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ZIONISTS, THE, AS ANTI-MASONS.
In the nature of things, foes, enemies, critics, opponents must arise against a Fraternity which continues to work through the centuries, in country after country; which uncompromisingly adheres to the same principles and ideals whether wars come or nations go, and which as yet has never retreated from its own position. Prince Metternich, founder of the Holy Alliance, against which President Monroe pronounced his doctrine (he and Canning with whom he collaborated were both Masons), dictator of Europe and Russia for a generation, was an active Anti-Mason, perhaps the most powerful and successful of Anti-Masons in history, far more than the fuzzy-minded but popular Pope Leo III. Metternich was a foeman worthy of the Fraternity's steel. But other Anti-Masons since then have not been enemies of which Masons can be proud. They form a gallery of men whorn it has been always difficult to take seriously:
Professor Robison, so innocent-minded that it was not until he had published his book to prove Masons to be corrupt criminal conspirators that it occurred to him—for he was absent-minded in the many senses of the phrase—that the majority of his own colleagues and best friends were Masons; but he was sorry too late. The ineffable Abbe Barruel, so proud of the fact that he had learned how to read. The poor, wobbly Rev. Jedediah Morse. a parson in search of an audience. Boss Tweed. William Morgan. Thaddeus Stevens. Leo Taxil. Benito Mussolini. Adolf Hitler. Brigham"Young. Etc.
In order that Masonic history should not be cheated of one of its most diverting chapters the name of Alexander Dowie should not be omitted from that gallery, nor his Church, or Sect, or religion, called Zionism, which, for some twenty years has financed itself by a baseball team of professional players wearing full beards. Dowie pronounced the doom of Freemasonry many times, and summoned his followers to make war upon it.
His successor in the office of Prophet, Wilbur Glenn Voliva, officially condemned Free-Masonry, tobacco, and pork in the same encyclical. When the latter, speaking from his vatican at Zion City, issued his official pronouncement that the earth is flat he took the opportunity also to declare his purpose to obliterate Masonry, and along with it the Order of the Eastern Star, and declared it his intention to do it at once.
ZOROASTRIANISM AND THE ZENDAVESTA.
To historians of Iranian (Persian) religion, Zoroaster has affrays been a captive balloon, pulling at its anchorage, and striving to escape into the air.
Was Zoroaster a man, or was it a religious cult called by that name? The question is not easy to answer. In the early portions of the Avesta are evidences of an historical individual—a certain sense of actuality in them. a firmness of outline testify that some flesh-andblood man had passed by, if not Zoroaster then another. But there is no date, no place, no family, no city. Later portions of the As a aceredit to that unknown man attributes which even in a land of divine rulers could have belonged only to Deity, and thereby destroy the definiteness of the earlier outline. Hermippus guessed that Zoroaster had lived 5000 years before the Trojan War—a safe guess to make since it could not be disproved but also a wild one since Hermippus did not even know the date of the Trojan War. or even if it had ever been anything more than a legend. Aristotle, who was always hard headed, and what Moderns call "realistic," guessed as wildly as any poet by putting Zoroaster's date as 6000 years before Plato—this would place Zoroaster 8500 years ago, 2,500 years before the creation of tile world according to Archbishop Usher's Calendar Modern specialists, of whom our Bro A V W Jackson is a leader, are far more modest; they estimate the date to have been about 1000 B-C-, which would have made Zoroaster roughly contemporaneous with David and Solomon. Freemasons may hope that this modest date will remain fixed, because they will find a certain poetry in the thought that Zoroaster was tramping about Bactria founding a new religion in the very years when Solomon was building his Temple in Jerusalem.
The most erudite scholars become mixed up by ancient Iran; they are not to be blamed because the aneient Iranians were mixed up about themselves, and left behind as wild and woolly and confusing a collection of records, tales, traditions, and legends as only an ancient people could have done. It appears to be established fact, however, that Bactria vsas it province or area in the eastern part of what in general was called Iran; that its capital was then named Bactra, but in later times was called Balkh; and that it was in this region that Zoroaster, or, if he was not a man then the cult by that namers had its origin. From there, though slowly, it spread over the whole of Iran; afterwards became the official religion of one of the Empires of Iran; and from that empire made its way across the Near Easte and thence to Greece and Rome, undergoing many reincarnations by the way; and ultimately, as will be shown, left behind it a set of theological doctrines which have been preserved until this day. The great Mystery Cult called Mithraism, and the great religious sect called Manicheism, were two of those reincarnations; had it not been for the Zoroastrianism set up in Baetria about 1,000 B.C. neither they nor their numerous theological heirs and assigns would ever have appeared.
