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AN ARYAN ANCESTOR.
At first sight it would seem that character of that more truly subto dwell upon the final or resurrec- stantial life, in archetypal mintage tion condition of the Zoroastrian undefaced, or as near thereto as Adam would be to turn away from may be attained, and he must be the consideration of his genesis, pre-eminent in earthly uses and to be regarding the creation well. legend of the Parsis through lenses Kaiômart, or the pure man, as that invert.
manifested in the Aryan books, is But if we follow the Aryan belief represented as the summit of the that earth life, when spiritually re- animal creation, differentiated from garded, is related to eternal life the lower degrees by his upright as but an episode of sleep or carriage, his articulate speech, his dream, then either side of that response to the mind of the shadowy period must equally be Heavenly Supreme. He retains the fringe of the true state from his hold upon essential life, perhaps which all our so-called protoplasm in the continued consciousness of draws its essential vitality. Under relation to his angelic counterpart. such an aspect, birth and death His pre-eminence of type is declared alike are rifts in the veil which by his being described as the white covers us; and the difference man par excellence. This attribute between them is only in the direc- of the arch-natural man was, no tion of the soul's passage—whether doubt, a mark of high distinction into or out from the umbrageous in the days when the myth of creaavenue of mortality.
tion was embodied. The tribes If, notwithstanding our very among whom the Aryans made natural and wholesome prejudices their way were probably for the in favour of the existence in which most part dark and degraded aboWe are called to manifest ourselves rigines of a lower race than themin the all-important present, the selves. But Kaiômart, or the ideal now hidden life be the sphere from man, was not only white and which proceeds that magic quality radiant; he is represented as by which bids chemical atoms uprise origin an immortal being, with eyes in organic force and beauty; and looking up to heaven. The liquid if, as contradistinguished from the of life had been applied to him in seventy years journey in the caravan creation which rendered him ever whose protection we have found beautiful and radiant, as a spiritual temporarily serviceable, the un- being would be who could domi. realised dream state be the abiding nate this body of mortality. The and virtual life; then the ideal or prophet Zoroaster is represented in standard man of any complete the paintings and sculptures as philosophy of creation, whether endowed with a nimbus, a glory or entering upon his perigee or apogee, crown of radiance, which is meant must represent the strength and to typify the shining forth of the
atmosphere that fills the world of mischief of moonshine unto the light.
modern mind, well swaddled as it We may assume that Kaiômart is by that most useful mother, the was understood never to have lost physically real; but whatever may the consciousness of the unity of be the right and wholesome way the two worlds.
of practical life, philosophically Persian writers have said, even dis- have right to ignore tinguished ascetics may compre- the bridges by men in every age hend. To understand the theory held to exist between the present of resurrection, as it chimes in with “solid unreality” and the regions such views as these, and to make where arean intelligent analysis of the word itself as we find it in the philoso- Long mysterious reaches fed with moon
“ trodden upon by noiseless angels, phical language of Greece, it will
light.” be necessary to bear in mind a matter that is considered in Persian Such questions must rest upon books as belonging to ancient lore; their merits. Though speaking a doctrine, moreover, that is revived philosophically, an earth life may by new believers in every age. This be but episodical; yet it is, at is the belief, as summarised by the least, a considerable episode and authors of the Synopsis of the
the real business during its proDabistan, “that a man may attain gress. To fill out one's existence the faculty to quit and reassume from a plane, however superior, to his body, or to consider it as a loose which one is not adjusted at the garment, which he may put off at time, instead of expanding into the pleasure, for ascending to the world best capacities of the life that is of light, and on his return be re- present, would indeed be to turn united with the material elements." what may be truest sunshine on
It is logically manifest that these its own plane into merest moonmystic passages must in a partial shine on another. The mateway be in themselves a resurrection rialistic mind in its own purblind and a new birth. If birth and death fashion is no doubt conscious of are entrances and exits in due this truth, but forgets the fact that form and ceremony with all one's morbid cravings after the life belongings through the great portals withdrawn, while they may be an of our mortal career, in which infringement of a true and wholewe are come to stay ; these other some balance, are no more so than movements are like unencumbered is the equally morbid resort to a and hasty errands, to execute which hoodwink of false science and a one steps out unnoticed through a puerile arrogance of certainty, private door, which is either left assumed in order that all beyond a open or the master carries the key. defined horizon can be ignored.
