Way of Essenic Studies
The Perfect Way represents a discovery to ascertain the nature and method of existence. It also represents a recovery because the system propounded has proved to be that which constituted the basic and secret doctrines of all the great religions of antiquity, including Christianity, – the doctrine commonly called the Gnosis, and variously entitled Hermetic and Kabbalistic.
Lecture the Eight - The Redemption
Lecture the Ninth - God as the Lord; or, the Divine Image
Concerning the interpretation of scripture
Concerning the hereafter
On prophesying; and prophecy
Concerning the nature of Sin
Concerning the "Great Work" and the share of Christ Jesus therein
The time of the End
The Higher Alchemy
Concerning the Poet
Concerning the One Life
Concerning the Mysteries
Hymn to the Planet God
Fragments of the "Golden Book of Venus"
Hymn of Aphrodite
A discourse of communion of souls, and of the uses of love between creature and creature.
Hymn to Hermes
The Secret of Satan
Figure - 1 - The Cherubim of Ezekiel and the Apocalypse
Figure - 2 - The tabernacle in the wilderness
Figure - 3 - Section of the Great Pyramid of Gizeh
LECTURE THE EIGHTH.
1. THAT, then, which, mystically, is called the Fall of Man, does not mean, as commonly supposed, the lapse, through a specific act, of particular individuals from a state of original perfection; nor, as sometimes supposed, a change from a fluidic to a material condition. It means such an inversion of the due relations between the soul and the body of a personality already both spiritual and material, as involves a transference of the central will of the system concerned, from the soul – which is its proper seat – to the body, and the consequent subjection of the soul to the body, and liability of the individual to sin, disease, and all other evils which result from the limitations of Matter.
2. That, therefore, which, mystically, is called the Redemption, and which is the converse of the Fall, does not mean, as commonly supposed, the remission, or transference from the guilty to the innocent, of the penalties incurred through the Fall. No penalty incurred by man ever is or can be remitted by God, since the Divine Justice is just. Nor, for the same reason, can it be borne by another, since a substitution of the innocent for the guilty would in itself be a violation of justice. Wherefore the doctrine of Vicarious Redemption, as ordinarily accepted, represents a total misconception of the truth, and one derogatory to the Divine Character. The Redemption means such removal of the will of the individual system concerned, from the body, and reinstatement of it in the soul, as thenceforth to secure to the soul full control over the body, and to exempt the individual from further liability to transgression. He who is redeemed cannot sin, that is, mortally.
3. It is according to the Divine order of Nature that the soul should control the body. For, as a manifested entity, man is a dual being, consisting of soul and body; and of these, in point both of duration and function, and therefore in all respects of value, the precedence belongs to the soul. For the soul is the real, permanent Individual, the Self, the everlasting, substantial Idea, of which the body is but the temporary residence and phenomenal expression. The soul, nevertheless, has, properly speaking, no will of her own, since she is feminine and negative. And she is therefore, by her nature, bound to obey the will of some other than herself. This other can be only the Spirit or the Body; – the Within and the Above, which is Divine, and is God; or the Without and the Below, which, taken by itself and reduced to its last expression, is the “devil”. It is, therefore, to the Spirit and soul as one, that obedience is due. Hence, in making the body the seat of the will, the man revolts, not merely against the soul, but against God; and the soul, by participation, does the same. Of such revolt the consequence is disease and misery of both soul and body, with the liability, ultimately, to extinction of the soul as well as of the body. For the soul which persistently rejects the Divine Will in favor of the bodily will, sins mortally, and, becoming mortal, at length dies. For her life is withdrawn and her constituents are scattered to the elements; so that, without any actual loss either of the Life or of the Substance of the universal existence, the individuality constituted by her perishes. The “man” is no more.
4. The result, on the other hand, of the soul’s steadfast aspiration towards God, – the Spirit, that is, within her – and of her consequent action upon the body, is that this also becomes permeated and suffused by the Spirit as, at last, to have no will of its own, but to be in all things one with the soul and Spirit, and to constitute with these one perfectly harmonious system, of which every element is under full control of the central Will. It is this unification, occurring within the individual, which constitutes the Atonement. And in him in whom it occurs in its fullest extent, Nature realizes the ideal to attain which she first came forth from God. For in the man thus redeemed, purified, and perfected in the image of God, and having in himself the power of life eternal, she herself is vindicated and glorified, and the Divine Wisdom is justified of her children. The process, however, is one which each individual must accomplish in and for himself. For, being an interior process, consisting in self-purification, it cannot be performed from without. That whereby perfection is attained is experience, which implies suffering. For this reason the man who is reborn in us of “Water and the Spirit,” – our own regenerate Self, the Christ Jesus and Son of Man, who in saving us is called the Captain of our salvation, – is said to be made perfect through suffering. This suffering must be borne by each man for himself. To deprive any one of it by putting the consequences of his acts upon another, so far from aiding that one, would be to deprive him of his means of redemption.
5. There are two senses in which the term Fall is used, each of them having relation to an indispensable epoch in the process of the universe. The one is the fall of Spirit, the other of the Soul. The first occurs in the universal, and concerns the Macrocosm. The second occurs in the individual, and concerns the Microcosm. The first and general descent of Spirit into Matter consists in that original projection of the Divine Substance from pure Being into the condition of Existence, whereby Spirit becomes Matter, and Creation occurs. The doctrine which regards the universe as the Thought of God, is a true doctrine. But the universe is not therefore unsubstantial. God is real Being, and that which God thinks is also God. Wherefore in consisting of the thought of the Divine Mind, the Universe consists of the Substance of that Mind, the Substance, that is, of God. God’s Ideas, like God, are real beings, Divine Personages, that is, Gods. Put forth by, and, in a sense divided from, God, in order to accomplish God’s purposes, these become messengers of God, that is, Angels. And, of them, those to whom is assigned a condition below that of God, – a condition no longer of Spirit, – are called “Fallen Angels.” Wherefore the “Fall of the Angels”, denotes simply the original and cosmic descent of Spirit into the condition of Matter, – the precipitation, that is, of the Divine Substance from a state of pure Being, into the various elements and modes which are comprised in and which constitute Existence or Creation. Creation is thus, not, as ordinarily supposed, a making out of that which is not, but a manifestation or putting forth, – by the conversion of essence into things – of that which already is, but which subsists unmanifest. It is true, that prior to such manifestation, there is no thing. But this is not because there is nothing; but because before things can exist, the ideas of them must subsist. For a thing is the result of an idea, and except as such cannot exist. Thus, Matter, as the intensification, or densification, of Idea, is a mode of the Divine consciousness, put forth through an exercise of the Divine Will; and being so, it is capable, through an exercise of the Divine Love, of reverting to its original, unmanifest condition of Spirit. The recall of the universe to this condition constitutes the final Redemption or “Restitution of all things.” And it is brought about by the operation of the Divine Spirit within the whole.
6. The Redemption from the other of the two Falls specified, is due to the operation of the divine element within the individual. And it is of this alone that we propose to treat on this occasion. As already stated, this Fall does not consist in the original investment of the soul with a material body. Such investment – or incarnation – is an integral and indispensable element in the process of the individualization of soul-substance, and of its education into humanity. And until perfected, or nearly so, the body is necessary to the soul in turn as nursery, school, house of correction, and chamber of ordeal. It is true that redemption involves deliverance from the need of the body. But redemption itself is from the power of the body; and it is from its fall under the power of the body that the soul requires redemption. For it is this fall which, by involving the alienation of the individual from God, renders necessary a reconciliation or at-one-ment. And inasmuch as this can be effected only through the total renunciation of the exterior or bodily will, and the unreserved acceptance in its place of the interior or divine will, this at-one-ment constitutes the essential element of that Redemption which forms the subject of the present discourse.
7. Although Redemption, as a whole, is one, the process is manifold, and consists in a series of acts, spiritual and mental. Of this series, the part wherein the individual finally surrenders his own exterior will, with all its exclusively material desires and affections, is designated the Passion. And the particular act whereby this surrender is consummated and demonstrated is called the Crucifixion. This crucifixion means a complete, unreserving surrender, – to the death, if need be, – without opposition, even in desire, on the part of the natural man. Without these steps is no atonement. The man cannot become one with the Spirit within him, until by his “Passion” and “Crucifixion,” he has utterly vanquished the “Old Adam” of his former self. Through the atonement made by means of this self-sacrifice he becomes as one without sin, being no more liable to sin; and is qualified to enter, as his own high-priest, into the holy of holies of his own innermost. For thus he has become of those who, being pure in heart alone can face God.
8. The “Passion” and “Crucifixion” have their immediate sequel in the Death and Burial of the Self thus renounced. And these are followed by the Resurrection and Ascension of the true immortal Man and new spiritual Adam, who by his Resurrection proves himself to be – like the Christ – “virgin-born,” – in that he is the offspring, not of the soul and her traffic with Matter and Sense, but of the soul become “immaculate,” and of her spouse, the Spirit. The Ascension with which the Drama terminates, is that of the whole Man, now regenerate, to his own celestial kingdom within himself, where – made one with the Spirit – he takes his seat for ever “at the right hand of the Father.”
9. Although the Resurrection of the man regenerate has a twofold relation, in that it sometimes affects the body, the resurrection is not of the body in any sense ordinarily supposed, nor is the body in any way the object of the process. The Man, it is true, has risen from the dead. But it is from the condition of deadness in regard to things spiritual, and from among those who, being in that condition, are said to be “dead in trespasses and sins.” In these two respects, namely, as regards his own past self and the world generally, he has “risen from the dead”; and “death,” of this kind, “has no more dominion over him.” And even if he has redeemed also his body and made of it a risen body, this by no means implies the resuscitation of an actual corpse. In this sense there has been for him no death, and in this sense there is for him no resurrection. It was through misapprehension of the true doctrine, and the consequent expectation of the resurrection of the dead body, that the practice – originally symbolical and special – of embalming the corpse as a mummy, became common, and that interment was substituted for the classic and far more wholesome practice of cremation. In both cases, the object was the delusive one of facilitating a resuscitation at once impossible and undesirable, seeing that if reincarnation be needful, a soul can always obtain for itself a new body.
10. That which constitutes the Great Work, is, not the resuscitation of the dead body, but the redemption of Spirit from Matter. Until man commits what, mystically, is called idolatry, he has no need of such redemption. So long as he prefers the inner to the outer, and consequently polarizes towards God, the will of his soul is as the Divine Will, and she has, in virtue thereof, power over his body, as God has over the universe. Committing idolatry, by reason of perverse will to the outer, – looking back, and down, that is, and preferring the form to the substance, the appearance to the reality, the phenomenon to the idea, the “city of the Plain” to the “mount of the Lord,” – she loses this power, and becomes, as already said, a “pillar of Salt,” fixed and material. Thus does Man become “naked,” for he has brought his soul to degradation and shame and profaned the temple of the Spirit. He has eaten of the “Forbidden Fruit” of Sense; “Paradise” is his no longer; and only by “Redemption” can he regain it.
11. IN order to obtain an adequate conception of the vastness of the interval between the condition of man “fallen” and man “redeemed,” it will be necessary to speak yet more particularly of the Man perfected and having power. Thus contrasted the heights and depths of humanity will appear in their true extent. It is but a sketch, comparatively slight, which can here be given of what they must endure, who, for love of God, desire God, and who, by love of God, finally attain to and become God; and who, becoming God without ceasing to be man, become God-Man, – God manifest in the flesh, – at once God and Man. The course to this end is one and the same for all, whenever, wherever, and by whomsoever followed. For perfection is one, and all seekers after it must follow the same road. The reward and the means towards it, are also one. For “the Gift of God is eternal Life.” And it is by means of God, – the Divine Spirit working within him, to build him up in the Divine Image, – he, meanwhile co-operating with the Spirit, – that man achieves Divinity. In the familiar, but rarely understood terms, “Philosopher’s Stone,” “Elixir of Life,” “universal Medicine,” “Holy Grail,” and the like, is implied this supreme object of all quest. For these are but terms to denote pure Spirit, and its essential correlative, a Will absolutely firm and inaccessible alike to weakness from within and assault from without. Without measure of this Spirit is no understanding – and therefore no interpretation – of the Sacred Mysteries of existence. Spiritual themselves, they can be comprehended only by those who have, nay, rather, who are Spirit; for God is Spirit, and they who worship God must worship in the Spirit.
12. The attainment in himself of a pure and Divine Spirit, is, therefore the first object and last achievement of him who seeks to realize the loftiest ideal of which humanity is capable. He who does this, is not an “Adept” merely. The “Adept” covets power in order to save himself only; and knowledge is him thing apart from love. Love saves others as well as oneself. And it is love that distinguishes the Christ; – a truth implied, among other ways, in the name and character assigned in mystic legends, to the favourite disciple of the Christs. To Krishna, his Arjun; to Buddha, his Ananda; to Jesus, his John; – all terms identical in meaning, and denoting the feminine and tender moiety of the Divine Nature. He therefore, and he alone who possesses this spirit in quality and quantity without measure, has, and is, “Christ.” He is God’s anointed, suffused and brimming with the Spirit, and having in virtue thereof the power of the “Dissolvent” and of “Transmutation,” in respect of the whole man. Herein lay the grand secret of that philosophy which made “Hermes” to be accounted the “trainer of the Christs.” Known as the Kabalistic philosophy, it was a philosophy – or rather a science – based upon the recognition in Nature of an universal Substance, which man can find and “effect,” and in virtue of which he contains within himself the seed of his own regeneration, a seed of which – duly cultured – the fruit is God, because the seed itself also is God. Wherefore the “Hermetic science” is the science of God.
13. “Christ,” then, is, primarily, not a person, but a process, a doctrine, a system of life and thought, by the observance of which man becomes purified from Matter, and transmuted into Spirit. And he is a Christ who, in virtue of his observance of this process to its utmost extent while yet in the body, constitutes a full manifestation of the qualities of Spirit. Thus manifested, he is said to “destroy the works of the devil,” for he destroys that which gives pre-eminence to Matter, and so re-establishes the kingdom of Spirit, that is, of God.
14. This, the interior part of the process of the Christ is the essential part. Whether first or last, the spiritual being must be perfected. Without this interior perfection, nothing that is done in the body, or exterior man only is of any avail, save, in so far as it may minister to the essential end. The body is but an instrument, existing for the use and sake of the soul and not for itself. And it is for the soul, and not for itself, that it must be perfected. Being but an instrument, the body cannot be an end. That which makes the body an end, ends with the body and the end of the body is corruption. Whatever is given to the body is taken from the Spirit. From this it will be seen what is the true value of Asceticism. Divested of its rational and spiritual motive, self-denial is worthless. Rather is it worse than worthless; it is materialistic and idolatrous; and, being in this aspect a churlish refusal of God’s good gifts it impugns the bounteousness of the Divine nature. The aim of all endeavor should be to bring the body into subjection to, and harmony with, the spirit, by refining and subliming it, and so heightening its powers as to make it sensitive and responsive to all the motions of the Spirit. This it can be only when, deriving its sustenance from substances the purest and most highly solarized, such as the vegetable kingdom alone affords, it suffers all its molecules to become polarized in one and the same direction, and this the direction of the central Will of the system, the “Lord God of Hosts” of the Microcosmic Man – Whose mystic name is Adonai.
15. The reason of this becomes obvious when it is understood that the Christs are, above all things, Media. But this not as ordinarily supposed, even by many who are devoted students of spiritual science. For, so far from suffering his own vivifying spirit to step aside in order that another may enter, the Christ is one who so develops, purifies, and in every way perfects his spirit, as to assimilate and make it one with the universal Spirit, the God of the Macrocosm, so that the God without and the God within may freely combine and mingle, making the universal the individual, the individual the universal. Thus inspired and filled with God, the soul kindles into flame; and God, identified with the man, speaks through him, making the man utter himself in the name of God.
16. It is in his office and character as Christ, and not in his own human individuality, that the Man Regenerate proclaims himself “the way, the truth, and the life,” “the door,” and the like. For, in being, as has been said, the connecting link between the creature and God, the Christ truly represents the door or gate through which all ascending souls must pass to union with the Divine; and save through which “no man cometh unto the Father.” It is not, therefore, in virtue of an extraneous, obsessing spirit that the Christ can be termed a “Medium,” but in virtue of the spirit itself of the man, become Divine by means of that inward purification by the life or “blood” of God, which is the secret of the Christs, and “doubled” by union with the parent Spirit of all, – the “Father” of all spirits. This Spirit it is Whom the typical Regenerate Man of the Gospels is represented as calling the “Father.” It is the Unmanifest God, of Whom the Christ is the full manifestation.
17. Hence he disavows for himself the authorship of his utterances, and says, “The words which I speak unto you I speak not of myself. The Father which dwelleth in me, He doeth the works.” The Christ is, thus, a clear glass through which the divine glory shines. As it is written of Jesus, “And we beheld his glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” Now, this “Only Begotten” is not mortal man at all, but He Who from all eternity has been in the bosom of the Father, namely, the Word or Logos, the Speaker, the Maker, the Manifestor, He Whose mystic name, as already said, is Adonai, and of whom Christ is the counterpart.
18. To attain to the perfection of the Christ, – to polarize, that is, the Divine Spirit without measure, and to become a “Man of Power” and a Medium for the Highest, – though open potentially to all, – is, actually and in the present, open, if to any, but to few. And these are, necessarily, they only who, having passed through many transmigrations and advanced far on their way towards maturity, have sedulously turned their lives to the best account by means of the steadfast development of all the higher faculties and qualities of man; and who, while not declining the experiences of the body, have made the spirit, and not the body, their object and aim. Aspiring to the redemption in himself of each plane of man’s fourfold nature, the candidate for Christhood submits himself to discipline and training the most severe, at one physical, intellectual, moral, and spiritual, and rejects as valueless or pernicious whatever would fail to minister to his one end, deeming no task too onerous, no sacrifice too painful, so that he be spiritually advanced thereby. And how varied soever the means, there is one rule to which he remains constant throughout, the rule, namely, of love. The Christ he seeks is the pathway to God; and to fail, in the least degree in respect of love, would be to put himself back in his journey. The sacrifices, therefore, in the incense of which his soul ascends, are those of his own lower nature to his own higher, and of himself for others. And life itself, it seems to him, would be too dearly bought, if purchased at the expense of another, however little or mean, – unless, indeed, of a kind irremediably noxious, whose extinction would benefit the world. For, – be it remembered, – though always Saviour, the Christ is sometimes also Purifier, as were all his types, the Heroes, – or Men Regenerate, – of classic story. Enacting, thus, when necessary the executioner’s part, he slays for no self-gratification, but “in the name of the Lord.”
19. They who have trod this path of old have been many, and their deeds have formed the theme of mystical legends innumerable. Epitomizing these, we find that the chief qualifications are as follows: – In order to gain “Power and the Resurrection,” a man must, first of all, be a Hierarch. This is to say, he must have attained the magical age of thirty-three years, having been, in the mystic sense of the terms, immaculately conceived, and born of a king’s daughter; baptized with water and with fire; tempted in the wilderness, crucified and buried, having borne five wounds on the cross. He must, moreover, have answered the riddle of the Sphinx. To attain the requisite age, he must have accomplished the Twelve Labors symbolized in those of Heracles, and in the signs of the Zodiac; passed within the Twelve Gates of Holy City of his own regenerate nature; overcome the five Senses; and obtained dominion over the Four Elements. Achieving all that is implied in these terms, “his warfare is accomplished,” he is free of Matter, and will never again have a phenomenal body.
20. He who shall attain to this perfection must be one who is without fear and without desire, save towards God; who has courage to be absolutely poor and absolutely chaste; to whom it is all one whether he have money or whether he have none, whether he have house and lands or whether he be homeless, whether he have worldly reputation or whether he be an outcast. Thus is he voluntarily poor, and of the spirit of those of whom it is said that they inherit the kingdom of heaven. It is not necessary that he has nothing; it is necessary only that he care for nothing. Against attacks and influences of whatever kind, and coming from whatever quarter without his own soul’s kingdom, he must impregnably steel himself. If misfortune be his, he must make it his fortune; if poverty, he must make it his riches; if loss, his gain; if sickness, his health; if pain, his pleasure. Evil report must be to him good report; and he must be able to rejoice when all men speak ill of him. Even death itself he must account as life. Only when he has attained this equilibrium is he “Free.” Meanwhile he makes Abstinence, Prayer, Meditation, Watchfulness and Self-restraint to be the decades of his Rosary. And knowing that nothing is gained without toil, or won without suffering, he acts ever on the principle that to labor is to pray, to ask is to receive, to knock is to have the door open, and so strives accordingly.
21. To gain power over Death, there must be self-denial and governance. Such is the “Excellent Way,” though it be the Via Dolorosa. He only can follow it who accounts the Resurrection worth the Passion, the Kingdom worth the Obedience, the Power worth the Suffering. And he, and he only, does not hesitate, whose time has come.
22. The last of the “Twelve Labors of Heracles “ is the conquest of the three-headed dog, Cerberus. For by this is denoted the final victory over the body with its three (true) senses. When this is accomplished, the process of ordeal is no longer necessary. The Initiate is under a vow. The Hierarch is free. He has undergone all his ordeals, and has freed his will. For the object of the Trial and the Vow is Polarization. When the Fixed is Volatilized, the Magian is Free. Before this, he is “subject.”
23. The man who seeks to be a Hierarch must not dwell in cities. He may begin his initiation in a city, but he cannot complete it there. For he must not breathe dead and burnt air, – air, that is, the vitality of which is quenched. He must be a wanderer, a dweller in the plain and the garden and the mountains. He must commune with the starry heavens, and maintain direct contact with the great electric currents of living air and with the unpaved grass and earth of the planet, going barefoot and oft bathing his feet. It is in unfrequented places, in lands such as are mystically called the “East,” where the abominations of “Babylon” are unknown, and where the magnetic chain between earth and heaven is strong, that the man who seeks Power, and who would achieve the “Great Work,” must accomplish his initiation.
24. IN assigning to the Gospels their proper meaning, it is necessary to remember that, as mystical Scriptures, they deal primarily, not with material things or persons, but with spiritual significations. Like the “books of Moses,” therefore, and others which, in being mystical, are, in the strictest sense, prophetical, the Gospels are addressed, not to the outer sense and reason, but to the soul. And, being thus, their object is not to give an historical account of the physical life of any man whatever, but to exhibit the spiritual possibilities of humanity at large, as illustrated in a particular and typical example. The design is, thus, that which is dictated by the nature itself of Religion. For Religion is not in its nature historical and dependent upon actual, sensible, events, but consists in processes, such as Faith and Redemption, which, being interior to all men, subsist irrespectively of what any particular man has at any time suffered or done. That alone which is of importance, is what God has revealed. And therefore it is that the narratives concerning Jesus are rather parables founded on a collection of histories, than any one actual history, and have a spiritual import capable of universal application. And it is with this spiritual import, and not with physical facts, that the Gospels are concerned.
25. Such were the principles which, long before the Christian era, and under divine control, had led the Mystics of Egypt, Persia, and India to select Osiris, Mithras, and Buddha as names or persons representative of the Man Regenerate and constituting a full manifestation of the qualities of Spirit. And it was for the same purpose and under the same impulsion that the Mystics of the West, who had their headquarters at Alexandria, selected Jesus, using him as a type whereby to exhibit the history of all souls which attain to perfection; employing physical occurrences as symbols, and relating them as parables, to interpret which literally would be to falsify their intended import. Their method was, thus, to universalize that which was particular, and to spiritualize that which was material; and, writing, as they did, with full knowledge of previous mystical descriptions of the Man Regenerate, his interior history and his relations to the world, – notable among which descriptions was the fifty-third chapter of the miscellaneous, fragmentary, prophetic utterances collected together under the typical name of Isaiah, – they would have had no difficulty in presenting a character consistent with the general anticipation of those who were cognizant of the meaning of the term “Christ,” even without an actual example.
