television, some popular handbook, or the general gossip of the neighborhood. I have noticed also that people of varied races or nationalities will nearly always seek advice from members of their own ethnic group. [...]

As a result of this tendency, we are nearly always poorly advised. [...] Thousands of persons every day go for help to individuals they trust, but often they are consulting friends or even famous persons who are not authorities in the area at all. They may go to some college professor to find out something about religion, which he knows no more about than they do. Age, venerable appearance, distinguised career, high social standing - these do not make the person capable of heping others to decide specific problems. [...] Actually, nature wants us to solve our own problems. Nature does not want us to lean upon other people. [...]

Always try to solve as much of a problem yourself as is possible. Do not develop the leaning habit. [...] the more we develop the habit of leaning, the weaker we become. [...] web must realize that as a nation or a community develops leaners, it becomes weaker as a whole. Where the person tries to evade the need for personal decision, solution, and responsibility, the result is always weakness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Five Mistakes That Can Lead to Tragedy - Lecture Note 082</cite>

Inner strength is the only defense that most persons have against social injustices. A dynamic faith in God's power and his ever-present help in time of trouble is our first line of defense against war, crime, poverty, and intolerance. All the religions of the world are dedicated to honor and integrity. Those who oppose religion or try to discredit it are false to the very life within themselves. Idealism reveals the divine destiny which we were created to fulfill.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Through the centuries, the Bible has inspired some of the noblest achievements of mankind. It has bestowed the courage to reform corrupt laws, to liberate human souls from slavery and bondage, and to advance justice in private and public conduct.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

When we gaze upon the wondrous spectacle of the Last Judgement on the wall of the Sistine Chapel with the knowledge that it was painted by Michelangelo, a mortal person, gifted but still human, something within ourselves is overwhelmed by the mystic vision of the Divine Plan.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

When a belief must serve persons in different degrees of faith and insight, it is necessary to provide milk for babes and meat for men, and these words themselves become a kind of parable. In ancient times, the problem of insight seldom caused difficulties. The religion itself was presented on several levels of interpretation and the earnest follower could advance as his understanding enlarged and matured. In more modern times, each of these levels becomes a distinct sect and there is little or no continuity in the search for understanding.

This accounts for many of the changes in the translations of the biblical books. It also explains why orthodoxy actually means conformity with a specialized interpretation of the holy writings.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Although the Ante-Nicene Fathers were aware of the inner mysteries of the Christian faith, a rising orthodoxy was content to disseminate the most literal possible explanations of the Christian mysteries. This is largely responsible for modern sectarianism.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Jonah may be a symbolical prophecy bearing upon the death and resurrection of Christ. Cetus, the constellation of the great whale, was a symbol of the physical earth in which the body of Christ remained for three days before the Resurrection.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

The prevalent delusion seems to be that a religiously-oriented person is at a disadvantage in an intensely capitalistic society. Honesty has no recommendation these days, sincerity is not respected by one's own family, and fidelity inhibits the gratification of physical pleasures.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

In most respects, the Bible is a very simple book, and many parts of it can be read to children and will benefit them.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

A few atheists are determined to prevent religious sentiments from receiving public support. What do they offer in the place of such an inspiring faith? Atheism is especially difficult in the last hours of human life. All that has been gained by avarice and ambition must be left behind.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Has any scientist, politician, educator, or philosopher been able to refute the words of Solomon? Are we willing to ignore universal integrity and trust our fate and future upon nuclear fission, chemical warfare, and the strategies of materialistically-minded economists? It would seem that the Bible is trying to tell us something, but we are slow of learning.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

In the second chapter of Genesis, god created man, and in the third chapter man disobeyed God, setting in motion an endless series of disagreeable occurrences. God provided Adam and Eve with a beautiful garden where everything necessary was available as divine bounty. Even the Lord himself walked in the garden in the cool of the evening. As the story unfolds, Cain slays his brother; and God, weary of his wayward children, found Noah to be the only just man in his generation. These circumstances must be regarded as allegorical. They are not the account of a few wandering tribes which fell into one dilemma after another. It is clearly indicated that mankind was incapable of obeying the laws by which he was created and by which he could preserve himself. This story epitomizes ten thousand years of history in all parts of the world. It is the continuing record of the victory of the immediate desires over the divine purpose.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

He [Francis Bacon] was a devoutly religious man and was convinced that he would rather believe all the fables of antiquity than deny that the vast fabric of creation is without a mind.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

A reconciliation between theism and atheism would not be especially difficult if modern scholars gave some attention to allegory, mythology, and legendry. Homer, Hesiod, and Virgil were neither superstitious nor gullible. They perpetuated philosophical fables with profound meanings concealed beneath the folklore of remote times. Each generation can interpret the old beliefs and benefit greatly by such liberal thoughtfulness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Our ancestors came over to this continent to find freedom of worship, not freedom from worship.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Science offers the average person no moral or ethical substitute for religious instruction. When sterile intellectualism gains control of social procedures, morality and ethics gradually collapse.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Critics have found fault with all the world's scriptures, but as yet they have discovered no useful substitutes.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

In many instances we have no proof as to who wrote the sacred books, but we associate them with sanctified persons in the past who had the inner realization of the Divine Will. The real authority for the words in the Bible comes from our own hearts and we accept without question universal integrities that no honorable person can doubt. A long-suffering humankind sanctifies the scriptures of the world because they give directives which we instinctively and intuitively know to be right.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

If the individual cannot dream of a better future, he cannot live well today.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, 1983, between the years 1815 and 1975, some 2,500 million Bibles were printed either completely or in parts in 1,735 languages. These figures do not include sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth century printings of which there were large and numerous editions. It may reasonably be assumed, therefore, that nearly every literate, living person has had some direct contact with the sacred writings of Christianity.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

His Majesty [King James] decreed that the new version [of the Bible] should be modeled from the Bishops' Bible. Wherever the new translation agreed with the old, it should be accepted and, if it disagreed, the old should be given precedent.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

When Elizabeth came to the throne, the Protestant cause was favored and the Catholics established themselves in the more favorable atmosphere of France.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

The little room or, perhaps more correctly, cell where he [Martin Luther] labored on his translation has long been a tourist attraction. There is a blotch on the wall which is always pointed out. It seems that while Martin Luther was engaged in his appointed task, the devil came up through the floor in an effort to divert his attention. Luther picked up his heavy inkwell and threw it at the demon who apparently vanished, but the ink stain on the wall is plainly visible after all these centuries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

The motive which impelled Gutenberg to carry on his work in absolute secrecy has been the subject of considerable speculation. In any event, it brought him nothing but financial disaster. There is an old story that ecclesiastical authorities suspected that the devil was cooperating in the enterprise. It was obvious that actual manuscripts could not be produced with such speed and accuracy by any normal means. His creditors moved in on him and took possession of the printing equipment he had invented.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Charles Thomson (1729-1824) was the first to translate the Septuagint Bible into English. Thomson was Secretary of the Continental Congress of the United States of America, a close friend of Thomas Jefferson, and was highly respected by most of the Founding Fathers.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

There is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus not included in the Gospels. These fragments are usually described as the Logia, or words recorded or remembered by those who heard the Master speak.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Alexandria was an important center of classical publishing. Organized groups of scribes would copy almost any manuscript available in the Alexandrian libraries for a reasonable fee. The final destruction of these libraries may well have destroyed the precious biblical manuscripts.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

The New Testament in the surviving form is known only through early Greek manuscripts of which the earliest are believed to date from the fourth century A.D. Three important manuscripts were probably among those commissioned by Constantine. They are the Codex Vaticanus (Codex B), Codex Alexandrinus (Codex A), and the Codex Sinaiticus (Codex Aleph). The first of these is in the Vatican Library and the other two are in the British Museum.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

In any event, the emperor [Constantine] saw the wisdom of providing the various congregations with a comprehensive text of the accepted writings. He therefore sponsored the preparation of fifty large and fine volumes to be prepared for the use of the principal churches in Constantinople. This is probably the first occasion in which the two testaments were united in one volume.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Of this Mosheim writes, "The council assembled by Constantine at Nice, is one of the most famous and interesting events that are presented to us in ecclesiastical history; and yet, what is most surprising, scarcely any part of the history of the church has been unfolded with such negligence, or rather passed over with such rapidity."

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

The emperor [Constantine], realizing that the council was hopelessly entangled in its controversial issues, recommended the formulation of the basic creed to which all the various bishops would subscribe and thus have a common and mutually acceptable statement of orthodoxy.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Actually, however, he [Constantine] seems to have presided in an honorary capacity and tool little part, if any, in the theological discussions. The real heads of the council on a religious level were probably Hosius of Cordova and the papal legates, Victor and Vicentius.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

The general Council of Nicaea assembled in May, 325 A.D. More than three hundred bishops accompanied by their priests and deacons attended the meetings. The Eastern church was more strongly represented than the Western group as the Bishop of Rome did not attend but sent two legates. [...] As a pagan Constantine made an opening address in which he emphasized the importance of Christian fellowship among the leaders of their churches, and reminded all that were assembled there and were true followers of Christ that they should forgive one another, serve God, and act with charity and love.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

It has been well observed that Constantine wrote as a tolerant and liberal-minded statesman, but he certainly was not properly informed on delicate matters of theology.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Constantine Magnus was neither the best nor the worst of the Roman emperors, but he was probably the most practical. He and Licinius issues the Edict of Milan (313 A.D.) proclaiming the right of the Christians to follow the mod of religion which appeared best to them. [...] the emperor acted with dignity, courtesy, and restraint in the delicate task of attempting to arbitrate the theological differences which had arisen among the Christian groups.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

Black magic appeals to the mass mind. It appeals to the principles of our civilization. It offers something for nothing. As long as there is cupidity in the human heart, it will remain as a menace tot he honesty and integrity of our race. If occult students will only remember that honesty is the deadly enemy of black magic, and that it holds no terrors for the individual who is true to himself and true to the Golden Rule, he can protect his own soul and those he loves from its insidious and unnatural influences.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Man, by his actions, is gradually unfolding the possibilities lying latent in his physical body. By his conservation of energy, he is gradually unfolding sequentially the centers of his vital consciousness. This end can be attained only through intelligent living, for the vitality is extracted from the atmosphere, from the sun's rays, from our food, and from other sources. Through gradual purification and regeneration of his emotions and feelings--control of his fire-mist body with its outbursts and excesses--man gradually raises the vibratory rates and unfolds the latent possibilities of the astral body, thus redeeming the animal soul. By his thoughts, ideals, and aspirations, aided by the twin faculties of logic and reason, man gradually gains control of that seething mental vortex which will later put him in harmony with the divine mind of the solar God.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

People are eternally trying to walk out of difficulties, instead of trying to work out of them.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

We all want the good things of life; we all desire to be surrounded by friends; but we have no right to expect to attract any of these things except when our own lives have earned us the right to be honored, respected, and admired.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

What right has anyone to believe that man was born into the world to be happy? In the Arabian Nights, it is written, "Happiness must be earned." We are born with a divine birthright--a mind, a heart, two hands, and two feet. If any of these be missing at the time of our appearance, we have some other function proportionately developed to take its place. With these tools, we may go forth and earn happiness, but we have no right to assume that someone is going to thrust it upon us. We have come here for experience, as a child who goes to school. We may be happy in our studies, or we may curse them all the days of our lives. The wise are happy in doing the things that should be done. When we command the universe to make well the sick or to make the rich poor, we know not whereof we speak; for in our zeal and ignorance we may be doing an irreparable injury to the one we love, like a parent who cannot deny his children the sweetmeats that they want. In granting desires, we endanger both their lives and their future efficiency.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

What man of myopic vision dares to ordain health for the sick or illness for the strong? Who dares to say this poor man should be rich or this man should be poor? Does he know the reason for his coming? Does he know the virtues and vices which, lying hidden in the past, are the invisible causes of his present condition? Does he know the reason for the environment where he dwells, or the urges that have led him to his present state? If not, then he should be silent.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

We cannot always tell why souls come into the world rich or poor, some to grow strong and survive, others to become weak and succumb; but this we do know, that the law of karma directs these things, placing each life where it will best learn the lesson needed for its growth. Some must learn in sickness and pain; others in laughter and joy. Some must learn to be exalted; others to humble themselves. But all are here to save their souls by the sweat of their brows; to knead the bread of their own existence, even though they must mix it with their own life-blood.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

No man who is sick should be healed merely because he is ailing. He should learn the lesson that accompanies the disease that he has brought upon himself. To affirm health is foolishness; to find out the reason for the ailment, make right the wrong, and become healthy again, is wise and proper. To be so moderate, so wise, so thoughtful as not to become sick, is still better philosophy.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

An aged and wise Chinese once set out to visit a distant place. He sent a messenger ahead to tell the good folks of the house to prepare him no food save rice; but when he arrived, he found a many-course dinner awaiting him, for the good family felt that they must so honor his presence. The philosopher reproved them, saying, "I asked for rice, you have given me fish; I asked for rice, you have given me corn; I asked for rice, you have given me meat; I asked for rice, and you have given me sweets; and among all these things you have given me no rice." Observing that the family was hurt by the words, the philosopher added: "I have lived these many years, and, after studying carefully this body which God has given me, I have found that it doth flourish nobly upon rice. It was with wisdom that I ordered rice; it was with folly that you insulted me by offering other foods. You say that I am a great philosopher, that I am wiser than all other men; and yet you did not think me wise enough to order my own mean." In the same way, when our brother asks for rice, we have no right to give him meat because we think he ought to have it. It matters not whether the meat be physical or spiritual, whether the rice be literal or allegorical.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Wisdom is given to no man until he asks for it [...]

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The Masters themselves, our Elder Brothers, will enter no man's house unless invited, for they accord all creatures the privilege of living their own lives. If an occultist were to break both legs, and should ask, in whatever way he knows, that one of the great healers should mend his left leg, the healer would come, labor with that leg, and go away, even though he knew the right were broken also. He will not touch it, for he has been given permission to work upon only one.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

People who use these false systems vindicate themselves, for the most part, on two unsound hypotheses: (1) that God has intended man to have whatever his puny intellect desires; (2) that man knows what he needs. Both of these are false assumptions. Man was not intended by God to be rich, wise, beautiful, healthy, witty, of charming personality, or happily married. This does not mean that the Lord has any objection to any of these things or all of them. It merely means that if man desires these things, he must go forth, as Adam was directed to do, earning his bread by the sweat of his brow and not by the sweat of somebody else's.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Nowhere is black magic more apparent than in the modern phases of religion. In both the new and old doctrines, instead of emphasizing the will of the Logos as the law of men, students have been taught to demand of the Infinite, and that He will obey.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

On the other hand, the black magician is firmly of the belief that he knows what he needs, when in reality he only knows what he wants. He seeks to mold the Plan into his own desires. He believes that the universe wants him to be greater than his fellow men, when the Cosmic All does not know that he exists other than a tiny atom passing with myriads of similar things to an appointed end.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The white magician consecrates his life to study, meditation, and service, that he may know the law and may direct force to its appointed ends. He mods himself into the plan, becoming part of the divine rhythm by sacrificing himself and his wishes to the will of the Infinite, asking only to know wherein his duty lies and how he may be of the greatest service to the greatest number.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

In our modern world, black magic finds a fertile breeding ground in man's desires. Age after age, the wants of man destroy him. In ignorance he plays with fire; in thoughtlessness he ignores the immutable laws of nature, and then wonders why the tempests break about his head, why lava and ash bury his cities, why wars lay waste his lands and mighty upheavals of the earth cause continents and nations to vanish in a single day. He neither obeys the laws of force, nor recognizes that cause and effect rule all things; that day after day, he reaps misery as the harvest of thoughtlessness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Evil will never cease to exist until selfishness and greed are overcome as factors in dictating the attitudes of men. It is the common thing for the concrete mind to sacrifice the eternal to the temporal. Man, concentrating upon the limited area of the known, loses sight of the effect of his actions upon the limitless area of the unknown. Shortsightedness, consequently, is the cause of endless misery. Moral shortsightedness results in vice, philosophical shortsightedness in materialism, religious shortsightedness in bigotry, rational short-sightedness in fanaticism.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

