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Acknowledgments ......................................................................................................................v Quotations to Ponder ............................................................................................................... vii Dedication Epistle of Zadig to Sultana Sheraa ....................................................................... viii Foreword.....................................................................................................................................x Zadig...........................................................................................................................................1 Micromegas .......................................................................................................................... 260 Candide................................................................................................................................. 336 IV


This writer wishes to thank all persons who gave her moral support during the difficult and rewarding years devoted to the preparation of the first edition of this book. No one engaged in such work needs a great deal of psychological support other than the work itself. But the "slings and arrows" which are expected and received are many, making sources of support all the more precious. I wish to thank my foul-weather friends who followed and encouraged my slow progress. I wish to thank my daughter Claire and my son, Norman, who shared the experience. I wish to most specially thank my loyal students. Their loyalty was not primarily directed at a person. The young people understood very well that, if the teacher was sometimes "inspiring," it was only because of something other and far greater than herself. The students did not care if the teacher was more than thirty. They did not care whether she was "straight" or non-straight. They did not care which kind of "coat of skin" she wore. They did not care whether she was known or unknown. They pursued knowledge for its own sake. Their concerns were the nature of the new field of study and its potential value to mankind. The teacher watched attentive young faces brighten with unfakable light. She took those faces home. The faces were there at night, when physical exhaustion threatened, when the right words would not come. 1. As the 2000 edition of this study is being completed, I also wish to thank my devoted friend Jerry Wechsler for his help with the removal of typographical errors and for his helpful suggestions. I also wish to thank Michael and Elizabeth Degn, my wonderful neighbors without whose generosity and technical help this edition would have been next-to-impossible to produce.

Acknowledgments vi

They reminded the teacher and writer that the task must be done for them and for other "children" of all ages who would be heartened by the esoteric message of great men. The teacher watched the students come to class "loaded to the gunwales"as Celine would have itwith the happy burden of their own findings. To those who claimas has been claimed through the agesthat young people have "gone to the dogs"this teacher wishes to say: "Give them something truly pure and beautiful. And watch them go!....

Quotations to Ponder

(Re: the 'Parent doctrine,")... "the ever-flowing perennial source, at which were fed all its streamletsthe later religions of all nations from the first down to the last."

'The public must be made acquainted with the efforts of many world-adepts, of initiated poets, writers, and classics of every age, to preserve in the records of Humanity the knowledge of the existence, at least, of such a philosophy, if not actually of its tenets." (H.P. Blav-atsky, The Secret Doctrine, p. xlv, Vol. I) "We could fill a whole volume with names of misunderstood sages, whose writingsonly because our materialistic critics feel unable to lift the 'veil,' which shrouds thempass off in a current way for mystical absurdities. That there was and there is a secret no candid student of esoteric literature will ever doubt." (H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, p. 308, Vol. 1) "the great writers have never done but one work, or rather, have refracted a same beauty through diverse media, which they bring to the world." (M. Proust, A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 375, Vol. III) "What the world needs is an encyclopedia of rejected facts and realities that have been condemned." (L. Pauwels & J. Bergier, The Morning of the Magicians, The Vanished Civilizations, Ch. II) "My real literary education was the one I gave to myself..."1 (Alfred de Vigny, Diary, 1847) And no grown-up will ever understand how very important that is!" (Antoine de SaintExupery, Le Petit Prince, final words)


How true! (This writer)


Dedication Epistle of Zadig to Sultana Sheraa

Delight of the eyes, torment of hearts, light of the spirit, I do not kiss the dust on your feet, because you hardly walk at all, or because you walk on Persian carpets or on roses. I offer to you the translation of the book of an ancient sage who, having the good fortune of having nothing to do, had the good fortuine of amusing himself by writing the story of Zadig, a work that says more than it seems to say. I beg you to read it and to judge it; for, although you are in the springtime of your life, although all pleasures solicit you, although you are beautiful and your talents add to your beauty; although you are being praised from evening to morning, and because, accordingly, you are entitled to have no common sense, yet you have a very wise mind and a very fine taste, and I have heard you reasoning better than some old dervishes with long beards and pointed bonnets. You are discreet and you are trusting; you are gentle without being weak; you are benevolent with discernment; you love your friends, and you make no enemies. Your wit never draws its charm from the barbs of slander; you neither say nor do evil despite the prodigious ability you would have in that respect. Finally, your soul has always seemed to me as pure as your beauty. You even have a small fund of philosophy which led me to believe that you would savor more than another this work of a sage. It was first written in ancient Chaldee, which neither you nor I understand. It was translated into Arabic, to amuse the famous sultan Ouloug-beg. That was when Arabs and Persians were beginning to write some Thousand and One Nights and some Thousand and One Days, etc. Ouloug preferred the reading of Zadig, but the sultanas preferred the Thousand and One Days. "How can you prefer," said the wise viii

Dedication Epistle of Zadig to Sultana Sheraa


Ouloug, "some tales that are without reason, and that mean nothing." "That is precisely why we love them," replied the sultanas. I trust that you will not resemble them, and that you will be a real Ouloug. I even hope that, when you are weary of general conversations, which rather resemble the Thousand and One Days, except for the fact that they are less amusing, I shall manage to find a minute to speak reason with you. Had you been Thalestris in the days of Scander, son of Philip; had you been the Queen of Sheba in the days of Sole-iman, those kings would have been the ones who would have made the journey. I pray the celestial virtues that your pleasures may be unalloyed, your beauty lasting, and your happiness endless. SADI


The task of presenting Voltaire as a mystic, an adept, and a possible emissary from extraterrestrial regions is not altogether enviable. Such is the task undertaken by the writer of the present book. The esoteric or hidden core of texts surveyed in this study has long been known to a small number of persons. But the material in question remains generally unperceived and untaught. The chief purpose of the present work is to expose to the scrutiny of all interested persons the veiled bequest of Voltaire. The philosophy disclosed is not the monopoly of one man. Similar findings are accessible elsewhere in literatures of the Western world. Rabelais, Vigny, Saint Exupery, Proustand possibly Celineare but a few other French authors whose lives and writings were dedicated to the same "smuggling" enterprise. The esoteric literature of France has counterparts in other European nations and in the Americas. The second purpose of this book is, therefore, to encourage the esoteric study of a vast body of esoteric literature. The choice of texts analyzed is focused on essentials. Voltaire designed several short stories as compact esoteric vehicles of his philosophy. Such are Zadig, Micromegas, Memnon, Candide and L'Ingenu. Other Voltairian writings which seem to rule out the possibility of mystical inspiration are bound to be invoked in refutation of the present thesis. Such are Le Mondain and the Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon. They are examined also. Numerals often convey elements of secret lore. The full meaning of Voltairian numbers is probably inscrutable to all but the initiate. The chapter devoted to numbers by this non-initiate is therefore limited. An attempt is made, however, to relate certain figures to corresponding veiled substance.



The exoteric surface of Voltairian short stories is too well known to justify much comment. It is mentioned only in relationand contrastto esoteric substance. Esoteric study is comparative in nature. The basic question is this: Did Voltaireand many othersconceal in their works the ancient body of knowledge known as the Secret Doctrine? The question must necessarily be answered by reference to the works of Mme H.P. Blav-atsky, founder of the modern Theosophical Society. It was through publication of her books that the previously Secret Doctrine was partially released in print to the general public of the Western world for the first time in recorded history. In the words of the author, the same material had formerly been restricted to "secret Scriptural records."1 The most widely known books of H.P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine, were published in 1877 and 1888, respectively. Chronology does not rule out kindred inspiration in such a case as Voltaire's. "Theosophy"with a small tis no recent production of any individual or group. The modern Theosophical Society claims to be no more than the transmitter of ancient science. Separated as they are in time, Voltaire, H.P. Blavatsky, and many other writers "drank" from the same well of ancient lore. In the words of the author of The Secret Doctrine, the set of beliefs commonly designatedand little knownas "theosophy" is "as old as thinking man."2 The non-initiate who wishes to study the writings of Voltaire in the light of the Secret Doctrine must turn to the only published form of the Doctrine available to him. The present study therefore relies heavily on the works of H.P. Blavatsky. Quotations are usually taken from the "Verbatim" edition of The Secret Doctrine which follows most closely the oral teachings of H.P. Blavatsky. A few exceptions are made in the case of references which can be found only in the Adyar edition of the same work.

1. 2.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 797, Vol. II Ibid p. xxxvi, Vol. I



The plan of the present work generally follows the appearance of esoteric material in the writings of Voltaire. Logical veiled sequences underlie each short story. Hidden outlines are exposed individually and collectively. Micromegas is a commentary on the embryonic nature of human knowledge; a story hinting at the true nature, deep connections and relative dimensions of matter, cosmos and man. Micromegas overshadows and supplements the deceptively fragmented unit formed by Zadig, Candide and L'Ingenu; a trilogy devoted to the fate of Truth in various times and places. The evolutionary thread running through the trilogy is the main guide of interpretation. Veiled material is also found in the form of scattered nuggets. The first paragraph of Chapter II of L'Ingenu contains a good example of esoteric concentration. Within a few lines are locked symbols pointing to a Day of Brahma, individual and cosmic evolution, the solitude of spiritual striving, initiation rites, voluntary reincarnation and the Voltairian concept of "good company." Esoteric symbolism may have as many as seven keys or levels of meaning.3 Consequently, the wealth of hidden substance latent in one word or one expression is often dizzying when grasped even for the apprentice using only two or three "keys." Inter-connecting reflections defy conventional pigeon-holes and prefabricated categories. Presentation is complicated by the novelty aspect of esoteric symbolism. The general public is unfamiliar with the Secret Doctrine and with the unsuspected, crucial value of such words as "necessity," "strength," "child," "stone," "city" and "sunrise." The reader must be made aware and reminded of the consistent esoteric "algebra" constituted by such terms which must be "translated" if light is to be shed on the esoteric message. Repetition is, therefore, unavoidable. Some apparent digressions support the consistency of the veiled message within the production of individual authors and within the vast network of literary smugglers of the entire Western world. In the face of the traditional image of Voltaire, the "unbeliever," the "infidel,"


The Secret Doctrine, p. 22, Vol. II



the "materialist," the man who "understands nothing about faith or mysticism,"4 the burden of proof inherent to this study is enormous. Full use must be made and is made of the abundance of proof. The presentation of quoted French texts is generally limited to English translation. A few exceptions are made for the sake of clarity and in deference to the beauty of esoteric poetry. Some prose passages which cannot be adequately studied in translation are also presented in both French and English. What is the raison d'etre of esoteric literature? Why was some material concealed in certain texts? Why was it not written clearly or openly? One answer lies in the self-preservation and protection of esoteric writers. Persecution, damaging diagnoses and sneers have beenand to some extent continue to bethe lot of declared occultists. Secrecy is the necessary shield of esoteric writers, their relatives and associates. The same rules of prudence which apply to Initiates apply to literary transmitters of the Secret Doctrine some of whom appear to be Initiates themselves.

"Several cases could be cited, and well-known names brought forward but for the fact that such publicity might annoy the surviving relatives of the said late Initiates." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. xxxv-xxxvi, Vol. I) The necessity of esotericism is suggested by Alfred de Vigny in his autobiographical poem entitled The Flute. Having sketched the por-tait of a deceptive "beggar"whose "music" goes "unheard" by hurrying "passers-by;" having noted a number of failing ventures of the unfortunate manwhose attempts have included the integration of Buddha's teachings into his philosophythe poet-narrator remarks that the modern era is wary of "smugglers." The Diary of the same author covertly points to the destruction of external evidence capable


Collection Litteraire, Lagarde & Michard, XVIIIe Siecle, p. 115



of revealing the true meaning of his life and works: "...why this condemnation? You will never know that... The documents of the great trial are burnt, it is insane to look for them."5 It is a wellknown fact of literary history that Vigny's testamentary executor faithfully carried out his instructions. To the enduring spite of many frustrated critics, various papers about which we can only speculate were kept out of circulation. The objective of esoteric writers is to be fully understood by the general public in due course of time. Another important goal of their courtship of sensitive readers is to promote spiritual experience. Literary "smugglers" seek to proveand do provethat certain insights may be gained through use of subjective faculties such as intuition and through such means only. Used alone, uninspired "bookkeeping" is not equal to the task. Another brand of less restrictive "reason" is required. Convenient documents neatly laid out in affidavit form will not be found to state: "I am an esoteric author. My secret brother X is another esoteric author. Our writings should be read between and beyond the lines." The key to veiled substance was never meant to be found in such sources. External evidence of mystical inspiration is not lacking. But it is of unconventional nature. It must be sought in the texts of the secret literary community and in the comments of esoteri-cally enlightened critics. The consistency of the esoteric algebra which has already been mentioned is illuminating in many ways. The steady value of esoteric terms used by many writers and the concealed identity of views transmitted by their timeless secret network amount to a weighty form of external evidence. Time and repeated testing will be needed to make their reality tangible to numerous readers. As indicated above, the goal of esoteric writers is to be fully understood by the general public in due course of time. Their philosophy is an evolutionary doctrine according to which mankind must be ready


Diary, 1833



before some elements of secret knowledge can be released safely. According to H.P. Blavatsky, premature revelation would be tantamount to "giving a child a lighted candle in a powder magazine."6 The treea symbol of sciencefeatured in The Little Prince can blow up the entire planet if its growth is not carefully controlled. That needs no demonstration in our atomic age. The importance of timing may also be grasped from another angle. Had it occurred before our times, the premature emergence of the veiled message of great writers could have been misinterpreted with unintended results. To this day, the average person knows precious lit-tle about a form of occultism far removed from "miracles," witchcraft and church propaganda. To this day many persons assume that the individual who does not go to church believes in nothingwhich is assuming a lot. Because of this widespread ignorance and failure to define terms, the Secret Doctrine which stresses spirit in cosmos and spirit in man might have seemed, in times gone by, to support Church dogma, the only kind of spiritual currency then conceivable for the average mind. A semblance of support of Church teachings would thus have been created. The resulting reactionary force would have opposedand might have doomedthe progressive trend of intellectual and spiritual inquiry esoteric writers sought to promote. As stated above, esoteric writers believe that the spiritual, which is to say the intuitive, faculties of the unaided reader are required to sense and to decipher the literary enigma posed by their writings. They also believe that the unaided reader should be sufficiently ethical to raise certain questions. He should wonder, for instance, how such a great thinker as Voltaire or Vigny can contradict himself or make certain "mistakes." It is not unusual for such apparent contradictions and errors to be valuable hints of the ever-present need to define terms. Nor is it unusual for apparent contradictions and errors to be valuable clues offered to logical, persistently inquisitive ethical readers. Such "short-


The Secret Doctrine, p. xxxv, Vol. I



comings" of great writers frequently act as blinding pitfalls for smug, gloating mindsjust as intended. In short, esoteric writings are tests administered to the reader in the area of Ethics as well as in the area of Insight. One needs not be a genius or a saint to unveil the veiled message. But there are minimum requirements of intelligence and decency. The present study will show that the required teamwork of Knowledge and Ethics or Science and Love is often allegorized in esoteric texts. Esoteric enlightenment can also be found in the occasional criticism of one author by another. Some comments of Vigny on Voltaire are examined in this study. We have much to learn from a deceptive type of fraternal "castigation" that is the veiled tribute of one "smuggler" to another. Some critics have perceived the esoteric substance of esoteric writings. Vigny found such commentators in the persons of J. Barbey d'Aurevilly and F. Baldensperger. The following statements give recognition to the concealed essence of the works of Vigny: "It is no longer herea matter of talent or literature. It is ten times loftier than that. It is about soul and the highest labor of a soul. A fearsome riddle for all mediocre minds. In that respect, for the minds, the rare minds, who will make sense out of it, nothing so beautiful, or nothing so poignant as this book...since Pascal!" (J. Barbey d'Aurevilly, Poesie et Poetes, 1906) "One is prompt to infer from the Silence of Vigny, a haughty sterility, from certain disapprovals a total pessimism, and above all from his reserve and dignity an impersonal and icy rigidity. Fortunately, the true sense of his life and work continues to inspire a few scattered readers.The work and the person of Vigny become something like the rallying word of an indiscernible community, often scorned by the victors of the day, ignored by the turbulent consecrations of publicity; that community which upholds the reincarnations of pure spirit, intelligence, devotion, self-denial, the given word; impervious to insult and dereliction." (F. Baldensperger, Alfred de Vigny, Essais Critiques, 1929)



Both critics agree that appearance and reality are two different things where the writings of Vigny are concerned and that the thought of the poet is not generally understood. Only a few "rare minds"or an "indiscernible community"are expected to grasp the essence of texts under study. The term "reincarnations" is used by Baldensperger openly and provocatively though in appearance figuratively. General contempt and low visibility suggest that the "indiscernible community" of Baldensperger may be a secret society. The common verdict of both commentators is aimed at the superficial judgment of the majority of readers. The same grievance of esoteric writers in general and of Proust in particular is expressed here. The Western or Judaeo-Chris-tian world "knows" people in general and famous writers in particular "without knowing them."7

Sinclair Lewis refers to a type of highly educated person who "knows all about literature except maybe how to read."8 Ionesco writes in a critical essay that Proust is not generally understood. Proust himself invites his reader to try various kinds of "optics" and see how he "reads" best. Rabelais hints at a certain type of "glasses" required to practice the art of "reading not apparent letters."9 Sartre refers in Les Mots to days of his youth when he thought that he understood Rabelais and Vigny. The same work of Sartre contains a candid admission: the author confesses that he has had to use his writings to "deceive" his "blind orphan:" mankind. Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier refer to Rabelais as a "great initiate"10 and speculate on the possible existence of a "code" in literary works. Thoreau suggests in the Reading section of Walden that the same is true of great classics in general and that "the now unutterable may be found somewhere uttered." In our own times William Braden observes that the works of

7. 8. 9. 10.

A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 382, Vol. II Arrowsmith, Ch. V, III Gargantua, Ch. I The Morning of the MagiciansPart II, Ch. IV



many great writers lend themselves to esoteric interpretation and that English literature is probably rich in veiled substance.11 Voltaire courts alertness and sensitivity in his Epistle to Sultana Sheraa. His warning that Zadig is "a story which says more than it seems to say"is a provocative, massive understatement. Also noted by Voltaire with respect to Proportions in L'Homme aux quarante ecus is the fact that "people read very little; and, among those who sometimes wish to become learned, most persons read very badly." The reader is left to his own devices where positive enlightenment is concerned. Sinclair Lewis makes no statement on how one should "read" literature. Ionesco does not say what a correct interpretation of Proust might be. Proust does not designate the optical "glasses" which might illuminate the depths of his writings. Sartre does not tell us what is difficult to perceive in the works of Rabelais or Vigny. Nor does he say in what way he deceives his own readers. Pauwels and Bergier do not reveal the nature of the "code" about which they speculate or the nature of what it might disclose. Braden does not choose to shed light on the nature of the esoteric mystery. The reader might as well be told again and again: "Seek, you may find." He is therefore justified in seeking boldly. The hints of perceptive criticsoften illustrious in their own rightare other valuable guides of the explorer of esoteric literature. In this respect also time and repeated testing will be needed before the solid reality of the veiled message and the collective consistency of the "code" become tangible to many readers. The raison d'etre of esotericism involves more than the safety and tranquillity of some individuals. Esotericism reflects an evolutionary view of man and cosmos. The veiled message is slated to emerge in due course of human progress and at that time only. For that reason, H.P. Blavatsky points out that so much information and no more could be given on certain topics at her time of writing. She even states that her monumental Secret Doctrine "withholds far more than it gives

11. LSD and the Search for GodThe Private Sea, W. Braden



out."12 Additional knowledge has been available to initiates but could not be released for general consumption during her lifetime or during the lifetime of many other writers. The same concern with timing may shed light on the allegorical role of a Proustian character: Mme Bon-temps. (The name of the incorruptible lady may be read as "Mrs. Right Time.") The importance of the "right time" is often stressed in occult writings:

"The Secret Doctrine was the universally diffused religion of the ancient and prehistoric world. Proofs of its diffusion, authentic records of its history, a complete chain of documents, showing its character and presence in every land, together with the teaching of its great adepts, exist to this day in the secret crypts of libraries belonging to the Occult Fraternity. This statement is rendered more credible by a consideration of the following facts: the tradition of the thousands of ancient parchments saved when the Alexandrian library was destroyed; the thousands of Sanskrit works which disappeared in India in the reign of Akbar; the universal tradition in China and Japan that the true old texts with the commentaries, which alone make them comprehensibleamounting to many thousands of volumeshave long passed out of the reach of profane hands; the disappearance of the vast sacred and occult literature of Babylon; the loss of those keys which alone could solve the thousand riddles of the Egyptian hieroglyphic records; the tradition in India that the real secret commentaries which alone make the Veda intelligible, though no longer visible to profane eyes, still remain for the initiate, hidden in secret caves and crypts; and an identical belief among the Buddhists, with regard to their secret books. The Occultists assert that all these exist, safe from Western spoliating hands, to reappear in some more enlightened age, for which in the words of the late Swami Dayanand Sarasvati, 'the Mlechchas (outcasts, savages, those beyond the pale of Aryan civilization) will have to wait''' (The Secret Doctrine, p. xxxiv, Vol. I)

12. The Secret Doctrine, p. 278, Vol. I



Does our era qualify as the "right time" for the emergence or secret knowledge long withheld from the profane? Some facts and trends suggest that it may. Freed from age-old misconceptions, strongly established in its own right, Science can afford to survey previously shunned domains. The stigma of theological and other superstition is less readily attached to certain studies than it used to be. Some tenets of the Secret Doctrine such as the existence of submerged continents and the occasional shifting of the axis of Earth may now be considered with relative impunityas long as the precedence of occult philosophy and occult philosophy itself remain unmentioned. The probable existence of Lemuria was already recognized by some representatives of official science during the lifetime of H.P. Blavatsky (1831-1891). In our own age, the writings of Immanuel Velikovsky tend to support the occult belief in the periodic shift of the axis of Earth. While the tendency remains to scorn ancient knowledge, there is an increasing willingness to compare some of its aspects to recent findings. The rills and "mas-cons" detected on the lunar surface a few decades ago are a case in point:

"Paul L. Muller, a mathematician at Caltech's Propulsion Laboratory, reached this conclusion by studying the moon's 'mas-cons,'mass concentrations of very dense material below the lunar surface. 'In two months, two U.S. astronauts are scheduled to land on the moon and gather samples of the soil in a mare,' 'If the samples reveal an unusually high percentage of iron,' Muller said, 'I think it would support the theory that there once was water on the moon. It would be ironic if the ancient astronomers should prove to have been right when they called the dark areas of the moon 'seas.' And if the seas were real, then the inevitable next question is: did life exist in those areas?'" (NEWSWEEK, Science and Space, Moon Rivers, May 12, 1969) The ironic possibility that ancient astronomers may have been right is viewed as fact in the Secret Doctrine. Occult philosophy maintains



that life once existed on our satellite and that it is related to life on our planet. Medical science has found some "old wives remedies" to have scientific value. The once derided belief in the therapeutic value of certain fungi was vindicated when penicillin was "discovered." Magnetism, hypnotism and electricity are now taken for granted though imperfectly understood. The ABC of modern science would have smacked of the faggot not too many years ago had it been offered to public scrutiny. The accepted truths of our era frequently reflect no more than the re-stated occult lore of ancient times. There seems to be no reason why the gradual re-evaluation of knowledge should stop abruptly in our times. The separation of valid occult science from superstition is in order in many areas of human learning. What fantastic domains may soon be annexed by the ever-expanding field of human inquiry is anyone's guess. Famous voices are heard to advocate "new" ventures. The proposed undertakings are closeley related to the Voltairian "conveyances of up there" or intuitive flights. The apotheosis of space rocketry has aroused deserved enthusiasm. It has also resurrected an old dilemma. Does the key to knowledge and progress lie in more and more sophisticated machines? Is a scientific dead end any less of a dead end for the material distance travelled by space capsules? Must our explorations reach beyond the trodden path of matter-bound science into new dimensions? Some contemporary writers suggest that the question should be answered in the affirmative. The following observations made by Norman Mailer at the time of the first manned moonlanding are provocative. Having baptized himself "Aquarius," the author asks the weighty question of the Aquarian age:

"Are we poised for a philosophical launch? It is possible there is no way to settle for less." (LIFE A Fire on the Moon, August 29, 1969)



In a letter addressed to LIFE Magazine and released by the same publication, an illustrious colleagueand likely kindred spirit of Saint-ExuperyCharles Lindbergh, points to vast horizons now open to man. They are ultra-technological horizons. Lindbergh can hardly be accused of scorning the exploits of scientists, engineers or astronautsleast of all those of pilots. But he recognizes the limitations of matter-bound knowledge. His convictions, those of Voltaire, Saint-Exupery and Norman Mailer seem to echo the same basic belief. The Voltairian concept of a "philosophical launch" transcends the plane of lumbering "vehicles:"

"Those who travel by stagecoach and carriage only will no doubt be surprised at the conveyances of up there; for we, on our little heap of mud, conceive nothing beyond our ways." (Micromegas, Ch. I) Saint-Exupery's Little Prince has a similar comment on XXth Century flying machines:

"He nodded gently as he looked at my airplane.'It's true that on that, you could not have come from very far.'" (The Little Prince, Ch. III) Lindbergh expresses himself as follows: "If we can combine our knowledge of science with the wisdom of wildness, if we can nurture civilization through roots in the primitive, man's potentialities appear to be unbounded. Through his evolving awareness; he can merge with the miraculousto which we can attach what better name than 'God?' And in this merging, as long sensed by intuition but still only vaguely perceived by rationality, experience may travel without need for accompanying life. Will we then find life to be only a stage, though an essential one, in a cosmic evolution of which our evolving awareness is beginning to become aware? Will we discover that only without spaceships can we reach the galaxies; that only without cyclotrons can we know the interior of the atom? To venture beyond the fantastic



accomplishments of this physically fantastic age, sensory perception must combine with the extra-sensory, and I suspect that the two will prove to be different faces of each other. I believe it is through sensing and thinking about such concepts that great adventures of the future will be found." (LIFE, Forty-two Years After Another Historic Flight, A Letter from Lindbergh, September 15, 1969) In short, a qualitative shifting of gears is advocated in our approach to knowledge. While the marvels of modern technology should be duly admired and ethically used, they should not blind us to the possible existence of undreamed realities. Movement is perceptible within some churches. Its course often parallels trends noted above. Politically expedient and oblique as it often is, "return to the source" of being and knowledge is involved in many current religious quests. The alleged divinity of the anthropomorphic biblical God is increasingly questioned. Catechisms tend to designate God as Pure Spirit. The ecumenical movementwhich makes strange bed-fellowsis a transparent attempt of spiritual conglomerates to survive at any price. Its pragmatic nature is in itself significant and rich in possibilities. The same urge to reach a spiritual synthesis is felt by a meaningful number of sincere individuals. Obscure but dedicated Christians voice occasional belief in original virtue not original sin. The abyss separating Christian preaching from Christian practice is bravely denounced by a few men of the cloth. The pleas of such priests are often hushed by the executive bolts or the thunderous silence of hierarchs. But the force of indignation remains uncrushed. The Jehovic God dies hard. "Pozzo"13 lives on in semi-subtle ways in the general attitudes and institutions of the Judaeo-Christian world. Self-righteous materialism, warmongering, injustice, calculated "indifference" to the population bomb, thinly disguised hatred of woman, debased masculine mystiques glorifying brutality and muscle at the

13. En Attendant Godot, S. Beckett



expense of brains and heart continue to plague mankind. But the poorly camouflaged tangle of entrenched evils does not go unnoticed. Nor does the truncated, tortured dogma from which it stems and draws support. The veiled message of Voltaire is the true message of Buddha and Christ. It is the same as the teaching of great spiritual leaders of all times. Christ, the arch-agitator of "subversives" would find his most fanatical devotees ready to crucify him again in the name of Christian values were he to return. But he would find no shortage of youthful followers of all ages, weary of dogeat-dog mystiques and self-inflicted blindness. Our world may be ready for the Voltairian restatement of Christ's Word. Interest in occult science was widespread in the sixties and is keen again. It is inseparable from multiple news items ranging from the amusing to the gruesome. Karma, Sutratma, "The Great Wall of Skin," "Nothing is Real," "Release," have been upon us in a psychedelic wave of sense and mind-blowing symphonies. The musical exploitation of such themes has, in fact, become a thriving industry. "Magic" finds its way into popular magazines and Sunday papers. All is fish that comes to the net of sensationalism. "Magic" is the sensational topic par excellence. Sadly enough, some quests for enlightenment have led their seekers to left-handed practices and to mind-altering drugs. Reality suffers accordingly in the reporting process. The Secret Doctrine is rarely if ever mentioned when it should be recognized as a precursor of "new discoveries." The word "Theosophy" is put to strange use. The majority of related newspaper and magazine articles dwell upon thriller-type stories connected with black magic. The expert definition of occultism given by H.P. Blavatsky"Occultism is altruism"is too "dull" for a profitable scoop. It is never quoted. But the prejudice of some and the ignorance of many do not alter one fact: interest is there. Many persons are searching for theyknow-not-what lofty something capable of shedding radiance over their lives. That



"something" will emerge some day from the current welter of misconceptions. Literature will be deeply involved in that process. The present study demonstrates the identity of views linking Voltairian thought and the Secret Doctrine. Similar work remains to be done on the writings of a large number of authors who lived in widely separated times and places. The texts of such writers are occasionally quoted in this study. But the vast scope of esoteric literature can only be suggested within the narrow confines of one book. The field of literary research which now lies open is too rich and too precious to be hoarded by any one person. It is neither possible nor desirable that the task be performed by one lone individual. Besides, it is all too easy to dismiss a personal interpretation as "subjective" or even pathological. It will be less easy to lavish such labels when similar discoveries are made by numerous readers. There is reason to believe that the present findings will not be welcome in all quarters and that the above-mentioned labels- -and a few otherswill be used. It is therefore hoped that the vast amount and impressive quality of research to be done will attract many dedicated seekers of truth. The elements of esotericism which are now gathered from the works of Voltaire, Vigny, Rabelais, Proust, Saint-Exupery and others can be no more than an introduction to future studies. It is hoped that the esoteric equivalences now presented will be tested against the background of numerous texts. Accordingly, an esoteric glossary is appended to this book. One hypothesis should be kept in mind: Could the Secret Doctrine form the hidden core of numerous writings? Beginning in the sixties, a large number of readers have been and remain interested in mystical literature such as the works of Hermann Hesse. They will readily grasp the concealed message of Voltaire which is only one link in a spectacular chain. They will speculate on their own where other great writers are concerned. They will detect "Voltairian" philosophy under all kinds of garbsor "veils"in an impressive number of places.



It is neither practical nor desirable to lose sight of the firmly established exoteric persona of Voltaire. His legendary fame no longer seems newsworthy to those who like to declare all Humanities Studies "irrelevant." Yet, his figure continues to dominates an age. His name lives on in language. The terms "Voltairian spirit," "Voltairian philosophy" rival comparable cliches such as "Platonic love" and "Machiavelic intent." No erudition is required to make them negotiable in everyday exchange. They are the joint property of scholars and the man on the street. For all their practicalityperhaps because of itsuch characterizations as the word "Voltairian" are uneasy a peu pres. Texts defy and mock them with galling irreverence. Complexity and seeming paradox stand unresolved and untouched by compact formulas. Thought in general, Voltairian thought in particular, resists tidy labels and their narrow confines. While the adjective "Voltairian" generally brings to mind the idea of religious doubt or even unbelief; while it is associated with the famous imprecation aimed at the Throne and Altar compound: "Crush the infamous!," positive grasp of the underlying system is no easy task. Voltairian commentators give evidence of acute yet dogmatic puzzlement. Following are a few typical evaluations found in literary textbooks. Such is the material which has been systematically spoon-fed to generations of students of Voltairian writings: "one must make no mistake about the deism of Voltaire. No one ever was more profoundly irreligious. His philosophical God is an affirmation which seemed necessary to his mind, but which did not touch his heart. Belief in a real and tangible God seemed to him to be foolishness and the believer who loves and hopes a dupe. He limited his thoughts to earthly life." (Histoire de la Litterature Francaise. G. Lanson and P. Truffau, p. 414). "But there is also a basic conflict between Voltaire and Christianity; and one can only grasp it in his commentary on the Thoughts of Pascal. A person who has not read them cannot know to what extent the contradiction is impossible to resolve. Voltaire does not accept the idea that man is wretched and he proves it by showing



that civilization develops from day to day, that the streets of Paris are lit, that beautiful carriages are seen there, etc. One would easily believe in paradox or in a prank if all the other writings of Voltaire did not support the seriousness of these arguments." (Histoire Illustree de la Litterature Francaise, Ch.M. Des Granges, p. 503) "He cannot be respectful, he can't help it. God himself, about whom he has written (Philosophical Dictionary) such beautiful pages, is subjected at random to his irreverence. He believes in the immortality of the soul and in a future life but vaguely; and on that score also contradiction abounds. In short, it is very difficult to pinpoint the philosophy of Voltaire which appears to us today to be contained in these few words: moral and civic freedom, material progress of society, tolerance, deism." (Histoire Illustree de la Litterature Francaise, Ch.M. Des Granges, p. 604) The Classiques Gamier Editor seems to agree: "Is it true that his thought [Voltairian thought] is not sufficiently bold and is satisfied with partial criticisms without posing the true social problem?In the face of those who will construct systems at all costs, oracles and fortune-tellers who interpret the providences and inescapable decrees of Historythe Tales invite us to modestly limit ourselves to facts." (Voltaire, Romans et contes, Classiques Garnier, Edition de H. Benac, pp. XI-XII) Confusion and contradiction are obviously not limited to Voltaire. Hesitant statements and further questioning are frequent products of Voltairian study. "Paradox," "pranks," "a philosophy difficult to define," occasional reverence, blasphemous tendencies, metaphysical interests and materialism are all noted with understandable puzzlement. The "basic conflict between Voltaire and Christianity" that is mentioned by Ch.M. Des Granges does exist, as any student of Voltairian texts well knows. But the next statement of the critic is open to question. The isolated comment on Pascal that is made by Voltaire cannot shed light on the nature of the conflict. The present study will show



that it is from the trilogy formed by Zadig, Candide and L'Ingenu that insight may be gained on the subject. It will also show that the distinction to be made between the true message of Christ and "Christianity" will clarify puzzling aspects of Voltairian philosophy. It will explain, among other things, Voltaire's evaluation of Pascal. The materialism of Voltaire is genuine. But it should be care fully defined in terms of the Voltairian concept of "matter." Micromegas suggestswith insistencethat matter is the external manifestation of Spirit on the lowest plane of existence. Such hints should be heeded. The enthusiasm expressed by Voltaire about material progress includes but mostly transcends such conveniences as street-lights and carriages. Voltaire recognizedas does any reasonable personthat a certain level of physical well-being favors intellectual and spiritual development. He knew that the average inhabitant of the Western world is ill-equipped to transcend a suffering body. But his ultimate objective was the superior potential of Man. Des Granges is partially correct when he speculates on the likelihood of Voltairian "pranks." But he seems to overlook the symbolic possibilities of such "pranks" as light and wheels of evolution. The irreverent or disrespectful attitude of Voltaire toward the Deity should give us food for thought rather than a basis for summary judgment. How does one explain the vibrant professions of faithsuch as his Priere a Dieuif the charge has substance? Should we not wonder if one inferior version of Godanthropomorphic Jehovah for instanceis rejected while the Unknowable Supreme Being is revered? The alleged skepticism of Voltaire is a prime target of critics. It is, as shown above, usually felt to be opposed to "the objective study of religions." It is commonly viewed as a form of systematic and negative bias. Skepticism demands and examines evidence as etymology suggests. (Greek skopein, to examine). It is interesting to note that "bishops"whose titles have the same linguistic origin may be unqualified for the "the objective study of religions" if skepticism is deemed a



handicap in the performance of such work. Actually, skepticism is linked to the generally respected requirements of impartiality and burden of proof. Far from being opposed to "objective" thinking, it is an indispensable aspect of such thinking. Descartes once wrote that "he who seeks the truth must as far as possible, doubt everything." Diderot once defined skepticism as the first step toward truth:

"What one has never questioned has not been proved. What one has not examined without prejudice has never been well examined. Skepticism is therefore the firt step toward truth." (Pensees Philosophiques, Denis Diderot, XXXI) No author should be deemed unfit for "the objective study of religions" because of our failure to use words correctly. The fact that "skepticism" has become virtually synonymous with negative bias does not alter the value of pure skepticism. We need to approach the writings of Voltaire and of many others with open minds and with a careful definition of terms. The commentary of Lagarde et Michard seems to postulate a special "objectivity" applicable to religions only: perhaps an objectivity of subjective nature. The present study submits that Voltaire himself wholeheartedly endorsed such a view where a specific plane of belief is concerned. With respect to "faith," "mysticism" and "depth of religious feelings," all areas in which Voltaire is summarily found wanting, the present work will show that the alleged infidel "understood" them to an impressive degree. There is an element of sad irony in the judgment of Lagarde et Michard. The same subjective type of objectivity which seems to be advocated would perform wonders if the authors of certain manuals could apply it to some writerssuch as Voltaire. The question raised by Henri Benac is answered by the esoteric message of Voltaire. Voltairian thought is daring enough whether "the true social problem" or other matters be concerned. The Tales do stress the realm of fact. But the Voltairian view of "fact," and the Voltairian view



of "physics," which are prominent in those stories involve "the reverse side of a fine picture." No one worked harder to make us "lift the veil" of appearance or gaze on "the other side" than did the Sage of Ferney. The present study refers to an old, popular French song. Other unorthodox means of esoteric expression are examined. Eclectism is an old tradition with transmitters of the Secret Doctrine whose precursors were once known collectively as "the Eclectic Theosophical School." The divine sense of humor possessed by "smugglers" is bound to a vision of the world that is allembracing. Esoteric writers capitalize on the fact that spirit is present on all planes of existence. They know that truth may be foundand conveyedon least exalted levels. They are grandly unafraid of what is commonly termed "common." We should not be surprised if their unbridled flights lead us anywhere in time, space, or other dimensions. We may find ourselves studying the Book of Dzyana basic component of the Secret Doctrine, the latest paperback, "children's" books and fairy tales. We may speculate on certain movies, perhaps even comic strips. We will assuredly travel where timid minds fear to venture. The present work contains a chapter on prophecy. Also featured are passages dealing with the likely mission and cosmic origin of Voltaire. Voltairian texts strongly suggest that their author appeared on Earth as a result of voluntary reincarnation. The startling suggestion seems to be supported by the esotericism of Vigny and Proust. Such unorthodox material is not presented for the sake of sensationalism. Voltaire is too sensational in his exoteric personality alone to need embellishment. The inclusion of such findings is dictated by the essence of texts analyzed. What is here perceived of the Voltairian esoteric iceberg may not extend very far beyond the water line. But it is presented without cowardice. Voltaire hoped that his veiled message would be faced squarely when found. This study is an attempt to respect his sacred wish. Let us ponder the exquisite Epitre Dedicatoire a la Sultane Sheraa which introduces Zadig. In Voltaire's own words the story "says more



than it seems to say." Could this statement refer to a creed more dangerous to proclaim than his already explosive socio-political views? Could the discreet observation point to occult philosophy? What unbreakable golden thread of unsuspected logic might emerge if one responds to the above plea for understanding with the occult hypothesis in mind? Let us attempt the bold venture, bearing in mind another Voltairian exhortation: "Don't be surprised at anything, and follow me!14

14. Zadig, L'Ermite



From the very beginning of the story the portrait of the title character lends itself to allegorical interpretation. The young man lives in ancient Babylon or Babel, a symbol of Pagan knowledge. He is well acquainted with the philosophy of Zoroaster, a doctrine reflected in his thinking, his words and his actions. In spite of his pagan backgroundperhaps because of ithe is endowed with remarkable wisdom and has attained a rare degree of virtue. "Du temps du roi Moabdar, il y avait a Babylone un jeune homme nomme Zadig, ne avec un beau naturel, fortifie par l'education. Quoique riche et jeune, il savait moderer ses passions, il n'affectait rien; il ne voulait point toujours avoir raison, et savait respecter la faiblesse des hommes. On etait etonne de voir qu'avec beaucoup d'esprit il n'insultat jamais par des railleries a ces propos si vagues, si rompus et tumultueux, a ces medisances temeraires, a ces decisions ignorantes, a ces turlupinades grossieres, a ce vain bruit de paroles, qu'on appelait conversation dans Babylone. Il avait appris, dans le premier livre de Zoroastre, que l'amour-propre est un ballon gonfle de vent, dont il sort des tempetes quand on lui a fait une piqure. Zadig surtout ne se vantait pas de mepriser les femmes et de les subjuguer. Il etait genereux; il ne craignait point d'obliger les ingrats, suivant ce grand precepte de Zoroastre: Quand tu manges, donne a manger aux chiens, dussent-ils te mordre. Il etait aussi sage qu'on peut l'etre, car il cherchait a vivre avec des sages. Instruit dans les sciences des anciens Chaldeens, il n'ignorait pas les princi-pes physiques de la nature tels qu'on les connaissait alors, et savait


de la metaphysique ce quen a su dans tous les ages, c'est-a-dire fort peu de chose." (Le Borgne, p. 11) ("In the days of King Moabdar, there was in Babylon a young man named Zadig, born with fine natural gifts fortified by upbringing. Although rich and young, he knew how to control his passions; he was without affectation; he did not want to always have the last word, and knew how to respect the weakness of men. People were surprised to see that, with a great deal of wit, he never attacked with mockery those exchanges which are so vague, so incoherent, so loud, those summary pronouncements, those crude comedies, that vain noise of words that were called conversation in Babylon. He had learned, in the first book of Zoroaster, that pride is a balloon inflated with wind, from which storms are released when it is punctured. Zadig, above all did not boast of scorning women or of subjugating them. He was generous; he did not fear to oblige the ungrateful, following this great precept of Zoroaster: When you eat, feed the dogs, even if they are to bite you. He was as wise as one can be, for he sought to live with wise men. Learned in the sciences of ancient Chaldees, he was not ignorant of the physical principles of nature as they were known in those days, and knew about metaphysics what has been known about them in all ages, which is to say very little." (The One-Eyed Man) Judged by its remarkable human product, Chaldean philosophy deserves esteem, even admiration. Lack of vanity, respectful and compassionate treatment of all fellow-creatures are behavior patterns prized and practiced by Zadig. His refusal to scorn and subjugate women denotes a rare representative of the masculine gender. The injunction "to feed the dogs" without regard to possible risk amounts to the New Testament exhortation to "turn the other cheek" or kill hatred with kindness. While the precept brings to mind the teachings of Christ, it is an indirect reflection of Far Eastern philosophy of Good and Evil, Cause and Effect and Impersonal Retribution. Within such a system good deeds are done without calculation. Revenge is not only pointless but harmful to any person who seeks it. Vicious circles of wickedness must be broken through lack of retaliation. In that respect also, the


ethics of Zoroaster's devotee reflect the teachings of Buddha and Christ. The young man seems to be worthy of a name closely resembling Sadig, a term which, in H.P. Blavatsky's opinion, designates "the patriarch Noah (and also Melchizedek)" and which may be applied to a JUST man, and 'perfect in his generation.'"1 "All science and every useful art were attributed to him, and through his sons transmitted to posterity."2 The name Zadig also resembles Zadok which designates "a high priest, from whom came the Zadokites or Sadducees."3 The importance of knowledge is stressed. Zadig is familiar with the "physical principles of nature as they were known in those days," a concept likely to embrace what is now meant by the words occult science. The spiritual aspect of ancient learning is often noted in related publications:

"The third degree of the Pythagoricians was that of the 'Physikoi,' not of physicists in the modern sense of the word, but of students of the inner life, who learned to recognize divine life under all its veils, and were thus able to understand its evolution. A life of the greatest purity was required of all those students." (La Sorcellerie des campagnes, Charles Lancelin, p. 13) Far from being limited to what is now known as physical sciencesa redundant phrase since all science worthy of the name is usually viewed as strictly physicalthe physical sciences of the Ancients reflect an all-embracing concept of physis or nature:

"Sciences which remain unknown in our days were, it has been ascertained, thoroughly studied and practiced in the sacred crypts of the ancient East, and other areas of knowledge which now seem to us absolutely outside of nature because they are based upon natural laws which escape ussuch as occult experimentation, psychic

1. 2. 3.

Genesis, VI, 4 The Secret Doctrine, p. 392, Vol. II Isis Unveiled, p. 297, Vol. 2


and in general, hyperphysical experimentationwere common in most ancient times, in the temples of India, Egypt, Thracia, Gaul, etc." (La Sorcellerie des campagnes, Charles Lancelin, p. 20) In its blending of physics and metaphysics the Ancient Wisdom-Religion fused two realms which are generally deemed incompatible in our times:

"religion and science were closer knit than twins in days of oldthey were one in two and two in one from the very moment of their conception. With mutually convertible attributes, science was spiritual and religion was scientific." (Isis Unveiled, p. 263, Vol. 2) The concept of scientific religionor religious scienceis unfamiliar and elusive for average XXth Century minds which tend to think of it as superstition. But it can be grasped in the joint lights of occult philosophy and of recent scientific advances in the realm of subatomic particles. The Secret Doctrine teaches that matter is crystallized spirit. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky: The atomis "the most metaphysical object in creation." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 485, Vol. I) "Spirit is matter on the seventh plane; matter is Spiriton the lowest point of its cyclic activity; and bothare MAYA." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 633, Vol. I) Aside from hinting in the first chapter of Zadig that the physical sciences of Antiquity were qualitatively different from modern sciences, Voltaire suggests in L'Ingenu that his concept of "physics" does not exclude the realm of the "hyperphysical." A major character speaks as follows: "My soneverything is physical within us, any secretion benefits the body and everything that relieves it relieves the soul."4 If all is


L 'Ingenu, Ch. X


physical within us, the soulthe existence of which seems to be beyond doubtmust, to some extent at least, be physical itself. The alert reader has reason to speculate that the Voltairian view of physics may be consistent with teachings of the ancient Wisdom-Religion. Also, that it resembles the occult notion of the human soul as a far more ethereal principle than the physical body but as distinct from the highest human principle: atma. Atma is identical in essence with the universal spirit. It is, therefore, untainted by anything "physical"the latter word being used here in its usual modern sense. If psychic and spiritual vitality pervade the "physical sciences" of ancient Chaldea, it may follow that the popular metaphysics mentioned in the portrait of Zadig are mere constructions of the unspiritu-alized, dead-letter intellect. Zadig does not "ignore" the former, spirit-based variety of metaphysics; an area of knowledge that is accessible to a few sages only. Voltaire's use of the indefinite pronoun on"people in general"leaves room for valid metaphysical knowledge restricted to a few persons. The fact that what "people in general" have known about metaphysics throughout recorded history amounts to very little does not rule out the existence of valid, carefully guarded metaphysical learning. The keen interest of Zadig in an elite of wise men tends to support the probability. In short, Voltaire's brief comment on metaphysics suggests a possible identity of views between occult philosophy and the philosophy of "the ancient sage" who "amused himself by writing the story of the young Babylonian. The average inhabitant of the modern Western world is conditioned to regard anything "magical," "miraculous," "psychic" or "paranormal" as part of the realm of "the supernatural." Which is a grave error in the opinion of proponents of the Secret Doctrine and in the opinion of Voltaire. The flawed concept of "the supernatural" is rejected in the chapter of Zadig entitled: The Dance: "I do not like the supernatural,' said Zadig." H.P. Blavatsky shares that view:

There is no miracle. Everything that happens is the result of laweternal, immutable, ever active. Apparent miracle is but the


operation of forces antagonistic to what Dr. W.F. Carpenter, F.R.S.a man of great learning but little knowledgecalls 'the well-ascertained laws of nature.' Like many of his class, Dr. Carpenter ignores the fact that there may be laws once 'known' now unknown to science." (Isis Unveiled, p. 587, Vol. 2) The laws "once known now unknown to science" account for Voltaire's observation on "the principles of nature" as they were known in ancient times. Not surprisingly, the philosophy of Zoroaster and the Wisdom-Religion or Secret Doctrine from which it was derived hold the same view on a crucial aspect of their philosophy. Their concept of physis or Nature does not exclude a multitude of mysterious "wonders" but does exclude "the supernatural." Zadig, who does "not like the supernatural," might as well have statedas does H.P. Blavatsky: "there is really nothing above or beyond NATURE and Nature's laws."5 Zadig lives in Babylon at a time when the beneficial influence of an era when "The whole human race was of 'one language and of one lip.'"6 continues to be felt. The tradition of ancient Babylon is closely linked to the Secret Doctrine:

The tower of Babel was built as much by the direct descendants of Shem as by those of the 'accursed' Ham and Canaan, for the people in those days were 'one' and the whole earth was one of language: Babel was simply an astrological tower, and its builders were astrologers and adepts of the primitive Wisdom-Religion or again what we term the Secret Doctrine." (Isis Unveiled, p. 217, Vol. 2) The teachings of Zoroaster are viewed as a reflection of the ancient Wisdom-Religion. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "Zoroastrian Esotericism is identical with that of the Secret Doctrine;"7

5. 6. 7.

The Key to Theosophy, Ch. XIV The Secret Doctrine, p. 198, Vol. II Genesis, 2, 1 The Secret Doctrine, p. 356, Vol. II

Zadig 7

"that Zarathustra and his followers, the Zoroastrians, 'had been settled in India before they immigrated into Persia' isproved by Max Muller.... 'Many of the gods of the Zoroastrians come out...as mere reflections and deflections of the primitive and authentic gods of the Veda.'" (Isis Unveiled, p. 143, Vol. 2) Voltaire's insistent references to Zoroaster convey far more than the amusing sound of an exotic name. His amusing"esoterically meaningful"choice of names underscores the importance of the connection between Zadig, his hero, a disciple of Zoroaster, and the corresponding religion or doctrine. The philosophy of the learned elite of ancient Babylon was likely to appeal to the XVIIIth Century Sage whose preoccupations with ethics, religious tolerance and universal values are well known. Zoroastrian philosophy antedates the confusing division of the original one "language" or universal doctrine into numerous fragments or religions. Like other Pagan creeds whose many "gods" are personified powers of Nature, it is polytheistic in appearance yet monotheistic in reality. Zoroastrian philosophy is, therefore, compatible with the Voltairian concept of an impersonal Supreme Being. The spirit of tolerance promoted by the ancient Wisdom-Religion or Secret Doctrinea body of knowledge eventually designated by Alfred de Vigny as THE UNIVERSAL WRIT9has much in common with the teachings of Zoroaster and with the Traite sur la tolerance, a document in which Voltaire addresses the Supreme Being in the following terms: "You did not give us a heart so that we might hate one another, or hands to cut one another's throats; please allow it to be so that we may mutually help one another bear the burden of a harsh and transient life; so that the small differences between clothes that cover our weak bodies, between all our inadequate languages, between all our ridiculous ways, between all our imperfect laws;

8. 9.

Isis Unveiled^ p. xxxviii, Vol. 1 L 'Espritpur, Alfred de Vigny


between all our reckless opinions, between all our conditions so disproportionate in our eyes and so equal before you; let it be so that all those small nuances that distinguish the atoms called men may not be signals for hatred and persecution; so that those who light tapers at high noon to celebrate you may tolerate those who content themselves with the light of your sun; so that those who cover their robes with a white cloth to say that one must love you may not hate those who say the same thing under a cloak of black wool; so that it may be the same to adore you in a jargon drawn from a dead language, or in a newer jargon;... May all men remember that they are brothers!" The same spirit of inclusion is expressed by Sri Ramakrishna, a "great nineteenth century saint," who "followed many a devotional and ecstatic path but" who "allowed no narrowness, no ignorant denunciation or exclusion of other paths. He said:

'The eternal religion, the religion of the Rishis, has existed from time out of mind and will exist eternally. This sanatana dharma contains all forms of worshipworship of God with form and worship of the Impersonal as well. It contains all paths. Ask a Vaishnava (worshiper of Vishnu) to hold to his cult and a Sakta (worshiper of Sakti or Divine Mother) to his. But this I also say to them: 'Never feel that your path alone is right and that the paths of others are wrong and full of errors. Hindus, Muslims, and Christians are going to the same goal through different paths.'" (Buddhism and Christianity in the Light of Hinduism, Arthur Osborne, p. 52) Occult philosophy stresses the superior potential of human beings. "The divine spark in man being one and identical in its essence with the Universal Spirit, our 'spiritual Self' is practically omniscient" yet, in most cases, unable to realize his potential due to "impediments of matter."10 The wisdom of Zadig, which involves a rare degree of common

10. The Key to Theosophy, Ch. II


sense, sensitivity and knowledge suggests a likely candidate to "omniscience." The potential of less advanced persons is also mentioned by Voltaire with the profound humor that is a favorite tool of esoteric writers. Psychological "storms" are noted to occur whenever self-love, selfishness and vanityin a word, l'amour propreget out of control. The suggested parallel between cataclysmic forces and the explosive potential of human nature is thought-provoking. Voltaire stresses that, for better or for worse, "homo sapiens" carries within himself in more or less latent state a formidable arsenal of power. H.P. Blavatsky calls attention to the same fact: "We would have all to realize that magical, i.e., spiritual powers exist in every man..."11 Voltaire's reference to Chaldean sciences based on physical principles "as they were known in those days" may bring to mind superstition and other discredited beliefs incompatible with modern knowledge. It may also draw attention to lost or concealed treasures of science. The secrecy surrounding such lore is due to the formidable power which may be released in certain types of occult experimentation. As we should know in this era of nuclear fission, advanced learning can destroy its owners as well as countless others when the relevance of ethics is scorned. On an individual level, imprudent or unethical occult experimentation may result in mental illness and even death. The vital necessity of combining Knowledge-and-Ethics until they are two in one is repeatedly stressed in theosophical and esoteric writings:

"It is not the pure at heart, and he who studies but with a view to perfecting himself and so more easily acquiring the promised immortality, who need have any fear; but rather he who makes of the science of sciences a sinful pretext for worldly motives, who should tremble." (Isis Unveiled, p. 119, Vol. 2)

11. Isis Unveiled, p. 635, Vol. 2



The natural heritage of uncommon virtue displayed by Zadig suggests a harvest prepared in previous incarnations. Occult philosophy teaches that the effect of Impersonal Divine Justice, is perceptible in circumstances of birth such as physical, intellectual and spiritual endowment. Etymologically, at least, the "fine nature" of the young manun beau naturel(c.f. Latin natus) is related to birth, probably also to rebirth. It was Voltaire, after all, who used the symbolic necklace of reincarnation in Candide and Micromegas. It was Voltaire who also wrotewithout benefit of veilin La Princesse de Babylone: "The resurrection,... is the simplest thing in the world. It is no more amazing to be born twice than once." Several elements of Voltairian algebraesoteric vocabularyare found in the first chapter of Zadig. "Strength," "force," "energy" all represent spirituality in occult philosophy. We might also note in passing the etymology of virtue: the Latin word virtus which means "strength." The equivalence of strength, force and spirit is stated in the following passage:

"No more than Science, does esoteric philosophy admit design or 'special creation.' It rejects every claim to the 'miraculous,' and accepts nothing outside the uniform and immutable laws of Nature. But it teaches a cyclic law, a double stream of force (or spirit) and of matter, which starting from the neutral centre of Being, develops in its cyclic progress and incessant transformations." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 731, Vol. II) Fortified by upbringing and personal effort, the native temperament of Zadig points to a spiritual orientation. The adjective "sage" which means "wise" and the noun "sages""Wise men"also convey the idea of superior knowledge and superior wisdom. A rare degree of wisdom and self-control is demonstrated by Zadig in his contacts with priests:



"He was firmly convinced that the year had three hundred and sixty-five days and one fourth, in spite of the new philosophy of his time, and that the sun was in the center of the world; and when the high priests told him, with an insulting haughtiness, that he harbored bad feelings and that one was the enemy of the State if one believed that the sun revolved around its own axis and that the year had twelve months, he kept quiet, without anger and without scorn." (The One-Eyed Man) The disciple of Zoroaster has a remarkable knowledge of astronomy. Long before Galileo, he is aware of the heliocentric structure of our solar system. He believes the sun to be "a central star relatively motionless, turning only on its axis,"12 His precise estimate of the length of one year gives further evidence of learning. Such beliefswhich are the boast of modern scienceare actually far from new. Voltaire seems to pay tribute to the knowledge of Ancient Babylonians as does H.P. Blavatsky. Probably for the same reasons.

"How few of our recent alleged discoveries are in reality new, and how many belong to the ancients, is again most fairly and eloquently though but in part stated by our eminent philosophical writer, Professor John W. Draper. His Conflict Between Religion and Sciencea great book with a very bad titleswarms with such facts. At page 13, he cites a few of the achievements of ancient philosophers, which excited the admiration of Greece. In Babylon was a series of Chaldean astronomical observations, ranging back through nineteen hundred and three years, which Callishenes sent to Aristotle. Ptolemy, the Egyptian king-astronomer possessed a Babylonian record of eclipses going back seven hundred and forty-seven years before our era. As Professor Draper truly remarks: 'Long-continued and close observation were necessary before some of these astronomical results that have reached our times could have been ascertained. Thus, the Babylonians had fixed the length of a tropical year within twenty-five seconds of the truth, their estimate of the sidereal year was barely two minutes in excess. They

12. The Secret Doctrine, p. 100, fn., Vol. I



had detected the precession of the equinoxes. They knew the causes of eclipses, and by the aid of their cycle, called saros, could predict them. Their estimate of the value of that cycle, which is more than 6,585 days, was within nineteen and a half minutes of the truth. Such facts furnish incontrovertible proof of the patience and skill with which astronomy had been cultivated in Mesopotamia, and that, with very inadequate instrumental means, it had reached no inconsiderable perfection. These old observers had made a catalogue of the stars, had divided the zodiac into twelve signs; they had parted the day into twelve hours, the night into twelve. They had, as Aristotle says, for a long time devoted themselves to observation of star-occultation by the moon. They had correct views of the structure of the solar system, and knew the order of emplacement of the planets. They constructed sundials, clepsydras, astrolabes, gnomons.' Speaking of the world of eternal truths that lies 'within the world of transient delusions and unrealities,' Professor Draper says: 'That world is not to be discovered through the vain traditions that have brought down to us the opinion of men who lived in the morning of civilization, nor in the dreams of mystics who thought they were inspired. It is to be discovered by the investigations of geometry, and by the practical interrogations of nature.' Precisely. The issue could not be better stated. This eloquent writer tells us a profound truth. He does not, however, tell us the whole truth, because he does not know it. He has not described the nature or extent of the knowledge imparted in the Mysteries. No subsequent people has been so proficient in geometry as the builders of the Pyramids and other Titanic monuments, antediluvian and post-diluvian. On the other hand, none has ever equalled them in the practical interrogation of nature." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 2122, Vol. 1) The tolerant outlook and impressive learning of Zadig are contrasted to the repressive attitude and to the falsehoods of the priests. General access to knowledge is virtually monopolized by the magi. Science is prostituted to a socio-religious system resembling a latterday



Throne-Altar conglomeratethe infamous establishment denounced by Voltaire in his Lettre a d'Alembert: "Quoi que vous fassiez, ecrasez l'infame..." "Whatever you do, crush the infamous ..." (Lettres a d'Alembert, 28 November 1762) The collusion of church and monarchy is manifest in the thinly veiled threats of the magi. Any person upholding "heretical" beliefs on the nature or the universeor on anything elseis "the enemy or the State." Far from representing progress, the so-called "new philosophy" of the priests is reactionary. Valid scientific knowledge is discarded in favor of theological superstition. The whole process parallels the decline from worship of an Impersonal Supreme Being to worship of the personal God of the Pentateuch. In short, the emergence of the "new philosophy" marks a "fall" from the enlightenment of Zoroastri-anism into the Dark Age of the Old Testament. It will be shown in due course of this book that the same theme of evolutionary fall underlies the entire trilogy formed by Zadig, Candide and L'Ingenu. Zadig lives in a period of transition from the lingering influence of the Ancient WisdomReligion to the era when the fragmentation of the original universal "language" began to produce what is now known as major world religions. Inevitably, the change brought repression of the pursuit of knowledge which became the sinful "Forbidden Fruit" of Genesis. The admittedly jealous, vengeful Mosaic God apparently feared his own creation and his own creatures. The study of astronomyfor which Babylonians were and remain famous to this daywas a choice target of Jehovic wrath: "14. And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it. 16. Lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likenesss of male or female.



17. The likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, 18. The likeness of any thing that creepeth on the ground, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: 19. And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven." (Deuteronomy, Ch. 4) The magi featured in the first chapter of Zadig act as the true rulers of Babylon. But the official head of temporal power and thought-control is a monarch: King Moabdar. His name contains the word Moab which designates a portion of ancient Syria located East of the Dead Sea. The Moabites of biblical tradition are believed to have formed a warlike tribe which caused great fear among Israelites until it was defeated by David and Saul. Their legendary origin is linked to an initial battle against "aboriginal giants."13 Accordingly, the name of King Moabdar suggests a transitional stage from the realm of legend to the era commonly known as recorded History. Also emphasized is the transition from superior Pagan knowledge derived from the ancient Wisdom-Religion or Secret Doctrine to a mutilated and otherwise disfigured version: the Judaeo-Christian tradition and, more precisely, the Old Testament. Subsequent chapters of Zadigand the entirety of Candidewill eventually prove to trace a record of the same process of gradual degradation. Interestingly, the last syllable of the King's namedar -is the reverse of the German word rad meaning wheel. The wheel is a well-known symbol of destiny, fate and Karma. It appears toward the end of Zadig in a chapter featuring a puzzling hermit whose name contains the correct form of the German word rad. Voltaire apparently wished to contrast Moabdarrepresenting a regressive force antagonistic to the concept of Karmaand the unadulterated form of the karmic

13. Encyclopedia BrittanicaMoab



symbol contained in the name or the hermit: Jesrad. The contrast tends to further designate Moabdar as the representative of the reactionary Judaeo-Christian tradition. While JudaeoChristian teachings concede that human beings reap what they sow, they reject the rar Eastern concept of Karma because it is inseparable from Reincarnation or Rebirth. Following the precedent set by Jesus,14 the Church had taught reincarnation during its first few centuries of existence. But the doctrine of rebirth was eventually refurbished and re-baptized as the "resurrection of the flesh," a dogma requiring belief in the Paradise, Purgatory and Hell of theologians. Thus were countless Christians doomed to agonize in lifelong terror of endless fiendish tortures and eternal flames. Thus were stiff-necked members of the flock made to toe the line and to become conveniently malleable. In addition to its wheel or karmic component we should note that the name of Jesrad suggests both Jesus, a proponent of reincarnation as noted above, Justice and a Just man. Finally, that the strange hermit reveals what would otherwise remain unfathomable mysteries of human destiny, a fact transparently hinting at his esoteric identity: Karma, the Law of Unfailing Retribution which is inseparable from Reincarnation. The beh avior of Zadig caught up in a Babylonian "conflict between Religion and Science" is what can be expected of a man who is "as wise as one can be," for he seeks "to live with wise men." Zadig is aware of the futilityand dangerof any argument with the priests. Furthermore, the disciple of Zoroaster is bound to believe that no conflict exists between highest forms of the "separated twins:" Religion and Science. Accordingly, the arrogance and threats of the magi are endured in silence. Silence is, in such a case, a manifestation of common sense. But it is far more than the absence of sound. The word silence is an important element of the verbal algebra used by literary "smugglers" of the Secret Doctrine to convey deep meaning. Such words as silence, se taire, ne dire mot ("silence", "to hush," "to say

14. The Secret Doctrine, p. III, fn., Vol. II



not a single word") commonly symbolize occult secrecy, the meditation of the sage and the development of latent spirituality. While silence seems to be passive, perhaps even cowardly to the exoteric reader of Zadig, it is an auxiliary of spiritual ventures; a sign of true strength or spiritual vitality. It is in the present case a spectacular demonstration of self-control for it is free from the "anger" and "scorn" that would naturally be felt by lesser mortals. Voltaire seems to suggest that his hero is more than a mere candidate to highest levels of wisdom. Zadig has plenty of silent company in the literature of the Western world. Alfred de Vigny was to extoll the silence, strength and solitude of the spiritual quest which is a central theme of literary "contraband." "Seul le silence est grand; tout le reste est faiblesse." (La Mort du loup) (Alone silence is great; all the rest is weakness) "Le vrai Dieu, le Dieu fort, est le Dieu des idees. Sur nos fronts ou le germe est jete par le sort, Repandons le Savoir en fecondes ondees; Puis recueillant le fruit tel que de l'ame il sort, Tout empreint du parfum des saintes solitudes; Jetons l'oeuvre a la mer, la mer des multitudes; Dieu la prendra du doigt pour la conduire au port." (La Boutoille a la mer) ("The true God, the strong God, is the God of ideas. On our brows where the seed is cast by fate, Let us spread Knowledge in fruitful showers; Then gathering the fruit such as it issues from the soul, All filled with the perfume of holy solitudes, Cast the work to the sea, the sea of multitudes. God will take it in hand and will guide it to port.") Non-silence amounts to "weakness" in the esoteric systems of both Vigny and Voltaire. The "weakness" of the majority of men is inherent to and virtually synonymous with the incarnate condition. It is a state



in which the spiritual spark innate in every man is either dormant or barely awake. It is associated with a "vain noise of words" in the very first lines of Zadig. "Silence" is a characteristic attitude of persons spiritually gifted from birth who become fortified or strengthened by upbringing and personal effort. Zadig is such a person. The same natural endowment and the same spiritual quest are extolled in Vigny's reference to the "seed cast by fate" and in his glorification of Knowledge. To the teamwork of "silence" and "strength" Voltaire opposes the alliance of "vain noise of words" and "weakness." The same word values are consistent in the works of esoteric writers. Unfortunately, the verbal algebra they constitute is unknown to the vast majority of readers. The Silence of Vigny, a stanza affixed to Le Mont des oliviers, is generally misunderstood. Its esoteric value sheds light and serene radiance on what appears to be an outpouring of despair. Rabelais links "silence," "sure oracles," and a tradition so secret as to be transmitted without written or spoken words:

"The fiendish spirit deceives you; but listen. I have read that in gone-by days the most authentic and sure oracles were not those that were handed down in writing, or were uttered by word. Many times were thus misled even those who were esteemed to be astute and clever, because of the ambiguities, subtleties, and obscurities of words and because of the brevity of formulae:Let us use that manner, and through signs, without speaking, do take counsel from some mute." (Tiers Livre, Ch. XIX) It will be found in due course of Zadig that the two main characters created by Voltaire do take occasional counsel from "a little mute." The Little Prince of Saint-Exupery befriends a fox who wishes to be "tamed." The importance of defining termsa sound practice at any time and a prerequisite of esoteric studyis stressed by a question of the title character: What does tame mean? A prompt reply is given: to tame means to create tiescreer des liens. The ties may be ties of love, sensitivity or intuitive sympathy. The creation of ties may also



mean "making intellectual connections." Thus is a valuable lesson given to the Little Prince. The wily "fox" prescribes silence of the Rabelaisian and Voltairian varietyyou will say nothing. Never was the esoteric experience better described! "'If you want a friend,' tame me! 'What must one do?' said the little prince. 'One must be very patient,' replied the fox. 'First of all you will sit a little bit far from me, like that, in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye and you will say nothing. Language is a source of misunderstanding. But, each day, you will be able to sit a bit closer." (The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Ch. XXI) Rabelais' reference to the "ambiguities," "subtleties" and "obscurities" of words is provocative. The statement of Saint-Exupery: "Language is source of misunderstanding" echoes the same belief. Both texts give a virtual definition of esotericism. We might add, in the same vein, the designation of Zadig by its author as "a work which says more than it seems to say." Silence pervades the experience of a literary character who finds himself under the spell of great writers. The intuitive faculties of the entranced reader are challenged. His everyday personal existence is temporarily forgotten. Hours dissolve in magical fashion. A major clue is given to the esoteric treatment of Time in Proustian literature. Time is simultaneously compressed, expanded and transcended. As was the case in the above-quoted stanza of The Bottle to the Sea, perfume, solitude and silence are in conjunction. The hours of mystical communion with great minds are "silent, vibrant, fragrant and limpid."15 The first chapter of Zadig stresses the comprehension gap separating exoteric appearance from esoteric reality. The ironic surface of the text favors satirical interpretation of semi-esoteric nature. The exotic veneer of the story seems blatantly artificial. The exoteric reader perceives that

15. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 88, Vol. I



the numerous barbs aimed at "Babylon" may well apply to French society. He is quite right to do so. But there is more. The general tone of airy banter serves to conceal serious allusions to the ancient Wisdom-Religion. Superficial irony vies with esoteric earnestness if not reverence. The rare degree of wisdom and virtue possessed by Zadig may arouse admiration as well as skepticism. The doctrine of Zoroaster which helped produce such a rare type of human being may be viewed with irony or with respect. The choice is left to the reader whose faculties and attitude are all-important. Voltaire probably wished to warn readers about the pitfalls of partial, faulty vision when he gave to the first chapter of Zadig its meaningful title: The One-Eyed Man. His choice of Babylon as the setting of the story seems to serve several purposes. It satisfies XVIIIth Century taste for exotic literature. The verbal alchemy of terms such as Moabdar, magi, Zadig and Zoroaster provide amusement and depaysement to the reader. Babylon acts as a transparent veil for socio-political satire aimed at the environment in which Voltaire lived. The emptiness of conversations suggests a community of Parisian "beaux esprits" performing in prestigious salons. In short, the general atmosphere brings to mind French society garbed in a thin veneer of Orientalism. Attention is thus diverted from such esoteric themes as the scientific achievements and noble ethics of early Pagan civilizations. The name Babylon or Babelwhich has become a symbol of reckless vanity, madness and confusionmay have been used by Voltaire in its probable etymological sense of "gate of the Highest God." More than an exotic veil covering a satire of Parisian and French mores, Babylon is a doubly misleading front concealing its own occult reality. Suggestive observations are made under the guise of amazement. The acquaintances of Zadig marvel at his virtue. The too-good-to-be-true quality of the young man's wisdom is in itself an invitation to reflect. Zadig is characterized in terms of what he is expected to be but is not. Wealth and youth seem to decree that he should be a serial amateur of romantic conquest. Zadig has too much respect for women



and for himself to play such games. Social prominence suggests that he should shine in conversational displays. Zadig does not care for such vain pastimes. Material well-being could easily produce religious indifference and unconcern with the lot of others. Such is not the case. Superior knowledge could deal devastating blows to the arrogance of the priests. If used, it serves better ends. The reader is left to fathom the silent serenity of the young man. Two interpretations are possible. The easy one leads to one conclusion: such virtue is not of this world. The reader may see in Zadig a human counterpart of the balloon filled with amourpropre that is mentioned in the first paragraph of the first chapter. Perfection is suspect; a likely disguise for intellectual if not spiritual pride. The hero is expected to be quickly punctured by experience. Those views are partially confirmedin various waysin the course of the story. Life has a way of molesting unorthodox goodness. Zadig proves to be an unusual human being. The easy path of interpretation leads to certain truths of limited scope and interest. The more productive path lies in reluctance to judge hastily and in consideration of one possibility: could such a remarkable intellectual and moral attainmentsubject to human frailty though it be reflect genuinely superior character based on solid values? Esoteric reading is a test administered to the reader. As indicated in the Epitre Dedicatoire a la Sultane Sheraa, "a small fund of philosophy" is necessary to lift the veil of Zadig, "a work which says more than it seems to say." Also needed is a willingness to test the appearance of texts and eventhis requires courageto question the findings of academic pundits. The "small fund of philosophy" is the Ancient Wisdom-Religion or Secret Doctrine which supplies the meaning of esoteric "code" words and underlying tenets. Distrust of external attributes serves to solve riddles and to dissolve apparent paradox. The striking antagonism of general expectation vs. fact that is stressed in the portrayal of Zadig is a prime example of Maya or Illusion made "flesh"



in literature. The title character who prefers in all things "being to appearance" tugs at the sleeve of the reader to urge him to do likewise. The same theme of deceptive appearance is highlighted in the works of esoteric writers. It is abundantly featured in the writings of Marcel Proust. Pondering the "contradictions" of his friend "Legrandin," the narrator of the Recherche perceives on one particular occasion the importance of a certain type of "intermediate work" essential to understanding.16 The same type of "intermediate work" seems to be needed in the case of Voltaire. Zadig is the declared enemy of deception and falsehood. Hence a lover of Truth. The conceited self-righteousness of which he is innocent is "vanity." Avoidance of that sin is prescribed by all religions, notably Christianity. But "vanity" in a far broader sense has crucial significance in Far Eastern philosophy. It is the ever-present, formidable obstacle to spiritual perfection. It is the sum of base aspects of selfhood, the illusion of separate existence, the imprisonment of spirit in matter or incarnation. It is Maya, a term frequentlyand somewhat inaccuratelyrendered as "that which does not exist," the bondage of the physical human condition, the network of ignoble drives, captive thinking and partial perception.

"The profoundest and most transcendental speculations of the ancient metaphysicians of India and other countries are all based on that great Buddhistic and Brahmanical principle underlying the whole of their religious metaphysics-illusion of the senses. Everything that is finite is illusion, all that which is eternal and infinite is reality. Form, color, that which we hear and feel, or see with our mortal eyes, exists only so far as it can be conveyed to each of us through our senses. The universe for a man born blind does not exist in either form or color, but it exists in its privation (in the Aristotlean sense) and is a reality for the spiritual senses of the blind man. Alone, the highest and invisible originals emanated from the thought of the Unknown are real and permanent beings, forms,

16. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 129, Vol I



and ideas; on earth, we see but their reflections: more or less correct, and ever dependent on the physical and mental organization of the person who beholds them. Ages untold before our era, the Hindu Mystic Kapila, who is considered by many scientists as a skeptic, because they judge him with their habitual superficiality, expressed this idea in the following terms: 'Man (physical man) counts for so little, that hardly anything can demonstrate to him his proper existence and that of nature. Perhaps that which we regard as the universe, and the diverse beings which seem to compose it, have nothing real, and are but the product of continued illusionmayaof our senses." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 157-58, Vol. 2) Kapila has much in common with Voltaire. His legacy remains generally misunderstood. Skepticism and mysticism blend harmoniously in his philosophy. The former approach to knowledge transcends material appearance. The latter mode of being is achieved as true Science or oneness with non-contingent reality. In the case of the Hindu sage as in the case of the great modern, honest doubt is a high form of belief. The average Western mind, which has difficulty in grasping and in accepting the Far Eastern concept of Maya, may be helped by the following definition:

"As a technical term, Maya has come to mean the fabrication by man's mind of ideas derived from interior and exterior impressions, hence the illusory aspect of man's thoughts as he considers and tries to interpret and understand life and his surroundings; and thence was derived the sense which it technically bears, 'illusion.' It does not mean that the exterior world is non-existent; if it were, it obviously could not be illusory. It exists, but is not. It is 'measured out' or 'is limited,' or it stands out to the human spirit as a mirage. In other words, we do not see clearly and plainly and in their reality the vision and the visions which our mind and sense present to the inner life and eye." (Occult Glossary, G. de Purucker, Maya)



Esotericism implies awareness of Maya. For it is Mayathe deceptive appearance of texts which conceals deep meaning or true reality from some readers while, at the same time, suggesting that deep meaning or true reality to others. Purely sensory experience is therefore viewed by literary "smugglers" as atrophied perception or estrangement from genuine essence. "The invisible is real" says Alfred de Vigny in La Maison du berger. That the visible is unreal is stressed by Saint-Exupery: "The essential is invisible to the eyes. One sees well only with the heart."17 "The visible world is not the real world," writes Proust.18 The inverse relationship which exists between purely sensory experience and true insight is illustrated in the Recherche. The condition of an ailing person which had not been detected in personal contact is instantly perceived during a telephone conversation with the invalid. Raised consciousness results from the non-involvement of all physical senses but one.19 The suffering of a theoretical patient described in a medical textbook produces a torrent of compassionate tears in Francoise, the cook. But the visible, audible, tangible and identical torment of a close associate arouses only callousness in the same person.20 Compassion involves partial transcendence of the Lower Self and is, therefore, an aspect of true insight. The anecdote involving Francoise and her kitchen helper shows true insight to be best achieved in a state of sensory abstraction. Mayathe illusion of the sensesdominates the first chapters of Zadig. The experience of the hero with two womenSemire and Azoramarks the beginning of a series of disillusioning adventures which prove to involve inferior planes of consciousness or faulty vision.

17. 18. 19. 20.