26. The failure to interpret the mystical Scriptures by the mystical rule, was due to the loss, by the Church, of the mystical faculty, or inner, spiritual Vision, through which they were written. Passing under a domination exclusively sacerdotal and traditional, and losing thereby the intuition of things spiritual, the Church fell an easy prey to that which is the besetting sin of priesthoods, – Idolatry; and in place of the simple, true, reasonable Gospel, to illustrate which the history of Jesus had been expressly designed, fabricated the stupendous and irrational superstition which has usurped his name. Converted by the exaltation of the Letter and the symbol in place of the Spirit and the signification, into an idolatry every whit as gross as any that preceded it, Christianity has failed to redeem the world. Christianity has failed, that is, not because it was false, but because it has been falsified. And the falsification, generally, has consisted in removing the character described under the name Jesus, from its true function as the portrait of that of which every man has in him the potentiality, and referring it exclusively to an imaginary order of being between whom and man could be no possible relation, even were such a being himself possible. Instead of recognizing the Gospels as a written hieroglyph, setting forth, under terms derived from natural objects and persons, processes which are purely spiritual and impersonal, the Churches have – one and all – fallen into that lowest mode of fetish worship which consists in the adoration of a mere symbol, entirely irrespective of its true import. To the complaint that will inevitably be made against this exposition of the real nature of the Gospel history, – that it has “taken away the Lord,” – the reply is no less satisfactory than obvious. For he has been taken away only from the place wherein so long the Church has kept him, that is, – the sepulchre. There, indeed, it is, with the dead, – bound about with cerements, a figure altogether of the past, – that Christians have laid their Christ. But at length the “stone” of Superstition has been lifted and rolled away by the hand of the Angel of Knowledge, and the grave it concealed is discovered to be empty. No longer need the soul seek her living Master among the dead. Christ is risen, – risen into the heaven of a living Ideal, whence he can again descend into the hearts of all who desire him, none the less real and puissant, because a spiritual and not merely an historic personage; none the less mighty to save because, instead of being a single Man Regenerate, he is every Man Regenerate, ten thousand times ten thousand, – the “Son of Man” himself.
27. The true design and method of the Gospels, together with the process of their degradation, become clear in proportion as the nature of their real subject – the Man Regenerate – is understood. In dealing with this we are met at the outset by an example of perversion, one of the most conspicuous and disastrous in the whole history of religion. This is the perversion of the doctrine of the “Incarnation.” Of this doctrine the original basis was a prophecy – or declaration of universal import founded in the nature of existence – of the means whereby, both as race and as individual, man is redeemed. Born originally of Matter and subject to the limitations of Matter, Man, according to this prophecy, is redeemed, and made superior to those limitations, by being reborn of Spirit, a process by which he is converted from a phenomenal into a substantial being, one in nature with original Deity, and having, therefore, in himself the power of life eternal. Of this perfected man the foster-father is always that which, spiritually, is called Egypt – the body or Matter, and, by derivation, the Intellect, or reason of the merely earthly mind – the mystic name of which is always “Joseph.” On his first appearance in the drama of the soul, as set forth in the Bible, this Joseph is represented as a youth already sufficiently developed, in his affectional nature, to return good for evil and to succor his kindred; in his intellectual nature, to fill with credit posts of responsibility and to secure the confidence of his sovereign; and in his moral nature, to resist the seductions of the world. He is, thus, a type of the philosophical element, both in itself and in its relations with the State; and a representative of the rising Hebrew Mysteries. In the Gospels he reappears – like Egypt itself – aged and past the glories of his prime. And he is represented as the adoptive father only of the Man Regenerate, because this last is really the product, not of the mind, but of the soul; not of “Egypt,” but of “Israel;” not of the “man” Intellect, but of the “woman” Intuition, being “begotten” through her, not by any physical process, but by Divine spiritual operation. Nevertheless he has the benefit of the wisdom and knowledge of his “foster-father,” for he is instructed in the sacred Mysteries of Egypt, which are, indeed, one with those of Israel, only first of Egypt, – a priority denoting the precedence, in point of time, of the development of the intellect over that of the intuition. In representing Joseph as the foster-father only, and not the real father, the parable implies that man, when regenerate, is so exclusively under the influence of his soul, or Mother, as to have but a slender connection with his external part, using it only for shelter and nourishment, and such other purposes as may minister to the soul’s welfare.
28. He who would redeem and save others, must first be himself redeemed and saved. The Man Regenerate, therefore, first saves himself, by becoming regenerate. He receives, accordingly, a name expressive of this function. For, of Jesus one of the significations is Liberator. This name is given, not on the birth of the man physical, nor to the man physical, – of whose birth and name the Gospels take no note, – but to the man spiritual, on his initiation, or new birth from the material to the spiritual plane. And it is the name, not of a person, but of an Order, the Order of all those who – being regenerate and attaining perfection – find, and are called, “Christ Jesus.” (As see Eph. iii. 15.)
29. Of the miracles worked by the Regenerate Man, some are on the physical, some on the spiritual plane; for, being himself regenerate in all, he is master of the spirits of all the elements. But while the terms in which the Miracles are described are uniformly derived from the physical plane, the true value and significance of these Miracles are spiritual. That, for example, known as the Raising of Lazarus, is altogether a parable, being constructed on lines rigidly astronomical, and having an application purely spiritual. To a like category belongs also the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. For the “loaves” given to the multitude represent the general doctrine of the lesser Mysteries, whose “grain” is of the Earth, the kingdom of Demeter, and of the outer; and the “fishes” – given after the loaves – denote the greater Mysteries, those of Aphrodite, – fishes symbolizing the element of the sea-born Queen of Love, and her dominion, the inner kingdom of the soul. It may be noted in this relation that the Gospels represent their typical Man as at first speaking explicitly to the people, but afterwards, warned by experience, addressing them in parables only. Of the Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension, also, notwithstanding that these have a physical correspondence, the signification intended to he enforced, and which alone is valuable, is spiritual. Wherefore the Gospel narrative, though told as of an actual particular person, is a mystical history only of any person, and implies the spiritual possibilities of all persons. And, being thus, it represents, designedly, that which is general rather than that which is particular, and makes no pretence to an accuracy which is merely historical, the object being not to relate facts, but to illustrate doctrines.
30. There is, moreover, a yet further explanation of the indifference to identity of detail by which everywhere this narrative is characterized. Being four in number, and disposed in order corresponding to that of the four divisions of man’s nature, the Gospels have for standpoint, and bear relation to, different regions of existence. Thus, the Gospel of Matthew, which represents the lower and physical plane, appeals more particularly on behalf of the character ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth as fulfilling the promises of the Messiah of the Old Testament, and is pervaded by one principle, the fulfillment in him at once of the Law and of the prophecies. The Gospel of Mark is adapted to the plane next above this, namely, the rational; its appeal on behalf of the divinity of the mission of Jesus, being founded on the nature of his doctrine and works. The Gospel of Luke represents the further ascent to the plane of the soul and the intuition. Hence it occupies itself chiefly with accounts of the spiritual parentage of the Man Regenerate, – setting forth under a parabolic narrative his genesis from the operation of God in a pure soul. To the same end, this Gospel gives prominence to the familiar conversations, rather than to the formal teaching of its Subject, since it is in these that the affectional nature of a man is best manifested. In the Fourth Gospel the scene changes to a sphere transcending all the others, being in the highest degree interior, mystic, spiritual. This Gospel, therefore, corresponds to the Nucleolus, or Divine Spirit, of the microcosmic entity, and exhibits the Regenerate Man as having surmounted all the elements exterior and inferior of his system, and won his way to the inmost recess of his own celestial kingdom, where, arrived at his centre and source, he and his Father are One; and he knows positively that God is Love, since it is by Love that he himself has found and become God. Such being the controlling idea of this Gospel, its composition is appropriately assigned to that “Beloved Disciple” whose very name denotes the feminine and love principle of existence. And to “John,” surnamed “the Divine” in respect of the character thus ascribed to his ministry, is unanimously assigned the emblem of the Eagle, as representing the highest element in the human kingdom. With regard to the distribution of the other three symbols, it is obvious – when once the intention of each division of the Christian evangel is understood – that Matthew, who corresponds to the earth or body, is rightly represented by the Ox; Mark, the minister of the astral or fire, by the Lion; and Luke, whose pen is chiefly occupied with the relation of Christ to the Soul, by and Angel with the face of a man to denote the sea-god Poseidon, the “father of Souls.” The Gospels are thus dedicated, each to one of the elemental spirits, Demeter, Hephaistos, Poseidon, and Pallas. Owing, however, to the loss by the Church of the doctrine which determines this distribution, much confusion and difference of opinion exist among ecclesiastical authorities with regard to the correct assignment of the elemental emblems. All the Fathers are agreed in giving the Eagle to the Fourth Golpeller, and but little doubt exists respecting the claim of Mark to the Lion; but the Ox and Angel have been generally misplaced in order.
31. IN every part of the world of antiquity exist memorials of the Sacred Mysteries and tokens of the ceremonials which accompanied initiation into them. The scene of these ceremonials was generally a subterranean labyrinth, natural or artificial, the object being to symbolize the several acts in the Drama of Regeneration as occurring in the interior and secret recesses of man’s being. The Catacombs of Rome, used for similar purposes by the early Christians, were suggestive of the same idea, though this was not the immediate motive for the selection of such a retreat to be the home of the infant Church. And explorers of the passages under the Great Temple of Edfou relate how, after traversing with extreme difficulty a tunnel thirty inches high and forty-two inches wide, they emerge into a large hall adorned with a profusion of sacred paintings and hieroglyphs. Similar excavations have been found at Hermione in Greece, Nauplia, Gadara, Ptelion, Phyle, and other places. And all accounts agree in stating that the Mysteries, were variously celebrated in pyramids, pagodas, and labyrinths which were furnished with vaulted rooms, extensive wings, open and spacious galleries, and numerous secret caverns, passages, and vistas, terminating in mysterious adyta. And in describing a catacomb in Upper Egypt, called Biban el Moluk, Belzoni mentions an alabaster chest deposited therein, which, though surmised by him to have been intended as a sarcophagus, resembled rather the coffers used in the religious celebration for which such labyrinths were designed. Similar constructions, of vast antiquity, abound in Upper Egypt, and bear in their hieroglyphical remains indications of having been meant for similar purposes. The story of the Labyrinth at Crete, and the Minotaur who, until finally subdued by Theseus, devoured those who entered therein, is a parable of the Mysteries and the dangerous nature of the ordeals to be encountered by candidates for initiation.
32. But of all existing memorials of these institutions, the most wonderful is that known as the Great Pyramid of Gizeh, the formative idea of purpose of which has for ages baffled inquirers. This artificial mountain of stone is, however, no other than a religious symbol setting forth in its every detail from base to apex the method of that which constitutes the title and subject of these lectures, namely the Perfect Way and The Finding of Christ. Outwardly, its form denotes the ascent of the soul, as a flame ever aspiring from the material plane to union with the Divine, and attaining this union through Christ, who, as “the Headstone of the corner,” is symbolized by the topmost point of the pyramid, and in whom, as the culmination, completion, and perfection of the whole creation, the earthly is “taken up” into the heavenly, or existence into pure Being. The successive layers of stone form a series of steps from the base to the summit, and represent the various stages of the soul’s upward progress in its ascent of the “hill of the Lord;” – an idea expressed by Peter when he writes, – “Be ye also as living stones built up a spiritual house, acceptable to God by Christ Jesus. As it is said, Behold I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect and precious.” Similarly, Paul says, – “Christ Jesus himself is the chief cornerstone, in whom all the building being fitly framed together, groweth up into an holy temple in the Lord. In whom ye also are built together, into an habitation of God in the Spirit.” Thus is the whole intention of Creation, from its lowest to his highest plane, recognized as finding its fulfillment and realization in the headstone which is at once the Christos and the Chrestos, the “Anointed “ and the “Best,” being Anointed because the Best, and the Best because the Anointed. In being, moreover, four-sided like the Heavenly city of the Apocalypse, and culminating in respect of each side in an angle, the Pyramid denotes the fourfold nature at once of the Macrocosm and the Microcosm, and the final assumption of each kingdom of Nature, through Evolution into the At-one-ment of Christ. [ The statement of Manetho and Herodotus, that this pyramid was built by the Egyptians under compulsion of a foreign and hated people who obtained temporary dominion over them, may be regarded as due to a literal acceptation of some mystical legend intended to imply that it was built by Egypt’s body or State at the dictation of Egypt’s soul or Church, by the physical element, that is, of the country, in obedience to the spiritual element, and as a monument in illustration of the power of the soul over the body, and of Spirit working in Matter.]
33. Interiorly, the Pyramid is designed to illustrate, both in character and in duration, the various stages of the soul’s history, from her first immergence in Matter to her final triumphant release and return to Spirit. In this view was constructed the complicated system of shafts, passages, and chambers recently described and drawn after researches involving extraordinary toil, skill, and care, by Professor Piazzi Smyth. Of the two shafts, one, whereby the light from without enters the edifice, points directly to the Pole star at its lower culmination 2,500 BC, the date given as that of the erection of the Pyramid. By this is indicated the idea of the soul as a ray proceeding from God as the Pole-star and source of all things, whose Seven Spirits – like the seven stars of the constellation called by us the Great Bear, but by the Mystics of old, more significantly, the Sheepfold – keep watch and ward over the universe, yet ever indicate the Supreme. Of this shaft the opposite extremity terminates in a pit lying below the centre of the Pyramid. Constituting the only portion of the whole structure which is unpaved, this pit represents the bottomless abyss of negation, and, consequently, final destruction. Descending thither, the ray would become extinguished; and such is the fate of the soul which, entering into Matter, persists in a downward course. The pyramid, however, is designed expressly to represent the way of salvation; and it accordingly provides a passage turning out of that just described, and leading upwards towards the centre of the edifice, just beyond which centre lies the principal apartment, which is called the “King’s Chamber.” This is reached by a series of passages, steep, narrow intricate, and in some parts so contracted in dimensions as to compel the explorer to traverse them on his hands and knees. Such peculiarities of construction, involving an exercise of great ingenuity, skill, and labor could not, it is obvious, have been introduced into a structure intended, as some have suggested, as a granary or as a tomb. The “King’s Chamber,” which terminates the series, is a large vaulted apartment having six roofs or ceilings, composed in all of seven stones, placed one above another, the two topmost stones forming an angle. In the centre of this chamber is a coffer, hollowed out of a single stone, and representing in its proportions and dimensions the idea thus expressed in the Epistle to the Ephesians: – “When we all meet in the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” In a coffer such as this, the candidate who had successfully encountered all the ordeals symbolized in the passages of the pyramid, was, at his final initiation, laid as a corpse in a sarcophagus. And the Initiator, who presided on the occasion, was a woman – a priestess – who was called the “Mother,” and who acted as the sponsor representative of Isis, the universal soul and intuition of Humanity. By this funeral ceremony was denoted the death of the candidate to things merely material and sensible, and his attainment of the grade of a Man Regenerate. It has its continuance and correspondence in the rite whereby, in the Catholic Church, candidates for reception into the “religious” life make final profession of the vows which sever them from the world. This burial concluded, as still in the Catholic Church, by the “rising from the dead” of the candidate, who, having quitted the tomb, was invested with the insignia of his new condition, and received the “new “ or “religious” name, bestowed by the Sponsor. This name in the Egyptian and allied Mysteries, was Issa, the son, by initiation, of Isis, and therein child of the Soul, and “Seed of the Woman”. Thus was symbolized the gift of eternal life through Christ, the second or new birth of the Man Regenerate, attained only by gradual and painful processes of ascent, extending over many lives, and requiring for their accomplishment desire so fervent, perseverance so great, and courage so indomitable, as not only to deter many of the candidates at the outset but to turn some, even when far advanced. It is manifestly from the details of this ceremonial, with which, as an “Initiate,” the Jesus of the Gospels was familiar, that was derived his allusion to the “Second Birth,” and the idea expressed in the warning: “Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it.”
34. Such was the mode whereby was accomplished initiation into those greater Mysteries of which the culminating stage was termed the Ascension. The lesser Mysteries, the “acts” of which were designated the Baptism or Betrothal, the Temptation or Trial, and the Passion, are symbolized in the great pyramid by the apartment called the Queen’s Chamber. This is situated considerably below the King’s Chamber and in the northern section of the building; and is reached by a level passage, at the commencement of which is a precipitous chasm, having for bottom the pit already described, and betokening the fate of those who fail to become regenerate, and consequently the danger escaped by those who have attained initiation into things spiritual. The Queen’s chamber serves also as the “Banqueting Hall,” wherein, after his accomplishment of the three acts named, the candidate celebrates the “Solemnization.” He is then qualified to proceed to the greater Mysteries of which the final scene is the “King’s Chamber.” This, as already said, is placed at the extreme summit of the passages, and beyond the centre of the Pyramid; and its purpose is to symbolize that kingdom of heaven which the Initiate attains by what is called the Divine Marriage, an act which separates him altogether from his life of the past. The six superposed beams which compose the ceiling of this chamber denote the “six crowns” of the Man Regenerate, that is, the six acts or stages of initiation, of which three appertain to the lesser and three to the greater Mysteries. These “crowns,” therefore, are Baptism, Temptation, Passion, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension. Of all these the ultimate object is that full and complete Redemption which, by its realization of the soul’s supreme felicity, is termed the “Marriage of the Son of God.” And in the second shaft passing upwards through the pyramid, from the topmost point of the last gallery, and pointing in one direction to the coffer in the King’s Chamber, and in the other direction to the Pole-star at it greatest altitude, may be seen symbolized the return to God of the soul, perfected and triumphant, on her final release from Matter. So that by the two pole-star-pointing shafts are typified respectively the forces centrifugal and centripetal, the Will and the Love, from the operation of which proceed Creation and Redemption. (Fig. 3.)
35. Between the “Resurrection” and “Ascension” of the Man Regenerate, is an interval which – in accordance with the mystical system of making all dates which relate to the soul’s history coincide with the corresponding solar periods – is termed “Forty Days.” The actual length of the period, however, is dependent upon individual circumstance. The New Testament contains nothing in compatible with the suggestion that Jesus may have lived on the earth for many years after his “Resurrection,” and was therefore still in the body when seen of Paul. For that which occurs at the expiration of this cycle is not a quittance of the earth in the physical sense ordinarily supposed, but the complete withdrawal of the man into his own interior and celestial region. The Spirit attains the Sabbath of perfection only by attaining Rest or Quiescence; and to this Sabbath – or Nirvana – the Man Regenerate necessarily attains, sooner or later, after his “Crucifixion” and “Resurrection;” and the attainment of it constitutes his “Ascension.” There are then no longer two wills. The man has “ascended to his Father,” and he and God are One. Henceforth he is Lord of his own microcosmic universe, having the “kingdom, the power, and the glory” thereof. And all things in “heaven” and on “earth” are subject to him. “He hath put all things under his feet, that God may be all in all.”
36. But although the true signification of the Gospel narrative of the Ascension is spiritual only, the process of Redemption is not without its physical results; for every faculty is enhanced thereby to the degree ordinarily deemed “miraculous,” rendering the Subject clairvoyant and clairaudient, enabling him to impart health and recall life by the touch or by the will, to project himself in visible form through material obstructions, and to withdraw himself from sight at will. And not only is disease eliminated from and rendered impossible to his system, but his organism becomes so highly refined and vitalized that wounds, however severe, heal by first intention and even instantaneously. So that, if only for this reason, it is quite impossible that the Gospels should have intended to represent their typical regenerate man as dying, in a physical sense, of the injuries described by them as received on the cross.
37. By the Crucifixion of the Man Regenerate is denoted no physical or brief exterior act, but the culmination of a prolonged Passion, and its termination in the complete surrender of the soul. And this arrival of the “last hour” of the earthly man, or old Adam, is symbolized by the action of tasting the very dregs and lees of the cup of suffering, – the soul’s experience, that is, of the limitations of existence. Accordingly it is written: – “Jesus, knowing that all things were accomplished, said, I thirst. And they put a sponge full of vinegar upon a reed, and gave him to drink. Jesus, then, when he had tasted the vinegar, said, It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost.” By this exclamation is announced the emptying of that cup of spiritual bitterness which may not pass from the Christ until the dregs even be consumed. This selfsame cup it is, of which the symbol, fixed on the summit of a reed, was borne in the hand of an attendant priestess at the ceremony of final initiation as practiced in the Mysteries.
38. By this cup is represented the chalice of Existence or Incarnation, wherein is contained that Substantial Water, or Soul, which by the “marriage” of the will of the man with the Will of God, becomes the Wine of the holy Sacrament, or Communion with God. The Reed which supports this Cup is the universal rod or Staff which so constantly recurs in Hermetic Scriptures, and is at once the rod of Moses, the wand of the Magician, the sceptre of the King, the reed of the Angel, the rod of Joseph that flowers, and the caduceus of Hermes himself. For it is the symbol of Force, the Line, or Jod, by which is typified alike the creative act of projection into Matter and individualization thereby and the energy of the will – inflexible and undivided – through which the return to Spirit is accomplished and salvation achieved. Of these cup-surmounted reeds the bearers, in the Greek Mysteries, were called Canephorae, or reed bearers. And the corresponding celebration in the Gospels is appropriately described as occurring at Cana of Galilee, where, as may be gathered from Josephus, was a cave of initiation. The nature of the occasion depicted in Fig. 9 is further denoted by the symbol carried in the right hand, both of the priestess and of the candidate. This is the Crux ansata, or handled cross, called the Cross of Osiris, and already referred to as an indispensable emblem in all religious ceremonials, in that, combining the cross with the circle, it denotes Renunciation as the means whereby Eternal Life, the object of initiation, is attained. This symbol it was which, transferred to Christian hands, became the model of the Papal Keys of the kingdom of heaven; while, mounted on four steps, or traversed by four bars, it indicated also the fourfold nature of the existence to be comprehended by those who would attain to perfection. The character of this perfection is, moreover, symbolized in the cross, in that, being formed of two transverse beams, it portrays the at-one-ment between the divine and human wills. The “new-born” is represented as overshadowed by a dove – emblem of the Holy Spirit – as is the Man Regenerate of the Gospels at his baptism of initiation. The two figures on either side of the candidate are, respectively, the male representative of Thoth or Hermes, wearing the ram’s horns – emblematic of Intelligence; and the female representative of Isis, the initiating priestess, bearing the Rosary of the Five wounds or Decades already mentioned. By the presence of these two, as representatives of the Intellect and the Intuition, is denoted the absolute necessity to the individual of perfecting himself alike in both regions – the masculine and feminine – of his nature, so that by tile coequal unfoldment of head and heart he may attain to the stature of the whole humanity. It is the man thus complete and become, spiritually, man and woman in one, that, primarily is typified by the Greeks under the dual form of Hermaphroditus, the joint child, as his name denotes, of Intelligence and Love.
39. As the last substance tasted by the Regenerate Man of the Gospels before his death on the cross, is the “vinegar” of the exhausted Chalice of the Passion, so the first food partaken by him after his resurrection is “fish,” to which some add “an honeycomb”. By these is symbolized the commencement of the new life inaugurated by the greater Mysteries. For the fish, as already stated, is the symbol of Water, and therein of the Soul, its Greek name being the monogram of the Christ and the tessera of redemption. And the honey, uniting sweetness of taste with the color of gold, and contained in the six-sided cell on “cup” of the comb, typifying the six acts of the Mysteries, – is the familiar emblem of the Land of Promise “beyond Jordan,” to which only the Man Risen can attain. For, as the River of Egypt denotes the Body, and the Euphrates the Spirit, – the redeemed man being promised the dominion of the whole region contained within these (Genesis xv, 18.) – so the Hiddekel, the Ganges, and the Jordan, in the mystical systems of their respective countries, denote the Soul, and constitute the boundary between “the wilderness” of the Material, and the “Garden” of the Spirit.
40. It is in Jordan, therefore, that the Man Regenerate of the Gospels celebrates the first scene of that supreme act, his spiritual marriage – the Betrothal or initiatory purification by baptism. On this occasion the Divine Spirit announces to him his Sonship; and thenceforth he knows himself divine. The second scene is the Solemnization, which is celebrated on the “third day,” at the Cana of Galilee already mentioned, in the “banqueting hall” of the Mysteries. The whole narrative is constructed on astronomical lines, and in its exterior sense denotes the ripening of the grape and arrival of the vintage season in the month which follows the “assumption” of the constellation Virgo. For then the Sun, or emblem of the Man Regenerate, transmutes the watery element into wine. And this process, though prompted, as it were, by the genius of August, cannot be accomplished save by the genius of September; hence the remonstrance represented as addressed by Jesus to his “Mother.” The time of vintage was “not yet come.” The mysteries represented on this occasion are those of Bacchus whose mystic name is Iacchos. And it is the more interior mysteries of Iacchos which really are implied in the parable. For the “beginning of miracles” for the Man Regenerate is always the transmutation of the “Water” of his own Soul into the “Wine” of the Divine Spirit. And the impelling influence under which the change is effected, is always the “woman” in the man, his own pure intuition, who is the “virgin Mother of God” within himself.
