|425||“What is Truth?”||anon (HPB)|
|434||The Soldier's Daughter (Judges xi,6 - xi,39)||TG Headley|
|443||The Blossom & The Fruit: The True Story of a Magician (6)||Mabel Collins|
|461||Twilight Visions (2) The Crescent||Wm C Eldon Serjeant|
|465||Editors' Note (re “Twilight Visions” poem)||(Ed.)|
|466||The White Monk (2)||Percy Ross|
|472||An Auto-Hypnotic Rhapsody||AJC, Lucerne|
|474||Our Other Half||“Bertrand Stonex”|
|476||The Three Desires||anon|
|480||Golden Sentences of Democritus||anon|
|481||The Relation of Colour to the Interlaced Triangles, or the Pentacle||ML Brainard|
|485||Questions||LFFf (? L Florence Ffoulkes)|
|486||A Theory of Hauntings (1)||Frank Fairholme (Fernholme ?)|
|490||The Esoteric Character of the Gospels (3)||HPB|
|497||review - Spirit Revealed by William C Eldon Serjeant||William Ashton Ellis ( - 1919)|
|499||review - Traité Élémentaire de Science Occulte par Papus||anon (HPB ?)|
|500||review - The New Wagner Journal, The Meister edited by William Ashton Ellis||anon|
|501||New Year's Eve||Katie Duncan King|
|502||correspondence - Autocentricism by Robert Lewins||CN (? Constance Naden)|
|504||What of Phenomena?||anon (HPB)|
|506||Mohini M Chatterji (1858-1936)||AP Sinnett (1840-1921|
|506||to the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society||Mohini Mohun Chatterji (1858-1936)|
|506||to the Editors of Lucifer||Bertram Keightley (1860-1944/5)|
|507||correspondence - re Hylo-Idealism||Robert Lewins|
|508||correspondence - Hylo-Idealism||GMMcC|
|508||correspondence - to Dr Lewins, & the Hylo-Idealists at Large||“The Adversary” (HPB)|
|512||Astrological Notes No 4||Nemo|
“Truth is the Voice of Nature and of time —
Truth is the startling monitor within us —
Nought is without it, it comes from the stars,
The golden sun, and every breeze that blows. . .”
— WM. THOMPSON BACON. [ Thoughts in Solitude ]
“. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Fair Truth’s immortal sun
Is sometimes hid in clouds; not that her light
Is in itself defective, but obscured
By my weak prejudice, imperfect faith
And all the thousand causes which obstruct
The growth of goodness.......”
—HANNAH MORE. [ Daniel: A Sacred Drama, Part II, 98-103 ]
“What is Truth?” asked
Pilate of one who, if the claims of the Christian Church are even approximately
correct, must have known it. But He kept silent. And the truth which He did
not divulge, remained unrevealed, for his later followers as much as for
the Roman Governor. The silence of Jesus, however, on this and other occasions,
does not prevent his present followers from acting as though they had received
the ultimate and absolute Truth itself; and from ignoring the fact that only
such Words of Wisdom had been given to them as contained a share of the truth,
itself concealed in parables and dark, though beautiful, sayings. [ Jesus
says to the “Twelve” — “Unto
you is given the mystery of the kingdom of God; but unto them that
are without, all things are done in parables,” etc. (Mark, iv, II). ]
This policy led gradually to dogmatism and assertion. Dogmatism in churches, dogmatism in science, dogmatism everywhere. The possible truths, hazily perceived in the world of abstraction, like those inferred from observation and experiment in the world of matter, are forced upon the profane multitudes, too busy to think for themselves, under the form of Divine revelation and Scientific authority. But the same question stands open from the days of Socrates and Pilate down [Page 426] to our own age of wholesale negation: is there such a thing as absolute truth in the hands of any one party or man? Reason answers, “there cannot be”. There is no room for absolute truth upon any subject whatsoever, in a world as finite and conditioned as man is himself. But there are relative truths, and we have to make the best we can.
In every age there have been Sages who had mastered the absolute and yet could teach but relative truths. For none yet, born of mortal woman in our race, has, or could have given out, the whole and the final truth to another man, for every one of us has to find that (to him) final knowledge in himself. As no two minds can be absolutely alike, each has to receive the supreme illumination through itself, according to its capacity, and from no human light. The greatest adept living can reveal of the Universal Truth only so much as the mind he is impressing it upon can assimilate, and no more. Tot homines, quot sententiae — is an immortal truism. The sun is one, but its beams are numberless; and the effects produced are beneficent or maleficent, according to the nature and constitution of the objects they shine upon. Polarity is universal, but the polariser lies in our own consciousness. In proportion as our consciousness is elevated towards absolute truth, so do we men assimilate it more or less absolutely. But man’s consciousness again, is only the sunflower of the earth. Longing for the warm ray, the plant can only turn to the sun, and move round and round in following the course of the unreachable luminary: its roots keep it fast to the soil, and half its life is passed in the shadow. . . .
Still each of us can relatively reach the Sun of Truth even on this earth, and assimilate its warmest and most direct rays, however differentiated they may become after their long journey through the physical particles in space To achieve this, there are two methods. On the physical plane we may use our mental polariscope; and, analyzing the properties of each ray, choose the purest. On the plane of` spirituality, to reach the Sun of Truth we must work in dead earnest for the development of our higher nature. We know that by paralysing gradually within ourselves the appetites of the lower personality, and thereby deadening the voice of the purely physiological mind — that mind which depends upon, and is inseparable from, its medium or vehicle, the organic brain — the animal man in us may make room for the spiritual; and once aroused from its latent state, the highest spiritual senses and perceptions grow in us in proportion, and develop pari passu with the “divine man”. This is what the great adepts, the Yogis in the East and the Mystics in the West, have always done and are still doing.
But we also know, that with a few exceptions, no man of the world, no materialist, will ever believe in the existence of such adepts, or even in the possibility of such a spiritual or psychic development. “The (ancient) fool hath said in his heart, There is no God”; the modern says, “There are no adepts on earth, they are figments of your diseased [Page 427] fancy”. Knowing this we hasten to reassure our readers of the Thomas Didymus type. We beg them to turn in this magazine to reading more congenial to them; say to the miscellaneous papers on Hylo-Idealism, by various writers. [ e.g., to the little article “Autocentricism” — on the same “philosophy,” or again, to the apex of the Hylo-Idealist pyramid in this Number. It is a letter of protest by the learned Founder of the School in question, against a mistake of ours. He complains of our “coupling” his name with those of Mr. Herbert Spencer, Darwin, Huxley, and others, on the question of atheism and materialism, as the said lights in the psychological and physical sciences are considered by Dr. Lewins too flickering, too “compromising” and weak, to deserve the honourable appellation of Atheists or even Agnostics. See “Correspondence” [in Double Column,] and the reply by “The Adversary.” ]
For Lucifer tries to satisfy its
readers of whatever “school of thought”,
and shows itself equally impartial to Theist and Atheist, Mystic and Agnostic,
Christian and Gentile. Such articles as our editorials, the Comments on “Light
on the Path”, etc., etc. — are not intended for Materialists.
They are addressed to Theosophists, or readers who know in their hearts that
Masters of Wisdom do exist: and, though absolute truth is not on earth and has to be
searched for in higher regions, that there still are, even on this silly, ever-whirling
little globe of ours, some things that are not even dreamt of in Western philosophy.
To return to our subject. It thus follows that, though “general abstract truth is the most precious of all blessings” for many of us, as it was for Rousseau, we have, meanwhile, to be satisfied with relative truths. In sober fact, we are a poor set of mortals at best, ever in dread before the face of even a relative truth, lest it should devour ourselves and our petty little preconceptions along with us. As for an absolute truth, most of us are as incapable of seeing it as of reaching the moon on a bicycle. Firstly, because absolute truth is as immovable as the mountain of Mohamed [Mohammed] , which refused to disturb itself for the prophet so that he had to go to it himself. And we have to follow his example if we would approach it even at a distance. Secondly, because the kingdom of absolute truth is not of this world, while we are too much of it. And thirdly, because notwithstanding that in the poet’s fancy man is
“. . . . . . the abstract
Of all perfection, which the workmanship
Of heaven hath modelled. . . . . . .”
in reality he is a sorry bundle
of anomalies and paradoxes, an empty wind bag inflated with his own importance,
with contradictory and easily influenced opinions. He is at once an arrogant
and a weak creature, which, though in constant dread of some authority, terrestrial
or celestial, will yet —
“. . . . . . like an angry ape,Now, since truth is a multi faced jewel, the facets of which it is impossible to perceive all at once; and since, again, no two men, however [Page 428] anxious to discern truth, can see even one of those facets alike, what can be done to help them to perceive it? As physical man, limited and trammelled from every side by illusions, cannot reach truth by the light of his terrestrial perceptions, we say — develop in you the inner knowledge. From the time when the Delphic oracle said to the enquirer “Man, know thyself”, no greater or more important truth was ever taught. Without such perception, man will remain ever blind to even many a relative, let alone absolute, truth. Man has to know himself, i.e., acquire the inner perceptions which never deceive, before he can master any absolute truth. Absolute truth is the symbol of Eternity, and no finite mind can ever grasp the eternal, hence, no truth in its fullness can ever dawn upon it. To reach the state during which man sees and senses it, we have to paralyse the senses of the external man of clay. This is a difficult task, we may be told, and most people will, at this rate, prefer to remain satisfied with relative truths, no doubt. But to approach even terrestrial truths requires, first of all, love of truth for its own sake, for otherwise no recognition of it will follow. And who loves truth in this age for its own sake? How many of us are prepared to search for, accept, and carry it out, in the midst of a society in which anything that would achieve success has to be built on appearances, not on reality, on self-assertion, not on intrinsic value ? We are fully aware of the difficulties in the way of receiving truth. The fair heavenly maiden descends only on a (to her) congenial soil — the soil of an impartial, unprejudiced mind, illuminated by pure Spiritual Consciousness; and both are truly rare dwellers in civilized lands. In our century of steam and electricity, when man lives at a maddening speed that leaves him barely time for reflection, he allows himself usually to be drifted down from cradle to grave, nailed to the Procrustean bed of custom and conventionality. Now conventionality — pure and simple — is a congenital LIE, as it is in every case a “simulation of feelings according to a received standard” (F. W. Robertson’s definition); and where there is any simulation there cannot be any truth. How profound the remark made by Byron, that “truth is a gem that is found at a great depth; whilst on the surface of this world all things are weighed by the false scales of custom”, is best known to those who are forced to live in the stifling atmosphere of such social conventionalism, and who, even when willing and anxious to learn, dare not accept the truths they long for, for fear of the ferocious Moloch called Society.
Play such fantastic tricks before high Heaven
As make the angels weep.”
[ Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act 2, scene 2 ]
SELFISHNESS, the first-born of Ignorance, and the fruit of the
teaching which asserts that for every newly-born infant a new soul, separate
and distinct from the Universal Soul, is “created” — this
Selfishness is the impassable wall between the personal Self and
Truth. It is the prolific mother of all human vices, Lie being born
out of the necessity for dissembling, and Hypocrisy out of the
desire to mask Lie. It is the fungus
growing and strengthening with age in every human heart in which it has devoured
all better feelings. Selfishness kills every noble impulse in our natures,
and is the one deity, fearing no faithlessness or desertion from its votaries.
Hence, we see it reign supreme in the world and in so-called fashionable
society. As a result, we live, and move, and have our being in this god of
darkness under his trinitarian aspect of Sham, Humbug, and Falsehood, called
Is this Truth and Fact, or is it slander? Turn whichever way you will, and you find, from the top of the social ladder to the bottom, deceit and hypocrisy at work for dear Self’s sake, in every nation as in every individual. But nations, by tacit agreement, have decided that selfish motives in politics shall be called “noble national aspiration, patriotism,” etc.; and the citizen views it in his family circle as “domestic virtue”. Nevertheless, Selfishness, whether it breeds desire for aggrandizement of territory, or competition in commerce at the expense of one’s neighbour, can never be regarded as a virtue. We see smooth-tongued DECEIT and BRUTE FORCE — the Jachin and Boaz of every International Temple of Solomon — called Diplomacy, and we call it by its right name. Because the diplomat bows low before these two pillars of national glory and politics, and puts their masonic symbolism “in [cunning] strength shall this my house be established” into daily practice; i.e., gets by deceit [Page 430] what he cannot obtain by force — shall we applaud him? A diplomat’s qualification — “dexterity or skill in securing advantages” — for one’s own country at the expense of other countries, can hardly be achieved by speaking truth, but verily by a wily and deceitful tongue; and, therefore, Lucifer calls such action — a living, and an evident LIE.
But it is not in politics alone that custom and selfishness have agreed to call deceit and lie virtue, and to reward him who lies best with public statues. Every class of Society lives on LIE, and would fall to pieces without it. Cultured, God-and-law-fearing aristocracy being as fond of the forbidden fruit as any plebeian, is forced to lie from morn to noon in order to cover what it is pleased to term its “little peccadillos”, but which TRUTH regards as gross immorality. Society of the middle classes is honeycombed with false smiles, false talk, and mutual treachery. For the majority religion has become a thin tinsel veil thrown over the corpse of spiritual faith. The master goes to church to deceive his servants; the starving curate — preaching what he has ceased to believe in — hoodwinks his bishop; the bishop — his God. Dailies, political and social, might adopt with advantage for their motto Georges Dandin’s [ [Principal character in Molière’s comedy by that name ] immortal query — “Lequel de nous deux trompe-t-on ici ? ” — Even Science, once the anchor of the salvation of Truth, has ceased to be the temple of naked Fact. Almost to a man the Scientists strive now only to force upon their colleagues and the public the acceptance of some personal hobby, of some new-fangled theory, which will shed lustre on their name and fame. A Scientist is as ready to suppress damaging evidence against a current scientific hypothesis in our times, as a missionary in heathen-land, or a preacher at home, to persuade his congregation that modern geology is a lie, and evolution but vanity and vexation of spirit.
Such is the actual state of` things in 1888 A.D., and yet we are taken to task by certain papers for seeing this year in more than gloomy colours!
Lie has spread to such extent — supported as it is by custom and conventionalities — that even chronology forces people to lie. The suffixes A.D. and B.C. used after the dates of the year by Jew and Heathen, in European and even Asiatic lands, by the Materialist and the Agnostic as much as by the Christian, at home, are — a lie used to sanction another LIE.
Where then is even relative truth to be found? If, so far back as the century of Democritus, she appeared to him under the form of a goddess lying at the very bottom of a well, so deep that it gave but little hope for her release; under the present circumstances we have a certain right to believe her hidden, at least, as far off as the ever invisible dark side of the moon. This is why, perhaps, all the votaries of hidden truths are forthwith set down as lunatics. However it may be, in no case and under no threat shall Lucifer be ever forced into pandering [Page 431] to any universally and tacitly recognised, and as universally practised lie, but will hold to fact, pure and simple, trying to proclaim truth whensoever found, and under no cowardly mask. Bigotry and intolerance may be regarded as orthodox and sound policy, and the encouraging of social prejudices and personal hobbies at the cost of truth, as a wise course to pursue in order to secure success for a publication. Let it be so. The Editors of Lucifer are Theosophists, and their motto is chosen: Vera pro gratiis.
They are quite aware that Lucifer’s libations and sacrifices to the goddess Truth do not send a sweet savoury smoke into the noses of the lords of the press, nor does the bright “Son of the Morning” smell sweet in their nostrils He is ignored when not abused as — veritas odium paret. Even his friends are beginning to find fault with him. They cannot see why it should not be a purely Theosophical magazine, in other words, why it refuses to be dogmatic and bigoted. Instead of devoting every inch of space to theosophical and occult teachings, it opens its pages “to the publication of the most grotesquely heterogeneous elements and conflicting doctrines”. This is the chief accusation, to which we answer — why not? Theosophy is divine knowledge, and knowledge is truth; every true fact, every sincere word are thus part and parcel of Theosophy. One who is skilled in divine alchemy, or even approximately blessed with the gift of the perception of truth, will find and extract it from an erroneous as much as from a correct statement. However small the particle of gold lost in a ton of rubbish, it is the noble metal still, and worthy of being dug out even at the price of some extra trouble. As has been said, it is often as useful to know what a thing is not, as to learn what it is. The average reader can hardly hope to find any fact in a sectarian publication under all its aspects, pro and con, for either one way or the other its presentation is sure to be biased, and the scales helped to incline to that side to which its editor’s special policy is directed. A Theosophical magazine is thus, perhaps, the only publication where one may hope to find, at any rate, the unbiased, if still only approximate truth and fact. Naked truth is reflected in Lucifer under its many aspects, for no philosophical or religious views are excluded from its pages. And, as every philosophy and religion, however incomplete, unsatisfactory, and even foolish some may be occasionally, must be based on a truth and fact of some kind the reader has thus the opportunity of comparing, analyzing, and choosing from the several philosophies discussed therein. Lucifer offers as many facets of the One universal jewel as its limited space will permit, and says to its readers: “Choose you this day whom ye will serve: whether the gods that were on the other side of the flood which submerged man’s reasoning powers and divine knowledge, or the gods of the Amorites of custom and social falsehood, or again, the Lord of (the highest) Self — the bright destroyer of the dark power of [Page 432] illusion?” Surely it is that philosophy that tends to diminish, instead of adding to, the sum of human misery, which is the best.
At all events, the choice is there, and for this purpose only have we opened our pages to every kind of contributor. Therefore do you find in them the views of a Christian clergyman who believes in his God and Christ, but rejects the wicked interpretations and the enforced dogmas of his ambitious proud Church, along with the doctrines of the Hylo-Idealist, who denies God, soul, and immortality, and believes in nought save himself. The rankest Materialists will find hospitality in our journal; aye, even those who have not scrupled to fill pages of it with sneers and personal remarks upon ourselves, and abuse of the doctrines of Theosophy, so dear to us. When a journal of free thought, conducted by an Atheist, inserts an article by a Mystic or Theosophist in praise of his occult views and the mystery of Parabrahman, and passes on it only a few casual remarks, then shall we say Lucifer has found a rival. When a Christian periodical or missionary organ accepts an article from the pen of a freethinker deriding belief in Adam and his rib, and passes criticism on Christianity — its editor’s faith — in meek silence, then it will have become worthy of LUCIFER, and may be said truly to have reached that degree of tolerance when it may be placed on a level with any Theosophical publication.
But so long as none of these organs does something of the kind, they are all sectarian, bigoted, intolerant, and can never have an idea of truth and justice. They may throw innuendoes against LUCIFER and its editors, they cannot affect either. In fact, the editors of that magazine feel proud of such criticism and accusations, as they are witnesses to the absolute absence of bigotry, or arrogance of any kind in theosophy, the result of the divine beauty of the doctrines it preaches. For, as said, Theosophy allows a hearing and a fair chance to all. It deems no views — if sincere — entirely destitute of truth. It respects thinking men, to whatever class of thought they may belong. Ever ready to oppose ideas and views which can only create confusion without benefiting philosophy, it leaves their expounders personally to believe in whatever they please, and does justice to their ideas when they are good. Indeed, the conclusions or deductions of a philosophic writer may be entirely opposed to our views and the teachings we expound; yet, his premises and statements of facts may be quite correct, and other people may profit by the adverse philosophy, even if we ourselves reject it, believing we have something higher and still nearer to the truth. In any case, our profession of faith is now made plain, and all that is said in the foregoing pages both justifies and explains our editorial policy.
To sum up the idea, with regard to absolute and relative truth, we can only repeat what we said before. Outside a certain highly spiritual and elevated state of mind, during which Man is at one with the UNIVERSAL MIND — he can get nought on earth but relative truth, [Page 433] or truths, from whatsoever philosophy or religion. Were even the goddess who dwells at the bottom of the well to issue from her place of confinement, she could give man no more than he can assimilate. Meanwhile, every one can sit near that well — the name of which is KNOWLEDGE — and gaze into its depths in the hope of seeing Truth’s fair image reflected, at least, on the dark waters. This, however, as remarked by Richter, presents a certain danger. Some truth, to be sure, may be occasionally reflected as in a mirror on the spot we gaze upon, and thus reward the patient student. But, adds the German thinker, “I have heard that some philosophers in seeking for Truth, to pay homage to her, have seen their own image in the water and adored it instead”.
It is to avoid such a calamity — one that has befallen every founder of a religious or philosophical school — that the editors are studiously careful not to offer the reader only those truths which they find reflected in their own personal brains. They offer the public a wide choice, and refuse to show bigotry and intolerance, which are the chief landmarks on the path of Sectarianism. But, while leaving the widest margin possible for comparison, our opponents cannot hope to find their faces reflected on the clear waters of our Lucifer, without remarks or just criticism upon the most prominent features thereof, if in contrast with theosophical views.
This, however, only within the cover of the public magazine, and so far as regards the merely intellectual aspect of philosophical truths. Concerning the deeper spiritual, and one may almost say religious, beliefs, no true Theosophist ought to degrade these by subjecting them to public discussion, but ought rather to treasure and hide them deep within the sanctuary of his innermost soul. Such beliefs and doctrines should never be rashly given out, as they risk unavoidable profanation by the rough handling of the indifferent and the critical. Nor ought they to be embodied in any publication except as hypotheses offered to the consideration of the thinking portion of the public. Theosophical truths, when they transcend a certain limit of speculation, had better remain concealed from public view, for the “evidence of things not seen” is no evidence save to him who sees, hears, and senses it. It is not to be dragged outside the “Holy of Holies”, the temple of the impersonal divine Ego, or the indwelling SELF. For, while every fact outside its perception can, as we have shown, be, at best, only a relative truth, a ray from the absolute truth can reflect itself only in the pure mirror of its own flame — our highest SPIRITUAL CONSCIOUSNESS. And how can the darkness (of illusion) comprehend the LIGHT that shineth in it? [Page 434]
(Judges xi., 6—xi., 39)
IN the early days of Israel's history, whilst Israel was struggling to be a nation and a kingdom, there was a people called the Ammonites, who were making war upon the Israelites.
And we are told that the Israelites, in great distress and fear, went out of their country, into the land of Tob, to find a man named Jephthah, who was a man of mighty valour, in order to persuade him to return with them, and be the captain and leader of their army, to fight against, and save them from the Ammonites.
Now this man Jephthah was himself an Israelite by birth, but because his mother had not been legally married to his father, Gilead, the sons of Gilead's lawful wife conspired together to drive him from his hearth, home, and country, as a disgrace to the family and to Israel; but the true reason was that they were envious and jealous of him, in like manner as the brethren of Joseph who had previously conspired against him.
For Jephthah himself was wholly innocent of having done anything to disgrace either the family or the nation. And therefore, in common justice, he ought not to have been made to suffer merely for the form and manner of his birth; over which neither Jephthah nor any of us have any control, either as to the time, when, or the manner, in which we should be born. But although Jephthah was despised and cast out as a dog, in the days of Israel's prosperity, yet in the day of Israel's adversity and weakness, Israel no longer allowed any mean and petty distinctions to prevent her from recognising the noble character of Jephthah, and she entreated him to forget past ill-usage, and return to be her captain and leader to save her from the Ammonites.
And as this proposal of Israel afforded Jephthah the long wished-for opportunity of returning to his country, and of establishing an honourable reputation, therefore he was not only ready to forget and forgive the insults and injuries which he had received in the past from his brethren, but he was also ready to return with them, and share their troubles and dangers, even to sacrificing his life, if need be, in order to save their lives and property.
Jephthah was the more willing to return and make this sacrifice because he had a daughter, an only daughter and child; and she was all the world to him, as he was to her; “for beside her he had neither son nor daughter”, and she had patiently and willingly suffered with him, and borne all his sorrows as her own.
But imagine the horror of Jephthah, after having saved the lives and [Page 435] property of his brethren and countrymen by risking his own life, at being then required, by these very brethren and countrymen, to shed the blood of his only child! Immediately after the war was over, Jephthah was required to sacrifice his daughter as a burnt offering to the Lord of Battles, for having assisted Israel to overcome the Ammonites; and so great was the love of this heroine for her father, and for everything that concerned his honour and glory, that she willingly consented to be sacrificed as a burnt offering.
Can anything be conceived more heartrending and terrible than that Jephthah should thus be required by these very brethren and countrymen whom he had saved, to shed the blood of his only child as a sacrifice, in acknowledgment that he owed his victory to miraculous assistance and favour, and not to his own skill and valour ?
What to him was the deliverance either of Israel or of his brethren (who had cared naught for him), if they now required him to sacrifice the only being in the world that he loved, and that loved him, and who was therefore all the world to him ?
It is true that Jephthah had made a foolish and rash vow, in the mad excitement of the moment before going into battle, that if he came out of the battle victorious, he would sacrifice, as a burnt offering to the Lord, the first thing that came to meet him from his house as he returned from the battle; but when the first person that met Jephthah was his only daughter, what could that Deity be, which accepted as a sacrifice the blood of this child? What could the religion of Jephthah's brethren and countrymen be, that allowed and required him to commit such an evil deed ?
For if Jephthah had saved his brethren and countrymen from their enemies, could they not now save Jephthah from shedding the blood of his daughter as a sacrifice, in the name of religion, when the very deed itself proclaimed the religion, and their conception both of religion and of the Deity, to be evil ? And if his brethren and countrymen would not save his daughter, but even required him to fulfil his vow, could not Jephthah save himself and his child by refusing to commit this evil deed ? But if, in order to save his own blood from being shed as a blasphemer for an atonement, Jephthah had to flee from the country as an outcast and a criminal, whither could he flee to, that would make life worth keeping? For surely the world would be no desirable place for an honest man to live in, if he had to live at enmity with men both at home and abroad, because he had made a rash and foolish vow, which no Deity worthy of being worshipped could or would require him to perform ?
Because under such a sanguinary conception of religion, and of the Deity, there was no remission, or redemption either, with, or without, the shedding of blood. If Jephthah refused to shed the blood of his daughter, then both his own and his daughter's would be shed by his [Page 436] brethren and countrymen, whilst if Jephthah shed the blood of his daughter, as a sacrifice to save his own, what remission or redemption was there in this ? None !
And he cried for a deliverer to save him and his daughter, from this great trouble. For he had staked his life and his all upon obtaining a position and reputation for himself and his daughter at home in Israel; and now, to give up hope of this for ever, and to shed the blood of his daughter, or again flee as an outcast — what was it but a living death to Jephthah, either way, whether he remained and sacrificed his daughter, or fled to save her ?
But who, in this agonising moment of Jephthah's trouble, could raise his voice to demand, in the name of religion, this diabolical sacrifice of his innocent child ?
Yes; diabolical. For what spirit, or voice, but that of a devil or fiend could counsel men to shed the blood of this pure and noble girl ? And where could the devil or fiend be found who would commit the deed itself?
Jephthah is mockingly told that
he is the fiend who must sacrifice his child, as Abraham is said to have
offered Isaac. And Jephthah is told that he has no one to blame but himself,
for having made the vow. But who heard the vow ? or who accepted the vow
? Who could he, or they be, who would require the fulfilling of it ? [ Jehovah,
of course, in his own national character of Baal, Moloch, Typhon, etc..
