Persian Dualism

PERHAPS the least known of the old Aryan creeds, Zoroastrianism, is the one which has most vitally influenced the faith and morals of modern Europe. Greece contributed much to Christian ritual and festival making. India communicated its spirit of asceticism to the West. But from Persia came the belief in pure evil, original sin, and in an arch-enemy of God and man, which for centuries was the central thought of Christianity. The religion of that country is therefore of peculiar interest to us. To understand it in its relations to the history of human progress, it makes little difference whether we believe Zoroaster to have been actually its founder, or whether we decide that be was as mythical a being as the shining Mithra, or the tall Sraosha. If, as Frederick Harrison says, “ the great need now is not to increase, but to use, our stores of historical learning,” the real questions at issue are : (1.) What are the doctrines accepted as coming from the Persian prophet ? (2.) How were these affected by physical and social life. (3.) To what degree did they in turn influence Persian and Western civilizations ? The fundamental dogmas, and not the minor details of belief, are what concern the present inquiry.

Zoroastrianism in its broad outlines taught that the world was made and is governed by Ormuzd, the spirit of good, and Ahriman, the spirit of evil, who are ever striving the one against the other, and that it is man’s duty, while upon earth, to take active part in the conflict. Modern commentators have attempted to prove from certain passages in the Pahlavi texts that the Persian religion was originally monotheistic. It did embrace, in its later days, sects who held time, light, space, or fate to be the first and chief power of existence, to which gods and devils were subordinate. But in this respect it did not differ from Hellenism and Hinduism, which, when they passed into the critical stage, referred all deities and demons to an indefinable source. Beyond and above Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva of Hindu mythology was the Atman or Self, to whom personality was never attributed. Greater than Zeus and Hades, than Here and Aphrodite, in the Greek Olympus, was a supreme fate. But Hindus and Greeks were practically polytheists, in spite of the pantheism of the former and the fatalism of the latter. And in like manner Zoroastrianism, though it can be traced to pre-Vedic germs, and though its modern representatives are monotheists, was, in its organic stage, pure dualism.1 The sacred books of Iran are even more explicit than those of the Hebrews. They not only record the manner of the creation, but they define the motive force leading to the act. Spinoza says that a perfect God cannot be conceived as working to attain an end, “ because God would then desire something which he was without.” This idea seems to have occurred to the early Mazdeans, and to have perplexed them. They represented Ormuzd as self - sufficient, and they were obliged to reconcile this conception of divinity with the fact of earthly life. They thought to evade the difficulty by declaring Ahriman to be the cause of the creation. Both powers had existed co-equally from all eternity, but while Ormuzd had been from the first conscious of the presence of the spirit of opposition, the latter, because he was the principle of darkness, remained ignorant of his opponent. Ignorance, in itself, is a negative evil, but its active expression is usually dangerous. In modern Europe it was not until illiterate peasantries broke out into French revolutions and Irish insurrections that they jeopardized the preservation of order. And so it was only when Ahriman became conscious of the light, and resolved to destroy it, that Ormuzd’s vigilance against him was necessitated. But, as from the chaos of human rebellions and riots better laws have been evolved for the people, so the first movement of the enemy led to the generation of good in concrete forms. In other religious cosmogonies evil, as a personified force, was an accident; in the Mazdean, it was a necessity. Where most men have supposed devils to be the result of the creation, Persians believed that the earth existed because of a devil. Instead of imagining the world to be the well-intentioned but badly executed scheme of a deity, they saw in it the product of a god struggling to save goodness from destruction. All the evils in the universe came from Ahriman. Through him the rose had its thorn, light its shadow, joy its sorrow. Whenever new forms of life were made, he marred their beauty. He brought into being demons and planets, the latter being supposed to scatter confusion among the constellations. He sullied the purity of fire with smoke, and formed in the bosom of the sea the deceptive Maelstrom. He covered trees and plants with thorns, and introduced poison into vegetation. He sowed seeds of evil in animal life, and transmitted the germs of moral and physical disease to the primeval man, Gayomard.