41. The third and final scene of the “Marriage” belongs to the greater Mysteries. The “Crucifixion” is the last stage of the lesser Mysteries, and closes initiation into them. Immediately on “giving up the ghost,” – or renouncing altogether the lower life, – the Christ “enters into his kingdom;” and “the veil of the Temple is rent from the top to the bottom.” For this veil is that which divides the Covered Place from the Holy of Holies; and by its rending is denoted the passage of the individual within the kingdom of God, or of the soul, – typified by the King’s Chamber. The first three acts – the Baptism or Betrothal, the Temptation or Trial, and the Passion or Renunciation – belong to the Mysteries of the Rational Humanity as distinguished from those of the Spiritual Humanity. The last three acts – the Burial, the Resurrection, and the Ascension – belong to the greater Mysteries of the Soul and Spirit, the Spirit being the central Lord, King, and Adonai of the system, and the “Spouse” of the Bride or Soul. These Mysteries, therefore, belong to the “kingdom of God,” and are performed in the “King’s Chamber,” that is to say, within the veil and in the holy of Holies. The hour of the “Death” which follows the “Crucifixion” witnesses the passage of this veil; and the exclamation “Consummatum est” – uttered at this “ninth hour” of “the twelve in which man may work” in the process of regeneration – signifies that at length the Kingdom is entered, the King’s Chamber attained, the conflict of the Soul crowned with victory. The seventh and concluding act of the whole process follows the accomplishment of the three stages of the greater Mysteries of the King or Spirit, and is called the “Consummation of the Marriage of the Son of God.” In this act the “King” and “Queen,” “Spirit and Bride,” and are indissolubly united; the Man becomes pure Spirit; and the Human is finally taken up into the Divine.
42. IT was no part of the design of the Gospels to represent either the course of a man perfect from the first, or the whole course from the first of the man made perfect. Had they been designed to represent the former, they had contained no account of a Crucifixion. For, of the man perfect, no crucifixion, in the Mystical sense, is possible, since he has no lower self or perverse will, or any weakness, to be overcome or renounced, the anima divina in him having become all in all. That, therefore, which the Gospels exhibit, is a process consisting of the several degrees of regeneration, on the attainment of the last of which only does the man become “perfect.” But of these successive degrees not all are indicated. For the Gospels deal, not with one whose nature is, at first wholly unregenerate, but with one who is already, in virtue of the use made of his previous earth-lives, so far advanced as to be within reach, in a single further incarnation, of full regeneration.
43. For, owing to the complex and manifold nature of existence, every sphere or plane of man’s being requires for itself a redemptive process; and, for each, this process consists of three degrees. Of these the first three relate to the Body, the second three to the Mind, the third three to the Heart, and the fourth three to the Spirit. There are thus, in all, twelve Degrees or “Houses” of the Perfect Man or Microcosm, as there are Twelve Zodiacal Signs or Mansions of the Sun in his course through the heavens of the Macrocosm. And the Gospels set forth mainly the six of the Heart and Spirit. The crown both of the twelve degrees and of the six acts, – that which constitutes alike the “Sabbath” of the Hebrews, the “Nirvana” of the Buddhists, and the “Transmutation” of the Alchemists, – is the “Divine Marriage.” Of this, accordingly, types and parables recur continually in all Hermetic Scriptures. The last book of the Bible, the Apocalypse of John, fitly closes with a descriptive allegory of it. In this allegory the “Bride” herself is described as Salem, the Peace, or Rest, of God, a “city lying four-square,” having Twelve Foundations, and Four Aspects, all equal to each other, and upon every Aspect Three Gates. This heavenly Salem is, thus, the perfected Microcosm in whom is seen the At-one-ment of all the four planes, the physical, the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual; the “Gates” of each side, or plane, symbolizing the three degrees of Regeneration appertaining to each. And these twelve gates are described as being each of a single pearl, because, like pearls, the excellences denoted by them are attainable only through skill and courage, and devotion even to the death, and require of those who would attain them the divestment of every earthly encumbrance.
44. The idea of this heavenly Salem is expressed also in the Tabernacle of Moses. For this, too, was fourfold. The Outer Court, which was open, denoted the Body or Man physical and visible; the covered Tent, or Holy place, denoted the Man intellectual and invisible; and the Holy of Holies within the veil, denoted the Heart or Soul, itself the shrine of the Spirit of the man and of the divine Glory, which, in their turn, were typified by the Ark and Shekinah. And in each of the four Depositaries were three utensils illustrative of the regenerative degrees belonging to each. (Fig. 2) The Marriage Supper, then, can he celebrated in the Kingdom of the Father only, when all the “Twelve Apostles,” or elements corresponding to the twelve degrees, have been brought into perfect harmony and at-one-ment, and no defective element any longer exists among them. In the central place at this divine feast is the Thirteenth Personage, the Master or Adonai of the system, the founder and president of the banquet. He it is who in later times found a representative in the pure and heaven-born Arthur – Ar-Thor – the “Bright Lord” of the Round Table. For, as already stated, the number of the Microcosm is thirteen, the thirteenth being the occupant of the interior and fourth place, which, thus, he personifies, constituting the fourth and completing element, the Nucleolus of the whole cell or “Round Table.” “And of this Fourth the form is as the Son of God.” Thus the number thirteen, which on the earthly plane, and before the “Crucifixion,” is, through the treachery of “Judas,” the symbol of imperfection and ill fortune, becomes, in the “Kingdom of the Father,” the symbol of perfection. As the number of the lunar months, it is the symbol also of the Woman, and denotes the Soul and her reflection of God, – the solar number twelve being that of the Spirit. The two numbers in combination form the perfect year of that dual humanity which alone is made in the image of God, the true “Christian year,” wherein the two, – the inner and the outer, Spirit and Matter, – are as one. Thirteen then represents that full union of man with God wherein Christ becomes Christ.
45. In representing the Regenerate Man as descended through his parents from the house of David and the tribe of Levi, the Gospels imply that man, when regenerate is always possessed of the intuition of the true prophet, and the purity of the true priest, for whom “David” and “Levi” are the mystical synonyms. Thus the spiritual blood of prophet, priest, and king mingles in the veins of the Messiah and Christ, whose lineage is the spiritual lineage of every man regenerate, and attainable by all men.
46. For, as cannot be too clearly and forcibly stated, between the man who becomes a Christ, and other men, there is no difference whatever of kind. The difference is alone of condition and degree, and consists in difference of unfoldment of the spiritual nature possessed by all in virtue of their common derivation. “All things,” as has repeatedly been said, “are made of the divine Substance.” And Humanity represents a stream which, taking its rise in the outermost and lowest mode of differentiation of that Substance, flows inwards and upwards to the highest, which is God. And the point at which it reaches the celestial, and empties itself into Deity, is “Christ.” Any doctrine other than this – any doctrine which makes the Christ of a different and non-human nature – is anti-Christian and subhuman. And, of such doctrine the direct effect is to cut off man altogether from access to God and God from access to man.
47. Such a doctrine is that which representing the Messiah as an incarnated God or Angel who, by the voluntary sacrifice of himself saves mankind from the penalty due for their sins, has distorted and obscured the true doctrine of atonement and redemption into something alike derogatory to God and pernicious to man.
That from which man requires to be redeemed is not the penalty of sin, but the liability to sin. It is the sin, and not the suffering which is his bane. The suffering is but the remedial agent. And from the liability to sin, and consequently to suffering, he can be redeemed only by being lifted into a condition in which sin is impossible to him. And no angel or third person, but only the man himself, co-operating with the God within him, can accomplish this. Man is, himself, the laboratory wherein God, as Spirit, works to save him, by re-creating him in God’s image. But – as always happens under a control exclusively sacerdotal religion has been presented as a way of escape, not from sin, but from punishment. With redemption degraded to this unworthy and mischievous end, the world has, as was inevitable, gone on sinning, more and more, and, by the ever-increasing grossness of its life and thought, sinking itself deeper and deeper into Matter, violating persistently on every plane of existence, the divine law of existence, until it has lost the very idea of Humanity, and – wholly unregenerate in Body, Mind, Heart, and Spirit – has reached the lowest depth of degradation compatible with existence. Thus, of modern society – as of Israel when reduced, through its own wickedness and folly to the like evil plight – it may he said that from the sole of the foot even unto the head, there is no soundness in it; but, wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.” And even though “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” at the view of its own hopeless theory of existence, it seeks to “revolt more and more” by becoming increasingly pronounced in its denial of Being as a divine Reality, and so does its utmost to “bring upon itself swift destruction.” Such, to eyes in any degree regenerate, is the spectacle presented by the world in this “Year of Grace,” 1881.
48. As it was no part of tile design of the Gospels to represent the whole course, of the Man Regenerate, so neither was it a part of that design to provide, in respect of religious life and doctrine, a system whole and complete independently of any which had preceded it. Having a special relation to the Heart and Spirit of the Man, and thereby to the nucleus of the cell and the Holy of Holies of the Tabernacle, Christianity, in its original conception, relegated the regeneration of the Mind and Body – the covered House and open Court of the Tabernacle, or exterior dualism of the Microcosm – to systems already existent and widely known and practiced. These systems were two in number, or rather, were as two modes or expressions of the one system, the establishment of which constituted the “Message” which preceded Christianity by the cyclical period of six hundred years. This was the Message of which the “Angels” were represented in the Buddha Gautama and Pythagoras. Of these two nearly contemporary prophets and redeemers, the system was, both in doctrine and in practice, essentially one and the same. And their relation to the system of Jesus, as its necessary pioneers and forerunners, finds recognition in the Gospel under the allegory of the Transfiguration. For the forms beheld in this – of Moses and Elias – are the Hebrew correspondences of Buddha and Pythagoras. And they are described as beheld by the three Apostles in whom respectively are typified the functions severally fulfilled by Pythagoras, Buddha, and Jesus; namely, Works, Understanding, and Love, or Body, Mind, and Heart. And by their association on the Mount is denoted the junction of all three elements, and the completion of the whole system comprising them, in Jesus as the representative of the Heart or Innermost, and as in a special sense the “beloved Son of God.”
49. Christianity, then, was introduced into the world with a special relation to the great religions of the East, and under the same divine control. And so far from being intended as a rival and supplanter of Buddhism, it was the direct and necessary sequel to that system; and the two are but parts of one continuous, harmonious whole, whereof the later division is but the indispensable supplement and complement of the earlier. Buddha and Jesus are, therefore, necessary the one to the other; and in the whole system thus completed, Buddha is the Mind, and Jesus is the Heart; Buddha is the general, Jesus is the particular; Buddha is the brother of the universe, Jesus is the brother of men; Buddha is Philosophy, Jesus is Religion; Buddha is the Circumference, Jesus is the Within; Buddha is the System, Jesus is the Point of Radiation; Buddha is the Manifestation, Jesus is the Spirit; in a word, Buddha is the “Man,” Jesus is the “Woman.” But for Buddha, Jesus could not have been, nor would he have sufficed the whole man; for the man must have the Mind illuminated before the Affections can be kindled. Nor would Buddha have been complete without Jesus. Buddha completed the regeneration of the Mind; and by his doctrine and practice men are prepared for the grace which comes by Jesus. Wherefore no man can be, properly, Christian, who is not also, and first, Buddhist. Thus the two religions constitute, respectively, the exterior and interior of the same Gospel, the foundation being in Buddhism – the term including Pythagoreanism, – and the illumination in Christianity. And as without Christianity Buddhism is incomplete, so without Buddhism Christianity is unintelligible. The Regenerate Man of the Gospels stands upon the foundation represented by Buddha, the earlier stages, that is, of the same process of regeneration, so that without these he would be impossible. Hence the significance also of the Baptist’s part.
50. The term Buddha, moreover, signifies the Word. And the Buddha and the Christ represent, though on different planes, the same divine Logos or Reason, and are joint expressions of the “Message” which, in preceding cycles had been preached by “Zoroaster” – the Sun-star – as well as by Moses, and typified in Mithras, Osiris, and Krishna. Of all these the doctrine was one and the same, for it was the doctrine of the Man Regenerate even the “Gospel of Christ.” It was, thus, the treasure, – beyond all other priceless – of which Israel, fleeing, “spoiled the Egyptians;” of which, that is, the soul, escaping the power of the body, retains the possession, having gained it through the experience of the body. That Buddha, great as was his “Renunciation,” underwent no such extremity of ordeal as that ascribed to his counterpart of the Gospels, is due to the difference of the parts enacted, and the stages attained by them. Suffering is not of the mind, but of the heart. And whereas, of their joint system, Buddha represents the intellect, and Jesus represents the affections; – in Jesus, as its highest typical expression of the love-element, Humanity fulfils the injunction. “My son, give me thine heart.” [ This relation between the two systems, and the necessity of each to the other, have found recognition among the Buddhists themselves. Of this, one instance which may be cited, is that of a Cingalese chief who had sent his son to a Christian school; and who, on finding his consistency called in question by a Christian, replied that the two religious were to each other as the canoe of his country, and the contrivance, – called an outrigger, – by means of which, when afloat, it is kept upright. “I add on”, he said, “your religion to my own, for I consider Christianity a very good outrigger to the Buddhism.” – Tennant’s Ceylon. ]
51. Since of the spiritual union in the one faith of Buddha and Christ, will be born the world’s coming redemption, the relations between the two peoples through whom, on the physical plane, this union must be effected, becomes a subject of special interest and importance. Viewed from this aspect the connection subsisting between England and India rises from the sphere political to the sphere spiritual. As typical peoples of the West and of the East, of the races light and dark, these two, as representative Man and Woman of Humanity, will in due time constitute one Man, made in the image of God, regenerate and having power. And so shall the “lightning from the East”, after “illuminating the West”, be reflected back, purified and enhanced, “a light to lighten all nations and to be the glory of the spiritual Israel”. Thus, them, in Christ Jesus the holy systems of the past find their maturity and perfectionment. For by Christ is made possible the gift of the Divine Spirit, – the “Paraclete” – who could not come by Pythagoras nor by Buddha, because these represent the outer elements of the Microcosm; and the nucleolus, or Spirit, can be manifest only in the inner element, or Nucleus, of which Jesus is the representative. And thus, as said in Genesis xv. 16, “in the fourth generation,” shall the spiritual seed of Abraham, or Brahma, – for they are one and the same word and denote one and the same doctrine, – “return” to the promised land of their inheritance; and, as said by Jesus, “many shall come from the East and West, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.”
52. For, as the “three, Noah, Daniel, and Job” were, for the Hebrews, types of Righteousness, so the three, “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob “were types of Truth, ancestors of the spiritual Israel, and representatives of the several sacred mysteries of whose “kingdom” the Man Regenerate is always, and the world regenerate will be ultimately, by adoption and grace, the inheritor. The mysteries specially denoted by “Abraham” are, as just indicated, those of India. They are the mysteries of the Spirit, or Innermost, and are sacred to the Supreme Being, Brahma, who represents Deity under process of self-manifestation and, therefore, in activity. In this process, the Original Being, Brahm becomes Brahma; God becomes the Lord, the Manifestor. And it is in recognition of this change, that Abram becomes Abraham. The history of this personage, his flight, – always an invariable element in such histories, as witness that of Bacchus, of Israel, of the Holy Family, of Mohammed, and others, – his adventures and wanderings, is the history of the migration of the mysteries of India, by way of Chaldaea, to that divinely selected centre and pivot of all true religions Egypt – a term denoting the body, which itself is the divinely-appointed residence of the soul during its term of probation. [ In accordance with Hindu usage, which makes the masculine the passive, and the feminine the active principle of existence, the mysteries are represented by the wives of the divine persons. Thus, of Brahma the active principle is his wife Saraswati; after whom the wife of Abraham, who is also his active principle, is called Sara, “the Lady,” meaning of heaven. The story of the long courtship and two wives of Jacob, is a parable of initiation into the mysteries, lesser and greater. And the finding of the wife of Isaac at a well – like the finding of Moses in a river by the king’s daughter – indicates the woman, or soul, as the agent of intuition, and thereby of initiation and redemption. The “Haran” and “Ur,” from which Abram comes, denote the place of spiritual light; and the pedigrees imply, not persons, but spiritual states. ]
The next great order of mysteries refers to the soul, and is sacred to Isis, the goddess of the intuition, and “Mother” of the Christ. These mysteries were, for the Israelites, represented by Isaac, a name occultly connected with Isis and Jesus, as also with that of an important personage in the pedigree of this last, namely Jesse, the “father of David,” and a “keeper of sheep.” The third and remaining great order of the mysteries – that which refers to the body, and which early migrated to Greece is sacred to Bacchus, whose mystic name Iacchos is identical with Jacob. Comprising the three great divisions of existence, and by implication the fourth division also, these three combined orders of mysteries formed, in the original conception of Christianity a system of doctrine and life at once complete, harmonious, and sufficient for all needs and aspirations of humanity, both here and hereafter. And to this effect were the terms ascribed to Jesus in his reply to the inquiries made of him touching the resurrection of the dead. For, passing over the actual question, and coming at once to its mystic sense, he made a reply which referred, at least primarily, not to the individuals themselves who had been named, but to the systems implied in their names; and declaring those systems to be as full of vitality, and as essential to salvation, as when first divinely communicated to Moses in the words: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob,” he added that “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Wherefore, according to this and the concurrent prophecy quoted above, these mysteries which are at once Hindu, Chaldaean, Persian, Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, and Christian – will, restored to their original purity, constitute the controlling doctrine of the ages to come.
53. In this forecast of the now imminent future is to be found the clue to the world’s politics. The “kings of the East,” or Magi, may, in one sense, indeed, be they who – being in the West – hold political sovereignty over the provinces of Hindustan. But in the profounder sense they are those everywhere – whether in the East or in the West – who possess the “magical” knowledge or keys of the kingdom of the Spirit. For these are always Magians. Of one of the chief depositaries of this knowledge – the Bible – England has long been the foremost guardian and champion. For three centuries and a half– at once the mystic “time, times, and half a time,” and the “year of years” of the solar hero Enoch – has England lovingly and faithfully, albeit ignorantly, cherished the Letter which now, by the finding of the Interpretation, is – like its prototype – “translated” to the plane of the Spirit. Becoming thus a partaker of the divine Gnosis, England will be fitted for the yet loftier sovereignty to which she is destined. For then, through the union of East and West in the same doctrine, the waters of “the great river Euphrates” – symbol of the Spirit – will, as said of old of the Red Sea, be “dried up,” so that between the two hemispheres there will no longer be any barrier of creed, but a way divinely prepared and safeguarded, whereby the “kings of the East” may freely pass on their mission of enlightenment to all the world. All, therefore, that tends to bind England to the Orient is of Christ, and all that tends to sever them is of Antichrist. They who seek to wed Buddha to Jesus are of the celestial and upper; and they who interpose to forbid the banns are of the astral and nether. Between the two hemispheres stand the domain and faith of Islam, not to divide, but, as umbilical cord, to unite them. And nought is there in Islamism to hinder its fulfillment of this high function, and keep it from being a partaker of the blessings to result therefrom. For, not only is it the one really monotheistic and non-idolatrous religion now existing; but its symbolic Star and Crescent are essentially one with the Cross of Christ, in that they also typify the elements masculine and feminine of the divine existence, and the relation of the soul to God. So that lslamism has but to accomplish that other stage of its natural evolution, which will enable it to claim an equal place in the brotherhood of the Elect. This is the practical recognition in “Allah” of Mother as well as Father, by the exaltation of the woman to her rightful station on all planes of man’s manifold nature. This accomplished, Esau and Ishmael will be joined together with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in Christ.
54. In this recognition of the divine idea of humanity, and its ultimate results, will consist what are called the “Second Advent and millennial reign of Christ.” Of that advent – although described as resembling the coming of a thief in the night – the approach will not be unheeded. For even in the darkest of spiritual nights, there are always on the alert some who, as faithful shepherds, keep constant watch over the flocks of their own pure hearts, and who, “living the life, know of the doctrine.” And these, “dwelling by the well of clear vision,” and “discerning the signs of the times,” perceive already the mustering of the heavenly hosts, and the bright streamers of dawning of the long-wished-for better Day. [ See Appendices, Nos. V, VI. and VII. ]
LECTURE THE NINTH.
GOD AS LORD; OR, THE DIVINE IMAGE.
1. ALL sacred books, of whatever people, concur in adopting, in respect of the Deity, two apparently opposite and antagonistic modes of expression. According to one of these modes, the Divine being is external, universal, diffused, unformulated, indefinable, and altogether inaccessible and beyond perception. According to the other, the Divine Being is near, particular, definite, formulated, personified, discernible, and readily accessible. Thus, on the one hand it is said that God is the high and holy One that inhabiteth eternity, and is past finding out; that no man hath seen God at any time, neither heard God’s voice, or can see God and live. And, on the other hand, it is declared that God has been heard and beheld face to face, and is nigh to all who call upon God, being within their hearts; and that the knowledge of God is not only the one knowledge worth having, but that it is open to all who seek for it; and the pure in heart are promised, as their supreme reward, that they shall “see God.”
2. Numerous instances, moreover, are recorded of the actual sensible vision of God. Of the Hebrew prophets, Isaiah says that he saw the Lord “high and lifted up;” Ezekiel, that he beheld the “glory of the God of Israel” as a figure of fire; Daniel, that he beheld God as a human form, enthroned in flame; and John records in the Apocalypse a similar vision. The writers of the book of Exodus show their cognizance of such experiences by ascribing the vision not only to Moses, but to the whole of the elders and leaders of Israel, in all, seventy-four persons. And of these many are represented as competent to receive it in virtue of their own unaided faculties. For, by the statement that “upon the nobles Moses laid not his hands,” it is implied that their own spiritual condition was such that they needed no aid from the magnetism of the great hierarch their chief. The sight of the “God of Israel” on this occasion is described as like that of “a devouring fire.”
3. Among similar experiences related in other Scriptures is that in the Bhagavad Gita, wherein the “Lord Krishna” exhibits to the gaze of Arjun his “supreme and heavenly form,” “shining on all sides with light immeasurable like the sun a thousand fold,” and “containing is his breast all the Gods, or Powers, masculine and feminine, of the Universe.”
4. Yet, notwithstanding the difference of the two natures thus described, the Scriptures regard both as appertaining to one and the same Divine Being; and, combining the names characteristic of both, declare that the Lord is God, and God is the Lord, and appoint the compound term Lord-God as the proper designation of Deity.
5. Besides the title Lord, many various names are applied to Deity as subsisting under this mode. In the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, these names are Jehovah, El Shaddai, the Logos, the Ancient of Days, Alpha and Omega, Son of God, the Only Begotten, Adonai. The Hindus have Brahma, and also Ardha-Nari, – identical with Adonai. The Persians, Ormuzd; the Egyptians, Ra, or the Sun; the Greeks, the Demiourgos; the Kabbala has Adam Kadmon; and some later mystics employ the term “Grand Man.”
6. Of these last the most notable, Emmanuel Swedenborg, asserts the vision to be a fact in respect of the angels, – whom he claims as his informants, – saying that the Lord is God manifested in the universe, as a man, and is thus beheld, interiorly, by the angels. (Divine Love and Wisdom, 97, etc., etc.)
7. Swedenborg, however, identifies the Lord who is thus discerned with the historical Jesus, maintaining the latter to be very Deity, Jehovah in person, who assumed a fleshly body, and manifested Himself as a man, in order to save men from hell, and commanded His disciples to call Him Lord. (True Christian Religion, 370; D. L. and W., 282, etc., etc.) Swedenborg, herein falls into the common error of confounding “our Lord” with “the Lord,” the Christ in the man with Adonai in the heavens of whom the former is the counterpart; – an error due to his failure to recognize the distinction between the manifest and unmanifest, and between the microcosmic and macrocosmic deity. [ In his presentation of the Incarnation, Swedenborg is at variance, not only with the Gnosis but with himself. For in it he sets aside the canon of interpretation formulated by himself, his recovery and general application of which – together with the doctrine of correspondence – constitute his chief merit. Thus, to cite his own words: – “In the internal sense there is no respect to any person, or anything determined to a person. But there are three things which disappear from the sense of the letter of the Word, when the internal sense is unfolded; that which is of time, that which is of space, and that which is of person.” “The Word is written by mere correspondence, and hence all its contents, to the most minute, signify things heavenly and spiritual” (Arcana Cœlestia, 5253 and 1401). He also repeatedly declares that the literal sense of the Word is rarely the truth, but only the appearance of the truth, and that to take the literal sense for the true one is to destroy the truth itself, since everything in it relates to the heavenly and spiritual, and becomes falsified when transferred to a lower plane by being taken literally (see e g. T. C. R. 254, 258.) According both to this rule and the Gnosis, that which is implied by the term Incarnation is an event purely spiritual in its nature, potential in all men and of perpetual occurrence, inasmuch as it takes place in every regenerate man, being at once the cause and effect of his regeneration.