The period between 1,000 B.C. and 500 B.C. (roughly) was fruitful for the founding of religions. The Founders were in each instance, and necessarily, highly individual, idiosyncratic, independent, and for that reason followed no pattern, therefore it is impossible to generalize about them; they did, however, have one or two points in common, and even through the thickened air of three millennia it is not impossible to see those points clearly. It is probable that in the earliest beginnings the activities of the members of a people or a tribe, and of the men in each of the callings, crafts, or trades, followed a routine of work and custom; and that this routine in time separated from the daily practices, and was carried on for its own sake. This resulted in a mosaic of small cults of many sorts, each one locally rooted; and they therefore stood in the way of anv general political or theological unity. lichen the time came to have a general unity, some outstanding great man, or some exceptionally intelligent local cult, reached out for what the many local cults had in common, this became the basis for a religion, and in the course of time the religion absorbed the local cults and oftentimes this religion became the official religion of a government or an empire, and thus in the end became a State Church.
This is the pattern which emerges from the story of Zoroastrianism, insofar as that story is now known. Far behind 1,000 B-C- there were marly local Iranian cults, with their local sacred places, their local citizenpriests, etc.; as long as they remained stubbornly local no national Iranian state was possible. It was the achievement of Zoroaster, or if no such man lived then of a cult by that name, to find a general theological formula which could absorb the cults, and thereby pave the way for a strong, central government. The theology of ancient Zoroastrianism may be thus defined as "the theological calculus of a large number of local Iranian cults." This explains the famous "paradox of the Avesta," which was: why do the Avestas both appeal to a religion before Zoroaster and yet at the same time appeal to Zoroaster as against that old religion? It was because there actually had been an old religion, and because it was that old religion out of which Zoroaster made his new religion. He was at one stroke the preserver and the reformer of that old religion.
There is a very curious fact about the primitive stage of the Ancient Religions which has always attracted the attention of Masonic scholars because it has a possible bearing on one of the most obscure passages in the Ritual (in the Rite of Discalceation). That fact is apropos here not only for that reason but also because it illuminates one of the central doctrines of the old Zoroastrianism. It is, to repeat, a curious fact, and it is curiously difficult to deal with it faithfully in an encyclopedia paragraph. The following is a tentative and experimental account of it, not to be taken too literally, or pressed too hard:
In general and on the whole, work in primitive times fell into two large categories, with many deep and apparently unreconcilable differences between them. There were the trades, callings, crafty and arts of the country, consisting of sheep-herding, cattle-herding, grain and fruit growing, the growing of textiles, lumbering, etc. There were the trades, callings, crafts, and arts of the city or town, consisting principally of metal-working in its many forrns, and also of tailoring, architectures woodworking, the plastic arts, etc. Coincidentally with a conflict between these two spheres of work there always went on (in general) also a political, economic, and mititary conflict between town and country. The universal symbol of the town crafts was the metalworker, of the country, was the keeper of flocks.. ( Vide the story of Cain and Abel.) For ages there was conflict between the two, and more than one stratum in primitive history exhibits a fear (or dislike) of metals on the one hand, and a corresponding boasting of artisans on the other that the gods themselves were fathers of their arts. This conflict was apparently large and the issues sharply drawn, among the local cults out of which Zoroastrianism wars formed, and it probably explains the two aods in that religion one a bright nature god of sunshine and the country, the other a dark god, a god of forges and metals, and therefore of war.
In the country everything which men produced eame by birth and growth; the workman was a shepherd, a watcher, a flock or herd tender; his prosperity depended on sun, rain, springs, and the health of his crops and herds; and these all were "from up there," out ot the sky and the earth, and hence were not made by him; Since these men depended on something outside ot and above themselves their religion tended to he passive, and to consist of observances and to have mueh contemplation in it. Also, because everywhere they depended on the mysterious processes of birth and growth their gods tended to be mothers and fathers, and men tended to become children of the gods.
