NOTE A, pages 30, 34, 134, 173, 174
THE long-standing controversy respecting the meaning of Nirvâna has been resolved for us in favour of both the interpretations assigned to it. This is to say that, while it means extinction, the extinction implied is of two different kinds. Of these, one, called the celestial Nirvâna, denotes the perfectionment and perpetuation of the essential selfhood of the individual, accompanied by the extinction of the external and phenomenal selfhood. Thus indrawn to his centre, the individual ceases to exist, but does not cease to be. In other words, he is, but is not manifest, the term existence, as opposed to being, implying the standing-forth, or objectivisation, of that which is, subjectively. The condition implies the return from matter to substance or spirit.
The "Nirvâna of the Amen," on the contrary, denotes the extinction, not only of the externality of the individual, but of the individual himself; this occurring through the persistent indulgence of a perverse will to the outer and lower, such as to induce a complete deprivation of the inner and higher constituents of man, and so to divest his system of its binding principle as to render not only possible, but inevitable, complete dissolution and disintegration, to the total extinction of the individuality concerned. There is no loss of substance or spirit.
The term Amen in this relation signifies consummation or finality.
NOTE B, page 134
Like the so-called "damnatory" clauses of the "Athanasian Creed," this declaration is simply a solemn recognition, first, of the doctrine that salvation is neither arbitrary nor compulsory, but conditional and optional, the alternative to it being extinction; and, next, of the Credo as a summary of the conditions of salvation. These, it is true, are expressed in terms which, in being symbolical, do not bear their meaning upon the face of them; but none the less are the conditions themselves so simple and obvious as to be recognisable as self-evident and necessarily true. That is to say, they represent the steps of a process necessary to be enacted in the soul, and founded in the nature of the soul itself; so that, when understood, the belief in them makes no greater strain upon the faculties
than does the belief in any self-evident proposition whatever. Rather would the difficulty be to disbelieve them.
Wherefore--to state the case in other words--the declaration of the soul's extinction through non-compliance with the conditions herein affirmed to be indispensable to its perpetuation, made by the initiate in the terms of the Credo, is the exact parallel and counterpart of the declaration of the body's extinction through non-compliance with the conditions indispensable to its continuance, made by the physiologist in the terms of his craft. The language is in each case technical, but the truths it conceals (from the non-initiate) are incontestable; and so far from their being disbelieved by those who do not understand them, they are invariably acted upon by all--who are of sound mind--to the best of their ability, despite their failure to understand them. For, alike for soul and body, there is that within man which does believe, and which accordingly does comply with the conditions requisite for his welfare, quite independently of his knowledge of processes and terms spiritual or physiological, and which needs but fair play, and not to be thwarted by his own perverse will, to accomplish his salvation.
Wherefore the declaration in question is no menace, but rather is it a promise,--a promise that when the time comes to understand the process whereby salvation is accomplished, the very fact that it is understood is a token that salvation is accomplished; for once understood, it can no more be disbelieved than gravitation or any other certainty of the physical world.
Now, to have this understanding is to be "initiated."
NOTE C, page 137
On the conclusion of this instruction, the better to enable the seeress to comprehend the description given in verses 9 and 16, a vision was given her of two human forms, having their molecules, the one in the order of man regenerate, and the other in the disorder of man unregenerate, as on the two sides, A and B, of the figure on p. 189, which represents a combination of the half of each form thus beheld. In the case of specific organs, the rays represent the magnetic direction of each organ as a whole, and not that of its constituent molecules, since the orderly polarisation of these is not to the common centre of the system, but to the centre of their own particular organ, and only mediately through this to the common centre.
Similarly, figs. C and D show the physiologic unit or cell--the type of every kosmical entity--the former in its fully developed and healthy state, wherein the protoplasmic contents are pure, and the nucleus and nucleolus (which correspond to the soul and spirit) fully developed, and the magnetic poles convergent; and the latter in a rudimentary and disorderly condition, with the nucleolus or spirit as yet unpolarised. The four spheres correspond respectively to the physical, the astral, the psychic, and the spiritual; or body, mind, soul, and spirit.
NOTE D, page 144
This must be taken as a poetic rather than as a scientific expression.
NOTE E, page 147
These Hymns of the Gods were, like all else in the text, received under illumination, occurring chiefly in sleep, over a number of years commencing in 1878. They constitute a synthesis of the Sacred Mysteries of the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Hebrews, and the Christians,--the last three of which were derived from the first, and are substantially identical with it and with each other; and they are expressed in terms derived indifferently from them all.
That they represent, at least in a great measure, a recovery of rituals and formulæ, oral or written, which were actually used in the ancient Mysteries, and of which the writers of the Bible largely availed themselves, was as not only positively declared to us, but was indicated by the circumstances under which a considerable portion of them were obtained. For example, No. XIII, the hymn to Iacchos, the planet-god, was chiefly obtained in dreams, wherein the seeress found re-enacting what she felt, and was positively assured, had been in one of her own former existences, when she had chanted it in chorus as one of a body of priests and
priestesses making solemn procession through the vast aisles of an Egyptian temple.
Concerning the purpose of this. restoration and certain other particulars in relation to the Gods, see the preface and the note on page 122.
NOTE F, page 150
As is well known to students of occult science, the name of Hermes has from prehistoric times been for the Western World the synonym at once for profound problems and for interpretative insight, his claim to have possessed "the three parts of the knowledge of the whole kosmos"--science, philosophy, and religion--having always been recognised. Whether the name originally denoted some actual man from whom, for his eminence in knowledge, it was transferred to the divinity, or whether it originally denoted the divinity, and was assigned to some man supposedly or really inspired by him, there is no historical evidence to determine. It is sufficient to know, as an indubitable historical fact, that some of the profoundest of the sages of old claimed Hermes the divinity as the source of their knowledge, and that the manner of its reception corresponded in all respects with that under which the illuminations in this book were received. It was as the divine principle itself of understanding that he was recognised by the Hermetists in the saying--
"Est in Mercurio quicquid quærunt sapientes"; 1
and by the authors of that wondrous compendium of Hebrew transcendentalism, the Kabala, when they declared that "all the mysteries are in Chockmah,"--the Nous of the Greeks; as also by the famous Neoplatonist, Proklos, when he thus wrote:--
"Hermes, as the messenger of God, 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."
For "in the Celestial, all things are Persons "; and it is as Persons that the divine Principles manifest themselves in and to the soul, being seen and heard of it, when duly receptive and percipient. That the forms under which they manifested themselves to Anna Kingsford were those of Egypt and Greece, was--we were assured--because she had been an initiate of the Greco-Egyptian mysteries, and those forms were indelibly impressed upon her.