The contest between the spirits did not cease with the creation. The forces of good and evil, once set in motion, could not rest from rivalry until one or both perished. Ormuzd must continue striving to make things pure and beautiful, Ahriman to prevent him. “ Ever since a creature was created by us,” Ormuzd declared to Zoroaster, “ I, who am Aunarmazd, have not rested at ease on account of providing protection for my own creatures; and likewise not even he, the evil spirit, on account of contriving evil for the creatures.” Men, being free agents, had to choose for themselves between the service of the two spirits, and the methods by which they could serve Ormuzd and thwart Ahriman are typified in the history of Zoroaster. As Mara held out to Buddha all the allurements which make life beautiful, so did Ahriman promise Zoroaster full sway over the universe for a thousand years, should he but swear fealty to him. But while Buddha conquered the evil one by prayer, fasting, and penance, the Persian prophet arose in his wrath, and with the strength of an inspired Samson threw mighty rocks upon his tempter. Faithful Mazdeans were bidden to follow the example of their great master, and seek for spiritual victory through temporal means. Even as Ahriman had impelled Ormuzd to action, so he became the spur to activity in the daily life of human beings. His strength decreased in proportion to the growth of earthly prosperity. For the proper service of Ormuzd, and the attainment of eternal salvation, it was absolutely essential that men should have great vigor of body. They therefore classed mortification of the flesh as a sin, while eating and drinking, and every gratification of the senses that added to their physical well-being, were ranked with the highest virtues. The Semitic devil might be intimidated by the scourge and the hair shirt, but Ahriman quailed before the plough and the well-filled larder. There was no room in such a religion for pillar saints and mendicant friars. A good farmer was a better exorciser of demons than hermits or ascetics. The Zend-Avesta taught that —

“ When barley occurs, the demons hiss ;
When thrashing occurs, then the demons whine;
When grinding occurs, then the demons rour;
When flour occurs, then the demons flee;
So the demons are driven out from the place (or the house for the flour);; they shall burn their jaws, whereby it happens that the great er number are fellow fugitives when barley becomes plentiful.”

The earth was declared to be happiest in those places where there are large, prosperous families, where corn and fruit grow in rich profusion, and where cattle multiply and increase. Men prayed, not for spiritual graces, but for temporal gifts, — for strength and knowledge, for husbands and for children. Ormuzd, in explaining the law to the prophet, represented to him as the purest morality full enjoyment of those worldly pleasures from which men of other creeds, seeking the higher life, are recommended to abstain : —

“ Verily, I say unto thee, O Spitama Zarathustra, the man who has a wife is far above him who begets no sons ; he who keeps a house is far above him who has none ; he who has children is far above the childless man ; he who has riches is far above him who has none.

“ And of two men he who fills himself with meat is filled with the good spirit much more than be who does not do so.”

The spirit of activity, thus enkindled, encouraged men’s interest in the world in which they lived, making of them keen observers, active enterprisers, and enthusiastic students. As Zeno thought that if men only knew what was good they would practice it, so Persian Magi believed that once they understood goodness per se, that is, Ormuzd himself, it would be an impossibility for them to turn from him. This idea is not very original. Hindus and all mystics who have aimed at absorption into divinity have thought to attain this end through pure knowledge. It is in the means adopted for the purpose that the individuality of the Persian cultus is set forth. Hindus sought to reach the substance or noumenon of being by ignoring its attributes or phenomena. But Persians declared that insight into the nature of God resulted from comprehension and cultivation of his works. Therefore, while priests of other faiths busied themselves with abstractions, the Magi were devoted to the pursuit of physical science, winning thereby the title of Wise Men of the East. Even to-day the Parsis, the last professors of Zoroastrianism, preserve the old national qualities. They are numbered among the most active men in India, being as a rule prosperous and enterprising merchants, and quick to adapt themselves to the new civilization introduced by the English.

Preciseness in the definition of deity and exaction of human activity as a moral obligation are the principal characteristics of this religion, and were the direct outcome of the early circumstances of the people who held them. Man’s creeds vary according to physical phenomena and social relations.

