Clothed With The Sun
Being The Book Of The Illuminations
of Anna Bonus Kingsford
~ Section 1, Lections 1 thru 10 ~
"Illuminations is the Light of Wisdom, whereby man perceiveth heavenly secrets. Which Light is the Spirit of God within the man, showing unto him the things of God" ~Illuminations No. 11.
No. 1: Concerning the Three Veils
Between Man and God
A GOLDEN chalice, like those used in Catholic rites, but having three linings, was given to me in my sleep by an Angel. These linings, he told me, signified the three degrees of the heavens,--purity of life, purity of heart, and purity of doctrine. Immediately afterwards there appeared to me a great dome-covered temple, Moslem in style, and on the threshold of it a tall angel clad in white linen, who with an air of command was directing a party of men engaged in destroying and throwing into the street numerous crucifixes, bibles, prayer-books, altar-utensils, and other sacred emblems. As I stood watching, somewhat scandalised at the apparent sacrilege, a voice, at a great height in the air, cried with startling distinctness: "All the idols He shall utterly destroy!" Then the same voice, seeming to ascend still higher, cried to me: "Come hither and see!" Immediately it appeared to me that I was lifted up by my hair and carried above the earth. And suddenly there arose in mid-air the apparition of a man of majestic aspect, in an antique garb, and surrounded by a throng of prostrate worshippers. At first the appearance of this figure was strange to me; but while I looked intently at it, a change came over the face and dress, and I thought I recognised Buddha--the Messiah of India. But scarcely had I convinced myself of this, when a great voice, like a thousand voices shouting in unison, cried to the worshippers:
"Stand upright on your feet:--Worship God only!" And again the figure changed, as though a cloud had passed before it, and now it seemed to assume the shape of Jesus. Again I saw the kneeling adorers, and again the mighty voice cried: "Arise! Worship God only!" The sound of this voice was like thunder, and I noted that it had seven echoes. Seven times the cry reverberated, ascending with each utterance as though mounting from sphere to sphere. Then suddenly I fell through the air, as though a hand had been withdrawn from sustaining me: and again touching the earth, I stood within the temple I had seen in the first part of my vision. At its east end was a great altar, from above and behind which came faintly a white and beautiful light, the radiance of which was arrested and obscured by a dark curtain suspended from the dome before the altar. And the body of the temple, which, but for the curtain, would have been fully illumined, was plunged in gloom, broken only by the fitful gleams of a few half-expiring oil-lamps, hanging here and there from the vast cupola. At the right of the altar stood the same tall angel I had before seen on the temple threshold, holding in his hand a smoking censer. Then, observing that he was looking earnestly at me, I said to him: "Tell me, what curtain is this before the light, and why is the temple in darkness?" And he answered, "This veil is not One, but Three; and the Three are Blood, Idolatry, and the Curse of Eve. And to you it is given to withdraw them; be faithful and courageous; the time has come." Now the first curtain was red, and very heavy; and with a great effort I drew it aside, and said: "I have put away the veil of blood from before Thy Face. Shine, O Lord God!" But a voice from behind the folds of the two remaining coverings answered me, "I cannot shine, because of the idols." And lo, before me a curtain of many colours, woven about with all manner of images, crucifixes, madonnas, Old and New Testaments, prayer-books, and other religious symbols, some strange and hideous like the idols of China and Japan, some beautiful like those of the Greeks and Christians. And the weight of the curtain was like lead, for it was thick with gold and silver embroideries. But with both hands I tore it away, and cried, "I have put away the idols from before Thy Face. Shine, O Lord God!" And now the light was clearer and brighter. But yet before me hung a third veil, all of black; and upon it was traced in outline the figure of four lilies on a single stem inverted, their cups opening downwards. And from behind this veil the voice answered me again, "I cannot shine, because of the curse of Eve." Then I put forth all my strength, and with a great will rent away the curtain, crying, "I have put away her curse from before Thee. Shine, O Lord God!"
And there was no more a veil, but a landscape, more glorious and perfect than words can paint, a garden of absolute beauty, filled with trees of palm, and olive, and fig, rivers of clear water and lawns of tender green; and distant groves and forests framed about by mountains crowned with snow; and on the brow of their shining peaks a rising sun, whose light it was I had seen behind the veils. And about the sun, in mid-air, hung white misty shapes of great angels, as clouds at morning float above the place of dawn. And beneath, under a mighty tree of cedar, stood a white elephant, bearing in his golden houdah a beautiful woman robed as a queen, and wearing a crown. But while I looked, entranced, and longing to look for ever, the garden, the altar, and the temple were carried up from me into Heaven. Then as I stood gazing upwards, came again the voice, at first high in the air, but falling earthwards as I listened. And behold, before me appeared the white pinnacle of a minaret, and around and beneath it the sky was all gold and red with the glory of the rising sun. And I perceived that now the voice was that of a solitary Muezzin standing on the minaret with uplifted hands and crying:--
"Put away Blood from among you!
Destroy your Idols!
Restore your Queen!"
And straightway a voice, like that of an infinite multitude, coming as though from above and around and beneath my feet,--a voice like a wind rising upwards from caverns under the hills to their loftiest far-off heights among the stars,--responded--
"Worship God alone!"