The final and conclusive identification of the “Lord
God” of Israel with Moloch, we find in the last chapter of Leviticus,
concerning things devoted not to be redeemed . . . . .”A
man shall devote unto the Lord of all that he hath, both of man and
beast . . . None devoted, which shall be devoted of men, shall be redeemed, but
shall surely be put to death . . . . for it is most holy unto
the Lord ”. (See Leviticus xxvii,
28, 29, 30)
“Notwithstanding the numerous proofs that the Israelites worshipped a variety of gods, and even offered human sacrifices until a far later period than their Pagan neighbours, they have contrived to blind posterity in regard to truth. They sacrificed human life as late as 160 B.C. (Vide “ Joseph, contra Apion,” II, 8 – what Antiochus Epiphanius found in the Temple), and the Bible contains a number of such records. At a time when the Pagans had long abandoned the abominable practice, and had replaced the sacrificial man by the animal, and the ox of Dionysius was sacrificed at the Bacchic Mysteries (“Anthon,” page 365), Jephthah is represented sacrificing his own daughter to the Lord ‘for a burnt-offering.” Isis Unveiled, vol ii, pp 524, 525]
Are they worthy of the name of brethren and countrymen who would persuade Jephthah to assassinate his daughter, in the name of religion, or even look on at such an assassination ? Would it not be blasphemy to say that a good Deity required Jephthah to kill his innocent child ? And would not a good Deity release Jephthah from his vow, and forbid him to sacrifice his daughter, in like manner as the Scriptures teach us Abraham was forbidden to sacrifice his son Isaac ? And if it is said, it would have been faithless and sinful of Jephthah after returning from the battle victorious, to have refused the offering of his daughter as a sacrifice; yet surely to bind Jephthah to break the Sixth Commandment, and to shed innocent blood in the name of religion, would be making the Deity that required such a sacrifice to be evil, and His worshippers to be the doers of evil; and thus Jephthah would be required to sell himself to the devil.
And how could men be other than the doers of evil, and the priests of [Page 437] evil, who would counsel Jephthah to commit this evil deed, and be ready to commit it themselves if he hesitated ? How ? Whether Jephthah received any miraculous assistance or not, in the war, yet he was in no wise bound to surrender his personality and to become an abject slave to the supposed power that helped him. For Jephthah's personal services were needed as an instrument to deliver and save the Israelites, or his services would not have been asked for. It was also possible that he might have given certain services, which even a miraculous power was unable to give — as we read in the Book of Judges that “Judah could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron”. (Judges i. 19.) [ It is said in the “Holy Book” that it was “the Lord (who) was with Judah”, who “could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron”. (Judges i. 19) and not “Judah” at all. This is but natural, according to popular belief and superstition that “the Devil is afraid of iron ”. The strong connection and even identity between Jehovah and the Devil is ably insisted upon by the Rev Haweis. See his “Key” (page 22) — H.P.Blavatsky - Editor. ]
And again, if all the glory of Jephthah's victory had to be ascribed to a miraculous power, then likewise all the shame would have to be ascribed to that power also, for having ordained that Jephthah's daughter should be the first person to meet him after the war, to pay the price of victory to Jephthah, with death to his child — for whom, alone, he coveted victory.
Victory on such terms was defeat and shame, not glory; for surely such views of religious worship must be the d’evil worship which the Psalmist speaks of (Psalm cvi., 37), and not the service or worship of a good God who would have mercy and not sacrifice, as Abraham learnt when he went out of the Philistine city into the wilderness, and communed with God alone on Mount Moriah.
But it was one thing for a single individual like Abraham, at the close of a long life, to acquire the knowledge “that God would have mercy and not sacrifice”; and quite another thing for a Town, a City, a Nation, or the World, to have acquired this knowledge in its infancy; as even Abraham only acquired this knowledge by going out of the city into the wilderness, and communing alone with God.
We can well understand how impossible it would have been for Abraham even to have attempted, on his return from the mountain, to teach the Philistines the faith or gospel (that God would have mercy and not sacrifice), from the very fact that when Jesus Christ came into the world to teach the faith or gospel, which Abraham had gone out of the world to learn, Jesus was condemned by Caiaphas to be crucified with malefactors, as a blasphemer. And to this very day this doctrine of the power of Caiaphas, the adversary of Jesus, continues to be taught as the doctrine of the Church, which it is necessary to believe in order to obtain the blessing of the Church here and of God hereafter.
Therefore it is manifestly evident that after Abraham had acquired the knowledge that God would have mercy and not sacrifice, yet he could not publish it, but could only lay it up in his heart as a secret [Page 438] treasure, to be disclosed in the distant future, which in the vision of his mind he saw. Meanwhile he prayed that the Lord would raise up messengers and stewards to prepare the world to receive this faith or gospel, because of its being too Herculean a task for any one person to alter suddenly the religion of a people.
For whilst priests continued to teach, and the people to believe that sacrifices of human beings were acceptable to God, how was the man who dared (suddenly and without the cloak of a parable) to reveal and publish the contrary, to escape being himself slain as a blasphemer, whose blood it would be doing God service to shed for an atonement? And until the world was sufficiently educated to declare the generation of him who should be unjustly slain (Isaiah liii.), it could only be like throwing pearls to swine for such an one to attempt the task.
Then from whence, and from whom could Jephthah, who had saved others, now look for the salvation of his daughter, or of himself, if he refused to sacrifice that daughter?
And, in the anguish of his soul, Jephthah rent his clothes, and bemoaned his trouble, whilst his daughter fled to the mountains to pour out the sorrow of her soul, during the few short days she had yet to live.
It is true that, in order to save her father from the cruel pain of assassinating his devoted child, the noble girl may have voluntarily leapt into the sulphurous flames on the burning altar; just as the noble Roman soldier Curtius on his horse leapt down into the dark and awful volcanic gulf as a sacrifice to save his countrymen.
But the more heroic and divine these persons were, the more demoniacal and diabolical must be the religion of those persons who required them thus to suffer. [ And yet it is this “demoniacal and diabolical religion” that passed part and parcel into Protestantism. — H.P.Blavatsky - Editor
It is true that the priests of such a religion may have believed in it themselves, and may have been ready to sacrifice their own sons and daughters in like manner; but that in no wise lessens the crime, but on the contrary it intensifies it a hundred fold. How were the people to be saved from a religion, of which the priests themselves needed to be saved, whilst the priests had the sole education of the people from infancy upwards, as well as the Chief power in the State to make and unmake its laws, even to making and unmaking its kings ?
Whilst the priests and rulers of the church taught such a cruel religion, [So “the people and priests” do now. And as the late Rev Henry Ward Beecher once said in a sermon, “could Jesus come back and behave in the streets of Christian cities as he did in those of Jerusalem, he would be declared an imposter and then confined in prison”. — Editor] would not the people and priests need a Mediator to deliver and save them from practising it ?
If He who mediated to deliver and save us was Himself condemned to be slain, and crucified with thieves as a blasphemer whose blood ought to be shed for an Atonement, what hope of salvation can there be for the world from such a Religion, until the people not only uplift the [Page 439] Crucified Jesus as having been no blasphemer, but also expose the doctrine to be evil and false which is quoted as an authority for requiring the blood of “the Just one” to be shed for an Atonement ? And if it is said that we have no longer women brought like Jephthah's daughter to be assassinated and burnt as a sacrifice, or noble men condemned to be burnt as heretics, yet we have to the present day noble men and women condemned by the Church as evil (to be accursed here and damned hereafter), simply and solely because they refuse to believe this evil doctrine of Atonement, which is oftentimes such a burden to their soul (either to accept or reject) that they are driven to the very verge of madness.
It is no uncommon thing to hear priests revile even our Queen as being no true Christian, simply because they suppose she does not believe in this evil doctrine of atonement, which is the doctrine of Caiaphas, the enemy of Christ, and not Christ's doctrine, teaching, or gospel.
Should not such scriptural stories as these of the assassination of Jephthah's noble daughter, of the crucifixion of Jesus, and the spilling of the blood of a whole host of martyrs, awaken men who have slumbered to rise, to hear, to see, to speak, and run to save the world from having to believe in this sanguinary doctrine, which is a stumbling-block to the Jews, foolishness to the world, and a mystery even to the teachers of it. This doctrine of Atonement can not be reconciled as either good or true; and therefore it is the cause of all progress being prevented so far as the world is dependent on the Church for progress.
Yet the man who doubts or denies the goodness of this doctrine is branded by the Church, to the present day, as a Sceptic and Atheist, whom all sound Churchmen should avoid. And for sixteen centuries the Church used its sovereign power to condemn those who rejected its doctrine of Atonement as criminals, whom it would be doing God service to burn as heretics; and the Church is only prevented from doing so now because (to its great regret) it has no longer the power which it formerly had in the days of “the Inquisition”. The doctrine remains the same still, and therefore the people owe it, as a duty to the long roll of martyrs, to expose it. For it has been the cause of much evil, and even to this day it assassinates the souls of noble men and women, who incarcerate themselves in monasteries and nunneries in the vain attempt to attain a sound belief in it.
But when the Church is willing to
allow (what it has refused to the present day) liberty in the pulpit for
explaining the mystery and translating the truth of a “Crucified Christ”,
then it will be seen that the truth is not only a light to the Gentiles,
but also the glory of Israel; and the truth shall make us free. [Only,
as such truth and freedom amounts
to the Church committing suicide and burying herself with her own hands, she
will never allow such a thing. She will die her natural death the day when
there will not exist a man, woman or child to believe any longer her dogmas.
And this beneficent result might be achieved within her own hierarchy, were
there many such sincere, brave and honest clergymen who, like the writer of
this article, fear not to speak the truth — whatever may come — H.P.Blavatsky
- Editor] (John
REV. T. G. HEADLEY
Manor House, Petersham. S.W. [Page 440]
A FRIEND has just informed me of the fact that when President Cleveland was making his recent tour through the States an old Negro presented him with the left hind foot of a grave-yard rabbit, which had been killed in the dark of the moon. In making his present the Negro said he had sent it because he desired the reelection of President Cleveland. “Tell him to preserve it carefully, and that as long as he keeps it he will always get there ”.
The friend whom I speak of had just been reading a lecture of mine on “Luniolatry”, in which the imagery and significance of the hare and rabbit in the moon were spoken of all too briefly, and he wishes to know if I can interpret the meaning of the negro's gift. I guess so. As previously explained the hare and the rabbit are both zootypes or living images of lunar phenomena. A rabbit pounding rice in a mortar is a Chinese sign of the moon. Swabian children are still forbidden to make the likeness of a rabbit or hare in shadow on the wall, as it would be a sin against the moon. The hare in the moon is a well-known Hindu type of Buddha. It is mythically represented that Buddha once took the form of a hare on purpose to offer himself as food for a poor famishing creature, and so the Buddha was translated in that shape to be eternized as the hare in the moon. That is one illustration of the way in which the book of external nature was filled full of mystic meanings, the essence of which escapes altogether in trying to read such things as historical, no matter whether they are related of Buddha, Horus, or Jesus. This hare or rabbit in the moon is a symbol or superstition with various races, Black, Brown, Red, Yellow, and White. When the meaning was understood it was a symbol; when the clue is lost it becomes a superstition of the ignorant; thus the ancient symbolism survives in a state of dotage with the Negroes as well as with the “noble Caucasian”.
The frog in the moon was another lunar type. In a Chinese myth — that is, a symbolic representation — the lunar frog has three legs, like the Persian ass in the Bundahish. In both cases the three legs stand for three phases of the moon reckoned at ten days each in a luni-solar month of thirty days. Now it happens that the rabbit's period of gestation is thirty days; and the early races included very curious observers amongst their naturalists, who had to think in things and express their thought in gesture-signs and zootypes before there were such things as printer's types. Hence the frog that dropped its tail, the serpent that sloughed its skin, the rabbit with its period of thirty days, were all symbols of the moon. Enough that the rabbit was a zootype of the moon, and the rabbit is equal to the hare. Hor-Apollo tells us that when the Egyptians would denote “an opening”, they delineate a [Page 441] hare, because this animal always has its eyes open (B. I..26). This can be corroborated in several ways. The name of the hare in Egyptian is “Un”, which means open, to open, the opener. It was applied to Osiris, “Un-Nefer”, in his lunar character as the good opener, otherwise the splendid or glorious hare, because “Nefer” means the handsome, beautiful, perfect, or glorious. Also the city of Unnut was that of the hare, “Un”, and this was the metropolis of the 15th Nome of Upper Egypt, which is another mode of identifying the open-eyed hare with the moon at the full, called the “Eye of Horus”, and with the woman of the moon who brings her orb to the full on the 15th day of the month (Egyptian Ritual, Chapter Ixxx). The hare was also a symbol of the opening period at puberty, a sign therefore of being open, unprohibited, or “it is lawful” (Sharpe). Hence the Namaqua Hottentots would only permit the hare to be eaten by those who had attained the age of the adult male. The proverb, “ Somnus leporinus”, relates to the hare that sleeps with its eyes open; and in our old English pharmacopoeia of the folk-lore or leech-craft, the brains and eyes of the hare are prescribed as a cure for somnolency, and a sovereign medicine for making or keeping people wide-awake. The rabbit equates with the hare, and has the same symbolical value. Now it is sometimes said that the hare-rabbit is of both sexes. So the moon was both male and female in accordance with the dual lunation. The new moon with the horns of the bull or the long ears of the ass, the rabbit, or hare was considered to be male. The dark lunation or hinder part was female. In the ancient symbolism the front or fore-part is masculine, the hinder-part or the tail is feminine. The two were head and tail in the earliest coinage as well as on the latest coins. In Egypt the South was front and is male; the North was the hinder-part and is female. Hence the old Typhon of the Northern part was denoted by the tail-piece, and it follows that Satan with the long tail is of feminine origin, and so the devil was female from the first. The same symbolism was applied to the moon. In the light half it was the male moon, in the dark half female. The new moon was the Lord of Light, the Increaser, the sign of new life, of saving and healing. The new moon was the messenger of immortality to men in the form of the hare or the rabbit. The waning moon represented the devil of darkness, the Typhonian power that said to men “even as I die and do not rise again so will it be with you”. Offerings were made to the new moon. When the moon was at the full the Egyptians sacrificed a black pig to Osiris. This represented Typhon, his conquered enemy. But in the dark half of the lunation Typhon had the upper hand when he tore Osiris into fourteen parts during the fourteen nights of his supremacy. The lunar zootype then is male in front, and female in the hinder-part of the animal. In the hieroglyphics the khepsh-leg or hind-quarter is the [Page 442] ideographic type of Typhon, the evil power personified. Further, the left side is female and Typhonian; the right is male. Ergo, the left hind leg of the grave-yard animal that was killed in the dark of the moon, stood for the hind (or last) quarter of the moon; literally the end of it. And if the negro laid hold of that rabbit's foot the right way, we can read the symbol that he probably did not understand, although he knew the rabbit's hind foot was a good fetish. It shows the survival of intended symbolism, which represents some sort of victory over the power of darkness analogous to taking the brush of the fox (another Typhonian animal) after it has been hunted to death. This was the last leg that the devil of darkness had to stand on, and so it was a trophy snatched from the Typhonian power to be worn in triumph as a token of good luck, of repetition or renewal, thence a second term.
It would be a sort of equivalent for taking the scalp of Satan, who could only be typified by the tail or hinder leg. The gift was tantamount to wishing “A Happy New Moon to You !” expressed in the language of symbolism, which was acted instead of being spoken. The negroes consider this particular talisman bequeathed by “Brer Rabbit” represents all the virtues and powers of renewal that are popularly attributed to the New Moon. But do not let me be misunderstood by those who know that in the Negro Märchen the rabbit is the good one of the typical two, and that the fox plays the Typhonian part. The rabbit or hare of the moon may be portrayed in two characters or in one of two. In both he is the hero, the Lord of Light and conqueror of the Power of Darkness, the rabbit, so to say, that rises again from the graveyard in or as the New Moon. The figure of the hind quarter and latter end of the dying moon is thus a type of the conquered Typhon, but the magical influence depends upon its being also a type of the conqueror, the rabbit of the resurrection or the New Moon. It is a curious coincidence that the luckiest of all Lucky Horse-Shoes in England is one that has been cast off the left hind foot of a Mare.
Lastly, this hind leg of the lunar
rabbit is a fellow-type with the leg of pig that is still eaten in England
on Easter Monday, which is a survival of the ancient sacrifice of the pig
Typhon, in the solar or annual reckoning, as portrayed in the planisphere
of Denderah, where we see the god Khunsu offering the pig by the leg in the
disc of the full moon. It must have been a potent fetish long ages ago in
Africa, and a medicine of great power according to the primitive mysteries
of the dark land. It may be surmised that much of this fetishtic typology
is still extant amongst the negroes in the United States, and it is to be
hoped that the Bureau of Ethnology at Washington, which has done, and is
doing, such good work under the direction of Major J. W. Powell in collecting
and preserving the relics of the Red Men, will extend the range of its researches
to the black race in America, and not leave those matters to irresponsible
THE BLOSSOM AND THE FRUIT
THE TRUE STORY OF A MAGICIAN
by MABEL COLLINS
IT was the day of the Princess Fleta's wedding and the whole city was en fête.
Hilary Estanol paced the streets wildly, like a creature distracted. He had never seen her face since the day he returned from the secret monastery. He could not trust himself to go near her. He felt that the savage in him must kill, must destroy, if too much provocation were given him.
He held this savage in check as well as he could. He would not trust himself under the same roof with the woman he loved as he loved nothing else in life, and who had given him her love while she gave herself to another man. Herself! How much that meant Hilary seemed only now to know, now that he heard her marriage bells ringing, now that she was absolutely given. Yes, she had given herself away to another man. Was it possible ? Hilary stood still now and again in the midst of the crowded street trying to remember the words she had said to him in that wood in the early morn when she had accepted his love. What had she taken from him then ? He had never been the same since. His heart lay cold, and chill, and dull within him save when her smile or its memory woke him to life and joy. Were these gone for ever? Impossible. He was still young — a mere boy. She could not have stolen so much from him ! No — he had the first right — he would be her lover still and always, to whoever else she gave herself in name. This was the point of thought to which Hilary perpetually returned. Undoubtedly she was his, and he would claim her. But obscured and excited as his mind was he had sufficient intelligence to know that his must be a secret claim even though it stood before all others. He could not go and claim her at the altar, for she had not given him any right to. What she had said was, “Take from me what you can”. Well, he could not make her his wife. He could not marry a royal Princess. She was not of his class. This being so, what could he hope for ? Nothing — and yet he had her love — yes, the last kind touch of her hand, the last sweet smile on her lips, were still with him, and drove his blood rioting through his veins.
At last the procession is coming — the soldiers have already cleared the way and with their horses keep back the crowd. Hilary stands now, [Page 444] still as a carven figure, watching only for one face. He sees it suddenly — ah ! so beautiful, so supremely beautiful, so mysterious — and everything in Heaven and earth becomes invisible, non-existent, save that one dear face. A voice rang out on the air, clear, shrill, above all other voices.
“Fleta ! Fleta ! My love !
my love !”
What a cry ! It penetrated to Fleta's ears; it reached the ears of her bridegroom.
In the church, amid the pomp and ceremony, and the crowd of great people, Otto did a thing which made those near him stare. He went to meet his bride and touched her hand.
“Fleta”, he said, “ that voice was the voice of one who loves you. What answer do you make to it ? ”
Fleta put her hand in his.
“That is my answer”, she said.
And so they stepped up the broad low steps to the altar. None heard what had been said except the king.
Fleta's father was strangely unlike herself. He was a rugged, morose, somber man, ill-disposed towards all humanity, as it would seem, save those few who held the key to his nature. Of these, his daughter was one; some said she was the only one. Others said her power lay in the fact that she was not his daughter, but a child of other parents altogether than those reputed to be hers; and that a State secret was involved in the mystery of her birth.
At all events, it was seldom indeed that the king interfered with Fleta. But
he did so now, at this moment, with all the eyes of the Court upon them.
He spoke low into her ear, he stood beside her.
“Fleta”, he said, “is this marriage right ? ”
Fleta turned on him a face so full of torture, of deathly pain, that he uttered an ejaculation of horror.
“Say no word, my father”, she said, “it is right”.
And then she turned her head again, and fixed her glorious eyes on Otto.
What a strangely beautiful bride she. was! She was dressed with extraordinary simplicity; her robe had been arranged by her own hands in long, soft lines that fell from her neck to her feet, and a long train lay on the ground behind her, but it was undecked by any lace or flowers. No flowers were in her hair, no jewels on her neck. Never had a princess been dressed so simply, a princess who was to be a queen. The Court ladies stared in amazement. But they knew well that there was a grace so supreme, a dignity so lofty, in this royal girl, that however simple her dress she outshone them all, and would outshine any woman who stood beside her.
No one heard any of what passed between the three chief actors in this scene; yet everyone was aware that there was something unusual [Page 445] in it. There was an atmosphere of mystery, of excitement, of strangeness. And yet what else would be possible where the Princess Fleta was concerned ? In her father's Court she was looked upon as a wild, capricious, imperious creature whose will none could resist. None would have wondered had they believed her carriage to have passed over the body of an accepted lover, now thrown aside and discarded. So did these people interpret the character of Fleta. Otto knew this, felt it, understood it; knew that those creatures of intrigue and pleasure would have thought her far less worthy had they judged her character more nearly as he did. To him she was pure, stainless, unattainable; virgin in soul and thought. This he said to her when, on leaving the cathedral, they entered a carriage together and alone. They had together passed through crowds of congratulators, nobles great ladies, diplomats from different parts of Europe. They had bowed and smiled, and answered courteously the words addressed to them. And yet how far away were their thoughts all the while! They neither of them knew who they had met, who they had spoken to. All was lost in one absorbing thought. But it was not the same thought. No, indeed, their minds were separated widely as the poles.
Fleta was filled with the sense of a great purpose. This marriage was but the first step in a giant programme. Her thoughts had flown now from this first step and were dwelling on the end, the fulfilment; as an artist when he draws his first sketch sees in his own mind the completed picture.
Otto had but one overwhelming thought; a very simple one, expressed instantly,
in the first words he uttered when they were alone:
“Fleta, you did not fancy that I doubted you ? I never meant that!. And yet it seemed as if there was reproach in your eyes ! No, Fleta, never that. But the cry was so terrible — it cut my heart. You did not fancy I meant any doubt ? — assure me, Fleta !”
“No, I did not”, replied Fleta quietly. “You know whose
voice it was”.
“No — it was unrecognisable — it was nothing but a cry of torture”.
“Ah ! but I knew it”, said Fleta. “It was Hilary Estanol who cried out my name”.
“He said 'Fleta, my love, my love', ” added Otto. “ Is he that ? ”
“Yes”, said Fleta unmoved, indeed strangely calm. “He is. More, Otto; he has loved me long centuries ago, when this world wore a different face. When the very surface of the earth was savage and untaught so were we. And then we enacted this same scene. Yes Alan, we three enacted it before, without this pomp, but with the natural splendour of savage beauty and undimmed skies. Otto, I sinned then I expiated my sin. Again and again have I expiated it. Again and again has Nature punished me for my offence against her. Now at last [Page 446] I know more, I see more, I understand more The sin remains. I desired to take, to have for myself, to be a conqueror. I conquered — I have conquered since! how often! That has been my expiation: satiety. But now I will no longer enjoy. I will stand on that error, that folly, and win from it strength which shall lift me from this wretched little theatre where we play the same dramas for ever through the fond weariness of recurring lives”.
Otto had drawn back from her, and gazed intently upon her as she spoke, passion and vehemence gradually entering her low voice. As she ceased he passed his hand over his forehead.
“Fleta”, he said, “is this some spell of yours upon me ? While you spoke I saw your face change, and become the face of one familiar to me, but far, far back ! I smelled the intense rich scent of innumerable fruit blossoms —— Fleta, tell me, are you dreaming or speaking fables, or is this thing true ? Have I lived for you before, loved you, served you, ages back, when the world was young ? ”
“Yes”, said Fleta.
“Ah!”, cried Otto suddenly, “ I feel it — there is blood on you — blood on your hand ! ”
Fleta raised her beautiful hand, and looked at it with an infinite sadness on her face.
“ It is so”, she answered. “There is blood on it, and there will be, until I have got beyond the reign of blood and of death. You held me down then, Otto; you triumphed by brute force, not knowing that in me lay a power undreamed of by you — a vital, stirring will. I could have crushed you. But already I had used my will once, and found the bitter, unintelligible suffering it produced. I determined to try and understand Nature before I again used my power. So I submitted to your tyranny; you learned to love it, and through many lives have learned to love it more. It has brought you a crown at last, and a little army of soldiers to defend it for you, and half-a-dozen crafty old diplomats who want you to keep it, and who think they can make you do just as their respective monarchs wish. Move your puppets, Otto. No such kingdom satisfies me. I mean to win my own crown. I will be a queen of souls, not of bodies; a queen in reality, not in name”.
She seemed to wrap herself in an impenetrable veil of scorn as she ceased speaking and leaned back in the carriage.
Some great emotion was stirring Otto through and through, At last he spoke; and the man seemed changed — a different being. From under the gentle manner, the docile, ready air, came struggling up the fierce spirit of opposition.
“You despise the crown you married me for ? Is that so? Well, I will teach you to respect it”.
A smile dawned on Fleta's clouded face and then was gone again in [Page 447] a moment. This was all the answer she vouchsafed to the kingly threat. Otto turned and looked at her steadily.
“A magnificent creature”, he said, “beautiful, and with a brain of steel, and perhaps for all I know, a heart like it. You won a great deal from me, Fleta, a little while since. Did I not submit to the masquerading of your mysterious Order ? Did I not trust my life to those treacherous monks of yours, submit to be blindfolded and led into their haunt by secret ways. For what end ? Ivan told me of aspirations, of ideas, of thoughts, which only sickened my soul and filled me with shame and despair. For I am a believer in order, in moral rule, in the government of the world in accordance with the principles of religion. I told you I was willing to become a member of the order; yes, because my nature is in sympathy with its avowed tenets. But its secret doctrines as I have heard them from you, as I have heard them from the man you call your master, are to me detestable. And it is for the carrying out of this unholy theory or doctrine that you propose to surrender your life ? No, Fleta; you are now my queen”.
“Yes”, said Fleta. “ I am now your queen. I know that. I have chosen the lot willingly. You need not again tell me that I have the crown I purposed to obtain”.
At this moment they arrived at the palace. There was yet a weary mass of ceremony and speaking of polite nothings to be passed through before there was any chance of their being alone again. Otto relapsed into the pleasant and kindly manner which was habitual with him Fleta fell into one of her abstracted moods, and the court adopted its usual policy under such circumstances — let her be undisturbed. Few of the men cared to risk the satirical answers that came readiest to her lips when she was roused out of such a mood as this.
And yet at last someone did venture to rouse her; and a smile, delicious as a burst of sunshine, came swiftly and suddenly on her mouth.
It was Hilary Estanol. Pale, worn, the mere ghost of himself, his dark eyes looking strangely large in the white face they were set in They were fixed on her as though there were nothing else in the world to look at.