“ As what he sees is, so have his thoughts been,” and the Iranian god and devil were as essentially the outgrowth of primitive Aryan thought carried into Persia as Triunes and Avatars were the result of the same in India, or as beautiful human-like deities were natural to Greek ideals. When Indians and Iranians (or primitive Persians) parted, they possessed the same myths, but deities had not risen beyond their first elementary signification. Varuna was the all-embracing sky, and Mithra the radiant sun. The Indians established themselves in a land where they lived peacefully and where their religion passed through a gradual evolution. But the Iranian, on leaving the Aryan cradleland, went forth to battle. Indians, it is true, had at first encountered enemies, and we have evidence in the Ramãyana and Mahãbhãrata that the contest with them was severe. But the aboriginal inhabitants of Hindostan, a few of whom still survive, belonged to a lower race, and retired before their superiors, much as river-drift and cave men in Europe disappeared before Iberians and Aryans. The Iranians, however, were opposed by men in every way their equals. To retain their individuality and to attain supremacy it was necessary that they should understand clearly and immediately what they were to believe and how they were to act. These causes necessitated the precision manifested in their dogmas. The compilers of their sacred books agreed with Bishop Blougram that —

“If once we choose belief, on all accounts
We can't be too decisive in our faith,
Conclusive and exclusive in its terms.”

There were, as Professor Darmesteter says, “ two general ideas at the bottom of the Indo-Iranian religion : first, that there is a law in nature ; and, secondly, that there is a war in nature.” When the vague elements of the primitive nature-worship were organized into a positive code of belief, these ideas were precisely defined, and the numerous deities and demons by whom they were once represented were exchanged for the two great powers of good and evil.

The Persians, perhaps, of all men most felt the dual action of nature. Life to them was like the apple in the Sultan’s garden at Shiraz, one half of which was sweet, the other sour. Their climate varied from the extreme of cold to that of heat, and their soil, rich and fertile in some places, was in others barren as a desert. To the Western man, knowing them chiefly through their poetry, their very name suggests the opposite to activity. To him Persia seems a land where wine flows unceasingly, Luri dance, roses perfume the air, and bulbuls sing in melodious strains. But, notwithstanding their capacity for sensuousness, the Persians were at first a race as fierce and warlike as the northern Berserkers. Not until they had passed through severe struggles did their country become symbolical of voluptuousness. It is not strange that, with the oriental love of lotus dreams and kheyf, they believed the devil to be the power which roused them into action, while, to sanction pleasures in a world which was supposed to be at best a transitory phase of existence, “a moment’s halt,” they declared that through them the enemy was vanquished.

In the very sensuality of their later days there are traces of the early teachings. Muzdeism taught the sacredness of material things, and that knowledge and heaven are to be reached through appreciation of, and familiarity with, natural objects and forces. In days of prosperity and greatness these beliefs, perverted from their original signification, were made the justification of epicureanism. If Hafiz in his drunken ecstasy praised the lute and the winecup, it was, he explained, because they are the real enemies of Ahriman. By their power, according to his song, the evil one is conquered : —

“ He, in whose mind this witch-lute’s music melts, The care from every mystery shall wrest.

“ He, through whose veins this god-cup’s nectar pours,

Shall riddles read no other man has guessed.

“ Who drains the wealth of both shall see at once Dark Ahriman a solved and faded jest.”

He hoped to find the magical goblet of Jemschid in every glass he drained. To him intoxication was what prayer and meditation were to a Sakya Muni. It initiated him into heavenly mysteries.2

The superiority in many ways of the Persian over the other Aryan creeds cannot be exaggerated. While Hindus worshiped impossible monstrosities, and Greeks honored idealized men and women, Persians bowed down before a pure spirit. To the bloody sacrifices and elaborate ceremonies of Hellas and India the simple ritual of Iran offered an admirable contrast. Its great merit, however, is seen in its practical application to human conduct. Brahmanism and Buddhism, filled with thoughts of a future state of existence, gave little heed to earthly matters. In Greece religion made life beautiful, but was of slight assistance to man in his every-day needs. Zoroastrianism alone gave full value to the necessities of the present and advocated the sanctity of work and the importance of pleasure. The good effects of its healthy precepts were somewhat counteracted by its other doctrines. Once a people’s creed is established on a firm basis it, in its turn, exercises a powerful influence on civilization. Religion in Persia occupied itself with the world and with human life, but its estimation of them was distorted by its strict division of all objects and forces between Ormuzd and Ahriman. Dualism was a stumbling-block to science and a hindrance to morality. A stimulus was given to the study of material things, but the scope of inquiry was limited. Certain premises were assumed as a basis for all reasoning. The tasks required of the Hebrews by the Egyptians were easy and possible when compared to those the Persian student set for himself. The Magi’s quest of knowledge was a labor from which even Hercules would have recoiled. Their efforts were futile because of their pre-formed conclusions. The idea of duality in nature blinded them to the law of cause and effect. They referred all the destructive forces in the universe to Ahriman, and, since they classed these as evils, it was impossible for them to understand the relation of death and decay to life and growth. That certain things, evil in themselves, may be ranked as good because of their effects, was beyond their comprehension. They saw in nature not a perfect whole, formed by the action of contending elements, but a discordance produced by a power seeking to destroy all harmony. To them darkness seemed but the destroyer of light, and the winter’s cold but a cruel foe that had blighted the beauty of summer’s warmth. They could not look beyond the leaves that fall and the flowers that fade to the buds that shoot forth and the fruits that ripen.