During the later Atlantean world, and again in our own modern civilization, there have been and are minds powerful but not virtuous. These two words are not always synonymous. Some of these perverted beings were actual demigods, as glorious as Satan himself, but their misdeeds and falsities sent them hurling into oblivion, like planets gone wrong. These demon gods bred black magic (the perversion of power) in the minds of men; and to this time, it has remained nurtured by man's besetting sin--selfishness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The control which knowledge gives over ignorance on the spiritual planes of nature is very much like the control that wealth gives over poverty in the physical world. Wealth may be a blessing or a curse; so may knowledge, which is mental wealth. The wise man will always be master of the fool, for he has a mentality which is capable of demanding respect, and the fool must bow down to that thing which he cannot comprehend. In every age, a few have come into the realization of nature's tremendous powers, and in one way or another, legitimate or otherwise, have become temporary wielders of the serpent scepter. As a man can steal money and remain wealthy until the law dispossesses him, so may a black magician steal a certain amount of divine power and manipulate it to the gratification of his own ends until at last his misuse of power destroys him.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

An occultist is an expert in the science of life. As an operative magician, he is able to manipulate the forces of nature to the gratification of whatever end he may desire but woe to him if those ends are not in harmony with the natural plan! By means of his knowledge, he may work miracles, like the magicians of India, but: his feats are miraculous only to those who do not know as much as he does concerning the subtle forces of nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

It is the power given by wisdom and knowledge that makes the occultist superior to his fellow man, his superiority being proportionate to his superior intelligence. In every walk of life, the uninitiated will be confronted with mysteries. To the average person, the working of a gasoline engine is just as mysterious as calculus would be to a kindergarten child, but intimate relationship and study result in that familiarity which gives ease in handling and intelligence in directing. It has been well said that no man is a stranger to his own valet. The philosopher is a servant of God, and by perfect serving, soon becomes capable of thoroughly understanding the desires and dictates of his divine Master.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The average individual does not realize that life, consciousness, and intelligence are separate and apart from physical substance, merely functioning through chemical bodies during the temporary span which we call life in the chemical world. One of the great occult laws is that to function in any sphere or plane of substance in nature you must have a body sensitive to and capable of adjustment with that plane of substance.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The spirit, while superior to all of its bodies, is incapable of manifesting without its chain of vehicles. This divine spark must always be limited by the quality of its bodies. In all too many cases, it is the servant of its own dependencies. Instead of ruling its world by apostolic succession, the spirit is generally bowed and broken by the endless demands of the lower nature. The appetites, desires, and selfish propensities cast the spirit into a dungeon, while a false and cruel monarch rules the empire in his stead.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Through the mental body, man secures that reflection and thought which make him greater than the animal; through the astral body, he secures those qualities of motion and emotion--sense, color and feeling, and any other qualities--the expression of which makes the animal superior to the plant; through the etheric body, he gains the power of reproducing his species and also the functions of assimilation and excretion, for in these things the plant is greater than the mineral. Of course, the mineral, by its actual existence, proves its superiority over the myriads of swirling gaseous, formless essences which have not yet even the power of appearing in the physical world.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Man remains in the physical world, according to the Ancient Wisdom, for approximately eight hundred earth lives, during which time he passes through an infinite diversity of human forms and environments, and learns to master the various organic qualities from which dense physical vehicles are manufactured.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Thousands of years before the Christian era, the Tibetans knew that an atom was a solar system [...]

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

We know that our scheme of worlds began as thought-forms, or as science pleases to call them, dark nebulae. [...] It was from the darkness of this primum hyle that the visible universe was differentiated, when the dark nebulae in the process of their strivings were brought into visibility through the glowing light created by the friction of the dark atoms.

Thought awoke feeling, and the fire-worlds were born, and our system, celestial and terrestrial, existed as a flaming nebula. [...] Feeling gave birth to impulse [...] Finally, the crystallization of humidity resulted in the formation of the solid earth, referred to as the black man, often called in India the sudra, or the creature born into slavery, doomed to live in chains until the night of the gods dissolved its shackles.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

If any of these demoniacal creatures were to confront a person on the physical plane, it would scare him to death, but because the unfortunate person does not see them, he does not worry. It would be wise if people did consider them, however, as they will find out if they do not fortify themselves by taking the White Path.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The white magician labors entirely with the finer forces of the elemental planes. He is a builder - not a destroyer - and seeks to liberate rather than to dominate his fellow creatures.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

There are two kinds of black magicians: (1) those who use the demons of the astral plane for their villainy, which they invoke through necromancy and invocation; and (2) those who create their own demons and launch them against the world. The first group does the greatest harm to the world, but the second injure themselves more. The first group is composed mostly of conscious black magicians, while there are many in the second group who are totally ignorant of what they are doing. Some never learn their mistake until the demons they have created come back to the persons who sent them forth.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The black magician, becoming a conscious channel for these forces, launches a stream of hell-demons into the world. In so doing, he sells his own soul (for these forces must pass through his own astral body) in exchange for the powers that these demons will give him over his fellow men. The powers of these elemental creatures are practically unlimited, and there are many depraved souls who are glad to barter their immortal spirits for the power which these demons give them over the material world.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

We seldom realize that our passions and hates create these demoniacal beings in the superphysical world, but this is one of the secretes of black magic. Every evil or debased thought or emotion of man helps to build these tearing, rending creatures, the innate qualities of which become, in the hands of those who know, agencies for the destruction of the powers of light. It also seems part of the plan that those who chain these demons shall themselves, fall victims to their own slaves, for one after another, the black magicians are sucked into the maelstrom of the astral hell. The lower planes of the astral world are the three hells of religion, and are the homes of these excess-created beings that battle each other with never-ending fury.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

But the true black magician does not work through the ethers which are the home of the etheric elementals. He works through the entities who dwell in the astral light or the animal magnetism of the lower astral plane. The true black magician can become (and usually is) clairvoyant, but he can never go any higher than the astral world. To this plane he is tied to his passions, hates, incantations, and the animal nature which is the basis of black magic.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Do not worry over your past misdeeds - for worry itself breeds demons - but eliminate them from your aura, planting instead good seeds with constructive labors.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

[...] for doubt itself is an attribute of Saturn (Satan). Those who are not striving for the highest, partake of the lowest.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

That right will ultimately triumph, is undeniable; and that the black magician will fall victim to his own excess, is a literal truth; but many must bow their heads to the tyrant while he passes, and only those who are strong are in safety. Individuals who have mastered nature's forces to such a degree that they can stop the heartbeat of a person on the other side of the earth with a mental ray, or burn a two-inch hole through a foot and a half of ebony with astral fire, are dangerous whenever met, and the average so-called good person has absolutely no chance of withstanding the blows of black magic. Only fools underestimate this danger; wise men protect themselves against it, for an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The white ray places the shield of David between them and the dark forces, and in this way they protect themselves.

We have reached a period in the history of the world when ignorance is criminal and deserves the heaviest penalty. Ignorance is not black magic, but it is the greatest ally that the black magician has in the world today.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The black magician is one who learns to manipulate these forces for selfish and destructive purposes, his own aggrandizement of the fulfillment of desire, while the white magician prays that he may learn to manipulate them as God would have them manipulated - for the salvation of the divine creation. The powers are in the hands of those capable of invoking them; it makes no difference whether for good or ill. For this reason, the schools of white magic conceal these powers from man until, through growth, purification, and unfoldment, he gains the proper incentive for using them.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

It is not force or power, but the perversion of force which constitutes evil. The magician says: "Demon est deus inversus." We may say: "The Demon is power perverted." Therefore man, the perverter of power, is the creator of demons, because he is the lowest creature capable of exercising authority from within his own being. The lower kingdoms are forced to react upon group impression and obey unquestioningly.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

If Satan were to go out of the scheme, man would be burned up by the fiery passions of Mars and the angels of Lucifer. Without the chill, caution, and curbing of Saturn, his soul would speedily be lost in utter debauchery and licentiousness. If on the other hand, Lucifer should withdraw, man would soon be a stone again, incapable of incentive, of motion or emotion, and chained, like the sufferers of Dante's Inferno, by the icy fingers of death.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Lucifer, on the other hand, is the spirit of excess, the flaming son of rashness and the ruler of sense-gratification, over which he wields dominion with a scepter of serpents. [...]Lucifer is the light-bringer; he is transmuted by man into the fiery demon of war and hate. His power is used by man as the inspiration of lust and passion [...] He always is opposed to Satan, seeking to snatch the soul of man from the cold embrace of Saturn. He is the heat the incubates the soul, but man uses him as a flame to burn up reason.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Satan is the spirit of caution, prudence, and when perverted, negation. At his door are laid the sins of omission. Few realize that man is responsible for the things he has not done. That is part of the law. It is just as wrong not to do the right things as it is to do the wrong thing. Satan inhibits, he draws back, he holds aloof.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The two Great Demons of Creation are: Satan - Saturn, and Lucifer - Mars (According to the Greeks, Venus)

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Evil is not a false thing; there are no false things in the creation of a true God. Evil is an abuse or misuse of power. [...] The worst evil in nature can be transmuted into good by the simple process of adjustment. The average intelligence of the consciously functioning man is sufficient to make a god out of any demon by the simple process of inversion; likewise, he is capable of making a demon or evil thing out of any good thing or god by placing it in improper relationship to other things. The word devil is used to cover the two excesses of polarity in nature, for when uncurbed, either will destroy the organism that man is seeking to construct.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

For many ages, theologians have insisted upon personalizing natural principles. [...] This is one of the main reasons for the inability of theologians to read the Bible correctly or intelligently.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

All who are not consciously fortified in the path of right are possible victims of these monsters of iniquity; all who are not consciously on the white path, and firmly established in the way of sincerity and truth, are in eternal danger of these Harpies who float like soulless specters on the tide of evolution.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The black magic of the past, the darkness that sank Atlantis when man made slaves of the demons of the elements and chained them to do his bidding, still survives to this day.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Motive is the key to the problem of magic. Even the greatest of white magicians can become a degenerate in an instant if his motive becomes unworthy. The white magician serves humanity; the black magician seeks to serve himself.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

We must learn to realize that the greater the knowledge, the greater the penalty for abusing it. The sin that is excusable in the child is unforgivable in a man.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

A black magician is one who seeks to gain authority over spiritual powers by means of force rather than by merit. In other words, he is one who is trying to storm the gates of heaven; he is one who is seeking spiritual power and occult dominion with an ulterior motive.

The black magician's motto is: "might is right" (survival of the fittest).

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

A white magician is one who is laboring to gain the confidence of the powers that be, and to prove, through the purity of his life and the sincerity of his motive, his worthiness to be entrusted with the great arcane (the wand of the Magus). [...]

The white magician's motto is: "right is might" (survival of all).

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Magic is the art of manipulating the unseen forces of nature.

A magician is one who is capable of juggling the four elements of bodies.

A magician is one who is capable of consciously molding the substances of matter of the three and a half worlds of material substance. [...]

Grey magic is the unconscious or subconscious perversion of power.

Yellow magic is the failure to learn how to prevent the perversion of power.

Black magic is the use of spiritual powers to gratify animal or selfish proclivities.

White magic is the right use of spiritual power, consciously and objectively.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

All action immediately sets into motion the law of reaction, which the ancients have called the law of karma, which is the factor employed by nature for the creation of the soul. The rejecting or ignoring of opportunity, falling under the law of indifference and inertia, fails to result in a reaction. This, in turn, results in the starving of the soul. Those who have ignored experience are called the "soulless creations," and are in the same position as those kingdoms which, like the angels, have not been given individual intelligence. [...] As one pole or the other slowly grows within the being, the atoms of the opposing substances are slowly crowded or forced out, or sloughed off, for lack of cohesion.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

If this practice [black magic] is persisted in long enough, the spirit will be unable to disentangle itself from the substances of the lower worlds, and must remain enmeshed therein until the dissolution of the universe at the time of the night of Brahma, when the divine spark is cast into the blackness of the Infinite through the rings of Saturn. By taking this path, the ego attains darkness, but it is the darkness of the tomb and of unconsciousness, reached through the path of perversion and negation. Its reward is the black death and the loss of the soul. Such an ego wanders in a great unknown without hope, reason, or understanding, while the endless wheels of Chaos dissolve the bodies of which it has failed to make the proper use.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Man has no free will at the present time, but merely the power of choice over a certain area of incidents brought, by his ever growing consciousness, within the scope of his comprehension. These incidents have been differentiated by his evolving organism from the dark primum hyle, or the true blackness. The greater his growth, the larger the area of his choices and the greater his independence.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

Temptation is the price that the human race pays for intelligence, therefore the Serpent of Wisdom is also the eternal Tempter.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The devil, the archetype of misuse, is not a son of Saturn, but a son of man and the false darkness of earth. Man is the incarnation of the germ of mental intelligence, and black magic is possible only to intelligent beings.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

There is a false darkness and a true darkness. The true darkness is the womb of Light; the false darkness, the perversion of the light that pours out of the true darkness. Natural darkness is the basic principle of things, while the false darkness is the result of debasing the power of the angles of Satan.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

The Children of the Dark Birth who labor in the blackness of this substance, molding it into myriads of unseen and unmeasured form, are not evil. They are the sons of Saturn (Satan), the Black Father, who, like the very darkness of chaos itself, must in time swallow all his creations and, in so doing, bring them back to life again from the death that men call creation.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

All true occultists abide by the laws of the nations and the community in which they dwell. While in many cases they recognize these laws as imperfect, they abide by them lest by their moral example they should teach the less intelligent to break the restraining bonds of law and order. It is said that laws are made for those who break them. We may add that laws were not made for Initiates, but there is a very small minority of people intelligent enough to live together honestly without the assistance of law. No matter how bad these laws are, they are far superior to the lawlessness which would exist when the mental hazard of punishment is removed from the untrained and unregenerated man.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

A true occultist, be he student, disciple, or initiate, never discloses his position to any except those equally interested and equally sincere along similar lines.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The Egyptian Sphinx is supposed to have pointed out the initiate's code of conduct by the symbolic interpretation of the four creatures composing it. The body of the bull with its great strength was interpreted to mean the process of labor, "to do." The legs and tail of the lion speak of courage and are interpreted as meaning "to dare." The wings of the eagle bespeak of loftier things, so they are interpreted as "to aspire." The human head, with its sealed lips, means "to be silent." Of all these rules, the last is the most important.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

There are no Adepts or Masters in this world or upon the invisible planes who have not passed through all the sorrows and uncertainties of human experience.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

There are no initiates who are not clairvoyant, at least to a certain degree, for they cannot receive their spiritual ordination until they are capable of functioning consciously out of the physical body.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

There are no spiritual initiations given in the physical world. All the true initiations must take place in the invisible worlds, for that is the only place where there can be found those authorized and fitted to give them.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The disciple will probably be visited at night by his Teacher, who will come in a superphysical body. [...] If he has not developed his spiritual nature by right living, right thinking and right feeling during his probation as a student, he will be unable to recognize the Master when he comes.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The true Masters never appear in public teaching large classes or groups concerning occult exercises, but come privately to their disciples and instruct each on individually.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The heavier the load, the greater his joy, for he [the Student] was doing good. All this and other things the Master saw. But the student did not see the Teacher, for the sweat from the laborer's brow ran down into his eyes and blinded him. The Master stepped over to the student, saying, "Leave now your labors and follow me." The vineyard vanished, the dirt fell from the hands of the worker, and for a moment he dwelt in space, while before him was the shining figure of his Master. He sank on his knees at the feet of the Master and kissed the hem of his robe. Again the Master spoke: "You are my disciple. You have not chosen me; I have chosen you. You have been faithful unto a few things; now you shall have power over more and greater things."

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The student must always bear witness to the divine urge of progress. He must train his mind, control his appetites, and make himself a well-balance example of human growth. [...] He should not become a recluse, for if he loses touch with the world and the things of the world he he cannot efficiently serve that which he has given up.

His study is to view life as a place and a time for learning, realizing that wisdom is the jewel to be extracted from material existence. He must always keep in mind that he is not studying for himself alone but is building for the day when, his long years of preparation finished, his wisdom will be used by still greater powers to assist in those great problems which ever confront the world.

Every student should seek to develop talents [...] He must become a creative genius [...] He should never become attached either to the work he is doing or to the positions that he occupies, for the Master may call him to other labors at any moment.