Fleta held out her hand to him; his companion — a military officer who had brought him under protest, and in some doubt, for Hilary had no friends at Court — drew back in amazement. He understood now Hilary's importunity.
Hilary bent over Fleta's hand and held his lips near it for an instant, but did not touch it. A sort of groan came to her ear from his lips.
“You have resigned me ? ” she
asked in a low vibrating whisper.
“You have cast me off”, he answered.
“Be it so”, she replied, “but you have lived through it,
and you now claim nothing. Is it not so? I read it in the dumb pain in your
eyes”. [Page 448]
“Yes”, said Hilary, straightening himself and standing upright close beside her, and looking down upon her beautiful dark head. “ It is so. I will not cry for the moon, nor will I weary any woman with my regret or entreaty, even you, Fleta, though it is no dishonour to humble oneself at the feet of such as you. No; I will bear my pain like a man. I came here to say good-bye. You are still something like the Fleta that I loved. Tomorrow you will not be”.
“How can you tell ? ” she said with her inscrutable smile. “Still, I think you are right. And now that we are no longer lovers will you enter with me another bond ? Will you be my comrade in undertaking the great task ? I know you are fearless”.
“The great task ? ” said Hilary vaguely, and he put his hand to his forehead.
“The one great task of this narrow life —To learn its lesson and go beyond it”.
“Yes, I will be your comrade”, said Hilary in an even voice and without enthusiasm.
“Then meet me at two this very morning at the gate of the garden-house where you used to enter”.
It was now just midnight. Hilary noticed this as he turned away, for a little clock stood on a bracket close by. He looked at it, and looked back at Fleta. Could she mean what she said ? But already the Fleta he knew had vanished; a cold, haughty, impassive young queen was accepting the uninteresting homage of a foreign minister. The guests were beginning to take their departure. Fleta and Otto did not propose to take any journey in honour of their wedding as is the custom in some places; the king opened for their use the finest set of guests' chambers in the palace, and these they occupied, remaining among the visitors until all had departed. On the next day Otto was to take his queen home; but he had had to give way to the wishes of Fleta and her father as to the postponing of the journey.
From the great drawing-rooms Fleta went quietly away when the last guest had departed; she moved like a swift shadow noiselessly along the corridors. She entered her own room, and there began, without summoning any attendant, to hastily take off her bridal robes. On a couch was lying the white robe and cloak which she had worn when she had endeavoured to enter the hall of the mystics. These she put on, and wrapping the cloak round her turned to leave the room. As she did so she came face to face with Otto, who had entered noiselessly, and was standing in silence beside her. She seemed scarcely to notice him, but changed her direction and proceeded towards another door. Otto quickly placed himself again in her way.
“No”, he said; “you do not leave this room tonight”.
“And why ? ” asked Fleta, looking gravely at his set face.
“Because you are now my wife. I forbid it. Stay here and with [Page 449] me. Come, let me take off that cloak, without any trouble; the white gown under it suits you even better than your wedding-dress”.
He unfastened the clasps which held the cloak together. Fleta made no opposition, but kept her eyes on his face; he would not meet her gaze, though his face was white and rigid with the intensity of his passion and purpose.
“Do you remember”, said Fleta, “ the last thing that you did when you were with Father Ivan ? Do you remember kneeling before him and uttering these words—' I swear to serve the master of truth and the teacher of life —— ' ”
“That master — that teacher !” interrupted Otto hotly. “I reserved my reason even in that incense-scented room. That master — that teacher — is my own intelligence — so I phrased it in my own mind — I recognise no other master”.
“Your own intelligence ! ” repeated Fleta. “You have not yet learned to use it. You did not so phrase the vow then; you only rephrased it so afterwards, when you were away, and alone, and began again to struggle for your selfish freedom. No, Otto, you have not begun to use your intelligence. You are still the slave of your desires, eaten up with the longing for power and the lust of the tyrannical soul. You do not love me — you only desire to possess me. You fancy your power is all you wish it to be. Well, put it to the test. Take this cloak from my shoulders”.
Otto came close, and took the cloak in his hands; and then a sudden passion filled him — he seized her in his arms and pressed his lips to hers — yet he did not do so, either, for the attempt was instantaneously surrendered. He staggered back, white and trembling.
Fleta stood erect and proud before him.
“That vow you took”, she said quietly, “ you knew very well in the inner recesses of your soul, in your true unblinded self, to make you a slave of the Great Order. That vow may yet save you from yourself, if you do not resent it too fiercely. But remember this; I am a neophyte of that order, and you being its slave, are under my command. I am your queen, Otto, but not your wife”.
She passed him as she said this, and he made no effort to detain her; indeed, the trembling had not yet left him, and his whole strength was taken by the attempt to control it. As she reached the door he succeeded in speaking:
“Why did you marry me ? ”
“Did I not tell you ? ” she said, pausing a moment and turning to look at him. “I think I did. Because I have to learn to live on the plain as contentedly as on the mountain tops. There is but one way for me to do this, and that is to devote my life as your queen to the same great purpose it would serve were I the silver-robed initiate I [Page 450] desire to be. I go now to commence my work, with the aid of a lover who has learned to surrender his love.
She moved magnificently from the room, looking much taller even than her natural height. And Otto let her go without any word or sign.
IT was a fragrant night — a night rich with sweet flower-scents, not only from the flower beds near, but coming from afar on the breeze. Hilary stood at the gate, leaning on it and looking away at the sky, where a faint streak of different light told of the sun's coming. It was quite clear, though there had been no moonlight; one of those warm, still nights when it is easy to find one's way, though hard to see into the face of one near by, a night when one walks in a dream amid changing shadows, and when the outer mysteriousness and the dimness of one's soul are as one. So with Hilary; so had he walked to the gate. He waited for the woman he loved, the only woman any man could ever love, having once known her. And yet no fever burned now in his veins, no intoxication mounted from his heart to his brain. Standing-there, and regarding himself and his own feelings very quietly in the stillness, it seemed to him as if he had died yesterday when that wild cry had been unknowingly uttered; as if his soul or his heart, or, indeed, his very self had gone forth in it.
A light touch was laid on his shoulder, and then the gate was opened. He passed through and walked by Fleta up the flower-bordered pathway. She moved on without speaking, her white cloak hanging loose from her neck, and her bare arms gleaming as it fell back from them.
“You who know so much tell me something”, said Hilary. “Why are you so wise ? ”
“Because I burned my soul out centuries ago”, said Fleta. “When you have burned out your heart you will be strong as I am”.
“Another question”, said Hilary. “Why
did you fail in that initiation ? ”
Fleta stopped suddenly, and fixed fierce questioning eyes upon him. She was terrible in this quick rush of anger. But Hilary looked on her unmoved. It seemed to him that nothing would ever be able to move him again. Was he dead indeed that he could thus endure the scorching light of those brilliant eyes ?
“What makes you ask me that ? ” cried Fleta in a voice of pain. “Do
you demand to know ?”
“Yes; I do wish to know”.
For a moment Fleta covered her face
with her hands, and her whole form shrank and quivered. But only for a moment;
then she dropped [Page
451] her hands
at each side and stood erect, her queenly head poised royally.
“It is my punishment”, she said in a murmuring voice, “ to discover so soon how absolute are the bonds of the Great Order; how the pupil can command the master as well as the master the pupil”.
Then she turned abruptly upon Hilary, approaching him more nearly, while she spoke in a quick, fierce voice.
“Because, though I have burned out my soul, I have not burned out my heart! Because, though I cannot love as men do, and have almost forgotten what passion means, yet I can still worship a greater nature than my own so deeply that it may be called love. I have not learned to stand utterly alone and to know myself as great as any other with the same possibilities, the same divinity in myself. I still lean on another, look to another, hunger for the smile of another. O, folly, when I know so well that I cannot find any rest while that is in, me. O, Ivan, my teacher, my friend, what torture it is to wrest the image of you from its shrine within me. Powers and forces of indifferent Nature, I demand your help ! ”
She raised her arms as she uttered this invocation, and it struck Hilary at the moment how little like a human being she looked. She might have been the spirit of the dawn. Her voice had become unutterably weird and mournful, like the deep cry of a broken soul.
Without pausing for any answer she dropped her arms, drew her cloak around her, and walked away over the dewy grass. Hilary, as silent, as mournful, but seemingly without emotion, dropped his head and quietly followed her track. Of old — only yesterday — what an age ago ! — he would have kept his eyes fixed on her shining dark hair or the movements of her delicate figure. Suddenly Fleta stopped, turned and confronted him. He raised his eyes in surprise and looked at her.
“ You are no longer devoured by jealousy”, she said. “ You can hear me speak as I did just now without its turning you into a savage. What has happened ? ”
Her eyes seemed to penetrate his impassive and languid expression, looking for the soul beneath. She was longing that his answer should be the one she needed.
“ I am hopeless”, answered
“Of what ? ”
“Of your love. I understand at last that you have a great purpose in your life, and that I am a mere straw on a stream. I thought I had some claim on you; I see I cannot have. I surrender myself to your will. That is all I have left to do”.
Fleta stood meditatively for a moment. Then she looked up very sadly in his face.
“It is not enough”, she said. “Your gift must be a positive
Then she again turned and went on her way to the house. Here [Page 452] everything was silent and even dark, for the shutters were all closed, and evidently the place was deserted. Fleta opened a side door with a key which was attached to her girdle; they entered and she locked it behind them. She led the way through the quiet dim house to the door of the laboratory; they entered the room in silence. It wore a quite new aspect to Hilary's eyes, and he looked round in wonder. All was pale; there was no incense burning, no lamps were lit; the colour had gone from the walls; a faint grey light through a skylight, which had always hitherto been curtained, dimly broke on the darkness of the room which still lurked deeply in the lower part. But Hilary found enough light to see that the thing he so hated was not present; that lay figure which was to him always such a horror was gone.
“Where is it?” he said after a moment, wondering at the sense of relief with which its absence filled him.
“What ? — oh! the figure. Again you ask a question which I am compelled to answer. Well, I cannot use that power at present; I have again to win the right”.
“How did you win the right before ? ” asked Hilary, fixing his eyes on her; a fierce desire to know this possessed him.
Fleta started, turned towards him, and for a moment the proud imperiousness which ordinarily characterised her came over her form and her features. But in another moment it was gone. She stood before him, pale, gentle and sublime.
“ I will tell you”, she said in a clear yet very low voice. “By
taking your life”.
Hilary looked at her in complete perplexity and bewilderment.
“Do you not remember”, she said, “ that forest, that new earth and sky, all so sweet and strong, that wealth of apricot blossom that came between us and the sky ? Ah, Hilary, how fresh and vivid life was then, while we lived and loved and understood not that we did either ! Was it not sweet ? I loved you. Yes, I loved you — loved you.”
Her voice broke and trembled. Hilary's numbed heart suddenly sprang again to life. Never had her voice contained such tones of tenderness and passion before.
“Oh, my dear, my Fleta, you love me still — now! ”
He sprang towards her, but she seemed to sweep him aside with one majestic action of her bare arm.
“'With that passion”, she said, with a pale solemnity, “ I
can never love now. I have not forgotten entirely what such love is — no,
Hilary, I have not forgotten — else how should I have found you again
among the multitudes of the earth ? ” She held out her hand to him, and,
as he clasped it, he felt it was soft and tender, that the warm life blood
of a young creature responded to his touch. “ I knew you by your dear
eyes which once were so full of pure love for me that they were like stars
in my life”. [Page 453]
“What came between us ?” asked Hilary.
She looked strangely at him, drew her hand away, folded her cloak round her and then answered in one word:
“ I remember it now I” cried Hilary in sudden excitement. “My God ! I see your beautiful wild face before me, I see your lips as lovely as the soft blossom above us. Fleta, I loved you as men love — I hungered for you — what harm lay in that ? ”
“None”, she answered, standing now motionless and statue-like, wrapped in her long, white cloak, seeming like a lovely ghost rather then a living woman, “ None — for men who care only to be men, to reproduce men, to be and to do nothing more than that! But I had another power within me, that seemed stronger than myself — a stirring of the dumb soul within. When that moment came, Hilary, then came the great decision, the fierce struggle between two souls hurled together out of the dimness of life, and finding light in the fever of love — yes, light! — the fire that is love makes it possible for men to live. It gives them hope, it animates them, it makes them believe in a future, it enables them to create men to fill that future.
“In those old days beneath those apricot blossoms, you and I, Hilary, were but children on this earth, new to its meaning, knowing nothing of its purpose. How could we guide ourselves? We were ignorant of the great power of sex, we were only at the beginning of its lesson. So it must be with all. They must go through with the lesson, they cannot guess it from the first! Nor could we. I did not know what I did, Hilary, my lover, when I took your life. Had I known I should only have been like a beast of prey. But I did not know. You asserted your power — you claimed me. I asserted mine — I conquered. I wanted power; and killing you as I did with that one emotion only stirring within me, I got what I longed for. Not at once — not till I had suffered patiently, not till I had struggled hard to understand myself and the force that was at work within me. And this for life after life, incarnation after incarnation. You not only loved me but you were mine — I conquered you and used your life and love for my own ends — to add to my power, to actually create the life and strength I needed. By your life, by your strength, I became a magician, read by my insight the mysteries of alchemy and the buried secrets of power. Yes, Hilary, it is so. To you I owe myself. I have become free from the common burdens of humanity, its passions, its personal desires, its weary repetitions of experiences till their edge grows blunted by long usage. I have seen the Egyptian and the Roman, men of the old superb civilisations, trying to reproduce their past pleasures, their past magnificence today, in this modern life. It is useless, life after life full of selfishness and pleasure, ends in the weariness of living that kills men's souls and darkens their thought. But you and I, Hilary, have escaped [Page 454] from this dismal fate. I would not be content to live again as I had lived before, to use the life principle which lies in love, only for pleasure or the bringing of eidolons on to the earth. I determined to rise, to raise myself, to raise you, and out of our love perpetually to create something nobler than we ourselves. I have succeeded, Hilary, I have succeeded. We stand now before the gate of the first initiation. I tried to enter it and failed for want of strength — for want of strength, Hilary ! I could not pluck my master's image utterly out of my soul — I looked for him to lean on — at least to find comfort in seeing that face I knew. Give me strength, Hilary! Be my comrade! Help me to enter and your strength shall come back to you a hundredfold. For your reward shall be that you too shall enter with me”.
She had changed from moment to moment
as she spoke. She looked like an inspired priestess —
like a Divine being. Now she stood like a flame with a strange
appearance, as if her whole soul and self, spirit and body, rose upwards in
adoration. The dawn had come; the first rays of the sun shot through the skylight
and fell on her transfigured face and gleaming hair.
Hilary looked at her as a worshipper might look at his idol.
“ I am yours”, he said, “but I know not how to prove it”.
She held out her hand to him, and lowered her eyes from the light to which they had been raised until they met his.
“We must discover the great secret together, Hilary. No longer may you give yourself to me without knowledge. Hitherto our lives have been but the lives of the blossom; now we must be wise and enter the state when the fruit comes. We have to find out what that power is which the sun represents to us; to discover the pure creative power. But we have not strength yet, Hilary; alas ! I dread and fear sometimes. More strength means more sacrifice”.
She drew her cloak closer round her, the light faded from her eyes and face, and turning away she went and sat down on a couch which was back in the shadow. Hilary felt a profound sense of sadness, of sympathy, of sorrow, sweep over his being. He followed her and sat down beside her. One pale hand lay on the couch, outside her cloak. He laid his upon it, and fell deep into thought. Thus they sat, silent, breathing softly, for long hours, till the sun was high. But still, even then, the room was very dim and cool, and full of shadows.
ON the next day, the same day rather, for they sat together in the laboratory till long after the sun was high, Hilary, to his own amazement, found that he had an official post in the household of the young Queen which would keep him continually about her. Indeed, he had to pack up instantly on being informed of the fact, in order to follow [Page 455] Fleta to her own dominions. How this had been effected none could tell — Hilary, least of all, for he saw immediately on presenting himself in King Otto's presence that he was regarded by him with dislike and distrust. Before, Otto had scarcely noticed him. The present state of things was decidedly a change for the worse. However, Hilary had already perceived very clearly that to serve under Fleta was to serve under a hard master. And he had no longer any kind of choice. Life was inconceivable without her — without the pain caused by her difficult service. He had rather suffer that than enjoy any other kind of pleasure. And, indeed, pleasure, apart from Fleta, did not appear to him to exist.
And yet he was still capable of doubting her.
Fleta had chosen a companion of
royal birth to travel with her; a young duchess who bore the same family
name as Fleta herself. This girl had been reared in a nunnery, and then taken
to court, where she took part in all the pageants and immediately found herself
surrounded by suitors. She was not very pretty, and certainly not at all
clever. To go with Fleta seemed to her delightful, as it would introduce
her to a new court and a fresh series of suitors. It struck Hilary as quite
extraordinary that Fleta should choose this child as her companion — not that the Duchess was any younger than Fleta — indeed,
they were almost of an age; but Fleta appeared to carry within her beautiful
head the wisdom of centuries, while the Duchess was a mere school-girl trained
in court etiquette.
These three were to travel together in Fleta's own favourite travelling carriage. She simply refused to travel with her husband. When he addressed her on the subject, she merely replied:
“You would weary me; and, moreover, I have work to do”.
And so they started; and as Hilary took his place, he thought of that strange drive when he and Fleta, and Father Amyot, had been the three. Recollecting this made him wonder what had become of Father Amyot; for the priest had not returned to his duties in the city. He asked Fleta, while the thought was in his mind, why Amyot was not with her now.
“He is of no use to me”, she answered coldly.
The journey was a very long and a very weary one to Hilary; for the Duchess, finding no one else to flirt with, insisted upon flirting with him; while Fleta lay back in her corner of the carriage hour after hour, with her eyes closed. What was the work she had to do ? Hilary, who had overheard her answer to the King, wondered very much. And yet, as he watched her intently he saw that her face changed. It grew darker, more inscrutable, more set in purpose.
Late one evening, and when they were indeed travelling later than usual, hoping to reach their destination that same night, a curious thing happened. All day long Fleta had been silent, seemingly buried in [Page 456] thought; but sometimes when Hilary was watching her he noticed her lips move as if in speech. He sat opposite her whenever he could; this was not always possible, as the young Duchess would talk to him, and the carriage being very large and roomy, he had to change his position, and go nearer to her in order to carry on a conversation with any comfort. But as it grew dark the Duchess grew tired, and leaned back half asleep, for indeed they had had a long day's journey.
Hilary withdrew himself to the corner opposite Fleta. It grew so dark he could no longer see her; they had a swinging-lamp in the roof of the carriage, but he did not want to light it unless Fleta wished it so; and, indeed, he longed for the quiet and the darkness very much. It made him feel more alone with her, he could try to follow and seize her thoughts then without the perpetual disturbance of the little Duchess's quick eyes on him and her light voice in his ears.
He sat still and thought of Fleta — Fleta herself in her glorious beauty — sitting there opposite him shrouded by the darkness. He could endure it no longer — the man rose up in him and asserted itself — he leaned forward and put his hand upon her. He had scarcely done so when the Duchess uttered a shrill cry.
“My God !” she exclaimed, in a voice of horror, “who is in the carriage with us ? ”
She flung herself across and knelt upon the floor between Hilary and Fleta; her terror was so great she did not know what she was doing.
Hilary leaned across her and instantly discovered that she was right — that there was another man in the carriage besides himself.
“Oh, kill him ! kill him !” cried the little Duchess, in an agony of fear; “ he is a thief, a murderer, a robber ! ”
Hilary rose up and precipitated himself upon this person whom he could not see. A sense of self-defence, of defence of the women with him, seized him as we see it seize the animals. He discovered that this man had risen also. Blindly and furiously he attacked him, and with extraordinary strength. Hilary was young and full of vigour, but slight and not built like an athlete. Now, however, he seemed to be one. He found his adversary to be much larger and stronger than himself.
A fearful struggle followed. The carriage drove on through unseen scenery as fast as possible; Fleta could have stopped it had she thrown the window down and cried out to the postilions. But Fleta remained motionless — she might have fainted, she was so still. The little Duchess simply cowered on the ground beside her, clinging to her motionless figure. This terrified girl had not the presence of mind to think of stopping the carriage, and so obtaining help. She was too horror-struck to do anything. And, indeed, it was horrible, for the swaying struggling forms sometimes were right upon. the two women, sometimes at the [Page 457] other side of the carnage; it was a deadly, horrible, ghastly struggle, all the more horrid for the silence. There were no cries, no exclamations, for indeed, so far as Hilary was concerned, he had no breath to spare for them. There were only gasps, and heavy breathings, and the terrible sound that comes from a man's throat when he is fighting for his life. How long this hideous battle lasted none could tell — Hilary had no idea of the passage of time. The savage in him had now come so entirely uppermost and drowned all other consciousness, that his one thought was he must kill — kill — kill — and at last it was done. There was a moment when his adversary was below him, when he could use his whole force upon him — and then came a gasp and an unearthly cry — and silence.
Absolute silence for a little while. No one moved, no one stirred. The Duchess was petrified with horror. Hilary had sunk exhausted on the seat of the carriage — not only exhausted, but bewildered, for a host of other emotions besides savage fury began to rise within him. What — who — was this being he had destroyed ? At that moment they were urged into a gallop, for they were entering the city gates. Hilary threw down the window next him with a crash. “ Lights, lights ! ” he cried out, “bring lights”. The carriage stopped, and there was a crowd immediately at the windows, and the glare of torches fell into the carriage, making it bright as day. The little Duchess was crouched in the corner on the ground in a dead faint. Fleta sat up, strangely white, but calm. Nothing else was to be seen, alive or dead, save Hilary himself; and so horror-struck was he at this discovery that he turned and buried his face in the cushions of the carriage, and he never knew what happened — whether he wept, or laughed, or cursed — but some strange sound of his own voice he heard with his ears.
There was a carriage full of servants behind Fleta's carriage; when hers stopped so suddenly they all got out and came quickly to the doors.
“The Duchess has fainted”, said Fleta, rising so as to hide Hilary; “the journey has been too long. Is there a house near where she can lie still a little while, and come on later to the palace ? ”
Immediately offers of help were made, and the servants and those who were glad to help them carried the poor little Duchess away.
“On to the palace ! ” cried Fleta, and shut the door and drew down the blinds. The postilion started the horses with all speed.
Suddenly the blood in Hilary's body began to surge and burn. Was it Fleta's arms that clung round him ? Fleta's lips that printed warm, living kisses on his neck, his face, his hair ? He turned and faced her.
“Tell me the truth”, he said. “Are you a devil ? ”
“No”, she answered, “ I am not. I want to find my way to the pure good that governs life. But there are devils about me, and you have [Page 458] killed one of them tonight. Hush, calm yourself; remember what we are in the eyes of the world. For we are at the palace door, and Otto is standing there to receive us.”
She stepped out, the young queen.
Hilary followed her, stumbling, broken. He said he was ill, to those who spoke to him; and stood staring in wonder at the brilliant sight before him.
THE great hall of the palace was illuminated gloriously by huge dragons made of gold, placed high up on the walls; within these strange creatures were powerful lamps, which shed their light not only through the eyes and opened mouths, but from the gleaming claws. The whole place was filled with a blaze of light from them; and the dresses of the household assembled below seemed to Hilary another blaze of light, so gay were they. Yet this was only a domestic reception. It was late, and Otto had refused to allow any more general demonstration to take place that night. Yet Fleta, when she threw off her travelling cloak and hood, might have been the centre of any pageant. She showed no trace of the weariness of travel, or even of the strange excitement she had passed through. She was pale, but her face was calm and wore its most haughty and unapproachable expression. Her dress of black lace hung about her slender form like clouds. Otto was filled with pride as he noted her superb dignity and beauty; with hatred, as he observed that her eyes never met his own, that she treated him with just the same civility as the steward, or any servant of the establishment. No one could notice this but himself and perhaps Hilary, supposing the latter to be capable of regarding anyone but Fleta herself; for she was too much a woman of the world, this mystic, this wild girl, to admit anyone even to the most evident of the secrets of her life.
After a few moments passed among the little crowd assembled in the great hall, Fleta proposed to go to her own rooms for the night, and a stately little procession formed itself at once to conduct her there. But before going she beckoned to Hilary.
“The Duchess must come to me tonight,” she said. “ I wish her to be in my own room. Send a carriage and servants to fetch her”.
How her eyes glittered ! Had he ever seen them shine so vividly before ?
“Tell me one thing”, he said hoarsely. “ I believe you have taken to yourself that creature's life and very body that I killed for you. Is it not true?”
“ You are shrewd”, she said with a laugh. “ Yes, it is true. My whole being is stronger for his death; I absorbed his vital power the instant you wrenched it from him”. [Page 459]
“And he ?” said Hilary, with wild eyes.
“ Was one of those half-human, half-animal creatures that haunt men to their ill, and which fools call ghosts or demons. I have done him a service in taking his life into my own”.
Hilary shuddered violently.
“You doubt me”, said Fleta very quietly. “You still doubt if it is not I who am the devil. Be it so. I am indifferent to your opinion of me, Hilary; you cannot help loving and serving me. We were born under the same star. Now go and give orders about the Duchess”.
Under the same star ! Those words had not come to his mind for a long while; yet how horribly true they were. For he, Hilary, it was who had actually done this dreadful deed and killed this unseen, unknown, unimaginable creature. Horror made him clutch his hands together as he thought that he had touched this thing, more, had killed it hideously. Might it not have been some good thing striving to baffle Fleta ? Ah, yes ! he still doubted her. And yet to doubt her so completely made the very earth to sink away from under his feet. He himself, his life, his all, were given to her, be she good or evil! Staggering and overpowered by the terrible thoughts that crushed his wearied brain, Hilary found his way to a supper-table; and too exhausted to think of anything else but recruiting his strength, sat down to drink wine — and to try to eat. This latter seemed impossible, but the wine revived him; and presently he remembered that it was his business to look after the Duchess.
By-and-bye she was carried into the palace; she could not yet stand, for she had only come out of one fainting fit to fall into another.
And now came a strange and dreadful scene — one which only a few witnessed, Hilary as it happened being among those few, for he saw the Duchess taken to the suite of rooms Fleta occupied. In the corridor Fleta came out to them; she was still in her travelling-dress, and looked very quiet and even subdued. But at the sight of her the young Duchess screamed as if she saw some awful thing; she would not let Fleta touch her, she absolutely refused to enter her room.
“But you must be with me”,
said Fleta in a low voice.
“ I will not”, answered the Duchess with a firm resolution which amazed everyone who knew her. She rose up and walked unassisted along the corridor and down the great staircase; she met the young king coming up it; he had heard her shrill cries and came to see what was happening.
“What is the matter, little cousin ?” seeing her tear-stained and agitated face.