1. London, March 1881. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, pp. 21, 82.
2. I.e. lifted up in the spiritual consciousness above the material Consciousness. S. H. H.
No. 2: Concerning Inspiration and Prophesying 
I HEARD last night in my sleep a voice speaking to me, and saying--
1. You ask the method and nature of Inspiration, and the means whereby God revealeth the Truth.
2. Know that there is no enlightenment from without: the secret of things is revealed from within.
3. From without cometh no Divine Revelation: but the Spirit within beareth witness.
4. Think not I tell you that which you know not: for except you know it, it cannot be given to you.
5. To him that hath it is given, and he hath the more abundantly.
6. None is a prophet save he who knoweth: the instructor of the people is a man of many lives.
7. Inborn knowledge and the perception of things, these are the sources of revelation: the soul of the man instructeth him, having already learned by experience.
8. Intuition is inborn experience; that which the soul knoweth of old and of former years.
9. And Illumination is the Light of Wisdom, whereby a man perceiveth heavenly secrets.
10. Which Light is the Spirit of God within the man, showing unto him the things of God.
11. Do not think that I tell you anything you know not; all cometh from within: the Spirit that informeth is the Spirit of God in the prophet.
12. What, then, you ask, is the Medium; and how are to be regarded the utterances of one speaking in trance?
13. God speaketh through no man in the way you suppose; for the Spirit of the Prophet beholdeth God with open eyes. If he fall into a trance, his eyes are open, and his interior man knoweth what is spoken by him.
14. But when a man speaketh that which he knoweth not, he is obsessed: an impure spirit, or one that is bound, hath entered into him.
15. There are many such, but their words are as the words of men who know not: these are not prophets nor inspired.
16. God obsesseth no man; God is revealed: and he to whom God is revealed speaketh that which he knoweth.
17. Christ Jesus understandeth God: he knoweth that of which he beareth witness.
18. But they who, being mediums, utter in trance things of which they have no knowledge, and of which their own spirit is uninformed: these are obsessed with a spirit of divination, a strange spirit, not their own.
19. Of such beware, for they speak many lies, and are deceivers, working often for gain or for pleasure sake: and they are a grief and a snare to the faithful.
20. Inspiration may indeed be mediumship, but it is conscious; and the knowledge of the prophet instructeth him.
21. Even though he speak in an ecstasy, he uttereth nothing that he knoweth not.
22. Thou who art a prophet hast had many lives: yea, thou hast taught many nations, and hast stood before kings.
23. And God hath instructed thee in the years that are past; and in the former times of the earth.
24. By prayer, by fasting, by meditation, by painful seeking, hast thou attained that thou knowest.
25. There is no knowledge but by labour; there is no intuition but by experience.
26. I have seen thee on the hills of the East: I have followed thy steps in the wilderness: I have seen thee adore at sunrise: I have marked thy night watches in the caves of the mountains.
27. Thou hast attained with patience, O prophet! God hath revealed the truth to thee from within.
1. Paris, February 7, 1880. This Part and Part 2 are referred to in the Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i, pp. 330-336
1 "By 'bound' in this connection is meant the soul in prison of the astral, and unable to transcend that level" (Letter of E. M. in Light, 1894, p. 478).
2. Here implying the Christ Jesus within, or the regenerated human nature, in whomsoever occurring. E. M.
In an article on "Mysticism," in The Unknown World, 1894, P. 79, Edward Maitland says: --It was to this principle [as subsisting in all men according to the degree of their regeneration] that St Paul referred when, looking beyond the 'Christ who is after the flesh,' he insisted on the Christ formed within' as the agent of salvation," and "the one way of salvation--in opposition to the sacerdotal doctrine of "salvation by Substitution." S. H. H
3. Thus Utterance may be regarded as "an apostrophe to the prophet in general" (Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. i, p. 333).]
Inspiration and Prophesying (Part 2)
A Prophecy of the Kingdom of the Soul, mystically called the Day of the Woman
1. And now I show you a mystery and a new thing, which is part of the mystery of the fourth day of creation.
2. The word which shall come to save the world, shall be uttered by a woman.
3. A woman shall conceive, and shall bring forth the tidings of salvation.
4. For the reign of Adam is at its last hour; and God shall crown all things by the creation of Eve.
5. Hitherto the man hath been alone, and hath had dominion over the earth.
6. But when the woman shall be created, God shall give unto her the kingdom; and she shall be first in rule and highest in dignity.
7. Yea, the last shall be first; and the elder shall serve the younger.
8. So that women shall no more lament for their womanhood: but men shall rather say, "O that we had been born women!"
9. For the strong shall be put down from their seat; and the meek shall be exalted to their place.
10. The days of the covenant of manifestation are passing away: the gospel of interpretation cometh.
11. There shall nothing new be told; but that which is ancient shall be interpreted.
12. So that man the manifestor shall resign his office; and woman the interpreter shall give light to the world.
13. Hers is the fourth office: she revealeth that which the Lord hath manifested.
14. Hers is the light of the heavens, and the brightest of the planets of the holy seven.
15. She is the fourth dimension; the eyes which enlighten; the power which draweth inward to God.
16. And her kingdom cometh; the day of the exaltation of woman.
17. And her reign shall be greater than the reign of the man; for Adam shall be put down from his place; and she shall have dominion for ever.
