Name and Nature of the Christ.

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 LUCIFER

Vol. 1, October 1887, p135.



ARE THE TEACHINGS ASCRIBED TO JESUS CONTRADICTORY?

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THERE are none so blind as those who won't see, excepting those who can't!

    In Light, for September 10th, there is a letter from Dr. Wyld, who writes as follows: "In the last number of Light there is a quotation from the Spiritual Reformer in which the writer shows the absurdity of the idea that Jesus was not an historic being.  But while thanking the writer for this contribution, I would take the strongest objection to his assertion that many of Christ's teachings are contradictory and mistaken.  This is an assertion occasionally made by Spiritualists, and whenever I have met with it I have asked for evidence of the assertion, but hitherto I have received none.

    But that might surely have been easily supplied.  Here, for example, are a few very direct contradictions in the speaker's own words.  Every one knows how secret were the teachings in their nature; how secretly they were conveyed in private places apart; how secretly his secrets were to be kept; and yet in presence of the High Priest Jesus makes the astounding declaration: "I have spoken openly to the world; I always taught in synagogues; and in secret spake I nothing."—John xviii. 20.

    Jesus, in keeping with the mythical character, is made to claim equality and identity with the Father.  He says (John x. 30), "I and my Father are one;" but in the same book (John xiv. 28), he says, "The Father is greater than I"—(Cf. Matthew xiv. 36.)  Again, he claims superiority over his Father.  "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.  As I hear I judge" (John v. 22, 30).  And then in the same gospel he says, "I judge no man," (John viii. 15.)  "If any man hear my words and believe not, I judge him not; for I came not to judge the world," (John xii. 47).  Again, "I am one that bear witness of myself.  Though I bear witness of myself, yet my record is true," (John viii. 14, 18); which is contradicted by (John v. 31)  "If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true."  He says (John v. 33, 34) that "John bare witness unto the truth, but I receive not testimony from man," and then tells the disciples, who are supposed to have been men, that "they also shall bear witness" to or of him (John xv. 27).  Again he says, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works," (Matthew v. 16).  But "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men to be seen of them" (Matthew vi. 1).

    "Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn him the other also," (Matthew v. 39); for "all that take the sword, shall perish with the sword," (Matthew xxvi. 52).  Nevertheless, "He that hath no sword let him sell his garment and buy one," (Luke xxii. 36).  "I came not to send Peace but a Sword," (Matthew x. 34).  "Be not afraid of them that kill the body," (Luke xxii. 4).  Nevertheless "Jesus would not walk in Jewry because the Jews sought to kill him," (John vii. 1).

    I merely ask, for the sake of information, are these statements contradictory or are they not?

    I will but offer one or two specimens of the more serious and fundamental contradictions in the olla podrida of teaching assigned to Jesus.  The teaching of the alleged founder of Christianity in the Gospel according to Matthew (ch. xix. 12), is that of the Saboi, the self-mutilators, who are still extant as the Russian Skoptsi [NOTE] and who emasculate themselves to save their spermatic souls as Origen is reputed to have done.  Jesus is made to say, "There are Eunuchs which made themselves Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."  And then in the opening verses of the very next chapter, the same teacher says, "Suffer little children and forbid theme not, to come unto me; for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven."  But those who became Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven's sake could not be suffering the little children to come unto him or to them.  They would be forbidding them to come at all.  If the Kingdom of Heaven be such as the children of Eunuchs it must be non-extant.  As Hood's deaf shopman said of the crackers going off, there were so many reports he did not know which to believe.

    And where is the sense of talking so much nonsense about the "Golden Rule " or the Divine humanity on behalf of one who carried on the blindest warfare against human nature itself?  Who declared that "If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers ands sisters, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke xiv. 26).  And who promised that every follower of his who "left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the Kingdom of God's sake should receive manifold more in the present and in the world to come life everlasting."  Well may the crateful Musselman cry in his adorations, "Thank God OUR Father has no Son!"

