Rosicrucian Writings Online


Light from China

INTERESTING FACTS FOUND IN AN OLD
CHINESE MANUSCRIPT

 
By The Imperator
[H. Spencer Lewis]
 
[From The Rosicrucian Digest October 1936]
 
 
FROM one of our members far across the seas comes the story and revelation of an ancient manuscript, and it sheds much valuable light upon the age of many of our present-day scientific and mystical doctrines. According to the facts submitted to us, and verified by the editors of several newspapers who made a thorough investigation, a very unusual manuscript was discovered quite accidentally during the early part of June of this year, along with some other precious documents in a specially made vault in a section of the Great Wall of China.
 
The records show that a few years ago a Japanese bomb blew away a part of the famous Chinese wall, and that the large opening in the wall remained untouched and uninvestigated for a long time. Here recently investigation was made by two men who claimed to have in their possession some ancient manuscripts marking that section of the Great Wall as a sacred place with intimations that it contained a hidden treasure of a mystical and educational nature, and they secretly devoted much time to the removal of the debris around the injured wall and to exploring the adjoining sections. These two men claimed to be the present-day descendants of an ancient and mystical organization, the name of which they refused to reveal. Newspaper men who investigated these claims finally decided to withhold whatever information they had secured, claiming that the men were undoubtedly the preservers and conservers of some ancient traditions and unquestionably associated with some secret society still existing in China. At least the newspapers were impressed sufficiently with the fact that the men were representatives of a highly esteemed secret organization of world-wide existence, or at least world-wide affiliations, and were not commercially minded, nor in any way associated with any political plan or worldly scheme involving the political conditions of either China or Japan.
 
At any rate the two men, with the assistance of several trusted associates, continued their explorations and finally uncovered precisely what they had predicted they would find; namely, an especially built vault of a small size, and of such construction and materials as had never been found in any masonry or similar work in any other part of China, and much like the vaults of today. It was quite evident from the very beginning of the discovery of this vault that while it had been built many hundreds of years ago it had been built by men who had knowledge of building materials and building principles long in advance of their time.
 
One of the principal manuscripts brought to light from this strange vault explains in an introduction by the author of the various manuscripts, how and why these manuscripts were placed in this strange enclosure. If the introduction is true, the author was a priest in one of the mystic temples, living at the time of Emperor Chin Ize Wang. Up to the present time a study of the manuscript has not revealed the exact year or era of this emperor's rule, and because of the many changes in the calendar and the many different ways in ancient times in which periods of centuries and eras were indicated, the problem is a difficult one. It would also appear that this emperor who was evidently highly intellectual and scientifically trained, but with a very exaggerated opinion of his own powers and abilities, wanted to create the impression in the minds of the people of the future that all advanced knowledge and all high developments of civilization among the Chinese began during his reign as emperor. In other words, it was his intent to create the impression upon posterity that up to the time of his reign the Chinese dwelt in great ignorance, and that it was his learning spread among his people and promoted by him, and his great scheme for the development of Chinese civilization that gave to the Chinese people the high culture which they had at the close of his reign. He therefore ordered all manuscripts of learning and knowledge to be burned or otherwise destroyed. He issued a proclamation much to the effect that every manuscript or every written or engraved material that would reveal the culture or scientific or educational standing of the Chinese people preserved in any place whatever, or possessed by anyone, should be destroyed and nothing of this nature should be preserved except that which was written and prepared during the latter years of his life. This would create the impression that all scientific and cultural knowledge began during his reign.
 
The Emperor therefore engaged the learned priest to act as the author of several manuscripts which were to be prepared in a manner that would last for many centuries. These manuscripts were to contain an outline of the scientific and cultural knowledge possessed by the emperor and his people at the time they were written. The wording is such as to pay high tribute to the genius and influence of the Emperor, but it also proves that many hundreds of years ago this Emperor and his people were possessed of knowledge and ideals, laws, and principles which we are apt to think are quite modern. For instance, the manuscript shows that the Chinese emperor and his people had adopted the Laws of Manu which were written in the Vedic language ten thousand years ago. In fact, these laws became the basis of Chinese law at the time the Emperor ordered the manuscript prepared. Secondly, the manuscript reveals that the Emperor and his people were well acquainted with the so-called Darwinian theory of Human Evolution, and that this law was well understood in China several thousand years ago. Another important secret contained in the manuscript pertains to the methods whereby the patriarchs and mystics in those days preserved a private formula for lengthening their lives. Touching upon the Darwinian theory an extract in the manuscript reads, "From the plants life passed into fantastic creatures which were born of the slime on waters; then through a series of different shapes and development of nature, man gradually changed from animal to his present form."
 