Among the crafts and trades in town and city there was less of the "given;" they had little of the feeling that what they produced was a "gift from above," because they themselves had to make, re-shape, build, construct their productions with their own hands and by use of their own powers. The gods gave them ores, wood, clay, oil, but these Were only shapeless raw materials; whatever the town had of buildings, clothing, tools, statuary, silver-work, etc., it had because men made them. Inevitably religion among the town crafts and trades tended to take the form of clubs, fraternal cults, mystery cults, etc. These diverse tendencies as between country religion and eity religion lay at the back of Zoroastrianism, far back, and in a primitive form, and they explain a Dualism which otherwise would be inexplicable.
Even in the earliest times, as we know from archeology, the trades, crafts, callings were organized in gilds, which were called by many names such as hetairai, collegza, etc.; this meant that men doing the same work were in organized unions, and had officers, rules and regulations, and meeting-places. (There were local strikes, and general strikes in the pyramidbuilding age in Egypt.) Many of these gilds (to use that generic name) were larger, more powerful anti more important than the others.
Throughout the whole of the Ancient World these gilds everywhere and continually had to resist the tendency toward a caste-system, and if they failed to resist it successfully it is easy to see how this came about. First, there was a large and important gild. Second, there came a time when the sons of its members were compelled by law to be in the same gilds as their fathers. Then, and after some centuries, it was held that such fixed and permanent gilds Were fated from eternity, belonged to the nature of things; they were metaphysical, and since they were, men could not upset or alter them, no more than they could control time, or space, or the seasons. By this metaphysics a gild, or a set of allied gilds, became a caste. Ancient Iran had this caste system. (Many other countries hull it, even as far away as Spain, but it was onlv in India that it remained permanent.)
Zoroastrian priests were a caste. A priest was called a Sagas (Magi is the plural). Magi even in English continues to be a living word, full of poetry and suggestiveness, continually appearing and re-appearing in pictures, stories, legends, music, and plays; this is partly because "the three Magi ' are an episode in the Christmas story; partly because the word has come to mean sage, wise man, man of learning, a knower of secret knowledge; and partly because the word is associated with the word magician (it is a verbal illusion) and therefore stirs the feelings every man has for the mysterious, the miraculous, and far-off wonders. In actuality the magt were none of these things, but were merely members of the caste of priests, and as such were no better educated than men in the gilds which worked in the arts and screnees; scarcely one in a thousand of them could read or write, and Scarcely one in five thousand ever attained to eminence because of his knowledge or skill.
Historians and writers of historical fiction are always overlooking this fact that in the Ancient World knowledge, and especially the knowledge of the arts and sciences was possessed almost exclusively by craftsmen in the gilds; kings and other members of royalty and the priests had little or none of it. The reason for the misrepresentation was that whenever anything was done, credit for it was claimed by some king, priest, or rich man, and the men who had in reality done it were crowded back into anonymousness. Any Egyptian said that this pyramid, or that temple, or some city was built by Pharaoh So-and-So, or a High Priest So-and-So. Hebrews said that Solomon had built Solomon's Temple, whereas it was built by Tyrian workmen. Alexandria, at about the time when Anthony was lying encircled in Cleopatra's witcheries, centered in the great temple of Serapis (the serepeum), the largest and finest building in the world with the possible exception of the Capitol at Rome; had any Alexandrian been asked who had built it he would have said, some Emperor, or some High Priest of Serapis.
It is singular that the knowledge of the arts and sciences and of astronomy and mathematics in the Ancient World is nearly always accredited to rulers, priests, and men of great riches, when in fact men of those classes were just the men who had the least of such knowledge precisely because they would not work, and believed themselves superior to work. So was it with the magi. The many tales of their wisdom, their arts and scienees, are nothing but tales. yearly all of them were small men, illiterate, useless, idlers; because they were in their caste by birth and not by choice half of them hated their own occupation, and the majority of them knew nothing except how to mumble through ceremonies which they had learned bv heart.
If we Modern men can learn anything from Ancient science, wisdom, art, philosophy, it is not from the magi; if there is anything to be learned, and it is difficult to guess what it might be, it is from the work and achievements of the Iranian people as a wholes Zoroaster the man, or Zoroaster the cult as it may have been, brought no new knowledge into the world, contributed no new science or art, but merely rent organized the religion of the Iranian people, and translated a number of their ancient practices and observances into the form of a set of general theological doctrines; except for the figure of Zoroaster himself (and whether mythical or real) there was nothing in Zoroastrianism which had not been there before. It would be almost impossible to find in any body of knowledge taught in a college or university anything directly owed to Zoroastrianism.