    But, I do not charge these contradictory sayings and teachings to any personal character.  The collectors are but making use of the Kurios, the Lord of the pre-Christian Mythos, the mystical Christ of the Gnostics, as a puppet to represent them and their divers doctrines.  They make the human image of a God of Love to be the preacher of everlasting punishment, and the bearer of a fan with which he fans the fires of hell; a false foreteller of that which never came to pass, and the forerunner of a fulfilment which did not follow.  In short, they make this Marionette Messiah dance to any particular tune they play.

    Jesus is posed as the original revealer of a father in Heaven, whereas the doctrine of the Divine Fatherhood was taught in three different Egyptian Cults during some four thousand years previously.

    Dr. Wyld implies that I deny the existence of a personal Jesus.  That is the misrepresentation of ignorance.  But the sole historical Jesus acknowledged by me is the only one who was ever known to the Jews, to Celsus, to Epiphanies, as the descendant of JOSEPH Pandira, he, who according to Irenæ]us, lived to be over fifty years of age.

    This, I admit, was not the kind of Jesus whom the Christians find in the Gospels and honour as a God.

    The Gospel histories do not contain the biography of Ben-Pandira, the son of Joseph.  Nor was it intended that they should.  Their Jesus is the mythical Christ, the Horus of 12 years, and the adult Horus of 3o years; the Lord of the age, Æon or Cycle, who came and went, and was to come again for those who possessed the Gnosis.

    Another writer in Light, a week earlier, could not understand how any one can deny the personal existence of the "Historical Christ!"

    The Historical Christ!  You might as well demand our belief in the historical Chronos—Time, in person—or the historical Ghost, in man or out of him.  If the writer knew anything of the pre-Christian Spiritualism—anything of the true nature or even the meaning of the name—he would perceive the Historic Impossibility of the personal Christ.  An "Historical Christ" is as much a nonentity as the historical Mrs. Harris.  But, cui bono?  I have no hope in these matters of any orthodox Christian Spiritualists.  They have to learn the primary lesson, at last, that Historic Christianity was not founded on our facts until it has buried them!  That it was the negation of Gnosticism, the antithesis of phenomenal Spiritualism.  That it substituted faith for facts; a physical resurrection for a spiritual continuity, and a corporeal Christ for the trans-corporeal man.

    The Christian Revelation leaves no room for modern Spiritualism, and they are logically, truly Christians who reject it!  It recognises no other rising again except at the last day, and then only for the few who believed in Jesus (John vi. 40).  The Christians have no other world but one at the end of this; no other spirits extant excepting their physical Christ and the devil.

    People who will see nothing contradictory in direct opposites, no difference betwixt black and white, but rather the necessary duality of antiphonal truth, who can accept a misinterpretation of mythology for the Word of God, are of little account as witnesses for Spiritualism.  They who tell a story about the whale swallowing Jonah are not likely to be credited when they come with another that looks very like Jonah swallowing the whale.  Professed believers in the literal truth of the Gospel fables are of necessity "Suspects" as witnesses for abnormal and extraordinary facts.

    Pointing to his antagonist on the platform, O'Connel once enquired of his audience, "Can ye believe a single word that a gentleman says who wears a waistcoat of that colour?"  It was yellow, and they couldn't.

    What is the use of taking your "Bible oath" that this thing is true, if the Book you are sworn upon is a magazine of falsehoods already exploded or just going off?

    Moreover, the Christian Priesthood has been preaching through all these centuries that the dead do not return; and the living have believed them.

    Dr. Sprenger has calculated that nine million persons have been put to death as Witches, Wizards, or Mediums, since 1484, when Pope Innocent VIII. issued his Bull against Spiritualism and all its practices, which were considered to be the works of the devil.

    Besides, if the Christian scheme of damnation be true, as assigned to the teaching of Jesus, no humane person should want to know that there is any hereafter.

    Spiritualism can make no headway where it has to draw after it this dead weight of a tail.