It is not expected that a student should have clairvoyant powers or any personal spiritual abilities. In fact, it is better that he should not, lest in his unenlightened ignorance he pervert them. [...] He must build a spiritual, mental nature, and not merely allow his emotional palate to be tickled by weird phenomena. [...] The student is not expected to the a great occultist or a great mystic. Such aspirations belong only to the higher grades.

His worthiness to receive greater knowledge is tested by long years of ignorance, often by much suffering. [...] These lessons he must learn; when this task has been done, they vanish and return no more.

Before wisdom can be given to him, it is necessary that his evil nature be cleansed. So the Masters give him the labor of purifying himself as the first test of his sincerity. All that follows depends on how that first work is accomplished.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

No one is born without responsibility. Each living thing is responsible for itself, and when it fails to assume its individual responsibilities others must suffer as well as the thoughtless one.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

[...] we may say the the Mystery Schools interpret truth along the lines of the familiar, clothing wisdom in symbol and allegory familiar to those who are supposed to receive it.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The seven schools, together with their branches in all parts of the earth, constitute the Great White Lodge. [...] It is composed of all the initiates and adepts of the White Path and forms the invisible government of the earth.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The instinct of reverence for the Unknown is implanted in all human life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

First, the majority of people do not know what they are looking for. If they should meet truth, they would not recognize it. The Masters they seek are about them every day, but like Sir Launfal they journey into distant lands, seeking for those things which are upon their own doorsteps. Secondly, they would not accept wisdom if they should find it. They would all be glad to have the power that the Masters have, but few would labor unselfishly and untiringly for ages to secure that power and then consecrate it unreservedly to the good of humanity.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Each one of these Mystery Schools is invisible and unknown. They can only be found after long searching and repeated disappointment.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The seven schools, each composed of twelve initiates and their disciples surrounding a thirteenth exalted brother, are the God-ordained perpetuators of the Ancient Wisdom as it has come from the dawn of the world when the gods descended from the nebula of the sun and took up their dwelling place on the sacred island at the north polar cap.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Still, with all its faults, and with all its misinterpretations, the Christian Bible is the greatest book in English literature. But like most other great books, it must be approached with understanding, gentleness, impersonality, and a sincere desire to find truth.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

According to Jacob Boehme, the New Jerusalem is the redeemed Adam, the man lifted up by the mystery of Christ. It is, therefore a spiritual symbol of the mystical state of being, where those dwell together who have received the light.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

If the seven souls are lifted up, they become a seven-headed creature; but those parts which fail are judged unworthy of the resurrection, and are cast into darkness. The outer darkness represents the various planes of the universe from which these souls have come. Here each disintegrates into its primal substance, resulting in the picturing of the seven hells. But it is not the spirit that goes to these places of punishment, but the castoff souls, which are slowly destroyed and their essences returned to the planes from which they came.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In each life we have a personal complex which is a king ruling for a day. After death the complex is broken up, and the seven souls return to the seven planets, unless initiation has bound them together in a spiritual personality.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The last judgment is derived almost completely from the metaphysics of Egypt. According to the Egyptians, the human being is born with seven souls which are in a way the potential powers of the seven planets in man. The souls are manifested though the seven senses, the seven vital organs, and the seven bodily systems. Each of the seven souls has its planetary name. Saturn is the contemplative or rational soul; Jupiter is the reasonable soul; Mars is the impulsive soul; the sun is the vitative soul; Venus is the amative soul; Mercury is the intellectual soul; and the moon is the vegetative or generative soul.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Upon the opening of the first seal, a horseman rode forth upon a white horse [...] Here, again, is the moon and the bow of Diana. [...]

The second horse and rider represent the sun. [...]

Upon the opening of the third seal, a black horse came forth[...] Oil and wine represent soul and spirit; and the barley and wheat, the lower nature of man. The destroyer upon the black horse is Saturn.

The fourth seal[...] The pale horse is Venus; and Venus is Lucifer, the rebel angel whose light was taken from him. [...]

The fifth seal is Mars, the seal of blood. [...]

The sixth seal is Jupiter. [...]

The seventh seal is Mercury[...]

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

By eyes, must always be understood planets or stars; and by horns, the power or ray which emerges.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The seven golden candlesticks are the seven planets[...]

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

During the years when John is supposed to have lived on the Island of Patmos, he was far from the boundaries of Christian influence. The people who dwelt in that region were called Priscillianists, the followers of a priestess by the name of Priscilla. She was similar to the Roman Sibyls, practising strange rites and giving oracles.

The Priscillianists borrowed from the Gnostics and the Manicheans[...]

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

From our present perspective it is reasonably certain that the Apocalypse is a compilation of pagan doctrines with an occasional Christian reference interpolated into the text.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It must be acknowledged then, that the authorship of the Revelation is extremely uncertain. The claims of the Authorized Version that it was the work of John, while on the Isle of Patmos, may be liberally discounted. It is quote possible that the Cerinthus story is the correct one. If so, the Revelation may be the most important work in the entire New Testament; for the reason that it arose from Gnostic scholarship.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It was the wish of Martin Luther that the Book of Revelation should be omitted from his translation of the Bible. In his opinion, the Apocalypse was of pagan origin, and was not a writing of the beloved John.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The power of the early Church lay in its influence over the masses. It was not the faith of the noble during the first centuries, but the faith of the shopkeeper, and even the slave. Its power increased through the sheer weight of numbers, rather than through special favor by any group. Its early dogmas were uncertain; there was much groping. But after the Council of Nice, a certain integration was obvious; and this was the true foundation of the Church.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Judas Iscariot is the negative Scorpio, unredeemed; St. Paul is the virtuous Scorpio, the enlightener, and of all the twelve the most likely to have been an initiate of pagan Mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

When St. Augustine was asked why four of the apostles were especially designated from the rest, he replied that it was necessary that there be four principal gospels, because there were four corners to the world, thus admitting a relationship between cosmogony and theology. The association of these four selected evangelists with certain creatures representing the four fixed signs of the zodiac intensifies the realization that we are dealing not with human beings, but with the characters of a sublime cosmologic drama, reduced to human estate by ignorance of clergy and laity alike.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Therefore, the twelve disciples actually represent the twelve attributes of the Logos, or the sun, both visible and invisible; and should be considered the parts of one being, rather than twelve separate beings, each with an arbitrary interpretation of its own.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It is exceedingly dubious that the original historical Jesus actually had twelve apostles. If he did by chance select this number, it was because he was aware of the astronomical significance. The destruction of numerous gospels after the Nicene Council indicates that many other apostles whose names have not survived may have been closely associated with the Master and his work. The Church, however, following Egyptian and Greek precedent, arbitrarily fixed upon twelve, thus indicating that it was aware of the sanctity peculiar to this number.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

As these star groups do not resemble, in most cases, the creature or symbol assigned to them, the origin of the system must have been an arbitrary allocation according to the laws of ancient theology.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Christians have tortured more Christians and pagans for their beliefs than ever suffered martyrdom under the Caesars.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

He [Julian] resented, furthermore, that a class of people within the boundaries of the empire - for the most part the poorest educated and of least estate - should fanatically expound a belief that they were the sole possessors of truth; that all other gods were demons; all other philosophers, frauds; and all other institutions, heretical. It is possible that the Emperor's annoyance was well founded. If the attitude of converts two thousand years ago resembled the attitude of certain modern Christian fanatics, one gains a greater degree of sympathy for the plight of Romans having a faith thrust upon them without the right to say nay.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Impersonal consideration would indicate that very few of the first Christian martyrs were actually killed for their beliefs. Most of them were arrested for sedition and executed for crimes against the solidarity of the state.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Rome was exceedingly tolerant religiously. The temples of a score of faiths faced upon the Forum. As long as men paid their taxes and admitted their allegiance, Rome cared but little for private belief, provided that belief threatened no treason to the state.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Many of the first converts to the Christian faith were men of Greek learning. Therefore, in the interpretation of Christian metaphysics, it will be useful to consider the substance of Platonic teaching concerning the nature of the LOGOS. It will then be obvious that the Christian teaching is but a thinly veiled re-statement of the Greek original.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Rome - never a philosophical empire - dabbled superficially in Greek learning, and then returned to its more congenial tasks of conquest and control.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It is proper to study history, but not proper to worship it. The Christian Bible is a semi-historical account of certain possible happenings, which, in themselves, are not necessarily the appropriate foundation for a faith. Nor does this history, or neo-history, or in some cases outright fiction, insure salvation by the reading or acceptance of it. This is the error of the ages. In a desperate effort to preserve the "letter" of the law we have committed grievous errors in the name of truth.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

We cannot be certain of the source of Paul's knowledge, but one thing is true beyond doubt, Paul did know: and his realization created a division within the Christian Church that all the centuries have been unable to overcome.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

To Peter, the Christian "mystery" was that of God made flesh. To Paul, it was flesh made God.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

He [Paul] realized that Christ is a principle, and not a man, that Jesus had come to "bear witness" for that principle.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Early orthodoxy set itself the task to confuse the epistles of Paul. Paul could not be ignored nor entirely destroyed; his sphere of influence had been too wide. The easiest solution was to corrupt his writings, thus destroying his subtler meanings. The result of this questionable strategy is obvious to the impartial reader. Paul is made to contradict himself; statements obviously inconsistent with his vision stand side by side with the most lofty and transcendental thoughts.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

To Peter there were no "mysteries," all was literally and utterly true. [...] With an almost unlimited capacity to believe, Peter questioned nothing [...] Peter was not different from many of the evangelists of our present time who, in the face of an ever-growing knowledge, preach the "jot and tittle" of the scriptures.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It was this doctrine of the humanity of Jesus that gave rise to Islamism. On one occasion Mohammed is reported to have said: "This Jesus was a good and holy man, a teacher among the Jews, but one day his disciples became mad and made a god of him."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Out of the struggles of these men after truth, out of their prayers and meditations, out of debate and controversy, out of feud and schism emerged Christian theology - the product of fallible men, dreaming after the infallible, seeking with finite minds to probe the mysteries of the infinite.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The father's house, of course, is the divine world; the same father's house in which there are many mansions. The father himself represents God, and the two brothers two great waves of life. Of these, the prodigal son is humanity; and the righteous son who does not go forth represents the waves of life that never enter into a physical condition - that is, never go down to Egypt, which in the Bible always represents a material and corrupted sphere. The son who sent forth, descending into a material state, made numerous errors and misused the spiritual powers (wealth) which his father had given him. All the faculties and propensities of man are essentially divine, but material human beings have prostituted these powers and corrupted the spiritual virtues in the cause of material accumulation and power.

It is only after the unhappy experience of worldliness that man desires to return again to his father's house to begin the long and difficult evolutionary process which leads him back to God. At last, after numerous trials, he comes again to his father, who receives him with great joy and gives him preferment above his righteous brother who never having been tempted had never risen above temptation.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

During the medieval times there sprang up in Europe a mysterious sect called the ILLUMINATI. The story of the pearl of great price became the most important part of their ritual, and members of the order were dedicated to the search for this pearl in the same way that the Knights of the Round Table sought for the Grail.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The sheep is an animal of gentle ways but no great brilliancy of mind. It always follows the leader and wails dismally if left behind. By this symbol is to be understood the great body of humankind which still follows the leader and wishes to be guided into green pastures. It is the duty of wisdom, of strength, and of integrity to guard the sheep. But there are false shepherds who would lead the sheep astray. And there are wild beasts that would carry away the lamb.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Osiris, the Egyptian god of the underworld (the material sphere) [...]

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Wealth, therefore, impoverishes man, deprives him of time, absorbs his interests, depletes his strength, and leaves him incapable of becoming wise.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The tree has always been the appropriate symbol of creation. [...] Creation is a tree and man is the fruit of that tree.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The man who hid his doctrine in the earth, that is, attempted to hold truth and prevent others from receiving it, was rebuked by his master and lost the very wisdom he had attempted to keep for himself.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In certain parts of the New Testament Jesus is made to teach through parables, through homely sayings about familiar things. But the reader must not be deceived into overlooking the fact that a large part of the New Testament itself is a parable, a human statement of divine matters, and that Christ stands in the midst of the great Christian parable as the personification of the righteous man passing through the vicissitudes of life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the early Christian church, when a man took holy orders, he was said to "die out of the world, to enter a new live in spirit." For this reason, he usually changed his name (the symbol of his identity), taking some mystical or religious name to represent this transition from one state to another. He renounced worldliness, took obligations of detachment from material things, and was a man apart, sanctified unto God. This is a form of the resurrection, and the physical shadow of the greater mysteries which take place in the consciousness itself. Unfortunately, most men can perceive only the body of the law and attempt to obey its letter. The few who are illumined, however, perceive the soul of the law, and become participants in the spiritual mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The mystic resurrection is accomplished in two ways: spiritually, through illumination, the sublimation of appetites, and the purification of desires; physically, as the spiritual nature is released through the phenomenon of death. According to the terminology of the classical philosophers, death is the accidental separation of the superior and the inferior parts of man. The word accidental is used here in its philosophical sense, as the antonym of intentional. Resurrection, or release through death, is a separation rather than a transmutation; it is, therefore, not regarded as a spiritual victory. Illumination is the conscious separation during life of the divine from the animal man. It is a conscious resurrection. It is a lifting up through effort and integrity.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The resurrection is not the raising of the dead from their graveclothes and their tombs; it is lifting up into life and light the spiritual nature which is within man. Truly, it is the Christ in you, the hope of glory, that must be raised up. The resurrection is an internal and eternal mystery. It is regeneration, the release of the spiritual entity from its material sepulcher of body, instinct, and appetite.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

To most Bible students Jesus was physically and literally raised from the dead, appearing physically and literally to his disciples. But a study of the gospel account by no means substantiates this attitude; it implies that both the resurrection and ascension were spiritual mysteries. The Christian awaits his day of liberation when he shall be reborn in Christ, but it seems that he is not informed as to the true nature of this spiritual experience.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The name Mary means literally water, and is an adaption of the Hebrew name Miriam. The word Magdala from the Greek means a tower, a fortress, a place of strength, a defense or security. Like many Bible names it is a carefully conceived key to the Bible mysteries. Like the Helen of the Greeks, Mary Magdalene symbolizes the moon, the consort of the sun; the principle of humidity, water, MARE; and a high fortress or place of protection; Mary of Magdala is like the Ishtar of the Babylonians, and the Mylitta of the Phrigians. She is the mistress of growing things, the very symbol of the humid principle that brings forth life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Thus it becomes obvious to the studiously minded that the writers of the New Testament intended the agricultural myth to be recognized as one of the keys to the resurrection story. [...] When the plant emerges from the seed its form is changed, and it is therefore not recognizable to those who knew only its previous state.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The true resurrection is the lifting up of Truth in the individual; the resurrection of the eternal in the temporal; the resurrection of virtue always latent in man.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Truth manifesting the material universe is hopelessly obscured by the inadequate vehicles of its manifestation. Perfection manifesting through the imperfect appears by very necessity to be imperfect itself.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

If by Christ, then, we represent Truth which is the firstborn of Reality, the eternal Messiah, the universal Savior, we have perceived the substance behind the shadow. As long as we are satisfied with a merely literal explanation pinning our hope of salvation upon the historical circumstance, we have not gone far in the understanding of spiritual mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The lower mind is the instrument of habit, appetite, emotion, sensation, and self-preservation. The higher mind accepts to itself philosophy, religion, and the arts, and contemplates the more refined elements of material existence.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Why is the crucifixion present in more than a dozen ancient religions? Why was Prometheus crucified on Mt. Caucasus with a vulture gnawing at his liver? And Christ on Mt. Calvary with the spear of Longinus thrust into his right side? Prometheus brought the fire of God, wisdom, to men. Christ brought "light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." The mystery is explained when we understand the words attributed to St. Paul: "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

According to the Gospel account, Jesus was crucified directly over the burial place of Adam. This is mystically set forth on certain crucifixes by the addition of a small skull and crossbones near the foot of the cross. After Noah had removed the body of Adam from the ark, he buried on Golgotha. Accounts like this contribute to the realization that we are dealing with spiritual allegories rather than historical facts.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

For two thousand years the New Testament has been taken on faith, and upon the personal convictions of individuals not in a position to prove what they believe. No one will deny the sincerity and devotion of those hundreds of millions who have accepted Christianity. Nor is it of great spiritual significance whether their belief is based upon fact or fable, if they have lived well and have been induced into courses of tolerance, honesty, gentleness, and wisdom. All other factors are of secondary importance.