The Little Prince, Ch. XXI A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 548, Vol. I Ibid., pp. 134 et seq., Vol. II Ibid., p. 123, Vol. I



Women are often used as allegorical representations of Maya. Powerful means of seduction and biological aspects of incarnation combine to give substance to such allegories. The biblical story of Samson and Delilah is a confrontation of spirituality or "strength"Samsonwith treacherous, inferior powers personified by Delilah. The same biblical episode is the subject of a well known work of Vigny, La Colere de Samson. The poem is an esoteric account of the eternal battle waged by the superior "strength" or spirituality of Manwhether male or femaleagainst base physical impulses. It is, in the words of Vigny, an illustration of 'The eternal friction between man the spiritual being and man the material being, a harsh embrace in which the former must still succumb for a long time." The internal nature of the struggle is stressed in the poem: "Vient un autre combat plus secret, traitre et lache; Sous son bras, sur son coeur se livre celui-la; Et, plus ou moins, la Femme est toujours DALILA." ("Comes another combat more secret, treacherous and cowardly; Under his arm, on his heart that battle is waged; And, more or less, Woman is always DELILAH.") The highlighted equivalence of "Woman" and "Delilah" raises the possibility of a standard value in the esoteric vocabulary. If Delilah is always Woman, what is Delilah in the first place? The riddle is answered in a verse that is a masterpiece of calculated poetic gaucherie. Delilah is "that which does not exist." In a word: Maya. The awkward line conveys a major clue to the allegorical value of "Woman." "Donc, ce que j'ai voulu, Seigneur, n'existe pas!" ("Thus, what I have desired, o Lord, does not exist!") Maya is eventually defeated at the cost of physical sight and physical life. The exoteric disaster represented by physical blindness and physical death actually is an esoteric triumph over the bondage of sensory consciousness and incarnation. The fallacy of Maya is exposed by the fact that Samson, the apparent loser, is the actual victor. His liberation



is logically marked by the collapse of the temple representing false values. As the last lines of the poem clearly suggest, Delilah-Maya finally perceives that her apparent victory is a defeat. The "pale prostitute" understands that her power is lost: "Et pres de la genisse aux pieds du Dieu tuee Placerent Dalila, pale prostituee, Couronnee, adoree, et reine du repas, Mais tremblante et disant: 'IL NE ME VERRA PAS." ("And near the heifer killed at the feet of the God Placed Dalilah, the pale prostitute, Crowned, adored, and queen of the feast, But trembling and saying: 'HE WILL NOT SEE ME!'") The same transition from spiritual blindness to spiritual vision is a central element of the story of Paul's Way to Damascus, an episode mentioned in Vigny's autobiographical poem La Flute. The accession of Vigny's "beggar" and "smuggler" to superior vision is described as follows: "L'idee a l'horizon est a peine entrevue, Que sa lumiere ecrase et fait ployer ma vue, Je vois grossir l'obstacle en invincible amas, Je tombe ainsi que Paul en marchant vers Damas Et le rayon me trouble et la voix m'etourdit, Et je demeure aveugle et je me sens maudit." ("Hardly is the idea glimpsed on the horizon When its light crushes and forces down my sight. I see the obstacle grow into an invincible mass. I fall, as did Paul on the Way to Damascus. And the beam of light confuses me and the voice dizzies me And I remain blind and I feel cursed.") It should be noted in passing that the words cursed and blessed may be used interchangeably in esoteric writings.21



The same antagonism of intellectual visionlimited to data from the physical sensesand of the spiritualized intellectenergized by intuitionis illustrated in numerous texts. The strong case made by Saint-Exupery in favor of the inner eye has already been mentioned. A similar message is found in a passage of La Nausee in which Sartre reports a violent impulse of the narrator. Sickened by the amiable cliches of the Self-Taught Manwhose independence and dedication to knowledge he respectsRoquentin feels the urge to put out the eyes of his acquaintance. The repressed criminal impulse is intended as a sym-bolic act of mercy. The SelfTaught Man needs to wrench his vision from "objective" planes. He must learn to "see" beyond fronts and surfaces as does his observer. The uneasy co-existence of both types of visionone Mayavic and the other spiritualis characterized as follows in a quotation of "the venerable William Howitt" which appears in Isis Unveiled:

'"Mere intellectual enlightenment cannot recognize the spiritual. As the sun puts out a fire, so spirit puts out the eyes of mere intellect.'" (Isis Unveiled, p. 409, Vol. 1) The first experience of Zadig with women has much to do with "vision." The young man is jilted by his fiancee, Semire, when he faces the probable loss of one eye. The mighty force of physical charmor lack of charmis irresistible. Zadig becomes an object of aversion. The fickle fiancee turns to the vain and brutal suitor who had caused the injury of Zadig.

"that beautiful lady, having stoutly declared that she had an overwhelming aversion to one-eyed men, had just married Orcan himself."

21. Isis Unveiled, p. 409, Vol. 1



The importance of vision is further stressed time and again. Earthly love is known to impair vision and is commonly said to be "blind." Sight and presumed loss of sight change several human destinies. The beauty of Semire has quasi-magical effect. The sight of her can soften the hearts of Himalayan tigers. The geographic reference suggests that Eastern custodians of spiritual values and occult knowledgewho are often linked to the "roof of the world"may not be entirely immune to the seductions of Maya. Zadig wishes to have eyes for his beloved only. Regaining consciousness after the battle between Orcan and Zadig, Semire is overcome by the sight of her wounded suitor. Passionate effusions to the contrary she proves to be overcome in negative manner: she cannot abide the sight of a one-eyed man. The pain and loss suffered by Zadig are least of her concerns. His presumed inability to see spells the end of her powers, a fact indicative of her "vanity" or lack of true substance: "Night and day her eyes were bathed in tears: she was waiting for the moment when those of Zadig could enjoy the sight of her." Her reaction to the visual handicap of Zadig is identical to the reaction of Delilah facing the same kind of disaster in La Colere de Samson. The exclamation HE SHALL NOT SEE ME! might equally well be voiced by Semire or Delilah. The apparent hopelessness of Zadig's eye injury spells the doom of Semire's "love." It was probably not by chance that Voltaire chose the name Semire for the fickle young lady, a name resembling the expression "se mire," ("looks at the self in a mirror.") From Pascal to existentialism, French literature is rich in portrayals of persons who live only or mainly in the eyes of others. Voltaire is one of many great authors who regard the quality of vision as inseparable from the quality of essence. Semire's rejection of Zadig immediately follows the unfavorable prognosis reached by a famous physician. In that respect, the sense of hearing is important as well. It is on the basis of prestigious but false hearsay evidence that Semire rejects her lover. Limited as she is by sensory consciousness, the lady fails to make use of the one valid form of



knowledge available to her: personal recognition of visible fact. Ironically, sensory perception itself is shown to suffer when a purely May-avic or materialistic outlook prevails. Another aspect of Maya is exposed and dramatized in the episode: unquestioning submission to false authority, a weakness that has far-reaching effects in fact as well as fiction. The famous physician summoned to treat Zadig is a human goldmine to Voltairian satire. Having arrived on the scene with a spectacular entourage of medical satellites, Hermes predicts the day and the exact hour when the injured eye will be lost. His learning and skill are praised throughout Babylon. But the wounded eye heals naturally in spite of professional authority and public relations. The damaged ego of Hermes does not recover as well. Vanity is evident in the mise en scene of the physician. True knowledge would scorn such props as the convoy of "satellites." True knowledgeand common sensewould avoid the gamble involved in wild predictions. True knowledge would recognize its own limitations and the possibility of undreamed developments such as the natural healing of a left eye. The dogmatic showmanship of Hermes suggests a fraudulent mixture of "science" and superstition which is also suggested by the doctor's name. Few persons know that Hermetic philosophy exists and that the name Hermes designates a tradition; not an individual. Anyone using the name as his personal property is suspect: "Hermes was a generic nom de plume used by a series of generations of mystics of every shade." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 286, Vol. I) The "shade" of the "mystic" portrayed in Zadig is open to question. Voltaire's use of the name Hermes serves several purposes. Among them is the evocation of the Hermetic tradition. The connection which



exists between that philosophy and the Ancient Wisdom-Religion or Secret Doctrine amounts to identity. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky:

"our work is a plea for recognition of the Hermetic philosophy, the anciently universal Wisdom-Religion." (Isis Unveiled, p. vii, Vol. 1) Assuming that he ever heard of it, the exoteric reader of Zadig is unlikely to believe that Voltaire could have been partial to Hermetic philosophy. The exoteric reader has good reason to feel that anything connected with "the occult" must have been categorically rejected by the XVIIIth Century promoter of enlightenment. Understandable as it is, that conclusion is a product of ignorance lumping together all things occult under the label of witchcraft and superstition. On the other hand, the esoteric reader is aware of one fact: the multiple signs of quackery displayed by Hermes reflect on the character, not on the doctrine. In short, Voltaire's use of the word Hermes illustrates a common esoteric technique. It serves as a decoy or false lead placed in the path of some readers while acting as a stimulant and as a trustworthy guide for others. The itinerary of the famous physician calls for comment. Hermes is summoned from Memphis to Babylon, a considerable distance. A footnote of the Benac edition of Zadig states that the geography of Voltaire is rather fanciful. It might be more appropriate to question the geography of Hermes. The unlikely tripand the remarkable achievement in

telecommunicationssuggest imposture. So does the dishonest use of the name of Hermes, God of physicians...who was also God of thieves. The professional stock-in-trade of Hermes includes a physical examination"he visited the patient"and, as noted above, a prognosis akin to prophecy. Voltaire clearly takes a dim view of the formula of Science-and-Religion-In-One marketed by Hermes. The character of the practitioner suggests that the "separated twins" are amalgamated and exploited by an ignorant and unethical person; in short, on a very



low level. The partly "objective," partly "mystical" technique of the doctor might represent a superior form of insight if used on a higher plane. It might then be compatible with "physical sciences as they were known in those days;" in other words with the Zoroastrian concept of Knowledge derived from the Ancient Wisdom-Religion or Secret Doctrine... also known as Hermetic Philosophy. Voltaire may also have used the person and shortcomings of Hermes to allegorize the fundamental weakness of "exact science" that is often noted in esoteric writings. Occult philosophy teaches that the modern accumulation of learning which is said to rest on the sole terra firma of matter is limited to peripheral success and subject to frequent error. Matter is believed to be spirit on the lowest plane of existence. As previously indicated, occult philosophy teaches that the atom is the most metaphysical object in existence. Consequently, matter cannot be folly known unless its metaphysical component is recognized as real. Overtly or otherwise, consciously or otherwise, Science is bound to postulate metaphysical supports for its empirical structure. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "materialistic, physical science is honeycombed with metaphysics."22 The same basic insecurity is noted by Voltaire in Micromegas. In that story, a representative of exact science is forced to admit that he perceives only a few external attributes of matter and that he does not know what matter is. Exact science is admittedly ignorant of its own foundation. It is an impressive growth. It is also a rootless tree. Science tends to function as a tyrannical religion, a fact often noted by esoteric writers. Consequently, medical satire of a lionized profession is a vein running through centuries of French literature all the way from medieval fabliaux to Molieresque writings and beyond. Voltaire may have had in mindamong other thingsthe Old French word mire which means physician when he chose the name Semire. (A well-known medieval fabliau is entitled Le vilain mireor "the peas-

22. The Secret Doctrine, p. 485, Vol. I



ant physician.") The Gallic tradition of buffoonery that is linked to the medical profession may have inspired the use of Semire not only to stress the vanity of the young lady but also to suggest what is false in the "science" of Hermesa science tainted by egotism (once again se mire) and by superstition. Voltaire also draws attention to the mindless reverence felt by many persons for certain scientificand othercelebrities. Consciously or not, admiration of that kind is selfcentered and self-directed; a blend of egotistical identification and wishful thinking. A passage of Sartre's Nausea features a modern counterpart of Hermes. A prestigious doctor, one of a few pillars of society who believe they know men "as if they had created them," selects a less exalted mortal as a target of verbal abuse. One might easily compare the unequal protagonists to a lion and a mouse. The victim swallows all indignities in cowardly silence. It is a rare soul that has the courage to defy the wielder of pigeon-holes through which men may be categorized and manipulated without appeal. It is a rare person who can challenge the Jehovic figure deified by the awesome mystery of modern Science. One needs the vision of Roquentin who sees beyond the surface of oceans and beyond the surface of other thingsto perceive that the formidable doctor is dying of an incurable disease. His victim is unlikely ever to learn that he is the potential lion and that his tormentor is the mouse. But others may some day realize that Achille,the ordinary man whose name is that of a demi-godcarries within himself a latent spark capable of establishing another order of things. The god-like medical man who tries to palliate hidden weaknesses and fears with comforting thoughts of his impressive experience seems to personify the Judaeo-Christian or Western concept of Science based on the sacrosanct experimental method. His incurable disease seems to reflect limitations of the purely materialistic approach to Knowledge. Whatever the case may be, the tyrannical physician described by Sartre has much in common with Hermes whose tainted "knowledge" suffices to alter several destinies.



Esoteric writers are as prompt to praise enlightened physicians as they are to denounce false gods of science in general and of medicine in particular. Proust pays tribute to a Rabelaisian doctor named Cottard. Uncouth appearance to the contrary, the practitioner is an intuitive diagnostician of rare distinction. The same famous medical doctor appears to be featured in Chapter XXIII of The Little Prince. He combines suggestions of the "Dive Bouteille" "perfected pills that quench thirst"and of the Thelemite motto: "Do as you please." It will be found in due course of the present study that Voltaire salutes an open-minded surgeon in a chapter of Candide. The occult view of official science is often expressed in literature in connection with medicine. In the words of Marcel Proust, medical science ignores "the secret of healing."23 "To believe in medicine would be the supreme folly if not believing in it were not a greater folly, for, out of that accumulation of errors, a few truths have emerged in the end.24 H.P. Blavatsky has this to say about exact science: "So far as Science remains what in the words of Prof. Huxley it is, viz., 'organized common sense'; so far as its inferences are drawn from accurate premisesits generalizations resting on a purely inductive basisevery Theosophist and Occultist welcomes respectfully and with due admiration its contributions to the domain of cosmological law. There can be no possible conflict between the teachings of occult and so-called exact Science, where the conclusions of the latter are grounded on a substratum of unassailable fact. It is only when its more ardent exponents, over-stepping the limits of observed phenomena in order to penetrate into the arcana of Being, attempt to wrench the formation of Kosmos and its living Forces from Spirit, and attribute all to blind matter, that the Occultists claim the right to dispute and call in question their theories. Science cannot, owing to the very nature of things, unveil the mystery of the universe around us. Science can, it is true,

23. 24.

A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 183, Vol. II Ibid., pp. 298-99, Vol. II



collect, classify, and generalize upon phenomena; but the occultist, arguing from admitted metaphysical data, declares that the daring explorer, who would probe the inmost secrets of Nature, must transcend the narrow limitations of sense, and transfer his consciousness into the region of noumena and the sphere of primal causes. To effect this, he must develop faculties which are absolutely dormantsave in a few rare and exceptional casesin the constitution of the off-shoots of our present Fifth Root-race in Europe and America. He can in no other conceivable manner collect the facts on which to base his speculations." (The Secret Doctrine pp. 477-78, Vol. I) The second courtship of Zadig is no more felicitous than the first. Azora prolongs the experience with "vanity"or Mayawhich had begun with Semire. The young man soon finds the virtue of his new love to be a personally advertised product consisting mainly of contempt for others. The major fault of Azora is her inability to see herself as she is. Her cult of physical beautywhich is reminiscent of Semirerepresents another case of impaired "vision." Zadig detects in her "a bit of frivolity and a tendency to find that the most handsome young men were those who had the greatest amount of wit and virtue." The French word "esprit" which means "wit" also means "mind" and "spirit." Not surprisingly, the triple-edged term is a precious tool and a source of considerable amusement to French esoteric writers. The "wit" or "insight" of Azora equates physical beauty with "virtue," ety-mologically "strength"or, esoterically spiritual attainment. The same error may be committed by speed-readers of the word "esprit." The warning of Saint-Exupery that "language is a source of misunderstanding" is supplemented in this case by provocative handling of the misleading term. The following passage of The Little Prince contains yet another virtual definition of esotericism: "Quand on veut faire de l'esprit, il arrive que l'on mente un peu." (Ch.XVII)



("When one wishes to be witty[or spiritual],one may chance to lie a bit.") The inferior form of "wit" prized by Azora is an ability to use language with superficial skill and an ability to make puns. (One is reminded of the handsome carriage mentioned in a certain scene of Moliere's Precieuses Ridicules). On quite another level, "wit" is an esoteric hint aimed at the reader of Zadig; an invitation to wonder if certain wordslike the story itselfmean more than they "seem to say. Vanityin the popular sense of the termis the least imperfection of Azora. The selfappointed arbiter of universal vice and virtue becomes a willing party to a revolting act. Believing Zadig to be dead, she decides to amputate his nose for the sake of another man. The strange operation is supposed to relieve the ailment of a prospective suitor. The practice smacks of superstition and black magic. Azora and her moral "repoussoir"Widow Cosrouare judged with equal severity by the young hero. The projected cutting of a man's nose is found "about as worthy as that of diverting a stream." The indignation of Azora has been aroused by an engineering project of Widow Cosrou. Following the death of her spouse, the young widow had erected a grave in the vicinity of a stream. "In her grief, she" had "promised to the gods to remain close to the grave as long as the water of the stream would flow next to it." Wishing to conceal her fickleness and vanity; finding the vow hard to keep, she had had the stream diverted. Water is associated with all major religions as a symbolic source of physical and spiritual life. Baptismal rites, initiation, holy rivers, the expressions "fountain of knowledge," "well of knowledge," and "going back to the source" all link the vital element to dogma and sacrament. The camouflage of personal frailty devised by Mme Cosrou is amusing in the esoteric sense as well as otherwise. For it dramatizes a major grievance of occultists and esoteric writers: the deliberate distortion of living, spiritual essence symbolized by freely flowing water.



The name of Azora is rich in significance. Its last two syllables resemble the present tense form of the Greek verb orao which signifies to see. The first two letters are the first and last letters of the alphabetthe alpha and omega, the Principle and the End of all things.

"I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the endingI am the first and the last,' says Jesus to John.'" (Rev. 1,6,17) The same two letters form the first syllable of the name of Zadig. But their order is reversed, a fact which may suggest "return to the source of Knowledge and to the Source of Being." Such a return seems consistent with the dominant preoccupations of Zadig but totally irrelevant to the interests of Azora. In short, the name of Azora seems to reflect the uninspired "vision,"or purely sensory outlook of a vast majority of persons. On the other hand, the name of Zadig seems to reflect the outlook of the rare being who is "as wise as one can be, for he" seeks "to live with wise men." The name of Azora may also convey a second, savory meaning. Azor is to Frenchmen the equivalent of the American term Fido. Voltaire is known for having called a spade a spadeexoterically at least. In view of his penchant for vigorous expression; in view of the international value of certain concepts, the feminized form Azora leaves little to imagination. Ironically and eso-terically, the bitch is designated by H.P. Blavatsky, as "the symbol of the Accuser,"25 a fitting designation of Azora. With the exception of Zadig and of his friend Cador, all characters featured at this stage of the story are prisoners of inferior modes of being. The abrupt change of heart which throws Semire into the arms of Orcan is only love on the rebound. The love of Orcan for Semire is no love at all. It is a product of vanity and of jealousy aroused by the virtue and graces of the title character. The unprovoked attack launched against Zadig by the young bully is prompted and aided by "courtiers" and "satellites" who represent forces external to the self. 25. Isis Unveiled, p. 494, Vol. 2



The inferiority of those "forces" is clearly shown by the outcome of the fight. Aided by only two slaves, Zadig routs the aggressors. The reader may compare with profit the "satellites" of Hermes and the "satellites" of Orcan. The same lack of true substance afflicts the violent young man and the false medical god. The fact that Orcan is the nephew of a politically mighty persona minister of Statetends to connect the executive power to the same lack of lofty values that is noted in the case of "Science"Hermesand in the case of Religionthe priests. Due to the same absence of real "strength" Hermes and Orcan must resort to brutality and rely on faculties other than their own. The "courtiers" and "satellites" of shaky power also suggest disembodied entities of the kind commonly attracted in the course of medi-umnic or spiritualistic experimentation. To the dubious substance of Hermes and Orcanwhich consists mainly of external propsis added the hint of amateurish occult ventures. Diametrical opposition is suggested to exist between the nascent mastery of Zadig and the inferior pursuits of his adversaries. Such an oppositionif intended as such by Voltaireis similar to the view of occultists who regard adepts and mediums as being poles apart. Adepts are believed to control inferior occult forces whereas mediums are believed to be at the mercy of those sinister powers. The same important distinction is made and developed in a subsequent chapter of Zadig. Far-fetched though it may seem, the above interpretation of the words "courtiers" and "satellites" can be supported in numerous esoteric writings. The esoteric meaning of courtiers, servants, satellites and familiars sheds light on the hidden tenor of many innocent-looking texts. Counterparts of Voltaire's "satellites" are found in various "seides" mentioned in the works of Alfred de Vigny. In short, the occult concept of "seidism" has mediumnic as well as psychological and socio-political implications. We may wonder for instance about the possible esoteric value of "servants" portrayed by Marcel Proust, particularly the immortal Francoise. The esoteric value of "servants" is given in falsely casual manner in the Recherche. "Servants" are "witty"



or "spiritual" persons. Magic is suggested to dwell in the kitchen of Francoiseand in her cooking. Her ability to discern hidden truths is uncanny. Her devotion to established religion is as instinctive as are her paganisticetymologically "peasant" traits. A popular syncretism of intriguing variety seems to be the key to her character and to the tradition of Saint Andre des Champs, "a tradition at once ancient and direct, unbroken, oral, distorted, unrecognizable, and alive."27 One also finds the theme of the "servant" who becomes the "master" in the writings of Diderot and Beaumarchais. Little doubt is possible where the meaning of Rabelaisian "familiars" is concerned. Some persons "summon devils by name and surname. And not only do they summon them but declare themselves friends and familiars of them."28 Steinbeck's humorous characterization of an obnoxious cat as a "familiar" is also clear: "... the unseen presence of George was everywhere. In a more enlightened day when witches and familiars were better understood, George would have found his or rather her, end in a bonfire, because if ever there was a familiar, and envoy of the devil, a consorter with evil spirits, George is it."29 We might surmise that human "consorters with evil spirits" are likely to qualify as "evil spirits themselves." At any rate, "familiars" are generally defined as spirits often embodied in an animal and held to attend and serve or guard a person. Significant alignments should be noted in the first two chapters of Zadig. The dominant outlook is characterized by meaningful titles: The One-Eyed Man and The Nose. It is sensory, purely materialistic, selfish and vain. It is poles apart from the all-embracing pursuit of knowledge and from the refined ethics of Zadig, the disciple of Zoroaster. The doctrine of Zoroaster reflects teachings "as old as thinking

26. 27. 28. 29.

A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 567, Vol. III Ibid., p. 151, Vol. I Cinquieme Livre, Ch. X Travels with Charley, Part Two



man."30 whose depth and accuracy are demonstrated in the areas of astronomy and physics. In contrast to their validity is the "new philosophy"theological superstitionwhich threatens to supersede tried and tested scientific findings. In short, the "new" dogmas mark a period of decline from Ancient Pagan knowledgeand ethicsto the obscurantism and cruelty of a new era. The same transition eventually leads to the emergence of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Within that evolutionary process, fraudulent activities such as those of Hermes are damaging to collective insight. For the usurpation of a name to which he has no right tends to confuse the populace that will no longer distinguish tainted "science" from the truth of the Hermetic doctrine. Thus will all things "occult"including loftiest philosophybe identified in the public mind with superstition for centuries to come while real superstition will be dignified with the name and status of state-enforced religion. The experience of Zadig with inferior forms of religion, science and "love" is rich in social implications. As was previously noted, a common factor of vanity and base selfhood is present in all individuals but two. The romantic conquests of Orcan tends to promote brutality as a way of life. The credulity of Semire tends to perpetuate the reign of impostors. The callousness of Azora contributes to the degradation of sacred values such as Love. The face-saving project of Widow Cosrou distorts certain aspects of eternal verities. The book written by Hermes to prove that he had been right all along will probably be hailed as gospel truth. Born of wounded pride, lust for power and disregard of fact, it will deal a major blow to an already battered body of knowledge. The collusion of Church and State flaunted in the threats of the priests is apt to culminate in the burning of dissenters conveniently labeled as "heretics." No sin against Truthhowever venial it may seemfails to generate a socio-political mystique favoring criminal whitewash and persecution. Last but not least is the inability of the masses to question

30. The Secret Doctrine, p. xxxvi, Vol. I



false authority. "Infamous" establishments thrive on men's refusal to see and think for themselves. The guilt of tyrants and impostors is inseparable from the guilt of human sheep who tolerate and follow them. The disciple of Zoroaster who seeks to live with wise men and prefers in all things "being to appearance" does not belong in such a society. The young man departs from the realm of falsehood personified by Hermes, the priests, Semire, Orcan, Azora and Widow Cosrou. As previously indicated, the name of Semire lends itself to esoteric interpretation pointing to Vanity or Maya. Moreover, it resembles Semite, an appellation covering Arabs as well as Jews; two branches of the same ethnic tree which are prominently featured in subsequent chapters of Zadig. The name of King Moabdar which brings to mind the Kingdom of Moab, hence the Old Testament, adds another identifying touch to Voltaire's account of the decay of Pagan Babylon faced with the increasing dominance of the "new" (not "improved") "philosophy." Unlike the transition of "Babylon," a progression of decline, the path of Zadig is a path of ascent. The disciple of Zoroaster returns to the pursuit of knowledge, "seeking happiness in the study of nature;" acquiring soon "a wisdom that revealed to him a thousand differences where other men saw nothing but uniformity." Liberated from previous handicapsthat were mostly products of illusionthe hero accedes to a state blessed with genuine vision. The "one-eyed man" becomes a seer. While sensory data are meticulously studied, their limitations are transcended. While he has never seen them with physical eyes, Zadig is able to describe in amazing detail two missing animals sought by royal emissaries: a dog and a horse. The young man pays the penalty that is the frequent reward of spirited intellects. Truthfulness and "wit" barely allow him to survive. He is accused and convicted of sorcery by jealous priests. The occult establishment called "church" does not favor competition. It is unsafe to poach on the sacred preserves of state-supported professionals. Voltaire



transmits the ageless warning given to daring persons who possess advanced knowledge: "Zadig soon saw how dangerous it was sometimes to have too much learning and earnestly resolved, the next time, not to tell what he had seen." The same exhortation to prudence underlies a scriptural injunction that is often quoted by occultists:

"'Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.'" (Matthew, 7, 6) The monopolistic priesthood of Babylon has no shortage of imitators. The occult experimentations of modern priestswhich include exorcismare mentioned by Voltaire in Le Siecle de Louis XIV. The author of Zadig and the author of Isis Unveiled agree on an interesting point: "The occult knowledge gleaned by the Roman Church from the once fat fields of theurgy she sedulously guarded for her own use, and sent to the stake only those practitioners who 'poached' on her lands of the Scientia Scientiarum, and those whose sins could not be concealed by the friar's frock. The proof of it lies in the records of history." (Isis Unveiled, p. 58, Vol. 2) The grim experience of Zadig does not go unheeded. A second chance to bear witness finds him unwilling to talk. He is then convicted of withholding information. Prudence itself does not guarantee safety for any representative of the invisible community hailed as "the aristocracy of the intelligence" in the works of Vigny. There is only one safeguard: systematic concealment of transcendent knowledge. The episode justifies secrecyand esoteric writingon the basis of self-preservation. Also conveyed is a valuable hint of the nature of esoteric reading. The esoteric reader is a person whowithout benefit of sorceryperceives "a thousand differences where" others see "nothing but unifor-



mity." While he welcomes the apports of intuition, his approach to the collection and evaluation of clues is as experimental as any. The "sorcery" imputed to Zadig would not disgrace Sherlock Holmes or a modern crime lab. Findings involve material facts such as tracks, angles, measurements, pressures and the specific qualities of metals. Keen intelligence and considerable knowledge are displayed by the hero. One mystery remains. How did he "chance" to note and interpret the given facts of a problem in anticipation of the formulated problem? What caused the brilliant synthesis of scattered evidence to be made if not habitual alertness to objectively perceived data? The answer to the first question hinges on the analogy which exists between immaterial reality and material proof. The second question may be answered by the existence of a sixth sense capable of transmuting the findings of the other five. Previous expressions of respect for ancient Babylonian lore are supplemented in the chapter devoted to the dog and the horse. The skilled detective who solves the problem of the missing animals is added to the learned astronomers and physicists evoked in the first paragraph of the story. The influence of Zoroastrianism is perceptible in each case of skillful gathering and systematic interpretation of facts. If we agree with a previously quoted statement that scientific achievement involves "geometry" and "the practical interrogation of Nature," we must admit that the Voltairian disciple of Zoroaster excels in those domains. We should also note and bear in mind that occult philosophy and the Voltairian view of ancient knowledge have at least something in common. The cruelty of the priests who wish to burn Zadig alive brings to mind the thousands of victims of the Inquisition. Voltaire and H.P. Blavatsky share the same opinion of that infamous tool of the Chris-tian-Church-and-State-In-One. The stake, a favorite weapon of ecclesiastical law and order, is abhorrent to all decent beings. But the accusation of witchcraft that is made against Zadig is understandable. The faculties of the young hero do seem uncanny until they are seen as what they truly are. Weird appearance and strict underlying logic are



two sides of the same occult coin: deep knowledge of "Nature." The same basic dualism applies to the frequently puzzling surface of esoteric texts. Paradox, apparent contradictions can only be dissolved and explained by what they conceal. Such seems to be another theme of the chapter entitled The Dog and the Horse. Belief is implied in the existence of superior human faculties. Man can acquire extraordinary powers by cultivating the spiritualized intellect. The alertness and the ability to synthesize which are demonstrated by Zadig transcend the limits of cold intelligence based solely on data from the physical senses. While the young man's vision seems to belong to the realm of "the supernatural," Zadig has simply and wisely developed the natural endowment that is more or less active in all human beings. Miraculous through they seem, those abilities are aspects of Natural, Universal Law:

"We assert that the divine spark in man being one and identical in its essence with the Universal Spirit, our 'Spiritual Self is practically omniscient, but that it cannot manifest its knowledge owing to the impediments of matter." (The Key to Theosophy, Ch. II)

Alfred de Vigny has this to say on the same subject: "Tout homme a vu le mur qui borne son esprit. Du corps et non de l'ame accusons l'indigence. Des organes mauvais servent l'intelligence." (La Flute) ("Every man has seen the wall which limits his mind (or spirit) Of the body, not the soul, let us accuse the poverty. Poor organs serve the intelligence.") Omniscience is a major preoccupation in Proustian literature. The emphasis placed on intuition and total recall hints at the presence of an invisible subtext of the Recherche. Various characters are shown seeking "the whole truth" on widely separated planes of endeavor: through sealed envelopes, through closed doors and windows, with the help of



spies, in art, music and literature. A transient form of omniscience is occasionally granted. Such is the famous episode of the madeleine in the cup of tea. The divine flash embracing an entire universe bound to past experience is vastly superior to the partial memory of the spiritually which is to say intuitivelyunaided intellect. The narrator finds that mysterious domains await reclamation from the lost past;31 a past prominently featured in the title of the monumental book (In Search of Lost Time; not Remembrance of Things Past) Literature is found to be rich in echoes of the innermost self. Marcel discoversvia the works of "Bergotte" -a deeper region of his own being, "more unified, broader, from which obstacles and separations" seem to have been removed. What obstacles? What separations? The handicap of unaided sensory perception? The bondage of separate being? "The impediments of matter" perhaps? Not unlike "grace" or "charity," transcendent knowledge begins at home which is to say within the Self. As was previously noted in connection with the Recherche, the goal is best achieved when the sensory outlook is in abeyance. The Proustian pursuit of heightened consciousness therefore has the same basis as does Zadig's escape from the tyranny of the physical senses. The path to mysterious regions of Cosmos begins in corresponding regions of the Self where the data of the senses are not overlooked but are transcended. The case of the young hero finding and interpreting a variety of clues suggests that the desired vision involves knowledge of all kingdoms of existence from the mineral through the vegetal to the human. Accordingly, the occult axiom which makes of Man "the Microcosm of the great Macrocosm"32 is virtually present in the first chapters of Zadig. The same theme is exoterically clear in the Voltairian story entitled Micro megas. The disciple of Zoroaster has had to develop superior faculties of the Self before he could penetrate secrets of the

31. 32.

A In Recherche du temps perdu, p. 67, Vol. I The Secret Doctrine, p. 181, Vol. I



universe surrounding him. In short, the unanimous advice of esoteric writers of all times to those who would pursue transcendent knowledge is contained in the famous Delphic oracle: "Know Thyself!" The soul-nurturing study of Nature conducted by Zadig conforms to the ancient precept: "'Nothing is happier,''than a philosopher who reads in that great book which God has placed under our eyes. The truths which he discovers are his; he nourishes and elevates his soul; '" "Man must know himself before he can hope to know the ultimate genesis even of beings and powers less developed in their inner nature than himself." (Isis Unveiled, p. 264, Vol. 2) The ultimate mastery in Self-Knowledge is claimed by Alfred de Vigny in his testamentary poem Pure Spirit. Emphasis is placed on that certain "mirror" in which the Self may be known. Two "broken chains" are mentionedthe double chain of terrestrial genealogy and the individual karmic chain of rebirth. The poet celebrates his approaching release from the bondage of incarnation. "Past labors"which is to say "past lives"are "seen" and judged through the vision or the "perfect." Rabelaisian "good company" is likewise dedicated to the attainment of Self-Knowledge. ("C'est belle chose ren-contrer gens de bien.") "It is a beautiful thing to meet fine people""in Delphi on the front part of the temple of Apollo was found this divinely written maxim: 'GNOTHI SEAUTON.' (KNOW THYSELF.)"33 The next chapter of Zadig features an envious man who tries to bring about the ruin of the young hero. Envy is a major scourge of the Mayavic outlook. It is the divisiveness of rockbottom selfhood. It is an implacable destroyer of intrinsic value and true happiness. It is the malignant product of a perverted concept of success. One may have

33. Quart Livre, XLIX



every reason to feel fortunate. But the fact that another person seems equally fortunate, more fortunateor not unfortunate enoughis intolerable. Tangible blessings become meaningless when they fail to produce jealousywhich is to say sufferingin others. In short, the ability to "satisfy" and to arouse envy is a major element of motivationand marketingin Western societies. One strives to surpass certain fellow-men, to "keep up with" others, and look down on the rest. The sacrosanct notion of "competitive" effort is all too often a nice name concealing sordid things. The same emulation could work wonders on a high plane. But the prevalence of materialistic, selfish values holds down the crucial factor of level. Not surprisingly, the debased concept of success and selfhood prevailing in the modern Western world is often linked to the influence of the Old Testament by esoteric writers. The Jehovic God is emphatically "jealous" and divisive. He thrives on sibling rivalries among his creatures, promotes hatred between individuals and nations, manipulates favorites and torments whipping-boys. The same God commands the humiliation, spoliation and extermination of the "accursed" by the "chosen." The example of glorified jealousy and resulting strife comes from high places for the numerous persons who continue to read the Bible literally. Vigny is one of many writers who link the virulence of envy to the Old Testament. In one of his poems the condemned daughter of Jeph-thah laments the fact that she will not live to be envied by other women for her status of high-ranking wife and mother. In another poem by the same author Moses dwellsin somewhat morbid fashionon the price he pays for greatness. Greatness is defined in part by having "feet upon the nations" and by the envy of angels whose powers do not equal his own. The envious man portrayed in Zadig is Arimaze, a name resembling Ahriman, the "Angel of Darkness" or spirit of evil of Zoroastrian philosophy.34 The Secret Doctrine places on the same level "the primal twins Osiris-Typhon, Armazd-Ahriman and finally Cain-Abel and the



tutti quanti of contraries." The occult concept of Jehovah-Cain-Abel as "The Divine Hermaphrodite" of world mythology35 suggests a pos-sible interpretation of Arimaze-Ahriman as the biblical God or as one of his human reflections. This may explain why the envious man of Zadig is mentioned in subsequent chapters as part of a team formed by himself and his "better half or wife. In choosing the name or "The Envious Man" Voltaire apppears to have stressed the Mayavic divisive-ness which prevails in Judaeo-Christian societies and which is the unavoidable companion of faulty "vision." All is One on the plane of Absolute Reality. All is division and differentiation on the phenomenal or material plane of existence. Arimaze seems to be assimilated to the host of mythological "adversaries" who are personated powers of Nature and who are designated as "strife-makers" in the Secret Doctrine.36 The chapter devoted to the envious man previews appearances of "jealous" Jehovic figures in subsequent chapters of Zadig. The apparent kinshipperhaps identityof Arimaze-Ahriman and Jehovah hints at two major themes of occult and esoteric literature. 'Jehovah has ever been in antiquity only 'a god among other Gods.'"37 The Judaeo-Christian tradition is a plagiarized version of Pagan mythologies. Zadig is envied and resented by individuals and institutions lacking true substance. He must guard against the jealousy of priests, the malevolence of pseudo-scientists such as Hermes, and the ignorance of common men. He must also fear envious scholars who sense a threat in his superiority. While the young hero prefers in all things "being to appearance" or True Reality to Maya, the pontiffs of Academe with whom he has contact care only for their image and for the promotion of their careers. More or less consciously, they are cogs of a powerful

34. 35. 36. 37.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 577, Vol. I Ibid., p. 412, Vol. I The Secret Doctrine, p. 126, Vol. II The Secret Doctrine, p. 508, Vol. II (Citing Psalms, 82, 1)



machine bent on preservation of the status quo. Their worldly success is achieved through drawing-room and bedroom politics. A scholar has written thirteen erudite books on the properties of a non-existent animal, the griffin. Consequently, a symposium of distinguished griffinologists is held. Futility and buffoonery are the sole products of the august assembly. But the scholar is noted to be "a great theurgist" or person versed in secret lore. The mythical character of the griffin is used by Voltaire as a subtle exoteric reflection on the "substance" of many scholarly works which contribute littleif anythingto the advancement of knowledge. But the esoteric symbolism of the subject is no laughing matter. The griffinor serpent in a circlerepresents eternity and evolution. The snake, dragon, or reptile biting its own tail or putting its tail into its mouth is the emblem of esoteric literature inspired by the Secret Doctrine. It is designated by H.P. Blavatsky as "the theosophical Serpent of Eternity."39 It is generally found in the final portion of a literary work which is often written toward the end of an author's career. The griffin appears in the Cinquieme Livre of the works of Rabelais, a fact strongly suggestingif not provingthat Rabelais was indeed the author of the contested text:"un dragon soy mordant la queue""a dragon biting its own tail"40 The circular snake appears in Le Taureau blanc, a story written by Voltaire in 1774. It is mentioned in the poetry of Shelley (Queen Mab). It is present in Les Oracles, a poem written by Vigny in 1862. It is a suggested symbol in the Diary of the same author. The significant emblem is part of a doomed display of fireworks in Madame Bovary. It appears in the form of a ruby-eyed snake ring in La Bete Humaineas it does in James Baldwin's Another Country. The ring plays an important role in the novel of Zola. It is the instrument of revelation of a sad truth.

38. 39. 40.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 634, fn., Vol. I Ibid., p. 377, Vol. II Cinquieme Livre, Ch. XI



"Love"which may signify spirituality on the esoteric planeshould have been sacred and pure. But Love has been tainted by a Jehovic figure: President Grandmorin. (The three letters IAO not necessarily placed in the order shown herecommonly stand for Jehovah and, in esoteric literature, for Jehovic characters). The snake is transparently veiled in the final portion of the Proustian Recherche: "le progres finit par se manger la queue,""progress [evolution] finally ended up eating its own tail."41 Sartre points out in La Nausee the futility of "trying to catch time by the tail." Referring to "the bottom of time," he suggests more than once that "Eternity"the "serpent"is cyclic or at least curved in design. The snake forms a live, loving ankle-bracelet in Chapter XVII of The Little Prince. It appears in Genet's Notre Dame des Fleurs. Finally, Briefing for Descent Into Hell, a novel by Doris Lessing, also contains the meaningful serpent. Such are a few examples of the dissemination of the "griffin" in literature. Assuming that he invents nothing of what he writes, the prolific scholar and theurgist featured in Zadig can hardly be accused of ignorance. The subject of the griffin which, in the words of an expert, "would require a volume"42 to be fully studied, has inspired him to write thirteen volumes. The political zeal of the savant is equal to his productivity. He denounces Zadig to the arch-priest Yebor. The griffin expert belongs to an academic minority held in equally low esteem by occultists and esoteric writers. Such persons are mentioned in the Introduction to his Unveiled: "Men of letters, and various authorities, who hide their real belief in deference to popular prejudice."43 The enemy of Zadig is a pawn of a political system and a flunky of the Church. To the unholy team-teaching of officially approved science and perverted religion is added the presence of lucid but voluntarily prostituted scholarship. The primary villain pulling strings back-stage

41. 42. 43.

A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 731, Vol. III The Secret Doctrine, p. 505, Vol. II Isis Unveiled, p. viii, Vol. 1



is ever the same. It is the state-supported religion which cannot co-exist with truth. The name of the arch-priestYeboris believed to be the anagram of Boyer, a bishop of Mirepoix who had protested against Voltaire's Lettres Philosophiques. The interpretation in question seems all the more valid since it acts as the useful veil of deeper concealed meaning. Esoterically, one may regard the name as the modified anagram of Horeb, a biblical location also known as Sinai that is openly mentioned at a subsequent stage of Zadig. Voltaire apparently substituted one letter for another in a manner doubly reminiscent of HAVEH-YAVEH or JEHOVAH. Mount Horeb or Sinai is the mountain peak where Moses is said to have been initiated and where he received the Tables of the Law. In short, it is a site closely bound to an important phase of development of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The scholarly stool-pigeon featured in Zadig serves the Old Testament mystique and its temporal establishment. The prosecution of Zadig is ended for a fee. The transaction involves bartered love or the services of a girl of easy virtue. The theme of prostituted sacred values which runs through the trilogy formed by Zadig, Candide, and L'Ingenu is prominent at an early stage of Zadig. The majority of "scholars" do not mix well with "good company." Voltaire uses a savory distinction to evaluate a certain type of scholars: "In the morning his library was open to all scholars, at night his table was open to good company; but he soon found how dangerous scholars are." "He cursed the scholars and decided to live only with good company forever after." Many counterparts of the griffin specialist are found in literature. The learned geographer of The Little Prince is more interested in the personalities of "explorers"genuine discoverers than he is in their discoveries. He is especially wary of "drinking" explorers and of their addiction to "spirit." Such dipsomaniacs sometimes see doubleor



have second sight. Their work is suspect and unwanted. Another devastating parable is found in the same book on the same subject. A Turkish astronomer has discovered an asteroid. He presents his findings. No one believes himhe wears the wrong clothes. The scientist exchanges his Oriental garb for reassuring Western European finery. The conical hat which smacked of sorcery and Paganism has been discarded. Emphasis is now placed on phallic regions by dignified "tails. The demonstration is made a second time. It is a huge success. For the discovererand the discoverynow look "orthodox," "civilized," "modern," and above all, Western. One may safely conclude that the advancement of knowledge is not always welcome in our enlightened age. The sacred cow of XXth Century Judaeo-Christian superiority resents being kicked around. The Voltairian distinction between "scholars" and "good company" has autobiographical overtones. Voltaire wasand remains- -the target of many scholarly barbs. Learning did not suffice to establish between him and others the bond of "good company." Even in the absence of declared hostility, communication must have been difficult between the daring seekerand broadcasterof truth and his spiritually and politically inhibited colleagues. In all likelihood, the "good company" cherished by Voltaire consisted of a small group sharing special interests. Mme Denis, the beloved niece of the "sage who amused himself by writing Zadig, probably was a member in good standing: "C'est a vous s'il vous plait, ma niece Vous femme d'esprit sans travers, Philosophe de mon espece, Vous qui comme moi du Permesse Connaissez les sentiers divers; C'est a vous qu'en courant j'adresse Ce fatras de prose et de vers" ("It is to you, if you please, my niece, You woman of wit (spirit) and faultless, You, a philosopher of my species,



You, who like myself of Parnassus Do know the diverse paths -It is to you, on the run, that I send This medley of prose and of verse") Mt. Parnassus was once regarded as a sacred mountain where ancient initiation rites were

performed.44 The reference to the famous peak conveys more than superficial interest in mythology or the necessity of finding a rhyme. "Philosophers" of the Voltairian "species," persons gifted with "wit"or with a live "spirit"; individuals familiar with certain "paths," probably were students and proponents of the Secret Doctrine. The merry complicity emanating from the delightful "fatras de prose et de vers" is the complicity of a secret kinship transcending the bonds of flesh. As indicated above, the matter involving griffins is finally settled with the help of Cador, the loyal friend of Zadig. A maid of honor to whom Cador had "made a child" uses her "credit with the college of magi." Exoterically, her influence amounts to the bartering of sexual favors. Aside from reflecting on her own virtue, her romantic record constitutes an edifying dossier on the chaste priests of Babylonand elsewhere. Esoterically, however, the word child has the meaning of "initiate" which is also conveyed by the words "infant," "little one," "innocent" as well as by the words "Dragon," "snake" or "serpent:"

"So is the Dragon a mystery. Truly, says Rabbi Simeon Ben-Iochai, that to understand the meaning of the Dragon is not given to the 'Companions' (students, or chelas), but only to 'the little ones,' i.e., the perfect Initiates. 'The work of the beginning the companions understand; but it is only the little ones who understand the parable on the work in the Principium by the mystery of the serpent of the Great Sea.' And those Christians, who may happen to read this, will also understand by the light of the above sentence

44. The Secret Doctrine, p. 494, Vol. II



who their 'Christ' was. For Jesus states repeatedly that he who 'shall not receive the Kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein', and if some of his sayings have been meant to apply to children without any metaphor, most of what relates to the 'little ones' in the Gospels, related to the Initiates of whom Jesus was one. Paul (Saul) is referred to in the Talmud as 'the little one.'" (The Secret Doctrine, p. 504, Vol. II) The esoteric value of the word child sheds unexpected light on the episode involving the maid of honor. Esoterically, making a child means making an initiatean act in which initiation is not sexual. In such a case, the girl's considerable credit or influence with the college of magi reflects power resulting from her possession of secret knowledge. In such a case also, the meaning of the name Cador is easily understood. While phonetically it may bring to mind coeur dorheart of gold, a fitting tribute paid to a loyal friend, a more important characteristic of the name is the fact that it is the anagram of the word Draco which means Dragon. As indicated in the passage of The Secret Doctrine last quoted, the Mystery of the Dragon is closely connected to the meaning of 'initiate.' In the words of H.P. Blavatsky,"the 'Serpent' and 'Dragon' were the names given to the 'Wise Ones,' the initiated adepts of olden times."45 In short, the activities involved on the esoteric plane of the episode are far removed from those reported on the surface of the text. As is often the case in the writings of "smugglers," erotica serve to conceal esoterica. The episode of Zadig in which the maid of honor plays a part supplies a fine example of how certain texts may be read very differently on two different levels. A spectacular example of esoteric "subtext" may be found in The Little Prince. Bearing in mind the esoteric value of the word child throughout the book, the practitioner of esoteric algebra will find a whole unsuspected level of meaning in the insistent distinction which

45. The Secret Doctrine, p. 404, Vol. I



is made between children and grown-ups. Les enfants saventthe children know46 says SaintExupery; a massive understatement for those who understand. Voltaire the poet is a subject of chapters involving the Envious Man. The death sentence received by Zadig results from the fragmentary condition of poetry he has written. A damaged text reduced to half of its actual size is used as evidence of subversion and libelous lese-majeste. Partial understanding and gross injustice follow. An innocent is condemned. The substance of the episode is consistent with Voltaire's militancy against arbitrary judicial practices of the Ancien Regime. The fraudulent use of mutilated scriptures is also under attack. Most importantly, the crimes of inquisitors are called to attention. It was on the spurious basis of mangled and otherwise distorted scriptures that thousands of persons were sent to the torture chamber and to the stake over a period of centuries that had not yet ended when Voltaire was writing and that had just barely ended when Isis Unveiled was published. Not surprisingly, the same type of church-promoted atrocity is denounced in like spirit by the author of Zadig and by H.P. Blavatsky: "in the brief space of fourteen years, Tomas de Torquemada, the confessor of Queen Isabella, burned over ten thousand persons, and sentenced to the torture eighty thousand more." (Isis Unveiled, p. 59, Vol. 2) The chain of events which brings Zadig to fame and to grief involves two animals: a dog and a horse. The burning alive of a horse is mentioned in Isis Unveiled: "Granger tells the story, describing it as having occurred in his time. The poor animal 'had been taught to tell the spots upon cards, and the hour of the day by the watch. Horse and owner were both indicted by the sacred office for dealing with the Devil, and

46. The Little Prince, Ch. XXV



both were burned with a great ceremony of auto-da-fe at Lisbon in 1601 as wizards!'" (Isis Unveiled, p. 59, Vol. 2) The reference to the horse featured in Zadig and the description of a fine auto da fealso performed in Lisbon which is described in Candidesuggest that Voltaire was aware of the burning reported by Granger. Whatever the case may be, his concern with the same type of fiendish absurdity is beyond doubt. A similar trial is mentioned in Chapter II of Le Siecle de Louis XIV: "One can still see, in a copy of a few ledgers of the Chatelet, a trial begun in 1610 concerning a horse which had been trained by an industrious master in approximately the same way as other examples seen at the fair. The people wanted to burn the master as well as the horse." The incriminating verse written by Zadig prompts an autobiographical remark: "Zadig did not pride himself upon being a good poet." Voltaire seems to recognize the superiority of his prose over his poetry. Poetic quality, though generally achieved by him, was not the primary goal. Poetry and prose were both designed to serve the same mission of enlightenment. In that respect also, Voltaire and the author of Isis Unveiled are of one mind. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, while esoteric poetry is often "regarded as poetised fiction," it actually is "poetised truth."47 We might note the characterization of poetry that is given by the Marquis de Custine: "Poetry is a mystery which serves to express more than words; ..."48 Voltaire would have endorsed the view that poetry, as well as prose, may "say more than it seems to say.

47. 48.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 7, Vol. II Journey to Russia, Marquis Adolphe de Custine, Ch. XIV



The subject of the verse of Zadig is the King. The poem contains a clue to the presence of esoteric material: a nursery-rhyme-like, flat-footed quality that should strike sensitive readers as suspect: "Par les plus grands forfaits Sur le trone affermi, Dans la publique paix, C'est le seul ennemi." ("Through the greatest misdeeds Secured on the throne Within public peace He is the lone foe.") Rhymes are crude approximations. Prosody and pronunciation are in conflict. A few cumbersome mute e's must be juggled to rescue the stanza from disaster. The general effect is grotesque. On the other nana, the completed version of the poem has adequate dignity of form: "Par les plus grands forfaits j'ai vu troubler la terre, Sur le trone affermi le roi sait tout dompter. Dans la publique paix l'amour seul fait la guerre; C'est le seul ennemi qui soit a redouter." ("Through the greatest misdeeds I saw the earth disturbed. Secure on his throne the King knows how to conquer all. Within the public peace love alone is at war; He is the lone foe to be feared.") Voltaire uses contrast to stress common practices of esoteric writers such as deliberate "accidents" of form and calculated "slips" of knowledge. Such failings are designed to draw attention to veiled substance. Thus is the reader invited to practice objective alertnessand ethics. He is asked in the present case to meditate on a potentially rewarding question: Could Zadigalias Voltairehave produced such lame verse as the fragmentary stanza without special reason? While the observation on the poetic skill of "Zadig" suggests that he might have,



it may also suggest that the matter deserves close attention. The reader is thus warned against certain obstacles to full comprehension which lie within himself. Mechanical acceptance of any and all printed matter, superficial reading, and overly low esteem for the ability of an author are equally blinding. In the case of esoteric material such obstacles are meant to be. The complete stanzawhich seems to praise the Kingmay be read in two ways. The monarch's ability to overcome all obstacles may be seen as the extension of "the greatest misdeeds," in other words as a manifestation of tyranny. No structural consideration rules out a connection between the King and the final line. Within the framework provided by the connectionas in the exoteric version or the poemlove remains the only warring element. It may be love of mankind or, the sole surviving and subversive decency in the midst of "greatest misdeeds" or universal oppression. It may be mystical love or commitment to superior knowledge. It may be the esoteric concept of "Eros, the Divine Will or Desire of manifesting itself through visible creation;"49 in other words the dynamic principle of evolution. Love may then be regarded as a second possible antecedent of "he is the only foe to be feared." The person endangered by such universal love is then the King. Whether or not one reads into the text praise of the monarch is determined by preceding paragraphs of the chapter and by the attitude of the reader. Assuming Zadig to be innocent of "lese-majeste," assuming a basic conflict to exist between the partial and the integral texts of the poem, one tends to project into the stanza a substance favorable to the sovereign. The double-edged quality of the completed quatrain invites reflection on the "trial" and judgment of Voltaire the Poet himself. Severely limited understanding of the total message is hinted (which amounts to a definition of exotericism). Zadig is subversive after all, in grand manner, on an unsuspected plane. Zadig is

49. The Secret Doctrine, p. 65, Vol. II



also "innocent" in the esoteric sense of the term which means "initiate." The poetic quality of the completed stanza meets requirements of metrics. One might even say that it meets them too well. The unrelieved thumping rhythm of the basic alexandrin is combined with ringing tones. The overall trumpeting effect is about as poetic as a brass band. The emphasis placed on fanfare may have been calculated to arouse skepticism where the greatness of the King is concerned. It may suggestamong other thingsthat Le Siecle de Louis XIV rates careful re-reading. The amusing stanza acts as a playful yet fervent nudge aimed at potential esoteric readers. It conveys a plea for comprehension; a proof of the misleading nature of superficial reading; a hint at what may lie beyond the appearance of texts. The same case is made very plainly in another short story written by Voltaire:

"In spite of the progress of the human mind [or spirit] people read very little; and, among those who sometimes wish to gain instruction, most persons read very badly." (L'Homme aux quarante ecusDes proportions) The poetic efforts of Zadig are rewarded by a death sentence. The young man is condemned without a hearing. While judicial abuse is, once again, the obvious target of Voltaire, another view of altogether different nature is expressed in the brief statement. It is radically opposed to the traditional image of the author. Recognition is given to unheard of occult forces capable of animating matter:

"Zadig was not allowed to speak because his tablets spoke: such was the law of Babylon."

The tablets spoke literally! "Speaking of Kashmere, Marco Polo observes that they have an astonishing acquaintance with the devilries of enchantment inas-



much that they make their idols to speak." (Isis Unveiled, p. 505, Vol. 1) "The same knowledge and control of the occult forces, including the vital force which enabled the fakir temporarily to leave and then reenter his body, and Jesus, Apollonius, and Elisha to recall their several subjects to life, made it possible for the ancient hierophants to animate statues, and cause them to act and speak like living creatures." (Isis Unveiled, p. 485, Vol. 1) Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier cite the case of an interesting bronze head:

"There was... the extraordinary case of one of the most mysterious figures in Western history: the Pope Sylvester II, known also by the name of Gerbert d'Aurillac. Born in the Auvergne in 920 (d. 1003) Gerbert was a Benedictine monk, professor at the University of Rheims, Archbishop of Ravenna and Pope by the grace of Otho III. He is supposed to have spent some time in Spain, after which a mysterious voyage brought him to India where he is reputed to have acquired various kinds of skills which stupefied his entourage. For example, he possessed in his palace a bronze head which answered YES or NO to questions put to it on politics or the general position of Christianity. According to Sylvester II50 this was a perfectly simple operation corresponding to a two-figure calculation, and was performed by an automaton similar to our modern binary machines. This 'magic' head was destroyed when Sylvester died, and all the information it imparted carefully concealed. No doubt an authorized research worker would come across some surprising things in the Vatican Library." (The Morning of the Magicians, An Open Conspiracy, II) The tablets of Zadig spoke! Feeling well protected by the weird implications of the literal statement, Voltaire knew that, in the vast majority of cases, it would be taken to mean that the text of the tablets 50. See CXXXIX of Mine's Patrologie Latine



was clear or self-explanatory; in short, that the trial of the young hero was "an open and shut case." The mind or the average Westerner is culturally conditioned to cling to the literal level of any form of communication. Paradoxically in appearance, it has developed an amazing reflex; an automatic ability to shunt "upstairs"to the realm of things symbolic and figurativeany material which appears too far-fetched and disturbing to be faced literally. That spectacular defense mechanism is well knownand usefulto literary "smugglers" (such as Hans Christian Andersen). It was that mild form of panic reaction which enabled Voltaire to plant the startling statement without benefit of veil. We can only speculate about his thoughts and smile as the pen outlined the seemingly preposterous words. We may be helped in the process by remembering that the "sage" who wrote Zadig admittedly "amused himself." The question raised by the provocative statement is the following: Did the Ancients ever possess any material devices endowed with the capability of speech? In our age that is "blessed" (some would say "cursed") with a profusion of noise-making gadgets and with "modern binary machines"it should be easier than it was in the XVIIIth Century to conceive thatincredibile dictu!such "tablets" as those of Zadig could and did speak. Such a view would imply belief in the existence of advanced technology in the Ancient world; a belief that, with rare exceptions, is far from popular with scientific communities of our times. Here again, as in the case of the astronomer of The Little Prince, the superiority complex of the modern Western world thwarts open-mindedness. The execution of Zadig is prevented in seemingly miraculous fashion. The young man is exonerated by a strange chain of events involving a parrot, a peach, and the missing portion of the incriminating tablets. Disaster and salvation seem to be the work of a Providence that is consistent in absurdity only. One may note, however, the heartening symbolism of a message finally perceived in its entirety. "Parrotting" can bear "fruit" in due course of time. The theme of final vindication



of the poetry of "Zadig" is suggested to apply to the writings of Voltaire. Justice is served in the end. Royal judgment awards to the young hero the property of the envious man who had denounced him. But the wealth is returned to the original owner. Legitimate as it may seem to the majority of men, revenge is rejected as unworthy. Earthly riches are scorned. Buddha and Paulwho also possessed and disdained material wealthhave a precursor and kindred spirit in the disciple of Zoroaster. A certain conclusion may be drawn: poetry and, generally speaking, literature, is a dangerous thing for arbitrary powers. Alfred de Vigny has this to say about the genuinely inspired writer: "'His mission is to produce writings, and only when he hears the secret voice. He must wait for it. Let no foreign influence dictate his words; they would then be perishable. Let him not fear the use-lessness of his work: if it is beautiful, it will be useful by virtue of that single fact, since it will have united men in a common feeling of adoration and contemplation for it and for the thought it represents. there is and there always will be antipathy between the man of Power and the man of Art; but aside from the envy factor and the pretext of usefulness, is it not true that there still remains another, more secret cause to be unveiled? Don't you perceive it in the continuous fears plaguing any man who has some kind of authority; the fear of losing that cherished and precious authority that has become his soul?' 'Alas! I fairly glimpse what you are to tell me still,' said Stello; 'is it not the fear of truth?' 'There we are' said the Doctor joyfully. 'Since Power is a science of convention according to times, and since any social order is based on a more or less ridiculous lie, whereas on the contrary the beauties of any Art are only possible when derived from the innermost truth, you will understand that Power, whatever it may be,



finds continuous opposition in any work so created. Hence, its eternal striving to repress or to seduce.' 'Alas!' said Stello, 'to what odious and continuous resistance does Power condemn the Poet! Cannot that very Power align itself with truth?' 'It cannotAnd my three political examples do not prove that Power is wrong to act in that manner, but only that its essence is contrary to yours and that it cannot help trying to destroy what is in its way.'" (StelloA Social lie) Steinbeck concurs:

"this I believe: that the free, exploring mind of the individual human is the most valuable thing in the world. And this I would fight for: the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected. And this I must fight against: any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual. This is what I am and what I am about. I can understand why a system built on a pattern must try to destroy the free mind, for it is one thing which can by inspection destroy such a system. Surely I can understand this, and I hate it and I will fight against it to preserve the one thing that separates us from the uncreative beasts. If the glory can be killed, we are lost." (East of Eden, Ch. 13) The same ability "by inspection" to "destroy a system" is celebrated in 1984. A young man's dream combines literature, a grand unveiling and liberation:

"The girl with dark hair was coming toward him across the field. With what seemed a single movement she tore off her clothes and flung them disdainfully aside. Her body was white and smooth, but it aroused no desire in him; indeed, he barely looked at it. What overwhelmed him in that instant was admiration for the gesture with which she had thrown her clothes aside. With its grace and carelessness it seemed to annihilate a whole culture, a whole system of thought, as though Big Brother and the Party and the Thought



Police could all be swept into nothingness by a single splendid movement of the arm. That too was a gesture belonging to the ancient time. Winston woke up with the word 'Shakespeare' on his lips." (1984, Part I, Ch. III) Similar statements can be found elsewhere in literature on the danger posed for arbitrary powers by far-ranging minds and by their writings. The reality of the threat needs no other proof than the reality of age-old repression. While the precise date of promulgation of Roman Catholic book censorship is not known, the condemnation of books by the Church can be traced back to the Second Century. Later, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, the official list of books authoritatively forbidden to members of the Roman Catholic Church was published and remains in existence even today. The atrocities of the Inquisition were attempts at absolute censorship of thoughts and writings. In 1634, Cardinal Richelieu master-minded the foundation of the Academie Francaise as a government of letters for the sake of literary discipline.51 In short, the danger posed for despotic ecclesiasticalwhich is to say politicalpowers by the works of inspired authors is considerable. But it can hardly be compared to dangers faced by their freethinking, free-writing opponents. Stendhal summed it all up when he stated that "political power is a stone attached to the neck of literature."52 The tablets of Zadig still speak! They speak of the tens of thousands of crimes committed by the thought police of all times and places. They speak of the countless victims of ideological and religious "isms." They speak of superhuman courage in the face of contempt, destitution, imprisonment, torture and death. Such is one of two thinly veiled messages conveyed by The Dog and the Horse. Not surprisingly, the


Histoire Illustree de la Litterature Francaise, Ch.-M. Des Granges, Troisieme Par-tie, Ch. III


Le Rouge et le noir, Ch. XXII

Zadig 63 writings of Voltaire received one of the highest honors to which an author may aspire: inclusion in the infamous Index. The chapter entitled Les Genereux invites comparison between ethics in the modern Western world and ethics in the society of ancient Babylon. The world of Antiquity is not presented as perfect. As previously indicated, the beginning of the story gives evidence of corrupt forces at work. But the promotion and reward of good deeds remains the concern of powerful elites and a guide of conduct for many less exalted beings. Such will not be the case in times and places that will be designated as modern "Westphalia" in Candide. In one respect at least, the world of Paganism is superior to the environment in which Voltaire lived. Rather than a compulsory posture, virtue is a heart-felt, positive force. The tournament described in the chapter has little to do with physical prowess. Virtue is the sole measure of excellence: "Ce jour memorable venu, le roi parut sur son trone, environne des grands, des mages, et des deputes de toutes les nations qui venaient a ces jeux, oil la gloire s'acquerait non par la legerete des chevaux, non par la force du corps, mais par la vertu." ("That memorable day having come, the King appeared on his throne surrounded by the great, the magi, and the deputies of all nations who came to those games in which glory was acquired not through the agility of horses, nor through the strength of the body, but through virtue.") The passage contains a dual esoteric equation. The word virtue is used in its etymological sense of "strength." Esoteric "strength" is spirituality. Brute force is openly declared irrelevant to the occasion.53 The setting of the eventwhich brings to mind medieval tournaments as well as the prevailing values of ancient Chaldeasuggests that a timeless, symbolic interpretation of present and future jousts may be in 53. The word "brute" is derived from a root that means "stupid" as well as "brutal."

Zadig 64

order. Such will be a few "battles" described in subsequent chapters; among them a "fight" involving Otame, Itobad, and Zadig. The top-ranking contestants are ethical supermen. Among them are a judge and a soldier. The judge has offered his entire fortune to compensate a citizen for a judicial error. The soldier has sacrificed his love life in order to save his mother. The bereaved loverwho has contemplated suicidefinally consents to live for the sake of his aged parent. The bonds of flesh or incarnation are shown to be as meaningful as human beings make them. The will to live or to "endure life""Il eut le courage de souffrir la vie""He found the courage to endure life"is as noble or ignoble as the nature of human motivation. Voltaire may have had in mind the famous soliloquy of Hamlet when he wrote the passage. Whatever the case may be, the unbelievable judge and the sublime soldier seem to reflect the lingering influence of a Golden Age that is a far cry from XVIIIth Century France. Zadig becomes a Babylonian Solomon whose wisdom is translated into judgments. A selfless son is preferred to another who has won public acclaim by building an expensive monument dedicated to the memory of his father. A strange paternity suitthe opposite of the usual kind shows ethics to be more important than biological fatherhood. The righteous path is determined by scorn of false values. Various aspects of Maya are questioned and found wanting. Among them are physical force, material wealth, social prestige and the purely physical attributes of incarnation. The same rejection of "vanity" is evident in the attitude of Zadig. "He impressed upon everyone the sacred power of the laws and impressed upon no one the weight of his office." Sacred values are paramount. Merit is no more than the measure of human dedication to them. The theme of pagan virtue based on a universal religion and on a universal system of ethics is often developed in occult literature. It is often stated that pagan culture is generally misunderstoodif not deliberately distortedby modern mankind. An entire chapter of

Zadig 65

Isis Unveiled is entitled Christian Crimes and Heathen Virtues. A

Voltairian reprimand aimed at ignorant detractors of the Ancients:"You who cast slurs upon Antiquity without knowing it"54"probably has the same secret source as the following statement of H.P. Blavatsky:

"There were no Atheists in those days of old; no disbelievers or materialists in the modern sense of the word, as there were no bigoted detractors. He who judges the ancient philosophies by their external phraseology, and quotes from ancient writings sentences seemingly atheistical, is unfit to be trusted as a critic, for he is unable to penetrate into the inner sense of their metaphysics." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 530-31, Vol. 2)

The same passage of Isis Unveiled points out that the philosophy of the Ancients held all things to be "illusionsave the Great Unknown and His direct essence." Also stressed is the fact that the same philosophy was upheld by "the whole pre-Christian world:"

"Those philosophical beliefs extended like a net-work over the whole pre-Christian world; and surviving persecution and misrepresentations, form the corner-stone of every now existing religion outside Christianity."

The same global character of a Pagan philosophy derived from the Ancient Wisdom-Religion is suggested by Voltaire. The "tournament" described in Les Genereux is attended by "deputies from all the nations."

The judiciary skill of Zadig is demonstrated in the resolution of a dispute opposing right-foot and left-foot advocates. Each group wishes to impose upon the faithful its own way of entering the temple. Like other divisive aspects of Maya, such arbitrarily contrived rituals are

54. Oeuvres Completes de Voltaire, de l'Imprimerie Typographique de la Societe Lit-teraire Typographique, Tome 12



sources of unnecessary tension and strife. The same idea is expressed in the above-quoted passage of the Traite sur la Tolerance: "Permit it to be so that those who light tapers at high noon in order to glorify you may tolerate those who content themselves with the light of the sun." The above plea is aimed primarily at the religious community whose need of tolerance is greatest. Christians are asked to tolerate the existence of faiths other than their own. It is suggestedwith bitter ironythat the sun may deserve the same consideration as man-made candles symbolically and materially canceled by natural light. Contrary to popular belief, the latter part of the sentence concerning sun-worshipers points to exoteric aspects of monotheistic Pagan faiths. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky:

"we might easily show that none of the ancients, the sun-worshipers included, regarded our visible sun otherwise than as an emblem of their metaphysical invisible central sun-god." (Isis Unveiled, p. 270, Vol. 1)

The genesis of apparent polytheism is traced as follows:

[The] endless emanations of the one First Cause, all of which were gradually transformed by the popular fancy into distinct gods, spirits, angels, and demons, were so little considered immortal, that all were assigned a limited existence. And this belief, common to all the peoples of antiquity, to the Chaldean Magi as well as to the Egyptians, and even in our day held by the Brahmanists and Buddhists, most triumphantly evidences the monotheism of the ancient religious systems." (Isis Unveiled, p. 219, Vol. 2) Common sense prevails in the end. Religious war is averted. Zadig solves the delicate problem of entry by jumping into the temple with both feet joined; an act symbolizing the victory of unity over divisive-ness. While his conduct may seem irreverent, it does not lack a certain grace. Apparently, the disciple of Zoroaster views faith as a total commitment to be embraced with one's entire being.



The nature of his wisdom is defined with typical esoteric humorwhich is to say with depth. Unlike less enlightened mortals, Zadig is willing to heed views other than his own. The reader is reminded of the previous observation that "He did not want to always have the last word." Accordingly, the young hero welcomes the influence of "voices of the divan." "Poetry is the register [divan] of the Arabs," says a proverb.55 The word divan therefore points to the influence of literature. The same term eventually came to designate all the government bureaus of Persia. The divan of the Sublime Porte was for a long time the council of the empire, presided over by the grand vizier." Voltaire apparently uses the exotic word to bring to mind the combined forces of poetry or literature and political power. It is wryly noted in Zadig that "there is always hope with princes who love verse." From a less exotic standpoint, the French word divan means "sofa" or "couch." "Voices of the divan" may therefore represent an allusion to the "sofa" or couch used in ancient initiation rites; an object insistently mentioned in Candide and also featured in L'Ingenu. The trance- like state experienced on the divan involves travel in invisible realms and the hearing of voices. Zadig apparently welcomes the views of initiates. His open mindedness is characteristic of persons intent on the pursuit of eternal verities. Not surprisingly, in the words of Voltaire, "His principal talent was the ability to extricate truth." Zadig is admired by many persons but is severely criticized by others. He fails to meet some popular expectations of religious showmanship. Some unhappy members of the community feel cheated of their due. No spectacular wonders are offeredrhetorically or otherwiseby the wise young hero. "The envious man and his wife claimed that in his address he did not have enough symbols, that he had not caused the mountains or the hills to heave sufficiently. 'He is dry and without genius,' they said, 'one does not see with him the sea in flight, the stars falling, or

55. Encyclopedia BrittanicaDivan



the sun melting like wax; he does not have the good oriental style.' Zadig was content with having the style of reason. Everyone was on his side, not because he was on the right path, not because he was sensible, not because he was kind, but because he was prime minister." (Les Disputes et les Audiences) The popularity of Zadig rests on the Mayavic basis known and exploited in our own age as name recognition. Instead of prizing the intrinsic value of golden character, the majority of men admire superficial attributes such as social standing. The same dim view of popularity is expressed in the writings of numerous authors. In the words of Alfred de Vigny, "One of the greatest misfortunes which may befall a man is to be popular. Popularity is an unfailing sign of his weakness for a side of the mind. It is through the common part of his being that he is popular."56 The wish list of wonders desired by the Envious Man and his Wife seems to ridicule all aspects of "the supernatural." Such was the intent of Voltaire whoas previously notedclearly voiced his dislike of "the supernatural." Cataclysms of the variety described in world mythology and in scriptural texts do not belong to the realm of "miracles" since miracles do not exist. Occult philosophy teaches that mountains do heaveoccasionally; that some continents are submerged while others rise from the sea and that the sun and stars themselveseternal though they seemhave only limited life expectancies. Phenomenal upheavals are mere manifestations of cyclic cosmic change. Such is the teaching of a learned geographer featured in Chapter XV of The Little Prince. "It is a very rare thing for a mountain to change places. It is a very rare thing for an ocean to empty itself of its water." Such things are rare indeed but do happen. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky:

56. Diary, June 28, 1844



"At the close of each 'great year' called by Aristotleaccording to Censorinusthe greatest, and which consists of six sars57 our planet is subjected to a thorough physical revolution. The polar and equatorial climates gradually exchange places; the former moving slowly toward the Line, and the tropical zone, with its exuberant vegetation and swarming animal life, replacing the forbidding wastes of the icy poles. This change of climate is necesarily attended by cataclysms, earthquakes, and other cosmical throes. As the beds of the ocean are displaced, at the end of every decimillennium and about one neros, a semi-universal deluge like the legendary Noa-chian flood is brought about. This year was called the Heliacal by the Greeks; but no one outside the sanctuary knew anything certain either as to its duration or particulars. The winter of this year was called the Cataclysm or the Deluge.the Summer, the Ecpy-rosis. The popular traditions taught that at these alternate seasons the world was in turn burned and deluged." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 31-32, Vol. 1) The opposition which seems to exist between "good Oriental style" and the "style of reason" is useful in the esoteric sense of the word. Voltaire seems to reject "superstition" in general and Oriental "myths" in particular. His respect for the deep meaning of world mythologya view covertly expressed in several of his writingsis all the better concealed for the episode. The reference to "good Oriental style" was probably designed in part to convey the idea that no single region of earth has a monopoly on truth. The Envious Man and his Wife do not understand the criticized Prime Minister. "Zadig" is too reasonable to shout cosmic views from rostrums or rooftops. The era in which he lives is that of lingering but threatened Ancient Wisdom. The depth of the science of the young man is wisely kept secret. But the science in question would surprise the critics if its nature and scope were revealed. Heaving or traveling "mountains" affected by the periodical tilting of the axis of Earth

57. Sar or Sarus=3600 years, Neros=600 years (according to Berosus, a Chaldean astrologer)



belong to the veiled substance of the works of "Zadig." It will be shown in the course of the present study that the Voltairian trilogy contains references to shifting poles, displaced oceans, sunken continents and cataclysms. Other topics of comparable nature are mentioned by the allegedly "dry" and uninspired public figure. The Mayavic outlook which can be expected from "envy" personified points to critiques aimed at Voltaire by various commentators. The "Sage who amused himself by writing Zadig" had ample opportunity to sample their verdicts during his lifetime. He had more than sufficient vision to foresee the learned litanies of the future that would be devoted to his writings. "He is dry and without genius" says Arimaze. "He lacks depth and strength" says Des Granges. "He does not have the sense of mystery. He does not have the sense of the past" says Lanson58 "He understands nothing about faith or mysticism" says Lagarde et Michard.59 The prophetic grin of Zadig-Voltaire is perceptible in the portrayal of "the Envious Man." Zadig solves another quarrel opposing white and black magis. He rules that one may turn equally well toward East or West when praying. Once again, the disciple of Zoroaster acts as a unifying influence. Once again, reason and tolerance are commended to men of good will. The central message of the episode is identical in essence to the statement of Sri Ramakrishna which has already been quoted: Men of all faiths are going to the same goal through different paths. The importance of universal values transcending arbitrarily contrived ritual is stressed. East and West are never divorced in the minds of Voltairian "good company." The Mayavic outlook derived from sensory data, dead-letter insight and divisiveness is represented again in the chapter entitled Jealousy. Zadig's popularity with the royal couple leads to a dangerous situation. Little by little, platonic love develops between the Prime Minister and

58. 59.