Now of all those who have been enlightened by Hermes, the doctrine is identical, and it is the basic doctrine of all sacred scriptures.
The name Hermes, which is Greek, signifies both rock and interpreter,--that which stands under and that which understands. And
(as stated in The Perfect Way, i, 20) it was to Hermes as the inspirer and prompter of the confession of Simon, and not to the man, that Jesus addressed the apostrophe, "Thou [the Understanding] art the Peter, or rock, upon which I build my church." Called Peter as the utterer of the confession, Simon has always been claimed as himself the rock of the church. He has also been assigned the office--likewise that of Hermes--of guardian of the mysteries. But he has yet to justify his claim to be the fulfiller of that other function of Hermes, that of being their interpreter. Hitherto, as represented by the church which claims him as its especial patron, he has manifested himself only in his New Testament rôle--rebuked by Jesus--of the cutter off, not of the opener, of ears.
NOTE G, page 150
As the Spirit of Understanding it is the function of Hermes to recognise and indicate limits and distinctions between things that differ, in whatever department of existence, so that there be no confusion or intrusion. Hence, on the physical plane, he was accounted the guardian of boundaries and landmarks. But though thus discerning and marking limitations, he was not the author of them. That was the function of the angel of the outermost sphere, the "last of the Gods," Saturn or Satan, as explained in Note U.
NOTE H, page 150
Argus, the monster with a hundred eyes, represents the "power of the stars" over the soul,--the power, that is, of Karma, or the destiny acquired by the soul through its defects of conduct during the unregenerate stages of its existence. As it is for want of understanding, of its own nature and that of existence, that the soul comes thus under bondage, it falls to Hermes, as the angel of the understanding, to rescue the soul by imparting to it the instruction requisite for its perfectionment. Thus emancipated by Hermes from the trammels of fate, the soul rises superior to all limitations, and, becoming as a "woman clothed with the sun," wears as jewels in her crown the stars over which she has triumphed, each of which thus denotes a spiritual grace or gift acquired in the conflict with materiality. And so, for her, Hermes is said to have slain Argus. For further information on this subject see The Perfect Way, vii, 27, and ix, 13-17. And for the importance attached by the Bible to the office of Hermes, see the numerous passages cited in the concordance under the various forms of the word understand.
NOTE I, page 151
Serpents when used to denote wisdom are the "seraphs" or rays of the (spiritual) sun, i.e. they are divine emanations. The "serpent of the dust," or of the astral and lower nature, is the obverse of the seraph, and represents cunning rather than wisdom, as shown in its stealthy and sinuous mode of progression.
NOTE J, page 151
Atlas implies Discretion. He was one of the Titans, or mundane, spirits, and "brother" of Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Menoitios, or Precaution, Reflection, and Deliberation bred of, and exercised in, ignorance and distrust of God. In this aspect he is a type of the discretion taught by experience of the crushing weight of the world on those who are devoid of that quality especially as shown by their inability to restrain speech.
NOTE K, page 153
The occasion made use of to give us this "exhortation" was one of peculiar interest. The late Laurence Oliphant was at that time the English representative and agent of Thomas Lake Harris, the founder and chief of a certain mystical brotherhood in the United States. And having heard from a mutual friend of our spiritual work and experiences, and desiring to gain recruits for his chief, he came to Paris to see us, when, after putting to us sundry questions, he declared that we were possessed of the requisite qualifications, and called upon us to renounce everything we were doing and place ourselves at the disposal of Harris, whom he announced as the prophet and king of the new dispensation, and in short, a new avatâr of Christ. Failing to do this, we should, he assured us, infallibly incur dire catastrophe. Knowing nothing of Harris's doctrine, but respecting him for his undoubted poetic faculty, and having a high regard for his emissary, with whom I had some previous acquaintance, we begged for further information. This was accordingly vouchsafed us, but only with the result of our finding ourselves in hopeless disagreement, on account of what we deemed its fanciful character, its failure to satisfy the needs either of the mind or of the soul, and the nature of the experiences on which it was founded. For, though recognising these as real, we also recognised them as appertaining, not to the spiritual and divine region of man's nature, but to the magnetic and astral, and as representing a disorderly condition of this. And in confirmation of this view Mrs Kingsford was on the following night given a dream, in which she beheld a wilderness teeming with sirens, loreleis, and other phantasmal forms, which she was given to understand were of the order of those who pretended to be the "counterpartal angels" and "arch-natural women" of Harris's school--afterwards called by Oliphant "Sympneumata"--but which were the morbid products of that part of man's system which is always mystically called the wilderness, being the astral region which intervenes between the "Egypt" of the purely material, and the "Promised Land" of the purely spiritual;--a region, indeed, which has to be entered and traversed by all seekers after perfection, but which must on no account be mistaken for the goal or unduly loitered in.
A second visit from Oliphant served in no way to reconcile us to
APPENDIX (NOTES A-Y) 193
his views, but rather the contrary. And early on the following morning, Mrs Kingsford received the "exhortation" in question, in response, apparently, to an earnest request of mine, made without her cognisance, for some definite instruction which might be serviceable to our visitor as well as to ourselves. This hope as regarded him proved vain; as after the receipt of a copy of it he made no response, nor ever again approached us. The chief points in respect of which it condemns the doctrine propounded by our visitor are
(1) Its rejection of mental training and intellectual knowledge--in short, of the Understanding--in favour of extraneous influences and phenomenal experiences, as the source and criterion of truth.
(2) Its exaltation of ail earthly personage as spiritual king and master.
(3) Its failure to recognise a diet of flesh as incompatible with the highest aspirations; and,
(4) Its fanciful sex-relations and doctrine of "counterparts," which last, we were subsequently instructed, is a travesty, due to delusive spirits, of the mystical process in the soul called the "marriage of regeneration";--the errors in question being those whereby neophytes are peculiarly liable to be ensnared.
It is due to Oliphant to state that he afterwards seceded from Harris, and modified his teaching. But the change was not radical, and an examination of his later views failed to diminish in the least the interval between us.