The collection of writings which compose the Zoroastrian Bible is caned Zend-Avesta. They consist of a miscellany written at different times and by a number of authors. and in bulk are almost the size of the Old Testament. They were written in a long-dead language called Pahlevi. Ineorporated with them and virtually belonging to the texts, are sets of commentaries and glosses. Avesta itself is the name of the literature. Zend may (in general usage) denote the language itself. or its translation or the commentaries. A correct designation would be Avesta, with Zend.
The book consists of five parts, each with its own name; they differ among themselves as Deuteronomy differs from the P6alrus, or as the Psalms differ from Isaiah:
1. Yasna is liturgical, and either was written ex. pressly for use by the priests when performing cermonies, or else was a written record of ceremonies I it were a number of Gathers or ceremonial hymns arranged according to meter, and a set of invocations Since it is a text-book of services and observances the yasna contains little that an Occidental reader can understand or be interested in.
2. The Vispered is the second part of the Avesta and is in substance a supplement to the Yasna, and like the latter is almost wholly liturgical.
3. In the Venidad, which contains most of the theology that has reached the Western countries there is a mythical account of the creation of the world. Then follow pages of precepts on religious duties and comments on land, animals, plants, etc., mostly sacerdotal in character, but all of them construcd as illustrating the war between Ormazda and his disciples and Ahriman and his devils, which is in these pages carried down to the fine point of the struggle in a plant between plant health and plant diseases Near the end of it are fragments of old legends about Zoroaster, one of them being an episode il which he is tempted by Ahriman. This book, together with the two preceding ones, comprise what may have been a text-book used by the priests; often in both ancient and modern Iranian literature it is this collection of these liturgical treatises that is meant bv the name Avesta
4. The Yashts are invocations and hymns, the book of Psalms of Zoroastrianism, religious poetry a mine of mythology. It ends with a prophetic description of the end of the world.
5. The Khorda Avesta ("Little Avesta") is a collection of prayers for use on manner occasions, by laymen as well as by priests. It, in a general Wash completes the canon of the scriptures, but there are closely appended to it a number of fragments of writing which are to that canon what the Apocrypha is to the Bible. In their entirety the writings called Avesta are in some of their qualities nearest like the Psalms and in others are very like the Brahmin Vedas; both the biography of Zoroaster, what little there is to it, and the theology of Zoroastrianism are embedded in the text, which is almost wholly liturgical and sacerdotal. and these fragmentary passages are difficult to assemble in a consistent unity. From beginning to end the Avesta presupposes that the reader knows or already possesses the religion, and therefore does not state it, and consists of directions and materials for carrying out its precepts, and its observances.
For reasons just given the Zoroastrian theology must be constructed from the disconnected statements and presuppositions (which are often silent) of the Avesta. In general outline it appears to have been centered in the following doctrines:
1. There was a creation. What existed before the making of the world the Avesta writers do not make clear, but apparently it was a general flux or vastness. Or chaos (tehom, buthos), in which there was something." but no particular somethings. Into it, hovvever, there came two "principles," one the exact antithesis of the other.
2. One of these was Ormazda, a God who created light. Iife, whatever is good, healthy, pleasant, righteous. The other was Ahrimen, a Satan, who created everything that is evil, dark, sinful, disease, death. The history and meaning of the world consists of an aeonie warfare hetween their two deities: no faithful disciple of Ormazda can admit that he will be defeated, nevertheless the warfare is real and it establishes a tremendous tension in the center of thirlgs. Zoroastrianism is consequently to he classified with the tragical religions—that in every sense of the word the world may be lost! In Christianity the world is lost at the beginning and the aeonic struggle for its redemption is the substance and meaning of religion: in Zoroastrianism it is not yet lost but it may be, and if it is then with complete hopelessness at the end. Many European and American writers, who naturally are completely monotheistic in religion, try to make it appear that Zoroastrianism itself was originally or essentially monotheistic, and that Ahriman was a secondary god. but the Avesta does not support that interpretation; in it Ahriman is as real and as supernatural as Ormazda.