18. And she who is alone shall bring forth more children to God than she who hath an husband.
19. There shall no more be a reproach against women: but against men shall be the reproach.
20. For the woman is the crown of man, and the final manifestation of humanity.
21. She is the nearest to the throne of God, when she shall be revealed.
22. But the creation of woman is not yet complete: but it shall be complete in the time which is at hand.
23. All things are thine, O Mother of God: all things are thine, O Thou who risest from the sea; and Thou shalt have dominion over all the worlds.
1. Paris, February 7, 1880. See note to Part 1. This Illumination refers not to persons, but to principles--e.g. the "man" and "woman" of the mind are the intellect and intuition, respectively; and, while "Adam" is the old Adam of sense, "Eve'' is the soul. S. H. H.
3: Concerning The Prophesy Of
I STAND upon the seashore. The moon overhead is at the full. A soft and warm breath, like that of the summer wind, blows in my face. The aroma of it is salt with the breath of the sea. O Sea! O Moon! from you I shall gather what I seek! You shall recount to me the story of the Immaculate Conception of Maria, whose symbols ye are!
Allegory of stupendous significance! with which the Church of God has so long been familiar, but which yet never penetrated its understanding, like the holy fire which enveloped the sacred Bush, but which, nevertheless, the Bush withstood and resisted.
Yet has there been one who comprehended, and who interpreted aright the parable of the Immaculate Conception; and he found it through US, by the light of his own intense love, for he was the disciple of love, and his name is still--the Beloved;--John, the Seer of the Apocalypse. For he, in the vision of the woman clothed with the sun, set forth the true significance of the Immaculate Conception. For the Immaculate Conception is none other than the prophecy of the means whereby the universe shall at last be redeemed. Maria--the sea of limitless space--Maria the Virgin, born herself immaculate and without spot, of the womb of the ages, shall in the fulness of time bring forth the perfect man, who shall redeem the race. He is not one man, but ten thousand times ten thousand, the Son of Man, who shall overcome the limitations of matter, and the evil which is the result of the materialisation of spirit. His Mother is spirit, his Father is spirit, yet he is himself incarnate; and how then shall he overcome evil, and restore matter to the condition of spirit? By force of love. It is love which is the centripetal power of the universe; it is by love that all creation returns to the bosom of God. The force which projected all things is will, and will is the centrifugal power of the universe. Will alone could not overcome the evil which results from the limitations of matter; but it shall be overcome in the end by sympathy, which is the knowledge of God in others,--the recognition of the omnipresent self. This is love. And it is with the children of the spirit, the servants of love, that the dragon of matter makes war.
Now, whether or not the world be strong enough to bear this yet, we know not. This is not the first time we have revealed these things to men. An ancient heresy, cursed by the Church, arose out of a true inspiration; for the disciples are ever weaker than the master, and they have not his spiritual discernment. I speak of the Gnostics. To the Master of the Gnostics we revealed the truth of the Immaculate Conception. We told him that Immanuel should be the God--Man who, transcending the limitations of matter, should efface the evil of materialisation by the force of love, and should see and hear and speak and feel as though he were pure spirit, and had annihilated the boundaries of matter. This, then, he taught; but they who heard his teaching, applying his words only to the individual Jesus, affirmed that Jesus had had no material body, but that he was an emanation of a spiritual nature; an Ĉon who, without substance or true being in the flesh, had borne a phantom part in the world of men. Beware lest in like manner ye also are misled. It is so hard for men to be spiritual. It is as hard for us to declare ourselves without mystery. The Church knows not the source of its dogmas. We marvel also at the blindness of the hearers, who indeed hear, but who have not eyes to see. We speak in vain,--ye discern not spiritual things. Ye are so materialised that ye perceive only the material. The Spirit comes and goes; ye hear the sound of its voice: but ye cannot tell whither it goeth nor whence it cometh. All that is true is spiritual. No dogma of the Church is true that seems to bear a physical meaning. For matter shall cease, and all that is of it, but the Word of the Lord shall remain for ever. And how shall it remain except it be purely spiritual; since, when matter ceases, it would then be no longer comprehensible? I tell you again, and of a truth,--no dogma is real that is not spiritual. If it be true, and yet seem to you to have a material signification, know that you have not solved it. It is a mystery: seek its interpretation. That which is true, is for spirit alone.
1. This "supreme product of the soul's perception of its own nature and destiny," which proved to be "a re-delivery, (accompanied by the interpretation) of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Maria," was received, and written down under trance, at Paris in the night of July 25, 1877, the seeress being transported in spirit to the seaside, but maintaining with the body a connection sufficient to enable her to write. The changes of person from singular to plural are due to the overshadowing influence speaking at one time as a unity, and at another as a plurality--"the US denoting the Hierarchy of the Church invisible and celestial" (see Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i, pp. 194-197). S. H. H.
1. The ages, of which the personification is Anna: "Anna is the rolling year, the Time, of which is born Maria the soul, the Mother of God" (see No. XLII, "Concerning God"). "The soul born of Time (Anna)" (see No. XLVIII (1), "Concerning the Christian Mysteries"). S. H. H.
No. 4: Concerning Revelation (1)
ALL true and worthy illuminations are reveilations, or re-veilings. Mark the meaning of this word. There can be no true or worthy illumination which destroys distances and exposes the details of things.