The authority twice cited by Swedenborg (T.C.R., 102 and 827) in support of his doctrine, – namely, an apparition professing to be the spirit of the Mother of Jesus, – is one which a duly instructed oculist would, at the least, have hesitated to regard as aught but a projection of his own magnetic aura, and as merely a mechanical reflect, therefore, of his own thought. Swedenborg had learned little or nothing from books, was ignorant of any system other the Christian, and also of the origin and meaning of the Christian symbology, and trusted for his information entirely to his own faculty; and this, extraordinary as it was, was allied to a temperament too cold and unsympathetic to generate the enthusiasm by which alone the topmost heights of perception and inmost core of the consciousness can be attained. Nevertheless, despite his limitations, Swedenborg was beyond question the foremost herald and initiator of the new era opening in the spiritual life of Christendom, and no student of religion can dispense with a knowledge of him. Only, he must be read with much discrimination and patience.]
8. In “the Lord,” the Formless assumes a form, the Nameless a name, the Infinite the definite, and these human. But, although “the Lord is God, manifested as a man,” in and to the souls of those to whom the vision is vouchsafed, it is not as man in the exclusive sense of the term, and masculine only, but as man both masculine and feminine, at once man and woman, as is Humanity itself. The Lord is God manifested in substance; and is dual in form because Deity, though one in essence, and statistically is twofold in operation, or dynamically. And the vision of Deity under a definite form, dual and human, – or androgynous, thought not as ordinarily apprehended, – has been universal and persistent from the beginning; and this, not as a conception merely mental and “subjective,” but as perception objective to an interior faculty, in that it is actually beheld. Hence it is, that in terms employed to denote Deity, both sexes are expressed or implied; and where one sex only is designated, it is not because the other is wanting, but because it is latent. And hence it is also, that, in order to be made in the image of God; the individual must comprise within himself the qualities masculine and feminine of existence, and be, spiritually, both man and woman. Man is perfect only when the whole humanity is manifested in him; and this occurs only when the whole Spirit of Humanity – that is God – is manifested through him. Thus manifesting Himself, God, as the book of Genesis says, “creates man in His own Image, Male and Female.”
9. Such is the doctrine of all Hermetic Scriptures. And when it is said, – as of the Kabbala, – that these Scriptures were delivered by God first of all to Adam in Paradise, and then to Moses on Sinai, it is meant that the doctrine contained in them is that which man always discerns when he succeeds in attaining to that inner and celestial region of his nature where he is taught directly of his own Divine Spirit, and knows even as he is known. The attainment of this divine knowledge constitutes existence a paradise. And it is symbolized by the ascent of a mountain, variously designated Nyssa, Sinai, Sion, Olivet. Peculiar to no particular period or place, the power to receive this knowledge is dependent entirely upon condition. And the condition is that of the understanding. Man attains to the image of God in proportion as he comprehends the nature of God. Such knowledge constitutes, of itself, transmutation. For man is that which he knows. And he knows only that which he is. Wherefore the recognition, first of God as the Lord, and next of the Lord as the divine Humanity, constitutes at once the means of salvation and salvation itself. This is the truth which makes free, – the supreme mystery, called by Paul the “mystery of godliness.” And it is by their relegation of this mystery to the category of the incomprehensible, that the priesthoods have barred to man the way of redemption. They have directed him, indeed, to a Macrocosmic God subsisting exteriorly to man, and having a nature altogether different from man’s, and to a heaven remote and inaccessible. But they have suppressed altogether the Microcosmic God and the kingdom within, and have blotted the Lord and his true image out of all recognition. Now the main distinction between the uninitiate and the initiate, between the man who does not know and the man who does know, lies in this: – For the one, God, if subsisting at all, is wholly without. For the other, God is both within and without; and the God within is all that the God without is.
10. It cannot be too emphatically stated, that the definition which sets forth Mystery as something inconsistent with or contradictory of sense and reason, is a wrong definition, and one in the highest degree pernicious. In its true signification, Mystery means only that which appertains to a region of which the external sense and reason are unable to take cognizance. It is, thus, the doctrine of Spirit and of the experiences connected therewith. And inasmuch as the spiritual is the within and source of the phenomenal, so far from the doctrine of Spirit contradicting and stultifying the experiences and conclusions of the external faculties, it corrects and interprets them; – precisely as does reason correct and interpret the sensible impression of the earth’s immobility, and of the diurnal revolution of the skies. That, therefore, which the degradation of the term Mystery to mean something incomprehensible, really represents, is the loss by the priesthoods of the faculty of comprehension. Declining, through “idolatry,” from the standard once attained by them, and losing the power either to discern or to interpret Substance, the Churches abandoned the true definition of Mystery which referred it to things transcending the outer sense and reason, and adopted a definition implying something contradictory of all sense and reason. Thenceforth, so far from fulfilling their proper function of supplying man with the wholesome “bread” of a perfect system of thought, they gave him instead the indigestible “stones” of dogmas altogether unthinkable; and for the “fish,” – or interior mysteries of the soul, – the “serpents,” or illusory reflects, of the astral. Reduced by this act to a choice between the suicide of an absolute surrender of the reason, and open revolt, the world adopted the lesser of the two evils. And this both rightly and of necessity. For man neither ought if he could, nor can if he would, suppress his reason. And now the Churches, having lost cognition of Spirit, and suppressed the faculty whereby alone it could be attained, are absolutely without a system of Thought wherewith to oppose the progress of that fatal system of No-thought which is fast engulfing the world. And so profound is the despair which reigns even in the highest ranks of Ecclesiasticism, as recently, from one of its most distinguished members, to elicit the confession that he saw no hope for Religion save in a new Revelation.[ Related of Cardinal Newman, on his investiture at Rome.]
11. IT is necessary to devote a brief space to an exposition of the ancient and true doctrine in respect of the place and value of the Understanding in things religious. Four so we shall both further minister to the rehabilitation of this supreme faculty, and exhibit the extent to which sacerdotalism has departed from the right course. Mention has already been made of Hermes as the “trainer of the Christs.” The phrase is of a kind with those more familiar phrases which describe Christ as the “Son of David” and as the “Seed of the Woman;” and, in short, with all statements respecting the genealogy of the Christ, including the declaration that the Rock on which the Church of Christ is built is the Understanding. For of all such statements the meaning is, that the doctrine represented by the term Christ – so far from being a Mystery, in the sacerdotal sense – is a truth necessary and self-evident, and requiring for its discernment as such, only the full and free exercise of Thought. Now this term Thought is no other than name of the Egyptian equivalent of Hermes, the God Thaut, frequently written Thoth; these being for the Greeks and Egyptians respectively the personification of the Divine Intelligence. It has already been stated that in the Celestial all properties and qualities are Persons, the fact being that it is always in the guise of a person that the Divine Spirit of a man holds intercourse with him, the mode adopted on the occasion corresponding to the function to be exercised. Thoth and Hermes are, then, names expressive of the personality assumed by the supreme Nous of the Microcosm when operating especially as the Intelligence or Understanding. In different nations, while the function is the same, the name and form vary according to the genius of the people. Thus, to a Hebrew the same Spirit becomes manifest as Raphael. In the Bhagavad-Gita the Supreme Being, speaking as the Lord (Krishna), declares that he himself is the Spirit of Understanding. As the parent Spirit – the Nous, or divine Mind – is God, so the product Thought, or the “Word,” as a Son of God, is also God. Nor does the Divine procession cease at the first generation. For, whereas of such Divine Word the Christ is the manifestation “in ultimates,” the Christ also is Son of God, and therefore God.
12. But not the less, however, is “Christ” the “Son of David,” though not by physical descent – his line had long been extinct – but in a spiritual sense. Like the patriarchs – who were therefore said to live in concubinage – David was not “married to the Spirit,” but held only occasional communion with it, receiving but a measure of illumination. “Christ” implies full regeneration and illumination. The attainment of this state is the ultimate aim of the science called Hermetic and Alchemic, the earliest formulation of which is ascribed to the god Thoth, – the Egyptian equivalent for the Divine Thought. Tracking the Christ-idea to this source, we have a yet further – though still but a secondary – signification for the saying, “Out of Egypt hast thou called thy Son.”
13. One of the most general symbols of the Understanding, and of its importance in the work of regeneration, has always been the Ram. Hence the frequent portrayal of the representative of Hermes and Thoth with a ram’s head. For by this was denoted the power of the faculty of which the head is the seat, the act of butting with the horns typifying the employment of the intellect whether for attack or defence. The command to cover the holy place of the Tabernacle with a ram’s fleece implied that only to the understanding were the mysteries of the Spirit accessible. The mighty walls of the “Jericho” of Doubt are represented as falling at the sound of rams’ horns, after being “encompassed” during the typical period of seven days. The narrative of the previous entry – that of the “spies” – into this stronghold through the agency of a woman, is similarly designed to exalt the understanding, the direct reference being to the intuition as essential to the understanding, and therefore to the resolution of doubt. The ascription to this woman of the vocation of the Magdalen, accords with the mystical usage of regarding the soul as impure during the term – necessary for her education – of her association with Matter. This finished, she becomes “virgin.” One of the chief glories of Hermes – his conquest of the hundred-eyed Argus – denotes the victory of the understanding over fate. For Argus represents the power of the stars over the unenfranchised soul. Wherefore Hera, the queen of the astral spheres and persecutrix of the soul thus subject, is said to have placed the eyes of Argus in the train of her vehicular bird, the peacock.
14. The story of the slaying of Goliath is a parable of like import. For Goliath is the formulation of the system represented by the “Philistines,” – that system of doubt and denial which finds its inevitable outcome in Materialism. The killing of Goliath signifies, thus, the discomfiture of Materialism by the understanding. And David, moreover, is represented – on arraying himself for the conflict – as declining the “king’s weapons,” or arms of the exterior reason, and choosing “a smooth stone out of a brook;” this being the “philosopher’s stone” of a pure spirit, a firm will, and a clear perception, such as is attained only through the secret operation of the soul, of which the brook is the emblem. Such a stone, also, is that which, “cut out without hands,” smites in pieces, as already explained, the giant image of Nebuchadnezzar. The reward of David’s achievement – the possession of the king’s daughter, the usual termination of such heroic adventure – denotes the attainment by the conqueror of the highest gifts and graces; – the daughter of Saul, or the outer Reason, being the inner Reason, or psychic faculty, developed from the “Man” and constituting the “Woman” in the man. Hence by David’s subsequent history in relation to Michal, is implied a spiritual retrogression on the soul’s part.
15. Similar reasons dictated the selection of a dog as specially sacred to Hermes, and his representation as the dog-headed Anubis; the intelligence and faithfulness of this animal making it an apt type of the understanding as the peculiar friend of man. Raphael – the Hebrew equivalent of Hermes, and like him called the “physician of souls” – is also represented as accompanied by a dog when travelling with Tobias. And the name of the special associate of Joshua, – a name identical with Jesus, – the final leader of the chosen people into the promised land of their spiritual perfection, – namely, Caleb, signifies a dog, and implies the necessity of intelligence to the successful quest of salvation. For the like reason were “rams,” and the “fat of rams,” used as symbolic terms to denote the offering most acceptable to God. It was intended by them to teach that man ought to dedicate to the service of God all the powers of his mind raised to their highest perfection, and by no means to ignore or suppress them.
16. The like high rank is accorded to understanding in all Hermetic Scriptures. For, – as in Isaiah xi. 2, – it is always placed second among the seven Elohim of God, the first place being assigned to Wisdom, which is accounted as one with Love. The same order is observed in the disposition of the solar system. For Mercury is Hermes, and his planet is next to the Sun. The ascription, in the mythologies, of a thievish disposition to this divinity, and the legends which represent him as the patron of thieves and adventurers, and stealing in turn from all the Gods, are modes of indicating the facility with which the understanding annexes everything and makes it its own. For Hermes denotes that faculty of the divine part in man which seeks and obtains meanings out of every department of existence, intruding into the province of every “God,” and appropriating some portion of the goods of each. Thus the understanding has a finger upon all things, and converts them to its own use, whether it be the “arrows” of Apollo, the “girdle” of Aphrodite, the “oxen” of Admetus, the “trident” of Poseidon, or the “tongs” of Hephaistos. Not only is Hermes – as already said – the rock on which the true church is built; he is also the divinity under whose immediate control all divine revelations are made, and all divine achievements performed. His are the rod of knowledge wherewith all things are measured, the wings of courage, the sword of the unconquerable will, and the cap of concealment or discretion. He is in turn the Star of East, conducting the Magi; the Cloud from whose mist the holy Voice speaks; by day the pillar of Vapour, by night the shining Flame, leading the elect soul on her perilous path through the noisome wilderness of the world, as she flies from the Egypt of the Flesh, and guiding her in safety to the promised heaven. He, too, it is who is the shield of saints in the fiery furnace of persecution or affliction, and whose “form is like the Son of God.” And by him the candidate for spiritual knowledge attains full initiation. For he is also the Communicator, and without him is no salvation. For, although that which saves is faith, that is not faith which is without understanding. Happily for the so-called “simple,” this understanding is not necessarily of the outer man; it suffices for salvation that the inner man has it. (See Apps. XII. 6 and XIV.)
17. “Hermes, as the messenger of God,” says the Neoplatonist Proclus, “reveals to us His paternal will, and – developing in us the intuition – imparts to us knowledge. The knowledge which descends into the soul from above excels any that can be attained by the mere exercise of the intellect. Intuition is the operation of the soul. The knowledge received through it from above, descending into the soul, fills it with the perception of the interior causes of things. The Gods announce it by their presence, and by illumination, and enable us to discern the universal order.” Commenting on these words of a philosopher regarded by his contemporaries with a veneration approaching to adoration, for his wisdom and miraculous powers, a recent leader of the prevailing school exclaims, “Thus is Proclus consistent in absurdity!” [ G.H. Lewes, Biog. Hist. Phil.] Whereas, had the critic been aware of the truth concerning the reality, personality, and accessibility of the world celestial, so far from denouncing Proclus as “absurd,” he would have supremely envied him, and eagerly sought the secret and method of the Neoplatonists. “To know more,” says the writer in question, “we must be more.” But when the Mystic – who, in virtue of his supreme sense of the dignity and gravity of man’s nature, affirms nothing lightly or rashly – offers his solemn assurance that we are more, and prescribes a simple rule, amply verified by himself, whereby to ascertain the fact, he turns away in disdain, and proceeds in his own manner to make himself infinitely less, by becoming a ringleader of that terrible school of Biology, which does not scruple, in the outraged name of Science, to indulge its passion for knowledge to the utter disregard of humanity and morality, by the infliction of tortures the most atrocious and protracted, upon creatures harmless and helpless. Little wonder is it that between Mystic and Materialist should gulf so impassable, feud so irreconcilable, intervene; seeing that while the one seeks by the sacrifice of his own lower nature to his higher, and of himself for others, to prove man potential God, the other – turning vivisector – makes him actual fiend. [ This paragraph was written with a view to its publication in the lifetime of Mr. Lewes. Unhappily, the necessity for it has not ceased with his life. Hence its appearance now. Both in the schools and in the laboratory his writings and influence survive him. The work cited is an University textbook; and a scholarship has been instituted in his name for the promotion of vivisectional research.]
18. To resume our exposition of the “mystery of godliness,” or doctrine of God as the Lord, and of the duality of the Divine image. According to the Zohar – the principal of the Kabbala – the Divine Word by which all things are created is the celestial archetypal Humanity, which subsisting eternally in the Divine Mind – makes the universe in His own image. God, as absolute Being, having no form or name, cannot and may not be represented under any image or appellation. Bent upon self-manifestation, or creation, the Divine Mind conceives the Ideal Humanity as a vehicle in which to descend from Being into Existence. This is the Merkaba, or Car, already referred to; and that which it denotes is Human Nature in its perfection, at once twofold in operation, fourfold in constitution, and sixfold in manifestation, and as a cube – Kaabeh – “standing four-square to all the winds of heaven.” In virtue of its two-foldness this “vehicle” expresses the corresponding opposites, Will and Love, Justice and Mercy, Energy and Space, Life and Substance, Positive and Negative, in a word, Male and Female, both of which subsist in the Divine Nature in absolute plenitude and perfect equilibrium. Expressed in the Divine Idea – Adam Kadmon – the qualities masculine and feminine of existence are, in their union and co-operation, the life and salvation of the world; and in their division and antagonism, its death and destruction. One in the Absolute, but two in the Relative, this ideal – but not therefore the less real – Humanity resumes both in itself, and is king and queen of the universe, and as such is projected through every sphere of creation to the material and phenomenal, causing the outer, lower, and sensible world everywhere to be made in the image of the inner, upper and spiritual: so that all that subsists in the latter belongs to us here below and is in our image; and the two regions together make one uniform existence which is a vast Man, being, like the individual man, in constitution fourfold and in operation dual.
19. This doctrine of Correspondence finds expression through Paul, first when he declares that “the invisible things of God from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made;” and again, when – applying it in its dual relation to the sexes of humanity – he says “Neither is the man without the woman, nor the woman without the man in the Lord.” The purity of its doctrine in this respect constitutes a proof of the divinity of the Kabbala. For it shows that this famous compendium belongs to a period prior to that destruction by the priesthoods of the equilibrium of the sexes which constituted in one sense the “Fall”. Calling the woman the house and wall of the man, without whose bounding and redeeming influence he would inevitably be dissipated and lost in the abyss, the Kabbala describes her as constituting the centripetal and aspirational element in humanity, having a natural affinity for the pure and noble, to which, with herself, she always seeks to raise man, and being therefore his guide and initiator in things spiritual. Thus recognizing in the sexes of humanity respectively, the manifestation of the qualities masculine and feminine of the divine Nature, Its power and Its love, the Kabbala duly inculcates the worship of that true Lord God of Hosts, the knowledge of whom constitutes its possessors the “Israel of God.” “Not everyone who says Lord, Lord, is of this heavenly kingdom; but they only who do the will of the Father Who is in heaven,” and Who accordingly honor duly His “two Witnesses” on earth – the man and the woman – on every plane of man’s fourfold nature. It is by reason of Christ’s duality that humanity beholds in him its representative. And it is only in those who seek in this to be like him, that Christ can by any means be born.
20. Close as was the agreement between Paul and the Kabbala in respect – among other doctrines – of the dual nature of Deity, the agreement stopped short of the due issue of that doctrine. And it is mainly through Paul that the influence we have described as at once astral, rabbinical, and sacerdotal, found entrance into the Church. For, judged by the received text, Paul, when it came to a matter of practical teaching, exchanged the spirit of the Kabbala for that of the Talmud, and transmitted – aggravated and reinforced – to Christianity, the traditional contempt of his race for woman. The Talmud appoints to every pious Jew, as a daily prayer, these words: – “Blessed art thou, O Lord, that thou hast not made me a Gentile, an idiot, or a woman;” and, while enjoining the instruction of his sons in the Law, prohibits that of the daughters, on the ground that women are accursed. This reprobation of one whole moiety of the divine nature, instead of finding condemnation from Paul as erroneous, was adopted by him as the basis of his instructions concerning the position of women in a Christian society. For, after rightly defining the doctrine of the equality of the sexes “in the Lord,” we find him writing to the Corinthians in the following strain: “But I would have you know that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is the man. For a man indeed ought not to have his head veiled, for as much as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man: for neither was the man created for the woman, but the woman for the man; for this cause ought the woman to have a sign of authority on her head, because of the angels.” “Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness.” “Let the woman keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to speak, but let them be in subjection, as saith the Law. It is shameful for a woman to speak in the Church.” “For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled; but the woman being beguiled, fell into transgression.” To the same purport writes Peter, who, as he certainly did not derive the doctrine from his Master, had doubtless been overborne in respect of it by Paul.* [ In 1 Pet. iii. 6, it is said that “Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord;” whereas, according to Genesis, Abraham rather obeyed Sarai, calling her lady; for the change made by him in her name – from Sarai to Sara – implies an accession of dignity. Thereby, from being “my lady” she became “the lady”, and representative of the feminine element in Divinity. The Deity is represented moreover as impressing on Abraham this injunction: – “In all that Sara hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice.” The fault of Adam lay not – as might be inferred from the passage as it stands in Genesis – in “hearkening to the voice of his wife,” but in doing so when she was under beguilement “of the devil” – a qualification for the suppression of which the motive is obvious.] Thus enforced, the doctrine of the subjection of the woman became accepted as an integral part of the Christian system, constituting in it an element of inevitable self-destruction.
21. The utterance last cited from Paul gives the clue to the source and motive of his doctrine concerning woman. It is a perversion due to the influences already specified, of the parable of the Fall. When speaking in the Spirit, Paul declares the man and the woman alike to be “in the Lord.” Subsiding from this level, – and speaking – as, according to his own admission, he was not unwont to speak – “foolishly,” or of his own lower reason, he contradicts this statement, and affirms that the man alone is made in the image of God, – the divine Idea of Humanity comprising the male element only, – and implies that the woman is but a mere afterthought, contrived to meet an unexpected emergency, and made, therefore, in the image, not of God, but of the man. Thus substituting the Letter for the Spirit, and wholly losing sight of the latter, Paul degrades the mystic Scripture from its proper plane and universal signification, to a level historical merely and local. By making Adam and Eve no longer types of the substantial humanity in its two essential modes, the outer and inner personality, but an actual material couple, the first physical progenitors of the race, he accepts in all its gross, impossible crudity the fable of the apple and the snake, and declares that, because the first woman was beguiled, therefore her daughters – not her sons – must through all time to come bear the penalty of silence and servitude!
22. That which Paul would have taught, had his vision been uniformly lightened, is the truth that, so far from the woman being an inferior part of humanity, it is not until she is, on all its planes, exalted, crowned, and glorified, that humanity, whether in the individual or in the race, can attain to Christhood, seeing that she, and not the “man,” is the bruiser of the serpent’s head, the last to be manifested, and therefore the first in dignity. For this reason it is that only by the restoration of the woman, on all planes of her manifestation, can the equilibrium of man’s nature, destroyed at the “Fall,” be re-established. As it is, the direct effect of the teaching of Paul in this, and in certain allied respects, – notably the doctrine of atonement by vicarious bloodshed, – has been to perpetuate the false balance introduced by the Fall, and therein to confirm the Curse, to remove which is the supreme mission of the Christ as the “seed of the woman.” On this subject Jesus himself had spoken very explicitly, though only in writings labeled “Apocryphal” are the utterances recorded. Of these, one, given by Clement, declares plainly that the kingdom of God can come only “when Two shall be One, and the Man as the Woman.” In the other, – recorded in the Egyptian gospel, – Jesus speaking mystically, says, “The kingdom of Heaven shall come when you women shall have renounced the dress of your sex;” meaning, when the representatives of the soul, namely women, no longer submit to ordinances which cause or imply inferiority on the part either of themselves or of that which they represent; but, with the soul are restored to their proper place. But, apart from any specific utterances, the whole character and teaching of Jesus are at variance with the doctrine and usage which have prevailed. For that character and teaching were in complete accordance with the course already from the beginning marked out in the planisphere of the Zodiac wherein the rising of the constellation Virgo is followed by Libra, the Balance, – emblem of the Divine Justice, – in token of the establishment of the Kingdom of Righteousness which should follow upon the rehabilitation of the “Woman.” Paul, on the contrary, – in his astral and non-lucid moments, – enforces the curse which Jesus would have put away; appeals to the Law which at other times he repudiates and denounces; and forges its chains anew by thrusting them around the necks of those who – he himself says – should be “no more under the Law, but under Grace.” [ According to the Apocryphal Epistles, and to ecclesiastical tradition, Paul, nevertheless, directed his own female associate – Theckla – to preach in public, and suffered her even to wear male attire. Paul, however, following the Levitical Code (Lev.xxi.13), draws a distinction between married women and virgins, saying he had no commandment about the latter.]