    Christian Spiritualism also ostentatiously proclaims that it has nothing in the world to do with "Woman's Rights," "Vaccination," or any such merely human interests.  It would seek to create an interest in another life, whilst ignoring the vital interests of this.  But that is to sign its own death warrant and to seal its own speedy doom.  This is to repeat the mistake and follow the failure of the Christian system of saving souls for another life whilst allowing them to be damned in this.  At the same time, it would drag Spiritualism into the bankrupt business of Historic Christianity and bind up a third testament to save the other two, as a sort of Trinity in Unity.  But as a system of thought of religion, or morals and a mode of interpreting nature, Historic Christianity is moribund and cannot be saved, or resuscitated by transfusion of new blood into it; not if you bled Spiritualism to death in trying to give it a little new life.  They try in vain to make our phenomena guarantee the miracles of mythology as spiritual realities.  They try in vain to tether the other world in this and make it draw for the fraudulent old faith.  They keep on jumping up and down to persuade themselves and others that they are free.  But it is only a question of length of chain, for those who are still fettered fast at foot upon the ancient standing-ground.

    I have not answered the writer in the paper quoted by Light, and approved by Dr. Wyld, for the reason that his acquaintance with my data was too limited to make discussion profitable or useful.  Those data are already presented in accessible books and pamphlets, and there is no need for me to repeat them is reply to him.  Those who undertake to write on so perplexing a subject ought to be able to illuminate it and enlighten their opponents.  The problems are not to be solved by any amount of personal simplicity.  I am always ready to meet any competent and well-informed defender of the faith upon the platform or in the press.  I should prefer it to be a bishop, who is also an Egyptologist.  But beggars are not allowed to be choosers.  I am prepared at any time to demonstrate the entirely mythical and mystical origin of the Christ, and the non-spiritual, non-historical beginnings of the vast complex called Christianity.

GERALD MASSEY.

 
* Of whom there are large colonies along the Black Sea and the coast of Imeretia and Poti.



[Any "Bishop Egyptologist," or even Assyriologist, of whom we have heard there are not a few in England, is cordially invited to defend his position in the pages of LUCIFER.  The "Son of the Morning" is the Light-Bearer, and welcomes light from every quarter of the globe.—ED.]

[N
OTE.—As Lucifer cannot concur in the exclusively exoteric view, taken by Mr. Massey, of this allegorical, though none the less philosophical, scripture, the next number will contain an article dealing with the esoteric meaning of the New Testament.—ED.]

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THE AGNOSTIC ANNUAL
1888.


THE NAME AND NATURE OF THE CHRIST.

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HAVING stated in my lecture on "The Historical Jesus and the Mythical Christ" that the Egyptian hieroglyphics were never read by the Greeks or Romans, I have been challenged to show how the Mythos, which was shrouded in a dead language, could, in its astronomical and mystical phases, have been reproduced in Greece and Rome if, as I have asserted, the Greeks and Romans did not read the hieroglyphics.

    My answer is that the Mythos and the gnosis of its doctrines were carried out of Egypt into Persia or Chaldea, Palestine, Greece, and Rome by the underground passage of the Mysteries, which were continued as Essenic, Mithraic, Hellenist, and Christian, by all who were initiated knowers belonging to the various societies and sects of the Gnostics; for, whatsoever the race or religion, they were all Gnostics, as the masters of those who knew.  It is to Egypt we must turn for our anchorage in fundamental facts, and to the Gnostics for a true interpretation of the facts which have been falsified to become the basis of historic Christianity.  This is our one way of getting at the origin of the Christ by nature and by name.  The historic representation was mythical and mystical before it was made historical.

    The Christ was pre-extant as a typical teacher, the Word of Truth, Logos, or Manifestor of the divine nature in humanity; but this was not in any one particular personality.  The humanisers of the Mythos set up that personality as Jesus the Christ, and then attributed to him the sayings and parables and the mythical miracles that were also pre-extant.

    The Gnosis had three phases—astronomical, spiritual, and doctrinal, and all three can be identified with the Christ of Egypt.  In the astronomical phase the constellation Orion is called the Sahu, or mummy.  The soul of Horus was represented as rising from the dead and ascending to heaven in the stars of Orion.  The mummy-image was the preserved one, the saved, therefore a portrait of the Saviour, as a type of immortality.  This was the figure of a dead man, which, as Plutarch and Herodotus tell us, was carried round at an Egyptian banquet when the guests were invited to look on it and eat and drink and be happy, because, when they died, they would become what the image symbolised—that is, they also would he immortal!  This type of immortality was called the Karest, or Karust, and it was the Egyptian Christ.  To Kares means to embalm, anoint, to make the Mummy as a type of the eternal; and, when made, it was called the Karest; so that this is not merely a matter of name for name, the Karest for the Christ.