This occasion was the first on which Hermes expressly avowed himself, though not the first on which he assumed the guidance over us and our work, while leaving us to identify him for ourselves. Two of Mrs Kingsford's earliest experiences in this respect are related in Dreams and Dream-Stories, Nos. II and IX, in the former of which he directed us to combine our faculties for the prosecution of the interpretative work to which I had already been long devoted; and in the latter of which he prescribed rigid abstinence, especially from flesh and cooked food, as an essential condition for the full perception of things spiritual. On the former occasion he presented himself in the double aspect of a letter-carrier and of John the Baptist; the first in his official capacity as the "Messenger of the Gods," and the last in intimation of the necessity of our application of the principle represented by the Baptist--that of purification in body and mind--for the true discernment of the Christ-idea. But it was only by degrees and after a considerable period that the full significance of the instruction disclosed itself to us, so far in advance was it of what we then knew.
His claim to the power of conferring the divine life was, in itself, a demonstration of his own divinity. No mere human soul, nor spirit of a grade below the divine, could, or would presume to, assert such a claim.
The true "bi-unity" of the mystic man, referred to in verse 25, consists in the equilibration of the mind and soul as shown by the equal use of the mind's two modes, the intellect and the intuition, which are, respectively, its masculine and feminine modes.
NOTE L, pages 153, 164
Although Dionysos and Aphrodite are mystically the third and fourth of the Gods, they are actually the fourth and third, this being their relative position by the order of their planets, and of their corresponding rays in the spectrum. For Venus, which holds in the solar system the place of the yellow in the prism, and is the brightest both of the planets and of the rays, comes next outside that of Hermes, whose ray is the orange, and whose planet is Mercury; and the planet of Dionysos or Iacchos--the Earth,--whose ray is the green, comes next outside Venus. And such is their position in the Greek and Hebrew theogonies (for the latter of which see Isa. xi, 2, 3, the Douay rendering for preference) and in the "Apostles' Creed." But in the Mosaic theogony and cosmogony this order is inverted, and the creation of the earth, which is represented by Dionysos, is placed on the "third day," while the work of Aphrodite is placed on the "fourth day." And in this order these hymns were received and are here given. The following are the chief reasons for this arrangement:--
1. As the Spirit of Love or Counsel, Aphrodite is the enlightener of the spiritual eyes and revealer of heaven to earth. She is also the centripetal force whereby man is drawn inwards to God. Wherefore the earth must have being, and the centrifugal force must have fulfilled its part in the work of creation, before she can exercise her function in the work of redemption.
2. As the Spirit of Power, and representative of the centrifugal force whereby the Divine substance is projected into the condition of matter, and the earth created, Dionysos must exercise his function before the centripetal force, which is Love, can manifest itself.
3. As representative of the soul, which, though first in being and in dignity, is the last to find recognition, Aphrodite remains unperceived until polarised by means of the bodily elements, So that, although Love really subsists prior to any exercise of force, inasmuch as she is the source of the desire which puts force--whatever its kind, physical or mental-in action, she is veiled and hidden until the mind recognises the need of her and acquires the power to discern her. For which reason also her "day" or manifestation succeeds that of Dionysos.
NOTE M, page 154
The meaning of this and the less obvious of the foregoing symbols is as follows:--
V. 2. "Twice-born" denotes regeneration. The first birth is that of the exterior or bodily man; the second is that of the interior or spiritual man. This latter is produced in and of the former, and is thus "Son of man"; but whereas its true parents are the soul and the Divine Spirit, and the soul when pure is mystically termed water and "Virgin Maria," the interior or spiritual man is said to be born of water and the Spirit, or Virgin Maria and the Holy
Ghost, and is at once Soil of man and of God. See "Definitions," Regeneration.
Iacchos, in being the mystic Bacchos, denotes the planetary Spirit after its passage through this process in and by means of the human soul; the way of perfection being one for both macrocosm and microcosm.
------- "Beneath the earth, "a phrase equivalent to the "caves of Iacchos" (Part 2, No. XIV (3)), and implying the mysteries of the body.
V. 3. "The horns of the ram," a symbol of force, especially of intellectual force.
------- "Who ridest upon all ass," a symbol at once of humility and patient endurance. This animal is marked on the back with a cross.
V. 4. The "Daughter of the King" is the soul, whether in the individual or in the universal, so-called because proceeding from the higher mind, or Nous, mystically styled the King, The planet-god is herein recognised as proceeding from and constituted of the universal life and substance.
NOTE N, page 156
See note on p. 122.
NOTE O, page 144, 156
The full perfectionment, while yet in the body, of the process denoted by the term Christ, involves the redemption of the body from its material limitations, through the reversion of its constituents from the condition of matter to that of spirit. This is called transmutation, and also resurrection. See Part 2, No. IX; also "Definitions," Resurrection.
NOTE P, page 162
Poseidon is styled "Father of souls," in virtue of his representing the masculine energy of the sea, which is the symbol of the substance, or "Mother," of souls. It is for this reason that he is chosen as emblem of the third gospel, that of Luke, which deals especially with the relations of Christ to the soul, as distinguished from the other three elements of the microcosm. See Note R.
NOTE Q, page 163
By the contemplation of wisdom man acquires wisdom, the highest product of which is the "philosopher's stone" of a spirit perfectly quiescent, and inaccessible to assault whether from within or from without. By wisdom, too, the soul is attracted and absorbed. The mystical meaning of the head of the Gorgon Medusa is thus--as customary in mystical presentations--the opposite of the apparent meaning.
NOTE R, page 163
The sapphire throne and four wheels of Ezekiel; the Merkaba, or Car, of the Kabala; the Kaabeh, or Cube, of Islam; the four Rivers, of Eden; the four living Creatures of Ezekiel, the Apocalypse, and the book of Enoch, and which also are the symbols of the four Evangelists; and the celestial chariot of Adonai,--all these alike denote the fourfold existence in which, as in a vehicle, Deity descends into manifestation or creation, and of which both macrocosm and microcosm are constituted. The four are, respectively, the material, the astral, the psychic, and the spiritual. See The Perfect Way, VI, Part i, and VIII, final par. of Part iii.
NOTE S, page 165
For which reason the Christ, as the realisation of man's divine potentialities, is said to be born in a cave and a stable.
NOTE T, page 166
V. 28. The choice of the ring-dove to be the emblem of the Holy Spirit is due to the hues of the circle round its throat, the colours of which are taken to represent the Seven Spirits of God, or rays of the prism constituted by the Trinity.
V. 29. The only message from earth that can look to find acceptance in heaven, is that which announces the consummation of the prophecy of Apoc. xvi, 12:--That "the water of the great river Euphrates is dried up, and the way prepared for the kings of the East."