Where history impinges upon the moral life, however, has been in the matter of tolerance. It is the tolerance aspect which makes facts necessary. I think most will agree that the Christian church has not had a distinguished record for tolerance.

Intolerance is based upon a small certainty about things unknown. Yet intolerance can be the destroyer of religions and nations; hence the necessity for the statement of doubt, and moderation of theological enthusiasm.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Theologians insist that the blood of Christ spilled upon Golgotha purifies all who believe on him, and by a unique virtue cleanses all men of original sin. This is, indeed, a strange foundation for a faith; and is peculiar to Christendom alone of all great religions. [...]

Frankly and honestly, this entire belief and all the consequences that have been built upon it, have been footed on a most insecure foundation. There is no absolute proof that it did take place. The principal and almost sole foundation of the crucifixion account are in the Gospels, and the immense literature derived from the Gospels. It follows therefore that until the Gospels themselves are authenticated and their true authorship determined, no account peculiar to them can be regarded as historically established.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

All sincere Bible students must be mindful of the words of Synesius, Bishop of Alexandria: "Therefore, as a bishop of the church, I will continue to disseminate the fables of the church, but in my private capacity I shall remain a philosopher to the end."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

A rare manuscript of the apostle Barnabas was for some time in the possession of Cranmer; in this it is definitely stated that Christ was not crucified. He was carried into the third heaven by the four angels, Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel. Judas died in his place.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

To these somewhat contradictory remarks we learn that the gospel writers were not very sure what did happen to Judas. It appears that Judas is the Egyptian Typhon, Job's Satan, and Scandinavia's Loki. He is the personification of the adversary. He is introduced into the drama as a symbol of the intrinsic imperfection of all living things. In the zodiac, he is Scorpio by some calculations; and by others Capricorn. He is the backbiter, the destroyer. He is still preserved in the church as the "devil's advocate."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The Passover is the annual passing over of the sun from the southern to the northern hemisphere, according to primitive ideas concerning astronomy. The sacrifice of the lamb at this period was practised by the pagan Greeks who regarded the vernal equinox as the annual rebirth of the savior god. The ceremony of Easter is the perpetuation of pagan equinoctial rites.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

By the troubled sea we are to understand life with its storms and trials. In the midst of the sea the little ship of disciples represents humanity. The ship is in danger of foundering, and the disciples are afraid. Then, in the midst of the sea, walking peacefully upon the waters, appears the form of Jesus, the symbol of Truth that quiets the sea of life. When peace and wisdom are in the heart of ma n, the sea can no longer be troubled. There are no more storms and man himself, like Peter when he held his faith, can walk likewise upon the waters.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

[...] the founders of the Christian faith had a religious tolerance quite beyond the comprehension of their modern successors.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The word 'amen' is from Ammon, the father god of Egypt, and was an ancient Egyptian salutation to the supreme power of the universe.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Our Father which art in Heaven.
By Father is to be understood the source of ourselves, not a person but a principle, the divine life from which we have been individualized by the processes of evolution. [...] Heaven is not a place, but a refinement of matter, a higher degree of vibration.

Thy kingdom come.
By the kingdom (of heaven) is meant a general spiritual state or a condition of enlightenment or participation in truth[...]

Give us this day our daily bread.
[...] this does not imply that it is the duty of First Cause to supply all men with material abundance. Rather, 'let us this day realize that part of truth which is necessary to our daily virtue.'

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
[...] in our imperfection and ignorance we are constantly breaking universal law. Let us be given the wisdom and the strength to correct our errors.

And lead us not into temptation.
[...] and we beg that our lower animal nature shall not lead us from the path of righteousness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Odin spoke to Mimir, the god of memory and wisdom, and begged the knowledge of all things, and Mimir spoke and said: "If thou wouldst know all things, pluck out thine eye and cast it into my pool." Odin did so, and received the knowledge of every mystery except the secret of his own death.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In verse 22 of the same chapter is a most occult secret:

"The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, they whole body shall be full of light."

The eye single, the third eye painted on the foreheads of oriental gods, the inner eye, the symbolic eye of Horus, see inwardly; whereas the physical eyes behold only the outer parts. It is with the eye single, the eye of the gods, that man can behold the sanctum sanctorum, the little room in the heart, where between the wings of the cherub hovers the shekinah's glory.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

According to the old Mysteries, the secret father, or as the Greeks called it, the hidden god, abode in the heart - that is, in the sanctum sanctorum. Man prays not to some vast spirit in the sky, but rather to the divine principle within himself; that is his god, his own spirit; his own over-self; the father that abides in the innermost. Many have raised their eyes to the skies, but few have turned them inward to the contemplation of the hidden god.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The redeemer god always assumes the form of the sign ascending at the vernal equinox. Thus in the age of Pisces he takes the form of a fish. In the previous cycle, he took the form of the lamb or ram, the scapegoat of Israel, and Jupiter-Ammon. Prior to this, the sun god took the form of the bull, Apis, and the golden calf.

Thus astronomy plays an important part in Biblical symbolism. The Christian dispensation occurred near the end of the cycle of the ram and close to the beginning of the cycle of the fish. Jesus refers to himself as the ALPHA and the OMEGA, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. The first sign of the zodiac is Aries, the ram, and the last sign is Pisces, the fishes. Therefore, Jesus is truly the lamb of God and the fisher of men. The lamb and the fish were the only Christian symbols known to the early church.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The death and resurrection of Christ is said to be prefigured by Jonah, who remained three days int he belly of a great fish, even as Christ remained three days in the earth. In India, the first avatar of Vishnu is in the form of a fish swimming in the great ocean of space. The symbolism appears to be as follows: There are two seas - that which is below the firmament, called the sea of illusion in which dwell men represented as small fishes swimming in its depths; and that which is above the firmament, the SCHAMAYIM, the sea of the waters of life in which abides the great fish which, like the serpent of Aaron, eats up all the small fishes.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The fish is one of the most ancient symbols of the human soul, and it was the original symbol of Christianity. [...] Jesus as the fisher of men, or the fish man, appears to come from the Chaldean story of Dagon who came out of the sea and brought religion, philosophy, and science to his people.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

[...] life is consciousness and wisdom; and those who do not possess it are dead thought they seem to live. He who possesses the Truth shall still live though he seem to die. Wisdom bestows immortality upon internal consciousness. Immortality is not continuance in one body, but the continuance of consciousness through many bodies.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In each of these three cases, the power of Truth makes the body whole. One who sleeps, he who is dead, and he who is buried, all are brought back to life - life here representing a condition of spiritual awareness. We are not concerned with literal resurrection of the flesh, but with a mystery, the mystery of internal resurrection through initiation into the Mysteries. In these Mysteries, Jesus stands as the hierophant, and into his mouth are placed the words of the high priest. He is made a personification of the Truth which he represents.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

To preach the Gospel meant to teach or inform those who were prepared to receive instruction.

To heal the sick was to remedy not merely the infirmities of the flesh, but those of ignorance, fear, and superstition.

To raise the dead meant to recover souls from materiality by the word of Truth.

To cast out demons meant to modify the passions, emotions, and appetites.

And to cleanse the lepers meant to purify those who were unclean of thought and deed.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Philosophically speaking, therefore, resurrection must mean the higher or immortal part of man rising out of ignorance, materiality, and corruption. It was for this reason that the Hermetic adepts were called twice-born, for they had received a new life in Truth. Such is the true meaning of the Scriptural verse, John 3:3:

"Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the old frescoes and mosaics, the god Bacchus is usually depicted riding on a donkey [as was Jesus].

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

By this miracle [the changing of water into wine] Jesus is associated with Bacchus or Dionysius, the vine-god. Exoterically, Bacchus was a symbol of the grape; esoterically, of the sun and the divine soul.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

When Jesus insists that he be baptized by John, the inner meaning is that Jesus insists upon being accepted into the old dispensation. [...] By John baptizing with water, Israel is represented as possessing the Lesser Mysteries; and Christ by baptizing with fire is made to represent the Greater Mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The life of Jesus between his infancy and his thirtieth year undoubtedly was devoted to travel and study. It is a fallacy to believe that the teachings attributed to Jesus are a direct and unique revelation. All of his teachings can be traced to older religions and the faiths of other peoples.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The early Christian Church, through the process of councils and synods, determined that there was no difference between the proper person of God and the proper person of Christ - they later added the Holy Ghost. This agree entirely with the statement of the Egyptian mythology that Osiris was his own father and his own son. Osiris was born in Horus that he might be his own avenger. As lord of Amentet, Osiris was also the Holy Spirit, the judge of the quick and the dead.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Gospel account, the flight into Egypt is inserted during the infancy of Jesus to prevent the pious reader from inferring that Jesus was a student of Egyptian philosophy. The date of the return of Jesus from Egypt is not given, and this has led a majority of readers to the uninformed conclusion that he returned while still a child. Such a conclusion is not necessarily true.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Love is religion, and hate is atheism...ethics is philosophy.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Back to Basics in Religion, Philosophy and Science</cite>

The infant Jesus was born in a manger surrounded by animals. These animals merely represent the animal world, or the material universe, wherein most mortals dwell in the state of dumb, driven cattle.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Our word college comes from the ancient collegium, which was a society of artisans bound together by vows. Our word gymnasium is derived from one of the names for the temple of wisdom. The institution is the mother of its graduates.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It is written in the Bible that Mary, the wife of Joseph, received a vision in which it was foretold that a son would be born to her; she should call him Jesus, and he would deliver Israel from sin. It is most significant that the name of the Virgin should be Mary. There are important phonetic associations. The Latin word mare means the sea. Of course, the word virgin also means pure - and virgin mare means pure sea. In pagan symbolism the sea is the natural symbol of illusion, because of the reflecting quality of water. Mary is Isis, the Egyptian goddess of the Mysteries whose veil no man might lift. She is the virgin Sophia, the Mother of Adepts; she is Diana of the Ephesians, the mater deorum of the Romans; she is Istar, Astarte, Mylitt.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

About the year B.C. 100, Jehoshua Ben Panthera, then about twenty years of age, accompanied his master Ben Prachia to Egypt to escape King Alexander's persecution of the rabbins. The statement that Jesus studied with the Egyptian priests is found not only in the Talmudic writings, but in certain early manuscripts of the Christian Gospels. The Talmud states that this Jesus, or Jehoshua, travelled to Egypt with Ben Prachia to study sorcery, so that he became a miracle worker, gained the power of healing the sick, and practised illusions.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The most perplexing and comparatively unsolvable mystery with which the Christian theologian is faced is the almost complete lack of historical evidence concerning the life of Christ. If we except a few palpable forgeries, our knowledge of the life of Christ is based principally upon the accounts given in the Gospels.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

King James' final instructions to the translators were in substance as follows: Where the new translations agree with accepted tradition, use them; where they do not, conform to the popular tradition.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

So Melchizedek is father Sedek, the father of the planets and the Cabirian artificers. Thus Sedek is the sun. We have the same symbolism as with Moses, the letters of whose name, if rearranged, form the name of the sun, samach. Moses, the red-haired man and Melchizedek the king, the first priest, are both sun-men.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Satan is not a spirit of destruction. There is no essential evil in the universe. Our present form of the devil is merely derived from the Greek nature god Pan. As Goethe says, Mephistopheles, or Satan, "is part of the power that still works for good while ever scheming ill." Satan is really karma, but he is more than that. He is the temptation from which arises strength. When the Mysteries were celebrated in ancient Egypt, there was an evil spirit called Typhon or Set who brought about the death of the good Osiris. It is the red Set that has given us our concept of the devil; but Set was nothing but the material world, the ground of man's temptation, and also the environment in which he gains immortality through self-discipline. Therefore, Set, or Satan is divine opportunity; the world into which we come in ignorance but from which we depart in wisdom.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

If we look about us in life, we shall perceive as Job did, that the wicked seem to flourish and it is the just man who is stricken. This is part of the Divine Plan. The just man, having consecrated himself to the highest of his principles, is immediately confronted with karma and deluged with what seems to be adversity. In reality, this is not adversity, but the speeding up of evolution as the result of consecration to the spiritual life. More is expected of a man who is wise than of the man who is foolish. The older we grow, the more strength we have; and the more strength we have, the more sternly we are tested to prove that strength. But no man is tested beyond his capacity. Therefore, the Lord says to Satan that he may afflict Job, but that he may not take his life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The Mysteries do not demand poverty, but they demand the right use of that which is possessed.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

So the initiator gave to Satan, the adversary, permission to strike Job in his weakest part, his wealth, to see whether the loss of things would destroy his vision or philosophy.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The book of Job is an initiation ritual, one of the finest expositions of the Mysteries to be found in the literature of the world.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The metaphysical experiences described in the Bible most frequently occur near water. In religious symbolism, water is a symbol of the etheric world that extends beyond the physical plane of life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Careful study will show that the entire account is a cleverly concealed myth which parallels closely the Greek myth of Hercules. The name Hercules means the glory of Hera (who was the Queen of Heaven). In Hebrew, Samson means sunlike. Samson is a solar personification, and, like Hercules, performs certain labors consistent with his role.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Wisdom itself is frequently symbolized by a mountain or a hill.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

According to Pythagoreans, the cube is a symbol of both matter and man, the opening of the cube being a symbol of the unfoldment of man and the releasing of geometric mysteries within himself. To the Christian, Chris is the perfect man; therefore, he becomes the embodiment of the perfect measure of a man, the cube. In Freemasonry, the perfect ashlar or trued stone is the proper figure of the perfect man, for he is square, upright, and true, which are the moral qualities of a cube. The perfect cube represents the personality that has had all the uneveness, roughness, and inequality polished away by experience. Such a stone is ready to become a block in the Everlasting House not built by hands but eternal in the heavens.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Immortality is the reward of wisdom; not immortality in the sense of perpetuation of the physical body with its infirmities, but rather a conscious participation in eternal life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The whole world desires to be happy, it desires security and peach, it longs for green pastures; but happiness must be earned. The stupid, the foolish, and the selfish can never be happy. Any man who departs from wisdom departs from peace. A man who clings to the evils in him must suffer for his decision. It appears in this world that the evil flourish, but if we examine closely into their lives we shall see sorrow, misery, sickness, and death. The law forbids that any man who is not intrinsically good shall enjoy either wisdom or peace.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Solomon tells us something else in the Proverbs. He tells us that it is impossible to be wise without living in harmony with the Divine Plan. Only the soul that is gentle and filled with the love of truth is capable of great learning, and no man can learn more than he himself is. Increase of knowledge infers increase of spiritual stature. As we grow in integrity we become capable of greater knowledge.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Plato saw God in everything, and communed with truth. The modern scientist sees God in nothing, and may commune only with his confreres obsessed with similar unbelief.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Men believe they can be wise without being good; but this can never happen, for wisdom and virtue are inseparably related.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The spirit of man is regarded as a luminous principle perfect in wisdom, the origin of the life in man. This spirit, descending into dark bodies, achieves through the chemistry of experience the mysterious power that is called Soul. The Virgin of the world is Soul; in the Universe the World Soul; in man the human soul. The soul is the dark Princess.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The name of Solomon may be divided into three syllables. Sol-Om-On. Each of these syllables is the name of a Sun God, or a Divine Principle. Sol means Sun; Om is the sacred syllable of the Vedas, the most magical of all intonations among the Hindus; and On is the name of a Supreme Being in Persia. The building of the Temple was supervised by three men. Solomon of the Sun, the source of all life and power; Hiram of Tyre, the earth, who supplied the materials; and a cunning workman, Hiram Abiff, the energies of space, the ethers, the dancing power of Fohat, the law of the atoms.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the 7th verse, 1st Kings, chapter 6, it is written: "there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building."

This was indeed a temple "built without sound of hammer or voice of workmen" - it was the Everlasting Temple Eternal in the Heavens. Josephus, the Jewish historian, was aware that the Tabernacle in the Wilderness was a symbol of the Universe. This is also true of Solomon's Temple, in even more perfect measure.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

To say that an account in the Bible may have a symbolical meaning does not necessarily mean that the account is entirely unhistorical.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the 34th chapter of Deuteronomy is described the death of Moses. In verse 1 it is described how Moses went up "unto the mountain of Nebo." The ancient Phoenician god of learning was Nebo. The word itself means height, in the sense of the height of wisdom or of learning...