    We are able to get beyond a Greek word signifying the anointed, or greased; we can here identify a determinative in the domain of things.

    This image of the Karest was bound up in a woof without a seam, the proper vesture of the Christ!  No matter what the length of the bandage might be, and some of the mummy-swathes have been unwound that were 1,000 yards in length, the woof was from beginning to end without a seam.  The god Osiris or Horus is made into the Karest as preparer of the way for the souls in the underworld, that "All the dead should have passages made to him through his embalment" (Rit. Ch., 162)—that is, through his being the mythical and typical Christ: in one aspect the sun of the resurrection at Easter.  Now, this seamless robe of the Egyptian Karest is a very tell-tale type of the mystical Christ, who becomes historic in the Gospels as the wearer of a coat or chiton, made without a seam, which neither the Greek nor the Hebrew fully explains, but which is explained by the Eyptian Ketu for the woof, and by the seamless robe or swathing without seam that was made for eternal wear and worn by the Mummy-Christ, the image of immortality in the tombs of Egypt.

    When the woman anoints Jesus with an alabaster cruise of very costly spikenard, and the disciples murmur at the waste, he says: "She hath wrought a good work; she hath anointed my body aforehand for the burying"—or, she did it to prepare me for burial.  A mode of making the Mummy-Christ beforehand!  Further, Jesus is put to death in accordance with the instructions given for making the Karest.  Not a bone must be broken.  The true Karest must be perfect in every member.  "This is he who comes out sound; whom men know not is his name."

    In the Gospels Jesus rises again with every member sound, like the perfectly-preserved Karest, to demonstrate the physical resurrection of the mummy.  But, in the Egyptian original, the mummy transforms.  The deceased says: "I am spiritualised.  I am become a soul.  I rise as a God."  This transformation into the spiritual image, the Ka, has been omitted in the Gospel, and, as a result, the Christian Christ is neither physical nor spiritual; the Gnostic types having been continued without the Gnosis.

    Not only is Jesus, the Canonical Christ, represented by the mummy-image, he is also described in "The History of Joseph the Carpenter" as ordering the old man to he mummified.  No worm or smell of death is to proceed from his body.  Not a bone of it is to be broken; not a hair is to be changed; no part of it is to perish; mummy-like, it is to remain entire and uncorrupted until the Banquet of a thousand years.  And when they came where the body was laid, and brought the mourning garments to wrap the corpse in, according to the Jewish mode of burial, they found that Joseph held his shroud as if it were fastened; for so did it adhere to his body that, when they desired to take it off, it was immovable and inseparable.  Nor could they find any edges in the shroud (ch. 27).  He also was bound up in the seamless robe of the mummy.

    My contention, or rather explanation, is that the author of the Christian name is the Mummy-Christ of Egypt, called the Karest, which was a type of the immortal spirit in man, the Christ within (as Paul has it), the divine offspring incarnated, the Logos, the Word of Truth, the Makheru of Egypt.  It did not originate as a mere type!  The preserved mummy was the dead body of any one that was Karest, or mummified, to be kept by the living ; and, through constant repetition, this became a type of the resurrection from (not of!) the dead.

    The corpse of the Hottentot anointed with ochre, or that of the Red Indian painted thick with the trader's vermillion, or even the doll carried by the Chippewa Widow to represent her dead husband, is a type of the preserved deceased, that has the same significance as the Karest, or the Christified Image which preceded the Crucified by thousands of years.