Look at this landscape. Behold how its mountains and forests are suffused with soft and delicate mist, which half conceals and half discloses their shapes and tints. See how this mist like a tender veil enwraps the distances, and merges the reaches of the land with the clouds of heaven!
How beautiful it is, how orderly and wholesome its fitness, and the delicacy of its appeal to the eye and heart! And how false would be that sense which should desire to tear away this clinging veil, to bring far objects near, and to reduce everything to foreground in which details only should be apparent, and all outlines sharply defined!
Distance and mist make the beauty of Nature: and no poet would desire to behold her otherwise than through this lovely and modest veil.
And as with exoteric, so with esoteric nature. The secrets of every human soul are sacred and known only to herself. The ego is inviolable, and its personality is its own right for ever.
Therefore mathematical rules and algebraic formulĉ cannot be forced into the study of human lives; nor can human personalities be dealt with as though they were mere ciphers or arithmetical quantities.
The soul is too subtle, too instinct with life and will for treatment such as this.
One may dissect a corpse; one may analyse and classify chemical constituents; but it is impossible to dissect or analyse any living thing.
The moment it is so treated it escapes. Life is not subject to dissection.
The opening of the shrine will always find it empty: the God is gone.
A soul may know her own past, and may see in her own light: but none can see it for her if she see it not.
Herein is the beauty and sanctity of personality.
The ego is self-centered and not diffused; for the tendency of all evolution is towards centralisation and individualism.
And life is so various, and so beautifully diverse in its unity, that no hard and fast mathematical law-making can imprison its manifoldness.
All is order: but the elements of this order harmonise by means of their infinite diversities and gradations.
The true mysteries remained always content with nature's harmony: they sought not to drag distances into foregrounds; or to dissipate the mountain nebula, in whose bosom the sun is reflected.
For these sacred mists are the media of light, and the glorifiers of nature.
Therefore the doctrine of the mysteries is truly reveilation,--a veiling and a re-veiling of that which it is not possible for eye to behold without violating all the order and sanctities of nature.
For distance and visual rays, causing the diversities of far and near, of perspective and mergent tints, of horizon and foreground, are part of natural order and sequence: and the law expressed in their properties cannot be violated.
For no law is ever broken.
The hues and aspects of distance and mist indeed may vary and dissolve according to the quality and quantity of the light which falls upon them: but they are there always, and no human eye can annul or annihilate them.
Even words, even pictures are symbols and veils. Truth itself is unutterable, save by God to God.
1. Home, November 27, 1885. Received in sleep. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, p. 246.
No. 5: Concerning The Interpretation of
The Mystical Scriptures
"IF, therefore, they be Mystic Books, they ought also to have a Mystic Consideration. But the Fault of most Writers lieth in this,--that they distinguish not between the Books of Moses the Prophet, and those Books which are of an historical Nature. And this is the more surprising because not a few of such Critics have rightly discerned the esoteric Character, if not indeed the true Interpretation, of the Story of Eden; yet have they not applied to the Remainder of the Allegory the same Method which they found to fit the Beginning; but so soon as they are over the earlier Stanzas of the Poem, they would have the Rest of it to be of another Nature.
"It is, then, pretty well established and accepted of most Authors, that the Legend of Adam and Eve, and of the Miraculous Tree and the Fruit which was the Occasion of Death, is, like the story of Eros and Psyche, and so many others of all Religions, a Parable with a hidden, that is, with a Mystic Meaning. But so also is the Legend which follows concerning the Sons of these Mystical Parents, the Story of Cain and Abel his Brother, the Story of the Flood, of the Ark, of the saving of the clean and unclean Beasts, of the Rainbow, of the twelve Sons of Jacob, and, not stopping there, of the whole Relation concerning the Flight out of Egypt. For it is not to be supposed that the two Sacrifices offered to God by the Sons of Adam were real Sacrifices, any more than it is to be supposed that the Apple which caused the Doom of Mankind, was a real Apple. It ought to be known, indeed, for the right Understanding of the Mystical Books, that in their esoteric Sense they deal, not with material Things, but with spiritual Realities; and that as Adam is not a Man, nor Eve a Woman, nor the Tree a Plant in its true Signification, so also are not the Beasts named in the same Books real Beasts, but that the Mystic Intention of them is implied. When, therefore, it is written that Abel took of the Firstlings of his Flock to offer unto the Lord, it is signified that he offered that which a Lamb implies, and which is the holiest and highest of spiritual Gifts. Nor is Abel himself a real Person, but the Type and spiritual Presentation of the Race of the Prophets; of whom, also, Moses was a Member, together with the Patriarchs. Were the Prophets, then, Shedders of Blood? God forbid; they dealt not with Things material, but with spiritual Significations. Their Lambs without Spot, their white Doves, their Goats, their Rams, and other sacred Creatures, are so many Signs and Symbols of the various Graces and Gifts which a Mystic People should offer to Heaven. Without such Sacrifices is no Remission of Sin. But when the Mystic Sense was lost, then Carnage followed, the Prophets ceased out of the Land, and the Priests bore rule over the People. Then, when again the Voice of the Prophets arose, they were constrained to speak plainly, and declared, in a Tongue foreign to their Method, that the Sacrifices of God are not the Flesh of Bulls or the Blood of Goats, but holy Vows and sacred Thanksgivings, their Mystical Counterparts. As God is a Spirit, so also are His Sacrifices Spiritual. What Folly, what Ignorance, to offer material Flesh and Drink to pure Power and essential Being! Surely in vain have the Prophets spoken, and in vain have the Christs been manifested!
