Clothed With The Sun
Being The Book Of The Illuminations
of Anna Bonus Kingsford
PART THE THIRD
CONCERNING THE DIVINE IMAGE, OR THE VISION OF ADONAI
[Owing at once to the sanctity and the unpronounceability of the Tetragrammaton, or word of four letters which in the Hebrew constitutes the name Jehovah, the Hebrews invariably substitute for it in speaking the name Adonai, which in the A.V. is rendered "the Lord." These names are, however, substantially identical, in that they alike imply a duality corresponding to that of the sexes,---a duality which arises, necessarily, from the nature of the function fulfilled by their bearer, which is that of the expression, word, or manifestor of Deity in the dual character of Father-Mother, as expounded in Nos. VII and VIII of Part II; from which it follows that this Person of the Trinity is, properly, not "Son" merely, but "Son-Daughter." As thus exhibited, the Trinity consists of Father, Mother, and Child,--(respectively energy, substance, and phenomenon),--and represents a mode of the godhead which, logically (not chronologically, time having no relation to the eternal), is antecedent to that of the ecclesiastical Trinity, wherein the "Son" appears as the second person, and the Holy Spirit as the third. For in this aspect, the "Mother" (substance) is merged in the "Father" (energy or will), the two together constituting one person,--the first, and the Son appears as the second, while the third is the Holy Spirit, or divinity in its dynamic or active mode as distinguished from its static or passive mode. Proceeding from the Father-Mother through the Soil, and identical in nature with them, the Holy Spirit is, like them, dual, and consists of both energy and substance. For which reason the names and symbols denoting the Holy Spirit are masculine or feminine, according to the aspect or function concerned. On its procession through the Son the Holy Spirit differentiates into the seven modes or potencies called the Seven Spirits of God (as described ill Nos. VI, VIII, and X of Part II) dividing, like light on its emergence from the prism, into seven rays. These are the Seven Spirits of God, the creative Elohim, which, with the three persons of the Trinity, constitute the ten Sephiroth of the Kabala. Functions of the Supreme and essential principles in the Divine nature, they are styled, on entering into manifestation, Gods and Archangels; and inasmuch as they are manifold and various as the spheres and kingdoms of nature, ill all of which they are operative, and comprise grades and distinctions innumerable, repeating themselves like the notes of the musical scale in many keys and tones, their names are rather titles of orders than designations of individuals. In no case can they be apprehended of the outer senses, but to souls sufficiently mature
[1. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i, pp. 184-190. 193.]
and sensitive they manifest themselves under forms personal and symbolical of their offices, being both seen and heard of the interior selfhood. And just as the Rainbow is one, though rainbows are legion,--inasmuch as all these are manifestations of one and the same principle inhering in the nature of light,--so is each divinity one, however multiplied his personality, inasmuch as every appearance is but a fresh manifestation of one and the same principle subsisting in the divine nature, and for that reason subsisting also in every soul that is able to polarise divinity. Thus is the soul "Mother of God" and also of the Gods, and "Man is a universe in himself, having the thrones of all the Gods in his temple." And of their co-operation is the edification of the world into the kingdom of God, and of man in the Divine image, that of Adonai. Attaining to this image, man has and is Christ, Christ being the correspondent, equivalent, or counterpart in man, of Adonai in substance. And, saving Adonai himself, they are the highest objects of the sensible perception of the soul. That Adonai is the highest of all such objects is because he is the image beheld in the point of the focus formed by the convergence of all the consciousnesses of the system and their polarisation to the highest plane. Beyond him is the "Invisible Light,"--the "Divine Dark" of the early Christian mystics--the boundless sea of infinite wisdom, love, and power, informulate and unmanifest, the universally-diffused divinity; impersonal in the radical sense of the word, but personal in the highest degree in its true sense, that of essential consciousness; and in Adonai taking form and personality in both senses.
The Jehovah or Adonai of the Hebrews is thus no mere "tribal" god, as supposed by writers more learned and ingenious than experienced or percipient, on the strength of the defective presentations of Him in the Hebrew Scriptures; nor is He but a partial aspect only of deity, or a being unreal and imaginary. He is actually the one and supreme divinity, the central, radiant, and pivotal point of the universe--its spiritual sun--the God of Gods, from whom all others proceed, and of whom all others are modes and aspects. And He is this absolutely and indefeasibly, how defective and misleading soever the human conceptions and presentations of Him. And being recognised as such, He is fitly described as a "jealous" God, in that he reprobates the ascription to the low or to a part, of the honour due only to the highest and to the whole; and He is this, not for His own sake-He cannot suffer loss--but for the sake of those His creatures who, by limiting their ideal of the Divine perfection, withhold themselves from the realisation of their own perfection, and thereby from being made in the Divine image. For what man thinks, that he is.