For the Euphrates is the will of man, 1 and until this is "dried up" and sublimed in him, and is no longer the human but the divine will, he cannot receive the divine knowledges of which the bearers are ever "kings of the East," or messengers from the source of all spiritual light. It was given to Anna Kingsford. to be the first to identify these "kings." Christian tradition places their number at three. She recognised them as the three principles in man, without whose combined operation no truth can be discerned, but through whose combined operation all truth can be discerned, namely, the Spirit, the Soul, and the Mind, operating respectively as Right Aspiration, Right Perception, and Right judgment. And the sequel of their advent, whether for the individual or the general, is ever that "acceptable year of the Lord," wherein it is said "the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea," and the soul is at peace.
For those who recognise and appreciate her work, it is hardly possible not to regard her very names as a prophecy of her appointed task, seeing that a way specially prepared for kings across a dried-up
river is no other than a Kings' Ford; and that the "good time" called "the acceptable year of the Lord" is no other than an Annus Bonus.
Among other striking and no less undesigned coincidences, so far as concerns human agency, was that of the names given to her on her reception into the Roman Communion,--long anterior to her spiritual work,--for they were the names of all the women who were by the Cross or at the Sepulchre.
To this step, as also to that of obtaining a medical degree at the University of Paris, she had--as was in due time made clear to us--been prompted in anticipation of her destined spiritual work. Having for its object the downfall of the world's materialistic system, both in religion and in science, it was requisite that the instrument of that work should, in order to be able to speak with full knowledge, undergo initiation in the chief strongholds of the doomed system.
NOTE U, page 169
There are two processions of the seven primary Gods, or Spirits of God, the first by emanation, and the second by evolution, but the evolution is not of the Gods themselves but of their manifestation in time. The direction of one of these processions is the reverse of that of the other. The first is from within outwards, and occurs through the operation of the Deity within and upon itself. By this operation the divine potencies are projected to the furthest verge of the destined kosmos, which--though fourfold as to elements--is always in idea a globe consisting of seven concentric spheres, each divinity having his own sphere, and the outermost being assigned to Saturn or Satan, who is thus the circumference of the entity concerned, having beyond him only the void. Representing the seventh and outermost sphere, and projected after all the others, Saturn is called the seventh and last, and therefore--in this order--the "youngest of the gods." Thus, as matter is the antithetical ultimate, or "adversary," of Spirit yet without ceasing to be Spirit, so is Saturn--or Satan--the antithetical ultimate, or "adversary," of God, yet without ceasing to be God.
In this sphere manifestation begins, for not only is it the sphere of matter, which is Spirit--by the force of the Divine Will projected into conditions and limitations, and made exteriorly cognisable--but Saturn is the principle itself of manifestation, and herein of matter, time, and all other limiting conditions. Hence he is the principle also of Individuation, whereby from being universal and abstract, Spirit becomes particular and concrete. Himself the first to be manifested in the kosmos thus initiated, Saturn heads the procession which is by evolution, and hence, in this order, is the first and "eldest" of the Gods. And upon his sphere or kingdom as basis the kosmos is built up from without inwards, each God presiding over the work in his own domain, until the whole is completed by the attainment of the innermost and highest. This accomplished, the kosmos is made in the divine image, the Sabbath
of perfection is attained, and "God rests from his work," so far as regards the particular entity concerned.
These two processions, which are in perpetual simultaneous operation for the whole duration of the manifest universe, represent and are due to two forces, or rather two modes of force, which constitute two streams consisting of the Divine substance and energy. Of these streams one flows outwards and downwards, and the other inwards and upwards; one is centrifugal, the other centripetal; one is projective, the other attractive; one represents Will, the other Love; one results in Creation, the other in Redemption. And as complements of each other they are as indispensable to each other and to the stability of the kosmos, as are the centrifugal and centripetal modes of force to the stability of the solar system; and whereas one is masculine and the other feminine, man is no less said to be "made in the divine image, male and female," because built up of them both, than because also built up of the Seven Spirits of the Divine Duad.
The substance of all things is spirit, is consciousness. Wherefore all things are modes of consciousness, and all being is consciousness, and consciousness is being, and non -consciousness is non-being. And whereas the outermost sphere of any existing entity is that of the lowest mode of consciousness, wherein it touches negation, that which lies without such sphere is non-consciousness, and, therefore, non-being,--a state the entrance into which constitutes extinction of being. At once the negation of consciousness and of being, this state constitutes the negation of God, which is theologically called the devil (as see page 137).
The transcendent importance of the functions of Satan, and their absolute necessity, not only to the well-being, but to the very being of the individual, become specially apparent when it is considered (1) that as the "bourne of the divine impulsion," he is the circumferential limit whereby life arid substance are arrested in their outward course and made to return to their centre, thus converting into a permanent kosmos that which, but for his intervention, would be dissipated in space. And (2) that but for his guardianship of the outermost sphere, there would be nought to hinder the irruption from the surrounding void into the kosmos, of its deadly foe the principle, if the term can be applied to a nonentity, of the negation of God, and therein, of all being.
The passages in which the Bible seems to identify Satan with the devil constitute, when properly considered, no contradiction to this view, even without the counterbalancing aid of passages which directly favour this view. For, although constituting integral parts of the same kosmos, the inner and spiritual and the outer and material are in a sense antagonistic to each other, and a retrogression from the former to the latter, when once the former has been transcended, is a descent which, unless timely arrested, lands the soul in the region of negation. The sphere of Satan and of the devil are conterminous, and where a downward course is persisted in, Satan becomes the minister of the devil in that in ejecting the irredeemably perverse from the precinct of the kingdom, he consigns
him. to final destruction. But his enmity is not for the sinner, but for the sin; and his "temptations" are for the trial, not for the condemnation, of the subject of them, and to test his fitness for the kingdom. The apocalyptic "binding of Satan for a thousand years" is but an expression implying the exemption of the saints from a return into material conditions for a prolonged period, during which Satan is said to be bound, so far as concerns them. But even if it had been the intention of the Bible-writers to identify the devil and Satan in the manner commonly supposed, no authority of book can override and set at nought a necessary and self-evident truth clearly discernible as founded in the very nature of existence, such as that of the interpretation here given, And indeed, as stated in the preface and elsewhere, one of the main purposes of the restoration represented by this volume is to "utterly abolish the idols whether they consist in books, persons, traditions or institutions.
But there is not the smallest reason for ascribing to the Bible-writers any such intention. They wrote as initiates for initiates, and knew that by these the true values would be attached to the terms employed, however liable to be mistaken by others; and a sufficient motive for such concealment of the truth concerning Satan is to be found in the fact that it was the most jealously guarded of all the mysteries, being--according to the instructions given to us--communicated only to initiates of the very highest grade, And it was imparted to us under injunctions of our observing the strictest secrecy, at least "until the word be completed"; and only during Mrs Kingsford's last illness was this so far accomplished, that the promulgation was permitted. The personality assumed by the illuminating spirit on the occasion was that of Phoibos Apollo--an indication that, owing to its profound nature, only by the first of the Gods might the crowning mystery of the last of the Gods be disclosed.