Histoire de la Litterature Francaise, Lanson & Truffaut, p. 369 Collection Litteraire Lagarde & Michard, XVIIIe siecle



the Queen. Having tried and failed to seduce Zadig, the Wife of the Envious Man plays the part of the proverbial scorned fury. Using trumped-up evidence, she arouses suspicion and jealousy in the heart of King Moabdar. The hero and the Queen have been ambushed by Cupid who wears the innocent-looking garb of social success, esteem, sympathy and common interests. While a parallel but casual adventure involving Zadig and a chambermaid is also reported, no one ever really knows if Babylonian records of the escapade are correct. Whether the woman involved be Queen or servant, the spiritual progress of Zadig seems to be threatened when he is tempted by forbidden love. In spite of mighty temptation, the Queen and the Prime Minister emerge victorious from their Cornelian conflict between duty and love. But the blind jealousy of Moabdar is unabated. Death is decreed for Zadig and for Queen Astarte. The episode is focused on powers stubbornly retained by Maya over those who have advanced in the path of knowledge. Constant vigilance is the only effective safeguard against ever-present weakness. The importance of Self-Knowledge is stressed implicitly. The spiritual seeker must scrutinize his own motives whenever love is concerned. There lies the crucial and often hazy borderline between Good and Evil. There also lies the dividing line between white and black magic. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky which have already been quoted, "he who makes of the science of sciences a sinful pretext for worldly motives,should tremble." The relevance of white or black magic seems to be suggested by the previously mentioned controversy opposing white and black magis. The alleged amorous venture of Zadig with a servant may also have been used to suggest inferior occult pursuits. The fact that the familiarity of contacts between Zadig and the Queen leads to forbidden love also seems meaningful. As previously indicated, servants and familiars are often used by esoteric writers to represent lowlevel occult forces. The couple formed by Zadig and Astarte seems to be swayedbut not overcomeby powers of false innocence suggesting



wicked entities. Such inferior spirits are characterized as follows in Isis Unveiled: 'Their abode is in the neighborhood of the earthand when they can escape the vigilance of the good daemons, there is no mischief they will not dare commit. One day they will employ brute force; another cunning.' It is a child's play for them to arouse in us vile passions, to impart to societies and nations turbulent doctrines, provoking wars, seditions, and other public calamities, and then tell you 'that all this is the work of the gods.'" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 332-33, Vol. 1) The esoteric significance of love is a major element of esoteric algebra. Cupid is a logical and excellent "blind." The mystery of physical life has a mystical counterpart in the mystery of spiritual Being. The theme of union which is the very essence of the words yogi, yoga, yoke and of the French jougis as relevant to the fusion with the Higher Self and with the Absolute as it is to the oneness of terrestrial love. As was previously noted in connection with the subversive poetry of "Zadig," Eros is the vital principle underlying the universe on all planes of existence. It is only on the plane of gross matter than he becomes a physicalor phallicaspect of cosmic energy:

"Eros was connected in early Greek mythology with the world's creation and only afterwards became the sexual Cupid." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 176, Vol. II) The esoteric equivalence of sex or love is also given by an expert symbologist. The pansexualism of Freud is somewhat damaged by the following statement:

"In ancient times the feeling of being 'penetrated' by or 'receiving' the god was allegorised by the sexual act. But it would be a gross misunderstanding to interpret a genuine religious experience as a 'repressed' sexual fantasy on account of a mere metaphor. The 'penetration' can also be expressed by a sword, spear, or arrow. The



phallus is not a sign that indicates the penis. It is a 'symbol' because it has so many other meanings." (Flying Saucers, C.G. Jung, Ch. II) Countless literary texts generally regarded as "risque" or "obscene" contain an invitation to raise one's sight "beyond terrestrial thoughts in lofty contemplation of the marvels of Nature."60 The magnificent pornography of Rabelais andperhaps that of Celinehas no other rai-son d'etre. The love tryst proposed by Vigny to "Eva" in La Maison du berger is a mystical trip into regions of "poetised truth." The portrayal of Eloa featured in another work of the same authora text not lacking in exoteric "cheesecake"conveys a clear message of infinite mercy and a veiled tribute to the Great Sacrifice of voluntary reincarnation. The Abbaye de Theleme immortalized by Rabelais glorifies the union with the Higher Self of karmically advanced or "well-born" persons. The house of ill-fame is often used by esoteric writers to suggest the same mystical union with the Higher Self andthrough the Higher Selfwith Atma, the universal essence. The divine sense of humor of literary "smugglers" is at its best in its exploitation of erotica. "Keep this Cupid and place it in some monastery. Those who will see it will turn their hearts toward God, for Love naturally knows how to rise to celestial thoughts." (Thais, The Papyrus, A. France) Western culturefrom Moses to Freudtends to regard the sex act as the ultimate experience in life. The fact that our interpretation of lit-erature usually remains as phallicor literalas does our understanding of other scriptures is therefore not surprising. Sex-related material is eagerly pounced upon and meticulously distilled. Meanwhile, as readers salivate in Pavlovian fashion at the sound of the magic bell of SEX, the divine quintessence goes unnoticedin spite of many warnings:

60. Tiers Livre, Ch. XVIII



"We waste a precious time on an absurd track and pass, unsuspecting, by the truth." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 100, Vol. III) "is it for the woman herself, were she not supplemented by those occult forces, that we would take such pains?" (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 1127, Vol. II) The kind of inferior love represented by Semire, Azora, Widow Cosrou and the chambermaid corresponds symbolically to low-level spiritual ventures. That impression tends to be confirmed by certain facts. Following his brief affair with the Queen's servant, Zadig is "quite amazed to have indulged without bliss" and "to have kissed his lover in absent-minded fashion." Finally, he is reported to have uttered the name of the Queen at a most unexpected moment of his embrace with the servant. Voltaire observes that the supreme instant finds the majority of men "silent" or uttering "sacred words." Such is the case in the amorous venture of of Zadigan episode which may be read on two different levels. The reaction of his playmate is also noteworthy in more than one respect: "That man must have prodigious matters on his mind when he makes love." The lady does not know how right she is. The "smuggler's" "grin" is perceptible again. Astarte is clearly superior to Semire and Azora in beauty, intelligence and ethics. While she is not immune to the tyranny of Maya, she is endowed with insight, kindness and genuine righteousness. Her name which places her within "The whole Pantheon of lunar gods and goddesses, Nephtys or Neith, Proserpina, Melytta, Cybele, Isis, Astarte, Venus and Hecate, ..."61 explains how Zadig might have uttered a "sacred word" at the supreme moment of his involvement with the chambermaid. Astarte's mythological identity as the Egyptian goddess Isis is deeply meaningful. As suggested in the present book whenever one of the major works of H.P. BlavatskyIsis Unveiledis quoted, the concept of Isis Unveiled refers to the revelation of what

61. The Secret Doctrine, p. 396, Vol. I



truly IS beyond the veil of appearance or MAYA. The following text strongly suggests that "Isis Unveiled" equals Truth: "The keys to the biblical miracles of old, and to the phenomena of modern days; the problems of psychology, physiology, and the many 'missing links' which have so perplexed scientists of late, are all in the hands of secret fraternities. This mystery must be unveiled some day. But till then dark skepticism will constantly interpose its threatening, ugly shadows between God's truths and the spiritual vision of mankind; and many are those who, infected by the mortal epidemic of our centuryhopeless materialismwill remain in doubt and mortal agony as to whether, when man dies, he will live again, although the question has been solved by long by-gone generations of sages. The answers are there. They may be found on the time-worn granite pages of cave-temples, on sphinxes, propylons, and obelisks. They have stood there for untold ages, and neither the rude assault of time, nor the still ruder assault of Christian hands, have succeeded in obliterating their records. All covered with the problems which were solvedwho can tell? Perhaps by the archaic forefathers of their buildersthe solution follows each question; and this the Christian could not appropriate, for, except the initiates, no one has understood the mystic writing. The key was in the keeping of those who knew how to commune with the invisible Presence, and who had received, from the lips of mother Nature herself her grand truths. And so stand these monuments like mute forgotten sentinels on the threshold of that unseen world, whose gates are thrown open but to a few elect. Defying the hand of Time, the vain inquiry of profane science, the insults of revealed religions, they will disclose their riddles to none but the legatees of those by whom they were entrusted with the MYSTERY. The cold, stony lips of the once vocal Memnon, and of these hardy sphinxes keep their secrets well. Who will unseal them? Who of our modern, materialistic dwarfs and unbelieving Sadducees will dare to lift the VEIL OF ISIS?" (Isis Unveiled, p. 573, Vol. 1)



The name of Isis and its link to "lunar gods and goddesses" suggest her to correspond to the soul in one of her aspects. The soul is the intermediate principle of the reincarnating human Triad: "Man, who is the microcosm of the macrocosm, or of the archetypal heavenly man, Adam Kadmon, isa trinity; for he is body, soul and spirit." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 222-23, Vol. 2) The correspondence linking soul and moonor Isis-Astarteis noted by Plutarch, a fact noted by H.P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled:

'"the earth has given the body, the moon the soul, and the sun, the understanding to the generation of man.'" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 283-84, Vol. 2)

Other attributes of Isis include the following: goddess of life and healing.62 "Venus, Isis, Ister, Mylitta, Eve, etc., etc., are identical with the Aditi and Vach of the Hindus. They are all the 'Mothers of all living' and of the gods.'"63 Accordingly, Isis is often designated as the generative power of Nature. The Index of Isis Unveiled lists the many names of the goddess under the name of Astarte: "Aster-t, Ashtoreth, Ishtar, Istar, Adar-gat, Isis, Dido, Astoreth, Mylitta, Eve, Venus, Mary, Aphrodite all identical." It is a well-known fact that Venus is regarded as the goddess of Love; a designation that may apply equally well on the literal plane of terrestrial attachment and on the esoteric plane of mystical love. All of which combines to suggest the esoteric identity of the lover of Isis-Astarte in Zadig. The young disciple of Zoroaster appears to be Man the Lover of Truth. The planned execution of Zadig and Astarte is prevented by the warning or a little mute. The dwarf who is deeply devoted to the Queenis transactions as a the habitual "witness of most secret

62. 63.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 26, Vol. II Ibid., p. 43, Vol. II

Zadig 77

domestic animal" might be. The word "witness"which has the etymological meaning of "martyr" (Greek martur-uros) is often used in a spiritual sense. The French word "domestique" which may be a noun meaning "servant" or, in the present case, an adjective meaning "domesticated" assumes both meanings on the esoteric plane of interpretation. The total combination of silence or mutism, secrecy, domesticity and spirituality points to the occult aspect of events witnessed. The written warning sent to Zadig by Astarte suggests more to be at stake than a banal romantic involvement: "'Fuyez, dans ['instant mime ou l'on va vous arracher la vie. Fuyez, Zadig, je vous l'ordonne, au nom de notre amour et de mes rubans jaunes. Je n'etais point coupable; mais je sens que je vais mourir criminelle.'" ("'Take flight, in this very instant when life is about to be wrested from you. Take flight, Zadig, I order it, in the name of our love and of my yellow ribbons. I was not guilty; but I feel that I am going to die a criminal.'") Two common esoteric devices are used. The presence of italics is calculated to draw attention to the exoteric or evident message and, hopefully, to arouse curiosity about less obvious, possible aspects of the text. The indefinite meaning of the pronoun on leaves room for more than one interpretation. The Queen seems to realize that she is endangeringin effect "wresting"the life of Zadig. The "life" that is threatened is suggested to be spiritual as well as physical by the feeling of guilt expressed at the end of the message. The heroine begs her lover to take flight for the sake of Life, Love and Ethics. Voltaire may also have used the exoterically amusing yellow ribbons to hint at the mystical orientation of the allegorical couple. The same, seemingly frivolous detail, may also have been used to reinforce the exoteric impression of superficiality. "Goldmost brilliant and precioussymbol of purity." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 271, Vol. II)



"The thrice purified Gold isManasthe Conscious Soul" (The Secret Doctrine, p. 520, Vol. II) The melodramatic surface of the episode draws attention away from Astarte's attainment of Self-Knowledge and from her sense of Responsibility. Her message gives evidence of insight and compassion. The awakening of the "conscious Soul" may be suggested. Unjust suspicion and common peril fail to impel the lovers to take flight together, a step which might be expected of less noble persons. The Queen's renunciation of forbidden love signifies progress beyond the plane of sensuous-ness, selfishness or Maya. The dis proportion which exists between the alleged "offense" of the platonic lovers and the death sentence invites comment on the character of Moabdar. The record of the irascible King is less than brilliant. His suspicions are aroused by certain signs of emotion shown by the Queen in the presence of Zadig: "The King believed all that he saw and imagined all that he did not see." The defective "vision" of the monarch is plainly shown by the nature of "material evidence" of the alleged crime. A blue garter which has nothing to do with Zadig or Astarte is eagerly seized upon as proof of their misconduct. Zadig and the Queen are found to wear ribbons and slippers of the same color. 'Those were terrible signs for a delicate prince. Suspicion turned to certainty in his embittered mind." The King is guilty of summary judgment and vengeful cruelty. Insight, compassion, true knowledge and Love, are in short supply in the person of the "delicate prince." The obtuse, jealous and vindictive monarch has much in common with the God of the Old Testament. As was previously noted, occult philosophy teaches that Jehovah is merely one god among gods and a third-rate figure of world mythology. His mediocre status as a Deity is matched by man-like inhumanity. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "Christian theology has evolved its self-created human and personal God, the monstrous Head from whence flow in two streams the dogmas of Salvation and Damnation." The biblical connotation of the word Moab is consistent with the "embittered mind" or "spirit" of



Moabdar. As previously indicated, the final portion of the King's name is the German word radwheelin reverse. The same German word is also significant in the name of Jesrad, an allegorical personage featured in a subsequent chapter of Zadig. The combination of reversed "wheel" of karma-evolution and biblical Moab suggests the reactionary force of Old Testament teachings. Moabdar is one of several understudies of the biblical God who appear in Zadig. Zadig takes flight, steering his course by the stars. Sirius and Cano-pus are his guides. The reference to Sirius is a valuable hint of the veiled identity of Zadig. "Sirius was called the dog-star. It was the star of Mercury, or Buddha, called the great instructor of mankind, before other Buddhas." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 374, Vol. II) Sirius is also connected with Isis-Astarte. H.P. Blavatsky cites the following passage of the Book of the Dead:

"I am the Queen of these regions' says the Egyptian Isis, 'I was the first to reveal to mortals the mysteries of wheat and corn... I am she who rises in the constellation of the dog... (Dog-star)" (Isis Unveiled, p. 374, Vol. II) Zadig and Astarte form an allegorical couple representing a Lover-of-Truth-Instructor-ofMankind on the one hand and Truth, his Love and feminine counterpart on the other hand. The strong attraction of each for the other makes beautiful sense on the esoteric plane of the story. The Dog Star brings to mind the chapter of Zadig entitled The Dog and the Horse. The vicinity of Sirius is designated as the point of origin of "M. Micromegas" and as the origin of a celestial visitor in Memnon. A famous winged horse of mythology is represented in heavens by the constellation Pegasus. According to ancient Greek

64. The Secret Doctrine, p. 613, Vol. I



tradition, Pegasus opened the ground of the slopes of Mt. Helicon, releasing the Hippocrene Fountain which is the source of poetic or lit-erary inspiration. The conjunction of poetry or literature symbolized by Pegasus and of an instructor of mankind linked to Sirius fits the occult identity of Zadig. Moreover, the transparently veiled co-essence of hero and author is once again suggested. Zadig wrote poetry of controversial and enlightening nature that was generally misconstrued because an important part of the text was "missing." Voltaire used literature to promote intellectual and spiritual progress. His writings remain generally misunderstood because the vast majority of readers read only the surface so that, as far as they are concerned, a very important part of the message might as well be "missing." In short, the choice of dog and horse featured in the previous chapter of Zadig seems to have its source in the secret biography of the "Sage" who "amused himself by writing Zadig. The name of the star Canopus is also the name of a port of ancient Egypt located a few miles East of Alexandria. Voltaire's interest in Can-opus is expressed in Chapter XI of La Princesse de Babylone. It is humorously observed that one does not "know whether the god Cano-pus had founded the port, or whether the inhabitants had fabricated the god, or whether the star Canopus had given its name to the city, or whether the city had given its name to the star." Voltaire may have wished to call attention to the interesting ruins which have been found on the site of Canopus and which may contain enlightening inscriptions as ancient monuments usually do. At any rate, Canopus, one of the guiding lights of Zadig, is a very brilliant star of whitish-yellow color located in the Carina group of the Southern Hemisphere. The latter constellation is a modern subdivision of a much larger formation known to the Ancients as Argo Navis. The names Carina and Argo Navis involve the same concept of a ship which may be related to the sacred Argha or Ark of universal mythology. The vessel in question is itself connected to Astarte or Isis:



"The Ark is the sacred Argha of the Hindus, and thus, the relation in which it stands to Noah's Ark may be easily inferred, when we learn that the Argha was an oblong vessel, used by the high priests as a sacrificial chalice in the worship of Isis, Astarte, and VenusAphrodite, all of whom were goddesses of the generative powers of nature, or of matterhence, representing symbolically the Ark containing the germ of all living things." (Isis Unveiled, p. 256, Vol. 2) The Argha or "ship running before the wind" is also connected to the Messiah, a figure often designated as DAG:

"The Messiah is very often designated as 'DAG' or the Fish. This is an inheritance from the Chaldees, and relatesas the very name indicatesto the Babylonian Dagon, the man-fish, who was the instructor and interpreter of the people, to whom he appeared." (Isis Unveiled, p. 256, Vol. 2) The concept of an "Instructor of mankind" or of an "Instructor of the people" is a significant common factor in the background of Sirius and Canopus. It is also the concept of a Savior that will reappear on the exoteric plane of The Fisherman, a subsequent chapter of Zadig. One might wonder how Canopus, which is located in the heavens of the Southern hemisphere, can be seen from Babylonian or nearby latitudes. The visibility of the star may have been mentioned as further proor of the superior vision of Zadig; a vision transcending the scope of the physical senses; a faculty befitting the spiritual status of Savior or Instructor of Mankind. Zadig apparently follows a path of superior insight traveled by great spiritual leaders. The visibility of Canopus may also have been used to suggest that the periodic tilting of the axis of earth changes the constellations which may be seen in each hemisphere. (L'Ingenu contains a veiled reference to the occasional shifts of the axis of our planet.) In short, some Southern constellations of modern times may once have been visible in Northern skies.



Zadig takes flight toward Egypt. He becomes absorbed in contemplation of the stars. A "sublime philosophy"and a sublime passageare unexpected products of despair: "Il admirait ces vastes globes de lumiere qui ne paraissent que de faibles etincelles a nos yeux, tandis que la terre, qui n'est en effet qu'un point imperceptible dans la nature, parait a notre cupidite quelque chose de si grand et de si noble. Il se figurait alors les homines tels qu'ils sont en effet, des insectes se devorant les uns les autres sur un petit atome de boue. Cette image vraie semblait aneantir ses malheurs en lui retracant le neant de son etre et celui de Babylone. Son ame s'elancait jusque dans l'infini, et contem-plait, detachee de ses sens, l'ordre immuable de l'univers. Mais lor-sque ensuite, rendu a luimeme et rentrant dans son coeur, il pensait qu'Astarte etait peut-etre morte pour lui, l'univers dispar-aissait a ses yeux, et il ne voyait dans la nature entiere qu'Astarte mourante et Zadig infortune." (La femme battue) ("He was admiring those huge globes of light which seem only feeble sparks to our eyes, whereas the earth which is in fact only one imperceptible point in nature, seems to our greed something so great and so noble. He then imagined men such as they are indeed, insects devouring one another on a small atom of mud. This true image seemed to annihilate his misfortunes by representing to him the nothingness of his being and that of Babylon. His soul soared into infinity, and beheld, detached from his senses, the immutable order of the universe. But when, later, restored to the self and having reentered his heart, he thought that Astarte was perhaps dead for him, the universe disappeared from his sight, and he only saw in the entirety of nature Astarte dying and Zadig grief-stricken." The Beaten woman) Meditation and cosmic consciousness open the path to mysticism. The contemplation of Zadig "detached" from the "senses" transcends the scope of the physical eye which is incapable of beholding "the immutable order of the universe." Intense suffering generates and illuminates a true perspective of life. The cup of anguish is drained in a manner reminiscent of traditional saints and existential thinkers. A



solid core of selfhood is revealed by the test. Despondency alternates with exaltation and becomes one with it. The transcended Lower Self gives way to true Being. The bondage of separate existence yields to oneness with suffering mankind. The Higher Self knows itself in the Absolute. The soul "soars into infinity" beyond the realm of earthly passion and sensory experience. Heartfelt humility exults. The cupidite or greed of the majority of men is a symptom of May-avic vision. It grows out of a purely materialistic view of the universe and of its dynamic force: Eros. As was previously noted, "Eros was connected in early Greek mythology with the world's creation and only afterwards became the sexual Cupid." The cupidite mentioned by Voltaire reflects that very process of degradation which marked a descending curve of evolution at a time when all things and beings were becoming increasingly material and, in the case of mankind, increasingly materialistic. Occult philosophy teaches that the adjective phallicwhich is relevant to Cupid can mean exoteric when applied to worship and literal when applied to undersanding. The word cupidite seems to be used by Voltaire in the sense of "related to Eros-Cupid" and in its usual sense of greed. It is that ail-too common "greed" which produces a superiority complex reflected in the belief that the Earth is the center of the universe. The disciple of Zoroaster knows better. The passage devoted to contemplation is focused on the eternal tug-of-war opposing illusionMayaand reality. The struggle is manifest in Voltaire's choice of words. ("appear," "appears," "imagined," "seemed," "disappeared," "true image," "saw," "indeed," "in fact." The ebb and flow of spiritual striving draws stylistic energy from pre-Lama-rtinian rhythms and tones. "Zadig" may not have prided himself "upon being a good poet" but the mystical, starlit episode is a poem in prose. The passage conveys an echo of the "music of the spheres:"

65. The Secret Doctrine, p. 361, Vol. II



"It becomes patent why we could not perceive, even with the help of the best earthly telescopes, that which is outside our world of matter. Those alone, whom we call adepts, who know how to direct their mental vision and to transfer their consciousness physical and psychic bothto other planes of being, are able to speak with authority on such subjects. And they tell us plainly: 'Lead the life necessary for the acquisition of such knowledge and powers, and Wisdom will come to you naturally. Whenever you are able to attune your consciousness to any of the seven chords of 'Universal Consciousness,' those chords that run along the sounding board of Kosmos, vibrating from one Eternity to another; when you have studied thoroughly 'the music of the Spheres,' then only will you become quite free to share your knowledge with those with whom it is safe to do so. Meanwhile be prudent.'" (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 166-67, Vol. I) The meditation of Zadig seems to shift between opposite poles: "Cosmic Consciousness" "the immutable order of the Universe" on the one handand his love for Astarte on the other hand. The twin themes of "music of the spheres" and earthly concern suggests that the spirituality of the young hero is not immune to human frailty. Exoteri-cally, that impression is correct: unalloyed spirituality is not of this Earth. But the impression is incorrect on a higher plane. The esoteric reader can easily see that no conflict exists between the love of Zadig for Astarte and his love of Truth. The two are ONE. Zadig arrives on the scene of a brutal beating: "He saw, not far from the great path, a weeping woman who called upon heaven and earth to help her, and a furious man who was following her. She was already within his reach, she was clasping his knees. That man was overwhelming her with blows and recriminations. [Zadig] judged, from the violence of the Egyptian and from the repeated begging for forgiveness of the lady, that one was jealous and the other unfaithful; but when he had seen that woman, whose beauty was touching and who even somewhat resembled the



unfortunate Astarte, he was filled with compassion for her and with aversion toward the Egyptian. 'Help me,' she shouted to Zadig as she sobbed; 'take me away from the hands of the most barbaric of men, save my life!'" The encounter of Zadig with the beaten woman serves to stress the importance of sound judgment. Good Samaritans are not always welcome. Compassion, as well as knowledge, should be applied "prudently." The impulsive intervention of Zadig does honor to his heart. But the young man is eventually compelled to kill his brutal, treacherous opponent. The battle becomes a source of lasting hardship endured for the sake of a hopeless cause. No sooner is the lady in distress rescued from her tormentor than she laments her freedom and mourns the departed tyrant. The knight in shining armor is cursed for his pains. An ancient warning comes to mind: unfit recipients of "pearls" of wisdom and kindness are apt to "turn again and rend you." The beaten woman is portrayed as a mixture of wile and masochism. A theme commonly found in esoteric literature is present: the degradation of "all that is divine in womanCrucified twixt a smile and a whimper."66 Tarnished remnants of dignity combine with servile womanhood to characterize Missouf, the victim of the jealous man. The element of dignity lies in the beauty or the woman who bears a certain resemblance to Queen Astarte. Abjection is manifest in her misguided loyalty to the dead tyrant. The batterer is a Jehovic figure created in the image or the God of the Old Testament. Unlike Zadig, he is not above scorning women or doing his brutal best to "subjugate" them. Far from regretting the cruel deeds prompted by his feeling of inferiority, he seems to enjoy his status of admittedly jealous, vindictive despotas does his exalted role model: "AND God spake all these words, saying, 2. 'I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the

66. Peter Bell the Third, Percy B. Shelley



land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.'" (Exodus, 20) Not surprisingly, Jehovah is held in low esteem by proponents of the Secret Doctrine and by esoteric writers: "When the Theosophists and Occultists say that God is no BEING, for IT is nothing, No-Thing, they are more reverential and religiously respectful to the Deity than those who call God a HE, and thus make of Him a gigantic MALE. He who studies the Kabala will soon find the same idea in the ultimate thought of its authors, the earlier and great Hebrew Initiates, who got this secret Wisdom at Babylonia from the Chaldean Hierophants, while Moses got his in Egypt." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 352, Vol. I) The Lord of Moses is poles apart from the divine ideal of Alfred de Vigny who sees in the Old Testament God "a cruel trap never leaving the side of every man, dictating and determining his words and his deeds."67 Stendhal views "the God of Christians"as "a despot, filled with ideas of revenge; his Bible speaks only of atrocious punishmentsHe is ruthless"68 Stendhal contrasts Jehovah to another concept of the Supreme Being:

"This good priest would tell us about God. But which God? Not the one of the Bible; that small, cruel despot filled with the thirst for revenge... but the God of Voltaire, just, kind, infinite... But 67. 68. Diary, 1862 Le Rouge et le noir, Stendhal, Ch. XLII



howto believe in that great name: GOD, after the frightful abuse to which it has been subjected by our priests?" (Le Rouge et le noir, Ch. XLIV) The alignment viewed in the last quoted passage of The Secret Doctrine is the mirror image of the alignment opposing Zadig to the jealous, vengeful Egyptian. The disciple of Zoroaster "who got this secret Wisdom in Babylonia from the Chaldean Hierophants" is opposed to "Moses" representing the Judaeo-Christian tradition which "got" its wisdom or science "in Egypt." The itinerary of Zadig which coincides with the Western expansion route of Far Eastern culture is also meaningful. The Zoroastrianan heir of the Primitive Wisdom-Religion brought to the Middle East from Indiatravels from "Babylonia" to Egypt where Moses, an "exEgyptian priest," obtained his wisdom or knowledge. One of the esoteric meanings of the battle is suggested by the different tactics and personalities of the protagonists. Brute force faces a representative of Divine Wisdom. Egotistical rage faces impersonal, spiritual "strength:"

The Egyptian was more robust than his adversary; Zadig was more skilled. The latter man fought like a person whose arm is commanded by the mind, and the former like an uncontrolled person whose movements were guided by chance and blind wrath." Physical force, terror, "blind wrath" are chief assets of the biblical God. The Lord of Moses reigns through fire and brimstone, thunderbolts, indiscriminate destruction of innocence and guilt, threats, "plagues wonderful," and cataclysms. The "blind wrath" of the "Egyptian" which has been aroused by the "unfaithfulness" of Missouf emulates the jealousy and vengefulness of Jehovah. The reported "blindness" of the "Egyptian" is of the same nature as the limited

69. Deuteronomy, 28, 59



insight of other "envious" or "jealous" beings such as Arimaze and Moabdar. Mayavic divisiveness is again connected to the low vision of Jehovic figures. Also noted is the irrationality of the tyrant who behaves like an instrument of chance, a concept that has no place in the Secret Doctrine or in the philosophy of Voltaire. The "Egyptian" is defeated by the Zoroastrian. The devotee of Divine Wisdomand of Astarte-Isisis superior in more than one respect to the imitator of Jehovah. His ethical behavior is noted as are other aspects of his mastery. The young man fights in purely defensive manner until the compounded treachery of his opponent forces him to kill in self-defense. Zadig and the "Egyptian" personify the profound divergence which exists between the reverence of life that is an important aspect of the Primitive Wisdom-Religion and the Mosaic love of gore. The Old and New Testaments also seem to be contrasted to each other as are the Primitive WisdomReligion and its Judaeo-Christian inferior version. The Old Testament preaches the lex talionis. The New Testament is a doctrine of brotherhood and love. "If the Mosaic 'Lord God' was the only living God, and Jesus His only Son, how account for the rebellious language of the latter? Without hesitation or qualification he sweeps away the Jewish lex talionis and substitutes for it the law of charity and self-denial. If the Old Testament is a divine revelation, how can the New Testament be? Are we required to believe and worship a Deity who contradicts himself every few hundred years?" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 165-66, Vol. 2) The Old Testament glorifies double standards:

"How can a god, inquired Marcion, 'break his own commandments? How could he consistently prohibit idolatry and image-worship and still cause Moses to set up the brazen serpent? How command: 'Thou shalt not steal,' and then order the Israelites to spoil the Egyptians of their gold and silver'" (Isis Unveiled, p. 166, Vol. 2)



To which one might add: How can anyone reconcile "Thou Shalt not Kill" and the large-scale slaughtersindividual and collectivewhich are prescribed and glorified in the Old Testament? The lineage of mythological Jehovah is traced as follows by H.P. Blavatsky: "Would Christians still maintain the identity of the 'Father' of Jesus and Jehovah, if evidence sufficiently clear could be adduced that the 'Lord God' was no other than the Pagan Bacchus, Diony-sou. Well, this identity of the Jehovah at Mount Sinai with the god Bacchus is hardly disputable. The name is Yava, or Yao according to Diodorus and Lydus, and Iao is the secret name of the Phoenician Mystery-God; it was actually adopted from the Chaldeans with whom it was also the secret name of the creator. Wherever Bacchus was worshipped, there was a tradition of a place called Nysa, and a cave where he was reared. Beth-Sam or Scythopoplis in Palestine once had that designation; so had a spot on Mount Parnassus. But Diodorus declares that Nysa was between Phoenicia and Egypt; Euripides states that Dionysos came to Greece from India, and Diodorus adds his testimony: 'Osiris was brought up in Nysa, in Arabia the Happy; he was the son of Zeus, and was named from his father (Nominative Zeusgenitive Dios) and the place Dio-Nysosthe Zeus or Jove of Nysa. This identity of name or title is very significant. In Greece Dionysos was second only to Zeus, and Pindar says: 'So Father Zeus governs all things, and Bacchus governs also.' But outside of Greece, Bacchus was the all-powerful 'Zagreus, the highest of Gods.' Moses seems to have worshiped him personally and together with the populace at Mount Sinai; unless we admit that Moses was an initiated priest, an adept, who knew how to lift the veil which hangs behind all such exoteric worship, but kept the secret. 'And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jeho-vah-Nissi!' What better evidence is required to show that the Sinaitic god was indifferently Bacchus, Osiris, and Jehovah?" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 165, Vol. 2)



The questionable elevation of Jehovah to the rank of Supreme Being was part of the general evolutionary process which eventually produced the Judaeo-Christian tradition:

"Strictly speaking, it is difficult to view the Jewish Book of Genesis otherwise than as a chip from the trunk of the mundane tree of universal Cosmogony, rendered in Oriental allegories. As cycle succeeded cycle, and one nation after another came upon the world's stage to play its brief part in the majestic drama of human life, each new people evolved from ancestral traditions its own religion, giving it a local color and stamping it with its individual characteristics. While each of these religions had its distinguishing traits by which, were there no other archaic vestiges, the physical and psychological status of its creators could be estimated, all preserved a common likeness to one prototype. This parent cult was none other than the primitive Wisdom-Religion. The Israelitish Scriptures are no exception. The national history of the Israelitesif they can claim any autonomy before the return from Babylon, and were anything more than migratory septs of Hindu pariahscannot be carried back a day beyond Moses; and if this ex-Egyptian priest must from theological necessity be transformed into a Hebrew patriarch, we must insist that the Jewish nation was lifted with that smiling infant out of the bulrushes of Lake Moeris. Abraham, their alleged father belongs to the universal mythology. Most likely, he is but one of the numerous aliases of Zeruan (Saturn), the king of the golden age, who is also called the old man (emblem of time)." (Isis Unveiled, p. 216, Vol. 2) The above-described process of natural evolution and eventual distortion is a major concern of esoteric writers who regard the Judaeo-Christian tradition as a plagiarized, falsified version of one "parent cult:" the primitive Wisdom-Religion. The fact that "Missouf" somewhat resembles Astarte-Isis points to the "common likeness" linking major religions to their superior "prototype." The first part of Missouf's name is the prefix mis which conveys ideas of falsehood, perversion and deformityall of which traits char-



acterize the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The Nazarenes seem to have been aware of those characteristics when they likened the Jewish tradition to an abortion or a body "born out of time."70 The remaining part of Missouf's name suggests derivation from Sophia or Wisdom. In short, the allegorical significance of the woman seems clear. The masochistic victim of the "Egyptian" is a falsified and abused version of ancient Pagan Truth represented by the primitive Wisdom-Religion of Astarte-Isis. The allegorical value of Missouf is also suggested in a subsequent chapter in which she is designated as the beautiful capricious one. The root of the word capricious is the French word meaning goat. The latter word brings to mind the Jewish scapegoat and the practice of shirking responsibility by unloading it on an innocent party. The attitude and practice in question are clearly opposed to the doctrine of Karma which stresses responsibility and unfailing, impersonal retribution. This detail confirms the impression of inferiority of a doctrine which still bears a certain resemblance to its "parent cult" but has become severely deviant from the primitive Wisdom-Religion. The degradation and abuse of women which is dramatized in The Beaten Woman is such a pervasive feature of the Old Testament that it almost seems to be the chief raison d'etre of the Bible. One needs only read the Pentateuch to find litanies of scorn heaped upon the feminine gender. Woman is viewed as an impure creature in constant need of purification and correction... usually at the hands of priests for a "consideration." Sexually, financially and otherwise Woman is comparable to a head of cattle71 existing only to be exploited by Man. So overt is that contempt that women are often designated as heifers by fundamentalists of all shades. In A Study in Scarlet Sir Arthur Conan Doyle reports the statement of a XIXth Century Mormon: "...We Elders have many heifers..." An appended note

70. 71.

Isis Unveiled, p. 204, Vol. 2 A Study in Scarlet, Ch. 3, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle



reads as follows: "Heber C. Kemball, in one of his sermons, alludes to his hundred wives under this endearing epithet." Modern women are not immune to the scourge of holy gynecopho-bia. The Old Testament was still very much alive in the Code Napoleon when a character created by Alfred de Vigny addressed the little daughter of a wealthy XIXth Century industrialist in the following terms:

"From fear to fear you will spend your life of slave. Fear of your father, fear of your husband until deliverance some day... Play, beautiful child, until you are a woman; forget until then, and later, still forget if you can." (Chatterton, Act I, Scene IV) It is easy enough to imagine the kind of slavery endured by women unprotected by money. In her book entitled When God Was A Woman Merlin Stone points out the following, edifying facts of women's lives in the world of the Old Testament:

"In contrast to the economic, legal and social position of women all about them, the position of the Israelite women exhibits the effects of the almost total acceptance of the male deity Yaweh, and the patriarchal society that accompanied it." (When God was a Woman, Merlin Stone

Merlin Stone quotes Roland de Vaux on the same subject:

"'The social and legal position of an Israelite wife was inferior to the position a wife occupied in the great countries round about...all the texts show that Israelites wanted mainly sons, to perpetuate the family line and fortune, and to preserve the ancestral inheritance...A husband could divorce his wife... women on the other hand could not ask for divorce...the wife called her husband Ba'al or master; she also called him adon or lord; she addressed him in fact as a slave addressed his master or a subject, his king. The Decalogue includes a man's wife among his possessions...all her



life she remains a minor. The wife does not inherit from her husband, nor daughters from their father, except when there is no male heir. A vow made by a girl or married woman needs, to be valid, the consent of the father or husband and if this consent is withheld, the vow is null and void. A man had the right to sell his daughter. Women were excluded from the succession.'" (Ancient Israel, Roland de Vaux, 1965, quoted by Merlin Stone in op. cited)

Merlin Stone adds the following:

"according to Hebrew law a woman had no right to money or property upon divorce and since her vow was invalid, presumably she could not engage in business. Perhaps the most shocking laws of all were those that declared that a woman was to be stoned or burned to death for losing her virginity before marriage, a factor never before mentioned in other law codes of the Near East, and that, upon being the victim of rape, a single woman was forced to marry the rapist; if she was already betrothed or married she was to be stoned to death for having been raped." The hideous practice of woman-stoning continues in our own times in the Islamic Afghanistan of so-called "freedom-fighters." In this connection we should also remember that the name of Semire suggests the word Semite, a term covering Arabswhich is to say Moslemsas well as Jews. James A. Michener describes the stoning of an Afghan woman. The mullahs in charge of the event

"seemed like patriarchs of old, and I was assailed by the uneasy feeling that I had intruded upon some Biblical scene which should have terminated twenty-five centuries ago. The lean, angry mullahs were from the Old Testament." (Caravans, Ch. 5) There are occasional reports in the press of the United States of fathers or brothers who, in the last years of the supposedly enlightened XXth Century, have killed their unmarried pregnant daughters or sisters to punish them for having "dishonored" the family. Some cases do



not even involve pregnancy but the mere fact that the girl had dated a young man of a faith or ethnicity not to the liking of household Jeho-vahs. Those champions of "family values" are usually motivated by the woman-hating outlook of their Middle Eastern countries of origin. Their type of misogyny is not limited to one era or to one part of the world. Machismo and fascismo are basically one and the same: worship of brute force. Accordingly, while they opposed certain aspects of the Judaeo-Christian tradition, German Nazis were only too glad to adopt some or the worst attitudes of Mosaic lawgivers, using their women as playthings, servants and cannon-fodder factories. Brazil is notorious for letting murderers of wives or girlfriends get away with murder because they too, feel the urge to avenge their "honor." The rest of Latin America is not much better. Nor are large parts of the rest of the world. As indicated above, the harsh treatment imposed upon the women of Israel was unmatched in neighboring countries when Mosaic law took effect. "In contrast to the economic, legal and social position of women all about them, the position of the Israelite women reflects the quasitotal acceptance of the male deity Yaweh, and the partiarchal society that accompanied it" Nowhere was that contrast more striking than in the case of Babylon:

"The freedom granted to the women of Babylon allowed them to hold and manage their own estates and this was especially the case with priestesses of the temple, who traded extensively... One of the most interesting and characteristic features of this early civilization of the Babylonians was the high position of women. The mother here is always represented by a sign which means 'goddess of the house.' Any sin against the mother, any repudiation against the mother was punished by banishment from the community. These are the facts which are evidently indicative of a people who at one time held the law of matriarchal descent." (Egypt and Chaldea, W. Boscawen, quoted by Merlin Stone, op. cited)



The chapter of Zadig featuring The Beaten Woman supplements the previously noted alignment opposing the primitive Wisdom- Religion (Zoroastrianism-Babylon-Zadig) to the Judaeo-Christian tradition (Jehovah-the "Egyptian"-Missouf). Voltaire had drawn attention to the former, non-sexist philosophy at the very beginning of the story: "Zadig, above all, did not boast of scorning women or of subjugating them." Which is more than can be said of the sexist representative of Mosaic lawthe law of Moses, the ex-Egyptian priestor about his God. The technique used to legitimize the degradation of Woman is perceptible in Genesis. Once again contrast is edifying between pagan scriptures and the biblical Who's Who:

"With the Ophites and other Gnostics who took their models direct from more ancient originals, the unrevealed Bythos and her male counterpart produce Ennoia, and the three in their turn produce Sophia, thus completing the Tetratkys, which will emanate Christos, the very essence of the Father Spirit.- Sophia is the higher prototype of womanthe first spiritual Eve. In the Bible the system is reversed and the intervening emanation being omitted, Eve is degraded to simple humanity." (Isis Unveiled, p. 171, Vol. 2) The Misrepresentation, Mistreatment and suppression of Sophia Eve-Wisdom or Science ; a process allegorized as Missoufresults to this day in severe damage to knowledge and in severe injury to women:

"Sophia: the feminine personification of Wisdom;God's female counterpart whom the Christians and the Jews have agreed to hush up, to the great disadvantage of women for so many hundreds of years!" (The Rebel Angels, Robertson Davies, Second Paradise, VI) The Secret Doctrine teaches that the first AdamAdam Primuswas androgynous. Eve was his female counterpart:



"the first and second life are the two Adams, or the first and the second man. In the former lies Eva, or the yet unborn spiritual Eve, and she is within Adam Primus, for she is a part of himself, who is androgyne. The Eva of dust, she who will be called in Genesis 'the mother of all that live,' is within Adam the Second." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 223-24, Vol. 2) To the Eva of Dust corresponds the second Adam known in occult teachings as the Adam of Dust. The duality in question is usually glossed over by gynaecophobic Church Fathers who will have none of anything resembling equality of the sexes. The esoteric significance of a verse of Genesis is also unpopular with the majority of holy men who do understand it:

"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." (Genesis, 1, 27) The phrase "male and female" means that physical attributes of both sexes were present in every human body. In other words, as stated in the Secret Doctrine, that the first physical human beings were androgynous. That is why, to this day, each sex retains some physical sex characteristics of the other. It is not by chance that the Eve of Genesis is so closely linked to original sin as to be practically identical with SIN. The sinful label supplies another pretext to "legitimize" the oppression of women who can add to other useful functions that of serving as scapegoats for flammable males. Unfortunately, when the famous apple was available in the Garden of Eden, no sympathetic soul was there to tell poor, innocent Adam to "JUST SAY NO!" Which would have saved mankind an awful lot of bother. It is not by chance either that the very concept of original sin was concocted to supersede the doctrine of natural, impersonally generated emanation which was and is part of the teachings of the primitive Wisdom-Religion. Little reverse engineering is needed to grasp the political



raison d'etre of the doctrine of original sin. Built-in-Guilt in lifelong need of guidance and redemption is made to order to give priests virtually absolute power over their flocks and above all the power to make them PAY. Add to it the religion of the masses defined by George Eliot as "dread of the hereafter."72 Make the downside of the hereafter as eternally atrocious as human imagination can make it. You then have the recipe for the kind of virtually unlimited power which prides itself upon dominating empires, monarchies and other forms of national governments and which has terrorizedin the name of loving Christcountless generations of human beings throughout the Christian era. The myth of original sin and of the ensuing "Fall" is a distorted version of the occult view of evolution. In the Old Testament version, the "Fall" is the punishment meted out to Adam, Eve and their baffled descendants by the personal God Jehovah. As previously indicated, the Secret Doctrine teaches that the biblical God is only a third-rate figure of world mythology; that he is far removed from the status of Supreme Being and that the "Fall" is the impersonal manifestation of a natural evolutionary process:

"In the 'fall of Adam' we must see, not the personal transgression of man, but simply the law of the dual evolution." (Isis Unveiled, p. 277, Vol. 2)

"The law of the dual evolution" operates in the following manner:

"When [Nature] evolves a human embryo, the intention is that a man shall be perfectedphysically, intellectually, and spiritually. His body is to grow, mature, wear out, and die; his mind unfold, ripen, and be harmoniously balanced; his divine spirit illuminate and blend easily with the inner man. No human being completes its grand cycle, or the 'circle of necessity,' until all these are accomplished." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 345-46, Vol. 1) 72. Middlemarch, Book I, Ch. 1



The occult concept of the circle of necessity is a crucial element of the esoteric "algebra" used by literary "smugglers" of the Secret Doctrine. The one word necessity embraces gigantic time curves which must be travelled by all things and creatures in existence. All things and beings start from a spiritual, ethereal condition, gradually descending into material regions eventually to rise again and return to a spiritualized state enriched by experience. Voltaire made good use of the concept of necessity. Chapter V of Candide features the encounter of the title character of the story with a familiar of the Inquisition. In that passage, Pangloss manages to avoid a death sentence without betraying his true belief. He does so by repeatedly referring to necessity while the Inquisitor seeks to trap him into overt rejection of the orthodox dogma of Fall and Punishment by a personal God. Necessity also makes a significant appearance in another work of Voltaire: a short story entitled The White Bull. The serpent of the Garden of Eden presents its own view of original sin and its own, able defense:

"I am being maligned: I gave her [Eve] the best advice in the world. She honored me with her trust. My opinion was that she and her husband should eat their fill of the fruit of the tree of science. I thought I was pleasing in this to the master of things. A tree so necessary to mankind did not seem to me to have been planted to be useless. Would the master have wished to be served by ingora-muses and fools? Is not the mind [or spirit] made to gain enlightenment, to perfect itself? Must one not know good and evil in order to do one and to avoid the other? Certainly, people should thank me.'" (Le Taureau blanc, Ch. III) The tree so necessary to mankind is the tree of Science without which human evolution cannot proceed. We should note the presence of the word "useless" which spells the doom of esoteric exploration. The question concerning the kind of master who would wish to be served by ignoramuses and fools is easily answered. The Pentateuch is self-explanatory on that point.



More is at stake in the chapter devoted to The Beaten Woman than the degradation and mistreatment of an individual. The ungrateful behavior of Missouf toward her would-be "Savior" points to the Judaic rejection of Christ as the Messiah. Also involved is the advent of the "jealous," "vengeful," and brutal figure representing Jehovah-inspired Mosaic law. (Moses being, as noted above, an ex-Egyptian priest). In short, the episode marks the source of the harsh world of the Old Testament; the origin and development of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Missouf's connection with Sophia and Eve reflects an all-time low in the status and in the treatment of women. The transition from the once universal doctrine (Zoroaster-Zadig-Astarte) to the brutalitiesphysical and mentalof the Old Testament (Moabdar-Missouf-the "Egyptian")is one of decline and descent toward the nadir of the evolutionary curve that will be the setting of Candide. As was previously noted, MissouPs close connection to Sophia and Eve identifies a degraded version of the primitive Wisdom-Religion. From the time of her appearance on the world scene, Western mankind is doomed to inherit a mangled, mutilated version of ancient Pagan Truth. Hence the designation of the Judaeo-Christian tradition as "abortion," a label often suggested in esoteric writings. The theme of an atrophied and/or deformed body of knowledge is present in those portions of the Proustian Recherche which are devoted to Jews and Jewish institutions. The apparent antisemitism of M. de Charlus is directed at a doctrine, not at a race. The "vehicle" of a Jewish" read Judaeo-Christianfamily or community is described by the outspoken nobleman as a "cut and recuta redundant cut."un coupe recoupeun coupe superfetatoire.73 The controversial Silence of Vigny contains a similar allusion to mutilated and otherwise adulterated scriptures.

73. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 1107, Vol. II



LE SILENCE "S'il est vrai qu'au Jardin sacre des Ecritures, Le Fils de l'Homme ait dit ce qu'on voit rapporte; Muet, aveugle et sourd au cri des creatures, Si le Ciel nous laissa comme un monde avorte, Le juste opposera le dedain a l'absence, Et ne repondra plus que par un froid silence, Au silence eternel de la Divinite." ("If it be true that in the sacred Garden of the Scriptures, The Son of Man did say what one sees reported; Mute, blind and deaf to the outcry of creatures, If Heaven forsook us like an aborted world, [Esoterically: if Heaven left to us some aborted vision of the world or: some truncated body of knowledge,] The just will oppose scorn to default74 And will only respond with cold silence To the eternal silence of the Deity.") Intense skepticism is focused on Judaeo-Christian scriptures. Doubt is expressed from the very first words: If it be true. The Son of man separates Jesus from the popular concept of a biological Son of God. The subjunctive form ait dit-which is rendered in the above translation as did sayconveys further doubt about what was said. What one sees invites critical thinking. What one sees may be deceptivea ruse of Mayafor, as proclaimed in another poem of Vigny, the invisible is real. Conversely, the visible may be no more than the shadow of true reality. The term rapporte"reported"performs a similar esoteric function. What is reported may not be true. The French verb rapporte also conveys the idea of "inlay" or additional, superimposed material. Such is the case in the expressions pieces rap-portees,"inlaid pieces" and poches rapportees"patch pockets." These meanings involve the addition of extraneous material to original 74. "Privation" or Maya



objects. The word rapporte as used in this instance brings to mind "implants" and other "cosmetic" surgeries to which World Scriptures were subjected through the ages. The reference to an aborted world supplements other hints of atrophy and deprivation, or absence, which are found in the poem. Among them are designations of Earth as alone and widowed, this incomplete globe and this needy earth. Thus are evoked the twin banes of incomplete evolution and estrangement from the light of Truth. The reference to abortion is consistent with the esoteric value of work unfinished or imperfection. Esoterically, Jews often represent the Judaeo-Christian tradition and, by extension, the Western World.75

According to H.P. Blavatsky quoting the Codex Nazareus, they were called by the Nazarenes "'the abortions, or born out of time."76 The appellation grew out of "the hatred of the later Nazarenes for the orthodox Jewsfollowers of the exoteric Mosaic law who are ever taunted by this sect with being the worshipers of Iurbo-Adunai, or Lord Bacchus"...According to the Codex Nazaraeus "'Jerusalem will become the refuge and city of the Abortive.'" The esoteric dimension of the word silence evokes the joy of the spiritual quest. Read esoterically, the last four lines of the stanza convey the following meaning: "If Heaven left to us (something like) a truncated world or body of knowledge, The just will oppose disdain to absence And will no longer respond save with cold silence To the eternal silence of the Deity."


This esoteric equivalence is purely symbolic. No anti-Semitism is implied by the esoteric writers who use it.


Codez Nazareus, I 47, quoted in Isis Unveiled. P. 131, Vol. 2. (The same designation is found in Paul's Corinthians, xv,8.)



The cold silence of the just will not be the somber silence of despair. It will be the silence of serene Certainty and, in a few cases, the silence of pure joy "worthy of heaven."77 In summary, the much-manipulated Sacred Garden of the Scriptures is suspect. But the truly Sacred Garden of Delightsesoterically the Garden of Initiationis not beyond the reach of Man. Such is the veiled message of Vigny. The Garden may be reached through the Temple within and requires "cultivation." Such will also be the final message of Voltaire's Candide. As indicated above, "Missouf's" rejection of her Savior represents an allusion to the Judaic rejection of Jesus-Christ in his capacity of Messiah. Occult philosophy teaches that great spiritual leaders periodically come to Earth to assist mankind at critical stages of its evolution. Accordingly, Jesus is regarded not as the biological son of God but as one such spiritual leader among others. He is also linked under the name of Chrestos-Christos to the manifestation of the divine spark in Man: "'Christos,' which to us represents Atma-Buddhi-Manas, the 'SELF.'"78 The SELF in question which consists of the three highest human principles is, in other words, the Higher Self. It is the reincarnating component in every human being. Which sheds sorely needed, beautiful light upon the well-known statement: "I am the resurrection and the life." H.P. Blavatsky has this to say about Christ: "...all the civilized portion of the Pagans who knew of Jesus honored him as a philosopher, an adept whom they placed on the same level with Pythagoras and Apollonius. Whence such a veneration on their part for a man, were he simply, as represented by the Synoptics, a poor, unknown Jewish carpenter from Nazareth? As an incarnated God there is no single record of him on this earth capable of withstanding the critical examination of science; as one of the greatest reformers, an inveterate enemy of every theological

77. 78.

Diary, 1862, Alfred de Vigny The Key to Theosophy, p. 71



dogmatism, an opponent of bigotry, a teacher of one of the most sublime codes of ethics, Jesus is one of the grandest and most clearly defined figures on the panorama of human history. His age may, with every day, be receding farther and farther back into the gloomy and hazy mists of the past, and the (Christian) theologybased on human fancy and supported by untenable dogmasmay, nay must with every day lose more of its unmerited prestige; alone the grand figure of the philosopher and moral reformer instead of growing paler will become with every century more pronounced and more clearly defined. It will reign supreme and universal only on that day when the whole of humanity recognizes but one fatherthe UNKNOWN ONE aboveand one brother the whole of mankind below." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 150-51, Vol. 2) Voltaire alludes to Jesus-Christ in the famous Poeme sur le desas-tre de Lisbonne: "Un Dieu vint consoler notre race affligee; Il visita la terre, et ne l'a point changee! Un sophiste arrogant nous dit quil ne l'a pu. 'Il le pouvait,' dit l'autre, 'et ne l'a point voulu.'" ("A God came to console our afflicted race; He visited the earth and did not change it! An arrogant sophist tells us that he could not do so. 'He could have,' says another, 'and did not will to do so.'") The "arrogant sophist" is partially correct. The time segment of evolution during which Jesus is believed to have lived was not right for extensive revelations. Such revelations, if then made, would have been contrary to Universal Law. For that reason Christ could only bring a limited message to mankind. The second speaker is correct also. Jesus is viewed as an embodiment of highest spirituality hence a being of considerable power. According to some writers, he yearned to bring to



Earth a wealth of critically needed knowledge. His refusal to flout the law of evolution reflects wisdom as well as willpower. The death of the "Egyptian" symbolically defeated by Zadig, a Savior, does not mark the end of biblical slavery. Paradoxically in appearance, it is the beginning of centuries of enslavement brought about by the emergence of "the Egyptian" and "Missouf" Old gods never die. They live on in cruel hearts and cruel practice. Zadig is captured and sold into slavery. Arbitrary procedure and "legal" robbery are noted in typical Voltairian fashion. Couleur locale notwithstanding, the targets of his survey are not limited to Antiquity or to the Middle East.

"It was recognized that Zadig was no assassin, but he was guilty of the blood of a man; the law sentenced him to be a slave. His two camels were sold to the benefit of the village; all the gold which he had brought was distributed to the inhabitants; his person was placed on the auction block in the public place as was that of his travel companion." (Slavery) The fate of the travel companion of Zadig, an innocent bystander also sold into slavery, typifies the Old Testament predilection for "overkill." The Bible is rich in reports of total destruction of entire cities and populations when a few inhabitants have displeased the jealous, vengeful God. The same fury is commonly visited upon entire nations, striking the innocent as well as the guilty. Zadig is stripped of his freedom and of his possessions. The stolen "gold" of the Zoroastrian symbolizes his legacy of Science and Ethics or Science and Religion in One. His resulting destitution points to the poverty of Mayavic valuessuch as the cupidite or greedwhich prevail in the realm of the "Egyptian." Despite his deceptive designationesoterically, because of itthe "Egyptian" of Zadig is a front representing the team of Jehovah-Moses

79. Le Mont des oliviers, Alfred de Vigny



which, according to Exodus, ordained and carried out the spoliation of the Egyptians. In other words, the "Egyptian" of Voltaire is the instigator and perpetratornot the victimof the theft. According to the Bible, using Moses (the ex-Egyptian priest) as his spokesman, Jehovah gave the following instructions to his chosen people as they prepared to depart from Egypt: "and it shall come to pass, that, when ye go, ye shall not go empty:" and "...ye shall spoil the Egyptians." The same theme of Judaeo-Christian theft of Pagan heritage is developed in subsequent episodes of Zadig concerning "borrowed silver" and the "borrowed robe"actually a suit of armorparaded by an unsavory character named Itobad. In short, the chapter entitled Slavery is focused on a major grievance of occultists and esoteric writers: the fraudulent appropriation of Pagan legacy by Jews and Christians. According to H.P. Blavatsky, much was stolen from the Zoroastrians:

"Zoroastrianism anticipated far more than has been imagined. The cross, the priestly robes and symbols, the sacraments, the Sabbath, the festivals, and anniversaries, are all anterior to the Christian era by thousands of years." (Isis Unveiled, p. 179, Vol. 2) Not only were Pagans robbed. They wereand continue to bevilified by sticky-fingered successors:

"And so, above, below, outside, and inside, the Christian Church, in the priestly garments, and the religious rites we recognize the stamp of exoteric heathenism. On no subject within the wide range of human knowledge, has the world been more blinded or deceived with such persistent misrepresentation as on that of antiquity. Its hoary past and its religious faiths have been misrepresented and trampled under the feet of its successors. Its hierophants and prophets, mystae and epoptae, of the once sacred adyta of the temple shown as demoniacs and devil-worshipers. Donned in the despoiled garments of the victim, the Christian priest now anathe-

80. Exodus, 3, 21-22



matizes the latter with rites and ceremonies which he had learned from the theurgists themselves. The Mosaic Bible is used as a weapon against the people who furnished it. The heathen philosopher is cursed under the very roof which has witnessed his initiation; and the 'monkey of God' (i.e., the devil of Tertullian), the originator and founder of magical Theurgy, the science of illusions and lies, whose father and founder is the demon, 'is exorcised with holy water by the hand which holds the identical lituus with which the ancient augur, after a solemn prayer, used to determine the regions of heavens, and evoke, in the name of the HIGHEST, the minor god (now termed the Devil), who unveiled to his eyes futurity, and enabled him to prophesy! On the part of the scholars it is the same apprehension of the possible necessity of having to modify some of their erroneously established theories of science. 'Nothing but such pitiable prejudice,' says Gross, 'can have thus misrepresented the theology of heathenism and distortednay, caricaturedits forms of religious worship. It is time that posterity should raise its voice in vindication of violated truth, and that the present age should learn a little of that common sense of which it boasts with as much self-complacency as if the prerogative of reason was the birth-right only of modern times.'" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 96-97, Vol. 2) The sale of the valet brings a higher price than does the sale of Zadig, the master. The inverted poles of genuine value is a major trait or the "new philosophy" preached and enforced by usurpers. The new order loves to elevate mediocrity or worse while keeping down the kind of outstanding merit that is viewed as a threat. Low-level intelligence and low-level spirituality are manifest in the preference of Zadig's despoilers for "servants" or "slaves" and by phallic bodyworship. Muscle is the ultimate good and the ultimate glamor in the Mosaic realm of brute force. Muscle-worship will reach new heights with the Roman Empire. But the Roman Empire itself will pale in comparison with the boxing, wrestling, ball-chasing multi-millionaire gladiators of XXth Century North America.



The retail value of wisdom represented by the young Zoroastrian is low. But his true worth lies in a kind of mastery of mind and spirit which cannot be taken away. True value eventually compels recognition. It is noticed and rewarded by Setoc, the slave-master. Compassion is clearly lacking when Setoc is amused by the walk of his heavily burdened slaves. But practicality and the prospect of increased profit naturally appeal to him. Zadig uses those pragmatic traits of the merchant to initiate new management techniques from which the slaves benefit:

"Setoc began to laugh when he saw all his slaves bent as they walked. Zadig took the liberty of explaining the reason for it, and taught him the laws of balance." Unlike Hermes and Orcan who were manipulated by "courtiers" and "satellites," Setoc is in control of his subordinates. This suggests that his latent spirituality rests on genuine inner "strength," not on external props. The new owner of Zadig eventually develops a mastery far more difficult to achieve than the domination of others: mastery over the Self. From the very beginning, Setoc has a rudimentary endowment of insight and ethics. His new "slave" soon discovers in him "a nature leaning toward goodness, rectitude, and common sense." The rectitude of the merchant is suggested by his name which is the anagram of the French fencing term "estoc." The latter word designates the point of a sword and the straight thrust of a sword. The symbolism of "that excellent swordknowledge (secret wisdom)"81 seems to be present. It is consistent with mastery over "slaves" or inferior powers. Voltaire may also have had in mind things esoteric when he chose the name of Setoc. The slave-owner is as likely to achieve spiritual growth as anyone can be wherever the Judaeo-Christian tradition prevails. Innate

81. The Secret Doctrine, p. 536, Vol. I

Zadig 108 decency is one of his qualities. Reason is another. Initially, Setoc seems insensitive to the intrinsic value of suffering endured by others. His "kindness" is a mere by-product of shrewd management. But even that charitable calculation is better than nothingas will be shown in Can-dide by the plight of another slave. The oneness of mastery and ethics is subtly brought to bear by Zadig acting as an efficiency expert. The merchant must indeed "treat his slaves decently if he wants to receive services from them." A popular myth is implicitly and humorously exploded. "Zadig" proves that superior knowledge and ethics can be valuable in practical matters; a notion applicable to Voltaire. The Sage of Ferney is known to have been an outstanding businessman. His report on the instruction of Setoc seems to convey, among other things, an autobiographical smile. The esoteric value of "commerce" which is introduced into the text by the profession of Setoc is a standard tool of literary "smugglers." The exchange of goods is likely to promote an exchange of ideas and cultural insights that is favorable to the discovery of universal truth. The fact is especially true of international trade such as the ventures of Setoc. The same esoteric concept of "commerce" is used by Voltaire in a poem entitled Le Mondain to celebrate the dissemination of "new goods, born at the springs of Ganges." The mystical symbolism of "commerce" has its own inner logic which parallels the logic of the esoteric symbolism of "love." The terrestrial expression of love becomes, on a higher plane, a mystical union with the Higher Self and with Absolute Reality. Likewise, the trade of earthly "goods" becomes, on a higher plane, the possession of spiritual "goods" involved in "commerce" with the Higher Self and with Absolute Reality. Esoteric "commerce" is therefore synonymous with esoteric "love." The double-edged meaning of "commerce" is suggested by Alfred de Vigny in a poem entitled La Maison du berger:



"Blessed be Commerce with its bold caduceus, " Two valid interpretations are possible. The line may be read as a critique of mercenary ventures in which case the exoteric "blessing" is sarcastic indeed. Vigny might as well have written: "Anything goes for the sake of money." Esoterically, however, the metaphysical sense of "commerce ana the rich occult symbolism of the caduceusinvolving "the evolution of the gods and atoms"82 fills the line with reverence and fervor. Vigny might as well thank Heaven for the most blissful "commerce" accessible to Manor for what he termed in his Diary"joys worthy of Heaven." In short, the innocent-looking word "commerce" is an illuminating element of esoteric algebra. It is with the help of such double-edged concepts that one mayin the words of Proustgaze beyond a veil of "superimposed symbols."83 The instruction of Setoc begins with teachings on the "laws of balance." A weighty subject indeed. Cosmic harmony and equilibrium are involved as are their manifestations on all planes of existence. Numerous allusions to the same topic are found in the works of esoteric writers. The traditional view of gravity appears to be broadened into "laws of attraction and repulsion" in Micromegas. Referring to Kepler's interest in the same subject, H.P. Blavatsky states that

"He had not discovered the theory of attraction and repulsion in Kosmos, for it was known from the days of Empedocles, the two opposite forces being called by him 'hate' and 'love'which comes to the same thing. But Kepler gave a pretty fair description of cosmic magnetism. That such magnetism exists in nature, is as certain as that gravitation does not; not at any rate, in the way in which it is taught by Science, which never took into consideration the different modes in which the dual Forcethat Occultism calls attraction and repulsionmay act within our solar system, the earth's

82. 83.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 550, Vol. I A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 260, Vol. II



atmosphere, and beyond in the Kosmos." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 497, Vol. I) The Proustian Recherche contains several references to the same laws. The space occupied by the smallest puff of alder can be explained by "laws of attraction and repulsion which govern far greater worlds."84 What appears to be inertia in a human body is the resultant of the same generally unperceived forces.85 The salutations of the family of Guermantes are marked by a masterful control of opposite impulses or "equilibrium." Levitationa form of balanceis suggested by the quick movements of "Saint Loup" and his "flying" exercise in a "drinkingplace" or cafe. Referring to cosmic equilibrium in La Maison du berger, Vigny notes that the customary route of Nature is the "harmonious axis of divine balancing-poles." Rabelais uses "lenders" and "borrowers" to represent the same unviversal give-and-take.86 The instruction of Setoc involves a system of forces which have extensions in all aspects of life. The "laws of balance" or "equilibrium" which are used to lighten the burdens of the slaves suggest levitation; an art based on control of electrical polarities which are themselves aspects of cosmic magnetism. Occult philosophy teaches that

The condition of our physical systems,is largely dependent upon the action of our will. If well-regulated, it can produce 'miracles;' among others a change ofelectrical polarity from negative to positive; the man's relations with the earth-magnet would then become repellent, and 'gravity' for him would have ceased to exist." (Isis Unveiled, p. xxiv, Vol. 1).

84. 85. 86.

Idid., A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 213, Vol. III Ibid., p. 315, Vol. II Tiers Livre, Ch. III



Levitation may be achieved by the striving astral bodyalso called perisprit or astral soul which yearns to escape from the physical body. The perispit is an intermediate principle still bound to matter while attracted to spirit. It is far more ethereal than its prison of flesh.

"It (the perisprit) is the prisoner, not the voluntary tenant, of the body. It has an attraction so powerful to the external universal force, that after wearing out its casing it finally escapes to it.The astral soul, when the barriers are once opened, is so powerfully attracted by the universal, astral magnet, that it sometimes lifts its encasement with it and keeps it suspended in mid-air, until the gravity of matter reasserts its supremacy, and the body re-descends again to earth. Every objective manifestation, whether it be the motion of a living limb, or the movement of some inorganic body, requires two conditions: will and forceplus matter, or that which makes the object so moved visible to our eye; and these three are all convertible forces, or the force-correlation of the scientists. In their turn they are directed or rather over-shadowed by Divine Intelligence which these men so studiously leave out of the account, but without which not even the crawling of the smallest earth-worm could ever take place." (Isis Unveiled, p. 198, Vol. 1)

H.P. Blavatsky further explains:

"We are so accustomed to consider gravitation as being a something absolute and unalterable, that the idea of a complete or partial rising in opposition to it seems inadmissible; nevertheless, there are phenomena in which, by means of material forces, gravitation is overcome. In several diseasesas, for instance, nervous feverthe weight of the human body seems to be increased, but in all ecstatic conditions to be diminished." (Isis Unveiled, p. xxiv, Vol. 1) The "ecstatic condition" is mentioned in the Diary of a Country Priest, a novel by Georges Bernanos:



"Oh, of course, nothing is easier sometimes than climbing up there: God carries you there. It is only a matter of really wanting it, and, in some cases, of knowing how to get back down. You will observe that the saints, the true ones, showed great embarrassment upon returning. Once surprised in their works of balance, they began by begging that the secret be kept: 'Speak to no one of what you have seen...' They were a bit ashamed, you understand? Ashamed of being the spoilt children of the Father, of having drunk from the cup of beatitude before everybody!" (Journal d'un cure de campagne, Georges Bernanos, Ch. I) The "shame" of ecstatic experimenters with levitation is comparable to the feeling of the "drunkard" portrayed in Chapter XII of The Little Prince. The unfortunate man drinks to forget that he is "ashamed" of drinking. A vicious circle indeed. Esoterically, however, his misery may be caused by the attitude of a society which frowns upon spiritual pursuits such as his "drinking" of "the spirit." Rabelais likewise suggests that certain "works of balance"such as the ability to "rise"are linked to "drinking" from what appears to be "the cup of beatitude." A man who seems to scorn canon law is reported to rise when he drinks of the spirit. "A boyre n'avait ni fin ni canon, ..." "He had neither confines nor law in drinking, for he said that the bounds and limits of drinking were when, the person drinking, the cork of his slippers became swollen vertically by one halffoot." Incidentally, the word canon is used to this day in some French provinces to designate a small amount of wine. Levitation of any kind is generally viewed as hocus-pocus in the modern Western world. Yet a comparable principle of electro-magnetic repulsion or anti-gravitation is used by the "bullet trains" of Japan and by the TGVs (Trains a Grande Vitesse) of France. The slave-owner of Zadig has a long way to go before the very notion of balance in spiritual ecstasy can enter his mind. Yet his instruction involves forces basically similar in design to those which 87. Gargantua, Ch. XXI



rule the universe "above and below." Occult philosophy teaches that "Analogy is the guiding law in Nature, the only true Ariadne's thread that can lead, through the inextricable paths of her domain, toward her primal and final mysteries."88 The Zoroastrian instructor of Setoc opens the gate to vistas which transcend by far the distribution of weight carried by slaves. In so doing, he initiates a process capable of bridging the huge gap separating the world of primal causes and the phenomenal or visible material world. The abyss in question is the realm of occult science, the terra ignota linking mysterious cause and visible effect. The teaching technique of Zadig is designed to enrich and fuse harmoniously those glimmers of superior consciousness that are innate in the merchant. Scattered, partial insights will eventually be absorbed into an integrated whole. The synthesis involved defines Atma Vidya or Divine Wisdom. "Of the four Vidyas, out of the seven branches of Knowledge mentioned in the Puranas,it is only the last one, 'Atma-Vidya,' or the true Spiritual and Divine Wisdom, which can throw absolute and final light upon the teachings of the three first named. Without the help of Atma-Vidya, the other three remain no better than surface sciences, geometrical magnitudes having length and breadth, but no thickness. They are like the soul, limbs, and mind of a sleeping man: capable of mechanical motions, of chaotic dreams and even sleep-walking, of producing visible effects, but stimulated by instinctual not intellectual causes, least of all by fully conscious spiritual impulses. A good deal can be given out and explained from the three first-named sciences. But unless the key to their teachings is furnished by Atma-Vidya, they will remain for ever like the fragments of a mangled textbook, like the adumbrations of great truths, dimly perceived by the most spiritual, but distorted out of all proportion by those who would nail every shadow to the wall." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 168-69, Vol. I)

88. The Secret Doctrine, p. 153, Vol. II



The episode devoted to slavery adds to the esoteric significance of abused "Missouf" another transparent allusion to the advent of the Judeao-Christian tradition. A legal problem arises in the case of an unpaid "loan" when a dishonest "Jew" fails to repay five hundred ounces of "borrowed" silver. All witnesses of the transaction have died. Exploiting their absence, the Jew feels justified in keeping the money. He thanks God "who gave him the means of swindling an Arab." The spoliation of Pagan "goods" by the Judaeo-Christian tradition is again suggested by the ethnic background and righteous posture of the offender who fancies himself in league with the Lord. The site of the "borrowing," the vicinity of Mount Horeb, tends to confirm this interpretation. Mount Horeb is another name of Mount Sinai, the place where Moses allegedly received the Tables of the Law, an event often viewed as the beginning of a new era in world history. The swindlewhich is eventually exposed by Zadig, a "Great Instructor of Mankind" is weightier by far than the appropriation of any amount of silver. It is the fraudulent establishment of the Old Testament and of its somber "mystique." The swindler feels protected by the death of "witnesses"a word often used in the etymological sense of "martyr." The spoliation of Pagan "goods" is thus connected to the idea of bloodshed. The suggestion is consistent with the well-known view of Voltaire that History is a long recital of murders many of which were committed in the name of God. The esoteric value of the number five hundred may be linked to our current sub-cycle of evolution, the Fifth Race. Occult philosophy teaches that mankind evolves within a system of Rounds and Racesmajor and lesser cycles. "We have spoken of seven Races" says H.P. Blavatsky "five of which have nearly completed their earthly career."89 Moreover, secret numbers are often veiled by addedor removedzeros which are used as esoteric "blinds."90 Accordingly, the

89. The Secret Doctrine, p. 443, Vol. II



figure five hundred may point to treasures of occult lore involving the record of five races, a treasure temporarily stolen and obscured by the "new philosophy" and its various sects. The large stone usedpresumably as a tablewhen the "loan" was made probably represents a bitter allusion to the Mosaic "Tables of the Law" which proclaim among other things: "Thou shalt not steal." The famous tables are tainted from the very beginning by the dishonest nature of their acquisition. Referring to the Code of Manu which dates from "many thousands of years before the era of Christianity," H.P. Blavatsky draws attention to the following facts: "If we turn to the Pratimoksha Sutra and other religious tracts of the Buddhists, we read the following commandments: 1. 'Thou shalt not kill any living creature. 2. Thou shalt not steal. 3. Thou shalt not break thy vow of chastity. 4. Thou shalt not lie. 5. Thou shalt not betray the secrets of others. 6. Thou shalt not wish for the death of thy enemies. 7. Thou shalt not desire the wealth of others. 8. Thou shalt not pronounce injurious and foul words. 9. Thou shalt not indulge in luxury (sleep on soft beds or be lazy).' "What shall I do to obtain possession of Bhodi? (knowledge of eternal truth)' asks a disciple of his Buddhist master. 'What way is there to become an Upasaka?' 'Keep the commandments.' 'What are they?' 'Thou shalt abstain all thy life from murder, theft, adultery, and lying,' answers the master." (Isis Unveiled, p. 164, Vol. 2) Not only was the Decalogue "borrowed" from the Scriptures of India, but the entire text of Genesis was "taken word for word" from various Pagan sources one of which was Chaldea:

90. Ibid., p. 307, Vol. II



"while the first, second, and third chapters of Genesis are but disfigured imitations of other cosmogonies, the fourth chapter, beginning at the sixteenth verse, and the fifth chapter to the endgive purely historical facts; though the latter were never correctly interpreted. They are taken, word for word, from the secret Book of Numbers, of the Great Oriental Kabala." (Isis Unveiled, p. 579, Genesis a Copy of the Chaldean Kabala, Vol. 1) The lineage of Moses is equally interesting. H.P. Blavatsky points out striking similarities between the story of Sargon, an early Babylonian monarch and the well-known story of Moses. According to Assyrian Discoveries, a publication of George Smith, "Sargon, an early Babylonian monarch, was born of royal parents, but concealed by his mother, who placed him on the Euphrates in an ark of rushes, coated with bitumen, like that in which the mother of Moses hid her child." The "text found on fragments of tablets from Kouyunjik" reads as follows: "1. 'Sargona, the powerful king, the king of Addad am I. 2. My mother was a princess, my father I did not know, a brother of my father ruled over the country. 3. In the city of Azupirana, which is by the side of the river Euphrates, 4. My mother, the princess, conceived me; in difficulty she brought me forth. 5. She placed me in an ark of rushes, with bitumen my exit she sealed up. 6. She launched me in the river which did not drown me. 7. The river carried me to Akki, the water-carrier it brought me. 8. Akki, the water-carrier, in tenderness of bowels, lifted me' etc., etc. And now Exodus (ii.) 'And when she (Moses' mother) could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein, and she laid it in the flags by the river's brink." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 442-43, Vol. 2)

Zadig 117 Aside from hinting at several thingsthe Mosaic Tables of the Law includedthe stone mentioned in Zadig may have been used to suggest the possibility of teleportation; the occult art of moving a person or object without "physical" contact. Zadig recommends that the stone "come" to the site of the trial to "give testimony" or "bear witness." Once again, as in the case of the "speaking tablets" of a previous chapter, Voltaire may be using a favorite trick of esoteric writers who know that the best veil is no veil at all when seemingly preposterous facts or possibilities are presented to readers: "il reste une large pierre sur laquelle l'argent fut compte; et, s'il plait a Votre Grandeur d'ordonner qu'on aille chercher la pierre, j'espere qu'elle portera temoignage; nous resterons ici, l'Hebreu et moi en attendant que la pierre vienne; je l'enverrai chercher aux depens de Setoc mon maitre." ("there remains a large stone upon which the money was countedand if it pleases your Greatness to order that the stone be brought, I hope that it will bear witness; we shall remain here, the Hebrew and I, waiting for the stone to come; I will send for it at the expense of Setoc, my master.") The stone does not travel as planned. Thanks to the intelligence of Zadig transfer proves unnecessary. "The right path" of the young man does not favor spectacular displays. Weapons supplied by dishonesty against itself are more effectiveand less troublesomethan vain shows smacking of "the supernatural." Liars in general, spiritual frauds in particular, tend to become enmeshed in traps of their own making. The theft is exposed in cross-examination. The latter fact speaks volumes on the crude manner in which Pagan "silver"which is to say "Pagan lore" was "annexed" by the Judaeo-Christian tradition. It will be shown in subsequent pages of this book that the word Petra or "stone" has the esoteric value of "Interpreter of the Secret Doctrine." The expected arrival of the "stone" may therefore be construed as the arrival of an interpreter of Divine Wisdom. Such a figure is bound to have close ties to the "Great Instructor of Mankind."



Zadig and the thieving "Jew" are expected to remain where they are until the arrival of the all-important stone or interpreter. Mankind and the Judaeo-Christian despoiler are expected to be relatively staticin a spiritual senseuntil the predicted event takes place. The theme of final restitution of stolen goods runs through the Voltairian trilogy. The ultimate triumph of the primitive Wisdom-Religion is contemplated in Candide and comes to pass in L'Ingenu. Within the time setting of Zadig, the esoteric meaning of the event may correspond to the prophesied coming of Christ whose true message is identical to the teachings of Buddha, Zoroaster and other "interpreters." Also suggested is the ultimate awakening of the Chres-tos principe within the human self. The prospect of an apocalypse which may be material, intellectual or spiritual is mentioned in numerous esoteric textsnotably, of course, in Revelations. Alfred de Vigny seems to envision such a happening in a poem entitled Paris. A huge "stone"often compared by commentators to the stone of the Apocalypselooms over the capital city which it may or may not threaten. It is "seen" within a fantastic context suggesting a synthesis of world cultures and the possible coming of an "animated form" or incarnate Savior who will "lead the human family" to its destiny. The destiny of mankind is universal salvation: All will be called and all will be chosen. The theme of impending apocalypse is also present in the Proustian Recherche beyond the veil of World War I. It is perceptible beyond the veil of World War II in the novel of SaintExupery Pilote de Guerre (a title strangely "translated" as Flight to Arras.) It is a recurring motif in Death on the Installment Plan. It is the likely raison d'etre of the "Jeandieusards" of Samuel Beckett. It takes a nightmarish form in the final pages of the Sartrian Nausee. The "stone" has a close connection to the spiritual structure allegedly built by Peter.



'Thou art Peter; and upon this rock will I build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'On those little sentences have been built up the mighty edifice of the Church of Rome; in them lie the authority for the imperial power of the popes over temporal affairs and their godlike power to curse a soul or wash it white from sin." (The Innocents Abroad, Sinclair Lewis, Ch. 45) Occultists and esoteric writers often note that Peter's successors form the main structural prop of the Catholic Church:

"upon what ground does the Church of Rome build her claim of supremacy for her doctrines over those of the Gnostics? Apostolic succession, undoubtedly. The succession traditionally instituted by the direct Apostle Peter. But what if this prove a fiction? Clearly, the whole superstructure supported upon this one imaginary stilt would fall in a tremendous crash." (Isis Unveiled, p. 326, Vol. 2)

Referring to Isis Unveiled, H.P. Blavatsky declares:

"The present volumes have been written to small purpose if they have not shown, 1, that Jesus, the Christ-God, is a myth concocted two centuries after the real Hebrew Jesus died; 2, that therefore, he never had any authority to give Peter, or any one else, plenary power; 3, that even if he had given such authority, the word Petra (rock) referred to the revealed truths of the Petroma, not to him who thrice denied him; and that besides, the apostolic succession is a gross and palpable fraud;" (Isis Unveiled, p. 544, Vol. 2) Not surprisingly, Voltaire and H.P. Blavatsky share the same view of the papacy; even using the same words to designate the Pope. Vol-



taire refers to Rome as "the city of the vice-God."91 H.P. Blavatsky refers to "Vice-God Pius IX."92 Voltaire undoubtedly "amused himself when he described the amazement of a fictitious foreign visitornamed Amazanwho learns that there is in Rome an Old Man of the Seven Hills. The amazing Old Man is fond of blessing lesser mortals by "cutting the air into four parts" with his raised thumb. He has other functions and enjoys a variety of attributes one of which is infallibility. The man from Ganges is told that the Pope is destined to "possess the entire universe" and that

"there was a time when his predecessors came close to universal monarchy; but their successors are kind enough to content themselves nowadays with some money paid to them by the kings, their subjects, as a levy.'Your master then is indeed the king of kings, that is his title?''No, your Excellency, his title is servant of those who serve; originally, he is a fisherman and a gate-keeper, and that is why the emblems of his dignity are keys and nets; but he always gives orders to all the kings. Not long ago, he sent one hundred and one orders to a king of the country of the Celts, and the king obeyed.''Your fisherman, then, said Amazan, sent five or six hundred thousand men to carry out his one hundred and one orders?''Not at all, your Excellency; our holy master is not rich enough to support ten thousand soldiers; but he has four or five hundred thousand divine prophets assigned in the other countries. Those prophets of all colors are, of course, supported at the expense of the people; they announce on behalf of heaven that my master can with his keys open and close all locks, and above all those of safes. A priest of Normandy, who acted as the confidant of the thoughts of the king I am mentioning, convinced him that he must obey without discussion the one hundred and one orders of my master; for you must know that one of the prerogatives of the Old Man of the Seven Hills is to be always right; whether he conde-

91. 92.

Lettres d'Amabed, 8e Lettre Isis Unveiled, p. 27, Vol. I



scend to speak or to communicate in writing.'" (The Princess of Babylon, Ch. IX) Esoterically, Voltaire seems to have used the combined meanings of the "stone" and of the slavery of Zadig to evoke the theft of Pagan knowledge, the resulting enslavement of the Western world and a long chain of historical events. Among those events is the expected "arrival" of the stone which may suggest a future re-interpretation of the Scriptures; an "apocalypse" that may or may not be limited to intellectual and spiritual progress. If Prometheus is viewed as the representative of Suffering Mankindas is the case in The Secret Doctrine93 the chapter of Zadig entitled Slavery involves Prometheus Bound and the distant prospect of Prometheus Unbound. While it does not actually "come," the stone eventually serves as an instrument of retribution. The acquisitive "Hebrew"or Judaeo-Christianmight have spared himself and others a great deal of misery had he observed one commandment: "Thou shalt not steal." He might have gained more from the stone than the five hundred ounces of stolen silver. Ultimately, he gains only temporary custody of the inferior "silver" gleanings. His inability to see more than a material utensil in the stone table stresses the phallicism or literal mindset that is the hallmark of the Judaeo-Christian outlook, "the divine being dragged into the animal, the sublime into the grossness of the terrestrial."94 The same failure draws attention to the matter of the "lost key" to secret science; a key forever inaccessible to some churches as a result of their own wrongdoings. The theme of the lost key is often found in occult and esoteric writings. Its virtual image is present in the Slavery chapter of Zadig. It will be vigorously dramatized in Candide. The final triumph of Zadig is in sharp contrast to the ignominious defeat of the thieving Hebrew. The intelligence and ethics of the Pagan

93. 94.