The vision about to be described of Adonai, was received without any previous knowledge on the part of its recipient, either of its possibility, or of its having always been claimed as a recognised fact of mystical experience, the allusions to it in the Bible, although
[1. E.g. St Dionysius "the Areopagite."
2. Ex. xxiv, 9-11; Is. vi, i; Ezek. viii, 2; Dan. vii, 9, 10; Apoc. iv; xx, 11.]
by no means rare, having altogether escaped her recognition as having any real basis in the consciousness. On this occasion she had been forewarned of something of unusual solemnity as about to occur, and prompted to make certain ceremonial preparations obviously calculated to impress the imagination. The access came upon her while standing by the open window, gazing at the moon, then close upon the full. The first effect of the affiatus was to cause her to kneel and pray in a rapt attitude, with her arms extended towards the sky. It appeared afterwards, that under an access of spiritual exaltation, she had yielded to a sudden and uncontrollable impulse to pray that she might be taken to the stars, and shown all the glory of the universe. Presently she rose, and after gazing upwards in ecstasy for a few moments, lowered her eyes, and, clasping her arms around her head as if to shut out the view, uttered in tones of wonder, mingled with moans and cries of anguish, the following tokens of the intolerable splendour of the vision she had unwittingly invited]:--
"Oh, I see masses, masses of stars! It makes me giddy to look at them. O my God, what masses! Millions and millions! Wheels of planets! O my God, my God, why didst Thou create? It was by Will, all Will, that Thou didst it. Oh! what might, what might of Will! Oh, what gulfs! what gulfs! Millions and millions of miles broad and deep! Hold me--hold me up! I shall sink--I shall sink into the gulfs. I am sick and giddy, as on a billowy sea. I am on a sea, an ocean-the ocean of infinite space. Oh, what depths! what depths! I sink--I fail! I cannot, cannot bear it!
"I shall never come back. I have left my body for ever. I am dying; I believe I am dead. Impossible to return from such a distance! Oh, what colossal forms! They are the angels of the planets. Every planet has its angel standing erect above it. And what beauty--what marvellous beauty! I see Raphael.
[1. The reception of it by myself a few months previously had been similarly independent of knowledge or anticipation, and I had been constrained to maintain an absolute reserve in regard to it. The account in The Perfect Way (IX. v.) was written from our joint experiences. Many of our experiences were thus duplicated, hers, however, far exceeding mine both in number and in fulness of detail. The latter, probably, because I always make a point of retaining possession of the external comciousness, in order to observe and record at the same time, and not knowing the result of letting myself go altogether. E. M. See Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i, pp. 124-127.
2. It was at Paris, July 23, 1877.
3. It was as if there had been suddenly opened to her view a universe of inter-planetary systems, invisible to the bodily sight; and while dazzlingly bright to the spiritual eyes, of a consistency too tenuous to intercept or refract the solar rays. A like effect would also be produced by entering the fourth dimension of space, where all things would be beheld unmodified by distance or any intervening medium. E. M.]
see the angel of the earth. He has six wings. He is a god--the god of our planet. I see my genius who called himself A. Z.; but his name is Salathiel. Oh, how surpassingly beautiful he is! My genius is a male, and his colour is ruby. Yours, Caro, is a female, and sapphire. They are friends--they are the same--not two, but one; and for that reason they have associated us together, and speak of themselves sometimes as I, sometimes as We. It is the angel of the earth himself that is your genius and mine, Caro. He it was who inspired you, who spoke to you. And they call me Bitterness. And I see sorrow-oh, what unending sorrow do I behold! Sorrow, always sorrow, but never without love. I shall always have love. How dim is this sphere! Oh, save me--save me! It is my demon that I am approaching. It is Paris--Paris himself, once of Troy, now of the city that bears his name. He is floating recumbent. He turns his face towards me. How beautiful and dark he is! Oh, he has goat's horns--he has goat's horns! Save me, save me from him! Ah, he sees me not. I forgot I am invisible. Now I have passed him.
"I am entering a brighter region now. What glorious form of womanhood is that, so queenly, so serene, and endowed with all wisdom? It is Pallas Athena,--a real personage in the spiritual world! And yonder is one of whom I have no need to ask. I am passing through the circle of the Olympians. It is Aphrodite, mother of love and beauty. O Aphrodite, spirit of the waters, firstborn of God, how could I adore thee! And men on earth now deem the gods and goddesses of Greece mere fables! And I behold them living and moving in strength and beauty before me! I see also the genii of all the nations dwelling serenely in heavenly circles. What crowds and crowds of gods from India and Egypt!
[1. "Lent of God." Every divinity has a separate name for each office fulfilled by him. Salathiel thus denotes the angel of the earth in his capacity as head of the order of Genii, in the sense of being the supreme spirit (of the planet) of whom each genius is a manifestation, and into whom they return on the accomplishment of their mission. As the first and last letters of the alphabet, A and Z, correspond to the "Alpha and Omega," in the sense of implying comprehension of the genii of all orders or grades, and consequently all the rays of the spiritual prism. E. M.