3. Each of the gods had a number of attributes The text of the earliest strata of the fiesta indicates that in the beginning of the religion its theologians frankly separated those attributes from the god, turned them first w into independent entities, and then transformed these entities into persons. Ormazda thus had such attributes as goodness, healing, light, etc.; each one of these became a person, and thus did the angels originate; each angel in turn was given a distinctive personality, a name; a body, and his own activities. Ormazda is thus not alone, but in reality is head of a host, and it is this host which leads the faithful in their aeonian war. Ahrim,an also had attributes, and these became in time demons and devils; he also is head of a host, and it is these who lead all enemies of Ormazda in war against him and his hosts. (The picture as a whole of the hosts warring in heaven followed by a parallel warring among men is strikingly like that of Milton's Paradise Lost, the most completely Zoroastrian work in English literature—even the angels in Milton, along with their names, originally were Zoroastrian angels.)
4. Since a war is always decided at its end, and since every act of an army is designed to bring a war to a victorious end, the warfare between Ormazda and Ahriman will be decided at the end of the world. This doctrine ean be interpreted as meaning either that the end of the war will cause the end of the world, or that the world will come to an end of itself and the war, like everything else, vrill be brought to an end. The Zoroastrian theology is therefore predominantly eschatological- it deals with final things, death, end of world, last judgment, heaven,
5. The Dualism with its two gods, and the aeonian warfare between them, is not accidental, or a struggle among men merely, or Superficial, but belongs to the nature of things, and therefore cuts the whole of the universe (or world, or cosmos) in two. It is eternal- and beeause it is, even after the end of the world, the followers of Ormazda will dwell in heaven, and the followers of Ahriman will dwell in an everlasting hell. When translated into the terms of ethics, of morality and behavior, this means that good and bad, righteous and evil, are eternally antagonistic and ean never be glossed away. Thus, where there is truth there cannot be a lie; where there is a lie, there cannot be truth: one excludes and destroys the other; a man is either truthful or is a liar, and cannot be both at once; and what a truth or a lie is, it has been always and will continue to be forever.
This means that evil, wickedness, death, war, are completely and genuinely real, as real as a house or a rock, cannot be thought away or waved aide, and as a man must do something, soumething tragically real, if his house catches fire, so must he similarly do something, acting as a man, and with complete reality when he finds himself in something evil; the evil will not vanish of itself, cannot "be thought away," but he must battle to save his soul and after he has done so he may go away scarred or crippled or wounded. But where in Christianity, Judaism, Mohammedanism this warfare is in and among men , and is moral, in Zoroastrianism it is in everything—the very rocks, or streams. or plants, or animals are by their nature either good or evil—nature, as well as man, is engaged in the struggle between Ormazda and Ahriman. In philosophic language, Zoroastrianism is a metaphysical Dualism.
6. Since Ormazda is good, true, righteous, he, his angels, and his followers use truthfulness, goodness, righteousness, knowledge, the arts, the sciences reason. Since in himself and in his actions Ahriman is the opposite of Ormazda he cannot use those ways of truth, goodness, knowledge, but must at each point use their opposites; therefore he and his demons, devils, and followers employ sorcery, witchcraft, wizardry. spells, incantations, charms, amulets, possession, etc.
Wherever in a world a people have believed that evil is a god. a creator, all this black magic, and these evil practices, and superstitions have inevitably followed, because if there are demons there also must be a demonology; and even those who stnve for the good may believe it necessary now and then to make use of a demon's methods as a means to thwart the demon; and thus superstition spreads like an intection among a whole people—as it did in Europe in the Dark Ages. Zoroastrianism could no more escape this inevitable law of religion than any other cult; it made a god of its Ahriman, made him a creator, and he necessarily had to use non-rational, non-natural, non-normal means to accomplish his own purpose: and this explains why in the Atesta there are so many pages on demonology; and why among Zoroastrian peoples there was so large an amount ot superstition.