23. Thus does Paul, to whose writings chiefly the various doctrinal systems of Christianity owe their origin, divide the Churches, and diminish the Reason, by falling back on convention and tradition. Now the Reason is not the “intellect,” – this, as we have insisted, represents but a moiety of the mind. The Reason is the whole humanity, which comprises the intuition as well as the intellect, and is in God’s Image, male and female. This supreme Reason it is which finds its full expression in the Logos or Lord. Wherefore, in denying her true place to the woman in his scheme of society, Paul denies to the Lord his due manifestation on earth, and exalts for worship some image other than the divine. It is because they recognize in the Reason the heir of all things, that the devil and his agents always make it their first concern to cast it out and slay it. “This is the Heir,” – the Reason, the Logos, the Lord, – “come let us kill him, and the inheritance shall be ours,” – say those ministers of Unreason, the materialistic orthodoxies of Church and World. And no sooner is the Reason suppressed and cast out, than madness, folly, and evil of every kind step in and, taking possession, bear rule, making the last state, – be it of community or of individual, – worse than the first. For then in place of Christ and the divine image, is antichrist and the “man of sin;” and the rule is that of falsehood, superstition, and all manner of unclean spirits, having neither knowledge, nor power, nor wisdom, nor aught that in any respect corresponds to God. Of the mutilation and defacement of the Divine Reason by the Church, under the impulsion of Paul, the present state of both Church and World is the inevitable sequel.
24. Besides Paul, there are two others associated with the doctrine of the Logos, of names so notable as to necessitate a reference to them. These are Plato, and Philo called Judæus. They also recognized the Lord as the Logos and Divine Reason of things. But they failed to recognize the Dualism of the Divine nature therein, and by their failure ministered to the confirmation, rather than to the reversal, of the Fall and the Curse. Between Philo and Paul the points of resemblance are many striking, foremost among being the depreciation of woman, and the advocacy of vicarious blood shedding as a means of propitiating Deity. Philo, who in these respects in a thorough sacerdotalist, claims to have been initiated into spiritual mysteries directly by the spirit of Moses. This, it will be now understood, is a distinct and positive proof, were any wanting, of the astral character of much at least of Philo’s inspiration. He, too, like many in our day, was beguiled by a spirit of the astral, which, personating the great prophet so long dead, insisted, in the name of Moses, on the sacerdotal degradations of the teaching of Moses. Like Paul, – though never attaining his elevation, – Philo oscillated continually between the Talmud and the Kabbala, the astral and the celestial, mixing error and truth accordingly, and ignored altogether the contrary presentation given of the divine Sophia in the inspired “Book of Wisdom,” – a book of which some have nevertheless ascribed the authorship to Philo himself!
25. Plato, and no less Aristotle, discerned in a perfect humanity the end and aim of creation, and in the universe a prelude to and preparation for the perfect man. Recognizing, however, the masculine element only of existence, Aristotle regarded every production of Nature other than a male of the human species, as a failure in the attempt to produce a man; and the woman as something maimed and imperfect, to be accounted for only on the hypothesis that Nature, though artist, is but blind. Similarly Plato – despite the intuition whereby he was enabled to recognize Intellect and Emotion as the two wings indispensable for man’s ascent to his proper altitude – was wholly insensible to the correspondence by virtue of which the latter finds in woman its highest expression. For the strain in which he treated of her was so bitter and contemptuous, as largely to minister to the making of his country – instead of the Eden which results where, and only where, the woman is honored and unfallen – a veritable rival of the “cities of the Plain.” In his view, only they who have previously disgraced themselves as men, become reincarnated as animals and women. The Logos of Plato is, clearly, no prototype of the Logos of that Christianity which based on the duality of the Divine Being, and requires of the Christ that he represent the whole humanity.
26. The Fathers of the Church – stepfathers, rather, were they to the true Christianity – for the most part vied with each other in their depreciation of woman; and, denouncing her with every vile epithet, held it a degradation for a saint to touch even his own aged mother with the hand in order to sustain her feeble steps. And the Church, falling under a domination exclusively sacerdotal, while doctrinally it exalted womanhood to a level beside, though not to its place in, the Godhead, practically substituted priestly exclusiveness for Christian comprehension. For it declared woman unworthy, through inherent impurity, even to set foot within the sanctuaries of its temples; suffered her to exercise her functions of wife and mother only under the spell of a triple exorcism; and denied her, when dead, burial in its more sacred precincts, even though she were an abbess of undoubted sanctity.
27. The Reformation altered, but did not better, the condition of woman. Socially, it rescued her from the priest to make her the chattel of the husband; and, doctrinally, it expunged her altogether. Calvinism is, on all planes, a repudiation of the woman in favor of the man; inasmuch as it recognizes only will and force, and rejects love and goodness, as essential qualities of Being, whether Divine or human. And Protestantism at large, both Unitarian and Trinitarian, finds in its definition of the Substance of existence, place only for the masculine element. Even the great bard of Nonconformism, John Milton, – though finding woman so indispensable to him as to have thrice wedded, – disfigured his verse and belied his inspiration as poet, by his bitter and incessant depreciation of her without whom poetry itself would have no existence. For poetry is the function of genius, and genius, which is the product of sympathy, is not of the man, but of the woman in the man. And she herself – as her typical name Venus implies – is the “Sweet Song of God.” [ Such also is the signification of Anael, the Hebrew name of the “Angel” of her planet. Venus is said by some to be originally Phe-nus, having for root Φημι. For an example of the nature of the true mysteries of this divinity, see Appendices, No. XIII.] In the same spirit the chief Instrument of the Reformation, Martin Luther, declared of the two sacred books which especially point to the woman as the agent of man’s final redemption – the books of Esther and Revelation – that “so far as he esteemed them, it would be no loss if they were thrown into the river.”
28. The influence in question is not confined to the sphere of Christianity. It dictated the form assumed by Islamism. Originating in impulses derived from the celestial, this religion fell beneath the sway of the astral so soon as its founder, making a rich marriage, lived luxuriously and occupied himself with worldly matters. Sacerdotalism failed, it is true, to find in Islamism its ordinary mode of expression. But the principle of the doctrine of vicarious sacrifice in propitiation of the Deity, showed itself in the recognition of bloodshed as means of proselytism. And women were relegated to a position altogether inferior, being regarded as differing from men not merely in degree, but in kind. For they were denied the possession of a soul; and their place in the Hereafter was supplied by astral equivalents under the scarcely disguised name of Houris. The Koran itself is little else than an imitation of the Old Testament, conceived under astral suggestion. A yet more unmitigated form of what may be called Astralism is the religion known as Mormonism; the sacred books of which are, throughout, but astral travesties of Scripture; its doctrine of “spiritual wives,” and of the position of woman generally, being similarly derived. It thus constitutes an instance in point, of the unceasing endeavor of the spirits of the subhuman to established a kingdom of their own, instead of that of the Lord and the Divine Idea of Humanity.
29. IT will be well, before proceeding to our conclusion, to take note of the objections with which it is usually sought to discredit – under the name of Mysticism – the system in course of exposition. These objections are comprised under two heads, of which the terms, respectively, are Plagiarism and Enthusiasm. By the former it is meant that the professors of Mysticism, instead of being the actual recipients of the experiences they record of themselves, borrow them from some common – but equally delusive – source. And by the latter it is implied that, at the best, the experiences, and the doctrines based upon them, are due to morbid conditions of mind. This, in plain language, means that the opponents of Mysticism – unable either to emulate or to confute it – try to get rid of it by charging its professors with dishonesty or insanity. And so far from this line of treatment being exceptional or rare, it is persistent and constant throughout the whole range of the literature characteristic of the age, and this in every class from the lowest to the highest, and in every branch of intellectual activity. Instead of being submitted to examination even the most superficial, the entire system comprised under the term Mysticism – its witnesses, its facts, and its doctrines – has in that literature been rejected offhand, and without inquiry, by the simple process of abrupt process contradiction, and the ascription, in no measured degree, to its representatives and exponents, of pretence, imposture, charlatanism, quackery, hallucination, and madness – an ascription preposterous in the extreme in view of the status, moral and intellectual, of the persons aspersed. For of these the character and eminence have been such as, of themselves, to entitle their statements to attention the most respectful; and the Order to which, one and all, they have belonged, comprises the world’s finest intellects, profoundest scholars, maturest judgments, noblest dispositions, ripest characters, and greatest benefactors; and, in short, as has already been said, all those sages, saints, seers, prophets, and Christs, through redeeming influence humanity has been raised out of the bottomless pit of its own lower nature, and preserved from the abyss of utter negation. Of these, and of numberless others, the testimony to the reality of mystical experiences, and the truth of mystical doctrine, has been concurrent, continuous, positive, and maintained at the cost of liberty, reputation, property, family ties, social position, and every earthly good, even to life itself, and this over a period extending from before the beginning of history until now. So that it may with absolute confidence be maintained, that if the declarations of Mystics are to be set aside, as insufficient to establish their claims, all human testimony whatever is worthless as a criterion of fact, and all human intelligence as criterion of truth.
30. The charge of Plagiarism is soon disposed of. It is true that the correspondence upon which the charge is founded subsists. But it is also true that this correspondence is only that which necessarily subsists between the accounts given of identical phenomena by different witnesses. The world’s Mystics have been as a band of earnest explorers who, one after another, and often in complete ignorance of the results attained by their predecessors, have ascended the same giant mountain-range, and, returning, have brought back to the dwellers in the valleys below – too feeble or indifferent to make the ascent for themselves – the same report of its character and products, and of the tracts discerned from its various aspects and altitudes, showing thereby a perfect coherence of faculty and testimony. Such is the agreement which has been made the pretext for a charge of plagiarism against Mystics, simply because the region visited and reported on by them is a spiritual and not a spiritual and not a material one, and Materialists will not have it that any other than a material subsists. Precisely the agreement which in all other cases is made indispensable as a proof of trustworthiness, is, in this case, interpreted as a token of collusion.
31. To come to the somewhat more plausible charge of Enthusiasm. It is alleged that the Mystics have conceived their system, not in that calm, philosophical frame of mind which alone favorable to the discovery of truth, but in a spirit of excitement and enthusiasm of which the inevitable product is hallucination. Now, this allegation is not only contrary to fact, it is intrinsically absurd, whether as applied to the phenomena or to the philosophy of Mysticism. For one who, through the unfoldment of his spiritual faculties, is enabled to enjoy open conditions with the spiritual world, the suggestion that his consequent experiences are the result of hallucination, constitutes an act of presumption every whit as gross as would be the like suggestion concerning the material world if made by a blind man to one possessed of eyesight. For, as already observed, such is the nature of the experiences in question, that if they are to be disregarded as insufficient to demonstrate the reality of the spiritual world, no ground remains whereon to believe in that of the material world, no ground remains whereon to believe in that of the material world. It is true that the Materialist cannot – as a rule – be made a partaker of the evidences in question. But neither can the blind man have ocular proof of the existence of the material world. For him there is no sun in the sky if he refuse to credit those who alone possess the faculty wherewith to behold it, and persist in regarding himself as a representative man.
32. The case for the Mystic’s intellectual results is equally strong. Such are the coherency and completeness of the mystical system of thought, that by all schools whatever of thinkers it has ever, with one consent, been pronounced to be inexpugnable, and that alone which would, if provable, constitute an explanation, altogether satisfactory, of the phenomena of existence. In this system, where apprehended in its proper integrity, Reason has in vain sought to detect a flaw; and they who have rejected it, have done so solely through their own inability to obtain that sensible evidence of the reality of the spiritual world, the power to receive and interpret which, constitutes the Mystic.
33. Nevertheless, of the fact of the Mystic’s enthusiasm there is no question. But enthusiasm is neither his instrument of observation nor that of inference. And he is not more fairly chargeable with conceiving his system by exercise of an imagination stimulated by enthusiasm, than is the believer in a world exclusively material. For, like the latter, he has sensible evidence of the facts whereon he builds; and he observes all possible deliberation and circumspection in his deductions therefrom. The only difference between them in this relation, is that the senses principally appealed to by his facts, are those, not of the man physical, but of the man spiritual, or soul, which, as consisting of substance, is necessarily alone competent for the appreciation of the phenomena of substance. Constituted as is man, while in the body, of both Matter and Spirit, he is a complete being – and therefore fully man – only when he has developed the faculties requisite for the discernment of both elements of his nature.
34. In the promotion of this development enthusiasm is a prime factor. By means of it the man is elevated to that region, interior and superior, where alone serenity prevails and perception is unobstructed, where are the beginnings of the clues of all objects of his search, and where his faculties are at their best, inasmuch as it is their native place, and they are there exempt from the limitations of the material organism. Attaining thus to his full altitude he no longer has need to reason and compare. For he sees and knows, and his mind is content. For him, in the divine order of his spiritual system, “the woman is carried to the throne of God.” The Zeus and Hera of his own celestial kingdom are wedded. The Adam, perfected, has found an infallible Eve. Existence is a garden of delights, whereof the fruits are the “golden apples” of knowledge and goodness. For the intellect and intuition, – divine man and woman of his perfected humanity, – are at one in the blissful home of his parent Spirit, the Within or fourth dimension of space, whence all things have their procession, and where alone, therefore, they can be comprehended. As well refuse credit to the researches of the Meteorologist on account of the upward impulses of the vehicle in which he gains the loftier strata of air, or of the superior purity of the medium in which he operates, as to those of the Mystic on account of the enthusiasm by means of which his ascent is accomplished. For enthusiasm is simply his impelling force, without which he could never have quitted the outer, nether and apparent, and gained the inner, upper and real. Wherefore, even when the abstraction from the outer world attains the intensity of Ecstasy, there is nought in the condition to invalidate the perceptions, sensible or mental, of the seer. But simply are his faculties heightened and perfected through the exclusion of all limiting or disturbing influences, and the consequent release of the consciousness from material trammel and bias. There is, as already said, no really “invisible world.” That which ecstasy does, is to open the vision to a world imperceptible to the exterior senses, – that world of substance which, lying behind phenomenon, necessarily requires for its cognition faculties which are not of the phenomenal but of the substantial man. Says one eminent Manualist concerning the Neoplatonic Mystics: – “Their teaching was a desperate overleaping and destruction of all philosophy.” [ Schwegler, Manual of Philosophy.] Says another: “In the desperate spring made at Alexandria, reason was given up for ecstasy.” [ G.H. Lewes, Biog. Hist. Phil. ] Whereas the truth is, that the only sense in which reason can be said to be given up by the Mystic, is that in which, not reason, but reasoning is given up, when, after exhausting conjecture blindfold, a man opens his eyes and sees, and so requires no further ratiocination. For ecstasy does but verify by actual vision the highest results of reason; though it may, and frequently does, thus operate in advance of the stage in his reasoning reached at the time by the seer. And so far, moreover, from superseding the necessity for the exercise of reason, it is impossible, without previous mental culture, duly to appreciate the results of ecstatic, more than of ordinary vision. For all understanding is of the mind; and neither the vision of things terrestrial nor that of things celestial can dispense with the exercise of this. Of course, with the advent of knowledge the necessity for reasoning ceases, and in this sense it is true that the Mystic “destroys philosophy by merging it in religion.” But in this sense only. For, in his hands, philosophy simply, and under compulsion of reason, acknowledges religion as its legitimate and inevitable terminus, when not, through a limitation of reason, arbitrarily withheld therefrom. And, in a world proceeding from God, no reason would be sound, no philosophy complete, of which the conclusion, – as well as the beginning, – was not religion. So far, also, from such religious philosophy involving, as constantly charged against it, the abnegation of self-consciousness; it involves and implies the due self-completion of the consciousness by the recognition of its true source and nature. Thus, so far from “losing,” the Mystic finds, himself thereby; for he finds God, the true and only Self of all. And if there be any who, recognizing in these pages aught of goodness, truth, or beauty transcending the ordinary, inquire the source thereof, the reply is, that the source is no other than that just described, namely, the Spirit operating under conditions which a materialistic science, bent on the suppression of man’s spiritual nature and the eradication of man’s religious instinct, designates “morbid,” and certifies as qualifying the subject for seclusion on the ground of insanity. [ In The Nineteenth Century for 1879, Dr. Maudsley declares his readiness to have certified the lunacy of various of the most eminent saints, seers, and prophets. And the medical profession generally, – following the lead of France, – treats the claim to be in open conditions with the spiritual world as proof positive of insanity. Said a member of this profession on a recent occasion, in support of such action on the part of his brethren: – “If we admit Spirits, we must admit Spiritualism, and what then be comes of the teachings of Materialism?” Thus, in an age which vaunts itself an age pre-eminently of free thought and experimental philosophy, are the expression of thought and confession of experience made the highest degree perilous when they conflict with the tenets of the prevailing school. ]
35. We will endeavor by a brief examination of the standpoints of the two parties respectively, to exhibit the genesis and nature of the Mystic’s enthusiasm. The Materialist – who regards Matter as the sole constituent of existence, and himself as derived from that which for its defect in respect of consciousness, he deems mean and contemptible – has for the supposed source and substance of his being, neither respect nor affection. No more than any one else can he love or honor the merely chemical or mechanical. Hence, like those who, springing from a low origin, have gained for themselves distinction, the last thing he covets is a return to that from which he came. How it arises that, being wholly of Matter, he has in him any impulse or faculty whereby to transcend even in desire his original level: whence come the qualities and properties, moral and intellectual, subsisting in humanity, but of which the most exhaustive analysis of Matter reveals no trace; whence the tendency of evolution in the direction of beauty, use, and goodness; whence evolution itself; – these are problems which are insoluble on his hypothesis, and which – since he rejects the solution proffered by the Mystic – must for ever remain unsolved by him.
36. The Mystic, on the other hand, discerning through the intuition the spiritual nature of the substance of existence, recognizes himself, not as superior to that from which he has sprung, but as a limitation and individualization of that which itself is unlimited and universal, even the absolutely pure and perfect Spirit which is no other than God. Knowing himself to be thence derived and sustained, and only temporarily, and for a purpose conceived in infinite love and executed in infinite wisdom, subjected to inferior conditions, he yearns towards the whole of which he is a part, as a child towards its necessary parent, and strives, by divesting himself of the withholding influences of Matter, to rise into nearer resemblance to and contact with his divine Original.
37. The Materialist, on the contrary, regarding Matter all, and its limitations as inherent in Being, sees in the endeavor to transcend those limitations but a suicidal attempt to escape from all Being. He strives, therefore, to attach himself yet more closely to Matter, little as he esteems it, and is content when he has succeeded in making from among things merely material, such selection as best ministers to his bodily satisfaction. And he cannot comprehend one of sound mind seeking more.
38. But such mistake of the phenomenal for the substantial, of the apparent for the real, cannot be made by one who to the sensations of the body adds the perceptions and recollections of the soul. Such an one knows by a divine and infallible instinct, which every succeeding experience serves but to confirm, that a perfection and satisfaction far transcending aught that Materialist can imagine or Matter realize, are in very truth possible to humanity. And therefore the enthusiasm which inspires him is the enthusiasm, not of an earthly humanity, immature, rudimentary, and scarcely even suggestive of its own potentialities; not of a humanity which is exterior, transient, of form only and appearance; but of a humanity mature, developed, permanent, and capable of realizing its own best promise and highest aspirations; a humanity interior substantial, and of the Spirit; a humanity, though human, divine, in that it is worthy of its progenitor God, and at its best is God. The Materialist knows not perfection, nor reality, nor Spirit, nor God; and, knowing none of these, he knows not enthusiasm. Now, not to know enthusiasm, is not to know love. And he who knows not love, is not yet man. For he has yet to develop in him that which alone completes and makes the man, namely, the woman. Herein, then, is the full solution of the mystery of the Mystic’s enthusiasm, and of the Materialist’s inability to comprehend it. The one is already man, and, knowing what Being is, loves. The other is not yet man, and, incapable of love, has all to learn.
39. Not always did Materialists contemn enthusiasm and repudiate its products. Of one, at least, history tells who with enthusiasm sang of enthusiasm as the energizing force of genius. It was no other than such a flight as that of the rapt Mystic in his ecstasy, which Lucretius ascribed to the inspired Epicurus, when he celebrated his vivida vis animi; for it was in virtue of his enthusiasm for a perfection transcending the animal, that Epicurus was enabled to overcome the limitations of the bodily sense, to “surpass the flaming walls of the world” material, to “traverse in spirit the whole immensity” of existence, and returning – “to bring back to men the knowledge of possible and impossible.” It has been reserved for the present age to produce the Materialist of a humanity so stunted and meagre that he knows not the meaning or value of enthusiasm, and in his ignorance makes of it a scoff.
40. ACCEPTING without limitation or reserve the dictum – already cited – that “nothing imperceptible is real;” the Mystic applies it in respect of the most recondite of all subjects of thought, namely, Deity, and both modes – the mental and the sensible – of perception. In doing this, he claims the justification of his own personal experience. For not only can he think God, he can also see God; the mind with which he does the first being a mind purified from obscuration by Matter; and the eyes with which he does the last being those of a more or less regenerate self. Of the seers of all ages the supreme beatific experience – that which has constituted for them the crowning confirmation of their doctrine concerning not only the being but the nature of Deity – has been the vision of God as the Lord. For those to whom this vision has been vouchsafed, hope the most sanguine is swallowed up in realization the most complete; belief the most implicit is merged in sight the most vivid; and knowledge the most absolute is attained, that the “kingdom of heaven is” in very truth “within,” and that the king thereof is – where alone a king should be – in the midst of his kingdom.
41. And yet more than this. By the vision of God as the Lord, the seer knows also that of this celestial kingdom within, the King is also the Queen; that, in respect of form no less than of substance, man is created in God’s “own image, male and female;” and that in ascending to and becoming “one with the Father,” man ascends to and becomes one with the Mother. For in the form beheld in the vision of Adonai, both HE and SHE are manifested. Who, then, is Adonai? This is a question the reply to which involves the Mystery of the Trinity.
42. Manifestation – it has already been explained – is by generation. Now generation is not of one but of twain. And inasmuch as that which is generated partakes the nature of the generators, it also is dual. That, then, which in the current presentation of the doctrine of the Trinity is termed the Father and First Person in the Godhead, is really the Father-Mother. And that which is theologically said to be begotten of them and called the Second Person and Son, is also dual, being not “Son” merely, but prototype of both sexes, and called in token thereof Io, Jehovah, El Shaddai, Adonai – names each of which implies duality.
43. Having for Father the Spirit which is Life, and for Mother the Great Deep which is Substance, Adonai possesses the potency of both, and wields the dual powers of all things. And from the Godhead thus constituted proceeds, through Adonai, the uncreated creative Spirit, the informer and fashioner of all things. This Spirit it is Who, theologically, is called the Holy Ghost, and the Third Person, the aspect of God as the Mother having been ignored or suppressed by a priesthood desirous of preserving a purely masculine conception of the Godhead. By the above presentation both the Churches, Eastern and Western, are right in what they affirm respecting the procession of the Holy Ghost, and wrong in what they deny.
44. This, the necessary method of the divine evolution and procession, for both Macrocosm and Microcosm, is duly set forth in the very commencement of the book of Genesis; being expressed in the words: – “And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the Waters: and God SAID, Let there be Light, and there was Light.” For, whenever and wherever creation – or manifestation by generation – occurs, God the Father co-operates with God the Mother – as Force, moving in Substance – and produces the Utterance, Word, Logos, or Adonai, – at once God and the Expression of God. And of this Logos the Holy Spirit, in turn, is the Expression or creative medium. For, as Adonai is the Word or Expression whereby is manifested God, so the Holy Spirit, or primal Light, – Itself Sevenfold, – is the Radiance whereby is revealed and manifested the Lord. Now the manifestation of the Lord – which also is the manifestation of God – occurs through the working in Substance of the Elohim or Seven Spirits of God – enumerated in our second discourse – from Whose number first of all the number seven derives its sanctity. They are the Powers under Whose immediate superintendence Creation, whether of great or small, occurs. And of them is the whole of the Divine Substance pervaded, – the Substance of all that is.
“These are the Divine Fires which burn before the Presence of God: which proceed from the Spirit, and are One with the Spirit.
“God is divided, yet not diminished: God is All, and God is One.
“For the Spirit of God is a Flame of Fire which the Word of God divideth into many; yet the Original Flame is not decreased, nor the Power thereof, nor the Brightness thereof, lessened.
“Thou mayest light many lamps from the flame of one; yet thou dost in nothing diminish that first flame.
“Now the Spirit of God is expressed by the Word of God, which is Adonai.”
