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Second Sight: A study of Natural and Induced Clairvoyance by Sepharial


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Symbols formed the primitive language of the human race, they spoke and wrote in symbols. The hieroglyphic writings of the aborigines of Central America, of the ancient Peruvians, of the Mongolians, and of the ancient Copts and Hebrews all point to the universal use of the ideograph for the purpose of recording and conveying ideas.

If we study the alphabets of the various peoples, we shall find in them clear indications of the physical and social conditions under which they evolved. Thus the Hebrew alphabet carries with it unmistakable evidence of the nomadic and simple life of those "dwellers in tents." The forms of the letters are derived from the shapes of the constellations, of which twelve are zodiacal, six northern and six southern. This implies a superficial intimacy with the heavens such as would result from a life spent in hot countries with little or no superstructure to shut out the view. The wise among them would sit beneath the stars in the cool night air and figure out the language of the heavens.

It was God's message to mankind, and they sought not only to understand it but to make imitation of it. So they built an alphabet of forms after the pattern of things in the heavens. But when we come to the names of these forms or letters we come at once into touch with the life of the people. Thus _aleph_, an ox; _beth_, a tent; _daleth_, a tent-door; _lamed_, an ox-goad; _mem_, water; _tzadde_, a fish-hook; _quoph_, a coil of rope; _gimel_, a camel; _yod_, a hand; _oin_, an eye; _vau_, a hook or link; _heth_, a basket; _caph_, a head; _nun_, a fish; _phe_, a mouth; _shin_, a tooth; _resh_, a head; etc., all speaking to us of the ordinary things of a simple, wandering life. These symbols were compounded to form ideographs, as _aleph_ = a, and _lamed_ = l, being the first and last of the zodiacal circle, were employed for the name of the Creator, the reverse of these, _la_, signifying non-existence, negation, privation. In course of time a language and a literature would be evolved, but from the simple elements of a nomadic life. Knowledge came to them by action and the use of the physical sense. They had no other or more appropriate confession of this than is seen in the root [Hebrew letters] yedo-- knowledge, compounded of the three symbols _yod_, _daleth_, _oin_-- a hand, a door, an eye. The hand is a symbol of action, power, ability; the door, of entering, initiation; the eye, of seeing, vision, evidence, illumination.

Hence the ideograph formed by the collation of these symbols signifies, opening the door to see, _i.e._ enquiry.

The Chinese alphabet of forms is entirely hieroglyphic and symbolical in its origin, though it has long assumed a typal regularity. What were once curved and crude figures have become squared and uniform letterpress. But the names of these forms bring us into touch at once with the early life of the Mongolian race. We have, however, indications of a wider scope than was enjoyed by the primitive Semites, for whereas we find practically all the symbols of the Hebrews employed as alphabetical forms, we also have others which indicate artifice, such as _hsi_, box; _chieh_, a seal or stamp; _mien_, a roof; _chin_, a napkin; _kung_, a bow; _mi_, silk; _lei_, a plough, and many others, such as the names of metals, wine, vehicles, leather in distinction from hides, etc. But further, we have a mythology as part of the furniture of the primitive mind, the dragon and the spirit or demon being employed as radical symbols.