7. Zoroaster himself, and whether a ritual hero or an historical personage, nvas not a god but was a reformer prophet, teacher, leader, sage, naymus, a man; but he was a man divinely led. inspired, and put in possession of powers which appeared to be miraculous. It was Ormazda whom the Zoroastrians worshipped and followed, but it was Zoroaster who told them what Ormazda is and taught them how to worship him. Mohammed also was not a god, but was only a man; but he was the prophet; Allah is one, and he had but the one prophet. There is no evidence that Zoroaster ever arrogated to himself so exalted an office: he was a prophet, he bed lieved that he was sent by Ormazda, and was sent in a Providential time and to a Providential place, but he was not divine, and he left room for other prophets elsewhere in the world,
Anywhere a man goes in the Europe or Britain of the Middle Ages he encounters Medieval Catholicism. This Catholicism is everywhere one, is woven of the same cloth, is immediately recognized as one in spite of the varying customs and theological idioms from country to country; yet this one general religion is always found to be in actual practice a strongly localized cult. A Medieval community is like a cell, almost like a walled town, with little flowing out or coming in from neighboring communities for lack of roads and the other means of communication. In each of these local and semi-independent communities the religion takes root in local things, and incorporates them into itself.
A stream was once the scene of a miracle; a local saint once lived in a certain house; a spring has miraculous powers; a number of small local events, customs, and observances come to have religious uses; after two or three centuries the religion is so embedded in the locality that it cannot be thought of as separate from the locality.
The church is "our church"; the shrine is to a local saint; "we ourselves are flesh of the flesh and bone of the bone of our religion." A religion which has thus incorporated into itself actual things, and local events, and flesh-and blood men and women cannot be translated into the doctrines of an abstract theology.
Henry VIII in England and Martin Luther in Germany completed their Reformation when they broke the tie with the Pope; their purpose was that the religion should go on as before, except for the absence of the Papacy in it; the consequence was that English Protestantism became English Catholicism, and Lutheranism became a German Catholic religion. In both instances the old religion continued to have its geographical color and to keep its roots in localism. John Calvin and John Knox and their colleagues did a work of another kind when they abstracted from the local and the geographical a number of general doctrines in abstract theology. What they did in actuality, in the terms of every-day life, was to destroy the old localism; they set up a system of theological doctrines so abstract, so freed from local roots, that it could be carried anywhere; local circumstances and observances had no effect on it because none of them were incorporated in it. It was a system of "pure" theology.
As we look back upon Zoroastrianism as it is set against its own histerieal backgrounds and when an doing not forgetting how little we know about it, the work of Zoroaster has the appearance of having been similar to the work of Calvin. Before Zoroaster there was an ancient set of religious observances in which much of the substance was local conditions, circumstances, persons; he transformed this localism into an abstract theology, set it free, and thus enabled it to be carried to other lands. Either this was done by Zoroaster, or by the originating cult, because the contrast between befor Zoroaster and after-Zoroaster is the contrast between local, and therefore exclusively Iranian observances, and a general, abstract, pure system of theology. Once this m as done, this theology was carried into other countries, in vvhole or in part, and thereby entered into living history.
It continues to so live even until now. Therefore when any Modernman reads or Studies it he finds that it breaks into two parts: one, the old agian, local, purely Iranian observances, all of wthich is gone and long over with, and means nothing to hint; second, the Zoroastrian theology, freed from Iranian roots, which entered into history, and which to one degree or another, under one or another names or diguise, continues still to be alive, and therefore affects him. It thus made its may from country to country as historical conditions made possible, and it was more than once, at least in part, incorporated in other religions (there is much of it in Mohammedanism); a complete history of this long continued mediation is impossible here, but it can be illustrated by the case of Mithraism, one in which Freemasons, and for non-Zoroastrian purposes, have an especial interest.
Mithraism was not a religion but a Mystery Cult, but it began either in Zoroastrianism (Mithra is named in the last pages of the Avesta) or in a theology like it; the "or" here has little weight except as a sign of caution because authorities are in general agreement that Mithraism had an Iranian origin, at about 800 to 1000 B.C. It made its way very slowly westward; Phrygia was its center for generations; from Phrygia it was carried to Grecee, and thence to Rome. In Rome it greatly flourished, and almost became the official cult of the Empire. Throughout its whole peregrination the Cult centered its rituals in Ormazda and Ahriman, Mithra was the former's son, the old Dualism was its central doctrine; the old warfare was its central theme.
Mani was a scholar and theologian born in Iran (Persia) in Ecbatana, at about 215 a.D. His general background was that of Zoroastrianism, but it is believed that he also was a Mithraist. He fathered a new sect called Manicheism after his name, the purpose of which was to blend or to Synchronize Mithraism with Christianity. This sect moved westward, and by the Third and Fourth Centuries A.D, had become powerful in the Roman Empire, especially in North Africa. Augustine, the architect of Roman Catholie theology was, as he tells in many throbbing pages in his Confessions, a Manichee until a grown man. Mithraism was taken over by Manicheism, and long after the Mystery Cult of Mithraism was destroyed, its theology continued to live in the Manichean cult, and in that cult the old Zoroastrian Dualism was the principal doctrine.