NOTE V, page 169
Saturn, as Kronos or Time, is said to bear all the Gods on his shoulders because their manifestation occurs in and through time; and he is, himself, the first to be manifested, and is the very principle of time and manifestation. Moreover, the faculties in man by means of which they find recognition by man, are the product of experience acquired in time. This was implied in the vision shown to Mrs Kingsford on the eve of her receipt of the first instalment of this instruction concerning Satan,--a vision, at the time wholly unintelligible, in which she beheld Hermes being carried through space on the back of Saturn.
NOTE W, page 172
That is, from the condition of Existence or manifested Being, to the condition of pure, or unmanifested, Being.
NOTE X, page 173
The spirit of the regenerated ego in and by whom we realise the divine potentialities of our nature, is, for each of us, "Christ our Lord." And inasmuch as this ego is generated in time, and is the crown of manifestation, and final realisation of the divine idea in creation, for the evolution of whom the whole universe works together, and Satan is the principle of manifestation, the ministry of Satan is said to have been "ordained of God before the worlds, for the splendour (or effulgence) of the manifest, and the generation of Christ our Lord." And this applies to Christ from the point of view alike of the microcosm or individual, and of the macrocosm or universal. For, just as the macrocosm itself comprises and is constituted of the sum total of the microcosms, so the macrocosmic Christ comprises and is constituted of the sum total of the microcosmic Christs, or spirits of the regenerated human egos, all these throughout the universe being combined and blended into one indefeasible personality, representing the individualisation of the Supreme Being, or personification of the Divine Impersonal, through man, by means of evolution. Thus "generated" and constituted, Christ is the "Son" in and by whom the "Father" finds His ultimate full expression, as do the unmanifest light and heat of the system in and by the solar orb.
But the consciousness or potency of the universal Christ must not be regarded as limited to the sum total of the associated consciousnesses of the human egos composing him, any more than the consciousness of the individual man is to be regarded as limited to the sum total of the associated consciousnesses of his system. For just as the human ego represents all the consciousnesses of man's system centralised into a unity and polarised to a higher plane, so does the macrocosmic Christ represent the consciousnesses of all the microcosmic Christs centralised into a unity and polarised to a higher plane. Thus, as--to cite The Perfect Way (v, 17)--"the soul of the planet is more than the associated essences of the souls composing it; and the consciousness of the system is more than that of the associated world-consciousnesses; and the consciousness of the manifest universe is more than that of the corporate systems, so is the universal Christ more than the sum of the individual Christs or Divine Spirits of the regenerated human egos of which he consists. And as in the individual microcosm this Christ is the radiant point, or "One Life," whence the Divine effulgence flows to illume and vivify the man, so in the universal macrocosm the Christ similarly constituted is the radiant point or "One Life," whence the Divine effulgence flows to vivify and illume the universal Church, invisible and visible, of the elect, which is the nucleus, of which He is the nucleolus, or body of which He is the soul. And that wherein He differs from and surpasses all other Gods--even while constituted like them--is that, whereas they represent but partial modes or aspects of Deity, each one being but as a single ray of the Divine spectrum, He represents Deity in its integrity, inasmuch as He
combines in Himself the whole of the Divine rays, being the result of the operation of them all. Thus generated through humanity, and therefore Son at once of God and man, and "out, Lord," He becomes the counterpart or replica of Adonai, who--being generated in substance--is Son of God only, and is "the Lord."
Now, "the consciousness of the unmanifest Deity is greater than that of the manifest, for the manifest does not exhaust the unmanifest." Wherefore, in manifestation, "the Father is greater than the Son"; while in substance, they are "co-equal and coeternal."
NOTE Y, page 172
The difference between the account herein given of the Lord's death and burial (verses 53, 64), and that of Jesus in Part 1, No. XXXIII, presents no difficulty when it is considered that the former deals, as do the gospels, with the mystical or spiritual history of the typical Man Regenerate, and the latter with his physical history, and that it is quite sufficient for the purpose of the narrative that the correspondence between the two histories be general only and not particular. The object of the gospels was not to exalt an individual but to delineate an order, the order of the "Sons of God," for the sake of exhibiting the highest possibilities of humanity. And it is for this reason that while the events which occurred to Jesus were used and adapted to illustrate certain doctrines, they were not followed in all their details. To have so followed them would have been to give the physical history of but one of the "Sons of God," instead of the spiritual history of them all.
DEFINITIONS AND EXPLANATIONS OF TERMS AND PHRASES NOT GENERALLY FAMILIAR, OR USED IN AN UN-FAMILIAR SENSE
Adam and Eve.--In their mystical sense, and as applied to the individual, Adam and Eve are respectively the exterior selfhood, or sense and reason, and the interior selfhood, or soul and intuition, which together constitute the human being. And they are as man and woman to each other, in that they represent respectively the centrifugal or force element, which is the masculine, and the centripetal or love element, which is the feminine element of existence. For a full treatment of this subject, see The Perfect Way, Lectures VI and VII.
Arche. 1--A Greek term, signifying beginning, first cause, origin, and said to have been first used by Anaximander (580 B.C.) in the sense of principle (principium) to denote the eternal and infinite basis or substance (sub-stans) of things, and which is therefore not itself a
thing, but that from which all things proceed, and of which they all consist, and to which they all return. It is thus the containing, and therefore the feminine, element or mode of Deity, as distinguished from the energising and masculine element or mode; or God the Mother as distinguished from God the Father. It is termed also the fourth dimension, or the within of space, from which the other dimensions proceed; and the noumenon, reality, being, or "thing in itself," which underlies or sub-stands the phenomenon, appearance, existence, or thing perceived. As original, divine, and self-subsistent, and therein distinguished from matter, which is secondary, derived, and created, Arche denotes the substance alike of divinity and of the soul, the nucleus of the nucleolus in both God and man. The word Ark is derived from it, and like the word Ark, the Hebrew for which is tebah, means any kind of containing vessel. In one of the ancient versions of the Bible-the Coptic--thebi is used instead of tebah, a form which relates it still more closely to Tibet, Thebes, and other places similarly so named apparently as being homes of the Mysteries, and as representing, therefore, the Soul as the dwelling-place of the Spirit, and source of all Divine knowledges. 1 Thus, in its highest application, the ark of Noah denotes the original Divine substance containing in its bosom the "eight persons," God (the Nous) and His seven spirits, of whom all the universe is overspread.