Moses was not permitted to go into the promised land for the reason that Moses represents the personification of the intellectual principle. He is the teacher. But although the mind shall reach the extremities of learning and perceive truth afar off, yet intellect shall never enter truth. This is a truly Oriental teaching. It is Buddhism in the Bible. The promised land represents peach, or Nirvana.

...The intellect cannot by its very nature participate in truth, for reality is higher than the mind. the reason may intellectually consider it, but never actually experience it. Illumination is the ceasing of the Self in Reality; so Moses the good man, is taken unto the hill of Nebo, the highest point of wisdom; and there in the distance perceives the Real. But there mind must die, and be hidden in the unknown grave; as Kundry falls dead at the feet of the altar of the Grail, in the story of Parsifal.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The Cabalists insist that in the body of man the Shekinah is a subtle essence, the medium through which the spirit acts upon the blood. In the macrocosm, or the universe, the Shekinah is the mysterious field of energy by means of which the solar light acts upon nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Paracelsus, the Cabalist, says that man's spirit comes from the stars, his soul from the planets, his body from the elements. This is the arrangement set forth in the structure of the Tabernacle, and is an important key to the interpretation of all sacred places, shrines, and temples.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Cabala it is written that Moses three times ascended Sinai, remaining forty days and forty nights upon each occasion. On the first ascent he was given the tablets which constituted the basis of the Torah. Upon the second ascent he received the Mishna or the Unwritten Law for the priests. And upon the third ascent he received the Cabala, the soul of the Law which was given only to the initiates of the Mysteries. It is thus revealed that there are three codes of law - one for the foolisih, one for the learned, and one for the illumined.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the case of Moses as the wise man who leads the race, the Commandments are part of wisdom itself which Moses brings from the height of his own realization down to the valley where mortals dwell who cannot see the light.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Sinai, though pointed out to travellers in the Holy Land as a single peak in the drear desert, is no mountain of earth; but the mountain of the gods, the mysterious hill to the clouded summit of which the wisest of mystics have lifted their eyes. It is the mountain of illumination, the high place of realization. The mountain is symbolical of a state of consciousness, the highest degree of final consciousness to which man can ascend.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Strangely enough the mummy of the Pharaoh of the Exodus is now preserved in the Cairo Museum. He did not drown in the sea, but is believed to have died of the smallpox. Maybe this disease was the Red Sea that engulfed him.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

So Moses, wisdom, brought about finally the release of his people; and Pharaoh let the people go; and the Lord (law) led them through the Red Sea and the wilderness; and Moses took the bones of Joseph with him. The Red Sea is a very apt symbol for man's world of desire. After he overcame his material nature (the escape from Egypt) he must still conquer his emotions. The way of liberation is through the conquest of desire. And wisdom led the people, and the sea opened, and the children of Israel passed through dry shod. Pharaoh, still desiring to destroy evolving humanity, went against the tribes with six hundred chariots; but the sea closed upon them and destroyed them all.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The magicians of Pharaoh's court, like the scientists of today, represent material knowledge, in itself miraculous and full of wonder, but not in harmony with divine wisdom. The rod of Aaron represents truth. The serpent form of it is the serpent of wisdom; and spiritual truth swallowed up or devoured all the false truth of the material world.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Plato said "God is," and inferred all else that could be said upon that subject as depreciatory.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Pharaoh is the power referred to later by Jesus as "The prince of this world." He is "wordly wisdom" of Bunyan's Pilgrims Progress. Pharaoh is the personification of temporal pomp and splendor, those diversified objects of selfishness, jealousy, and greed which keep men in bondage to the least parts of themselves.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

When Moses desired to go before the Pharaoh he cried to the Lord "I am slow of speech and of a slow tongue!" (Exodus 4:10) Therefore the Lord bade him take with him his brother Aaron. When Moses complains that he is slow of speech, the reference is definitely to the Mystery Schools; for the secrets of the spirit cannot easily be communicated to men. For this reason the Egyptian god Harpocrates, keeper of the Mysteries, is depicted with his finger to his lips, commanding silence. Aaron is therefore the voice of Moses. He is the priesthood, the custodians of the Mysteries. It is the priest who must clothe the secrets in fables, that the foolish may learn something.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It has recently been stated that Michaelangelo placed horns on his statue of Moses by mistake. In reality they are most significant. They are the horns of Jupiter Ammon, the same symbol which is later to appear again as the horns on the corners of the Hebrew alter. The horns are those of the celestial Ram, Aries, the leader of the flocks of heaven. The same symbol traces from the fact that during the time of Moses the vernal equinox took place in the sign of the Ram, and the horned Sun was the symbol of truth. Ram, the mind-light god of the Egyptians, is likewise represented as wearing a helmet adorned with the curling horns of the ram.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The story of Moses being found in an ark of bulrushes in the Nile is definitely derived from the story of the Egyptian Osiris and is a key to the meaning of his life. We learn that Moses was an initiate priest of the Egyptian Mysteries and had received the Rites of Osiris. There is debate as to whether he was a Jew or an Egyptian. In all probability he was neither, but had his origin in Asia.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Natural processes are accomplished by two cosmic motions. One of these is termed involution, or the descent of life into form. In this process, units of radiant energy take upon themselves ever more of the material elements, until they are hopelessly obscured by the forms with which they have surrounded themselves. This state is typified by the seed, the hard shell, and the living germ within. The second cosmic motion is evolution. This is life releasing itself from form by the process of growth. It requires billions of years for the cosmic plant to grow up, but by the evolutionary process all things are ultimately released from form and are restored to their divine state.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The common notion that the twelve tribes of Israel make up the Jewish nation is quite incorrect, as Israel means all life; the tribes of Israel are all living things. Israel is a generic term for humanity as a collective whole, regardless of race or nation. When this collective humanity is signified by a single term it may be called Adam, or again Jacob. Both represent humanity. This is in the same sense that we use the word man to signify either one man or all men.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The stars are the races of heaven, the population of the firmament, and they are ruled by kings greater than any kings of the earth, even the kings of Edom - the Lords of the stars. When we think of Israel, therefore, we have not only to consider a people or a tribe or nation, but of the whole life of nature, the gods of heaven whose shadows are upon earth.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Melchizedek actually means "hail to" or "honor to" or "power to Sedek." Therefore the name can be freely translated the Authority of Sedek, or Sedek is king. Melchizedek, Prince of Salem, really means then, Sedek is king of Salem. The word Sedek is Egyptian. Sedek was the father of the Artificer gods of Egypt. The seven gods, called the Cabiri, are the children of Sedek. Melchizedek therefore is the father of the planets, or, astronomically, the Sun. Like Moses, the red haired man whose name is also a Cabalistic title of the Sun, Melchizedek is the great orb of heaven, therefore his own father and mother, and the founder of the eternal priesthood. Later, Christi is called "the Light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world." Christ is therefore a type of the spiritual sun, the light-bearer, the light-bringer, called by St. Paul a priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. In other words, a priest of the Sun, or of the Solar Mystery, or of the Eternal Light.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Cabalistic legends Enoch - the second messenger of God - was one of the Messianic gods or perfected men. He did not die, but ascended to heaven walking with God.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the ancient Hebrew language the word which is translated "ladder" can also mean a hill, a mound, or any artificially contrived means of ascent. It is quite possible therefore that the Jews used the term ladder to include the type of building now called a pyramid.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

From Shem, Japeth, and Ham descend the races of humanity, and to this newly established human kind is given the collective term Israel. The word Israel signifies not the Jew in particular, but all humanity, and the evolution of man in the period subsequent to the Atlantean Deluge is symbolically described by the wanderings of the twelve tribes of Israel. These tribes are the twelve orders of human beings dominated by the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Noah, born with white hair and prematurely aged, is of course the symbol of mind, or that which is above the confusion of matter.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

As Plato used the history of the lost continent to veil the secret of man's lost spiritual state, so likewise did the Hindus, Chinese, Chaldeans, Mayans, and Jews. There can be no doubt that there is a direct relationship between the story of Noah and the lost Atlantis, but what most writers have been unable to discover is the relationship between both Noah and Atlantis and a third metaphysical tradition.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Jewish metaphysics, the Ark is the planet or the solar system floating in a sea of cosmic space, its decks crowded with the complex genera of living things. Thus the Deluge myth is a part of the story of the Fall of Man, told differently, but still retaining for the wise its secret import.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Remember that Saturn is the chief of the Elohim in that he is the eldest of the seven planets or Chaldean gods. It is Saturn who says in the beginning: "Let there be a firmament in the midst of the deep." When the first day of manifestation, or remanifestation, begins, the Saturnine principle of crystallization dominates space and the firmament is manifested.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Ararat is the Polar Mountain, the Olympus of the Greeks, the Meru of the Hindus. It represents the first firmament or the heavens which are above the earth, that is, the sphere of the fixed stars.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the most ancient writings, Noah's Ark is not called a boat. Its name signifies some peculiar form of enclosure, a superior place to which men could go for refuge. The idea of a boat floating on the water was a poetic figure developed by later theologists. It is merely a symbol of the spiritual world which survives the disintegration of the physical universe. Briefly then, the Ark of Noah, with its three decks, represents the three parts of the divine sphere. The Ark is a miniature of the universe.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Thus Seth is the physical archetype of man, even as Adam is the spiritual archetype of man.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It was in the later sub-races of the Lemurian race that the human being we know as man was differentiated from the animal prototype. Thus in Lemuria the true man came into being. Man having been formed as the vehicle for the "thinker," we have the explanation for the opening verses of chapter 6 [Genesis]. The 1st verse describes that men began to multiply on the earth; and in the 2nd verse it explains that the sons of God (the intellectual egos or conscious entities) gazed upon the bodies that had been formed (the daughters of men) and took wives from among them, i.e. joined with them to become the true humanity that we know.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

By Seth is to be understood a new generation, one which takes the place of the earlier creation that had failed and destroyed itself...The third of the children of Adam, Seth, is the third race, known in the occult tradition as the Lemurian.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Gnostic Remains it is described that the Demiurgus, or creating power, fashioned innumerable bodies while experimenting with the cosmic substances. Most of these bodies were incapable of containing a mind. They were the night-born, the false birth, the monsters of the Abyss. This account is based upon the Hermetic legend wherein it is described that these first creatures were destroyed by the gods because they could not be the vehicles or bodies for the incarnation of intellectual entities. Of such an order also are the giant-kings of Edom who "perished in the void." Also, these are the Sheddai, the antedeluvian kings recorded in the Zohar.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Also in the same verse [Genesis 4:17] Cain builds a city which he names after his son. One man could scarcely build a city, nor could the abode of one man be termed a city. But when we realize that Cain is a race, we then understand that the story of Cain's wanderings is an account of racial migration.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Abel, in the allegory, brings his offering, the "firstlings of his flock," and offers them to the Law. By this is meant the animal propensities of his own nature. Such is always the meaning of the burnt offerings referred to in the Scriptures. Because he brings the "animal," his offering is accepted. Cain, on the other hand, brings the fruits of the ground, and these are not accepted. The fruits here represent not principles of the soul, but merely the consequences of action. Cain's offering represents the same type of superficial gift that the rich man gives when he presents a stained glass window to the church, and continues to cheat the widows and orphans. Cain gives of what he has, for fruits represent accumulation or possessions; but Abel gives of what he is, the "firstlings," his transmuted animal nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

If we understand Adam to be man, the incarnating ego, the one father of all the bodies that are manifested by an entity during its life cycle, we will realize that by the fall is described the descent of this egoic vortex into the sphere of generation.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the 1st verse of the 4th chapter of Genesis, Eve says, "I have gotten a man from the Lord." The ancient Jewish Mysteries declare this to mean that Cain was not the child of Adam, but of the archangel Samael, the serpent, the mysterious luminous power at the root of all human perplexity. In the Authorized Version the translation is so obscure that both Adam and the Lord are referred to as the fathers of Cain; but the early rabbins knew their Scripture better than 17th century theologians, and the old commentaries insist that Cain was the son of Samael; Abel was the son of Adam. Cain was the embodiment therefore of cosmic fire, Abel the son of the agrarian principle. It was for this reason the Chasidim explained that the offering of Cain was not acceptable to the Lord, leading to the first crime - the murder of Abel.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The Creating Power, in its aspect as the law of nature, now pronounces a curse upon the disobedient mortals. They are doomed to the cycle of birth and death. They are no longer supported and sustained by the inward light but must struggle to survive in a universe of doubts and fears. Ixion is bound to his wheel, and the cycle of necessity has gained dominion over the divine spark - the hosts of Adamic souls.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The evolving intellect of primitive man brought with a gradual extroversion. From an inward contemplation of spiritual principles man came to recognize an external life. Slowly the inner sense were dimmed and the perceptive powers correspondingly strengthened. The result is man's present state in which he has little if any inward life, and is entirely overconscious of the significance of outward circumstances. The inner life is the Paradisiacal or Edenic state. The outer life is the relapsed or fallen state. The resurrection promised by the Messianic dispensation is the restoring of the inner life, the conquest of the external or sensory sphere. All this is clearly shown in the teaching of Buddha, and is an essential part of the dicta of Plato.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

By another interpretation, equally significant, the serpent tempter represents the intellectual principle. This is evident from the words of Jesus in the New Testament, "be ye wise as serpents." The intellectual principle leads to the experience of conscious self-responsibility. This is exile from the Edenic garden of innocence, spiritual infancy.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The ability of the Mystery Schools to communicate with the invisible worlds is the basis of their power; for all the creative hierarchies dwell in the unseen worlds, and there the disciple must go in order to consult them. The reason for this is that the human race is the only one in our scheme of things that is equipped with both a physical and a mental body. The gods, so-called, have never descended into physical substance. Consequently, having no body composed of dense chemical elements, they are incapable of manifesting here. In order to communicate with them, man must, therefore, learn to function consciously in his own invisible bodies. When he is capable of doing this, he can communicate with the spiritual beings who dwell in similar superphysical substances. Thus, while religion deals only with fancies, theorems, and beliefs, the initiates of the Ancient Wisdom go straight to the fountainhead of wisdom and, learning the will of the gods, make that will the law of their lives. The initiate does not guess, wonder or soliloquize; he labors with facts for he is one with the truths of Nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

But man was never left to wander alone in ignorance. When the ties connecting him to the unseen worlds were broken, certain methods were established whereby the will of the gods could be made known. To this end, a certain number of men and women were instructed how to bridge the chasm which then separated the gods from men. The method of establishing this communication was the greatest of all the secrets of ancient occultism. This secret has been preserved for the race, for at a later time all human beings will be able to communicate directly with the gods once more. During the great interval of ages, this wisdom has been perpetuated in the Mystery Schools, and a few chosen disciples in each generation have been given the sacred privilege of knowing the gods. This wisdom and the power and knowledge they have gained they in turn impart to a few chosen and beloved disciples. Thus the work is carried on.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The later Atlantean world crumbled because it wavered from the law. It forgot that Nature was the ruler of all things, and in attempting to survive unnaturally it was destroyed. Before its disintegration, however, the Ancient Wisdom passed into the new Aryan world, where from the heart of the lofty Himalayas its adepts and initiates began the process of building a new people to be the living tabernacles of the gods among men.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

It was these Serpent Kings who founded the Mystery Schools which later appeared as the Egyptian and Brahman Mysteries and other forms of ancient occultism. The serpent was their symbol, for they taught man the use of the creative energy which courses through Nature and his own bodies as a serpentine line of force. They were the true Sons of Light, and from them have descended a long line of adepts and initiates duly tried and proven according to the law. These have kept alight the divine truths through many generations of ignorance and thoughtlessness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The method of communication used by the spiritual powers is faithfully set out by Josephus in his description of the Ark of the Covenant and the priests who served it. This ark was an oracle, and the gods spoke to the high priest by means of the language of symbolism.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

During the Atlantean periods of which Plato dreamed, the work of gathering and arranging the Ancient Wisdom went on apace, for the people of Atlantis were the greatest exponents of concrete thought the world has ever known. The Atlanteans never fully understood the wisdom that was theirs, for even in those early times the gods had withdrawn from the mass of humanity, and spoke to m an only through appointed priests and oracles.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

