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10, Lahun, representing to their mind the "SPIRIT OF THE UNIVERSE," the "BOUNDLESS," the "INFINITE ONE," Ku, whose name was too sacred to be pronounced except with the utmost reverence.
Is it mere coincidence that in all countries where vestiges of Maya civilization can be traced, there also we find that among the occultists and initiates into the sacred mysteries number ten stood for the name of GOD?
Even for the Hebrew cabalists, who no doubt learned the doctrine from the philosophers of the school of Alexandria, number ten was represented by the letter J or I, Jod, signature of the name of JEHOVAH, by whom all things were created; JAH (Jehovah) being a name composed of the two letters J and II, that is, 10 and 5, or "God and the universe." The ten Sephiroth, or numbers, were regarded by them as emanations of the Divine Intelligence, that, according to the book of light, the Sohar, combined to form the Heavenly Man, of whom man on earth is an image.1
As we count by thousands, saying "one thousand, two thousand, three thousand," etc., the Mayas, for sacred reasons, counted by "four hundreds." Thus they said "one four hundred, two four hundred, three four hundred," etc.
It may interest my readers, particularly those who have made a study of occultism, to know the esoteric meaning of the names of the cardinal numbers as taught by the ancient Maya adepts, the Naacals, to those they initiated into the mysteries of cosmogony.
In my rendering of the Maya names I have adhered to their original purport as closely as the genius of the English
language permits. The correctness of my translation may be easily verified by consulting Maya vocabularies.1
The fact that the Mayas alone, among all civilized nations of antiquity, and even of modern times, epitomized in the names of the cardinal numbers their system of cosmogony, would tend to prove that they were the originators of it. This identical system having been adopted in all countries where traces of their name is found, would show that, at some time or other, they carried it to said countries; and its adoption, without any material change, by the priesthood of these
There is a very complete ancient Maya dictionary MS. in the Brown Library in Providence, R. I. It was the property of Abbé Brasseur, who used it extensively in forming his own vocabulary-Maya and French. He allowed Dr. Carl Berendt to make a copy of it. This copy is now in possession of Dr. Brinton, who refers to it as "the Motul dictionary." I made a partial copy of it in 1884, when it was intrusted to me for that purpose by my friend the late Mr. Bartlett, then librarian of Brown's Library.
2 Are we to see here the origin of the idea of the serpent being regarded as the wisest of all animals (Genesis, chap. iii., verse 11), and therefore of its being used as symbol of the Creator by all civilized nations of antiquity? Can, in Maya, is the generic word for "serpent."