I AM shown the Descent from the Cross. I see Jesus carried by Joseph of Arimathea to his house. The house communicates with a sepulchre; and Jesus is carried to the house where they do something to revive him; for he has swooned rather than died. The clothes are placed in the sepulchre, but not Jesus. I see a rupture of the pericardium, but no fatal injury to the heart. I see plainly that he is not dead. There is no organic lesion; and the wound heals like a simple wound, without suppuration, and by incessant bathing with water. What a lovely climate it is there! and how curious that there should have been a Joseph at both birth and crucifixion!
I am now shown the truth respecting the birth of Jesus. It was most certainly an ordinary birth. I see that quite distinctly. The names are all altered. The birth-name of Jesus is not Jesus, or anything like it. Nothing is real as I have thought it. Very little happens as related. The losing and finding in the temple and the feeding of the five thousand are allegories of which the signification is spiritual. The miracles of the raising of the ruler's daughter and widow's son are real facts. Jesus saw clairvoyantly that the former was not dead, and that the body was uninjured by disease, so that the soul could return to it. For disease is gradual death, and when death occurs through it the soul is set free altogether. In violent or sudden death the soul is slow to get away, and the separation is a long process.
In his own case Jesus instructed his friends beforehand what to
do. Joseph of Arimathea was a friend of Mary Magdalen; and she procured for him the requisite balms. I see her running with them through the sepulchre to the house. Jesus was not organically dead at all, for the heart never ceased to beat. He foreknew all the particulars of the event, and provided accordingly.
Nor is Jesus well again on the third day. He is at least ten days under treatment in Joseph's house. Three days is a mystical period, having no relation to actual time. All about him are women except one, the old man. Jesus' name begins with M. I do not see the rest of it.
The perfect adept is he who has attained in himself the Philosopher's Stone of a spirit absolutely quiescent, and is in union with the Divine Will. Being without ardour, sympathy and compassion are for him but other names for justice; and, incapable of anger, his temperament is always cool and equable. I now see faults in Jesus which I did not see before. I mean Jesus as he actually was, and not as he is depicted in the Gospels. They are faults from the adept's point of view. I am shown a passion-flower as the emblem of his character. He sacrificed himself for others, but would have been able to do more had he been more careful,--especially in respect of his diet. His liability to give way continually to indignation or pity prevented him from getting higher. He allowed himself to be drawn too much out of himself to reach the highest possible.
I see him bidding his followers good-bye. It is on a hill which he ascends, and he disappears from their view, lost in cloud or mist. He now becomes a hermit. I see him in the wilderness alone; and there he attains the higher life which constituted his true ascension.
Jesus was able to influence persons at a distance by means of an emanation which he projected from himself; so that it was not necessary for him to be dead when supposed to be seen by Paul.
I now see some one with him on his mountain. It is John, writing down the Apocalypse at the dictation of Jesus. Jesus recollects all his past incarnations, and epitomises them in the Apocalypse, which is the history of his, and of every perfected soul. He is quite an old man at this time.
And now I see the panther's skin of Bacchos, and whence Jesus got the name which has been given him of "Rabbi Ben Panther," and why he was said to be the son of one Panther. It is a play on Pan and theos, and means all the gods. The panther's skin
represented the raiment, or attributes, of all the gods, with which Jesus, as a "Son of God," was held to be endowed.
I am shown that there is but little of real value in the Scriptures. They are a mass of clay, comparatively modern, with here and there a bit of gold. The angel whom I saw before, and who told us to burn the Bible, 1 now puts it in the fire, and there comes out a few pages only of matter which is original and divine. All the rest is interpolation or alteration. This is the case with both Old Testament and New, Isaiah and the prophets. Isaiah is a great mixture. It is all fragments from various sources, just thrown together. The book of Genesis is one large parable; and so are all the legends of the wanderings and wars of Israel. All is mixed up with fiction. Moses wrote none of it. And similarly with all the books of the Law and the prophets. All are made up in this manner. Here and there is an original piece of the ancient Revelation, but these are largely interspersed with additions and embellishments, commentaries, and applications to the times by copyists and interpreters. And when the angel told us to put the Bible in the fire, he meant separate the gold from the dross and clay.
As for the gospels, they are almost entirely parabolical. Religion is not historical, and in no wise depends upon past events. For, faith and redemption do not depend upon what any man did, but on what God has revealed. Jesus was not the historical name of the initiate and adept whose story is related. It is the name given him in initiation. 2 His birth, the manner of it, his being lost and found by his parents in the temple, his lying three days in the tomb,--all are parabolic, as also is the story of the Ascension. The Scriptures are addressed to the soul, and make no appeal to the outer senses, The whole story of Jesus is a mass of parables, the things that occurred to him being used as symbols. Thus, the Crucifixion represents the soul's sufferings; the Resurrection its transmutation; and the life and Ascension are a prophecy of what is possible to man.
The real original gospel is that of John. The others came long afterwards, and all were written long after the time of Jesus. Jesus largely wrote the Apocalypse by the hand of John, as he sat with him on the mountain. This was many years after the "Ascension," as his disappearance on the hill was termed. The Apocalypse was rather a recovery than an original composition
of Jesus. The gospel life of Jesus is made up of the lives of all the divine teachers before him, and represents the best the world had then, and the best it has in it to be. And it is therefore a prophecy. The recorded life of Jesus epitomised all the teachers before him, and the possibilities of mankind some day to be realised.
The "beautiful feet of the messengers on the mountains" are the first rays of the rising sun of the coming salvation, seen by the watchers from the spiritual heights,--the "shepherds who tend their flocks,"--even their own pure hearts and thoughts. They it is who see from the "hills" the coming God, the demonstration of the divinity that is in humanity, while the world below is wrapped in darkness.
84:1 London, March 22, 1881. Spoken in trance. See also No. XXIV. Referred to in Life of Anna Kingsford, vol. ii, p. 4.
86:1 In a vision received some time previously. E. M.
86:2 See Part II, No. XI, Hymn to Phoibos, v. 9.