“ Fleta wants me to be in her room all night! I would not do it for all
the world ! She is a devil — she would kill me or make her lover kill
me, and then no one would ever hear of me or even find my body. No ! No!” [Page
And so she ran on, down the wide stairs, leaving Otto thunderstruck. He noticed that a number of persons were gathering on the landing and stairs, and so, with a stern and quiet face, he passed through the little throng, making no observation. He went down the corridor and straight into Fleta's room. Here he found her standing silent, dark, like a somber statue. One other person was in the room — Hilary Estanol. He was in the most extraordinary state of agitation, pouring out words and accusations; some horror appeared to possess and blind him, for he took no notice of the king's entrance. Fleta did, however; she looked up at him and smiled — such a strange, sweet, subtle smile. Seldom, indeed, had Fleta given him a look like this. Otto's heart leaped within him, and he knew himself her slave. For he loved her increasingly with every passing moment; and she had but to turn her face on him softly to make the loving soul in him burn with ardour. But that burning was fiery indeed. He turned upon Hilary and stayed his words by a sudden sharp order:
“Leave the room”, he said. . “And you had better go and see Doctor Brandener before you go to bed, for you are either in a fever or mad. Go at once”.
Hilary was in a condition in which an order given in such a tone took the place of the action of his own brain, and he mechanically obeyed it. This was the best possible thing that could have happened to him; for he was in fact in a high fever, and if he had not, without thinking about it, done as he was told and gone to the resident doctor of the palace, he would probably have wandered raving about all night. As it was he was obliged to drink a strong sleeping draught, and was placed in his bed, where he fell at once into a sleep so profound it seemed like death.
Hilary gone, Fleta closed the door behind him.
“Do not let there be any struggle of wills between us tonight”, said Fleta very softly. “ I warn you, I am much stronger than I was; I am very much stronger than you are, now. And you found before that you could not even come near enough to touch me. Let me rest, and that quietly; I wish to retain my beauty, both for your sake and my own”.
Otto paused a few moments before he made any answer to this extraordinary, speech. Then he spoke with difficulty; and as he did so raised his hand to brush away some great drops of sweat which had gathered on his forehead.
“ I know I am powerless against you tonight, Fleta”, he said. “ I
cannot even move nearer to you. But be warned; I intend to probe the mystery
of your being. I intend to conquer you at last. I will do it if I have to visit
hell itself for the magic which shall be stronger than yours”.
(To be continued.) [Page 461]
TWILIGHT VISIONS (2)
by Wm C Eldon Serjeant
PART II. — THE CRESCENT
“ The LORD appeared of old unto me, saying, ' Yea, I have
loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I
drawn thee' ' '— JER. xxxi, 3.
“IN life, in death, O Lord
! abide with me!”
Thou, Ruler o'er the Living Rosy Cross —
Great Master Mason of the mortal frame,
Which is the temple of the Holy Ghost —
Grand Power of all who through the secret sun
Dost hold the soul in tenement of clay
To guide it safely through the gloom of night
Into the golden morn, when all things then
In Light of Love — thine own Eternal Self —
Shall truly stand revealed to those that strive
In truth to know the Power which all mankind
Shall worship in the Universal King
My children ! saith the living God of Love,
Now “ if with all your hearts ye truly seek ”, [ See Deut. iv.]
Ye surely shall find me your King in Heaven,
And finding me shall know yourselves to be
Anointed Princes — Rulers of the Earth —
The Powers of Light sent by me in the flesh,
And named Michael! You are here to fight,
To hurl down Satan to his black abyss,
Where ignorance and error, sin and crime,
And hellish spirits dark for ever dwell
With all who in the bonds of slavery
Lead deathly lives as creatures of the world —
The wretched earth-worms of that bounden sphere,
Which is the only Hell mankind can know!
The night is now far spent, and in the sky
From out a dark blue setting there hath shone
In ages past, as now, full many a star
Proclaiming to mankind the Light of Heaven,
Each with its own peculiar brilliancy
Illumining the minds of men with rays
Which point to other realms beyond this world,
And ever tell of one star differing
In glory from its fellow star on high. [Page 462]
What great and hidden meaning lieth here!
Why are the stars above held forth to man
As entities which tell of other states ?
The Stars of Heaven are never seen by man
As man, he cannot know that glorious light
Sent forth — from States of Wisdom not in skies—
Through brilliant rays which meet not mortal gaze,
And are invisible save to the one
Who — seeing through perception — contacts light,
That Light of ancient days, since passed away
Into the sombre gloom of deepest night;
Because in ignorance and selfishness
Man willed to dwell in darkness on this earth.
And now behold the fallen Lucifer ! —
Thou Morning Star of Truth — again arise —
To touch with thy bright rays the mind of man
And open to his gaze the Light of Love,
Reflected in the silv'ry Crescent now
About to crown the Living Cross of Truth.
Shine forth, fair Luna ! Man hath waited long
For thee — O bringer of the Golden Light.
Surmount the Cross — thou Goddess of the Gods —
Which suff 'ring mortals here in agony
Have borne along, desiring of their King —
Of whom thou art — those better things on earth,
Which He hath promised them in days of old,
Shall take the place of former things to pass —
With mourning, weeping, bitterness, and death —
Away for ever, as the first-born states
Of Heaven and earth and sea no more to be. [ See Rev xxi ]
Fair Keeper of the rays shed by the Sun !
Whilst feeble mortals now deny thy power,
We of the morn declare thee as thou art;
The mediate force to govern all mankind,
The force of love which mortals cannot know.
For that man holds as love is passion foul:
It hath transformed the earth into a hell,
And none save thou can mediately stand
To rid the earth — by Truth who comes from thee —
From that curs'd tyrant in the world or hell,
The devil — Satan — he that doth deceive,
Accuser of our brethren, soon to be [Page 463]
Bound hand and foot in heaven, then cast to earth,
When angels dark and all who fight for him
Shall fall with him through Michael's power and might. [ See Rev, xii.]
The grandest vision seen in heaven from earth
Has burst upon the wond'ring mind of man,
For woman has appear'd with Sun array'd —
She stands on Luna, o'er her holy brow
A coronet of twelve bright golden stars:
She crieth out and travaileth in pain
To be delivered of the Child of Truth,
Which is, in love, to rule mankind as one,
The one great body in the Spirit CHRIST
Who cometh now a second time to man
[ i.e. The invisible, universal, and eternal principle which mortals can only conceive of as the sum total of the combined spirits of Truth, Love, and Wisdom, when manifested in that “Son of Man,” or HUMANITY, which is also the “Son of God,” collectively and individually. — H.P.Blavatsky - Editor ]
Arise and shine ! The time is now at hand
To change this earth into a heaven bright,
This hell into a paradise of Saints;
Through thee alone can mortals rise from earth
To soar into Eternity — God's Peace;
Through thee alone can man perceive the light —
The Sun of Wisdom, which shall soon appear [See Psalm Ixxxiv, II ]
Acknowledged King supreme of all that is,
Which He hath made in love for all mankind.
Woman ! behold a groaning world awaits
The crushing of the Serpent's power through thee;
Look on the fairest cities of this globe,
In misery the love-starved of the earth
Now walk the streets; whilst degradation vile
Confronts them in their daily — hourly lives,
Because mankind will sell itself for gold
To one, who is the prince of hell; he rules
The States of falsehood in this mortal world
Wherein the moaning of tormented souls
Appeals to God in mortal agony
[ i.e. The Universal Spirit in whom all things exist and have being. That Eternal Principle which fills all space and Time, and is SPACE and Time in its abstract sense, as otherwise it would be an extra-Cosmic God), and is perfect in perfection. H.P.Blavatsky - Editor ]
To ease the burdens of their earthly lives
By teaching them of thee, O Queen of Heaven !
Woman, behold the sighing, wretchedness,
Depravity, disease and death on earth!
Pure life has left these mortals who transgress
The laws of God by being of the world;
They know not happiness and peace and thee.
Thou art of nations all, the Saving Health.
Stretch forth thine hands and save, O Queen of Heaven !
Woman ! behold the man of war exists
Whose work it is to shed the blood of him
Who truly is a portion of thyself;
Nay more, thine ALL, within this weary state;
The Father of thy loved ones in the flesh !
How long wilt thou permit ungodly strife
To keep thee from thy lawful throne on earth,
The one great Empire that shall bow to thee,
That thou alone can'st rule, Queen of the South? [See Matt xii, 42] [Page 465]
O, Bride of Heaven, thou knowest well that He —
The Son of Man — thy bridegroom — came to save,
Not to destroy, the lives of men on earth ! [Luke ix, 56]
Great Spirit Love ! Bright Queen of Highest Heaven,
Send forth thy potent force, and let it fire
The hearts of all within this little sphere;
Show worldly rulers in their sinful states
That thou alone art Queen of all Mankind;
And in these petty princes of the earth
Destroy, we pray thee, all the mortal lusts
Of self, of gold, and praise, and feeble power,
Implanted in their natures by the one
Who rules them with their subjects in this hell
Created by themselves through ignorance
Of thee, O, Spirit Love, Blest Queen of Heaven !
WM. C. ELDON SERJEANT.
London, 28th January, 1888.
THIS second part of the three which
form the bulk of the poem called “Twilight
Visions” by their author — from a purely Kabalistic standpoint
of universal symbolical Esotericism, is most suggestive. Its literary value
is apparent. But literary form in occultism counts for nothing in such mystic
writing if its spirit is sectarian — if the symbolism fails in universal
application or lacks correctness. In this, Part II., however (of the third
to come we can yet say nothing), the Christian-Judaean names may be altered
and replaced by their Sanskrit or Egyptian equivalents, and the ideas will
remain the same. It seems written in the universal “ mystery-language”,
and may be readily understood by an occultist, of whatever school or nationality.
Nor will any true mystic, versed in that international tongue, whose origin
is lost in the dark night of pre-historic ages, fail to recognise a true Brother,
who has adopted the phraseology of the Initiates of the ancient Judaean Tanaim — Daniel
and St. John of the Apocalypse — and partially that of the Christian
Gnostics, only to be the more readily understood by the profane of Christian
lands. Yet the author means precisely the same thing that would be in the mind
of any Brahminical or Buddhist Initiate, who, while deploring the present degenerated
state of things, would place all his hope in the transient character of even
the Kali Yuga, and trust in the speedy coming of the Kalki Avatar. We say again,
the divine Science and Wisdom — Theosophia — is universal and common
property, and the same under every sky. It is the physical type and the outward
appearance in the dress, that make of one individual a Chinaman and of another
a European, and of a third a red-skinned American. The inner man is one, and
all are “Sons of God” by birth-right.
The editors regret that, by an over-sight, the sub-title, “The Cross”, that headed Part I. of “Twilight Visions”, published in our January number, should have been omitted. [Page 466]
THE WHITE MONK(2)
by Percy Ross
By the Author of “A Professor of Alchemy”.
“MARGARET had been in grief so sad and potent since her brother's death, that it at last brought her into a fever, from which, with difficulty, she recovered, and which kept her long to her chamber.
“During this time the monk roamed like a restless spirit, seeming to seek her, and despairing because he found her not. Giles Hughson even went so far as to suspect he was no true priest at all, until he had seen his tonsure. Even then he was drawn into most sacrilegious surmises by what he beheld some few nights after.
“Having some work to do in Castle Troyes garden, he noted the White Monk, his lodger, glide noiselessly through the grounds, hidden behind the thick black walls of yew, and pause under the casement of Mistress Margaret and stand there listening intently for a certain space. At last, with a gesture of despair, he slung himself with infinite agile stillness up some feet of the ivy that covered the wall, from which insecure footing he did long and earnestly search if he might see her shadow cross the room. Giles, the gardener, swore afterwards that the sight of that priest, with his cowl fallen back from his dark face, and that look of straining, terrified attention had in it something so partaking of the unearthly, that for the life of him he dared not accost the daring intruder. 'Time enough if there were need', he. excused himself afterwards, ‘but Castle Troyes is ever well now defended, and at that time there must have been enough of inmates watching over Margaret, the beautiful, to win her back to life'.
“The horrible recklessness of an act such as this, with the carbines of a round thirty men within a few yards of him, made the monk seem to Giles a creature of charmed life, who may not be addressed as ordinary mortals.
“But the White Monk saw his discoverer when he descended and glided away again, scared by some noise made by Margaret's attendants. And thus there occurred a tragedy, which you shall learn as far as it was ever known.
“Now Giles Hughson had a young
son afflicted with total dumbness, but whom Mistress Margaret de Troyes had
taught to write; and it is through this scholarship of his that we come to
know as much as we do of what really happened. The White Monk appeared fond
of this boy, possibly because he had seen Margaret kiss him. Thus the lad
had greater access to the monk's small attic than any other; and this is
the tale he tells of the night after Giles had espied his lodger clinging
to the wall of Castle Troyes. [Page 467]
“The boy had noiselessly, so as not to disturb the often musings of the solitary one, stepped up the attic stairs to fetch some trifle he wanted of the monk. Pausing timidly at the door, he beheld the familiar white-clad figure, with an air of terrible malignity, mixing some powder of a greenish colour, which, at the sight of the intruder, he hastily laid aside, thinking it had not been seen.
“But the lad was unnerved by the expression he had caught on the monk's face, and he forgot not so lightly.
“At the frugal supper, that very night, he observed the monk ate even less than was his wont, and of one dish only, the which he also pressed upon the young lad by his side, seeming to wish to keep the others from him. The others of the family, Giles Hughson and his dame, did eat as usual, and were both found dead on the morrow.
“The monk strove to comfort the poor boy by every means in his power, but it was all of no avail. The lad seized a moment, fled into the wood, and there wrote down all that he had seen and suspected, with which account he presently did seek the justices. These caused proper inquiry into the manner of the deaths of the workman and his wife to be made, and, finding they had died of potent poison, instituted careful search for the person of the White Monk, who had vanished from the cottage.
“At length they found him, in a strange state for one of his way of living. Into the wood had he gone, but not so far as that he could hide him. He had stopped beside a little brook, where he had sat when first he saw fair Margaret, the sister of his victims. There, even there, was he found, in so deep contemplation that he never heard his pursuers' footsteps. He had made a cross of two elder branches (folk about us say that the elder-wood formed the Cross whereon Christ died), and having set it on the summit of a bank, was deep in prayer, as it seemed, before it.
“One of his Italian repentances, I doubt not.
“He seemed in sore distress of mind, and lost to all thought of his surroundings.
“So they took him; the foreign wild beast, tracked at last. But not without trouble for he fought like the panther he was. Escaping lissomely from their hands at the moment when they would have bound him, the ex-bravo snatched a genuine stiletto from the folds of his monastic frock and stabbed one man to death, laughing coarsely at the stupid astonishment of the harquebusiers to see this weapon in so unseemly a hand.
“He had no chance, being taken
thus unawares, and exhaustion came upon him; so, with tremors, the officers
of justice held him fast. Before the first cord was fastened round his struggling
wrists, he fell back, rigid, in their arms; sighed once or twice, smiled
bitterly to himself at their consternation, and flung his head back, dead. [Page 468]
“A small quantity of a green powder was found on him (a large dose I ween, had killed so hardy a villain !), and by comparing the signs of death with those of Giles Hughson and his wife, they saw he had poisoned himself some time within the last five hours. Whether he had seen Margaret again, and by seeing her upon the earth, had come to know himself too bad for it; or whether the weariness attendant upon sins so heavy had worn him out at last, remains a mystery. The leeches said a man so wasted and wan as this could scarce, in the way of Nature, have lived many years longer; but I question this, and so did the men who had so great trouble to hold him !
“News travelled slowly in those days from Italy to England, and it was not until very shortly after the White Monk's death that our town learnt it had harboured Pietro Rinucci, the slayer of the two good brothers, Ambrose and Gilbert de Troyes. No one ever told Mistress Margaret that she had spoken with such a man. And now the beautiful maiden rose from her bed, and asked for her mostly costly gowns, of amber, blue and rosy colours; and went amongst her friends brightly, wreathed with pearls and radiant in smiles. She was thought to have recovered, though she looked ethereal as a daisy or white cloud; but she said and averred that she was dying, and that her brother Ambrose had appeared to her in a vision, bidding her make all speed to do what remained to her upon the earth and be soon ready, when he should come behind the angels to fetch her hence. Her kinsfolk thought she wandered in her mind. She asked for the man who had wooed her, and held long speech with him, very merrily, and yet with tears; beseeching him to pause e'er he rashly threw away his life on this earth, since we know not in the beginning, whither our pleasant sins may carry us, and when we have no enjoyment of them, save by memory, what are they to us ? The instruments of our present ruin.
“ ' All this', said the lovely Margaret with a smile, 'hath right off, my Lord, been heard, by you and others; but from a lady's lips (and that lady who is even now bent to consider the past failings of her own life, soon to be taken from her) it hath been made evident to me, these poor oft-repeated words shall have some power. God bless you, my Lord — farewell.'
“The gentleman came out from her boudoir exceeding sobered, and essaying as he might to conceal his tears.
“The words of this dying angel — for so indeed she seemed — he vowed should be as a challenge to him from God to purify his ways. And indeed from that day the gentleman made such progress in godliness as can be made by one of his complexion.
“And now a strange and terrible portent was observed.
“Those who watched by the Lady Margaret, began to see a vision, and of that most dreaded being, the White Monk !
“Night or day, it mattered not; with a chill like to that of Death [Page 469] itself, the horrified watchers knew the presence of the phantom. In the dark corners of the room would shape themselves dimly the features of the murderer, Rinucci, and his monastic gown, so glaring white in its dimness through the dark that the eye could not search it, and gone, ever gone, if some bold spirit neared the spot where he had thought he saw it.
No one said aught of this to the Lady Margaret, in fear to fright her; and she alone, of all who watched, did never see nor feel the constant presence. It seemed sometimes as though the phantom yearned to make itself visible to her kind, half-divine eyes, but her thoughts were too high-set for it to be given her to see a sight so horrible.
“She was much upheld by visions then — her contemplative soul shaped to itself many fair sights and sounds that others knew not. Sitting by the open casement in her sun-coloured gown, with white arms, pearl encircled, leaning out, and her smile ever brighter as she murmured to herself, she would stretch far over the lattice and grasp at rosy clouds, which she said floated past her in the peopled air. She would reply, still leaning out and smiling, to what she vowed was said to her by wandering happy spirits. And all this while, behind her, there would stand the White Mystery, with slight hand lifting the cowl from a face whose eyes were as deep as death and more despairing.
“Small marvel that the murderer's ghost should cling to our saint while she yet lived on earth ! He may have known that, once dead, restored to Heaven, she would thenceforth move in worlds where such as he should never have the force to breathe.
“And in her due hour she died; and after that for a space no one saw aught of the dread ghost. His spirit, drawn by some power to enter our house, wherein was held all he knew of goodness, had now no further business there, for a while. His loathed name, fraught with horror to your ancestors' home, was now never spoken. It was thought, doubtless, that since Margaret de Troyes — the innocent avenger — had unwittingly caused the murderer's death, the house he had so deeply injured was for ever free from his godless presence. And, indeed, for a while, the chronicles are silent respecting him. The next two generations were happy, and no great misfortune blasted the house. But in the third generation there were harsh feuds in the city, and much bloodshed, and several of your name came to violent and sometimes mysterious ends. Then it was that there arose a searching into past traditions to discover the secret of a certain white spectre said to appear about the castle previous to each calamity. Not all saw it; but still it grew known, and it bore a marked resemblance to an ancient portrait — hung up for curiosity's sake — of Pietro Rinucci.
“ Well, young master, I myself served your grandfather, and I myself [Page 470] can bear witness to the presence of the White Monk's ghost on one of the shrewd moments of the family destinies. Wilt hear it ? So your father was then a stalwart young man, away at the wars in Spain. Your uncles, two blithe young gallants, were at home at the time I speak of, and there was some merry-making toward in the castle. Myself was seeing to the torches in the garden, when I chanced to see your uncle, Geoffrey de Troyes, come hastily into the yew-walk with his rapier drawn, followed by another youth whom I knew well, his rival, and in some sort, his enemy.
“ As the guests danced within, these nobles fought without. A man dared not have interposed; it was matter of life and death to them, and they were there to prove it.
“ I was glad, as I stood on the further side the hedge, to mark the vigour and the skill of our Geoffrey. Methought the vantage was with him, and with my whole heart I hated his opponent, the cold, selfish Ernie Deane, and wished him to succumb.
“ And so, by mine honour, he should have done, for my boy was the pride of us all for swordsmanship; but it was not to be.
“Geoffrey de Troyes never suffered more from his mortal wound than I did in my heart and my pride, as I led him, bleeding piteously to this very stable-room, where he sank on the hay and said he must die.
“ ' Look to it', groaned the poor young noble, as he lay dying, ' that Mistress Beatrice Savile has this token from me — my gold chain — warn her from me when I am dead, that she wed not Ernie Deane — he is bad to the core, and she is too good to mend him. Oh ! but for that hateful vision!'
“ ' What vision, a God's name ? ' I cried.
“ And he told me trembling — he who had never trembled of his whole life! — that even at the moment when he had thought to subdue his enemy — even as he raised his sword to strike home to a worthless heart —even then had his arm fallen paralysed and a frightful shiver quite unmanned him at the sight of a poor monk in white, who stood some yards away, and raised his cowl with a thin white hand, and fixed unearthly eyes upon him with a steadfast look that drew the soul away from the deadliest earthly peril.
“' And so I fell!' cried the shamed noble, crimsoning though the pallor of exhaustion. ' I — a practised hand, a not unworthy courage — a De Troyes! I fell — for this! — and so would any man have fallen', he defiantly ended, ' for 'twas a devil — 'twas Pietro Rinucci himself, who came from hell to lure me from my hopes of earthly happiness. O, life ! O, Beatrice!'
“And I nursed him and wept over him like any woman, whilst one young, bright life more departed,
“ In truth, young master”, ended honest Ralph, “the noble Geoffrey [Page 471] may have been deceived, and fancied this; but, you shall pardon me, I would rather think that armies of devils nightly march these grounds than that one De Troyes was ever seen to quail, save under magic! Thus it is that I, and that many of us yet believe in the spectre of Pietro Rinucci, ' the White Monk ' ”.
Oh these faithful servitors, they would die for us children of the house, I believe, and yet they have ever this curious bent to terrify the childish minds. I know not when it was precisely that I thus first heard the White Monk's story, but this I know, I was young enough to sit with my clenched fistlets supporting my chin, and my eyes and mouth very wide open.
“ And was he always in white, that fearful man ?” I asked, somewhere toward the middle of the story. “ Always in white ?” I know not why, but this detail struck my child's phantasy more powerfully than all the rest; this was awful, this was the pith of the whole matter, and from that moment I sat trembling, and drinking in the history with reluctant suspense, until it became the bane of my life for a term of years.
For hours I lay shuddering ofttimes in my bed, dreading with my body and my soul lest the Monk should appear to me ! And never had I courage to speak of this to anyone of the many loving house mates who would so promptly have put an end to my fears by leaving me no more alone at night. There is a keen, hard honour for children to maintain, and to them the confession of nocturnal terror is as flight to the soldier. So, as the banquet sped its course below, I shuddered lonely in my bed in the oaken room, often weeping angrily amidst my fears because I alone, the only son of the house, was the only soul in it left desolate.
A little later I was comforted in some sort by my baby sister Margaret, who was put to sleep in an adjacent cot, and being too tiny for Fear to reach, would sleep secure, all gold and white in the dusky gleam of our rushlight — the one oasis of hope throughout the terrible oaken room. Yet she in her turn, became a source of fear to me. Should the Monk appear, and should the dire extremity cause me to shriek, what would become of Marguerite ? She would die of sudden terror. Worse — if he should stand by her bedside, raising his cowl off the awful face, and her blue eyes should open at that instant ? How should I protect her ?
But before I wander further, I must begin straight and tell how we lived,
and where, and to what end.
( To be continued.) [Page 472]
AN AUTO-HYPNOTIC RHAPSODY
by A.J.C. Lucerne
“ When all desires that dwell in the heart cease, then the mortal becomes immortal, and obtains Brahman.
When all the fetters of the heart here on earth are broken;
When all that bind us to this life is undone, then the mortal becomes immortal — here my teaching ends?
— KATHA UPANISHAD
I (ÂTMAN) have crossed the sea — I have reached the other shore — I have triumphed over gravitation, my soul is in the sun-currents, moving sunwards with the sun.
Where the currents are bearing me to I scarcely know, but yet something has been revealed.
I died the mystical death, I was received by the Dawn-Maidens — the bright ones of the eternal twilights, the two bright Ushas, Ahana and Antigone, Isis, and Nephtys of Aanru . [ Aanru is the celestial field where the defunct’s soul received wheat and corn, growing therein seven cubits high. (See “Book of the Dead”, 124 et seq.) — H.P.Blavatsky ]
The Ahana-Aurora of Eternity laid me asleep on her bosom, giving me amrita [Amrita (immortal) applied to the Soma juice, and called the “Water of Life.”— H.P.Blavatsky ] to drink, as Hebe gave to Herakles, and then I at once knew that I ( Atman) was immortal; the Mask of Personality had fallen to earth, the Âtma was revealed — my true SELF — I knew my name, and found myself soaring sunwards. Then the Voice of that DAWN said, “I give you the 'Amrita' of the cessation of deaths”, and her lips burning with sun-ardours, kissed my forehead, and said, “ I bring you to the sun; when blind — on earth, that Sanskara of sorrow — you fancied your sun was nothing but a great centre of physical force — light and heat, and their equivalents; but it was Maya, the Earth-Queen of illusions, who thus deceived your earth eyes. Look now, and you can see nothing but a vast group of mighty spirit-wills clustered round a yet mightier Spirit centre, drawing from thence inspiration, and ever-radiating sun effluxes, for the good and advancement of those unhappy lower wills yet sunk in the earth. What you called light was intelligence, and heat was — love. Did not Koré suggest this to you, O my weak child, for she, too, was one of the Ushas, a Maiden of the Dawn, kindling your soul to love ? ”
I was silent to this question, for a dread sorrow clung to me.
“Though” (began again the Voice) “ the sun-souls attract the earth-souls, the lost ones, for a while, to bring them up to themselves by the path that leads to Nirvana, [This is a doctrine of the Visishtadwaita sect of the Vedantins. The Jiva (spiritual life principle, the living Monad) of one who attained Moksha or Nirvana, “breaks through the Brahmarandra and goes to Suryamandala (the region of the sun) through the Solar rays. Then it goes, through a dark spot in the Sun, to Paramapeda to which it is directed by the Supreme Wisdom acquired by Yoga, and helped there into by the Devas (gods) called Archis, the “Flames”, or Fiery Angels, answering to the Christian archangels. — H.P. Blavatsky, Editor ] ‘where there is no sorrow ‘; yet the sun-groups [Page 473] of Spirits are themselves attracted by a grander centre of force, and the Sun, with his planet-children, are speeding in a mighty orbit round a far mightier Soul-centre — the lost Pleiad — lost on earth to be found in Heaven. Dost thou not hear the solemn music of that tempest flight ?” And then she touched my ears, and I heard the myriad-voiced song of the blessed ones as they passed on rejoicing, and the Voice continued: “That lost Pleiad, the dove-woman, the ' Woman Clothed with the Sun', who, as Jeremiah prophesied, should ' compass man', is that eternal womanhood which attracts all men”. And the chorus of the psalm I heard them sing, as they passed on Pleiad-ward, was “Freedom and Love — Love in Bi-unity. The Two in One foretold has come even to earth”. And the souls in that Pleiad-world are infinite in number as the sands of the seas of countless worlds, elective affinities attract like to like, forming celestial choirs, each member of which breathes the akasian air synchronously with the other, and what you call in your earth-symbol-language their “hearts”, beat and throb in unison together as one heart, and thus become coalesced in, and by, love.