    Not one of the meanings assigned to the Christian name can be traced to the historic character.  The Gnostic form of the name Chrest, or Chrestos, denotes the Good God, not a human original, and from that we derive the Latin Chrestianus, signifying sweetness, goodness, or benignity; an early version of Matthew Arnold's "Sweetness and Light."  The Chrestoi, as the Good people, were pre extant.  Numerous Greek inscriptions show that the departed, the hero, the saintly one—that is, the "Good"—was styled Chrestos, or the Christ; and from this meaning of the "Good" does Justin, the primal apologist, derive the Christian name.  This identifies it with the Gnostic source, and with the "Good God" who revealed himself according to Marcion—that is, the Un-Nefer or Good-opener of the Egyptian theology.

    In the process of setting forth the Christ as an historic character he is made to repudiate this title of the "Good."  "Why callest thou me the good?"  Which exhibits the Christ of the Gnosis in the act of divesting himself of divinity in the course of being humanised.

    The Christ was represented by a figure that was both male and female, as it appears in the Book of Revelation, and is also portrayed in the Christian Iconography.  Cyril of Jerusalem says the Christians call the Anointed One Male-female.  That is the same type of both sexes as the epicene Horus, Venus Barbatus, the horned Astarte, the Assyrian Zikarat, the Male-ess, the masculine goddess Neith, the mummy, and many other representatives of the biune being, the personified spirit of either sex.  It was continued as the Christ of both sexes and the male-female Sophia.  But this type could not be made real in historic personality, except as an hermaphrodite.  The Androgynous Christ, like the Karest, is of necessity non-historic, and a mystical type that can only be explained by the Gnosis, not by the history.  Tertullian tells us that the Christian name was derived from "unction;" in this case, as Miss Dunstable says, "ointment did it."  And in the Clementine Recognitions it is announced that the father anointed his son with "oil that was taken from the wood of the Tree of Life, and from this anointing he is called the Christ;" whence the Christian name.  This again is Egyptian.  Horus was the anointed son of the father.  The mode of anointing him from the Tree of Life, portrayed on the monuments, is very primitive indeed; and the Horus of Egypt was continued in the Gnostic Christ, who is reproduced upon the Gnostic stones as the intermediate link betwixt the Karest and the Christ, also as the Horus of both sexes.

    By means of the Karest type the Christ and the Christians can both he traced in the ancient tombs of Egypt. The mummy was made in this likeness of the Christ. It was the Christ by name, identical with the Chrestoi of the Greek Inscriptions. Thus the honoured dead, who rose again as the followers of Horus-Makheru, the Word of Truth, are found to be the Christians,

on the Egyptian monuments.  Ma-Kheru is the term that is always applied to the faithful ones who win the crown of life and wear it at the festival which is. designated "Come thou to me"—an invitation by Horus the Justifier to those who are the " Blessed ones of his father, Osiris"—they who, having made the Word of Truth the law of their lives, were the justified =

the Christians, on earth.


    The original form of the Christ-name is Chrestos, not Christus.  In Boekh's "Christian Inscriptions," numbering 1287, there is no single instance of an earlier date than the third century wherein the name is not written Chrest or Chreist.  In the time of Lactantius the name was pronounced Chréstus, and he tells us that the change of the word from Chrést to Christ was an ignorant error.  The Latin Chréstiani is still represented by the French Chrétiens, in which the s is abraded.   Chrest, and not Christ, is also the Gnostic form of the name; and the Gnostics were the true Christians, who preserved the types, the doctrines, the hidden wisdom, including the sacred names, in all purity and sanctity.  This spelling of the name as Chrest or Chrést in Latin is supremely important, because it enables me to prove the identity with the Egyptian Karest or Karust, the name of the Christ as the embalmed mummy, which was the image of the resurrection in Egyptian tombs, the type of immortality, the likeness of the Horus, who rose again and made the pathway out of the sepulchre for those who were his disciples or followers.  Moreover, this type of the Karast or Mummy-Christ is reproduced in the catacombs of Rome.  No representation of the supposed historic resurrection of Jesus has been found on any of the early Christian monuments.  But, instead of the missing fact, we find the scene of Lazarus being raised from the dead.  This is depicted over and over again as the typical resurrection where there is no real one!  The scene is not exactly in accordance with the rising from the grave in the Gospel.  It is purely Egyptian, and Lazarus is an Egyptian mummy!  Thus Lazarus, in each representation, is the mummy-type of the resurrection; Lazarus is the Karest, who was the Egyptian Christ, and who is reproduced by Gnostic art in the Catacombs of Rome as a form of the Gnostic Christ, who was not and could not become an historical character.