"Why will you have Adam to be Spirit and Eve Matter, since the Mystic Books deal only with spiritual Entities? The Tempter himself even is not Matter, but that which gives Matter the Precedence. Adam is, rather, intellectual Force: he is of Earth. Eve is the moral Conscience: she is the Mother of the Living. Intellect, then, is the male, and Intuition the female Principle. And the Sons of Intuition, herself fallen, shall at last recover Truth and redeem all Things. By her Fault, indeed, is the moral Conscience of Humanity made subject to the intellectual Force, and thereby all Manner of Evil and Confusion abounds, since her Desire is unto him, and he rules over her until now. But the End foretold by the Seer is not far off. Then shall the Woman be exalted, clothed with the Sun, and carried to the Throne of God. And her Sons shall make War with the Dragon, and have Victory over him. Intuition, therefore, pure and a Virgin, shall be the Mother and Redemptress of her fallen Sons, whom she bore under Bondage to her Husband the intellectual Force."
1. Paris, June 6, 1878. Read, in the early hours of the morning, in sleep, in a library purporting to be that of Emmanuel Swedenborg, in the spiritual world, Swedenborg himself being present, and written down on waking. As we subsequently ascertained, it represents the doctrine of that famous seer, but without his limitations. Like most of the writing, thus beheld by the seeress, it was in German text and archaic spelling, and also, like several others, was given in immediate response to a mental request for light on the subjects treated, made by me without her knowledge either of my request or of my need, or being able of herself to have supplied the want. On seeking--also from transcendental sources--to know more respecting this experience, we received for answer that "a portion of Swedenborg is still in this sphere, through which he can communicate with those with whom he is in affinity"; and that, under his magnetism, the seeress had been enabled--as stated in the preface--to recover these recollections. The capitals of the original are retained, but the spelling is modernised. E. M.
For a full account of the circumstances attending the receipt by Anna Kingsford of this Illumination (both parts) see Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. i, pp. 257-261. S. H. H.
The Mystical Scriptures (Part 2)
Moses, therefore, knowing the Mysteries of the Religion of the Egyptians, and having learned of their Occultists the Value and Signification of all sacred Birds and Beasts, delivered like Mysteries to his own People. But certain of the sacred Animals of Egypt he retained not in Honour, for Motives which were equally of Mystic Origin. And he taught his Initiated the Spirit of the heavenly Hieroglyphs, and bade them, when they made Festival before God, to carry with them in Procession, with Music and with Dancing, such of the sacred Animals as were, by their interior Significance, related to the Occasion. Now, of these Beasts, he chiefly selected Males of the first Year, without Spot or Blemish, to signify that it is beyond all Things needful that Man should dedicate to the Lord his Intellect and his Reason, and this from the Beginning, and without the least Reserve. And that he was very wise in teaching this, is evident from the History of the World in all Ages, and particularly in these last days. For what is it that has led Men to renounce the Realities of the Spirit, and to propagate false Theories and corrupt Sciences, denying all Things save the Appearance which can be apprehended by the outer Senses, and making themselves one with the Dust of the Ground? It is their Intellect which, being unsanctified, has led them astray; it is the Force of the Mind in them, which, being corrupt, is the Cause of their own Ruin, and of that of their Disciples. As, then, the Intellect is apt to be the great Traitor against Heaven, so also is it the Force by which Men, following their pure Intuition, may also grasp and apprehend the Truth. For which Reason it is written that the Christs are subject to their Mothers. Not that by any means the Intellect is to be dishonoured; for it is the Heir of all Things, if only it be truly begotten and be no Bastard.
"And besides all these Symbols, Moses taught the People to have beyond all Things an Abhorrence of Idolatry. What, then, is Idolatry, and what are False Gods?
"To make an Idol is to materialise spiritual Mysteries. The Priests, then, were Idolaters, who coming after Moses, and committing to Writing those Things which he by Word of Mouth had delivered unto Israel, replaced the true Things signified, by their material Symbols, and shed innocent Blood on the pure Altars of the Lord.
"They also are Idolaters who understand the Things of Sense where the Things of the Spirit are alone implied, and who conceal the true Features of the Gods with material and spurious Presentations. Idolatry is Materialism, the common and original Sin of Men, which replaces Spirit by Appearance, Substance by Illusion, and leads both the moral and intellectual Being into Error, so that they substitute the Nether for the Upper, and the Depth for the Height. It is that false Fruit which attracts the outer Senses, the Bait of the Serpent in the Beginning of the World. Until the Mystic Man and Woman had eaten of this Fruit, they knew only the Things of the Spirit, and found them suffice. But after their Fall, they began to apprehend Matter also, and gave it the Preference, making themselves Idolaters. And their Sin, and the Taint begotten of that false Fruit, have corrupted the Blood of the whole Race of Men, from which Corruption the Sons of God would have redeemed them."
1. This portion, which was received, also in sleep, "the next night but one" after the foregoing, is a part remembered of a lecture--evidently out of the same book--delivered by a man in priestly garb, in an amphitheatre of white stone, to a class of students, of whom the seeress was one, who took notes of it. Anna Kingsford's notes, of course, "disappeared with her dream, and she had to reproduce it from memory. But this was abnormally enhanced, for she said that the words presented themselves again to her as she wrote, and stood out luminously to view" (Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. i, pp. 260-261). S. H. H.