“Listen, O my child, to the music of their breathing”, and I said, “ Is Koré there ? ” Then I heard voices in Heaven, and I began to breathe the interior akasa breath synchronously with her — our breaths became one, I was mingled with, and melted in her; and lo ! a great mystery ! that Dawn-maiden changed to Koré, and Koré gave me the amrita of the Pleiad, and I knew that our biune love was immortal.
I have passed over the deep waters, I am free, I have infinite peace and infinite joy, at rest for ever.
Have I not, like Herakles, slept
on the bosom of Athéné, breathing
the wisdom of her breaths ? I, too, breathe internally akasian love-breaths,
I live in the love-choirs of the Pleiad Sun, I am in the true Nirvana, where
there is no sorrow and no desire, for desire is lost in an ever-abiding and
eternal fruition. The Lotus has bloomed in the Sun-fire, [Vide Legend
of Jyotishka, mentioned in “Life of Buddha from the Bkah-Hgyur”.
my soul is newborn in the pure white calyx, and floats down the golden waters
that wash the eternal shores. I have found the “Path”, “suffering,
and the cause of suffering” (separation from the loved one) have been
seen, and have passed away, whilst we ever rise and pass onwards by the star-paths.
I am no more blind, but, like Orion of old, gazing eastwards on that rising
sun, the red flush of whose dawn is ever blushing in our central souls. I have
received my sight. — OM.....
A. J. C.
Since writing the foregoing, A. J. C. has met with the following note contained in Mr. Edwin Arnold's interesting essay, “Death and Afterwards”, [Page 474] which throws light on the views in said Rhapsody: “That which safely bears our 'solid world' in the gulfs of space is no base or basis, no moveless central rock, but throbbing energies in complex and manifold action, in swing and wave and thrill; whirling us onward in mighty sweeps of three-fold rhythm to which our hearts are set. So therefore not solidity of base in fixity of status is our supreme and vital need, but moving power beyond our ken or senses; known to us in energising action and working through blue 'void'; impelling us in rings of spiral orbit round a moving sun in which we are dependent”.
The same book contains Walt Whitman's beautiful and striking poem on Death, in which the poet says:
“Have none chanted for thee a chant of fullest welcome ? ”
Yes, one other, the writer of the foregoing Rhapsody, has attempted a song in praise of Death the deliverer, and the Italian poet, Leopardi, stated in beautiful verse years ago that the world had two good things in it — Love and Death.
“Due belle cose ho il mondo
L'amor e la Morte ”...
OUR OTHER HALF
“Bertrand Stonex”, F.T.S.
WHEN our ancient brethren, the Kabalists, Jewish as well as Oriental, taught that the divine monad, starting on its long journey from the bosom of the Infinite One was divided into halves, they had a double meaning, one exoteric, the other esoteric. The exoteric one, being that the two halves, swept through cycles upon cycles of time, in search of each other; and, that, when they finally met, in a perfect union, or marriage, the two halves became one on earth, and after death, united again. The true explanation, however, the esoteric one, is, that each and every one of us, contains within himself, both the halves: the feminine predominating through some incarnations, the masculine through others. It adds that, when we evolute into the perfect being, the Adept, the Mahatma, both principles are in perfect harmony. Or, as the Kabalists have recorded it, harmony is in equilibrium, and equilibrium exists by the analogy of contraries. How often we discern in the most masculine of men, distinct feminine traits of character, and vice versa, in the gentlest of the fair sex, discover masculine traits.
The Jewish Kabbalists represented these two principles in the letters forming their Ineffable Name. Its first three characters mean Eve, or Eva, or Hâyah זוזח or woman or one word by another reading it means mother, and is, in fact, the proper name as given in Genesis for Eve, “ the mother of all living”. Adding the character י Yodh or Yah, the male, the number one, the masculine, we have Jehovah, or Jah-eve, or being as male-female, the perfect number — 10, symbolised by the Sephirothal Adam Kadmon.
A few evenings ago, while pondering on this subject, in a room devoted [Page 475] to occult research, where an Eastern incense burning with a ruddy glow on the triangular-shaped altar, sent its refreshing fragrance through the apartment, my outer senses were lulled, and the inner ones came into play, and I became conscious of my other “half”. I saw standing before me, a being, whom I had hitherto considered as my guardian angel stretching out her hands to me, and saying — “my beloved one, know thy-self ”.
The fire on the altar burnt low. The north-east wind, which had been blowing in furious gusts outside, lashing the bosom of the lake into white foam, died away, sounding like some far distant choral chant. An unearthly silence ensued, and seemed to pervade the infinitudes of space. A thousand voices spoke to me, saying, “Man, know thyself”. Shadowy, ghostly forms filled the apartment. One, more distinct than the rest, tall in form, clad in a long flowing garment of pure white, the long black hair falling in curly locks over his shoulders, the silky beard reaching to his waist, the light of centuries of centuries gleaming forth from his dark eyes — extended his right hand toward me. A thrill of unutterable delight passed through my being. Slowly I emerged from my earthly casket, looked for an instant at its sleeping form, then felt irresistibly drawn to the fair being, who still stood with outstretched hands, and seemed to lose myself in her. The twain had become one. The mystic union had taken place. For a few brief moments I realized the possibilities of jnâna yoga, the wisdom-power of the adepts. Space was annihilated. I could see systems upon systems of worlds, galaxies of stars, suns and systems of suns, whirling through space. I thought of some distant place, and I was there. Complex problems solved themselves quite naturally: I had become all THOUGHT.....
The extended hand of the tall form flashed before my eyes, and I became unconscious. When I awoke, I found lying on the altar a fullblown white rose. The north-east wind was again roaring in fierce gusts, the fire on the altar had died out. The mirrors had draped themselves with their curtains of black. The two interlaced triangles had merged into a circle, of pure gold in colour. Once more I took upon myself my objective life. But I had solved the problem which has taken me seven years to solve. I was content.....[Page 476]
THE first three of the numbered rules of “ Light on the Path ” must appear somewhat of an unequal character to bracket together. The sense in which they follow each other is purely spiritual. Ambition is the highest point of personal activity reached by the mind, and there is something noble in it, even to an Occultist. Having conquered the desire to stand above his fellows, the restless aspirant, in seeking what his personal desires are, finds the thirst for life stand next in his way. For all that are ordinarily classed as desires have long since been subjugated, passed by, or forgotten, before this pitched battle of the soul is begun. The desire for life is entirely a desire of the spirit, not mental at all; and in facing it a man begins to face his own soul. But very few have even attempted to face it; still fewer can guess at all at its meaning.
The connection between ambition and the desire of life is of this kind. Men are seldom really ambitious in whom the animal passions are strong. What is taken for ambition in men of powerful physique is more often merely the exercise of great energy in order to obtain full gratification of all physical desires. Ambition pure and simple is the struggle of the mind upwards, the exercise of a native intellectual force which lifts a man altogether above his peers. To rise — to be preeminent in some special manner, in some department of art, science, or thought, is the keenest longing of delicate and highly-tuned minds. It is quite a different thing from the thirst for knowledge which makes of a man a student always — a learner to the end, however great he may become. Ambition is born of no love for anything for its, own sake, but purely for the sake of oneself. “ It is I that will know, I that will rise, and by my own power”.
“Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition;
By that sin fell the angels.”
The place-seeking for which the word was originally used, differs in degree, not, in kind, from that more abstract meaning now generally attached to it. A poet is considered ambitious when he writes for fame. It is true; so he is. He may not be seeking a place at court, but he is certainly seeking the highest place he knows of. Is it conceivable that any great author could really be anonymous, and remain so ? The human mind revolts against the theory of the Baconian authorship of Shakespeare's works, not only because it deprives the world of a splendid figure, but also because it makes of Bacon a monster, unlike all other human beings. To the ordinary intelligence it is inconceivable that a [Page 477] man should hide his light in this purposeless manner. Yet it is conceivable to an occultist that a great poet might be inspired by one greater than himself, who would stand back entirely from the world and all contact with it. This inspirer would not only have conquered ambition but also the abstract desire for life, before he could work vicariously to so great an extent. For he would part with his work for ever when once it had gone to the world; it would never he his. A person who can imagine making no claim on the world, neither desiring to take pleasure from it nor to give pleasure to it, can dimly apprehend the condition which the occultist has reached when he no longer desires to live. Do not suppose this to mean that he neither takes nor gives pleasure; he does both, as also he lives. A great man, full of work and thought, eats his food with pleasure; he does not dwell on the prospect of it, and linger over the memory, like the gluttonous child, or the gourmand pure and simple. This is a very material image, yet sometimes these simple illustrations serve to help the mind more than any others. It is easy to see, from this analogy, that an advanced occultist who has work in the world may be perfectly free from the desires which would make him a part of it, and yet may take its pleasures and give them back with interest. He is enabled to give more pleasure than he takes, because he is incapable of fear or disappointment. He has no dread of death, nor of that which is called annihilation. He rests on the waters of life, submerged and sleeping, or above them and conscious, indifferently. He cannot feel disappointment, because although pleasure is to him intensely vivid and keen, it is the same to him whether he enjoys it himself or whether another enjoys it. It is pleasure, pure and simple, untarnished by personal craving or desire. So with regard to what occultists call “progress” — the advance from stage to stage of knowledge. In a school of any sort in the external world emulation is the great spur to progress. The occultist, on the contrary, is incapable of taking a single step until he has acquired the faculty of realizing progress as an abstract fact. Someone must draw nearer to the Divine in every moment of life; there must always be progress. But the disciple who desires that he shall be the one to advance in the next moment, may lay aside all hope of it. Neither should he be conscious of preferring progress for another or of any kind of vicarious sacrifice. Such ideas are in a certain sense unselfish, but they are essentially characteristic of the world in which separateness exists, and form is regarded as having a value of its own. The shape of a man is as much an eidolon as though no spark of divinity inhabited it; at any moment that spark may desert the particular shape, and we are left with a substantial shadow of the man we knew. It is in vain, after the first step in occultism has been taken, that the mind clings to the old beliefs and certainties. Time and space are known to be non-existent, and are only regarded as existing in practical life [Page 478] for the sake of convenience. So with the separation of the diviner human spirit into the multitudes of men on the earth. Roses have their own colours, and lilies theirs; none can tell why this is when the same sun, the same light, gives the colour to each. Nature is indivisible. She clothes the earth, and when that clothing is torn away, she bides her time and re-clothes it again when there is no more interference with her. Encircling the earth like an atmosphere, she keeps it always glowing and green, moistened and sun-lit. The spirit of man encompasses the earth like a fiery spirit, living on Nature, devouring her, sometimes being devoured by her, but always in the mass remaining more ethereal and sublime than she is. In the individual, man is conscious of the vast superiority of Nature; but when once he becomes conscious that he is part of an indivisible and indestructible whole, he knows also that the whole of which he is part stands above nature. The starry sky is a terrible sight to a man who is just self-less enough to be aware of his own littleness and unimportance as an individual; it almost crushes him. But let him once touch on the power which comes from knowing himself as part of the human spirit, and nothing can crush him by its greatness. For if the wheels of the chariot of the enemy pass over his body, he forgets that it is his body, and rises again to fight among the crowd of his own army. But this state can never be reached, nor even approached, until the last of the three desires is conquered, as well as the first. They must be apprehended and encountered together.
Comfort, in the language used by occultists, is a very comprehensive word. It is perfectly useless for a neophyte to practise discomfort or asceticism as do religious fanatics. He may come to prefer deprivation in the end, and then it has become his comfort. Homelessness is a condition to which the religious Brahmin pledges himself; and in the external religion he is considered to fulfil this pledge if he leaves wife and child, and becomes a begging wanderer, with no shelter of his own to return to. But all external forms of religion are forms of comfort, and men take vows of abstinence in the same spirit that they take pledges of boon companionship. The difference between these two sides of life is only apparent. But the homelessness which is demanded of the neophyte is a much more vital thing than this. It demands the surrender from him of choice or desire. Dwelling with wife and child, under the shelter of a familiar roof-tree, and fulfilling the duties of citizenship, the neophyte may be far more homeless, in the esoteric sense, than when he is a wanderer or an outcast. The first lesson in practical occultism usually given to a pledged disciple is that of fulfilling the duties immediately to hand with the same subtle mixture of enthusiasm and indifference as the neophyte would imagine himself able to feel when he had grown to the size of a ruler of worlds and a designer of destinies. This rule is to be found in the Gospels and in the Bhagavad Gita. The immediate work, whatever [Page 479] it may be, has the abstract claim of duty, and its relative importance or non-importance is not to be considered at all. This law can never be obeyed until all desire of comfort is for ever destroyed. The ceaseless assertions and re-assertions of the personal self must be left behind for ever. They belong as completely to the character of this world as does the desire to have a certain balance at the bank, or to retain the affections of a loved person. They are equally subject to the change which is characteristic of this world; indeed, they are even more so, for what the neophyte does by becoming a neophyte is simply to enter a forcing-house. Change, disillusionment, disheartenment, despair will crowd upon him by invitation; for his wish is to learn his lessons quickly. And as he turns these evils out they will probably be replaced by others worse than themselves — a passionate longing for separate life, for sensation, for the consciousness of growth in his own self, will rush in upon him and sweep over the frail barriers which he has raised. And no such barriers as asceticism, as renunciation, nothing indeed which is negative, will stand for a single moment against this powerful tide of feeling. The only barrier is built up of new desires. For it is perfectly useless for the neophyte to imagine he can get beyond the region of desires. He cannot; he is still a man, Nature must bring forth flowers while she is still Nature, and the human spirit would loose its hold on this form of existence altogether did it not continue to desire. The individual man cannot wrench himself instantly out of that life of which he is an essential part. He can only change his position in it. The man whose intellectual life dominates his animal life, changes his position; but he is still in the dominion of desire. The disciple who believes it possible to become selfless in a single effort, will find himself flung into a bottomless pit as the consequence of his rash endeavour. Seize upon a new order of desires, purer, wider, nobler; and so plant your foot upon the ladder firmly. It is only on the last and topmost rung of the ladder, at the very entrance upon Divine or Mahatmic life, that it is possible to hold fast to that which has neither substance or existence.
The first part of “ Light on the Path ” is like a chord in music; the notes have to be struck together though they must be touched separately. Study and seize hold of the new desires before you have thrust out the old ones; otherwise in the storm. you will be lost. Man while he is man has substance and needs some step to stand on some idea to cling to. But let it be the least possible. Learn as the acrobat learns, slowly and with care, to become more independent. Before you attempt to cast out the devil of ambition — the desire of something, however fine and elevated, outside of yourself, — seize on the desire to find the light of the world within yourself. Before you attempt to cast out the desire of conscious life, learn to look to the unattainable or in other language to that which you know you can only reach in unconsciousness. [Page 480] In knowing that your aim is of this lofty character, that it will never bring conscious success, never bring comfort to you, that it will never carry you in your own temporary personal self to any haven of rest or place of agreeable activity, you cut away all the force and power of the desires of the lower astral nature. For what avail is it, when these facts have been once realised, to desire separateness, sensation or growth ?
The armour of the warrior who rises to fight for you in the battle depicted in the second part of “Light on the Path”, is like the shirt of the happy man in the old story. The king was to be cured of all his ills by sleeping in this shirt; but when the one happy man in his kingdom was found, he was a beggar, without care, without anxiety — and shirtless. So with the divine warrior. None can take his armour and use it, for he has none. The king could never find happiness like that of the careless beggar. The man of the world, however fine and cultivated he may be, is hampered by a thousand thoughts and feelings which have to be cast aside before he can even stand on the threshold of occultism. And, be it observed, he is chiefly handicapped by the armour he wears, which isolates him. He has personal pride, personal respect. These things must die out as the personality recedes. The process described in the first part of “Light on the Path”, is one which takes off that shell, or armour, and casts it aside for ever. Then the warrior arises, armourless, defenceless, offenceless, identified with the afflicters and the afflicted, the angered and the one that angers; fighting, not on any side, but for the Divine, the highest in all.
GOLDEN SENTENCES OF DEMOCRITUS
IT is beautiful to impede an unjust man; but if this be not possible, it is beautiful not to act in conjunction with him.
Sin should be abstained from, not through fear, but, for the sake of the becoming.
Many who have not learnt to argue rationally, still live according to reason.
Vehement desires about any one thing render the soul blind with respect to other things.
The equal is beautiful in everything, but excess and defect to me do not appear to be so.
It is the property of a divine intellect to be always intently thinking about the beautiful. [Page 481]
THE RELATION OF COLOUR TO THE INTERLACED TRIANGLES, OR THE PENTACLE.
by M L Brainard
A paper read before the Chicago Branch of the Theosophical Society, by
its Secretary, M L Brainard.
COLOUR registers grades of vibration. Vibration registers grades of life. Life, esoterically considered, is ascent towards its source — the great First Cause, the celestial sun which lights universal creation.
If a ray of white light is passed through a triangular piece of glass, called a prism, it becomes separated into the seven colours known as the “solar spectrum”. Careful scientific analysis has proven that these colours are produced by different rates of vibration.
It has shown that the slowest vibrations are red, the quickest violet The red ray of the spectrum gives 477 millions of millions (or billions) of vibrations in a second, the orange 506, the yellow 535, the green 577, the blue 622, Indigo 658, and violet 699.
Thus there is a regular ascent in the colour-scale from red to violet, and the trans-violet rays go on octaves higher, becoming invisible to the physical eye as their rates of vibration increase.
It has also been discovered that these seven prismatic rays of the solar spectrum correspond to the seven notes on the musical scale, the ray of slowest vibration, red, being a correlate of the base note of the musical gamut, and the violet ray answering to the highest musical note.
When the vibrations exceed a certain limit, the tympanum of the ear has not time to recoil before a succeeding impulse arrives, and it remains motionless. Darkness and silence are, therefore, equivalents for the cessation of vibrations on the retina of the eye and tympanum of the ear respectively. Incidentally it may be stated that cold is also considered to be the cessation of vibrations through the nerves of feeling.
Colour, therefore, is to light what pitch is to sound — both depend on length of vibrations.
The thought will immediately suggest itself in this connection that if colour and music are thus correlated, the perfect clairvoyant might see a concert as well as hear it. This is true, and there are instances on record of such transcendent views. In one case of this kind, it was not alone a poetical play of colour springing into life under the touch of a German professor's hands, but a host of airy sprites clothed in the various rays which called them forth.
Isis declares that “sounds and colours are all spiritual numerals; and as the seven prismatic rays proceed from one spot in Heaven, so the [Page 482] seven powers of Nature, each of them a number, are the seven radiations of the unity, the central spiritual sun”. [“ Isis Unveiled”, Vol 1, page 514]
It is easy to follow along the lines of these suggestions, and trace the origin of chanting the seven vowels to one of their gods, among the Egyptians, as a hymn of praise at sunrise. In the so-called mythical Golden Age this must have been the mode of putting themselves en rapport or in tune with, the Cosmic powers, and ensuring harmony while the vibrations were synchronous.
The third necessary correlation to be considered in this analysis is that of form. Scientific research has proven that not only are music and colour due to rates of vibration, but form also marshals itself into objective being in obedience to the same mysterious law. This is demonstrated by the familiar experiment of placing some dry sand on a square of glass, and drawing a violin bow across the edge. Under the influence of this intonation, the sand assumes star shapes of perfect proportion; if other material is placed on the square of glass at the same time, other shapes are assumed, varying in proportion to the power resident in the atoms to respond to the vibrations communicated.
It is noticeable, however, that the vibration makes the spaces, and the sand falls into the rest places.
We have now discovered a triangular key — light, music, form — which will disclose to us the exact relations which colour sustains to the interlaced triangles, the six-rayed star, universal symbol of creative force acting upon matter. [ Hence in Kabalistic symbolism the pentacle, or the six-pointed star, is the sign of the manifested “Logos,” or the “Heavenly man,” the Tetragrammaton. “The four-lettered Adni (Adonai, “the Lord”), is the Eheich (the symbol of life or existence), is the Lord of the six limbs (6 Sephiroth) and his Bride (Malkuth) or physical nature, also Earth) is his seventh limb.” (Ch. Book of Numbers viii 3-4) H.P.Blavatsky, Editor ] This triangular key is simply three modes of one being, three differential expressions of one force — vibration.
That which causes the vibration we can only represent by the Ineffable Name, behind which burns the quenchless glory of En Soph, the Boundless.
Thus, in our symbology we start from the centre of a circle, which should be represented by white light.
The seven rays issuing therefrom, must first pass through the interior and invisible triangle of Akasa, the prism A.U.M., before they can flow outward, and by their action upon chaos, wheel the myriad forms of physical life into consonance with their rates of vibration. In this manner is the visible formulated from the invisible. By such subtle music is born the gorgeous flora of our tropics, drinking its wealth of colour from the yellow and warm rays of the sunlight; and in accord with the same harmony is produced the subdued vegetation of colder climes. The blue and violet beams carry the quick pulses of the parent flame deep within the earth, and by-and-bye she gives back that which [Page 483] she has received, transformed into a thousand brilliant hues woven in the magic loom of Love, presided over by the solar spectrum. Or, as Egyptian myth phrases it, Osiris (the sun) weds Isis (the earth), and the child, Horus-Apollo, glorifies all things as the product of this divine union.
The culmination of light resides in the yellow ray, and hence to that colour is given the East point in our symbolised centre of radiation. [ It is the secret of the great reverence shown in the East for this colour. It is the colour of the Yogi dress in India, and of the Gelupka sect (“Yellow caps”) in Thibet. It symbolizes pure blood and sunlight, and is called “the stream of life.” Red, as its opposite, is the colour of the Dugpas, and black magicians. — H.P.Blavatsky, Editor ] The others follow in the order of the solar spectrum.
But it is noticeable in this connection, that in that order, the coarsest and warmest of the visible rays — red — is placed next to the coldest and most refined ray, the violet. Here we have the analogy of contraries. The ray of lowest refrangibility and the ray of highest refrangibility become next-door neighbours in the divergent circle of necessity. What is the result? It is not hard to discover, when we know that the cooling colours are essential to the balanced action of the thermal rays. “A small amount of blue when combined with other rays will even increase the heat, because it kindles into activity its opposite warm principle, red, through chemical affinity”.
Having determined the law which should govern the symbology of colours at the centre of our circle, we come next to the interlaced triangles.
The truly Theosophical Pentacle should be made by the interlacing of a white triangle with a black triangle — the white representing pure spirit, the black, gross matter. This is the true symbology, for the reason that white reflects all colours, and black absorbs all colours. It is the face of the White Ancient looking into the face of the Black Ancient.
Absolute blackness appears to give back nothing; nor does it ever, save through processes of slow evolution, wrought, by continued vibration upon its molecules from the Divine Centre of Light.
Continuous vibration polarizes these particles, so that at last rising from the lowest grade of refrangibility to the highest, into the invisible octaves of being, our planetary chain in its culmination will reach a point where every atom will give an answering thrill of resonance to the throbbing of the heart of the Universe — the Central Spiritual Sun.
As every substance in Nature has its colour, so the human family publish their grades of advancement to the clairvoyant eye by their astral colours; and seekers after the true Light may know what “ray” they are in, by a comparison of their own auras with the colours of the overshadowing soul.
The middle rays of the solar spectrum — blue, green, and yellow — give a very powerful triangle, a wonderful working triangle of forces; for [Page 484] green is Hermetic silver, yellow is Hermetic gold, and blue is a despatch-messenger from the “Lord of the Worlds”, Jupiter.
The blue and the yellow of this group, on account of their position — the third and the fifth reckoned both ways — have been chosen as the colours of our incense-holders, alternating on the points of the Pentacle. As odours are also correlated with colours, and as sandal-wood is the perfume which belongs to the sun, we use that incense to intensify the vibrations from the radiating points, in order to increase the volume of accord which will reach other centres at a distance; for the akasa is more sensitive than an Eolian harp — it registers the very arõma of our thoughts. It was, therefore, no exaggeration of the poet when he said:
“Guard well thy thought:
Our thoughts are heard in Heaven”.
But if colours and sounds are spiritual numerals, then the seven symbolical points of the Pentacle represent numbers of the greatest importance in world-building, and in soul-building also. For we must all build our own souls. And the symbology of the interlacing of the triangle of spirit with the triangle of matter, finds its correspondence in man, the little world, who, though a spiritual ego, yet dwells in a physical house, and whose business it is to merge himself completely into the region of the white triangle.
When Man has raised his vibrations into perfect harmony with the universal sun, he has then unbound himself from the wheel of re-birth — the Zodiac — and is ready to enter Nirvana.
The word “heaven” in Hebrew signifies the abode of the sun. When, therefore, the Nazarene said “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”, he virtually declared that all the seven cosmic powers are resident within us.
Esoteric science recognises man as a septenary, working in conjunction with other orders of numerals which register divine vibrations.
All nature listens to that universal song, and the music of the spheres is no fable. The swarming zöospores in the protoplasm of plants hear it, and thrilled by that enchantment, fall into invisible rhythm, bringing up by quick marches into the region of Day the tiny dwellers in stem and leaf. How do we know that the mystery of the six-sided cell of the honey-bee, may not find its solution here ? Perhaps the bee is susceptible only to vibrations which fall into these lines, and faithfully obeys the master-musician in the construction of its hexagonal house. The great law of cosmic and microcosmic correspondence was revealed ages ago to the Sages who listened, and listening, heard the wondrous revelations breathed forth from the harp of Akasa. Sighing winds from other worlds passed over the delicate strings, and as they passed, uttered in soundless tones the profound mystery of near and remote planets. These Sages dwelt in that White Palace — the Lotus of the Heart — the sun-palace indeed. [Page 485] From centre to circumference their vast circle of vision was permeated by the reflected All, and from the White Palace they ascended the sacred mountain Meru, where dwelleth wisdom and love.
The key which opens the White Palace is held by the seven mystic children of the Royal Arch of the Rainbow, guarding the seven gates of the Sun, every gate of which answers to a musical note, and every note of which enfolds three tones.
Hence, if we understand the analogies of colour, we may open the six doors of Nature, and also the seventh, to Nirvana.
by LFFf (?L Florence Ffoulkes)
WHAT can we do in temptation's hour ?
How shall we conquer its fiery power ?
How can we master it — standing alone ,
Just on the threshold of things unknown ?
Strong is its power as Death and Hell,
Led by its lure, even angels fell !
Dazed by the glare of a rising light
How shall poor mortals see aright ?
Tempted we were in the morning of life,
With earth's simple joys that are ever rife,
To idly bask in the sun's warm beam
And to care no jot for a holier dream.
Tempted again in the heyday sun,
To choose fair paths and in gardens run,
Claiming as ours, all joy — all love,
Flowerets of bliss from the Heavens above.