Had these errors been confined to ideas of the physical world, science would indeed have suffered, but the people’s moral progress might not have been impeded. But Persian dualism confused moral with physical evils, and identified pain with sin. Disease and crime were referred to the same source and made to appear of equal value. This, added to the regulation of social relations by spiritual laws, resulted in an artificial standard of right and wrong. It is true, some of the failings most abhorred by Persians are intrinsically vicious. Chattering or useless talk was a serious fault. Lying was held by them, as Herodotus has recorded, to be the most discreditable of human shortcomings. Leprosy, which Jews thought was sent by Providence to punish gossips, was by Persians supposed to be the penalty paid by liars. These offenses were condemned because they were obstacles to success in practical life. But other acts, harmless in themselves, were misrepresented as heinous crimes. Just as a Kamtschadale imagines that should he walk in the footsteps of a bear the consequences would be more deadly than if be committed a theft, so the Persian ranked the burning and burying of the dead, or the illtreatment and slaying of a dog, as greater sins than robbery or adultery. Contact with a corpse, since this was the property of demons, was punished more severely than murder. Indeed, human life was not measured by its actual, but by its religious worth. The unbeliever belonged to the devil quite as much as planets and poisonous plants did, and therefore his destruction was desirable. Hence, though murder was not exactly encouraged, a Mazdean, to improve his own condition, was fully at liberty to imperil the life of the skeptic. If he wished to practice medicine, he was instructed by the sacred books to begin by experimenting on the worshipers of Devas or false gods. If in the first three trials of skill he should kill his patients, he was to be pronounced incompetent to continue in the profession. If, however, he should cure three, he might afterward be trusted among the faithful. This arbitrary moral code retarded the development of any true feeling of humanity. Conduct which should be regulated according to a man’s relations to his fellow-beings was actuated by his supposed dependence upon supernatural rulers. In such a system there was necessarily an absence of that sympathy which Herbert Spencer says is the “root of both justice and benevolence.” Actions were judged by their spiritual instead of their temporal merits and demerits, and offenses were punished, not because they injured men, but because they were sins against God.

As the dualistic belief began to grow old in the East, it started with new and vigorous life in the West. That much so-called Christianity is really dualism, and that it came from Persia through later Judaism, has been asserted by writers without attracting much attention, and yet the truth of their assertion cannot be doubted. The Babylonian Captivity, during which the children of Israel first came into contact with Persians, changed the character of the Hebrew people. “ One of the most mysterious and momentous periods,” says Emanuel Deutsch, “ in the history of humanity, is that of the brief space of the exile.” The purely spiritual deity and the rigid code of morals of Zoroastrianism were in strong antithesis to the sensual gods and goddesses and the licentious celebrations of Babylonian polytheism, and soon arrested the sympathy of the captive people. Their conduct and doctrine were alike purified under the rule of their new masters. According to Deutsch, “ from a reckless, godless populace they were transformed into a band of Puritans.” But the change in their conception of deity, and in the growing belief in devils and angels, is little more marked. Dr. Kuenen declares it was in this last particular they were most affected by the foreign creed. At first, the gods of neighboring tribes and nations were the only enemies of Jehovah the Jews had recognized. They believed the deity they worshiped sent the evil which befell them as well as the good. He was a strong and mighty god, who one moment breathed on them greater destruction than had ever been wrought by the breath of Typhon, and, at another, with his smile loaded them with the sweetness and fertility other peoples attributed to their solar gods. To him they could have truly cried, —

“Thou hast kissed us and hast smitten ; thou hast laid
Upon us with thy left hand life, and said,
Live; and again thou hast said, Yield up your breath,
And with thy right hand laid upon us death.”