2. A spiritual or "initiation" name that had been given to me, as Mary to her. The latter, however, was also one of her own names. E. M.
3. The reference here is to an experience, of my own, the relation of which does not fall within the scope of this book. E. M.
4 'The reference here is to sundry visitations by which she had been harassed previous to my joining her in the cause of which she thus recognised for the first time, and whom she was wont to call her demon, using the term in its conventional sense. E. M.]
Who are those with the giant muscles? They are Odin and Thor, and their fellow-gods of Scandinavia. Not dead and lost; only withdrawn from the world whereon they sought in vain to stamp their images for ever.
"Oh, the dazzling, dazzling brightness! Hide me, hide me from it! I cannot, cannot bear it! It is agony supreme to look upon. O God! O God! Thou art slaying me with Thy light. It is the throne itself, the great white throne of God that I behold! Oh, what light! what light! It is like an emerald? a sapphire? No; a diamond. In its midst stands Deity erect, His right hand raised aloft, and from Him pours the light of light. Forth from His right hand streams the universe, projected by the omnipotent repulsion of His will. Back to His left, which is depressed and set backwards, returns the universe, drawn by the attraction of His love. Repulsion and attraction, will and love, right and left, these are the forces, centrifugal and centripetal, male and female whereby God creates and redeems. Adonai! O Adonai! Lord God of life, made of the substance of light, how beautiful art Thou in Thine everlasting youth! with Thy glowing golden locks, how adorable! And I had thought of God as elderly and venerable! As if the Eternal could grow old! And now not as Man only do I behold Thee! For now Thou art to me as Woman. Lo, Thou art both. One, and Two also. And thereby dost Thou produce creation. O God, O God! why didst Thou create this stupendous existence? Surely, surely, it had been better in love to have restrained Thy will. It was by will that Thou createdst, by will alone, not by love, was it not?--was it not? I cannot see clearly. A cloud has come between.
"I see Thee now as Woman. Maria is next beside Thee. Thou art Maria. Maria is God. O Maria! God as Woman! Thee, Thee I adore! Maria-Aphrodite! Mother! Mother-God!
"They are returning with me now, I think. But I shall never get back. What strange forms! how huge they are! All angels and archangels. Human in form, yet some with eagles' heads. All the planets are inhabited! how innumerable is the variety of forms! O universe of existence, how stupendous is existence! Oh I take me not near the sun; I cannot bear its heat. Already do I feel myself burning. Here is Jupiter! It has nine moons! Yes, nine. Some are exceedingly small. And, oh, how red it is! It has so much iron. And what enormous men and women! There is evil there too. For evil is wherever are matter and limitation. But the people of Jupiter are far better than we on earth. They know much more; they are much wiser. There is less of evil in their planet. Ah! and they have another sense. What is it? No, I cannot describe it. I cannot tell what it is. It differs from any of the others. We have nothing like it. I cannot get back yet. I believe I shall never get back. I believe I am dead. It is only my body you are holding. It has grown cold for want of me. Yet I must be approaching. It is growing shallower. We are passing out of the depths. But I can never wholly return--never--never."
[Her apprehension was not without justification; for her body was completely torpid, and several hours passed before consciousness was fully restored to it.
It is impossible for anyone who did not witness the intensely dramatic action and emphasis with which these ejaculations were uttered, to form anything like an adequate conception of the sense of reality they conveyed. Able as I was from my own experience, above referred to, to follow her in her journey from sphere to sphere to the very highest and inmost, I found it impossible to doubt that the seeress was in the right, when, recalling her recollections, she declared her conviction that what she had beheld was no illusion, but the reality itself of the universe. There was for both of us the same sense of journeying through vast abysses of space and traversing various spheres of being; and the same conviction that the journey was at once to the centre of one's own and to that of all consciousness.
She described the attitude and expression of Adonai as those of the absolute calmness and repose of the power without effort which is predicable only of the Infinite. Though bearing the aspect of humanity, it was impossible, she felt, to represent the form in fixed outline, and declared that it seemed like a sacrilege to attempt thus to portray it. She nevertheless made the attempt, with the result reproduced opposite. It represents, however, only the masculine aspect, the impression of the feminine having entirely failed to reach her outer consciousness; and this had been the case also on the only other occasion on which she had beheld it. (See p. 54.) In this respect our experiences differed. She was most strongly impressed by the masculine, or will, element in Deity; and I by the feminine, or love, element. In another respect, too, there was a difference. For her the form was that of one standing erect and, though calm, energetic: for me it was that of the "Sitter on the Throne" and wholly reposeful, though similarly engaged in the act of projection and recall. These differences were doubtless due to difference of temperament in the beholders. The soul is a living lens which invests with its own "tincture" the objects beheld by it.]
"Solve et Coagula" (Dissolve and Resume, or Project and Recall).
Ancient Hermetic Formula.
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