It has been said that wisdom lies not in seeing things but in seeing through things.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Gradually a separation took place among the schools of the Mysteries. The zeal of the priests to spread their doctrines in many cases apparently exceeded their intelligence. As a result, many were allowed to enter the temples before they had really prepared themselves for the wisdom they were to receive. The result was that these untutored minds, slowly gaining positions of authority, became at last incapable of maintaining the institution because they were unable to contact the spiritual powers behind the material enterprise. So the Mystery Schools vanished. The spiritual hierarchy, served through all generations by a limited number of true and devoted followers, withdrew from the world; while the colossal material organizations, having no longer any contact with the divine source, wandered in circles, daily becoming more involved in the rituals and symbols which they had lost the power of interpreting.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

This tree is indeed a Tree of Life, for without the higher and finer sentiments man does not life; he merely exists. If any branch of that tree does not bear fruit, the Master tells us that it shall be cut off and cast into the fire. It is the duty of all living things to produce some truly constructive labor as recognition of the divine life which is within them. God is most glorified when His children glorify His spirit within themselves.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The greatest art in all the world is the art of being natural, for that which is natural shall survive. For ages religion has been founded upon a false hypothesis. It has sought to fill the world with miracles and unnatural things. It has sought to dictate and dogmatize. For this reason it is failing.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

In the very early period of human differentiation, man was incapable of self-government, but was ruled by those appointed by Nature to preserve him and unfold him to the point when he would be capable of taking care of himself. We are told that when our solar system began its labors, spirits of wise beings from other solar systems came to us and taught us the ways of wisdom that we might have that birthright of knowledge which God gives to all His creations. It was these minds which are said to have founded the Mystery Schools of the Ancient Wisdom, for this Wisdom was the knowledge of the will of Nature for Her children.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

As the spirit enters the human body when the embryo reaches a certain degree of unfoldment, so will the spirit of Truth enter the religious body when that structure has adequately prepared itself for such a coming.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The world knows many religions, but Nature has but onc Truth.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Religion is the outgrowth of many ages of spiritual hunger, when the soul of the primitive man, finding itself insufficient, turned in awe to the immensity of Nature, in whose endless pageantry it saw a power far greater than itself. The savage turned to the winds and found in them something superior to himself. He trembled in fear at the voice of the thunder; fell prostrate in terror as great storms swept through the primitive world and volcanic craters belched forth red-hot stones and ashes. He offered sacrifice tot he gods of the air that they should spare him; he cried from the tops of the mountains and offered incense to the stars. He could not find God anywhere, so offered sacrifice to Him everywhere. He saw his crops burn for lack of water, his children sicken about him. His hopes were dashed to the ground by an unknown, unnamed thing which, though he could not understand, was the determining factor in every thought and action of his life. This was undoubtedly the origin of religion as man knows it. We remember the words of Pope: "Lo, the poor Indian! whose untutored mind sees God in clouds, or hears Him in the wind."

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

All human beings are divided into four general classes...The lowest of these divisions is the physical nature, and those who dwell therein are of the earth, earthy; they live only for the gratification of their physical natures. Their idea of heaven is a place where there is food, feasting, and little or no work...Their minds are only partly active. Their bodies resemble prisons more than dwelling places...they live to labor, plodding along to a mediocre destiny...Give them opulence and they cannot retain it. Give them luxuries, and they do not appreciate them. They are the dark earthy ones who must ever bow before intelligence. They do not love God, for they cannot know Him.

The second division is made up of the artisans and those who labor both with mind and hand...They buy, sell, and exchange...Having a mind, they control the mindless...Not having the mental organism with which to reason, they fill the places of worship where thinking is done for them. They are the ones who allow their clergy to decide all spiritual problems for them, feeling themselves incapable of assuming the onus of heavy thinking...their credulity is utilized as a commercial asset by certain types of minds who consider it legitimate to capitalize on the ignorance of others.

The third class is made up of the scientists...they attack the boundary lines of the known...Those who wage this war in the cause of science are mostly concrete thinkers who follow as far as their instruments will lead them and then must wait for instruments still more powerful. Most of these minds are atheistic or at least agnostic...The miracles of theology are incapable of chemical analysis and are consequently taken cum grano salis by the scientific world.

The fourth and highest group embraces philosophers, musicians, and artists, all living in an abstract mental world surrounded by dreams and visions wholly unrecognizable by the other types. They have reached beyond the world of academic education to the world of creative idealism, which is at present the highest function of the human mind. This world is the dwelling place of genius, of invention, and of the things which lower mentalities can only accept but never analyze. Religiously, these minds are deistic. Most of them are monotheists - believers in one God. Many of them are mystics or occultists...

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Among the so-called students of truth we see the fruitage of the delusions from which the world suffers. Sickly, nervous, no longer capable of solving their own problems, they sit around treating each other, waiting like spiritual Micawbers for something to turn up. These people were once useful, intelligent members of their community, but they are now so involved in mental absurdities that they are useless both to themselves and to society in general. Most of all, they are like gaunt scarecrows who frighten others from the paths of wisdom.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The Masters are ever waiting to entrust their disciples and students who show desire to receive with that wisdom which the world so sadly needs. If the student desires to go forth and teach, he will be given a work to do - that is, if he will honestly, sincerely, and intelligently prepare himself for his labors. The reason why so many false doctrines are being taught is that people who have an idea do not ask themselves, "Is this theory which I have, true? Am I living the sort of a life that would permit me to receive real truth into my soul? Am I unselfish, open, obedient, humble, and consecrated? Have I developed my mind so that it can think? Have I opened my heart so that it can feel? If I have not, then the thing which I have received is distorted by the glass through which it shines, and all I can give the world is a distorted image, a dishonest representation of truth. Have I actually consecrated my life and all that I am, unselfishly and without reservation, or am I only an intellectual dabbler? Am I a success or a failure in life? Am I surrounded by friends or by enemies of my own making? Am I respected by my community? Do I allow other people to live their own lives, or am I trying to force my beliefs upon all with whom I come in contact? Have I, or have I not, consciously and beyond all possibility of mental exaggeration, received personal instruction from the inner schools? I and I alone know that. The rest of the world, except the enlightened few, must believe what I say. If I have not received such instructions, am I big enough to admit it and say, with respect to my doctrines, that they are only my own opinions; or am I palming off these opinions as cosmic truths upon no firmer ground than the fact that I believe them?"

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

When the disciples of Socrates questioned him concerning the Absolute, he also refused to discuss it, stating that it was beyond his wisdom and that it played no practical part in everyday life.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

There is another class of people who go about discussing the Infinite with ease and fluency who as yet have never acquainted themselves with the finite. A most interesting rule of the Ancient Wisdom is that none of its initiates discuss the Absolute. They explain the hypothesis of First Cause, but state finally that no human being, themselves included, know sufficient concerning it to give an intelligent opinion or definition; and no wise man presumes to discuss that bout which he knows nothing.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

We would have much less trouble if our psychologists refrained from speaking for the first five years, for most of them are preaching with no more foundation for their eloquence than two weeks' study with someone no better informed than themselves.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Without labor, there is no inspiration, and none can do our work for us but ourselves. The Ancient Wisdom demanded many years of purification and preparation before the adepts were willing to instruct in even the simplest things.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The human race has never desired that which was best for it, but like a child it reaches out its hands and cries for the moon. Today the race does not know what is good for it, and individuals, instead of seeking to unfold their constitutions symmetrically, have gone mad over a system of philosophical hocus-pocus which promises something for nothing and exchanges divine wisdom for a moderate fee.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

The true occultist wants nothing but wisdom. When Solomon raised his hands to his God, Jehovah spoke from the heavens asking him what he would have, and he answered, "God give me the gift of wisdom." Jehovah asked him if there were not other things he desired, but Solomon answered, "No, only wisdom." And God told Solomon that because he had asked only for wisdom that all the other things should be added unto him and that from this day to the end of the world there would never be another king so rich, so great, or so blest.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

Once men died for Truth, but now Truth dies at the hands of men.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

In all things involving the acquirement of knowledge, the Ancient Wisdom says, "First purify your own life."

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

An intellectual fact is not necessarily a truth

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

There was an old Greek fable to the effect that even the most wealthy man must eat his own food. If he hires another to do his eating, the one he hires will gain the nourishment.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

According to Madame Blavatsky, the disobedience of Adam and the eating of the forbidden fruit, represented an effort to secure the esoteric wisdom without being properly and duly initiated. In other words, it was a violation of the laws of the Mystery Schools - an attempt to storm the gates of heaven. For this violation primitive humanity was exiled from the spiritual state, and the symbolic Fall occurred.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

There are two great systems in the body of man: the tree of life, which is the arterial with its roots in the heart; and, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, i.e. the nervous system, which has its roots in the brain. These two "trees" are physical manifestations of a complicated network of branching energy currents in the aura or superphysical bodies.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the 3rd chapter of Genesis the adversary is Samael, the Serpent, and like Mephistopholes it is "a spirit of negation; part of the power that still works for good while ever scheming ill."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The key to the riddle lies in the metaphysics of the Persians, which in turn was derived from the most ancient religious Mysteries of both the Near East and the Far East. It is explained that good and evil, so-called, are but the aspects of qualities of One Principle. For example, creation brings into manifestation the innumerable hosts of lives which lie sleeping in the Infinite. In this respect creation is release, or expression, and therefore good. But creation also infers certain limits and boundaries being placed upon space. Thus the very world which is man's sphere of opportunity is also his living tomb, and in a sense therefore evil or adverse to the luminous inner self that must dwell so long in the fetters of matter. Every action therefore of the creating power is described as bringing into manifestation not only a good but and evil spirit or angel.

A simple example of this is the modern problem of invention. Whenever a man invents some new and useful improvement, to make life more secure and comfortable, abuse inevitably follows. Good laws are perverted by selfish men; great ideals are brought down to a thousand purposes inconsistent with the original dream. Primitive men realized this, and the earliest scriptures teach that the universe is a battlefield of good and evil impulses which they termed "gods" and "demons." Even as God was the chief and Lord of all benevolent forces, so the evil agencies or negative attributes are personified in one offending being variously named Satan, Lucifer, Yama, Loki, Hades, Kali, etc.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The old Jewish Mysteries declare the serpent to be a symbol of Samael, the archangel of Mars and the master of the astral light. In scriptural writings serpents are frequently used to represent currents or waves of force moving in space. The Midgard Snake of the Nordic Eddas, and the Orphic serpent twined about the Egg of the Year, are both symbols of the zodiac and the serpentine course of the sun. The erect serpent of Egypt, and the hooded Naga of India and Cambodia, signify the spinal fire in man. The winged serpents of Gobi, and the Taoist dragons of China, represent both the psychic forces of the soul and the initiates, or sky-men. The Indians of the Southwest of America have serpent symbols of similar significance; and the Quetzalcoatl, or Feathered Snake of Central America, is a symbol of the initiate or high priest. The Druid priests of Britain and Gaul called themselves serpents; and these too are the snakes that St. Patrick is said to have driven from Ireland.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

Lack of true understanding as to the meaning of the "temptation" and the "fall" led Christian theologians to regard all female kind as the embodiment of temptation and corruption. In fact, the old story to the effect that "with Adam's fall we sinned us all" is one of the most ludicrous errors of theology. Nowhere is it more evident in scriptural writings that "the letter of the law killeth" than in this particular instance. In fact, the whole Christian theory of redemption, and the estate of Christ in the concepts of orthodox theologians depends upon the literal and benighted misunderstanding of the ancient Chaldean myth, long regarded not only as history but as scripture.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The next important allegory relates to the creation of Eve, the female or negative principle. To understand this, we must realize that the original Adamic Man, that is, the spirit in its luminous vestments, was in itself androgynous. According to the ancient Jewish legends, Adam was formed with two faces and two bodies united back to back; that is, with two natures, each facing in the opposite direction.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Authorized Version, the Creating Power is said to cause a deep sleep to descend upon Adam and from his side Eve was created, Genesis 2:21-23. Eve is the etheric principle, called by Plato the principle of generation. This is exuded out of the auric body in the same way that the hard shell of a snail is exuded from the soft substances of its body. The etheric vehicle, or the feminine principle, as it is referred to in ancient times, is described in Genesis as being the tempter.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The intellect of Adam "named," that is, examined and understood, all the creations.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It is also important to remember that nearly every personality described or discussed in the Bible is primarily a symbol, and not an historical individual. It is a great mistake to believe that there is great spiritual virtue in the perpetuation of history or the worship of ancestors. The virtue lies not in the accepting of the sacred writings but in the discovery and application of the ever living truths secretly hidden in the scriptural books of the world.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The name given to the order of life which was to incarnate as human was Adam, which means species, type, or kind. Never for a moment does it infer a single individual. Adam, therefore, correctly means a mode of consciousness, a type with mind, as distinguished from the animal and vegetable kingdoms which do not possess individualized intelligence, and therefore are properly termed species. These lower kingdoms have a center of consciousness called a monad, whereas man has evolved his monad into and ego or a center of "I am-ness."

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The Edenic Garden contained not only the rudiments of human existence but also the other kingdoms which were to manifest. It was therefore a sort of superior earth in which forms of life developed and prepared themselves for physical incarnation, even as the wise in this world are building superphysical bodies in which to function when the race has finished its physical evolution.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

When the vehicles or bodies built up first from the more subtile parts of the physical globe reached a certain degree of development, the spirits dwelling in the ether above, and called in the Bible the "Sons of God," flowed downward and into the new bodies, which were called the "daughters of men"; or more correctly the daughters of manas or mind - the mind - formed bodies; for the word man literally means mind.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Biblical story, man dwelt in a Paradisiacal sphere before his fall into the mystery of generation. This Paradisiacal sphere is called a garden, and has been variously located by religious enthusiasts upon almost every part of the earth's surface. Eden is not, however, on the earth's surface, but above it, or, more correctly, in a higher etheric element which encloses the earth in a globe of translucent energy. The four rivers are the four streams of ether or energy which sustain the four kingdoms of the physical world - mineral, vegetable, animal, and human. Man physically is nourished by the vital ethers of nature. Man physically is nourished by the vital ethers of nature. These ethers now work through him, but in pre-Adamic times he possessed no physical body and these ethers formed an etheric body.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

There is abundant confirming evidence to indicate that the Genesis given in the Bible describes processes occurring over a period of at least a billion years;

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the cosmogony of the Greeks the material universe is brought into being by seven gods, each of whom rules over one of the seven parts of the mundane diffusion. In the Greek system the gods are: Phanes, Ouranos, Chronos, Rhea, Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. The mundane world consists of seven interpenetrating spheres of which six are superphysical and the lowest or seventh is physical. According to this system, the seventh or physical plane is ruled over by Hades, the subterranean god, to symbolize the physical plane as being the farthest removed from the divine energy.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The seventh and lowest diffusion of the fourth "world" is that with which the Creation story in Genesis is concerned.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The ancient Jewish priests had peculiar veneration for the Moons, their faith being a lunar cult.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

In the Cabala the higher powers do not descend into the lower elements to ensoul the mundane diffusion, but rather cast their shadows upon the Deep or the lower elements.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It was the Elohim in turn, moving in Space, who brought forth the mundane universe over which they ruled...

By mundane is meant not the physical worlds but the metaphysical system, of which the physical creation is the lowest or seventh part...

In the Egyptian Hermetic teachings the Elohim are the Governors, the Cosmocratores...the servants of Ptah...

The Elohim are also the seven Cabiri of Samothrace; the seven rays upon the golden crown of the Gnostic Lion; the sacred seven, the unwritten vowels which together make up the name of the manifested divinity, the seven colors of the spectrum, the seven days of creation, the seven seals of Revelation.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

With these thoughts in mind, let us read again the verse [Genesis 1:1] according to a fuller understanding of its meaning:

From the eternal principles and essences the androgynous creator-gods manifested forth the positive and negative aspects of Being.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

First, in Hebrew, Elohim is an androgynous term inferring a combination of male and female attributes. Second, the word, by its termination, is plural. Actually therefore the word Elohim means "the male-female creators," representing a host or at least a group of powers and not, under any condition, a single personal entity.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The cosmogony of the Jews is derived directly from the Chaldean and Egyptian.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

A reasonable interpretation of the Biblical writings is one based upon a system of cross reference in which all the great schools of ancient religion and philosophy are considered as one composite structure. Thus each system is interpreted in the light of the others.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The Vedas, the sacred books of the ancient Aryan Hindus, appear to be the oldest of Scriptural writings and the source of most of the sacred books now venerated throughout the world...The traditions of these people indicate that the laws and institutes of the gods were revealed to the progenitors of the Aryans in the highlands of the Himalaya mountain country nearly a million years ago...