The Secret Doctrine, p. 414, Vol. II Ibid., p. 85, Vol. II



prevail in the end. Truth is found not in the physical presence of the stone but on the immaterial plane of the human mind and spirit. The same theme of eventual vindication of Ancient Wisdom in general and Paganism in particular is found in occult and esoteric writings:

"our own age, after having mimicked the ancients in everything possible, even to their very names such as 'senates,' 'prefects,' and 'consuls,' etc.; and after admitting that Napoleon the Great conquered three-fourths of Europe by applying the principles of war taught by the Caesars and the Alexanders knows so much better than its preceptors about psychology, that it would vote every believer in 'animated tablets' into Bedlam. Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in any of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mohammedanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 612-13, Vol. 1) "I'm a heathen and I'm proud of it. You'll see-we'll be heathens before long." (An Enemy of the People, H. Ibsen, Act One) The Voltairian story of the stone has an interesting counterpart in Jewish scriptures. The subject is a theft allegedly committed by Jesus. The text is cited and commented as follows in Isis Unveiled:

'There exists, in the sanctuary of the living God, a cubical stone, on which are sculptured the holy characters, the combination of which gives the explanation of the attributes and powers of the incommunicable name. This explanation is the secret key of all the occult sciences and forces in natureJesus, who had learned in Egypt the 'great secrets' at the initiation, forged for himself invisible keys, and thus was enabled to penetrate into the sanctuary unseen. He copied the characters on the cubical stone, and hid them in his thigh; after which, emerging from the temple, he went abroad and began astounding people with 'miracles'



Further the same Talmudist says in substance, the following: 'Jesus was thrown in prison, and kept there forty days; then flogged as a seditious rebel; then stoned as a blasphemer in a place called Lud, and finally allowed to expire upon a cross.' All this explains Levi 'because he revealed to the people the truths which they (the Pharisees) wished to bury for their own use. He had divined the occult theology of Israel, had compared it with the wisdom of Egypt, and found thereby the reason for a universal religious syn-thesis. (Isis Unveiled, p. 202, Vol. 2) The subversive revelations and the unitarian views of Christ were feared by despoilers of the primitive Wisdom-Religion. The same fears have haunted inquisitors ever since. Voltaire's interest in the stone featured in Zadig was not limited to symbols. His charming "medley of prose and of verse"the Voyage a Berlinmentions an ancient grave capable of producing ecstasy in certain viewers. Voltaire also knew of the existence of Petra, an ancient city of the Middle East, which remained undiscovered by Western Europeans until the XIXth Century. Kabalistic inscriptions were found on its cliff-side monuments. The heritage of Pagan lore consigned to stone by ancient and modern craftsmen is often mentioned by occultists and esoteric writers. The pages devoted by Rabelais to the architecture and pavement of the temple of the "Dive Bouteille" are probably rich in esoteric meaning accessible to initiates. Many persons believe that alchemical and other important symbols are carved in the stones or medieval churches and cathedrals. Cathedrals and other structures such as the church of Balbec are frequently mentioned in the Proustian Recherche. The narrator points out that it is only through the vision of Elstirthe instructed artistthat the wealth of meaning conveyed by some inscriptions and sculptures can be grasped. The commentary of the painter on the beauties of the church of Balbec is as provocative as the profound quality of his own work. The church of Balbec is likened to "a whole theological



and symbolic poem."95 The production of the discriminating artist is itself compared to "those mirrors of the world" which may beand occasionally arestudied by means of a technique resembling astrological reading.96 In short, Elstir seems to belong to a small number of persons who can recognize and decipher the silent message of certain monuments. What is suggested by the friend of Marcel is openly claimed by occultists. As was previously noted, the key to many scientific mysteries is believed to be inscribed in stone in secret caves and on certain ruins: "And so stand these monuments like mute forgotten sentinels on the threshhold of that unseen world, whose gates are thrown open but to a few elect." Jews are often portrayed in unflattering mannerand shown to come to griefin Voltairian writings. A Jew is killed by Can-didealong with an inquisitor. Jews are noted to be incorrigible swindlers. The last material remnant of the treasure acquired by Candide in Eldorado falls into their hands. The exoteric reader might easily conclude that Voltaire was an anti-Semite. The same allegorical "prejudice"which seems to be shared by many writers should be studied with great care. Celine is commonly regarded as a venomous anti-Semitic writer. But his apparent hatred of Jews may represent the same denunciation of an institutionalized "swindle" as does the "prejudice" of Voltaire. The dominant theme of Mort a Credit may well be the corruption and decline of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The habitat of the family of Ferdinandthe narrator is designated as "the Passage." "The Passage" may represent a certain segment of time in the course of human evolution. It may also connect the novel with the Jewish Passover or with the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The esoteric identity of the Jehovic father"Auguste"is repeatedly suggested. The mother is a shrewish and whiny crippleliterally "on her last leg"who always

95. 96.

A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 841, Vol. I Ibid., p. 126, Vol. II



wants confessions and seems to represent the Church. The allegorical couple Jehovah-Church operates a dingy shop, a symbolic flea-market which once had valuable "antiques"remnants of ancient Pagan knowledge. But the business which is headed for disaster has come to resemble "a filthy museum."97 The father and mother of Ferdinand live in dread of the impending "World Fair,"literally the inevitable "universal exposure," "L'Exposition Universelle"which poses a mortal threat to their shabby commerce. The family barely survives on a monotonous diet of noodlesa term which connotes little intelligence in French slang. The inferior fare is slightly relieved by the limited availability of cheap "wine" or "spirit." General misery may be measured by two facts. Children of the squalid "Passage" cannot stand unpolluted spirit. "Fresh air"98 kills them. The Oriental God of Happinessa symbolic statuette made of authentic "gold"is bound to be stolen in such a den of vice. Marcel Proust conceals a similar indictment under a less sordid exoteric surface. The Grand Hotel of Balbec is a barely veiled symbol of the Judaeo-Christian world filled with "servants" and male chauvinismespecially on "low" echelons:

"Downstairs, it was the male element which prevailed and which turned that hotel, because of the extreme and idle youth of servants, into something resembling a sort of Judaeo-Christian tragedy, having acquired substance and perpetually represented." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 774, Vol. II) Self-knowledge is in short supply in the grand establishment of "Balbec." No one seems to conceive the possibility of a link to the mysterious background of Baalbek, Lebanon, the site of enormous and puzzling ruins. No one has heard of the gigantic terraces found on that location which, according to Pauwels and Bergier, "may be remains of

97. 98.

Mort a Credit, p. 45, Livre de Poche Ed. C.f. "Pneuma,"=wind, breath, spirit (The Secret Doctrine, p. 113, Vol. II)



a landing ground constructed" in ancient times "by astronauts arriving from the Cosmos."99 Such speculations, if entertained, might open disturbing vistas of time and space that would damage the unquestioned myth of modern Western superiority. But they are unimaginable for the majority of smug, snobbish residents of the "Hotel." It is only in learned company that "the overseas Balbec"100 is indirectly mentioned. Poor self-knowledge is matched by poor understanding of one's associates. One rubs elbows with others "without knowing them." To which one might add: one reads the works of great writers "without knowing them." The Grand Hotelwhich is "grand" in appearance onlyis the haunt of synthetically glamorous demigods. The "Manager" is an incorrigible butcher of "language" whose every utterance must be "translated" to make sense. The garbled "word" of Judaeo-Christian scriptures is suggested by that regrettable trait. Formidable in appearance, the Director actually lives in fear of higher deities of the hotel hierarchy. The mediocre status of Jehovah in world mythologies is thus hinted. In short, the "patron" has much in common with the God of the Old Testament. Added to the unveiled mention of a Judaeo-Christian tragedy, the phonetic identity which exists between the French terms "hotel" and "autel"altaris another broad hint of the esoteric meaning of a grand appearing yet decayed spiritual establishment. The Proustian description of a Jewish" family draws attention to specific traits of the JudaeoChristian tradition. Bloch, a typical young Jew," is fond of playfully addressing his sisters as "bitches." Their adoration for him remains undiminished. The boorish father figure is slav-isly worshiped. Phallic obsession is suggested along with its unfailing companion: servile, degraded womanhood. The Proustian version of "Missouf" is not physically beaten. She is insidiously conditioned from childhood to play the role of a white "Uncle Tom."


The Morning of the Magicians, p. 307

100. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 936, Vol. II



A strange outburst of M. de Charlus suggests the true nature of esoteric antisemitism. The irascible nobleman dwells upon a morbid description of imaginary tortures to be inflicted on the "mother" of "Bloch." The fact that the latter person is "dead" has no effect on his wrath. "Blindness" is noted to afflict the "Jewish" family. The blindfolded Synagogue evoked by Elstir, "the reign of which is over,"101 seems to be viewed in the same light by M. de Charlus. The end of a strange dialogue between Marcel and his "anti-Semitic" friend is reported as follows:

"I informed him that in any case, Mme Bloch was no longer alive, and that where M. Bloch was concerned, I wondered to what extent he would relish a game which could very well put his eyes out. M. de Charlus seemed angry 'That is,' he said, 'a woman who made a great mistake when she died. As for eyes being put out, precisely, the Synagogue is blind, it does not see the truths of the Gospel.'" (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 289, Vol. II) There is reason to suspect that "the mother of Bloch" represents the symbolic Synagogue or, in other words, Judaism. The esoteric equivalence of "Jews" is hinted at an early stage of the Proustian Recherche. Young Bloch is a typical scholar of the Western world: pedantic and plagiarism-prone who consistently stumbles over hidden truths without seeing them. One of his wordy tiradesthe significant "first" of many such displayscombines allusions to well-known writers, to the Bhagavat Gita and to the Delphic oracle. The young man flippantly comments on the many failings and occasional virtues of authors he does not fully understand.102 He might do well to ponder the Delphic oracle to which he refers. There are connections to be made between the teachings of the Bhagavat Gita, modern literary genius, and the ancient precept: "Know Thyself!" The Judaeo-Chris-

101. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 841, Vol. I 102. Ibid., p. 90, Vol. I



tian or Western reader of Proust should heed that admonition on his own account as he notes and judges the refined blunders of "Bloch." Young Bloch follows developments of the "Dreyfus case" with keen interest. But he does not realize to what extent the "trial" and controversial "revision" may concern him. Esoterically, the cause celebre may involve a prestigious community consisting of Voltaire, Vigny, Proust and other members of literary "good company." In summary, there is reason to question the exact nature of "anti-Semitism" in the works of numerous great writers. Beyond the exoteric appearance of "Jews" we should probably read in many instances the esoteric reality of our Judaeo-Christian or Western civilization. In a word: ourselves. The theme of sectarian blind ness which is esoteric in the first chapters of Zadig becomes exoteric in The Supper. The chapter describes a gathering of persons representing various faiths. A heated argument is under way. Zadig decides to participate in the discussion. Acting as the lone apostle of positive thought and unity, he reconciles all present, temporarily at least. Scorning illusive divisions born of dogma and ritual, he compels all in attendance to recognize their common belief in a "first principle" or "first cause." The First Cause is a fundamental concept of occult philosophy. It is essentially bound to the doctrine of Emanation. First Cause and Emanation correspondand are opposedto the Judaeo-Christian personal deity and to his personal creation.

"Never have the Jews in their Bible (a purely esoteric, symbolical work) degraded so profoundly their metaphorical deity as have the Christians, by accepting Jehovah as their own living yet personal God. This first, or rather ONE, principle was called 'the circle of Heaven,' symbolized by the hierogram of a point within a circle or equilateral triangle, the point being the LOGOS. Thus, in the Rig Veda, wherein Brahma is not even named, Cosmogony is preluded with the Hiranya gharba, 'the Golden Egg,' and Prajapati (Brahma later on), from whom emanate all the hierarchies of 'Creators.' The



Monad, or point, is the original and is the unit from which follows the entire numeral system. This Point is the First Cause, but THAT from which it emanates, or of which, rather, it is the expression, the Logos, is passed over in silence." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 426, Vol. I) Many topics are discussed at the interfaith supper. Food is one of them. A man from India opposes the consumption of any kind of meat. An Egyptian sees no contradiction in the practice of his fellow-countrymen who worship the ox while eating oxen. Fish-eating is viewed as sacrilegious by a Chaldean. Scythians recognize that they are cannibalism-prone but nevertheless feel entitled to general respect. Beast-eating and man-eating receive the same treatment from the author of Zadig. No indication is given that one may be less reprehensible than the other. The discussion serves to convey vegetarian views which are more clearly expressed by Voltaire in his latter-day writings. The general climate of controversy and the evocation of cannibalism are consistent with the Voltairian view of mankind: a collectivity of insects devouring one another on a small atom of mud. Metempsychosis is mentioned in jocular fashion. A guest is warned against the dangers of chicken-eating. The soul of his departed aunt may have migrated into the main course. The grotesque suggestion is an effective esoteric blind. The reader is unlikely to regard Voltaire as a reincarnationist. A popular misconception is exploited to veil belief in rebirth. The same erroneous view of transmigration ridiculed by Voltaire is rejected by proponents of the Secret Doctrine. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, Man never become an animal except morallyhence metaphorically."103 In the words of Voltaire which have already been quoted, "the resurrection is the simplest thing in the world. It is no more amazing to be born twice than once." The warped view of metempsychosis has beenand to some extent remainsa useful tool of power-crazed Hindu priests bent upon keep-

103. Isis Unveiled, Appendix, p. 36, Vol. 2



ing control over their flocks. It was in the same spirit of holy terrorism that Christianity created Devil and Hell. Voltaire and proponents of the Secret Doctrine agree on two points. No one needs spend his life in fear of Devil and Eternal Flames. No human being needs fear that he may come back as a cockroach if he misbehaves. Zadig solves a dangerous religious controversy. Thanks to his interventionand to it only the turbulent gathering is restored to unity. The divided "large family" becomes a harmonious community. Its unanimous recognition of a "First Principle" comes close to recognition of one universal truth. The spirit generated by Zadig reflects an ideal which is also expressed by the motto of the modern Theosophical Society:

"THERE IS NO RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH."104 The enlightened arbitration of the young Zoroastrian transforms an age-old dream into reality:

The chief aim of the Founders of the Eclectic Theosophical School was one of the three objects of its modern successor, the Theosophical Society, namely, to reconcile all religions, sects, and nations, under a common system of ethics, based on eternal verities." (The Key to Theosophy, Ch. I) The fact that the harmony achieved in The Supper is short-lived affords a preview of future eras. The time has not come for lasting, general enlightenment. Perverted forms of religions continue to exist and to victimize mankind. While the custom of widow-burning is reported to be observed in "Arabia," India, the fountainhead of knowledge, is the obvious target of Zadig's denunciations. The practice of suttee demonstrates establishments; a the existence of infamous spiritual

104. The Secret Doctrine, p. 798, Vol. II



scourge not limited to the Western world. The case of a young widow doomed by custom to the funeral pyre comes to the attention of Zadig. While the origin of suttee can be traced to adulterated scriptures, Voltaire does not fail to note the important part played by the greed of priests:

"The precious stones and ornaments of the young widows sent by them to the stake belonged to them by right." (The Rendez-Vous) Similar types of money-minded murders were committed in the name of Christ by peopleburners of subsequent eras. Commenting on the witch-burnings of XVIIth Century Germany H.P. Blavatsky observes:

'"Of the multitudes of persons who perished at the stake in Germany during the first half of the seventeenth century for sorcery, the crime of many was their attachment to the religion of Luther,' says T. Wright,'... and the petty princes were not unwilling to seize upon any pretense to fill their coffers... the persons most persecuted being those whose property was a matter of consideration...'" (Isis Unveiled, p. 61, Vol. 2) German princes were not alone in their love of confiscation, a gratifying practice combining the prosecution of "heresy" and the pursuit of wealth. The "Holy Office" of the Church excelled in that business. In his study entitled The Inquisition of the Middle Ages Henry Charles Lea draws attention to "...the enormous power of extortion wielded by the inquisitor ..." Death itself was no shelter against ecclesiastical exaction. Heirs were held liable for the offenseswhether fancied or realof their testators. "There is something peculiarly repulsive in the rapacity which thus followed beyond the grave those who had humbly confessed and repented and were received into the bosom of the Church, but the Inquisition was unrelenting and exacted the last penny."105 Eventually, other forms of pressure were used when the



Church was forced to give up the torture chamber and the stake. Stendhal draws attention to the dual power of XIXth Century parochial bookkeeping; a record of merits and demerits designed to promote competition among eager donors while publicizing the shame of miserly contributors to the Cause. "Among the petty nobility of Verrieres and surrounding region who were cleverly classified on the ledger of collecting friars according to the amount of their donations, one had noted more than once the name of M. de Renal occupying the last line. In vain did he say that he "was earning nothing." "Le clerge ne badine pas sur cet article." ("The clergy does not deal lightly with that")106 Meanwhiletheologically and financiallythe threat of eternal torture endured in the midst of flames continued to be the most important source of support of the Church which was thus enabled to accumulate vast amounts of "protection money." Finally, in the XXth Century, old fears of Hell and Devil were supplemented by tainted, yet successful banking manipulations so that the Church distinguished itself as "an extraordinary moneymaking machine."107 We should note in passing that the profit motive was far from absent in the wholesale killing of human beings who ended up in Hitler's crematoria. The shaky basis of the custom of widow-burning is challenged by Voltaire in the following dialogue;

"Tor more than one thousand years, women have been possessed by the urge to burn themselves. Who among us will dare change a law consecrated by time? Is there anything more respectable than ancient abuse?''Reason is more ancient,' replied Zadig." (The Funeral Pyre)

105. The Inquisition of the Middle ages., H.C. Lea, Unfulfilled PenanceExtortionate Abuses 106. Le Rouge et le noir, Ch. XXII 107. In God's Name, D.A. Yallop, Vatican Incorporated



The subversive character of the passage is apparent on the exoteric plane. The Ancien Regimewhich condoned countless burnings and other atrocities by no means limited to widowsfits the designation of "ancient abuse." Voltaire makes it clear that the sacred cows of "lon-gevity" and precedent need not prevail in that case or in any other case of like nature. Corrective change is desirable and possible. It must begin in minds that have been conditioned to accept old impunities on the sanctifying basis of tradition and culture. An intellectual revolution is needed to establish the reign of Reason. A political revolution may be needed as well. The word "possessed" suggests "possession" or influence exerted by occult means. The diabolical activities of certain priests which are evoked by Voltaire and which are frequently denounced by occultists are called to the attention of readers. Meaningful proximity exists between the possibility of "changing the law" and the expression "ancient abuse." The two actually are one and the same in the case of the widow-burnings of India. Suttee is the result of a change or falsification of ancient law. The principle of "antiquity" invoked by its defenders is untenable. Man is by definition a thinking creature. Reason is as ancient as its first glimmer in a human mind. Moreover, Voltaire seems to court a connection between the human ability to think and the Code of Manu which was adulterated to legitimize the custom of widow-burning. The same connection is made in occult writings: "The direct connection, beween the 'Manus' and 'Mahat' is easy to see. Manu is from the root man, 'to think;' and thinking proceeds from the mind. (The Secret Doctrine, p. 452, Vol. I) The antiquity of Hindu scriptures and their falsification are noted in Isis Unveiled: "While every sect holds the Vedas as the direct word of Godsruti(revelation)the Code of Manu is designated by them simply as smriti, a collection of oral traditions. Still these tra-



ditions or 'recollections' are among the oldest as well as the most revered in the land. But perhaps the strongest argument in favor of its antiquity, and the general esteem in which it is held, lies in the following fact. The Brahmans have undeniably remodelled these traditions at some distant period, and made many of the actual laws, as they now stand in the Code of Manu, to answer their ambitious views. Therefore, they must have done it at a time when the burning of widows (suttee) was neither practiced nor intended to be, which it has been for nearly 2,500 years. No more than in the Vedas is there any such atrocious law mentioned in the Code of Manu!The Brahmans appealed to a verse from the Rig-Veda which commanded it. But this verse has been recently proved to have been falsified." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 588-89, Vol. 1) As was previously noted, the systematic plagiarism and disfigurement of Pagan heritage by the modern West is the joint concern of occultists and esoteric writers. Science, philosophy and religious teachings were severely abused. Legislation was not spared.

"The Hindu laws were codified by Manu more than 3,000 years before the Christian era, copied by the whole of antiquity, and notably by Rome, which alone has left us a written law -the Code of Justinianwhich has been adopted as the basis of all modern legislation." (Isis Unveiled, p. 586, Vol. 1) "Ancient abuse" has multiple prolongations in modern times. Michel Servete, the XVIth Century physician who discovered the pulmonary circulation of the blood, was condemned by the Catholic Church and later sent to the stake by Calvin. Swiss law did not stipulate the ultimate penalty for religious offenses. Calvin therefore had the Justinian Code revived for the needs of his cause. Michel Servete was found guilty of advancing knowledge. He was burnt alive at Champel, near Geneva, in 1553. Rabelais draws attention to the falsification of the Pandectsanother name of the Justinian Codein Chapter XLIV of the Tiers Livre. Steinbeck may have had in mind the same kind of



"ancient abuse" when he wrote the following observations on corrupt officials of Wessex County. There is reason to speculate that he may have alluded to the Westphalia or Western European world darkly described by Voltaire in Candide: "There it camethe Town Manager, the council, the magistrates, the works. I listened without hearingsad and heavy. Maybe they had been doing what they were charged with, but they'd been doing it so long they didn't think it was wrong." (The Winter of our Discontent, Ch. XIV) The dubious legitimacy of the custom of widow-burning is matched by the artificial character of its rites. Voltaire suggests an atmosphere combining some aspects of a carnival with those of a tea-party complete with invitations and fanfare. The sacred character of the ceremony is far from evident:

"An Arab belonging to the tribe of Setoc having died, his widow, named Almona, who was very religious, announced the day and the hour when she would throw herself into the fire to the sound of drums and trumpets." (The Funeral Pyre). The ironic reference to musical instruments likely to induce a trance-like state may be aimed at drugs and other pain-killing devices which were occasionally used in India in the rite of suttee: The widow, bent on the self-sacrifice of concremation, called Suhamarana, has no dread of suffering the least pain for the fiercest flames will consume her, without one pang of agony being experienced. The holy plants which crown her brow, as she is conducted in ceremony to the funeral pile, the sacred root culled at the midnight hour on the spot where the Ganges and the Yuma mingle their waters; and the process of anointing the body of the self-appointed victim with ghee and sacred oils, after she has been bathed in all her clothes and finery, are so many magical anesthetics."



"No such thing if the sacred ceremony is only conducted strictly after the prescribed rites. The widows are never drugged in the sense we are accustomed to understand the word(The widow)'s mind is as free and clear as ever, and even more so. Firmly believing in the promises of a future life, her whole mind is absorbed in contemplation of approaching blissthe beatitude of 'freedom,' which she is about to attain. She generally dies with the smile of heavenly rapture on her countenance; and if someone is to suffer at the hour of retribution, it is not the honest devotee of her faith, but the crafty Brahmans who know well enough that no such ferocious rite was ever prescribed. As to the victim, after having been consumed, she becomes a sati, transcendent purityand is canonized after death." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 540-41, Vol. I) Voltaire's allusion to suttee is an eloquent commentary on established religions. If division and strife prevail in the marketing of dogma, striking uniformity is evident where flock management is concerned. Whatever differences may exist between auto-da-fes and suttee, sordid motives and practical results are the same. Adulterated scriptures are used to serve greed and to promote inhumanity in all ages, in all parts of the world. The chapter featuring the custom of widow-burning acts as an esoteric blind. Any likelihood of Voltairian partiality to the creeds of India is usually eliminated in readers' minds by the widows' funeral pyre. Sensitive readers must be aware of the history and illegal basis of suttee to remain undeterred in their search for veiled substance favorable to Hindiusm or Buddhism. The decoy technique employed in this instanceand in many otherspostulates general ignorance. The par-allel and opposite guidance technique postulates "a small fund of philosophy" or a little knowledge of the Secret Doctrine. The spiritual progress of Setoc is unsteady. The path of Knowledge is an arduous one. Caught in the act of worshiping stars, the merchant receives remedial instruction from Zadig. He is urged to regard celestial bodies as "bodies like others." Neither distance nor brilliance can alter the fact that stars and suns belong to Maya in their material aspect



as do all material things. They are remote, imperfect reflections of the First Cause which is alone entitled to worship. Zadig promotes and guides the transition of Setoc from polytheistic belief to monotheistic faith. A clever device is used to open the eyes of the slave-owner. Zadig pretends to worship a series of candles. His mimicry ridicules devotional practice that tends to lose sight of the unknowable Supreme Being. The effect is instantaneous. The conduct of another person is quickly deemed absurd. Setoc is thus warned against another aspect of Maya: the double standard which leads one to find fault with all attitudes and creeds other than one's own. The power of egocentric illusion is exposed as what it is. Intellectual progress is accompanied by improved ethics. The importance of compassion and humanity is stressed. But it is stressed indirectly. Initially, the prospect of local suttee fails to disturb the merchant. Apparently satisfied with the respectability of "ancient abuse," Setoc needs and receives enlightenment from his slave. Zadig deplores the sinful waste resulting from widow-burning. He argues that the victims, if alive, could produce valuable subjects for the State or at least raise those subjects who are already produced. Demography is invoked rather than sentiment. The instruction or the merchant is designed to appeal to his pragmatic outlook. The moral of the story applies to the general scheme of human progress. Truth should be revealed carefully with a view to the degree of development of persons receiving it. The instruction of Setoc is in part a process of un-learning. He must overcome such manmade obstacles to mental and spiritual growth as blind acceptance of precedent, dubious dogma and cruel practice. The candle-and-people burners of Western Europe arein some ways kindred souls of the widow-burners of "Arabia" and India. Similar religious networks of "ancient abuse" are at work in each case. Corrupt priesthoods fail to respect the integrity of their own scriptures. Institutionalized cruelty is softened by the influence of Zadig. The over-burdened slaves of Setoc and the young widow benefit. But the



exploitation of slavery from which the merchant derives wealth and status is nowhere questioned. The biblical realm is slavery itself. The JudaeoChristian businessman does progress. But he is not ready for teachings that would threaten his privileged status. Nor is he ready to question the fundamental bias inherent to suttee. Zadigwho does not "scorn women" and who does "not boast of subjugating them"might challenge him to explain why widowers who might roast themselves alive are not offered the same benefit of instant sainthood as are widows. Such speculations would tax to the limit the imagination and the good will of Setoc. The beneficiary of bondage and of ancient brain-washing will not change overnight. The positive teachings of Zadig are connected to India and indirectly to Egypt. "Commerce" with the river-bank dwellers of Ganges brings certain "goods" or benefits to the merchant via the Red Sea. The land of Buddha may therefore deserve the same reverence as the stars:

"'You receive more benefits,' replied Zadig 'from the waters of the Red Sea, which carry your merchandise to India. Why should it not be as ancient as the stars? And if you must worship what is remote from you, you must worship the land of the river-bank dwellers of Ganges which is at the extremities of the earth!'" (The Funeral Pyre) Worship of "what is remote" is an important aspect of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The God of the Old Testament maintains a safe vertical distance between himself and his suffering creatures. Rare avenues of contact between divine and human planes are mostly negative, oneway paths of endless "Thou Shalt nots," enforcement thunderbolts and "plagues wonderful." Setoc is encouraged to direct his worship beyond the plane of the supposedly transcendent, personal God. The truly transcendent "First Principle" is immensely distant from terrestrial regions... and from terrestrial distance. It has graduated reflections on all planes of existence. It is inseparable from the divine spark which is present in more or less latent state in every human being. The obser-



vation of Zadig on the worship of "what is remote" tends to oppose the concept of the Unknowable to the concept of the anthropomorphic biblical God. Also implied is an invitation to survey what is closest; to recognize and cultivate the superior attributes of Man. The Pagan teaching "Know Thyself!" is virtually fused with the statement of the Christian Savior: "The kingdom of heaven is within you." While the suggested co-essence of divine and terrestrial components in Man tends to abolish material distance on the plane of true being, the parallel between star cult and land cult invites a second conclusion. If it is absurd to revere celestial bodies rather than their immaterial Source, it may also be absurd to revere the land of India rather than its spiritual legacy. The ships which ply the Red Sea as they carry the merchandise of Setoc may be presumed to return from India with more than empty holds. The connection which can be made between the land of Ganges, worship, and "benefits" unnamed yet actually received tends to dissolve the exoteric irony that accompanies the reference to Indian commerce. The Far Eastern custodian of the Primitive-Wisdom Religion deserves reverent thought. An element of History is present in the geographical material used in the instruction of Setoc. The combination of Red Sea (Egypt) and India stresses the fact that the "Arab"or Semitic merchant is the recipient of Indian "goods" or "benefits." As was previously noted, Semitic races include Arabs as well as Jews. The general theme of "commerce" between referenced regions hints at the occult belief that the Jews may have originated in India. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, 'They may as well be the exiled Tchandalas, or Pariahs, of old India, the 'bricklayers' mentioned by Vina-Svati, Veda-Vyasa and Manu, as the Phoenicians of Herodotus, or the Hyksos of Josephus, or descendants of Pali shepherds, or a mixture of all these."108 Terrestrial time is the subject of observations which parallel observations on earthly space. Misguided worship tends to place undue stress

108. Isis Unveiled, p. 438, Vol. 2



on age. What is true of "ancient abuse" applies to the age of the Red Sea and to the age of the stars. Adulterated chronologies are aspects of scriptural fraud used to legitimize crimessuch as the burning of widows. They also serve to obscure ancient realities of cosmogenesis and human evolution. The conjunction of Red Sea and stars suggests an allusion to the secret meaning and dwarfed chronology of Exodus. Occult philosophy teaches that the portion of Exodus relating the famous parting of the waters is the allegorical description of a cosmic catastrophy caused by extraterrestrial forces. "'Stars (meteors) showered on the land of the black Faces-' says the Secret Commentary."109 According to the Secret Doctrine, the upheaval was part of a series of planetary convulsions involving one of several submersions of Atlantis. The memory of the event lingers in universal mythology and folklore. Some of the Atlante-ans who survived the "flood" are believed to have migrated to Egypt. They are believed to be remote ancestors of the pyramid builders. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky:

"The civilization of the Atlanteans was greater even that that of the Egyptians. It is their degenerate descendants, the nation of Plato's Atlantis, which built the first Pyramids in the country, and that certainly before the advent of the 'Eastern Aethiopians,' as Herodotus calls the Egyptians." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 429, Vol. II) Moses, an Egyptian priest whose esoteric relevance to Zadig is clear, may therefore be regarded as a distant heir of Atlantean knowledge. A glimpse of the enormous time span connecting and separating cosmic happenings, Atlantis, and Egypt is apparently included in the instruction of Setoc. The unsuspecting "Arab" Semiteis made aware of the fantastic background of his homeland. Not surprisingly, India where the secret tradition of cosmogenesis is carefully preserved, is mentioned along with "benefits."

109. The Secret Doctrine, p. 428, Vol. II



In summary, the vistas evoked by the brief, last quoted passage of Zadig explode the limits of exoteric Time and Space. The geographical horizons opened by reference to Near and Far East are vast. But they are dwarfed by the dimension of interplanetary upheavals whose memory is beyond recall of the majority of men. The time span represented by the age of the Red Sea and the age of the stars is open to speculation. But the esoteric background of the passage suggests that one of many reassessments to be made should involve the exoteric chronology of the Bible. Occult philosophy stresses that the chronology of the Bible was drastically compressed by ecclesiastical editors:

"From Bede downwards all the chronologists of the Church have differed among themselves, and contradicted each other. 'The chronology of the Hebrew text has been grossly altered, especially in the interval next after the Deluge'says Whiston (Old Test., p. 20)." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 395, fn., Vol. II) The story related in Exodus is believed to have been "built many hundred thousands of years"110 after the cataclysm described in the Secret Commentary. The colossal shrinkage of scriptural chronology continues to affect science in our own age. Worlds in Collision, a controversial book by Immanuel Velikovsky, is based on the author's belief in the periodic tilting of the axis of earth. The same belief is a major tenet of the Secret Doctrine. Dr. Velikovsky draws attention to a wealth of mythological material showing that the same cataclysmic events were recorded and are remembered in all parts of the world. In his opinion, the episode reported in Exodus is one veiled recollection among many of a world conflagration caused by the passage of Venusthen a cometin the vicinity of our globe. The otherwise daring vision of the scientist seems to be hampered by the exoteric approach to chronology. The esoteric

110. The Secret Doctrine, pp. 428-29, Vol. II



concepts of "day", and "age"which may cover thousands and millions of yearsare interpreted literally. Not so with the Secret Doctrine: "In the first Book of Manu we read, 'Know that the sum of 1,000 divine ages, composes the totality of one day of Brahma; and that one night is equal to that day.' One thousand divine ages is equal to 4,320,000,000 of human years, in the Brahmanical calculations." (Isis Unveiled, p. 272, Vol. 2) "A 'Day of Brahma' equals 4,320,000,000 years, as also a Night of Brahma or the duration of Pralaya, after which a new SUN rises triumphantly over a new manvantara, for the septenary chain it illuminates." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 655-56, Vol. I) The Bible itself states that a thousand years in the sight of the Lord "are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night."111 Another provocative verse of the Psalms reads as follows: "So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom."112

Despite such hints from its own Bible, the Western world generally shuns recognition of a remote past whose huge span cannot be reconciled with scientific or religious dogmas of the Judaeo-Chris-tian tradition. The otherwise bold thesis of Dr. Velikovsky does not challenge the chronological myopia of Western science. Voltaire's interest in the age of land and stars may be grounded in the occult view of the Judaeo-Christian tradition as "a body born out of time." Another fact is suggested. The cultural isolationism that is the hallmark of Old Testament teachings tends to divorce mankind from its cosmic background. The "body born out of time" is also truncated with reference to space. The Lord of the Old Testament who regards the pursuit of knowledge as mortal sin and deadly Forbidden Fruit does not encourage far-reaching curiosity. His human creatures are

111. Psalms, 90, 4 112. Ibid., 90, 12



warned about grave consequences should they ever "corrupt" themselves by raising their sight to forbidden heights: "And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven." (Deuteronomy, 4, 19). "2If there be found among you, within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the LORD thy God, in transgressing his covenant, 3And hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; 4And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shall stone them with stones, till they die." (Deuteronomy, 17) The injunction to "enquire diligently" did not fail to be used by latter day "enquirers" of Western Europe. As was previously noted, it served to legitimize the dungeons, the tortures and the burnings or countless innocent personsincluding but not limited to widowswho fell into the hands of Inquisitors. The instruction of Setoc is paralleled by the instruction of his future wife, Almona, the young widow rescued from the funeral pyre by Zadig. The evolution of the young woman is as meaningful as is the progress of the merchant. The name Almona is rich in esoteric potential. Read in reverse it suggests anomaly, monstrosity, illegitimacy; all qualities applicable to the plight of the young woman as she faces the stake. Her name also suggests a connection with the word monad, a concept commonly associated with the philosophy of Leibnitz. The monad is also an



important element of the philosophy of Pythagoras, a great Adept of the ancient WisdomReligion113 who had obtained his ideas from India and whose philosophy was embraced by Plato.114 The monad plays an important part in occult philosophy. It is linked to the peregrinations of spirit through various forms of existence. While it is difficult to define, some idea of its nature is given by H.P. Blavatsky:

"God, Monad, and Atom are the correspondences of Spirit, Mind, and Body (Atma, Manas and Sthula Sarira) in man.''In their septenary aggregation they are the 'Heavenly Man' (see Kabala for the latter term); thus, ter restrial man is the provisional reflection of the Heavenly ....' The Monads (Jivas) are the Souls of the Atoms, both are the fabric in which the Chohans (Dhyanis, gods) cloth themselves when a form is needed.'" (Esoteric Catechism quoted in The Secret Doctrine, p. 619, Vol. I)

The pilgrimage of "Souls of the Atoms" is outlined in Isis Unveiled:

"When the Central Invisible (the lord Ferho) saw the efforts of the divine Scintilla, unwilling to be dragged lower down into the degradation of matter, to liberate itself, he permitted it to shoot out from itself, a monad, over which, attached to it as by the finest thread, the Divine Scintilla (the soul) had to watch during its ceaseless peregrinations from one form to another. Thus the monad was shot down into the first form of matter and became encased in stone; then, in course of time, through the combined efforts of living fire and living water, both of which shone their reflection upon the stone, the monad crept out of its prison to sunlight, as a lichen. From change to change it went higher and higher; the monad, with every new transformation borrowing more of the radiance of its parent, Scintilla, which approached it nearer at every transmigration. For the 'First Cause had willed it to proceed in this order;'and destined it to creep on higher until its physical form became, once more the Adam of dust, shaped in the image of the 113. The Secret Doctrine, p. xxxv, Vol. I 114. Ibid., p. 348, Vol. I



Adam Kadmon. Before undergoing its last earthly transformation, the external covering of the monad, from the moment of its conception as an embryo, passes in turn, once more, through the phases of the several kingdoms. In its fluidic prison it assumes a vague resemblance at various periods of the gestation to plant, reptile, bird and animal, until it becomes a human embryo. At the birth of the future man, the monad, radiating with all the glory of its immortal parent which watches it from the seventh sphere, becomes senseless. It loses all recollection of the past, and returns to consciousness but gradually, when the instinct of childhood gives way to reason and intelligence. After the separation between the life-principle (astral spirit) and the body takes place, the liberated soulMonad exultingly rejoins the mother and father spirit, the radiant Augoeides, and the two, merged into one, forever form, with a glory proportioned to the spiritual purity of the past earthlife, the Adam who has completed the circle of necessity, and is freed from the last vestige of his physical encasement. Henceforth, growing more and more radiant at each step of his upward progress, he mounts the shining path that ends at the point from he started around the GRAND CYCLE." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 302-03, Vol. 1) Some basic tenets of occult philosophy are enunciated in the text last quoted. They appear in Micromegas and in the entire trilogy formed by Zadig, Candide and L'Ingenu: I) All that exists in nature emanates from an ethereal state and follows the descending curve curve of evolution into deep materiality. The reascent and eventual return to original spirituality are gradually achieved through a process requiring untold numbers of our earthly years. Ultimately, the circle of necessity is completed following acquisition of all-embracing experience. The lengthy pilgrimage is energized by metempsychosis, "The progress of the soul from one stage of existence to another. Symbolized and vulgarly believed to be rebirths in animal bodies." Metempsychosis is a term "generally misunderstood by every class of European and American society, including many scientists. The kabalistic axiom, 'A stone becomes a plant, a plant an animal,



an animal a man, a man a spirit, and a spirit a god.' receives an explanation in Manu's ManavaDharma-Sastra, and other Brahmanical books."115 2) Every human being undergoes multiple incarnations until perfection or total liberation from the wheel of rebirth is attained. 3) The memory of previous existence is lost by the human baby at the time of birth. The crucial concept of esoteric "necessity" or cyclic evolution is abundantly suggested in Voltairian writings by such words as "neces-saire," "necessairement," and "il faut;" ("necessary," "necessarily" and "it is necessary."). Similarly inspired references to necessity are found in numerous esoteric writings. Other elements of the esoteric algebra of literary "smugglers" include perfection, a concept frequently introduced into text by such words as the adjective "perfect" and the adverb "perfectly." The concealed value of the latter word is strongly hinted in the Proustian Recherche. Almona's narrow escape from the stake arouses the fury of the priests. The few words of reason uttered by Zadig suffice to threaten the thriving establishment of widow-burning thieves. The free thinking and free agency inspired by the Zoroastrian cannot be tolerated in the realm of venerable abuse. Several priests join forces to get rid of the subversive instructor. The young emancipator is sentenced to death. Almona becomes the liberator of her savior. She succeeds in thwarting the schemes of the priesthood by exposing written evidence of its corruption. Her courage and intelligence are in sharp contrast to the frivolous, fashion-driven mentality which characterized her before she gained enlightenment from Zadig. Some aspects of the episode bring to mind the trial of the Jew who did not wish to part with five hundred ounces of "borrowed" silver. Once again, criminal lies are turned against their users with spectacular success. Poetic justice seems to exist after all.

115. Isis Unveiled, p. xxxvii, Vol. I



Villains can be caught at their own games when their shabby deeds are exposed. The detective work performed by Almona is especially fruitful in the area of letters received and collected from priests. The fact that written evidence of misconduct is obtained draws attention to occupational hazards of spiritual communities built upon adulterated scriptures by adulterous priests. Also hinted is the enlightening power of the comparative study of "letters" or literature, a pursuit in which the feminine intuition of Almona excels and from which corrupt churches have much to fear. Stendhal has this comment on the same subject:

"Since Voltaire, since the government of the two chambers came into being, which is after all, nothing but distrust and personal examination, and which gives to the mind of the nations that bad habit of distrust, the Church of France seems to have understood that books are its true enemies." (Le Rouge et le noir, Ch. XXVI) No one was more aware of the importance of related research than H.P. Blavatsky: "The Roman Catholic Church has two far mightier enemies than the 'heretics' and the 'infidels,' and these areComparative Mythology and Philology. (Isis Unveiled, p. 30, Vol. 2) To which one might add the comparative study of the Secret Doctrine and of a vast body of Literature. Speaking of a "Parent Doctrine," H.P. Blavatsky has this to say about

"...the ever-flowing perennial source, at which were fed all its streamletsthe later religions of all nationsfrom the first down to the last.The public must be made acquainted with the efforts of many World-adepts, of initiated poets, writers, and classics of every age, to preserve in the records of Humanity the Knowledge of the existence, at least, of such a philosophy, if not actually of its tenets." (The Secret Doctrine, p. xlv, Vol. I)



And again, "We could fill a whole volume with names of misunderstood sages, whose writings only because our materialistic critics feel unable to lift the 'veil,' which shrouds them pass off in a current way for mystical absurdities.That there was and there is a secret, no candid student of esoteric literature will ever doubt." (Isis Unveiled, p. 308, Vol. 1) There is reason to speculate that the author of Isis Unveiled had in mind a certain misunderstood sagewho had written Zadig and a few other bookswhen she linked within the same four lines the idea of lifting the veil, a certain kind of candid student and esoteric literature. The inability of the priests to resist the temptation posed by beautiful Almona proves to be their undoing. Their weakness is a transparent allusion to the vows of chastity of Roman Catholic priests. The chapter entitled The Assignations also contains a barb aimed at religious double standards. Each priest takes his own carnal drives for granted but is shocked to find their counterpart in his colleagues. Each religion takes sexual imagery for granted within its own system while judging it obscene in others. The alleged obscenity of Pagan symbolism is a favorite target of Paganism-haters, a fact commented by H.P. Blavatsky in Isis Unveiled. The comparative investigation carried out by Almona invites the same conclusions: "Our modern demonologists conveniently overlook a few insignificant details, among which is the undeniable presence of heathen phallicism in the Christian symbols. A strong element of this worship may be easily demonstrated in the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God; and a physical element equally proved in the fetish-worship of the holy limbs of Sts. Cosmo and Damiano, at Isernia, near Naples; a successful traffic in which ex-voto in wax was carried on by the clergy, annually, until barely a half century ago...



We find it rather unwise on the part of Catholic writers to pour out their vials of wrath in such sentences as these: 'in a multitude of pagodas, the phallic stone, ever and ever assuming, like the Grecian batylos, the brutally indecent form of the linghamthe Maha Deva.' Before casting slurs on a symbol whose profound metaphysical meaning is too much for the modern champions of that religion of sensualism par excellence, Roman Catholicism, to grasp, they are in duty bound to destroy their oldest churches, and change the form of the cupolas of their own temples." (Isis Unveiled, p. 5, Vol. 2) Ironically, the flammable admirers of Almona neglect the one aspect of "sex" which could ensure their professional survival: the key to Pagan sexual symbolism. Their interests and faculties are limited to the exotericor phallic116plane of being. Lacking the insight required to conceive anything beyond the physical aspect of their sexual ventures; blinded by materialism and lust, they remain oblivious to the mystical raison d'etre of their supposed calling. The disastrous effect of their dead-letter outlookor phallicismbecomes apparent to them only when it is too late. Phallicism means impotence where spiritual insight is concerned. The relevance of doubtful "potency" is ably stressed in a statement of Almona to one of her would-be seducers. The presence of the word "servant" or "handmaiden" compounds the idea of inferior experimentation: '"vous en userez comme vous pourrez avec votre servante.'" (The Assignations) ("you will use your servant in whichever way you can.") As was previously stated, the recurring theme of the "lost key" to Pagan knowledgea theme dear to occultists and esoteric writersis forcefully illustrated in Candide. The chapter entitled The Assignations shows that it is already present in Zadig.

116. The Secret Doctrine, p. 361, Vol. II



Retribution comes to the priests in the form of a woman. The perfection of Karma or Divine Justice could hardly be better illustrated. From the remote days when the Code of Manu was altered to legitimize the burning if widows to our own era of mealy-mouthed hypocrisy, religion has been and remains a major instrument of the oppression of the "second sex." The Spiritual Eve of universal traditionso deftly spirited from Judaeo-Christian scripturesstill serves, by forced absence, the designs of venerable abuse. The triumph of Almona representsamong other thingsa symbolic return of Sophia in human consciousness. The evolution of the young woman from weakness to strength reflects the common belief of occultists and esoteric writers in the perfectibility of the human creature. Also expressed is another article of faith: the superior faculties of human mind and spirit are sexless. The description of beautiful Almona is a parody of many portraits found in literature. Black eyes, a milky-white complexion, crimson cheeks, lips of coral, pearl-like teeth, a snowy-white bosom are all included in the portrayal of the young woman. The conventional inventory of fairness is complete and amusing. The nose of the heroine clashes with other aspects of her beauty. It is compared to an object it does not resemble:

"her nose, which was not like the tower of Mount Lebanon" (The Assignations) While it is not unusual to compare the neck of a beautiful woman to an art object made of ivory or alabaster, the comparisonwhether positive or negativeinvolving the nose of Almona demands an effort on the part of the reader. One is tempted to dismiss with a smile another example of Voltairian "espieglerie." Isis Unveiled supplies information on Lebanese mountains and ancient towers. Their umimpressive appearance occasionally conceals the sites of secret rites performed by Syrian Druzes:



"Whoever desires to assure himself that there now exists a religion which has baffled for centuries the impudent inquisitiveness of missionaries, and the persevering inquiry of science, let him violate, if he can, the seclusion of the Syrian Druzes. He will find them numbering over 80,000 warriors, scattered from the plain east of Damascus to the Western coast. They covet no proselytes, shun notoriety, keep friendlyas far as possiblewith both Christians and Mohammedans, respect the religion of every other sect or people, but will never disclose their own secrets. Once in a certain period of time a solemn ceremony takes place, during which all the elders and the initiates of the highest two degrees start out for a pilgrimage of several days to a certain place in the mountains. They meet within the safe precincts of a monastery said to have been erected during the earliest times of the Christian era. Outwardly one sees but old ruins of a once grand edifice, used says the legend, by some Gnostic sects as a place of worship during the religious persecution. The ruins above ground, are but a convenient mask; the subterranean chapel, halls and cells, covering an area of ground far greater than the upper building; while the richness of ornamentation, the beauty of the ancient sculptures, and the gold and silver vessels in this sacred resort, appear like 'a dream of glory,' according to the expression of an initiate. As the lamaseries of Mongolia and Tibet are visited upon grand occasions by the holy shadow of 'Lord Buddha,' so here, during the ceremonial, appears the resplendent ethereal form of Hamsa, the Blessed, which instructs the faithful. The most extraordinary feats of what would be termed magic take place during the several nights that the convocation lasts; and one of the greatest mysteriesfaithful copy of the pastaccomplished within the discreet bosom of our mother earth; not an echo, nor the faintest sound, not a glimmer of light betrays without the grand secret of the initiates." (Isis Unveiled, p. 312, Vol. 2) It is interesting to read that the nose of Almona was not in ruins. But Voltaire's interest in Lebanese towers is far more interesting. While the existence of the Druzes, a tribe that had "baffled" investigators "for centuries," was known at the time of writing of Zadig, the few words



of irony aimed in passing at the face of a beautiful woman suggest a connection between Voltaire and representatives of a secret community. It will be found in due course of the present study that the hypothesis of occult complicity is supported by the veiled significance of The Dance, one of the final chapters of Zadig. The interview resulting in Almona's escape from the funeral pyre features the following dialogue between Zadig and the beautiful lady: "'Il faut,' dit Zadig, 'qu'il y ait apparemment un plaisir bien delicieux a etre brulee vive.' 'Ah! cela fait fremir la nature,' dit la dame, 'mais il faut en passer par la.'" (The Funeral Pyre) ("'It must be,' said Zadig, 'that there apparently is a most delicious pleasure in being burned alive.'" 'Ah! it makes nature shudder,' said the lady, 'but there is no other way out.'") From the mythological tradition of Prometheus and his divine fire to the tongues of flames of the Holy Ghost the symbolism of mystical flames is a standard element of esoteric texts. The same symbolism imparts unexpected meaning to the question of Zadig and to the reply of his friend. The blissful omniscience of mystical ardor is the ultimate destiny or all. Such is the immutable decree of the law of "necessity" which is made part of the text by means of the expression "il faut." The presence of the word "pleasure"which is tinged with irony on the exoteric surfaceis consistent with the esoteric interpretation of mysticism. "La vie est double dans les flammes" says Alfred de Vigny in La Maison du berger. It will be found in a subsequent chapter of this book that "pleasures lead to God" if Voltaire himself must be believed. The shudder caused by the prospect of "burning" is a physical repercussion of spiritual experience. Trembling hands attend the discovery of an unsuspected scheme of life in Micromegas. Candide is described with double-edged irony "trembling like a philosopher." He is eventually led to a trembling woman whose veil he is ordered to lift. In short,



trembling and loss of sensory consciousness are shown to accompany the symbolic "lifting of the veil"in several episodes of Voltaire's short stories. The final observation of Almona: "There is no other way out" is consistent with the occult view of evolution. Return to the source of Being is the destiny of mankind. Or, in the words of Vigny which have already been quoted: "All will be called and all will be chosen." The vanity and transient character of physical beauty are noted by Almona in words which seem to mock the pious drivel of priests. Her statement is somewhat contradicted by the admiration of her would-be lovers and by the irony of Voltaire. Yet the passage is designed for literal consumption on the esoteric plane. The flesh, one of the most powerful seductions of Maya, is a mere attribute of incarnate existence or illusory being.

"I greatly fear that I committed an enormous sin by not burning myself on the funeral pyre of my dear husband. Indeed, what did I have to preserve? a perishable flesh, and which is already all wilted." (The Assignations) The "dear husband" had been, in the words of his widow, "a brutal, jealous, intolerable man," in short, a Jehovic type. The fact that Almona's yearning for the funeral pyre was motivatednot by grief over lost love but by "fashion" and by fear of public opinion if she did not immolate herselfshows the extent and effectiveness of the brainwashing practiced by corrupt religious establishments. Most amazing of all is the willingness of the flock to accept any unfounded beliefs, to condone cruel practices advocated by the priesthood and to perpetuate them without question through the ages. Also noted is the frequently suicidal aspect of the same kind of conditioning. Our late XXth Century has had its share of lemming-like behavior generated by cults and by other forms of "correctness." The edifying statement of Almona on "perishable flesh" is made to one of her would-be seducers. Ironically, the supposed representative of ascetic holiness is told of the vanity of the flesh by a glamorous daughter of Eve. Two conclusions may be



drawn. Purity and genuine spirituality are more likely to be found in the laity than in the priesthood. Woman, the scapegoat of the Judaeo-Christian tradition and the much-abused "vase of impurity" of Church Fathers may teach valuable lessons on purity to Church Fathers themselves. Almona is a "sex symbol" in the exoteric sense of the expression. She is also the personification of highest Love. Her efforts on behalf of Zadig are partially prompted by romantic attraction. But the enduring devotion of the hero to another woman fails to arouse a spiteful reaction in the young widow. The new friend of Zadig can and does transcend amorous inclination. Gratitude and compassion outweigh other concerns. Having been sentenced herself, the intended victim of priests feels instinctive sympathy for her doomed savior. Her reaction to injustice shows her to be closely bound to a suffering fellow-creature. Almona is well on the way to recognizing as "one brother" the entirety of mankind struggling in the earthly vale of tears. Mystical love impliesamong other thingsreverence of life: "Almona, who had regained much taste for life, and who was obligated for it to Zadig, resolved to rescue him from the pyre the abuse of which he had disclosed to her." (The Assignations) The young woman eventually recognizes the sacredness and the positive aspects of life. Imperfection is inherent to the human condition. But the dignity and the merit of human existence lie in that very fact. It is from the plane of Mayavic strife that noble aspiration and noble endeavor can and do rise. Life is not always wonderful. But it never lacks wonders for Divine Wisdom devotees such as "Zadig," the Zoro-astrian. Almona's transition from terrestrial to divine love is consistent with the monadic element of evolution suggested by her name. The interplay of Knowledge and Love which is nurtured by Zadig reflects the influence of Science and Religion in One or of Knowledge and Ethics in one. Which amounts to the influence of the ancient Wisdom-Reli-



gion or Secret Doctrine. Knowledge is imparted by the disciple of Zoroaster and by his learned exposure of "ancient abuse." Mystical "love" is latent in Almona. Its development is favored by the acquisition of Knowledge and by her innate sense of Ethics. Almona thus begins to meet the requirements of spiritual growth. The former slave of religious fashion, the formerly superficial merry widow, proves capable of independent and effective action. Frivolity is replaced by intelligent, spirited and selfless commitment. The Monadthe potentially "liberated soul" of occult philosophy-is perceptible in the evolution of a truly beautiful woman. The instruction of Setoc involves a similar interplay of intellectual and spiritual faculties. To the practical quality of enlightened "commerce" which is a natural trait of the merchant is added a spark of sensitivity. In his case also, valuable knowledge is imparted by Zadig. The sorely needed inspiration of Love comes to the slave owner under the guise of Almona. The pragmatic outlook of Setoc is cleverly exploited by Zadig. The sentimental frailty of Almona is also used as an asset. Embryonic and earthbound as they are at first, those innate qualities are responsive to the appeal of the carrier of Truth. Great "fortunes" are anticipated by the three friends. "Fortune" is related to the concept of "Fate" and to the esoteric significance of spiritual treasures. The combination of meanings underlying the following passage amounts to a restatement of the belief expressed by Almona: "There is no other way out." The acquisition of spiritual wealth is the ultimate destiny of all. Superficial differences existing among men merely reflect stages of evolutionary progress. It is all a matter of who is "first" to acquire "a large fortune."

"Zadig took leave after having thrown himself at the feet of his beautiful liberator. He and Setoc left each other with tears, swearing eternal friendship, and promising that the first one of them who would acquire a large fortune would notify the other." (The Assignations)



The perfectibility of Man is proclaimed in those passages of Zadig which involve Setoc and Almona. Voltaire's optimism is no less genuine for being lucidand veiled. Slavery itself can be turned into freedom. Crass practicality can be used to noble ends. Frivolous egotism can be raised to the plane of the Higher Self. Slight relief is brought to slaves as Setoc is enticed to try efficient slave-driving methods which happen to be humane. No transmission of wisdomin however small amountcan take place without resulting in some general benefit. The continuity of "venerable abuse" is shaken by the liberation of Almona and by the exposure of a corrupt priesthood. The myth of invulnerable religious establishments is severely damaged. Freedom can be soughtif not fully attainedin the very midst of "slavery." Most important of all, the joint power or Knowledge and Ethics (or Love) is everywhere in evidence. It is allegorized by the marriage of Setoc and Almona. The instructor of the allegorical couple is well served by his superior faculties and by genuine humility. He holds an accurate view of his person within the general scheme of existence. The Lower Self is judged with lucidity. The Higher Self is duly prized. No conflict lies in the coexistence of heartfelt modesty and the feeling of self-conscious individual worth. The fact of being "a man like another" holds challenge and promise:

'"I am a man like another.'" (Slavery) Sanity, integrityeven optimismsurvive the worst hours of misfortune. Divine Wisdom sees its faithful through the trials of life. The esoteric concept of "a man like another" is a fine example of misleading honesty. Zadig obviously partakes of the same human condition as do other mortals. The "ebb and flow" of his spiritual consciousness which has already been noted gives evidence of human imperfection. The statement quoted above is therefore correct. But the



full truth is not expressed. "Zadig" is also a "Great Instructor of Mankind" whose identity will emerge at a later stage of the story. The dual viewpoint of the "ordinary man" and of the superior being fused into One is a favorite tool of esoteric writers. Such will be the case of Hercules in L'Ingertu. The device is used to emphasize the feeling of oneness with ordinary mankind which inspires every true spiritual seeker. It is sometimes stressed to suggest the ultimate manifestation of that feeling: voluntary reincarnation. It also serves as an effective veil of esoteric substance. No sooner is a set of clues given to what a passage may concealthe viewpoint of the superior beingthan the opposite viewpoint comes in to shatter the budding hypothesis. The attempt to explore veiled aspects of the text is abandoned. Apparent contradiction blocks the path of casual research. One may cite as example the pilot of The Little Prince. The aviator represents a typical modern man who takes pride in the aircraft symbolizing XXth Century technology. He is primarily concerned with "reasonable," practical matters such as physical survival. He has only limited time, patience, and understanding to bestow on the "poetry" that is the great love of the Little Prince. But he eventually listens to "the small voice" of his strange friend, a voice which finds echoes in his own dormant spirit. The pilot is also a being who "flies" beyond low-lying regions and beyond limits of Mayavic contingency. He is a guide who can open the path of spirit to others. He is the initiatepossibly Saint-Exupery himselfa person capable of assisting a fellow-creature to the Well of Knowledge. He knows which "part" is missing from the stranded machine representing Western civilization. Actually, the esoteric pilot and the "impractical" advocate of "poetry" are committed to the same cause of human survival and progress, in a word to the pursuit of Truth. No contradiction is implied by the co-existence of such seemingly opposite characteristics. Their alliance adds up to the essence or the human condition torn between material necessity and indestructible spirit. The superior being who usually plays the part of narrator has



attained the sort of insight which embracesyet transcendsthe outlook of the less advanced mortal. But the less advanced mortal himself is a potential "perfected" being. Many dual-purpose narrators are found in literature. We may wonder about Roquentin and his double-edged "nausea." We may also wonder about Proustian "Marcel" who carries within himself an "extra temporal being."117 Zadig resumes his wandering "still thinking of the unfortunate Astarte." He comes to the borders of Rocky Arabia and Syria. The reference to "Rocky Arabia"l'Arabie Petreeis geographically and phonetically compatible with an allusion to Petra, a city of ancient Edom, located in a mountainous area approximately 50 miles south of the Dead Sea. The site is surrounded by cliffs which are lined with tombs and architectures cut out of solid rock. Strange rock carvings abound. Among numerous ruins are a large theater capable of seating 3,000 spectators and a Nabathean temple. Nabathean groups are known to have belonged to sects of early Christians who were, in the words of H.P. Blavatsky "more or less kabalistic."118 The ruins of Petra which were unknown to the Western world during the lifetime of Voltaire were not discovered until 1812. The scriptural significance of the word Petra is mentioned in Isis Unveiled:

"Jesus says: 'Upon this petra I will build my Church, and the gates, or rulers of Hades, shall not prevail against it;' meaning by petra the rock-temple, and by metaphor the Christian Mysteries;" (Isis Unveiled, p. 30, Vol. 2) The same word is linked to an inscription found on the coffin of Queen Menthuhetep (2872 B.C.) which reads in part PTR. The three letters are connected with an open eye, a symbol of superior knowl-

117. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 871, Vol. III 118. Isis Unveiled, p. 127, Vol. 2



edge. They also form the infrastructure of the old Aramaic and Hebraic term Patar which, in the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "occurs" in the history of Joseph as the specific word for interpreting. Finally, a Graeco-Demotic manuscript of the first century mentions a hero frequently designated as the "Judean Illuminator" who "communicates with his Patar; the latter term being written in Chaldaic characters."

"But whether the 'illuminator' of the Graeco-Demotic manuscript is identical with Jesus or not, the fact remains that we find the latter selecting a 'mystery' appellation for one who is made to appear later by the Catholic Church as the janitor of the Kingdom of Heaven and the interpreter of Christ's will. The word Patar or Peter locates both master and disciple in the circle of initiation, and connects them with the 'Secret Doctrine.'" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 92-93, Vol. 2) Voltaire's reference to Rocky Arabia may have been intended to evoke the ancient city and its mysterious ruins. The kabalistic tradition must have interested the author of Zadig. The word designating an initiated interpreter of the Secret Doctrine may also have prompted the likely allusion to Petra. As was previously noted, the title character of Zadig seems to fit the designation. In view of the historical outline of the developing Judaeo-Christian tradition; a veiled outline that is the Ariadne's thread of the story, the relevance of Jesus and Peter to the chronology of Zadig is also probable. The word Petra may thus convey, the idea of an era of transition from impersonal Pagan worship involving among other things transition from Chrestos to Christ. Whatever the intent of Voltaire may have been, the probable allusion to the then undiscovered city is significant. Petra the city is openly and specifically mentioned by that name in Chapter XXII of Candide. The previously noted reference to a Lebanese tower suggests that the sage who wrote Zadig had access to an underground tradition independent of the official science of his times. Voltaire's interest in Petra points to the same probability. Occult knowledge seems to be flaunted.



Unwittingly trespassing on the domain of an Arab bandit, Zadig is taken prisoner but treated as an honored guest. In contrast to the hypocritical priests of preceding chapters, the thief seems almost wholesome. His wickedness is refreshingly forthright.

"The lord of the castle was one of those Arabs who are called 'thieves,' but he sometimes performed good deeds in a multitude of bad deeds; he stole with furious greed and gave freely; was intrepid in action, fairly gentle in social contact, recklesss at table, cheerful in debauchery, and above all full of frankness." (The Bandit) Arbogad has done well in life, rising from the condition of valet to the exalted rank of feudal lord and Arabian "fermier general." His castle serves as headquarters from which the operations of his bandits are directed. He has become the collaborator and partner in crime of the government which can no longer control him. His lifelong ambition: "to change from a grain of sand into a diamond" seems to have been achieved in terms of worldly success. But the spiritual symbolism of the "diamond" can hardly be applied to him. The former valet remains an esoteric "servant" or inferior spirit.

"The term Anupadaka, 'parentless,' or without progenitors, is a mystical designation having several meanings in the philosophy. By this name celestial beings, the DhyanChohans or Dhyani-Bud-dhas, are generally meant. But as these correspond mystically to the human Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, known as the 'Manushi (or human) Buddhas,' the latter are also designated 'Anupadaka,' once that their whole personality is merged in their compound sixth and seventh principlesor Atma-Buddhi, and that they have become the 'diamond-souled' (Vajra-sattvas) the full Mahatmas. Even every Soulendowed man is an Anupadaka in a latent state." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 52, Vol. I) Diamonds are widely used symbols of superior spiritual attainment. Their esoteric significance is prominent in Micromegas, Candide and



L'Ingenu. In a poem entitled Les Oracles crystal and diamonds are designated by Vigny as "the vision and the purity of the JUST." Esoterically therefore, the goal of Arbogad lies in the realm of "perfection." But the level of his preoccupations and of his lifestyle spells the doom of that ambition. The only perfection Arbogad has achieved is that of self-indulgence and evil. As was previously noted, there are widely separated "degrees" of occult pursuits ranging from sorcery and passive mediumship to the mastery of adeptship. To a considerable extent those "degrees" are determined by the quality of motivation of the spiritual seeker. The activities of Arbogad and of his shady host clearly belong to lowest planes of spiritual "banditry." Arbogad is the self-inflicted victim of dead-letteror phallicvalues which prize precious stones and other commodities only as good investments. The "bandit" is "intrepid" in practical ventures. But he cannot even conceive the "daring" required for attainment of the pure spirituality symbolized by the diamond. The literal, spoliation-prone mentality prevailing in his environment is reflected in his sordid outlook and predatory conduct. The bandit is as oblivious to the full value of his fellow-creatures as he is to the spiritual value of diamonds. The kidnapping and selling of human beings is a lucrative aspect of his business. Asked if he has any news of Queen Astarte since King Moabdar perished in the unrest which overcame Babylon, the bandit says that he is not sure:

"she was not killed in the upheaval; but I am more interested in loot than in news. I took several women in my raids, I do not keep any of them; I sell them for a high price when they are beautiful, without finding out what they are. Rank does not pay; a queen who would be ugly would find no taker: I may have sold Queen Astarte, it may be that she is dead; but I don't care, and I think that you should not care about it any more than I do." (The Bandit) Arbogad is insecure and lonely. He strives to retain the company and services of his wise guest. But he is unable to benefit from the pres-



ence of the potential savior. The fact that the last three letters of his name are in reverse order those of the name DAG (the Savior) suggests incompatibility with the Babylonian savior represented by Zadig, a devotee and transmitter of the ancient Wisdom-Religion. The last syllable of the name Arbogad suggests the exact opposite of DAG the Savior: a person incapable of saving the Self, let alone others. The dim spiritual prospects of the thief resemble the prospects of the Beaten Woman of a previous chapter. Missouf is the victim or a jealous, vengeful version of the biblical God; a pathetic creature who clings to her tormentor and rejects her savior. Arbogad is enslaved by the Lower Self which clings to self-destructive habits while making him immune to salutary influence. Debased spiritual essence is the nemesis of both characters. The gluttony of Arbogad does not favor the development of a spiritual gem. The importance of proper eating is stressed in occult writings even in the case of persons whose modest shortterm ambitions are nowhere near the diamond-hearted status. The diets of "earnest students" should be prudently determined. Meat should be avoided:

"Weprove that when the flesh of animals is assimilated by man as food, it imparts to him, physiologically, some of the characteristics of the animal it came from. Moreover, occult science teaches and proves this to its students by ocular demonstration, showing also that this 'coarsening' or 'animalizing' effect on man is greatest from the flesh of the larger animals, less for birds, still less for fish and other cold-blooded animals, and least of all when he eats only vegetables. we advise really earnest students to eat such food as will least clog and weight their brains and bodies, and will have the smallest effect in hampering and retarding the development of their intuition, their inner faculties and powers." (The Key to Theosophy, pp. 260-61)



Voltaire praises in Candide the vegetarian fare consumed by residents of Eldorado. "Disguised corpses" are absent from table and plates. Arbogad who proclaims himself "the happiest of men" does protest too much. In the absence of knowledge and virtue worldly success ultimately breeds boredom. His search for bliss culminates in bestial living which must be flaunted to yield gratification. The thief is one of several characters of Zadig who exist mainly in the eyes of others. He represents the large part of mankind that is driven by vain appearance and materialism against its own superior interest. Another function of Arbogad is a personification of Islam, a warlike branch of World Religion. The presence of the Arab in the story seems intended to supplement the presence of another brutal Islamic character: Orcan whose name is the anagram of the French word Coran. Voltaire and H.P. Blavatsky seem to agree that there is not that much to choose from between the slaughters committed by Christians and the "rivers of blood" generated by Islam. "There has never been a religion in the annals of the world with such a bloody record as Christianity. All the rest, including the traditional fierce fights of the 'chosen people' with their next of kin, the idolatrous tribes of Israel, pale before the murderous fanaticism of the alleged followers of Christ! Even the rapid spread of Maho-metanism before the conquering sword of the Islam prophet, is a direct consequence of the bloody riots and fights among Christians. It was the intestine war between the Nestorians and Cyrilians that engendered Islamism; and it is in the convent of Bozrah that the prolific seed was first sown by Bahira, the Nestorian monk. Freely watered by rivers of blood, the tree of Mecca has grown till we find it in the present century overshadowing nearly two hundred millions of people." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 53-54, Vol. 2) The origin of Islam is also reported in a different way: "Mahometthe Arab name is Mohamedwas born in Mecca in 571, according to tradition. Mahomet belonged to the powerful family of the Koraichites. But at age six, he found himself



orphaned and a pauper, for his father had bequeathed to him only six camels and a woman slave. He became a shepherd to make a living. Then he entered service for one of his relatives, Khadidja, who owned a transportation business. He led caravans to Syria on her behalf. Khadidja, who was a widow, married him, although she was fifteen years older than he. Having become rich as a result of this marriage, Mahomet was able to indulge wholeheartedly in solitude and meditation. He was forty years old when he had a vision. He saw a fantastic being who repeated to him several times: 'Preach!' Mahomet was terrified not knowing if he had been dealing with an angel or a demon. He even considered suicide. But Khadidja reassured him and urged him to trust himself. The supernatural being appeared a second time and said : 'O Mahomet, you are the prophet of the Lord, and I am Gabriel!' Then, after a lengthy interval, the revelations increased in number and from then on Mahomet was convinced that God had chosen him to be his prophet." (Le Moyen Age Jusqu'a la Guerre de cent ansMahomet et L'Islam L'Empire Arabe, A. Malet & J. Isaac, Librairie Hachette, 1932) The glorification of "rivers of blood" mentioned by H.P Blavatsky is found in the Koran:

"When you meet some infidels, well! kill them to the extent of making a great slaughter, and tighten hard the fetters of captives." (Koran, 47, 4) We should note the striking resemblance of words and substance which exists between the above lines of the Koran and some passages of the Old Testament: "So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel." (Judges, 11, 32, 33)



The "fairly strong stronghold"un chateau assez fortof Arbogad represents more than a delightful play on words. The dubious "strength" or spirituality of the bandit is a menace to himself as well as others. As is often the case, the self-made man has developed the lowest attributes of selfhood and manhood. The acts of his thieving gang are exoterically sinister. They are also "sinister" in the esoteric sense implying use of black magic. The subordination of "strength" or "spirit" to selfish, worldly benefit is the very definition of "left-handed magic." The coveted combination of diamond-like attainment and all-too-real rapine and gore is impossible. The theme of the sorcerer's apprentice is also introduced into the text by the plight of the government which has lost control of Arbogad, its "servant." The bandit may eventually find himself in a similar situation; facing disaster at the hands of his own thugs. Such is the likely fate of experimenters in inferior magicand of Mafia-ridden political powers. Gluttony and reckless drinking impair and deflect the faculties of Arbogad:

"As he spoke thus, he drank with such courage, he confused all ideas so thoroughly, that Zadig was unable to get any clarifications from him." (The Bandit) "Drinking"of the spiritshould be prudently controlled. The amateurish handling of occult forces is a dangerous game. The thief does not lack the "courage" or "daring" required to seek the benefits of "spirit." But he is restricted to inferior ventures by the limited insight of persons who scorn ethics. The "diamond" he desires to be is, in the words of Voltaire, a selfless, "intrepid philosopher," not a self-seeking adventurer. Arbogad needs to acknowledge the practical value of ethics in spiritual pursuits. He once counted Queen Astarte among his captives. But his inability to see further than a good sale blinded him to the identity and unique value of his prisoner. The unrecognized Queen

119. L'Ingenu, Ch. XX



who might have helped the thief find a path favorable to his main ambition was promptly sold. Arbogad is unlikely to have another chance to "lift the veil" of Astarteor Isis. The spiritual prognosis of the bandit involves greater risks than wasted opportunity. The confusion of ideas caused by his reckless "drinking" suggests incipient madness. Untrained mediumship and other low-level occult experimentation may cause physical and mental deterioration. On the basis of experience Arbogad apparently feels that he may scorn human laws whenever he likes. But his practical intelligence is no protection against certain laws of occultism. "Science without conscience is but ruin of the soul"120 says Rabelais. In such cases as Arbogad's it may be ruin of the mind. The name of the thief resembles the name of Arbogast, a barbarian soldier of the Roman Empire who died in A.D. 394. Arbogast is believed to have been of Frankish nationality, a fact which may be hinted in Zadig by the emphatic reference to the "frankness" of Arbogadet surtout plein de franchise. Arbogast had a turbulent military and political career and is generally known as a great general and energetic statesman. But the nature of his "greatness" and "energy" seems to have belonged to the same caliber of ethics as do corresponding traits of Arbogad. Arbogast is known to have played the role of an assassin. Voltaire may have used his fictitious bandit to allude to such gifted adventurers as Arbogast. Such men know worldly success, scorn ethics, and often come to tragic ends. Arbogast was eventually defeated by Theodosius and committed suicide. Voltaire may also have been interested in the religious convictions of Arbogast who tried to restore Paganism. The ambition of Arbogad to attain the status of "diamond" is clearly inspired by the Far Eastern legend of the grain of sand which became "the finest ornament or the crown of the King of India." The probable allusion to Arbogast is consistent with the time setting of Zadig: Paganism in decline as the Judaeo-Christian tradition begins to

120. Pantagruel, Ch. VIII



evolve and, later, as Islam takes root and spreads. In short, the likely allusion to Arbogast points to the historic transition to the modern era which forms the background of the chapter devoted to Arbogad. We might also note in passing that Arbogad isamong other thingsa typical feudal lord of the raub ritter variety. Read in reverse the name Arbogad brings to mind Dagobert, the name of a Frankish King who was immortalized by a popular, rather ludicrous song. It is difficult to determine the date when the famous song began to circulate widely. But the possibility of a Voltairian allusion to its legendary content cannot be ruled out in view of the name, personality and "frankness" of the thief. The first couplet is the one best knownand in many cases the only one knownto French children who learn it from a very young age. While there are variations on the rest or the song, the irreverent lyrics are essentially as follows: "Le bon roi Dagobert A mis sa culotte a l'envers. Le bon Saint Eloi Lui dit: 'o mon roi, Votre Majeste Est mal culottee.' 'C'est vrai,' lui dit le roi. 'Je vais la remettre a l'endroit' Le bon roi Dagobert Chassait dans la plaine d'Anvers. Le bon Saint Eloi Lui dit: 'o mon Roi, Votre Majeste Est bien essoufflee' 'C'est vrai' lui dit le Roi. 'Un lapin courait apres moi' Quand Dagobert mourut, Le Diable aussitot accourut.