When Manicheism as an organized sect was destroved, the Manichean theology was not destroyed with it; and wherever fragments chanced to alight there Manicheism would return under a new name. The historian who searches out those many reincarnations is like Isis hunting for fragments of the body of Osiris; they never find anything but fragments (sects), and yet they are living fragments which they find, because Mithraism had a vitality in it which refused to die. Thus after Mithraism came to birth again as Manicheism, Manicheism came to birth again in Bulgaria under the name of Bulgarism; in Armenia as the Paulicians; in a number of regions under the name of Cathari; and in Europe under the name of Waldenses.
It is Significant that in their Bulls and Encyclicals against those Sects the Popes gave them one and all the name of Manichees; this was because each of them had as its central tenet the doctrine of Dualism. It is als significant that the majority of those sects arose in, or around, or because of cities, and that the majority of the members were city workers.
Catholicism placed its emphasis upon obedience, passivity, contemplation, and monks and nuns, living under orders, were its most religious persons; the Church said to a man "Don't fight and struggle to save your own soul from Ahrinsan, turn your soul over to me; I shall be responsible, you have only to be passive in my arms." But this spirit of passivity and obedience was in contradiction to the spirit of initiative and self-responsibility which men had to have who worked in mills, factories, ware-houses, stores, and offices, therefore they turned await from it to find a more congenial theology in one or many of the forms of Mithraism wherein a man was kept in a state of tension was a battler anti a struggler, and had to act upon his own responsibility.
They prefered a warfare under Mithra to the somnambulism of the monastery their need of this Mithraism was therefore more psychoiogical than theological. This holds especially true of the Waldensest (This once again illustrates the ancient dualism between country and city, which is always one of the major themes in the history of religions: and one of thet keys to history of any other kind. Very few Americans have ever realized how deeply that dichotomy cuts through their own culture.
According to an historical tradition with which there is no need to quarrel the sect called Waldenses was named for a Twelfth Century leader named Peter Waldot who established in the mountain valleys between Italy and France what was in effect a denomination, and one possessed of so much vitality that it is still in existence and despite Medieval crusades against it, and the Inquisition, and Papal campaigns; and while it had never broken away from the Roman Church as completely as the Reforrnation was to do, it had gone so far that in the Sixteenth Century its leaders made common cause with the Reformers, as they had done with Wyelif and Hus in an earlier day. They were somewhat like the Friends (Quakers), somewhat like the Lutherans, somewhat like the Methodists. To see how such sects as the Waldensians (and the Albigensiansr and Huguenots) continue the old Dualism it is necessary to note that by the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries Dualism had taken on another form. This was the form which afterwards was to be called Puritanism. The essence of this Puritanism, as can be clearly seen at the point of its origin, was a genuine, metaphysical Dualism, in which it was believed that sin, wickedness evil, etc., in any given instance, is substantial, is an actual somewhat, like water, or a gas, or sunlight, and that an evil thing is one which has this "substance" in it; and that the effects of an evil thing is the effect of that actual and literal evil in the thing. If this doctrine is applied to a man it means that as a man an evil man is evil he has an evil "substance" in him; he does evil things because he acts from his evil nature, such a man cannot be reformed or transformed but must be driven out, warred with, destroyed, and at the end must be sent away into hell, the world in which evil is at home. This divides men into two great classes, men who have evil in them as a substance, and men who have it not. It is the conflict of Ahriman and Ormezda all over again, except under another name. The persistence of that doctrine can be followed, as on a highway, from the Medieval Puritan sects on to the Anabaptists in the Lowlands.
It has always been impossible for Freemasonry ever to incorporate anything of either Zoroastrianism or of Mithraism at any time` in its history, Medieval or Modern, in any of its Grades or Degrees.
