VALIDATING THE CODE

What exactly have we got so far? Pryse claims to have solved the riddle presented in Apocalypse, 13.18, based on his knowledge of classical Greek philosophy and the clues given in that passage. He has presented us with what he terms the "gnostic chart" hidden in the Apocalypse behind an ingenious code based on the numerical values of several Greek philosophical terms and related words. He has explained just how the correct understanding of this riddle turns the key to understand aright many other seeming incoherent passages of the book and ties them all into a comprehensible treatise.

Gnostic Chart Concealed in the Apocalypse

In the previous essay I presented both his argument and some supporting evidence drawn mostly from Plato. Not only has Pryse apparently solved the riddle of the mysterious number 666, but in addition built from that solution a remarkable diagram that looks nothing less than a diagram of the Kundalini Shakti[1] as described in the Upanishads, Samkhya and various schools of Indian Yoga! It is clear there is a singular source for both. As Indian metaphysics precedes that of the Greeks, that singular source must be Indian metaphysics. Then from the solution to this foundational riddle Pryse opens in logical sequence the real 'revelations' of the remaining symbols and puzzles of the book into a profound and complete metaphysical system.

The attempted so-called solutions to this same riddle by literal and fundamentalist scholars pale to ludicrous in comparison. Neither the Hebrew prophets nor the first century Essenes and zealots have anything to do with this other than to provide a handy smoke screen to the book's author. If Pryse has truly laid bare the underlying meaning of the Apocalypse that meaning has no relation to theocracy or Hebrew monotheism. If valid, the implications are astounding, the least of which is the complete subversion of the pretensions of theism. For here we have a system of metaphysical speculation and mystical practice far removed from the superstitions and fantasies of theism.

In this essay I intend to add further support to Pryse's argument from unrelated sources. As we have determined, the sequence of coded terms, their numeric values and meanings as provided by Pryse accord with classical Greek philosophy in every detail. Pryse has not used terms in misleading or abstruse ways. He defines and uses terms exactly as the classical philosophers used them. This can be verified quite easily by reference to any number of common and online classical lexicons and dictionaries. So the first step in further validation of Pryse's argument is to do just that.

The following terms used by Pryse all occur in the writings of many classical and preclassical Greek Philosophers. There are no significant terms used by Pryse that are not also common to classical philosophy. Pryse does not assign meanings to any of these words that were not also included in their meanings in the classical era.

  • σοφία - sophia[2]
  • νοῦς - nous[3]
  • νόησις - noesis[4]
  • φρήν - phren[5]
  • σῶμα - soma[6]
  • θυμὸς - thumos[7]
  • ἐπιθυμια - epithumia[8]
  • ἀκρασια - akrasia[9]
  • ἀκολασία - akolasia[10]
  • διάνοια - dianoia[11]
  • πίστις - pistis[12]
  • εἰκασία - eikasia[13]
  • ἀρχή - arche[14]
  • σπειρημα - speirema[15]
  • ἐπιστημε - episteme[16]
  • ἐπιστημων - epistemon[17]
  • νίκῶν - nikon[18]

The entire edifice constructed by Pryse hinges on his solution to the riddle of the number 666 as ἡ φρήν - he phren. Is this really plausible? Are there any other alternatives equally plausible? If ἡ φρήν is not the solution to the riddle, then everything else is irrelevant. The possible alternatives to Pryse's solution to the riddle of 666 fall into two categories: (1) a physical and/or visible mark;[19] and, (2) a name.[20] Are any of them plausible? I think not and here's why.

All of the alternatives assume that the Apocalypse was composed by a Christian, supposedly John the Apostle, although the style of the book is very different from the other writings of John. Curiously, the John of the Apocalypse makes no mention of the writings of John the Evangelist, John the Epistleist, or any other New Testament writers. Nor does he refer to any specific Christian persons, such as the Apostles or other disciples, nor does he refer to the Christian faith as preached. There are, in addition, sufficient questions about the overall and, in many cases, specific content of the Apocalypse to question the assumption that the same John wrote all or that the author was even Christian. Many symbols and allusions appear only in the Apocalypse, for example, the twenty four elders who appear before the throne; the four beasts; the sea of glass. These are assumed to represent Christian symbols only because the Apocalypse is assumed to be Christian. On the other hand, many symbols and allusions common to the rest of the Christian canon do not appear in the Apocalypse. Several early church fathers considered the book heresy, including Eusebius, Dionysius and Caius. Although the Apocalypse was ultimately accepted as part of the Christian canon, I think the controversies surrounding its authorship and orthodoxy make the assumption of Christian authorship required to validate alternative interpretations of the number 666 inconclusive at best and implausible at worst.