Temptings come now, in life's later prime,
Deeper and stronger than in past time,
To feed with fuel the inward fire,
The passionate dream of the soul's desire !
Two feet are creeping on paths unknown,
Weary and mournful, sad and lone;
Two eyes are looking and longing for light,
Two hands are locked in a desperate fight.
A heart is breaking with pain and grief,
A soul in strong agony cries for relief;
Echoes no kindred chord above ?
Stretcheth no Hand in responsive love ? .
Is our Great God, but a God of stone?
Are we — His people — dazed and alone ?
Is there no Ear that can hear us cry ?
No Christ, — to succour us e'er we die ? [Page 486]
THEORY OF HAUNTINGS (1)
by Frank Fairholme
VERY few persons realise the powerful and long-lasting effects of human “auras” — those mysterious psychical emanations which are mentally cognised, and which silently impress one as to the character of a locality, the indiosyncrasies of a nation, a family, or an individual. Personal auras are strictly speaking the effects of the innate, and presumably hidden natures, of individuals, and are entirely the effluence of soul and mind. A house, or a neighbourhood, becomes imbued with the individual or collective auras of its inhabitants, which convey to the psychic senses, and thence to the mind, a powerful impression of character. At the same time within the aura of individuals, or families, are indelibly imprinted their thought-pictures, which may, or may not, have been embodied in acts; the faces and forms of relatives, friends, visitors, of the very animals they pet, the image of their pursuits, in short the whole life. These are imprinted in the astral element which surrounds each individual soul, as the atmosphere surrounds our bodies; and as the air we breathe becomes changed in respiration, so this ethereal atmosphere becomes transformed by personal impress.
Education, morality, religion, health, disease, happiness or misery, are largely the effects of the widely diffused auras of individuals continually given forth into the ambient atmosphere. As a man, or body of men, think, act, and live, such is the quality of the aura, or odylic sphere they emanate. This has an effect for good or evil upon all who approach within its radius; a formative, educating effect upon the ignorant, if it is of a high, intellectual, or spiritual quality; or a depressing, stultifying, deforming effect upon the minds and souls of innocent, or negative sensitives, when it is of an impure, debased, or brutal character.
Thought governs the world. It is by thought, and its embodiment in acts, that progress is made. Every thought has its aura, and nothing can prevent its diffusion in the atmospheres, both the astral and the natural or physical. Hence being continually surrounded by the effects of thoughts universally diffused, we are insensibly governed by their aura of good or evil, and we grow in beauty, or are warped in deformity, mental and bodily, from infancy, under the moulding consequences of the local thought-auras of the family, neighbourhood and nation in which we happen to be born.
Psychometry proves that even stones retain the impression of the scenes which have been enacted in their neighbourhood. That is, the stone having been bathed in the psychic emanations of creatures, human and animal, during, perhaps, centuries, retains such auras indestructibly [Page 487] in its atmosphere; and a psychometric clairvoyant will gradually perceive the most trivial details of the more active life which has daily passed in the vicinity of the stone. A fragment from the Temple of Diana of Ephesus, for instance, were it procurable, would enable a good psychometrist to describe every minute particular of the ancient temple worship and ceremonies. A stone from the Coliseum held in the hand, or to the forehead of a psychometrist, would produce a vision of the scenes in the arena which were wont to attract the Roman population. A fossil of some antediluvian animal would bring before the mind's eye surroundings corresponding to the period in which the animal had lived. In truth, upon the plane of more ethereal matter adjacent to this, are to be found the images of all things, subject neither to time nor the changes of time; and there our image-producing faculties, temporarily divested of the blinding veil of flesh, may call them up at will.
The aura of a great crime becomes diffused in the neighbourhood of its commission, and concealment would be impossible if the psychic vision of men were open instead of being closed. A picture of the deed committed becomes impressed upon the astral atmosphere, with the faces and forms of those engaged in its commission. This effect is never destroyed, but may be recalled at will by a good clairvoyante. At the same time the aura of good deeds is equally powerful and indestructible. The one is like a transitory convulsion, disturbing the beauty of order and harmony with Nature; the other is the fixed and equable moral atmosphere arising from thoughts and actions consonant with wisdom. In short, the aura of good thoughts and deeds is the pabulum of souls; the invigorating and supporting air they inspire and respire, producing health, happiness, mental activity, and inciting to progress. If it were not for the good on the earth, we might doubtless often cry in vain — “Heaven help us !” — for we should be so smothered under evil auras that spiritual breathing, and rapport with purer realms of life, would be a radical impossibility.
A crime is the insane product of an unbalanced, disordered mind. It causes a species of astral electric disturbance, which is as sensibly felt by sensitives as any explosion or convulsion on the natural plane. Astral, or ethereal molecules become violently displaced, and forced into new conditions of juxtaposition. A mysterious terror pervades the air, which affects all neighbouring minds, even to the very animals. It is as if the living soul of Nature had been violently wrenched from its normal condition of peace and happiness, and stood electrified with horror, whilst upon its veil of ethereal matter is fixed an indestructible image of the painful tragedy which has been suddenly enacted.
We are, in fact, surrounded, upon the soul plane of life, by an atmosphere which receives, so to speak, a photographic impression of even our very thoughts, which is a mirror to reflect our whole life, an image-world, retaining sounds as well as forms. It may be made [Page 488] subject to our will, which can call up before the mind, and make visible to the eye of the soul whatsoever, without exception, we will to see, to hear, or to know. The phantoms of apparitions of which we so frequently hear, are matters of fact to all psychic seers; are things as absolutely existent as any objects on the more familiar plane of dense matter. Once to realise this great fact, and to understand some of the laws which would enable us consciously to control, and illustrate to our satisfaction, certain of the hidden mysteries of the inner world of ethereal matter, from which our own proceeds as an effect from a cause, would set us upon a mountain height of knowledge whence all clouds of superstition, doubt, and uncertainty, would roll away.
There are many stories extant of certain haunting apparitions which have been seen at various times during the lapse of centuries, reappearing again and again in the same families as warnings, or otherwise; or it may be a mysterious sound, such as the cry of the “banshee” in Ireland. The popular fallacy regarding such apparitions is that a human soul, or “spirit” — it may be wrongly called — is compelled, as a retribution for the commission of some crime, to remain on the earth haunting the scene of its former sins. Or, if the visitant be a benevolent ghost, it is supposed that it is some ancestor or ancestress, ever present in loving watchfulness over the destinies of the family, giving warning of death or danger. The idea of a human soul being chained in this melancholy fashion to the earth is exceedingly repugnant to most minds, and naturally excites the utmost compassion for the poor ghost which has to wear out so dreary a doom. Such a hypothesis contradicts all those religious teachings which assign to souls either a state of absolute unconscious sleep, until the day of judgment, or an abode, presumably in a conscious state, in heaven or hell. It contradicts all those more modern teachings of “progress” after death, of the gradual ascension of the soul to its place of rest. If we accept the ideas of Eastern teachers concerning those occult mysteries — that the higher self, the spiritualised entity, gradually separates from its more animal, or lower principles of organism, which adhere together for a longer or shorter period as a shell-like or shadowy personality — even then, these principles or ethereal molecules which go to form an astral body, disintegrate after a time. They would not be likely, at all events, to endure over a century. Apparitions of persons deceased within a century might be considered as essentially ghosts, or shades — the shadowy, sidereal shapes of personalities passed away from the physical plane, and in a condition of gradual separation from all that can attach them to the earth. And it is presumable that a phantom which is seen repeatedly during the lapse of centuries, is merely a reflection in the astral light, called up by the will of a seer; or projected upon the plane of soul-vision either by some psychological disturbance, or by some change of condition on the part of those who see the phantom. The [Page 489] immediate action may be due to “ elementals” those mysterious entities called by Liebnitz “Monads”, which are in close attendance upon mankind, and have so much to do with his very existence that he would fare but indifferently without them. Not only are they as intimately consociated with him as his own thoughts, but certain grades of them depend upon him also for their existence. These beings often become tutelary, or “house-spirits”, and the rôle of re-appearing again and again, as a sort of hereditary ghost, to give warning of death or danger, is not incompatible with their condition of existence. Time does not exist for them, and one century would be like any other. They live in the personal or family aura, and become intimately blended with the daily lives of its members. When, as in the case of royal or noble houses, the family aura remains undisturbed in its ancient palaces or castles during centuries, a haunting elemental would find it an easy matter to make itself visible, frequently by a semi-materialisation, or a condensation of the ethereal atoms of its body. In such a case it would be seen objectively by anyone who happened to be present. In other cases, when an apparition is only a reflection in the astral light, a sensitive in moments of abnormal or psychic lucidity would perceive it. Others sympathetically inclined would perceive the same. At length, after repeated similar visions, the locality would get the name of being haunted. The image so repeatedly beheld becomes fixed in the atmosphere of that particular spot. Upon entering a locality with such a reputation a species of psychological inebriation would assail every individual so constituted as to fall under the effects of the aura already established, and they would then always behold the spectre thus ideally produced. These mental or astral spectres need not necessarily be merely immovable pictures. They will move, or walk, threaten, or act a pantomime exactly as they may have the reputation of doing; or as the person who beholds them expects or imagines them to be doing.
In some respects these apparitions or warning cries may be mental legacies
left indelibly impressed in the astral light by the powerful will of a departed
ancestor, friendly or inimical, as a blessing or a curse; or even by a member
of some alien family, as a pursuing Nemesis which falls as a retribution upon
the perpetrator of evil, but can possess no power over the innocent and good.
(To be continued) [Page 490]
No one can be regarded as a Christian
unless he professes or is supposed to profess, belief in Jesus, by baptism,
and in salvation, “through the
blood of Christ.” To be considered a good Christian, one has, as a conditio
sine qua non, to show faith in the dogmas expounded by the Church and to
profess them; after which a man is at liberty to lead a private and public
life on principles diametrically opposite to those expressed in the Sermon
on the Mount. The chief point and that which is demanded of him is, that he
should have –– or pretend to have –– a
blind faith in, and veneration for, the ecclesiastical teachings of his special
“Faith is the key of Christendom”,saith Chaucer, and the penalty for lacking it is as clearly stated as words can make it, in St. Mark’s Gospel, Chapter xvi, verse 16th: “He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned”.
The two oldest Greek manuscripts, and some other authorities omit from verse 9 to the end. Some other authorities have a different ending to the Gospel [ Vide “Gospel according to St.Mark”, in the revised edition printed for the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, 1881 ]
–– and explains no further.
But the two “oldest Greek MSS”, omit the verses nolens volens, as these have never existed. And the learned and truth-loving revisers know this better than any of us do; yet the wicked falsehood is printed at the very seat of Protestant Divinity, and it is allowed to go on, glaring into the faces of coming generations of students of theology and, hence, into those of their future parishioners. Neither can be, nor are they deceived by it, yet both pretend belief in the authenticity of the cruel words worthy of a theological Satan. And this Satan-Moloch is their own God of infinite mercy and justice in Heaven, and the incarnate symbol of love and charity on Earth –– blended in one! [Page 491]
Truly mysterious are you paradoxical ways, oh — Churches of Christ!
I have no intention of repeating here stale arguments and logical exposés of the whole theological scheme; for all this has been done, over and over again, and in a most excellent way, by the ablest “Infidels” of England and America. But I may briefly repeat a prophecy which is a self-evident result of the present state of men’s minds in Christendom. Belief in the Bible literally, and in a carnalised Christ, will not last a quarter of a century longer. The Churches will have to part with their cherished dogmas, or the 20th century will witness the downfall and ruin of all Christendom, and with it, belief even in a Christos, as pure Spirit. The very name has now become obnoxious, and theological Christianity must die out, never to resurrect again in its present form. This, in itself, would be the happiest solution of all, were there no danger from the natural reaction which is sure to follow: crass materialism will be the consequence and the result of centuries of blind faith, unless the loss of old ideals is replaced by other ideals, unassailable, because universal, and built on the rock of eternal truths instead of the shifting sands of human fancy. Pure immateriality must replace, in the end, the terrible anthropomorphism of those ideals in the conceptions of our modern dogmatists. Otherwise, why should Christian dogmas –– the perfect counterpart of those belonging to other exoteric and pagan religions –– claim any superiority? The bodies of all these were built upon the same astronomical and physiological (or phallic) symbols. Astrologically, every religious dogma the world over, may be traced to, and located in, the Zodiacal signs and the Sun. And so long as the science of comparative symbology or any theology has only two keys to open the mysteries of religious dogmas –– and these two only very partially mastered, how can a line demarcation be drawn, or any difference made between the religious of say, Chrishna and Christ. between salvation through the blood of the “first-born primeval male” of one faith, and that of the “only begotten Son” of the other, far younger, religion?
Study the Vedas: read even the superficial, often disfigured writings of our great Orientalists, and thing over what you will have learnt. Behold Brahmans, Egyptian Hierophants, and Chaldean Magi, teaching several thousand years before our era that the gods themselves had been only mortals (in previous births) until they won their immortality by offering their blood to their Supreme God or chief. The Book of the Dead teaches that mortal man “became one with the gods through an interflow of a common life in the common blood of the two.” Mortals gave the blood of their first-born sons in sacrifice to the Gods. In his Hinduism, page 36, Professor Monier Williams, translating from the Taittiriya Brâhmana, writes: –– ”By means of the sacrifice the gods obtained heaven”. And in the Tandya Brâhmana: — ”The lord of creatures (prajâ-pati) offered himself a sacrifice for the gods.” . . . And again in the Satapatha Brâhmana: — ”He who, knowing this, sacrifices with the Purusha-medha, or the sacrifice of the primeval male, becomes everything”.
Whenever I hear the Vedic rites discussed and called “disgusting human sacrifices”, and cannibalism ( sic), I feel always inclined to ask, where’s the difference? Yet there is one, in fact; for while Christians are compelled to accept the allegorical (though, when understood, highly philosophical) drama of the New [Page 492] Testament Crucifixion, as that of Abraham and Isaac literally, [Vide “The Soldier’s Daughter,” in this number, by the Rev. T. G. Headley, and notice the desperate protest of this true Christian, against the literal acceptance of the “blood sacrifices”, “Atonement by blood,” etc., in the Church of England. The reaction begins: another sign of the time. ] Brahmanism — its philosophical schools at any rate — teaches its adherents, that this (pagan) sacrifice of the “primeval male” is a purely allegorical and philosophical symbol. Read in their dead-letter meaning, the four gospels are simply slightly altered versions of what the Church proclaims as Satanic plagiarism (by anticipation) of Christian dogmas in Pagan religions. Materialism has a perfect right to find in all of them the same sensual worship and “solar” myths as anywhere else. Analysed and criticised superficially and on its dead-letter face, Professor Joly (“Man before” Metals, pp. 189-190) finding in the Swastika, the crux ansata, and the cross pure and simples, mere sexual symbols – is justified in speaking as he does Seeing that“The father of the sacred fire [in India] bore the name of Twashtri, that is the divine carpenter who made the Swastika and the Pramanthâ, whose friction produced the divine child Agni (in Latin Ignis); that his mother was named Maya; he himself, styled Akta (anointed, or Christos) after the priests had poured upon his head the spirituous soma and on his body butter purified by sacrifice”; seeing all this he has a full right to remark that:
. . . . . the close resemblance which exists between certain ceremonies of the worship of Agni and certain rites of the Catholic religion may be explained by their common origin, at least up to a certain point. Agni in the condition of Akta (anointed) is suggestive of Christ; Maya, Mary, his mother; Twashtri, St. Joseph, the carpenter of the Bible.
Has the professor of the Science
Faculty of Toulouse explained anything by drawing attention to that which
anyone can see? Of course not. But if, in his ignorance of the esoteric meaning
of the allegory he has added nothing to human knowledge, he has on the other
hand destroyed faith in many of his pupils in both the “divine origin” of
Christianity and its Church and helped to increase the number of Materialists.
For surely, no man, once he devotes himself to such comparative studies,
can regard the religion of the West in any light but that of a pale and enfeebled
copy of older and nobler philosophies.
The origin of all religions — Judaeo-Christianity included — is to be found in a few primeval truths, not one of which can be explained apart from all the others, as each is a complement of the rest in some one detail. And they are all, more or less, broken rays of the same Sun of truth, and their beginnings have to be sought in the archaic records of the Wisdom-Religion. Without the light of the latter, the greatest scholars can see but the skeletons thereof covered with masks of fancy, and based mostly on personified Zodiacal signs.
A thick film of allegory and blinds, the “dark sayings” of fiction and parable, thus covers the original esoteric texts from which the New Testament — as now known — was compiled. Whence, then, the Gospels, the life of Jesus of Nazareth? Has it not been repeatedly stated that no human, mortal brain could have invented the life of the Jewish Reformer, followed by the awful drama on Calvary? We say on the authority of the esoteric Eastern School, that all this came from the Gnostics, as far as the name Christos and the [Page 493] astronomico-mystical allegories are concerned, and from the writings of the ancient Tanaïm as regards the Kabalistic connection of Jesus or Joshua, with the Biblical personifications. One of these is the mystic esoteric name of Jehovah — not the present fanciful God of the profane Jews ignorant of their own mysteries, the God accepted by the still more ignorant Christians — but the compound Jehovah of the pagan Initiation. This is proven very plainly by the glyphs or mystic combinations of various signs which have survived to this day in the Roman Catholic hieroglyphics.
The Gnostic Records contained the epitome of the chief scenes enacted during the mysteries of Initiation, since the memory of man; though even that was given out invariably under the garb of semi-allegory, whenever entrusted to parchment of paper. But the ancient Tanaïm, the Initiates from whom the wisdom of the Kabala ( oral tradition) was obtained by the later Talmudists, had in their possession the secrets of the mystery-language, and it is in this language that the Gospels were written. [ Thus while the three Synoptics display a combination of the pagan Greek and Jewish symbologies, the Revelation is written in the mystery language of the Tanaïm — the relic of Egyptian and Chaldean wisdom — and St. John’s Gospels is purely Gnostic.] He alone who has mastered the esoteric cypher of antiquity — the secret meaning of the numerals, a common property at one time of all nations — has the full proof of the genius which was displayed in the blending of the purely Egypto-Jewish, Old Testament allegories and names, and those of the pagan-Greek Gnostics, the most refined of all the mystics of that day. Bishop Newton proves it himself quite innocently, by showing that “St. Barnabas, the companion of St. Paul, in his epistle (ch. ix) discovers . . . . the names of Jesus crucified in the number 318”, namely, Barnabas finds it in the mystic Greek I H T — the tau being the glyph of the cross. On this, a Kabalist, the author of an unpublished MS. on the Key of Formation of the Mystery Language, observes: But this is but a play upon the Hebrew letters Jodh, Chith, and Shin, from whence the I H S as the monogram of Christ coming down to our day, and this read as: שת׳ or 381, the sum of the letter being 318 or the number of Abraham and his Satan, and of Joshua and his Amalek...... also the number of Jacob and his antagonist...... (Godfrey Higgins gives the authority for the number 608)..... It is the number of Melchizedek’s name, for the value of the last is 304 and Melchizedek was the priest of the Most High God, without beginning nor ending of days. The solution and secret of Melchizedek are found in the fact that “in the ancient Pantheons the two planets which had existed from eternity [aeonic eternity], and were eternal, were the Sun and the Moon, or Osiris and Isis, hence the terms of without beginning nor ending of days. 304 multiplied by two is 608. So also the numbers in the word Seth, who was a type of the year. There are a number of authorities for the number 888 as applying to the name of Jesus Christ, and as said this is in antagonism to the 666 of the Anti-Christ. . . . . The staple value in the name of Joshua was the number 365, the indication of the Solar year, while Jehovah delighted in being the indication of the lunar year — and Jesus Christ was both Joshua and Jehovah in the Christian Pantheon. . . . ”
This is but an illustration to our
point to prove that the Christian application of the compound name Jesus-Christ
is all based on Gnostic and [Page
mysticism. It was only right and natural that Chroniclers like the initiated
Gnostics, pledged to secrecy, should veil or cloak the final meaning
of their oldest and most sacred teachings. The right of the Church fathers
to cover the whole with an epitheme of euhemerized fancy is rather
more dubious.[“The Claim of Christianity to possess Divine Authority
rests on the ignorant Belief that the Mystical Christ could and did become
a person, whereas the Gnosis proves the corporeal Christ to be only a counterfeit
Presentment of the trans-corporeal man; consequently, historical portraiture
is, and ever must be, a fatal mode of falsifying and discrediting the Spiritual
Reality.” (G. Massey, “Gnostic
and History Christianity.”) ] The
Gnostic Scribe and Chronicler deceived no one. Every Initiate into the Archaic
gnosis — whether of the pre-Christian
or post-Christian period — knew well the value of every word of the “mystery-language”.
For these Gnostics — the inspirers of primitive Christianity — were “the
most cultured, the most learned and most wealthy of the Christian name,” as
Gibbon has it. Neither they, nor their humbler followers, were in danger
of accepting the dead letter of their own texts. But it was different with
the victims of the fabricators of what is now called orthodox and historic Christianity.
Their successors have all been made to fall into the mistakes of the “foolish
Galatians” reproved by Paul, who, as he tells
them (Galat., iii, 1-5), having begun (by believing) in the Spirit (of Christos), “ended
by believing in the flesh”, –– i.e.,
a corporeal Christ.
For such is the true meaning of the Greek sentence,[This sentence
analyzed means “Shall you, who in the beginning looked to the Christ-Spirit,
now end by believing in a Christ of flesh,” or it means nothing.
The verb επιτελουμαι has
not the meaning of “becoming perfect,” but of “ending by”,
becoming so. Paul’s lifelong struggle with Peter and others, and what
he himself tells of his vision of a spiritual Christ and not of Jesus of
Nazareth, as in the Acts — are so many proofs of this ] “έναρξάμενοι Πνεύματι νὓν σαρκι έπιτελεἳσθε”. That
Paul was a gnostic, a founder of a new sect of gnosis which recognized,
as all other gnostic sects did, a “Christ-Spirit”, though it
went against its opponents, the rival sects, is sufficiently clear to all
but dogmatists and theologians. Nor is it less clear that the primitive teachings
of Jesus, whenever he may have lived, could be discovered only in Gnostic
teachings; against which discovery, the falsifiers who dragged down Spirit
into matter, thus degrading the noble philosophy
of primeval Wisdom-Religion, have taken ample precautions from the first. The
works of Basilides alone — ”the philosopher devoted to
the contemplation of Divine things”, as Clement describes him — the
24 volumes of his Interpretations upon the Gospels — were
all burned by order of the Church, Eusebius tells us (Hist. Eccles., Book
IV, chap. 7).
As these Interpretations were written at a time when the Gospels we have now, were not yet in existence, [See Supernatural Religion, Vol. II, chap. “Basilides. ] here is a good proof that the Evangel, the doctrines of which were delivered to Basilides by the Apostle Matthew, and Glaucias, the disciple of Peter (Clemens Alexandrinus, “Strom”., VII, ch. xvii), must have differed widely from the present New Testament. Nor can these doctrines be judged by the distorted accounts of them left to posterity by Tertullian. Yet even the little this partisan fanatic gives, shows the chief gnostic doctrines to be identical, under their own peculiar terminology and personations, with those of the Secret Doctrine of the East. For, discussing Basilides, [Page 495] the “pious, god-like, theosophic philosopher,” as Clement of Alexandria thought him, Tertullian exclaims:
“After this, Basilides, the heretic, broke loose. [ It was asked in Isis Unveiled “were not the views of the Phrygian Bishop Montanus, also deemed a HERESY by the Church of Rome? It is quite extraordinary to see how easily that Church encourages the abuse of one heretic, Tertullian, against another heretic, Basilides, when the abuse happens to further her own object.” [Isis Unveiled, II, 189, footnote. ] He asserted that there is a Supreme God, by name Abraxas, by whom Mind [ Mahat ] was created whom the Greeks called Nous. From this emanated the Word; from the Word, Providence; from Providence, Virtue and Wisdom; from these two again, Virtues, Principalities, [“Does not Paul himself speak of “ Principalities and Powers in heavenly places” .(Ephesians, iii, 10; i, 21), and confess that there be gods many and Lords many (Kurioi)? And angels, powers (Dunameis), and Principalities? (See I Corinthians, viii, 5; and Epistle to Romans,viii, 38)” [Isis Unveiled, II, 189, footnote. ] and Powers were made; thence infinite productions and emissions of angels. Among the lowest angels, indeed, and those that made this world, he sets last of all the god of the Jews, whom he denies to be God himself, affirming that he is but one of the angels”.[Tertullian, [Liber de] praescriptione [haereticorum]. It is undeniably owing only to a remarkably casuistical, sleight-of-hand-like argument that Jehovah, who in the Kabala is simply a Sephiroth, the third, left-hand power among the Emanations (Binah), has been elevated to the dignity of the One absolute God. Even in the Bible he is but one of the Elohim (See Genesis, iii, 22, “The Lord God” making no difference between himself and others). ] (Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, page 189.)Another proof of the claim that the Gospel of Matthew in the usual Greek texts is not the original gospel written in Hebrew, is given by no less an authority than St. Jerome (or Hieronymus). The suspicion of a conscious and gradual euhemerization of the Christ principle ever since the beginning, grows into a conviction, once that one becomes acquainted with a certain confession contained in Book II of the “Comment to Matthew” by Hieronymus. For we find in it the proofs of a deliberate substitution of the whole gospel, the one now in the Canon having been evidently re-written by this too zealous Church Father.[This is history. How far that re-writing of, and tampering with, the primitive gnostic fragments which are now become the New Testament, went, may be inferred by reading “Supernatural Religion” which went through over twenty-three editions, if I mistake not. The host of authorities for it given by the author, is simply appalling. The list of the English and German Bible critics alone seems endless ] He says that he was sent toward the close of the fourth century by “their Felicities,” the Bishops Chromatius and Heliodorus to Caesarea, with the mission to compare the Greek text (the only one they ever had) with the Hebrew original version preserved by the Nazarenes in their library, and to translate it. He translated it, but under protest; for, as he says, the Evangel “exhibited matter not for edification, but for destruction”. [The chief details are given in Isis Unveiled, Vol. II, pp. 180-83, et seq... Truly faith in the infallibility of the Church must be stone-blind — or it could not have failed being killed and — dying. ] The “destruction” of what? Of the dogma that Jesus of Nazareth and the Christos are one — evidently; hence for the “destruction” of the newly planned religion. [See Hieronymus, De viris inlustribus liber, cap. 3; H. Olshausen, Neuen Testaments, p. 35.59 The Greek text of Matthew’s Gospel is the only one used or ever possessed by the Church. ] In this same letter the Saint (who advised his converts to kill their fathers, trample on the bosom that fed them, by walking over the bodies of their mothers, if the parents stood as an obstacle between their sons and Christ) — admits that Matthew did not wish his gospel to be openly written, hence that the MS. was a secret one. But while admitting also that this gospel “was written in Hebrew characters and by the hand of himself” (Matthew), yet in another place he contradicts himself and assures posterity that as it was tampered with, and re-written by a disciple of Manichaeus, named Seleucus . . “the ears of the Church properly refused to listen to it”. (Hieron., “Comment to Matthew”, book ii, chapter xii, 13.) [Page 496]
No wonder that the very meaning of the terms Chrêstos and Christos, and the bearing of both on “Jesus of Nazareth,” a name coined out of Joshua the Nazar, has now become a dead letter for all with the exception of non-Christian Occultists. For even the Kabalists have no original data now to rely upon. The Zohar and the Kabala have been remodelled by Christian hands out of recognition; and were it not for a copy of the Chaldean Book of Numbers there would remain no better than garbled accounts. Let not our Brothers, the so-called Christian Kabbalists of England and France, many of whom are Theosophists, protest too vehemently; for this is history (See Munk). It is as foolish to maintain, as some German Orientalists and modern critics still do, that the Kabala has never existed before the day of the Spanish Jew, Moses de León, accused of having forged this pseudograph in the 13th century, as to claim that any of the Kabalistical works now in our possession are as original as they were when Rabbi Shimon Ben Yochai delivered the “traditions” to his son and followers. Not a single [one] of these books is immaculate, none has escaped mutilation by Christian hands. Munk, one of the most learned and able critics of his day on this subject, proves it, while protesting as we do, against the assumption that it is a post-Christian forgery, for he says:
It appears evident to us . . . . that the compiler made use of ancient documents, and among these of certain Midraschîm or collections of traditions and Biblical expositions, which we do not now possess.