Already, before the Captivity, with an enlarging sense of morality, they were beginning to find the extremes of benevolence and malevolence in their deity irreconcilable. How could he who was the supreme good be the same as the “ man of war ” who laughed at the wretchedness of mortals ? Disaffection with the old ideal of divinity prepared them for acceptation of Persian dualism, which explained away the difficulty. By attributing their miseries and wrongs and their tendencies to sin to an independent source they eliminated that incongruity in the character of Jehovah which was no longer pleasing to them. This was all the easier, because they had long believed in a being who in many ways corresponded to the Persian archfiend. Among the spirits who stood around God’s throne was Satan, the seducer, accuser, and opposer. But, like Azazel, the angel of death, he was but the means through which the god, who was as terrible as he was merciful, accomplished his designs. He was an instrument by which he who ruled the harmony of the universe occasionally produced discord. It was an easy transition from this conception of Satan to that of a spirit who of himself seduced, accused, and opposed from pure love of malevolence. His course of action was not altered. The sole difference was, that from a dependent creature he was transformed into an independent agent. He was soon identified with the serpent in the Garden of Eden, and declared the prince of darkness and the origin of all evils which flesh is heir to. With his independence the fear in which he had been held was heightened, until, in the times of Christ, it colored the people’s every thought and action.

every The latent dualism of Judaism was fully developed in Christianity because of the new life given it from another source. Though the Greeks, at the end of their long contest with the Persians, were conquerors on the battle-field, the latter gained a victory of much deeper significance. They did not raise their standard upon European soil, but, by a strange caprice of fate, the spirit of their religion and philosophy was infused into Western thought, and has survived for centuries after their earthly greatness has become a thing of the past. The magic and mysticism, the symbolization and legends, of Christian Europe bear witness to the diffusion and strength of the Persian ideas. But, what is far more important, the dualistic conception was accepted by Western theology as the solution of the problem of evil which life, Sphinx-like, still presented to mankind. It was the chief doctrine of most Gnostics, who, since they believed in Christ, thus holding the leading dogma which separated Christianity from paganism, exercised no inconsiderable influence in forming Christian dogma. Unfortunately, Persian doctrines, separated from the old physical and social factors, retained all that was most defective and little that was good in their ethical application. Zoroastrianism had at first depended for survival on the temporal conquests of its followers, and had therefore been compelled to direct all its attention to man’s bodily welfare. But Christianity, during its early days, owed its development to the readiness of men to sacrifice worldly success for spiritual profit, and hence its principal subject of solicitude was the sold. The Christian had to choose between God and mammon. The Zoroastrian could serve both. The latter glorified Ormuzd by increasing material prosperity ; the former served God by despising it. Dualism was radically the same in both creeds, but it differed widely in its results.

Christians, adhering to the Jewish account of the creation, never recognized Satan as the co-equal of the Almighty in point of time or in creative power. It was the latter only who, in the words of the Jewish prophet, had made the light and the darkness. Great stress was laid on the fact that Satan appeared in the primeval second of creation. But in other respects he did not differ from his Persian prototype. He grew rapidly in personal importance, until, as was the case with Ahriman, all ills were referred to him. There is a marked change from Clemens Romanus, who entirely ignores his existence, to Justin Martyr, who declares him to be the leader of those powers of darkness which Christ came to destroy, the cause of man’s transgressions and of physical disasters, the ally of heretics, and the inspiration to both pagan virtue and error. If they rejected the primal equality of the two great spirits, Christians believed as firmly as Zoroastrians in the division of the created world between them. Theologians thought to escape the charge of dualism in their doctrines by saying that the opposition of good and evil had not been from the beginning, but was the result of man’s sin. Athenagoras explained that the devil was not opposed to God but to his goodness. Saint Augustine demonstrated that the dual forces in the individual resulted, not from the mingling of two natures, but from the disputing of one with itself. But, by their very explanations of the origin of the strife, they testified to their belief in its present existence. The followers of Christ, like those of Zoroaster, had for ultimate object the glorification of God and their own salvation, and taught that this goal could be reached only by subduing Satan. Life, in each case, consisted of one long struggle with the devil. Both creeds believed that the tempter was to be crushed by activity and knowledge.