The conclusions that the number 666 refers to an actual physical mark, brand or tattoo and/or the encoded name of an actual historical person rest upon a literal reading of the text. Yet the text of the Apocalypse overflows with content that can not be taken literally. To do so renders the entire book ridiculous. In fact, literal reading of the text is the most serious problem for Christian scholars interpreting the book, and always has been. It is obvious to even the most obtuse that the Apocalypse is allegory or nonsense. If taken literally, nonsense. For example, Jesus is supposedly referred to 31 times by symbolic and/or allegorical appellations in addition to once being referred to as Jesus Christ and once as Christ.[21] These facts make the literal interpretation required implausible at best and nonsensical at worst.

If the number 666 refers to an actual physical mark upon the body or the name of a specific historical person, what then? Where does that take us? Nowhere, that's the end. So the proponents of such alternatives then have the task of building the consequences of their specific alternative. In the case of the 'mark' argument: that the supernatural Anti-Christ requires said physical mark to know his own. Why? If supernatural he would require no such mark. Or that Nero or whomever the mathematical gymnastics produce did what: persecute the Christians? Why does it take a secret code to tell us what we already know? The 'dead end' results of these arguments make them implausible.

The interpretation offered by Pryse, on the other hand, has not only the corpus of classical Greek philosophy in support. His description also corresponds in every detail to the descriptions of the Kundalini Shakti offered in the Indian Vedas, Samkhya and Yogic texts too numerous to tally. In fact, as I shall demonstrate, his interpretation goes well beyond a simple solution to the riddle of 666 to include every single symbol and allegorical nuance of the Apocalypse. Every single one of them finds an identical correspondence in the Indian texts. I shall further demonstrate that Pryse's turn of the apocalyptic key not only exposes its thoroughly gnostic content, but also clues to an even deeper source from which the gnostic writer(s) drew inspiration.

We might ask at this point whether James Pryse was the first and/or only person to discover the gnostic chart of the Kundalini Shakti hidden in the Apocalypse. Since James Pryse joined the Los Angeles branch of the Theosophical Society in 1887 we might answer this question with a brief examination of his association with that organization. In 1889, Pryse went to New York to set up a printing press for William Q. Judge in order to print copies of Blavatsky's Esoteric Instructions for distribution to American members of the Theosophical Society. Within a year Pryse was in London at Blavatsky's behest to do the same for European members. Thus through his publishing efforts, if even not via practice also, Pryse became acquainted with the instructions and procedures of the Esoteric Instructions. He was also in virtual daily contact with Blavatsky during the whole of her last year before she died.

Though Pryse was not a part of Blavatksy's Inner Group, his understanding of the Esoteric Instructions was so profound that he either intuited or revealed the ultimate purpose of her kundalini practice. It is possible that, in consulting with Blavatsky about the printing of the Instructions, he received information that allowed him to penetrate more deeply into their meaning than other writers before or since. Regardless whether the Apocalypse Unsealed sheds light on the Revelation, it certainly illuminates the Esoteric Instructions. Whether or not it is useful as a manual for raising the kundalini and awakening the chakras, it creates a plausible plotline for the unfolding of stages in Blavatsky's kundalini practice, laying out the course and markers by which experimenters might chart their progress. [22]
Pryse included a diagram of the nerve plexuses, or ganglions, in his book (see figure 10). As noted, this aspect of the chakra system was first to click into place, in Basu's 1888 Theosophist article, as noted in chapter 5. The diagram in the Apocalypse Unsealed, published twenty-two years later, indicates how firmly ingrained this set of correlations had become. Though Pryse does not list the chakras on the diagram, in context this image may be the first graphic representation of the locations of the chakras in the physical body – seventeen years before Rele's The Mysteriouis Kundalini, which Yoga historians usually credit as first.

