This is a continuation of the previous lesson about the active and passive forces of the universe. Pike does not hold back in his explanation of these powerful forces that are displayed by the Hermaphroditic Being. With just a little additional research, which I undertook, I found that the ancients believed that humans had two heads, four arms and four legs, and was so powerful that God divided the human into male and female; and that love is nothing but the reuniting of this powerful force, active and passive. Therefore, the ancients displayed these qualities in the egg and the Hermaphroditic Being. This will start to make sense with tomorrows post; so please come back:
We shall not quote his language at full length. The heavenly bodies, he thought, are first and most noble; they move of themselves, and ever revolve, without change of form or essence. Fire, water, earth, and air change incessantly and continually, not place, but form. Then, as in the Universe there are generation and cause of generation,–as generation is where there are change and displacement of parts, and cause where there is stability of nature, evidently it belongs to what is the cause of generation, to move and to act, and to the recipient, to be made and moved. In his view, everything above the Moon was the habitation of the gods; all below, that of Nature and discord; this operates dissolution of things made; that, production of those that are being made. As the world is unproduced and indestructible, as it had no beginning, and will have no end, necessarily the principle that operates generation in another than itself, and that which operates it in itself, have co-existed.
The former is all above the moon, and especially the sun: the latter is the sublunary world. Of these two parts, one active, the other passive—one divine and always the same, the other mortal and ever changing, all that we call the “world” or “universe” is composed.
These accorded with the principles of the Egyptian philosophy, which held that man and the animals had always existed together with the world; that they were its effects, eternal like itself. The chief divisions of nature into active and passive causes, its system of generation and destruction, and the concurrence of the two great principles, Heaven and earth, uniting to form all things, will, according to Ocellus, always continue to exist. “Enough,” he concludes, “as to the Universe, the generations and destructions effected in it, the mode in which it now exists, the mode in which it will ever exist, by the eternal qualities of the two principles, one always moving, the other always moved; one always governing, the other always governed.”
Such is a brief summary of the doctrine of this philosopher, whose work is one of the most ancient that has survived to us. The subject on which he treated occupied in his time all men’s minds: the poets sang of cosmogonies and theogonies, and the philosophers wrote treatises on the birth of the world and the elements of its composition. The cosmogony of the Hebrews; attributed to Moses; that of the Phœnicians, ascribed to Sanchoniathon; that of the Greeks, composed by Hesiod; that of the Egyptians, the Atlantes, and the Cretans, preserved by Diodorus Siculus; the fragments of the theology of Orpheus, divided among different writers; the books of the Persians, or their Boundehesh; those of the Hindūs; the traditions of the Chinese and the people of Macassar; the cosmogonic chants which Virgil puts in the mouth of Iopas at Carthage; and those of the old Silenus, the first book of the Metamorphoses of Ovid; all testify to the antiquity and universality of these fictions as to the origin of the world and its causes.
At the head of the causes of nature, Heaven and earth were placed; and the most apparent parts of each, the sun, the moon, the fixed stars and planets, and, above all, the zodiac, among the active causes of generation; and among the passive, the several elements. These causes were not only classed in the progressive order of their energy, Heaven and earth heading the respective lists, but distinct sexes were in some sort assigned to them, and characteristics analogous to the mode in which they concur in universal generation.
The doctrine of Ocellus was the general doctrine everywhere, it naturally occurring to all to make the same distinction. The Egyptians did so, in selecting those animals in which they recognized these emblematic qualities, in order to symbolize the double sex of the Universe. Their God KNEPH, out of whose mouth issued the Orphic egg, whence the author of the Clementine Recognitions makes a hermaphroditic figure to emerge, uniting in itself the two principles whereof Heaven and the earth are forms, and which enter into the organization of all beings which the heavens and the earth engender by their concourse, furnishes another emblem of the double power, active and passive, which the ancients saw in the Universe, and which they symbolized by the egg. Orpheus, who studied in Egypt, borrowed from the theologians of that country the mysterious forms under which the science of nature was veiled, and carried into Greece the symbolic egg, with its division into two parts or causes figured by the hermaphroditic being that issued from it, and whereof Heaven and earth are composed (Albert Pike, Morals and Dogma, 1871, p. 654-656).
Also, if you enjoyed this blog, you might want to take a look at my other blogs, Masonry and the Three Little Pigs and Gnosismasonry, which have a variety of other Masonic topics to discover.