Grand Architect of the Universe is one, and not two Man also is one, and not divided into the followers of an Orrnazda and an Ahrirnon. Masons are engaged in no perpetual warfare, but rather envisage the world of men as one great Lodgc in which men are fellow workers. In its rituals, rites, and symbols there is no mention of an end of the world—it is not eschatological in its outlook. It looks upon no man are being evil in the sense that there is in his nature a Substance ' of an evil kind. If there fore there is in any of Freemasonry's many Degrees any word phrase or symbol of a Zoroastrian cast it is ritualistic and literary, and came out of the general culture of Britain and Europe in the Eighteenth Century—certainly it had no historical connection with either Zoroastrianism or Mithraism in any of their forms.
Until about the middle of the nineteenth Century when archeologists began to uncover an ever-increasing number of data, almost the only source of information about Zoroastrianism was a small number of passages and pages (no books) in the Greek and Roman clasical writers. Plutarch lived from 46 A.D. to 120 A.D. He was a very learned man, a professional writer, and had the advantage of the 30,000 to 40,000 books in the library at Alexandria, so that his books embody the findings of a sound scholar in his own right, and at the same time represent a consensus of beliefs of many other scholars. His long treatise on Isis anal Osiris is a learned man's commentary on Egyptian religion, and is a work of especial value to Masonic students because it explains so many Egyptian symbols. In it is a somewhat extended discussion of Zoroastrianism, written in the spirit of a work by a modern authority on comparative religion, in which he likens the divine conflict between the Egyptian god Osiris and the Egyptian Satan named Typhon to Ormazda and Ahnmun. Plutarch had but few facts about Zoroaster and did not clearly understand those which he had because he was writing a thousend years afterwards, but he set down a formula which is worth the rest of his treatise because it states with perfection the reasoning behind the Dualism of the Zoroastrian religion; "If nothing can happen without cause, and good cannot furnish cause for evil, it follows that the nature of evil, as of good, must have an origin and principles of its own."
Plutarch had little to go on; other earlywritershad less. Plato touches upon Zoroaster once or twice. Pliny tells a number of miraculous stories about him. Diogenes Laertius did likewise. Dio Chrysostom tells a whopping big tale of a miraculous, burning mountain, from which Zoroaster escaped by use of supernatural powers. Hermodorus undertook to unravel the Zoroastrian chronology (as did also Hermippus) but fell into huge blunders. Agathias made a similar attempt but gave it up; he, like the others, had found that the Iranian (Persian) writers of their own time were as hopelessly at sea AS Greek and Roman writers later. among the other (comparatively) few classical writers we find a similar lack of knowledge. The Church Fathers, Ante-Nicene, Nicene, and Post-Nicene, discuss Zoroastrianism vaguely here and there, in large but empty phrases which manifestly are swelled out to cover ignorance, and at the same time are too hostile to be trusted for impartial statements of fact. Moreover, the whole of them, the Fathers, the Romans, and the Greeks together lived too many centuries after the event, were too far from Iran, and knew too little of Iranian history for them to be able to learn much, regardless of how diligently they may have studied.
Until the first half of the Nineteenth Century such men as had the temerity to write about Zoroaster followed the same procedure, and did so in necessity: they pieced together into a mosaic the scraps and small pieces on the subject in those classical writers; then they tried to make a synthatic picture of it; this picture they filled in and filled out by generalizations about Ancient religions. This is what Bunsen did, as quoted on page 1140, Vol. II of this Encyclopedia, and explains why his pages sound so large but contain so few facts; it also explains why Albert Pike (on the same page) set down the date of Zoroaster at 8000 years ago! It also explains why it was that for century after century in Europe the small modicum of knowledge of Zoroastrianism remained at a standstill, and why each author repeated in his own words what his predecessors had said before him.
Such knowledge as we now have we owe in the first instance to the archeologists, who have been at work in Iran itself; and then to those who have worked at the sites of Troy, at Babylon, at Ur, in Jerusalem, in Egypt, and in Crete. The source next in importance is the work of specialists in comparative religion, and who do not, as so many laymen think, theorize about Ancient religions, but like archeologists themselves work with texts, records, and inscriptions. Last is the great source of linguistics, a critical, exhaustive, and comparative analysis of Ancient languages. Any Ancient language, and in a certain sense, is an archeology, because many terms are artifacts and the history of a group of words may reveal much of the history of a group of peoples. A student can therefore be advised to leave unread (with only a few exceptions) books written before 1850 A.D.; and to read not books, but the reports, brochures, and treatises of the archeologists and sister works in comparative religions and in linguistics.
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