    Further, as the thing is Egyptian, it is probable that the name is derived from Egyptian.  If so, Laz (equal to Ras) means to be raised up, while aru is the mummy by name.  With the Greek terminal s this becomes Lazarus.  In the course of humanising the mythos the typical representation of the resurrection found in the tombs of Rome and Egypt would become the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.  This Karast type of the Christ in the Catacombs is not limited to Lazarus.

    In a fifth century representation of the Madonna and child from the cemetery of St. Valentinus, the new-born babe lying in a box or crib is also the Karest, or mummy-type, further identified as the divine babe of the solar mythos by the disk of the sun and the cross of the equinox at the back of the infant's head.  Thus the child-Christ of the historic faith is born, and visibly begins in the Karest image of the dead Christ, which was the mummy-type of the resurrection in Egypt for thousands of years before the Christian era.  This doubles the proof that the Christ of the Christian Catacombs was a survival of the Karest of Egypt.

    Moreover, as Didron shows, there was a portrait of the Christ who had his body painted red!  It was a popular tradition that the Christ was of a red complexion.  This, too, may be explained as a survival of the Mummy-Christ.  It was an aboriginal mode of rendering things tapu by colouring them red.  The dead corpse was coated with red ochre—a very primitive mode of making the mummy, or the anointed one.  Thus the God Ptah tells Rameses II. that he has "re-fashioned his flesh in vermillion."  Besides which, the Initiated in the Greek mysteries were daubed or anointed with clay (Demosthenes, "De Corona," 313).  This anointing with red ochre is called Kura by the Maori, who likewise made the Karest or Christ.

    We see the mummy-image continued on another line of descent when we learn that, among other pernicious heresies and deadly sins with which the Knights Templars were charged, was the impious custom of adoring a Mummy that had red eyes.  Their Idol, called Baphomet, is also thought to have been a mummy.

    The ground-root of a really religious feeling was first planted with the buried dead.  It was the departed who opened the door of another life and left it just ajar for those who remained behind.   This is continually the case with us in our own individual lives, and such was the common experience in the remotest past.   By this root in the grave the dead communicated with the living.   Hence the first holy places were made sacred to the living by the dead.   The earliest sanctuaries of the living were the resting-places of the dead.   The primary cause of settling down to the work of civilisation was the clinging to, and being clung to by, the dead.   The primal ownership of land was invested in the dead.   The tomb was the first temple, and the temple was at the centre, the heart, of future cities.  The grave-stone was the primitive altar, the sarcophagus the first communion table.   The Mummy was the earliest human image of the Christ.

    I do not doubt that the ancient Roman festivals called the Charistia were connected in their origin with the Karest and the Eucharist as a celebration in honour of the manes of their departed kith and kin, for whose sakes they became reconciled at the friendly gathering once a year.

    It is here, then, we have to seek the essential connection between the Egyptian Christ, the Christians, and the Roman Catacombs.  These Christian Mysteries, ignorantly explained to be inexplicable, can be explained by Gnosticism and Mythology, but in no other way.  It is not that they are insoluble by human reason, as their incompetent, howsoever highly paid, expounders now-a-days pretend.  That is but the puerile apology of the unqualified for their own helpless ignorance—they who have never been in possession of the gnosis or science of the Mysteries by which alone these things can be explained in accordance with their natural genesis.  In Egypt only can we read the matter to the root, or identify the origin of the Christ by nature and by name, to find at last that the Christ was the Mummy-type, and that our Christology is mummified mythology.

GERALD MASSEY.


[Since the foregoing was written Mr. Massey has forwarded the following note.—As I am desirous of getting within striking distance of the historic Christians, you are at liberty to do all you can in challenging a reply to my article on 'The Nature of the Christ' from the Bench of Bishops, Revisors, Egyptologists, or other defenders of the historic faith."]


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