After which, quoting from Tholuck (l.c., PP. 24 and 31 ) he adds:
Hâya Gaôn, who died in 1038, is to our knowledge the first author who developed the theory of the Sephiroth, and he gave to them the names which we find again to be among the Kabalists (cf. Jellinek, Moses ben Schem-tob de Leon, etc., p. 13, note 5); this doctor, who had intimate intercourse with the Syrian and Chaldean Christian savants, was enabled by these last to acquire a knowledge of some of the Gnostic writings”.
Which “Gnostic writings” and
esoteric tenets passed part and parcel into the Kabalistic works, with many
more modern interpolations that we now find in the Zohar, as Munk well proves. That Kabala is Christian now,
Thus, what with several generations of most active Church Fathers ever working at the destruction of old documents and the preparation of new passages to be interpolated in those which happened to survive, there remains of the Gnostics — the legitimate offspring of the Archaic Wisdom-religion — but a few unrecognisable shreds. But a particle of genuine gold will glitter for ever; and, however garbled the accounts left by Tertullian and Epiphanius of the Doctrines of the “Heretics”, an occultist can yet find even in them traces of those primeval truths which were once universally imparted during the mysteries of Initiation. Among other works with most suggestive allegories in them, we have still the so-called Apocryphal Gospels, and the last discovered as the most precious relic of Gnostic literature, a fragment called Pistis-Sophia, “Knowledge-Wisdom.”
In my next article upon the Esoteric character of the Gospels, I hope to be able to demonstrate that those who translate Pistis by “Faith,” are utterly wrong. The word “faith” as grace or something to be believed in through unreasoned or blind faith, is a word that dates only since Christianity. Nor has Paul ever used this term in this sense in his Epistles; and Paul was undeniably — an INITIATE.
(To be continued) [As far as could be ascertained, this essay was never completed.] [Page 497]
by Wm C Eldon Serjeant.
Published by Geo. Redway, York Street, Covent Garden. Price 7s 6d.
Reviewed by William Ashton Ellis (1919)
THE new work by Captain Serjeant (New Dispensationist and Fellow of the Theosophical Society) is certainly what he describes it as being, the “book for the age”, if, at least, it be admitted that the age requires arousing. I have no hesitation in saying that no such book has before been presented to the public. It sounds forth like a trumpet to arouse the sleepers from their crass forgetfulness of every law of Brotherly Love and Spiritual Truth. One might almost imagine, in reading it, the sensation produced upon his contemporaries by Ezekiel, when first he gave forth his prophecies to a wondering world; or by Bunyan, when he startled the English of his time with the magnificent allegory of the “ Pilgrim's Progress”. It is true that here and there whole passages are bodily transplanted from St. John's “Revelation”, but they are so marvellously dovetailed into the context that, without constant reference to the Apocalypse, it is almost impossible to say where the quotations begin and where they end. From a literary point of view this may be a fault; but if we recognise the one Spirit speaking through many voices we cannot deny that the same truth may call for repetition and expansion, and the same Spirit may emit again, with fuller details, what it has emitted before.
Were this an orthodox journal, I am aware that I dare not advance such tenets for fear the luckless editors should be deemed blasphemous by their subscribers. But LUCIFER at least must allow that the Universal Spirit has not in the sacred books of olden times breathed its last words. Then, again, Captain Serjeant disclaims all personal responsibility for these utterances when he states that the very passages which the reader will find the most glowing in the fierceness of their heat, are not words conceived by his own personality; but given to him by processes well-known to Spiritualists as “direct” and “automatic” writing.
The root idea of the volume is that one Spirit permeates all men and all things, and that this Spirit is that of Wisdom, Love and Truth; yet that this Spirit is denied or hidden out of sight by its own children; and that not till it is again made manifest in the public affairs of the world, can mankind hope for that happiness which it is now vainly pursuing in every other direction save the right one, namely, within. The dedication of the book sounds the key-note of its contents; for it is inscribed to “Love, the Queen of Heaven; and to Faith, the Star of the Soul”. The inscription closes with the words “Follow after Love — Love never faileth“, and the reader is intentionally left to supply the third term, “God is Love”. It is in this conception of the Supreme that we shall find the whole meaning of the work. The words “God” and the “Father”, as also the “Mother” and “Christ”, are employed pretty freely; yet with this clue, we shall see that the writer believes in no personal Deity, but [Page 498] in one Universal Spirit, of whom each intelligence is a manifestation in the flesh, little though such being may show or know it.
It is impossible in a short review to touch upon all the striking features of “Spirit Revealed”, and I must, therefore, content myself with noticing but a very few, referring the readers of LUCIFER to the book itself; for they will find in it a “Guide, Philosopher and Friend”.
The preface reminds one of a passage in Ezekiel too often forgotten. “And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered ”. Captain Serjeant points out the necessity of a bond of union in these words: —
“The contentions amongst many religious sects have been to a considerable extent responsible for the rise, growth, and development of numerous societies of professed religious, as well as of an anti-religious character. Each and every one of these Societies possesses its own peculiar views on the Deity, as well as on life and death, and though the majority of the more enlightened of them have evidently the same fundamental principles underlying the teachings which they endeavour to inculcate in the minds of men generally, yet the manifest confusion generated by what are seemingly conflicting opinions, tends, unhappily, to increase the bewilderment and distrust experienced in connection with the truths of the Spirit throughout all classes of Society in the nineteenth century”.
He then proceeds to claim for his work that it “places in the hands of Christian Ministers” (Note, that he employs the word “Christ” continually in the sense of the divine Spirit within mankind) “many powerful weapons wherewith to establish and uphold the universal Church of the Living God.'' The preface, which is conceived throughout in the most elevated style of address, concludes with an appeal to “all who, in their hearts, are ready and willing to labour loyally in the interests of their less enlightened fellow creatures existing in this ignorant, selfish, and love-starved world”.
After a brief Introduction, couched in a prophetic form, the writer deals with the nature of God, man, matter, the power of Spirit manifest in and through matter, the omnipresence of Spirit, the Intelligent Principle, and the Seven Rays of Truth. In these seven chapters is comprised what I may call the theoretical part of the book. The following quotations must suffice to show in what vein these world-riddles are worked out. “ We are endued with two natures, one of which is human or mortal, and subject to chemical change, commonly termed dissolution or death; the other, immortal or spiritual, capable of adding to itself by an inherent power to comprehend the nature, qualities and capabilities of all created visible things, which comprehension signifies the reconversion of all material existences into true ideas”. “It is an absolute fact that everything is literal. To the spiritual man symbols are literal; they are indeed more literal than the natural man considers what he terms facts or realities”. “The ultimate atom is Spirit. Finite wills are points on which the Infinite Will acts, for no creature can will without being a manifestation of the Supreme Intelligence who first wills that it shall will”.
The subsequent portion of the book deals partly with an expansion of the general tenets laid down in these seven chapters, and their application to the present practical needs of the world; partly with prophetic utterances as to the [Page 499] near approach of an awakening of the peoples to their real position as members of one great Spiritual community. Under the first heading a very important document is presented to the world, being a form for enrolment in the “Universal Rights Support Association”, which if generally adopted in the true spirit would indeed herald the millennium. Under the second heading in Chapter XIII. a remarkable reading of part of the Apocalypse is given, commencing with the words from Daniel, “ and at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of the people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a Nation even to that same time: At that time the people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book”. Such words as these are not to be understood on the first reading, and indeed will probably meet with nothing but derision from many. Yet LUCIFER will see in them another and a most powerful battery opened against the powers of darkness to wage war with which is his own chief mission.
In conclusion I can only add that, in my humble opinion, few men have shown such courage in facing the ridicule of society as Captain Serjeant, and that he has chosen to risk the forfeiture of a place in social circles to which his right is undeniable, rather than give way to the temptation to prophesy smooth things. He is one of the foremost in the New Dispensation movement, and a man whose working power must be enormous, if it be measured by the labours which he daily and voluntarily undertakes. His peculiar style of writing lays him open to the accusation of calling himself the coming Messiah. If his accusers would only meet him face to face, they would find that no man is humbler than he, and none is more fully conscious nor more loudly proclaims that individuality is but an emanation from the one Great Spirit”, in which alone he recognises the true Christ, the Saviour of the world. He would tell them that in themselves is incarnate the Spirit of Wisdom, and that it only awaits its union with the Spirit of Love, to manifest itself as the Spirit of Truth. How little he values his own personality and his own well-being or fame, those who know him best can testify. If Theosophy is to be a living thing, and not a mere intellectual amusement, it is by such men as this that it must be followed. Were there many such the world would soon be freed from its misery, by the force of their united volition. Verily their reward is at hand.
DE SCIENCE OCCULTE
by PAPUS (=G Encausse 1865-1916)
Published by Georges Carre, 58, Rue St. Audré des Arts.
Reviewed by Anon (HPB?)
This, the latest of the admirable publications now being issued by M. Georges Carré, “under the auspices of “L'Isis”, the French branch of the Theosophical Society, deserves a hearty welcome at the hands of all students of Occultism, as it fulfils the promise of its title, which is high praise indeed.
The book is written and constructed on correct Occult principles; it contains seven chapters, three devoted to theory and four to the application and practical illustration of that theory.
After an eloquent introductory chapter, M. Papus proceeds to lead his readers by easy transitions into the mysterious science of numbers. This — the first key [Page 500] to practical Occultism — is at once the simplest and the most subtle of sciences. Hitherto there has existed no really elementary exposition of its primary, fundamental principles. And, as this science of numbers lies at the base of every one of those applications of occult science which are still to any extent studied, a knowledge of it is almost indispensable.
Astrology, Chiromancy, Cartomancy, in short, all the arts of divination, rest ultimately on numbers and their occult powers, as a foundation.
And yet, though the students of each of these several arts must, perforce, acquire a certain knowledge of numerical science, yet very few of them possess that knowledge in a systematic and co-ordinated form.
Of course M. Papus does not, and cannot, give anything like a complete textbook on the subject, but he does give, in clear language, the fundamental guiding principles of this science. Moreover, he illustrates the methods of numerical working, by numerous and well-chosen examples — an aid which is simply invaluable to the student who is making his first entrance into this field of study. In the third chapter these abstract formulae are given as they relate to man, as an individual, and as a member of that larger whole, called humanity. This completes the purely theoretical portion of the book, and in the fourth chapter we are shown how these general principles work in their application.
Signs and symbols are proved to be the natural expressions of ideas in accordance with fixed laws, and the method is applied by way of illustration to the interpretation of the Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus. The relation between number and form is shown as exhibited in geometrical figures, and M. Papus gives a clue to a subject which has puzzled many — the actual influence in life of names. This chapter is most enthralling, but lack of space forbids any detailed comments, for so much would have to be said.
Chapters five and six are almost equally interesting; full of lucid illustration and valuable hints to the practical student, they form almost a manual in themselves. But on one point M. Papus is certainly in error though, since it is on a matter of history, its importance is relatively small. He attaches far too much weight to the Jews and to their national system of occultism — the Kabbala. True, that system is the most familiar in Europe; but it has been so much overlaid by a semi-esoteric veil, and additions and interpolations by Christian Occultists, that its inner grossness is lost sight of; so that students are apt to be led away from the truth, and to form erroneous conceptions as to the value and meaning of many symbols, the importance of which in practical work is very great. What esoteric knowledge the Jews possessed, they derived either from the Egyptians or the Babylonians during the captivity. Hence M. Saint-Ives d'Alveydre, his gigantic erudition notwithstanding, is altogether mistaken in the stress he lays on their knowledge, their place in history and their mission as a nation. This, however, is but a matter of small moment in a book, the practical value of which it would be difficult to over-estimate.
THE NEW WAGNER JOURNAL
edited by William Ashton Ellis
Reviewed by Anon
We have received from Mr. Geo. Redway, Publisher, 15, York Street, W.C the prospectus of a new Journal, “THE MEISTER”, which is about to be edited for the Richard Wagner Society by Mr. Wm. Ashton Ellis, author of “Theosophy in the Works of Richard Wagner” [Page 501] (Theosophical Society's Transactions), and of “Richard Wagner as Poet, Musician and Mystic”, read before the Society of Fine Arts. As Mr. Ellis is a member of the Committee of the Wagner Society, and a member of Council of the London Lodge of the Theosophical Society, we hope that prominence will be given to the esoteric side of Richard Wagner's works; and for this hope we have justification not only in the pamphlets above alluded to but also in the words of the prospectus of the MEISTER. “Religion, Art, and Social Questions are in these works (Wagner's) presented to his readers under novel aspects, and such as are of the greatest interest to a generation which is eagerly scanning the horizon for some cloud which may be the harbinger of refreshing rain long looked for to quench the thirst of the arid sands of Materialistic Science”.
The prospectus presents us with a specimen of the cover of the journal, designed by Mr. Percy Anderson, an artist who has already made a name for himself in other walks of the decorative art, and whose first attempt in this direction shows great power of broad effects of light and shade, and considerable expertness in symbolism. We hope in our next issue to review the first number of the MEISTER which, we understand, will appear on the 13th inst. It will be published for the present quarterly, at the subscription rate of 4s. per annum, but we trust that it may shortly become a full-fledged “monthly”.
NEW YEAR'S EVE
by Katie Duncan King
ALL sound was hushed, except the sad sad bells,
Chanting their requiem o'er the dying year;
Alone I knelt beneath the watchful stars,
And held communion with my restless soul.
The Old Year died, the sad bells all were stilled,
And o'er a silent city, shone the pure cold moon.
Then unrestrained my soul poured forth its cry,
“O God Eternal, Changless, Sacred, O. M.
Let my past die with the Old Year tonight.
And when the joy-bells hail the New Year's birth,
Let each sweet note waft up a paean of praise,
Straight from a new-born Soul unto its Maker”.
The New Year dawned, madly the bells clashed forth .
Beneath the stars, I still knelt on — in peace. [Page 502]
by Robert Lewins
Reviewed by CN (? Constance Naden)
[“Autocentricism; or, the Brain Theory of Life and Mind,” being the substance of letters written to the Secular Review (1883-4) By Robert Lewins, M.D. “The New Gospel of Hylo-Idealism, or Positive Agnosticism.” By Herbert L Courtney.]
MAN has made God in his own image. Taking his thoughts and passions, fears, hope and aspirations, with part thereof he endows his fellow-men, whose natures he knows only as figured and interpreted by his own, and thus he becomes a social being; with part thereof he inspires the inanimate world — “the sun, the moon, the stars, the sea, the hills, and the plains”, and thus he becomes a poet; “with the residue” he forms his God, and “falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me, for thou art my God”.
The first of these processes is legitimate, indeed necessary, for there is a foundation of unity in human nature, however diverse and complex are its varied developments; and the humanity which dwells in all can recognize itself under strange disguises.
The second process is innocent and elevating, so long as it is kept within just limits, and claims to reach results subjectively, not objectively, true.
The third process is inevitable at a certain stage of racial evolution, but beyond that stage becomes absolutely noxious and degrading, because it extols as truth that which conscience and reason have begun to condemn as untruth.
Dead are the Gods of Egypt, those supreme plutocrats, under whom costly mummification and burial in a sculptured tomb were the conditions of posthumous life, so that a poor man could by no means enter into the kingdom of Osiris. Dead are Jupiter, Apollo, Pallas, Aphrodite, the products and reflexes of Greek majesty, beauty and intellect; or, if not dead, they are immortalised only by the art of their human creators. Dead, or dying, as a power to be loved and feared, is that Jehovah who reproduces the cruelty, selfishness and stubbornness of the typical Jew, with his substratum of conscience, showing itself from time to time in a more or less wrong-headed zeal for righteousness.
In its infancy, every race unconsciously forms an ideal, and makes this ideal its God. As the race grows in civilisation the ideal is modified, and for some time the god continues to undergo corresponding changes, and is, so to speak, kept up to date. But increasing experience and knowledge bring increasing secularism of thought and feeling, and incapacitate the mind for reconstructing its Divinity. Religion loses its life-blood. In this stage, the Deity is either an anachronism, incompatible with the highest instincts of his worshippers, and therefore holding them back morally and intellectually, or else he becomes a nonentity, an abstraction, which can have no influence on life and conduct. It is this effete conception which Dr. Lewins combats in the tract entitles “Autocentricism, or the Brain Theory of Life and Mind”.
Man, in brief, is his own God. Saints and mystics, and all the most beautiful souls of all religions, have seen this truth as in a glass darkly. Christ expressed it in mystic form when he said, “The Kingdom of Heaven is within you”, and, “I and my Father are one”. But in Christ's time Animism [Page 503] was so ingrained in human nature that it was impossible he could escape it. [ “Autocentricism”, etc, p 10 ] He had not the scientific data on which to found a true cosmology; and even had he possessed the data, he would have lacked the power to use them. Scientific habits of thought were necessarily alien to the mind of the Galilean peasant. [ Christ — A Gaililean peasant ! — H.P.Blavatsky - Editor ] He could feel rather than comprehend the unity of God, Man, and the World; but he could not know that this unity is centred in the thought-cells of the cerebral hemispheres, and that the Divine glory is the offspring of a material organism. [Nor does Dr Lewins know: assumption is no proof. — H.P. Blavatsky — Editor ] Scientific synthesis can now give a solid basis to Christian and Buddhist mysticism, to Berkleyan and Kantian Idealism, by declaring that the brain is the one phenomenon which certifies it own nomenal existence. It thinks, therefore it is; it creates, therefore it exists. Yet Dualism is condemned, whatever stand-point we adopt. “For my main argument ... it matters not a jot or tittle whether you proceed on the nöetic or hyloic basis. A European ought to take the latter, which admits of scientific research and discovery. An Asiatic or African, who has not the genius for original realistic research, may safely be left to the former”. [ “Autocentricism”, etc p. 33 ] Beyond himself, no man can think. We are apt to be deluded by the exigencies of language, and to look upon “our” ideas, “our” imaginations, as in some way separable from ourselves; as possessions rather than components of the Ego. Yet nothing is clearer than that the sum of these sentient states actually constitutes the Ego, so far as it knows itself; and that a “dominant” idea, engrossing the attention to the exclusion of all others, is for the time absolutely identical with and equivalent to the mind which it is said to “rule”. For moments which are eternities, because the sense of time is abolished, the musician may be “absorbed in” or identified with his sonata, the poet with his verse, the mystic with his vision of the Divine Essence. “ I am as great as God, and He as small as I”, sings Angelus Silesius; but we may rather say that in such states of rapture the relatious of “great” and “small”, of “internal” and “external”, of “space” and “infinitude”, of “time” and “eternity”, are annihilated, and the whole universe fused into one point of light.
This feeling, rationalised and stripped of mystery, though not of wonder and solemnity, is the truth and life of Hylo-Idealism. Worship is done away with, not by iconoclasm, but by apotheosis. “By it we are, indeed, for ever and entirely relieved from the humiliating and overwhelming sense of human insignificance, thus making ourselves quite at home in the more than terrestrial grandeurs of the universe, in which our planet is but a sand-grain”. [ Ibid, p 19]
In conclusion, I should like to
recommend Dr. Lewins's tractate, with its Introduction by Mr. Courtney, and
its succinct and luminous Appendix by G. M. Mc., and also Mr. Courtney's
articles reprinted from “Our Corner” to
the attention of all sincere souls. Hylo-Idealism, or “Autocentricism”, has
the merit of not being negative merely, but also positive and constructive,
substituting for the “renunciation” preached by Christ and Buddha,
a perfect, fulfilment of self, and conquering selfishness by self-expansion.
It is thus especially potent in the fields of theoretical and practical ethics,
indeed the central idea of Spinoza's admirable and still unsurpassed analysis
of the Passions is distinctly deducible from our thesis, though generally regarded
as [Page 504] an
excrescence rather than a natural growth from his own. Upon all this I cannot,
at present, dwell, but must content myself with the bare indication of fields
of thought and action which are “white already to
On the Nile, Dec. 1887
“I avail myself of your invitation
to correspondents, in order to ask a question.
“How is it that we hear nothing now of the signs and wonders with which Neo-theosophy was ushered in? Is the “age of miracles” past in the Society?
Yours respectfully, “*”
is what our correspondent apparently refers to. They failed to produce the
desired effect, but they were, in no sense of the word, “miracles”.
It was supposed that intelligent people, especially men of science, would,
at least, have recognized the existence of a new and deeply interesting field
of enquiry and research when they witnessed physical effects produced at
will, for which they were not able to account. It was supposed that theologians
would have welcomed the proof of which they stand so sadly in need in these
agnostic days, that the soul and the spirit are not mere creations of their
fancy, due to ignorance of the physical constitution of man, but entities
quite as real as the body, and much more important. These expectations were
not realized. The phenomena were misunderstood and misrepresented, both as
regards their nature and their purpose.
In the light which experience has now thrown upon the matter, the explanation of this unfortunate circumstance is not far to seek. Neither science nor religion acknowledges the existence of the Occult, as the term is understood and employed in theosophy; in the sense, that is to say, of a super-material, but not super-natural, region, governed by law; nor do they recognize the existence of latent powers and possibilities in man. Any interference with the everyday routine of the material world is attributed, by religion, to the arbitrary will of a good or an evil autocrat inhabiting a supernatural region inaccessible to man and subject to no law, either in his actions or constitution, and for a knowledge of whose ideas and wishes mortals are entirely dependent upon inspired communications delivered through an accredited messenger. The power of working so-called miracles has always been deemed the proper and sufficient credentials of a messenger from heaven, and the mental habit of regarding any occult power in that light is still so strong that any exercise of that power is supposed to be “miraculous,” or to claim to be so. It is needless to say that this way of regarding extraordinary occurrences is in direct opposition to the scientific spirit of the age, nor is it the position practically occupied by the more intelligent portion of mankind at present. When people see wonders, nowadays, the sentiment excited in their minds is no longer veneration and awe, but curiosity.
It was in the hope of arousing and utilizing this spirit of curiosity that occult phenomena were shown. It was believed that this manipulation of forces of nature which lie below the surface — that surface of things which modern science scratches and pecks at so industriously and so proudly — would have led to enquiry into the nature and the laws of those forces, unknown to science, but perfectly known to occultism. That the phenomena did excite curiosity in the minds of those who witnessed them, is certainly true, but it was, unfortunately, for the most [Page 505] part, of an idle kind. The greater number of the witnesses developed an insatiable appetite for phenomena for their own sake, without any thought of studying the philosophy or the science of whose truth and power the phenomena were merely trivial and, so to say, accidental illustrations. In but a few cases the curiosity which was awakened gave birth to the serious desire to study the philosophy and the science themselves and for their own sake.
Experience has taught the leaders of the movement that the vast majority of professing Christians are absolutely precluded by their mental condition and attitude — the result of centuries of superstitious teaching — from calmly examining the phenomena in their aspect of natural occurrences governed by law. The Roman Catholic Church, true to its traditions, excuses itself from the examination of any occult phenomena on the plea that they are necessarily the work of the Devil, whenever they occur outside of its own pale, since it has a lawful monopoly of the legitimate miracle business. The Protestant Church denies the personal intervention of the Evil One on the material plane; but, never having gone into the miracle business itself, it is apparently a little doubtful whether it would know a bona-fide miracle if it saw one, but, being just as unable as its elder sister to conceive the extension of the reign of law beyond the limits of matter and force, as known to us in our present state of consciousness, it excuses itself from the study of occult phenomena on the plea that they lie within the province of science rather than of religion.
Now science has its miracles as well as the Church of Rome. But, as it is altogether dependent upon its instrument maker for the production of these miracles, and, as it claims to be in possession of the last known word in regard to the laws of nature, it was hardly to be expected that it would take very kindly to “miracles”, in whose production apparatus has no part and which claim to be instances of the operation of forces and laws of which it has no knowledge. Modern science, moreover, labours under disabilities with respect to the investigation of the Occult quite as embarrassing as those of Religion; for, while Religion cannot grasp the idea of natural law as applied to the supersensuous Universe, Science does not allow the existence of any supersensuous universe at all to which the reign of law could be extended; nor can it conceive the possibility of any other state of consciousness than our present terrestrial one. It was, therefore, hardly to be expected that science would undertake the task it was called upon to perform with much earnestness and enthusiasm; and, indeed, it seems to have felt that it was not expected to treat the phenomena of occultism less cavalierly than it had treated divine miracles. So it calmly proceeded at once to pooh-pooh the phenomena; and when obliged to express some kind of opinion, it did not hesitate, without examination, and on hearsay reports, to attribute them to fraudulent contrivances — wires, trap-doors, and so forth.
It was bad enough for the leaders of the movement when they endeavoured to call the attention of the world to the great and unknown field for scientific and religious enquiry which lies on the borderland between matter and spirit, to find themselves set down as agents of his Satanic Majesty, or as superior adepts in the charlatan line; but the unkindest cut of all, perhaps, came from a class of people whose own experiences, rightly understood, ought certainly to have taught them better: the occult phenomena were claimed by the [Page 506] Spiritualists as the work of their dear departed ones, but the leaders in Theosophy were declared to be somewhat less even than mediums in disguise.
Never were the phenomena presented in any other character than that of instances of a power over perfectly natural though unrecognized forces, and incidentally over matter, possessed by certain individuals who have attained to a larger and higher knowledge of the Universe than has been reached by scientists and theologians, or can ever be reached by them, by the roads they are now respectively pursuing. Yet this power is latent in all men, and could, in time, be wielded by anyone who would cultivate the knowledge and conform to the conditions necessary for its development. Nevertheless, except in a few isolated and honourable instances, never was it received in any other character than as would-be miracles, or as works of the Devil, or as vulgar tricks, or as amusing gape-seed, or as the performances of those dangerous “spooks” that masquerade in séance rooms, and feed on the vital energies of mediums and sitters. And, from all sides, theosophy and theosophists were attacked with a rancour and bitterness, with an absolute disregard alike of fact and logic, and with malice, hatred and uncharitableness that would be utterly inconceivable, did not religious history teach us what mean and unreasoning animals ignorant men become when their cherished prejudices are touched; and did not the history of scientific research teach us, in its turn, how very like an ignorant man a learned man can behave when the truth of his theories is called in question.