Astral Fluid.--The universal ether of space and immediate substance of the manifested universe, which becomes the various elements by means of differentiality of polarisation. It is not the substance of the soul, whether unindividuate or individuate, for that is divine and uncreate; but it is the first projection of soul-substance into the material of creation, and is as the veil of the soul. It subsists under many degrees of purity or tenuity, and is the abode of all spirits below the celestial. In man it constitutes the third element of his system, counting from within outwards, and coming next to the body, acts as the intervening medium between it and the soul. As thought substance, it is the seat of the mundane mind or lower reason; and a disorderly condition of it is a frequent cause of such mental derangements as are not due to lesions of the organism.
Astral Spirits.--While the astral sphere is the abode of all spirits below the celestial, and their exterior covering or ethereal body is constituted of it, there are spirits, or rather entities so-called, which are constituted entirely of it, having neither a spiritual nor a material nature. These have no existence apart from man, and are emanations from man, being to him as reflects of himself but devoid of substantiality as the images in a mirror. As with morbid growths in the physical system, such as tumours, they become new centres of activity in the system, deriving their sustenance from the system generally, to the depletion and emaciation of the individual; and only by a healthy regime in mind and body, of which earnest and frequent prayer is an important element, can they be subdued and
the vitality absorbed by them returned into its proper channels. The function of prayer in such cases consists in its being a means of directing the mind inwards and upwards with such energy as to convert its otherwise lambent and diffused substance into a flame, so to speak, thereby rendering it incapable of division or diversion--a condition incompatible with astral obsession. The astral fluid constitutes the perispirit, double, or astral body of man in life, and his phantom ghost, or Ruach after death. The astral body is called also the magnetic and odic body, according as the reference is to the substance, the force, or some other attribute. The term odic is claimed to be of Oriental derivation. The Hindûs apply the term Akasa to the astral ether in its primordial or pre-cosmic state. The astral emanations or "reflects" of persons are visible to the lucid, who--unless duly instructed--is unable to discriminate between them and genuine extraneous spirits, so life-like are their impersonations. The merely mechanical "medium" is readily responsive to their influence. And many besides mediums are liable to receive from them mental suggestions--often of the most mischievous character--and to mistake them for suggestions arising from a divine or some other source entitled to be heeded. The astral phantom may serve as a medium of communication with an actual departed spirit; but the message depends for its value upon its independence of the transmitting vehicle. The mere phantom, uncontrolled by the soul, is no trustworthy instructor or guide, and inasmuch as the astral is rather an emanation from the body than a distinct element, it is essential to clear spiritual vision that the body also be subjected to the rule of purity, especially in respect of diet.
Thus far concerning the astral on its occult side. In its mystical aspect it denotes (as explained in Note K) the region of spiritual weakness, doubt, temptation, difficulty, and distress, upon which the aspirant enters on his emergence from the "Egypt" of things material merely and intellectual, when he sets his face towards the "Promised Land" of spiritual perfection. For the wilderness that lies between, and must be painfully traversed, is no other than the astral belt within his own system, already in these pages so exquisitely presented in the hymn to the planet-god [Part II, XIII (6,)] as to need no further explanation here. Concerning the distinction between the terms mystical and occult, see the explanation given under Occultism.
The Elect is a term the misunderstanding of which has been a stumbling-block and a curse to Christendom. And the evil has arisen through the suppression of the doctrine of a multiplicity of earth-lives, otherwise called the doctrine of re-incarnation or transmigration, and the consequent assumption that all who are not actually of the elect are hopelessly reprobate and lost;--a belief which, by its ascription to God of a capricious, arbitrary, and pitiless character, has served greatly to obscure from view the perfection of the Divine Nature.
The truth is that by the elect are denoted only those in whom the redemptive process has, already proceeded so far as to ensure their
ultimate salvation, all others being still in too rudimentary a stage of their evolution to have attained to this desirable state, and therefore, still without assurance of salvation, and consequently liable to failure.
Seeing how small a proportion of persons in any one period or generation are entitled to be regarded as elect, and how complex and prolonged the process requisite for the elaboration of the individual from his beginning in the lowest forms of organic life to the summit of human evolution, where humanity unites with Deity--the denial of a multiplicity of earth-lives to afford the requisite opportunities of experience would be a sentence of perdition upon the entire race. Whereas, as it is--according to the ancient and universal doctrine now newly recovered--so far from souls having their beginning at some arbitrary stage upon the ladder of evolution, with their destiny for eternal bliss or woe, not merely dependent upon the use made by them of a single brief existence amid conditions wholly new and strange to them, but arbitrarily fixed independently of aught that they can do or desire--they begin at the lowest round, and returning again and again to the body, have ample time and opportunity to determine their final lot for themselves, according to the tendencies voluntarily encouraged by them,
Hades (Heb. Sheol = hell; lit. in darkness) denotes the lower spheres of the consciousness, the material and astral, to be in which is to the soul, which belongs by its nature to the higher and celestial, to be "in prison," or "beneath the altar." See p. 149.
Iacchos, Jacob, and Joachim.--The last of these three names is that which Christian tradition assigns to the father of the Virgin Mary, in obvious recognition of her derivation as the soul, from him as the planetary Spirit. The names themselves are not only related to each other in form and meaning, but they have a common reference to the special functions and characteristics of the god of the fourth sphere-the earth, matter, or body. For in implying force, effort, success, and triumph, they indicate all the stages through which spirit passes, from its first projection into matter to its redemption and final exaltation in soul. It is true that the successes of Jacob over his brother Esau, wherein he supplanted him in his birthright and blessing, are ascribed to craft, and only his success when he "wrestled with God, and prevailed," to force. But inasmuch as the brothers are types respectively of the exterior and the interior selfhood, of which the former is the elder, in virtue of its being the first to be manifested in man, the craft by which Jacob obtained his advantage denotes precisely that superior subtlety of nature whereby the soul surpasses the body, and demonstrates itself as the true and only possible inheritor of eternal life.
The Egyptian origin of Joachim (as also of Jehovah) is indicated in 2 Kings xxiii, 34, where Pharaoh is said to have changed the name of Eliakim to Jehoiakim (of which Joachim is an equivalent); while the identity of this name with Iacchos is implied in the fact of its being thus imposed by the conquering upon the conquered
king, since only the names of the gods of the former were thus imposed.