Zadig 168

Le bon Saint Eloi Lui dit, 'o mon Roi, Satan va passer. Faut vous confesser.' 'Helas!' lui dit le Roi, 'Ne pourrais-tu mourir pour moi?'" ("Good King Dagobert Put on his pants wrong side out. The good Saint Eloi Said to him, 'O my King, Your Majesty is badly trousered.' "It's true,' the King said to him, I will put the pants back on right side out.'" Good King Dagobert, Was hunting on the plain of Antwerp. The good Saint Eloi Said to him, 'O my King, Your Majesty Is quite out of breath.' 'It's true,' the King said to him 'A rabbit was chasing me.' When Dagobert died, The Devil immediately rushed in. The good Saint Eloi Said to him, 'O my King, Satan is on his way. You must go to confession' 'Alas!' said the King to him, 'Couldn't you die in my place?'") Dagobert is connected to fanciful magic by popular tradition: "one...has a tested recipe to be safe from evil spells, it is that of King Dagobert: put on your clothes wrong side out and the most skilled sorcerers will be powerless against you." (La Sorcellerie des campagnes, Charles Lancelin, p. 63)



It is claimed in other reports that the Frankish King was influenced by an occult community known as the Great White Fraternity whose influence is also noted in the cases of "...Bacon, Shakespeare, Spinoza, Jakob Boehme" and others.121 The legendary background of Saint Eloi is mentioned in the rrous-tian Recherche. According to the priest of Combray, the saint isamong other thingsa Burgundian mutation of a woman, Sainte Eulalie. The local Church which is dedicated to the same "Saint Hilaire" has a lurid history. It was involved in bloody dynastic struggles and was completely destroyed in the days of Charles le BegueCharles the Stutterer. Only the cryptetymologically and esoterically the "hidden," underground, or occult foundationremains of the original building. The Church of Combray seems to be one of many comparable structures built on what is viewed by occultists as the mutilated ruins of a primitive Pagan edifice. The razing of the original church was the work of a violent prince whose temper resembles the wrath of the biblical God. In short, the literal theme of Sodom and Gomorrah is added to the theme of sexual ambiguity of Eloi-Eulalie. The resulting formula plays an important part in the esoteric subtext of the Recherche:

"The brother of Gilbert, Charles the Stutterer, a pious prince but who, having lost his father, Pepin the Mad, at an early age, his father having died from the results of mental illnesswielded the supreme power with all the presumption of a youth lacking discipline, as soon as he did not like the looks of a private citizen of a city, had everyone slaughtered down to he last inhabitant." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 105, Vol. I) The portrayal of Dagobert and Saint Eloi in popular tradition consistently links the Throne and Altar to "inversion." "Inverted" clothes are associated with the monarch and with sorcery in the folklore

121. Foucault's Pendulum, U. Eco, Ch. 31



evoked by Lancelin. "Inverted" trouserswhich may be symbolicare attributed to the King of the song quaking in fear of Satan. Inverted "sex"esoterically dubious "love" or spiritualityis a major trait of Hilaire-Eloi-Eulalie in the Recherche. The corresponding "inversion" of Arbogad is suggested by Voltaire. The bandit mentions disproportions which exist between other "men" and himself. Exoterically, he refers to times gone-by when the disproportions reflected the good fortunes of others and his own menial status of valet. But the esoteric nature of the disproportions are unwittingly revealed by the thief himself. Arbogad is a dispassionate merchant of kidnapped women who remains unaffected by his most beautiful captives. As was previously noted, his sole interest in their loveliness is market value. The apparent polygamy of the bandit barely conceals the absence of a normal "love life." The failure of Arbogad to become a "diamond" is due to poor ethics and to poor insight. It is also due to deviant "sexuality" or "love" or spirituality. The esoteric equivalence of "inversion"tainted spiritualitywhich plays an important part in Candideis already present in the chapter devoted to Arbogad. The general view of Throne and Altar that is conveyed by popular tradition and by history itself is grim indeed. The dynasty evoked by Proust has a record of cruelty and mental illness. The Dagobert of the song is a cowardly dullard. The lyricized Saint Eloi, mechanically stating the obvious, is not exceedingly bright. Spiritual and temporal rulers who should be guided by superior insight and superior ethics leave much to be desired on both counts. The tax-collection sideline of the thief Arbogad and his fortified castle point to the exactions of the Ancien Regime in general and of medieval society in particular. The power structure is consistently characterized by the "inversion" of sacred values. Voltaire was not alone in viewing the establishment as "infamous" or in viewing History as a long chain of "venerable" abuse. He may also have had in mind a certain segment of French History when he chose the name Cletofis for the brutal "Egyptian"or



Judaeo-Christiankilled by Zadig in a preceding chapter. The words "Cle au fils""key [belonging] to the son"may be suggested phonetically. The symbolism of a "key"to secret knowledgewhich is in the possession of the SonChristos, the Higher Self and Christ the Savioris consistent with the esoteric content of Zadig. The fact that the mighty key belongs to the Savior was evident when Cletofis was defeated by Zadig, a Zoroastrian. Cletofis may also be linked phonetically to Clovis, (d. 511 A.D.), the first Frankish King to receive baptism and to place France under the spiritual and temporal aegis of the Catholic Church. The suggested sequence from ancient Babylon to Christ, Clovis, and Dagobertwho died in 639 A.Dis supplemented by the advent of "the Arab" or the beginning of Islam in the VIIth Century. As was previously noted, the latter development had been announced by the presence of Orcan in a preceding chapter. Voltaire reports on the ultimate prospects of Arbogad in a final chapter of Zadig. The bandit is bluntly told to set himself straight. He has two options:

"He (Zadig) sent for the bandit Arbogad, to whom he gave an honorable rank in his army, with a promise to elevate him to the highest dignities if he behaved as a true warrior, and to have him hanged if he practiced the trade of bandit." (The Enigmas) Exoterically, Voltaire's view of warrior and bandit is expressed in Candide and elsewhere. There is little reason to believe that he saw any difference between the two. The bandit is therefore in a "Catch 22" situation. Exoterically, the choice facing him is no choice at all. Esoteri-cally however, a "true warrior" is a person dedicated to truth and to true "force," "strength" or spirit. Arbogad thus has a chance to fulfill his ambition for an esoteric "true warrior" may eventually become an esoteric "diamond." The offer of a regular rank in a regular "army"

122. The Secret Doctrine, pp. 230-31, Vol. II



suggests the hierarchies and "degrees" of secret societies. The "highest dignities" are probably those of initiation. The same equivalence of "rank" and "degree" serves numerous esoteric writers. "Degrees" are often suggestedwith typical esoteric humorby the steps of a stairway or by a simple ladder. But it is within the context of military hierarchies and spiritual weaponry that "degrees" seem to be used most effectively. Volaire's History of Charles XII deserves a brief comment in this connection. Voltaire's biography of Charles is a diptych. The Swedish King is shownesotericallyto have possessed impressive psychic and spiritual gifts which he used erratically. His useand occasional misuseof natural faculties is contrasted to the "instruction" received by his rival, Peter the Great of Russia. The preparation of the czar is noted to have proceeded "by degres" in accordance with certain rules:

"He (Peter the Great) became an officer by degrees. He created new regiments little by little; and finally feeling himself to be the master of disciplined troops, he dissolved the strelitz, who did not dare disobey." (Peter the Great) The expression "little by little" may have been used to suggest the esoteric concept or a little one or initiate (also expressed esoterically by the word innocent)123. The word "master" may suggest spiritual mastery. The reference to the "well disciplined troops" is often questioned by commentators who note that the "well disciplined troops" mutinied in 1682, 1689 and 1697 and that their last mutiny was drowned in blood. Voltaire probably used the flagrant discrepancy betweeen his own report and fact to raise attention to a symbolic or esoteric plane. The rebellious strelitz and the "well disciplined troops" of which Peter was unquestioned master may represent different units. The latter possibility is suggested by a reference made in the same chapter to a new company created by the czar. The company in question was com-

123. The Secret Doctrine, p. 504, fn., Vol. II



posed of foreignersa term which often means heretic, Protestant or occultist.124 Peter the Great may have created companies of men who could be used to further activities of politically and otherwise occult nature. The Swedish King is reported to have had little instruction. It is difficult to reconcile that statement with the fact that Charles knew French and was able to converse in Latin. The defective "instruction" seems to involve secret lore. Charles is also noted not to have known societyan unlikely and uncomfortable lifestyle for a monarch. We may wonder what kind of "society" was on the mind of Voltaire. The answer may well lie in the concept of secret society. The combination of "degrees," religion and absolute "power" that is stressed in the following text is also suggestive; "The Moscovites learned by degrees what society is. Superstition itself was abolished; the religious rank of patriarch was discarded; the czar declared himself the head of religion, and the latter enterprise which would have cost a less absolute monarch his throne, succeeded almost without opposition, and insured his success in regard to other novelties." (Peter the Great) The two panels of the diptych are compared as follows: The czar had the same views as he (Charles XII) on religion and on destiny, but he spoke of them more often for he used to converse familiarly about everything with his favorites, and had over Charles the advantage of the study of philosophy and the gift of eloquence." (Death of Charles XII) The word familiarly suggests involvement with occult matters as does the word favorites which frequently conveys the idea of subaltern powers. The term everything, a virtual equivalent of All, conveys the idea of Oneness which pervades the Secret Doctrine and which represents ultimate reality. The advantage derived from integrated "philo124. Isis Unveiled, p. 62, Vol. II



sophical" knowledge is stressed in a manner reminiscent of the instruction of Setoc. The difference in degrees of development which seems to have existed between Charles and Peter is comparable to the difference separating amateurish occult experimentation from Atma-Vidya. The long path to be travelled by Arbogad before he can reason-ably aspire to the status of "diamond" parallels the scale of multiple degrees whichwith the exception of rare cases cannot be by-passed by spiritual seekers. The "unveiling of Isis"the Cypric goddessshould proceed in accordance with certain rules of secrecy and gradual preparation. According to a splitlevel statement of Rabelais, "The act, performed on the sly, between two doors, through the degrees, behind the tapestry, discreetlypleases the Cypric goddess morethan performed in the sight of the sun, in cynical fashion."125 Voltaire's comparison of Charles and Peterand the probable allusion to Dagobert in Zadigpoint to the unorthodox view of History that is shared by occultists and esoteric writers. The act of "relating" events "candidly the way things happened without throwing in anything of" one's "own is no small effort for an historian" says the author of Micromegas.126 "History itself is dealt with by the so-called historians as unscrupulously as legendary lore" says H.P. Blavatsky; a view generally supported by literary "smugglers" of the Secret Doctrine who regard popular legend as the frequent refuge of buried or distorted historical fact. Official records are believed to be manipulated so as to promote the same general ignorance as does the dishonest handling of religious scriptures. Flaubert notes that Bouvard and Pecuchet learned to distrust historians,127 a sure sign of growing insight. Proust states that the key to numerous historical myths and mysteries lies in secret meetings connected with "drinking" at fashionable "spas." J. Barbey d'Aurevilly contrasts "veritable historythe oral historythe living

125. Tiers Livre, XVIII 126. Micromegas, Ch. IV 127. Bouvard & Pecuchet, Ch. III



tradition"to "the history of records and chanceries."128 Sartre refers to "our rigged history" in Situations. The skepticism of occultists toward official history has plenty of distinguished support. The modern Western mind is usually reluctant to devote serious thought to "legendary"prehistoric civilizations which may have equaledperhaps surpassedour own era in scientific and technological achievement. The Darwinian view of man slowly evolving from the ape in a steadily rising linear pattern appeals to the natural and culturally induced vanity of most modern Westerners. Darwinism tends to support a gratifying view of the present human species as the end product and crowning glory of far less gifted historical periods. The thought of future mankinds looking upon our naivete in pitying disbelief is rarely conceived let alone considered. It is as unappealing as the possibility of a brilliant, distant past. One must grant that the existence of future mankinds is not guaranteed by the present state of affairs. But our inability to know ourselves within the sobering perspective of virtually unlimited time does not always stem from that awareness. The psychological residue of the Thomistic doctrine which regards the Earth and its residents as the center of the universe flatters egocentric weaknesses in relation to space as does Darwinism in relation to time. The effect of such views is still with us in modified, non-theological form. We are prone and conditioned to worship blindly and exclusively some of the worst aspects of the Glorious Here and Now. We are prone and conditioned to do so at the expense of that genuine greatness of our era which is part of a timeless heritage. We are encouraged to live in a mental smog designed to blurif not obliteratecertain facts. Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier note the following: "Now what do we find in Eskimo folklore? References to tribes being transported to the Frozen North at the beginning of time by giant metallic birds.

128. L'Ensorcelee, Ch. II



Nineteenth century archeologists have always scoffed at these 'metallic' birds. And what do we think? Optical lenses have been found in Iraq and Central Australia. The question is: do they come from the same source, the same civilization? No modern optician has yet been asked to give an opinion. All optical glasses for the last twenty years, in our civilization, have been polished with ceria. In a thousand years from now spectroscopic analysis will prove, from an analysis of these glasses, the existence of a single civilization all over the world. And that will be the truth. Over vast areas in the desert of Gobi patches of vitrified soil have been observed similar to those produced by an atomic explosion. In a recent study published in the Literaturnava Gazeta (1959) Professor Agrest, who accepts the hypothesis of the Earth having been visited long ago by interplanetary travelers, relates his discovery among the first texts introduced into the Bible by Jewish priests of references to beings from another world who, like Enoch, disappeared into the heavens in mysterious ark-like vessels. The sacred Hindu texts, such as the Ramayana and the Maha Bharatra contain descriptions of airships appearing in the sky at the very beginning of time and looking like 'blueish clouds in the shape of an egg or a luminous globe.' They could encircle the Earth several times, and were propelled by 'an ethereal force which struck the ground as they rose,' or by 'a vibration produced by invisible force.' In the Mausola Purva we find this singular description, which must have been incomprehensible to nineteenth-century ethnologists though not to us today "'...it was an unknown weapon, an iron thunderbolt, a gigantic messenger of death which reduced to ashes the entire race of the Vrishnis and the Andhakas. The corpses were so burned as to be unrecognizable. Their hair and nails fell out; pottery broke without any apparent cause, and the birds turned white. After a few hours, all foodstuffs were infected. The thunderbolt was reduced to a fine dust.' And again: 'Cukra, flying on board a high-powered vimana, hurled on to the triple city a single projectile charged with all the power of the Universe. An incandescent column of smoke and flame as bright as ten thousand Suns, rose in all its splendor...



When the vimana returned to Earth, it looked like a splendid block of antimony resting on the ground...' If a German engineer, Wilhelm Konig, had not paid a chance visit to the Museum at Baghdad, it might never have been discovered that some flat stones found in Iraq, and classified as such, were in reality electric batteries, that had been in use two thousand years before Galvani. The archaeological museums are full of objects classified as 'objects of worship,' or 'various' about which nothing is known." (The Morning of the Magicians, pp. 179-84) "Professor Agrest believes that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by a thermonuclear explosion set off by space travelers either wantonly, or because they considered it necessary to destroy their depots of energy before leaving for the Cosmos. The Dead Sea scrolls contain the following description: 'A column of smoke and dust rose into the air like a column of smoke issuing from the bowels of the Earth. It rained sulphur and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, and destroyed the town and the whole plain and all the inhabitants and every growing plant. And Lot's wife looked back and was turned into a pillar of salt. And Lot lived at Isoar, but afterwards went to the mountains because he was afraid to remain at Isoar. The people were warned that they must go away from the place of the future explosion and not stay in exposed places; nor should they look at the explosion but hide beneath the ground... Those fugitives who looked back were blinded and died." (The Morning of the Magicians, pp. 306-07) The propulsion of air vehicles described in the Mahabharatra involves an "ethereal force which struck the ground as they rose." The energy in question seems to be none other than the force of repulsion. It is claimed in some occult writings that the air-vehicles of the Atlanteans were propelled by attraction and repulsion and therefore required no fuel. Voltaire apparently called attention to that type of engineering when he reported the interplanetary jaunt of Micromegas; a journey effected by a learned young man:



"Our traveller had marvelous knowledge of the laws of gravitation, and of all forces of attraction and repulsion." (Chapter I) Speculation on the existence of brilliant prehistoric civilizations is generally unpopular in scientific circles.

"The Cyclic Law or Race-Evolution is most unwelcome to scientists. It is sufficient to mention the fact of 'primeval civilization' to excite the frenzy of Darwinians; it being obvious that the further culture and science is pushed back, the more precarious becomes the basis of the ape-ancestor theory. But as Jacolliot says: 'Whatever there may be in these traditions (submerged continents, etc.), and whatever may have been the place where a civilization more ancient than that of Rome, of Greece, of Egypt, and of India, was developed, it is certain that this civilization did exist, and it is highly important for Science to recover its traces, however feeble and fugitive they be.' Donnelly has proved the fact from the clearest premises, but the Evolutionists will not listen. A Miocene civilization upsets the 'universal stone-age' theory, and that of a continuous ascent of man from animalism! And yet Egypt, at least, runs counter to current hypotheses. There is no stoneage visible there, but a more glorious culture is apparent the further back we are enabled to carry our retrospect." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 786 fn., Vol. II) As was previously noted, Occult philosophy teaches that Egypt owes the startling brilliance of its "primitive" civilization to Atlantis: "The civilization of the Atlanteans was greater even than that of the Egyptians. It is their degenerate descendants, the nation of Plato's Atlantis, which built the first Pyramids in the country, and that certainly before the advent of the 'Eastern AEthiopians,' as Herodotus calls the Egyp-tians. Such facts and beliefs could hardly be welcome in political circles were they to come to the attention of a sufficient number of personspolitical and other. Modern Western man is led to believe that he enjoys the quintessence of Civilization; in other words, that he



"never had it so good." He is thus conditioned to count his blessings and to ask a minimum of annoying questions. Those questions would be raised if the "legend" of brilliant prehistoric and prediluvian civilizations ever proved to be true and to have been suppressed. The majority of XXth Century mankind has little or no power to make significant changes where the possibility of nuclear and other scientific disasters is concerned. Consequently, it tends to follow the example of the ostrich. It is more pleasant to lull oneself into a false sense of security than it is to face the horrifying potential of modern science. It is easy to place blind faith in high-ranking professional father-figures in hopes that they know everything and that they can ward off the nightmare. It is easy to derive comfort from a vague belief that legendary cataclysmswhether man-made or notcannot happen here or now. It is especially easy to rely on belief that nothing of the kind has happened yetas far as we know (which is not very far). Were the latter "fact" shown to be fiction, changes would take place in the attitude and actions of average citizens. Squarely faced perils would create a demand for a new type of leader. Rule by learned, ethical men might supersede rule by Image. Questions would be heard about "rejected facts and realities that have been condemned:"

"Scientific knowledge is not objective. Like civilization, it is a conspiracy. Quantities of facts are rejected because they would upset preconceived ideas. We live under an inquisitional regime where the weapon most frequently employed against nonconformist reality is derision. Under such conditions, then, what can our knowledge amount to? What the world needs is an encyclopedia of rejected facts and realities that have been condemned." (The Morning of the Magicians, pp. 144-45) The nature of destructive forces mentioned by Pauwels and Bergier in the texts quoted above may be relatedperhaps even identicalto a vibratory "sidereal force" corresponding to certain states of matter; a force mentioned at some length in The Secret Doctrine. H.P. Blav-



atsky notes that the energy in questionwhich was discovered in modern times by John Worrell Keelyis the "terrible sidereal force known to, and named by the Atlanteans MASH-MAK, and by the Aryan Rishis in their Ashtar Vidya by a name that we do not like to give." "It is this vibratory Force, which, when aimed at an army from an Agni Rath fixed on a flying vessel, a balloon, according to the instructions found in Ashtar Vidya, reduced to ashes 100,000 men and elephants, as easily as it would a dead rat. It is allegorized in the Vishnu Purana, in the Ramayana and other works, in the fable about the sage Kapila whose glance made a mountain of ashes of King Sagara's 60,000 sons,' and which is explained in the esoteric works and referred to as the Kapilaksha'Kapila's Eye."' (The Secret Doctrine, p. 563, Vol. I) While the intriguing matter of King Sagara's 60,000 sons is interpreted allegorically,129 the force involved in the massive destruction is viewed as a physical manifestation of cosmic energy, terrestrial electricity is regarded as "a certain form of atomic vibration."130 The same chapter of The Secret Doctrine contains a tabulation of frequencies ranging from "Molecular Vibrations" at the rate of 100,000,000 per second to Inter-Aetheric Vibrations at the rate of 24,300,000,000 per second. The "black magic" which brought lasting fame and disaster to that segment of the Atlantean race known as black with sin131 may have involved misused atomic power as we know it; perhaps even a more devastating force emanating from states of matter still unknown to the official science of our times. Voltaire may have had in mind more than suttee and the Code of Manu when he wrote the passage of Zadig in which reference is made to ancient abuse. The same abuse is said to have brought

129. The Secret Doctrine, pp. 570-71, Vol. II 130. Ibid.., p. 562, Vol. I 131. Ibid., p. 319, Vol. II



about the consignment of many charms to the fire. The charms in question do not seem to be limited to the physical charms of beautiful Almona. They may represent "magic" or secret science on one plane of interpretation. The "fire" resulting from that abuse of powers may have been a nuclear holocaust. As was previously noted, the "legendary" background of Zadig is suggested from the very beginning of the story by the name of Moab-dar. Traditionally, the tribe of Moab is believed to have displaced aboriginal giants. Similar stories of battles between giants and men are found in all world mythologies. Occult philosophy teaches that the Titans were Fourth Race Atlanteans.132 Accordingly, as stated above, the name Moabdar may have been used by Voltaire to serve as a link between the aboriginal giants or Fourth Race Atlanteans and Fifth Race mankind, particularly the Aryan races. The last two letters of the King's namearmay point to the Aryans who fought the last Atlanteans in a long battle recorded in the Ramayana. Other details tend to situate the story within the same prehistoric vista. Among them is the fact that Zadig does not ignore the physical sciences as they were known in his day. The Zoroastrian, a carrier of the Secret Doctrine transmitted from India, probably knows some aspects of physics that would be called "hyperphysical"or worsein our own day and age. His knowledge might extend to states of matter capable of producing the "terrible sidereal Force" mentioned above. The name of Almona which suggests the word monad is significant on the plane of reincarnating individuality. It is also meaningful on a far larger scale. The monad is intimately bound to the dynamic principle underlying and guiding universal evolution from galaxies to atoms. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "the term Monad" is one "which may apply equally to the vastest Solar System or the tiniest atom."133 In short, the monad appears to be a meeting ground of the subjective and

132. The Secret Doctrine, p. 493, Vol. II 133. The Secret Doctrine, p. 21, Vol. I



objective planes of existence. The "UNIVERSAL MONAD (collective Elohim)radiates from within himself all those Cosmic Monads that become the centres of activityprogenitors of the numberless Solar systems as well as of every being thereon. Each Cosmic Monad is 'Swayambhuva,' the SELF-BORN, which becomes the Centre of Force, from within which emerges a planetary chain."134 Monads are also designated as "atomic souls before atoms descend into pure terrestrial form."135 The boundless range of Being reflected by the monadic universe seems to be suggested in Zadig by the beauty of Almona. One of the amorous priests seeking her favors states that "the sun, the moon, and all the fires of heavens were only wills of the wisp when compared to her charms." The fact that the assignations scheduled by Almona are synchronized with the rising of certain stars further tends to connect the allegorized monad with the cosmic scheme of emanation. The first part of the name Almona may be a modified El, a word which means "Sun" in the Codex Nazareus.136 The metaphorical impact of the heroine on cosmic planes is matched by her obvious impact on the plane of flesh. In short, Voltaire seems to consistently connect the personated monad, Almona, with the same vast range of existence as does the Secret Doctrine: from Solar Systems to tiny sparks"wills of the wisp." The deep irony of the poetic tribute paid by the priest to the beauty of the young woman lies in its esoteric substance. The Universal Monad is superior to the Monads of Solar Systems. The aspect of Almona which seems to correspond to the Universal Monad rates the compliment. The priests themselves are situated within the esoteric scheme of monads, atomsand possible catastrophy. Their leader is addressed by Almona in the following terms:

134. Ibid., p. 311, Vol. II 135. Ibid., p. 619, Vol. I 136. Ibid., p. 463, Vol. I



"Elder son of the Big Bear, brother of the Bull, cousin of the Big Dog' (such were the titles of that pontiff)." (The Assignations) Occult philosophy teaches that Fifth Race Aryan races originated in Northern regions commonly allegorized as Ursa Major, the Big Bear.137 The Aryans are believed to be "the descendants of the yellow Adams, the gigantic and highly civilized Atlanto-Aryan race..."138 The designation of the Big Bear as the progenitor of the priest implies the same link to Atlanteans and Aryans as the link suggested by the name of Moabdar. The Bullor "brother" of the pontiff symbolizes Aryan races.139 The "country cousin" connection with the Big DogCanis Majora constellation of which Sirius is a partinvolves a lesser degree of kinship with the Instructor of Mankind, DAG or DAG-ON. The admirer of Almona is an esoteric compound representing Atlantean and Aryan races and secret knowledge. His determinationshared with colleagues to consign possessors of certain "charms" or a certain magic to the fire is worthy of Atlantean sorcerers. The "charms," magic or secret science pertaining to the monad may include sidereal forces, atoms and nuclear power and their dreadful potential. As was previously noted, the emancipation of Almona results from conversations with Zadig during which several levels of knowledge are imparted to the young woman. The text contains a transparent reference to the "ancient abuse" perpetrated against the Code of Manu in order to legitimize the burning of widows. The adulteration of other scriptures and the burning of other human beings is suggested to belong to the same order of crime. The scheme of individual reincarnation and ultimate escape from the wheel of rebirth is hinted by the monadic character of the name Almona, by her projected rounds "from star to star" and by her final status of liberated soul. Mystical 137. The Secret Doctrine, p. 768, Vol. II 138. Ibid., p. 426, Vol. II 139. Ibid., p. 533, Vol. II



ardor and eventual release is the ultimate destiny of all. In the words of the young woman, "There is no other way out." The fundamental concept of the "circle of necessity" is therefore present. But "necessity" does not require that the collective human monad follow the path of destruction to serve the greed or the good pleasure of criminal priests. The scheme of evolution will best be served by avoidance of a holocaust the prospect of which does "cause Nature to shudder"fait fremir la Nature. The "shudder" of Nature corresponding to the scientific level of the passage may be the "vibratory Force" of sidereal or atomic nature which has long been known to occultists and which is believed to have been "abused" in a distant past. The demographic considerations invoked by Zadig in his instruction of Setoc and Almona involve far more than the children of a few widows who may or may not be born or raised and than the few widows themselves. Humanity is in danger of being led into a scientific disaster which contrary to popular beliefwould not be unprecedented. Humanity can be spared such a catastrophy by the release and diffusion of knowledge long suppressed. The "Great Instructor of Mankind" is no mere purveyor of metaphysical chimeras. He is a Savior whose metaphysics involve the physicalas well as the intellectual and spiritualsurvival of mankind. Esoterically, the scientific instruction of Almona is complementary to the instruction of Setoc. The benefits received by the merchant from the Red Sea and from India; the age of continents, oceans and stars; the monadic aspect of evolution embracing and linking galaxies, atoms and everything in-between all belong to the same secret tradition. The five hundred ounces of stolen "silver" and the "jewels" robbed from condemned widows belong to the same scheme of Judaeo-Semitic-Chris-tian spoliation that is exposed and frustrated by the disciple of Zoroaster acting as a transmitter of the Secret Doctrine. "It is from the Fourth Race that the early Aryans got their knowledge of 'the bundle of wonderful things,' the Sabha and Mayas-abha, mentioned in the Mahabharata, the gift of Baysaur to the



Pandavas. It is from them that they learnt Aeronautics, Viwan Vidya (the 'knowledge of flying in air-vehicles') and, therefore, their great arts of meteorography and meteorology. It is from them, again, that the Aryans inherited their most valuable science of the hidden virtues of precious and other stones, of chemistry, rather alchemy, of mineralogy, geology, physics and astronomy. Several times the writer has put to herself the question: 'Is the story of Exodusin its details at leastas narrated in the Old Testament, original? Or is it, like the story of Moses himself and many others, simply another version of the legends told of the Atlante-ans?' For who, upon hearing the story told of the latter, will fail to perceive the great similarity of the fundamental features? The anger of 'God' at the obduracy of Pharaoh, his command to the 'chosen ones' to spoil the Egyptians, before departing, of their 'jewels of silver' and 'jewels of gold' (Exod. xi); and finally the Egyptians and their Pharaoh drowned in the Red Sea (xiv)." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 426, Vol. II) Aside from dramatizing the theft of Pagan treasures of knowledge by the Judaeo-Christian tradition, the initial chapters of Zadig stress the limitations of Mayathe Illusion of the Senses and the Illusion of Divisiveness or Separate Being. The veiled substance of the same chapters boldly transcends the Mayavic outlook of the average Western Man where Space, Matter and Time are concerned. Humanity is situated within a monadic Universe of dynamic nature and dizzy dimension. Matter is suggested to act as the vehicle of Universe Force of Spirit. History overflows orthodox boundaries reclaiming in the process the "legend" of brilliant prehistoric and antediluvian civilizations. One may conclude that some "jewels of gold" of ancient tradition are not inaccessible to the esoteric reader of Voltaire. The chapter entitled The Fisherman prolongs the theme of salvation which underlies previous portions of Zadig. An unnamed, kindly merchant has lost his fickle wife and his house as a result of the exactions of Orcan. His attempt to gain redress through legal means has had only one result: the disappearance or all he had left. The destitute



man tries unsuccessfully to obtain food by fishing. Zadig arrives providentially as the frustrated angler prepares to jump into the river. The personal heartbreak of Zadigwho mourns the reported death of Astarteis temporarily forgotten. Solace is found in aiding an unfortunate. Voltaire reveals the depth of his own compassion in the following passage:

"It is claimed that one feels less miserable when one is not alone. But according to Zoroaster, it is not out of wickedness, it is out of need. One then feels attracted to a wretched creature as to one's fellow-man. The joy of a happy man would be an insult; but two unfortunates are like two weak young trees which, supporting each other, strengthen each other against the storm." (The Fisherman) One might easily conclude that misery loves company. But the popular axiom does not apply to the disciple of Zoroaster. Man, the Pas-calian "thinking reed,"roseau pensantis also a suffering "reed" capable of transcending his own misery. Such is the case of Zadig. Concern with the plight of others yields more than comparative relief. It is an important step toward defeating the illusion of separate existence. It represents a necessary stage of growth of future "trees" of knowledge. It is fulfillment. The well-known precept "Love thy neighbor like thyself reflects the Buddhistic concept of Universal Oneness. On the plane of true being, the neighbor is oneself. The fact that two weak creatures may "strengthen each other" shows that compassion is a source as well as a requirement of spiritual "strength." The doctrine of Buddha is entirely based on practical works. A general love of all beings, human and animal, is its nucleus." (Isis Unveiled, p. 288, Vol. 2) "We see that the Golden Rule did not originate with Jesus; that its birthplace was India. Do what we may, we cannot deny Sakya-Muni-Buddha a less remote antiquity than several centuries before the birth of Jesus. In seeking a model for his system of ethics why should Jesus have gone to the foot of the Himalayas rather than to



the foot of Sinai, but that the doctrines of Manu and Gautama harmonized exactly with his own philosophy, while those of Jehovah were to him abhorrent and terrifying. The Hindus taught to return good for evil, but the Jehovistic command was 'an eye for an eye' and 'a tooth for a tooth.'" (Isis_Unveiled, pp. 164-65, Vol. 2) Zadig and the fisherman are affected by similar sets of forces. Despite their own suffering probably because of itthey are filled with compassion. The former merchant forgets his own misfortune as ne becomes aware or the grief of Zadig who is, in turn, deeply moved by the misery of his new friend. The young hero has endured the cruelty of the Mosaic realm. The fisherman has been victimized by Orcana transparent representative of what is ruthless in the world of Islam. The victim of one cruel religion has much in common with the victim of another. Sensitivity is not limited to humans. The frustrated angler learns a valuable lesson. True life should not be sought in the destruction of other life. The vegetarian views clearly expressed by Voltaire in subsequent writings may be inferred from The Fisherman as they may be inferred from The Supper. Voltaire notes in La Princesse de Babylone that the "riverbank dwellers of Ganges" ate nothing that had "received from the gods the celestial gift of life." Also stated in Can-dide is the opinion that a good meal is one from which "disguised corpses" are absent. The fairy-tale quality of the following pleamade by animals in times when animals had speech does not invalidate the earnestness of Voltaire: "Men finally acquired the habit of eating us; instead of conversing and learning from us. The barbarians! Should they not be convinced that having the same organs as they do, the same feelings, the same needs, the same desires, we have what is called a soul just as they do; that we are their brothers, and that only the wicked should be cooked and eaten? We are your brothers to such an extent that the Great Being, the Eternal Being and the Source of Form, having made an agreement with men, included us expressly in the covenant. It forbade you to feed on our blood, and forbade



us to suck yours." (La Princesse de Babylone, Ch. III) Voltaire's claim that animals have a soul should be noted. It is opposed to Christian dogma. It is consistent with teachings of the Secret Doctrine:

"As the Soul of the World permeates the whole Cosmos, even beasts must have in them something divine. This, also, is the doctrine of Buddhists and the Hermetists, and Manu endows with a living soul even the plants and the tiniest blade of grass." (Isis Unveiled, p. xix, Vol. 1) Reverence of life is manifest in the prevention of suicide which is the work of Zadig. The despondency of the young hero who believes that Astarte is lost forever may be far more cruel than the despair of the destitute fisherman. But the disciple of Zoroaster never contemplates the illusive "escape" of physical death. Nor does he condone that "escape" in the case of someone else. Occult philosophy teaches that severe penalties are incurred by suicides. Evil and wretched entities are believed to be products of self-inflicted death:

"Gorres, describing a conversation he had with some Hindus of the Malabar coast, reports that upon asking them whether they had ghosts among them, they replied, 'Yes, but we know them to be bad spirits...good ones can hardly ever appear at all. They are principally the spirits of suicides and murderers, or of those who die violent deaths. They constantly flutter about and appear as phantoms. Night-time is favorable to them, they seduce the feebleminded and tempt others in a thousand different ways.' Porphyry presents to us some hideous facts whose verity is substantiated in the experience of every student of magic. 'The soul,' says he, 'having even after death a certain affection for its body, an affection proportioned to the violence with which their union was broken, we see many spirits hovering in despair about their earthly remains; we even see them eagerly seeking the putrid remains of other bodies; but above all, freshly spilled blood, which seems to



impart to them for the moment some of the faculties of life.'" (Isis Unveiled, p. 344, Vol. 1) The intended grave of the fisherman adds elements of symbolism to the chapter. The river or eternal stream of lifecannot be ignored or altered with impunity. Zadig is a "fisher of men" who transforms waters of death into waters of life. The fisherman regains hope. The "fellow" is a neophyte or "twice-born." The role of the young hero is openly defined by the grateful fisherman who does not know how right he is. Zadig is hailed as a Savior:

"As he spoke thus he gave to the fisherman half of the money which he had brought from Arabia, and the fisherman, overwhelmed and delighted, kissed the feet of the friend of Cador and said: 'You are a saving angel!'" The appellation of "saving angel" or "saving messenger" contains the answer to a question asked by the fisherman himself. Puzzling as it is to the fisherman, the sadness of a wealthy Savior can be explained:

"But how can it be,' said the fellow, 'that the one who gives may be more pitiable than the one who receives?'" Saviors are voluntary expatriates from Nirvanic bliss. They are "diamond-hearted" beings who willingly make the Great Sacrifice of reincarnation out of love of mankind. The theme of voluntary rebirth that is linked to the concept of Savior seems to be conveyed in the reply of Zadig: "'Your greatest misfortune,' Zadig went on, 'was needI am grieving in my heart." Material need equals esoteric "necessity." "Necessity" is the cycle of evolution through which all things and beings must proceed to ultimate release. The suffering that is emphatically distinct from "need" suggests that the Savior is on Earth by choice. The "angelic" component of the expression "saving angel" or "messenger," is clearly compat-



ible with the concepts of Savior and Instructor of Mankind. The grieving heart of "Zadig" that is wounded by the arrows of Cupid on the esoteric level of the chapter is tormented by another kind of Love on its esoteric plane. It may be compared without blasphemy to another Sacred Heart. "Fishing" is successful in the end. Zadig himself is the miraculous "catch" of the candidate to suicide. The "Fish" or DAGa Messiah in world mythologyhas attained one of his goals. He has "reached" a "fellow." He has been "caught." The same kind of "fishing" is celebrated by numerous "smugglers" of the Secret Doctrine.

THE BAIT "Come live with me, and be my love, And we will some new pleasures prove Of golden sands, and crystal brooks, With silken lines, and silver hooks. There will the river whispering run Warm'd by thy eyes, more than the Sun; And there the enamour'd fish will stay, Begging themselves they may betray. When thou wilt swim in that live bath, Each fish, which every channel hath, Will amorously to thee swim, Gladder to catch thee, than thou him. " (John Donne) A major poem of Alfred de Vigny is devoted to the Bottle to the Sea carrying the esoteric message of ages. It is also caught by a poor, baffled, dazzled fisherman. "Un soir enfin, les vents qui soufflent des Florides L 'entrainent vers la France et ses bords pluvieux. Un pecheur accroupi sous des rochers arides Tire dans ses filets le flacon precieux.



Il court, cherche un savant et lui montre sa prise, Et, sans oser l'ouvrir, demande qu'on lui dise Quel est cet elixir noir et mysterieux. Quel est cet elixir? Pecheur c'est la science, C'est l'elixir divin que boivent les esprits, Tresor de la pensee et de l'experience, Et si tes lourds filets, o pecheur, avaient pris, L'or qui toujours serpente aux veines du Mexique, Les diamants de l'Inde et les perles d'Afrique, Ton labeur de ce jour aurait eu moins de prix." ("One evening at last, the winds blowing from the Floridas Carry it toward France and her rainy shores. A fisherman, hunched under arid rocks Draws in his nets the precious flask. He runs, finds a scholar and shows his catch to him, And, not daring open it, asks to be told What that black and mysterious elixir is. What is that elixir? Fisherman it is science, It is the divine elixir drunk by the spirits, Treasure of thought and experience, And if your heavy nets, o fisherman had caught The gold ever winding in the lodes of Mexico, The diamonds of India and the African pearls, Your labor of this day would have had less worth.") The value of the miraculous "catch" defies calculation. It is, in the words of Vigny, a "treasure of thought and experience." No oneleast of all a Sage or Saviorcan expect its full worth to be perceived instantly. Voltaire's angler will need time to begin to conceive the scope of the treasure brought and shared by "Zadig." The neophyte is quick to apply the teachings of the master. Wishing to receive his due only, the victim of spoliation does not seek revenge when his property is returned. Having "become wise," he rejects the advances of his treacherous and faithless wife and takes "only the money." The fish erman is engaged in "the right path." Like Almona



and Setoc he is receptive to the influence of a superior guide. His response to the Savior is another proof of the human ability to progress. The chapter itself is a delightful example of esoteric "angling." The fisherman expresses hope that "the famous minister Zadig" will compensate him for his monetary loss. The new friend of the hero is unaware of an important fact. He is speaking to the minister Zadig himself. The identity of the Savior remains exoterically unreve-laedand unasked. Zadig simply states that he knows the minister in question and that the minister is an honest man. The reader tends to smile at the naivete and lack of curiosity of the fisherman. The same reader would do well to ask himself the following questions: Who is the intriguing "fisher of men?" Whoor whatis "Zadig?" The value of an inquisitive turn of mind is stressed by default. The esoteric "hook" is in full view. Voltaire and his fishing brothers are not miserly where the amount or quality of "bait" are concerned. The masterful angling of esoteric writers is designed to produce direct communication between author and reader. The spirit held captive in their works can then be released, abolishing time, space, death, and the illusion of separate being when true contact is established. Such beings as "Zadig" are then known beyond doubt to be anything but "dead." Such "tablets" as those of "Zadig" do speak to him who can "listen." The exoteric mystery of the identity of Zadig is paralleled by the nameless status of the fisherman. The new friend of the hero is simply designated as "the fellow""le bonhomme." Both men function on a "nameless" or spiritual plane where the lower self is transcended. The expression "fellow" or literally "good man" is suggested to be the esoteric equivalent of the Higher human principle. The namelessness it conveys is consistent with the general tenor of the chapter reporting a transition from Mayavic to spiritual planes. The fisherman and the reader are insistently reminded to lift their sights beyond personal concern and terrestrial vision. Material misery is suggested to be of less



moment than the misery of the heart. Each man forgets his own misfortune in concern with the grief of the other. Material destitution is overcome by spiritual wealth. The need of physical food becomes subordinated to the need of superior nourishment. Literal fishes prove to be less meaningful than does the symbolic "Fish" or Savior and its immense treasure. The "nameless" element of The Fisherman belongs to the non-contingent spark to which the entire works and life of Voltaire were dedicated: the Truth-Loving Principle which somehow survives and grows in the hearts of men through darkest periods of human evolution. The historical meaning of the chapter logically follows the experience of Zadig in Babylon, "Egypt," and "Arabia." As was previously noted, the oppressors of the fisherman seem to represent a certain branch of World Religion: Islam. On the other hand, the "fellow" has been betrayed by a wife who shares certain character traits with Miss-ouf. The beaten Jewess rejects and curses a Savior. The fisherman's wife deserts and wrongs her kind husband. Goodness is scorned and abused in each case. But the masochism of Missouf is paralleled in opposite direction by the sadism of the other woman. Vanity, greed and lust for power drive her into the arms of Orcan who combines the same traits in his own personality. In short, masochism and sadism are two aspects of the same worship of brute force. Esoterically, the encounter of Zadig with the fisherman supplements the following historical sequence: Already damaged and diverted from its westerly course by the Mosaic tradition (Moabdar, the "Egyptian," "Missouf"), the Primitive Wisdom-Religion brought to Babylon from India, comes into indirect contact with aggressive representatives of Moslem faith. The mystique of theft and violence of which Arbogad, the "Arab," gave a preview, is prolonged by the actions of "Orcan" who remains the brutal predator of an earlier chapter. In short, the fragmentation of the once universal doctrine upheld by the Zoroastrian hero results in the appearance of two sado-masochistic creeds.



The word "Orcan" oras previously noted, the anagram of "Coran"resembles the name of Orkhan, a Turkish sultan who lived in the XIVth Century and who created the famous corps of warrior monks known as "Janissaries." The probable allusion to the sultan seems to stand in the same semi-esoteric relation to Orcan as Arbogast does to Arbogad. The achievements of the sultan may easily be connected with the exoteric surface of Zadig, a story featuring many violent events taking place in the Near East at the instigation of "janissaries" of various stripes. But the apparent allusion to Orkhan leads the reader no further than the esoteric "dead end" represented by a historical personage. It will be found in the course of the present study that Voltaireand other "fishing" "smugglers"make frequent use of historically known persons whose names may serve as hints as well as decoys depending on the readiness of readers. A certain pattern of justice may be found in the story of the fisherman. It is consistent with the outcome of other acts of spoliation and abuse which are reported in preceding chapters of Zadig. The ultimate exposure of the thieving "Jew" and the eventual fiasco suffered by the corrupt priests have a counterpart in the redress obtained by the fisherman. The victim of "Orcan" recovers his stolen property in the end. He also receives half of the money brought by Zadig from "Arabia." The finally righted wrong is suggestively linked to the giftor message-of "Zadig," a "saving angel" or "messenger." Another parallel is noteworthy. Almona is saved from fire. The fish-erman is saved from water. The presence of both elements suggests correspondence to the tenet of the Secret Doctrine according to which the earth is periodically ravaged and remodeled by cataclysms alternately involving fire and water. The same belief in cataclysmic floods and upheavals of volcanic origin is covertly expressed in Candide. Voltaire seems to hint that Instructor-Saviors such as Zadig may help mankind avoid some effects of natural disasters by spreading knowledge and promoting ethics.



The hero resumes his wandering. He arrives in a meadow where several women are "looking for something with great application." The women are slaves who have been ordered to find a basilisk. The animal is needed to prepare a remedy for the ailing master of the domain. The situation is explained by one of the searchers:

"It is for our lord and master Ogul whose castle you see on the bank of this river, at the end of the meadow. We are his very humble slaves, his lordship Ogul is sick; his physician has ordered him to eat a basilisk cooked in rose water, and since it is a very rare animal, which never lets itself be caught except by women, his lordship Ogul has promised to choose as his beloved wife the one of us who would bring him a basilisk.'" (Le Basilic) The animal which can be caught by women only and which is gen-er ally regarded as a mythical reptile brings to mind the story of Eve and the serpent. That the said serpent is a myth in its official capacity of devil is promptly stated by Zadig:

"learn that there is no basilisk in nature." The devil exists only in the minds of men. It is a fabrication of perverse beings impelled and compelled to reign through terror. The name of the "lord" who must have a basilisk in order to survive is suggestive of "ghouls"French gouleand vampirism. The sickness of the "lord" Ogul is viewed in identical manner by Voltaire and by proponents of the Secret Doctrine:

"We have already noticed the confession of an eminent prelate that the elimination of Satan from theology would be fatal to the perpetuity of the Church." (Isis Unveiled, p. 67, Vol. 2) Or, as stated by Anatole France: "Without Hell the Good Lord would only be a poor devil and all the street urchins would run to him and pull his beard."



The theological origin of Satan is traced as follows in the Secret Doctrine: "Satan never assumed an anthropomorphic, individual shape, until the creation by man, of a 'one living personal god,' had been accomplished; and then merely as a matter of prime necessity. A screen was needed: a scape-goat to explain the cruelty, blunders, and but too-evident injustice, perpetrated by him for whom absolute perfection, mercy and goodness were claimed." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 412, Vol. I) Satan is the personated form of one aspect of universal dualism: "Everywhere the speculations of the Kabalists treat of Evil as a FORCE, which is antagonistic, but at the same time essential to Good, as giving it vitality and existence, which it could never have otherwise. There would be no life possible (in the Mayavic sense) without Death, nor regeneration and reconstruction without destruction. Plants would perish in eternal sunlight, and so would man, who would become an automaton without the exercise of his free will and aspirations after that sunlight, which would lose its being and value for him had he nothing but light. Good is infinite and eternal only in the eternally concealed from us, and this is why we imagine it eternal. On the manifested planes, one equilibrates the other." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 413, Vol. I) Satan belongs to the ill-acquired, distorted fund of Pagan allegory that forms the basis of Christian dogma:

"The serpent, the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and the Tree of Life, are all symbols transplanted from the soil of India." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 215, Vol. II) Satan-Luciferwhose latter name means "carrier of light"has at least one merit: he is the foe of ignorance. In the words of H.P. Blav-atsky, "ignorance is death, and knowledge alone gives immortality."140 The Voltairian view of the serpent that is expressed in



Le Taureau blanc is identical to corresponding tenets of occult philosophy. In that story, the much-slandered scapegoat of the anthropomorphic God is its own able advocate. As previously noted, his counsel to mankind in general and to Eve in particular is defended with logic and humor:

THE SERPENT "I am being maligned: I gave her (Eve) the best advice in the world. She honored me with her trust. My opinion was that she and her husband should eat their fill of the fruit of the tree of science. I thought I was pleasing in this to the master of things. A tree so necessary to mankind did not seem to me to have been planted to be useless. Would the master have wished to be served by ignorants and by fools? Is not the mind (or 'spirit') made to gain enlightenment, to perfect itself? Must one not know good and evil in order to do one and to avoid the other? Certainly people should thank me." (The White Bull, Ch. III) The acquisition of knowledge is necessary to mankind in the evolutionary sense. The fact that a tree of knowledge is not allowed to be usefulin the esoteric senseprecludes intellectual and spiritual progress. The kind of God who opposes the development of human intelligence and wishes "to be served by ignorants and by fools" is offered to the judgement of the reader who may conclude that the God in question did indeed create man in his own image. Such an insecure deity cannot be the true "master of things." The ailing lord of the castle is quickly cured by Zadig who prescribes a simple regimen of exercise and temperance. Common sense defeats the basilisk-based recipe which smacks of superstition. Once again, the young hero demonstrates that he does "not like the supernatural." As suggested by the name of the "Lord," Ogul, a religion that inflicts lifelong terror upon human beings; brandishing haunting

140. The Secret Doctrine, p. 215, Vol. II



visions of eternal torture and specters of the Danse Macabre is ghoulish indeed. The rose-water ingredient of the "remedy" is a probable allusion to negotiable spiritual whitewash or penance and, in general, to the candy-coating of bitter theological pills daily prescribed to Christians in general and Catholics in particular. The following observation seems to proclaim the folly of occult science:

"one always enjoys good health with moderation and exercisethe art of reconciling intemperance and health is as futile as the philosopher's stone, judiciary astrology and the theology of the magi." (The Basilisk) Occult philosophy defines the philosopher's stone in the following terms: "Man is the philosopher's stone spiritually'a triune or trinity in unity,' as Philateles expresses it. But he is also that stone physically. The latter is but the effect of the cause, and the cause is the universal solvent of everythingdivine spirit. Man is a correlation of chemical physical forces, as well as a correlation of spiritual powers. The latter react on the physical powers of man in proportion to the development of the earthly man." (Isis Unveiled, p. 309, Vol. 1) Astronomy and astrology are frequently mentioned in the Secret Doctrine. The Pythagorean or mathematical aspect of the Primitive Wisdom-Religion is closely bound to astrological and astronomical lore. In that respect, as in the case of other areas of knowledge, distinctions should be made between dubious outgrowths and valid bases of science. A strict definition of terms is also needed:

"Astrology is a science as infallible as astronomy itself, with the condition, however, that its interpreters must be equally infallible; and it is this condition, sine qua non, so very difficult of realization, that has always proved a stumbling block to both. Astrology is

Zadig 199 to exact astronomy what psychology is to exact physiology." (Isis Unveiled, p. 259, Vol. 1) Voltaire seems to ridicule astrology and related beliefs in Chapter II of Le Siecle de Louis XIV. The fact that "astrologers were consulted and believed" in the XVIIth Century is noted. The general acceptance of predictions made in one particular case is viewed as a sign of "credulity" or "weakness:" "This credulity, the most unfailing sign of ignorance, was so generally accepted, that care was taken to have an astrologer hidden near the bedroom of the Queen Anne of Austria, at the time of the birth of Louis XIV. The same weakness which made fashionable the absurd futility of judiciary astrology caused people to believe in possession and evil spells; it was all made into a point of religion; one saw nothing but priests casting out demons." Voltaire once wrote that chance does not exist and that the universe is governed by mathematical law. Such a statement is not easily reconciled with contempt for the correlation of forces forming the basis of astrology andleast of allastronomy. His verdict of "credulity" and "weakness" seems to be directed at the "stumbling block" mentioned by H.P. Blavatsky: inadequate interpreters and deliberate quackery. The concealment of an astrologer "hidden near the bedroom of the Queen Anne of Austria" at the time of birth of Louis XIV suggests the hocus-pocus of a charlatan. The exact time of birth from which astrological predictions could be made could have been reported to the astrologer had he been elsewhere in the palace. Astrological calculations bearing on the destiny of a person are irrelevant to the whereabouts of anyone else at any time. It should also be noted that the unfavorable judgment of Voltaire is openly connected to questionable "points of religion" and with general ignorance or "weakness." Two opposite interpretations of the passage are possible. Astrology as a whole is unworthy of serious thought. Astrology requires considerable knowledge to be properly evaluatedand practiced.



Voltaire's reference to the philosopher's stone seems to target a popular misconception evoked in the above-quoted statement of H.P. Blavatsky. If such was his intent, he used the technique of esoteric writers who steer readers toward valid knowledge requiring, as always, a strict definition of terms. Voltaire also reports in Ch. II of Le Siecle de Louis XIV that astrological predictions were made to Henry IV and that they were received "seriously" by the grave and severe duke of Sully. It would be interesting to know if the predictions mentioned the assassination which eventually befell the King of France. The substance of prophecies remains intriguingly untold. Voltaire may have scorned to expose their fallacyor may have given a silent grin to their accuracy. The surprising attitude of the duke of Sully invites two lines of speculation. Learned and intelligent persons are occasionally found to believe in astrology. Are such persons always mentally "weak?" Should an effort be made to understand the basis of their belief? The combination of "ignorance," and "weakness"which are virtually synonymous in this casesuggests that belief in astrology should rest on a firm basis of scientific knowledge. Occult lore should not be made into "a point of religion." (Which amounts to wishful thinking: occult lore should not be made into a lucrative field of operations to be exploited by a Church). One may conclude that it rightfully belongs to another realm: the realm of Natural Law as defined in the Secret Doctrine. Judiciary astrology is skillfully linked by Voltaire to possession and evil spells which fall into the category of dubious "points of religion." Popular misconceptions and general ignorance seem to be the targets of his skepticism. The Secret Doctrine teaches that "horoscopes and judiciary astrology are not quite based on a fiction."141 But it stresses that modern astrology suffers from the same materialism as do other areas of modern knowledge. The great vertical distance representing the "fall" of

141. The Secret Doctrine, p. 647, Vol. I



astrology from ancient times to the XIXth Century is eloquently measured by H.P. Blavatsky: "Primitive astrology was as far above modern, judiciary astrology, so called, as the guides (the Planets and Zodiacal signs) are above the lampposts." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 332, Vol. VAdyar Edition) Voltaire's views of judiciary procedure used in his times are well known. Judiciary astrology may safely be assumed to be as faulty and corrupt as the rest. The "theology of the magi" or priests belongs to the general enterprise of spiritual imposture which he consistently denounced. In short, The Basilisk contains misleading references to various superstitions which tend to be lumped with occult science in the popular mind. Like other such barbs playfully scattered in Voltairian writings, those attacks do not resist careful examination. They are echoes of corresponding views expressed in the Secret Doctrine. Zadig is intrigued and attracted by one of the slaves. The woman is set apart from the sisterhood of hunters by her inaction. Unlike her companions, she is not looking for a basilisk or for anything else. She seems to know that the search is futile and that "there is no basilisk in nature." While she cannot help knowing what the reward will be for the finder of the elusive animal, the prospect of being Ogul's bride explains well enough her reluctance to compete. The slave is a veiled woman of majestic appearance. Zadig faces a startling experience:

"When he was on the edge of a small stream, he found there another lady lying on the grass, and who was not looking for anything. Her figure appeared majestic, but her face was covered with a veil. She was leaning toward the stream; deep sighs were coming out of her mouth. She held in her hand a small rod with which she traced signs on a fine sand which was between the grass and the stream. Zadig had the urge to see what the woman was writing; he came near, he saw the letter Z, then an A; he was astounded; then



appeared a D; he trembled. Never was surprise equal to his own when he saw the last two letters of his name." The symbolism of the waters of life, physical and spiritual, is conveyed by the presence of the stream. The grass may represent an interior form of life that is bound to earth, trapped in matter; in short in the realm of Maya. The lady reclining between water and lawn, true life and illusory being, is a link between both planes. The sand upon which the name of Zadig is traced is a substance frequently mentioned in esoteric texts. The coveted metamorphosis from a grain of sand to a diamond will be remembered from the chapter devoted to Arbogad. The sandy deposits which constitute part of the Pineal Gland are believed by occultists to be closely linked to spiritual consciousness. Such deposits are regarded as remains of the now extinct Third Eye, the organ of immediate cognition once possessed by a more spiritual mankind.142 The veiled woman is symbolically situated in a corresponding zone: an intermediate meeting place between matter and spirit. The amazement of the young man watching the appearance of "the last two letters of his name" suggests the possible alteration of one or perhaps two letters. It is hinted once again that the concealed identity of the hero is DAG, the Savior. The first two letters of the name ZADIG are the last and first letters of the alphabet. They are commonly used to represent the Principle and the End of things.

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end...I am the first and the last,' says Jesus to John. Rev. i.6,17" (quoted in Isis Unveiled, p. 277, Vol. 2) The reversal of the first two letters from alphabetical order suggests the basic precept of all spiritual quests that is expressed in French by

142. The Secret Doctrine, pp. 296-97, Vol. II



the terms: "remonter a la source""going back to the source." The goal of evolution is the return to the source of Being. The Chaldean DAG and the Hindu god Vishnu are two versions of the same divine figure which is also represented by the mythological fish-man Oannes.

"'It is he' (Vishnu) says the sacred book, 'who taught men after the diluvium, all that was necessary for their happiness. One day he plunged into the water and returned no more, for the earth had covered itself again with vegetation, fruit, and cattle. But he had taught the Brahmanas the secret of all things.' So far, we see in this narrative the double of the story given by the Babylonian Berosus about Oannes, the fish-man who is no other than Vishnuunless indeed we have to believe that it was Chaldea which civilized India." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 256-57, Vol. 2) The fish-man Oannes-Vishnu is mentioned in an earlier chapter of Zadig. One of his vocal devotees is present at the supper attended by men of various nationalities and creeds. The religious exhibitionist speaks aggressively and dogmatically on behalf of his God:

"'You are mistaken,' said a Chaldean who was near him [Zadig], 'it is to the fish Oannes that one owes such great benefit, and it is just to pay tribute to him only. Everyone will tell you that he was a divine being, that he had a golden tail, with a handsome human head, and that he emerged from the water to come and preach on the land three hours a day. He had several children who were kings as everyone knows. I have his portrait at home, which I venerate as I should.'" (The Supper) The deep meaning of the passage is veiled by an element of deceptive comedy. The "true believer" is smug, obtuse and arrogant. The audience is expected to bow to the superiority of his faith, hence to his own. Religion is popular myth divested of profound substance, what "everyone will tell you," and a conversation piece: a portrait of a divine



being proudly kept and displayed at home. The Chaldean is obsessed with inferior aspects of faith: conformity, personal standing and with the exoteric facade of symbolism. By the same token he is blind to the presence next to him. Zadig, the Savior and Instructor of Mankind, is one physical manifestation of the much-vaunted messenger whose portrait he reveres while he cannot recognize the original. The situation explodes the norms of ordinary humor. But it is filled with sad significance. Self-appointed, most aggressive spokesmen of a Savior are least able to grasp his true essence. Once againas in the cases of Missouf and Arbogada divine presence remains unperceived. The same fate might befall Christ were he to return to Earth. The name ZADIG combines the idea of a SaviorDAGand the idea of a return to the source. The title character is a "Great Instructor of Mankind" whose mission is to aid the process of human evolution. The slave wistfully writing on the sand the name or the nero proves to be Queen Astarte. A significant detail can easily be overlooked by the reader who tends to concentrate on the emotional aspect of the "romantic" reunion. Hearing the familiar voice of the man she loves, the Queen raises her veil to look at the stranger:

"Hearing that voice, hearing those words, the lady raised her veil with a trembling hand, looked at Zadig, exclaiming from emotion, from surprise and from joy, and yielding to all the various impulses which beset her instantly, fell unconscious into his arms. It was Astarte herself, it was the Queen of Babylon, it was the one whom Zadig adored, and whom he felt guilty of adoring; it was the one whose destiny he had so lamented and feared. He was temporarily deprived of the use of his senses." Astarte is a mythological counterpart of Isis. The reunion of the lovers therefore transcends the plane of ordinary romance. It is a crucial event in which "the dominion" of Mayavic or sensory "phantasy" is temporarily overcome by Pure Spirit. Materialistic illusion is defeated. The symbolic veil of Isis is raised. Isis Unveiled equals Truth.



"Isis Unveiled" is found in various formsranging from grotesque comedy to loftiest lyricismin the writings of esoteric authors. The unveiling experiencewhich supplied the inspiration and the title of a most important bookhas ever been a goal of spiritual seekers. To be worthy of their own names, Science and Man must be willing and able to look beyond the veil of matter:

"How is it that they who had so firmly believed, but a short time since, that matter was destructible and passed out of existence, and now have learned to believe as firmly that it does not, are unable to tell us more about it? Why are they forced in this case as in many others to return to a doctrine taught by Democritus twenty-four centuries ago? And if they say that 'force is incapable of destruction, except, by the same power which created it,' then they tacitly admit the existence of such a power, and have therefore no right to throw obstacles in the way of those, who bolder than themselves, try to penetrate beyond, and find that they can only do so by lifting the veil of Isis." (Isis Unveiled, p. 408, Vol. 1) A certain "boldness" or "daring" is required to "lift the veil." The same sort of intuitive "daring" may be tested with profit on numerous esoteric texts whose "veils" remain to be "lifted." The reunion of the "lovers" features details commonly found in reports of mystical experience. Astarte faints. The young hero is for a moment "deprived of the use of his senses." Sensory perception is eclipsed by higher vision as the "veil" is "lifted." Or, in words which have already been quoted, "As the sun puts out a fire, so spirit puts out the eyes of mere intellect." The same process is described in Isis Unveiled:

"In the Mysteries, the third part of the sacred rites was called Epopteia, or revelation, reception into the secrets. In substance it means that stage of divine clairvoyance when everything pertaining to this earth disappears, and earthly sight is paralysed, and the soul is united free and pure with its Spirit, or God. But the real signifi-



cance of the word is 'overseeing,' from optomaiI see myself." (Isis Unveiled, p. 90, Vol. 2) The lifting of the veil of Astarte is accompanied by trembling. The same physical reaction is experienced whenever certain powers of self-knowledge are activated for the first time in pursuit of the "philosopher's stone." In this connection H.P. Blavatsky cites the words of "one Hermetic writer:"

"the Arabian alchemist Abipili, speaks thus: 'I admonish thee, whosoever thou art that desirest to dive into the inmost parts of nature; if that thou seekest thou findest not within thee, thou wilt never find it without thee. If thou knowest not the excellency of thine own house, why dost thou seek after the excellency of other things?...O MAN KNOW THYSELF! IN THEE IS HID THE TREASURE OF TREASURES.' In another alchemic tract, De manna Benedicta, the author expresses his ideas of the philosopher's stone, in the following terms: 'My intent is for certain reasons not to prate too much of the matter, which yet is but one only thing, already too plainly described; for it shows and sets down such magical and natural uses of it [the stone] as many that have had it never knew nor heard of; and such as, when I beheld them, made my knees to tremble and my heart to shake, and I to stand amazed at the sight of them!' Every neophyte has experienced more or less such a feeling; but once that it is overcome, the man is an ADEPT." (Isis Unveiled, p. 618, Vol. 2) The sound or the voice of the beloved causes Zadig to tremble. Astarte raises her veil with a trembling hand. The esoteric reader is reminded of the words of Almona stating that "fire", mystical ardor, causes Nature to "shudder." Trembling hands will be found in a passage of Micromegas as the existence of an unsuspected world is revealed. The latter-day mutation of "Isis" will be "a trembling woman of majestic proportions" in Candide. Candide himself will "tremble like a philosopher"an expression fraught with meaning and com-



pounded esoteric irony. Such are but a few literary dramatizations of the fact that physical repercussions of the first gaze beyond the veil usually include a pounding heart and trembling. The identity of Astarte and Isis is no mystery to students of mythology. It is confirmed in Zadig by two sets of correspondences. Isis is, among other things, the feminine counterpart of Vishnu or DAG:

"Lakmi, or Lakshmi, the passive or feminine counterpart of Vishnu, the creator and the preserver, is also called Adi-Maya. She is the Mother of the World, 'Dhatri, the VenusAphrodite of the Greeks, also Isis and Eve." (Isis Unveiled, p. 259, Vol. 2) As was previously noted, Isis-Astarte is closely connected to the star of the "Great Instructor of Mankind:" Sirius.

"I am the Queen of these regions,' says the Egyptian Isis; I was the first to reveal to mortals the mysteries of wheat and corn... I am she who rises in the constellation of the dog...(Dog-star)' "(The Secret Doctrine, p. 374, Vol. II) It should be recalled in passing that Zadig's "flight to Egypt" was charted accordingly. "The constellation of Orion, and the brilliant star Sirius were guiding him toward the pole of Canopus." We should also remember that the chapter devoted to the Dog and the Horse suggests a conjunction of "Dog Star" (Sirius) and Horse-related constellation (Pegasus, also an emblem of literature). The unveiling of Astarte marks a central point of the story. Zadig and his beloved form a mystical couple united by an irrepressible force: mutual attraction between Man and Truth. No conflict exists on their plane of being between spirituality and love. Knowledge, Truth, Love and Ethics are ONE. The typical device of exoteric contradiction resolved on the esoteric level of meaning is often called to readers' attention by its users. "Flowers" are found to be "contradictory" until one learns to understand



them. Such is an important finding of Saint-Exupery's Little Prince.143 Proust is another lover of deceptive "flowers" who has this comment on the same subject: "the 'althoughs' are always unrecognized 'becauses.'"144 Voltaire calls attention in Micromegas to the concealed harmony underlying the "profusion of varieties" of the manifest universe. While chaos seems to prevail on the surface of things, oneness may be perceived beyond the veil of differentiated matter. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky expressing the same thought: "The universe is the combination of a thousand elements, and yet the expression of a single spirita chaos to the sense, a cosmos to the reason."145 Acting as a mirror of the universe, esoteric literature reflects the same dualism of phenomenal confusion or contradiction and noumenal Unity. Truth is allegorized as woman in countless esoteric works. The human symbol of incarnation and Maya is far more than a representation of the nether pole of being. She is the carrier of an intuitive spark that is all the greater for its struggle on most challenging planes of materiality. The dual esoteric potency of female figures is suggested in Zadig by the person and by the evolution of Almona. It is illustrated by the evolution of the personality of Astarte and by her situation on the sand: between matter and spirit. It is allegorized by the opposite and complementary figures of Delilah and Eva in the poetry of Vigny. The debased Eve of Christian tradition is no more and no less than the vehicle of spiritual Sophia. The poles of human existence and aspiration are fused in eternal Eve. We must therefore learn to take with a sizable grain of salt the apparent misogyny of a legion of esoteric writers. As was previously noted in connection with Semire, Azora, Widow Cosrou and Missouf, their female personifications of Maya are etched without indulgence. But the divine being in Eva receives magnificent equal time.

143. The Little Prince, Ch. VIII 144. A la Recheche du temps perdu, p. 438, Vol. I 145. Isis Unveiled, p. xvi, Vol. 1



Intermediate levels exist between opposite poles of feminine allegory: Maya and Eva. The same scale of "degrees" may explain the following remark of Marcel Proust:

"There exist between the merits of the different women of the world only insignificant degrees." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 276, Vol. III) This statement may be a clue to the veiled significance of feminine personages created by Proust. There isto be sure"not a single character" in the Recherche who can be understood or identified by means of a "key." But the admittedly occult attributes of women portrayed by the author invite speculation. "Not a single character" could easily mean "many." The reunion of Zadig and Astarte is followed by a review of their adventures. Much has happened to the lovers since the time of their separation. The tribulations of the young man have been equaledif not surpassedby the misfortunes of the Queen. Missouf is mentioned at length in the ensuing conversation. Her resemblance to Astarte has brought her to the attention of Moabdar who chooses her as his tyrannical consort. Her accession to power brings arbitrary rule and chaos to the kingdom. Hidden in a colossal statue, Astarte has witnessed the decay wrought on her former realm by the false and erratic double who represents the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Using a concealedoccultvantage point, Astarte renders an oracle which terrifies the King and drives him insane. The undoing and the death of Moabdar are followed by the downfall of Missouf. Babylon is not ready for their kind of "leadership." Once again a dim view is conveyed of the "supernatural" and of its use by established religions. The statue located in a temple seems to beand probably isa tool of sacerdotal trickery. But a staggering Truth is concealed beyond appearance for those who can "see" beyond the surface of matter. Were Moabdar prepared to gaze beyond that veil, he would perceive the understandable presence of a person hidden



inside. Or he would know that speaking statues lie within the capacity of certain technologies. But the insane influence of "Missouf" throws the King into a fit of superstitious terror. The shortlived reign of the capricious Jewess corresponds to the decline from Babylonian Pagan KnowledgeTruth-Astarteto the beginning of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The same trend is recorded in the Secret Doctrine as a necessary aspect of increasing materialization. Knowledge is shown eventually degenerating "into Sorcery, taking later on the shape of exoteric religions, of idolatry full of superstitions, and man, or hero-worship."146 The theme of Truth too simple and too fantastic to be believed is once again present. It is often exploited by esoteric writers who make seemingly preposterous unveiled statements without fear of literal interpretation. In the words of Marcel Proust, "The infinite field of the possible stetches wide open, and if, by chance, reality offered itself to our eyes, it would be so far beyond the possible that, in sudden dizziness, stumbling into that abruptly erected wall, we would fall over backwards."147 The parallel encounters of TruthAstartewith Zadig and Moab-dar deserve comparison. The Queen raises her veil upon meeting her devotee. Contact is favored by the goddess. But a "wall" of impenetrable matter stands between her and the unworthy. Moabdar perceives only a terrifying voice. Fortified by sustained efforts in the path of virtue, dedicated to Truth and to her only, Zadig is prepared to gaze at unveiled Nature. Impelled by base passions, subjugated by Missouf, a degraded version of Truth, Moabdar is unfit to "lift the veil." The King incurs the penalty suffered by those who approach sacred mysteries without due preparation:

146. The Secret Doctrine, p. 281, Vol. II 147. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 92, Vol. III

Zadig 211 "The Talmud gives the story of the four Tanaim who are made in allegorical terms, to enter into the garden of delights, i.e., to be initiated into the occult and final science: 'According to the teaching of our holy masters the names of the four who entered the garden of delight are: Ben Azai, Ben Zoma, A'her, and Rabbi A'qibah Ben Azai looked andlost his sight Ben Zoma looked andlost his reason A'her made depredations in the plantation (mixed up the whole and failed). But A'qibah, who had entered in peace, came out of it in peace, for the saint, whose name be blessed, had said, 'This old man is worthy of serving us with glory."' (Isis Unveiled, p. 119, Vol. 2) The failure of Moabdar corresponds to the failure of Ben Zoma, the candidate who "looked and lost his reason." The "depredations" of A'her resemble the 'confusion' of Arbogad which followed unethical, uncontrolled "drinking." The adherence of Moabdar to a false version of TruthMissoufcauses his downfall. Inadequate knowledge and shady motives bring failure to the Arab bandit. In short, the Judaeo-Christian realm of Moabdar and the Moslem world of the Arbogad are culturally ill-prepared to "cultivate" a certain spiritual "garden" that will be the subject of a final quip in Candide. The same inadequacy is noted in occult writings according to which the study of what is called "magic" is almost impracticable in the modern Western world."148 The disastrous impact of "Missouf" on Babylon reflects ravages caused by the emergence of the Judaeo-Christian tradition and by its clash with a purer form of Truth. The end of Zadig finds the dangerous misfitla belle capricieuseroaming all over the world, a sad personification of the scapegoat Judaeo-Christian mystique, of the "Wandering Jew" and of Judaeo-Christian imperialism. Pursued by the wrath of wicked individuals, Zadig must take flight again as the age of persecution continues to unfold. His death is pre148. Isis Unveiled, p. 635, Vol. 2



vented by a warning of Queen Astarte. The unfailing saving grace of the beloved is noted with exoteric merriment and esoteric depth. The quoted authority of Zoroaster transcends the boundaries of humor and gallant appearance:

"'When one is loved by a beautiful woman,' says the great Zoroaster, 'one always gets by in this world.'" (The Basilisk) Divine Wisdom imparts to her faithful a strength and resilience unavailable from any other source. The devotee of Truth receives from the goddess the benefit of high protection. The devotee of Truth should not be too surprised to find his "trace" or name written on cer-tain "sands." The chapter devoted to The Basilisk has two esoteric functions. It identifies the devila debased concept of the serpent of Knowledgeas a fictitious prop of Christian dogma. It suggests that purely materialistic knowledge is inadequate to know the Truth which can be perceived only by "lifting the veil" of matter or external appearance. The crucial chapter featuring Isis Unveiled also confirms the previously suggested identity of the allegorical couple formed by Zadig and Astarte: Man the Lover of Truth and his Love. On one level, the disciple of Zoroaster is a spiritual seeker in the era of Pagan decline. He is also a Savior of the Higher Selfas every human being necessarily evolving is ultimately destined to be. On another level, he is also a Savior in a far-reaching sense of the term: a being who, having completed the cycle of necessity and freed himself from the Wheel of Rebirth, chooses to return to Earth to help the evolution of mankind. Such beings who give up their blissful spiritual life for the sake of other creatures are designated as Great Sacrifices. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, they "have obtained final liberation, if they have only availed themselves of it: "Instead of which, preferring the good of mankind, which would struggle still more hopelessly in the meshes of ignorance and misery, were it not for this extraneous helpthey are reborn over



and over 'in that character' and thus 'fill up their own places.' Who they are, 'on earth'every student of occult science knows."149 The dual nature of Zadig, an ordinaryyet outstandinghuman being as well as a perfected, voluntarily reincarnated Saviorhas a parallel in Astarte. On one level the Queen is not immune to guilty passion when she falls in love with Zadig. On a higher level, she is the embodiment of Truth waiting to be Unveiled until she is approached by a proper candidate. No contradiction is implied by the duality of each personage. The same spiritual ardor of Love guides them "above" and "below." Each one combines ordinary attributes with the higher potential that is the birthright of all human beings. From the standpoint of esoteric technique, the chapter featuring the unveiling contains a lesson in interpretation. Esotericism may have as many as seven keys of meaning. In a commentary on the Book of Dzyan, H.P. Blavatsky observes: "The teaching is offered as it is understood; and as there are seven keys of interpretation to every symbol and allegory, that which may not fit a meaning, say from the psychological or astronomical aspect, will be found quite correct from the physical or metaphysical." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 22, fn., Vol. II) There is reason to wonder how many more levels of meaning may apply to Zadig and Astarte than the two here presented. The same question should be asked with reference to the writings of numerous literary "smugglers." One may speculate that the highest degrees of esotericism are accessible to initiates only and that the full study of esoteric literature involves an approach designated by Proust as "a method of reading through superimposed symbols."150 We have much to learn from numerous love stories created by great writers. Many such romances are esoteric versions of the same basic

149. The Secret Doctrine, p. 615, Vol. II 150. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 260, Vol. II



allegory: Man irresistibly drawn to Truth. The Divine Mistress of Paracelsus, Voltaireand many othershides under an infinite variety of "veils" ranging from rags to sumptuous finery. It is the privileged duty of our age to "unveil" her wherever she may be found.

"I went in search of my art, often in danger of my life. I have not been ashamed to learn those things which to me have seemed usefuleven from vagabonds, barbers, and executioners. For we know how a lover will go a long way to meet the woman that he loves. How much more, then, will the lover of wisdom be tempted to go in search of his divine mistress!" (Paracelsus, epigraph to the novel by Frank G. Slaughter, Divine Mistress) Zadig becomes a contestant in an important tournament. The victor will marry the widowed Queen Astarte and will succeed Moabdar as King of Babylon. The event resembles a medieval joust. Ladies watch the exploits of their knights. The arena, the spears, the horses, and the general nature of the contest all seem to belong to a tradition that glorifies physical skill and physical strength. But the symbolism of sand,151 "penetrating" spears, Pegasus and "strength" is present. The emphasis placed on "valor" and "wisdom" and the political importance of the occasion show more to be at stake than a spectacular clash of muscle.

"One did not permit the first position in the world, which was to be that of husband of Astarte and King of Babylon, to be determined by intrigues and conspiracies. They swore to recognize as King the most courageous and the wisest man." (The Fights) The above passage invites comparison between ancient Babylon and modern Western Europe. As was the case in Les Genereux, certain traits of the Pagan world are praised at the apparent expense of XVIIIth Century "Westphalia." The King of Babylon who is chosen on the

151. The word "arena,"(Fr. "arene") means "sand."



basis of merit is totally different from those Kings who, in the immortal words of Beaumarchais, "took only the trouble to be born"152 to "deserve" their crown. On another level, the King who is chosen on the basis of merit may be an electun eluin the spiritual sense. Modern Western concepts of "nobility" and "divine right" are irrelevant to his credentials. The elite of the world of Antiquity is as wary of political intrigue and cabals as it is of other forms of Mayavic division. The presence of the word cabales or conspiracies involving small groups suggests an allusion to the Kabala, the occult tradition of the Jews. Babylon is too familiar with the chaos and strife resulting from the short-lived reign of "Missouf" to welcome any kindred "kabalas" or adulterated fragments of the once "universal," "Oriental Kabala." "Very few Christians understand, if indeed they know anything at all, of the Jewish Theology. The Talmud is the darkest of enigmas even for most Jews, while those Hebrew scholars who do comprehend it do not boast of their knowledge. Their kabalistic books are still less understood by them; for in our days more Christian than Jewish students are engrossed in the elimination of their great truths. How much less is definitely known of the Oriental, or the universal Kabala! Its adepts are few; but these heirs elect of the sages who first discovered 'the starry truths which shone on the great Shemaia of the Chaldean lore' have solved the 'absolute' and are now resting from their grand labor. (Isis Unveiled, p. 17, Vol. 1) The combined symbolism of "sand," "spears" and "horses" suggests elements of esoteric truth which may be found in the Bible and other Judaeo-Christian scriptures. All of which amounts to the resemblance borne by Missouf to far more beautiful Astarte. Sand is often mentioned in the expression "sands of time," a concept closely linked to evolution. The downwardbound curve of evolution from prehistoric to modern times forms the very backbone of Zadig. The occult significance of weapons or armssuch as "the good sword of knowl152. Le Mariage de Figaro, V, iii



edge"is fairly well known. It is consistent with the representation of a force by an arrow in physics. The winged horse or mythological Pegasus symbolizes poetic, literary or scriptural inspiration. Voltaire may have used that combination of symbols to evoke the "heirs elect of the sages who first discovered 'the starry truths which shone on the great Shemaia of the Chaldean lore,'" when he stressed the electiveor electstatus of the King of Babylon. The distinction made by H.P. Blavatsky between the Oriental or Universal Kabala and its inferior Judaic outgrowth may also have contributed to the inspiration of The Fights. The general picture of Babylon which is presented in Zadig is that of a collectivity still committed to universal values in the face of increasingly divisive trends. The Voltairian "Babel" has not forgotten the age in which "the whole human racewas 'of one language and of one lip.'"153 esoterically of one faith. The tournament begins. Two contestants are introduced. Their names and performances seem to reflect different levels of "strength" or spirituality. Contained in the name of Itobad are the letters which form the word Obi or Ob. The plane of Ob is the inferior and dangerous realm of passive mediumship. Corresponding to the name of Otameperhaps to the monadic aspect of atome: atom and atmais the plane of high spirituality. While the term atma is known to many Westerners who have heard or read about mahatmas or "great souls," the area of Ob calls for clarification. It is defined in Isis Unveiled:

"It is undeniable that there must have been some good reasons why the ancients persecuted unregulated mediums. Otherwise, why at the time of Moses and David and Samuel, should they have encouraged prophecy and divination, astrology and soothsaying, and maintained schools and colleges in which these natural gifts were strengthened and developed, while witches and those who divined by the spirit of Ob were put to death? Even at the time of

153. The Secret Doctrine, p. 198, Vol. I



Christ the poor oppressed mediums were driven to the tombs and waste places without the city walls. Why should banishment, persecution, and death be the portion of the physical mediums of those days, and whole communities of thaumaturgistslike the Ess-enesbe not merely tolerated but revered? It is because the ancients, unlike ourselves, could 'try' the 'spirits' and discern the difference between the good and the evil ones, the human and the elemental. They also knew that unregulated spirit intercourse brought ruin upon the individual and disaster to the community." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 489-90, Vol. 1) The character and performance of Itobad fall short of noble dedication and superior skill. The uncouth candidate is "very vain, lacking in courage, very clumsy, and without wit"or "spirit." (tres vain, peu courageux, tres maladroit, et sans esprit). Lacking genuine stature and independent strength, he has been led to seek the hand of the Queen and the throne of Babylon by pressure from his "servants" who say that a man like him should be King. He is, therefore, the instrument of inferior beings similar to the "satellites" and "bandits" of Orcan, Hermes, and Arbogad. He is no match for such gifted and ethical contestants as Otame and Zadig who excel in "skill" and "grace." Babylon is prompt to recognize in Itobad a caliber of "spirit" consistent with the level of Ob. The unworthy candidate is "booed and removed to his quarters." As he barely manages to walk away, he is heard to repeat piteously: "What an adventure for a man like me!" The sportsmanship and the ethics of Itobad are of the same order as his skill. The defeated candidate to the hand of Astarte and to the crown of Babylon resorts to treachery: theft of the white suit of armor belonging to Zadig, a symbol of high protection, pure mastery and adeptship. Otame is outstanding in skill and grace. But he is destined to lose. Zadig has received from Isis-Astarte-Truth the "arms" of mastery conferred upon those who have looked beyond the veil: the white suit of armor and "the finest horse in Persia."



The fight opposing Zadig to Otame features a significant progression. The equestrian battle of the beginning becomes a duel waged on foot. The gradual elimination of all external aids other than a saberor "sword of knowledge"points to the supremacy of inner strength. The importance of occult "skill" is stressed by "feints" or deceptive maneuvers. The equestrian battle is won by a movement to the "rear." The duel is won by a feint. The victory of Zadig is achieved by recovery or his "wits" or" spirit."

"Finally, their horses being tired, and their spears broken, Zadig used the following trick: he passes behind the blue prince, jumps onto the rear of his horse, takes him by the middle of the body, throws him on the ground, gets into the saddle in his place, and rides briskly around Otame lying on the ground." "Finally, Zadig, having regained his spirits for a moment, stops, makes a feint, passes over Otame, makes him fall, disarms him." (The Fights) In short, the outcome of the battle is determined by near-abandonment of the material panoply and of the physical strife of war. It is a pause giving free rein to mind and spirit154 that finally tips the scales in favor of Zadig. The esoteric value of "arms" as spiritual weapons is virtually given. The physical aspect of the fight is open to question. The maneuver of Zadig taking Otame "by the middle of the body" par le milieu du corpsmay represent an action aimed at the astral body of the blue knight. As was previously noted, the astral bodyor astral soul or perisprit or "doppelganger"is the intermediate or "middle body" of man: a principle far more ethereal than the physical shell yet removed from the absolute immateriality of pure spirit. The esoteric meaning of the French expression milieu du corps may be that of "astral body;" once again hinting at the concept of "physical principles of nature, as they were known in those days." 154. Once again the dual meaning of the word esprit: mind and spirit is exploited.