There is no double evolution If, by reason of our having necessary for this, for the physical journeyed “ further from the east" frame is quiescent, held only by to learn the mighty mechanics of life's cord of ductile gold; but the the physical plane, we fail to symprocesses by which the spirit adapts pathise with the dreams of our itself to the degrees of the spheres Aryan cousins, we may test the or transcends from rarer to denser breadth of our own philosophic atmospheres, are told of only in standing according as we fling the mazy utterances of seers them- away those beliefs as worthless selves.
with the feeble ridicule of ignorThis kind of occultism is very ance, or accept them as contribu
tion to the large history and know- of human development, history ledge of man.
tells us; therefore it is not surWith this apology to the modern prising that a doctrine should have mind, the recital may be resumed established itself of a cyclic period of the Aryan theory of mortal life bounded by a creation and a resuras contained in the sacred assur- rection of man. ances of their ancient religion. Geology would lead us to believe Kaiômart we may take to repre
that our earth as a continuous sent man in a state midway abode of man is indefinitely older between the corporeal and the than is necessary far to outspiritual, with vision extending stretch even a number of cycles, into both worlds. Meschia and regarded as periods between which Meschiana are drawn down more Mother Nature was believed to fully into matter, and are thus pause to refresh herself, as it were, subjected to what may be called between throe and throe, each the the Fall. In a Phænician myth creative act which peopled a world. which has passed through Grecian Nevertheless, we shall find it easy hands a somewhat similar grada- to respect the cyclical conception tion may be found. Aion and of the history of man, and that Protogones are the first that enter without adopting literally the notion mortal life. Aion discovers the that men die out of the world at art of nutriment from fruit trees, zodiacal intervals and are and the offspring of the pair, ceeded by a brand new race. How apparently representing ordinary great civilisations fade out and are mortals, are Genos and Genea. replaced by young and vigorous These names are but philosophic developments is a matter beyond expressions. Aion is Æon, or Time; the scope of the present paper. Protogonos, first born, or fir As, in accordance with the cyclic parent; Genos and Genea equally creed, the day of resurrection apdenote race, family, offspring. proaches, the evil-doer, presumably
Kaiômart having departed this the personification of the evil prinlife before the production of beings ciple, is challenged to effect it. of separate sex, it might naturally He will strive in vain; it is not in be supposed that he returned forth- his province. But, nevertheless, the with to his spiritual state. It is process begins. The various memprobable enough that the cycle of bers which are to form man's superexistence was originally understood nal body are not drawn from earth to denote the regular course of indi- as in the creation—they come one vidual life made typical; but in the and all from the celestial land. It development of the theory it must will be remembered that humanity have become doctrinally necessary has been regarded as moving towards to account for the close of an epoch the spiritual confines by the reverse as well as for its beginning. Artis
process in respect of nutriment to tically speaking, the idea of a that of creation. After abandongeneral and specific blossoming of ing, degree by degree, the diet of creation, and a simultaneous resur- flesh, of milk, of fruit, and of rection into superior opportunity water, man ceases to eat, and yet of life, is more pleasant and pictu- he does not die. resque than that of the same One part of the light which is results produced, so to speak, with the sun will enlighten Kaiôinsensibly, by the unostentatious mart, the other will enlighten the coming and going of individuals. rest of men. Perhaps we may read And indeed that there are cycles this as a poetic expression that the
spiritual ray reaches first the place after “the long time” and spiritual man. The spiritual being “the perfect resurrection.” entities now recognise the sub- The soul is finding its proper food stantial forms that are the fit ex. and raiment in the truths of the relipression of each individual, and all gious hymns; and passages which the immortal denizens of the we will shortly cite will instance world assemble together with man, how the journey is understood to who is about to assume the final begin immediately. body, and return to the weightiest There is a cyclic account, however, life.