Karma.--By the recent appropriation of this Eastern term into the English language, a most valuable addition has been made to our vocabulary of mystical science. It is not yet sufficiently familiar, however, to render a definition of it superfluous. The idea implied by it, namely, the persistence after death of the effects of the tendencies encouraged and the characteristics acquired in life, and the necessity, where these have been bad, of expiation and amendment by the subject of them, is involved in the doctrine of purgatory and retribution. But inasmuch as by Karma is meant a repeated return into the earth-life, there to work out in new bodies the evil consequences of past lives, and by means of multiplied experiences to rectify defects of character; and by purgatory is meant only a post-mortem expiation by suffering, and no experiential development, the latter term is in no sense an equivalent for the former.
The inability of the vast majority of persons to remember their previous existences is due to the fact that the return is that only of the permanent ego or soul, and not of the external personality; and that they are very few in number who succeed during life in establishing with their souls relations so intimate as to gain cognisance of their soul's history. But the fact that the outer personality is left thus uninformed on the subject, in no way invalidates either the truth or the value of reincarnation, since the function of the body is to serve as an instrument by and through which the soul obtains experiences, and the end of those experiences is attained when the soul applies them to its own advancement. Nor is the fact--if it be a fact--that but comparatively few of the spirits with whom intercourse is held admit the doctrine, valid as an argument against it, since the agent of such communication is rarely the soul itself but only its astral envelope, and this is in no better position than the material body to pronounce upon the question.
Miracle.--In default of a prior definition of the terms natural and human, the terms supernatural and superhuman must be rigidly excluded from any attempt to define miracle. In defining miracle as the "natural effect of an exceptional cause" (p. 58), the term natural is used simply in the sense of orderly, regular, normal, legitimate. Wherefore it remains only to show in what sense the cause is exceptional. This term derives its force from the inequality of human development in respect of human capacities. As a microcosm of the macrocosm, man comprises in his system, either actually or potentially, all that is in the universe; and in virtue of his having obtained the consciousness of and mastery over any plane within himself, he is able to attain the consciousness of and mastery over the corresponding plane without himself. The fully developed man--he who, having realised all the potentialities o his nature, is a typical Man--is able to exercise mastery over planes of being, of the very existence of which the undeveloped man is ignorant, finding no answering consciousness of them in himself. p. 206 To him, therefore, the manifest tokens of such mastery constitute miracles. They represent for him a region and a power which, by virtue of their transcending his own range of observation and ability, are apt to be regarded by him as also transcending nature, and as being, therefore, miraculous. But neither (to they transcend nature, nor are they miraculous (using these terms in the conventional sense) for the man who works them, because he knows them to be the natural effects of causes which are exceptional only in that they appertain to a sphere of nature known to but a comparative few. Nor would they be regarded as transcending nature and as being miraculous even by the undeveloped witness of them, save for the liability of the undeveloped man to regard himself and his compeers as typical men, and as the measure of nature and of humanity, and to consider all that transcends their own limits as also transcending nature and man. Their mistake lies, of course, in restricting their conception of nature and man to the material and physical, and then either assuming that the psychical and spiritual are beyond nature and man, or denying to them any real being.
Now, the undeveloped man subsists under two modes. In one of these he is altogether rudimentary in respect of all faculties which surpass the physical, namely, the intellectual, the moral, and the spiritual. And in the other, he is developed--possibly to an extraordinary degree--in respect of some one of the spheres of consciousness denoted by these terms, and yet is altogether rudimentary as regards the others. The typical scientist of the day, for instance, is one who is highly developed in respect of the intellectual faculty so far as regards the consciousness of things material; but as regards that of things moral and spiritual he is altogether rudimentary, and his attitude towards experiences of the order commonly accounted miraculous and supernatural, is one of such determined antagonism--through his inability to recognise the corresponding regions in himself--as to render him wholly inaccessible to reason and evidence in their behalf. This is to say, he has a fixed idea which no reason or evidence can overcome. Now, it is a significant fact that the possession of a fixed idea, which no reason or evidence can overcome, is by materialistic scientists themselves--those whose speciality is medicine--accounted a sufficient plea for certifying its possessor as insane and unfit to be at large.
It is by persons similarly rudimentary in respect of the spiritual consciousness that the important function of literary criticism is for by far the most part exercised; the result being that the confession of spiritual experiences is treated in a tone of contempt and ribaldry such as largely to deter from the promulgation of this class of experiences; their recipients shrinking alike from exposing their "pearls" to profanation and themselves to contumely and affront. Hence it has come that, between the physician and the literary critic, the confession of experiences indicative of man's higher potentialities--and, in such sense, "miraculous"--has in our day been made perilous, and the world has in consequence been deprived of testimony which would have gone far to save it from the abyss
of unreason and negation into which it has fallen. And this repression and rejection of experience in deference to an hypothesis--it is curious to note--has occurred in an age which vaunts itself superior to all other ages, especially on the ground that it takes nothing for granted, but makes experience the sole basis of knowledge.
Such denial of man is higher potentialities is, moreover, utterly inconsistent with the belief in evolution as the method of creation, combined as that belief is with the confession of absolute ignorance respecting the nature of the substance in which evolution occurs.
Mysticism (in religion) has for its antithesis materialism (in religion), in that it deals with those realities and verities which are spiritual, eternal, and of the soul--that is, with principles, Processes, and states appertaining to the interior consciousness--instead of with persons, places, and events which are physical, historical, and of the senses; and regards the sacred writings when expressed in terms derived from the latter as really referring to the former, and valuable only in so far as they do refer to the former. For which reason the religious mystic cares for the letter of Scripture only in so far as it is a vehicle for the spirit, and makes it his study to discern the spirit through the letter, and by all means to avoid limiting the spirit by the letter; considering that to the substitution of the literal for the spiritual sense of Scripture has been due the perversion of Christianity into a fetish at once monstrous, idolatrous, and dishonouring both to God and to man. Wherefore in the condition hitherto prevailing in Christendom, the mystic sees the fulfilment as of a prophecy, of the saying that "the letter kills, so completely has the worship of it killed the faculty of the perception of divine things. And he insists accordingly that only through the revival of Mysticism can the true Christianity--that, namely, of Christ--be restored.