Similar use of the word "corps" is made in the Proustian Recherche. A tirade of Saint Loup on the esthetic value of military strategy is an invitation to read on twoor morelevels. The question of the "name" and nature of certain "corps" is called to attention:

"'all that you read, I suppose, in the report of a military narrator, the smallest facts, the smallest events, are only signs of an idea which must be extracted and which often is superimposed on others, as in a palimpsest. So that you have a whole as intellectual as any science or any art, and which is satisfying to the mind'155 'Examples, please if I am not asking too much.' 'It is difficult to tell you like that,' Saint Loup interrupted. 'You read for instance that such and such a corps has attemptedbefore going any further, the name of the corps, its composition, are not without meaning.'" (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 109, Vol. II) The rest of Saint Loup's spirited expose contains several esoteric gems pointing to the concealed value of "arms" and the general nature of the scheme of evolution. The spiritual orientation of the text that is evoked by the word esprit is also suggested by an odd reference to a chalice. Esoterically, "final annihilation" may be read as the eventual dissolution of the astral body which is not immortal. Spiritual "paths" are represented by "highways" and "railroads." Spiritual substance comes under the designation of "supplies." "Defensive" works, "feints," and the difficulty of understanding certain maneuvers are all thrown exuberantly at the unsuspecting exoteric reader. The importance of doctrines is stressed. Truth and "regulations"Universal Laware mentioned. The "sectarian" tendencies of each "army" are noted against a general background of analogy. The abuse inflicted upon Truth and "regulations" by the Jehovically inspired "high command" is not overlooked:

155. Isis Unveiled, p. 289, Vol. 1



"it is likely that truth must be sought in regulations, not in the mournings of the high command. And there is more than the regulations of each army. There are also their traditions, their habits, their doctrines." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 110, Vol. II) The discourse of Saint Loup is punctuated by irrepressible and by exoterically puzzling laughter. His merriment becomes understandable and easy to share when viewed in the light of esoteric content. The tongue-in-cheek lyricism of the young officer dedicated to Military Grandeur and Servitudeand his general portrayal elsewhere in the Rechercheraise an interesting question: Who is Saint Loup? Could he be in any way connected with the "saint" or adept who wrote La Mort du loup? Could he be Vigny in disguise? The official image of Vigny is not easily reconciled with the popular idea of holiness. But, as Barbey d'Aurevilly observed and as the reading public will soon discoverthe works and the life of the poet are "about soul and the highest labor of a soul." The esoteric value of the French word corps may also shed light on Voltaire's report of the death of Charles XII. The Swedish King is noted to have been exposed to enemy fire "almost from the waist up"literally expose presque a demi-corpswhen he was felled before Frederickshall. The commonplace appearance of such a death on the battlefield is contradicted by several facts. The findings of physicians, ballistics experts and the knowledge of historians produce only confusion. In short, the death of the Swedish King remains a mystery. Yet the enigma may not be insoluble. Voltaire notes the presence on the scene of a "man of execution," a Frenchman named Siquier. Later, Siquier accused himself of having shot the King but eventually retracted his spontaneous confession. Charles possessed unusual powers. He seemed oblivious to danger on the astonishing number of occasions when he narrowly escaped death on the battlefield. Voltaire stresses that the King had a remarkable "sense of destiny," a statement that may suggest knowledge of the future. Could the soldier King have known, somehow, that his last



hour had not come? Prescience may also explain why he stubbornly refused to speak French, a language he knew well, during his entire life. Could he have known that he would be assassinated by a Frenchman? His physical endurance was extraordinary. Wrapped in a mere cloak, lying on straw or on a board, he is noted to have slept outdoors in midwinter in Norway without harming his health. On the same occasions, the extremely cold temperatures were causing his men to freeze to death at their stations. Charles also had the ability to abstract himself from pain; a faculty demonstrated when he was wounded at the siege of Poltava:

"as he was returning to his camp, he was hit by a carabine shot which pierced his boot and smashed the bone in his heel. Not the least change was observed on his face that might have caused one to believe that he was wounded; he continued quietly to give his orders and still remained nearly six hours on horseback. One of his servants, realizing that the shoe of the boot of the prince was all bloody, ran for surgeons. The pain endured by the King was beginning to be so sharp that he had to be helped down from his horse, and that he had to be carried into the tent. The surgeons examined his wound; they were of a mind to amputate his leg. The consternation of the army cannot be expressed. A surgeon named Neu-man, who was more skilled and daring than others, affirmed that by making deep incisions, he would save the King's leg. 'Get to work immediately, then,' the King said to him; 'cut boldly, don't fear anything.' He was holding his leg himself with both hands, watching the incisions being made as if the operation had been performed on another man." (Histoire de Charles XII Livre IV) It is not inconceivable that the King was on an astral "trip" when he was shot. The exposed "demi-corps" mentioned by Voltaire may designate the intermediate "body" or astral soul which can be naturally or artificially projected beyond its physical shell. Occult philosophy teaches that a blow sustained by the exposed astral body may reverber-



ate on the physical body.156 The bizarre possibility that the astral body of Charles was the first recipient of the fatal bullet may some day be studied seriously by historians and by other scholars. In summary, the occult value of the word corps may be tested in the works of esoteric writers. In this instance, Voltaire may have used the term in the sense of "astral body." The victory of Zadig is temporarily nullified by the treachery of Ito-bad. The defeated contender steals the white suit of armor and the "white weapons" of the victor. The impostor is proclaimed King by the deceived Babylonian community. The theft is committed while the legitimate owner is "asleep." The adept must maintain constant vigilance against inferior, ever active powers of Ob. Zadig cannot claim the white suit of armor or the white weapons as his own for fear of "compromising" Isis-Astarte who gave them to him. Secrecy guides the champion of Truthor initiatewho has gazed beyond the veil. General discretion and esoteric practice are justified in a few, barely noticeable words:

"He could not see the Queen; he could not claim the white suit of armor which she had sent to him: it would have compromised her; thus, while she was plunged in grief, he was overwhelmed with fury and anxiety." (The Fights) Zadig is compelled to wear the despised garments of Itobad while the knave flaunts and disgraces the white vestments of the adept. The double masquerade dramatizes a joint grievance of occultists and esoteric writers. Genuine spirituality is caricatured as quackery. Occult knowledge is judged by the lowest levels of occultism and by false representatives. An inferior repertoire of sorcery, mediumship, spiritism and shabby tricks is exploited by practitioners of Ob who thus discredit valid secret lore. Chief beneficiaries of the masquerade are corrupt spir-

156. Isis Unveiled, p. 360, Vol. 1



itual establishments which have much to fear from genuine secret science. The imposture is linked specifically to the Judaeo-Christian tradition and to the God of the Old Testament. The vowel content of the name Itobad adds to the idea of inferior occult arts designated by Ob the suggestion of a faith based on worship of a third-rate figure of world mythology: IAO-Jehovah. "Iacchus again is Iao or Jehovah,"157 says the Secret Doctrine. The same basic sleight of hand which made a Supreme Being out of the God of the Old Testament is reflected in the imposture of Itobad. It is a manifestation of the illegal holding of "five hundred ounces of silver" by the dishonest "Jew" of a previous chapter. Using the elevation of the usurper (Itobad-IAO, Jehovah) at the expense of cheated outstanding merit (Zadig, the Pagan), Voltaire adds substance to his designation of the Judaeo-Christian branch of World Religion as a market of quackery and inferior magic. The same equivalence is found in occult writings:

"In India it (vulgar magic) was the work of the lowest clergy; in Rome that of the highest Pontiffs." (Isis Unveiled, p. 70, Vol. 2) The occult experimentation of some high-ranking members of the clergy is the subject of an interesting book written by Pope Honorius. The name Honorius was worn by four different Popes so that it is difficult to determine which one wrote the anthology of magic spells which came to the attention of this writer. Unfortunately, her copy of the book was loaned and never seen again. At any rate, it contained a series of edifying "recipes" such as the technique required to make a girl dance naked until she dies. It will be found in the course of the present study that Voltaire consistently credits a learned ecclesiastical orderthe Company of Jesuswith "left-handed" ("black arts") occult activity. The same fact is noted in occult writings. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "Some of

157. The Secret Doctrine, p. 460, Vol. II



the early Popes were initiates, but the last fragments of their knowledge have now fallen into the power of the Jesuits, who have turned them into a system of sorcery."158 The same pursuits are a matter of historical and judicial record. Such cases as those of Louis Gaufridi and Father Girard are notorious examples of fairly common mischief. The former priest was charged in 1611 with having bewitched a young girl. According to Barbey d'Aurevilly, "the young girl was noble and was named Madelaine de la Palud. The procedure of the trial is on record. One finds there in detail facts of possession which are as numerous as they are extraordinary. Modern science, which is cognizant of those facts and which explains them or believes it is explaining them, will never find the secret of the influence exerted by one human being over another in such colossal proportions."159 The trial of Father Girard which took place in 1731and which is noticed in Isis Unveiledinvolved similar charges and circumstances. The rere Joseph portrayed by Vigny in Cinq Mars is a shadowy "servant" whose occult influence on Richelieu is broadly hinted. The dominance exerted by the Cardinal himself over the French King seems to be of like nature. Voltaire wryly states in Chapter XIX of L'Ingenu that Richelieu and Mazarin had their "guards" who constituted companies of "satellites." The monk who converts Thais in the novel of Anatole France bearing as its title the name of the famous courtesan finally sees himself in true light: as a vampire. The bizarre priest featured in Mort a credit performs an act of necrophiliac vampirism. The clerical Tartuffe dabbling in the black arts is a fairly common personage in History and Literature. The God of the Old Testament is a frequent source of inspiration of esoteric writers. IAOJehovah makes several appearancesof which Itobad is firstin the Voltairian trilogy. Loutish traits supply major

158. Ibid., p. 311, Vol. I 159. L 'Ensorcelee, Ch. IX



clues to the veiled identity of Jehovic characters whose names often contain the three vowels IAOnot necessarily placed in that order. Jehovah may also be found in ludicrous and hateful disguises in the works of other writers. President Grandmorin, the socially prominent seducer of La Bete Humaine, is such a figure. His "veiled" identity is flaunted exoterically when street-smart commentators are heard to say that the dead executive had been the "Good Lord" leur Bon Dieuof his favorite, heavily favored people. Zola seems to suggest connections between the title of the bookThe Human Beast (La Bete humaine)the "President," and the apocalypse that marks the end of the novel. Also significant is the vowel content of the word Assommoir, the title of another well-known novel of Zola. The word in question which conveys the idea of stunning, stultifying, debilitating and corrupting power designates a thriving outlet of toxic alcoholic "drinks." The spirit-peddling establishment that is a source of physical, mental and economic disaster for countless poor people is owned and operated by "Old Man Colombe,"le pere Colombewhose name "dove"conveys an additional hint of the involvement of spirit. M. Jacotin, the thundering, arrogant and pathetic father figure created by Marcel Ayme160 is another version of the biblical God. The dreaded pere de famille terrorizes and humiliates everyone within his small realm. But he is neither powerful nor secure in his professional capacity. His self-concept vacillates between the figure of the wrathful, vengeful God and the figure of the benevolent deity who yearns to be loved and even worshiped. M. Jacotin is strangely unable to cope with one weapon: the silence of his victims. He cannot resist the temptation to write fraudulent "scriptures" whose creation makes him feel "rich, master of a magnificent and flowery domain." The weaknesses of the family God are perceived by his son "Lucien"whose name conveys the idea of light. But they are not exposed rashly to the rest of the sur-

160. Le Proverbe, Marcel Ayme



fering family. Such a disclosure would trigger violent reactions that would do more harm than good to all concerned. But the reader is free to surmise that truth will not be forgotten by the perceptive new generation when the day of maturity and independence arrives. In Waiting for Godot Samuel Beckett sketches his own replica of the Old Testament deity; a cruel character named Pozzo who greets two other men as fellow-beingsmoulded in his own image and therefore "of divine orign." Later his name is linked to Abel and Cain thus producing the formula "Jehovah-Cain-Abel" which is the esoteric equivalent of Jehovah.161 The second part of Molloy, another work of the same author, contains the self-portrait of another Jehovic figure who is also tyrannical, insecure and vulnerable to silence. His pedagogy is based on two principles: 1) the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away; and 2) Sollst entbehren ("he [the child] must do without, he must be deprived"). The grim mottoes convey ideas of necessity, must, and privation, Maya; a set of ideal conditions for the dominance of an insecure, jealous and tyrannical God. The despotic "father" knows that he may well be abandoned by the "child" he deliberately stultified and forced into restless submission. John Bell is a successful industrialist who plays a major part in Chatterton, a play written by Alfred de Vigny. He is a Jehovic type more concerned about his factory equipment than about injuries sustained by his workers. The fact that entire families face destitution as a result of industrial accidents is unimportant to him. He is arrogant with the weak and obsequious with the mighty. He is a domestic tyrant who rules his children through fear and who exploitswhile belittling and resenting itthe keen intelligence of his wife whom he criticizes for reading too much: "a bad mania for a woman." "Wherever I see mystery I see a sin" roars the family Jehovah. His arrival in the opening scene of the play is marked by a significant stage direction: "A thundering voice is heard."

161. The Secret Doctrine, p. 126, Vol. II



A brief sketch of a theatrical director appears in another work of Vigny. His omniscience and omnipotence embrace the entire world of dramatic creation. His tendency to claim all credit due others invites connection to the Judaeo-Christian plagiarism of Pagan lore and to less than divine attributes of such impostors as Itobad: "A director is the soul of everything; from him comes the genius of the authors, that of composers, of actors, of decorators, of sketch artists, of lamp lighters and of the cleaning crew. He is the principle and the end of everything."162 Mark Twain did not fail to use the literary gold-mine provided by the God of the Old Testament. The father of Huckleberry Finn is fiercely resents the fact that his own son is the owner of a treasure and that he is tasting the Forbidden Fruit of Knowledge. The esoteric reader is free to speculate that the treasure found in cavea place of initiationand the Fruit of Knowledge are one and the same. The jealous father is a prolific source of prohibitions and maledictions:

"You're educated, too, they saycan read and write. You think you're better'n your father, now, don't you, because he can't? I'll take it out of you. Who told you you might meddle with such hifalut'n foolishness, hey?who told you you could?And looky hereyou drop that school, you hear? I'll learn people to bring up a boy to put on airs over his own father and let on to be better'n what he is. You lemme catch you fooling around that school again, you hear?I won't have it. I'll lay for you, my smarty, and if I catch you about that school I'll tan you good. First you know you'll get religion, too. I never see such a son." (Huckleberry FinnPap Starts A New Life) "Then the old man got to cussing, and cussed everything and everybody he could think of, and then cussed them all over again to make sure he hadn't skipped any, and after that he polished off with a kind of a general cuss all round, including a considerable parcel of people which he didn't know the name of, and so called

162. Military Grandeur and ServitudeCommand Performance, Alfred de Vigny



them what's-his-name when he got to them, and kept going right along with his cussing." (Huckleberry FinnPap and the Death Angel) One might add to the above Jehovic rogues' gallery the Proustian figure of the Director of the Hotel at Balbec whose status within the "hierarchy" has already been noted and whose malapropisms need constant "translation" to make sense. Also the Jehovic businessman featured in Chapter XIII of The Little Prince who keeps cosmic knowledge under lock and key; thus earning the contempt of the exploring "little fellow" who declares him "not useful to the stars" a massive understatement. But the most entertaining portrayal of the Mosaic God may be the work of Celine. There is a beautiful study to be made on the esoteric personality of the father figure of Mort a credit. The woman-hating, death-fearing father of Ferdinand is linked to Bacchus (IAO-Jehovah) by two chief claims to distinction: a Baccalaureat and frequent "Bacchanals" or violent scenes. His status of low-ranking power is suggested by professional standing. Auguste vegetates as a petty employee in the dismal hierarchy of a fire-insurance company. The specialty of the firm is a transparent allusion to Christian religion in general and to Hell in particular. Like M. Jacotin Auguste has a certain talent in the area of letter-writing or scriptures. But, like other Jehovic types, he does not seem to desire higher education for his son. Like the dubious deity mentioned by Voltaire who would wish to "be served by ignorants and by fools," Auguste cannot maintain his shaky rule in an intelligent world. Sensing imminent disaster, he is obsessed with the passage of time. His downfall comes with the emergence of a generation more learned than his own and with the fast-spreading use of a new method of processing "letters." The revolutionary method of young competitors armed with advanced "degrees" may well be esoteric. If so, it does not bode well for the tyrannical domestic Deity. A typical performance of the family Jehovah is described in the following passages. It is enriched by the reference to "Heaven," the desti-



nation of prayers and the "attic" of the father. The suffocating atmosphere of insane violence and abject fear is intensified by the sure prospect of a "Deluge" and by the catastrophic motions of a vagrant piano. The proximity of the latter word and of the sentence: "He no longer knows himself strongly suggest esoteric intent on the part of Celine. Happy is the reader who can savor the potent alchemy of the original argot!

"Ma mere rendait grace au Ciel. Mon pere voulait pas voir ca. Il remontait dans sa soupente, zyeutant sa montre a chaque pas, il requinquait toute sa hantise. Il preparait l'autre panique, et le Deluge qui tarderait pas...Il s'entrainait ..." ("My mother gave thanks to heaven. My father couldn't bear to witness these scenes. He'd climb up to his attic, looking at his watch at every step, refurbishing his obsession. He was building up to the next outburst, the Deluge that wouldn't be long in coming... Getting into trim ..." (Ralph Mannheim Translation) "Maman va derouiller, c'est sur. De mon cote je prefere per-sonne. Pour les gueulements et la connerie, je les trouve pareils...Elle cogne moins fort, mais plus souvent. Lequel que j'aimerais mieux qu'on tue? Je crois que c'est encore mon papa. On me laissera pas voir, 'Monte dans ta chambre, petit saligaud! Va te coucher!... Fais ta priere!' ... Il mugit, il fonce, il explose, il va bombarder la cuistance. Apres les clous, il reste plus rien...Toute la quincaillerie est en bombe...ca fuse... ca gicle...ca resonne...Ma mere a genoux implore le pardon du Ciel .... La table il la catapulte d'un seul grand coup de pompe...Elle se renverse sur elle. 'Sauve-toi Ferdinand!' qu'elle a encore le temps de me crier. Je bondis. Je passe a travers d'une cascade de verres et de debris...Il carambole le piano, le gage d'une cliente...Il se connait plus. Il rentre dedans du talon, le clavier eclate...c'est le tour de ma mere, c'est elle qui prend a present!...De ma chambre je 1'entends qui



hurle...'Auguste! Auguste! Laisse-moi!'...et puis des brefs etouffe-ments ... Je redescends un peu pour voir...Il la traine le long de la rampe. Elle se raccroche. Elle l'enserre au cou. C'est ca qui la sauve." ("My mother's going to get it, that's for sure. As far as I'm concerned I have no preference. For yelling and assy stuff there's nothing to choose between them...She doesn't hit so hard, but more often. Which one of the two I'd rather see killed by someone? Well, all in all, my daddy I think. They don't want me to see 'Go up to your room, you little swine!... Go to bed!... Say your prayer! He bellows, he rushes, he explodes, he's going to bomb the chow. After the nails there's nothing left...The whole batch of hardware explodes...it rockets... it squirts, it bangs .... My mother on her knees implores the mercy of Heaven...The table he propels it in one great kick... It tips over on top of her. 'Run Ferdinand!' she still has time to yell to me. I jump. I pass through a cascade of glass and debris... he sends the piano careening that a customer left us as security...he's beside himself. He bashes his heel into it, the keyboard bursts...It's my mother's turn, she's the one who's getting it now...From my room I hear her howling...'Auguste! Auguste! Let go!...' and then short, choking sounds. I come down a little to see...He's dragging her along the banister. She hangs on. She clutches his neck. That's what saves her.") Celine may have had in mind the Itobad of Voltaire when he added a finishing touch to the portrayal of his despicable "Auguste." The lament of the defeated contender of Zadig: "What an adventure for a man like me!" has a counterpart in the self-pity of the father of Ferdinand: "What a humiliation for a man of his education!" Frustrated aspiration to supremacy and less than divine character are stressed in each case. The word piano containsin proper sequencethe three letters designating Jehovah. It is a natural source of amusement of esoteric



writers. The demolition of the instrument perpetrated by the Almighty Father "Auguste" suggests the self-destructing or contradictory nature of the biblical God. The presumed source of Ultimate Light and Goodness is noted for blind and vicious outbursts. The supposedly omnipotent God is the epitome of insecure brutality in the dual etymological sense of the word. The "better half" of Jehovah, significantly named "Clemence"suffers accordingly. We might note in passing that she loves to describe her "marriage" in mendaciously glowing terms and that she blames the "son" for the misfortunes of the entire family. Finally, that she has an insatiable appetite for confessions. A second piano is mentioned in a subsequent passage of Mort a Credit. It is the proud possession of an English school representing reformed churches. The impoverished establishment vainly tries to avert disaster. It is plain to all that the end has come when the grand piano is removed from the institution. We might also note that the narrator of Tropic of Capricorn connects his ability to play the piano with an abundance of phallic triumphs. No woman can resist the magic of his artistic performance. But it is stressed toward the end of the book that there is a higher, nobler kind of "music." The imposture of Itobad-IAO flaunting the "borrowed" suit of armor and the weapons of Zadig is rich in meaning. The understudy of the Judaeo-Christian "God" is exposed as a usurper. His crimewhich points to the shameless plagiarism of Pagan scriptures by Christianityis vehemently denounced by proponents of the Secret Doctrine and by esoteric writers. Several passages of Isis Unveiled are devoted to the "borrowed robes" representing stolen Pagan lore, symbolism and rites. As was previously noted, H.P. Blavatsky documents the theft with an abundance of supporting material and with the intensity of contempt it deserves: "And so, above, below, outside and inside, the Christian Church, in the priestly garments, and the religious rites we recognize the stamp of exoteric heathenismDonned in the despoiled garments of the victim, the Christian priest now anathematizes the latter with rites and ceremonies which he had learned from the theurgists



themselves." With further reference to the despoilers the same author observes: "The Christian clergy areattired in the cast-off garb of the heathen priesthood; acting diametrically in opposition to their God's moral precepts, but nevertheless, sitting in judgment over the whole world." The feeling of outrage is especially strong with respect to Zoroastrianism, a reflection of the primitive Wisdom-Religion transmitted from India; a doctrine that is crucial in the story of "Zadig:" "Zoroastrianism anticipated far more than has been imagined. The cross, the priestly robes and symbols, the sacraments, the Sabbath, the festivals and anniversaries, are all anterior to the Christian era by thousands of years." The identity of ideas and the similarity of expressions used by Voltaire and H.P. Blavatsky are striking. While the usurping creed and its boorish representative of the Old Testament God are temporarily victorious in Zadig, the stolen goods amount only to "exoteric heathenism." Itobad will be exposed and disgraced in the end as was the swindling Hebrew of a previous chapter who finally had to give up the five hundred ounces of stolen silver. The chapter devoted to The Fights develops a theme often used by esoteric writers to characterize the Judaeo-Christian tradition: the theme of inverted values prevailing in a topsyturvy society. The same "moral" can be extracted from the sale reported at an earlier stage of Zadig; an event in which the muscular slave was deemed more valuable than the master. (the latter word conveying hints of intellectual and spiritual mastery.) The same diseased compulsion to prize what is inferior at the expense of what is superior is often represented in esoteric literature by the symbolism of poles inverted. Its cultural ravages are all too visible in the XXth Century First World. It was the same basic fear and hatred of intellectual and spiritual distinction that led powers-that-were of the then Soviet Union to pay a physician or a university professor much less than a street

163. Isis Unveiled, p. 8, Vol. 2



sweeper. It was the same base impulse that created a climate of anti-intellectualism in the United States and helped promote the spread of "dumbed-down" education. It is the same estrangement from the real mission of schools that leads to the grotesquely lopsided mesalliance of academics and athletics; a relationship aptly characterized as "the tail wagging the dog." It is the same phobic reaction to systems dedicated to genuine merit that currently lavishes idolatry and extravagant wealth upon tin gods of the pulpit, the rostrum, the stadium, the screen ana, occasionally, the criminal court. Alfred de Vigny was right when he repeatedly denounced the "ostracism of the intelligence" which already plagued his times. H.P. Blavatsky did not exaggerate when she pointed out that modern Western societies "do not practice their creed" of "survival of the fittest" but, educationally, economically and otherwise, gear themselves to the empowerment of mediocrity... or worse.164 The same basic pattern of inverted values is manifest in the temporary "triumph" of Itobad. Cheated of his victory by the impostor, Zadig resumes his wanderings. He deplores the cruelty and absurdity of Fate. Pessimism seems justified. Noble ethics, wisdom and courage are rewarded by stubborn misfortune. Insult is added to injury. The encounter of the hero with a strange hermit leaves the young manand the exoteric readermore convinced than ever of the erratic nature of human destiny. The bizarre sage claims to possess the key to the Book of Fate. But his conduct does not seem to be guided by wisdom or ethics. He rewards generous hospitality by stealing from his host. He responds to miserly and humiliating treatment by giving a treasure. He thanks a charitable and virtuous widow by killing her nephew. The self-proclaimed representative of divine law seems to invalidate his own pronouncements at every turn. Reason and Justice seem totally irrelevant to the operation of human fate. It is difficult to

164. The Key to Theosophy, p. 268 et seq.



believe that there can be a God worthy of the name. The very concept of "destiny" seems to lose meaning. The objective mind of Zadig is repelled. But his subjective being is attracted by the magnetic aura of the hermit. The weight of disturbing facts fails to break the spell cast by the stranger. Instinct unfailingly senses the hidden truth which is beyond the scope of the unaided intellect. Instinct is vindicated when the elder suddenly transforms himself into a dazzling angel. He reveals how divine law is at work in every human life. The vain, wealthy host will become wiser following loss of his property. The miser will learn to practice true hospitality. The slain lad would have become a murderer had he been allowed to live. In short, the hidden link between cause and effect is exposed in each case. A basic tenet of the Secret Doctrine is proclaimed: Chance does not exist. "'Il n'y a point de hasard.'" (L'Ermite) ("There is no chance") Occult philosophy defines Karma as follows: The ONE LIFE is closely related to the one law which governs the World of BeingKARMA. Exoterically, this is simply and literally 'action,' or rather an 'effectproducing cause.' Esoterically, it is quite a different thing in its far-fetching moral effects. It is the unerring LAW OF RETRIBUTION."(The Secret Doctrine, p. 634, Vol. I) "Karma-Nemesis is no more than the (spiritual) dynamical effect of causes produced and forces awakened into activity by our own actions." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 644, Vol. I) "Verily there is not an accident in our lives, not a mishappen day, or a misfortune, that could not be traced back to our own doings in this or in another life." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 644, Vol. I)



Revelations end abruptly as the angel takes flight toward the tenth sphere. Zadig is left to speculate on the mysteries of destiny. A final question remains unanswered:

"'Weak mortal, stop arguing about what must be wor shiped.' 'But,' said Zadig. As he was saying 'but,' the angel was taking flight toward the tenth sphere." (The Hermit) The final, abortive plea for inaccessible enlightenment reflects the inscrutable essence of the The Law of Action that is the mainspring of the Universe. The silent departure of the angel is the only possible answer and the only possible approach to the UNKNOWABLE essence whose effectiveness isalone"perceivable."

"Karma is the unerring law which adjusts effect to cause, on the physical, mental and spiritual planes of being. As no cause remains without its due effect from greatest to least, from a cosmic disturbance down to the movement of your hand, and as like produces like, Karma is that unseen and unknown law which adjusts wisely, inteligently and equitably each effect to its cause, tracing the latter back to its producer. Though itself unknowable, its action is perceivable." (The Key to Theosophy, p. 201) Exoterically, Zadig's inability to obtain further knowledge on the subject of destiny is noted with irony. But the quality of irony is radically changed on the esoteric level of the text by the unfathomable quality of Karma. The inscrutable cornerstone of occult philosophy is approached. It cannot be touchedmuch less probed. The unknowable essence of the One Law is a prominent theme of esoteric writings. It will again be rendered by abrupt breaks in Can-dide. Such breaks will remind the reader and student that the human mind can only go so far and no further in its approach to Karma. The same mystery is celebrated with particular beauty in the poetry of Alfred de Vigny:



"O sujet d'epouvante a troubler le plus brave! Question sans reponse ou vos saints se sont tus! O mystere, o tourment de l'ame forte et grave!" (Les Destinees) ("O awesome subject which confounds the most brave! Question without an answer on which your saints remain silent! O mystery, o torment of the strong and deep soul!") Jesrad and the "saints" are likewise silent on the eternal question. Karma is generally symbolized by a circle or by a wheel. As was previously noted, the name of the angel featured in Zadig suggests a fusion or the words "just," "justice,"in French juste, justice"and possibly "Jesus", a Just man and Savior incarnatewith the German term meaning "wheel:" rad. All four words are likely to have been factors in the selection of the name. The angel personifies the cyclic "wheel" of cosmic evolution and the Law of Retribution on the human plane. The sudden metamorphosis of the hermit dramatizes opposition between material appearance and immaterial reality. Unappealing, chaotic aspects of Maya dissolve as the scheme of life is illuminated by Karma. Divine Law stands in their place. The change occurs in the eyes of the beholder as the strange teacher speaks. In short, Karmic insight results in radically altered vision. The same transcendence of terrestrial illusion is the hinge of occult philosophy. The exoterically suspect refrains of Pangloss which deal with "cause and effect" and the strange optimism of the master facing one calamity after another do make sense in the light of evolutionary belief. The preceptor of Candide can perceive hidden links between cause and effect. The ability in question is prized by occultists. A passage of The Fisherman illustrates the reversible quality of Voltaire's "pessimism." Zadig has this observation on the apparent impunity enjoyed by such predatory men as Orcan:



"'Ah!' he said to the fisherman, 'Orcan deserves to be punished. But ordinarily, it is such people who are the favorites of destiny.'" (The Fisherman) Happiness and success are the monopolies of scoundrels. Scoundrels are the "favorites" of Destiny. Little encouragement is afforded by such findings. But the statement of the hero is modified esoterically by the vowel content of the words favoris and ordinaire. The quality of achievement suggested by IAOthe lowly plane of Jehovic outlook and vulgar magicis neither high nor happy. Debased spirituality condemns itself to mediocrity and failure. Despite all his "drinking" of "spirits" Arbogad is unlikely to have his wish and to become a "diamond." His career may well end on the gallows. "Favorites," "satellites," "bandits," "servant-driven" impostors such as Hermes, Itobad and other such creatures deserve more pity than envy. Such case histories as those of Orcan, Azora, Semire and Itobad reveal dim prospects. The collection of women wrongfully acquired by Orcan bodes little good where his safety and well-being are concerned. Egocentric Semire is unlikely to find fulfillment in the harem of her seducer. Fickle and cruel Azora gains nothing but ridicule and repudiation from her heart-lessness. The former wife of the fisherman comes to no good end. Itobad can expect lifelong enslavement to his "slaves." The effect of the law of retribution is perceptible. Evil itselfwhile never justifiable fits into the scheme of Divine Law:

"'The wicked,' replied Jesrad, 'are always unhappy; they serve to test a small number of sages scattered on earth; and there is no evil out of which some good does not come.' 'But,' replied Zadig, 'if there were only Good and no Evil?''Then,' Jesrad went on, 'this earth would be another earth; the chain of events would be another order of wisdom; and this other order, which would be perfect, can only be in the eternal abode of the Supreme Being, who cannot be approached by Evil.'" (The Hermit)



The passage is ablaze with Voltairian reverence. It is a veritable credo setting forth basic tenets of the Secret Doctrine. The falsely negative axiom: "There is no chance" is supplemented by positive revelation. Having shown the hidden links between cause and effect on the plane of individual destiny, the angel shows that similar connections operate on cosmic planes. The human condition is geared to the administration of certain tests which constitute the raison d'etre of our terrestrial world. The universe reflects a certain order or a certain "wisdom." Good and Evil are necessary agents of human evolution. "Perfection" is suggested to prevail on a non-contingent plane which "cannot be approached by Evil" or by the attributes of materiality. Intermediate levels of Being may be inferred to existas Micromegas and other Voltairian writings will confirm. The Supreme Being is totally removed from Evil or material degradation. But the power emanating from the Unknowable is dynamically involved in all aspects of universal existence. The combination of a "chain of events" and of "another earth" points to the occult view of planetary chains. The "chain" is also the symbol of reincarnation which is itself inseparable from Karma. The wheel and chainor threadrepresenting the cornerstone of occult philosophy dominate the passage. The same crucial combination of symbols is found in numerous esoteric texts. Among them is the stanza of Vigny's Destinees which contains the key to the literary production, the philosophy, and the life of Vigny. The strangely capitalized word COLLIERyoke, collar, necklaceis the nearest possible approximation of an exoteric answer to the weighty question of Fate; a mystery upon which the "saints remain silent: "Oh! dans quel desespoir nous sommes encor tous! Vous avez elargi le COLLIER qui nous lie, Mais qui donc tient la chaine?Ah! Dieu juste, est-ce vous?" ("Oh! in what despair we all still are! You have loosened the YOKE that binds us, But who does hold the chain?Ah! just God, is it you?")



The same symbolic chain is found in the famous poem written by Voltaire following the earthquake of Lisbon: "Dieu tient en main la chaine et n'est pas enchaine." ("God holds the chain in hand and his not chained himself.") The symbolism of the NECKLACE, YOKEand of the chain or threadis ancient:

"In the Hindu sacred books it is said that that which undergoes periodical incarnation is the Sutratma, which means literally 'the thread soul.' It is a synonym of the reincarnating EgoManas conjoined with Buddhiwhich absorbs the Manasic recollections of all our preceding lives. It is so called, because, like the pearls on a thread, so is the long series of human lives strung together on that one thread." (The Key to Theosophy, p. 163) The word Manas designates the thinking principle or mind that distinguishes the human being (man) from animals. The word Buddhi corresponds to the spiritual, intuitive principle which, together with Manas, forms the Higher, reincarnating Ego.165 Occult philosophy teaches that, in the vast majority of cases, successive incarnations are separated by a period of blissful rest called Devachan. The Sanscrit word is defined as "A state intermediate between two earth-lives, and into which the Ego (Atma-Buddhi-Manas or the Trinity made one) enters after its separation from Kama Rupa, and the disintegration of the lower principles, after the death of the body, on Earth."166

"We say that man suffers so much unmerited misery during his life, through the fault of others with whom he is associated, or because of his environment, that he is surely entitled to perfect rest and

165. The Key to Theosophy, pp. 135-36 166. Ibid., p. 328



quiet, if not bliss, before taking up again the burden of life." (The Key to Theosophy, p. 35) The connection between Atma, the highest principle, and the other two aspects of the "Trinity made one" is clarified as follows by H.P. Blavatsky. The reincarnating element is

"The spiritual thinking Ego, the permanent principle in man, or that which is the seat of Manas. It is not Atma, or even Atma-Bud-dhi, regarded as the dual Monad, which is the individual or divine man, but Manas; for Atman is the Universal ALL, and becomes the HIGHER-SELF of man only in conjunction with Buddhi, its vehicle, which links IT to the individuality (or divine man)." (The Key to Theosophy, p. 121) The distinction to be made between individualitythe divine, reincarnating principle which is immortaland the transient personality or identity assumed in each separate earthly life is an important one. The thread of individuality manifests itself briefly at the time of death and at the time of birth:

"At the solemn moment of death every man, even when death is sudden, sees the whole of his past life marshalled before him, in its minutest details. For one short instant the personal becomes one with the individual and all-knowing Ego. But this instant is enough to show to him the whole chain of causes which have been at work during his life. He sees and now understands himself as he is, unadorned by flattery or selfdeception. He reads his life, remaining as a spectator looking down into the arena he is quitting; he feels and knows the justice of all the suffering that has overtaken him.As the man at the moment of death has a retrospective insight into the life he has led, so, at the moment he is reborn on earth, the ego awaking from the state of Devachan, has a prospective vision of the life which awaits him, and realizes all the causes that have led to it. He realizes them, and sees futurity, because it is



between Devachan and rebirth that the Ego retains his full consciousness, and rebecomes for a short time the god he was, before, in compliance with karmic law, he first descended into matter and incarnated in the first man of flesh. The 'golden thread' sees all of its 'pearls' and misses not one of them." (The Key to Theosophy, pp. 162-63) The symbolic thread, rope or chain of rebirthand of evolutionmakes frequent appearances in esoteric texts. The "chain or events repeatedly mentioned by aging M. de Charlus does not signify senility to the esoteric reader of Proust. Nor does the same chain repeatedly mentioned by Pangloss signify insanity to the esoteric reader of Candide. The rope and pulley the latter representing the wheel of Karmabelong to the Well of Knowledge and Ethics of which mankind must "drink" if it is to survive, according to the Little Prince. The karmic symbolism of the neck and of neck-related objects that is attached to "collars" and "necklaces" is a source of great amusement to esoteric writers and a source of considerable light to esoteric readers. The "eternal golden muffler" of the Little Prince is absent from many illustrations of the book. It is therefore suggested to be symbolic and karmic. The collar and "rope" strangling "Lucky"mankind, the slave of "Pozzo" and non-existent chance is a throttling instrument of bondage. But the NECKLACE of Vigny's Destinees may be interpreted in two ways: either as an instrument of oppression oron a higher, happier levelas a radiant jewel bearing light and liberation. It all depends on whether or not the reader can "lift the veil" of symbolic appearance. The celluloid collar worn by modern Western man "unto the death"and the watch-chainare viewed as painful necessities by the author of Mort a credit:

"Collars are important too, you mustn't go wrong...a wide collar can atone for a multitude of sins when you're young and scrawny. The only flight of fancy permitted was a frivolous snap-on bow tie. Naturally there had to be a watch-chain, but darkened too for mourning..." (Ralph Mannheim Translation)



The passage deserves comment from the standpoint of esoteric concentration. The importance of "collars" is the importance of Karma. Karma is virtually identified as the atonement of sin (or at least as one method of atonement. The bow-tie that is known in French as a "butterfly-knot"noeud papillonconveys the symbolism of Man transcending his "chrysalitic shell" or physical body. For that reason, the butterfly is prominently featured in the works of Rabelais, in The Little Prince of Saint-Exupery and in the works of many other writers. The time element of evolution is represented by the watch that is "necessary." The cosmic chain and the chain of individual rebirth are present. But they are "darkened" or obscured in a world that is "in mourning"deprived of knowledge and bereft of spirituality. The karmic symbolism of the "neck" adds to the esoteric dimension of a previously quoted passage of Mort a credit. The family Jehovah is noted to be weak in that area. The choking defense of his beaten wife is therefore effective: "That's what saves her." In summary, the God of the Old Testament is consistently and logically shown to be weak an understatementon Karma, a basic element of occult philosophy which is incompatible with his alleged status of Supreme Being. We may also note that the M. Jacotin created by Marcel Ayme is helpless when faced with the responsibilityKarmaof commenting a proverb. His "personal creation" or writing is found to remain outside of the subject by a schoolmaster who also questions the overly flowery, "Sunday best" quality of the writer's style ("style endi-manche"). The fact that an attempt is made to "pass off the father's "scriptures" as being those of the son adds to the esoteric irony of the story. The well-known proverb that is the subject of his son's homework summarizes the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare and the race in which the slow but steadily moving tortoise is the surprise winner. The theme of "wasted time" may represent an allusion to distant vistas of pre-history that were removed from Christian scriptures. Such is the



case of the Book of Enoch. We may note in passing that Enoch is believed to personify early races or sub-cycles of evolution.167

"Perhaps St. Augustine was quite right in saying that the Church rejected the BOOK OF ENOCH out of her canon owing to its too great antiquity, ob nimiam antiquitatem. There was no room for the events noticed in it within the limit of the 4004 years B.C. assigned to the world from its 'creation'!" (The Secret Doctrine, p. 535, Vol. II) The revelations of Jesrad-Karma concerning another earth from which Evil would be absent point to the occult view of a system of worlds specifically designed as suitable sites for varying stages of evolution. "The evolution of man is not a process carried out on this planet alone. It is a result to which many worlds in different conditions of material and spiritual development have contributed." (A.P. Sinnett, Esoteric Buddhism, pp. 75-76) '"Man lives on many earths before he reaches this. Myriads of worlds swarm in space where the soul in rudimental states performs its pilgrimages, ere he reaches the large and shining planet named the Earth, the glorious function of which is to confer self-consciousness. At this point only he is man; at every other stage of his vast, wild journey he is but an embryonic being, a fleeting, temporary shape of mattera creature in which a part, but only a part, of the high, imprisoned soul shines forth, a rudimental shape, with rudimental functions, ever living, dying, sustaining a flitting spiritual existence as rudimental as the material shape from whence it emerged; a butterfly, springing up from the chrysalitic shell, but ever, as it onward rushes, in new births, new deaths, new incarnations, anon to die and live again, but still stretch upward, still strive onward, still rush on the giddy, dreadful, toilsome, rugged path, until it awakens once moreonce more to live and be a material shape, a thing of dust, a creature of flesh and blood, but nowa 167. The Secret Doctrine, pp. 125-29, 134 Vol. II



man!'" (Art-Magic, Anonymous, quoted in Isis Unveiled, p. 368, Vol. 1) The pilgrimage of the soul through various kingdoms of Nature is represented by metempsychosis. Man is the product of a lengthy journey on "the giddy, dreadful, toilsome, rugged path" leading to "perfection." Samuel Beckett seems to have held the same view when he referred to "mana vast block, kneaded out of all the kingdoms""L'homme aussi est la, quelque part, vaste bloc petri de tous les regnes."168 As was previously indicated, metempsychosis is a much-misunderstood element of occult philosophy. It is defined as follows in the Secret Doctrine:

"METEMPSYCHOSISThe progress of the soul from one stage of existence to another. Symbolized and vulgarly believed to be rebirths in animal bodies. A term generally misunderstood by every class of Europeans and American society, including many scientists. The kabalistic axiom, 'A stone becomes a plant, a plant an animal, an animal a man, a man a spirit, and a spirit a god,' receives an explanation in Manu's Manava-Dharma Sastra, and other Brah-manical books." (Isis Unveiled, p. xxxvi-xxxvii, Vol. 1) The flight of Jesrad to the tenth sphere fits into the suggested cosmic design of muliple planes of Being. Occult philosophy teaches that the number ten or "Decad" or sum of all, involves the entire cosmos. The universe is the combination of countless elements yet, as previously noted, the expression of a single spirit"a chaos to the sense, a cosmos to the reason." The revelations of Jesrad-Karma which transform "chaos" into "reason" are consistent with the cosmic insight suggested by the number ten. In short, the number ten may suggest the complexity of hierarchies and mathematics involved in the emanation and maintenance of Cosmos. The angel does seem to belong in high regions.

168. Molloy, p. 171, Ed. Minuit



Another number is prominently featured in occult philosophy and in occult writings. It is stated in the Secret Doctrine that the entire universefrom galaxies to atomsevolves in accordance with a septenary structure of time, space and matter. "1. Everything in the metaphysical as in the physical Universe is septenary. Hence every sidereal body, every planet, whether visible or invisible, is credited with six companion globes. The evolution of life proceeds on these seven bodies from the 1st to the 7th in Seven ROUNDS or Seven Cycles. 2. These globes are formed by a process which the Occultists call the 'rebirth of planetary chains (or 'rings).' When the seventh and last Round of one of such rings has been entered upon, the highest or first globe 'A,' followed by all the others down to the last, instead of entering upon a certain time of restor 'obscuration,' as in their previous Roundsbegins to die out. The 'planetary' dissolution (pralaya) is at hand, and its hour has struck; each globe has to transfer its life and energy to another planet." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 158-59, Vol. I) The esoteric and magical character of the number seven is not entirely unknown to the general public of Western nations. Seven and "sevening" appear frequently in biblical texts, innocent-looking fairytales and naive-sounding folklore. The dim view of our planet which is expressed in Voltairian writings seems to coincide with occult estimates of our position in the universe. In a short story entitled Memnon, Voltaire situates our globe in the neighborhood of the "madhouse" of our cosmic regions. A space traveler featured in Micromegas doubts that anyone in his right mind could wish to live in such a god-forsaken place. Voltaire and A.P. Sin-nett assign our "small globe of mud" to the same spiritually undistinguished realm:

"Our own world presents us with conditions in which spirit and matter are, on the whole, evenly balanced in equilibrium. Let it not be supposed on that account that it is very highly elevated in the



scale of perfection. On the contrary, it occupies a very low place in that scale. The worlds that are higher in the scale are those in which spirit largely predominates. There is another world attached to the chain, rather than forming a part of it, in which matter asserts itself even more decisively than on earth, but this may be spoken of later." (Esoteric Buddhism, A.P. Sinnett, p. 79) What Voltaire called "our little globe of mud" may have been linked in his mind to the "prolific slime" of occult philosophy:

"In the ancient Eastern mythologies, the cosmogonic myth states that there was but water (the father) and the prolific slime (the mother Ilus or Hyle) from which crept forth the mundane-snake matter." (Isis Unveiled, p. 146, Vol. 1) While the planetary realm of "slime" or "mud" and water cannot be the realm of perfection, it is the evolutionary "garden" where the self-consciousness of Man and his sense of ethics are cultivated. That process of growth cannot unfold in the absence of Evil. Accordingly, Reason does dwell in the very shortcomings and absurdities that seem to rule the universe. Zadig is comforted by the teachings of the strange hermit. The fact can hardly surprise the esoteric reader. Revelation has been as generous as it could be for the time setting of Zadig. Karmic insight on the plane of human destiny is supplemented by a glimpse of a rationally structured Cosmos. Having returned to the site of the tournament, the young hero promptly defeats Itobad, the usurper. The lover of Truth and pupil of Jesrad is bound to be victorious. Itobad performs as poorly in the realm of riddles as he had performed in the arena. IAOJehovah proves to be defective in concept-formation and symbolic insight; a weakness that is fatal for "a man like him."



"It was Itobad's turn to speak. He replied that a man like him knew nothing about riddles, and that it was enough to have won with great blows of the spear." (The Enigmas) Intellectually and spiritually, the inferiority of Itobad is obvious. The impostor earns the contempt of the Pagan community. Babylon does not agree that "a man like him" should reign. The nation is concerned with eternal values and general well-being, not with the "adventures" of "a man like" Itobad. Babylon demands that its intellectual and spiritual requirements be met by its leadership. No violation of ancient Law will be tolerated, least of all for the sake of "a man like" Itobad. Comparison is invited with the era of hereditary privilege in which Voltaire lived; a time when a less than divine figure of world mythology was touted by Christian churches as the Supreme Being with monarchs and popes as his delegates on Earth. The impostor and his false victory typify the "truthfulness" of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Itobad has not "won with great blows of the spear" or in any other way. His imaginary victory actually is the victory of Zadig, the Pagan. The superior power of "speed," "strength," "skill," the white "arms" of mastery, and the "sword of excellent knowledge" are in the possession of the Zoroastrian or transmitter of the Secret Doctrine. The "phallic" or literal use of the "spear"an instrument of fictitious successexposes the usurper's inability to rise beyond the lowest plane of vision and endeavor. Worst of all, it demonstrates gross dishonesty. The Pagan community is unimpressed by the choice weapon of Jehovah. IAO will have to wait for a less enlightened erawill be the time setting of Candideto force his cruel, shaky supremacy upon mankind. He will not have his day until blind, literal phallicism has killed the meaning and the appeal of Truth in the vast majority of minds. Physical combat confirms the superiority of occult mastery. The adept is a predictable victor in practical works. Control of inferior "force" is the hard-earned privilege of his advanced spiritual status:



"Zadig sut parer le coup, en opposant ce qu'on appelle le fort de l'epee au faible de son adversaire, de facon que l'epee d'Itobad se rompit." (Les Enigmes) ("Zadig was able to parry the blow, opposing what is called the strong part of his sword to the weak part of his adversary's, so that the sword of Itobad broke.") The intellectual and spiritual "strength" of Zadig is contrasted to the intellectual and spiritual "weakness" of Itobad. The inferior weapon is symbolically broken. It is meaningfully connected to the adversaryl'adversairea word often used to designate the devil and his works in medieval literature. The "excellent sword of knowledge" bestowed by Astarte-Isis-Truth has proved its value. The defeated impostor goes home where he belongs. The only sovereignty accessible to him is of inferior, "domestic" character. Accordingly, "Itobad went to have himself called 'milord' in his own house." The fiasco of the unsuccessful "Lord" supplements previous esoteric reports on the fraudulent "borrowing" of Pagan science and Pagan teachings by the Judaeo-Christian tradition. The final exposure and defeat of "Itobad" has a counterpart in the survey of hidden weakness in other major religions. Orcan and Arbogad who represent Islam are not as secure as they seem to be. Their long-range prospects are about the same as those of Itobad. India remains the postdiluvian source of the once universal Wisdom-Religion. But the burning of widows supported by the adulteration of the Code of Manu and the existence of the caste system show that it is not immune to the corruption that plagues other parts of the world. Voltaire seems to anticipate the statement of H.P. Blavatsky according to which the land of Buddha is going through the same "Age of Iron" as is the Western worldthe modern "Westphalia" of Candide:

"The Kali Yuga reigns now supreme in India, and it seems to coincide with that of the Western age." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 377, Vol. I)



The disciple of Zoroaster who lives by the precepts of the once universal Wisdom-Religion is bound to prevail against sectarian powers in the end. Happiness returns to the land of Babylon. It is not restricted to a few individuals. A golden age begins: "ce fut le plus beau siecle de la terre." (Les Enigmes) ("it was the most beautiful age on earth.") The tone of faintly suspect idyllic bliss conceals an article of faith of occult philosophy: "Even the four ages of the Hindu chronology contain a far more philosophical idea than appears on the surface. It defines them according to both the psychological or mental and the physical states of man during their period. Crita-yug, the golden age, the 'age of joy,' or spiritual innocence of man; Treta-yug, the age of silver, or that of firethe period of supremacy of man and of giants and of the sons of God; Dwapara-yug, the age of bronzea mixture already of purity and impurity (spirit and matter) the age of doubt; and at last our own, the Kali-yug or age of iron, or darkness, misery, and sorrow. In this age Vishnu had to incarnate himself in Christna, in order to save humanity from the goddess Kali, consort of Siva, the all-annihilatingthe goddess of death, destruction, and human misery. Kali is the best emblem to represent the 'fall of man;' the falling of spirit into the degradation of matter, with all its terrible results. We have to rid ourselves of Kali before we can ever reach 'Moksha,' or Nirvana, the abode of blessed Peace and Spirit." (Isis Unveiled, p. 275, Vol. 2) Zadig ends in deceptively naive fairy-tale fashion. The young hero wins his fair lady. Man and Truth are symbolically wedded. The good are rewarded. The wicked are punished. Retribution comes to all in the form of well-earned felicity or self-inflicted woe. Justice reflects Karmic law, not the whim of an insecure, jealous personal God. Knowledge and Love or Science and Ethicsare united in the persons of Setoc and Almona. They are also joined in the mystical couple formed by Zadig and Astarte. Spectacular "fortunes" result. Zadig becomes King



and knows happiness. Comparison with XVIIIth Century "Westpha-lian" monarchies is tacitly invited. Despite effective resistance to forces of fragmentation; despite the defeat of the "dishonest Jew" and the discomfiture of "Missouf;" despite the exposure of corrupt priests, the dubious successes of Arab predators and the debacle of Itobad, the divisive, sectarian force of increasing materiality and materialism affects the outlook of most individuals. Envy torments many souls. Obsession with the Lower Self thwarts and deflects the exercise of higher faculties. The Chrestos that is latent in every human being tends to be dormant. The Savior goes unrecognized by all but a few persons. Allegorized Truth suffers the same fate. But she retains radiant beauty for those who can "lift the veil." While the descending curve of the evolutionary sub-cycle brings increasing darkness, strife and misery, the elites of the Orient remain faithful to lofty values of the ancient Wisdom-Religion. Thus does a portion of mankind enjoy a reprieve before the pervasive obscuration of goodness and light engulfs the sinister world that will be the setting of Candide. What general conclusions may be drawn from the story viewed in exoteric and esoteric integrity? Traditional interpretations of Zadig remain valid within certain limits. To readers unacquainted with the general tenor of the Secret Doctrine Voltaire offers little reason for optimism. To those who possess "a small fund of philosophy," a liberating message is conveyed. Human beings need not be enslaved by fear of damnation or by fear of a mythical Devil. They need not tremble in dread of a vengeful personal God who does not exist in the capacity of Supreme Being. Secure in the knowledge that they have had and will have many lives, men need not waste their time on Earth in vain pursuit of dubious, instant gratification. The basic axiom of materialistic misery: "You live only once" is exploded in The Princess of Babylon: It is no more amazing to be born twice than once. While its ways remain mysterious, divine justice rules the world. Charitable acts need not be dispensed as dis-



tasteful medicine from giver to receiver. True charity is the most exalted form of selfless selfinterest. Far from being forbidden or futile, knowledge of the secrets of Nature is the noblest and happiest enterprise open to mankind. The chapter entitled Le Souper previews a distant future in which confusion, division, ignorance and hatred will decline. Progress will involve long-overdue recognition and appreciation of the knowledge of the Ancients. Ultimately, the Kali-Yuga or Age of Iron will end. It is only one stepping stone to a new Golden Age richer than the first. As previously indicated, our own age, "..., after having mimicked the ancients in everything possible, even to their very names, such as 'senates,' 'prefects,' and 'consuls,' etc.; and after admitting that Napoleon the Great conquered three-fourths of Europe by applying the principles of war taught by the Caesars and the Alexanders knows so much better than its preceptors about psychology, that it would vote every believer in 'animated tablets' into Bedlam... Be this as it may, the religion of the ancients is the religion of the future. A few centuries more, and there will linger no sectarian beliefs in any of the great religions of humanity. Brahmanism and Buddhism, Christianity and Mohammedanism will all disappear before the mighty rush of facts." The plenitude of Divine Wisdom incarnate is discreetly reflected in the chapter entitled The Hermit. A small measure of Voltaire's own joy is conveyed. A certain sage, possibly the same who "amused himself by writing Zadig," has found the key to happiness:

"The master was a philosopher, secluded from society, who peacefully cultivated wisdom and virtue, and who, nevertheless, was not bored." (L'Ermite) Esoterically, the concessive essence of the word "nevertheless" is magically dissolved. No contradiction exists between "wisdom," "virtue," and "joy" which are synonymous on that plane. Those terms define the nature or the mysterious "garden" to be "cultivated" by



mankind; a terrestrial plot that may be transformed into a "Garden of Delights." The understated message of the sentence last quoted is only one element of spiritual autobiography found in Voltairian writings. Mem-non, Micromegas, L'Ingenu and the Poem on the disaster of Lisbon conceal material of like nature and of astounding character. Zadig announces and divests of irony the puzzling sparks of optimism which appear in Candide and other Voltairian works. The solid faith of the Sage in the destiny of Man reflects wholehearted adherence to the Secret Doctrine.

The story does "say" "more than it seems to say."

THE DANCETHE BLUE EYES These two chapters of Zadig are not found in editions printed during the lifetime of Voltaire. Esoterically, their exclusion is easily understood. A King wishes to test the honesty of a prospective treasurer. The same King wishes to test the faithfulness of a woman. Zadig designs trials capable of exposing greed and disloyalty. Temptation is placed in the way of all persons investigated. Precious objects are used as "bait" in the case of prospective treasurers. Illicit love is offered to ladies of the harem. The proceedings involving the women are watched through peepholes: "Le roi, par des jalousies qui avaient vue sur toutes les cellules, vit toutes ces epreuves, et fut emerveille. De ses cent femmes, quatre-ving-dix-neuf succomberent a ses yeux." (The Blue eyes) ("The King through openings which gave views of all the cells, saw all those tests, and was dazzled. Of his one hundred wives, ninety-nine yielded before his very eyes.")



Concentrated irony and erotic content reflect the XVIIIth Century predilection for "libertinism." The reader is treated to a juicy glimpse of the seraglio. But the two chapters invite speculation beyond the level of "Turqueries" or of such Oriental "divertissements" which had been in vogue since the days of the Sun King. The following excerpt from a letter written to H.P. Blavatsky in 1877 reveals interesting similarities between the "trials" of the amorous ladies and "trials" belonging to another tradition: "'34 Bond St., New York, June 6, 1877 "Tour note, asking me to give you an account of my initiation into a secret order among the people commonly known as Druzes, in Mount Lebanon, was received this morning. I took, as you are fully aware, an obligation at that time to conceal within my own memory the greater part of the 'mysteries,' with the most interesting parts of the 'instructions;' so that what is left may not be of any service to the public. Such information as I can rightfully give you are welcome to have and use as you may have occasion. The initiates include both women and men, and the ceremonies are of so peculiar a nature that both sexes are required to assist in the ritual and 'work'The day of initiation must be a continual fast from daylight to sunset in winter, or six o'clock in summer, and the ceremony is from beginning to end a series of trials and temptations, calculated to test the endurance of the candidate under physical and mental pressure.

Among other tests of the neophyte's self-control are the following: Choice pieces of cooked meat, savory soup, pilau, and other appetizing dishes, with sherbet, coffee, wine, and water are set as if accidentally in his way, and he is left alone for a time with the tempting things. To a hungry and fainting soul the trial is severe. But a more difficult ordeal is when the seven priestesses retire, all but one, the youngest and the prettiest, and the door is closed and barred on the



outside, after warning the candidate that he will be left to his 'reflections' for half an hour. Wearied by the long-continued ceremonial, weak with hunger, parched with thirst, and a sweet reaction coming after the tremendous strain to keep his animal nature in subjection, this moment of privacy and temptation is brimful of peril. The beautiful young vestal timidly approaching, and with glances which lend a double magnetic allurement to her words, begs him in low tones to 'bless her.' Woe to him if he does! A hundred eyes see him from secret peepholes, and only to the ignorant neophyte is there the appearance of concealment and opportu-nity.'" (Prof. A.O. Rawson, letter quoted in Isis Unveiled, p. 314, Vol. 2) The only difference between tests described by Voltaire and those described by Professor Rawson resides in one detail. Trial by greed is reported in Zadig. Treasures are left "as if accidentally" in the path of prospective treasurers. Trial by hunger is arranged in like fashion in the situation decribed by Professor Rawson. The ordeal of materialistic temptation is basically the same in each case. Trial by sex is identical in both texts. The "gallery of temptations" featured in Zadig serves the same purpose as the barred room mentioned in the above letter. The Dance and The Blue Eyes are veiled representations of some aspects of initiation rites. The site of the ceremonies described by Professor Rawson is Mount Lebanon. As was previously noted, the same site is openly mentioned by Voltaire in his "amusing" reference to the nose of beautiful Almona. An interesting conclusion seems to be in order. Voltaire was familiar with occult activities and secret rites carried out in the mysterious region of the Near East. Whether his knowledge came from study, hearsay, direct experience or from all those sources, cannot be inferred from Zadig alone. But the secrecy surrounding the proceedings described by Professor Rawson suggests that Voltaire was an initiate. The probability seems to be supported by H.P. Blavatsky who notes that "the great Revolution of France" was "elaborately prepared by the league of the secret societies



and their clever emissaries." In view of the numerous activities, travels and connections of the author of Zadig, it is difficult to imagine a more dedicated "emissary" than Voltaire. It is likely that he was eager to use any and all meansoccult means includedto help bring about the downfall of the hated "infamous." A passage of The Man With The Forty Coins suggests that the great upheaval was anticipated and prepared at the time of writing. In that story, a character who wishes to go and burn a convent is restrained by the advice of a more cautious person: "A wiser musketeer remonstrated with him that the time had not yet come, and begged him to wait two or three more years." Voltaire seems to have had foreknowledge of the Revolution that began in 1789. Esoterically, the recommended waiting period of two or more years may also represent two or more centuries. Accordingly, he may have looked forward to an intellectual and spiritual upheavalwhich he did much to prepareand which he expected to take place at the end of his own "trial:" in our own age. Beautiful Falide overcomes all trials described in The Blue Eyes. Wealth, lust and power are placed in her path in the form of rich men, handsome pages and "intrepid" priests. Their seductions are powerless to alter the purity and dedication of the girl. She remains devoted to the King and to him only. The name Falide may be the augmented anagram of the word "ideal" which is the same in French and English. It may also be linked to the Arabic term meaning "pearl." Falide is the one candidate among one hundred women to survive all tests. Uniqueness is added to the incorruptible nature of the suggested gem. Inability to curtsey proves her to be no "courtisane." Prostitution to worldly goods and concerns is alien to her nature. The inferior arts of "courtiers"such as base intriguesthe lefthanded skills of "intrepid" "levites" are beneath her level of preoccupation. "The truth

169. Isis Unveiled, p. 22, Vol. 2



of the story" is the accession of Falide to ultimate Truth. Hers is the plane of untainted spirituality: "The truth of the story does not make it possible to conceal the fact that she curtseyed badly; but she danced like the fairies, sang like the mermaids, and spoke like the Graces." (The Blue Eyes) The dance performed by Falide is the expression of exultant harmony between Cosmos and Self. It is inspired by the "music of the spheres." Her songs convey the thanksgiving of the new initiate. Magic dominates the passage"like the fairies, like the mermaids." It is the magic of high spirituality. It is the magic of true Grace"like the Graces." The symbolic seraglio or prison of flesh is ennobled by the human ability to transcend its plane. The comprehension gap separating exoteric surface from deep substance is enhanced by merriment. Falide is far more than a scheming harem beauty capable of "psyching out" certain tests. Her lofty dedication is manifest in one trait: she knows how to laugh. She is instinctively sensitive to the grotesquerie of her would-be seducers. Her precious brand of laughter is Divine Wisdom Itself. It rings the same through the ages from Homer to Rabelais, from Voltaire to Vigny, from Celine, Proust and Saint-Exupery to our times. Falide-and her creatorare proofs of one heartening fact: a mystic who cannot smile is bound to be a phony. The unworthiness of unsmiling candidates is stressed: "When all the candidates had arrived in the drawing-room, His Majesty ordered that they be made to dance. Never did anyone dance more heavily and with less grace; they all had their heads down, their backs bent, their hands stuck against their sides. 'What rogues!' said Zadig under his breath." (The Dance) The inverse relationship between "grace" and the force of materialismor materialityis made clear. The dishonest candidates who



filled their pockets are subject to certain laws of gravity. Their exertions fall short of minimal contact with earth. The importance of vision is indicated by the presence of the amusing word "boopie" that is used to draw attention to the blue eyes of Falide. The etymology of the term seems to convey the idea of "second sight." (Prefix bi=twoGreek opsis=vision, sight). The distinctive color of the eyes of the young woman also suggests occult meaning. The "blue ray" has certain properties. Some delicate shades of blue are not perceptible to Westerners: "The varied influence of the prismatic colors on the growth of vegetation, and especially that of the 'blue ray,' has been recognized but recently. The Academicians quarrelled over the unequal heating power of the prismatic rays until a series of experimental demonstrations by General Pleasanton proved that under the blue ray, the most electric of all, animal and vegetable growth increased to magical proportion...Thus we are enabled to show that the latest experiments of science corroborate that which was known to the Hindu sages before any of the modern academies were founded." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 264-65, Vol. 1) The French dyers of Lyons, whom no one can surpass in skill,have a theory that there is a certain delicate shade of blue that Europeans cannot see. And in Cashmere, where the girls make shawls worth $30,000, they will show him (the dyer of Lyons) three hundred distinct colors, which he not only cannot make, but cannot even distinguish." (Isis Unveiled, p. 211, Vol. 1) The importance of vision is also stressed by default in the final portion of The Blue Eyes. A note appended to Zadig refers to other adventures of the hero which have been "faithfully recorded in writing." Specialists in Oriental languages are asked to transmit the manuscripts if the manuscripts "reach them:"

"At this point is the end of the manuscript which has been recorded on the story of Zadig. These two chapters must certainly be placed after the



twelfth chapter, and before the arrival of Zadig in Syria. It is known that he has experienced many other adventures which have been faithfully recorded in writing. Messrs. The interpreters of Oriental language are asked to communicate them if they reach them." Mock deference does not conceal Voltaire's low esteem for the insight of most Orientalists. H.P. Blavatsky concurs: "We need not go very deep into the literature of the Orientalists to become convinced that in most cases they do not even suspect that in the arcane philosophy of India there are depths which they have not sounded and cannot sound, for they pass without perceiving them. There is a pervading tone of conscious superiority, a ring of contempt in the treatment of Hindu metaphysics, as though the European mind is alone enlightened enough to polish the rough diamond of the old Sanskrit writers, and separate right from wrong for the benefit of their descendants. We see them disputing over the external forms of expression without a conception of the great vital truths these hide from the profane view." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 102-03, Vol. 2) Some elements of Oriental philosophy are frequent stumbling blocks in the path of learned Orientalists. The concept of Nirvana is often misinterpreted as total annihilation of the Self. The esoteric concept of "inaction"featured in Voltairian writings as "doing nothing" and expressed in other literary works by such terms as "lazy one", "faineant" and "paresseux"has been misunderstood as a chronic state of physical and mental inertia. As was previously noted, transmigration or metempsychosis is often viewed as the possibility of physical regression of human beings to animal state. Most edifying of all is the outlook equating rejection of the Old Testament God and of his Bible with atheism. One needs only see such men as Spinoza branded as unbelievers and even atheists to face the sad validity of the barb aimed at Orientalists by Voltaire. What is true of Oriental manuscripts applies to Voltaire's short stories and to other esoteric texts. The transparent invitation to be



"reached" by certain writings is also meant for the reader of Zadig. The Dance and The Blue Eyes are situated in the realm of Serendib. The intuitive spiritual faculty known as serendipity is subtly recommended by the author. The ironic reference to learned Orientalists is followed by a reference to "many other adventures" of Zadig which have been recorded in writing. Voltaire may have had in mind some secret documents "to which none but the highest initiates have access."170 Such a reference, if intended, might explain the puzzling knowledge displayed by the author. Where and how did he get information on Petra, Lebanese towers and initiation rites? The same passage seems to contain extraordinary elements of spiritual autobiography. The status of Saviorwhich is the esoteric status of Zadigconnects significantly with some details of the paragraph. The term "adventures" may be related to the term "avatar" or periodic reincarnation of a spiritual messenger. The verb "essuyer"on sait qu'il a essuye bien d'autres aventuresthe primary meaning of which is that of "wiping off a liquid"may be an additional hint of the amphibious nature of the Great Instructor of Mankind, the fish-man DAG-OANNESVISHNU. The allusion to Syria may represent a phonetic clue to Sirius, a star which is linked to the Great Instructor and which carries heavy significance in Micromegas and Memnon. The fact that the paragraph in question is written in italics also suggests important esoteric content. It is hinted in Zadigand confirmed in other Voltairian worksthat the Sage who "amused himself by writing the story hinted in his works at a partial sketch of his cycle of rebirth. Voltaire did not expect to be fully understood by the general public until the second half of the XXth Century. It is interesting to note that he deemed The Dance and The Blue Eyes too explosive for immediate publication. Esoteric readers are not surprised.

170. The Secret doctrine, p. 437, Vol. II



Directly or otherwise, the adventures of Zadig involve parts of the Orient. Chaldea, Egypt, Syria, Scythia, Arabia, India and China are either featured or mentioned in connection with the spiritual pilgrimage of the hero. Micromegas dwarfs continents into near-insignificance. The solar system is the setting of the story. The title character is an astronaut without space capsule; an explorer of interplanetary regions. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Earth are either by-passed or visited. The occult view of life passing from one globe to another is suggested. The esoteric reader can easily conceive that Man may live "on many earths before he reaches this." Micromegas is a giant who usually resides on a satellite of Sirius; a place where Time and Space exist on a scale to which earthlings are not accustomed. His height is of the order of eight leagues. One of his traveling companions has a life expectancy of 15,000 years. The human element represented by the giants proves as taxing to terrestrial imagination as does the background of infinite space. Man is suggested to have unsuspected dimensions that are best grasped in the light of cosmic design. The theme of relativity is introduced by the habitat of earthlings and by the name of the hero. The planet Earthwhich is regarded by many human beings as the impressive focus of the universeis designated as "our little anthill." The diminutive physical stature of human creatures is stressed by the first part of the word Micromegas which




means "small" in Greek (micros). Greatness is another attribute of Man. The "insects" who reside on the "anthill" prove capable of impressive achievement. Their potential is suggested by the second part of the word Micromegas which means "large" or "great" in Greek (megas). The name of the title character thus contains in a nutshell the occult view of human creatures situated within the framework of the universe. Man is a microcosm within a macrocosm.

"Man is a microcosm, or a little world; he carries in him a fragment of the great All, in a chaotic state." (Isis Unveiled, p. 323, Vol. 1) H.P. Blavatsky refers to "the metaphysical conceptions of the ancients,

"...who, reasoning by analogy, made of man, who is a compound of intellect and matter, the microcosm of the macrocosm, or great universe." (Isis Unveiled, p. 341, Vol. 1) The greatness of a small being such as Man implies no paradox. Intellectual abilities and ethical outlooks are independent of physical appearance or stature. But the apparent "contradiction" seems designed to do more than state a well-known fact. Attention is drawn to the incomplete character of material data. One of the travelers featured in the story will eventually learn to rise beyond the plane of ordinary sensory perception. The result of his new "vision" will be a startling insight into unsuspected schemes of life. The desirable faculty of "rising" beyond certain levels is commended to the reader from the very beginning of the story. "We" who conceive nothing beyond our ways are invited to explore unfamiliar realms where exoteric "paradox" may lead... and where it may dissolve. It is in such generally unknown domainsaccessible only to "conveyances of up there"les equipages de la-hautthat the key to cosmic mysteries, the key to "Micromegas" the space traveller and the key to "Micromegas" the author will be found.



The mathematical precision embodied in the universe is demonstrated by cosmic architecture. The planet of origin of the title character is enormous. The size of the satellite is inferred from the height of the "Sirian:" "M. Micromegas:"

"A few specialists of algebra, persons ever useful to the public, will immediately take their pen, and will find that, since M. Micromegas, a resident of the country of Sirius, is twenty-four thousand paces high from head to foot, which makes one hundred and twenty thousand feet, and since we, citizens of earth, are about five feet high and since our globe is nine thousand leagues around, they will find, I dare say, that the globe that produced him absolutely must have a circumference twenty one million six hundred thousand times greater than our little earth. Nothing is simpler or more ordinary in Nature." (Ch. I) Chaotic appearance to the contrary, "nothing is more simple or ordinary in Nature" than proportion and harmony. The statement is consistent with previously expressed beliefs of Voltaire that chance does not exist and that the universe reflects a precise blueprint. It is also consistent with the occult view of the universe as "the combination of a thousand elements, and yet the expression of a single spirita chaos to the sense, a cosmos to the reason." The Pythagorean aspect of the Secret Doctrine seems to underlie the passage. The law of analogy which is celebrated in a subsequent portion of the story and which is a major tenet of the Secret Doctrineis implicitly endorsed: "As above, so below; as in heaven, so on earth." The same proportions which prevail on Sirius also prevail on our "little anthill." The concept of "absolute necessity" or inescapable law of evolution is introduced by the words il faut absolument which also stresss the concept of the absolute. It is stated in Zadig that our earth would have to be "another earth" in order to be free of evil or matter-related misery. Consistent correspondences underlie the various planes of reality that compose the universe. The "prodigious differences" between various modes of being



therefore reflect various degrees of materiality. Those differences cannot be grasped through contingent optics such as the popular view of Space and Time:

"The States of a few monarchs of Germany or Italy, the territories of which may be covered in one half hour, compared with the empire of Turkey, Russia, or China, are but a very weak representation of the prodigious differences placed by nature in all beings." (Ch. I) The conjunction of hypotheses "beyond our ways"a major theme of Micromegasand "prodigious differences" suggests more to be at stake than the framework of time and space with which mankind is familiar. Voltaire seems to be concerned with the occult scale of qualitative approach to knowledge. The presence of the adjective weak in une tres faible image tends to underscore by default the spiritual nature of the "prodigious differences." As was previously noted, "strength" is spirit in the esoteric vocabulary. "Weakness" therefore amounts to spiritual deficiency. The "very weak image" of "prodigious differences" not revealed by a purely materialistic outlook prepares the commendation of "the conveyances of up there." The qualitative survey of differences that is recommended to the reader seems to involve the occult doctrine of planetary chains geared to various degrees of material and spiritual "densities" or proportions. In the previously quoted words of A. P. Sinnett, "The worlds that are higher in the scale" than ours are those in which spirit largely predominates." We might note in passing that the same formula applies to the individual approach to knowledge. In summary, the importance of spiritual or intuitive perception is stressed in like manner in Voltairian writings and in occult literature. Space travel is achieved through skilled use of laws of physics which bring to mind the first paragraph of Zadig and "the principles of nature as they were known" in ancient Babylon:



"Our traveller knew in marvelous manner the laws of gravitation and all forces of attraction and repulsion." The same set of forces is mentioned at length in The Secret Doctrine. Gravity, attraction and repulsion are viewed as aspects of the same physical and "hyperphysical" energy: universal magnetism. In that respect Newton is believed to have been the cautious interpreter of a theosophist: Jacob Boehme:

"Thus Newton whose profound mind read easily between the lines, and fathomed the spiritual thought of the great Seer in its mystic rendering, owes his great discovery to Jacob Boehme." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 494, Vol. I)

Which brings up the matter of the "great discovery" of Newton: "The Athaenaeum of Jan. 26, 1867, has some curious information upon this subject. It says that "positive evidence can be adduced that Newton derived all his knowledge of gravitation and its laws from Boehme, with whom gravitation or ATTRACTION is the first property of Nature.'...For with him 'his (Boehme's) system, shows us the inside of things, while modern physical science is content with looking at the outside.' Then again, 'the science of electricity, which was not yet in existence when he (Boehme) wrote, is there anticipated (in his writings); and not only does Boehme describe all the now known phenomena of that force, but he even gives us the origin, generation, and birth of electricity, itself, etc. (The Secret Doctrine, p. 494, Vol. I) The powers of attraction and repulsion are manifest in the solar system:

"Thus, supposing attraction or gravitation should be given up in favour of the Sun being a huge magnetwhich is a theory already accepted by some physicistsa magnet that acts on the planets as attraction is now supposed to do, whereto, or how much farther



would it lead the astronomers from where they are now? Not an inch farther. Kepler came to this 'curious hypothesis' nearly 300 years ago. He had not discovered the theory of attraction and repulsion in Kosmos, for it was known from the days of Empe-docles, the two opposite forces being called by him 'hate' and 'love'which comes to the same thing. But Kepler gave a pretty fair description of cosmic magnetism. That such magnetism exists in nature, is as certain as that gravitation does not; not at any rate, in the way in which it is taught by Science, which never took into consideration the different modes in which the dual Forcethat occultists call attraction and repulsion may act within our solar system, the earth's atmosphere, and beyond in the Kosmos. This was proven by Newton himself; for there are many phenomena in our Solar system, which he confessed his inability to explain by the law of gravitation." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 497-98, Vol. I) The same forces of attraction and repulsion govern universal harmony or "balance" from the mundane level of "equilibium" dear to Setoc, the pragmatic merchant of Zadig, to the highest levels of cosmic reality. The Voltairian traveller who knows those forces "in marvelous manner is probably not deceived by their "marvelous" or magical character but simply regards them as manifestations of natural universal Law; a Law that is reflected in "the physical principles of nature as they were known" in the ancient world. The mode of expression used here suggests that "gravitation" on the one hand "and all forces of attraction and repulsion" on the other hand amount to the same thing. Voltaire apparently exploits the word "and" in typically esoteric manner: in order to fuse rather than separate. Which leads to an echo of the Secret Doctrine. As previously stated on several occasions, the esoteric value of strength or force is that of spirit.

"What is the WILL? Can 'exact science' tell? What is the nature of that intelligent, intangible, and powerful something which reigns supreme over all inert matter? The great Universal Idea willed, and the cosmos sprang into existence. I will, and my limbs obey. I will,



and my thought, traversing space, which does not exist for it, envelops the body of another individual who is not a part of myself, penetrates through his pores, and superseding his own faculties, if they are weaker, forces him to a predetermined action. It acts like the fluid of a galvanic battery on the limbs of a corpse. The mysterious effects of attraction and repulsion are the unconscious agents of that will; fascination, such as we see exercised by some animals, by serpents over birds, for instance, is a conscious action of it, and the result of thought...What is then this inexplicable power of attraction but an atomical portion of that essence that scientists and Kabalists equally recognize as "the principle of life"the akasar (Isis Unveiled, p. 144, Vol. 1) "Power," "force" and "spirit" are all part of "that intelligent, intangible and powerful something which reigns supreme over all inert matter." Corresponding views of "attraction and repulsion" sound very much alike in the writings of Voltaire and in Isis Unveiled. It will be found in due course of this study that a passage of L'Ingenu suggests the link between mind and matter to be none other than Spirit, a force designated by Voltaire as "that unknown fluid the existence of which is certain." The same interest in forces of attraction and repulsion is expressed in the works of numerous writers. As was previously noted, Marcel Proust stresses that "the space occupied by the smallest puff of alder can be explained by the conflict or equilibrium of laws of attraction and repulsion which govern far greater worlds." Rabelais is sometimes accused of "incoherence." His alleged failure to follow a rigorous plan is the target of at least one critic who supports his accusation by referring to the beginning of the Tiers Livre. P. Jourda points out that the "ramblings" on debtors and borrowers which appear in those pages have "nothing to do with the question of the marriage of Panurge."1 The latter name is generally interpreted ety-mologically as derived from the Green Pan ergos"all work"-or


Classiques Gamier, Rabelais, P. Jourda, pp. xxxvii-xxxviii, Vol. 1



"capable of anything," a label well suited to the impish personality of Panurge. But the same etymology also conveys the idea of "a (human) particle of cosmic (Pan=the Great All) energy perhaps that same "intelligent, intangible and powerful something which reigns supreme over all inert matter." Panurge may then be viewed as a human projection of the "principle of life" following its toilsome course of cyclic evolution. Panurge is indeed capable of anythingas literary commentators are quick to point out. He is even capable of achieving the mystical "marriage" or "perfection" that is the focus of the entire works of Rabe-laissomething commentators do not usually mention... because they are blind. The spiritual potential of Panurge therefore goes unper-ceived. The praise of "lending and borrowing" is openly linked to the maintenance of the universe. It is consistent with Rabelais' openly declared "scorn of fortuitous things."2 It is connected with the "lofty contemplation of the wonders of Nature."3 It is therefore inseparable from knowledge of cosmic law "above and below." The "love" and "hate"or cosmic give-and-take of Empedocleshas terrestrial and celestial correspondences in the Tiers Livre. Such is the theme of "lending and borrowing" which is far from irrelevant to the instruction required for the "marriage" of Panurge. Using a spirited demonstration par l'absurde, Rabelais invites readers to imagine a universe without debtors or creditors:

"A world without debts! Therein shall be no regular course of celestial bodies. All will be in disarray. Jupiter, not deeming itself indebted to Saturn, will dispossess it of its sphereSaturn will ally itself with Mars, and will put this entire world into perturbationThe moon will remain bloody and dusky. Why should the sun bestow its light on it, being in no way obligated to do so? The

2. 3.