according to which the dead are As Kaiômart was the spiritual resuscitated by an elixir which proagent of creation, so Saoshyos ceeds from the Bull and from the fulfils the corresponding function
White Man (Kaiômart). Saoshyos in resurrection; he is the rekindler. gives of this elixir to all mankind, There are also a number of other- and they enter upon their imworld beings who assist : mortality in a world without stain. Increasers of the Days, who step There is some contradiction in the forward to the maintenance of the different developments of the pure world." (Yacna XLV. 3.) legend, for it is otherwise given
The perishable world has been a (Bundaheshn): “ First will the protection to the evil and the good, bodily form of Kaiômart uprise, and, however inferior in itself, has then that of Mashia and Mashiana, become in its maternal office the afterwards that of the rest of manvery creation of the Supreme. But kind." when the dividing comes, the state The confusion between the Parsi of the wicked, as their souls, be- doctrines of immediate entrance comes hard. But they are not like after death into the life of the the demons, without spiritual spiritual world, and of a resuscicounterparts (Fravashis); their tation postponed until the expiraaffinity is about to appear to them tion of a cycle, which requires for in uncomely form, the very image its completion the decrepitude of of their souls. The true followers the physical world, is particularly of Ahura Mazda comfort them. noteworthy for us, seeing that the selves during the trying process- same dilemma has come down into the separation of the vital powers our Christian ritual. In the Order and consciousness—by the prayers for the Burial of the Dead there that are themselves “the creations is the old mistranslation of Job, of the first world ;” that is to say, my
flesh ” for “out from my of the world they are on the way
there confronts it the towards, designated in the same beautiful account of a sowing in Gâthâs as " the next world." The corruption, an uprising in incorpicture given is of the whole crea- ruption; there is a pæan on the tion,“ bodies together with bones, delivery from the burden of the vital power and form, strength and body, and on the decarnate condition consciousness, soul and Fravashi," which ensues, as a state in which subjected to the dread process, spirits or souls “live," and not only through which into the after-death live, but live" in joy and felicity. state the soul's progress is pour- And yet, as if the actual possession trayed. In the account itself it is of life, and that a life of joy and impossible to distinguish the doc- of consciousness of the indwelling trine of a postponed and general, of God, were not enough to or simultaneous, resurrection, which satisfy reasonable expectation, nevertheless is spoken of as taking there is a superadded affirmation
of a general resurrection at the familiar material substance is last day—a moment which, how- easily made intelligible by ever intelligible in the primal the consideration how difficult it meaning of the phrase, is tradi- is for the terrestrial mind to tionally regarded as marking a appreciate the vigour of trangremote future period following corporeal substance, or to realise upon the wreck of the globe. how, if the life further on appears
But large doctrines like these dim and phantom-like to us, we which sway great portions of ourselves may probably appear humanity for thousands of years still more frail and clad in a ghostought to be treated with respect like mist, in the eyes of those who rather than with a too hasty and live and upstand in the terrible merely intellectual criticism.' Our strength of angelhood. forefathers the Druids, as Julius The following will exemplify Cæsar records, wished to convince the religious belief of the Aryans men of this as a primary truth, on the immediate future of the that souls do not die, but from departing soul, as it concludes its one set of conditions pass after own last earthly day, and enters death to others; and they were
upon its own resurrection, and its confident, he says, that in this was own judgment. the greatest excitation to virtue, by
are those tribunals, the lapsing of the terror of death. where do they assemble, where do For those, then, whose lack of de- they come together, at which a velopment prevents their attaining man of the corporeal world gives "anastasy” in the true sense of the account for his soul ? Then an. word; for persons who departing swered Ahura-Mazda, After the this life would fail of a better man is dead, after the man is deresurrection and, cowering back parted, after his going, the wicked again (ab aliis transeuntes ad alios), evil-knowing Daevas do work. In pass into lower elements, it is the third night, after the coming perhaps well and hopeful that a and lightning of the dawn." belief should continue in a real (Avesta, Vendidad, xix., 89–91.) spiritual consummation, postponed, “ Zarathustra asked
Ahurabut somewhile to be reached. Mazda, 0 Ahura-Mazda, most Moreover, though humanity, being munificent spirit, creator of the inharmonious,
with the settlements supplied with creatures, irregularities of individualism or holy one! when a pious man passes at most in a partial national away, where remains his soul that progress, spiritual spheres having night? Then said Ahura-Mazda, the unity of their harmony, must It sits down near the head, chantconsummate periods of develop- ing the Gâtha Ustavaiti, imploring ment by a movement into fuller blessedness. . . . On this night the light of God in wholeness and soul has as much joyfulness as his simultaneity; and who can tell whole living existence comprised. how far the great doctrine of a Where dwells his soul the second specific earthly resurrection, with night? [The second and third night its general enhancement of life, are described as the first.] On the may not be due to a confused lapse of the third night, when the spiritual memory
stirring in dawn appears, the soul of the pious humanity ? Why there should man goes forward, recollecting be a favourite expectation of itself at the perfume of plants. rejoining a body composed of a To him there seems a wind blowing