45. This then is the order of the Divine Procession. First the Unity, or “Darkness” of the “Invisible Light.” Second, the Duality, the Spirit and Deep, or Energy and Space. Thirdly, the Trinity, the Father, the Mother, and Their joint expression or “Word.” Last, the Plurality, the Sevenfold Light and Elohim of God. Such is the “generation” of the Heavens or celestial region, both in the universal and in the individual. And within the experience of each, individual lies the possibility of the verification thereof. For in due time, to each who seeks for it, “the Holy Spirit teaches all things, and brings all things to remembrance.”
46. The Logos, or Adonai, is then God’s Idea of God’s Self, the Formulated, Personified Thought of the Divine Mind. And whereas God makes nothing save through this Idea, it is said of Adonai, –
“By Him all things are made, and without Him is not anything made which is made.
“He is the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
“He is the world, and the world is made by Him, and the world knoweth Him not.
“But as many as receive Him, to them he giveth power to become Sons of God, even to them that believe on His Name.
“He is in the Beginning with God, and He is God. He is the Manifestor by Whom all things are discovered
“And without Him is not anything made which is visible.
“God the Nameless doth not reveal God: but Adonai revealeth God from the Beginning.
“Adonai dissolveth and resumeth: in His two hands are the dual powers of all things;
“Having the potency of both in Himself; and being Himself invisible, for He is the Cause, and not the Effect.
“He is the Manifestor; and not that which is manifest.
“That which is manifest is the Divine Substance.
“Every Monad thereof hath the potency of twain; as God is Twain in One.
“And every Monad which is manifest, is manifest by the evolution of its Trinity.
“For thus only can it bear record of itself, and become cognizable as an Entity.” [ As man, made in the “image” of Adonai, is the expression of God, so is the expression or countenance of man the express image of God’s nature, and bears in its features the impress of the celestial, showing him to be thence derived. Thus, in the human face, by the straight, central, protruding, and vertical line of the organ of respiration, is denoted Individuality, the divine Ego, the I AM, of the man. Though single exteriorly, and constituting one organ, in token of the Divine Unity, within it is dual, having a double function, and two nostrils in which resides the power of the Breath or Spirit, and which represent the Divine Duality. This duality finds its especial symbolization in the two spheres of the eyes, which – placed on a level with the summit of the nose – denote respectively Intelligence and Love, or Father and Mother, as the supreme elements of Being. Though exteriorly two, interiorly they are one, as vision is one. And of the harmonious co-operation of the two personalities represented by them, proceeds, as child, a third personality, which is their joint expression or “Word.” Of this the Mouth is at once the organ and symbol, being in itself dual, – when closed a line, when open a circle; and also twofold, being compounded of line and circle in the tongue and lips. And as the place of issue of the creative breath, it is below the other features, since creation, in coming from the Highest, is in its direction necessarily downwards. Thus, in the countenance of the “Image of God,” is expressed the nature of God, – even the Holy Trinity. For “these three are one,” being essential modes of the same Being. ]
47. WE come to that which, both in its nature and in its import, is the most stupendous fact of mystical experience, and the crowning experience of seers in all ages from the remotest antiquity to the present day. This is the Vision of Adonai, a vision which proves that not only subjectively but objectively, not only mentally and theoretically, but sensibly and actually, God, as the Lord, is present and cognizable in each individual, ever operating to build him up in the Divine Image, and succeeding so far – and only so far – as the individual, by making the Divine Will his own will, consents to co-operate with God.
48. In respect of this vision, it matters not whether the seer have previous experience or knowledge on the subject; for the result is altogether irrespective of anticipation. It is possible to him when – having purified his system, mental and physical, from all deteriorative and obstructive elements – he thinks inwardly, desires intensely, and imagines centrally, resolved that nothing shall bar his ascent to his own highest and entrance to his own innermost. Doing this, and abstracting himself from the outer world of the phenomenal, he enters first the astral, where, more or less clearly, according to the measure of his percipience, he discerns successively the various spheres of its fourfold zone together with their denizens. In the process he seems to himself, while still individual, to have lost the limitations of the finite, and to have become expanded into the universal. For, while traversing the several successive concentric spheres of his own being, and mounting, as by the steps of a ladder, from one to another, he is as palpably traversing also those not of the solar system only, but of the whole universe of being; and that which ultimately he reaches, is, manifestly, the centre of each, the initial point of radiation of himself and of all things.
49. Meanwhile, under the impulsion of the mighty enthusiasm engendered in him of the Spirit, the component consciousnesses of his system become more and more completely polarized towards their Divine centre, and the animating, Divine Spirit of the man, from being diffused, latent, and formless, becomes concentrated, manifest, and definite. For, bent on the highest, the astral does not long detain him; and soon he passes the Cherubim – the guardians from without of the celestial – and enters within the veil of the holy of holies. Here he finds himself amid a company innumerable of beings each manifestly divine; for they are the angels and archangels, principalities and powers, and all the hierarchy of the “Heavens.” Pressing on through these towards the centre, he next finds himself in presence of a light so intolerable in its lustre as well nigh to beat him back from further quest. And of those who reach thus far, many adventure no farther, but, appalled, retire, well content, nevertheless, to have been privileged to approach, and actually to behold, the “Great White Throne” of the Almighty.
50. Enshrined in this light is a Form radiant and glorious beyond all power of expression. For it is “made of the substance of Light;” and the form is that of the “Only Begotten,” the Logos, the Idea, the Manifestor of God, the Personal Reason of all existence the Lord God of Hosts, the Lord Adonai. From the right hand upraised in attitude indicative of will and command, proceeds, as a stream of living force, the Holy Life and Substance whereby and whereof creation consists. With the left hand, depressed and open as in attitude of recall, the stream is indrawn, and Creation is sustained and redeemed. Thus projecting and recalling, expanding and contracting, Adonai fulfils the functions expressed in the mystical formula Solve et Coagula. And as in this, so also in constitution and form, Adonai is dual, comprising the two modes of humanity, and appearing to the beholder alternately masculine and feminine according as the function exercised is of man or the woman, and is centrifugal or centripetal. And as, continuing to gaze, the beholder acquires clearer vision, he discovers that, of the images thus combined, while one is manifested the more fully exteriorly, the other appertains rather to the interior, and shines in a measure through its fellow, itself remaining meanwhile in close contiguity to the heart and spirit. And whereas of these forms the inner is the feminine, the beholder learns that of the two modes of humanity, womanhood is the nearer to God.
51. Such is the “vision of Adonai.” And by whatever name denoted, no other source, centre, sustenance, or true Self can mortal or immortal find, than God as the Lord Who is thus beheld; and no other can he who has once beheld it, – however dimly or afar off, – desire. For, finding Adonai, the soul is content; the summit and centre of Being is reached; all ideals of Truth, Goodness, Beauty, and Power are realized; there is no Beyond to which to aspire. For All is in Adonai; since in Adonai dwells the infinite sea of Power and Wisdom which is God. And all of God which can be revealed, all that the soul can grasp be her powers expanded as they may, is revealed in Adonai.
52. Of the term Adonai, as already stated, the Hindu equivalent, “Ardha-Nari,” is represented as androgynous in form. But the personality denoted is that of Brahm, or pure being, become Brahma, the Lord. And of the Hindu “Trimurti,” the right hand, which typifies the creative energy, is Vishnu; the left, which represents the power of dissolution and return, is Siva, Adonai Himself being Brahma. The conditions on which this vision is vouchsafed are thus set forth for the benefit of his “beloved disciple,” Arjun, by the “holy one,” Krishna: – “Thou hast beheld this My wondrous form, so difficult of apprehension, which even angels may in vain desire to see. But I am not to be seen as thou hast seen me, by means of mortifications, of sacrifices, of gifts, of alms. I am to be seen and truly known, and to be obtained by means of that worship which is offered to Me alone. He whose works are done for Me alone, who serves Me only, who cares nought for consequences, and who dwelleth among men without hatred, – he alone cometh unto Me.”
53. THIS discourse and series of discourses will fitly close with an exposition of the relations subsisting between the Adonai, the Christ, and the man.
As Adonai the Lord is the manifestation of God in Substance, so Christ is the manifestation of the Lord in Humanity. The former occurs by Generation; the latter by Regeneration. The former is from within, outwards; the latter is from below, upwards. Man, ascending by evolution from the material and lowermost stratum of existence, finds his highest development in the Christ. This is the point where the human stream, as it flows upwards into God, culminates. Reaching this point by regeneration, man is at once Son of Man and of God, and is perfect, receiving in consequence the baptism of the Logos or Word, Adonai. Being now “virgin” in respect of matter, and quickened by the “one life,” that of the Spirit, man becomes like unto God, in that he has the “Gift of God,” or Eternal Life through the power of self-perpetuation. The Logos is celestial: the man, terrestrial. Christ is their point of junction, without whom they could not touch each other. Attaining to this point by means of that inward purification which is the secret and method of the Christs, the man receives his suffusion by, or “anointing” of, the Spirit, and forthwith has, and is, “Christ.” Christhood is attained by the reception into man’s own spirit of the Logos. This accomplished, the two natures, the Divine and the human, combine; the two streams, the ascending and the descending, meet; and the man knows and understands God. And this is said to occur through Christ, because for every man it occurs according to the same method, Christ being for all alike the only way. Having received the Logos, Who is Son of God, the man becomes also Son of God, as well as Son of Man, – this latter title being his in virtue of his representing a regeneration or new birth out of humanity. And the Son of God in him reveals to him the “Father,” a term which includes the “Mother.” Knowing these, he knows the Life and Substance whereof he is constituted, – knows, therefore, his own nature and potentialities. Thus made “one with the Father,” through the Son, the man “in Christ” can say truly, “I and the Father are one.” This is the import of the confession of Stephen. “Behold,” he cried in his ecstasy, “I see the heavens open, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God.” For at that supreme moment the Spirit revealed to him, in visible image, the union through Christ of the Human and the Divine. Attaining to this union, man becomes “Christ Jesus;” “he dwells in God, and God in him;” he is “one with God and God with him.” It is at this point – Christ – that God and the man finally lay hold of each other and are drawn together. Thenceforth they flow, as two rivers united, in one stream. The man is finally made in the image of God; and God, as the Lord, is eternally manifested in him, making him an individualized portion of Divinity itself. Being thereby rendered incapable of relapse into material conditions, he is called a “fixed God,” – a state which, as says Hermes in the Divine Pymander, “is the most perfect glory of the soul.”
54. Recognizing thus divine truth as an eternal verity in perpetual process of realization by the individual soul, and words Now and Within as the keys to all sacred mysteries, the Elect translate the symbols of their faith into terms of the present, and recite accordingly their Credo in this wise: –
“I believe in one God, the Father and Mother Almighty; of Whose Substance are the generations of Heaven and of Earth; and in Christ-Jesus the son of God, our Lord; who is conceived of the Holy Ghost; born of the Virgin Mary; suffereth under the rulers of this world, is crucified, dead, and buried; who descendeth into Hell; who riseth again from the dead; who ascendeth into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God; by whose law the quick and the dead are judged. I believe in the Seven Spirits of God; the Kingdom of Heaven; the communion of the Elect; the passing-through of Souls; the redemption of the Body; the Life everlasting; and the Amen.”
APPENDIX No. 1
CONCERNING THE INTERPRETATION OF SCRIPTURE.
“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 Flesh of Bulls or the Blood of Goats, but holy Vows and Sacred Thanksgiving, 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.”
“MOSES, therefore, knowing the Mysteries of the Religion of Egypt, and having learned of its 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 Honor, 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 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 dishonored; 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 the False Gods?
“To make an Idol, is to materialize 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 to 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.”
APPENDIX No. 2
CONCERNING THE HEREAFTER.
WHEN a man parts at death with his material body, that of him which survives is divisible into three parts, the anima divina, or, as in the Hebrew, Neshamah; the anima bruta, or Ruach, which is the persona of the man; and the shade, or Nephesh, which is the lowest mode of soul-substance. In the great majority of persons the consciousness is gathered up and centered in the anima bruta, or Ruach; in the few wise it is polarized in the anima divina. Now, that part of man which passes through, or transmigrates, – the process whereof is called by the Hebrews Gilgal Neshamoth, – is the anima divina, which is the immediate receptacle of the deific Spirit. And whereas there is in the world nothing save the human, actual or potential, the Neshamah subsists also in animals, though only as a mere spark, their consciousness being therefore rudimentary and diffuse. It is the Neshamah which finally escapes from the world and is redeemed into eternal life. The anima bruta, or earthly mind, is that part of man which retains all earthly and local memories, reminiscent affections, cares and personalities of the world or planetary sphere, and bears his family or earth-name. After death this anima bruta, or Ruach, remains in the “lower Eden,” within sight and call of the magnetic earth-sphere. But the anima divina, the Neshamah, – the name of which is known only to God, – passes upwards and continues its evolutions, bearing with it only a small portion, and that the purest, of the outer soul, or mind. This anima divina is the true Man. It is not within hail of the magnetic atmosphere; and only on the rarest and most solemn occasions, does it return to the planet unclothed. The astral shade, the Nephesh, is dumb; the earthly soul, the anima bruta, or Ruach, speaks and remembers; the divine soul, the Neshamah, which contains the divine Light, neither returns nor communicates, that is, in the ordinary way. That which the anima bruta remembers, is the history of one incarnation only, because it is part of the astral man, and the astral man is renewed at every incarnation of the Neshamah. But very advanced men become reincarnate, not on this planet, but on some other nearer the Sun. The anima bruta has lived but once, and will never be reincarnate. It continues in the “lower Eden,” a personality in relation to the earth, and retaining the memories, both good and bad, of its one past life. If it have done evil, it suffers indeed, but is not condemned; if it have done well, it is happy, but not beatified. It continues in thought its favourite pursuits of earth, and creates for itself houses, gardens, flowers, books, and so forth, out of the astral light. It remains in this condition more or less strongly defined, according to the personality it had acquired, until the anima divina, one of whose temples it was, has accomplished all its Avatars. Then, with all the other earthly souls belonging to that divine soul, it is drawn up into the celestial Eden, or upper heaven, and returns into the essence of the Neshamah. But all of it does not return; only the good memories; the bad sink to the lowest stratum of the astral light, where they disintegrate. For, if the divine soul were permanently, in its perfected state, to retain the memories of all its evil doings, its misfortunes, its earthly griefs, its earthly loves, it would not be perfectly happy. Therefore only those loves and memories return to the Neshamah, which have penetrated the earthly soul sufficiently to reach the divine soul, and to make part of the man. It is said that all Marriages are made in Heaven. This means that all true love-unions are made in the Celestial within the man. The mere affections of the anima bruta are evanescent, and belong only to it. When this, the Ruach, is interrogated, it can speak only of one life, for it has lived but one. Of that one it retains all the memories and all the affections. If these have been strong, it remains near those persons whom especially it loved, and overshadows them. A single Neshamah may have as many of these former selves in the astral light, as a man may have changes of raiment. But when the divine soul is perfected and about to be received into “the Sun,” or Nirvana, she indraws all these past selves, and possesses herself of their memories; but only of the worthy parts of these, and such as will not deprive her of eternal calm. In “the planets,” the soul forgets; in “the Suns,” she remembers. For, in memoria eterna erit Justus. (Ps. A. V. cxii., D. V. cxi. 6.) Not until a man has accomplished his regeneration, and become a Son of God, a Christ, can he have these memories of his past lives. Such memories as a man, on the upward path, can have of his past incarnations, are by reflection only; and the memories are not of events usually, but of principles and truths, and habits formerly acquired. If these memories relate to events, they are vague and fitful, because they are reflections from the overshadowing of his former selves in the astral light. For the former selves, the deserted temples of the anima divina, frequent her sphere and are attracted towards her, especially under certain conditions. From them she learns through the intermediary of the Genius, or Moon, who lights up the camera obscura of the mind, and reflects on its tablet the memories cast by the overshadowing Past. The anima bruta seems to itself to progress, because it has a vague sense that sooner or later it will be lifted to higher spheres. But of the method of this it is ignorant, because it can only know the Celestial by union with it. The Ruach seems to itself to progress, but its learning is acquired by reflected soul-rays coming from the terrestrial. Advanced men on the earth assist and teach the astral soul, and hence its fondness for their spheres. It learns by reflected intellectual images, or Thoughts. The Ruach is right when it says it is immortal. For the better part of it will in the end be absorbed into the Neshamah. But if one interrogate a Ruach of even two or three centuries old, it seldom knows more than it knew in its earth-life, unless, indeed, it gains fresh knowledge from its interrogator. The reason why some communications are astral, and others celestial, is simply that some persons – the greater number – communicate by means of the anima bruta in themselves, and others – the few purified – by means of their anima divina. For, Like attracts Like. The earthly souls of animals are rarely met with; they come into communion with animals rather than with man, unless an affection between a man and an animal have been very strong. If a man would meet and recognize his Beloved in Nirvana, he must make his affection one of the Neshamah, not of the Ruach. There are many degrees of Love. True Love is stronger than a thousand deaths. For though one die a thousand times, a single Love may yet perpetuate itself past every death from birth to birth, growing and, culminating in intensity and might.
Now all these three, Nephesh, Ruach, and Neshamah, are discrete modes of one and the same universal Being which is at once Life and Substance and is instinct with Consciousness, inasmuch as it is, under whatever mode, Holy Spirit. Wherefore there inheres in them all a Divine potency. Evolution, which is the manifestation of that which is inherent, is the manifestation of this potency. The first formulation of this inherency, above the plane of the material, is the Nephesh, this being the soul by which are impelled the lower and earlier forms of life. It is the “moving” soul that breathes and kindles. The next, – the Ruach, – is the “Wind” that rushes forth to vivify the mind. Higher, because more inward and central, is the Neshamah, which, borne on the bosom of the Ruach, is the immediate receptacle of the Divine Particle, and without which this cannot be individualized and become an indiffusible personality. Both the “Wind” and the “Flame” are Spirit; but the Wind is general, the Flame particular; the Wind fills the House; the Flame designates the Person. The Wind is the Divine Voice resounding in the ear of the Apostle and passing away where it listeth; the Flame is the Divine Tongue uttering itself in the word of the Apostle. Thus, then, in the Soul impersonal are perceived the breath and afflatus of God; but in the Soul personal is formulate the express Utterance of God. Now, both of Nephesh and Ruach that which is gathered up and endures, is Neshamah.
APPENDIX No. 3
CONCERNING PROPHESYING; AND PROPHECY.
(The references, apparently personal, in this or any subsequent Appendix, are to be understood generally, – that is, of principles and offices, and not of actual individuals.)
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. To him that hath it is given, and he hath the more abundantly.
5. None is a prophet save he who knoweth; the Instructor of the people is a man of many lives.
6. 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.
7. Intuition is Inborn Experience; that which the Soul knoweth of old and of former years.
8. And Illumination is the Light of Wisdom, whereby a man perceiveth heavenly secrets.
9. Which Light is the Spirit of God within the man, showing unto him the things of God.
10. 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.
11. What, then, you ask, is the Medium; and how are to be regarded the utterances of one speaking in trance?
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. There are many such, but their words are as the words of men who know not; these are not prophets nor inspired.
15. God obsesseth no man; God is revealed; and he to whom God is revealed speaketh that which he knoweth.
16. Christ Jesus understandeth God; he knoweth that of which he beareth witness.
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. Inspiration may indeed be mediumship, but it is conscious; and the knowledge of the prophet instructeth him.
20. Even though he speak in an ecstasy, he uttereth nothing that he knoweth not.
21. Thou who art a prophet hast had many lives; yea, thou hast taught many nations, and hast stood before kings.
22. And God hath instructed thee in the years that are past; and in the former times of the earth.
23. By prayer, by fasting, by meditation, by painful seeking, hast thou attained that thou knowest.
24. There is no knowledge but by labor; there is no intuition but by experience.
25. 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.
26. Thou hast attained with patience, O prophet; God hath revealed the truth to thee from within.
27. AND now I show you a Mystery and a new thing, which is part of the Mystery of the Fourth Day of Creation.
28. The word which shall come to save the world, shall be uttered by a Woman.
29. A Woman shall conceive, and shall bring forth the tidings of Salvation.
30. For the reign of Adam is at its last hour, and God shall crown all things by the creation of Eve.
31. Hitherto the Man hath been alone, and hath had dominion over the earth.
32. 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.
33. Yea, the last shall be first; and the elder shall serve the younger.
34. So that women shall no more lament for their womanhood; but men shall rather say, “Oh that we had been born women!”
35. For the strong shall be put down from their seat; and the meek shall be exalted to their place.
36. The days of the Covenant of Manifestation are passing away; the Gospel of Interpretation cometh.
37. There shall nothing new be told; but that which is ancient shall be interpreted.
38. So that Man the Manifestor shall resign his office; and Woman the Interpreter shall give light to the world.
39. Here is the Fourth Office; she revealeth that which the Lord had manifested.
40. Here is the Light of the Heavens, and the brightest of the planets of the holy Seven.
41. She is the Fourth Dimension: the Eyes which enlighten, the Power which draweth inward to God.
42. And her kingdom cometh, the day of the exaltation of Woman.
43. 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 forever.
44. And she who is alone shall bring forth more children to God, than she who hath an husband.
45. There shall no more be a reproach against women; but against men shall be the reproach.
46. For the Woman is the crown of Man, and the final manifestation of Humanity.
47. She is the nearest to the Throne of God, when she shall be revealed.
48. But the creation of Woman is not yet complete; but it shall be complete in the time which is at hand.
49. 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.
APPENDIX No. 4
CONCERNING THE NATURE OF SIN
1. AS is the Outer so is the Inner; He that worketh is One.
2. As the small is, so is the great; there is one Law.
3. Nothing is small and nothing is great in the Divine Economy.
4. If thou wouldst understand the method of the world’s corruption, and the condition to which Sin hath reduced the work of God,
5. Meditate upon the aspect of a Corpse; and consider the method of the putrefaction of its tissues and humors.
6. For the secret of Death is the same, whether of the Outer or of the Inner.
7. The Body dieth when the Central Will of its system no longer bindeth in obedience the elements of its Substance.
8. Every Cell is a living Entity, whether of vegetable or of animal potency.
9. In the healthy body every Cell is polarized in subjection to the Central Will, the Adonai of the physical system.
10. Health, therefore, is Order, Obedience, and Government.
11. But wherever Disease is, there is Disunion, Rebellion, and Insubordination.
12. And the deeper the seat of the confusion, the more dangerous the malady, and the harder to quell it.
13. That which is superficial may be more easily healed, or, if need be, the disorderly elements may be rooted out, and the body shall be whole and at unity again.
14. But if the disobedient molecules corrupt each other continually, and the perversity spread, and the rebellious tracts multiply their elements; the whole body shall fall into Dissolution, which is Death.
15. For the Central Will that should dominate all the kingdom of the body, is no longer obeyed; and every element is become its own ruler, and hath a divergent will of its own.
16. So that the poles of the cells incline in divers directions; and the binding power which is the life of the body, is dissolved and destroyed.
17. And when Dissolution is complete, then follow Corruption and Putrefaction.
18. Now, that which is true of the Physical, is true likewise of its prototype.
19. The whole world is full of Revolt; and every element hath a will divergent from God.
20. Whereas there ought to be but one Will, attracting and ruling the whole Man.
21. But there is no longer Brotherhood among you; nor Order, nor Mutual Sustenance.
22. Every Cell is its own Arbiter; and every Member is become a Sect.
23. Ye are not bound one to another; ye have confounded your offices, and abandoned your functions.
24. Ye have reversed the direction of your magnetic currents; ye are fallen into confusion, and have given place to the Spirit of Misrule.
25. Your Wills are many and diverse; and every one of you is an Anarchy.
26. A house that is divided against itself, falleth.
27. O wretched Man; who shall deliver you from this body of Death?
APPENDIX No. 5
CONCERNING THE “GREAT WORK,” THE REDEMPTION AND THE
SHARE OF CHRIST JESUS THEREIN.
1. “FOR this cause is Christ manifest, that he may destroy the works of the devil.”
2. In this text of the holy writings is contained the explanation of the mission of the Christ, and the nature of the Great Work.
3. Now the devil, or old serpent, the enemy of God, is that which gives pre-eminence to Matter.
4. He is disorder, confusion, distortion, falsification, error. He is not personal, he is not positive, he is not formulated. Whatever God is, that the devil is not.
5. God is Light, Truth, Order, Harmony, Reason; and God’s Works are Illumination, Knowledge, Understanding, Love, and Sanity.
6. Therefore the devil is darkness, falsehood, disorder, discord, ignorance; and his works are confusion, folly, division, hatred, and delirium.
7. The devil is therefore the negation of God’s Positive. God is I AM; the devil is NOT. He has no individuality and no existence; for he represents the not being. Wherever God’s kingdom is not, the devil reigns.