Quart Livre, Prologue Tiers Livre, Ch. XVIII



sun will not shine on this earth." (Tiers Livre, Ch. III) Voltaire's observations on cosmic laws and cosmic harmony serve to convey critical views of officially approved and officially appointed scholarship. M. le Secretaire de l'Academie de Saturne is a target of ironynot to say sarcasm: "Il lia une etroite amitie avec le secretaire de l'Academie de Saturne, homme de beaucoup d'esprit qui n'avait a la verite rien invente, mais qui rendait un fort bon compte des inventions des autres et qui faisait passablement de petits vers et de grands calculs." (Ch. I) ("He formed a close friendship with the Secretary of the Academy of Saturn, a man of great wit, who had in truth invented nothing, but who gave a very good account of the inventions of others and who made passably some small verse and some great mathematical calculations.") Voltaire condemns the plagiarizing scholarhsip of the Saturnian Secretaire whose "inventions" or "discoveries" are owed to men who came before him. The "borrowed robes" of modern sciencewhich owes a great deal to the Ancientsprobably supplied a part of Voltaire's caustic inspiration. As was previously noted, Saturn is the mythological equivalent of Bacchus, Dionysos and Jehovah. Furthermore, the Old Testament mutation of the Pagan God is regarded as a thief of unmerited status by occultists and esoteric writers. Voltaire's reference to Saturn therefore hints at the stolen, unmerited prestige of the Judaeo-Christian tradition in general and of certain Judaeo-Christian scholars in particular. The Secretaire is the worthy precursor of certain Proustian characters personified by "Bloch," a member of a "Jewish" or Judaeo-Christian community and, in the word of Francoise, the shrewd servant, a notorious "copiateur"4 The quality of their ethics and the value of their own, unstolen labors are characterized by Vol-


A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 1034, Vol. III



taire in a few sharp words. The intellectual productions of M. le Secretaire may be read in the text last quoted as "little worms" and "great kidney-stones." Voltairewho was to denounce the parasitic detractors of great minds as "excrements of literature," in Chapter XI of L'Ingenu apparently used the pun value of the petits vers and grands calculs in an equally coarse vein. Crude sarcasm was deemed worthy of its target: mediocre intelligence, phallic or literal insight and cavalier disregard of ethics. Voltaire's evaluation of Pascal is less easy to understand. The faculties of the famous XVIIth Century philosopher are compared to those of M. Micromeegas who

"... had not yet reached the age of two hundred and fifty years, and... was studying according to the custom, at the college of Jesuits of his planet, when he divined through sheer strength of mind more than fifty Euclidian propositions. That is eighteen more than Blaise Pascal, who, having divined thirty-two as if in child's play, according to his sister, became later a rather mediocre geometrician and a very poor metaphysician." (Ch. I) The genius of Pascal is credited with having sensed some scientific truths. The words "divined," "strength," and "mind"the latter word also meaning "spirit"plainly situate the statement in the realm of divination, intuition or spiritually energized intelligence. Voltaire thus deplores Pascal's poor use of precious natural gifts. What prompted his judgment, especially where metaphysics are concerned? The question is answered by the reference to "conveyances of up there." Such means of exploration were apparently beyond reach of Pascal.

"Those who travel by carriage or stagecoach only will doubtlessly be amazed at the conveyances of up there; for we, on our small heap of mud, conceive nothing beyond our ways." (Ch. I) The vistas reached by those explorers who rely on forces of "attraction and repulsion" are infinitely more vast than the limited horizons



revealed by earth-bound "travel." The above passage seems to contrast the restricted range of the cold, slow-moving intellect to the all-embracing flash of intuition. The Pascalian view of Man struggling between the infinitely great and the infinitely small strikingly resembles the perspective of Micromegas the man and Micromegas the story. Insignificance and greatness are major human attributes in Pascalian and in Voltairian philosophy. But the roseau peasant"thinking reed"of Pascal does not venture beyond materialistic bounds of inquiry except to postulate Divine Grace from the depth of fear and despair. The impressive faculties of Pascal suffer from intellectual and spiritual deprivation. The personal God, the personal Devil and the Hell of Christian tradition; the grim Jansenistic doctrine of predestination and the narrow confines of "exact science" are to blame. On the whole, the criticism voiced by Voltaire contains respect for and sympathy with a kindred soul deprived of the liberating influence of Divine Wisdom. The same attitude will eventually be found to color his general view of Jansenisma doctrine which had a profound influence on Pascal. Alfred de Vigny returned a similar verdict: "Pascal took a great deal from Montaigne, but his concise form and the isolation of his ideas, which gives them a sententious quality, like the word of an oracle, appropriated for him views that were born of the meditations and walks of another. If Pascal says: 'I am afraid of death and of the devil, that is why I break my head for fear of thinking,' that only proves his weakness and his whole book of Thoughts seems to amount to that. Morbid poltroonery in a powerful brain." (Diary, 1843) The majority of mankind is haunted by fear of death. The human mind naturally rebels against the thought of annihilation. The terror inspired by death is especially severe in the Western world where belief in reincarnation is either limited to a few persons, rejected as fantasy or totally inconceivable. Christian belief in eternal life is rarely strong. It is



poisoned by the twin dreads of devil and hell. Spiritual anguish is most intense where Jansenistic predestination is involvedas in the case of Pascal. The possibility of pre-ordained eternal tormentwhich lifelong goodness and virtue are powerless to avertis understandably viewed as a curse. The analysis of Pascalian "weakness" performed by Voltaire and Vigny is focused on identical factors. It leads to the indictment of a faith divorced from the grace of individual merit. It is the indictment of a faith based on fear. "Crush the infamous!" may easily be inferred from the common judgment of both great writers. The "infamous" isin this casethe perverted dogma which can hobble the intellect and stunt the spiritual blossoming of a "powerful brain." The limitations of matter-bound science are added to the mental debility caused by religious fear. The "walks" that supplied Pascal with a great deal of his philosophy arein the opinion of Vignythe "trips" of another person. Voltaire's allusion to the report of Mme Perier, Pascal's sister, points to similar limitations in the area of mathematics. According to Tallemand des Reauxwho seems to be less prejudiced than Mme PerierPascal finally confessed to his father that he had secretly read the first six books of Euclid rather than "divined" them.5 Not surprisingly, Voltaire and Vigny draw attention to the same lack of "conveyances" required to make discoveries in philosophy, mathematics... and elsewhere. The frequent presence of such terms as "strength" and "weakness" should be noted in the texts of each commentator. Such Voltairian expressions as "strength of mind," "very bad metaphysician""fort mauvais metaphysicien;"such locutions of Vigny as "weakness" and "powerful brain" underscore the importance of the same spiritual or intuitive faculties. The isolation of ideas that is noted by Vigny seems to involve far more than style. Pascal is apparently regarded as a sort of modern European Setoc as yet untutored by a carrier of the Secret Doctrine. He is naturally gifted with certain insights. But those


Historiettes, pp. 188-89



insights need to be supplemented and integrated into a coherent whole. Above all, theologically induced terror is present and must be overcome. The intellectual and spiritual handicaps of Pascalwhich cannot be identified openly by Voltaire or Vignyreflect the joint failures of religion and "exact science." The degrading separation of the once united "twins" is to blame for much misery and mental deprivation. What can only be suggested by Vigny and Voltaire is positively stated in the Secret Doctrine. The same "conveyances of up there" which remained beyond reach of Pascal are defined by H.P. Blavatsky. The ability to "transcend the narrow limitations of sense, and transfer consciousness into the region of noumena and the sphere of primal causes" is the theosophical prototype of "the conveyances of up there." The following passage of The Secret Doctrine bears repeating:

"So far as Science remains what in the words of Prof. Huxley it is, viz., 'organized common sense;' so far as its inferences are drawn from accurate premisesits generalizations resting on a purely inductive basisevery Theosophist and Occultist welcomes respectfully and with due admiration its contributions to the domain of cosmological law. There can be no possible conflict between the teachings of occult and so-called exact Science, where the conclusions of the latter are grounded on a substratum of unassailable fact. It is only when its more ardent exponents, over-stepping the limits of observed phenomena in order to penetrate into the arcana of Being, attempt to wrench the formation of Cosmos and its living Forces from Spirit, and attribute all to blind matter, that the Occultists claim the right to dispute and call in question their theories. Science cannot, owing to the very nature of things, unveil the mystery of the universe around us. Science can, it is true, collect, classify, and generalize upon phenomena; but the occultist, arguing from admitted metaphysical data, declares that the daring explorer, who would probe the inmost secrets of Nature, must transcend the narrow limitations of sense, and transfer his consciousness into the region of noumena and the sphere of primal causes. To effect this, he must develop faculties which are abso-



lutely dormantsave in a few rare and exceptional casesin the constitution of the offshoots of our present Fifth Root-Race in Europe and America. He can in no other conceivable manner collect the facts on which to base his speculations. Is this not apparent on the principles of Inductive Logic and Metaphysics alike?" The necessary transfer of consciousness into certain regions is the shared concern of esoteric writers. Only by means of special "conveyances" can the full tenor of their works be approached and perceived. That development is eagerly awaited for an appropriate stage of human evolution. In the meanwhile, literary "smugglers" never fail to stress the sine qua non condition of esoteric insight. To the Voltairian "conveyances of up there" may be added the Proustian definition of intuition as "experimental faith." The same daring approach to knowledge is designated by Louis Pauwels and Jacques Berger as a "transmutation of the intelligence."6 In the words of Marcel Proust:

"intelligence is not the most subtle, the most powerful, the most appropriate instrument to grasp truth, that is only one more reason to begin with intelligence, and not with a subconscious intuitivism, with a ready-made faith in premonitions. It is life, which, little by little, case by case, permits us to note that what is most important to our heart, mind, or spirit, is not taught us by reasoning, but by powers of another nature. And then, it is intelligence itself which, realizing their superiority, abdicates, through reasoning, in their favor, and accepts to become their collaborator and their servant. Experimental faith." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 423, Vol. III) The "daring explorer" who can and does "transfer" his "consciousness" into proper regions is often contrasted to his earthbound counterpart. The word "explorer" recurs in many texts. The title character of The Little Prince is aptly designated as such by the physically and mentally desk-bound geographer. The latter person is the academic 6. The Morning of the Magicians, Preface, p. xxi



extension of the Jehovic businessman featured in the same book. The scholar is more interested in the personal character of a discoverer than in the nature of the discovery. He seems to sense the explosive potential of certain findings born of the second sight of "dipsomaniacs" whose "drinking" makes them "see double." And he is sore afraid. Like M. le Secretaire de l'Academie de Saturne, he has "in truth invented nothing." But he can give a fair account of the inventions and discoveries of others. Such discoveries as he does not choose to steal are subject to his envydriven sabotage. The "geographer" and others of his kind are the greatest enemies of new knowledge which upsets their preconceptions and professional apple-carts. They belong to the same fraternity of learned men as the scholar portrayed by Voltaire who "would have, if he could have, annihilated the circulation of the blood because another man had discovered it."7 In every instance, writes H.P. Blav-atsky, such men "have done their best to shipwreck the new discovery, together with the discoverer."8 The distinction made by Voltaire between "scholars" and "good company" has an ancient basis in the distinction made by occultists between "geographers" and "explorers." According to a previously quoted passage of The Secret Doctrine, "Geography was part of the mysteries in days of old. 'Says the Zohar (iii., fol. 10a): 'These secrets, (of land and sea) were divulged to the men of the secret science, but not to the geographers.'" Literature is not overlooked by "M. Micromegas." Symbolism and metaphors are found to be abused and misused while their deep significance remains unperceived. Such is the gist of a lively discussion opposing the title character and M. le Secretaire. The "Sirian" explorer who believes in the usefulness of great literary works rejects the vapid poetic effusions of his companion. The Saturnian is a master of the art

7. 8.

L'Homme aux Quarante EcusMariage de l'Homme aux Quarante Ecus Isis Unveiled, p. 84, Vol. 1



of evasion. But his metaphorical smokescreen cannot withstand the probes of "M. Micromegas:" "Yes,' said the Saturnian, 'nature is like a flowerbed the flowers of which...''Ah!' said the other one, 'spare me your flowerbeds.''It is,' the Secretary went on, 'like a gathering of blondes and brunettes whose ornaments...' 'Eh! what do I care for your brunettes,' said the other... -'It is like a gallery of paintings the features of which...''Eh! no,' said the traveller, 'I repeat, nature is like nature. Why should one seek comparisons for it?''To please you,' replied the Secretary.'I do not want to be pleased,' the traveller replied. 'I want to be taught." (Ch. II) Symbols and metaphors have value under certain conditions. They serve to elevate thought from material regions to the plane of pure Idea. They supply sensory and intellectual launching pads to higher faculties: the "conveyances of up there." Unfortunately, the imagery of M. le Secretaire has the opposite effect of forcing thought downwards. This can hardly surprise the esoteric reader. The academician belongs to a system which promotes "phallic" or low-altitude interpretations. Whether or not he is able to conceive such "trips," the Saturnian or JudaeoChristian dignitary does not encourage esoteric lift-offs. True to his meaningful name, Micromegas has equal respect for all-embracing Nature and for the superior potential of Man. Accordingly, he can only scorn the pedestrian comparisons that separate and degrade the Creation and of the human creature. He seems to endorse the occult view that nothing could possibly be outside Nature; a view already expressed in Zadig. The literary efforts of M. le Secretaire are caricatures of true poetry. Poetryand in general, literatureoften convey a veiled message. In the words of the Marquis de Custine which have already been quoted, "Poetry is a mystery which serves to express more than words." More than entertainment aimed at "pleasing," literature often is a repository of secret knowledge whose raison d'etre is no less than the instruction



of mankind. In the words of Alfred de Vigny, the Muse is far more than "the daughter of a lovely whim."9 According to H.P. Blavatsky mythology and literature are frequent vehicles of "poetised truth." The reader of Micromegas is discreetly urged to distinguish between empty technical display and authentic inspiration. By the same token he is encouraged to examine attentively the genuine article. In summary, the beginning of Micromegas features a critical survey of the status of science and literature in the setting of XVIIIth Century Western Europe. The emphasis placed on spatial exploration and on the "conveyances of up there" suggests that those areas of knowledge might be viewed with profit from a lofty, cosmic vantage point that can be reached through certain "flights" and through them only. The overall message is an exhortation to use subjective faculties. The task of the spiritual seeker and the work or the esoteric researcher require an approach to knowledge that is not popular in academic circles of the Western world. The esoteric student of literaturewhen and if allowed to present hisor herfindingsis usually taxed with "extreme subjectivity" by academic supervisors and graded accordingly. The supervisors do not realize what a compliment they are paying to the daring inquirer. Their view of subjectivitya dirty word in their vocabularyis that of a vagrant, baseless intuitivism. One may cite to them at one's risk and perilthe careful distinction made by Proust between a ready-made faith in premonitions and experimental subjective insight. One may invoke the statement of SaintExupery: "To know is not to prove, nor to explain. It is to accede to vision."10 One may cite the crucial pronouncement of H.P. Blavatskywhich inverts the poles of Western philosophy and terrifies "geographers:" "It needs but the right perception of things objective to discover that the only world of reality is the subjective."11 One may

9. 10. 11.

Diary, 1843 Pilote de Guerre, Ch. V Isis Unveiled, p. 639, Vol. 2



show that the occult view of reality is reflected with individual and collective consistency in the texts of numerous great writers. One may demonstrate that the right kind of subjective approach reveals hidden literary networks and solid architectures. One may quote, with bittersweet irony, the ancient axiom that is the motto of at least one university: Mens agitat molem! All in vain. The apostles of objectivitya magic word in their systemremain allergic to their own notion of objective proof. One can only reflect on the sad accuracy of "Voltairian" thought on those who travel only in earthbound vehicles and who conceive "nothing beyond" their "ways." A bizarre element of zoology is included in Voltaire's survey of knowledge. An intriguing book written by the title character is mentioned:

"When he was about four hundred and fifty years old, barely emerging from childhood, he dissected many of those small insects that are less than one hundred feet in diameter, and that elude ordinary microscopes; he composed on it all a very curious book, but that caused him a bit of trouble. The mufti of his country, a great nit-picker and mightily ignorant man, found in his book some suspect premises that were offensive, foolhardy, heretical, smacking of heresy, and prosecuted him briskly; it was a matter of knowing if the substantial form of Sirian fleas was of same nature as that of snails. Micromegas defended himself with wit, he put the women on his side; the trial lasted two hundred and twenty years. Finally the mufti had the book condemned by lawmen who had not read it, and the author was ordered not to appear at court for eight hundred years." (Ch. I) While the topic of the book courts exoteric ridicule, it will be shown to veil esoteric material of amazing nature in a subsequent chapter of this study. It is interesting to note that the world of origin of the Sirianremote though it isis not exempt from the presence of fleas or












studying"according to

custom, at the college of Jesuits of his planet." The importance of physical senses is not overlooked. The senses are necessary tools of practical experience which provide a basis for intellectual inquiry. Micromegas is curious about the sensory systems of Saturnians:

"first of all begin by telling me how many senses the men of your planet have." (Ch. II) The inhabitants of Saturn have seventy-two physical senses. But their impressive endowment fails to produce happiness. They complain of the inadequacy of their faculties. Their "imagination" goes "beyond their needs." The Sirian confesses that his own fellow-creatures are also restless in spite of their "approximately one thousand senses." There seem to be no mortals who do not have "more desires than genuine needs and more needs than satisfaction." The statements of the Sirian and Saturnian and the emphasis placed on need stress the esoteric concept of necessity reflected on various globes of a planetary chain. The inadequacy of the senses and the universal restlessness point to the probable existence of unknown faculties that have little or no opportunity to function. The omnipresent yearning for a better mode of life gives proof of the vitality of human spirit. Voltaire conveys what amounts to the occult view of graduated Being evolving on graduated planetary systems. Also suggested are beliefs that do not limit the number of senses to five. Occult philosophy has this to say on the subject: "The division of the physical senses into five, comes to us from great antiquity. But while adopting the number, no modern philosopher has asked himself how these senses could exist, i.e., be perceived and used in a self-conscious way, unless there was the sixth sense, mental perception to register and record them, and (this for the Metaphysicians and Occultists) the SEVENTH to preserve the spiritual fruition and remembrance thereof, as in a Book of Life which belongs to Karma. The ancients divided the senses into five,



simply because their teachers (the Initiates) stopped at the hearing, as being that sense which developed in the physical plane (got dwarfed rather, limited to this plane) only at the beginning of the Fifth Race. (The Fourth Race already had begun to lose the spiritual condition, so pre-eminently developed in the Third Race.)" (The Secret Doctrine, p. 535 fn., Vol. I) The "Book of Life which belongs to Karma" brings to mind JesradKarma personifiedand his Book of Fate. Voltaire seems to hold the same view of the seventh sense as does the Secret Doctrine. It is the mysterious source of relentless yearning which can be satisfied only by perfection. It is observed in the first chapter of the story that Micromegas undertakes his cosmic journey in order to "form his heart and mind as people say." The irony conveyed by the end of the sentence and by the esoteric bait of italics suggests a dim view of incomplete classifications. Man is far more complex than the popular aggregate of "mind" and "heart." As previously indicated, the French word esprit means both "mind" and "spirit," (as well as wit). Accordingly, the expression l'esprit et le coeur was probably meant to convey the esoteric equivalence of "spirit" and "heart."Knowledge and Love or Knowledge and Ethicsthe "twins" of occult philosophy. The deceptive use of and may be compared to the Proustian use of or in a passage that has already been quoted: "what is most important to our heart, mind, or spirit." The symbolic reunion of the "twins" is not only possible but inevitable in the lofty realm of "the conveyances of up there" which is also the realm of "experimental faith." Profound differences exist between Micromegas and M. le Secretaire. But they agree on one point. There is a universal longing for a happier, more perfect state. Fulfillment seems to elude all modes of existence that do not transcend the plane sensory-based experience. The "country where nothing lacks" is suggested to lie in the realm of pure immateriality:



"dans notre globe nous avons pres de mille sens, et il nous reste encore je ne sais quel desir vague, je ne sais quelle inquietude, qui nous avertit sans cesse que nous sommes peu de chose et qu'il y a des etres beaucoup plus parfaits. J'ai un peu voyage; j'ai vu des mor-tels fort au-dessous de nous; j'en ai vu de fort superieurs; mais je n'en ai vu aucuns qui n'aient plus de besoins que de satisfactions. J'arriverai peut-etre un jour au pays ou il ne manque rien; mais jusques a present, personne ne m'a donne de nouvelles positives de ce pays-la." (Ch. II) "on our globe we have almost one thousand senses, and there still remains in us an indefinable vague desire, an indefinable restlessness, warning us constantly that we are very little and that there are far more perfect beings. I have travelled a little; I have seen mortals quite inferior to us; I have seen some who are far superior to us; but I have not seen any who did not have more needs than satisfaction. Perhaps, some day, I shall arrive in the country where nothing lacks, but so far no one has given me positive news of that coun-try.") The function of planetary sites corresponding to various planes of existence is insistently connected to more or less prevalent spirituality. The esoteric value of "force""strength" or "spirit"(fort au-dessous de nousfort superieurs) is linked to the occult concept of need or necessity which represents cyclic evolution. Spirit is shown to dwell on all planes of existence from the lowest to the highest: yearning is universal. The state of Nirvana"the country where nothing lacks" because No-Thing is ALLis not found on any material plane. It is reached at the end of a long voyage through multiple lives. The existence of a chain of rebirth is acknowledged by the deceptively bland words: "I have travelled a little." That life is a journey through Time, Space and Reincarnation is repeatedly stated by esoteric writers from Antiquity to our days. No mortal is satisfied with his life expectancy. The Saturnian who will probably live 15,000 years, is depressed by the brevity of his existence:



"Hardly has one begun to acquire a little instruction when death arrives before one has gained experience. Personally, I dare make no plans; I find myself like a drop of water in an immense ocean. I am ashamed, especially in front of you, of the ridiculous appearance I present in this world." (Ch. II) Lyricism and comedy mingle in the above confession. Truth finds an unwitting advocate in the person of the Saturnian who links the moment of death to the moment of truth as he compares himself and his fellow-creatures to drops of water lost in the ocean. Similar imagery is used(in somewhat misleading fashion according to H.P. Blavatsky)by Christian Kabalists to represent the "ocean of light and spirit" from which the spirit detaches itself to enter into "man's soul, where it" remains "through life imprisoned in the astral capsule."12 The Secret Doctrine likens the monad to "a drop on the shoreless ocean."13 The symbolism of the ocean of reincarnation is often used by esoteric writers. William Q. Judge is the author of a book entitled The Ocean of Theosophy. Finally, the expression "Great Deep"which has more than one meaningis frequently used to designate the Ocean of Knowledge represented by the Secret Doctrine. The profound significance of the Saturnian's statement is veiled by a comical surface. His spectacular life expectancy of 15,000 yearsan eternity by human standardscombines drollery with a serious suggestion of time cycles involved in universal and individual evolution. The total formula of grotesquerie and depth is symbolic of the human condition. It is also typical of the deceptive quality of some esoteric texts. The time aspect of sensory illusion is discussed. The title character speaks as follows:

"When the body must be returned to the elements and when nature must be revived under another form, a process called dying,

12. 13.

Isis Unveiled, p. 315, Vol. 1 The Secret Doctrine, p. 186, Vol. II



when that time of metamorphosis has come, to have lived an eternity or to have lived one day, is precisely the same thing." (Ch. II) Ultimate reality is independent of earthly time. Moments and years are meaningless on the plane of true Being. The cosmic, cyclic scheme of life and deaththe evolution and involution of matter or, in other words, the succession of Days and Nights of Brahmainvolve periods the human mind must strain to conceive. Despite its phenomenal length, the life expectancy of the Saturnian is dwarfed by the fantastic schedule of the Universe:

"Throughout the whole immense period of progressive creation, covering 4,320,000,000 years, ether, air, water and fire (heat), are constantly forming matter under the neverceasing impulse of the Spirit, or the unrevealed God who fills up the whole creation for he is in all, and all is in him." (Isis Unveiled, p. 272, Vol. 2) The Voltairian view of death is identical to what is generally believed to be the modern view of continuous transformation of matter. The destruction of transient physical forms is regarded as a mere step in the development of new life. Voltaire might as well have writtenas did H.P. Blavatskythat "there is no inorganic or dead matter in nature, the distinction between the two made by Science being as unfounded as it is arbitrary and devoid of reason... There is nothing dead in Nature."14 The Saturnian's belief in eternal life is practically non-existent. Accordingly, the JudaeoChristian scholar sees no reason to "make plans" in the face of what he regards as inevitable and total destruction. No such fear is expressed by Micromegas who surveys the life-and-death process with serenity. The contrast is an eloquent commentary on Christian faith: a religion conducive to unbe lief and despair. The "Sirian" idea of "reviving nature under another form" involves the pro-

14. The Secret Doctrine, p. 280-81, Vol. I



ductive continuity of a meaningful chain of life. A certain "chain" plays an important role in a subsequent chapter of Micromegas. The spatial distribution of matter is one aspect of cosmic harmony. The Sirian traveller draws the attention of his companion to the handiwork of a superior intelligence. Proportions are perceptible beyond the veil of chaotic appearance:

"There are everywhere persons of good sense who know how to adjust to the order of things and how to thank the author of nature. He has spread over this universe a profusion of varieties, with an admirable kind of uniformitymatter is spatial everywhere but it has different properties on each globe. (Ch. II) The cosmic picture of "a profusion of varieties" combined with "admirable uniformity" reflects the occult view of planetary chains suited to various material and spiritual "densities." In the words of H.P. Blavatsky: "reality, in the manifested world is composed of a unity of units, so to say, immaterial (from our standpoint) and infinite." The same concealed prevalence of "unity" is stressed in Voltaire's observation on the mind-boggling differentiation of living creatures. "Prodigious differences" are known to exist between various kinds of beings. Essential similarities exist as well.

"all thinking beings differ, and all resemble one another fundamentally in that they are gifted with thought and desire." (Ch. II) Esoterically, the common factor of "thought and desire"corresponding to the team of "mind" and "heart"points to more or less latent "spirituality." Spirit is the solvent of apparent contradiction between phenomenal chaos and noumenal harmony. Once again the occult view of "a chaos to the sense, a cosmos to the reason" is

15. Ibid., p. 629, Vol. I



expressed by Voltaire. Also implied in the passage is the substance of the Hermetic axiom: "As above, so below; as in heaven, so on earth." The veiled content of the first two chapters of Micromegas is echoed in the following statement of a theosophical writer:

"It will readily be supposed that the chain of worlds to which the earth belongs are not all prepared for a material existence, exactly, or even approximately resembling our own. There would be no meaning in an organized chain of worlds which were all alike, and might as well all have been amalgamated into one. In reality the worlds with which we are connected are very unlike each other, not merely in outward conditions, but in that supreme characteristic, the proportion in which spirit and matter are mingled in their constitution." (Esoteric Buddhism, A.P. Sinnett) Three major modes of being are reported to exist on Saturn. A scale of ascending spirituality is outlined under a deceptive surface of exoteric irony. The "supreme characteristic" of material or spiritual "density" dominates the passage:

"He [Micromegas] inquired how many essentially different substances were found on Saturn. He learned that only about thirty were counted, such as God, space, matter, spatial beings who feel, spatial beings who feel and who think, thinking beings who are non-spatial, those which interpenetrate, those which do not interpenetrate, and the rest." (Ch. II) The importance of "essence" or Spirit is stressed again by the presence of the word essentiallyessentiellement. Mutually penetrating forms of existence involve more than one planet. The entire Cosmos may be viewed as an interpenetration of matter and spirit distributed in varying proportions. The presence of "penetrating" spirit in every particle of matter will be suggested by Micromegas in a subsequent chapter. The same presence is acknowledged in the previously quoted tenet of the Secret Doctrine according to which the atom is the most meta-



physical object in creation. Occult philosophy also teaches that the human body is subject to the penetration of more or less ethereal agents who "can enter in us; move our limbs and organs; and use us as they please."'16 Voltaire may have had in mind the occult view of seven levels of human consciousness when he mentioned interpenetration and lack of it. While corresponding major classifications are those of body, soul and spirit, the occult scale of consciousness has seven components. The dividing line separating lower levels from one another is often hazy; some of what may be called strata being vehiclesupadhisof the next higher level. Such a relationship exists between the sixthprincipleBuddhi, divine intuitionand Atmathe highest principle that is all spirit and one with the universal essence. The level upon which "penetration" occurs is the level of consciousness:

"the sixth principle may be called the vehicle of the seventh, and the fourth the vehicle of the fifth; but yet another mode of dealing with the problem teaches us to regard each of the higher principles, from the fourth upwards, as a vehicle of what in Buddhist philosophy, is called the one life or Spirit. According to this view of the matter the one life is that which perfects, by inhabiting the various vehicles. In the animal the one life is concentrated in the kama rupa. In man it begins to penetrate the fifth principle as well. In perfected man it penetrates the sixth, and when it penetrates the seventh, man ceases to be man, and attains a wholly superior condition of existence." (Esoteric Buddhism, A.P. Sinnett) It will be found in due course of this study that all seven planes of consciousness but one are personified in Candide. The seventh and highestAtmais represented by non-incarnate, adamantine purity; a symbol consistent with the occult view that Atma is too pure to be tainted with materiality yet is connected to each human individual.

16. Isis Unveiled, (quoting Baron du Potet), p. 333, Vol. 1



A flippant tone is used by Voltaire to lump together "about thirty substances," "God," "Space" and "matter." It is suggested that the number thirty denotes inferiority, an interesting hypothesis from the non-Saturnian standpoint. The same number suggests that Saturnians may hold trinitarian viewssuch as those of the Christian traditionand that the concept of a trinityor Three-in-Onehas material ramifications in the entire universe. There are, incidentally, three hundred substances on Sirius and Micromegas claims to have discovered three thousand more. Exoterically, the glib enumeration of metaphysical concepts "and the rest" tends to equate related speculation and foolishness. Esoterically, the cavalier reference to matter, Deity "and the rest" reveals a confused outlook and a certain lack of respect for the Supreme Being. The frame of mind of the Secretaire, who seems to lack the philosophical resources of his companion, is in sharp contrast to the outlook of the Sirian. Belief in the omnipresence of the Divine does not imply indifference or disrespect. On the contrary, the thoughts of Micromegas on the "limited" scope of Saturnian substances are expressions of heartfelt reverence:

"Apparently, replied the traveller, this small number sufficed for the designs which the Creator had upon your small habitation. I admire his wisdom in all things; I see differences everywhere but I also see proportions." (Ch. II)

The "thirty substances," "God," "space," "matter and17 the rest" are all regarded by the Sirian as aspects of the same One Divine Reality. Two opposite views of the Deityone extra-cosmic and one immanentare held by the Saturnian and by Micromegas, respectively. The concept of the immanent Deity is the same as that of the Kabalists:

17. Emphasis added



"in the Kabala, as in India, the Deity was considered as the Universe, and was not, in his origin, the extra-cosmic God he is now." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 92 fn., Vol. I) The Saturnian seems unaware of the profound uniformity underlying the diversity of his phenomenal world. The divisiveor Mayavicnature of his perception is due to the influence of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Sexual humor is present in Chapter II. Such beings as "interpenetrate" and procreate in the manner known to modern mankind do not belong to high planes of existence. The Secret Doctrine teaches that the first Races of men were ethereal and sexless and that procreation, as modern mankind knows it, did not occur until mankind acquired a "coat of skin" or physical body that was androgynous at first. Later the sexes separated and procreation began to operate as it does in our age. The passage involving "interpenetration" and lack of it stresses the obvious link between the presence or absence of sex and corresponding degrees of materiality. The same connection is made in Memnon, a story featuring an ethereal hence sexless visitor to Earth. The Voltairian concept of immaterial beings seems compatible with the occult view of anthropogenesis. Another kind of "penetration" is involved. Those persons who practice esoteric "penetration"in the Jungian sense of the termrely upon and attain a degree of intuitive spirituality. The same is true of those who "penetrate" mysteries of Cosmos and Self orin other words "lift the veil" of material appearance. Some "erotic" passages of the Proustian Recherche are inspired by the same kind of "penetration." The passionate kisses exchanged by the narrator and by AlbertineMarcel and his "work,"18 respectivelyinvolve the mingling of "tongues" "language" and esoterically "doctrine." The same contacts produce "the mysterious sweetness of a penetration." The tongue" of

18. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 129, Vol. III



the beloved is characterized in exoterically puzzling words as "maternal, incomestible, nutritious and saintly."19 The space travellers of Micromegas continue their exploration of the solar system. The color of various suns is discussed. The sun of the Saturnian is of a "very yellowish white." The sun of the Sirian is "close to red." Other suns are suggested to vary greatly in characteristics. Voltaire may have had in mind the occult view of the matter: "the true color of the Sun is blue, but it appears yellow only owing to the effect of the absorption of vapours (chiefly metallic) by its atmosphere. All is Maya on our Earth." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 441, Vol. VAdyar edition) Another hint of like nature is found in a passage of L'Ingenu. The young hero of the story, Hercule de Kerkabon, has lodgings at the Inn of the Blue SundialLe Cadran Bleu. His first name is significant. Mythological Hercules representsamong other thingsa sun-God and the Sun.20 We might note in passing the statement of Proust that the sun is not as we see it.21 Also that Theophile Gautier mentions an Inn of the Blue SunL'Auberge du Soleil Bleu in Le Capitaine Fracasse. The space travellers of Micromegas spend a fruiful year on Jupiter: "Ils passerent dans Jupiter meme, et y resterent une annee, pendant laquelle ils apprirent de fort beaux secrets, qui seraient actuellement sous presse sans messieurs les inquisiteurs qui ont trouve quelques propositions un peu dures. Mais j'en ai lu le manuscrit dans la bib-liotheque de 1'illustre archeveque dequi m'a laisse voir ses livres avec cette generosite et cette bonte qu'on ne saurait assez louer." (Ch. III)

19. 20. 21.

Ibid., p. 497, Vol. III Isis Unveiled, p. 132, Vol. 1 A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 439, Vol. III



"They stopped in Jupiter itself, and remained there one year during which they learned some most beautiful secrets, which would now be published were it not for Messrs. the Inquisitors who judged a few findings a bit hard to take. But I have read that manuscript in the library of the illustrious archbishop of _____ who allowed me to see his books with a kindness and a generosity which can never be praised enough." The "most beautiful" data gathered by the daring explorers are exo-terically "secret" and, therefore, "occult." Their connection to universal force or Spirit is suggested by the expression "fort beaux." The direct knowledge gained by the bold travellers from their use of the' conveyances of up there" is superior to the expurgated offerings of ecclesiastical middlemen. Voltaire calls attention to the fact that some treasures of science are impounded in church archives and carefully kept under wraps. The spiritedand suspecttribute paid to the "illustrious archbishop of" thinly covers the venom of pure indignation. Truth is withheld and suppressed by the very institutions and individuals who pose as its servants. The monopolistic stance of the Church can easily be explained. Knowledge means power; power means wealth and must therefore be retained and controlled by spiritual money-changers. This passage of Micromegas resembles the chapter of The Little Prince in which the Jehovic businessman counts and classifies the stars only to keep themcosmic light and cosmic knowledgeunder lock and key. The "ancient abuse" in question has a "venerable" precedent in the prohibition voiced by the God of the Old Testament who fears that his creatures might lift up their ''eyes unto heaven," and, when seeing "the sun, and the moon, ana the stars, even all the host of heaven," should "be driven to worship them..." Mankind's acquisition of related knowledge would not help the prospects of the insecure, jealous God. The surprising "generosity and kindness" of the Archbishop may be aue to "blindness." Because of the spiritual decay of the clergy, some monks, priests, and prelates cannot understand the value of precious documents in their possession. Voltaire's reference to the kind Archbishop may be aimed at specific writings such as the works of Celsus:



"If no copyhas descended to our present generation of scientists, it is not because there is none extant at present, but for the simple reason that the monks of a certain Oriental Church on Mt. Athos will neither show nor confess they have one in their possession. Perhaps they themselves do not even know the value of the contents of their manuscripts, on account of their great ignorance." (Isis Unveiled, p. 52, Vol. 2) The above passage of Isis Unveiled is supplemented by a lengthy footnote relating the experience of a learned traveller who gained the confidence of the monks of Mt. Athos. The inquisitive guest was taken to a vault located in the monastery. The vault contained a large trunk in which many ancient manuscripts were kept. The traveller was allowed to study the documents until the monks became suspicious and withdrew the privilege of examination. Among other materials, a large number of which proved worthless, the learned reader found a half-destroyed manuscript which appeared to be a copy of the True Doctrine, the Logos Alethes of Celsus. No amount of money could persuade the monks to part with the document. "They did not know what the manuscript contained, nor 'did they care,' they said. They were constantly quarrelling and fighting with the Catholic monks and among the whole 'heap,' they knew that there was a 'holy' relic which protected them. They did not know which, and so in their doubt abstained. It appears that the Superior, a shrewd Greek, understood his bevue and repented of his kindness, for first of all, he made the traveller give him his most sacred word of honor, strengthened by an oath he made him take on the image of the Holy Patroness of the Island, never to betray their secret, and never mention, at least, the name of their convent. And finally, when the anxious student who had passed a fortnight in reading all sort of antiquated trash before he happened to stumble over some precious manuscript, expressed the desire to have the key, to 'amuse himself' with the writings once more, he was very naively informed that the 'key had been lost,' and that they did not know where to look for it. And thus he was left to the few notes he



had taken." (Isis Unveiled, p. 52, Vol. 2) The "generosity" and "kindness" of the archbishop mentioned in Micromegas resemble corresponding traits of the Superior of Mt. Athos. While the traveller whose adventure is reported in Isis Unveiled arrived at the monastery by steamship, a fact making his experience posterior to the lifetime of Voltaire, similar events may have occurredand even been plannedbefore the date of writing of Micromegas. Such developmentsif anywould have interested Voltaire. The same unknown channels of information which made him aware of the existence of Petra and which made him familiar with secret rites at Mount Lebanon may have drawn his attention to Mt. Athos. The learned traveller mentioned by H.P. Blavatsky who wished to "amuse himself once more by studying manuscripts spoke in Voltairian style and may well have belonged to "good company." The publicity given to his adventure in Isis Unveiled suggests affiliation with a secret community. Despite barriers of time and space, it is conceivable that Voltaire had in mindamong other "buried" documentsthe work of Celsus. Whatever the case may be, the smooth praise lavished upon the archbishop is double-edged. The admirable traits of the gracious prelate may be read as "ignorance" and "stupidity." Voltaire apparently wished to draw attention to the internal rift within the Church between those members of the clergy who have secret knowledge and keep it to themselves and those who are ignorant and may therefore "leak" classified information without knowing it and without realizing its value. Also noted in the passage is the well-known role played by the Inquisition in the suppression of knowledge. The transparent excuse offered by the monks of Mt. Athos is an unwitting statement of Truth. As was previously noted, the theme of the "lost key" to ancient knowledge, a key forever inaccessible to the Church as a result of its own malpractice, is a frequent subject of comment by esoteric writers. It is relevant to the survey of human knowl-



edge that is the core of Micromegas. It will be found again in Candide. Continuing their voyage, Micromegas and his companion scorn Mars which offers little in the way of accommodations. But the planet does not go unnoticed. "Ils cotoyerent la planete Mars, qui, comme on sait, est cinq fois plus petite que notre petit globe; ils virent deux lunes qui servent a cette planete; et qui ont echappe aux regards de nos astronomes. Je sais bien que le pere Castel ecrira, et meme assez plaisamment, con-tre l'existence de ces deux lunes; mais je m'en rapporte a ceux qui raisonnent par analogic Ces bons philosophes-la savent combien il serait difficile que Mars, qui est si loin du soleil, se passat a moins de deux lunes." (Ch. III) "They passed close to the planet Mars, which, as one knows, is five times smaller than our little globe; they saw two moons which serve that planet, and which have eluded the eyes of our astronomers. I know well that Father Castel will write, and even rather pleasantly, against the existence of those two moons; but I refer myself to those who reason by analogy. Those good philosophers know how difficult it would be for Mars that is so far from the sun, to do with less than two moons.") The moons of Mars were not discovered by exact science until 1877. How could Voltaire know of their existence more than a century before that date? The "good philosophers" who "reason by analogy" were a likely source of information. From days of remote antiquity, those who perceived universal harmony "above" and "below" have held and transmitted scientific secret lore some of which is now the pride of modern "discovery:"

"If the Pythagorean metempsychosis should be thoroughly explained and compared with the modern theory of evolution, it would be found to supply every 'missing link' in the chain of the latter. But who of our scientists would consent to lose his precious time over the vagaries of the ancients? Notwithstanding proofs to



the contrary, they not only deny that the nations of the archaic periods, but even the ancient philosophers had any positive knowledge of the Heliocentric system. The 'Venerable Bedes,' the Augus-tines, and Lactantii appear to have smothered, with their dogmatic ignorance, all faith in the more ancient theologists of the pre-Christian centuries. But now philology and a closer acquaintance with Sanskrit literature have partially enabled us to vindicate them from these unmerited imputations. In the Vedas, for instance, we find positive proof that so long ago as 2000 B.C., the Hindu sages and scholars must have been acquainted with the rotundity of our globe and the Heliocentric system. Hence Pythagoras and Plato knew well this astronomical truth: for Pythagoras obtained his knowledge in India, or from men who had been there, and Plato faithfully echoed his teachings." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 9-10, Vol. I) Voltaire flaunts uncanny knowledge of the two moons of Mars that were officially undiscovered in his time. Not content to anticipate future findings of official science, he praises "those good philosophers who reason by analogy;" thus expressing admiration for the astronomical knowledge of the Ancients. As was previously noted, the same awareness and recognition are found in the first chapter of Zadig with respect to the astronomical knowledge of Babylonians of old. Once again Voltaire appears to have possessed secret informationperhaps "cautiously given out" from some mysterious source. In view of his occult interests; in view of his knowledge of at least one secret city and of the initiation rites of the Druzes; in view of the strange yet suggestive expression used in the passage of Micromegas last quoted, there is reason to speculate that his observation on the two moons of Mars may reflect intelligence gained from the Secret Doctrine. The planet Mars and its moons are subjects of guarded comments in The Secret Doctrine. The following statements were obtained by H.P. Blavatsky from esoteric teachers who saw them as "an authoritative version" of occult astronomy dealing with Mars and several other planets. Care was taken to reveal a few facts only. It seems clear from



the special brand of reserve surrounding Mars that the subject is viewed as a sensitive one.

"It is quite correct that Mars is in a state of obscuration at present, and Mercury just beginning to get out of it. You might add that Venus is in her last Round... If neither Mercury nor Venus have satellites, it is because of the reasons... (vide footnote supra, where those reasons are given), and also because Mars has two satellites to which he has no right, Phobos, the supposed INNER satellite, is no satellite at all.'" (The Secret Doctrine, p. 65, Vol. I) The style used by Voltaire with reference to Mars deserves attention. The "good philosophers who reason by analogy" know how difficult it would be for Marsa planet so far removed from the sunto manage with less than two moons. The French verb "se passat" is generally interpreted as "se contentat de" or "might content itself with." The explanatory footnote that is usually appended to the passage points out that the expression "se passer a moins de" is uncommon. The idiom "se passer de" means "to do without." It is often used in everyday French. It is unheard of in combination with "a moins de." With the exception of the present case, it is hardly everif everseen in print in conjunction with "a moins de." Voltaire may have wished to stress its significance of privation or subtraction in order to suggest the occult view of Phobos. "Less than two moons" may amount to "one moon" or to no moon at all as in the case of "two moons to which it [Mars] has no right." The same idiom"se passer de"may have been used to convey the idea of "passing away"a meaning often attached to the French verb "passer" and always implied in the verb "trepasser." In the case of a planet the strange expression may be meant to convey the idea of obscuration. Voltaire may also have wished to suggest that Mars like Venus according to the Secret Doctrineis in its last Round. Whatever the case may be, the cumbersome and bizarre phrase could have been avoided by simple use of the verb to have in an ordi-



nary text. But Micromegaslike Zadigis no ordinary text. It is a story which "says more than it seems to say." The tortuous mode of expression was probably calculated to veil an important element of secret knowledge and to attract the attention of potential esoteric readers. Jonathan Swiftwho is openly mentioned in Micromegaswas interested in the same area of astronomy. According to him, the astronomers of Laputa had discovered the two moons of Mars. The etymology of the name Laputa is a source of speculations outlined by Swift himself. But the matter remains unresolved and is offered in the end to the insight of "the judicious reader." Rather than a gratuitous bit of whimsyor an anagrammatic approximation of Utopia the Spanish-sounding name Laputa may suggest a phonetically naughty allusion to Lahore, a major city of India once known as an important cultural center boasting a famous library. Swift may have believedas did H.P. Blavatskythat "the Hindu sages and scholars must have been acquainted with the rotundity of our globe and the Heliocentric system." That Swift may have obtained his insight from "good philosophers who reason by analogy" is another interesting possibility. Finally, we might note in passing that the strange airborne floating island described in his Voyage to Laputa sounds remarkably like the many descriptions of UFO's with which we have become familiar since the late forties. Its motions and ability to stand still in the air are beyond the capability of the most advanced aircraft of our times. The occult view of Phobos deserves comparison with some hypotheses of XXth Century science:

"Several eminent scientists think that Phobos, the satellite of Mars, may be hollow, and may be an artificial asteroid put into orbit around Mars by intelligent beings outside the Earth. This was the conclusion arrived at in a serious article in the review Discovery in November 1959 and the same hypothesis has been put forward by



the Soviet Professor Chtlovski, an expert on radio-Astronomy." (The Morning of the Magicians, Part III, Ch. I) Arthur C. Clarke, the well-known author of science fiction has this to say on the subject:

"Dr. Chlovski's stimulating theory [that a moon of Mars is hollow] appeals to me because some ten years ago I made an identical suggestion concerning the innermost moon of Jupiter. In a story called 'Jupiter V' I pointed out certain peculiarities of this satellite and developed the idea that it was a giant spacecraft which, ages ago, had entered the solar system and then been 'parked' in orbit round Jupiter while its occupants went off in more conveniently sized vehicles to colonize the planets." (Voices From the Sky, Arthur C. Clarke) In his book entitled Extraterrestrial Archeology, David Hatcher Childress reasons as follows on the basis of analogy:

"If theories that there is space-faring life in our Solar System (other than our current civilization) are correct, then could there be life on the moons of the outer planets? If there are space-bases on Mars, its moon Phobos, and on our Moon, then is it logical to assume that other moons in the solar system are also being mined and are used as spacebases? What better view of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus or Neptune than from one of the moons? Furthermore, what if many, or all, of the outer moons are artificial? Are they, as is possible with our Moon, and the moons of Mars, actually hollow? Is it possible that the ray craters are the entrances to underground installations or the hollow interiors of these moons? The outer planets and their moons remain a mystery. While NASA gives us photos and data on these far-away objects, their often preconcluded observations may only be masking the real data. For instance, an unusual photo of Umbriel, the darkest of the



Uranian satellites shows a bright ring at the top of the photo which is the southern pole. Is this a photo of a hollow moon? Other moons, such as Calisto, seem to be lit from the inside."

David Hatcher Childress goes on to raise an important question:

"Many of the outer moons have one, and usually only one, large 'umbilical' crater. These distinctive and unusual craters are often huge in comparison with the size of the moon, yet are said to be 'impact craters.'" Are these large craters from some incredible impact with the moon, or are they the result of the formation of the moon, in an inflation effort that creates a hollow satellite, much as a glass blower blows a glass ball? In this theory, an asteroid or similar object, is super-heated into a molten blob or rock and then 'inflated' like a glass ball." (The Moons of Mars, Ch. 7) H.P. Blavatsky sheds light on the interesting symbolism connected to the genesis of Earth:

"Before our globe had become egg-shaped or round it was a long trail of cosmic dust or fire-mist, moving and writhing like a serpent. This, say the explanations, was the Spirit of God moving on the chaos until its breath had incubated cosmic matter and made it assume the annular shape of a serpent with its tail in its mouthemblem of eternity in its spiritual and of our world in its physical sense." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 489-90, Vol. 2) The matter of whether or not the annular shape persistsa possibility that would imply the presence of a huge cavity inside our own planetis not answered. But it is suggested and will be mentioned again in due course of this study. Voltaire draws attention to the "rather pleasant" works of Father Castel, a contributor to the Journal de Trevoux who will not welcome the notion of the existence of the two moons of Mars. As was previously noted, the author of Micromegas once stated that "pleasures lead



to God," thereby linking "pleasure," spirituality and, most likely, secret science. The scholarly Father Castel was a Jesuit whose "pleasant" style therefore points to secret knowledge rather than elegance. Father Castel is known to have written "rather pleasantly,"about gravitation "and its relation to light in terms which, two centuries later, seem astonishingly similar to Einstein's ideas."22 Unlike the graciousand ignorantarchbishop mentioned earlier by Voltaire, Father Castel seems to have belonged to the ranks of learned inquisitors bent upon the suppression of Truth. The planet Earth is next on the itinerary of Micromegas and his companion. The last leg of the journey to the "small globe of mud" is enlivened by a few observations:

"As those strangers travel rather fast, they had gone around the globe in thirty-six hours, the sun in truth, or rather the earth, covers a like distance in one day; but it must be observed that one travels with far greater ease when revolving around one's axis than when walking on one's feet." (Ch. IV) "Strangers" appear frequently in the writings of Voltaire. They are persons of unorthodox faith or "heretics" in the sight of the Catholic Church. The same designation is found by the author of Isis Unveiled in the ledgers of some German municipalities. The documents are records of the rationale and volume of XVIth Century witch-burnings: "One glance at this horrible catalog of murders in Christ's name is sufficient to show that out of 162 persons burned, more than one-half of them are designated as strangers, (i.e., Protestants) in this hospitable town and of the other half we find thirty-four children, the oldest of whom was fourteen, the youngest an infant child of Dr. Schultz." (Isis Unveiled, p. 62, Vol. II)

22. The Morning of the Magicians, The Example of Alchemy, Ch. II



The daring explorers of Micromegas fit the label of "strangers" or "heretics"criminals in the eyes of the Church which feels threatened by the independent pursuit of knowledge and therefore brands knowledge as "the Forbidden Fruit." Dizzying speed is an attribute of the "conveyances of up there." Esoteric "speed"which is practically equivalent to esoteric "force"denotes intuitive insight and spiritual power. The "rapidity" of "strangers" is often celebrated by esoteric writers: "Mais notre esprit rapide en mouvements abonde; Ouvrons tout l'arsenal de ses puissants ressorts. L'invisible est reel. Les ames ont leur monde Ou sont accumules d'impalpables tresors." (Alfred de Vigny, La Maison du berger) ("But our rapid mind (or spirit) abounds in impulses; Let us release the whole arsenal of its powerful forces The invisible is real. The souls have their domain Where intangible treasures are accumulated") Voltaire contrasts axial revolutiona characteristic of heavenly bodiesto the literally and otherwise pedestrian use of feet. Corresponding possibilities of divine equilibrium exist on the plane of human existence. Manthe microcosm in a macrocosmcan learn to partake of the "music of the spheres" if he will live as prescribed and board the vertiginousyet rational vehicle of his own intuition. A quickly corrected faux pas serves to emphasize two points: "The sun in truth, or rather the earth, makes a similar journey in one day." The statement is a transparent allusion to Galileo, an unending source of embarrassment to the Church. The erroneous beginning of the sentence which proclaims the geocentricity of our universe also serves to illustrate esoteric "mistakes" made for the purpose of forcing attention. The planet inhabited by men is designated by Voltaire as "the molehill," a term reflecting little credit on the vision of residents. The limited insight prevailing on earth corresponds to the low standing of Earth in planetary hierarchies. The endemic myopia of the majority of



earthlings is dueto no small extentto the suppression of knowledge by the ecclesiastical thought-police. All of which is stressed by proponents of the Secret Doctrine in terms strikingly similar to those used by Voltaire. The author of Micromegas might as well have written the following passage of Isis Unveiled: "Spheres unknown below our feet; spheres still more unknown and still more unexplored above us; between the two a handful of moles, blind to God's great light, and deaf to the whispers of the invisible world, boasting that they lead mankind. Where? Onward, they claim; but we have a right to doubt it." (Isis Unveiled, p. 611, Vol. 1) Voltaire had used a chapter of Zadig to characterize men and their world as "insects devouring one another on a small atom of mud." H.P. Blavatsky refers to "this ball of dirt upon which we live."23 The similarity of expression is as striking as the similarity of substance. We should not put it past critics to dismiss such facts as "pure coincidence." But those good readers who understand Jesrad will not be blinded. "Il n'y a point de hasard." The limited scope of sensory perception is demonstrated by the travelling companion of Micromegas. The "Saturnian dwarf"a creature of limited intellectual and spiritual endowmentcontends that no life can exist on earth. Having explored the planet by means of sight, hearing, and touch, he fails to detect any sign of existence. The chaotic appearance of the small globe of mud further convinces him that "no people of good sense could possibly wish to dwell there." The "dwarf is partially right. People of good sense raise their sight to higher spheres. But they are the same rare individuals who perceive universal harmony and divine design beneath the disorderly surface of earthly phenomena. They are those who "thank the author of nature" for "profuse variety" and "admirable uniformity." They are persons

23. Isis Unveiled, p. 275, Vol. 1



who do not reduce the universeor its Unknowable Causeto the narrow scope of rudimentary faculties such as the physical senses. The Saturnian "dwarf" is no such person: "Le nain, qui jugeait quelquefois un peu trop vite, decida d'abord qu'il n'y avait personne sur la terre. Sa premiere raison etait qu'il n'avait vu personne. Micromegas lui fit sentir poliment que c'etait raisonner assez mal: 'Car,' disait-il, 'vous ne voyez pas avec vos petits yeux certaines etoiles de la cinquantieme grandeur que j'apercois tres distinctement; concluez-vous de la que ces etoiles n'existent pas?''Mais,' dit le nain, 'j'ai bien tate.''Mais,' repon-dit 1'autre, Vous avez mal senti.'" ("The dwarf, who sometimes judged a little too fast, promptly determined that there was no one on earth. His first reason was that he had seen no one. Micromegas politely pointed out to him that it was rather poor reasoning. 'For,' he said, 'you do not see with your small eyes some stars of fiftieth magnitude which I see very distinctly; do you conclude from that that those stars do not exist?''But,' said the dwarf, 'I thoroughly searched with my hand.''But,' replied the other, 'you perceived badly.'" The last sentence is a thinly veiled exhortation to seek a suitable approach to universal mysteries in generaland esoteric literature in particular. Purely sensory and intellectual probes are not equal to the task. The remonstrations of Micromegas have little effect. The Saturnianor Jehovicdwarf is determined to dwarf the universeperhaps with his own image in mind. The protagonists grow more and more emotional. A diamond necklace worn by Micromegas is broken in the course of the heated argument. The fortunate accident supports a fundamental axiom of occult teachings and of Voltairian philosophy: Chance does not exist. The "breaking of the chain" is doubly beneficial. Dangerous controversy is forgotten. Most important of all, the loose stones function as optical instruments through which animal life and human life can be seen. An



unsuspected world, inaccessible to ordinary perception is revealed by the spiritual insight derived from the "diamond." The Saturnian is compelled to recognize that "the invisible is real." Beyond the concept of relativity that is stressed on the exoteric plane is the startling reality of the occult pattern of life. The necklace represents the chain of universal evolution and individual rebirth (Sutratma). The pearls or stones are cycles of evolution of matter (Manvantaras) on the cosmic level. The intervals between pearls or stones are cycles of dissolution or latent state of matter (Prala-yas). The necklace is equally meaningful on the plane of individual human existence. The stones represent multiple reincarnations. The intervals are those of Devachanic sleep or rest separating successive lives. The ultimate goal of the cosmic pilgrimage of spirit is the final "break" from the chain of reincarnation, the blissful state of "perfection," "the country where nothing lacks," Nirvana. The break of the chain also represents liberation from the stunted perception solely based on data of the physical senses. It signifies transcendencenot rejectionof what is commonly and erroneously called "objectivity." As was previously indicated, the symbolism of the diamond is linked to the status of "diamond-hearted" spirituality. Quite logically in view of its purity, solidity and radiance, the diamond is a symbol of advanced spirituality. In the words of Alfred de Vigny, the diamond reflects idealism and Genius. It is extolled in Les Oracles as the carrier of the legacy of "extinct Nations," "the most brilliant and most durable treasure." The revelation and epiphany reported in Chapter IV of Micromegas supplement the revelation and epiphany of the Chapter of Zadig entitled The Hermit. The same theme of radically altered and expanded vision is present in each case. The total formula of Jesrad-Karma and Necklace-(Cosmic and Individual Evolution-Sutratma) adds up to the cornerstone of occult philosophy. The same word NECKLACECOLLIERis the "word of the poetic enigma" or Alfred de Vigny. As was previously noted, it stands in The Destinies in



a deceptively somber context. It is the word that can transform darkness and despair into illumination and joy depending on its interpretation. To the exoteric reader it is a COLLAR or YOKE of never-ending bondage. To the esoteric reader it is a radiant bearer of liberation from ancient terrors foisted upon mankind by corrupt priesthoods. The symbolism of the chain of reincarnation is prominent in L' Esprit pur, the testamentary poem of Vigny. The poet's reference to "two broken chains""deux chaines brisees"is generally viewed as an allusion to the terrestrial genealogy of Vigny: the paternal and the maternal sides. Esoterically, however, the biological ancestrypaternal and maternalis fused into one chain while the remaining chain is Vigny's karmic chain of rebirth. The same final stanza proclaims Vigny's ability to Know Himself and to judge his "past labors" or to survey his past lives. As was previously indicated, that ability is possessed only by beings of high spiritual status. The latter fact is consistent with Vigny's claim that his chain of reincarnation is about to be broken! The chain and the necklace make frequent appearances in Candide. They are often mentioned in the Proustian Recherche, especially, in the case of the chain, by M. de Charlus. The chain also comes up in a song urging "Israel," the Judaeo-Christian worldto break its chain.24 A splendid necklace is the intended gift of "Saint Loup" to Rachel. Its importance is compared to the importance of a "trial" that may be relevant to the lengthy "trial" of M. Micromegas; a trial which, according to Voltaire, was to last two hundred and twenty years. Exoterically the trial of the Recherche involving a Jew"the famous Dreyfus casecould easily mean the trial of the Judaeo-Christian tradition on the esoteric plane. The purchase of the necklace intended for Rachel is no ordinary project. The business of influencing a famous jeweler is as heavy with consequence as the matter of winning a case in court. In the

24. A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 91, Vol. 1



passionate words of Saint-Loup, the formula of "trial and necklace" designates an affair of cosmic dimension:

", whether it be a matter of influencing Boucheron or of winning a trial before a tribunal,Listen, you know, for me, everything which concerns her, that is immense, that assumes some cosmic quality." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, pp. 278-79, Vol. II) The superior vision gained from the symbolic diamonds of the symbolic necklace reveals the existence of unsuspected life to the explorers of Micromegas. Improved insight causes a whale to be seen. The sequence brings to mind the sequence of Genesis: "We may, perhaps, throw additional light upon the puzzling question of the fish-symbol by reminding the reader that according to Genesis, the first created of living beings, the first type of animal life was the fish. 'And the Elohim said 'Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life... And God created great whales."' (Isis Unveiled, p. 258, Vol. 2) Human life is next. Once again ordinary vision fails to detect an objective form of existence. Once again the Voltairian view and the occult view seem to coincide where "microscopes" are concerned. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky: "No earthly microscope can be compared with the keenness of the spiritual perception." (Isis Unveiled, p. 14, Vol. I) And, in the words of Voltaire:

"The microscope, which barely made visible a whale and a ship, had no hold on such an imperceptible being as men." (Ch. V)



A subtle structural break should be noted between the singular of "an imperceptible being" and the plural of "men." The flaw may not be accidental. That man is a multiple or complex being is a major theme of Micromegas. That he is, in "perfected" form the product of many lives or "men" is relevant to the story in general and to the symbolic necklace in particular. Alternate periods of incarnation and Devachanic repose are observed by the travellers. As previously indicated, Devachan is the period of perfect rest and quiet, if not bliss, which occurs between death and rebirth, or, in the words of H.P. Blavatsky, "before taking up again the burden of life." The tiny creatures held in the hand of Micromegas "carry burdens," "go down," and "rise again." The heavy loads are those of Maya and Karmaincarnate lifewhich keep potentially divine beings in their prison of flesh. The ebb and flow of death and rebirth is suggested by downward and upward motions:

"I see them' they both said at once; 'don't you see them who carry their burdens, who bend, who rise again?' As they spoke thus, their hands trembled from the pleasure of seeing such new objects and from fear of losing them." (Ch. V) The "pleasure" which accompanies the flash of superior vision was in all likelihood well known to Voltaire. Little imagination is required to believe his statement that such "pleasures lead to God." The joy described in the passage is a modest preview of the bliss of the initiate or neophyteman "born" to a new dimension of Cosmos and Self. Elation mingles with fear of losing the precious sight. The trembling hands of the travellers bring to mind the shudder mentioned by Almona; a shudder evoked by the prospect of certain mystical flames. It will also be remembered that the reunion of Man and TruthZadig and Astartewas marked by trembling. The episode of Micromegas featuring the "broken chain" of sensory perception involves a partial "lifting of the veil."



Revelation fails to bring improved insight to M. le Secretaire whose vision does not rise very high above ground. The Saturnian is merely enjoying the spark of spiritual illumination that is occasionally granted to most menusually with transient gains. The scholar remains stubbornly literaland phallicin his interpretation of newly glimpsed wonders. Viewing the activities of tiny human creatures, he concludes that they are engaged in the propagation of the species:

"'Ah!' he said, 'I caught nature in the act!' But he was deceived by appearances, something which happens only too much, whether microscopes be used or not." (Ch. V) The subtlety of esoteric substanceand expressionis illustrated by the error of the Saturnian who is misled by Mayavic "appearances." But the "dwarf is unwittingly correct in one respect. Men are engaged in "propagating" the species in the sense of promoting human evolution. For better or for worse, every act of "carrying" one's "burden," "going down," and "rising again" is significant and fruitful within the perspective of cosmic and individual progress. The presence of italics serves to stress the importance and the accuracy of the statement which is false in one way and valid in another. Another discussion takes place. Can such a microscopic "insect" as man have a soul? "Micromegas," a far better observer than his "dwarf," thinks so. Blinded by vanity and materialistic prejudicewhich are basically one and the same - the Saturnian holds the opposite view. His misconceptions are promptly refuted by fact. Having established communication with the inhabitants of Earth, Micromegas demonstrates the existence of human souls and intellects. The moral of the story should be remembered. If our objectively "real" world cannot be perceived by the unaided senses of Saturnians, there may be worlds equally "real" that are inaccessible to our unaided terrestrial senses. The attitude limiting the universe to the narrow scope of a few human faculties is absurd. It is, therefore, also absurd to regard one's species as the crowning glory of creation and sole possessor of superior attributes.



The omnipresence of Spirit eludes the puny grasp of materially confined experience. Accordingly, Micromegas affirms that human beings are not exclusive owners of "souls." His acquaintance with different "animals" residing in diverse regions of Cosmos gives evidence of the contrary:

"I see more than ever that one must swear to nothing on the basis of apparent size. O God who gave intelligence to beings who seem so contemptible, the infinitely small costs you as little as the infinitely great, and if it is possible that there exist beings smaller than these, they may still have a mind [or spirit] superior to those of the grand animals I saw in heavens, the foot of which would alone cover the globe where I have descended." (Ch. VI) The above credo seems to announce a comparable statement of H.P. Blavatsky: "If there is a developed immortal spirit in man; it must be in everything else, at least in a latent or germinal state; and it can only be a question of time for each of these germs to become fully developed. What a gross injustice it would be that an impenitent criminal, who perpetrates a brutal murder in the full exercise of his free will, should have an immortal spirit which may in due time be purged of its sin, and enjoy perfect happiness, while a poor horse, innocent of all crime, should toil and suffer under the merciless torture of his master's whip during its whole lifetime, and then be annihilated at death! Such a belief implies a brutal injustice, and is only possible among people taught in the dogma that everything is created for man, and that he alone is the sovereign of the universea sovereign so mighty that to save him from the consequence of his own misdeeds, it was not too much that the God of the universe should die to placate his own just wrath." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 330-31, Vol. 1) The impersonal essence of the Supreme Being is stressed by Micromegas: "the infinitely small costs you as little as the infinitely great." The omnipresence of spirit recognized in the case of "grand ani-



mals" further tends to reject the concept of an anthropomorphic deity removed from his own creation yet emotionally involved with it. The degree of absurdity and cruelty to which that concept has driven and still drives Judaeo-Christian dogma and deed is denounced in like spirit and manner by Voltaire and by H.P. Blavatsky. Both thinkers hold the same view with respect to the barbaric, cowardly treatment of animals that is common practice in most parts of the world. Much of that callousness can be traced to the "Saturnian" view conveyed by the Old Testament: "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth." (Genesis, 1, 27-28) The word dominion which has been used and abused as a license to inflict unlimited neglect, torment and death upon animals would be better interpreted and implemented in the spiritual sense of mastery or ability to lovingly guide our animal brothers along the path of their own evolution. As was previously noted, Voltaire made himself clear on that score in La Princesse de Babylone. In a passage that bears repeating the same creatures that are denied a soul by the Church are made to speak in their own defense:

"Men finally acquired the habit of eating us; instead of conversing and learning from us. The barbarians! Should they not be convinced that having the same organs as they do, the same feelings, the same needs, the same desires, we have what is called a soul just as they do; that we are their brothers, and that only the wicked should be cooked and eaten? We are your brothers to such an extent that the Great Being, the Eternal Being and the Source of Form, having made an agreement with men, included us expressly



in the covenant. He forbade you to feed on our blood, and forbade us to suck yours.'" The "Great Being, the Eternal Being and the Source of Form" of Voltaire is not the God of the "Saturnian" whose planetary home is linked to Jah-ovah in the Secret Doctrine.25 The passionate address of "Micromegas" to the God "who gave intelligence to beings who seem so contemptible;" the God for whom "the infinitely small costs as little as the infinitely great..." has Pas-calian overtones. Man is viewed by both philosophers in relation to both infinities. But the wretchedness of the human condition which is heavily stressed by Pascal is a view not entirely shared by Voltaire. While "M. Micromegas" sees with unfailing lucidity the many foibles of mankind, he does not view mankind as contemptible because of the innate spiritual heritage of human beings and because of their evolutionary potential. "Good philosophers who reason by analogy" are likewise optimistic on the subject of genuine divine essence in what is called "God" and in man. The similarity which exists between the Pas-calian characterization of Man as "glory and outcast of the universe" and the corresponding Voltairian concept of Micro-Megas fails to bridge or even to reduce the chasm separating the two authors. Voltaire once again seems to evoke the deprived greatness of a thinker lacking access to the right philosophical "resources." The same passage seems to contain an allusion to Descartes whose philosophy is mentioned at a later stage of the story. The joint presence of the words "spirit" and "animals" suggests a reference to the animal spirits aspect of Cartesian thought. The residents of Earth who are found to have souls also have minds which thirst for knowledge. The first humans viewed by Micromegas and his Saturnian companion are scholars sailing home on the Baltic Sea following a trip to the polar circle. Inevitably, the appearance of the giants spreads panic among the diminutive earthlings. An interest-

25. The Secret Doctrine, p. 127, Vol. II



ing range of response is observed in their instinctive attempt to cope with fear. The first greeting of Micromegas to the residents of Earth is received as follows:

"If anyone was ever surprised, it was the people who heard those words. They could not guess from where they came. The chaplain of the ship recited the prayers of exorcisms, the sailors swore, and the philosophers constructed a theory; but no matter what theory they constructed, they never could guess who was speaking to them." (Ch. VI) Consternation is general. But variety prevails. There is an ascending order in the enumeration of fear-related reflexes. The professional secretion of the chaplain places him at the bottom of the ladder. Voltaire takes a dim view of exorcism as do proponents of the Secret Doctrine. The practice is profitable to the Church in terms of power and wealth. Moreover, the control of evil spiritsfor a considerationimplies recognition of the invisible world and exploitation of a monopoly. The case of Augustine, a saint admittedly proficient in the knowledge and management of spirits, earned caustic comments from H.P. Blavatsky. Two questions are raised in Isis Unveiled. Leaving aside the matter of unwanted competition, why is ecclesiastical intercourse with spirits beneficient and holy while free-lancing experimentation of like nature is ruthlessly condemned and prosecuted? Where and how does the clergy obtain data necessary to contact and control demons if not from demons themselves?