From the Vedas poured forth the streams of religious tradition which, flowing into various nations down through the ages, appear in the course of time as the single source of the numerous Scriptural writings of the world. Great saints and sages interpreting this ageless wisdom, wrote their commentaries or re-states in the terms of their own day the Vedic lore and the sacred tradition. In China Lao-Tze and Confucius were the interpreters, and their writings have become Scripture. In India Buddha was the great Emissary. In Persia it was Zoroaster. In Egypt, Akhnaton and Hermes. In Greece, Orpheus, Pythagoras and Plato. In Syria it was Moses, and later Jesus.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

After the decline of the Mysteries, when the sacred books fell into the hands of the profane, the subtler values were lost.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

It is important next to realize that the secret doctrine concealed in the Bible must be discovered with the aid of certain keys. Each of the myths, fables and symbolic figures has at least seven complete and distinct interpretations. In other words, to open the door, that is, unveil the secret, the key must be turned seven times in the lock.

It may seem strange that one story or account may have several meanings, but such is the working of the Cabala. In the original Hebrew there were numerical and letter cyphers to aid in the decoding of the hidden information. Translation and editing have destroyed these older Cabalistic patterns and it is now necessary to have recourse to the fascinating field of comparative religion in order to unlock the Biblical secrets.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible</cite>

The list of the deathless mortals who suffered for man that he might receive the boon of eternal life is an imposing one. Among those connected historically or allegorically with a crucifixion are Prometheus, Adonis, Apollo, Arys, Bacchus, Buddha, Christna, Horus, Indra, Ixion, Mithras, Osiris, Pythagoras, Quetzalcoatl, Semiramis, and Jupiter. According to the fragmentary accounts extant, all these heroes gave their lives to the service of humanity and, with one or two exceptions, died as martyrs for the cause of human progress. In many mysterious ways the manner of their death has been designedly concealed, but it is possible that most of them were crucified upon a cross or tree.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Saviors unnumbered have died for the sins of man and by the hands of man, and through their deaths have interceded in heaven for the souls of their executioners. The martyrdom of the God-Man and the redemption of the world through His blood has been an essential tenet of many great religions. Nearly all these stories can be traced to sun worship, for the glorious orb of day is the Savior who dies annually for every creature within his universe, but year after year rises again victorious from the tomb of winter. Without doubt the doctrine of the crucifixion is based upon the secret traditions of the Ancient Wisdom; it is a constant reminder that the divine nature of man is perpetually crucified upon the animal organism. Certain of the pagan Mysteries included in the ceremony of initiation the crucifixion of the candidate upon a cross, or the laying of his body upon a cruciform altar. It has been claimed that Apollonius of Tyana (the Antichrist) was initiated into the Arcanum of Egypt in the Great Pyramid, where he hung upon a cross until unconscious and was then laid in the tomb (the coffer) for three days. While his body was unconscious, his soul was thought to pass into the realms of the immortals (the place of death) After it had vanquished death (by recognizing that life is eternal) it returned again to the body, which then rose from the coffer, after which he was hailed as a brother by the priests, who believed that he had returned from the land of the dead. This concept was, in substance, the teaching of the Mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Prior to the Christian Era seven hundred thousand of the most valuable books, written upon parchment, papyrus, vellum, and wax, and also tablets of stone, terra cotta, and wood, were gathered from all parts of the ancient world and housed in Alexandria, in buildings specially prepared for the purpose. This magnificent repository of knowledge was destroyed by a series of three fires. The parts that escaped the conflagration lighted by Cæsar to destroy the fleet in the harbor were destroyed about A.D. 389 by the Christians in obedience to the edict of Theodosius, who had ordered the destruction of the Serapeum, a building sacred to Serapis in which the volumes were kept.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Through the mystic passageways and chambers of the Great Pyramid passed the illumined of antiquity. They entered its portals as men; they came forth as gods. It was the place of the "second birth," the "womb of the Mysteries," and wisdom dwelt in it as God dwells in the hearts of men. Somewhere in the depths of its recesses there resided an unknown being who was called "The Initiator," or "The Illustrious One," robed in blue and gold and bearing in his hand the sevenfold key of Eternity. This was the lion-faced hierophant, the Holy One, the Master of Masters, who never left the House of Wisdom and whom no man ever saw save he who had passed through the gates of preparation and purification. It was in these chambers that Plato--he of the broad brow---came face to face with the wisdom of the ages personified in the Master of the Hidden House.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Some secret orders have taught that the sun was inhabited by a race of creatures with bodies composed of a radiant, spiritual ether not unlike in its constituency the actual glowing ball of the sun itself. The solar heat had no harmful effect upon them, because their organisms were sufficiently refined and sensitized to harmonize with the sun's tremendous vibratory rate. These creatures resemble miniature suns, being a little larger than a dinner plate in size, although some of the more powerful are considerably larger. Their color is the golden white light of the sun, and from them emanate four streamers of Vril. These streamers are often of great length and are in constant motion. A peculiar palpitation is to be noted throughout the structure of the globe and is communicated in the form of ripples to the emanating streamers. The greatest and most luminous of these spheres is the Archangel Michael; and the entire order of solar life, which resemble him and dwell upon the sun, are called by modern Christians "the archangels" or "the spirits of the light.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

In the majority of cases, the religions of antiquity agree that the material visible sun was a reflector rather than a source of power. The sun was sometimes represented as a shield carried on the arm of the Sun God, as for example, Frey, the Scandinavian Solar Deity. This sun reflected the light of the invisible spiritual sun, which was the true source of life, light, and truth. The physical nature of the universe is receptive; it is a realm of effects. The invisible causes of these effects belong to the spiritual world. Hence, the spiritual world is the sphere of causation; the material world is the sphere of effects; while the intellectual--or soul--world is the sphere of mediation. Thus Christ, the personified higher intellect and soul nature, is called "the Mediator" who, by virtue of His position and power, says: "No man cometh to the Father, but by me."

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Certain Rosicrucian scholars have given special appellations to these three phases of the sun: the spiritual sun they called Vulcan; the soular and intellectual sun, Christ and Lucifer respectively; and the material sun, the Jewish Demiurgus Jehovah. Lucifer here represents the intellectual mind without the illumination of the spiritual mind; therefore it is "the false light. " The false light is finally overcome and redeemed by the true light of the soul, called the Second Logos or Christ. The secret processes by which the Luciferian intellect is transmuted into the Christly intellect constitute one of the great secrets of alchemy, and are symbolized by the process of transmuting base metals into gold.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The solar orb, like the nature of man, was divided by the ancient sages into three separate bodies. According to the mystics, there are three suns in each solar system, analogous to the three centers of life in each individual constitution. These are called three lights: the spiritual sun, the intellectual or soular sun, and the material sun (now symbolized in Freemasonry by three candles). The spiritual sun manifests the power of God the Father; the soular sun radiates the life of God the Son; and the material sun is the vehicle of manifestation for God the Holy Spirit. Man's nature was divided by the mystics into three distinct parts: spirit, soul, and body. His physical body was unfolded and vitalized by the material sun; his spiritual nature was illuminated by the spiritual sun; and his intellectual nature was redeemed by the true light of grace--the soular sun. The alignment of these three globes in the heavens was one explanation offered for the peculiar fact that the orbits of the planets are not circular but elliptical.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The Christian church blindly follows ancient customs, and when asked for a reason gives superficial and unsatisfactory explanations, either forgetting or ignoring the indisputable fact that each religion is based upon the secret doctrines of its predecessor.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The philosophers of Greece and Egypt divided the life of the sun during the year into four parts; therefore they symbolized the Solar Man by four different figures. When He was born in the winter solstice, the Sun God was symbolized as a dependent infant who in some mysterious manner had managed to escape the Powers of Darkness seeking to destroy Him while He was still in the cradle of winter. The sun, being weak at this season of the year, had no golden rays (or locks of hair), but the survival of the light through the darkness of winter was symbolized by one tiny hair which alone adorned the head of the Celestial Child. (As the birth of the sun took place in Capricorn, it was often represented as being suckled by a goat.)

At the vernal equinox, the sun had grown to be a beautiful youth. His golden hair hung in ringlets on his shoulders and his light, as Schiller said, extended to all parts of infinity. At the summer solstice, the sun became a strong man, heavily bearded, who, in the prime of maturity, symbolized the fact that Nature at this period of the year is strongest and most fecund. At the autumnal equinox, the sun was pictured as an aged man, shuffling along with bended back and whitened locks into the oblivion of winter darkness. Thus, twelve months were assigned to the sun as the length of its life. During this period it circled the twelve signs of the zodiac in a magnificent triumphal march. When fall came, it entered, like Samson, into the house of Delilah (Virgo), where its rays were cut off and it lost its strength. In Masonry, the cruel winter months are symbolized by three murderers who sought to destroy the God of Light and Truth.

The coming of the sun was hailed with joy; the time of its departure was viewed as a period to be set aside for sorrow and unhappiness. This glorious, radiant orb of day, the true light "which lighteth every man who cometh into the world," the supreme benefactor, who raised all things from the dead, who fed the hungry multitudes, who stilled the tempest, who after dying rose again and restored all things to life--this Supreme Spirit of humanitarianism and philanthropy is known to Christendom as Christ, the Redeemer of worlds, the Only Begotten of The Father, the Word made Flesh, and the Hope of Glory.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

For reasons which they doubtless considered sufficient, those who chronicled the life and acts of Jesus found it advisable to metamorphose him into a solar deity. The historical Jesus was forgotten; nearly all the salient incidents recorded in the four Gospels have their correlations in the movements, phases, or functions of the heavenly bodies.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

One expression of the solar energy is Solomon, whose name SOL-OM-ON is the name for the Supreme Light in three different languages.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Many deities have been associated with the sun. The Greeks believed that Apollo, Bacchus, Dionysos, Sabazius, Hercules, Jason, Ulysses, Zeus, Uranus, and Vulcan partook of either the visible or invisible attributes of the sun. The Norwegians regarded Balder the Beautiful as a solar deity, and Odin is often connected with the celestial orb, especially because of his one eye. Among the Egyptians, Osiris, Ra, Anubis, Hermes, and even the mysterious Ammon himself had points of resemblance with the solar disc. Isis was the mother of the sun, and even Typhon, the Destroyer, was supposed to be a form of solar energy. The Egyptian sun myth finally centered around the person of a mysterious deity called Serapis. The two Central American deities, Tezcatlipoca and Quetzalcoatl, while often associated with the winds, were also undoubtedly solar gods.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The golden ornaments used by the priestcraft of the various world religions are again a subtle reference to the solar energy, as are also the crowns of kings. In ancient times, crowns had a number of points extending outward like the rays of the sun, but modern conventionalism has, in many cases, either removed the points or else bent: them inward, gathered them together, and placed an orb or cross upon the point where they meet. Many of the ancient prophets, philosophers, and dignitaries carried a scepter, the upper end of which bore a representation of the solar globe surrounded by emanating rays. All the kingdoms of earth were but copies of the kingdoms of Heaven, and the kingdoms of Heaven were best symbolized by the solar kingdom, in which the sun was the supreme ruler, the planets his privy council, and all Nature the subjects of his empire.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Samson, the Hebrew hero, as his name implies, is also a solar deity. His fight with the Nubian lion, his battles with the Philistines, who represent the Powers of Darkness, and his memorable feat of carrying off the gates of Gaza, all refer to aspects of solar activity.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The sun, as supreme among the celestial bodies visible to the astronomers of antiquity, was assigned to the highest of the gods and became symbolic of the supreme authority of the Creator Himself. From a deep philosophic consideration of the powers and principles of the sun has come the concept of the Trinity as it is understood in the world today. The tenet of a Triune Divinity is not peculiar to Christian or Mosaic theology, but forms a conspicuous part of the dogma of the greatest religions of both ancient and modern times. The Persians, Hindus, Babylonians, and Egyptians had their Trinities. In every instance these represented the threefold form of one Supreme Intelligence. In modern Masonry, the Deity is symbolized by an equilateral triangle, its three sides representing the primary manifestations of the Eternal One who is Himself represented as a tiny flame, called by the Hebrews Yod (י). Jakob Böhme, the Teutonic mystic, calls the Trinity The Three Witnesses, by means of which the Invisible is made known to the visible, tangible universe.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Many early priests and prophets, both pagan and Christian, were versed in astronomy and astrology; their writings are best understood when read in the light of these ancient sciences. With the growth of man's knowledge of the constitution and periodicity of the heavenly bodies, astronomical principles and terminology were introduced into his religious systems. The tutelary gods were given planetary thrones, the celestial bodies being named after the deities assigned to them. The fixed stars were divided into constellations, and through these constellations wandered the sun and its planets, the latter with their accompanying satellites.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The Druids of Britain and Gaul had a deep knowledge concerning the mysteries of Isis and worshiped her under the symbol of the moon. Godfrey Higgins considers it a mistake to regard Isis as synonymous with the moon. The moon was chosen for Isis because of its dominion over water. The Druids considered the sun to be the father and the moon the mother of all things. By means of these symbols they worshiped Universal Nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The World Virgin is sometimes shown standing between two great pillars--the Jachin and Boaz of Freemasonry--symbolizing the fact that Nature attains productivity by means of polarity. As wisdom personified, Isis stands between the pillars of opposites, demonstrating that understanding is always found at the point of equilibrium and that truth is often crucified between the two thieves of apparent contradiction.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

At one of her ears was the moon and at the other the sun, to indicate that these two were the agent and patient, or father and mother principles of all natural objects; and that Isis, or Nature, makes use of these two luminaries to communicate her powers to the whole empire of animals, vegetables, and minerals. On the back of her neck were the characters of the planets and the signs of the zodiac which assisted the planets in their functions. This signified that the heavenly influences directed the destinies of the principles and sperms of all things, because they were the governors of all sublunary bodies, which they transformed into little worlds made in the image of the greater universe.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The head of Isis is sometimes ornamented with a crown of gold or a garland of olive leaves, as conspicuous marks of her sovereignty as queen of the world and mistress of the entire universe. The crown of gold signifies also the aurific unctuosity or sulphurous fatness of the solar and vital fires which she dispenses to every individual by a continual circulation of the elements, this circulation being symbolized by the musical rattle which she carries in her hand.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Thoth Hermes Trismegistus, the founder of Egyptian learning, the Wise Man of the ancient world, gave to the priests and philosophers of antiquity the secrets which have been preserved to this day in myth and legend. These allegories and emblematic figures conceal the secret formulæ for spiritual, mental, moral, and physical regeneration commonly known as the Mystic Chemistry of the Soul (alchemy). These sublime truths were communicated to the initiates of the Mystery Schools, but were concealed from the profane. The latter, unable to understand the abstract philosophical tenets, worshiped the concrete sculptured idols which were emblematic of these secret truths. The wisdom and secrecy of Egypt are epitomized in the Sphinx, which has preserved its secret from the seekers of a hundred generations. The mysteries of Hermeticism, the great spiritual truths hidden from the world by the ignorance of the world, and the keys of the secret doctrines of the ancient philosophers, are all symbolized by the Virgin Isis. Veiled from head to foot, she reveals her wisdom only to the tried and initiated few who have earned the right to enter her sacred presence, tear from the veiled figure of Nature its shroud of obscurity, and stand face to face with the Divine Reality.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The headdresses of the Egyptians have great symbolic and emblematic importance, for they represent the auric bodies of the superhuman intelligences, and are used in the same way that the nimbus, halo, and aureole are used in Christian religious art.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

At length Isis discovered that the chest had floated to the coast of Byblos. There it had lodged in the branches of a tree, which in a short time miraculously grew up around the box. This so amazed the king of that country that he ordered the tree to be cut down and a pillar made from its trunk to support the roof of his palace. Isis, visiting Byblos, recovered the body of her husband [Osiris], but it was again stolen by Typhon, who cut it into fourteen parts, which he scattered all over the earth. Isis, in despair, began gathering up the severed remains of her husband, but found only thirteen pieces. The fourteenth part (the phallus) she reproduced in gold, for the original had fallen into the river Nile and had been swallowed by a fish.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Plutarch further asserts that the Greeks recognized in Osiris the same person whom they revered under the names of Dionysos and Bacchus.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