“ Knowledge and action make a man blessed,” says Saint Augustine ; “ as in knowledge we shun error, so in action we shun wickedness.” The new system demanded not natural, but supernatural wisdom, not physical, but spiritual activity. In proportion as people weakened their bodies, severed social and family ties, gave themselves up to contemplation, the nearer did they approach to God, aud the surer were they of saving their souls.

Belief in a strife between heavenly and earthly interests caused great neglect of physical science and a disregard of human justice. Theology was the one study worthy of attention, and the church was the only reliable authority. Temporal rights were forfeited on account of spiritual disabilities, and the condition of men’s worldly affairs depended upon their orthodoxy as to the merest magical forms. The cruelty of the Sangrado school of medicine in Persia seems merciful when contrasted with a Dominican tribunal of so-called justice. The isolations and ablutions demanded from the evil-doer by Zoroastrianism are, to the humiliations inflicted of old upon the excommunicated Catholic, as the sufferings of modern state prisoners compared to those of Tantalus or Ixion. The very practices by which the individual in Persia circumvented the arch-enemy furthered his own well-being, and contributed to the general prosperity. But the mediaeval Christian, by the methods with which he resisted Satan, made life miserable for himself, and added nothing to the welfare of his fellow-beings. Men who had been taught by Christ to love their neighbors as themselves obeyed his law by concentrating all their thoughts upon their own spiritual interests, and by referring every action to the life to come. Dualism thus was the cause of a selfishness of purpose and a dejection of spirit which were serious hindrances to culture and morality. In old days persecution and feudal laws made life bitter enough, and what little chance of enjoyment remained was destroyed by the contempt for earthly things inspired by religion. Men saw in the beauty and pleasures which surrounded them snares set to try their strength. The general gloom increased, until, in the eleventh century, religion was distinguished by a despondency which has never been equaled, and bade fair to deteriorate into a worship of evil. It was the effort to reconcile Persian thought to Western ideals that led to the wild excesses of those times. Philosophers and mystics in secret paid honor to Satan, because of his opposition to the Creator. They saw in him not a tempter, but a savior. He, Prometheus-like, had delivered men from the primitive ignorance for which the Christian Zeus had destined them. The uneducated, to whom philosophical reasoning would have been as Greek and Latin are to street Arabs, believed the devil to be the eternal enemy of God, and God the enemy of all earthly joyousness. In their despair they devoted themselves to his service because he could give the joys which every other power denied them. Like Aucassin in the old French romance, they would rather have had pleasure on earth, and then burn for it everlastingly, than pass their lives in stifling their every emotion. The wild Walpurgis Night on the Brocken was not altogether an unreality. As the social condition of Europeans improved, and the multitude awoke from their long lethargy, they began to free themselves from the tyranny of a belief which, as a guide to conduct, is so little suited to the demands of Western civilization. In many cases fear of evil as a personified force is still the mainspring of action. But there is this difference between the past and the present application of dualism to ethics : what was once law for all is now the deliberate choice of a few.

It is because of the light it throws on the religion of modern Europe that the study of Zoroastrianism is important. The adoption of oriental ideas has seldom been of advantage to occidental culture. An attempt might as well be made to cultivate palm and pine trees side by side, as to reconcile Eastern and Western thought. The doctrine of dualism caused many evils which for long years disgraced Christianity. By tracing it to its proper source an explanation is found for many of the inconsistencies of a church which, professing to preach a gospel of peace, encouraged strifes and dissensions, altogether contrary to the preachings and spirit of its founder.

Elizabeth Robins.

  1. That dualism and not monotheism was the original creed of Persia has been ably proved by Prof. James Darmesteter. In his Ormuzd et Ahriman, Paris, 1877, he traces the evolution of Persian gods and devils, showing very conclusively that in the transformation of Hindu deities into Persian devils we have a revolution, not of thought, but of language.
  2. The influence of Hafiz and his school as moral teachers is far greater even at the present day than a Western world deems credible. A recent traveler in Persia found in the year 1881 whole villages of Sufis, in which there was a copy of Hafiz in every house, but no Koran ; and when he remonstrated with them for their want of religion, they replied that the wine and love sung by the ism was a stumbling-block to science poet meant the spirit of God and the ecstasy of divine union with him. There are at the present day in Persia societies in which the most unbounded dissipation is cultivated as piety. Charles G. Leland was intimate with a Persian of the highest rank who had been initiated among the Allahvi and who explained to him the principles.