I STAND upon the seashore. The moon overhead is at the full. A soft and warm breath, like that of the summer wind, blows in my face. The aroma of it is salt with the breath of the sea. O Sea! O Moon! from you I shall gather what I seek! You shall recount to me the story of the Immaculate Conception of Maria, whose symbols ye are!
Allegory of stupendous significance! with which the Church of
[paragraph continues] God has so long been familiar, but which yet never penetrated its understanding, like the holy fire which enveloped the sacred Bush, but which, nevertheless, the Bush withstood and resisted.
Yet has there been one who comprehended, and who interpreted aright the parable of the Immaculate Conception; and he found it through US, by the light of his own intense love, for he was the disciple of love, and his name is still--the Beloved;--John, the Seer of the Apocalypse. For he, in the vision of the woman clothed with the sun, set forth the true significance of the Immaculate Conception. For the Immaculate Conception is none other than the prophecy of the means whereby the universe shall at last be redeemed. Maria--the sea of limitless space--Maria the Virgin, born herself immaculate and without spot, of the womb of the ages, 1 shall in the fulness of time bring forth the perfect man, who shall redeem the race. He is not one man, but ten thousand times ten thousand, the Son of Man, who shall overcome the limitations of matter, and the evil which is the result of the materialisation of spirit. His Mother is spirit, his Father is spirit, yet he is himself incarnate; and how then shall he overcome evil, and restore matter to the condition of spirit? By force of love. It is love which is the centripetal power of the universe; it is by love that all creation returns to the bosom of God. The force which projected all things is will, and will is the centrifugal power of the universe. Will alone could not overcome the evil which results from the limitations of matter; but it shall be overcome in the end by sympathy, which is the knowledge of God in others,--the recognition of the omnipresent self. This is love. And it is with the children of the spirit, the servants of love, that the dragon of matter makes war.
Now, whether or not the world be strong enough to bear this yet, we know not. This is not the first time we have revealed these things to men. An ancient heresy, cursed by the Church, arose out of a true inspiration; for the disciples are ever weaker than the master, and they have not his spiritual discernment. I speak of the Gnostics. To the Master of the Gnostics we revealed the truth of the Immaculate Conception. We told him that Immanuel should be the God--Man who, transcending the limitations of matter, should efface the evil of materialisation by the
force of love, and should see and hear and speak and feel as though he were pure spirit, and had annihilated the boundaries of matter. This, then, he taught; but they who heard his teaching, applying his words only to the individual Jesus, affirmed that Jesus had had no material body, but that he was an emanation of a spiritual nature; an Æon who, without substance or true being in the flesh, had borne a phantom part in the world of men. Beware lest in like manner ye also are misled. It is so hard for men to be spiritual. It is as hard for us to declare ourselves without mystery. The Church knows not the source of its dogmas. We marvel also at the blindness of the hearers, who indeed hear, but who have not eyes to see. We speak in vain,--ye discern not spiritual things. Ye are so materialised that ye perceive only the material. The Spirit comes and goes; ye hear the sound of its voice: but ye cannot tell whither it goeth nor whence it cometh. All that is true is spiritual. No dogma of the Church is true that seems to bear a physical meaning. For matter shall cease, and all that is of it, but the Word of the Lord shall remain for ever. And how shall it remain except it be purely spiritual; since, when matter ceases, it would then be no longer comprehensible? I tell you again, and of a truth,--no dogma is real that is not spiritual. If it be true, and yet seem to you to have a material signification, know that you have not solved it. It is a mystery: seek its interpretation. That which is true, is for spirit alone.
7:1 This "supreme product of the soul's perception of its own nature and destiny," which proved to be "a re-delivery, (accompanied by the interpretation) of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Maria," was received, and written down under trance, at Paris in the night of July 25, 1877, the seeress being transported in spirit to the seaside, but maintaining with the body a connection sufficient to enable her to write. The changes of person from singular to plural are due to the overshadowing influence speaking at one time as a unity, and at another as a plurality--"the US denoting the Hierarchy of the Church invisible and celestial" (see Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. i, pp. 194-197). S. H. H.
8:1 The ages, of which the personification is Anna: "Anna is the rolling year, the Time, of which is born Maria the soul, the Mother of God" (see No. XLII, "Concerning God"). "The soul born of Time (Anna)" (see No. XLVIII (1), "Concerning the Christian Mysteries"). S. H. H.