"'how could one know had he not been taught by the demons themselves...the name which attracts, or that which forces them into obedience,' asks Augustine. Useless to remark that we know the answer beforehand: 'revelationdivine gift the Son of God; nay God himself, through His direct Spirit, who descended on the apostles as the Pentacostal fire,' and who is now alleged to overshadow every priest who sees fit to exorcise for either glory or a gift. Are we then to believe that the



recent scandal of public exorcism, performed about the 14th of October 1876, by the Senior Priest of the Church of the Holy Spirit, at Barcelona, Spain, was also done under the direct superintendence of the Holy Ghost?" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 67-68, Vol. 2) As was previously noted, Voltaire takes a dim view of to judicial astrology in Ch. II of The Century of Louis XIV. The same passage includes exorcism in his survey of superstitious belief and practice:

"The same weakness which made that absurd chimera of judicial astrology fashionable made one believe in possessions and evil spells; they were being made into a point of religion; one saw everywhere priests who were casting off demons. The tribunals, composed of magistrates who should have been more enlightened than the mob, were busy judging sorcerers." The demon-hunters of the XVIIth Century have a successor in the chaplain of the ship of Micromegas. In that story, as in the report on the court of the Sun King, the appearance and the removal of evil spirits are wrongly made into "a point of religion." The travellers from outer space do belong to a foreign world. But they do not necessarily qualify as demons. The ignoranceperhaps feigned perhaps realand the superstitious outlook of the chaplain are noted. The value of his "remedy" is demonstrated by fact: the "demons" fail to vanish in a pufT of smoke... as respectable demons should. Although lacking refinement, the crew's reaction to fear is more wholesome and harmless than the efforts of the chaplain. The sailors' oaths reflect a higher level of instinct, sincerity and professional skill. The emergency system of the philosophers of the ship is futile. No man-made theory can solve entirely the mystery of extra-terrestrial regions. No man-made theory can fully probe the connection of those regions with our "small globe of mud." But the efforts of the thinkers have the redeeming grace of intellectual striving. "Micromegas" tries to avert a wave of predictable panic. The Giant softens his voice in order to "speak" to mankind. Spiritual "force" or



"strengthesoterically, a redundant conceptmust be subdued. The divine voice of Truth must be adjusted to the limited faculties of a non-spiritual age. Otherwise, the divine voice of Truth runs the risk of "deafening" without being "heard" or "understood." The "softened voice" of "Micromegas" has an autobiographical aspect which applies not only to Voltaire but to other literary "smugglers" as well. The nature and dosage of superior knowledge dispensed to human beings and the readiness of the same human beings must be carefully determined. Thus is esoteric practice justified by evolutionary considerations in a few innocent words. The voyage of the passengers of the ship is an intriguing subject: "On sait que dans ce temps-la meme une volee de philosophes reve-nait du cercle polaire, sous lequel ils avaient ete faire des observations dont personne ne s'etait avise jusqu'alors. Les gazettes dirent que leur vaisseau echoua aux cotes de Botnie, et qu'ils eurent bien de la peine a se sauver; mais on ne sait jamais dans ce monde le des-sous des cartes." ("It is known that at that very time, a bevy of philosophers was returning from the polar circle, under which they had gone and made observations of which no one had any inkling until then. The papers said that their ship ran aground on the coasts of Bothnia, and that they had great difficulty in saving their own lives but one never knows in this world the underside of the cards.") Voltaire apparently used as an exoteric cover the trip actually made to Norway in 1736-37 by Maupertuis, Clairaut, Camus and Le Mon-nier in order to measure a degree of longitude. The conjunction of polar circle and unknown underside of cards conveys far more than a platitude on the mysterious ways of the world or on the mysterious ways of Providence. The two words des cartes suggest another allusion to Descartes, the famous philosopher. The same two words may also be read as of the maps since the French word carte means map as well as card. The unknown underside of maps, the polar circle, the "general



form of the globe... flattened at the poles" and unheard of findings will be subjects of interest in the esoteric study of Candide. The innermost anatomy and physiology of Man are discussed. The subject is so complex that Micromegas himself seems to be deceived by materialistic illusion. The minute size of human "insects" prompts these observations:

'"having so little matter and seeming to be all mind [or spirit] you must spend your life loving and thinking, that is the true life of spirits. Nowhere have I seen true happiness but it is here no doubt.' Whereupon all the philosophers shook their heads; and one of them who was more truthful than the rest, confessed in good faith that, with the exception of a small number of inhabitants held in very low esteem, all the rest was a collection of madmen, wicked men and wretched men." (Ch. VII) The passage defines Spirituality as the co-essence of Lovespirituality, and Ethics on the one handand Thought, an activity which presupposes Knowledge on the other hand. The total formula adds up to a level of consciousness allegorized in Zadig by Almona (Love) and Setoc (Knowledge); two characters whose eventual "marriage" or mutual enrichment produces a high degree of spirituality and/or happiness. The "happiness" or spirituality which is believed to reign on Earthand does notis restricted to very few persons. The tiny minority not immersed in ambient wretchedness is scorned by the general public. The ostracized status of pure joysuch as that of the philosopher mentioned in Zadig who was peacefully nurturing wisdom and virtue and who was never boredis a sad reflection on the state of human affairs. It is one of several symptoms of topsyturvy values. An inverse relationship is noted to exist between matter on the one hand and spiritor happinesson the other hand. Because of his small size or small amount of matter, man is presumed to be spiritually inclined and happy. The assumption has a certain amount of logic. But it fails to consider the crucial factor of spiritual or material density that



is independent of mass. The leading question asked by "Micromegas" in falsely naive fashion is calculated to stress the importance of that density or, in the words of A. P. Sinnett that have already been quoted: "that supreme characteristic, the proportion in which spirit and matter are mingled" in the constitutions of thinking beings such as men. The crucial factor of density is cautiously approached via the reassuring, familiar plane of matter. Material density is well understood by the residents of Earth:

"How much does your air weigh? He thought that he had them cornered but all told him that air weighs approximately nine hundred times less than a like volume of the lightest water, and nineteen thousand times less than ducat gold. The little dwarf from Saturn, amazed by their replies, was tempted to mistake for sorcerers those same people to whom he had denied a soul fifteen minutes earlier." (Ch. VII) The common "Saturnian"or Judaeo-Christiantendency to shift abruptly from blind skepticism to equally blind credulity is noted. The same explorer who believed he had caught Nature in the act tries to explain the surprising knowledge of earthlings as "sorcery." The egocentric illusion that sees the mote in the neighbor's eye while failing to see the beam in its own eye is present. The typical resident of the Western world is unaware of the abyss separating the lofty reality of occultismwhich is altruisticthe lurid, over-publicized, self-serving realm of superstition and witchcraft. Also noted is the danger involved in the pursuit and acquisition of knowledge in an obscurantist society controlled by Inquisitorssome lay, some clerical. The innocent seeker of Truth is open to accusations of sorcery and fair game for vicious persecution. We should comment in passing on the false naivety of the question asked by Micromegas about "the true life of spirits." There is reason to believe that the answer is well-known to the Sirian traveller who cleverly guides the exchange exactly where he wants it: to the crucial factor



of spirit/matter proportions. There is an important lesson to be drawn from the questioning techniquewhich is also used extensively in Voltaire's Poem on the Disaster of Lisbon. Readers are invited to notice the esoteric usefulness of dialogue and "naive" approach and to keep such things in mind for future reference. The expression "lightest water" suggests an allusion to heavy water, (water containing more than the usual proportions of heavy isotopes such as Deuterium and Tritium, two substances that belong to the realm of thermonuclear research). The connection which seems to be courted by Voltaire points to physics and chemistry as well as alchemy. Heavy water was not generally known to official Western science until the XIXth Century. But the occult view of hydrogen as "the Upadhi (basis) of both AIR and WATER," being "Fire, air and water," in fact: one under three aspects; hence the chemical and alchemical trinity."26 suggests that it may have been known centuries ago: "Some peoplenay, the great majorityhave accused alchemists of charlatanry and false pretending. Surely such men as Roger Bacon, Agrippa, Henry Kunrath, and the Arabian Geber (the first to introduce into Europe some of the secrets of chemistry), can hardly be treated as impostorsleast of all fools. Scientists who are reforming the science of physics upon the basis of the atomic theory of Demokritus, as restated by John Dalton, conveniently forget that Demokritus, of Abdera, was an alchemist, and that the mind that was capable of penetrating so far into the secret operations of nature in one direction must have had good reasons to study and become a Hermetic philosopher." (Isis Unveiled, p. xxv, Vol. 1) The real age of certain "discoveries" of modern times is a sore subject with proponents of the Secret Doctrine:

"Among the great mass of peoples plunged deep in the superstitious ignorance of the medieval ages, there were but a few students

26. The Secret Doctrine, p. 105, Vol. II



of the Hermetic philosophy of old, who profiting by what it had taught them, were enabled to forecast discoveries which are the boast of our present age, while at the same time the ancestors of our modern high-priests of the temple of the Holy Molecule were yet discovering the hoof-tracks of Satan in the simplest natural phenomena." (Isis Unveiled, p. 413, Vol. 1) Voltaire may have known of the existence and potential of heavy water, a substance used for atomic research in our own times. His treatise on the nature of fire may prove relevant some day to the "last word" in nuclear physics. It would be interesting to know just what experiments he conducted in the scientific laboratory of Mme du Chatelet at Cirey. Alchemical knowledge has remarkable prolongations in XXth Century technology. Louis Pauwels and Jacques Bergier have this to say on the subject: "The alchemists speak of the necessity of distilling water to be used in preparation of the elixir many thousands of times. We have heard an expert historian declare such an operation to be completely crazy. He knew nothing whatever about heavy water and the methods employed to convert ordinary water into heavy water. We have heard a learned scientist affirm that since endless repetitions of the process of refining and purifying metals and metalloids do not in any way alter their properties, the recommendations of the alchemists in this connection could only be considered as a kind of mystic lesson in patience, a ritual gesture, like telling the beads of a rosary. And yet it is by just such a refining process and the technique described by the alchemists known today as 'zone fusion,' that the germanium and silicon used in transistors is prepared. We know now, thanks to the work done on these transistors, that by purifying a metal very thoroughly and then introducing minute quantities, some millionths of a gram, of impurities carefully selected, the substance thus treated is endowed with new and revolutionary properties. It is unnecessary to go on citing examples indefinitely, but we wish to stress the desirability of undertaking a really methodical study of alchemist literature. This



would be an immense task demanding many years of work and hundreds of research workers drawn from every branch of the sciences. Neither Bergier nor myself have been able even to draft the outline of such a study, but if our book ever inspired some Maecenas to sponsor this undertaking, we shall not have wasted our time completely." (The Morning of the Magicians, The Example of Alchemy, II) It is interesting to learn that one of the "boasts"some would say "mixed blessings" of our boastful age, the transistoris in part a product of alchemical knowledge. It is even more interesting to note that, toward the end of World War II, some representatives of the U.S. Government "were paying fabulous prices for any manuscripts or documents dealing with alchemy"27 while the "scientific press in the USSR appears to be taking a great interest in alchemy, and is undertaking historical researches."28 One author whose frequently deplored "obscurities" may some day be found to contain a wealth of scientific knowledge is Rabelais. He may have had in mind the double chromosome of the human female when he wrote Chapter XXXIII of the Tiers Livre, a text containing an intriguing reference to Demokritus of Abdera, the atom-conscious physicist mentioned by H.P. Blavatsky. The same chapter of the Tiers Livre links the "organ which is not found in men" and remains unnamedto certain "Bacchic" tendencies of women. The organ is said to impart to its owners a keen sensitivity to odors. (The esoteric meaning of the word odor appears to frequently be that of invisible being. The same value seems to be supported by at least one medieval fabliau that will be studied in a subsequent chapter of this book). Exo-terically as well as otherwise, the "Bacchic trait" may not be due to what is usually called "female organs." But it may be relevant to certain tenets of the Secret Doctrine dealing with cell structure and cell formation. It is also consistent with the intuitive spiritual endowment of Eve. 27. 28. The Morning of the MagiciansThe Example of Alchemy, III Ibid., IV



Another possibility is that Rabelais may allude to the enlarged pineal gland that is found in women.29 The gland is viewed by occultists as the remnant of the now extinct Third Eye which gave earlier races a spirituality far superior to ours. Whatever the case may be, the "obscurities" of Rabelais may well prove to be a gold-mine of scientific information some day. They may well require the collaboration of initiates to be brought to light. We should not be surprised if many scientific findings of the modern age prove to be restatements of ancient knowledge that were transmitted esoterically in the literature of several centuries. The amazement of the Saturnian facing uncanny learning may be prophetic of what awaits us. The cultural exchange continues between Micromegas, the Saturnian and the inhabitants of Earth. An old enigma is unsolved. What is the nature of that human soul the existence of which has been demonstrated by human insight? A few theories are offered. None seems valid. Confusion reigns. Most difficult to obey is the age-old injunction: "Know Thyself!" Many pages of the Secret Doctrine are devoted to the subject of the soul. Among authorities cited by H.P. Blavatsky on its elusive nature are Plato... and Voltaire: "How precise and true is Plato's expression, how profound and philosophical his remark on the (human) soul or EGO, when he defined it as 'a compound of the same and the other.' And yet how little this hint has been understood, since the world took it to mean that the soul was the breath of God, of Jehovah. It is 'the same and the other,' as the great Initiate-Philosopher said: for the EGO (the 'Higher Self' when merged with and in the Divine Monad) is Man, and yet the same as the 'OTHER,' the Angel in him incarnated, as the same with the universal MAHAT. The great classics and philosophers felt this truth, when saying that 'there must be something within us which produces our thoughts. Something very subtle; it

29. Gray's Anatomy, The Nervous System, p. 672



is fire; it is ether; it is quintessence; it is a slender likeness; it is an intellection; it is a number; it is harmony...' (Voltaire)" (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 88-89, Vol. II) A peripatetician philosopher speaks with assurance: The soul is an entelechy, and a reason through which it has the faculty of being what it is." (Ch. VII) Peripateticians are easily defined as disciples of Aristotle such as those who walked with the master while discussing points of philoso-phy with him. The word is derived from the Greek term peripatein which means "to walk up and down." The definition of entelechy is another matter not easily resolved by dictionaries. It is in fact a stumbling block in the path of many thinkers. Among philosophers mentioned in Micromegas in connection with the subject are Aristotle the authority quoted by the peripateticianand Leibnitz. The pronouncement of the disciple of Aristotle postulates the ability of the soul to exist within or without a contingent vehicle. While some characterization is achieved by the statement, the concept of entelechy remains hazy. The idea of independent dualism is hinted by etymology and by the statement of the peripatetician. But the "very subtle" subject of discussion can be grasped only through corresponding, "very subtle" faculties. The essence of the soul is a mystery which cannot be solved by probes of the unaided "objective" mind. In the final analysis, we may safely speculate that the Voltairian concept of the soul is pretty well defined by what the soul is NOT: the breath of Jehovah. The laborious aspect of soulful preoccupation is noted with irony. Insecurity is apparent in the linguistic defense used by the "peripatetician" who chooses to speak Greek. One of the space travellers reacts as follows: "'Je n'entends pas trop bien le grec,' dit le geant.'Ni moi non plus,' dit la mite philosophique.'Pourquoi donc,' reprit le Sirien, 'citez-vous un certain Aristote en grec?''C'est,' repliqua le savant,



'qu'il faut bien citer ce qu'on ne comprend point du tout dans la langue qu'on entend le moins.'" (Ch. VII) ('"I don't understand Greek very well,' said the giant - 'Neither do I,' said the philosophical mite.'Why then,' the Sirian went on, 'do you quote one certain Aristotle in Greek?''It is,' the scholar replied, 'because one must certainly quote what one does not understand in the language that is least understood.'") Esoteric practice is justified once again. What is not understood at all (by the majority of men represented by the indefinite pronoun on) is secret knowledge. It is a matter of survival for its possessors to express themselves cautiously. It is a matter of respect for cyclic law to reveal such knowledge sparingly until mankind is ready for more information. The emphasis placed on the verb entendre involves the secondary meaning of the word: "to understand." The reader is reminded that the voice of Truth must be "softened" or veiled for the benefit of the general public at certain stages of evolution. The emphatic presence of necessity"il faut bien""one must certainly"connects the "veiling" process to the occult "circle of necessity" or cyclic evolution. It is doubtful, however, that the peripatetician grasps the profound truth of his own statement. Voltaire designates him as a "scholar," not as a member of "good company" or as a "daring reasoner." Like most other self-respecting professionals the philosopher uses abstruse language to distance himself from less learned, common mortals. At the same time, he uses the favorite face-saving device of shaky knowledge: pedantic obscurity. The question of why the peripateticianan indirect disciple of Platodoes not quote Plato himself is raised by "Micromegas": "Whydo you cite one certain Aristotle?" A connection is suggested to exist between estrangement from primary source and the fragility of resulting systems. The second-hand Platonist suffers from a common Western ailment: inability and/or refusal to "go back to the source. Seekers of knowledge are encouraged to turn to original, unadulterated



fountain-heads of learning. What is hinted here in Micromegas is plainly stated by H.P. Blavatsky:

"Aristotle was no trustworthy witness. He misrepresented Plato, and he almost caricatured the doctrines of Pythagoras."30 Aristot-lean writings themselves are said to have suffered from the ministrations of "too many hands."31 An interesting similaritywhich probably goes deeper than languageshould be noted between Rabelais and Voltaire. The author of Micromegas connects the soulor "quintessence"to the concept of entelechy. Rabelais relates the arrival of his heroes in the Kingdom of Quintessence named Entelechy.32 The interplanetary symposium on the soul continues. A Cartesian philosopher enunciates a strange theory:

"The soul is a pure spirit which has received in the womb of its mother all metaphysical ideas and which, as it gets out of there, has to go to school and to learn all over again what it has known so well and no longer knows." (Ch. VII) Buffoonery is present in prosaic style and bizarre substance. Fetuses are not usually credited with knowledge of any kind; least of all with metaphysical insight. But the Cartesian statement reported by Voltaire is compatible with some aspects of occult teachings. It is pervaded by the idea of a "pure spirit" subjected to "necessity." ("Has to go to school") or having to become incarnate. The same "necessity" of "going to school" is the raison d'etre of its evolution; a slow process of learning ultimately leading to blissful omniscience: Nirvana. The knowledge that accompanies pure spirituality prevails in the universal

30. 31. 32.

Isis Unveiled, p. xv, Vol. 1 Ibid., 319-20, Vol. 1 Cinquieme Livre, Ch. XVIII



"womb"yoni,one of two "creative cosmic agencies."33 The same knowledge manifests itself briefly on the individual human plane at the time of birth and at the time of death. The only difference between the Cartesian theory reported by Voltaire and corresponding theosophical statements is one of style:

"As man at the moment of death has a retrospective insight into the life he has led, so at the moment he is reborn on earth, the Ego, awaking from the state of Devachan, has a prospective vision of the life which awaits him, and realizes all the causes that have led to it." "At the birth of the future man, the monad radiating with all the glory of its immortal parent which watches it from the seventh sphere, becomes senseless. It loses all recollection of the past and returns to consciousness but gradually, when the instinct of childhood gives way to reason and intelligence." (Isis Unveiled, p. 303, Vol. 1) Voltaire uses unadorned words to conceal a startling concept of life and to give his reader a glimpse of the pilgrimage of the soul. Such expressions as "in its mother's belly"or "womb" "as it gets out of there" and "has to go to school" create an atmosphere of naive drollery that is well suited to veil profound substance. The same technique of prosaic understatement is illustrated in such esoteric expressions as "amusing oneself," and "doing nothing." The relaxed, everyday quality of such phrases creates a mental climate that seems to be diametrically opposed to metaphysical flights. A question asked by the "Sirian" might serve as epigraph to all esoteric texts: "You see a few attributes; but the deep essence of the thing, do you know it?" The grin of the Sage is perceptible. The same antagonism of appearance and reality is found in the debate on the essence of matter. The nature and relationship of material and immaterial existence are surveyed. Both aspects of the universe seem to be mutually exclusive and definable only through externals.

33. The Secret Doctrine, p. 391, Vol. I



The following dialogue is reported between the Sirian and the Cartesian philosopher:

'"But what do you mean by spirit?''What are you asking there?' said the reasoner, 'I have no idea of that. People say that it is not matter.''But do you at least know what matter is?''Very well,' replied the man. 'For instance, this rock is gray and has such a shape, it has three dimensions, it has weight and is divisible.''Well,' said the Sirian, 'this thing which seems to you divisible, heavy and gray, will you tell me what it is? You see a few attributes; but the deep essence of the thing, do you know it''No,' said the other.'Then, you don't know what matter is.'" (Ch. VII) A sobering conclusion is drawn. It is identical to the occult view of exact science. "Modern physical science is content with looking at the outside" of things whereas it should aspire to explore "the inside."34 Microscopes and other devices geared to and limited by matter cannot lift the veil of material appearance. A non-materialistic approach must be used if science is ever to realize its full potential which is as boundless as Cosmos itself. As was pointed out by a student of this writer, man needs to discoveramong other thingsthe deep essence of his own "gray matter." He must learn to know himself in order to probe universal mysteries "above and below." He must be daring enough to board the "conveyances of up there" or, in other words, to use spiritualintuitivefaculties which lie more or less dormant in the depths of the Self. The alternativewhich is easy to judge on the basis of objective evidenceis the prevailing state of affairs. What is the value of a scientific structure resting solely on matter and admittedly ignorant of the deep nature of matter? To which one might add: What is one to think of a literary culture based on the study of writings and stubbornly ignorant of the deep nature of those writings?

34. The Secret Doctrine, p. 494, Vol. I



The question of what is meant by Spirit is well answered in the negative. Spirit is NOTHING. It is understandable that the reasoner should have "no idea" of its nature which lies beyond the scope of the unaided intellect. It is partially accurate to say that Spirit is not matter for it is incorruptible while matter is in a constant state of transformation. Attention is subtly drawn to the Western concept of "matter" which is as narrowly limited as is the corresponding concept of Nature. Spirit is not matter in the Western sense of the word "matter" although it is present in every particle of matter in the manifest universe.

"Spirit is matter on the seventh plane; matter is Spiriton the lowest point of its cyclic activity; and bothare MAYA." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 633, Vol. 1) The occult view of the close connection between matter and spirit is strongly suggested by Voltaire. The calculated vagueness of the expression "people say""on dit"and the negative quality of the definition of Spirit invite critical appraisal of the stated popular creed. Spirit and matter are mentioned in meaningful proximity as "separated twins" might be which call for synthesis or reunion. The subsequent exchange on attributes vs. essence is another invitation to view the poles of being in the unifying light of the "conveyances of up there." One seed of hope does exist. Man is aware of the fact that matter is divisible. The search for knowledge is engaged on a promisingand frighteningtrack. Science is but a few evolutionary steps away from rediscovery of atomic structure. "Good philosophers who reason by analogy" know the atom for what it is: "the most metaphysical object in creation."35 The realms of the infinitely great and of the infinitely small; that which separates and joins them is all about to be seen in the light of spirit, co-essence and mathematical harmony.

35. The Secret Doctrine, p. 485, Vol. I



The philosophical discussion is enriched by the contribution of a disciple of Malebranche. His expose is briefly and deceptively acknowledged by "the animal from Sirius:"

"Then, Mr. Micromegas, addressing another sage whom he was holding on his thumb, asked him what his soul was and what it was doing, 'Nothing at all,' replied the disciple of Malebranche, 'it is God who does everything for me; I see all in him; it is he who does everything without my meddling with it.''One might as well not be,' the sage from Sirius went on.'" Malebranche was a XVIIth Century philosopher of the Cartesian school whose background included theology, metaphysics, philosophy and mathematics. The soul of his disciple is engaged in esoteric "inaction." "Doing nothing" material is the logical and productive expression of his faith. The same deceptive "inertia" or detachment from Mayavic pursuits is commonly featured in literary works. The new friend of Micromegas anticipates the statements of other literary "smugglers" who leave no doubt as to where the real strength lies or where the real action is. "Men of action make themselves dizzy by bestirring themselves to avoid exhausting themselves by perfecting ideas vaguely formulated in their minds. Gifted with a bit more strength, they would sit down or lie down in order to think" says Vigny in his Diary of 1834. "One may be at the same time lazy and faithful" says Saint-Exupery in Chapter XIV of The Little Prince. The same author refers in Chapter XIV of Pilote de guerre to the possibility of a civilization that would "fill man to the brim even as he is motionless." The soul of the Malebranchiste which is reported to be and to do "nothing at all" has been absorbed by the seventh and highest principle of consciousness. According to the statement which has already been quoted, "Man then ceases to be man, and attains a wholly superior condition of existence." In the words of "Micromegas," "One might as well not be" or exist physically. The personal god or Higher Self of the philosopher "does everything" without interference from the



transcended lower ego"without my meddling with it." The liberated Spirit communes with the Absolute and sees "all" with divine insight. The personal god is free and united with the Unknowable of which it is the remote reflection. The "inactive" sage and "the animal from Sirius" understand each other perfectly. A disciple of Leibnitz offers the following information on his soul: '"And you, my friend,' said [Micromegas] to a Leibnitzian who was there, 'what is your soul?' - 'It is,' replied the Leibnitzian, 'a hand which shows the hours while my body chimes; or else, if you will, it is my soul that chimes while my body shows the hour; or else my soul is the mirror of the universe, and my body is the molding of the mirror; that is clear.'" (Ch. VII) The vibrant soul of the speaker belongs to the atomic, monadic universe of Leibnitz in which, according to H.P. Blavatsky,

the "monads closely resemble the elementals of mystic philosophythese monads are representative Beings. Every monad reflects every other. Every monad is a living mirror of the Universe within its own sphere. And mark this, for upon it depends the power possessed by these monads, and upon this depends the work they can do for us; in mirroring the world, the monads are not mere passive reflective agents, but spontaneously self-active; they produce the images spontaneously, as the soul does a dream. In every monad, therefore, the adept may read everything, even the future. Every monad or Elemental is a looking-glass that can speak." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 631, Vol. I) In the words of its ownerwhich echo the words of H.P. Blavatskythe soul of the disciple of Leibnitz featured in Micromegas is "the mirror of the universe." The same soul or "hand" which "shows the hours" may therefore have the ability to "read everything, even the future." The designation of the philosopher's body viewed as the



"molding" or frame of the soul can also be interpreted as the reflection of occult teachings: "For we, too, claim that it is the 'Soul,' or the inner man, that descends on Earth first, the psychic astral, the mould on which physical man is gradually builthis Spirit, intellectual and moral faculties awakening later on as that physical stature grows and develops." (The Secret Doctrine, p. 728, Vol. II) It may therefore be said in the Secret Doctrineas it is said in Micromegasthat the physical body is the "molding," "the frame" or the "edge" of the soul. The many similarities which exist between the monadic philosophy of Leibnitz and corresponding tenets of the Secret Doctrine are subjects of abundant comment by H.P. Blavatsky. They form the concealed basis of the exoterically bizarre statement of Voltaire's disciple of Leibnitz. In the light of those similarities the manifesto of the Leibnit-zian thinker is "clear" indeed. A disciple of Locke is next. He believes in an omnipresent divine design. His profession of faith receives heartyif discreetendorsement from Micromegas-Voltaire:

"I do not know,' he said, 'how I think, but I know that I have never thought except at the prompting of my senses. That there may be immaterial and intelligent substances is one thing I do not doubt; but that it be impossible for God to communicate thought to matter, that is what I greatly doubt. I revere the eternal power, it is not fitting that I should limit it; I affirm nothing, I content myself with thinking that more things are possible than one thinks.' The animal from Sirius smiled; he did not find that one to be the least wise." (Ch. VII) The mysterious mechanism of human thought raises the question or how one thinks. ("I do not know how I think"). The crucial how is generally determined by sensory data and by the intellect. This



amounts to the "prejudice" denounced by Diderot that "nothing occurs beyond the reach of our senses, and that everything ceases [to exist] where we no longer see."36 In the case of the disciple of Locke, the possibility of other planes of consciousness and reality is not ruled out. His statement that "more things are possible than one thinks" brings to mind a famous passage of Hamlet: "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."37 The philosopher does not doubt the reality of "immaterial and intelligent substances." Nor does he doubt divine ability to impregnate matter with "thought." His philosophical refusal to limit divine essence or divine power suggests that rarest of rarities: a truly open mind at work with an unfettered brand of Reason. The fervor of his credo is veiled by a skeptical tone in which negative terms abound and the word "doubt" dominates. Diderot and other apologists of skepticism come to mind: honest skepticism is the first step toward truth. "'When you doubt, abstain,' says the wise Zoroaster, whose prudent aphorism is found corroborated in every case by daily life and experience. Yet, like St. John the Baptist, this sage of the past Ages is found preaching in the desert, in company with a more modern philosopher, namely Bacon, who offers the same priceless bit of practical Wisdom. 'In comtemplation,' he says (in any question of Knowledge, we add), 'if a man begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.'" (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 442-43, Vol. II) "'He who seeks the truth,' wrote Descartes, 'must, so far as possible, doubt everything.' This saying is well known, and it sounds very new. If, however, we look at the second book of Aristotle's Metaphysics, we find this: 'He who seeks to acquire knowledge must first know how to doubt, for intellectual doubt helps to estab-

36. 37.

De l'Interpretation de la Nature, LVI, Des Causes Hamlet, Act I, Scene V

Micromegas 329 lish the truth."' (The Morning of the Magicians, An Open Conspiracy, Part III) The common interests of space travellers and earthlings produce a philosophical discussion that is far from sterile. The harvest of odd findings stems from a shared yearning for knowledge and understanding. The survey of seemingly strange, disparate beliefs results, for each participant, in the opening of previously undreamed vistas. There may be truth in the statement that the soul is its own raison d'etre. There may be truth in the uncouth expressions of the Cartesian. The deceptive quietism of the disciple of Malebranche may be the No-Thingness of True Being. The monadic universe of Leibnitz bears a striking resemblance to the monadic universe of occult philosophy. The open-minded skepticism of the disciple of Locke finds understandable favor with "the animal from Sinus." In short, a soulful quest for knowledge pervades the variegated fabrics of several doctrines. The same spirit of uninhibited inquiry is part of the golden thread which runs through Micromegas. It involves awareness of cosmic chains of more or less "dense" or ethereal matter. It is the faculty that can break "chains" of limited perception, raising consciousness to sublime heights through the spiritual "optics" of the diamond. Finally, the sampling of philosophical outlooks reviewed in Chapter VII hints at the desirability of a synthesis born of an eclectic approach to knowledge. The philosophical party is suddenly "crashed." The intruder is a proponent of the doctrine of Saint Thomas: "There was in attendance, unfortunately, a small diminutive animal wearing a square bonnet, who interrupted all the philosophizing diminutive animals; he said that he knew the whole secret, that it could be found in the Sum of Saint Thomas; he looked the two celestial inhabitants up and down; he maintained to them that their persons, their worlds, their suns, their stars, all was made exclusively for the benefit of man." (Ch. VII)



The arrogant evangelist is a long way from truth. The soul is nowhere mentioned in his dogmatic expose, a fact suggesting estrangement from spiritual reality. His authority is suspect to members of "good company." St. Thomas is alleged to have manipulated various portions of Hindu scriptures for the greater glory of his own gospel:

"We see the best and most learned of our writers uselessly striving to show that the extraordinary similarities amounting to identitybetween Christna and Christ are due to the spurious Gospels of the Infancy and of St. Thomas having 'probably circulated on the coast of Malabar, and giving color to the story of Christna.' Why not accept truth in all sincerity, and reversing matters, admit that St. Thomas, faithful to that policy of proselytism which marked the earliest Christians, when he found in Malabar the original of the mythical Christ in Christna, tried to blend the two; and, adopting in his gospel (from which all others were copied) the most important details of the story of the Hindu Avatar, engrafted the Christian heresy on the primitive religion of Christna." (Isis Unveiled, p. 539, Vol. 2) The Thomistic manifesto broadcast by the "animal" with the square bonnet is a faithful ecclesiastical version of the anthropocentric view of the universe which is scornfully rejected by proponents of the Secret Doctrine. Voltaire may have intended to link his obnoxious person and his inane sermon to the level of allegedly soulless creatures by repeated use of the word "animal." The traveller from Sirius and H.P. Blavatsky hold the same dim view of dogma asserting that "everything is created for man, and that he alone is the sovereign of the universe." As might be expected, Homeric laughter greets the preaching of the aggressive churchman. But the comical aspect of the confrontation has serious implications. Embraced by most theologians who pass it on to the masses, the Thomistic doctrine affects the lives and minds of countless persons. It is a fearmonger, a killer of insight, and a killer of souls. All too often, as may be seen from the ghastly records of Inquisition, it is a killer of human beings of flesh and blood.



Another burst of mixed laughter marks the end of the story. "Micromegas" promises to deliver to the inhabitants of Earth a book containing the key to universal mysteries"the end of all things." The promise is kept. The book is examined by the eager Secretary of the Academy of Sciences... who sees only a blank. Unfailing expertise and professional habit come to the rescue. He saves face: "'Ah! He said, just what I expected!'" (Ch. VII) The book has the appearance of a hoax. Readers are free to believe that any work capable of revealing "the end of things" is a product of fraud; that no key to universal mysteries is accessible to Man, and that the entire Cosmos is the child of blind chance. The Secretaire is right in one respect. The non-existent revelation he expects is all he can receive. No enlightenment can come to him from the book. Some modes of expression and some eternal verities are beyond reach of his literal approach. Unfortunately, blind scholars, "closed books," and "lost keys" belong to the realm of non-fiction. M. le Secretaire has numerous fleshand-blood counterparts whose limited vision is often deplored by occultists and esoteric writers. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky, such representatives of knowledge "cover only half the ground. Lacking the true key of interpretation, they see the symbols only in their physical aspect. They have no password to cause the gates of mystery to swing open and ancient spiritual philosophy is to them a closed book."38 Consequently, the blank-page type of insight is the only possible claim to glory of blind erudition faced with esoteric substance. It is the negative achievement of unspiritualized knowledge. The vision of the Secretaire is stuck on the same low plane as the insight of the Thomistic apostle and, apparently, as the vision of the gracious archbishop mentioned in Chapter I. Like the "separated twins" representatives of officially of occult writings, Voltaire's

38. Isis Unveiled, p. 120, Vol. 2



approved scholarship and of established religion are viewed as corpses without souls. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky which have already been quoted, the Roman Church, "by her own act,"[has] "deprived herself of the only possible key to her own religious mysteries." With respect to the majority of scientists, they "are but animate corpsesthey have no spiritual sight because their spirits have left them." To many learned Western minds "the end of things"Spirit, Nirvana, No-Thingness or immaterial existencecan only be the blank of total annihilation. Actually, it is the Alpha and Omega, the dynamic thread and fabric of true Being; ultimately, blissful omniscience. Coursing through Cosmos and esoteric literature, the same intangible yet perceptible radiance is the key to the thinking of Voltaire and to the thinking of many other "smugglers." The reaction of the academician is a prophetic projection on the fate of Voltairian writings. The italicized exclamation just what I expected! is more than the expression of the dead-letter insight which persists to our day even in academic circles where one would hope for something deeper. It is the lament of an author long misunderstood. At the same time it is the triumphant shout of the esoteric author finally viewed in splendid integrity. It is, in that sense, doubly prophetic. It is Voltaire's very own. It is comparable to a line of La Prison, a poem written by Alfred de Vigny: "Je suis libre, je cours, le masque est arrache!" ("I am free, I am running, the mask if off!") Micromegas conveys a veiled message that concerns "the end of things." The overall scheme of existence and evolution is viewed in the light of the Secret Doctrine. Man is situated within the universe of which he is the tiny and potentially boundless reflection. "Micromegas" is "below" as Cosmos is "above." 'The country where nothing lacks," the realm of immaterial Being and blissful omniscience is the source, the destination and the raison d'etre of all things.

39. Ibid., p. 318,Vo. 1



Cosmos is the extension of Divine Essence and Divine Harmony. Man owns a special share of the spiritual radiance mathematically allotted from galaxies to atoms. Varying alloys of the matter-spirit compound determine planes of existence "above" and "below;"from planetary chains to atoms and human consciousness. The occult scheme of life may be grasped in the light of the symbolic circle or "necklace" of necessity: Karma-Sutratma (Evolution-Cause-EffectRetribution-Rebirth).

'"God geometrizes,' said Plato. The laws of nature are the thoughts of God'; exclaimed Oersted, 2,000 years later. 'His thoughts are immutable,' repeated the solitary student of Hermetic lore, 'therefore it is in the perfect harmony and equilibrium of all things that we must seek the truth.'" (Isis Unveiled, pp. 506-07, Vol. 1) Cosmic vision is the framework as well as the essence of Micromegas. Knowledge of mysterious domains is shown to be accessible to Man if Man will discover and use "the conveyances of up there." He must strive to emulate the ethics of the "diamond-hearted" and the insight afforded by the "optics" or the vision of the symbolic diamond. He must use his intellect and his intuition to master the art of "flight." The focus of the story is the status of human knowledge. The myopic outlook of the majority of mankind necessarily reflects a certain stage of general evolution or, in other words, an aspect of Universal Law. The naturally limited vision of residents of the "little molehill" is further impaired by the criminal activities of some powerful institutions. The Church, which has lost the key to universal mysteries, suppresses or distorts that learning which remains. "Exact science" is not above reproach. It is stubbornly wedded to a narrow conception of matter. Matter is materialized spirit and cannot be fully known without a mminimum of spiritual, which is to say intuitive, insight. Literary material is as incompletely known as the other kind of "matter." It is, in many cases, "materialized spirit" of which most academicians



cannot or will not see more than the surface. Universal harmony and unity are reflected, individually and collectively, in the works of many great writers. "A profusion of varieties with a kind of admirable uniformity" prevails there also. Concealed beneath deceptive veils of multiple fabrics and styles is the common denominator of genial inspiration. Last but not least, esoteric literature is a powder-keg of secret science as Voltaire's knowledge of Martian moons well shows. Voltaire and Proust seem to agree on the nature or the same beauty" refracted through "diverse media:" the literary echo of the music of the spheres:

"That unknown quality of a unique worldperhaps it was in thatthat the most authentic proof of genius lay, far more than in the content of the work itself. 'Even in literature?' Albertine asked me.'Even in literature.'And, thinking over the monotony of the works of Vinteuil, I explained to Albertine that the great writers have never done but one work, or rather, have refracted a same beauty through diverse media, which they bring to the world. 'Were it not so late, little one,' I said to her, 'I would show you the same identity as in Vinteuil. Those model phrases, which you are beginning to recognize as I do, my little Albertine, the same in the sonata, in the septuor, in the other works, they would be for instance if you wish, in Barbey d'Aurevilly, a concealed reality, revealed by a material sign.'" (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 375, Vol. III) Micromegas is best understood as a complement to the trilogy formed by Zadig, Candide and L'Ingenu. The allegorical saga of Man the Lover of Truth or Man in Search of Truth from Antiquity to our days is supplemented by a key to the secret knowledge which is the object of the search. Micromegas is the key, the quaternary emanated out of the ternary. In that respect, it acts as the Fourth of the well-known Three Musketeers. The title of the story and the name or the main character contain it all. It is in the essential identity of Cosmos and Man that the revelation of universal mysteries can be found. It is



in the infinite smallness of the human "insect" and of other "atoms" that the infinitely great and the pathway to the stars will be found. Micromegas explains how and why the high grade of pagan Ethics and Knowledge lingering from a golden age within the time frame of Zadig is almost completely lost in the nightmarish, modern world that will be the setting of Candide. Micromegas paves the way for the re-discovery or the Primitive Wisdom-Religion, an event tacitly awaited in all parts of the trilogy but which is expected to take place in the specific era of L'Ingenu. Micromegas does in spatial, vertical depth what is done in the trilogy against the curved horizon background of Time.



Candide returns the reader to terrestrial regions. The story takes place in Westphalia, a location suggesting the Western hemisphere in general and Western Europe in particular. The times are those in which Christianity reigned supreme in that part of the world. One question arises. What is the meaning of the stopover in time and space within the general framework of Voltairian writings and, more specifically, within the framework of the Voltairian trilogy? Zadig designates Eastern Antiquity as the source of what had once been the universal Wisdom-Religion. Basic aspects of the Secret Doctrine form the hidden core of the story. Micromegas prolongs and supplements the esoteric substance of Zadig by adding to the Karmic significance of Jesrad a glimpse of planetary chains and the symbolic necklace of KarmaSutratma. The sustained and esoterically dominant presence of the Secret Doctrine in both stories points to one possibility. Having traced the origin or the Primitive-Wisdom-Religion to the East and reported its first fragmentations; having situated mankind within the cosmic scheme of evolution, could Voltaire have used Candide to outline the fate of the Secret Doctrine in a modern, "civilized" milieu corresponding approximately to the milieu in which he lived? A young man and his beloved are the two main characters. Candide and Cunegonde live happily and ignorantly on what they regard as an idyllic domain. The castle of Thunder-tentronckh seems to them a modern version of the Garden of Eden.




"There was once in Westphalia, in the castle of his lordship the baron of Thunder-tentronckh, a boy endowed by nature with the most gentle ways. He had fairly sound judgment, along with the simplest mind; it is, I believe for that reason that he was called Candide. The old servants of the household suspected that he was the son of the sister of his Lordship and of a good and honest nobleman of the neighborhood, whom that lady never consented to marry because he had been able to prove only seventy-one quarters of nobility, and because the rest of his genealogical tree had been lost through the injury of time. His Lordship was one of the most powerful lords in Westphalia, for his castle had a door and some windows. His great hall even boasted a tapestry. All the dogs of his barnyard made up a hunting pack in case of need; his grooms were his hunting men; the village priest was his High Chaplain. They all called him Milord, and they laughed when he made up stories. (Ch. I) The introduction of Candide invites comparison with the corresponding portrayal of Zadig. The young Pagan appears to be superior to his modern counterpart. Zadig is endowed with a fine temperament fortified by instruction. Candide has "gentle ways"a dubious asset in certain societies. The characterization of his mind evokes the concept of "simple-mindedness." The initial sketch of Zadig stresses freely embraced beliefs and attitudes. The first presentation of Candide stresses the influence of the environment. Zadig is mostly defined as a person of intellectual, moral and spiritual substance. Candide is presented primarily as the resultant of materialistic values and social forces. His status is determined externally by a suspect family tie to suspect grandeur. The strong selfhood of Zadig, the Pagan of Antiquity is opposed to the weak identity of Candide, the representative of modern Christendom. Several details suggest that the Westphalian paradise is an illusion totally indebted for its fame to the provincial blindness of the inhabitants. Various expedients are used by the lord and master of the household to ape genuine greatness. Dogs, servants, and priest in residence



are called upon to perform duties for which they are not prepared by nature or training. Results are gratifying to dwellers of the fine castle. But the reader is aware of certain shortcomings. The flattery of "servants" who lionize the person and glorify the jokes of His Lordship brings to mind inferior forms of spirituality reminiscent of Itobad. The prestige of Thunder-ten-tronckh depends on cheap imitations, make-believe, and servility. The castle is a Mecca of smug materiality personified by the three hundred and fifty pounds or the much-admired baroness. It is the imposing owner of "a door" and "some windows." The fact that holes are viewed as signs of refinement and status symbols says a lot about prevailing values. The overall impression is one of pretentious and grotesque mediocrity. The dogs add a pungent touch to the establishment of lowest "necessity"une meute dans le besoin -. (Celine may have been inspired by the latter detail when he created his own version of "Westphalia:" "the Passage.") The esoteric significance of "windows"representing the physical sensesis found in numerous texts such as the writings of Rabelais: "Fils trescher (dist Gargantua), je vous en croy, et loue Dieu de ce qu'a votre notice ne viennent que choses bonnes et louables, et que, par les fenestres de vos sens, rien n'est on domicile de vostre esprit entre fors liberal scavoir."' (Tiers Livre, Ch. XLVIII) ("'Dearest son (said Gargantua), I do believe you and praise God that to your knowledge do come only good and laudable things, and that, through the windows of your senses nothing has entered to dwell in your mind except liberal learning.") The tapestry displayed in the great hall brings to mind another Rabelaisian symbol: the veil behind which secret ventures are concealed"derriere la tapisserie, en tapinois," "behind the tapestry, stealthily."1 The subject of the valuable objet d' art is not described but it is probably mythological and esoteric. Great benefit might be derived from its study were it more than an insulation device and an 1. Tiers L ivre, Ch. XVIII



ornament. The establishment of the mighty Lord of Thunder-ten-Tronckh seems blind to the value of its own heritage. The name Thunder-ten-tronckh brings to mind a thundering force and a slightly modified version of Rabelaisian "drinking" (Trinch)2 suggested by the last part of the name or the vindictive baron. The injunction to drink of the spirit or of the fountain of knowledge is the final answer of the oracle of the Dive Bouteille to the questions of Panurge in Rabelaisian texts. The same drinking of the spirit or of the fountain of knowledge proves a costly venture in the "Westphalian" realm where nothing is as feared by the Lord as is the forbidden fruit which may enlighten his creatures. Not surprisingly, the experimentation of Candide with certain laws of Nature physical love or carnal knowledgeleads to his expulsion from the heavenly castle. The "romantic" episode takes place behind a screenderriere un paraventwhose concealment effectiveness is nil. Occult pursuits are neither practical nor truly "occult" in "Westphalia." The search for "knowledge"a natural aspiration of manis savagely and selectively punished. The seat of guilt is the logical target of the vengeful lord. Candide is literally kicked out of the Garden of Eden. Cunegonde loses consciousness. The fainting spell of the girl would do honor to a "roman larmoy-ant"or what might be called a "tear jerker" novel -. But its most important function is esoteric, not "literary." The swooning episode suggests an attempt to raise the veil of Nature or Isis and the physical impact of occult forces involved in a first approach. The Westphalian Jehovaha petty "baron" in spiritual hierarchiestolerates no such subversion as the independent search for enlightenment which could lead to his downfall. His jealous and vengeful disposition brings to mind the God of the Old Testament as well as "the Egyptian" featured in Zadig. The same power of darkness is present in both stories. But the attitudes of ancient and modern soci-


The verb Trinken means to drink in German



eties are radically different. The young disciple of Zoroaster lived in a world which resisted forces of obscurantism and spiritual death such as Moabdar, "the Egyptian," and Itobad. Candide is not so fortunate. Ancient Babylon generally favored the pursuit and diffusion of knowledge. Such is not the case in modern "Westphalia. The Westphalian Jehovah dominates a community which calls itself "Christian" and which justifies its name in subsequent chapters of Candide by roasting people alive in the name of Christ. The same penchant for colossal contradiction is reflected in the name of the Lord. The total name suggests that a thundering, wrathful response might follow unauthorized "drinking." Or perhaps, that the only kind of permissible "drinking"is of a modified or adulterated variety hinted by the word Tronckh. The politically correct mode of "drinking" is then Christianity, the established religion of Western Europe. At the same time the Lord is fanatically opposed to the superior form of "drinking" advocated by Christ:

"In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, 'If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.'" (St. John, 7, 37) "Marcel Proust may have had in mind "the most beautiful castle in the world" when he wrote a certain passage of the Recherche:

"Such is aristocracy, in its heavy construction, endowed with few openings, letting in little light, showing the same lack of soaring impulse, but also the same massive and blinded might as does roman architecture; locking up, walling in, as in a scowl, the expression of all history." (A la Recherche du temps perdu, p. 537, Vol. II) A major clue is given to the "heavy construction" or literal interpretation of esoteric "aristocracy"an element of society that is highly spiritual. But the chief purpose of the passage seems to characterize feudal "roman" structures and their repressive influence on historical



truth. Proust seems to make typical esoteric use of the word "roman" in the sense of "Roman Catholic." Massive materiality, lack of soaring elan or lofty aspiration, scarcity of light, blindness and an incurable allergy to human knowledge are meaningful negative findings. Voltaire and Proustnot to mention many othersseem to share the same view of the same spiritually deprived and depraved establishment which has done its very best to warp, suppress and even control History. Candide goes from bad to worse. His expulsion from the phony paradise is followed by military induction. The "fall" seems to be complete. Adding insult to injury is the fact that divine truths are occasionally uttered by rogues such as the recruiters who use those truths to promote base ends. While that perverse use of verities is deplorable, such such pronouncements have strong appeal:

"'men were created only to help one another.'" (Ch. II) The misused statement illustrates the effectiveness of a common esoteric device. Conflict between pure substance and polluted source is exploited. The reader is induced to react negatively to an opinion he would normally endorse. More or less consciously, hostility is transferred from tainted mouthpiece to valid pronouncement. The same technique is used in Paris, a poem of Alfred de Vigny in which a revolutionary mob utters an explosive paraphrase: "'All will be called and all will be chosen!'" (Paris) The exoteric call to anarchy conceals a spiritual message. Esoteri-cally, the war cry is the equivalent of the Voltairian "end of things." It is also a translation of the "end" of the "human family" which is contemplated in Paris itself. The hidden substance of the provocative italicized expression is an affirmation of belief in universal salvation. Nirvana is the ultimate destiny of all. The comprehension gap separat-



ing exoteric sarcasm from esoteric fervor is a significant measure of the power of illusion. No spokesman of eternal verities seems to suffer more from the same comprehension gap than does Pangloss, the preceptor of Candide. The incurable optimism of the master is difficult to characterize in practical terms. Its lingering influence on the young hero may be seen alternately as a blessing and as a curse. Throughout a long series of mostly distressing adventures, the young Westphalian will remember the teachings of the master: "There is no effect without cause." "All is arranged necessarily for the best." "Those who stated that all is well spoke ineptly; they should have said that all is for the best. The name of Pangloss which is derived from two Greek words meaning "All" and "Language" suggests a universal language or doctrine. The preceptor's refrain: "There is no effect without cause" is a profession of Karmic faith that would not be disavowed by Jesrad. The "necessary chain of events" frequently invoked in his conversations is a network of systematic correlations underlying the chaos of the visible world. As was previously noted, the chain also symbolizes the process of reincarnation which governs the destinies of men. The occult "circle of necessity" and the entire body of philosophy that is inseparable from it is repeatedly brought to bear in the homilies of the master. The same "necessity" or evolutionary framework may explain howdespite overwhelming evidence to the contrary"all is for the best" in the best of possible worlds at a certain stage of human evolution. In summary, there is reason to conclude that Pangloss may not be insane after all. Exoterically, his arguments seem to cry out for refutation: '"All having been made to one end, all is necessarily designed to the best end. Do note that noses were made to wear glasses, therefore, we do have glasses. Legs were clearly designed to be breeched, and we have breeches. Stones were formed to be cut and to make into castles; so my Lord has a very handsome castle; the greatest baron in the province must have the best lodgings; and, pigs being made



to be eaten, we eat pork all year round.'" (Ch. I) Leaving aside the initial, valid statement one may object that noses were made to smellin French "sentir" a verb which also means "to feel"or that "sensitivity" is their true function. One may argue that glasses denote "impaired vision," that legs were intended to promote "walking"an activity that will be discouraged in a subsequent chapter of Candide. One may point out that fragmentary interpretations or truncated bodies of knowledge are suggested esoterically by cut stones. One may wonder about the interesting proximity linking baron and swine. One may doubt that pigsor other living creatureswere meant to be slaughtered and devoured. Such views might find favor with "the first philosopher in the province." For the Panglossian eulogy of the status quo is double-edged; consisting of a strange mixture of halftruths and of the few valid points of the first sentence. (That very mixture contains a lesson aimed at the reader on how to separate the "wheat" of esotericism from the "chaff" of inanities frequently used to conceal it). The "amusing" statement of Pangloss may be summarized as follows: weakened natural faculties shunted from their true roles, poor sensitivity, poor vision, repressed ability to "travel" and explore, fragmentary knowledge, cruelty to fellow-creatures; repetitive and toxic nourishment; such are the chief glories of Wesphalia, the modern Western world. Absurdity and suffering seem to be the sole constants in the fate of Candide. Having left quarters to take a walk one day, the young recruit is quickly tried and convicted by military justice:

"He followed his urge, one fine spring day, to go for a walk, walking straight ahead, believing that it was a privilege of the human species, as of the animal species, to use its legs for its pleasure." (Ch. II)



The free exercise of God-given mobility is harshly punished. The military power structure is as hostile to natural human aspiration as is the "aristocracy" represented by the Jehovic Lord of Thunder-ten-Tronckh. All independent use of human faculties is viewed as subversion in the "Westphalian" society created in His image. Every natural yearning not controlled by jealous hierarchies is a "forbidden fruit" and a crime. Candide is offered a "choice" between a deadly run of the gauntlet and a deadly shower of bullets. The disproportion between "crime" and punishment suggests more to be at stake than proverbial military insight and army regulations. The young man wishes to use his legs for his "pleasure." The Voltairian value of the latter word according to which "pleasures lead to God" suggests that the "walk" or "walk abroad" is spiritual in nature. The esoteric concept of "walk abroad" or "trip" may be tested with profit in the works of numerous writers, particularly in English literature. As was previously noted, Vigny found that Pascal owed a great deal to the "walks" of Montaigne. Such excursions which involve active minds and spirits promote far more than physical exercise.

"Dear friends, there is no cause for so much sympathy. I shall certainly manage from time to time to take my walks abroad. All that matters is an active mind, what is the use of feet? By land one can ride in a carrying chair; by water, be rowed in a boat."(Po-Chui, Illness, written circa A.D. 842, when he was paralyzed) Not surprisingly, Voltaire had shunned the esoteric concept or "walks" in Micromegas. His avoidance of the word can easily be explained since the story of interplanetary travel stresses the distinction to be made between pedestrian earthbound mobility and the soaring flights of intuitive "conveyances of up there." The exoteric meaning of the word "walk" is too closely connected to the idea of earthbound travel in the majority of Western minds to favor the highaltitude interpretations which are courted in Micromegas. Having made him-



self as clear as was esoterically possible on the subject of spiritual vehicles in that story, Voltaire reverts to the esoteric value of a "walk" in Candide. The military structure of which the young hero is a reluctant part is not only repressive. It is selectively and perversely regressive. Its idea of punishmentand self-preservationis an attempt to turn back the clock of evolution. Candide is forced to run the gauntlet twice and begs to be "mercifully shot before the third race,"la troisieme course. The esoteric concept of race or evolutionary sub-cycle lends significant dimension to the episode. Our era and the era in which Voltaire lived belong to the same Fifth Race of the Fourth Round of the present Grand Cycle. It is an age of deepest materiality, therefore an age of refinement in evil. But it is also an age of significant transition. Having reached the nadir of the evolutionary curve, the Earth and its residents are about to begin the phase of slow re-ascent. Modern mankind is approaching an era of improved intellectual and spiritual development. In the words of H.P. Blavatsky:

"In our present all-material Fifth Race, the earthly Spirit of the Fourth is still strong is us; but we are approaching the time when the pendulum of evolution will direct its swing decidedly upwards, bringing humanity back on a parallel line with the primitive third Root-Race in Spirituality." (The Secret Doctrine, pp. 224-25, Vol. I) The esoteric value of running the gauntleta forced "race"brings Candide to the third race, the borderline of ethereal, original mankind. How ethereal the establishment wishes him to be is demonstrated by the death sentence. The goal of the tyrants seems to be a return to the good old days when the life expectancy of their system was greatest. The forces of oppression sense that their time is running out. Evil and Ignorance are practically synonymous in the esoteric system. No better illustration of the fact could be found than the misguided maneuvers of the insecure despots featured in Candide. A



general return to the ethereal and spiritual state of mankind would mean the immediate collapse of their domination. No truly intelligent, instructed or spiritually inclined humanity would tolerate, or even conceive, the existence of their destructive powers. The self-defeating efforts of the mighty have interesting causes. In spite of the claimed belief of their established religion in eternal life, physical death and total annihilation are to them one and the same. Also involved in their frantic attempts to keep everyone else in line is the fact that evolutionary insight is totally lacking. The "runs" or "races" of Candide supplement the "suggestion" of materiality conveyed in a previous passage by the embonpoint of the baroness of Thunder-Ten-Tronckh. The bulk of the lady"approximately three hundred and fifty pounds"represents a probable allusion to the Fifth subrace of the Third Race, the time when the descent of man into materiality became strikingly manifest through the separation of the sexes. "The little ones of the earlier races were entirely sexlessshapeless even for all one knows; but those of the later races were born androgynous. It is in the Third Race that the separation of sexes occurred. From being previously a-sexual, Humanity became distinctly hermaphrodite or bi-sexual; and finally the man-bearing eggs began to give birth, gradually and almost imperceptibly in their evolutionary development, first to Beings in which one sex predominated over the other, and, finally, to distinct men and women. (The Secret Doctrine, p. 132, Vol. II) "Though we apply the term 'truly human,' only to the Fourth Atlantean Root-Race, yet the Third Race is almost human in its latest portion, since it is during its fifth sub-race that mankind separated sexually, and that the first man was born according to the now normal process. This 'first man' answers in the Bible (Genesis) to Enos, or Henoch, son of Seth (ch. iv)" (The Secret Doctrine, p. 715, fn., Vol. II)



The size of the baroness may also suggest the lingering influence of Fourth Race Atlantean giants, "the earthly"-matter-bound"Spirit" of which "is still strong in us." The voluminous consort of the baron is obviously connected to matter within the Time-Space evolutionary framework. The allegorical marriage of the wratful Jehovic "Lord" and abundant materiality makes beautiful sense. The two belong together. The two deserve each other. The dominance of "flesh" is also stressed in the initial sketch of Cunegonde. The girl has oral as well as other appeal. The young lady, "aged seventeen, had a vivid complexion, was freshlooking, chubby, appetizing." The sweetheart of Candide combines the powerful attractions of food and sex which represent ultimate fulfillment to numerous residents of the Western World. Her seventeen years of age seem to point to the specific era of the seventeen hundreds. The timesetting of the story is thus characterized as an age of feeble spirituality if not downright bestiality; a view that will find plenty of support in subsequent chapters of Candide. The young man is virtually crippled and flayed alive in the course or the disciplinary process. Some skin and ability to walk are eventually regained with the help of a kindly surgeon. The damaged "coat of skin" or physical body further tends to situate the second chapter of the story within the perspective of occult evolution. The symbolic coat of skin marks the advent of physical mankind during the Third Race:

"primeval man, who contrary to the Darwinian theory was purer, wiser, and far more spiritual, as shown by the myths of the Scandinavian Bur, the Hindu Dejotas, and the Mosaic 'Sons of God,'in short, of a far higher nature than the man of the present Adamic race, became de-spiritualized or tainted with matter, and then, for the first time, was given the fleshly body, which is typified in Genesis in that profoundly significant verse: 'Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skin, and clothed them.' Unless the commentators would make of the First Cause a celestial tailor, what else can the apparently absurd words mean but that the spiritual man had reached, through the progresss



of involution, to that point where matter, predominating over and conquering spirit, had transformed him into the physical man, or the second Adam, of the second chapter of Genesis?" (Isis Unveiled, p. 149, Vol. I) Exoterically, the society described in Candide seems to make little sense. But earthly powers are remarkably consistent where the repression of knowledge is concerned. The target of oppressors is basically the same in the castle of the Jehovic Lord of Thunder-ten-tronckh and in the military environment. It is the human tendency to experiment independently or, in other words, to desire and to seek truth. The seat of guilty knowledge is damaged by the wrathful baron. The ability to "walk" is impaired by military sadists. The loss of skin that is suffered needs little interpretation. The means of learning and the means of living are attacked. The indictment of "crime" and the punishment of "crime" are not determined by vagrant impulse. They are calculated to protect the repressive status quo. The experimentation of "lovers" who wish to unveil mysteries of Life or Nature and the "trips" of young metaphysicians are equally unwelcome in modern "Westphalia." The theocratic-aristocratic-militaristic compound is vulnerable to forces of common decency and common sense and is, therefore, opposed to the diffusion of esprit critique derived from knowledge. Candide is about to be forced into his life-threatening third race when he is rescued from execution by the King of the Bulgarians. The monarch chances to pass at an opportune time and also happens to be in a benevolent mood. The young hero is pardoned by divine right:

"As the third race was about to begin, Candide, unable to stand any more, requested the mercy that they should be so kind as to crush his skull; he obtained that favor; he is blindfolded, he is made to kneel. The King of the Bulgarians passes by at this moment, inquires about the crime of the patient; and, that King having a great genius, he understood, from all that he learned of Candide, that he was a young metaphysician quite ignorant of things of this



world, and granted him mercy with a clemency that will be praised in all the newspapers and in all ages to come." (Ch. II) Grace is granted by a personal deux ex machina, a worthy representative of Jehovic "justice"read favoritism. "As aboveso below. As in heaven, so on earth!" or, in this instance, Like Deity, like King! The praise lavished upon the King is of the same double-edged variety as the eulogy of the archbishop mentioned in Micromegas. Against a background of chronic spiritual and physical abuse, one decent act is observed in each case. Probably out of ignorance, the prelate who has helped withhold knowledge from millions of spiritual victims past, present and future, and who probably collaborates with the Inquisition, allows one person to see certain documents briefly. The King who has ordered the massacre of thousands of his own soldiers by sending them to war and who will order the massacre of thousands morenot to mention soldiers of the opposite side or helpless civiliansfeels compelled to display spectacular mercy toward one man. The scene is a preview of "photo-ops" of our times. Both acts are motivated by whim and public relations. The terrestrial delegates of Jehovah wish to be idolized as well as feared as does their Deity. Tyrannical power craves occasional love. The sycophants of the present and the flunkeys of the future will not fail to glorify the magnanimous figures "in all the newspapers and in all centuries to come." The Throne and Altar have no better allies than the abysmal ignorance of the masses and the dishonesty of officially approved historians. The King enjoys his role of allmighty, benevolent Power. The occasion is a good one to gloat over the predicament of "eggheads" in general and metaphysicians in particular. There is deep irony in the fact that, for all his limitations, the pupil of Pangloss is likely to know far more "of things of this world" than do his tormentors and than does his "Savior." Those who abuse him and affect to scorn his knowledge are indulging in a favorite sport of political comedians of all times. That is all one can expect at the bottom of a cycle in an age of topsyturvy values.



Divine Justice is far from manifest in the person of the monarch. But it is manifest in the unknown "chain of events" that bring him to the right place at the right time and shape his royal pleasure. Beyond the appearance of personal, Jehovic agency lies the reality of an impersonal and unknowable force. The King is no more, in this instance, than an instrument of Karma. The work of Divine Retribution is obscured by the tidal wave of war. The fate of Cunegonde, the destruction of the community of Thunder-ten-tronckh and the subsequent reprisals are reported by Pangloss. The biblical concept of justice: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, has yet to be rejected. Little has changed since the heroic days of the Old Testament:

"'Cunegonde is dead! Ah! best of worlds where are you? But from what illness did she die? Would it not be from having seen me expelled from the beautiful castle of her father by great kicks?''No,' said Pangloss, 'she was disembowelled by Bulgarian soldiers, after having been raped as many times as one can be; they crushed the head of his Lordship the baron, who tried to defend her; Her Ladyship the baroness has been cut into pieces; my poor pupil treated exactly as his sister; and as for the castle, there do not remain two stones one on the other; there remains not one barn, not one sheep, not one duck, not one tree; but we were well avenged, for the Abares did the same thing in a nearby baronial domain which belonged to a Bulgarian lord.'" (Ch. IV) The nationalities of avengers and of those avenged seem to have esoteric significance. Commentators usually state that the Bulgarians represent the Prussians while the Abares represent the French.3 Such interpretations are plausible on the exoteric plane but fail to do justice to the deep substance of the text. The "vulgarization" or debasement of a noble force spiritmay be suggested by the word "Bulgare" which resembles "vulgaire." The machinery of war is viewed by Voltaire and


Garnier-Benac edition, note, p. 633



by other esoteric "smugglers" as the lowest possible form of degraded "strength." The transition from divine Breath or Spirit to brutality is a natural aspect of the evolutionary "fall" into materiality. The "vulgarizing" or "debasing" change is consistent with the cyclic nadir reached by "Westphalian" Fifth Race mankind. The word "Bulgares" may also be linked to the Cathars or Albigen-sian "heretics" who were also known as "Bulgares" or "Bougres" and as les bons hommes-"the good men."The Cathars had a sizable following in Southern France during the XIIth and XIIIth Centuries. They are said to have come originally from Eastern Europe and always remained in contact with the Bogomil sects of Thrace. They believed in metempsychosisread reincarnationand lived according to very strict ascetic ruleshence their alternate name of "Cathars" or "Pure" and the rapid gains they made at one time among rich and poor. They were in constant opposition to the Roman Catholic clergy and denounced the corruption of the priesthood. All of which adds up to the kind of Knowledge, Ethics and threat which could not be tolerated by the Catholic Church. They were exterminated in a crusade led by Simon de Montfort. Voltaire may have tried to stress the religious nature of numerous wars waged since the beginning of the Christian era when he used the word "Bulgares." The word "Abare" seems intended to conveyamong other thingsthe suggestion of "avare" or the idea of "avarice." The empha-sis which seems to be placed on selfishness is consistent with the notion of an all-time low in the course of human evolution. The same divisive-ness is the essence of the sectarianism which is a major aspect of the esoteric core of Candide. Leaving aside the Cathars or the Pure, the apparent conflict between "Bulgares" and "Abares" is a virtual alliance of equally evil powers. The murderous strife is used to promote the interests of two ruthless dynasties. The restlessness of the masses which might otherwise take the form of internal uprisings is channeled elsewhere. Potential revolutionaries are turned into cannon-fodder in the name of the motherland.



The operation is touted as a sanitation measure. The words "ethnic cleansing" come to mind as Voltaire reports in Chapter III the removal "from the best of worlds of approximately nine to ten thousand rogues who were infecting its surface."4 The simultaneous singing of victorious Te Deums by the kings of both warring countries is an eloquent commentary on a sinister job well done by the Throne-Altar compound. The "infamous" is sole beneficiary of the pious carnage. The common soldier takes for granted and condones his dual status of cannon-fodder and slave. The recruiters sing the praise of their glorious alma mater. The fellow-victims of Candide participate with glee in the administration of his punishment. The sado-masochistic character of bellicose mystiques is exposed in another Voltairian work: Le Monde comme il va. (The World as it Goes). In that short story, a soldier is asked to give the reason or the war in which he is fighting. His reply is edifying: "That is not my business. I know nothing about that. My business is to kill and be killed to make a living." Mankind has clearly reached the antipodes of Ethics and Reason when major portions of the planet are laid waste by senseless slaughter, when the sheep being led to their deaths find no better scapegoats than their fellows and when "heroic butchery" is endorsed by the victims themselves. The designation of "Abares" may point to an expedition carried out by a lieutenant of Charlemagne. The Avars were defeated in 795 by a Frankish chief named Eric. They were groups of Huns who had settled in the plains of Hungary. The "Bulgarians" of Voltaire may thus be linked to the site of the battleHungary having once embraced vast territories. The Avar "ring" or circular camp was stormed by the Franks who found within its enclosures large quantities of gold, silver, jewels and other precious objects. The treasure was the product of multiple lootings. The symbolism of spoliated "wealth" derived from the rar East seems to be present. The impression tends to be supported by eth-





nic kinship. Bulgarians share Asiatic origins with the Avars. Racially and symbolically a fratricidal struggle is suggested by Voltaire. The age-old antagonism between Jews and Arabs (belonging to the same Semitic race) which is featured in Zadig is of the same fratricidal kind as the strife between Bulgarians and Avars. The shabby wealth of "Westphalia" has been annihilated. "Not one barn, not one sheep, not one duck, not one tree" is spared. The contents of the barns suggest spiritual as well as physical nourishment. The flocks are gone. They suggest dispersed congregations. The trees that did not escape destruction may have been separated remnants of the original One Tree of Knowledge. The ducksin French canardssuggest by a play on words the sacred and profane propaganda of the defunct paradise. Voltaire's description of modern warfare suggests that no genuine "strength" was gained from the five hundred ounces of "borrowed silver" mentioned in Zadig. The fact that the "borrowed silver" of Candide is of Asiatic origin adds a spiritual dimension to the fratricidal aspect of the conflict. The era of conciliatory "suppers" such as the gathering attended by Zadig is long gone. Sectarian disputes over spiritual wealth seem to to be inseparable from national and international disputes over material holdings and material power. The theme of sectarian rivalry brings to mind certain "crusades" waged by Christians against various sects. H.P. Blavatsky draws attention to the persecutions suffered by the Neo-Platonists and by "Christian sects whose theories were usually grouped under the generic name of Gnosticism:

"These are those which appeared immediately after the alleged crucifixion, and lasted till they were nearly exterminated under the rigorous execution of the Constantinian law. The greatest guilt of these were their syncretic views, for at no other period of the world's history had truth a poorer prospect of triumph than in those days of forgery, lying and deliberate falsification of facts.



But before we are forced to believe the accusations, may we not be permitted to inquire into the historical characters of their accusers? Let us begin by asking, upon what ground does the Church of Rome build her claim of supremacy for her doctrines over those of the Gnostics? Apostolic succession, undoubtedly. The succession traditionally instituted by the direct Apostle Peter. But what if this prove a fiction? Clearly, the whole superstructure supported upon this imaginary stilt would fall in a tremendous crash." (Isis Unveiled, p. 326, Vol. 2) The syncretic tendencies of the Gnostics, the sectarian policies of their persecutors and the dubious "stilt" of apostolic succession seem to be considered in Candide. The word syncretism and the adjective derived from it designate attempts to unite and harmonizeusually distinct religious beliefs. The literally or phallically "syncretic" aspirations of Candide are violently discouraged by the Westphalian Lord in the first chapter of the story. The corresponding desire of Cunegonde to become learnedsavanteor to acquire knowledgeGreek gnosisis likewise doomed by the jealous tyrant. The collapse of the finest castle in the world is a "tremendous crash" brought about by the onslaught of "foreigners" who might or might not be "heretics." The wrathful baron is killed. His voluminous spouse is cut into pieces. Greedily materialistic "Westphalia" is destroyed. No two stones of the castle remain standing: "Il n'est n'est pas reste pierre sur pierre." The latter sentence is reminiscent of the destruction of Jerusalem, a likely symbol of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. Also conveyed is a transparent allusion to the famous statement: "Thou art Peter; and upon this rock will I build my church." The collapse of the "Westphalian" or Western European edifice erected and maintained by "Pierres" or Popes seems to be the "tremendous crash" ever threatening the shaky "stilt" of apostolic succession. Voltaire's opinion of the Constantinian era bears a marked resemblance to the view set forth by H.P. Blavatsky. The turning point in history which brought a large portion of the Western world under the aegis of Christianity was, in his opinion, the origin of a "detestable and absurd" mode of governmentmodern



"monarchism." It is also the beginning of a period plagued by a massive over-supply of "monks."5 The structure built around Jerusalem and Peter is a frequent subject of occult writings. Among several arguments brought to bear against ecclesiastical tradition is the belief that Peter "never was at Rome at all."6 The same belief is reflected in the writings of Voltaire who raises the question of why the French should payas they dideight million four hundred thousand livres per year to the Holy Father:

"This tax was levied by Saint Peter upon Gaul from the very year when he came to Rome, andI doubted that Saint Peter had ever made that trip" (Romans et Contes Pot Pourri, Ch. XIII)

The same issue is considered in The Man With the Forty Coins by a person who pursues knowledge for its own sake:

"He used to read every morning, took notes, and in the evening consulted scholars to know in what language the serpent had spoken to our good mother; whether the soul is in the corpus callosum or in the pineal gland; whether Saint Peter had dwelt in Rome for twenty-five years" (On the Pox) Occult philosophy teaches that Peter was not involved in the foundation of the Church. The same "saint" is viewed as a personification of dubious spiritual and temporal leadership:

"As to Peter, biblical criticism has shown before now that he had probably no more to do with the foundation of the Latin Church at Rome, than to furnish the pretext so readily seized upon by the cunning Iraeneus to benefit his Church with the new name of the apostlePetra or Kiffaa name which allowed so readily, by an


L'Homme aux quarante ecusL'Homme aux quarante ecus, devenu pere, Raisonne sur les moines.


Isis Unveiled, p. 24, Vol. 2



easy play upon words, to connect it with Petroma, the double set of stone tablets used by the hierophant at the initiations, during the final Mystery." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 91-92, Vol. 2) In short, "the finest castle in the world" bears a marked resemblance to the structure built around Jerusalem and Peter. The unsound edifice cannot withstand confrontation with "strangers" or "heretics." The chief strength of the Westphalian citadel seems to lie in the blinders worn by the majority of its residents. In spite of the destruction of one community, the social system described in the first chapters of Candide remains strong throughout the story. But the congenital weaknesses of its Jehovic propsThrone, Altar and Castleare diagnosed in Chapter IV. They may be traced to a foundation of stolen and falsified teachings buttressed by the notion of "divine right." The longterm prognosis of the establishment is poor. The trend of sectarian division is likely to worsen. The "Abares"esoterically suggesting, among other things, "Arabes" or Moslemswill make grim appearances in subsequent chapters of Candide. The "Bulgares" and the related domain of the Greek Orthodox Church announce a "Great Schism" which will be an important element of the story of the old woman. The chapter dealing with the origin of Jesuitry is also prepared by the remarkable survival of the brother of Cunegonde. Dead or alive, the Jehovic Lord of Thunder-ten-tron-ckh will have imitators and successors. He will also leave an heir dedicated to the maintenance of his oppressive realm. The young hero leaves the war-torn regions of Westphalia in search of more hospitable lands. Lured by the wealth and Christian background of the Dutch, Candide seeks help and charitable treatment in their country. The inhabitants are cold-hearted in all but two respects. Wealth and sectarian passion are their only commitments. Far from heeding the precepts of the Savior who preached and practiced the brotherhood of Man, the Dutch citizens encountered by Candide treat as human beings only those persons who are "for the good cause:" their own.



The dogmatic ignorance of the reformed congregation is demonstrated in a brief dialogue. Candide is enjoined to state whether or not he is "for the good cause." The amusing exoteric exchange following the question covers a valid profession of Panglossian faith voiced by the former pupil of Pangloss:

"He then addressed a man who had just spoken by himself one hour and a half on charity in a large gathering. This orator, giving him a dirty look, said to him: 'What do you come here for? are you there for the good cause?'There is no effect without cause,' replied Candide modestly, 'all is linked necessarily and arranged for the best.'" (Ch. III) The Panglossian "cause" of multiple "effects" and of "necessary" chains of events is the First Cause or theto us UnknowableSupreme Being. The entire occult scheme of cosmic and human evolution is evoked in a minimum of words. The acrimonious preacher is unable to perceive the divine truth uttered by Candide. The target of his sectarian contempt is the true representative of the "good cause" par excellence: the First Cause. One may ask how the orator can speak byor tohimself in a large gathering. The character of the assembly and the subject of the talk solve the puzzle. No one really wants to hear any message of charity. The Dutch burghers of Voltaire have much in common with the English farmers of Samuel Butler who "would have been equally horrified at hearing the Christian religion doubted, and at seeing it practiced."7 Candide receives from a poor anabaptist all the help the kindly man can offer. True Christian practice is found outside the Church. Hypocrisy reigns inside. Like the narrator of Gullivers Travels the young man is "sorry to find more mercy in a heathen than in a brother Christian."8 The Protestant community is found wanting in two essential


The Way of All Flesh, Ch. 15



requirements of spirituality: compassionloveand insight. It is as bitterly opposed to genuine Christian charity as its Old Testament God is opposed to tolerance, general enlightenment and progress. The unexpected reunion of Candide and Pangloss is marred by the condition of the master. Pangloss suffers from venereal disease. He is unrecognizable andat firstunrecognized by his former student. His illness results from a dalliance with Paquette, a former lady-in-waiting at the castle of Thunder-ten-tronckh. The girl had been infected by a very learned monk who had "gone back to the source." The latter phrase is an unveiled clue to the occult nature of the friar's interests. The scourge is traced to persons of various social positions: ultimately to a Jesuit who contracted the disease unnaturally. The second partner in the "original sin" is a companion of Christopher Columbus. The "strange genealogy" of the ailment has its polluted source in religious fanaticism andmay redundancy be forgivenin predatory politics. Columbus, the instrument of royal greed for material treasures and territorial conquests, paved the way for the physical and spiritual enslavement of indigenous races of the New World. Civilized natives fared no better than their less advanced fellow-Americans facing the genocidal frenzy of "Westphalian" invaders. The record of Philip and Isabellawho sponsored Columbusis well known. The efficiency of their spiritual guideTorquemadais a matter of historical record: "in the brief space of fourteen years, Tomas de Torquemada, the confessor of Queen Isabeella, burned over ten thousand persons, and sentenced to the torture eighty thousand more,"9 The Jesuits involved in the corruption of those sacred values which are represented by Love in Candide are famous for their urbane manners, their learningoccult science includedand for their militaristic hierarchies and operations. Within their organization the machinery of warso vigorously denounced by Voltaireis wedded to sick religion in a sinister 8. 9. Voyage to Laputa, Ch. I Isis Unveiled, p. 59, Vol.



collage. The general formula of their poison is identical to the formula of black magic: selfish use of occultism in which the spiritual essence of Love and Knowledge is manipulated to base ends. Certainly, the Voltairian pox is a commentary on exoteric venereal disease. But it is also and above all a symbol of the spiritual disintegration wrought by Christian churches; a decay which plagues the entirety of Western Europe and its overseas possessions. The esoteric equivalence of the Pox is plainly given by Voltaire in The Man with the Forty Coins:

"The Turks call the pox the Christian disease, and that redoubles the profound contempt they have for our theology." (On the Pox) The same meaning is found in Ghosts, a play in which Ibsen illustrates the tragedy of children who pay for their parents' misdeeds. This amounts to an indictment of the notion of original sin and of the whole theological baggage that goes with it. The same symbolism is also found in Mort a Credit:

"Here is 'Case No. 34,' the employee with dark glasses, the bashful one, the sly one, he goes and gets his dose on purpose, every six months, at the Cour d'Amsterdam, the better to expiate by the rodthat's his prayer, the way he calls it." (Livre de Poche, p. 23) The illness exposed and diagnosed in Candide plagues all levels of society including the aristocracya countess - an officerthe army, the Churchthe learned monk and the Jesuit and a page or "servant" representing low classes as well as a low grade of spirituality. No one seems immune to the terrible disease. The fact that Pan-glossa masteris also affected reflects the "catholic" or "universal" quality of the affliction. The fact that he became unrecognizable is also significant. The era of the omnipresent "pox" is the time when the concealment of masters is required for survival. Concealment is helped by the blindness of all but a few, rare persons.



The "pox" is linked to "controversy," divisiveness or Maya; in short to a stage of deepest materiality in cyclic evolution.

"until our times, on our continent, this illness is peculiar to us, as is controversy. The Turks; the Indians, the Persians, the Chinese, the Siamese do not know it yet; but there exists a sufficient reason why they should know it in their turn in a few centuries." (Ch. IV)

Voltaire's prophecy had already been validated when H.P. Blavatsky gave the theosophical opinion of the sectarian "pox:" "Better a 'heathen' religion that can extort from a Francis Xavier such a tribute as he pays the Japanese, in saying that 'in virtue and probity they surpassed all the nations he had ever seen'; than a Christianity whose advance over the face of the earth sweeps aboriginal nations out of existence as with a hurricane of fire. Disease, drunkenness, and demoralization are the immediate results of apostasy from the faith of their fathers, and conversion into a religion of mere forms.Yes, these are the 'blessings' that the modern Christian religion brings with its Bibles and Catechisms to the poor 'heathen.' Rum and bastardy to Hindustan, opium to China, rum and foul disorders to Tahiti; and, worst of all, the example of hypocrisy in religion, and a practical skepticism and atheism, which, since it seems to be good enough for civilized people, may well in time be thought good enough for those whom theology has too often been holding under a very heavy yoke. On the other hand, everything that is noble, spiritual, elevating, in the old religion is denied, and even deliberately falsified." (Isis Unveiled, pp. 573-74, Vol. 2) In contrast to the unnatural love that is the source of the "pox," the dalliance of Pangloss and Paquette is natural and innocent. But their experiment with the forbidden fruit is severely punished. The penalty is not due to the act of love itself but to pre-existing corruption. The forbidden fruit of "Love" is almost always doomed to degradation in the diseased realm of "Westphalia."



The dogma of original sin and the companion belief in works of the devil are rejected by Pangloss:

"O Pangloss, exclaimed Candide, that is a strange genealogy! Was it not the devil who was its progenitor?''Not at all,' replied the great man; 'it was an indispensable thing in the best of worlds, a necessary ingredient: for if Columbus had not caught it in an island of America that disease which poisons the source of generation, which frequently even prevents generation, and which is obviously the opposite of the great goal of nature, we would have neither cocoa nor cochineal." (Ch. IV) Esoterically, the mystical union of mankind with the universal spirit is viewed as the "great goal" or design of nature. It is thwarted by the pox or perverted religion. "Generation," incarnation, evolution all tend to carry out the same plan. Love of knowledge and fellow-creatures are the necessary prerequisites of perfection. While it is never desirable, desired, or excusable in the eyes of Panglossian philosophers, the corruption of spirituality is itself necessary; inherent to certain stages of the "circle of necessity" or evolution. Accordingly, the degradation of sacred values is the inevitable companion of a materialistic faith wedded to an anthropomorphic God who is himself wedded to an anthropomorphic Devil. In that sense and in that sense only, the Fiend or his human extensions may be said to be at work. The scourge is ironically linked to "commerce" which is a powerful aid to human progress but whichlike almost everything elsecan be perverted by ignoble beings with ignoble goals. The question of what other "goods" may come to Westphalia from American "commerce"besides cocoa, cochineal and the "pox"is not asked. It will be answered in another chapter of Candide and by the esoteric substance of L'Ingenu, a story in which the Primitive-Wisdom Religion is brought back to Europe from the so-called "New World." Voltaire suggests that the plague will serve some good purposes in the end. For, in the words of Jesrad, there is no evil out of which some



good does not come. Future generations will understand its nature and will fight it with adequate weapons. Surface sarcasm to the contrary, the praise of Love is genuine and vibrant on the esoteric plane:

"it is love: love, the consolation of mankind, the preserver of the universe, the soul of all sentient beings, tender love" (Ch. IV) The pollution of sacred values reported in Chapter IV of Candide is also feared by Panurge. Torn between his desire to "marry"mysticallyand fear of cuckoldom, the Rabelaisian hero sees his misgivings confirmed by an oracle. Manthe potentially divine particle of cosmic energy: Pan-ergosis told that his spiritual destiny is threatened by the adulterous intrusion of a monk or representative of the Church. Voltaire's designation of "love" as Preserver of the universe is the same as a title of Vishnu, the creative principle of Cosmos. As was previously noted, Vishnu or DAG, the Savior and Great Instructor of mankind is relevant to the works, perhaps even to the lifeof Voltaire. The "fish man or "amphibian" is closely linked to the course of human evolution. The task of curing Pangloss of the "pox" raises difficult questions. Where will the necessary money be found?

"I do not have any money, my friend, and, on the entire surface of this planet, it is impossible to either be bled or to have an enema without paying, or without having someone pay for us." (Ch. IV) The suggested cure is a combination of "blood"bleedingand excrement"enema"two panaceas available for a fee. Within the esoteric context of Chapter IV the notion of "paying" for oneself or of having someone else pay suggests a distorted concept of "redemption." Sacrifices, indulgences, absolution and salvation on the installment plan are implicitly attacked in the passage.



Such practices are born of an outlook which treats spirituality as negotiable merchandise. The market is admirably arranged. Thriving retailers of "pox" are also merchants of "cures." No person guided by belief in an impersonal First Cause operating through Karmic Law can accept the bloody whitewash foundation of Christian formalism. Like Christ who threw the spiritual "moneychangers" out of the Temple, and for the same reasons, esoteric writers condemn the practice of spiritual bargaining. The same theme of prostituted sacred values which is forcefully allegorized in Candide has numerous counterparts in literature. The Christ portrayed by Vigny in Le Mont des oliviers foretells and deplores the "false sense" that will be given to his redemption. The "harsh dominators escorted by false sages" who will preach that "It is permissible for all to kill the innocent" are equally relevant to the poem of Vigny and to Chapter IV of Candide. The same mystique of redemption by innocent blood is the detersive doctrine condensed in the famous words "Out, damned spot!"10 which combines "the stain," (original sin), futile attempts at purification and damnation. It is an outlook that embraces ignorance and irresponsibility as a way of life. It is the doctrine that has much to fear from the day when a certain "forest" of knowledge will be on the march. Rituals of propitiation and expiation have no bearing on Universal Law. Karma does not honor such spurious atonement of sin by any culprit let alone by unrelated persons. "Bleeding," "enema," punishment, mortification, confession and penance are equally powerless to undo what has been done when universal harmony has been wilfully disturbed. The doctrine of negotiable redemption is the worthy prop of a fictitious flesh-and-blood deity and of his "side-kick:" the personal devil. It is the logical tool of a religion based on fear. The same creed is symptomatic of an era of obsessive material "necessity" in which Mammon reigns supreme. It reflects the mentality

10. Macbeth, V, i



that places steep price tags on all God-given things: fresh air, light, the sight of tree, mountain, sea and sky; the enjoyment of a few blades of grass and the drawing of every single breath. It is the philosophy of a community in which justice and respectability can be and are bought. It is the outlook of a society which knows one capital offense only: the unforgivable crime of being poor. In summary, the brief statement of Pangloss repudiates basic articles of Christian faith such as original sin and the Christian view of redemption. The passage implicitly rejects the alleged value of related Christian sacraments. Candide, Pangloss and their friend Jacquesthe kindly anabaptistsail for Lisbon. Their ship is overtaken by a violent storm which suddenly develops within sight of the Portuguese capital. Jacques tries to save the ship from destruction. He is rewarded for his efforts by the vicious assault of an enraged sailor. Saviors are not always welcome in the modern Western world. Returning good for evil, Jacques rescues his attacker who is in danger of drowning. The Good Samaritan loses his life in the process. His death is viewed by the ingrate with crass indifference. Justice seems to be more mythical than ever. All the passengers have perished except Candide, Pangloss, and the wretched sailor. Candide wishes to die. The exoteric absurdity of the "consolations" of Pangloss seem likely to compound his grief:

"He wants to throw himself into the sea; the philosopher Pangloss prevents him from doing so, by proving to him that the harbor of Lisbon had been created for the express purpose of having the anabaptist drown there." (Ch. V) The raison d'etre of the harbor of Lisbon is not limited to need of a site for the death o