In all probability, Osiris represents the third, or material, aspect of solar activity, which by its beneficent influences vitalizes and enlivens the flora and fauna of the earth. Osiris is not the sun, but the sun is symbolic of the vital principle of Nature, which the ancients knew as Osiris. His symbol, therefore, was an opened eye, in honor of the Great Eye of the universe, the sun. Opposed to the active, radiant principle of impregnating fire, hear, and motion was the passive, receptive principle of Nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Several authors have attempted to prove that Isis, Osiris, Typhon, Nephthys, and Aroueris (Thoth, or Mercury) were grandchildren of the great Jewish patriarch Noah by his son Ham. But as the story of Noah and his ark is a cosmic allegory concerning the repopulation of planets at the beginning of each world period, this only makes it less likely that they were historical personages.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

While Le Plongeon may be right, the possible historical queen sinks into insignificance when compared with the allegorical, symbolic World Virgin; and the fact that she appears among so many different races and peoples discredits the theory that she was a historical individual.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

This Egyptian deity [Isis] under many names appears as the principle of natural fecundity among nearly all the religions of the ancient world. She was known as the goddess with ten thousand appellations and was metamorphosed by Christianity into the Virgin Mary, for Isis, although she gave birth to all living things--chief among them the Sun--still remained a virgin, according to the legendary accounts.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

His transcendent learning caused Hermes to be identified with many of the early sages and prophets. In his Ancient Mythology, Bryant writes: "I have mentioned that Cadmus was the same as the Egyptian Thoth; and it is manifest from his being Hermes, and from the invention of letters being attributed to him. " (In the chapter on the theory of Pythagorean Mathematics will be found the table of the original Cadmean letters.) Investigators believe that it was Hermes who was known to the Jews as "Enoch," called by Kenealy the "Second Messenger of God." Hermes was accepted into the mythology of the Greeks, later becoming the Mercury of the Latins. He was revered through the form of the planet Mercury because this body is nearest to the sun: Hermes of all creatures was nearest to God, and became known as the Messenger of the Gods.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

From a consideration of all these ancient and secret rituals it becomes evident that the mystery of the dying god was universal among the illumined and venerated colleges of the sacred teaching. This mystery has been perpetuated in Christianity in the crucifixion and death of the God-man-Jesus the Christ. The secret import of this world tragedy and the Universal Martyr must be rediscovered if Christianity is to reach the heights attained by the pagans in the days of their philosophic supremacy. The myth of the dying god is the key to both universal and individual redemption and regeneration, and those who do not comprehend the true nature of this supreme allegory are not privileged to consider themselves either wise or truly religious.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

In Phrygia there existed a remarkable school of religious philosophy which centered around the life and untimely fate of another Savior-God known as Atys, or Attis, by many considered synonymous with Adonis. This deity was born at midnight on the 24th day of December. Of his death there are two accounts. In one he was gored to death like Adonis; in the other he emasculated himself under a pine tree and there died. His body was taken to a cave by the Great Mother (Cybele), where it remained through the ages without decaying. To the rites of Atys the modern world is indebted for the symbolism of the Christmas tree. Atys imparted his immortality to the tree beneath which he died, and Cybele took the tree with her when she removed the body. Atys remained three days in the tomb, rose upon a date corresponding with Easter morn, and by this resurrection overcame death for all who were initiated into his Mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The Bacchic Rite centers around the allegory of the youthful Bacchus (Dionysos or Zagreus) being torn to pieces by the Titans. These giants accomplished the destruction of Bacchus by causing him to become fascinated by his own image in a mirror. After dismembering him, the Titans first boiled the pieces in water and afterwards roasted them. Pallas rescued the heart of the murdered god, and by this precaution Bacchus (Dionysos) was enabled to spring forth again in all his former glory. Jupiter, the Demiurgus, beholding the crime of the Titans, hurled his thunderbolts and slew them, burning their bodies to ashes with heavenly fire. Our of the ashes of the Titans--which also contained a portion of the flesh of Bacchus, whose body they had partly devoured--the human race was created. Thus the mundane life of every man was said to contain a portion of the Bacchic life...

...Man is a composite creature, his lower nature consisting of the fragments of the Titans and his higher nature the sacred, immortal flesh (life) of Bacchus. Therefore man is capable of either a Titanic (irrational) or a Bacchic (rational) existence. The Titans of Hesiod, who were twelve in number, are probably analogous to the celestial zodiac, whereas the Titans who murdered and dismembered Bacchus represent the zodiacal powers distorted by their involvement in the material world. Thus Bacchus represents the sun who is dismembered by the signs of the zodiac and from whose body the universe is formed. When the terrestrial forms were created from the various parts of his body the sense of wholeness was lost and the sense of separateness established. The heart of Bacchus, which was saved by Pallas, or Minerva, was lifted out of the four elements symbolized by his dismembered body and placed in the ether. The heart of Bacchus is the immortal center of the rational soul.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Ceres appeared before Pluto, god of the souls of the dead, and pleaded with him to allow Persephone to return to her home. This the god at first refused to do, because Persephone had eaten of the pomegranate, the fruit of mortality. At last, however, he compromised and agreed to permit Persephone to live in the upper world half of the year if she would stay with him in the darkness of Hades for the remaining half.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Pluto, the lord of the underworld, represents the body intelligence of man; and the rape of Persephone is symbolic of the divine nature assaulted and defiled by the animal soul and dragged downward into the somber darkness of Hades, which is here used as a synonym for the material, or objective, sphere of consciousness.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The soul of man--often called Psyche, and in the Eleusinian Mysteries symbolized by Persephone--is essentially a spiritual thing. Its true home is in the higher worlds, where, free from the bondage of material form and material concepts, it is said to be truly alive and self-expressive. The human, or physical, nature of man, according to this doctrine, is a tomb, a quagmire, a false and impermanent thing, the source of all sorrow and suffering. Plato describes the body as the sepulcher of the soul; and by this he means not only the human form but also the human nature.

The gloom and depression of the Lesser Mysteries represented the agony of the spiritual soul unable to express itself because it has accepted the limitations and illusions of the human environment. The crux of the Eleusinian argument was that man is neither better nor wiser after death than during life. If he does not rise above ignorance during his sojourn here, man goes at death into eternity to wander about forever, making the same mistakes which he made here. If he does not outgrow the desire for material possessions here, he will carry it with him into the invisible world, where, because he can never gratify the desire, he will continue in endless agony...

...Those who made no endeavor to improve themselves (whose souls have slept) during their physical lives, passed at death into Hades, where, lying in rows, they slept through all eternity as they had slept through life.

To the Eleusinian philosophers, birch into the physical world was death in the fullest sense of the word, and the only true birth was that of the spiritual soul of man rising out of the womb of his own fleshly nature.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The Lesser Mysteries were dedicated to Persephone. In his Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries, Thomas Taylor sums up their purpose as follows: "The Lesser Mysteries were designed by the ancient theologists, their founders, to signify occultly the condition of the unpurified soul invested with an earthy body, and enveloped in a material and physical nature."

The legend used in the Lesser rites is that of the abduction of the goddess Persephone, the daughter of Ceres, by Pluto, the lord of the underworld, or Hades. While Persephone is picking flowers in a beautiful meadow, the earth suddenly opens and the gloomy lord of death, riding in a magnificent chariot, emerges from its somber depths and, grasping her in his arms, carries the screaming and struggling goddess to his subterranean palace, where he forces her to become his queen.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

After Odin had established order, he caused a wonderful palace, called Asgard, to be built on the top of a mountain, and here the twelve Æsir (gods) dwelt together, far above the limitations of mortal men. On this mountain also was Valhalla, the palace of the slain, where those who had heroically died fought and feasted day after day. Each night their wounds were healed and the boar whose flesh they ate renewed itself as rapidly as it was consumed.

Balder the Beautiful--the Scandinavian Christ--was the beloved son of Odin. Balder was not warlike; his kindly and beautiful spirit brought peace and joy to the hearts of the gods, and they all loved him save one. As Jesus had a Judas among His twelve disciples, so one of the twelve gods was false--Loki, the personification of evil.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

The Gnostics divided humanity into three parts: those who, as savages, worshiped only the visible Nature; those who, like the Jews, worshiped the Demiurgus; and lastly, themselves, or others of a similar cult, including certain sects of Christians, who worshiped Nous (Christ) and the true spiritual light of the higher Æons.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

To the Gnostics, the Christ was the personification of Nous, the Divine Mind, and emanated from the higher spiritual Æons. He descended into the body of Jesus at the baptism and left it again before the crucifixion. The Gnostics declared that the Christ was not crucified, as this Divine Nous could not suffer death, but that Simon, the Cyrenian, offered his life instead and that the Nous, by means of its power, caused Simon to resemble Jesus.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Some Gnostics were of the opinion that the Jewish God, Jehovah, was the Demiurgus. This concept, under a slightly different name, apparently influenced mediæval Rosicrucianism, which viewed Jehovah as the Lord of the material universe rather than as the Supreme Deity.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Throughout the entire ritual were repeated references to the birth of Mithras as the Sun God, his sacrifice for man, his death that men might have eternal life, and lastly, his resurrection and the saving of all humanity by his intercession before the throne of Ormuzd.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Sun worship played an important part in nearly all the early pagan Mysteries. This indicates the probability of their Atlantean origin, for the people of Atlantis were sun worshipers. The Solar Deity was usually personified as a beautiful youth, with long golden hair to symbolize the rays of the sun.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Modern science has proved that forms ranging in magnitude from solar systems to atoms are composed of positive, radiant nuclei surrounded by negative bodies that exist upon the emanations of the central life. From this allegory we have the story of Solomon and his wives, for Solomon is the sun and his wives and concubines are the planets, moons, asteroids, and other receptive bodies within his house--the solar mansion. Isis, represented in the Song of Solomon by the dark maid of Jerusalem, is symbolic of receptive Nature--the watery, maternal principle which creates all things out of herself after impregnation has been achieved by the virility of the sun.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of all Ages</cite>

Faced with the death penalty for high treason, courageous men debated long before they picked up the quill pen to sign the parchment that declared the independence of the colonies from the mother country. For many hours they had debated in the State House at Philadelphia, with the lower chamber doors locked and a guard posted--when suddenly a voice rang out from the balcony. A burst of eloquence to the keynote, "God has given America to be free!" ended with the delegates rushing forward to sign. ... The American patriots then turned to express their gratitude to the unknown speaker. The speaker was not in the balcony; he was not to be found anywhere. How he entered and left the locked and guarded room is not known. No one knows to this day who he was.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Destiny of America</cite>

The early Church, patterned after pagan Mysteries, sought for a little time to perpetuate the arcana, but such a procedure would doom the Church to a humble and obscure existence, ministering only to a devout and dedicated few. The bishops of the Church were mortal men instinctively desiring power and authority, and they sacrificed the spiritual doctrines of Christianity to temporal ambitions. The majority of mankind neither desires to improve itself nor to support an organization which demands a high degree of integrity. The outer body of the Church increased to the degree that the standards of Christian living were lowered, until at last, promising everything and demanding only temporal support, the Church gained temporal power at the expense of spiritual authority. It is for this reason particularly that the Christian thinker must never confuse the Jesus of Nazareth with the Christ of the modern church. Nor must the Christian thinker permit the clergy to interpret for him spiritual matters of which the clergy itself is ignorant.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Twelve World Teachers</cite>

It was the honest conviction of the Patristic Fathers that the deeper mysteries of Christian dispensation were beyond the understanding of the laity. In order, therefore, not to 'cast pearls before swine,' they devised a cycle of fables which have come to be accepted as literal historical facts. From various causes the same general condition has arisen in most religions. Spiritual matters can not be understood by those not spiritually enlightened. Again, enlightenment can not be bestowed; it must be evolved. To be serviceable, a religion must be comprehensible to the mass of its followers. The result is inevitably a compromise with truth. In serving the uninformed many, theology leaves the enlightened few without adequate spiritual food.

Manly P Hall / <cite>How to Understand Your Bible: A Philosopher&#039;s Interpretation of Obscure and Puzzling Passages</cite>

By this it is understood that the animal excesses of man build, on the lower planes of the astral world, strange creatures, some resembling debased human beings, and others shaped like animals, lizards, snakes, and other reptiles. The power of the black magician lies in his ability to direct these soulless creatures, which, while not in reality individualized things, still have tremendous power over their own essences, both in the body of nature and of individuals.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

We must disabuse our minds of the idea that the black magician cannot injure us because we are in the right, or that he is weak because he is evil. This is a foolish concept, taught to prevent man from strengthening himself, and is propaganda of the black path itself. It is just as foolish as to say that if a prize fighter were boxing a baby, the baby would win the fight because he had no ulterior motive, or because his soul is undefiled. Thousands of people have not enough ambition to develop the necessary strength. In fact, they do not even know that their soul is worth saving. They are living honestly, they are good Christian people, but so purely negative that they are positively advertising the fact that they are easy marks for anyone desiring to avail himself of the opportunity. They are not black themselves, but they are the type that helps to make possible the perpetuation of black magic.

Manly P Hall / <cite>Magic: A Treatise on Esoteric Ethics</cite>

In the year 1803, Thomas Jefferson cut from the pages of the New Testament such verses as presented the ethical teachings of Jesus concisely and in what he considered to be the proper sequence. The labor was not for his own use alone, but for the benefit of Indian tribes unable to understand the numerous complications of the Scriptures.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Bible, the Story of a Book</cite>

As power is given to man commensurate to his wisdom and understanding, it is not safe at the present time to reveal to the world at large the methods whereby entrance to the invisible world is possible. If this knowledge were given to selfish people unprepared for their responsibility, they would be able to destroy the universe, either through perversion or ignorance. In order to protect this sacred wisdom obstacles have been placed in the way of its attainment which only the sincere and courageous would be strong enough to overcome. Years of service, self-purification and self-mastery must be passed through before any candidate will be admitted to the path of wisdom.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

In the remote past the gods walked with men and while the instructors from the invisible planes of Nature were still laboring with the infant humanity of this planet, they chose from among the sons of men the wisest and the truest. These they labored with, preparing them to carry on the work of the gods after the spiritual hierarchies themselves had withdrawn into the invisible worlds. With these specially ordained and illumined sons they left the keys of their great wisdom, which was the knowledge of good and evil. They ordained these anointed and appointed ones to be priests or mediators between themselves (the gods) and that humanity which had not yet developed the eyes which permitted them to gaze into the face of Truth and live.

Overshadowed by the divine prerogative, these illumined ones, founded what we now know as the Ancient Mysteries.

Manly P Hall / <cite>What the Ancient Wisdom Expects of Its Disciples</cite>

WHEN confronted with a problem involving the use of the reasoning faculties, individuals of strong intellect keep their poise, and seek to reach a solution by obtaining facts bearing upon the question. Those of immature mentality, on the other hand, when similarly confronted, are overwhelmed. While the former may be qualified to solve the riddle of their own destiny, the latter must be led like a flock of sheep and taught in simple language. They depend almost entirely upon the ministrations of the shepherd. The Apostle Paul said that these little ones must be fed with milk, but that meat is the food of strong men. Thoughtlessness is almost synonymous with childishness, while thoughtfulness is symbolic of maturity.

There are, however, but few mature minds in the world; and thus it was that the philosophic-religious doctrines of the pagans were divided to meet the needs of these two fundamental groups of human intellect--one philosophic, the other incapable of appreciating the deeper mysteries of life. To the discerning few were revealed the esoteric, or spiritual, teachings, while the unqualified many received only the literal, or exoteric, interpretations. In order to make simple the great truths of Nature and the abstract principles of natural law, the vital forces of the universe were personified, becoming the gods and goddesses of the ancient mythologies. While the ignorant multitudes brought their offerings to the altars of Priapus and Pan (deities representing the procreative energies), the wise recognized in these marble statues only symbolic concretions of great abstract truths.

Manly P Hall / <cite>The Secret Teachings of All Ages</cite>

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