Mysticism and Occultism.--These terms are so far identical in that they are respectively the Greek and the Latin for that which, by its nature, is hidden or secret as concerns the outer perceptions. But they differ essentially in respect of the particular region or department of the hidden and secret to which they respectively refer. Occultism deals with the region and its phenomena which, being interior to the body and exterior to the soul, constitutes the astral or magnetic circulus which separates one from the other, and is the immediate environment of the soul. And Mysticism deals with principles, processes, and states which, being interior to the soul and comprising the spirit, determine the soul's progress and condition. This is to say, that Occultism implies transcendental physics, and belongs to the kingdom of science and the intellect, and is "human." And Mysticism implies transcendental metaphysics, and belongs to the kingdom of religion and the intuition, and is divine. Of these two kingdoms the typical representatives are, respectively, the Adept and the Christ. By which explanation is illustrated this utterance made to Anna Kingsford by her divine illuminator: "If Occultism were all, and held the key of heaven, there would be no need of Christ. . . . If the adepts in Occultism or in physical
science could suffice to man, I would have committed no message to you" (pp. 63, 64).
Noumenon.--See under Arche.
Polarisation.--Every particle of matter, however minute or tenuous, whether fixed or fluidic, has two magnetic poles, a positive and a negative. Polarisation, as the term is applied in this book and in The Perfect Way, consists in the arrangement of the particles constituting any entity, in such order as to bring each pole of every particle into immediate conjunction with the opposite pole of another particle--the positive in one joining on to the negative in another--so as to admit of the passage of a continuous current of energy throughout the whole series.
Regeneration.--This term implies much more than is ascribed to it by the theological dictionaries, and the failure to understand it has been the cause of all the perversions of Christianity. For, had the doctrine of salvation through regeneration, so emphatically asserted by Jesus to Nicodemus, been duly comprehended, no place had been found for the orthodox presentation either of the Incarnation or of the atonement. For it means simply and purely the re-formation or reconstitution of the individual out of the spiritual substance of his soul, instead of the created material of his body. Such a man is interior, mystic, spiritual, and the elaboration of him occurs in the body as in a matrix constituted of coarser elements, the efficient cause being the operation of the Divine Spirit in the soul, he himself co-operating with it; and when fully elaborated he can dispense altogether with the body as well as with all other elements exterior to the soul; or, if the process be accomplished while in the body, he can indraw and transmute his body into spirit. The individual thus produced is said to be son at once of God and of man. He is son of man, because a product of humanity; and He is Son of God because generated immediately by the Divine energy. And he is said to be also son of a woman, and this a virgin, because he is produced of the soul and constituted of the substance of the soul, and the soul is mystically called the woman, as being the feminine element in man's nature, and "mother" of the man, and when pure from materiality is called virgin, being named Maria after the boundless sea of space, the substance at once of herself and of Deity.
Wherefore the saying of Jesus, "Ye must be born again of Water and of the Spirit," is a declaration, first, that it is necessary to every one who would be saved, sooner or later to be born in the manner in which He Himself, as a typical Man Regenerate, is said to have been born; and, next, that the gospel narrative of His birth is, really, a presentation, symbolical and dramatic, of the process of regeneration, having no physical significance whatever, the Christ Jesus in and through whom salvation occurs, being no other than the regenerated spiritual selfhood in each person (see The Perfect Way, v, 45).
Failing to comprehend the true doctrine of atonement, and to recognise its identity with that of regeneration, the church visible ` has altogether set aside regeneration, and in the place both of,
regeneration and the true at-one-ment with God thereby, has rested everything on the false doctrine of the atonement.
Resurrection.--This term is used in Scripture in various senses, none of which is that commonly supposed, since there is no resurrection of the dead and disintegrated body. The current belief has arisen through the preference of the letter to the spirit, exercised in complete disregard both of the ideas intended to be conveyed by the writers of the mystical Scriptures, and of the facts of existence. Thus, the "graves" of John v, 28, imply only the lowermost strata, or modes, of consciousness, the material and astral, in which during its earth-life the soul is regarded as buried, and the resurrection of verse 29 is the soul's awakening to the recognition of the destiny it has incurred through its behaviour during such period. There is a resurrection that occurs while in the body-the resurrection from the "death in trespasses and sins," to the consciousness of things spiritual and to a consequent life of holiness. The "First Resurrection" (Apoc. xx, 5, 6) consists in the redemption of the body, while yet alive, from liability to death, by means of its transmutation or indrawal into its original spiritual substance (see Part I, No. XXI, and II, No. V). They who attain to this resurrection are called first-fruits--first, that is, in rank (Apoc. xiv, 4). They are the fully manifested Christs who are glorified in the hymn to Phoibos. Paul craved this distinction, but failed through his inability to obtain the requisite mastery over the elements of his body.
The other, or second, resurrection, consists in the investment of the soul with a spiritual body which shall serve it as an indestructible environment after the termination of its association with the material and astral. Being evolved immediately from the soul itself it constitutes, not a body raised, but a raised body.
Second Coming of Christ.--A careful reading of verses 54 and 58 of Part II, No. V, shows that they do not necessarily imply a return of the actual Jesus of the Gospels, but that their sense will be satisfied by such a manifestation anew of the Christ-principle as shall comprise an exhibition of power such as that which constituted the "Ascension." This is the "Resurrection"--in the sense of the transmutation--of the body through its indrawal by the Spirit. For they in and by whom this process is enacted, are of the order, and bear the title, of Christ Jesus.
Such an event would not itself constitute the "Second Coming," but only the crowning demonstration of that coming. The coming will consist in the revelation anew of the Christ-idea in such wise that it shall be so fully understood as shall render possible the demonstration above described. In this sense the Second Coming may be affirmed to be already actually in progress, seeing that the Christ-idea is now, for the first time in the Church's history, being understood and made known in its true sense. This is the sense in which it constitutes the "eternal gospel" of the passage chosen for motto to this book, inasmuch as that only is eternal which, in virtue of its being purely spiritual, and inherent in the nature of Being, and therefore perfectly logical, subsists independently of time, person, and place, and even of matter itself (as see Part I, No. III).
This passage has been widely accepted as referring to the promulgation of the Scriptures under the Reformation. But seeing that only their letter was then promulgated, while their spirit was altogether reserved, its proper reference must be to a promulgation which for its disclosure of the latter, can alone be accounted a real promulgation. In this view it is the intelligent appreciation of the Christ-idea, now first made known, that is implied in the declaration that "the Son of Man shall be seen coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory";--"heaven" and the "clouds of heaven" being mystical terms denoting man's higher reason, the microcosmic heaven within the individual.
Sons of God.--See under Regeneration.
190:1 All is in Hermes that the wise seek.
196:1 See page 16.
201:1 In Arche, Aphrodite, Persephone, Psyche, Herpe, and all Greek terms ending in e, the final letter is sounded. The ch is usually pronounced as k.
202:1 See Page 57, note 1.