A subsequent diagram (see figure 11) makes the connection of the chakras to the ganglia clearer – and adds an early list of westernized chakra functions. This diagram may be the first visual representation of the chakra system published by a Western (or at least American) author, fifteen years after Vivekananda's. [23]

Finally, we have to ask: did James Pryse just make it all up? Nowhere that I am aware of does he chronicle his process of discovery, which I find somewhat odd. Did he want to find something so badly, he found it even though it's not really there? That's certainly an argument the literalists would make.

James Pryse was fluent in both Greek and Sanskrit. He became associated with the Theosophist Society in 1887 and remained involved with the society until his death in 1942. It would be unbelievable that he did not become aware of Indian systems of thought related to the chakras and kundalini from his association with Theosophy if not from his own study of Sanskrit. He also shared a keen interest in the Greek mysteries. We can speculate that his initial interest in the Apocalypse was stimulated by reading Isis Unveiled wherein Blavatsky states unequivocally that the book is a description of the initiation of John.[24] This initiation was presumably into one of the mystery cults, probably the Eleusinian. There is evidence that Christianity was itself first a mystery cult before it became a public religion, or at least made the claim.[25] We can further speculate that as would any thoughtful student, Pryse found the prevalence of 7 amongst many symbols of the Apocalypse suggestive of a relationship to the 7 major chakras of Indian thought. We can only guess that his familiarity with isopsephy and knowledge of classical philosophy led him to his solution to the riddle of 666 and all that follows from that solution.

Viewed from this perspective, the matter almost seems too facile. Surely others before Pryse were as well or more knowledgable in classical philosophy and isopsephy. Yet, apparently, no one until Pryse made the connections. As I noted previously the numbers of Ἰησους - Iesous and σταυρος - stauros, 888 and 777 respectively have been long known. Until Pryse, it never occurred to anyone to see them as only 3 units of a longer sequence of numbers. My bet is he simply guessed the full sequence would consist of 111, 222, 333, 444, 555, 666, 777, 888, 999 and include within it references to each of the 7 chakras. From there by trial and error is was a matter of summing the numbers of the most likely words drawn from classical philosophy to suit.

Given the complexity of the construction Pryse has provided, I find it extremely implausible, even impossible, that he imposed some predetermined or arbitrary scheme on the book. It is both complex and extensive, yet fitted precisely in every detail. So much so that its complimentarity with the whole of the book could not possibly be anything other than wholly integral to it. Once Pryse determined the solution to the riddle of 666, the rest of the solution must have practically fallen out of the book, as the author intended it should at the hands of someone clever enough to look for it. James Morgan Pryse was that one man clever enough!

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  1. See here and here; here and here; here and here.
  2. Logeon, U. Chicago σοφία.
  3. Ibid, νοῦς; and ibid, νόος.
  4. Ibid, νόησις.
  5. Ibid, φρήν.
  6. Ibid, σῶμα.
  7. Ibid, θυμὸς.
  8. Ibid, ἐπι, combined with θυμὸς; see also Liddell Scott.
  9. Ibid, ἀκρασια.
  10. Ibid, ἀκολασία.
  11. Ibid, διάνοια.
  12. Ibid, πίστις.
  13. Ibid, εἰκασία.
  14. Ibid, ἀρχή.
  15. Ibid, σπειρημα, and ibid. σπείραμα.
  16. Ibid, ἐπιστήμε.
  17. Ibid, ἐπιστήμων.
  18. Ibid, νίκῶν; see also Liddell Scott.
  19. for example, here here here or google.
  20. Wikipedia; and, here.
  21. Titles of Jesus in Revelations.
  22. Kurt Leland, Rainbow Body, Ibis Press, Lake Worth, FL, 2016, p171.
  23. Ibid, pp176-177.
  24. Helena Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled, Bouton, New York, 1877, p351.
  25. KJV for example, from Andrew Benson:
    Luke 8:10And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.
    1 Corinthians 2:7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory
    1 Corinthians 4:1Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
    1 Corinthians 15:51Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed
    Ephesians 1:9Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself
    Ephesians 3:4Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ
    Ephesians 3:9And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ
    Ephesians 5:32This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
    Ephesians 6:19)And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel
    Colossians 1:26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints
    Colossians 4:3Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds
    1 Timothy 3:9Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
    1 Timothy 3:16And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
    According to Strong's Concordance in the New Testament mystery occurs 22 times and mysteries 5 times.

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