No. 6: Concerning The Mosaic Cosmogony 
THE opening chapters of Genesis have, in some of their applications, a reference to the Mysteries. The following are some of their manifold meanings.
In the first chapter (and beginning of the second) is related the creation of human nature in its two divisions, intellect and intuition, body and soul, man and woman, each creation occurring by development or evolution out of lower forms, through the successive incarnations of the individual.
In the second chapter (beginning at verse 4) is described humanity (or Adam), male and female, in a state of mere intellectualism or external reason, and before the advent of revelation or religious perception. Here the allegory refers to the race and to the individual alike, and treats of man as sense and soul, priest and prophet, world and church.
The Tree of Life is the Central Will or Divine Life, the God, that is, whether of the universe or of the individual. And the Tree of Knowledge is experience which comes of trespass, or a descent from the region of spirit to that of matter. It is thus Maya, or illusion; and the serpent, or tempter, is the impulse by yielding to which the inward reality of Being is abandoned for the outward appearance, and idolatry is committed through the preference of the symbol to the verity, of the form to the substance. The phrase "coats of skin" implies a deeper descent into materiality, and the consequent need of multiplied penances and transmigrations.
The Tree of Life signifies also the secret of regeneration, or final transmutation into pure spirit, and the consequent attainment of eternal life, which can come only when all the necessary processes have been performed, and the soul-Eve-is once more pure and free, when she becomes "Mary."
In the Mysteries the Adam of the second chapter signifies also the ordinary earth-man, devoid of spiritual perception or consciousness, and unable, therefore, at all to comprehend the mysteries. And Eve signifies the seer and prophet, who, being illuminated in soul and taught of the Spirit, has in his keeping the knowledge of things sacred, but is on no account to divulge that knowledge to the outer world of mankind at large. Springing from the heart of humanity, when its outer sense and reason and passions are laid in sleep, or mystic trance, Eve is the Sibyl, or "Mother," who has the sacred tree in charge, but may not communicate of it. But being tempted by the prospect of sensuous reward, she yields to the serpent of matter--or astral impulses--and communicates the Mysteries to the vulgar, and thereby loses her supremacy over men, and from being their mistress and ruler, becomes their slave, while the prophets, her offspring, are persecuted and slain, so that all her revelations and proper ministrations are made in pain and sorrow and labour. For it is characteristic of the vulgar, that they reverence only what is unfamiliar and mysterious to them.
The Four Rivers springing from one source are the four elements which enter into the composition alike of the whole and the part, the universe, the planet, the individual, and the single (physiological) cell. Together they constitute the fourfold being. Pison, which surrounds and encloses the earth or mineral zone, and contains the materials of wealth and fame, is the body, or material region. Gihon, the river which runs through the land of burning, denotes the Vale of Gehenna or purgatorial region, and is the "fiery body," the magnetic belt between the body and the soul. Hiddekel, the river with the double symbol of Two Languages, is that which leads back to the ancient time and place of the soul's "innocence." For, being representative of the soul, it occupies the soul's place between the material and the spiritual part. The last is called the Euphrates, and implies the innermost and highest, the Spirit, or Will. These four "rivers" go forth into and constitute the whole universe, and all therein that is of a fourfold nature. A portion of each is necessary to constitute a molecule, or monad of the substance of creation, whether a planet, a man, or a cell. For the cell is the type of the kosmos.
Now the signification of the Rivers of Eden is fourfold, denoting, First, The four generations of the soul's evolution, individually and collectively.
Secondly, The four stages of the soul's initiation and perfectionment.
Thirdly, The four interpretations of Scripture.
Fourthly, The four elemental spheres of nature in which the soul has its generation and education.
[1. Meaning, "the beginning of he World in the Church: of worldliness or materiality, that is, in the interpretation of things spiritual" (Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i. p 261). S. H. H.
2. Boulogne, August 1880. Received in sleep.]
No. 7: Concerning The Fall (1)
THE friend with whom I was staying having asked me to obtain for her, if possible, while in her house a precise and practical instruction on this subject, I found myself surrounded in my sleep by a group of spirits, who conversed together upon it evidently for my benefit. They began by saying that all the mistakes made about the Bible arise out of the mystic books being referred to times, places, persons, and things I material, instead of being regarded as containing only eternal verities about things spiritual. The opening chapters of the sacred books, they said, exhibit the meaning and object of religion, and the method of salvation. They are an epitome of the whole Bible, a kind of argument prefixed to the divine drama of the spiritual history of man.
The key to their interpretation is to be found in the word Now. There is no past in the Divine Mind, no future in the Divine Economy. To each is one thing forbidden under penalty of death. This one thing is disobedience to the Divine Will. Death is the natural and inevitable result of rebellion against the Central Will, which is the Tree of Life. Death ensues in the body when the central will of the system no longer binds in harmony the component elements of the body. And death ensues in the soul when it is no longer desirous of union with the Divine Will. Wherefore disobedience and rebellion are death. But to desire ardently that which God wills, and to give oneself even to the death to fulfil God's Will, is life. For "he who will find his life shall lose it"; which means that he who seeks his own in opposition to the Divine Will, shall perish. "And he who loses his life shall find it"; which means that he who giveth himself to the death to fulfil the Divine Will, shall have--nay, already hath--eternal life.
