Our present quarrel is exclusively with theology. The Church enforces belief in a personal god and a personal devil, while Occultism shows the fallacy of such a belief. And though for the Pantheists and Occultists, as much as for the Pessimists, Nature is no better than “ a comely mother, but stone cold ”—this is true only so far as regards external physical nature.
They both agree that, to the superficial observer, she is no better than an immense slaughter-house wherein butchers become victims, and victims executioners in their turn. It is quite natural that the pessimistically inclined profane, once convinced of Nature’s numerous shortcomings and failures, and especially of her autophagous propensities, should imagine this to be the best evidence that there is no deity in abscondito within Nature, nor anything divine in her. Nor is it less natural that the materialist and the physicist should imagine that everything is due to blind force and chance, and to the survival of the strongest, even more often than of the fittest.
But the Occultists, who regard physical nature as a bundle of most varied illusions on the plane of deceptive perceptions ; who recognise in every pain and suffering but the necessary pangs of incessant procreation : a series of stages toward an ever-growing perfectibility, which is visible in the silent influence of never-erring Karma, or abstract nature—the Occultists, we say, view the great Mother otherwise. Woe to those who live without suffering.
Stagnation and death is the future of all that vegetates without a change. And how can there be any change for the better without proportionate suffering during the preceding stage ? Is it not those only who have learnt the deceptive value of earthly hopes and the illusive allurements of external nature who are destined to solve the great problems of life, pain, and death?
If our modern philosophers—preceded by the mediæval scholars—have helped themselves to more than one fundamental idea of antiquity, theologians have built their God and his Archangels, their Satan and his Angels, along with the Logos and his staff, entirely out of the dramatis personæ of the old heathen Pantheons. They would have been welcome to these, had they not cunningly distorted the original characters, perverted the philosophical meaning, and taking advantage of the ignorance of Christendom—the result of long ages of mental sleep, during which humanity was permitted to think only by proxy—tossed every symbol into the most inextricable confusion. One of their most sinful achievements in this direction, was the transformation of the divine alter ego into the grotesque Satan of their theology.
As the whole philosophy of the problem of evil hangs upon the correct comprehension of the constitution of the inner being of nature and man, of the divine within the animal, and hence also the correctness of the whole system as given in these pages, with regard to the crown piece of evolution—Man—we cannot take sufficient precautions against theological subterfuges. When the good St. Augustine and the fiery Tertullian called the Devil “ the monkey of God,” this could be attributed to the ignorance of the age they lived in. It is more difficult to excuse our modern writers on the same ground. The translation of Mazdean literature has afforded to the Roman Catholic writers the pretext for proving their point in the same direction once more. They have taken advantage of the dual nature of Ahura Mazda in the Zend Avesta and the Vendidad, and of his Amshaspends, to emphasize still further their wild theories. Satan is the plagiarist and the copyist by anticipation of the religion which came ages later. This was one of the master strokes of the Latin Church, its best trump-card after the appearance of Spiritualism in Europe. Though only a succès d’estime, in general, even among those who are not interested in either Theosophy or Spiritualism, yet the weapon is often used by the Christian (Roman Catholic) Kabalists against the Eastern Occultists.
Now even the Materialists are quite harmless, and may be regarded as the friends of Theosophy, when compared to some fanatical “ Christian ” (as they call themselves, “ Sectarian ” as we call them) Kabalists, on the Continent. These read the Zohar, not to find in it ancient Wisdom, but to discover in its verses, by mangling the texts and meaning, Christian dogmas, where none could ever have been meant ; and, having fished them out with the collective help of Jesuitical casuistry and learning, the supposed “ Kabalists ” proceed to write books and to mislead less far-sighted students of the Kabala.