8. Now the Great Work is the Redemption of Spirit from Matter; that is, the establishment of the Kingdom of God.
9. Jesus being asked when the Kingdom of God should come, answered, “When Two shall be as One, and that which is Without as that which is Within.”
10. In saying this, he expressed the nature of the Great Work. The Two are Spirit and Matter; the Within is the real invisible; the Without is the illusory visible.
11. The Kingdom of God shall come when Spirit and Matter shall be one substance, and the phenomenal shall be absorbed into the real.
12. His design was therefore to destroy the dominion of Matter, and to dissipate the devil and his works.
13. And this he intended to accomplish by proclaiming the knowledge of the Universal Dissolvent, and giving to men the keys of the Kingdom of God.
14. Now, the Kingdom of God is within us; that is, it is interior, invisible, mystic, spiritual.
15. There is a power by means of which the Outer may be absorbed into the Inner.
16. There is a power by means of which Matter may be ingested into its original substance.
17. He who possesses this power is Christ, and he has the devil under foot.
18. For he reduces chaos to order, and indraws the external to the centre.
19. He has learnt that Matter is illusion, and that Spirit alone is real.
20. He has found his own Central Point; and all power is given unto him in heaven and on earth.
21. Now, the central Point is the number Thirteen; it is the number of the Marriage of the Son of God.
22. And all the members of the microcosm are bidden to the banquet of the marriage.
23. But if there chance to be even one among them which has not on a wedding garment;
24. Such an one is a Traitor; and the microcosm is found divided against itself.
25. And that it may be wholly regenerate, it is necessary that Judas be cast out.
26. Now the members of the microcosm are Twelve: of the Senses three, of the Mind three, of the Heart three, and of the Conscience three.
27. For of the Body there are four elements; and the sign of the four is Sense, in the which are three Gates,
28. The gate of the Eye, the gate of the Ear, and the gate of the Touch.
29. Renounce vanity, and be poor; renounce praise, and be humble; renounce luxury and be chaste.
30. Offer unto God a pure oblation; let the fire of the altar search thee, and prove thy fortitude.
31. Cleanse thy sight, thine hands, and thy feet; carry the censer of thy worship into the courts of the Lord; and let thy vows be unto the Most High.
32. And for the Magnetic Man there are four elements; and the covering of the four is Mind, in the which are three gates,
33. The gate of Desire, the gate of Labor, and the gate of Illumination.
34. Renounce the world, and aspire heavenward; labor not for the meat which perishes, but ask of God thy daily bread; beware of wandering doctrines; and let the Word of the Lord be thy light.
35. Also of the Soul there are four elements; and the seat of the four is the Heart, whereof likewise there are three gates.
36. The gate of Obedience, the gate of Prayer, and the gate of Discernment.
37. Renounce thy own will, and let the Law of God only be within thee; renounce doubt; pray always and faint not; be pure of heart also, and thou shalt see God.
38. And within the Soul is the Spirit; and the Spirit is One, yet has it likewise three elements.
39. And these are the gates of the Oracle of God, which is the Ark of the Covenant;
40. The Rod, the Host, and the Law;
41. The force which solves, and transmutes, and divines; the Bread of Heaven which is the substance of all things and the food of Angels; the Table of the Law, which is the Will of God, written with the Finger of the Lord.
42. If these three be within thy spirit, then shall the Spirit of God be within thee.
43. And the glory shall be upon the Propitiatory, in the holy place of thy prayer.
44. These are the twelve gates of Regeneration; through which if a man enter he shall have right to the Tree of Life.
45. For the number of that Tree is Thirteen.
46. It may happen to a man to have three, to another five, to another seven, to another ten.
47. But until a man have twelve, he is not master over the last enemy.
48. Therefore was Jesus betrayed to death by Judas; because he was not yet perfected.
49. But he was perfected through suffering; yea, by the Passion, the Cross, and the Burial.
50. For he could not wholly die; neither could his body see corruption.
51. So he revived: for the elements of death were not in his flesh; and his molecules retained the polarity of life eternal.
52. He therefore was raised and became perfect; having the power of the Dissolvent and of Transmutation.
53. And God glorified the Son of Man; yea, he ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
54. Thence also the Christ shall come again, in power like unto the power of his ascension.
55. For as yet the devil is undissipated; the Virgin indeed has crushed his head; but still he lies in wait for her heel.
56. Therefore the Great Work is yet to be accomplished.
57. When the Leaven shall have leavened the whole lump; when the seed shall have become a tree; when the Net shall have gathered all things into it.
58. For in the same power and glory he had at his ascension, shall Christ Jesus be manifested from heaven before angels and man.
59. For when the cycle of the creation is completed, whether of the macrocosm or of the microcosm, the Great Work is accomplished.
60. Six for the Manifestation, and six for the Interpretation; six for the Outgoing, and six for the Ingathering; six for the Man, and six for the Woman.
61. Then shall be the Sabbath of the Lord God.
See plates, Fig. 2.
APPENDIX No. 6
THE TIME OF THE END
THE token whereby the approach of the End shall be known, will be the spectacle of “the Abomination of Desolation standing in the holy place.” Now the “holy place” is always, – whether in the universal or the individual, in the Macrocosm or the Microcosm, – the place of God and the Soul. And “the Abomination of Desolation” – or “that which maketh desolate” – is that system of thought which, putting Matter in the chief place, and making it the source, substance, and object of existence, abolishes God out of the universe and the Soul out of man, and thus, depriving existence of its light and life, makes it empty, desolate, and barren, a very “abomination of desolation.”
Jesus, recalling this prophecy, and citing the words of Daniel’s Angel, also foretold the same event as marking the end of that “adulterous” generation [a term identical with idolatrous as denoting the worship of and illicit association with Matter], and the coming of the kingdom of God; and warned the Elect in mystic phrase, thus to be interpreted: –
“When, therefore, ye shall see Matter exalted to the holy place of God and the Soul, and made the all and in all of existence,
“Then let the spiritual Israel betake themselves to the hills where alone salvation is to be found, even the heights and fastnesses of the Divine Life.
“And let him who has overcome the body, beware lest he return to the love of the flesh, or seek the things of the world.
“Neither let him who is freed from the body, become again reincarnate.
“And woe to the soul whose travail is yet unaccomplished, and which has not yet become weaned from the body.
“And beseech God that these things find you not at a season either of spiritual depression and feebleness, or of spiritual repose and unwatchfulness.
“For the tribulation shall be without parallel;
“And such that except those days shall be few in number, escape from the body would be impossible.
“But for the Elect’s sake they shall be few.
“And if any shall then declare that here, or there, the Christ has appeared as a Person, believe it not. For there shall arise delusive apparitions and manifestations, together with great signs and marvels, such as might well deceive even the Elect. Remember, I have told you beforehand. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold he is in the desert, whether of the East or of the West, – join him not. Or, Behold he is in darkened rooms and secret assemblies, – pay no regard.
“For, like lightning coming out of the East and illuminating the West, so shall be the world’s spiritual awakening to the recognition of the Divine in Humanity.
“But wheresoever the dead carcass of error remains, around it, like vultures, will gather both deceivers and deceived.
“And upon them, the profane, there shall be darkness; the Spirit shall be quenched and the Soul extinct; and there shall be no more any light in heaven, or in heavenly science any truth and meaning. And the power of heaven upon men shall be shaken.
“Then shall appear the new sign, the Man in Heaven, upon the rain-clouds of the last Chrism and Mystery, with power and glory.
“And his missioners shall gather the Elect with a great voice, from the four winds and from the farthest bounds of heaven.
“Behold the FIG-TREE, and learn her parable. When the branch thereof shall become tender, and her buds appear, know that the day of God is upon you.”
Wherefore, then, saith the Lord that the budding of the Fig-Tree shall foretell the end?
Because the Fig-Tree is the symbol of the Divine Woman, as the Vine of the Divine Man.
The Fig is the Similitude of the Matrix, containing inward buds, bearing blossoms on its placenta, and bringing forth fruit in darkness. It is the Cup of Life, and its flesh is the feed-ground of new births.
The stems of the Fig-Tree run with milk; her leaves are as human hands, like the leaves of her brother the Vine.
And when the Fig-Tree shall bear figs, then shall be the Second Advent, the new sign of the Man bearing Water, and the manifestation of the Virgin-Mother crowned.
For when the Lord would enter the holy city, to celebrate his Last Supper with his disciples, he sent before him the Fisherman Peter to meet the Man of the Coming Sign.
“There shall meet you a Man bearing a pitcher of Water.”
Because, as the Lord was first manifest at a wine-feast in the morning, so must he consummate his work at a wine-feast in the evening.
It is his Pass-Over; for thereafter the Sun must pass into a new Sign.
After the fish, the Water-Carrier; but the Lamb of God remains always in the place of victory, being slain from the foundation of the world.
For his place is the place of the Sun’s triumph.
After the Vine the Fig; for Adam is first formed, then Eve.
And because our Lady is not yet manifest, our Lord is crucified.
Therefore came he vainly seeking fruit upon the Fig-Tree, “for the time of figs was not yet.”
And from that day forth, because of the curse of Eve, no man has eaten fruit of the Fig-Tree.
For the inward understanding has withered away, there is no discernment any more in men. They have crucified the Lord because of their ignorance, not knowing what they did.
Wherefore, indeed, said our Lord to our Lady: – “Woman, what is between me and thee? For even my hour is not yet come.”
Because until the hour of the Man is accomplished and fulfilled, the hour of the Woman must be deferred.
Jesus is the Vine; Mary is the Fig-Tree. And the vintage must be completed and the wine trodden out, before the harvest of the Figs be gathered.
But when the hour of our Lord is achieved, hanging on his Cross, he gives our Lady to the faithful.
The chalice is drained, the lees are wrung out; then says he to his Elect: – “behold thy Mother!”
But so long as the grapes remain unplucked, the Vine has nought to do with the Fig-Tree, nor Jesus with Mary.
He is first revealed, for he is the Word; afterwards shall come the hour of its Interpretation.
And in that day every man shall sit under the VINE and the FIG-TREE; the Dayspring shall arise in the Orient, and the FIG-TREE shall bear her fruit. (Zach. iii, 10; Mich. iv, 4; Cant. ii, 13.)
For, from the beginning, the Fig-leaf covered the shame of Incarnation, because the riddle of existence can be expounded only by him who has the Woman’s secret. It is the riddle of the Sphinx.
Look for that tree which alone of all Trees bears a fruit blossoming interiorly, in concealment, and thou shalt discover the Fig.
Look for the sufficient meaning of the manifest universe and of the written Word, and thou shalt find only their mystical sense.
Cover the nakedness of Matter and of Nature with the Fig-leaf, and thou hast hidden all their shame. For the Fig is the Interpreter.
So when the hour of Interpretation comes, and the Fig-Tree puts forth her buds, know that the time of the End and the dawning of the new Day are at hand, – “even at the doors.”
APPENDIX No. 7
THE HIGHER ALCHEMY
1. ALL things in Heaven and in Earth are of God; both the Invisible and the Visible.
2. Such as is the Invisible is the Visible also; for there is no impassable bound between Spirit and Matter.
3. Matter is spirit made exteriorly cognizable by the force of the Divine Word.
4. And when God shall resume all things by Love, the Material shall be resolved into the Spiritual; and there shall be a new Heaven and a new Earth.
5. Not that Matter shall be destroyed; for it came forth from God and is of God, indestructible and eternal.
6. But it shall be indrawn, and resolved into its true Self.
7. It shall put off corruption, and remain incorruptible.
8. It shall put off mortality, and remain immortal.
9. So that nothing be lost of the Divine Substance.
10. It was material Entity; it shall be Spiritual Entity.
11. For there is nothing that can go out from the Presence of God.
12. This is the doctrine of the Resurrection of the Dead; that is, the Transfiguration of the Body.
13. For the Body, which is Matter, is but the Manifestation of Spirit; and the Word of God shall transmute it into its inner being.
14. The Will of God is the Alchemic Crucible; and the Dross which is cast therein is Matter.
15. And the Dross shall become pure Gold, seven times refined, even perfect Spirit.
16. It shall leave behind it nothing, but shall be transformed into the Divine Image.
17. For it is not a new Substance; but it’s Alchemic polarity is changed, and it is converted.
18. But except it were Gold in its true Nature, it could not be resumed into the aspect of Gold.
19. And except Matter were Spirit, it could not revert to Spirit.
20. To make Gold the Alchemist must have Gold.
21. But he knows that to be Gold which others take to be Dross.
22. Cast thyself into the Will of God, and thou shalt become as God.
23. For thou art God if thy will be the Divine Will.
24. This is the Great Secret; it is the Mystery of Redemption.
APPENDIX No. 8
ALL true and worthy Illuminations are Revelations, 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 formulas 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 analyze and classify chemical constituents; but it is impossible to dissect or analyze 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 Centralization and Individualism.
And Life is so various, and so beautifully diverse in its Unity, that no hard and fast mathematical lawmaking can imprison its manifoldness.
All is order; but the elements of this order harmonize 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.
APPENDIX No. 9
CONCERNING THE POET
THOU mayest the more easily gather somewhat of the character of the heavenly Personality by considering the Quality of that of the highest type of mankind on Earth, – the Poet.
The Poet hath no Self apart from his larger Self. Other men pass indifferent through Life and the World, because the Selfhood of Earth and Heaven is a thing apart from them, and toucheth them not.
The Wealth of Beauty in Earth and Sky and Sea lieth outside their being, and speaketh not to their heart.
Their interests are individual and limited; their Home is by one Hearth; four walls are the boundary of their kingdom, – so small is it!
But the Personality of the Poet is Divine; and being Divine it hath no limits.
He is supreme and ubiquitous in consciousness; his heart beats in every Element.
The Pulses of all the infinite Deep of Heaven vibrate in his own; and responding to their strength and their plenitude, he feels more intensely than other men.
Not merely he sees and examines these Rocks and Trees, these variable Waters, and these glittering Peaks;
Not merely he hears this plaintive Wind, these rolling Peals;
But he is all these; and with them – nay, in them – he rejoices and weeps, and shines and aspires, and sighs and thunders.
And when he sings, it is not he – the Man – whose Voice is heard; it is the Voice of all the Manifold Nature herself.
In his Verse the Sunshine laughs; the Mountains give forth their sonorous Echoes; the swift Lightenings flash.
The great continual cadence of universal Life moves and becomes articulate in human language.
O Joy profound! O boundless Selfhood! O God-like Personality!
All the Gold of the Sunset is thine; the Pillars of Chrysolite; and the purple Vault of Immensity!
The Sea is thine with its solemn Speech; its misty Distance, and its radiant Shallows!
The Daughters of Earth love thee; the Water-nymphs tell thee their secrets; thou knowest the Spirit of all silent things!
Sunbeams are thy Laughter, and the Raindrops of Heaven thy Tears; in the wrath of the Storm thine Heart is shaken; and thy Prayer goeth up with the Wind unto God.
Thou art multiplied in the Conscience of all living Creatures; thou art young with the Youth of Nature; thou art all-feeling as the Starry Skies;
Like unto Gods; therefore art thou their Beloved; yea, if thou wilt They shall tell thee all things;
Because thou only understandest, among all the Sons of Men!
APPENDIX No. 10
CONCERNING THE ONE LIFE
THE Spirit absorbed in Man or in the Planet does not exhaust Deity.
Nor does the Soul evolved upward through Matter exhaust Substance.
There remains then ever in the Fourth Dimension – the Principium – above the manifest, unmanifest God and Soul.
The Perfection of Man and of the Planet is attained when the Soul of the one and of the other is throughout illuminate by Spirit.
But Spirit is never the same thing as Soul. It is always celestial Energy, and Soul is always Substance.
That which creates is Spirit (God).
The immanent consciousnesses (spirits) of all the cells of a man’s entity, cause by their polarization a central unity of consciousness, which is more than the sum total of all their consciousnesses, because it is on a higher round or plane.
For in spiritual science every thing depends upon levels; and the man’s evolution works round spirally, as does the planetary evolution.
In this relation consider the Worlds of Form and Formless Worlds of Form and Formless Worlds of Hindu theosophy.
Similarly the soul of the planet is more than the associated essences of the souls upon it; because this soul also is on a higher plane than they.
Similarly, too, the consciousness of the solar system is more than that of the associated world-consciousnesses.
And the consciousness of the manifest universe is greater than that of the corporate systems.
But that of the Unmanifest is higher and greater still: as God the Father is greater than God the Son.
THE Elemental Kingdoms represent Spirit on its downward path into Matter.
There are three of these before the Mineral is reached.
These are the formless worlds before the worlds of form.
They are in the Planet, and also in Man.
All the planets inhabited by manifest forms are themselves manifest.
After the form-worlds come other formless worlds, caused by the upward arc of ascending Spirit; but these also are in the planet.
They are also in the man, and are the states of pure thought.
The Thinker, therefore, who is son of Hermes, is a far beyond the Medium who is controlled and who is not self-conscious, as the formless worlds of the ascending arc are beyond the formless worlds of the elemental, or descending, arc.
In the planet and in the man they only seem contiguous because each round is spiral.
But each round takes the One Life higher in the spiral.
Neither the planet-soul nor the man-soul goes over exactly the same ground again.
But perverse and disobedient will may reverse the direction of the spiral.
Individuals in whom the will so acts, are finally abandoned by the planet to the outer sphere.
THE One Life is the point of consciousness.
The will is the impulse which moves it.
In the Celestial the One Life is the Elohim; and the Will is the Father.
The One Life is manifest by Effulgence (the Son).
So then the Will begets in Substance the Effulgence, which is the manifestation of the One Life.
In man and the planet the Effulgence is dim and diffuse until it moves into the soul. Then only Christ is born.
The One Life is invisible until Christ manifests it.
Christ in Man has for counterpart Adonai in the Heavens.
So then the One Life is in the Father-Mother latently, until manifest by the Son (Effulgence).
Herein is the difference reconciled between the Greek and Latin Churches.
The point of consciousness shineth more and more unto the Perfect Day of Brightness (“Nativity of Christ”).
THE object of creation is the production of “Ancients” (A. V., “Elders,” Apoc. iv.)
They are the first-fruits of the souls of the planets; or “First Resurrection.”
They are not themselves creators; but are regenerators of that which is created.
The Regenerator is the Holy Spirit, through Christ.
Because Will can create only when it is in the abstract; the derived does not create.
The father creates through Adonai by means of the Holy Spirit.
The Will of the Perfect Man renovates through the Effulgence of his Own Life.
His Karma is poured out over the world to save mankind.
He is the Saviour through his precious life.
There are twenty-four Ancients, because there are twelve Avatars of the Lord, and every one is dual.
WILL, when it is derived through existence, begets Karma.
God has no Karma. God does not exist: God IS.
Karma is the channel of Initiation. God is not initiated.
The Perfect Man saves himself and saves others by his Righteousness.
The two terms of existence are Creation and Redemption.
The first is God’s work; the second is the work of Christ: – God in Man.
The reason why the Ancient cannot create is because he is not infinite.
He is immortal, not eternal; he is derived, not self-sufficient.
His is the point of Grace: not the point of Projection.
The thrones of the Ancients are round about the Throne of God and below it.
APPENDIX No. 11
CONCERNING THE MYSTERIES
IT is necessary, in relation to the Mysteries, to distinguish between the Unmanifest and the Manifest, and between the Macrocosm and the Microcosm. These last, however, are identical, in that the process of the universal and the process of the individual are one.
Mary is the Soul, and as such the Matrix of the Divine Principle, – God – made Man by Individualization, through descent into the “Virgin’s Womb.” But the Seven Principles of universal Spirit are concerned in this conception; since it is through their operation in the Soul that she becomes capable of polarizing Divinity.
[This is the secret aspect of the Mosaic week of Creation, each day of which week denotes the operation of one of the Seven creative Elohim or Divine Potencies concerned in the elaboration of the spiritual Microcosm.]
It is said that the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Daughter, Spouse, and Mother of God. But, inasmuch as Spiritual Energy has two conditions, one of Passivity and one of Activity, – which latter is styled the Holy Spirit, – it is said that Mary’s Spouse is not the Father, but the Holy Ghost, these terms implying respectively the static and the dynamic modes of Deity. For the Father denotes the Motionless, the Force passive and potential, in Whom all things are subjectively. But the Holy Ghost represents Will in action, – Creative Energy, Motion and Generative Function. Of this union of the Divine Will in action, – the Holy Ghost, – with the human soul, the product is Christ, the God-Man, and our Lord. And through Christ, the Divine Spirit, by whom he is begotten flows and operates.
In the Trinity of the Unmanifest, the Great Deep, or Ocean of Infinitude – Sophia – corresponds to Mary, and has for Spouse the creative Energy of whom is begotten the Manifestor, Adonai, the Lord. This “Mother” is coequal with the Father, being primary and eternal. In Manifestation the “Mother” is derived, being born of Time (Anna,) and has for Father the Planet-God, – for our planet Iacchos (Joachim;) (And also Jacob, as in Ps. xxiv. 6, cxxxii. 2, 5, etc., where he is specially invoked as the God of Might. The name is applied equally to the Planet-God and his elect people.) so that the paternity of the First Person of the Trinity is vicarious only. The Church, therefore, being a Church of the Manifest, deals with Mary (Substance,) under this aspect alone, and hence does not specify her as coequal with the First Principle. In the Unmanifest, being underived, she has no relation to Time.
APPENDIX No. 12
HYMN TO THE PLANET-GOD
FATHER Iacchos; thou art Lord of the Body, God manifest in the flesh;
2. Twice-born, baptized with fire, quickened by the Spirit, instructed in secret things beneath the Earth;
3. Who wearest the horns of the Ram, who ridest upon an Ass, whose symbol is the Vine, and the new Wine thy Blood;
4. Whose Father is the Lord God of Hosts; whose Mother is the Daughter of the King.
5. Evoi, Iacchos, Lord of Initiation; for by means of the Body is the Soul initiated;
6. By Birth, by Marriage, by Virginity, by Sleep, by Waking, and by Death;
7. By Fasting and Vigil, by Dreams and Penance, by Joy, and by Weariness of the Flesh.
8. The Body is the Chamber of Ordeal: therein is the Soul of Man tried.
9. Thine Initiates, O Master, are they who come out of great tribulation; whose robes are washed in the Blood of the Vine.
10. Give me to drink of the Wine of the Cup, that I may live for evermore;
11. And to eat of the Bread whose grain cometh up from the Earth, as the Corn in the Ear.
12. Yea; for the Body in which Man is redeemed, is of the Earth; it is broken upon the cross; cut down by the sickle, crucified between grindstones.
13. For by the suffering of the Outer, is the inner set free.
14. Therefore the Body which Thou givest is Meat indeed; and the Word of thy Blood is Drink indeed.
I5. For Man shall live by the Word of God.
16. Evoi, Father Iacchos; bind Thy Church to the Vine, and her elect to the choice Vine.
17. And let them wash their garments in wine; and their vesture in the blood of grapes.
18. EVOI, Iacchos, Lord of the Body; and of the House whose Symbol is the Fig;
19. Whereof the image is the figure of the Matrix, and the leaf as a man’s hand; whose stems bring forth milk.
20. For the Woman is the Mother of the Living; and the crown and perfection of Humanity.
21. Her Body is the highest step in the ladder of Incarnation.
22. Which leadeth from Earth to Heaven; upon which the Spirits of God ascend and descend.
23. Thou art not perfected, O Soul, that hast not known Womanhood.
24. Evoi, Iacchos; for the day cometh wherein thy sons shall eat of the fruit of the Fig; yea, the Vine shall yield new grapes; and the Fig-tree shall be more barren.
25. For the Interpretation of hidden things is at hand; and men shall eat of the precious fruits of God.
26. They shall eat manna from Heaven; and shall drink of the river of Salem.
27. The Lord maketh all things new; he taketh away the Letter to establish the Spirit.
28. Then spakest thou with veiled face, in parable and dark saying: for the time of Figs was not yet.
29. And they who came into the Tree of Life, sought fruit thereon and found it not.
30. And from thenceforth until now, hath no man eaten of the fruit of that Tree.
31. But now is the Gospel of Interpretation come; and the Kingdom of the Mother of God.
32. Evoi, Iacchos, Lord of the Body; who art crowned with the Vine and with the Fig.
33 For as the Fig containeth many perfect fruits in itself; so the house of Man containeth many spirits.
34. Within thee, O Man, is the Universe; the Thrones of all the Gods are in thy Temple.
35. I have said unto men, Ye are Gods; ye are all in the Image of the Most High.
36. No man can know God unless he first understand himself.
37. God is nothing that Man is not.
38. What Man is, that God is likewise.
39. As God is at the heart of the outer world; so also is God at the heart of the world within thee.
40. When the God within thee shall be wholly united to the God without; then shalt thou be one with the Most High.
41. Thy Will shall be God’s Will; and the Son shall be as the Father.
42. Thou art ruler of the world, O Man: thy name is Legion; thou hast many under thee.
43. Thou sayest to this one, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and the cometh; and to another, Do this, and he doeth it.