Touching upon the matter of the secret of long life, the manuscript intimates that some of the patriarchs and mystics lived to an extremely old age, if we are to believe that their calendar and length of year was the same as ours today. In their secret formulas for lengthening life there is reference to the use of the juices of the cypress tree which, by the way, is regarded today as the tree of death. However, the cypress tree is known to be the longest living tree the world has ever known. Undoubtedly some part of the juice of the cypress tree was extracted, and from this cultures of some kind were made and taken into the human system to add length of life to the human body, as these cultures added to the length of life of the tree. It would be interesting to note that in our own present century several eminent scientists determined to find out the secret of the longevity of the famous sequoia or redwood trees of California. They found that the reason why many of these trees have lived thousands or more years, some of them having been standing at the time that Christ was born, is that a certain protective cell or germ in the juice or the sap or pitch of the tree overcame all diseases or tendencies toward old age, and a breakdown of the vitality of the tree. These scientists succeeded in extracting from the sap of the tree these particular germs or cells which are not found in other trees. They believe that this extract can be injected into the sap of other trees and thus help to preserve them and triple or quadruple their length of life. If the cypress trees contain such a germ as would prevent old age and disease, it may be true that the Chinese mystics and philosophers or scientists did discover what it was and did extract it and make a medicine of it for the prevention of disease and old age.
 
It is claimed by many of the mystics and wise men of China today that there are members of their secret brotherhoods who still possess this ancient secret, and that some of their members have reached a very old age. They claim that at the present time there is living in the province of Szechwan, a Chinese man named Li Chang Yun, who is 252 years old and still very active. They claim that he has survived twenty-three wives and is now living with the twenty-fourth. This man has intimated a number of times in newspaper interviews that his secret will be found in the cypress tree and similar plants. Of course, with the various changes of the calendar that were made in the last 252 years, and considering any possible difference in the way of computing time according to the Chinese calendar, this man may not be actually 252 years old as we figure time. Reports that have come to us intimate that according to our modern calendar and length of year he would be about 137 years old.
 
Another interesting fact revealed by the manuscript is that about the time it was written the priest of the mystic temple who did the actual writing for the Emperor and a large number of philosophers and mystics with whom he was in contact had a close connection with similar mystics and philosophers in India and other countries of the Orient. And there is one intimation of correspondence or indirect contact with a people living in a distant country to the east of China, which would appear to be a reference to ancient America, or America during the primitive Indian days. We should not overlook the fact that many scientists and philosophers have claimed that the ancestors of the American Indian were undoubtedly persons who had mixed their blood with Chinese blood, or who had come to the American Continent from China via the Bering Strait after having intermarried with Chinese. Others claim that these primitive American Indians were descendants of one of the lost tribes of Israel who passed through China and lived in China a number of centuries intermingling their blood with Chinese blood, and the new race formed thereby going onward toward the East and finally settling in various parts of the new continent of America.
 
Very recently discoveries of old Jewish synagogues and temples hidden in secret parts of China brought to light the fact that many hundreds of years ago a large number of Chinese persons in various parts of China were of the Jewish faith and had married into Jewish families, and the temples and ornaments within revealed Jewish emblems and symbols with a distinct Chinese character. And many of the ancient Jewish scrolls in typically Jewish form were found buried in these Jewish synagogues with Chinese characteristics about them indicating that Chinese skill had made them, but following a Jewish form. We know from many ancient mystical manuscripts that those tribes or groups of Jews who wandered away from Egypt or Palestine or both countries and found a pathway into India and China carried with them into those countries the mystical teachings of Egypt and of India, and that these finally passed on into China and Japan and even into Korea. If it is true that any of these persons of Chinese-Jewish ancestry did find their way into America and their children were gradually molded by the climate and environment of America, we would have a good explanation of the strange blending of Oriental and Western World mysticism which the American Indians displayed in their rituals and art. In fact, most of the American Indian art is identical with that to be found in China, India, Egypt, and the Yucatan, and a book could be written on this subject, and perhaps it will be some day.
  

Regarding the manuscript found in the Wall of China, it was finally taken to London and turned over to a group of Chinese experts headed by Professor Anthony Craeme, who is still busy translating it. When the first translations of it were shown by Professor Craeme to Sir Wallace Budge of the British Museum, it is claimed that he said that the manuscript was of even greater value than the Codex Sinaiticus which is acknowledged today to be one of the oldest and most valuable of religious manuscripts. Thus we see that old light hidden for centuries under the Great Wall of China may become new light to us today, but whether old or new according to epochal standards, such truths are always eternal truths.
  

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