Now, the injunction laid on every human soul is, not to disobey the Divine Will. For, in the day that the soul wilfully opposes itself to God, she shall surely die. This means that the natural death or dissolution of the body shall, in such case, entail the dissolution and dispersion of the soul. For the Divine Breath, or Spirit, is the central life of the human soul, or true man; and if the elements of this personality be no longer bound in obedience to the Divine Fire, they will become dissolved and dispersed in the void, and so the individual perish. "Dying, thou shalt die." The rebellious Adam hath not eternal life. Death in the body is for him death in the soul. The soul is a purer and finer essence than the mere matter of the body. But when she is rebellious, and her elements are no longer bound to their central fire, they continue, after the death of the body, to disunite and disintegrate, until, at length, the Holy Spirit being withdrawn, the soul dissolves into the void and is no more. This is eternal death. On the other hand, the soul redeemed by obedience to the Divine Will, withdraws itself, and aspires ever more and more to its centre, until--absorbed therein--it becomes like unto God, wholly spiritual. This is eternal life.
Now, "the Gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." "For, as in the earthly and rebellious Adam we die; so in the Christ we are made alive for evermore." That is, that inasmuch as by disobedience to the Divine Will the soul brings on itself dissolution and eternal death; so, when it is regenerate and strives continually to attain the Christ nature, it obtains thereby eternal life. For it arises necessarily out of the law of the universe that nothing can continue to exist which is out of harmony with the Divine Central Will. Now, the nature which is in most perfect harmony with the Divine Will is the Christ-nature. Wherefore, of the redeemed universe the perfect chord is, Thy Will be done.
But had it been permitted to the rebellious and fallen Adam, after his act of disobedience in plucking and eating of the forbidden fruit, to "put forth his hand and take also of the Tree of Life, and to live for ever," the result would have been an eternal hell. For then the soul would have continued to exist for ever while in a state of separation by disobedience from God, and while insulting and defying God. Such division of the universe against itself would have involved its destruction--a catastrophe which can by no possibility occur. And the condition would have involved the soul in a perpetual hell of misery; wherefore, in merciful arrest of such a doom, God drove out the fallen soul from the reach of eternal life. But even while doing so, God pronounced the words of hope and redemption. For with the curse comes the promise, "Adam falling, Christ redeems."
For the soul, having accomplished the act of disobedience, has its "eyes opened." And it now perceives that alone and divorced from the Divine Will it is "wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked," as said of the Church of Laodicea in the Apocalypse; and Adam, knowing he is fallen, "hides" himself. For apart from God, Who is its life, the soul is nothing. And this knowledge of her shameful condition is all the soul gains by rebellion. And so the lesson to the soul is this:--If thou disunite thyself from God and make thy desire earthwards, thou art as the dust of the ground, and must die the death of the body. But if thou desire only God, and make God's law thy will, and its accomplishment thy delight, thou becomest as God, and hast eternal life.
[1. Paris, July 29, 1880. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i, p. 369.
2. In the First Edition the word "things" was, inadvertently, omitted from the text, and the passage read: "places and persons material." This is confirmed by E. M.'s quotation from this Illumination in the Life of Anna Kingsford (vol. i, p. 369), which includes the word "things." S. H. H.]
No. 8: Concerning The Prophecy of the Deluge (1)
WHEN reading this morning the work of Eliphas Levi on "Magic," I came upon the following sentence:--"In the Zohar, one of the chief books of the holy Kabbala, it is written, 'The Magic Serpent, son of the Sun, was about to devour the World, when the Sea, daughter of the Moon, put her foot on his head and crushed him.'"
At this instant a writing was presented to my spiritual eyes, in which I read the following explanation of the Deluge of Noah:--
"'The Flood came,' says the Scripture, 'and swept away the wicked.' The Flood, therefore, is not the wickedness itself, as some have supposed, but that which destroyed wickedness, and bore the righteous unharmed on its bosom. The Flood is Aphrodite the Sea-queen and Maria the Star of the Sea; or, as the name signifies, Sea-salt, or Bitterness of the Deep. 'The Woman shall crush the head of the Serpent.' Maria, the God-woman, or feminine presentation of the supreme power and goodness, delivers mankind and destroys evildoers. She is the Water of Regeneration; the Sea through which, as Paul the Mystic says, we must all pass. She was in the beginning, because she is God, and the Spirit of God, or Divine Cloud, dwelt upon her. 'We all passed through the Sea and through the Cloud.' Jesus the Saviour went down into her, and received in her His chrism, while at the same time the Divine Hermes overshadowed Him.
"Maria the Sea is the water mystically appointed for the washing away of Sin. Therefore as the Flood she purifies the world, and bears on her immaculate breast the Ark of the Divine Covenant which contains the Elect."
And when I had read this, it was impressed on my mind as a prophecy having special significance for the present age.
1. Paris, September 28, 1878. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, pp. 279-280.
2. Like Eve, Maria and the Sea are mystical synonyms for the Soul, which is called "Bitterness of the Deep" because--consisting of the universal substance--she attains her perfection through painful experience. Concerning Hermes, see Part II, Nos. XII and XIII (6). E. M.