44. What thou knowest is told thee from Within; what thou workest is worked from Within.
45. When thou prayest, thou invokest the God within thee, and from the God within thee thou receivest thy good things.
46. Thy manifestations are inward; and the spirits which speak unto thee are of thine own kingdom.
47. And the spirit which is greatest in thy kingdom, the same is thy Master and thy Lord.
48. Let thy Master be the Christ of God.
49. And Christ shall be thy Lover and the Savior of thy Body; yea, he shall be thy Lord God, and thou shalt adore him.
50. But if thou wilt not, then a stronger than thou art shall bind thee, and spoil thine house and thy goods.
51. An uncleanly temple shalt thou be; the hold of all manner of strife and evil beasts.
52. For a man’s foes are of his own household.
53. But scourge thou thence the moneychangers and the merchants; lest the House of thy Prayer become unto thee a den of thieves.
54. EVOI, Father Iacchos: Lord of the Thyrsos and of the Pine-Cone.
55. As are the involutions of the leaves of the Cone, so is the spiral of Generation; the progress and passing-through of the Soul;
56. From the lower to the higher; from the coarse to the fine; from the base to the apex;
57. From the outer to the inner; yea, from the dust of the ground to the Throne of the Most High.
58. EVOI, Io Nysaee: God of the Garden and of the Tree bearing fruit.
59. The dry land is thine, and all the beauty of earth: the vineyard, the garland, and the valleys of corn;
60. The forests, the secrets of the springs; the hidden wells and the treasures of the caverns;
61. The harvest, the dance, and the festival; the snows of winter, and the icy winds of death.
62. Yea Lord Iacchos; who girdest destruction with promise, and graftest comeliness upon ruin.
63. As the green Ivy covereth the blasted tree, and the waste places of earth where no grass groweth;
64. So thy touch giveth life and hope and meaning to decay.
65. Who so understandeth thy mysteries, O Lord of the Ivy, hath overcome Death and the fear thereof.
66. EVOI, Father Iacchos, Lord God of Egypt; initiate thy servants in the halls of thy Temple;
67. Upon whose walls are the forms of every creature of every beast of the earth, and every fowl of the air.
68. The lynx, and the lion, and the bull; the ibis and the serpent; and the scorpion and every flying thing.
69. And the columns thereof are human shapes; having the heads of eagles and the hoofs of the ox.
70. All these are of thy kingdom; they are the chambers of ordeal, and the houses of the initiation of the Soul.
71. For the Soul passeth from form to form; and the mansions of her pilgrimage are manifold.
72. Thou callest her from the deep, and from the secret places of the earth; from the dust of the ground, and from the herb of the field.
73. Thou coverest her nakedness with an apron of Fig-leaves; thou clothest her with the skins of beasts.
74. Thou art from of old, O Soul of Man; yea, thou art from the everlasting.
75. Thou puttest off thy bodies as raiment; and as vesture dost thou fold them up.
76. They perish, but thou remainest; the wind rendeth and scattereth them; and the place of them shall no more be known.
77. For the Wind is the Spirits of God in Man, which bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, nor whither it shall go.
78. Even so is the Spirit of Man, which cometh from afar off and tarrieth not, but passeth away to a place thou knowest not.
79. EVOI, Iacchos, Lord of the Sphinx; who linkest the lowest to the highest; the loins of the wild beast to the head and breast of the woman.
80. Thou holdest the Chalice of Divination: all the forms of Nature are reflected therein.
81. Thou turnest man to destruction; then thou sayest, Come again, ye children of my hand.
82. Yea, blessed and holy art thou, O Master of Earth: Lord of the Cross and the Tree of Salvation.
83. Vine of God, whose Blood redeemeth; Bread of Heaven, broken on the Altar of Death.
84. There is Corn in Egypt; go thou down into her, O my soul, with joy.
85. For in the kingdom of the Body, thou shalt eat the Bread of thine Initiation.
86. But beware lest thou become subject to the Flesh, and a bond-slave in the land of thy sojourn.
87. Serve not the idols of Egypt; and let not the Senses be thy taskmasters.
88. For they will bow thy neck to their yoke; they will bitterly oppress the Israel of God.
89. An evil time shall come upon thee; and the Lord shall smite Egypt with plagues for thy sake.
90. Thy body shall be broken on the wheel of God; thy flesh see trouble and the worm.
91. Thy house shall be smitten with grievous plagues; blood and pestilence, and great darkness; fire shall devour thy goods and thou shalt be a prey to the locust and creeping thing.
92. Thy glory shall be brought down to the dust; hail and storm shall smite thine harvest; yea, thy beloved and thy firstborn shall the hand of the Lord destroy;
93. Until the Body let the Soul go free: that she may serve the Lord God.
94. Arise in the night, O Soul, and fly, lest thou be consumed in Egypt.
95. The Angel of the Understanding, shall know thee for his Elect, if thou offer unto God a reasonable faith.
96. Savor thy Reason with Learning, with Labor and Obedience.
97. Let the Rod of thy Desire be in thy hand; put the Sandals of Hermes on thy feet; and gird thy loins with Strength.
98. Then shalt thou pass through the Waters of cleansing; which is the First Death in the Body.
99. The Waters shall be a Wall unto thee on thy right hand and on thy left.
100. And Hermes the Redeemer shall go before thee: for he is the cloud of Darkness by Day and thy Pillar of Fire by Night.
101. All the horsemen of Egypt and the chariots thereof; her princes, her counselors, and her mighty men;
102. These shall pursue thee, O Soul, that fliest; and shall seek to bring thee back into bondage.
103. Fly for thy life; fear not the Deep; stretch out thy Rod over the Sea; and lift thy Desire unto God.
104. Thou hast learnt Wisdom in Egypt; thou hast spoiled the Egyptians; thou hast carried away their fine gold and their precious things.
105. Thou hast enriched thyself in the Body; but the Body shall not hold thee; neither shall the waters of the Deep swallow thee up.
106. Thou shalt wash thy robes in the Sea of Regeneration; the Blood of Atonement shall redeem thee to God.
107. This is thy Chrism and Anointing, O Soul; this is the First Death; thou art the Israel of the Lord.
108. Who hath redeemed thee from thy dominion of the Body; and hath called thee from the grave, and from the house of bondage.
109. Unto the Way of the Cross, and to the Path in the midst of the Wilderness;
110. Where are the adder and the serpent, the mirage and the burning sand.
111. For the feet of the Saint are set in the way of the Desert.
112. But be thou of good courage, and fail thou not; then shall thy raiment endure, and thy sandals shall not wax old upon thee.
113. And thy Desire shall heal thy diseases; it shall bring streams for thee out of the stony rock; it shall lead the to Paradise.
114. Evoi, father Iacchos, Jehovah-Nyssi: Lord of the Garden and of the Vineyard;
115. Initiator and Lawgiver: God of the Cloud and of the Mount.
116. Evoi, Father Iacchos; out of Egypt hast thou called thy Son.
APPENDIX No. 13
FRAGMENTS FROM THE “GOLDEN BOOK OF VENUS.”
THE HYMN OF APHRODITE.
I am the Dawn, Daughter of Heaven and the Deep; the sea-mist covers my beauty with a veil of tremulous light.
2. I am Aphrodite, the sister of Phoebos, opener of Heaven’s gates, the beginning of Wisdom, the herald of the Perfect Day.
3. Long had the darkness covered the deep; the Soul of all things slumbered; the valleys were filled with shadows; only the mountains and the stars held commune together.
4. There was no light on the ways of the earth; the rolling world moved outward on her axe; gloom and mystery shrouded the faces of the Gods.
5. Then from the Deep I arouse, dispeller of Night; the firmament of heaven kindled with the joy beholding me.
6. The secrets of the waters were revealed; the eyes of Zeus looked down into the heart thereof.
7. Ruddy as wine were the depths; the raiment of Earth was transfigured; as one arising from the dead she arose, full of favor and grace.
8. OF God and the Soul is Love born; in the silence of twilight; in the mystery of sleep.
9. In the Fourth dimension of space; in the womb of the heavenly Principle; in the heart of the man of God; – there is Love enshrined.
10. Yea, I am before all things; Desire is born of me; I impel the springs of Life inward unto God; by me the earth and heavens are drawn together.
11. But I am hidden until the time of the Day’s appearing; I lie beneath the waters of the sea, in the deeps of the Soul; the bird of night seeth me not, the herds in the valleys, nor the wild goat in the cleft of the hill.
12. As the fishes of the sea am I covered; I am secret and veiled from sight as the children of the deep.
13. That which is occult hath the Fish for a symbol; for the fish is hidden in darkness and silence; he knoweth the secret places of the earth, and the springs of the hollow sea.
14. Even as Love reacheth to the uttermost; so find I the secrets of all things; having my beginning and my end in the Wisdom of God.
15. The Spirit of Counsel is begotten in the Soul; even as the fish in the boson of the waters.
16. From the sanctuary of the Deep Love ariseth; Salvation is of the sea.
17. I am the Crown of manifold births and deaths; I am the Interpreter of mysteries and the Enlightener of Souls.
18. In the elements of the Body is Love imprisoned; lying asleep in the caves of Iacchos; in the crib of the oxen of Demeter.
19. But when the Daystar ariseth over the earth, then is the Epiphany of Love.
20. Therefore until the labor of the Third Day be fulfilled, the light of Love is unmanifest.
21. Then shall I unlock the gates of Dawn; and the glory of God shall ascend before the eyes of men.
22. THE secret of the angel Anael is at the heart of the world; the Song of God is the sound of the stars in their courses.
23. O Love, thou art the latent heat of the earth; the strength of the wine; the joy of the orchard and the cornfield; thou art the Spirit of song and laughter, and all the desire of Life!
24. By thee, O Goddess, pure-eyed and golden, the Sun and the Moon are revealed; Love is the Counselor of Heaven.
25. Cloud and vapor melt before thee; thou unveilest to earth the Rulers of the immeasurable skies.
26. Thou makest all things luminous; thou discoverest all deeps,
27. From the womb of the sea to the heights of heaven; from the shadowy Abyss to the Throne of the Lord.
28. Thy Beloved is as a Ring-dove, wearing the ensign of the Spirit, and knowing the secrets thereof.
29. Fly, fly, O Dove; the time of Spring cometh; in the far east the Dawn ariseth; she hath a message for thee to bear from earth to heaven!
A DISCOURSE OF THE COMMUNION OF SOULS, AND OF THE
USES OF LOVE BETWEEN CREATURE AND CREATURE.
HEREIN is Love’s Secret, and the Mystery of the Communion of Saints.
2. Love redeemeth, Love lifteth up, Love enlighteneth, Love advanceth Souls.
3. Love dissolveth not, neither forgetteth; for she is of the Soul, and hath everlasting Remembrance.
4. Thou who lovest, givest of thyself to thy Beloved, and he is dowered withal.
5. And if any Creature whom thou lovest, suffereth Death and departeth from thee,
6. Fain wouldst thou give of thine Heart’s Blood to have him live always; to sweeten the Changes before him, and to lift him to some happy Place.
7. Thou droppest Tears on the broken Body of thy Beloved; thy Desire goeth after him, and thou criest unto his Ghost;
8. “O Dearest, would God that I might be with thee where now thou art; and know what now thou doest!
9. “Would God that I might still guard and protect thee; that I might defend thee from all Pain and Wrong and Affliction!
10. “But what Manner of Change is before thee I know not; neither can mine Eyes follow thy Steps.
11. “Many are the Lives set before thee; and the Years, O Beloved, are long and weary that shall part us!
12. “Shall I know thee again when I see thee; and will the Spirit of God say to thee in that Day, ‘This is thy Beloved’?
13. “Oh Soul of my Soul! would God I were one with thee, even though it were in Death!
14. “Thou hast all my Love, my Desire, and my Sorrow; yea, my Life is mingled with thine, and is gone forth with thee!
15. “Visit me in Dreams; comfort me in the Night-Watches; let my Ghost meet thine in the Land of Shadows and of Sleep.
16. “Every Night with fervent Longing will I seek thee; Persephone and slumber shall give me back the Past.
17. “Yea, Death shall not take thee wholly from me; for Part of me is in thee, and where thou goest, Dearest, there my Heart followeth!”
18. So weepest thou and lamentest, because the Soul thou lovest is taken from thy Sight.
19. And life seemeth to thee a bitter Thing; yea, thou cursest the Destiny of all living Creatures.
20. And thou deemest thy Love of no Avail, and thy Tears as idle Drops.
21. Behold! Love is a Ransom, and the Tears thereof are Prayers.
22. And if thou have lived purely, thy fervent Desire shall be counted Grace to the Soul of thy Dead.
23. For the burning and continual Prayer of the Just availeth much.
24. Yea, thy Love shall enfold the Soul which thou lovest; it shall be unto him a Wedding Garment, and a Vesture of Blessing.
25. The Baptism of thy Sorrow shall baptize thy Dead; and he shall rise because of it.
26. Thy Prayers shall lift him up, and thy Tears shall encompass his Steps; thy Love shall be to him a Light shining upon the upward Way.
27. And the Angels of God shall say unto him, “Oh happy Soul, that art so well-beloved; that art made so strong with all these Tears and Sighs.
28. “Praise the Father of Spirits therefor; for this great Love shall save thee many Incarnations.
29. “Thou art advanced thereby; thou art drawn aloft and carried upward by Cords of Grace.”
30. For in such wise do Souls profit one another, and have communion, and receive and give Blessing; the Departed of the Living, and the Living of the Departed.
31. And so much the more as the Heart within them is clean; and the Way of their Intention innocent in the Sight of God.
32. Yea, the Saint is a strong Redeemer; the Spirit of God striveth within him.
33. And God withstandeth not God: for Love and God are One.
34. As the Love of Christ hath Power with the Elect, so hath Power in its Degree the Love of a Man for his Friend.
35. Yea, though the Soul beloved be little and mean: a Creature not made in the Likeness of Men.
36. For in the Eyes of Love there is nothing little nor poor, nor unworthy of Prayer.
37. O little Soul, thou art mighty if a Child of God love thee; yea, poor and simple Soul, thou art possessed of great Riches!
38. Better is thy Portion than the Portion of Kings whom the Curse of the Oppressed pursueth.
39. For as Love is strong to redeem and to advance a Soul, so is Hatred strong to torment and to detain.
40. Blessed is to Soul whom the Just commemorate before God: for whom the poor and the Orphan and the dumb Creature weep.
41. And thou, O Righteous Man, that with burning Love bewaileth the Death of the Innocent, whom thou canst not save from the Hands of the Unjust;
42. Thou who wouldst freely give of thine own Blood to redeem thy Brother, and to loosen the Bonds of his Pain;
43. Know that in the Hour of thy supreme Desire, God accepteth thine Oblation.
44. And thy Love shall not return unto thee empty; according to the Greatness of her Degree, she shall accomplish thy Will.
45. And thy Sorrow and Tears and the Travail of thy Spirit, shall be Grace and Blessing to the Soul thou wouldst redeem.
46. Count not as lost thy Suffering on behalf of other Souls; for every Cry is a Prayer, and all Prayer is Power.
47. That thou willest to do is done; thine Intention is united to the Will of Divine Love.
48. Nothing is lost of that which thou layest out for God and for thy Brother.
49. And it is Love alone who redeemeth; and Love hath nothing of her own.
APPENDIX No. 14
HYMN TO HERMES (A FRAGMENT)
AS a moving light between heaven and earth; as a white cloud assuming many shapes;
2. He descends and rises, he guides and illumines, he transmutes himself from small to great, from bright to shadowy, from the opaque image to the diaphanous mist.
3. Star of the East conducting the Magi; cloud from whose midst the holy voice speaketh; by day a pillar of vapor, by night a shining flame;
4. I behold thee, Hermes, Son of God, slayer of Argus, Archangel, who bearest the rod of knowledge by which all things in heaven or on earth are measured.
5. Double serpents entwine it, because as serpents they must be wise who desire God.
6. And upon thy feet are living wings, bearing thee fearless through space and over the abyss of darkness; because they must be without dread to dare the void and the deep who desire to attain and to achieve.
7. Upon thy side thou wearest a sword of a single stone, two-edged, whose temper resisteth all things.
8. For they who would slay or save must be armed with a strong and perfect will, defying and penetrating with no uncertain force.
9. This is Herpë, the sword which destroyeth demons; by whose aid the hero overcometh, and the savior is able to deliver.
10. Except thou bind it upon thy thigh thou shalt be overborne, and blades of mortal making shall prevail against thee.
11. Nor is this all thine equipment, Son of God; the covering of darkness is upon thine head, and none is able to strike thee.
12. This is the magic hat, brought from Hades, the region of silence, where they are who speak not.
13. He who bears the worlds on his shoulders shall give it to thee, lest the world fall on thee and thou be ground into powder.
14. Keep a bridle upon thy lips, and cover thy head in the day of battle.
15. These are the four excellent things, the Rod, the Wings, the Sword, and the Hat.
16. Knowledge, which thou must gain with labor; the spirit of holy boldness, which cometh by faith in God; a mighty will, and a complete discretion.
APPENDIX No. 15
THE SECRET OF SATAN
AND on the seventh day there went forth from the presence of God a mighty angel full of wrath and consuming, and God gave unto him the dominion of the outermost sphere.
2. Eternity brought forth Time; the Boundless gave birth to Limit; Being descended into Generation.
3. As lightning I beheld Satan fall from heaven, splendid in strength and fury.
4. Among the Gods is none like unto him, into whose hand are committed the kingdoms, the power and the glory of the worlds;
5. Thrones and empires, the dynasties of kings, the fall of nations, the birth of churches, the triumphs of Time.
6. They arise and pass, they were and are not; the sea and the dust and the immense mystery of space devour them.
7. The tramp of armies, the voices of joy and of pain, the cry of the new-born babe, the shout of the warrior mortally smitten;
8. Marriage, divorce, division, violent deaths, martyrdoms, tyrannous ignorances, the impotence of passionate protest, and the mad longing for oblivion;
9. The eyes of the tiger in the jungle, the fang of the snake, the fetor of slaughterhouses, the wail of innocent beasts in pain;
10. The innumerable incarnations of Spirit, the strife towards Manhood, the ceaseless pulse and current of Desire; –
11. These are his who beareth all the Gods on his shoulders; who establisheth the pillars of Necessity and Fate.
12. Many names hath God given him, names of mystery, secret and terrible.
13. God called him Satan the Adversary, because Matter opposeth Spirit, and Time accuseth even the saints of the Lord.
14. And the Destroyer, for his arm breaketh and grindeth to pieces; wherefore the fear and the dread of him are upon all flesh.
15. And the Avenger, for he is the anger of God; his breath shall burn up all the souls of the wicked.
16. And the Sifter, for he straineth all things through his sieve, dividing the husk from the grain; discovering the thought of the heart; proving and purifying the spirit of man.
17. And the Deceiver, for he maketh the False appear true and concealeth the Real under the mask of Illusion.
18. And the Tempter for he setteth snares before the feet of the elect; he beguileth with vain shows, and seduceth with enchantments.
19. Blessed are they who withstand his subtlety; they shall be called the sons of God, and shall enter in at the beautiful gates.
20. For Satan is the doorkeeper of the Temple of the King; he standeth in Solomon’s porch; he holdeth the Keys of the Sanctuary;
21. That no man may enter therein save the anointed, having the arcanum of Hermes.
22. For Satan is the Spirit of the Fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom. (Ps. A.V. cxi., D.V. cx. 10; Is. xi. 2, 3. The first and “eldest of the gods” in the order of microcosmic evolution, Saturn (Satan) is the seventh and last in the order of macrocosmic emanation, being the circumference of the kingdom of which Phoebus (wisdom) is the centre.)
23. He is the devourer of the unwise and the evil: they shall all be meat and drink to him.
24. Whatsoever he devoureth, that shall never more return into being.
25. Fear him, for after he hath killed, he hath power to cast into hell.
26. But he is the servant of the sons of God, and of the children of light.
27. They shall go before him, and he shall follow the steps of the wise.
28. Stand in awe of him and sin not; speak his name with trembling; and beseech God daily to deliver thee.
29. For Satan is the magistrate of the Justice of God; he beareth the balance and the sword,
30. To execute judgment and vengeance upon all who come short of the commandments of God; to weigh their works, to measure their desire, and to number their days.
31. For to him are committed Weight and Measure and Number.
32. And all things must pass under the rod and through the balance, and be fathomed by the sounding-lead.
33. Therefore Satan is the Minister of God, Lord of the seven mansions of Hades, the Angel of the manifest worlds.
34. And God hath put a girdle about his loins, and the name of the girdle is Death.
35. Threefold are its coils, for threefold is the power of Death, dissolving the body, the ghost, and the soul.
36. And that girdle is black within, but where Phoebus strikes it is silver.
37. None of the Gods is girt save Satan, for upon him only is the shame of generation.
38. He hath lost his virginal estate; uncovering heavenly secrets, he hath entered into bondage.
39. He encompasseth with bonds and limits all things which are made; he putteth chains round about the worlds, and determineth their orbits.
40. By him are Creation and Appearance; by him Birth and Transformation; the day of Begetting and the night of Death.
41. The glory of Satan is the shadow of the Lord; the throne of Satan is the footstool of Adonai.
42. Twain are the armies of God; in heaven the hosts of Michael; in the abyss the legions of Satan.
43. These are the Unmanifest and the Manifest; the free and the bound; the virginal and the fallen.
44. And both are the ministers of the Father, fulfilling the Word divine.
45. The legions of Satan are the Creative Emanations, having the shapes of dragons, of Titans, and of elemental gods;
46. Forsaking the Intelligible World, seeking manifestation, renouncing their first estate;
47. Which were cast out into chaos, neither was their place found any more in heaven.
48. EVIL is the result of limitation, and Satan is the Lord of Limit.
49. He is the Father of Lies, because Matter is the cause of Illusion.
50. To understand the secret of the Kingdom of God, and to read the riddle of Maya, this is to have Satan under foot.
51. He only can put Satan under foot who is released by Thought from the bonds of Desire.
52. Nature is the allegory of Spirit; all that appeareth to the sense is deceit; to know the Truth, this alone shall make men free.
53. For the kingdom of Satan is the house of Matter; yea his mansion is the sepulchre of Golgotha, wherein on the seventh day the Lord lay sleeping, keeping the Sabbath of the Unmanifest.
54. For the day of Satan is the night of Spirit; the manifestation of the worlds of Form is the rest of the worlds informulate.
55. Holy and venerable is the Sabbath of God; blessed and sanctified is the name of the Angel of Hades;
56. Whom the Anointed shall overcome, rising again from the dead on the first day of the week.
57. For the place of Satan is the bourne of divine impulsion; there is the arrest of the outgoing force; Luza, the station of pause and slumber;
58. Where Jacob lay down and dreamed, beholding the ladder which reached from earth to heaven.
59. For Jacob is the planetary Angel Iacchos, the Lord of the Body;
60. Who hath left his Father’s House, and is gone out into a far country.
61. Yet is Luza none other than Bethel; the kingdom of Satan is become the kingdom of God and of His Christ.
62. For there the Anointed awakeneth, arising from sleep, and goeth his way rejoicing;
63. Having seen the vision of God, and beheld the secret of Satan;
64. Even as the Lord arose from the dead and brake the seal of the Sepulchre;
65. Which is the portal of heaven, Luza, the house of separation, the place of stony sleep;
66. Where is born the centripetal force, drawing the soul upward and inward to God;
67. Recalling Existence into Being, resuming the kingdoms of Matter in Spirit;
68. Until Satan return unto his first estate, and enter again into the heavenly obedience;
69. Having fulfilled the Will of the Father, and accomplished his holy ministry;
70. Which was ordained of God before the worlds, for the splendor of the Manifest, and for the generation of Christ our Lord;
71. Who shall judge the quick and the dead, putting all things under his feet; whose are the dominion, the power, the glory, and the Amen.
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