An occultist can produce phenomena, but he cannot supply the world with brains, nor with the intelligence and good faith necessary to understand and appreciate them. Therefore, it is hardly to be wondered at, that word came to abandon phenomena and let the ideas of Theosophy stand on their own intrinsic merits.
MR. MOHINI M. CHATTERJI (1858-1936)
To the Editors of LUCIFER.
Will you kindly afford publicity
in the pages of LUCIFER to the enclosed letter I have just received from
Mr. Mohini M. Chatterji who has been staying for a few months at Rome, with
English friends, on his way back to India. — Yours
A P Sinnett (1840-1921)
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE LONDON LODGE
OF THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
SIR, — I understand that among
the members of your Society there is a rumour to the effect that I have joined
the Roman Catholic Church, which has caused much annoyance to my friends
and also to myself. I beg therefore that you will do me the justice to make
it known that the rumour is entirely false and that I have no desire to join
any Christian Church. —
I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
MOHINI M. CHATTERJI.
ROME (Italy), January 30th, 1888
To the Editors of LUCIFER.
On behalf of the members of the London Lodge, I beg to state that the rumour
referred to in Mr. Mohini's letter emanated from two acquaintances of his belonging
to the Romish Church, who themselves derived their information from the R.
C. priesthood. As for the members of the L. L. they never believed in this
BERTRAM KEIGHTLEY, Hon. Sec. [Page 507]
[THE editors have received the two
following letters — one
from the learned Founder of Hylo-Idealism, the other from a gentleman, a casual
correspondent, of whom they know absolutely nothing except his most
extraordinary way of expressing his thoughts in words and terms hitherto unheard
by ordinary mortals. Both take the editors to task for using their undeniable
right of criticism and editorial judgment. As LUCIFER, however, is a magazine sui
and as its policy is the greatest possible tolerance and fairness to all parties
concerned, it will abstain from its legal prerogative of leaving the letters
without reply or notice. LUCIFER hands them over, therefore, to the “ADVERSARY”,
to be dealt with according to their respective merits. The editors have never
pretended to an “understanding of Hylo-Idealism” nor do they entertain
any such rash hope for the future. They belong to that humble class of mortals
who labour to their dying day under the belief that 2 X 2=4, and can by no
means, even hylo-idealistic, make 5. “ C. N.” 's letter placed
the new “philosophy” in an entirely different light; firstly, because
it is written in good English, and because the style of the writer is extremely
attractive; and secondly, because at least one point has now been made clear
to the editors: “ Hylo-Idealism” is, like modern spiritualism,
the essence of transcendental materialism. If in Mr. Huxley's
opinion Comte's Positivism is, in practice, “Catholicism minus Christianity”,
in the views of the editors of LUCIFER Hylo-Idealism is “ Metaphysics minus psychology
and — physics” Let its apostles explain away its flagrant
contradictions, and then LUCIFER will be the first to render justice to it
as a philosophy. Meanwhile, it can only acknowledge a number of remarkably
profound thoughts that are to be found scattered in independent solitude throughout
the letters of Dr. Lewins (Humanism versus Theism) and others, and — no
To the Editors of LUCIFER.
PERHAPS space may be found in the February or other early issue of your interesting and suggestive serial for the present curt communication. In a footnote of your January number I am coupled with Mr. H. Spencer as being more Atheist than Moleschott and Büchner — to say nothing of such compromising and irresolute scientists as Darwin, Huxley, and Co. Now, that atheistic or non-animist standpoint is the pivot on which my whole synthesis revolves; and is, I contend, the burning problem at this epoch — ethical and intellectual — of the human mind — thoroughly to establish on certain concrete, rational and scientific data, that is to say — not on the Utopias of Speculation and Metaphysics. My principle is exactly that of Kant (inter alios) when he formulates the “Thing in Itself”. But we have only to study the short and handy “Critique of Kant”, referred to in your columns — by Kuno Fischer, translated by Dr. Hough, to see how fast and loose that “all-shattering” metaphysician played with his all-destructive theme. Not only does he entirely reverse it and its corollaries in his critique of the “Practical Reason”, and of “Judgment”, but also in the second edition of the “Critique of Pure Reason” itself, in which originally, as its corollary, or rather concomitant, he, like myself, only on less sure premises, disposes of God, the Soul (Anima or Vital Principle), and Immortality — that is of another “personal” life after death. I hold with Lucretius, Epicurus, and others in ancient and modern times, of whom Shelley is a typical case, that no greater benefit can be bestowed on humanity than the elimination from sane thought of this ghastly and maddening Triune Spectre. God alone is quite “ I'infame” Voltaire dubs the Catholic Church. Looking through Nature “red in tooth and claws” to its pseudo Author, we must expect to find a Pandemon. For any omnipotent Being who, unconditioned and unfettered in all respects, “willed” such a world of pain and anguish for sentient creatures, must be a Demon worse than mythology has fabled of Satan, Moloch, Mammon, or other fiends. It must be noted that in the classic Pantheon, the Fates, or Fatal Sisters, are “above” all the Immortals of Olympus, including Jove himself — a [Page 508] saving provision quite inadmissible in modern Monotheism, which endows its Divinity [Deuce i.e. Devil, is the synonym of Deus ] with absolute omnipotence and fore-knowledge.
Robert Lewins, M.D.
To the Editors of LUCIFER.
I HAVE to thank you for your kind insertion of my note on above in January issue of the Magazine.
I have not the slightest desire to quarrel with your prefaced comments on my style of writing. It seems to you to be “turgid” and you take advantage of some unkind epithets lately dealt out to Theosophy in the Secular Review to return the compliment to me with interest added. Be it so. It would seem but fair to, let me say, compliment those, and those only, who have directly complimented you; but I have no wish, as I have just said, to find fault with any comment on Hylo-Idealism or on the methods of its advocacy. All criticism is, I know, received by the ex-cogitator of the system with thanks, and, save that both he and I think your note re “Theobroma” not a little at fault (for explanation I refer you to the well-known Messrs. Epps), I can say the same for myself.
I can see, however, in spite of the raillery with which you honour us, that a right understanding of Hylo-Idealism — I beg pardon, High-low Idealism — is still very far from being yours. Why, in a recent issue of LUCIFER, the old difficulty of, as I call it, the “Coincident assumption of Materiality” is started as if it had never before been thought of. It is, in point of fact, fully dealt with in my “Appendix” to the “Auto-Centricism” pamphlet, which has already passed under your review! It is not worth while to enter once more upon this point; suffice it then to say, in addition, that I explained it also, at full length, to a Theosophical writer — Mr. E. D. Fawcett — in the Secular Review, some months ago. He had started the same venerable objection, but after my reply, he so far honoured me as not to return to the charge. Let him do so now, and then a Theosophical attack and a Hylo-Ideal defence will be before you. But, really, it is no argument against my position to extract some half-dozen lines of my writing from a contemporary and to follow this soupçon with three printer's “shrieks”.
I shall wait with interest the promised
letter from “ C. N.”, placing
Hylo-Idealism in a “new and very different light”, as you say.
This is something quite new. Dr. Lewins, C. N., and I have, none of us, been
able, hitherto, to find any material difference between our several presentations
of the system.
I have the honour to be, Mesdames,
Your most obedient servant,
G. M. McC.
TO DR. LEWINS, AND THE HYLO-IDEALISTS AT LARGE
The several learned gentlemen of
the above persuasion, who have honoured Lucifer with their letters and articles,
will please to accept the present as a collective Reply. Life is too short
to indulge very often in such lengthy explanations. But “une fois n’est pas coutume”.
In “coupling” Dr. Lewins’ name with those he mentions — especially with Mr. Herbert Spencer’s — the Editors had assuredly no intention of saying anything derogatory to the dignity of the founder of Hylo-Idealism. They have called the latter system — its qualification of Idealistic notwithstanding — “atheistical”, and to this Dr. Lewins himself does not demur. Quite the contrary. If his protest (against a casual remark made in a footnote of two lines!) means anything at all, it means that he feels hurt to find his name associated with the names of such “compromising and [in atheism] irresolute scientists as Darwin, Huxley, and Co.” What is it that our erudite correspondent demurs to, then? Just that, and nothing more. His prefixed adjectives refer to the half-heartedness of these gentlemen in the matter of atheism and materialism, not surely, to their scientific achievements Indeed, these illustrious naturalists are timid enough to leave half-opened doors in their speculations for something to enter in which is not quite matter, and yet what it is they do not, or do not wish to know.
Indeed, they derive man, his origin and consciousness, only from the lower forms of animal creation and the brutes, instead of attributing life, mind and intellect — as the followers of the new System do — simply to the pranks played by Prakriti (the great Ignorance and Illusion) on our “diseased nervous centres” — abstract thought being synonymous with Neuropathy in the teachings of the Hylo-Idealists (see Auto-Centricism, p. 40). But all this has been already said and better said by Kapila, in his Sankhya, and is very old philosophy indeed; so that Messrs. Darwin and Co. have been, perhaps, wise in their generation to adopt another theory. Our great Darwinists are practical men, and avoid running after the hare and the eagle at the same time, as the hare in such case would be sure to [Page 509] run away, and the eagle to be lost in the clouds. They prefer to ignore the ideas and conceptions of the Universe, as held by such “loose”, and — as philosophically expressed by our uncompromising opponent — ”all-shattering metaphysicians” as Kant was. Therefore letting all such “metaphysical crack-brained theories” severely alone, they made man and his thinking Ego the lineal descendant of the revered ancestor of the now tailless baboon, our beloved and esteemed first cousin. This is only logical from the Darwinian standpoint. What is, then, Dr. Lewins’ quarrel with these great men, or with us? They have their theory, the inventor of Hylo-Idealism has his theory, we, Metaphysicians, have our ideas and theories; and, the Moon shining with impartial and equal light on the respective occiputs of Hylo-Idealists, Animalists, and Metaphysicians, she pours material enough for every one concerned to allow each of them to “live and let live”. No man can be at once a Materialist and an Idealist, and remain consistent. Eastern philosophy and occultism are based on the absolute unity of the Root Substance, and they recognise only one infinite and universal CAUSE. The Occultists are UNITARIANS par excellence. But there is such a thing as conventional, time-honoured terms with one and the same meaning attached to them all — at any rate on this plane of illusion. And if we want to understand each other, we are forced to use such terms in their generally-accepted sense, and avoid calling mind matter, and vice versa. The definition of a materialised “Spirit” as frozen whiskey is in its place in a humouristic pun: it becomes an absurdity in philosophy. It is Dr. Lewins’ argument that “the very first principle of logic is, that two ‘causes’ are not to be thought of when one is sufficient”; and though the first and the ultimate, the Alpha and the Omega in the existence of the Universe, is one absolute cause, yet, on the plane of manifestations and differentiations, matter, as phenomenon, and Spirit as noumenon, cannot be so loosely confused as to merge the latter into the former, under the pretext that one self-evident natural cause (however secondary in the sight of logic and reason) is “sufficient for our purpose”, and we need not “transcend the proper conditions of thought” and fall back upon the lower level of “lawless and uncertain fancy” — i.e., metaphysics. (Vide Humanism versus Theism, pp. 14-15.)
We have nothing whatever, I say it again, against “Hylo-Idealism” with the exception of its compound and self-contradictory name. Nor do we oppose Dr. Lewins’ earlier thoughts, as embodied in “C. N.’s” “Humanism versus Theism”. That which we permit ourselves to object to and oppose is the later system grown into a Bifrontian, Janus-like monster, a hybrid duality notwithstanding its forced mask of Unity. Surely it is not because Dr. Lewins calls “Spirit — a fiction”, and attributes Mind, Thought, Genius, Intellect, and all the highest attributes of thinking man to simple effects or functions of Hylo-zoism, that the greatest problem of psychology, the relation of mind to matter, is solved? No one can accuse “The Adversary” of too much tenderness or even regard for the conclusions of such rank materialists as the Darwinians generally are. But surely no impartial man would attribute their constant failure to explain the relations of mind to matter, and the confessions of their ignorance of the ultimate constitution of that matter itself, to timidity and irresoluteness, but rather to the right cause: i.e., the absolute impossibility of explaining spiritual effects by physical causes, in the first case; and the presence of that in matter which baffles and mocks the efforts of the physical senses to perceive or feel, and therefore to explain it, in the second case. It is not, evidently, a desire to compromise that forced Mr. Huxley to confess that “in strictness we [the Scientists] know nothing about the composition of matter”, but the honesty of a man of science in not speculating upon what he did not believe in, and knew nothing about. Does J. Le Conte insult the majesty of physical science by declaring that the creation or destruction, increase or diminution of matter, “lies beyond the domain of science?” [“Correlation of Vital with Chemical and Physical Forces”. Appendix. ] And to whose prejudices does Mr. Tyndall pander, he, who once upon a time shocked the whole world of believers in spiritual existence, by declaring in his Belfast address that in matter alone was “the promise and potency of every form and quality of life” (just what Dr. Lewins does) when he maintains that “the passage from the physics of the brain to the corresponding facts of CONSCIOUSNESS is unthinkable,” and adds:
“Granted that a definite thought and a molecular action in the brain occur simultaneously; we do not possess the intellectual organ nor apparently any rudiments of the organ, which would enable us to pass by a process of reasoning from one to the other. They appear together, but we do not know why. Were our minds and senses so expanded, strengthened and illuminated, as to enable us to see and feel the very molecules of the brain; were we capable of` following all their motions, all their groupings, all their electric discharges, if such there be; and were we intimately acquainted with the [Page 510] corresponding states of thought and feeling, we should be as far as ever from the solution of the problems. “How are these physical processes connected with the facts of consciousness?” The chasm between the two classes of phenomena would still remain intellectually impassable.[ Vide his Fragments of Science, 5th ed., New York, D. Appleton, 1884, p. 524 ]
To our surprise, however, we find
that our learned correspondent — Tyndall,
Huxley & Co., notwithstanding —has passed the intellectually
impassable chasm by modes of
perception, “anti-intellectual”, so to speak. I say this in no
impertinent mood; but merely following Dr. Lewins on his own lines of thought.
As his expressions seem absolutely antiphrastic in meaning to those generally
accepted by the common herd, “anti-intellectual” would mean with
the Hylo-Idealists “anti-spiritual” (spirit being a fiction with
them). Thus their Founder must have crossed the impassable chasm — say,
by a hylo-zoistic process of perception, “starting from the region of
rational cogitation” and not from “that lower level of lawless
and uncertain fancy”, as Theosophists, Mystics, and other hoi polloi of
thought, do. He has done it to his own “mental satisfaction”,
and this is all a Hylo-Idealist will ever aspire to, as Dr. Lewins himself
tells us. He “cannot deny that there may be behind [?] nature
of causes’, [ We Theosophists, who do not limit nature,
do not see the “cause of causes” or the unknowable deity
behind that which is limitless, but identify that abstract Nature with the
deity itself, and explain its visible laws as secondary effects on the plane
of Universal Illusion. ] but
if so, it is a god who hides himself, or itself, from mortal thought. Nature
is at all events vice-regent plenipotentiary, and with her thought
has alone to deal”. Just so, and we say it too,
for reasons given in the footnote. “There is a natural solution for everything,” he
adds: “Of course, if there be no ‘cause’, this solution
is the arrangement and co-ordination of invariable sequences in our own minds
rather than an ‘explanation’ or ‘accounting for’ phenomena.
Properly speaking we can ‘account for’ nothing. Mental satisfaction — unity
between microcosm and macrocosm, not the search after ‘First Causes’.
. . . is the true chief end of man.” (Humanism versus Theism,
This seems the backbone of Hylo-Idealistic philosophy, which thus appears as a cross breed between Epicurianism and the “Illusionism” of the Buddhist Yogachâryas. This stands proven by the contradictions of his system. Dr. Lewins seems to have achieved that to do which every mortal scientist has hitherto failed firstly, by declaring (in Human versus Theism, p. 17) the whole objective world — “phenomenal or ideal” [ We call the noumenal — the “ideal”. ] * and “everything in it spectral” (Auto-Centricism, p. 9), and yet admitting the reality of matter. More than this. In the teeth of all the scientific luminaries, from Faraday to Huxley, who all confess to knowing NOTHING of matter, he declares that — ”Matter, organic or inorganic is now fully known” (Auto-Centricism, p. 40)!!
I humbly beg Dr. Lewins’ pardon for the rude question; but does he really mean to say what he does say? Does he want his readers to believe that up to his appearance in this world of matter, thinking men did not know what they were talking about, and that among all the “Ego Brains” of this globe his brain is the one omniscient reality, while all others are empty phantasms, or spectral balloons? Besides which, matter cannot surely be real and unreal at the same time. If unreal — and he maintains it — then all Science can know about it is that it knows nothing, and this is precisely what Science confesses. And if real — and Dr. Lewins, as shown, declares it likewise — then his Idealism goes upside down, and Hylo alone remains to mock him and his philosophy. These may be trifling considerations in the consciousness of an Ego of Dr. Lewins’ power, but they are very serious contradictions, and also impediments in the way of such humble thinkers as Vedantins, Logicians, and Theosophists, toward recognising, let alone appreciating, “Hylo-Idealism”. Our learned correspondent pooh-poohs Metaphysics, and at the same time not only travels on purely metaphysical grounds, but adopts and sets forth the most metaphysical tenets, the very gist of the PARA-metaphysical Vedanta philosophy, tenets held also by the Buddhist “Illusionists” — the Yogachâryas and Madhyamikas. Both schools maintain that all is void (sarva śûnya), or that which Dr. Lewins calls spectral and phantasmal. Except internal sensation or intelligence (vijñâna) the Yogachâryas regard everything else as illusion. Nothing that is material can have any but a spectral existence with them. So far, our “Bauddhas” are at one with the Hylo-Idealists, but they part at the crucial moment. The New School teaches that the Brain (the originator of consciousness) is the only factor and Creator of the visible Universe; that in it alone all our ideas of external things are born, and that, apart from it, nothing has real existence, everything being illusion. Now what has that Brain, or rather the material its particles and cells are composed of, distinct in it from other matter that it should be rendered such honours? [Page 511] Physically, it differs very little indeed from the brain stuff and cranium of any anthropoid ape. Unless we divorce consciousness, or the EGO, from matter, one materialistic philosophy is as good as the other, and none is worth living for. What his Brain-Ego is, Dr. Lewins does not show anywhere. He urges that his “atheistic or non-animist (soulless) standpoint is the “ pivot” on which his “whole synthesis revolves”. But as that “pivot” is no higher than the physical brain with its hallucinations, then it must be a broken reed indeed. A philosophy that goes no further than superficial Agnosticism, and says that “what Tennyson says of Deity may be true, but it is not in the region of natural cogitation; for it transcends the logical Encheiresis naturae ( Human versus Theism) — is no philosophy, but simply unqualified negation. And one who teaches that “savants, or specialists, are the last to reach the summa scientiae, for the constant search after knowledge must ever prevent its fruition” (ibid.), cuts the ground himself under his feet, and thus loses the right, not only to be considered a man of science, but likewise his claim to the title of philosopher, for he rejects all knowledge. Dr. Lewins, quoting Schiller, to the effect that truth can never be reached while the mind is in its analytic throes”, shows the poet-philosopher saying that: — “To capture the fleeting phantom he (the analyst) must fetter it by rules, must anatomatise its fair body into concepts, and imprison its living spirit into a bare skeleton of words” — and thus brings this as a prop and proof of his own arguments that we need not trouble ourselves with the “cause of causes.” But Schiller believed in spirit and immortality, while the Hylo-Idealists deny them in toto. What he says above is accepted by every Occultist and Theosophist, simply because he refers to the purely intellectual (not Spiritual) analysis on the physical plane, and according to the present scientific methods. Such analysis, of course, will never help man to reach the real inner soul-knowledge, but must ever leave him stranded in the bogs of fruitless speculation.
The truth is, that Hylo-Idealism is at best QUIETISM — only on the purely material plane. “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die”, seems its motto. Dr. Lewins tells us that he holds his views with Epicurus. I beg leave to contradict again. Epicurus insisted upon the necessity of making away with an unphilosophical, anthropomorphic deity — a bundle of` contradictions — and so do we, the Theosophists. But Epicurus believed in gods, finite and conditioned in space and time, still divine when compared to objective ephemeral man: again, just as we, Theosophists, believe in them.
We feel sorry to have to say unpleasant truths. The Founder of Hylo-Idealism is evidently a marvellously well-read man, his learning is great and undeniable; and, we have always had an instinctive respect for, and sympathy with, thinkers of his calibre. But, we have been sent pamphlets and books on Hylo-Idealism for review, and one would be truant to his duty to conceal one’s honest and sincere views on anything. Therefore, we say that, contradictions and inconsistencies in the Hylo-Idealistic system apart, we find in it a mass of ideas and arguments which come forcibly home to us, because they are part and parcel of the Eastern Idealism. Our premises and propositions seem to be almost identical in some respects, but the conclusions we come to disagree in every point, the most important of which is the true nature of matter. This, which “has been fabled as ‘Spirit’ ”, writes Dr. Lewins in 1878, “is really merely the ‘vis insita’ of matter or ‘nature’ — the latter a misnomer if creation or birth is a delusion, as it must be on the hypothesis of the eternity of matter”.
Here the Doctor speaks evidently of “Spirit” from the Christian stand-point, and criticises it from this aspect. And from this stand-point and aspect he is perfectly right; but as wrong from those of Eastern philosophy. Did he but view Spirit, as one with eternal matter, which, though eternal in esse is but finite and conditioned during its periodical manifestations, he would not so materialise its vis insita — which is vis vitae but when applied to individual manifestations, the living subjects of illusion, or animated bodies. But this would lead us too far, and we must close the subject with one more protest. There is a casual remark in “Humanism versus Theism” to the effect (on the authority of Ueberweg) that “the early Greek thinkers and Sages were Hylo-Zoists”. Aye, learned Doctor; but the early Greek thinkers understood Hylo-Zoism (from “Hyle” primordial matter, or what the greatest chemist in England, Mr. Crookes, has called “protyle”, undifferentiated matter, and “Zoe”, life) in a way very different from yours. So are we, Theosophists and Eastern Occultists, “Hylo-Zoists”; but it is because with us “life” is the synonym both of Spirit and Matter, or the ONE eternal and infinite LIFE whether manifested or otherwise. That LIFE is both the eternal IDEA and its periodical LOGOS. He who has grasped and mastered this doctrine [Page 512] completely has thereby solved the mystery of BEING.
“THE ADVERSARY” [H.P.Blavatsky]
P.S. — We have in type a very excellent article by Mr. L. Courtney, which could not find room in this present number, but will appear in March. In it, the writer says all that he can possibly say in favour of Hylo-Idealism, and that is all one can do. Thus, Lucifer will give one fair chance more to the new System; after which it will have gained a certain right to neither answer at such length, nor accept any article on Hylo-Idealism that will go beyond a page or so. — “A.”
To the Editor of Lucifer
QUESTION, at London, 1887, March 2nd, 6.8 p.m. What will be the duration of quesited's life ?
Though the preceding figure showed that my relative would recover from his illness,[ NOTE.—This was shown by the preceding figure; a weak aspect in horary astrology can only symbolize a weak result. Hence, though the weakly good semi-sextile was sufficient to indicate convalescence from a self-limited disease like pneumonia; yet it did not denote complete restoration to health. Had the significators -been applying to a Trine, I should have judged not only convalescence from the acute attack, but a continuance of a vigorous old age ] yet it was obvious that the end could not be far distant; and I drew the present figure for the minute of the impression, to interrogate the stars.
The following are the elements of the figure:—
10th house 14 ♊
11th house 21 ♋
12th house 22 ♌
-1st house 17°45' ♍
-2nd house 10 ♎
-3rd house 9 ♏
Planets' places are:
♆ 25. 13. 15 ♉
♅ 11. 37. 30 R. ♎
♄ 15. 46. 30 R. ♋
♃ .5. 41. 30. R ♏
♂ 23.50.45. ♓
☉ 11. 52. 19. ♓
♀ 3.10.30. ♈
☿ 29.36.15. ♓
☽ 8. 28. 15. ♊
Caput Draconis 27. 21. 28 ♌
As in the previous figure the 6th house is the quesited's ist, and the 1st house is his 8th. As the time of the question was after sunset, ☿ ruling ♍ by night was lord of his 8th, and ♅ ruling ♒ by night was lord of his 1st. The aspect of the significators is ☿ 167° 58' 45” ♅, separating from the Quincunx and applying to the Opposition. The Quincunx is, like the Conjunction and Parallel, convertible in nature, being good with benefics and evil with malefics, and when a benefic and malefic are thus joined, the stronger rules. It was therefore in this case doubly evil, as the significators were separating from one evil aspect and applying to another though not within orbs of either. As ☿, the applying planet, was in a common sign, and is an angle of the figure, each degree signified a week; and as 12° 1' 15” were wanted to complete the opposition, the critical period was shown to be a fraction over 12 weeks, or May 25th.
Danger to life was also shown by Cauda Draconis in quesited's 1st house; by ☉ in quesited's 1st afflicted by a very close Quincunx of ♅ lord of his 1st, ♅ moreover receiving ☉ in his Detriment, and ☉ receiving ♅ in his Fall; and by ☽, lady of quesited's 6th, posited in his 4th, and afflicted by a rather close Quartile of ☉ posited in his 1st, ☉ moreover receiving ☽ in his Anti-triplicity (sit venia verbo). Nevertheless, as the significators were not actually in any evil aspect, ☿ moreover receiving ♅ in his Triplicity, and being almost out of ♓ his Fall and Detriment, and the Detriment of ♅ ; ☽, lady of his 6th, and posited in his 4th, applying to a Trine of ♅ lord of his 1st; and ☿ lord of his 8th applying to Conjunction with ♀ lady of his 4th, ♀ moreover receiving ☿ in her exaltation; —all this denoted that May 25th would be the time, not indeed of certain death, but of imminent danger, the beginning of the end.
being in the 4th house of the figure, almost on the cusp, denoted a legacy to my father.
The actual result was as follows: After having been for some time in fair health, considering his age and recent illness, he was suddenly taken ill and in great danger on the night of May 27th, and on the morning of May 31st was in articulo mortis, and givin up by his two physicians. From this, however, he rallied; relapsed on the night of July 6th; rallied again; but died on July 19th at 8.30 a.m., after a sudden seizure of only 15 minutes' duration, and my father received a legacy under his will.
The quesited suffered much in his
last illness from cough and dyspnoea. The certificate of death was — “ Primary;
emphysema, morbus cordis. Secondary: thrombus, syncope”. With
this may be compared ♄ in
having dignity in quesited's 8th house, and afflicting ♅ lord of
quesited's ist.,. ♄ in ♋ denotes “phthisis, ulceration
in lungs, obstructions and bruises in breast, ague, scurvy, cancer, and cough”.
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