THE NUCTEMERON ACCORDING TO THE HEBREWS
Extracted from the ancient Talmud termed Mischna by the Jews
The Nuctemeron of Apollonius, borrowed from Greek theurgy, completed and explained by the Assyrian hierarchy of genii, perfectly corresponds to the philosophy of numbers as we find it expounded in the most curious pages of the Talmud. Thus, the Pythagoreans go back further than Pythagoras ; thus, Genesis is a magnificent allegory, which, under the form of a narrative, conceals the secrets not only of the creation achieved of old, but of permanent and universal creation, the eternal generation of beings. "We read as follows in the Talmud : " God hath stretched out the heaven like a tabernacle ; He hath spread the world like a table richly dight ; and He hath created man as if He invited a guest." Listen now to the words of the King Schlomoh : " The divine Chocmah, Wisdom, the Bride of God, hath built a house unto herself, and hath dressed two pillars. She hath immolated her victims, she hath mingled her wine, she hath spread the table, and
she hath despatched her servitors." This Wisdom, who builds her house according to a regular and numerical
architecture, is that exact science which rules in the works of God. It is His compass and His square. The seven pillars are the seven typical and primordial days. The victims are natural forces which are propagated by undergoing a species of death. Mingled wine is the universal fluid, the table is the world with the waters full of fishes. The servants of Chocmah are the souls of Adam and of Chavah (Eve). The earth of which Adam was formed was taken from the entire mass of the world. His head is Israel, his body the empire of Babylon, and his limbs are the other nations of the earth. (Here manifest the aspirations of the initiates of Moses towards a universal oriental kingdom.) Now, there are twelve hours in the day of man's creation.
God combines the scattered fragments of earth ; he kneads them together, and forms one mass, which it is his will to animate.
Man is the synthesis of the created world ; in him recurs the creative unity ; he is made in the image and likeness of God.
God designs the form of the body ; he separates it into two sections, so that the organs may be double, for all force and all life result from two, and it is thus the Elohim made all things.
Everything lives by movement, everything is maintained by equilibrium, and harmony results from the analogy of contraries ; this law is the form of forms, the first manifestation of the activity and fecundity of God.
The limbs of man, obeying the law of life, manifest of themselves and are completed by the generative organ,
which is composed of one and two, figure of the triadic number.
The triad issues spontaneously from the duad ; the movement which produces two also produces three ; three is the key of numbers, for it is the first numeral synthesis ; in geometry it is the triangle, the first complete and enclosed figure, generatrix of an infinity of triangles, whether like or
God breathes upon the face of man and imparts to him a soul.
The tetrad, which geometrically gives the cross and the square, is the perfect number ; now, it is in perfection of form that the intelligent soul manifests ; according to this revelation of the Mischna, the child would not become animated in the mother's womb till after the complete formation of all its members.
Man stands upon his feet, he is weaned from earth, he walks and goes where he will.
The number five is that of the soul, typified by the quintessence which results from the equilibrium of the four elements ; in the Tarot this number is represented by the high-priest or spiritual autocrat, type of the human will, that high-priestess who alone decides our eternal destinies.
The animals pass before Adam, and he gives a suitable name to each.
Man by toil subdues the earth and overcomes the animals ; by the manifestation of his liberty he produces his word or speech in the environment which obeys him; herein primordial creation is completed. God formed man on the sixth day, but at the sixth hour of the day man fulfils the work of God, and to some extent recreates himself, by enthroning himself as king of nature, which he subjects by his speech.
God gives Adam a companion brought forth out of the man's own substance.
When God had created man in his own image, He rested on the seventh day, for He had given unto Himself a fruitful bride who would unceasingly work for Him ; nature is the bride of God, and God rests on her. Man, becoming creator in his turn by means of the word, gives himself a companion like unto himself, on whose love he may lean henceforth ; woman is the work of man ; by loving her, he makes her beautiful, and he also makes her a mother ; woman is true human nature, daughter and mother of man, granddaughter and grandmother of God.
Adam and Eve enter the nuptial bed ; they are two when they lie down, and when they arise they are four.
The tetrad joined to the tetrad represents form balancing form, creation issuing from creation, the eternal equipoise of life ; seven being the number of God's rest, the unity which follows it signifies man, who toils and co-operates with nature in the work of creation.
God imposes his law on man.
Nine is the number of initiation, because, being composed of three times three, it represents the divine idea and the absolute philosophy of numbers, for which reason Apollonius says that the mysteries of the number nine are not to be revealed.
At the tenth hour Adam falls into sin.
According to the kabbalist ten is the number of matter, of which the special sign is zero ; in the tree of the
sephiroth ten represents Malchuth, or exterior and material substance ; the sin of Adam is therefore materialism, and the fruit which he plucks from the tree represents flesh isolated from spirit, zero separated from unity, the schism of the number ten, giving on the one side a despoiled unity and on the other nothingness and death.
At the eleventh hour the sinner is condemned to labour, and to expiate his sin by suffering.
In the Tarot, eleven represents force, which is acquired through trials ; God sends man pain as a means of salvation, and hence he must strive and endure that he may conquer intelligence and life.
Man and woman undergo their sentence ; the expiation begins, and the liberator is promised.
Such is the completion of moral birth ; man is fulfilled, for he is dedicated to the sacrifice which regenerates ; the exile of Adam is like that of Oedipus ; like Oedipus he becomes the father of two enemies, but the daughter of Oedipus is the pious and virginal Antigone, while Mary issues from the race of Adam.