No. 9: Concerning The Prophecy of the Book of Esther (1)
THE most important book in the Bible for you to study now, and that most nearly about to be fulfilled, is one of the most mystic books in the Old Testament, the book of Esther.
This book is a mystic prophecy, written in the form of an actual history. If I give you the key, the clue of the thread of it, it will be! the easiest thing in the world to unravel the whole.
The great King Assuerus, who had all the world under his dominion, and possessed the wealth of all the nations, is the genius of the age.
Queen Vasthi, who for her disobedience to the king was deposed from her royal seat, is the orthodox Catholic Church.
The Jews, scattered among the nations under the dominion of the king, are the true Israel of God.
Mardochi the Jew represents the spirit of intuitive reason and understanding.
His enemy Aman is the spirit of materialism, taken into the favour and protection of the genius of the age, and exalted to the highest place in the world's councils after the deposition of the orthodox religion.
Now Aman has a wife and ten sons.
Esther--who, under the care and tuition of Mardochi, is brought up pure and virgin--is that spirit of love and sympathetic interpretation which shall redeem the world.
I have told you that it shall be redeemed by a "woman."
Now the several philosophical systems by which the councillors of the age propose to replace the dethroned Church are one by one submitted to the judgment of the age; and Esther, coming last, shall find favour.
Six years shall she be anointed with oil of myrrh, that is, with study and training severe and bitter, that she may be proficient in intellectual knowledge, as must all systems which seek the favour of the age.
And six years with sweet perfumes, that is, with the gracious loveliness of the imagery and poetry of the faiths of the past, that religion may not be lacking in sweetness and beauty.
But she shall not seek to put on any of those adornments of dogma, or of mere sense, which, by trick of priestcraft, former systems have used to gain power or favour with the world and the age, and for which they have been found wanting.
Now there come out of the darkness and the storm which shall arise upon the earth, two dragons.
And they fight and tear each other, until there arises a star, a fountain of light, a queen, who is Esther.
I have given you the key. Unlock the meaning of all that is written.
I do not tell you if in the history of the past these voices had part in the world of men.
If they had, guess now who were Mardochi and Esther.
But I tell you that which shall be in the days about to come.
1. Paris, Easter Sunday, 1880. Repeated from dictation heard interiorly while in trance. E. M. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, Vol. i, pp. 352-354. See also Vol. ii, p. 268.]
2. The two dragons are materialism and superstition (see Preface to First Edition, p. xxiv).
3. The name Esther--which is one with Easter--denotes a star, or fountain of light, a dawn or rising. The feast of Purim, instituted in token of the deliverance wrought through Esther, coincides in date with Easter, In the Protestant Bible the later portion of the Book of Esther is placed in the Apocrypha. The spelling followed is that of the Douay version. The penultimate sentence obviously refers to the work in which we were engaged, but not necessarily to the workers themselves. E. M.
No. 10: Concerning The Prophecy of the Vision of Nebuchadnezzar (1)
THE King Nebuchadnezzar is mystically identical with king Assuerus, in that each alike denotes the spirit of the latter age, that, namely, of mere Intellectualism, as distinguished from and opposed to Intuitionalism. And both narratives, as well also as that of the Deluge and of the book of Esther, are prophecies which now are beginning to have their accomplishment on a scale greater than ever before. For, the image shown to the king in his dream represents the various systems of thought and belief which find favour with the world. Of these the intellectual philosophy which rests upon the basis of a science merely physical is the head, and is symbolised by the gold. And this rightly, so far as concerns the intellect; for it is indeed king of kings, and all the children of men, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, are given into its hands. This is to say, all the activities of society, its learning, its industry, and its art, are made subordinate to the intellect. The breast and arms of the image are of silver. This is the domain of morality and sentiment, which under the reign of the mere intellect hold a subordinate place. Belonging to the region of the heart, it is feminine; and implying the intuition, which is of the woman, and her assigned inferiority, it is of silver. The thighs and the belly are of brass, and this kingdom is said to rule over the whole world. By this is meant the universality under a regime wholly animal and non-moral, of falsehood, cruelty, impurity, blasphemy, and all those deprivations of the true humanity, which characterise an age of materialism. The iron, of which the legs are made, represents force, and denotes the negation of love, and the consequent prevalence of might over right, and the universal rule of selfishness. By the mingling of iron and clay in the feet is implied the weakness and instability of the whole structure, the clay representing matter, which is made the foundation of the system instead of spirit, which alone is stable and enduring.
The Stone cut out without hands, which destroys this image, and becomes a great mountain filling the whole earth, is that "Stone of the Philosophers," a perfected spirit, and the true gospel of the inner knowledge which appertains thereto. This it is which smites the age upon its feet, or fundamental basis, its materialistic hypothesis. And with the demonstration of the falseness of its doctrine, now being made to the world, shall fall the whole fabric of society, with its empire of force, its exaltation of the masculine mode of the mind, its subjection of women, its torture of animals, and its oppression of the poor. With its clay, its iron, its brass, its silver, and its gold, all swept away as chaff by the wind, the true knowledge and spirit of understanding, which are of the intuition, shall usher in the kingdom of God, and the "stone," become a mountain, shall fill the whole earth.
1. London, February 22, 1881. Received in sleep.
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